Midshipman, unbeaten in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert after his gritty victory in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), heads a field of 10 in the $250,000 Norfolk Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 28.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, closing in on 4,000 victories in a star-crossed career, is apparently finished competing in California.
The Goodwood Stakes (gr. I), as usual, serves as the main prep race in Southern California for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) this season. But for the 11 entered in this year's $500,000 renewal Sept. 24, it's also the first test of Santa Anita's new Pro-Ride synthetic racing surface and will go a long way toward determining which contenders move on.
Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss has already earned a berth into the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon next month at Santa Anita. Now, the 4-year-old gelding will make his final prep for that race when he faces six rivals in the $200,000 All American Stakes (gr. III) the richest race of Golden Gate Fields' fall meet.
Front-running California Flag drew away in stunning fashion to register a 22-1 surprise in track record time while winning the $112,500 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's hillside turf course on opening day of the 40th Oak Tree Racing Association meet.
A refreshed Wait a While returns to one of her favorite turf courses as the horse to beat in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Sept. 27.
Two-time grade I winner Street Boss puts his five-race winning streak on the line when he takes on seven tough sprinters in the $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
Multiple grade II winners Out of Control, Red Giant, and Spring House head a field of seven entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
The first three finishers of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) have passed the entry box for the Sept. 27 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I). The two-turn, $250,000 race for 2-year-old fillies at the Oak Tree meeting figures to be a key prep for next month's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking for career win No. 8 when she takes the gate for the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The California-based runner will face four rivals, including grade I winner Hystericalady, in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Gold Mark Farm's Proud Jefe hasn't started yet around two turns, but his two wins around one make him the one to beat in the Sept. 27 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III), worth $100,000, at 1 1/16 miles. The Proud Citizen colt is the only one in the field of eight with as many as two wins.
Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Wasserman has been turned out at Coal Creek Farm in Enumclaw, Wash., and won't race in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, (IEAH Stables), owners of 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown, will donate a percentage of winnings of all IEAH starters in next month's Breeders' Cup World Championships to Breeders' Cup Charities.
Defending champion Get Funky, seeking an assured Breeders' Cup berth, heads 12 entrants in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap as the Oak Tree Racing Association launches its 40th season at Santa Anita Sept. 24.
Four complaints have been filed against trainer John Sadler by the California Horse Racing Board, alleging that horses in his care ran with excessive amounts of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol in their systems during the month of August at Del Mar, where Sadler was the leading trainer.
Georgie Boy, a three-time graded stakes winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender before suffering an injury in late March, has resumed training and is being pointed towards a return to the racetrack in October, his owner-breeder George Schwary said Sept. 19.
With horsemen and Hollywood Park unable to come to agreement on revenue splits from account wagering sources for the upcoming autumn meet at the Inglewood track, the California Horse Racing Board agreed to conduct a special hearing to settle the impasse.
Jockey Frank Alvarado, known as a strong finisher, displayed his skill while recording his 2,000th career victory Sept. 18 at Golden Gate Fields.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will card a record total of six grade I Breeders' Cup prep stakes on Sept. 27. The Goodwood, Yellow Ribbon, Oak Leaf, Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, Lady's Secret and the Ancient Title will offer horsemen nearly $2 million in purses on what is believed to be the biggest Breeders' Cup prep day in racing history.
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit has been set for Thursday, Oct. 16, at Santa Anita Park.
A California rule that gives owners the option of protecting a horse that has been out of action for at least 180 days from being claimed away goes into effect on Sept. 20.
Golden Gate Fields, the only major racing facility in Northern California at the present time with the closure of Bay Meadows, opens its 2008 fall/winter meeting Sept. 17.
Barretts has cataloged 514 horses for its October mixed sale, which will be held Oct. 27 and 28 at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Southern California.
Trainer Mike Mitchell has an Oct. 11 hearing with stewards at Santa Anita Park on a complaint filed against him by the California Horse Racing Board charging medication violations for the use of procaine on one of his horses.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, winner of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) by a nose at Saratoga, worked four furlongs Sept. 14 on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface in :48 4/5 for trainer Eoin Harty. The colt is headed for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.
Trainer John Sadler says he unlikely to return to his role as board president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers and could be part of a push to form a new organization.
Equine artist Fred Stone has been commissioned to commemorate the 25th running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships with a poster entitled, "Bred for Glory."
Dennis Dodge, 62, the longtime Daily Racing Form columnist/handicapper in the Northwest, died suddenly on the evening of Sept. 9 due to an apparent heart failure in Seattle.
The 19th running of the California Cup, a series of 10 races worth $1,325,000 dedicated to horses bred in California, will be staged at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, earlier than usual this year.
Barretts officials have canceled the Classic I sale of horses of racing age because of an insufficient number of entries. The auction had been scheduled for Oct. 26 in Southern California following the Breeders' Cup World Championships (Oct. 24 and 25) at Santa Anita Park.
Del Mar closed its 69th race meeting Sept. 3 with declines in handle and attendance, but track officials were left with a positive attitude in light of tough economic conditions.
Del Mar's traditional seven-week summer meet could undergo some changes in the next few years, as Hollywood Park heads for development and the entire Southern California racing calendar adjusts.
Robert and Janice McNair just might change their minds about getting out of racing now that their homebred Midshipman won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) Sept. 3 closing day. The photo finish victory at seven furlongs over the synthetic surface came just several days after the McNairs announced they were selling their horses and Central Kentucky farm to Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation.
A Cherokee Run filly sold for $92,000 to top the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association yearling sale Sept. 2 at the Morris J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion at Emerald Downs.
The aptly named maiden Stardom Bound, far behind the leaders on the final turn, unleashed a monstrous move through the home stretch to turn the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) into a 4 1/4-length stunner Sept. 1.
Madeo, justifying the faith trainer John Shirreffs has shown in him, overtook pacesetter Tangled Tango in deep stretch to post a handy upset in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Aug. 31.
Undefeated Peppers Pride will have to wait for another opportunity to run for the modern-day North American Thoroughbred record for most consecutive victories due to a sloppy track at Ruidoso Downs Aug. 31.
Several horses were out galloping on the renovated Santa Anita track surface Aug. 31. Training stables are just starting to ship in from Del Mar.
Given a patient ride by Corey Nakatani, favored Vacare bounced back from a couple of sub-par efforts this year to win the $200,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) in a close three-horse finish over the Del Mar turf course Sept. 30.
Trainer Darrell Vienna has agreed to pay a fine of $8,500 for rule violations in connection with his graded stakes winner Medici Code, who was found to have excessive levels of clenbuterol in urine samples tested following consecutive races at Del Mar last summer.
California horse owner Michael Power was found in contempt and fined for making several false and defamatory statements about John Harris, a director for the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.
The 42nd annual Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association Summer Yearling Sale will be held Sept. 2.
Northwestern jockey Sandi Gann announced her retirement Aug. 29. She is the first woman to win a riding title at Turf Paradise.
Requiring safety reins, a move strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, will be the subject of a public hearing to be held by the California Horse Racing Board during its regular monthly meeting at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.
The muddled juvenile filly picture in Southern California should begin to come into focus on Labor Day when a dozen go to work in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I).
Peppers Pride's attempt to break the modern mark for consecutive wins by a North American Thoroughbred has been on hold for more than a month, yet her shot at glory may once again be at the mercy of the weather.
A group trying to prevent the redevelopment of the Bay Meadows race track won a round in court and gained a delay in a hearing of the petition it has brought against the developer and the city of San Mateo.
Winner of the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) in his last start, Gio Ponti switches coasts for New York-based trainer Christophe Clement and takes a shot at the best the California 3-year-old turf division has to offer in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Aug. 31.
Dear Lady Ann, a daughter of Salt Lake, brought $37,000 to top the Northern California yearling sale at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa Aug. 26. Super Horse purchased the chestnut yearling from Jack and Barb Hatch's Green Acre Stables, agent for Lercari Thoroughbreds.
A day after winning the $1-million Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) with Colonel John, jockey Garrett Gomez switched coasts to guide favored Go Between to a head victory over Well Armed in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
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