Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced he will attend the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25, and he will become the first California governor to ever present the winner's trophy for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
As if they had never left the racetrack, 10 Hall of Fame jockeys spoke knowingly of tactics in the Oct. 18 "Living Legends" competition at Santa Anita -- mostly about how Angel Cordero Jr. will be herding the field from his outside post position.
California Horse Racing Board chairman Richard B. Shapiro has been reappointed to the regulatory agency by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After more than a year of discussion, the California Horse Racing Board has deferred any action on a proposed rule that would prohibit advance deposit wagering companies from making exclusive wagering agreements with Thoroughbred racetracks in the state.
Industry stakeholders received a tongue-lashing from Richard Shapiro, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, as the agency took its first swipe at a race dates calendar for 2009.
According to the Oak Tree Racing Association's morning line odds, retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will record one more victory, the 5,894th of his career, in the Oct. 18 unprecedented "Living Legends Race" at Santa Anita Park.
Casino Drive came out of his three-quarter length victory at Santa Anita Oct. 12 in good order and is on course for the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25.
Curlin took another step closer to the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he executed a flawless workout between races at Santa Anita Oct. 13. With regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas aboard and in company with Hawaii Calls, Curlin traveled five furlongs in :59.11, galloping out in 1:12.14.
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit has been set for Thursday, Oct. 16, at Santa Anita Park.
Casino Drive, the Japan-based half-brother to two Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners, cruised to an easy victory in a Santa Anita allowance race Oct. 12 to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Longtime Southern California broadcaster Gil Stratton has died at the age of 86, his Web site reported Oct. 12.
Favored Tasha's Miracle nipped Gorgeous Goose by a nose in Oak Tree's $106,100 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap (gr. IIIT), snapping a seven-race losing streak in game fashion at Santa Anita turf Park Oct. 11.
California horsemen and Hollywood Park reached a tentative agreement Oct. 10 that allows the track to operate its 40-day autumn race meet, but a stalemate over host fees to be paid by account wagering companies for interstate bets remains unresolved.
Undefeated Casino Drive has been entered to run at Santa Anita on Oct. 12 in what his connections hope will lead to a start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Sweeter Still, a filly that packs a big wallop into a small frame, takes on a pair of well-regarded John Sadler trainees in Oak Tree's $100,000 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 11.
The California Horse Racing Board announced Oct. 7 that in conjunction with Breeders' Cup, it will be conducting random out-of-competition testing for horses pre-entered in the World Championships.
With trainer Steve Asmussen looking on, Curlin worked over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita early the morning of Oct. 6. The trainer, who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers dirt over synthetic surfaces, said that he could not make any decision about Santa Anita's new surface on the basis of just one work.
Trainer Doug O'Neill watched his retired star Lava Man lead the post parade for Oak Tree's $250,000 California Cup Classic, then saw his newest stable standout Mr. Chairman dig in to defeat the favored filly Romance Is Diane by a head Oct. 5 at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Peppers Pride put herself in the record books when she defeated an allowance field at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., by two lengths for her 17th consecutive victory Oct. 4.
Queen Ofthe Catsle earned her first win in a graded stakes race when she ran down pacesetter La Tee in deep stretch to capture Oak Tree's $111,600 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's downhill turf course Oct. 4.
Lava Man, one of the all-time great California breds who was retired in July with earnings of $5,268,706, will lead the parade to the post for the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Oct. 5.
Amanda McKaughan collected her first Santa Anita Park victory as a trainer when Double Dip, a 13-1 outsider making her first start at Santa Anita, won the optional claiming feature, a $51,082 event for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 2.
Four-year-old filly Romance Is Diane, a grade I stakes winner, is the 5-2 favorite among eight entrants in the $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the centerpiece of Oak Tree's 10-stakes series of races exclusively for state-breds at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
Irish-bred Bahama Mama, a steady speedster still seeking recompense for a flawed graded stakes debut in the United States, and the ultra consistent Victorina, who has never before raced on grass, will be the co-high weights at 118 pounds in Oak Tree's $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Oct. 4.
The maiden Street Hero squeezed between horses to challenge for the lead and outfought Believe in Hope and Midshipman in deep stretch to win Oak Tree's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sept. 28, securing a berth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Jockey Garrett Gomez guided favorite Hyperbaric to victory in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) to collect his 3,000th career win in impressive style at Santa Anita Sept. 28.
Dr. Jock Jocoy, veterinarian to several of the greatest horses in Thoroughbred racing history, including champions Swaps, Ack Ack, Cougar II and Buckpasser, died Sept. 27 at his home in Del Mar after a lengthy illness. The native of New London, Conn., was 82.
Tucked between a weekend of Breeders' Cup prep races and the California Cup showcasing the local product, California's fall select yearling sale offers a slimmer but more select catalog than in years past.
Favored Well Armed, under strong urging from jockey Aaron Gryder, responded to open up a clear advantage in the homestretch, then held off the late-closing Tiago to win the $500,000 Goodwood (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27. Because the race is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, Well Armed gained a slot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Wait a While, undefeated in three starts on the Santa Anita turf course, earned her way back to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) by winning Oak Tree's $400,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) by one length Sept. 27.
Stardom Bound put on a dazzling performance in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park. The 2-year-old Tapit filly rallied from last, came eight-wide into the stretch, and mowed down her rivals to win going away under Mike Smith.
Cost of Freedom, claimed for $50,000 this summer by trainer John Sadler, repelled a strong bid from odds-on choice Street Boss to win the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27. The victory earned Cost of Freedom a berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Undefeated Zenyatta unwound her patented stretch drive once again to sweep by Hystericalady in the final furlong to win the $245,000 Lady's Secret (gr. IT)during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27.
Veteran jockey Calvin Borel, making his first-ever appearance in a race at Golden Gate Fields, drove Delightful Kiss past favored Awesome Gem for a one-length victory in the $211,800 All American Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sept. 27.
East Coast invader Red Giant nipped Out of Control in a tough stretch duel to win the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) by a head in world record time during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Corey Nakatani could miss the remainder of the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, including the two-day Breeders' Cup festival, with a fractured right clavicle suffered in a spill in the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the opening day of the meet Sept. 24.
Prominent Thoroughbred Owner Mace Siegel, vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has given $100,000 to support the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group and its efforts to protect live horse racing.
Jack Preston, owner of Prestonwood Racing, and trainer Julio Canani could have another shot at the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) in their future with Hyperbaric, who appears to be the horse to beat in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Sept. 28.
Northern California trainer Steven Miyadi has drawn a sixth complaint from the California Horse Racing Board for alleged violations of new rules regarding the use of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol that became official after Aug. 1.
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.
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