Odds-On favorite Will O Way, responding to strong urging from jockey Russell Baze after being headed in the homestretch, held off the charging Point of Reference by a nose in the final stride, winning the $100,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Jan. 31.
Upsetter Briecat used her speed to best advantage in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) Dec. 7, turning back a challenge from even-money favorite Model in the homestretch and posting a 2 1/4-length front-running win.
Synthetic surface standouts Student Council and Awesome Gem, the first two finishers in last summer's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), are expected to make their 2008 bow in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) over Santa Anita's Cushion Track on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3.
Southern California trainer Vladimir Cerin was handed a $7,500 fine and a 15-day suspension by stewards at Hollywood Park after two horses in his care tested positive in post-race urine samples for substances that are considered Class 3 medication violations.
Millennium Farms' Ro Parra has decided to run his star pupil Student Council in the $2.3 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jap-I), rather than the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). The 1 1/4-mile Japan Cup Dirt will be contested Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Millionaire Super Frolic was euthanized after suffering an injury in the Sept. 15 Presque Isle Mile Stakes. The 7-year-old horse was pulled up during the race.
In a sign of the times, a Midwest also-ran with a liking for Polytrack came west to win the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19. Student Council, purchased recently by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms to run in the 1 1/4-mile test, vanquished Lava Man and upset a large field at odds of 23-1 at Del Mar.
Salute the Sarge and Leonides, separated by a nose in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) July 4, clash once more in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Del Mar Sunday.
Despite some notable absentees, Tattersalls' Autumn Horses In Training in Newmarket, England, between Oct. 23-26 saw a strong trade that resulted in a record turnover of almost 24 million guineas, up 22% on 2005.
The owners of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas - the Maloof brothers - have a new claim to fame: King Palm, who has run second in his last nine races.
Lava Man and Super Frolic, first and third in July 8's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) finished their work for Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) with solid six-furlong drills Sunday morning over Del Mar's main track.
Stalking Bettarun Fast swung four wide in the stretch to grab the lead under Aaron Gryder and went on to a three-quarters of a length win over Mystery Gal in the $100,000 Railbird (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Bettarun Fast will attempt to win her second straight graded stakes in Hollywood Park's co-feature Saturday, the $100,000 Railbird (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
Favored Willow O Wisp broke on top and was never headed while cruising to a 1 1/4-length victory over Artiste Royal under jockey Victor Espinoza in Saturday's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.
Bettarun Fast slipped through along the rail in upper stretch under jockey Aaron Gryder and held off El Mirage Queen and Acceleration in the final strides to spring a 31-1 upset in the $105,650 Santa Paula (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Super Frolic, who outran his 69-1 odds while finishing an eventful fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I), was injured and will need some time to recover.
With leading rider Garrett Gomez aboard, Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) winner Willow O Wisp is a deserving favorite in a field of eight entered for the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Millennium Farms' Super Frolic, making his second start for Southern California trainer Vladimir Cerin, wore down Lord of the Game in the final furlong to win the $750,000 Hawthone Gold Cup (gr. II) on a slick course in Chicago Saturday.
Robert A. Alexander's favored Willow O Wisp led from start to finish to win the $400,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) on the lawn Monday in track-record time, earning his third straight graded stakes victory.
Favored Willow O Wisp wore down Juliesugardaddy in the final strides to win the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Del Mar turf Saturday.
Stakes winners El Roblar and Willow O Wisp head a field of seven 3-year-olds who will contest Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Willow O Wisp turned the tables on odds-on favorite Osidy with a front-running win in the $153,450 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park lawn Sunday.
Mercedes Stables' grade II winner Twice as Bad, sidelined since finishing seventh in the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder Race Course last July 10, is back to work and is considered possible to make his return to racing before the end of the current Santa Anita meeting, trainer Vladimir Cerin said.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said Friday that Puppeteer, found to have an excessive level of bicarbonate in his bloodstream following his second-place finish in the Jan. 22 San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT), was subject to an accidental contamination of alkalizing agents.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin said Sunday that his recent winner She's a Jewel is headed to the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks on Jan. 29.
Even the Score, bothered by foot problems, was dropped from consideration for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22 by trainer Vladimir Cerin Sunday. Another prospect for the race, Olmodavor is extremely questionable, according to trainer Richard Mandella.
Grade III winner Boomzeeboom was euthanized on Saturday morning after suffering a catastrophic injury to a cannon bone in a workout a Del Mar.
Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in this year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), heads a field of six 3-year-olds who will clash in the $400,000 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Even the Score, a 6-year-old roan gelding who has soared to national prominence during Hollywood Park's spring/summer meet, is the 6-5 favorite in Saturday's 65th running of the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Boomzeeboom, passed in the stretch by his stablemate Twice as Bad, responded to exuberant urging from Victor Espinoza and came back on the inside to post a half-length victory in the $110,200 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Twice as Bad, a 3-year-old gray colt whose West Coast debut in last month's Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at seven furlongs resulted in a resounding three-length victory, will seek his first route win in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
Ro Parra's Even the Score established himself as one of the favorites in next month's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) with a sharp 3 1/2-length score in Saturday's $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Even the Score, a two-length winner of the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) on May 8, figures to be favored among nine entrants in the 1 1/8-mile Californian (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The gutty gelding Designed for Luck, who returned to competition last year after missing nearly 17 months with a fractured left rear hock, capped his improbable comeback with the first grade I stakes victory of his career in Monday's $456,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Mercedes Stable's Twice as Bad, stakes-placed in Florida but on the sidelines since December, showed no effect from the layoff with a three-length win in the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.
A group of California Horse Racing Board investigators made a surprise visit to trainer Vladimir Cerin's Santa Anita barn Friday morning.
King Palm, a Florida-bred colt by Halo's Image who makes his debut in Monday's sixth race, is owned by the Maloof brothers, Joe and Gavin, who own the Sacramento Kings and the Palm, the posh Las Vegas casino.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin is hoping his trainee Publication will indicate to him just how good he is when the 4-year-old son of Petionville tackles 10 other runners in Sunday's grade II San Diego Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Jerry Bailey will have the opportunity to log more frequent flyer miles next weekend, when the jockey will fly to California from his South Florida base for the fourth straight weekend. Bailey will ride Bobby Frankel-trained You in the Feb. 10 Las Virgenes Stakes.
Troubled rider Patrick Valenzuela scored his first victory in nearly two years at Santa Anita on Monday, winning the third race aboard Rich Musique for owners David and Holly Wilson and trainer Vladimir Cerin.
Designed for Luck rebounded from a 20-length defeat in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) to win the $100,000 Ascot Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Bay Meadows. Designed for Luck, the 3-2 favorite, closed from fifth-place to win by a length at the wire over Tender Offer. The 3-year-old gelded son of Rahy completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.85 over firm turf.
The likely favorites for Saturday's $200,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita put in works at the track on Monday. The one-mile race should help to sort out the West Coast contingent for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Lemon Drop Kid continued preparing for the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), completing a six-furlong drill over the main track in 1:13 1/5, handily, at Saratoga on Thursday. At Del Mar, Early Pioneer worked a mile in 1:39 2/5, handily.
David and Holly Wilson’s Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer, who skipped Saturday’s Pacific Classic (gr. I) after missing some training time due to a minor foot problem, put in a seven-furlong work at Del Mar Friday.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin declared Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer out of the Aug. 26 Pacific Classic (gr. I).
David and Holly Wilson's Early Pioneer posted the biggest win of his career when the 5-year-old gelding overtook 7-5 favorite General Challenge in the stretch to win the $1-million Sempra Energy Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Sunday.
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