Joy Ride Racing's odds-on favorite Noble Court was all out to do it, but under a strong-armed ride from Corey Nakatani they held off the determined closer Law Breaker to win the $150,000 San Vicente (gr. II) for 3-year-olds by a head at Santa Anita Sunday.
Lava Man, who was on the verge of Horse of the Year honors last year, kicked off his 2007 campaign with a sparkling two-length win in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino Turf Saturday at Santa Anita.
Notional, sent off at odds of 3-5, proved a punctual four-length winner of Saturday's $150,000 San Rafael (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at one mile at Santa Anita Park.
TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) champion Thor's Echo, racing in the Superman silks of Suarez Racing, made his case for a 2006 Eclipse Award, repelling a menacing challenge from the unlucky Diabolical to win the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park Saturday.
Whatsthescript and Warning Zone, one-two finishers in the Pinjara a month ago at Santa Anita, validated that effort while rallying to win $75,000 divisions of the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds impressively on the Hollywood Park turf Friday.
Thor's Echo rolled to the lead reaching the stretch and shook loose for a four-length upset in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
After finishing second in Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) two years ago, Balletto returns to the Breeders' Cup, this time in the Emirates Airline Distaff (gr.I).
Favored Beautyandthebeast rallied between rivals in the stretch to take the lead and narrowly held off the furious charge of Clinet to win the $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares Sunday as the Oak Tree meet ended at Santa Anita.
Illuminise gave Irish breds a sweep of Oak Tree's grass stakes for 3-year-olds this weekend when she captured the $100,000 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on Sunday at Santa Anita.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has hired veteran California agent Jim Pegram to handle his riding engagements, replacing Tom Knust, who will continue to maintain the business for Corey Nakatani.
Odds-on choice Lava Man proved once again he's the class of the West Coast by winning his seventh straight race of the year with another convincing turn in Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Aragorn tuned up for the NetJets' Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) in one month with a smart win as the overwhelming favorite in Saturday's Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. II) on the turf at Santa Anita.
Cash Included, purchased privately by J. Paul Reddam after her maiden victory at Del Mar Sept. 2, left the 1-2 favorite Point Ashley in her wake to win the $247,000 Oak Leaf Breeders' Cup (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Saturday at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting.
Front-running Cindago left the former Triple Crown contenders Bob and John and 2-5 favorite Brother Derek behind when he won the $106,300 El Cajon at one mile for 3-year-olds by a half-length at Del Mar Saturday.
Ballygallon Stud's Aragorn proved a popular winner of the $374,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf Saturday to run his impressive winning streak to three.
Jockey Corey Nakatani, hospitalized with a virus infection since Tuesday, was reported to be in much better condition Friday morning by his agent.
Favored Aragorn smashed the Del Mar course record for nine furlongs on the turf with a scintillating four-length score in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) Sunday under Corey Nakatani.
Pacesetter Dancing Edie survived an inquiry to win the $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares by a nose over Moscow Burning on the Del Mar turf Saturday.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela apparently is facing the possibility of being away from racing for an indefinite period because of continuing back pain, his agent Tom Knust said Thursday morning.
Lava Man, a former claiming horse, became the first runner since Native Diver in 1967 to win back-to-back editions of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) when he won a heart-pounding finish by a nose Saturday over the longest shot in the field, Ace Blue.
Trainer Doug O'Neill keeps throwing bigger challenges at the multi-dimensional Lava Man, but nothing seems to faze the 5-year-old California-bred gelding. Winner of both the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in the last 11 months, Lava Man led gate to wire to register his first grade I win on the turf in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Corey Nakatani rode four winners including Aragorn in the $321,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) to reach the 3,000-win mark Monday at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Corey Nakatani earned his 2,999th career win Monday when he guided Ballygallon Stud's homebred Aragorn, the longest shot on the board, to victory in the $321,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf.
There wasn't much speed signed up for Saturday's $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), and jockey Corey Nakatani took full advantage to drive Sharp Lisa to a crafty front-running victory by a nose over Eternal Melody at 10 furlongs on the Santa Anita lawn.
The turn-back in distance to seven furlongs did the trick for the slumping Sun King, who charged from seventh in the stretch to win Keeneland's $443,200 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) going away Saturday.
Making his first start for last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer John Shirreffs, overlooked A.P. Warrior came to life Saturday under jockey Corey Nakatani, turning back Point Determined late for a half-length victory in the $250,000 San Felipe (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
California-bred Lava Man, ridden with extreme confidence by Corey Nakatani, shook loose of favored High Limit on the far turn and defeated upset-minded Magnum to win the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a spectacular effort in front of nearly 50,000 fans Saturday.
Agent Ron Anderson, who formerly represented Jerry Bailey, and West Coast jockey Garrett Gomez announced their decision to work together Saturday after Gomez parted ways with Jim Pegram.
Garrett Gomez and agent Jim Pegram have parted company, the agent revealed Friday morning.
The grade I winner Lava Man flashed his former brilliance with a sweeping 2 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to conclude the rich program for California and Florida-bred horses at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Turnbolt will attempt to successfully run farther than he ever has when the son of Deputy Minister starts in Saturday's grade II San Pasqual Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.
With a stunning seven-wide move in early stretch, longshot Relaxed Gesture mowed down the field in Sunday's $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I) on his way to a 4 1/2-length victory at Woodbine.
Moyglare Stud's Steel Light, sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, made his Woodbine debut a winning one, taking Sunday's $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (Can-II) on Pattison Canadian International Day at Woodbine.
Jockey Rene Douglas was in Florida Wednesday tending to personal matters, but before he left Santa Anita he was undecided on whether he would continue as a regular on the Southern California circuit.
Favored Fourty Niners Son, who has pounced on the American grass handicap division with passion this summer, scored his first graded stakes victory in Sunday's $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
Jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. suffered a hairline fracture of his right tibia Sunday in a nasty spill during the first race at Del Mar. The accident resulted in a "no contest" decision by the track's stewards.
Del Mar stewards fined Corey Nakatani and Patrick Valenzuela $500 apiece Wednesday for fighting in the jockeys' room following a race Monday in which Rene Douglas drew a three-day suspension.
Southern California shipper Dream of Summer pulled away at the eighth pole to dominate her seven opponents in the $150,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at rainy Ellis Park Saturday.
California-bred sprinter Unfurl the Flag won the first graded stakes race of his career Sunday when he dusted a large field in the $350,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) on Independence Day weekend at Hollywood Park.
Three jockeys have appealed their seven-day suspensions and $5,000 fines levied by the Churchill Downs stewards for wearing unapproved advertising in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and failing to comply with stewards' orders.
There seemed a strong likelihood of a speed duel in Saturday's $205,150 Milady Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park, but outsider Andujar never allowed it to happen, simply running the rest of the field into the ground.
Three jockeys who appear to have worn unapproved advertising during the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) are expected at a hearing before Churchill Downs stewards May 21 in Louisville.
Forest Grove, guided through an opening along the inside on the turn by jockey Corey Nakatani, held off the late charge of Areyoutalkintome to register his first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Merv Griffin's versatile Cee's Irish, ridden by Corey Nakatani, pulled away from her rivals at the head of the stretch in winning the $259,000 WinStar Sunland Oaks Saturday in virtually gate-to-wire fashion.
Thor's Echo, who couldn't hold off Southern Africa when the two met the last time, turned the tables on his rival in the $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park Saturday.
Martin and Pam Wygod's homebred Sweet Catomine had to survive an objection, but she got the job done in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) with an impressive finish.
Passed by Memorette in upper stretch, odds-on favorite Sharp Lisa refused to give in, coming back powerfully in the final sixteenth of a mile to tally a three-quarters of a length win in the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Jockey Corey Nakatani returned from a 30-day suspension in style Friday with a two-length victory aboard Courtly Jazz in the $54,400 allowance feature at Santa Anita Park.
Santa Anita's jockey colony becomes quite a bit tougher during the next 48 hours with the return of veterans Corey Nakatani and Alex Solis.
David Flores and Sweet Catomine, the very likely 2-year-old filly champion of 2004, are scheduled to join forces again Sunday when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (g. I) winner makes her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
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