John Shirreffs

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Steve Haskin's Preakness Analysis: Galaxy Shot

When the field crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it already was clear who my Preakness (gr. I) selection would be. In fact, it was at the quarter pole, as Greeley's Galaxy closed to within four lengths of the leaders, that I started thinking, 'There's the Preakness winner.'

Preakness Field Starting to Shape Up

Fourteen horses, the absolute limit, have not started in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) since 1992, but as events continue to unfold, it appears the starting gate could be filled to capacity for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

Shockomo: Steve Haskin's Kentucky Derby Story

Mike Smith stood by himself in front of the detention barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch. The May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was still a week and a half away, and the mass influx of media was not due for several days. Smith, who had been riding regularly at Keeneland, gazed out at the track, watching the morning activities.

Giacomo to Rest, Then Ship for Preakness

Trainer John Shirreffs said he'll give Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo a few days to walk and rest at Churchill Downs before being shipped to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 21.

Hollywood Story Adds Unlikely Hawthorne Tale

Hollywood Story nearly went down after clipping heels heading into the clubhouse turn in Saturday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. But the John Shirreffs-trained filly not only kept her feet, she and jockey Victor Espinoza went on to win the 1 1/6-mile test for fillies and mares.

Hollywood Story Can Write New Chapter

Hollywood Story, whose greatest success has come at Hollywood Park, returns to her favorite racetrack on Saturday when she heads a field of seven in the $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.

Tarlow Never Looks Back in La Canada Win

Front-running Tarlow pulled jockey Patrick Valenzuela to the lead soon after the start and was never headed while recording a two-length victory in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.

Hollywood Story Steals Starlet Script

Patrick Valenzuela became the first jockey in 20 years to sweep all five major Southern California riding titles in the same year when he brought a maiden, 6-1 shot Hollywood Story, from behind to win the $349,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies. In typical P. Val fashion, he survived a stewards' inquiry to do it.

First-Time Trainer Leo Powell Thinking Big

Debuting trainer Leonard Powell, 27, plans to send out his first starter, Labirinto, in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, a grade I test at 12 furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 22. "I've got to start somewhere," said Powell with a chuckle.

Starrer to Miss Showdown With Azeri

Owner George Krikorian said that Starrer, winner of her last three starts, will be forced to miss the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), expected to showcase Horse of the Year Azeri at Hollywood Park on May 24.

Affluent, Solis to Team Again for Apple Blossom

Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.

Starrer Steals Spotlight in Santa Margarita

George Krikorian's favored Starrer went over the $1 million mark in career earnings Sunday, pulling away from front-running Sightseek in deep stretch to win the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita.

Classy Starrer Beats You in Santa Maria

Starrer was ready to roll down the backstretch in the $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, but jockey Patrick Valenzuela knew better than to let her go so soon.

Starrer Skims Rail for a Handy Bayakoa Victory

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela found room along the rail and shot even-money favorite Starrer through the opening at the top of the stretch, going on to a five-length victory in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Starrer Should Find Bayakoa Foes Softer

Starrer, winless in five races since her victory in last year's Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park, will try to repeat in Sunday's 21st running of the $150,000 stakes race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

California Trainers Fined for Herbal-Related Positives

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Five Southern California trainers have been fined $1,500 each by the California Horse Racing Board after an herbal product they used on horses under their care was found to contain two banned substances. A hearing will be held in January.

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