With an expert ride from Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Cheekaboo broke through for her first graded stakes win in her first start against open company June 19 in the $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Songbird didn't have the early lead for the first time in her career, but the result remained the same in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) June 18 at Santa Anita Park.
Jimmy Jerkens might not have a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender this year, but he's holding a hot hand with June 18 Stephen Foster (gr. I) contender Effinex and June 19 Pegasus (gr. III) runner Unified, who will go favored in their respective races.
Songbird's fractional times were :36 2/5, :48 2/5, and 1:00 4/5, with a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:28.
After winning the 2015 Last Tycoon (gr. IIIT) at the distance by 3 1/4 lengths at odds of 42-1, the 6-year-old son of Sageburg wowed again at 10 furlongs May 29 in the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes (gr. IIT).
Effinex, who may have been the top handicap horse in the country at the end of last season, secured another big win April 16 with a one-length score in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Fox Hill Farms' Songbird grabbed the early lead and easily captured her seventh win in seven starts to take the grade I Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita Park April 9 and remain the dominant favorite for the Kentucky Oaks.
With six perfect starts to her credit, Fox Hill Farms' Songbird has one more hurdle to clear -- the April 9 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) -- before heading to Kentucky as the favorite for the May 6 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
This week we take a closer look at Danzing Candy, winner of the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 12 at Santa Anita Park.
Danzing Candy, in the first timed workout since his breakout score in the March 12 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), went five furlongs in :58 3/5 March 26 at Santa Anita Park.
Seemingly nothing went right for Jerry and Ann Moss' Ziconic in the second start of his career March 25 at Santa Anita Park.
The takeaway from a session on daily fantasy gaming at the Association of Racing Commissioners International conference March 23 in New Orleans? Racing regulators need to be prepared for a changing gaming landscape.
In a settlement with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, trainer Randy Haffner will serve at least a 45-day suspension for 2015 violations in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.
Unraced until November of last year, Danzing Candy emphatically announced his arrival on the Triple Crown trail with a gate-to-wire, two-length score over favored Mor Spirit in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
California-bred What a View made quite a jump from winning against state-bred company in his last start to take the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) March 12 at Santa Anita Park in his first graded stakes attempt.
Bolo will put his undefeated record over the Santa Anita Park lawn on the line March 12 in the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT), with grade II winners Om and Midnight Storm in to challenge.
A week ahead of Southern California's next Triple Crown prep race, the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), three of the top contenders were on the track at the same time March 5 at Santa Anita Park.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is generally a pretty cheerful guy, but when he brings Songbird back to the Jerry Hollendorfer barn after her workouts, his mood hits another level.
Smokey Image and Danzing Candy put on an unintentional preview of the March 12 San Felipe (gr. II) during their morning workouts Feb. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
Ziconic brought back good and bad memories for John Shirreffs all in one shot during his debut Feb. 20 at Santa Anita Park.
A tough-luck finisher in two graded stakes runs in the past year, Stonestreet Stable's homebred Tara's Tango broke through Feb. 13 in the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
After a four-furlong breeze from the gate in :49 3/5 at Santa Anita Park Feb. 13, trainer John Shirreffs said Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Ziconic will likely make his debut at Santa Anita Park Feb. 20.
- By Blood-Horse Staff
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region
Oaklawn Park allowance winner Whitmore will start in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 15 after a good workout in company the morning of Feb. 8 at the Arkansas racetrack.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens delivered an icy ride and grade I winner Mor Spirit responded full of run in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park.
Two days ahead of Santa Anita Park's second official Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep, another 3-year-old colt made waves with what could end up being his first step on the Triple Crown trail Feb. 4.
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird will make her 2016 debut in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 6 and will again be a commanding favorite when the gates open at Santa Anita Park.
Midwest Thoroughbreds' The Pizza Man had his first work of 2016 Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Undefeated Songbird worked five furlongs in a bullet :58 1/5 Jan. 8 at Santa Anita Park under regular rider Mike Smith.
With a determined rally near the center of the track, Birdatthewire caught Hot City Girl in deep stretch to earn the first grade I victory of her career in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park.
Agave Racing Stable's Street Fancy went from maiden winner to grade I winner Dec. 12, taking the $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos Race Course with a strong late burst of speed.
- By Steve Haskin
The death of Shared Belief shocked the racing world and reminded everyone just how gut wrenching this sport can be and how fragile these magnificent horses are. read blog
Champion Shared Belief died Dec. 3 after a colic episode. He was rushed to UC-Davis but surgery could not fix a rupture.
Dressed in Hermes rallied down the center of the Del Mar turf course and overtook front-runner Collected to win the $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds Nov. 29.
Tri-Bone Stables' Effinex capped his big season in a big way Nov. 27, holding off defending winner Hoppertunity in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Heathcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Well-travelled The Pizza Man will make his way back to the West Coast for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IIT) Nov. 26 at Del Mar.
Songbird delivered a beautiful performance Oct. 31 in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), controlling the pace throughout and winning by 5 3/4 lengths over Rachel's Valentina.
Trainer Ron Ellis could only shake his head with a slight grin after watching Masochistic's final Santa Anita Park workout Oct. 25 before shipping to Keeneland for a run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith just as the sun peeked over the horizon, 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) contender Songbird breezed four furlongs in :47 2/5.
Unbeaten Songbird, the likely favorite in upcoming Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Keeneland, worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track Oct. 18 under regular rider Mike Smith.
Fox Hill Farm's Songbird continued her winning ways in style Sept. 26, drawing clear by 4 1/2 lengths in the $300,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park to build a 3-for-3 record.
She's Not Here is by Street Cry, sire of the 2010 Horse of the Year, and out of the champion's half sister.
Fox Hill Farm's Songbird upstaged the West Coast's best 2-year-old fillies with a commanding victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Sept. 5.
Sam Britt and Michael House's Gabriel Charles will take his sharp recent form to the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 15 at Arlington International Racecourse, according to trainer Jeff Mullins.
After removing its synthetic surface, it was almost cosmically ironic when a downpour, equipped with constant lightning strikes, pounded the seaside racetrack July 18, causing all kinds of havoc at the summer hotspot.
Heading back to Del Mar proved a winning move for Sam Britt and Michael House's Gabriel Charles, who closed to win the $400,500 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) by 3 3/4 lengths July 18 at the seaside racetrack.
Del Mar track superintendent Richard Tedesco says trainers and jockeys have expressed a variety of opinions on the track's new dirt surface and his only concern is that the new dirt track is safe.
Trying two turns for the first time proved perilous for Fox Hill Farms' Kentuckian, as Gimme Da Lute stalked and held off oncoming Prospect Park by a nose to win the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby July 4.
For the second year in a row, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer appears to have an overwhelming favorite in the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) July 4 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
A week after he ran second in an allowance/optional claiming event, Big Chief Racing's Crucero stunned the field in the $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 28 at Santa Anita Park.
The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation will host a charity fundraising dinner honoring Hall of Fame jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens for their racing accomplishments and contributions in horse racing.
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