Santa Anita Park, which opened on Dec. 25, 1934, will celebrate its 75th anniversary season beginning with opening day, Saturday, Dec. 26, with a special early first post time of 11:30 a.m. PDT.
Undefeated superstar mare Zenyatta, who was retired following her brilliant last-to-first victory against males in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, will make her final race-day appearance at Santa Anita on opening day, Dec. 26, prior to shipping to Kentucky to begin her new career as a broodmare.
The flashy gray 3-year-old daughter of Tapit returns to action in the $300,000 Gazelle (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be Kurt Hoover's guest on a special edition of The Inside Scoop Nov. 29, which is "Zenyatta Day" at Hollywood Park.
The Turf Publicists of America announced Nov. 19 that "Team Zenyatta" composed of owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs and his wife Dottie, and jockey Mike Smith, have been chosen as the 2009 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom award.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith answers questions about Zenyatta, how he started riding, the "Jockeys" show, and more.
Zenyatta made it look all too easy, becoming the first female to win the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Gio Ponti was second and Twice Over third.
Zenyatta gave trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith precisely what they asked for Oct. 31 in her final work before the Breeders' Cup. With regular workmate Green Cat providing a target, she worked six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 at Hollywood Park at about 9 a.m.
As professional as ever, undefeated Zenyatta equaled Personal Ensign's 13-race winning streak to begin her career, sweeping past the pacesetters in upper stretch to capture Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in characteristic fashion Oct. 10.
Richard's Kid, sent off at odds of 24-1, charged from far back with jockey Mike Smith aboard to win the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Sept. 6, nipping Einstein in an exhilarating finish.
- By Jack Shinar
Whether it's the Osbournes or the Jon-Kate Eight, Americans love watching the real-life tension of personal relationships played out on their television screens. For jockeys Mike Smith and Chantal Sutherland, whose romantic affair was a primary focus during the first season of "Jockeys," it was enough to give them second thoughts about their involvement in the documentary series.
Unbeaten Zenyatta remained perfect in 12 starts, but she had her closest call yet in Del Mar's Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 9. Forced to circle the field six wide on the turn behind a slow pace, the giant mare just managed to get up by a head over Anabaa's Creation.
Jockeys at Del Mar will be using softer equine friendly riding crops in all races under a "house rule" that will take effect at the track on Aug. 12, the Jockeys' Guild announced.
Trainer Chip Woolley announced July 4 that Mike Smith would ride Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) on Aug. 1 and the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) on Aug. 29.
A 129-pound impost wasn't enough to stop the undefeated champion Zenyatta, who earned a repeat win in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park June 27 for her 11th consecutive victory.
Trainer Bob Baffert said he wanted to test his champion Indian Blessing over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track before deciding which way to go with her this summer. After her fourth-place finish in the $72,800 Desert Stormer Stakes June 14, a race won in front-running style by Coco Belle, the Hall of Fame conditioner had his answer.
A review of the Preakness and the Triple Crown so far, including the jockey situation, and the return of Zenyatta. Plus, special guest Jack Wolf of Starlight Stable. Watch Video
Zayat Stables' Kentucky shipper Thorn Song nipped Hyperbaric by a head in an exhilarating stretch battle to win the $314,500 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park by a head.
Though it was her first start in seven months, undefeated Zenyatta's 10th consecutive win proved to be no more difficult than any of her earlier victories. In disposing of her top-notch stablemate, Life Is Sweet, the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry rolled to an easy 1 3/4-length win in the $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park May 23.
For the second race in a row, Mine That Bird's connections must look for a different rider, as Mike Smith has decided to honor his commitment and ride Jerry and Ann Moss' Madeo in the Charlie Whittingham Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park the same day as the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
With all the rain recently in Kentucky, and with a minor business matter requiring him to be out of town over the weekend, Calvin Borel had an important project to finish before leaving town. The morning of May 15 he was mowing his grass.
The top four riders in the country based on earnings, two Hall of Fame jockeys with Preakness (gr. I) victories, another who has won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Maryland's all-time winningest rider, and Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux and Garrett Gomez will do battle in the first Jockey Challenge at Pimlico.
Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) winner Hull, who is undefeated in three career starts, will bypass the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will run instead in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) on Belmont day. Also trainer Chip Woolley confirmed that Mike Smith will ride Mine That Bird if Rachel Alexandra runs in the Preakness.
To say 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo was a surprise winner of the Kentucky Derby would be an understatement since he generated a $102.60 win pay-off
In spite of the distractions caused by a gruesome racetrack collision and a wailing siren that Churchill Downs uses to warn horsemen that there is trouble on the racetrack, Chocolate Candy turned in a professional and fast work April 27.
Favored Madeo, given a confident ride by Mike Smith, charged down the middle of the Hollywood Park turf course to win the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a head on April 26.
Stardom Bound, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, will have a new jockey when she attempts to get back on the winning track in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) in Eclipse Award winner Garrett Gomez.
Chocolate Candy, runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked five furlongs under new rider Mike Smith on Pro-Ride in :59 1/5 April 12. The son of Candy Ride is scheduled to leave April 14 for Louisville to prepare for the 135th Kentucky Derby.
Favored Kelly Leak took the overland route for jockey Mike Smith to register a 1 1/2-length win in the $900,000 Sunland Derby before 16,388 at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 29.
Animal Planet announced March 19 that the network's popular docu-drama "Jockeys" would be renewed for a second season of programs. The first season, which concluded March 13, brought Animal Planet viewers into the lives of seven jockeys who race at Santa Anita Park during its Oak Tree Meet last fall.
Champion filly Stardom Bound, seven wide at the top of the lane, got up in the final stride by a nose over unheralded Third Dawn to win the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) for her fifth consecutive grade I win March 7.
The stretch-running Tiago is expected to face 13 rivals in the $1- million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, but as far as jockey Mike Smith is concerned, the packed field will be better for the 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap.
- By Tracy Gantz
Because of the owners, trainers and jockeys who frequent The Pamplemousse restaurant near Del Mar in Southern California, co-owner and chef Jeffrey Strauss gets more than his share of tips.
Matto Mondo grabbed the lead from favored pacesetter Monterey Jazz at the head of the stretch and rolled on to register a 3 1/4-length win in the off-the-turf Thunder Road Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after turning in a big effort in winning the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for new connections in her 2009 debut Feb. 7 at Santa Anita.
The thrills. The spills. The rivalries, rage, and romances. And yes, the flipping, too. It's all there in a new 12-part documentary television series, "Jockeys."
Pasar Silbano, making her second American start for trainer James Cassidy, took control coming down the hillside turf course and drew off in the homestretch to win the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Feb. 1.
An Omaha, Neb., woman with inoperable cervical cancer fulfilled a lifelong wish with a trip to Santa Anita Park this weekend.
Twelve episodes of a 30-minute show featuring the lives of seven jockeys during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet will air on Animal Planet beginning with a pair of shows Feb. 6.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego set a Hollywood Park Cushion Track track record for 6 1/2 furlongs when he won an optional claiming allowance race Nov. 30.
Patrons will receive a Zenyatta poster autographed by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith when the unbeaten Horse of the Year candidate is honored at Hollywood Park Sunday, Nov. 30.
Despite being 10 lengths back with a half mile to go, Zenyatta gobbled ground easily to win the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I). She is now undefeated in nine career starts. Cocoa Beach was second with Music Note in third.
Favorite Stardom Bound, with a bold move, quickly took command of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Dream Empress was second and Sky Diva third. The final time in the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:40.99.
Mike Smith and Zenyatta have been an unbeatable team so far, and they're the heavy favorites to add yet another victory to their sizzling streak in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
Dearest Trickski's road to the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint began late last year, when the Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita failed to fill. That pushed the filly into the grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 29, and a victory there gave owner Tom Mankiewicz and trainer John Sadler grander ideas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The aptly named maiden Stardom Bound, far behind the leaders on the final turn, unleashed a monstrous move through the home stretch to turn the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) into a 4 1/4-length stunner Sept. 1.
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