A wide-open field of 14 will contest the May 5 $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Santa Anita Park saw a significant increase in on-track attendance and a slight decrease in all-sources handle when its 2015-2016 winter meet came to a close April 10.
Michael House's Big John B has only raced on dirt twice in his last 36 starts, but he seems to take to the surface just fine.
Michael House's Big John B has only raced on dirt once in his past 35 starts, but that lone start -- a score in last year's Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar -- was one of his best.
Seemingly doing all they can to get as far away from undefeated Songbird as possible, Southern California residents Land Over Sea and Street Fancy will head to New Orleans for the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 26.
Michael House's three-time graded stakes winner Big John B will look to regain his impressive form from the recent past in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT) March 13 at Santa Anita Park.
Om, Prospect Park, and Bolo are scheduled to make their 4-year-old debuts in the Arcadia Stakes, but they'll all be encountering older horses for the first time.
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.
Two grade I winners will go toe-to-toe in the $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 2 at Santa Anita Park, but they couldn't differ more in style and experience.
Queen Bee Racing's Toowindytohaulrox provided an opening-day shocker Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park, unleashing a furious closing drive in the stretch to win the $100,000 Daytona Stakes (gr. IIIT) at odds of 21-1.
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.
At the conclusion of its second fall season since the closure of Hollywood Park, Del Mar saw a decrease in daily average handle for the five-week stand when compared with last fall's four-week slate.
After less-than-ideal runs in his last three graded stakes tries, Midnight Storm returned to form in standout fashion Nov. 27 at Del Mar, but he also showed a slightly different dimension.
A full field of juvenile fillies will seek their first graded score in the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 28 at Del Mar.
With two of just four turf workers Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park, trainer Phil D'Amato was intentionally easy on his expected Breeders' Cup runners.
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.
Breeders' Cup Longines Turf (gr. IT) challenger Big John B would the sixth Breeders' Cup starter bred by Florida-based BryLynn Farm.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Phil D' Amato talks about Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) contender Obviously. watch video
Big John B powered past two rivals in the stretch to win the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) by a widening 1 1/2 lengths, taking the 1 3/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and older a second straight year Saturday, Aug. 22.
After scratching Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino's Obviously from the Aug. 23 Del Mar Mile Handicap, trainer Phil D'Amato said the 7-year-old gelding is doing just fine. The scratch reason was a change of plans.
Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino's two-time grade I winner Obviously will make his 2015 debut in the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT), a race he has won twice, Aug. 23 at Del Mar.
Fanticola got the proverbial monkey off her back last time out, earning her first graded score in the Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT), and will look to continue her success in the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 8.
A switch in surfaces was no problem for Michael House's turf specialist Big John B in the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) July 24 at Del Mar.
A third time might be the charm for Westrock Stables' Sky Kingdom, back for yet another run in the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar after finishing second the past two years in a row.
Los Alamitos Race Course's final graded stakes of its two-week summer meet will feature a pair of California-bred heavyweights in Warren's Veneda and Sunday Rules.
Graded stakes-placed Fanticola and graded stakes winner Blingismything head a field of 10 in the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT) June 27 at Santa Anita Park.
A step slow to start, Sunday Rules' speed was still too much to beat in the $150,000 Spring Fever Stakes May 23 at Santa Anita Park.
Well over 200 people--horsemen, fans, and racetrack regulars--gathered April 20 at Santa Anita Park to remember trainer Mike Mitchell, who died at the age of 66 April 14 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer.
On April 15, friends who worked with trainer Mike Mitchell over the years recalled the life of the iconic trainer who worked in Southern California for nearly 40 years.
Prominent Southern California conditioner Mike Mitchell, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in June 2012, has died at the age of 66.
Southern California trainer Phil D'Amato, who starts outsider Big John B in the Breeders' Cup Turf, is an overnight success story that was 16 years in the making.
Bright Thought, winner of the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), trainer Phil D'Amato said Oct. 17.
Bright Thought turned the tables on his heavily favored stablemate Big John B in the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park with his first win since March 2013.
An overpowering 5 1/4-length winner of the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) last month, Big John B returns for the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Sept. 28 against many of the same horses he beat previously.
Midnight Storm was able to parcel his speed effectively while on an easy lead in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) and glided through the stretch in command to post a 17-1 surprise Aug. 31 over the turf.
Big John B, a $50,000 claim in April, qualified for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) with a runaway victory in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 22.
Winner of the past two editions of the Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT), the speedster Obviously goes for a three-peat on the turf as part of the TVG Pacific Classic undercard Aug. 24 at the seaside track.
Fresh off a front-running romp in the American Stakes one month ago, Obviously faces fellow grade I winner Winning Prize and several other talented older runners in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) June 14 at Santa Anita.
Grade I winner Obviously (IRE) showed he's at the top of his game in his first start in 7 1/2 months, romping to a repeat victory in the $100,000 American Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 17 on the grass at Santa Anita Park.
Looking for a repeat victory, grade I winner Obviously will battle the likes of Winning Prize, Silentio, and Chips All In in the American Stakes, to be contested for the first time on the Santa Anita Park turf May 17.
Mike Mitchell, recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor, is doing well and is in fine spirits, according to his assistant trainer, Phil D'Amato, who visited the longtime Southern California conditioner July 3.
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