Favored Willow O Wisp broke on top and was never headed while cruising to a 1 1/4-length victory over Artiste Royal under jockey Victor Espinoza in Saturday's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.
Likely Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite Balance turned in a six-furlong work in 1:11.60 at her Hollywood Park base Friday. She is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs April 29.
The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) field is beginning to take shape with leading contender Balance scheduled to ship from Southern California to Kentucky April 29.
Santa Anita's jockeys will be available for autographs from 11 a.m. to noon on closing day Sunday in the East Paddock Gardens.
Sweet Fourty, the 7-10 favorite in Saturday's $250,000 WinStar/Sunland Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, had to battle through the stretch before scoring a half-length victory under Victor Espinoza.
Odds-on choice Wanna Runner left the pacesetting Blaze It behind on the far turn on his way to demolishing an overmatched field by 4 3/4 lengths in the $600,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico Saturday.
Martin S. Schwartz's fighting Silver Cup registered her third consecutive grade II win on the Santa Anita turf this meeting, turning back favored Argentina in Sunday's $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares.
Jockey Victor Espinoza drove Fear No Darkness to victory in the fourth race Sunday at Santa Anita Park to reach win number 2,000, fittingly enough on a horse trained by Bob Baffert.
Amerman Racing's Balance overpowered her eight rivals in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) to make it back-to-back grade I victories for trainer David Hofmans and established herself as Southern California's leading contender for the May 5 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Trainer Bob Baffert moved a step closer to his Santa Anita record for stakes victories Saturday when overwhelming favorite Behaving Badly cruised home in the $107,000 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) over five overmatched fillies and mares.
Overlooked Silver Cup got a good a stalking trip before kicking home impressively in the final sixteenth of a mile to defeat an evenly matched field in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Santa Anita turf course Monday.
Beaten by just a half-length in her first try for a grade I victory in December, Amerman Racing's Balance got the job done in fine fashion Saturday, winning the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Mark Guidry, a Louisiana native who began riding in 1974 and has won more that 4,700 races, was selected the winner of the 2006 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his fellow jockeys.
There was never much doubt in Saturday's $102,500 Sham Stakes (gr. III) as the Bob Baffert-trained Bob and John finally got his first stake victory with little suspense at Santa Anita Park.
Heavy betting favorite Behaving Badly popped the gate in front for jockey Victor Espinoza and was never seriously threatened, becoming a grade I winner with little trouble in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park Sunday.
Favored Da Stoops left the field far behind on the turn and swept to the easiest of victories in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds, the first of four stakes races at Santa Anita Park for California and Florida-bred horses Saturday.
The 8-year-old gelding The Tin Man showed plenty of heart in Sunday's San Marcos (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, registering his first stakes victory in nearly three years.
The Irish-bred outsider Silver Cup overtook Ticker Tape in the final strides to win the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Santa Anita Park lawn Sunday.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' With Distinction prevailed in a driving three-horse finish and survived a jockey's claim of foul to emerge victorious in Monday's grade III, $112,100 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita.
Sierra Sweetie, under Victor Espinoza pressed the pace to the quarter pole and went on to an impressive three-length win in Wednesday's $125,000 added California Breeders' Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
Balance, a disqualification away from being undefeated, successfully made the transition from turf to dirt while rolling to a 1 3/4-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Sunday's $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
Bob and John's apparent six-length victory as the 1-5 favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds was overturned by Hollywood Park stewards, who gave the victory to Genre, ridden by Martin Pedroza.
Eastern Sand, the 1-2 favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Silky Sullivan Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds, needed every step of the 1 1/8-mile distance, getting to the wire first in his final lunge to defeat Mr. Splash by a head at Golden Gate Fields.
Millennium Farms' Super Frolic, making his second start for Southern California trainer Vladimir Cerin, wore down Lord of the Game in the final furlong to win the $750,000 Hawthone Gold Cup (gr. II) on a slick course in Chicago Saturday.
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.
A day that began with trainer Bob Baffert losing his brilliant 2-year-old colt What a Song in a fatal training injury ended with his undefeated filly Behaving Badly capturing the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) Friday night at Del Mar.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' What a Song is unbeaten in three starts after an effortless 2 3/4-length victory over Bashert in Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Del Mar.
Coming off the worst race of his career, Robert Bone's Choctaw Nation displayed all of his old late charge to annihilate the field in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) Sunday for his second straight victory in the stakes at Del Mar.
British-bred Always First made a successful American stakes debut when he closed impressively along the inside to capture the $165,300 Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on Sunday, the final day of the Hollywood Park spring/summer meeting.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' $1.9 million colt What a Song is unbeaten in two starts after winning a thrilling duel with Bashert in Saturday's $104,500 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park.
Left alone on the lead, Brooke's Halo dug in while battling through the lane to hold off Memorette and Cee's Irish, winning the $177,500 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) in a surprise.
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.
Favored Supah Blitz won the $106,000 Tokyo City Handicap (gr. III) for older horses Saturday at Santa Anita Park, giving trainer Doug O'Neill his ninth stakes win of the meet and record 49th overall win.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, the early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), pulled away from challengers Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut in the final furlong to register an impressive victory in the $200,000 Santa Catalina (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita.
Going Wild led from start to finish and notched a one-length victory over Papa Chullo in the $100,000 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Girl Warrior battled along the inside to narrowly hold off the odds-on choice A.P. Adventure by a head in her stakes debut for trainer Neil Drysdale, winning the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Victor Espinoza Wednesday lost a final appeal of a seven-day suspension handed down by Santa Anita stewards in March and will begin serving his days starting with the opening day at Santa Anita program on Sunday.
In spite of skipping the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), undefeated Declan's Moon made an emphatic statement for 2-year-old honors in 2004 with a convincing victory over grade I winners Wilko and Proud Accolade in Saturday's $449,500 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).
Hollywood Story, who returned from a layoff of nearly four months to be trounced in the Breeders' Cup Classic Distaff (gr. I), rebounded in a big way to win Sunday's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) on her home course at Hollywood Park.
Fusaichi Samurai, a record-priced $4.5 million son of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus, was an impressive two-length winner in his debut Saturday at Hollywood Park.
California-bred gelding Texcess shook loose on the turn for home under a vigorous ride from Victor Espinoza and outlasted his rivals for a popular victory in the rich $1 million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot for 2-year-olds Saturday at Delta Downs.
Unbeaten Declan's Moon was much the best in winning Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Victor Espinoza will represent the United States in the 2004 Cathay Pacific International Jockey Challenge Dec. 8 at Happy Valley. The event is a prelude to the Dec. 12 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races at Shi Tin.
Gary Tanaka's Pico Central disposed of Cajun Beat and early leader Speightstown with less than a furlong left and drew away to an easy four-length victory in the $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) for top sprinters at Belmont Park.
Declan's Moon edged favorite Roman Ruler by a neck Wednesday, winning the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity in stakes record time.
Supah Blitz, winless in nine starts this year, became a grade II winner in his first start for new trainer Doug O'Neill while all out to hold off Domestic Dispute in the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap at one mile Sunday.
Front-running Adoration tuned up for a possible defense of her Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) title with a convincing two-length win in the $150,000 Arlington Matron (gr. III).
Sweet Catomine, a well-bred maiden filly making only her second career start for trainer Julio Canani, ran down Souvenir Gift in deep stretch to win the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Saturday by three quarters of a length.
Robert Bone's undefeated Choctaw Nation earned his reservation for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) with a powerful rally to mow down Pleasantly Perfect and capture the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday.
Lightly raced Sweet Win, a $10,000 buy as a 2-year-old at Ocala, came from nowhere to capture the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
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