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Friday, April 13, 2012


SANTA ANITA TO THROW CLOSING DAY BASH, ‘PARTY IN THE PADDOCK’ SET FOR APRIL 22


ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2012)—Santa Anita Park has announced plans for its first-ever “Party in the Paddock,” to take place on closing day, Sunday, April 22. Following the day’s final race, the entire paddock will be transformed into a celebratory atmosphere where fans, horsemen and employees can enjoy live music by the classic rock cover band, The Answer.

In addition to live music, fans will be treated to dancing and food and drink specials well into the evening.


“This is Santa Anita’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to everyone for making the 2012 meeting a season to remember and one that we can all build upon,” said Santa Anita C.E.O. Mark Verge. “We think this is a great opportunity for us to get to know our customers better and to build better relationships with everyone. Our employees have worked extremely hard this meet and we’re grateful to all of them and to our fans and horsemen as well. It should be a lot of fun.”

Santa Anita’s 72-day winter/spring meet will finish on a high note, as the prestigious San Juan Capistrano Handicap, for older horses at 1 ¾ miles on turf, will likely be carded as the final race of the day.

The San Juan Capistrano, which starts at the top of Santa Anita’s one-of-a-kind hillside turf course and requires runners to pass under the finish line twice, has provided many great racing moments over the years, headed by George Royal’s nose victory in 1966.

In what has often been called the most thrilling moment in Santa Anita’s first 50 years, legendary Hall of Fame jockey John Longden engaged future Hall of Famer Bobby Ussery in a furious stretch battle that resulted in George Royal prevailing by the slimmest of margins over Ussery and his mount, Plaque.

It was the final race in Longden’s storied career and it provided “The Pumper” with his 6,032 career victory, which at the time, was more than any other jockey in history.


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