Saturday, October 03 2009


FAVORED GRAZEN INJURED WHILE LEADING CLASSIC


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Grazen sustained a career-ending injury Saturday while leading in the stretch of the $200,000 California Cup Classic, a race in which long shot Blackbriar broke a bone and had to be destroyed.

The breakdowns marred the nine races for California-breds at Santa Anita worth $950,000. The Cal Cup attracted just 76 starters, a reflection of the faltering economy that has reduced the number of racehorses available in the state. On-track attendance of 17,576 was the smallest in the event's 20-year history and was down by more than 3,000 from last year.





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STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3RD, 2009


GOMEZ GOES FOR GOLD SUNDAY ON BAFFERT JUVENILES

It’s crunch time for Garrett Gomez and his agent, Ron Anderson. They are in pursuit of their fourth straight national money title. Currently in third place some $2 million behind leader Ramon Dominguez, Gomez is in a favorable position to gain ground tomorrow at Oak Tree, where among his mounts are two unbeaten juveniles he rides in Grade I stakes he hopes will lead to Breeders’ Cup engagements on Nov. 6 and 7.

Gomez rides Always a Princess for owner Arnold Zetcher in the Oak Leaf Stakes, and Lookin At Lucky for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman in the Norfolk Stakes. Each race is at 1 1/16 miles and are “Win and You’re In” events. The winner will be entitled to automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 6 and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 7, respectively. Both Always a Princess and Lookin At Lucky are conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.





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Friday, October 02 2009


IRISH GYPSY’S UPSET GIVES GOMEZ FIRST RIDING WIN OF MEET


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2009) – Improving filly Irish Gypsy provided Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading money-winning jockey the last three years, with his first win of the young Oak Tree meeting on Friday when posting a 5-1 upset in the featured $45,400 allowance event for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs.

Irish Gypsy rallied from next-to-last in the field of six to overtake pace-setter Sleep Tight and score by one length while the latter nosed out 11-10 choice Mona de Momma for the place. The final time was 1:16.37.





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STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, 2009


SPECHT HOPES ‘LADY’ PUTS BEST FOOT FORWARD IN CAL CUP MATRON

Lady Railrider rarely runs a poor race, but every once in a while she has to take a load off her feet. With five wins, five seconds and three thirds from 16 career starts, the 4-year-old daughter of Ride the Rails is a gem of consistency, but she’s a victim of tender feet.

That’s why she hasn’t raced since last April 25 at Hollywood Park, but trainer Steve Specht is cautiously confident the dark bay filly will turn in another solid effort in Saturday’s CTT/TOC $100,000 California Cup Matron at 1 1/16 miles.





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Thursday, October 01 2009


EXQUISITE TURNS TABLES ON BEL AIR SIZZLE WITH COMEBACK WIN


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2009) – After fading to seventh in Santa Anita’s Grade II Santa Ana Handicap last March, New Zealand-bred Exquisite returned to action Thursday to capture Oak Tree’s $51,020 allowance/optional claiming feature by one length over Bel Air Sizzle while covering one mile on turf in 1:34.14.

Off at odds of 6-1, Exquisite contributed to tough to-have mosaique for Pick Six players, as they took aim at a $87,781 carryover from Wednesday. Nobody correctly tabbed six winners in Oak Tree’s popular exotic wager Thursday either, resulting in a two-day carryover of $278,276 into Friday’s eight-race program. It is expected that Friday’s Pick Six pool could possibly reach $1 million.





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Norfolk and Oak Leaf Stakes Advance


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2009) – When California’s stellar juveniles compete in Oak Tree’s pair of Grade I stakes for 2-year-olds on Sunday, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s unbeaten Lookin At Lucky will be a solid favorite in the $300,000 Norfolk Stakes, but the $300,000 Oak Leaf, an event that has produced nine Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly champions, has become unusually unsettled with the recent injury to highly regarded Mi Sueno.

Lookin At Lucky, purchased in April by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman for $475,000, will be seeking his fourth win, second Grade I and third graded stakes victory to take into Oak Tree’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 7. Garrett Gomez rides the son of Smart Strike who will be stretching out to a route for the first time in the mile-and-one-sixteenth Norfolk. He was even-money when taking the Grade I Del Mar Futurity while going seven furlongs on Sept. 7.





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, 2009


GOMEZ EVALUATES GRAZEN’S ANATOMY FOR CAL CUP CLASSIC

Garrett Gomez has learned much in two rides on Grazen, the even-money morning line favorite for Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank.

“In a word, he’s talented,” said Gomez, who won his second straight Eclipse Award last year as the nation’s outstanding jockey. “He’s a completely different horse from the first time I rode him to the last time I rode him.”





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OAK TREE OPENER PRODUCES ON-TRACK CROWD OF 17,239, $87,781 PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO THURSDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2009)—The 41st Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting got off to a solid start Wednesday, as an on-track crowd of 17,239 turned out for a nine-race card highlighted by the Gr. III, $100,000 Morvich Handicap and to collect Oak Tree’s 23rd collectors’ edition stein.

Wednesday’s Pick Six, which covered races four through nine, went off the rails in race nine, as longshot Spartan Jet and Agapito Delgadillo prevailed at $157.60, producing a carryover into Thursday of $87,781.





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Nite Lede, Wednesday, September 30th,2009


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ California Flag won the $100,000 Morvich Handicap for the second year in a row Wednesday, as 17,239 attended on the opening day of Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

The 5-year-old gray gelding earned an automatic spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in early November at the track. It'll be a chance to make up for last year, when California Flag finished 10th in the race after a quick pace wore him out.





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Wednesday, September 30 2009


GRAZEN EVEN-MONEY CHOICE IN SATURDAY’S CAL CUP CLASSIC


ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2009) – Nick Alexander’s roan homebred Grazen has been established as the even-money favorite to become the fourth 3-year-old to capture Oak Tree’s $200,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank on Saturday when facing five rivals in the mile-and-one-eighth event that highlights the nine races for Cal-breds that comprise the 20th Cal Cup at Santa Anita.

This year’s popular Cal Cup extravaganza has been advanced to the first Saturday of Oak Tree’s 41st season in part to allow entrants the possibility of competing in the two-day Breeders’ Cup, to be staged Nov. 6 and 7, and the first time the World Championships have been held at the same venue for two consecutive years.





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STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH


OWNER HAS LOFTY DREAMS WITH GRAZEN IN CAL CUP CLASSIC

Nick Alexander, the self-proclaimed “king of the $12,500 maidens at Golden Gate Fields,” hopes to shed that lowly image when his Grazen runs in Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.

The 66-year-old Alexander is hoping that Grazen, a gray 3-year-old son of Benchmark, can distinguish himself in the Classic at 1 1/8 miles and perhaps advance to the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 7.





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Oak Tree at Santa Anita Stable Notes by Ed Golden Tuesday, September 29, 2009


MINE THAT BIRD WORKS TOWARDS BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird took his first serious steps over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride main track Tuesday morning in pursuit of his ultimate objective, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association on Nov. 7.

Mine That Bird worked five furlongs under jockey Joe Talamo in 1:01.80, after which trainer Bennie (Chip) Woolley Jr. said the gelded son of Birdstone was on course for the $350,000 Grade I Goodwood Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 10, a race that is expected to lead to the Classic at 1 ¼ miles.





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