Tuesday, February 17 2009
WOOLF WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED THURSDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2009)—Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will announce the winner of the 2009 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award live on HRTV, this Thursday at approximately 2:05 p.m. Stevens, now retired, works as a full-time analyst on HRTV and was himself a Woolf winner in 1996.
Jockeys from across North America once again voted in this year’s balloting, choosing from a group of five finalists; Gary Baze, Calvin Borel, Javier Castellano, David Flores and John Velazquez.
Monday, February 16 2009
STABLE NOTES, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH, 2009
MUTADDA INVADES FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP
Citing limited opportunities elsewhere and a penchant for seven furlongs, Tom Amoss is bringing Mutadda to Santa Anita for Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap.
“This looked like a good spot,” Amoss said by phone Monday morning from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales in Florida. “There wasn’t too much around and seven-eighths is his best distance.” Mutadda has two wins and a third in four starts at seven furlongs. He registered his first stakes victory in the restricted Gaudin Memorial at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 10. He has a 4-3-1 record from 15 career starts, with earnings of $171,959.
LIFE IS SWEET DEFIES RACE CONDITIONS TO EXCEL IN GRADE II LA CANADA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2009) – A stunning winner of the Grade II El Encino Stakes in her first exposure to Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface, Life Is Sweet added a dramatic victory in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies while expanding upon a sudden rise to superiority.
What made this victory so impressive was her ability to rally so strongly from last after second-choice Bsharpsonata had set an extremely slow pace, a condition that generally is not suitable for come-from-behind runners.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 2009
GEORGIE BOY IN A ZONE FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP
Georgie Boy found his comfort zone when he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs on Jan. 24. At least that’s the opinion of Garrett Gomez, who rode the California-bred son of Tribal Rule to a rail-skimming, 2 ¼-length victory in the $300,000 race.
The 4-year-old gelding was fourth in the Grade I Malibu Stakes a month before the Sunshine Millions. In the Malibu, Bob Black Jack was able to dictate the pace en route to a 2 ¼-length victory. Gomez expects Georgie Boy to hold his good form when he reunites with him in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.
Sunday, February 15 2009
TALAMO COMPLETES TRIPLE AS SANTA TERESITA UPSETS IN SANTA MARIA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2009) – A third-place finish her best showing in four starts since being purchased for a reported $1 million last June, Santa Teresita put a positive spin on Southern Equine Stable’s investment Saturday when scoring a dramatic13-1 upset in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap.
With jockey Joe Talamo winning his third straight race, Santa Teresita took the lead from pacesetter Briecat on the far turn and steadily widened her lead to 2 ½ lengths over Marzelline and Model, who dead-heated for second in the mile-and-one-sixteenth event for fillies and mares.
Stable Notes, Saturday, February 14th, 2009
UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP COULD RUN IN SAN CARLOS; JOHNNY EVES INJURED
Rail Trip, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 7, could make his next start in next Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.
“It’s a possibility,” trainer Ron Ellis said Saturday morning. “I looked at the race, and it’s not a very strong field other than Georgie Boy, so it’s a possibility.”
Friday, February 13 2009
PUGLISI GUIDES SILENT SOUL TO UPSET AFTER RAIN-RELATED SURFACE CHANGE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2009) – Silent Soul, whose last previous victory came after wet weather had moved a scheduled turf event to a synthetic surface, scored an upset under similar conditions Friday when defeating odds-on favorite Mr Napper Tandy by a head in Santa Anita’s $58,800 optional claiming feature.
Jockey Iggy Puglisi, relegated to riding primarily longshots and who had struggled while winning with but four of his last 110 mounts, slipped through along the rail aboard Silent Soul to win the one-mile competition in 1:36.70 after rain took the race off the grass.
EVITA ARGENTINA EYES HISTORY AGAINST MALES IN SAN VICENTE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2009) – Should Evita Argentina -- the most accomplished of ten entrants – emerge victorious Monday in Santa Anita’s 68th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds, her achievement would have been unmatched in 62 years.
Only two fillies have ever won the seven-furlong event, and the last was Rex C. Ellsworth’s Hubble Bubble in 1947, just two years after the race was taken by Louis B. Mayer’s Busher, a Hall of Famer named Horse of the Year when a 3-year-old filly.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH, 2009
O’NEILL HOPES HIS ‘PLAN’ IS REAL DEAL ON SYNTHETIC IN SANTA MARIA
Mistical Plan figures to be part of the pace scenario in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Santa Maria Handicap, coming off a fourth-place finish after a troubled start in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs. The 5-year-old California-bred mare also figures to benefit from that race, her first in five months.
“She’s doing great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the daughter of Game Plan, who won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks at 1 1/16 miles in March of 2007. “She’s proven at two turns. The only thing she’s not proven at is the distance on synthetics. But she’s training great and this race fits well into her schedule, so we’re going to give it a go.”
TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $353,752 INTO FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009)—For the second consecutive day, no one selected six winners in Santa Anita’s Pick Six, resulting in a two-day carryover of $353,752 into Friday. This marks the 16th Pick Six carryover through 36 days of racing and it’s expected the total Pick Six pool on Friday could exceed $2 million.
Thursday’s Pick Six got off to a rocky start in race three as the 1-2 favorite, Solo Piano, finished second to 11-1 shot Unusual Strike, who was handled by Gerry Olguin. The 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat paid $25.40 to win. Owned by Johnson, Nakkashian, Roberts and partners, she’s trained by Barry Abrams.
GENERAL CONSENSUS SCORES SECOND WIN IN ROW IN SANTA ANITA TURF FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With jockey Alex Solis generating a dash for home on the far turn, General Consensus bolted to the front and reached the wire three-quarters-of-length ahead of Shes a Real Keeper Thursday in Santa Anita’s feature race, a $55,920 first condition allowance event for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf.
Sent off at odds of 7-1, the victorious 4-year-old filly, a $400,000 sales purchase as a yearling, registered her second straight win over the course and at the same distance after going winless in her first six starts. The final time over a “firm” turf course was 1:36.95.
LIFE IS SWEET, DESERT CODE HEAD SUNDAY’S GRADED STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Dominant El Encino Stakes winner Life Is Sweet and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion Desert Code, each having demonstrated a keen fondness for Santa Anita’s respective racing surfaces, head a pair of graded stakes at the track on Sunday.
Martin and Pam Wygod’s Life Is Sweet is the 123-pound high weight among nine entrants in the 35th running of the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes. She attempts to become the twelfth El Encino victor to also annex the mile-and-one-eighth event for 4-year-old fillies.