Friday, February 20 2009
JOHN VELAZQUEZ WINS SANTA ANITA WOOLF AWARD
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009)—John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The Woolf Announcement was made Thursday on HRTV by retired Hall of Fame jockey and past Woolf winner Gary Stevens.
Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, this year marks the 60th presentation of one of racing’s most prestigious awards. The Woolf Award honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Thursday, February 19 2009
PAST WINNERS MAY BE OVERMATCHED IN SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009) – Spring House, the defending champion, and Obrigado, the 2007 winner, are among 14 turf marathoners named to Sunday’s 53rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap, but neither is expected to be a top contender in the talented field going 1 ½ miles on turf at Santa Anita.
In addition to Obrigado, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale entered two others including 119-pound co-high weight Artiste Royal, winner of the Grade II San Marcos Handicap in his last start on Jan. 15 and a victor last June of Hollywood Park’s Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH, 2009
FRANKEL CALLS AUDIBLE, ENTERS ZAMBESI SUN IN SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO
Zambesi Sun, a highly regarded Group 1 winner in Europe who had been scheduled to make his United States debut in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on Pro-Ride on March 7, instead has been entered in Sunday’s San Luis Obispo Handicap scheduled for 1 ½ miles on turf by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who still plans to run the English-bred horse in the Big ’Cap.
“I might have missed a little training, so this way it will be like a workout for him,” Frankel said of the English-bred son of the Danehill stallion Dansili. Asked if Zambesi Sun would still be a candidate for the Big ’Cap, Frankel said, “Of course. It shouldn’t take too much out of him, on the grass.”
Tuesday, February 17 2009
GEORGIE BOY LOOKS LIKE STANDOUT SATURDAY IN SAN CARLOS HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2009) – Having demonstrated in the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions Sprint that he has returned to top form following a back injury that knocked him off the 2008 Triple Crown trail, California-bred Georgie Boy likely will be a heavy favorite Saturday in Santa Anita’s 71st running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.
As the 5-2 second choice in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions event, Georgie Boy closed strongly to win by 2 ½ lengths while displaying the talent that had taken him to successive victories in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, Grade II San Vicente Stakes and the Grade II San Felipe Stakes before being stymied by the back ailment in March.
FILLY EVITA ARGENTINA TOPPLES BOYS IN SAN VICENTE
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Don't cry for this lady.
Evita Argentina became the first filly in 62 years to win the Gr. II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes, beating the boys by one length Monday at Santa Anita.
Sent off as the 2-1 wagering favorite in the field of 10, Evita Argentina and jockey Garrett Gomez came flying down the middle of the track to hold off Leedstheway.
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.