Thursday, January 29 2009
VENTURA, INDIAN BLESSING SET FOR REMATCH IN SANTA MONICA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009) – A burgeoning rivalry between 4-year-old Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing and 5-year-old mare Ventura, who took the champion’s measure in last October’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, escalates on Saturday when the two are scheduled to collide in Santa Anita’s 52nd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap at seven furlongs, which will be shown live on HRTV.
Just three days after being voted a 2008 Eclipse Award as outstanding female sprinter, Indian Blessing was a surprise entrant in the Santa Monica by her trainer, Bob Baffert, who had won two of the three previous runnings. Baffert hedged somewhat, however, when he said, “I entered, but I don’t know yet if she’ll run. I’m just going to see how the race shapes up.”
RESTLESS SOUL BREAKS THROUGH IN GRASS ROUTE AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009) – British-bred import Restless Soul, contentious without a victory in six previous U.S. starts, broke through on Wednesday to capture Santa Anita’s $52,400 allowance feature for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
With Joel Rosario in the saddle, the 5-year-old mare made her winning move on the extreme outside while rounding the final turn to gain a 2 ¼ length victory over 2-1 favorite Carnival Queen.
Wednesday, January 28 2009
Stable Notes, Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
BIANCONE SEEKS SANTA MONICA GOLD, BAFFERT ENTERS INDIAN BLESSING
Patrick Biancone has a philosophical approach for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Monica Handicap, in which he will send out Baroness Thatcher against Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ventura.
The 56-year-old Frenchman spurns the long-standing dictum widely attributed to the late Vince Lombardi that “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” (For the record, the quote originated from the late UCLA football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders. In 1950, at a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo physical education workshop, Sanders told his group: “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything. (Long pause). Men, it’s the only thing!” In 1955, in a Sports Illustrated article preceding the 1956 Rose Bowl, he was quoted as saying, “Sure, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing).”
SANTA ANITA TO HOST FIRST-EVER SNOW DAY FEB. 15
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009)—Although Southern California is currently in the midst of a heat wave, Santa Anita Park will attempt to buck the trend by hosting its first-ever Snow Day on Sunday, Feb. 15.
A total of 400,000 pounds of the white stuff will be available in Santa Anita’s massive infield area, free of charge to kids of all ages throughout the racing day.
SANTA ANITA RACES TO HAVE “BIG GAME” THEME SUNDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009)—Although Sunday’s Gr. III, $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies figures to be the highlight of the day’s racing at Santa Anita, the Great Race Place will card a number of races themed to coincide with the Super Bowl Game in Tampa, Fla., and Santa Anita will also name Sunday’s second race in honor of 106-year-old Florence Tuckman, who will attend along with family and friends.
Tuckman, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1903, was a regular attendee, along with her late husband Leo, at Santa Anita in the late 1930s and ‘40s, according to her family. Although she still enjoys the races, Tuckman’s spare time is now primarily spent “playing cards or bingo on a daily basis” with her family and friends.
Monday, January 26 2009
JOHNNY EVES WIRES PALOS VERDES FIELD; FOXYSOX TAKES TUZLA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 25, 2009) – Johnny Eves, winner of a single stakes race in nine attempts since taking Santa Anita’s Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, 2007, rediscovered his winning groove Sunday with a dominant wire-to-wire triumph in Santa Anita’s 57th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at six furlongs.
Also a winner of but one stakes race in her last nine starts, Foxysox edged favored Gotta Have Her by one-half length in a driving finish to capture a companion feature, the Grade III, $100,000 Tuzla Handicap for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, JANUARY 25TH, 2009
VENTURA WORKS FOR SANTA MONICA; BAFFERT UNDECIDED ON INDIAN BLESSING
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ventura, prepping for her 2009 debut in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Monica Handicap at seven furlongs, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Sunday in 1:00.20 under Goncalino Almeida.
“She went very well,” said Humberto Ascanio, assistant to Bobby Frankel. “We’re looking forward to her first race back.”
Sunday, January 25 2009
SUNSHINE MILLIONS DOMINATED BY FLORIDA-BREDS
By BETH HARRIS - AP Racing Writer
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ It's a Bird rallied from the off the pace to win Saturday's $1 million Classic at Gulfstream Park, helping Florida-bred horses easily defeat their California counterparts for the seventh straight time in the bi-coastal Sunshine Millions program.
The eight races worth $3.6 million came off under drastically different conditions.
PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2009)—Raiding Party, at odds of 22-1, took Saturday’s 11th and final race and keyed a Pick Six carryover of $155,407 into Sunday at Santa Anita. Returning $46.60 to win, Raiding Party, under David Flores was the longest priced winner on Saturday’s Sunshine Millions program.
Saturday’s Pick Six was contested on races six through 11 and the carryover is the 11th from 23 days of racing.
Saturday, January 24 2009
LEEDSTHEWAY COMES FROM BEHIND FOR WIN IN GOOD VIBRATIONS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2009) – After leading all the way to score his maiden victory at odds of 8-1, Leedstheway burst from behind at 4-1 on Friday to remain unbeaten with a
3 ¼ -length victory over 12-1 longshot Liturgical in Santa Anita’s $50,928 Good Vibrations Purse for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs.
After earlier drizzles moved the race from its scheduled setting on the turf, Leedstheway tracked the early pace before a midstretch move under jockey Tyler Baze turned the eight-horse competition into a runaway.
Friday, January 23 2009
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 23RD, 2009
MARY HARTMANN HOPES FOR GOOD RATINGS IN SUNSHINE MILLIONS TURF
When Mary Hartmann saddles Presious Passion for Saturday’s $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, she doesn’t expect the race to turn into a soap opera.
The trainer probably has heard all the wisecracks about her name, and its nearly identical spelling to that of the 1976 syndicated soap opera parody, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”
JOHNNY EVES TOPS PALOS VERDES; MAGICAL FANTASY HEADS TUZLA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2009) – Grade I winner Johnny Eves, a 5-year-old California-bred gelding who has experienced a series of ups-and-downs during his three-year career, will be the starting high weight at 118 pounds Sunday in Santa Anita’s 57th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at six furlongs.
Garrett Gomez will be back aboard the Mooncoin, LLC sprinter who broke a seven-race losing streak in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Vernon O. Underwood Stakes last November before being eased at 17-10 odds after tracking a blistering pace on New Year’s Day in Santa Anita’s Grade III El Conejo Handicap.