Thursday, February 05 2009
Saturday Stakes Advances
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2009) – Four graded stakes races on Saturday at Santa Anita include a pair that could lead to a highly compelling clash in the April 4 Santa Anita Derby as 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and California’s most accomplished male Triple Crown prospect, Pioneerof the Nile, make their 3-year-old debuts.
Stardom Bound, so dominant as a juvenile filly in 2008 that she commanded a sales price of $5.7 million in November, makes her first start for IEAH Stables and Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in the 27th running of the Grade I, $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH, 2009
BROTHER KEITH STAYS HOME FOR LEWIS; STARDOM BOUND IN 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
Bobby Frankel, who had been wavering between Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds the same day for Triple crown prospect Brother Keith, entered the son of Johar in the Grade II Lewis, a major steppingstone to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
“There are a lot of horses in the Risen Star (13 were entered) and I’d have had to ship,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, Santa Anita’s career leader in victories with 906.
Monday, February 02 2009
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST, 2009
BAFFERT HOPES LEWIS LEADS TO DERBY FOR PIONEEROF THE NILE
Bob Baffert has been down the Kentucky Derby trail before, has a well-worn path on it, as a matter of fact. The 56-year-old trainer has started 17 horses in the Run for the Roses, winning with three: Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, and War Emblem in 2002, but has not had a starter the past two years. Baffert missed by a desperate nose with his first Derby starter, Cavonnier, in 1996.
IRISH-BRED PASAR SILBANO GAINS FIRST U.S. WIN IN LA HABRA STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2009) – Irish-bred Pasar Silbano, making her second United States start, burst to the front a couple of furlongs into Santa Anita’s 36th running of the Grade III, La Habra Stakes on Sunday and proceeded to dominate the 6 ½-furlong turf event for 3-year-old fillies.
With Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the irons, the bay filly owned by Three Chimneys Racing maintained a safe margin throughout the late stages before reaching the wire 1 ¾ lengths ahead of 77-1 longshot Gold Goddess with Real Fancy Runner another neck back in third.
Sunday, February 01 2009
AS 3-10 CHOICE, VENTURA NODS STABLEMATE BY LENGTH IN SANTA MONICA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2009) – Following her sterling four-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Juddmonte Farms’ Ventura encored Saturday with a handy one-length score over stablemate Jibboom in Santa Anita’s 52nd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap for fillies and mares.
But the Santa Monica wasn’t as easy for her as the Breeders’ Cup event in which she blew away eventual Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing with a majestic rally from 9 ½ lengths behind that left her covering seven furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface in a blistering 1:19.90.
Saturday, January 31 2009
Eddie Logan Passes
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2009)—Eddie Logan, Santa Anita’s iconic shoeshine attendant since opening day, Dec. 25, 1934, and a former boxer and Negro League baseball player, passed away at his home in nearby Monrovia early Saturday morning at the age of 98. Born in 1910, he would have been 99 on May 20.
A self-described “footman,” Logan was a shining ray of optimism and good humor throughout his near 75-year reign at Santa Anita. Blessed with sparkling eyes and quick wit, Logan greeted all of his customers with a customary smile and a work ethic truly borne of another era.
Friday, January 30 2009
“JOCKEYS” REALITY DOCUMENTARY TO DEBUT FEB. 6
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2009)—A reality/documentary series entitled “Jockeys,” featuring in-depth video and sound of Santa Anita-based jockeys including Mike Smith, Alex Solis, Aaron Gryder, Chantal Sutherland and Joe Talamo, will debut Friday, Feb. 6, at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet cable network. The series consists of 12 episodes and will run six weeks, with back-to-back shows airing for a total of one hour each week.
Shot in HD, “Jockeys” will depict the athletes in-depth, at work and at home. “Based upon the pilot we’ve been able to review and from the feedback we’ve received from the jockeys themselves, this series is going to break new ground, as far as how the jockeys are perceived and understood,” said Santa Anita Community and Special Projects Director Pete Siberell.
UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP EASILY HANDLES ROUTE IN ANTELOPE VALLEY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2009) – Unbeaten Rail Trip, a late developing 4-year-old gelding, ran himself into potential stardom Friday with a dominant 5 ½ -length victory in Santa Anita’s $57,600 Antelope Valley Purse at 1 1/16 miles while positively answering questions about his distance capability.
After winning each of his first two starts by 3 ½ lengths at sprint distances, the bay son of Jump Start, regarded primarily as a sprint sire, easily carried his speed the route distance while timed in 1:42.41 under a hand ride by Jose Valdivia Jr.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 30TH, 2009
REPEAT ECLIPSE WINNER GOMEZ REUNITES WITH VENTURA SATURDAY
Garrett Gomez has ridden Ventura in each of her seven starts in the United States, winning four. But to hear the two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey tell it, with any kind of luck, he might be perfect.
Ventura was second, beaten a nose, in the CashCall Mile at Hollywood Park last July, second by a length and a quarter in the Grade I Woodbine Mile on a yielding turf course against males, and third by nearly four lengths on a “good” course at Churchill Downs in the Distaff Turf Mile last May 3.
GOMEZ STRIKES AT 10-1 IN FEATURE, PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF 74,682 IN PLAY FOR FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2009) – Four races after Rafael Bejarano had ridden a first-time starter to victory at odds of 11-1 for trainer Doug O’Neill on Thursday, Garrett Gomez struck with a 10-1 O’Neill trainee, Scorewithcater, to register a head victory over Unbridled Roman in Santa Anita’s feature, the $57,656 Palm Springs Purse for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Despite victories by two favorites in the Pick Six sequence, some unusual events combined to generate a Pick Six carryover of $74,682 into Friday’s racing program when Santa Anita offers free general admission as well as free box seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
EMMY DARLING DOES QUICK TURNAROUND IN SUNDAY’S LA HABRA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2009) – After running a disappointing seventh last Saturday in the $250,000 Sunshine Million Oaks, Emmy Darling is scheduled for a hasty U-turn when returning to a grass surface in Sunday’s 36th running of the Grade III, $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
The La Habra will be the eighth-race feature on a nine-race program that will begin at 11 a.m., 1 ½ hours earlier than usual, in deference to the Super Bowl with its scheduled kickoff of 3:28 p.m. (PST).
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH, 2009
VENTURA ‘CRANKED’ TO WIN SATURDAY’S GRADE I SANTA MONICA
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ventura is set for her 2009 debut in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Monica Handicap for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs. The 5-year-old Chester House mare owned and bred by the Juddmonte Farms has not raced since her breathtaking four-length triumph in the Breeders’ Cup race at Oak Tree last Oct. 24.
Asked if she was “cranked” for her return, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said, “She’s cranked enough to win.” Two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Garrett Gomez has the mount. He has ridden Ventura in each of her seven U.S. starts, four of them victories.