Saturday, January 10 2009


STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 9TH, 2009


NOTHING BUT FOND MEMORIES OF LEGENDARY JOE HIRSCH, DEAD AT 80

Memories of respect and praise are infinite for legendary turf writer Joe Hirsch, who died Friday at the age of 80 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. Hirsch began his career with the New York Times, and in 1954 joined Daily Racing Form, where he was named executive columnist in 1974. He retired in November 2003.

“It was so much fun to work with him,” said current Racing Form writer Steve Andersen, “because he really led by example. He was the consummate gentleman. Everybody knew him and everybody wanted to be around him when he came to town. I remember in 1994, when Sam Houston Park opened, it was my first job with the Racing Form, and I had been there two weeks. Every day the track president stopped me and asked if Joe Hirsch was coming, because he knew that was the stamp of approval. If he could get Hirsch there, he knew he’d made it. Joe didn’t go.”





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Friday, January 09 2009


TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $423,985 AT SANTA ANITA FRIDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – After four one-day carryovers in the Pick Six during the first ten days of racing, Santa Anita will have a two-day carryover of $423,985 on Friday when the track offers free general admission. The combined Friday pool is expected to exceed $2 million and could approach $3 million.

With a pair of blowout winners paying $94.60 and $50.60 on Thursday, there were no winning tickets for a second successive day in the popular multiple-race wager that can result in enormous payoffs.





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DRAMATIC SANTA ANITA WIN FOR COVINA FAMILY DEVASTED IN CHRISTMAS EVE MASSACRE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Racing for the last time in the name of James Ortega, the late Thoroughbred horse owner who was one of nine people slain in what has become known as the Santa Claus Massacre in nearby Covina on Christmas Eve, Return of the King scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the second race at Santa Anita on Thursday.

“I feel like I just won a $5 million race,” jockey Martin Pedroza said in the winner’s circle. “I’ve known the family for a long time. I wanted so much to win this race. It gave me chills.”





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 8TH, 2009


SADLER SEEKS REPEAT IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL

John Sadler sends out two for the money Saturday in quest of his second consecutive victory in the San Pasqual Handicap when he saddles Mostacolli Mort and Noble Court in the Grade II event for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.

Sadler, who won 28 races at Santa Anita last season to finish second behind Mike Mitchell (33), won the 2008 San Pasqual with Gary and Cecil Barber’s Zappa.





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BAFFERT TRIO HEADS SUNDAY’S SANTA YSABEL LINEUP OF NINE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Toro Bonito and a pair of Bob Baffert-trained stablemates will be among nine 3-year-old fillies seeking their first graded stakes victory Sunday in Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

A homebred daughter of El Corredor owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt III, Toro Bonito comes into the race off a third-place finish behind Laragh in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 13, an effort that is likely to earn her favoritism on Sunday.





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Thursday, January 08 2009


STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7TH, 2009


ANOTHER ‘RACKET’ FOR ABRAMS IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL HANDICAP

In less than two weeks, Racketeer moves from a restricted downhill stakes race at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf to a mile and one-sixteenth Grade II stakes on Pro-Ride in Saturday’s $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap.

That is not uncharacteristic of Barry Abrams’ training strategy. “He’s a good horse and he fits in the race,” Abrams said in explaining the move for Racketeer, who last raced on Dec. 29. “He was one of the favorites (7-2) in the San Pasqual last year. He’s improving and this is the place to run.”





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DEVOTED MAGIC’S UPSET LEADS TO $102,376 PICK SIX CARRYOVER


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2009) – In his first start since being claimed by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Devoted Magic ran away from his competition Wednesday in Santa Anita’s $50,000 allowance feature for California-breds, winning by 6 ¾ lengths and traversing 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.60.

The 5-1 upsetter helped generate a Pick Six carryover of $102,376 into Thursday’s eight-race program that commences at 1 p.m. Santa Anita has experienced four Pick Six carryovers in 10 racing days this season.





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WELL ARMED RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL, HEADS FIELD OF 12


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2009) – WinStar Farm millionaire Well Armed, beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, returns to action in Saturday’s 72nd running of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap with a field of 12 set for the mile-and-one-sixteenth event that often serves as a stepping-stone to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

After running second to Zappa in last year’s San Pasqual, Well Armed became a major force among older horses. He won Santa Anita’s Grade II San Antonio Handicap, traveled to Dubai to finish third behind Curlin in the $6 million Dubai World Cup, took the Grade II Del Mar Handicap, lost by a neck to Go Between in Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic and captured Oak Tree’s Grade I Goodwood Stakes.





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Monday, January 05 2009


TIZFIZ REWARDS DELGADILLO, DeLEON WITH SAN GORGONIO UPSET


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2009) – Claimed for $50,000 two races previous, Tizfiz provided journeyman jockey Agapito Delgadillo and trainer Rafael DeLeon with their most prestigious career victories Sunday by virtue of a desperate wire-to-wire triumph in Santa Anita’s 40th running of the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap.

At the age of 42, Delgadillo skillfully guided the 5-year-old Tiznow mare through moderate fractions during the 1 1/8-mile turf journey while preserving just enough to repel the closing bid of 2-1 second choice Marzelline by a nose at odds of 9-1.





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STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, JANUARY 4TH, 2009


MAGNUM RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL HANDICAP

Magnum is scheduled to make his first start in more than five months when the gelding bred in Argentina runs in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap, a major prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.

“He had a quarter crack,” trainer Darrell Vienna said in explaining his absence. “This is a logical starting point back for him, because he’s a horse without any conditions, and he’s got some age on him. He’s been a useful horse and he’s paid his way.”





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Sunday, January 04 2009


JIBBOOM, GOMEZ FINALLY FIND ROOM TO CAPTURE MONROVIA HANDICAP


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 3, 2009) – Blocked behind rivals in deep stretch, Garrett Gomez finally maneuvered favored Jibboom between horses to emerge with a one-half length victory over longshot Christiana’s Heat Saturday in Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Handicap for fillies and mares while covering 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:13.21

The win seemed to confirm trainer Bobby Frankel’s notion that the 5-year-old roan mare, once thought by the Hall of Fame conditioner to be “my next (2007 Female champion) Ginger Punch,” may be best suited as a late-running sprinter.





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STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 3RD, 2009


WELL ARMED SET FOR RETURN IN NEXT SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL

Well Armed is scheduled to make his first start since a disappointing ninth as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last Oct. 25 when the 6-year-old gelding runs in next Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.

“The rest helped him and he’s been working super,” trainer Eoin Harty said of the bay son of Tiznow owned by WinStar Farm. “It was pretty bad,” Harty continued, referring to the Dirt Mile “trouble line” in Daily Racing Form’s past performances that reads, “steadied turn.”





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