Thursday, January 15 2009
SQUARE EDDIE TAKES DEAD AIM ON TRIPLE CROWN IN SAN RAFAEL SATURDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2009) – Preparations for this year’s Triple Crown begin in earnest on Saturday at Santa Anita with the Grade III, $100,000 San Rafael Stakes part of a graded stakes tripleheader that includes a pair of Grade II events, the $150,000 San Fernando for 4-year-olds and the $150,000 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies.
Square Eddie, runner-up to Midshipman as the 7-2 favorite in October’s
$2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, likely will be an odds-on choice among eight 3-year-olds in the one-mile San Rafael, a race that has produced six Santa Anita Derby winners during the past 19 years.
Wednesday, January 14 2009
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2009
SQUARE EDDIE EYES WINNER’S CIRCLE IN SATURDAY’S SAN RAFAEL
Lane’s End Futurity winner Square Eddie, second to Midshipman in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Oak Tree last Oct. 25, makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday in the San Rafael Stakes, a one-mile test that trainer Doug O’Neill hopes will propel the son of Smart Strike to the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
"He's doing fantastic. He looks great, full of energy,” O’Neill said from his Hollywood Park headquarters Wednesday morning. “We gave him 83 days between the Breeders' Cup and the San Rafael, so he's been freshened and he looks ready to roll."
Monday, January 12 2009
BAFFERT RUNS THREE, TAKES SANTA YSABEL WITH 24-1 CENTURY PARK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2009) – Century Park, the second longest price in the field at 24-1 and clearly the least fancied of trainer Bob Baffert’s three entrants, ran off with Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on Sunday.
After a brief scramble for the early lead, Century Park took control under jockey Tyler Baze, was able to dictate the tempo with moderate fractions, and had enough in reserve to deter hard-charging 3-1 favorite Haka by one length.
OWNER, ANALYST/HANDICAPPER JEFF SEIGEL AVAILABLE DAILY AT SANTAANITA.COM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2009)—HRTV’s Jeff Seigel has been called many things during his nearly 40-year career in Thoroughbred racing: owner, breeder, publicist, television analyst and perhaps most importantly, Southern California’s most entertaining handicapper. All of these descriptions will serve fans well when they visit Seigel’s daily horse racing blog at http://www.SantaAnita.com
“The blog is a work in progress,” said the always-upbeat Seigel. “We’re going to be adding things every week, but for now, I will have a daily handicap and analysis of the following day’s races up the night before race-day.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, JANUARY 11TH, 2009
BROTHER KEITH, SQUARE EDDIE MEET IN SATURDAY’S SAN RAFAEL
Brother Keith, winner of his only start, steps into graded company next Saturday in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes at one mile, an important prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
“You gotta try him someplace,” Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said. When it was suggested he might go through his conditions, rather than face the likes of Lane’s End Futurity winner Square Eddie, Frankel countered: “Maybe the races won’t go. I got to get him started.”
Sunday, January 11 2009
COWBOY CAL WITHSTANDS INQUIRY TO CAPTURE SAN PASQUAL BY NOSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009) – Cowboy Cal, second in four stakes races since his last win on New Year’s Day of 2008, withstood an inquiry Saturday to triumph by a nose over 28-1 longshot Informed in Santa Anita’s 72nd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.26.
With Eastern-based John Velasquez in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher, 5-2 second-choice Cowboy Cal assumed command soon after the start. Despite drifting out in deep stretch, he gamely denied the closing surge of Informed, well-beaten at 44-1 in his only previous stakes try after being claimed for $25,000 last June.
ON-LINE SHOWVIVOR RETURNS TO SANTA ANITA JAN. 17TH
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009)—Santa Anita’s popular on-line handicapping contest “ShowVivor,” will once again be available for fans to play beginning Saturday, Jan. 17.
The contest will feature $5,000 in prize money, with a $3,000 award going to the top finisher. Prizes will also be awarded to the first runner up ($1,500) and the second runner up ($500). Participation is free of charge and contestants will be required to select one horse per day to finish first, second or third in a race of the player’s choice. If a selection finishes lower than third, that player is eliminated. All selections must be registered on-line no later than 10 minutes before first post time at Santa Anita.
STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 10TH, 2009
CASSE PLANS TO MAKE HIS MARK ON PRO-RIDE AT SANTA ANITA
Mark Casse has moved a division from the cold clime of Canada to sunny Southern California, and he’s loving it.
“We had 17 horses here when the meet first started, but within the next 10 days, we’ll probably have 30, 32,” Casse said on a “Chamber of Commerce” morning at Santa Anita Saturday. “There were a lot of reasons I brought horses in from Woodbine,” continued the 47-year-old Casse, a native of Indianapolis who is in his 30th year of training. “We’ve been struggling the last few years as we changed our program, and I train for some pretty big people who have a lot of well-bred horses.
Saturday, January 10 2009
THREE-DAY CARRYOVER OF $1,210,706 INTO SATURDAY’S PICK SIX
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2009) – Bonjour’s 14-1 upset in Friday’s $58,336 optional claiming feature contributed largely to the first three-day carryover in Santa Anita’s Pick Six, totaling $1,210,706, since Feb. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of last year when a single winning ticket returned a record $3,120,256.80.
It is expected that the Pick Six pool on Saturday could possibly reach $4 million, with at least 10 horses scheduled to compete in each of the Pick Six races that begin with the fourth on a nine-race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.
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.”
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.
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.”