Thursday, January 08 2009
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Friday, January 02 2009
“FREE FRIDAYS” ATTRACTS SANTA ANITA CROWD OF 9,269
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2009) – Before an on-track crowd of 9,269 on the first of Santa Anita’s weekly Free Fridays promotion, 3-2 second-choice Victorina mounted a strong finish to run past You Lift Me Up and capture the eighth running of the $80,900 Paseana Handicap for fillies and mares by 2¼ lengths with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
A widely-traveled Northern California-based mare who has been off-the-board only three times in 24 starts, the 6-year-old Florida-bred negotiated the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:43.92 with Island Hop checking in third. Double Trouble, the even-money favorite in the field of six, never threatened while finishing fourth.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 2ND, 2009
NO RECORD, BUT GOMEZ IN LINE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT ECLIPSE AWARD
Garrett Gomez missed Jerry Bailey’s single-season earnings mark of $23,354,960 set in 2003 by $10,982 when Baroness Thatcher ran third in Wednesday’s Kalookan Queen Handicap, but all in all, 2008 was a very good year.
Gomez, who turned 37 on New Year’s Day, still outdistanced runner-up Robby Albarado in purse earnings by more than $5 million and is an overwhelming favorite to win his second straight Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding rider.
JOCKEYS CONTRIBUTE $16,500 TO WINNERS FOUNDATION
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2009)—Top jockey Garrett Gomez and a group of Southern California based riders will contribute $16,500 to the Winners Foundation this Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The Winners Foundation helps individuals and families in the racing industry with alcohol and substance abuse problems and is based at Santa Anita. The foundation is funded primarily by racing associations throughout California.
“Without the Winners Foundation, I wouldn’t be riding today,” said Gomez, who led all North American Jockeys in purse money won for a third consecutive year in 2008. “I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Bob Fletcher and everyone involved with the Winners Foundation.
NEW YEAR BEGINS WITH PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $143,011
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009)—Under picturesque New Year’s Day weather conditions, form for the most part, did not prevail at Santa Anita as no one correctly tabbed six winners in the Pick Six, resulting in a carryover of $143,011 into Friday. Additionally, no one selected the top five finishers in the afternoon’s 10th race, resulting in a Super High 5 carryover of $78,259.
Thursday’s Pick Six consisted of races five through 10 and just one post time favorite, Dream Now, in race seven, managed to win. Ridden by David Flores, Dream Now took blinkers off Thursday and cruised home by 5 ¼ lengths, returning $3.40 to win. Conditioned by Julio Canani, the 3-year-old colt by Medaglia d’Oro is owned by Bloodstock Management Services Inc. or Preston.
Thursday, January 01 2009
IN SUMMATION REPEATS IN EL CONEJO HANDICAP AS 6-5 FAVORITE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009) – Waterford Stable millionaire In Summation became the third repeat winner of Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 El Conejo Handicap on Friday when rallying strongly to overtake gritty 7-1 longshot Machismo by one length while covering 5½ furlongs in 1:02.58.
With Rafael Bejarano aboard for the first time in nearly a year, the 6-year-old bided his time while trailing in the field of four before looping his opponents turning for home. He was fully extended to wear down pace-setter Machismo, ridden by Mike Smith.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 1ST, 2009
TROUBLE MAKER AN ENIGMA IN SATURDAY’S MONROVIA
Trouble Maker makes her first start for trainer Jay Robbins in Saturday’s Grade III Monrovia Handicap after coming in from Belmont Park where she finished fifth by 1 ½ lengths in the Xtra Heat Handicap at six furlongs on turf Oct. 12.
Robbins hopes the daughter of the quirky Labeeb runs more to her most recent workout than to the preceding one.
SAN GORGONIO STAKE ADVANCE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009) – Even though she hasn’t won in eight starts since June of 2007, Irish-bred Valbenny appears well-placed on Sunday to extend Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel’s dominance of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Frankel has saddled seven of the past 13 winners of the event that will be contested for the 40th time. His eight overall victories in the race are three more than accomplished by the legendary Charlie Whittingham.