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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.