Monday, October 06 2008
MR. CHAIRMAN DENIES FILLY IN EXCITING CAL CUP CLASSIC
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2008) – As the only female ever to compete in Oak Tree’s $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the victory aspirations of favored 4-year-old filly Romance Is Diane were dashed Sunday at Santa Anita in the closing strides of the day’s mile-and-one-eighth centerpiece by the appropriately named Mr. Chairman.
Ridden by Michael Baze and sent off as the 3-1 third choice, Mr. Chairman provided sire Unusual Heat with his third triumph of the day when overtaking Romance Is Diane to win by a head. He raced the distance in 1:47.93. Add Heat, another progeny of Unusual Heat, gained third in the field of eight, one length behind the filly.
Sunday, October 05 2008
Stable Notes, Sunday, October 5th, 2008
CURLIN, CASINO DRIVE EXERCISE WITH BREEDERS’ CUP IN MIND
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin enjoyed another lengthy stroll on Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride main track Sunday morning in what could lead to a possible meeting with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and other members of the equine elite in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 25.
“He galloped two miles,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, who was due in from out of town tonight to supervise Curlin’s first official workout over the track at a half-mile Monday morning.
Saturday, October 04 2008
Nite Lead, Friday, September 3rd, 2008
NEW ZEALAND-IMPORT EXQUISITE TAKES FRIDAY’S TURF FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2008) – Following second and third-place finishes in her first two United States starts, New Zealand-bred Exquisite broke through with a winning effort at Santa Anita Friday when she gamely withstood a pair of stretch challenges to take Oak Tree’s $50,200 allowance feature for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
With Alex Solis in the saddle, the 4-year-old bay filly battled off a bid by Mohaka before denying the late charge of Fire n’ Brimstone to beat the latter by a neck in a driving finish while timed in 1:47.64.
LEGENDARY LAVA MAN TO LEAD POST PARADE SUNDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2008)—Lava Man, the only horse to sweep the Gr. I Santa Anita Handicap, the Gr. I Hollywood Gold Cup and the Gr. I Pacific Classic in the same year—2006—will lead the parade to the post for the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Sunday. His regular exercise rider, Tony Romero, will accompany the 7-year-old California-bred gelding, who was retired from racing this past July.
A son of Slew City Slew, Lava Man joined the immortal gelding Native Diver as the only other three-time winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2007, his third consecutive triumph in the prestigious 1 ¼ miles affair.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3RD, 2008
Mr. Chairman will not be lacking in support when he runs in Sunday’s $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank.
The 5-year-old gelded son of Unusual Heat—one of 15 by that prolific sire entered on Sunday’s program at Oak Tree—is owned by some two dozen racing newcomers who would like nothing better than to grace the winners’ circle with their recent acquisition. This will be Great Friends Stable's first start ever in a stakes race.
Mr. Chairman is trained by Doug O’Neill and owned by the Great Friends Stable, comprised of more than 20 investors headed by Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith Jr., the latter of San Diego Charger fame. They host the Scott and BR Show on the Mighty 1090 AM in the San Diego area and created the stable in 2007 with the help of Craig Dado, Del Mar's vice president of marketing.
Friday, October 03 2008
DOUBLE DIP UPSET GIVES TRAINER McKAUGHAN FIRST SANTA ANITA WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2008) – Double Dip, a 13-1 outsider making her first start at Santa Anita, closed strongly on the extreme outside under jockey Joel Rosario Thursday to take Oak Tree’s optional claiming feature, a $51,082 event for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
The upset helped generate a Pick Six carryover of $62,119 into Friday’s eight-race program that begins at 1 p.m. It marked the fourth time in seven racing dates that the Pick Six had carried over during the young Oak Tree meet.
While resisting the closing bid of second-choice Comeback Queen by 1 ¼ lengths, Double Dip provided Amanda McKaughan with her first training win at Santa Anita. The chestnut filly gave jockey Rosario his second of three wins on the afternoon.
FILLY ROMANCE IS DIANE SET AS 5-2 FAVORITE IN CAL CUP CLASSIC
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2008) – Four-year-old filly Romance Is Diane, a Grade I stakes winner, was established as the 5-2 favorite among eight entrants in Sunday’s $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the 1 1/8 miles centerpiece of Oak Tree’s Cal Cup XIX Day, comprised of 10 stakes races exclusively for California-breds at Santa Anita.
Classic defending champion Bold Chieftain, meanwhile, was entered in the $175,000 John C. Mabee Mile on turf with trainer William Morey Jr. explaining that a grass surface presently seems more agreeable to the 5-year-old bay, a winner of three of his four most recent starts on turf.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, 2008
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR FOR CHEROOT, WHO MAKES 4TH TRY IN CAL CUP CLASSIC
When it comes to the California Cup Classic, Cheroot deserves an “E” for effort.
The 7-year-old Smokester horse trained by Darrell Vienna is scheduled to make his fourth start in California Cup XIX’s marquee event Sunday presented by the Oak Tree Racing Association. This time, Vienna and owner Charlotte Wrather of Los Alamos hope the speedy veteran’s performance will bring them to the winners’ circle.
Cheroot drew the No. 8 outside stall at Thursday’s California Cup draw breakfast at Clockers’ Corner and was listed at 6-1 in oddsmaker Jeff Tufts’ morning line for the 1 1/8-mile event.
Thursday, October 02 2008
SATURDAY’S MADDY ‘CAP DRAWS DOZEN, LOOKS LIKE A SCRAMBLE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2008) – Irish-bred Bahama Mama, a steady speedster still seeking recompense for a flawed graded stakes debut in the United States, and the ultra consistent Victorina, who has never before raced on grass, will be the co-high weights at 118 pounds Saturday in Oak Tree’s Grade III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap for fillies and mares at
6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
The 40th running of the Maddy, originally the Autumn Days Handicap, drew 12 entrants, and, on paper, it appears to be a wide-open scramble.
A 4-year-old filly who raced in Germany and France before being purchased by trainer James Cassidy for Forging Oaks Farm, Bahama Mama finished first in Santa Anita’s Grade III La Cienegas Handicap over the downhill course when making her first U.S. start last April. However, she was disqualified for drifting out while in front during the stretch run. Bahama Mama was placed fourth by the stewards.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1ST, 2008
CURLIN MAKES HIMSELF COMFORTABLE AT SANTA ANITA
World traveler Curlin has made himself at home at Santa Anita.
The reigning Horse of the Year, who arrived late Sunday afternoon from New York for a possible showdown with Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 25, was devouring hay voraciously at Barn 27 Wednesday morning after going out for an easy mile gallop on Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface.
“He’s settled in great,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditions the striking 4-year-old chestnut son of Smart Strike. “Shipping is old hat for him. This was his first day to the race track and we plan to work him Monday. I don’t know how far; I have to talk to Steve, but probably just a half-mile.”
Monday, September 29 2008
HORSE OF THE YEAR CURLIN ARRIVES AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2008)—Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin arrived from New York at Santa Anita Park at 5 p.m. today to defend his title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. The 4-year-old colt by Smart Strike was flown by Tex Sutton charter from New York to Louisville, Ky., where another Breeders’ Cup Classic candidate, Student Council, was loaded and flown to Ontario/Los Angeles International airport. The pair was then vanned to Santa Anita, where Curlin will reside at Barn 27.
Scott Blasi, assistant to Curlin’s trainer Steve Asmussen, accompanied Curlin, who won yesterday’s Gr. I, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. He will oversee his training at Santa Anita.
STREET HERO BREAKS MAIDEN, EMERGES AS STAR IN NORFOLK STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2008) – Oak Tree’s 39th running of the Grade I, $250,000 Norfolk Stakes was supposed to be an East vs. West confrontation leading to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but when completed Sunday at Santa Anita the home team had dominated with 6-1 shot Street Hero getting the honors.
Not only did Street Cry colt, owned, trained and bred in Kentucky by Myung Kwon Cho, dispatch many of the leading 2-year-olds in the country, he broke his maiden in what was his fifth start.
Street Hero, who had closely pursued West Coast hotshot Midshipman in his last two starts including the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, turned the tables in the Norfolk as the pair of 2-year-olds raced around two turns for the first time.