Thursday, January 01 2009
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.
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31ST, 2008
‘MIRACLE MAN’ GOMEZ RECOUNTS SPILL AS HE PURSUES RECORD
They called George Woolf ”The Iceman.” Label Garrett Gomez “The Miracle Man.”
Two days after escaping a one-horse spill with relatively minor injuries, the nation’s leading money-winning jockey in 2008 was back in the saddle, riding five horses at Santa Anita Monday in pursuit of his third dollar crown, and Jerry Bailey’s single season record of $23,354,960, set in 2003.
In his first ride back, Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, won in storybook fashion, rallying from last aboard Suit Yourself to win going away by 1 ¼ lengths in the 6 ½ furlong race. With two wins and a fourth-place finish from four rides Monday, his mounts earned $29,560, leaving Gomez $79,454 shy of Bailey’s mark.
AFTER THREE WINS, GOMEZ FALLS $10,982 SHY OF BAILEY’S MARK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2008) – After stirring victories aboard his first three mounts of the afternoon on New Year’s Eve at Santa Anita while in dramatic pursuit of Jerry Bailey’s record for purse earnings in a single season, jockey Garrett Gomez needed to win with his final mount in the $76,400 Kalookan Queen Handicap, but a distant third-place finish aboard Baroness Thatcher left him just $10,982 shy of the record $23,354,960 that Bailey’s mounts earned in 2003.
It might have turned out differently for Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, had he been able to ride on Sunday, but he was injured in a spectacular spill on Saturday at Santa Anita when his mount, Back At You, suddenly veered into the inner rail during the Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds.
SOCIETY HOSTESS BACK AGAIN IN MONROVIA, FACES LETHAL HEAT
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2008) – Society Hostess won Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Handicap in 2007, ran second in the event last year, and is the co-high weight in Saturday’s 42nd running of the stakes race for fillies and mares contested at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.
The lightly-raced 7-year-old mare could be considered a Monrovia resident. Since 2006, Society Hostess has competed in but three races other than her three appearances in the Monrovia Handicap.
Tuesday, December 30 2008
STABLE NOTES, MONDAY, DECEMBER 29TH, 2008
GAME GARRETT GOMEZ RIDES AGAIN IN PURSUIT OF MONEY RECORD
Two days after a frightening spill in which he lost several upper front teeth, suffered a gash on his left knee which did not require sutures and a swollen left hand, Garrett Gomez was back in the saddle at Santa Anita Monday in pursuit of Jerry Bailey’s record of $23,354,960 for purse earnings in one year. Gomez won the money title the last two years.
“He rides,” agent Ron Anderson said succinctly when asked the status of Gomez, who is named on five horses today. He took off his scheduled seven mounts Sunday.
LUCKY J.H. MAKES GOOD IN MONDAY’S IMPRESSIVE LUCK HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2008) – Lucky J.H. doesn’t run often, but when he does, he seldom runs poorly, and Monday was no exception as the 6-year-old bay gamely held on to defeat Majestic Diamond by one-half length in Santa Anita’s $92,070 Impressive Luck Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.
It was only the fourth start this year for the injury-prone son of Cee’s Tizzy following three races each of the preceding two years, but, as the even-money favorite, Lucky J.H. responded with his usual gutsy performance after an eighth-month layoff to care for quarter cracks.
Monday, December 29 2008
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28TH, 2008
GOMEZ, GILCHRIST LOOK FORWARD TO NEW YEAR AFTER SAD ENDING TO 2008
Jockey Garrett Gomez and trainer Greg Gilchrist were optimistic about the future after being involved in accidents that could have been more serious than they were at Santa Anita yesterday.
Gomez, en route to his third consecutive national money title, lost several upper front teeth, suffered a gash on his left knee which did not require sutures, and a swollen left hand after the 2-year-old colt Back At You veered in during the stretch and hit the rail, unseating Gomez in Saturday’s seventh race. Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, was taken to Arcadia Methodist Hospital where he was released last night after being treated.
DOUBLE TROUBLE SEEKS REBOUND IN FRIDAY’S PASEANA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2008) – Winless in five starts following a 4 ½- length victory in February’s Grade I Santa Maria Handicap, Double Trouble seems well spotted for a return to the win column in Friday’s sixth running of the $70,000 Paseana Handicap at 1 1/16 miles over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Double Trouble will face five rival fillies and mares in the feature on a program that ushers in Santa Anita’s Free Fridays promotion. In addition to free general admission on Fridays, the track this season offers free box seating on a first come, first served basis as well as a one-dollar menu featuring beer, sodas, hot dogs and popcorn.
Sunday, December 28 2008
IN SUMMATION HEADS THREE GRADE I WINNERS IN EL CONEJO THURSDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2008) – In Summation, fourth in October’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, will be among three Grade I stakes winners in a field of five set to contest Santa Anita’s 28th running of the Grade III, $100,000 El Conejo Handicap at 5 ½ furlongs on Thursday, New Year’s Day.
A newly-turned 6-year-old trained by Christophe Clemente for Waterford Stable, In Summation is the defending champion after setting a stakes record of 1:01.27 when victorious one year ago.
SECOND LAST YEAR, PROUDINSKY GIVES FRANKEL ANOTHER SAN GABRIEL
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2008) – German-bred Proudinsky, whose runner-up finish in last year’s $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap deprived trainer Bobby Frankel of a third successive victory in the Grade II turf event, won Sunday’s 62nd running of the mile-and-one-eighth competition by three-quarters of a length over Irish-bred Ferneley at Santa Anita.
Rafael Bejarano, deputizing for injured rider Garrett Gomez, drove the 5-year-old bay through an opening that developed between horses entering the stretch to capture the race he had lost by three-quarters of a length to Daytona the previous year when last ridden by Bejarano.
Saturday, December 27 2008
BOB BLACK JACK HOLDS WINNING HAND IN MALIBU; 33,112 ATTEND
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2008) --- Front-running speedster Bob Black Jack, who set the pace in last May’s Kentucky Derby, made his first graded stakes victory a convincing one as he wired a stellar field of seven 3-year-olds in Friday’s Grade I Malibu Stakes on the opening day of Santa Anita’s 72nd season.
Under a heady ride by David Flores, Bob Black Jack led from start to finish in the 57th running of the prestigious seven-furlong event. His winning time of 1:20.20 was just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record set by racing superstar Spectacular Bid 28 years before.
GOMEZ HURT IN SPILL; FAVORED INDIAN BLESSING TAKES LA BREA STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2008) – Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading rider for a third straight year and just $109,014 shy of Jerry Bailey’s single-season purse earnings record ($23,354,660 set in 2003), was transported to Arcadia Methodist Hospital via stretcher and ambulance Saturday after his mount, Back At You, ducked into the rail during the stretch run of Santa Anita’s $78,070 Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, was conscious and moving his extremities after being placed on a stretcher following the sudden action of his mount, who was leading in mid-stretch. Back At You, making his third career start, appeared to duck into the rail when moving into a shadow of the grandstand overhang on a sunny afternoon.