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.
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.