Saturday, March 07 2009


STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, MARCH 6TH, 2009


FOR GOMEZ, EIGHT IS ENOUGH IN WIDE OPEN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

With 14 entries and a 9-2 morning line favorite, Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Handicap presents handicappers with a plethora of perplexing propositions. Garrett Gomez, who rides 9-2 choice Colonel John in the Grade I race at 1 ¼ miles, recognizes the challenge, but was not overwhelmed with strategic options as post time drew within 24 hours.

“There are eight horses that can actually win the race,” said Santa Anita’s riding leader and winner of the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey the past two years. “It’s wide open, and it’s going to come down to who gets the best trip and who handles the race track best.”





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Thursday, March 05 2009


HOT N’ DUSTY EMERGES WITH NOSE VICTORY IN FOUR-HORSE PHOTO


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2009) – Hot n’ Dusty, a daughter of Unusual Heat, stormed home on the extreme outside to nip another Unusual Heat offspring, My Maloof Rocker, in a dramatic four-horse photo finish Thursday that decided the outcome of Santa Anita’s $53,200 allowance feature for California-bred or sired fillies and mares at one mile on turf.

The second choice at 3-1 in a field of eight, My Maloof Rocker, ridden by Joel Rosario, appeared to have made the winning last run before jockey Alex Solis and Hot n’ Dusty emerged from last at the head of the stretch to gain a desperate nose decision.





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PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $78,877 INTO FRIDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2009)—With longshots connecting on both Pro-Ride synthetic and grass, Santa Anita experienced its 21st Pick Six carryover from 51 days of racing on Thursday, as $78,877 will roll into Friday’s popular exotic wager. It is expected Friday’s total Pick Six pool could reach $500,000.

Thursday’s Pick Six started with race three at 1 1/16 miles on Pro-Ride and it was taken by Andwhatelse, with veteran Alex Solis aboard. Owned by Michael Bello, the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Even the Score paid $22.00 to win. He’s trained by Jeff Mullins.





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SAUCEY EVENING RATES TOP BILLING IN SUNDAY’S CHINA DOLL


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 5, 2009) – California-bred Saucey Evening, a 1 ½-length loser to sophomore superstar Stardom Bound when third in last month’s Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes, heads a cast of ten 3-year-old fillies set for Sunday’s $70,000 China Doll Stakes at one mile over Santa Anita’s turf course.

Augustin Stable’s daughter of More Than Ready will be rejoined by Garrett Gomez, the country’s leading rider in purse earnings, when seeking her fourth victory in eight career starts for trainer H. Graham Motion. She carries 119 pounds.





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, MARCH 5TH, 2009


TRAINER SAYS DANSANT IS REAL DEAL FOR BIG ’CAP’S PRO-RIDE SURFACE

Gerard Butler didn’t fly across the pond just for a Santa Anita reunion. The 42-year-old Irish trainer based in England came to run synthetic specialist Dansant in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

“He’s arguably the best all-weather horse in England, or in Europe,” Butler said. “We spoke about going to Dubai (for the $6 million World Cup on March 28). We were there last year, and he didn’t like the track. In a consultation with the owner (Mrs. Barbara Keller of Switzerland), we decided the next best place to go would be back on a synthetic surface, and the Big ’Cap was a logical choice.”





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STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4TH, 2009


EINSTEIN HEADS 14 IN SATURDAY’S $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

Despite the fact that Einstein has never raced on a synthetic track, his participation in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Handicap was a no-brainer.

“He’s doing well. He’s really settled in nicely,” said Helen Pitts, who trains the Brazilian-bred son of 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck. “He’s handled the track fine, and seems to be going good. We’ve had great weather (before Wednesday’s rain), and he’s adapted very well.”





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COLONEL JOHN IS 9-2 PICK IN DEEP, DIVERSE SANTA ANITA HANDICAP


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 4, 2009) – While Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks seems a solitary audition for dynamic 3-year-old filly Stardom Bound’s projected date with the boys in next month’s Santa Anita Derby, the 72nd running of the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap is plainly bursting with diversity and depth.

Fourteen horses, bred in five different countries, were entered in historic Santa Anita’s signature event at 1 ¼ miles. The cast includes eight Grade or Group I winners who are coming out of eight different graded stakes raced from coast-to-coast over surfaces ranging from grass to dirt to synthetics.





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Monday, March 02 2009


BATTLE OF HASTINGS SETS BALDWIN STAKES MARK BEFORE 17,972


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 1, 2009) – British-bred 3-year-old Battle of Hastings, who won his last two starts in England prior to a lackluster United States debut, redeemed himself in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Baldwin Stakes on Sunday when closing strongly to capture the 6 1/2-furlong grass sprint by 1 ¼ lengths over favored Flashmans Papers.

On a warm, sunshiny day when Santa Anita offered a Snow Day promotion while importing 200 tons of snow for its infield, a crowd of 17,972 turned out. The figure did not include an estimated 10,000 children, aged 17 and under, who were admitted free.





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STABLE NOTES, SUANDAY MARCH 1ST, 2009


LARGE FIELD NO DETERRENT FOR SMITH, TIAGO IN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

A full field of 14 is in prospect for the Santa Anita Handicap next Sunday, and as far as Mike Smith is concerned, the more the merrier.

Smith rides Tiago, a stretch-running son of Pleasant Tap, in the mile and a quarter Big ‘Cap. Potential traffic problems are always a risk in a bulky field, but Smith was quick to take an optimistic stance for Tiago, a half-brother to Giacomo, 50-1 winner of the 2005 Kentucky Derby with Smith aboard.





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Sunday, March 01 2009


THE PAMPLEMOUSSE DOMINANT IN SHAM STAKES


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ The Pamplemousse ran to the lead out of the gate and dared his 10 rivals to come and get him. No one did.

The gray colt romped to a six-length victory in the Gr. III, $200,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, solidifying his status as one of California's top 3-year-olds and a leading Kentucky Derby candidate.





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Saturday, February 28 2009


STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH, 2009


EUROPEAN ACE DANSANT SETTLES IN FOR SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

European invader Dansant enjoyed taking in the scenic sights at Santa Anita for the first time Saturday morning, jogging twice around the track in preparation for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.

“He’s settled in very well and he’s very alert,” said Cindy Niemetz, West Coast representative for the International Racing Bureau. “He’s scheduled to canter tomorrow.”





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Friday, February 27 2009


FUNALLOVER PURSE NO ROMP FOR VICTORIOUS SLEEP TIGHT


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2009) – Surviving a stewards’ inquiry and the fate of a nose bob at the wire, Sleep Tight narrowly gained her third straight victory Friday when capturing Santa Anita’s $51,168 Funallover Purse for fillies and mares while running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.10.

The fourth choice in a field of five with Michael Baze in the saddle, Sleep Tight nosed out Unusual Spirit and jockey Victor Espinoza in a driving finish as 19-10 favorite Masterful Miss settled for third, one length further behind.





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