Saturday, February 21 2009


RAIL TRIP EXTENDS UNBEATEN SKEIN, BIG ’CAP AN OPTION


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2009)—After beginning his career last November with three successive wins by a combined 12 ½ lengths, unbeaten 4-year-old gelding Rail Trip easily added number four on Friday in a $58,800 third-condition allowance event at Santa Anita, and afterward trainer Ron Ellis did not rule out the possibility of a start in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.

With regular rider Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, Jay Em Ess Stable’s Kentucky-bred son of Jump Start (by A.P. Indy), cruised to a handy 1 ¾ length victory at odds of 1-9 versus three other rivals. Booyah, with Joe Talamo aboard, finished second while never seriously testing the winner who was clocked in 1:42.11 for the 1 1/16 miles.





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Friday, February 20 2009


STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH, 2009


ON FIRE LOOKS LIKE A NATURAL FOR ABRAMS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO

If ever a horse was a natural for Barry Abrams to train, it’s On Fire. The 5-year-old horse was sired by Pulpit, although On Fire’s name might seem more appropriate if the stallion had been Abrams’ go-to sire, the prolific Unusual Heat, whose progeny dominate the Abrams barn.

At any rate, On Fire, recently purchased privately by Abrams’ client Team Green, will run in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap for older horses at 1 ½ miles on turf.





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ELYSIUM FIELDS SCORES IMPRESSIVELY AFTER 11-MONTH LAYOFF


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009) – Regarded as a leading Kentucky Derby prospect before finishing eleventh in last year’s Florida Derby, Elysium Fields resurfaced as a 4-year-old Thursday to score an impressive 1 ¾-length victory over pace-setter Fiery Trippi in Santa Anita’s $52,712 allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles.

With Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, Elysium Fields surged between horses in the closing yards to draw clear while covering the distance in 1:43.45 after the runner-up had set some pedestrian early fractions under Mike Smith that included a 49.33 half-mile.





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JOHN VELAZQUEZ WINS SANTA ANITA WOOLF AWARD


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009)—John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The Woolf Announcement was made Thursday on HRTV by retired Hall of Fame jockey and past Woolf winner Gary Stevens.

Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, this year marks the 60th presentation of one of racing’s most prestigious awards. The Woolf Award honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.





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Thursday, February 19 2009


PAST WINNERS MAY BE OVERMATCHED IN SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009) – Spring House, the defending champion, and Obrigado, the 2007 winner, are among 14 turf marathoners named to Sunday’s 53rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap, but neither is expected to be a top contender in the talented field going 1 ½ miles on turf at Santa Anita.

In addition to Obrigado, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale entered two others including 119-pound co-high weight Artiste Royal, winner of the Grade II San Marcos Handicap in his last start on Jan. 15 and a victor last June of Hollywood Park’s Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap.





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH, 2009


FRANKEL CALLS AUDIBLE, ENTERS ZAMBESI SUN IN SUNDAY’S SAN LUIS OBISPO

Zambesi Sun, a highly regarded Group 1 winner in Europe who had been scheduled to make his United States debut in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on Pro-Ride on March 7, instead has been entered in Sunday’s San Luis Obispo Handicap scheduled for 1 ½ miles on turf by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who still plans to run the English-bred horse in the Big ’Cap.

“I might have missed a little training, so this way it will be like a workout for him,” Frankel said of the English-bred son of the Danehill stallion Dansili. Asked if Zambesi Sun would still be a candidate for the Big ’Cap, Frankel said, “Of course. It shouldn’t take too much out of him, on the grass.”





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Tuesday, February 17 2009


GEORGIE BOY LOOKS LIKE STANDOUT SATURDAY IN SAN CARLOS HANDICAP


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2009) – Having demonstrated in the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions Sprint that he has returned to top form following a back injury that knocked him off the 2008 Triple Crown trail, California-bred Georgie Boy likely will be a heavy favorite Saturday in Santa Anita’s 71st running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.

As the 5-2 second choice in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions event, Georgie Boy closed strongly to win by 2 ½ lengths while displaying the talent that had taken him to successive victories in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, Grade II San Vicente Stakes and the Grade II San Felipe Stakes before being stymied by the back ailment in March.





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FILLY EVITA ARGENTINA TOPPLES BOYS IN SAN VICENTE


ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Don't cry for this lady.

Evita Argentina became the first filly in 62 years to win the Gr. II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes, beating the boys by one length Monday at Santa Anita.

Sent off as the 2-1 wagering favorite in the field of 10, Evita Argentina and jockey Garrett Gomez came flying down the middle of the track to hold off Leedstheway.





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WOOLF WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED THURSDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2009)—Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will announce the winner of the 2009 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award live on HRTV, this Thursday at approximately 2:05 p.m. Stevens, now retired, works as a full-time analyst on HRTV and was himself a Woolf winner in 1996.

Jockeys from across North America once again voted in this year’s balloting, choosing from a group of five finalists; Gary Baze, Calvin Borel, Javier Castellano, David Flores and John Velazquez.





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Monday, February 16 2009


STABLE NOTES, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH, 2009


MUTADDA INVADES FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Citing limited opportunities elsewhere and a penchant for seven furlongs, Tom Amoss is bringing Mutadda to Santa Anita for Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap.

“This looked like a good spot,” Amoss said by phone Monday morning from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales in Florida. “There wasn’t too much around and seven-eighths is his best distance.” Mutadda has two wins and a third in four starts at seven furlongs. He registered his first stakes victory in the restricted Gaudin Memorial at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 10. He has a 4-3-1 record from 15 career starts, with earnings of $171,959.





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LIFE IS SWEET DEFIES RACE CONDITIONS TO EXCEL IN GRADE II LA CANADA


ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2009) – A stunning winner of the Grade II El Encino Stakes in her first exposure to Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface, Life Is Sweet added a dramatic victory in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies while expanding upon a sudden rise to superiority.

What made this victory so impressive was her ability to rally so strongly from last after second-choice Bsharpsonata had set an extremely slow pace, a condition that generally is not suitable for come-from-behind runners.





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STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 2009


GEORGIE BOY IN A ZONE FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

Georgie Boy found his comfort zone when he won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs on Jan. 24. At least that’s the opinion of Garrett Gomez, who rode the California-bred son of Tribal Rule to a rail-skimming, 2 ¼-length victory in the $300,000 race.

The 4-year-old gelding was fourth in the Grade I Malibu Stakes a month before the Sunshine Millions. In the Malibu, Bob Black Jack was able to dictate the pace en route to a 2 ¼-length victory. Gomez expects Georgie Boy to hold his good form when he reunites with him in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.





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