Thursday, February 26 2009
George Woolf Award Ceromony Set for March 8th
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2009)—John Velazquez, winner of the 2009 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, will receive the prestigious honor at Santa Anita on Sunday, March 8, it was announced today.
In a ceremony between races, Velazquez will formally receive the Woolf Trophy and be surrounded by many former winners of the award, which was instituted by Santa Anita in 1950. By a vote of his peers nationwide, Velazquez was selected over four other finalists, Gary Baze, Calvin Borel, Javier Castellano and David Flores.
PALM SPRINGS PURSE WIN GIVES AIR FAIR ANOTHER FOR PAASCH
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009) – Switched to the stable of Christopher Paasch where she proceeded to break her maiden in her third start, Air Fair roared right back on Wednesday to run off with the $49,600 Palm Springs Purse for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
With Joel Rosario in the saddle, Air Fair bolted out of the pack inside the final sixteenth to defeat Play Nine by 1 ¾ lengths while the latter nosed out Waddup G in a photo for the place.
TWO-DAY CARRYOVER OF $704,945 AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009)—A massive two-day Pick Six carryover of $704,945 will await fans at Santa Anita on Thursday, with the prospect of the total pool exceeding $3 million by third-race post time.
Wednesday’s Pick Six began with race three, which went to French-bred Headache, with Julien Couton aboard returning $19.40 to win. Headache is trained by Leonard Powell, making for a French-bred connection of horse, rider and conditioner. The winning owners are Collet, Phung, Rosenthal and partners.
Wednesday, February 25 2009
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH, 2009
ZAMBEZI SUN JOINS FULL LINEUP FOR MARCH 7 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
Zambezi Sun, a disappointing seventh as the 9-10 favorite in his U.S. debut Sunday in the Grade II San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 ½ miles on turf, will wheel back two weeks later in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, Bobby Frankel said Wednesday morning.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “He didn’t run hard; he’s OK. I just got him fit enough to run (in the Big ‘Cap).”
Making his first start since the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France last Oct. 5, Zambezi Sun was very rank in the San Luis Obispo, stalking in second place into the stretch before he was overtaken. He was beaten only three lengths by victorious Spring House.
THE PAMPLEMOUSSE CAN PUT SOLIS CLOSER TO DERBY AIM IN SHAM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009) – Aiming for his first Kentucky Derby victory after three seconds in 15 career rides, 44-year-old Alex Solis attempts to move a notch closer on Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $200,000 Sham Stakes while riding heavily favored The Pamplemousse, a 3-year-old co-owned and selected at sale by his son, Alex II.
The Kentucky-bred son of Kafwain, purchased last March by a partnership for $150,000, will face eleven other 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the same distance as the April 5 Santa Anita Derby and one that would seem well suited for the gray colt, whose name translates to “grapefruit” in French.
Sunday, February 22 2009
SPRING HOUSE BECOMES SECOND REPEAT WINNER OF SAN LUIS OBISPO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009) – Spring House split horses in deep stretch and held off hard-charging Church Service by one-half length Sunday to become only the second back-to-back winner of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap while negotiating the 1 ½-mile distance on turf in 2:27.26, just five one-hundredths of a second slower than in the previous year’s 52nd running.
Alex Solis, who had ridden the 7-year-old gelding in his last two starts, was aboard as Spring House went off at odds of 7-1 after being dispatched as the 17-10 favorite in 2008 with Garrett Gomez in the saddle.
JOCKEYS, HOLY ANGELS CAGERS MEET FEB. 26
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009)—The 42nd annual Holy Angels/Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball game will take place Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. will serve as honorary captains. Delahoussaye and Pincay will be available to sign autographs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the La Salle High gymnasium.
“This game has been such a fun thing for all of us over the years,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “To have Eddie and Laffit involved again in this way as honorary captains I think helps to draw added attention to it and hopefully, it will help us raise more money for the athletic program at Holy Angels.”
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $169,419 INTO WEDNESDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009)—Due in large measure to a $117.00 winner, Santa Anita experienced its 19th Pick Six carryover from 44 racing days of racing on Sunday, as $169,419 will await Pick Six punters when racing resumes on Wednesday. It’s expected the total pool Wednesday could easily reach $1 million.
Moonlit Habit, with Alonso Quinonez aboard, was the third-longest priced runner in race five and returned $117.00 to win. Conditioned by Ruben Cardenas, the 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Malibu Moon took the $10,000 claiming event for owner L. Steve Keh.
Saturday, February 21 2009
GEORGIE BOY CONTINUES TO ROLL WITH HANDY SAN CARLOS WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2009) – Georgie Boy, who won three successive graded stakes before going to the sidelines as a 3-year-old last year, followed up his smashing victory in the Sunshine Millions Sprint with a rousing come-from-behind score Saturday as the odds-on favorite in Santa Anita’s 71st running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap while covering seven furlongs in 1:21.85.
After being settled into fourth position by Garrett Gomez in the field of six, Georgie Boy rallied strongly while on the extreme outside rounding the final the turn to defeat Halo Najib by 2 ¾ lengths with his ears pricked.
STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST, 2009
EXPENSIVE CLAIM BALFOUR PARK EYES NEXT SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES
Balfour Park, claimed for the rarified price of $100,000 last out by trainer Craig Lewis, likely will make his next start in the Grade III Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles next Saturday.
“More than likely (he’ll run),” Lewis said. Balfour Park, a Kentucky-bred son of the Seeking the Gold sire Mutakddim, has raced only three times, breaking his maiden in the $100,000 race at one mile on Jan. 28.
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.
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.