Thursday, March 05 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 2009
REDDAM MULLS SANTA ANITA HANDICAP FOR RED ROCKS
Red Rocks, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2006 and the Grade I Man o’ War Stakes on turf at Belmont Park last July, could make his first start on a surface other than grass in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.
“He’s going to breeze Saturday (five furlongs at Payson Park in Florida) and then we’ll think about it,” trainer Mark Hennig said by phone late Thursday. “Paul’s never shy about taking a shot,” Hennig continued, referring to owner J. Paul Reddam. “He’s expressed some interest.”
Red Rocks, a 6-year-old Irish-bred horse by the Sadler’s Wells sire, Galileo, has a 6-4-3 record from 21 starts, with earnings of more than $2.8 million.
YOU GOT ME ROCKING STEALS YOSEMITE PURSE IN 7-1 UPSET
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2009) – A 7-1 shot owned by Jane and Burt Bacharach, You Got Me Rocking took command at once and gradually widened to a 4 ¼-length upset Thursday in Santa Anita’s $56,800 Yosemite Purse as 3-5 favorite Midships finished off the board in the mile-and-one-eighth turf competition.
With Tyler Baze in the saddle, You Got Me Rocking completed the distance in 1:46.12 after dictating moderate fractions that included the first half-mile in 47.85 and six furlongs in 1:11.35.
BROTHER KEITH FINDS COZY SPOT IN SUNDAY’S BALDWIN STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2009) – Brother Keith, who has chased leading 3-year-olds Pioneerof the Nile and The Pamplemousse while routing in his last two starts, moves into more comfortable surroundings when facing seven other sophomores in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Baldwin Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
The Johar colt, trained by Bobby Frankel for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, had broken his maiden by 2 ¼ lengths while going 6 ½ furlongs over Churchill Downs main track in his debut last November. He subsequently ran fourth behind The Pamplemousse in Santa Anita’s Grade III San Rafael Stakes at one mile and seventh after setting the pace in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes won by Pioneerof the Nile at 1 1/16 miles.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH, 2009
COLONEL JOHN ON TRACK FOR MARCH 7 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
A full field with ample speed is in prospect for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, and that’s encouraging news for Eoin Harty, who trains stretch runner Colonel John.
Winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Derby and the Grade I Travers Stakes as a 3-year-old last year, Colonel John worked seven furlongs on Pro-Ride Wednesday in 1:25.40.
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.