Sunday, February 22 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.