Friday, February 06 2009
WITCHY MEETING FLIES HOME TO UPSET AT 14-1 IN SPRINT FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2009) – After being sidelined since March of last year, 14-1 shot Witchy Meeting mounted a furious closing rally Friday with leading rider Rafael Bejarano at the controls to capture Santa Anita’s $48,800 allowance feature for California-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Ahead of just one horse turning into the stretch, the 5-year-old daughter of General Meeting overhauled six others while running past Unworldly Heat in the final yards to emerge with a three-quarter length victory. The winning time was 1:09.91.
SATURDAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $85,768
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2009)—On an afternoon that at times produced intense rain and intermittent periods of meteorological calm, Santa Anita’s Pick Six once again proved an elusive proposition, resulting in a carryover into Saturday of $85,768. Friday’s carryover marked the 14th such occurrence from 32 days of racing.
Leg one in the Friday Pick Six was the third race and it went to longshot A Big To’do, returning 28.80 to win under Brice Blanc. Originally scheduled to be run on turf, the race was transferred to Santa Anita’s Pro Ride synthetic main track, which appeared to weather the rain with no problems. A Big To’Do is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH, 2009
MOSSES EAGER FOR TIAGO’S 2009 DEBUT IN SAN ANTONIO HANDICAP
Nothing can match the thrill of winning the Kentucky Derby, but for Jerry and Ann Moss, who etched a place in history when their Giacomo registered a stunning 50-1 upset in 2005, winning is never monotonous, no matter the race.
The excitement will be at a lower pitch than it was after Giacomo’s stirring victory, but on Sunday, the anticipation for the Mosses will be just as great when their Tiago runs in the Grade II, $200,000 San Antonio Stakes, a major prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.
FIRE WOOD STRIKES OFF CLAIM BY MITCHELL IN LONG WALK HOME
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2009) – After being claimed by trainer Mike Mitchell for $32,000 in his last start, 7-2 fourth-choice Fire Wood closed strongly Thursday to defeat Isipingo by a neck in Santa Anita’s $52,800 Long Walk Home Purse, a first condition allowance for older horses, at 1 ¼ miles.
His late charge timed perfectly by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, the 7-year-old gelding covered the classic distance over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface in 2:03.34 while providing Mitchell, the meet’s leading trainer, with his second win of the afternoon.
Thursday, February 05 2009
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH, 2009
TRIPLE CROWN EXCITEMENT BEGINS WITH SATURDAY’S ROBERT B. LEWIS
Nothing in Thoroughbred racing captures the fancy of mainstream America like classic 3-year-olds. They are racing’s rock stars, each on a stage their connections hope will lead to gold and glory in the world’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, this year to be run on May 2.
But first things first.
TIAGO SET FOR SAN ANTONIO, FACES CHAMPS ELYSEES, WELL ARMED
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2009) – Multi-millionaire Tiago, freshened since closing swiftly for third in Oak Tree’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 25, returns to action Sunday in Santa Anita’s 71st running of the Grade II, $200,000 San Antonio Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.
Jerry and Ann Moss’s 5-year-old homebred son of Pleasant Tap will be confronted by a pair of millionaires, defending champion Well Armed and the versatile Champs Elysees, among eleven entrants in the event that can serve as a final stepping stone to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, set for March 7.
MODIFICATION ADAPTS TO ROUTE IN LOS ANGELES ZOO PURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2009) – Modification, a 4-year-old filly who had routed but once previously and that was without success on grass, stormed from behind Wednesday to run off with the $58,816 Los Angeles Zoo Purse at one mile over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.
Despite being caught extremely wide rounding the first turn and into the stretch, Modification proved much the best under jockey Rafael Bejarano, defeating 2-1 favorite Carmel Coffee by 1 ¾ lengths in the second condition allowance event for older fillies and mares. The winning time was 1:37.90.
THURSDAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER,
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2009)—Although post time favorites have been winning at a roughly 33 percent clip, Santa Anita experienced the 13th carryover of its 30-day winter/spring meet on Wednesday, with $84,478 set to roll into Thursday’s Pick Six pool.
With average field size at 10 starters per race, Wednesday’s Pick Six got off to a rollicking start, as Kayla Stra booted home her first winner of the meet in race three. Aboard the Jim Cassidy-conditioned Tallahsocean for the first time, Stra guided the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Ocean Sound to a $38.60 upset.
Saturday Stakes Advances
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2009) – Four graded stakes races on Saturday at Santa Anita include a pair that could lead to a highly compelling clash in the April 4 Santa Anita Derby as 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and California’s most accomplished male Triple Crown prospect, Pioneerof the Nile, make their 3-year-old debuts.
Stardom Bound, so dominant as a juvenile filly in 2008 that she commanded a sales price of $5.7 million in November, makes her first start for IEAH Stables and Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in the 27th running of the Grade I, $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH, 2009
BROTHER KEITH STAYS HOME FOR LEWIS; STARDOM BOUND IN 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
Bobby Frankel, who had been wavering between Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds the same day for Triple crown prospect Brother Keith, entered the son of Johar in the Grade II Lewis, a major steppingstone to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
“There are a lot of horses in the Risen Star (13 were entered) and I’d have had to ship,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, Santa Anita’s career leader in victories with 906.
Monday, February 02 2009
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST, 2009
BAFFERT HOPES LEWIS LEADS TO DERBY FOR PIONEEROF THE NILE
Bob Baffert has been down the Kentucky Derby trail before, has a well-worn path on it, as a matter of fact. The 56-year-old trainer has started 17 horses in the Run for the Roses, winning with three: Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, and War Emblem in 2002, but has not had a starter the past two years. Baffert missed by a desperate nose with his first Derby starter, Cavonnier, in 1996.
IRISH-BRED PASAR SILBANO GAINS FIRST U.S. WIN IN LA HABRA STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2009) – Irish-bred Pasar Silbano, making her second United States start, burst to the front a couple of furlongs into Santa Anita’s 36th running of the Grade III, La Habra Stakes on Sunday and proceeded to dominate the 6 ½-furlong turf event for 3-year-old fillies.
With Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the irons, the bay filly owned by Three Chimneys Racing maintained a safe margin throughout the late stages before reaching the wire 1 ¾ lengths ahead of 77-1 longshot Gold Goddess with Real Fancy Runner another neck back in third.