Friday, January 16 2009
SUNSHINE MILLIONS RELEASE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009)—The seventh annual Sunshine Millions will be run at both Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 24, and a total of 126 horses was pre-entered Wednesday in the eight-race event that pits Florida-bred horses against California-breds with $3.6 million in purse money at stake.
The $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs for 4-year-olds and up figures to highlight the day’s racing at Santa Anita as four Gr. I winners, three of them California-bred, were among 18 horses pre-entered. Santa Anita will also host the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff, for fillies and mares aged four and up at 1 1/16 miles; the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; and the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
COUNTRY STAR OUT TO REESTABLISH GRADED STATUS IN EL ENCINO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009) – Darley Stable’s Country Star, a winner of two Grade I stakes as a 2-year-old but off-the-board in a pair last year, seeks to reestablish her graded status Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Rafael Bejarano will be in the saddle for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel when the Kentucky-bred daughter of Empire Maker faces eleven of her peers in the event that last year launched a seven-race winning streak for Horse of the Year candidate Zenyatta.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 15TH, 2009
A RACING RARITY FOR GOMEZ AS HE PURSUES ANOTHER MONEY CROWN
Garrett Gomez has ridden more than 18,000 races in a career dating more than 20 years, but he had to think twice when asked if he had ever ridden horses in three straight stakes races on the same day at the same race track that he had never ridden before.
That could happen Saturday at Santa Anita. The 37-year-old jockey, in line for his second straight Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding rider, is scheduled to ride Evita Argentina for John Sadler in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies; Brother Keith for Bobby Frankel in the Grade III San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds; and Dakota Phone for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Grade II San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds.
Thursday, January 15 2009
ROYAL TAAT SCORES; PICK SIX CARRIES OVER TO THURSDAY AT $103,255
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2009) – Even though 8-5 second-choice Royal Taat took the afternoon’s featured Sierra Madre Purse, upsets marked Wednesday’s Pick Six races at Santa Anita, resulting in a carryover of $103,255 into Thursday’s program, the seventh carryover in 15 days of racing this season.
After finishing off-the-board in the Grade III Monrovia Handicap on New Year’s Day, New Zealand-bred Royal Taat resumed her winning ways by closing strongly to run off with the $57,800 Sierra Madre for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
SQUARE EDDIE TAKES DEAD AIM ON TRIPLE CROWN IN SAN RAFAEL SATURDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2009) – Preparations for this year’s Triple Crown begin in earnest on Saturday at Santa Anita with the Grade III, $100,000 San Rafael Stakes part of a graded stakes tripleheader that includes a pair of Grade II events, the $150,000 San Fernando for 4-year-olds and the $150,000 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies.
Square Eddie, runner-up to Midshipman as the 7-2 favorite in October’s
$2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, likely will be an odds-on choice among eight 3-year-olds in the one-mile San Rafael, a race that has produced six Santa Anita Derby winners during the past 19 years.
Wednesday, January 14 2009
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2009
SQUARE EDDIE EYES WINNER’S CIRCLE IN SATURDAY’S SAN RAFAEL
Lane’s End Futurity winner Square Eddie, second to Midshipman in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Oak Tree last Oct. 25, makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday in the San Rafael Stakes, a one-mile test that trainer Doug O’Neill hopes will propel the son of Smart Strike to the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
"He's doing fantastic. He looks great, full of energy,” O’Neill said from his Hollywood Park headquarters Wednesday morning. “We gave him 83 days between the Breeders' Cup and the San Rafael, so he's been freshened and he looks ready to roll."
Monday, January 12 2009
BAFFERT RUNS THREE, TAKES SANTA YSABEL WITH 24-1 CENTURY PARK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2009) – Century Park, the second longest price in the field at 24-1 and clearly the least fancied of trainer Bob Baffert’s three entrants, ran off with Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on Sunday.
After a brief scramble for the early lead, Century Park took control under jockey Tyler Baze, was able to dictate the tempo with moderate fractions, and had enough in reserve to deter hard-charging 3-1 favorite Haka by one length.
OWNER, ANALYST/HANDICAPPER JEFF SEIGEL AVAILABLE DAILY AT SANTAANITA.COM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2009)—HRTV’s Jeff Seigel has been called many things during his nearly 40-year career in Thoroughbred racing: owner, breeder, publicist, television analyst and perhaps most importantly, Southern California’s most entertaining handicapper. All of these descriptions will serve fans well when they visit Seigel’s daily horse racing blog at http://www.SantaAnita.com
“The blog is a work in progress,” said the always-upbeat Seigel. “We’re going to be adding things every week, but for now, I will have a daily handicap and analysis of the following day’s races up the night before race-day.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, JANUARY 11TH, 2009
BROTHER KEITH, SQUARE EDDIE MEET IN SATURDAY’S SAN RAFAEL
Brother Keith, winner of his only start, steps into graded company next Saturday in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes at one mile, an important prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
“You gotta try him someplace,” Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said. When it was suggested he might go through his conditions, rather than face the likes of Lane’s End Futurity winner Square Eddie, Frankel countered: “Maybe the races won’t go. I got to get him started.”
Sunday, January 11 2009
COWBOY CAL WITHSTANDS INQUIRY TO CAPTURE SAN PASQUAL BY NOSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009) – Cowboy Cal, second in four stakes races since his last win on New Year’s Day of 2008, withstood an inquiry Saturday to triumph by a nose over 28-1 longshot Informed in Santa Anita’s 72nd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.26.
With Eastern-based John Velasquez in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher, 5-2 second-choice Cowboy Cal assumed command soon after the start. Despite drifting out in deep stretch, he gamely denied the closing surge of Informed, well-beaten at 44-1 in his only previous stakes try after being claimed for $25,000 last June.
ON-LINE SHOWVIVOR RETURNS TO SANTA ANITA JAN. 17TH
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009)—Santa Anita’s popular on-line handicapping contest “ShowVivor,” will once again be available for fans to play beginning Saturday, Jan. 17.
The contest will feature $5,000 in prize money, with a $3,000 award going to the top finisher. Prizes will also be awarded to the first runner up ($1,500) and the second runner up ($500). Participation is free of charge and contestants will be required to select one horse per day to finish first, second or third in a race of the player’s choice. If a selection finishes lower than third, that player is eliminated. All selections must be registered on-line no later than 10 minutes before first post time at Santa Anita.
STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 10TH, 2009
CASSE PLANS TO MAKE HIS MARK ON PRO-RIDE AT SANTA ANITA
Mark Casse has moved a division from the cold clime of Canada to sunny Southern California, and he’s loving it.
“We had 17 horses here when the meet first started, but within the next 10 days, we’ll probably have 30, 32,” Casse said on a “Chamber of Commerce” morning at Santa Anita Saturday. “There were a lot of reasons I brought horses in from Woodbine,” continued the 47-year-old Casse, a native of Indianapolis who is in his 30th year of training. “We’ve been struggling the last few years as we changed our program, and I train for some pretty big people who have a lot of well-bred horses.