In a sign of potential trouble for California horse racing, trainer John Shirreffs, who guided Zenyatta to prominence, has decided to move to Belmont Park in New York with a stable of horses at the end of April.
"Belmont Park has been wonderful to me," Shirreffs said Saturday after his 3-year-old, Omega Star, won the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes at Santa Anita.
Shirreffs has been based at Hollywood Park, which could be closing at the end of this year. Shirreffs said an assistant trainer will also be in charge of horses at Santa Anita.
Shirreffs said he would return to Santa Anita in the winter.
"I'm going to try it," Shirreffs said of his East Coast move.
Jockey Joe Talamo rode three winners on Saturday at Santa Anita, including Omega Star's nose victory over Fighting Hussar in the 6 1/2-furlong Echo Eddie Stakes.