October 16, 2011 |
California is home to more racetracks than any other state, with four dominant tracks and a dozen lesser venues, such as state fairs, where thoroughbreds line up shoulder to shoulder. The majors tend to be tributes to Old California. Each of the Big Four has its own bloodlines and vibe. As Santa Anita holds its fall season, and Hollywood Park and Golden Gate Fields follow soon, here's a look at what makes them distinct and how to get the most for your money - at least till it comes to betting the trifecta.
September 7, 2011 |
Lucrative purses, large fields, good crowds, new standouts — it made for a memorable 37-day race meeting that ended Wednesday at Del Mar. From the emergence of Acclamation as a horse-of-the-year candidate to the unveiling of promising 2-year-olds, Del Mar produced quality races and quality entertainment. It started with a record crowd of 46,588 on opening day, and the fans kept coming, averaging 17,844 in daily on-track attendance. The highest overnight purses of any meeting this summer, plus incentives for owners to ship in horses from out of state, created rare full fields in Southern California racing, something that Hollywood Park and Santa Anita have struggled to accomplish.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2011 |
Al Azus never forgot the one bright spot in his darkest hour. It was 1953 and his young wife had died from tuberculosis, leaving him with two toddlers. He lost his family's house, then he lost his livelihood and finally he lost his children too. Azus said he had no choice but to place his 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son in foster care administered by a Los Angeles family services agency. The youngsters' two-year placement allowed Azus to begin rebuilding his life.
August 28, 2011 |
From Del Mar — When the smoke cleared from Sunday's $1-million TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar, a thoroughbred that hadn't been in the conversation suddenly emerged as a candidate for horse of the year. No, his selection won't be by acclamation, even though that is this smooth-striding, 5-year-old's name. The grand Eclipse Award at the end of the year is always a grand juggle for voters who must consider Triple Crown-race winners and Breeders' Cup stars, among others. But Acclamation's victory Sunday, on another perfect Del Mar day, before 29,267, in the third of Southern California's three main races for older horses, had to turn some heads.
August 27, 2011 |
The richest day of the prestigious annual Del Mar thoroughbred meeting will take place Sunday, and it will feature three races totaling $1.45 million in purses, led by the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic. The Classic will go off as the ninth race on an 11-race card. It will be preceded by the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap, the third race of the day, and the $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes, the fifth race of the day. The Classic is run over 11/4 miles on the main synthetic track; the Handicap 13/8 miles on the turf and the Pat O'Brien seven furlongs on the main track.
August 23, 2011 |
If your prevailing image of thoroughbred racing in Southern California is a Thursday afternoon at Hollywood Park, when the empty seats outnumber the live bodies by about 30,000, then be open to another look. It is August at Del Mar. It is also five days to the Pacific Classic. There used to be several million-dollar thoroughbred races in Southern California. Now, there are only the Santa Anita Derby and the Pacific Classic. Although the Santa Anita Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup are competitive counterparts, there is something fitting about the Pacific Classic being one of two remaining big guys, at least dollar-wise.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2011 |
Along with the regular catalogs, donation requests and bills, Heidi Patricola received a special delivery this week: A tax form sent from her Corona del Mar restaurant was returned — 21 years after it was mailed. Pieces of the coffee-brown W-2 peeked out from the moth-nibbled edges. The crumbling envelope in a plastic slip also included an apology from the U.S. Postal Service for the late "return to sender. " "We were just amused, really," Patricola said. The Italian restaurant, Rothschild's, has been in the Reiss family for 35 years.
August 7, 2011
A little bit of Italy Location: 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates 90274 Asking price: $10.9 million Previous sale: $8.65 million in 2007 House size: The house has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms in more than 10,000 square feet, including rooms off the pool and a mechanical/storage room. Lot size: Almost an acre Additional features: Library, media room, family room, three laundry rooms, three-car garage, spa, elevator Around the neighborhood: In the first half of the year, 141 single-family homes sold in the 90274 ZIP Code at a median price of $1,475,000, according to DataQuick.
July 28, 2011 |
Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego is marking the opening of the Del Mar horse-racing season with a package that includes tickets, racing forms and even two mint juleps. The deal is pricey -- it starts at $475 a night -- but it saves a bit if you're up for a splurge and love the ponies. -- The deal: The Del Mar racetrack , which dates to 1937, opened last week for its 2011 season. The Day at the Races package includes two Stretch Run reserved seats at the racetrack (worth $10)
July 20, 2011 |
From Del Mar — There was a traffic jam at a horse race Wednesday. It took some people hours to get in. It was real Carmageddon, not some overdone media concoction. It was wonderful. Del Mar opened and they came. The attendance was 46,588. That was the largest crowd in Del Mar history, topping last year's opening day 45,309. There is a trend here, and racing traditionalists may not like it. But racing traditionalists will be building little new tradition the way their sport is going, with weekday crowds averaging around 2,500 at places such as Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, places that used to be magnets for sports fans.