October 31, 2012 |
The Breeders' Cup comes to Santa Anita this week without a superstar like Zenyatta, and it's also missing the injured Triple Crown race winners from this year, I'll Have Another and Union Rags. So why watch? "Because the best horses in the world are running over a two-day period and because there'll be some good racin'," said veteran trainer Tom Proctor, who nears his 5,000th start by sending 9-2 shot Marketing Mix, with jockey Garrett Gomez, to the $2-million Filly and Mare Turf on Friday.
October 14, 2012 |
On Cal Cup Day at Santa Anita, jockey Tyler Baze earned his biggest win yet in his racing comeback, guiding Lucky Primo to a half-length victory over Got Even in the $175,000 Cal Cup Classic at 1 1/16 miles. Baze, 29, hadn't ridden since August of 2011 because of substance abuse problems. He had his first mount on Oct. 5, and he said he "couldn't be better" as he seeks to regain his place in the jockey colony. Trainer Joshua Litt said past success with Baze persuaded him to give him a shot.
September 29, 2012 |
Saturday at Santa Anita was a great day for Bob Baffert, for Baffert fans, and for fans of soap opera drama. Baffert, a long-proven masterful trainer of thoroughbreds, won three of the five Grade I races, each worth $250,000, that qualified the winner for an all-expenses-paid trip and entry into the Breeders' Cup. The other two? He didn't have an entry. For Baffert, that "all-expenses-paid" gimmick is more like a bonus. His owners still get the money, but the trip from Baffert's barn to the Santa Anita track, where the Breeders' Cup will be held this year and next, is a couple of hundred yards.
June 30, 2012 |
There were tears in the winner's circle Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park after 10-1 longshot Camp Victory won the Grade I $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap by 31/4 lengths over The Factor. Camp Victory's trainer, Mike Mitchell, underwent surgery Friday for a brain tumor. "He called me this morning," said one of Camp Victory's owners, Lynne Miller. "I didn't know if I was ever going to talk to him again. It was so good for Mike. He's cracking jokes. " Mitchell was watching the race from a computer in the intensive care unit of USC Medical Center.
January 7, 2012 |
Jockey Garrett Gomez turned 40 on New Year's Day, which only means he's getting wiser and better based on the way he has been riding at Santa Anita. He has become the jockey to bet on in stakes races, winning his fourth in a row and sixth in nine days at Santa Anita on Saturday. Gomez guided 10-1 longshot Out Of Bounds to a half-length victory over 1-2 favorite Secret Circle in the Grade III $100,000 Sham Stakes, the first major West Coast prep race for 3-year-olds seeking a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
December 26, 2011 |
Trainer John Shirreffs said he was eating at a Pasadena restaurant Christmas day when he overheard a bartender ask another worker, "Are you going to the races tomorrow?" That might have been a clue to the interest in opening day at Santa Anita, where on Monday the on-track attendance was 44,579, the largest opening-day crowd since 1994. It resulted in traffic jams, filled parking lots and long lines for bathrooms, beer and betting. "I think it's so much fun," Shirreffs said.