July 17, 2013 |
There was primping, flirting, laughing, betting, drinking - and that was before the first race went off on opening day at Del Mar. In what has become the social event of the year in San Diego County, a crowd of 43,030, the largest to attend a horse race in California this year, showed up on Wednesday to create a party-like atmosphere complete with hats seemingly designed from an unknown civilization. "Oh my God. Look at this," one female track visitor said in awe of a hat that included an iron replica of the Eiffel Tower covered with flowers and feathers.
March 11, 2012 |
There were expressions of relief instead of elation in the Santa Anita winner's circle Saturday by 70-year-old trainer Mike Harrington even though his talented 3-year-old, Creative Cause, emerged victorious in the Grade II $300,000 San Felipe Stakes, beating Bodemeister by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile race. That's because Harrington has much bigger prizes in his sights - the April 7 Santa Anita Derby and the May 5 Kentucky Derby. And Creative Cause, a son of Giant's Causeway, is very much in the upper echelon of Derby contenders.
October 29, 2011 |
Horse racing's world championships take place next weekend in Kentucky, and trainer Donald Warren and owner Buddy Johnston wish their top handicap horse, Acclamation, could be running, but a foot issue has sent Acclamation to the sideline, so Saturday's $175,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita let them have some fun with their "B" team. Norvsky, a late-developing 5-year-old gelding who has been making steady improvement since being treated for ulcers, rallied for a neck victory over Lucky Primo under hot jockey Rafael Bejarano.
July 17, 2010 |
With the finishing line rapidly approaching in Saturday's Grade II, $196,000 Swaps Stakes, jockey Joel Rosario, aboard Skipshot, began to wonder whether his horse would have to settle for second place behind heavily favored Sidney's Candy in the 1 1/8-mile race. Sidney's Candy had opened a 1½-length lead with an eighth of a mile to go. But Rosario and Skipshot never gave up. A tiring Sidney's Candy, trying to go wire to wire, couldn't hold on. Skipshot, sent off at odds of 4-1, won by a head in the championship race for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park.
November 1, 2013 |
Once the Southern California hope for the Triple Crown, Goldencents emerged again spectacularly in the $1-million Dirt Mile on Friday in the opening day of the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita. The Doug O'Neill -trained horse, under a strategically perfect ride by Rafael Bejarano , started in the 11th spot of 11 starters, raced to the front under Bejarano's urging and held on well down the stretch, as Joel Rosario and Golden Ticket chased. Goldencents ended up winning by a decisive 23/4 lengths, and principal owner Glenn Sorgenstein said afterward that he had never doubted the horse, even after Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby and then didn't measure up in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, where the horse finished 17th and fifth.
December 14, 2013 |
Betfair Hollywood Park had its last big day of racing Saturday, and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had a big day. His 2-year-old, Shared Belief, owned in part by television personality Jim Rome, won the 33rd and final chapter of the CashCall Futurity, a $750,000 race that annually establishes at least one top prospect for the Kentucky Derby. It was the final chapter because its home, Hollywood Park, will close its doors after racing next Sunday. A real estate development is projected to replace the legendary Inglewood racing facility.
May 4, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, KY. - Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey is a man who looks like the embodiment of the nickname that is all anybody calls him by. Short and unassuming, he said this week he made an effort to enjoy the run-up to the Kentucky Derby, a race he has, like any trainer, dreamed of winning. But the Hall of Famer knew, really, that there's only one way to truly enjoy the Kentucky Derby: win it. Running over a sloppy Churchill Downs track that left 19 contenders caked in mud, McGaughey's horse Orb found stable footing and a late lead in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
April 7, 2012 |
Generally, post-race celebrations in the Winner's Circle at Santa Anita are fairly sedate, with maybe a dozen or so people posing for a photo with the victorious horse. But that certainly wasn't the case after I'll Have Another edged 9-10 favorite Creative Cause by a nose in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby before a crowd of 33,166 to establish himself as the West Coast's top representative in the Kentucky Derby on May 5. There were hundreds of rowdy people crammed together in the Winner's Circle.
October 3, 2011 |
They're back in the saddle again at Santa Anita. The thoroughfares around Arcadia have traffic heading for the thoroughbreds. For the next five weeks, the track where the turf meets the foothills will be all dressed up and ready to go. It was looking pretty fashionable Saturday, when the newly named Santa Anita Autumn Meeting held its second day of autumn racing against a backdrop of blue skies and picturesque mountains. It was the kind of day that might prompt racing officials to capture it in a bottle for later use. If this sport is dying, as we hear so often in the media from those who validate that theory by paying no attention to it, then it still keeps an occasional tight grip on the oxygen bottle.