November 27, 2009 |
One word sums up perfectly this weekend's Turf Festival of horse racing at Hollywood Park. Bittersweet. The sweet part is easy. Zenyatta will be in public again. The retired 5-year-old, a lady who became the ultimate champ with her stirring victory in the recent Breeders' Cup Classic, will parade after the seventh race Sunday. Exercise rider Steve Willard will bring her up the main straightaway and guide her back across the finish line one more time. As in all of her 14 races in a career that marked her as one of the best ever, no other horse will be in front of her. She will make one more familiar stop in the winner's circle, and regular jockey Mike Smith will climb aboard.
March 30, 2013 |
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.
July 19, 2011 |
Opening day at Del Mar has become horse racing's version of the Academy Awards, producing lots of glitz, glamour and most of all, big crowds. There were 45,309 at last year's opener, and Wednesday's first day of Del Mar's 37-day summer meeting figures to offer another party-like atmosphere that includes spectators wearing lots of colorful hats during a 10-race program. A capacity field of 10 is entered, with four also-eligibles, in the featured race, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile on the turf.
May 23, 2009 |
To the casual observer of horse racing, last Saturday's Preakness was the equivalent of the female cheerleader, coming off the sideline and smacking around the middle linebacker. The girl beat the boys. Rachel Alexandra successfully tackled the testosterone. If Manny was watching, he might use it as a talking point with Bud Selig. Females beating males makes horse racing somewhat unusual in sports, unless you are talking curling, sailing or dogs shows.
June 13, 1995 |
Eduardo Inda, who has been trainer Ron McAnally's assistant for about 24 years, is leaving to train for owner Marshall Naify's 505 Farms. Inda, who will have 25-30 horses in his care, will retain John Shirreffs, who has been training for Naify, as his assistant. Dan Landers, who had worked as an assistant to Jay Robbins, will become McAnally's assistant. * Jockey Chris Antley, tied for sixth in the Hollywood Park standings with 19 victories, has decided to change agents.
June 18, 2005 |
Giacomo, the upset winner of the Kentucky Derby, will undergo surgery in the coming week to remove a small bone chip from his left front ankle. He almost certainly won't run again in 2005. The problem was discovered after X-rays were taken Wednesday -- part of a thorough examination trainer John Shirreffs requested after the 3-year-old son of Holy Bull finished seventh in the Belmont Stakes a week ago today.
May 18, 2005 |
In his final workout for Saturday's Preakness at Pimlico, Giacomo, the Kentucky Derby winner, went a half-mile in :51 4/5 on Tuesday at Churchill Downs. When post positions are drawn today, 14 horses are expected to be entered for the middle leg of the Triple Crown. Trainer Nick Zito, who had already committed Sun King and Noble Causeway to the race, added High Fly after that colt worked a half-mile in :50 1/5 at Churchill. Zito said that Rafael Bejarano will ride High Fly.
December 16, 2011 |
Always count on Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to have a few 2-year-olds ready for the richest Grade I event of the Hollywood Park autumn meeting, the $750,000 CashCall Futurity set for Saturday at the Inglewood track. Baffert has won the race a record five times, and he's scheduled to send out Drill, Liaison and Sky Kingdom in a race that has attracted 13 entrants at 1 1/16 miles on the Cushion Track. In 2009, Baffert won the race with Lookin At Lucky, who went on to become the 3-year-old champion.
January 6, 2009 |
Santa Anita officials have begun an urgent inspection and evaluation of its synthetic Pro-Ride surface after five breakdowns, including three fatalities, of horses in the first two weeks of its winter meeting. "There is some concern," track spokesman Mike Willman said. "We were absolutely surprised."