March 15, 2008 |
It was a frightening sight. A horse that moments earlier was leading a race lay dead on the track, the victim of a heart attack, and his jockey, 25-year-old Rafael Bejarano, was crumpled in a heap next to the rail as medical personnel rushed to the scene. "The first thing you worry about is the health of the jockey," Kathy Walsh said Friday. "There's always another race."
July 16, 2013 |
Opening day at Del Mar is set for Wednesday, and it's the one day of the year when Southern California horse racing fans forget about any troubles surrounding the sport. Fans come out en masse (attendance on opening day was 47,339 last year), colorful hats pop up as if it were the Kentucky Derby and fields are so full that no one worries whether there's a shortage of horses. As usual, the opening day $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile on the turf has been split into two divisions, the sixth and ninth races on a 10-race card, after 22 horses were entered.
March 16, 2008 |
The ending was much happier for jockey Michael Baze in his second collaboration with Georgie Boy on Saturday at Santa Anita. Replacing the injured Rafael Bejarano on the 7-5 favorite in the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes, Baze got the money in the Grade II with a fast finish to defeat 7-2 third choice Gayego by three-quarters of a length. Given the nod by owner-breeder George Schwary and trainer Kathy Walsh to ride the Tribal Rule gelding after Bejarano was hurt in a spill on Thursday, Baze is now one for two on Georgie Boy. In his debut under Baze last June 16 at Hollywood Park, Georgie Boy was third as the 4-5 favorite.
October 30, 2005 |
A winner of three of four starts in the U.S., Stage Shy will make her first start in well over a year in today's $100,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Santa Anita. Trained by Neil Drysdale for Swettenham Stud, the 5-year-old Theatrical mare hasn't been seen since she won a $75,000 allowance by three lengths on Aug. 23, 2004, at Del Mar.
November 2, 2012 |
If Game On Dude is going to win the horse-of-the-year award, then Saturday's $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita is an ideal setting to make a lasting impression. A year after leading in the stretch and being overtaken by the late charge of Drosselmeyer at Churchill Downs, Game On Dude will try again to win the Classic, but this time the 5-year-old son of Awesome Again has a home-track advantage. So far, Game On Dude is a perfect five for five at Santa Anita. "You want to win the Breeders' Cup, you have to bring your A game that day," Game On Dude's trainer Bob Baffert said.
January 31, 2010 |
It was the experience of horse and jockey, combined with racing luck, that enabled 7-year-old Bold Chieftain and 51-year-old Russell Baze to come away victorious Saturday in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita. Baze, the all-time leader in races won in North America, faced a traffic jam in the stretch but found an opening and sent Bold Chieftain through it for a neck victory over Palladio in the 1 1/8 -mile race. Unusual Smoke was third. "We were in tight," Baze said.
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.
February 28, 2013 |
For the first time in its 76-year history, the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap will feature two past winners — last year's Ron The Greek and 2011 champion Game On Dude. "I'm confident my horse is going to run a big race," said Bob Baffert, who trains Game On Dude. That certainty about the 6/5 favorite for the $750,000 Big 'Cap on Saturday is rooted in Game On Dude's recent performances, a 1 1/4-length win in the $250,000 Native Diver Stakes on Dec. 1 and a more-impressive 6 1/2-length triumph Feb. 3 in the $196,000 San Antonio Stakes.
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.