April 3, 2009 |
The demons, Alex Solis says, would always come at night, when the house was quiet and he was alone with his thoughts. "There were so many times that I got up in the middle of the night and I was crying," he remembers. "I knew my mind was playing games with me and I didn't know how to deal with it." Arguably the best jockey in the country until a horrifying spill fractured his back and shattered his confidence nearly five years ago, Solis saw his career slipping away.
April 2, 2009 |
The chatter at Wednesday morning's Santa Anita Derby post-position draw was as much about rabbits as horses. When the starting positions were drawn, in a race that was expected to have about six horses and ended up with 10, much talk centered on a sprinter named Z Day. That was a big change from earlier discussions that had this Kentucky Derby prep gauged as a two-horse race -- The Pamplemousse versus Pioneerof The Nile.
March 15, 2009 |
The West Coast's top contender for the Kentucky Derby, Pioneerof the Nile, did nothing to lessen his reputation on Saturday by winning the Grade II $200,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by jockey Garrett Gomez, Pioneerof the Nile ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.35 to defeat Feisty Suances by 1 1/4 lengths in his final tuneup before the April 4 Santa Anita Derby. "He's becoming very professional," trainer Bob Baffert said of the 3-year-old son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker.
March 14, 2009 |
The West Coast's top Kentucky Derby contender, Pioneerof the Nile, will run in his final major prep before next month's Santa Anita Derby in today's $200,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. It's one of four Grade II races for 3-year-olds around the country, less than two months before the May 2 Kentucky Derby. Pioneerof the Nile, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Garrett Gomez, will be heavily favored in the small field of seven that could be reduced by late scratches.
February 7, 2009 |
When it comes to star power in thoroughbred racing, Stardom Bound ranks with the best, and the 3-year-old gray filly who sold for $5.7 million in November makes her 2009 debut under a new owner and new trainer in today's Grade I $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita. The one-mile test could send Stardom Bound on a path to challenging the males in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. It's her first start for IEAH Stables and trainer Rick Dutrow, who guided Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.
October 25, 2008 |
There is little left to say about Curlin and today's Breeders' Cup Classic. He is the rock star and this is his stage. Attendance at Santa Anita's picturesque race track could reach as high as 45,000, and lots of those will be Curlin groupies. They stretched this year's Breeders' Cup to two days, 14 races and $25.5 million in purses. But all of that will take a back seat to the grand finale. At about 3:45 p.m.
August 24, 2008 |
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Colonel John edged Mambo In Seattle in a photo finish Saturday to win the $1-million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Colonel John ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.20 and earned $600,000 for WinStar Farm. The Eoin Harty-trained horse paid $10.40, $5.40 and $4.30. Colonel John had not won a race since his victory in the Santa Anita Derby in April and finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Mambo In Seattle, ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $6.30 and $5.10.
May 1, 2008 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Generally, post positions in a horse race don't mean much, but when you're talking about a 20-horse field for Saturday's Kentucky Derby it helps to start somewhere in the middle. Using that rational, Colonel John got a leg up on Big Brown on Wednesday. Colonel John, the Santa Anita Derby winner, will start in post position 10, while Florida Derby winner Big Brown opens from the less desirable 20th slot. This is the 134th Kentucky Derby and the only previous winner from the No. 20 post was Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.
April 7, 2008 |
Mike Mitchell, John Sadler, Doug O'Neill and Bobby Frankel have won more races, but no trainer is finishing the Santa Anita winter-spring meet hotter than Carla Gaines. Gaines, whose 20 victories in Arcadia leave her fifth in the standings, has won with 11 of her last 15 starters after Tiz Elemental and Tiz A Blend won consecutive stakes races Sunday at Santa Anita.
April 6, 2008 |
The West Coast will be sending a strong contender to the Kentucky Derby in Colonel John, who picked up an army of supporters after an impressive, hard-charging victory in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday in front of 50,358 in Arcadia. "This is a very special horse," said co-owner Bill Casner shortly after Colonel John, fourth going into the stretch, reeled in Bob Black Jack to win by half a length. Coast Guard, a 19-1 shot, finished third.