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Santa Anita Handicap Horse Race

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March 4, 1998 | BOB MIESZERSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There was one constant during the early part of Santa Anita's 1977-78 meeting, something to which current horseplayers and Californians in general can relate: Lots and lots of rain. For 18 of the first 19 days that season in Arcadia, the main track was off and, by the end of the meeting, the track had been something other than fast on 38 of 78 days.
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SPORTS
March 9, 2014 | BILL DWYRE
The deciding moment in Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap couldn't have been more perfectly scripted. The horses' names described the action. At the head of the stretch, a big-time challenger, last year's Eclipse Award winner as top 3-year-old in the country, gathered for a run at the leader, a length or so in front and to his left. Will Take Charge was ready to do exactly that, just as he had done last November in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. But in front, the response quickly became clear.
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SPORTS
March 4, 1988 | Jim Murray
The Kentucky Derby is America's race. It has Stephen Foster, mint juleps, bluegrass, the Run for the Roses, Col. Matt Winn and David Harum, an entry that's pretty hard to beat. Tied for second would be the Preakness and the Belmont. But the Santa Anita Handicap is California's race. It always has been and always will be. The run for the geraniums. It was the audacious idea of Dr. Charles Henry Strub in the bleak Depression year of 1935.
SPORTS
March 4, 2007 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Barely a teenager, Doug O'Neill was one of the 72,752 who was present when John Henry, with the help of the stewards, became the first two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap in 1982. Accompanied by a friend, and after taking three buses from Santa Monica to get to the Arcadia track, O'Neill watched from the infield while history was made -- thanks to original winner Perrault's number being taken down -- by an extremely popular gelding.
SPORTS
March 4, 1990 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Quiet American, a 4-year-old colt who has run only six times and never won a stake, is still the 4-1 second choice--behind the filly Bayakoa at 3-1--in the morning line for today's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. Trainer Wayne Lukas finds this incongruous, especially since Criminal Type, his Big 'Cap starter, has won two stakes at Santa Anita this season and is listed at 5-1. "Maybe this is one of those media horses," Lukas said, referring to Quiet American.
SPORTS
March 1, 2001 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
John Toffan was asked which is the easier adjustment for a horse, going from grass to dirt or making the switch from dirt to grass. "I wish I knew," Toffan said. Toffan, his partner Trudy McCaffery and their trainer Paco Gonzalez will find out more about the grass-to-dirt conversion Saturday, when their turf-loving 5-year-old, Bienamado, tackles horse of the year Tiznow and a gang of 10 others in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap.
SPORTS
March 6, 1999 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Forget about today's race. Santa Anita ought to be selling tickets for Silver Charm's workouts. In preparing for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Silver Charm worked a mile against his stablemate and fellow Kentucky Derby winner, Real Quiet; then, five days later, Silver Charm worked five furlongs in a torrid 57 seconds, faster than the track record.
SPORTS
March 4, 1999 | BOB MIESZERSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Preparing for another assault on the Santa Anita Handicap, Richard Mandella wasn't aware he has a chance to make history on Saturday. After winning the $1-million event with Siphon in 1997 and Malek a year ago, Mandella can become the first trainer to win Santa Anita's richest and most famous race three consecutive years. Mandella will be well represented on Saturday.
SPORTS
March 5, 1999 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even though last year's winner, Malek, will be on the sidelines, the 62nd Santa Anita Handicap is being billed as one of the toughest runnings of the race. Top to bottom in the six-horse field, there are no throw-outs. "It's the best [Big 'Cap] in 15 years," said Gary Stevens, who first rode in Santa Anita's signature race in 1985. "There have been years when you've had one or two top horses, and there have been years when you've had no superstars at all.
SPORTS
March 1, 2007 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Lava Man has won eight races in a row in California, with three of them at Santa Anita. Even so, the 6-year-old gelding didn't really scare anybody away from the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, which will be run for the 70th time late Saturday afternoon. Eight other older horses entered the 1 1/4 -mile race Wednesday morning, hoping to keep Lava Man from making history.
SPORTS
March 1, 2007 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Lava Man has won eight races in a row in California, with three of them at Santa Anita. Even so, the 6-year-old gelding didn't really scare anybody away from the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, which will be run for the 70th time late Saturday afternoon. Eight other older horses entered the 1 1/4 -mile race Wednesday morning, hoping to keep Lava Man from making history.
SPORTS
March 4, 2006 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Dan Hendricks will have to wait another year to saddle his first starter in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. The trainer was going to run Top This And That in the Grade I, which will be run for the 69th time today, but a foot problem discovered Wednesday morning kept Hendricks from entering the 4-year-old gray gelding, who had finished second at 18-1 in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 4. Still, Big 'Cap Day will be very important to Hendricks.
SPORTS
March 2, 2006 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
The last time the Kentucky Derby winner returned to win the Santa Anita Handicap was 1988, when Alysheba beat 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand. Giacomo will try to join that exclusive club Saturday when he and eight others compete in the $1-million Big 'Cap, which will be run for the 69th time. Other Derby winners who completed the parlay in the Santa Anita Handicap are Spectacular Bid, Affirmed and Lucky Debonair. At this point, Giacomo can't be compared to any of these greats.
SPORTS
March 5, 2005 | Bill Christine, Times Staff Writer
A visitor to David Bernstein's barn at Santa Anita handed the trainer a yellowed, tattered copy of the Daily Racing Form's chart of the 1994 Santa Anita Handicap. Bernstein held the newspaper clipping in his hand. Many a horseman in Bernstein's position might have wadded it up and fired it into the nearest wastebasket. "Yes, this is it," Bernstein said, squinting to look at the chart. "I get asked about this a lot. But there's nothing you can do about it now, is there?"
SPORTS
February 28, 2005 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Saint Liam, who is scheduled to arrive from Florida on Thursday, was given high weight of 122 pounds for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, which will be run for the 68th time Saturday. A 5-year-old Saint Ballado horse owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr. and trained by Rick Dutrow Jr., Saint Liam began 2005 with a decisive win over Roses In May in the Donn Handicap on Feb. 5 at Gulfstream Park. It was his fourth win in seven starts since joining the Dutrow barn.
SPORTS
March 6, 2004 | Bill Christine, Times Staff Writer
The 67th Santa Anita Handicap today is expected to be without its 6-5 favorite, Pleasantly Perfect, who will join a long list of hard-luck horses unable to run in the Arcadia track's premier race for older horses. The Big 'Cap hex has struck again. Richard Mandella, who trains Pleasantly Perfect, said that he planned to scratch the 6-year-old, whose temperature soared to 102 degrees -- one or two degrees above normal -- when it was taken at the barn Friday morning.
SPORTS
March 2, 2006 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
The last time the Kentucky Derby winner returned to win the Santa Anita Handicap was 1988, when Alysheba beat 1986 Derby winner Ferdinand. Giacomo will try to join that exclusive club Saturday when he and eight others compete in the $1-million Big 'Cap, which will be run for the 69th time. Other Derby winners who completed the parlay in the Santa Anita Handicap are Spectacular Bid, Affirmed and Lucky Debonair. At this point, Giacomo can't be compared to any of these greats.
SPORTS
March 4, 2006 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
Dan Hendricks will have to wait another year to saddle his first starter in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. The trainer was going to run Top This And That in the Grade I, which will be run for the 69th time today, but a foot problem discovered Wednesday morning kept Hendricks from entering the 4-year-old gray gelding, who had finished second at 18-1 in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 4. Still, Big 'Cap Day will be very important to Hendricks.
SPORTS
February 28, 2003 | Bob Mieszerski, Times Staff Writer
There is little doubt Sligo Bay has the class to compete in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. The Sadler's Wells horse is a Grade I winner, having taken the Hollywood Turf Cup last November, and he has earned more than $484,000 while finishing first or second in 10 of 17 starts. In the Turf Cup, the 5-year-old also showed he could stay 1 1/2 miles, which is a quarter of a mile farther than he will have to travel Saturday. What Sligo Bay does not have is main-track experience.
SPORTS
March 2, 2002 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Since its inception in 1996, that race in the far-off desert, the Dubai World Cup, has been a bugbear for local winter racing, coming as it does on the heels of the Santa Anita Handicap. Such stellar attractions as Soul Of The Matter, Silver Charm, Malek and Captain Steve have skipped the Big 'Cap and then run only weeks later for the bigger bucks in Dubai. But this year is a little different.
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