September 30, 2004 |
The Oak Tree Racing Assn. launched its 36th season at Santa Anita on Wednesday with formful horses, stepped-up security and hopes for a better overall meet than last year. There was no Breeders' Cup buzz -- that road-show attraction from last year having moved on to Texas -- and the main tote board repeatedly malfunctioned, but the bettors, 10,665 of them, somehow kept their concentration and tried to hammer out an occasional profit.
May 9, 2004 |
Trainer Bruce Headley couldn't resist needling Frank Stronach, a onetime client and the owner of Santa Anita, after saddling Rhythm Mad to win the 1 1/2-mile Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park on Saturday. "Mr. Stronach said that I couldn't train anything but sprinters," Headley said. "Does this break that myth?"
March 4, 2004 |
After three days of pick six carry-overs, there were three winning tickets on Wednesday at Santa Anita, each worth $1,567,984.60. One of the three tickets was purchased at Viejas Casino and Turf Club in Alpine, Calif. The others were bought through the Kentucky wagering hub and New York off-track betting. There would have been only one correct ticket worth more than $4.7 million if Flying Kegan, a 75-1 longshot who had taken the lead in the stretch, had won the eighth.
February 14, 2004 |
Gary Stevens took off his last mount Thursday because of post-race security concerns at Santa Anita. Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey who portrayed George Woolf in the Oscar-nominated "Seabiscuit," resumed riding Friday after having been assured by track officials that security would be improved. After races at Santa Anita, riders must take a long walk -- part of it through the crowd -- to reach the jockeys' room.
November 3, 2003 |
Although the Breeders' Cup, run at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, was hailed as an aesthetic and financial success, the Oak Tree Racing Assn.'s meet at the Arcadia track is staggering toward the finish line. Oak Tree, the nonprofit group that leases Santa Anita for an annual fall meet, announced last week that purses were being cut 10%.
August 24, 2003 |
At 93, Noble Threewitt still arrives at Santa Anita Race Track just after 4 each morning to train horses, just as he did when the track opened in 1934. In fact, Threewitt has attended the opening of every track in California, except the Bay Area's now-vanished Tanforan. Tanforan would later prove lucky for him, as nine of his horses won there on the same weekend in 1956.
March 13, 2003 |
It's 7:30 a.m. at Santa Anita. The first race of the day is not for five hours, but many cars already are dotting the Arcadia racetrack's parking lot. My husband and I walk toward the track, and our two children become excited as the horses grow closer. Finally, we stand just a few feet away from the thoroughbreds as we watch them exercise on the other side of the fence. It feels as though we've sneaked into the historic park.
March 6, 2003 |
Venturing into territory where few former jockeys have gone, Chris McCarron has become a vice president and general manager at Santa Anita, the track where he scored 2,104 of his 7,141 victories. McCarron's new post, which was announced Wednesday and begins March 31, may be more of a challenge than any of the 316 stakes races he won at Santa Anita. The once-hallowed track, which used to call itself "The Great Race Place," has fallen on hard times.
December 27, 2001 |
There was a sameness Wednesday when Santa Anita opened for the 65th time. Free calendars, mariachis and dancers, a Dixieland combo and trainer Bobby Frankel--standing in the winner's circle, explaining another victory after a major race. For the man who had everything in 2001, Frankel's cup continued to runneth over when Mizzen Mast overcame a poor start and rallied from far back to win the $200,000 Malibu Stakes by 21/2 lengths.
October 12, 2001 |
The sponging of three horses at Santa Anita, believed to be the first incidence of this illegal practice in California in at least 50 years, has some trainers on edge. "It's scary," Ian Jory said. "You wonder how somebody could gain access to do something like this." Two 3-year-old fillies were scratched Wednesday from a race for $40,000 claimers after sponges were discovered in their noses.