September 28, 2005 |
Bucking competition for horses from as far away as New York and as close as Bay Meadows, the Oak Tree Racing Assn. opens a 31-day meet at Santa Anita today. Oak Tree has traditionally provided a spawning ground for Breeders' Cup races later on in the fall, but this year the Goodwood Handicap, the meet's most prestigious dirt race, has been diluted by local trainers who have elected to run their horses out of town.
April 24, 2005 |
Jack McDaniel has left as president of Santa Anita, the fourth top executive to depart since Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment bought the track in 1998. In a statement from the Canadian-based Magna, no reason was given for McDaniel's departure, but he is believed to have had difficulties with Ron Charles, who was named executive director of Magna Entertainment California in November. Shortly after Charles arrived, and only a few days before the start of Santa Anita's meet Dec.
March 20, 2005 |
Those familiar figures at Churchill Downs -- owners Bob and Beverly Lewis and trainer Wayne Lukas -- may be around for an encore at the Kentucky Derby on May 7. Their calling card this time would be Consolidator, who ran the fastest San Felipe ever at Santa Anita on Saturday, winning the Derby prep by a stakes-record 6 1/2 lengths. "They say we might be back," Lukas said, "but in my mind, we've never been away. We won the thing not that long ago."
March 18, 2005 |
There are three significant Kentucky Derby preps Saturday, but the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita is the most wide open. Eight 3-year-olds were entered in the Grade II at 1 1/16 miles, and cases can be made for half a dozen of the participants. Wilko, the upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at 28-1 Oct.
March 10, 2005 |
A sprinkle of spectators is in the Santa Anita Park grandstand as the horses make their way to the racetrack. Already, the animals have been on display at the saddling barn, while jockeys in their colorful silks linger in a clump until it is time to mount up. A small crowd gathers for a closer look at the horses before returning to the grandstand or the tonier Turf Club to place their bets. Even as they do, grooms lead horses from the barns in preparation for the next race.
March 3, 2005 |
It's testimony to the undefeated Declan's Moon that he shared top billing Wednesday when post positions were drawn for the 68th Santa Anita Handicap. A day ahead of time, Santa Anita officials drew for Saturday's Santa Catalina Stakes, which at $200,000 is dwarfed by the $1-million Big 'Cap later on the card. The 1 1/16 -mile Santa Catalina will mark the first start this year for Declan's Moon, who won all four of his starts in 2004 and received the Eclipse Award for best 2-year-old male.
February 24, 2005 |
A horse trained by Adam Kitchingman exceeded the permitted level of sodium bicarbonate when he ran at Santa Anita on Feb. 16, according to an industry committee that has been monitoring the use of the so-called milkshakes at the track. The horse, first-time starter Always The Best, ran fifth at 7-1 odds in the $80,000 maiden race. For a 30-day period, Kitchingman's horses will be subjected to a detention barn 24 hours before they run.
January 22, 2005 |
Chris McCarron, the Hall of Fame jockey who was Santa Anita's general manager and now works there in another executive capacity, will leave the track soon to move to Lexington, Ky., he said Friday. McCarron said that he planned to start a jockeys' school in Kentucky. "There's been no downside to my two years" in the front office, McCarron said. "In fact, they've gone by like a blur.
January 16, 2005 |
Same ownership, same trainer, same running style, same 3-year-old break-in race at Santa Anita. Patrick Biancone is just hoping for a slightly better long-term result from Spanish Chestnut than Lion Heart, whom he saddled for a second-place finish in last year's Kentucky Derby. Spanish Chestnut, trained by Biancone and owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, won Saturday's $150,000 San Rafael, a stake in which Lion Heart ran second.
December 25, 2004 |
Less than four months after he was hired, and just a few days before Santa Anita's 70th season opens on Sunday, Michael Gilligan has been fired by the track as its vice president for marketing and sales. Multiple sources confirmed that Gilligan was fired, and Jack McDaniel, president of Santa Anita, told his staff Thursday that the marketing department would now report to him instead of Gilligan.