Santa Anita Handicap

Express Train On Top After Big 'Cap Battle

After four Grade I placings in addition to four graded wins, C R K Stable's Express Train (Union Rags) finally got a Grade I to call his own when he captured the Santa Anita H. presented by Yaamava' Resort & Casino in dramatic fashion Saturday. He was also rectifying another overdue omission in giving trainer John Shirreffs, who was nominated to the Hall of Fame this week, his first Big 'Cap win. The victory didn't come easily though, as Express Train had to battle the length of the stretch with...

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Maxfield Looms Large in Big 'Cap

The undefeated Maxfield (Street Sense) looks to put on yet another show for racing fans Saturday as he invades the West Coast for the first time in the GI Santa Anita H. A debut winner at Churchill in September, the Godolphin homebred romped in Keenland's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity S. a month later. The early favorite for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he was scratched after spiking a fever just days before the race. Resurfacing May 23 at Churchill, the bay captured the GIII Matt Winn S., but was knocked...

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Dollars No Measure of Heritage–Or Potential

Life may not be especially Good, just yet--but let's hope that it's at least getting a little better, however slowly. Certainly we must trust that's true of the wider world, as science strives to stem the pandemic. For a margin of our parish going through troubles of its own, equally, no less commitment and tenacity are proving necessary to see out a long road. Two years ago, remember, they couldn't stage the GII San Felipe S. at all after a harrowing spate of catastrophic injuries. A racetrack many of us...

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Maxfield Headed to Big 'Cap

Undefeated and widely considered among the top horses in training, Maxfield (Street Sense) will make his next start in Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. The news was first reported by TVG's Christina Blacker. "He'll head out there tomorrow," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "We're looking forward to it. The race has been on our radar for a while. At 1 1/4 miles, it's a nice race for him and the timing is good. It gives us a chance to win a Grade I. The race makes sense." With Maxfield being owned...

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Sadler Celebrates Historic Triple

John Sadler's chance at a record-setting third straight win in the GI Santa Anita H. looked imperiled when he had to scratch morning-line favorite Gift Box (Twirling Candy) Saturday morning, but the trainer was able to pick up the historic achievement when Combatant (Scat Daddy) came home first in the 1 1/4-mile race Saturday afternoon. "It was a great day; we were just thrilled," said Sadler, who also sent out Flagstaff (Speightstown) to take the GII San Carlos S. Saturday. "To win our third Big 'Cap in a row is...

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Sadler and Hronis Make History in Big 'Cap

Despite having to scratch defending champion and morning-line favorite Gift Box (Twirling Candy) due to filling in an ankle Saturday morning, trainer John Sadler and Hronis Racing still managed to score their third consecutive Big 'Cap victory with recent acquisition Combatant. Campaigned for his first 22 starts by trainer Steve Asmussen, Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing, Combatant hit the board in several preps for the 2018 GI Kentucky Derby before finishing 18th in the Run for the Roses. He tried turf with some success later that season, finishing a...

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Gift Box Scratched from Santa Anita Handicap

Hronis Racing's Gift Box (Twirling Candy), the 6-5 morning-line favorite and defending champion, has been scratched from Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. The 7-year-old had been expected to make his 2020 debut in the race. In his most recent start, he won his second straight GII San Antonio S. Dec. 28. Trainer John Sadler, looking to become the first trainer to win the Big 'Cap three years in a row, will still be represented in the race. He will saddle Combatant (Scat Daddy). With the scratch, the Big 'Cap, which...

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