Santa Anita Park

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Card Produces High Handle Number

The card for the 84th GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby produced all-sources pari-mutuel handle of $24,282,400 Saturday. This was the largest Santa Anita Derby day handle since 2007. In addition, fans returned to the Arcadia oval on a restricted basis, with 8,246 on-track for the 12-race program. It was the first time in over a year that fans were allowed back at Santa Anita since the COVID-19 pandemic began last winter. Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) saluted in the day's feature event, the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby for...

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From Dundalk to California

Going Global (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) made an impressive U.S. debut for trainer Phil D'Amato by taking Sunday's GIII Sweet Life S. at Santa Anita. Formerly trained by Mick Halford in Ireland, the 3-year-old filly was purchased privately this winter in a deal structured by BBA Ireland's Michael Donohoe and Niall Dalton. Gary King caught up with Donohoe on Monday morning to chat about the win. GK: What attracted you to Going Global? MD: Her first run at Limerick really caught my eye and Niall's [Dalton]. We liked her action and...

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Bernardini Filly Blossoms Around Two Turns at Santa Anita

2nd-Santa Anita, $59,780, Msw, 2-5, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:39.09, ft, 18 lengths. LADY MYSTIFY (f, 3, Bernardini--J. Quirk, by Unbridled's Song) took to two turns to say the least Saturday in Arcadia. A close second at 15-1 going 5 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos Dec. 5, the bay was third over an additional sixteenth here Jan. 10. Backed at 3-2 getting more ground to work with, the bay beat her three foes to the lead and zipped along through splits of :22.85 and :46.43. She blew the race apart around...

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The Week in Review: 'Honor' System Produces Pair of Strong Bi-Coastal Stakes Wins

In a non-pandemic world, this column would be wrapping up the just-concluded Triple Crown, and top-level graded stakes racing in America would be going into that early-summer lull between the spring Classics and the July openings of Saratoga and Del Mar. But this is the new normal imposed by COVID-19, and one of the post-lockdown perks it provides is that elite-level on-track action is just now starting to heat up. Belmont Park's stakes-centric card on Saturday dovetailed nicely into Santa Anita's gauntlet of graded races, and top honors for best...

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Santa Anita Park Closed by LA County Officials Due to COVID-19

Santa Anita Park was forced to close indefinitely Friday--making its announcement shortly before post time--on orders of the Los Angeles County Health Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing for the Stronach Group (TSG), confirmed via text that for now, training is unaffected at Santa Anita. The track issued the following statement: "In accordance with instructions received from Los Angeles County Health Department, Santa Anita Park will temporarily close for live racing effective immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We apologize...

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Santa Anita Cancels Friday Due to Rain

Due to the heavy rain in Southern California forecast for Mar. 13, Santa Anita issued a release Monday evening stating that Friday's card will be cancelled as a measure of precaution. The weekend's racing cards will be evaluated later this week and will be dependent on the forecast.

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Report: Arcadia Receives Over $1.5M from Santa Anita

The city of Arcadia receives over $1.5-million in annual revenue from Santa Anita Park, according to a report from Keyser Marston Associates, which was commissioned for the city's Economic Development Division. Over the next five years, the racetrack is estimated to generate $7.5-million in sales tax, pari-mutuel revenue and property tax. According to the report, which was submitted in the fourth quarter of 2019, Santa Anita Park is responsible for 1,160 jobs annually. It is also estimated that employees of the track spend an average of nearly $5-million in off-site...

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Quinones Wins 2020 Woolf Award

Puerto Rican native Luis M. Quinones, America's second leading rider by races won in 2019, has been selected the winner of the 2020 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Given annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the award will be presented to Quinones in a winner's circle ceremony Mar. 22. Quinones, who competes along the midwest and southern racing circuit--including Ohio's Mahoning Valley Racecourse and Thistledown and Mountaineer Park in West Virginia--outpolled five finalists: veteran riders Tyler Baze, Javier Castellano, Chris Emigh and James Graham. "It's a great honor just to...

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Derby Winning Rider Ray York Dies

Raymond York, who rode Determine to victory in the 1954 Kentucky Derby at the age of 20, has died following a one-year battle with pneumonia at an extended care facility near Bakersfield, CA. He was 86. "Ray passed away peacefully this past Sunday," said Michael McKay, York's longtime girlfriend. "He loved racing so much and all the people he had known over the years, but we haven't been able to visit Santa Anita for several years due to his health," she added. "We had a great time together and we...

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Charlatan The Real Deal

Freshly anointed 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown) appears no worse for wear a day after his impressive 5 3/4-length victory in 1:08.85 at Santa Anita Saturday afternoon. "We knew he was a really fast horse," said Baffert Monday morning. Campaigned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables and Stonestreet Stables, the 3-year-old reeled off three consecutive bullet works at Santa Anita this winter, including an eye-catching five-furlong move in :59.60 Jan. 22. Prior to Saturday's debut score, he breezed five furlongs in :1:00.60 (5/50) at Santa Anita Feb. 11. "His...

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Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education Conference: Registration is Full

The Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety & Integrity Alliance have announced that registration is full for the third annual Reg Vet CE Conference scheduled for Mar. 2-3, 2020, at Santa Anita Park. A total of 60 veterinarians representing North America and the Caribbean, Australia, Hong Kong, Great Britain, and Chile will participate in 18 hours of continuing education approved by the Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Lectures, labs, and on-track drills...

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Stronach Group Issues Statement in Response to Newsom Office Comments

The Stronach Group issued a statement Wednesday in response to comments from a spokesman for California Governor Gavin Newsom published in a Monday New York Times story entitled 3 Horses Die in 3 Days at Santa Anita, Prompting Fresh Criticism of Racetrack. In an email to the Times, Newsom's press secretary Jesse Melgar said: "While the California Horse Racing Board and Santa Anita have made progress in reducing equine fatalities over the past year and C.H.R.B. has made recommendations to further improve horse safety, Governor Newsom remains concerned and believes...

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