Santa Anita

Hot Rod Charlie Tunes Up at Santa Anita

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), front-running winner of the GII TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby in his most recent trip to the races, prepped for the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong breeze Saturday morning over the Santa Anita main track. The half-brother to champion Mitole (Eskendereya) stopped the clock in 1:01.20 to the satisfaction of trainer Doug O'Neill. "'Charlie' had company with a horse named Hammering Lemon (Square Eddie) [clocked in 1:01.60] who broke off in front of him," the two-time Derby-winning trainer commented. "They both finished up good, but...

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Champion Gamine Gallops As Expected in Las Flores

Michael Lund's Gamine (Into Mischief) ran to overwhelming favoritism in what amounted to a paid workout in Sunday's GIII Las Flores S. at Santa Anita. Last seen solidifying champion female sprinter honors with a 6 1/4-length drubbing of formidable elders in Keeneland's GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint Nov. 7, the newly turned 4-year-old was supplemented to this event for $2,000 and took practically every penny of tote support to be off at 1-9. Ridden along from the fence by John Velazquez to seize the early lead, she looked more like...

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Sunday Morning Stakes Runner Round-Up

Trainer Brad Cox was plenty pleased with how champion juvenile and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) exited Saturday's hard-fought decision in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. "He looks good this morning and I am happy with the way he came out of the race," Cox said Sunday. "I liked that he got a test yesterday. It was not like he just galloped up to the leader and went on by." Essential Quality will join Cox's string at Churchill Downs after training Monday to prepare for the GI Kentucky...

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Rock Your World Coast-To-Coast in Runhappy Santa Anita Derby

Hronis Racing and Talla Racing's Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) threw his hat in the ring for the GI Kentucky Derby with a front-running upset in his first try on dirt in Saturday's GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. A debut winner sprinting on the grass at Santa Anita on New Year's Day, the $650,000 KEESEP purchase scored a decisive victory in the one-mile Pasadena S. over the local lawn Feb. 27. He prepped for this with a best-of-82 five-furlongs in :59 1/5 over the Arcadia main track Mar. 28....

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Distorted Humor's Soothsay Upsets Santa Anita Oaks

Stepping up into graded company fresh off a debut maiden victory over six furlongs, SOOTHSAY (f, 3, Distorted Humor--Spellbound, by Bernardini) was given a tremendous ride by leading jockey Flavien Prat, met the late-stretch bid of favored Beautiful Gift (Medaglia d'Oro), and went on to a gutsy victory in Saturday's GII Santa Anita Oaks in Arcadia. While Beautiful Gift and Moraz (Empire Maker) took the bulk of the betting and battled up front in a rematch of the GIII Santa Ysabel S., Soothsay tracked those two from behind. The opening quarter...

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Classic Bound Sophs Highlight Saturday Worktab

On a brisk spring morning, Juddmonte Farm's Mandaloun (Into Mischief) began his serious preparation toward the GI Kentucky Derby with a half-mile breeze in :49.80 under jockey Florent Geroux Saturday. The GII Risen Star S. winner worked outside of stakes winner Australasia through a moderate :25.40 opening quarter-mile fraction. The duo galloped out together through five furlongs in 1:02.60 and completed the work with a six-furlong time of 1:16.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. Trained by Brad Cox, Mandaloun was the 6-5 favorite in the Mar. 20 GII...

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Medina Spirit Ready to Represent Baffert in Santa Anita Derby

Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.'s Medina Spirit (Protonico) breezed a half in :48 flat (13/64) Sunday morning at Santa Anita as he readies to represent trainer Bob Baffert in Saturday's GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. The GIII Robert B. Lewis S. winner has twice finished second to unbeaten stablemate Life Is Good (Into Mischief), who was also pointing for the Santa Anita Derby before being sidelined with an ankle chip. "He went very nice [under jockey Juan Ochoa]," Baffert said. "I also worked [GII Rebel S. runner-up] Hozier (Pioneerof the Nile,...

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Concert Tour, Caddo River Head 3yo Worktab Saturday

Heading the likely cast of contenders in the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby, undefeated Concert Tour (Street Sense) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under Juan Ochoa at Santa Anita Saturday morning. "He went great; he looked fantastic," said trainer Bob Baffert. "He couldn't have looked any better. He just cruised around there in a minute and change." Taking over as top dog in the Baffert barn following the injury of Life Is Good (Into Mischief), Concert Tour a perfect three-for-three this season, including wins in the GII San Vicente S....

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Buzzed-About Bezos Shows Up at Second Asking

6th-Santa Anita, $61,500, Msw, 3-26, 3yo, 1m, 1:37.64, ft, 4 1/2 lengths. BEZOS (c, 3, Empire Maker--A P Mink, by A.P. Indy) failed to live up to the immense hype when seventh at 3-5 behind 'TDN Rising Star' Dream Shake (Twirling Candy) sprinting here Feb. 7, but he made good on the buzz this time while getting more ground to work with. Shedding the blinkers this time, the handsome bay was off at 7-5 in the field of five. Away well from the rail, Bezos took the lead into the...

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CHRB's Plans to Overhaul Whip-Violation Penalties Tabled for Now

As anti-whipping rules continue to evolve nationwide, one problem area that has emerged is the fairness of penalization. Do the various systems of fines and suspensions match the severity of the violations? Or, put more directly, are there ample deterrents on the books to keep a jockey from totally disregarding the number of times and manner in which a Thoroughbred is struck with the whip if the rewards of winning an important graded stakes like a Breeders' Cup race far outweigh the comparatively small dent a penalty might make in...

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The Week in Review: Time to Bring Back Down-the-Hill Turf Sprints at Santa Anita

There was a rare and welcome sight Saturday at Santa Anita when the field of five scampered across the down-the-hill turf course to begin the 1 1/2-mile GIII San Luis Rey S. There were no incidents in a perfectly clean race where no one was hurt. So why can't the course also be used for what were iconic 6 1/2-furlong downhill grass races? They haven't carded a turf sprint on that course since a horse named Arms Runner (Overdriven) broke down and had to be euthanized in the running of...

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Santa Anita To Open To Limited Number of Fans April 2

Beginning Friday, Apr. 2 and in keeping with the State of California's guidelines for large sporting event venues, Santa Anita Park will open to a limited number of fans. The opening is one day prior to the running of the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. All tickets, which include an assigned seat, must be pre-purchased. For the time being, there will be no walk-up admissions, but that could be changed should COVID-19 numbers improve in Los Angeles County. To receive notifications on ticket sales as soon as they become available,...

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