Tag: California Horse Racing

Santa Anita Park's just-concluded Winter/Spring Meet was its safest on record. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

Santa Anita Park Enjoys Safest Winter/Spring Meet in its History

Santa Anita Park ended its six-month Winter/Spring Meet as the safest racetrack in North America among its large-track peers, with three racing fatalities from more than 4,800 starters during the just-completed 76-day meet. Only four years removed from a nightmarish season in which 30 horses died during racing or training, […]

Neige Blanche won the first of three closing-day stakes races at Santa Anita Sunday. That was her third stakes victory of the Southern California track's 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet schedule. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Record Performances Headline Santa Anita Park’s Winter/Spring Meet

A training record for Phil D’Amato, a breakout riding season for Juan Hernandez, and a memorable first stakes win for the incomparable Flightline highlighted Santa Anita Park’s 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet. The iconic Southern California track finished its 76-day meet Sunday with an 11-race card featuring three stakes races. One of […]

Santa Anita Park's training titlist Phil D'Amato sends Rijeka out in the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano, Santa Anita's traditional closing day feature. Rijeka is one to watch in what could be a $3 million Rainbow Six. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Ends Long Meet with $3 Million Closing Day Rainbow Six

Santa Anita Park sends its 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet into the history books on Sunday with a Rainbow Six pool expected to hit $3 million. The 20-cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six comes with a mandatory payout on the Southern California track’s closing day. With that closing day, mandatory payouts come […]

Absolutely Zero won her May debut as an odds-on favorite. She's the favorite running against colts in the Fasig-Tipton Futurity. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Two Doug O’Neill Juveniles Provide Hopeful Glimpse Into Next Spring

Horseplayers looking for a sneak peek at some potential 2023 Kentucky Derby prospects and one Kentucky Oaks prospect need look no further than Santa Anita Park’s 11th race Saturday, where you’ll find Doug O’Neill charges Tahoma and Absolutely Zero. It won’t take much effort to find the pair. They’re the […]

Carpe Vinum won a one-mile turf allowance Friday that gave trainer Phil D'Amato the Sant Anita Park Winter/Spring Meet training record. (Image: Benoit Photo)

D’Amato Seizes Santa Anita Park Meet Training Record With Carpe Vinum

Phil D’Amato already has the Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meet training title wrapped up. Now, he has the single-season meet record for victories to go along with it. D’Amato won his record 57th race of the 74-day Winter/Spring Meet Friday, sending Carpe Vinum to a 2 ¼-length victory in the day’s […]

Santa Anita offers 26 stakes races -- 15 graded -- during its Autumn Meet that begins Sept. 30. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park Creates Front-Loaded Fall Stakes Schedule

Santa Anita Park’s Autumn Meet gets off to its traditional fast start in terms of stakes and Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races. The Southern California track is offering 11 stakes — seven of those graded — over the first weekend of the 18-day meet. All told, Santa Anita will card 26 […]

Smooth Like Strait and Umberto Rispoli won last year's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. The 5-year-old horse returns with Flavien Prat aboard as the 4/5 favorite for the Memorial Day race at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Smooth Like Strait Looks Like the Right Fit in Shoemaker Mile

That Smooth Like Strait is the 4/5 morning line favorite for Monday’s Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita Park is understandable on several levels. Thirteen of them, to be precise. That’s the string of graded stakes races the 5-year-old turf terror brings into the second of Santa Anita’s three […]

Stilleto Boy won the Grade 2 Californian on the lead. The question is: can he win the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in the same fashion? (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Gold Cup: The Race Where Someone Wins Their First Grade 1

The Hollywood Gold Cup is the race movie stars attended and the race won by a movie star – Seabiscuit, who won the inaugural Gold Cup in 1938. It’s the race won by Triple Crown champions Affirmed and Citation, who retired after winning the 1951 edition. That race made him […]

Trainer Peter Miller, seen here at Del Mar last summer, returns after a six-month hiatus from training Sunday. The embattled trainer insists his break from the barn was a personal decision and not the result of a spate of deaths in his barn. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Trainer Peter Miller Returns After Six Months On Hiatus

Peter Miller, who hasn’t raced a horse since Nov. 28, returns to the barn for the first time in six months when he sends out 3-year-old gelding Respect the Code for Sunday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs. The California-based trainer, who won nine training titles at Del Mar, took what […]

Tahoma because the first offspring of 2018 Triple Crown winning sire Justify to enter -- and win -- a race.(Image: Benoit Photo)

Tahoma Follows Triple Crown-Winning Sire Justify Into Winner’s Circle

At first glance, Sunday’s second race at Santa Anita Park looked to be a nondescript maiden special weight — even down to the 4/5 favorite, Tahoma. But even putting aside his two-length victory in the 4 1/2-furlong race, Tahoma is far from nondescript. The 2-year-old is the first foal from […]

Santa Anita Handicap winner Express Train rides into Saturday's Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita Park with a three-race winning streak. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Big ‘Cap Winner Express Train Roars Into Next Stop: The Californian

The rolling freight train that is Express Train makes another stop Saturday in Santa Anita Park’s Grade 2 Californian Stakes. That’s one of the featured events of the California track’s return to racing after a week’s planned hiatus between its Winter and Spring meets. The last time we saw Express […]

Forbidden Kingdom was a formidable presence in Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. His 5 3/4-length romp sent trainer Richard Mandella to the Kentucky Derby for the first time since 2004. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Forbidden Kingdom’s Romp Brings Richard Mandella Back to the Derby

Forbidden Kingdom’s trainer, Richard Mandella, is one of the most underrated conditioners in the country and a Hall of Fame trainer who once won four Breeders’ Cup races in one day. But, missing from his considerable resume is a Triple Crown victory – of any type. Forbidden Kingdom illustrated Saturday […]

Express Train is the 8/5 favorite to win his first Grade 1 in Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Handicap Awaits its Next History-Making Winner

Win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and you immediately enter the discussion of the country’s best older horses. Win the 1 ¼-mile “Big ‘Cap” and you join a club featuring the likes of Seabiscuit, Hill Rise, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry (twice), Alysheba, Best Pal, Tiznow, Game […]

Forbidden Kingdom has led at the quarter-mile mark in every race. He's the 8/5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

San Felipe Relishes its Status as Kentucky Derby Kingmaker

The San Felipe Stakes is known as one of the top Grade 2 Kentucky Derby preps in the country, the alma mater of Triple Crown race winners Authentic, California Chrome, Point Given, Fusaichi Pegasus and Affirmed. Aside from the 13 Derby champions and recently disqualified Medina Spirit, its alums found […]

Messier may not be eligible for Kentucky Derby points, but he's the one to beat in Sunday's Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Robert B. Lewis Points the Way to Kentucky Derby Prospects

What you saw at last year’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park was one of the best Kentucky Derby preps of 2021, starting with a coming-out announcement for one colt and further validation of his talent from another. The coming-out announcement in the Grade 3 1 1/16-mile route […]

Despite only one race under his hooves, Doppelganger is the 8/5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He's one of three Bob Baffert colts in the field. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Go Figure: Baffert Sends Out Three of Five San Vicente Contenders

The Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park sends five 3-year-olds seven furlongs Saturday. Because this race involves sophomores and because it’s at Santa Anita, this naturally translates into another glimpse into the endless barn of Bob Baffert. Back on the West Coast after his week-long hearing with […]

Brickyard Ride defended his title in the Cal Cup Sprint on Cal Cup Day at Santa Anita Park. The track enjoyed its best handle: $17.2 million, since 2007. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Cal Cup Day Puts Several Older Horses, One Sophomore, On Bettors’ Radar

Standout performances by the likes of Brickyard Ride, Legg Galore, and Aligato carried Santa Anita Park to its best Cal Cup Day handle since 2007: an all-sources pari-mutuel handle of more than $17.2 million. “We were very pleased with field size and the tremendous response from our fans nationwide,” Santa […]