Tag: California Horse Racing

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 […]

Mackinnon has been a turf force in his six races. Now, he tries dirt for the first time in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

When it Comes to the Derby, Nothing Phony About These Sham Stakes

Unlike many of its early Kentucky Derby prep predecessors, Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park brings the recent Derby chops with it. How recent? How about the last two Derby champions? The one-mile Sham, which offers 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers, gave you […]

Flightline was in his own zip code when he finished Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Flightline's 11 1/2-length victory came with a 118 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest Beyer by a North American horse this year. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Flightline Unwraps 2021’s Best Beyer With Malibu Stakes Victory

As trainer John Sadler put it after watching his star runner Flightline on Sunday, “Christmas came a day late.” For Sadler and the connections of the 3-year-old son of Tapit, Flightline’s performance in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park was the gift that keeps on giving. And […]

Private Mission and Flavien Prat seek a return to trips like this victorious one in the Grade 2 Zenyatta two starts ago. The pair are the 8/5 morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Private Mission’s La Brea Stakes Mission: Avoid A Pace Meltdown

The last time we saw Private Mission, she was engaged in an incendiary pace meltdown with Letruska and others in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. Now, we see if she’s learned a lesson from that rude awakening in Sunday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. […]

Beyond Brilliant, seen here winning the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar, is one of the favorites in Sunday's Grade 2 Mathis Mile at Santa Anita Park's Opening Day. The Southern California track offers various wagering options to play that race and others. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park’s Wagering Menu: Heavy on Options, Low on Takeout

Santa Anita Park unveiled its wagering menu for its Winter/Spring Meet, which opens Sunday with three Grade 1s among its six stakes. It also opens with a special Opening Day Mid-Pick 4 that encompasses Races 5, 6, 7 and 8 on the traditional Dec. 26 opening-day card. And there are […]

Canoodling has dominated ungraded stakes, such as this victory in the Zia Park Distaff last month. Now, she ventures into the deep waters of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Canoodling Cozying Up to the Big Time at Santa Anita’s La Brea Stakes

Canoodling’s name translates into “engaging in amorous embracing, caressing, and kissing.” And on Sunday, the 3-year-old filly will be canoodling in deeper, rougher racing waters than she ever has. Canoodling finds herself back at Santa Anita Park, where she hasn’t raced since finishing fifth in the Listed Surfer Girl Stakes […]

Golden Gate Fields shares two bets with Santa Anita Park during its Winter/Spring Meet. The meet runs from Sunday through June 14, 2022. (Image: Golden Gate Fields)

Golden Gate Fields Opens, Shares Wagers With Bigger Cousin Santa Anita

Overshadowed by its southern cousin and its six stakes races – including three Grade 1s – Golden Gate Fields also opens its Winter/Spring Meet on Sunday. But instead of three Grade 1s – the marquee events on Santa Anita Park’s opening day — the Northern California track turns out two […]

Flightline won this Del Mar allowance by 12 3/4 lengths in early September. The flashy 3-year-old makes his stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Fleet Flightline Sets Himself Up for a Malibu Stakes Cruise

It speaks volumes about Flightline’s frightening speed and fearsome reputation that Dr. Schivel, his erstwhile rival in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park, won’t be the morning-line favorite. The runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the favorite in four of his eight career starts will be […]

California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) called for the California Horse Racing Board to exhibit transparency in its investigation of Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit's sudden death. (Image: Jay Calderon/Desert Sun)

California Senator Feinstein Calls Out CHRB on Medina Spirit Investigation

California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the Senate co-sponsors of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 and a frequent critic of horse racing, wrote a letter to the California Horse Racing Board seeking transparency in the sudden death of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. In the […]

Messier and Flavien Prat controlled the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes last month at Del Mar. Oddsmakers make the pair a 1/2 morning-line choice to give Bob Baffert his eighth consecutive Los Alamitos Futurity title. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Futurity: The Race Bob Baffert Made His Own

The Bob Baffert Invitational, otherwise known as the Los Alamitos Futurity, goes off on Saturday as the penultimate day of Los Alamitos’ short Thoroughbred Winter Meet. And as you would expect, the 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-olds has that usual Baffert flavor to it. There’s Messier, the prohibitive 1/2 favorite. […]

Beyond Brilliant's victory in the Grade 2 Hollywood Derby was one of the highlights of Del Mar's 2021 Bing Crosby Meet. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Closes 2021 as Safest Major Racetrack in America

Del Mar took in record handle of more than $943 million in 2021, but that buries the lead of what became the most important feature of the suburban San Diego track during the two-session, 2021 racing season. The track endured just one fatality in 426 races, encompassing 3,552 starters, making […]

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died Monday morning after a workout at Santa Anita Park. The 3-year-old colt never finished out of the money in 10 career races. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Champion Medina Spirit Dies of Apparent Heart Attack After Workout

The sporting world beyond horse racing was shocked Monday morning when 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit suddenly died of an apparent heart attack after a morning workout at Santa Anita Park. The Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-old had just finished a five-furlong work in 1:01.40 when he collapsed. Santa Anita’s onsite […]

Grace Adler and Flavien Prat destroyed their rivals by more than 11 lengths in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in September. She is one of three Bob Baffert horses running the final Grade 1 of the year for 2-year-old fillies: Saturday's Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos. (Image: Behoit Photo)

Baffert Sends Three Looking for Five in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes

Not surprisingly, Saturday’s Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos has that distinct Bob Baffert flavor to it. That flavor manifests itself with the Hall of Fame trainer sending out three 2-year-old fillies in what is the final Grade 1 of the year for juvenile fillies. To illustrate Baffert’s dominance […]

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride on the West Coast this winter. He leads all active riders with more than $446 million in career earnings. (Image: Coady Photgraphy)

Velazquez Bringing His Hall of Fame Resume to the West Coast

The Southern California jockey colony just got significantly deeper with the announcement that Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez is moving his tack to Santa Anita for the upcoming 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet. This marks the first time in Velazquez’s decorated 32-year career he’s riding full-time in Southern California. A stalwart of […]

Princess Grace's victory in September's Ladies Turf Cup was her fourth consecutive stakes score. She is an 8/5 morning-line favorite to win her first Grade 1: the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar. (Image: Coady Photography)

Stidham Plans Matriarch Stakes Grade 1 Coronation for Princess Grace

Mike Stidham sent Princess Grace west in search of a hopeful Grade 1 coronation in Sunday’s Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar, whereupon he stabled her at Barn X. Now, the question is, can the four-time graded stakes winner can avoid a Brand X performance in her Grade 1 debut? Princess […]

Subconscious won three consecutive races after being gelded. He is the second favorite for Saturday's Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Derby Comes With East-West Rivalry Flavor

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella sends 4/1 second-choice Subconscious out in today’s Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. But even he knows where most of the attention is during Del Mar’s Bing Crosby Meet closing weekend. And that’s Brown. Chad Brown. Trainer of turf terrors and eastern feaster of this weekend’s […]