Tag: California Horse Racing

Irish-bred Ocean Road won the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes in May. The Gamely is one of 10 Grade 1 stakes on Santa Anita Park's 2022-23 Winter/Spring Meet stakes schedule. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park Announces Robust 2022-23 Stakes Schedule

Santa Anita Park’s 2022-23 Winter/Spring Meet offers 93 stakes races — 58 graded and 10 of those Grade 1s — during what is one of the longest racing meets of the year. Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet runs Dec. 26-June 19. “We feel there is something for everyone in this stakes […]

Country Grammer fired a bullet in this July 24 workout at Del Mar. He's the 5/2 favorite for the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap in his first US race in 14 months. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

San Diego Handicap Punches Above It’s Weight as Pacific Classic Prep

The Grade 2 San Diego Handicap is considered the major prep for Del Mar’s flagship race: the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. But you can be forgiven if you mistake this nine-horse field for what lies ahead Labor Day weekend in the Pacific Classic. And that’s not only because defending Pacific […]

American Theorem owns the only 2022 graded stakes victory in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes field. He is the 4/1 co-second choice in Saturday's co-feature at Del Mar. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Deep Field of Sprinters Go On the Road in Del Mar’s Bing Crosby

The first instinct when looking at Saturday’s Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar is to see who’s not here for California’s richest sprint race ($400,000). There’s no Brickyard Ride. No Cezanne. No Dr. Schivel, the defending Bing Crosby champion, who finished second by an eyelash in the Breeders’ […]

Del Mar's opening-day crowd wagered its way to a record handle. Large field sizes helped the track to a record opening weekend handle. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With Large Field Sizes, Del Mar Sets Opening Weekend Handle Records

The first weekend of racing at Del Mar put to rest the fallacy that West Coast racing is synonymous with small fields and weak handles. Instead, Del Mar clocked record handles and field sizes that are the envy of any North American track. The seaside track north of San Diego set […]

Santa Anita Park owns the record for largest Breeders' Cup crowd: more than 118,000 in 2016. The annual fall racing festival returns to Santa Anita for the 11th time in 2023. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Breeders’ Cup Returns to Santa Anita Park in 2023

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships announced Thursday it will bring the Breeders’ Cup back to Santa Anita Park for a record 11th time in 2023. That milestone for the Southern California track also signifies the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup. The 2023 Breeders’ Cup will take place on Friday, […]

Mackinnon heads a 14-colt field into Friday's Oceanside Stakes, Del Mar's traditional opening day feature. The seaside track opens its 31-day meet Friday. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Opening Day Features Sold-Out Stands, Maxed-Out Fields

Del Mar opens its 83rd season of racing Friday with boosted purses, the customary opening-day sellout crowd, and a sellout field of 14 for the meet’s first feature, the Oceanside Stakes. Lost to history and time is the Hollywood flavor the seaside track enjoyed from the moment Bing Crosby took […]

High Connection (5) turned aside favored Slow Down Andy to win Bob Baffert his fifth Los Alamitos Derby and first stakes race since his return from suspension.(Image: Benoit Photo)

High Connection Brings Baffert Another Los Alamitos Derby Title

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert eased back into his post-suspension routine with what has been a routine victory for him: the Los Alamitos Derby. The conditioner captured his fifth consecutive Los Alamitos Derby Saturday with High Connection. That came two hours after Baffert’s Rhetoric won a Los Al maiden […]

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 […]