Tag: California Horse Racing

The unique Santa Anita Park hillside turf course returns for at least four stakes races during the track's Autumn Meet in October. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Santa Anita’s Popular Hillside Turf Course Returns for Opening Weekend

Even with three Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series events headlining Santa Anita Park’s Autumn Meet opener, the iconic track’s famous hillside turf course could seize the day’s attention. That unique and popular course returns to the forefront for the Friday, Oct. 1 opening day. It provides the […]

Jockey Tiago Pereira rode Tripoli to Horse of the Meet honors at Del Mar. Tripoli won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and helped owners Hronis Racing take its sixth Del Mar owners title and fourth in the last five years. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Wrap: Nothing Average About Record Average Daily Handle

Del Mar closed its 82nd summer season with a track record for daily average handle, watching horseplayers wager an average of nearly $18.4 million each day of the 31-day meet. That surpassed last year’s daily average of $17.3 million, which came without fans in the stands thanks to the pandemic. […]

Nobody has looked Flightline in the eye at the end of his first two races. He won a Sunday Del Mar allowance optional claimer by 12 3/4 lengths, clocking the best Beyer Speed Figure by an American horse this year. (Image: West Point Thoroughbreds)

As Del Mar’s Pick 6 Pool Soars, Flightline Proves He’s Still an Ace

Sunday’s penultimate day of Del Mar’s summer season not only brought a six-figure rollover to the track’s elusive Jackpot Pick 6, but the re-emergence of one of the country’s sprinting stars in Flightline. While horseplayers were setting the betting table for what figures to be a $6 million-plus pot for […]

Pappacap impressed in both his races, including this stalking victory in the Grade 2 Best Pal. He is a strong contender to win Monday's Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Futurity Gives You Derby Prospects Worth Watching

The Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity is another one of those races carrying a heavy Bob Baffert flavor. The Hall of Fame trainer won the Futurity a record 14 times, including seven consecutive victories between 1996 and 2002. That’s not surprising when you consider it’s one of the top 2-year-old […]

Flashiest and Abel Cedillo rallied from sixth entering the stretch to win the Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar's July 16 opening-day card. He is one of the favorites in Saturday's Grade 2 Del Mar Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Flashiest Wants to Go Forward in his Back-Up Race

Trainer Leonard Powell’s comments about Flashiest entering a deep Del Mar Derby field is more an indictment on Flashiest’s last race than an indictment on Saturday’s Grade 2 Del Mar Derby. “The Saratoga trip didn’t work out as we had planned, definitely not,” Powell told Del Mar. “Maybe if he […]

Del Mar's Bing Crosby Season once again goes heavy on turf stakes. Track officials wrote 11 of its 12 graded-stakes races for  the grass. (Image: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club)

Del Mar’s Bing Crosby Season Sings a Grassy Stakes Tune

Del Mar renewed its emphasis on turf racing for its Bing Crosby Season, announcing a stakes schedule going deep on the seaside track’s Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Aside from the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup returning to Del Mar for the first time since 2017, the track features 18 stakes races. […]

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit won his third race of 2021 with this 1 1/4-length victory in the Shared Belief Stakes over Rock Your World. The two sophomores may see each other for the fourth time this year in either the Pennsylvania Derby or Awesome Again Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Medina Spirit Edges Rock Your World in the Shared Belief

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit returned to racing for the first time in 3 ½ months on Sunday, capturing the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. Along the way, Medina Spirit turned a trick no other Bob Baffert-trained horse has ever done. “For what this horse has gone through, he’s […]

Controversial Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit may return to the gate for the first time since May 15 at Saturday's Grade 3 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Derby Champion Medina Spirit May Return Saturday for Shared Belief

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, who hasn’t run since finishing third in the May 15 Preakness Stakes, could be back this Saturday for the Grade 3 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. According to the Daily Racing Form, the Bob Baffert-trainee’s return is contingent on a Monday workout for the […]

United captured the Eddie Read Stakes on this Del Mar turf last month. He is one o the favorites in the Del Mar Handicap, which anchors this week's all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5. (Image: Benoit Photo)

From Saratoga and Del Mar, Cross Country Pick 5 Lives Up to Its Name

This week’s New York Racing Association Cross Country Pick 5 truly lives up to its name, putting out an all-graded stakes wager from Saratoga and Del Mar. The sequence includes three Grade 1s and two Grade 2s from the two tracks, located on opposite ends of the US. As usual, […]

Flavien Prat rode Going Global to all four of her US stakes victories. That streak goes to the test Saturday in the Grade 2 San Clemente at Del Marl. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Going Global Does Just That, Brings Four-Race Win Streak to Del Mar

Going Global began her racing career finishing fourth, 12th, and 13th in a trio of summer races in her native Ireland. There was nothing distinguishing her from the countless other 2-year-old fillies dotting Irish racetracks. This changed last November when Going Global broke her maiden in an Irish Handicap race […]

Dream Shake ran his career-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure in this maiden debut victory in January. He moves to turf for the first time in Del Mar's traditional summer stakes opener: the Oceanside Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Opens to Sellout Crowd and a Dream Shake Turf Sighting

Last year’s Del Mar summer season opener carried such a weird vibe that Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper spent much of it walking around in a surreal, dreamy haze. This year, Harper and the rest of Del Mar’s sold-out, opening-day crowd – and yes, we said “crowd” – […]

A proposal merging fantasy sports and pari-mutuel wagering could be the first step toward sports wagering in the Golden State. (Image: Ethan Miller/Getty)

California Could Merge Fantasy Sports and Pari-Mutuel Wagering

Fantasy sports meets pari-mutuel wagering and spawns visions of an endless revenue stream for California. That’s the dream, and an actual possibility, by this coming August if a proposal by the California Association of Racing Fairs (CARF) gains traction with the California Horse Racing Board. CARF officials presented the proposal […]

Rock Your World rocked Santa Anita Park's marquee race Saturday, winning the Santa Anita Derby by more than four lengths. Jockey Umberto Rispoli earned his first Grade 1 victory along the way. (Image: Benoit Photography)

On Record Day, Rock Your World Rocks, Rolls His Way to Kentucky Derby

Rock Your World rocked the Santa Anita Derby, which rocked bettors into producing Santa Anita Park’s largest all-sources pari-mutuel Santa Anita Derby handle in 14 years. On a day where fans returned to the Southern California track for the first time in more than a year, the 8,246 attendees on […]

Medina Spirit cost owner Amr Zedan only $35,000. He's earned nearly five times that total -- with more on the line in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert Cast Their Spell in Santa Anita Derby

About the only thing faster than Life Is Good on the track was the rush of horses piling into the Santa Anita Derby the moment the Bob Baffert supercolt departed the Kentucky Derby Trail with an ankle injury. Now, all of a sudden, horses like Dream Shake, Parnelli, Law Professor […]

Champion Female Sprinter of 2020 Gamine returns to her Santa Anita Park roots Sunday in the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Champion Sprinter Gamine Makes 2021 Debut in a Grade 3

The monstrous shadow of Gamine will emerge from her five-month vacation on Sunday when the Champion Female Sprinter of 2020 makes her 4-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita Park. She will likely make it as the odds-on favorite for the six-furlong Las Flores. The […]

Santa Anita Park ran with empty grandstands for a year. The iconic Southern California track reopens to limited capacity Friday, April 2. (Image: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Santa Anita Park Reopens to Fans in Time for April 2 Derby

With California relaxing guidelines on allowing limited crowds into sporting venues, Santa Anita Park announced Thursday it will reopen to the public on Friday, April 2. That’s just in time for the following day’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Track officials didn’t reveal how many tickets they will sell or […]

Mucho Unusual usually does well at Santa Anita, where she owns six of her seven career victories. She leads a strong 10-deep field in Saturday's Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Mucho Unusual Takes Her Usual Path to Buena Vista Stakes Gate

Like her father, who put himself out there against the best horses of his era, Mucho Unusual dodges nobody. Put a graded stakes race out there for fillies and mares, and Mucho Unusual is a usual suspect. Better yet, put it on the Santa Anita Park turf, where the California-bred […]

Rombauer brings a strong resume along with 8/5 morning-line odds to the El Camino Real Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

El Camino Real Provides a Synthetic Kentucky Derby Detour

The El Camino Real Derby is one of those Kentucky Derby Trail detours. Like December’s Springboard Mile at Remington Park, the John Battaglia Memorial and Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park and the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park, it’s not on the beaten Derby trail path. Once upon a time, […]

Bob Baffert trains Bezos, which is all Derby futures bettors need to hear. The colt makes his anticipated debut today at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Siena Farm)

Amazonian Favorite Bezos Makes Anticipated Debut Today

Bezos makes his debut today in a maiden special weight race on Santa Anita Park’s Super Bowl Sunday card. This is hardly the class of race guaranteed to suck the oxygen out of the room on the biggest sporting day on the American calendar. In horseracing, however, today’s fifth race […]