Tag: California Horse Racing

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 […]

Rockemperor finished a non-threatening eighth by 6 1/2 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Turf earlier this month. He's the 8/5 morning-line favorite to win Friday's Grade 2 Hollywood Tur Cup at Del Mar. (Image: Breeders' Cup)

Brown Seeks Another Del Mar Turf Crown with Steady Rockemperor

That Rockemperor is the 8/5 favorite in Friday’s Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar makes sense if you look at the Rockemperor who won the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park. If you look at the Rockemperor who finished a troubled eighth in the Breeders’ […]

Azul Coast and Flavien Prat won their first graded-stakes race Saturday, capturing the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Azul Coast Breaks Out of the Shadows, Takes Native Diver at Del Mar

Azul Coast was the forgotten Baffert; the also-ran in the three-headed contingent the Hall of Fame conditioner sent out in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday. Hidden in the shadow of the more heralded Eight Rings and the veteran stakes runner Ax Man, and coming […]

Santa Anita Park's Turf Starter Series will give fillies and mares the chance to follow in Twilight Stakes winner Subconscious' grassy hoofprints. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Breaks Out Turf Starter Series for Allowance-Level Runners

Following in the successful hoofprints of the Tin Man Starter Allowance Series, Santa Anita Park announced a new series of turf allowance races for fillies and mares, the Santa Anita Turf Starter Series. The Turf Starter Series is comprised of four sprints and four route races, all on the Santa […]

Three days after this workout, Rock Your World finished sixth of eight in the Belmont Stakes. He retired Monday with three wins in seven races, but none since winning the Santa Anita Derby in April. (Image: Janet Garaguso/Coglianese Photos)

Santa Anita Derby Winner Rock Your World Rolls Into Retirement

Add Rock Your World to the 2022 first-year stallion crop after the Santa Anita Derby winner was suddenly retired from racing on Monday. The son of standout sire Candy Ride will stand at Spendthrift Farm for $10,000. Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said he’ll be featured in the farm’s “Share […]

Jessica Pyfer ended her apprentice riding career with a 50/1 score aboard Primer Dimer (8) in a $20,000 Del Mar maiden claimer. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The (Former) Apprentice Pyfer Makes a 50/1 Farewell Splash at Del Mar

Jessica Pyfer provided the perfect apprentice rider graduation program to herself: pilot a 50/1 long shot to victory in your final victory as an apprentice. Pyfer took Primer Dimer and his 50/1 odds to the Del Mar winner’s circle on Saturday afternoon. It was her final victory as an apprentice […]

Jockey William Buick celebrates his victory aboard Modern Games in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. It wasn't a popular win with bettors after the 9/5 favorite was taken out of the wagering pool when he was initially scratched. (Image: Jae C. Hong)

Bizarre Beginning Leads to Head Games for Modern Games Bettors

The very aptly named Modern Games “won” the finale on Friday’s Breeders’ Cup five-race, all-juvenile card, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Except bettors didn’t collect a dime from his score. Fasten your seat belts. This Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf will live in betting infamy for a long time. How many […]

Breeders' Cup Juvenile favorite and Champagne Stakes winner Jack Christopher was a late Thursday scratch from Friday's $2 million race.( Image: Janet Garaguso/NYRA)

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Favorite Jack Christopher a Late Scratch

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Jack Christopher won’t run in Friday’s $2 million Juvenile, according to the Breeders’ Cup, which announced the scratch on Twitter late Thursday night. The 9/5 favorite for the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile was scratched due to a left shin issue, according to a tweet from Bradley Weisbord, […]

Domestic Spending was the 4/1 seconds choice to win the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf. He was scratched due to inflammation in his leg. (Image: Ella DeGea)

Domestic Spending, United Scratched from Breeders’ Cup Turf

Domestic Spending and United, two of the primary American horses in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, were both scratched Thursday morning by their trainers due to inflammation. The scratches alter the dynamic of a race in which Domestic Spending was the 4/1 second favorite and considered the Great American […]

Gear Jockey and Jose Lezcano needed a scratch for this Turf Sprint berth at Kentucky Downs. They parlayed that into a win and a spot in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar. (Image: Coady Photography)

Gear Jockey Shifts Into Sprint Mode Just In Time for Breeders’ Cup

When you watch Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and hear the name Gear Jockey, you need to understand the grinding wheels of opportunity-meets-preparation that it took to bring him to the Del Mar starting gate. Gear Jockey needed a scratch to get him into the Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs. […]

Gamine, seen here winning the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga, is the biggest favorite of the 14 Breeders' Cup favorites. She opens at 3/5 to defend her title in the Filly & Mare Sprint. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Dom Napolitano)

Knicks Go, Essential Quality Your Breeders’ Cup Classic Favorites

Knicks Go and Essential Quality are stablemates, travel mates from East Coast to West Coast and now – after Monday’s post-position draws – they are gate neighbors for Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar. Essential Quality will start from post 4 in the nine-horse Classic field as […]