Tag: Santa Anita Derby

The Santa Anita Derby is one of the biggest meets of the year during Santa Anita Park's Winter/Spring Meet. It is one of 10 Grade 1s on the track's 94-stakes schedule. (Image: Kelly Serfoss)

Santa Anita Park Winter/Spring Meet Puts 10 Grade 1s on the Schedule

Santa Anita Park’s traditional day-after-Christmas opener for its Winter/Spring Meet ushers in a 94-stakes season – 59 of those graded – that once again, defines West Coast horse racing for half of the year. The suburban Los Angeles track, located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, opens on […]

Santa Anita Derby champion Rock Your World took the path less traveled to the Kentucky Derby. His speed on that path brought him 5/1 second-favorite status in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Rock Your World Rolls Into Derby From an Unconventional Trail

Before April 3, Rock Your World occupied a very small world in Southern California horse racing. He was a good 3-year-old turf colt with a couple of nice grass wins under his hooves, including a solid, 2 ¼-length victory in the Listed Pasadena Stakes. But trainer John Sadler had a […]

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 […]

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 […]

The 2020 Santa Anita Derby produced two of the top four Kentucky Derby finishers in Honor A.P. (right) and eventual Kentucky Derby winner Authentic. The 2021 Santa Anita Derby is one of 10 Grade 1 races on the Southern California track's 2020-21 winter/spring meet schedule. (Image: Benoit Photo/Associated Press

Santa Anita Park Raises Purses, Announces Robust Stakes Schedule

Officials at Santa Anita Park announced a 10% bump in daily purse totals for its 2020-21 Winter/Spring Meet, lifting the daily average purse money available to more than $533,000 at the Southern California track. This is significant for the iconic track. Unlike many other tracks, Santa Anita doesn’t have a […]

Honor A.P. retired as the only horse to beat Kentucky Derby winner Authentic. He begins his stud career next year. (Image: Lane's End)

Honor A.P. Retires After Derby Injury, Heads to Stud

Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. suffered an apparent injury in the Kentucky Derby, immediately sending him to Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky where his stud career awaits. The tendon injury apparently happened during the Derby, according to trainer John Shirreffs. “Honor A.P. is a horse with an immense talent. […]

Mike Smith, who rode Bob Baffert's Justify to the 2018 Triple Crown, once again has the confidence of the Hall of Fame trainer. Smith will ride Authentic in July's Haskell Invitational. (Image: Sean M. Haffey/Getty)

‘Big Money Mike’ Smith Takes Authentic’s Reins for the Haskell

Mike Smith didn’t earn the nickname “Big Money Mike” for his gambling acumen, although the 54-year-old jockey has earned owners nearly $330 million over his nearly 40-year riding career. He earned the name because Smith is one of the most clutch jockeys in the world, which is why he’ll take […]

Honor A.P. Looks to Leap Into Front-Row Derby Contention

He may be the biggest sleeper of all the serious Kentucky Derby favorites, the one currently sailing under most Derby list radars. But you lose track of Honor A.P. at your own peril, which is why he’s in peril of winning Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby. It’s some dangerously fast company […]

Honor A.P. is one of the sleeper Kentucky Derby picks. His trainer, John Shirreffs, opted to bypass the Belmont Stakes for home-track Santa Anita Park. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

New Kentucky Derby Trail Presents Options, Tough Choices for Trainers

Sole Volante is off to the Belmont Stakes. His stablemate, Ete Indien, heads to the Haskell Stakes. And Honor A.P. stays home for the Santa Anita Derby. These three Kentucky Derby contenders illustrate how many different paths have emerged on the Derby Trail during the COVID-19 era. Even in a […]

Horses breaking from the Santa Anita starting gate won't be seen live by fans. But the iconic Southern California racetrack reopens for business Friday. (Image: Southern California News Group)

Approval Arrives: Santa Anita to Reopen for Spectator-Free Racing

After a seven-week lobbying effort that, only a day ago seemed in jeopardy, Santa Anita Park received approval from the Los Angeles County Health Department to resume spectator-free racing this Friday. The approval came one day after county health officials extended the “safer-at-home” directive that seemed to put the track’s […]

Santa Anita Park's revamped spring stakes schedule could use a Zenyatta-like performance to help the beleaguered track. (Image: Jae C. Hong/AP)

Santa Anita Park Releases Full Stakes Schedule, Pending Resumption

With its plan to safely resume racing on May 15 officially in the hands of local legislators, Santa Anita Park laid out its revamped spring stakes schedule – a schedule featuring the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks on June 6. That day sets up as the revamped meet’s […]

Santa Anita won't spring horses for the Santa Anita Derby Saturday. Despite fervent lobbying by track officials, Santa Anita remains closed by order of the Los Angeles County Health Department. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

Santa Anita Derby Pushed Back As Track Officials Lobby For Reopening

As track officials continue lobbying to resume racing, Santa Anita Park remains closed for another weekend. That pushes back Saturday’s planned Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks to dates yet to be determined. On Friday, Los Angeles County health officials abruptly shut the track down, […]

The starting gate at iconic Santa Anita Park will stay empty for the foreseeable future after county health officials closed the track Friday morning. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

County Health Officials Abruptly Close Santa Anita Park

With 30 minutes to go before first post, officials from the Los Angeles County Health Department shut down racing at California’s Santa Anita Park Friday morning. The move came in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Track officials at Santa Anita, who worked hard to keep the track open for racing […]