Tag: Santa Anita Derby

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 […]