Tag: Santa Anita Handicap

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 […]

Express Train captured the Santa Anita Handicap for his first Grade 1 victory. The even-money favorite gave trainer John Shirreffs his first Big 'Cap title. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Express Train Takes Shirreffs to Long Awaited Big ‘Cap Title

John Shirreffs is on this year’s short list for induction into the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame this year. But Saturday brought the 76-year-old trainer an early, long-sought honor, one that eluded him for years. A Santa Anita Handicap trip to the winner’s circle. Express Train crossed that off Shirreffs’ […]

Express Train is the 8/5 favorite to win his first Grade 1 in Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Handicap Awaits its Next History-Making Winner

Win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and you immediately enter the discussion of the country’s best older horses. Win the 1 ¼-mile “Big ‘Cap” and you join a club featuring the likes of Seabiscuit, Hill Rise, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry (twice), Alysheba, Best Pal, Tiznow, Game […]

Hoping to dodge impending rain, Santa Anita Park postponed its eight-race Friday card to Monday. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With Rain Looming, Santa Anita Pushes Friday Card to Monday

With a 90% chance of rain forecast for Friday, Santa Anita Park moved Friday’s eight-race card to Monday. The shift comes one day before Santa Anita plays host to one of the biggest race days on the Southern California track’s calendar. Saturday’s card features six stakes races, including three Grade […]

Count Again is the likely favorite for the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita Park, one of Saturday's 15 combined stakes races at Santa Anita and Gulfstream parks. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Derby Preps, Big ‘Cap Headline 1/ST Racing’s Stacked Saturday of Stakes

With two stellar Kentucky Derby preps and the iconic Santa Anita Handicap headlining 15 stakes races Saturday, Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park joined forces through their parent 1/ST Racing to create a massive race day for bettors. In what 1/ST Racing officials called “1/ST Saturday,” the two Stronach-owned tracks […]

Idol (front) caught Express Train at the wire to win March's Santa Anita Handicap. He returns for the first time in seven months for Saturday's Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Idol Worship: Big ‘Cap Winner Returns for Awesome Again Stakes

The last time we saw Idol, he was literally catching a Train – Express Train – who Idol ran down and passed just before crossing the wire of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. That half-length victory in one of the California track’s flagship events came on March 6, nearly […]

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 […]

Idol and Joel Rosario swiped the Santa Anita Handicap in deep stretch from Express Train. The 4-year-old standout will miss the second leg of the Wild West Bonus series with an undisclosed issue. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Big ‘Cap Winner Idol Sidelined, Won’t Chase Wild West Bonus

The $1 million Wild West Bonus will go unclaimed with the announcement that Santa Anita Handicap winner Idol will miss the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup with an undisclosed issue. Trainer Richard Baltus told Santa Anita Park’s Ed Golden that the issue doesn’t appear to be career-ending and that the […]

Maxfield makes his first trip west of the Mississippi for Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. He's the 8/5 morning-line favorite in the 1 1/4-mile "Big 'Cap." (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Maxfield Puts Maximum Attention on Santa Anita Handicap

The Santa Anita Handicap was the race that put Seabiscuit into the Depression-era public conscience. It was the first race offering a $100,000 purse, earning it the nickname “The Hundred Grander,” back when that was real money. Now, Maxfield is putting the Santa Anita Handicap back on the racing map. […]

Highly Motivated makes his anticipated 2021 debut in Saturday's Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Weekend Stakes: History at Santa Anita, Derby Preps on Both Coasts

This weekend’s stakes lineup features one of the most iconic races in American horse racing, the Santa Anita Handicap. But even that event, technically Santa Anita Park’s Saturday headliner, may get overshadowed on its own card by a Grade 2 Kentucky Derby prep, the San Felipe Stakes. Featuring two of […]

Accelerate won the Pacific Classic by 12 1/2 lengths. Along with winning the Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup, this would have brought a $1 million bonus 
under a new program from Santa Anita and Del Mar. (Image: Lane's End Farm)

Santa Anita, Del Mar Form Posse for $1 Million Wild West Bonus

Seeking to keep their top Western horses home – while luring Eastern horses west – Santa Anita Park and Del Mar created the $1 Million Wild West Bonus. That bonus goes to the connections of any horse who sweeps the three Southern California elite races for older horses, the Santa […]

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 […]

At age 7, Gift Box is one of the most dominant older horses in the country. He'll try to be the fifth horse to win multiple Santa Anita Handicaps Saturday. (Image: OG News)

Gift Box Seeks To Unwrap Second Consecutive Santa Anita Handicap

The Santa Anita Handicap is a race that rewards the complete package in a horse, which is why it presents an opening for Gift Box to find the winner’s circle. After vanquishing McKinzie with one of the best stretch duels of any 2019 race in last year’s edition, Gift Box […]