Tag: Santa Anita Park

Dr Schivel and Flavien Prat made their move just in time to score a head victory in the colt's return from a 9 1/2-month layoff. (Image: Benoit Photography)

The Doctor is In: Dr Schivel, Mailman Money Win Key Allowance Races

There was Dr Schivel returning on one side of the country, Enforceable, Finnick the Fierce, Core Beliefs and Sonneman tangling on the other. This eclectic group of familiar names made up for a weekend devoid of Grade 1 races in North America with two intriguing allowance races on both sides […]

Royal Ship brings the best last-out Beyer Speed Figure, a 108, from this Grade 2 Californian victory. He is the 5/2 co-second favorite in Monday's Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Gold Cup Shines Light On Would-Be Older Stars

The Hollywood Gold Cup inaugural winner was Seabiscuit. Its last winner was Improbable. And in between, one of the West Coast’s signature races turned loose winners such as three-time champs Lava Man and Native Diver, two-time winner Game on Dude and Triple Crown owners Citation and Affirmed. August company, to […]

Smooth Like Strait is the 4/5 favorite for the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Santa Anita Park's Memorial Day card. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Say the Word About the Shoemaker Mile’s Consistent Contenders

If it’s possible to ride into a Grade 1 race in form – riding into that race with two losses – Smooth Like Strait comes into this year’s Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita Park in perfect form. Yes, Smooth Like Strait finished third in his last start, the […]

United is one of the top turf horses on the West Coast. He's won five of his last seven races coming into Saturday's Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Small Field and All, the Whittingham Looks Like a United Front

The Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita could not present a greener path to the winner’s circle for race favorite United. You’re sending out a turf terror with one of the best riders in the country aboard – Flavien Prat. You’re sending that turf terror out on a turf course […]

Trainer Leonard Powell, seen here with jockey Rafael Bejarano after the pair won the Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar in 2018, put in a record $150,000 claim for a 3-year-old filly Saturday. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Trainer Powell Puts In Santa Anita Park Record $150K Claim on Filly

Trainer Leonard Powell set a Santa Anita Park claiming record last Saturday when he put in a $150,000 claim for Nimbostratus, a 3-year-old French-bred filly. Powell’s claim destroyed the previous record of $125,000, set in 1997. Santa Anita fielded three $100,000 claims this meet — remarkable numbers, even at one […]

If Flavien Prat celebrates after the Belmont, he'll do it on a different horse than Preakness winner Rombauer. Prat takes the reins of Hot Charlie for the Belmont Stakes. He rode Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Patrick Smith/Getty)

Belmont Musical Jockeys: Prat Trades Rombauer for Hot Rod Charlie

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who proved his nimbleness by quickly securing Flavien Prat’s jockey services for the Kentucky Derby, proved them once again for the Belmont Stakes. He said Prat will ride the Derby’s third-place runner in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. That, of course, means Michael McCarthy needs to find […]

Rombauer and Flavien Prat captured the 146th Preakness Stakes with a closing flourish that belied their 11/1 odds. It was Prat's second Triple Crown race victory, following his promoted Kentucky Derby win aboard Country House in 2019. (Image: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Improbable Rombauer Turns in a Vintage Preakness Performance

Rombauer, the horse named after a vineyard, now goes by the new name: Preakness Stakes champion. And Rombauer, the horse named after the Napa Valley vineyard, wasn’t supposed to run the Preakness because he wasn’t supposed to run the race that got him into the Preakness. He wasn’t supposed to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Medina Spirit (right) nipped Roman Centurian (left) and Hot Rod Charlie in a Robert B. Lewis photo finish in January. The Bob Baffert trainee becomes the expected favorite in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With Life Is Good Out, Baffert Shuffles His Derby Prospects

With Life Is Good off the Kentucky Derby Trail with what’s been diagnosed as an ankle chip, Bob Baffert shuffled his deep bench of Derby contenders. The shuffle means both Medina Spirit and trail newcomer Defunded will run the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 3. Baffert made 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 […]

Swiss Skydiver had no company in deep stretch, winning Saturday's Grade 1 Beholder Mile by four lengths. (Image: Benoit Photo)

A Beautiful Finish Was in Swiss Skydiver’s Eye in the Beholder

Bring the jury in on Swiss Skydiver. Throw out whatever doubts you may have held on the Champion 3-Year-Old Filly impressing as a 4-year-old. Swiss Skydiver didn’t exactly pick up in 2021 where she left off in 2020 after stumbling out of the gate at the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Her […]

Flavien Prat is one of only four riders in Santa Anita's 85-year history to win six races in a single day twice. He tied Laffit Pincay's record of winning six consecutive races Friday. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Prat Ties Legendary Pincay’s Record With Six Consecutive Wins

Flavien Prat is fast making a disappearing act of the Santa Anita Park Winter/Spring Meet jockey title, which became clear when he tied a Santa Anita Park record Friday. Prat won six consecutive races Friday, finishing the feat aboard Disappearing Act in Santa Anita’s seventh race. Prat took Disappearing Act […]

Life Is Good led at every call for the third consecutive race. His eight-length San Felipe Stakes victory brought him 50 Kentucky Derby points and depressed futures odds. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Life Is Good Shows He’s Eight Lengths Good in San Felipe Romp

The hardest part of analyzing Life Is Good’s dismantling of Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes field at Santa Anita Park is determining what was the most impressive element of his victory. Was it the eight-length victory? The legitimate fractions of 23.63 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 46.83 for the first […]

Mike Smith and Life Is Good are your odds-on favorites to win Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

San Felipe Stakes: Where Life Is Good to Bob Baffert

The Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes marks the point of the year where Bob Baffert’s endless 3-year-old depth finally makes him compete with himself. Yes, he’s sent out Life Is Good and Medina Spirit in the Sham. Yes, we saw Concert Tour nip Freedom Fighter in the San Vicente. But […]

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 […]