Tag: Santa Anita Park

Caddo River used his 10 1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones to run up the Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Kentucky Derby Futures: Big Winners Make Big Odds Leaps

The first page of this week’s Kentucky Derby futures board got tighter – partly a byproduct of two horses getting loose from their rivals last weekend. The first was Caddo River, who moved to 16/1 at Circa Sports and 15/1 at William Hill Nevada. Dropping beneath 20/1 at this point […]

Last time out, Shivaree set the Tampa Bay Downs stakes record en route to winning the Marion County Florida Sire Stakes. The runner-up in last year's Florida Derby returns to action Saturday in the Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: SV Photography)

The Pegasus Isn’t the Only Stakes Race This Weekend

Saturday brings us the first two Grade 1 stakes races of 2021: the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf, coming to you from Gulfstream Park. The Florida track captures this weekend’s stakes spotlight with those two high-profile races, along with five other graded stakes on its […]

Santa Anita morning line author Jon White made Justify (right) the 4/5 favorite in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby. The eventual Triple Crown winner beat Bolt d'Oro as the race favorite. White's morning line favorites become actual race favorites more than 70% of the time. (Image: Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star News)

Writing Santa Anita’s Morning Line Requires More than Chalk for White

By this point in his lengthy career in horse racing, which covers everything from steward to TV personality, Jon White’s skin is as tough as leather. He understands that most of you don’t understand what goes into making a racing morning line. But the saying, “Everyone’s a critic” means, well, […]

Charlatan's stretch romp in the Malibu Stakes last month produced one of the most impressive wins of the year. He likely will run next in Saudi Arabia in the world's richest race -- the $20 million Saudi Cup. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Baffert’s Charlatan Will Follow the Money to the Saudi Cup

In a clear case of following the money, Charlatan will pass on the Pegasus and likely set down at the Saudi Cup. That’s what trainer Bob Baffert told Santa Anita’s Ed Golden on Sunday. Following the money, in this case, takes the 4-year-old son of Speightstown to Saudi Arabia on […]

Fighting Mad captured the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes last May over Hard Not To Love. The two meet again in Saturday's Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Older Set Takes Over the Stakes Spotlight at Santa Anita, Gulfstream

Last week, the sophomores stole the stage. Now, it’s the older horses’ turn to seize the stakes spotlight, dim as it may be this weekend. This weekend’s stakes schedule doesn’t scream “high profile.” After all, 2021’s first Grade 1s are still two weeks away. But, it does raise its voice […]

Life Is Good won Saturday's Sham Stakes by three-quarters of a length over stablemate Medina Spirit. Kentucky Derby futures bettors rewarded Medina Spirit with an odds cut, while leaving favorite Life Is Good alone. (Image: Benoit Photo)

How Close is Too Close? Derby Futures Boards Reward Sham Stakes Runner-Up

Proving that Kentucky Derby futures boards and futures bettors view such matters through a kaleidoscope, Medina Spirit finished second in Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. At 9/1, he needed a furious stretch rally to even get near race winner and fellow Bob Baffert stablemate, Life Is […]

Parnelli makes his fifth career start in Saturday's Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. He hasn't missed the board in his previous four: a win and three seconds. (Image: Zoe Metz Photgraphy)

Can Life Is Good Duplicate His Electric Debut In Sham Stakes?

Yes, Saturday’s Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park is only a Grade 3. And yes, only five horses are entered. But no. These facts scare away exactly nobody interested in New Year Kentucky Derby reconnaissance. That’s because one of those five is Life Is Good. The same Life Is Good […]

Sittin On Go turned in a go-go performance winning the Iroquois Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard. He makes his 3-year-old debut as one of the sophomores to watch in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Jamie Newell/Twin Spires)

Life Is Good for Derby Prep Watchers on this Weekend’s Stakes Slate

Life Is Good returns this weekend as the leading player among several Kentucky Derby contenders and would-be contenders among three Derby preps on both coasts. And those Derby contenders and would-be Derby contenders? They lose their juvenile status and become official 3-year-olds on Friday. Aqueduct, Santa Anita Park, and Gulfstream […]

Santa Anita Park' debuted its new turf chute Saturday. Highly Distorted won the 6 1/2-furlong race at 11/1. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Santa Anita Park’s New Turf Chute Makes an Early and Successful Debut

Highly Distorted became the 11/1 answer to a trivia question when he won the first race run from Santa Anita Park’s new turf chute on Saturday. The 6-½-furlong allowance race was Santa Anita’s sixth of 11 on its Saturday Winter/Spring Meet opening day card. Santa Anita Track Surfaces Consultant Dennis […]

Smooth Like Strait was the only favorite to win the five graded stakes races on Santa Anita Park's opening-day card. He nipped Storm the Court in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile. (Image: Benoit Photography)

No Crowds? No Problem as Santa Anita Park Enjoys Record Handle

With Charlatan winning Bob Baffert’s 17th Grade 1 race of 2020 headlining an 11-race, six-stakes card, Santa Anita Park set an all-time opening day handle record of $23,003,159 Saturday. That surpassed the previous record: 2018’s 11-race opening-day handle, by more than $2.51 million. And it did so without the traditional […]

Every race thus far has been a breeze like this for Nashville. The 6/5 favorite for Saturday's Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita is 3-for-3 since September, winning his races by an average of 8 1/2 lenths. (Image: Coady Photography/Keeneland)

The Malibu Stakes Puts a Rich, Plot-Filled Bow on 2020’s Grade 1 Races

The Malibu Stakes is the bow on the 2020 racing season. It gives horseplayers and racing fans a deserving end to this year’s wild, unpredictable runaway roller coaster that was Horseracing 2020. There’s Nashville, he of the freakish speed. There’s Charlatan, he of the one-time Kentucky Derby favorite status. There’s […]

Finite's last outing was this decisive Chilukki Stakes victory at Churchill Downs. She is a tepid 7/2 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Coady Photography)

It’s Finite vs. Baffert’s Infinite Depth in Wide Open La Brea Stakes

The tempting storyline in Saturday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park is to look at the seven-furlong race through the quality vs. quantity prism. Steve Asmussen’s standout filly Finite vs. Bob Baffert’s quartet of Merneith, Golden Principal, Himiko and Provocation. Asmussen sending a multiple Grade 2 and […]

Trainer Graham Motion's Sharing already owns a Grade 1 win at the 2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She goes for her second as the 3/1 favorite in the American Oaks at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Sharing Plants the Seed of Familiarity as American Oaks Favorite

Let no one accuse Sharing of dodging either travel or terrific competition. And the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita Park provides the 3-year-old filly both elements for her considerable resume. Run on the turf, the 1 ¼-mile American Oaks is the final Grade 1 event of the year […]

Mucho Gusto enjoyed a busy 3-year-old season. But Saturday's San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita marks only his third race of 2020. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Mucho Gusto Returns for San Antonio — With Eyes On Bigger Game

Winning more than $3.1 million in two races took so much out of Mucho Gusto that Bob Baffert, his trainer, decided Mucho Gusto needed mucho time off. Now, vacation time is over for the reigning Pegasus World Cup Invitational champion, who returns Saturday for his first race since February. After […]

Charlatan returns to action for the first time in seven months on a stakes-packed opening day at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos)

Unwrap Plenty of Stars in Santa Anita Park’s Boxing Day Opener

Santa Anita Park’s opening day marks the return of this year’s Pegasus World Cup champion for the first time in 10 months. And poor Mucho Gusto; he’s not remotely the headline attraction. For that, he can thank Nashville, Charlatan, and Independence Hall, who all smashed and grabbed Mucho Gusto’s spotlight […]

Starting Jan. 1, horses leaving the Santa Anita starting gate in a stakes race will do so without the anti-bleeding medication, Lasix. (Image: Santa Anita)

California Bans Lasix for Virtually all Stakes Races

Starting with the upcoming Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields winter/spring meets, California became the latest state to ban the use of Lasix in the majority of stakes races. The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) unanimously approved the terms of an agreement between the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) […]

Awesome Again sired 14 Grade 1 stakes winners and progeny who earned more than $98 million. A great racehorse in his own right, Awesome Again died Tuesday at 26. (Image: Adena Springs)

Awesome Again, Champion and Sire of Champions, Dies at 26

Awesome Again, who went from champion horse to prolific sire of champions, died suddenly at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Kentucky. He was 26. The cause of death is unknown, but a full necropsy and veterinary report is pending, according to an announcement from Old Friends founder and President, […]

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you won't be able to walk to the Santa Anita Park window to bet and cash winning tickets. But the Southern California track has you covered with a smorgasbord of wagers on its upcoming Winter/Spring Meet. (Image: Mario Tama/Getty)

No Spectators? No Problem as Santa Anita Offers Myriad of Wagers

Santa Anita Park unveiled a betting menu for its upcoming Winter/Spring Meet that includes North America’s lowest takeout on win-place-show bets, and its popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot wager. The iconic Southern California track announced a 15.43% takeout on all $2 win, place, and show wagers. That’s the […]