Tag: Santa Anita Park

Messier was 15 lengths clear of his closest pursuer in a resounding Robert B. Lewis Stakes victory. Despite the record 15-length victory, the Bob Baffert horse is ineligible for Kentucky Derby points. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Ineligible Messier Puts on a Record-Setting Clinic in the Lewis

He’s currently ineligible to run in the Kentucky Derby, a factor Messier remained blissfully oblivious about on Sunday, when he destroyed his four other rivals by a record 15 lengths in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The fact the Bob Baffert-trained, Canadian-bred colt couldn’t […]

Messier may not be eligible for Kentucky Derby points, but he's the one to beat in Sunday's Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Robert B. Lewis Points the Way to Kentucky Derby Prospects

What you saw at last year’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park was one of the best Kentucky Derby preps of 2021, starting with a coming-out announcement for one colt and further validation of his talent from another. The coming-out announcement in the Grade 3 1 1/16-mile route […]

Express Train and Victor Espinoza could be the first tandem to win the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes in more than 50 years. The San Pasqual is a strong prep for the Santa Anita Handicap. (Image; Benoit Photo)

Express Train Aiming for History in San Pasqual

Express Train is attempting to do something in Saturday’s Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes that illustrates how deep the field of this race typically is. California Chrome didn’t do it. Neither did Accelerate. Nor Silver Charm, Alphabet Soup, Flying Paster, or Native Diver. All of the above won this sturdy […]

David Harrison (center) became the 23rd winner of the National Horseplayers Championship in the 23-year history of the event. Presenting the $725,000 first-price check are NTRA President Tom Rooney (left) and NTRA COO and NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. (Image: NTRA)

Harrison Goes ‘Old-School,’ Becomes Newest NHC Champion

During the week, David Harrison is a real estate appraiser. On the weekends, however, he appraises Thoroughbreds as an old-school handicapper. This weekend, he proved himself as the best appraiser of horseflesh in the world. Harrison bested a field of 643 entries at Bally’s Las Vegas, capturing the 23rd annual […]

Despite only one race under his hooves, Doppelganger is the 8/5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He's one of three Bob Baffert colts in the field. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Go Figure: Baffert Sends Out Three of Five San Vicente Contenders

The Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park sends five 3-year-olds seven furlongs Saturday. Because this race involves sophomores and because it’s at Santa Anita, this naturally translates into another glimpse into the endless barn of Bob Baffert. Back on the West Coast after his week-long hearing with […]

Mackinnon has been a turf force in his six races. Now, he tries dirt for the first time in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

When it Comes to the Derby, Nothing Phony About These Sham Stakes

Unlike many of its early Kentucky Derby prep predecessors, Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park brings the recent Derby chops with it. How recent? How about the last two Derby champions? The one-mile Sham, which offers 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers, gave you […]

Flightline was in his own zip code when he finished Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Flightline's 11 1/2-length victory came with a 118 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest Beyer by a North American horse this year. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Flightline Unwraps 2021’s Best Beyer With Malibu Stakes Victory

As trainer John Sadler put it after watching his star runner Flightline on Sunday, “Christmas came a day late.” For Sadler and the connections of the 3-year-old son of Tapit, Flightline’s performance in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park was the gift that keeps on giving. And […]

Private Mission and Flavien Prat seek a return to trips like this victorious one in the Grade 2 Zenyatta two starts ago. The pair are the 8/5 morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Private Mission’s La Brea Stakes Mission: Avoid A Pace Meltdown

The last time we saw Private Mission, she was engaged in an incendiary pace meltdown with Letruska and others in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. Now, we see if she’s learned a lesson from that rude awakening in Sunday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. […]

Beyond Brilliant, seen here winning the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar, is one of the favorites in Sunday's Grade 2 Mathis Mile at Santa Anita Park's Opening Day. The Southern California track offers various wagering options to play that race and others. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Park’s Wagering Menu: Heavy on Options, Low on Takeout

Santa Anita Park unveiled its wagering menu for its Winter/Spring Meet, which opens Sunday with three Grade 1s among its six stakes. It also opens with a special Opening Day Mid-Pick 4 that encompasses Races 5, 6, 7 and 8 on the traditional Dec. 26 opening-day card. And there are […]

Canoodling has dominated ungraded stakes, such as this victory in the Zia Park Distaff last month. Now, she ventures into the deep waters of the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Canoodling Cozying Up to the Big Time at Santa Anita’s La Brea Stakes

Canoodling’s name translates into “engaging in amorous embracing, caressing, and kissing.” And on Sunday, the 3-year-old filly will be canoodling in deeper, rougher racing waters than she ever has. Canoodling finds herself back at Santa Anita Park, where she hasn’t raced since finishing fifth in the Listed Surfer Girl Stakes […]

Hot Rod Charlie, seen turning away Midnight Bourbon in September's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, comes into Sunday's San Antonio Stakes as the 6/5 morning-line favorite. (Image: Equi-Photo)

Hot Rod Charlie Making Final 3-Year-Old Stand at the San Antonio

First, it was blinkers off for Hot Rod Charlie. Then, blinkers on for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now, the colt will finish his 3-year-old season in Sunday’s Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita without blinkers. This is a case of trainer Doug O’Neill going back to what worked […]

Golden Gate Fields shares two bets with Santa Anita Park during its Winter/Spring Meet. The meet runs from Sunday through June 14, 2022. (Image: Golden Gate Fields)

Golden Gate Fields Opens, Shares Wagers With Bigger Cousin Santa Anita

Overshadowed by its southern cousin and its six stakes races – including three Grade 1s – Golden Gate Fields also opens its Winter/Spring Meet on Sunday. But instead of three Grade 1s – the marquee events on Santa Anita Park’s opening day — the Northern California track turns out two […]

Beholder and the young Q B One, her first foal. Now 3-years-old, Q B One makes his debut at Santa Anita Sunday. (Image: Spendthrift Farm)

Beholder’s Son, Q B One, Trying to Follow in Mommy’s Hoofprints

In June of 2012, a $180,000, 2-year-old filly named Beholder finished fourth in a maiden special weight race at Hollywood Park. At 21.8/1, she finished 8 1/2 lengths behind winner Executiveprivilege, getting outkicked by a half-length by a filly named Travesura for third. Something apparently kicked in at that point, […]

Flightline won this Del Mar allowance by 12 3/4 lengths in early September. The flashy 3-year-old makes his stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Fleet Flightline Sets Himself Up for a Malibu Stakes Cruise

It speaks volumes about Flightline’s frightening speed and fearsome reputation that Dr. Schivel, his erstwhile rival in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park, won’t be the morning-line favorite. The runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the favorite in four of his eight career starts will be […]

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit collapsed and died Monday morning after a workout at Santa Anita Park. The 3-year-old colt never finished out of the money in 10 career races. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Champion Medina Spirit Dies of Apparent Heart Attack After Workout

The sporting world beyond horse racing was shocked Monday morning when 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit suddenly died of an apparent heart attack after a morning workout at Santa Anita Park. The Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-old had just finished a five-furlong work in 1:01.40 when he collapsed. Santa Anita’s onsite […]

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride on the West Coast this winter. He leads all active riders with more than $446 million in career earnings. (Image: Coady Photgraphy)

Velazquez Bringing His Hall of Fame Resume to the West Coast

The Southern California jockey colony just got significantly deeper with the announcement that Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez is moving his tack to Santa Anita for the upcoming 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet. This marks the first time in Velazquez’s decorated 32-year career he’s riding full-time in Southern California. A stalwart of […]