ARCADIA, Calif. (April 20, 2014) – Santa Anita Derby winner California Chrome, who stamped himself as the favorite for the 140th Kentucky Derby on May 3 by virtue of his authoritative 5 ¼ length victory in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5, was a unanimous choice as Horse of the Meet in Santa Anita’s Winter Meet Media Poll.

In addition, the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit owned and bred by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin and trained by Art Sherman, also was unanimously named the meet’s outstanding 3-year-old.

“We’re very proud of his accomplishments and appreciate the recognition by the media,” Sherman said. “We hope he rewards their respect by continuing to win.”

California Chrome won three races this meet by wide margins: the California Cup Derby by 5 ½ lengths on Jan. 25; the Grade II San Felipe Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths on March 8; and the Santa Anita Derby by 5 ¼ lengths.

Game On Dude, last year’s Horse of the Meet, was named outstanding older horse by virtue of his third victory in the Santa Anita Handicap, becoming the only horse to capture the meet’s marquee race three times in its 77-year history. His unprecedented victory earned him Achievement of the Meet.

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, perennial leader at Bay Area tracks, was named the meet’s outstanding conditioner, winning 34 races to capture a share of the Santa Anita crown, his first at The Great Race Place. In a dramatic finish, John Sadler sent out Bench Light to win the meet’s final race by a neck over the Hollendorfer-trained Husband’s Folly to gain a share of the training crown, also with 34 victories. Bob Baffert was third with 33 wins.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano continued his reign of dominance in Southern California, leading from start to finish to capture his fifth Santa Anita riding title, outdistancing runner-up Joe Talamo, 93-54. Gary Stevens led in stakes triumphs with 10.

Coburn and Martin were also named the meet’s outstanding owners, edging the Hronis brothers, Kosta and Peter, and Glen Hill Farm, while apprentice rider Drayden Van Dyke was a unanimous choice as the leading ‘bug” rider. The 19-year-old native of Louisville, Ky., won 31 to finish eighth in the standings overall.

Other winners were: the Hollendorfer-trained Let Faith Arise, who won the meet’s signature race for older fillies and mares, the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes and was second in the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes, outstanding older filly or mare.

Winning Prize, who won the Grade II Arcadia Stakes and the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile for trainer Neil Drysdale, outstanding grass horse.
Stormy Lucy, who took the Grade II Santa Ana Stakes while trained by Frank Lucarelli and later the Grade III Santa Barbara Handicap under new trainer Ed Moger Jr., outstanding grass filly or mare.

Fashion Plate, winner of two Grade I races, the Las Virgenes Stakes and the Santa Anita Oaks for trainer Simon Callaghan, outstanding 3-year-old filly.

Big Macher, winner of the California Cup Sprint Stakes, second in the Grade II San Carlos Stakes and first in the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes, outstanding sprinter for trainer Richard Baltas.

And finally, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly Clearly Confused, winner of four claiming races at the meet starting at the $12,500 level and finishing at the $25,000 plateau, outstanding claiming horse.

2013-14 Santa Anita Winter Media Poll

Horse of Meet: California Chrome

Older Horse: Game On Dude

Older Filly/Mare: Let Faith Arise

Grass Horse: Winning Prize

Grass Filly/Mare: Stormy Lucy

3-Year-Old: California Chrome

3-Year-Old Filly: Fashion Plate

Owner: Perry & Coburn

Sprinter: Big Macher

Claimer: Clearly Confused

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Apprentice: Drayden Van Dyke

Race: Santa Anita Handicap

Achievement: Game On Dude, Big ‘Cap