Press Releases

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April 15, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 15, 2011) – Dismissed at odds of 13-1 in her United States debut, British-bred Fifth Ave overwhelmed 3-5 favorite Rumor by 1 ¼ lengths to capture Friday’s $56,000 American Girl Purse for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course and keyed a Pick Six carryover into Saturday of $63,809.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 15, 2011)—Veteran trainer Lou Carno passed away at 5 a.m. Friday at the age of 90, according to his wife of 23 years, Kathy. Known on the backstretches of Chicago and California as “The Silver Fox,” Carno was seldom without his trademark cigar and biting wit.

Carno was best known as the trainer of Victory Beauty, a hard hitting gelding who won 30 races, including eight stakes for Carno.

April 14, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2011) – Indiana-bred Preamble stormed to his third straight victory at Santa Anita this year on Thursday when the 4-year-old Spendthrift Farm colt defeated Lucky Primo by two lengths in the $62,540 Karma Is King Purse at 1 1/16 miles.

After tracking pace-setter Lucky Primo into the stretch, the chestnut son of Mr. Greeley took a narrow lead while straightening away and burst clear in the closing stages under jockey Martin Garcia.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2011) – A puzzlingly contentious 72nd running of the historic San Juan Capistrano Handicap, the Grade II, $150,000 marathon at 1 ¾ miles that is renowned as the longest turf stakes race in North America, closes Santa Anita’s 76th racing season on Sunday.

Haimish Hy, victorious in the Grade I Hollywood Derby last fall, is the 119-pound highweight among 10 entrants in the event whose past winners include such racing luminaries as Seabiscuit, Cougar II and John Henry.

There is no clear standout this year, however.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2011)—Santa Anita Park will host its third Gourmet Food Truck Festival, featuring approximately 65 vendors, on Saturday, May 14, it was announced today. Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting concludes this Sunday, and on the heels of two resoundingly successful events in January and April, the May 14 Festival will mark the first time Santa Anita has hosted such an event without live racing.

“The Food Trucks have found a home here at Santa Anita,” said George Haines, Santa Anita President. “Both of the Food Truck Festivals, on Jan.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2011)—John Shear, Santa Anita’s 90-year-old Paddock Guard who was gravely injured while protecting a 6-year-old girl from a runaway horse on March 12, will be released from Huntington Memorial Hospital on Saturday, according to his son, Michael.

In a fortuitous twist of fate, Saturday is also Shear's wife Diane's 68th birthday.

“My dad wishes to thank you all for your prayers, generosity, and well wishes,” said Shear. “It has been a tremendous strength to him over these past difficult weeks. He’ll be released from the hospital this Saturday and will be going home, where he will continue with physical therapy.

“His doctors are amazed at the progress he’s made. He was badly injured and he was in very, very bad shape the first few days following the accident. He lost quite a bit of blood internally and his blood pressure got very low. My dad has always prided himself on eating well and staying physically fit and there’s no doubt this has helped him immensely.”

April 13, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2011) – Cozi Rosie, who came back running from a nine-month layoff to win the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 21, is the 121-pound high weight and likely favorite Saturday among six entrants in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

The 63rd running of the Santa Barbara, coupled with the Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on turf, head a 10-race program that opens the final weekend of the Santa Anita meet that began on Dec. 26. The season closes on Sunday with the historic Grade II, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles on turf.

April 10, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2011) – Jockey Joe Talamo cut the corner turning for home with 5-2 third choice Surrey Star Sunday to propel the Irish-bred bay colt to victory in Santa Anita’s 31st running of the $100,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, the track’s grass counterpart to the previous day’s Santa Anita Derby.

When the field floated out rounding the far turn, Talamo slipped Surrey Star though along the rail to gain the advantage and he gamely withstood the closing surge of 9-5 choice Major Art to win by one-half length.

April 9, 2011

By BETH HARRIS

AP Racing Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ A year ago, Bob Baffert was seething after favorite Lookin At Lucky ran a troubled third in the Santa Anita Derby. What a difference 12 months makes.

The Hall of Fame trainer was all smiles when Midnight Interlude scored a surprising victory in the Grade I, $1 million race Saturday, suddenly giving Baffert a third option for the Kentucky Derby.

"We weren't sure," he said about the unproven colt. "He'd been training well, but he hadn't had the class test, gut-check yet."

Midnight Interlude got it in the stretch, rallying under Victor Espinoza to overhaul Comma to the Top and win by a head in the West's biggest prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby. Midnight Interlude ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.66 before an on-track crowd of 31,523.

April 8, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2011)—Owner/trainer Bob Bean paved the way for a Pick Six carryover on Friday, as his Ellie L., in a furious stretch drive, got up to win the fourth race under Kayla Stra, paying $119.00 to win and virtually assured what became a Pick Six carryover of $58,124 into Saturday. It is expected the total Pick Six pool on Saturday, Santa Anita Derby Day, will exceed $500,000.

Friday’s Pick Six got off to a formful start, as 4-5 favorite Star Dance M D paid $3.80 to win with leading rider Joel Rosario up.