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April 7, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2011)—Premier Pegasus, the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, has been declared out of the race by his connections due to an unspecified injury.

“Rafael Martinez, who is Mr. Cho’s (trainer, Myong Kwon Cho) assistant, called me in the Racing Office at about 1:25 p.m.,” said Zachary Soto, Santa Anita Park Stakes Coordinator. “Rafael said ‘The horse (Premier Pegasus) is hurt and he can’t run. Please put in a scratch.’”

Soto noted that there was no further specificity as to the location or extent of the injury to the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus.

April 6, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 6, 2011) – If Premier Pegasus is to make good on his 8-5 morning-line favoritism among 11 entrants in Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, the show would truly belong to 68-year-old Myung Kwon Cho.

The Korean immigrant, who races a small stable of six horses, would become the first person to solely own, train and have bred the winner in 74 runnings of this major stepping stone to the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

Cho -- best known to date for a horse that never won -- would burst upon the national scene much like Premier Pegasus did with his stunning 7 ¾-length victory in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 12, his final prep for the mile-and-one-eighth Santa Anita Derby.

April 5, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2011)—Top jockeys David Flores and Chantal Sutherland, who recently became the first female jockey to ever win the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap, will lend their talents to Santa Anita Park’s traditional Derby Day 5K Walk and Run this Saturday.

A total of three different races will be offered on Saturday, with the Masters (for those over the age of 40) heat scheduled to start at 7:45 a.m., the Open (all others), at 8:15 a.m., and the Walk (for those who choose to walk only) at 8:20 a.m. Flores and Sutherland, who frequently work horses in the early morning hours, have chosen to run in the Open race, which gets underway at 8:15 a.m.

Pre registration will be offered Tuesday through Friday at several locations, including the Westfield Shopping Mall, which adjoins Santa Anita.

April 3, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2011) – In a field adorned by several classy comebackers, Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes came down to a battle between the event’s two sharpest runners as Amazombie outdueled Captain Cherokee by a desperate head while covering 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.26.

After returnee M One Rifle, winner of the Grade I Malibu Stakes in 2009, took the bunched first flight through some brisk fractions moving toward the far turn, Amazombie and Captain Cherokee began their moves in tandem on the far outside.

Amazombie, with jockey Mike Smith working feverishly, and Captain Cherokee, just inside under a flailing Joe Talamo, battled side-by-side through the stretch before Amazombie inched clear in the closing stages.

April 2, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2011) – The three entrants saddled by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert thoroughly impacted Santa Anita’s 59th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares on Saturday as 5-2 second choice Gilded Gem defeated 9-2 stablemate Subsidized by 1 ¼ lengths.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Gilded Gem, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Smarty Jones and a half sister to 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, made a sweeping move around the far turn when rallying from last to score decisively while racing the 6 ½-furlong distance in 1:15.22. The field size was reduced to five when Candy’s Pleasure was scratched by veterinarians after acting up in the starting gate.

April 1, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2011)—In order to accommodate its annual Santa Anita Derby 5K Walk and Run, Santa Anita Park and the city of Arcadia have announced that Baldwin Ave., from the 210 Freeway to Huntington Drive, will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2011)—As a result of fund raising efforts on Tokyo City Cup Day, March 26, Santa Anita Park and its fans raised $19,324 for the Japan Relief Fund, which has responded with aid to the victims of the devastating 9.1 earthquake which struck Japan on March 11.

“Santa Anita Park, with the help of its generous racing fans, is happy to announce that we were able to raise a significant amount of money on Tokyo City Cup Day,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “We’re honored, on behalf of the horse racing industry in California, to help in any way we can.

March 31, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2011) – Lunar Mist, an 18-1 longshot, streaked through an opening along the rail Thursday to overtake Sarasota Sunshine and win Santa Anita’s featured $59,800 Cambria Purse for fillies and mares by 1 ¼ lengths while negotiating 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:13.16.

The result provided Kentucky-based trainer Eric Reed with his first win at Santa Anita after 16 chances and assured a Pick Six carryover of $73,940 into Friday’s 1 p.m.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2011)—With longshot Lunar Mist taking Santa Anita’s allowance feature at odds of 18-1, no one was able to tab six winners in Thursday’s Pick Six, resulting in a carryover into Friday of $73,940. It is expected the total Pick Six Pool on Friday will exceed $500,000.

Thursday’s Pick Six got underway in race three, which was won by Ruby Lane, who returned $10.80 to win with Joel Rosario aloft.