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March 18, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2011) – Having found his niche on grass, heavily-favored Regally Ready cruised to a 1 ¾-length victory over Leroy’s Dynameaux in Friday’s fourth running of the $79,150 Joe Hernandez Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Two factors had loomed large in Regally Ready’s favor: (a) his recently realized affinity for turf racing, and (b) his speed in an otherwise paceless field of seven. The public pounded him down to 1-2 favoritism with the co-second choices at 7-1, and Regally Ready delivered as expected in the race that memorializes the original voice of Santa Anita who served as the track’s announcer from its opening in 1934 until his death in February of 1972.

March 17, 2011

March 13, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 13, 2011) – After rallying strongly to take the Grade III La Habra Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs, Irish-bred Cambina was just as forceful going one mile on turf when she stretched out Sunday to capture Santa Anita’s $80,500 China Doll Stakes for 3-year-old fillies

With Garrett Gomez back in the saddle, the smallish chestnut filly split horses in midstretch before drawing off to a three-quarter-length victory over Cathy’s Crunches while covering the distance in 1:35.70.

Although Cambina had won the Feb.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 13, 2011)—The condition of injured 90-year-old paddock guard John Shear has improved “one hundred eighty degrees” over what it was Saturday night at Huntington Memorial Hospital according to a family member.

Shear, who was injured while shielding a 6-year-old girl from a runaway loose horse, was hospitalized Saturday afternoon following the accident that occurred prior to Santa Anita’s third race.

“I went and saw him last night in I.C.U. (intensive care unit) and he didn’t look good,” said Shear’s son, Mike, 44. “His voice wasn’t good and his face was black and blue. I went back this morning to see him at 10:30 and there was a complete, 180 degree turnaround. He was sitting upright, talking, laughing and completely coherent and he’s stable.

March 12, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2011) – Premier Pegasus, a son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, burst into 2011 Derby prominence on Saturday at Santa Anita when taking the Grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths, the most decisive victory in the 74-year history of the final stepping-stone to the April 9 Santa Anita Derby.

Two races earlier on a stunning day at Santa Anita, 45-1 shot Miss Match edged odds-on favorite Switch by a head in the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational to generate the largest win payoff ($92.40) in the 74-year history of the race that is meant to determine the meet’s champion older filly or mare.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2011)—With Argenine-bred Miss Match providing the biggest win mutuel, ($92.40) in the 74-year history of the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes, Saturday’s Pick Six became an illusion to all, resulting in a carryover of $134,092 into Sunday. It’s expected the total pool on Sunday could exceed $1 million.

The Santa Margarita, run as race six, was the second leg in the Pick Six.

Race five got the popular wager off to a longshot beginning, as Cloud Man paid $29.00 to win.

March 11, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2011)—Veteran Santa Anita Paddock Guard John Shear was injured Saturday as he threw himself in front of a young girl in order to protect her from a loose horse, prior to the running of the third race.

Shear, a former jockey who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, has been a fixture at Santa Anita for decades. Prior to the incident, he was in his normal position holding the rope on the west entrance of the track’s walking ring.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011) – After faltering in a pair of Grade II stakes races, Irish-bred Ryehill Dreamer ran away with Santa Anita’s $67,180 allowance feature on Friday to capture the mile-and-one eighth turf event by 4 ½ lengths in 1:46.22.

Joel Rosario sent Marsha Naify’s 5-year-old gelding to the front at the outset and the pair coasted through undemanding early fractions of 23.97 and 47.72.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011)—All fans attending Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 19 will have a chance to get their “Irish” up, as The Great Race Place will again stage its popular $1 million St. Patrick’s Horseshoe Pitch between races.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has announced that it will embark upon an expanded five-day race week beginning Wednesday, March 23, and that it will reinstitute it’s popular “Free Fridays” promotion beginning March 25. In addition to March 25, all patrons will receive free General Admission on April 1, 8 and 15.