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February 22, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has announced that pending approval from the California Horse Racing Board, it will remain on a four-day race week schedule through March 20, and will transition to a five-day race week beginning Wednesday, March 23. The five-day race week would remain in effect through closing day, April 17.

Santa Anita’s 76-day winter/spring meeting began on Dec. 26, and with exception of holiday Mondays, racing has been conducted on a Thursday through Sunday basis. Santa Anita had originally planned to run five days a week beginning March 2, but due to a variety of factors, Santa Anita has opted to remain on a four-day schedule for the first three weeks in March.

February 21, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2011) – Without multiple Grade I winner Evening Jewel to deal with, comebacking Cozi Rosie uncorked a sizzling rally to spurt past pace-setter Briecat Monday and win Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap for older fillies and mares by a widening 1 ¼ lengths while covering one mile over a “good” turf course in 1:35.94.

The victory by the 4-year-old filly, who had not raced since losing by a head to Evening Jewel in the Grade II Honeymoon Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 31, provided trainer John Sadler with his eighth graded stakes win of the meet that began Dec. 26. That averages out to a graded stakes victory each week of a season that completed its eighth week on Monday. “I’m not counting,” Sadler said in reaction. “I’m just enjoying it and working hard.”

February 20, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2011) – The Factor, whom Hall of Famer trainer Bob Baffert likes to think of as his 3-year-old “cannon,” blasted the competition in his first graded stakes venture Sunday with a stylish three-quarter-length victory over Sway Away in Santa Anita’s 70th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes while racing seven furlongs in 1:20.34 over a surface termed “wet fast.”

On the meet’s opening day, Dec. 26, the gray colt named for Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated Fox News program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” had virtually streaked away from his rivals while breaking his maiden by 8 ¼ lengths and setting a track record of 1:06.98.

February 19, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2011) – Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Stakes at Santa Anita had been billed strictly as a duel between the West Coast’s foremost grass marathoners, Bourbon Bay and Champ Pegasus, and was it ever.

The 1 ½-mile competition simply could not have been any closer or more dramatic. After the two battled in tandem through the final eighth-of-a-mile, Champ Pegasus emerged victorious by the bob of a head.

“They are both very good horses,” said winning jockey Joel Rosario. “You saw how the race came out. I only beat him by this much,” as Rosario held his thumb and forefinger less than an inch apart. “I thought I got in front of him a couple of times,” added Rosario, “but he came back again.” The final time was 2:31.55.

February 18, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2011) – Second in her two previous starts after Corey Nakatani had taken the reins, Church Camp raced into the winner’s circle under the veteran jockey on Friday when scoring a mild upset in Santa Anita’s $64,140 Moondance Purse for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

The 4-year-old daughter of Forest Camp outfinished Excellent News by one-half length while 13-10 favorite Crisis of Spirit, who had been competing in graded stakes company last year, settled for third, another three-quarters of a length back in the field of nine.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2011)—Santa Anita Park and the City of Hope have announced a partnership that will unite the track’s racing fans and the entire California racing industry in the fight against cancer by presenting the first-ever “On-Track to Beat Cancer” event at Santa Anita on closing day, April 17.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2011)—Amid considerable fanfare, Santa Anita officials unveiled the exclusive Arcadia Suite on Friday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by several area politicians, including Arcadia Mayor Pro-Tem Gary Kovacic, Councilman Roger Chandler and City Manager Don Penman.

February 17, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2011) – Joel Rosario, the Dominican Republic native who began riding in the United States in 2007, registered his 1,000th career victory Thursday aboard 7-5 favorite Coo Cachoo in the seventh race at Santa Anita Park.

The 4-year-old colt had won by 4 ½ lengths under Rosario when claimed for $20,000 by trainer Julio Canani on behalf of Charles I. Gold on Jan. 16. Rosario again took Coo Cachoo wire-to-wire for the repeat in the $58,000 optional claimer at one mile while racing for a $40,000 claiming tag.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2011)—By a vote of 6-0 on Thursday, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) awarded fall dates to Santa Anita Park, to be run from Sept. 28 through Nov. 6.

Santa Anita, in conjunction with the Oak Tree Racing Association, had conducted a live fall meeting since 1969, with the exception of 2010, when Santa Anita’s main track was closed for repair, resulting in the dates being transferred to Hollywood Park.

“This is great news for Santa Anita and for the California horse racing industry,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “This means so much to so many people. From all of our employees and the people who work within the industry, to our fans and to the entire business community here in the San Gabriel Valley, this means jobs, revenue and the opportunity to remain viable and to grow our business into the future.”

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2011) – Following last weekend’s muddling of the West Coast’s Derby picture, trainer Bob Baffert’s record-setting The Factor will be among nine 3-year-olds aiming to elevate their status on Sunday in Santa Anita’s 70th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs.