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December 31, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2009) – It came down to the last race of the year at Santa Anita, and, in a bizarre turn of events, all Garrett Gomez needed was for his pick-up mount to come out of the gate Thursday in order for him to gain his fourth straight national purse money-won title.

Cenizo, the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the eighth race whom Gomez had acquired when Martin Pedroza “took off” three races earlier, was victorious as the heavily bet 4-5 choice in the $18,000 maiden claimer. He earned $10,800.

Arcadia, CA, Dec. 31 -- The creating of a John Henry statue by the gifted Nina Keiser, a profile of training great Shug McGaughey's longtime relationship with the renowned Phipps family, and the Three Chimneys Stallion Exercise Program, will be the featured segments when HRTV's (R) debuts a new episode of its "Inside Information" show this Sunday, January 3 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

The show, hosted by HRTV's Jon White, will spotlight John Henry, one of racing's most dominant, and revered, forces during the early portion of the 1980's.

December 30, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2009) – The much-anticipated return of Sidney’s Candy, who became a “buzz” horse in the 2010 Triple Crown picture last summer after a dazzling maiden victory at Del Mar, never had much of a chance Wednesday at Santa Anita.

As the 3-5 favorite in a $46,000 allowance event for 2-year-olds at six furlongs, the son of Candy Ride was virtually eliminated after he hopped at the start of the six-furlong event won in wire-to-wire fashion by trainer Bob Baffert’s Tiny Woods.

December 28, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif., (Dec. 28, 2009) – Racing on turf and beyond a sprint distance for the first time, 5-2 second-choice Macias held off fast-closing 3-2 favorite Alfarabi to win Monday’s fourth running of the $72,150 Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds while traversing the one-mile distance in 1:35.11 at Santa Anita.

With jockey Victor Espinoza gaining his third stakes victory on the Santa Anita meet’s third day, Macias tracked longshot pace-setter Lucks Mine, took command in midstretch and had enough in reserve to turn back Alfarabi by three-quarters-of-a-length.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2009) – As he marks his 10th birthday on Friday, racehorse centenarian Shadow of Illinois will be seeking a distinctive place in Santa Anita history while in search of his fourth straight victory in Santa Anita’s 13th running of the $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for California-breds at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course.

December 27, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2009) – Lava Man faded to last with blood spattered on both rear hooves after leading six rivals for nearly one mile of his comeback attempt before defending champion Proudinsky closed determinedly to win Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita.

The 63rd running of the San Gabriel marked the first start in 17 months for the 8-year-old gelding widely acclaimed as the greatest claim purchase in racing history.

December 26, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2009) – Before Santa Anita’s largest opening day crowd in 10 years, M One Rifle fired the biggest shot of an action-packed afternoon when Mike Smith guided the California-bred son of One Man Army to a wire-to-wire, 2 ½ length victory over 2-1 favorite Misremembered in the 58th running of the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds while negotiating seven furlongs in 1:21.05 for trainer, co-owner and co-breeder Bruce Headley.

December 9, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 9, 2009)—Santa Anita Park announced Wednesday a list of five finalists for the 61st annual Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, with the winner to be announced in January. Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Randall Meier, Gallyn Mitchell and DeShawn Parker will face an electorate comprised of their peers and one of the five will be selected the recipient of the highly coveted 2010 Woolf Award.

The Woolf Award has been presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950 and is regarded as one of the most prestigious honors in all of racing. It honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The winner’s trophy is a replica of the life-size statue of George Woolf, which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.

December 8, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2009)—Santa Anita Park has announced the addition of a new on-line handicapping contest, “Winvivor,” beginning Jan. 1. This contest will complement the popular “Showvivor,” which has been offered to Santa Anita fans free of charge, for the past two years.

“Showvivor has been very popular with our fans and we feel that Winvivor could be a big hit as well,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing, Allen Gutterman. “By virtue of the fact that you’ll have to pick a winner each day instead of a horse that finishes first, second or third, it’s obviously going to be tougher for people to stay ‘alive’ with Winvivor, but we think it has the potential to create some added interest, which is always good.”

December 4, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2009)—Santa Anita Park announced on Friday that the legendary Hall of Fame gelding, John Henry, will be immortalized for generations of racegoers to come as a life-sized bronze statue of him will be unveiled by his long-time Hall of Fame trainer, Ron McAnally, in Santa Anita’s picturesque Paddock Gardens on opening day, Saturday, Dec. 26, of Santa Anita’s winter/spring meet. The unveiling will coincide with and complement Santa Anita’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Sculpted by Nina Kaiser, the statue stands at John Henry’s height, 15.2 hands, and weighs roughly the same as “John” did, 1,000 lbs. Commissioned by Santa Anita and Oak Tree, Kaiser worked on the project for more than two years.