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January 3, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan.3, 2010) – Sitting just off the early pace, Rafael Bejarano drove 3-2 favorite Tuscan Evening between competitors Sunday in midstretch of Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Handicap and likely right into the Grade I Santa Monica Handicap on Jan. 31.

Shortening up in distance after two stellar efforts at one mile on turf, Irish-bred Tuscan Evening savored the 6 ½-furlong distance of Santa Anita’s downhill turf course with a comfortable one-length win over 47-1 longshot Czechers in the field of 11.

January 2, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2010) – With Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic champion Life Is Sweet a late scratch after she “tied up” with muscle cramps in the morning, third-choice Cat by the Tale stepped up to register her first stakes win with a decisive, 2 ½-length triumph in Santa Anita’s 41st running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 5-year-old mare tracked the tepid early pace of Century Park, took the lead turning into the stretch and came home strongly for a final clocking of 1:48.17 before an on-track of 11,068.

January 1, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2010)—Due in large part to a 58-1 stunner in race seven, the New Year got off to a raucous start at Santa Anita, as the popular Pick Six eluded 11,695 on-track attendees and as a result, $115,261 will be carried over into Saturday’s Pick Six, which will be offered on races four through nine.

With veteran jockey Paul Atkinson at the controls, longshot Bonita Sonador prevailed by a head in race seven, returning $119.80 to win and thus assured the carryover into Saturday. Conditioned by Robert J. Lucas and owned by Willard D.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan 1, 2010) – Ten-year-old gelding Shadow of Illinois fell well short of accomplishing an unparalleled feat in Santa Anita’s rich 75-year history when a sixth and last-place finish in Friday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap deprived him the distinction of becoming the track’s oldest winner of a stakes race.

The gritty old-timer, who had missed 2 ½ years of action with a tendon injury during his sixth, seventh and eighth years, simply could not keep up with victorious 4-year-old Compari in the 6 ½ furlong contest over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

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.