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April 12, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 12, 2009) – Garrett Gomez’s bid to tie Santa Anita’s record of 19 stakes races during a single season was denied on Sunday when 7-10 favorite Tuscan Evening faded to third behind victorious Gotta Have Her in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.

April 11, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 11, 2009)—Although Battle of Hastings took Saturday’s featured La Puente Stakes as the 7-5 post time favorite, longshots were for the most part the order of the day for the remainder of the afternoon and as a result, there is a carryover of $121,702 into Sunday and the prospect of a total pool of more than $1 million.

Saturday’s carryover is the 26th from 78 days of racing at Santa Anita’s 84-day winter/spring meeting, which will conclude on Sunday, April 19.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 11, 2009) – British-bred Battle of Hastings, -- whose “light bulb went on” in his last race, according to jockey Tyler Baze – scorched his competition Saturday in Santa Anita’s $100,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds when rallying to a 1 ½-length victory over Smokey Lonesome in the one-mile turf event executed in 1:34.38.

April 10, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2009) – After traversing the seldom run marathon distance of 1 ½ miles on turf, it took a photo Friday to separate the first three finishers in Santa Anita’s $55,520 optional claiming feature with the nod going to favored Isipingo.

Winless the last two years but able to call on past graded stakes experience, the 6-year-old gelding nosed out second-choice Unusual Smoke with fastest-finishing Romp another head back in third.

Isipingo, with Alex Solis in the saddle, rallied from fourth in the field of six while covering the distance in 2:25.80.

April 9, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – Rafael Bejarano, who last year became the third jockey in history to sweep the riding titles at Southern California’s five major race meetings, on Thursday moved closer to securing a sixth consecutive title and his second in succession at Santa Anita.

Bejarano rode a pair of winners to tie Garrett Gomez at 86 victories apiece in the season’s jockeys’ standings while moving 12 wins ahead of third-place Joel Rosario with eight racing days remaining in the season.

April 8, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2009)—Favored Malibu Artiste led from start to finish for her third straight victory in Wednesday’s featured $52,000 Reluctant Guest Purse at Santa Anita Park, covering 1 1/8 miles over a firm turf course in 1:48.43.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani under 119 pounds for trainer George Papaprodromou, Malibu Artiste won by 1 ½ lengths over Always Auditioning, who had three-quarters of a length on third-place Vikkilee.

April 5, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2009) – While gaining her third straight victory, Sweet August Moon ran down odds-on win machine High Resolve who would fade to third in Sunday’s 57th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.

The victorious 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon thus validated her recent 9-1 upset win in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Honest Lady Stakes as she rallied from third under Aaron Gryder to defeat Foxy Danseur by 1 ¼ lengths while clocked in 1:15.21.

The Pamplemousse will be sidelined indefinitely “but it will be longer than six months,” part owner Alex Solis II said Sunday after the son of Kafwain was scratched Saturday morning from the Santa Anita Derby, a Grade I race for which he was the 9-5 morning line favorite.

The Kentucky-bred gray was a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2.

April 4, 2009


AP Racing Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Pioneerof the Nile is still learning how to run, and it showed halfway down the backstretch of the Santa Anita Derby.

That's where the colt tugged his way to the lead, gave it up and then went to the front in the stretch, holding on for a 1-length victory Saturday.

Now, it's on to the Kentucky Derby for trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner who hasn't had a starter since 2006.

"I'm glad to be back in the show," he said after claiming his record fifth Santa Anita Derby.

The Pamplemousse, 9-5 morning line favorite for today’s Santa Anita Derby, was declared a stakes scratch shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday.

“Dr. (Jill) Bailey (D.V.M. representing the Los Angeles Turf Club), during her pre-race examination, identified an issue that she brought to the attention of (trainer) Julio (Canani),” explained Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board in a telephone press conference in Santa Anita’s press box around 11 a.m.