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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

By BETH HARRIS

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.

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.

April 3, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2009) – Running around two turns for the first time in his sixth career start, 7-1 longshot Aggie Engineer and jockey Alex Solis ran off with Friday’s $56,800 optional claiming allowance feature to defeat Aitcho by 1 ¼ lengths while negotiating one mile over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface in 1:36.44

April 2, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2009) – In making not only making her first start in the United States but her first over a synthetic surface, Anabaa’s Creation, an Irish-bred import from France, demonstrated her class Thursday with a decisive victory in Santa Anita’s $62,576 allowance feature for fillies and mares at one mile.

With jockey Tyler Baze gaining his third win of the afternoon, Anabaa’s Creation was rated behind the two early leaders, took control while racing wide around the final turn, and drew off to a 2 ¾-length triumph over fast-closing, but non-threatening Hot n’ Dusty.

April 1, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif., (April 1, 2009) – Prussian, making his West Coast debut, mowed down his competition Wednesday in Santa Anita’s $56,508 Midnight Rambler Purse to give trainer Mike Mitchell his third consecutive victory and a one-win lead over John Sadler in the meet’s trainers’ race with three weeks remaining.

With Rafael Bejarano aboard, Prussian closed swiftly to defeat Headache by 1 ¼ lengths in the optional claiming event contested at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course. The winning time was 1:12.26.