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March 14, 2009

By KEN PETERS

AP Sports Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Trainer Bob Baffert likes the way Pioneerof the Nile is growing up.

"He's becoming very professional. He was a May foal, so he's not even three yet. I like what I saw today," Baffert said after the smooth-striding colt romped to victory in Saturday's $200,000 San Felipe Stakes.

March 13, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 13, 2009) – Bet down to 7-10 favoritism for her United States debut, classy European import Modern Look was unable to withstand the closing surge of 5-1 third choice Dawn After Dawn Friday in Santa Anita’s $70,150 Moscow Burning Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on turf before an on-track crowd of 6,302.

Demonstrating the back class that carried her to victory in last year’s Grade II La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita, Dawn After Dawn overpowered the heavy favorite in the final sixteenth while drawing clear to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:34.33.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 13, 2009)—With a keynote speech delivered in the form of a $27.20 winner in leg one of Friday’s Pick Six, no one was able to tab six winners in the popular exotic wager for the second consecutive day, resulting in a carryover of $370,574 into Saturday at Santa Anita and the likelihood of a total Pick Six pool in excess of $2.5 million.

March 12, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2009) – Pulled up by jockey Mike Smith after taking a bad step in the Grade II San Fernando Stakes on Jan. 17, Madeo got back in stride Thursday with a powerful triumph in Santa Anita’s $64,200 King’s Highway Purse at one mile on turf.

The 4-year-old colt, who had taken last summer’s Grade II Del Mar Derby, seemed to explode on the far outside through the stretch while racing to a two-length victory over Sky Cape with Safety Zone another half-length back in third.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 12, 2009)—On a day that saw former San Diego Charger and Dallas Cowboy offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese celebrate his 73rd birthday, plenty of long-distance bombs were the rule of the pari-mutuel day, resulting in a Pick Six carryover of $81,584 into Friday at Santa Anita. The carryover is the 22nd in 56 racing days and it’s expected Friday’s total pool will reach $500,000.

March 11, 2009

ODDS-ON CHOICE MR GRUFF EASY WINNER OF MIDNIGHT MOONLIGHT

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2009) – Lightly-raced 5-year-old gelding Mr Gruff, who broke his maiden on Jan. 3 of this year, served notice of being a late-bloomer on Wednesday and sent his rivals howling while easily winning the $52,480 Midnight Moonlight Purse at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

March 8, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2009) – A close third behind sophomore superstar Stardom Bound in last month’s Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes, 7-10 favorite Saucey Evening was expected to have an easy time of it Sunday in Santa Anita’s $78,460 China Doll Stakes at one mile on turf, but she wound up a distant fourth behind British-import April Pride.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 8, 2009)—John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. He was presented with the Woolf Award on Sunday in a ceremony between races in the Santa Anita Winner’s Circle.

March 7, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Dirt, grass, a rug, none of that seems relative to Einstein's racing ability.

Running for the first time on a synthetic surface, the Brazilian-bred whiz turned in a virtually picture-perfect performance to win Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

"He's a good horse on the turf. He's a good horse on the dirt. He's a good horse on anything," jockey Julien Leparoux said. "We didn't really know about this track, but we were pretty sure he was going to handle it.

"And he did."

March 6, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2009) – After competing in five successive graded stakes races and finishing second three times, Gotta Have Her found the climate in Friday’s $61,200 Faraway Eyes Purse to be ideal while registering a 1 ½ -length victory in the 6 ½-furlong event for fillies and mares over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.

As the 13-10 favorite in a field of eight, Gotta Have Her tracked the early leaders before jockey Tyler Baze found an opening between horses in midstretch, and the 5-year-old mare steadily drew away from her rivals while running the distance in 1:13.35.