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April 7, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2012)—Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith became the 25th jockey in racing history to win 5,000 career races Saturday as he piloted the Bill Spawr-trained Amazombie to victory in the Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2012)—Santa Anita’s 18th annual Derby Day 5K Walk and Run attracted a record 5,683 participants Saturday morning, setting the stage for a potentially huge day at The Great Race Place which will present the 75th running of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby later in the afternoon.

“We sure hope this is a precursor to a fabulous day,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chris Quinn. “This is the best turnout we’ve ever had for this event and we had people of all ages—from 3 and 4-year-old kids, to people in their seventies.

April 6, 2012

April 5, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2012)—Joe Talamo, a 22-year-old native of Marrero, Louisiana, notched his 1,000th career victory on Thursday at Santa Anita, winning the fourth race aboard heavily favored Splendid Fortune, who is conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and is owned by her breeder, Arnold Zetcher. Making her second career start, Splendid Fortune was off at odds of 2-5 and won by 7 ¼ lengths.

“That was fun. It’s nice to get it out of the way early,” said Talamo.

“My mom was the one who gave me permission to ride at a young age but I had to toe the line,” said Talamo in an interview with HRTV’s Kurt Hoover. “It was ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am,’ or I got a whipping. I really have to give all the credit to my parents for letting me start at such a young age to do what I wanted to do, and it paid off. I left school when I was in the 10th grade and they’ve always supported me.”

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2012)—Baldwin Ave. will be closed from the 210 Freeway to Huntington Drive temporarily early Saturday morning in order to accommodate Santa Anita’s annual Derby Day 5K Walk and Run. The closure will apply to vehicular traffic from 7:30 a.m.

April 4, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2012)—Voting is underway for the Fan Favorite Award in the inaugural HRTV “A Day at the Races” Film Festival at Santa Anita, with a total of $28,000 in prize money at stake. A total of 25 short, non-fiction films have been submitted and are under review.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2012) – Consummately consistent Creative Cause is the 6-5 morning line favorite to lead the way to Kentucky among 10 entrants in Saturday’s 75th running of the mile-and-one-eighth, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, a Grade I event that has produced 15 Kentucky Derby champions.

Never more than one length behind at the wire in any of his seven starts, Creative Cause’s four wins include a hard-fought, three-quarter-length victory over the highly regarded and slightly favored Bodemeister in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 10.

Joel Rosario, headed for his second consecutive Santa Anita riding title, will be aboard Heinz Steinmann’s gray colt for the fifth straight time. Creative Cause drew the rail. His 27-year-old jockey and trainer Mike Harrington, 71, will be seeking their first wins in Santa Anita’s historic race for 3-year-olds.

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY, announced Wednesday they will broadcast live from Santa Anita Park this Saturday, with coverage of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. HRRN’s two-hour broadcast begins at 4:00 ET and includes coverage of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct as well as Keeneland’s Grade 1 Ashland Stakes.

Fans can tune-in on Sirius channel 92 as well as on select HRRN affiliates. The broadcast will also be streamed live on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net.

April 3, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2012)—Retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, a winner of a record nine Santa Anita Derbies, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday in advance of the Dodgers’ Freeway Series finale with the Angels, which starts at 12:10 p.m.

Stevens will also be an honored guest at Santa Anita Wednesday morning, as he’ll be among a large group of racing luminaries on hand for the Santa Anita Derby Draw Breakfast in the track’s FrontRunner Restaurant, beginning at 9:30 a.m.