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March 24, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2012) – They raced 1 ½ miles in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup, and after the field bunched rounding the Santa Anita marathon’s far turn, only a neck separated victorious Dynamic Host from runner-up Dhaamer at the finish line.

The two steadily separated themselves from the others entering the stretch with 5-1 Dynamic Host, who had rallied from last under David Flores, taking over. Irish-import Dhaamer, the 5-2 second choice, determinedly closed the gap. But Dynamic Host was steadfast while crossing the wire in 2:30.22 on the “fast” main track.

In the end, it was 4 ¼ lengths back to third-place Skipshot and another 13 ¼ back to fourth-place Eldaafer. Twice the Appeal, the 9-5 favorite, wound up sixth, 27 lengths behind the winner.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2012)—Jockey Garrett Gomez, who fractured his left heel in a paddock mishap on Jan. 8 which subsequently required reconstructive surgery, won his first race since the injury in Saturday’s second race, stalking the early pace and guiding the Neil Drysdale-conditioned Smug to a 1 ½ length win going 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:59.50.

“He pulled pretty good, which makes it tougher, but I can handle it,” said Gomez, North America’s Eclipse Award winning rider in 2007 and ’08. “I’m happy just to be back.

March 23, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2012) – Following a dreadful trip in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2012)—An ebullient trainer John Sadler declared his 3-year-old Candy Ride colt, Holy Candy, fit for passage on the Kentucky Derby trail Friday, following his impressive maiden special weight score going a flat mile in Santa Anita’s fourth race. Holy Candy rallied from off the pace to get the mile in 1:35.98. Sadler said the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, to be run April 7, is under consideration.

“We’ve thought all along he was our best 3-year-old and it was nice to see him finish and gallop out the way he did today,” said Sadler. “In his last couple of races, things have kind of worked against us. We caught a sealed track a couple races back and we’ve just felt that he needs to be able to make a quarter mile run.”

Bred by the Craig Family Trust in Kentucky and owned by Craig Stables and Donkey Island Racing LLC, Holy Candy finished second as the favorite in his first three starts, most recently on March 3 at a mile and a sixteenth.

March 22, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012) – There was no stopping Centralinteligence, who had been eased in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day Dec.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012)—Two time Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez, in his second comeback attempt since fracturing his left heel in a paddock mishap on Jan. 8, piloted 6-year-old Kelly Leak to a second place finish in Santa Anita’s fifth race on Thursday and pronounced his left heel “70 percent” better than in his abortive comeback try here on March 9.

“I felt really good,” said Gomez following his 6 ½ furlong trip down Santa Anita’s downhill turf course. “Especially when you get the juices flowing and you have a chance to win one. My ankle feels good.

“I don’t want to overly stress it. On a pain scale, I’d say I was at a six or a seven last time (March 9). Today I was a two or a one.”

Following his paddock accident on Jan. 8, Gomez underwent reconstructive surgery to repair his injured heel.


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012)—The Breeders’ Cup announced today that the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series will consist of 73 automatic qualifying races into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be run at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 2 & 3. This year’s series has been expanded to 10 countries and will feature 13 new races on a schedule that includes 52 Grade or Group I events.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012) –An added distance attraction transpires on Sunday when the mile-and-one-half San Luis Rey Stakes, postponed from last Sunday due to wet conditions, unites with the mile-and-one-eighth Santa Ana Stakes for fillies and mares to give Santa Anita a pair of Grade II, $150,000 turf stakes.

Upset by 11-1 British import Slim Shadey in last month’s Grade II San Marcos Stakes, Bourbon Bay will seek redemption among six entrants in the 61st running of the San Luis Rey Stakes, an event he won as the odds-on favorite in 2010.

Irish-bred Cambina will be faced with a similar task in the 45th running of the Santa Ana when she attempts overcome a setback by 8-1 upsetter City to City in the Feb. 20 running of the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap at one mile. Contention runs deep in the event that attracted a field of 11.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012)—Registration for Santa Anita’s annual Santa Anita Derby Day 5K Walk and Run to be staged on Santa Anita Derby Day, April 7, is now open to the public.

March 21, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 21, 2012) – Santa Anita’s Grade III Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles over a dirt surface can be a confounding contest in that it is unique to the meet and seldom offers established form. Run as the San Bernardino Handicap prior to 2005, Saturday’s 56th running of the race would appear to be little different with eight entrants. The enigmatic Eldaafer, however, could prove the exception.

Eldaafer, whose 34-race career has taken him to 17 different racetracks, clearly has no distance limitations.