Press Releases

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March 15, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2012)—Santa Anita officials and horsemen reacted with dismay and sorrow upon the news of the highly publicized equine fatality here on Tuesday morning and the subsequent decision Wednesday by HBO to cease production on season-two of LUCK.

“All of us here at Santa Anita, including horsemen, management and employees are deeply saddened by the stable area accident which resulted in the death of a horse being used in the production of LUCK here on Tuesday morning,” said Thoroughbred horse owner Mark Verge, speaking on behalf of the Stronach Group.

March 14, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 14, 2012) – Late-blooming 5-year-old Ellafitz will aim for a career high note as well as her fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when facing five challengers in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, the season’s racing highlight for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.

“She’s in a zone right now,” trainer Bob Baffert said of the bay daughter of Tiznow who did not win her first stakes race until last Dec. 11 when taking the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in her 12th start. Moving to Santa Anita, Ellafitz promptly followed with impressive victories in the Paseana Handicap and the Grade II Santa Maria on Feb. 18.

She clearly made a believer of Baffert. “Ellafitz runs hard, she runs fast,” he said. “Last time (Santa Maria), they took all kinds of shots at her. She took a lot of heat and kept going. They sent a rabbit out there, but my mare is doing better for this race than she was before the last race.”

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 14, 2012)—Santa Anita Park will proudly host an equine baby shower in honor of the great Zenyatta’s newly arrived foal this Saturday, March 17. All on-track attendees will receive one “It’s a Boy” poster, free with their paid admission and will have an opportunity to meet “Team Zenyatta” in an autograph session prior to the races.

“The entire racing world is buzzing about Zenyatta’s new colt, who was born in Kentucky last Thursday night (March 8),” said Chris Quinn, Santa Anita’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

March 11, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2012) – Extending a remarkable winning streak that began in a $20,000 claimer last December, Izzy Rules registered her fourth straight decisive victory and first in a stakes race Sunday with a dazzling display while capturing Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs.

As jockey Edwin Maldonado gained his first stakes win at Santa Anita, the 5-year-old Florida-bred mare simply blew away her graded stakes opposition while covering the distance in 1:14.59 after paving the way through robust fractions of 21.73, 43.31 and 1:07.40.

She crossed the wire 4 ¼ lengths ahead of Spectacular Sky, who took up the chase early, tried to make an impression in early stretch, but wound up withering in the winner’s wake. Home Sweet Aspen, recent winner of the Grade I Santa Monica Stakes, never could get involved. She ran fifth. Nor could Great Hot, a Grade II stakes winner. She ran fourth.

March 10, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2012) – Creative Cause, Heinz Steinmann’s gray son of Giant’s Causeway, reaffirmed his status as the West’s leading 3-year-old Saturday with a convincing victory in Santa Anita’s 75th running of the Grade II, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Ridden to perfection by Joel Rosario, Creative Cause rallied from fifth in the field of 10 to overtake trainer Bob Baffert’s sterling maiden winner Bodemeister in the closing yards and surge to a three-quarter length triumph in 1:41.84.

The commanding performance firmly entrenched Creative Cause into the favorite’s role for the April 7 renewal of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, taken by the San Felipe winner in six of its last 15 runnings.

March 9, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 9, 2012) – Pulled up after losing a shoe in her previous race, Miss Becca returned to good standing on Friday when storming home on the extreme outside to nip Lindz Winz by a nose in Santa Anita’s $59,400 Jersey Shore Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

Ahead of but one horse turning for home in the field of nine, jockey Rafael Bejarano sent the 5-year-old mare into full flight, and she delivered right on the wire as the 19-10 favorite while clocked in 1:12.83.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 9, 2012) – It’s a Prince! In what might be horse racing royalty’s most anticipated baby announcement in decades, Lane’s End Farm said today that 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, known affectionately as “The Queen,” has foaled a beautiful colt. Mother and foal are healthy and doing fine.

Sired by the popular stallion Bernardini, the foal was born at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky., last night at 10:10 pm EST. Weighing 130 lbs, the strapping dark bay colt takes after his mother with a white star on his forehead and polka dots on his left front hoof.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 9, 2012)—Multiple Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez, who fractured his left heel in a paddock mishap this past Jan. 8, came back to ride his first race since the injury in Santa Anita’s third race on Friday and determined “there’s just too much pain” and subsequently took off his remaining mount in race six.

Gomez underwent surgery following the Jan. 8 injury in which several screws and a plate were inserted to repair his multiple-fractured left heel.

March 8, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2012) – Overlooked in her United States debut despite fast works and a solid record in her native Brazil, Gem of Soul dominated her opposition Thursday with a 2 ¾-length victory at odds of 8-1 in Santa Anita’s $60,094 Special 28FX Purse for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf.

And she did so, according to trainer A.C. Avila, with no sleep the previous night after a pet sheep, who resides in her stall, gave birth.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2012)—Actor John Ortiz, who portrays colorful trainer Turo Escalante on HBO’s hit series LUCK, will welcome and entertain fans at Santa Anita’s first-ever “Fiesta de Santa Anita” this Sunday, March 11. The family-friendly event will take place in the track’s spacious infield area and will include live entertainment provided by Los Rieleros del Norte and Graciela Beltran, with renowned entertainer Don Cheto serving as emcee.