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April 12, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 12, 2012) – His 3-5 favoritism notwithstanding, Achilles had to earn his second victory in as many starts Thursday when defeating 12-1 shot War Politics by one length in Santa Anita’s $58,000 Salisbury Purse for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf.

With Joe Talamo in the saddle, Peachtree Stable’s son of Smart Strike tracked War Politics through leisurely early fractions, cruised to the lead rounding the far turn, but was extended through the stretch before drawing clear in the closing yards.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 12, 2012)—Santa Anita Park has announced plans for a second annual “On Track To Beat Cancer” event on closing day, April 22.

April 11, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 11, 2012) – Just about the closest thing to a lock over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, seven-for-eleven Unzip Me has a score to settle among six entrants in Saturday’s 38th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for older fillies and mares.

The 6-year-old California-bred daughter of City Zip might seem headed in the direction of yet another triumph over the 6 ½-furlong layout she adores except for a single gray area: Mizdirection.

Owned by popular sports-talk radio and television personality Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing and partners, Mizdirection upset Unzip Me in their only previous meeting, the Grade III Monrovia Stakes over the course on Jan. 2. And it was a convincing victory; the pair was separated by 1 ¾ lengths as Unzip Me dead-heated for third.

April 8, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2012) – With leading rider Joel Rosario recording his third victory of the afternoon, odds-on favorite Starry Skies stormed home on the far outside Sunday to overtake pacesetter Tasty Treat by 1 ½ lengths in capturing Santa Anita’s $58,000 Easter Sunday Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

Clocked in 1:13.16, it was the second win in as many starts for the undefeated 3-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa trained by Marty Jones.

Rosario allowed Starry Skies to lag early in the field of five.

April 7, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2012)—A Santa Anita Derby Day crowd of 33,166 were among those who wagered a hefty $992,602 in Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4 Saturday, easily making it the largest Pick 4 pool of the winter/spring meeting.

Santa Anita guaranteed $750,000 in Saturday’s Late Pick 4, which started with race eight, the Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The Providencia was won by Lady of Shamrock, who paid $3.80 to win.

Race nine was the Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2012) – Mike Smith reached back for all the resourcefulness of his 30-year Hall of Fame career Saturday to become the 25th jockey in history to win 5,000 races, and the achievement could not have been much more appropriate before a Santa Anita crowd of 33,166.

Smith reached the milestone in the Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes aboard Amazombie – whom he had ridden to a 7-1 upset victory in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov.

By BETH HARRIS

AP Racing Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ I'll Have Another fell through the cracks in the sales ring, going for $35,000. He was a 43-1 shot before winning the Robert Lewis Stakes in February.

The colt with the catchy name won't be overlooked any longer after winning the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby by a nose Saturday and positioning himself as one of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby next month.

"It's just kind of sinking in right now," owner Paul Reddam said. "These things don't happen too often so I just want to savor it."

I'll Have Another edged 9-10 favorite Creative Cause in his return from a two-month layoff after winning the Lewis at Santa Anita. Sent off at 4-1 odds, I'll Have Another ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:47.88 under Mario Gutierrez in front of 33,166 fans in the West's leading prep for the Kentucky Derby.

"It's indescribable," said Gutierrez, a 25-year-old from Mexico who previously rode in Vancouver, British Columbia. "I never expected this."

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