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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.

April 1, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2012) – Calimonco, the 5-2 second choice, didn’t fool too many fans Sunday when he repelled the closing rally of 6-1 Make Music for Me to take the 1st running of Santa Anita’s $79,950 Sidd Finch Stakes at one mile on turf.

After overtaking pacesetter and 9-5 favorite Dewey’s Special, Calimonco had enough in reserve to prevail by one-half length as Dewey’s Special faded to third, three-quarters-of-a-length behind Make Music for Me.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2012)—A distinguished panel of 10 judges has been assembled to review and select winners from Santa Anita and HRTV’s first-ever non-fiction documentary “A Day at the Races” Film Festival. All submissions are a maximum of five minutes in length and a complete review will get underway April 2, with winners to be announced on closing day, April 22.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2012)—Top rated Los Angeles talk show host Tim Conway Jr. will emcee this year’s Santa Anita Derby Draw Breakfast at the track’s FrontRunner Restaurant on Wednesday, April 4. The draw will determine the field for the Grade I, $750,000 Derby to be run Saturday, April 7.

“Tim is a great personal friend and a great friend of Santa Anita,” said Santa Anita C.E.O. Mark Verge. “I guarantee everyone this, we are going to have some fun with the draw on Wednesday. Tim’s got a great sense of humor and he knows the game inside and out. We’ve got some outstanding horses lined up and we want everyone to know they can come out to Santa Anita and have a great time and be a part of what we hope is going to be an unforgettable Derby Day on Saturday.”

Conway, son of legendary actor/comedian Tim Conway and the host of the “Tim Conway Jr. Show,” on KFI, a.m. 640, weeknights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., is a regular attendee at The Great Race Place.

March 31, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2012) – Reneesgotzip gained revenge on 1-2 favorite Eden’s Moon in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks, but she failed to resist late-running 13-1 shot, Willa B Awesome, in Santa Anita’s premier event for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.

With Martin Pedroza perfectly timing his chestnut filly’s closing bid, Willa B Awesome was victorious by a nose just after it had seemed that Garrett Gomez and 17-10 second-choice Reneesgotzip had won the battle by getting the jump on trainer Bob Baffert’s Eden’s Moon and never conceding.

But their skirmish through fractions that included a half in 46.81 and six furlongs in 1:09.95 helped turned the war in favor of Willa B Awesome, who sat just behind the dueling leaders before desperately getting home in 1:42.47. Reneesgotzip finished 1 ½ lengths ahead of Eden’s Moon in the field of five.