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February 9, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2012) – Three European imports, Dijarvo, Indigo River and She Spirit di Su, are among the leading contenders Sunday in Santa Anita’s featured $70,000 Sweet Life Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.

British-bred Dijarvo, who drew the outside post in a field of eight, will make her first start for trainer Paddy Gallagher after winning twice and placing twice in four starts while sprinting in Europe.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2012) – Trainer Bob Baffert’s 3-year-old colt Fed Biz on Thursday enhanced his stature as one of Southern California’s top choices in the first 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager with a dominant $58,000 allowance race victory while covering one mile in 1:34.74 at Santa Anita.

A $950,000 sales purchase by Kaleem Shah who was bet down to 3-5 favoritism in the first-level allowance race, Fed Biz defeated 7-5 second choice Consulado by 5 ¾ lengths. When asked how good he thought Fed Biz might be, Bejarano exclaimed “This is my Derby horse buddy,” before entering the winner’s circle.

Fed Biz already had been established as a 20-1 shot in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs’ Future Wager which opens on Friday and will close late Sunday. His odds were the same as Creative Cause, I’ll Have Another, Liaison and Out of Bounds, lowest among the West Coast-based prospects.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2012)—The 45th annual Santa Anita Jockeys/Holy Angels Charity Basketball game will take place Thursday, Feb. 23, at La Salle High School in Pasadena with proceeds to benefit the Holy Angels athletic program and the Kentucky-based Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Game time is 7 p.m.

The Eye on Jacob Foundation will co-sponsor the event which will again enjoy the support of Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith. All of these legendary jockeys will be available from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

New York, NY – February 9, 2012 - A broad-based group of Thoroughbred industry stakeholders announced today the establishment of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA)—an organization designed to serve as both the accrediting body for aftercare facilities that care for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers and a fundraising body to support these approved facilities.

Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup, Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, the TAA is comprised of owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, jockeys, aftercare profession

February 8, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2012)—Santa Anita Park has announced that it will offer couples a chance to get lucky with an Early Valentine’s Day in the track’s exclusive Turf Club on Sunday, Feb.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2012)—HBO’s LUCK, which was recently picked up for a second season by the cable network, is seeking all types of every day race track characters and employees and is encouraging them to participate in an open casting call at Santa Anita on Sunday, Feb. 12.

LUCK, which is written and produced by David Milch and is directed by Michael Mann, stars Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz and many others and is currently airing on HBO on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.

Casting for racetrack employees will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2012) – A return to Santa Anita could prove the tonic for multiple graded stakes winner Bourbon Bay when defending his championship against German-bred upstart Sanagas in Saturday’s 60th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Marcos Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

In his last start of 2011, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale’s 6-year-old gelding fell 3 ¼ lengths short when Sanagas was shipped from the East by trainer H. Graham Motion to dominate the Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 ½ miles on Nov. 19.

But that was Hollywood Park, and the runner-up finish ran Bourbon Bay’s report card to zero-for-six over the grass in Inglewood. Santa Anita’s turf course has been quite another matter for David and Jill Heerensperger’s son of Sligo Bay. Bourbon Bay has won five-of-six starts over the course in Arcadia, four of them Grade II events including the 2011 San Marcos by 1 ¾ lengths over Champ Pegasus. His only Santa Anita setback, in fact, was by a scant nose to Champ Pegasus in the Grade II San Luis Obispo last year.

February 5, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2012) – In his first start since a gritty second in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic last Nov. 5, defending Santa Anita Handicap champion Game On Dude gave every indication Sunday that he again would be a major player among the nation’s older horses at the age of 5.

With regular rider Chantal Sutherland at the controls for trainer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude ran off with Santa Anita’s 74th running of the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Antonio Handicap while defeating Uh Oh Bango by 5 ¼ lengths and covering 1 1/8 miles in a brisk 1:46.88.

In scoring his fourth win in as many races over Santa Anita’s dirt surface, the 3-10 favorite was in control throughout. Although not breaking as alertly as usual in the field of five, Game On Dude soon gained a stalking position just behind early leader Skipshot.

February 4, 2012

By BETH HARRIS AP Racing Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ With trouble unfolding behind him, 43-1 shot I'll Have Another went on to stunning upset in the Grade II, $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, surprising his trainer and owner as much as the bettors.

The longest shot in the field of eight 3-year-olds won by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita, with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's two colts finishing out of the money.

"Oh my God that was nice," trainer Doug O'Neill said in the winner's circle, squeezing owner Paul Reddam.

"He's always trained fantastic, but we never saw this coming," O'Neill said.

I'll Have Another ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.84 under Mario Gutierrez and paid $88.60, $35.80 and $12. Empire Way, a son of 2003 Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker, returned $11.80 and $6.20.

Gutierrez was aboard I'll Have Another for the first time after exercising him in the morning just once.

February 3, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2012) – Scratched from last Sunday’s one mile, $100,000 Valentine Dancer Stakes to run in Friday’s $70,150 Aristotle Purse, La Sombre enhanced her reputation for consistency with a clear-cut victory as the odds-on favorite in the competition for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.

Under a vigorous hand ride by Martin Garcia, the 5-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat defeated 7-2 second-choice Lofty Ambition by 1 ½ lengths while running the distance in 1:12.66.