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January 19, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2012) – Favored Meltarib, who seems to have found her niche routing over grass surfaces, traveled widest of all throughout Thursday’s featured $59,050 Hotel California Purse at Santa Anita, but nonetheless prevailed in a four-horse blanket finish in the one-mile turf allowance event for California-bred or sired fillies and mares.

“I just love her,” said jockey Alonso Quinonez after crossing the wire in 1:34.97. “She’s got a small body, but a great big heart. She gives you everything.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2012) – Pamela Ziebarth’s unbeaten homebred Tiz Flirtatious gets tested for both distance and class among eight 4-year-old fillies entered in Santa Anita’s 38th running of the Grade II, $150,000 La Canada Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Sunday.

The California-bred daughter of Tizbud has methodically ascended the class ladder for trainer Marty Jones with three impressive victories that have seen her odds drop accordingly.

January 18, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2012) – Five days after being named the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as North America’s premier sprinter, Amazombie goes back to work with the ultimate intent of becoming the only sprinter other than Housebuster (1990 & ’91) to gain such acclaim a second time.

Trainer and co-owner Bill Spawr’s 6-year-old gelding begins his 2012 quest on Saturday by facing seven ambitious opponents in Santa Anita’s 60th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at six furlongs.

January 16, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2012) – With stable star Acclamation temporarily out of action, California-bred Norvksy stepped into the breach and ran down 7-10 favorite Jeranimo on Monday to gain his first graded stakes victory in Santa Anita’s 65th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Under the guidance of jockey Rafael Bejarano, Norvsky closed strongly to overtake the defending champion by 1 ½ lengths in 1:47.03 with comebacking millionaire The Usual Q. T. another 2 ¾ lengths back in third.

“Usually, I trot out Acclamation (a winner of five successive Grade I or Grade II stakes last year) for an assignment like this,” said Don Warren, who trains Norvsky, a 6-year-old gelded son of Vronsky for the Old English Rancho’s E.W. and Judy Johnston and partner Leonard Riggio.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2012)—Nobody correctly tabbed all six winners in Santa Anita’s popular Pick Six wager on Monday, resulting in a carryover of $107,326 into Thursday. It is expected Thursday’s total Pick Six pool should exceed $500,000.

Although 7-10 favorite Jeranimo was beaten in the afternoon’s feature, the Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes, there were four horses “alive” in race nine, the last leg in the Pick Six.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2012)—Santa Anita Park and HRTV have announced plans for a first-ever non-fiction documentary competition entitled “A Day at the Races,” which will be open to film students and filmmakers wishing to make a five-minute or less Santa-Anita based film.

“A Day at the Races” entries will be judged by a panel of racing and entertainment professionals and will offer a first prize of $10,000, a second prize of $5,000 and a third prize of $3,000.

January 15, 2012

In 2010, the great racemare Zenyatta was celebrated as the inaugural winner of the Secretariat “Vox Populi” Award, which annually recognizes the horse that brought the most excitement and attention to the sport. The new tradition of naming America’s most popular race horse continues with 2011 winner Rapid Redux.

Rapid Redux, who recently set a modern-era record with 22 consecutive wins by a U.S. horse and tied the great Citation with 19 wins in a single season, has been selected to receive the 2011 Secretariat Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People,” Award.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2012) – Maiden winner Reneesgotzip literally burst into the graded stakes ranks Sunday with a scintillating 7 3/4-length romp in the 61st running of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.

The daughter of City Zip, purchased by the Lanni Family Trust for $45,000 at sale last April, ran the distance in 1:15.25, a tick faster than when Face The Facts equaled the then track mark with a stakes-record 10 ½-length victory in the 1964 Santa Ynez.

No filly since 1964 has won the Santa Ynez by a wider margin than did Reneesgotzip. And the list includes such standouts as Golden Ballet (7 lengths in 2001), Fit To Lead (5 ½ in 1993), Goodbye Halo (5 in 1988) Very Subtle (4 ¼ in 1987) as well as the brilliant Terlingua (4 ¼ in 1979).

January 14, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 14, 2012) – Tapizar, a highly-promising 3-year-old last year before a bone chip knocked him off the Triple Crown trail, began 2012 by running away from his 4-year-old opposition Saturday in Santa Anita’s 60th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Fernando Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Winchell Thoroughbred’s homebred son of Tapit took control early under Corey Nakatani and opened up on the backside. As the field closed in rounding the far turn, 11-10 choice Tapizar bounded away before crossing the wire 3 ½ lengths ahead of runner-up Balladry.

Balladry, a 15-1 shot ridden by Joe Talamo, nosed out trainer Bob Baffert’s Prayer for Relief, the 2-1 second choice with Rafael Bejarano aboard, in the field of seven. The final time was 1:41.94.

January 13, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2012)—Winless in her last six starts and idle since Aug. 31 at Del Mar, John and Cheryl Toffan’s homebred Catchy Tune came back running in the $61,400 Rex Chapman allowance feature at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, winning by a head in 1:12.38.

Conditioned by Paco Gonzalez and ridden by Martin Garcia, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Bernstein tailed off at Del Mar last summer.

“She was sour in her last couple of races,” said co-breeder John Toffan. “We asked Paco what he thought we should do and he said ‘just give her some time off.’ We took her home to our farm in Bradbury, gave her some time and when she came back in, she wanted to train again.”