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March 27, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 27, 2011) – Church Camp, a 4-year-old filly ridden by Corey Nakatani, achieved her first stakes victory on Sunday when scoring by 1 ¼ lengths over Burg Berg in Santa Anita’s 31st running of the $82,020 Santa Lucia Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

After favored Briecat had overtaken pacesetter Jax El rounding the far turn, Church Camp gained the lead on the outside. She comfortably withstood the late rally by Burg Berg while Jax El resurged for the show, a half-length in front of Briecat.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 27, 2011)—Santa Anita Park will return to a four-day race week beginning this Thursday, March 31, and will operate on a Thursday through Sunday schedule for the remainder of its winter/spring meeting which concludes on April 17.

“Our horse inventory here in Southern California is well below what it has been in recent years,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “Accordingly, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to return to a four-day week for the rest of the meet. We want to ensure that we’re offering our fans a quality product and at this time, this is the best way to meet that objective.

March 26, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 26, 2011)—Pick Six carryovers have been tough to come by at the current winter/spring meet, but Santa Anita’s popular six-race exotic wager proved elusive on Saturday, resulting in a carryover of $101,742 and the specter of a total Pick Six pool over more than $500,000 on Sunday

Saturday’s Pick Six got underway with the fourth race, which was won by Leaving New York, who provided Patrick Valenzuela his third riding win of the day and paid $12.60 to win.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 26, 2011) – Jockey Martin Pedroza, uninjured in a spill two races previous, directed 8-1 longshot Worth Repeating to a determined upset victory Saturday in Santa Anita’s 55th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup marathon at 1 ½ miles.

Pedroza, however, had to share the day’s riding honors with Patrick Valenzuela, who scored with his first four mounts, none of them favorites. His last two mounts finished off the board.

Worth Repeating, a 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway trained by Richard Mandella, doggedly repelled the charge from last by Honour the Deputy to win the Tokyo City Cup by one-half length while covering the distance in 2:29.23.

March 25, 2011

March 24, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2011)—Calle Vista changed riders, altered tactics and won Santa Anita’s $63,000 allowance feature by a neck under Martin Garcia, negotiating a mile on a rain-dampened “good” turf in 1:37.42.

Typically a front-runner, Calle Vista, conditioned by Richard Mandella, notched her second consecutive win, having taken a second-condition allowance gate to wire going 1 1/8 miles on turf on Feb.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2011) – Trainer Vladimir Cerin’s multiple graded stakes winning Briecat will face six challengers Sunday in Santa Anita’s 31st running of the $70,000 Santa Lucia Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Patrick Valenzuela, aboard for the 6-year-old mare’s last four starts, will be back in the irons as Briecat, second in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on turf in her last out, returns to the Santa Anita main track.

A winner of 9 of 27 career starts that have earned $584,805 for David and Holly Wilson, Briecat seems at home on any surface.

ARCADIA, (March 24, 2011)—Santa Anita Park will present its fourth annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine and culinary festival in the track’s paddock gardens area this Sunday. The “Uncorked” event features fine wines, cuisine sampling from popular local restaurants, a paddock art show and a full day of world-class racing.

“Santa Anita Uncorked” will again be sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club, which is based in nearby Monrovia.

“This event has grown each year and we expect it to be even bigger this year,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman.

March 23, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011) – Jax El, a daughter of the splendid sire Unusual Heat, ran her opposition off its feet Wednesday with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in Santa Anita’s $57,200 Queen Mary Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at one mile.

Originally scheduled to be run on the turf before wet conditions prompted a change to the main track, the footing didn’t seem to matter to the 4-year-old bay trained by Barry Abrams.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011) – A fast-closing fourth in the historic Santa Anita Handicap earlier this month, Soul Candy will attempt to further his resume on Saturday when heading a field of six in Santa Anita’s 55th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles.

The main track marathon will mark the 5-year-old gelding’s first try at the distance, but his effort behind victorious Game On Dude in the Grade I Big ’Cap at 1 ¼ miles indicated the extra quarter-mile could well be in his wheelhouse.