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March 11, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2011)—Veteran Santa Anita Paddock Guard John Shear was injured Saturday as he threw himself in front of a young girl in order to protect her from a loose horse, prior to the running of the third race.

Shear, a former jockey who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, has been a fixture at Santa Anita for decades. Prior to the incident, he was in his normal position holding the rope on the west entrance of the track’s walking ring.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011) – After faltering in a pair of Grade II stakes races, Irish-bred Ryehill Dreamer ran away with Santa Anita’s $67,180 allowance feature on Friday to capture the mile-and-one eighth turf event by 4 ½ lengths in 1:46.22.

Joel Rosario sent Marsha Naify’s 5-year-old gelding to the front at the outset and the pair coasted through undemanding early fractions of 23.97 and 47.72.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011)—All fans attending Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 19 will have a chance to get their “Irish” up, as The Great Race Place will again stage its popular $1 million St. Patrick’s Horseshoe Pitch between races.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has announced that it will embark upon an expanded five-day race week beginning Wednesday, March 23, and that it will reinstitute it’s popular “Free Fridays” promotion beginning March 25. In addition to March 25, all patrons will receive free General Admission on April 1, 8 and 15.

March 10, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2011)—With 3-year-old filly La Talia taking on the role of pari-mutuel bomb--returning $74.40 to win, nobody connected all six dots in the Pick Six, resulting in a carryover of $81,875 into Friday.

Veteran jockey Chris Russell collected his first win of the meet with only his third mount. La Talia is owned and trained by Felix Gonzalez.

It’s expected Friday’s total Pick Six pool will exceed $600,000.

Thursday’s third race, leg one in the Pick Six, was settled in formful fashion, as Runaway Wildcat paid $3.00 to win with Martin Garcia aboard.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2011) – Dubai You X Y Z, a 4-year-old gelding who began his career by winning a maiden claimer at odds of 52-1, continued his ascent up racing’s ladder Thursday with a three-quarter length victory in Santa Anita’s $59,400 feature at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

With Brice Blanc in the saddle, Dubai You X Y Z outfinished 7-5 favorite Bogie in the optional claimer to earn an opportunity in stakes company in his next start, according to trainer Mark Tsagalakis.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2011) – Irish-bred Cambina, a fast-closing winner of the Grade III La Habra Stakes in her second United States start, heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies set to contest Santa Anita’s $75,000 China Doll Stakes at one-mile on turf Sunday.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez for trainer Jeff Bonde, Cambina rallied from 11 lengths off the pace while going 6 ½ furlongs to capture the Feb. 21 La Habra by a nose following a much troubled sixth in the Sweet Life Stakes, her U.S.

* Uncle Mo's 2011 Debut; Caton Bredar Reports Live from Gulfstream (full card coverage begins at 12:55 p.m. ET/9:55 a.m. PT)

Caton Bredar will be reporting from Gulfstream Park, as early Kentucky Derby favorite, Uncle Mo, makes his 2011 debut in the $100,000 Timely Writer. The 2010 Eclipse Award winner, owned by Michael Repole, makes his first start since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in impressive fashion

* "HRTV Encore: The 2011 Santa Anita Handicap" -- Saturday, March 12 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.

March 9, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 9, 2011) – If excellence in this year’s Triple Crown events is to emanate from the April 9 Santa Anita Derby, a West Coast 3-year-old likely needs to take a large step forward in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Grade I winners Jaycito and Comma to the Top are among 10 entrants in the 74th running of the mile-and-one-sixteenth competition that serves as the last major stepping-stone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, a race whose starters have accounted for 36 Triple Crown victories including 15 in the Kentucky Derby.

During the past 10 years, four San Felipe winners have gone on to capture the Santa Anita Derby including Pioneerof the Nile (2009) and Sidney’s Candy (2010) to underscore the connection, but just who might make that leap this year remains highly problematical.

March 6, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2011) – One year to the day of his victory in the 2010 Santa Anita Handicap, Misremembered appeared to pick up where he had left off with a dazzling victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Santana Mile at Santa Anita.

The purse may have been one-tenth of what he had earned in the Big ’Cap, and the competition may have been less than superior, but little matter. It was the manner in which the 5-year-old ridgling scored his comeback win that suggested he had never left.

With Martin Garcia in the saddle for trainer Bob Baffert, the 11-10 favorite circled the leaders turning into the stretch and quickly took command with his ears pricked before being geared down at the wire.