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February 27, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2011) – Quick Enough reversed a setback by Amazombie when he gamely outdueled the 13-10 favorite on Sunday to capture Santa Anita’s $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for California-breds by one-half length while traversing 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course in 1:13.52.

The mild upset by the 4-1 second choice assured a Pick Six carryover of $126,305 into Thursday when racing resumes at Santa Anita. The Pick Six carryover will be the sixth of the meet that has encompassed 41 days.

February 26, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2011) – Ultra Blend was unable to overtake 2010 California-bred Horse of the Year Evening Jewel in last month’s Sunshine Millions Distaff, but, under a crafty ride by Joel Rosario, she was able to turn the tables Saturday in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Valentine Dancer Handicap.

Originally scheduled for one mile on turf, the competition for statebreds was moved to the main track following overnight rains, and the field size was drastically pared from 11 to four starters with millionaire Evening Jewel sent off as the 4-5 choice and Ultra Blend at 13-10.

February 25, 2011

“Night School”—the racing industry’s first national, interactive online fan education forum—will offer its second of 40 weekly sessions on Monday, February 28. Presenting title sponsors of the program are the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form (DRF), the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and Keeneland.

Co-hosted by Horseplayernow.com owners Jeremy Plonk and Joe Kristufek, the weekly Night School lessons are offered free to any racing fan who wants to learn more about the game and will include both novice and advance-level fan education.

February 24, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2011)—By a vote of his peers nationwide, jockey Garrett Gomez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, and who was North America’s leading rider by money-won in 2006, ’07,’08 and ’09, will become the 62nd recipient of the prestigious Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a winner’s circle ceremony at Santa Anita on Sunday, March 20.

Gomez outpolled fellow jockeys Joe Bravo, Javier Castellano, Corey Lanerie and Gallyn Mitchell.

Nicknamed “Go-Go” for his hard-charging style, Gomez is considered one of the best finishers in modern racing history. This ability was never more evident than in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

February 23, 2011

February 22, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has announced that pending approval from the California Horse Racing Board, it will remain on a four-day race week schedule through March 20, and will transition to a five-day race week beginning Wednesday, March 23. The five-day race week would remain in effect through closing day, April 17.

Santa Anita’s 76-day winter/spring meeting began on Dec. 26, and with exception of holiday Mondays, racing has been conducted on a Thursday through Sunday basis. Santa Anita had originally planned to run five days a week beginning March 2, but due to a variety of factors, Santa Anita has opted to remain on a four-day schedule for the first three weeks in March.

February 21, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2011) – Without multiple Grade I winner Evening Jewel to deal with, comebacking Cozi Rosie uncorked a sizzling rally to spurt past pace-setter Briecat Monday and win Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap for older fillies and mares by a widening 1 ¼ lengths while covering one mile over a “good” turf course in 1:35.94.

The victory by the 4-year-old filly, who had not raced since losing by a head to Evening Jewel in the Grade II Honeymoon Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 31, provided trainer John Sadler with his eighth graded stakes win of the meet that began Dec. 26. That averages out to a graded stakes victory each week of a season that completed its eighth week on Monday. “I’m not counting,” Sadler said in reaction. “I’m just enjoying it and working hard.”

February 20, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2011) – The Factor, whom Hall of Famer trainer Bob Baffert likes to think of as his 3-year-old “cannon,” blasted the competition in his first graded stakes venture Sunday with a stylish three-quarter-length victory over Sway Away in Santa Anita’s 70th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes while racing seven furlongs in 1:20.34 over a surface termed “wet fast.”

On the meet’s opening day, Dec. 26, the gray colt named for Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated Fox News program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” had virtually streaked away from his rivals while breaking his maiden by 8 ¼ lengths and setting a track record of 1:06.98.