TRAINER JOHN SADLER READYING FOR DEC. 26 OPENER; THREE-TIME SANTA ANITA LEADER AMONG NATION’S ELITE

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2011)—John Sadler, whose powerhouse stable took back-to-back Santa Anita training titles in 2009 and 2010, is girding for Santa Anita’s 75th opening day on Dec. 26 with a barn that’s poised for another run at the top of the trainer standings.

“It’s always great to be back at Santa Anita and especially for the big meet,” said Sadler, a 55-year-old native of Long Beach and life-long resident of Pasadena. “We’ve got some real nice fillies and mares and we’re looking forward to racing (multiple Grade I winner) Switch another year. We’ve got some real nice young horses and a couple of new arrivals that we’re very excited about as well.”

Sadler noted that his barn has recently acquired a pair of Group I winners from overseas and he has high hopes for both.

“We’ve got a very talented 3-year-old from Ireland named Path Fork. He was the 2010 2-year-old champion in Ireland and there’s a chance he could be ready to run in the (Grade II) Sir Beaufort on opening day. We’ve also got a real nice horse from Australia named Pressday. He’s a 3-year-old coming four and we should be able to run him in the first month or two of the meet. When you put it all together, I think we’re deep enough to make another serious run at being leading trainer.”

Team Sadler got off to a lightning fast start last year, winning two Grade I stakes on opening day; the La Brea with Switch and the Malibu with Twirling Candy.

Despite the fact he went on to win a total of four Grade I races at the meet, Sadler missed a Santa Anita three-peat by finishing second to Bob Baffert in the 2010-11 trainer standings and is quick to acknowledge the importance of good clients.

“We’ve worked very hard to get to where we’re at,” said Sadler, who won his first stakes race in 1979, “But without great owners like Lee and Sue Searing (CRK Stable), Jenny Craig, Jerry and Ann Moss, Gary and Cecil Barber, Dawn Thrash, Pam and Martin Wygod and Desert Sun Stable, we wouldn’t be able to field the kind of teams we have for the past five or six years. It’s great to have owners that let you do your job, run the horses where they’re going to be competitive and provide you with fresh stock. It’s up to us to keep winning.”

And win he has, as evidenced by the fact Sadler’s stable has posted increased earnings each year beginning in 2003, hitting the $5.4 million mark in 2007, which preceded a phenomenal 2008, when he won training titles at Hollywood Park and Del Mar and made America’s Top 10 list of trainers by money-won for the first time.

Sadler’s continued dominance extended to nine of Southern California’s 12 meet training titles through 2010 and his barn is enjoying another robust year in 2011, as evidenced by the fact his stable’s earning are now in excess of $6 million since Jan. 1.

As he has for nearly three decades, Sadler will once again call Santa Anita’s Barn 56 home for the 2011-12 winter spring meeting.

Santa Anita’s 75th opening day will be Monday, Dec. 26, with first post time at 12 noon. For more information, visit www.santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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