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April 14, 2010

GERMAN-BRED FILLY MAKES U.S STAKES DEBUT IN SANTA BARBARA

Ron McAnally is known for his success with South American imports like champions Bayakoa and Paseana, but the Hall of Fame trainer cautions not to underestimate a German-bred filly who will make her United States stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

That would be Éclair de Lune, who was fourth in her U.S. debut on March 18 for owner Richard Duchossois, founder and owner of Arlington Park.

April 11, 2010

TUSCAN EVENING TRIES NEW ROUTE IN SANTA BARBARA HANDICAP

Tuscan Evening will go where she’s never gone before when she runs in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for older fillies and mares.

The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare will attempt to win at a mile and a quarter on turf. She reached a new distance milestone on March 21, when she won the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap at a mile and an eighth.

April 10, 2010

ZENYATTA’S LEGEND GROWS AFTER 16TH STRAIGHT VICTORY

Mankind has its Seven Wonders of the World, and racing has its Equine Wonder of the World. She’s Zenyatta.

April 9, 2010

BLANC HOPES TO FIRE BULLETS IN WEEKEND STAKES RACES

Brice Blanc rides two horses for trainer David Hofmans in stakes this weekend at Santa Anita, and the 37-year-old Frenchman likes his chances on each one.

Blanc rides Turns My Head in Saturday’s $100,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and Lemon Supreme in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for older fillies and mares at about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf.

“She tries hard,” Blanc said of Lemon Supreme, a 5-year-old Lemon Drop Kid mare who will be running in her first stakes race.

April 8, 2010

ZENYATTA RETURNS TO SPOTLIGHT ON FRIDAY MINUS RACHEL ALEXANDRA

Racing fans the world over would have been focused feverishly on the Apple Blossom Invitational Handicap at Oaklawn Park tomorrow if Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were to have met as planned.

Instead, Zenyatta will fly solo and attempt to extend her perfect record to 16 straight victories in the nine-furlong race which drew five entrants and offers its customary purse of $500,000 rather than the $5 million that would have been on the table had both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta run.

April 7, 2010

TO SADLER’S SURPRISE, HE’S ABOUT TO ‘CLAIM’ ANOTHER TRAINING TITLE

John Sadler’s success this meet has surpassed even his expectations. Well on his way to his second straight Santa Anita training title with a 40-29 lead over runner-up Bob Baffert through Sunday, the 53-year-old Long Beach native also has seven stakes victories, one behind leader Baffert, and in Sadler’s mind, that’s what makes his achievement all the more remarkable.

“Yes, this meet has exceeded my expectations,” Sadler said Wednesday morning.

April 4, 2010

SIDNEY’S CANDY, ‘LUCKY’ SMELL ROSES AFTER EVENTFUL SANTA ANITA DERBY

It was all quiet on the Western front Sunday morning after the most eventful Santa Anita Derby in recent memory Saturday.

April 3, 2010

SANTA ANITA DERBY FIELD AT THE READY FOR TODAY’S BIG RACE

The 10 three-year-olds entered in this afternoon’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby were poised at the ready Saturday morning, going through the final stages for the West Coast’s premier steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

In post position order, here’s what each did:

Posse Power, trained by Frank Lucarelli: walked the shed row.

Thomas Baines, trained by Doug O’Neill: walked.

Who’s Up, trained by Mike Puhich: walked.

Sidney’s Candy, trained by John Sadler: walked.

Setsuko, trained b

April 2, 2010

SANTA ANITA DERBY KING STEVENS GOES FOR ‘10’ WITH LOOKIN AT LUCKY

Gary Stevens, who won the Santa Anita Derby a record nine times, is an integral member of the talented on-air team for NBC-TV, which will present the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby live on Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.

Retired since November 2005, Stevens is also a full time analyst with HRTV.

April 1, 2010

GOMEZ SITTING PRETTY ON LOOKIN AT LUCKY IN SANTA ANITA DERBY

This is the time of year some jockeys are playing musical 3-year-olds, trying to land a mount for the Kentucky Derby. Not Garrett Gomez.