Stable Notes

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December 16, 2010

• ASMUSSEN PLANTS ROOTS IN SANTA ANITA’S NATURAL SURFACE

• WALSH FANCIES NEW DIRT MAIN TRACK

• ROSARIO, GOMEZ SET FOR OPENING DAY STAKES

TRADITIONAL DIRT, PURSE SURGE LURE ASMUSSEN TO SANTA ANITA

April 18, 2010

SANTA ANITA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE AS 75TH ANNIVERSARY MEET ENDS

Santa Anita’s 75th anniversary winter/spring meet comes to a conclusion today, with reflections on past hardships and expressions of optimism for the future. While there have been bumps in the road, the hope and intent is for a smoother journey ahead.

Five days were lost when the synthetic Pro-Ride main track failed to drain properly in isolated areas, and dwindling horse population at times made for less-than-ideal field sizes.

April 17, 2010

IT’S ALL ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT FOR SANTA ANITA’S ‘MUSIC MAN’

Jay Cohen is Santa Anita’s “Music Man,” only without the scam antics of Professor Harold Hill, the character portrayed by Robert Preston in Meredith Willson’s smash Broadway blockbuster of 1957 and subsequent 1962 hit film.

For Cohen, it’s not about Trouble with a capital T, but strictly about entertaining, something he does with panache.

Cohen is as much a part of Santa Anita’s rich tradition as Trevor Denman’s calls and the Seabiscuit statue. When fans come to Santa Anita, Cohen is music to their ears.

April 16, 2010

SANTA ANITA CHAMP BEJARANO SEEKS VICTORY IN SUNDAY FINALE

Rafael Bejarano rides prohibitive favorite Bourbon Bay in the final race of the meet Sunday, the Grade II, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at about 1 3/4 miles on turf. Whether he finishes first or not, the 27-year-old jockey will go out a winner.

He has clinched his third straight Santa Anita riding title. Through Thursday and with three racing days left in the meet, he held an insurmountable 90-70 lead over runner-up Joel Rosario.

April 15, 2010

TUSCAN EVENING EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT STAKES WIN AT MEET

Tuscan Evening will seek to accomplish a feat no horse in recent memory has at Santa Anita Saturday when she runs in the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap for older fillies and mares.

The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare will attempt to stretch her speed and endurance to win her fourth straight graded stakes this meet in the Santa Barbara, which is run at a mile and a quarter on turf.

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.