Stable Notes

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January 24, 2010

POPULAR SUNSHINE MILLIONS RETURNS ON SATURDAY

The Sunshine Millions, which matches California-bred horses against Florida-breds, will be presented for the eighth time next Saturday, Jan. 30, at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park.

January 23, 2010

RACING RESUMES AT SANTA ANITA UNDER CLEAR SKIES

Under welcome sunshine and blue skies, racing resumed at Santa Anita Saturday after heavy week-long rains forced cancellation of live racing Monday, Thursday and Friday. Thanks to the tireless efforts of track superintendent Richard Tedesco and his crew, the absence of training on the Pro-Ride main track did not cause major scheduling alterations for most local horsemen.

“I didn’t even take Lookin At Lucky to the track,” said the meet’s leading trainer, Bob Baffert, of his latest Eclipse Award winner.

January 18, 2010

RACING NEEDS CHAMPIONS LIKE ZENYATTA, JOHN HENRY

Zenyatta is back and racing needs her. It needs star power, and she has it. The welcome news that the unbeaten mare would be “unretired” and continue to run in 2010 generated a breath of fresh air within the industry.

Ron McAnally knows. He trained one of the last major gate attractions, the late John Henry, a two-time Horse of the Year who was the rage of the 80s.

January 17, 2010

ZENYATTA COMEBACK ‘GREAT FOR EVERYBODY’

Perfection is back. The whole of racing, especially in Southern California, is enamored by the announcement Saturday by Jerry Moss that undefeated champion Zenyatta will race again.

“It’s the greatest thing to happen to racing in years, that they decided to run her again,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday morning between training chores at Santa Anita. “It’s not like she’s ever been abused. (Trainer) John Shirreffs is not going to do that. She’s lightly raced (14 starts). What’s the point of retiring her?

January 16, 2010

HORSE OF YEAR DEBATE CONTINUES AS ANNOUNCEMENT NEARS

Horse of the Year 2009 will be announced Monday night at the annual Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills.

January 15, 2010

HORSE OF YEAR OPINIONS HOT AND HEAVY AS ANNOUNCEMENT NEARS

Horse of the Year 2009 will be announced Monday night at the annual Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills.

January 14, 2010

‘RENDEZVOUS’ ON SYNTHETIC IN SAN FERNANDO STAKES

Rendezvous makes his first start on synthetic in almost a year when he runs in Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

The son of 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop is coming off five straight turf races, his most recent last Nov. 7, when he finished eighth in the Oak Tree Derby.

“He was never off the board on the grass until he ran twice at Santa Anita, and he didn’t hit the board in either one,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

January 13, 2010

PAPA CLEM FIRES ANOTHER BULLET FOR SAN FERNANDO STAKES

On a drizzly Wednesday morning, Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem had his final blowout for Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. Papa Clem went four furlongs in a bullet :47 seconds flat. It was the third consecutive bullet drill for Papa Clem since finishing third in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26.

“I had 46 and one,” Stute said. “I thought he was a little short last time. Hopefully, he should be fit this time.

January 10, 2010

NORTH OR SOUTH, TEAM HOLLENDORFER IS A WINNER

Jerry Hollendorfer’s focus on winning is consistent, whether he’s running a $5,000 claimer or a Grade I stakes winner. It’s the competitive spirit and attention to detail that has driven the 63-year-old trainer to win more than 5,000 races, making him one of only four men to surpass that lofty mark.

A legend in the Bay Area where he won 36 straight titles at Bay Meadows and 32 at Golden Gate Fields, Hollendorfer has made an impact in Southern California since breaking ground here recently.

January 9, 2010

DERBY FAVORITE LOOKIN AT LUCKY WORKS HALF-MILE IN BLINKERS

Wearing blinkers for the first time, Kentucky Derby Future Book favorite Lookin At Lucky worked four furlongs on Pro-Ride Saturday in preparation for his 3-year-old debut, probably in the San Felipe Stakes on March 13.

With regular rider Garrett Gomez aboard, the son of Smart Strike was clocked in :47.40, working in company with Indian Firewater, who was timed in :48.20.

“Gomez felt the horse might need blinkers,” Bob Baffert said, “because when he makes the lead, he feels like a sitting duck.