Richard Mandella hasn’t had Eastwood long enough to know whether the seven-year-old full horse is named for the iconic Hollywood actor/director, but he does know this: the chestnut son of Speightstown has been working well for Saturday’s Grade III Los Angeles Stakes, a six furlong test for three-year-olds and up that will mark his first race in nearly two years.

“He came to me quite a while ago,” Mandella said of Eastwood, who last ran on June 5, 2015 at Belmont Park, finishing fourth in the Grade II True North when trained by Todd Pletcher for Town and Country Racing, LLC. “We actually turned him out at a farm and then started over, so we’ve had him six months, maybe.

“He’s worked well, he’s got some quality. I wish I had an easier race to start him in, but this is all I’ve got, so here we are.”

Eastwood, winner of four of nine career starts, breezed six furlongs April 3 in a bullet 1:13.20 and has been on a regular work pattern since March 3.

The field for the Los Angeles Stakes, race four of 10: Kentuckian, Stewart Elliott, 5-2; Grazen Sky, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1; Ike Walker, Santiago Gonzalez, 5-1; Lord Simba, Martin Garcia, 5-2; and Eastwood, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 2-1.



            Thanks to experience and diligence, Caesar Dominguez has made a successful transition from trainer to agent since representing apprentice rider Austin Solis

The 24-year-old Solis, who rides with a seven-pound weight allowance, was named the Winter Meet’s outstanding apprentice in the Media Poll thanks to eight wins from 72 mounts.  Solis broke a tie with Ruben Fuentes on the final day by guiding Cherokee Dynasty to a half-length triumph for trainer Steve Miyadi at a $47.40 win payoff in Sunday’s eighth race.

“If Austin won an award for being outstanding apprentice rider, I should get one for being outstanding apprentice agent,” said the affable Dominguez, a trainer for 45 years before changing careers on Jan. 1 to represent Solis, son of Hall of Fame rider Alex Solis. “Seriously, it’s exciting, because being an agent is a different ball game from training horses.

“As a trainer, you’re dealing with clients. You talk to fellow trainers, it’s hi and bye. As an agent, you don’t say hi and bye. You’re talking not just to your neighbor, but every trainer at the race track who can give you a shot, and I have to say they’ve been very receptive.

“I enjoy being an agent, and until I really get into it, I’m not sure I want to continue, but right now, I think I will. I like it.’



After a successful local season, the Hippie Bots of Clifton Middle School have been invited to compete internationally at the FTC Dutch Championship May 19-20 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Their robot named “California Chrome” hopes to mimic its namesake’s international success.

“We were thrilled when the equine connections gave us permission to use the name as we continue our community outreach program,” reports robotics mentor Gina Ayala. “As a fan of the equine athlete, what better place to showcase our robot than Santa Anita?”

After making a stop in the jockey’s room at 11:30 a.m. this Sunday, April 16, the California Chrome bot will be going through its paces in the infield at 12:30 p.m.

The California Chrome bot will be the sole representative from the United States at the international competition. The Clifton Middle School students will be competing against international high schools and even collegiate teams. Clifton Middle School is located four miles east of Santa Anita Park in Monrovia.

The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics program has a goal of developing student’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Student teams are required to design, program and build a robot to compete in a designated challenge, will be interviewed by judges, and must present an engineering design notebook.

Teams are also expected to develop community relationships as they strive to become ambassadors for FIRST programs. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit STEM organization developed in 1989.


FINISH LINES: Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion Finest City worked five furlongs Friday in a bullet 59.20, fastest of 56 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:0.1.54. “We’re looking at several different races for her,” said trainer Ian Kruljac, noting the Grade I Beholder Mile at Santa Anita on June 3 and the Grade I Humana Distaff at seven furlongs on Kentucky Derby May 6 at Churchill Downs . . . Squared Squared also worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.20 for John Sadler . . . Denman’s Call, winner of the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes March 11, was one of 19 Doug O’Neill horses on Friday’s work tab. Overall, there were 130, including nine on the training track . . . Seven Santa Anita-based jockeys are on the road this weekend, starting today with Tyler Baze and Mike Smith, who ride 5-1 morning line chances What a View and Bolo in Keeneland’s Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile. Kent Desormeaux, Victor Espinoza and Mario Gutierrez join Baze and Smith at Oaklawn Park Saturday, while Flavien Prat and Corey Nakatani ride at Keeneland tomorrow. Nakatani has one mount today at Santa Anita, Enduring Erin for Richard Baltas in the fourth race, then catches a 10:40 p.m. redeye out of LAX tonight non-stop to Cincinnati to ride triple stakes winner at Santa Anita’s Winter Meet Goodyearforroses for Baltas in Saturday’s Grade I Jenny Wiley, where Prat pilots Grade I Gamely winner Illuminant for Michael McCarthy . . . Richard Mandella has Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile winner Bal a Bali ticketed for the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at 1 1/8 miles May 6 at Churchill Downs. Four-time Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the Kilroe, retains the mount . . . Congrats to agent Joe Griffin, looking like his old self and back working full time for Edwin Maldonado after undergoing open heart surgery on March 6 . . . Kimbear, who rallied from 12th to finish an eventful sixth at 10-1 in the Santa Anita Derby, likely will return to sprints, trainer Eric Kruljac said . . . TVG host/analyst Nick Hines and Horseplayer Christopher Podratz will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 11:50 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Richard Benn, a former owner and a regular at Santa Anita for more than five decades, celebrated his 75th birthday at Clockers’ Corner Friday morning. “It seems like I’ve been coming here all my life,” the El Monte resident said . . . There is a single ticket Pick Six Jackpot carryover of $117,784.82 into Friday.


SANTA ANITA – Dec. 26, 2016 – April 9, 2017       FINAL
(Final Through Sunday, April 9)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Flavien Prat 272 62 45 51 23% 58% $3,907,361
Tyler Baze 318 52 56 39 16% 46% $2,966,208
Rafael Bejarano 191 38 30 34 20% 53% $2,310,154
Kent Desormeaux 173 35 21 20 20% 44% $1,968,946
Joseph Talamo 214 29 21 30 14% 37% $1,145,198
Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 134 26 14 13 19% 40% $1,088,146
Stewart Elliott 200 22 24 29 11% 38% $1,048,061
Tiago Pereira 154 20 17 22 13% 38% $730,227
Martin Pedroza 157 19 29 33 12% 52% $923,272
Corey Nakatani 103 19 12 15 18% 45% $1,459,446
Mike Smith 67 19 7 16 28% 63% $2,114,687
Santiago Gonzalez 178 17 28 23 10% 38% $912,431
Edwin Maldonado 109 17 17 13 16% 43% $597,136
Mario Gutierrez 125 11 22 14 9% 38% $984,451
Victor Espinoza 83 11 21 8 13% 48% $1,518,807
Jamie Theriot 103 11 9 10 11% 29% $542,610
Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Jerry Hollendorfer 158 38 22 29 24% 56% $2,340,340
Peter Miller 136 35 25 15 26% 55% $1,672,668
Richard Baltas 155 26 25 25 17% 49% $1,567,212
Philip D’Amato 125 25 21 14 20% 48% $1,607,922
Doug O’Neill 184 23 36 24 13% 45% $1,991,350
Bob Baffert 80 19 10 11 24% 50% $1,894,517
William Spawr 39 15 5 6 38% 67% $475,065
Mark Glatt 99 14 14 15 14% 43% $671,745
Vladimir Cerin 68 14 13 11 21% 56% $650,424
Peter Eurton 73 14 9 11 19% 47% $734,077
Steven Miyadi 79 13 20 10 16% 54% $604,931