For the first time in a career spanning 13 races, Haimish Hy did not improve his position from the head of the stretch to the finish line when he ran in the San Luis Rey Stakes on March 20.

Art Sherman knows why, and the veteran trainer and former jockey expects major improvement in Sunday’s traditional closing-day finale at Santa Anita, the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap at about 1 ¾ miles on turf.

Haimish Hy finished fourth by 12 ½ lengths in the San Luis Rey when the race was moved from turf to dirt due to rain. When the track came up sloppy, Haimish Hy disappointed as the 17-10 favorite in the Grade II race at 1 ½ miles.

“I ran him in the slop and that was a disaster,” Sherman said. “His eyes were full of mud and he just hated that track. But he’s a good grass horse and I’m looking forward to him running a big race on Sunday. He’s training awful good and I’m glad the San Juan is on the grass.”

Haimish Hy, a 4-year-old son of Ecton Park, scored an 11-1 upset in the Grade I Hollywood Derby last Nov. 28. He has won on turf and synthetic.

“He’s doing great,” continued Sherman, whose son, Steve, is giving perennial Bay Area training king Jerry Hollendorfer a run for the money at Golden Gate Fields. Through Thursday, Hollendorfer was tied at 51 wins with Sherman, who was winning at a 30 percent clip.

The field for the San Juan, which, like last year, will be run as the 10th and final race of the meet: Quindici Man, Martin Pedroza, 117, 9-2; Haimish Hy, Mike Smith, 119, 3-1; Dahoud, Joel Rosario, 115, 9-2; Power Series, Joe Talamo, 112, 8-1; Imponente Purse, Chantal Sutherland, 116, 12-1; Romp, Alonso Quinonez, 114, 15-1; Celtic New Year, Victor Espinoza, 113, 8-1; Falcon Rock, Brice Blanc, 114, 8-1 and Juniper Pass, Rafael Bejarano, 118, 4-1. Interpatation was scratched.


NBC LA (Channel 4) interviewed 90-year-old paddock guard John Shear on Friday at Huntington Memorial Hospital, in advance of his release from the hospital today. Shear, whose wife Diane celebrates her 68th birthday today, has been released to go to his home in Sierra Madre. Shear was gravely injured when he saved a 6-year-old girl from a runaway horse at Santa Anita on March 12.

Shear, when interviewed on Friday, said a 3-year-old horse started charging toward panicked members of the crowd in the race track walking ring area at about 40 miles an hour. A little girl stood next to him, and he pushed her out of harm’s way. Shear, a former rider, said the horse hit him on his side, inflicting him with a fractured pelvis and other injuries. Paramedics said he lost so much blood they didn’t think he would survive.

Shear will continue physical therapy and plans to play poker in Las Vegas while he recuperates. “I can’t wait to return to work at Santa Anita,” he told NBC LA.


Santa Anita Park and City of Hope are in a partnership that will unite the track’s racing fans and the entire California racing industry in the fight against cancer when they present the first-ever “On-Track to Beat Cancer” event at Santa Anita tomorrow, closing day.

Following the last race, humans will replace horses on Santa Anita’s storied main track where legendary horses such as Zenyatta, Seabiscuit, John Henry and others have competed and created some of the greatest moments in racing history.

Fans will be invited to join jockeys, trainers and celebrities in a quarter mile walk down the homestretch that begins with a walk through Santa Anita’s starting gate.

Among those leading the way for the horse racing industry are Bo Derek, Chantal Sutherland and Jill Baffert.

“We are thrilled to have Bo, Chantal and Jill involved in this,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman. “In one way or another, we’ve all been affected by cancer and to have three women of this magnitude involved is a huge plus for all of us.”

Anyone making a minimum $10 donation to City of Hope on closing day will be eligible to walk on the track. Fans are encouraged to bring signs and banners, create teams, take photos and dedicate the walk to cancer survivors or to the memory of loved ones who have succumbed to or who are battling cancer.

City of Hope will also be hosting ancillary events at Santa Anita on closing day. A Wellness Center will be erected in the infield, featuring blood pressure exams, healthy food demos, bone marrow transplant updates and cancer screenings. Doctors and nurses will be present to facilitate those who wish to participate.

Santa Anita’s infield area will also offer fans live bands, family fun events, food trucks and VIP buffet tents.


Santa Anita Park will host its third Gourmet Food Truck Festival, featuring approximately 65 vendors, on Saturday, May 14. Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting concludes Sunday, and on the heels of two resoundingly successful events in January and April, the May 14 Festival will mark the first time Santa Anita has hosted such an event without live racing.

“The Food Trucks have found a home here at Santa Anita,” said George Haines, Santa Anita President. “Both of the Food Truck Festivals, on Jan. 29 and earlier this month on April 2, far exceeded anyone’s expectations. We expanded the Festival to include the entire infield area and added many more trucks on April 2, and it was a tremendous success.

“We have a picturesque, safe and secure facility here at Santa Anita and we welcome the opportunity to introduce new people to horse racing and to what we consider to be the most beautiful sports venue in the world. The Food Truck Festivals deliver a family-oriented crowd, which is a great demographic for us.

“Additionally, we have received very positive feedback not only from attendees, but from all of the vendors as well. The Food Truck phenomenon has really taken root here in Southern California, and these vendors realize Santa Anita is a perfect place for them to maintain and expand their own fan base.”

Among the many prominent gourmet food trucks that are scheduled to be represented are The Grilled Cheese Truck, the Lobsta Truck, Ragin Cajun, Canter’s, Border Grill, Shrimp Pimp and many more.

All Food Truck Festival attendees will be admitted for just $5, and satellite wagering from Hollywood Park, Churchill Downs, Belmont Park and other tracks around the country will be offered.

All Santa Anita parking lots will open at 10:30 a.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.

Festival operating hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. First race post time at Hollywood Park is 1 p.m.

For more information on the May 14 Food Truck Festival, fans are encouraged to visit

FINISH LINES: Funeral services for veteran trainer Lou Carno, who died Friday at the age of 90, will be held Monday, April 25, at Douglas & Zook Mortuary, 600 E. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia. Carno is survived by his wife, Kathy and children Robert, Sharon and Michael, as well as step children Jason and Jeremy. There will be a viewing at 3 p.m. and a memorial service at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow . . . Mike Puype (pronounced PIPE-ee) is piping hot. The 44-year-old trainer has saddled winners at Santa Anita the last six racing days and has three scheduled starters today: Supreme Summit (5-2 in the third race), Orientatious (3-1 in the fourth) and Jade’s Song (3-1 in the 10th). Puype’s string of winners began last Thursday with Line One ($16) and Distant Glow ($9) and followed with Hagibis ($9.20) on Friday, El Merito ($6.80) on Saturday, Tales of Tigger ($15.80) on Sunday and Mr. Saturdaynight ($3.20) on Thursday . . . Congratulations to the La Caňada Stable of Ron Valenta for leading owners in wins for the second consecutive meet, this year with 16 through Friday, seven more than runners-up Jerry and Ann Moss. Last meet Valenta and his private trainer Jack Carava led in wins with 14 . . . Victor Espinoza is looking forward to riding Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude in the Run for the Roses on May 7. I’m very excited,” said Espinoza, who won the 2002 Kentucky Derby for trainer Bob Baffert on 20-1 shot War Emblem. “Hopefully, I can win my second Derby. We just want to get him there healthy and I know Bob knows how to train his horses to get ready for that race. I think my horse is going in the right direction right now. He’s improving with each race and getting good at the right time.” . . . Trainer Jim Cassidy, who saddled Fifth Ave to a $28.80 upset in yesterday’s seventh race to trigger a Pick Six carryover of $63,809.06 into Saturday, plans to run The Usual Q.T. in Hollywood Park’s Inglewood Handicap on April 24 and 2010 California-bred Horse of the Year Evening Jewel in the Grade I La Troienne at Churchill Downs on May 6 . . . Santa Anita’s racing department extends its sincere thanks to horsemen for their cooperation this meet and wishes them the best of luck the remainder of the year.