St Trinians will make racing history if she wins the Santa Anita Handicap. The 5-year-old mare would become the first female to win the storied race, presented next Saturday by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. Mike Mitchell likes his chances.

The English-bred daughter of Piccolo is unbeaten in four U.S. starts, winning by a combined margin of 16 1/2 lengths. Her latest victory came Feb. 13, in the Grade II Santa Maria Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

“It’s kind of a plus, I think,” Mitchell said when it was pointed out that 41 females have been unsuccessful in their attempts to win the Big ‘Cap in 72 previous runnings. “We know they can do it, and she gets a little better break in the weights than if I ran against Zenyatta a week later (in the Santa Margarita Handicap March 13). If there is a question, it’s if she can go a mile and a quarter, and I think she can, the way she finished winning the Santa Maria.

“When she won going 7 ½ furlongs at Hollywood off a layoff (of nine months last Dec. 3), she was on the lead most of the way, and that kind of surprised me. Nobody really wanted to take the lead, and she was fresh, but now, you can kind of do whatever you want with her, depending on who goes in this race. With a full field, it looks like there’s a fair amount of speed.”

St Trinians worked five furlongs in company with Art Currency Friday at Hollywood Park in 1:01.60, breezing. Art Currency was clocked in 1:01.60, handily.

“She worked great,” Mitchell said. “It was a good, strong gallop-out. Martin Garcia worked her. He works a lot of horses for me, and he doesn’t mind working horses for (Joel) Rosario (who rides St Trinians in the Big ’Cap; both jockeys are represented by agent Vic Stauffer), because I put Martin on a lot of horses.

“Nobody works a horse as good as Garcia. He’s a very, very good rider, and he’s got a great set of hands. When he worked St Trinians, she relaxed nice and kept picking it up.”

St Trinians has a 7-0-1 record from 11 starts, with earnings of $268,587 for owners Dan Capen of Manhattan Beach and Laura Chavers of Marina del Rey.

Probable for the Santa Anita Handicap: Loup Breton, Garrett Gomez, 117; Marsh Side, no rider, 117; Mast Track, David Flores, 117; Neko Bay, Mike Smith, 117; Palladio, no rider, 117; Jeranimo, Rafael Bejarano, 116; Misremembered, Martin Garcia, 116; Delightful Kiss, no rider, 115; Dakota Phone, Victor Espinoza, 114; Eagle Poise, Tyler Baze, 114; Pick Six, Alex Solis, 114; Pool Play, Chantal Sutherland, 114; Tiger’s Rock, David Cohen, 114; St Trinians, Joel Rosario, 113; Massone, Joe Talamo, 113; Acclamation, no rider, 113; Spurrier, no rider, 113; and High Court Drama, Michael Baze, 113.

Conditions allow only 14 starters.

All fans in attendance at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap day will receive free a 75th Anniversary Wall Clock with paid admission, while supplies last. Also, there will be a $500,000 late Pick 4.

First post time is 12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m.


All Due Respect is expected to challenge three-time Grade I stakes winner Blind Luck in Saturday’s Grade I, $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. The Florida-bred daughter of Value Plus broke her maiden by 7 1/2 lengths on a muddy Fair Grounds track at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 24.

“I’ve only had her a few weeks,” said trainer Kathy Walsh, “but she’s doing well and she worked Friday in 1:11 4/5.” That was at Hollywood Park, where the official time was 1:11.80, fastest of 15 drills at the distance.

“The maiden win was impressive,” Walsh said, “but I think her best race might have been a third to Sassy Image and Decelerator in the (Grade III) Pocahontas (at Churchill Downs last Nov. 1).”

Probable for the Santa Anita Oaks: All Due Respect, Garrett Gomez; Blind Luck, Rafael Bejarano; Cozi Rosie, Mike Smith; Crisp, Joel Rosario; and Evening Jewel, Victor Espinoza. Cozi Rosie worked seven furlongs on Pro-Ride Sunday in 1:28.20 with Smith aboard, while Crisp went six furlongs at Hollywood Park in a bullet 1:12, both for John Sadler.

Sadler, Santa Anita’s training leader through Saturday with 24 wins, four more than runner-up Bob Baffert, said that his Triple Crown hopefuls, Dave in Dixie and Sidney’s Candy, both are ticketed for the March 13 San Felipe Stakes, but in light of recent erratic weather, cautioned that “everything’s a definite maybe.” Dave in Dixie worked five furlongs at Hollywood Saturday in a bullet :59.60.


The intriguing story of Claiborne Farm's star-crossed double classic winner, Swale, will be subject of a half-hour documentary on HRTV's ‘Inside Information’ Sunday night at 6 p.m. The special Swale documentary unveils a new format for ‘Inside Information,’ the popular show which has aired since 2007. It will now be presented on the final Sunday of each month, and concentrate on a wide range of documentary-type stories in the world of Thoroughbreds.

In 1984, Claiborne Farm--currently celebrating a century of standing, caring for and raising some of the most successful Thoroughbreds in North America and in Swale, finally found a horse to fulfill their dream of winning the Kentucky Derby, in addition to a horse that would lay the groundwork for the farm's future. But just eight days after capturing the Belmont Stakes, Swale would remind his owners of the unpredictability, and fragile nature of the sport.

"Time has dulled the brilliance of Swale and what he meant to some of the most important people in the history of American turf," said Amy J. Zimmerman, executive producer for HRTV. "For five magical weeks, he exemplified everything racing is supposed to be. And, then, in an instant, he was gone."

The Hancock family has been synonymous with Claiborne, one of the most successful breeding farms in Kentucky. Founded in Virginia and thriving in Kentucky since 1915, Claiborne Farm has been guided by four generations, all pursuing the sport’s most elusive prize, the Kentucky Derby. It was Swale who gave Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. his only win in the Run for the Roses.

FINISH LINES: The Sham Stakes, postponed when Saturday’s races were cancelled due to heavy rain, has been rescheduled for next Saturday, March 6. The Grade III Sham for 3-year-olds will support an outstanding card that features three Grade I races: the Santa Anita Handicap, the Santa Anita Oaks and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile . . . Track superintendent Richard Tedesco said three inches of rain pelted Santa Anita from 2 a.m. Saturday morning until 5 p.m. last night . . . Multiple stakes winner Battle of Hastings worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Sunday in 1:01.60 for Jeff Mullins for Saturday’s Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf. Regular rider Tyler Baze was aboard. Probable for the Kilroe: Awesome Gem, David Flores, 117; Battle of Hastings, 119; Blue Chagall, no rider, 114; 2008 Kilroe winner Ever A Friend, Joel Rosario, 118; Fluke, Joe Talamo, 116; Monzante, Garrett Gomez, 115; Red Alert Day, no rider, 113; and The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza, 120. Awesome Gem worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park Saturday in 1:13.40 for Craig Dollase . . . Friday’s Pick Six payoff of $218 was the fifth-lowest in Santa Anita history. The record is $106.20 set on March 16, 1986. With five favorites and one second choice winning in Friday’s exotic, there were 356 winning tickets. Win prices were $4, $5, $7.60, $5.40, $6 and $4.20. Five of six paid $11.40 on 2,910 tickets. Seven favorites won on the eight-race program . . . Apprentice Christian Santiago Reyes was expected to ride Wednesday after missing his engagements Friday and Sunday due to an injured left knee suffered in Thursday night’s charity basketball game between Santa Anita’s jockeys and Holy Angels School. “He banged his knee early in the game, and he probably could have ridden today, but we wanted to take one more day to be safe,” agent Tony Matos said. “He rides Cardiff Giant for Jorge Periban in the Rebel Stakes (March 13 at Oaklawn Park) if all goes well, and we don’t want to aggravate the knee.” . . . ShowVivor II was down to 219 contestants going into Sunday’s races.