- SANTA ANITA REMEMBERS ICONIC PENNY CHENERY
- CUPID BREEZES FOR AWESOME AGAIN STAKES
- CLASSIC HOPEFUL ARROGATE WORKS IN 49.60
- SURGERY IMMINENT FOR BAFFERT AIDE BARNES
- RUIS FILLY DRILLS FOR THE CHANDELIER STAKES
SANTA ANITA MOURNS PASSING OF PENNY CHENERY
A legendary figure in the annals of racing history, Penny Chenery, owner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, passed away at the age of 95 Saturday at her home in Colorado following complications of a stroke. Although her Meadow Stable was primarily active east of the Mississippi, her impact as the widely acknowledged “Grand Dame” of American Racing was very much in evidence at Santa Anita, as she founded the “Secretariat Vox Populi” (Voice of the People) Award, presented annually at The Great Race Place, beginning in 2011.
Although she was unable to present the award in person the past two years, Mrs. Chenery remained deeply passionate about the award’s significance and was motivated to create Vox Populi in 2010 to acknowledge the tremendous contributions superstar mare Zenyatta had made to further the interests of racing following her unprecedented victory here in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic and subsequent narrow second-place finish behind Rachel Alexandra in that year’s Eclipse Award Horse of the Year balloting.
Presented to Zenyatta’s owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, in a Winner’s Circle ceremony at Santa Anita on Feb. 5, 2011, the inaugural Vox Populi Award winner was personally selected by Mrs. Chenery, but has been determined in succeeding years by a committee of distinguished racing personalities and industry representatives, in conjunction with a national online vote.
With the great California Chrome becoming the first two-time Vox Populi winner for 2016, Mrs. Chenery’s legacy will live on at Santa Anita as the award she created will continue to be presented annually.
“Penny Chenery was one of those special people whose influence spanned generations,” said Amy J. Zimmerman, Santa Anita’s Vice President, Business Coordination and Director of Broadcasting. “You always thought she would be part of our lives and it’s hard to grasp the realization that she will not. The creation of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award was extremely important to her as a lasting legacy and Santa Anita is honored to be a part of it.”
Past winners of the Secretariat Vox Populi Award: 2010, Zenyatta; 2011, Rapid Redux; 2012, Paynter; 2013 Mucho Macho Man; 2014, California Chrome, 2015, American Pharoah, and 2016, California Chrome.
CUPID ON TARGET FOR AWESOME AGAIN STAKES
Cupid, one of the seemingly endless line of stars in Bob Baffert’s stakes galaxy, worked four furlongs Monday for the Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, Sept. 30, one of five Grade I, “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races at The Great Race Place that will entitle the winners to fees-paid Breeders’ Cup berths in the their respective races Nov. 3 & 4.
Cupid, winner of his last five races, including the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 27, was timed in 47.40, the same time given to workmate West Coast, who is ticketed for the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby this Saturday.
“They went nice,” Baffert said.
Also working Monday for Baffert was streaking Grade I stakes winner Abel Tasman, who went four furlongs in 48 flat with American Anthem, who was clocked in a bullet 47.20, fastest of 68 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 49.13.
Abel Tasman, who also runs Saturday at Parx in the Grade I Cotillion, had a workmate in Show Me Da Lute who was given the same time, 48 flat.
In addition to the 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 30, Santa Anita will showcase four other Grade I, $300,000 “Win and You’re In” Challenge Races: the FrontRunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; the Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles; the Zenyatta Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, also at 1 1/16 miles; and the Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares, three and older at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
First post time Sept. 30 will be 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. On opening day, Friday, Sept. 29, first post time is 1 p.m., with admission gates opening at 11 a.m. Friday’s feature will be the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes for three-year-olds and up at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
MULTI-MILLIONAIRE ARROGATE BREEZES A HALF MILE
With regular rider Mike Smith looking on intently, Bob Baffert sent Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful Arrogate four furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Monday in 49.60 under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
Earner of a North American Thoroughbred record $17,302,600, Arrogate was second to stablemate Collected last out in the Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar, his second straight loss after reeling off seven consecutive victories starting from his home base of Santa Anita, to Dubai, where he won the World Cup last March 25.
BAFFERT AIDE BARNES RECOVERING FROM INJURY
Bob Baffert is hopeful his assistant of almost 19 years Jim Barnes makes a speedy recovery from a fractured pelvis suffered in a training mishap when he was unseated from his stable pony Sunday at Santa Anita.
“It was very scary,” Baffert said Monday morning. “We won’t know more until they put him back together after surgery today or tomorrow at Huntington Memorial Hospital. There was a lot of internal bleeding, but as of this morning he was stable, which is good, and he wasn’t in too much pain.
“I think he’s just more frustrated that it happened, because he’s a wiggler. They’re going to have to handcuff him to the bed for about two weeks.”
FINISH LINES: Moonshine Memories, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Debutante and a nominee to the Chandelier Stakes, worked four furlongs Monday in 49 flat for Simon Callaghan. “Most likely we’ll pass the Chandelier and train up to the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 3),” the trainer said. “This was her first breeze since the Debutante, just an easy half. We were happy with it.” . . . Undefeated Bolt d’Oro worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:00.40 towards the FrontRunner Stakes for trainer and part owner Mick Ruis. “We just wanted to get some air in his lungs,” Ruis said of the bay son of Medaglia d’Oro, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity who will again be ridden by Corey Nakatani . . . FrontRunner nominee Zatter, a son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute, worked five furlongs Monday for Bob Baffert in 1:00.60 . . . Agent Nelson Arroyo will represent newcomer Danielle Sorese (pronounced SO-reese) this meet. A 10-pound apprentice who has four wins, she has been riding at Hawthorne Park and worked horses here this summer for Peter Miller . . . Santa Anita will offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the Metro Arcadia Gold Line Station each live racing day during the Autumn Meet. Service will not be offered on dark and/or simulcast days. The shuttle will regularly make stops at all admission gates, with service offered approximately every 25 minutes . . . A memorial will be held for popular former trainer Robert N. Free, uncle of Daily Racing Form writer and handicapper Brad Free, at 12 noon this Saturday, Sept. 23, in Santa Anita’s FrontRunner Restaurant.