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March 24, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2011) – Trainer Vladimir Cerin’s multiple graded stakes winning Briecat will face six challengers Sunday in Santa Anita’s 31st running of the $70,000 Santa Lucia Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Patrick Valenzuela, aboard for the 6-year-old mare’s last four starts, will be back in the irons as Briecat, second in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap on turf in her last out, returns to the Santa Anita main track.

A winner of 9 of 27 career starts that have earned $584,805 for David and Holly Wilson, Briecat seems at home on any surface.

ARCADIA, (March 24, 2011)—Santa Anita Park will present its fourth annual “Santa Anita Uncorked” wine and culinary festival in the track’s paddock gardens area this Sunday. The “Uncorked” event features fine wines, cuisine sampling from popular local restaurants, a paddock art show and a full day of world-class racing.

“Santa Anita Uncorked” will again be sponsored by the Wine of the Month Club, which is based in nearby Monrovia.

“This event has grown each year and we expect it to be even bigger this year,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman.

March 23, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011) – Jax El, a daughter of the splendid sire Unusual Heat, ran her opposition off its feet Wednesday with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in Santa Anita’s $57,200 Queen Mary Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at one mile.

Originally scheduled to be run on the turf before wet conditions prompted a change to the main track, the footing didn’t seem to matter to the 4-year-old bay trained by Barry Abrams.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011) – A fast-closing fourth in the historic Santa Anita Handicap earlier this month, Soul Candy will attempt to further his resume on Saturday when heading a field of six in Santa Anita’s 55th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles.

The main track marathon will mark the 5-year-old gelding’s first try at the distance, but his effort behind victorious Game On Dude in the Grade I Big ’Cap at 1 ¼ miles indicated the extra quarter-mile could well be in his wheelhouse.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011)—On the heels of its wildly successful first-ever Gourmet Food Truck Festival on Jan. 29, Santa Anita Park will offer 80 gourmet food trucks for Food Truck Festival II, on Saturday, April 2.

In addition to tripling the amount of trucks offered, Santa Anita’s entire infield area will be utilized and admission to the Festival is free of charge with paid $5 General Admission, which includes live music and entertainment.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011)—Santa Anita will honor one of the Southland’s most highly respected broadcasters and a recent inductee into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame with the “Rich Marotta Hall of Fame Purse” on Sunday, April 3.

Marotta, who is a regular contributor on radio station KFI’s top rated Bill Handel Show, which airs weekday mornings from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., is a legendary figure in the world of boxing and calls boxing on Fox Sports Net television.

March 20, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 20, 2011) – A series of “off” conditions combined with jockey Rafael Bejarano getting on board helped send 9-2 shot Juniper Pass to a one-half length victory over pacesetter Dahoud in Santa Anita’s 60th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles on Sunday.

For the first time in 36 years, the marathon event was moved off the turf on a rainy, blustery afternoon. And after taking off the blinkers that he had worn in his 10 previous races, Juniper Pass responded to the off conditions of a “wet fast” main track despite never having raced over a surface other than grass. It didn’t hurt either that turf marathon standouts Champ Pegasus and Bourbon Bay were off to Dubai.

March 19, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 19, 2011) – A crafty ride by Rafael Bejarano was instrumental in propelling Malibu Pier to a one-length victory over Turning Top Saturday in Santa Anita’s 44th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Hard pressed early by Lilly Fa Pootz, Malibu Pier was allowed to surrender her early lead nearing the far turn before Bejarano urged her to re-rally and outfinish favored Turning Top while running the distance in 1:48.05. Lilly Fa Pootz held third, 1 ¼ lengths back, in the field of six. The turf course was labeled as “good.”

March 18, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2011) – Having found his niche on grass, heavily-favored Regally Ready cruised to a 1 ¾-length victory over Leroy’s Dynameaux in Friday’s fourth running of the $79,150 Joe Hernandez Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Two factors had loomed large in Regally Ready’s favor: (a) his recently realized affinity for turf racing, and (b) his speed in an otherwise paceless field of seven. The public pounded him down to 1-2 favoritism with the co-second choices at 7-1, and Regally Ready delivered as expected in the race that memorializes the original voice of Santa Anita who served as the track’s announcer from its opening in 1934 until his death in February of 1972.

March 17, 2011