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April 7, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2010) – Unusually Sound, a 4-year-old gelded son of Unusual Heat who did not make his racing debut until January of this year, continued making up for lost time Wednesday with a wire-to-wire victory as the 11-10 favorite in Santa Anita’s $48,400 allowance feature at one mile on turf.

His authoritative 1 ¼-length score over 5-2 second choice Thorondor was his second successive victory following a fast-closing second in his maiden debut and suggested a bright future for the chestnut gelding trained by Patrick Gallagher for owners and breeders Harris Farms and Corey and Michael Wellman.

With Alex Solis in the saddle, Unusually Sound gained control soon after the start, resisted a challenge by Thorondor rounding the far turn and steadily drew clear while crossing the wire in 1:34.42.

April 4, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2010)—Fresh off victory in Saturday’s Gr. I Santa Anita Derby with Sidney’s Candy, leading trainer John Sadler took aim at Sunday’s Gr. III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap with two fillies, highly regarded Alpha Kitten and longshot Mona de Momma.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2010)—A 6.9 earthquake centered approximately 175 miles south near the border town of Mexicali, had no effect upon a field of seven horses running one mile on turf at Santa Anita.

The quake, which occurred at 3:40 p.m. PDT, went unnoticed by all jockeys competing in race seven: Rafael Bejarano, Joe Talamo, Jose Valdivia, Jr., Martin Garcia, Joel Rosario (who rode the winner, Well Monied), Victor Espinoza and David Flores.

“I’d say we started shaking at about the half-mile pole,” said Santa Anita’s legendary announcer Trevor Denman.

April 3, 2010

By BETH HARRIS

AP Racing Writer

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Sidney's Candy led all the way in winning the Gr. I Santa Anita Derby. Behind him, drama unfolded for 4-5 favorite Lookin At Lucky, whose troubled third-place finish set off the tempers of jockey Garrett Gomez, trainer Bob Baffert and his wife.

Sidney's Candy won by 4½ lengths Saturday, giving 20-year-old jockey Joe Talamo a Kentucky Derby contender a year after his mount I Want Revenge was scratched as the early favorite the morning of the race.

After bobbling at the start, Talamo took Sidney's Candy to the lead, just as they did in winning the San Vicente and San Felipe on the same synthetic surface. The colt ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.00 to win the West Coast's major prep for the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

Setsuko, runner-up in the Sham, rallied from last in the 10-horse field to finish second.

Lookin At Lucky was fourth much of the way before being shuffled back in the incident. He re-rallied on the inside to hit the board 1½ lengths back in third.

April 2, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2010) – After chasing mighty Zenyatta in her previous start, Made for Magic simply blew away her peers Friday with a dazzling 8 ¾- length victory in Santa Anita’s $56,456 allowance feature for fillies and mares at one-mile.

Third choice at 4-1 in a field of six, Made for Magic passed pace-setter Alice’s Smart nearing the far turn, and the 5-year-old mare ridden by Omar Berrio for trainer A. C.

April 1, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2010) – Self Made, who uncorked a stunning last-quarter rally to soar from 14th to first in his maiden debut sprinting, relied on a similar style Thursday when stretched out to 1 1/16 miles as he rallied from sixth and last to capture Santa Anita’s $48,400 allowance feature for California-breds by three-quarters of a length.

With leading rider Rafael Bejarano again in the saddle for leading trainer John Sadler, 8-5 favored Self Made mounted his rally nearing the far turn.

March 31, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2010)—Chalk took a backseat on the final day of March, as nobody connected the dots in Santa Anita’s Pick Six on Wednesday, resulting in a carryover into Thursday of $74,482 and the possibility of a total Pick Six pool of $500,000 on Thursday.

The Pick Six began in race three, at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s downhill turf course and it produced a modest upset, as Really Uptown, with Rafael Bejarano up, paid $9.40 to win.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2010) – Some six hours after entering heavily favored Lookin At Lucky in Saturday’s Gr.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2010) – Lookin At Lucky, trainer Bob Baffert’s near-perfect Kentucky Derby prospect, is the 4-5 morning line choice among 10 entrants to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, the West’s premier steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby.

A victory in the 73rd running would move last year’s 2-year-old champion alongside Affirmed, who in 1978 became the only juvenile kingpin to win the Santa Anita Derby, en route to becoming racing’s last winner of the Triple Crown.

Lookin At Lucky also could extend Baffert’s record of Santa Anita Derby victories to six, increase his earnings to $1,873,000 for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, and entrench his tug-o-war with Eastern-based Eskendereya for pre-Kentucky Derby favoritism.

ALPHIE’S BET – Powered to a 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade III Sham Stakes on March 6 while preparing for the Derby. “He’s big, he’s strong, and he’ll run all day,” jockey Alex Solis said of the California-bred son of Tribal Rule who is trained by Alexis Barba for Peter O. Johnson Sr. and breeder Teresa McWilliams. Barba, who runs a small stable, could join Jenine Sahadi, who saddled The Deputy in 2000, as the only female trainers to win a Santa Anita Derby. Solis has ridden in 13.