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February 26, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2010) – Lightly raced 5-year-old Total Bull, a son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus who had disappointed in two previous sprints, ran to the expectations of trainer Bob Baffert when routing for the first time on Friday in Santa Anita’s $49,200 allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles.

With Martin Garcia sending Total Bull to the lead from his outside position in a field of eight, the bay owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt was in control throughout and withstood a stubborn stretch-long bid by Launching Pad to prevail by one-half length in 1:42.88.

February 25, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2010) – A bargain claim for $12,500 11 months ago, 5-year-old mare Blame the Wine won her fifth race for Santa Ines Stable Thursday when victorious by one-half length over Be Driven in Santa Anita’s $48,800 optional claiming feature for California-bred fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Omar Berrio, who has been the winner’s constant saddle companion since the claim, drove Blame the Wine between horses in the closing stages to send her earnings to $97,360 for Santa Ines with the winning purse of $28,800.

February 24, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2010) – Alpha Kitten, the 17-10 favorite who hadn’t raced since winning the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes 13 months before, simply couldn’t catch her more active stablemate, Emmy Darling, in Wednesday’s $49,000 Fair Margarita Purse at Santa Anita as trainer John Sadler saddled the first two finishers.

With Joel Rosario aboard, Emmy Darling sped to the lead early in the six-and-one-half-furlong event for fillies and mares and held Alpha Kitten and jockey Tyler Baze safe by 2 ½ lengths while running the distance in 1:15.36. It was one length back to third-place Zilla in the field of five.

February 23, 2010

Two months in front of the Kentucky Derby, and Mike Machowsky is sitting pretty. The 44-year-old trainer has two promising Triple Crown hopefuls in the unbeaten Caracortado and promising maiden winner Nextdoorneighbor, who runs in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Sham Stakes, a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

Caracortado, who captured the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 6 for his fifth victory, goes next in the Grade II, $150,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 13 against Kentucky Derby Future Book favorite Lookin At Lucky.

February 21, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2010) – After closing strongly to win his first test at 1 ½ miles in an allowance event last month, Bourbon Bay established his stakes credentials as a marathoner Sunday when running away with Santa Anita’s 54th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 ½ miles on turf.

With leading rider Rafael Bejarano in the irons, the 4-year-old Sligo Bay gelding burst away from his competition in midstretch to score by 4 ¼ lengths over Unusual Suspect while negotiating the distance in 2:28.89.

It was the first stakes victory for Bourbon Bay and the second San Luis Obispo for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, whose other entrant, Obrigado, wound up a distant fifth after having provided the first San Luis Obispo win for his trainer in 2007.

February 20, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2010) – Last seen approaching Spectacular Bid’s stakes record in Santa Anita’s Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2010)—Two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2010 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Borel’s Woolf victory was announced live on HRTV from the Fair Grounds in New Orleans by retired Hall of Fame jockey and current HRTV analyst Gary Stevens. Stevens won the Woolf Award himself in 1996.

Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, Borel will become the 61st recipient of one of racing’s most coveted awards. The Woolf Award honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual rider and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

February 19, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2010) – After running second in her debut, A Jealous Woman rolled to her fourth straight victory Friday while leading every step of the way in Santa Anita’s allowance feature, a $62,872 event for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The 4-year-old California-bred filly raced through some rapid interior fractions with Joe Talamo in the saddle, but had ample in reserve to repel the closing bid of Welken and win by one-half length in 1:46.77.

“I had the feeling we were going quick,” commented Talamo, “but those fractions (22.94; 46.70; 1:10.52 and 1:34.45) were so easy, I still had so much horse at the finish.”

February 18, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2010) – A stellar sprinter in her 3-year-old division last year, unbeaten Witty returned from nine months on the sidelines Thursday to pick up where she left off while gaining her fourth victory with a handy 1 ¼-length triumph in Santa Anita’s $55,308 allowance feature for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs.

Bet down to 2-5 favoritism after having last been seen winning Hollywood Park’s Grade III Railbird Stakes over well-regarded Carlsbad on May 10, Witty won her comeback under a vigorous hand ride by Victor Espinoza to cover the distance in 1:15.47.