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December 31, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2011) – One month after recording his first stakes victory, 6-year-old gelding Aggie Engineer was expected to be well positioned on Saturday to snare another, Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes, the first major steppingstone to the March 5 Santa Anita Handicap.

But after Bob Baffert took a look at the projected field for the 74th San Pasqual, the trainer of Spurrier commented, “I might be in trouble.” So Baffert entered speedier stablemate Red Door Drive along with Spurrier.

December 30, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2010)—Shortening up out of four consecutive routes, Cayambe, a 6-year-old gelding by Helmsman, relaxed well in the early stages and finished with a rush to provide jockey Rafael Bejarano with his third win on the afternoon in Thursday’s 6 ½ furlong, $68,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita.

“He broke good, but I wanted him to be in a comfortable position,” said Peruvian sensation Bejarano. “I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, especially the favorite (Earnednevergiven), and he relaxed really well.

December 29, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2010) – After scoring stunning maiden victories with 2-year-old colts The Factor and Uncle Sam during the first two days of Santa Anita’s winter-spring meet, Bob Baffert watched another of his 2-year-olds validate Triple Crown promise when Awesome Patriot dramatically captured Wednesday’s $51,520 allowance feature for 2-year-olds at one mile.

Overnight rain had cut the field in half to three starters, but the match race that materialized proved to be compelling.

December 27, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2010) – Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes had Proudinsky’s name written all over it, but Jeranimo!, the Proudinsky consolidation was blunted in Monday’s 64th running.

Victorious in the previous two runnings of the San Gabriel after a second the year before, Proudinsky took charge in midstretch of the mile-and-one-eighth turf event on Monday after putting away 7-10 favorite The Usual Q.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2010)—Santa Anita Park has announced the Gr. II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap, to run on Jan. 1, has been renamed the Robert J. Frankel Memorial Handicap, in honor of the late Hall of Fame conditioner who won the San Gorgonio a record eight times and who holds Santa Anita’s all-time record of 917 wins. Frankel was also leading trainer at Santa Anita on five different occasions; 1974-75, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1980-81 and 1981-82.

Frankel, who passed away after a valiant fight with lymphoma at the age of 68 on Nov.

December 26, 2010

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2010) – It only seemed a question of which was hotter: the training job turned in by two-time defending champion John Sadler or the new dirt racetrack Santa Anita had installed for the opening of its 74th season on Sunday.

Sadler, who happened to be at home nursing an injured knee, won a Santa Anita record three straight graded stakes races while Joel Rosario went along for the ride before an on-track crowd of 34,268.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2010)—Despite weathering 14 ¼ inches of rain over the past nine days, including three quarters of an inch overnight, venerable Santa Anita Park opened its doors for its 74th winter/spring meeting in rollicking fashion, as 34,268 came to The Great Race Place for a nine-race program that included four stakes.

December 24, 2010


Christmas came a day early at Santa Anita. Inundated by record rainfall of 13 ½ inches the past week, horsemen awoke Friday morning to a picture-post card setting of blue skies and sunshine caressing the San Gabriel Mountains and took full advantage of it by working nearly 350 horses over the new traditional dirt main track as they readied for Sunday’s eagerly anticipated opening day at The Great Race Place.

December 23, 2010