ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2011) – Santa Anita commences its 75th winter/spring season on Monday with four stakes races highlighted by the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes on a nine-race program that is enhanced by the track’s popular opening-day giveaway of colorful wall calendars.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, while beginning pursuit of a record tenth Santa Anita training title, is taking dead aim on the elusive Malibu with a vengeance. He will send out four 3-year-olds, including a freshened The Factor, in the seven-furlong event that has eluded him with 20 previous starters.
Baffert failed to win the Malibu with such stellar performers as Kentucky Derby champion Silver Charm, Santa Anita Handicap winner Misremembered and Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Midnight Lute. He cites the Malibu as the most notable omission on his seemingly endless list of stakes victories.