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May 1, 2012

Arcadia, CA, May 1 -- HRTV's (R) extensive week-long coverage of the Kentucky Derby will also treat viewers to the premiere of a special documentary, Garrett Gomez: 118 Days, which will provide racing fans with an intimate, up-close look at the champion jockey's intense recovery from a serious injury, and uncover his steely focus of returning to the track and securing a mount in the 138th running of the Derby.

It will air on Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

April 24, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 24, 2012)—Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol had a night off Tuesday, but that didn’t prevent the two Lakers stars from indulging in some good old fashioned horse trading at Riviera Country Club. In fact, when the Lakers Foundation fund raiser concluded, Bryant and Gasol emerged as ownership partners on a Thoroughbred gelding named Siempre Mio, courtesy of Santa Anita C.E.O. Mark Verge.

“I decided to offer a 25 percent stake in the horse, along with A Day at the Races, as a live auction item,” said Verge. “What ended up happening was that Kobe and Pau got into a bidding war and Kobe finally outran Pau at $8,000.

“All of the money that was donated last night will go to benefit the Lakers Youth Foundation and Santa Anita is proud to support their programs,” said Verge.

April 22, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 22, 2011) – Bourbon Bay strengthened his lucrative attachment to Santa Anita’s Camino Real turf course Sunday by winning the historic San Juan Capistrano Handicap, but it took longer for the stewards to separate the even-money favorite and Eastern invader Eagle Poise than it did to run the nation’s longest graded turf stakes at 1 ¾ miles which is traditionally contested on the winter/spring meet’s closing day.

After the pair crossed the finish line in perfect sync, another six minutes was required to determine that Bourbon Bay, a one-half length winner of the event in 2010, had indeed triumphed in the 73rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 marathon run in 2:45.70. It was that close before a rapt crowd of 16,034.

Upon becoming the sixth two-time winner of the historic stakes race inaugurated in 1935, Bourbon Bay recorded his seventh win in nine starts over the course. He has won a single grass race elsewhere. His earnings from his sixth Grade II victory over the layout reached $607,800 with the $90,000 winner’s share compared to $968,536 overall in 26 career starts.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 22, 2012) – I’ll Have Another, who was dismissed as an “overnight sensation” when he won the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes in a 43-1 upset on Feb. 4 but subdued skeptics when he returned at 4-1 to nose out 4-5 favorite Creative Cause in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 7, was named Horse of the Meet in Santa Anita’s 2011-12 Winter/Spring Media Poll.

“This is a huge honor,” said Doug O’Neill, who trains the 3-year-old son of Flower Alley for owner J.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 22, 2012)—Two $10,000 first prize winners were announced Sunday at Santa Anita in HRTV and Santa Anita’s inaugural “A Day at the Races” Film Festival, which required both aspiring and established film makers to produce short subject films of under five minutes that were shot entirely at The Great Race Place.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 22, 2012)—Eddie Garcia of La Puente was glad he checked his mailbox earlier this week as he received a Santa Anita Thoroughbred’s Club Mystery Mutuel Voucher, good for redemption on Santa Anita’s closing day, Sunday, April 22. The result was that Garcia discovered he was holding a live ticket worth $10,000.

“This is incredible,” said Garcia, a native of the Philippine capital of Manila, who works as a real estate management accountant in Culver City. “The first time I came to Santa Anita was the day Manila won the Breeders’ Cup (Turf) in 1986.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 22, 2012)—Santa Anita Park, which will host the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Nov. 2 and 3, capped its 75th winter/spring season on Sunday with gains in on-track attendance, handle and overall pari-mutuel handle.

Santa Anita’s out-of-state business was robust, propelling The Great Race Place to finish up with a seven percent increase in total pari-mutuel handle. On-track handle and attendance were up one percent over 2011, as more than 580,000 fans attended the races at Santa Anita this meet.

April 21, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 21, 2012) – Four races after the venerable California Flag registered his seventh career stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Handicap, another 5-1 shot, 4-year-old filly Capital Plan, gained her first stakes win in Santa Anita’s 64th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap.

Under a crafty ride by Brice Blanc, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Capital Plan got the jump on her opposition turning for home to prevail by 1 ½ lengths over Cambina in the mile-and-one-quarter turf competition for older fillies and mares. She was timed in 2:01.78.

Longshot Glowing Spirit set out to steal the Santa Barbara, and jockey Victor Espinoza seized the opportunity while taking the field of seven through dawdling fractions that included a half in 50.06 and six furlongs in 1:14.73.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 21, 2012)—Winners in HRTV’s inaugural “A Day at the Races” Film Festival will be announced in the Santa Anita winner’s circle following Sunday’s seventh race.

The Fan’s Favorite Award has generated considerable interest, evidenced by the 77,824 on-line votes cast through www.hrtv.com.

A total of 25 short subject, non-fiction films have been submitted and are under review. All submissions are a maximum of five minutes in length and all were shot at Santa Anita.

“The quality of films submitted is remarkable,” said HRTV President Scott Daruty.

April 20, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 20, 2012) – After finishing sixth in Grade I and Grade II stakes races, Blingo returned to turf, the surface of his maiden debut victory, and remained unbeaten over grass footing on Friday with a hard-fought triumph in Santa Anita’s $76,500 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.

Under a busy ride by Mike Smith, Blingo made good on his 3-5 favoritism by rallying to defeat Vibrato Jazz by one-half length with Buffalo Billy gaining third, another length back, after veering in at the start. The final time was 1:47.58.

“He was a tad slow at the start,” Smith said afterward. “Then they kept slowing it down in front of him.” Tiz Point, the 3-1 second choice, took the field of five through modest fractions of 23.42, 48.24 and 1:12.14 before fading to last. “I didn’t want to make an early move,” said Smith, “but I had to.”