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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.”

April 19, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2012) – Sidelined for six months and never having sprinted in his 10 previous U.S.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2012) – The storied San Juan Capistrano Handicap closes out Santa Anita’s 75th racing season on Sunday with course specialist Bourbon Bay an overwhelming favorite to dominate the 73rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 marathon distinguished as the United States’ lengthiest graded turf stakes event at 1 ¾ miles.

The San Juan Capistrano, whose rich history includes the names of such racing giants as Seabiscuit, Cougar II and John Henry, will be presented as the ninth race on a 10-race program that commences at 12:30 p.m. Santa Anita will offer two post-race attractions: (a) “On Track to Beat Cancer,” a charity walk down the track’s homestretch for a $10 donation that includes receipt of a commemorative t-shirt and wristband, and (b) a free “Party in the Paddock” featuring half-priced food and cocktails and the classic rock cover band “The Answer.”

April 18, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 18, 2012) – Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, who on March 25 saddled winners of a pair of Grade II, $150,000 turf stakes, appears well-positioned to mirror that accomplishment this weekend when Santa Anita concludes its 75th winter/spring racing season.

On Saturday, Drysdale will send out 120-pound high-weight and likely favorite Vamo a Galupiar among seven older fillies and mares in the 64th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on turf. The Chilean-bred will attempt to repeat her success as the 7-1 upsetter in the Santa Ana Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on March 25.

And on Sunday’s closing day, the 64-year-old trainer will be represented by 122-pound high-weight and all but certain favorite Bourbon Bay in the $73rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles on turf, the historic event Bourbon Bay won in 2010 and targeted on March 25 with his narrow victory in the San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles.

April 15, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 15, 2012) – As expected, 3-10 favorite Contested sank her opposition Sunday with a 5 ¾-length triumph in Santa Anita’s $66,040 Titanic Purse for 3-year-old fillies while cruising through 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.58.

The daughter of Ghostzapper, ridden by Martin Garcia, shook off early tormentor Hidden Passion heading into the far turn with the rider virtually motionless following early fractions of 22.02 and 44.52.

April 14, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2012) – Her showdown with Unzip Me having succumbed to track conditions, Mizdirection, the soaring 4-year-old filly co-owned by noted sports commentator Jim Rome, expanded her accomplishments Saturday by gaining her fourth straight victory in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap.

With the 6 1/2-furlong, Grade III stakes race switched from turf to Santa Anita’s main track following a pounding rainstorm on Friday, only four starters went to the post, and Mizdirection made good on her 3-10 favoritism with a one-half length win over 5-2 second choice Teroda.

Timed in 1:16.50 over a track labeled “fast,” the victory served as the first for Mizdirection over a dirt surface after her previous five victories had been achieved on grass.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2012)—Trainer Peter Eurton saddled his eighth consecutive winner at Santa Anita on Saturday, as Chickie Charms stormed home to win by 5 ¼ lengths in the sixth race under Joe Talamo.

Although impossible to confirm, it is believed Eurton’s feat, which began April 5, is unprecedented in the 75-year history of Santa Anita.

“Going into last Saturday, we had four wins and 15 seconds,” said Eurton, 54. “I thought we could turn some of those seconds around and now things are clicking. What can you do? It’s almost scary.

April 13, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2012) – After winning her debut on turf, trainer A.C. Avila’s Bobina remained unbeaten over a “sloppy” surface Friday with a dominant half-length victory in the one-mile, $56,840 Superstition Purse for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

With the track experiencing a downpour during the Friday the Thirteenth afternoon, the Superstition was switched to the main track and lost three of its scheduled seven starters.

The public gravitated to trainer Bob Baffert’s My Selection, a brilliant maiden winner at 5 ½ furlongs last month.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2012)—Santa Anita Park has announced plans for its first-ever “Party in the Paddock,” to take place on closing day, Sunday, April 22. Following the day’s final race, the entire paddock will be transformed into a celebratory atmosphere where fans, horsemen and employees can enjoy live music by the classic rock cover band, The Answer.

In addition to live music, fans will be treated to dancing and food and drink specials well into the evening.