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March 29, 2012

March 28, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 28, 2012) – Trainer Bob Baffert’s 3-year-old filly Eden’s Moon, whose dramatic development has coincided with increased distances, will attempt to build upon her devastating win in the one mile Las Virgenes Stakes when the daughter of Malibu Moon is likely to be a heavy favorite in the 73rd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks on Saturday at 1 1/16 miles.

With two sparkling wins from three starts, Eden’s Moon has become one of the leading contenders – along with unbeaten stablemate Princess Arabella and Grace Hall – for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks, the Kentucky Derby’s female counterpart, on May 4. Kaleem Shah’s bay filly will be expected to solidify her status among five 3-year-old fillies in the Santa Anita Oaks.

The Oaks, which will be contested as the fourth race, tops a 10-race program Saturday at Santa Anita that includes the inauguration of a pair of $200,000 stakes races for California-bred 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track: The Echo Eddie (tenth race) and the Evening Jewel (eighth race) for fillies. Each attracted 13 entrants. First post is at 12:30 p.m.

March 26, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 26, 2012)—The racing world was rocked this morning upon hearing the news that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who bases his powerful stable at Santa Anita, had sustained a heart attack in Dubai that required coronary stents to remove cardiac blockage.

“We’re all very concerned about Bob’s health and we’re glad to hear that his condition is stable and his outlook is good,” said Santa Anita C.E.O. Mark Verge. “On the other hand, and I’m sure Bob would appreciate this, we’re also very glad to learn that Bob’s got a heart!!

March 25, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2012) – Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale completed a sweep of Santa Anita’s pair of Grade II, $150,000 turf stakes on Sunday when Vamo a Galupiar staged a torrid finish to capture the 45th Santa Ana Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles with Mike Smith aboard at odds of 7-1.

Under a perfectly timed ride by Joel Rosario, favored Bourbon Bay earlier avenged a defeat by 11-1 Slim Shadey in the mile-and-one-quarter San Marcos Stakes six weeks previous when nailing the latter in the final strides of the 61st San Luis Rey at 1 ½ miles. The final time over a course labeled “firm” despite increasing rain showers was 2:25.78.

It was pouring rain when Hall of Famer Smith moved to within three victories of the 5,000 career milestone when directing Chilean-bred Vamo a Galupiar to a half-length triumph over Wild Mia in a four-horse driving finish that climaxed the Santa Ana raced in 1:48.89 over a surface whose condition had been changed to “good.”

March 24, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2012) – They raced 1 ½ miles in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup, and after the field bunched rounding the Santa Anita marathon’s far turn, only a neck separated victorious Dynamic Host from runner-up Dhaamer at the finish line.

The two steadily separated themselves from the others entering the stretch with 5-1 Dynamic Host, who had rallied from last under David Flores, taking over. Irish-import Dhaamer, the 5-2 second choice, determinedly closed the gap. But Dynamic Host was steadfast while crossing the wire in 2:30.22 on the “fast” main track.

In the end, it was 4 ¼ lengths back to third-place Skipshot and another 13 ¼ back to fourth-place Eldaafer. Twice the Appeal, the 9-5 favorite, wound up sixth, 27 lengths behind the winner.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 24, 2012)—Jockey Garrett Gomez, who fractured his left heel in a paddock mishap on Jan. 8 which subsequently required reconstructive surgery, won his first race since the injury in Saturday’s second race, stalking the early pace and guiding the Neil Drysdale-conditioned Smug to a 1 ½ length win going 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:59.50.

“He pulled pretty good, which makes it tougher, but I can handle it,” said Gomez, North America’s Eclipse Award winning rider in 2007 and ’08. “I’m happy just to be back.

March 23, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2012) – Following a dreadful trip in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2012)—An ebullient trainer John Sadler declared his 3-year-old Candy Ride colt, Holy Candy, fit for passage on the Kentucky Derby trail Friday, following his impressive maiden special weight score going a flat mile in Santa Anita’s fourth race. Holy Candy rallied from off the pace to get the mile in 1:35.98. Sadler said the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, to be run April 7, is under consideration.

“We’ve thought all along he was our best 3-year-old and it was nice to see him finish and gallop out the way he did today,” said Sadler. “In his last couple of races, things have kind of worked against us. We caught a sealed track a couple races back and we’ve just felt that he needs to be able to make a quarter mile run.”

Bred by the Craig Family Trust in Kentucky and owned by Craig Stables and Donkey Island Racing LLC, Holy Candy finished second as the favorite in his first three starts, most recently on March 3 at a mile and a sixteenth.

March 22, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2012) – There was no stopping Centralinteligence, who had been eased in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day Dec.