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December 26, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2011)—A rollicking opening day crowd of 44,579 was rendered silent following the afternoon’s fourth race, as 80-1 longshot maiden Kessabtsi blew out the tote board, returning $162.80, thus guaranteeing a high likelihood of an eventual Pick Six carryover of $148,184 into Thursday. It is expected Thursday’s total pool will exceed $750,000.

Kessabtsi, an 0-15 California-bred son of Unusual Heat who was facing a starter allowance field of 10 winners, was ridden by Agapito Delgadillo for trainer Javier Sierra and owners Sierra Stables, Inc.

December 22, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 22, 2011)--Longtime Paddock Guard John Shear, who was seriously injured while protecting a young girl from a loose horse on March 12, was a Santa Anita press box visitor Thursday and informed that he would be back in action on opening day. As a result of his heroic act, Shear has been honored by the cities of Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

“My doctor said I’m okay to come back to work,” said Shear, who will turn 91 on Jan. 17. “I’ll be back at my same job, which is Paddock Supervisor.

December 21, 2011

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.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has announced that beginning opening day, Dec. 26, it will offer all fans attending on-track the convenience of remote wagering via Santa Anita Mobile, a state-of-the-art mobile wagering application.

On-track fans can access the new mobile wagering site at: http://mobile.santaanita.com.

December 19, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 19, 2011)—Santa Anita, America’s premier winter racing venue since 1934, will again welcome a full contingent of world-class jockeys when The Great Race Place opens for its 75th winter/spring meeting on Dec. 26. The Santa Anita jockey colony will be headed by the likes of Rafael Bejarano, Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, Garrett Gomez, Corey Nakatani, Martin Pedroza, Joel Rosario, Mike Smith, Chantal Sutherland, Joe Talamo and others.

“As we have in the past, we’re going to have a very deep and competitive jockeys’ colony this meet,” said Santa Anita’s Vice President of Racing, Rick Hammerle. “Going back to the days of Johnny Longden, George Woolf, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Shoemaker, Santa Anita has traditionally attracted the best riders in the world and our current jockey roster is consistent with that. We know our fans come here expecting to watch and wager on the best racing in America and they expect great riders to be a part of that.”

December 14, 2011

Arcadia, CA, Dec. 14 -- HRTV (R) has reached an agreement with independent broadcaster KVMD (Los Angeles), which will give Southern California racing fans television access to the upcoming Santa Anita winter/spring race meeting. The 75th anniversary of Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting, one of Thoroughbred racing's most anticipated meetings annually, opens the day after Christmas, and will continue through Sunday, April 22.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2011) – Online voting is now open for the second annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or “Voice of the People,” Award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence resounded most with the American public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.

This year’s nominees are: Rapid Redux, who with 19 wins during 2011, equaled Citation's modern day U.S.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 14, 2011)—Trevor Denman, who aspired to be a jockey in his native Durban, South Africa, is set to embark upon his 29th anniversary year as the “Voice of Santa Anita,” when The Great Race Place opens its gates on Dec. 26.

Denman, who has called the Breeders’ Cup World Championships since 2006 and who will once again preside over the two-day extravaganza at Santa Anita next November, was first hired at Santa Anita in the fall of 1983.

An instinctive judge of equine talent, Denman’s ability to anticipate developments in a race are legendary.

December 12, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2011)—Veteran trainer Mike Mitchell, who became Del Mar’s all-time leading trainer this past summer and who is among the career leaders at all major Southern California tracks, is readying for Santa Anita’s 75th winter/spring meet opener on Dec.

December 8, 2011

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2011)—John Sadler, whose powerhouse stable took back-to-back Santa Anita training titles in 2009 and 2010, is girding for Santa Anita’s 75th opening day on Dec. 26 with a barn that’s poised for another run at the top of the trainer standings.

“It’s always great to be back at Santa Anita and especially for the big meet,” said Sadler, a 55-year-old native of Long Beach and life-long resident of Pasadena. “We’ve got some real nice fillies and mares and we’re looking forward to racing (multiple Grade I winner) Switch another year.