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March 15, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2012) – Under a well-timed ride by Victor Espinoza, solidly favored Kingpin Ryno came from off the pace Thursday to secure a 1 ¼-length victory over Valley Cat in Santa Anita’s featured $59,750 Maywood Purse for California-breds at one mile on turf.

After being overtaken by one-half length as the favorite under similar conditions in his previous start, Kingpin Ryno was settled into a stalking position on Thursday as Tricky Mandate sped to a 3 ½-length lead down the backstretch.

“I didn’t want to go to the lead today,” explained Espinoza.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2012) – With Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes turf marathon postponed for one week due to the prospect of foul weather, the 9th running of the $70,000 Santana Mile steps into the feature spot with a contentious field of seven set to compete.

The Santana Mile will be contested as the seventh race on an eight-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2012)—Due to a forecast calling for heavy rain over the weekend, Santa Anita racing officials have made the decision to postpone until Sunday, March 25, the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes, which was originally scheduled to be run this Sunday. The San Luis Rey, for older horses at 1 ½ miles on turf, will be run for the 61st time this year.

“We’ve got some significant rain coming our way over the weekend,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Racing, Rick Hammerle.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2012)—Santa Anita officials and horsemen reacted with dismay and sorrow upon the news of the highly publicized equine fatality here on Tuesday morning and the subsequent decision Wednesday by HBO to cease production on season-two of LUCK.

“All of us here at Santa Anita, including horsemen, management and employees are deeply saddened by the stable area accident which resulted in the death of a horse being used in the production of LUCK here on Tuesday morning,” said Thoroughbred horse owner Mark Verge, speaking on behalf of the Stronach Group.

March 14, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 14, 2012) – Late-blooming 5-year-old Ellafitz will aim for a career high note as well as her fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when facing five challengers in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, the season’s racing highlight for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.

“She’s in a zone right now,” trainer Bob Baffert said of the bay daughter of Tiznow who did not win her first stakes race until last Dec. 11 when taking the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in her 12th start. Moving to Santa Anita, Ellafitz promptly followed with impressive victories in the Paseana Handicap and the Grade II Santa Maria on Feb. 18.

She clearly made a believer of Baffert. “Ellafitz runs hard, she runs fast,” he said. “Last time (Santa Maria), they took all kinds of shots at her. She took a lot of heat and kept going. They sent a rabbit out there, but my mare is doing better for this race than she was before the last race.”

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 14, 2012)—Santa Anita Park will proudly host an equine baby shower in honor of the great Zenyatta’s newly arrived foal this Saturday, March 17. All on-track attendees will receive one “It’s a Boy” poster, free with their paid admission and will have an opportunity to meet “Team Zenyatta” in an autograph session prior to the races.

“The entire racing world is buzzing about Zenyatta’s new colt, who was born in Kentucky last Thursday night (March 8),” said Chris Quinn, Santa Anita’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

March 11, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 11, 2012) – Extending a remarkable winning streak that began in a $20,000 claimer last December, Izzy Rules registered her fourth straight decisive victory and first in a stakes race Sunday with a dazzling display while capturing Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs.

As jockey Edwin Maldonado gained his first stakes win at Santa Anita, the 5-year-old Florida-bred mare simply blew away her graded stakes opposition while covering the distance in 1:14.59 after paving the way through robust fractions of 21.73, 43.31 and 1:07.40.

She crossed the wire 4 ¼ lengths ahead of Spectacular Sky, who took up the chase early, tried to make an impression in early stretch, but wound up withering in the winner’s wake. Home Sweet Aspen, recent winner of the Grade I Santa Monica Stakes, never could get involved. She ran fifth. Nor could Great Hot, a Grade II stakes winner. She ran fourth.

March 10, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2012) – Creative Cause, Heinz Steinmann’s gray son of Giant’s Causeway, reaffirmed his status as the West’s leading 3-year-old Saturday with a convincing victory in Santa Anita’s 75th running of the Grade II, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Ridden to perfection by Joel Rosario, Creative Cause rallied from fifth in the field of 10 to overtake trainer Bob Baffert’s sterling maiden winner Bodemeister in the closing yards and surge to a three-quarter length triumph in 1:41.84.

The commanding performance firmly entrenched Creative Cause into the favorite’s role for the April 7 renewal of the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, taken by the San Felipe winner in six of its last 15 runnings.

March 9, 2012

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 9, 2012) – Pulled up after losing a shoe in her previous race, Miss Becca returned to good standing on Friday when storming home on the extreme outside to nip Lindz Winz by a nose in Santa Anita’s $59,400 Jersey Shore Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.

Ahead of but one horse turning for home in the field of nine, jockey Rafael Bejarano sent the 5-year-old mare into full flight, and she delivered right on the wire as the 19-10 favorite while clocked in 1:12.83.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 9, 2012) – It’s a Prince! In what might be horse racing royalty’s most anticipated baby announcement in decades, Lane’s End Farm said today that 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, known affectionately as “The Queen,” has foaled a beautiful colt. Mother and foal are healthy and doing fine.

Sired by the popular stallion Bernardini, the foal was born at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky., last night at 10:10 pm EST. Weighing 130 lbs, the strapping dark bay colt takes after his mother with a white star on his forehead and polka dots on his left front hoof.