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March 26, 2010

WHO’S UP DOING ‘SWIMMINGLY’ FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Who’s Up is scheduled to make his first start since winning the Grade III Generous Stakes at one mile on turf at Hollywood Park last Nov.

March 25, 2010

SOLIS EYES DERBY DREAM WITH ALPHIE’S BET

Alex Solis is a survivor. In a career that began in 1982, he has overcome a life-threatening injury, been denied access to racing’s Hall of Fame several times, and is still looking for every rider’s dream, victory in the Kentucky Derby.

He had a potential winner last year in The Pamplemousse, but the speedy gray colt was injured the day of the Santa Anita Derby, dashing Solis’ hopes.

March 24, 2010

TEAM CARACORTADO LOOKS FORWARD TO FIRST SANTA ANITA DERBY

If Caracortado runs in the Santa Anita Derby, it will mark a first for jockey Paul Atkinson and trainer Mike Machowsky. The 40-year-old Atkinson has never ridden in the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby, and the 44-year-old Machowsky has never trained a horse that’s run in the race, which will have its 73rd edition on April 3, so it’s easy to understand why both are looking forward to it.

“It would be very exciting,” Atkinson said of competing in the Grade I, $750,000 race at 1 1/8 miles.

March 21, 2010

BAY AREA INVADER SKIPSHOT JOINS SANTA ANITA DERBY LINEUP

The prospective Santa Anita Derby lineup grew by one Sunday with the announcement that Skipshot would invade from the Bay Area to run in the Grade I, $750,000 race at 1 1/8 miles on April 3.

“The horse is here and will breeze tomorrow morning,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said of the son of 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, who would be making his first start in a graded stakes.

“He’s won three in a row (at Golden Gate Fields) and he ran very well in his first route race (winning by a nose at one mile on March 14)

March 20, 2010

LOOKIN AT LUCKY COULD RUN IN SANTA ANITA DERBY

Bob Baffert advanced the chances of leading Kentucky Derby contender Lookin At Lucky running in the Santa Anita Derby Saturday morning, based on how the son of Smart Strike trains at his home base since his courageous and determined victory in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park last Saturday.

The Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles is April 3. Baffert’s other option is the Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles at Oaklawn Park on April 10.

March 19, 2010

HIGH COURT DRAMA ON DISPLAY IN MARATHON SAN LUIS REY

Michael Baze was disappointed when High Court Drama didn’t qualify for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 6. But the Las Vegas native, who turns 23 on April 14, hopes to make up for that letdown when he rides the son of 1987 male turf champion Theatrical in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

“He’s a nice horse and he’s been running good,” said Baze, who will move his tack to Arlington Park when the Santa Anita meet ends on April 18. “I think he’ll run a great race.

March 18, 2010

GALLAGHER TESTS TUSCAN EVENING IN SUNDAY’S SANTA ANA

Rivals of high weight Tuscan Evening face a daunting task trying to beat her in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

March 17, 2010

TUSCAN EVENING TOTES 123 IN SUNDAY’S SANTA ANA HANDICAP

Tuscan Evening will attempt to carry 123 pounds to victory in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf. If she does, it will be the most she’s ever won under in a career that will reach 24 races with the Santa Ana. The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare would be spotting her nearest rival six pounds.

“I would like to carry less, but we’ll go with what we’ve got,” said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Tuscan Evening for owner William de Burgh of Rancho Santa Fe.

March 14, 2010

ZENYATTA’S LEGEND GROWS ON DAY TO REMEMBER AT SANTA ANITA

“They’re here for one reason.”

So said one long-time racegoer Saturday, as he scanned the multitudes gathered throughout Santa Anita. The 20,315 who attended was twice that of a typical Saturday on-track crowd. Call it star power.

They were awaiting the return of Zenyatta, and she didn’t disappoint. She showed up as scheduled, and then some, winning her 15th straight race in customary last-to-first fashion.

March 13, 2010

BOREL TO RECEIVE SANTA ANITA’S GEORGE WOOLF AWARD SUNDAY

Following his ride on Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in today’s New Orleans Ladies Stakes at the Fair Grounds with a scheduled 3:15 p.m. post time, two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel will head West to California where he will receive Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a winner’s circle ceremony following Sunday’s sixth race.

Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, Borel will become the 61st recipient of one of racing’s most coveted awards.