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March 10, 2010

ZENYATTA TO ARRIVE AT SANTA ANITA THURSDAY FOR 2010 DEBUT SATURDAY

The countdown to Zenyatta’s 2010 debut is on in earnest.

March 7, 2010

HRTV TO AIR 2010 DEBUTS OF RACHEL ALEXANDRA, ZENYATTA SATURDAY

HRTV will present a special one-hour live show Saturday featuring the 2010 debuts of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Zenyatta. Entitled “The Champions Return,” the show will be hosted by Scott Hazelton and Gary Stevens, who will be live at the Fair Grounds for Rachel Alexandra’s race, the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies’ Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. It will go as the 10th race at approximately 3:15 p.m.

March 6, 2010

WORLD-FAMOUS BOXING TRAINER ROACH TO PRESENT TROPHY AT SANTA ANITA

World-famous boxing trainer Freddie Roach was at Santa Anita Sunday to present the trophy for the $55,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes, in a winner’s circle ceremony.

The affable Roach, who celebrated his 50th birthday last Friday, is a former boxer who is a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame and he has been voted Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America on four different occasions.

March 5, 2010

RACING GREAT PETE ANDERSON SEEKS BIG ’CAP VICTORY

In a bygone era when racing was in its hey day, Pete Anderson rode with the greats: Shoemaker, Arcaro, Baeza, Hartack. He began his career in the late 1940s and was the leading apprentice jockey in New York in 1948. Among his major graded stakes victories was the 1966 Washington Park Handicap aboard Bold Bidder, in which he defeated future Hall of Fame inductee Tom Rolfe.

In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, he rode the great Forego to a fourth-place finish behind eventual Triple Crown champion Secretariat.

March 4, 2010

HOMECOMING FOR DAVID COHEN IN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

Saturday marks a homecoming of sorts for David Cohen. The 25-year-old Torrance native was a fixture in the Southern California jockey colony before departing sans fanfare two years ago to become a regular on the East Coast, where he has established himself as one of the nation’s leading riders.

Through March 2, Cohen ranked 10th nationally in purse earnings with more than $1.2 million, and ninth in wins with 43. In 2009, Cohen won 288 of 1,209 races, an impressive 24 percent.

March 3, 2010

‘BIG’ EFFORT EXPECTED FROM MISREMEMBERED IN BIG ’CAP

A bigger and hopefully more successful Misremembered could make amends for finishing second as the 7-10 favorite in the Strub Stakes when the 4-year-old son of Candy Ride runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

“He’s feeling great,” said former jockey Joe Steiner, who worked Misremembered six furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride Monday in a bullet 1:12.20. “He’s a cool horse. He’s really filled out and he’s going from a boy to a man.

February 28, 2010

ST TRINIANS SEEKS TO BECOME FIRST FEMALE TO WIN BIG ’CAP

St Trinians will make racing history if she wins the Santa Anita Handicap. The 5-year-old mare would become the first female to win the storied race, presented next Saturday by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. Mike Mitchell likes his chances.

The English-bred daughter of Piccolo is unbeaten in four U.S. starts, winning by a combined margin of 16 1/2 lengths. Her latest victory came Feb.

February 26, 2010

WOLF TAIL BRED FOR DISTANCE OF SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES

Wolf Tail is 15-1 on odds maker Jon White’s morning line for Saturday’s Sham Stakes, but Dennis O’Neill thinks the mile and an eighth of the Grade III test for Triple Crown hopefuls will be ideal for the California-bred son of Strive.

“It should really move him up,” said O’Neill, brother and associate of trainer Doug O’Neill. “He trains like he wants to run a mile and a half.”

All but one of Wolf Tail’s eight career starts have been sprints.

February 25, 2010

OUTLAW MAN COULD BE FOR REAL IN SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES

Outlaw Man will make his first start on synthetic when the gray son of Forest Wildcat starts in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Pro-Ride. Outlaw Man debuted on Saratoga’s traditional dirt course last August, then made his last three starts on turf, including a nose victory under Alex Solis in a Santa Anita maiden race at nine furlongs Jan. 27.

“The litmus test came from Solis,” said Jordan Blair, assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek.

February 24, 2010

SETSUKO ON COURSE FOR SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES

It’s far too early for Richard Mandella to be smitten with Derby Fever, but the Hall of Fame trainer has reserved hopes that Setsuko will advance any such aspirations for the May 1 Run for the Roses with a progressive step forward in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.

“He’s doing real well,” Mandella said of the 3-year-old son of Pleasantly Perfect, who Mandella conditioned to win the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Oak Tree.