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February 21, 2010

CALVIN BOREL WINS 2010 SANTA ANITA WOOLF AWARD

Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2010 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Borel’s Woolf victory was announced live Saturday on HRTV from the Fair Grounds in New Orleans by retired Hall of Fame jockey and current HRTV analyst Gary Stevens. Stevens won the Woolf Award in 1996.

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

February 20, 2010

SANTA ANITA DERBY HOPEFULS IN SATURDAY’S SHAM STAKES

The spotlight shines on 3-year-olds with Triple Crown aspirations at Santa Anita next Saturday with the running of the Grade III, $150,000 Sham Stakes.

One candidate for the mile and an eighth race for 3-year-olds is the lightly raced Kettle River, a bay son of Congaree owned by Darley Stable and trained by Eoin Harty.

“I can’t imagine I’m in much of a different position than anybody else in the race,” Harty said.

February 19, 2010

CONDITIONS SUIT DANCING IN SILKS FOR SATURDAY’S SAN CARLOS

Dancing in Silks had two disadvantages when he made his 2010 debut in the Grade II Palos Verdes Handicap on Jan.

February 18, 2010

FLORES, BOB BLACK JACK TOGETHER AGAIN FOR SAN CARLOS HANDICAP

David Flores is excited about reuniting with Bob Black Jack for Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap for older horses at seven furlongs. The last time the veteran jockey teamed up with the speedy son of Stormy Jack, they won the Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs back on Dec. 26, 2008.

Ailments have sidelined Bob Black Jack since, but the 5-year-old horse has been working forwardly at Hollywood Park for trainer James Kasparoff.

“Kasparoff is doing a great job with him,” Flores said.

February 15, 2010

SANTA MARIA WINNER ST TRINIANS TO TACKLE BOYS IN GR. I SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

St Trinians, an impressive 1 ¾ lengths winner of Saturday’s Gr. II Santa Maria Handicap, will not face champion Zenyatta, as originally planned, in the Gr. I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap on March 13, and will instead take on the boys in the Gr. I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.

February 14, 2010

CARACORTADO VS. LOOKIN AT LUCKY IN SAN FELIPE STAKES?

It could be David versus Goliath come March 13. That’s when undefeated and unsung Caracortado could square off against Kentucky Derby Future Book favorite Lookin At Lucky in the Grade II, $150,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Caracortado (it means scarface in Spanish) won his fifth straight race Saturday, posting a one-and-three-quarter length triumph in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes under regular rider Paul Atkinson.

February 13, 2010

TUSCAN EVENING READY FOR BEST IN MONDAY’S BUENA VISTA

In 11 starts in the United States, Tuscan Evening has been out of the money only once against mostly graded competition. As if her consistency weren’t enough, the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare reportedly is ready for her best in Monday’s Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap at one mile on turf.

“She’s coming up to this better than any race,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “She’s training really good, she’s very sound and very happy. She fires every time and a mile is the perfect distance for her.

February 12, 2010

ZENYATTA EYES MARCH 13 SANTA MARGARITA PRIOR TO ‘RACHEL’ SHOWDOWN

Zenyatta is scheduled to make her 2010 debut in the Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita on March 13 prior to a potential showdown with Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Apple Blossom Handicap, now that the race has been moved from April 3 to April 9 to accommodate Rachel Alexandra’s schedule.

“We’re very comfortable with the new date and hope the race between the two takes place,” said Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs Friday.

February 11, 2010

ST TRINIANS FACES GRADE II CHALLENGE IN SANTA MARIA

St Trinians is perfect in three United States starts, but the 5-year-old English-bred mare faces her sternest test Saturday in the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Maria Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

St Trinians, a daughter of Piccolo trained by Mike Mitchell, has climbed the class ladder in the U.S., winning an optional claiming race, an allowance race and the restricted Paseana Handicap by a combined margin of nearly 15 lengths.

February 10, 2010

TEAM ZENYATTA EYES RETURN OF THE CHAMPION

“Reunited and it feels so good.” The chorus of the 1979 hit by Peaches and Herb is an appropriate theme for Mike Smith these days, since the Hall of Fame jockey will soon get together again with the best horse he’s ever ridden, undefeated Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Zenyatta.

The 6-year-old mare owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs was retired after she made history by defeating males with a breathtaking last-to-first victory in the Classic at Oak Tree last Nov.