News and Notes June 23 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With just one week to go in the long Santa Anita meet, which started way back on December 26, both the turf course and the main track continue to play fair, and continue to hold up very well. They “aerated” the turf course once again Sunday morning as warmer weather continues to tighten up the course. The temp has been above 90 in the afternoons for most of this past week. They are also using the course quite a bit as they continue to card 4 turf races per day. • The only graded stakes over the weekend was won by the 2/5 favorite Stellar Wind, but she didn’t win like a 2/5 choice as she was life and death to prevail over Tara’s Tango, a Turfdom Best Bet at 9/2. “Tango” stuck her nose in front at the sixteenth pole and for a second it looked like she would

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Horses to Watch June 16 – by Rod Young Turfdom

LONG HOT SUMMER (June 12): Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato went back to the turf for her 5th career start in a first allowance condition race down the hill for three year old fillies. Off as the heavy wagering choice, she made short work of this field winning off by 4 under a hand ride. Talamo never asked her until the 1/8th pole, then she opened up quickly on the field. She has never tried two turns but this daughter of Street Boss should be able to get at least a mile. As long as D’Amato keeps her on the grass, this Cal bred is ready for stakes competition. There is nothing for her until Del Mar, but she should have a profitable long, hot summer!! WONDERFUL LIE (June 13): Four year old filly for Dan Blacker had been away from the races for 11 months, and tried

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News and Notes June 16 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track played “fair” for the first three days last week, but inside speed was pretty dominant on Sunday, enough to call it a “speed biased” track. In fact the feature race winner went wire to wire from the inside to post an $89 upset and trigger a pick six c/o into Thursday’s card of $113,444. The turf course played fair last week but the times continue to be very slow as they continue to “aerate” the course. They are running 4 turf races per day in an attempt to keep the fields as full as possible. This is a tough time of year for the racing secretary, as some trainers/owners are holding their stock for the Del Mar meet, which opens on July 16. • They only had five show up for the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Saturday but it was still a good race. Winning Prize

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Horses to Watch June 9 – by Rod Young Turfdom

MAHEE (June 5): Three year old grey filly for Kristin Mulhall finally displayed some talent to justify her $370,000 purchase price in Friday’s second, a mile race on the main for maiden special weights. Off at 14/1 and the longest shot on the board in just a five horse field, she went right to the front from the two hole, set moderate fractions throughout, opened up two lengths at the 1/4 pole, but got run down by the heavy 1/2 favorite in the lane. She was only beaten a length at the wire and it was five back to the third horse. This Kentucky bred daughter can sprint or go two turns and she looks like she is about ready to get her diploma. She is bred in the purple and Mulhall should find a field she can beat in the very near future. Tab and follow. MISS DOUBLE D’ORO

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News and Notes June 9 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track played fair once again this past week. The turf course is also playing “fair” but the times are very slow and they may have aerated the course once again, as there hasn’t been any rain. Both tracks have held up very well with a long meet that started way back on December 26 and still has 3 weeks to go with closing day set for June 28. Then they will race two weeks at Los Alamitos followed by 8 weeks of terrific racing at Del Mar, with opening day set for Thursday July 16. Then three more weeks of racing at Los Alamitos before they return to the Great Race Place for their autumn meet. • Of course the big news of the day is Santa Anita based American Pharoah sweeping all 3 Triple Crown races, the first horse to accomplish this feat in 37 years since

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Horses to Watch June 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SCREAMING SKYLAR (May 30): Three year old filly for Peter Miller tried older horses for the first time in her career on Saturday, when entered for the first allowance condition at a flat mile on the turf. Off at 4/1 and breaking from the rail, she figured to be on or very close to the pace, but after breaking alertly, Espinoza decided to take her off the pace and this tactic worked quite well. She was about 5 lengths back at the half mile pole and running in 4th place. Victor made his move at the 1/4 pole and she reached the leaders quickly, but had a very tough time putting away the favorite in the lane. She prevailed right at the wire and got up to win by a head. This was the first time she was taken off the pace and the rating tactics will suit her fine

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News and Notes June 2 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track played fair this past week. The turf course is starting to play fair once again. About 10 days ago, they aerated the course. This after getting an inch of rainfall overnight, which made the course slow, tiring, and favoring off the pace runners. Now with warmer weather and no rain in sight, the course is playing faster and giving speed horses a chance to be around at the finish. With 4 weeks left in the meet, they are using the course more, with 4 turf races scheduled each day on the weekends. • They had 2 graded stakes on Saturday and Spanish Queen ($3.40) beat the Eastern invaders to take down the Grade 1 American Oaks in just her 4th lifetime start. This Cal bred daughter of Tribal Rule has now won a Grade 2 and a Grade 1 in just 4 career starts. She cost just

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Horses to Watch May 26 – by Rod Young Turfdom

SIDEPOCKET RUN (May 23): Six year old mare for Phil D’Amato is really coming into her own these days as she tried the $150k Spring Fever stakes on Saturday at six furlongs on the main. Off at 35/1 in just a six horse field, she broke well and settled in 4th down the back side about 5 lengths off the pace, which was set by her stable mate, the undefeated and 1/5 favorite, Sunday Rules. She started to gain on the leaders at the 1/4 pole after some quick splits of 21.60 and 44.11, but the favorite slammed the door on the field with a 24.42 final quarter. “Sidepocket” battled gamely down the lane and finished second beaten just 3 lengths at the wire. She still has the first Cal bred allowance condition available to her and she should be able to win that quite handily as she is in

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News and Notes May 26 – by Rod Young Turfdom

No rain this past week at the Great Race Place and the main track played fair for the five day week. However, the turf course is playing slow and tiring and favoring off the pace runners, much like it was back in January. There will be just a three day week this week, beginning on Friday with that 4 PM post, because they ran five days last week. There is a c/o in the Super High Five on Friday of $36,570. • They had 3 graded stakes over the weekend with Hard Not to Like ($9.20) nailing down the Grade 1 Gamely on Monday by sneaking through on the rail to just nip the front running Fanticola by a head. It was a tough beat for Fanticola, who was off at 8/1 and led every step but the final one. She was racing against a course bias as well that

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Horses to Watch May 19 – by Rod Young Turfdom

BEN’S DUCHESS (May 16): Three year old filly for John Sadler tried the Angel’s Flight stakes on Preakness day at 7 furlongs on the main for 3 year old fillies. Off at 9/2 in just a five horse field, she broke with the leaders and was two lengths back of the leader at the half mile pole. She put in her run at the 1/4 pole to get along side of the speedy Fantastic Style, but fell back in the lane when unable to get by the Baffert speedster. She still finished gamely down the lane to finish third beaten 4 lengths. The fractions were very strong in 22.39, 44.70 and 1:08.10 for 3/4. They finished up in near track record time of 1:20.38 on a track rated “good.” “Duchess” still has the first allowance condition available and is a “lock” to win that condition, even against older. They added

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