News and Notes May 19 – by Rod Young Turfdom

For the second consecutive week, rain came to Southern California (very unusual for mid May), and with it came some off tracks and biased conditions. With the track “sealed” both Thursday and Friday, a strong speed bias was in place for Saturday and nothing could come from off the pace. Plus the track registered some very quick times, and Baffert’s Fantastic Style was very close to the 7 furlong track record in winning the Angel’s Flight stakes. Many good priced horses found their way to the winner’s circle and thus created a pick six c/o of over $80,000. That was promptly hit on Sunday for a tidy sum of $151,855. The track returned to play fair on Sunday. The turf course, when it was used, played fair and was rated “good” most of the week. Good weather is forecast for this week and it will be a five day week,

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Horses to Watch May 12 – by Rod Young Turdom

FOOTSTEPSINBRONZE (May 8): Four year old colt for Simon Callaghan made his first start since last August in Friday’s third race, a second condition allowance race at 9 furlongs on the grass. Off as the 3 to 2 wagering choice in a field of 7, he went right to the lead on a turf course rated “good” due to overnight rains, but one playing extremely slow. He never could get a breather, as he was hooked at the 3/8 pole from the winner, who dogged him all the way to the wire. He dug in as gamely as he could and never stopped trying, but the layoff took it’s course, and he was beaten two lengths at the wire. The race will do him a lot of good and Bejarano fits him like a glove. He is a bit better when he has a target to run at, but due

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News and Notes May 12 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Springtime showers hit the Great Race Place this past week and created a strong inside speed bias on the main track Friday. Early speed was still dominant on Saturday but the inside/outside evened out. On Sunday the track was back to playing fair once again. The turf course played fair throughout the week. A 67/1 shot took the night cap Sunday and triggered a pick six c/o of $129,769 into this Thursday’s card. The Super High Five also carried over to the tune of $27,421. Through the first 3 weeks of the Spring/Summer meet, favorites have been winning at a 31% clip, 28.57% on the main track and 36.67% on the turf. • They ran three graded stakes over the weekend and favorites won two out of three. Kentuckian ($4.00) took the Grade 3 Laz Barrera stakes on Sunday at 7 furlongs on the main track for 3 year olds.

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Horses to Watch May 5 – by Rod Young Turfdom

MOONS OVER ME (May 1): Three year old filly for Jim Cassidy made her first start of the year in Friday’s second, the Ultra Fleet stakes at six and a half down the hill. Off at 36/1 in just a six horse field, she broke with her field and settled in last but was just 5 lengths off the pace. She put in her run at the 1/4 pole, then got fanned 7 wide on the cross over onto the dirt, re-rallied again at the 1/8th pole to finish strong and just miss by a head. This was her first start on the grass and she is bred top and bottom to excel on this surface. She has never been two turns as well but is bred to get at least a mile. She just has a maiden win in her 3 starts so Cassidy has all kinds of options.

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News and Notes May 5 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The main track played fair at Santa Anita 3 out of the 4 days last week with the exception being on Friday where rally wide closers had a pretty big advantage. For the most part the track has played fair throughout the Winter and Spring and the early pace determines most of the winners. The turf course continues to play fair and now early speed gets more than their fair share of winners. They had a good crowd on hand at the track on Saturday with 25,486 patrons going through the wickets. Trainer Richard Mandella got his 2000th victory when his charge, Catch a Flight ($4.60), won the Grade 3 Precisionist Stakes at two turns on the main track. Trainer Richard Baltas continues to roll and his good Cal Bred filly, Spanish Queen ($8.00), got the money on Sunday capturing the Grade 2 Honeymoon stakes for 3 year old fillies

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Horses to Watch April 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

GOUYEN (April 24): Four year old filly for Mark Glatt had zero luck going for her in Friday’s jaunt down the hill for state bred fillies/mares in for the first allowance condition. Off at 7/2 in an 8 horse field and adding blinkers for the first time in her career, she jumped out of the gate and dueled for the lead down the hill with the outside filly. Gouyen took up halfway down the hill when the outside horse came over on her, but regained her run and was back challenging the lead turning for home. She did bump into another horse at the top of the lane, but dug in gamely down the stretch to prevail by a half at the wire. She was disqualified and placed fifth for the bumping incident in a gross misjustice, as the other horse wasn’t going anywhere to begin with. The other one

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News and Notes April 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Santa Anita kicked off their Spring/Summer meet this past week and they had trouble filling races. Many of the fields were just 5 and 6 horses, and then on Sunday they could only come up with 8 races where they normally have 9. Their response was that a lot of horses shipped out of town along with many riders as well to pursue other venues, but I’m not sure that was the right answer. They are planning 9 races for this Friday, where they would normally have 8, and then 11 on Saturday for Derby Day, so we’ll see how that goes. On the main track, inside early speed was quite strong on both Friday and Saturday, but then played very fair on Sunday. They did get a light rain most of Saturday afternoon and that tightened up the track, and there were two six furlong clockings of 1:08 and

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Horses to Watch April 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

VOLUME (April 17): Three year old colt for Richard Mandella tried the main track for start #2 after debuting on the turf course and finishing tenth. Off at 11/1 in just a six horse field, he broke well and contended for the lead into the clubhouse turn. He sat in a good position in second down the back side and went for the lead at the top of the lane. He was passed by a late runner at the 1/8th pole but came on again nearing the wire and showed some real grit. In the end he was beaten a head but ran a bang up race. He is by the win early sire Blame, who beat Zenyatta in the Breeders Cup Classic a few years back. Mandella has not used Lasix on this one yet, but he may do so in start number 3. He should get his diploma

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News and Notes April 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Santa Anita concluded their Winter/Spring meet on Sunday with overall handle up 3% vs. last year and on track attendance up a nice 4%. The track had extremely good weather most of the meet with very little rain to cause any mishaps. The Spring/Summer meet starts this Friday with a 1PM post and the weekends will continue with a 12:30 post. Starting on Friday May 22, they will have Twilight racing for 5 Fridays with a 4PM post. The meet will conclude on Sunday, June 28. Jockey Rafael Bejarano easily won the riding title by 18 wins over Tyler Baze even though he sat out the final weekend with a 3 day suspension. But over the last 3 weeks of the meet, Baze was the hottest rider on the grounds. Bejarano led all riders winning at a 24 % clip and Victor Espinoza was second at 20%. Jerry Hollendorfer won

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Horses to Watch – by Rod Young Turfdom

MOTOWN MEN (April 10): Six year old gelding for Ted West, whom he just claimed for $40,000, tried the second allowance condition Friday with an optional claiming tag of $62,500, which he was entered. This was a flat mile on the main track and “Motown” was off at 5/1 in just a six horse field. He tracked the leader through a pretty quick opening quarter of 23.19, engaged the leader at the 1/4 pole, put him away quickly and opened up 4 in an eyelash. He cruised home to win by 7 under Tyler Baze and visually it was an impressive performance. Because he was in for the tag and nobody claimed him, he still retains this condition, which was pretty smart by the connections. He beat a good field here and can repeat, or even face better and find the charmed circle once again. TOOWINDYTOHAULROX (April 10): Four year

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