News and Notes Apr. 18 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The long Santa Anita meet, which runs through July 4th, started its second half this past week and for the first time in quite awhile, there was actually a bias on the main track. Early speed dominated the main track races on both Friday and Saturday but then on Sunday, it was back to a “fair” race track. The turf course continued to play fair as winners were found on the pace as well as coming from off the pace. Management will continue to keep the inner rails out anywhere from 10 to 30 feet for the next couple of weeks to protect the inside of the course. Racing resumes this Thursday with their normal 4 day race week and there are two c/o in the exotic pools. The Super High Five has a c/o of $35,348 in the final race of the day and the single ticket jackpot of

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News and Notes Apr. 11 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The long Winter/Spring meet concluded on Sunday with a race track that has played fair for most of the meet, although the times have been on the slow side for Santa Anita Park. Many Easterners complain about the speed friendly tracks here, but that just isn’t the case anymore, as more than a fair amount of winners come from off the pace, both long and short. The turf course has also been playing fair regardless of where the inner rails have been placed. They had a good on track crowd of 36,155 on Saturday for the Santa Anita Derby and set a record for handle on the late pick 4 of $1,473,681, the largest amount ever bet for that wager other than a B/C Day. Racing resumes at the Great Race Place this Friday, as they start the second half of racing here and will continue on until July 4th.

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News and Notes Apr. 4 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Although times were very slow this past week, the main track continued to play fair at the Great Race Place in Arcadia, California. The turf course is also playing fair regardless of where the inner rails are placed. As we head into the final week of the Winter/Spring meet, temperatures remain in the 80s and track conditions remain perfect. There is a c/o in the pick six for Thursday of $133,546 along with the single ticket jackpot of $590,443. The latter wager has not been hit in 23 race days going back to February 20th. They had just two stakes over the weekend and only one was graded, that being the Tokyo City Cup on Sunday, a Grade 3 at a mile and a half on the main track. John Sadler’s Hard Aces got up on the outside in a thrilling 3 horse finish to get the money at 4/1.

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News and Notes Mar. 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With the weather staying dry at the Great Race Place, form has been holding up quite well overall and the main track continues to play fair for the most part. Saturday had its fair share of longshots resulting in a pick six c/o into Sunday, but that has been the exception rather than the rule. That is why the single ticket jackpot in the pick six has not been hit for 19 consecutive race days. The pool now sits with $496,486 in the kitty going into this Thursday’s action. The turf course has also been playing fair in two turn races but not so in the sprints down the hill. There speed has been winning and horses back in the pack and deep closers have no chance. Part of that scenario is because they have kept the rails out 30 feet for the down hill sprints, even when they are

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News and Notes Mar. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With the weather now good at Santa Anita, favorites have been dominating the scene, and such was the case this past week with no c/o in the pick six other than the single ticket jack pot, which now stands at over $346,000 going into Thursday’s card. In fact favorites are at 36.55% overall for the winter meet with dirt races leading the way at 38.46%. The number drops to 30.53% on the grass. Odds on favorites are winning at 62.03%, but odds on favorites in the money is at 94.94% (75 of 79). That’s a pretty good number for the bridge jumpers and there have been a number of them at the meet. They ran three stakes over the weekend and favorites won all three. The only graded stakes was the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at 9 furlongs on the main track and Baffert’s Vale Dori kept right on rolling

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News and Notes Mar. 14 – by Rod Young Turfdom

With rain dominating the scene for weeks on end, clear skies and warm temps is what it’s all about at Santa Anita Park and it will stay that way this week as well. It was a perfect day on Saturday for the Big Cap and they drew almost 30,000 fans for a very good 11 race card. Both the main track and the turf course played fair the entire week. Racing resumes this Thursday with their normal four day race week and there is a c/o in the Super High Five of $18,623 and also in the single ticket pick six jackpot of $255,341. Of the four graded stakes on Saturday, two were won by favorites and two were won by long shots, both difficult to find. First on the card was the Grade 2 San Felipe for Derby hopefuls at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

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News and Notes Mar. 7 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The State of California has begged for rain for six straight years and the gods haven’t listened, until 2017, and now they are having a tough time of shutting off the faucet. Santa Anita Park almost escaped this past week without incident from the skies, but just one hour before post time of the last race Sunday, the mile turf race was moved to the main track due to afternoon rain. Races 2 and 6 remained on the grass but the riders complained after race six that the course was just too slippery, so it had to be switched resulting in two late scratches and more importantly, “all” the runners in the finale were declared winners resulting in very low payoffs for the late pick four and the pick six. Management really didn’t want to make the change, but in this sport, it has to be safety first, for both

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News and Notes Feb 28 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Just 3 days of racing this past week at the Great Race Place and yes, rain was still a factor. Rain fell early Sunday morning and resulted in two downhill races being switched to the main track and half the field was scratched in each race. The other two days were fast and firm and the forecast is for good weather this week, for a change. Early speed was quite good the entire week on the main track while the turf course continues to play fair, regardless of where the inner rails are placed. Racing resumes this Thursday with their regular 4 day week and the lone c/o in the exotic pools is the single ticket jackpot for the pick six which stands at $46,643. They ran two stakes over the weekend, both were for Cal breds on the turf, and Turfdom had the winner on top in both of

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News and Notes Feb. 21 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Rain continues to play havoc with this winter meet at Santa Anita Park. For the third time this meet they cancelled a full day of racing (this past Friday), this time almost a full day before the storm arrived. They received 3 inches of rain at the Arcadia oval, which cancelled turf racing on both Saturday and Sunday once they resumed racing. Surprisingly, the main track was back to fast by the third race on Saturday and the times were quick due to the hard, tight seal. They did race on the turf Monday over a surface rated as “good”. Management has decided to add two days to the schedule later on in the meet, both Thursdays, April 20 and June 1 to make up for the dark days. This has been one of the wettest winters in California history and we’re still in February. Without having turf racing, field

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News and Notes Feb 14 – by Rod Young Turfdom

After rain on Saturday morning, Sunday was a beautiful day and the main track returned to a fast surface at the Great Race Place in Arcadia, California. The turf course was still labeled as “good” but the times were fast enough to call it a firm surface. Most of the weekend was pretty “chalky” but there was a $69 bomb in the finale Sunday, which gave one person the only winning pick six ticket resulting in a payoff of $148,205. Both the main track and the turf course played fair over the weekend. They race five days this week due to Presidents Day on Monday, and you know what that means, lots of short fields. They have 59 horses signed up for Thursday and only 55 for Friday, with 3 of the first 5 races yielding five horse fields. Del Mar in the Summer can handle five day race weeks.

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