Santa Anita News and Notes June 11

• It’s Monday morning, June 10, and as I write my News and Notes for the week, I have the Santa Anita entries for this Friday and Saturday available to me from the Racing Form. However, this week I’m not even going to begin to tackle the handicapping, as three more horses died this past week at Santa Anita and the public pressure is going to be huge for them not to run the final two weeks of the meet. Yet the three deaths at the track this past week have little to do with the safety of the main track or the turf course. A heart attack with a race horse can happen anywhere, anytime, just like in a human being, and a horse taking a bad step can happen anytime, anywhere, at any track in the country. No, the damage was done back in January and February, when

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Santa Anita News and Notes June 4

• For the second time this meet, Senator Dianne Feinstein called on Santa Anita Park to take a moratorium on racing and fix their issues regarding fatalities at the track. Santa Anita went six straight weeks of racing and over 7200 horses working on the main track without incident, but then had three fatalities within a 9 day stretch to bring their total to 26 for the meet, which began way back on December 26. That was on Monday, but then they had a conference call with the Racing Board on Friday and the moratorium was never brought up. It’s clear the Senator is getting lots of pressure from the animal activist groups and is forced to respond to them in a positive manner. And of course, the Governor had to weigh in as well and told racing they had to be held accountable. Santa Anita has done just about

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Santa Anita News and Notes May 28

• They went six straight weeks of racing, and over 7200 horses working on the main track at Santa Anita without an incident, but then in the last nine days they has three more fatalities at the Great Race Place. Kochees, a nine year old who raced for a $10,000 claiming tag was the latest victim, as he was pulled up after a race on Saturday and vanned off the track. They tried to stabilize his injury overnight, but they were forced to euthanize him on Sunday morning due to the loss of blood from the ordeal. They did have rain again this past week and they did seal the track once again, and by doing that the track did become more glib. By Monday, first condition allowance runners were winning at six furlongs in 1:09 and change. During the six weeks of safe racing those same runners were winning

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Santa Anita News and Notes May 21

• The streak is over!! After six weeks of racing and 7249 workouts on the main track, an unraced three year old gelding broke down after a morning gallop and had to be euthanized. Commander Coil, who began his workout schedule on May 10, was pulled up after a training session at Santa Anita on Friday morning, was vanned back to the stable area, but could not be saved. In no way was this a reflection on the safety of the race track. Some breakdowns are inevitable and unavoidable. Zero fatalities in this sport are an unrealistic goal. Santa Anita just may be the safest track in the country at this period of time. Based on horse inventory, it looks like the track will play out the meet with a three day per week schedule. They will race four days this week as they have special racing on Monday, Memorial

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Santa Anita News and Notes (May 14)

<div>• Santa Anita Park is getting back to normal. It has now been six straight weeks of racing without a fatality and over 6800 horses working on the main track without an incident. The race times on the main track got quicker over the weekend but not overly so. The main track continues to play fair and favorites are winning at a 37% clip for the current spring/summer meet, which runs through June 23. However, the turf course is another issue. Early speed is absolutely dominating in the two turn route races. The course is playing fair for the five furlong sprints on the grass, but early speed dominated all three days last week in the route races. Favorites on the turf are winning at 33% for the meet, the national average. Racing continues with the three day week this Friday but the entries are getting stronger by the day.

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Santa Anita News and Notes May 7

• It has now been five straight weeks of racing and over 5500 workouts on the main track without an incident at Santa Anita since the overhaul of the main track. Of course, it helps that the showers have stayed away as well. It’s just a matter of time before a fatality happens, it’s just the nature of the sport, but at least track management has shown that they have a safe racing surface. The main track continues to play fair, the times continue to be slow, but the surface is as safe as any in the country right now. The turf course is playing fair overall regardless of the placement of the rails. On Saturday all five turf races were won on the front end, yet the rails were all the way in. They moved the rails out 20 feet on Sunday, something that would normally help early speed,

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Del Mar News and Notes Nov 20

• Del Mar reached the halfway point in their four week fall meet on Sunday and the main track has changed the past couple of days. It was favoring early speed earlier in the week but was back to playing fair over the weekend, but the times were considerably slower, much like it was for the summer meet. They must have dug up the track to make it deeper. The turf course continues to play fair regardless of the placement of the rails, but early speed has the advantage in those 5/8 turf sprints they run. They run four days this week on a Thursday through Sunday basis and they have stakes races all four days. Thursday is of course Thanksgiving with an early first post of 11 AM. There is just one carry over into Thursday’s card and it is the single ticket jackpot of the pick six which

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Del Mar Horse Racing Handicapping News and Notes Nov 13

• Del Mar opened their four week fall meet with a four day race week as fires were ravaging the state throughout, but none around the race track. The Santa Ana conditions, where the wind blows in from the desert, sometimes as strong as 70 MPH, were prevalent at Del Mar on Monday, where the horses were aided by the wind down the back side, but ran into a strong head wind in the stretch. Nonetheless, the track played fair throughout the first four days, as did the turf course where the rails were out 18 feet the entire week. The times were quicker than they were for the summer meet as they purposely “slowed” the track down in order to make it safer for the horses in the summer. After three days of racing, the $2 pick six was hit on Sunday by a single ticket holder for over

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Santa Anita News and Notes Nov. 6

• The Great Race Place concluded their six week Fall meet on Sunday with some very good racing the final three days of the meet, coinciding with the B/C in Louisville, Kentucky. The Breeders Cup will return to Santa Anita in 2019. We don’t have the final numbers yet for the meet, but handle had to be driven up by the popular 20 cent pick six, which no single player was able to hit the entire meet. The jackpot was over $1.1 million going into closing day and over $6.7 million was added to the pool on Sunday. Favorites won five of the six races and the total pool was paid out to 10,466 customers. The pick six ticket paid $601 and there was no consolation payout. Flavian Prat won the riding title winning both of the graded stakes races Sunday. He finished three ahead of a rejuvenated Rafael Bejarano

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Santa Anita Handicapping News and Notes Oct 30

• Santa Anita Park heads into their final week of racing this Friday with just a three day race week but each day will have 10 races and from the looks of entries for Friday, the fields will be fairly full with plenty of quality added to the mix. The main track continues to play fair for both sprints and route races. The turf course also plays fair for two turn races with a slight edge going to runners from off the pace. The surprise for this meet is that early speed continues to win most of the races coming down the hill in the six and a half furlong sprints. There were three races run over the weekend and in each case the winner was close up early to the pace. The single ticket jackpot of the pick six, which is a 20 cent wager, continues to be elusive

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