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

» Read more

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.

» Read more

News and Notes Feb. 7 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The rain that was forecast for last week never really showed up and although the skies appeared threatening most of the weekend, the moisture never made it to ground level. The main track was fast and the turf course remained firm and both surfaces played “fair” for the most part. This week there is a 90% chance of rain on Friday during the day, so those turf races are vulnerable, especially the first, which is down the hill. However, the weekend says sunny skies and warm temps. There are no c/o into Thursday as the pick six was hit Sunday by a single ticket and paid out over a $100 grand. For those that witnessed the Las Virgenes stakes on Sunday, they got a sneak preview of a future champion, as Unique Bella was the easiest of winners by 9 open lengths vs. an Eclipse award winner from last year.

» Read more

News and Notes Jan. 31 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Although the State of California really needs the rain, it’s nice to have turf racing back in the mix at Santa Anita, as well as a fast track. That all came to fruition this past weekend on Cal Cup Saturday with five stakes on tap and four turf races under sunny skies and ideal weather conditions. The turf course played fair with the rails in their normal position and the main track also played fair with an equal amount of races being won from off the pace. There is a pick six c/o into Thursday’s card of $71,437 and the jackpot pick six has a separate pool of $38,405. Form prevailed in the Cal Cup stakes series on Saturday with the favorite winning four of the five races. The second choice in the wagering won the other race, the Cal Cup Derby. The feature was the Classic and the very

» Read more

News and Notes Jan. 24 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The rains kept pounding Southern California and Sunday’s storm was perceived as being the worst in 20 years, so 4 hours prior to first post, they cancelled the entire Sunday card. Prior to Sunday, the area had picked up almost 12 inches of rain in the last 4 weeks and the average for this time of year is less than six inches. Although the rain has made a mess of racing in January, the precipitation is much needed for the area and the reservoirs are filling up nicely. Without turf racing, the racing secretary has had a rough time of filling races, and we probably won’t be back on the turf till next Saturday. Rain will stick around up till Wednesday this week but the forecast is dry after that for the next 7 days. There should be plenty of turf races available this weekend. The only c/o into Thursday’s

» Read more

News and Notes Jan. 17 – by Rod Young Turfdom

After weeks of rains, the sun finally came out to stay this past week over the Arcadia However, they sure had a difficult time getting the track back to a “fast” surface, and when it did, the times were still on the slow side, as they couldn’t get the moisture out of the track. The turf course never did dry out, but they finally used it 4 times on Monday with a rating of “good”. The course played fair on Monday but the main track favored early speed the entire week, with the inside better than the outside coming down the lane. The bad news is that the rains will return this week, with wet weather forecast for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. With this meet going all the way to July 4th, I doubt they will use the turf course at all this week. There are no turf stakes scheduled.

» Read more

News and Notes Jan. 10 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The sun finally came out Sunday afternoon and by the 7th race we had a “fast” track, something we had not seen for quite some time as rain plagued racing much of the week. Turf races were switched to the main track, scratches were in abundance, and it was the type of racing where you were better off to sit on your bankroll and dream of better days. Well hope is on the way as the forecast for this weekend are sunny skies and warm temps. There will be some rain early in the week but we should have a fast track by Saturday. Racing starts this Thursday with the lone c/o being in the jackpot pick six for a single winner at $137,529. It will be a five day race week with special racing on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As always at this track, when they race

» Read more

News and Notes Jan 3 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Rain was the story of the week as Santa Anita kicked off their first full week racing at the Arcadia Many races were taken off the turf throughout the week, thus filling up the scratch board, and the main track went from wet fast, to sloppy, to good on Monday, but it never did return to fast. It also resulted in the scratch of Arrogate in the San Pasqual on Sunday, which turned a five horse field into a four horse field. That could have been quite a race with Midnight Storm, who was the ultimate winner, wanting a piece of the Superstar. Now Baffert is going to have to train Arrogate up to the Pegasus on works alone, and although Baffert is a good trainer, he’s no Charlie Whittingham. There were a number of biases to the main track last week as it started out favoring early speed, played

» Read more

News and Notes Dec. 6 – by Rod Young Turfdom

Del Mar concluded their four week Fall meet on Sunday and overall it was their best meet yet. Overall handle was up 4.6 % primarily because of out of state wagering and field size averaged 8.5 runners per race, topping last year’s numbers of 8.1 Throw in some championship racing led by two Grade 1 races on closing weekend and it was a very solid meet. The stakes races were loaded with Eastern horses and both Grade Ones were won by shippers. The on track attendance was down slightly, but that was attributed to rain storms the previous weekend. The lone negative had to be the way the pick six was handled on closing day with NO consolation payouts for five winners with 44 tickets having six of six. During the entire meet, 15% of the handle was carved out for consolation payouts. Every time a pick six was hit

» Read more

News and Notes Nov. 29 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The Mama’s and the Papa’s said it never rains in Southern California back in the early seventies, but that’s not necessarily the truth, as rain pummeled Del Mar late Saturday and Sunday making a mess of the racing scene. On Saturday, the rain and wind blew foam drain covers onto the turf course, which had an effect on almost half the runners into the first turn of the Jimmy Durante stakes, then on Sunday it was enough to take both turf races off the grass and move them to the main track. The main track was rated “good” most of the day, but the times were a good two to three seconds slower than normal. They had sealed the track Saturday night, which normally makes it quite hard, and two horses went down early in the Sunday program, both suffering fatal injuries requiring both horses to be euthanized. Year in

» Read more
1 2 3 7