Santa Anita News and Notes Jan 14

• Week three at Santa Anita Park concluded on Sunday without any mishaps. The main track continues to play fair and there was no precipitation during the week. The turf course is playing fair for the route races, but at five and a half on the turf, the late runners have all the best of it, as the first 13 races at that distance were all won from off the pace. The times are normal on the turf but the main track is still running on the slow side, and that’s just the way they want it, to keep racing as safe as possible. Racing returns this Friday with a four day week and will include Monday, Martin Luther King Day. The single ticket jackpot of the pick six has grown to $432,042. • There were two graded stakes on Saturday and one ungraded stakes on Sunday, and they all

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Santa Anita News and Notes Jan 7

•    The Great Race Place completed week two of their winter meet under fair skies and temps in the high sixties. The main track has played fair this past week but the times continue to be on the slow side. Overall, the track is as safe as any dirt track can be. The turf course has also played fair with an equal amount of winners on the pace as well as from off the pace. The sprint distance of five and a half on the turf has favored off the pace runners. Racing returns this Friday with just a three day week and the single ticket jackpot of the pick six has climbed all the way up to $292,520. On Sunday there were five horses alive in the final race to be the single ticket winner, but it wasn’t meant to be.•    There were four significant stakes races this past

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Santa Anita News and Notes Dec. 31

• The Stronach Group, who own Santa Anita Park along with a number of other race tracks in this country, made a few poor decisions in 2019. But to their credit, they have also made a lot of good decisions in trying to save the sport we all dearly love, and one of them was to delay the opening of the Great Race Place to Dec. 28 due to inclement weather. I have been going to Santa Anita for opening day since 1967 and this past Saturday was as good as it gets. The track put on 11 races, 7 of them stakes, the weather was perfect, there were no breakdowns as both the turf course and the main track looked spectacular, the San Gabriel mountains in the background looked majestic, and 35,045 fans came to have a good time. And a good time was had by all. Two stars

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Santa Anita News and Notes Opening week

• Santa Anita Park opens their gates this Saturday, the weekend after Christmas, for their 83rd Winter/Spring season, but this year will be very different than all the others. Racing will not be allowed this season on days that the track is deemed to be unsafe due to inclement weather. Rain is forecast this week on Tuesday/Wednesday, but not much is expected and Thursday should be clear and sunny. A three panel group has been assigned to determine if the track is considered safe and that panel is made up of the track superintendent, Dennis Moore, who was not on board last winter, a member of the Jockey’s Guild, and a safety steward assigned by the California Horse Racing Board. Of these three, Moore is the key figure. He is highly respected by all and was shown the door last year over a contract dispute, as the track was trying

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TURFDOM NEWS AND NOTES December 3

• The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club completed their four week fall meet on a high note this past Sunday with record wagering, resulting in a 9% increase for the meet in average daily handle. The daily handle this year was $11,291,574 and topped 2017’s total of $11,004,979. This was the sixth year that Del Mar has hosted their fall meet since the closing of Hollywood Park. This is the first time in their 82 year history at this track that they had to cancel racing due to inclement weather. They lost two Thursdays during the meet due to heavy rainfall. However, in each case both the main track and the turf course dried out quickly and they were fast and firm for the final day of the meet. Average field size for the meet was 7.4 runners per race and was down from last year where the average was 7.7.

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Del Mar Horses To Watch Nov 13

• Del Mar Race Track, where the “turf meets the surf”, completed week two of their four week fall meet without incident on Sunday. Overall the main track has played fair, but on Sunday the outside lanes were the place to be and rally wide closers had the advantage. The times have continued to be on the “slow” side. The turf course has played fair regardless of where the inner rails have been placed, in fact, the rails have been out both weeks preserving the inner part of the course for the final week of racing and their Turf Festival. With a 90% chance of rain in the area this week, the track announced six days in advance they would cancel Thursday’s race card this week. That’s the first time in the 82 year history of this track they cancelled a day of racing due to the weather. Of course

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Santa Anita News and Notes Nov. 5

• Santa Anita’s six week fall meet concluded on Sunday, and though it was a pretty tough meet with plenty of short fields, they really looked like they would pull off a successful meet the final week, highlighted by the World Championships. But then in the final race of a spectacular two days of racing, tragedy struck. Mongolian Groom, a horse that had just defeated McKinzie four weeks earlier, was pulled up on the far turn in the Classic with a hind leg injury. Given the extent of the injury, a group of five top vets concluded that the horse had to be put down. It marked the 37th fatality at this track since racing began last December 26, and though that number is pale in comparison to both Kentucky and New York, in a state as liberal as California, it is way too high. In fact, just prior to

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Santa Anita News and Notes Oct 29

• As if the Winter/Spring meet wasn’t bad enough, the Fall meet at Santa Anita limps into their final week starting this Thursday. For the most part, the meet has been plagued by short fields and a quality of racing that is more like a “B” track rather than an “A” one. Then to add insult to injury, two more horses had to be euthanized over this past weekend bringing the total to 36 since Santa Anita started way back in December of 2018. G Q Covergirl, a $40,000 claimer for Doug O’Neill, had to be put down Saturday morning from a training accident, and then Bye Bye Beautiful, a two year old maiden for Eric Kruljac, was pulled up in Sunday’s race 3, and suffered from a condylar fracture of her right front leg and could not be saved. All of this with the World Series of horse racing

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Santa Anita News and Notes October 20

• Four weeks are in the books of the six week fall meet, but the Great Race Place doesn’t seem like a great race place this past week. The most races the track could muster over the weekend was eight for both Saturday and Sunday and even then, the fields looked more like Grants Pass up in Oregon than a major league racing oval. And just when the track seemed really safe and all the fatalities were behind us, a three year old gelding named Satchel Paige went down on the far turn Saturday and had to be euthanized from an open fracture to his left front ankle. Of course the track and the Stronach Group said they will do a full necropsy report at U.C. Davis and all constituents, including the public, will be advised of their findings. Trust me, thats the last the public will hear about Satchel

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Santa Anita News and Notes October 15

• They are halfway through the fall meet at Santa Anita Park and the main track continues to play fair for the most part. Early speed does dominate on some days, but with the small fields most of those winners are short prices to begin with. The track continues to play on the “slow” side in order to keep the surface as safe as possible for the players. The turf course is fast and firm but also playing fair. Speed horses due have an edge when the rails are out 30 feet and that was not the case at Del Mar. There were no incidents to report this past week and no fatalities. Racing resumes this Friday with just a three day week as they raced five days last week. There are two single ticket c/o going into Friday’s 8 race card, i.e. the pick six at $190,725, and the

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