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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Santa Anita News and Notes October 9th

• Santa Anita Park completed week two of their six week fall meet under clear skies and warm temps this past Sunday. The main track continues to play fair with a slight edge to early speed. The surface is still on the deep and tiring side but overall is a very safe racing surface. The brilliant sophomore colt Omaha Beach did make a dull racing surface look fast on Saturday, when he sizzled six furlongs in 1:08.79 to take down the Santa Anita Sprint Championship over another very quick sprinter, Shancealot. The turf course continues to play fair as well with a slight edge to off the pace runners. The surface is hard and firm and the times are very fast. Racing resumes on Thursday, this time with a five day race week as there will be Monday racing on Columbus Day. The single ticket jackpot of the 20 cent

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Santa Anita News and Notes October 1

• The Great Race Place got underway on Friday for their six week fall meet, but it didn’t come off without a miscue, as a three year old colt broke down in mid stretch on Saturday for fatality #32 for the year. Unfortunately it happened right in front of the grandstand where the 12,000 attendees could witness it all. The colt was named Emtech, it was during the running of a $40,000 claiming race, and Steve Knapp was the trainer. Emtech entered into the race in good form and was in the process of climbing the claiming ranks, as Knapp had claimed him for $25,000 down at Del Mar on August 8th. The great record that Del Mar had, 7 weeks of racing without an afternoon mishap, seems light years ago now that this is the third in the month of September, with Los Alamitos having two fatalities earlier in

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Santa Anita News and Notes September 19

• Santa Anita Park, which originally opened its doors on Christmas Day in 1934, kicks off its 23-day Autumn meet a week from Friday, Sept. 27. The track has invested more than $5 million for new suites in both the club house and the turf club, plus they installed a new state of the art LED infield video board to dramatically improve brightness and clarity. Santa Anita will host the world championship Breeders’ Cup for two days on November 1st and 2nd for the 10th time since the races have been introduced. Frank Mirahmadi, the voice of Monmouth Park, will return to call the races. The track will run a number of Breeders’ Cup prep races starting on Friday with a Grade 2 plus two Grade 1’s. • Stormy Liberal, who was voted champion turf horse in the country for 2018, will be in the lineup for the Eddie D.

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Del Mar News and Notes for September 3 2019

• The Del Mar race track was rated the safest race track in the country for the year 2018. They didn’t do anything to tarnish that reputation in 2019 as they finished their 7 week summer season without a single fatality from afternoon racing. Yes, they did have 4 fatalities from training in the morning, but only two of them resulted from injury and both were unraced maidens. The other two were a freakish incident resulting from a head on collision. However, it’s totally unfair to compare Del Mar with Santa Anita, the main thing being that it doesn’t rain in California during their race meets. And secondly, Santa Anita conducts three times as many races as Del Mar. I’m sure Santa Anita will be much safer in 2020 than they were this year. There are policies put in place to remove unsound horses before they ever reach the gate,

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