Santa Anita Gets Safer

Santa Anita Park concluded its six-month 2021-22 winter-spring season on June 19th as the safest track in North America among those with a comparable volume of racing and training. Santa Anita Park’s record is highlighted by a 62.5 percent improvement from the previous year. From December 26th, 2021, through closing day June 19th, the main dirt track did not have a single musculoskeletal racing fatality … Continue reading Santa Anita Gets Safer

Three Big Preps On Saturday

The Derby door of opportunity is still ajar, but time is running out. There are three major preps this Saturday each offering 100 points to the Winning horse, which virtually locks down a spot in the gate on May 7th. Here then, the big three this weekend: THE WOOD MEMORIAL STAKES New York’s premier Kentucky Derby prep race is contested at 1 1/8 miles (9 … Continue reading Three Big Preps On Saturday

Where The Winners Prep

There are no Derby prep races this weekend. But, the 100-40-20-10 point preps are at hand- eight races compressed into 15 days, beginning next Saturday (03/26). As long as they are eligible (aka not Baffert horses), the Winners are mathematically assured of berths in the starting gate in the Run For The Roses. The 2nd-place horses have a good shot at getting there as well. … Continue reading Where The Winners Prep

Here Comes Santa…Anita

Christmas morning … a time for family, fellowship, generosity and gratitude. For many Americans, it is a time for spiritual celebration. A holiday unlike any other, full of good tidings and cheer and a trip to the racetrack. Okay, scratch that last part. If you head to the racetrack with your family on Christmas Day, you’re going to be there by yourself, and you’re going … Continue reading Here Comes Santa…Anita

Johnny West

For the first time in his illustrious 32-year career, Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride full-time this winter at Santa Anita, beginning with the track’s opening day, Sunday, December 26th. A 50-year-old native of Puerto Rico, Johnny V as he’s affectionately known, is Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading money Winning jockey, with career purse earnings of more than $446 million from 6,357 Wins.  A … Continue reading Johnny West

Safer Racing In California

California horse racing experienced a 50-percent decline in equine fatalities over the last two fiscal years. This was largely due to steps taken by the California Horse Racing Board along with the entire California horse racing industry. 144 horses died in fiscal year 2018-19 from racing and/or training injuries while stabled at facilities under jurisdiction of the CHRB. That number dropped to 72 in 2020-21, … Continue reading Safer Racing In California

Centennial Man Set To Retire

The Daily Racing Blog did a story on this young-at-heart gentlemen from California last January. So the news of his retirement certainly begets another mention here. The announcement came in a twitter post this past Monday. John Shear, the 100-year-old Paddock Captain at Santa Anita, made it official as he announced his retirement from The Great Race Place following more than 60 years of fond … Continue reading Centennial Man Set To Retire

Santa Anita Centennial Man

It was just about a year ago the Daily Racing Blog told the story of John Shear, but given his age and the pandemic, we thought it might be nice to revisit him as he closes in on a milestone birthday. Although his preferred venue is off limits for the time being, the beloved Paddock Captain at Santa Anita will nonetheless celebrate his 100th birthday with … Continue reading Santa Anita Centennial Man

Churchill, Santa Anita, Back In Business

Things are looking up in horse racing this weekend as action resumes Friday at Santa Anita and Saturday at Churchill Downs. There is even more good news as various state lock-downs due to the coronavirus are being relaxed: Belmont Park has reopened its main track for training and Churchill Downs announced a very tentative schedule of new Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. A … Continue reading Churchill, Santa Anita, Back In Business

‘Big Money’ Mike Smith

As a guest Saturday on Horse Racing Radio Network  54-year-old Mike Smith told host Mike Penna that he wants to get back to riding as soon as possible, amid a shutdown at Santa Anita Park. “Another two to three years if all goes well.”  That was Smith’s response when asked how much longer he would like to continue to ride. Enshrined in the National Museum of … Continue reading ‘Big Money’ Mike Smith