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

The San Felipe Stakes

The racing office at Santa Anita really stretched out to find seven contenders for Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 dollar San Felipe Stakes— which regardless of its field size and betting potential is a notable stop on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail. No fewer than four serious Triple Crown hopefuls will line up in the eighth race of the day, a 1 1/16-mile test allotting Derby … Continue reading The San Felipe Stakes

99 Years Young

He was orphaned as a young boy in London.  Wounded by German artillery in World War II.  Employed by Santa Anita Park since 1961.  His name is John Shear, and he is the track’s beloved Paddock Captain.  John will celebrate his 99th birthday between races with family, friends and co-workers this Friday, January 17th. A former exercise rider, groom and assistant trainer who had originally … Continue reading 99 Years Young

The Amazing Mike Smith

Saturday was opening day of the winter meet at Santa Anita Park.  It proved to be a memorable one for jockey Mike Smith. In the process of Winning four of seven Stakes races on the card, Smith bested Jerry Bailey as the all-time leader among jockeys for Grade 1 Wins in North America. Smith surpassed his fellow Hall of Famer, with Win number 217, when OMAHA … Continue reading The Amazing Mike Smith

DA Reports On Santa Anita

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey on Thursday issued a 17-page report on the deaths of horses at Santa Anita Park with more than two dozen recommendations on how to improve safety at all California racetracks.  The report found no criminal wrongdoing at Santa Anita Park. “Horse racing has inherent risks, but is a legally sanctioned sport in California,” Lacey said.  “Greater precautions are … Continue reading DA Reports On Santa Anita

Vintage Vino

Let’s raise a glass to VINO ROSSO.  Nothing could stop him this time. The 4-year-old son of CURLIN, an enigma for much of his career, finally put it all together in Winning (just as the Daily Racing Blog had predicted on Friday) the $6 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Classic by 4 ¼-lengths over MCKINZIE on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. It was the first Classic victory for … Continue reading Vintage Vino