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    Horse racing notes: Santa Anita finale features marathon rematch
    • June 13, 2024


    (Through Sunday)

    Jockeys / Wins

    Antonio Fresu / 29

    Juan Hernandez / 26

    Kyle Frey / 24

    Umberto Rispoli / 20

    Edwin Maldonado / 18

    Trainers / Wins

    Phil D’Amato / 17

    Mark Glatt / 13

    Steve Knapp /12

    Doug O’Neill / 12

    John Sadler / 11




    • $100,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1¼ miles on turf


    • $100,000, Grade III San Juan Capistrano Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, about 1¾ miles on turf



    • $100,000, Abigail Kawananakoa Handicap, quarter-horse fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 350 yards


    • $1 million, Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity, 2-year-old quarter horses, 350 yards


    • Santa Anita’s season-ending, four-day racing week climaxes Sunday with the San Juan Capistrano, featuring a rematch of 2023 1-2-3 finishers Planetario (Hector Berrios riding), Offlee Naughty (Juan Hernandez) and Rimprotector (Kyle Frey). A six-horse field will make four turns, the first of those right-handed on the turf hillside, in the 1¾-mile marathon.

    • Sunday night’s Ed Burke Million, the first of four million-dollar races for quarter horses at Los Alamitos this year, features top qualifier Up To Party, Kindergarten Futurity runner-up My Budd, unbeaten Big Hurt, Laredeaux and Norco.

    • Golden Gate Fields ran the last races in its 83-year history Sunday in front of 5,936 fans. The finale was won by Adelie ($13), shipped north by D’Amato to rally from last in a one-mile turf race under leading Golden Gate jockey Assael Espinoza. When the closure of the Albany, Calif., track was announced in 2023, it was said to be “aimed at consolidating, invigorating and innovating racing throughout Southern California.” But racing journalist Ray Paulick points out that none of the 149 horses entered at Santa Anita on Thursday and Friday came in from Golden Gate. Pleasanton opens a three-week county-fair meet Friday with six races, none bigger than seven horses.

    • Abel Cedillo and Joe Talamo are back in Southern California after stints in Kentucky. Cedillo, 35, was among the circuit’s top jockeys from 2019 to 2023, and finished third in wins at Turfway Park’s recent winter-spring meet. Talamo, 34, won the Eclipse Award as North America’s best apprentice jockey and 23 Grade I stakes when he rode here from 2007 to 2020 before going to the Midwest.

    • After Sugar Fish won Saturday’s Summertime Oaks, co-owner Kim Lloyd praised trainer Jeff Mullins for turning around the 3-year-old filly’s career: “I’ve got to tell you, Jeff Mullins is as fine a horseman as there is in the country, and I’m not exaggerating,” said Lloyd, who trained in California from 1987 to 2002. Mullins’ 27% win rate is the best among trainers at Santa Anita’s Hollywood Meet.

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    • Racing-related equine fatalities declined 38% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023 at tracks operating under Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority rules, occurring at a rate of 0.84 per 1,000 starts, HISA reported. “While even one fatality is too many, we are pleased to see the progress we are making,” HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus tweeted.

    • The Belmont Stakes drew $60.9 million in bets Saturday, the highest handle since Justify completed his Triple Crown in 2018. Held at Saratoga while Belmont Park is being renovated, the Belmont had a 10-horse field featuring Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan, Preakness winner Seize the Grey and four other horses out of those races, including winner Dornoch ($37.40).

    — Kevin Modesti

    ​ Orange County Register