Friday, December 26, 2008
From the excited buzz at Clockers' Corner early this morning until the last race was run, the opening day of the 2008-09 Winter/Spring Santa Anita meet lived up to all its great expectations. The day began at the morning workouts, where Gayle Anderson of Los Angeles' KTLA-TV Morning News was out to interview Santa Anita's VP of marketing, Allen Gutterman, about the day's activities, including the fan giveaway of a full-color 2009 wall calendar.
The weather was picture perfect, although a bit chilly for Southern California, with temperatures in the low sixties and breezy conditions. Fans lucky enough to be here in person were treated to a first-hand look at pageantry of the sport, world-class racing including three stakes races, a full Mariachi band, and a performance by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
Attendance topped 33,100 -- an increase from last year's opening day crowd of 30,156. The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, first leg of the prestigious Strub Series, was won by Bob Black Jack for trainer James Kasparoff, jockey David Flores, and owners Harmon & Kasparoff.