Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Anita's Opening Day Lives up to Expectations

Gayle Anderson of KTLA-TV interviews Santa Anita's Allen Gutterman.

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.

Budweiser Clydesdales performing on the track at Santa Anita, Opening Day.

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.


Valerie Grash said...

Not to be a "Debbie Downer", but...didn't two 2yo colts breakdown in race 1? Not exactly the perfect start to the meet :(

Anonymous said...

Bobby B!

Amateurcapper said...

I was there and it was everything you said it was. The crowd was electric and there were many newbies I talked to. One had $5 to win on POINT ENCOUNTER because of the colorful silks and had no idea she could be looking at a Kentucky Derby contender. What a game, where many can enjoy the spectacle for different reasons.
Valerie...what a sourpuss! The one who broke down was 100-1, with unknown Arambula at the controls. Do you really think he should have been racing anyway? The other was 5-2 and pulled up by an experienced jockey (Valdivia). These are maiden claimers...there's many things wrong with them and like all sellers, they're a step or two from injury. Let's raise the question if they should be racing claimers at all.

zraces said...

It was a shame to start the meet that way, but the jocks all said it was a great track, like it hadn't even rained, and the rest of the card was clean. Let's hope that was it, and no one else gets hurt. Just a sad coincidence.

Valerie Grash said...

No offense, Amateurcapper, but it doesn't matter if a horse is 2-1 or 100-1, a breakdown is a breakdown. And today it was Indyanne in the G1 LaBrea....

I'm not being a sourpuss, just being real. Blithely ignoring the bad stuff doesn't make it go away or make it any less bad. It is what it is.

zraces said...

It looks like the filly will be okay as a broodmare. Glad it isn't worse. So much for just the claimers being at risk. When you put two champs head to head like that, it can just be too much pressure. Such a hard trying mare, From Bloodhorse: According to track veterinarian Jill Bailey, Indyanne has a fractured left front sesamoid. The two-time grade III winner was placed in a splint and returned to trainer Greg Gilchrist's barn for a private veterinary examination.

Following the examination, Gilchrist was optimistic.

“It looks like she’s going to be saved,” he said. “The good part is the outside sesamoid is perfect and she tore very few ligaments. Her chance for recovery is 65-35 to be just fine as a broodmare. She’ll have surgery in the next three days. This could have been a lot worse.’”

“She was running good," Baze said. "Turning for home, she switched leads and then went wrong in her left front."

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