By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsIt a decision the movers and shakers at Kootenay International Junior Hockey League headquarters said would not happen, move into a larger markets like Kamloops or Kelowna.But in 2006 Osoyoos was granted a move to Spoolmak Country and in the spring of 2010, there was the KIJHL announcing the Chase Chiefs were moving south to the red-hot hockey market of Kelowna for the 2010-11 campaign.Nine months later the mighty Chiefs are cruising along in second spot in the Okanagan Division of the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.The team has made peace with the WHL Rockets — who held the junior hockey rights in the Central Okanagan City — and have quietly made an impact during season one.“That was the rumour mill at its finest,” Ken Andrusiak, head coach of the Chiefs told The Nelson Daily prior to last week’s game against Nelson at the NDCC Arena. “We started the process of getting a franchise in Kelowna about a year ago and have always had the Rockets on side.”“We had to get the City, we had to get the rink and we had to get KIJHL on side, so we had bigger fish to fry than the Rockets,” Andrusiak added. “So we never had a problem with them one way or another.”Fact is the Rockets are glad to have the Chiefs in town. The junior B league allows the WHL power to groom its two 16-year-olds in preparation for a spot on the Tier I squad.As for the rest of the roster, Andrusiak had more than enough players to choose from.“In the first year at least half of our team came with the team,” Andrusiak explained. “We had to take some of the players from the Chase franchise and mix them in with local players from Kelowna.”“As for the future, there is an abundance of local players . . . we have six right now on our team,” he added.That number should grow next year and the season after. However, the Chiefs gain is a loss for many of the other teams in the league.Nelson, for one, has used Kelowna players to fill out the majority of its roster for the past few seasons. Stats show more than 40 players in the KIJHL originate from Kelowna Minor Hockey.“We’re not going to be able to recruit all of those players, but I believe with our franchise now in Kelowna, we’ll put a major dent in that number, for sure,” said Andrusiak, who has two former Nelson Leafs on the roster, son Landon and winger Dane Rupert.Both younger Andrusiak and Rupert are happy to be able to play before the 300-400 plus family and friends that attend games at the Rutland Arena.”I really like playing at home, so for me it was the right move,” Rupert said.”It’s a good feeling to play at home . . . now I’m going to university and to play in front of family and friends is definitely pretty special,” said Landon Andrusiak.The Chiefs also bolsters the Okanagan invasion in the KIJHL.The league has gone from a few teams to two divisions of four. That number grows when Chase is welcomed back to the league following a one-year hiatus.Which begs the question, will there be two junior B leagues in the B.C. Interior in the not too distant future?“I hope not, but reading between the lines I think that’s where (KIJHL) is going,” Andrusiak confessed. “You’d lose the characteristics of this league if (Kootenay and Okanagan teams) only played each other in the playoffs.But economically that’s the push coming from out end of the league,” added Andrusiak, hoping the KI never loses its identity and ability for smaller communities to ice teams that can compete.“It’s very expensive to bring a team over here for two of three games and the dollar is probably going to win out in that argument.”Which makes you wonder why the KIJHL ever expanded into the big markets after all.Only time will tell.NOTES: The Kelowna Rockets have made a history of finding players in the KIJHL. Those players who have made their mark with WHL franchise, but started in the KI, include Chuck Kobasew (Osoyoos 1998-99), Shea Webber (Sicamous 2001-02), Clayton Bauer (Sicamous 2003-03), Justin Keller (Summerland 2002-03) and James McEwan (Castlegar 2003-04).firstname.lastname@example.org
By The Nelson Daily SportsIt seems like only yesterday that people were . . . skiing?Ya, Old Man Winter definitely hung around a little longer than most would have liked. But it’s now time to pack away the skis in favour of a pair of soccer cleats as the season nears with the opening of the Lakeside fields.No one is happier than Nelson Youth Soccer executive, which has been crossing those respective fingers hoping winter will finally end.“Officially, we get the fields May 7, but we’re hoping we might get on during the week for practices for the first games,” said NYS vice president Kerry Dyck.Well, Dyck and Company can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Regional District has opened the fields for practices.More than 925 soccer players being training in preparation for the season opening games Saturday at Lakeside.NYS, for players six to 18, is divided into house league and rep teams.The house games go weekly at Lakeside in more than 10 different divisions.NYS also has a dozen or so rep teams competing for spots in the B.C. Soccer Youth Provincial B Cup.Some teams opened the season already competing a the Icebreaker Tournament Easter Weekend in Winfield.NYS host the annual Terry Walgren Girl’s Soccer Tournament Saturday and Sunday at Lakeside.The boy’s rep teams travel to Trail to compete in the Kootenay South Tournament.email@example.com
Prior to Shaw the Leafs were skippered by former professional hockey player Simon Wheeldon for five seasons. Wheeldon took the Leafs to the KIJHL title in 2009.Stocks said Shaw is not leaving immediately and will fulfill his duties with the upcoming Leaf summer hockey school later this month.The camp, set for July 25-29 at the NDCC Arena, regular and elite players between the ages of eight to 14.The camp includes have 2.5 hours of ice time and 1.5 hours of dryland training under the guidance of Shaw and Leaf players.Anyone interested should register on the Nelson Leafs website at http://www.nelsonleafs.ca/The Nelson Daily sports department put in a call to the cell phone of Chris Shaw but did not receive any firstname.lastname@example.org By Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThere will be a new captain at the helm of the Good Ship Nelson Leaf after head coach and general manager Chris Shaw accepted a position with the Vernon Vipers of the B.C. Hockey League Tuesday.The Vipers announced on their website Tuesday Shaw is joining the three-time defending Fred Page Champions as an assistant to head coach Jim Williamson.“From our prospective, it’s never nice to lose a coach, or a player for that matter, but at the same time we’re a developmental (team) and is wouldn’t be fair to stand in the way of a coaches future,” Leaf president Russell Stocks told The Nelson Daily Wednesday.Stocks said the Vipers contacted the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League franchise inquiring about the status of Shaw in late June.Tuesday night the now former coach and GM of the Leafs broke the news to the team president.“Chris told me he hated to leave Nelson because he was really excited about building a contender in Nelson,” Stocks explained. “But when the top team in the BCHL comes calling the decision to leave is a no brainer.”Shaw, who spent one season in the Heritage City, came to the Leafs from the Okanagan Hockey Association.He had previous coaching experience with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL and the KIJHL’s Penticton Lakers.In his first full season in Nelson the 30-year-old White Rock native guided the Leafs to a third-place finish in the Murdoch Division of the KIJHL, finishing the regular season with a 25-20-0-3 record.Nelson lost out to Beaver Valley in the first round of the playoffs, but pushed the Nitehawks to seven games.However, it took Shaw a little time to get accustomed to the rigors of the head coaching position as the Leafs struggled out of the gate going winless in four games to start the season and were never able to compete against the heavyweights in the Murdoch Division — Castlegar Rebels and Beaver Valley Nitehawks.Surprisingly news of Shaw’s departure spread like wildfire through the hockey circles as Stocks has fielded numerous calls from potential candidates interested in the Nelson vacancy.“I’ve had a former coach in the BCHL call along with a couple of people who have previously coached in the KIJHL and two people from the Kootenay area,” Stocks confessed. “We’re quite confident we’ll have some one in place in the next week or two,” Stocks added.
The Kootenay Thunder earned respect from more than a few colleges and university coached during the Starfire Fieldturf Showcase Soccer Tournament this past weekend in Seattle.The Thunder finished the tourney with a 1-1-2 record.“The Thunder team impressed many coaches and teams with one U.S. College coach stating he would take the whole squad if he had the budget,” said Kootenay head coach Dave Spendlove, who runs the regional squad out of the Soccer Quest Indoor facility in Nelson.The team, consisting of players from throughout the Kootenay region along with a handful of imports from Kamloops and playing in the top division, opened the tournament by playing to a scoreless draw against Seattle Legacy.According to Spendlove, “Kootenay outplayed their American opponents in all departments but could not get the ball in the net.”Kootenay kept its goal-scoring drought alive in a 0-0 tie against Semiahmoo Scorpions of White Rock.Saturday afternoon the Thunder, playing its best half in two years, edged the Sun City Strikers 2-1.Kelsey Martin of Kamloops gave Kootenay a 1-0 lead. Martin converted a rebound off a Kootenay corner kick, depositing the ball quickly into the net after Sun City failed to clear the zone.Sun City tied the game ten minutes into the second half.However, Nelson’s Andrea Stinson, a thorn in the side of most teams during the tournament, was hauled down inside the penalty area.Stinson calmly collected herself before converting the penalty kick.The only blemish on the weekend came Sunday during the rain when Kootenay lost 1-0 to MRFC of Portland, Ore.The only goal came when the game referee incorrectly gave an indirect free kick inside the Kootenay penalty area for a pass back to the keeper.MRFC quickly took the kick and beat Kootenay keeper Kat Garbula of Nelson.“The Referee apologized to the Thunder coaching staff at half time saying he did not really see what happened on the pass back incident but made a quick decision which later his line assistant told him was wrong,” Spendlove explained. “The incident cost the Thunder their only loss of the weekend but the Thunder should still have won the game again not taking their chances in front of goal.”The tournament attracted more than 40 scouts from various U.S. colleges.This is the second time Soccer Quest has taken a team to Seattle.Next tournament for Kootenay is the Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase event March 2012 in Vancouver.email@example.com
The L.V. Rogers Bombers continue their strong play this High School Girl’s Field Hockey season finishing with a 3-1 record at the South Okanagan Hornets Tournament in Oliver.The Bombers defeated host South Okanagan, Enver Creek of Surrey and GW Graham of Chilliwack. The lone loss came against a strong team from Churchill in Vancouver.LVR opened against the host Hornets.“This was a very good game as Oliver worked hard checking the bombers tenaciously,” said Bomber coach Bruce Walgren.“Even under pressure the experienced seniors, Hanna Quinn, Shianne Michalchuck and Julia Burkhart turned the tide of the game and began to control play. Quinn scored three times and goalies Rylee Zondervan and Johanna Brochhagen shared in the shut out for a Bomber 3-0 win. LVR then matched up against Enver Creek.The offence was flowing as the Bombers routed the Fraser Valley squad 6-1.“The Bombers started the game fast and pressed Enver Creek right from the start never giving them a second with the ball,” Walgren explained.Quinn continued to score in bunches along with Shianne Michalchuck and Julia Burkart.Saturday, LVR was edged by Churchill.“This was a really hard game for the girls as Churchill is a very fast and highly skilled team, this really tested the Bomber defense and mid-field,” Walgren said.In the final game, Quinn scored twice while Michalchuck added a single to lead the Bombers to the 3-0 win.Bomber Senior keeper Rylee Zondervan shut the door to register the shutout in goal.LVR played a league game this week before heading to Chilliwack Friday to compete in a tournament.
SMITH LIKES THE LOOK OF SHARED BELIEFCHROME, HOPPERTUNITY POLAR OPPOSITESCALIFORNIA CHROME SLIGHT FAVORITELEWIS LURES SIX SOPHS ON DERBY TRAIL BETTER ‘DYNAMICS’ IN SAN MARCOS STAKES? SHARED BELIEF ALL HEART ON THE RACE TRACKShared Belief is not much to look at. He’s no War Admiral or Zenyatta. But it’s not what’s on the hoof that counts. It’s what’s in the heart.But for a rough start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that might have cost him victory and assuredly besmirched his unbeaten record, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Shared Belief could have been Horse of the Year. How could you argue with perfection?As it is, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was quick to put the race behind him and move on, as did Shared Belief, who showed his valor and versatility by winning the seven furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 in his first start since the Classic loss on Nov. 1. “Shared Belief is as classy as classy comes,” says Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who has ridden the 4-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride in his last five starts, including a neck victory in the Grade I Malibu.Smith will be aboard Shared Belief again Saturday when he tackles Horse of the Year California Chrome and seven others in the $500,000 San Antonio Invitational for older horses at 1 1/8 miles.“Shared Belief is not a big horse that you’re going to sit back on and go like Zenyatta, who was imposing just to look at,” Smith said. “He’s not really that, but he’s extremely athletic and really, really well-balanced. He’s doing well. He looks good.“They say he’s been working good. As long as Russell (Baze, who works him at Golden Gate) says he’s doing good, then I’m all right. I was glad to see that colt (Conquest Two Step) come back and win (the Palos Verdes last Saturday), if I couldn’t win it (on favored Distinctiv Passion, who finished fourth).“Conquest Two Step is the one who was 70-1 when I beat him with Shared Belief in the Malibu, and everyone said, ‘Who did Shared Belief beat?’ Well, you saw who he beat. The horse came back and demolished them in the Palos Verdes.”Shared Belief jogged and stood in the gate Thursday morning, while California Chrome galloped and stood in the gate. “He’s good,” said Hollendorfer of Shared Belief, adding he was “very happy” drawing post position five.The field for the San Antonio, race eight of nine: Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Tonito M., Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; You Know I Know, Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1; Imperative, Flavien Prat, 20-1; Shared Belief, Mike Smith, 7-5; Clubhouse Ride, Aaron Gryder, 30-1; Bronzo, Gary Stevens, 20-1; California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, 6-5; and Alfa Bird, Tyler Baze, 30-1. In other San Antonio news:For the third straight race, Hoppertunity will be breaking from the inside in theSan Antonio, having drawn post position No. 1, the same hole he had in winning the Grade I Clark Handicap Nov. 28. He captured the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes Jan. 10 breaking from post position two.“I live in the one hole,” Bob Baffert said. “I don’t know. I’m going to have to start going to the draw. I’ve always said, ‘There are two things you need to get rid of in racing: the one hole and the last race.’ I’d rather have been on the outside and clear.”On a serious note, the Hall of Fame trainer is looking forward to the San Antonio.“The horse is doing well. It’s going to be an exciting race,” said Baffert, who has won the San Antonio four times, with Congaree (2003); Richard’s Kid (2010); and Game On Dude (2012 and 2013). “It’s going to be a great racing day.”Trainer Sean McCarthy on running 7-year-old Majestic Harbor for only thesecond time on turf in 28 career starts in Saturday’s San Marcos Stakes, rather than the San Antonio: “The distance of ground (in the San Marcos, 1 ¼ miles) is more suitable for him and he’ll be running against a different type of horse.“As he’s gotten older, hopefully the grass might be more conducive.”And this nugget from HRTV’s Rich McManus: “In the Eclipse era, not since SnowChief finished third and Tasso finished fifth in the 1987 Californian have the 2-year-old champion and the 3-year-old champion, from the same crop of race horses, faced off against each other at age four.”The San Antonio will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1. Elvis Trujillo961213813%$779,586 FINISH LINES: Two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder “had a good open gallop today” and is about a week away from her first official workout following her scratch due to fever from the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last Oct. 31, trainer Richard Mandella said . . . Delta Jackpot winner Ocho Ocho Ocho worked four furlongs for trainer Jim Cassidy on a gorgeous Thursday morning in 49.80 for the San Felipe Stakes on March 7 . . . With three wins from his last four mounts including two on Sunday, Edwin Maldonado is back on the beam, and hopes to continue when he rides speedy Little Jerry in Saturday’s San Marcos Stakes. “I was happier than a dog with two tales,” Maldonado said after Sunday’s double. Trainer Richard Baltas on Little Jerry, who will be seeking the first stakes win of his 25-race career: “We’ll try them and see how it goes. He seems like he wants to run now. Before, he wouldn’t run unless he was on the lead. Last time he didn’t run bad. We’re taking a shot because we don’t have anywhere else to run.” Baltas added that Bing Crosby winner Big Macher came out of his disappointing showing in the Palos Verdes “perfect” and could re-surface in the $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf Feb. 21. “There’s a chance he could go there,” Baltas said. “I wanted to try him on the grass because he’s out of a Kris S mare.”. . . Andy Harrington, clocker for NationalTurf.com, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest handicapper Saturday in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:20 a.m. . . . Samantha Sachs, 8-year-old granddaughter of Tom Knust, agent for Elvis Trujillo, plays the lead role of Cossette in Les Miserables at the IFGF Los Angeles venue at 147 West Palm Ave. in Monrovia from March 27 through April 1. NAKATANI HOPES FOR BETTER LUCK IN SAN MARCOSCorey Nakatani is hoping for better luck on Dynamic Sky when he runs in Saturday’s Grade II San Marcos Stakes for older horses at 1 ¼ miles on turf.The son of Sky Mesa owned by John Oxley and trained by Mark Casse was beaten only two lengths while finishing sixth in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes Jan. 3, “lacking room behind rivals in midstretch.”How tight was the finish? The eight starters were separated by only five lengths.“I was coming between horses and got cut off,” Nakatani said of the San Gabriel. “I didn’t really let him get a chance to run at the point when he needed to. He’s a real big horse. I’m looking forward to getting another opportunity.”The field for the San Marcos: Finnegans Wake, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Patrioticandproud, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Majestic Harbor, Mike Smith, 8-1; Power Ped, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Little Jerry, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Diamond Bachelor, Martin Pedroza, 20-1; Quadrivium, Forest Boyce, 8-1; Dynamic Sky, Corey Nakatani, 3-1; and Power Foot, Kieren Fallon, 8-1. Richard Baltas2853318%$163,528 (Current Through Sunday, Feb. 1) Richard Mandella2553520%$231,900 Kent Desormeaux831914923%$1,103,492 Mark Casse3465418%$545,520 Jerry Hollendorfer7816111021%$1,508,004 Tyler Baze11914111612%$913,344 FIRING LINE TRIES DORTMUND AGAIN IN LEWISFiring Line came within a head of handing Dortmund his first defeat in the Grade I Los Alamitos Derby last Dec. 20, despite absorbing a pinball-type stretch run in the mile and a sixteenth race.Simon Callaghan is hoping for a less eventful trip when the Kentucky-bred son of Line of David owned by Arnold Zetcher tackles Dortmund and four others in Saturday’s Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.“He ran very well,” the trainer said of Firing Line. “He got bumped quite a bit down the lane, but he’s doing well and we’re looking forward to the race.”Firing Line will have a new pilot in the Lewis, Gary Stevens replacing Rafael Bejarano. “We decided to make a change,” Callaghan said.The Robert B. Lewis lineup: Tizcano, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; Rock Shandy, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Sebastian’s Heart, Agapito Delgadillo, 30-1; Hero Ten All, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Firing Line, Gary Stevens, 7-5; and Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 4-5. Martin Pedroza811014612%$384,410 Joseph Talamo10111121511%$876,634 Carla Gaines2353122%$290,865 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Rafael Bejarano11429191825%$1,402,854 SAN ANTONIO MORNING LINE FAVORITISM A CHALLENGEIn a showdown between two equine titans, California Chrome has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite by Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White for Saturday’s Grade II San Antonio Invitational, with Shared Belief a close second choice at 7-5.“I can’t recall ever having a more difficult time deciding who to make the favorite between two horses,” said White, who also provides pre-race television commentary for Santa Anita’s simulcast network. “Not even in all of the Breeders’ Cup races that I’ve made the morning line have I had a harder decision between two horses in terms of favoritism.”White crafted the official Breeders’ Cup morning lines at Santa Anita in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014.“One of the reasons I ultimately decided to go with California Chrome is he is the reigning Horse of the Year,” White explained. “And then there is his immense popularity. Being such a big fan favorite is something that could come into play in the wagering. Also, California Chrome did beat Shared Belief the only time the two have met.”California Chrome finished third in the Grade I, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita last Nov. 1. Shared Belief ran fourth.“But while it’s true that Shared Belief finished 3 ½ lengths behind California Chrome in the Classic, most people, of course, feel that is a race you can throw out for Shared Belief because of all the trouble he had,” White said. “Shared Belief has lost just one time in his entire life. And if not for all of the trouble he had in the Classic, it’s entirely possible he would be nine for nine going into the San Antonio.“Something else to keep in mind is Shared Belief was the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, not California Chrome. Shared Belief was 5-2. California Chrome was 4-1. I certainly would not be surprised if it turns out that Shared Belief also ends up being the favorite in the San Antonio.”While most of the attention is being focused on California Chrome and Shared Belief, Hoppertunity goes into the Santa Antonio off victories in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and Grade II San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita. White has pegged Hoppertunity at 4-1 for the San Antonio.“Ignore Hoppertunity at your own peril,” White cautioned.Meanwhile, White joins thousands of others in looking forward to seeing Saturday’s San Antonio.“This really is fantastic for the sport,” White said. “How great it is for the 2-year-old male champion of 2013 and the 3-year-old male champion of 2014 to meet like this? Will there be a tougher Grade II race in the entire country this year? I sure doubt it.” TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Drayden Van Dyke9610111610%$605,826 Fernando Perez878879%$329,284 Victor Espinoza721213817%$740,070 Philip D’Amato3458615%$317,110 Peter Eurton3674719%$317,458 Peter Miller671216618%$727,440 Martin Garcia55812615%$817,400 Corey Nakatani6188813%$481,500 Gary Stevens4495720%$614,632 John W. Sadler51571010%$347,432 Flavien Prat4772615%$289,750 Doug O’Neill6487813%$411,336 Mark Glatt3757614%$281,574 Bob Baffert46811717%$919,118 Mike Smith541111820%$863,361 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Hector Palma1252042%$93,310
JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won HALL OF FAME JOCKEYS TO SIGN ONE-OF-A-KIND POSTER JULY 10 On Sunday, July 10, closing day of the Spring Meet, Hall of Fame jockeys Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to sign one-of-a-kind posters featuring three-time champion mare Beholder and the undefeated filly Songbird, arguably the two best (dirt) females in the country.Signings will take place in the shaded saddling enclosure. Families are invited to bring the kids, as Santa Anita mascots, Winnie and Lucky, will be on-hand to greet fans and offer Beholder’s favorite treat, peppermints!FINISH LINES: Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, who galloped a mile and a half today, is scheduled to work five furlongs Monday, Doug O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora reported Friday, while Richard Mandella has three-time champion Beholder set to work Sunday or Monday . . . Kent Desormeaux rides at Belmont Park Monday, Swipe in the Dwyer and Decked Out in the Belmont Oaks Invitational, both horses trained by brother Keith . . . Today through Sunday, July 3, the largest Asian-themed night market in the United States takes place at Santa Anita in the form of 626 Night Market. The growing entertainment tradition features merchandise vendors, games, food, music, and more. For more information, visit santaanita.com/events or www.626nightmarket.com. Martin Garcia771261316%40%$646,734 Bob Baffert47129626%57%$719,003 Edwin Maldonado13623221517%44%$939,766 Richard Baltas53991117%55%$398,430 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS The contest cards will be used to draw the winners, who will be announced throughout the day from the Winner’s Circle.One lucky fan will become the final contestant entered into the drawing for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC presented by Rusnak/Arcadia. All 10 qualifiers will be on-track and will be assigned to a specific horse in a designated race on Monday. The contestants will watch their race from the Winner’s Circle and the winning horse will determine the winner of the Mercedes-Benz GLC.Betting vouchers worth $500 will be given away, as will four 2016 Autumn Meet “VIP Day at the Races” packages.Two Breeders’ Cup Reserved Seating Packages, including a Four-Pack for Friday, Nov. 4, and a Four-Pack for Breeders’ Cup Classic Day, Saturday, Nov. 5, will be given away.VISIT http://www.santaanita.com/events-and-tickets/ FOR CONTEST RULES PLUS ALL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING GIVEAWAYS AND VIP PACKAGES. Robertino Diodoro1967132%74%$280,910 Philip D’Amato882317726%53%$1,488,318 CASSIDY SEEKS AFFIRMED UPSET WITH PRINCE OF ARABIAJim Cassidy, who quietly pulled a $29.60 shocker when he sent out Shh She’s Ours to win Sunday’s Grade II Desert Stormer II Stakes over 1-2 favorite Sensitively, hopes to register another upset with Prince of Arabia in Saturday’s Grade III Affirmed Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.It will mark only the second stakes start for the son of Mineshaft, who was ninth after a slow start last out in the grassy Rainbow Stakes June 18.“He’s a decent horse,” Cassidy said. “He’s just been a little unlucky. Last time he broke slowly, but he’s coming up to this race well.”The field for the Affirmed, named for the 1978 Triple Crown winner: Curlin Rules, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Dalmore, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Beaumarchais, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Prince of Arabia, Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1; and Danzing Candy, Rafael Bejarano, 2-5. Mike Puype50105520%40%$325,450 James Cassidy4374516%37%$415,500 (Current Through Thursday, June 30) Rafael Bejarano16240322925%62%$2,240,405 Tiago Pereira94715157%39%$393,517 Stewart Elliott898879%26%$365,875 Santiago Gonzalez15918232511%42%$958,145 Mike Smith38127132%53%$881,237 Chad Lindsay60971015%43%$201,750 Richard Mandella3585623%54%$686,052 Martin Pedroza741081214%41%$348,010 Fernando Perez881110813%33%$425,493 Mario Gutierrez6661439%35%$531,430 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won FANS CAN WIN MERCEDES-BENZ AND MORE ON DOLLAR DAY, JULY 4Monday, July 4, is Fan Appreciation Day at Santa Anita. Fans can enter to win a chance at a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, presented by Rusnak/Arcadia, reserved seating for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 4 and 5, VIP packages good for the track’s Autumn Meet which begins Sept. 30, and $500 betting vouchers.Veterans and active duty military will receive free General Admission Monday at Santa Anita as well. Monday also is also Dollar Day, with one dollar beers, sodas and hot dogs available throughout the day.Following are details on Santa Anita’s Fan Appreciation Day offerings: Each fan (with paid admission) will receive a contest entry card as they enter Santa Anita. The card, once completed, can be placed in a number of designated contest locations or bins throughout the facility. All entries must be submitted by 3 p.m. Joseph Talamo12524171719%46%$1,402,788 Brayan Pena6165810%31%$152,235 Flavien Prat12634191727%56%$1,670,732 Peter Eurton4185520%44%$480,375 John Sadler59951215%44%$724,773 Doug O’Neill88818189%50%$626,106 HOFMANS EYES PACIFIC CLASSIC FOR MELATONIN Melatonin, who has performed well when his races are well-spaced, likely will make his next start in Del Mar’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic at a mile and a quarter on Aug. 20, David Hofmans said Friday.“We’ll see; we’ll take it as it comes,” said Hofmans, who trains the winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and the Gold Cup at Santa Anita for Susan Osborne’s Tarabilla Farms. “We’re probably going to end up running in the Pacific Classic, I would think.”Hofmans had mentioned last Sunday that the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 1 could be the next race for Melatonin, but noted Friday that “three months between starts is a little difficult to do. The San Diego (Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 23) is too soon and too short, so the Pacific Classic is probably the way we’re going to go.” Tyler Baze17228332816%52%$1,410,354 Peter Miller551013718%55%$475,660 Jerry Hollendorfer691471320%49%$962,143 WRONA TO MARRY FOLLOWING SPRING MEETIn a column by Art Wilson in today’s Los Angeles Newspaper Group daily publications, Santa Anita announcer Michael Wrona revealed that he’ll be getting married in Lake Tahoe one week after the current Spring Meet concludes on July 10.And, with the relocation process to Southern California fully underway, the 50-year-old native Australian is well aware of the large footsteps he’s following, cast over parts of nine decades by legendary announcers such as Hernandez, Johnson and Denman.“I’m well aware of how few people have occupied this booth,” he told Wilson yesterday. “This place is renowned for not being a turnstile, or a revolving door, of announcers. So there’s a legacy that I hope that I can uphold. That weighs on my mind.” . . . I hope I can have a good, long run and contribute to the legacy for as long as I can keep calling at the appropriate level, the top level.” Brandon Boulanger4661413%24%$135,485 FOREST CHATTER SET FOR MAIN TRACK MONDAY Rather than stand around and watch the grass grow, Team Mandella will run downhill turf course specialist Forest Chatter on dirt in the $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap, one of two stakes races in the Golden State Series on Monday’s Independence Day holiday program.In 13 career starts, 11 have been on grass for Forest Chatter, a gelded son of Dixie Chatter trained by Richard Mandella for Pam and Martin Wygod. Forest Chatter was unbeaten in five races on Santa Anita’s unique downhill course at about 6 ½ furlongs until finishing second under regular rider Mike Smith in the Lennyfromalibu on May 28.He was second in the seven furlong Cary Grant on Del Mar’s main track last November and unplaced in his lone start on synthetic.“He’ll run on dirt and he’s doing well right now,” said Smith, alluding to two recent bullet works on Santa Anita’s main track. “He got away slow last time, too (from the No. 1 post position), so with a better break he’s certainly going to run a lot better.” Patrick Gallagher2872225%39%$261,390 Mark Glatt6611151017%55%$417,666 ‘GIANT KILLER’ CASSIDY EYES AN UPSET IN AFFIRMED FOREST CHATTER ON DIRT IN MONDAY’S THOR’S ECHOBIG ‘CAP ACE MELATONIN LIKELY FOR PACIFIC CLASSICNEW TURF COURSE INSTALLED FOR AUTUMN CAMPAIGNWRONA SET TO TIE THE KNOT FOLLOWING SPRING MEETBIG BANG FOR YOUR BUCK ON MONDAY AT SANTA ANITAKENTUCKY DERBY WINNER NYQUIST TO WORK ON JULY 4 Kent Desormeaux5198318%39%$350,995 NEW TURF COURSE IN FOR SANTA ANITA’S AUTUMN MEETWith precision like timing and teamwork, Santa Anita Park has completed installation of its all-new Bermuda turf course, which will be ready for use with the onset of the track’s 2016 Autumn Meet on Sept. 30.Including the Camino Real hillside component, Santa Anita’s unique turf course encompasses approximately nine acres of surface area, which has now been amended and covered. The Bandera Bermuda turf mixture was grown in La Quinta, California, approximately 120 miles to the east, near Palm Springs.“This has been a major undertaking and we’re very pleased with how the entire project has progressed,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President, West Coast Operations for The Stronach Group. “The hillside portion of the course was completed about three weeks ago and the oval was finished late Wednesday. This particular turf has proven very resilient in our immediate area and right now, with the warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing, conditions are optimal for fast growth.“The hillside has already begun to root, so that’s great news. About 40 percent of our races are run on grass, so this project is obviously a huge priority for us, our customers and horsemen.“We’ve been told that we’d be able to run on it in 45 days, but with the installation completed on time, we’ll have 90 days before we have horses competing on it. We’re excited about opening day on Sept. 30 and we’re looking forward to welcoming the best horses in the world here for the Breeders’ Cup in November (4 and 5).”Santa Anita’s current 40-day Spring Meet, which began May 5, will conclude a week from Sunday, July 10. -30-
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2017)–With the inner rail set at 30 feet, Place des Vosges took command a quarter mile from home en route to a one length win under Corey Nakatani in Friday’s $56,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita. Based in the Midwest throughout 2016, she made her third start for trainer Richard Baltas and got a mile and a quarter over a firm turf in 2:00.65.Off at 7-2 in a field of nine older fillies and mares, Place des Vosges, who was adding blinkers after two races without them, paid $9.80, $4.60 and $4.00.“It took a while getting here, but she ran good today,” said Nakatani, who has been aboard the 5-year-old Pleasantly Perfect mare in all three of her Southern California starts. “We took blinkers off, we put ’em on, we tried the mud one time, but Richard and his team have done a great job getting her to this point. I just decided to be patient and let her tell me when and it worked out.”Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Place des Vosges, who sat a close second throughout behind Sweet Dragon Fly into the far turn, improved her overall mark to 22-3-6-3. With the winner’s share of $33,600, she increased her earnings to $172,464.Ridden by Brice Blanc, English-bred Radiantly was far back early and rallied resolutely through the drive to finish second, a half-length in front of Sweet Dragon Fly. Off at 5-1, Radiantly paid $6.60 and $4.60.Off at 23-1 with Joe Talamo, English-bred Sweet Dragon Fly just held third by a nose over Lucy De and paid $9.80 to show.Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, 6-5 favorite Lady Pamela loomed menacingly around the far turn but faltered badly the final three sixteenths to finish seventh.Fractions on the race were 23.75, 48.51, 1:12.84 and 1:36.79.
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2017)–Sharp recent winners Skye Diamonds, Roo’s Valentine and Cuddle Alert all figure prominently in Sunday’s $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes at Santa Anita as a competitive field of 10 older fillies and mares are set to compete at one mile on the main track.Although both Skye Diamonds and Cuddle Alert have ascended the claiming ladder to compete in stakes company, Roo’s Valentine was a stakes winner versus statebreds late in her 2-year-old year and comes off a sharp recent allowance score. SKYE DIAMONDS: Claimed five starts back by trainer Bill Spawr for $40,000 on Aug. 27 at Del Mar, this 4-year-old filly by First Dude has now won two allowance races in row and is three for four since the purchase. A winner going 6 ½ furlongs over a sloppy track two starts back on Jan. 7, she ran the best race of her career on Feb. 16, taking a six furlong second condition allowance here by 5 ¾ lengths. Although she tried a mile on turf in her third career start, the Dream of Summer will mark her first try around two turns on dirt. Owned by Allen Racing, LLC, Bloom Racing Stable, LLC or Acker, Skye Diamonds is 12-6-3-0 overall with earnings of $249,150. THE $100,000 DREAM OF SUMMER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 9 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT CUDDLE ALERT: Guided to a head victory in the six furlong Spring Fever Handicap on Feb. 19 by Agapito Delgadillo, who was subsequently discovered to have been suffering from a broken collarbone, this 6-year-old Bedford Falls mare will be ridden for the first time by upstart Israel Ocampo on Sunday. Trained by Reed Saldana, Cuddle Alert was claimed for just $10,000 eight starts back on Aug. 17 and has now won three out of her last five races–all at sprint distances. Based with Saldana at Los Alamitos, she has two wins from seven tries at a flat mile. Owned by Reed Saldana and Leopoldo Urbina, Cuddle Alert is 21-6-1-7 overall with earnings of $229,000. Top Notch–Edwin Maldonado–120Skye Diamonds–Tiago Pereira–120Time for Ebby–Stewart Elliott–120Ashley’s Sassy–Jamie Theriot–120Run for Retts–Tyler Baze–120Roo’s Valentine–Martin Pedroza–120Mizzen Glory–Chantal Sutherland–120Sheer Pleasure–Kent Desormeaux–120Dressed to a T–Corey Nakatani–120Cuddle Alert–Israel Ocampo–120First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. ROO’S VALENTINE: Scratched out of last Sunday’s Irish O’Brien Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, she comes off a solid half length win down the hill on Feb. 10. Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Roo’s Valentine has solid main track credentials as well as she eyes Sunday’s Dream of Summer, having two wins and a second from four tries at a mile on dirt. Owned by Kretz Racing, LLC, this 4-year-old filly will again get the services of Martin Pedroza, who’s guided her to all four of her wins from 13 lifetime starts. With an overall mark of 13-4-2-4, she has earnings of $255,555.
Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week – Ajah Criner, Central Arkansas – So. – Stephens, Ark.Criner took three first-place finishes at the UCA Spring Opener, winning the 100m (12.23), 200m (25.06) and 4x100m (47.76). Honorable Mention: Alex Eykelbosch, McNeese; Sprint Medley, Northwestern State; Sophie Daigle, Southeastern Louisiana. Honorable Mention: Alanna Arive, McNeese; Jakiriya Hunter, Northwestern State; Hannah Noble, Central Arkansas. FRISCO, Texas – Central Arkansas sophomore Ajah Criner and Southeastern Louisiana junior Alexia Stein are the Southland Conference Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. Southland Athletes of the Week are presented by UniversalCoin.com. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots. UCA next heads to Memphis, Tenn., this weekend for the Rhodes College Invitational while Southeastern travels to UL Lafayette’s Louisiana Classics. Both competitions take place Friday and Saturday. Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week – Alexia Stein, Southeastern Louisiana – Jr. – Baldwin City, Kan.Stein captured gold in the discus with a school-record throw of 160-02.00 inches at McNeese’s Cowboy Relays. That mark leads the Southland by 11 feet this season. She was also 11th in the hammer throw with a distance of 141-00.0.