Horse racing notes: 102 horses entered for Santa Anita’s opening day


(Final standings)


Ramon Vazquez / 10

Armando Aguilar / 7

Juan Hernandez / 6

Kyle Frey / 4

Flavien Prat / 4


Milton Pineda / 5

Five tied / 3



• $300,000 Grade I Malibu Stakes, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs

• $300,000 Grade I La Brea Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs

• $300,000 Grade I American Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/4 miles (turf)

• $200,000 Grade II San Antonio Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles

• $200,000 Grade II San Gabriel Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)

• $200,000 Grade II Mathis Mile, 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turf)


• In addition to its regular wagering menu, Santa Anita will offer a third Pick 4 on Monday’s opening day and guarantee a $1 million payout to a single winning ticket in the Rainbow Pick 6. Six graded stakes, including three Grade I events, will be run on the first day of the 48-day Classic Meet. First post for an 11-race card is 11 a.m. The extra Pick 4 will cover races five through eight. Santa Anita will continue to offer a North American-low takeout of 15.43% on all win, place and show bets.

• Philip D’Amato will be aiming for his third consecutive training title at Santa Anita this winter. He’ll be busy on opening day, running horses in four of the six graded stakes and 11 overall. Last year, the 46-year-old D’Amato won a track-record 63 races to win the trainers title, 23 more than runner-up Doug O’Neill. D’Amato has entered Rhea Moon, School Dance and Oakhurst in the Grade I American Oaks, Ain’t Easy in the Grade I La Brea Stakes, Prince Abama and Masteroffoxhounds in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes and Balnikhov and Agatino in the Grade II Mathis Mile.

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• Santa Anita’s director of racing, Chris Merz, is excited by the opening-day field sizes. A total of 102 horses were entered, an average of 8.9 per race. “We really are pleased with how the opening-day card came out,” Merz told Victor Ryan of Santa Anita publicity. “We want to thank all the stakeholders, the owners and trainers, for their support. Everybody showed up. Opening day is the biggest day of the meet and we get to put on a great show for everybody the day after Christmas.”

— Art Wilson

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