Nik Newman registered his first multiple point game of the season to help the Nelson Leafs snap a two-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Spokane Braves in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night in the Lilac City.The two teams meet Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the NDCC Arena in the second half of the home-and-home Murdoch Division series.Newman, from Saugus, California, scored once and added two assists as the Leafs exploded for three goals in the first period past Spokane netminder Branden Amatto — including two markers in an 18-second span.The final 33 seconds was a wild time the teams combined for three goals, two by the Leafs James Sorriey and Newman and the final tally by Dylan Solberg of the Braves with six seconds remaining in the frame.Nelson then rode the hot goaltending of rookie Patrick Defoe who won his first game in the Green and White by stopping 32 of 24 shots. Spokane made a push in the third out shooting the Leafs 12-6.Leaf defenceman Riley Henderson scored his first goal of the season on the power play early in the third to give Nelson a two-goal cushion.Max Mois of Prince George opened the scoring for Nelson before Thomas McNevin replied for the Braves.Nelson, 2-1-0-1, pulls to within a point of Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Murdoch standings. Castlegar, thumping Grand Forks 9-2 Friday thanks to a five-point outburst from Anthony Delong, is third one point behind Nelson while Spokane, 1-4-0-0, is fourth. Grand Forks is winless in three email@example.com
There were plenty of big names at the 2014 Nelson Open Cashspiel — names like Horning, McHargue, Nerpin and Thomson.But in the end it was Myron Nichol of Castlegar coming away as the big winner at the $10,000 2014 Nelson Open Cashspiel Sunday at the Nelson Curling Club.Nichol, third Barry Marsh and second Garry Beaudry, both of Nelson and lead Rob Babiarz edged out Ken McHargue of Sparwood 6-2 in six ends for the top prize to claim the $1,800 first prize.McHargue took home $1,500 for second place with the Andrew Nerpin rink of Kelowna taking home the $1,250 third prize.”It was a very successful weekend,” said Cashspiel draw master Nando Salviulo. “A lot of the out-of-town teams said they liked the format where 15 of the 16 teams won prize money,” Salviulo added.”Ten of the 16 teams at least got their entry fee back which is pretty good for a local bonspiel.”Most of the prize money was due to the tremendous support received from local businesses.Doug Bothamely of Riondel finished fourth with the Fred Thomson rink of Nelson winning $700 in the B-Consolation event.The Thomson rink, consisting of third Roger May, second Brent Pihowich and lead Brad Hartridge, lost out in the A semi final to McHargue on the last rock. Other Nelson based rinks were Nando Salviulo — third Dave Parker, second Bud Edgar and lead Tim Chale — placing ninth while the Jill Winters ladies rink coming in tenth.Winters foursome consisted of third Kristina Little, second Marlo Tedesco and lead Marcie Stefiuk.The Cashspiel, which was run for many years as the Nelson Merchants Cashspiel, is a prelude to the upcoming Kootenay Men’s zones hosted by the Heritage City club December 5-7.The men’s zones could qualify as many as two teams depending on the entry list for the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s provincial playdowns February 3-8 in Vernon.
Jerry Hollendorfer69719910%$626,688 Tyler Baze21532343215%$1,818,940 Flavien Prat15624291715%$1,448,072 FANS EAGER TO SEE TRIPLE CROWN KING TOMORROWSTREAKING CATCH A FLIGHT SET FOR GRADE I GOLD CUPSAN ONOFRE SEEKS TO MAKE AMENDS IN TRIPLE BENDSTORMY LUCY SHARP FOR RETURN IN ROYAL HEROINE PRIZE EXHIBIT RETURNS HOME FOR GRADE III SENORITA -30- Rafael Bejarano17943313024%$2,015,396 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Eddie Truman2172433%$287,208 Peter Miller8720181123%$791,124 Mike Smith481010621%$793,816 Gary Stevens3183626%$681,118 STREAKING CATCH A FLIGHT SHARP FOR GOLD CUPRising handicap star Catch a Flight will seek his third straight stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles.With speedsters Moreno and Big Cazanova entered, Catch a Flight should have a favorable pace scenario, although Richard Mandella wasn’t about to spill any pre-race strategy.“He can make the pace if need be,” Mandella said of the 5-year-old Argentine-bred horse, winner of nine races from 15 starts. “In Brazil (where he won six of 10), he ran on the lead all the time.“But since he’s been here, I like that he settles and runs like a professional. I think that’s been helping him develop, so we’re anxious and excited to try the Gold Cup.”The second automatic berth into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is on the line in the Gold Cup, which will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 5 p.m.The Gold Cup is the third of 10 programs in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge: Win and You’re In Series,” all leading to the 32nd Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. Oct. 30-31 on NBC and NBCSN.NBCSN’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Saturday features host Laffit Pincay, III; analysts Randy Moss, Hall of Fame jockey and five-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Jerry Bailey; and reporter Nick Luck. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier serves as handicapper.The Gold Cup is the second of five televised Breeders’ Cup Classic-qualifying races in the series for potential challengers to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The first “Win and You’re In” qualifier of 2015 was Noble Bird, who won the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 15.All fans attending on-track will get an officially licensed “American Pharoah Triple Crown Champion” T-shirt free with paid admission and Santa Anita Thoroughbreds Club membership. (Thoroughbreds Club signups will be available free at all T-shirt distribution locations).First post time Saturday and closing day Sunday, June 28, will be 1 p.m.The field for the Gold Cup, race nine of 10: Batti Man, Fernando Perez, 30-1; Hard Aces, Victor Espinoza, 12-1; Poshsky, Flavien Prat, 30-1; Motown Men, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Majestic City, C.C. Lopez, 12-1; Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia, 7-2; Big Cazanova, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Moreno, Cornelio Velasquez, 7-2; Catch a Flight, Gary Stevens, 5-2; Lideris, Joe Talamo, 50-1; and Finnegans Wake, Mike Smith, 6-1. Edwin Maldonado9510141511%$441,130 FINISH LINES: Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza participated in a golf tournament at Dana Point Friday morning sponsored by New Era Hats and benefiting Victor’s primary charity, City of Hope. Several retired Los Angeles Dodgers players also participated, according to Espinoza’s agent, Brian Beach. Espinoza will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at tonight’s Padres-Diamondbacks game at Petco Park in San Diego, marking the fifth time this year he’s made a Major League mound appearance. Previous pitches were done for the Angels, Dodgers, Mets and Yankees . . . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Henry Moreno was a welcome sight at Clockers’ Corner Friday morning, visiting from a retirement facility for Senior Citizens in Sierra Madre. The 85-year-old veteran of the Korean War had been confined there since suffering a fall a month ago . . . Deepest condolences to Doug O’Neill and his family on the passing from melanoma of his brother, David, 57, in Honolulu. “He was a big part of our success,” said Dennis O’Neill, himself a cancer survivor. “We’re a very tight family. It’s been a rough week.” Yet another O’Neill brother, Danny, died at 38 of melanoma in 1998 . . . O’Neill held a 21-20 lead over runner-up Peter Miller with three racing days remaining in a battle for training honors that could go down to the wire. O’Neill had horses entered in two races today, while Miller had three. Each has horses entered in four races Saturday and Sunday . . . Neil Drysdale seeks his fifth San Juan Capistrano victory when he sends out Going Somewhere in Santa Anita’s closing-day feature at about 1 ¾ miles on turf Sunday. A 6-year-old Brazilian-bred horse, at even-money on the morning line Going Somewhere looks like the lone speed and could lead his six rivals on a merry chase throughout under Mike Smith . . . Bolo, prepping for the $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational at 1 ¼ miles on turf July 4, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Friday in 1:12.40 for Carla Gaines . . . Jockey David Flores took off his three mounts Friday to be with his ailing mother in Mexico . . . Charles Whittingham winner Ashleyluvssugar runs in the United Nations at Monmouth July 5, trainer Peter Eurton said. Gary Stevens rides. Fernando Perez13324211218%$919,280 BLOOM, BALTAS EYE UPSET WITH MAJESTIC CITYOwner Jeff Bloom of Bloom Racing Stable LLC and trainer Richard Baltas are optimistic about Majestic City’s chances in Saturday’s Gold Cup at Santa Anita.The 6-year-old City Zip horse is one-for-one under Baltas, who sent him out for a front-running two length victory on a sloppy track in the Lone Star Park Handicap May 25.“Jeff gave me the horse to train and we won first out at Lone star,” said Baltas, enjoying a solid Santa Anita Spring Meet with 17 wins, tying him with Phil D’Amato. “The horse is coming up to the race perfect. He’s got speed, but there’s a lot of speed in the race and he’s going to sit off of it. He’ll be up there close.“Moreno is the horse to beat. He’s the only consistent Grade I horse. Catch a Flight fits well, too, and Finnegans Wake has been running on grass. The others are all taking shots.”Added former jockey Bloom: “He’s never been a mile and a quarter, but he’sone of these horses that just grinds it out. The horse doesn’t have that huge burst of acceleration, but he keeps coming after them, so it will be interesting to see.”HEADLEYS HOPE SAN ONOFRE GOES NUCLEARSan Onofre is nothing if not consistent. The 5-year-old Surf Cat gelding has never been worse than second in eight career starts, winning four, but not since Feb. 20 last year.The speedy California-bred bay seeks his first stakes win in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs. Favored in every start but his first, he has finished a gut-wrenching second in his last three races, all stakes, beaten less than a length each time.“I hope our luck changes,” said Karen Headley, who trains the horse bred by her father, trainer Bruce, and owned by her mother, Aase, who campaigns as Matson Racing.“He shouldn’t have gotten beat last time. I’m really proud of how consistent he’s been since bringing him back. He grabbed a quarter after his first race (Dec. 31, 2012) and I didn’t want to get him ready for Del Mar when it still had the Polytrack, so I turned him out in my back yard and let him heal and mature.“I wanted to make sure that when he did come back, he was ready, because this is what we were aiming for. He ran a helluva race last time.”The field for Triple Bend, which goes as race seven: Blue Tone, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; San Onofre, Alex Solis, 3-1; Appealing Tale, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Sahara Sky, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Masochistic, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Wild Dude, Flavien Prat, 9-2; and Holy Lute, Mike Smith, 10-1. Mike Puype66913714%$514,260 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Joseph Talamo15124152816%$1,049,948 Felipe Valdez99815108%$369,240 Victor Espinoza43117826%$774,014 Martin Garcia52971017%$387,730 Richard Baltas63179527%$893,178 Tiago Pereira761214716%$522,920 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Doug O’Neill10221181221%$953,168 Santiago Gonzalez10711161310%$480,024 Mario Gutierrez56105918%$478,608 STORMY LUCY RETURNS IN GRADE II ROYAL HEROINE Stormy Lucy makes her first start in 10 months when she runs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at one mile on turf.Ed Moger Jr. says she’s ready. A longtime presence in California, mainly in the Bay Area, the 59-year trainer said the 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic mare merely needed some R&R after her fourth-place finish in the Grade II Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar last Sept. 1. She won the Grade III Santa Barbara at Santa Anita last April.“She’s a good horse,” Moger said. “She was tired; we had to give her some time off, but she’s training really well.“Right now I’ve got about 50 horses in training. Southern California is a tough circuit, but I do pretty good up north.”The field for the Royal Heroine: Blingismything, Tyler Baze, 4-1; Generosidade, Tiago Pereira, 20-1; Stormy Lucy, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Birdlover, Mike Smith, 4-1; Famous Alice, Gary Stevens, 12-1; Fanticola, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Queen of the Sand, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Alexis Tangier, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; and One More, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1.Supplemental nominee Mangita was scratched.PRIZE EXHIBIT HOPES TO REBOUND IN SENORITAPrize Exhibit ran an even fifth and last throughout in the Penn Oaks at Penn National in Pennsylvania on May 30, disappointing trainer Jim Cassidy, who hopes the English-bred daughter of Showcasing can rebound in Saturday’s Grade III Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.“There was no pace and we got back too far,” Cassidy said of the Grantville (Pa.), gaffe. “She ran pretty good coming to them, but she had too much to do. She’s on the outside Saturday (nine in a field of nine), but she wants to come from out of it anyway.”The field for the Senorita: Rattataptap, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Long Hot Summer, Joe Talamo, 4-1; Lutine Belle, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Curlin’s Fox, Mike Smith, 5-2; Mio Me, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; Screaming Skylar, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Miss Double D’oro, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Avenge, Flavien Prat, 4-1: and Prize Exhibit, Santiago Gonzalez, 5-1. John Sadler7013101219%$843,264 Drayden Van Dyke12416161213%$704,622 Richard Mandella471213426%$892,860 (Current Through Thursday, June 25) Philip D’Amato601710728%$965,550 L.A. ANGELS IMPRESSED WITH AMERICAN PHAROAH American Pharoah has brought racing into the mainstream. Three weeks after hecaptured the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes on June 6, his pictures still appeared in Sports Illustrated’s June 29 editions.Bob Baffert, the most recognizable trainer on the planet with his signature snow white hair, was getting Rock Star treatment in restaurants and fast food joints.And on Saturday, American Pharoah will make an eagerly anticipated public appearance at Santa Anita, his home track, after the seventh race.“There are a lot of fans coming tomorrow,” Baffert said after watching Pharoah gallop at Santa Anita Friday morning. “I went to pick up some dinner last night at an Italian restaurant and there was this older couple there and they were all excited and said they can’t wait to come out tomorrow to see him, so it’s pretty neat.“There were a lot more people watching the Triple Crown than I thought, but you don’t hear about it. I get recognized everywhere I go now, even Chipotle’s.“But I haven’t tried Burger King yet.”A front office entourage from the Los Angeles Angels that also included Angels Vice President of Communications Tim Mead, right-handed pitcher Cam Bedrosian, third baseman Kyle Kubitza and bullpen coach Steve Soliz, visited Pharoah at his barn Friday morning.“It’s pretty cool to get to meet American Pharoah,” Bedrosian said. “How many times do you get the chance to meet the Triple Crown winner? Getting the invitation to come here is pretty incredible. I watched all three races in the Triple Crown. I grew up on a horse farm, so I’ve been around them my whole life you could say, so I like watching racing.“American Pharoah seems huge! He’s a lot bigger than the horses I grew up with. That’s a beautiful horse and they take really good care of him; that you can see.”(Bedrosian, Kubitza, Soliz and company can be found in uniform approximately 40 miles southeast of The Great Race Place at Angel Stadium tonight for a 7:05 p.m. engagement with the Seattle Mariners). Bob Baffert3273622%$349,600
Mike Smith2061430%55%$605,940 Richard Baltas4469514%45%$374,358 CAL-BREDS NOT UNDERESTIMATED BY PETER EURTONAshleyluvssugar has run in a Grade I or a Grade II stakes in nine of his last 10 starts, so it might appear he’s in a softer spot Saturday when he runs in the ungraded $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic presented by City National Bank for California-bred or sired horses.Not so says Peter Eurton, who trains the consistent six-year-old gelded son of Game Plan, winner of eight of 19 career starts, with three seconds, three thirds and earnings of $1,007,504.“We’ll try to get him to run his race from the rail,” Eurton said. “The one hole is the one hole. (Flavien) Prat is a great rider so he’ll do his best to get him into a good position. The horse is doing well.“Even though it’s not a Grade I race, the Cal-breds are good. We never underestimate anybody.”The field for the Turf Classic, which goes as race seven: Ashleyluvssugar, Flavien Part; Ward ‘n Jerry, Stewart Elliott; Ralis, Mario Gutierrez; Temple Keys, Santiago Gonzalez; Cardiac, Corey Nakatani; What a View, Tyler Baze; He Will, Rafael Bejarano; Patriots Rule, Joe Talamo; Tamarando, Martin Garcia; and Poshky, Jamie Theriot.The California Cup Turf Classic is one of five stakes Saturday in the Golden State Series for California-bred or sired horses, offering a total of $1 million in purse money. Norberto Arroyo, Jr.5074214%26%$331,230 TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won FINISH LINES: According to Track Superintendent Dennis Moore, Santa Anita has absorbed a whopping 11.32 inches of rain this month. Although Sunday’s races were cancelled due to extremely wet conditions, Moore has today’s main track in “fast” condition . . . Old warhorse Royal F J, still earning his keep at age 10, makes his 92nd start in today’s eighth race. Trained by Jack Carava, the chestnut Royal Academy gelding comes off a rousing 2 ½ length win at Del Mar on Dec. 3. With an overall record of 91-8-17-14, he’s earned $535,540 . . . Sham Stakes winner. Gormley, mentioned by trainer John Shirreffs as possible for the March 11 San Felipe Stakes, worked five furlongs under Chantal Sutherland in company with Hollywood Strike Gormley went in 1:00.60, while Hollywood Strike got 1:00.80 . . . Play ball! Of the 234 recorded workouts Thursday on Santa Anita’s fast main track (215) and dirt track (19), two were by horses named for diamond Hall of Famers, Catfish Hunter and Pee Wee Reese . . . Santa Anita simulcast host Megan Devine and XBTV.com’s Jeff Siegel will offer their selections at 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens. Tom Quigley hosts. Peter Miller3178423%61%$363,550 (Current Through Saturday, Jan. 21) JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Flavien Prat711771124%49%$908,103 Tyler Baze741610722%45%$542,602 Bob Baffert2653419%46%$398,246 Peter Eurton2163029%43%$186,495 SPECIAL FIRST POST TIME SATURDAY IS 11:45 A.M.In an effort to better accommodate both the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational from Gulfstream and a 10-race Sunshine Millions/California Cup card locally, Santa Anita has moved first post time on Saturday up to 11:45 a.m. Approximate post time for the Pegasus World Cup is at 2:44 p.m. PST.The Pegasus, which features a widely anticipated rematch between all-time North American money-won leader California Chrome and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Arrogate, has generated tremendous interest nationwide and Santa Anita is thus expecting a large crowd for it and its Sunshine Millions/Cal Cup program.Separated by just a half-length in their only meeting, Arrogate prevailed in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here Nov. 5, but it was Chrome who took home his second Eclipse Award Horse of the Year title this past Saturday, in addition to being voted Eclipse Champion Older Dirt Male.A California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit, California Chrome has been trained throughout his amazing career by Art Sherman, 79, who sent him out to win the 2014 Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies. Owned by California Chrome, LLC, he has won 16 of his 26 starts and amassed earnings of $14,502,650.Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Juddmonte Farms, Arrogate followed up on a record-setting 13 ½ length win in the prestigious Grade I Travers Stakes Aug. 27, with his Classic win over Chrome in what was only his sixth career start. He was thus voted Eclipse Champion 3-year-old Male for 2016.For scratches, changes and complete Sunshine Millions/Cal Cup entries and morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. Stewart Elliott5166812%39%$227,560 UNIQUE BELLA IN BULLET DRILL FOR LAS VIRGENESBudding superstar Unique Bella worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday in a bullet 58.20 under exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez for the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on Feb. 5.“It was a very good work,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “We usually don’t work them that fast, but she was doing it all on her own.”Two-time Eclipse champion Songbird, meanwhile, arrived from Kentucky on Monday to prepare for her four-year-old campaign.“She trained Tuesday, Wednesday and today, but she won’t be working (breezing) for at least a month,” Hollendorfer said of the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, who has not raced since absorbing her first loss after 11 straight facile triumphs, to Beholder by a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Nov. 4.The 58.20 clocking, also recorded by the Richard Baltas-trained Lunar Empress, was the fastest of 86 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.24. DESERT STEEL RETURNS TO TURF IN SUNSHINE MILLION TESTDesert Steel returns to the grass Saturday where she has run 11 of her 15 career races. She is coming off a wide third-place finish in a minor stakes over Golden Gate’s synthetic Tapeta surface, but prior to that ran in 11 straight grass races, winning three.The six-year-old gray Desert Code mare bred by Harris Farms runs Saturday in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs.“I think she’s definitely better on turf,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “I don’t think she liked the surface last time, and she ran a good second last time she ran down the hill (in the California Distaff Handicap last Oct. 15) to Enola Gray. She’s the one to beat but my mare is sharp so we’re going to give it a go.”The Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, race two: Desert Steel, Rafael Bejarano; Enola Gray, Tyler Baze; How Unusual, Kent Desormeaux; All That heat, Flavien Prat; Tale of Papa Nick, Drayden Van Dyke; Late ‘n Left, Edwin Maldonado; Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez; Lucy De, Stewart Elliott; and Cuddle Alert, Agapito Delgadillo. ECLIPSE AWARD LANDSLIDE BY SO-CAL HORSESASHLEYLUVSSUGAR READY FOR TURF CLASSIC SPECIAL FIRST POST TIME SATURDAY: 11:45 A.M.DESERT STEEL RETURNS TO TURF VS. CAL-BREDSUNIQUE BELLA FIRES BULLET FOR LAS VIRGENES Drayden Van Dyke5059210%32%$319,441 Martin Pedroza4266614%43%$222,428 SOUTHERN CAL HORSES DOMINATE ECLIPSE AWARDSHeaded by Horse of the Year California Chrome, Southern California-based horses dominated Saturday night’s Eclipse Awards Dinner at Gulfstream Park, as seven horses took home a total of eight Eclipse trophies. Not only did the legendary six-year-old California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit win for the second time in the Horse of the Year category, he was also voted Eclipse Champion Older Dirt Male.“Chrome,” who began his 2016 campaign for trainer Art Sherman with an authoritative victory in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 9, would go on to win six consecutive races, including the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes here on Oct. 1, before running second by a half length to Arrogate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 5.A winner of the 2014 Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies, California Chrome is tentatively scheduled to retire to stud at co-owner Taylor Made Farms in Kentucky following Saturday’s $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream.Bob Baffert’s Santa Anita-based Arrogate, who followed his record-shattering win in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27 with his Breeders’ Cup Classic victory over California Chrome in only his sixth career start, was voted Eclipse Champion 3-year-old Male.Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Arrogate was a perfect three for three at The Great Race Place in 2016, beginning with his maiden special weight win on June 5.In addition to Arrogate, Baffert also tasted Eclipse victory with Drefong, who was voted Eclipse Champion Male Sprinter. Unbeaten in three starts here last year, Drefong capped his championship season with a 1 ¼ length win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 5.“It just goes to show you how tough it is out here in California,” said Baffert. “We work very hard to compete at the top level, win big races and championships . . . that’s always our goal. I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished.”In a masterstroke that has been commonplace throughout his incredible Hall of Fame career, trainer Richard Mandella oversaw Santa Anita-based Beholder’s fifth and final racing campaign, which was culminated by an epic nose victory over previously undefeated Songbird in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 4. That, along with two other graded victories at Santa Anita, enabled the Spendthrift Farm color bearer to be named Eclipse Champion Older Dirt Female, making her a four-time Eclipse Champion.Undefeated in seven starts leading into the Distaff, Santa Anita-based Songbird began 2016 by streaking to four consecutive victories: in the Grade II Las Virgenes on Feb. 6, the Grade III Santa Ysabel on March 5, the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 9 and the Grade II Summertime Oaks on June 18, by a combined 20 ½ lengths.Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Songbird’s nose loss to Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff will no doubt go down as one of the greatest Distaffs of all-time, rivaling the 1989 showdown between Personal Ensign and Winning Colors.In what trainer Ian Kruljac, 28, described as “a once-in-a-lifetime day,” his prized filly, Finest City, won Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes, while Kruljac’s father, Eric, was on hand at Gulfstream to pinch hit for his son and receive Finest City’s Eclipse Award as Champion Female Sprinter.Based throughout the year at Santa Anita, Finest City, a four-year-old filly by City Zip, capped 2016 with a three-quarter length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint here on Nov. 5. Owned by Seltzer Thoroughbreds, Finest City was 8-2-2-2 on the year and amassed annual earnings of $823,200.Like Kruljac, trainer Peter Eurton brought home his first Eclipse Award as well, as his Champagne Room was voted Champion 2-year-old Filly. Based at Santa Anita, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Broken Vow broke her maiden in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes Aug. 6 at Del Mar and culminated her freshman season with an upset win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here Nov. 5. Owned by Ciaglia, Exline-Border, Gulliver Racing, R. Christiansen and Sharon Alesia, Champagne Room has a 5-2-1-1 mark and earnings of $1,286,600.In addition to eight equine Eclipse Awards, Santa Anita-based Baffert and jockey Mike Smith were also finalists in their respective categories.Suffice to say, Santa Anita was The Great Race Place to be in 2016! Jerry Hollendorfer4898819%52%$743,684 Doug O’Neill56691011%45%$382,468 Kent Desormeaux47106621%47%$679,723 Rafael Bejarano55781013%45%$531,953 Philip D’Amato2454521%58%$439,575 J. Keith Desormeaux1762435%71%$368,675 William Spawr1160255%73%$169,341 Luis Contreras43581012%53%$260,539 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS John Sadler1854528%78%$254,234