Sensational Stars Saturday

Saturday, February 27th at Santa Anita Park was a quiet day of racing, with only one stakes on the card of nine races.


CarrieBarkerHeadshot

Carrie Lynn Barker


Everyone was surprised to see Art Sherman personally watching over three-year-old Steely Jack as he prepared for his debut in the Third. The Art Sherman-trained California Chrome won a prep race Thursday in Dubai as he gets ready for the 2016 World Cup, a race he lost last year to Prince Bishop, which was on everyone’s minds as they shouted congrats to Art in the paddock. Steely Jack and Edwin Maldonado placed a well-beaten fourth though, after not breaking alertly from the gate.


Indavidualist and Martin Pedroza

Indavidualist and Martin Pedroza


Indavidualist with jockey Martin Pedroza picked up the win over Storm the Shore and Fernando Perez.

There was no surprise in the Fourth when Adair swept the field under jockey, Edwin Maldonado. Adair looked like a star as he drew away, breaking his maiden in his Fourth start as a four-year-old. Thisonesforlou bobbled at the start and lost ride, Iggy Puglisi. The spill appeared quite dramatic and Iggy was removed from his next mount for the day but no word was given on whether he was injured. Thisonesforlou ran behind the pack and was caught by outrider Jesus Camacho and his horse, Justin. I provided Justin with his favorite treat, a peppermint, after the incident, for a job well done.


Boozer and Gary Stevens win Sensational Star

Boozer and Gary Stevens win Sensational Star


The Sixth race was the one and only stakes, the 20th running of the Sensational Star. Betters and horsemen alike firmly expressed their belief that Forest Chatter would run away with the show, but it was Boozer and jockey Gary Stevens who nipped Richard’s Boy and jockey Flavien Prat at the wire. Favorite Forest Chatter, under Mike Smith, held on for third.


Trainer Art Sherman

Trainer Art Sherman


But the real star of the day was seen at Santa Anita’s sister Florida track Gulfstream Park where the undefeated Mohaymen completely dominated the field in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, which rocketed him to the top of the leaderboard, points wise, in the road to the Kentucky Derby. Mohaymen is five-for-five in lifetime starts, and fans are looking forward to a possible matchup between him and California favorite, Nyquist, in the Florida Derby on April 2nd. That race would put East vs. West to the test, the winner of which would be the most likely favorite in the Derby on the first Saturday in May. Everything is ‘we’ll see’ at this point but definitely something to look forward to.


Kisses for Forever Darling

Kisses for Forever Darling


Watching horses run, the movement of their bodies, the tone of their muscles and bone structure, and the way they at times seem to fly, are all my reasons for photographing them so often. However, the love shown to horses by the people around them is also a reason to shoot. Nobody showed it better than Forever Darling’s handler, as they worked in the paddock area. He hugged her and gave her kisses on the nose all while I snapped photos. Though I was not able to get his name, I thank him for the moments I was able to capture.

— By Carrie Lynn Barker, who shares her thoughts, observations and photos of the horse-related activities from her near-weekly visits to Santa Anita Park on Saturdays during racing season (all photos by Carrie). Carrie is a photographer who lives in Monrovia with her screenwriter husband Brandon and is Chief Member Concierge at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce. Carrie has written seven stories published as ebooks and has produced several films. She has also been Operation Manager of Barfly Staff Monitoring Services since 2010.

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