The remarkable John Henry

Some facts you might not know about John Henry, who will be honored on Santa Anita Handicap Day, March 3:
— He, along with Milwaukee Brew, are the only two-time winners of the Big ‘Cap.
— He won 26 of 39 starts for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, who knew just what made the feisty gelding tick.

— He’s the all-time leading money-winner for a gelding, earning about $6.5 million.
— He’s 31 today and will celebrate his 32nd birthday at the Kentucky Horse Park on March 9.
— Not only did he win the Big ‘Cap twice, but he also won the Arlington Million twice and finished second another time.

In order to figure a horse’s age in human years, you take its age, multiply by three and add eight. That means that on March 9, the amazing John Henry will be 104 years old. They say most hores live to be 15-20, that few live to be 25 and even fewer are alive at 30. It would figure that John Henry, who was sold for $1,100 as a yearling, would buck the odds.

Potts goes wild

Nice day today for jockey Clinton Potts, who won the first and paid $6.80 and then took the third at $27 and the fifth at $39.60 for trainer Mike Mitchell. Anybody who was betting Potts today will eat well tonight.

Fifth on Friday at Santa Anita

Take a look at Cousin Joe in the fifth race at Santa Anita on Friday … good trainer in Martin Jones, good turf rider in Jose Valdivia Jr. and he raced wide last out. He should be closing down the hill today and could pick them all up in the lane. He’s a healthy 10-1 on the morning line and, at those odds, I’d play him across the board.

No horse will ever duplicate this powerful victory

I was in shock. I was a BIG fan of Sham and my best friend was a BIG Secretariat fan. I was shattered that June afternoon in 1973, but I have to admit … to this day, it is still the most dominating victory I have ever seen by a horse. Anybody out there know of any other that was MORE impressive?

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Watch Invasor’s Donn victory

Yes, Invasor is an impressive race horse. Here’s a replay of his victory in this month’s Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Pay particular attention to him (No. 1 horse) at the top of the stretch, when he has to check sharply and then re-rallies to win for fun.

Notional impressive in Risen Star

Notional, four-length winner of the Grade II San Rafael at Santa Anita on Jan. 13, won the $300,000 Grade III Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds in Louisiana on Saturday, stamping the In Excess colt as a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender. The heavy 2-5 favorite, Circular Quay, finished fifth, but you can toss out the effort. Jockey John Velazquez had to steady the son of Thunder Gulch sharply at the head of the stretch after an incident and he lost all chance. He was running on strongly at the end.
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Stute filly seeks big score

Quick Little Miss, trained by Glendora resident Mel Stute, will shoot for the first Grade I win of her career Saturday when she goes in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Quick Little Miss, a $40,000 purchase, has earned $288,080. She is co-owned by Stute’s wife, Annabelle, and The Hat Ranch.
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