1982 Santa Anita Handicap. John Henry vs. Perrault. Shoemaker vs. Pincay. This race had it all, including a controversial disqualification that had some crying foul.
If you’re looking for a couple of horses to single in your Pick Six at Santa Anita today, take a look at Corage in the fourth and Silver Z in the finale.
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.
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.
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.
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.