Some interesting tidbits regarding the previous 69 runnings of the Santa Anita Handicap, which will be run again Saturday in front of what could be more than last year’s crowd of 49,000 if the weather is good.
– Trainer Charlie Whittingham won a record nine Big ‘Caps, the final one in 1993 with Sir Beaufort.
– Bill Shoemaker won 11, the most by a jockey. Laffit Pincay is next with five.
– No filly or mare has won the race, though 41 have tried. Island Fashion finished second to Southern Image in 2004 and ninth the following year.
– The largest Big ‘Cap crowd was 85,527 in 1985 when Lord At War won.
– The last foreign-bred winner was the Chilean-bred Malek in 1998.
– Favorites have won the race 36 percent of the time.
– Eleven geldings have won the Big ‘Cap. The two morning-line favorites this year, Lava Man and Arson Squad, are both geldings.
– The most popular post position has been No. 3. Eleven of the previous 69 runnings have been won by the horse breaking from the third post position. This year, the Richard Mandella-trained Boboman will break from the No. 3 post.
– Martial Law was the last horse to be supplemented to the race and win. The Julio Canani-trained colt turned the trick in 1989 at odds of 50-1. Ten have tried and failed since, but none since 1996.
– Bobby Brocato won by a record six lengths in 1956. Seven horses have won by a nose, the most recent being Broad Brush in 1987.
– Affirmed, in 1979, ran the 1 1/4 miles in a record 1:58 3/5.
– Bay View returned a record $118.40 in 1941.
– Herat, in 1986, went postward at 157-1 and finished second, returning $80 — still the race record for a place payoff. He also returned a record $18.60 to show.