07/13/2012 3:21PM

Santa Anita renames former Oak Tree stakes


More than a dozen stakes races at Santa Anita’s fall meeting have had their names changed, Santa Anita announced on Friday, a reflection of the fact that longtime lessee Oak Tree is out, and the Stronach Group is in.

Races named in honor of respected Oak Tree founders such as Clement Hirsch, Lou Rowan, and Harold Ramser have been changed to, respectively, the John Henry Turf Championship, L.A. Woman Stakes, and Autumn Miss Stakes.

The new names are a curious mix, some acknowledging the history of the sport in Southern California, others seemingly whimsical.

The Grade 1 Lady’s Secret has been changed to the Zenyatta, something that was going to be done two years ago, before Zenyatta came back for an encore performance in 2010 following her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in 2009. The Grade 1 Goodwood has been renamed the Awesome Again, in honor of the Frank Stronach-owned runner who was a BC Classic winner.

The Ancient Title, a Grade 1 for sprinters and named for a Hall of Fame horse who was one of the best California-breds of all time, is now the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

The Oak Tree Mile is now the Arroyo Seco Mile, and the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon is the Rodeo Drive. Because of the ouster of Oak Tree from Santa Anita, Del Mar this year renamed the Palomar the Yellow Ribbon. Del Mar has had its own Clement Hirsch Stakes since 2000.

The Chandelier, the new name for the Grade 1 Oak Leaf, and the FrontRunner, the new name for the Grade 1 Norfolk, are named in honor of popular areas of Santa Anita.

There’s a fair share of playfulness. In addition to the Rowan being changed to the name of a song by the Doors, races named the Zuma Beach and the Surfer Girl have been added to the lineup. And the Jack Goodman is now known as the Tim Conway.

The meet begins on Sept. 28 with the Eddie D. Stakes, named for Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye. It replaces the Morvich Stakes. The meet closes on Nov. 4 with the Goldikova Stakes, which replaces the Las Palmas. The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3. Closing weekend also includes the Twilight Derby, the new name for the Oak Tree Derby.

  Renamed Santa Anita Stakes  
Former name New name Race date
Morvich Eddie D. Stakes Sept. 28
Norfolk FrontRunner Stakes Sept. 29
Goodwood Awesome Again Stakes Sept. 29
Yellow Ribbon Rodeo Drive Stakes Sept. 29
Lady's Secret Zenyatta Stakes Sept. 29
Oak Leaf Chandelier Stakes Sept. 29
Clement Hirsch John Henry Turf Championship Sept. 30
Oak Tree Mile Arroyo Seco Mile Oct. 6
Ancient Title Santa Anita Sprint Championship Oct. 6
Jack Goodman Tim Conway Stakes Oct. 6
louis Rowan L.A. Woman Stakes Oct. 7
Cal Cup Classic Lava Man Cal Cup Classic Oct. 13
Harold Ramser sr. Autumn Miss Stakes Oct. 27
Oak Tree Derby Twilight Derby Nov. 2
Las Palmas Goldikova Stakes Nov. 4


Bob Fasching More than 1 year ago
Talk about cheapening what should be the classiest horse racing facility in the country. This new guy and Stronach are nuts.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Some of these names aren't memorable. Some of them are cool, but replacing the iconic names with BS Frontrunner stakes, Arroyo Seco? Twilight Derby? Tim Conway? CHANDELIER?? WTF is this. I do like the Goldikova, but replacing a staple like the Goodwood to Awesome Again, I'll miss the Ancient Title, it just clicks in your mind when reading the form that the name represents a top class sprint race. The SA Sprint Championship so so They could've done better with the replacement names like' Instead of the goodwood they should call it the Lack of Talent Hcp. Lets see the Cal cup should be called the IHA best buddy classic. The Front runner will look dumb if a closer wins the race, so lets change that to the Bob Baffert stakes. Change the Tim Conway to the discontinued sitcom stakes. and top it all off by changing the Oak Tree Mile to the Sucky name Mile. There ya go thats a little improvement.
Marilyn More than 1 year ago
Rodeo Drive, Arroyo Seco, Tim Conway, L.A. Woman ?? Where is it written that stakes should be named for racing icons (equine or human)? This could be fun! Maybe Stronach could have a renaming contest for horse racing throughout the U.S. and not limit it to stakes. Let's see, Santa Anita could remain SA but it would be Stronach Arena...the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (already renamed from BC Distaff) could be the BC Michelle Obama Classic...but then we would have to rename the BC Classic too. Hmm!
John More than 1 year ago
Why dont we begin a boycott unless the names are left alone ! This hoodlum needs to be taken out behind the barn and beaten to a pulp ! Lets hurt him where it counts, try your best to limit your Santa Anita play, reduce your bets or play the eastern tracks........lets do it ! Ancient Title deserved much much better than being swept away like this !
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
I don't think putting another peg in the coffin of horse racing is the way to go. I am happy when a race track makes money. Actually last Winter Spring opening day was pretty darn good.
John More than 1 year ago
IDIOTS ! And they wonder why we are losing interest ! A prime example of bad management making bad decisons. How about making something right for us the players Stronich, try lowering the takeout you freaking tight wad !
Greg Fasching More than 1 year ago
How dumb
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Stronach has been doing this for sometime. He's done it at the winter SA meet too and SA had *Ancient Title* to those names !! San Gorgonio, Santa Catalina, etc. Stronach's lackies don't understand racing has traditions. They don't have a clue who Lucky Baldwin is . They have no clue what Rancho Santa Anita was. They don't know that horses bred on that ground won the American Derby (the most prestigous & lucrative Derby in the country in those days) several times. They don't care about Rey El Santa Anita beating unbeaten Domino * The Black Whirlwind* by 10 lengths .Yep. Or Emperor of Norfolk or Norfolk himself. Heck I think they already scrapped The Volante ! Don't let him get a hold on Del Mar . He'll rename the Bing Crosby the Lawrence Welk !
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to Lava Man and his connections on the renaming of the Cal Cup Classic to the Lava Man Cal Cup Classic. A well deserved honor for LM. Not only is he a great millionaire champion horse, but an awesome 'Assistant Coach'. Lava Man is fabulous. Congrats, again.
Andy More than 1 year ago
Surprised Stronach didn't name a race after himself.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
The Jockey Club doesn't allow foul language ;-) stronach has now been accepted in the dictionary as a generic cuss word with unlimited applications all connotating ineptitude. i.e That stronaching son of a stronach sure made a stronach hole of himself by stronaching up the names of the stakes. :-)
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
shuuuuuh! Not too loud now, or he may hear us! Might name a race after his entire family. The Santa Anita Derby becomes the Stone Arch Derby. What the heck Shea Stadium is now Citi Stadium. They sold out in baseball naming stadiums after corporate America. Maybe horse racing will follow suit. They can get money from anyone who wants a race named after them. Maybe if I ever hit a pick 6 I can buy myself a race at Santa Anita. Let's say thirty grad for a Pat Doyle sprint.
Raymond Tucker More than 1 year ago
They rename an entire racetrack for a foreign gambling interest (Betfair Hollywood Park); why should this bother anyone? I mean, why not just come out with 'The Frank Stronach Maiden Claiming Extravaganza' for the 2nd race on a Thursday?
Marilyn More than 1 year ago
Don't knock BHP. If Betfair has an interest in Hollywood Park it just might save it from becoming another pile of rubble like Bay Meadows.