07/13/2012 2:21PM

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