11/13/2015 12:16PM

Santa Anita: Santa Margarita gets $100K boost

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Barbara D. Livingston
The $500,000 Santa Margarita on March 19 is a logical early season target for Beholder.

A boost in the purse of the Santa Margarita Stakes and the return of the San Juan Capistrano to its former April position are a couple of the tweaks made to the power-packed stakes schedule at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which features eight Grade 1 races and runs from Dec. 26 through April 10.

The Grade 1 Santa Margarita, for older females on March 19, is now worth $500,000, up $100,000 from a year ago. The Santa Margarita could be a first-quarter target in 2016 for Beholder, who is remaining in training for next year and could be a three-time Eclipse Award winner by then. She already has two titles and is the favorite to be named champion older female for 2015.

The San Juan Capistrano, which runs the entire scope of Santa Anita’s hillside and infield turf course at about 1 3/4 miles, was moved to June for its past two runnings but will be run April 10 next year, owing in part to a change in the Southern California racing schedule for 2016.

After Hollywood Park closed in 2013, Santa Anita effectively ran straight through from the end of December until June in both 2014 and 2015, and the San Juan Capistrano was run at the end of a six-month haul. In 2016, however, Santa Anita will run its traditional main meeting through April 10, yield to Los Alamitos for three weeks, then return for a meeting from May 5 through July 10 prior to the start of Del Mar’s traditional summer season. So, the San Juan Capistrano has returned to April, where it had been for decades.

The meeting at Santa Anita begins Dec. 26 with a pair of Grade 1, seven-furlong races for 3-year-olds: the Malibu and the La Brea, which is for fillies.

The biggest and richest races of the meet are the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap for older horses on March 12 and the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. In two of the last four years, the Kentucky Derby winner – I’ll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome in 2014 – won the Santa Anita Derby, and in 2015, Santa Anita-based 3-year-olds American Pharoah, Firing Line, and Dortmund took the first three spots in the Kentucky Derby.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen

2015-16 winter-spring stakes schedule

DATE RACE CONDITIONS DISTANCE PURSE
Sat., Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (Grade I) 3 YO 7 F $300,000
Sat., Dec. 26 Mathis Brothers Mile (Grade II) 3 YO 1 M (T) $200,000
Sat., Dec. 26 La Brea Stakes (Grade I) F, 3 YO 7 F $300,000
Sat., Dec. 26 Daytona Stakes (Grade III) 3 & UP abt 6 1/2 F (T) $100,000
Sun., Dec. 27 Robert J. Frankel Stakes (Grade III) F/M, 3 & UP 1 1/8 M (T) $100,000
Sat., Jan. 2 Midnight Lute Stakes (Grade III) 4 & UP 6 1/2 F $100,000
Sat., Jan. 2 Santa Ynez Stakes (Grade II) F, 3 YO 6 1/2 F $200,000
Sat., Jan. 2 San Gabriel Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 1/8 M (T) $200,000
Sun., Jan. 3 Monrovia Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP abt 6 1/2 F (T) $200,000
Sat., Jan. 9 San Pasqual Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 1/16 M $200,000
Sat., Jan. 9 Sham Stakes (Grade III) 3 YO 1 M $100,000
Sat., Jan. 16 La Canada Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP 1 1/16 M $200,000
Sat., Jan. 23 Santa Monica Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP 7 F $200,000
Sat., Jan. 30 California Cup Derby 3 YO (CA) 1 1/16 M $250,000
Sat., Jan. 30 California Cup Oaks F, 3 YO (CA) 1 M (T) $200,000
Sat., Jan. 30 Sunshine Millions F/M Turf Sprint F & M, 4 & UP (CA) abt 6 1/2 F (T) $150,000
Sat., Jan. 30 California Cup Sprint 4 & UP (CA ) 6 F $150,000
Sat., Jan. 30 California Cup Turf Classic 4 & UP (CA) 1 1/8 M (T) $250,000
Sat., Feb. 6 Las Virgenes Stakes (Grade I) F, 3 YO 1 M $300,000
Sat., Feb. 6 San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 1/8 M $500,000
Sat., Feb. 6 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Grade III) 3 YO 1 1/16 M $150,000
Sat., Feb., 6 San Marcos Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 1/4 M (T) $200,000
Sun., Feb. 7 Palos Verdes Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 6 F $200,000
Sat., Feb. 13 Arcadia Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 M (T) $200,000
Sat., Feb. 13 Santa Maria Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP 1 1/16 M $200,000
Mon., Feb. 15 San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) 3 YO 7 F $200,000
Sat., Feb. 20 Buena Vista Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP 1 M (T) $200,000
Sat., Feb. 27 Sensational Star Stakes 4 & UP (CA) abt 6.5 (T) $100,000
Sat., Mar. 5 Santa Ysabel Stakes (Grade III) F, 3 YO 1 1/16 M $100,000
Sat., Mar. 12 San Carlos Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 7 F $300,000
Sat., Mar. 12 Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I) 4 & UP 1 1/4 M $1,000,000
Sat., Mar. 12 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (Grade I) 4 & UP 1 M (T) $400,000
Sat., Mar. 12 San Felipe Stakes (Grade II) 3 YO 1 1/16 M $400,000
Sun., Mar. 13 San Luis Rey Stakes (Grade II) 4 & UP 1 1/2 M (T) $200,000
Sat., Mar. 19 Santa Margarita Stakes (Grade I) F/M, 4 & UP 1 1/8 M $500,000
Sat., Mar. 19 Irish O'Brien Stakes F/M, 4 & UP (CA) abt 6 1/2 F (T) $100,000
Sun., Mar. 20 Las Flores Stakes (Grade III) F/M, 4 & UP 6 F $100,000
Sat., Mar. 26 Santa Ana Stakes (Grade II) F/M, 4 & UP 1 1/8 M (T) $200,000
Sun., Mar. 27 Dream of Summer Stakes F/M, 4 & UP (CA) 1 M $100,000
Sat., Apr. 2 San Simeon Stakes (Grade III) 4 & UP abt 6 1/2 F (T) $100,000
Sun., Apr. 3 Tokyo City Cup (Grade III) 4 & UP 1 1/2 M $100,000
Sat., Apr. 9 Echo Eddie Stakes 3 YO (CA ) 6 1/2 F $200,000
Sat., Apr. 9 Evening Jewel Stakes F, 3 YO (CA) 6 1/2 F $200,000
Sat., Apr. 9 Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I) F, 3 YO 1 1/16 M $400,000
Sat., Apr. 9 Santa Anita Derby (Grade I) 3 YO 1 1/8 M $1,000,000
Sat., Apr. 9 Providencia Stakes (Grade III) F, 3 YO 1 1/8 M (T) $150,000
Sun., Apr. 10 Las Cienegas Stakes (Grade III) F/M, 4 & UP abt 6 1/2 F (T) $100,000
Sun., Apr. 10 San Juan Capistrano Stakes (Grade III) 4 & UP abt 1 3/4 M (T) $100,000