03/26/2009 11:00PM

Two Cal-bred stakes winners retired


Christiana's Heat and Lucky J.H., California-breds who won stakes on the hillside turf course earlier at the Santa Anita meeting, have been retired after sustaining injuries.

Lucky J.H., the winner of 8 of 20 starts and $632,065, recently suffered a suspensory injury, according to trainer Carla Gaines. The injury was detected a few days after Lucky J.H. worked five furlongs in 59 seconds at Santa Anita on March 20. Lucky J.H. was being prepared for a start in Sunday's $125,000 Sensational Star Handicap for statebreds when the injury was diagnosed.

"He's never had any ligament problems," she said. "He's had some feet problems."

Owned by breeder John Harris, Lucky J.H. won four stakes, beginning with the Tiznow Stakes and Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2006. Last year, he won the Sensational Star Handicap in April and the Impressive Luck Handicap here in December. Both of those races were over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

By Cee's Tizzy, Lucky J.H. made only four starts in 2008, a season plagued by quarter cracks. This year, he made two starts, finishing 12th in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf and fifth in the Crystal Water Handicap.

Christiana's Heat ended her career as a winner. Shortly after a victory in the Irish O'Brien Stakes on March 15, she was diagnosed with swelling in a leg, trainer Steve Knapp said.

"She came out of the race with a little filling," he said. "Four days later, we X-rayed it. She'd hurt a sesamoid. It was time to retire her."

Knapp estimated that Christiana's Heat would have needed at least six months off before resuming training, meaning she would not have started until late this year at the earliest.

Because she is 5, the decision was made to retire her. Christiana's Heat won 5 of 24 starts and $332,332. By Unusual Heat, Christiana's Heat is owned by Albert and Kathleen Mattivi. In addition to her victory in the Irish O'Brien for statebred fillies and mares, Christiana's Heat placed in three stakes on the hillside turf course between last October and January.

Knapp said that Christiana's Heat will be sent to Kentucky and bred to Yes It's True.

Sale goes back to Pleasanton

The 2009 Northern California yearling sale, to be held Aug. 11, has been shifted back to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton after being held at Santa Rosa last year.

The sale was conducted at Pleasanton from its inauguration in 2004 until 2007, then was shifted to Santa Rosa. Last year, officials with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, which operates the sale, said that one of the reasons for the venue shift was a move from temporary stalls at Pleasanton to permanent stalls on the backstretch of the Santa Rosa fair.

In a statement on the CTBA's website, the association said that Pleasanton officials will provide "the safest portable stalls available" for this year's sale. The 2009 sale has an entry fee of $300 and a minimum commission of $500. The entry deadline is April 3.

The sale had a poor year in 2008, with 104 horses selling for an average of $4,536, a decline of 22 percent from 2007.

The Northern California sale has always been geared toward a regional market, with prices that reflect that. In 2006, the sale average $8,192, the highest figure since the one-day event was launched.

Over the years, the sale has produced such stakes winners as Bai and Bai (who earned $724,983), Sierra Sunset, and Autism Awareness.