Around noon in Arcadia, California on the day after Christmas, over 44,000 people focused their eyes on the starting gate at Santa Anita Park. Suddenly, six two-year-old fillies broke from the gate in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes. The winner, Ismene, was no surprise, as she went off as the heavy favorite. The undefeated filly galloped effortlessly to a near-three-length victory under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. The opening day card at the Great Race Place had gotten off to a spectacular start, which was a hint at what was to come in later races.
Stakes action returned in the seventh race, the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for juvenile males. Got Even, coming off a disappointing finish in the Generous Stakes (GIII) at Hollywood Park, dominated the race by 4 ¼ lengths at 12-1.
Photo by Mary Cage
Photo: Terri Cage