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McAnally Might Shake Own Hand in John Henry

Ron McAnally might wind up shaking his own hand if Interaction wins Sunday’s inaugural John Henry Turf Championship.

The 80-year-old Hall of Fame trainer conditioned legendary two-time Horse of the Year John Henry, who won 12 of his 20 career starts at The Great Race Place and whose statue stands regally in Santa Anita’s Kingsbury Fountain area. Formerly run as the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship, the race was renamed this year to honor the rags to riches gelding.

“If I win it, I’ll make the presentation to myself,” McAnally quipped. “Seriously, it’s fitting to have a race named for John Henry where he won so many of his races. Throughout the country, there are other races named for him, but having one at Santa Anita carries more weight than he used to in his races.”

The field for the John Henry: Grassy, Alonso Quinonez, 6-1; Balladry, Patrick Valenzuela, 20-1; Casino Host, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Temple’s Door, Mike Smith, 20-1; Interaction, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Turbo Compressor, Joe Bravo, 5-2; Fire with Fire, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Slim Shadey, Garrett Gomez, 4-1; Bourbon Bay, 3-1; and Brushburn, Brice Blanc, 30-1.



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