Santa Anita winter/spring handle rises 2% from year earlier

Santa Anita winter/spring handle rises 2% from year earlier
Photo: Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita's winter/spring meet ended Sunday, and the track reported closing day all-sources handle of $17.1 million – a 17 percent increase from closing day a year ago.

The track's all-sources handle for the 76-day stand was $778.5 million, a 2 percent hike in average daily handle over 2021.

France native Flavien Prat, who guided the John Sadler-trained Flightline to his smashing victory in the Grade 1 Malibu on opening day, Dec. 26, was head and head with Hall of Fame veteran Johnny Velazquez through the first five days of racing, with each tied 14 wins entering day six on Jan. 7 and Prat leading Velazquez 4-3 in the stakes-won department.

From there, Prat stepped on the gas, and he held a 72-53 edge over Juan Hernandez through his final day as full-time member of the Santa Anita jockey colony on April 3. At that point, Hernandez went on a roll and ended up amassing 104 victories, 31 better than the departed Prat. It was the same story in the stakes-won category, with Hernandez leading on the final lap 24-15.

In the trainers division, Phil D’Amato was tied with Doug O’Neill at 31 wins on April 2. D’Amato then edged clear with a pair of stakes wins on April 9 and was never headed thereafter, finishing with 57 wins on grass for a winter/spring record total of 63 victories, 16 of them in stakes.

The leading owners at the meet were Jedd, Mark and Tim Cohen’s Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, with 22 wins.

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