Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet Set To Open Friday; Hernandez, D’Amato Prominent Among Top Jocks & Trainers

September 26, 2022

Total of 10 Stakes on Breeders’ Cup Challenge Weekend Offered Saturday & Sunday

ARCADIA, Calif.— With entry time for Friday’s opener less than 24 hours away, Santa Anita’s 18-day Autumn Meet will once again showcase some of the nation’s top jockeys and trainers as world-class racing will again be center stage in Arcadia through Sunday, Nov. 6.

With 104 wins, Juan Hernandez was a runaway winner of Santa Anita’s 2021 Winter/Spring Meeting, finishing 31 wins clear of the departed Flavien Prat through 76 racing days.  Hernandez also led in stakes-won with 24 added money victories, nine better than Prat and 18 clear of five other riders.

Hernandez comes off another huge meet at Del Mar, finishing 20-up on turf ace Umberto Rispoli and 24 wins in front of the recently arrived Ramon Vazquez.

Hall of Famers Victor Espinoza and Mike Smith are back as veteran members of the jockey colony which is significantly bolstered this fall by the arrival of Hector Berrios, who along with Smith, checked in fourth in the Del Mar standings with 17 wins.

Abel Cedillo, Edwin Maldonado, Joe Bravo, Tyler Baze, Kyle Frey, Mario Gutierrez and others lend A-list depth to an elite list of riders.

In the trainer’s division, Phil D’Amato, Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill and Peter Miller can always be counted upon to contend for leading honors.  A slam dunk for future Hall of Fame induction, John Sadler will use Santa Anita as his training base to potential glory with the undefeated Flightline, who figures to be a short-priced favorite in the Grade I, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 5. 

Trainers such as George Papaprodromou, Mark Glatt and Jonathan Wong all figure to start a significant amount of horses and they’ll be joined in the trainer’s race by others such as Craig Lewis, John Shirreffs, Jeff Mullins, Leonard Powell, Vladimir Cerin, Steve Miyadi and more.

Santa Anita’s list of active Hall of Fame trainers continues to include Ron McAnally, who will be on hand Saturday to present the trophy for the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship, Richard Mandella, Bob Baffert and Neil Drysdale.

This Saturday and Sunday has been dubbed Breeders’ Cup Challenge Weekend at Santa Anita, with a total of 10 stakes on tap, including Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again, which will provide the winner a fees-paid berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Nov. 5.

For additional information regarding Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.

Santa Anita Park Press Release

Photo: From left to right: Juan Hernandez and Phil D’Amato (Courtesy of Santa Anita)

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