San Fernando Stakes


Location: Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California, United States
Inaugurated: 1952
Race type: Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Distance: 11/16 miles (8.5 furlongs)
Track: Dirt, left-handed
Qualification: Four-years-old
Weight: Assigned
Purse: $150,000
Grade: II


Santa Anita Archives: Zignew Wins the San Fernando Stakes


January 17, 1994

A grandson of Northern Dancer and a son of Danzig, Zignew is a 4-year-old colt whose races have never been as good as his breeding.

Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby in 1964; 29 years later, Sea Hero, a grandson of Danzig, did the same. But Zignew spent his 3-year-old season unable to bridge the competitive gap between allowance company and stakes races.

Trainer Speedy Smithwick moved the colt from dirt to grass and back to dirt while trying to find the answer. Smithwick's patience might pay off. Waiting until his 12th start before scoring his first stakes victory, Zignew scored a 21-1 upset on dirt Sunday at Santa Anita in the $225,400 San Fernando Stakes.

Zignew, bred and owned by Jack Kent Cooke and ridden by Chris McCarron, earned $135,400, which was $22,875 more than his purses for 11 previous starts. He had won four times, but was not better than fourth in three stakes starts. Sunday marked Zignew's first stakes race since an eighth-place finish in the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows on Sept. 25.

Zignew, who paid $44.80 after running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47 4/5, came into the San Fernando off an allowance victory at Hollywood Park a month ago. He carried 116 pounds Sunday, four less than the top-weighted Diazo.

"He's getting better with age," said Smithwick, who comes from a family of Hall of Fame steeplechase horsemen. "I think he's matured, he's learned how to rate and he didn't stall when he made the lead this time. He's out of a Prince John mare (Newfoundland) who's had nothing but nice horses, and they've all put it together late in life, too."

Zignew broke from the outside post, and with Bat Eclat, Diazo and Del Mar Dennis doing the fastest early running, McCarron was able to drop his mount into fourth place after a half-mile.

At the top of the stretch, Bat Eclat and Diazo dropped out of contention. Del Mar Dennis had the lead with an eighth of mile to go, and although McCarron could have gone to the front then, he was reluctant to do so.

"I didn't want to open up three lengths or so leaving the eighth pole," McCarron said. "Because then he might stick his toes into the ground and lose momentum."

McCarron said that after he heard the Santa Anita announcer, Trevor Denman, say that Pleasant Tango was moving, he asked Zignew to dig in. McCarron, who rode Bertrando to victory last year, became only the third back-to-back winner of the stake, which was first run in 1952. Bill Shoemaker rode the winners in 1957-58 and Eddie Belmonte had a three-race streak that started in 1969.

McCarron rode Zignew early in his career and has been aboard for the horse's last three races.


Bet on San Fernando Stakes


US Racing features race analysis, interviews, free handicapping tips and stories on the trainers, jockeys, owners and horses that make up the colorful sport of horse racing. US Racing features the best tracks in the United States, including Churchill Downs, Belmont, Pimlico, Saratoga, Del Mar and Santa Anita. Internationally, US Racing offers content from Australia, Dubai, Great Britain, Ireland and Japan.

US Racing - The Official OTB of the USA. Join US Racing and bet on Stakes Races today!


San Fernando Stakes Past Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2013 Fed Biz Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert Kaleem Shah, Inc 1:42.34
2012 Tapizar Corey Nakatani Steve Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC 1:41.98
2011 Indian Firewater Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert Karl Watson, M. Pegram, Paul Weitman 1:41.53
2010 Papa Clem Tyler Baze Gary Stute Bo Hirsch 1:42.64
2009 Nownownow Joe Talamo Patrick L. Biancone Fab Oak Stable 1:41.45
2008 Air Command Aaron Gryder Bob Baffert Faisal Salm 1:40.16
2007 Awesome Gem Tyler Baze Craig Dollase West Point Thoroughbreds 1:41.90
2006 Unbridled Energy Garrett Gomez Richard E. Mandella Doug Cauthen 1:44.33
2005 Minister Eric Rene Douglas Richard E. Mandella Diamond A Racing 1:42.14
2004 During David Flores Bob Baffert James McIngvale 1:41.63
2003 Pass Rush Corey Nakatani Patrick B. Byrne Michael Tabor 1:42.97
2002 Western Pride Garrett Gomez James K. Chapman Chapman & McArthur 1:41.30
2001 Tiznow Chris McCarron Jay M. Robbins Michael Cooper, et al. 1:42.05
2000 Saint's Honor Kent Desormeaux Craig Dollase Stephan G. Herold 1:41.94
1999 Dixie Dot Com David Flores William Morey, Jr. Chaiken, Chaiken & Heller 1:41.06
1998 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1:41.94
1997 Northern Afleet Chris McCarron David E. Hofmans Anderson & Waranch 1:48.59
1996 Helmsman Chris McCarron Wallace Dollase Horizon Stable, Jarvis 1:48.87
1995 Wekiva Springs Kent Desormeaux Robert B. Hess, Jr. Donald R. Dizney & English 1:48.59
1994 Zignew Chris McCarron Daniel Smithwick Jack Kent Cooke 1:47.87
1993 Bertrando Chris McCarron Robert J. Frankel Marshall Nahem 1:51.22
1992 Best Pal Kent Desormeaux Gary F. Jones Golden Eagle Farm 1:48.25
1991 In Excess Gary Stevens Bruce L. Jackson Jack J. Munari 1:46.60
1990 Flying Continental Corey Black Jay M. Robbins Jack Kent Cooke 1:47.20
1989 Mi Preferido Chris McCarron Laz Barrera Barrera & Saiden 1:47.40
1988 On the Line Jose A. Santos D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1:49.00
1987 Variety Road Laffit Pincay, Jr. Bruce Headley Kjell H. Qvale 1:49.00
1986 Right Con Rafael Meza Melvin F. Stute William R. Hawn 1:48.40
1985 Precisionist Chris McCarron Ross Fenstermaker Fred W. Hooper 1:47.40
1984 Interco Patrick Valenzuela Ted West David I. Sofro 1:48.60
1983 Wavering Monarch Eddie Delahoussaye Laz Barrera Glencrest Farm 1:50.00
1982 It's the One Walter Guerra Laz Barrera Amin Saiden 1:47.60
1981 Doonesbury Sandy Hawley Barney Willis Jones, Roffe, et al. 1:47.00
1980 Spectacular Bid Bill Shoemaker Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1:48.00
1979 Radar Ahead Darrel McHargue Gary F. Jones Sidney H. Vail 1:48.00
1978 Text Fernando Toro Vincent Clyne Elmendorf Farm 1:49.40
1977 Kirby Lane Laffit Pincay, Jr. Laz Barrera Gedney Farms 1:47.60
1977 Pocket Park Steve Cauthen Ron McAnally Elmendorf Farm 1:48.60
1976 Messenger of Song Jerry Lambert Gordon C. Campbell Bernard J. Ridder 1:48.20
1975 Stardust Mel Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Marjorie L. Everett 1:48.60
1975 First Back Jacinto Vasquez Ron McAnally Post Time Stable 1:46.80
1974 Ancient Title Laffit Pincay, Jr. Keith L. Stucki, Sr. Ethel Kirkland 1:47.60
1973 Bicker Glenn Brogan Robert Wingfield Green Thumb Farm Stable 1:48.20
1972 Autobiography (DH) Eddie Belmonte Pancho Martin Sigmund Sommer 1:47.20
1972 Triple Bend (DH) Donald Pierce Vance Longden Frank M. McMahon 1:47.20
1971 Willowick Eddie Belmonte Joseph Manzi Robert E. Hibbert 1:48.80
1970 no race
1969 Cavamore Eddie Belmonte Buster Millerick Mrs. M. Troy Jones 1:49.00
1968 Damascus Bill Shoemaker Frank Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 1:48.80
1967 Buckpasser Braulio Baeza Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 1:48.20
1966 Isle of Greece Walter Blum Hirsch Jacobs Ethel D. Jacobs 1:48.60
1965 Hill Rise Donald Pierce William B. Finnegan El Peco Ranch 1:48.40
1964 Nevada Battler Manuel Ycaza George D. Adams J. Kel Houssels 1:48.80
1964 Gun Bow Bill Shoemaker Edward A. Neloy Gedney Farms 1:47.80
1963 Crimson Satan Herb Hinojosa Charles Kerr Crimson King Farm 1:47.20
1962 Four-and-Twenty Johnny Longden Vance Longden Alberta Ranches, Ltd. 1:48.80
1961 Prove It Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1:47.60
1960 King O'Turf Angel Valenzuela Ron McAnally M/M J. Ross Clark II 1:50.00
1959 Hillsdale Tommy Barrow Martin L. Fallon, Jr. Clarence Whitted Smith 1:42.40
1958 Round Table Bill Shoemaker William Molter Kerr Stables 1:42.20
1957 Holandes II Bill Shoemaker Bob R. Roberts Wood, De Benedetti, Roberts 1:43.20
1956 Beau Busher Jack Westrope Dale Landers Sunnyside Stable 1:43.60
1955 Poona II Bill Shoemaker Red McDaniel Helbush Farms 1:40.80
1954 By Zeus Jack Westrope William J. Hirsch Cynthia Lasker 1:49.40
1953 Mark-Ye-Well Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:44.20
1952 Counterpoint Dave Gorman Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 1:45.20
Proudly featured on: