first_imgA BUSY OPENING DAY FOR BALTAS ON SATURDAY POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAY POLANCO REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL POST SHOULD AID BELLAFINA IN GRADE I LA BREA SANTA ANITA’S POPULAR WALL CALENDAR FREE ON OPENING DAYA “must-have” among racegoers for decades, Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar will be available free to all fans with paid admission on opening day. This year’s calendar will include racing highlights from the past 12 months and information about the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), which is based at Santa Anita and assists retired racehorses in finding their next career and home.CARMA, which operates largely on purse money which is designated by Thoroughbred owners, facilitates funding and networking for over 20 aftercare charities in addition to running a placement program serving horses that have competed at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Golden Gate Fields.CARMA hosts a variety of fund raising events on a monthly basis, including Thoroughbred Classic Horse Shows, in which retired racehorses can compete against each other in multiple disciplines. CARMA also assists with aftercare awareness events and placement success stories.Special first post time opening day is 11 a.m. and admission gates open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE. BEER AND CIDER FESTIVAL IS SET FOR TOMORROW WORKOUTS:Storm the Court (Eurton) 12-22-19McKinzie (Baffert) 12-22-19Ashleyluvssugar (Outside) and Ekklesia (Eurton) 12-22-19Omaha Beach (Mandella) 12-22-19Bellafina (Callaghan) 12-20-19Gift Box (Sadler) 12-20-19Mother Mother (Outside) and Eddy Forever (Baffert) 12-20-19 LATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:FEATURES:XBTV Saturday: What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on December 28th, 2019Richard Mandella Discusses Omaha Beach’s Final Work Ahead of the Grade I Malibu Stakes.John Sadler Discusses Gift Box’s Time Off and Expectations for the San Antonio.Bob Baffert Discusses a Trio of Three-Year-Olds Heading Into Grade 1 Starts on Opening Day.Peter Eurton Discusses Draft Pick’s Last Race Heading into the San Antonio. SANTA ANITA REMEMBERS THE LATE BOBBY FRANKEL TOMORROWGoogle Bobby Frankel and it comes up “American horse trainer,” but he was much more than that. Infinitely more.Irascible, cantankerous, gruff would seem to fit his exterior demeanor, but deep down, in crunch time, when push came to shove, Frankel’s best side came to the fore. He was humane.Take it from Marcelo Polanco, a third generation horseman who learned the ropes under Frankel for a year and a half circa 1991-93 when the Hall of Fame trainer was in his prime.Frankel, for whom Saturday’s Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes is named, died at the age of 68 on Nov. 16, 2009. Hard to believe he’s been gone for 10 years.“It was the most wonderful time,” the 59-year-old Polanco recalled Friday morning. “We had horses for Juddmonte Farms, Jerry Moss, and Bobby would send me to other tracks when we ran in stakes, so I was on the road frequently. He sent me to Louisiana Downs for the turf festival, and of the six horses we ran, five won. I went to Hawthorne with Marquetry for a $500,000 race and it was very cold, and he used to call me every day with four questions, always very quick: “‘How’s the horse?’ Fine. ‘Temperature?” No. ‘How’s he eating?’ Good. ‘How’s the weather?’ Super cold.“I said, ‘What do I do?’ He said, ‘Walk him.’ This was five days before the race. Next day, same conversation. Finally, the day before the race I opened my mouth and asked him, ‘Do you want me to walk the horse before the race?’ and he said, ‘Listen, the horse has been running all year, he’s got all his conditioning, do you want to get him sick?’“The horse won super easy that day and I still have the picture.”Polanco, a trainer in his own right, is a native of Santiago, Chile, the country where his grandfather, Pedro, won the Chilean Triple Crown circa 1912. Marcelo was assistant to Julio Canani for 6 ½ years before joining Frankel with Dan Ward and Humberto Ascanio. Prior to that, he served with Ron McAnally, but his time with Frankel understandably remains indelible.“He was a great guy,” Polanco said. BALTAS HAS 10 ENTERED FOR SANTA ANITA OPENER Richard Baltas prides himself in having a “racing stable,” and race he will when Santa Anita’s Winter Meet starts tomorrow, showcasing seven stakes, three of them Grade I’s.Fresh from capturing the Del Mar training championship, Baltas has 10 horses entered on the 11-race opening day card, eight of them in stakes, including Lady Prancealot in the Grade I American Oaks, Del Mar May and Motion Emotion in the Grade I La Brea, Excellent Sunset in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel and Neptune’s Storm and Bob and Jackie in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile.“She got a very good trip last time with (Joe) Bravo,” Baltas said of Lady Prancealot, a consistent but trouble prone Irish-bred filly that won the Grade III Valley View at Keeneland Oct. 18. “She got a big number (91 Beyer), and if she can duplicate that, she’ll probably win.”Motion Emotion shortens up in the seven furlong La Brea after two straight races at amile and one-sixteenth, including victory last out in the Zia Park Oaks.“It might be too short for her, but it’s the last Grade I race in her three-year-old year and she came out of the race good, she’s doing well, so we’re going to take a chance,” Baltas said.Excellent Sunrise was beaten a head and a nose as the favorite in her last two startsat a mile on turf at Del Mar, and Baltas removes the blinkers from the Irish-bred mare in the Frankel at 1 1/8 miles on turf. “She seems to be training really well,” he said.Neptune’s Storm has never been out of the money in his last 11 races and figures to have another strong showing in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf.“He lost to Mo Forza twice and Mo Forza’s the race favorite, but Neptune’s Storm is a damn good horse who’s made over $600,000. We’re looking for a good start and a good meet.”Santa Anita’s opening week schedule offers live racing Sunday, Dec. 29; New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1; and Friday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 5.First post time opening day is 11 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. Santa Anita’s opening day stakes: the $75,000 Lady of Shamrock, race two: Keeper Ofthe Stars, Abel Cedillo, 5-2; Brill, Flavien Prat, 3-1; Bodhicitta, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Mischiffie, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Angel Alessandra, Joel Rosario, 6-1; Lucky Peridot, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Sold It, Mario Gutierrez, 10-1; and Lakerball, Joe Talamo, 12-1.The Grade II San Antonio, race five: Gray Magician, Javier Castellano, 4-1; Gift Box, Joel Rosario, 9-5; King Abner, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Draft Pick, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Mugaritz, Ricardo Gonzalez, 10-1; Midcourt, Victor Espinoza, 2-1; and Fight On, Abel Cedillo, 20-1.The Grade I American Oaks, race six: So Much Happy, Tiago Pereira, 30-1; Apache Princess, Javier Castellano, 5-1; Mucho Unusual, Joel Rosario, 4-1; K P Slickem, Jorge Velez, 15-1; Lady Prancealot, Joe Bravo, 2-1; Pretty Point, Mike Smith, 30-1; Giza Goddess, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; and Vibrance, Abel Cedillo, 3-1.The Grade I La Brea, presented as race seven: First Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1; Del Mar May, Joe Bravo, 12-1; Free Cover, Abel Cedillo, 15-1; Stirred, Geovanni Franco, 20-1; Bellafina, Flavien Prat, 9-5; Bell’s the One, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Hard Not to Love, Mike Smith, 6-1; Motion Emotion, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; and Mother Mother, Joel Rosario, 6-1.The Grade III Robert J. Frankel, race eight: Tiny Tina, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Excellent Sunset, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Don’t Blame Judy, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Streak of Luck, Jose Valdivia Jr., 5-1; Curlin’s Journey, Ruben Fuentes, 6-1; Harmless, Abel Cedillo, 6-1; Mirth, Mike Smith, 5-2; and Ms Peintour, Brice Blanc, 20-1.The Grade I Runhappy Malibu, race nine: Much Better, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Complexity, Javier Castellano, 5-2; Manny Wah, Channing Hill, 8-1; Roadster, Joel Rosario, 3-1; and Omaha Beach, Mike Smith, 4-5.The Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile, race 10: Sash, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Originaire, Umberto Rispoli, 15-1; Ocean Fury, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Never Easy, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Mo Forza, Joel Rosario, 9-5; Neptune’s Storm, Abel Cedillo, 3-1; Kingly, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Proud Pedro, Tyler Baze, 15-1; Barristan The Bold, Javier Castellano, 12-1; Loafers Boy, Tiago Pereira, 50-1; and Bob and Jackie, Heriberto Figueroa, 6-1. FINISH LINES: American Theorem, second to Eight Rings in the American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27 in his most recent start, could begin breezing in January for a possible start on the Triple Crown trail in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7, trainer George Papaprodromou said . . . Santa Anita track announcer Frank Mirahmadi will be Tom Quigley‘s guest 10 a.m. Saturday, while Toby Turrell, clocker and publisher of The Winners Card, will do honors 10:20 a.m. Sunday, each day in the XBTV studios . . . Thanks to Santa Anita’s Marketing Department, fans at Clockers’ Corner on a brisk but invigorating Friday morning were treated to free burritos courtesy of Burrito Break of Los Angeles, which caters to groups from 20 to 200. They can be reached at . . . First post time for Sunday’s 10-race card is 11:30 a.m. GLATT DUO MAKE U.S. DEBUT IN MATHIS BROS. MILE DEPARTING TALAMO BACK ON DRAFT PICK IN SAN ANTONIODraft Pick deserves an “E” for effort if nothing else.The four-year-old Candy Ride colt seldom runs a poor race, even against Grade I competition. He was second in the Pacific Classic and fourth in the Clark, each a Grade I, and has a 3-3-3 record from 14 starts with earnings of $541,680, not too shabby for winning just one stake, the Grade III Affirmed at Santa Anita last June 18.Saturday he resurfaces in the Grade II San Antonio, a steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7. The San Antonio marks one of the final mounts here for Joe Talamo, who on Jan. 5 leaves Santa Anita to ride regularly starting Jan. 24 at Oaklawn Park.“We’ll miss Joe,” said Peter Eurton, himself a former jockey who trains Draft Pick. “He’s a good kid, a hard worker and a talented rider.”Talamo, who turns 30 on Jan. 12, has ridden Draft Pick in eight of his last nine races, winning three.As for Draft Pick, Eurton said “he seems to be pretty sharp, he likes the cooler weather and he’s trained well to this point.” ENGLISH INVADERS DEBUT IN MATHIS BROTHERS MILE FOR GLATTMark Glatt has a pair of double digit morning line outsiders making their United States debuts in Saturday’s Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf: Sash and Barristan The Bold, both bred in England and entering off a brief layoff.“They’re both coming up to it fine,” the trainer said of the pair, each owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC. “We’ll get an idea of exactly where they’re going to fit here, but both are nice looking horses that have trained well.“They’ve been away for a bit but I’m not too concerned about that. Good horses come over here pretty fit and they seem to have maintained their fitness, so we’ll see what happens.” TRAINER ‘LOVES’ POST FOR BELLAFINA IN LA BREAAs her 9-5 morning line odds would suggest, Simon Callaghan expects an exemplary effort from Bellafina in Saturday’s Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. It is one of three Grade I races at Santa Anita tomorrow, the last three Grade I’s to be run in the United States this year.Bellafina drew post position five in a field of nine.“I love the post,” said Callaghan, who trains the daughter of Quality Road for Kaleem Shah. The La Brea will mark the sixth consecutive start in a Grade I for Bellafina, who has been ridden by Flavien Prat in each of her 12 races, winning six while earning $1,386,725. SANTA ANITA HOSTS CRAFT BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL OPENING DAYIn addition to world class racing and Santa Anita’s coveted traditional wall calendar on opening day, fans will be treated to some of the best brews and ciders in Southern California as the track stages it’s popular Craft Beer and Cider Trackside Festival as well.Available to those 21 and over, the Opening Day Beer and Cider Festival will provide attendees with trackside seating and mouth-watering barbeque, provided by Meathead BBQ. The following packages are available at PACKAGE ($55):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–One Signature BBQ Plate from Meathead BBQ–$5 Wagering Voucher–Access to Special VIP Trackside Seating–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand SeatingGENERAL PACKAGE ($32):–Eight (3 oz.) Beer or Cider Tastings–3 oz. Tasting Cup–$5 Wagering Voucher–Club House Admission–Racing Program–Wagering Tip Sheet–Access to Trackside and Grandstand Seating AreasPlease note, children are welcome in trackside seating areas, but you must be 21 or over to purchase the package. Seating is not guaranteed.For additional information regarding opening day and Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter Meet, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE. DRAFT PICK IN THE TRENCHES FOR SAN ANTONIOlast_img read more

Mudslide Causes Damage at China Union

first_imgChina Union’s crusher was damaged due to a mudslide at the company’s Bong Mines concession area (Photo: LINA)Another threatens Paynesville-Kakata HighwayBy Richard Baysah and Alvin WorziReports from the China Union operation area at the Bong Mining Company in Fuamah District, Lower Bong County speak of a mudslide that has destroyed the company’s crusher and conveyor belt at the plant. The Liberia News Agency (LINA) reported yesterday that the mudslide took place early Wednesday, September 13. There was, however, no report of any human casualty, but the incident caused substantial damage to the company’s crusher and conveyor belt, responsible to process the ore before it is shipped to the Freeport of Monrovia.The China Union, a Chinese State Owned Enterprise, took over the concession area of the German mining company that halted its mining activities due to the Liberian civil crisis in the 90s. An employee, Franklin Tyler, is quoted by LINA as saying that the incident was accompanied by a sudden loud noise, from the direction of the crusher and conveyor belt.A view of the mudslide at China Union’s mining site in Bong Mines (Photo: LINA)The report said the mudslide happened as a result of a heavy downpour that forced mud from the top of the Bong Mountain Range.The China Union Public Relations Officer, Morris Tate, confirmed damages to the company’s crusher and conveyor belt but noted that it will not stop the company’s operations.Tate also said though the management of China Union was saddened by the incident, it equally grateful that there was no human casualty. The management is accessing the situation and is expected to subsequently come out with the total cost of damage to its facilities, he said.This is the second mudslide in over 30 years in an iron ore mining concession, with the first occurring in September 1981 at the National Iron Ore Company, known as the “Camp No-way Disaster,” which left many people dead. In a related development, Rain Hill, located on the Monrovia-Kakata highway, in the vicinity of the 15-Gate community, has been described as a potential threat to residents and commuters who frequently use this busy thoroughfare.Danger hangs over one of the major highway in the country Monrovia-Kakata highway (Photo: Alvin Worzi)Rain Hill had its first mudslide last year that covered the highway, according to Peter Kerkula, a private security officer for Lonestar Cell MTN Tower located on top of the hill. He said fear of imminent tragedy led a Chinese construction company to suspend its operations and later diverted traffic to complete its road construction. With the heavy downpour of rain in recent days, the hill’s residents have expressed concerns and are asking the government to intervene.“We have witnessed a series of accidents in recent time with the latest being last week Saturday when a Kia motorbike from Monrovia fell and fortunately for the driver, there were no major injuries,” Kerkula said. According to him, the management of Lonestar Cell MTN has promised to relocate the tower to another location. “We have to climb on the top of the hill to check the equipment despite the level of danger it poses to us as part of our work. Commuters even speak about this danger and sometimes they ask us about the government’s intention for the hill,” he said.Mud sliding from the hillside along the Monrovia-Kakata highway continues to serve as danger for residents and commuters (Photo: Alvin Worzi)Emmanuel Toe, a resident, said “The government needs to quickly do something about the situation to ensure that the road is safe as well as the people who are using it.” Toe said taking immediate action to reduce or level the hill in order to avoid any future mudslides is important because there have been some accidents due to the redirection of the road.Jeremy Sheriff, a commercial driver, said many drivers have become victims of the road in needless accidents, and appealed to the government to find a solution to prevent any future disaster. “Our people are noted for doing nothing until the last minute after many people may have been victimized. The Liberian government needs to know that this is a major highway and such a danger has to be brought under control,” Sheriff said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more