Santa Anita's popular “Ship & Stay” program, which was initiated Dec. 26 and has now been in effect through 63 racing days, has attracted 100 “new” horses, who have accounted for 204 starts, generating bonus money of $208,308.
Funded solely by The Stronach Group (TSG), “Ship & Stay” provides on-going bonuses to individual owners and trainers who bring horses to Santa Anita from out of state. Bonuses are paid to those connections that originally bring these horses to California for their first three starts.
These bonuses, which pay 20 percent of a horse's first race winnings and 10 percent (or $1,000, whichever is greater) of second and third race monies, will be paid even if the horse is claimed.
“This program is a great motiving factor for trainers to try and entice owners to bring their horses to race here in California,” said trainer Vladimir Cerin, whose Fahan Mura, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred filly who has won all three of her Santa Anita starts. “To be honest, I haven't looked in my account yet, but this is a great deal for trainers, because we're picking up 10 percent (of the bonus). So this program makes you want to find horses that are going to be competitive—Even if they get claimed away in their first or second start, you're still rewarded for running them where they belong.”
Based in New York prior to making her Santa Anita debut on Jan. 26., Fahan Mura, who is one of three “Ship & Stay” horses in Cerin's barn, orchestrated her most recent score in a $56,000 one mile turf allowance on March 25. “I wish I'd have run her in an allowance race to begin with!” said Cerin.
“We're very happy with the results Ship and Stay has provided,” said Santa Anita Stakes Coordinator Chris Merz, who devised the program. “This has generated a lot of buzz and it's proven it can be a mainstay, moving forward, here at Santa Anita. Owners and trainers are incentivized to bring horses here and we are hopeful we can build upon what we've been able to accomplish in a short period of time.”
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