With Santa Anita’s opening day beckoning on Saturday, Dec. 26, racing fans can look forward to a full complement of talented on-air personalities via santaanita.com/live and a variety of other internet platforms as well as selected brick and mortar satellite locations.
Although there is still no public admittance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fans can watch and wager on Santa Anita’s live races via Account Deposit Wagering (ADW) platforms including 1stBet.com, XpressBet.com and they can follow the track’s complete simulcast presentation free of charge at santaanita.com.
With the betting public more dependent than ever on quality broadcast information, Santa Anita will again be represented by a talented and diverse on-air lineup that includes Millie Ball, Zoe Cadman, Peter Lurie, Jeff Siegel and Michelle Yu.
“The collective overall experience of this group is among the finest in racing,” said Amy J. Zimmerman, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer. “From the XBTV morning workouts, to exclusive interviews and through to their observations as the last horse is loaded into the gate, the team is dedicated to the ultimate goal of providing our customers with decision-making information in an easy-to-consume fashion.”
In addition to these on-air regulars, Santa Anita’s simulcast signal will also include Track Announcer Frank Mirahmadi, who along with Tom Quigley, will participate in a pre-race handicapping seminar each weekend beginning an hour and 10 minutes prior to first post time.
With Shiva Scanlon serving as Line Producer for Santa Anita’s daily simulcast presentation, viewers will be treated to comprehensive coverage including analysis from the saddling paddock to the starting gate, with updated odds provided throughout.
A joy to behold on camera and off, Millie’s enthusiasm and vast knowledge of the Thoroughbred world is self-evident on a daily basis. A native of England, she began riding at a young age and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Royal Agricultural College prior to immigrating to America in 1995, whereupon she began galloping horses at Hollywood Park. Married to trainer Tim Yakteen, with whom she has two boys, Sam, 15 and Ben, 13, Millie, who was an amateur jockey in England, worked for three Hall of Fame conditioners upon her arrival in California, the late Bobby Frankel, Bob Baffert and Richard Mandella. While in their employ, she accompanied stakes horses to venues nationwide, including Saratoga, Fairgrounds, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Arlington Park, Gulfstream Park and one international destination, Hong Kong. In 2003, with a resume and easy going manner that affords her “inside the ropes” access that is second to none, Millie took a turn for the camera as she joined Santa Anita’s on-air family as a host and reporter on HRTV. In February 2015, she was part of a select team that accompanied the launch of XBTV, Thoroughbred horse racing’s “go-to” platform for morning workouts.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this team,” she said. “We’re the only game in town with respect to providing morning workouts for our fans and 1stBet members. I’m also very proud to be a part of our daily simulcast presentation, which offers horseplayers exclusive content provided by XBTV and valuable real-time insight and analysis from paddock to post.”
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in England, Zoe came to America at the behest of Breeder’s Cup winning trainer Michael Dickinson. Upon arrival, she also served stints with trainers Christopher Speckert and Mike Stidham prior to taking out her Jockey’s license in 2000. Shortly thereafter, she became a multiple stakes winning jockey and leading rider in Chicago. The top apprentice jockey at Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course and Sportman’s Park, Zoe was also leading rider as a journeyman at Hawthorne. Subsequent to retiring from the saddle, Zoe relocated to Southern California full time in 2008 and worked at Santa Anita with HRTV until 2015, when she assumed her current broadcast role with XBTV. Quick witted and a terrific interviewer, Zoe brings a unique skillset to her position that enables her to provide timely information and insight in an entertaining fashion.
“Early morning sunrises at Santa Anita are hard to beat,” she said. “You can find me most mornings, with binoculars, coffee and my dog in-tow to take in the morning action and relay it later to the public first-hand.”
A consummate broadcast professional, Peter was born in Los Angeles and attended North Hollywood High, where he lettered in swimming. The son of an actor, Peter graduated from Los Angeles Valley College and later majored in Theatre at Cal State Northridge. A sought-after voice actor with more than 30 years of experience, he’s the voice of LEATHERHEAD, a fictional character in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics series. An original on-air talent member with HRTV, Peter is in his fourth year as simulcast host at Santa Anita. A Thoroughbred owner/breeder and former jockey agent, Peter has been coming to the races at Santa Anita since childhood.
“Santa Anita has always been a second home for me,” he said. “I’ve been coming here with my father since I was four years old and have been an avid player most of my life…I like the direction Santa Anita is going in. Our players need info and hopefully, we provide that on a regular basis.”
From the late Bob Benoit’s Publicity staff at Hollywood Park in the early 1970s to the present day, Jeff Siegel remains one of the brightest minds in Thoroughbred racing. Known for decades as one of the most highly respected public handicappers in Southern California, Siegel’s knowledge of and passion for racing remain world class. A passionate UCLA Bruin fan, Jeff currently provides daily video and print content exclusively to various Stronach Group media platforms, including XBTV.com, 1stBet.com, XpressBet.com and santaanita.com/live. Affectionately dubbed “Scalp” decades ago due to his prominent pate, Siegel is not only one of the most respected handicapping minds in racing, he’s also experienced Grade 1 success as an owner, having co-founded Team Valor and its predecessor, Clover Racing Stable, where he served as Vice President/Racing. During his 20-year involvement, the organization became the most prolific general partnership stable in North America, winning more than 100 stakes races (including 20 Grade I’s) while amassing purse earnings in excess of $50 million. As a broadcast host and writer, Siegel earned an Eclipse Award for outstanding local television coverage in Thoroughbred racing in 1999 for “The Best of Santa Anita.” As a television analyst, he’s covered racing’s most prestigious events, including each of the three Triple Crown races, the Breeders’ Cup, the Dubai World Cup and racing from Royal Ascot.
“The sport of Thoroughbred racing is as much fun for today as it was way back in the late 1950s when as a very young boy, my father first took me to Santa Anita,” said Siegel. “I’ve been fortunate to have worn a lot of hats over the past several decades and the passion has never wavered. I hope to continue to be involved for years to come.”
Vivacious and a bundle of broadcast energy, Michelle is married to trainer Ryan Hanson, with whom she has two children, Olivia, 4 and Spencer, 2. A Southern California native and lifelong racing fan, she’s ridden competitively since she was a young girl and has shown as a three-day eventer and played polo while attending the University of Louisville’s Equine Business program. Early mornings often find Michelle assisting her husband with ground work and pre-training of racing prospects at a nearby farm. Well versed in a variety of sports, her broadcast credits include stints at TVG, HRTV, Fox Sports, Breeders’ Cup Limited and Santa Anita, where she works as a simulcast host. Her Thoroughbred industry experience also includes backside assignments with Kentucky-based trainers Ron Moquett and Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.
“I can’t wait to get back to racing at The Great Race Place,” said Yu. “I’m fortunate to get to walk into the track every day and I can’t wait to share that happiness with all the fans starting on opening day. I’m looking forward to a kick-ass rendition of the Runhappy Malibu and the new turf chute, which gives us some great racing options!”
With six stakes, including three Grade 1 events and two Grade 2’s helping to comprise a blockbuster card on opening day, first post time will be at 11 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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Published at Thu, 03 Dec 2020 20:26:32 +0000