1964: Two Oaks Turn Blue (Norther)

Early in the Santa Anita winter/spring meet, a race called the Blue Norther Stakes is held on Santa Anita Park's turf course. Obviously a featured race on its program, the Blue Norther offers the chance for a Throughbred to get a minor stakes win, a thrill for any owner, trainer or jockey.

Like so many other races at Santa Anita and the world of Thoroughbred racing, the Blue Norther is named after a racehorse. And she was a talented one at that.

Highly capable of not just winning races, but doing so at high levels of competition, Blue Norther was a significant filly in California during the early 1960s. She won stakes in the Southland and around the country, and could win going short or long.

She also happened to be the first to win both the Santa Anita and Kentucky Oaks.

In recent memory, local fillies winning the Santa Anita Oaks and then going on to win the Kentucky Oaks is nothing new. But for virtually the first thirty years of the former, no filly from the Southland had swept the two events. But during a decade where Native Diver, Candy Spots and Decidedly put their stamp on California racing, Blue Norther joined those as she bucked the longstanding trend.

After a 1963 campaign that saw her win or place in stakes like Del Mar's Junior Miss Stakes and the Gardenia at New Jersey's Garden State Park, Blue Norther could not be touched during Santa Anita's 1964 winter/spring meeting. First came a score against allowance foes, followed by another stakes win in the Santa Susana at a mile and one-sixteenth.