Thursday, January 29 2009
VENTURA, INDIAN BLESSING SET FOR REMATCH IN SANTA MONICA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009) – A burgeoning rivalry between 4-year-old Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing and 5-year-old mare Ventura, who took the champion’s measure in last October’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, escalates on Saturday when the two are scheduled to collide in Santa Anita’s 52nd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap at seven furlongs, which will be shown live on HRTV.
Just three days after being voted a 2008 Eclipse Award as outstanding female sprinter, Indian Blessing was a surprise entrant in the Santa Monica by her trainer, Bob Baffert, who had won two of the three previous runnings. Baffert hedged somewhat, however, when he said, “I entered, but I don’t know yet if she’ll run. I’m just going to see how the race shapes up.”
RESTLESS SOUL BREAKS THROUGH IN GRASS ROUTE AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009) – British-bred import Restless Soul, contentious without a victory in six previous U.S. starts, broke through on Wednesday to capture Santa Anita’s $52,400 allowance feature for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
With Joel Rosario in the saddle, the 5-year-old mare made her winning move on the extreme outside while rounding the final turn to gain a 2 ¼ length victory over 2-1 favorite Carnival Queen.
CALIFORNIA OAKS, $1 SUPER SUNDAY CARD HIGHLIGHT WEEKEND
ALBANY -- The $100,000 California Oaks and a special $1 Super Sunday program highlight the racing at Golden Gate Fields this weekend.
The California Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies, will be run Saturday. The Oaks attracted a field of seven and is the featured eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m.
Jebel Ali mile contest this friday
Friday’s seventh meeting of the season at Jebel Ali is highlighted by the Listed Jebel Ali Mile, kindly sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Derrinstown Stud and for which ten have been declared.
Sheikh Hamdan owns two of the runners and his retained jockey, Richard Hills, has elected to ride UAE debutant Hello Morning who was highly tried during his spell in France.
Wednesday, January 28 2009
Stable Notes, Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
BIANCONE SEEKS SANTA MONICA GOLD, BAFFERT ENTERS INDIAN BLESSING
Patrick Biancone has a philosophical approach for Saturday’s Grade I Santa Monica Handicap, in which he will send out Baroness Thatcher against Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Ventura.
The 56-year-old Frenchman spurns the long-standing dictum widely attributed to the late Vince Lombardi that “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” (For the record, the quote originated from the late UCLA football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders. In 1950, at a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo physical education workshop, Sanders told his group: “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything. (Long pause). Men, it’s the only thing!” In 1955, in a Sports Illustrated article preceding the 1956 Rose Bowl, he was quoted as saying, “Sure, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing).”
MARYLAND INVADERS LOOM LARGE IN CORRECTION
Saturday’s 69th running of the $65,000-added Correction Stakes will feature two horses that have managed to transfer their training form from the all-weather surface at Fair Hill, Md. to the dirt tracks of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with positive results.
For Jeff Singer’s A Rose for You, the Correction, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, will mark not only her seasonal debut but her first start on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track.
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Donn Handicap & Holy Bull Share Spotlight Saturday
Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein and Shadwell Stable’s Albertus Maximus are the marquee names entered in Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park for older horses, while the most definitive test yet for potential Kentucky Derby (G1) prospects is set for the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3).
Both races will be run at 1 1/8 miles.
Jockey Julien Leparoux will ride 7-year-old Einstein in the 51st edition of the Donn after drawing the far outside post 10 as he makes his first start since capturing the Clark Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28 for trainer Helen Pitts.
Barn Notes GP 1-28
Breen Likes Holy Bull Options with West Side Bernie
George and Lori Hall and their trainer Kelly Breen have a two-pronged plan of attack on the 3-year-old season with their colts West Side Bernie and Atomic Rain. The former will get to fire the first shot Saturday in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3), an early two-turn test for Kentucky Derby (G1) prospects at Gulfstream Park.
West Side Bernie, a Kentucky-bred son of Bernstein, will get the chance to avenge a loss to Big Drama in the $750,000 Delta Jackpot (G3) at Delta Downs in Louisiana on Dec. 5. With Big Drama missing this round due to a training setback, Breen was satisfied the pace scenario of the Holy Bull allowed his charge to go it alone.
SANTA ANITA TO HOST FIRST-EVER SNOW DAY FEB. 15
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009)—Although Southern California is currently in the midst of a heat wave, Santa Anita Park will attempt to buck the trend by hosting its first-ever Snow Day on Sunday, Feb. 15.
A total of 400,000 pounds of the white stuff will be available in Santa Anita’s massive infield area, free of charge to kids of all ages throughout the racing day.
SANTA ANITA RACES TO HAVE “BIG GAME” THEME SUNDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009)—Although Sunday’s Gr. III, $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies figures to be the highlight of the day’s racing at Santa Anita, the Great Race Place will card a number of races themed to coincide with the Super Bowl Game in Tampa, Fla., and Santa Anita will also name Sunday’s second race in honor of 106-year-old Florence Tuckman, who will attend along with family and friends.
Tuckman, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1903, was a regular attendee, along with her late husband Leo, at Santa Anita in the late 1930s and ‘40s, according to her family. Although she still enjoys the races, Tuckman’s spare time is now primarily spent “playing cards or bingo on a daily basis” with her family and friends.
BIG A CANCELLATION OF LIVE RACES, JAN. 28
The New York Racing Association cancelled its live racing card at Aqueduct Racetrack today, as an Eastward-moving winter storm enveloped the Metropolitan New York area.
Aqueduct will remain open for simulcasting, however. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and there is no charge for parking or admission.
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LAUREL PARK CANCELS WEDNESDAY CARD
LAUREL, MD. 01-28-09---A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain that hit the Baltimore-Washington region Tuesday morning and which is expected to continue through Wednesday evening forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park for Wednesday, January 28.
Read more articles in the Laurel