Thursday, May 07 2009
FAN FAVORITES SQUARE OFF IN KINGSTON
ELMONT, N.Y. -- When Banrock stuck his head out to win Belmont Park’s 2008 Kingston Stakes over Dave, it signaled the start of a big season for the gelded son of 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin. By year’s end, Banrock had won four of eight starts with two third-place finishes as well as the admiration of New York’s fans.
Sunday afternoon, the 6-year-old Banrock will return for the 31st running of the $100,000-added Kingston Stakes for New York-breds at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course, where he will face some others that have earned admiration for their class and courage. With plenty of rain during the week, the footing should favor Banrock, who won the Kingston over yielding ground last year.
PROCINO RETURNS TO ROOTS IN PETER PAN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Gerald Procino has been away a long time. Now, he has taken an even longer road back home to New York.
Procino, who turns 68 on May 25, is a native of Yonkers, N.Y. He started off exercising Thoroughbreds, became a successful standardbred trainer, moved to Florida to train Thoroughbreds in the 1990s and now is back at Belmont Park on Saturday, where he will saddle Stately Character in the 56th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan for three-year-olds at nine furlongs. The Peter Pan (race 9, 5:17 p.m.) will be the third leg of Belmont Park’s brand new guaranteed $350,000 Late Pick 4 (races 7-10).
FAMILIAR FACES ADD UP TO STRONG BELMONT JOCKEY COLONY
ELMONT, N.Y. – The day after riding Pioneerof the Nile to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Garrett Gomez was back in the irons at Belmont Park, where he will base his tack this spring for the fourth year in a row.
Gomez was one of seven New York jockeys to have a mount in the Derby, and returning to Belmont with him were Eibar Coa, Alan Garcia, Edgar Prado, Kent Desormeaux, Ramon Dominguez and John Velazquez.
Tampa Bay Downs End of Season Report
OLDSMAR, Fla. (May 7, 2009) On May 3, Tampa Bay Downs concluded its 83rd racing season, highlighted by five Tampa Bay Downs alumni participating in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. Tampa Bay Derby winner Musket Man, who campaigned in the Tampa Bay Downs three-year-old stakes program, was the third place finisher in the Run for the Roses and looks to make his next start in May 16’s Preakness Stakes.
The prep race for the Tampa Bay Derby, the Sam F. Davis Stakes, became a graded event for the first time in its 29 year history; additionally, the purse was increased to $225,000 this year. The Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes was run on February 14, 2009, and its 11 horse field yielded three Kentucky Derby starters; among them was Sam F. Davis Stakes winner General Quarters, who captured the Grade I Bluegrass Stakes in April.
Preakness News-May 6-2009
BALTIMORE, 05-06-09---The prospective field for next Saturday’s 134th Preakness® Stakes grew by three confirmed starters when the connections of Musket Man, General Quarters and Terrain committed to the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. The $1 million race now has nine definite starters with Big Drama the first to arrive at historic Pimlico Race Course.
Trainer Derek Ryan told Maryland Jockey Club officials that Musket Man, who finished third in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby would be Preakness bound. The Illinois Derby (Grade II) and Tampa Bay Derby (Grade III) winner has never finished off the board in seven lifetime starts.
Read more articles in the Pimlico
Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.6.09)
MINE THAT BIRD GALLOPS TWICE AROUND – Longshot Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird galloped twice around the Churchill Downs through a light drizzle Wednesday morning with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa up.
“He looked super and switched leads perfectly,” trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr said. “I was happy with him yesterday (when Mine That Bird galloped a mile). He tried to run off a little bit and that surprised me. I will let him do a little bit more tomorrow.”
Churchill Downs Incorporated Reports 2009 First-Quarter Results
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2009) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“Company”) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009.
Net revenues from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2009 totaled $73.7 million, an increase of 12 percent over net revenues from continuing operations of $65.7 million recorded during the first quarter of 2008. Net revenues from continuing operations for the quarter were positively affected by the continued strong first quarter performance of the Company’s gaming operations in Louisiana, which opened its permanent facility in November 2008, as well as the continued growth of its on-line businesses, including TwinSpires.com. Additionally, we benefited from the receipt of $4.3 million in one-time source market fees paid to Arlington Park, previously held in escrow by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (“NTRA”), during the first quarter of 2009.
TAP DANCING SPLASHES TO HOBERT SUMMERS MEMORIAL WIN
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 6, 2009) – Elizabeth Alexander’s Tap Dancing held off a late bid from Silver Mountain by a length to win the featured $43,760 Hobert Summers Memorial over a “sloppy” track at Churchill Downs in a field reduced to four on Wednesday afternoon.
The winner covered the 1 ¼ miles in 2:08.50 for the allowance test that was taken off the Matt Winn Turf Course.
DEWEY’S SPECIAL SHARP FOLLOWING YEAR-LONG LAYOFF
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 6, 2009) — Dewey’s Special got the early jump on even-money favorite Nitro Active and scored a front-running victory under jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. while making his first start in a year in Wednesday’s $50,000 allowance feature at Hollywood Park.
Valdivia, able to set leisurely fractions of :24.41 for the quarter and :48.11 for the half, had plenty of horse left in the stretch as Dewey’s Special prevailed by three-quarters of a length while covering 1 1/16 miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:42.20.
MANDELLA SEEKS RECORD FOURTH RAILBIRD WITH WITTY
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella seeks a record fourth victory in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes for 3-year-old fillies with unbeaten Witty at Hollywood Park Sunday.
From everything he has seen so far, Mandella thinks Witty could be every bit as good as his three previous winners — She’s Tops in 1992, Supercilious in 1996 and Brulay in 1998 — in the Grade III test at seven furlongs on Cushion Track.
SPRING CONCERT SERIES BEGINS SUNDAY AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
ALBANY -- The high-energy band Pride & Joy will provide the tunes Sunday at Golden Gate Fields when the East Bay track kicks off its Spring Concert Series.
Every Sunday through the remainder of its spring meeting, which concludes June 14, Golden Gate Fields will offer horse racing fans live musical entertainment along with a full racing card.
Arlington Park Barn Notes: May 6, 2009
EINSTEIN BRILLIANT IN 1ST STEPPING STONE TO ARLINGTON MILLION XXVII
Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein established himself as the early favorite for this summer’s 27th running of the Grade I Arlington Million – to be contested Aug. 8 – by driving to a hard-earned score in last weekend’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
Perhaps fittingly, Einstein’s margin of margin of victory was by a head in last Saturday’s event over the Louisville lawn. The Woodford Reserve, run at nine furlongs, annually serves as the first step on the road to the 10-furlong Arlington Million – always the showcase race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.