Monday, April 06 2009
KENTUCKY DERBY HOPEFULS RUNNING OUT OF GROUND
“Show me the money” is pretty much the cry as a slew of Kentucky Derby hopefuls get set to make their final assaults on purse earnings Saturday when Keeneland presents its Grade I, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes and Oaklawn Park trots out its Grade II, $1-million Arkansas Derby.
The two make up two-thirds of the final push for money that can make or break the dreams of running in Churchill Downs’ $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2. As the prospective field of 20 3-year-olds is taking shape, it appears that it could take $200,000 in graded stakes earnings to put a horse in the gate on Derby Day.
HORSES ARRIVE FOR 2009 MONMOUTH PARK SEASON
Oceanport, N.J. * Heavy rains were no deterrent for the return of Thoroughbreds to Monmouth Park as the Shore racetrack opened its stable area on Monday in preparation for the 2009 season, set to get underway on May 9.
Among the first to arrive were horses for trainers Russell Cash, Frank Costa and Pat Marrotta.
“As always the stable area will meet its maximum capacity of 1,600 horses,” said Bob Kulina, vice president of racing and general manager of Monmouth Park. “We’ll have a great mix of familiar faces and newcomers in the trainer ranks, which should ensure great competitive racing, at all levels, throughout the meet.”
Pfizer Animal Health Makes $50,000 Leadership Contribution to NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance has received a contribution of $50,000 from Pfizer Animal Health.
“Pfizer Animal Health is proud to support the work of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance in its efforts towards improved health and wellness for the equine athletes,” said Kristin Ruff, Equine Sr. Marketing Manager at Pfizer Animal Health. “We salute the NTRA for its work over the years on behalf of all equines.”
Keeneland Barn Notes—Monday, April 6, 2009
PATENA WORK SATISFIES DUTROW
With a light, cold drizzle falling, Patena put in his final major preparation for Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) by working five furlongs in 1:00 with jockey Robby Albarado up.
It was Patena’s second work at Keeneland since running eighth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 14. Patena worked a half-mile in :51.80 on March 28.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.6.09)
EAST/I WANT REVENGE OVERCOMES TROUBLE, WINS WOOD
After a successful debut in New York in the Gotham Stakes (Grade III) that bordered on effortless, David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ California invader I Want Revenge encountered nothing but trouble in last Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GI). But the result in each was the same: a victory that enhanced his status as one of the major contenders for the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Kentucky Oaks 135 update (4.6.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA ROMPS IN FANTASY
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra may have earned the role of favorite in the 135th Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1 at Churchill Downjs when she romped to an effortless 8 ½-length romp in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (GII) at Oaklawn Park.
The Hal Wiggins-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, the 1-9 favorite in a field of five 3-year-old fillies, never had an anxious moment as she galloped to victory under jockey Calvin Borel. She covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.36. It was the fourth consecutive victory for Rachel Alexandra, a streak that began with a victory in the Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs last fall.
INJURY KNOCKS THE PAMPLEMOUSSE OFF THE DERBY TRAIL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 5, 2009) – A leg injury has knocked Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby and wagering on the colt in Pool 3 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager was suspended Sunday afternoon.
The Pamplemousse was scratched from the Santa Anita Derby shortly before Saturday’s race because of concern over the condition of a tendon, but his connections said the Kentucky Derby remained an option. But co-owner Alex Solis II announced on Sunday that The Pamplemousse was definitely out of the Kentucky Derby picture and would undergo tests to determine what treatment would be required for the injury.
WOOD MEMORIAL DAY FOLLOW-UP NOTES
Despite his troubled trip in Saturday’s 85th running of the Grade 1, nine-furlong Wood Memorial, IEAH Stables and David J. Lanzman’s I Want Revenge was feeling no ill-effects on Sunday morning.
“He came out the race real well,” said trainer Jeff Mullins, sipping a Red Bull outside of trainer Tony Dutrow’s barn at Aqueduct Racetrack. “We had him out this morning, went over him from head to toe, and everything looks good.”
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
SWEET AUGUST MOON UPSETS IN LAS FLORES; HIGH RESOLVE THIRD
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2009) – While gaining her third straight victory, Sweet August Moon ran down odds-on win machine High Resolve who would fade to third in Sunday’s 57th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.
The victorious 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon thus validated her recent 9-1 upset win in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Honest Lady Stakes as she rallied from third under Aaron Gryder to defeat Foxy Danseur by 1 ¼ lengths while clocked in 1:15.21.
STABLE NOTES, APRIL 5TH, 2009
BAFFERT EYES ROSES FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY KING PIONEEROF THE NILE
Overcoming the challenge of another paceless race, Pioneerof the Nile Saturday enhanced his status as a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby on May 2 with a one-length victory in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby,
It’s on to Churchill Downs for the son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker and Bob Baffert, who has won the Run for the Roses three times, but who has not had a participant in the mile and a quarter classic the past two years.
Barn Notes 4-5-2009
Confident ‘Vixen’ Ready to Tackle South Beach
Trainer Joe Orseno has been patiently waiting for Reata Thoroughbred Racing Farm’s Reata’s Vixen to come around. Apparently the 4-year-old filly simply needed a confidence boost and now she’s poised for a strong effort in the $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Sligo Bay won a $35,000 claiming race on turf on Feb. 26 to snap a 10-race losing streak. She built off that effort to be third in an allowance race on Mar. 22, and Orseno says it is all part of a plan.
WOOD MEMORIAL WINNER I WANT REVENGE FAVORED IN FINAL 2009 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 5, 2009) – David Lanzman and IEAH Stable’s I Want Revenge, who overcame a poor start and significant traffic concerns to win Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GI) at Aqueduct, emerged a solid favorite to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) completed its four-day run on Sunday, April 5.
The Jeff Mullins-trained son of Stephen Got Even, now unbeaten in two races over traditional dirt, left a strong impression on bettors after clearing several obstacles to win the 1 1/8-mile Wood, was the 9-2 fans’ choice when KDFW Pool 3 betting concluded at 6 p.m. (EDT) at racetracks and satellite wagering centers across North America. Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (GI) and the favorite through the first two days of Pool 3 betting, closed as the 6-1 second choice. Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire, the Louisiana Derby (GII) winner, was the 8-1 third choice, and Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Pioneerof the Nile was next at 9-1. Florida Derby runner-up Dunkirk was next at 11-1 and Old Fashioned, who figures to be among the favorites for next week’s Arkansas Derby (GII) closed at 12-1.