Saturday, December 06 2008
BUSH HAS TWO IN HAND FOR SUNDAY’S BIG A STAKES
With six starts to his credit, Fiddlers Afleet is the most experienced of the 10 two-year-old New York-breds entered in the main body for Sunday’s 30th running of the $75,000-added Damon Runyon.
And while Fiddlers Afleet has not run worse than third, he has only one victory. In his only start beyond six furlongs, he broke from post 8 and was a distant third in Belmont Park’s Sleepy Hollow Stakes on New York Showcase Day back on October 18.
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AQUEDUCT’S Top Trainer Teams Up With Toys for Tots
In 2007, Gary Contessa won a record 159 races on the New York circuit and he’s currently the leading trainer at the Aqueduct Fall meet. So, by pledging his share of any winnings at Aqueduct on Saturday, December 6 to the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program, there’s a great chance a lot more kids will be getting presents this holiday season.
Especially since the New York Racing Association will match Contessa’s donation.
NYRA 2009 STAKES SKED FEATURES PURSE BUMP TO 13 GRADE 1 RACES
The New York Racing Association, host to the greatest number of Grade 1 Thoroughbred races in North America, will raise the purses on 13 of them offered at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course in 2009. The hikes are part of the 2009 NYRA Stakes Schedule, which was approved by NYRA’s Board of Directors at its monthly meeting on Wednesday. It now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
The total value of the 2009 NYRA Stakes schedule for 177 stakes races is $34,765,000, of which $28,780,000 is for 113 graded stakes races (40 Grade 1 races, 41 Grade 2 races and 32 Grade 3 races). This includes $350,000 for three steeplechase races: the Grade 2, $100,000-added A.P. Smithwick and the Grade 1, $100,000 New York Turf Writers’ Cup at Saratoga, and the Grade 1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory during Belmont Park’s Fall Championship Meet.
Barbaro Memorial Fund Disburses $90,801 to Support Equine Research Projects
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that its subsidiary, NTRA Charities, has disbursed $90,801 in support of one new and two continuing equine medical research projects. The disbursements were made from the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund, established in memory of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who succumbed to laminitis, a disease of the hoof, in 2007. Funds for the studies will flow through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.
All three studies involve laminitis research. The new study, "Effect of Digital Hypothermia on Inflammatory Injury in Laminitis," by Dr. James Belknap of Ohio State University, is a two-year project funded for $82,109.
MICHAEL BAZE AIMS FOR REPEAT IN BAYAKOA ABOARD MODEL
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2008) — Jockey Michael Baze, who rode Romance is Diane to victory a year ago, will aim for a repeat aboard 117-high weight Model in Sunday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Model, winner of the It’s In the Air Stakes here while making her most recent start at the Bayakoa distance of 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, seeks her first graded stakes win in the Grade II event.
BANNER LODGE CRUISES TO WIN UNDER SMITH IN HOLLYPARK FEATURE
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2008) — Favorite Banner Lodge took command shortly after the start and had plenty left in the stretch under jockey Mike Smith as he posted a 1 3/4-length victory in the $42,876 allowance feature Friday at Hollywood Park.
The Kentucky-bred son of Chester House won for the second time in his last three starts while covering six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:08.37.
HP Stable Notes: Friday, Dec. 5, 2008
LARAGH TO SHIP WEST FOR HOLLYWOOD STARLET
Laragh, third-place finisher as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, will be flown west from New York to compete in the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 13, trainer John Terranova confirmed Friday.
“We plan to fly in next Wednesday,” said Terranova from Florida, where he is setting up shop for the winter. “She breezed five-eighths on the Belmont training track yesterday in 1:02 and galloped out in 1:14 and three. She finished very strong.”
IRISH DUO BACK TO TAKE A SHOT WITH WINCHESTER IN TURF CUP
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2008) — The Irish tandem of trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Patrick Smullen, who combined to win The Matriarch here four years ago with Dress to Thrill, have returned to Hollywood Park and have their sights set on Saturday’s $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.
Winchester, winner of the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park while making his North American debut in August, will try to rebound in the Grade I Turf Cup following a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in October.
YOU LIFT ME UP WILL TRY TO COMPLETE STAKES HAT TRICK SATURDAY
ALBANY -- You Lift Me Up will seek her third stakes victory of the year Saturday when she faces six opponents in the $75,000 Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields.
Post time is 12:45 p.m. and fans attending the nine-race card will receive a free Golden Gate Fields long sleeve shirt.
The Pacific Heights is for California-bred fillies and mares and will be run at 1 1/16-miles on Tapeta. The feature is the eighth race on the card and is scheduled to be run at 4:15 p.m.
Friday, December 05 2008
Mandobi the star on an afternoon of doubles
Jebel Ali’s bumper seven race card on Friday afternoon was highlighted by a quality 1600m conditions race in which Mandobi, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, posted an impressive victory.
Sporting the famous yellow silks of Selvaratnam’s main patron, Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the seven-year-old was produced with a perfectly-timed challenge by William Buick to land the spoils.
Buick explained: “He is a talented horse with a lot of ability; he actually won at Royal Ascot a few years ago and hopefully can be a serious Carnival horse this season.”
HP Stable Notes: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008
WELD, SMULLEN ARRIVE FOR HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP
“He looks great, absolutely magnificent,” said trainer Dermot Weld from a stand overlooking the backstretch at Hollywood Park on Thursday morning after watching Winchester canter once around the turf course under jockey Patrick Smullen for Saturday’s $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.
Weld and Smullen both arrived in California after a flight from Ireland on Wednesday night and saw the 3-year-old colt for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. The colt was vanned across town the following week and has spent the past month here with assistant Thomas Daly.
TUTTA BELLA AMONG EIGHT ENTERED IN PACIFIC HEIGHTS
ALBANY -- Tutta Bella, who earlier this year captured the $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park, is among the eight California-bred fillies and mares entered in Saturday's $75,000 Pacific Heights Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
The Pacific Heights will be run at 1 1/16-miles on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface. Tutta Bella will break from post position two and be ridden by Julio Garcia.
Tutta Bella is a 5-year-old mare trained by John Sadler, the leading conditioner at the current Hollywood Park meeting. Tutta Bella has won four of her 15 career starts and sports $279,144 in earnings.