Tuesday, May 12 2009


Preakness News-May 11 2009


MINE THAT BIRD – Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley altered Mine That Bird’s training schedule at Churchill Downs Monday morning, when he sent his Kentucky Derby winner to the track for an impromptu half-mile workout in preparation for a start in Saturday’s 134th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

“The horse looked good. I hadn’t planned to work him, but he was getting pretty high. He bounced back from the Derby a little quicker than I thought he would,” Woolley said. “He was getting a little rattled, he was feeling so good. We just wanted to let him stretch his legs.”





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Churchill Downs to Request Reduced Racing Dates, Stakes Purses for 2009 Spring Meet


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 11, 2009) – Due to a reduced number of entries and a decline in purse money earned from all wagering sources during its ongoing 2009 Spring Meet, Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill”) will request permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to eliminate seven race days from its 2009 Spring Meet, which had been scheduled for 52 racing days between Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, July 5. The request, which will be made at the KHRC’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 12, comes on the heels of four consecutive race days in which at least one race was canceled due to small field sizes.

“With this announcement, we are now clearly seeing the impact of competing with Thoroughbred racetracks that supplement their purses with revenue from additional gaming options, such as slots and video lottery terminals,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Our analysis shows that tracks with these enhanced purses are attracting more horses to their races. Meanwhile, Kentucky, the cradle of our industry, is seeing a decline in field size. Until we address this inequity, Kentucky’s horse industry will continue to suffer.”





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Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.11.09)


KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD WORKS SURPRISE FOUR FURLONGS WITH BOREL IN SADDLE – Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. waited until after the renovation break to send Kentucky Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird to the track Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

That signaled the trip was not business as usual – no two-mile gallop under exercise rider Charlie Figueroa.

“Are you working?” Woolley was asked upon arrival at a viewing stand.





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Malagon, Ruiz Named to New Positions


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 11, 2009) – Arlington Park President Roy Arnold announced the promotion of two longtime Arlington Park employees, Ricardo Malagon and Gabriel Ruiz, to the positions of Synthetic Track Superintendent and Turf Course Superintendent, respectively.

Malagon and Ruiz succeed Javier Barajas, who resigned as Track Superintendent earlier this year to accept a similar position with the Dubai Racing Club.





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Monday, May 11 2009


Preakness News-May 10 2009


‘RACHEL’ WORKS SHARPLY IN KENTUCKY FOR MIDDLE JEWEL; TWO NEW SHOOTERS COULD EXCLUDE FILLY FROM FIELD

BALTIMORE, 05-10-09---Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra turned in a strong workout Sunday morning at Churchill Downs, but a full field of 14 Triple Crown-nominated horses could stymie plans to enter the standout filly in Saturday’s 134th running of the Preakness.

Pimlico officials had been expecting a field of 13 runners – including Rachel Alexandra – to be entered in the Preakness, but late Sunday afternoon it appeared that the filly who captured the Oaks by more than 20 lengths might be excluded from the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown by the prospect of two new shooters being entered.





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Indy Express out of Preakness


Mark Allen, owner of the 135th Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, will not enter Indy Express in the 2009 Preakness Stakes.

Early this morning Allen was delivered a message to contact another owner “Our conversation consisted of congratulating me on our win in the Derby and talking about a rematch, wanting a chance to hook us on a fast surface. We laughed and joked about what a race that would be,” said Allen.





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BANROCK DELIVERS IN ’09 HOMECOMING


ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Tom Bush has made no secret of how to handle Nyala Farm’s six-year-old Banrock: space the gelding’s races, keep him happy and hope for soft turf. He’ll do the rest.

Sunday afternoon, before a Mother’s Day crowd of 7,835 at Belmont Park, all the elements came together and favored Banrock strutted away to a 4¾-length victory over front-running longshot Mission Approved to win the 31st running of the $108,500 Kingston Stakes for New York-breds. Originally scheduled for the inner turf course, the race was run at a mile and a sixteenth on the soft Widener (outer) turf course.





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BELMONT PARK NOTES, Sunday, May 10, 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. -- Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said this morning that Charitable Man came out of his victory in Saturday’s Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes in fine form and that he and owner William K. Warren Jr. would decide on the colt’s next start shortly.

“He came out of the race great,” said McLaughlin of Charitable Man, who covered the nine furlongs in 1:47.13. “The main decision is, `Where do we go next? What do we do?’ I will be corresponding with Mr. Warren today and tomorrow, and we are looking at the Belmont Stakes (Grade 1, $1 million, 3-year-olds, 1½ miles, June 6) or the Dwyer (Grade 2, $200,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16th miles, July 4) with heading to the Shadwell Travers (Grade 1, $1 million, 1 ¼ miles, Aug. 29, Saratoga) as the main objective.





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Churchill Downs Barn Notes 5.10.09


KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER RACHEL ALEXANDRA WORKS FOR NEW BARN – Possible Preakness candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 ¼-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) tuned up for a possible bid for Saturday’s $1 million Preakness Stakes (GI) with an easy four-furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, working for the first time for new trainer Steve Asmussen, covered the half-mile distance over a “fast” track in :48.40. Exercise rider Dominic Terry was in the saddle as Rachel Alexandra turned out fractional times of :12.40 and :24.40 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02. The move ranked 13th among 81 works at the distance.





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WITTY PREVAILS IN BATTLE OF UNBEATEN FILLIES


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 10, 2009) — Witty hooked fellow unbeaten filly Carlsbad at the top of the stretch and pulled away in the final sixteenth to win Sunday’s $100,000 Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park by 1 ½ lengths under jockey Victor Espinoza.

The victory kept Witty’s record perfect in three starts and provided Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella a record fourth victory in the Grade III event for 3-year-old fillies.





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Stable Notes: May 5 2009


MITCHELL SEEKS WEEKEND STAKES SWEEP

There was something old and something new in the Mike Mitchell barn in quest of a stakes sweep at Hollywood Park next weekend.

Something new is Dehere Again, a 4-year-old Australian import scheduled to make his United States debut in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap, a Grade III test at six furlongs on Cushion Track Saturday.





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ANOTHER MULTIPLE-WIN DAY AT GGF FOR LEADING JOCKEY BAZE


ALBANY -- Leading jockey Russell Baze capped another big week at Golden Gate Fields by riding three winners Sunday before an on-track crowd of 6,210.

Baze, who had riding doubles on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, capitalized on very live mounts to record his hat trick. The Hall of Famer won the first race with Judge's Verdict ($3.00), the second with Movie Star R. N. ($4.20) and the eighth with Sidepocket Cat ($3.60).





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