Friday, April 10 2009
AFTER 1 ½ MILES ON TURF, THREE-HORSE PHOTO GOES TO ISIPINGO
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2009) – After traversing the seldom run marathon distance of 1 ½ miles on turf, it took a photo Friday to separate the first three finishers in Santa Anita’s $55,520 optional claiming feature with the nod going to favored Isipingo.
Winless the last two years but able to call on past graded stakes experience, the 6-year-old gelding nosed out second-choice Unusual Smoke with fastest-finishing Romp another head back in third.
Barn Notes - Fla Derby 1,2 prep
Quality Road, Dunkirk Keep on Edge
Quality Road and Dunkirk, 1,2 in their March 28 match in the Grade 1 Blackberry Florida Derby, put in workouts Friday morning toward what their connections hope will be their next meeting, the May 2 Kentucky Derby.
Richard Evans’ Quality Road finished 1¾ lengths ahead of Dunkirk in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, a race that appears in the past performances of 21 Kentucky Derby winners since its inception in 1952.
INAUGURAL JOCKEY CHALLENGE SET FOR BLACK-EYED SUSAN DAY
BALTIMORE, 04-10-09---Eight of the nation’s top jockeys, including Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux, Edgar Prado, Garrett Gomez and John Velazquez, will square off in the inaugural Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, the day before the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. The Maryland Jockey Club teamed up with the Jockeys’ Guild for the event and will make a $5,000 contribution to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Sunday, May 10, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race. The champion jockey will earn $14,000. Other prize money: $10,000 (second); $8,000 (third) and $3,500 (fourth through eighth).
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Mr. Sidney Gives Kent Desormeaux Sweep Of Keeneland Stakes
Lexington, Ky. (April 10, 2009)—Mr. Sidney, a regally bred but lightly raced 5-year-old, won the $300,000, Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Friday at Keeneland to give jockey Kent Desormeaux his stakes second stakes victory of the stormy afternoon. Desormeaux finished with four wins for the day.
By Storm Cat out of A.P.Indy’s daughter Tomisue’s Delight, Mr. Sidney ran one mile in 1:41.84 on the turf course made “yielding” by a series of thunderstorms throughout the day.
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Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 10, 2009
WALDEN PLEASED WITH HOLD ME BACK
Standing under cover in the midst of intermittent showers on Friday morning at Keeneland, a crew from WinStar Farm, including co-owner Bill Casner, was laughing and smiling. WinStar owns Hold Me Back, the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) who is trained by Bill Mott.
“We’re excited,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s vice president and racing manager. “He (Hold Me Back) trained good this morning, galloped a mile and a half and looks great.”
Read more articles in the Keeneland
VETERANS GONZALEZ, BAZE MAKE IT BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Roberto Gonzalez and Russell Baze, both winners of two races Thursday at Golden Gate Fields, duplicated the trick Friday at the East Bay racetrack.
Gonzalez recorded his riding double with Izzacopy ($13.60), who won Friday's first race, and Acekingqueenjacten ($3.60), who captured the fifth event.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.10.09)
SOUTH/OLD FASHIONED FAVORED IN ARKANSAS DERBY REMATCH WITH WIN WILLY
Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned, a near-consensus early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) a month ago, is the morning line favorite to win a rematch with Win Willy, the horse that knocked him from the role of Derby favorite, when the two meet in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GII) at Oaklawn Park.
The Larry Jones-trained Old Fashioned is the 9-5 morning line choice in a field of 10 horses entered in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep. The son of Unbridled’s Song will attempt to avenge the only loss of his career as he takes on Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, the 56-1 upset winner over Old Fashioned in the Rebel Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn on March 14. The Mac Robertson-trained son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos is unbeaten in three races on dirt and is the 7-2 second choice in the Arkansas Derby.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Udpate (4.10.09)
EAST/LARAGH BACK IN ACTION IN AQUEDUCT’S COMELY
IEAH Stable’s Laragh, one of the outstanding 2-year-old fillies of 2008, will make her debut as a 3-year-old in Saturday’s 60th running of the $150,000 Comely (Grade II) at Aqueduct.
The daughter of Tapit finished a good third to champion Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), and then completed out her 2-year-old season with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet (GI) over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park.
BEJARANO GAINS JOCKEYS’ RACE TIE TO CLOSE IN ANOTHER TITLE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – Rafael Bejarano, who last year became the third jockey in history to sweep the riding titles at Southern California’s five major race meetings, on Thursday moved closer to securing a sixth consecutive title and his second in succession at Santa Anita.
Bejarano rode a pair of winners to tie Garrett Gomez at 86 victories apiece in the season’s jockeys’ standings while moving 12 wins ahead of third-place Joel Rosario with eight racing days remaining in the season.
BAZE, ANTONGEORGI III, GONZALEZ RIDE PAIR OF WINNERS AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Russell Baze, William Antongeorgi III and Roberto Gonzalez all rode a pair of winners at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Baze, the leading rider at the meeting with 115 victories, scored his double with heavy favorites. The Hall of Famer won the first race with Ai Se Va ($3.20) and the third with Gail Force Wins ($3.80).
Thursday, April 09 2009
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, APRIL 9TH, 2009
STEINER ‘WORKS’ HIS WAY TO KENTUCKY DERBY WITH PIONEEROF THE NILE
Joey Steiner never won the Kentucky Derby. Never rode in it, as a matter of fact. But on May 2 of this year, the former jockey could enjoy a vicarious victory, if Pioneerof the Nile wins the 135th classic at Churchill Downs.
Steiner is the regular exercise rider for the son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, who has captured four consecutive stakes races, including the Grade I Santa Anita Derby last Saturday. Trainer Bob Baffert has employed Steiner on his efficient work team for some seven months. During that span, Pioneerof the Nile has developed into one of the favorites for the Run for the Roses.
LAST CHANCE FOR GOMEZ TO TIE RECORD ABOARD TUCSAN EVENING
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading jockey in purse earnings the last three years and America’s Eclipse Award winner the last two, will employ a final opportunity on Sunday to equal a Santa Anita record for most stakes victories by a jockey in a single season, which is 19.
Gomez, who left Santa Anita to ride full-time at the Keeneland meeting that opened on April 3, returns to handle the enigmatic 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Tuscan Evening in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.