Wednesday, April 15 2009


STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15TH, 2009


PIONEEROF THE NILE IN ‘BEST WORK’ FOR DERBY; JOCKEY STILL OPEN

Santa Anita Derby winner Pioneerof the Nile had his final workout at Santa Anita Wednesday on a blustery but sun-drenched morning before departing for Churchill Downs Thursday where the son of Empire Maker will prepare for the 135th Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Under former jockey Joey Steiner, Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the Grade II San Felipe Stakes this meet in addition to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, went four furlongs on Pro-Ride in a bullet :46.20, fastest of 39 drills at the distance.



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PIMLICO SPRING MEETING OPENS SATURDAY AFTERNOON


BALTIMORE, 04-15-09---Live racing shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course Saturday, April 18 for the spring meeting. The headline event of the six week stand is the 134th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 16.

“You get a unique feeling driving down Winner Avenue and into the facility,” said Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer. “This is a storied place with a deep tradition and is the second oldest racetrack in the country. The Pimlico meet has a festive atmosphere buoyed by one of the premier races in our industry.”





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Return of Coolers to Infield Included In Hospitality, Security Policies for 135th Derby, Oaks


LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – For the first time since 2001, fans who enjoy Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days in the infield at historic Churchill Downs will be allowed to bring coolers into the track for the 2009 renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks.

Coolers will be allowed in the Churchill Downs infield only on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 1, and Kentucky Derby Day, May 2. Patrons may carry coolers into the track only through Gates 1 and 3, the traditional “infield gates,” and all coolers will be subject to search. Alcoholic beverages and glass containers of any kind will not be allowed in those coolers. Permitted contents include ice, non-alcoholic beverages in non-glass containers, and food packaged in clear plastic containers or bags. The maximum size of those clear containers and plastic bags remains at 18” x 18”.





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Leparoux To Ride Toyota Blue Grass Winner General Quarters in Kentucky Derby 135


LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – Four-time Churchill Downs’ riding champion Julien Leparoux has been named to ride owner-trainer Tom McCarthy’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner General Quarters in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 at Churchill Downs.

McCarthy said Wednesday that the 25-year-old native of Senlis, France would ride his gray son of Sky Mesa in the Derby. McCarthy named Leparoux to the mount after he became frustrated by a lack of a commitment or communication from jockey Eibar Coa, who rode the colt in the Toyota Blue Grass. Coa is also the regular jockey aboard Kentucky Derby contender Musket Man, the winner of the Illinois Derby (GII).





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 15, 2009


SQUARE EDDIE HEADS FIELD OF 12 FOR SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON

J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, winner of last fall’s Grade 1 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity here, tops a field of 12 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 28th running of the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Square Eddie will break from post position eight under Edgar Prado and share top weight of 123 pounds with El Crespo. Prado took the 2003 running of the Coolmore Lexington aboard Scrimshaw.





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Gordie Howe drawmaster for this year’s Queen’s Plate


TORONTO, April 15 - Canadian icon Gordie Howe has been announced as the drawmaster for this year’s 150th running of the Queen’s Plate, which will be contested on Sunday, June 21, at Woodbine.

Often referred to as Mr. Hockey, and widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Howe will assist in draw ceremonies on June 18 at the Toronto oval.





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Barn Notes 4-15-2009


McPeek Back on Top with Two Wins Sunday at Gulfstream

The Gulfstream Park trainers’ title chase continued to be a day-by-day affair over the weekend as Todd Pletcher sent out two winners Saturday to lead by one and the Ken McPeek stable came right back with two on Sunday to regain the lead at 31-30 in competition that promises to continue through the final seven days of the meet, which closes Thursday, April 23.

McPeek broke on top early in the season in January, but Pletcher has steadily picked up momentum as he bids for a sixth consecutive Gulfstream championship. McPeek also is on a career milestone watch with 993 winners and closing in on 1,000.





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Barn Notes: Wednesday, April 15, 2009


OAKLAWN TRIO FIRST TO ARRIVE AT ARLINGTON PARK FOR 2009 SEASON

With horse vans beginning to back-up on the access road leading into the Arlington Park stable area, a decision was made to spring the gates a few minutes ahead of the planned 7 a.m. opening, which pleased both the humans and equines patiently waiting in vehicles just outside the entrance.

First to arrive as usual was Steve Hobby, who drove his truck through the gates at about 6:50 a.m. ahead of the three Creech horse vans that were carrying a total of 21 horses for the affable trainer.





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SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO PREP FOR KENTUCKY DERBY IN COOLMORE LEXINGTON


Keeneland’s Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack offers the final major stop on the road to the 135th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with a possible field of 11 hopefuls set to battle for the chance at a berth in the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2.

One horse that isn’t concerned with the money involved is SQUARE EDDIE, who has more than enough to make the gate. The concern of owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill is getting the colt fit enough to run in the Churchill Downs classic, the first jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The son of Smart Strike has been away from the races with shin problems since finishing second to The Pamplemousse Jan. 17 in Santa Anita’s Grade III San Rafael Stakes.





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LEANN RIMES TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT KENTUCKY DERBY 135


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 15, 2009) – Churchill Downs today announced that multiple-award winner and country music superstar LeAnn Rimes will help the historic racetrack launch a modern-day Kentucky Derby tradition when she performs the national anthem live as part of the ceremonies leading up to the 135th running of the Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Rimes’ performance will be the first live vocal performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by a national recording artist on Derby Day and will be televised by NBC Sports as part of its pre-race coverage, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT.





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NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby


NTRA RACING TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY SCHEUDLE CONCLUDES SATURDAY WITH LIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEASON’S FINAL DERBY PREP, THE COOLMORE LEXINGTON STAKES FROM KEENELAND

WHAT: Live coverage of the Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, a test for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., is the main attraction on this week’s fourth and final installment of “NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby”. The Lexington is the final meaningful Derby prep race leading up to the Run for the Roses, and the rich purse virtually guarantees an available Derby starting berth to the race winner should his owners decide to continue down the path to Louisville. In 1999, Charismatic parlayed a Lexington triumph into victories in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.







 

rkansas Derby Winner Papa Clem Arrives At Churchill Downs For Kentucky Derby 135


LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 14, 2009) – Bo Hirsch’s homebred Papa Clem, winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade II) on April 11 at Oaklawn Park, arrived at Churchill Downs late Tuesday afternoon to continue his preparation for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).

Papa Clem flew from Arkansas to Lexington, Ky., then traveled just over an hour by van to Churchill Downs. He arrived at the Louisville track at 5:30 p.m. (all times EDT) and took up residence in Barn 10A, which houses horses trained by Cody Autrey.





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