Saturday, March 07 2009
AH DAY GETS A HEAD UP IN THE TOBOGGAN
Ah Day, making his second career start at Aqueduct, avenged his third-place finish in the 2007 Grade 1 Carter Handicap by rallying off a hot pace to defeat fellow Maryland invader Eternal Star by a head in Saturday’s 116th running of the Grade 3, $110,700 Toboggan Stakes at six furlongs on Aqueduct’ Racetrack’s fast inner dirt track.
“He ran awesome,” said Avon Thorpe, assistant to winning trainer King T. Leatherbury. “He’s been training good. He came back slowly and took his time. Then, he just did what he normally does – ran big.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
I lost My Choo Rallies to Capture Honey Fox
Making her first start since August at Saratoga, Flying Zee Stable’s 4-year-old homebred filly I Lost My Choo swung out around rivals on the far turn and rallied through the stretch to a two-length victory over Linda Shanahan’s 50-1 Rustic Flame in the $100,000 Honey Fox Stakes (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by jockey Jose Lezcano, I Lost My Choo had won all three of her starts over the Gulfstream course last winter for trainer Phil Serpe and made it 4-for-4 in her first start since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) run over yielding ground at Saratoga on Aug. 15.
Hypocrite Rallies to Sunshine State Victory at Gulfstream
After stumbling badly at the start from the one post under jockey Manoel Cruz, Jacqueline Tortora and partners’ 4-year-old Hypocrite rallied along the rail in Saturday’s $75,000 Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream Park to score by three-quarters of a length over Trilogy Stable’s 5-year-old Yesbyjimminy, the 3-5 favorite in the seven-furlong test.
A son of Outofthebox, Hypocrite won the Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs last out on Feb. 7 after finishing second and third in two stakes at Calder behind Yesbyjimminy late last year. Rose Family Stable’s 5-year-old Hal’s My Hope finished third in the field of six Florida-breds, 2¾ lengths behind the runner-up. Hypocrite paid $5.40 to win as the second choice and was timed in 1:23:40 over the fast track.
Barbaro’s Brother Nicanor Runner-up to ‘Carlos’ in Second Start
Lael Stable’s 3-year-old Nicanor, full-brother to ill-fated 2006 Florida and Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Barbaro, made his second career start Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and fared much better than his debut as he finished second to Homewrecker Racing’s 7-10 favorite Custom for Carlos in a seven-furlong maiden race.
Nicanor stumbled at the start of his much-publicized debut going one mile on Jan. 31 and never reached contention as he finished 10th of 12. Saturday, he was away alertly under jockey Jose Lezcano, set the pace to the upper stretch, and held gamely for the place at 8-1, a length behind the winner.
Barn Notes 3-7 GP
Danger to Society Working Toward Stakes Rebound
Lansdon Robbins and partners’ 3-year-old Danger to Society continues to work toward a hoped-for rebound in a major stakes with his latest drill coming Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park.
With exercise rider/jockey Mario Madrid in the saddle, the son of Harlan’s Holiday breezed six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 in his third workout since finishing seventh in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) here Jan. 31.
SAARLIGHT SCORES IN WIDE COUNTRY STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 3-7-09---Cam Allard’s Saarlight went from maiden to stakes winner in a single jump with a front running victory in today’s feature at Laurel Park, the $50,000 Wide Country Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Second in her only start at Aqueduct in early February, Saarlight sped the seven furlong distance in 1:22.78 under jockey Raymundo Fuentes. She finished one length the better of Strut the Canary, who was looking for her fourth consecutive victory. Haley’s Lollipop finished third.
Saarlight is a daughter of Saarland who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin at Belmont Park. She paid $5.60 and topped a $19.80 exacta.
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VETERAN JOCKEY GONZALEZ RIDES FOUR WINNERS
ALBANY -- Veteran jockey Roberto Gonzalez, age 54, showed his younger colleagues how it's done Saturday at Golden Gate Fields when he rode four winners.
Gonzalez won three of the first four races on the card, taking the first with Leo the Cat ($12.00), the second with Yorkville Kid ($7.40) and the fourth with Big League Dream ($5.40).
Gonzalez completed his four-bagger when he guided Meetyouatyogi's ($6.40) to a front-running victory in the eighth race.
FIERCE WIND BLOWS AWAY CHALLENGER COMPETITION
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 7, 2009) Fierce Wind, victor of the 2008 running of the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, captured the 18th rendition of the $65,000 Challenger Stakes today, running the 1 1/16 miles over the main track in 1:45.01. Fierce Wind is owned by Halsey Minor’s Minor Stable, is trained by William Phipps and was ridden to victory by Tampa’s leading rider Daniel Centeno.
Fierce Wind broke alertly, settled behind early leaders Fearless Vision and Paradise Dancer, and swept to the lead in final strides to win by a neck. Fearless Vision was second and Paradise Dancer rounded out the trifecta, which yielded $47.40 from a $2 wager.
Kiss With a Twist takes Wintergreen Stakes
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 7, 2009 . . . Kiss With a Twist earned her second Turfway Park stakes trophy Saturday, wearing down the leader in the stretch and taking the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes by three-quarters of a length. Final time for the mile was 1:37.61.
Jockey Billy Troilo kept Kiss With a Twist behind the moderate pace set by Unspoken Word, who broke from the outside of the five-horse field and had the lead before the first turn. Racing without pressure, Unspoken Word led by two and three lengths down the backstretch, setting the pace at :24.42 and :48.25 through half. She still led at the quarter pole, clocking the distance in 1:12.70, but by then Troilo had moved Kiss With a Twist up to challenge. The two fought side by side, with ‘Kiss’ having a slight lead, until Unspoken Word gave way in mid-stretch. She dropped back to finish third, 1 1/2 lengths behind De Star Xpress, who closed like a fresh horse to nearly catch the winner.
Read more articles in the Turfway
FAVORED GOTTA HAVE HER EASILY GETS FARAWAY EYES PURSE WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2009) – After competing in five successive graded stakes races and finishing second three times, Gotta Have Her found the climate in Friday’s $61,200 Faraway Eyes Purse to be ideal while registering a 1 ½ -length victory in the 6 ½-furlong event for fillies and mares over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
As the 13-10 favorite in a field of eight, Gotta Have Her tracked the early leaders before jockey Tyler Baze found an opening between horses in midstretch, and the 5-year-old mare steadily drew away from her rivals while running the distance in 1:13.35.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, MARCH 6TH, 2009
FOR GOMEZ, EIGHT IS ENOUGH IN WIDE OPEN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
With 14 entries and a 9-2 morning line favorite, Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Handicap presents handicappers with a plethora of perplexing propositions. Garrett Gomez, who rides 9-2 choice Colonel John in the Grade I race at 1 ¼ miles, recognizes the challenge, but was not overwhelmed with strategic options as post time drew within 24 hours.
“There are eight horses that can actually win the race,” said Santa Anita’s riding leader and winner of the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey the past two years. “It’s wide open, and it’s going to come down to who gets the best trip and who handles the race track best.”
MIKE STRAIGHT GETS FIRST WIN IN FIRST START
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 6, 2009) Apprentice jockey Mike Straight got his first win from his first career ride today in the sixth race aboard Ready Ruler for trainer Michael Thomas and owner Leighton Evans. Straight, who is a graduate of Chris McCarron’s North American Racing Academy, is the twin brother of Maryland jockey Matthew Straight. Born and raised outside of Saratoga Springs, New York, Straight was exposed to horse racing at an early age and said that his parents encouraged his love of horses and riding since his childhood. “I’ve always been interested in riding; I’ve always gone to the races and I’ve always wanted to be a jockey. My parents were all for it - when I was about nine, they bought my brother and me an Equicizer to practice on. It’s taken years of dedication and practice and watching races to get here, and I really have to thank Chris McCarron and the school (the North American Racing Academy) and my parents and brother for helping me out.”