Friday, April 03 2009
Barn notes 4-3-2209
Rick Pitino Takes Time for Horse Hobby at Gulfstream
With the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s college basketball fans stirred into a frenzy after the elimination of top-seeded University of Louisville from the NCAA men’s tournament and the hiring of a new coach at the University of Kentucky, Louisville’s coach Rick Pitino escaped the storm for a few hours indulging his passion for horse racing Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The 56-year-old coach is one of the principle partners in Ol Memorial Stable. He was at the track to see his 3-year-old filly In Debt Joanne go for her second career win in a 5 ½-furlong claiming race.
Stormalory Rallies From Last To Win Central Bank Transylvania
Lexington, Ky. (April 3, 2009)—Stormalory rallied from next to last with a quarter mile remaining to score a narrow victory in the $150,000, Grade 3 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes as Keeneland began its 15-day spring meeting Friday.
The son of Storm Cat caught Florentino (JPN) inside the sixteenth pole and then held off Smart Bid to win the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds. He gave trainer Bill Mott his 30th career stakes victory at Keeneland.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 3, 2009
DUTROW OPTIMISTIC ABOUT STARDOM BOUND’S ASHLAND CHANCES
Trainer Rick Dutrow was quietly confident Friday morning about Stardom Bound’s chances in Saturday’s 72nd running of the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1).
“I know that she likes it here and is doing good,” Dutrow said. “She has already beaten most of the horses in there, so I feel very good about our chances.”
Read more articles in the Keeneland
IRISH-BRED FERNELEY POSTS SMART WIN ON GGF TURF
ALBANY -- Irish-bred Ferneley, displaying a powerful stretch kick, posted an impressive victory in the $40,704 turf feature at Golden Gate Fields Friday.
The one-mile allowance race, a prep for the Grade 2 $300,000 San Francisco Mile on April 25, featured a solid field of six that was headed by multiple stakes-winners Bold Chieftain and El Gato Malo.
Ferneley, a 5-year-old horse trained by Ben Cecil, earned his first U.S. stakes victory when he blew by pacesetter Yacht Spotter in midstretch and scored by 3 1/4 lengths. Yacht Spotter took second by 1 1/4 lengths over Bold Chieftain, the even-money favorite.
TROMBETTA LOOKING TO REWRITE HISTORY IN ILLINOIS DERBY
LAUREL, MD. 04-03-09---Trainer Mike Trombetta burst onto the national scene three years ago when Sweetnorthernsaint won the Illinois Derby to become a major player during the 2006 Triple Crown scene as the betting favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby and runner-up in the Grade I Preakness Stakes. This year, the Baltimore native will saddle Perfect Song in the Grade II event.
“I am looking forward to going back and giving it another try,” Trombetta said. “It was a lot of fun the last time. We think he is a nice horse and based on numbers and performance he has a reasonable chance.”
Read more articles in the Laurel
Churchill Downs to be Reviewed by NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Inspection Team Next Week
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., will be the first U.S. racetrack reviewed by an inspection team as part of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance accreditation process. The inspection visit will begin Monday, April 6.
In preparation for the accreditation visit, Churchill Downs completed a 48-page written application that serves as the first step in the accreditation process. The track also hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met with the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The on-site visit will include inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers.
KATHLEEN O’CONNELL NAMED COURTSIDE GRILLE II TRAINER OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 3, 2009) April’s Courtside Grille II Trainer of the Month is Kathleen O’Connell, who in the week of March 24 – March 29 has saddled 7 winners, 1 second and 2 third-place finishers from 19 starters. Additionally, O’Connell is as of April 1st the fifth leading trainer for the current Tampa meet with 24 wins.
Kathleen O’Connell is the daughter of a retired Detroit policeman. She rode show horses as a youth but had no racetrack experience when she took a howalker's job in 1970 at age 19 at the now-defunct Detroit Racecourse. A National Honor Society member in high school, O'Connell began working at the track "until I decided what I wanted to do with my life," she said. After having been turned down for veterinary school, O'Connell began her training career in her native Michigan, but has been competing in Florida since 1985. She established herself as one of the hardest working conditioners on the backstretch, and won the training title here in the 1998-1999 season.
Turfway sees double-digit declines
FLORENCE, KY . . . April 3, 2009 . . . Turfway Park ended its 2009 Winter/Spring Meet with double-digit declines in handle and purses paid and a significant drop in field size compared to the same period in 2008. The 2009 meet began January 1 and ended April 2.
On-track wagering on Turfway races fell 11.2 percent to $7,020,016 for the meet. All-sources wagering on Turfway races dropped 24.6 percent to $113,649,793, driven by a 26.1 percent decline in wagering by out-of-state players.
Average daily purses dropped from $145,614 to $125,017.
Read more articles in the Turfway
Champion filly Van Lear Rose out for the year
TORONTO, April 3 – Van Lear Rose, Canada’s champion two-year-old filly in 2008, will be sidelined for the year due to a suspensory injury.
Trained by Catherine Day Phillips and bred and owned by her brother, Richard Day (Kingview Farms), the three-year-old daughter of Stroll suffered the injury while breezing at Gulfstream Park (in Florida) two weeks ago.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.3.09)
WEST/SHOWDOWN AT SANTA ANITA BETWEEN PIONEEROF THE NILE, THE PAMPLEMOUSSE
Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (Grade) figures to confirm which 3-year-old is California’s leading hope for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1.
The 1 1/8-mile race over Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface attracted a field of 10 3-year-olds, but three of those horses figure to contend for the unofficial title of “Best of the West.” That group includes Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse, the 9-5 morning line favorite for veteran trainer Julio Canani; CashCall Futurity (GI) winner Pioneer of the Nile, victorious in three consecutive stakes races for three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert; and Chocolate Candy, the top 3-year-old in Northern California who bids to build his credentials for the famed “Run for the Roses.”
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.3.09)
MIDWEST/CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND BIDS TO EXTEND GRADE I WIN STREAK IN KEENELAND’S ASHLAND
Champion Stardom Bound bids for a sixth consecutive Grade I stakes victory as she preps for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI) by facing eight rivals over the synthetic Polytrack surface in the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (GI) at 1 1/16-miles on Saturday at Keeneland.
The gray daughter of Tapit, who is coming off a nose victory in the Santa Anita Oaks, is American racing’s reigning 2-year-old filly champion. She is the favorite in the Ashland and will be saddled by trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. after Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had overseen her training over the winter in Southern California. Regular jockey Mike Smith will ride Stardom Bound.
Quality Road Is Fan’s Choice On Opening Day Of Kentucky Derby Future Pool 3
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 2, 2009) – Florida Derby (Grade I) winner Quality Road justified his status as the morning line choice for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) when racing fans across North America made the Jimmy Jerkens-trained colt a tepid 5-1 favorite on Thursday’s opening day of betting in the four-day pool.
Edward P. Evans’ homebred son of Elusive Quality, a winner of three of four career races, was the narrow people’s choice on the Pool 3 betting roster that includes 23 individual horses and a mutuel field that consists of all other 3-year-old Thoroughbreds. Close behind in Thursday’s wagering at odds of 8-1 were Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Friesan Fire and Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse, one of the favorites for Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (GI).