Monday, April 27 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (4.26.09)
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE – At Churchill Downs, assistant trainer Mike McCarthy had two of trainer Todd Pletcher’s candidates for the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) out for exercise early on a beautiful morning beneath the Twin Spires.
With the first set, shortly after the track opened at 6 a.m., Join in the Dance and exercise rider Kevin Willey took a mile and three-eighths tour of oval, galloping along in the dark with only a few other Thoroughbreds joining them on the mile oval.
UNBEATEN ZENYATTA BOUND FOR LOUISVILLE DISTAFF
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 27, 2009) – Unbeaten Eclipse Award champion Zenyatta, a finalist for ‘Horse of the Year’ honors in 2008, is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 27 to run in the $350,000-added Louisville Distaff (Grade II) on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks Day program at Churchill Downs.
Trainer John Shirreffs confirmed Zenyatta’s participation via telephone Sunday afternoon and Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss’ 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry is scheduled to board a Louisville-bound plane after leaving Shirreffs’ barn at Santa Anita on Monday.
WISE RIVER TAKES CHURCHILL DOWNS TURF FEATURE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 26, 2009) – Don Benge’s Wise River survived an early pace duel with Dubious Miss and then fended off a challenge from favored Inca King to win Sunday’s $56,640 allowance feature at Churchill Downs by 3 ¼ lengths.
In giving jockey Jamie Theriot his fourth victory of the afternoon, Wise River covered the 1 1/16 miles on a “firm” Matt Winn Turf Course in a course-record time of 1:39.83. The previous record was 1:40.70 set by Quite a Bride on June 6, 2007.
Kentucky Juvenile Lures Precocious Field of Nine
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 26, 2009) – Six debut winners at Keeneland, a record-setting filly from Maryland and a West Coast invader highlight a field of nine 2-year-olds entered Sunday for Thursday’s 21st running of the $100,000-added Kentucky Juvenile (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The five-furlong event, which has been won seven times by fillies, serves as the first graded stakes of 2009 for 2-year-olds. Five fillies have been entered for Thursday’s race, including Jealous Again and Gator Prowl.
WISHFUL TOMCAT SECURES TITLES FOR DUTROW, DOMINGUEZ
Jockey Ramon Dominguez closed out another banner season at Aqueduct by guiding even-money favorite Wishful Tomcat to a front-running, three-quarter-length victory over Manteca in Sunday’s 29th running of the $69,875 King Point for three-year-old and older New York-breds. The nine-furlong Kings Point was the closing day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack’s spring meet. Racing moves to Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 29, with the start of the 64-day Spring/Summer Meet. Post-time is 1 p.m.
Making his first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. after a stint on the West Coast with Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Wishful Tomcat got a great break and quickly opened up a length on Manteca. Wishful Tomcat set a pace of 24.72, 48.47, 1:12.00 and 1:36.15.
RIBAUDO STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT BRIBON
When New York’s 2008 Grade 1 season came to an end last November in Aqueduct’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, trainer Bobby Ribaudo was feeling pretty good.
Granted, Marc Keller’s French-bred Bribon ran third in that race, but he was beaten by two solid players in Tale of Ekati and Harlem Rocker. Tale of Ekati emerged the winner by disqualification, and it was only three-quarters of a length back to Bribon.
QUALITY ROAD RECEIVES PATCH FOR SECOND QUARTER CRACK
Kentucky Derby hopeful Quality Road returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 “Run for the Roses.”
A five-furlong breeze Monday morning will be the determining factor on whether the Elusive Quality colt makes the trip to Churchill Downs.
HALL OF FAME JOCKEY SMITH COMPLETES HAT-TRICK ON MADEO
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 26, 2009) — Jockey Mike Smith, showcasing his Hall of Fame credentials, gave Madeo a perfectly-timed ride as the 4-year-old caught pacesetter Storm Military at the wire to win Sunday’s $100,000 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park by a head.
The victory completed a hat-trick for the 43-year-old Smith, who has ridden 4,781 winners since breaking his maiden in 1982 at Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Hollywood Park Stable Notes - 04/26/2009
CASHCALL FUTURITY STARS HOPE TO SHINE IN KENTUCKY
The CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park has long been a leading barometer for future stardom, including success in the Kentucky Derby.
But never has it played as major a role in morning-line favorites for the Derby, to be run at Churchill Downs and simulcast here Saturday, as this year. Pioneerof the Nile, I Want Revenge and Chocolate Candy, the 1-2-3 finishers respectively in the December Futurity, rank as three of the leading threats in the Run for the Roses.
Trainer Boulanger Saddles First Horse, Finishes Second
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (April 26, 2009) – Former jockey Gary Boulanger saddled his first horse as a trainer at Calder Race Course on Sunday, a 6-year-old mare named Tinkerbuck in the 11th race, and she finished second.
Boulanger, the leading rider of the 1994 and 1995 Calder Meet and the 1994-95 Tropical Meet, was seriously injured in a 2005 spill at Gulfstream Park. He suffered a ruptured spleen, broken ribs, and a detached tendon in his left elbow from the spill. A blood clot was also removed from his brain and part of his skull had to be removed to prevent cranial pressure. He was lucky to be alive, but he would never ride in races again.
Read more articles in the Calder
BAZE COMPLETES BIG WEEKEND WITH RIDING DOUBLE AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockey Russell Baze followed up a four-win Saturday with a riding double Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Baze won the second race, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, with the William E. Morey-trained Effervescent Charm ($5.60). The Hall of Famer scored his second victory when he guided the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Silver and Blue ($5.80) to a one-length triumph in the sixth race, a five-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies.
LUIS GONZALEZ HALTERS THREE VICTORIES
OLDMSAR, Fla. (April 26, 2009) Jockey Luis Antonio Gonzalez booted home three winners on this Sunday afternoon’s program, giving him 46 victories for the current Tampa meet. Gonzalez got his first win on the program with Demagoguery, a seven-year-old Demaloot Demashoot gelding under the care of trainer Dale Bennett for owner Mary A. Mazur.
Gonzalez took his second trip to the Winner’s Circle aboard Bea Precise; the three-year-old daughter of Pure Precision was bred in Florida by Frank Hopewell, is owned by Rick Totora and was conditioned to victory by Monte R. Thomas. Luis Gonzalez rounded out his hat trick with Welcome Back in the evening’s nightcap, this time for owner/trainer Christos Gatis.