Saturday, March 28 2009


Quality Road Sets Track Record Winning Florida Derby


Edward P. Evans 3-year-old Virginia homebred Quality Road turned back challengers at the head of the stretch in Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park and drew off to win by 1 ¾ lengths over Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s even-money favorite Dunkirk in the historic South Florida Kentucky Derby (G1) preview.

Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, Quality Road was a strong second choice after winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) last out on Feb. 28 and punched his ticket to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2 as he paid $4.40 to win in his first start around two turns. The Virginia-bred son of Elusive Quality set a track record for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track.





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‘Phil’ Wins Swale After Big Drama Disqualification


After a stretch-long battle in Saturday’s $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Harold Queen’s homebred 3-year-old Big Drama prevailed by a half-length over Paul Pompa Jr.’s This Ones for Phil in track-record time, but was disqualified and placed second after a stewards’ inquiry.

Big Drama was away alertly early in the seven-furlong test in his first start since winning the Delta Jackpot (G3) in early December and fought back bravely when challenged by This Ones for Phil in the stretch. Homewrecker Stable’s Custom for Carlos finished third in the field six, 4½ lengths behind the runner-up.





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Nicanor Second Again in Third Start at Gulfstream


Lael Stable’s 3-year-old Nicanor, full-brother to ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Barbaro, made his third career start Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and finished second as he did last out on Mar. 7, this time a half-length behind Brenda Stewart’s Glittermans Cartel in a one-mile maiden race.

Trained by Michael Matz and ridden by jockey Jose Lezcano, Nicanor was the 7-10 favorite in the field of eight 3-year-olds and loomed boldly into the stretch, but failed to make up ground in the final yards. Glittermans Cartel was timed in 1:36:08 over the fast track and paid $10.20 for $2. Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode the winner for trainer Ken McPeek.





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STREAM CAT UPSETS BIG BOOSTER FOR BIANCONE IN TOKYO CITY CUP


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 28, 2009) – A former leading trainer in the United States who returned late last year from a one-year suspension for a medication violation, Patrick Biancone on Saturday realized his second victory since his reinstatement when Stream Cat captured Santa Anita’s 53rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles.

After a ground saving ride along the rail, jockey Joseph Talamo sent Stream Cat to the lead in midstretch and they had enough in reserve to stave off the fast-closing bid of favored Big Booster by a neck with Medjool another two lengths back in third.





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STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, MARCH 28TH, 2009


GALLANT SON SET FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY; ESPINOZA ON FEISTY SUANCES

Frank Lucarelli said Saturday morning that Gallant Son was “99 percent sure” to run in the Santa Anita Derby a week from Saturday. The trainer had been considering the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course the same day for the son of Malabar Gold, who won the restricted Pasadena Stakes at one mile on turf at Santa Anita on March 15.

“He’s doing good in California, so we’re 99 percent sure to run in the Santa Anita Derby,” Lucarelli said. “He’s never really shipped that far, so going to the Midwest isn’t something I’d want to consider right now.”





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BULLSBAY REBOUNDS TO WIN HARRISON JOHNSON MEMORIAL HANDICAP


LAUREL, MD. 03-28-09---Mitchell Ranch LLC, Frank Lewkowitz & Joe Rice’s Bullsbay made amends for a disappointing stakes appearance at Laurel Park with a daring, rail skimming victory in the $50,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap.

A near-miss second in the John B. Campbell Handicap over President’s day weekend, Bullsbay took the short way home in this nine furlong test over the sloppy main track. Tucked in along the fence under Jeremy Rose for much of the race, Rose steered the Graham Motion trainee around the tiring pacesetter, dove back to the rail and in a furious drive, pushed by Senior and Brady Baby to secure the win.





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STUMBLING BLOCK STRIDES TO VICTORY IN FINAL LEG OF TAMPA TURF TEST


OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 28, 2009) Stumbling Block captured the final leg of the Tampa Turf Test today, besting nine other horses in the 1 3/8 miles contest over the lawn. Stumbling Block is trained by Tampa Bay Downs’s leading trainer Jamie Ness, is owned by Web’s Gem Stable and was ridden to victory by top Tampa jockey Daniel Centeno.

Stumbling Block, a six-year-old Illinois-bred son of Out of Place, settled behind early leaders to edge out second-place finisher Special Tiger by a neck; Onotheregoestokyo rounded out the trifecta, which yielded $1,881.20 for a $2 wager.





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DREYFUS OBIT


John “Jack” Dreyfus, Sr., the “Lion of Wall Street” who became one of Thoroughbred racing’s more prominent owners, died Friday. Chairman of the New York Racing Association’s Board of Trustees in 1969 and 1975, Dreyfus was 95.

Born August 28, 1913 in Montgomery, Ala., the founder of the Dreyfus Funds graduated from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He is widely publicized for being the man who “invented” the commonplace mutual fund through direct marketing to the public.





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WEATHERED WEATHERS ALL CHALLENGES AND WINS NEXT MOVE


Chevalier Stable’s heavily favored Weathered turned back two challenges Saturday afternoon and powered on to a 1 ½-length victory in the 35th running of the Grade 3, $107,800 Next Move – the final graded stakes race of the Aqueduct Racetrack inner dirt season.

Trained by Karl Grusmark and ridden by Mike Luzzi, the 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Key Contender won for the second time in three starts this year, all at the Big A, as the favorite of 4,197 fans. The Next Move, for fillies and mares, was at nine furlongs on the fast inner dirt track, the same distance as her victory in the February 21st Rare Treat.





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America’s Well Armed makes history


America brilliantly bookmarked the Dubai World Cup chapter at Nad Al Sheba, where Well Armed absolutely destroyed his 13 rivals, recording an astonishing 14-length record-winning distance.

Cigar’s victory in the inaugural race in 1996 took most people’s breath away and there was a similar reaction to Well Armed’s win - in what is the last race ever to be run at Nad Al Sheba, as racing moves to the state-of-the-art Meydan next UAE season.





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MAWING WINS BACK-TO-BACK RACES ON A DAY OF RIDING DOUBLES AT GGF


ALBANY -- Leslie Mawing won back-to-back races at Golden Gate Fields Saturday and was one of three jockeys to record a riding double.

Mawing scored a runaway victory with heavy favorite Mr. Rancho Vista ($3.40) in the fourth race and then captured the fifth with Gotcha Again ($6.80).

Omar Figueroa and Frank Alvarado also won two races.





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Locals steal the show on turf


Rookie trainer Mubarak Bin Shafya and Emirati apprentice Ahmed Ajtebi completed the Group 1 turf double and, in the process, stole the show on Dubai World Cup night when Eastern Anthem scored in a thrilling finish to the Dubai Sheema Classic, sponsored by Nakheel.

Just 45 minutes earlier they'd claimed the Dubai Duty Free with Gladiatorus and the wins came with spectacular and contrasting rides from Ajtebi who, tonight, left no doubt that he belongs on racing's biggest stage.





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