Friday, January 16 2009


CHOCOLATE CANDY FAVORED IN $100,000 CALIFORNIA DERBY


ALBANY -- Chocolate Candy has been made a 9-to-5 favorite on the morning line to capture the 94th running of the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

Northern California's first major test for 3-year-olds who aspire to get on the Triple Crown trail, the California Derby will be contested at 1 1/16-miles on Golden Gate Fields' synthetic Tapeta racing surface.





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MISSION VIEJO HALO IGNITES TWO-DAY CARRYOVER INTO FRIDAY OF $461,236


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009) – At 33-1 the longest shot in a field of nine fillies and mares, Mission Viejo Halo stormed from last on Thursday to capture Santa Anita’s $54,600 Monterey Bay Purse and ignite a two-day Pick Six carryover of $461,236 into Friday’s card.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, the 4-year-old filly owned and trained by Moon S. Han prevailed in a driving finish, defeating We Will Rock You by an expanding one-half length in the feature event at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course. The final time was 1:12.87.





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SUNSHINE MILLIONS RELEASE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009)—The seventh annual Sunshine Millions will be run at both Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 24, and a total of 126 horses was pre-entered Wednesday in the eight-race event that pits Florida-bred horses against California-breds with $3.6 million in purse money at stake.

The $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at six furlongs for 4-year-olds and up figures to highlight the day’s racing at Santa Anita as four Gr. I winners, three of them California-bred, were among 18 horses pre-entered. Santa Anita will also host the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff, for fillies and mares aged four and up at 1 1/16 miles; the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles; and the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.





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COUNTRY STAR OUT TO REESTABLISH GRADED STATUS IN EL ENCINO


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009) – Darley Stable’s Country Star, a winner of two Grade I stakes as a 2-year-old but off-the-board in a pair last year, seeks to reestablish her graded status Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.

Rafael Bejarano will be in the saddle for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel when the Kentucky-bred daughter of Empire Maker faces eleven of her peers in the event that last year launched a seven-race winning streak for Horse of the Year candidate Zenyatta.





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 15TH, 2009


A RACING RARITY FOR GOMEZ AS HE PURSUES ANOTHER MONEY CROWN

Garrett Gomez has ridden more than 18,000 races in a career dating more than 20 years, but he had to think twice when asked if he had ever ridden horses in three straight stakes races on the same day at the same race track that he had never ridden before.

That could happen Saturday at Santa Anita. The 37-year-old jockey, in line for his second straight Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding rider, is scheduled to ride Evita Argentina for John Sadler in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies; Brother Keith for Bobby Frankel in the Grade III San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds; and Dakota Phone for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Grade II San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds.





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Any Limit & Game Face Lead Cast for Sunday’s First Lady


Joseph V. Shields, Jr.’s 6-year-old homebred mare Any Limit and Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face, established graded-stakes-winning sprinters, will attract the most attention in a field of eight fillies and mares drawn for Sunday’s $100,000 First Lady Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The 27th running of the six-furlong First Lady will share top billing on Sunday’s 10-race program with the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf. Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. will send out a pair of contenders each with solid credentials in the field of 11.





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JOCKEYS RECEIVE MOUNT FEE INCREASE IN SOUTH FLORIDA


Jockeys riding at Gulfstream Park as well as Calder and the Tropical Park meeting will receive an increase in losing mount fees beginning today, January 15.

The new scale provides for losing mount fees to range from $75 on the bottom to $105 at the top of the purse scale. Previously, the losing mount fee started at $55 or $65, depending on the track.





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Black Seventeen Brings Grade 1 Talent East to Mr. Prospector


Wind River Stables’ Black Seventeen is hitting the road again from his Southern California base as the Grade 1-winning sprinter ships east to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3).

The 5-year-old son of Is It True racked up the frequent flier miles last year along with his trainer and co-owner Brian Koriner, who took advantage of the best horse he has ever trained to travel to racing’s biggest stages. Along the way the Florida-bred scored an upset victory in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) on a ‘sloppy’ at Belmont Park in late September.





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Turfway cancels Friday card


Racing expected to resume Saturday, Sunday, Monday

FLORENCE, KY . . . January 15, 2009 . . . With windchill temperatures again expected to plunge well below zero, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Friday, January 16. The track will remain open for simulcasting, with gates opening at 11:15am.





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HUBER VILLA-GOMEZ NAMED HILTON GARDEN INN JOCKEY OF THE MONTH


OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 15, 2009) Huber Villa-Gomez has broken sharply out of the gate for the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs race meet, haltering 28 in-the-money finishes from 71 attempts. In week of January 8th through the 13th, Villa-Gomes rode fifteen horses, piloting home four winners and three second-place finishers at average odds of 10.67-1.

Villa-Gomez was born on January 28, 1978 and began riding at in his native Peru after he gained an interest in horses through a cousin who worked at a racetrack. “The first day I went to the track, that’s when I knew I wanted to ride,” says Villa-Gomez. At age eighteen he attended jockey school in Peru, and won his first race there on a horse named Victorio.





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SUCCESSFUL SARAH HOPES FLORIDA FORM THRIVES IN NEW YORK


John and Tonja Terranova have figured it out -- as husband and wife, as parents to daughters Paulina, 7, and Giana, 3, and, to complete the trifecta, as horse trainers.

“We try,” Tonja said. “Hopefully, it’s working out.”

This weekend, there will be plenty of opportunity for the Terranovas to shine as they send out Successful Sarah in Sunday’s 34th running of the $65,000-added Affectionately for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track. On Saturday, they will send out Broadway Producer in the Evening Attire Stakes.





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FIRE PLUG STAKES ATTRACTS COMPETITIVE BAND


LAUREL, MD. 01-15-09---Seven older horses, some of which could be pointing to next month’s Grade II General George Handicap, will race six furlongs in Saturday’s $50,000 Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park.

The 2-1 morning line favorite is Suave Jazz, an Aqueduct-based runner trained by Tony Dutrow. With $490,000 plus in earnings and twenty-five in the money finishes from thirty-four starts, the son of Suave Prospect won the Vincent Moscarelli Stakes to end 2007. Last year he finished second in the Maryland Sprint Handicap on Preakness day, the first of three runner-up finishes from six starts, without any victories. Jeremy Rose gets a leg up on the 6-year-old gelding for the first time.





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