Thursday, April 30 2009

Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.30.09)

BE FAIR/STONE LEGACY/TWEETER – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent his three Kentucky Oaks entrants to the track for morning gallops before the renovation break at Churchill Downs on Thursday. The Hall of Fame trainer later acknowledged that “It’s a bad year to be in the Oaks” because of the presence of Rachel Alexandra, the odds-on morning-line favorite.

“We’re realistic. Rachel Alexandra is a super good filly. Since Winning Colors, she’s the best to come along,” said Lukas, who notched his first of four Kentucky Derby successes when Winning Colors beat the boys in 1988.

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It’s the first graded race for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park and, fittingly, all five starters will try the track for the very first time in the 14th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Nassau County Saturday at seven furlongs over the dirt.

Darley Stable’s New York-based Flashing will try for her first black-type win for trainer Tom Albertrani. Coming off back-to-back wins in allowance company going longer, the daughter of A.P. Indy will sprint for the first time since she broke her maiden at Aqueduct in November.

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Elmont, NY – The New York Racing Association, Inc. supports a bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 28 that would eliminate the automatic 25 percent federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more for bets that carry odds of 300-1 or higher.

The bill, titled the “Pari-Mutuel Conformity and Equality Act” (PACE Act – H.R. 2140) was introduced by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) with Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) as the co-sponsor.

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Active Duty and El Brujo square off in the Queenston

TORONTO, April 30 - Woodford Racing's Active Duty will make his first local start of 2009 in Saturday's $150,000 Queenston Stakes at Woodbine.

The seven-furlong contest for Ontario-foaled three-year-olds is a major stop on the road to the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 21.

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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Thursday, April 30, 2009


Jockey Inez Karlsson bulled her way to Arlington’s leading apprentice honors last year with a determined closing drive during the waning days of September. Then she continued that rally on the south of town to capture Hawthorne’s leading rider honors last winter.

But could she keep that pace going after losing the benefit of the weight allowance? Turned out not to be a problem at all. The newly-turned 26-year-old Swedish native battled veteran journeyman Tim Thornton for leading jockey honors at the recently-completed Hawthorne spring session before being narrowly bested on the last day of the season.

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 30, 2009) — Post times at Hollywood Park for Friday and Saturday will be at 1 p.m. and 11 a.m., respectively, for the simulcast of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby programs.

Track gates will open at 7 a.m. both days with the first import from Churchill Downs at 7:30 a.m.

Besides the Kentucky Oaks, the imports on Friday will include the 2009 debut of unbeaten champion Zenyatta in the $350,000 Louisville Distaff Breeders’ Cup, which has an 11:10 a.m. post time. The $500,000 Kentucky Oaks will run between the fourth and fifth Hollywood Park races at 2:45 p.m.

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Mark Maronde, Dr. Johnny Mac Smith Join Keeneland Sales Staff

Lexington, KY (April 30, 2009) – Keeneland officials today announced two new additions to its sales staff – Mark Maronde as Sales Account Executive and Dr. Johnny Mac Smith DVM as a member of the yearling inspection team.

Maronde joins Keeneland from WinStar Farm, where he has worked in the bloodstock division since 2004. Maronde brings more than 20 years of experience in the Thoroughbred industry to his position at Keeneland, where he will assist in sales recruiting and marketing.

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Hawthorne’s Spring Meet…Wet, but Encouraging

Stickney, IL--In spite of rainfall in both March and April that reached levels of historic proportions, Hawthorne Race Course continued to beat national trends, even posting a positive total- onsite-handle of 1.49 percent.

The 38-day meet featured the $500,000, Grade 2 Illinois Derby, won by Musket Man. The Derek Ryan-trained colt was sent off as the slight favorite in the field of ten and was a powerful winner under jockey Eibar Coa. Musket Man is scheduled to be the 8th consecutive Illinois Derby winner to compete in the Run for the Roses on May 2.

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I Want Revenge Is Solid Favorite in 135th Running of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 29, 2009) – David Lanzman, IEAH Stables & Puglisi Racing’s I Want Revenge, a dazzling winner of Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial (Grade I) and Gotham (GIII) since his move from synthetic racetracks to traditional dirt, was installed as a solid 3-1 favorite when he faces 19 rivals in Saturday’s 135th renewal of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday at historic Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even could give IEAH Stables its second consecutive victory in America’s greatest race, following a dominant performance in last year’s Derby by the then-unbeaten Big Brown. A victory by I Want Revenge would provide California-based trainer Jeff Mullins with his first Kentucky Derby victory in five tries, and give 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo a victory in the famed “Run for the Roses” in his first attempt. The Louisiana native would be the youngest jockey to win the Derby since Kentucky-born racing legend Steve Cauthen, then 18, won the 1978 Derby and swept the Triple Crown with Affirmed in 1978.

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Einstein Bids For Woodford Reserve Repeat

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 29, 2009) – Matthew Garretson’s Einstein (BRZ), a versatile major stakes winner on grass, dirt and synthetic surfaces, will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) on Saturday in one of the main appetizers on the Kentucky Derby 135 card at Churchill Downs.

The $2,202,200 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) is the centerpiece of the day that features five other graded stakes, two of them Grade I events, and the Eight Belles, a race for 3-year-old fillies that now honors the ill-fated filly that ran second to Big Brown in last year’s Kentucky Derby. First post time for the 13-race card is 10:30 a.m. with the Kentucky Derby post time set for 6:24 p.m. (all times EDT).

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By Francis LaBelle Jr.

Marc Keller’s Bribon made a sweeping move on the far turn that carried him to a one-length victory Wednesday in the 81st running of the Grade 3, $110,000 Westchester for three-year-olds and up. The one-mile race was the feature of Opening Day of Belmont Park’s 64-day Springs/Summer Meet.

Trained by Robert Ribaudo, the 6-year-old Mark of Esteem gelding had come close to being a graded stakes winner before, including his three-quarter-length loss behind Harlem Rocker and Tale of Ekati at Aqueduct last fall in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile. Tale of Ekati won that race on the disqualification of Harlem Rocker, and it overshadowed a strong effort by Bribon.

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It’s not steeplechase season at Saratoga Race Course.

So, don’t be confused when you see that trainer Paul Douglas Fout has entered a horse for Saturday’s 32nd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Beaugay for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.

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