Sunday, March 15 2009
Barn Notes 3-14
Dunkirk Steps Up Pressure in Florida Derby Workout
Undefeated Dunkirk, the 2-for-2 contender for the Coolmore partnership of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, posted his latest workout Saturday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center as trainer Todd Pletcher prepares him for his first career stakes attempt in the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) on Sat., Mar. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 under exercise rider Patti Barry. Pletcher caught the colt’s last quarter-mile in 23 4/5.
PIONEEROF THE NILE ROMPS IN GR. II SAN FELIPE,
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Trainer Bob Baffert likes the way Pioneerof the Nile is growing up.
"He's becoming very professional. He was a May foal, so he's not even three yet. I like what I saw today," Baffert said after the smooth-striding colt romped to victory in Saturday's $200,000 San Felipe Stakes.
HEART ASHLEY MAKES A CHANGE AND WIRES CICADA
On paper, Zayat Stable’s Heart Ashley looked as though she would stalk the pace in Saturday’s 17th running of the Grade 3, $107,300 Cicada at Aqueduct Racetrack.
But when the gates opened, the Lion Heart filly got the jump on five other three-year-old fillies, including favored Dream Play. And that was ideal for her jockey, C.C. Lopez, who is known as an ideal fit for a speed horse.
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JUSTWHISTEDIXIE, STARDOM BOUND, RACHEL ALEXANDRA REMAIN TOP CHOICES HEADING INTO OAKS FUTURE FINALE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 14, 2009) – The streaking Justwhistledixie, an impressive winner in the Davona Dale (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park in her most recent race, continued to be a surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Rachel Alexandra as Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) headed into the last day of its four-day run.
West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard’s Justwhistledixie, a daughter of Dixie Union who has won four consecutive races, remained a solid 2-1 favorite after Saturday’s betting and has been the fan’s choice throughout Pool 2. She remained atop the KOFW betting roster over Stardom Bound, winner of five straight Grade I races, and Rachel Alexandra, who rolled to an impressive victory on Saturday in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII). Both of those fillies were 7-2 shots at the end of Saturday’s betting, with Stardom Bound ending up as the actual second betting choice.
‘ALL OTHERS’ REMAINS NARROW CHOICE HEADING INTO FINAL DAY OF POOL 2 OF KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 14, 2009) – On a day marked by a pair of strong efforts by major Kentucky Derby contenders alongside two major upset, fans of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) continued to turn to the “all others” option in their search for a betting option and that wagering interest is a narrow favorite as Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future bet headed into its final day.
The mutuel field, which represents all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses on the Pool 2 betting roster, remained the narrow bettor’s choice at 5-1 after an exciting day of four significant Kentucky Derby preps headlined by the upset by 56-1 shot Win Willy over previously unbeaten Old Fashioned the Rebel (GIII) at Oaklawn Park and the Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, which was the scene of an overwhelming 7 ¼-length victory by favored Friesan Fire. The day’s other preps saw highly regarded Pioneerof the Nile win the San Felipe (GII) over the Cushion Track surface at Santa Anita and Musket Man score a last-gasp victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (GIII). Neither Win Willy nor Musket Man is among the individual horses in KDFW Pool 2, and therefore are members of the “all others” betting interest.
FANCY DIAMOND SHINES IN CONNIVER STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 03-14-09---Kildare Stable’s Fancy Diamond stole off to an easy lead and dug in gamely at the finish to win the $50,000 Conniver Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, today’s feature at Laurel Park.
Harry Vega guided the 5-year-old mare to a surprising victory over six other distaffers in the seven furlong test. She won by neck over a hard closing and determined All Giving, the defending champion. Post time favorite Puskita chased the leader but gave way and finished third.
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LADY RAILRIDER PROVES TOO TOUGH IN WORK THE CROWD STAKES
ALBANY -- Lady Railrider, the 3-to-5 favorite ridden by Frank Alvarado, took command from pacesetter You Lift Me Up at the top of the stretch and scored an easy three-length victory in the $75,000 Work The Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Earning her second Golden Gate Fields stakes win in less than four months, Lady Railrider captured the 1 1/16-mile feature for California-bred fillies and mares in 1:44.17 on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface.
Saturday, March 14 2009
JUSTWHISTEDIXIE REMAINS SURPRISING SOLID FAVORITE AT MIDPOINT OF 2009 KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 13, 2009) – Justwhistledixie, a romping winner in the Davona Dale (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park last time out, remained the surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of champion Stardom Bound and streaking Rachel Alexandra on Friday as Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) reached the midway point of its four-day run.
West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard’s daughter of Dixie Union remained the 9-5 favorite after two days of betting in the four-day pool. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained filly notched her fourth consecutive victory with her 3 ¾- length victory in the Davona Dale and had entered the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager as a 12-1 risk in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds.
‘All Others’, Unbeaten Dunkirk Narrowly Favored at Midpoint of Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 13, 2009) – Racing fans continue to have a difficult time deciding who should be the favorite in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) as “all others” edged unbeaten and untested Dunkirk as the narrow choice among 23 betting interests as the pool reached the midpoint of four days of betting on Friday.
The mutuel field, which represents all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses on the Pool 2 betting roster, and Dunkirk, who is unbeaten in two career starts, each stood at 5-1 at the end of Friday’s betting. But slightly more money had been wagered on the mutuel field ($7,866) than Dunkirk ($7,222) to give “all others” the status of actual betting favorite. The “all others” wagering interest was the 9-5 favorite in February’s first of three pools of the 2009 Derby Future Bet.
TWO-DAY CARRYOVER OF $370,574 INTO SATURDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 13, 2009)—With a keynote speech delivered in the form of a $27.20 winner in leg one of Friday’s Pick Six, no one was able to tab six winners in the popular exotic wager for the second consecutive day, resulting in a carryover of $370,574 into Saturday at Santa Anita and the likelihood of a total Pick Six pool in excess of $2.5 million.
With a carryover of $81,584 from Thursday, the Friday Pick Six got off to a raucous beginning in front of an on-track crowd of 6,302, as Victor Espinoza booted home the San Luis Rey Downs-based longshot A Gallant Discover in race three. Trained by Sam Scolamieri, the 8-year-old California-bred gelding is owned by Bay Cove Farm.
Turfway cancels Monday card
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 13, 2009 . . . Unable to fill the card due to lack of entries, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Monday, March 16.
Unlike two recently canceled Monday cards, which had been scheduled in an attempt to make up races lost to cold weather, March 16 was among dates originally requested for 2009 by the Northern Kentucky track. Turfway ran a successful mid-March Monday card in 2008.
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FESTIVAL DAY STAKES DRAW FOUR STONG FIELDS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 13, 2009) Festival Day, which includes the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks, the Grade III $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes and the $75,000 Turf Dash, is the premiere day of racing in the Tampa Bay area; the four stakes card has drawn competitive fields for each race and offers a commemorative souvenir beach towel to the first 7,500 paid entries.
Headlining the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, a 1 1/16 miles main track test for three-year-olds, is General Quarters, who captured last month’s Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here. General Quarters has shown great aptitude for the Tampa surface and posted a bullet work here on March 7, going 5 furlongs in 1:01, the best of 12 horses training that morning. The son of Sky Mesa has never finished worse than second over the Oldsmar oval, and his victory in the Sam F. Davis Stakes was only 1/5 of a second off of the track record set here by Street Sense in 2007.