Tuesday, March 17 2009
General Admission, Reserved Seats On Sale Apr. 1
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 16, 2009) – General admission and reserved seats for individual days during the upcoming Arlington Park season as well as reservations for the Terrace Café will go on sale on April 1 at http://www.arlingtonpark.com
or by calling the Arlington Park reservations line 847-385-7410 while Million Room reservations can be made by telephone only beginning on April 1.
This is a departure from past policy which placed inventory for individual dates other than Arlington Million Day on sale 30 days before the date in question. In addition, for the first time guests can purchase reserved seats as well as general admission for Million Day online.
Monday, March 16 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.16.09)
SOUTH/FRIESAN FIRE SIZZLES IN LOUISIANA SLOP
Kentucky-born trainer Larry Jones has been in an enviable spot throughout the winter while caring for a pair of stars in early Kentucky Derby (Grade I) favorite Old Fashioned and up-and-coming Friesan Fire in his barn, but the pecking order in the Jones stable could have changed in the space of just over an hour on Saturday afternoon
Shortly before Old Fashioned suffered his first loss in the Rebel Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn Park, Friesen Fire turned in the strongest effort of his career with a 7 ¼-length victory in the 96th running of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (GII) over a “sloppy” track at Fair Grounds.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.16.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA ROMPS FAIR GROUNDS OAKS, BUT CONNECTIONS CONTINUE FOCUS ON KENTUCKY OAKS
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra scored another dazzling win in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), but her connections said the focus of the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro would remain on the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI) on May 1 at Churchill Downs – not on a meeting with males one day later in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Rachel Alexandra’s victory margin over runner-up Flying Spur was only 1 ¼ lengths, but jockey Calvin Borel had trainer Hal Wiggins filly geared down to a gallop in the final furlong.
Hectic Weekend of Preps Ends With ‘All Others’ Favored, Friesan Fire Moving in Derby Future Pool 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 15, 2009) – A weekend of upsets in important prep races for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) convinced many racing fans to turn to the “all others” option as the mutuel field ended up as the lukewarm 9-2 favorite in the second of three pools in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).
The mutuel field, which included all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses listed on KDFW Pool 2’s roster of betting interests, stood as the 9-2 fan’s choice when betting on the four-day pool closed on Sunday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). “All others” had been a strong 9-5 favorite in Pool 1, which ran from Feb. 12-15.
Justwhistledixie Edges Rachel Alexandra, Stardom Bound for Top Spot in Kentucky Oaks Futures
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 15, 2009) – The powerhouse duo of champion Stardom Bound and Rachel Alexandra figured to be the top stories in the only pool of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) of 2009, but it was rising star Justwhistledixie who stole the show and ended up as the favorite over that powerhouse duo as four days of Oaks Future betting drew to a close Sunday evening.
Justwhistledixie held on to the favorite’s spot in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager despite an impressive victory by Rachel Alexandra in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks and last week’s win by reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound in the Santa Anita Oaks (GI). But neither of that star duo could overhaul Justwhistedixie for the favorite’s spot in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool.
Gozzip Girl Rallies in Stretch to Capture Herecomesthebride
Jockey Elvis Trujillo brought Farnsworth Stables’ 3-year-old filly Gozzip Girl up the rail in the stretch of Sunday’s $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park for a half-length victory over Andrew Farm and Frank O’Connor’s Obsequious.
The victory was the second in a stakes at the meet for Gozzip Girl and the fifth of the season here for trainer Tom Albertrani. Dell Ridge Farm’s Bluegrass Prince finished third in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up. Livin the Dream Stable’s Dream Empress, the 9-5 favorite, was never a threat, finishing seventh.
Game Face Rolls to Inside Information Victory
Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face won the rubber match of a graded-stakes trilogy at Gulfstream Park Sunday, beating Joseph V. Shields Jr.’s 6-year-old mare Any Limit by 2½ lengths in the $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2).
Any Limit, who won the Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) with Game Face second when they met in mid-February, set the pace in the seven-furlong Inside Information while dueling with Gary and Mary West’s 4-year-old filly Keep the Peace to mid-stretch until Game Face rolled down the outside to victory under jockey John R. Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Barn Notes 3-15
Stately Character Facing Florida Derby Decision
With a stakes win under his belt and an encouraging performance over the track, New Life Stable and Equus Racing Stable’s Stately Character could join the field in the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) on Sat. Mar. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old homebred son of Pleasant Tap won the Foolish Pleasure Stakes last September at Calder Race Course before going on the shelf until early this season at Gulfstream.
CHRISTIANA’S HEAT TAKES IRISH O’BRIEN AS UNUSUAL HEAT OFFSPRING SHINE
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 15, 2009) – Second five times in six previous races over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course, Christiana’s Heat proved best in a three-horse photo finish Sunday to capture the 12th running of the $125,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares while running the 6 ½ furlong distance in 1:13.32.
With Michael Baze in the saddle, 5-2 second choice Christiana’s Heat edged Waveline by a nose with 9-5 favorite Bel Air Sizzle another neck back in third as offspring of Unusual Heat continued to be prominent in the stakes race named for a mare who had an affinity for the unique downhill grass layout.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, MARCH 15TH, 2009
MITCHELL HAS BACHARACHS’ HORSE IN TUNE FOR SAN LUIS REY
Mike Mitchell has precedent going for him in next Saturday’s San Luis Rey Handicap. The 60-year-old trainer has more than one successful reclamation project on his lofty and lengthy resume, and he hopes to add to it with a 5-year-old gray gelding named You Got Me Rocking in the Grade II turf race at the marathon distance of a mile and one half.
On the Acorn and Star Over the Bay are among the former claiming horses Mitchell elevated to stakes winners. You Got Me Rocking will be seeking his first stakes victory in 15 career starts. He has started in only three, finishing eighth in the San Diego Handicap last July 19, third in the Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 23, and fifth in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch at Oak Tree on Sept. 27.
SIREN LURE TOPS NOMINEES TO GOLDEN GATE FIELDS SPRINT
ALBANY -- The 8-year-old gelding Siren Lure, a career earner of $937,244, heads the roster of nominees to the $75,000 Golden Gate Fields Sprint.
A six-furlong event for 4-year-olds and up, the Golden Gate Fields Sprint will be run Saturday.
Siren Lure, owned in partnership by Stuart Kesselman and Tony and Marilyn Melkonian, has been victorious in 14 of his 34 career starts. A multiple stakes-winner, Siren Lure scored his most recent stakes triumph in the Sausalito Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last November.
Classy filly crowned at Abu Dhabi
Sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the penultimate meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi featured the third round of the Arabian Triple Crown, a Group 3 event over 2200m and, like Round 2, it was the Rod Simpson-trained pair of Jazeerat Alsadyaat and Elmalak Elwaheed who fought out the finish.
However, the filly Elmalak Elwaheed was to gain her revenge over the colt after her defeat last time with Richard Mullen driving her to lead well inside the final furlong from her stable companion who had steered an erratic path throughout the final two furlongs.