Monday, December 29 2008
MERRY MARINO IMPRESSIVE IN WINNING FEATURE AT GGF
ALBANY -- Merry Marino, receiving a confident ride from jockey Frank Alvarado, won the $21,580 feature race at Golden Gate Fields in impressive fashion Sunday.
Alvarado waited until midstretch before asking Merry Marino for her best and she responded with a strong closing kick, pulling away from her five opponents for a two-length victory in the one-mile contest for 2-year-old fillies.
Simpson saddles 1-2-3 in feature
Englishman Rod Simpson dominated the Abu Dhabi Three-Year-Old Championship, the feature race on Sunday evening at a meeting sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
He saddled a remarkable 1-2-3 in the Listed 1600m feature with Sophie Doyle on Elmalak Elwaheed denying Daragh O’Donohoe on Men Abu Dhabi in the dying strides, with Robbie Burke’s mount, debutant Jazeerat Alsadyaat running on to take third.
DOUBLE TROUBLE SEEKS REBOUND IN FRIDAY’S PASEANA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2008) – Winless in five starts following a 4 ½- length victory in February’s Grade I Santa Maria Handicap, Double Trouble seems well spotted for a return to the win column in Friday’s sixth running of the $70,000 Paseana Handicap at 1 1/16 miles over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Double Trouble will face five rival fillies and mares in the feature on a program that ushers in Santa Anita’s Free Fridays promotion. In addition to free general admission on Fridays, the track this season offers free box seating on a first come, first served basis as well as a one-dollar menu featuring beer, sodas, hot dogs and popcorn.
Sunday, December 28 2008
IN SUMMATION HEADS THREE GRADE I WINNERS IN EL CONEJO THURSDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2008) – In Summation, fourth in October’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, will be among three Grade I stakes winners in a field of five set to contest Santa Anita’s 28th running of the Grade III, $100,000 El Conejo Handicap at 5 ½ furlongs on Thursday, New Year’s Day.
A newly-turned 6-year-old trained by Christophe Clemente for Waterford Stable, In Summation is the defending champion after setting a stakes record of 1:01.27 when victorious one year ago.
SECOND LAST YEAR, PROUDINSKY GIVES FRANKEL ANOTHER SAN GABRIEL
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2008) – German-bred Proudinsky, whose runner-up finish in last year’s $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap deprived trainer Bobby Frankel of a third successive victory in the Grade II turf event, won Sunday’s 62nd running of the mile-and-one-eighth competition by three-quarters of a length over Irish-bred Ferneley at Santa Anita.
Rafael Bejarano, deputizing for injured rider Garrett Gomez, drove the 5-year-old bay through an opening that developed between horses entering the stretch to capture the race he had lost by three-quarters of a length to Daytona the previous year when last ridden by Bejarano.
LEDEZMA SADDLES THIRD STRAIGHT WINNER AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
ALBANY -- Trainer Sergio Ledezma is off to a perfect start at the 2008-2009 winter/spring meeting at Golden Gate Fields.
The 118-day season opened Friday with Ledezma winning the first race of meeting with Serpetineserpetine, who paid $4.40 after romping to a 51/2-length victory in a 5 /2-furlong contest for fillies and mares. Serpetineserpetine was Ledezma's only starter on opening day.
Ledezma sent out two horses Saturday and both reported home winners. Ledezma captured the third race with Change Your Mask ($6.80) and the fourth with Sagle's Guy (6.40).
Saturday, December 27 2008
BOB BLACK JACK HOLDS WINNING HAND IN MALIBU; 33,112 ATTEND
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2008) --- Front-running speedster Bob Black Jack, who set the pace in last May’s Kentucky Derby, made his first graded stakes victory a convincing one as he wired a stellar field of seven 3-year-olds in Friday’s Grade I Malibu Stakes on the opening day of Santa Anita’s 72nd season.
Under a heady ride by David Flores, Bob Black Jack led from start to finish in the 57th running of the prestigious seven-furlong event. His winning time of 1:20.20 was just one-fifth of a second off the stakes record set by racing superstar Spectacular Bid 28 years before.
UNUSUAL SUSPECT, SUTHERLAND WIN SILVEYVILLE STAKES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Canadian jockey Chantal Sutherland, riding in her first race at Golden Gate Fields, guided Unusual Suspect to a one-length victory in the $75,000 Silveyville Stakes Friday.
One of the top jockeys in her homeland, Sutherland has been riding in Southern California the past few months and was sent to Golden Gate Fields to ride Unusual Suspect by Santa Anita-based trainer Barry Abrams.
Simpson looks man to follow
Sunday’s sixth meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi, kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, features both the Abu Dhabi Three-Year-Old Championship and Abu Dhabi Colts’ Classic.
Both features have attracted maximum fields of 16 on a six race card on which five of the six races will boast the maximum runners allowed.
GOMEZ HURT IN SPILL; FAVORED INDIAN BLESSING TAKES LA BREA STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2008) – Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading rider for a third straight year and just $109,014 shy of Jerry Bailey’s single-season purse earnings record ($23,354,660 set in 2003), was transported to Arcadia Methodist Hospital via stretcher and ambulance Saturday after his mount, Back At You, ducked into the rail during the stretch run of Santa Anita’s $78,070 Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, was conscious and moving his extremities after being placed on a stretcher following the sudden action of his mount, who was leading in mid-stretch. Back At You, making his third career start, appeared to duck into the rail when moving into a shadow of the grandstand overhang on a sunny afternoon.
LEADING JOCKEY GOMEZ INJURED IN SPILL
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2008)—Jockey Garrett Gomez, America’s leading jockey by purse money-won for the third consecutive year, has been taken to Arcadia Methodist Hospital for X-rays following a spill in today’s seventh race at Santa Anita.
Gomez was on the lead aboard the 2-year-old colt Back at You in today’s $70,000 added Eddie Logan Stakes when his mount inexplicably ducked into the rail, causing Gomez to be thrown to the turf.
STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27TH, 2008
SMITH FANCIES BECRUX IN SUNDAY’S SAN GABRIEL HANDICAP
Mike Smith is looking forward to Sunday’s Grade I San Gabriel Handicap and a reunion with Becrux.
The Hall of Fame jockey has ridden the 6-year-old Italian-bred gelding in his last two races, winning a seven-furlong allowance race on synthetic at Oak Tree on Oct. 24 before finishing a fast-closing third in the Grade I Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28.
“He’s a neat horse,” Smith said. “I really like him a lot. He’s really coming around and the Citation was a big race. If he runs back to that race, he’ll be tough.”