Saturday, February 21 2009
With under a fortnight to Super Thursday and just over a month to the Dubai World Cup meeting, big night contenders are arriving at Nad Al Sheba and Japan’s Dubai Duty Free hopeful Vodka was on the Nad Al Sheba dirt track this morning – walking one circuit before cantering a second.
Fourth in the race last year, she could have a prep race on Super Thursday (March 5th) this time.
Friday, February 20 2009
One Caroline Stays Perfect After Sabin Victory
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s 4-year-old filly One Caroline was sent away the even-money favorite in Friday’s $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park after winning all three of her previous career starts, and she remained undefeated as she held Mark Stanley’s 5-year-old mare Swift Temper safe at the finish to score by a length.
Ridden by Edgar Prado, One Caroline broke alertly and, after being headed briefly on the backstretch, took command in the far turn of the one-mile test for fillies and mares. A roan/gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song, One Caroline was a $400,000 Saratoga yearling purchase. She paid $4 to win as she was timed in 1:36:87 over the fast track.
TEN TO LINE UP FOR $150,000 TAMPA BAY BREEDERS’ CUP
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 20, 2009) The $150,000 Tampa Bay Breeders’ Cup has attracted a full turf field of ten older horses scheduled to cover 1 1/16 miles in tomorrow’s eighth and featured race. Atoned, who was runner-up in last year’s edition of the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby, will make his grass debut in the Tampa Bay Breeders’ Cup after putting in several strong works over the lawn at Palm Meadows. His last listed work earned him a bullet for travelling 5 furlongs with around the dogs in the day’s fastest time of :59.2 for owners Dogwood Farm and conditioner Todd Pletcher.
GP Barn Notes 2-20
Stakes Ahead for McLaughlin Runners
Vision Racing’s 4-year-old colt Keep Laughing and Mr. and Mrs William K. Warren’s 3-year-old colt Charitable Man both hit important benchmarks for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin Thursday and have stakes races in their future.
Keep Laughing, a son of Distorted Humor, returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since winning the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland last April with a come-from-behind victory Thursday afternoon in a six-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park.
DISTANCE MAY BE MISSING FROM BOURBON MAID’S SUCCESS FORMULA
In 10 career starts, Sagamore Farm’s Bourbon Maid has tried seven jockeys, six racetracks, five different surfaces (fast, muddy, sloppy, good and even turf) and four distances.
And it still hasn’t added up to a formula for success.
Sunday afternoon, in the 37th renewal of the $65,000-added Rare Treat, the 4-year-old daughter of Menifee will make her first start at nine furlongs on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track, and that could well be the change that turns the trick.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
IT’S APPLES AND ORANGES AS `PUMPKIN’ MEETS ‘PEAR’ IN BUSHER
Tri-Bone Stable’s What a Pear is unbeaten in three career starts. Pumpkin Shell, after four failed attempts to win a race, broke her maiden on December 4, then came back on January 10 to win Aqueduct Racetrack’s Busanda.
Come Sunday, one or maybe even both could see a sudden end to recent good fortune when they face five others in the 30th running of the $65,000-added Busher for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH, 2009
ON FIRE LOOKS LIKE A NATURAL FOR ABRAMS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO
If ever a horse was a natural for Barry Abrams to train, it’s On Fire. The 5-year-old horse was sired by Pulpit, although On Fire’s name might seem more appropriate if the stallion had been Abrams’ go-to sire, the prolific Unusual Heat, whose progeny dominate the Abrams barn.
At any rate, On Fire, recently purchased privately by Abrams’ client Team Green, will run in Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap for older horses at 1 ½ miles on turf.
Central dances to Balanchine glory
Friday’s eighth meeting of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival, kindly sponsored by Etisalat, was an all Thoroughbred eight race card with Irishman Johnny Murtagh taking the riding plaudits.
He rode a double, including winning the featured 1777m Group 3 Balanchine Stakes, a race restricted to fillies and mares, on the Herman Brown-trained My Central who he brought from last to first in the final 500m.
Read more articles in the Meydan
Fillies up for rematch in Valdale Stakes
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 20, 2009 . . . The top three finishers of the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes will be back at Turfway Park Saturday to face off again in the $50,000 Valdale Stakes. Carded for three-year-old fillies, the one-mile Valdale is the second of two local preps for the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks, itself a prep for the Grade I Kentucky Oaks.
Tacky Cat drew off to win the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy by an easy six lengths, and while the Valdale will be her first attempt at two turns, her willingness to sit off the pace may help her take that next step. Orlando Mojica is back aboard for trainer Wayne Mogge.
Read more articles in the Turfway
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (2.20.09)
SOUTHEAST/UNBEATEN DUNKIRK LIVES UP TO BILLING, PRICE TAG IN GULFSTREAM ALLOWANCE WIN
Favored Dunkirk, a star in the sales ring well before he made it to the races, lived up to his considerable advance billing with a powerful 4 ¾-length victory in a strong 3-year-old allowance race on Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The emphatic win stamped the lightly-raced colt as a serious contender for the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs on May 2.
The gray son of Unbridled’s Song, a $3.7 million purchase as a yearling in Keeneland’s 2007 September Sale, overcame a wide journey around the first turn in the 1 1/8-mile contest, grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and drew clear to turn back runner-up Warrior’s Reward and eight other 3-year-olds. Sincero, a 48-1 longshot, finished third and More Than Willing was fourth.
ELYSIUM FIELDS SCORES IMPRESSIVELY AFTER 11-MONTH LAYOFF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009) – Regarded as a leading Kentucky Derby prospect before finishing eleventh in last year’s Florida Derby, Elysium Fields resurfaced as a 4-year-old Thursday to score an impressive 1 ¾-length victory over pace-setter Fiery Trippi in Santa Anita’s $52,712 allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles.
With Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, Elysium Fields surged between horses in the closing yards to draw clear while covering the distance in 1:43.45 after the runner-up had set some pedestrian early fractions under Mike Smith that included a 49.33 half-mile.
JOHN VELAZQUEZ WINS SANTA ANITA WOOLF AWARD
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2009)—John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The Woolf Announcement was made Thursday on HRTV by retired Hall of Fame jockey and past Woolf winner Gary Stevens.
Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, this year marks the 60th presentation of one of racing’s most prestigious awards. The Woolf Award honors and recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.