Thursday, March 12 2009


Lightly-raced 5-year-old gelding Mr Gruff, who broke his maiden on Jan. 3 of this year, served notice of being a late-bloomer on Thursday and sent his rivals howling while easily winning the $52,480 Midnight Moonlight Purse at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Sent off at odds of 2-5 with Joel Rosario in the saddle, Mr Gruff gained a short early lead, controlled a soft early pace and drew off impressively under a hand ride to defeat Suit Yourself by 2 ¼ lengths while timed in 1:12.11. The latter nodded Stand Tall by a head for the place.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.




Leading Triple Crown contender Pioneerof the Nile drew post position No. 2 in a field of seven for Saturday’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes, his final major prep for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. Pioneerof the Nile figures to be an odds-on favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Trainer Bob Baffert pronounced “all systems are go” after the son of Empire Maker worked five furlongs last Sunday in a bullet :58.80 under regular rider Garrett Gomez.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 11, 2009)—On the heels of a first-ever $1 million winner, Santa Anita Park will once again conduct its popular $1 million St. Patrick’s Horseshoe Pitch contest this Saturday between races.

Shown live last year on HRTV, the contest generated national news when John Placzankis, of Ranch Cucamonga, tossed a perfect ringer which set off instant bedlam both trackside and throughout the grandstand.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.


San Felipe and Santa Margarita Stakes Advances

Six ambitious 3-year-olds were named to take on Pioneerof the Nile Saturday when the West Coast’s leading Kentucky Derby candidate continues his journey down the Triple Crown trail in Santa Anita’s Grade II, $200,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The 72nd running of the San Felipe, joined on the program by the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, will serve as the final stepping-stone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 4.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.


Lane’s End Stakes offers dress-up, dress-down fun

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 11, 2009 . . . Like Thoroughbred racing everywhere, the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park offers something for everyone, from the serious handicapper to the most casual fan, and from those dressed Derby-style to the blue-jeans crowd along the rail.

The 2009 Lane’s End Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. This year marks the 38th running of the race, which was established in 1972 as a prep race for the Kentucky Derby. The race carries a $500,000 purse, virtually guaranteeing the winner a spot in the Derby field.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.



When it all settles down, there is only so much a trainer can do.

Eventually, the routine, the repetition and the lessons learned every day either sink in or they don’t.

For trainer Robert Reid Jr., CJZ Racing Stable’s One Smokin’ Lady was particularly frustrating because she got almost everything right.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


‘Cool Man’ & Smooth Air Clash in Gulfstream Park Handicap

Mount Joy Stable’s Smooth Air and Robert LaPenta’s Cool Coal Man were prominent winning Grade 2 stakes at Gulfstream Park at this time last year on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), but checked in 11th and 15th, respectively, behind Big Brown at Churchill Downs on the First Saturday in May in their only meeting.

The two 4-year-olds will likely be the favorites in a field of six older horses entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) to be run at one mile for the first time after decades contested at 1 ¼ miles and at 1 3/16 miles the last four renewals.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Barn Notes - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Smooth Air on Schedule for 2009 Season Goals

Mount Joy Stable’s Florida homebred Smooth Air finished a very respectable seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, beaten only 5 ¼ lengths for it all by Raven’s Pass, and shortly thereafter trainer Bennie Stutts, Jr. and owner-breeder Brian Burns set out to plan ahead for the 2009 season.

“We gave him a month off at the farm (in Ocala) in November,” said Stutts Wednesday morning after entering the 4-year-old son of Smooth Jazz in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2), an historic test shortened from the 1 3/16 miles distance of the last four years to a mile for this season.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.



ALBANY -- Trainer Steve Specht will saddle two of the five entrants in Saturday's $75,000 Work The Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

The Work The Crowd is restricted to California-bred fillies and mares and will be contested at 1 1/16-miles on the Tapeta racing surface. The feature is the third event on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m.

Read more articles in the Golden Gate category.


Joe Hirsch Tribute Service Belmont Stakes Week

Daily Racing Form, together with the New York Racing Association, cordially invites family, horsemen, media and friends to remember and celebrate the remarkable life of turf writer Joe Hirsch during Belmont Stakes Week. The tribute service will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 5 at Belmont Park in the North Shore Terrace (4th floor Clubhouse level).

Joe Hirsch, known to many as the dean of American racing writers whose byline graced the pages of Daily Racing Form for 50 years, died at the age of 80 on Jan. 9 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. The Eclipse Award winning columnist is the only person to win all three awards presented by the National Turf Writers Association - the Walter Haight Award for career achievement, the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service, and the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing.


Jebel Ali Sprint highlights Friday’s racecard

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell organisation will sponsor the Jebel Ali meeting this Friday afternoon with the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint the highlight of the track’s penultimate meeting of the season.

The 1000m dash was won in 2003 by subsequent Dubai Golden Shaheen winner State City, who landed the Dubai World Cup night sprint for Paddy Rudkin, and this year’s victor will be hoping to get an invite for the big night and a maximum field of 16 will face the starter.

Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.


Wednesday, March 11 2009


OLDSMAR (March 10, 2009) Jockey Ronnie Allen, Jr. booted home four winners on the afternoon’s card today, giving the reinsman 59 wins through 61 days of racing at the Oldsmar oval. Allen, who got back in the saddle in February of last year after an extended break, is currently the third leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs.

Allen got his first win aboard Tax and Spend, a four-year-old Adonis gelding bred in Florida by Raymond Sapp. Tax and Spend is owned by Judson Van Worp and was conditioned to victory by Richard Hollett. Allen struck again with Meredith, this time for trainer- owner Christos Gatis. The four-year-old Full Mandate filly was bred in Florida by Robert C. Roffey, Jr.

Read more articles in the Tampa Bay Downs category.


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