Friday, January 09 2009

Steve Sexton on the death of retired Daily Racing Forn Executive Columnist Joe Hirsch

“Joe Hirsch earned and deserved universal respect and admiration throughout Thoroughbred racing. Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, grooms, racing executives, members of the media, and lovers of racing around the world revered Joe for his immense knowledge, remarkable talent and positive impact on our sport. But those who had to good fortune to know or simply meet him through the years will remember Joe for the incredible kindness he displayed to all who crossed his path. Countless journalists benefited from his guidance and counsel, and the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing are stronger because of the work and influence of Joe Hirsch. Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby family are deeply saddened by his passing, and mourn that his insightful and impassioned voice is now quiet. One of Joe's most memorable sentences came in a Daily Racing Form piece on five-time ‘Horse of the Year’ Kelso in which he wrote: ‘Once upon a time there was a horse named Kelso … but only once.’ Let us borrow Joe’s brilliant phrase and proclaim today that once upon a time, there was a special journalist and man named Joe Hirsch … but only once.”

Read more articles in the Churchill Downs category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – After four one-day carryovers in the Pick Six during the first ten days of racing, Santa Anita will have a two-day carryover of $423,985 on Friday when the track offers free general admission. The combined Friday pool is expected to exceed $2 million and could approach $3 million.

With a pair of blowout winners paying $94.60 and $50.60 on Thursday, there were no winning tickets for a second successive day in the popular multiple-race wager that can result in enormous payoffs.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Racing for the last time in the name of James Ortega, the late Thoroughbred horse owner who was one of nine people slain in what has become known as the Santa Claus Massacre in nearby Covina on Christmas Eve, Return of the King scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the second race at Santa Anita on Thursday.

“I feel like I just won a $5 million race,” jockey Martin Pedroza said in the winner’s circle. “I’ve known the family for a long time. I wanted so much to win this race. It gave me chills.”

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.




John Sadler sends out two for the money Saturday in quest of his second consecutive victory in the San Pasqual Handicap when he saddles Mostacolli Mort and Noble Court in the Grade II event for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.

Sadler, who won 28 races at Santa Anita last season to finish second behind Mike Mitchell (33), won the 2008 San Pasqual with Gary and Cecil Barber’s Zappa.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Toro Bonito and a pair of Bob Baffert-trained stablemates will be among nine 3-year-old fillies seeking their first graded stakes victory Sunday in Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

A homebred daughter of El Corredor owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt III, Toro Bonito comes into the race off a third-place finish behind Laragh in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 13, an effort that is likely to earn her favoritism on Sunday.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.


Rivalries renew in Turfway’s Wishing Well Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . January 8, 2009 . . . Several of the dozen older fillies and mares entered for the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday will be renewing rivalries, including recent Turfway stakes winners Afleet Angel and Vote Early.

Afleet Angel was overlooked at 10-1 when she won the Holiday Inaugural in the just-completed holiday meet, defeating five of the horses she will face in the Wishing Well. She has four wins, a second, and a third in seven starts on all-weather surfaces and missed the money just once in nine starts last year. In her most recent start, the New Year’s Eve Stakes on an off track at Mountaineer, she finished third. She won the Holiday Inaugural by closing from far back but has set the pace to win as well. Wilfredo Lozano Jr., who was aboard for Afleet Angel’s stakes win at Presque Isle, comes to Turfway to ride for trainer Paula Bacon.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.



OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 8, 2009) Blame it on Tuesday. That was the name of the pony trainer Joan Scott received from her parents when she was eight because, according to the conditioner, “My mom felt sorry for me riding the broom all over the house.”

>From those humble equine beginnings in her home town of Penn Laird, VA, Scott has toured the country and world working such prestigious sales as Deauville, in France, and Newmarket, in England, as well as exercising and breaking yearlings for top outfits like Juddmonte Farms, Fares Farm, Ashleigh Stud, England’s Stowell Hill Farm and Haras du Quesnay in France.

Read more articles in the Tampa Bay Downs category.



LAUREL, MD. 01-08-09---Access Fee heads a cast of eleven fillies and mares in Saturday’s $50,000 What A Summer Stakes at Laurel Park. The race will go six furlongs on the main track.

Access Fee (9-5), a lightly raced four-year-old filly, has won three of five starts for trainer Larry Murray, including a perfect three-for-three at her home track. The daughter of Menifee began her three-year-old campaign with a pair of impressive wins at Laurel Park then finished second on the grass at Philadelphia Park in July. After a four month layoff she won an allowance test here before ending 2008 with a trip to Aqueduct with a fourth place finish as the co-favorite in the Foil Stakes on December 14. Murray’s star worked a half-mile Sunday morning in 48 seconds, the fastest of 11 times in preparation for this test. Jose Caraballo has the mount.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Canadian Champion Ginger Brew Returns in Marshua’s River Sunday

Stronach Stable’s 4-year-old Canadian homebred filly Ginger Brew returns to competition as one of the favorites in Sunday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Javier Castellano rides Ginger Brew for trainer Brian Lynch in a full field of 12 fillies and mares drawn for the 1 1/16 miles turf test. After her Calder Oaks victory last spring, the Canadian-bred daughter of Milwaukee Brew won the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks on Polytrack on June 8 by six lengths and two weeks later finished a game second by a head as the favorite in the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Winter Racing Challenge comes to glamorous conclusion

Dubai Racing Club, official fashion partner BurJuman and event sponsors Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Contempo Events, played host to the fabulous Winter BurJuman Fillies & Fashion this evening.

Partygoers dined on gourmet cuisine, supped sparkling beverages and took in the action both on the catwalk and the race track.

Fillies strutted around in stylish and beautiful dresses and eye catching head pieces.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Big City Man stars at Nad Al Sheba

Thursday’s tenth meeting of the season at Nad Al Sheba, kindly sponsored by Keeneland, was highlighted by a 1200m conditions sprint, The Keeneland Trophy, on the dirt, as well as the first two turf races on the UAE’s flagship racecourse.

Jerry Barton, who trains in Saudi Arabia but has a team based at Nofa Stables at Nad Al Sheba for his Prince Sultan Mohd Saud Al Kabeer, was the man to follow with two winners for his main patron.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.



Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Darley have announced a partnership starting in 2009 highlighted by the renaming of the Del Mar Debutante as the Darley Debutante.

The Grade I Debutante, Del Mar's championship race for 2-year-old fillies, has been won by six juvenile filly Eclipse Award winners in recent years and was captured this past summer by Stardom Bound, a solid favorite to earn an Eclipse as the latest 2-year-old filly queen. The 59th running of the seven-furlong headliner has been scheduled for Saturday, September 5 during the closing weekend of the seaside track’s annual summer meeting. Additionally, its purse will be enhanced from $250,000 to $300,000.

Read more articles in the Del Mar category.


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