Monday, October 27 2008
BREEDERS’ CUP SPURS STRONG FINISH TO OAK TREE SEASON
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2008)—The Oak Tree Racing Association’s 40th annual meeting finished on a powerful note as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, run Oct. 24 and 25, generated the strongest attendance and handle figures of the meet, which had been negatively effected by the sluggish local and national economy.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships were held as a two-day event for the first time in Oak Tree at Santa Anita history and the results were bullish, as on-track attendance reached 31,257 on Friday and 51,331 on Saturday. All-sources handle on Friday was $47,863,774, and on Saturday all-sources handle reached $107,610,778. The two-day all sources handle of $155,474,553 was a 5 1/2 percent increase over last year.
Oak Tree 2008 Media Poll
ZENYATTA 2008 OAK TREE HORSE OF THE MEET
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2008) – Undefeated Zenyatta, racing’s newest superstar who stamped herself as a leading contender for Horse of the Year with her ninth consecutive win in capturing the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, was unanimously named Horse of the Meet in Oak Tree’s annual Media Poll.
The 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, thus becomes the second straight female to be so honored. Nashoba’s Key was Oak Tree’s Horse of the Meet in 2007, joining the elite company of Light Jig, Halfbridled and 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri as distaff stars to be recognized in that category since it was introduced in 1996.
ALTESSE GETS JOB DONE IN TURBACK THE ALARM
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
It took a year and the patience of both owner Helen Alexander and Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey to make Altesse a graded stakes winner, but the plan finally came to fruition on Sunday afternoon when the 5-year-old A.P. Indy mare dug in on the rail to defeat favored Spring Waltz by a neck in the 14th running of the Grade 3, $107,600 Turnback the Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares at nine furlongs. The race was the feature on the closing day of the 2008 Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet. Racing will resume on Wednesday with the Opening Day of the Aqueduct Fall Meet. First race post is 12:30 p.m.
Utterly Cool wins Cup & Saucer with chilling ease
TORONTO, October 26 - Utterly Cool turned the $252,800 Cup and Saucer Stakes into a one-horse show, Sunday at Woodbine.
The two-year-old was the first of two Sid Attard-trained Ontario-breds to record added-money victories on the card, which also featured the Labeeb Stakes.
A gelded son of Smoke Glacken, Utterly Cool won the 72nd edition of the Cup & Saucer by 10 1/4 lengths, traveling 1 1/16 miles in a spiffy 1:44.62 over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course's yielding terrain.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
VICTORINA TOPS UNSPOKEN WORD IN MARINA STAKES AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
ALBANY -- Victorina outran pacesetter Unspoken Word down the stretch to win the $65,900 Marina Stakes by three-quarters of a length Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Ridden by William Antongeorgi III and trained by Greg Gilchrist, Victorina stopped the timer in 1:37.32 while improving to 1-for-2 in one-mile races. Overall, Victorina has 12 victories in 22 career starts.
Sunday, October 26 2008
FW: European Team Wins Five to Climax 25th Breeders’ Cup World Championships
ARCADIA, Calif. –European-trained horses won five of nine Championship races, and Stonestreet Stable’s 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin finished fourth defending his Breeders’ Cup Classic title on Saturday at Santa Anita on a spectacular day of racing to complete the two-day 25th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Breeders’ Cup President Greg Avioli said, “It was a tremendous two days of racing with incredible performances both days. We had 80,000-plus fans here over the two days and everything went smoothly in the operation – a testament to our hosts, the Oak Tree Racing Association.”
Nite Lede, Saturday, October 25th, 2008
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2008) – A couple of returning 3-year-olds registered upsets Saturday in the pair of Oak Tree stakes races that followed the Breeders’ Cup World Championships program at Santa Anita.
Muny, a 10-1 shot who had been freshened since winning an optional claimer at Del Mar two months ago, took the Grade II, $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf with a front-running victory under jockey David Flores in 1:47.69.
Into Mischief, off since February while recovering from a foot ailment, ran away with the first running of the $113,000 Damascus Stakes while covering seven furlongs in 1:20.38 over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface.
Breeders’ Cup World Championships 2008 Quick Facts
Garrett Gomez is the first rider in the history of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to ride more than two winners at a single Championship.
Gomez posted the first of his four victories on Friday when he started off the Championships with a win aboard Ventura in the Filly & Mare Sprint. On Saturday, Gomez scored with Albertus Maximus (Dirt Mile), Midshipman (Juvenile) and Midnight Lute (Sprint).
His victory aboard Midnight Lute made the Bob Baffert trainee the first repeat winner of the Sprint. Baffert became the sixth trainer in the Championships to win the same race in consecutive years with the same horse.
KODIAK KOWBOY TURNS PAGE, EYES HILL ‘N’ DALE CIGAR MILE
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
Fox Hill Farm’s and Vinery Stables’ favored Kodiak Kowboy took the long way home Saturday afternoon under jockey Gabriel Saez, but was horse enough for the journey has he put in a big finish to win the 56th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Sport Page Handicap by a length and three-quarters over Eternal Star.
The seven-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and up was co-featured with the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Handicap on an abbreviated seen-race Belmont Park card, as the rest of the day was devoted to simulcasting of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Santa Anita. Sunday will mark the final day of Belmont Park’s Fall Championship Meet, with racing resuming on Wednesday, October 29 at Aqueduct Racetrack
SAMYN GETS BEST OUT OF FORMAL DECREE IN KNICK ‘CAP
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
Jean-Luc Samyn is the oldest member of New York’s jockey colony, and all of his experience paid off Saturday afternoon when he guided Godolphin Stable’s Formal Decree to a three-length, gate-to-wire victory over Strike a Deal in the 49th running of the Grade 3, $111,400 Knickerbocker Handicap for three-year-olds and up at nine furlongs on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
Samyn, who will be 54 on November 6, broke from Post 1 and, with the rail set at 18 feet on the firm course, opened up a measured length on longshot Giant Wrecker and set a pace of .24.93, 48.31 and 1:10.95 Giant Wrecker made one final try, but Samyn and his mount simply rode off to the victory in 1:47.57.
LYCURGUS TRIUMPHS IN MISTER DIZ STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 10-25-08---Toby Roth’s Lycurgus hadn’t raced on dirt since last spring, but when the $50,000 Mister Diz Stakes was moved to the sloppy main track from the turf, the Not For Love gelding proved the off-going is just as much to his liking.
Josue Arce kept Lycurgus wide and just off a spirited pace, then moved up effortlessly to collar the leaders and powered away to win by a length in 1:03.98 for the 5-1/2 furlong distance. Saay Mi Name started his move behind the winner, could not reach him going to the wire and finished second. Norjac, who was part of the early pace, stayed on to take third.
Read more articles in the Laurel
Keeneland Fall Meet Concludes With Near-Record Attendance
Lexington, KY (October 25, 2008) – Keeneland closed its 2008 fall season on Saturday with near-record attendance for the 17-day race meeting, held October 3-25.
Fans responded positively to a month of spectacular fall weather and world-class, competitive racing, with fields averaging 10.06 starters per race. Keeneland’s signature FallStars Weekend produced a number of Breeders’ Cup World Championships entries, notably Forever Together, who prepped for her win in the Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) by taking Keeneland’s First Lady (G1) on opening day.