Saturday, November 08 2008

HP Notes: Friday, Nov. 7, 2008


Muny, who posted his third straight victory with a front-running effort in the Oak Tree Derby on the Breeders‘ Cup undercard at Santa Anita, is slated to make his next start in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 30, trainer Mike Puype said Friday at Hollywood Park. The Grade I race is at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

“He’s three-for-four,” said Puype of the 3-year-old gelding. “I bet not many horses have won the Oak Tree Derby in only their fourth start. It’s not easy to take on those seasoned horses and carry them wire-to-wire.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.



ALBANY -- The combination of trainer Greg James and jockey William Antongeorgi III struck again - actually twice - Friday at Golden Gate Fields.

James and Antongeorgi, who teamed up to win the sixth race Thursday with Simple Justice ($6.60), clicked again in the first and sixth races Friday. The duo took the opener with Summer Solstice ($7.80) and the sixth with Private Quaters ($8.40).

Read more articles in the Golden Gate category.


Friday, November 07 2008

Mega Rush from off the pace suitable for the Frost King

TORONTO, November 6 * T V Stables charge Mega Rush looks to spring an upset in Saturday's $125,000 Frost King at Woodbine.

The two-year-old son of Megas Vukefalos enters the seven-furlong Ontario-sired event as the freshest of the eight juveniles. The Mike DePaulo trainee hasn't raced since he broke his maiden in a maiden dash on September 26.

"We thought we would wait and give him a shot in this race and give him a good chance to run big," said the Toronto native. "We've learned that we don't want to rush him back. He seems to run better when his races were spaced out."

Read more articles in the Woodbine category.



East Rutherford, NJ [Nov. 6, 2008] - Count By Five prevailed as the 4-5 favorite in the $50,000 seventh race allowance Thursday night at the Meadowlands.

With leading rider Jose Lezcano in the irons, Count By Five [$3.60, $2.20, $2.10] moved three-wide on the turn and drew off to a two-length victory over Exciting Times [$3.00, $2.40]. Count By Five stepped the five furlongs in 1:11.14 over a muddy track. Blazing Fuse [$3.20] finished third off a ground-saving journey.

Read more articles in the New Meadowlands category.



LAUREL, MD. 11-06-08---A sure sign the grass season at Laurel Park is drawing to a close is the scheduled running of the 1-1/8th mile $50,000 Find Handicap on Saturday. Fifteen Maryland-breds passed the entry box, including four also-eligibles.

Broadway Producer (5-2) and Dr Rico (9-2), the one-two finishers in the Maryland Million Turf on October 4, resume their rivalry. In the Million Turf, the duo drew away from the rest of the field and battled head-to-head to the finish line, with Broadway Producer prevailing by a neck.

Read more articles in the Laurel category.


Danceinthesunlight Sells for $675,000 On Thursday at Keeneland

Lexington, KY (November 6, 2008) – Southern Equine Stables paid $675,000 for Danceinthesunlight, in foal to Forest Wildcat, to highlight Thursday’s session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Consigned by Anderson Farms, agent for Sam-Son Farm, Danceinthesunlight is an unraced three-year-old daughter of A. P. Indy out of Canadian champion Dancethruthedawn. She is from the family of U.S. and Canadian champion Dance Smartly and Grade 1 stakes winner and sire Smart Strike.

Read more articles in the Keeneland category.



INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2008) — New Zealand-bred Majestic Diamond, the longest shot in the field at odds of 32-1, rallied from sixth at the top of the stretch under jockey Julien Couton to capture Thursday’s $42,000 feature at Hollywood Park, setting up a two-day Pick Six carryover of $232,349.

The 5-year-old, making his U.S. debut, covered six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:08.53 while rewarding backers with payoffs of $69, $19.40 and $10.40. Joe Bravo, a half-length back of the winner with Mike Smith up, paid $6.60 and $3.60. Favorite Banner Lodge, ridden by Garrett Gomez, finished third and returned $3.80.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.



ALBANY -- Dancin Candy high stepped his way to another victory on Golden Gate Fields' synthetic Tapeta racing surface Thursday.

Golden Gate Fields installed the Tapeta track in the summer of 2007, much to the delight of Dancin Candy, who has enjoyed great success on the surface. In nine starts on Tapeta, Dancin Candy has recorded four wins and two seconds.

Dancin Candy rallied from off the pace to win Thursday's featured fourth race, a 1 1/16-mile contest for 3-year-olds and up, by three-quarters of a length over even-money favorite Choctaw Chief. Suffolk Punch finished third.

Read more articles in the Golden Gate category.


Thursday, November 06 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2008) — Escalon, third as the favorite in the California Cup Juvenile, will try to make amends in the fourth running of the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Escalon, who broke his maiden while making his career bow on Aug. 1 at Del Mar, will be starting for the fourth time in the 1 1/16-mile Real Quiet. He finished sixth in the Del Mar Futurity two starts back.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.


HP Notes:  Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008


Irish-based Winchester, a Grade I stakes winner for trainer Dermot Weld, worked an easy five furlongs on turf Thursday at Hollywood Park in preparation for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 30.

“We just wanted him to get a feel of it,” said assistant Jeff Byrne after the drill under Thomas Daly, another assistant. The 3-year-old colt was shipped here Friday from Santa Anita after finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup’ Turf on Oct. 25.

Winchester worked a couple of lengths off Towzee from the Paddy Gallagher barn where both are stabled. “We don’t go fast; it’s a different system,” explained Byrne, satisfied with the drill. Winchester was clocked in 1:04.80 breezing.

“It’s been a lucky track for us,” said Byrne, an assistant to Weld for 20 years. “I’ve been here with Dress to Thrill when she won The Matriarch (2002) and a couple of American Oaks fillies.”

A Virginia-bred son of Theatrical owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, Winchester began his career in Ireland, breaking his maiden in April and finishing seventh in the Irish Derby in June. He shipped to the United States to win the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in August by 7 ½ lengths.

“I think the mile and a quarter should suit him better than the mile and a half,” said Byrne of the distance of the Grade I Hollywood Derby in comparison to the Breeders’ Cup. “He was in a tough spot against older horses in the Breeders’ Cup, but I couldn’t be happier with him now.

“He’s a pretty straightforward horse, sound, no problems, with a really good constitution and a great appetite,“ continued Byrne. “Not sending him home and keeping him here should help.”

Winchester must be supplemented to the race for $10,000.


Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, making his first appearance of the meet at Hollywood Park Thursday, said defending champion Precious Kitten and at least one other horse would start in the $500,000 Matriarch on Nov. 30. The Grade I test is for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.

Frankel, spending most of the meet with a larger division at Santa Anita, watched several horses exercise on the track from a division overseen by assistant Sally Lundy.

“Precious Kitten, Visit, maybe Ventura,” said Frankel when asked about candidates for a race he was won a record eight times, including the last four.

Precious Kitten seeks to become only the second horse to win The Matriarch more than once in its 27-year history. Champion Flawlessly won it three straight times from 1991-93.

Precious Kitten comes off a fourth-place finish against males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 5-year-old mare won the Grade I Gamely Stakes here in May. She has recorded eight firsts and nine seconds in 24 starts.

Visit, a Juddmonte Farms homebred from England, joined the Frankel barn after finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf for Sir Michael Stoute.

Ventura, another Juddmonte homebred, finished second by a nose in the CashCall Mile here in July and comes off an impressive win in the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

Frankel also said Fifteen Love and Midships, a pair of Juddmonte colts from Europe training at Santa Anita, are under consideration for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby the same day. He has won that race three times, one less than leader Charlie Whittingham.

Frankel added that he had not made a decision in the $400,000 Citation Handicap on Nov. 28, a race in which he nominated Mast Track, Out of Control, Proudinsky, Storm Military and Tybalt. The Grade I test is at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

The three races headline the six-race Turf Festival Nov. 28-30. Frankel is the runaway leader in Turf Festival victories with 17.


Victory Pete, a third-place finisher in two Santa Anita 3-year-old stakes before going to the sidelines, neared a return to the races after working a mile on turf in 1:43.20 under exercise rider Paddy Dalton.

“He’s close to a comeback; I’m looking at the next book,” said trainer Alexis Barba. “He finished third in the California Derby and was third in the Sham Stakes behind Colonel John and El Gato Malo. I sent him to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby but he hurt his foot a day before the race and was scratched.”

Stakes-winning El Gato Malo, also on the comeback trail, worked four furlongs on Cushion Track in :48.60 for trainer Craig Dollase.


Artiste Royal, unraced since winning the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap here in June, worked seven furlongs in 1:30 on turf Thursday in company with Obrigado, also on the comeback, for trainer Neil Drysdale.

“He has come back from a minor setback after the Whittingham,” said Drysdale of the 7-year-old veteran he is pointing to the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 6.

Drysdale said Obrigado and Cedar Mountain, who worked four furlongs on grass in :51, are also under consideration for the Turf Cup, a Grade I test at 1 ½ miles on turf. Cedar Mountain finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.

FINISH LINES — Owner Jerry Moss was a visitor to the John Shirreffs stable Thursday and watched Neko Bay exercise on the main track. Moss said he still had not come back to earth from unbeaten Zenyatta’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. “We’re still up there somewhere,” said Moss with a smile…Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for Casino Drive, said the 3-year-old colt and stablemate Champagne Squall would be flown back to Japan Sunday. Casino Drive, unbeaten in three previous starts, faded to last in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Champagne Squall was unplaced in a maiden race on turf here Wednesday…Friday racing shifts under the lights this week with a 7:05 p.m. post. Night racing will continue the following two Fridays, Nov. 14 and 21, before returning to matinees the final four Fridays, Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 12 and 19.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.


AQUEDUCT NOTES, Nov. 5, 2008

It may have been a routine 1 1/16th mile claimer on the turf, but Jackie Davis will always remember Wednesday’s fifth race at Aqueduct Racetrack for a very special reason – it marked her first-ever victory as a professional jockey.

The 21-year-old Davis, the daughter of retired rider Robbie Davis, entered the winner’s circle on her 33rd mount after piloting 64-1 shot Blue Hill Bay, owned by Chris Nolan and trained by Scott Everett, to a wire-to-wire, three-quarter length victory over Pay Wright.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


Business Trends mixed at Belmont Fall Meet

The 37-day 2008 Belmont Fall meeting, which ended on October 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, versus the equivalent 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8 percent. As the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3 percent decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure. However, that decrease does represent an improvement over the approximately 10.2 percent all-sources handle decline registered during the 2008 Saratoga meet.

“The decline in all-sources handle at the Fall Belmont Park Meet was disappointing but consistent with national wagering trends,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA president and CEO. “There is no question that the economic climate in New York and around the country has had a negative impact on our live handle as well as the New York State Off-Track Betting Corporations and other simulcast customers.”

Read more articles in the Belmont Park category.


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