Friday, January 02 2009
“FREE FRIDAYS” ATTRACTS SANTA ANITA CROWD OF 9,269
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2009) – Before an on-track crowd of 9,269 on the first of Santa Anita’s weekly Free Fridays promotion, 3-2 second-choice Victorina mounted a strong finish to run past You Lift Me Up and capture the eighth running of the $80,900 Paseana Handicap for fillies and mares by 2¼ lengths with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
A widely-traveled Northern California-based mare who has been off-the-board only three times in 24 starts, the 6-year-old Florida-bred negotiated the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:43.92 with Island Hop checking in third. Double Trouble, the even-money favorite in the field of six, never threatened while finishing fourth.
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 2ND, 2009
NO RECORD, BUT GOMEZ IN LINE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT ECLIPSE AWARD
Garrett Gomez missed Jerry Bailey’s single-season earnings mark of $23,354,960 set in 2003 by $10,982 when Baroness Thatcher ran third in Wednesday’s Kalookan Queen Handicap, but all in all, 2008 was a very good year.
Gomez, who turned 37 on New Year’s Day, still outdistanced runner-up Robby Albarado in purse earnings by more than $5 million and is an overwhelming favorite to win his second straight Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding rider.
JOCKEYS CONTRIBUTE $16,500 TO WINNERS FOUNDATION
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2009)—Top jockey Garrett Gomez and a group of Southern California based riders will contribute $16,500 to the Winners Foundation this Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The Winners Foundation helps individuals and families in the racing industry with alcohol and substance abuse problems and is based at Santa Anita. The foundation is funded primarily by racing associations throughout California.
“Without the Winners Foundation, I wouldn’t be riding today,” said Gomez, who led all North American Jockeys in purse money won for a third consecutive year in 2008. “I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Bob Fletcher and everyone involved with the Winners Foundation.
LORD SNOWDON SHIPS TO LAUREL FOR NATIVE DANCER STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 01-02-09---Lord Snowdon, who missed by a nose in last year’s Grade II General George Handicap, returns from New York and heads a cast of eight older horses in the $50,000 Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday. The one-mile test is the eighth race on the nine-race card.
Tony Dutrow trains Lord Snowdon (5-2), who raced in five stakes from January to June last year. He won the Paumonok Handicap and finished third in the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap, as well as his runner-up finish in the General George. The son of Seeking the Gold went to the sidelines in late June and returned in an optional claimer at Aqueduct on December 5th.
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Gate Work Pleases Matz
Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the full-brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, continues to progress toward his highly anticipated career debut at the end of January or early in February.
Trainer Michael Matz reported the 3-year-old homebred son of Dynaformer worked from the starting gate at Palm Meadows Training Center last Sunday, going three furlongs in :36.50 over the fast dirt track.
NEW YEAR BEGINS WITH PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $143,011
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009)—Under picturesque New Year’s Day weather conditions, form for the most part, did not prevail at Santa Anita as no one correctly tabbed six winners in the Pick Six, resulting in a carryover of $143,011 into Friday. Additionally, no one selected the top five finishers in the afternoon’s 10th race, resulting in a Super High 5 carryover of $78,259.
Thursday’s Pick Six consisted of races five through 10 and just one post time favorite, Dream Now, in race seven, managed to win. Ridden by David Flores, Dream Now took blinkers off Thursday and cruised home by 5 ¼ lengths, returning $3.40 to win. Conditioned by Julio Canani, the 3-year-old colt by Medaglia d’Oro is owned by Bloodstock Management Services Inc. or Preston.
BACKBACKBACKGONE HITS HOMER IN GOLDEN BEAR STAKES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Backbackbackgone hit a homer in the $75,000 Golden Bear Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Going to bat in front of a New Year's Day crowd of 8,038, Backbackbackgone came from just off the pace to win the six-furlong feature for 3-year-olds by one length over Free Action in 1:11.01. Revoluta finished third.
Jebel Ali races cancelled
Friday afternoon's Jebel Ali race meeting was cancelled after the sad death of
His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, who passed away Friday morning in London.
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Thursday, January 01 2009
IN SUMMATION REPEATS IN EL CONEJO HANDICAP AS 6-5 FAVORITE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009) – Waterford Stable millionaire In Summation became the third repeat winner of Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 El Conejo Handicap on Friday when rallying strongly to overtake gritty 7-1 longshot Machismo by one length while covering 5½ furlongs in 1:02.58.
With Rafael Bejarano aboard for the first time in nearly a year, the 6-year-old bided his time while trailing in the field of four before looping his opponents turning for home. He was fully extended to wear down pace-setter Machismo, ridden by Mike Smith.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, JANUARY 1ST, 2009
TROUBLE MAKER AN ENIGMA IN SATURDAY’S MONROVIA
Trouble Maker makes her first start for trainer Jay Robbins in Saturday’s Grade III Monrovia Handicap after coming in from Belmont Park where she finished fifth by 1 ½ lengths in the Xtra Heat Handicap at six furlongs on turf Oct. 12.
Robbins hopes the daughter of the quirky Labeeb runs more to her most recent workout than to the preceding one.
SAN GORGONIO STAKE ADVANCE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2009) – Even though she hasn’t won in eight starts since June of 2007, Irish-bred Valbenny appears well-placed on Sunday to extend Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel’s dominance of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Frankel has saddled seven of the past 13 winners of the event that will be contested for the 40th time. His eight overall victories in the race are three more than accomplished by the legendary Charlie Whittingham.
INDIAN RUSH SEEKS WIN BEFORE STARTING VACATION
For the past four winters, trainer Karl Grusmark has been making his mark at Laurel Race Course in Maryland. But for 2009, the 65-year-old New Englander will be calling New York his home, aiming his 15-horse stable at Aqueduct’s inner track meet.
He will be firing one shot in Sunday’s 32nd running of the $65,000-added Ruthless Stakes for three-year-old fillies when he saddles Robyn Kalaidjiam’s Indian Rush in the six-furlong sprint.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct