Thursday, April 09, 2009

Autrey targets DelPark

Wilmington, Del., April 9, 2009 — Cody Autrey, a perennial top trainer in the Midwest, is among some of the new trainers targeting Delaware Park for the upcoming 72nd live race meeting. The 116-day live race season opens on Saturday, April 25 and ends on Saturday, November 7. Post time for the first race has been set at 1:15 p.m.

Since finishing third in the trainer standings at the recently concluded Fair Grounds meet, Autrey started sending horses to Delaware Park. By the beginning of the season at the Stanton-oval, Autrey should have approximately 35 horses on the grounds. In past years, the native of Waxahachie, Texas, has split his operation between Churchill Downs and Lone Star Park after the Fair Grounds. But, this year, the 29-year-old who won his first career race at Retama Park on September 14, 2000, will split his stable sending a division to Churchill Downs and for the first time in his career sending a division to the east coast.

“The main thing is that every year we leave the Fair Grounds, we usually keep 60 to 70 horses in training,” Cody Autrey said. “We have always whittled our numbers down after Fair Grounds and sent some to Lone Star Park and to Churchill. We elected not to go to Lone Star Park this year. Churchill usually gives me 20 to 24 stalls, but that is not enough to accommodate all my horses. I decided I needed to find somewhere I could go where I could stay and not move around somewhere with a good purse structure. I have been to Delaware once before and Steve Klesaris came to New Orleans and he thought I would like Delaware. I liked the condition book from the year before and how long the meet runs. It ends right before the Fair Grounds starts again so it fits into my program real good. All in all we are going to give it a shot and hopefully everything will turn out as we expect.”

Autrey will have a nice mix of horses at Delaware. Look for his horses early in the meet.

“We brought a little of everything and we will be active right from the beginning,” he said. “I think the first few days into the meet, we are going to have seven to ten horses entered. Our horses should fit the condition book real well. I do not like bringing horses if there is not a race in the book. If there is not a race in the first book, there is usually not going to be a race in the next book. We are going go be rotating between Churchill and Delaware depending upon the condition books. I already shipped some of my Churchill horses to Delaware and if there is not a spot for them, we are just going to shuffle them back and forth. I am going to try to keep as many as I can at Delaware.”

Other new trainers that have targeted Delaware Park this year include: Michael Stidham and Ron Moquett.

Returning top trainers include: Scott Lake, Peter Walder, J. Larry Jones, Tim Ritchey, Steve Klesaris, Michael Gorham, Jonathan Sheppard, Anthony Dutrow, Michael Matz and H. Graham Motion.

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