Thursday, October 23, 2008
OAK TREE DERBY, DAMASCUS WIND UP BREEDERS’ CUP PROGRAM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2008) – The 38 th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Oak Tree Derby and Oak Tree’s first running of the $100,000 Damascus Stakes complete Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships program that begins at 10:10 a.m. with the first of nine consecutive Breeders’ Cup stakes races at Santa Anita.
Track admission gates will open at 7 a.m., one-half hour after parking gates are to open for the eleven-race card that is due to be completed by 5 p.m.
The Oak Tree Derby, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on grass, will serve as the nightcap with a scheduled post of 4:55 p.m. The Damascus Stakes, for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs over the main track, goes one race earlier at 4:20 p.m.
Georgie Boy, victorious in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, Grade II San Vicente Stakes and Grade II San Felipe Stakes before going to the sidelines in March, returns to action in the seven-furlong Damascus, which attracted 14 entrants. Georgie Boy’s opponents include fellow comebacker Into Mischief, who upset Colonel John in Hollywood Park’s Grade I CashCall Futurity last December.
The inaugural $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, at 1 ½ miles over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface, starts off the day’s activities at 10:00 a.m. Post times for the other Breeders’ Cup events follow:
10:50 a.m. – $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
11:30 a.m. -- $1 million TVG Breeders Cup Dirt Mile.
12:15 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Breeders Cup Mile (turf).
12:55 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles.
1:35 p.m. – $1 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at one-mile.
2:15 p.m. – Grade I, $2 million Sentient Flight Group Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs.
3 p.m. – Grade I, $3 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf at 1 ½ miles.
3:45 p.m. – Grade I, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles.
Madeo’s victory at odds of 10-1 in the Del Mar Derby, contested at 1 1/8 miles on turf, was attributed to maturity by John Shirreffs, who trains the homebred son of Mizzen Mast for Jerry and Ann Moss. “He’s matured a lot,” said Shirreffs. “He was very immature early and was a problem when he shipped. But he’s begun to settle down now.”
Mike Smith will be back aboard in the 19 th running of the Oak Tree Derby, a race Smith won last year while on Daytona. Madeo’s win in the Del Mar Derby followed a fast-closing fourth in Del Mar’s Grade II La Jolla Handicap, the bay colt’s grass debut. Madeo has won 3 of 7 career starts for earnings of $317,915.
Dixie Chatter took to the turf in his debut over the surface with a wire-to-wire win in a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 16, his last start. The Dixie Union colt, owned and bred by Herman Sarkowsky, also has been victorious in 3 of 7 career starts. Dixie Chatter has earned $269,196. Regular rider Richard Migliore will be given a leg up by trainer Richard Mandella.
Tres Borrachos, trained by Beau Greely for a partnership, will be making his first start on grass. Tyler Baze rides the Ecton Park gelding, who has posted a 2-1-3 record in 12 races for earnings of $401,122. Tres Borrachos tackled his elders in his last start when sixth after pressing the pace in Oak Tree’s Grade I Goodwood Stakes on Sept. 27.
The complete field for the Oak Tree Derby, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dixie Chatter, Richard Migliore, 118; Muny, David Flores, 118; Tres Borrachos, Tyler Baze, 122; Gallon, Russell Baze, 120; Moral Compass, Eibar Coa, 122; Madeo, Mike Smith, 122; Trevor’s Clever, Joseph Talamo, 118; Deal Making, Ramon Dominguez, 118; Woodland Flood, Victor Espinoza, 118; Nownownow, Julian Leparoux, 118; Blue Exit, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Rumba Along, Chantal Sutherland, 118; Ghetto, Kent Desormeaux, 118, and Pearl Fisher, Jose Valdivia Jr., 118.
Georgie Boy, who will be rejoined by jockey Garrett Gomez for his comeback in the Damascus, had the appearance of a leading Triple Crown contender before going to the sidelines with a pulled muscle in his back. “I don’t know how long he’ll be out,” trainer Kathy Walsh said at the time, “but we’ll give the horse all the time he needs and let him tell us when to come back.”
A gelded son of Tribal Rule bred in California by owner George Schwary, Georgie Boy has been working forwardly for his return. When he went on the shelf, he was considered a leading contender for the Santa Anita Derby. He has earned $496,806 for his connections from a 4-2-1 record in 7 starts. Georgie Boy is undefeated in two stakes races at seven furlongs. Included is the Grade I Del Mar Futurity when Gomez rode for the only time previously.
Following his 13-1 stunner in the CashCall Futurity, Into Mischief was the 11-10 favorite over Georgie Boy when second in Santa Anita’s Feb. 10 San Vicente Stakes, beaten by 3 1/4 lengths. The Harlan’s Holiday offspring subsequently was idled by a hind left foot ailment.
Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be back aboard Into Mischief in the Damascus. In four career starts for trainer Richard Mandella, the bay colt shows two wins and a pair of seconds. He has earned $478,800 for owner B. Wayne Hughes.
The complete field for the Damascus Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dancing in Silks, Joel Rosario, 120; Hatta Fort, Julien Leparoux, 123; D. Double You, Rene Douglas, 116; Gayego, Smith, 123; Blue Chagall, Brice Blanc, 118; Into Mischief, Espinoza, 118; Victor’s Cry, John Velazquez, 116; No Advantage, Bejarano, 116; Young Joe, Talamo, 118; Signature Move, Michael Baze, 118; Kool Comic, Robby Albarado, 123; Georgie Boy, Garrett Gomez, 123; Leonides, Migliore, 123, and Master Daniel, Lanfranco Dettori, 116.
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