Wednesday, August 20, 2008
SARATOGA NOTES; Tuesday, August 19, 2008
William S. Farish and Mrs. William S. Kilroy’s Mambo in Seattle drilled a half-mile under cloudy skies just before 6 o’clock this morning in his final workout for Saturday’s 139th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes presented by Shadwell Farm. The Kingmambo colt was timed in 48.19 seconds on Saratoga’s main track, which was listed as “good.” He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5.
“He worked good, he came back good,” trainer Neil Howard said of Mambo in Seattle, whose dam, Weekend in Seattle, is a full sister to 1992 Horse of the Year and Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy. “He has come around good and he’s done well. There’s not much to say at this point. He’s a nice colt. He started late in his three-year-old season, but he will be fine and should do well.”
Farish and Howard teamed up last year with Grasshopper and nearly upset Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in the Travers. Robby Albarado, who was aboard Grasshopper, will ride Mambo in Seattle in the Travers.
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Tres Borrachos worked a half-mile in 48.80, handily, at Hollywood Park this morning.
Trainer Beau Greely, who is also part-owner of the Ecton Park gelding whose name is Spanish for “Three Drunks,” said the winner of Hollywood’s Grade 2 Swaps will arrive in Saratoga on Wednesday for the Travers.
The Swaps was run at nine furlongs over the synthetic surface at Hollywood, and Tres Borrachos defeated a field that included Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John, another Travers contender.
Colonel John is also scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
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Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito reported Tuesday morning that both Belmont Stakes winner Da’ Tara and Cool Coal Man, third behind Big Brown in the Haskell Invitational, were doing well as the countdown continues to the Travers.
“Everything is good, knock wood,” said Zito. “They had a nice day today, a nice gallop.”
Da’ Tara will be ridden again by Alan Garcia in the Travers. Garcia was aboard for both the Belmont Stakes and Da’ Tara’s seventh-place finish behind Macho Again in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27.
Cool Coal Man will be ridden by John Velazquez, Zito said. Velazquez rode Anak Nakal for Zito in the Jim Dandy.
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Both 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, headed for the Grade 1Woodward here on August 30, and Travers candidate Pyro, runner-up in the Jim Dandy, came out of Monday’s works in good order, Scott Blasi, assistant to Steve Asmussen, said Tuesday morning.
“Both of them had good mornings,” said Blasi.
Curlin worked seven furlongs on the main track in 1:24.84 while Pyro went a half-mile on the Oklahoma training track in 52.28. J Be K, the likely favorite for Saturday’s NetJets King’s Bishop Stakes, also returned from his four-furlong move in 50.67 in fine form, said Blasi.
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Dallas Stewart, who will saddle Travers candidate Macho Again in Saturday’s Travers, has been bringing a string of horses to Saratoga Race Course every summer since 1998 after going out on his own following a 12-year stint with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Stewart, 48, won his first stakes race at the Spa when the West Point Thoroughbreds color-bearer held off Pyro in the Jim Dandy. Beginning today, Stewart will have his own blog on the New York Racing Association website to share his thoughts with racing fans as he prepares the gray colt for racing’s “Mid-summer Derby.”
Look for “The Dallas Diaries” on http://www.nyra.com
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Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg, reported this morning that Charles Fipke’s Tale of Ekati remains on target for the Travers. She also noted that Edgar Prado, who rode him to victory in Aqueduct’s Grade 1 Wood Memorial, will ride Tale of Ekati on Saturday. Prado was also aboard Tale of Ekati in the Jim Dandy, finishing fourth.
“He immediately called us the next day and said he wanted to ride him in the Travers,” Smullen said about Prado’s decision to ride Tale of Ekati again. “He just moved a little bit too early. All he has to do is wait a little bit longer.”
Smullen also added that Fipke, who discovered Canada’s largest diamond mine, will not be attending the Travers.
“He was invited to the Olympics (in Beijing, China),” she said. “He didn’t say why he was going other than he got an invitation.”
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Going into the fifth week of the Saratoga meet, Richard Dutrow Jr. is three wins behind six-time title holder Todd Pletcher in the Saratoga trainer standings. Along with trying to earn his first Saratoga training title, Dutrow will be running his first Travers horse with Acai.
Acai has been unbeaten since his purchase by IEAH Stables and subsequent move to Dutrow’s barn this spring. He is coming off a neck victory in an allowance race against older horses during the first week of the Saratoga meet.
“He’s at this best,” said Chip Dutrow, who has been his brother’s assistant for the Saratoga meet. “We don’t know what his best is yet, but he’s at it. We’re just hoping he keeps improving. He has been going forward and training super. He’s on track and we’re hoping for the best.”
Cornelio Velasquez, who is trying to defend his Saratoga jockey title, replaces Prado on Acai for the Travers.
“We’re very happy to get him,” Chip Dutrow said.
Chip Dutrow said Richard Dutrow Jr. is expected to be at Saratoga to saddle Acai for the Travers.
Shadwell Farm will award $500 to the groom of the Best Turned Out Horse for Saturday’s Travers Stakes presented by Shadwell Farm.
The winner of the Best Turned Out Horse award will be chosen in the Saratoga Race Course Paddock by a Shadwell representative prior to the running of the Travers.
The award will be presented in the winners’ circle before the race.
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The Oklahoma training track was listed as “fast” Tuesday, when Gary A. Tanaka’s Proudinsky (Ger) worked a half-mile in 48.48.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, the 5-year-old Silvano horse is expected to make his next start in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at nine furlong on the turf.
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Trainer Linda Rice saddled the first four finishers of Monday’s Mechanicville Stakes: Ahvee’s Destiny, Canadian Ballet, Silver Timber and Karakorum Elektra.
In 1983, trainer Michael Dickinson saddled the first five finishers of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. They were 9-year-old Bregawn, Captain John, Wayward Lad, Silver Buck, and Ashley House.
Dickinson also sent out a record 12 winners in one day on Boxing Day (December 26), 1982.
Dickinson did not renew his trainer’s license this year in order to devote more time to his business of synthetic racetrack surfacing known as Tapeta Footings. Last month, it was announced that the Dubai Racing Club has selected a Tapeta synthetic surface for its new training track at Meydan, which will officially open for the 2010 Dubai World Cup.
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