Tuesday, October 14, 2008
STABLE NOTES, MONDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 2008
CASINO DRIVE ON COURSE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
Casino Drive came out of his 3/4-length victory at Santa Anita yesterday in good order and is on course for the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 25.
Now unbeaten in three career starts after his win under Victor Espinoza in Sunday’s 1 1/16-mile allowance race, The 3-year-old is on schedule for the 1 1/4-mile Classic.
“My horse is well,” said Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for Casino Drive’s owner, Hidetoshi Yamamoto, from his Hollywood Park headquarters Monday morning. “Everything is OK with him.
Espinoza indicated after the Sunday race that he’d like the mount in the Classic.
“At the eighth pole, I wanted to see how much horse I had,” he said. “I had plenty, believe me. I only tapped him once.
“It’s fun when you ride a good horse like him, and I’m excited about riding him in the Classic.”
On a more sober note, Tada said, “What happened to Big Brown could happen to us tomorrow. It happened to us the morning of the Belmont.” A stone bruise in Casino Drive’s left hind foot forced him to miss the Belmont Stakes on June 7.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown “grabbed his hoof in some kind of way . . . and will not run in the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Rick Dutrow said in a New York Racing Association press release following Big Brown’s six-furlong workout Monday morning at Aqueduct.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Tomorrow is pre-entry day for all Breeders’ Cup races.
Jess Jackson, majority owner of Horse of the Year Curlin, will hold a media teleconference tomorrow at 10 a.m. The call-in number is (913) 312-1414. The confirmation code is 7950745.
ESPN is taking footage of Curlin’s workout between races this afternoon for tonight’s SportsCenter program.
Defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Midnight Lute worked five furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride main track Monday in a bullet :56.80 as he prepares for defense of his crown, and Midshipman, runner-up in the Norfolk Stakes on Sept. 28, went six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.40 prepping for the Juvenile. Joe Steiner was aboard both horses.
“Midnight Lute actually worked a half,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “They got him galloping out, but he actually went :45 or something like that. . . I got him in :57 (for five furlongs). It was a really strong workout, and that’s what I wanted.
“Midshipman went really nice, probably the best he’s looked. I like the way he came out of the Norfolk. He’s fitter, and he’s more relaxed. I really like the way he went in his work today.”
Student Council, stablemate of Curlin, worked six furlongs Monday on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride in 1:12.40 for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Intangaroo, a three-time Grade I stakes winner this year, worked five furlongs on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Monday morning in :59.60 as she prepares for the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Oct. 24.
“Everything was good,” said trainer Gary Sherlock. “We’re right on schedule.”
Intangaroo’s initial success raised the eyebrows of the 62-year-old trainer. But now her accomplishments have become the norm.
Sherlock was surprised after the committed stretch runner won her first Grade I race, the Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita early this year, but he has come to accept her quality and her late-running style as authentic after two additional Grade I wins this year. Following her victory in the Santa Monica at odds of $26.90-1, Intangeroo won the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs and the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga.
“Her first Grade I win surprised me,” Sherlock said, “but the last two haven’t. The Santa Monica was a definite surprise, but the last one (Ballerina) wasn’t at all. I thought she’d win that race.”
Todd Pletcher has two-time Yellow Ribbon Stakes winner Wait a While “ready to go” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Oct. 24, but a decision on whether the champion 5-year-old Maria’s Mon mare will race beyond this season is pending.
“Nothing’s been determined yet,” Pletcher said. “It’s going to be up to Mr. Cohen, obviously (owner Alan Cohen of Ocala, Fla.). He mentioned the possibility of keeping her in training, but we’ll see after the Breeders’ Cup.”
Oak Tree will be hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the fourth time and the first time under its two-day format, which features 14 races with total purses of $25.5 million. Oak Tree will also be the first-ever venue to host the Breeders’ Cup in consecutive years. It also will present the Championships in 2009.
The Horse Racing Radio Network will air the Breeders’ Cup races on Friday, Oct. 24, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. HRRN’s radio broadcast links are: http://www.horseracingradio.net and at http://www.breederscup.com
PRE-ENTERED BREEDERS’ CUP FIELDS TO BE ANNOUNCED THURSDAY
Pre-entered fields for all 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be announced this Thursday, Oct. 16. The 25th Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global event, will be held on Friday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 25, at Santa Anita.
Breeders’ Cup pre-entry is the first stage of a two-stage entry process for all owners intending to start a horse in a Breeders’ Cup race. The first payment is due by 12 noon tomorrow, Oct. 14. The second payment is due on Tuesday, Oct. 21, when entries are taken for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races.
A Breeders’ Cup pre-entry national media teleconference will be conducted this Thursday at 10 a.m.
EIGHT LIVING LEGENDS READY TO RACE THIS SATURDAY
Eight Living Legends—each a member of racing’s Hall of Fame--are set to compete in a one-of-a-kind live wagering race at Santa Anita this Saturday. The eight will report to the California Horse Racing Board’s offices at Santa Anita this Friday morning, Oct. 17, to be licensed for competition.
The eight Hall of Fame riders, Angel Cordero Jr., 65, Jacinto Vasquez, 64, Sandy Hawley, 59, Pat Day, 55, Chris McCarron, 53, Jerry Bailey, 51, Gary Stevens, 45, and Julie Krone, 45, will be photographed and fingerprinted at 8:15 a.m.
A media briefing with all riders, including Hall of Fame Living Legends Ambassadors Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jorge Velasquez, will be conducted at Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner at approximately 9 a.m.
The 11 legendary jockeys have a combined 71,872 wins and nearly $2 billion in career winnings. All jockeys will be available for interviews.
With live pari-mutuel wagering approved by the CHRB, the race truly has the specter of being an Old-Timers Game that actually counts in the standings.
The Living Legends Race, an unprecedented event, is Oak Tree’s prelude to the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 24 and 25.
In addition to the race, there will be a Living Legends Gala at Santa Anita on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association in conjunction with Legends on Tour and will feature dinner, dancing, cocktails, comedy and a silent auction to benefit Jockeys’ Choice Charities.
The public is invited to this special event to be held in Santa Anita’s pristine Paddock Gardens area. For ticket information on the Living Legends on Tour Gala, call (818) 500-1649, or visit http://www.legendsontour.com.
MEMORIAL SET FOR BOB BENOIT AT SANTA ANITA THURSDAY
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit hasbeen set
for this Thursday, Oct. 16, at Santa Anita. The Oak Tree Racing Association is sponsoring the event, to be held immediately after the races in Santa Anita’s Turf Club Chandelier Room.
“Bob Benoit was a dear friend and an incredibly talented guy,” said Oak Tree Director and Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth. “His mission was to promote our sport, and nobody ever did it better than Bob. He loved the game and the people in it. Here at Oak Tree, we had a wonderful relationship with Bob, and we’re going to miss him. He was truly one of a kind.”
Benoit, who passed away on Aug. 15 at the age of 81, was well known nationally and was regarded as one of the most thorough and highly respected executives in racing history. After graduating from UCLA, Benoit became a seasonal publicity department staffer at Hollywood Park in 1953 and eventually rose to the rank of chief operating officer and general manager in 1977.
In 1980, Benoit formed his own public relations firm, Benoit and Associates, which subsequently took over as the photographer for Oak Tree at Santa Anita in 1991. Benoit and Associates now serves as official track photographer at all major Southern California race meetings, including the Los Angeles Turf Club meet at Santa Anita.
Benoit’s photography business will be continued by his partners, Rayetta Burr and Tom Abahazy. “Bob always paid strict attention to detail, and he loved every aspect of the game” said Burr. “He was especially close with many of the jockeys over the years and he had great respect for them.”
For additional information regarding the Benoit Memorial, fans are encouraged to contact the Oak Tree Racing Association at (626) 574-6345.
OVERFLOW PARKING AVAILABLE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP FANS
The Oak Tree Racing Association has announced that overflow parking will be
readily available to those attending the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 24 and 25 at Santa Anita Park.
It is anticipated the need may arise on Saturday, Oct. 25. If so, additional parking will be available at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall, which adjoins Santa Anita southwest perimeter and is located at the corner of Baldwin Ave. and Huntington Drive.
Overflow parking will also be available in the Los Angeles County Arboretum, on Baldwin Ave., just north of Santa Anita.
The County of Los Angeles has also made Arcadia County park available as an off-site overflow parking option. The park is just east of Santa Anita, between Santa Anita Avenue and Huntington Drive.
Santa Anita’s parking lots will open at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 24 and at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 25. Admission gates will open at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24 and at 7 a.m. on Oct. 25.
Fans are encouraged to check Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) schedules at http://www.metro.net for complete train and bus service to and near Santa Anita on Oct. 24 and 25.
Oak Tree and the MTA have also announced that free Gold Line shuttle bus service will be available to Santa Anita from the Metro Gold Line at the Sierra Madre Villa Station in East Pasadena on both Breeders’ Cup days.
On Oct. 24, buses will run to Santa Anita between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Additional bus service will be available to Santa Anita between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Also on Oct. 24, shuttle buses will be available from Santa Anita to the Gold Line Station from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
On Oct. 25, buses will be provided from the Gold Line Station to Santa Anita between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Additional service will be available to Santa Anita between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Oak Tree and MTA will provide a total of five buses on Oct. 25 to fans going from Santa Anita to the Gold Line Station between 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Additional buses will be provided as needed.
Gold Line Trains will arrive every 20 minutes at the Sierra Madre Villa Station. Fans en route to Santa Anita will be directed to berth #4 for free shuttle service to the track.
GOMEZ SEEKS THIRD WIN ON UNBEATEN DETAILS R SKETCHY
Garrett Gomez hopes to add to his nation-leading bankroll of nearly $17.5 million when he rides Details R Sketchy in Saturday’s $75,000 Jack Goodman Stakes for 2-year-olds at six furlongs.
A gelded Maryland-bred son of Great Notion owned by Burt and Jane Bacharach, Details R Sketchy came from off the pace to win his maiden outing by 2 3/4 lengths at Del Mar on Aug. 31, then found himself on the lead in his next victory, an optional claiming race at six furlongs at Santa Anita on Sept. 25.
“He kind of inherited the lead in his last race,” Gomez said. “It was somewhere he hadn’t been before because when he works, he works behind horses. But in his last race he was out there alone and doing it really easy, so I’m excited to get him in against better horses and see how talented he is.”
FINISH LINES: Top Emblem, who finished sixth in the California Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Oct. 5, won Sunday’s $50,000 Bulldog Stakes at Fresno by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey Osman Cedeno for trainer Ron Sticka.
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