Thursday, October 16, 2008
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15TH, 2008
FRANKEL TO RUN MAST TRACK IN CLASSIC INSTEAD OF DIRT MILE
Bobby Frankel, adhering to the racing adage that pace makes the race, has switched gears and will run Hollywood Gold Cup winner Mast Track in the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 1/4 miles on Oct. 25 instead of the $1-million Dirt Mile the same day.
“With Big Brown out (of the Classic), it changes the picture,” Frankel said Wednesday morning. “My horse has speed, and he can get the distance. He won the Gold Cup at a mile and a quarter.”
Tyler Baze, who rode Mast Track to a front-running, 2 1/4-length victory in the June 28 Gold Cup in a 10-1 upset, will ride Mast Track in the Classic after a two-race absence. Rafael Bejarano rode the 4-year-old son of Mizzen Mast to a third-place finish in the Pacific Classic behind victorious Go Between, while John Velazquez was aboard in his last start, an eighth-place finish in the Goodwood Handicap behind Well Armed at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.
“I guess Bobby figured Tyler was the last one to win a Grade I million-dollar race on him at a mile and a quarter,” said Baze’s agent, Ron Ebanks, in explaining the reunion. “Tyler was available, so he put him on. I was looking at another horse or two. I got offered Mast Track and I jumped on him, because they were lucky together, and the Classic is setting up without much speed, so it could be a big opportunity. We’ve got a chance to get lucky here. Tyler’s very excited. You’ve got to turn the page in this business. The last race is over with. We’re looking at the next one.”
Frankel also plans to run Champs Elysees in the Classic. Alan Garcia has the mount.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Eoin Harty, who is pointing Goodwood winner Well Armed to the Dirt Mile, said Wednesday “it was not set in stone” and that the Classic still was a consideration after hearing news of Mast Track’s transfer to the Classic. Well Armed worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Tuesday in 1:01, while Santa Anita Derby and Travers Stakes winner Colonel John (Classic) went six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.40.
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin jogged one mile today and will school in the paddock during the fifth race, said Steve Asmussen assistant Scott Blasi.
Unbeaten Japanese invader Casino Drive, who won his debut race at Santa Anita last Sunday, jogged one lap around Hollywood Park’s 1 1/8-mile Cushion Track Wednesday and is scheduled to ship to Santa Anita on Oct. 23 for the Classic, according to Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto.
Idiot Proof (Turf Sprint) worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf Wednesday in 1:13.80 under Garrett Gomez for Cliff Sise Jr.
Daytona (Mile) worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride for Dan Hendricks in :59.20.
Brian Koriner plans to work Vosburgh winner Black Seventeen four furlongs “Sunday or Monday.”
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 will also present the Championships in 2009.
PRE-ENTERED BREEDERS’ CUP FIELDS TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW
Pre-entered fields for all 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be announced tomorrow. 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 was due by 12 noon yesterday. The second payment is due the following Tuesday, Oct. 21, when entries are taken for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races. A Breeders’ Cup pre-entry national media teleconference will be conducted tomorrow at 10 a.m.
The post position draw will be conducted in two sections at Santa Anita on Oct. 21. Ten Breeders’ Cup races will be drawn beginning at 11:15 a.m. in Baldwin Terrace, located on the second floor of the west grandstand: $1-million Sentient Flight Group Filly & Mare Sprint; $1-million Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf; $2-million Bessemer Trust Juvenile Fillies; $500,000 Marathon; $1-million Sentient Flight Group Juvenile Turf; $1-million TVG Dirt Mile; $1-million Turf Sprint; $2-million Bessemer Trust Juvenile; $2-million Mile; and the $2-million Sentient Flight Group Sprint.
At 1 p.m. in the FrontRunner restaurant, the $2-million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf, $2-million Ladies’ Classic, $2-million Emirates Airline Turf and $5-million Classic will be drawn. TVG will televise live the draw for the Filly & Mare Turf, Ladies’ Classic, Turf and Classic.
All other Oak Tree Racing Association races for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 25, will be drawn on Oct. 21.
MEMORIAL SET FOR BOB BENOIT AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit has been set
for tomorrow 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.
BAILEY RIDES OFF INTO SUNSET IN LIVING LEGENDS EVENT
Jerry Bailey will enjoy the Living Legends race on Saturday as much as he can. He knows it will be his last ride.
The seven-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey arrives in California Friday from his Florida home to participate in an unprecedented race, the Living Legends Race, Saturday at Santa Anita. The sprint event has been approved by the California Horse Racing Board for live pari-mutuel wagering.
Eight Hall of Fame riders, Angel Cordero Jr., 65, Jacinto Vasquez, 64, Sandy Hawley, 59, Pat Day, 55, Chris McCarron, 53, Gary Stevens, 45, and Julie Krone, 45, in addition to Bailey, will ride California-bred horses determined by draw in a sprint race on Saturday.
The riders will report to the CHRB’s office at Santa Anita Friday morning to be licensed for competition. A media briefing with the eight, plus Hall of Fame Living Legends Ambassadors Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jorge Velasquez, will be conducted at Clockers’ Corner at approximately 9 a.m.
A Living Legends Gala will be held at Santa Anita at 7 p.m. Friday night. The event will be hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association in conjunction with the Legends on Tour and features dinner, dancing, cocktails, comedy and a silent auction to benefit Jockeys’ Choice Charities. For ticket information on the Legends on Tour Gala, call (818) 500-1649, or visit http://www.legendsontour.com.
“I am swimming, and I do sets of isometrics to build up my legs and arms,” said Bailey, now an analyst for ABC and ESPN, which will televise the Breeders’ Cup races. “I also lift weights, but I do a lot of repetitions of isometrics that are very similar to riding.
“That’s what I used to do when I was riding and I would take off a few weeks at the end of the year. Obviously, this is much different. This is almost three years (since his retirement).”
Understandably, Bailey is excited about seeing his peers and riding against them. He knows full well it is a fleeting moment to cherish.
“It’s bittersweet for me and for all of us, really,” the 51-year-old icon said. “How many more times do we push the envelope? I hope everything goes smoothly, because in horse racing you never know. But the most fun is getting these eight guys together to ride again.
“You’ll never see this again. I will tell you that for sure, because I won’t be involved again. This is the one and only time I’m going to do this.”
Entries were taken today for the Legends race, which will be the fourth on the 10-race Saturday card. The race is for California-bred 3-year-olds and up in a first-condition allowance at seven furlongs.
Each horse is assigned 126 pounds. In post position order, with morning line odds, the field is as follows:
Dee Dee’s Legacy, Bailey, 5-2; Tribal Chief, Hawley, 5-1; Swift Demand, Day, 4-1; Kalookan Event, Vasquez, 15-1; Scandalous, Stevens, 6-1; Waafi, McCarron, 3-1; Major Smoke, Krone, 10-1; and Stathy, Cordero, 12-1.
FINISH LINES: This Saturday, Oct. 18, all THOROUGHBREDS members who scan their cards will receive a coupon good for one free THOROUGHBREDS barbecue set, available on a first come, first served basis, while supplies last. Patrons also will receive two general admission passes good for Sunday, Oct. 26 . . . Sergio Figueroa, a 22-year-old native of Puerto Rico, makes his Oak Tree debut today. The seven-pound apprentice, who tacks 111 pounds and who has 31 career wins, was named on Staccato for trainer William Anton in the eighth race. Figueroa is represented by agent Rolando Hevia Jr.
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