Tuesday, April 28 2009

Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (4.28.09)

ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE – It now appears trainer Todd Pletcher will start three horses in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby 135 – Advice, Dunkirk and Join in the Dance.

After consulting with the various owners of his four potential Derby starters, the five-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer decided to go with three and drop one – that horse being Take the Points, who is owned by the Starlight Partners stable of Jack and Laurie Wolf.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.28.09)

BE FAIR/STONE LEGACY/TWEETER – Marylou Whitney Stables' Stone Legacy was entered for Kentucky Oaks 135 by trainer D. Wayne Lukas on Tuesday morning. The decision gave Lukas three fillies in the Oaks, a race he has won four times.

Stone Legacy, who galloped Tuesday morning, will be ridden for the first time by Kent Desormeaux and break from post position three.

Westrock Stables' Be Fair galloped on her first day back on the track after working five furlongs on Sunday in 1:00.20 under exercise rider Omar Golon.

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Rachel Alexandra Heavily Favored in 135th Running of Churchill Downs’ Grade I Kentucky Oaks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 28, 2009) – L and M Partner’s brilliant Rachel Alexandra, who closed 2008 with a dominating victory in the Golden Rod (Grade II) beneath the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs, will put a four-race win streak on the line Friday when she faces seven rivals in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at the legendary Louisville track.

The Oaks, America’s top race for 3-year-old fillies, will go as the 11th race on Friday with a 5:45 p.m. (all times EDT) post time. The 12-race Oaks Day card has a first post time of 10:30 a.m.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, April 28, 2009) – Joseph Sutton’s Valtrus collared Faithope in deep stretch to win Tuesday’s $52,700 allowance feature over the Matt Winn Turf Course by three-quarters of a length.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux for trainer Eddie Kenneally, Valtrus returned mutuels of $5.40, $3.60 and $3.40. Faithope, ridden by Gabriel Saez, returned $10.60 and $6.40 and finished three-quarters of a length ahead of pacesetter Crowned General who returned $4.80 to show under Robby Albarado.

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Trainer Jerry Calvin, a consistent summer presence in Chicago and a horseman who ranks among the top 40 of Arlington Park’s all-time leading trainers, turned back his local stalls a couple of weeks ago and will remain at his home in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for the upcoming Arlington season which opens Friday.

“I’m not calling it a retirement just yet,” said Calvin, speaking over the phone from Arkansas Tuesday morning, “I may get back in the game at some future point, but I doubt it.”

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OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 28, 2009) Apprentice jockey Faith Schorr guided Jackie B Good to victory for owner/trainer Michael Thomas in today’s third race at Tampa Bay Downs, giving the rider her first career victory. Schorr, an eighteen-year-old native of Ohio, says that she knew that she wanted to be a jockey since her childhood. Schorr cites her mother as her greatest influence, saying, “Everything she’s done, she did to help our family. So this is the way I’m going to help my family. My mother was a pony girl at Mountaineer, and then she became a trainer. I’d been hanging out at Mountaineer since I was 14, and I began galloping horses for my mom when I was 16. I’ve wanted to ride ever since I was little.”

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BALTIMORE, 04-28-09---At its monthly meeting this afternoon at Pimlico Race Course, the Maryland Racing Commission voted to withdraw approval of Rosecroft Raceway to import thoroughbred signals, effective midnight, April 29.

The Prince George’s County (MD) harness track owes the Maryland thoroughbred industry $2 million since January 1 and indicated at today’s meeting that it is has no intention to compensate the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) and Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MBHA).

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Kentucky Derby 135 Barn Notes 4.27.09

ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE/TAKE THE POINTS – A trio of Todd Pletcher-trained Kentucky Derby “possibles” went through their final serious drills for the Saturday spectacular on Monday morning, putting a “put me in coach” spin on activities Pletcher’s Barn 38.

Pletcher took up a post in the grandstand and oversaw the activities, which began shortly after the renovation break ended at 8:30 a.m. (all times EDT) when Hall of Fame jockey-turned-jockey-agent-and-sometimes-exercise-rider Angel Cordero Jr. guided the Sky Mesa colt Join in the Dance through a five-furlong workout timed in 1:00.20.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes 4.27.09

BE FAIR/TWEETER – Westrock Stables' Be Fair walked the shedrow at Barn 44 a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.20 in her final major drill for Friday’s 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I). Exercise rider Omar Golon was aboard for the work on Sunday.

Rafael Bejarano has the riding assignment Friday in Kentucky Oaks 135.

“She's doing excellent,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

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Keeneland Spring Meeting Attendance Third-Highest in Track History

Lexington, KY (April 27, 2009) – Keeneland concluded its 2009 spring race meeting, held April 3-24, with total attendance of 240,755, the third-highest in track history, and an increase in average daily on-track wagering.

Despite one less day of racing, total attendance for the 15-day meet was off just 1.2 percent from last year’s total of 243,606 for the 16-day meeting. The Keeneland record of 244,145 was set during the 2006 spring meeting.

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BALTIMORE, 04-27-09---Horse Racing Television (HRTV) and ESPN will team up to provide 10 and half hours shoulder programming on-air and online during Preakness week. The headline event of the week is the 134th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 16, but the week also features the Preakness post position draw and 15 other stakes races.

HRTV, a cable and satellite channel dedicated to horse racing with access to over 70 tracks, will simulcast the events on ESPN360.com for exclusive live online coverage in the US. ESPN360.com is ESPN's broadband sports network that gives fans a 24/7 online destination delivering more than 3,500 live global sports events annually. It is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider.

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EAST BOSTON, MA – The 2009 live racing season at Suffolk Downs will consist of 101 racing days, the track announced today as it introduced its complete racing schedule, several special events and its “Commitment to Community” program for the upcoming meet, which begins Saturday, May 2.

The “Commitment to Community” program, which commences on Opening Day, will feature a series of Saturdays celebrating individuals and organizations that make a positive difference in eight surrounding communities: East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Saugus and Salem.

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