Friday, April 17 2009
Keeneland Receives Accreditation Following Review by NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Inspection
At a press conference today at Keeneland, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the Lexington, Ky., racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland is the second track to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs was accredited last week.
The accreditation of Keeneland was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application. Keeneland then hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met twice with the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers. It was led by Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing regulator Frank Lamb; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Portions of the review were also observed by Thompson.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory Being Launched with Broad Industry Support
The following news release is being distributed on behalf of the new Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.
A Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory designed to enhance surface safety for horses and riders is being launched with the financial support of a broad industry coalition, it was announced today by the laboratory’s coordinators Dr. Mick Peterson and Dr. Wayne McIlwraith.
The laboratory will provide science-based testing focused on the unique demands of horse racing. Such testing has long been sought after by track superintendents and will be provided for dirt and synthetic racetrack surfaces in collaboration with industry stakeholders.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO DERBY SCENE WITH RUN IN SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON
J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, who started the year near the top of almost anyone’s list of contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), makes a late return to the road to Churchill Downs when he faces 10 rivals in Keeneland’s $300,000 Coolmore Lexington (GII).
The 1 1/16-mile race on the synthetic Polytrack surface will be the first start for Square Eddie since January. Twelve 3-year-olds were entered in the Coolmore Lexington, but Team Valor’s Barry Irwin was unhappy with the outside post draw by Hull and said that colt would scratch and run in next week’s Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/RACHEL ALEXANDRA SIZZLES IN CHURCHILL DOWNS WORK
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra did nothing to diminish her status as the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when what was planned as an easy work on Thursday at Churchill Downs became another sizzling display of her considerable talent.
The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had regular jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle as she zipped five furlongs on a “fast” track in :59.40 – which tied as the fastest of 21 works at the distance. Borel was motionless in the irons as Rachel Alexandra covered the distance in fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36 and :47.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and seven-eighth of a mile s in 1:24.20.
Scott Lake in position to break record
Wilmington, Del., April 17, 2009 — This year, seven-time defending leading Delaware Park trainer Scott Lake could break a record at the Stanton-oval that many old-time race trackers thought would never even be approached. If the 43-year-old native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, captures his eighth straight title, he would break the record set by the late great Grover “Buddy” Delp from 1963 through 1969.
“It is a record I really want to break, but it is going to be a tough one,” said trainer Scott Lake. “Pat Pope becoming racing secretary will raise the bar in terms of competition. He has brought in some top new outfits like Cody Autrey and Michael Stidham. It will be a little bit tougher meet, but I think it will be a tougher meet in a good way with bigger fields, with more claiming options and lots of turnover. I absolutely love that type of competition and we take a lot pride in our outfit rising to the occasion when things get a little tougher.”
CALIFORNIA STARS PIONEEROF THE NILE, CHOCOLATE CANDY ARRIVE FOR KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Two more contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) joined the scene at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon when the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) – Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy – arrived at Churchill Downs
Zayat Stables, LLC’s Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy arrived in Louisville following a flight from Southern California. The two horses made the short journey form Louisville International Airport to Churchill Downs in separate vans and arrived at the home of the Kentucky Derby at approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT).
Likely Kentucky Oaks Favorite Rachel Alexandra Zips
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Trainer Hal Wiggins was looking for an easy work on Thursday for L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the likely favorite for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on May. But ‘easy’ is a relative term when it comes to describing the training activity of the star of Wiggins’ stable.
Rachel Alexandra zipped five furlongs in :59.40 over a “fast” track with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. The move, which came just after the break for track maintenance, tied as the fastest of 21 at the distance.
Barn notes 4-16-2009
Another Albertrani ‘Magic Moment’ Possible in Boynton Beach
Trainer Tom Albertrani has had a strong season at Gulfstream Park with six of his 10 wins at the meet coming in stakes races, and he could head back to New York with another big victory after sending out Lawrence Goichman’s 3-year-old homebred filly My Magic Moment, the likely favorite, in Saturday’s $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes.
“We’ll be looking to ship to New York in the next day or two, and you just hope they can all stay healthy” said Albertrani Wednesday afternoon. “Different horses come around at different times and you just hope they can come together at the right time, and that’s been what we’ve been lucky enough to have happen this year.”
Afternoon Stroll Puts Nose In Front To Win Appalachian
Lexington, Ky. (April 16, 2009)—Afternoon Stroll stuck her nose in front at the finish Thursday at Keeneland to win the $100,000, Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The daughter of Stroll had the lead in midstretch, gave it up to Hot Cha Cha and then fought back to win in the final stride under Jamie Theriot. Time for the one mile on the turf was 1:37.67.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 16, 2009
TWO TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNERS HEADLINE BEN ALI CAST OF SEVEN
For the first time in the 79 runnings of the Ben Ali (G3), two winners of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) will line up in the same starting gate.
This happens Sunday when Silverton Hill LLC’s Dominican, the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass winner, and Starlight Stable LLC, Donald Lucarelli and Paul Saylor’s Monba, the 2008 winner, face five other rivals in the 1 1/8-mile main-track event worth $150,000.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
MITCHELL SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO SCORE WITH DUO
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) – Mike Mitchell, aiming to underscore a second successive Santa Anita training title on the meet’s closing day, will send out defending champion Big Booster and stablemate Church Service in Sunday’s 70th running of the historic San Juan Capistrano Handicap while seeking his third straight victory in the Grade II, $200,000 marathon at 1 ¾ miles on turf.
The 60-year-old trainer, who has built a reputation for crafty claims, acquired both entrants through the claim box, and they will start as the two high weights among just six runners in North America’s longest graded stakes race.
SILENT STALK WINS SECOND IN ROW OVER HILLSIDE TURF COURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) – Silent Stalk, who has blossomed with the addition of blinkers to her racing equipment, gained her second successive victory over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Thursday when fighting off several late challenges to gamely capture Santa Anita’s seventh race, a $51,860 allowance feature for 3-year-old fillies.
After setting the early pace under Tyler Baze in the 6 ½-furlong event, the bay daughter of Petionville prevailed by a nose over Gold Goddess with 2-1 favored Starlarks another length back in the field of seven.