Friday, April 10 2009
Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 10, 2009
WALDEN PLEASED WITH HOLD ME BACK
Standing under cover in the midst of intermittent showers on Friday morning at Keeneland, a crew from WinStar Farm, including co-owner Bill Casner, was laughing and smiling. WinStar owns Hold Me Back, the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) who is trained by Bill Mott.
“We’re excited,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s vice president and racing manager. “He (Hold Me Back) trained good this morning, galloped a mile and a half and looks great.”
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VETERANS GONZALEZ, BAZE MAKE IT BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Roberto Gonzalez and Russell Baze, both winners of two races Thursday at Golden Gate Fields, duplicated the trick Friday at the East Bay racetrack.
Gonzalez recorded his riding double with Izzacopy ($13.60), who won Friday's first race, and Acekingqueenjacten ($3.60), who captured the fifth event.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.10.09)
SOUTH/OLD FASHIONED FAVORED IN ARKANSAS DERBY REMATCH WITH WIN WILLY
Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned, a near-consensus early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) a month ago, is the morning line favorite to win a rematch with Win Willy, the horse that knocked him from the role of Derby favorite, when the two meet in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GII) at Oaklawn Park.
The Larry Jones-trained Old Fashioned is the 9-5 morning line choice in a field of 10 horses entered in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep. The son of Unbridled’s Song will attempt to avenge the only loss of his career as he takes on Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, the 56-1 upset winner over Old Fashioned in the Rebel Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn on March 14. The Mac Robertson-trained son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos is unbeaten in three races on dirt and is the 7-2 second choice in the Arkansas Derby.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Udpate (4.10.09)
EAST/LARAGH BACK IN ACTION IN AQUEDUCT’S COMELY
IEAH Stable’s Laragh, one of the outstanding 2-year-old fillies of 2008, will make her debut as a 3-year-old in Saturday’s 60th running of the $150,000 Comely (Grade II) at Aqueduct.
The daughter of Tapit finished a good third to champion Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), and then completed out her 2-year-old season with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet (GI) over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park.
BEJARANO GAINS JOCKEYS’ RACE TIE TO CLOSE IN ANOTHER TITLE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – Rafael Bejarano, who last year became the third jockey in history to sweep the riding titles at Southern California’s five major race meetings, on Thursday moved closer to securing a sixth consecutive title and his second in succession at Santa Anita.
Bejarano rode a pair of winners to tie Garrett Gomez at 86 victories apiece in the season’s jockeys’ standings while moving 12 wins ahead of third-place Joel Rosario with eight racing days remaining in the season.
BAZE, ANTONGEORGI III, GONZALEZ RIDE PAIR OF WINNERS AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Russell Baze, William Antongeorgi III and Roberto Gonzalez all rode a pair of winners at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Baze, the leading rider at the meeting with 115 victories, scored his double with heavy favorites. The Hall of Famer won the first race with Ai Se Va ($3.20) and the third with Gail Force Wins ($3.80).
Thursday, April 09 2009
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, APRIL 9TH, 2009
STEINER ‘WORKS’ HIS WAY TO KENTUCKY DERBY WITH PIONEEROF THE NILE
Joey Steiner never won the Kentucky Derby. Never rode in it, as a matter of fact. But on May 2 of this year, the former jockey could enjoy a vicarious victory, if Pioneerof the Nile wins the 135th classic at Churchill Downs.
Steiner is the regular exercise rider for the son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, who has captured four consecutive stakes races, including the Grade I Santa Anita Derby last Saturday. Trainer Bob Baffert has employed Steiner on his efficient work team for some seven months. During that span, Pioneerof the Nile has developed into one of the favorites for the Run for the Roses.
LAST CHANCE FOR GOMEZ TO TIE RECORD ABOARD TUCSAN EVENING
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – Garrett Gomez, the nation’s leading jockey in purse earnings the last three years and America’s Eclipse Award winner the last two, will employ a final opportunity on Sunday to equal a Santa Anita record for most stakes victories by a jockey in a single season, which is 19.
Gomez, who left Santa Anita to ride full-time at the Keeneland meeting that opened on April 3, returns to handle the enigmatic 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Tuscan Evening in the Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
BATTLE OF HASTINGS SEEKS ANOTHER STAKES WIN IN LA PUENTE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 9, 2009) – British-bred Battle of Hastings, upset winner of the Grade III Baldwin Stakes on March 1 when, according to jockey Tyler Baze, “the light bulb went on,” will attempt to further illuminate his career prospects on Saturday in Santa Anita’s $100,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf.
Battle of Hastings, who drew the challenging No. 12 post among 13 entrants in the event’s 29th running, will be joined by Jeff Mullins-trained stablemate Leedstheway in the contentious lineup with several of the sophomores racing on grass for the first time.
Godolphin’s Desert Party, Regal Ransom Arrive for Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 9, 2009) – The two horses that represent the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) hopes of Dubai-based Godolphin are settling into new surroundings at Churchill Downs after a late afternoon arrival on Thursday at the historic home of the “Run for the Roses.” Earlier in the day, likely Kentucky Oaks (GI) favorite Rachel Alexandra returned to her home track following an overnight van ride from Oaklawn Park, where she romped in the Fantasy Stakes (GII) on Sunday.
Desert Party, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas and last year’s Sanford (GII) at Saratoga, and Regal Ransom, who upset his stablemate in the $2 million UAE Derby (GII) on March 28 at Nad Al Sheba, arrived by van at the quarantine facility in Barn 45 at Churchill Downs shortly after 5 p.m. (EDT).
SALZMAN TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY SETS TRACK RECORD IN DEBUT
LAUREL, MD. 04-09-09---Gator Prowl won the first two-year-old race of the year in Maryland by a whopping 11-1/2 lengths in 52.11, breaking a 45-year-old track record for the 4-1/2 furlong distance over the main track at Laurel Park.
The daughter of Roar of the Tiger is trained and co-owned by John Salzman, Jr. It is the eighth time this decade that a Salzman (John Sr., Tim and John Jr.) conditioned the first juvenile winner of the year in the state.
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Informed Decision Edges Ventura In Vinery Madison Stakes
Lexington, Ky. (April 9, 2009)— Informed Decision returned from a 5 ½-month layoff Thursday at Keeneland to upset heavily favored Ventura in the $300,000, Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes.
Ventura, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner, took the lead in deep stretch under jockey Garrett Gomez but Informed Decision and John Velazquez rallied in the final 100 yards of the seven-furlong race for a head victory.
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