Monday, September 22 2008
LONESOME GLORY RECAP
Harold A. Via Jr.’s Good Night Shirt, tracing his own hoofprints that lead to a championship season in 2007, returned to Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon and successfully defended his title in the second running of the Grade 1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase at two and a half miles over national fences.
Last year, he followed his Lonesome Glory victory with a fourth in the Grand National at Far Hill, N.J., but then won the Colonial Cup at Camden, S.C. to win the Eclipse as 2007’s top steeplechase horse.
This year, the 7-year-old Concern gelding won the Georgia Cup and Iroquois and made the Lonesome Glory his fourth straight Grade 1 victory. And this was despite a four-month layoff and spotting his rivals from four to 20 pounds as the 158-pound highweight in the Lonesome Glory.
BELMONT PARK NOTES, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008
Shadwell Stable will be represented Saturday in the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh by Argentina-bred Lucky Island, whose four-race win streak was snapped when he stumbled at the break and lost all chance as the favorite in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
The four-year-old son of Lucky Roberto worked a half-mile in 49.13 this morning at Belmont Park’s fast training track and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s assistant, Artie Magnusson, reported he is “doing better than ever.”
“First Defence ran really big in the Forego, but it was unlucky for us,” said Magnusson.
DELOSVIENTOS SETS TRACK RECORD IN POINT GIVEN STAKES VICTORY
OCEANPORT, N.J. * A day after jockey Eddie Castro won five races, including two stakes, he seized the top prize once again with The Big Stable’s Delosvientos in the $100,000 Point Given Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park.
Delosvientos assumed the lead shortly after the start in the 12-furlong, three-turn feature, and he never relented that position in a scratch-reduced field of four. His final time of 2:31.12 also set a track record at the rarely-run distance, shaving two-fifths from the previous mark, set by Malibu Moonshine on June 10, 2006.
Graeme Hall Colt Tops Sunday Session
Lexington, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2008)—A colt by Graeme Hall brought a top price of $95,000 during Sunday’s session of Keeneland’s 15-day September Yearling Sale.
Leighton Brooke Racing bought the chestnut colt out of Divine Rockette, a winner of three races and $119,225 during her racing career. She is a daughter of Is It True.
Gainesway, as agent, sold Sunday’s session topper.
Catalano, Calabrese and Douglas Take Titles
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 21, 2008) – The 96-day meeting at Arlington Park ended Sunday, Sept. 21 with owner Frank C. Calabrese, trainer Wayne Catalano and jockey Rene Douglas taking season crowns in their respective divisions.
The white and black diamond silks of Calabrese were displayed in the winner’s circle on 69 occasions, five shy of his own mark of 74 victories set last year. Calabrese has been leading owner in races won at Arlington Park every year since sharing the title with Lothenbach Stables in the year 2000. Calabrese has also been leading owner in purses earned in 2001, 2002 (excluding Breeders’ Cup Day), 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and was leading owner in purses won among non-Arlington Million winners in 2000 and 2004.
BAZE, ALVARADO AND LANDEROS ENJOY A TWO-WIN SUNDAY AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Russell Baze, Frank Alvarado and Chris Landeros all had riding doubles at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Baze scored his victories with favorites, taking the seventh race aboard odds-on choice Fortified ($3.20) and the ninth with 8-to-5 selection Alex And Me ($5.20). Baze tops the jockey standings with 10 victories through the first week of action at the 2008 fall meeting.
Alvarado, who ranks second in the standings with six wins, posted his victories Sunday aboard horses that returned double-digit win payoffs. Alvarado won the first race with I'm a Soft Touch ($15.40) and the fifth with Talktoomuch ($12.60).
‘DEVIL’ DANCES TO NANCY VANIER STAKES WIN
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 21, 2008) – Crown’s Way Farm’s You Dancing Devil rallied from far back after finding smooth sailing in the stretch to coast to a 4 ½-length victory in the $100,000 Nancy A. Vanier Illinois Owners Stakes, the final stakes race of the 2008 Arlington Park season, on Sunday, the track’s closing day. James Graham rode the Neil Pessin-trained daughter of Joyeux Danseur, who covered the mile and a sixteenth over soft turf in 1:45.39.
“She did what she had to do,” said Graham. “She didn’t take a hold of me like she used to. She found her rhythm and sat there, and when I pulled the trigger – she went.”
The win was the second straight score for the 6-year-old mare and her seventh in 31 starts overall. She picked up $57,000 for Sunday’s tally to move past the $300,000 mark in career earnings at $332,893.
HALL-OF-FAME JOCKEY EARLIE FIRES RETIRES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 21, 2008) – Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires hung up his tack Sunday after guiding Frank C. Calabrese’s Manchu Prince to a fifth-place in the fifth race at Arlington Park, where he is the track’s all-time leading rider with 2,886 victories at the suburban Chicago racecourse.
According to figures from Equibase Company, Fires, 61, retires with 6,470 tallies, placing him ninth on the all-time list of the sport’s winningest riders. After more than 43 years in the saddle, Fires’ mounts have earned $86,392,977.
Fires was greeted in the winner’s circle for the final time by members of his family, fellow jockeys and members of the Arlington Park staff, including chairman emeritus Richard L. Duchossois.
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sept. 21
SUDDEN ‘STORMY’ MAKES FOR UPSETTING WAVES OVER LAKE MICHIGAN
Tommy Ligon and Pete Nance of Cottonwood Stables were both in high cotton Sunday morning. That’s because their 3-year-old gelding named Stormy Ballad broke his maiden in the inaugural running of Arlington Park’s $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes Saturday afternoon.
“(Stormy Ballad) was the first horse I ever bought for these owners,” said trainer Tony Granitz Sunday morning, “so I like to say we all broke our maiden together. They have horses with other trainers, like Larry Jones, but this was our first as a group. I’ve always liked Stormy Ballad, even though he hadn’t won for us until yesterday. I always knew he had a lot of talent – enough so that last month I bought his half-sister out of an OBS sale.
Sunday, September 21 2008
INDIAN BLESSING BLOSSOMS AGAIN IN GALLANT BLOOM
If the idea was to give Indian Blessing a strong race, the idea lasted for about five furlongs Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park. But suddenly, as if she had grown tired of Zada Belle’s company, Indian Blessing pulled away to an easy 6¼-length victory in the 15th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap for fillies and mares at six and a half furlongs.
The 3-year-old Indian Charlie filly has now won eight of 10 career starts, and Saturday’s winner’s share of $90,000 lifted her to more than $2 million in lifetime earnings. The champion juvenile filly of 2007, Indian Blessing is likely headed to Santa Anita for the $1 million, seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Saturday, October 24.
IT’S YOUR TURN, CURLIN!
In the days leading to next Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, two words are going to be used over and over again: history and class.
Both words can be combined into one word – Curlin.
Stonestreet Stable’s reigning Horse of the Year could become the first American Thoroughbred to reach $10 million in earnings. Curlin has earned $9,796,800 and trails only Cigar, who earned $9,999,815, as racing’s top money-earner. The winner’s share of the Jockey Club Gold Cup purse is $450,000, and that would vault Curlin to the top of the money pile. Second ($150,000), third ($75,000) or fourth ($37,000) would leave Curlin short of Cigar’s mark.
Saturday, September 20 2008
Queen’s Plate champ KO’s Overskate rivals
TORONTO, September 20 * Charles Fipke's homebred Not Bourbon, who won the Queen's Plate in June, made a triumphant return to the races, turning Saturday's Overskate Stakes into a one-horse race.
The Roger Attfield trainee won the $125,000 event by 4 ½ lengths and reeled off seven furlongs in 1:21.78.
Not Bourbon hadn't raced since he finished sixth in the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown, at Fort Erie on July 13.