Monday, May 04 2009


Kentucky Derby 135 Notes/Churchill Downs Barn Notes (5.4.09)


KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD RETURNS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS TRACK – “I have never been to Baltimore, but it looks like I won’t be able to say that in a few days,” Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. said Monday morning at Churchill Downs after his Kentucky Derby 135 winner Mine That Bird jogged a mile on a sloppy race track.

With owners Mark Allen of Double Eagle Ranch and Dr. Leonard Blach of Buena Suerte Equine on hand, Mine That Bird went to the track at 6:40 with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa up.





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KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MINE THAT BIRD IS PREAKNESS BOUND


BALTIMORE, 05-04-09---Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. informed Maryland Jockey Club officials that Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will run in the $1 million Preakness® Stakes at historic Pimlico Race Course on May 16. The surprise winner of Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” will leave Louisville next Monday or Tuesday morning by van and upon arrival will be stabled in Stall 40, reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner, in the Pimlico stakes barn.

“It is good for the sport,” Woolley said. “You cannot have a Triple Crown winner without having the Derby winner in the Preakness. That played into our decision but the horse looks super. I have never been to Baltimore, but it looks like I won’t be able to say that in a few days.”





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Steve Brauner Named Calder Director of Sales & Service


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (May 4, 2009) – Calder Race Course has named Steve Brauner its new Director of Sales & Service. He will lead group sales, sponsorships and various revenue-generating initiatives for racing and future casino operations.

A native of Flushing, NY, Brauner brings a wealth of experience in the local market, having worked for two major South Florida sports franchises during the last 11 years. Most recently, he served as the Corporate Development Director for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. Prior to that, Brauner was the Director of Season and Group Ticket Sales and Project Sales for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Dolphin Stadium, located just south of Calder.





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MINE THAT BIRD TEAM SALUTES BARBARO, GIVES ROSES FROM DERBY GARLAND TO FANS


LOUISVILLE, KY. (May 3, 2009) – Kentucky Derby fans who visited Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum on the day after the 135th “Run for the Roses” got a surprise gift from the team behind Mine That Bird, the 50-1 longshot that won America’s greatest race on Saturday.

Trainer Chip Woolley Jr. suggested Sunday morning that the mantle of roses worn by Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle after his victory be placed on the new sculpture of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro located at Churchill Downs’ Gate 1 entrance. After consulting with co-owners Mark Allen with Double Eagle Ranch and Dr. Leonard Blach of Bueno Suerte Equine, the trio behind Saturday’s surprise Derby winner decided to give the nearly 400 “Freedom Roses” that make up the garland to Derby fans who were visiting the Barbaro Memorial and the Kentucky Derby Museum on the day after the race.





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Kentucky Derby 135 Sunday Notes 5.3.09


MINE THAT BIRD – The morning after the stunning victory in the $2,177,200 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) by Mine That Bird was a busy one for his owners and trainer – and for the 3-year-old gelding that won the roses with his last-to-first rally along the rail on Churchill Downs’ one-mile dirt oval..

Visitors to trainer Chip Woolley and owners Mark Allen of Double Eagle Ranch and Dr. Leonard Blach of Bueno Suerte Equine included three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, trainer of Derby 135 runner-up Pioneerof the Nile; winning jockey Calvin Borel; and Tom McCarthy, the owner-trainer of General Quarters the winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) and 10th to Mine That Bird in Saturday’s race.





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RAIL TRIP, CARLSBAD SEEK TO EXTEND UNBEATEN STREAKS


Rail Trip and Carlsbad, both undefeated in five starts, seek to add to those streaks in stakes features at Hollywood Park next weekend.

Rail Trip, a 4-year-old gelding, will try to win his first graded stake in the $150,000, Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track Saturday.





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PATIENCE PAYS OFF FOR SAPPHIRE SKY IN SLOPPY BOUWERIE


ELMONT, N.Y. – Strait Gate Stable’s Sapphire Sky and jockey John Velazquez were content Sunday afternoon to watch the 32nd running of the $109,000 Bouwerie unfold ahead of them. With a steady rain falling most of the day, they weren’t in a hurry to get mud thrown in their faces early on in this seven-furlong sprint for three-year-old New York-bred fillies.

So, they waited. And waited. And waited.





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AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM TO LAUNCH AT BELMONT


ELMONT, N.Y. -- There will be a few extra hands at trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s barn at Belmont Park this spring, but they won’t belong to either grooms or hotwalkers. Instead, McLaughlin will be hosting a group of elementary students in the afternoon in conjunction with Gateway Youth Outreach, which supports the youth of neighboring Elmont with a number of programs and services.

According to Pat Boyle, the executive director of the agency, four students will visit McLaughlin’s barn on a weekly basis during GYO’s after-school program. The students will have the opportunity to observe the inner workings of one of the country’s leading Thoroughbred stables at historic Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes.





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RACING’S BEST REWARDS PROGRAM JUST GOT BETTER


ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. has announced a new and upgraded NYRA Rewards rebate schedule with new awards levels and increased rebates. The monthly point categories have been rearranged and the payout percentages have been increased for each type of wager.


“The new NYRA Rewards rebate schedule will result in all of our members receiving higher rebates,” said NYRA Director of Marketing Neema Ghazi. “The new schedule makes it easier for our members to qualify for higher rebates because we have reorganized our monthly point categories. In addition, the percent payouts for every type of wager have been increased.”





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BELMONT PARK NOTES, Sunday, March 3, 2009


In the aftermath of Rachel Alexandra’s powerhouse victory in Friday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, trainer Hal Wiggins was still on cloud nine even as he looked ahead to the three-year-old filly’s next start, the Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6.

“We’ve got the Acorn penciled in pretty good,” said Wiggins from Churchill Downs. “It really is, historically, a very prestigious race. The one-turn mile should fit her just great. Plus it gives us five weeks, which is what I like.”





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McAleney notches his 2,000 win!


TORONTO, May 3 – Jockey Jim McAleney recorded the 2,000th win of his career, Sunday at Woodbine.

In dramatic fashion, McAleney netted the milestone victory in the 10th race, pairing with Whiskeyontherocks to finish in a dead-heat (with Tempesta Di Neve) for win in the 6-furlong event.





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Stakes record for Woodsmoke in Fury


TORONTO, May 3 - Gustav Schickedanz homebred Woodsmoke led from gate to wire in Sunday's $151,200 Fury Stakes at Woodbine.

The three-year-old daughter of Woodman is now 2-for-2 in her young career and may have stamped herself as a contender for the Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, on June 7.





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