Saturday, April 25 2009


135th Derby,Oaks Launch Historic Churchill Downs Spring Meet That Introduces Night Racing


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2009) – Historic Churchill Downs will raise the curtain on Saturday, April 25 on its historic 52-day Spring Meet that begins with the 135th renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), but will also be marked by first sessions of night racing in the legendary track’s history and the introduction of Mark Johnson as track announcer and the first international voice to provide the on-track call of the “Run for the Roses.”

Johnson, the British commentator who succeeds the late Luke Kruytbosch as announcer, will welcome racing fans who gather beneath the track’s historic Twin Spires on Saturday for an 11-race program opening day program that get underway with its first race at 12:45 p.m. (all times EDT). The racing program is topped by the 85th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (Grade III), a 7 ½-furlong race for 3-year-olds that is the final significant prep race for the May 2 Kentucky Derby.





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Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.24.09)


KENTUCKY DERBY 135 NOTES
Friday, April 24, 2009

ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE – Two of the three Todd Pletcher Kentucky Derby hopefuls galloped Friday morning at Churchill Downs.

Tampa Bay Derby (Grade III) runner-up Join in the Dance galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Kevin Willey. With $90,000 in graded earnings, Join in the Dance would need one defection for the list of possible Kentucky Derby starters to gain a spot in the starting gate.






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Public Unveiling of Barbaro Memorial Set for Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m.


What: The public unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue to celebrate the career of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will take place at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

When: Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET (Churchill Downs’ grandstand gates open at 11 a.m. and the first live race is 12:45 p.m.)





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NYRA TO PROVIDE BELMONT SHUTTLES FOR LIRR PATRONS


Beginning on Wednesday, April 29, The New York Racing Association, Inc. will provide free shuttle bus service between Belmont Park and the Queens Village station of the Long Island Rail Road for its patrons affected by the suspension of the “Belmont Special” by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

“We remain optimistic that train service to Belmont Park will be restored,” said Kenneth Cook, NYRA’s Vice-President of Security. “In the interim, in order to fill the gap left by government cuts, shuttle service is a way to accommodate those who depended on the train to bring them directly to Belmont Park.”





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Keeneland Spring Meeting Produces Third-Highest Total Attendance


Lexington, KY (April 24, 2009) – Keeneland realized total attendance of 240,755 – the third-highest in track history – for its 2009 spring race meeting, held April 3-24.

Total attendance for the 15-day meet was off just 1.1 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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Spice Route Scores Mild Upset In Fifth Third Elkhorn


Lexington, Ky. (April 24, 2009)—Spice Route (GB) won the $200,000, Grade 2 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes Friday at Keeneland, upsetting heavily favored Champs Elysees (GB) and spoiling the 10-year-old debut of multi-millionaire Better Talk Now.

The 5-year-old son of King’s Best took the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining in the 1 1/2-mile turf race under Rene Douglas en route to a two-length victory. Time for the race on the firm turf was 2:29.23.





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FRENCHMAN BLANC SEEKS THIRD VICTORY IN $300,000 SF MILE AT GGF


ALBANY -- Jockey Brice Blanc will seek his third victory in the San Francisco Mile Saturday when he rides Storm Military for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in the $300,000 turf stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

The Grade 2 SF Mile highlights a big 10-race program Saturday. Post time is 12:45 p.m. and fans attending the track will receive a free Golden Gate Fields sports bag.





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Friday, April 24 2009


Statement from hoof specialist Ian McKinlay, regarding Quality Road:


“I saw Quality Road (Thursday) morning and that’s when we noticed the crack [in the right-front hoof]. I did him up with Animalintex (poultice), which draws out the infection. This morning, the crack was very clean. Obviously, he didn’t go to the track, so they tubbed him. They’ll dry him up and I’ll see him later this afternoon.







 

Churchill Downs to Unveil New High-Definition Graphics Package for 2009 Spring Meet


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2009) – Churchill Downs, which became the first racetrack in the United States to offer simulcasting in high definition (“HD”) last year, will unveil a new graphics package designed specifically for the HD experience when racing returns on Saturday, April 25.

“We were very pleased with the reception that our high-definition signal received last fall, and the positive feedback from customers both on-track and at simulcasting outlets across the country convinced us to move forward with this redesign,” said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Our customers were instrumental in helping to create this new look for the Churchill Downs signal through their recommendations and suggestions. Our ambition is to provide them with the best possible experience when wagering with Churchill Downs, and we believe the new design of and added information within this new HD graphics package will move us closer to that goal.”





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Keeneland Barn Notes—Friday, April 24, 2009


BETTER TALK NOW BEGINS NINTH SEASON IN CLOSING-DAY FIFTH THIRD ELKHORN

Trainer Graham Motion had to laugh when he told a story about Bushwood Stables LLC’s Better Talk Now.

“Somebody asked me yesterday if he’s retired,” Motion said, “and I said, ‘No, he’s running tomorrow.”





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BALTIMORE NATIVE STACY KEIBLER TO BE CELEBRITY HOST FOR PREAKNESS INFIELDFEST


BALTIMORE, 04-24-09—The Maryland Jockey Club announced today that actress and Baltimore native Stacy Keibler has been named the official “celebrity host” of Preakness InfieldFEST, presented by Bud Light, at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

Plans for Preakness InfieldFEST were unveiled February 5. The day will feature a concert with three rock performances, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top, Grammy-nominated Buckcherry and Maryland’s #1 Rock Band, Charm City Devils, along with a pro beach volleyball tournament and an interactive experience, including virtual NASCAR racing, prior to the running of the $1 million Preakness.





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Hawthorne Hosts Champions Day


Stickney, IL--Twice a year Hawthorne hosts a stakes day devoted to the Illinois-bred racehorse, each day offering a half-dozen $100,000 races that help decide year-end local champions. This afternoon’s lineup features two new stakes names: The Pretty Jenny Stakes, which replaces the Lady Hallie Stakes; and the Robert S. Molaro Handicap, which had been called the Chicagoland Handicap.

The day has a history of nice-price winners, so look outside the box, as we offer a glimpse into the Champion’s Day lineup.





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