Sunday, September 14 2008
DOOLEY, PACHECO, McMANNIS & KRISTUFEK TO APPEAR AT TRACKSIDE OTB LOCATIONS DURING AUTUMN MONTHS
Handicappers Jessica Pacheco, M. Scott McMannis and Joe Kristufek, and Arlington Park track announcer John G. Dooley will be on hand “talking horses” at Trackside OTB locations on selected weekend days during the autumn of 2008.
The Fall 2008 tour of Trackside OTB facilities is third such OTB tour and is being conducted on a grander scale than either of the first two tours with appearances scheduled most Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 26 through Dec. 13.
Saturday, September 13 2008
North American Race Records Notice from Equibase Company
Jockey Frank T. Alvarado is approaching a personal milestone of 2,000 all time wins. Through racing yesterday, September 12, Alvarado was at 1,996 wins. He has four scheduled mounts for today at Stockton.
Jockey Ron Darryl Blinston is approaching a personal milestone of 1,000 all time wins. Through racing yesterday, September 12, Blinston was at 994 wins. He has four scheduled mounts for today at Northlands Park.
Off Duty looks for Marfa repeat
Off Duty will try to repeat in the $75,000 Marfa Stakes Saturday at Turfway, when 11 older horses line up for the 23rd renewal of the 6 1/2 furlong sprint.
Off Duty was third last month, beaten less than two lengths, in the Grade II Play the King Stakes on the turf at Woodbine. He has faced stakes or graded stakes company in each of his last 10 starts stretching back to April 2007, finishing out of the money just three times. He has two wins and a third over all-weather surfaces and three wins in five tries at the Marfa distance. Off Duty won this race last year racing on the lead but more typically comes from off the pace. He breaks from post seven on Saturday, with regular rider Larry Melancon in to ride for trainer Lynn Whiting.
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OLD FOES EARN MUTUAL RESPECT IN ASHLEY T. COLE ‘CAP
Trainers Tom Bush and Angel Penna Jr. have the star horses among nine entered for Sunday’s 33rd running of the $100,000-added Ashley T. Cole Handicap with Banrock and Al Basha, respectively.
Just which one of those stars will shine brightest is anyone’s guess and you’re not going to get much help from either Bush or Penna.
“The horse that won at Saratoga, that’s the horse to beat,” Penna said of Bush’s West Point Handicap winner Banrock. ”And, he’s getting better.”
Countered Bush: “Angel’s horse didn’t run his race up at Saratoga for whatever reason, but he is a very dangerous horse.”
NYRA EMERGES FROM BANKRUPTCY
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of New York effectively creating the new New York Racing Association as of 12:00 Noon, Friday, September 12. The new NYRA was selected by the State to continue operating racing pursuant to State legislation enacted on February 13, 2008 which awarded NYRA a 25-year franchise to run Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack, which NYRA has operated since 1955.
BIG BROWN FAVORED OVER 10 OLDER RIVALS IN SATURDAY’S
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Big Brown, who has just about locked up the 3-year-old title with his four Grade 1 victories this year, will be thoroughly tested Saturday when he meets older horses for the first time in the inaugural running of the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes Presented by IEAH Stables.
A field of 11 was entered for the mile and an eighth turf test, which goes as the ninth event on a 10-race program with a probable post time of 4:48 p.m. The Monmouth Stakes will be televised on TVG, with the special program starting at 4:30 p.m.
Big Brown, who will be racing on grass for the first time since he broke his maiden at Saratoga last year, goes from Post 4 with regular rider Kent Desormeaux in the irons. He was installed the 2-1 morning line favorite by Monmouth handicapper Brad Thomas.
CALDER RACE COURSE TO REDUCE PURSES FOR OVERNIGHT RACES AND STAKES RACES
Calder Race Course (“Calder”) announced today that due to lower than anticipated business levels, the racetrack is reducing overnight purses by 17 percent, effective with the Thursday, Sept. 18, card. The reductions will affect most races, although overnight stakes will retain their $55,000 level. Several stakes races during both the Calder Meet and Tropical Meet will also be affected.
“A number of factors require that these reductions be made,” said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated, Calder’s parent company. “Calder has not fully recovered from the two and a half months at the beginning of the season when its signal was not allowed to be simulcast out of state. In addition, Calder racing has not been available through advance deposit wagering platforms, such as TwinSpires.com, since the season began on April 21 due to an ongoing dispute with the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group.”
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sept. 12
INVESTOR IN SEARCH OF ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY RICHES
Churchill Downs television paddock hostess Jill Byrne was faced with something of a conundrum when her husband Pat’s trainee Investor first appeared in the Twin Spires paddock in advance of his career debut July 5.
“I’m supposed to be an impartial observer,” said Mrs. Byrne over the phone Friday morning when recalling that day, “but with 2-year-olds making their first starts there’s just not that much to say. So you have to talk about how the horses look in the paddock and which ones look nervous. I looked over at Pat’s horse and he wasn’t nervous at all – and quite frankly he was also the best looking horse in the paddock. You look for little quirks with the young horses, but this horse’s quirks are that he has no quirks.”
Friday, September 12 2008
$1.1 Million Medgalia d’Oro Filly Highlights Thursday Session of Keeneland September Sale
A half-sister by Medaglia d’Oro to Group 2 winner King of Rome sparked a bidding war that in the end produced Thursday’s $1.1 million sale topper at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale.
Newmarket-based trainer Paul D’Arcy signed the ticket for the filly on behalf of London surgeon Dr. Karen Sanderson. Consigned by Tom Evans’ Trackside Farm, agent for Liberation Farm, the filly is out of the Forty Niner mare Amizette, and from the family of champion Althea and stakes winners Twining, Ali Oop and Ketoh. Her half-brother, King of Rome, by Montjeu (IRE), won the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes at Leopardstown in August for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Thursday, September 11 2008
YOUNGSTERS GET A CHANCE TO SHINE IN FUTURITY, MATRON
Many promising two-year-olds debut at Saratoga Race Course, but it is at Belmont Park’s Fall Championship meet that racing’s future stars distinguish themselves. Horses such as Man o’War, Bold Ruler, Affirmed and Forty Niner made their presence known in the Futurity, while its filly counterpart, the Matron, has showcased such luminaries as Storm Flag Flying, Before Dawn, Cicada, and Beaugay early in their careers.
Saturday, a field of seven colts looks to take a step toward stardom when the Grade 2, $250,000 Futurity is run for the 119th time, while nine fillies go postward in the 102nd edition of the Grade 2, $250,000 Matron, both at seven furlongs.
`LITTLE FISH’ AWESOME I AM GOES AFTER BIG ONE IN GAZELLE
Even if the field was larger, Godolphin Stable’s Music Note would still be a standout in Saturday’s 113th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Gazelle for three-year-old fillies at nine furlongs.
Not only is Music Note battle-tested – Music Note comes in off a thrilling head loss to archrival Proud Spell in the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga Race Course on August 16 – but the A.P. Indy filly is back at Belmont Park, where she has won three of four career starts, including Grade 1 victories in the nine-furlong Mother Goose and the Coaching Club American Oaks at a mile and a quarter.
After the Applause tries turf in Natalma
TORONTO, September 11 - Trainer Nicholas Gonzalez will attempt to net his meet-leading ninth stakes win of the 2008 Woodbine campaign in Sunday's $150,000 Natalma Stakes.
The Fort Erie resident will saddle After the Applause in the Grade 3 event, which, as a 'Win and You're In' race, guarantees a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.
Bred in Kentucky by Hal Snowden, Jr., After the Applause began her career in South Florida, in the barn of Stephen DiMauro.