Thursday, March 26 2009


Purple Moon - The confirmed global traveller


For Purple Moon’s owner Craig Bennett, being in Dubai for Saturday’s Dubai Sheema Classic is another step in an odyssey around the world that he has taken courtesy of his remarkable global campaigner. It is a journey that is all the more surprising given the initial ambitions that Bennett entertained for Purple Moon.

Bought at the Horses in Training sale at Newmarket with a hurdling career in mind, Purple Moon was sent to trainer Nicky Richards. Despite winning and being placed over hurdles, the son of Galileo never gave anyone, Richards included, the impression that he was much enjoying the jumping experiment, and a return to the flat was not long in being decided upon.





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Ajtebi out to make his country proud


Ahmed Ajtebi admits he’s living the dream this week.

The Emirati jockey has made incredible strides over the last year, which sees him with what he believes are six competitive rides on Dubai World Cup night.

“I only started race riding four years ago and now I have some fantastic rides on the biggest stage of all,” said Ajtebi.





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2009 Dubai World Cup latest - Tracknotes March 26


As a steady rain fell on Nad Al Sheba on Thursday morning, Dubai World Cup favourite Albertus Maximus continued to display bold eagerness, pulling on exercise rider Rob Massey as he galloped strongly around the track under the watchful eyes of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

“That was good,” McLaughlin told Massey as he returned to the gap with the five-year-old son of Albert the Great.





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BAZE FOLLOWS UP SUNDAY HAT TRICK BY RIDING FOUR WINNERS WEDNESDAY


ALBANY -- Two days off didn't cool off jockey Russell Baze, who kicked off the racing week by riding four winners at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday.

Baze's four-bagger topped the riding hat trick he recorded last Sunday and pushed his victory total at the 2008-2009 winter/spring meeting to 104. Baze owns a 48-win lead (104-56) over Frank Alvarado in the jockey standings.





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Wednesday, March 25 2009


BIG BOOSTER, ZAPPA RENEW RIVALRY IN TOKYO CITY CUP SATURDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2009) – Big Booster, an 8-year-old gelding who came within less than a length of winning the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in his last start, heads a field of seven long-fused runners in Saturday’s 53rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface.

The high weight at 119 pounds, Big Booster finished third, three-quarters of a length behind victorious Niagara Causeway, in last year’s Tokyo City when attempting a marathon distance for the first time.





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STABLE NOTES WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25TH, 2009


‘BIG THREE’ DRILL FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY ON APRIL 4

The Pamplemousse, Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy, the three favorites for the

Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4, each worked on Pro-Ride Wednesday as the countdown began in earnest for the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Sham Stakes winner The Pamplemousse, expected to be a slight favorite over Pioneerof the Nile in the mile and an eighth Santa Anita Derby, worked six furlongs under regular rider Alex Solis in 1:13 flat.





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JAMES LOPEZ NAMED HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JOCKEY OF THE MONTH


OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 25, 2009) James Lopez comes from a family of horsemen; his father J.R. “Joe” Lopez was the leading rider at Hawthorne in 1966 and at Sportsman’s Park in 1967 and 1968 before he retired in 1979. His brother Jeffery gallops horses, and his half-brother, Joe Lopez Jr. is a trainer in Texas. James’ wife Kelli also gallops horses and is attending nursing school in Louisville.

James began riding in 1996 at Retama Park in Texas and later that year moved his tack to Kentucky. Two years later he began riding first call for Cole Norman and then Joe Petalino at Oaklawn Park and finished as the meet’s third-leading rider. That summer he was the leading rider at Louisiana Downs where he won six stakes races. In 1999, he won four added-money events at Oaklawn, but perhaps the biggest victory of his career came at Ellis Park in 2000 when he won the Grade III, $200,000-guaranteed Gardenia Handicap aboard Silent Eskimo.





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NEXT MOVE FOR SUCCESSFUL SARAH? NEXT MOVE


Ever since she was claimed last autumn, Successful Sarah has made steady improvement. Except for one troubled trip, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly has perked up to win three of her last four starts.

While she had been a resident of Southern Florida, she has raced here at Aqueduct since January. And, with a head victory in her last start, she earned a spot in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Next Move for fillies and mares at nine furlongs (ninth race, 4:50 p.m.). It is the last graded stakes on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track this season, and will be the third leg of a guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4.





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GP Barn Notes 3-25


Beethoven Out of Florida Derby

John Oxley’s Beethoven was expected to be the third or fourth choice behind Dunkirk and Quality Road in Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park but will pass the race, according to trainer John Ward Jr.

“There was some heat in a tendon in a front leg (Wednesday) morning,” said Ward of the Sky Mesa colt. “It seems minor, not extreme, but we decided it’s best to not make a minor situation worse. It’s possible he could be back in the entries in the not-too-distant future.”





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This Saturday…Dubai World Cup and Florida Derby


Join us this Saturday for the Dubai World Cup!
Complimentary coffee and pastries from 9:15-11:00 a.m.

Join us this Saturday morning, March 28, for the Dubai World Cup Day program from Nad al Sheba Race Course.





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AQUEDUCT NOTES, Wednesday, March 25, 2008


The New York Racing Association will offer a live 11-race card on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 4. Four graded stakes, headed by the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs, will make a up a guaranteed $400,000 Pick 4.

NYRA will also increase purses for each non-graded stakes race that day by $10,000.

“We have always felt that better purses attract top horses,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing Paul “PJ” Campo. “We have raised purses on big days before – most recently on Gotham Stakes Day (March 7) – and we felt it helped us to present our fans with a quality race card.”





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Post Position Draw for 2009 Dubai World Cup meeting revealed


The eagerly awaited Post Position Draw ceremony has revealed the final fields and barriers for the upcoming 2009 Dubai World Cup race meeting.

In the Dubai World Cup, the feature race of the night, Muhannak drew barrier one, and trainer Ralph Beckett remarked: “We drew 16 in the (third round of the) Al Maktoum Challenge, and the stall one is just as bad. But you have to take it on the chin and get on with it’.





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