Friday, February 13 2009
Game Face & Any Limit Clash Again in Hurricane Bertie Saturday
Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face won the First Lady Stakes (G3) going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park by ¾ lengths over Joseph V. Shields Jr.’s 6-year-old mare Any Limit on Jan. 18, and the two talented sprinters meet again Sunday on the $125,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) going 6½ furlongs.
Jockey John R. Velazquez will be back aboard Game Face for trainer Todd Pletcher as the daughter of Menifee will likely be favored to post the fourth graded-stakes victory of her career. She won the Old Hat Stakes (G3) here early last year and the La Troienne (G3) at Churchill Downs in the spring.
Watson takes Jebel Ali feature
A healthy crowd gathered at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon for the course’s seventh meeting of the season and the afternoon’s feature, kindly sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Farm, was an 1800m handicap.
It was won in exciting fashion by the Doug Watson-trained Call Me George who was last with 500m to run, but produced a devastating late burst to deny stable companion Tri Another Cat in the dying strides, with Blues Ballad a close third.
Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South Biographical Information
Owner: Paul M. Giacopelli and Donnie Kelly
Donnie’s mother was mucking stalls when she went into labor with Kelly. His family was involved with Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, as his father was a trainer. Kelly grew up in Sallisaw, Ok. where his family owned and operated a training facility; he went to school in Sallisaw, but spent the summers at various tracks in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Kelly worked as an exercise rider and assistant for trainer Ronnie Werner for several years, before joining the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito as an assistant. He already was acquainted with Jamie Sanders at the time, so they both worked for a while for Zito until he and Saders decide to launch their own racing stable in 2005. Kelly typically accompanies the stables' runners to the track aboard a lead pony
ENTRIES OUT FOR FESTIVAL PREVIEW DAY PRESENTED BY LAMBHOLM SOUTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 12, 2009) Tampa Bay Downs’s Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South has produced three full stakes fields for the premiere day of racing in February at the Oldsmar oval. The Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes has garnered eleven entries, the Grade III $125,000 Endeavour Stakes has attracted thirteen fillies and mares, and the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes will have a large field of nine three-year-old fillies.
The Sam F. Davis Stakes has drawn such up-and-coming three-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls as morning line favorite Free County, who comes into the Sam F. Davis off of an impressive victory in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on January 8 for owner Silver Wing Stable, et al. and trainer Kenneth McPeek. Jockey Kent Desormeaux has the call to ride the Kentucky-bred son of Big County.
‘ALL OTHERS’ STRONG EARLY CHOICE IN DERBY FUTURES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Fans of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) have made the mutuel field, or “all others,” the favored betting interest in the opening pool of the bet every year since its introduction in 1999. They appear in no mood to alter that pattern in the first of three 2009 Derby Future pools.
The “all others” betting interest, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses listed on the KDFW Pool 1 wagering roster, was a strong favorite from the opening seconds of the four-day pool and was an odds-on fan’s choice at 4-5 when Thursday’s wagering concluded at 10 p.m. (all times EST) on Thursday. Total betting on the first day of the Feb. 12-15 pool was $48,207, which reflected a solid increase over 2008’s opening day betting of $30,351.
TWO-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $353,752 INTO FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009)—For the second consecutive day, no one selected six winners in Santa Anita’s Pick Six, resulting in a two-day carryover of $353,752 into Friday. This marks the 16th Pick Six carryover through 36 days of racing and it’s expected the total Pick Six pool on Friday could exceed $2 million.
Thursday’s Pick Six got off to a rocky start in race three as the 1-2 favorite, Solo Piano, finished second to 11-1 shot Unusual Strike, who was handled by Gerry Olguin. The 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat paid $25.40 to win. Owned by Johnson, Nakkashian, Roberts and partners, she’s trained by Barry Abrams.
GENERAL CONSENSUS SCORES SECOND WIN IN ROW IN SANTA ANITA TURF FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With jockey Alex Solis generating a dash for home on the far turn, General Consensus bolted to the front and reached the wire three-quarters-of-length ahead of Shes a Real Keeper Thursday in Santa Anita’s feature race, a $55,920 first condition allowance event for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf.
Sent off at odds of 7-1, the victorious 4-year-old filly, a $400,000 sales purchase as a yearling, registered her second straight win over the course and at the same distance after going winless in her first six starts. The final time over a “firm” turf course was 1:36.95.
LIFE IS SWEET, DESERT CODE HEAD SUNDAY’S GRADED STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Dominant El Encino Stakes winner Life Is Sweet and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion Desert Code, each having demonstrated a keen fondness for Santa Anita’s respective racing surfaces, head a pair of graded stakes at the track on Sunday.
Martin and Pam Wygod’s Life Is Sweet is the 123-pound high weight among nine entrants in the 35th running of the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes. She attempts to become the twelfth El Encino victor to also annex the mile-and-one-eighth event for 4-year-old fillies.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, 2009
DELGADILLO SEEKS FIRST GRADE I VICTORY IN SANTA MARIA
Agapito Delgadillo goes for the biggest win of his career Saturday. The 42-year-old jockey, who has dealt with weight problems for the past decade, rides Tizfiz for trainer Rafael DeLeon in the Grade I Santa Maria Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
Victory would give Delgadillo his first Grade I triumph in nearly 25 years as a jockey. He registered one of his greatest wins when he rode Tizfiz to a nose victory at 9-1 in the Grade II, $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap on Jan. 4. Prior to that, his richest stakes win came in the $200,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields in 1997.
Brass Hat returns in Dust Commander
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 12, 2009 . . . Millionaire grade I winner Brass Hat returns to racing this Saturday in the $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park, his first start in eight months.
After finishing fifth behind Curlin in the Stephen Foster last June, Brass Hat returned from a work with a minor injury, and trainer William “Buff” Bradley elected to turn a few weeks’ recovery into an extended vacation.
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AXEL FOLEY TO SPORT BLINKERS IN $200,000 EL CAMINO REAL DERBY
ALBANY -- Trainer Doug O'Neill is hoping a set of blinkers will help his colt Axel Foley turn the tables on favored Chocolate Candy in the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Axel Foley finished second to Chocolate Candy in the California Derby on Jan. 17 but gave the winner a brief scare when he charged up the rail to challenge for the lead in midstretch. Chocolate Candy turned back Axel Foley and won the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 3/4 lengths.
PERKINS LOOKS FOR YET ANOTHER “CAPPY” VICTORY
Ben Perkins Jr. fought the urge as long as he could. The son of one of the Mid-Atlantic’s more respected horsemen, Perkins tried hard to succeed at school. He even attended the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business. But when he realized he was spending less time reading the Wall Street Journal and more time reading the Daily Racing Form, Perkins returned to his roots.
It was the right decision. Like his father, Perkins has forged a reputation as a dedicated, knowledgeable, and successful horseman.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct