Friday, April 24 2009


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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No Longer Just “Making Do”


The Permanently Disable Jockey Fund Helping Sixty Injured Riders

Stickney, IL--At Sportsman’s Park, on April 25, 1964, exactly 45 years ago, Dennis Keehan’s brief career as a thoroughbred jockey came to an abrupt halt. That was the day Keehan was thrown from his mount, “a gutsy, hard-trying type” named Red Streamer. Those were the words Keehan used to describe the horse that clipped heels on the far turn that fateful day, and left the young athlete a paraplegic.

Sadly, but realistically, Keehan’s story does not stand alone in the annals of horse racing. For all that is exciting about the game, danger lurks at every turn, and through its long history, scores of jockeys have either died, or been left permanently disabled as a result of injuries suffered on the job.





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Dream Payday Nearing the Finish Line


Stickney, IL.—The dream is alive for six players, who signed up for Hawthorne’s free online Survivor Contest in early March, hoping they could win the grand prize of $100,000. All they needed to do was pick a horse to finish in the money for the final 34 racing days in the meet, and with only five days left, these six can smell the finish line.

“We’re thrilled with the results.,” said Jim Miller, Assistant General Manager of Hawthorne Race Course. “The contest drew a lot of attention to our spring meet, and on the eve of our finale weekend we’re looking to finish the meet up in handle. That’s a win-win in my book.”





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PLACE PICK 9; MULTI-TRACK Z-BET (HIGH-5) WAGER


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 22, 2009) – Arlington Park has a new wager and enhancements on existing wagers on tap for its 2009 season, which begins on Friday, May 1, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 27.

For the first time in its history, Arlington Park will offer a Place Pick 9 wager that will usually begin with each afternoon’s first race. The $1 minimum wager requires a bettor to correctly select either the first-place or second-place finisher in nine consecutive races. In the event there is no ticket sold which designates the nine official first- or second-place finishers of the Place Pick 9 races, 25% of the net pool will be distributed to the holders of the tickets that correctly pick the most races correctly, and 75% of the net Place Pick 9 pool will be carried over to the next day.





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NTRA Offering “Summer Dream Getaway Sweepstakes”


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) will give away to one lucky racing fan and a guest a three-day, two-night trip to a major summer racing event of the winner’s choosing in the “NTRA Summer Dream Getaway Sweepstakes”.

A single Grand Prize winner will be selected at random from all valid entries received, and he or she will have the choice of visiting Del Mar during its opening weekend (July 24-25); Arlington Park during Arlington Million weekend (August 7-8); or Saratoga Race Course for Travers weekend (August 28-29). The winner will receive air transportation and hotel accommodations as well as a $500 betting voucher.







 

Significant Across-the-Board Gains at Gulfstream Park


From the racetrack to the casino to the dining room, Gulfstream Park recorded across-the-board revenue increases in all facets of its operations at the 2009 meeting.

Its 67th meeting concluded Thursday.

“Our thanks go to the horsemen and the jockeys, and mostly to our guests and our employees for a sensational meeting,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy. “We were lucky with the weather, no doubt about that, but you have the strong sense that our longtime guests have regained their familiarity and comfort level with the property.”





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FULL FIELD APPEARS LIKELY FOR WIDE–OPEN KENTUCKY DERBY


In a remarkable seven-year span, newly minted Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won three Kentucky Derbys and missed by the tiniest nose in another. And now it’s been seven years since he’s been to the winner’s circle on the first Saturday in May.

That could change this year for the silver-haired quipster as he heads into the 135th “Run for the Roses.” His Pioneerof the Nile will be one of the favorites for the Grade I, $2-million classic at Churchill Downs on May 2. A fourth victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands would tie Baffert with H.J. “Dick” Thompson and Baffert contemporary D. Wayne Lukas for second-place among Derby-winning trainers.





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TALAMO ’WOWS ’EM IN HOLLYWOOD PARK FEATURE


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 23, 2009) — The appropriately-named Allicansayis Wow and 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo made a miraculous recovery to score a dramatic come-from-behind win in Thursday’s $50,000 feature at Hollywood Park after clipping heels and almost going down early in the stretch run.

Allicansayis Wow, last in the field of five at the top of the stretch, clipped the heels of Lullabytime, stumbled, but regained his stride under the cool handling of Talamo and struck late to win by a neck.







 

Last to First, Winter View Wins Grey Goose Bewitch


Lexington, Ky. (April 23, 2009)—Winter View, who was still last with a quarter of a mile to go, closed with a flourish under jockey Julien Leparoux to win the $150,000, Grade 3 Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes Thursday at Keeneland.

The 5-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch caught the leaders with a sixteenth of a mile remaining in the 1 ½-mile turf race and finished two lengths in front of Communique.





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