Thursday, April 09 2009
Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 9, 2009
MAFAAZ HAS MEET AND GREET WITH STARTING GATE CREW
Shadwell Stable’s Mafaaz (GB), who will race Saturday in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in his Amerian debut, visited the starting gate Thursday morning at Keeneland and then galloped a mile and a quarter under exercise rider Miguel Moya.
“He just walked in the there and backed right out,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. “We just wanted him to get used to the gate here and let the gate personnel see him.
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NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance
In October 2008, the NTRA announced the formation of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
The Alliance’s mission is to improve the safety of horse racing, protect the sport’s integrity and increase public awareness of horse racing’s safety and integrity programs.
The Alliance supports the broader mission of the NTRA – to improve the economics of horse racing and improve the sport’s popularity – by seeking to reduce racehorse injuries and by speaking on behalf of the industry on issues associated with equine athletic competition.
CHURCHILL DOWNS RECEIVES ACCREDITATION FOLLOWING REVIEW
At a press conference today at Churchill Downs, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the Louisville, Ky., racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a comprehensive review of racing operations at the facility. Churchill Downs is the first track to be so designated by the Alliance.
The accreditation of Churchill Downs was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with Churchill’s completion of a 48-page written application. Churchill Downs then hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met with the Alliance’s independent monitor, The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, a former Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. The on-site review was led by Jennifer Durenberger, DVM; racing official Richard J. Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Thompson also attended and observed the on-site review.
FREE GENERAL ADMISSION, DOLLAR SPECIALS TO BE INTRODUCED THURSDAYS
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 8, 2009) — General Admission will be free on Thursdays during the 65-day Spring/Summer Meet at Hollywood Park, which opens Wednesday, April 22.
The Thursday programs will also feature $1 hot dogs and sodas through the final Hollywood Park race and $1 beers from noon until 3 p.m.
Patrick Mahony promoted to NYRA Senior Vice President
A respected expert in Pari-Mutuel operations, Patrick Mahony has been promoted to the post of Senior Vice President of Mutuels, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today. His previous title had been Vice President of Pari-Mutuel Operations. Mahony joined NYRA in 2003 after a distinguished career at Gulfstream Park, Calder, Hialeah, Atlantic City Race Track, Garden State Race Track, and Monmouth Park.
“At NYRA, Pat has worked diligently to position our Mutuel department as one of the finest in the industry,” NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward said. “He’s put a solid management team in place while establishing the highest standards of credibility and integrity. In addition, Pat has worked with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and industry organizations on national tote strategies and protocols.”
Autrey targets DelPark
Wilmington, Del., April 9, 2009 — Cody Autrey, a perennial top trainer in the Midwest, is among some of the new trainers targeting Delaware Park for the upcoming 72nd live race meeting. The 116-day live race season opens on Saturday, April 25 and ends on Saturday, November 7. Post time for the first race has been set at 1:15 p.m.
Since finishing third in the trainer standings at the recently concluded Fair Grounds meet, Autrey started sending horses to Delaware Park. By the beginning of the season at the Stanton-oval, Autrey should have approximately 35 horses on the grounds. In past years, the native of Waxahachie, Texas, has split his operation between Churchill Downs and Lone Star Park after the Fair Grounds. But, this year, the 29-year-old who won his first career race at Retama Park on September 14, 2000, will split his stable sending a division to Churchill Downs and for the first time in his career sending a division to the east coast.
ARLINGTON PARK TO OFFER TWO LIVE MONEY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 8, 2009) – Arlington Park will offer handicappers two chances to qualify for the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) to be held in Las Vegas in January 2010. Each Arlington-sponsored tournament will be “live-money” tournaments and offer cash prizes as well as three berths into the national tournament, which in 2009 offered more than $1,000,000 in prize money. Registration for both tournaments will be accepted beginning Wednesday, April 15, 2009, online at http://www.arlingtonpark.com
and clicking racing & handicapping and then handicapping contests.
The first of the two tournaments is scheduled for Saturday, July 18 at Trackside Arlington Park and will be limited to 300 entries with a maximum of two entries per person. Players will be responsible for purchasing a $500 wagering card at the time of registration, which will serve as the player’s live bankroll for contest purposes.
MALIBU ARTISTE SHOWS WAY IN RELUCTANT GUEST
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2009)—Favored Malibu Artiste led from start to finish for her third straight victory in Wednesday’s featured $52,000 Reluctant Guest Purse at Santa Anita Park, covering 1 1/8 miles over a firm turf course in 1:48.43.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani under 119 pounds for trainer George Papaprodromou, Malibu Artiste won by 1 ½ lengths over Always Auditioning, who had three-quarters of a length on third-place Vikkilee.
War Kill Edges Selva In Beaumont
Lexington, Ky. (April 8, 2009)—War Kill scored a narrow victory over Selva in the $150,000, Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes Wednesday to give jockey Julien Leparoux his fourth win of the afternoon.
It was a two-horse race for more than half of the seven furlong, 184 feet race with no more than a half length separating the first two finishers as heavily favored Evita Argentina trailed the six-horse field.
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Full Field of 14 Set for Sunday’s Wide-Open South Beach
Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old mare Flibberjibbit finished a game third behind I Lost My Choo last out in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 7, and will be among the favorites in a field of 14 fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes.
Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets the call on Flibberjibit for trainer Marty Wolfson in the 7½-furlong turf test and will not have to face I Lost My Choo again – that rival was entered in Saturday’s Jenny Wiley Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
MIKE STRAIGHT NAMED HILTON GARDEN INN JOCKEY OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 8, 2009) Apprentice jockey Mike Straight has only been in the irons for a little over one month, but he has already made a big impression at Tampa Bay Downs. Straight has booted home seven winners in 25 days of racing at the Oldsmar oval, making him the leading apprentice rider at Tampa Bay Downs.
Straight got his first win from his first career ride on March 6, 2009 in the sixth race aboard Ready Ruler for trainer Michael Thomas and owner Leighton Evans. Straight, who is a graduate of Chris McCarron’s North American Racing Academy, is the twin brother of Maryland jockey Matthew Straight.
TOP CALIFORNIA SIRE UNUSUAL HEAT REPRESENTED BY THREE WINNERS AT GGF
ALBANY -- The top California sire Unusual Heat had to be a proud father following the conclusion of Wednesday's racing at Golden Gate Fields.
The 4-year-old filly Mystical Heat, the 6-year-old gelding Unusual Treasure, and the 4-year-old colt Quite Unusual - all sired by Unusual Heat - won races to give their papa a three-win afternoon.