Friday, March 20 2009
Derby 135 Update (3.20.09)
EUROPE/GOSDEN’S MAFAAZ PUNCHES DERBY TICKET WITH NARROW KEMPTON WIN
For the first time in 135 years of Kentucky Derby (Grade I) history, a 3-year-old Thoroughbred has a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the “Run for the Roses.” The history-making horse is Mafaaz, who punched his ticket to Kentucky Derby 135 when he held off the onrushing Spring of Fame to win Wednesday’s first running of the $112,304 Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes at England’s Kempton Park.
The race offered its winner a guaranteed starting spot in America’s greatest race and a $100,000 bonus if Mafaaz shows up at Churchill Downs and starts in the 1 ¼-mile classic on Saturday, May 2. And trainer John Gosden, a strong supporter of the Kentucky Derby Challenge concept, intends to send the colt owned by Dubai’s Sheikh Hamdan to Kentucky for the race.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update 3.20.09
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA LIKELY TO POINT TO FANTASY
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, a romping winner in last week’s Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II), is likely to make the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (GII) at Oaklawn Park her final prep for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI).
Trainer Hal Wiggins sais his options for the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro are to train Rachel Alexandra up to the 1 1/8-mile Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 1 or run in the race at Oaklawn Park on April 5.
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $93,717 INTO FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 19, 2009)—With an average field size of 9.5 horses per race and upsets on both turf and ProRide synthetic, no one correctly tabbed six winners in Santa Anita’s popular Pick Six wager, resulting in a carryover into Friday of $93,717, and the possibility of a total Pick Six pool in excess of $750,000. Thursday’s carryover is the 25th from 61 days of racing dating back to Dec. 26.
The Pick Six got off to a quiet start in race three, as 3-1 second choice Life Goes On prevailed and paid $8.00 to win. Ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by Bob Baffert, Life Goes On is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Vindication who is owned by Fog City Stable and Hill ’n Dale Equine Holdings.
Thursday, March 19 2009
FAVORED SUGAR MINT MAKES SHORT WORK OF WHITE DOVE PURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 19, 2009) – After being considered for Sunday’s Grade II Santa Ana Handicap, Sugar Mint instead took part in Thursday’s $57,200 White Dove Purse, and the 7-10 favorite dominated her opposition in the one-mile turf event for fillies and mares at Santa Anita.
Sugar Mint tracked pace-setter Heathersdaddysbaby, disposed of her on the turn, and she crossed the wire 2¼ lengths ahead of General Consensus while under a hand ride by Rafael Bejarano. The victorious 4-year-old Irish-bred filly was timed in 1:34.46.
VISIT EXPECTED TO ADD TO FRANKEL’S DOMINATION OF SANTA ANA
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 19, 2009) – Bobby Frankel, who has saddled eight of the last 17 winners of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap including the last two, is expected to expand his domination with British-bred Vista in Sunday’s 42nd running of the mile-and-one-eighth turf event for older fillies and mares.
Visit will carry high weight of 118 pounds among nine entrants while attempting to provide Juddmonte Farms with its fourth Santa Ana victory and propel jockey Garrett Gomez to within one win of Santa Anita’s seasonal record of 19 stakes victories shared by Laffit Pincay Jr. (1982-83) and Corey Nakatani (1996-97).
Triple Crown Productions Press Release
WEST SIDE BERNIE, BITTEL ROAD IN LINE FOR SOLID TEST IN WIDE OPEN LANE’S END STAKES AT TURFWAY PARK
WEST SIDE BERNIE, last seen finishing third in Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull Stakes, and BITTEL ROAD, fourth in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita, appear likely to vie for the role of favorite in Saturday’s running of the Grade II, $500,000 Lane’s End Stakes at 1 1/8 miles at Turfway Park.
The race is rated as the Northern Kentucky track’s premier prep for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. It falls at a time when a winner could look ahead to another prep in three weeks or just train up to the May 2 Derby, seven weeks hence. Much has to do with the amount of graded earnings a horse would need to get into the gate for the Churchill Downs classic.
TRAINER VALLEJO SADDLES EARLY DAILY DOUBLE AT GGF
ALBANY -- Trainer Genaro Vallejo saddled the winners of the early Daily Double Thursday at Golden Gate Fields.
Vallejo, who entered the day with seven wins from 56 starters at the winter/spring meeting, won the first race with C. T. Zee ($4.80) and the second with Rule the Storm ($5.00). The Vallejo Daily Double paid $11.20.
NOT FOR SILVER STRETCHES OUT IN PRIVATE TERMS STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 03-19-09---The Mike Trombetta trained colt Not for Silver brings an undefeated record to his showdown with eight other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s one mile, $50,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park.
The Not For Love offspring has built an impressive resume, breaking his maiden by 4-1/2 lengths and trouncing optional/claiming company in his second outing at Laurel then traveling to Aqueduct to annex the Fred Capossela Stakes under steady urging. Julian Pimentel was aboard for his first two starts and regains the mount on Saturday. Not for Silver, one of seven 3-year-olds nominated to the Triple Crown by Trombetta, is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
Read more articles in the Laurel
Lane’s End favorite Bittel Road arrives at Turfway
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 19, 2009 . . . Bittel Road, the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Lane’s End Stakes this Saturday, had a pleasingly uneventful trip from California to Turfway Park, arriving Wednesday
“He shipped in well, is all settled, and he galloped well over the track [Thursday] morning,” reported trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt also schooled in the paddock during the first race on Turfway’s Thursday card.
Read more articles in the Turfway
Square Eddie tops Queen’s Plate Winterbook
Toronto, March 19 - Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Square Eddie was today installed as the early favourite for the 150th edition of the Queen's Plate.
Last year, Not Bourbon staved off a determined deep-stretch bid from Woodbine Oaks winner Ginger Brew to win the $600,000 winner's share of the Plate purse. The son of Not Impossible was 30-1 in the Winterbook.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, MARCH 19TH, 2009
TRAINERS EYE UPSET IN SATURDAY’S SAN LUIS REY HANDICAP
Spring House and Artiste Royal are the starting highweights at 118 pounds in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap, but trainers Barry Abrams and Steve Knapp feel they have longshot chances with their horses in the 42nd renewal of the mile and a half turf marathon.
Abrams trains the recently acquired On Fire, who was scratched from an earlier race at Santa Anita when it was moved from grass to Pro-Ride. Knapp conditions Bonjour, a 9-year-old New Zealand bred who has shown good form in his last three races.
Barn Notes 3-19
Sligovitz Facing Test in Pan American Saturday
Stronach Stable’s 4-year-old Canadian homebred Sligovitz finished a game fifth in the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) on Feb. 1 as a 25-1 longshot, beaten only 1½ lengths by Kip Deville, and faces another big challenge Saturday in the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) with Presious Passion and Spice Route the likely favorites in the 1½ miles turf test..
“He ran very well in that race (Gulfstream Turf),” said trainer Brian Lynch from Palm Meadows Thursday morning. “He was inexperienced when he tried a mile-and-a-half last year and veered out,” referring to the colt’s runner-up finish behind Marlang in the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine in early August.