Friday, February 27 2009
Barn Notes 2-27 GP
Belmont Winner Da’ Tara Makes Season Debut in Saturday Allowance
Robert LaPenta’s 4-year-old colt Da’ Tara made history last spring winning the 140th Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 7 by 5 ¼ lengths for trainer Nick Zito with jockey Alan Garcia aboard at 38-to-1 while so much attention was focused on Big Brown being eased behind him in his bid to sweep the Triple Crown.
The victory was only the second in Da’ Tara’s eight-race career and the son of Tiznow will attempt to win for the first time since in Saturday’s eighth race allowance going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park. He makes his first start this year two races prior to the highly-anticipated renewal of the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND HEADS ROSTER OF 170 FILLIES NOMINATED TO 135TH KENTUCKY OAKS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2009) – IEAH Stables, Paul Pompa Jr., Michael Dubb, and Golden Goose Enterprises LLC’s Stardom Bound, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008 and winner of the Las Virgenes (Grade I) at Santa Anita in her 2009 debut, heads an impressive roster of 170 horses nominated to compete in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI), which will be run on Friday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies and is run each year on the eve of America’s greatest race, the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). Like the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks has been renewed each year without interruption since 1875 when the first racing meet was held at Churchill Downs, then known as the Louisville Jockey Club.
Defending Champion Einstein, Breeders’ Cup Heroes Kip Deville, Red Rocks, Better Talk Now
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2009) – Defending champion Einstein, one of America’s top racing stars on both grass and dirt, is joined by Breeders’ Cup World Championships heroes Kip Deville, Red Rocks and Better Talk Now on a glittering roster of racing stars nominated to compete in the 23rd running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 2.
The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on turf attracted 101 nominations, a total that is down slightly from last year’s roster of 108 nominees. The race is traditionally run immediately prior to the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is one of three Grade I events on a stellar Kentucky Derby Day racing program that will include six graded stakes races with total purses of $3.35 million. It will be televised by ESPN.
Turfway cancels added Monday card
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 27, 2009 . . . Turfway Park’s live racing card scheduled for Monday, March 2, has been canceled due to lack of entries. The card had been added to the schedule in an effort to make up races lost to six full or partial cancellations, five in January and one in February.
“Hindsight is 20/20,” said Turfway president Robert N. Elliston, “and we missed the mark in terms of the horse population that would be available to fill additional race days. Horses that otherwise would prefer to run in Kentucky, and traditionally did so, are instead racing in jurisdictions where purses are enhanced with revenue from alternative gaming. Kentucky has not been permitted to level the playing field, and we are beginning to feel the effects of the competitive advantage other states have over us, tradition or not.”
Read more articles in the Turfway
MOON CATCHER TOPS STRONG FIELD OF EIGHT IN WAYWARD LASS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 27, 2009) The $65,0000 Wayward Lass Stakes has attracted the entries of eight older fillies and mares who will cover 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Tampa Bay Downs in Saturday’s eighth race. Highlighting the field is Moon Catcher, a five-year-old Malibu Moon mare under the care of top national trainer Christophe Clement. Moon Catcher has earned $704,450 in her career, which includes victories in the Grade II Delaware Oaks, the $180,000 Susan’s Girl Breeders’ Cup, the Maryland Millions Oaks and the Emergency Nurse Stakes. The mare has won at the 1 1/16 miles distance three times from five attempts, and will have the services of Tampa Bay Downs’s leading rider Daniel Centeno.
Keeneland Schedules “Live Money” Handicapping Contest
Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2009)—On Sunday, April 19, Keeneland will host the “Grade One Gamble,” a live money handicapping contest that will send three people to the 2010 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.
The “Grade One Gamble” will be limited to players who pay a $3,000 entry fee of which $1,800 must be wagered on Keeneland’s nine-race program. The contest will be limited to 30 players.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Champion Stardom Bound Leads 120 Ashland Stakes (G1) Nominations
Lexington, KY (February 27, 2009) – Stardom Bound, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and reigning two-year-old filly champion, headlines 120 nominees to Keeneland’s $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1), scheduled for Saturday, April 4.
Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Ashland is a premier prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Since 1936, 31 fillies have used the Ashland as a steppingstone to victory in the Oaks. Last year, Proud Spell rebounded to win the Oaks off a third-place finish in the Ashland. Ashland winner, Little Belle, ran second by ¾ of a length in the Oaks.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
MID-ATLANTIC INVADERS TARGET BROADWAY
Trainer Steve Klesaris has always done things his own way, and these days, he has the great satisfaction of seeing that his way has proven to be the way to success.
The 49-year-old Boston native followed his father, Peter, and older brother, Bob, into the racing game. He saddled his first winner when he was 18, worked as a jockey agent in the early to mid 1990s and returned to training to win stakes races with horses like Yourmissinthepoint, Ave’s Flag, Mani Bhavan, Miraculous Miss, Master of Disaster and Roman Emperor
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
“NTRA RACING TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY”
“NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby” will air on the ESPN networks beginning Saturday, March 21, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today. The series provides comprehensive coverage of several key Triple Crown prep races, including the $750,000 Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park, the $1 million Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park, and the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland.
Beginning with live coverage of the Lane’s End Stakes from Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., “NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby” will offer seven important races from four different race tracks. All races will air live with the exception of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, which will be shown via same-day tape during the Arkansas Derby telecast.
Treble for Buick and Selvaratnam at Jebel Ali
"The Jebel Ali sprint prep, over 1000m and kindly sponsored by the Kingwood Stables base of trainer Marcus Tregoning, owned by his main patron His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was won by Alo Pura, trained on the course by Dhruba Selvaratnam for his main patron Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
William Buick was in the saddle on the five-year-old mare who was the highlight of a treble for himself, trainer and owner which leaves Buick disputing the jockeys’ championship with Fernando Jara.
YOU GOT ME ROCKING STEALS YOSEMITE PURSE IN 7-1 UPSET
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2009) – A 7-1 shot owned by Jane and Burt Bacharach, You Got Me Rocking took command at once and gradually widened to a 4 ¼-length upset Thursday in Santa Anita’s $56,800 Yosemite Purse as 3-5 favorite Midships finished off the board in the mile-and-one-eighth turf competition.
With Tyler Baze in the saddle, You Got Me Rocking completed the distance in 1:46.12 after dictating moderate fractions that included the first half-mile in 47.85 and six furlongs in 1:11.35.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (2.27.09)
SOUTHEAST/REPUTATIONS ON LINE AS MAJOR PLAYERS MEET RISING STARS IN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
As Gulfstream Park’s major prep for the Florida Derby (Grade I), the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (GII) has long been an indicator of future success in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the Triple Crown. Eleven winners of the “Run for the Roses” have included a stop in the Gulfstream Park race on their road to the hallowed ground of the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle at Churchill Downs.
But no Fountain of Youth participant has won America’s greatest race since Thunder Gulch swept both races in 1995. Eleven 3-year-old Thoroughbreds will attempt to snap that winless streak on Saturday when they enter the starting gate for the race that will be run at its new distance of one-mile.