Sunday, February 15 2009
A year after cancer diagnosis, Justin Vitek returns
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 14, 2009 . . . He was not the jockey in the winner’s circle, but no jockey in any race on any day was a bigger winner than Justin Vitek after Turfway Park’s 10th race Saturday. His mount on Model’s Memo was his first since being diagnosed with myelogenous leukemia almost exactly a year ago, February 16, 2008.
Model’s Memo, herself off since July, dropped back as usual but could not come up with a closing rally and finished last. The result had no impact on the light in Vitek’s eyes or the excitement of well-wishers gathered around him.
“It felt great,” Vitek said. “She broke a little tardy and got slammed, so it kind of took her out of her game, but it was the first time back—for both of us.
Read more articles in the Turfway
ROYALE MICHELE WINS EVENTFUL BARBARA FRITCHIE HANDICAP
LAUREL, MD. 02-14-09---Sam B. Pollock’s Royale Michele ran the biggest race of her career when she captured the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (GII) at Laurel Park Saturday afternoon.
Royale Michele won the seven furlong test by 1-3/4 lengths, but it was the performance of post time favorite Seventh Street, who reared at the start, only to regain her composure, mount a steady rally and finish a fast closing second, that had the central Maryland track buzzing.
Read more articles in the Laurel
NO SURPRISE—CHOCOLATE CANDY TRIUMPHS IN EL CAMINO REAL DERBY ON VALENTINE’S DAY
ALBANY -- Chocolate Candy rules on Valentine's Day and the colt Chocolate Candy ruled in the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Chocolate Candy, an obvious hunch play and the heavy 1-to-2 favorite in a field of six, held off Massone down the stretch to win Northern California's top Kentucky Derby prep race by a half-length. Rendezvous finished a distant third.
Chocolate Candy completed 1 1/8-miles in 1:50.54 while recording his fourth victory in eight career starts. Ridden by Russell Baze and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Chocolate Candy paid $3.00 after securing his third stakes win.
Saturday, February 14 2009
‘All Others’ Still Favored, But Old Fashioned Makes A Move At Midpoint of First ‘09Derby Futures
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2009) – The “all others” wager continued to draw strong support during the second day of betting in the first of three pools in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), but unbeaten Old Fashioned emerged as the clear choice among individual contenders for the “Run for the Roses” as the four-day pool reached its midpoint on Friday evening.
The mutuel field, the wagering interest that consists of all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses on the KDFW Pool 1 betting roster, remained the clear 6-5 favorite when the second day of betting in the pool drew to a close at 10 p.m. (all times EST) Friday. But Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned was separated from the 23 individual horses in the pool as the Larry Jones-trained son of Unbridled’s Song was a clear 7-1 second choice at the conclusion of Friday’s betting. Old Fashioned, who was a 12-1 risk at the end of Thursday’s first day of Pool 1 betting, will be a strong favorite as he makes his 2009 debut in Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (Grade III) at Oaklawn Park.
UAE Arabian Derby to take place at Abu Dhabi on Sunday
Sunday’s eleventh meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi, kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, features the UAE Arabian Derby, a prestige event over 2200m for which twelve have been declared.
Royal Class, owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Gill Duffield looks likely to be the Pick Six favourite with Richard Hills in the saddle.
A winner last time, he has top class form in the UK and has to go close.
Friday, February 13 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update
* DESERT PARTY ROLLS OVER STABLEMATES IN DUBAI
* OLD FASHIONED SET FOR ’09 DEBUT IN SOUTHWEST
* CHOCOLATE CANDY A SWEET VALENTINE FAVORITE
* ‘ALL OTHERS’ STILL FAVORED IN DERBY FUTURES
PUGLISI GUIDES SILENT SOUL TO UPSET AFTER RAIN-RELATED SURFACE CHANGE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2009) – Silent Soul, whose last previous victory came after wet weather had moved a scheduled turf event to a synthetic surface, scored an upset under similar conditions Friday when defeating odds-on favorite Mr Napper Tandy by a head in Santa Anita’s $58,800 optional claiming feature.
Jockey Iggy Puglisi, relegated to riding primarily longshots and who had struggled while winning with but four of his last 110 mounts, slipped through along the rail aboard Silent Soul to win the one-mile competition in 1:36.70 after rain took the race off the grass.
EVITA ARGENTINA EYES HISTORY AGAINST MALES IN SAN VICENTE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2009) – Should Evita Argentina -- the most accomplished of ten entrants – emerge victorious Monday in Santa Anita’s 68th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds, her achievement would have been unmatched in 62 years.
Only two fillies have ever won the seven-furlong event, and the last was Rex C. Ellsworth’s Hubble Bubble in 1947, just two years after the race was taken by Louis B. Mayer’s Busher, a Hall of Famer named Horse of the Year when a 3-year-old filly.
$33,783.63 PICK SIX CARRYOVER FOR FESTIVAL PREVIEW DAY PRESENTED BY LAMBHOLM SOUTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 13, 2009) A Pick 6 carryover of $33,783.63 ushers in tomorrow’s Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South, the premiere day of February racing at the Oldsmar oval. The Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South card is highlighted by the Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for three-year-olds, the Grade III $125,000 Endeavour Stakes for fillies and mares four years old and up on the turf, and the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes for fillies three years old.
BULLSEYE ON BULLSBAY IN CAMPBELL HANDICAP
LAUREL, MD. 02-13-09---Bullsbay was eased to last in the Grade I Donn Handicap two weeks ago, but on Saturday he is the 8-5 favorite to win the $50,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, the co-feature at Laurel Park. The $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (GR II) headlines the nine-race card.
Graham Motion shipped the 5-year-old from South Florida to the Fair Hill Training Center earlier this week to race 1-1/8 miles against nine older runners. The son of Tiznow arrived in the Motion barn in October and produced two allowance wins and a runner-up finish in the Grade III Hal’s Hope before his inexplicable performance in the Donn.
Read more articles in the Laurel
CHOCOLATE CANDY EVEN-MONEY FAVORITE IN $200,000 EL CAMINO REAL DERBY
ALBANY -- Saturday is Valentine's Day and many men are expected to bring home a box of chocolates. Chocolate Candy the racehorse is expected to bring home a victory in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
Chocolate Candy is an even-money favorite on the morning line to capture the 28th running of the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, Northern California's most important race for 3-year-olds who aspire to make it to the Triple Crown events.
Friday the 13th a Lucky Day for Lezcano; Reaches 1,000-Win Mark at Gulfstream
Jose Lezcano reached his 1,000th-career victory, riding the 3-year-old Calabria home first in the second race at Gulfstream Park Friday afternoon.
“He broke well and I was able to put him in good position,” said Lezcano. “He gave me an extra push at the quarter pole.”