Monday, February 23 2009
CHOCOLATE CANDY, MERUS MIAMI WORK; ALVARADO, MOREY TEAM UP FOR HAT TRICK
ALBANY -- Chocolate Candy, Northern California's leading hope for the Kentucky Derby, worked four furlongs in :48 1/5 handily Sunday morning at Golden Gate Fields.
Chocolate Candy, winner of the California and El Camino Real Derbies at Golden Gate Fields, is being pointed for the Grade 1 $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. The West Coast's premier Kentucky Derby prep, the Santa Anita Derby is a 1 1/8-mile contest.
Durcan claims round two UAE Triple Crown second time in row
Sunday’s twelfth meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi, kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, featured the middle leg of the Arabian Triple Crown and the 2200m Group 3 feature attracted a small but select field of five.
Rod Simpson, based at Al Asayl near the capital, saddled two of the runners and continued his remarkable run of form with Ted Durcan on Jazeerat Alsadyaat beating stable companion Elmalak Elwaheed under Richard Mullen.
Sunday, February 22 2009
SPRING HOUSE BECOMES SECOND REPEAT WINNER OF SAN LUIS OBISPO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009) – Spring House split horses in deep stretch and held off hard-charging Church Service by one-half length Sunday to become only the second back-to-back winner of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap while negotiating the 1 ½-mile distance on turf in 2:27.26, just five one-hundredths of a second slower than in the previous year’s 52nd running.
Alex Solis, who had ridden the 7-year-old gelding in his last two starts, was aboard as Spring House went off at odds of 7-1 after being dispatched as the 17-10 favorite in 2008 with Garrett Gomez in the saddle.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND, 2009
RAIL TRIP’S NEXT RACE UNDECIDED; VALDIVIA ON CHAMPS ELYSEES IN BIG ’CAP
Although Rail Trip has been nominated to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, chances of the unbeaten gelding running in the mile and a quarter classic seemed extremely remote Sunday. His regular rider, Jose Valdivia Jr., has been engaged to ride Champs Elysees by Bobby Frankel in the Big ’Cap, a decision the Hall of Fame trainer confirmed this morning.
“We nominated, but we’re probably not going to run,” trainer Ron Ellis said of Rail Trip, who posted his fourth consecutive impressive victory last Friday, but who has never run in a stakes race. Asked about the possibility of running in the Grade II, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 4, Ellis was non-committal.
JOCKEYS, HOLY ANGELS CAGERS MEET FEB. 26
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009)—The 42nd annual Holy Angels/Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball game will take place Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. will serve as honorary captains. Delahoussaye and Pincay will be available to sign autographs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the La Salle High gymnasium.
“This game has been such a fun thing for all of us over the years,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “To have Eddie and Laffit involved again in this way as honorary captains I think helps to draw added attention to it and hopefully, it will help us raise more money for the athletic program at Holy Angels.”
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $169,419 INTO WEDNESDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009)—Due in large measure to a $117.00 winner, Santa Anita experienced its 19th Pick Six carryover from 44 racing days of racing on Sunday, as $169,419 will await Pick Six punters when racing resumes on Wednesday. It’s expected the total pool Wednesday could easily reach $1 million.
Moonlit Habit, with Alonso Quinonez aboard, was the third-longest priced runner in race five and returned $117.00 to win. Conditioned by Ruben Cardenas, the 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Malibu Moon took the $10,000 claiming event for owner L. Steve Keh.
Criticism Leads all the Way in The Very One
Darley Stable’s 5-year-old English homebred mare Criticism was Group 3-placed during a modest career in France but she’s taken her game to a new level since coming under the care of trainer Tom Albertrani last fall, winning two of three U.S. starts, including the $125,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by Edgar Prado, Criticism broke sharply and took command early in the 1 3/8 miles turf test, was allowed to set slow fractions while setting the pace, and had plenty left in the stretch to coast home a 2½ lengths winner over Swettenham Stud’s 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Dress Rehearsal.
Taqarub, Justwhistledixie Out of Cold for Weekend Stakes
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will send two 3-year-olds into stakes action next weekend at Gulfstream Park.
Shadwell Stable’s Taqarub heads into Saturday’s $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and West Point Thoroughbreds and partners’ filly Justwhistledixie is set to run in Sunday’s $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2). The two companion events will be run at one mile.
CENTENO CAPTURES FIVE WINS ON SUNDAY CARD
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 22, 2009) Tampa’s leading rider Daniel Centeno added five more victories to his tally today, tying for second place for most wins on a single card at the Oldsmar oval. Today was the first time that the reinsman has won five races on one program. “It’s a great day!” said Centeno. “I’ve won four races many times, but never five.”
Richard DePass set the record of seven wins on one program in 1980; and Centeno is joined by Rick Luhr, Jorge Guerra, Herson Sanchez, Jesse Garcia and Joe Judice as jockeys that have booted home five winners in one day. The 37-year-old native of Venezuela has now accrued 75 wins from 271 mounts through 50 days of racing at the Oldsmar Oval.
WHAT A PEAR DOMINATES IN BUSHER
Tri-Bone Stable’s What a Pear remained undefeated Sunday afternoon, unleashing the most dominant performance of her young career to win the 30th running of the $70.330 Busher for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth. Her 10 ¼-length victory came in 1:45.17.
In returning a generous $6.80 to win – the crowd of 3,203 made Pumpkin Shell the post-time favorite – What a Pear was never in a bad position. Jockey Channing Hill opted to place her on the rail and off the pace behind front-running My Anguilla, who showed the way around the clubhouse turn as Kiss and Fly Pressed the first quarter of a mile in 23.84 on Aqueduct’s fast inner dirt track.
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Jockey Musarro gets first career win
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 22, 2009 . . . Apprentice jockey Joe Musarro, 17, earned his first career win Sunday when he guided Heavenly Surprise to a 5 1/2-length score in Turfway Park’s seventh race, a claiming event for fillies and mares three years old and up.
Breaking from post six in the field of seven, Heavenly Surprise jumped immediately to the lead, was taken back by Musarro to race in third, and then regained the lead at the top of the turn before easily drawing away in the stretch. The mare finished the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07.08 and paid $9.20 as the 7-2 second choice.
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Lane’s End nominations total 112
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 22, 2009 . . . The 38th renewal of the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park has drawn 112 nominations, announced Racing Secretary Richard S. Leigh. For three-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the Lane’s End Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. The race traditionally is run six weeks before the first Saturday in May as a prep for the Kentucky Derby (G1), and its $500,000 purse virtually guarantees the winner a spot in the Derby field should more than 20 seek to enter.
The winners of both local preps run to date are nominated to the Lane’s End. Loch Dubh, trained by Jeff Talley for Texas Toyco, won the Turfway Prevue sprint in January, and Parade Clown, trained by Katherine Ball for Donamire Farm, was nominated on the strength of his win in the WEBN Stakes. (The third local prep, the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, will run February 28.)
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