Sunday, January 25 2009
It’s Bird Posts Mild Upset in OBS Sunshine Millions Classic
Edmund Gann’s 6-year-old Florida-bred It’s a Bird raced close-up behind the pace set by Rolbea Thoroughbreds’ Finallymadeit in the early going of Saturday’s $1 million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, took command in the upper stretch, and never was threatened while drawing out to win by 5¼ lengths over Carol Nyren’s Dry Martini.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, It’s a Bird had lost three in a row going into the race for trainer Marty Wolfson and paid $24 to win while timed in 1:49:35 for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track. Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old gelding Delightful Kiss was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 12, breaking from the far outside, and rallied late in the stretch to gain third under jockey Calvin Borel, only a nose behind the runner-up.
Wild Promises Wins Sixth Straight in Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf
Making her second trip from Northern California to South Florida this winter, Estate of Harry Aleo’s 5-year-old Florida-bred mare Wild Promises captured the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park with jockey Aaron Gryder along for the ride, posting her sixth consecutive stakes victory for trainer Greg Gilchrist.
Gryder had Wild Promises rating comfortably in third down the backstretch of the 1 1/8 miles turf test and she took command easily when asked in the upper stretch before drawing out to win by 1¾ lengths over Gold Mark Farm’s Elusive Lady in the field of eight fillies and mares. Live Oak Plantation’s Snow Cone rallied for third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up.
“Phil’ Rallies to Upset Score in Sunshine Millions Dash
Paul Pompa Jr’s 3-year-old Florida homebred This Ones for Phil collared the leaders at the top of the stretch in Saturday’s $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream Park, and drew clear to win by 2¼ lengths over Kramer Stables’ 6-5 favorite You Luckie Mann in the six-furlong test.
With Edgar Prado aboard, This One for Phil was making his first start since Nov, 8 at Calder and first since being purchased privately and placed with trainer Rick Dutrow. The chestnut gelding by Untuttable was twice stakes-placed last year for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. He paid $25.40 to win and was timed the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:09:10 to give Prado his third winner of the afternoon.
GP Barn Notes 1-24
Beethoven and Borel Team for Holy Bull Breeze
With a busy afternoon ahead of him, jockey Calvin Borel got his Sunshine Millions day started early with a breeze aboard John Oxley’s 3-year-old colt Beethoven at Gulfstream Park with a return planned for next week to ride the colt in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3).
Trainer John Ward indicated he was happy with the son of Sky Mesa’s 1:01 3/5 drill and declared him ready for his 2009 debut.
SUNSHINE MILLIONS DOMINATED BY FLORIDA-BREDS
By BETH HARRIS - AP Racing Writer
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ It's a Bird rallied from the off the pace to win Saturday's $1 million Classic at Gulfstream Park, helping Florida-bred horses easily defeat their California counterparts for the seventh straight time in the bi-coastal Sunshine Millions program.
The eight races worth $3.6 million came off under drastically different conditions.
PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO SUNDAY AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2009)—Raiding Party, at odds of 22-1, took Saturday’s 11th and final race and keyed a Pick Six carryover of $155,407 into Sunday at Santa Anita. Returning $46.60 to win, Raiding Party, under David Flores was the longest priced winner on Saturday’s Sunshine Millions program.
Saturday’s Pick Six was contested on races six through 11 and the carryover is the 11th from 23 days of racing.
Success Success succeeds in Forego Stakes
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 24, 2009 . . . Success Success made the most of his first start at Turfway Park Saturday, catching the leader in deep stretch to win the $50,000 Forego Stakes by a neck. Golden Country was second, one length better than Officer Rocket in third.
The 6 1/2-furlong Forego was the first stakes win for Success Success, a six-year-old gelding trained by Paul McGee for David P. Holloway Racing Inc.
Read more articles in the Turfway
RHONE TRAINS TWO WINNERS, CENTENO PILOTS THREE TO VICTORY
OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 24, 2009) A crowd of 7,514 fans flocked to Tampa Bay Downs for today’s Cap Giveaway Day, during which conditioner Bernell Rhone had two winners and jockey Daniel Centeno piloted home three horses to victory.
Rhone took home his first win of the day with Payyourtax, a five-year-old son of Artax owned by Barbara Rehbein and Cindy Rhone and piloted by Luis Antonio Gonzalez. Rhone returned to the Winner’s Circle with Onotheregoestokyo, a six-year-old Storm Creek gelding owned by Bill Lethert and Tom Metzen and ridden by Dean Butler.
AQUEDUCT NOTES, Saturday, January 24, 2009
Local race fans are vying to be America’s next top horseplayer at the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship (NHC) in at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas
The Tournament leader at the end of Day 1 was Thomas Mooney, a 55-year-old financial analyst from Lindenhurst, N.Y., who qualified through his second-place finish in the Aqueduct Fall Handicapping Challenge.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
TRUE QUALITY EARNS A TOUGH WIN IN PAUMONOK
The majority of the 3,529 fans at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday afternoon were fully aware that Paraneck Stable’s True Quality had plenty of speed and knew how it use it. That was why they made him their even-money favorite in the 101st running of the $69.330, six-furlong Paumonok Stakes for three-year-olds and up.
But in making his first start of 2009, the 4-year-old Elusive Quality colt also displayed plenty of toughness as he defeated Place Your Bet by three and three quarters of a length in 1:10.92 on the fast inner dirt track.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
UNITED FRONT AGAINST proposed Belmont Park transit cut
As part of a plan to cut expenses throughout its bus, train and subway system, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has proposed eliminating Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service to Belmont Park, except for Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6.
Wednesday evening, during a public hearing at Garden City, Long Island, speakers from the state’s racing industry and Belmont Park’s surrounding communities voiced their opposition to the elimination of the “Belmont Special.”
NEW YORKER JOHN CONTE CAPTURES DRF/NTRA NATIONAL HANDICAPPING CHAMPIONSHIP
John Conte, 68, of Oceanside, N.Y., won the $500,000 first-place prize and title of Handicapper of the Year in the 10th annual $1 million Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, which concluded Saturday at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas..
Conte, a former New York Post handicapper whose “Grass is Greener” tout sheet is available at New York tracks and OTBs, was sitting in 11th place going into the final race of the two-day contest and used Raiding Party, which paid $46.60 to win (capped at $42 for scoring purposes) and $13 to place in the 11th race at Santa Anita. No one ahead of him used the horse and he finished with a final score of $228.00, after making 15 mythical $2 win-and-place wagers each day of the tournament with eight races being mandatory plays, and the other seven being player’s-choice races from among the seven eligible contest tracks.