Thursday, February 19 2009
Criticism & ‘Backseat’ Return in The Very One Sunday
Darley Stable’s 5-year-old English-bred Criticism made a big impression winning the Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct in her second American start last fall and Paul Pompa Jr.’s 4-year-old Grade 1-winning filly Backseat Rhythm makes her 2009 season debut as the two clash in Sunday’s $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Edgar Prado rides Criticism for trainer Tom Albertrani in the 11-furlong turf test for fillies and mares as she makes her first start since capturing the 12-furlong Long Island on Nov. 1 after a runner-up effort in the Athenia Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park. Those were her only two starts last year.
Barn Notes GP 2-19
Gray Gains Foothold at Gulfstream
Two female turf runners are helping trainer Liz Gray make an impact in her first winter with a public stable at Gulfstream Park, with Kamal Fustok’s Leap in the Sun her latest name-maker heading into Sunday’s $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3).
Last Sunday, Andrew Farm and Frank O’Connor’s Obsequious finished third in the $125,000 Coconut Grove Stakes. It was the 3-year-old daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus’s first stakes-placing and one of the biggest paydays for Gray since she returned to the backstretch last year.
Presious Passion & Always First Clash Again in Mac Diarmida Saturday
Patricia Generazio’s 5-year-old gelding Presious Passion returns home to Gulfstream Park from a runner-up effort in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita in his last start, and Merriefield Farm and Charles Noell’s 8-year-old gelding Always First ships in from Maryland to meet in Saturday’s $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2).
Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets a return call on Presious Passion for trainer Mary Hartmann, breaking from the far outside 12 post. Rider Rene Douglas has been retained on Always First for trainer Tom Voss and they drew post 6 in the 1 3/8-mile turf test.
Barn Notes 2-18
Presious Passion Happy Back Home at Gulfstream
The extended dry weather in South Florida this winter is exactly what the connections of Patricia Generazio’s Grade 1-winning turf star Presious Passion have been hoping for as the 6-year-old gelding goes into Saturday’s $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Mary Hartmann says the son of Royal Anthem loves firm ground, and she’s warily watching the weather for any sign of rain even though the area has had only 32/100ths of an inch of precipitation this year. She points to the gelding’s runner-up finish in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita where rain dampened the usually firm Southern California course (it was rated ‘good’ that day).
Miss Isella & One Caroline Clash in Sabin Friday
Domino Stud’s 4-year-old Miss Isella, who established her class winning the Falls City Handicap (G2) in late November at Churchill Downs, will test the class of G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s undefeated 4-year-old filly One Caroline in Friday’s $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Calvin Borel will be in town to ride Miss Isella in the one-mile Sabin for trainer Ian Wilkes in her first start since they teamed up to win the Falls City going nine furlongs on Nov. 27. The Kentucky homebred roan/gray daughter of Silver Charm got good last fall and had just missed catching top sprinter Game Face going seven furlongs in her previous start.
MIKE ZWIESLER NAMED COURTSIDE GRILLE II TRAINER OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 18, 2009) Trainer Michael Zwiesler has had an outstanding Tampa Bay Downs season thus far, including back-to-back stakes victories with Rock Candy. The three-year-old Mineshaft filly is undefeated over the Tampa Bay Downs surface, breaking her maiden here as a two-year-old on December 27, then capturing January’s Gasparilla Stakes as well as the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes on Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South on February 14.
Michael Zwiesler said of Rock Candy’s performance, “Carlos Montalvo rode a great race. I think having a couple of trips over the race track definitely helped her. It was a very competitive field, and she’s just progressing. She showed her determination today. She ran hard. We’ll definitely nominate her for the Florida Oaks here on March 14. We’ll see how she comes out of this and I’ll talk to her owner Mr. Farish. I’m really proud of her, and she’s really seemed to come around.”
JONATHAN JOYCE RIDES CAREER-BEST FIVE WINNERS WEDNESDAY
LAUREL, MD. 02-18-09---Jonathan Joyce had a stellar day in the saddle at Laurel Park, winning a career-best five races. The 24-year-old won four as an apprentice rider at Philadelphia Park in July 2005.
Joyce reached the milestone aboard multiple stakes winner All Giving ($4.80) in the eighth race, a $40,000 allowance test for trainer Flint Stites. The Maryland-bred mare is now 10-for-28 for earnings of nearly $350,000.
Read more articles in the Laurel
Front House to deny Deem
Friday’s second carnival meeting of the weekend, the eighth of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival, is kindly sponsored by Etisalat and features the sixth running of the Balanchine Stakes.
A 1777m Group 3 contest on the turf, it is restricted to fillies and mares and South African trainer Mike De Kock has a particularly strong record having won it three times.
Read more articles in the Meydan
Keeneland Catalogs 212 Juveniles For 2009 April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale
Lexington, KY (February 18, 2009) – Keeneland has cataloged 212 juveniles for its April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, to be held Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 6-7. Sessions begin at 7 p.m. ET. The Preview Show will be held Thursday, April 2, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
A PDF version of the April Sale catalog will be available February 20 at Keeneland.com; print catalogs will be mailed the week of March 2. The entire sale as well as Preview Show works will be streamed live at Keeneland.com
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Wednesday, February 18 2009
Etisalat joins the racing action at Nad Al Sheba on Friday
Friday’s meeting at Nad Al Sheba, is kindly sponsored Etisalat.
This Dubai International Racing Carnival meeting is eighth in a series of 10, and the competition is building up as 2009 Dubai World Cup approaches and the season draws to an end.
Frank Gabriel Jr, CEO of Dubai Racing Club said: “Etisalat has been a fantastic supporter of the Dubai International Racing Carnival and of course, the Dubai World Cup.
Read more articles in the Meydan
South Africans seek to continue Al Fahidi Fort dominance
Thursday’s seventh meeting of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival, kindly sponsored by the Commercial Bank Of Dubai, is a nine race card featuring the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort.
Seven have been declared for the 1600m turf feature in which South African trainers are seeking a sixth win in seven years and jockey Kevin Shea is bidding to win it for a fourth consecutive year.
Final Public Appearance by Calder Mascot this Saturday
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2009) – One of Calder Race Course’s miniature horse mascots, Lightning, will make her third annual appearance at the “Purina Walk for the Animals” on Saturday, February 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. The event is a significant fundraiser for the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Lighting’s presence always attracts a lot of attention to the event and helps encourage donations for the Humane Society.
Entertainment starts at 9 a.m. and includes a kids’ corner with interactive games, K-9 demonstrations, Paw Art, face painting and businesses promoting animal products and welfare. The Humane Society also offers reduced rate micro-chipping onsite. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman serves as Grand Marshall with University of Miami President Donna Shalala serving as the “Leader of the Pack.”
Read more articles in the Calder