Thursday, January 08 2009
WELL ARMED RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL, HEADS FIELD OF 12
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2009) – WinStar Farm millionaire Well Armed, beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, returns to action in Saturday’s 72nd running of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap with a field of 12 set for the mile-and-one-sixteenth event that often serves as a stepping-stone to the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.
After running second to Zappa in last year’s San Pasqual, Well Armed became a major force among older horses. He won Santa Anita’s Grade II San Antonio Handicap, traveled to Dubai to finish third behind Curlin in the $6 million Dubai World Cup, took the Grade II Del Mar Handicap, lost by a neck to Go Between in Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic and captured Oak Tree’s Grade I Goodwood Stakes.
Macho Again on Target for Sunshine Millions Classic
Most of the leading contenders for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24 are already stabled in South Florida for the winter season, but a few will be flying in for the rich 1 1/8 miles test, including West Point Thoroughbreds’ 4-year-old Macho Again from Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
“He’s doing fine, just needs a couple more works and we’ll be there,” said trainer Dallas Stewart Wednesday morning. A roan/gray Florida-bred colt by Macho Uno, Macho Again was a major player in the 3-year-old division last year as runner-up to Big Brown in the Preakness (G1) at Pimlico and winner of the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Silver Tree Launches 2009 Campaign in Fort Lauderdale Saturday
Peter Vegso’s Florida homebred Silver Tree has posted career earnings of more than $1.75 million for trainer Bill Mott, and the durable chestnut horse by Hennessy will begin another season at age 9 Saturday as one of the favorites in a full field of 12 older horses drawn for the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Robby Albarado is named to ride Silver Tree in the 1 1/16 miles turf test over a course where he has posted a career record of 8-4-2-1, including a memorable runner-up effort behind Miesque’s Approval in the 2006 edition of the Sunshine Millions Turf with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey riding the last race of his career, prior to an exhibition at Santa Anita last fall.
AFTER TRAGEDY, OUR KHRYSTY KEEPS SPIRIT ALIVE
At just under five feet tall and weighing about 110 pounds, Khrystina Bixa was small. She was also tough, and determined to make life better for herself and her two young children
Long hours of rubbing horses had given Khrystina a chance to think about the direction in which she was heading and she decided she would make things right. She even talked of buying a house.
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GARCIA BROTHERS HELP CARLOS GARCIA TAKE TWO ON WEDNESDAY CARD
LAUREL, MD. 01-07-09---Brothers Luis and Geovany Garcia helped trainer Carlos Garcia (no relation) win two races on Wednesday’s nine-race card at Laurel Park.
In the seventh race, 24-year-old Luis, guided Clara’s Song ($12.80) to a driving victory in a $32,000 allowance test. One race later, 20-year-old Geovany was aboard Sharp Lioness ($5.20) for an exciting maiden breaking score.
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Golden Gate vs. Portland Meadows Jockey Challenge
The 1st Annual Golden Gate vs. Portland Meadows Jockey challenge brought you by XpressBet was a rousing success with Team Portland Meadows taking home the team title. Debbie Hoonan-Trujillo led the charge for Portland Meadows with a win aboard Mystacallie in the 2nd leg of the Challenge Series. Hoonan-Trujillo also had a pair of second place finishes to take the individual title and an additional $2,500. Javier Matias finished second in the individual point standings and picked up $1,500, and David Lopez was third and received a $1,000 bonus. The final point totals for the XpressBet Jockey Challenge was 65 for Team Portland Meadows and 78 for Team Golden Gate.
The objective was to have the lowest point total. For their win, Team Portland Meadows consisting of Hoonan-Trujillo, Matias, Lopez, and Mark Anderson will split up $10,000. For finishing second, Team Golden Gate which featured Russell Baze, Kyle Kaenel, Francisco Duran, and Leslie Mawing, was awarded $5,000.
STREAKING FILLY ULTRA BLEND WILL MAKE STAKES DEBUT
ALBANY -- Ultra Blend, a 3-year-old filly who has won three straight races, will make her stakes debut Saturday at Golden Gate Fields in the $75,000 Tiburon Stakes.
Six 3-year-old fillies will match strides over six furlongs in the Tiburon, which is carded as the third race on a nine-race program. Post time for the first race Saturday is 12:45 p.m.
Alo Pura to win as Jebel Ali rearranges fixture
There is racing at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon with the course having rescheduled the meeting called off last week after the sad death of His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla, the ruler of Umm Al Quwain.
The Shadwell organisation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum again sponsor the feature race with the name of Kingwood House Stables attached to the main 1600m handicap.
GP Barn Notes 1-8
Big Drama Targeted for Holy Bull
Harold Queen’s Florida homebred colt Big Drama will make his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) to be run at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Sat., Jan. 31, according to trainer David Fawkes.
“He’s been a distance twice and for right now we want to keep him at two turns,” said Fawkes. “I’m going to keep him home at Calder to train for the race, keep everything the same. (Eibar) Coa will ride him back.
Wednesday, January 07 2009
AQUEDUCT NOTES, Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Aqueduct Racetrack will be open for live racing six days next week, Wednesday, January 14, through Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 19.
There will be no live racing on Tuesday, January 20 and Wednesday, January 21, but the Big A will be open for simulcasting on those days.
Tuesday night marked the third straight year that a New York jockey has joined New York Jets, Giants, Islanders, Red Bulls and other top athletes at the annual “MDA Muscle Team,” a gala event at New York’s Chelsea Piers that raised nearly $1 million in support of the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
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GERALD BENNETT, VICKI OLIVER SADDLE TWO WINNERS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 6, 2009) Trainers Gerald Bennett and Vicki Oliver each escorted two of their trainees to the Winner’s Circle today. Bennett’s first victory of the day came with Real Conquest. Luis Antonio Gonzalez rode the four-year-old daughter of Full Mandate, who was bred in Florida by Barry Ostrager and Steven Mukamal and is owned by Robert Killian. Bennett and Gonzalez hooked up again to win the eighth race with Right Flanker. The six-year-old Florida-bred Outflanker gelding scored his ninth win from forty-eight lifetime starts for owners Winning Stables and Ray Rech.
MEADOWLANDS POSTS GAINS IN HANDLE FOR 2008
Despite negative trends throughout the racing industry, total wagering on racing at the Meadowlands in 2008 was up more than five percent.
All sources handle on the Meadowlands’ January – August harness meet was $354.8 million, up 7 percent from the $331.7 million wagered in 2007. For the recently wrapped 17-date Holiday Harness Meet, the total average daily handle was $2,645,212, a 10.4 percent increase over the 2007 daily average of $2,396,958.