Friday, February 13 2009

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.”

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Barn Notes GP 2-13

Trip Key for Lime Rickey in Hallandale Beach

After a close call in the Dania Beach Stakes in his last start, Dogwood Stable’s 3-year-old Lime Rickey will be looking for a cleaner trip in Saturday’s $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Frank Alexander has watched the son of Lemon Drop Kid refine his late-closing kick in seven career starts and will be counting on timing from jockey Julien Leparoux in Saturday’s 1 1/16 miles contest to improve on the runner-up finish behind Jack Spratt in his last race on Jan. 17.

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Mistical Plan figures to be part of the pace scenario in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Santa Maria Handicap, coming off a fourth-place finish after a troubled start in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs. The 5-year-old California-bred mare also figures to benefit from that race, her first in five months.

“She’s doing great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the daughter of Game Plan, who won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks at 1 1/16 miles in March of 2007. “She’s proven at two turns. The only thing she’s not proven at is the distance on synthetics. But she’s training great and this race fits well into her schedule, so we’re going to give it a go.”

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OCEANPORT, N.J. – For over 20 years the traditional Haskell hat giveaway at Monmouth Park has been a fan favorite and this year the track has added a new twist to this Shore collectible. For the first time ever, the fans will decide the color of this year’s hat. By becoming Monmouth Park’s newest friend on Facebook, or visiting, fans can view the four choices and cast their vote for their favorite color cap - red, blue, gray or orange.

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Game Face & Any Limit Clash Again in Hurricane Bertie Saturday

Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face won the First Lady Stakes (G3) going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park by ¾ lengths over Joseph V. Shields Jr.’s 6-year-old mare Any Limit on Jan. 18, and the two talented sprinters meet again Sunday on the $125,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) going 6½ furlongs.

Jockey John R. Velazquez will be back aboard Game Face for trainer Todd Pletcher as the daughter of Menifee will likely be favored to post the fourth graded-stakes victory of her career. She won the Old Hat Stakes (G3) here early last year and the La Troienne (G3) at Churchill Downs in the spring.

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Watson takes Jebel Ali feature

A healthy crowd gathered at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon for the course’s seventh meeting of the season and the afternoon’s feature, kindly sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Farm, was an 1800m handicap.

It was won in exciting fashion by the Doug Watson-trained Call Me George who was last with 500m to run, but produced a devastating late burst to deny stable companion Tri Another Cat in the dying strides, with Blues Ballad a close third.

Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.


Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South Biographical Information

Medaglia D’onore

Owner: Paul M. Giacopelli and Donnie Kelly

Donnie’s mother was mucking stalls when she went into labor with Kelly. His family was involved with Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, as his father was a trainer. Kelly grew up in Sallisaw, Ok. where his family owned and operated a training facility; he went to school in Sallisaw, but spent the summers at various tracks in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Kelly worked as an exercise rider and assistant for trainer Ronnie Werner for several years, before joining the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito as an assistant. He already was acquainted with Jamie Sanders at the time, so they both worked for a while for Zito until he and Saders decide to launch their own racing stable in 2005. Kelly typically accompanies the stables' runners to the track aboard a lead pony

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OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 12, 2009) Tampa Bay Downs’s Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South has produced three full stakes fields for the premiere day of racing in February at the Oldsmar oval. The Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes has garnered eleven entries, the Grade III $125,000 Endeavour Stakes has attracted thirteen fillies and mares, and the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes will have a large field of nine three-year-old fillies.

The Sam F. Davis Stakes has drawn such up-and-coming three-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls as morning line favorite Free County, who comes into the Sam F. Davis off of an impressive victory in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on January 8 for owner Silver Wing Stable, et al. and trainer Kenneth McPeek. Jockey Kent Desormeaux has the call to ride the Kentucky-bred son of Big County.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Fans of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) have made the mutuel field, or “all others,” the favored betting interest in the opening pool of the bet every year since its introduction in 1999. They appear in no mood to alter that pattern in the first of three 2009 Derby Future pools.

The “all others” betting interest, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses listed on the KDFW Pool 1 wagering roster, was a strong favorite from the opening seconds of the four-day pool and was an odds-on fan’s choice at 4-5 when Thursday’s wagering concluded at 10 p.m. (all times EST) on Thursday. Total betting on the first day of the Feb. 12-15 pool was $48,207, which reflected a solid increase over 2008’s opening day betting of $30,351.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009)—For the second consecutive day, no one selected six winners in Santa Anita’s Pick Six, resulting in a two-day carryover of $353,752 into Friday. This marks the 16th Pick Six carryover through 36 days of racing and it’s expected the total Pick Six pool on Friday could exceed $2 million.

Thursday’s Pick Six got off to a rocky start in race three as the 1-2 favorite, Solo Piano, finished second to 11-1 shot Unusual Strike, who was handled by Gerry Olguin. The 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat paid $25.40 to win. Owned by Johnson, Nakkashian, Roberts and partners, she’s trained by Barry Abrams.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – With jockey Alex Solis generating a dash for home on the far turn, General Consensus bolted to the front and reached the wire three-quarters-of-length ahead of Shes a Real Keeper Thursday in Santa Anita’s feature race, a $55,920 first condition allowance event for fillies and mares at one-mile on turf.

Sent off at odds of 7-1, the victorious 4-year-old filly, a $400,000 sales purchase as a yearling, registered her second straight win over the course and at the same distance after going winless in her first six starts. The final time over a “firm” turf course was 1:36.95.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2009) – Dominant El Encino Stakes winner Life Is Sweet and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion Desert Code, each having demonstrated a keen fondness for Santa Anita’s respective racing surfaces, head a pair of graded stakes at the track on Sunday.

Martin and Pam Wygod’s Life Is Sweet is the 123-pound high weight among nine entrants in the 35th running of the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes. She attempts to become the twelfth El Encino victor to also annex the mile-and-one-eighth event for 4-year-old fillies.

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