Tuesday, September 01 2009


SARATOGA NUMBERS DIP SLIGHTLY THROUGH WEEK FIVE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Attendance and handle turned fractionally down for the first time during the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet after two inches of rain Friday night and Saturday lowered attendance on Shadwell Travers Day and forced seven of the weekend’s 11 carded turf races off the turf. Attendance is down 1.6 percent, on-track handle down 1.6 percent, and all-sources handle down 2.8 percent from 2008 totals through Week Five.

Saturday’s inclement conditions created a 19.2 percent reduction in betting interests compared to Shadwell Travers Saturday in 2008, resulting in declines of 17.3 percent in on-track and 18.0 percent in all-sources handle.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Monday, August 31, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Just before sunrise Monday morning, Rachel Alexandra worked a half-mile in 49.09 in preparation for her attempt to rewrite racing history in Saturday’s 56th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Clockers for The New York Racing Association, Inc. caught the 3-year-old filly going the first quarter in 25.53 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.23 in her final serious move before taking on older males for the first time in the 1 1/8th mile Woodward. Regular exercise rider Dominic Terry was aboard for the breeze, the 15th fastest of 44 at the distance, over the Oklahoma training track.





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THE “RACHEL ALEXANDRA SHOW” COMES TO SARATOGA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Audience participation will take on a new meaning this week as “The Rachel Alexandra Show” comes to Saratoga Race Course for Saturday’s 56th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes.

With gates at the historic racetrack opening early at 7 a.m., just as they did on Shadwell Travers Day, the first 25,000 fans will receive a commemorative Rachel Alexandra button with paid admission in recognition of her attempt to make history again in the 1 1/8th mile race against older males.





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Monday, August 31 2009


ICON PROJECT ROLLS IN GRADE 1 PERSONAL ENSIGN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A little more than two months ago, in her first race on dirt, Andrew Rosen’s Icon Project ran off to a 13¼ length victory on the off-the-turf Grade 3 New York Stakes at Belmont Park. Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, Icon Project became a Grade 1 winner on dirt as she drew away to an equally impressive 13½-length victory in the 62nd running of the $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes.

Sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of eight fillies and mares, the 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker stayed just off early fractions of 23.81 and 47.62 set by longshot Weathered, then moved up willingly on the turn to take command at the head of the stretch, pulling clear to hit the wire in 2:02.37 for the 1¼ miles over a “good” track.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Sunday, August 30, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Summer Bird was every bit his usual self Sunday morning after a decisive 3½-length win in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Napping in his stall just after 8 a.m. following a walk around the shedrow, Dr. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman’s colt woke before 9 a.m. to receive peppermints and observe the humans gathered outside his stall.





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CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN – AND DOES – WIN THE NETJETS KING’S BISHOP


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Capt. Candyman Can emerged victorious in the 25th running of the NetJets King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, winning through disqualification after it was ruled that Vineyard Haven impeded his progress down the stretch.

After being swung five-wide at the quarter pole by jockey Javier Castellano, Capt. Candyman Can made a strong move at the quarter pole and came up to challenge front-running Vineyard Haven. The two battled side-by-side to the wire with Vineyard Haven coming out and bumping several times with Capt. Candyman Can in deep stretch.





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Saturday, August 29 2009


THE ‘OTHER BIRD’ TAKES SHADWELL TRAVERS


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird followed in the footsteps of his sire Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course as he splashed his way to an imposing 3½ length victory over longshot Hold Me Back in the 140th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes.

The son of 2004 Belmont-Travers winner Birdstone, ridden by Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux, took the lead with a quarter-mile to go and was never threatened as he edged clear through the stretch to add the “Mid-Summer Derby” to his victory over Dunkirk and Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Belmont Stakes.





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‘MUSIC’ HITS A HIGH NOTE IN BALLERINA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Godolphin Stable’s Music Note certainly looked like her old self in Saturday’s 31st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina Stakes.

Sent off as the third choice in a field reduced to five after the late scratch of Modification, Music Note settled just off the pace set by narrow favorite Indian Blessing through a first quarter that went in 23.13. Taking over the lead from the outside leaving the quarter pole, Music Note drew clear to win by 5¼ lengths, hitting the wire in a final time of 1:22.10 for the seven furlongs over a sloppy track.





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SALVE GERMANIA PULLS SHOCKER IN BALLSTON SPA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – She dislodged her jockey in the saddling area, ran off in the post parade and misbehaved at the gate, but in the end, longshot Salve Germania acted like a winner, charging up in the final strides to upend favored Rutherienne by a head in Saturday’s 21st running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Making her first start in the United States after eight starts in Germany and France, the 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Peintre Celebre settled in last, well behind dawdling fractions of 25.83, 51.92 and 1:17.22 set by Captain’s Lover. On the turn, she moved up willingly to get position and then accelerated with a late burst when asked by jockey Javier Castellano to snatch the victory from the favorite in the shadow of the wire.





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SARA LOUISE ROLLS IN VICTORY RIDE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sara Louise, the last horse to beat Rachel Alexandra, made her first start of 2009 a winning one, powering past the pacesetters in the stretch and going on to a two-length victory over Bold Union to take Saturday’s Grade 3, $110,000 Victory Ride Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Under Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, the 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon sat not far behind pressured fractions of 21.95 and 44.81 set by Bold Union, then moved into striking position on the turn before launching her late run and hitting the wire in 1:09.66 for six furlongs over a sloppy track.





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SHADWELL TRAVERS JOCKEYS WILL DONATE PERCENTAGE OF PURSE EARNINGS TO HELP INJURED RIDER


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jockeys riding in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes have pledged 10 percent of their purse earnings from the race to establish a fund for 23-year-old apprentice jockey Michael Straight, who was critically injured in a fall at Arlington Park on Wednesday.

The fund will be set up through the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Encino, Calif., whose mission is to assist injured and disabled riders.





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JUSTENUFFHUMOR HAS PLENTY IN BERNARD BARUCH


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Justenuffhumor scored his sixth straight victory Friday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, closing with a furious late rush to catch Cowboy Cal at the wire in the 51st running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap.

Ridden by Alan Garcia, the 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor sat well off early fractions of 23.22, 46.94, and 1:11.85 set by Cowboy Cal, and then launched his bid down the middle of the stretch to collar the front-runner in the shadow of the wire for a half-length victory.





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