Monday, August 17 2009


WHAT’S HAPPENING AT SARATOGA, WEEK #4


WHAT: Week # 4 at the Saratoga Race Course

WHEN: Wednesday, August 19 - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WHERE: Saratoga Race Course





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Monday, August 17, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Rachel Alexandra breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.37 on a foggy Monday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course, after which trainer Steve Asmussen said discussions would begin “in earnest” on where the Preakness-winning filly would make her next start.

Owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, Rachel Alexandra is nominated to four Grade 1 races at Saratoga, two against females and two against males: the $600,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, the $1 million Shadwell Travers against 3-year-old colts and geldings on August 29, the $400,000 Personal Ensign against fillies and mares on August 30, and the $500,000 Woodward against older males on September 5.





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MINE THAT BIRD TO HAVE THROAT SURGERY; TRAVERS STILL ON RADAR


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will undergo throat surgery to free an entrapped epiglottis discovered after he breezed Monday morning at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old gelding should remain on target for the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers on August 29, trainer Chip Woolley said.

“After Mine That Bird’s work this morning, we scoped him, and he’s got an entrapment of the epiglottis,” said Woolley just three hours after the gelding worked five furlongs in 1:03.83 on the main track with Jamie Theriot aboard. “It’s enough that we’re going to take him to the city [Elmont, N.Y.] tonight and do surgery on him in the morning.





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BANROCK BEST IN SECOND STRAIGHT WEST POINT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After making his last two starts in open company, Ruth Bedford’s Banrock returned to his New York roots Sunday to win the 30th running of the $110,000 West Point Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, becoming the second horse in the race’s history to win consecutive runnings.

Bounding along in midpack through early fractions of 23.21 and 47.83 set by Mission Approved, Banrock rallied from the outside on the turn and gained steadily through the stretch to win by a neck over Pennington. His final time for 1 1/8th miles was 1:47.48.





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Sunday, August 16 2009


TELLING PULLS OFF A STUNNER IN SWORD DANCER


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Owner Alex Lieblong spoke in the Saratoga Race Course winner’s circle about how as a teen he had been a calf roper and rodeo clown, but on Saturday only he and the rest of the connections to Telling were laughing after the horse came out of nowhere to win the 35th Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational.

Despite placing in three Grade 3 races at Midwestern tracks in his 16-race career, Telling, a Darley-bred 5-year-old bay son of A.P. Indy, had never won a stakes race before. Yet in the Sword Dancer, he closed hard into a fast pace, and as the longest shot in the field of 10 defeated some of the top turf marathoners in training, including two-time race winner Grand Couturier, 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now, and two-time European Group 1 winner Quijano.





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JUVENILE FILLIES RETURN TO THE SPOTLIGHT IN ADIRONDACK


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – One month after her impressive second-place effort in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga Race Course, Peter Callahan’s Beautician is back for another shot in Wednesday’s 93rd running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack going 6½-furlongs.


In the Schuylerville, Beautician made a strong move on the turn, finishing 6¾ lengths ahead of third-place Cowgirl Mally, but 6¼ lengths behind Stonestreet Stables’ Hot Dixie Chick, trained by Steve Asmussen.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Saturday, August 15, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux climbed aboard Summer Bird this morning as the Belmont Stakes winner put in his first serious work for the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers over the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

With hundreds of “Breakfast at Saratoga” patrons and trainer Tim Ice looking on, the chestnut son of 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone went five furlongs in 1:01.97, breezing, the ninth-fastest of 20 moves at the distance.





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Friday, August 14 2009


COURAGEOUS CAT GIVES MOTT HALL OF FAME VICTORY NO. 6


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Marty and Pam Wygod’s Courageous Cat gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his sixth victory in the Grade 2, $160,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes Friday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, surging to the front as the field turned for home and going on to a 1¾-length victory over Sal the Barber.

A brother to 2006 Hall of Fame Stakes winner After Market, Courageous Cat stayed just off early fractions of 23.32 and 47.19 set by favored Straight Story over the firm turf course, then grabbed the lead from the tiring pacesetter in the stretch and held off the late surge from Sal the Barber to hit the wire in 1:45.90 for the 1 1/8th miles.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, August 14, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With Mother Russia’s victory in Thursday’s Statue of Liberty Division of the New York Stallion Series, Linda Rice moved into the lead among trainers at Saratoga Race Course with nine victories entering Friday’s card, one race ahead of Todd Pletcher.

Even more impressive is Rice’s winning percentage: Having saddled just 21 starters, it’s an astounding 42.8 percent, with all nine victories coming on the turf.





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WIN A TRIP FROM NEW YORK TO OLD YORK AT WWW.NYRA.COM


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Can’t get enough of the racing from England in NYRA’s UK Racing Tent at Saratoga Race Course? Enter for a chance to win a trip to see the action live at historic York Racecourse in May 2010.

Beginning August 19, racing fans can enter for a chance to win a trip for two including roundtrip airfare from John F. Kennedy Airport, four nights at the Marriott York adjacent to the racetrack, and three days of racing with hospitality, during the May Dante Festival at York Racecourse in 2010 by submitting their free entry at http://www.nyra.com.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE TO HONOR COMMENTATOR


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will pay tribute to one of the fastest and most popular horses in racing when the recently-retired Commentator is honored Sunday, September 6, at Saratoga Race Course.

The 8-year-old chestnut gelding, owned by Tracy Farmer and trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, retired August 9, a day after finishing third in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap. He was attempting to join legends Discovery and Kelso as the only three-time winners of the race in its 82-year history.





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MAKE A TRIPLE CROWN CONNECTION AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Saratoga is already the only racetrack in the country where fans can catch a glimpse of all three 2009 Classic winners, and on Friday, August 21, three lucky individuals will win a chance to meet one of these great horses face-to-face.

Saratoga Race Course patrons may enter the “Triple Crown Connection” drawing to win a meeting with Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, or Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, as well as breakfast for four on the Porch and a Clubhouse box for four on Wednesday, August 26.





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