Saturday, August 01 2009


LUCK OF THE IRISH, SARATOGA RACE COURSE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Irish or not, track-goers alike will enjoy a special day at the races with Celtic music and dance, and a sumptuous selection of classic Irish fare at the first-ever Mid-Summer St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, August 5 at Saratoga Race Course.

Fans will have the opportunity to indulge in classic corned beef sandwiches, Guinness-soaked beef with soda bread, bangers and mashed potatoes, and Irish cookies for desert. Even the popcorn and cotton candy will go green in honor of the festivities.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, July 31, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After a torrid Belmont spring/summer meet, in which he won 14 races from 46 starters (30.4 percent), trainer Tony Dutrow has picked up right where he left off at Saratoga.

In the first two days of the meet, the 51-year-old Maryland native posted two wins, a second and two thirds from five starters. On Thursday, his hard-hitting 5-year-old gelding Kaper Lake dropped into a $25,000 claimer and nearly broke a long-standing track record, racing six furlongs in 1:08.07.





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Thursday, July 30 2009


NO ARGUING WITH BACKTALK IN SANFORD WIN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Of all the qualities Backtalk displayed in his rousing victory in Thursday’s 95th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, the one that impressed trainer Tom Amoss the most was his sheer determination.

“I think the ability to come from that far off the pace on a day like today when it looked, to me, as the day went on that speed was a good commodity (and) the wide trip he had … I think those things were very exciting,” said Amoss, who trains the undefeated 2-year-old son of Smarty Jones, out of the Affirmed mare Apasionata Sonata, for GoldMark Farm. “And, I would say, a will to win.”





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SMOOTHER TRIP EXPECTED FOR SEVENTH STREET IN GO FOR WAND


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – When jockey Rajiv Maragh eased Seventh Street back into an ideal stalking position in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 13 at Belmont Park, he could not have expected his Godolphin Racing and Darley Stable teammates Sea Chanter and Music Note to charge up and force a furious pace.

After a withering four-way war -- that also included My Dinah -- pushed the field through six furlongs in 1:09.96, Seventh Street cleared off by a length in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race but had little left to hold off Seattle Smooth at the finish, losing by 1¼ lengths.





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FAMILIAR FACES, AND SOME NEW ONES, IN FOURSTARDAVE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sunday’s 25th running of the Grade 2, $150,000-added Fourstardave Handicap will bring together a diverse field of nine including accomplished older turf horses and rising younger stars.

Among the older talent entered in the 1 1/16-mile contest, to be run as Sunday’s seventh race, is Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut, a 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid. A two-time winner (’06 and ’07) of the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park, Cosmonaut finished second in the race last year. He made his most recent start in the 2009 edition on July 11, finishing third after breaking from the outside in the field of 12.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Thursday, July 30, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Grace Stables’ Hot Dixie Chick was in excellent shape Thursday morning after her eye-catching 6¼-length victory in the Grade 2 Schuylerville, which gave trainer Steve Asmussen and Robby Albarado their second straight win in the race.

“She’s very professional,” Asmussen said. “My filly broke alertly. She settled behind that filly and changed sides with her. It was probably the dirt where she crossed over [that made her take the awkward step], but she was immediately back on the bridle.”





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DÉJÀ VU FOR ASMUSSEN, ALBARADO IN SCHUYLERVILLE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – At first glace, the 91st running of the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes looked a lot like the 90th – a bay filly cruising to victory in the rain with familiar faces in the winner’s circle.

In the 2009 edition, Barbara Banke’s Hot Dixie Chick brought trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Robby Albarado both their second consecutive victories in the six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.





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OPENING DAY SARATOGA ATTENDANCE UP 40 PERCENT, ON-TRACK HANDLE UP NEARLY 30 PERCENT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- On-track and all-sources handle soared over 2008 totals as Saratoga Race Course opened its 141st season of thoroughbred racing in warm, muggy conditions with intermittent showers after the sixth race.

Attendance of 25,444 was up 40.4 percent over 2008 when 18,127 braved a steady downpour.





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FOREVER TOGETHER LOOKS TO DEFEND DIANA TITLE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Will trainer Jonathan Sheppard experience déjà vu with Augustin Stable’s Forever Together?

Saturday, the 5-year-old roan mare seeks to become only the fifth horse to put together back-to-back victories in the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana, a feat that only Glowing Honor (1988-89), Shuvee (1970-71), Tempted (1959-60) and Miss Grillo (1946-47) have been able to accomplish in the 71 previous editions of the 1 1/8th mile turf race.





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ANOTHER HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR MOTT AT THE SPA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott had a happy birthday on Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course – again.

Mott, who turned 56 on Wednesday, saddled Gerald W. Crawford’s 2-year-old Come From Behind ($17.20) in the fifth race, the ninth time since 1994 he has won a race at Saratoga on his birthday.





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Wednesday, July 29 2009


SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Wednesday, July 29, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Edward P. Evan’s Quality Road signaled his readiness for Monday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam this morning with a five-furlong work in 59.38 on the main track.

Jockey John Velazquez was aboard for the move, the fastest of 32 at the distance.





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JIM DANDY NEXT STEP IN RACING’S “SECOND SEASON”


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Horse racing’s second season hits a high point on August 29 with the 140th running of the $1 million Shadwell Travers, and this Saturday at Saratoga Race Course seven 3-year-olds will assemble for the 46th edition of the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes hoping to earn a shot at the Mid-Summer Derby.

As usual, the nine-furlong Jim Dandy, named for the 100-1 shot that scored one of racing's memorable upsets, the defeat of Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in the 1930 Travers, has attracted some familiar faces from the Triple Crown trail as well as a handful of later-developing colts looking to make their mark in the division this summer, and with good reason: Of the 14 Travers winners to prep in the Jim Dandy since 1964, eight have completed the double, most recently Flower Alley (2005), Bernardini (2006) and Street Sense (2007).





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