Friday, November 27 2009


SARA LOUISE SOARS IN TOP FLIGHT


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Godolphin Stable’s Sara Louise returned to her winning form on dirt Friday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, holding off late-coming Justwhistledixie to prevail in the 70th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap.

The 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon broke well and galloped along off the rail in fourth position through early fractions of 23.92 and 47.96. Making her move on the turn, she circled wide and took over the lead, digging in when challenged by Justwhistledixie to hit the wire a half-length in front.





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AQUEDUCT RACETRACK NOTES: Friday, November 27, 2009


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Aqueduct Racetrack’s Saturday undercard got an unexpected boost on Friday with the announcement that Lentenor, the 2-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, will make his second career start in the day’s third race.

The 1 1/16-mile turf event will be Lentenor’s first time on the grass after he finished third over the Keeneland Polytrack in his career debut.





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CHEROKEE COUNTRY FLIES LATE TO TAKE FALL HIGHWEIGHT


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Victory Thoroughbreds’ Cherokee Country used a furious late rally to run down Greenspring and longshot pacesetter Hatfield to capture the first graded stakes win of his career in Thursday’s 96th running of the Grade 3, $110,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Ramon Preciado and ridden by Jose Lezcano, Cherokee Country sat well off fast early fractions of 21.80 and 44.31 seconds set by Hatfield with favored Go Go Shoot not far behind in second.





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SHE’S BACK: STARDOM BOUND HEADLINES GRADE 1 GAZELLE


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – A little over a year ago, Stardom Bound dominated the field in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies for her third consecutive Grade 1 victory.

In the five months following that win, Stardom Bound was sold to IEAH Stables for $5.7 million, was named Champion 2-year-old filly, and extended her Grade 1 winning streak to five.





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BRIBON LOOKS FOR UNIQUE DOUBLE IN HILL ‘N’ DALE CIGAR MILE


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – In his first Grade 1 race in the United States, Marc Keller’s Bribon came charging hard through the stretch to finish a close-up third in the 2008 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, immediately establishing his credentials as a top middle-distance horse.

Saturday, having won the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap back in May, the 6-year-old gelding will be attempting to do something no horse has managed to accomplish since the race was first run in 1988: bookend his season with victories in two of the most prestigious races in New York.





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Wednesday, November 25 2009


AQUEDUCT RACETRACK NOTES: Wednesday, November 25, 2009


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Grade 1 Met Mile winner Bribon, Grade 1 Vosburgh winner Kodiak Kowboy, Grade 1 Forego winner Pyro and Grade 1 DeFrancis Dash winner Vineyard Haven, as well as Driven By Success, who was third to Bribon in the Met Mile, are likely starters for Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Phipps Stable’s Vacation, a winner at Keeneland in his most recent start, remains possible for the race, according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing Association, Inc.





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NINE SET FOR TOP FLIGHT


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Holiday Fest continues at the Big A Friday with the 70th running of the one mile Top Flight Handicap, a Grade 2, $150,000 contest for fillies and mares which has drawn a talented field of nine.

Heading that group is Godolphin Stable’s 3-year-old Sara Louise, making her first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita on November 6.





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Tuesday, November 24 2009


FALL HIGHWEIGHT KICKS OFF BIG A HOLIDAY FEST


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Thanksgiving Day is when many Americans traditionally tack on a little holiday weight, and Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack, 10 horses will carry a few extra pounds of their own as the Big A’s three-day Holiday Fest commences with the 96th running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Fall Highweight Handicap.

Holiday Fest, presented by the New York Lottery, runs from November 26-28 and features six graded stakes, the centerpiece of which is Saturday’s $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, the final Grade 1 of the year in New York.





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Saturday, November 21 2009


WINNING RETURN TO AQUEDUCT FOR HAYNESFIELD


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – While the weather was springlike at Aqueduct Racetrack Saturday afternoon, the scene on track in the 65th running of the Grade 3, $103,500 Discovery Handicap was a throwback to winter, with Turtle Bird Stable’s inner track star Haynesfield drawing off in the stretch to score his first graded stakes victory.

Haynesfield pressed moderate early fractions of 24.25 and 48.84 set by front-running longshot Redding Colliery before taking the lead nearing the quarter pole and opening up in the stretch to win by 4½ lengths.





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QUALITY ROAD SCHOOLS SUCCESSFULLY AT AQUEDUCT


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road passed his latest schooling test with flying colors Saturday morning at Aqueduct Racetrack, proceeding professionally through a simulated race day scenario including both paddock and gate schooling.

The 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality – scratched from the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 7 after a meltdown at the gate – shipped from trainer Todd Pletcher’s Belmont Park barn at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday and settled into Aqueduct’s receiving barn for several hours.





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Friday, November 20 2009


AQUEDUCT RACETRACK NOTES: Friday, November 20, 2009


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Schooling sessions for Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road continue Saturday morning at Aqueduct Racetrack, where the 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality will go through the paddock and load into the gate with jockey John Velazquez aboard as his connections ponder a start in the Grade 1, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile here on November 28.

“We’ll try to simulate a race scenario a little bit, and see if we can load him without incident,” said Pletcher of Quality Road, who was scratched from the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 7 after a meltdown at the gate. “He’ll breeze on Sunday, we’ll see how that goes, and get with Mr. Evans and come up with a plan.”





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THREE-DAY HOLIDAY FEST FEATURES SIX GRADED STAKES


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Aqueduct Racetrack’s annual Holiday Fest, presented by the New York Lottery, is a three-day racing celebration featuring a total of six graded stakes on November 26-28.

Holiday Fest begins on Thanksgiving Day with a special first race post time of 11:25 a.m. and the last of nine races on the card scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Parking lots open at 9:15 a.m. and admission gates open at 9:30 a.m. As always, general parking and admission are free.





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