Wednesday, November 25 2009


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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SOLID SIX LINE UP FOR DISCOVERY


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Six starters, including multiple graded stakes winner Gone Astray and hometown favorite Haynesfield, have drawn in for Saturday’s 65th running of the Grade 3, 1⅛-mile, $100,000-added Discovery Handicap over the main track at Aqueduct.

It was over the inner track last winter that Turtle Bird Stable’s Haynesfield established himself as a horse to watch and the 3-year-old is looking for his first graded stakes win in the Discovery.





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BST TO AGAIN SPONSOR B.E.S.T. HOLIDAY DINNER


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – For many of the grooms, hotwalkers and exercise riders who work on the backstretch at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, Thanksgiving is just another day in the year-round cycle of caring for racehorses.

But this year, more than 500 backstretch workers will be able to share in the true spirit of America’s holiday when Bollam, Sheedy, Torani, & Co (BST), Financial and Management Consultants, once again underwrites a special Thanksgiving meal at both racetracks on Tuesday, November 24. It will mark the third year the Albany-based firm has sponsored the feast for the Backstretch Employees Service Team (B.E.S.T).





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Tuesday, November 17 2009


NEW YORK HORSEMEN MOURN LOSS OF HALL OF FAMER BOBBY FRANKEL


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – New York horsemen and racetrack executives Monday mourned the passing of Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, a city kid from Brooklyn who began his career at Aqueduct Racetrack and went on to become one of the most successful thoroughbred trainers in the nation.

Frankel, 68, died early Monday at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., after a lengthy battle with lymphoma.





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Monday, November 16 2009


DOMINGUEZ, MARAGH SCORE RIDING DOUBLES IN NYSS


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Uncle T Seven gave jockey Ramon Dominguez a stakes double Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack, rallying on the turn and going on to a 4 3/4-length victory over Mr. Windjammer in the $75,000 Thunder Rumble Division to cap off the New York Stallion Series.

Dominguez, New York’s leading rider, earlier guided Mother Russia to win the $75,000 Staten Island Division, one of five stakes restricted to sons and daughters of New York stallions on the card. Dominguez also rode two other winners, taking the fourth race with Life at Ten and the sixth race with She’ll be Doggone, to move to 347 races won at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course in 2009.





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Saturday, November 14 2009


NEW YORK STALLION SERIES COMES TO BIG A SUNDAY


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Many familiar names are among the 39 horses entered in the five stakes races that comprise Sunday’s New York Stallion Series, a mini-showcase day at Aqueduct Racetrack featuring horses sired by New York stallions.

With a pair of 2-year-old races and two seven-furlong races, one of each for males and females, as well as a 1 1/16th mile turf race for males 3 years old and up, the stakes are worth a total of $425,000 to the sons and daughters of such sires as Freud, Raffie’s Majesty and City Zip.





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AQUEDUCT RACETRACK NOTES; Friday, November 13, 2009


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, whose fiery antics caused him to be scratched at the gate prior to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, is scheduled to return to his Belmont Park stall Tuesday and be back on the track Wednesday morning, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

The 2009 Florida Derby winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up, who was forced to bypass the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year due to a quarter crack, is in the process of vanning to Churchill Downs from southern California after he balked at getting on a plane on Monday.





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