Friday, March 27 2009


NYRA & MSG PLUS ANNOUNCE EXCITING LINEUP OF LIVE HORSE RACING TELECASTS


New York, NY, March 27, 2009 – MSG Plus, in partnership with New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), announced today a strong slate of live horse racing programming for this summer. MSG Plus will kick things off with the important Kentucky Derby prep race, the Wood Memorial, on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Then starting on Saturday, August 1, the network will telecast five “Saturdays at Saratoga,” going live from the historic Saratoga Race Course for eight championship caliber stakes. Jason Blewitt, Eric Donovan and Andy Serling will provide commentary for the telecasts.

“Last year tri-state area fans showed enormous interest in the Woodward Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup, and we are excited to offer even more top notch events live on MSG Plus,” said Lydia Murphy-Stephans, executive vice president of programming and production, MSG Media. “This new collection of exciting races for the summer enhances our premier lineup of horse racing programming, and reinforces our commitment to offer area fans a variety of first-rate sporting events.”





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Thursday, March 26 2009


FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR GRADE 1 WOOD MEMORIAL, CARTER


The top three finishers from the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds going 1 1/8th miles at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 4.

Owned by David Lanzman, I Want Revenge took his place among the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his 8½-length win in the 1 1/16th-mile Gotham on March 7. Sequoia Racing’s Imperial Council, who was second in the Gotham, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Mr. Fantasy, third, are also likely for the final major New York prep for the May 2 Derby, according to New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew M. Byrnes.





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SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES


SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES

When last seen on Aqueduct’s inner track, Repole Stable’s Lights Off Annie was on her way to her first stakes win, a five-length score over Let’s Fly Away in the Broadway Handicap on March 1. It was the four-year-old daughter of Freud’s fourth victory in five starts since finishing seventh in her debut, her only loss during that period coming when stretched out to a mile on Feb. 11.

Friday afternoon, Lights Off Annie tries to make it two straight for trainer Bruce Levine when she takes on four other fillies and mares going six furlongs in the $65,000 Missy’s Mirage, an overnight stakes to be run as the eighth race. And while her four victories have come with a combined winning margin of nearly 25 lengths, Friday afternoon’s feature appears a much tougher spot even with the services of Rajiv Maragh, the second-leading rider at the Big A.





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Wednesday, March 25 2009


NEXT MOVE FOR SUCCESSFUL SARAH? NEXT MOVE


Ever since she was claimed last autumn, Successful Sarah has made steady improvement. Except for one troubled trip, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly has perked up to win three of her last four starts.

While she had been a resident of Southern Florida, she has raced here at Aqueduct since January. And, with a head victory in her last start, she earned a spot in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Next Move for fillies and mares at nine furlongs (ninth race, 4:50 p.m.). It is the last graded stakes on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track this season, and will be the third leg of a guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4.





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AQUEDUCT NOTES, Wednesday, March 25, 2008


The New York Racing Association will offer a live 11-race card on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 4. Four graded stakes, headed by the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs, will make a up a guaranteed $400,000 Pick 4.

NYRA will also increase purses for each non-graded stakes race that day by $10,000.

“We have always felt that better purses attract top horses,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing Paul “PJ” Campo. “We have raised purses on big days before – most recently on Gotham Stakes Day (March 7) – and we felt it helped us to present our fans with a quality race card.”





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Sunday, March 22 2009


AQUEDUCT NOTES, Sunday, March 22, 2009


I Want Revenge, a leading Kentucky Derby candidate by virtue of his 8 ½-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here on March 7, worked a bullet five furlongs Sunday morning on the fast all-weather track at Hollywood Park in 58.20, handily.

Trainer Jeff Mullins originally planned to keep I Want Revenge in New York with trainer Anthony Dutrow, but the plan was changed to head back to California and prepare for the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs here on Saturday, April 4.





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SECRET GYPSY A SECRET NO MORE WITH DISTAFF TRIUMPH


Secret Gypsy made the long trip up from the Fair Grounds in Louisiana to Aqueduct Racetrack last week get some black type and New York recognition.

Saturday afternoon, she attained both goals as she easily defeated four rivals to win the 55th running of the Grade 2, $157,300 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Although the margin of victory was a length and a quarter, Secret Gypsy was in hand for jockey Robby Albarado, who never turned his stick.





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Friday, March 20 2009


VIC GILARDI OBIT


Vic Gilardi, one of the more successful jockey agents in history, died Thursday afternoon, March 19, at Long Island Jewish Hospital after a one-month stay. He was 78.

A native of Staten Island, N.Y. and a United States Marine Corps veteran who served during the Korean conflict, Gilardi sold insurance before starting out as an agent for his brother-in-law, jockey Tony Russo.





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Thursday, March 19 2009


SECRET GYPSY TRIES AQUEDUCT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DISTAFF


She loves Saratoga.

She’s not crazy about Belmont Park.

And Saturday afternoon, Secret Gypsy will reveal her feelings about Aqueduct Racetrack when she makes her Big A debut in the 55th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs on the inner dirt track.





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BIG A TO OFFER DUBAI WORLD CUP IN NAD AL SHEBA FINALE


Aqueduct Racetrack will offer simulcast wagering on Dubai World Cup Day, Saturday, March 28, from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The schedule begins with the Godolphin Mile at 9:40 a.m.; followed by the UAE Derby (10:15 a.m.); Dubai Golden Shaheen (10:55 a.m.), Dubai Duty Free (11:55 a.m.) , Dubai Sheema Classic (12:40 p.m.) and the world’s richest race -- the 14th running of the Group 1, $6 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline (1:30 p.m.).





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Wednesday, March 18 2009


AQUEDUCT NOTES; March 18, 2009


While Aqueduct Racetrack has been used by many up-and-coming jockeys to launch their careers, this spring, veteran Javier Castellano will be using the Big A to springboard his business in New York.

Castellano, who will ride Capt. Candy Man Can here on Saturday, April 4 in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore for three-year-olds at seven furlongs, will remain in New York through the rest of the spring, according to his agent, Mike Kelly.





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Sunday, March 15 2009


HEART ASHLEY MAKES A CHANGE AND WIRES CICADA


On paper, Zayat Stable’s Heart Ashley looked as though she would stalk the pace in Saturday’s 17th running of the Grade 3, $107,300 Cicada at Aqueduct Racetrack.

But when the gates opened, the Lion Heart filly got the jump on five other three-year-old fillies, including favored Dream Play. And that was ideal for her jockey, C.C. Lopez, who is known as an ideal fit for a speed horse.





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