Friday, February 27 2009


MANTECA, ON A ROLL, ROLLS INTO STYMIE


Trainer Charlton Baker knew from the start that Anstu Stable’s Manteca was a serious racehorse.

“The way he trained, the way he carried himself, I thought he could be a special horse,” Baker said. “He ran second in his first race, but he has done everything right since then, so he’s doing what I thought he could do.”

Since that first lost last April, Manteca has won four consecutive races and his smallest margin of victory came in his last start, when he defeated the dangerous Giant Moon by two and a half lengths.





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Sunday, February 22 2009


WHAT A PEAR DOMINATES IN BUSHER


Tri-Bone Stable’s What a Pear remained undefeated Sunday afternoon, unleashing the most dominant performance of her young career to win the 30th running of the $70.330 Busher for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth. Her 10 ¼-length victory came in 1:45.17.

In returning a generous $6.80 to win – the crowd of 3,203 made Pumpkin Shell the post-time favorite – What a Pear was never in a bad position. Jockey Channing Hill opted to place her on the rail and off the pace behind front-running My Anguilla, who showed the way around the clubhouse turn as Kiss and Fly Pressed the first quarter of a mile in 23.84 on Aqueduct’s fast inner dirt track.





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Saturday, February 21 2009


WORTH WAITING FOR, WEATHERED SHINES IN RARE TREAT


Saturday afternoon, there was more excitement before Aqueduct’s 37th running of the $70,695 Rare Treat than during the actual running of the nine-furlong inner track event.

A loose shoe forced Rap Tale back to the saddling area. Once that problem was corrected, the race was delayed even longer when the bridle came off of longshot Vladimira.





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GUARANTEED $250,000 LATE PICK 4 A HIT IN SECOND WEEK


Saturday afternoon, in the second week of its existence, the New York Racing Association’s guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4 proved a big hit with Aqueduct Racetrack’s customers.

Total handle on the pool was $376,790, up from the $339,363 that was put in when the pool debuted on February 14.





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Friday, February 20 2009


DISTANCE MAY BE MISSING FROM BOURBON MAID’S SUCCESS FORMULA


In 10 career starts, Sagamore Farm’s Bourbon Maid has tried seven jockeys, six racetracks, five different surfaces (fast, muddy, sloppy, good and even turf) and four distances.

And it still hasn’t added up to a formula for success.

Sunday afternoon, in the 37th renewal of the $65,000-added Rare Treat, the 4-year-old daughter of Menifee will make her first start at nine furlongs on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track, and that could well be the change that turns the trick.





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IT’S APPLES AND ORANGES AS `PUMPKIN’ MEETS ‘PEAR’ IN BUSHER


Tri-Bone Stable’s What a Pear is unbeaten in three career starts. Pumpkin Shell, after four failed attempts to win a race, broke her maiden on December 4, then came back on January 10 to win Aqueduct Racetrack’s Busanda.

Come Sunday, one or maybe even both could see a sudden end to recent good fortune when they face five others in the 30th running of the $65,000-added Busher for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth.





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Thursday, February 19 2009


MOR CHANCES RUNS AWAY WITH HOLLIE HUGHES


The toughest part of handicapping Thursday’s 31st running of the $70,200 Hollie Hughes for New York-breds at six furlongs was figuring out who would take the lead.

The answer wasn’t much clearer when the gates opened, as Mor Chance, Good Card, Citifest and Gold and Roses all broke fast and clean.

But within a few strides, favored Mor Chance separated himself from the field and finally carried jockey Richard Migliore to a 2 ½-length victory in 1:09.72 on the fast inner dirt track.





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Monday, February 16 2009


GOLD AND ROSES SEEKS REPEAT IN HOLLIE HUGHES TO END SKID


Since winning the Hollie Hughes here last year, Harry C. Gregory’s Gold and Roses has lost nine straight races. He has even had a new trainer since that last victory, but the results have been the same.

Still, trainer Richard Schosberg remains optimistic that the 7-year-old Gold Token gelding will put in a credible effort Thursday in the 31st running of the $65,000-added Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct Racetrack.





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Sunday, February 15 2009


DREAM PLAY COMES BACK STRONG IN DEARLY PRECIOUS


Making her third career start and only her second start since last May, Stewart L. Armstrong’s Dream Play repelled Chattertown after an early speed duel, then opened up to score a 8 ¼-length victory Saturday afternoon in the 15th running of the $69,160 Dearly Precious for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs on Aqueduct’s fast inner track.

“We got her at the two-year-old sale and she looked like a nice sprinting prospect,” said Larkin Armstrong, son of winning owner Stewart L. Armstrong. “After her first start, she had kind of an ankle issue and we wound up resting her. Kiaran (McLaughlin, trainer) was really pleased with her last race even though she didn’t break well and finished fourth. He told my father that he though she would be really tough.”





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NYRA’S GUARANTEED $250,000 LATE PICK 4 A SUCCESS IN DEBUT


When the New York Racing Association opted to offer a guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4 on Saturdays, beginning February 14, it was hopeful that patrons would warm to the cold-weather wager.

Valentine’s Day proved NYRA correct as $339,363 was put into Saturday’s late Pick 4 pool.





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Friday, February 13 2009


PERKINS LOOKS FOR YET ANOTHER “CAPPY” VICTORY


Ben Perkins Jr. fought the urge as long as he could. The son of one of the Mid-Atlantic’s more respected horsemen, Perkins tried hard to succeed at school. He even attended the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business. But when he realized he was spending less time reading the Wall Street Journal and more time reading the Daily Racing Form, Perkins returned to his roots.

It was the right decision. Like his father, Perkins has forged a reputation as a dedicated, knowledgeable, and successful horseman.





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Thursday, February 12 2009


TROMBETTA ACCEPTS INVITATION TO DEARLY PRECIOUS


The job of stakes coordinator for a Thoroughbred racetrack has never been an easy one. And, at this time of year in New York, it can be especially challenging.

Unlike the spring, summer, and early fall, when the stalls at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course are full, the local colony of horses has been depleted as the bigger outfits head south.





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