Friday, April 17 2009
Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 16, 2009
TWO TOYOTA BLUE GRASS WINNERS HEADLINE BEN ALI CAST OF SEVEN
For the first time in the 79 runnings of the Ben Ali (G3), two winners of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) will line up in the same starting gate.
This happens Sunday when Silverton Hill LLC’s Dominican, the 2007 Toyota Blue Grass winner, and Starlight Stable LLC, Donald Lucarelli and Paul Saylor’s Monba, the 2008 winner, face five other rivals in the 1 1/8-mile main-track event worth $150,000.
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MITCHELL SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO SCORE WITH DUO
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) – Mike Mitchell, aiming to underscore a second successive Santa Anita training title on the meet’s closing day, will send out defending champion Big Booster and stablemate Church Service in Sunday’s 70th running of the historic San Juan Capistrano Handicap while seeking his third straight victory in the Grade II, $200,000 marathon at 1 ¾ miles on turf.
The 60-year-old trainer, who has built a reputation for crafty claims, acquired both entrants through the claim box, and they will start as the two high weights among just six runners in North America’s longest graded stakes race.
SILENT STALK WINS SECOND IN ROW OVER HILLSIDE TURF COURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 16, 2009) – Silent Stalk, who has blossomed with the addition of blinkers to her racing equipment, gained her second successive victory over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Thursday when fighting off several late challenges to gamely capture Santa Anita’s seventh race, a $51,860 allowance feature for 3-year-old fillies.
After setting the early pace under Tyler Baze in the 6 ½-furlong event, the bay daughter of Petionville prevailed by a nose over Gold Goddess with 2-1 favored Starlarks another length back in the field of seven.
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, APRIL 16TH, 2009
ESPINOZA COMFORTABLE WITH SPEEDY MIDSHIPS IN MARATHON SAN JUAN
Victor Espinoza is not concerned with potentially quick fractions in Sunday’s closing day feature, the Grade II, $200,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at about 1 ¾ miles on turf. Comfort is the key, says the 36-year-old jockey, who rides probable pacesetter Midships for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel.
Frankel currently leads all trainers this meet in stakes wins with eight, and is second in career stakes wins with 145, behind Charlie Whittingham, who leads with 204.
Deeveetee returns for Star Shoot
TORONTO, April 16 - Deeveetee goes for her first stakes 'W' in Sunday's $150,000 Star Shoot Stakes at Woodbine.
The six-furlong contest is an open event for three-year-old fillies. This year's edition has attracted five Ontario-breds, four of whom are eligible for the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser (http://www.woodbineoaks.com
), on June 7.
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A PAIR OF STATE-BRED STAKES RACES HEADLINE OPENING DAY CARD
BALTIMORE, 04-16-09---The spring meeting at Pimlico Race Course gets off to a fast start on Saturday with 10 races, including a pair of stakes races for Maryland-bred fillies and mares. First post is 1:10 p.m.
The $50,000 Hookedonthefeelin has attracted nine three-year-old fillies set to race five furlongs on the turf. Not one of the entrants has ever raced on the grass. Haley’s Lolipop is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite. The Steve Klesaris trainee has stakes experience and will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik. She posted a win and a third in the Wide Country Stakes in two starts at Laurel this winter.
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Aqueduct Notes 4.16.09
Jockey Anna Rose Napravnik will bring her first season riding in New York to a close this weekend. Napravnik, who moved her tack to New York in late November, enjoyed success over Aqueduct’s inner track, finishing 5th in the standings with 39 victories, just two behind 4th place rider Eddie Castro.
“It was a real introduction period when we first got here,” Napravnik said of her arrival in New York. “Then, more and more people started to support us, business picked up and we finished out well. A lot of appreciation goes toward [those trainers] who started riding me in the beginning because I was out there on their horses showing everyone I could ride.”
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BED O’ROSES OFFERS LOOK AT BUDDING TALENT
This time of year, as horses return north from their winter quarters, it is not uncommon for trainers, looking for just the right spot, to cross-enter runners. Sometimes, it is merely feeling out the competition to see what’s out there. At other times, it may be a chance to pick up some black type.
Maryland-based trainer Michael Trombetta is weighing his options this weekend with Jeff Singer’s Cowgirls Don’t Cry, and it may be a last-minute decision as to where she runs.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
BELMONT FANS, SAVE YOUR BUCKS! ENJOY $PRING AT THE PARK
A protracted, cold winter and a longer and lousier economic climate has everybody down, but in fact, spring is here and brings the chance to get your spirits lifted with the approaching Opening Day of Belmont Park's 2009 Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29. To make life a little easier on its fans, Belmont Park will offer "Save Your Bucks" every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through May 29. On those days, fans can enjoy $1 off general parking, admission, beer and soda, hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza.
Excluding Belmont Stakes Day, June 6, general admission is normally $2 and clubhouse admission is $5; while general parking is $2, preferred parking $7 and valet parking $7.
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Santa Teresita Favored in Sixty Sails
The last and only time Santa Teresita took her game to a traditional dirt course, the outcome was, quite bluntly, underwhelming. She showed up in the Delaware Handicap last July, after finishing second to champion Zenyatta in her previous start, the Milady Handicap at Santa Anita, and finished seventh, beaten 26 ¼-lengths by Hysterical Lady. But maybe there’s more than meets the eye.
“It wasn’t a successful trip, to say the least,” said Nick Hines, racing manager for Southern Equine Stable, owners of Santa Teresita. “But I also think it was the perfect storm. She just had a tough race against an awesome filly, plus she was shipping for the first time, had a rough trip in the Delaware Handicap, and she even bled a little.”
Read more articles in the Hawthorne
AFTER LOSING PHOTO IN OPENER, BAZES GOES BACK-TO-BACK AT GGF
ALBANY -- Russell Baze bounced back from a tough loss in the first race to ride back-to-back winners at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Baze and 3-to-2 favorite Stella's Posada were beaten a nose by 8-to-5 second-choice Lendell and jockey Frank Alvarado in the first race, a six-furlong sprint in which the top two finishers battled on the lead from start to finish.
Baze atoned to the "chalk players" in the second race when he guided 6-to-5 favorite Time to Honor to an easy five-length triumph in a 1 1/16-miles contest for 3-year-olds and up.
Stidham and Moquett among new trainers sending horses to DelPark in ’09
Wilmington, Del., April 16, 2009 — Michael Stidham and Ron Moquett. a pair of top trainers from the Midwest, are moving east to Delaware Park for the spring and summer. Opening Day for the 116-day meet is Saturday, April 25. The 72nd live racing season will have a daily first race post time of 1:15 p.m.
In prior years, Michael Stidham, who finished sixth in the trainer standings at the recently concluded Fair Grounds meet, would send a division to Arlington Park and to Lone Star Park. This year, the 51-year-old native of Neptune, New Jersey, will be sending a division of about 40 horses to Arlington Park and a string of about 20 horses to Delaware Park.