Thursday, March 12 2009
‘Cool Man’ & Smooth Air Clash in Gulfstream Park Handicap
Mount Joy Stable’s Smooth Air and Robert LaPenta’s Cool Coal Man were prominent winning Grade 2 stakes at Gulfstream Park at this time last year on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), but checked in 11th and 15th, respectively, behind Big Brown at Churchill Downs on the First Saturday in May in their only meeting.
The two 4-year-olds will likely be the favorites in a field of six older horses entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) to be run at one mile for the first time after decades contested at 1 ¼ miles and at 1 3/16 miles the last four renewals.
Barn Notes - Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Smooth Air on Schedule for 2009 Season Goals
Mount Joy Stable’s Florida homebred Smooth Air finished a very respectable seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, beaten only 5 ¼ lengths for it all by Raven’s Pass, and shortly thereafter trainer Bennie Stutts, Jr. and owner-breeder Brian Burns set out to plan ahead for the 2009 season.
“We gave him a month off at the farm (in Ocala) in November,” said Stutts Wednesday morning after entering the 4-year-old son of Smooth Jazz in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2), an historic test shortened from the 1 3/16 miles distance of the last four years to a mile for this season.
SPECHT ENTERS PAIR IN WORK THE CROWD STAKES
ALBANY -- Trainer Steve Specht will saddle two of the five entrants in Saturday's $75,000 Work The Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
The Work The Crowd is restricted to California-bred fillies and mares and will be contested at 1 1/16-miles on the Tapeta racing surface. The feature is the third event on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m.
Joe Hirsch Tribute Service Belmont Stakes Week
Daily Racing Form, together with the New York Racing Association, cordially invites family, horsemen, media and friends to remember and celebrate the remarkable life of turf writer Joe Hirsch during Belmont Stakes Week. The tribute service will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 5 at Belmont Park in the North Shore Terrace (4th floor Clubhouse level).
Joe Hirsch, known to many as the dean of American racing writers whose byline graced the pages of Daily Racing Form for 50 years, died at the age of 80 on Jan. 9 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. The Eclipse Award winning columnist is the only person to win all three awards presented by the National Turf Writers Association - the Walter Haight Award for career achievement, the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service, and the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing.
Jebel Ali Sprint highlights Friday’s racecard
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell organisation will sponsor the Jebel Ali meeting this Friday afternoon with the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint the highlight of the track’s penultimate meeting of the season.
The 1000m dash was won in 2003 by subsequent Dubai Golden Shaheen winner State City, who landed the Dubai World Cup night sprint for Paddy Rudkin, and this year’s victor will be hoping to get an invite for the big night and a maximum field of 16 will face the starter.
Wednesday, March 11 2009
RONNIE ALLEN, JR. TAKES FOUR TRIPS TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
OLDSMAR (March 10, 2009) Jockey Ronnie Allen, Jr. booted home four winners on the afternoon’s card today, giving the reinsman 59 wins through 61 days of racing at the Oldsmar oval. Allen, who got back in the saddle in February of last year after an extended break, is currently the third leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs.
Allen got his first win aboard Tax and Spend, a four-year-old Adonis gelding bred in Florida by Raymond Sapp. Tax and Spend is owned by Judson Van Worp and was conditioned to victory by Richard Hollett. Allen struck again with Meredith, this time for trainer- owner Christos Gatis. The four-year-old Full Mandate filly was bred in Florida by Robert C. Roffey, Jr.
$1.3 Million in Overnight Stakes for ‘09 Arlington Meet
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 10, 2009) – A schedule of 26 overnight stakes races worth an aggregate $1.3 million for the 2009 meet was announced Tuesday by Kevin Greely, Arlington Park Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary. The overnight stakes slate kicks off on opening day with the Timeless Native Stakes at one mile over Arlington’s Polytrack synthetic surface.
Each of Arlington’s overnight stakes will be worth $50,000, the minimum purse requirement for a stakes race to carry black-type designation in 2009.
Tuesday, March 10 2009
PIMLICO SPRING MEET REDUCED TO 20 DAYS AS INDUSTRY LOOKS TO MAINTAIN PURSE STRUCTURE
BALTIMORE, 03-10-09---After a meeting late last month, the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) have agreed to reduce the Pimlico Race Course spring meeting from 31 to 20 days in order to maintain a $160,000 purse structure on the overnight during the stand. The industry faces a nearly $2 million shortfall in the purse account during the current Laurel Park winter meeting.
The Maryland Racing Commission has approved the change. Live racing will begin at the historic track on Saturday, April 18 and end Saturday, May 23.
Read more articles in the Pimlico
Triple Crown Productions Press Release - MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2009
FIVE GRADED STAKES WILL PUT TRIPLE CROWN TRAIL INTO HIGH GEAR WITH UPCOMING WEEKEND OF RACING
Some major Triple Crown prospects will get their mettle tested on Saturday as three Grade II and two Grade III races headline action on the weekend.
Taking center stage are the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Each carries Grade II status and each features one of the top candidates for the Kentucky Derby, the first of the three classics leading to racing’s Triple Crown.
Champion Stardom Bound, Rachel Alexandra Top March 12-15 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March. 10, 2009) – Champion Stardom Bound, winner of five consecutive Grade I stakes races, and rising star Rachel Alexandra, the heavy favorite for Saturday’s $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II), are the narrowly separated top betting choices heading to this week’s only pool of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”).
The four-day pool, which opens at noon (all times EDT) on Thursday, March 12, offers racing fans the opportunity to wager on candidates for the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) at odds that could be significantly greater than those available on the day of the race on Friday, May 1. Reduced to a single pool after it was conducted for five years in a three-pool format, this year’s lone Kentucky Oaks Future pool is schedule to close at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 – 30 minutes later than the close of its companion Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which also opens a four-day run on Thursday at noon.
Kentucky Derby Futures Offer Exacta Betting For First time
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 10, 2009) – What could be more fun that picking the winner of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) weeks before the race is run? How about picking the top two finishers in the “Run for the Roses” and cashing one of the first winning exacta tickets in the 11-year history of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”).
Both opportunities will be available to Kentucky Derby fans across North America as exacta wagering joins the traditional “win” bet on the wagering menu for the first time as Pool 2 of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens its four-day run at noon (EDT) on Thursday, March 12. The addition of the exacta, which requires bettors to select the 1-2 finishers in the famed “Run for the Roses” in the correct order, marks the first major change in the Derby Future bet since it was introduced in 1999.
GOLD CUP, AMERICAN OAKS REMAIN RICHEST RACES AS HOLLYWOOD PARK
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (March 10, 2009) — The $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup and the $700,000 American Oaks anchor an $8-million stakes schedule for Hollywood Park’s 65-day Spring/Summer Meet, which opens Wednesday, April 22.
The stakes schedule was revamped due to the sagging economy with the intent of protecting the overall quality of racing.
“We thought the best course of action was to do as much as we could for overnight purses,” said Martin Panza, vice president of racing. “The deductions will help keep overnight purses at or near their 2008 levels.”