Monday, May 04 2009
BELMONT PARK NOTES, Sunday, March 3, 2009
In the aftermath of Rachel Alexandra’s powerhouse victory in Friday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, trainer Hal Wiggins was still on cloud nine even as he looked ahead to the three-year-old filly’s next start, the Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6.
“We’ve got the Acorn penciled in pretty good,” said Wiggins from Churchill Downs. “It really is, historically, a very prestigious race. The one-turn mile should fit her just great. Plus it gives us five weeks, which is what I like.”
Sunday, May 03 2009
COSMONAUT LANDS VICTORIOUS IN FORT MARCY
ELMONT, N.Y. – Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut rebounded from an ankle fracture that had kept him out of action since last July and overcame Tam Lin (GB) to win Saturday’s 33rd running of the Grade 3 $106,500 Fort Marcy Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth on Belmont Park’s Widener Turf Course.
The Fort Marcy, previously run at Aqueduct Racetrack, was the eighth victory of Cosmonaut’s 33-race career. The 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right front ankle last summer, shortly after he ran second to Stream Cat in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 12.
MY PRINCESS JESS SAVES BEST FOR LAST (QUARTER) IN BEAUGAY
ELMONT, N.Y.-- Lael Stable’s My Princess Jess halted a three-race losing streak and began her 4-year-old campaign as a winner Saturday afternoon, rallying for a 1 ¾-length victory over favored Carribean Sunset (IRE) in the 32nd running of the $109,000 Beaugay for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course at Belmont Park.
The Stormy Atlantic filly, whose previous victory was in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Lake George last July, came on strong in the middle of the “good” course under jockey Cornelio Velasquez after sitting well off a pace of 26.07, 50.57, 1:15.27 and 1:38.97. Are We Dreamin had been the early pacesetter, but was overtaken on the turn by Sunshine for Life, who wilted in midstretch.
FLASHING MAKES COMEBACK FOR FIRST BELMONT SCORE
BELMONT PARK, ELMONT, N.Y. -- Darley Stable’s Flashing, making her Belmont Park debut after winning three of four career starts at Aqueduct, came back in the lane to collar 6-5 favorite Saarlight and win Saturday’s 14th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Nassau County for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs by a length and a quarter.
Flashing, a daughter of 1992 Belmont Stakes winner and Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, took the lead from the rail on the muddy/sealed track and was quickly engaged by Saarlight. They opened a huge lead over their three rivals, setting a pace of 22.14, 44.63 and 1:09.73.
Thursday, April 30 2009
FIVE FILLIES TRY BELMONT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NASSAU COUNTY
It’s the first graded race for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park and, fittingly, all five starters will try the track for the very first time in the 14th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Nassau County Saturday at seven furlongs over the dirt.
Darley Stable’s New York-based Flashing will try for her first black-type win for trainer Tom Albertrani. Coming off back-to-back wins in allowance company going longer, the daughter of A.P. Indy will sprint for the first time since she broke her maiden at Aqueduct in November.
NYRA SUPPORTS BILL TO ELIMINATE WITHHOLDING TAX
Elmont, NY – The New York Racing Association, Inc. supports a bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 28 that would eliminate the automatic 25 percent federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more for bets that carry odds of 300-1 or higher.
The bill, titled the “Pari-Mutuel Conformity and Equality Act” (PACE Act – H.R. 2140) was introduced by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) with Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) as the co-sponsor.
BRIBON SWEEPS HIS WAY TO A SHOT AT THE SHADWELL MET MILE
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
Marc Keller’s Bribon made a sweeping move on the far turn that carried him to a one-length victory Wednesday in the 81st running of the Grade 3, $110,000 Westchester for three-year-olds and up. The one-mile race was the feature of Opening Day of Belmont Park’s 64-day Springs/Summer Meet.
Trained by Robert Ribaudo, the 6-year-old Mark of Esteem gelding had come close to being a graded stakes winner before, including his three-quarter-length loss behind Harlem Rocker and Tale of Ekati at Aqueduct last fall in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile. Tale of Ekati won that race on the disqualification of Harlem Rocker, and it overshadowed a strong effort by Bribon.
FOUT ON THE FLAT WITH DYNA’S LASSIE FOR THE BEAUGAY
It’s not steeplechase season at Saratoga Race Course.
So, don’t be confused when you see that trainer Paul Douglas Fout has entered a horse for Saturday’s 32nd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Beaugay for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
DANCING FOREVER PRIMED FOR FORT MARCY – IF RAIN HOLDS OFF
With nearly $910,000 already bankrolled, Phipps Stables’ Dancing Forever is certain to go over the $1 million mark in earnings this year, but Hall of Fame trainer “Shug” McGaughey isn’t about to hurry the process.
McGaughey has big plans for the 6-year-old Rahy horse, including a defense of his victory in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6. Ideally, Dancing Forever will begin his 2009 campaign on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in the 33rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Fort Marcy for three-year-olds at up at a mile and a sixteenth on the Widener turf course.
Monday, April 27 2009
WISHFUL TOMCAT SECURES TITLES FOR DUTROW, DOMINGUEZ
Jockey Ramon Dominguez closed out another banner season at Aqueduct by guiding even-money favorite Wishful Tomcat to a front-running, three-quarter-length victory over Manteca in Sunday’s 29th running of the $69,875 King Point for three-year-old and older New York-breds. The nine-furlong Kings Point was the closing day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack’s spring meet. Racing moves to Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 29, with the start of the 64-day Spring/Summer Meet. Post-time is 1 p.m.
Making his first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. after a stint on the West Coast with Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Wishful Tomcat got a great break and quickly opened up a length on Manteca. Wishful Tomcat set a pace of 24.72, 48.47, 1:12.00 and 1:36.15.
RIBAUDO STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT BRIBON
When New York’s 2008 Grade 1 season came to an end last November in Aqueduct’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, trainer Bobby Ribaudo was feeling pretty good.
Granted, Marc Keller’s French-bred Bribon ran third in that race, but he was beaten by two solid players in Tale of Ekati and Harlem Rocker. Tale of Ekati emerged the winner by disqualification, and it was only three-quarters of a length back to Bribon.
QUALITY ROAD RECEIVES PATCH FOR SECOND QUARTER CRACK
Kentucky Derby hopeful Quality Road returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 “Run for the Roses.”
A five-furlong breeze Monday morning will be the determining factor on whether the Elusive Quality colt makes the trip to Churchill Downs.