Friday, October 09 2009
TAKE THE POINTS LOOKS FOR SECOND GRADE 1 IN JAMAICA
ELMONT, N.Y. – In only his third start on turf, Starlight Partners’ Take the Points became a Grade 1 winner, emerging victorious the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on August 8.
On Saturday, the 3-year-old son of Even the Score will attempt to duplicate that winning effort in the Grade 1, $300,000 Jamaica Handicap going nine furlongs over Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
Thursday, October 08 2009
LUKAS SEES BRILLIANCE IN DUBLIN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Normally, this time of year, D. Wayne Lukas is back at his base at Churchill Downs. This fall, however, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame trainer has remained in New York, camped at Belmont Park and firm in his belief something very special resides in his barn.
The horse is the 2-year-old Dublin, who after his scintillating two-length victory in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful on September 7 at Saratoga had Lukas dreaming of the Kentucky Derby.
Sunday, October 04 2009
PLETCHER SWEEPS 2-YEAR-OLD STAKES: JERKENS WINS KELSO
ELMONT, N.Y. – Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens sent out Le Grand Cru to win the 29th running of the $250,000 Kelso and trainer Todd Pletcher saddled the winners of both 2-year-old stakes Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park.
It was the first Kelso victory for Jerkens, who upset five-time Horse of the Year Kelso three times with Beau Purple in the 1960’s.
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Sunday, October 4, 2009
ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes, Shadwell Travers and newly minted Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Summer Bird was his usual self Sunday morning – alternately snoozing and peering alertly out his stall door, depending on when you caught him.
“He was bouncing and playing this morning, and he ate up everything last night,” said trainer Tim Ice. “He’s feeling better than me – that rain just killed me yesterday afternoon and now I’ve got a cold. I couldn’t be happier with the way he looks this morning though.”
Saturday, October 03 2009
SUMMER BIRD MAKES HISTORY IN JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP
ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes and Shadwell Travers winner Summer Bird wrote his way into the history books Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, outdueling a game Quality Road through the stretch to win the 91st running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. With the victory, Summer Bird became the first 3-year-old since 1989 to have won all three races in a single year.
The handsome chestnut colt is just the 10th sophomore and first since Easy Goer to string together victories in the Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. The other 3-year-olds who have won the trio of prestigious races in New York are Man o’War (1920), Twenty Grand (1931), One Count (1951), Gallant Man (1957), Sword Dancer (1959), Damascus (1967), Arts and Letters (1969) and Temperence Hill (1980). All but One Count and Temperence Hill are Hall of Famers.
INTERPATATION CLOSES THE LOOP IN JOE HIRSCH TURF CLASSIC
ELMONT, N.Y. – Maybe 43-1 longshot Interpatation was just building up to it.
Although the 7-year-old son of Langfuhr had not won a race in more than two years, his previous record in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational indicated he might be capable of the upset he delivered on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, leading almost all the way in the $600,000 race and denying heavily favored Gio Ponti his fifth straight Grade 1 victory.
EVERYTHING GOES SWIMMINGLY FOR PURE CLAN IN FLOWER BOWL
ELMONT, N.Y. – Owner Leonard Lakin and trainer Robert Holthus did not particularly want to run their 4-year-old turf star Pure Clan over soft ground in the 32nd running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park.
They nominated her to other races at Keeneland and Woodbine, and in the days leading up to the race watched the weather report, but once they arrived in New York committed to going to the starting gate. It proved to be an excellent decision.
KODIAK KOWBOY UPSETS FABULOUS STRIKE IN VOSBURGH
ELMONT, N.Y. – Kodiak Kowboy turned the tables once again on Fabulous Strike, rallying from last to catch the favorite in the final yards and post a half-length victory in the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.
Reunited with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, Kodiak Kowboy trailed early as Go Go Shoot, tracked by favored Fabulous Strike, carried the field of four through early fractions of 22.33 and 45.38. With Fabulous Strike taking over at the top of the stretch as the pacesetter tired, Kodiak Kowboy came between horses and collared the favorite in deep stretch for the victory.
MUSIC NOTE UNDER WRAPS IN BELDAME
ELMONT, N.Y. – Fending off clever race-riding tactics from the jockeys aboard the entry of Unbridled Belle and Captain’s Lover, Godolphin Stable’s Music Note extracted herself from a tight position on the rail, circled to the outside and pulled away easily to win the 70th running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame by 2¼ lengths Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 4-year-old bay daughter of champion A.P. Indy notched the fifth Grade 1 victory of her 11-race career, the fourth at Belmont, winning the 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in a time of 1:48.49 on a course labeled fast during light rain.
Friday, October 02 2009
A PILGRIM WIN – AND THEY’RE IN!
ELMONT, N.Y. – A robust field of nine juvenile colts has assembled for Sunday’s 31st running of the Grade 3, $150,000-added Pilgrim Stakes on Belmont Park’s turf course, the winner of which will earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on November 7 through the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.
Heading the field for the 1 1/16-mile race is Wertheimer Et Frere’s Interactif, a surprise 4¼-length winner of the Grade 3 With Anticipation at Saratoga Race Course on September 4, the colt’s first start on turf.
BROWN HOPING FOR DÉJÀ VU IN MISS GRILLO
ELMONT, N.Y. – In the afterglow of Maram’s victory in last year’s Grade 3 Miss Grillo, Chad Brown stood outside the winner’s circle and mused how amazing it would be to saddle a starter in the Breeders’ Cup after having been training on his own for less than a year.
Not only did Maram go onto the Breeders’ Cup, she won the inaugural Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Sunday at Belmont Park, Brown is hoping history might repeat itself when he saddles Ronald Brown’s Zodiac Girl in the 30th running of the $150,000-added Miss Grillo at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
COURT VISION PRIMED FOR BIG RUN IN KELSO
ELMONT, N.Y. – Not only does IEAH Stables President Michael Iavarone expect millionaire Court Vision to run well in the Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso on Sunday at Belmont Park, he believes the 4-year-old might be better than ever entering the one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.
After five straight defeats in Grade 1 races, Court Vision underwent surgery July 23 at the Ruffian Equine Medical Center, across the street from Belmont Park, to remove what Iavarone called “a high-channeled testicle” that had been bothering the horse for a long time.