Thursday, September 17 2009
D’FUNNYBONE GETS SERIOUS IN FUTURITY; WORSTCASESCENARIO HOPING FOR BEST IN MATRON
ELMONT, N.Y. – At the time, the comparisons were inevitable. In 2007, there was 2-year-old Big Brown romping to an 11¼-length maiden win for owner Paul Pompa, Jr., on Saratoga’s turf course; this year, it was D’Funnybone carrying Pompa’s colors as he rolled to a 10½-length score in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.
For Pompa, who had purchased Big Brown for $190,000 as a 2-year-old, and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., who would go on to saddle Big Brown to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for Pompa and IEAH Stable, similarities mean very little at this stage. But that could change after Saturday’s 120th running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Futurity at Belmont Park, in which the son of D’wildcat is the 6-5 favorite over seven other 2-year-old colts.
MIDSHIPMAN’S RETURN HEADLINES BELMONT PARK FRIDAY CARD
ELMONT, N.Y. – The eagerly anticipated 3-year-old debut of Eclipse Champion Midshipman will occur Friday, September 18 in the third race at Belmont Park, a conditioned allowance that represents his first start over a conventional dirt track.
Midshipman, owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable, capped off a stellar four-race juvenile campaign last year with an impressive 1-1/2 length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on October 25. The Saeed bin Suroor trainee, who also won the Del Mar Futurity, was subsequently named Eclipse Award Champion 2-year-old Colt.
Monday, September 14 2009
GRAND COUTURIER BOWLS ‘EM OVER IN BOWLING GREEN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Grand Couturier rewarded his connections’ confidence with a rousing last-to-first victory Sunday at Belmont Park to take the 51st running of the Grade 2, $158,000 Bowling Green Handicap and snap a four-race losing streak.
Sent off as the favorite by the crowd of 5,635, the 6-year-old son of Grand Lodge trailed the field through early fractions of 22.95, 46.57 and 1:13.42 set by longshot Up to No Good, then barreled four-wide on the turn to move into contention, taking over in midstretch and pulling off to a two-length victory over Winchester.
ASHLEY T. COLE RECAP: Sunday, September 13, 2009
ELMONT, N.Y. – Banrock just seems to get better with age.
The 6-year-old gelding proved that point again Sunday, winning the 34th running of the $108,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds for the second consecutive year.
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Sunday, September 13, 2009
ELMONT, N.Y. – The winners of Saturday’s Grade 1 stakes, Swift Temper in the Ruffian and Miss World in the Garden City, were both reported to be doing well on Sunday morning.
Trainer Dale Romans said that Marc Stanley’s Swift Temper would likely return to Kentucky to prepare for her next start, which is uncertain. Her victory in the Ruffian earned her an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita Park on November 6 as part of the “Win and You’re In” Challenge series, and Romans said the connections would discuss the possibility of starting in that race.
Saturday, September 12 2009
MISS GARDEN CITY
ELMONT, N.Y. – Miss World triumphed over seven rivals Saturday afternoon to earn her first stakes victory in the 31st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park.
After breaking sharply, winning jockey Cornelio Velasquez covered up behind horses before taking the filly four-wide on the turn for home. Taking over the lead inside the furlong marker, Miss World edged away to win by 1¾ lengths. Her final time for the nine furlongs over a soft inner turf course was 1:53.55.
SWIFT TEMPER KEEPS HER COOL IN RUFFIAN HANDICAP
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Dale Romans wasn’t too happy about bringing Swift Temper back on 13 days rest, but the 5-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway rebounded in a big way, running down heavily-favored Seventh Street in a muddy stretch drive to notch her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s 24th running of the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap at Belmont Park.
Swift Temper, who was beaten nearly 14 lengths by Icon Project in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 30, broke alertly and raced just behind Be Fair and Seventh Street off early fractions of 23.03 and 45.58. Rounding the turn, jockey Alan Garcia took her to the outside and she collared the favorite at the top of the stretch, digging in through the final yards to pull clear to a 1¾ length win.
Friday, September 11 2009
STRAIGHT STORY COULD BE SPOILER IN ASHLEY T. COLE
ELMONT, N.Y. – In last year’s Ashley T. Cole Handicap, Nyala Farm’s Banrock was able to duplicate his winning effort in the West Point Handicap run a month earlier at Saratoga – in fact, the top three finishers were the same in both races.
This year, the 1-2-3 finishers from the West Point will not all return in Sunday’s 34th renewal of the $100,000-added, 1⅛ -mile Ashley T. Cole, but Banrock is back and trying to repeat history. Winning both races in 2009 would make him the first horse to win consecutive runnings of these stakes.
HOPING TO BOWL THEM OVER IN BOWLING GREEN
ELMONT, N.Y. – When Grand Couturier came up short in his bid for a hat trick in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga, trainer Bobby Ribaudo was a bit perplexed. Sent off as the favorite, the 6-year-old horse failed to fire in the stretch and wound up fifth, beaten 3¾ lengths by Telling.
On further analysis, however, Grand Couturier’s effort was not as lackluster as it seemed to the eye.
GARDEN PARTY IN GARDEN CITY
ELMONT, N.Y. – Saturday’s 31st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City brings a capable cast of nine 3-year-old fillies to Belmont Park’s inner turf course, both proven turf talent and those looking to step up their game.
Heading the field for the nine-furlong race is highweight Gozzip Girl (122 lbs), who looks to sustain a two-race win streak dating back to May 30th. Off since winning the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 5, the daughter of Dynaformer is 3-for-4 in graded company this year with her lone defeat a neck loss in the Grade 1 Ashland to Hooh Why.
SEVENTH STREET LOOKS FOR THIRD GRADE 1 IN RUFFIAN
ELMONT, N.Y. – After an amazing summer at Saratoga, assistant trainer Rick Mettee can only hope for more of the same for Godolphin Stable as Belmont Park’s Fall Championship stakes calendar gets underway with Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Ruffian Handicap.
The 1 1/16th mile Ruffian, part of the “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, is one of two Grade 1 stakes on the card, along with the $300,000 Garden City Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf. The Ruffian will be run as the fourth race while the Garden City will be run as the eighth race on the 10-race card. First race post is 1 p.m.
Monday, September 07 2009
RACHEL-ZENYATTA COULD LIGHT UP BELMONT’S FALL
ELMONT, N.Y.– A dream matchup between racing’s leading lady, Rachel Alexandra, and the undefeated mare Zenyatta could light up the 2009 Fall Championship Meet should they both accept their invitations to the Grade 1 Beldame on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
The Beldame, which will be run for the 70th time, is one of five Grade 1 races on Saturday, October 3, the centerpiece of the 33-day Fall Championship meet which begins on Friday, September 11 and runs through Sunday, October 25.