Sunday, October 11 2009


DEVIL MAY CARE GETS SERIOUS WITH GRADE 1 FRIZETTE WIN


ELMONT, N.Y. – Glencrest Farm’s Devil May Care made the jump from maiden winner to Grade 1 winner with style Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off a furious late challenge from favored Awesome Maria to win the 62nd running of the $400,000 Frizette Stakes by a head.

Ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher – who earlier on the card won the Grade 1 Jamaica with Take the Points – Devil May Care stayed not far behind pacesetter Nonna Mia’s early fractions of 22.70 and 45.74, then angled out on the turn to take over in midstretch with enough left to turn back the late-charging favorite.





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MARAM LOOKS TO CONTINUE COMEBACK IN PEBBLES


ELMONT, N.Y. – Karen Woods and Saud bin Khaled’s undefeated Maram will face a full field of eight other 3-year-old fillies Monday when she makes the second start of her sophomore campaign in Monday’s 17th running of the $100,000-added Pebbles Stakes going a mile over the Belmont Park turf course.


After a spectacular 2-year-old campaign capped off by a win in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, trainer Chad Brown felt it was time to give the Sahm filly a well-deserved rest.





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TAKE THE POINTS TAKES OVER JAMAICA


ELMONT, N.Y. – Starlight Partners’ Take the Points became a dual Grade 1 winner Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, grabbing the lead in the stretch to take the 60th running of the $300,000 Jamaica Handicap by a head.

Slightly keen at the start of the race, Take the Points ran along in fourth as favored Courageous Cat led through a quarter mile in 24.84 seconds before he relinquished the lead to Chapin Beach. Making his move leaving the half-mile marker, Take the Points took command in the stretch, battling back when pressured by Straight Story to prevail.





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BELMONT PARK NOTES: Saturday, October 10, 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher said that while he was also considering the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for last Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up Quality Road, his next start would probably be in the $5 million Classic, both to be run on Saturday, November 7 at Santa Anita.

“I’ll discuss it further with his owner, Mr. [Edward] Evans, but the Classic is the most likely scenario,” Pletcher said.





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Saturday, October 10 2009


GIROLAMO TAKES ON KENSEI IN GRADE 2 JEROME


ELMONT, N.Y. – An observer in the Belmont Park press box said Godolphin Racing’s Girolamo looked like the next great stakes horse the morning the 3-year-old blew out five furlongs October 2 in 59.44 seconds.

Indeed, the son of champion A.P. Indy has had an air of potential greatness about him this year, crushing a strong allowance group in his seasonal unveiling at Saratoga by four lengths in a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up and then effortlessly defeating an even stronger cast by 5½ lengths September 13 in a mile allowance at Belmont Park.





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Friday, October 09 2009


GODOLPHIN HAVING BANNER YEAR AT NEW YORK TRACKS


ELMONT, N.Y. – There are less than 20 horses in the Godolphin Racing barn at Belmont Park at any one time, but they are about as good as racehorses get, and, oftentimes, seem to be winning every important race in sight.

After a relatively slow start at the spring meet at Belmont Park, the stable, founded in 1992 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, picked up enormous momentum this summer at Saratoga Race Course that has continued into the Belmont Park Fall Championship meet.





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DUBLIN, ASPIRE MEET AGAIN IN 138th CHAMPAGNE STAKES


ELMONT, N.Y. – While Dublin was surging to the lead and into the clear on his way to winning the historic Grade 1 Hopeful on September 7 at Saratoga Race Course, Aspire looked lost in a sea of horses turning for home in the bulky field of 12.

Yet the dark bay son of Tale of the Cat displayed a combination of poise and speed, rallying off the rail and from behind horses to close fast and finish second, two lengths behind the winner.





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AWESOME MARIA LOOKS TO TAKE NEXT STEP IN FRIZETTE


ELMONT, N.Y. – In the space of 29 days, Joyce Robsham’s Awesome Maria went from maiden to Grade 2 winner with her impressive victory in the Matron Stakes at Belmont Park on September 19. On Saturday, the gray daughter of Maria’s Mon looks to take the next step up when she faces six other 2-year-old fillies in the 62nd running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette at a mile.

A granddaughter of 1995 Grade 1 Alabama winner Pretty Discreet, Awesome Maria was second in her debut going 5½ furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on July 30, and then came back on August 21 for an eye-catching 8¼-length victory stretching out to seven furlongs. Sent off as the second choice in the Matron, also at seven furlongs, she pressed longshot Southern Truth through fractions of 22.57 and 45.20 before taking over and drawing clear to win by 2¾ lengths.





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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.





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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.





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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.





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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.”





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