Monday, October 26 2009


BANROCK VICTORIOUS IN MOHAWK


ELMONT, N.Y. – With a dream trip over a soft turf course, Nyala Farm’s Banrock emerged victorious Sunday afternoon in the 31st running of the $150,000 Mohawk Stakes, the only major New York-bred turf stakes race for 3-year-olds and up the talented gelding had not previously won.

Settling just off slow early fractions of 25.60 and 51.26 set by Pennington, Banrock rallied three wide at the top of the stretch and edged away from late-coming Gimme Credit and Solvent to win by a length.





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DOMINGUEZ, PLETCHER, BROMANS WIN BELMONT PARK TITLES


ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez continued to dominate the competition in New York with his fifth straight riding title and trainer Todd Pletcher won his 20th individual training title as Belmont Park’s 33-day Fall Championship Meet concluded Sunday.

Dominguez, New York’s leading rider, won two races on Sunday’s card to finish with 39 victories, five more than Rajiv Maragh. John Velazquez finished third with 32 winners.





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Sunday, October 25 2009


NEW YORK SHOWCASE DAY RECAP


HAYNESFIELD WINS EMPIRE CLASSIC; DOMINGUEZ SWEEPS FINAL FOUR

ELMONT, N.Y. – With darkness descending and the finish line lit by artificial light, Haynesfield held off the relentless charge of Ruffino by a desperate three-quarters of a length Saturday to win the 34th running of the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.

The dramatic victory gave Belmont’s leading jockey, Ramon Dominguez, a sweep of the final four stakes races on the New York Showcase Day card. He won the Sleepy Hollow aboard Fenway Faithful, the Iroquois on Rightly So, the Hudson on Driven by Success and finished off his own personal Pick 4 (worth $1,461 to his faithful backers) with Haynesfield.





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Friday, October 23 2009


NEW YORK-BRED TURF STAKES TOP SUNDAY’S CARD


ELMONT, N.Y. – While Saturday is officially New York Showcase Day, state-breds are again featured on Sunday in two nine-furlong grass contests shifted from Saturday’s card because of projected heavy rain – the $150,000 Mohawk, for 3-year-olds and up and the $150,000 Ticonderoga, for 3-and-up fillies and mares, both of which have drawn full fields of 12.

While Nyala Farm’s Banrock is arguably the king of New York-bred turf racing, a win in the Mohawk has eluded him. In the past two years, he has won virtually every state-bred turf stakes NYRA offers – some twice – but finished fourth in the 2008 Mohawk and sixth in the 2007 edition.





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BELMONT PARK NOTES: Friday, October 23, 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, runner-up to Summer Bird in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in his most recent start, will work five furlongs over the training track Monday morning with John Velazquez aboard as he prepares for the Grade 1, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“He will go either at 7:45 or 9, when the track re-opens,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “He’ll have one more work before he leaves for California on November 3.”





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OPERATION RED DAWN ENDS DROUGHT IN KNICKERBOCKER


ELMONT, N.Y. – In the week leading up to the Grade 3, $106,500 Knickerbocker, trainer Christophe Clement lamented that his ultra-consistent but hard-luck 7-year-old gelding Operation Red Dawn should win more races.

On Thursday, in the 53rd running of the 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up, Operation Red Dawn rewarded the faith of his trainer, swooping down on runaway leader Lemon Cream Pie in the final 70 yards to win by 2½ lengths under jockey Rajiv Maragh.





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MOHAWK, TICONDEROGA STAKES MOVED TO SUNDAY


ELMONT, N.Y. – The $150,000 Mohawk and the $150,000 Ticonderoga for fillies and mares, two nine-furlong turf stakes originally scheduled for Saturday’s New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, have been moved back to Sunday because of weather.

An inch or more of rain is forecast for the New York metropolitan area, beginning Friday evening.





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$250,000 EMPIRE CLASSIC TOPS RICH NEW YORK SHOWCASE DAY


ELMONT, N.Y. – Future Prospect and Haynesfield have the star power, and Naughty New Yorker is the sentimental favorite, but contention will run deep Saturday when 11 colts and geldings and one filly line up for the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.

The 1 1/8-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and up is the featured event of the annual New York Showcase Day program, which this year offers seven stakes races exclusively for New York-breds worth a total of $1 million.





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$250,000 EMPIRE CLASSIC TOPS RICH NEW YORK SHOWCASE DAY


ELMONT, N.Y. – Future Prospect and Haynesfield have the star power, and Naughty New Yorker is the sentimental favorite, but contention will run deep Saturday when 11 colts and geldings and one filly line up for the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.

The 1 1/8-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and up is the featured event of the annual New York Showcase Day program, which this year offers seven stakes races exclusively for New York-breds worth a total of $1 million.





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Thursday, October 22 2009


BELLE ALLURE MORE THAN JUST GOOD LOOKING IN ATHENIA WIN


ELMONT, N.Y. – Proving that she’s got talent to match her looks, Belle Allure (IRE) gutted out her first U.S. stakes win Wednesday afternoon in the delayed 33rd running of the Grade 3, $106,500 Athenia Stakes going 1 1/16 miles over Belmont Park’s inner turf course.

After tucking in along the rail through moderate early fractions of 24.38 and 48.29 set by longshot Miss Lombardi, jockey Ramon Dominguez found himself trapped inside leaving the turn. Forced to angle Belle Allure out in upper stretch, he was able to split rivals and the filly closed steadily to get up for the win in the final strides, prevailing over Kristi With a K by a head.





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BELMONT RUNNERS TAKE ON TRACK RECORDS


ELMONT, N.Y. – One track record was tied and another broken on a beautiful fall day of racing Wednesday at Belmont Park.

In the first race, Repole Stable’s Super Shape took charge from the start and then shook off a challenge in the stretch from Todd Got Even to draw off by 2¾ lengths and equal the Belmont Park 6½-furlong main track record of 1:14.46.





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Monday, October 19 2009


PROUDINSKY RETURNS IN GRADE 3 KNICKERBOCKER


ELMONT, N.Y. – After four months on the sidelines but not out of training, Johanna Louise Glen-Teven’s millionaire, Proudinsky, returns to the grass wars Thursday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Knickerbocker, a 1⅛-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on the inner turf course at Belmont Park. Originally carded for Sunday, October 18, the race was moved when inclement weather forced racing off the grass in New York this weekend.

The 6-year-old German-bred son of Silvano, who has proven capable in top company on firm or giving ground, opens as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in the field of eight plus two main-track-only entries.





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