Saturday, October 17 2009

BELMONT PARK NOTES: Friday, October 16, 2009

ELMONT, N.Y. – Regrouping after a third-place finish behind Informed Decision in the Grade 3 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes, Godolphin Racing’s Flashing zipped a bullet five furlongs in 59.72 on Thursday at Belmont Park.

The 3-year-old chestnut daughter of A.P. Indy won the Grade 2 Nassau County Stakes in May at Belmont and the Grade 1 Test in August at Saratoga.

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Thursday, October 15 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Due to heavy rain forecast for the New York area during the latter half of the week and weekend, The New York Racing Association, Inc., has moved Saturday’s scheduled feature race, the Grade 3, $100,000-added Athenia for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/16 miles on the Belmont Park turf course, to Wednesday, October 21.

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Tuesday, October 13 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Gulf Coast Farms’ and Arianne De Kwiatkowski’s Miss Catalyst scored her first stakes victory Monday afternoon at Belmont Park, winning the 17th running of the $110,000 Pebbles Stakes by a neck.

Breaking from the far outside in the field of nine, Miss Catalyst sat three-wide, pressing the moderate pace set by longshot Blushing Dixie through early fractions of 23.38 and 47.26. Opening up a clear advantage in midstretch, she was able to hold off late-charging Pull Dancer and Maram to prevail at the wire.

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BELMONT PARK NOTES: Monday, October 12, 2009

ELMONT, N.Y. – IEAH Stables President Mike Iavarone woke up Monday morning with a flu bug, but nothing could bring him down following the tremendous performance of his horses this past weekend.

Recent IEAH purchase Diamondrella won the Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland, turf star Court Vision returned to the races a ridgling and took the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, and Burley’s Gold put in a big run to finish second to Girolamo in the Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome at Belmont Park.

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Monday, October 12 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Girolamo’s reputation preceded him, but on Sunday at Belmont Park he blew right by the hype in the stretch and showed he is one serious racehorse.

Traveling wide the entire way, Girolamo sat patiently behind multiple graded stakes winner Kensei, moved to the front on the far turn and pulled away in the stretch to win the 140th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome by 1¼ lengths.

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BELMONT PARK NOTES: Sunday, October 11, 2009

ELMONT, N.Y. – After joining in a boisterous celebration Saturday in the Belmont Park winner’s circle, trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. suddenly appeared to be in a hurry. His fast and poised 2-year-old Homeboykris had just come from off the pace to win the 138th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne, and after the track photographer had snapped all his pictures, Dutrow said he had to get down to the Belmont film room.

He had good reason to want to get in front of a monitor. A little more than 700 miles away in Lexington, Ky., Dutrow’s turf star Court Vision was about to revive his fortunes after five straight losses and win the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

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Sunday, October 11 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. has had plenty of success working with the eagle eye of bloodstock agent Nick Sallusto in the past, and the two teamed up again with another big find in Homeboykris.

Sallusto helped Dutrow acquire champions Benny the Bull and Stardom Bound, as well as top turf miler Kip Deville and Sunshine Millions and Swale Stakes winner This Ones for Phil. Sallusto helped Dutrow pick out Homeboykris after a maiden win at Calder in July, and owner Louis Lazzinnaro purchased the horse privately.

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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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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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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


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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