Saturday, October 03 2009
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.
DOMINGUEZ GETS 300th NYRA WIN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez became just the fifth rider to reach the 300-win plateau in a single year on The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s circuit, guiding Bon Marie to victory in the fifth race Friday afternoon at Belmont Park.
Four riders have scored more than 300 wins in a single year at Aqueduct Race Track, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, two of them twice. Steve Cauthen holds the record at 433 victories in 1977.
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Friday, October 2, 2009
ELMONT, N.Y. – Undefeated 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Maram worked a visually impressive five furlongs on the Belmont Park turf Friday morning, getting the distance with the dogs up in 1:02.44.
Owned by Karen N. Woods and trained by Chad Brown, Maram worked in company with stablemate Silver Timber, who won the Grade 3 Jaipur in July at Belmont.
Thursday, October 01 2009
DYNAFORCE, PURE CLAN SQUARE OFF AGAIN IN FLOWER BOWL
ELMONT, N.Y. – For the fourth time in less than a year, top turf stars Dynaforce and Pure Clan will meet again Saturday in the 32nd running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park.
The 1¼-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up is one of five marquee events on the “Super Saturday” card of Belmont’s Fall Championship Meet.
MUSIC NOTE LOOKS SHARP FOR BELDAME
ELMONT, N.Y. – If there was any question whether Music Note was the same powerhouse that reeled off three Grade 1 victories last year after she returned to the races in June with a dull fifth in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park, they were dispelled at Saratoga when the 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy turned in a tour de force in winning the Grade 1 Ballerina by 5¼ lengths.
Not only did the Godolphin Racing-owned Music Note win the Ballerina, she did it by crushing champion Indian Blessing as well as Informed Decision, a multiple Grade 1 winner, who had won five straight races.
GIO PONTI GOES FOR FIVE IN JOE HIRSCH TURF CLASSIC
ELMONT, N.Y. – While Saturday marks the 33rd running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, it will also mark the first running of the race since its namesake, influential turf writer Joe Hirsch, died in January 2009.
It is fitting that one of New York’s top turf races should honor one of the sport’s top turf writers – the race was renamed for Hirsch following his 2003 retirement – and equally fitting that the 2009 edition has drawn a diverse field of nine talented runners.
FABULOUS STRIKE BACK FOR ANOTHER VOSBURGH
ELMONT, N.Y. – When the field loads into the gate for Saturday’s 70th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh at Belmont Park, Fabulous Strike will be back in familiar territory.
Now 6, the son of Smart Strike scored the first Grade 1 victory of his career in the 2007 Vosburgh, drawing off to win by nearly six lengths over Talent Search and favored Discreet Cat, then came back the following year to finish second by a head after running the entire six furlongs with a sprung shoe.