Thursday, April 30 2009
BRIBON SWEEPS HIS WAY TO A SHOT AT THE SHADWELL MET MILE
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
Marc Keller’s Bribon made a sweeping move on the far turn that carried him to a one-length victory Wednesday in the 81st running of the Grade 3, $110,000 Westchester for three-year-olds and up. The one-mile race was the feature of Opening Day of Belmont Park’s 64-day Springs/Summer Meet.
Trained by Robert Ribaudo, the 6-year-old Mark of Esteem gelding had come close to being a graded stakes winner before, including his three-quarter-length loss behind Harlem Rocker and Tale of Ekati at Aqueduct last fall in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile. Tale of Ekati won that race on the disqualification of Harlem Rocker, and it overshadowed a strong effort by Bribon.
FOUT ON THE FLAT WITH DYNA’S LASSIE FOR THE BEAUGAY
It’s not steeplechase season at Saratoga Race Course.
So, don’t be confused when you see that trainer Paul Douglas Fout has entered a horse for Saturday’s 32nd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Beaugay for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
DANCING FOREVER PRIMED FOR FORT MARCY – IF RAIN HOLDS OFF
With nearly $910,000 already bankrolled, Phipps Stables’ Dancing Forever is certain to go over the $1 million mark in earnings this year, but Hall of Fame trainer “Shug” McGaughey isn’t about to hurry the process.
McGaughey has big plans for the 6-year-old Rahy horse, including a defense of his victory in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 6. Ideally, Dancing Forever will begin his 2009 campaign on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in the 33rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Fort Marcy for three-year-olds at up at a mile and a sixteenth on the Widener turf course.
Monday, April 27 2009
WISHFUL TOMCAT SECURES TITLES FOR DUTROW, DOMINGUEZ
Jockey Ramon Dominguez closed out another banner season at Aqueduct by guiding even-money favorite Wishful Tomcat to a front-running, three-quarter-length victory over Manteca in Sunday’s 29th running of the $69,875 King Point for three-year-old and older New York-breds. The nine-furlong Kings Point was the closing day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack’s spring meet. Racing moves to Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 29, with the start of the 64-day Spring/Summer Meet. Post-time is 1 p.m.
Making his first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. after a stint on the West Coast with Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Wishful Tomcat got a great break and quickly opened up a length on Manteca. Wishful Tomcat set a pace of 24.72, 48.47, 1:12.00 and 1:36.15.
RIBAUDO STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT BRIBON
When New York’s 2008 Grade 1 season came to an end last November in Aqueduct’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, trainer Bobby Ribaudo was feeling pretty good.
Granted, Marc Keller’s French-bred Bribon ran third in that race, but he was beaten by two solid players in Tale of Ekati and Harlem Rocker. Tale of Ekati emerged the winner by disqualification, and it was only three-quarters of a length back to Bribon.
QUALITY ROAD RECEIVES PATCH FOR SECOND QUARTER CRACK
Kentucky Derby hopeful Quality Road returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 “Run for the Roses.”
A five-furlong breeze Monday morning will be the determining factor on whether the Elusive Quality colt makes the trip to Churchill Downs.
Sunday, April 26 2009
April 25, 2009 CONFERENCE CALL WITH TRAINER JIMMY JERKENS
Opening Statement from Jimmy Jerkens, trainer of Quality Road:
“It was decided just to give him a jog today because he hadn’t had much time for the crack to dry out. So, instead of galloping him, which probably would have put a little too much stress on him, we just jogged him a couple of miles and he handled that very well and jogging obviously is a lot easier on the horse in all ways, respiration wise and on the legs than galloping. It’s not quite as good a conditioner…but it’s all we could do to be on the safe side and he came back, the crack looked dry and there was no blood seeping from it, so we’re planning on patching him at 7-o-clock tomorrow morning and galloping him at about 9:20 after the second harrow break.”
MR. FANTASY REBOUNDS FOR WITHERS VICTORY
By Francis La Belle Jr.
Mr. Fantasy, thwarted in the Gotham by the overpowering performance of Kentucky Derby-bound I Want Revenge, turned back to a mile Saturday afternoon and got help from hard-to-handle Supreme Summit as he rode the rail to a 1 ¾-length victory over favored This Ones for Phil in the 130th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Withers for three-year-olds.
The Withers was the final graded stakes race of Aqueduct’s spring meet. The Big A will close after Sunday’s races, and live racing will move to Belmont Park for the 64-day Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29.
BELMONT PARK OPENS WITH OVER 50 FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS
Belmont Park will open its Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29 with more than 50 improvements to the facilities, including upgrades to the spacious main building, the beautiful backyard, the vibrant backstretch area, and the legendary racetrack surfaces.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our facilities,” said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. “With the multitude of upgrades in place, our fans, horsemen, jockeys, backstretch workers, employees and horses will be treated to a safer, more efficient, and aesthetically pleasing Belmont Park.”
Saturday, April 25 2009
JERKENS HOPEFUL AFTER QUALITY ROAD QUARTER CRACK IS TREATED
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed optimism Friday afternoon that Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby, would be able to make the May 2 “Run for the Roses” after noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay treated a second quarter crack in the colt’s right-front hoof at Belmont Park.
“Ian closed the crack up with laces [this afternoon],” said Jerkens. “We will jog him tomorrow, if there’s no blood we can patch him. He can gallop Sunday and breeze Monday, and if he is sound Tuesday we’ll ship to Kentucky.
NYRA TO PROVIDE BELMONT SHUTTLES FOR LIRR PATRONS
Beginning on Wednesday, April 29, The New York Racing Association, Inc. will provide free shuttle bus service between Belmont Park and the Queens Village station of the Long Island Rail Road for its patrons affected by the suspension of the “Belmont Special” by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
“We remain optimistic that train service to Belmont Park will be restored,” said Kenneth Cook, NYRA’s Vice-President of Security. “In the interim, in order to fill the gap left by government cuts, shuttle service is a way to accommodate those who depended on the train to bring them directly to Belmont Park.”
Thursday, April 23 2009
MANTECA LOOKS FOR RETURN TO FORM IN KINGS POINT
When Anstu’s Stables Manteca returned from a seven-month layoff for then-trainer Charlton Baker in December, the Aptitude colt picked up right where he left off the previous spring – with a win.
Now, after a short winter break in Florida and starting for new trainer Todd Pletcher, Manteca will try for his second stakes win in Sunday’s $65,000-added Kings Point Handicap for New York-breds three-years-old and up going a mile and eighth. The Kings Point, Sunday’s featured seventh race, will be the last stakes contested at Aqueduct this season. Live racing shifts to Belmont Park for the 64-day Spring/Summer meet beginning Wednesday, April 29.