Friday, September 11 2009
STRAIGHT STORY COULD BE SPOILER IN ASHLEY T. COLE
ELMONT, N.Y. – In last year’s Ashley T. Cole Handicap, Nyala Farm’s Banrock was able to duplicate his winning effort in the West Point Handicap run a month earlier at Saratoga – in fact, the top three finishers were the same in both races.
This year, the 1-2-3 finishers from the West Point will not all return in Sunday’s 34th renewal of the $100,000-added, 1⅛ -mile Ashley T. Cole, but Banrock is back and trying to repeat history. Winning both races in 2009 would make him the first horse to win consecutive runnings of these stakes.
HOPING TO BOWL THEM OVER IN BOWLING GREEN
ELMONT, N.Y. – When Grand Couturier came up short in his bid for a hat trick in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga, trainer Bobby Ribaudo was a bit perplexed. Sent off as the favorite, the 6-year-old horse failed to fire in the stretch and wound up fifth, beaten 3¾ lengths by Telling.
On further analysis, however, Grand Couturier’s effort was not as lackluster as it seemed to the eye.
GARDEN PARTY IN GARDEN CITY
ELMONT, N.Y. – Saturday’s 31st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City brings a capable cast of nine 3-year-old fillies to Belmont Park’s inner turf course, both proven turf talent and those looking to step up their game.
Heading the field for the nine-furlong race is highweight Gozzip Girl (122 lbs), who looks to sustain a two-race win streak dating back to May 30th. Off since winning the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 5, the daughter of Dynaformer is 3-for-4 in graded company this year with her lone defeat a neck loss in the Grade 1 Ashland to Hooh Why.
SEVENTH STREET LOOKS FOR THIRD GRADE 1 IN RUFFIAN
ELMONT, N.Y. – After an amazing summer at Saratoga, assistant trainer Rick Mettee can only hope for more of the same for Godolphin Stable as Belmont Park’s Fall Championship stakes calendar gets underway with Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Ruffian Handicap.
The 1 1/16th mile Ruffian, part of the “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, is one of two Grade 1 stakes on the card, along with the $300,000 Garden City Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf. The Ruffian will be run as the fourth race while the Garden City will be run as the eighth race on the 10-race card. First race post is 1 p.m.
Monday, September 07 2009
RACHEL-ZENYATTA COULD LIGHT UP BELMONT’S FALL
ELMONT, N.Y.– A dream matchup between racing’s leading lady, Rachel Alexandra, and the undefeated mare Zenyatta could light up the 2009 Fall Championship Meet should they both accept their invitations to the Grade 1 Beldame on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.
The Beldame, which will be run for the 70th time, is one of five Grade 1 races on Saturday, October 3, the centerpiece of the 33-day Fall Championship meet which begins on Friday, September 11 and runs through Sunday, October 25.
Tuesday, August 11 2009
LONGTIME NYRA EMPLOYEE BILL JOHNSON DIES AT 76
Bill Johnson, a lifelong racetracker and longtime employee of The New York Racing Association, Inc., died August 7 of pancreatitis at age 76.
Johnson was widely known and liked throughout the racing industry. He worked as an assistant to track announcer Fred “Cappy” Capossela early in his career in the 1950s and later was director of radio and television for NYRA. He co-hosted the radio show “Breakfast at the Track” with the late Harry Downey on WGY in Schenectady, N.Y., and also worked on various handicapping television shows in the 1980s in the Albany area.
Tuesday, July 28 2009
NY RACING BOARD AND NYRA ANNOUNCE NEW LIMITS ON OXYGEN TREATMENTS
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced a new medication directive today clarifying that horses are banned from being entered into races if they have received hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment within one week of post time. The new directive, clarifying existing state rules, is endorsed by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers are accessed by some trainers to accelerate healing in a horse that has been injured or has an infection.
Monday, July 27 2009
CONTESSA, DOMINGUEZ WIN BELMONT TITLES
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa continued to dominate the competition in New York, with Dominguez running away with the jockey title for the 64-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park and Contessa edging Christophe Clement for the training title.
Dominguez rode three winners on Closing Day as he set a modern-day record for victories with 98 winners for the meet, having already broken Hall of Famer Angel Cordero Jr.’s mark of 92 set during the 1982 Belmont Park meet. Finishing second among riders was Rajiv Maragh, with 71 winners.
Saturday, July 25 2009
FUNNY MOON RISES IN COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS
ELMONT, N.Y. – Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III’s Funny Moon took full advantage of a second chance to earn Grade 1 status Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, charging hard through the stretch to post a narrow victory over Don’t Forget Gil in the 93rd running of the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.
The three-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 6, stayed well off the early fractions of 23.83 and 47.11 set by Devotee, then swung widest of all as the field of eight fanned for home. As five fillies stormed to the wire, Funny Moon surged to the front in the final strides to get a neck in front.
DOMINGUEZ GETS 93RD BELMONT WINNER TO SET RECORD
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez set a modern-day record for victories at Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet when he guided Michael Dubb and Robert Joscelyn’s I’ve Got Speed ($7.70) to win the fifth race Friday, notching his 93rd winner for the meet.
Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., held the mark for most victories since records were first kept, bringing home 92 winners during the 1982 Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Fellow Hall of Famers Jose Santos and Mike Smith each had 86 winners for the 1986 and 1991 spring/summer meets, respectively.
NYRA NOTES: Friday, July 24, 2009
Trainer Todd Pletcher has enjoyed a great deal of success at Saratoga Race Course, winning five of the last seven training titles, but as he says, a lot depends on the performance of the barn’s babies.
“Success for us depends on how our two-year-olds run,” he said Friday morning at Belmont Park. “A lot are getting ready, and we should find out a lot more in a couple of weeks. You can only do what you can with what you have.”
Thursday, July 23 2009
NYRA ANNOUNCES JOE HIRSCH MEMORIAL WRITING AWARD
ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc., is pleased to announce the establishment of the Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award to recognize outstanding print and internet coverage of the Belmont Stakes.
Open to any member of the print/internet media who covered the 141st Belmont Stakes, won by Summer Bird, on June 6, 2009, the inaugural Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award will accept entries in two categories: Belmont Stakes feature/advance, and Belmont Stakes wrap-up.