Friday, October 09 2009
GODOLPHIN HAVING BANNER YEAR AT NEW YORK TRACKS
ELMONT, N.Y. – There are less than 20 horses in the Godolphin Racing barn at Belmont Park at any one time, but they are about as good as racehorses get, and, oftentimes, seem to be winning every important race in sight.
After a relatively slow start at the spring meet at Belmont Park, the stable, founded in 1992 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, picked up enormous momentum this summer at Saratoga Race Course that has continued into the Belmont Park Fall Championship meet.
DUBLIN, ASPIRE MEET AGAIN IN 138th CHAMPAGNE STAKES
ELMONT, N.Y. – While Dublin was surging to the lead and into the clear on his way to winning the historic Grade 1 Hopeful on September 7 at Saratoga Race Course, Aspire looked lost in a sea of horses turning for home in the bulky field of 12.
Yet the dark bay son of Tale of the Cat displayed a combination of poise and speed, rallying off the rail and from behind horses to close fast and finish second, two lengths behind the winner.
AWESOME MARIA LOOKS TO TAKE NEXT STEP IN FRIZETTE
ELMONT, N.Y. – In the space of 29 days, Joyce Robsham’s Awesome Maria went from maiden to Grade 2 winner with her impressive victory in the Matron Stakes at Belmont Park on September 19. On Saturday, the gray daughter of Maria’s Mon looks to take the next step up when she faces six other 2-year-old fillies in the 62nd running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette at a mile.
A granddaughter of 1995 Grade 1 Alabama winner Pretty Discreet, Awesome Maria was second in her debut going 5½ furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on July 30, and then came back on August 21 for an eye-catching 8¼-length victory stretching out to seven furlongs. Sent off as the second choice in the Matron, also at seven furlongs, she pressed longshot Southern Truth through fractions of 22.57 and 45.20 before taking over and drawing clear to win by 2¾ lengths.
TAKE THE POINTS LOOKS FOR SECOND GRADE 1 IN JAMAICA
ELMONT, N.Y. – In only his third start on turf, Starlight Partners’ Take the Points became a Grade 1 winner, emerging victorious the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on August 8.
On Saturday, the 3-year-old son of Even the Score will attempt to duplicate that winning effort in the Grade 1, $300,000 Jamaica Handicap going nine furlongs over Belmont Park’s inner turf course.
Thursday, October 08 2009
LUKAS SEES BRILLIANCE IN DUBLIN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Normally, this time of year, D. Wayne Lukas is back at his base at Churchill Downs. This fall, however, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame trainer has remained in New York, camped at Belmont Park and firm in his belief something very special resides in his barn.
The horse is the 2-year-old Dublin, who after his scintillating two-length victory in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful on September 7 at Saratoga had Lukas dreaming of the Kentucky Derby.
Sunday, October 04 2009
PLETCHER SWEEPS 2-YEAR-OLD STAKES: JERKENS WINS KELSO
ELMONT, N.Y. – Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens sent out Le Grand Cru to win the 29th running of the $250,000 Kelso and trainer Todd Pletcher saddled the winners of both 2-year-old stakes Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park.
It was the first Kelso victory for Jerkens, who upset five-time Horse of the Year Kelso three times with Beau Purple in the 1960’s.
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Sunday, October 4, 2009
ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes, Shadwell Travers and newly minted Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Summer Bird was his usual self Sunday morning – alternately snoozing and peering alertly out his stall door, depending on when you caught him.
“He was bouncing and playing this morning, and he ate up everything last night,” said trainer Tim Ice. “He’s feeling better than me – that rain just killed me yesterday afternoon and now I’ve got a cold. I couldn’t be happier with the way he looks this morning though.”
Saturday, October 03 2009
SUMMER BIRD MAKES HISTORY IN JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP
ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Stakes and Shadwell Travers winner Summer Bird wrote his way into the history books Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, outdueling a game Quality Road through the stretch to win the 91st running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. With the victory, Summer Bird became the first 3-year-old since 1989 to have won all three races in a single year.
The handsome chestnut colt is just the 10th sophomore and first since Easy Goer to string together victories in the Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. The other 3-year-olds who have won the trio of prestigious races in New York are Man o’War (1920), Twenty Grand (1931), One Count (1951), Gallant Man (1957), Sword Dancer (1959), Damascus (1967), Arts and Letters (1969) and Temperence Hill (1980). All but One Count and Temperence Hill are Hall of Famers.
INTERPATATION CLOSES THE LOOP IN JOE HIRSCH TURF CLASSIC
ELMONT, N.Y. – Maybe 43-1 longshot Interpatation was just building up to it.
Although the 7-year-old son of Langfuhr had not won a race in more than two years, his previous record in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational indicated he might be capable of the upset he delivered on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, leading almost all the way in the $600,000 race and denying heavily favored Gio Ponti his fifth straight Grade 1 victory.
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.