Friday, March 27 2009


Family legacy continues in Dubai


When Marsh Side runs in Saturday’s $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic he will represent the legacy of a family whose roots are deeply entrenched in American racing.

Marsh Side is a homebred owned by Robert S. Evans whose late father, Thomas, bred and owned 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Pleasant Colony. Marsh Side’s dam, Colonial Play, is a daughter of Pleasant Colony and was bred and raced by Robert’s father.





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The Australian Connection - What you might not know


1. In 1984, Germany's top race - the Grossser Preis Von Baden - was won by Australian horse Strawberry Road who was owned by John Singleton, trained by John Nicholls and ridden by Brent Thomson. Remarkably, 25 years on, all three men are in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup. Singleton owns Tuesday Joy who runs in the Dubai Duty Free; Thomson is here as the DRC's Australian agent and Nicholls is assistant trainer to Musabah Al Muhairi.

2. Trainer David Hayes is here again with Niconero who finished 11th in the Dubai Duty Free last year. But that was not Hayes' first trip to Dubai. Back in 2002 when he was based in Hong Kong, he came to Dubai with Helene Vitality who finished second to Nayef in the Dubai Sheema Classic.





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2009 Dubai World Cup latest - Tracknotes March 27


DUBAI WORLD CUP, SPONSORED BY EMIRATES

Johnny Murtagh, who rides Asiatic Boy in the $6m Dubai World Cup, hopes that home advantage might tilt the scales in his favour over US raider Albertus Maximus in the richest race on the globe at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday.

Murtagh, who was runner-up on Asiatic Boy 12 months ago, said: “There is no Curlin around this year, and, while I have a lot of respect for Albertus Maximus, having seen him win at the Breeders Cup, my fellow has been trained here, whereas the favourite has had to endure a long journey being shipped over.





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Thursday, March 26 2009


WIDE-OPEN HARRISON JOHNSON HANDICAP HEADLINES SATURDAY CARD


LAUREL, MD. 03-26-09---Two runners from the powerful stable of trainer Graham Motion are listed as the first and second choices to win Saturday’s nine furlong $50,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park. The Johnson kicks off the final Magna 5 wager of the season.

Motion has entered Bullsbay and Kurbat, 5-year-olds who have both won more than $203,000, but they race as separate betting interests. Only one is expected to compete in the Johnson, which drew a field of 11 older runners at nine-furlongs.







 

Barn Notes 2/26


Speedy Casey’s On Call Jumps Into the Fray

When Casey’s On Call made his 3-year-old debut in a $75,000 claiming race Feb. 19 at Gulfstream Park, his connections were not thinking about the Kentucky Derby trail.

Trainer Alec Fehr was.

The 42-year-old Canadian-based trainer convinced owner Terry Hamilton to claim the son of Gimmeawink. Six weeks later they are hoping to run away with the biggest prize of the season as BlackBerry Presents the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) Saturday.





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Celebrate Community Day at Woodbine


TORONTO, March 26 - Woodbine Racetrack will host its annual Community Day on Saturday, April 4 starting at 11:00 am. This year the event coincides with the return of thoroughbred racing to the Toronto oval.

"These two events happening on the same day is a great fit for our organization," says Jane Holmes, Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) Vice President of Corporate Affairs. "WEG is committed to being a leader within the horse racing industry, a good corporate citizen and a strong community partner. Community Day helps us demonstrate our commitment on one day, under one roof."





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, MARCH 26TH, 2009


THE PAMPLEMOUSSE FAVORED FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY

Pace makes the race, and with The Pamplemousse the lone speed in a prospective field of five for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 4, the son of Kafwain looms a solid early favorite in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

“He’ll definitely be the (morning line) favorite,” said Jeff Tufts, who has been providing program odds at Southern California tracks for some 30 years.





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FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR GRADE 1 WOOD MEMORIAL, CARTER


The top three finishers from the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds going 1 1/8th miles at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 4.

Owned by David Lanzman, I Want Revenge took his place among the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his 8½-length win in the 1 1/16th-mile Gotham on March 7. Sequoia Racing’s Imperial Council, who was second in the Gotham, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Mr. Fantasy, third, are also likely for the final major New York prep for the May 2 Derby, according to New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew M. Byrnes.





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SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES


SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES

When last seen on Aqueduct’s inner track, Repole Stable’s Lights Off Annie was on her way to her first stakes win, a five-length score over Let’s Fly Away in the Broadway Handicap on March 1. It was the four-year-old daughter of Freud’s fourth victory in five starts since finishing seventh in her debut, her only loss during that period coming when stretched out to a mile on Feb. 11.

Friday afternoon, Lights Off Annie tries to make it two straight for trainer Bruce Levine when she takes on four other fillies and mares going six furlongs in the $65,000 Missy’s Mirage, an overnight stakes to be run as the eighth race. And while her four victories have come with a combined winning margin of nearly 25 lengths, Friday afternoon’s feature appears a much tougher spot even with the services of Rajiv Maragh, the second-leading rider at the Big A.





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Keeneland Post Time 1:05 P.M. (ET) for Spring Meet


Lexington, KY (March 26 , 2009) – Keeneland has announced that post time for the first race will be 1:05 p.m. (ET) during its spring race meeting, to be held April 3-24. Post time has previously been 1:10 p.m.

“We changed the post time as part of a cooperative effort between Keeneland, NYRA and Gulfstream Park to stagger our races throughout the day so fans don’t miss any of the action,” said Keeneland President & CEO Nick Nicholson.





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CHURCHILL DOWNS TO OPEN AT 9 A.M. SATURDAY FOR DUBAI WORLD CUP


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 26, 2009) – Trackside at Churchill Downs will open early at 9 a.m. (all times Eastern) on Saturday, March 28, to import the six lucrative stakes races that compromise the 14th annual Dubai World Cup program from Nad Al Sheba Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.

The $21 million extravaganza is anchored by the world’s richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (Group I), which has lured North American horses such as Donn Handicap (GI) champ Albertus Maximus, Goodwood Handicap (GI) winner Well Armed, Meadowlands Cup (GII) hero Arson Squad and Pennsylvania Derby (GII) champ Anak Nakal. The Americans will face a stellar international cast that includes Japan’s Casino Drive, winner of last year’s Peter Pan (GII), and 2007 UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy, the runner-up to Curlin in last year’s World Cup.





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Meet the Americans: U.S. horses are a diverse bunch


Every year, American horses have a major impact on the Dubai World Cup program, whether through success in the races or just their strength in numbers.

This year, 12 horses have been sent from the United States to compete in five of the six races for Thoroughbreds. Just like people, each has a unique story. Following is a personal glimpse at these dozen competitors, a group that includes one champion, eight Grade 1 winners and six horses that have won at least US$1 million.





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