Friday, March 06 2009
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.6.09)
WEST/CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND HEAVY FAVORITE IN SANTA ANITA OAKS
Stardom Bound, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, will be heavily favored to notch her fifth consecutive victory when she takes on nine rivals in Saturday’s $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I) over the synthetic Cushion Track surface at Santa Anita.
But it could be the last time she faces members of her gender for a while.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update - Friday, March, 6th 2009
EAST/HAYNESFIELD FACES INTRIGUING CAST IN GOTHAM
Turtle Bird Stable’s once-beaten Haynesfield has dominated stakes competition over the winter on Aqueduct’s dirt inner track, but he’ll face some intriguing new foes on Saturday in the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (Grade III), New York’s first major prep for the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
The Steve Asmussen-trained Haynesfield has rolled to four consecutive victories after the New York-bred son of Speightstown finished third in his career debut in August at Saratoga. The last three of those wins have come in stakes races through the winter months at Aqueduct, including a romp in the Whirlaway last time out in his first outing at a two-turn distance.
Wednesday, March 04 2009
TWINSPIRES.COM OPENS ‘09 ‘LEADERBOARD’ COMPETITION
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. (March 3, 2009) – TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), has launched its second annual “TwinSpires.com Leaderboard” competition in which top players can secure spots in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship XI (“NHC XI”) or Coast Casinos’ Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas early next year.
Along with earning bragging rights in the TwinSpires.com and handicapping contest communities, six players who top the TwinSpires.com Leaderboard competition will earn spots in the field for the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship and a chance at its $1,000,000 in prize money. Six runners-up in those Leaderboard categories will be awarded entries in the Coast Casinos Horse Player World Series.
Monday, March 02 2009
Churchill Downs Incorporated Announces Safety Measures in Effect for Kentucky Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 2, 2009) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“CDI” or “Company”) has announced a series of groundbreaking new rules and policies designed to enhance the safety and welfare of jockeys and horses. These measures will be in place at Churchill Downs racetrack in advance of the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2, and will include unprecedented standardized third-party testing of track surfaces and comprehensive testing of all winning horses for more than 100 prohibited drugs.
The safety initiatives will be implemented at Churchill Downs effective opening day of its 2009 Spring Meet on Saturday, April 25, and will be phased in at all other Company racetracks – Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.; Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans – by the start of their respective 2010 race meets.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.1.09)
DUBAI/CHAMPION MIDSHIPMAN OFF THE KENTUCKY DERBY TRAIL
The hard-luck suffered by champion 2-year-olds along the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) continues in 2009 as reigning juvenile champion Midshipman has been knocked out of consideration for the “Run for the Roses” after suffering what is described as a minor leg injury.
The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), purchased privately last fall by Dubai-based Godolphin, was reported to have suffered a soft tissue injury to his left fore leg during training for the colt’s scheduled 3-year-old debut on Thursday in the Al Bastikaya at Nad Al Sheba. Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford said Midshipman could return to racing in the latter half of the year.
Friday, February 27 2009
CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND HEADS ROSTER OF 170 FILLIES NOMINATED TO 135TH KENTUCKY OAKS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2009) – IEAH Stables, Paul Pompa Jr., Michael Dubb, and Golden Goose Enterprises LLC’s Stardom Bound, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008 and winner of the Las Virgenes (Grade I) at Santa Anita in her 2009 debut, heads an impressive roster of 170 horses nominated to compete in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI), which will be run on Friday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies and is run each year on the eve of America’s greatest race, the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). Like the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks has been renewed each year without interruption since 1875 when the first racing meet was held at Churchill Downs, then known as the Louisville Jockey Club.
Defending Champion Einstein, Breeders’ Cup Heroes Kip Deville, Red Rocks, Better Talk Now
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2009) – Defending champion Einstein, one of America’s top racing stars on both grass and dirt, is joined by Breeders’ Cup World Championships heroes Kip Deville, Red Rocks and Better Talk Now on a glittering roster of racing stars nominated to compete in the 23rd running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 2.
The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on turf attracted 101 nominations, a total that is down slightly from last year’s roster of 108 nominees. The race is traditionally run immediately prior to the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is one of three Grade I events on a stellar Kentucky Derby Day racing program that will include six graded stakes races with total purses of $3.35 million. It will be televised by ESPN.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (2.27.09)
SOUTHEAST/REPUTATIONS ON LINE AS MAJOR PLAYERS MEET RISING STARS IN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
As Gulfstream Park’s major prep for the Florida Derby (Grade I), the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (GII) has long been an indicator of future success in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the Triple Crown. Eleven winners of the “Run for the Roses” have included a stop in the Gulfstream Park race on their road to the hallowed ground of the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle at Churchill Downs.
But no Fountain of Youth participant has won America’s greatest race since Thunder Gulch swept both races in 1995. Eleven 3-year-old Thoroughbreds will attempt to snap that winless streak on Saturday when they enter the starting gate for the race that will be run at its new distance of one-mile.
Thursday, February 26 2009
Late ‘Voice of the Kentucky Derby’ Luke Kruytbosch to be honored
The late Luke Kruytbosch, who served for a decade as the “Voice of the Kentucky Derby” in his role as announcer at historic Churchill Downs, will be honored on Saturday, Feb. 28 as the American Heart Association holds its 17th annual Crystal Heart Gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.
The snazzy Saturday evening black-tie event features fine food, great auction items and music and annually raises money to fight heart disease and stroke. The Gala is annually a hot ticket each year that attracts many of Kentuckiana’s business and medical community leaders. This year’s event begins at 6 p.m. (Eastern).
Monday, February 23 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update 2.23.09
WEST/BAFFERT, PEGRAM TAKE TURF PARADISE DERBY WITH MAYOR MARV
Having already faced some of Southern California’s outstanding prospects for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), Mayor Marv was relatively battle-tested for a horse that had only one win in six races heading into Saturday’s $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby at Arizona’s Turf Paradise.
His first trip out of Southern California and initial step into stakes company was a rousing success as Mayor Marv drew away in the stretch for an easy 4 ½-length victory over Hidden Bounty. David Flores was aboard Mayor Marv as he notched his second consecutive win after five career-opening losses that included solid efforts behind Kentucky Derby contenders The Pamplemousse, the winner of the San Rafael (GII), and Robert B. Lewis (GII) runner-up Papa Clem.
Friday, February 20 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (2.20.09)
SOUTHEAST/UNBEATEN DUNKIRK LIVES UP TO BILLING, PRICE TAG IN GULFSTREAM ALLOWANCE WIN
Favored Dunkirk, a star in the sales ring well before he made it to the races, lived up to his considerable advance billing with a powerful 4 ¾-length victory in a strong 3-year-old allowance race on Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The emphatic win stamped the lightly-raced colt as a serious contender for the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs on May 2.
The gray son of Unbridled’s Song, a $3.7 million purchase as a yearling in Keeneland’s 2007 September Sale, overcame a wide journey around the first turn in the 1 1/8-mile contest, grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and drew clear to turn back runner-up Warrior’s Reward and eight other 3-year-olds. Sincero, a 48-1 longshot, finished third and More Than Willing was fourth.
Monday, February 16 2009
‘ALL OTHERS’ FAVORED, BUT UNBEATEN OLD FASHIONED TOPS INDIVIDUAL HORSES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2009) – The opening pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) concluded Sunday just as it had in each year of the bet’s opening decade as the mutuel field, or “all others”, was the solid 2-1 favorite among 24 wagering interests at the conclusion of betting in four-day pool. But Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned was a clear choice among the 23 individual horses in the Derby Future pool that ended on the eve of the colt’s 3-year-old racing debut.
The mutuel field, which included all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 1, was bet down to 1-9 in Pool 1’s opening moments on Thursday and was a strong favorite through every second of the four days of betting that ended at 6 p.m. (EST) on Sunday. But Remsen (GII) winner Old Fashioned loomed as the solid second choice – and the favored individual horse – throughout the pool and at odds of 7-1 on Sunday.