Friday, May 01 2009
Rachel Alexandra Dominates In Record 20 3/4 Length Victory in 135th Kentucky Oaks
LOUISVILLE, KY (May 1, 2009) – L & M Partners LLC’s Rachel Alexandra delivered a tour de force under Calvin Borel in crushing six rivals to win the 135th running of the $554,500 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) by a record 20 ¼ lengths on Friday before a crowd of 104,867 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Hal Wiggins for the partnership of breeder Dolphus Morrison and Michael Lauffer, Rachel Alexandra stalked early pacesetter Gabby’s Golden Gal until Borel began to inch up midway on the final turn of the mile and one-eighth race.
Foot Ailment Forces Scratch of Justwhistledixie from 135th Kentucky Oaks
LOUISVILLE, KY (May 1, 2009) – West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and R.D. Hubbard’s Justwhistledixie, a winner of five consecutive races including the Bonnie Miss (Grade II) and Davona Dale (GII) at Gulfstream Park, has been scratched from the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) because of a foot ailment.
The 3-year-old daughter of Dixie Union was the 5-2 second choice in the morning line odds for the field of eight in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, but was scratched less than two hours before the race. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the filly was suffering from an abscess in her left front foot that was discovered as his brother and assistant trainer Neal McLaughlin prepared Justwhistledixie for the race.
Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (Friday, May 1, 2009)
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE – The trio of Todd Pletcher horses was out and done with their leg stretching prior to 7 a.m. (all times EDT) Friday, each galloping approximately a mile and three eighths around the “sloppy” Churchill Downs oval that had been pelted with some fairly serious overnight rains.
Advice, the last of the barn’s Derby contenders came off the strip just prior to 7 with Pletcher looking on near the six-furlong gap.
“If it is ‘fast’ or ‘sloppy’ tomorrow for the race, I think we’ll be fine,” Pletcher said. “Dunkirk went over this ‘slop’ a little earlier and he handled it well. He was good with it. But I don’t think we’ll want to see a ‘good’ or ‘muddy’ track. That won’t help my horses. We’ll hope we don’t have to deal with that.”
CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE RALLIES TO WIN AEGON TURF SPRINT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 1, 2009) – Carl Moore Management’s Chamberlain Bridge collared Smart Enough in deep stretch and then held off a late charge from Cannonball by a neck to win the 15th running of the $112,800 AEGON Turf Sprint (Grade III) for 3-year-olds and up over the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs on Friday afternoon.
The AEGON Turf was the first of six stakes, five of them graded, on the Kentucky Oaks card that featured 12 races.
TVG TO OFFER WAGERING ON KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 30, 2009) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“CDI”) has announced that advance-deposit wagering (“ADW”) company TVG will offer wagering on the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands from Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 2, 2009. The deal, which is through TrackNet Media, extends through Oct. 31, 2009, and covers the complete 2009 spring meet at Churchill Downs, the complete 2009 racing meet at Arlington Park, and the Calder Race Course 2009 meet through Oct. 31.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement with TVG, which will allow even more customers to enjoy the ease and convenience of wagering on our products,” said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president of CDI. “We look forward to bringing the excellent racing of Churchill Downs Incorporated into their homes courtesy of TVG.”
Thursday, April 30 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Notes (Thursday 4.30.09)
ADVICE/DUNKIRK/JOIN IN THE DANCE
– The Todd Pletcher Derby trio of Advice, Dunkirk and Join in the Dance were out early, exercised and back in Barn 38 before 7 a.m. Thursday, missing the rains that splashed down on Louisville a bit later in the morning.
Kevin Willey handled both Advice and Join in the Dance in their gallops, while Patti Barry was up for Dunkirk’s exercise.
“They all went about a mile and three eighths,” Pletcher said. “It’s all good.”
Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.30.09)
BE FAIR/STONE LEGACY/TWEETER
– Trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent his three Kentucky Oaks entrants to the track for morning gallops before the renovation break at Churchill Downs on Thursday. The Hall of Fame trainer later acknowledged that “It’s a bad year to be in the Oaks” because of the presence of Rachel Alexandra, the odds-on morning-line favorite.
“We’re realistic. Rachel Alexandra is a super good filly. Since Winning Colors, she’s the best to come along,” said Lukas, who notched his first of four Kentucky Derby successes when Winning Colors beat the boys in 1988.
I Want Revenge Is Solid Favorite in 135th Running of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 29, 2009) – David Lanzman, IEAH Stables & Puglisi Racing’s I Want Revenge, a dazzling winner of Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial (Grade I) and Gotham (GIII) since his move from synthetic racetracks to traditional dirt, was installed as a solid 3-1 favorite when he faces 19 rivals in Saturday’s 135th renewal of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday at historic Churchill Downs.
The 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even could give IEAH Stables its second consecutive victory in America’s greatest race, following a dominant performance in last year’s Derby by the then-unbeaten Big Brown. A victory by I Want Revenge would provide California-based trainer Jeff Mullins with his first Kentucky Derby victory in five tries, and give 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo a victory in the famed “Run for the Roses” in his first attempt. The Louisiana native would be the youngest jockey to win the Derby since Kentucky-born racing legend Steve Cauthen, then 18, won the 1978 Derby and swept the Triple Crown with Affirmed in 1978.
Einstein Bids For Woodford Reserve Repeat
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 29, 2009) – Matthew Garretson’s Einstein (BRZ), a versatile major stakes winner on grass, dirt and synthetic surfaces, will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) on Saturday in one of the main appetizers on the Kentucky Derby 135 card at Churchill Downs.
The $2,202,200 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) is the centerpiece of the day that features five other graded stakes, two of them Grade I events, and the Eight Belles, a race for 3-year-old fillies that now honors the ill-fated filly that ran second to Big Brown in last year’s Kentucky Derby. First post time for the 13-race card is 10:30 a.m. with the Kentucky Derby post time set for 6:24 p.m. (all times EDT).
Wednesday, April 29 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Post Draw Quotes
ADVICE (Selection No. 13, Post position No. 4, morning line 30-1)/DUNKIRK (Selection No. 6, Post position No. 15, morning line 4-1)/JOIN IN THE DANCE (Selection No. 1, Post position No. 9 morning line 50-1) – Trainer Todd Pletcher
(On Dunkirk): “We talked about it this morning and our first choice was 15. So we got what we wanted. I was a little hesitant about going in next to Pioneerof the Nile (who picked fifth and selected No. 16) because I know he doesn’t always come out of there the right way. But 15 is a good spot. You’ve got some room there (it is the first opening in the auxiliary gate with space to the inside) and being outside you can fall into a good spot. We’re happy with it.” (On Join in the Dance): “Well, we thought about it a lot – sort of. Then when you know that Rashard’s jersey number is 9, you’ll know why we picked it.” (Rashard Lewis, a 10-year veteran of the NBA who currently plays for the Orlando Magic, wears No. 9 on his basketball jersey. He is one of the horse’s three owners along with Jake Ballis and Reagan Swinbank).
Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.29.08)
BE FAIR/STONE LEGACY/TWEETER
– All three D. Wayne Lukas-trained fillies galloped at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning in preparation for a meeting with likely odds-on favorite Rachel Alexandra in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks.
“What we’re going to do in the Oaks is I’m going to put Be Fair over there by the (track) kitchen; I’m going to put Tweeter right here (at the backstretch gap); and we’re going to tag around and keep barreling so we can hold off that monster,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, who also will saddle Stone Legacy, who apparently has been designated to start for Lukas’ tag team.
Eclipse Champion Zenyatta Makes Kentucky Debut In Louisville Distaff to Highlight Oaks Undercard
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 28, 2009) – Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss’ Zenyatta, the undefeated 5-year-old who earned a 2008 Eclipse Award as the nation’s top older filly or mare was one of three finalists for “Horse of the Year” honors, will face seven challengers Friday in the 24th running of the $350,000-added Louisville Distaff (Grade II) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.
The 12-race card Friday, highlighted by the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), will begin with a 10:30 a.m. ET post time. Five other stakes will be on the card, four of them graded.