Friday, May 22 2009


MEMORIAL SERVICE TO BE HELD SATURDAY FOR STARTER STENSGAR


ALBANY -- A memorial service for Golden Gate Fields starter Gary "Chief" Stensgar will be held in the Bay View Lounge of the track's Turf Club Saturday after the races. Stensgar, 37, died last Sunday of head injuries sustained in an off-the-track accident on May 11.

Stensgar, a native of Colville, Washington, began working at the racetrack at age 16 when he took a job on the starting gate at Playfair (Spokane, Wash.). He served as an assistant starter on the Washington and Oregon racing circuits before coming to Northern California in 2000.





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Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Thursday, May 21, 2009


ELKWOOD TOPS SATURDAY CARD AS TURF RACING RETURNS

The turf course opens at Monmouth on Saturday, with three races scheduled on the 10-race card, including the $70,000 Elkwood Stakes at one mile.

“Everybody is happy to see turf racing back,” said trainer Pat McBurney, who as part of the Forbes-McBurney Team sends out Get Serious in the Elkwood. “The racing office, the fans, the horsemen all like the grass races because of the full fields. Although, to tell the truth,” McBurney said with a smile, “I wish this one was a three-horse field.”





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SHINE AGAIN STAKES TOPS FAN APPRECIATION DAY CARD


BALTIMORE, 05-21-09---Pimlico Race Course closes out its’ 20-day spring meeting on Saturday with free admission, a free live program, a BBQ on the homestretch apron and ten live races including the $50,000 Shine Again Stakes.

Seven Maryland-bred fillies and mares will do battle in the feature, a 1-1/16th mile test on the main track. Two-time winner Amie’s Legend, a Not For Love filly trained by Graham Motion at Fair Hill, is the 8-5 morning line favorite. She won her first start by eight lengths and comes into the Shine Again off an allowance score at Delaware Park two weeks ago. Luis Garcia will ride the four-year-old filly, who has yet to finish out of the money in four dirt tries, for the first time.





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Ted Bassett Autobiography Goes to a Second Printing


Lexington, KY (May 20, 2009) – Keeneland’s Ted Bassett: My Life, the autobiography of longtime Keeneland executive James E. “Ted” Bassett III, is going to a second printing. Having been released only seven weeks ago, the first printing of the book has almost entirely sold out.

“Ted’s book has been a tremendous critical and commercial success,” said Stephen M. Wrinn, director of the University Press of Kentucky, publisher of the autobiography. “It’s one of our best selling titles this year, and we believe it’s destined to have a long life in the marketplace.”





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Thursday, May 21 2009


Top-Weighted Spice Route Faces Eight Rivals in 72nd Running of Louisville Handicap


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 20, 2009) – Spice Route (GB), stylish winner of the Elkhorn (Grade II) in his most recent start at Keeneland on April 24, headlines a field of nine entered for Saturday’s 72nd running of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (Grade III) to be run at a mile and a half over the Matt Winn Turf Course.

The Louisville Handicap goes as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race card that has a first post time of 12:45 p.m. ET.





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Rachel Alexandra Back on Track for a Gallop; Mine That Bird Gallop’s


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 20, 2009) – It was a day for racing royalty at Churchill Downs on Wednesday as Preakness (Grade I) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Rachel Alexandra returned to track for a gallop and Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and a fast-closing runner-up in the Preakness, continued to show his spirit during his first gallop since Saturday’s race.

Rachel Alexandra, the first filly in 84 years to win the Preakness and the second Kentucky Oaks winner in three years to defeat males in a Triple Crown race in her next start, galloped a mile over a “fast” track for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was her first trip from the track since her dazzling victory in Saturday’s Preakness at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course and her return to Churchill Downs on Sunday.





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TURF STARS HEADLINE AMERICAN 1000 GUINEAS FESTIVAL


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 20, 2009) – Three-year-old grass specialists are in the spotlight at Arlington Park Saturday in a pair of six-figure races for the sophomore turfers – the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas for fillies at one mile and the 75th edition of the $150,000 Arlington Classic for the boys at a mile and a sixteenth.

The two turf events are half of a quartet of stakes races that comprise the American 1000 Guineas Festival that also includes the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares on the main track and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup for older horses also on the synthetic main course. The four stakes races will make up a $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 that will cover races eight through 11 on the 11-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Central time.





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HANSHIN CUP, ARLINGTON MATRON DRAW SOLID LINEUPS


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 20, 2009) – While Saturday’s $200,000 American 1000 Guineas Festival is named for the 3-year-old filly turf race that has the day’s richest purse, the 11-race card also features a pair of graded stakes races for older horses to be run over Polytrack – the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares at nine furlongs and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup at one mile.

The two Polytrack events comprise half of the four stakes races that constitute the American 1000 Guineas Festival that in addition to the aforementioned 1000 Guineas also includes the $150,000 Arlington Classic. Together, the four stakes races will make up a $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Pool that will cover races eight through 11 on the 11-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Central time.





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MARION CORNWELL BENEFIT SET FOR SUNDAY AFTERNOON


BALTIMORE, 05-20-09---The Maryland racing community will have a benefit Sunday afternoon at Laurel Park for apprentice jockey Marion Cornwell, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor attached to his pancreas earlier this month.

A longtime exercise rider at Franklin Smith’s Elloree Training Center in South Carolina, Cornwell came north about five years ago and galloped horses for Eddie Gaudet and Steve Casey at the Bowie Training Center while picking up an occasional mount.





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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wednesday, May 20


GIANT OAK GETS MONDAY MOVE FOR SATURDAY’S ARLINGTON CLASSIC

Virginia Tarra Trust’s Giant Oak, the Illinois Derby runner-up being pointed for Saturday’s 75th anniversary edition of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, breezed a half-mile Monday morning in :47.60 in advance of the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple.

“It was just what I wanted and sets him up just fine for Saturday,” said trainer Chris Block after the breeze.





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CHAMPION ZENYATTA RETURNS SATURDAY IN MILADY HANDICAP AT HOLLYWOOD PARK


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 20, 2009) — Zenyatta, perfect in nine career starts, will carry high weight of 126 pounds when she makes her 2009 debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The daughter of Street Cry capped a seven-win 2008 campaign with 1 ½-length victory over Cocoa Beach in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, clinching an Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding older female.





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Minkredible a credible contender for Lady Angela


TORONTO, May 20 - Overheath Stable's Minkredible vies for her first added-money score in Saturday's $125,000 Lady Angela Stakes at Woodbine.

The seven-furlong Ontario-sired event is the last stakes prep for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, on June 7.





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