Sunday, January 18 2009


Keeneland Concludes January Horses of All Ages Sale


Lexington, KY (January 17, 2009) – A large, diverse contingent of domestic and foreign buyers participated in Keeneland’s recently concluded January Horses of All Ages Sale, despite the ongoing global financial crisis.

Gross receipts for the six-day auction, held January 12-17, totaled $32,824,000, down 53.4 percent from last year’s seven-day total of $70,446,000. Average price of $24,532 declined 48 percent from $47,184 reported in 2008. The median of $9,500 decreased 44.1 percent from last year’s $17,000. A total of 1,338 horses sold compared to 1,493 a year ago. The not sold rate dropped 9.2 percent when compared to 2008.





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Ikagai Scores Biggest Victory Yet in Mr. Prospector


Edmund Gann’s 4-year-old colt Ikigai had won four of his last five starts for trainer Marty Wolfson, but was taking a big step up in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, facing Grade\Group I winners Kelly’s Landing and Black Seventeen in the field of seven going six furlongs.

With jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan aboard, Ikigai stalked from second down the backstretch, took command on the far turn, and drew clear to score by 2¼ lengths over Lael Stable’s Rollers with Wind River Stable’s California invader Black Seventeen another 3¼ lengths back in third as the winner was timed in 1:09:37 over the ‘fast’ track.





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Jack Spratt Takes Dania Beach


Thomas Conway, Sand Dollar Stable and partners’ 3-year-old Jack Spratt overcame the far outside post position in a bulky field of 13 to rally to a half-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux in Saturday’s $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Less than a length separated the first four under the wire in the one mile turf test.





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Career Debut Imminent for Nicanor after Saturday Workout


Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the 3-year-old full-brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, is doing “terrific” and has trainer Michael Matz hoping he will be able to make his career debut on Donn Handicap (G1) weekend, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

The Kentucky homebred son of Dynaformer breezed a half-mile in company with fellow Matz-trainee Hennigan in 50 2/5. The two finished together with Nicanor getting the wider, outside trip around the sweeping Palm Meadows turn under exercise rider and assistant trainer Peter Brette. It was a breeze designed to gauge how ready the colt is for his debut. By all accounts, it’s a matter of scheduling now.





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Dubai riches appeal Down Under


The 2005 Dubai Duty Free victory of Elvstroem, whose half-brother Haradasun won the Group 1 Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on his second and final run in Europe last year, remains Australia’s Nad Al Sheba highlight.

However, who can forget the impact Tony Noonan had when saddling their first Carnival runners in 2007 with Benedetti and Smart and Mighty winning their first three races between them.







 

CHOCOLATE CANDY PREVAILS IN CALIFORNIA DERBY AT GGF


ALBANY -- Chocolate Candy, the 4-to-5 favorite ridden by Russell Baze, surged to the lead at the top of the stretch and went on to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

Chocolate Candy completed a mile and a sixteenth on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface in 1:43.98 while defeating six rivals in Northern California's first major race for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby dreams. Axel Foley took second by 2 1/2 lengths over Merus Miami.





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Pearls of the East set for Dubai


Japan may yet to have registered a winner at the Dubai International Racing Carnival, albeit from very few runners, but they do have a great record on World Cup night.

Victories for the likes of Admire Moon (Dubai Duty Free), Stay Gold and Heart’s Cry (Dubai Sheema Classic) and Utopia (Godolphin Mile) have seen the Hinomaru (Japanese flag) flown over Nad Al Sheba with pride in the past and this year it appears they could have their strongest team ever.





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Saturday, January 17 2009


Cumani arrives prior to Carnival debut


Leading trainer Luca Cumani was on hand at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday morning, supervising final preparations for what will be his first runners at a Dubai International Carnival on Thursday night.

Cumani is yet to have a runner at the Dubai International Carnival but was one of the pioneers of the International Stables, training Endless Hall at the facility when that horse was fourth in the 2001 Dubai Sheema Classic before his win in the Singapore Airlines International Cup.





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STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 17TH, 2009


GOMEZ HOPES GEORGIE BOY MAKES SHORT WORK OF SUNSHINE MILLIONS FOES

Georgie Boy will do something he has never done before when he runs in next Saturday’s $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita. He will be making his first start at six furlongs.

The California-bred gelding trained by Kathy Walsh has had nine lifetime starts: three at 5 ½ furlongs; one at 6 ½ furlongs; four at seven furlongs, and one at 1 1/16 miles. The son of Tribal Rule was on the lead before finishing second in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar as a 2-year-old in August 2007, but his best race came in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs on Sept. 5, 2007, when he rallied from next to last in a field of 13 to win by a half-length.





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Friday, January 16 2009


AGGIE ENGINEER HANDY WINNER OF SANTA ANITA SPRINT FEATURE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2009) – Before a “Free Friday” on-track crowd of 6,026, the lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding Aggie Engineer scored impressively in his third career start when he overtook A Lil Dumaani to capture Santa Anita’s $51,280 allowance feature by 1 ¾ lengths while negotiating six furlongs in 1:08.56.

Under a confident hand ride by Alex Solis, the son of E Dubai rallied from third after going off as the 9-5 second choice in the field of six. Onetimeatbandcamp, the 3-2 favorite, finished third, 2 ¾ lengths behind A Lil Dumaani.





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DRYSDALE HAS THREE-PRONGED ATTACK FOR SAN MARCOS MONDAY


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2009) – In search of his fourth San Marcos Stakes victory, Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will send out three formidable contenders among ten entrants on Monday in Santa Anita’s 57th running of the Grade II, $150,000 event at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

Millionaire Marsh Side, multiple Grade I stakes winner Artiste Royal and Obrigado, a recent second in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup, will be Drysdale’s shooters in the stakes race that tops the track’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day program of nine races. First post is at 12:30 p.m. A secondary feature is the $70,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs.





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STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 16TH, 2009


IT’S NOT UNUSUAL FOR ABRAMS TO LIKE SUNSHINE MILLIONS

When it comes to the Sunshine Millions and Unusual Heat, count Barry Abrams as a fan. The 54-year-old trainer has eight horses pre-entered in the seventh Sunshine Millions races to be decided next Saturday, Jan. 24, at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, and each was sired by the prolific stallion Unusual Heat, who stands at Old English Rancho in Sanger. His breeding syndicate is managed by prominent owner Madeline Auerbach.





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