Thursday, May 14 2009


Churchill Downs Barn Notes 5.13.09


CONTENDERS RACHEL ALEXANDRA, PIONEEROF THE NILE DEPART CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR BALTIMORE – The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for Saturday’s 134th running of the $1 million Preakness (Grade I) was completed on Wednesday when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday for the short trip to Louisville International Airport for their flight to Baltimore.

Those major players figure to be the top two betting choices in Saturday’s second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. Post positions for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness will be drawn this afternoon at Pimlico.





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SEATTLE SMOOTH SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT IN SHUVEE


ELMONT, N.Y. – Mercedes Stables LLC’s Seattle Smooth will try for her fourth straight stakes victory in Saturday’s 34th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Shuvee Handicap for fillies and mares going a mile on Belmont Park’s main track. Last August, the Quiet American filly won the Go for Wand at Delaware Park; the following month she scored in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park, and last month she ran away with the Grade 2 Bed O’ Roses Handicap, winning by more than five lengths at Aqueduct.

The only question remaining for trainer Tony Dutrow is whether she’ll tackle the course at Belmont with the same zeal.





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Arlington Park Barn Notes: Wednesday, May 13, 2009


JANKS JUMPS TO TOP OF ARLINGTON TRAINER STANDINGS

After saddling two winners on Sunday’s program, Illinois-based conditioner Christine Janks jumped to a narrow lead in Arlington’s trainer standings entering Thursday’s racing program. Was she aware of it?

“Actually, my husband Barry (who keeps detailed statistics on his wife’s career) let me know about it even before we had coffee this morning,” said Janks Monday morning. “I guess we might as well enjoy it while it lasts.





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VISITING EXPERT SERIES RETURNS TO ARLINGTON PARK


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 13, 2009) – Arlington Park, in cooperation with The Daily Racing Form’s DRF Press, will be offering a series of visiting handicapping experts who will be on hand for interviews, handicapping seminars, and book signings throughout the 2009 meet.

“We are re-instituting the Visiting Expert Series which we introduced in Arlington’s industry-leading Handicappers’ Information Center in 1983,” explained Professor M. Scott McMannis, host of Arlington’s Thoroughbred handicapping contests and seminars. “Back then, we brought in such luminaries and authors as Andy Beyer, Jim Quinn, Bill Quirin, William Scott, Steve Davidowitz, and more. The Visiting Expert Series was, and will be again, a meaningful expansion of Arlington’s thrust to educate as well as entertain our fans. We want to make our fans better handicappers.”





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GGF WILL OPEN ADMISSION GATES EARLY SATURDAY FOR PREAKNESS SIMULCAST


ALBANY -- Golden Gate Fields will open all admission gates at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes Day card from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

The first simulcast from Pimlico (Race 4) will be presented at 8:48 a.m. The Preakness Stakes, the middle leg of the Triple Crown, will be run at 3:15 p.m.

Mine That Bird, the shocking winner of the Kentucky Derby, and the brilliant filly Rachel Alexandra, who won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths, head a field of 13 in this year's Preakness.





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MARK S THE COOLER COMPLETES HAT-TRICK


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 13, 2009) — Mark S the Cooler closed from fourth in the final furlong under jockey Rafael Bejarano to win Wednesday’s $50,000 allowance feature by a nose, completing a hat-trick for trainer Doug O’Neill at Hollywood Park.

Bejarano moved Mark S the Cooler from the rail to the middle of the course turning for home and he caught pacesetter Santamonicacanyon at the wire while covering one mile on turf in 1:35.60.





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HP Stable Notes: May 13th 2009


BAFFERT GUNS FOR BI-COASTAL STAKES DOUBLE

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be in the national spotlight with Pioneerof the Nile in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Saturday but he will also send out Guns On the Table in the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park the same afternoon.

The Grade III test at six furlongs on Cushion Track highlights a program that begins at 11 a.m. in conjunction with a Preakness Day simulcast from Baltimore.





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Nicanor scores first career victory


WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, May 13, 2009 – Nicanor, the brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, notched his first career victory at Delaware Park today. With Anna (Rosie) Napravnik astride, the Kentucky-bred trained by Michael Matz notched a 15 1/4-length score and completed the mile and a sixteenth on the turf in 1:46.31 in his first career race on the grass.





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Wednesday, May 13 2009


Preakness News-May 12 Late


DERBY HERO MINE THAT BIRD ARRIVES AT PIMLICO

BALTIMORE, 05-12-09 – Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird arrived at Pimlico ahead of schedule Tuesday with a Baltimore City Police escort at 6:44 p.m. after leaving Churchill Downs at 9:06.a.m.

“I called a friend on the way and said it’s the first time I’ve had the police leading me instead of chasing me,” quipped Woolley, who drove all the way in the Ford F-450 Lariat that towed the gleaming white van carrying his Kentucky Derby winner.





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PIMLICO JOCKEY CHALLENGE ADDS PUNCH TO FRIDAY RACE CARD


BALTIMORE, 05-12-09---The top four riders in the country based on earnings, two Hall of Fame jockeys with Preakness victories, another who has won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Maryland's all-time winningest rider and Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux and Garrett Gomez, will do battle in the first Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Race Course which will be contested during Friday's Black-Eyed Susan program.

Riders will accumulate points for finishing first (12), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race with the winner of the series receiving $14,000. Other prize money includes $10,000 for finishing second, $8,000 for third and $3,500 for fourth through eighth.





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Preakness News-May 12 2009


FRIESAN FIRE SIGNALS HIS READINESS WITH 5F. BULLET; MINE THAT BIRD, 3 OTHERS, HIT THE ROAD TO PIMLICO

MINE THAT BIRD – Trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley got behind the wheel of his Ford F-450 Lariat and drove through Gate 6 at Churchill Downs Tuesday shortly after 9 a.m. with a van carrying his Kentucky Derby winner in tow.

“I think he is ready,” Woolley said. “If we make the trip up there good and he eats good, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”





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PICK SIX CARROVER WEDNESDAY AT GGF; PREAKNESS STAKES SIMULCAST SATURDAY


ALBANY -- The racing week at Golden Gate Fields begins Wednesday with an eight-race program that features a Pick Six carryover of $16,913.

Post time Wednesday through Sunday is 1:15 p.m. with the exception of Saturday, Preakness Stakes Day, when first post is 12:15 p.m.





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