Sunday, January 11 2009


COWBOY CAL WITHSTANDS INQUIRY TO CAPTURE SAN PASQUAL BY NOSE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009) – Cowboy Cal, second in four stakes races since his last win on New Year’s Day of 2008, withstood an inquiry Saturday to triumph by a nose over 28-1 longshot Informed in Santa Anita’s 72nd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.26.

With Eastern-based John Velasquez in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher, 5-2 second-choice Cowboy Cal assumed command soon after the start. Despite drifting out in deep stretch, he gamely denied the closing surge of Informed, well-beaten at 44-1 in his only previous stakes try after being claimed for $25,000 last June.





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ON-LINE SHOWVIVOR RETURNS TO SANTA ANITA JAN. 17TH


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2009)—Santa Anita’s popular on-line handicapping contest “ShowVivor,” will once again be available for fans to play beginning Saturday, Jan. 17.

The contest will feature $5,000 in prize money, with a $3,000 award going to the top finisher. Prizes will also be awarded to the first runner up ($1,500) and the second runner up ($500). Participation is free of charge and contestants will be required to select one horse per day to finish first, second or third in a race of the player’s choice. If a selection finishes lower than third, that player is eliminated. All selections must be registered on-line no later than 10 minutes before first post time at Santa Anita.





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STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 10TH, 2009


CASSE PLANS TO MAKE HIS MARK ON PRO-RIDE AT SANTA ANITA

Mark Casse has moved a division from the cold clime of Canada to sunny Southern California, and he’s loving it.

“We had 17 horses here when the meet first started, but within the next 10 days, we’ll probably have 30, 32,” Casse said on a “Chamber of Commerce” morning at Santa Anita Saturday. “There were a lot of reasons I brought horses in from Woodbine,” continued the 47-year-old Casse, a native of Indianapolis who is in his 30th year of training. “We’ve been struggling the last few years as we changed our program, and I train for some pretty big people who have a lot of well-bred horses.





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PUMPKIN SHELL TURNS CINDERELLA IN BUSANDA


By Francis LaBelle Jr.

December Hill Farm’s Pumpkin Shell didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry on Saturday afternoon, having spent the majority of her time in the featured 36th running of the $72,020 Busanda at the back of the field.

But when the time came for her to act, the Lion Heart filly took jockey C.C. Lopez through a hole in the middle of the lane and went on to a hand-ridden one-length victory Saturday afternoon in the featured race for three-year-old fillies.





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ACCESS FEE CRUISES IN WHAT A SUMMER STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 01-10-09---Sondra Bender’s Access Fee sped to the lead and scored an easy victory in the $50,000 What A Summer Stakes for fillies and mares at Laurel Park.

Sent to post as the favorite against nine others under jockey Jose Caraballo, Access Fee remained unbeaten at Laurel Park with her 4-3/4 length victory in 1:10.31 over the fast main track. The daughter of Menifee paid $3.60.





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Saturday, January 10 2009


TEN HORSES TO TAKE FLIGHT IN PELICAN STAKES


OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 9, 2009) Ten horses are scheduled to battle it out in Saturday’s 25th running of the $65,000 Pelican Stakes, a six furlong main track test for four-year-olds and up. Included in the field is Bernie Blue, the high-money earner in this group with a bankroll of $801,935. A multiple stakes winner, the five-year-old son of Bernstein has not finished out of the money since October of 2007. Of his fourteen starts at the six furlong distance, Bernie Blue has finished in the top three in ten of those attempts for owner Pyrite Stable.







 

THREE-DAY CARRYOVER OF $1,210,706 INTO SATURDAY’S PICK SIX


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2009) – Bonjour’s 14-1 upset in Friday’s $58,336 optional claiming feature contributed largely to the first three-day carryover in Santa Anita’s Pick Six, totaling $1,210,706, since Feb. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of last year when a single winning ticket returned a record $3,120,256.80.

It is expected that the Pick Six pool on Saturday could possibly reach $4 million, with at least 10 horses scheduled to compete in each of the Pick Six races that begin with the fourth on a nine-race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.





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STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 9TH, 2009


NOTHING BUT FOND MEMORIES OF LEGENDARY JOE HIRSCH, DEAD AT 80

Memories of respect and praise are infinite for legendary turf writer Joe Hirsch, who died Friday at the age of 80 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. Hirsch began his career with the New York Times, and in 1954 joined Daily Racing Form, where he was named executive columnist in 1974. He retired in November 2003.

“It was so much fun to work with him,” said current Racing Form writer Steve Andersen, “because he really led by example. He was the consummate gentleman. Everybody knew him and everybody wanted to be around him when he came to town. I remember in 1994, when Sam Houston Park opened, it was my first job with the Racing Form, and I had been there two weeks. Every day the track president stopped me and asked if Joe Hirsch was coming, because he knew that was the stamp of approval. If he could get Hirsch there, he knew he’d made it. Joe didn’t go.”





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Turf Work Opens Possibilities to Career Debut


Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the full-brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, passed another test this week imposed by trainer Michael Matz by working out on the Palm Meadows turf course last Monday.

The 3-year-old homebred son of Dynaformer remains pointed toward a highly anticipated career debut at the end of January or early in February, but after his latest drill could make that start on the grass.





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Arabian triple crown opens this Sunday at Abu Dhabi


Racing returns to Abu Dhabi this Sunday with a seven race card highlighted by the opening round of the Arabian Triple Crown, a 1600m contest carrying Listed status and kindly sponsored by Hydra Properties.

Purebred Arabian stars such as Parador and Nez D’Or have won this in the past, while last year’s winner Abu Alemarat went on to become the first to win all three legs.





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Kelly’s Landing Set to Return in Mr. Prospector Saturday


Trainer Eddie Kenneally confirms that Summerplace Farm’s 8-year-old homebred gelding Kelly’s Landing is on target to make his season debut in next Saturday’s (Jan. 17) $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, one of four stakes to be run over the weekend.

“He’s doing well so far,” said Kenneally Saturday morning from his Palm Meadows winter headquarters. “We’re going to go one race at a time. We’ll see how he does in the Mr. Prospector before deciding what comes after that.” The son of Patton worked a strong five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Thursday at Palm Meadows.





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Friday, January 09 2009


AQUEDUCT RACETRACK NOTES--Friday, January 9, 2009


Jockey John Velazquez will be featured as celebrity guest presenter on a new television reality series, “The Real Winning Edge,” in syndication nationwide. Velazquez will appear in an episode airing in New York on WNYW- FOX 5 TV this Saturday, January 10, at 9 a.m.

The series features high school and college students who overcome challenges, such as illness or poverty, to excel in sports and the performing arts. Other athletes serving as guest presenters on the series include David Tyree of the New York Giants, Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames, Olympic Gold medal short-track speed skater Apolo Ohno and other notables from NASCAR, the NBA, professional golf and other sports.





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