Friday, April 17 2009
Pioneerof the Nile, Chocolate Candy Jog; Busy Weekend of Derby Works Looms
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 17, 2009) – After spending the winter on synthetic surfaces in California, Zayat Stables Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy got a feel for the traditional dirt track at Churchill Downs on Friday as they began their first full day at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
The Bob Baffert-trained Pioneerof the Nile, whose win in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) marked his fourth straight stakes victory, and Chocolate Candy, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, both jogged over a “fast” surface after the mid-session break for track maintenance on Friday.
Chris Bosh named drawmaster for Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budwesier
TORONTO, April 17 - Toronto Raptors’ all-star forward Chris Bosh has been announced as the drawmaster for the Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, which will be contested on Sunday, June 7, at Woodbine.
Bosh, one of the National Basketball Association's headliners, will take part in the post position draw ceremonies on June 4.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
SAVE YOUR BUCKS AT BELMONT PARK; $1 OFF SPECIAL ANNOUNCED
In order to make a day at the races more affordable, The New York Racing Association has announced the Save Your Bucks deal for the opening month of the 2009 Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet. Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from April 29 through May 29, fans will receive $1 off general parking, admission, beer, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza.
“NYRA has the best fans in the world, and the Save Your Bucks deal is our way of thanking them for their support,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA President & CEO. “By discounting parking, admission, food, and drinks, individuals and families alike will be able to save money on almost all of the amenities offered at Belmont Park.”
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
PLENTY OF WORK AVAILABLE FOR UPCOMING SARATOGA MEET
It takes a lot of work to put on the greatest Thoroughbred racing meet in the world, and Saratoga Race Course is eager to get help established for its 2009, 36-day meet that runs from Wednesday, July 29-Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
To meet its demand for help at Saratoga, the New York Racing Association will conduct a series of Open Houses to interview candidates for different positions. These include turf work, general labor, greenhouse work/planting, betting clerks, security, ushers, parking attendants, customer service and group sales representatives and admission cashiers.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
Keeneland Receives Accreditation Following Review by NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Inspection
At a press conference today at Keeneland, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the Lexington, Ky., racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland is the second track to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs was accredited last week.
The accreditation of Keeneland was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application. Keeneland then hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met twice with the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers. It was led by Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing regulator Frank Lamb; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Portions of the review were also observed by Thompson.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory Being Launched with Broad Industry Support
The following news release is being distributed on behalf of the new Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.
A Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory designed to enhance surface safety for horses and riders is being launched with the financial support of a broad industry coalition, it was announced today by the laboratory’s coordinators Dr. Mick Peterson and Dr. Wayne McIlwraith.
The laboratory will provide science-based testing focused on the unique demands of horse racing. Such testing has long been sought after by track superintendents and will be provided for dirt and synthetic racetrack surfaces in collaboration with industry stakeholders.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO DERBY SCENE WITH RUN IN SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON
J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, who started the year near the top of almost anyone’s list of contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), makes a late return to the road to Churchill Downs when he faces 10 rivals in Keeneland’s $300,000 Coolmore Lexington (GII).
The 1 1/16-mile race on the synthetic Polytrack surface will be the first start for Square Eddie since January. Twelve 3-year-olds were entered in the Coolmore Lexington, but Team Valor’s Barry Irwin was unhappy with the outside post draw by Hull and said that colt would scratch and run in next week’s Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/RACHEL ALEXANDRA SIZZLES IN CHURCHILL DOWNS WORK
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra did nothing to diminish her status as the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when what was planned as an easy work on Thursday at Churchill Downs became another sizzling display of her considerable talent.
The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had regular jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle as she zipped five furlongs on a “fast” track in :59.40 – which tied as the fastest of 21 works at the distance. Borel was motionless in the irons as Rachel Alexandra covered the distance in fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36 and :47.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and seven-eighth of a mile s in 1:24.20.
Scott Lake in position to break record
Wilmington, Del., April 17, 2009 — This year, seven-time defending leading Delaware Park trainer Scott Lake could break a record at the Stanton-oval that many old-time race trackers thought would never even be approached. If the 43-year-old native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, captures his eighth straight title, he would break the record set by the late great Grover “Buddy” Delp from 1963 through 1969.
“It is a record I really want to break, but it is going to be a tough one,” said trainer Scott Lake. “Pat Pope becoming racing secretary will raise the bar in terms of competition. He has brought in some top new outfits like Cody Autrey and Michael Stidham. It will be a little bit tougher meet, but I think it will be a tougher meet in a good way with bigger fields, with more claiming options and lots of turnover. I absolutely love that type of competition and we take a lot pride in our outfit rising to the occasion when things get a little tougher.”
CALIFORNIA STARS PIONEEROF THE NILE, CHOCOLATE CANDY ARRIVE FOR KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Two more contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) joined the scene at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon when the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) – Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy – arrived at Churchill Downs
Zayat Stables, LLC’s Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy arrived in Louisville following a flight from Southern California. The two horses made the short journey form Louisville International Airport to Churchill Downs in separate vans and arrived at the home of the Kentucky Derby at approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT).
Likely Kentucky Oaks Favorite Rachel Alexandra Zips
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Trainer Hal Wiggins was looking for an easy work on Thursday for L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the likely favorite for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on May. But ‘easy’ is a relative term when it comes to describing the training activity of the star of Wiggins’ stable.
Rachel Alexandra zipped five furlongs in :59.40 over a “fast” track with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. The move, which came just after the break for track maintenance, tied as the fastest of 21 at the distance.
Barn notes 4-16-2009
Another Albertrani ‘Magic Moment’ Possible in Boynton Beach
Trainer Tom Albertrani has had a strong season at Gulfstream Park with six of his 10 wins at the meet coming in stakes races, and he could head back to New York with another big victory after sending out Lawrence Goichman’s 3-year-old homebred filly My Magic Moment, the likely favorite, in Saturday’s $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes.
“We’ll be looking to ship to New York in the next day or two, and you just hope they can all stay healthy” said Albertrani Wednesday afternoon. “Different horses come around at different times and you just hope they can come together at the right time, and that’s been what we’ve been lucky enough to have happen this year.”