Sunday, April 26 2009

Unbeaten Hull Wins Derby Trial As Churchill Downs Opens 52-Day Spring Meet

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 25, 2009) – Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s undefeated Hull ran his winning streak to three with a four-length victory over Kensei in the 85th running of the $112,000 Derby Trial (Grade III) on opening day of the 52-day Churchill Downs Spring Meet.

Trained by Dale Romans, who posted his 20th career stakes victory at Churchill Downs, Hull swept past dueling leaders Silver City and Checklist at the head of the lane and then repulsed a late bid by Kensei, who was ridden by Robby Albarado.

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 25, 2009) — Compari posted a mild upset under Garrett Gomez in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes, but Rafael Bejarano stole the spotlight with a five-win afternoon Saturday on the tenth annual California Gold Rush program at Hollywood Park.

Gomez, the Eclipse Award-winning jockey the last two years who returned to town from Kentucky a half-million dollars ahead of Bejarano as the country’s leading jockey, was in jeopardy of losing the top spot as the field headed to the starting gate for the 16th running of the Snow Chief.

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By Francis La Belle Jr.

Mr. Fantasy, thwarted in the Gotham by the overpowering performance of Kentucky Derby-bound I Want Revenge, turned back to a mile Saturday afternoon and got help from hard-to-handle Supreme Summit as he rode the rail to a 1 ¾-length victory over favored This Ones for Phil in the 130th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Withers for three-year-olds.

The Withers was the final graded stakes race of Aqueduct’s spring meet. The Big A will close after Sunday’s races, and live racing will move to Belmont Park for the 64-day Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29.

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Belmont Park will open its Spring/Summer Meet on Wednesday, April 29 with more than 50 improvements to the facilities, including upgrades to the spacious main building, the beautiful backyard, the vibrant backstretch area, and the legendary racetrack surfaces.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our facilities,” said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. “With the multitude of upgrades in place, our fans, horsemen, jockeys, backstretch workers, employees and horses will be treated to a safer, more efficient, and aesthetically pleasing Belmont Park.”

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OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 25, 2009) Tampa Bay Downs’s leading rider Daniel Centeno added three more wins to his tally today, giving the journeyman 998 career victories. Centeno, who will win the jockey title for the third straight season at the Oldsmar oval, has captured 131 victories in 90 days of racing at Tampa Bay Downs.

Centeno got his first trip to the Winner’s Circle today aboard Omega Cat; the three-year-old Omega Code filly was bred in Florida by owner Charles Patton and was conditioned to victory by trainer Thomas Proctor. Centeno struck again with What a Trouper, this time for trainer Christophe Clement and owner Silver Springs Stud Farm. Centeno rounded out his hat trick aboard Tahoe Warrior, a six-year-old son of Carson City saddled by Linda Rice for owner New Suffolk Racing.

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BALTIMORE, 04-25-09---Harry Kassap LLC’s Brickell scored a 50-1 upset in today’s feature, the $75,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes contested over the good turf at Pimlico Race Course. The 8-year-old was the longest shot on the board in the 11 horse field for older horses.

The son of Deputy Minister, making his 52nd lifetime start, tracked the pacesetters from third in his position along the hedge, then edged to the fore as the field straightened for home. Under jockey Harry Vega, Brickell completed the one mile distance in 1:39.80, beating late closing Independent George by 1-1/4 lengths. Midwatch, the pacesetter, finished third.

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ALBANY -- Mr Napper Tandy charged down the middle of the Lakeside Turf Course and got up in the final jump to nail pacesetter Yacht Spotter on the wire and win the $300,000 San Francisco Mile Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Ridden by Julio Garcia, Mr Napper Tandy defeated Yacht Spotter and jockey Alex Bisono by a nose in the Grade 2 SF Mile, Northern California's richest and highest-rated race. Bold Chieftain finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Yacht Spotter.

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Acting Zippy springs upset in Vincent A. Moscarelli MemorialW

Wilmington, Del., April 25, 2009 - William Don Bennett and Carl Bowling's Acting Zippy posted an upset victory in the opening day feature, the $75,000 Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial, at Delaware Park today.

With David Cohen astride, the 4-year-old gelded son of City Zip who has a weakness for tacos and donuts, returned $50.40 as the longest shot in the field of nine. The Florida-bred trained by William Don Bennett, who is in his first full year stabled at Delaware Park, notched a 4-length score and covered the six furlongs in 1:08.37.

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A determined Disfunction maps out Jacques Cartier victory

TORONTO, April 25 - Disfunction, under Emile Ramsammy, rallied stoutly down the stretch to best some of Canada's top sprinters in Saturday's $150,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes, at Woodbine.

Trained by Julia Carey, the five-year-old son of Vying Victor, known for his front-running ways, won his eighth career race in gritty style, a neck score in a blistering 1:08.62 on the Polytrack over Shadowless and Field Commission.

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Champion’s Day Recap from Hawthorne Race Course

Wade, Williamson, Janks, Big Winners on Champion’s Day

Stickney, IL--Illinois Champion’s Day at Hawthorne became Lyndie Wade Day, as the young jockey from Louisiana won three of the six stakes races carded for Illinois-breds; he also finished second in another stakes race. Trainers Brian Williamson and Christine Janks also had success on Champion’s Day, winning two races apiece. The following is a recap of the afternoon’s racing, which had its usual share of long price winners sprinkled among the favorites.

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Saturday, April 25 2009


Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed optimism Friday afternoon that Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby, would be able to make the May 2 “Run for the Roses” after noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay treated a second quarter crack in the colt’s right-front hoof at Belmont Park.

“Ian closed the crack up with laces [this afternoon],” said Jerkens. “We will jog him tomorrow, if there’s no blood we can patch him. He can gallop Sunday and breeze Monday, and if he is sound Tuesday we’ll ship to Kentucky.

Read more articles in the Belmont Park category.


135th Derby,Oaks Launch Historic Churchill Downs Spring Meet That Introduces Night Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2009) – Historic Churchill Downs will raise the curtain on Saturday, April 25 on its historic 52-day Spring Meet that begins with the 135th renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), but will also be marked by first sessions of night racing in the legendary track’s history and the introduction of Mark Johnson as track announcer and the first international voice to provide the on-track call of the “Run for the Roses.”

Johnson, the British commentator who succeeds the late Luke Kruytbosch as announcer, will welcome racing fans who gather beneath the track’s historic Twin Spires on Saturday for an 11-race program opening day program that get underway with its first race at 12:45 p.m. (all times EDT). The racing program is topped by the 85th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (Grade III), a 7 ½-furlong race for 3-year-olds that is the final significant prep race for the May 2 Kentucky Derby.

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