Wednesday, March 25 2009


OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 25, 2009) James Lopez comes from a family of horsemen; his father J.R. “Joe” Lopez was the leading rider at Hawthorne in 1966 and at Sportsman’s Park in 1967 and 1968 before he retired in 1979. His brother Jeffery gallops horses, and his half-brother, Joe Lopez Jr. is a trainer in Texas. James’ wife Kelli also gallops horses and is attending nursing school in Louisville.

James began riding in 1996 at Retama Park in Texas and later that year moved his tack to Kentucky. Two years later he began riding first call for Cole Norman and then Joe Petalino at Oaklawn Park and finished as the meet’s third-leading rider. That summer he was the leading rider at Louisiana Downs where he won six stakes races. In 1999, he won four added-money events at Oaklawn, but perhaps the biggest victory of his career came at Ellis Park in 2000 when he won the Grade III, $200,000-guaranteed Gardenia Handicap aboard Silent Eskimo.

Read more articles in the Tampa Bay Downs category.



Ever since she was claimed last autumn, Successful Sarah has made steady improvement. Except for one troubled trip, the 4-year-old Successful Appeal filly has perked up to win three of her last four starts.

While she had been a resident of Southern Florida, she has raced here at Aqueduct since January. And, with a head victory in her last start, she earned a spot in Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Next Move for fillies and mares at nine furlongs (ninth race, 4:50 p.m.). It is the last graded stakes on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track this season, and will be the third leg of a guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


GP Barn Notes 3-25

Beethoven Out of Florida Derby

John Oxley’s Beethoven was expected to be the third or fourth choice behind Dunkirk and Quality Road in Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park but will pass the race, according to trainer John Ward Jr.

“There was some heat in a tendon in a front leg (Wednesday) morning,” said Ward of the Sky Mesa colt. “It seems minor, not extreme, but we decided it’s best to not make a minor situation worse. It’s possible he could be back in the entries in the not-too-distant future.”

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


This Saturday…Dubai World Cup and Florida Derby

Join us this Saturday for the Dubai World Cup!
Complimentary coffee and pastries from 9:15-11:00 a.m.

Join us this Saturday morning, March 28, for the Dubai World Cup Day program from Nad al Sheba Race Course.

Read more articles in the Suffolk Downs category.


AQUEDUCT NOTES, Wednesday, March 25, 2008

The New York Racing Association will offer a live 11-race card on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 4. Four graded stakes, headed by the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs, will make a up a guaranteed $400,000 Pick 4.

NYRA will also increase purses for each non-graded stakes race that day by $10,000.

“We have always felt that better purses attract top horses,” said NYRA Vice President and Director of Racing Paul “PJ” Campo. “We have raised purses on big days before – most recently on Gotham Stakes Day (March 7) – and we felt it helped us to present our fans with a quality race card.”

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


Post Position Draw for 2009 Dubai World Cup meeting revealed

The eagerly awaited Post Position Draw ceremony has revealed the final fields and barriers for the upcoming 2009 Dubai World Cup race meeting.

In the Dubai World Cup, the feature race of the night, Muhannak drew barrier one, and trainer Ralph Beckett remarked: “We drew 16 in the (third round of the) Al Maktoum Challenge, and the stall one is just as bad. But you have to take it on the chin and get on with it’.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Quirky Informed being reformed in quest for Godolphin Mile

If California-based runner Informed finds his way home first in the US$1 million Godolphin Mile (Gr.2) on Saturday, it could very well mark one of the most distinctive training feats in Nad al Sheba racing history.

The five-year-old son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow has been so unruly when dispatched for his morning exercise that trainer Doug O’Neill and his staff have had to not only exhibit great patience but also come up with some creative ways to keep him under control.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


International racing manager Keita Tanaka is supporting “Team Vodka”

“My parents took me to the racetrack when my mother was expecting me” said Keita Tanaka who works for the international racing manager for Japanese racing team when they travel abroad.

Born on December 24th, 1982, Tanaka was taken to the racetrack by his father for the first time when he was six. He watched the Japanese St. Leger when the favourite Narita Brian (by Brian’s Time) won the race and swept the Japanese classic races of the year. His impression for the horse racing was “How deep the sport was!”

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Unsung heroes

The job description loosely reads as follow. Begin work at three in the morning (sometimes earlier); conditions tough; hours long; work sometimes dangerous and remuneration modest.

And yet the racing world over there are thousands of strappers and stable hands and foremen and assistant trainers who foolishly, at some point, answered yes to an advertisement like the one above and soon found themselves addicted.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Right surface for Lucky Quality

Most punters are superstitious and one of racing's oldest superstitions is that you shouldn't wear green on a racetrack. I don't know if we can apply that to Hong Kong's Dubai Golden Shaheen contender Lucky Quality but it may well be that he has an aversion to the colour.

Either that or, and more likely, he simply won't stretch out on turf tracks with same electrifying speed as he does on the dirt where he's red hot.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


2009 Dubai World Cup latest – Tracknotes March 25

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum’s Dubai World Cup (sponsored by Emirates) favourite Albertus Maximus strode on to the track Wednesday morning with all his muscles rippling.

After standing serenely to gaze over the grounds, he jogged to the finish line under exercise rider Rob Massey and then turned and exploded into a gallop that drew exclamations.

“Is that Albertus Maximus? Wow!” declared California trainer Doug O’Neill, who was watching from the backstretch rail.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.



OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 24, 2009) As Tampa Bay Downs reaches the three-quarter mark of its 83rd race meet leaders are emerging in the trainers’ and jockeys’ standings.

Daniel Centeno, who set a record last year for number of wins in a singe season with 144 victories to his credit, currently leads the jockey colony with 108 trips to the Winner’s Circle in 71 days of racing; additionally, Centeno is ranked at the time of this writing as the fourth leading rider in the nation by wins. Rosemary Homeister, Jr. is in second place at Tampa Bay Downs with 71 wins, while Ronnie Allen, Jr. is in third with 65 victories. Carlos Montalvo has booted home 50 winners in the current meet to rank fourth in the riders’ standings, and Tampa newcomer James Lopez rounds out the top five riders with 28 wins to his credit.

Read more articles in the Tampa Bay Downs category.


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