Thursday, February 26 2009
George Woolf Award Ceromony Set for March 8th
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2009)—John Velazquez, winner of the 2009 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, will receive the prestigious honor at Santa Anita on Sunday, March 8, it was announced today.
In a ceremony between races, Velazquez will formally receive the Woolf Trophy and be surrounded by many former winners of the award, which was instituted by Santa Anita in 1950. By a vote of his peers nationwide, Velazquez was selected over four other finalists, Gary Baze, Calvin Borel, Javier Castellano and David Flores.
Late ‘Voice of the Kentucky Derby’ Luke Kruytbosch to be honored
The late Luke Kruytbosch, who served for a decade as the “Voice of the Kentucky Derby” in his role as announcer at historic Churchill Downs, will be honored on Saturday, Feb. 28 as the American Heart Association holds its 17th annual Crystal Heart Gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.
The snazzy Saturday evening black-tie event features fine food, great auction items and music and annually raises money to fight heart disease and stroke. The Gala is annually a hot ticket each year that attracts many of Kentuckiana’s business and medical community leaders. This year’s event begins at 6 p.m. (Eastern).
Fresh off WEBN win, Parade Clown back for Battaglia
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 26, 2009 . . . Parade Clown won the second local prep for the Lane’s End Stakes and returns to Turfway Park Saturday to try the third, the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed).
Parade Clown was a bit green in the early going of the WEBN Stakes, the second prep, but veteran jockey Billy Troilo persuaded him to settle and wait, a valuable lesson for a three-year-old approaching springtime. Riding for trainer Katherine Ball, Troilo is back aboard for the Battaglia Memorial. Parade Clown has two wins and a second in three races at Turfway, with one of the wins at the Battaglia’s 1 1/16-mile distance.
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Jebel Ali Sprint prep race this Friday
The Jebel Ali Sprint is a fortnight away and Friday’s Jebel Ali card is highlighted by a prep race, over the same minimum trip of 1000m and a maximum field of 16 will go to post.
Both this race and the Listed feature in two weeks are sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell organisation.
PALM SPRINGS PURSE WIN GIVES AIR FAIR ANOTHER FOR PAASCH
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009) – Switched to the stable of Christopher Paasch where she proceeded to break her maiden in her third start, Air Fair roared right back on Wednesday to run off with the $49,600 Palm Springs Purse for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
With Joel Rosario in the saddle, Air Fair bolted out of the pack inside the final sixteenth to defeat Play Nine by 1 ¾ lengths while the latter nosed out Waddup G in a photo for the place.
TWO-DAY CARRYOVER OF $704,945 AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009)—A massive two-day Pick Six carryover of $704,945 will await fans at Santa Anita on Thursday, with the prospect of the total pool exceeding $3 million by third-race post time.
Wednesday’s Pick Six began with race three, which went to French-bred Headache, with Julien Couton aboard returning $19.40 to win. Headache is trained by Leonard Powell, making for a French-bred connection of horse, rider and conditioner. The winning owners are Collet, Phung, Rosenthal and partners.
STREAKING FILLY ULTRA BLEND TO FACE THE BOYS IN KING GLORIOUS
ALBANY -- Ultra Blend will put her winning streak on the line Saturday when she faces four geldings and one fellow filly in the $50,000 King Glorious Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
The King Glorious is a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and Ultra Blend enters the feature having won her last four starts, including the $75,000 Tiburon Stakes in her most recent outing on Jan. 10 at Golden Gate Fields.
Hawthorne and the Carey’s Celebrate 100th Anniversary
Stickney, Ill.— Opening day, March 6th, 2009, will mark the100th year of family-owned horseracing at Hawthorne Race Course under the proprietorship of the Carey family. The anniversary distinguishes Hawthorne as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated race track in the nation. As the longest running sports venue in Illinois, Hawthorne Race Course has been an integral player in the legendary heritage of Chicago sports entertainment and is proud to kick off a thrilling new season.
Since Thomas Carey first purchased the estate back in 1909, Hawthorne Race Course has been able to revive horseracing in Chicago time and again due to continuously placing fans in the middle of all the fast paced action and pure excitement involved in the sport. According to 4th generation president and general manager of Hawthorne, Tim Carey, they are looking forward to yet another tremendous year of stimulating racing in 2009. “I really believe we’re on the cusp of a terrific season,” said Carey.
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Wednesday, February 25 2009
Barn Notes 2-25
Vanquisher Gets Big League Call-up for Major League Operation
Be it the New York Yankees or Kinsman Stable, the Steinbrenner family has always been familiar with moving talented athletes from the farm, through the minors and eventually to the big leagues.
The family’s 5-year-old gelding Vanquisher doesn’t yet deserve to be compared with Derek Jeter, but he has the potential to make a splash on the big stage in Saturday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Beethoven & ‘Candyman’ Clash in Wide-Open Fountain of Youth Saturday
John Oxley’s Beethoven and Joseph Rausch and David Pell’s Capt. Candyman Can, both Grade 2 stakeswinners, will each have their share of support when the full field of 12 3-year-olds goes to the post for the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The 63rd edition of the Fountain of Youth, shortened to a one-turn mile test this year from nine furlongs, has attracted more high-profile potential Kentucky Derby (G1) prospects than any race on the national calendar at this point in the season with a fast pace almost certain to develop.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH, 2009
ZAMBEZI SUN JOINS FULL LINEUP FOR MARCH 7 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
Zambezi Sun, a disappointing seventh as the 9-10 favorite in his U.S. debut Sunday in the Grade II San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 ½ miles on turf, will wheel back two weeks later in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, Bobby Frankel said Wednesday morning.
“There’s nothing wrong with him,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “He didn’t run hard; he’s OK. I just got him fit enough to run (in the Big ‘Cap).”
Making his first start since the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France last Oct. 5, Zambezi Sun was very rank in the San Luis Obispo, stalking in second place into the stretch before he was overtaken. He was beaten only three lengths by victorious Spring House.
THE PAMPLEMOUSSE CAN PUT SOLIS CLOSER TO DERBY AIM IN SHAM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009) – Aiming for his first Kentucky Derby victory after three seconds in 15 career rides, 44-year-old Alex Solis attempts to move a notch closer on Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $200,000 Sham Stakes while riding heavily favored The Pamplemousse, a 3-year-old co-owned and selected at sale by his son, Alex II.
The Kentucky-bred son of Kafwain, purchased last March by a partnership for $150,000, will face eleven other 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the same distance as the April 5 Santa Anita Derby and one that would seem well suited for the gray colt, whose name translates to “grapefruit” in French.