Saturday, April 04 2009
GIANT MOON COMES FULL CIRCLE IN EXCELSIOR
Albert Fried Jr.’s Giant Moon, allowed to dawdle with Cool Coal Man through pedestrian early fractions, out-dueled that rival through the lane to post a half-length victory Saturday afternoon in Aqueduct’s 97th running of the Grade 3, $199,334 Excelsior for three-year-olds and up at nine furlongs on the main track.
Giant Moon, a 4-year-old, New York-bred Giants Causeway colt hooked Cool Coal Man from the start on the fast track, but they were allowed to get away with a pace of 25.45, 50.69, 1:14.76 and 1:38.62. When they finally set down to do business in the lane, Giant Moon had the leader targeted and moved away to win in 1:50.90.
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Musket Man Fires Away in Illinois Derby Victory
Stickney, IL--Coming into the 52nd running of the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby, Eric Fein and Vic Carlson’s Musket Man was the lone entrant with a graded victory. When the 1 1/8 miles race for 3-year-olds had concluded, Musket Man was the only multiple graded stakes winner by virtue of a two-length victory over Giant Oak, stopping the clock in 1:49.91.
It was five lengths back to longshot His Greatness who was well clear for third.
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Barn Notes 4-4-2009
Gulfstream Park Handicap Winner Smooth Air Texas-Bound
Mount Joy Stable’s 4-year-old Florida homebred Smooth Air, winner of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) last out on Mar. 14, will likely make his next start in the $300,000 Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star Park on Apr. 25, according to trainer Ben Stutts Jr.
“We considered the race at Charles Town (Classic, 1 1/8 miles on Apr. 18), which (as Smooth air is a Grade 2 winner) would have been worth $750,000 if he won it,” said Stutts Saturday morning, “but with all things considered and the major goals ahead, we decided on the Texas race at one mile around two turns.
Finallymadeit Has His Day in Skip Away Saturday
Making his sixth start of the Gulfstream Park meet, all in stakes, Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s 5-year-old broke through to the winners’ circle after a dominating wire-to-wire performance winning the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) by 8¼ lengths under regular rider Eduardo Nunez.
Trained by Javier Negrete, the Florida homebred chestnut by Concerto has earned the nickname ‘Iron Horse’ the last few seasons in South Florida and ran very well to finish second in the Donn Handicap (G1) early in the meet and second again in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) three weeks ago, but remained without a victory this year.
General Quarters Zips Five Furlongs at Churchill Downs in Prep for Toyota Blue Grass
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 4, 2009) – Owner-trainer Thomas McCarthy’s General Quarters, winner of the Sam F. Davis (Grade III) at Tampa Bay Downs, turned in a sizzling five-furlong workout on Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a run in next week’s Toyota Blue Grass (GI) at Keeneland.
Exercise rider Julie Sheets was in the saddle as the gray son of Sky Mesa zipped five furlongs in :58.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 over a “fast” track. The work by General Quarters was easily the fastest of 17 moves at the distance.
ACCESS FEE AND CAMMY’S CHOICE FINISH IN DEAD HEAT IN PRIMONETTA
LAUREL, MD. 04-04-09---Charles Murray’s Cammy’s Choice and Sondra Bender’s Access Fee completed the six furlong, $50,000 Primonetta Stakes in a dead heat this afternoon at Laurel Park.
Under the finish line in 1:09.70, with Cammy’s Choice fully extended along the fence and Access Fee surging down the middle of the racetrack, the decision had to be determined by the photo finish camera.
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Hooh Why Upsets Stardom Bound In Ashland
Lexington, Ky. (April 4, 2009)—Hooh Why, the widely traveled filly with an unglamorous pedigree and a substitute jockey, upset heavily favored Stardom Bound Saturday at Keeneland to win the $400,000, Grade 1 Ashland Stakes.
Jockey Corey Lanerie was named to replace Rene Douglas in late afternoon and then guided the daughter of little-known Cloud Hopping to a narrow victory in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
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Keeneland Barn Notes—Saturday, April 4, 2009
TERRAIN WORKS TOWARD TOYOTA BLUE GRASS
Adele Dilschneider’s Terrain put in his final major move for next Saturday’s $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) by working five furlongs in 1:01 at Keeneland Saturday morning with exercise rider Keith Harris up.
Working in company with Grade 2 stakes winner Sky Mom, who had jockey Jamie Theriot up, Terrain broke off about two lengths behind his workmate. Terrain drew even at the head of the stretch and finished on even terms with Sky Mom.
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RECORDS BROKEN IN SEVENTH FLORIDA CUP DAY
OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 5, 2008) The seventh running of Florida Cup Day was comprised of six $85,000 stakes races for Florida-breds of all ages at a variety of distances on both turf and dirt. A crowd of 6,577 contributed to a record co-mingled Florida Cup Day handle of $7,034,856 besting the old record by $709,214.
The Kinsman Farm Turf Classic –1 1/8 miles: Stakes winner Fearless Eagle notched his sixth career victory with his win in the seventh edition of the Kinsman Farm Turf Classic. The five-year-old son of Invisible Ink was bred in Florida by owner Isaac Muhtar, is conditioned by Edward Plesa and was ridden to victory by Elvis Trujillo. Marquet Cat was second by a neck and Ruff and Ready rounded out the trifecta, which yielded $390.00 for a $2 wager.
Husbands and Sutherland shine on Woodbine’s Opening Day card
TORONTO, April 4 – Jockeys Patrick Husbands and Chantal Sutherland got out of the gates in strong fashion on Opening Day at Woodbine, winning three and two races, respectively, on Saturday at the Toronto oval.
Husbands, who took the Woodbine riding title and netted his sixth Sovereign Award as Canada’s top rider in 2008, won the second race with Talk Fast, the day’s featured race, the $100,000 La Voyageuse Stakes, aboard Mullins Beach, and the ninth with True Vindication.
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THE PAMPLEMOUSSE SCRATCHED FROM SANTA ANITA DERBY
The Pamplemousse, 9-5 morning line favorite for today’s Santa Anita Derby, was declared a stakes scratch shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday.
“Dr. (Jill) Bailey (D.V.M. representing the Los Angeles Turf Club), during her pre-race examination, identified an issue that she brought to the attention of (trainer) Julio (Canani),” explained Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board in a telephone press conference in Santa Anita’s press box around 11 a.m.
QUALITY ROAD FAVORED AT MIDPOINT OF FINAL KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 3, 2009) – Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (Grade I) for his third victory in four career races, remained a solid favorite to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) reached its midway point on Friday evening.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens’ homebred son of Elusive Quality remained the 5-1 choice among 24 wagering interests in KDFW Pool 2. Vinery LLC and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire, whose three-race winning streak includes a victory in the Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, was the 9-1 second choice at the end of Friday’s betting. The mutuel field, which respresents all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the pool’s 23 individual horses, also stood at 9-1, but slightly more money had been wagered on Friesan Fire. “All others” was favored in both of this year’s previous KDFW pools.