Thursday, January 01 2009
Watson dominates Winter Racing Challenge Finals
Thursday evening was Winter Racing Challenge Finals’ night at Nad Al Sheba with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum present at a six race card, kindly sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai and highlighted by three valuable handicaps – the Finals. Six horses had earned the right to contest each of these prizes by accumulating points throughout the season and faced quality opposition in the shape of a plethora of Carnival-rated horses.
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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31ST, 2008
‘MIRACLE MAN’ GOMEZ RECOUNTS SPILL AS HE PURSUES RECORD
They called George Woolf ”The Iceman.” Label Garrett Gomez “The Miracle Man.”
Two days after escaping a one-horse spill with relatively minor injuries, the nation’s leading money-winning jockey in 2008 was back in the saddle, riding five horses at Santa Anita Monday in pursuit of his third dollar crown, and Jerry Bailey’s single season record of $23,354,960, set in 2003.
In his first ride back, Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, won in storybook fashion, rallying from last aboard Suit Yourself to win going away by 1 ¼ lengths in the 6 ½ furlong race. With two wins and a fourth-place finish from four rides Monday, his mounts earned $29,560, leaving Gomez $79,454 shy of Bailey’s mark.
AFTER THREE WINS, GOMEZ FALLS $10,982 SHY OF BAILEY’S MARK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2008) – After stirring victories aboard his first three mounts of the afternoon on New Year’s Eve at Santa Anita while in dramatic pursuit of Jerry Bailey’s record for purse earnings in a single season, jockey Garrett Gomez needed to win with his final mount in the $76,400 Kalookan Queen Handicap, but a distant third-place finish aboard Baroness Thatcher left him just $10,982 shy of the record $23,354,960 that Bailey’s mounts earned in 2003.
It might have turned out differently for Gomez, who turns 37 on New Year’s Day, had he been able to ride on Sunday, but he was injured in a spectacular spill on Saturday at Santa Anita when his mount, Back At You, suddenly veered into the inner rail during the Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds.
SOCIETY HOSTESS BACK AGAIN IN MONROVIA, FACES LETHAL HEAT
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2008) – Society Hostess won Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Handicap in 2007, ran second in the event last year, and is the co-high weight in Saturday’s 42nd running of the stakes race for fillies and mares contested at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.
The lightly-raced 7-year-old mare could be considered a Monrovia resident. Since 2006, Society Hostess has competed in but three races other than her three appearances in the Monrovia Handicap.
DANIEL CENTENO NAMED HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JOCKEY OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (December 31, 2008) Daniel Centeno has enjoyed tremendous success at the Oldsmar oval, and has begun Tampa Bay Downs’s 83rd racing season with a bang, scoring 13 wins, 6 second place finishes and 7 thirds from 43 attempts for $175,368 in purses earned in just 9 days of racing. Among these wins is a victory in December 27’s Sandpiper Stakes, a $65,000 event for two-year-old fillies; additionally, Centeno piloted three horses to the Winner’s Circle on December 30. Centeno is ranked as the 17th leading jockey in the nation by wins for 2008, ahead of such nationally recognizable names as Edgar Prado and John Velazquez.
HAYNESFIELD TAKES NEXT STEP IN COUNT FLEET
Aqueduct Racetrack in January might not be where one would expect to find the next Kentucky Derby winner, but it was just five years ago that a Pennsylvania-bred colt named Smarty Jones took the first step on the road to winning the Derby when he took the Big A’s Count Fleet Stakes, the first three-year-old stakes of the year in New York.
On Saturday, trainer Steve Asmussen finds out if Turtle Bird Stables’ Haynesfield can take that same step as he faces six other sophomores in the 34th running of the $65,000-added Count Fleet. The one mile, 70 yard race is included on the resumes of 1993 Preakness winner Prairie Bayou and 1992 Travers winner Thunder Rumble and was won last year by Giant Moon, who went on to complete in the Preakness, finishing eighth behind Derby winner Big Brown.
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DELOSVIENTOS RINGS OUT 2008 WITH GALLANT FOX VICTORY
By Jenny Kellner
When longshot Lord Kipling ranged up near favored Delosvientos on the far turn of Wednesday’s $84,050, 1 5/8th mile Gallant Fox Handicap, owner and trainer Giuseppe Iadisernia was not in the least worried. For almost 11 furlongs, the five-year-old gelding had been cruising along on an uncontested lead, and if past history was any indication, Delosvientos would handle the challenge with ease.
And that’s just what he did. Shaking off his rival, Delosvientos pulled clear to an 11 ¼-length victory in the 70th edition of the Gallant Fox a snowy New Year’s Eve, extending his record at 12 furlongs or more to five-for-five.
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BLOWING KISSES LOOKS TO CONTINUE SUCCESS IN INTERBOROUGH
For the past two month, Jeff Barkley has been settling into his new role as the trainer of record for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Stables, a position that opened up when Larry Jones announced he would be retiring after the Breeders’ Cup in 2009. A former assistant to Jones, the 47-year-old native of Indiana had been out on his own for the past three years, racing primarily at Prairie Meadows and Turfway Park.
He was successful enough, having complied a 10-12-8 mark from 66 starters through the first 10 months of 2008, but when the call came from Porter, there wasn’t much hesitation.
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Hal’s Hope & Spectacular Bid Get Gulfstream Season Off to Fast Start
A full field of 14 older horses led by Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss will go to the post for the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3), and eight 3-year-olds are set to clash in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes, the highlights of Saturday’s opening-day program at Gulfstream Park.
The Hallandale Beach, Fla. track will run on a five-day-a-week schedule, Wednesdays through Sundays, before closing on April 23. Post time for the first race daily is 1:15 p.m.
BACKBACKBACKGONE, REVOLUTA MEET IN GOLDEN BEAR AT GGF
ALBANY -- The promising colts Backbackbackgone and Revoluta will meet Thursday at Golden Gate Fields in the $75,000 Golden Bear Stakes, the main event on a special New Year's Day racing program. Post time is 12:45 p.m
The Golden Bear is a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and the race attracted a field of five. The feature is the third event on a nine-race card.
Mannjal seeks third victory at Jebel Ali
The Shadwell organisation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum again sponsor the feature race at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon with the name of Kingwood House Stables attached to the main 1600m handicap.
Owned by Sheikh Hamdan, Marcus Tregoning trains from the Lambourn training establishment.
Wednesday, December 31 2008
PAST LEADING JOCKEY DANIEL CENTENO WINS THREE RACES
OLDSMAR, Fla. (December 30, 2008) Jockey Daniel Centeno, who secured the riding title here over the past two seasons of racing, escorted three horses to the Winner’s Circle on today’s ten race card. Centeno’s first victory came aboard Roboponi, a three-year-old Volponi gelding owned by Frank C. Calabrese under the care of Rick Slomkowski. Centeno next scored wearing the colors of Wheelock Whitney aboard Glen Wilding, a four-year-old Devil’s Bag filly. Glen Wilding was bred in Florida by Whitney and was conditioned to victory by Leigh Delacour. Centeno rounded out his hat trick with Cooltime, a three-year-old Florida-bred gelded son of Unbridled Time trained by conditioner Derek Ryan for owner Liam Benson.