Sunday, February 15 2009
GENERAL QUARTERS COMMANDS IN GRADE III SAM F. DAVIS STAKES
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 14, 2009) A crowd of 6,673 fans arrived at Tampa Bay Downs for Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South, in which General Quarters proved the best of a field of eleven in today’s Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes. General Quarters is a son of Sky Mesa bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. R. David Randal, is owned by Thomas McCarthy and was conditioned to victory by Mark L. Miller with James Lopez in the irons.
General Quarters stalked the field throughout the 1 1/16 miles race, moving to the lead mid-stretch to win by 3 ½ lengths. Sumo was second and Musket Man completed the trifecta, which paid $6,783.60 for a $2 wager.
Stable Notes, Saturday, February 14th, 2009
UNBEATEN RAIL TRIP COULD RUN IN SAN CARLOS; JOHNNY EVES INJURED
Rail Trip, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 7, could make his next start in next Saturday’s Grade II San Carlos Handicap at seven furlongs.
“It’s a possibility,” trainer Ron Ellis said Saturday morning. “I looked at the race, and it’s not a very strong field other than Georgie Boy, so it’s a possibility.”
Duke of Homberg Gets Clear Sailing in Hallandale Beach Victory
Padua Stable’s English-bred 3-year-old Duke of Homberg was away quickly from the rail under jockey Alan Garcia in Saturday’s $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, put away challenger Tamborim into the far turn, and held a safe margin of 1¼ lengths at the finish over Dogwood Stable’s Lime Rickey.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Duke of Homberg finished a troubled fifth last out in the Dania Beach Stakes over the Gulfstream course on Jan. 17, but had clear sailing Saturday as he paid $8 to win and was timed in 1:41:30 over the firm turf. IEAH Stable’s Into My Soul, the favorite, finished third, 1½ lengths behind the runner-up in the field of seven 3-year-olds.
How’s Your Halo Posts Big Upset in Richter Scale
Owner-trainer Brian Prichard’s 6-year-old How’s You Halo was sent off the longest price in the field of six older horses to line up for Saturday’s $150,000 Richter Scale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and wore down Edmund Gann’s second-choice Ikigai in the final yards for a half-length decision under jockey Juan Leyva.
How’s Your Halo stalked the pace set by Ikigai down the backstretch of the seven-furlong test before returning $96.20 to win.
DREAM PLAY COMES BACK STRONG IN DEARLY PRECIOUS
Making her third career start and only her second start since last May, Stewart L. Armstrong’s Dream Play repelled Chattertown after an early speed duel, then opened up to score a 8 ¼-length victory Saturday afternoon in the 15th running of the $69,160 Dearly Precious for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs on Aqueduct’s fast inner track.
“We got her at the two-year-old sale and she looked like a nice sprinting prospect,” said Larkin Armstrong, son of winning owner Stewart L. Armstrong. “After her first start, she had kind of an ankle issue and we wound up resting her. Kiaran (McLaughlin, trainer) was really pleased with her last race even though she didn’t break well and finished fourth. He told my father that he though she would be really tough.”
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
GP BarnNotes 2-14
Trainer Wesley Ward described the Saturday morning breeze here by Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 3-year-old colt Notonthesamepage as “perfect” and said he is excited to take the next step in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 28.
Early signs indicate the race will attract a deep and talented field of 3-year-olds
NYRA’S GUARANTEED $250,000 LATE PICK 4 A SUCCESS IN DEBUT
When the New York Racing Association opted to offer a guaranteed $250,000 late Pick 4 on Saturdays, beginning February 14, it was hopeful that patrons would warm to the cold-weather wager.
Valentine’s Day proved NYRA correct as $339,363 was put into Saturday’s late Pick 4 pool.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
Timeless Fashion gets first stakes win in Dust Commander
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 14, 2009 . . . Timeless Fashion earned his first stakes win Saturday, leading nearly every step to take the $50,000 Dust Commander by two lengths at Turfway Park. Hector Rosario Jr. was aboard for the winning ride and earned high praise from trainer Tom Drury Jr.
“Hector fits him like a glove,” said Drury. “He’s able to get him off the bridle the first part of it. We’ve struggled with that in the past. He’s had a little tendency to jump away and turn it into a horse race a little quicker than we want him to, and Hector’s able to slide his hands back and get along with him. He put him in the spot, gave him a little breather—this is one of those where you’ve got to give the jock all the credit in the world.”
A year after cancer diagnosis, Justin Vitek returns
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 14, 2009 . . . He was not the jockey in the winner’s circle, but no jockey in any race on any day was a bigger winner than Justin Vitek after Turfway Park’s 10th race Saturday. His mount on Model’s Memo was his first since being diagnosed with myelogenous leukemia almost exactly a year ago, February 16, 2008.
Model’s Memo, herself off since July, dropped back as usual but could not come up with a closing rally and finished last. The result had no impact on the light in Vitek’s eyes or the excitement of well-wishers gathered around him.
“It felt great,” Vitek said. “She broke a little tardy and got slammed, so it kind of took her out of her game, but it was the first time back—for both of us.
Read more articles in the Turfway
ROYALE MICHELE WINS EVENTFUL BARBARA FRITCHIE HANDICAP
LAUREL, MD. 02-14-09---Sam B. Pollock’s Royale Michele ran the biggest race of her career when she captured the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (GII) at Laurel Park Saturday afternoon.
Royale Michele won the seven furlong test by 1-3/4 lengths, but it was the performance of post time favorite Seventh Street, who reared at the start, only to regain her composure, mount a steady rally and finish a fast closing second, that had the central Maryland track buzzing.
Read more articles in the Laurel
NO SURPRISE—CHOCOLATE CANDY TRIUMPHS IN EL CAMINO REAL DERBY ON VALENTINE’S DAY
ALBANY -- Chocolate Candy rules on Valentine's Day and the colt Chocolate Candy ruled in the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Chocolate Candy, an obvious hunch play and the heavy 1-to-2 favorite in a field of six, held off Massone down the stretch to win Northern California's top Kentucky Derby prep race by a half-length. Rendezvous finished a distant third.
Chocolate Candy completed 1 1/8-miles in 1:50.54 while recording his fourth victory in eight career starts. Ridden by Russell Baze and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Chocolate Candy paid $3.00 after securing his third stakes win.
Saturday, February 14 2009
‘All Others’ Still Favored, But Old Fashioned Makes A Move At Midpoint of First ‘09Derby Futures
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 13, 2009) – The “all others” wager continued to draw strong support during the second day of betting in the first of three pools in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), but unbeaten Old Fashioned emerged as the clear choice among individual contenders for the “Run for the Roses” as the four-day pool reached its midpoint on Friday evening.
The mutuel field, the wagering interest that consists of all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses on the KDFW Pool 1 betting roster, remained the clear 6-5 favorite when the second day of betting in the pool drew to a close at 10 p.m. (all times EST) Friday. But Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned was separated from the 23 individual horses in the pool as the Larry Jones-trained son of Unbridled’s Song was a clear 7-1 second choice at the conclusion of Friday’s betting. Old Fashioned, who was a 12-1 risk at the end of Thursday’s first day of Pool 1 betting, will be a strong favorite as he makes his 2009 debut in Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (Grade III) at Oaklawn Park.