Tuesday, April 21 2009

Live racing opens for the 72nd season at Delaware Park this Saturday

Wilmington, Del., April 21, 2009 — The 72nd season of live thoroughbred racing at Delaware Park is set to open this Saturday, April 25. Post time for the first race is 1:15 p.m. and the first 5,000 fans entering the park after 11 a.m. will receive a Delaware Park cap.

Opening Day activities officially begin at 9 a.m. with Breakfast in the Park, which features a sumptuous breakfast buffet for $7.95 and an informative handicapping seminar conducted by Joe DeVivo of the Daily Racing Form. Guests attending Breakfast in the Park, which will be held in the New Castle Room on the third floor of Delaware Park’s clubhouse, will also receive a free racing program and special gift.

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Churchill Downs Offers Purse Incentives Designed to Boost Derby Week, Spring Meet Field Size

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs has reconfigured its purse distribution for stakes events and overnight races during Kentucky Derby Week and the track’s April 25-July 5 Spring Meet to encourage participation by as many horses as possible during the meet’s races.

In addition, horsemen whose stables are located at training centers or other tracks that bring their horses to Churchill Downs to compete will find significant capital improvements and refurbishments in the track’s two receiving barns, along with the availability of concierge services during their day at the historic track.

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Monday, April 20 2009

Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes

CHOCOLATE CANDY – The Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy visited the paddock and then galloped a mile and a half over a muddy Churchill Downs track Monday morning with exercise rider Lindsey Molina up.

Galen May, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, said Chocolate Candy would work Tuesday morning, most likely after the break.

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Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure ‘Pink Out’ Kentucky Oaks 135

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2009) – Churchill Downs Racetrack, host of the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks®, wants you to help support the fight against breast cancer by purchasing tickets to Kentucky Oaks 135 at http://www.KentuckyOaks.com/Komen! The Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2009, one day before the famed “Run for the Roses.”

To help raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Churchill Downs has planned an exciting day of events for race-goers. There will be a “First Lady of Fashion” contest, Survivors Parade and even the first-ever Kentucky Oaks winner’s circle formed by breast cancer survivors. Churchill Downs will also create special areas in the infield where Komen for the Cure supporters can gather and enjoy Oaks Day. Komen survivors and supporters will also have a chance to meet Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, who will be honored as the inaugural First Lady of Oaks.

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Arlington Park News Release: Party in the Park returns May 22

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 20, 2009) – Once again this summer, Arlington Park will be “the place to be” to kick off your weekends with the Miller Lite Party in the Park on Friday afternoons. The popular promotion returns May 22, the Friday before Memorial Day, and runs through Sept. 4, the Friday before Labor Day. Post time Friday throughout the season will be at 2:30 p.m. (except July 3 at 4 p.m. and two post Labor Day Fridays Sept. 18 & 25 when post time will be 2 p.m.)

The Miller Lite Party in the Park features a combination of live music from top local bands or DJs, the excitement of live Thoroughbred racing plus food and beverage specials. In addition to the music element, Arlington will usher in new activities for 2009 including Baggo and other interactive games, plus guests will be able to have their pictures taken by an on-site photographer who will make the photos available to them online for free downloading.

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Kentucky Derby 135 and Kentucky Oaks 135 Notes (4.19.09)


LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 19, 2009) – Bo Hirsch’s homebred Papa Clem, winner of the Arkansas Derby (Grade II), breezed an easy five furlongs in the rain on Sunday in the Kentucky Derby (GI) contender’s first serious training move over the track at Churchill Downs.

Jockey Miguel Mena was in the saddle for the move, which was planned for seven furlongs, but received an official five-furlong clocking of 1:04.60. A steady rain was falling as the colt work over a “good” track and was timed in fractions of :12.40 and :38.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:19.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2009) – Finding a paceless field in North America’s longest graded stakes race, Midships took full advantage with a wire-to-wire victory by three-quarters of a length over Spring House in Sunday’s 70th running of the Grade II, $200,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles over Santa Anita’s Camino Real turf course on the meet’s closing day.

Jockey Victory Espinoza, slowing the pace to a virtual crawl, therefore provided Juddmonte Farms and Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel with their first win in the historic race since 1996 when their Raintrap just happened to be the event’s last wire-to-wire winner.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2009)—Santa Anita Park concluded its 84-day winter/spring meeting in robust fashion on Sunday, posting the first gain in on-track attendance at any major California racetrack since the summer of 2007 at Del Mar.

Leading the way was Santa Anita’s “Free Fridays” promotion, which offered fans free on-track General Admission, free box seating and one dollar concessions, along with a robust Santa Anita Derby Day crowd on April 4 of 50,915, which helped Santa Anita to post a one percent gain in on-track attendance, reversing a trend of steep declines at racetracks nationwide.

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ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2009) – Pioneerof the Nile, who won the Santa Anita Derby to remain unbeaten in three stakes at the meet and establish himself as a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby on May 2, was named Horse of the Meet in Santa Anita’s annual Media Poll.

“It’s hard to win three stakes in one meet in California,” trainer Bob Baffert said when apprised of the honor. “This is the toughest circuit in America, so for him to dominate makes us very proud. He made all the top 3-year-olds leave town. That’s when you know you have a good horse, so his accomplishment is very satisfying.”

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Barn Notes 4-19-2009

Pletcher & McPeek Remain Tied With Three Days to Go

Trainers Todd Pletcher and Ken McPeek each had a winner Saturday at Gulfstream Park and remained tied in the standings at 33 victories apiece with three days to go before the meet closes on Thursday, but the numbers now make Pletcher the solid favorite to gain a sixth straight championship here.

Both trainers have runners entered in two races Sunday, but Pletcher has seven horses in five races Wednesday and two more Thursday while McPeek has just one on Wednesday and none Thursday. The top two are well clear of their closest rivals, Nick Zito and Wesley Ward, tied for third with 21 victories each.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Parading Turns Ben Ali Into One-Horse Race

Lexington, Ky. (April 19, 2009)—Parading turned a highly competitive Ben Ali Stakes (G1) into a one-horse race Sunday at Keeneland, drawing away to a 7 ½-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile, $150,000 event for 4-year-olds and upward.

The 6-year-old son of Pulpit broke away from a three-horse battle for the lead midway down the backstretch, brought a substantial advantage into the stretch and then just drew away for his sixth career win.

Read more articles in the Keeneland category.


Keeneland Barn Notes—Sunday April 19, 2009


On Sunday around 7 a.m. as light rain fell, trainer Larry Jones on his pony, Pal, accompanied Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Friesan Fire and jockey Gabriel Saez to Keeneland’s main track for the colt’s final work at Keeneland before he heads to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Jones galloped alongside Friesan Fire and Saez before turning the colt loose for his one-mile work, timed in 1:39.60.

As the colt was rounding the final turn, a huge plane at Blue Grass Airport across Versailles Road took off with a thunderous roar, distracting a few observers but apparently not bothering Friesan Fire. Clockers caught Friesan Fire’s eighth-mile splits in :13.52, :12.41, :12.44, :12.63, :12.50, :12.48, 11:91 and 12.00.

Read more articles in the Keeneland category.


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