Thursday, November 06 2008
ESCALON WILL TRY TO REBOUND IN REAL QUIET STAKES
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2008) — Escalon, third as the favorite in the California Cup Juvenile, will try to make amends in the fourth running of the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Escalon, who broke his maiden while making his career bow on Aug. 1 at Del Mar, will be starting for the fourth time in the 1 1/16-mile Real Quiet. He finished sixth in the Del Mar Futurity two starts back.
HP Notes: Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008
WINCHESTER WORKS FOR HOLLYWOOD DERBY
Irish-based Winchester, a Grade I stakes winner for trainer Dermot Weld, worked an easy five furlongs on turf Thursday at Hollywood Park in preparation for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 30.
“We just wanted him to get a feel of it,” said assistant Jeff Byrne after the drill under Thomas Daly, another assistant. The 3-year-old colt was shipped here Friday from Santa Anita after finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup’ Turf on Oct. 25.
Winchester worked a couple of lengths off Towzee from the Paddy Gallagher barn where both are stabled. “We don’t go fast; it’s a different system,” explained Byrne, satisfied with the drill. Winchester was clocked in 1:04.80 breezing.
“It’s been a lucky track for us,” said Byrne, an assistant to Weld for 20 years. “I’ve been here with Dress to Thrill when she won The Matriarch (2002) and a couple of American Oaks fillies.”
A Virginia-bred son of Theatrical owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, Winchester began his career in Ireland, breaking his maiden in April and finishing seventh in the Irish Derby in June. He shipped to the United States to win the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in August by 7 ½ lengths.
“I think the mile and a quarter should suit him better than the mile and a half,” said Byrne of the distance of the Grade I Hollywood Derby in comparison to the Breeders’ Cup. “He was in a tough spot against older horses in the Breeders’ Cup, but I couldn’t be happier with him now.
“He’s a pretty straightforward horse, sound, no problems, with a really good constitution and a great appetite,“ continued Byrne. “Not sending him home and keeping him here should help.”
Winchester must be supplemented to the race for $10,000.
PRECIOUS KITTEN SEEKS MATRIARCH REPEAT
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, making his first appearance of the meet at Hollywood Park Thursday, said defending champion Precious Kitten and at least one other horse would start in the $500,000 Matriarch on Nov. 30. The Grade I test is for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
Frankel, spending most of the meet with a larger division at Santa Anita, watched several horses exercise on the track from a division overseen by assistant Sally Lundy.
“Precious Kitten, Visit, maybe Ventura,” said Frankel when asked about candidates for a race he was won a record eight times, including the last four.
Precious Kitten seeks to become only the second horse to win The Matriarch more than once in its 27-year history. Champion Flawlessly won it three straight times from 1991-93.
Precious Kitten comes off a fourth-place finish against males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 5-year-old mare won the Grade I Gamely Stakes here in May. She has recorded eight firsts and nine seconds in 24 starts.
Visit, a Juddmonte Farms homebred from England, joined the Frankel barn after finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf for Sir Michael Stoute.
Ventura, another Juddmonte homebred, finished second by a nose in the CashCall Mile here in July and comes off an impressive win in the seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Frankel also said Fifteen Love and Midships, a pair of Juddmonte colts from Europe training at Santa Anita, are under consideration for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby the same day. He has won that race three times, one less than leader Charlie Whittingham.
Frankel added that he had not made a decision in the $400,000 Citation Handicap on Nov. 28, a race in which he nominated Mast Track, Out of Control, Proudinsky, Storm Military and Tybalt. The Grade I test is at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
The three races headline the six-race Turf Festival Nov. 28-30. Frankel is the runaway leader in Turf Festival victories with 17.
VICTORY PETE WORKS MILE FOR COMEBACK
Victory Pete, a third-place finisher in two Santa Anita 3-year-old stakes before going to the sidelines, neared a return to the races after working a mile on turf in 1:43.20 under exercise rider Paddy Dalton.
“He’s close to a comeback; I’m looking at the next book,” said trainer Alexis Barba. “He finished third in the California Derby and was third in the Sham Stakes behind Colonel John and El Gato Malo. I sent him to Oaklawn for the Arkansas Derby but he hurt his foot a day before the race and was scratched.”
Stakes-winning El Gato Malo, also on the comeback trail, worked four furlongs on Cushion Track in :48.60 for trainer Craig Dollase.
ARTISTE ROYAL WORKS FOR TURF CUP
Artiste Royal, unraced since winning the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap here in June, worked seven furlongs in 1:30 on turf Thursday in company with Obrigado, also on the comeback, for trainer Neil Drysdale.
“He has come back from a minor setback after the Whittingham,” said Drysdale of the 7-year-old veteran he is pointing to the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 6.
Drysdale said Obrigado and Cedar Mountain, who worked four furlongs on grass in :51, are also under consideration for the Turf Cup, a Grade I test at 1 ½ miles on turf. Cedar Mountain finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.
FINISH LINES — Owner Jerry Moss was a visitor to the John Shirreffs stable Thursday and watched Neko Bay exercise on the main track. Moss said he still had not come back to earth from unbeaten Zenyatta’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. “We’re still up there somewhere,” said Moss with a smile…Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for Casino Drive, said the 3-year-old colt and stablemate Champagne Squall would be flown back to Japan Sunday. Casino Drive, unbeaten in three previous starts, faded to last in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Champagne Squall was unplaced in a maiden race on turf here Wednesday…Friday racing shifts under the lights this week with a 7:05 p.m. post. Night racing will continue the following two Fridays, Nov. 14 and 21, before returning to matinees the final four Fridays, Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 12 and 19.
AQUEDUCT NOTES, Nov. 5, 2008
It may have been a routine 1 1/16th mile claimer on the turf, but Jackie Davis will always remember Wednesday’s fifth race at Aqueduct Racetrack for a very special reason – it marked her first-ever victory as a professional jockey.
The 21-year-old Davis, the daughter of retired rider Robbie Davis, entered the winner’s circle on her 33rd mount after piloting 64-1 shot Blue Hill Bay, owned by Chris Nolan and trained by Scott Everett, to a wire-to-wire, three-quarter length victory over Pay Wright.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
Business Trends mixed at Belmont Fall Meet
The 37-day 2008 Belmont Fall meeting, which ended on October 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, versus the equivalent 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8 percent. As the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3 percent decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure. However, that decrease does represent an improvement over the approximately 10.2 percent all-sources handle decline registered during the 2008 Saratoga meet.
“The decline in all-sources handle at the Fall Belmont Park Meet was disappointing but consistent with national wagering trends,” said Charles Hayward, NYRA president and CEO. “There is no question that the economic climate in New York and around the country has had a negative impact on our live handle as well as the New York State Off-Track Betting Corporations and other simulcast customers.”
NEW JERSEY-BRED FILLIES CAP CARD IN FRIDAY NIGHT STAKES
Two fillies with two different running styles will be looking for some black type on Friday night at the Meadowlands when they meet in the fillies division of the New Jersey Juvenile, slated as the ninth and final race on the card.
Hailing from the Ben Perkins Jr. barn is the likely favorite in the six furlong contest, Love That Dance, who has very good early foot. Coming from the Tony Wilson camp is No Mo Magic, a filly that is likely to be following Love That Dance early before coming after that foe in the lane for the winner's share of the $60,000 purse.
MARYLAND VOTERS DECIDE FOR SLOTS REFERENDUM
LAUREL, MD. 11-05-08---The Maryland Jockey Club is pleased to report that on November 4, 2008 Maryland voters overwhelming approved the proposed state constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly to issue up to five video lottery licenses for the installation and operation of up to 15,000 video lottery terminals at five locations for the purpose of raising revenue for education. Support for the measure garnered 59% of the vote with 99% of the precincts reporting.
Laurel Park is a potential site for 4,750 machines to be located in Anne Arundel County. The Maryland Jockey Club will begin the process of applying for a license once the licensing process has been finalized.
Read more articles in the Laurel
category.Read more articles in the Pimlico
Dam of Stardom Bound Highlights Wednesday Session of Keeneland November Sale
Lexington, KY (November 5, 2008) – My White Corvette, dam of 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Stardom Bound, brought top price of $825,000 on Wednesday at Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale.
Barry Weisbord signed the ticket, on behalf of celebrity chef Bobby Flay, for the 10-year-old mare by Tarr Road. My White Corvette was not mated in 2008 since her weanling filly by Lion Heart was a May foal. She was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
A LIL DUMAANI STRIKES FOR REN-MAR IN HOLLYWOOD FEATURE
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2008) — A Lil Dumaani split horses in mid-stretch under jockey Michael Baze and went on to hold off Swift Demand by one-half length to win Wednesday’s $39,000 optional claiming feature at Hollywood Park.
A Lil Dumaani covered six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:08.03 while winning for the third time in seven starts. The gray/roan 3-year-old paid $8.40, $4.40 and $3.20. Swift Demand returned $4 and $3, while the show payoff on 2-1 favorite Spot the Diplomat was $2.60.
BAZE WINS FAMILY AFFAIR AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
ALBANY -- It was father-in-law versus son-in-law in the stretch run of the fourth race at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday.
The father-in-law, a Hall of Fame jockey named Russell Baze, prevailed in a photo finish over his son-in-law, Kyle Kaenel. Baze and River Rebel defeated Kaenel and Shining Day by a head in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.
River Rebel and Shining Day hooked up at the top of the stretch and battled head and head to the wire. River Rebel, despite trying to lug into his rival throughout the final furlong, got the bob and paid $3.60 to win as the 4-to-5 favorite.
Mushka Brings $2.4 Million to Top Tuesday Session of Keeneland November Sale
Lexington, KY (November 4, 2008) – Graded stakes winner Mushka brought a final bid of $2.4 million from Elizabeth Moran’s Brushwood Stable to top Tuesday’s session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
By Empire Maker out of the stakes-winning Seeking the Gold mare Sluice, Mushka won the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at two and, in her last start prior to the November Sale, an allowance race on opening day of Keeneland’s fall meeting. Franny Abbott, who acted as agent for Mrs. Moran, reported that the three-year-old filly will remain in training with Bill Mott.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Hollywood Park Notes: Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008
BOB BLACK JACK TO RETURN IN VERNON O. UNDERWOOD
Bob Black Jack, North American record-setter at six furlongs, is scheduled to make his first start since May in the $100,000-added Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 22, trainer Jim Kasparoff said Wednesday. The Grade III Underwood is at six furlongs on Cushion Track.
Bob Black Jack, a 3-year-old colt, won the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita in January in 1:06.53, lowering the continent standard of 1:06.60 set by G Malleah at Turf Paradise in 1995.