Monday, January 05 2009
JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE WHISTLES IN RUTHLESS
By Francis LaBelle Jr.
Justwhistledixie, the most accomplished of the field Sunday, proved to be a deserving favorite as she scored a 3 ½-length victory over Gnome’s Delight in the 32nd running of the $70,795 Ruthless Stakes for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Lakland Farm, the Dixie Union filly overtook longshot Indian Rush, who had gone the first quarter in 22.41 and the half in 46.05 on Aqueduct’s fast inner dirt track. With jockey Rajiv Maragh in the irons, Justwhistledixie ran by her target and was never seriously challenged, as she completed the sprint in 1:10.81 for her third straight victory after two losses.
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Notonthesamepage Booked for Fountain of Youth
Trainer Wesley Ward gave a ‘thumbs up’ sign Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park the morning after Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Notonthesamepage rolled to a near-record setting victory in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
The connections of the Kentucky homebred son of Catienus will point him for the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) to be run at one mile here on Feb. 28.
Gemswick Park Wins Three-Horse Photo Thriller in Old Hat
Melnyk Racing Stable’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred filly Gemswick Park was up in the final steps under jockey John R. Velazquez to post a nose victory over Martin Schwartz’ favored Elusive Heat in Sunday’s $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Elusive Heat was made the 11-to-10 favorite in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies after winning her only previous start impressively in October at Belmont Park, and took command early in the six-furlong test with Gemswick Park stalking from the outside and Dare To Dream Farm’s Frolic’s Dream close-up on the inside down the backstretch. It became a three-horse battle to the wire in deep stretch with Frolic’s Dream finishing only a nose back of the runner-up in third.
BAZE, HOLLENDORFER HAVE TRIPLES
ALBANY -- Jockey Russell Baze recorded a riding triple and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer saddled three winners Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Baze and Hollendorfer teamed up to win the last two races on the card, taking the eighth race with Paul's Hope ($6.40) and the ninth with I Wanna Getaway ($2.80).
Baze started his hat trick when he won the fourth race aboard Penuche Royale ($8.80). Hollendorfer kicked off his training triple when he captured the first race with Warren's Pepe ($6.40).
Sunday, January 04 2009
Huge Crowd Turns Out for 2009 Opening
A huge crowd delighted in balmy South Florida weather, full fields and winning performances from the popular gray horse Delightful Kiss in the Hal’s Hope Stakes and the ultra-fast 3-year-old Notonthesamepage in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, opening day of the 79-day stand.
“This is what racing is all about,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy. “There were a few opening-day glitches, but we had them ironed out in short order and all in all it was a great day of racing.”
Delightful Kiss Charges to Victory in Hal’s Hope
Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old homebred Delightful Kiss produced a powerful stretch charge coming from off the pace under jockey Calvin Borel to capture the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park by three lengths over Mitchell Farm’s Bullsbay. The winner was timed in 1:36:13 for the one-turn mile run over a fast track.
A roan/gray Florida-bred by Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss was making his first start since finishing a game second behind Einstein in the Clark Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs in late November. Trainer Pete Anderson has taken his talented one-horse stable back and forth across the nation for major events the last two seasons, and had won the All American Stakes (G3) at Golden Gate and finished a close-up fourth in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 before the Clark.
Notonthesamepage Dominates Spectacular Bid Stakes Saturday
Ken and Rarah Ramsey’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred Notonthesamepage took command from the start of Saturday’s $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes on opening day at Gulfstream Park, and drew off to a commanding 8¼-length victory over Kramer Stable’s You Luckie Mann.
The winner ran the six furlongs in 1:08:48 on the fast track, missing the track record by 2/100s of a second.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Notonthesamepage is a son of Catenius who was making his first start since tiring to last of 11 after setting the early pace in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 4. He paid $11.40.
GP Barn notes 1-3
Beethoven Rolls Over Gulfstream Strip
Two of John Oxley’s top 3-year-old prospects worked out Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer John Ward, including Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Beethoven, and jockeys who won two of the last three editions of the Kentucky Derby (G1) rode them.
Calvin Borel, who rode Street Sense to win the 2007 Derby, shipped in to work Beethoven, going three furlongs in 36. Edgar Prado, rider of 2006 Derby winner Barbaro, was aboard Strategic Decision, a maiden out of the champion mare Beautiful Pleasure. He was timed an easy half-mile in 50 1/5.
Loch Dubh makes the leap to stakes winner in Turfway Prevue
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 3, 2009 . . . Loch Dubh proved himself a good investment Saturday at Turfway Park, drawing off to win the $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes in his second start off a $15,000 claim at Churchill Downs.
Asked what prompted the claim, trainer Jeff Talley said, “He’s a big, good-looking horse. We watched him in the paddock every race at Churchill, and then [trainer Eddie Kenneally] ran him for thirty [thousand]. I was mad I didn’t take him that day.”
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DREAM RUSH HUSTLES TO MINARET VICTORY
OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 3, 2009) The 28th renewal of the $65,000 Minaret Stakes was captured today by Dream Rush, a five-year-old daughter of Wild Rush who ran the six furlongs over the main track in 1:10.73 before a crowd of 4,245 fans. Dream Rush is under the care of trainer William Phipps, is owned by Minor Stables and was bred in Kentucky by James H. Petrey. Jockey Daniel Centeno had the return call to ride Dream Rush, giving the mare her eighth lifetime victory from fifteen starts. Dream Rush has won such noted stakes as the Grade I Test Stakes at Saratoga and the Grade I Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park, and has now earned more that $750,000.
JIBBOOM, GOMEZ FINALLY FIND ROOM TO CAPTURE MONROVIA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 3, 2009) – Blocked behind rivals in deep stretch, Garrett Gomez finally maneuvered favored Jibboom between horses to emerge with a one-half length victory over longshot Christiana’s Heat Saturday in Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Monrovia Handicap for fillies and mares while covering 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:13.21
The win seemed to confirm trainer Bobby Frankel’s notion that the 5-year-old roan mare, once thought by the Hall of Fame conditioner to be “my next (2007 Female champion) Ginger Punch,” may be best suited as a late-running sprinter.
STABLE NOTES, SATURDAY, JANUARY 3RD, 2009
WELL ARMED SET FOR RETURN IN NEXT SATURDAY’S SAN PASQUAL
Well Armed is scheduled to make his first start since a disappointing ninth as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last Oct. 25 when the 6-year-old gelding runs in next Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.
“The rest helped him and he’s been working super,” trainer Eoin Harty said of the bay son of Tiznow owned by WinStar Farm. “It was pretty bad,” Harty continued, referring to the Dirt Mile “trouble line” in Daily Racing Form’s past performances that reads, “steadied turn.”