Monday, March 09 2009
FESTIVAL DAY PROBABLE STARTERS POST FINAL WORKOUTS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 8, 2009) Horses thought to be preparing for Saturday’s Festival Day, which includes the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks, the Grade III $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes and the $75,000 Turf Dash, have put in their final works before the big day.
General Quarters, who captured the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here last month, worked five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer/owner Thomas McCarthy on Saturday morning. The Sky Mesa colt was the fastest of 12 works for that distance. Musket Man, who was third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, worked five furlongs in a minute flat on Sunday morning for last year’s Tampa Bay Derby winning owner Eric Fein.
Quaolina takes Group 1 Liwa Oasis
Champion Trainer Doug Watson saddled two winners from two runners at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening, including Quaolina, the impressive winner of the featured Group 1 Liwa Oasis over 1400m.
Kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the Capital’s 13th meeting of the season was their third last and Watson’s double puts him within touching distance of retaining his crown.
Richard Hills was in the saddle on Quaolina, already a Group 1 winner in the UK and opening her UAE account at the second attempt having chased home Fryvolous last time.
FORMER TRAINER, RACING OFFICIAL BOB McGRATH PASSES AT AGE 79
Bob McGrath, who trained thoroughbred racehorses in Northern California for 30 years and also served as a racing official at Bay Area tracks, died of heart failure at his home in Hayward early Sunday morning. McGrath was
"He went peacefully in his sleep," said McGrath's wife, Jan.
McGrath, a native of Oakland, followed in the footsteps of his father, Robert, in becoming a trainer. Bob trained horses in the Bay Area from 1962-1992 and was best known for his work with the stakes-placed mare Karandebs Big Kat, who campaigned in the mid-1980s.
Sunday, March 08 2009
EINSTEIN OUTSMARTS ‘EM IN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Dirt, grass, a rug, none of that seems relative to Einstein's racing ability.
Running for the first time on a synthetic surface, the Brazilian-bred whiz turned in a virtually picture-perfect performance to win Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.
"He's a good horse on the turf. He's a good horse on the dirt. He's a good horse on anything," jockey Julien Leparoux said. "We didn't really know about this track, but we were pretty sure he was going to handle it.
"And he did."
Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein's trainer, said, "He rode him beautifully. It's an unbelievable feeling, just means the world to me. Einstein was very comfortable with this track from the time he got here."
Saturday, March 07 2009
I WANT REVENGE COMES EAST TO DOMINATE GOTHAM
Judging from his 8 ½-length victory Saturday afternoon in Aqueduct Racetrack’s 57th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Stakes for three-year-olds, I Want Revenge wants a whole lot more.
The California invader, making his first start on natural dirt after a 1-1-4 record from six starts on synthetic surfaces, stamped himself as a player to be reckoned with for New York’s last major Kentucky Derby prep, the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on Saturday, April 4.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
AH DAY GETS A HEAD UP IN THE TOBOGGAN
Ah Day, making his second career start at Aqueduct, avenged his third-place finish in the 2007 Grade 1 Carter Handicap by rallying off a hot pace to defeat fellow Maryland invader Eternal Star by a head in Saturday’s 116th running of the Grade 3, $110,700 Toboggan Stakes at six furlongs on Aqueduct’ Racetrack’s fast inner dirt track.
“He ran awesome,” said Avon Thorpe, assistant to winning trainer King T. Leatherbury. “He’s been training good. He came back slowly and took his time. Then, he just did what he normally does – ran big.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
I lost My Choo Rallies to Capture Honey Fox
Making her first start since August at Saratoga, Flying Zee Stable’s 4-year-old homebred filly I Lost My Choo swung out around rivals on the far turn and rallied through the stretch to a two-length victory over Linda Shanahan’s 50-1 Rustic Flame in the $100,000 Honey Fox Stakes (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by jockey Jose Lezcano, I Lost My Choo had won all three of her starts over the Gulfstream course last winter for trainer Phil Serpe and made it 4-for-4 in her first start since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) run over yielding ground at Saratoga on Aug. 15.
Hypocrite Rallies to Sunshine State Victory at Gulfstream
After stumbling badly at the start from the one post under jockey Manoel Cruz, Jacqueline Tortora and partners’ 4-year-old Hypocrite rallied along the rail in Saturday’s $75,000 Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream Park to score by three-quarters of a length over Trilogy Stable’s 5-year-old Yesbyjimminy, the 3-5 favorite in the seven-furlong test.
A son of Outofthebox, Hypocrite won the Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs last out on Feb. 7 after finishing second and third in two stakes at Calder behind Yesbyjimminy late last year. Rose Family Stable’s 5-year-old Hal’s My Hope finished third in the field of six Florida-breds, 2¾ lengths behind the runner-up. Hypocrite paid $5.40 to win as the second choice and was timed in 1:23:40 over the fast track.
Barbaro’s Brother Nicanor Runner-up to ‘Carlos’ in Second Start
Lael Stable’s 3-year-old Nicanor, full-brother to ill-fated 2006 Florida and Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Barbaro, made his second career start Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and fared much better than his debut as he finished second to Homewrecker Racing’s 7-10 favorite Custom for Carlos in a seven-furlong maiden race.
Nicanor stumbled at the start of his much-publicized debut going one mile on Jan. 31 and never reached contention as he finished 10th of 12. Saturday, he was away alertly under jockey Jose Lezcano, set the pace to the upper stretch, and held gamely for the place at 8-1, a length behind the winner.
Barn Notes 3-7 GP
Danger to Society Working Toward Stakes Rebound
Lansdon Robbins and partners’ 3-year-old Danger to Society continues to work toward a hoped-for rebound in a major stakes with his latest drill coming Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park.
With exercise rider/jockey Mario Madrid in the saddle, the son of Harlan’s Holiday breezed six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 in his third workout since finishing seventh in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) here Jan. 31.
SAARLIGHT SCORES IN WIDE COUNTRY STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 3-7-09---Cam Allard’s Saarlight went from maiden to stakes winner in a single jump with a front running victory in today’s feature at Laurel Park, the $50,000 Wide Country Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Second in her only start at Aqueduct in early February, Saarlight sped the seven furlong distance in 1:22.78 under jockey Raymundo Fuentes. She finished one length the better of Strut the Canary, who was looking for her fourth consecutive victory. Haley’s Lollipop finished third.
Saarlight is a daughter of Saarland who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin at Belmont Park. She paid $5.60 and topped a $19.80 exacta.
Read more articles in the Laurel
VETERAN JOCKEY GONZALEZ RIDES FOUR WINNERS
ALBANY -- Veteran jockey Roberto Gonzalez, age 54, showed his younger colleagues how it's done Saturday at Golden Gate Fields when he rode four winners.
Gonzalez won three of the first four races on the card, taking the first with Leo the Cat ($12.00), the second with Yorkville Kid ($7.40) and the fourth with Big League Dream ($5.40).
Gonzalez completed his four-bagger when he guided Meetyouatyogi's ($6.40) to a front-running victory in the eighth race.