Thursday, December 04 2008
Santa Anita Stakes Schedule Set for New Season
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2008)—Santa Anita Park has announced its complete stakes schedule for the upcoming 2008/09 season, which will get underway on Dec. 26. This will be Santa Anita’s 72nd winter/spring meeting and a total of 75 stakes will be offered, beginning with Santa Anita’s traditional opening day feature, the Gr. I, $250,000 Malibu Stakes.
The Gr. I, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, and the Gr. I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4 figure to once again serve as highlights in the upcoming season.
Horse of the Year Azeri Headlines Keeneland January Sale
Lexington, KY (December 3, 2008) – Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time champion older mare, in foal to 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, highlights Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale, to be held January 12-17.
Azeri is one of only six fillies ever to win Horse of the Year honors, and the only female to earn three Eclipse Awards as champion older mare (2002, 2003 and 2004). During four seasons of racing, Azeri won 17 of 24 starts, including 14 graded stakes, and amassed earnings of $4,079,820. Among her 11 Grade 1 victories were wins in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Apple Blossom Handicap (three times), Vanity Handicap (twice), Milady Breeders’ Cup (twice), and Juddmonte Spinster Stakes.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
PORTO SANTO PERFECT ON HOLLYWOOD GREEN
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2008) — Favorite Porto Santo, winner of the 2006 Bien Bien Stakes in his only previous start on the Hollywood Park turf course, caught pacesetter Black Astor in mid-stretch and inched away to score a one-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Wednesday’s $50,000 allowance feature.
The 5-year-old French-bred covered 1 1/16 miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:40.69 to score his fifth win in 22 starts, paying $6, $3.60 and $2.80. Black Astor returned $5 and $3.60, while the show payoff on Band of Thunder was $2.80.
POINT OF REFERENCE IS WINNER’S CIRCLE
ALBANY -- Point of Reference recorded her second straight win at Golden Gate Fields when she ran away to a three-length victory in Wednesday's $19,300 feature.
A Washington-bred daughter of Benchmark, Point of Reference captured the six-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies in 1:10.95. Merry Marino took second by a length over Starship Countess.
Dixie Hawks, the 6-to-5 favorite ridden by Russell Baze, stumbled at the start and never threatened while checking in last in the field of six.
Bouresly and Selvaratnam to double-up at Jebel Ali
Friday afternoon is the second meeting of the current season at Jebel Ali and Dhruba Selvaratnam, who trains on the track, looks to have high hopes of adding to his treble on the course a fortnight ago.
Two of his winners on that occasion, Chun Tosaigh and Mannjal, return to action and are joined by a strong supporting team of stable companions.
However, the star attraction is Rashed Bouresly’s Star Crowned who also won at the course’s first meeting two weeks ago.
Wednesday, December 03 2008
Hollywood Park Stable Notes: Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008
TWO FEMALES ENTERED IN TURF CUP
Black Mamba and High Heel Sneakers, a pair of 5-year-old mares who have both won turf stakes against females at Hollywood Park, will tangle with males Saturday in the $250,000, Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 ½ miles.
Meet-leading trainer John Sadler entered New Zealand-bred Black Mamba, scratched from the Matriarch Sunday, while conditioner Ben Cecil entered English-bred High Heel Sneakers.
SPECHT’S DEAD-HEATERS TO RUN IN PACIFIC HEIGHTS STAKES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Lady Railrider and Shes a Lucky Wager, two fillies that couldn't be separated in their last start, will represent trainer Steve Specht in the $75,000 Pacific Heights Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
"I'm not only running, I'm going to dead-heat," said Specht with a laugh when asked about the Pacific Heights, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares bred in California.
Cracking Purebred action tops the card
Nad Al Sheba’s fifth meeting of the current campaign, kindly sponsored by BBC World is a six-race card, with two worth AED110,000 each during the evening.
The first of these is the opening 1600m Al Barsha Plate, a Purebred Arabian conditions contest which has attracted a field of 11 including Paris Gagner, representing Champion Trainer Doug Watson.
Sporting the colours of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the five-year-old proved himself a genuine Group 1 performer last season but this trip would be very much his minimum.
Read more articles in the Meydan
Tuesday, December 02 2008
BBC World sponsors Thursday’s race meeting
The Dubai Racing Club is proud to announce this Thursday’s race card is kindly sponsored by BBC World, the global news and television channel.
Dubai Racing Club CEO Mr Frank Gabriel Jr said: “This week sees the Winter Racing Challenge reach its half way mark.
“So far, we have enjoyed a very positive start to the season, with many horses announcing themselves as contenders for the Winter Racing Challenge Finals held on January 1, 2009.
Read more articles in the Meydan
Del Mar’s Hirsch, O’Brien Are Lifted to Grade I Status
Two of Del Mar's major stakes races were enhanced to Grade I status for the 2009 racing season by the American Graded Stakes Committee at its annual grading session in Lexington last week.
The Clement L. Hirsch Handicap and the Pat O’Brien Handicap both were elevated from their current Grade II status to the highest ranking for North American stakes races, giving the seaside track nine Grade I races -- the most in its history -- among its 31 advertised stakes. It also features eight Grade II and two Grade III events.
Read more articles in the Del Mar
Monday, December 01 2008
Milwaukee Appeal upsets Ontario Lassie
TORONTO, November 30 - C E C Farms charge Milwaukee Appeal notched her first career stakes win in Sunday's $151,200 Ontario Lassie at Woodbine.
The daughter of Milwaukee Brew sat just off the pace and opened up a comfortable lead in mid-stretch to capture the 30th edition of the 1 1/16-mile contest for Ontario-foaled two-year-old fillies by 1 1/4 lengths.
From between horses with belated interest, 2-5 favorite Retraceable edged D' Country for the runner-up position.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
Afleet Angel afire in Holiday Inaugura
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 30, 2008 . . . Waiting out a speed battle far in front of her, the veteran mare Afleet Angel revved up in the final furlong to win the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway Park Sunday, opening day of the Holiday Meet.
Simply Seattle rushed to the front as usual to start the six furlongs and flew through the first quarter in :21.78, with Sea the Joy just behind and Pola’s Place third on the rail. Pola’s Place briefly took the lead at the half, timed in :45.29, but could not sustain the pace. Meanwhile, Afleet Angel and jockey Willie Martinez were biding their time near the back of the 12-horse field. Approaching the stretch, Martinez wove Afleet Angel through horses to reach the far outside, and the two took aim on the wire while running seven or eight paths off the rail. Vote Early made a late run of her own toward the outside and School Girl put in a bid from between horses, but Afleet Angel was in full stride by then and drove past to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Vote Early was second, three lengths ahead of Simply Seattle in third. Final time was 1:11.94.