Tuesday, December 02 2008

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 category.


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 category.


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.



INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2008) — Second-choice Court Vision, last in the field of nine at the quarter pole, rallied in the middle of the course to win the Hollywood Derby as jockey Ramon Dominguez completed a sweep of $500,000, Grade I events on Sunday’s final day of the Turf Festival at Hollywood Park.

Eastern-based Dominguez, who won with his first two Hollywood Park mounts in the 2004 Turf Festival, also guided favorite Cocoa Beach to a come-from-behind victory two races earlier in The Matriarch.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.


HP Stable Notes: Sunday, November 30, 2008


Trainer Mike Machowsky said Sunday that Rush Rush would seek his first stakes victory in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, a Grade I test at 1 ½ miles on turf Saturday.

“He’s kind of a quirky horse to ride, and I think Victor (jockey Victor Espinoza) has figured him out pretty well,” said Santa Anita-based Machowsky of the 5-year-old gelding who rallied to finish second in an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf here Nov. 12 in his first start under Espinoza.

Rush Rush won a grass race at 1 ¼ miles here last year but has been unplaced in two tries at 1 ½ miles, including a fourth-place finish in the 2007 Sunset Handicap.

Read more articles in the Hollywood Park category.



ALBANY -- Run It ran to another victory at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.

Run It, who broke his maiden against winners on Nov. 6 at Golden Gate Fields, proved the victory was no fluke when he scored a two-length victory in Sunday's $19,300 feature for 2-year-olds.

A Kentucky-bred colt by Cherokee Run, Run It completed a mile on the synthetic Tapeta surface in 1:39.03 and paid $6.80. Scorpio Dog took second by three lengths over 3-to-2 favorite Skim Scam.



On Wednesday, December 3, racing will move to Aqueduct’s inner dirt track. Built in 1975, the one-mile oval was erected on the former site of the inner turf course to better accommodate winter racing.

The Big A’s inner dirt track played a big role in the careers of such horses as Thunder Rumble, Prairie Bayou and Smarty Jones, all of whom won the Count Fleet. The Interborough Handicap produced such winners as Lottsa Talc, Xtra Heat and Oprah Winney. Wayward Lass, King’s Swan, Evening Attire, Peeping Tom, Missy’s Mom, Magnolia Jackson, Dixie Brass, Plankton, It’s Acedemic, More to Tell, Honorable Miss, Boom Towner and Affirmed Success are among Aqueduct’s more accomplished inner dirt track alumni."

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.



By Francis LaBelle Jr.

A starting gate malfunction delayed the start of Sunday afternoon’s 29th running of the $81,825 Montauk Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares by just over half an hour, but the wait didn’t seem to bother Thomas, Michael and Vincent Murray’s Here Comes Rita, who carried jockey Pablo Fragoso to a 2 ¼-victory in the sloppy nine-furlong final race of Aqueduct’s main track season.

Because of the delay, darkness forced the cancellation of Sunday’s ninth race, which was scheduled to go to post at 4:12 p.m. The announcement of the cancellation was made at 4:25 p.m. ET – sunset was at 4:29 pm. -- and the ninth race became an “ALL” for all multiple wagers (i.e., Pick 6, Pick 3, Pick 4, late Double). The track remained open for simulcasting, and will also be open for simulcasting on Monday and Tuesday, December 1-2.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


Sunday, November 30 2008

Parabola charts perfect route to Kingarvie score

TORONTO, November 29 - Jockey Justin Stein guided 17-1 shot Parabola to an upset victory in Saturday's $125,000 Kingarvie Stakes at Woodbine.

The 1 1/16-mile event for two-year-old Ontario-sired colts and geldings was the first stakes score for the cleverly-named son of Trajectory.

Ninth at the five-sixteenths pole, the Barb Minshall trainee started a strong move on the second turn and seized command with one sixteenth of a mile remaining. He outfinished determined multiple stakes-winner Mean Green for a half-length tally. Wildcat Fashion, who was on the lead early, stayed on for third.

Read more articles in the Woodbine category.



By Francis LaBelle Jr.

Charles E. Fipke’s Tale of Ekati won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial here at Aqueduct Racetrack back on April 5 and his only other victory of the year came in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Jerome Handicap on October 5.

Trainer Barclay Tagg hadn’t been exactly lighting it up either, entering Saturday’s card in an 0-for-28 slump.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.



All through the lane Saturday afternoon, jockey Ramon Dominguez kept looking back to see if there was any competition coming for Fox Hill Farm’s front-running favorite Old Fashioned. All he saw a growing distance between his mount and the six other horses entered in Aqueduct’s 95th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen for two-year-olds at nine furlongs.

Now, there is something to look forward to.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.



Springside, dismissed at 5-1, overtook heavily favored Sky Diva in the lane and continued on to 9 ½-length upset Saturday afternoon in the 87th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle for two-year-old fillies at nine furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Owned by James and Alice Sapara, the Awesome Again filly was vanned off following her victory, which came in 1:51.71 on the fast main track. According to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association, Springside suffered what appears to be a fracture of the right-front pastern and was taken for x-rays. It was her first start on a conventional dirt track.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


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