Friday, December 12 2008
CALENDAR PROMO BRIGHTENS AQUEDUCT HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
It’s always good to know what’s going on, and fans at Aqueduct Racetrack on New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, 2009, will be able to keep track of New York’s biggest races when they avail themselves of the 2009 New York Racing Association Calendar.
Because there is no admission or parking charge, Aqueduct fans will receive their NYRA calendars free on track with the purchase of any Post Parade magazine on New Year’s Day, or they can simply purchase a $1 coupon that may be redeemed for the calendar.
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HP Stable Notes: Friday, Dec. 12, 2008
FRUMIOUS FIRES BULLET FOR CASHCALL FUTURITY
Northern California invader Frumious worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80 Friday on Cushion Track under jockey Victor Espinoza for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 20.
Trainer Jeff Bonde shipped the colt from Golden Gate Fields on Sunday with groom Julio Rodriguez to the barn of trainer Craig Dollase, who supervised the drill.
December 12 Cancellation after Race 3
Stickney, IL—Hawthorne Race Course cancelled the last six races of its nine-race card due to inclement weather.
Those who played the early Pick Four will be paid if you had the winners of the second and third races. Pick Threes starting with the second race will also pay if you had the first two winners. All other wagers including the Place Pick Nine will be refunded.
Read more articles in the Hawthorne
The Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity
A Summer Feeling as Winter Nears
Trainer Anthony Mitchell has trained a couple of precocious two-year-olds, but the ones that come to mind are fillies: Original Spin and Summer Mis. The latter just happens to be the dam of Summer’s Empire, the probable favorite in the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity for two-year-old colts and geldings.
“His (Summer’s Empire) mother figured it out real easy,” said Mitchell. “Some of them get it straight away and others take a little more time. This colt is only now beginning to learn the game and it’s pretty exciting when they do.”
Read more articles in the Hawthorne
STRAIGHT WINS THREE STRAIGHT AS “JOCKEY OF THE DAY”
LAUREL, MD. 12-12-08---Every Friday in November and December, the Maryland Jockey Club marketing department presents a “Toast Your Jockey Day” promotion where racing analyst Frank Carulli randomly selects a jockey from all those with mounts that afternoon. Each time that rider wins a race, draft beers are half-price until the next race.
This afternoon Carulli picked apprentice Matthew Straight, who rewarded those in attendance with three consecutive victories: Bomber D Back ($9.40-third), Court Band ($14.60-fourth) and D D T and Me ($7.40-fifth). For his success, half-priced beer flowed from the taps for one hour and 20 minutes (1:35 to 2:55).
Classic foes return in Prairie Bayou
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 11, 2008 . . . Extreme Supreme and Canela, respectively second and third in September’s Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic, return to Turfway Park this Saturday for the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes. The two head a field of 10 for the 1 1/8 mile race.
Trained by John Ward Jr. for John Oxley, Extreme Supreme has not started since his runner-up finish in the Classic. He has performed well off similar or longer layoffs and in 15 career starts has finished out of the money only three times. Extreme Supreme has been training well over the Polytrack at Keeneland and should be ready to return to work in the Prairie Bayou. The mount goes to Otto Thorwarth, who finished second among riders in the fall meet after being edged out of the top spot on closing day.
Read more articles in the Turfway
TEN TO START IN JENNINGS HANDICAP
LAUREL, MD. 12-11-08---New York invader Broadway Producer is listed as the morning line choice to win Saturday’s $50,000 Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park.
After capturing the Maryland Million Turf at Laurel in October and prepping for this start with a seven furlong effort against optional claimers at Aqueduct, Broadway Producer (5-2) tries nine other Maryland-breds at 1-1/6th miles on the main track. Trainer John Terranova will use Dale Beckner to guide the Not For Love 5-year-old, who has 15 in-the-money finishes out of twenty-two starts.
Read more articles in the Laurel
SERRA SONG WINS BATTLE OF GRAYS IN HOLLYPARK FEATURE
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2008) — Even-money favorite Serra Song out-dueled fellow gray/roan colt Lucky Honey through the stretch to win Thursday’s $43,144 allowance feature at Hollywood Park by a head under jockey Victor Espinoza.
Serra Song, owned by B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Richard Mandella, covered 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:41.11 while winning for the second time in five starts.
ALVARADO, SHERMAN TEAM UP FOR PAIR OF VICTORIES
ALBANY -- Jockey Frank Alvarado and trainer Steve Sherman teamed up for a pair of victories at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Alvarado and Sherman took the fourth race with heavy favorite Newport Lulu, who paid $3.00 after running off to a seven-length victory in a six-furlong contest for fillies and mares.
The duo came back to win the sixth race with Skyspy, who returned $11.20 after upsetting 1-to-2 favorite Summer Haze by one length in a six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds.
Thursday, December 11 2008
SANTA ANITA SET FOR DEC. 26 OPENER, FANS TO RECEIVE BONUS ADMISSIONS, 2009 CALENDAR AND MORE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2008)—Spectacular Santa Anita Park is readying for its 72nd opening day on Friday, Dec. 26, and all fans in attendance will receive an opening day bonus package of four free passes with each paid admission.
All General Admission and Clubhouse attendees will receive two free passes to the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions program and two additional free passes good any day throughout Santa Anita’s 84-day winter/spring meeting.
FANS WIN WITH FREE FRIDAYS AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2008)—Santa Anita Park has announced that with the exception of opening day, Dec. 26, fans will be offered free general admission on all Friday programs throughout Santa Anita’s upcoming 84-day winter/spring meeting.
“We want our fans to know that we intend to offer them outstanding value across the board, and particularly on Fridays,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles.
RESEARCHER BRINGS STRONG ACT TO NEW YORK
Aqueduct’s inner track brings out some pretty tough customers, many of whom rack up big victories at other tracks where they go relatively unnoticed at other times of the year.
Saturday afternoon, however, it will be hard to overlook Rutledge Farm’s Researcher, who brings a three-race winning streak to the Big A for the 103rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Queens County Handicap for three-year-olds and up at a mile and three-sixteenths on the inner dirt track.
Researcher is a 4-year-old, Virginia-bred gelded son of Two Smart who has fashioned a record of 7-3-2 from 13 starts. He has never been as sharp as he is now, however, coming off a two-month freshening to post victories in an off-the-turf mile race at Laurel, at nine furlongs at his home base at Charles Town and in Mountaineer Park’s Mountaineer Mile on a good track.
“I think there are several reasons why he is doing so good,” said trainer Jeff Runco. “We had tried him on the turf before, and he did just okay. He had some other issues, so we gave him time off. I think the rest and the return to the dirt have made a real change in him.”
The real noticeable change in Researcher has been in his Beyer Speed numbers. In his last two starts, he has fired off respective figures of 101 and 104.
“He’s a little older now and he is getting smarter, too,” Runco said. “In his last race at Mountaineer, he sat right off the lone speed (Ravalo), who wound up finishing second. It’s like he knows what he has to do.”
Researcher not only handles different tracks and different track conditions, but he also has worked well with different jockeys.
“We have been racing all over, so he gets a new jockey at every track,” Runco said.
The 49-year-old Runco, a former jockey himself, will turn over the riding duties on Saturday to an old friend, Mike Luzzi. A native of Omaha, Neb., who cut his teeth at the old Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack, Runco rode on the Mid-Atlantic circuit from 1979-’84.
In fact, Luzzi’s brother, John, who entered Thursday eight wins shy of 1,000 for his riding career, worked Researcher a half-mile on the fast track at Charles Town on December 3 in 49.20, breezing.
It took several months, but Carol Nyren’s Dry Martini finally became a graded stakes winner in New York when he won the Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap in the mud here on November 15.
A son of Slew Gin Fizz, he also seemed to wake up after two average tries on turf. He made up a lot of ground in the Stuyvesant, but trainer Billy Turner seemed pleased that the horse appeared to be going easy at the end.
Third in the Stuyvesant, Temporary Saint figures to head to the lead in the Queens County under jockey Eddie Castro. The 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding sports a 4-2-3 record from 10 starts this year.
Grade 2 winner Sir Whimsey debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4-year-old Jump Start colt has only one victory in six tries on Aqueduct’s inner track, but has hit the board in all but one of those tries.
Winless in three starts this year, Brilliant Son makes his inner track debut here for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 5-year-old Stormin Fever horse may have value, as he came off a layoff to run third by a neck on the turf at Keeneland, and then “bounced” in his return to dirt in the muddy Stuyvesant, where he ran fifth.
Brilliant Son will be equipped with blinkers for the Queens County Handicap.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct