Sunday, March 22 2009



Bob Baffert is as familiar with winning the Santa Anita Derby as he is with winning training titles at the storied track. He has made his headquarters in Arcadia for nearly two decades, winning the Santa Anita Derby four times, and the training championship eight times, including a record seven years in a row from 1996-97 through 2002-03.

“They’re all different,” Baffert said on a rainy Sunday morning at Clockers’ Corner, when asked about his past Santa Anita Derby winners and this year’s major contender, Pioneerof the Nile. “Plus,” Baffert continued, “the last time I won (in 2001, with eventual Horse of the Year Point Given), this was a dirt track.”

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AQUEDUCT NOTES, Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Want Revenge, a leading Kentucky Derby candidate by virtue of his 8 ½-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here on March 7, worked a bullet five furlongs Sunday morning on the fast all-weather track at Hollywood Park in 58.20, handily.

Trainer Jeff Mullins originally planned to keep I Want Revenge in New York with trainer Anthony Dutrow, but the plan was changed to head back to California and prepare for the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs here on Saturday, April 4.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


Buddy’s Humor Splashes to Victory in Pan American

Day-long rain at Gulfstream Park Saturday forced management to take races scheduled for the turf off that surface and run them on the main track, including the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3), but that worked out fine for Eli Lomita’s 5-year-old Buddy’s Humor as he wore down Patricia Generazio’s Presious Passion to win by three-quarters of a length.

A field of only five went to the post after the race was shifted from the scheduled 1 ½ miles on turf to 1 ¼ miles on a ‘sloppy’ main track. Jockey Jose Lezcano was aboard Buddy’s Humor for trainer Bruce Levine and stalked pace-setting Presious Passion from the start before surging to the lead in the upper stretch.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Barn Notes 3/21

Dunkirk & Quality Road Drill at Palm Meadows

Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk and Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, the two likely favorites for next Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, posted impressive workouts on a fast track Saturday morning at Palm Meadows.

Dunkirk, working in company with highly-regarded stablemate Affirmatif, was timed a ‘bullet’ five furlongs in 1:00:15 for trainer Todd Pletcher while Quality Road was timed in 1:25 for seven furlongs for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, the only horse working that distance on the tab.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (March 21, 2009) – With front-running You Got Me Rocking a late scratch due to a minor injury, Midships assumed the pace-setting role Saturday and ran away with Santa Anita’s 58th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap at 1 ½ miles on turf.

Victor Espinoza sent the Juddmonte Farms’ British import to the lead at the outset, guided the 4-year-old roan through moderate fractions, and the 5-2 third choice came home strongly to score by 1 3/4 lengths over Medici Code while covering the marathon distance in 2:25.63.

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El Camino Real Derby winner Chocolate Candy was scheduled to arrive at Santa Anita this afternoon from the Bay Area to begin final preparations for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

Expected to be the third choice behind Pioneerof the Nile and The Pamplemousse, Chocolate Candy has not raced since winning the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 14. The Santa Anita Derby would be his first race in more than six weeks.

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Hold Me Back Makes 2009 Debut a Winning One in Lane’s End Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Unraced since last November, Hold Me Back made his 3-year-old debut a memorable and lucrative one, closing from next to last under Kent Desormeaux to win the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday in convincing fashion over the D. Wayne Lukas-trained long shot Flying Private. The margin of victory was 1 3/4 lengths.

Long shot Orthodox set the early pace, laying down early fractions of :23.71 for the quarter, :47.84 for the half, 1:12.43 for three quarters. Turning for home, Orthodox was quickly passed by Proceed Bee, Flying Private and Parade Clown. But none of those three could hold off the oncoming rush of Hold Me Back. After a slow start that landed him in 11th position early, Hold Me Back commenced a sustained rally approaching the far turn and swung six wide straightening out for the stretch. He caught Flying Private at the sixteenth pole and drew clear at the finish. Proceed Bee was four lengths farther back in third. Final time for the nine furlongs was 1:49.63.

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Hot Cha Cha Takes the Overland Route to Capture the Bourbonette

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . The locally based Hot Cha Cha became a stakes winner in her first such attempt with an impressive 6-length tally in the Grade III, $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Orlando Mojica, the Cactus Ridge filly endured a wide trip due to the far outside post position in the field of 10. But Hot Cha Cha was able to circle the field from the eighth position and carve into the early lead of pacesetters Fitz Just Right and Instrumentalist. She wore those two down in the stretch and drew off to an easy win. Fitz Just Right, the 7-5 favorite, held on for second, a head in front of Instrumentalist at the wire.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.


Cliffy’s Future Gives Silverton Hill, Miller a Second Rushaway Win

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Cliffy’s Future came from dead last to win the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes by 2 1/2 widening lengths over Ziegfeld. Toccet Rocket was a head farther back in third. Cliffy’s Future is owned by Silverton Hill LLC and trained by Darrin Miller, the same connections who sent out Dominican to win the 2007 Rushaway.

It was the first stakes win for Cliffy’s Future, who ran a sluggish eighth last time out in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 14. That was his first start for Silverton Hill after a private purchase. Prior to that Tampa effort, he had been risked for a $75,000 claiming tag twice in races at Aqueduct over the winter.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.


Turfiste Runs Them Off Their Feet in the Hansel

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Watts-David Stable LLC’s Turfiste garnered his second straight stakes victory, leading from start to finish in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes to score by a length over the fast closing King Puma, who was the 3-2 race favorite.

The winning rider was Julien Leparoux, who earned his second straight stakes riding victory after also guiding Just for Keeps to win the Queen Stakes. Leparoux was a late replacement for Victor Lebron, who took off his mounts after a spill in the day’s third race.


Just for Keeps Goes Wire-to-Wire in Queen

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Just for Keeps, the 2-1 favorite, went wire-to-wire to take the $50,000 Queen Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Proud Heiress. Mrs Petoski was two lengths back in third.

Ridden by Julian Leparoux, Just for Keeps went straight to the lead and never looked back. The 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow came into the Queen off a similar wire-to-wire score in a Feb. 1 classified allowance race at Gulfstream for Turfway Park’s leading trainer Michael Maker and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. Today’s win was the second career stakes victory for Just for Keeps, who captured the Mamzelle Stakes last May over the Churchill Downs turf course.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.



Secret Gypsy made the long trip up from the Fair Grounds in Louisiana to Aqueduct Racetrack last week get some black type and New York recognition.

Saturday afternoon, she attained both goals as she easily defeated four rivals to win the 55th running of the Grade 2, $157,300 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Although the margin of victory was a length and a quarter, Secret Gypsy was in hand for jockey Robby Albarado, who never turned his stick.

Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.


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