Monday, December 22 2008
HOLLYWOOD PARK UNABLE TO OVERCOME NATIONAL TREND
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2008) — Hollywood Park, fighting the declining economy and an Advance Deposit Wagering dispute which curtailed wagering by players residing outside of California for 17 racing days, finished its 40-day Autumn Meet on Sunday with declines across the board in attendance and handle.
Overall, handle averaged $8.9 million, down 18.3 percent from the figure of $10.9 million during a 32-day meeting in 2007. The on-track average of $1.05 million was down 21.6 percent from the average of $1.3 million in 2007. On track-attendance fell 12 percent to 4,353, compared to 4,944 in 2007.
BEJARANO, O’NEILL WIN MEET TITLES WITH FLAIR
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2008) — Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who did not ride closing day, completed a sweep of the five major Southern California meetings by riding 52 winners at Hollywood Park’s 40-day Autumn Meet, which concluded Sunday.
Bejarano, a 26-year-old native of Arequipa, Peru., moved his tack west during the 2007 Autumn Meet and became just the third jockey to sweep the Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meeting, the Hollywood Park Spring/Summer Meet, Del Mar, Oak Tree and the Hollywood Park Autumn Meet. Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron was the first to do so in 1983 and Patrick Valenzuela matched the feat in 2003.
MEDIA VOTE COCOA BEACH HORSE OF THE MEET
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2008) — Cocoa Beach, impressive come-from-behind winner of The Matriarch on closing day of the Turf Festival, was a unanimous choice by media as Horse of the Meet as Hollywood Park’s 40-day Autumn Meet closed Sunday.
Cocoa Beach, owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, had not run on turf since winning her career debut in Chile in January of 2007. She rallied in the stretch under Ramon Dominguez to win the Grade I event by three-quarters of a length over defending champion and pacesetter Precious Kitten.
BAZE, HOLLENDORFER CELEBRATE TITLE-WINNING CAMPAIGNS
ALBANY -- Jockey Russell Baze and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer put exclamation points on their title-winning campaigns at Golden Gate Fields by scoring multiple victories Sunday, closing day of the track's 2008 fall meeting.
Baze rode four winners and finished the 67-day season with 107 victories to easily claim his 34th career riding championship at Golden Gate Fields. Frank Alvarado finished second in the jockey standings with 63 wins and Roberto Gonzalez was third with 55.
Sunday, December 21 2008
Step Out Smartly steps up to Gowell win
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2008 . . . Step Out Smartly stepped up from maiden winner to stakes winner at Turfway Park Saturday, coming from far back to take the $50,000 Gowell Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths. Lady’s Laughter led into the stretch and stayed in for second, three lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Emma Darling, who stumbled out of the gate.
Queen of Victory took the lead from Karacuda shortly after the break and set fractions of :22.11 and :45.74 under pressure from Lady’s Laughter to her outside. As Lady’s Laughter took over coming into the stretch, Step Out Smartly was second to last, but jockey Bill Troilo had her on the move and she swept past effortlessly in the middle of the track to get up in the final few strides.
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Turfway cancels Sunday card
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2008 . . . With forecasters promising strong winds and single-digit windchill temperatures, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Sunday, December 21. The track will remain open for simulcasting.
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LOPEZ, ZIADIE EACH WIN THREE RACES
OLDSMAR, Fla. (December 20, 2008) Past leading trainer Kirk Ziadie won a hat trick on the Tampa Bay Downs card today. Ziadie took home his two victories in conjunction with reinsman Paco Lopez; the later also scored with a victory in the second race.
Ziadie and Lopez’s first trip to the Winner’s Circle came with Southern Scoundrel, a three-year-old Yankee Gentleman colt who is owned by Sheila and Fred Mead. The pair got their second win with Baron Van Tap in the tenth and featured event, a one mile and a sixteenth allowance test on the turf. Baron Van Tap is a seven-year-old Pleasant Tap horse out of the Oh Say mare Miss Cover Girl who is owned by Margaret J. Picarello.
QUEEN OF SONG HITS HIGH NOTE IN MARYLAND JUVENILE FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP
LAUREL, MD. 12-20-08---Town & Country Farms Corp.’s Queen of Song and jockey Jeremy Rose galloped to victory in today’s feature at Laurel Park, the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.
Taken back to last in the field of four who were racing 1-1/16th miles over the muddy main track, Queen of Song let speedy Graceful Ginger and outsider Call of a Lion set the tempo before sweeping to the fore and drawing away to win by five lengths in 1:44.74. Call of a Lion continued on to finish second and Graceful Ginger tired to third. Post time favorite Prom Time faltered in the chase and faded to last.
Hawthorne Cancels Sunday Program-December 21
Due to impending weather, Hawthorne Race Course will cancel live racing on Sunday, December 21. The track remains open for simulcasting both day and night.
Racing will resume on Friday, December 26 with a ten-race card; first post at 1:35 pm.
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MERUS MIAMI RALLIES FROM LAST TO WIN GOLD RUSH STAKES AT GGF
ALBANY -- Merus Miami dropped back to last on the backstretch and then rallied through the final quarter of a mile to win the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes by one length Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
Trained by O. J. Jauregui and ridden by Alex Bisono, Merus Miami captured the one-mile race for 2-year-olds in 1:38.48 on the synthetic Tapeta track. Adriatic Moon took second by a length over 7-to-5 favorite Cut the Check.
Calder to Offer “Park & Walk” to Dolphin Stadium
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2008) – Calder Race Course, located just north of Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, will offer its “Park & Walk” option to college football fans attending the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 1 and the FedEx BCS National Championship on Jan. 8.
The Calder gates open at 11 a.m. and parking for cars is just $10 each. The cost to park buses, limos and recreational vehicles is $30 each. Overnight parking is not allowed.
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Adams seals Listed treble for Charpy
It has been a memorable week for trainer Erwan Charpy who saddled his third Listed winner in eight days when Grantley Adams won HH The President’s Cup at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.
The 1400m contest, kindly sponsored by Hyrda Properties, produced a thrilling finish with Tadhg O’Shea forcing the head of Grantley Adams in front right on the line, to deny Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Montpellier – as stable companion Emirates Gold had done in last week’s National Day Cup.