Friday, January 09 2009


New York, NY, Jan. 9 -- Joe Hirsch, the dean of American turf writers, died Friday morning at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. He was 80.

A funeral service will be held Sunday, 10 a.m. at Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, 630 Amsterdam Ave. at 91st Street in Manhattan.


HRTV, Hennegan Brothers Documentary “The First Saturday in May” Wins National Television-Features Me

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association announced today that the Hennegan Brothers documentary "The First Saturday in May," which chronicled the stories of six horses and their connections on the journey to the 2006 Kentucky Derby, has won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award in the National Television Feature programming category. The 90-minute program aired on HorseRacing TV (HRTV) on October 28, 2008.

This is the second Eclipse Award for HRTV, which won the 2006 National Television Media Eclipse Award for the Pony Highway Production of "On the Muscle; Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable."



East Rutherford, NJ [Jan. 9, 2009] -- Meadowlands Racetrack and ARAMARK, the racetrack’s exclusive caterer and food and beverage service provider, will unveil several exciting changes to the racetrack’s Terraces and Pegasus restaurants in 2009.

Terraces will become the track’s premier dining destination with a new, contemporary menu that focuses on the use of locally grown, seasonal ingredients. The menu will feature bistro classics with a twist, such as Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, Steak Frites and Roasted Free Range Chicken. New menu items will be introduced weekly.

Read more articles in the New Meadowlands category.


Keeneland January Sale Opens Monday

Lexington, KY (January 9, 2009) – Keeneland kicks off its 2009 sale season on Monday with its January Horses of All Ages Sale.

The six-day auction, which runs January 12-17, will feature the sale of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, offered in foal to 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper. 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).

Read more articles in the Keeneland category.


Kip Deville Kicks on Target for Gulfstream Park Turf

The 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner and 2008 runner-up Kip Deville worked out Friday morning at Gulfstream Park for his IEAH Stables partners and trainer Rick Dutrow as he prepares for his 2009 seasonal debut in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 1.

“‘Kip’ was on his game this morning,” said Dutrow after the six-furlong breeze on the main track in 1:15 4/5 under regular jockey Cornelio Velasquez. The 6-year-old gray son of Kipling has worked twice since returning from a ninth-place finish in the Hong Kong Mile (G1) on Dec. 14.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.


Plavius takes feature but Watson and Jara in treble form

Friday afternoon’s meeting at Jebel Ali was a rescheduled fixture from the previous week when called off after the sad death His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla, the ruler of Umm Al Quwain.

The Shadwell organisation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum again sponsored the afternoon’s feature, on this occasion a 1600m handicap which was won impressively by Plavius.

Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.


Steve Sexton on the death of retired Daily Racing Forn Executive Columnist Joe Hirsch

“Joe Hirsch earned and deserved universal respect and admiration throughout Thoroughbred racing. Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, grooms, racing executives, members of the media, and lovers of racing around the world revered Joe for his immense knowledge, remarkable talent and positive impact on our sport. But those who had to good fortune to know or simply meet him through the years will remember Joe for the incredible kindness he displayed to all who crossed his path. Countless journalists benefited from his guidance and counsel, and the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing are stronger because of the work and influence of Joe Hirsch. Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby family are deeply saddened by his passing, and mourn that his insightful and impassioned voice is now quiet. One of Joe's most memorable sentences came in a Daily Racing Form piece on five-time ‘Horse of the Year’ Kelso in which he wrote: ‘Once upon a time there was a horse named Kelso … but only once.’ Let us borrow Joe’s brilliant phrase and proclaim today that once upon a time, there was a special journalist and man named Joe Hirsch … but only once.”

Read more articles in the Churchill Downs category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – After four one-day carryovers in the Pick Six during the first ten days of racing, Santa Anita will have a two-day carryover of $423,985 on Friday when the track offers free general admission. The combined Friday pool is expected to exceed $2 million and could approach $3 million.

With a pair of blowout winners paying $94.60 and $50.60 on Thursday, there were no winning tickets for a second successive day in the popular multiple-race wager that can result in enormous payoffs.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Racing for the last time in the name of James Ortega, the late Thoroughbred horse owner who was one of nine people slain in what has become known as the Santa Claus Massacre in nearby Covina on Christmas Eve, Return of the King scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the second race at Santa Anita on Thursday.

“I feel like I just won a $5 million race,” jockey Martin Pedroza said in the winner’s circle. “I’ve known the family for a long time. I wanted so much to win this race. It gave me chills.”

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.




John Sadler sends out two for the money Saturday in quest of his second consecutive victory in the San Pasqual Handicap when he saddles Mostacolli Mort and Noble Court in the Grade II event for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.

Sadler, who won 28 races at Santa Anita last season to finish second behind Mike Mitchell (33), won the 2008 San Pasqual with Gary and Cecil Barber’s Zappa.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.



ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Toro Bonito and a pair of Bob Baffert-trained stablemates will be among nine 3-year-old fillies seeking their first graded stakes victory Sunday in Santa Anita’s 42nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

A homebred daughter of El Corredor owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt III, Toro Bonito comes into the race off a third-place finish behind Laragh in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 13, an effort that is likely to earn her favoritism on Sunday.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.


Rivalries renew in Turfway’s Wishing Well Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . January 8, 2009 . . . Several of the dozen older fillies and mares entered for the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday will be renewing rivalries, including recent Turfway stakes winners Afleet Angel and Vote Early.

Afleet Angel was overlooked at 10-1 when she won the Holiday Inaugural in the just-completed holiday meet, defeating five of the horses she will face in the Wishing Well. She has four wins, a second, and a third in seven starts on all-weather surfaces and missed the money just once in nine starts last year. In her most recent start, the New Year’s Eve Stakes on an off track at Mountaineer, she finished third. She won the Holiday Inaugural by closing from far back but has set the pace to win as well. Wilfredo Lozano Jr., who was aboard for Afleet Angel’s stakes win at Presque Isle, comes to Turfway to ride for trainer Paula Bacon.

Read more articles in the Turfway category.


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