Thursday, September 25 2008
MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB SECURITY CHIEF WILLIE COLEMAN RETIRES
LAUREL, MD. 09-25-08---Willie Coleman, the Maryland Jockey Club’s Vice-President of Security, will be retiring at the end of the month after nearly 25 years with the organization. Coleman, who turned 69 on Tuesday, will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary on October 11 in Las Vegas.
“I always hoped to make it until I was 65 years old so I could draw social security,” Coleman said. “I asked the Lord to help me raise my kids until they became grown-ups. My one daughter is a flight attendant for US Airways and the other owns a beauty salon in Baltimore so my logic was if God let me live until I was 65 and the kids are grown then why are you working? It is time to go.”
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Keeneland’s 2008 Fall Racing Season Opens Friday, October 3
Lexington, KY (September 25, 2008) – Keeneland begins its 2008 fall racing season on Friday, October 3 with the first day of FallStars Weekend, a showcase of many potential contenders for the $25 million Breeders' Cup World Championships at the end of the month.
During Keeneland's 17-day race meeting that runs through October 25, the track also will acknowledge people and programs for their efforts within the Thoroughbred racing industry and beyond. Those special events include Make-A-Wish Day on October 8, Military Family Day on October 19 and Pink Day on October 24.
The 72nd Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2) Headlines Stakes
On a day when Curlin looks to become the first $10 million dollar earner in Thoroughbred history…in that other ‘Gold Cup,’ seven salty veterans with combined earnings of nearly $5 million will do battle in Chicago’s signature fall classic: The Hawthorne Gold Cup.
On Saturday, September 27, the 72nd running of this Grade 2, $500,000 mile and a quarter race will feature multiple graded stakes winners, but the post time favorite will likely be either Fairbanks or Magna Graduate, not so coincidentally the first and second choices in the morning line odds.
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TAMPA’S 83RD SEASON HIGHLIGHTED BY INCREASE IN STAKES PURSES
OLDSMAR, Fla. (September 25, 2008) A record-high $2.7* million stakes program for the 2008-2009 meet at Tampa Bay Downs includes a purse increase for one of the track’s key Kentucky Derby prep races, the Sam F. Davis Stakes. The Sam F. Davis Stakes, a 1 1/16 miles main track event for three-year-olds, now carries a $225,000 purse and is the featured event on Festival Preview Day, February 14, 2009. It is joined on the Festival Preview Day card by both the $150,000 Grade III Endeavour Breeders’ Cup for older fillies and mares racing about 1 1/16 miles on the turf and the seven furlong $75,000 Suncoast Stakes for fillies three years old.
Alison DeLuca, Racing Secretary at Tampa Bay Downs, commented, “The Sam F. Davis Stakes is an important stop for horses emerging onto the Triple Crown trail, and I’m pleased to give horsemen an added incentive to race their Kentucky Derby hopefuls here.” DeLuca continued, “The Sam F. Davis Stakes is one of the highlights of the Tampa Bay Downs stakes program, and over the years we’ve had such national performers as Smooth Air, Any Given Saturday and Bluegrass Cat compete in the race. I think that the fans that come out for Festival Preview Day really enjoy the chance to get to see these horses as they develop into nationally recognizable names.”
PROMISING 2-YEAR-OLD DETAILS R SKETCHY SCORES SECOND WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2008) – Details R Sketchy, Jane and Burt Bacharach’s promising 2-year-old homebred, remained unbeaten in his second start Thursday at Santa Anita when cruising to a 1 ¼-length victory in Oak Tree’s $48,246 optional claiming feature.
Bet down to 3-10 favoritism, the bay gelding covered six furlongs over Santa Anita’s new Pro-Ride surface in 1:09.67 while being geared down at the finish by jockey Garrett Gomez. He had broken his maiden by 2 ¾ lengths on Aug. 31 at Del Mar while traversing 5 ½ furlongs in a rapid 1:03 3/5.
Gomez sent him to the front soon after the start in Thursday’s field of six juveniles. Despite racing greenly at times, Details R Sketchy led through splits of 22.56, 45.40 and 57.08 while under a hand ride for the entire distance.
BREEN TAKES MONMOUTH MAIDEN WINNERS ON THE ROAD
In the grand tradition of 2-year-old racing at Monmouth, trainer Kelly Breen is taking his show on the road and aiming high.
Breen has three George and Lori Hall-owned juveniles who broke their maidens at Monmouth in stakes events this Saturday. The three * Bold Union, West Side Bernie and King Puma -- are entered in races over the synthetic tracks at Turfway Park in Kentucky and Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania. Breen will be joined in his mini-geography lesson by jockey Stewart Elliott. The object is to see if the young runners like the man-made tracks enough to win a trip to Santa Anita in October.
WERNER SENDS OUT A PAIR OF FILLIES IN NATC FUTURITY
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Trainer Ronny Werner, who won the filly division of the NATC Futurity the last time it was run at Monmouth in 2006, has two fillies in Saturday’s renewal of the $200,000 event * Kelly Breen has three Monmouth maiden winners in out-of-town stakes Saturday in a test to see if they’re Breeders’ Cup-bound.
Trainer Ronny Werner will have two for the money in Saturday’s filly division of the $200,000 NATC Futurity, and his record in the race says they should be watched very closely.
Werner saddled the winner of the filly division the last time it was run at Monmouth in 2006, when he sent out Cat on a Cloud to score by four and a half widening lengths.
Ky Cup Classic Morning Line and Kentucky Cup Draw
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 24, 2008 . . . Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has released the morning line for Saturday’s Kentucky Cup Classic, the Grade II race that is the centerpiece of the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at Turfway Park.
Post Horse Odds
1 Honest Man 5-2
2 Zanjero 9-5
3 Extreme Supreme 5-1
4 Yate’s Black cat 8-1
5 Canela 20-1
6 Stream Cat 2-1
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Saturday’s Six Grade I Stakes Advance
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2008) – Jerry and Ann Moss’s Zenyatta, racing’s paragon of perfection, and stablemate Tiago, defending champion in the $500,000 Goodwood Stakes, will be major players at Santa Anita on Saturday when the Oak Tree Racing Association presents an unprecedented six Grade I stakes races, each with Breeders’ Cup World Championship implications.
Unbeaten Zenyatta, the 4-year-old filly who has towered over her opposition in seven starts, will be a solid choice in the $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, but could get her sternest test yet when facing Hystericalady, winner of three consecutive Grade II stakes by a combined 19½ lengths.
CALIFORNIA FLAG UPSETS IN MORVICH
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Santa Anita opened racing at its Oak Tree meeting Wednesday on a new synthetic surface that is being closely scrutinized leading up to next month's Breeders' Cup.
"Forget sigh," track president Ron Charles said at day's end. "This was a big `whew.'"
Having a successful month of racing going into the sport's richest two days could help attract reigning Horse of the Year Curlin to challenge Big Brown in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
ESPNEWS to Televise Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), in conjunction with the New York Racing Association (NYRA), announced today that this Saturday's Grade I, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., will be televised live on ESPNEWS.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup features the race's defending champion, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin. With a victory in the Gold Cup, Curlin would earn a winner's share of $450,000 and vault past Cigar as the leading North American-based earner in Thoroughbred racing history. Cigar retired in 1996 with a lifetime bankroll of $9,999,815. Curlin's career earnings currently stand at $9,796,800.
CHANGES AFOOT IN THE LAUREL PARK JOCKEY COLONY
LAUREL, MD. 09-24-08---The Laurel Park jocks room welcomed back a familiar face this afternoon but another well-known personality will be taking a hiatus for the balance of the year.
Erick Rodriguez, who missed four months after breaking two ribs and puncturing a lung in a spill at Pimlico, returned today with a pair of fifth place finishes (Rocco-third) and (June Tune-seventh).
“I feel really good and am ready to go,” said Rodriguez, who has been a top ten rider in Maryland since 2003. “My agent (Paul Plymire) and I are working hard in the morning going barn to barn and everybody seems happy to see me. Hopefully business will pick up quickly.”
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