Sunday, September 21 2008
IT’S YOUR TURN, CURLIN!
In the days leading to next Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, two words are going to be used over and over again: history and class.
Both words can be combined into one word – Curlin.
Stonestreet Stable’s reigning Horse of the Year could become the first American Thoroughbred to reach $10 million in earnings. Curlin has earned $9,796,800 and trails only Cigar, who earned $9,999,815, as racing’s top money-earner. The winner’s share of the Jockey Club Gold Cup purse is $450,000, and that would vault Curlin to the top of the money pile. Second ($150,000), third ($75,000) or fourth ($37,000) would leave Curlin short of Cigar’s mark.
Saturday, September 20 2008
Queen’s Plate champ KO’s Overskate rivals
TORONTO, September 20 * Charles Fipke's homebred Not Bourbon, who won the Queen's Plate in June, made a triumphant return to the races, turning Saturday's Overskate Stakes into a one-horse race.
The Roger Attfield trainee won the $125,000 event by 4 ½ lengths and reeled off seven furlongs in 1:21.78.
Not Bourbon hadn't raced since he finished sixth in the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown, at Fort Erie on July 13.
Vote Early up late in Weekend Delight
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 20, 2008 . . . Vote Early took advantage of a wicked pace to snatch the $75,000 Weekend Delight just steps before the wire at Turfway Park Saturday. The race, a filly-and-mare sprint over Polytrack, was the first stakes victory for the five-year-old mare, trained by Steve Margolis.
Rated Feisty and Conjuress were first out of the gate, but Pola’s Place flew past both along the rail, blazing quarters in :21.54 and :44.22 to open a two-length lead down the backstretch. Conjuress quickly fell back but Rated Feisty, herself rarely anywhere but first at every point of call in her career, tracked Pola’s Place and passed her in deep stretch. By then, however, jockey Otto Thorwarth had Vote Early moving on the outside, nearly lifting her stride by stride to take the neck victory. Natalicat closed to take third, another 2 1/2 lengths back. Three-quarters of a length behind, Pola’s Place stayed tough to win a photo for fourth, nosing out Valentine Fever. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.18.
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COMMENTATOR WINS 66TH MASSCAP IN RECORD-SETTING FASHION
EAST BOSTON, MA – Commentator and jockey John Velazquez sat patiently in second position before taking the lead entering the far turn and driving home to a record-setting 14-length victory in the 66th running of the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs on Saturday before an exuberant crowd of 17,712.
Commentator, trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito for owner Tracy Farmer, was sent off at odds of 1-to-10, joining Cigar (1996) as the heaviest-favorite in the history of the race. The seven-year-old gelded son of Distorted Humor covered the mile-and-an-eighth in 1:48.97 and returned $2.20 across the board. Won Awesome Dude (4.60 and 3.00) was second, a length ahead of Cuba (2.80).
Monmouth Park Recap for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008
OCEANPORT, N.J. * At Monmouth Park on Saturday’s New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, a program that offered 10 races exclusively for New Jersey-bred horses, Hey Chub took the Lincroft Handicap, Paradise Tonight won the Jersey Girl Handicap, and the Eleven North Handicap went to Way With Words. Eddie Castro won the latter two stakes as part of a five-win performance. In the Monmouth County Hunt Novice Stakes, Seer prevailed in a photo finish.
In the $75,000 Lincroft Handicap, 8-year-old Hey Chub made his last race a memorable one. After the victory, Hey Chub’s connections reported the Lincroft was his final race.
9-YEAR-OLD JERSEY GIANT ENDS MEMORABLE CAREER
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Jersey Giant, once New Jersey’s leading handicap horse, was retired this week * for the second time * after a long and successful career * Evening Attire, still sharp at age 10, takes aim at Sunday’s $100,000 Point Given Stakes at 12 furlongs.
One fine New Jersey-bred that will be missing from the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival today is Jersey Giant, a former stakes winner whose excellent career came to a close this week.
WONDER MON WONDERFUL IN DEPUTED TESTAMONY STAKES
LAUREL, MD. 09-20-08---ZWP Stable’s Wonder Mon was a distant seventh racing down the backstretch but came flying down the lane to easily capture today’s feature at Laurel Park, the $50,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes for 3-year-old Maryland-breds.
Trained by Gary Capuano and ridden by Travis Dunkelberger, Wonder Mon did not pass a single horse until he was a quarter of a mile from home, but in a flash he was by all of them and he drew off to win by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:37.32 for the one mile distance on the fast main track. Casanova Jack finished second and Malibu Kid was third.
“He just galloped by them,” Dunkelberger said. “He went about his business just like we hoped. We thought a lot of this horse last year and he’s come back and is doing really good.”
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Closing Argument Filly Brings $70,000 on Saturday at Keeneland
Lexington, KY (September 20, 2008) – A filly from the first crop of Closing Argument brought the day’s highest price of $70,000 at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale.
Consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent, the filly is the first foal of the Arch mare Arch Enemy, she a half-sister to Thoroughbred Club of America (G3) winner Tenacious Tiffany.
On Saturday, Keeneland sold 248 horses for gross receipts of $3,412,900, down 35.4 percent from 2007 when 285 horses brought $5,285,300. The average of $13,762 was down 25.8 percent from last year’s figure of $18,545, while the median of $9,000 was down 25 percent from $12,000 in 2007.
Arlington Park Barn Notes: Sat. Sept. 20
WHITE SOX INSPIRED BY WINNING ‘HIT ‘N RUN’ AT ARLINGTON
Several members of the Chicago White Sox organization had reason to cheer before Friday night’s win on the road in Kansas City. The Pale Hose’ 9-4 over the Royals reduced the Sox magic number to “7,” but earlier in the day they celebrated a triumph in a different sport.
That’s because a Thoroughbred filly the group owns in a young partnership, formed earlier this year, captured the second half of Friday afternoon’s Daily Double at Arlington Park.
Hit ‘N Run Stable’s Halo and Goodbye split rivals in the late stages of Arlington’s second race to win it by head and return $17.60 for a $2 wager, allowing a pre-game celebration in the visitor’s clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium.
Kentucky Cup Day of Champions nominations released
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 19, 2008 . . . Nominations for the five stakes races that make up the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at Turfway Park were released today, with 25 nominated to the $350,000 Classic (G2), the series’ centerpiece. The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, scheduled for Saturday, September 27, is designed to prep horses for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on October 24-25.
The Kentucky Cup series holds particular interest for Breeders’ Cup hopefuls this year. With the Breeders’ Cup to be contested over the all-weather Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita Park, a test over Turfway’s all-weather Polytrack could help sort who goes to California and who goes elsewhere.
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ALBERTUS MAXIMUS RUNS FOR NEW TRAINER IN GOODWOOD
Vladimir Cerin hopes to use the Grade I Goodwood Stakes as a steppingstone to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic for a new horse in his barn, Albertus Maximus.
“I got him the end of July,” the trainer said. “The owners just made a change, and actually, I’ve never met them. I talked to them on the phone a couple times, but I’ve never met them. The horse has been training super since I got him.”
Previously trained by Gary Mandella, Albertus Maximus is a 4-year-old son of Albert the Great owned and bred by Brandon and Marianne Chase of Los Angeles.
RE-START FOR REREADTHEFOOTNOTES IN BONGARD
The continuing success of the New York Breeding & Racing Program and the support it has received from the New York Racing Association has given many owners, breeders and trainers a chance at recouping their investments in racing.
That is why it surprised trainer Kiaran McLaughlin when a state-bred race at Saratoga he had pointed for did not go, and he was forced to send Rereadthefootnotes to Monmouth Park for the Grade 3 Sapling.
“It’s not unusual for an `a other than’ not to go and you have to step your horse up in company,” McLaughlin said. “But this was a $100,000 race, so it was really surprising that it didn’t go. Rereadthefootnotes was ready to run, so I had no choice but to run him at Monmouth.”