Wednesday, April 01 2009
SOLID FIELDS SET FOR BAY SHORE, EXCELSIOR
Having a horse on the Kentucky Derby trail is something that most horsemen can only dream about. But for trainer Ian Wilkes and owners Joseph Rauch and David Zell, having fun is more important than dreams of Derby glory.
So when Capt. Candyman Can finished a well-beaten fourth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth to Quality Road, the trio had no qualms about pulling him off the road to the Triple Crown.
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TALE OF EKATI EYES ANOTHER BIG A GRADE 1 IN CARTER ‘CAP
Charles E. Fipke’s Tale of Ekati looks for his third Grade 1 victory and a complete sweep of Aqueduct’s Grade 1 offerings for males in this Saturday’s $300,000 Carter Handicap at seven furlongs over the main track.
After finishing sixth in last year’s Louisiana Derby, the then-three-year-old son of Tale of the Cat returned to his home base in New York and ran down War Pass to finish first in the 2008 Wood Memorial. He closed out the year winning the Grade 1Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile upon Harlem Rocker’s disqualification for interference in the stretch.
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Finallymadeit the Center of Attention in Skip Away
Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s 5-year-old homebred Finallymadeit has earned his nickname as South Florida’s ‘Iron Horse’ over the last three years, often performing well above expectations, but he will get plenty of attention in Saturday’s $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Regular jockey Eduardo Nunez will be back aboard Finallymadeit for trainer Javier Negrete in the 1 3/16 miles test after a solid runner-up effort behind Smooth Air going one mile last out in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on Mar. 14 at odds of 10-1, his sixth start of the meet without winning.
PRUSSIAN GIVES MITCHELL THREE IN ROW AND TRAINING LEAD
ARCADIA, Calif., (April 1, 2009) – Prussian, making his West Coast debut, mowed down his competition Wednesday in Santa Anita’s $56,508 Midnight Rambler Purse to give trainer Mike Mitchell his third consecutive victory and a one-win lead over John Sadler in the meet’s trainers’ race with three weeks remaining.
With Rafael Bejarano aboard, Prussian closed swiftly to defeat Headache by 1 ¼ lengths in the optional claiming event contested at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course. The winning time was 1:12.26.
Barn Notes 4-1, 2009
Finallymadeit May Finally Be Favorite in Skip Away
At every turn this winter Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s Finallymadeit has been sticking his unheralded nose into the picture of Gulfstream Park’s biggest races, but Saturday the 5-year-old homebred son of Concerto will have the focus on him as he tries to speed away with the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at 1 3/16 miles.
The race will be Finallymadeit’s sixth of the meet. Like clockwork the chestnut Florida-bred has seemingly shown up every time a big pot was on the table regardless of distance, surface or class.
SANTA ANITA DERBY ADVANCE
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2009) – Saturday’s anxiously anticipated Santa Anita Derby showdown unfolded with perceived underdog The Pamplemousse being installed as a narrow choice over high flying Pioneerof the Nile among 10 entrants in the 72nd running of Santa Anita’s Grade I, $750,000 event for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Even though Zayat Stables at the last minute entered a potential rabbit, speedy maiden winner Z Day, to press front-running The Pamplemousse, Santa Anita oddsmaker Jeff Tufts was unfazed. He established The Pamplemousse as the 9-5 favorite. His more accomplished opponent, Zayat Stables’ Pioneerof the Nile, was listed at 2-1.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1ST, 2009
THE PAMPLEMOUSSE, PIONEEROF THE NILE FAVORED IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
On a picturesque Southern California Wednesday morning replete with blue skies, sunshine and balmy temperatures, The Pamplemousse and Pioneerof the Nile were installed close first and second choices for Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, a race that has all the earmarks of a heavyweight championship match.
The Pamplemousse was made the 9-5 favorite by oddsmaker Jeff Tufts, who listed Pioneerof the Nile at 2-1 in a field of 10 sophomores that hope to use the West Coast’s marquee race for 3-year-olds as a steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
TRAINER RICHARD MATLOW DEAD AT 66
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2009)—Long-time California based trainer Richard Matlow succumbed to the effects of Amytrophic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS) late Monday at his home in Monrovia at the age of 66. Best known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the Hall of Fame New York Yankee slugger who contracted the disease and retired as a result of it in 1939, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease which attacks the body’s central nervous system.
Matlow, who was diagnosed with ALS in February of 2008, and who announced his retirement as a result of the disease on Jan. 29, sent out his final starter on that same day at Santa Anita.
MAWING SUFFERS COMPOUND FRACTURES OF LEFT LEG IN SPILL
ALBANY -- Jockey Leslie Mawing sustained compound fractures of both the tibia and fibula in his left leg when his mount, Pasta Time, crashed through the inner rail during the stretch run of the seventh race at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday.
Mawing was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland and was expected to have emergency surgery on the leg, according to Dr. David Seftel, track physician at Golden Gate Fields.
Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 1, 2009
CHAMPION STARDOM BOUND FACES EIGHT IN SATURDAY’S ASHLAND
Stardom Bound, the 2008 Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s top 2-year-old filly, will face eight rivals Saturday when she shoots for her sixth consecutive Grade 1 victory in the 72nd running of the $400,000 Ashland Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going a mile and a sixteenth on the main track at Keeneland.
Mike Smith, who has ridden the daughter of Tapit in all seven of her starts, will have the call Saturday and break from post position seven. Stardom Bound is trained by Rick Dutrow.
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Keeneland Overnight for Opening Day, Saturday, April 4
Stakes Closing April 1
The Maker's Mark Mile is a Grade I race for 4yo & up going 1 mile over Keeneland's Turf course. Purse is $300,000; nom fee is $200
The Ft. Harrod Stakes is for 4yo & up going 1 5/8 miles over Keeneland's Polytrack. Purse is $100,000a; nom fee is $100
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FLORIDA CUP DAY DRAWS 61 ENTRIES TO 6 STAKES RACES
OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 1, 2009) Tampa Bay Downs’s 7th annual Florida Cup Day, to be held April 4, 2009, has attracted entries from 61 top Florida-breds battling in six stakes races on the afternoon’s twelve race program. Florida Cup Day is comprised of six $85,000 stakes races restricted to Florida-breds, including the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore for three-year-olds running 7/8 of a mile over the main track; the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies for three-year-old females running seven furlongs on the dirt; the Dayton Andrews Dodge Sophomore Turf, an about 1 1/16 miles test over the lawn for three-year-olds; the Hilton Garden Inn Sprint for four-year-olds and upward racing six furlongs over the main track; the L & D Farm Turf Distaff for fillies and mares four years old and upward travelling about 1 1/16 miles on the turf; and the Kinsman Farm Turf Classic, an about 1 1/8 miles turf test for four-year-olds and upward.