Monday, March 23 2009
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.23.09)
MIDWEST/HOLD ME BACK ENTERS KENTUCKY DERBY PICTURE WITH LANE’S END WIN
Before Saturday it would have been safe to describe WinStar Farm’s Hold Me Back as being well below the radar of those who track the hopes and progress of contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). But the colt’s days of relative anonymity ended Saturday when he rallied in the stretch under three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux to score a 9-1 upset in the $500,000 Lane’s End Stakes (GII) at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.
The son of Giant’s Causeway rallied from next-to-last in the field of 12 three-year-olds and rolled past 24-1 shot Flying Private in the stretch to win by a comfortable 1 ¾ lengths. It was the first start of the year for the Bill Mott-trained colt, who suffered the only loss of his career in a fifth-place finish behind Old Fashioned in the Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29. Hold Me Back is unbeaten in three starts over synthetic racing surfaces and covered the 1 1/8 miles on Turfway’s Polytrack surface in 1:49.63.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.23.09)
MIDWEST/HOT CHA CHA PULLS BOURBONETTE SURPRISE, UNLIKELY FOR KENTUCKY OAKS
Nelson McMakin’s Turfway Park-based Hot Cha Cha thrived on her home course advantage as she circled the field on the turn for home and drew away for a six-length romp in the $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks (Grade (III) on Saturday at the Florence, Ky. track.
Orlando Mojica rode the winner, a daughter of Cactus Ridge who has made all five of her career starts over the Polytrack oval at Turfway Park. She won for the third time in five races after she launched her career in a pair of claiming races. Hot Cha Cha covered the one-mile distance in 1:37.22.
BELMONT CAT SURGES IN SANTA ANA AS FRANKEL DOMINANCE DIMMED
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2009) – Belmont Cat, a 5-year-old New Zealand-bred import trained by John Sadler, on Sunday interrupted Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel’s domination of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap when rallying between rivals to emerge victorious in a four-horse photo finish.
With Joel Rosario in the saddle, Belmont Cat nodded fastest-closing Bel Air Sizzle by a head with Frankel’s 7-10 favorite, Vista, another neck back and a head ahead of Satan’s Circus in a dramatic conclusion of the turf event for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles. The winning time was 1:48.68.
Dress Rehearsal Rallies to Orchid Victory Sunday
Completing a big weekend for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Kent Desormeaux, Swettenham Stud’s 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Dress Rehearsal rallied through the stretch to capture the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) Sunday at Gulfstream Park by 2¾ lengths over Aston Hall Stud’s Lamentation.
Desormeaux had Dress Rehearsal rating comfortably off the pace in the early running of the 1½ miles turf test before rallying past Darley Stable’s 3-5 favorite Criticism in midstretch. Criticism had soundly defeated Dress Rehearsal when they met on Feb. 22 in The Very One Stakes (G3), and appeared headed to victory Sunday with a clear lead into the stretch, but tired to third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up in the field of six fillies and mares.
110 HORSES NOMINATE TO APRIL 4’S FLORIDA CUP DAY
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 22, 2009) Nominations for April 4’s six-stake Florida Cup Day were released today with a total of 110 nominations. Florida Cup Day is comprised of the $85,000 Kinsman Farm Turf Classic, the $85,000 Hilton Garden Inn Sprint, the $85,000 Dayton Andrews Dodge Sophomore Turf, the $85,000 L & D Farm Turf Distaff, the $85,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore and the $85,000 Stonehedge Farm Sophomore Fillies; each race is to be contested by Florida-breds at a variety of distances on both turf and dirt.
BAZE RIDES THREE WINNERS TO LEAD A PARADE OF JOCKEYS WITH MULTIPLE WINS
ALBANY -- Russell Baze rode three winners to lead a parade of jockeys with multiple victories at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Baze recorded his first two wins in back-to-back races, taking the second with Ramon Simone ($7.80) and the third with Rave Rave Rave ($2.80). Baze completed his hat trick with a victory aboard Foggy Haze ($3.20) in the ninth race.
Jockeys Leslie Mawing, Frank Alvarado and Omar Figueroa all had riding doubles.
Emirates Championship won in Remarkable style
Sunday’s final meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi, kindly sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, was highlighted by the Group 1 Emirates Championship over 2200m.
It was won by the Erwan Charpy-trained Remarkable Man, opening his UAE account in the process, under Richard Hills, the retained jockey for the horse’s owner, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
2009 Dubai World Cup latest – March 23
Albertus Maximus, the Dubai World Cup contender owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, galloped over 2000m after standing quietly and surveying Nad al Sheba from the finish line.
With exercise rider Rob Massey aboard, Albertus Maximus exhibited eagerness with a strong stride and he evoked memories of Sheikh Hamdan’s 2007 Dubai World Cup winner Invasor as he turned his head to look around while galloping. Assistant trainer Trish McLaughlin said Massey reported that Albertus Maximus felt “awesome.”
Read more articles in the Meydan
Sunday, March 22 2009
Justwhistledixie Strong Favorite in Bonnie Miss Friday
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners’ 3-year-old filly Justwhistledixie will be strictly the horse to beat in Friday’s $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the first of five graded stakes to be run over the three-day Florida Derby (G1) weekend.
Jockey Julien Leparoux rides Justwhistledixie for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, replacing regular rider Alan Garcia, who will be in Dubai over the weekend. Justwhistledixie bids for a fourth straight stakes victory and fifth overall while facing five rival 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8 miles South Florida preview of Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospects.
Barn Notes 3-22
Theregoesjojo Drills for Florida Derby at Gulfstream
Trainer Ken McPeek had scheduled a final major workout yesterday for Samotowka Stables and partners’ 3-year-old Theregoesjojo ahead of next Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park yesterday, but postponed it because of ‘sloppy’ track conditions.
After day-long rain on Saturday, the Gulfstream surface remained ‘sloppy’ with ‘dogs’ up protecting the inside rail Sunday morning, but McPeek gave the go ahead for ‘Jojo’ to work at about 7:30 a.m. and the son of Brahms was timed six furlongs in 1:15 1/5. Clockers caught him in fractions along the way of 25 2/5, 37 4/5, 1:03 and galloping out seven furlongs in 1:30.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, MARCH 22ND, 2009
BAFFERT SEEKS FIFTH SANTA ANITA DERBY WIN WITH PIONEEROF THE NILE
Bob Baffert is as familiar with winning the Santa Anita Derby as he is with winning training titles at the storied track. He has made his headquarters in Arcadia for nearly two decades, winning the Santa Anita Derby four times, and the training championship eight times, including a record seven years in a row from 1996-97 through 2002-03.
“They’re all different,” Baffert said on a rainy Sunday morning at Clockers’ Corner, when asked about his past Santa Anita Derby winners and this year’s major contender, Pioneerof the Nile. “Plus,” Baffert continued, “the last time I won (in 2001, with eventual Horse of the Year Point Given), this was a dirt track.”
AQUEDUCT NOTES, Sunday, March 22, 2009
I Want Revenge, a leading Kentucky Derby candidate by virtue of his 8 ½-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here on March 7, worked a bullet five furlongs Sunday morning on the fast all-weather track at Hollywood Park in 58.20, handily.
Trainer Jeff Mullins originally planned to keep I Want Revenge in New York with trainer Anthony Dutrow, but the plan was changed to head back to California and prepare for the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs here on Saturday, April 4.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct