Thursday, April 23 2009
Alternate State Steward Basil Bardakjy Passes Away
Basil Bardakjy, alternate state steward at Gulfstream Park, passed away after a long illness Wednesday evening. He was 80.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, from 4-7 p.m., at the Vista Funeral Home, 14200 NW 57th Ave., in Miami Lakes.
Survivors are his daughter, Suzanne Hicks, and his son, Michael Bardakjy; four grandchildren, Ian, Dean, Collin and Sydney; and two great grandchildren, Blane and Elle. He was predeceased by his wife, Beverly.
Wednesday, April 22 2009
Barn Notes 4-22-2009
Pletcher & Lezcano Seal 2009 Gulfstream Meet Titles
Trainer Todd Pletcher will win a sixth straight Gulfstream Park meet championship after sending out one winner on Sunday to take the lead by one in the standings over Ken McPeek with two days to go before closing on Thursday.
McPeek led the standings for much of the season until recent weeks while Pletcher’s powerful stable picked up momentum. The number of starters were decidedly in Pletcher’s favor in the final days and he went into Wednesday’s card leading 34-33.
Monday, April 20 2009
Barn Notes 4-19-2009
Pletcher & McPeek Remain Tied With Three Days to Go
Trainers Todd Pletcher and Ken McPeek each had a winner Saturday at Gulfstream Park and remained tied in the standings at 33 victories apiece with three days to go before the meet closes on Thursday, but the numbers now make Pletcher the solid favorite to gain a sixth straight championship here.
Both trainers have runners entered in two races Sunday, but Pletcher has seven horses in five races Wednesday and two more Thursday while McPeek has just one on Wednesday and none Thursday. The top two are well clear of their closest rivals, Nick Zito and Wesley Ward, tied for third with 21 victories each.
Sunday, April 19 2009
Barn Notes 4-18-2009
Dunkirk Drills at Palm Meadows Saturday Morning
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s 3-year-old Dunkirk, runner-up in the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 28, worked a solid five furlongs in 59:90 Saturday morning at Palm Meadows as he continues his preparation for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on Sat., May 2.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the roan/gray son of Unbridled’s Song appears almost certain to be assured a berth in the Kentucky Derby field limited to 20 based on graded-stakes earnings with $150,000 after several defections announced this week.
Miss Blakely Rallies to Boynton Beach Upset
Capital Hill Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old filly Miss Blakely came a long way from breaking her maiden for a $25,000 claiming price in December to the winners’ circle at Gulfstream Park Saturday after rallying in the stretch to upset the $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes by 2½ lengths over Three Diamonds Farm’s 27-1 longshot Seminole Lass.
Jeffrey Sanchez rode Miss Blakely to victory for trainer Joe Orseno in the one mile turf test, the final stakes on the Gulfstream schedule before closing day on Thursday. The daughter of Smart Strike paid $25 for $2 to win and was timed in 1:34:94 over ‘firm’ ground. Chester Bishop and partners’ pace-setter Oilgonewile finished third, a half-length before the runner-up in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies.
Friday, April 17 2009
Barn Notes 4-17-2009
McPeek Leads Pletcher by One as Title Chase Goes to Wire
Durham Racing and partners’ 3-year-old filly The Best Day Ever was all out to win Thursday’s last race at Gulfstream Park by a nose in a photo finish for trainer Ken McPeek to take a lead of one over Todd Pletcher (32-31) with five days to go before closing on Thursday.
Both powerful stables left divisions in South Florida to compete in the final weeks after shipping the majority of their horses north to Kentucky and/or New York. McPeek continues to close in on a personal career milestone of 1,000 victories as The Best Ever Day’s victory marked No. 994.
Barn notes 4-16-2009
Another Albertrani ‘Magic Moment’ Possible in Boynton Beach
Trainer Tom Albertrani has had a strong season at Gulfstream Park with six of his 10 wins at the meet coming in stakes races, and he could head back to New York with another big victory after sending out Lawrence Goichman’s 3-year-old homebred filly My Magic Moment, the likely favorite, in Saturday’s $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes.
“We’ll be looking to ship to New York in the next day or two, and you just hope they can all stay healthy” said Albertrani Wednesday afternoon. “Different horses come around at different times and you just hope they can come together at the right time, and that’s been what we’ve been lucky enough to have happen this year.”
Wednesday, April 15 2009
My Magic Moment Returns in Boynton Beach Saturday
Lawrence Goichman’s 3-year-old homebred filly My Magic Moment was a neck short of perfect in three starts on turf last year in New York and will likely be the favorite making her 2009 season debut in the $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Leading jockey Jose Lezcano rides My Magic Moment for trainer Tom Albertrani in the one-mile turf test, facing eight rival 3-year-old fillies in the final stakes of the Gulfstream meeting, which closes Thursday, April 23. Albertrani already has won six stakes at the session.
Barn Notes 4-15-2009
McPeek Back on Top with Two Wins Sunday at Gulfstream
The Gulfstream Park trainers’ title chase continued to be a day-by-day affair over the weekend as Todd Pletcher sent out two winners Saturday to lead by one and the Ken McPeek stable came right back with two on Sunday to regain the lead at 31-30 in competition that promises to continue through the final seven days of the meet, which closes Thursday, April 23.
McPeek broke on top early in the season in January, but Pletcher has steadily picked up momentum as he bids for a sixth consecutive Gulfstream championship. McPeek also is on a career milestone watch with 993 winners and closing in on 1,000.
Monday, April 13 2009
Santiago-Reyes Post 1st Career Win
Christian Santiago-Reyes posted his first career victory aboard Chihulykee in Sunday’s second race at Gulfstream Park.
Santiago-Reyes chased the pace before moving over to take the lead at the quarter pole. He fully extended the 5-year-old chestnut and moved to the inside to score over Dynaquake.
Chihulykee paid $4 to win. Santiago-Reyes’ victory came in his second career mount.
Trujillo Scores 1,000TH Career Victory
Elvis Trujillo reached the 1,000th career-victory plateau aboard Bahia Girl in the first race Sunday at Gulfstream Park
Trujillo reached the mark with a 1 ¾ length win over Princess Haya. His winning mount is a 4- year-old filly owned by Stronach Stables and trained by Brian A. Lynch. She paid $11.20.
Sunday, April 12 2009
Barn Notes 4-12-2009
Trujillo Triple Saturday Leaves One to Go for 1,000
Jockey Elvis Trujillo won three of the first four races on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park to bring his career total to 999 victories, but finished second on three other mounts thereafter, leaving his drive to 1,000 to Sunday at least when he is named to ride in seven races.
Jose Lezcano, who reached the 1,000-win milestone Feb. 13 at Gulfstream Park, won one race Saturday to bring his total to 58, 10 more than Kent Desormeaux, second with 48. John R. Velazquez is third at 47, Julien Leparoux fourth with 45 and Trujillo fifth.