Friday, December 19 2008
Experience should tell in Gowell Stakes
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 18, 2008 . . . The $50,000 Gowell Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday has drawn 11 two-year-old fillies with a wide range of racing experience.
With five career starts and two wins, including a maiden win at the Gowell distance at Turfway, Emma Darling brings wide experience to the race. She sat behind a quick pace for the maiden win at six furlongs and used a similar style to win her most recent race, a mile allowance at Churchill Downs. She also has stakes experience, finishing fourth in the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs at summer’s end. Emma Darling is trained by Mike Maker, the meet’s top trainer, and will be ridden by Victor Lebron.
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Jockey Wilkinson gets first career win
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 18, 2008 . . . Apprentice jockey Erin Wilkinson, 24, earned her first career win Thursday night when she guided the filly Misstee Blue to a commanding 7 1/4-length win in the third race at Turfway Park. The ride was the 28th of her young career.
“It’s pure adrenalin,” Wilkinson said of race riding. “I can’t explain it.”
“She’s true grit,” said her agent, Fred Struss. “She’ll ride at Turfway in the morning, turn around and drive back to LaGrange to get on horses at High Point (Training Center), and then turn right back around and come back to Turfway to ride at night. She works hard. She’s going to be a good one.”
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ROSEMARY HOMEISTER, JR. CELEBRATES 2000TH WIN
OLDSMAR, Fla. (December 18, 2008) Rosemary Homeister, Jr. booted home Rustyshouldrun for her 2000th career victory today at the Oldsmar oval. Homeister, who ended her inaugural season last year at Tampa Bay Downs as the second leading rider, said of her milestone win, “It felt like it took forever to get that last win! I can’t even explain the feeling – it’s like winning your first race!” Homeister, who was met with congratulations from fans and horsemen alike after her win, said that she doesn’t plan on resting on he laurels for the upcoming Tampa meet. “I’m currently the third leading female rider in the country, and I’m only behind P. J. Cooksey a hundred thirty-something wins. My next goal is to be second leading female rider in the country… but I don’t know if I’ll ever catch Julie Krone! I’m just so grateful and happy to be back here in Tampa. I love it here, and I’m hoping to have another great season.”
Rampallion lands second Stakes for Charpy
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktom’s Shadwell were the generous sponsors of the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes, the 1950m feature at Jebel Ali’s third meeting of the season on Friday, and the owner came close to recouping the main prize when his Rohaani was a close second.
However, it was the Erwan Charpy-trained Rampallion who landed the spoils in a thrilling finish with jockey David Badel punching the air in delight as he crossed the line.
MARYLAND JUVENILE FILLY CHAMPIONSHIP A WIDE OPEN AFFAIR
LAUREL, MD. 12-18-08---With undefeated Miss Charm City out with an injury, the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship has become a wide-open affair with six two-year-old Maryland-breds competing at a mile and a sixteenth at Laurel Park on Saturday afternoon. Trackside fans can look forward to multiple prize drawings and generous giveaways during the nine-race program.
Miss Charm City, who finishes her freshman campaign a perfect three-for-three including a pair of stakes victories at Laurel during the current fall meeting, suffered a suspensory injury in her left front foot earlier this week according to trainer Carlos Garcia.
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VICTORY PETE CRUISES UNDER SMITH IN HOLLYPARK FEATURE
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2008) — Victory Pete took command from the start and cruised to a 5 1/2-length victory over Lake Meza under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in Thursday’s $39,400 allowance feature at Hollywood Park.
A change in surface didn’t adversely affect the 7-5 favorite as he covered 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:41.82 to win for the second time in eight starts. The 3-year-old son of Five Star Day was making his second start following an eight-month layoff.
BAFFERT HOLDS A PAIR AS HE AIMS FOR RECORD-TYING FOURTH WIN
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2008) — Bob Baffert will aim for a record-tying fourth CashCall Futurity victory when he saddles Pioneerof the Nile and Ventana in the 28th running of the $750,000 event Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Baffert’s most recent winner — Point Given in 2000 — was more accomplished entering the Grade I event, but his first — Real Quiet in 1997 — was less heralded. Both went on to win two legs of the Triple Crown, Point Given the Preakness and Belmont and Real Quiet the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Real Quiet came within a nose of sweeping the Triple Crown.
Hollywood Park Stable Notes: Thursday, December 18, 2008
BEJARANO SEEKS TO ADD FUTURITY JEWEL TO MEET CROWN
Agent Joe Ferrer saluted jockey Rafael Bejarano for clinching the Autumn Meet title at Hollywood Park — completing a rare sweep of all five major stops on the Southern California circuit in 2008 — but admitted that something was missing.
“In a way, it’s been a very uneventful meet,” said Ferrer Thursday. “Rafael has won a lot of races, but not any major ones.”
Hawthorne Handicapping Challenge Goes to Thoroughbred Owner
Stickney, IL--Prominent owner Jeff Barnes has not only been having a good Hawthorne fall meet with his horses but he just earned a trip to Las Vegas…along with $25,000 to spend and an entry into the Coast Casino Horseplayer World Series contest. In fact, Jeff won two entries into the contest. He not only finished first in the overall handicapping event, he won the Sunday’s series of qualifiers, earning another entry. But, since only one entry per person is allowed, Jeff magnanimously passed the other entry to a friend. What a guy!
The contest, held on December 13 and 14 awarded the players who earned the most money with a starting bankroll of $250 on both Saturday and Sunday. There was no entry fee and the players kept all winnings.
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STERLING MISTY BEATS FAVORED ALPINE YODEL BY A NOSE
ALBANY -- Sterling Misty, an 8-to-1 outsider ridden by Alex Bisono, defeated even-money favorite Alpine Yodel by a nose in the $28,600 turf feature at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Alpine Yodel and jockey Russell Baze came up just inches short of scoring a wire-to-wire victory in the one-mile contest for 3-year-old fillies. They were denied by Sterling Misty, who tracked the favorite from the start and got her nose down on the wire.
Sterling Mistry returned $18.40 after completing a mile on a "yielding" Lakeside Turf Course in 1:37.59. Trained by Bill Delia and owned by Marshall Boschetti, Sterling Misty earned $18,000 for the victory.
Arqaam spearheads Watson double
Arqaam won the featured 2400m handicap at Nad Al Sheba’s seventh meeting of the season, kindly sponsored by Al Nasr Leisureland, on Thursday evening.
Trained by Champion Trainer Doug Watson, he was partnered by Richard Hills, retained jockey to the horse’s owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and was produced to lead in the dying strides to deny Hawks Home.
Read more articles in the Meydan
TWENTY-FOUR HANDICAPPERS TO REPRESENT ARLINGTON PARK IN UPCOMING NATIONAL HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENTS
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Dec. 18, 2008) – A record 24 contestants from seven states will represent Arlington Park at upcoming national handicapping tournaments in Las Vegas. Nine handicappers earned berths in the NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Challenge X (NHC) to be held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa on Jan. 23-24, 2009, while 15 others will compete in the 2009 Horseplayer World Series (HPWS) at The Orleans from Feb. 19-21. (The complete list of qualifiers appears at the end of this news release.)
For the first time in 2008 in addition to its traditional NTRA/DRF qualifiers, Arlington Park offered “live-money” contests, at the track itself as well as across much of its Trackside OTB network, and the success of those contests has lead to an expansion of the contests for 2009 to begin in the spring. Contest winners and other top tier finishers won $84,975 in prize money in addition to earning berths in the two national tournaments.