Wednesday, November 11 2009


2010 LAUREL PARK WINTER MEETING TO FEATURE 58 LIVE DAYS


LAUREL, MD. 11-10-09---At today’s monthly racing commission meeting, Maryland Jockey Club officials applied for 58 days of live racing for the Laurel Park winter meeting which begins Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 at the central Maryland track. Live racing will take place four days a week on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule (with holiday exceptions) during the 15-week stand that will end Saturday, Apr. 10.

The Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association agreed to a stakes schedule for the meet. Headlining the program are a pair of Grade 2 $150,000 seven-furlong sprints on President’s Day weekend-the Barbara Fritchie Handicap for fillies and mares on February 13 and the General George Handicap for males two days later. The stand will feature 16 stakes races worth a combined purse of $1 million.





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Friday, October 30 2009


GREENSPRING PREPS FOR FALL HIGHWEIGHT WITH IMPRESSIVE ALLOWANCE SCORE


LAUREL, MD. 10-30-09---Our Chelsea Stable’s Greenspring is a star in the making after delivering a powerful performance in today’s $34,000 feature at Laurel Park. The Chris Grove trained colt, now four for five lifetime, charged to the lead in mid-stretch and won off by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:09.49 for the six- furlong distance over the fast main track.

“He broke sharp but I saw the two Scott Lake horses (Black and Amber and Scotchontherocks) battle for the lead so I took back,” said J.D. Acosta, who rode the son of Orientate. “I wanted to wait until the rail opened but I didn’t want to get stuck behind a tiring horse so I put him in the clear. As soon as we went outside he took off and I just hand rode him to the finish line.”





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HOMEISTER HAS LIVE MOUNT IN BREEDERS’ CUP MARATHON


LAUREL, MD. 10-29-09---Six years ago jockey Rosemary Homeister became the fifth female rider to have a mount in the sports’ greatest race, the Kentucky Derby. Next Friday, the 37-year-old will become the fifth female rider to have a mount in the game’s richest event, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Homeister, the sixth leading rider during the current Laurel Park fall meeting, will be aboard Cloudy’s Knight in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon for Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Shepherd. The 26th annual Breeders’ Cup consists of 14 races and purses totaling $25.5 million at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 6-7.





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Sunday, October 25 2009


VINEYARD HAVEN RIDES RAIL TO WIN GRADE I DE FRANCIS DASH


LAUREL, MD. 10-24-09---What appeared to be anyone’s race at the top of the stretch turned into a hard fought triumph for Godolphin Racing LLC’s Vineyard Haven when he took the short way home to win the Grade I $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park.

Under jockey Alan Garcia, 4-5 favorite Vineyard Haven was expected to show a turn of speed from his inside post position, but he came away from the gate in eighth place and was kept under urging the rest of the way before catching and passing a hard-closing Ravalo for the win and Fleet Valid, who yielded late to finish third.





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Friday, October 23 2009


TWO MARYLAND-BRED STAKES RACES TOP DE FRANCIS DASH UNDERCARD


LAUREL, MD. 10-22-09---Maryland’s signature race days always include multiple stakes races and Saturday’s De Francis Dash Day is no exception. Two stakes for Maryland-breds, the $50,000 Find Handicap and the $50,000 Twixt Stakes add spice to the 19th running of the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. The Grade I sprint will feature nine runners.

Thirteen runners make up a strong betting race in the Find, a nine furlong test. Multiple stakes winner Target Sighted, turf record holder Baltimore Bob and Maryland Million hero Sumacha’hot headline the field.





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TWO MARYLAND-BRED STAKES RACES TOP DE FRANCIS DASH UNDERCARD


LAUREL, MD. 10-22-09---Maryland’s signature race days always include multiple stakes races and Saturday’s De Francis Dash Day is no exception. Two stakes for Maryland-breds, the $50,000 Find Handicap and the $50,000 Twixt Stakes add spice to the 19th running of the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. The Grade I sprint will feature nine runners.

Thirteen runners make up a strong betting race in the Find, a nine furlong test. Multiple stakes winner Target Sighted, turf record holder Baltimore Bob and Maryland Million hero Sumacha’hot headline the field.





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Thursday, October 22 2009


NINE SPRINTERS SET FOR SATURDAY’S GRADE I DE FRANCIS DASH


LAUREL, MD. 10-16-09---Nine sharp sprinters have been entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (Grade I) at Laurel Park. The De Francis Dash is one of just three Grade I races contested in Maryland, along with the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, and the historic Pimlico Special.

Introduced in 1990, the De Francis Dash is one of the elite six-furlong sprints in the country with four of the 18 winners-Housebuster (1991), Cherokee Run (1994), Smoke Glacken (1997) and Thor’s Echo (2006)-earning Eclipse Award honors for champion sprinter. The Dash was not carded in 2008 due to a purse account shortfall.





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Saturday, October 17 2009


WHITACRE, FOLEY LAND ROLES IN SECRETARIAT MOVIE


LAUREL, MD. 10-17-09---It is every jockeys dream to ride a Triple Crown winner. For Maryland-based Grant Whitacre and Tom Foley that goal will be reached on the big screen. Both have secured roles in “Secretariat”, the movie currently in production about the champion thoroughbred who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1973.

The movie began filming earlier this month with Diane Lane depicting owner Penny Chenery and John Malkovich cast as trainer Lucien Laurin. Foley landed the role of exercise rider Jim Gaffney and just returned from shooting at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana yesterday.





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WHITACRE, FOLEY LAND ROLES IN SECRETARIAT MOVIE


LAUREL, MD. 10-17-09---It is every jockeys dream to ride a Triple Crown winner. For Maryland-based Grant Whitacre and Tom Foley that goal will be reached on the big screen. Both have secured roles in “Secretariat”, the movie currently in production about the champion thoroughbred who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1973.

The movie began filming earlier this month with Diane Lane depicting owner Penny Chenery and John Malkovich cast as trainer Lucien Laurin. Foley landed the role of exercise rider Jim Gaffney and just returned from shooting at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana yesterday.





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GRADE I DE FRANCIS DASH PRE-ENTRIES ANNOUNCED


LAUREL, MD. 10-16-09---Three of the nation’s elite sprinters and the top two local speedsters are among the 37 pre-entries for the 19th running of the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (Grade I) at Laurel Park next Saturday, Oct. 24.

The De Francis Dash is one of just three Grade I races contested in Maryland, along with the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, and the historic Pimlico Special. The Dash was not carded in 2008 due to a purse account shortfall.





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Friday, October 16 2009


LAUREL PARK CANCELS RACE TWO ON OCT. 16 PROGRAM


LAUREL, MD. 10-16-09---Racing officials at Laurel Park opted to cancel today’s second race after six of the seven horses entered to start were race-day scratches.

The remainder of the nine race card will be run as usual and scheduled post times will remain the same. Post time for the first race is 1:10 p.m. After skipping the second race, the third race will go off at approximately 2:10 p.m.





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LAUREL PARK-BASED HEROS REWARD NORTH OF THE BORDER FOR GRADE II NEARCTIC STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 10-15-09---For three consecutive campaigns Laurel Park-based turf specialist Heros Reward has made two trips a year into Canada for graded stakes at Woodbine Racetrack. This Saturday, the Dale Capuano trainee will compete in the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade II), a race he won in 2007.

The son of Partner’s Hero is the 7-2 second choice in a field of 11, breaking from the nine post in the six-furlong test. In his last start he finished third after a problematic journey as the heavy favorite in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint.





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