Thursday, March 26 2009
Barn Notes 2/26
Speedy Casey’s On Call Jumps Into the Fray
When Casey’s On Call made his 3-year-old debut in a $75,000 claiming race Feb. 19 at Gulfstream Park, his connections were not thinking about the Kentucky Derby trail.
Trainer Alec Fehr was.
The 42-year-old Canadian-based trainer convinced owner Terry Hamilton to claim the son of Gimmeawink. Six weeks later they are hoping to run away with the biggest prize of the season as BlackBerry Presents the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) Saturday.
Celebrate Community Day at Woodbine
TORONTO, March 26 - Woodbine Racetrack will host its annual Community Day on Saturday, April 4 starting at 11:00 am. This year the event coincides with the return of thoroughbred racing to the Toronto oval.
"These two events happening on the same day is a great fit for our organization," says Jane Holmes, Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) Vice President of Corporate Affairs. "WEG is committed to being a leader within the horse racing industry, a good corporate citizen and a strong community partner. Community Day helps us demonstrate our commitment on one day, under one roof."
Read more articles in the Woodbine
STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, MARCH 26TH, 2009
THE PAMPLEMOUSSE FAVORED FOR SANTA ANITA DERBY
Pace makes the race, and with The Pamplemousse the lone speed in a prospective field of five for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 4, the son of Kafwain looms a solid early favorite in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
“He’ll definitely be the (morning line) favorite,” said Jeff Tufts, who has been providing program odds at Southern California tracks for some 30 years.
FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR GRADE 1 WOOD MEMORIAL, CARTER
The top three finishers from the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds going 1 1/8th miles at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 4.
Owned by David Lanzman, I Want Revenge took his place among the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his 8½-length win in the 1 1/16th-mile Gotham on March 7. Sequoia Racing’s Imperial Council, who was second in the Gotham, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Mr. Fantasy, third, are also likely for the final major New York prep for the May 2 Derby, according to New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew M. Byrnes.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES
SELECT FIELD FOR FRIDAY’S MISSY’S MIRAGE STAKES
When last seen on Aqueduct’s inner track, Repole Stable’s Lights Off Annie was on her way to her first stakes win, a five-length score over Let’s Fly Away in the Broadway Handicap on March 1. It was the four-year-old daughter of Freud’s fourth victory in five starts since finishing seventh in her debut, her only loss during that period coming when stretched out to a mile on Feb. 11.
Friday afternoon, Lights Off Annie tries to make it two straight for trainer Bruce Levine when she takes on four other fillies and mares going six furlongs in the $65,000 Missy’s Mirage, an overnight stakes to be run as the eighth race. And while her four victories have come with a combined winning margin of nearly 25 lengths, Friday afternoon’s feature appears a much tougher spot even with the services of Rajiv Maragh, the second-leading rider at the Big A.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
Keeneland Post Time 1:05 P.M. (ET) for Spring Meet
Lexington, KY (March 26 , 2009) – Keeneland has announced that post time for the first race will be 1:05 p.m. (ET) during its spring race meeting, to be held April 3-24. Post time has previously been 1:10 p.m.
“We changed the post time as part of a cooperative effort between Keeneland, NYRA and Gulfstream Park to stagger our races throughout the day so fans don’t miss any of the action,” said Keeneland President & CEO Nick Nicholson.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
CHURCHILL DOWNS TO OPEN AT 9 A.M. SATURDAY FOR DUBAI WORLD CUP
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 26, 2009) – Trackside at Churchill Downs will open early at 9 a.m. (all times Eastern) on Saturday, March 28, to import the six lucrative stakes races that compromise the 14th annual Dubai World Cup program from Nad Al Sheba Race Course in the United Arab Emirates.
The $21 million extravaganza is anchored by the world’s richest race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup (Group I), which has lured North American horses such as Donn Handicap (GI) champ Albertus Maximus, Goodwood Handicap (GI) winner Well Armed, Meadowlands Cup (GII) hero Arson Squad and Pennsylvania Derby (GII) champ Anak Nakal. The Americans will face a stellar international cast that includes Japan’s Casino Drive, winner of last year’s Peter Pan (GII), and 2007 UAE Triple Crown winner Asiatic Boy, the runner-up to Curlin in last year’s World Cup.
Meet the Americans: U.S. horses are a diverse bunch
Every year, American horses have a major impact on the Dubai World Cup program, whether through success in the races or just their strength in numbers.
This year, 12 horses have been sent from the United States to compete in five of the six races for Thoroughbreds. Just like people, each has a unique story. Following is a personal glimpse at these dozen competitors, a group that includes one champion, eight Grade 1 winners and six horses that have won at least US$1 million.
Read more articles in the Meydan
FAVORED HERR MOZART GETS THE MONEY IN PRIME RAND PURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2009) – Benefiting from his route and grass experience, 19-10 favorite Herr Mozart rallied from last on Wednesday to score by a head over African Gray in Santa Anita’s featured $53,336 Prime Rand Purse for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf.
Zayat Stable’s Kentucky-bred son of Mr. Greeley, ridden by Garrett Gomez, surged at the wire following his run on the extreme outside to gain his first victory on turf in five tries that had included a second and two thirds.
Florida Derby advance
Dunkirk & Quality Road Lead Cast for 58th Florida Derby
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk, very impressive winning his two starts at Gulfstream Park this season for trainer Todd Pletcher; and Edward P. Evans’ Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Quality Road are the morning-line favorites at 9-5 and 2-1, respectively, for Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1).
The two emerging star 3-year-olds will bid to use the historic 1 1/8 miles fixture to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs five weeks later on Sat., May 2. A field of nine was drawn Wednesday morning for the 58th edition of South Florida’s showcase race.
FLORIDA DERBY PROVIDES SHOWDOWN FOR HOPEFULS DUNKIRK
Two colts considered to be among the top five Triple Crown prospects by most handicappers will square off in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park at 1 1/8 miles in a race that has produced two major players in Thoroughbred racing over the past two years.
Fountain of Youth victor Quality Road, who was not an early nominee, and super-impressive DUNKIRK, who was, headline a potentially small but quality-filled field of seven to eight. It’s a match-up that many Triple Crown trail observers have been waiting to see. It certainly will serve as a class check for the undefeated DUNKIRK, who will be making his first start in a stakes race, where he has a distinct disadvantage in seasoning, not only against stakes runners but also in his general development.
‘TWINSPIRES.COM DAY AT FAIR GROUNDS’ SET FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 28
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. (March 25, 2009) – TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots are inviting TwinSpires.com members living in the New Orleans region to the track on Saturday, March 28 for a day of exciting live racing and prize giveaways during “TwinSpires.com Day at Fair Grounds.”
Online players through TwinSpires.com who live within 50 miles of Fair Grounds and have made a wager during the past year have been invited to spend the day at the historic New Orleans track. Those active online patrons will enjoy special seating, free food and beverage and participate in prize drawings. They will have opportunities to meet Fair Grounds racing analyst Jessica Pacheco and several Fair Grounds trainers.