Tuesday, March 31 2009
52nd Illinois Derby Draws Eleven
Stickney, IL---While only one graded-stakes winner is entered for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby, that doesn’t mean a superstar won’t emerge, either this Saturday or the first Saturday in May.
Musket Man, mild upset winner of the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby, will face ten challengers, including the highly touted Illinois-bred Giant Oak, as eleven 3-year-olds try to punch their ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
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Monday, March 30 2009
Riders Up! For a Good Cause at Keeneland
Lexington, KY (March 30, 2009) – “American Idol” watch out.
On April 17, several Keeneland jockeys and retired riding legends will perform in Riders Up!, a karaoke-style talent competition presented by Keeneland and the Jockeys’ Guild to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Lexington’s own Tony-nominated actress Laura Bell Bundy will host the show.
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Keeneland Barn Notes—Monday, March 30, 2009
HOOH WHY WORKS HALF-MILE FOR ASHLAND
Derby Daze Farms and Mark Hoffman’s consistent Hooh Why put in her final major work for a probable start in Saturday’s $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1) on Monday morning. She went a half-mile in :49.60 with a five-furlong out time of 1:02 with Miguel Mena up.
Hooh Why arrived at Keeneland on Thursday night after spending the past two months at Santa Anita in the care of trainer Carla Gaines. Donna Dupuy, who was the trainer of record when Hooh Why broke her maiden at first asking last July at Arlington Park, will saddle Hooh Why at Keeneland.
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Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.30.09)
SOUTHEAST/QUALITY ROAD TURNS BACK DUNKIRK, SETS RECORD IN FLORIDA DERBY
The showdown everyone expected in Saturday’s Florida Derby (Grade I) materialized, but Quality Road ended the suspense in a flash as he turned back previously unbeaten Dunkirk in track record time at Gulfstream Park to take South Florida’s major prep for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Edward P. Evans’ son of Elusive Quality turned back a strong rally by $3.7-million yearling purchase Dunkirk to win by 1 3/4 lengths in a track record 1:47.72 for 1 1/8-miles. Jockey John Velazquez was aboard the winner, who had to survive a claim of foul by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard third-place finisher Theregoesjojo.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.30.09)
SOUTHEAST/JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE EXTENDS WINNING STREAK TO FIVE IN BONNIE MISS
Sizzling Justwhistledixie rolled to her fifth consecutive victory and enhanced her status as a major contender for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1 at Churchill Downs when she rallied to win Friday’s $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (GII) at Gulfstream Park.
The surprising favorite over reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Fair Grounds Oaks (G(() winner Rachel Alexandra in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, Justwhistledixie rallied four-wide under jockey Julien Leparoux to defeat Casanova Move by 1 ¾ lengths. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained daughter of Dixie Union covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.25 over a “fast” track.
One Caroline Remains Perfect After Rampart Romp Sunday
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s brilliant 4-year-old filly One Caroline ran her undefeated career record to five-for-five Sunday at Gulfstream Park after a dominating wire-to-wire victory in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2), coasting home 6½ lengths ahead of Darley Stable’s 22-1 longshot Sea Chanter.
Jockey Edgar Prado had One Caroline in front shortly after a somewhat awkward break in the 1 1/8 miles test, and had plenty left when challengers got close nearing the stretch, drawing clear effortlessly. The roan/gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song won both of her starts last year at Churchill Downs and all three at this meet for trainer Rusty Arnold, most recently the Sabin Stakes (G3) on Feb. 20.
Barn Notes 3/29
Reviriego’s South American Operation Making Florida Home
Trainer Juan Reviriego is a colorful character, wearing an ascot and weathered sport coat most mornings around the barn. It’s hard to believe the native of Argentina could quietly slip into anyplace, but his former California string of South American-bred horses has been transplanted to Gulfstream Park in the last month.
Among his small band of runners is the Dama Group’s 5-year-old mare Lady Sprinter, who has been working steadily since getting here in February with hopes of duplicating her Argentine Group 1 stakes success here in the U.S.
UNBEATEN CARLSBAD TRANSFERS FORM TO BIG LEAGUES IN SANTA PAULA
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 29, 2009) – Carlsbad, an unbeaten sensation in Arizona’s “Cactus League,” transferred her form to the big leagues Saturday when running away from her opposition in Santa Anita’s 24th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.
After winning her first four starts at Turf Paradise in Phoenix by a combined 50 ¾ lengths, Carlsbad scored by 3 ¾ lengths over runner-up Ultra Blend while covering the distance in 1:14.65, just four-hundredths of a second off the stakes record.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, MARCH 29TH, 2009
PAMPLEMOUSSE, ‘PIONEER’ SET FOR EPIC MATCH IN SANTA ANITA DERBY
Ali-Frazier, Celtics-Lakers, Yankees-Red Sox, The Pamplemousse-Pioneerof the Nile. With all due respect to the other participants in next Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, The Pamplemousse and Pioneerof the Nile have captured the fancy of racing fans. The two 3-year-olds are the heavyweights the racing world will focus on with keen intensity as they take what they hope will be their final step towards the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
Each horse has a similar record, but contrasting running styles. The Pamplemousse’s forte is speed. He is unbeaten in his last three starts since stretching out, numbering the Grade III San Rafael Stakes and the Grade III Sham Stakes among his victories. The son of Kafwain trained by Julio Canani has three wins and a third in five starts, with earnings of $209,280.
DOMINGUEZ SWEEPS NY STALLION STAKES EN ROUTE TO FOUR WINS
Jockey Ramon Dominguez rode four winners Sunday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, including both $100,000 divisions of the New York Stallions Stakes, to put an exclamation point on his brilliant record-setting Big A inner dirt track championship.
Dominguez, a 32-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela, had already locked up his second consecutive inner track title, entering Sunday’s card with 120 victories, while his nearest rival was C.C Lopez with 59 winners. His four wins on Sunday gave him 124 for the inner track season, which began on December 3, 2008.
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AQUEDUCT NOTES, Sunday, March 29, 2009
The New York Racing Association will offer a live 11-race card on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 4, beginning with a first race post of 1 p.m.
Four graded stakes, headed by the 85th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs, will make a up a guaranteed $400,000 late Pick 4, beginning in race 7.
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BAZE, KAENEL, LANDEROS DOUBLE AT GGF
ALBANY -- Jockeys Russell Baze, Kyle Kaenel and Adan Landeros each rode two winners Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Baze, the leading jockey at the meeting with 106 victories, won the third race with One More Week ($4.20) and the seventh with Desert Siren ($4.40).
Kaenel, Baze's son-in-law, took the first race with Refinery ($5.80) and the sixth with Dustin the Track ($7.00). Landeros captured the fifth race with Meant for You ($27.40) and the eighth with Skimmy ($6.40).