Thursday, April 16 2009
DALE BENNETT NAMED COURTSIDE GRILLE II TRAINER OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 15, 2009) The Courtside Grille II Trainer of the Month for April is Dale Bennett, who in the week of April 4 through April 11 has conditioned four winners and one third place finisher form ten starters at average odds of 4-1.
Dale Bennett, whose father is Tampa Bay Downs trainer Gerald Bennett, was born in Toronto in 1972 and grew up on a farm in Campbellville, Ontario, Canada. He was raised around horses, and began working with them at a very early age. As time went by, Bennett began to progress through the ranks of the backside, starting out hot-walking for his father, then as a groom and an exercise rider, all the while finding time to graduate from Geulph Collegiate in 1991. In 1998, Bennett earned his trainer’s license and began his career with three horses in his barn; one of whom, Spirit of Austin, gave him his first win at Detroit Race Course. Since then, Dale Bennett has excelled at any track where he keeps a stable.
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.
STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15TH, 2009
PIONEEROF THE NILE IN ‘BEST WORK’ FOR DERBY; JOCKEY STILL OPEN
Santa Anita Derby winner Pioneerof the Nile had his final workout at Santa Anita Wednesday on a blustery but sun-drenched morning before departing for Churchill Downs Thursday where the son of Empire Maker will prepare for the 135th Kentucky Derby on May 2.
Under former jockey Joey Steiner, Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the Grade II San Felipe Stakes this meet in addition to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, went four furlongs on Pro-Ride in a bullet :46.20, fastest of 39 drills at the distance.
PIMLICO SPRING MEETING OPENS SATURDAY AFTERNOON
BALTIMORE, 04-15-09---Live racing shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course Saturday, April 18 for the spring meeting. The headline event of the six week stand is the 134th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 16.
“You get a unique feeling driving down Winner Avenue and into the facility,” said Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer. “This is a storied place with a deep tradition and is the second oldest racetrack in the country. The Pimlico meet has a festive atmosphere buoyed by one of the premier races in our industry.”
Read more articles in the Pimlico
Return of Coolers to Infield Included In Hospitality, Security Policies for 135th Derby, Oaks
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – For the first time since 2001, fans who enjoy Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days in the infield at historic Churchill Downs will be allowed to bring coolers into the track for the 2009 renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks.
Coolers will be allowed in the Churchill Downs infield only on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 1, and Kentucky Derby Day, May 2. Patrons may carry coolers into the track only through Gates 1 and 3, the traditional “infield gates,” and all coolers will be subject to search. Alcoholic beverages and glass containers of any kind will not be allowed in those coolers. Permitted contents include ice, non-alcoholic beverages in non-glass containers, and food packaged in clear plastic containers or bags. The maximum size of those clear containers and plastic bags remains at 18” x 18”.
Leparoux To Ride Toyota Blue Grass Winner General Quarters in Kentucky Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – Four-time Churchill Downs’ riding champion Julien Leparoux has been named to ride owner-trainer Tom McCarthy’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner General Quarters in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
McCarthy said Wednesday that the 25-year-old native of Senlis, France would ride his gray son of Sky Mesa in the Derby. McCarthy named Leparoux to the mount after he became frustrated by a lack of a commitment or communication from jockey Eibar Coa, who rode the colt in the Toyota Blue Grass. Coa is also the regular jockey aboard Kentucky Derby contender Musket Man, the winner of the Illinois Derby (GII).
Keeneland Barn Notes—Wednesday, April 15, 2009
SQUARE EDDIE HEADS FIELD OF 12 FOR SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON
J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, winner of last fall’s Grade 1 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity here, tops a field of 12 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 28th running of the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, Square Eddie will break from post position eight under Edgar Prado and share top weight of 123 pounds with El Crespo. Prado took the 2003 running of the Coolmore Lexington aboard Scrimshaw.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
Gordie Howe drawmaster for this year’s Queen’s Plate
TORONTO, April 15 - Canadian icon Gordie Howe has been announced as the drawmaster for this year’s 150th running of the Queen’s Plate, which will be contested on Sunday, June 21, at Woodbine.
Often referred to as Mr. Hockey, and widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Howe will assist in draw ceremonies on June 18 at the Toronto oval.
Read more articles in the Woodbine
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.
Barn Notes: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
OAKLAWN TRIO FIRST TO ARRIVE AT ARLINGTON PARK FOR 2009 SEASON
With horse vans beginning to back-up on the access road leading into the Arlington Park stable area, a decision was made to spring the gates a few minutes ahead of the planned 7 a.m. opening, which pleased both the humans and equines patiently waiting in vehicles just outside the entrance.
First to arrive as usual was Steve Hobby, who drove his truck through the gates at about 6:50 a.m. ahead of the three Creech horse vans that were carrying a total of 21 horses for the affable trainer.
SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO PREP FOR KENTUCKY DERBY IN COOLMORE LEXINGTON
Keeneland’s Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack offers the final major stop on the road to the 135th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with a possible field of 11 hopefuls set to battle for the chance at a berth in the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2.
One horse that isn’t concerned with the money involved is SQUARE EDDIE, who has more than enough to make the gate. The concern of owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill is getting the colt fit enough to run in the Churchill Downs classic, the first jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The son of Smart Strike has been away from the races with shin problems since finishing second to The Pamplemousse Jan. 17 in Santa Anita’s Grade III San Rafael Stakes.
LEANN RIMES TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 15, 2009) – Churchill Downs today announced that multiple-award winner and country music superstar LeAnn Rimes will help the historic racetrack launch a modern-day Kentucky Derby tradition when she performs the national anthem live as part of the ceremonies leading up to the 135th running of the Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Rimes’ performance will be the first live vocal performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by a national recording artist on Derby Day and will be televised by NBC Sports as part of its pre-race coverage, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT.