Thursday, March 19 2009


STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, MARCH 19TH, 2009


TRAINERS EYE UPSET IN SATURDAY’S SAN LUIS REY HANDICAP

Spring House and Artiste Royal are the starting highweights at 118 pounds in Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap, but trainers Barry Abrams and Steve Knapp feel they have longshot chances with their horses in the 42nd renewal of the mile and a half turf marathon.

Abrams trains the recently acquired On Fire, who was scratched from an earlier race at Santa Anita when it was moved from grass to Pro-Ride. Knapp conditions Bonjour, a 9-year-old New Zealand bred who has shown good form in his last three races.





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Barn Notes 3-19


Sligovitz Facing Test in Pan American Saturday

Stronach Stable’s 4-year-old Canadian homebred Sligovitz finished a game fifth in the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) on Feb. 1 as a 25-1 longshot, beaten only 1½ lengths by Kip Deville, and faces another big challenge Saturday in the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) with Presious Passion and Spice Route the likely favorites in the 1½ miles turf test..

“He ran very well in that race (Gulfstream Turf),” said trainer Brian Lynch from Palm Meadows Thursday morning. “He was inexperienced when he tried a mile-and-a-half last year and veered out,” referring to the colt’s runner-up finish behind Marlang in the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine in early August.





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Emerging Star Criticism the One to Beat in Orchid Sunday


Darley Stable’s 5-year-old English homebred mare Criticism has won the 12-furlong Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 1 and 11-furlong The Very One Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22 in her last two starts for trainer Tom Albertrani, and will likely be favored to make it three in a row in Sunday’s $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3).

Jockey Edgar Prado gets a return call on Criticism in the 1½ mile turf feature facing seven rival fillies and mares as she bids to continue her ascent to the top ranks of the filly and mare turf stakes division in the U.S. after campaigning with moderate results as a 3-year-old in France through the 2007 campaign.





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SECRET GYPSY TRIES AQUEDUCT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DISTAFF


She loves Saratoga.

She’s not crazy about Belmont Park.

And Saturday afternoon, Secret Gypsy will reveal her feelings about Aqueduct Racetrack when she makes her Big A debut in the 55th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs on the inner dirt track.





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BIG A TO OFFER DUBAI WORLD CUP IN NAD AL SHEBA FINALE


Aqueduct Racetrack will offer simulcast wagering on Dubai World Cup Day, Saturday, March 28, from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The schedule begins with the Godolphin Mile at 9:40 a.m.; followed by the UAE Derby (10:15 a.m.); Dubai Golden Shaheen (10:55 a.m.), Dubai Duty Free (11:55 a.m.) , Dubai Sheema Classic (12:40 p.m.) and the world’s richest race -- the 14th running of the Group 1, $6 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline (1:30 p.m.).





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BRAZILIAN IMPORT FLUKE PROVES WORTHY IN LONETREE PURSE


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2009) – Fluke, a leading

3-year-old last year in Brazil who disappointed when favored in his United States debut for trainer Bobby Frankel, rebounded stylishly Wednesday with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in Santa Anita’s $57,936 Lonetree Purse, a first condition allowance at one mile on turf.

With national riding leader Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Fluke finished one length ahead of comebacking Globetrotter while covering the distance in a sprightly 1:33.63. Temple City, the tepid 5-2 choice in a field of nine, checked in third, 1 ¾ lengths behind the runner-up.





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ARTISTE ROYAL, SPRING HOUSE CLASH IN SATURDAY’S SAN LUIS REY


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 18, 2009) – Venerable grass marathoners Artiste Royal and Spring House, separated by less than two lengths in their only previous meeting, will share high weight of 118 pounds Saturday among seven entrants in Santa Anita’s 58th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Luis Rey Handicap at 1½ miles on turf.

A multiple Grade I stakes winner at the age of 8, David and Jill Heerensperger’s Artiste Royal may rate a narrow edge over his 7-year-old rival as the result of his victory over Spring House on Jan. 19 in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Marcos Handicap at 1¼ miles on grass. As the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, Artiste Royal crossed the wire 1¾ lengths ahead of fourth-place Spring House, sent off at odds of 7-2.





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JOCKEY LEON GETS FIRST U.S. VICTORY AT GGF


ALBANY -- Jockey Anisete Leon, a veteran jockey from the Dominican Republic, recorded his first U.S. victory Wednesday at Golden Gate Fields when he guided Archie T to a three-length victory in the sixth race.

Leon, 33, began riding at age 16 in the Dominican Republic. He went on to ride in Italy and, most recently, Puerto Rico. Leon arrived in Northern California earlier this month and his business is being handled by veteran agent Steve Steamer.





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Wednesday, March 18 2009


GOSDEN-TRAINED MAFAAZ WINS KENTUCKY DERBY CHALLENGE STAKES


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The John Gosden-trained Mafaaz-GB ran down pacesetter Sochcahtoa-IRE in deep stretch and held off a late charge by Spring of Fame to win Wednesday’s inaugural running of the $115,000 Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes by a neck at Kempton Park near London.

In addition to the winner’s share of the purse, the 3-year-old colt earned an automatic spot in the starting gate for the 135th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 2 and a $100,000 bonus should the horse compete in America’s greatest race.





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JOCKEYS TO MEET ABILITYFIRST Y0UNGSTERS MAR. 26


ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2009)—A group of Santa Anita-based jockeys will participate in a “meet and greet” gathering with special-needs youngsters provided by AbilityFirst, in Santa Anita’s fabled Seabiscuit Walking Ring from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Mar. 26, to promote Santa Anita’s Anita’s Derby Day 5K Walk and Run on April 4.

AbilityFirst is a Pasadena-based charity that enables both children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities to realize their full potential. AbilityFirst also works to meet the needs of those afflicted with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and epilepsy.





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DEREK RYAN NAMED COURTSIDE GRILLE II TRAINER OF THE MONTH


OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 18, 2009) Derek Ryan was born on September 22, 1966 in Tipperary, Ireland and got interested in horse s. “I began riding ponies as a little kid, and things just progressed from there.” Ryan moved to the United States in 20 years ago this month and began training on his own in 1996; he has since enjoyed success in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 2002, he scored his first big stakes win when Emergency Status took the Grade III Jersey Derby in front running fashion at odds of 55-1. Ryan says that he enjoys spending his winters at the Oldsmar oval because, “The track’s very good, especially the turf course. It’s great getting to the beaches and the weather is wonderful. ”

Ryan took home one of the biggest wins of his career here at Tampa Bat Downs on Festival Day, March 14 when his trainee Musket Man captured the 29th edition of the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby. The three-year-old Sky Mesa colt won the 1 1/16 miles race after winning the $75,000 Pasco Stakes here in January and running third in the Grade III $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes held on February 14’s Festival Preview Day.





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Presious Passion Bids for Pan American Repeat Saturday


Patricia Generazio’s 6-year-old gelding Presious Passion has emerged among America’s premier long-distance turf stakes performers over the last two years, and will bid to become the fourth horse in history to win the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) twice Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo will be back aboard Presious Passion, who was 20-1 when he won the 12-furlong Pan American last year. He will attract considerably more support in this edition, facing six rivals after a game half-length victory in the 11-furlong Mac Diarmida Stakes (G3) over the course on Feb. 21.





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