Saturday, November 29 2008


LEAH’S SECRET SHOWS TOP FORM IN TOP FLIGHT


By Francis LaBelle Jr.

WinStar Farm’s favored Leah’s Secret backed off of an early speed duel and came late to pick of the pieces at Aqueduct Racetrack on Friday afternoon, rallying past Slewfoundmoney for a three-quarter-length victory in the 69th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Top Fight Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile.

With Any Limit, Slewfoundmoney, Altesse and Rite Moment bent on the lead, jockey Eibar Coa allowed Leah’s Secret to relax into a stalking position. Any Limit emerged with the lead, but had to run an opening quarter mile of 23.24 and a half of 45.92 on the fast main track to do it.





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Holiday Inaugural draws a dozen for Turfway’s opening day


FLORENCE, KY . . . November 28, 2008 . . . The $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes, the feature race on Turfway Park's opening day card this Sunday, drew a dozen fillies and mares, including recent Turfway stakes winner Vote Early and a handful that appear to relish all-weather tracks.

Most recently sixth in an overnight handicap on the dirt at Churchill Downs, Vote Early came from off the pace two starts back to win the Weekend Delight Stakes at Turfway in September. On Monday she posted a best-of-50 work over a sloppy track at Churchill. Trainer Steve Margolis has tapped Shaun Bridgmohan to ride in the Holiday Inaugural.





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DAKOTA PHONE WINS FORTY NINER


ALBANY -- Dakota Phone surged by pacesetter Gallon in the final yards to win the $75,000 Forty Niner Stakes by a half-length Friday at Golden Gate Fields.

Receiving a strong ride from jockey Frank Alvarado, Dakota Phone rallied from last in a scratch-plagued field of four. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Dakota Phone captured the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up in 1:44.37 on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface.

Gallon, ridden by Kyle Kaenel, took second by three lengths over 4-to-5 favorite Pass the Heat, who was ridden by Russell Baze.





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Friday, November 28 2008


Husbands picks up five wins on Thursday


TORONTO, November 27 * Jockey Patrick Husbands enjoyed a stellar day at Woodbine on Thursday afternoon, visiting the winner's circle five times in eight tries.

The 35-year-old Brampton resident won the first five races that he had a mount in. Husbands kicked off the five-bagger in race one with Miss Redoubled ($8.60), capping off the 'double' with Queen Bambi ($8.80) in the second. Seaside View ($7.70) took the fourth, Creekside Cafe ($10) won the sixth and Intuition Magic ($4.70) triumphed in the seventh.





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BACK ON DIRT, FABUOUS STRIKE COASTS IN FALL HIGHWEIGHT


By Francis LaBelle Jr.

Maybe he’s just a traditionalist.

That explains why Walter Downey’s Fabulous Strike, sent off as the even-money favorite by Aqueduct’s Thanksgiving Day crowd of 3,239 Thursday afternoon, lead at all calls and easily defeated He’s So Chic in the 95th running of the $111,200 Fall Highweight Handicap.

Carrying top weight of 136 pounds – he spotted seven rivals from four to nine pounds – the 5-year-old Smart Strike gelding broke on top, entertained Grand Champion for about a half a mile and then glided over the fast track to a 1 ½-length victory in 1:09.02 for the six furlongs.





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ETERNAL STAR TAKES THANKSGIVING DAY FEATURE


LAUREL, MD. 11-27-08---Harry and Tom Meyerhoff’s Eternal Star was just too much for his five rivals in today’s Thanksgiving afternoon feature at Laurel Park, a $40,000 allowance test.

Eternal Star, a chestnut son of Five Star Day, tracked speedy Sir Silver Fox into the far turn before moving by without encouragement and drawing off to win by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:09.64 for the six furlong distance over the fast main track. Stakes winners Lycurgus and Celtic Innis finished second and third, respectively. Eternal Star paid $2.80 as the overwhelming favorite.





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BSHARPSONATA RALLIES UNDER GOMEZ IN PLAYA DEL REY


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 27, 2008) — Bsharpsonata, fifth on the rail with a quarter-mile to run under Garrett Gomez, split horses approaching the sixteenth pole and cruised to a 1 1/2-length victory over favorite Peppermint Lounge in the $68,400 Playa del Rey on Thursday at Hollywood Park.

The daughter of Pulpit, overlooked in wagering at 7-1 despite competing with the nation’s leading 3-year-old fillies in the spring, covered six furlongs on Cushion Track in a stakes record 1:07.95 for her seventh win in 12 starts.





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PASS THE HEAT EXPECTED TO BRING THE HEAT


ALBANY---Pass the Heat is expected to bring the heat in the $75,000 Forty Niner Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Friday.

The Forty Niner, the featured eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m., is a 1 1/16 mile contest for three year olds and up. Pass the Heat is an 8 to 5 morning line favorite in a field of six.

Pass the Heat is a five year old gelding who has won half of his 18 career starts and three of his last four races. Trained by William J. Morey, Jr., and owned by the Joseph P. Morey, Jr. Revocable Trust, Pass the Heat has earned $321,499.





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Thursday, November 27 2008


JUVENILES HIGHLIGHT HILL ‘N’ DALE CIGAR MILE UNDERCARD


When Thoroughbred owner Jeff Puglisi expanded and restructured his racing operation in 2008, included in his business plan was a multi-million commitment to purchase 2-year-olds, the vast majority of which would be fillies.

“In terms of residuals, fillies hold their value better than colts,” explained trainer Steve Klesaris. “If they become graded stakes winner and have some family, they’re worth something.”

From a business standpoint, Puglisi made a good choice.





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HILL ‘N’ DALE CIGAR MILE COULD FIGURE IN BIG WEEKEND FOR ZITO


Nick Zito has always taken the time to count his blessings, and he was more than willing to share the appraisal on Thanksgiving morning. The Hall of Fame trainer will send out Stone Farm’s Wanderin Boy at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday in the 20th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile – the feature on a nine-race card that will also include the 95th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen for two-year-olds at nine furlongs and the 87th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle for two-year-old fillies at nine furlongs.

First race post is 12:25 p.m., and there will be self-service wagering only on Churchill Downs race 1 at 11:30 a.m.

Friday, Zito will be at Churchill Downs to saddle Tracy Farmer’s favored Commentator, a two-time winner of Saratoga’s Grade 1 Whitney, in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap.





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SPEEDY CALIFORNIA FLAG TRIES TO REBOUND IN TURF EXPRESS


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 27, 2008) — California Flag, who led before tiring in the final eighth to finish tenth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, will try to bounce back in the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Saturday’s second day of the three-day Turf Festival at Hollywood Park.

The gray/roan gelding won the Morvich Handicap and three of his last four starts preceding the Breeders’ Cup for Hi Card Ranch and trainer Brian Koriner. He will break from the outside post in a ten-horse field for the Turf Express, which will be run at six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course. The field for the 23rd running of the Grade III event lines up as follows from the rail out:





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HP Stable Notes: Thursday, November 27, 2008


FRANKEL SEEKS FIFTH STRAIGHT MATRIARCH

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has reached several milestones during an illustrious career, and he stands in a strong position to reach another Sunday when he sends out a powerful one-two punch of Precious Kitten and Visit in quest of a fifth straight victory in the $500,0000 Matriarch at Hollywood Park.

The Grade I test is for fillies and mares at one mile on turf and is co-featured with the $500,000 Hollywood Derby. The Sunday races climax the three-day Turf Festival, which begins Friday with the $400,000 Citation Handicap and $100,000-added Miesque Stakes.





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