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Friday, October 23 2009


Stable Notes, Friday, October 23rd, 2009


SUMMER BIRD TO WORK BETWEEN SUNDAY’S THIRD AND FOURTH RACES

Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Summer Bird, the leading candidate for an Eclipse Award in the male 3-year-old division, reunites with regular rider Kent Desormeaux Sunday for a workout between Oak Tree’s third and fourth races in preparation for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 7. Desormeaux is coming in from his current base at Keeneland for the assignment.

Desormeaux, Oak Tree’s leading rider from 1990 through 1992, has ridden Summer Bird in his last four races, including the three aforementioned victories. Their lone setback came when they finished second in the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2, six lengths behind super filly Rachel Alexandra.





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RED TOMATOES’ CAMBRIA UPSET KEYS $54,969 PICK SIX CARRYOVER INTO “FREE FRIDAY”


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2009) – Sent off at odds of 10-1 following 14 months on the sidelines, Red Tomatoes closed strongly along the rail Thursday to edge 22-1 shot Small But Mighty by one-half length in Oak Tree’s featured $42,800 Cambria Purse for California-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.

The upset by Red Tomatoes, on top of 15-1 shot Fiery Rebel’s victory in the previous race, generated a Pick Six carryover of $54,969 into Oak Tree’s “Free Friday” program which offers free General Admission, with special first post at 2 p.m.





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STABLE NOTES, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22ND, 2009


SUMMER BIRD TO WORK BETWEEN RACES ON SUNDAY

Summer Bird, winner of the Belmont Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the leader for an Eclipse Award in the male 3-year-old division, galloped a mile and a half over Pro-Ride Thursday and is scheduled to work between races Sunday under regular rider Kent Desormeaux, trainer Tim Ice said. Desormeaux currently is riding at Keeneland.

“A couple people have told me the Pro-Ride is a little different in the morning than the afternoon, I don’t know,” Ice said in explaining his reason for an afternoon work. “He’ll get a feel for it. Whether it’s different or not, it’s still going to be a good work, and he’ll be by himself. I won’t have to worry about other horses interfering with the work.”





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Thursday, October 22 2009


OBRIGADO FINDS WINNING SPOT IN LONG WALK HOME PURSE


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2009) – Competitive against the West Coast’s leading marathoners the last two years yet victorious but once, French-bred Obrigado found a winning spot at Santa Anita on Wednesday when capturing Oak Tree’s $47,400 Long Walk Home Purse by 1 ¼ lengths over Itsnotjustagame and covering 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:27.00.

With Joel Rosario aboard, the 6-year-old gelding closed strongly on the extreme outside to overhaul jockey Mike Smith and Itsnotjustagame with Irish-bred Buenos Dias another 1 ¾ lengths back in third while handled by Joe Talamo.





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CHEF BOBBY FLAY TRIES TO STIR UP WIN AS MRS KIPLING RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S HAL RAMSER SR. HANDICAP


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2009) – Mrs Kipling, who went to the sidelines following a disappointing effort at odds of 7-1 in July’s Grade I American Oaks at Hollywood Park, returns to competition Saturday in Oak Tree’s 23rd running of the Grade III, Harold C. Ramser, Sr. Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at one mile over Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course.

Trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale for celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Irish-bred Mrs Kipling attracted solid support in the American Oaks following a close second in Santa Anita’s Grade II Providencia Stakes, her U.S. debut, and a dominant 2 ½-length victory in Hollywood Park’s Grade III Senorita Stakes.





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The USO and Breeders’ Cup Partner to Host American Soldiers At 2009 Breeders’ Cup World Champion


ARLINGTON, Va. (October 21, 2009) – For the first time in the 26-year history of the event, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, in partnership with the USO, will host American soldiers and their families for a day of championship Thoroughbred racing on Friday, November 6 at Santa Anita Park. The day at the races will be sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds, a prominent racing stable headed by Terrance P. Finley, a former US Serviceman and West Point graduate.

The Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global event, consists of 14 races held on Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. The Breeders’ Cup is televised live on ABC and ESPN and in more than 130 countries outside the United States.





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OAK TREE TO CUT PURSES 10 PERCENT, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21ST, 2009


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2009)—Citing a sluggish local and national economy as primary factors, the Oak Tree Racing Association announced today that overnight purses will be cut 10 percent, effective this Saturday, Oct. 24.

The current Oak Tree meeting, which began Sept. 30, will run through Nov. 8 and will include the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 6 & 7.





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STABLE NOTES, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21ST, 2009


BAFFERT RUNNERS FIRE BULLETS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP

Four of Bob Baffert’s prime Breeders’ Cup contenders moved a step closer to their engagements at Oak Tree on Nov. 6 and 7 with sharp workouts over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface Wednesday morning.

Zensational, favored for $2 million Sentient Jet Sprint at six furlongs on Nov. 7, worked five furlongs in a blistering :57.80, fastest of 18 drills at the distance and nearly three seconds quicker than the next-best recorded workout, which was 1:00.60 by the Ron McAnally-trained Bonfonte.





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Monday, October 19 2009


BLUE CHAGALL’S TURNAROUND UNDERSCORED IN LURE STAKES


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2009) – French-bred Blue Chagall, who didn’t achieve his first U.S. victory until his eighth try two months ago at Del Mar, underscored his turnaround at Santa Anita on Sunday when dominating Oak Tree’s $65,980 Lure Stakes at one mile on turf.

With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Prestonwood Racing’s 4-year-old gelding powered through an opening in midstretch and ran off to a 3 ½-length triumph while leaving three of his seven rivals to await a photo finish that decided the place and show.





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Stable Notes, Sunday, October 18th, 2009


WOOLLEY CONFIDENT MINE THAT BIRD WILL IMPROVE IN CLASSIC

Chip Woolley Jr. sees the glass as half full for Mine That Bird in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Nov. 7.

Detractors point to Mine That Bird’s disappointing sixth-place finish in the Grade I Goodwood Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 10, and the fact that he is winless in four starts since his startling 50-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby on May 2. The Goodwood was Mine That Bird’s first race since Aug. 1, when he finished third in the West Virginia Derby.





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Saturday, October 17 2009


GOTTA HAVE HER’S HANDY WIN IN MADDY EXTENDS PERFECT COURSE MARK TO FOUR


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 17, 2009) – Gotta Have Her, unbeaten in three previous competitions over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course, burst through an opening along the rail to extend her perfect showing to four on Saturday when a handy winner of Oak Tree’s Grade III, $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap for fillies and mares as the 3-1 favorite.

With Tyler Baze at the controls, the 5-year-old Royal Academy mare overtook longshot pace-setter Pasar Silbano in upper stretch to score by two lengths while traversing the 6 ½ furlongs on grass in 1:12.09. Tuscan Evening, the 7-2 third choice, finished third another 1 ½ lengths back in the field of nine.





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HALL OF FAME JOCKEY STEVENS SADDLES FIRST WINNER AS TRAINER


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 16, 2009) – Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, 46, who retired as a rider in 2005 with over 5,000 victories before opening a California-based training operation in August, gained his first win as a trainer Friday at Santa Anita when Higher Incentive won Oak Tree’s third race and paid $15.40.

Stevens, the son of longtime Northwest-based trainer Ron Stevens, connected with his seventh starter since becoming a conditioner. Rafael Bejarano rode the 6-year-old mare who had recently been placed in Stevens’ care after racing in the East for Winning Move Stable and Winter Park Partners.





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