Sunday, November 30 2008


WHAT A TALE! HILL ‘N’ DALE CIGAR MILE DQ ENDS TAGG SLUMP


By Francis LaBelle Jr.

Charles E. Fipke’s Tale of Ekati won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial here at Aqueduct Racetrack back on April 5 and his only other victory of the year came in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 Jerome Handicap on October 5.

Trainer Barclay Tagg hadn’t been exactly lighting it up either, entering Saturday’s card in an 0-for-28 slump.





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NO MORE LOOKING BACK FOR OLD FASHIONED AFTER REMSEN WIN


All through the lane Saturday afternoon, jockey Ramon Dominguez kept looking back to see if there was any competition coming for Fox Hill Farm’s front-running favorite Old Fashioned. All he saw a growing distance between his mount and the six other horses entered in Aqueduct’s 95th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen for two-year-olds at nine furlongs.

Now, there is something to look forward to.





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SPRINGSIDE UPSETS SKY DIVA IN DEMOISELLE


Springside, dismissed at 5-1, overtook heavily favored Sky Diva in the lane and continued on to 9 ½-length upset Saturday afternoon in the 87th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle for two-year-old fillies at nine furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Owned by James and Alice Sapara, the Awesome Again filly was vanned off following her victory, which came in 1:51.71 on the fast main track. According to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association, Springside suffered what appears to be a fracture of the right-front pastern and was taken for x-rays. It was her first start on a conventional dirt track.





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AQUEDUCT NOTES, Saturday, Nov. 29,2008


The Maryland racing circuit has a history of producing quality jockeys who have moved on to successful careers in New York, notably Edgar Prado and Kent Desormeaux (both Hall of Famers), Mike Luzzi and Ramon Dominguez.

As racing at Aqueduct switches to the inner dirt track on Wednesday, among the new faces in New York this winter will be two additions from Maryland: Sheldon Russell, the leading rider at the current Laurel Park meet, and Rosie Napravnik, who are expected to move their tack to the Big A.





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NOW IT BEGINS SCOOTS AND SCORES IN SQUAN SONG STAKES


LAUREL, MD. 11-29-08---R. Larry Johnson’s Now It Begins bounded to the lead and then led to the very final jump, narrowly holding on to win the $50,000 Squan Song Stakes for fillies and mares at Laurel Park.

Second by a neck in this race last year after leading every step of the way, Now It Begins carried jockey Charles Forrest to victory in 1:25.12 for the seven furlong distance over the fast main track. Mike Trombetta trains the daughter of Two Punch.





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SUTHERLAND NOTCHES FIRST HOLLYPARK STAKES WIN ON MR. ROD


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 29, 2008) — While California Flag solidified his credentials as a top flight sprinter with a scintillating performance in the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express, Mr. Rod and Canadian jockey Chantal Sutherland served notice they belong in first class company with a front-running win in the $109,300 Generous Stakes on Saturday’s second day of Hollywood Park’s three-day Turf Festival.

Sutherland, a 32-year-old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, registered her first Hollywood Park stakes win in the Grade III Generous, but she is no stranger to the winner’s circle. She is among North America’s leading jockeys in 2008 as her mounts have earned more than $5.7 million. She was third in the standings at Canada’s Woodbine before leaving in October to ride at Santa Anita Park, where she had enjoyed success earlier in the year.





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Saturday, November 29 2008


HYPERBARIC SCORES FRONT-RUNNING WIN UNDER BAZE IN CITATION


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 28, 2008) — Jack Preston’s Hyperbaric, given a breather by jockey Tyler Baze down the backstretch, dug in through the stretch to hold off all challengers en route to a front-running victory in the $400,000 Citation Handicap as the 17th Turf Festival began Friday with a pair of graded stakes at Hollywood Park.

The victory was the fourth consecutive for Hyperbaric, who notched his first Grade I win while covering 1 1/16 miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:41.29. Formal Decree finished three-quarters of a length back in second, followed by Becrux, Proudinsky, Medici Code and even-money favorite Whatsthescript in the field of nine older horses.





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HP Stable Notes: Friday, November 28, 2008


PLETCHER HOPES TO CONTINUE THANKSGIVING WEEK ROLL

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who began the Thanksgiving Day weekend at Hollywood Park with an impressive victory by Bsharpsonata in the $68,400 Playa del Rey Stakes Thursday, hopes to carry that momentum into the Turf Festival Saturday and Sunday.

New York-based Pletcher, who has won five Turf Festival races with just 17 starters, entered Cowboy Cal in the Hollywood Derby and Roshani in The Matriarch, the $500,000 Grade I co-features Sunday. He also entered Bittel Road and Hype in the $100,000-added Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday.





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ZENYATTA GANG LOOKS TO VISIT WINNER’S CIRCLE WITH MADEO


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Nov. 28, 2008) — Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, trainer John Shirreffs and owners/breeders Jerry and Ann Moss have one trip to the Hollywood Park winner’s circle guaranteed and are hoping for a second with Madeo following Sunday’s $500,000 Hollywood Derby.

The connections will make a winner’s circle appearance as Horse of the Year candidate Zenyatta will be paraded between races on Sunday’s program. They hope to return later in the afternoon when Del Mar Derby winner and Oak Tree Derby runner-up Madeo faces eight rivals in the 67th running of the Hollywood Derby.





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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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