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Tuesday, September 04 2012


NEW YORK WATCH: MICROMANAGE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – On the final Saturday of the 2011 Saratoga Race Course meet, a 2-year-old colt named Alpha joined the New York Watch after posting a debut score in a seven-furlong maiden special weight, and 51 weeks later he was in Saratoga’s winner’s circle after dead heating for the win in the Grade 1 Travers.

This year, Micromanage, a Todd Pletcher trainee, posted a five-length debut win in a seven-furlong race on the last Saturday of the meet, and his owner, Mike Repole, hopes history will repeat.





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Monday, September 03 2012


TONY DUTROW FINDS SO MANY WAYS TO WIN G1 SPINAWAY


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Tony Dutrow stood in the winner’s circle opening day after the first stakes race of the 2012 Saratoga Race Course meet, accepting the trophy for the Grade 3 Schuylerville won by a promising 2-year-old filly named So Many Ways.

With summer fading, and just one day left before the seven-week Spa show comes to an end, Dutrow and So Many Ways returned for an encore Sunday, this time after securing an even more prestigious prize – the 121st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway.





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DOMINGUEZ WINS 6, INCLUDING G3 SARANAC; ESTABLISHES SARATOGA MEET VICTORY RECORD


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez won six races on Sunday, including a 10-1 upset in the Grade 3, $150,000 Saranac aboard Unbridled Command, establishing a Saratoga Race Course meet record in the process.

With one day remaining in the 40-day meet, Dominguez, the two-time reigning Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Jockey, has won 66 races. The previous record for wins by a jockey during the Saratoga meet was set by Hall of Famer John Velazquez in 2004. That year, Velazquez won 65 races during the meet, but one of his winners, Tales of Glory, trained by Todd Pletcher, was disqualified after the meet concluded upon testing positive for a banned substance. Velazquez’s official win total for 2004 stands at 64.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Sunday, September 2, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was all smiles Sunday morning as he reported that To Honor and Serve emerged from his victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward in excellent shape.

“He looks great,” said Mott of To Honor and Serve, who won for the eighth time in 15 career starts, with six of those victories coming in graded stakes. “It was nice to see him come back.”





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Sunday, September 02 2012


TO HONOR AND SERVE REPULSES MUCHO MACHO MAN TO WIN G1 WOODWARD


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With nearly two months off to prepare and get acclimated to the upstate New York climate, To Honor and Serve returned to top form Saturday and won the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward for 3-year-olds and up at Saratoga Race Course.

In his prior start, the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap on July 7 at Belmont Park, To Honor and Serve reacted poorly to the 97-degree heat and finished a dull fourth behind Mucho Macho Man. On a picture-perfect late summer day at Saratoga, To Honor and Serve turned the tables on his rival, holding off Mucho Macho Man’s testing stretch challenge to win the Woodward by a neck.





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DOMINUS DOMINATES G2 BERNARD BARUCH IN TURF DEBUT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Making his first start on turf, Dominus led every step under a measured ride from Julien Leparoux and rolled to a 1 ¼-length victory over even-money favorite Data Link in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.

The 4-year-old Smart Strike ridgling, who got an eight-pound break in the weights from the favorite, went to the lead a few strides out of the gate and galloped through unpressured fractions of 24.29, 48.63 and 1:12.26 over the firm turf. Accelerating as he came out of the far turn, Dominus quickly opened up on his five rivals and was never seriously threatened by Data Link’s late run.





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SHACKLEFORD SCRATCHED FROM FOREGO


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Shackleford, the 2-1 morning-line favorite for today’s Grade 1 Forego, $500,000 at Saratoga Race Course, has been scratched.

“He had a little cough last week and a little cough this morning, so we’re going to play it safe,” said Dale Romans, who trains the 4-year-old for Michael Lauffer, W.D. Cubbedge, and Phillips Racing Partnership.





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Saturday, September 01 2012


NEW YORK WATCH: MY HAPPY FACE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – My Happy Face might have come up second-best in her debut, but she gave her connections reason to smile with a 21 ¼-length victory in Friday’s first race.

Owned by Michael Dubb and piloted by Ramon Dominguez, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee was away like a shot to quickly assume a three-length lead. Nearing the half-mile pole her four rivals began to edge closer, but she opened up again on the turn and came into the stretch with a commanding lead, drawing away under no encouragement from her jockey. She completed 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.55 and rewarded her backers with a $2.40 win payoff as the 1-5 favorite.





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HOPING FOR BIGGER THINGS TO COME IN G2 THREE CHIMNEYS HOPEFUL; HIT IT RICH FAVORED IN G3 GLENS FALLS


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking to cap an extraordinary meet at Saratoga Race Course when he sends out a trio of talented 2-year-olds in Monday’s 108th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful.

A “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on November 3, the seven-furlong Three Chimneys Hopeful is joined on the 11-race Labor Day card by the Grade 3, $150,000 Glens Falls.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, August 31, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Palace Malice, a son of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, will not run in the Grade 2, $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes on Monday because of a pronounced bucked shin.

“He bucked his shins and he’ll be off for a little while,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of the Dogwood Stable colt, who missed by a half-length when second in his debut to Carried Interest at Belmont Park and then won a 6 ½-furlong maiden race by 3 ½ lengths on August 4 at the Spa.





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Friday, August 31 2012


BALANCE THE BOOKS RALLIES TO WIN G2 WITH ANTICIPATION


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Balance the Books, last of nine turning for home, swept widest of all down the stretch to catch front-running Joha in the shadow of the wire and win Thursday afternoon’s Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation at Saratoga Race Course.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Balance the Books left from the far outside post and quickly dropped toward the back of the pack as Joha led the field of 2-year-olds through fractions of 23.60, 47.71 and 1:12.08 over a turf course rated “firm.” After bumping with Hightail as he swept six-wide on the turn, Balance the Books powered straight down the middle of the course and hit the wire a head in front of the pacesetter.





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PLETCHER LOOKS TO CONTINUE 2YO SUCCESS IN G1 SPINAWAY; HALL OF FAME WINNER QUICK WIT RETURNS IN G3


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Others have had their say, but trainer Todd Pletcher has largely held the last word on 2-year-old racing this summer at Saratoga Race Course.

Heading into Thursday’s race card, Pletcher had sent 2-year-olds into the starting gate 55 times and come away victorious 20 times for a .360 batting average.





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