Wednesday, August 19 2009


Saratoga Hails the Return of the Mid-Summer Derby with 14th Annual Travers Festival


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For nine days surrounding the season’s most anticipated event, the Saratoga and Greater Capital Region will celebrate with dozens of family events and live entertainment as the Spa City prepares to host one of North America’s oldest stakes races, the Shadwell Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 29.

The Travers Festival, presented by the New York Lottery and the New York Racing Association, will get underway on Saturday, August 22 and concludes on Sunday, August 30.





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Tuesday, August 18 2009


RICE POUNCES AGAIN WITH AWAKINO CAT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Linda Rice continued her summer rampage at Saratoga Race Course on Monday, when her lone entry of the day, Awakino Cat, ran down a blazing pace-setter to win the $70,000 Troy turf sprint stakes for 4-year-olds and up.

Ridden by meet-leading jockey Alan Garcia, Awakino Cat caught Sixthirteen inside the eighth pole and pulled away to win the 5½-furlong race by 1¼ lengths in a fast time of 1:01.39. As the 2.55-to-1 favorite, he paid $7.10 for a $2 win bet.





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STEADY GAINS AT SARATOGA MEET MIDPOINT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Attendance is up 8.4 percent, on-track handle up 12.3 percent, and all-sources handle up 4.8 percent from 2008 totals midway through the 2009 meet at Saratoga Race Course following spectacular summer weather and more of the full, competitive fields seen here since opening day.

· Attendance for the first 18 days of the 2009 meet is 439,713, up from 405,616 in 2008, for a daily average of 24,429 compared to 22,534. (*See Note 1 on attendance below.)





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Monday, August 17 2009


Zenyatta: Destiny’s Child for Mosses, Shirreffs and Team


As if Zenyatta's spectacular deeds didn't already speak volumes, the words coming from those closest to her really define her.

"Amazing," "sweetest," "smart," "classy," "best thing I've ever sat on" are just a few of the accolades that describe the 5-year-old mare who's working on a perfect 12-0 career record for owners Jerry and Ann Moss.





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SCRAMBLE IN THE LAKE PLACID


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With the imposing Grade I winner Gozzip Girl remaining on the sidelines, the Grade 2, $150,000 Lake Placid now has a talented and evenly matched group of eight fillies for the 1 1/8-mile grass race.

Heading the field are Barbara Hunter’s Keertana, winner of the Indiana Downs Distaff last month and the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs in June for trainer Thomas Proctor; Paul Pompa Jr.’s Mary’s Follies, who won the Grade 3 Boiling Spring on June 27 at Monmouth; and Phipps Stable’s Consequence, winner of the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas in May at Arlington Park.





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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT SARATOGA, WEEK #4


WHAT: Week # 4 at the Saratoga Race Course

WHEN: Wednesday, August 19 - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WHERE: Saratoga Race Course





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Monday, August 17, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Rachel Alexandra breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.37 on a foggy Monday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course, after which trainer Steve Asmussen said discussions would begin “in earnest” on where the Preakness-winning filly would make her next start.

Owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, Rachel Alexandra is nominated to four Grade 1 races at Saratoga, two against females and two against males: the $600,000 Alabama for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, the $1 million Shadwell Travers against 3-year-old colts and geldings on August 29, the $400,000 Personal Ensign against fillies and mares on August 30, and the $500,000 Woodward against older males on September 5.





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MINE THAT BIRD TO HAVE THROAT SURGERY; TRAVERS STILL ON RADAR


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will undergo throat surgery to free an entrapped epiglottis discovered after he breezed Monday morning at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old gelding should remain on target for the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers on August 29, trainer Chip Woolley said.

“After Mine That Bird’s work this morning, we scoped him, and he’s got an entrapment of the epiglottis,” said Woolley just three hours after the gelding worked five furlongs in 1:03.83 on the main track with Jamie Theriot aboard. “It’s enough that we’re going to take him to the city [Elmont, N.Y.] tonight and do surgery on him in the morning.





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BANROCK BEST IN SECOND STRAIGHT WEST POINT


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After making his last two starts in open company, Ruth Bedford’s Banrock returned to his New York roots Sunday to win the 30th running of the $110,000 West Point Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, becoming the second horse in the race’s history to win consecutive runnings.

Bounding along in midpack through early fractions of 23.21 and 47.83 set by Mission Approved, Banrock rallied from the outside on the turn and gained steadily through the stretch to win by a neck over Pennington. His final time for 1 1/8th miles was 1:47.48.





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Sunday, August 16 2009


TELLING PULLS OFF A STUNNER IN SWORD DANCER


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Owner Alex Lieblong spoke in the Saratoga Race Course winner’s circle about how as a teen he had been a calf roper and rodeo clown, but on Saturday only he and the rest of the connections to Telling were laughing after the horse came out of nowhere to win the 35th Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational.

Despite placing in three Grade 3 races at Midwestern tracks in his 16-race career, Telling, a Darley-bred 5-year-old bay son of A.P. Indy, had never won a stakes race before. Yet in the Sword Dancer, he closed hard into a fast pace, and as the longest shot in the field of 10 defeated some of the top turf marathoners in training, including two-time race winner Grand Couturier, 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now, and two-time European Group 1 winner Quijano.





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JUVENILE FILLIES RETURN TO THE SPOTLIGHT IN ADIRONDACK


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – One month after her impressive second-place effort in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga Race Course, Peter Callahan’s Beautician is back for another shot in Wednesday’s 93rd running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack going 6½-furlongs.


In the Schuylerville, Beautician made a strong move on the turn, finishing 6¾ lengths ahead of third-place Cowgirl Mally, but 6¼ lengths behind Stonestreet Stables’ Hot Dixie Chick, trained by Steve Asmussen.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Saturday, August 15, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux climbed aboard Summer Bird this morning as the Belmont Stakes winner put in his first serious work for the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers over the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

With hundreds of “Breakfast at Saratoga” patrons and trainer Tim Ice looking on, the chestnut son of 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone went five furlongs in 1:01.97, breezing, the ninth-fastest of 20 moves at the distance.





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