Saturday, July 24 2010


Saratoga Drenched but All-Sources Handle Down Only 6.1 Percent Over 2009 Opener


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Steady rain starting mid-morning produced declines in handle and attendance on Opening Day of the expanded Saratoga Race Course meet over the 2009 opener but today’s totals still overwhelmed last year’s corresponding final Friday card at Belmont Park.

On-track handle totaled 3,130,756, a 14.3 percent decrease over $3,651,222 on Opening Day 2009 but a 289 percent increase over $804,869 for the 2009 Belmont Park Friday.





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LE MI GEAUX SHAKES LOOSE IN SCHUYLERVILLE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Le Mi Geaux and apprentice jockey Frederic Lenclud pulled off an upset Friday afternoon in the first graded stakes race at Saratoga Race Course, splashing to a 1 1/2-length victory over favored Stopspendingmaria to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville on Opening Day.

After breaking awkwardly, the daughter of First Samurai settled in fourth as Stopspendingmaria was hounded through fractions of 21.81 and 45.87 by Let’s Get Fiscal and Show Me the Bling. Rounding the turn, Lenclud kept Le Mi Geaux well off the rail and she closed willingly through the stretch to pass the embattled leaders, hitting the wire in 1:13.67 over a sloppy track.





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VINEYARD HAVEN SHARP IN RETURN EFFORT AT SARATOGA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Vineyard Haven returned from a seven-month absence to post an emphatic victory in a deep renewal of the $75,000 James Marvin, the first stakes race of the 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course.

Making his first start since finishing third in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap on Thanksgiving weekend, Vineyard Haven broke well from post position 3 and ran an opening quarter in 22.41 while receiving pressure from Flat Bold. Following a half in 45.03, the gray put away Flat Bold and was hand-urged in the stretch to score by 1 ¾ lengths as Half Metal Jacket rallied to finish second.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE INVOKES LUCK O’ THE IRISH WITH MID-SUMMER ST. PATRICK’S CELEBRATION


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Saratoga Race Course is hoping to bring horseracing fans a double-dose of charm during the second annual Mid-Summer St. Patrick's Day on Thursday, July 29. Presented by Bailey's, the day-long celebration of Irish culture and heritage will feature traditional Irish food and drink as well as Irish music, dance and entertainment.

Fans will double their luck with the first giveaway of the season, a special Irish-themed, short-sleeve t-shirt, free with paid admission, while supplies last.





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TOP JOCKEYS FLOCK TO SARATOGA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – It should be no surprise that Saratoga Race Course, which boasts a strong daily purse distribution and the finest stakes program in North America, has attracted a deep colony of jockeys.

Ramon Dominguez has won the last nine riding titles at NYRA racetracks, and the native of Venezuela is vying for his second consecutive Saratoga championship. Currently the leading jockey in North America in both wins and earnings, Dominguez has ample competition this year at the Spa.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, July 23, 2010


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Todd Pletcher has already won six Saratoga training titles, and a deep barn will help his chances of garnering his seventh crown in 2010. Saratoga will offer six graded stakes between July 28 and August 2, and Pletcher will have leading contenders in five of those races.

Pletcher will get things started on Wednesday, July 28 in the Grade 3 Lake George, a turf test for 3-year-old fillies, with Caminadora, who upset the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs at 32-1.





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Friday, July 23 2010


BAIL OUT THE CAT PREPARES TO POUNCE IN SANFORD


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Bail Out the Cat will attempt to reward his backers with some liquid assets when he takes on seven other 2-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course in Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford.

The odds-on favorite in his lone previous effort, Bail Out the Cat dueled for early supremacy and took command in the stretch to win by 2 ¼ lengths under a hand ride in the mud at Belmont Park June 10.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Thursday, July 22, 2010


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Lael Stables’ My Princess Jess, beaten less than a length by Proviso when third in the Grade 1 Just a Game on June 5, is targeting the Grade 1 Diana on Saturday, July 21, a race in which she finished fifth last year. The 5-year-old mare, 5-3-4 from 17 lifetime starts, will be seeking her first victory since taking the Grade 3 Beaugay at Belmont Park last May.

“She is doing very well,” said trainer Barclay Tagg of My Princess Jess, who worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:01 over the Belmont Park turf before shipping north. “She’ll work again here before the race, hopefully this weekend.”





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Thursday, July 22 2010


DEVIL MAY CARE HEADS FIELD IN BETFAIR TVG COACHING CLUB


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A full field of eight will line up for Saturday’s 94th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks as the race takes its new place on the just-expanded 40-day calendar at Saratoga Race Course.

Heading the group is Glencrest Farm’s dual Grade 1 winner Devil May Care, who most recently prevailed by 1 ¼ lengths in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park on June 26. After an impressive score in the Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream Park in March, trainer Todd Pletcher opted to run the daughter of Malibu Moon against colts in the Kentucky Derby, in which she finished 10th. Given time after the Derby to prepare for the Mother Goose, she turned in a sharp effort for her second career Grade 1 win and Pletcher is pleased with her progress since.





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VINEYARD HAVEN RETURNS IN JAMES MARVIN


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Vineyard Haven, unraced since finishing a close third in Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack in November, will make his 2010 debut this Friday, Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course, in the $75,000 James Marvin, which attracted six graded stakes winners among 10 total entrants.

After closing his juvenile season with victories in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful and Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, Vineyard Haven was acquired by Godolphin Stable and shipped to Dubai where he finished fourth in the 2009 Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas. Sent back to North America, the gray was first under the finish line in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga but was placed second for interference. He made one more start prior to the Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile, closing furiously along the rail to win the Grade 1 De Francis Dash at Laurel.





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MINE THAT BIRD WORKS FOR WHITNEY


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby, worked a mile Wednesday morning at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for his next start, the Grade 1 Whitney on Saturday, August 7.

With Calvin Borel aboard, the 4-year-old gelded son of Birdstone covered the mile in 1:40.14 over the Oklahoma Training Track.





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Wednesday, July 21 2010


SCHUYLERVILLE KICKS OFF STAKES ACTION IN SPA OPENER


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The gates open at Saratoga Race Course for the 142nd time on Friday, and in keeping with tradition, 2-year-old fillies take center stage in the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville, the first of 52 stakes scheduled for the meet.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, a six-time winner of the Saratoga training title, looks to get things off to a flying start as he sends out Repole Stable’s Stopspendingmaria in the six-furlong Schuylerville, which drew a field of seven for its 92nd running.





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