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Wednesday, August 22 2012


THE 12th ANNUAL TRAVERS CELEBRATION RETURNS TO CELEBRATE MID-SUMMER DERBY


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The 12th annual Travers Celebration – the premier evening affair at Saratoga Race Course – will return once again to celebrate the arrival of the 143rd edition of the Mid-Summer Derby on Thursday, August 23 from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

The official party of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers, the Travers Celebration supports the Backstretch Employee Service Team, the Times Union Hope Fund and its newest beneficiary, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.





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Tuesday, August 21 2012


TURBULENT DESCENT HOPING FOR SMOOTH RETURN IN BALLERINA


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Turbulent Descent returns to the scene of one of her most impressive victories when she makes her second start of the year in Friday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course.

A “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the seven-furlong Ballerina drew a field of seven for its 34th running, including multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky, who is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the Ballerina but is more likely to run in Sunday’s Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign Invitational.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Monday, August 20, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Ian Wilkes declared Neck ‘n Neck ready for next Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Travers after the Grade 2 Jim Dandy runner-up breezed five furlongs in 1:00.09 on Monday.

“He did it well in hand. He never extended himself,” said Wilkes. “He just floated around there, finished up down the lane good, galloped out good, pulled up happy, walked off the track happy. I’m happy.”





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Monday, August 20 2012


STEPHANIE’S KITTEN CLAWS HER WAY TO VICTORY IN G2 WOODFORD RESERVE LAKE PLACID


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Confidently ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, even-money favorite Stephanie’s Kitten burst through an opening in deep stretch and powered to a half-length victory over Centre Court in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid at Saratoga Race Course.

Saving ground along the rail in third as Medolina led through an opening quarter-mile in 23.62 seconds, a half in 48.88 and three-quarters in 1:13.25, Stephanie’s Kitten was ready to pounce but had nowhere to go as the field of six 3-year-old turf fillies barreled down the lane. Patiently waiting behind horses, Velazquez finally spotted an opportunity inside the eighth pole and guided the Kitten’s Joy filly to the outside, where she kicked into high gear en route to the win.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Sunday, August 19, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was still aglow this morning on the heels of Questing’s dazzling nine-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Alabama, which earned the 3-year-old Godolphin filly a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 106.

“Since I’ve been training, that was one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever had,” said McLaughlin. “We won by 20 lengths in Dubai years ago with a horse named Key of Luck. Cigar ran 30 minutes later, we ran 1 ¼ miles on the dirt faster than Cigar did. That was the most impressive, or on the same level. It was like Questing went out in the morning and went 1 ¼ miles on her own.”





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Sunday, August 19 2012


QUESTING SEIZES 3YO FILLY DIVISION LEAD WITH ALABAMA ROMP


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Questing, who as of June was eligible for the first allowance condition, took command of the 3-year-old filly division with a front-running tour de force Saturday in the 132nd running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama at Saratoga Race Course.

“She’s definitely the best 3-year-old filly in America on the dirt,” said her trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin.





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POINT OF ENTRY DOMINANT IN SWORD DANCER (G1)


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With equal parts flair and power, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps’ homebred colt Point of Entry powered through the stretch Saturday and easily won the Grade 1, $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Race Course.

The victory in the 38th running of the 1 ½-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up solidified Point of Entry’s standing as one of the elite turf horses in the country.





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JACKSON BEND APPEARS OK AFTER MORNING TRAINING SCARE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Multiple Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend was involved in a mishap Saturday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course, but appears to have sustained no serious injuries.

“Jackson [Bend] and [exercise rider] Carlos [Correa] were going on their normal morning gallop, and another horse came on at the gap and ran right into him,” said Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, who added that Correa was uninjured in the collision. “I didn’t see it. Thank God I didn’t see it.





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Saturday, August 18 2012


SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: Friday, August 17, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Godolphin Racing’s Alpha turned in his final serious work for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes on Friday at Saratoga Race Course, covering a half-mile over the main track in 48.91 under exercise rider Rob Massey.

“He worked well,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “I had him galloping out in 1:01 and 4/5. Officially I think they said 1:02 and 1/5, but he went great and all systems are go. Saturday is normally the day we work, but last week we worked Thursday because of weather and there’s chance of rain again today. The track had some moisture in it, but he handled it well.”





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Tuesday, August 14 2012


HANDLE INCREASES HOLD STEADY INTO SECOND HALF AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Nationwide wagering on Saratoga races remains up compared to 2011 through the first 22 days of the 40-day meet, despite wet weekend weather which caused 13 of 17 scheduled turf races to be moved to the main track from Friday through Sunday.

All-sources handle, which includes wagers on Saratoga races both on-track and from simulcast facilities across the country, was $310,065,500, up 6.5 percent from $291,181,532 in 2011, according to The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).





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DOMINGUEZ WINS 4, STRETCHES LEAD IN SPA JOCKEY STANDINGS


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For the second time in five days, Ramon Dominguez won four races at Saratoga Race Course on Monday to widen his lead in the jockey standings.

With 39 wins through the first four weeks of the meet, Dominguez holds an 18-race lead over Javier Castellano and Jose Lezcano, who are tied for second in the jockey standings with 21 wins apiece.





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SARATOGA RACE COURSE NOTES: August 13, 2012


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Liaison, third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, will be Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s lone representative in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers as Zayat Stables’ Paynter has been declared from the Mid-Summer Derby.

Paynter, second in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes to Union Rags, won the Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park and two days later spiked a fever. Baffert had the colt examined at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Center in Ringoes, N.J., and later shipped him to Belmont Park.





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