Thursday, April 09 2009
Godolphin’s Desert Party, Regal Ransom Arrive for Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 9, 2009) – The two horses that represent the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) hopes of Dubai-based Godolphin are settling into new surroundings at Churchill Downs after a late afternoon arrival on Thursday at the historic home of the “Run for the Roses.” Earlier in the day, likely Kentucky Oaks (GI) favorite Rachel Alexandra returned to her home track following an overnight van ride from Oaklawn Park, where she romped in the Fantasy Stakes (GII) on Sunday.
Desert Party, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas and last year’s Sanford (GII) at Saratoga, and Regal Ransom, who upset his stablemate in the $2 million UAE Derby (GII) on March 28 at Nad Al Sheba, arrived by van at the quarantine facility in Barn 45 at Churchill Downs shortly after 5 p.m. (EDT).
SALZMAN TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY SETS TRACK RECORD IN DEBUT
LAUREL, MD. 04-09-09---Gator Prowl won the first two-year-old race of the year in Maryland by a whopping 11-1/2 lengths in 52.11, breaking a 45-year-old track record for the 4-1/2 furlong distance over the main track at Laurel Park.
The daughter of Roar of the Tiger is trained and co-owned by John Salzman, Jr. It is the eighth time this decade that a Salzman (John Sr., Tim and John Jr.) conditioned the first juvenile winner of the year in the state.
Read more articles in the Laurel
Informed Decision Edges Ventura In Vinery Madison Stakes
Lexington, Ky. (April 9, 2009)— Informed Decision returned from a 5 ½-month layoff Thursday at Keeneland to upset heavily favored Ventura in the $300,000, Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes.
Ventura, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner, took the lead in deep stretch under jockey Garrett Gomez but Informed Decision and John Velazquez rallied in the final 100 yards of the seven-furlong race for a head victory.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
SPACIOUS NORTH PARK NEW SITE FOR FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 9, 2009) — Hollywood Park will move its Friday night concert series to the spacious North Park to better accommodate patrons at the 2009 Spring/Summer Meet.
KC and the Sunshine Band will be the first to appear with a performance following the final race on Friday, April 24. First post time is at 7:05 p.m.
TOP CALIFORNIA SIRE UNUSUAL HEAT REPRESENTED BY THREE WINNERS AT GGF
ALBANY -- The top California sire Unusual Heat had to be a proud father following the conclusion of Wednesday's racing at Golden Gate Fields.
The 4-year-old filly Mystical Heat, the 6-year-old gelding Unusual Treasure, and the 4-year-old colt Quite Unusual - all sired by Unusual Heat - won races to give their papa a three-win afternoon.
Barn Notes 4-8-2009
Pastel Gal Carries Sackatoga Colors into Deep South Beach Water
Trainer Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stable general partner Jack Knowlton thought that 5-year-old Pastel Gal earned a chance in a black-type race after two come-from-behind allowance victories this season at Gulfstream Park, and Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf was their chosen target.
“It looks like the water is pretty deep in there,” said Knowlton Thursday morning. “But we’re here and she’s never been better, so we’ll take our chances. I talked to Robin (assistant trainer Robin Smullen) after the entries came out and she said that it looked like a Grade 2 stakes.
Keeneland Barn Notes—Thursday, April 9, 2009
MAFAAZ HAS MEET AND GREET WITH STARTING GATE CREW
Shadwell Stable’s Mafaaz (GB), who will race Saturday in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in his Amerian debut, visited the starting gate Thursday morning at Keeneland and then galloped a mile and a quarter under exercise rider Miguel Moya.
“He just walked in the there and backed right out,” said Les Reynolds, head traveling lad for trainer John Gosden. “We just wanted him to get used to the gate here and let the gate personnel see him.
Read more articles in the Keeneland
NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance
In October 2008, the NTRA announced the formation of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
The Alliance’s mission is to improve the safety of horse racing, protect the sport’s integrity and increase public awareness of horse racing’s safety and integrity programs.
The Alliance supports the broader mission of the NTRA – to improve the economics of horse racing and improve the sport’s popularity – by seeking to reduce racehorse injuries and by speaking on behalf of the industry on issues associated with equine athletic competition.
CHURCHILL DOWNS RECEIVES ACCREDITATION FOLLOWING REVIEW
At a press conference today at Churchill Downs, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that the Louisville, Ky., racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a comprehensive review of racing operations at the facility. Churchill Downs is the first track to be so designated by the Alliance.
The accreditation of Churchill Downs was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with Churchill’s completion of a 48-page written application. Churchill Downs then hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met with the Alliance’s independent monitor, The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, a former Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. The on-site review was led by Jennifer Durenberger, DVM; racing official Richard J. Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. Thompson also attended and observed the on-site review.
FREE GENERAL ADMISSION, DOLLAR SPECIALS TO BE INTRODUCED THURSDAYS
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 8, 2009) — General Admission will be free on Thursdays during the 65-day Spring/Summer Meet at Hollywood Park, which opens Wednesday, April 22.
The Thursday programs will also feature $1 hot dogs and sodas through the final Hollywood Park race and $1 beers from noon until 3 p.m.
Patrick Mahony promoted to NYRA Senior Vice President
A respected expert in Pari-Mutuel operations, Patrick Mahony has been promoted to the post of Senior Vice President of Mutuels, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today. His previous title had been Vice President of Pari-Mutuel Operations. Mahony joined NYRA in 2003 after a distinguished career at Gulfstream Park, Calder, Hialeah, Atlantic City Race Track, Garden State Race Track, and Monmouth Park.
“At NYRA, Pat has worked diligently to position our Mutuel department as one of the finest in the industry,” NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward said. “He’s put a solid management team in place while establishing the highest standards of credibility and integrity. In addition, Pat has worked with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and industry organizations on national tote strategies and protocols.”
Autrey targets DelPark
Wilmington, Del., April 9, 2009 — Cody Autrey, a perennial top trainer in the Midwest, is among some of the new trainers targeting Delaware Park for the upcoming 72nd live race meeting. The 116-day live race season opens on Saturday, April 25 and ends on Saturday, November 7. Post time for the first race has been set at 1:15 p.m.
Since finishing third in the trainer standings at the recently concluded Fair Grounds meet, Autrey started sending horses to Delaware Park. By the beginning of the season at the Stanton-oval, Autrey should have approximately 35 horses on the grounds. In past years, the native of Waxahachie, Texas, has split his operation between Churchill Downs and Lone Star Park after the Fair Grounds. But, this year, the 29-year-old who won his first career race at Retama Park on September 14, 2000, will split his stable sending a division to Churchill Downs and for the first time in his career sending a division to the east coast.