Friday, March 13 2009
STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, MARCH 13TH, 2009
BAFFERT HAS SAN FELIPE PRIORITIES IN ORDER; NEW BAY TO RUN
Odds and logic say Pioneerof the Nile will win Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes. At 2-5 on the morning line, the 3-year-old son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker would appear to outclass his handful of rivals in the Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles, but aside from victory, Bob Baffert has other priorities. The 56-year-old trainer, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby who is eligible for the Hall of Fame this year, wants a safe trip.
Since early on, Baffert has had designs on the Run for the Roses on May 2 for Pioneerof the Nile. With enough graded earnings in his overall bankroll of $664,200 to assure a berth in the mile and a quarter classic at Churchill Downs, the $290,000 colt owned by Ahmed Zayat already has punched his ticket to the Big Dance.
Gulfstream Barn Notes for Friday, March 13
Pan American & Orchid Marathons Next Weekend at Gulfstream
The emphasis will be on stamina next weekend at Gulfstream Park with renewals of the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3) on Saturday and $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) on Sunday, companion events to be run at 1 ½ miles on turf, the latter for fillies and mares.
Leading the list of nominees and a probable starter in the 48th edition of the Pan American is Patricia Generazio’s 6-year-old gelding Presious Passion, winner of the race last year before scoring the biggest victory of his career in the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park over the summer for trainer Mary Hartmann.
Watson nabs Jebel Ali Sprint with Hammadi
Sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell operation, Friday’s 1000m Jebel Ali Sprint, the track’s final Listed race of the afternoon was won in thrilling fashion by Doug Watson’s Hammadi who thwarted Mike De Kock’s Frosty Secret by the narrowest of margins.
Fernando Jara rode the winner who denied Frankie Dettori on the runner-up in one of the closest finishes of the season, to the delight of Watson who said: “This horse has a lot of speed and it is a great result for the whole team – especially owner Malih Al Basti who is such a good supporter of the yard.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.13.98)
SOUTH/FRIESAN FIRE GOES FOR FAIR GROUNDS ‘HAT TRICK’ IN LOUISIANA DERBY
Trainer Larry Jones will be a busy man on Saturday as he send his pair of major contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) into important prep races in two states.
Jones’ representative in the 96th running of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds is Friesan Fire, a chestnut son of A.P. Indy who is going for a sweep of the New Orleans’ track’s three major races for 3-year-olds. Friesan Fire notched earlier wins in the Lecomte (GIII) and the Risen Star (GIII) and is the 5-2 morning line favorite to add the Louisiana Derby to his collection of Fair Grounds triumphs.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (3.13.09)
SOUTH/RACHEL ALEXANDRA PREPS FOR FAIR GROUNDS OAKS
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, a dominant winner of Churchill Downs’ Golden Rod (GII) and Oaklawn Park’s Martha Washington in her last two starts, will be the odds-on choice when she faces five rivals in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) at Fair Grounds.
If the Hal Wiggins-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro wins the 1 1/16-mile race, she will to emulate 2008 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Proud Spell, who went on to win the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (GI), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, and earn the Eclipse Award that honored her as America’s finest 3-year-old filly.
OLD FASHIONED, DUNKIRK, ‘ALL OTHERS’ FAVORED ON OPENING DAY OF DERBY FUTURES POOL 2
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 12, 2009) – A pair of unbeaten horses – one accomplished and the other relatively untested, and the betting interest that represents “all others” drew the strongest fan support on the opening day of second of three pools in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”),
Three wagering interests stood at odds of 5-1 at the end of the opening day o the four-day Derby Future Pool. They are Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned, winner of the Remsen (Grade II) and Southwest (GIII); Dunkirk, a $3.7-million sales purchase who is perfect in two career starts but untested in stakes competition; and the mutuel field, which represents all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses on the Pool 2 betting roster. The original list of 24 betting interest was reduced by one when betting was suspended prior to the opening of the pool on Big Drama (#3) when his trainer announced the colt was no longer being considered as a candidate for America’s greatest race.
JUSTWHISTEDIXIE SOLID CHOICE OVER STARDOM BOUND, RACHEL ALEXANDRA IN OAKS FUTURES OPENER
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 12, 2009) – Justwhistledixie, an easy winner of the Davona Dale (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park, was a surprise favorite over morning line choices Stardom Bound and Rachel Alexandra following Thursday’s opening day of betting in Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”).
West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and Dee Hubbard’s daughter of Dixie Union stood as the 9-5 fan’s choice after the opening session of the four-day wager. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained filly won the March 1 Davona Dale by 3 3/4 lengths for her fourth consecutive victory. She had been listed as a 12-1 risk in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Stardom Bound, a five-time Grade I stakes winner and the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, was the 9-2 second choice and Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs and a heavy favorite in Saturday’s Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), was the 5-1 third choice at the conclusion of Thursday’s betting.
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $81,584 INTO FRIDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 12, 2009)—On a day that saw former San Diego Charger and Dallas Cowboy offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese celebrate his 73rd birthday, plenty of long-distance bombs were the rule of the pari-mutuel day, resulting in a Pick Six carryover of $81,584 into Friday at Santa Anita. The carryover is the 22nd in 56 racing days and it’s expected Friday’s total pool will reach $500,000.
The Pick Six got underway in race three, with Warrens Stormalert prevailing under Michael Baze. Conditioned by Jorge Gutierrez, the 3-year-old California-bred colt by Stormed returned $7.20 to win. He’s owned by his breeder, Benjamin Warren.
MADEO IS BACK, RUNS OFF WITH THURSDAY’S KINGS HIGHWAY PURSE
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2009) – Pulled up by jockey Mike Smith after taking a bad step in the Grade II San Fernando Stakes on Jan. 17, Madeo got back in stride Thursday with a powerful triumph in Santa Anita’s $64,200 King’s Highway Purse at one mile on turf.
The 4-year-old gelding, who had taken last summer’s Grade II Del Mar Derby, seemed to explode on the far outside through the stretch while racing to a two-length victory over Sky Cape with Safety Zone another half-length back in third.
Thursday, March 12 2009
Any Limit vs. Game Face Round 3 in Inside Information Sunday
The ‘Rubber Match’ between Joseph V. Shields, Jr’s 6-year-old mare Any Limit and Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face is set for Sunday’s $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park after the two traded trips to the winners’ circle in a pair Graded stakes sprints earlier in the meet.
A field of six fillies and mares was drawn for the Inside Information, formerly known as the Shirley Jones Handicap, and the seven-furlong test will share the spotlight on Sunday’s program with the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies on turf.
Barn Notes 3-12
Zito Hot for Cool Coal Man in the Gulfstream Park Handicap
With an undefeated record at Gulfstream Park and one of the fastest performances of the year already under his belt, Robert LaPenta’s 4-year-old colt Cool Coal Man is poised for a big effort in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) Saturday.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito is excited to send the son of Mineshaft into the 65th running of the storied race as it shifts to one mile for the first time this year. He eagerly points out how impressive Cool Coal Man ran in his 2009 debut winning an optional/allowance race by 2 ¼ lengths going 6 ½ furlongs here Jan. 28.
JOCKEY BAZE RECORDS ANOTHER TRIPLE AT GOLDEN GATE FIELD
ALBANY -- Leading jockey Russell Baze recorded another riding triple at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.
Baze closed last week's racing with a hat trick on Sunday and then opened this week's racing by riding three winners on Wednesday.
Thursday, Baze made it three straight three-win afternoons when he captured the second race with Green Card James ($2.80), the fourth with Cantankerous Clyde ($4.00) and the sixth with Penuche Royale ($3.20). Green Card James and Cantankerous Clyde are both trained by Southern California-based Craig Dollase.