Monday, March 09 2009
TRACK SUPERINTENDENT BARAJAS LEAVING ARLINGTON
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 9, 2009) – Arlington Park President Roy Arnold announced that longtime track superintendent Javier Barajas is leaving Arlington to accept a position with the Dubai Racing Club.
“Javier’s care in the maintenance of Arlington Park’s turf course is a pivotal reason it has long been hailed as one of the world’s best and we will miss him,” Arnold said. “He also played a prime role in the successful installation of our Polytrack synthetic surface in 2007. Based on the reputation he earned during his many years as track superintendent at Arlington, we know Javier will rise to the challenges presented by his new role with the Dubai Racing Club and we wish him well.”
APRIL PRIDE TAKES CHINA DOLL AS 7-10 CHOICE SAUCEY EVENING FOURTH
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2009) – A close third behind sophomore superstar Stardom Bound in last month’s Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes, 7-10 favorite Saucey Evening was expected to have an easy time of it Sunday in Santa Anita’s $78,460 China Doll Stakes at one mile on turf, but she wound up a distant fourth behind British-import April Pride.
The 7-2 second choice in a field of seven 3-year-olds, April Pride rallied strongly around the far turn under David Flores and crossed the wire two lengths ahead of Acting Lady with Century Park another length back in third. The winning time was 1:35.40.
STABLE NOTES, SUNDAY, MARCH 8TH, 2009
‘ALL SYSTEMS GO’ FOR PIONEEROF THE NILE IN SAN FELIPE STAKES
Leading Triple Crown contender Pioneerof the Nile worked five furlongs on Pro-Ride Sunday morning in a bullet :58.80 under regular rider Garrett Gomez for next Saturday’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
“He went really nice,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “All systems are go.” The San Felipe is expected to have a small field. Trainer Ronny Werner reportedly is considering Pray for Action for the West Coast’s final major prep to the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. Pray for Action is a Florida-bred son of Songandaprayer who has been training at the Fair Grounds.
Peisinoe Goes Wire-to-Wire in Ocala Stakes Sunday
Royal Pegasus LLC’s 4-year-old filly Peisinoe broke alertly under jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan in Sunday’s $75,000 Ocala Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park and never was headed as she sped to a one-length victory over Zayat Stable’s Zee Zee in the one-mile test.
A daughter of Yes It’s True, Peisinoe had stumbled at the start in her last race, finishing sixth in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint here on Jan. 24 in her first start for trainer Ian Wilkes after being purchased at the Fasig-Tipton November sales. She paid $13.40 to win and was timed in 1:37:47 over the fast track.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (3.9.09)
EAST/WEST COAST INVADER I WANT REVENGE DOMINATES GOTHAM IN DIRT DEBUT
Aqueduct’s $250,000 Gotham Stakes (Grade III) last produced a winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) when the legendary Secretariat took both races in 1973, but David J. Lanzman’s homebred I Want Revenge made another sweep of those races seem to be at least possible when romped to an 8 ½-length victory Saturday in New York’s first major prep for the “Run for the Roses.”
The well-named son of Stephen Got Even had been chasing West Coast leader Pioneerof the Nile in California races run over synthetic surfaces, but trainer Jeff Mullins and 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo believed that the colt might move forward if given the chance to run on conventional dirt. It was clear at the head of the Aqueduct stretch that their evaluations were perfect as I Want Revenge put away favored Mr. Fantasy following a spirited early duel and easily drew clear. Imperial Council, who was far back early, rallied to edge the favorite for second as I Want Revenge hit the finish in strong time of 1:42.65 over a “fast” track.
FESTIVAL DAY PROBABLE STARTERS POST FINAL WORKOUTS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 8, 2009) Horses thought to be preparing for Saturday’s Festival Day, which includes the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks, the Grade III $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes and the $75,000 Turf Dash, have put in their final works before the big day.
General Quarters, who captured the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here last month, worked five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer/owner Thomas McCarthy on Saturday morning. The Sky Mesa colt was the fastest of 12 works for that distance. Musket Man, who was third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, worked five furlongs in a minute flat on Sunday morning for last year’s Tampa Bay Derby winning owner Eric Fein.
Quaolina takes Group 1 Liwa Oasis
Champion Trainer Doug Watson saddled two winners from two runners at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening, including Quaolina, the impressive winner of the featured Group 1 Liwa Oasis over 1400m.
Kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the Capital’s 13th meeting of the season was their third last and Watson’s double puts him within touching distance of retaining his crown.
Richard Hills was in the saddle on Quaolina, already a Group 1 winner in the UK and opening her UAE account at the second attempt having chased home Fryvolous last time.
FORMER TRAINER, RACING OFFICIAL BOB McGRATH PASSES AT AGE 79
Bob McGrath, who trained thoroughbred racehorses in Northern California for 30 years and also served as a racing official at Bay Area tracks, died of heart failure at his home in Hayward early Sunday morning. McGrath was
"He went peacefully in his sleep," said McGrath's wife, Jan.
McGrath, a native of Oakland, followed in the footsteps of his father, Robert, in becoming a trainer. Bob trained horses in the Bay Area from 1962-1992 and was best known for his work with the stakes-placed mare Karandebs Big Kat, who campaigned in the mid-1980s.
Sunday, March 08 2009
EINSTEIN OUTSMARTS ‘EM IN SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Dirt, grass, a rug, none of that seems relative to Einstein's racing ability.
Running for the first time on a synthetic surface, the Brazilian-bred whiz turned in a virtually picture-perfect performance to win Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.
"He's a good horse on the turf. He's a good horse on the dirt. He's a good horse on anything," jockey Julien Leparoux said. "We didn't really know about this track, but we were pretty sure he was going to handle it.
"And he did."
Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein's trainer, said, "He rode him beautifully. It's an unbelievable feeling, just means the world to me. Einstein was very comfortable with this track from the time he got here."
Saturday, March 07 2009
I WANT REVENGE COMES EAST TO DOMINATE GOTHAM
Judging from his 8 ½-length victory Saturday afternoon in Aqueduct Racetrack’s 57th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Stakes for three-year-olds, I Want Revenge wants a whole lot more.
The California invader, making his first start on natural dirt after a 1-1-4 record from six starts on synthetic surfaces, stamped himself as a player to be reckoned with for New York’s last major Kentucky Derby prep, the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on Saturday, April 4.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
AH DAY GETS A HEAD UP IN THE TOBOGGAN
Ah Day, making his second career start at Aqueduct, avenged his third-place finish in the 2007 Grade 1 Carter Handicap by rallying off a hot pace to defeat fellow Maryland invader Eternal Star by a head in Saturday’s 116th running of the Grade 3, $110,700 Toboggan Stakes at six furlongs on Aqueduct’ Racetrack’s fast inner dirt track.
“He ran awesome,” said Avon Thorpe, assistant to winning trainer King T. Leatherbury. “He’s been training good. He came back slowly and took his time. Then, he just did what he normally does – ran big.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct
I lost My Choo Rallies to Capture Honey Fox
Making her first start since August at Saratoga, Flying Zee Stable’s 4-year-old homebred filly I Lost My Choo swung out around rivals on the far turn and rallied through the stretch to a two-length victory over Linda Shanahan’s 50-1 Rustic Flame in the $100,000 Honey Fox Stakes (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by jockey Jose Lezcano, I Lost My Choo had won all three of her starts over the Gulfstream course last winter for trainer Phil Serpe and made it 4-for-4 in her first start since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) run over yielding ground at Saratoga on Aug. 15.