Thursday, March 26 2009

Florida Derby advance

Dunkirk & Quality Road Lead Cast for 58th Florida Derby

Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk, very impressive winning his two starts at Gulfstream Park this season for trainer Todd Pletcher; and Edward P. Evans’ Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Quality Road are the morning-line favorites at 9-5 and 2-1, respectively, for Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1).

The two emerging star 3-year-olds will bid to use the historic 1 1/8 miles fixture to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs five weeks later on Sat., May 2. A field of nine was drawn Wednesday morning for the 58th edition of South Florida’s showcase race.

Read more articles in the Gulfstream category.



Two colts considered to be among the top five Triple Crown prospects by most handicappers will square off in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park at 1 1/8 miles in a race that has produced two major players in Thoroughbred racing over the past two years.

Fountain of Youth victor Quality Road, who was not an early nominee, and super-impressive DUNKIRK, who was, headline a potentially small but quality-filled field of seven to eight. It’s a match-up that many Triple Crown trail observers have been waiting to see. It certainly will serve as a class check for the undefeated DUNKIRK, who will be making his first start in a stakes race, where he has a distinct disadvantage in seasoning, not only against stakes runners but also in his general development.

Read more articles in the Churchill Downs category.



MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. (March 25, 2009) –, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots are inviting members living in the New Orleans region to the track on Saturday, March 28 for a day of exciting live racing and prize giveaways during “ Day at Fair Grounds.”

Online players through who live within 50 miles of Fair Grounds and have made a wager during the past year have been invited to spend the day at the historic New Orleans track. Those active online patrons will enjoy special seating, free food and beverage and participate in prize drawings. They will have opportunities to meet Fair Grounds racing analyst Jessica Pacheco and several Fair Grounds trainers.

Read more articles in the Churchill Downs category.


Local trainer Al Muhairi and his Grandma’s herbal remedies

Emirati trainer, Musabah al Muhairi, who saddles surprise runner Snaafy in the Emirates-sponsored USD $6million Dubai World Cup, knows what to do if one of his charges is under the weather – he uses his grandmother’s herbal remedies.

Al Muhairi won’t reveal the secret recipe, but says he has different remedies for different ailments.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Beckett Groans with No. One

In 12 of the 13 runnings of the $6m Dubai World Cup, stall one, known universally as “the coffin box draw”, has not boasted one horse in the frame. The exception was Electrocutionist, who defied the impossible when winning in 2006.

However, that crumb of comfort did little to cheer up trainer Ralph Beckett, who flies the flag for Britain with Muhannak in the world’s richest race and groaned with disbelief when his Breeders Cup Marathon winner was handed the inside draw.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Purple Moon - The confirmed global traveller

For Purple Moon’s owner Craig Bennett, being in Dubai for Saturday’s Dubai Sheema Classic is another step in an odyssey around the world that he has taken courtesy of his remarkable global campaigner. It is a journey that is all the more surprising given the initial ambitions that Bennett entertained for Purple Moon.

Bought at the Horses in Training sale at Newmarket with a hurdling career in mind, Purple Moon was sent to trainer Nicky Richards. Despite winning and being placed over hurdles, the son of Galileo never gave anyone, Richards included, the impression that he was much enjoying the jumping experiment, and a return to the flat was not long in being decided upon.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


Ajtebi out to make his country proud

Ahmed Ajtebi admits he’s living the dream this week.

The Emirati jockey has made incredible strides over the last year, which sees him with what he believes are six competitive rides on Dubai World Cup night.

“I only started race riding four years ago and now I have some fantastic rides on the biggest stage of all,” said Ajtebi.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.


2009 Dubai World Cup latest - Tracknotes March 26

As a steady rain fell on Nad Al Sheba on Thursday morning, Dubai World Cup favourite Albertus Maximus continued to display bold eagerness, pulling on exercise rider Rob Massey as he galloped strongly around the track under the watchful eyes of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

“That was good,” McLaughlin told Massey as he returned to the gap with the five-year-old son of Albert the Great.

Read more articles in the Meydan category.



ALBANY -- Two days off didn't cool off jockey Russell Baze, who kicked off the racing week by riding four winners at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday.

Baze's four-bagger topped the riding hat trick he recorded last Sunday and pushed his victory total at the 2008-2009 winter/spring meeting to 104. Baze owns a 48-win lead (104-56) over Frank Alvarado in the jockey standings.

Read more articles in the Golden Gate category.


Wednesday, March 25 2009


ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2009) – Big Booster, an 8-year-old gelding who came within less than a length of winning the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in his last start, heads a field of seven long-fused runners in Saturday’s 53rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface.

The high weight at 119 pounds, Big Booster finished third, three-quarters of a length behind victorious Niagara Causeway, in last year’s Tokyo City when attempting a marathon distance for the first time.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.




The Pamplemousse, Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy, the three favorites for the

Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4, each worked on Pro-Ride Wednesday as the countdown began in earnest for the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

Sham Stakes winner The Pamplemousse, expected to be a slight favorite over Pioneerof the Nile in the mile and an eighth Santa Anita Derby, worked six furlongs under regular rider Alex Solis in 1:13 flat.

Read more articles in the Santa Anita category.



OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 25, 2009) James Lopez comes from a family of horsemen; his father J.R. “Joe” Lopez was the leading rider at Hawthorne in 1966 and at Sportsman’s Park in 1967 and 1968 before he retired in 1979. His brother Jeffery gallops horses, and his half-brother, Joe Lopez Jr. is a trainer in Texas. James’ wife Kelli also gallops horses and is attending nursing school in Louisville.

James began riding in 1996 at Retama Park in Texas and later that year moved his tack to Kentucky. Two years later he began riding first call for Cole Norman and then Joe Petalino at Oaklawn Park and finished as the meet’s third-leading rider. That summer he was the leading rider at Louisiana Downs where he won six stakes races. In 1999, he won four added-money events at Oaklawn, but perhaps the biggest victory of his career came at Ellis Park in 2000 when he won the Grade III, $200,000-guaranteed Gardenia Handicap aboard Silent Eskimo.

Read more articles in the Tampa Bay Downs category.


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