Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here They Come: BC Draws 166 Pre-Entries


Here They Come: BC Draws 166 Pre-Entries
Zenyatta has been pre-entered in both the Classic and the Ladies Classic.

A total of 166 horses were pre-entered Oct. 26 for the 2009 Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be run Nov. 6 and 7 at Santa Anita. The 14 races drew 203 pre-entries.

Because of the success of the Europeans at Santa Anita in 2008, there was a large turnout, as expected, for this year’s event. But in an odd turn of events, Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore, who normally dominate the European list, have pre-entered seven horses, with five of them in “dirt” races to be run over the synthetic Pro-Ride surface. The only two pre-entered in turf races were in the two juvenile turf events. Surprisingly, they have nothing in the grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf, TVG Mile, or Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf.

It was originally thought that O’Brien was pointing both Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), but he has cross-entered Mastercraftsman in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) with a first preference in that event. Rip Van Winkle has had foot issues this year, but raced successfully through all of them, and Mastercraftsman will be his back-up for the Classic.

Several of the traditional races came up light in numbers. The Ladies Classic (gr. I) has nine pre-entered horses, with only seven listed as first preference. The Turf also has nine pre-entered, with eight listed as first preference, and the Filly & Mare Turf has 10 pre-entered, with eight as first preference. Even the normally competitive Sentient Jet Sprint (gr. I) drew only 11 pre-entries, with nine as first preference. The United States will be reperesented by four horses in the Turf, with the only two name horses being Presious Passion and Telling.

To demonstrate the chaotic nature of the Dirt Mile, the race drew 21 pre-entries, but only 12 with first preference. This race has drawn cross-entered horses from the Classic, the Mile, the Sprint, the Turf Sprint, and even the Turf.

The Turf Sprint drew 22 pre-entries, and the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf 20.

Godolphin, who has been red-hot since late July, has a powerful contingent of 14 horses, most of them based in America, with several top-class runners from Europe. They could be represented in nine of the Breeders’ Cup races, and should have the favorite or one of the favorites in six of them.

Todd Pletcher tops the American trainers with 12 horses pre-entered, with five of them cross-entered, for a total of 17 pre-entries. Pletcher’s troops are headed by Quality Road in the Classic, Cowboy Cal in the Mile, Nite Light in the Marathon, Interactif in the Juvenile Turf, and the pair of Aikenite and Eskendereya in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).

All eyes for the past few weeks have been on the undefeated Zenyatta, and as expected, Jerry and Ann Moss’ daughter of Street Cry was cross-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Ladies Classic, with a first preference in the Classic.

The $5-million Classic drew 16 pre-entries, with three—Mastercraftsman, Bullsbay, and Chocolate Candy—being cross-entered and having first preferences in the Dirt Mile. In addition to Zenyatta, Rip Van Winkle, and Quality Road, the headliners include Summer Bird, who is cross-entered in the Turf, Einstein, and Gio Ponti. The only other European hopeful is Juddmonte Farms’ Twice Over, winner of the recent Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket.

Juddmonte also will be represented by leading contenders Ventura (Filly & Mare Sprint), Midday (Filly & Mare Turf), Proviso (Ladies Classic), Spanish Moon (Turf), and Zacinto (Mile). Two of those--Zacinto and Spanish Moon--are trained by Michael Stoute, who also has last year’s Turf winner Conduit back for another try.

On the American front, behind the dominating Pletcher are Ken McPeek and John Sadler, each with six pre-entered horses, Bill Mott with five, and Bob Baffert and Graham Motion with four apiece. Baffert holds a particularly strong hand with likely favorites Zensational in the Sprint and Lookin at Lucky in the Juvenile, and strong contenders Richard's Kid in the Classic and Always a Princess in the Juvenile Fillies.

A Little Creation of Mine!

(Just click on the Play button!)
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Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: A Day at the Races!


Monday, October 26, 2009

KY Tracks Request Big Cut in Racing Dates

KY Tracks Request Big Cut in Racing Dates

The harsh competitive environment in which Kentucky racing finds itself was on displayed in black and white Oct. 26 when a subcommittee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission considered applications from Thoroughbred racetracks that signal a drastic reduction in live racing dates for 2010.

In all, 206 dates are sought for 2010, down from the 273 requested for 2009. Modifications will bring the actual 2009 total to 239.

Of the five Thoroughbred tracks, only Keeneland’s request of 32 dates remained unchanged from 2009. If approved by the KHRC Oct. 27, the Kentucky calendar would reflect a 24.5% reduction in number of dates requested for 2009 and a 13.8% decline in the number of races projected to be run before year’s end.

The 2010 dates requests, with comparison to the number requested for 2009 (before reductions at Churchill Downs and Ellis Park) are:

Churchill Downs—62 requested for 2010— (73 approved in 2009; 66 actual in 2009)

Ellis Park—27 for 2010 (48 approved for 2009; 23 actual in 2009)

Keeneland—32 for 2010 (unchanged from the number requested and actually raced in 2009)

Kentucky Downs—four for 2010 (six approved for 2009; four actual in 2009, though one day was lost due to poor track conditions caused by inclement weather)

Turfway Park—81 for 2010 (114 approved and raced in 2009)

Considering the reductions that occurred this year, the reduced dates requests were not a surprise. Kentucky racing is taking a hit from competition for horses in states that have higher purses as a result of revenue generated by alternative casino-type gaming at the tracks.

The live racing schedules proposed by the tracks maintain a year-round racing circuit, which track management and horsemen believe is important to maintain if at all possible, with the cutbacks coming in the numbers of days per week. Management of the racetracks who appeared before the subcommittee said various scenarios were considered before arriving at the requests.

Turfway Park has asked to race three-day weeks in January and February rather than the customary five, not an unexpected move. Track president Bob Elliston, however, said there was discussion to shelve racing those two months, but that option would damage the year-round racing circuit in Kentucky.

"It’s very hard for horsemen to maintain a stable without an opportunity to race for purses," Elliston said. "We thought if we dropped racing all together, we might lose a significant part of our horse population."

"What we have been grappling with is how do we maintain purse levels to a point that we can be as competitive as we can be with other jurisdictions," Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery said.

Flanery said the options facing the tracks dealing with declines in purse money and supply of horses are to cut the amount of purses paid out for each race, or to cut the number of races and race dates, which preserves a higher per-race purse. In deciding which dates to cut, the tracks were faced with a reduced number of race days per week spread out over the traditional racing calendar, or to lope off several weeks, creating a void in the racing circuit.

Ellis Park owner Ron Geary said his track’s 2010 dates request closely mirrors the amended schedule the track raced this year – three days weekly – after drastically cutting back to 23 days from the original 48 the track could have raced.

Noting the competition Ellis Park faces from tracks in neighboring Indiana that have slots to boost their purses, Geary said the track has some advantages despite the huge disparity in purses. For example, Ellis Park races on Sundays, when the Indiana tracks are closed for live racing, and can offer turf racing, which is not available at Hoosier Park.

Geary noted the reduced number of racing dates actually helps turf racing because the course does not sustain as much wear as it does during a longer meet. Ellis Park can card a lot more grass races, which it did in 2009.

"We didn’t do it because we were being creative," Geary said of the competitive advantage of turf racing, "but because we had to. It worked out well. (Determining race schedules) is definitely an art and not science."

While the live racing cutback does not paint a pretty picture for the state of Kentucky racing, some believe it could have been worse.

"This is a snapshot of what we’re looking at for 2010," said KHRC chairman Robert Beck, who also chairs the dates subcommittee that reluctantly approved a motion to recommend adoption of the dates by the full commission. "It could be a totally different picture for 2011."

The race dates can be amended by the commission once they are awarded. It is a murkier question about whether dates can be added should a track’s economic climate and supply of horses improve to the point they want to expand their racing next year.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hialeah Still Awaiting Approval for Dates

Hialeah Still Awaiting Approval for Dates

Hialeah Park has set Nov. 14 as the date for the start of arrival of Quarter Horses for a 40-day meet it plans to run beginning Nov. 28. But as of Oct. 22, the Hialeah, Fla., track was still waiting for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to approve its application for racing dates.

Hialeah, which has not held racing since its last Thoroughbred meet in 2001, also is facing deadlines to have a portion of its clubhouse and its paddock area ready by Nov. 28.

“It will be a photo-finish, but we will get it done,” Hialeah owner and president John Brunetti said “We have two shifts, each with 100 men working on it.”

On Oct. 21, the Florida DPMW received a revised dates application it deemed “complete” from Hialeah. That agency has 90 days from that date to review the application, for approval or rejection.

“As always, the division strives to review applications in a timely manner,” Florida DPMW spokesman Alexis Lambert said.

If the Florida DPMW approves Hialeah’s dates, it will review the track’s racing and stable areas to assure compliance with its rules for safety of horses and patrons. If that agency finds any deficiencies, “we would work with them to resolve it,” Lambert said.

“We are hoping for approval (dates) soon,” Brunetti said.

Hialeah on Sept. 21 applied to hold two 20-day Quarter Horse meets—one from Nov. 28 to Dec. 29, and another from Jan. 2. to Feb. 2, 2010.

Under a law the Florida legislature passed this year but has not been enacted, Hialeah would be able to have a casino with Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines if it holds Quarter Horse meets of 20 days or more in two consecutive calendar years.

The current law requires any Quarter Horse permit holder to run a meet of at least 40 days during Florida’s fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30, with no eligibility for a casino.

In the Oct. 21 application, Hialeah, by order of the Florida DPMW, changed its application to one 40-day meet based on current law. Florida DPMW officials otherwise required no significant changes from Hialeah’s Sept. 21 application, Lambert said.

“If the law changes, we will make applications next year that would allow us to later have a casino,” Brunetti said.

Brunetti is among the racing executives who are not optimistic Florida will enact the new law this year. That enactment has been delayed by a dispute that has pitted leaders of the Florida legislature against Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida regarding operations of the Seminoles’ seven Florida casinos.

Hialeah would be the first racetrack to hold a Quarter Horse meet in Florida since Pompano Park in 1991.

Hialeah expects to have about 1,000 Quarter Horses for a 2009-10 meet. Most are owned by members of the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association.

Brunetti said Hialeah’s dirt track will be ready for horses by late October. It is the same surface Hialeah used for Thoroughbreds.

A tour of the facility on Oct. 22 produced an observation that Hialeah has restored its racing surface in fast order, but that considerable work is still needed on its building before Nov. 28. Brunetti plans to use portions of the clubhouse section and have the building’s grandstand, on the north side, cordoned off from patrons.

Brunetti has approval from the city of Hialeah to have the clubhouse first-floor and track apron open. He said he expects approvals for the clubhouse’s second floor by the end of October.

If approvals are received, Hialeah will begin painting seats and walls and do sand-blasting in that section. Several restaurants and bars in the clubhouse also would be reopened, Brunetti said.

Hialeah plans to have a poker room in its Paddock Pavilion building.

Hialeah plans to put up as many as 1,000 temporary stalls in its former barn area. Ground is being cleared, and Hialeah is waiting for arrival of tents. Quarter Horse owners will not pay to have horses stabled at Hialeah.

Horse owners, mostly in central and north Florida, will pay to send horses to and from Hialeah, said Dr. Stephen Fisch, a veterinarian who serves as president of the Florida QHRA.

Hialeah plans to have at least eight races on each of 40 racing days. Brunetti has a goal of purses averaging $100,000 per day. That comes to $4 million.

On Oct. 22, Brunetti said he will pay all purse money. He said funding from his family’s real-estate business will help cover purses and the more than $10 million he expects it will cost to prepare for and run an initial Quarter Horse meet. Fisch said horse owners will pay entry fees for races, thus contributing to purses.

Hialeah’s first condition book, through Dec. 15, shows nine races per day. The Nov. 28 opening-day card has nine races with total purses of $83,200. The feature is the $25,000 Bienvenido De Nuevo Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 300 yards.

The bill pending in the Florida legislature would allow Hialeah to have up to half its races as Thoroughbred events without permission from Gulfstream Park or Calder Casino & Race Course. If the bill is enacted, Brunetti said he probably would add some Thoroughbred races at a meet in late 2010.


New Churchill Contract About More Than Money

New Churchill Contract About More Than Money

Churchill Downs and Kentucky horsemen have reached a three-year agreement that sets purse payments, establishes purse supplements and ends a legal dispute that began in the spring of 2008.

The deal, announced Oct. 23, comes as the Kentucky racing industry faces increasing competition from other states whose racetracks pay purses and breed development funds inflated by gaming revenue.

Money aside, it also sends a message. Horse industry representatives have said some Republican lawmakers are attempting to divide horsemen and racetracks over the issue of racetrack gaming in Kentucky.

Churchill, the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association agreed on the contract. The Kentucky HBPA and KTA both have negotiating rights at Churchill. The last contract expired after the 2008 spring meet.

As part of the deal, the Kentucky HBPA and Churchill Downs Inc. agreed to dismiss their claims against one another in a lawsuit filed in United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In that suit, horsemen were seeking more revenue from account wagering, and claimed purse reductions at Churchill were done in retaliation.

A release didn’t specify the agreed-upon purse levels, though purses at Churchill are among the highest in the country. The supplement is $1.5 million spread evenly over three years; Churchill can distribute a greater share early in the three-year period should purses below anticipated levels, officials said.

“Churchill Downs is very pleased to be part of this long-term agreement that is good for horsemen, Churchill Downs, Kentucky’s embattled horse industry, and racing fans in Kentucky and throughout North America,” Churchill president Kevin Flanery said in a statement. “This three-year pact between our track and horsemen comes at a crucial time for Kentucky’s horse industry as horses and horsemen are leaving our state to pursue the growing purses and breeding incentives that exist in states with slots and other expanded wagering options at their racetracks.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Track record falls, another tied at Belmont

Belmont Park Race Track

Birdrun surged to a dominant 8 1/4-length victory in the third race at Belmont Park on Wednesday and eclipsed an 11-year-old track record, while another track record was tied in the opening race.

Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Birdrun completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:39.38 on a track rated as fast. The winning time broke the previous record for the distance of 1:39.51, set by Rock and Roll on June 13, 1998.

Trained by Bill Mott for owner Oxbow Racing, the Birdstone colt picked up his second victory from seven starts, all this season. He is out of the winning Jolie’s Halo mare Run Like Martha, a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Sovereign Kitty.

Super Shape set the pace in the first race and cruised to a 2 3/4-length victory in a 6 1/2-furlong claiming race. The five-year-old American Chance gelding covered the distance in 1:14.46 to equal the record set by Bear Fan on June 5, 2004.

Trained by Bruce Levine for owner Repole Stable, Super Shape won for the fifth time in eight starts this season. He is out of South American Group 1 winner Shape, by Senor Pete.

Family members: Jockey Mark Pace died doing what he loved

“He loved his grandchildren and he loved horses,” said MiChelle Reno, the late jockey’s daughter.

For Pace, who would soon have become a proud grandfather for the eighth time, it was his equine passion that ultimately shortened his life.

The Devine, Texas, resident was killed Sunday when he fell from a horse during a race at Sallisaw’s Blue Ribbon Downs. He was 58.

A short memorial service for Pace will be held at the track before the races Saturday. Reno, of Spokane, Wash., said death might be the only force that could rein in her father, a restless man who was always on the move.

When changes were announced prior to the start of the races, Pace was named to ride a horse that jockey Mike Bishop was originally schedule to ride, 3-year-old filly Reep What You Sow, the No. 2 horse in the race.

As first reported Sunday on, during the 5½-furlong race, the filly ran into the rail and Pace fell. An ambulance transported Pace to Sequoyah County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The track announcer, Jesse Ullery, said Pace was already dead on the track before being taken to the hospital.

Pace had not ridden in a race at Blue Ribbon Downs this year, according to Blue Ribbon Downs statistics. A second race was run after the incident, but the rest of the races for the day were canceled after news spread of Pace’s death.

“I feel sorry for Mark, it’s a dangerous job,” said Mike Bishop, 46, of Vain whom Pace replaced in Sunday’s event after he was coincidently thrown from his horse on Saturday. “That’s why I pulled off my mount, because my horse broke its leg,” Bishop said. “He (Mark) took my mounts.”

Bishop said, “I had just met Mark, he came out of retirement.”

“I had just met him yesterday,” fellow jockey Cody Smith said of Pace. “I was watching the replay of the race, and it just looked like the horse was a little green and spooked into

the rail. When it did, Mark fell and hit his head and the back of his neck (on the rail).”

Pace, a native Texan, had recently returned to riding after being away for an extended period.

“He showed up just recently at Blue Ribbon Downs,” said retired jockey Rodger Smith, who is Cody Smith’s father. “He didn’t have any tack (riding equipment), and I went and picked up a helmet for him. I met him years ago in Texas when we were both riding down there, and you couldn’t have met a nicer fellow, just an outstanding individual.”

“It’s just a bad deal,” Rodger Smith said. I can remember a couple of jockeys died in the 1980s; one was a 16-year-old (Kevin Lindsey) in a schooling race.”

Lindsey’s horse started bucking out of the gate at Blue Ribbon Downs, and about halfway through the race he was thrown to the track. The horse stepped on Lindsey’s chest, and he did not survive.

According to a four-year study by the Anne Waller of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina, “for every 1,000 jockeys you have riding, over 600 will have medically treated injuries.” She also told the New York Times that almost 20 percent of those injuries were serious head or neck injuries.

The study showed 6,545 injuries to jockeys from 1993 to 1996. Waller’s report also said that between the years 1950 to 1987, there were more than 100 jockeys who were killed in the United States.

According to the Jockeys’ Guild, which has been keeping track of jockey deaths on the racetrack, more than 140 have lost their lives on the track since 1940.

Oklahoma Racino to Close; Lack of Business

Blue Ribbon Downs is located just outside of Sallisaw.;

SALLISAW, OK -- The Choctaw Nation plans on closing Blue Ribbon Downs at Sallisaw at the end of the current season on November 28th.

In a news release Thursday morning, the Choctaw Nation said despite its best efforts to upgrade the horse racing track, it's decided to close the facility.

"The sport of horse racing is struggling nationwide," said Judy Allen, tribal spokeswoman. "We did our best and invested a lot of money to improve the local racing experience, but there just was not enough patron support to continue to operate the track."

The Choctaw Nation says all full-time and part-time track and adjacent racino employees who stay through the closing of the facility will receive a generous package that will include their full salary and health benefits through December.

Each of those employees will also receive a Christmas bonus.

Seasonal workers who work through the last racing day will receive their normal Christmas bonus in appreciation of their service.

Blue Ribbon Downs, the state's first pari-mutuel horse racing track, had twice been in bankruptcy in 1997 and 2002.

The Choctaw Nation purchased the facility in November 2003, one day before the track was to be sold at a sheriff's auction.


OK I am back in Who Do You Like Contest!



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finally an update from Who Do You Like!

Here is their response ...

Please feel free to read their response & my feedback about that response!

- U.S.


I am no longer playing in the Who Do You Like Contest!

Due to the fact that some very dishonest irregularities have taken place in this contest, I will no longer participate in such a fiasco. Please read the following threads that I posted. Many Players also voiced their own concerns with no action taken by the site in any way for the last 3 days to correct the problem. This is the most serious among many other issues that have been a problem as well. Please feel free to read mine & others comments regarding this matter in the following threads.

I will be updating my Santa Anita Contest however.
I Won again today so my record is now 9-1-4 :cheers

Ultimate Selector! 12io4j2w90

I'm Holdin & Hangin on! .. Nothing's gunna Stop Me!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rajiv Maragh Jockey of the Week


Rajiv Maragh continued his breakthrough season with two Grade1 victories and led all North American-based jockeys by purse earnings for the week ended October 14.

Maragh won the First Lady Stakes (G1) aboard Diamondrella (GB) on Saturday and

the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) aboard Negligee on Friday, both at Keeneland Race

Course, en route to purse earnings of $1,011,877 last week.

For the season, Maragh has won seven Grade 1 races and ranks seventh among all

North American-based riders in purse earnings with $10,257,967 through Tuesday.

Born in Jamaica and now residing in Elmont, New York, Maragh, 24, got his start in Florida in 2004 before moving his tack to the New York-area later that year.

He went on to win the apprentice jockey riding title at the Meadowlands in 2004 and was second in the overall riding standings in ’05 and ’06 at the New Jersey track.

Maragh primarily rides the New York circuit, competing at Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Saratoga Race Course.

Albarado Off Oct. 18 Mounts at Keeneland

Albarado Off Oct. 18 Mounts at Keeneland

Robby Albarado, leading rider at the Keeneland fall meet in Central Kentucky with 10 victories, was off all of his mounts Oct. 18 after a spill in Oct. 17’s sixth race.

“He’s fine, he just looks like he got in a fight with Mike Tyson,” said Lenny Pike, Albarado’s agent. “His right eye is almost swollen shut and he can’t ride today, but he will ride Wednesday (Oct. 21).”

My Baby Baby stumbled at the start of Oct. 17’s’s sixth race and unseated Albarado coming out of the gate. Albarado suffered contusions to his face and did not ride the rest of the card.

One of the mounts he lost was the call on El Brujo, who won the Perryville (gr. III) under Edgar Prado.

Kaenel Retires from Race Riding


Jockey Kyle Kaenel has retired due to extensive injuries the 21-year-old Oceanside, N.Y., native suffered in a riding spill at Fairplex Park in Southern California Sept. 27.

“I have a broken (right) collarbone, a broken acromion, a broken shoulder blade, and a pinched nerve in my back, for which I have to see a spine surgeon on Wednesday,” said the tall and lanky Kaenel, son of legendary former rider Cowboy Jack Kaenel, who was the youngest jockey to win a Triple Crown race when he rode Aloma’s Ruler at the age of 16 in the 1982 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

“I already broke my neck and back in two places, and each time doctors have told me that’s it, as far as riding is concerned,” Kaenel continued. “I’ve got a family now, so I feel lucky if I can walk away from this one. I’ve got a beautiful wife (Trinity) and a beautiful little boy (Owen). I’ve got to take care of them.”

The Kaenels live in Glendora, Calif.

“It wouldn’t be fair to them for me to ask them to push me around in a wheelchair,” Kaenel said. “I rode for five years. It was a fun career, and I will miss it terribly.”

Jockey Escobar Out 4-6 Weeks

Photo By: Dustin Orona Photography

Jockey Martin Escobar was injured following the last race Oct. 17 at Remington Park in Oklahoma when his mount, Cuvee Blanc, fell just past the finish line.

Escobar finished second in the $7,500 claiming race for older fillies and mares, aboard Cuvee Blanc for trainer Allen Milligan. After setting the pace in the 5 1/2 furlong race, Cuvee Blanc held second before abruptly falling just a stride after the finish line.

Escobar walked away from the incident under his own power but was later found to have a fracture in his right hand as well as a small fracture in his back, according to his jockey agent Kevin Johnson. He is expected to be out of action 4-6 weeks to recuperate.

The 3-year-old Cuvee Blanc was vanned off the race track for precautionary measures but displayed no signs of any injury.

Escobar has posted eight wins this season at Remington Park from 93 mounts.

Mena Injured at Keeneland Oct. 18


Jockey Miguel Mena was sent to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington for precautionary X-rays after he was unseated from his mount at the start of Keeneland’s first race Oct. 18.

Mena suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and left thigh but was described as “awake and alert,” by Keeneland medical personal. His mount, She’s Due, stumbled leaving the gate at the start of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Update on my Santa Anita Contest! (Fri 10-17-09)


In the Santa Anita contest I took the #6 Quickly Gone in the 1st Race .. Winner!...

Winner! My record is now 8-1-2

This puts me in a Tie for 6th place!

There are now only 271 left in the Contest!

(click on Top 100 Handicappers)

Top 100 Handicappers



1 jfvoelker 10 0 1 - -
2 haldoby 9 1 1 - -
3 Stormcat 8 2 1 - -
4 gabriel 8 2 1 - -
5 docgian 8 2 1 - -
6 Hoofhearted2 8 1 2 - -
7 UltimateSelector 8 1 2 - -
8 emilyz 8 1 2 - -
9 BudCheeks 8 0 3 - -
10 mrempire 8 0 3 -


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Desormeaux Named Jockey of the Week


Racing Hall of Fame member Kent Desormeaux led all jockeys by North American purse earnings for the week ended October 7 after guiding Summer Bird to his third Grade 1 victory of the year.

Summer Bird’s victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Belmont Park provided $450,000 of Desormeaux’s $686,157 in earnings during the period. Desormeaux, 39, also captured the Shadwell Travers Stakes (G1) and his first career Belmont Stakes (G1) aboard the three-year old Birdstone colt this season.

For the year, Desormeaux’s $10,638,356 in purse earnings ranks fourth among North American-based riders through October 6. A three-time Eclipse Award winner [twice as outstanding jockey, once as outstanding apprentice], Desormeaux was the youngestjockey ever to reach 3,000 career victories when he accomplished the feat at age 25 in 1995. About six years later, at age 30, he reached the 4,000-win mark. In July 2008, he became the 23rd North American-based rider to reach the 5,000-win plateau when he guided Bella Attrice to a victory at Saratoga Race Course.Through October 5, he has 5,219 wins from 26,774 mounts.

Illinois Racing Board Approves Online Wagering


The Illinois Racing Board on Oct. 13 issued the state's first three licenses to companies that handle online wagering on horse races. Officials say the move could bring in more than $1.7 million in new taxes for the state.

The board's unanimous vote authorizes electronic betting from computers, phones, interactive televisions and other mobile devices. At least one company, Los Angeles-based TVG Network, said it would be operating in Illinois later in the day on Oct. 13.

The state Racing Board projects such betting could become a $100 million to $150 million industry in Illinois in 2010.

Frank Kirby, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, licenses are good for race tracks and horsemen.


Magna Seeks to Protect Preakness at Pimlico

Magna Seeks to Protect Preakness at Pimlico

he owner of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park is seeking permission to auction its Maryland racetracks. But Magna Entertainment Corp. wants potential buyers to promise not to move the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Maryland passed a law this year granting the government rights to seize the Preakness under eminent domain. In court papers last week, Ontario-based Magna argued that state intervention is unconstitutional and makes it harder to sell the Maryland tracks.

Documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court on Friday ask for a Jan. 8 auction date with a Nov. 2 deadline for bids. Magna's request could be considered by the bankruptcy judge as early as Wednesday.

Magna, the largest horse-track owner in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection in March.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Breeders' Cup Races!

The Breeders' Cup World Championships has become recognized as the ultimate test of a Thoroughbred's talent and ability. Not only offering a platform to enhance and promote Thoroughbred racing, the Breeders' Cup races provide a powerful year-end championship and a grand spectacle that presents the sport to a worldwide audience. Through the enthusiastic participation of prominent horsemen from around the world who bring their top horses to compete, the Breeders' Cup has established a reputation for showcasing Thoroughbred racing at the highest level of international competition.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Breeders' Cup Marathon 3 YO & Up -- 1 3/4 M $500,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Fillies, 2 YO -- 1 M (T) $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) F&M, 3 YO & Up -- 7 F $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) Fillies, 2 YO -- 1 1/16 M $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) F&M, 3 YO & Up -- 1 1/4 M (T) $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (GI) F&M, 3 YO & Up -- 1 1/8 M $2,000,000
Las Palmas Handicap (GII) F&M, 3 YO & Up -- 1 M (T) $200,000

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint 3 YO & Up -- 6 1/2 F (T) $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (GII) 2 YO -- 1 M (T) $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (GI) 3 YO & Up -- 1 M $1,000,000
Breeders' Cup Mile (GI) 3 YO & Up -- 1 M (T) $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) 2 YO -- 1 1/16 M $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Sprint (GI) 3 YO & Up -- 6 F $2,000,000
Breeders' Cup Turf (GI) 3 YO & Up -- 1 1/2 M (T) $3,000,000
Breeders' Cup Classic (GI) 3 YO & Up -- 1 1/4 M $5,000,000
Damascus Stakes 3 YO -- 7 F $100,000
Oak Tree Derby (GII) 3 YO -- 1 1/8 M (T) $150,000

Repeats every day until Sat Nov 07 2009 .
Fri, 11/06/2009
Sat, 11/07/2009


It's Official: Rachel Done Until 2010

It's Official: Rachel Done Until 2010
Rachel Alexandra

Star filly Rachel Alexandra is finished racing for the year, co-owner Jess Jackson announced Oct. 9.

Jackson, who said Rachel Alexandra would not run in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita because he did not want to run his horses on a synthetic surface, indicated the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro would return to racing in 2010.
Rachel Alexandra completed her year with a perfect 8-for-8 record, including wins against males in the Preakness (gr. I), Haskell Invitational (gr. I), and the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) against older horses. The bay filly is a leading contender for Horse of the Year. She will spend the rest of the year at Churchill Downs.
“We have seen an amazing 2009 campaign from Rachel Alexandra our three-year old filly,” Jackson said in a release. “She not only beat the fillies by 20 lengths in the Kentucky Oaks and 19 lengths in the Mother Goose Stakes, she beat the boys in the Preakness and the Haskell, and older males in the Woodward.
“She beat the winners of the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont. Rachel raced on eight different tracks. She prevailed in all eight of her races in 09--five of them grade I contests. Hers was a campaign for the ages beyond what any filly has ever accomplished and she is only three years old. Our family and racing fans will always remember and enjoy her historic 2009 campaign.
“Today, I am formally announcing our decision to conclude Rachel's 2009 campaign and allow her to mature naturally. She has moved to Churchill Downs for a well-deserved rest. We are all looking forward to an exciting 2010 season.
"In the interim, I want to sincerely thank the fans, the track officials, and the media for all their heartfelt support of this wonderful filly.”

Perfect Zenyatta Repeats in 'Secret; BC Next

Perfect Zenyatta Repeats in 'Secret; BC Next
Zenyatta cruises to win #13 in the Lady's Secret.

As professional as ever, undefeated Zenyatta equaled the legendary Personal Ensign's 13-race winning streak to begin her career, sweeping past the pacesetters in upper stretch to capture Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) (VIDEO) before 20,329 at Santa Anita in characteristic fashion Oct. 10.

Ridden by Mike Smith, the 2-5 favorite joined rare company with Personal Ensign, who beat males in the 1988 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, then ended her career by defeating Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Winning Colors by a nose in a classic Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) that year.

Zenyatta has an invitation to defend her title in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) with the win, but her connections, owner Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs, are also considering a run against the males in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

Zenyatta unwound her patented late kick while going wide on the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile test and blew past the pacesetting Briecat and several others to take command in the stretch. She held sway late under smooth handling to win by just over one length over runner-up Lethal Heat in a time of 1:42.89 over the Pro-Ride racing surface. Cocoa Beach, the runner-up to Zenyatta in last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, finished third, with Zenyatta's stablemate Life Is Sweet finishing fourth.

“I don’t know," Shirreffs said of the BC Classic. "It’s not my decision to make.” Asked what he would tell owners Jerry and Ann Moss about where to run next: “There’s time to decide. We’re not going to decide (at) this moment.”

Shirreffs added, “She ran her race. That’s Zenyatta. She does whatever is necessary. I’m like everybody else. I love to watch her. She’s like a ship when she’s coming down the stretch. You hardly ever see any horses inside of her because she takes up so much of the picture you’re looking at. Thirteen in a row . . . Personal Ensign, I mean, it’s historic. It’s a once in a lifetime horse, believe me. You don’t see Zenyattas. They come so seldom, it’s unbelievable that she’s here, in Los Angeles, at Santa Anita, and it’s a blessing, really.”

Zenyatta, who counts seven grade I victories among her accomplishments, has now earned $2,774,580 in her career. She is four-for-four on Santa Anita's main track.

Jerry Moss said Zenyatta would be pre-entered in both races.

"The horse is going to make the decision," he said. "We want her to do well and be safe and be happy, but we also want to see how much she's got in her tank."

A smiling Smith pointed down at Zenyatta as he guided her into the winner's circle, greeted by loud cheers from the fans, many of them lining the rail from mid-stretch to the finish line to watch the nation's other star female.

“Ability-wise, she can run with anyone, anytime, anywhere," Smith said in obvious reference to Rachel Alexandra. "She has an amazing turn of foot, one that I’ve never seen before. No disrespect to the other horses today, but she only ran about four jumps when we turned for home and then she shut it down.

"I knew the pace was slow and going to the far turn, everybody has to get into some kind of position. I just have so much confidence in her and today, she had 10 gears and she only had to use four of them. She really loves this track over here.”

Zenyatta won a day after the owner of Rachel Alexandra said the star filly who beat the boys in the BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) was done racing for the year, ensuring they won't meet in a Breeders' Cup showdown.

Zenyatta pawed the ground with her right hoof in the winner's circle before Smith jumped off and planted a kiss on her flank. Actress Bo Derek, a member of the California Horse Racing Board, presented the trophy.

Zenyatta paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Lethal Heat returned $7.40 and $4.20, while Cocoa Beach was $3 to show.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Zenyatta Music Video - Can't Get Enough Of You

Zenyatta Runs today in the 8th Race at Santa Anita!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hawthorne Set for Night Racing Experiment


Thoroughbred races have been held under the lights at Hawthorne Race Course in the late fall and winter as daylight diminishes, but for the first time, the Chicago-area track will offer night racing.

On two Fridays, Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, Hawthorne’s first post time will be 5:30 p.m. CDT, meaning most races will be held under the lights. The track plans to use the twilight post time to introduce people to racing, officials said.

“Twilight racing is a terrific introduction to the excitement of live racing,” Hawthorne president and general manager Tim Carey said in a statement. “Because Thoroughbreds traditionally run during the day, it’s hard for new fans to often make it to the track. Racing on Friday night is going to be an incredible opportunity to witness the truly fast-paced, in-your-face action of horse racing.”

Hawthorne will offer live music, an outdoor barbecue, $1 specials, and a free ball cap to the first 500 patrons. There also will be a VIP special in the Turf Club.

Earlier this year, Churchill Downs in Kentucky experimented with three night racing programs that began at 6 p.m. EDT. Combined attendance for the three nights was almost 90,000.

Churchill officials said they plan to have permanent lights installed in time for the 2010 spring meet. They are soliciting feedback on how many night programs should be offered.

Hawthorne for years held nighttime harness meets, thus the lighting system.


Rachel Alexandra Back at Churchill Downs

Rachel Alexandra Back at Churchill Downs
Rachel Alexandra has returned to Churchill Downs.

Leading Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra returned to her home base at Churchill Downs Oct. 7 and settled into familiar surroundings in trainer Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38 following a long van ride from Saratoga, where she spent much of the summer and the early days of fall.

“She walked the shed this morning,” Asmussen said. “It was a little cool here this morning, but it feels great. She’s in her stall resting comfortably.”
Rachel Alexandra has no racing objectives on the near horizon. Co-owner Jess Jackson has reiterated his stance that she will not compete in the Breeders’ Cup early next month at Oak Tree at Santa Anita and Asmussen said his superstar filly has been taking it easy since her dramatic victory over males in the Woodward (gr. I) on Sept. 5.
“We’re just trying to keep her happy,” he said. “I’m very pleased with her attitude and her weight and how she’s doing. I think the time in Saratoga with everything gone was very beneficial to her. It just took a lot of the pressure off.”
The Medaglia d'Oro filly has won all eight of her starts in 2009, with three of those wins coming at the expense of males, including the Preakness (gr. I) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I). Her Woodward win was the first by a female in that prestigious race.
If Rachel Alexandra does not race again this year, Jackson has indicated she will compete next year as a 4-year-old. With her perfect eight-race campaign in 2009, her career record is 11-2-0 in 14 races with earnings of $2,948,354.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zenyatta After 13th Straight in Lady's Secret

Zenyatta After 13th Straight in Lady's Secret
Zenyatta won the 2008 Lady's Secret by 3 1/2 lengths.

Undefeated Zenyatta attempts to equal Personal Ensign by winning her 13th consecutive race when she goes to the post in Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) as the heavy favorite Oct. 10 at Santa Anita.

"That's something we never imagined when she started racing," trainer John Shirreffs said of Zenyatta possibly matching the legendary filly. "And then as she has continued to win, it became something that was maybe possible. And now we're on the brink of it. So it's very exciting."

The crowd favorite will meet many of the same rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Pro-Ride event that she has defeated in her three earlier victories this year, with one significant addition among the eight entrants. That is Godolphin's Cocoa Beach, who ran second to Zenyatta in last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) and is shipping west to get accustomed for a second try at the World Championships.

The Lady's Secret is the last of four of Breeders' Cup Challenge races on the Santa Anita program, with the earner automatically qualifying for the $2 million Ladies' Classic Nov. 6 over the same track. Zenyatta, though, might end up taking on males a day later in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) regardless of whether she wins the Lady's Secret.

And it will be no cakewalk. Zenyatta very nearly lost her perfect record in her last start, the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 9, making her customary late charge barely in time to register a head victory over Anabaa's Creation, an unheralded mare from the Julio Canani barn that returns in the Lady's Secret.

Also in the field from that race is Lethal Heat, who set soft fractions in the Hirsch and nearly got away with stealing it before finishing a close third, and Zenyatta's stablemate Life Is Sweet, who gets back on her favorite surface after running fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Hirsch.