ascot aug08
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


In today’s news, the Southwest Stakes was hard to take seriously but you can form your own opinion by watching the race (below) – thanks to JulyCup for posting the clip on YouTube.

One winner of the PICK 6 at Santa Anita yesterday – yep, only $3 million plus for picking some of those bizarre winners.

Does anyone find it a tad (or more) irritating when jockeys high five, knock knuckles, pat each other, whatever, after a race is over? Two jocks did that at the end of the General George Stakes at Laurel yesterday (read below).

It was one of the days where you could watch almost any race and find a horse in trouble. The bad ones were (and no, I didn’t bet on any of them, they were just hard to miss) LIGHTMYFIREBABY at Santa Anita (race 5); LAYSH LAYSH LAYSH in the stake at Aqueduct and PREMIUM WINE in the General George.


Southwest Stakes – last 2 furlongs in 27.06 but Beyer is 96!

It was not a memorable edition of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn this year with the one-mile race being run the way it was – the late pace was staggering.

Meanwhile, the Beyer Figure was a 96 for the winner and that’s okay.

Sacred Journey simply ran off on the pace under a tight rein and went silly-fast while on a huge lead. Those chasing him in the second flight got tired in that pursuit and the strong stretch runners collected the pieces in the stretch.

The winner, DENIS OF CORK (mentioned on this site after his last win, do a Search up above!) had a long, smooth stride and drove to a nice win under Robby Albarado (oops, Calvin Borel rode him to his 2 previous starts/wins but jumped off for Turf War). The colt is by Harlan’s Holiday out of an Unbridled mare.

Turf War got his fast pace to run at but has nothing to offer and he finished 9th.

From the wires…

PICK SIX PAYOFF $3.1 million

winner in New Jersey

ARCADIA - One winning ticket in Santa Anita's Pick Six on Monday produced an all-time Santa Anita record payoff of $3,120,256.

There was a three-day carryover coming into the Pick Six of $1,269,223 and, coupled with an additional $3,337,881 that was bet Monday, there was a total pool of $4,607,104. The lone winning ticket was purchased through a parimutuel hub based in New Jersey.

The Pick Six, a $2 minimum wager in which players are required to pick the winners of the final six races on the card, first was offered at Santa Anita during the Oak Tree meeting in 1980. The carryover component to the wager was instituted at Santa Anita in 1983.

Monday's Pick Six was offered on races five through 10. Paparazzi Charm, a 33-1 shot who had been idle since June 1, 2007, took the last race under long shot specialist Saul Arias and paid $69.60 to win.

On-track attendance was 14,006, and total mutuel handle was $15,018,878. Racing will resume at Santa Anita on Wednesday, with first post time at 1 p.m.

Paparazzi Charm - From Wire Reports


Not likely to run

Trainer READE BAKER has entered KENTUCKY BEAR in a cozy allowance race at Gulfstream on Friday (he’ll be 4 to 5 if he starts) and even entered the maiden CHIEF BEAR, but all reports say Kentucky Bear is headed to Sunday’s FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH Stakes.

Baker told THOROUGHBLOG that if the colt is indeed Kentucky Derby material, he will need some points to get there. Racing in the ‘Youth is the only way to do that.

Kentucky Bear is by Mr. Greeley and he ran a 93 Beyer Figure in his debut win at Gulfstream.

Other stuff...

LUCAS STREET, a Silver Deputy – Ruby Park 4yo filly who had not raced since July 2006, won her maiden for Eugene Melnyk and trainer Malcolm Pierce yesterday. The filly was ridden by Pat Husbands. It was her 3rd career start.

SILVERY WHISPER (Silver Deputy-Whispered Love) won her maiden at Gulfstream yesterday for $12,500 claiming. Making her 2nd career start, the filly led all the way for owner Tony Grey. The filly was bred by Bernard McCormack and Karen McCormack.

Ontario-bred MUTAKINMOVE was a good 2nd at long odds in an allowance race at Oaklawn. The Lorna Perkins-trainee, by Mutakkdim, was 7th in his Oaklawn debut. Jerry Baird had been the colt’s regular rider but was not on board yesterday.

Some trainer stats...


Steven M. Asmussen 243 68 49 25 $2,508,369

Cody Autrey 148 39 27 16 $696,815

Thomas M. Amoss 130 33 21 20 $923,185

W. Bret Calhoun 114 32 21 22 $884,270

Patrick Mouton 152 25 26 21 $849,583

Albert M. Stall, Jr. 100 19 17 13 $602,060

Malcolm Pierce 43 12 2 5 $443,160

And, Brian Lynch is a super 6 for 21 at Gulfstream.



By Jennie Rees

The Courier-Journal

Winning Colors -- who became just the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby and demonstrated to the world in 1988 that trainer D. Wayne Lukas wasn't one to kowtow to convention -- was euthanized Sunday at a Lexington clinic after developing complications from colic. She was 23.

"She's always going to be one of the great ones for the simple reason that she was one of three (fillies) to ever win that race," Lukas said last night. "That's an achievement that might take a little while for somebody else to duplicate. "She was a big part of our legacy. … She came along at a very opportune time when we were trying to establish ourselves in this game."

The other fillies to win the Derby were Regret in 1915 and Genuine Risk in 1980.

Winning Colors was buried at owner Gainesway Farm's Greentree division in Lexington, near the graves of such greats as La Troienne and Tom Fool. Regret is buried nearby on a different part of the Gainesway property. Winning Colors' grave is not open to the public.

"Winning Colors was always a champion," Gainesway president Antony Beck, whose father, Graham, bought Winning Colors for $4.1 million in 1989, said in a release. "She had great physical prowess and athleticism. She was one of my father's favorite horses."

Winning Colors ignited the careers of those around her. She gave Lukas, a former quarter-horse trainer, the first of his four Derby wins and solidified him as a major force in the thoroughbred industry. She thrust young jockey Gary Stevens on his way to the Hall of Fame and gave her owner, former San Diego Chargers owner Eugene Klein, a champion after all.

She gave Don Sucher's Echo Valley Horse Farm of Georgetown, Ky., greater renown and gave her exercise rider -- Dallas Stewart, now a well-known trainer -- his first publicity.

The big long-striding roan's three-race string in the spring of 1988 ranks among the most electrifying in American racing history. Winning Colors beat up on top fillies to capture the Santa Anita Oaks by eight lengths, then whipped the boys by 7½ in the Santa Anita Derby to earn her shot at immortality at Churchill Downs.

With rival jockeys apparently believing she wouldn't carry her speed the Derby's 1¼ miles, Winning Colors jumped to a three-length lead while setting a legitimate pace, then gutted it out to hold off the talented Forty Niner by a neck.

The Triple Crown took its toll, with Winning Colors third in the Preakness and last of six in the Belmont. Both races were won by Derby third-place finisher Risen Star. She won twice more -- a Saratoga allowance and the Turfway Budweiser Breeders' Cup at age 4 -- before retiring with an 8-3-1 record and $1,526,837 in 19 starts.

But her second-most-memorable performance came in defeat when, after being trounced in Keeneland's Spinster, Winning Colors led for every stride but the final one in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs, as Personal Ensign prevailed by a nose in the slop to retire unbeaten.

"The race she ran with Personal Ensign in the Breeders' Cup probably will go down as one of the great, great races," Lukas said. "Cut through all the gender lines, distances and classes and everything and you're going to keep coming back to that one."

Though Winning Colors had not produced a stakes-winning foal, director of sales Michael Hernon noted that Winning Colors produced the first filly to be the sales-topper at Keeneland's July Selected Yearling Sales, a daughter of Mr. Prospector who sold for $1.05 million in 1994. That horse is one of two Winning Colors daughters to produce stakes winners.

Hernon said Winning Colors' last two foals are a 2-year-old by the Gainesway stallion Orientate and a yearling by its stallion Mr. Greeley.

"She left us two very nice fillies," Hernon said. " … She touched a lot of people's lives, and she'll continue to do so. I think her bloodlines will live on through her daughters."

From The Washington Post

Out-of-Towner Bustin Stones Holds On to Win General George at Laurel

By John Scheinman

Special to The Washington Post

Tuesday, February 19, 2008; Page E05

Trainer Bruce Levine admitted to having a couple of worries yesterday going into the Grade II $300,000 General George Breeders' Cup Handicap: His lightly raced but blazingly fast chestnut colt Bustin Stones likely would face pace pressure from horses starting to his outside, and the sprints earlier on the Laurel Park card were won by horses rallying from far behind.

"I didn't think speed was doing good here," said Levine, making a rare foray into Maryland from his base at Belmont Park in New York. "It seemed like the closers had more of an edge over the speed horses."

Not his speed horse.

When the gate opened, Bustin Stones went right to the front under jockey Ramon Dominguez. He set a comfortable, moderate pace, shook off the half-mile challenge of Stormin Normandy and opened up turning for home.

Only Lord Snowdon and Premium Wine had a chance to catch him, and those two locked up in a bumping battle deep in the stretch. Lord Snowdon held his ground, closed the gap but didn't have enough, and Bustin Stones beat him by a head.

On a wet track listed as "good," Bustin Stones ran the seven-furlong race, one of the richest winter sprints on the East Coast, in a sharp 1 minute 24.47 seconds. Lord Snowdon finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Premium Wine. The winning favorite paid $6.20.

A steady rain dampened the winner's circle celebration, but not the enthusiasm. Last summer, Levine discovered Bustin Stones had a bone chip floating in his left-front knee and the colt went under the knife. Oftentimes, horses fail to recover their speed after invasive knee surgery, but Bustin Stones has only gotten faster, and Levine is dreaming of big summer races such as the historic Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

"He's probably better than he was last year to win a Grade II," Levine said. "He doesn't really train like a horse like that; he trains like an average horse. But when he races, he puts his game face on."

Bustin Stones, owned by Roddy Valente of Loudonville, N.Y., now has won all five of his starts, and the General George was his first outside the protection of New York-bred company.

Only one runner in the seven-horse field had won a graded stakes race heading into the General George, and that horse had the most trouble in the race. Divine Park, a promising runner from the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, won the first three races of his career and then returned from an injury in December to run fairly well in the Grade I Malibu in California.

Bettors made the 4-year-old colt a close 2.60-to-1 second choice behind Bustin Stones, but he broke through the starting gate before the race began and faded badly, finishing last.

As Bustin Stones bore down on the finish line, jockey Anna Rose Napravnik on Premium Wine shifted off the rail and attempted to rally on the outside between the fading Stormin Normandy and Lord Snowdon. As Premium Wine advanced, jockey Jeremy Rose on Lord Snowdon held his ground and refused to cede the tight gap.

The two horses exchanged bumps and Premium Wine lost momentum, while Lord Snowdon closed in on Bustin Stones. As the two crossed the finish line, Rose reached over and exchanged fist bumps with Dominguez on the winner.

"I don't know how much of a factor it was," Rose said of the exchanged bumps. "My horse is a little horse, but a tough horse. He held his ground and just got beat."

Also from this author:

Racing Notes: Magna Entertainment, which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico, received a warning last Wednesday from the NASDAQ that its stock would be delisted from the exchange if it didn't rise above $1 by this summer. The stock, which was trading at 78 cents at the close of business Friday, must sell for above $1 for 10 consecutive days by Aug. 11 to avoid delisting.


  • At 12:17 PM, Anonymous DS said…

    I'm not making excuses for him, but Turf War got KO'd at the start of the race and lost several lengths. He probably would have recovered better if not for the ridiculous early fractions. Besides that, no real excuse for him that I can see. I find it interesting that both Z Humor and Turf War, who deadheated in the Delta Jackpot, haven't run back to that race. Makes the Delta Jackpot a little suspect.

  • At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It would be so much fun to have a Canadian in the Derby this year. Good luck to Kentucky Bear and Reade Baker!

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen Davis;

    All i know is that she is married to Harry Davis the blacksmith and is a new trainer.


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