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Monday, March 10, 2008

SEEING CLEAR

(PHOTO: VISIONAIRE before his Gotham win on Saturday. I have included 2 new links on my sidebar for 2 outstanding photographers, SARAH K. ANDREW and NANCY ROKOS, who have extraordinary images on their sites and you can buy them too!)

SPRING IS SPRUNG


I called her the “monster of all monsters” when she won her latest with a 106 Beyer Figure (see post of Feb. 18 called Home Turf).

Yesterday SPRING WALTZ won her stakes debut, the Rampart Handicap (G2) for Stronach Stables and trainer Brian Lynch, who has had a stellar Gulfstream meeting.

She doubled up her Beyer Figure, posting another 106 yesterday.

Spring Waltz is impeccably bred as she’s by Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner SILVER CHARM out of that white-faced super mare RELAXING RHYTHM, a daughter of the great EASY GOER.

Relaxing Rhythm won 8 of 9 career starts and over $338,000. She won the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Stakes and the Star Shoot at Woodbine.

Her first foal was the multiple winner POP PRINCESS, her 2nd foal MARIMBA RHYTHM was also a multiple winner. Spring Waltz is her 3rd foal.

She has an unraced 2004 offspring named Singing Saint and a 3yo who is placed named Fiumes (Macho Uno).


(Here’s a RAMPART recap from Brisnet.com)

Spring Waltz sizzles in stakes debut

Stronach Stables officially has an embarrassment of riches in the older female division. In addition to having defending older female champion Ginger Punch (Awesome Again) racing in their colors, the multiple Eclipse Award-winning outfit now has a rising star in SPRING WALTZ (Silver Charm), who rallied from off the pace to score an impressive victory in Sunday's $200,000 Rampart H. (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Settling in sixth behind fractions of :23 4/5, :47 4/5 and 1:11 4/5 set by Peach Flambe (Flying Chevron), Spring Waltz significantly cut into the leader's margin around the far turn, found a seam between rivals at the top of the stretch, and drew off to a convincing 3 1/4-length win. Indiana Oaks (G3) winner Tessa Blue (Awesome Again), making her first start since November, tracked in second most of the way, assumed a brief lead at the top of the stretch, but was no match for the winner while easily second best. One length behind Tessa Blue was 3-1 second choice Golden Velvet (Seeking the Gold), dead-heat winner of the Sabin H. (G3) in her last start.

Altesse (A.P. Indy), Peach Flambe, Cat Can Do (Adcat) and Ballado's Thunder (Saint Ballado) rounded out the Rampart field. Ridden by Javiar Castellano and trained by Brian Lynch, Spring Waltz covered 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:49 3/5.

Strongly supported throughout the Rampart wagering, Spring Waltz, the even-money favorite, returned $4, $2.80, and $2.10. Tessa Blue paid $4.40 and $2.60 at 4-1, while Golden Velvet brought a $2.40 show price to her backers. The exacta paid $17.20, the trifecta $41.20 and the superfecta (5-1-2-7) returned $126.40.

The Rampart was the first stakes attempt by Silver Waltz, who has now finished first or second in all nine career starts. Spring Waltz made her belated debut in a seven-furlong maiden last June 7 at Woodbine, which she won by a half-length, but has raced exclusively around two turns since that victory. Spring Waltz made her first U.S. start in a Calder allowance on December 30, which she won by 3 1/2 lengths, and preceded her Rampart victory with a 13-length romp over allowance/optional claiming foes at Gulfstream on February 17. Now undefeated in three starts on dirt, Silver Waltz's career record stands at 9-6-3-0 with earnings of $317,117.

Lynch said a possible next start for Silver Waltz would be the May 2 Louisville Breeders' Cup (G2) at Churchill Downs, one of several stakes on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) undercard.

Bred in Kentucky by her owner's Adena Springs Farm, Silver Waltz is out of Relaxing Rhythm (Easy Goer), who captured the 1998 Molly Pitcher H. (G2) plus three other black-type events in Canada and California. Relaxing Rhythm has produced two other winners from three to race, including Grade 3-placed Marimba Rhythm (Golden Missile), and delivered a colt by Holy Bull this year. Relaxing Rhythm is herself a half-sibling to Grade 3 winners Malagra (Majestic Light) and Holy Mountain (Devil's Bag), and descends from the family that has produced Grade 1 winners Banker's Lady (Nijinsky II) and Ecton Park (Forty Niner).

BEYER FIGURE RECAP

(thanks to DAILY RACING FORM for the information)

PYRO – 95 in winning the Louisiana Derby over My Pal Charlie and Yankee Bravo (co-owned by Harlequin Ranches of Alberta, Canada)

VISIONAIRE -98 (career best) Gotham win in the slop

FRENCH BERET – 100 (career best) - Canadian-bred,, 2nd in Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds

EUROEARS – 110 - Langfuhr colt, undefeated sprint star, won another stake at Fair Grounds

COMMENTATOR – 104 (dubbed fastest horse is America by track announcer)


KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE POOL 2 (CLOSED YESTERDAY)

And in the Kentucky Oaks future wager, Canadian-bred VAULCLUSE opened at 50 to 1 but was 23 to 1 at closing yesterday.

Number

Wagering Interest

Morning Line Odds

Odds After Day 1

Odds

After

Day 2

Odds After

Day 3

Final odds

$2 Will Pay

1

BLACKBERRY ROAD

30-1

34-1

37-1

34-1

45-1

$92.20

2

BOB BLACK JACK

30-1

44-1

51-1

58-1

49-1

$100.80

3

COLONEL JOHN

12-1

15-1

17-1

18-1

17-1

$37.00

4

COOL COAL MAN*

10-1

28-1

30-1

28-1

26-1

$55.40

5

COURT VISION

12-1

12-1

16-1

17-1

16-1

$35.80

6

DENIS OF CORK

15-1

10-1

11-1

11-1

12-1

$27.00

7

EL GATO MALO (g)

15-1

16-1

18-1

12-1

15-1

$32.40

8

ELYSIUM FIELDS*

15-1

23-1

24-1

22-1

17-1

$37.60

9

FIERCE WIND*

20-1

51-1

60-1

59-1

51-1

$105.60

10

GAYEGO*

20-1

99-1

99-1

99-1

99-1

$224.20

11

GEORGIE BOY (g)

20-1

18-1

20-1

22-1

20-1

$42.40

12

GIANT MOON

20-1

43-1

36-1

50-1

67-1

$136.60

13

J BE K*

30-1

50-1

32-1

36-1

53-1

$109.80

14

MAJESTIC WARRIOR

20-1

21-1

24-1

23-1

27-1

$57.60

15

MONBA

30-1

40-1

32-1

41-1

35-1

$72.80

16

NIKKI’SGOLDENSTEED*

50-1

86-1

88-1

97-1

99-1

$200.40

17

PYRO

6-1

6-1

6-1

4-1

4-1

$10.00

18

SMOOTH AIR

50-1

99-1

99-1

99-1

99-1

$386.00

19

TAKE OF EKATI

30-1

41-1

37-1

41-1

47-1

$96.80

20

VISIONAIRE*

30-1

88-1

96-1

36-1

19-1

$41.60

21

WAR PASS

5-1

5-2

7-2

4-1

9-2

$11.20

22

YANKEE BRAVO

30-1

68-1

50-1

45-1

41-1

$85.00

23

Z FORTUNE

20-1

53-1

47-1

46-1

33-1

$69.40

24

MUTUEL FIELD “ALL OTHERS”

10-1

6-1

4-1

5-1

6-1

$15.00

Morning Line Odds by Mike Battaglia

(g) – gelding *New wagering interest in Pool 2

For more: http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2008/


JEN'S THOROUGHBLOG- QUEEN’S PLATE NEWS:


(AT RIGHT) MY BROTHER IS A QUEEN'S PLATE CONTENDER!

Black Canyon Thoroughbred's newcomer, a Mutakkdim-Misty Halo colt, a full brother to Plate hopeful GIQUERE. Born at Windfields Farm.








ACHIN’ TO BE AT AIKEN

The 66th annual Aiken Trials and all the fun and festivities that go with the South Carolina celebration of the horse, takes place Thursday. There will be 6 races.

On the Aiken website, Canadian trainer MIKE KEOGH talks about his Queen’s Plate hopeful D. Flutie, owned and bred by Gus Schickedanz.


"D. Flutie Could Become Mike Keogh's Next Star Thoroughbred"
By Ben Baugh

3/04/2008 - Trainer Mike Keogh is certainly no stranger to success. He's trained a number of stakes winners over the years for Gustav Schickedanz's powerful stable, including the 2003 Canadian Triple Crown winner and Sovereign Award winning Horse of the Year, Wando; the 1999 Queens Plate winner, Woodcarver; multiple Grade 1 winner and the 1996 Sovereign Award winning Sprinter Langfuhr; Glanmire, who won the 1997 Sovereign Award as top Sprinter and Grade 2 winner Last Answer, who won last year's Nijinsky Stakes on the turf at Woodbine.

The latest charge of Keogh's who bears watching is D. Flutie, who was named after the star CFL, NFL and USFL quarterback Doug Flutie. The dark bay colt is by Langfuhr, out of the Woodman broodmare Forest Flute. The Gustav Schickedanz homebred made his lone start on Oct. 26 in a 6-furlong race at Woodbine.

"He's out of a mare who's never raced, who's a full sister to Woodcarver, who won the Queens Plate," said Keogh. "He's had one start and that was in October. We have some high hopes for him. He's a grand mover. He has a huge stride." Keogh's stable will relocate from Aiken to Woodbine and will be ready for the track's opening day on April 5. "There's quite a few races we can run in early," said Keogh.

Langfuhr and Wando, the 2003 Aiken Trained Horse of the Year, are among the horses Keogh has conditioned who've trained over the Aiken Training Track.

"The horses are all doing well. It's a great place to bring the babies," said Keogh. "They get a nice introduction. It's busy, but it's not too busy."


TODAY’S WORKS

SEBASTIEN’S SONG (Palm Meadows) 3 fur, :38

YESTERDAY

LADY’S FIRST CAT (stakes placed) Gulfstream 49 2/5

ASCOT’S LEGEND (Palm Meadows) 1:03 3/5

PRONGER (PM) 1:02 3/5

SUN HAWK (PM) 1:02 3/5


WHO IS STEVE ASMUSSEN?

He’s the world’s top trainer according to wins and money and he’s on his way to setting a record at Fair Grounds for numbers of winners in one meeting. Okay, he’s only won a couple of Grade 1 races from a litany of chances (most with Curlin) but there is no disputing the number of winners.

STEVE ASMUSSEN brings a string of horses to WOODBINE soon (meeting starts April 5), a barn of 30 to be exact, and you can learn a bit more about him from this story by PETER FINNY on the Times-Picayune.

It’s a long story so I put on some of it and then included the link to read the rest.

BY PETER FINNY

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It was quite a scene in a deserted Fair Grounds paddock as the sun was on its way to setting Saturday before the 10th race.

Thirty minutes earlier, Steve Asmussen had saddled Pyro, who went on to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby. Now he had just saddled Tres Dream, and the colt was on his way to the track to see what he could do (he finished fourth) in the $100,000 Bienville Stakes.

For Steve Asmussen, it was a precious moment.

"Look at that," said Julie Asmussen, his wife of 11 years.

She was watching as their three sons, Keith James, 9, Darren Scott, 7, and Erik Mark, 5, took turns climbing all over daddy.

For one of the top thoroughbred trainers in the country, it was family time.

"For Steve," said Julie, "every moment with the boys is precious."

Within hours, her husband would be catching a plane to tend to business, to check on some of the 304 horses he has in training across the country.

Now it was time for daddy to tell Julie and the boys what happened in the paddock before the ninth race, when a piece of mud struck Steve on the forehead, above his right eye.

And drew blood.

So what?

It was nothing compared to what Pyro would encounter on the track, when he bided his time, when, as the racing chart tells us, he "split the leaders in the final furlong" and went on to go from fourth to first and win by three lengths, with mild urging from rider Shaun Bridgmohan.

"More than anything," said Asmussen, "I was impressed by his patience. He waited, then did what he had to do."

As you listened to the trainer of a thoroughbred who figures to go on to the May 3 Kentucky Derby as the horse to beat, you listened to someone who felt his game plan could not have worked out any better.

In winning the Risen Star earlier this month, Pyro showed an amazing finishing kick.

In winning the Louisiana Derby against better company, Pyro showed the maturity, the no-panic presence, it takes to suggest you have what it takes to win the classics.

Pyro's demeanor in the paddock, said the trainer, "was perfect, exactly what you're looking for."

Now, for Pyro, the plan probably is one more workout at the Fair Grounds, then a trip to Keeneland and a final prep in the Blue Grass, before a shorter trip to Churchill Downs.

Experience has taught Asmussen many things, among them, even with a perfect game plan, you still need a large helping of good fortune.

To read the rest of the story, click here…

http://www.nola.com/sports/t-p/horseracing/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1205043825277050.xml&coll=1

5 Comments:

  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I heard that Asmussen was refused stalls at Woodbine last year. Is this true? 30 stalls is alot for a trainer going to Woodbine for the first time, especially when several other trainers that have been there for many years are getting stalls taken from them.

     
  • At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not sure why Woodbine would approve Asmussen's application for stalls just one year after declining him because of the drug suspension he served. Now that he served his suspension I guess we can forget about the black eye his actions put on the industry. Is it just me or is this a joke? Another issue that arises is the money that will be taken away from Canadian owners, breeders, and trainers. Why Woodbine would allow this I'm not sure, but giving a proven drug using trainer 30 stalls at Canada's premiere track and allow him to take money away from Canadian horsemen is a mistake anyway you look at it.

     
  • At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Louisiana Derby and Fair Grounds Oaks photos:

    http://www.horse-races.net/library/lad08-results.htm

    http://horseracing.about.com/od/latestnews/ss/aa030808a.htm

     
  • At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    New Orleans Handicap and Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap:

    http://www.horse-races.net/library/nohcp08-results.htm

    http://horseracing.about.com/od/latestnews/ss/aa030808b.htm

     
  • At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Like it or not, Asmussen is a top notch trainer. No one wins as many as he does without being under the microscope. Woodbine, and Canadian racing, has it's fair share of cheats, both in Harness and Thorougbreds.

    Do not be ignorant, big purses will entice competitors to push the envelope. It's up to those who enforce the rules to do their jobs to keep the game respectable. And if those people don't do their job, then just remember to handicap a bit differently when you see an Asmussen horse in a race.

    It's better that we know who does it and has been caught then those who are masking it and getting away with it.

     

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