Queen's Plate contender active today
ACTIVE DUTY, who rates as the local favourite for the QUEEN'S PLATE, makes his 2nd start of 2009 today at Santa Anita (where the Pick 6 could zoom up to $3 million!).
The Deputy Commander gelding, bred by Adena Springs, is owned by Woodford Racing LLC and trained by Mark Casse.
The gelding was 3rd in his season debut on Jan 29.
He won the prestigious CORONATION FUTURITY last year.
Santa Anita today 4th (2:34)
1 1/16 Miles (All Weather Track) | Open | 3 Year Olds Allowance | Purse: $52,000
|Prg. #||PP||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Wt.||Claim $||Equip.||Med.||ML|
|1||1||Herr Mozart||Gomez G K||Baffert Bob||118||L||7-2|
|2||2||Unbridled Roman||Smith M E||Paasch Christopher S||118||L||5-2|
|3||3||Jeranimo||Blanc B||Pender Michael||118||L||8-1|
|4||4||Major Rock Star||Bejarano R||Mitchell Mike||118||L||6-1|
|5||5||Advice||Rosario J||Pletcher Todd A||118||L||6-1|
|6||6||Active Duty||Husbands P||Casse Mark||122||L||5-1|
|7||7||African Gray||Baze M C||West Ted H||118||L||12-1|
|8||8||Balfour Park||Quinonez A||Lewis Craig A||118||Blk-On||L||15-1|
|9||9||African Diamond||Gryder A T||Harty Eoin||118||L||15-1|
$1 Exacta / $1 Trifecta / $2 Parlay $2 Rolling Double / $1 Pick Three (Races 4-5-6) $1 Superfecta (.10 Min.
Launch pad - BEAR'S ROCKET gearing up for the Tampa Bay Derby next week. Jim McAleney is working in Florida this winter and is on board the Bear Stables colt.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH - Gulfstream
Big Beyer Figures, big speed
The big three in the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH - THIS ONE'S FOR PHIL,
NOTONTHESAMEPAGE and TAQUARAB are fast and have big Beyer Figures.
The three posted 116, 114, and 104 Beyer Figures respectively in their last starts.
But the once-classic, class prep is now just aone0turn mile race and may not have an
impact on the Kentucky Derby 2 months from now.
But it is a supercard at Gulfstream on Saturday and the 'Youth is a fascinating race.
THE PICKS FROM THIS CORNER: Beethoven, Quality Road
Saturday, Gulfstream Park
FASIG-TIPTON FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH S.-GII,
$250,000, 3yo, 1m
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Bee Cee Cee Songandaprayer Velasquez 120
2 Theregoesjojo Brahms Desormeaux 116
3 Notonthesamepage Catienus Trujillo 120
4 Take the Points Even the Score DeCarlo 116
5 Jack Spratt Candy Ride (Arg) Douglas 120
6 Rocketing Returns Gone West Lezcano 116
7 Beethoven Sky Mesa Borel 122
8 Break Water Edison Lemon Drop Kid Coa 122
9 Capt. Candyman Can Candy Ride (Arg) Leparoux 122
10 Taqarub Aldebaran Garcia 120
11 Quality Road Elusive Quality Velazquez 114
12 This Ones for Phil Untuttable Prado 120
Read this preview from Jennie Rees:
SANTA ANITA - GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE
SHAM STAKES for 3yo's,
THE PAMPLEMOUSSE CAN PUT SOLIS CLOSER TO DERBY AIM IN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 25, 2009) – Aiming for his first Kentucky Derby
victory after three seconds in 15 career rides, 44-year-old Alex Solis attempts to
move a notch closer on Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $200,000 Sham Stakes
while riding heavily favored The Pamplemousse, a 3-year-old co-owned and selected
at sale by his son, Alex II.
The Kentucky-bred son of Kafwain, purchased last March by a partnership
for $150,000, will face eleven other 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the same distance
as the April 5 Santa Anita Derby and one that would seem well suited for the gray
colt, whose name translates to “grapefruit” in French.
After losing his first two starts while sprinting, The Pamplemousse broke his
maiden with an impressive victory at
1 1/16 miles while timed in a rapid 1:41 2/5 over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track
synthetic surface. He subsequently sizzled in taking the Grade III San Rafael Stakes
while covering one mile in 1:35 1/5 over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface on Jan. 17.
“I’m speechless, I really am,” Solis said immediately following his two-length
triumph in the San Rafael. “It feels like he’s walking, he does everything so
effortlessly.” Referring to the Kentucky Derby, Solis added, “I better start going to
church and hoping he stays sound.”
The Pamplemousse could provide the first Kentucky Derby starter for his
trainer, 70-year-old Julio Canani, who has saddled three Breeders’ Cup winners
during a 37-year career that has seen his runners earn over $40 million.
“I don’t got the (Kentucky Derby) fever,” the Peruvian-born Canani excitedly
told the Daily Racing Form after The Pamplemousse effortlessly worked six furlongs
in 1:12 2/5 on a recent morning. “Did you see that?” he exclaimed. “Look at him. He
was just galloping. Thank God I don’t got the fever.”
The Pamplemousse, who has earned $89,280 from his four starts and ranks
among the leading contenders for the Santa Anita Derby, drew post position No. 5
for the Sham, named for the winner of the 1973 Santa Anita Derby and which will be
contested for the ninth time. Giacomo ran third in the 2005 Sham in route to his
dramatic Kentucky Derby upset.
Todd Pletcher, the four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer who gained his
first Triple Crown victory with Rags to Riches in the 2007 Belmont Stakes, has
shipped Take the Points to Santa Anita to take on The Pamplemousse on Saturday.
Take the Points, who broke his maiden in the mud at Belmont Park last
September before winning an allowance event at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 31, will be
racing over a synthetic surface for the first time with Garrett Gomez named to ride.
“He trains like he’ll handle it,” Pletcher said of the gray colt owned by
Starlight Partners and sired in Kentucky by Even the Score. “If he runs well, he can
come back in the Santa Anita Derby.”
THE PICKS FROM THIS CORNER: The Pamplemousse, Ventana
SHAM S.-GIII, $200,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m (AWT)
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Hi Flyin Indy A.P. Indy Quinonez 116
2 Smart Bid Smart Strike Bejarano 118
3 Tiz True Tiznow Gryder 116
4 Lifeline Pulpit T Baze 116
5 The Pamplemousse Kafwain Solis 118
6 Balfour Park Mutakddim Blanc 116
7 Mr. Hot Stuff Tiznow Nakatani 116
8 Bourbon Bay Sligo Bay (Ire) Rosario 116
9 Ventana Toccet Rios 116
10 Mark S the Cooler Johar Talamo 116
11 Unbridled Roman Roman Dancer Smith 116
12 Take the Points Even the Score Gomez 118
CANADIAN-BREDS IN CANADIAN TURF
Saturday, Gulfstream Park
CANADIAN TURF S.-GIII, $150,000, 4yo/up, 1mT
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Rogue Victory Victory Gallop Douglas 116
2 Sporting Art Doneraile Court Desormeaux 122
3 Hey Byrn Put It Back Velasquez 122
4 Buffalo Man El Prado (Ire) Coa 122
5 Delightful Kiss Kissin Kris Borel 122
6 Passager (Fr) Anabaa Prado 120
7 Vanquisher Gulch Garcia 120
8 Just As Well A.P. Indy Leparoux 118
9 Twilight Meteor Smart Strike Velazquez 120
10 Bujagali Johannesburg Trujillo 116
11 Buddy's Humor Distorted Humor Lezcano 120
Canadian owned True Resurgence a contender
Donna and Verne Dubinsky's TRUE RESURGENCE is surging into a top older
horse in New York right now. Back at Aqueduct after a failed run in the Hal's Hope
at Gulfstream, the colt is trained by John Terranova.
The Dubinsky's own DONVER STABLE and they are from western Canada.
Canadian champion JUDITH'S WILD RUSH, who seemingly has been racing
forever, is also in the field.
FIVE-CROSS FILES BLOG
by Scot Gillier
Ascot Stud Offer Motivates Breeders
I enjoyed a nice phone chat late last week with Chris Blake of Ascot Stud in Ontario,
Canada. I had called him to discuss the farm's unusual incentive plan for breeders, as
part of my research for an upcoming issue of MarketWatch. He chatted with me for
several minutes about the program, which actually pays the owners of "solid,
hard-knocking mares" to be bred by the farm's Clifton Park (pedigree), a stallion
entering stud service in 2009.
Blake told me that the stallion's owner committed to "thinking outside the box" to
introduce Clifton Park in his first year at stud. "We asked ourselves what can we do
to maximize his strength and get the best book possible," Blake remembers. Ascot
Stud researched "what the big markets are doing as far as incentives" and tried to
emulate the innovations seen elsewhere. Blake liked the idea of offering cash rewards
to breeders who patronized a stallion in his first year, and was committed to improving
on that type of offering. The answer was: offer a "guaranteed incentive" to the owners
of broodmares that would likely improve Clifton Park's success as a first-year sire.
Instead of offering a cash payout to the breeder of the first Clifton Park foal to break
his maiden or to win a stakes, the owners of all mares accepted to the stallion's book
will receive a "reverse stud fee" of $1,000 to $5,000 (once the foal has been
vet-certified as "stands and nurses"). Read about Ascot Stud's Breeders' Incentive
Program for Clifton Park.
Blake admits that the current economic climate has "put a dent into how well the
program could've done," but he is certain that the net effect has been a larger and
much higher-class book than Clifton Park might otherwise have attracted as a
first-year stud in Ontario. The stallion's book is already halfway to the goals set by
the farm and the stud's owner.
FORT ERIE - SITTING, WAITING
Province of Ontario holds the key...
story from Niagara Falls Review...
Fewer owners willing to commit to Fort Erie Race Track
Posted By RAY SPITERI, REVIEW STAFF WRITER
Posted 44 mins ago
As the clock keeps ticking on the Fort Erie Race Track's future, the number of
horsemen willing to work there is shrinking, says the president of the Ontario
Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
"We're losing horses every day, so every day we lose we have one less trainer, one
less owner, one less horse to ... make a competitive meet that the public is going to
accept as being viable to wager on," said Sue Leslie.
"Every day we wait, we jeopardize the quality of the meet and ... income that the
horsemen and the race track are going to realize in terms of wagering dollars."
The fate of the Fort Erie Race Track is mired in limbo.
read the rest...