DECENT START FOR 'DUTY'
78 Beyer Figure in 3yo debut
Queen's Plate contender ACTIVE DUTY had a useful 2009 opener at Santa Anita yesterday in a 1 1/16 mile allowance race - his first start since he won the Coronation Futurity last fall at Woodbine.
The Deputy Commander-Punchbowl gelding, owned by Woodford Racing and trained by Mark Casse, had a nice trip all the way around, stalking a pace duel from 4th most of the way while a couple of paths removed from the rail.
He had a bid off the turn as the leaders weakened and then finished evenly as two others on either side of him came from well back to pass him.
The bay, ridden by Patrick Husbands, stayed on evenly to hold third place and the time was 1:44.36.
TURNING UP THE HEAT
Champion XTRA HEAT'S daughter ELUSIVE HEAT won an allowance race at Gulfstream yesterday, her 2nd win in 3 races.
What was so special about it?
How about a near track record time of 1:08.94?
Or a 109 BEYER FIGURE?
Or the fact that she won by 13 plus lengths without being asked?
She will run next in the Cicada Stakes.
HUTCHESON STAKES TODAY
The Hutcheson is not the race that it was years ago when it was actually used as a stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby but it spices up racing today as it's an interesting field.
FROM TODAY'S THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS:
the field for the Hutcheson...
Friday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 4:43 p.m. EST
HUTCHESON S.-GII, $150,000, 3yo, 7f
PP HORSE OWNER BREEDER TRAINER/JOCKEY ODDS
1 Break Water Edison Eli Gindi Caldara Farm-KY Kimmel 3-1
(c, Lemon Drop Kid--August Storm, by Storm Creek) A Garcia
2 Bee Cee Cee J Robert Harris Jr Marion G Montanari-FL Plesa Jr 15-1
(c, Songandaprayer--Mighty Rose, by Mighty Appealing) Velasquez
3 Capt. Candyman Can Joseph Rauch & David Zell Lantern Hill Farm/Rauch/Zell-KY Wilkes 3-1
(g, Candy Ride (Arg)--Stormy Way, by Storm Creek) Leparoux
4 Hello Broadway Elizabeth J Valando Elizabeth Jones Valando-KY Tagg 5-2
(c, Broken Vow--Nightstorm, by Storm Cat) Prado
5 Salo Jak Mijak Racing Stable Inc Mark Casse-FL Gilberto 8-1
(c, Graeme Hall--Fafnir, by Inspired Prospect) Santiago
6 Rocketing Returns Live Oak Plantation Live Oak Stud-FL Zito 5-1
(c, Gone West--Spring Meadow, by Meadowlake) Coa
7 Z Day Zayat Stables LLC Dr David P Hall-KY A Dutrow 6-1
(c, Five Star Day--Maybe Lin, by Fly So Free) Velazquez
NOTE: JERRY BROWN'S THOROGRAPH SHEETS (www.thorograph.com) has an analysis in today's THOROUGHBRED DAILY NEWS and says ROCKETING RETURNS is the play.
GULFSTREAM SATURDAY PREVIEW
Canadians will be interested in tomorrow's blockbuster card at Gulfstream, not only because of all the stakes races but because there is some local interest.
BEAR STABLES, the Sovereign Award winning stable owned by Danny Dion, has BEAR'S ROCKET in the Holy Bull Stakes. The Lion Heart colt will be a longshot but jockey Kent Desormeaux apparently was quite keen on riding the horse.
Race 1 tomorrow features the 3yo debut of Canadian-bred WELL POSITIONED, an Awesome Again colt out of a Holy Bull mare, bred by Adena Springs and owned by Paul Pompa Jr. of Big Brown fame. Well Positoned is a leading QUEEN'S PLATE CONTENDER.
The colt would run next in the Florida Derby should he do well tomorrow.
$150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 4:12 p.m.), 3-year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Bruce N Autumn (KY), 114, Edgar S. Prado
2. Danger to Society (KY), 114, Robby Albarado
3. Bear's Rocket (KY), 114, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Saratoga Sinner (KY), 114, Julien R. Leparoux
5. El Crespo (KY), 114, Javier Castellano
6. Rockland (KY), 114, Jose Lezcano
7. Stately Character (KY), 120, Herb McCauley
8. Idol Maker (KY), 114, John R. Velazquez
9. Nowhere to Hide (KY), 114, Alan Garcia
10. West Side Bernie (KY), 122, Elvis Trujillo
11. Beethoven (KY), 122, Calvin H. Borel
Saturday, Gulfstream Park DONN H.-GI, $500,000, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Finallymadeit Concerto Nunez 117
2 Albertus Maximus Albert the Great Garcia 120
3 Anak Nakal Victory Gallop Bravo 117
4 Bullsbay Tiznow Velazquez 114
5 A.P. Arrow A.P. Indy Desormeaux 115
6 On Board Again Awesome Again Coa 112
7 Arson Squad Brahms Prado 119
8 Sir Whimsey Jump Start Albarado 116
9 Great Hunter Aptitude Castellano 116
10 Einstein (Brz) Spend a Buck Leparaoux 122
(PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT, Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner ALBERTUS MAXIMUS, out to prove that score was not a fluke as he races in the DONN HANDICAP TOMORROW. Cindy Pierson Dulay photo)
HOLY BULL SET-UP
from Gulfstream Park notes...
Beethoven & Danger to Society Top Holy Bull Field
John Oxley’s Beethoven makes his much anticipated 3-year-old debut in the Holy Bull Stakes after capturing the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last out at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, while Lansdon Robbins III and Sam Delaney’s Danger to Society, a very promising colt who is two-for-two, makes his stakes debut in the field of 11.
Calvin Borel rode Beethoven to win the KJC for trainer John Ward and he will be back in town for the mount Saturday, although they will have to overcome the far outside post 11. Beethoven is a $300,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Sky Mesa, a top horse raced by Oxley and trained by Ward.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux rides Danger to Society for trainer Ken McPeek and drew well in post 2. The $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling purchase by Harlan’s Holiday won his debut at Churchill Downs in mid-November and came back with an impressive 3½ lengths allowance score going 1 1/8 miles over the Gulfstream track on Jan. 8 in his only other start.
Other contenders with solid credentials include Lori and George Hall’s West Side Bernie, Elvis Trujillo; Emory Hamilton’s Rockland, Jose Lezcano; and My Meadowview Farm’s Nowhere to Hide, Alan Garcia.
West Side Bernie is a Bernstein colt trained by Kelly Breen and makes his first start since a strong runner-up effort in the Delta Jackpot (G3) at Delta Downs in Louisiana on Dec. 5. The $50,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase had won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3) at Turfway Park and finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita in his two previous starts.
Rockland is a Kentucky homebred colt from Smarty Jones’ first crop trained by Michael Matz and makes his stakes debut. After finishing third in his career debut at Keeneland in October, Rockland broke his maiden at Meadowlands in November and won an allowance last out going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Calder last out on Dec. 20.
Nowhere to Hide is a $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase trained by Nick Zito and broke his maiden last out at Calder going one mile around two turns on Dec. 13. The son of Vindication had run well in each of four previous starts, finishing second twice and third once.
Completing the field for the Holy Bull are Zayat Stable’s Bruce N Autumn, Edgar Prado; Bear Stable’s Bear’s Rocket, Kent Desormeaux, Lally Stable’s Saratoga Sinner, Julien Leparoux; G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.’s El Crespo, Javier Castellano; New Life Stable and Equus Racing’s Stately Character, Herb McCauley; and James Scatuorchio’s Idol Maker, John R. Velazquez.
Gulfstream Park Barn notes
Tough Questions for Albertus Maximus in Donn
With eyes fixed on the riches of Dubai, Shadwell Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will send Albertus Maximus into Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) with questions to answer.
The 5-year-old son of Albert the Great has been off since winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. He was purchased privately shortly after by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum with the goal of converting his form on synthetic tracks to natural dirt.
“We’re asking him to run longer and on dirt,” said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother Kiaran and a key member of the team that guided Invasor to Donn and Dubai World Cup (G1) victories in 2007. “Those will be difficult questions for him, but we’re hoping he can step forward to the World Cup with a good race here.”
Albertus Maximus has not raced on dirt since his second and third career starts in 2007 before Santa Anita switched to a synthetic surface.
“He’s proved a mile is his best distance and he’s proved to be very good on the ‘Poly,’” said McLaughlin. “There are a couple things he needs to try and prove. He has run well on dirt in the past and he’s training on it very well here.”
COMING UP SUNDAY
More Canadian action with Callwood Dancer
Kip Deville returns too
Sunday, Gulfstream Park
GULFSTREAM PARK TURF H.-GI, $300,000, 4yo/up,
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Just as Well A.P. Indy Leparoux 113
2 Kiss the Kid Lemon Drop Kid Trujillo 117
3 Pick Six Dynaformer Douglas 112
4 Court Vision Gulch Dominguez 121
5 Red Rocks (Ire) Galileo (Ire) Castellano 122
6 Sligovitz Sligo Bay (Ire) Velazquez 114
7 Uigur (Brz) Astor Place (Ire) Garcia 115
8 Kip Deville Kipling Velasquez 124
9 Nergal (Fr) Simon du Desert (Fr) Desormeaux 114
MTO Phil the Power Red Bullet Coa 111
11 Summer Patriot Unbridled’s Song Coa 114
Sunday, Gulfstream Park
SUWANNEE RIVER S.-GIII, $125,000, 4yo/up, f/m,
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY WT
1 Long Approach Broad Brush Leparoux 116
2 Lady Carlock Chester House J Bridgmohan 116
3 Waquoit's Love Not For Love Douglas 120
4 Drop a Line Lemon Drop Kid Dominguez 116
5 Ballymore Lady War Chant Prado 118
6 The Niagara Queen Langfuhr Velazquez 122
7 Callwood Dancer (Ire) Danehill Dancer (Ire) Castellano 122
8 Mushka Empire Maker Desormeaux 122
9 Tejida Rahy Lezcano 116
10 Flibberjibit Arch Castro 118
SILVER MIST win DUTY FREE prep race
If you watched the races from Dubai yesterday ((shown on HPI TV each Thursday morning) you would have seen a cool sight - SILVER MIST, from Aouth Africa, charging through a grey mist in the stretch to win the Group 3 Al Rashidiya, the turf feature on the third night of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
The race is a prep for the $5 DUBAI DUTY FREE held on the big day at the end of March.
Silver Mist is trained by Mike de Kock.
NICANOR - STEADYING WEIGHT ON SHOULDERS