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Old 02-27-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Horse Racing Tid-Bits Take a Look
I have talked to Edward and have offered to help him contribute to this quality forum. I will be adding to this thread from this point on with mostly Derby Prep informatioin and oher horse racing tid bits I come across. I will also be posting picks on all Derby prep-races and any other race I think is worth wagering on.




KENTUCKY DERBY TID - BITS


Pyro, as everyone already knew, is heading to the Louisiana Derby, but he'll be joined in the race by a newcomer to the Asmussen barn, J Be K. Making his first start since Saratoga, and first since owner Ahmed Zayat took him out of Southern California and put him in Asmussen's care, J Be K scored a sharp five-length victory in an entry-level allowance sprint on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds. He earned a spot in the Louisiana Derby - which will mark both his stakes and two-turn debut - with a solid solo six-furlong work timed in 1:13.40 on Sunday. Asmussen said Kent Desormeaux will ride J Be K in the March 9 Louisiana Derby.

Monday, Pyro and Z Fortune - who will start next in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn - were up, both working in company. Pyro went six furlongs with Zanjero in 1:14, while Z Fortune, whose race comes up a week later, was timed in 1:02 for his breeze with the graded-stakes-class sprinter Noonmark.

For Pyro, it was a welcome return to the typical after a loose horse disrupted his five-furlong work the week before.

"I loved the work," Asmussen said. "This is where I want him at rhythm-wise. The loose horse last week screwing things up, I didn't like."

Asmussen said Pyro would work in company again Monday, but not with Zanjero.

"We want him nice and relaxed the last week before the Louisiana Derby," Asmussen said. "Working with another horse really seems to set a rhythm with him. It keeps him from trying to impress anybody."

Z Fortune won the Lecomte Stakes at the ongoing meet, and was beaten for the first time when he finished second to Pyro in the Risen Star Stakes. Jockey Garrett Gomez described Z Fortune after the race as a big kid, but Asmussen said Z Fortune is coming around in a timely fashion.

"The time frame is for him to get a little quicker and be a little lighter on his feet, and I think that's happening," Asmussen said. "He's maturing at the right time."
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:10 PM   #2
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War Pass (Cherokee Run)

No Blushing Groom-line horse has ever won a Triple Crown race. On the other hand, Cherokee Run, the sire of War Pass and a grandson of Blushing Groom, owns the line’s best finish, a second in the 1993 Preakness.

As a sire, Cherokee Run has not been known as a producer of distance runners. Of his progeny’s 28 graded-stakes wins, only four have come at nine furlongs and none at 10. Maybe if the Kentucky Derby were a furlong shorter, the front-running War Pass would have a bigger shot. Maybe.

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Tale of Ekati (Tale of the Cat)

The warning label accompanying any Storm Cat-line horse being considered for the Kentucky Derby — especially those by sprint sires such as Tale of the Cat — should read as follows: The Storm Cat line has produced only one Classic-winning horse, and that was Tabasco Cat 14 years ago. Of more than 160 Grade I dirt races run at 10 furlongs-plus since 1994, only two have been won by tail-male descendants of Storm Cat.



El Gato Malo (El Corredor)

Smarty Jones gave his sire Elusive Quality (and by association other Gone West-line stallions such as El Corredor) a premature reputation as a Classic influence by winning the Derby and Preakness in 2004. Smarty Jones, however, is looking like an aberration. Gone West’s descendants Mr. Greeley, Grand Slam, El Corredor and Elusive Quality are overwhelmingly sires of sprinter/miler types, having produced no other horse even approaching Smarty Jones’ combination of stamina and class.



Elysium Fields (El Prado)

El Prado raced primarily at short distances during his brief racing career in Europe. At stud he has turned out a number of top-class, middle-distance turf horses, including champion Kitten’s Joy. El Prado has also sired a pair of top-class dirt runners in Medaglia d’ Oro (winner of the 2002 Travers) and Borrego, both of whom were legitimate 10-furlong horses. Elysium Fields looked like he

could be one of the latter with his strong second in Sunday’s Fountain of Youth.



Colonel John (Tiznow)

As a four-time Grade I winner at 10 furlongs, it’s no surprise that Tiznow’s best runners have been able to get a distance. Tiznow is a tail-male descendant of Man o’ War, whose line last produced a Derby winner in Triple Crown hero War Admiral in 1937. A Derby win by Colonel John would give a huge boost to a line known not only for its historic connections, but for its ability to endure through lean times.



Majestic Warrior (A.P. Indy), Pyro (Pulpit) and Cool Coal Man (Mineshaft)

A.P. Indy has sired nine Grade I dirt winners at 10-furlongs-plus, the most of any stallion over the past 15 years. In Bernardini (2006 Preakness) and Rags to Riches (2007 Belmont), he also has back-to-back Classic winners.

Pyro is the second prominent Derby horse — Tapit was the first — for Pulpit, who thus far is A.P. Indy’s most successful sire son. Fountain of Youth winner Cool Coal Man is from the first crop of Mineshaft, another son of A.P. Indy and the 2003 Horse of the Year.

A.P. Indy has been helped by the fact that so much of the focus of the breeding industry is on commercial bloodlines (Storm Cat, Gone West and Unbridled’s Song, for example) that have shown little aptitude for winning Triple Crown races, thus leaving him with that much less competition as a Classic sire.

A.P. Indy’s success at stud has revived the male line of Bold Ruler, raising at least the possibility that the line of Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid may return to its days of glory and influence.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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KENTUCKY DERBY REPORT

FEBRUARY 28, 2008

by James Scully

Sunday's Fountain of Youth (G2) was another episode in the bizarre. The same thing happened in the Risen Star (G3), when PYRO (Pulpit) suddenly jettisoned past the entire field in the stretch, and it continued with an upset by FIERCE WIND (Dixie Union) in the Sam F. Davis and a surprising performance by DENIS OF CORK (Harlan's Holiday) in the Southwest S. (G3). Throw in the monstrous effort by EL GATO MALO (El Corredor) in the San Rafael (G3) and GEORGIE BOY's (Tribal Rule) trouncing of INTO MISCHIEF (Harlan's Holiday) in the San Vicente S. (G2), and it's all very confusing.

Are these races answering any questions about the Kentucky Derby (G1)?

COOL COAL MAN (Mineshaft) gets credit for winning the Fountain of Youth, earning his first stakes victory with a half-length decision, and the Nick Zito-trained colt favors the Gulfstream strip. He'll make his final Kentucky Derby prep over the track in the March 29 Florida Derby (G1).

Runner-up ELYSIUM FIELDS (El Prado [Ire]) turned in a good showing in his first start versus winners. An eight-length maiden special weight victor on January 19, Elysium Fields chased the pace down the backstretch and came back again after being passed in midstretch by Cool Coal Man, shifting course to the outside late while whittling an about two-length deficit. He owns room for improvement.

COURT VISION (Gulch), the 4-1 second choice, raced ridiculously far back during the early stages. Perhaps Garrett Gomez was under strict instructions to drop out of contact with the rest of the field; why else would he be 1 1/2 lengths back of 11th-place ANAK NAKAL (Victory Gallop) after a half-mile? The Remsen (G2) winner offered a solid finish, passing a lot of horses over a speed-friendly track to finish a clear third, and the well-bred colt is eligible to move forward off the race.

Z HUMOR (Distorted Humor) rebounded some from a disappointing fifth as the 6-5 favorite in the Sam Davis eight days earlier. The Grade 3 winner dueled on the lead before faltering last time, but Z Humor was taken a hold of on Sunday and got shuffled back to ninth at the half-mile mark. He closed wide to be fourth, 2 1/4 lengths back of stablemate Court Vision. The speedy colt might not be a 1 1/4-mile horse this spring, but he was taken out of his running style on Sunday and responded with a commendable effort.

It's difficult to get a gauge on the Fountain of Youth, and there's still plenty of doubt surrounding the overall quality of the field. The timer was malfunctioning during the race, and the top two finishers sat a perfect trip close to a moderate pace. Cool Coal Man benefited from the rail draw, saving ground a couple of lengths back before pouncing near the conclusion of the far turn, and he appeared ready to leave Elysium Fields in his wake in the final furlong. Then he suddenly started coming back to his rival. We don't know whether he got complacent or tired, but it was similar to his last win over allowance rivals (also from the rail) when he appeared ready to blow past GOLDEN SPIKES (Seeking the Gold) in midstretch but instead had to work hard for the one-length score.

I'd love to see Cool Coal Man make his final prep elsewhere, but it's a similar situation to 2005, when Zito was loaded with Derby prospects (eventually starting a record five entries) and decided to keep High Fly and Noble Causeway at Gulfstream (which both colts liked) for the Florida Derby. Cool Coal Man registered only a 100 BRIS Speed rating on Sunday. The big horse in the barn, WAR PASS (Cherokee Run), ran one race later.

The Barclay Tagg stable appears poised to make an impact in the coming weeks. His main Kentucky Derby hope, Futurity (G2) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) fourth-placer TALE OF EKATI (Tale of the Cat), will make his 2008 debut in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (G2), which is setting up to be a dandy, and Tagg has gotten results from Elysium Fields and BIG TRUCK (Hook and Ladder) recently. The latter recorded a career-best when finishing second at long odds in the Sam Davis, and Elysium Fields firmly established himself as a Kentucky Derby candidate in the Fountain of Youth. He overcame post 9 and a bumping incident on the first turn to finish a clear second, 5 3/4 lengths better than Court Vision.

Elysium Fields earned a career-best 99 Speed rating. Court Vision, who earned a low number (90) when capturing the Remsen in late November, received only a 93 in the Fountain of Youth.

KENTUCKY BEAR (Mr. Greeley) was bet down to 4-1 off his smashing maiden win at Gulfstream, but he was no factor in his second career start and wound up seventh. Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) winner Anak Nakal, who was making his seasonal debut for Zito, never got involved from off the pace and checked in eighth. MAKE THE POINT (Menifee) faltered badly after contesting the pace, tiring to 11th, and MONBA (Maria's Mon), the 7-2 favorite, wound up last. Monba was checked hard on the first turn and exited the race with a gash on his leg.

Unbeaten champion War Pass made his first appearance of the season one race later, and his four rivals were better suited for a $25,000 claimer than an allowance. As a result, it might as well been a walkover. War Pass did what was expected in the paid workout, running very professionally en route to a 7 1/2-length decision, but this race did little to change opinions surrounding the multiple Grade 1 hero. It was a one-turn, elongated sprint. His detractors don't think he'll get the 1 1/4-mile Derby distance under pressure. His supporters believe he's going wire-to-wire.

I was a little surprised to see War Pass, who received a 114 figure when winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), earn only a 100 Speed rating on Sunday. I know he wasn't asked for his best by Cornelio Velasquez, but I just assumed he would register a number much higher than Cool Coal Man.

FERRAGAMO (Vindication) rolled to a good-looking 1 3/4-length score in Saturday's six-furlong Mountain Valley S. at Oaklawn Park. Two-for-two this year for Larry "Cowboy" Jones, the once-beaten colt owns the pedigree to stretch out in distances but appears better suited to sprinting right now.

CASINO DRIVE (Mineshaft) won't be in the Kentucky Derby, but it would be something if he could make the Belmont S. (G1). He impressively captured his debut in Japan on Saturday, rolling to a 11 1/2-length win, and his connections nominated him to the American Triple Crown. His older half-siblings, Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy) and Jazil (Seeking the Gold), have won the last two runnings of the Belmont, and Casino Drive would be quite a story if he could make it to New York in June.

Upcoming

Saturday's Sham S. (G3) will feature a field of seven, including San Rafael winner EL GATO MALO and CashCall Futurity (G1) runner-up COLONEL JOHN (Tiznow). The Craig Dollase-trained El Gato Malo is perfect from three starts, winning the San Rafael by 6 1/4 lengths last out, and he'll break from the rail with David Flores. Real Quiet S. winner Colonel John will be making his first appearance of the year for Eoin Harty.

Top 10

1) PYRO -- Risen Star winner is the one to beat in Louisiana Derby

2) DENIS OF CORK -- Southwest winner looks like the latest Arkansas sensation

3) COLONEL JOHN -- Excited to see him return in Saturday's Sham

4) TALE OF EKATI -- Tagg runner will make 2008 bow in Louisiana Derby

5) WAR PASS -- Looked good in allowance return; how far can he carry his speed?

6) COURT VISION -- Ridiculous trip in Fountain of Youth; look for improvement next out

7) MAJESTIC WARRIOR -- Needs a good showing in deep Louisiana Derby

8) EL GATO MALO -- Talented but we'll have to see how far he can run

9) GIANT MOON -- Richard Schosberg pupil is the one to beat in Gotham (G3)

10) COOL COAL MAN -- Must give him his due for Fountain of Youth score
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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Default Fountain of Youth Times
Crist Blog | February 26, 2008

Fountain of Truth

The final time of Sunday's Fountain of Youth will go down in the past performances and the record books as 1:50.07, and there is no reason to believe that isn't within a blink of the truth. Still, it was a tortured and ultimately unsatisfying process that got it to that point.

It was obvious that the Gulfstream teletimer had malfunctioned as soon as the opening quarter-mile of the race was posted as having been run in 25.78 seconds. The entire field was not under a stiff hold; on the contrary, horses were being pushed to gain tactical position. Nothing about the subsequent fractions of the race seemed amiss, but the slow first quarter inflated the posted final time to an unusually slow 1:51.85.

Shortly after the race, DRF reporter Mike Welsch manually retimed the first quarter of the race several times and came up with a far more plausible 24.10. Clearly, something had caused the timer to begin 1.68 seconds earlier than it should have, and it was later found that an outrider's pony 20 feet from the starting gate may have tripped the beam. That premature start explained the slow first quarter, and there was and is no reason to think any other segment of the race is in error. So Welsch substituted the posted 25.78 with the 24.10, used all the other posted splits, and DRF published a final time of 1:50.17.

It could and should have stopped there. Instead, Equibase then manually retimed the entire race and all the fractions off a tape and came up with completely different times that were grossly different from the perfectly good electronically-timed final seven furlongs of the race. In this version, which became the official chart published Sunday evening, the first quarter became a quick 23.56 and, most erroneously, a fourth quarter of 26.10 followed by an incongruously quick final furlong in 12.53, a full second faster than the original.



On Monday, Gulfstream officials understandably wanted to revise that "official" clocking. What they should have done was to retime the opening quarter and used the correct electronic timing of the rest of the race, as Welsch had originally done, but instead they chose to substitute their own manual retiming of the entire race. At least, as the chart above shows, it was pretty close to the electronic times.

So maybe it should be 1:50.17 instead of 1:50.07, but that's the extent of the remaining uncertainty.

Update: Well, maybe not. Randy Moss writes on an NTRA blog:

Gulfstream's newest clockings appear to have been made from finish pole-to-finish pole, as one might expect for a 1 1/8-mile race on a track 1 1/8 miles in circumference. The problem is that Gulfstream's oval isn't exactly 1 1/8 miles, as advertised. When the retooled oval was laid out in 2005 at the time of Gulfstream's massive renovation project, a measuring error was made resulting in the dirt track being slightly longer than 1 1/8 miles in circumference. Thus when 1 1/8-mile races are hand-timed at Gulfstream from finish pole-to- finish pole, the resulting clockings are about .50 seconds too slow. This discrepancy was confirmed Tuesday by Teleview Racing Patrol, which laid out the Gulfstream timing system. Because of the error in circumference, Teleview says timing for 1 1/8 races actually begins at a special timing beam placed 17 feet after the finish pole. (Videotaped replays of the Fountain of Youth show the outrider who triggered the beam positioned next to the outer rail at about that point.) Other distances are timed in a normal fashion, since the position of pole markers around the track compensates for the extra 17 feet. Hettel and his crew undoubtedly hand-timed the Fountain of Youth the way one would expect it to be timed, and I have no doubt that what appeared on their stopwatches was acceptably close to the actual time from finish post-to-finish post. But if you want to compare the Fountain of Youth with the earlier 1 1/8-mile race that day, or any other 1 1/8-mile race during the Gulfstream meeting, or if you want fractional and final clockings that don't represent an additional .50 seconds traveled, you'll need another set of timings that begin at the actual timing beam. So here you go. That's right – yet another set of times.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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PURE CLAN SHARP


The unbeaten Pure Clan, continuing her preparation for her three-year-old debut next month, Wednesday morning drilled five-eighths in 1:00 2/5 under regular exercise rider Steve Schmezel.

Working in frigid weather over a fast Oaklawn strip, Pure Clan (pictured) went the first eighth in :12 1/5, the quarter in :24 2/5, three eighths in :36 3/5, the half mile in :48 1/5, and galloped out three-quarters in 1:14.


This was the first five-eighths work for Pure Clan, who won her four starts last year at two, and who is scheduled to make her season bow in the $100,000 Honeybee Stakes on March 16 at Oaklawn.

"I was pleased with her work," trainer Bob Holthus said from his grandstand box. "She did it easily. Steve really didn't ask her. And she came back fine. Weather permitting, she'll come back with a good six-furlongs next Tuesday, and we'll go from there."

A chestnut daughter of Pure Prize, out of Gather the Clan -- and thus a half-sister to the Holthus-trained '05 Southwest and Rebel winner Greater Good -- Pure Clan capped her perfect juvenile campaign with a pair of graded stakes scores at Churchill Downs -- the Pocahontas and Golden Rod.

After a freshening, she was returned to training last month, and has been breezing once a week.

The Fair Grounds-based Julian Leparoux, who was aboard for three of Pure Clan's four victories at two, retains the mount for the Honeybee, a 1 1/16 mile Grade 3 for 3-year-old fillies.

Eight Belles, a winner of her last two starts by a combined 28 1/2 lengths, is also being pointed by trainer Larry Jones for the Honeybee.

"Obviously," Holthus said, "...if I had a choice, I wouldn't want to face that filly first time out of the box. She's a very impressive filly. But I have no choice."

Ramon Dominguez, the leading rider at the current Aqueduct meeting, will be down from New York to ride Eight Belles in the Honeybee.

The only other definite starter for the Honeybee at this point is the Dave Vance-trained Kadira, a last-out winner (via DQ) of the Dixe Belle Stakes over the track.

Two weeks back, controlling interest in Pure Clan was sold by breeder/owner Lewis G. Lakin to the IEAH Corporation of Garden City, N.Y. Under the terms of the sale, Holthus, a nine-time Oaklawn champion, will continue to train the filly.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:42 PM   #7
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The Grade II Robert B. Lewis and the Sham Stakes swapped positions on the calendar this year, with the 1 1/8-mile Sham moved from early February to early March; and the 1 1/16-mile Lewis moved from early March to early February.

Santa Anita
Race 7
Grade III Sham Stakes
Post Time: 6:00 ET
Purse: $200,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx M Trainer

1 El Gato Malo David Flores 120 G Craig Dollase - Big favorite and just might be very beatable.

2 Success Fee Michael Baze 116 C Doug O'Neill

3 Coast Guard Rafael Bejarano 116 C David Hofmans - A very good young colt that will get better as time passes and deserves a long look in this race at a price.

4 Trevor's Clever Tyler Baze 116 C Ted West

5 Victory Pete Joseph Talamo 116 C Alexis Barba

6 Colonel John Garrett Gomez 118 C Eion Harty - Is suppose to be sitting on a big effort and was told this one hasn't ran his best as of this date. Let's see on Saturday will probably be a overlay in this field.

7 Reflect Times Mike Smith 116 C John Shirreffs - The suppose wise guy horse in Cali, not really big on this one myself but pleny are let's hope he takes some change and pushes other upward in odds.


El Gato Malo, Colonel John Lead Sham Field

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

Craig Dollase will send out undefeated 3-year-old El Gato Malo (Looking Good) for West Point Thoroughbreds in the eighth running of the Grade III Sham Stakes, while Eion Harty has Colonel John (Looking Good) making his first start of the year in the 1 1/8-mile race.

El Gato Malo, a Kentucky-bred son of El Corredor, blew by the field in the stretch to win the Grade III San Rafael Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in his most recent start. The January win came after the gelding took his 2-year-old debut by 5 1/2 lengths and the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields by 4 1/4.
David Flores returns to ride El Gato Malo for the second time--the bay was handled by Patrick Valenzuela last year. El Gato Malo will be the 120-pound highweight among seven starters in Saturday’s race.

While El Gato Malo has more recency, WinStar Farm’s Colonel John brings a little more experience into the Sham. The homebred son of Tiznow won two of his four starts, with two seconds, last year. He's not raced since a strong second-place showing to Into Mischief (Looking Good) in Hollywood Park’s Grade I CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22. Garrett Gomez replaces the injured Corey Nakatani aboard Colonel John.

Harty has called Colonel John the complete package. Should the colt go forward, he'd be entered in the Kentucky Derby off two starts this year.

Reflect Times, a Japanese-bred trained by John Shirreffs, has shown the ability to close going around one turn. His most recent race, and his first around two turns, was the Grade II Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 2.

In the Lewis, Reflect Times sat behind more moderate fractions than he'd experienced in his two prior races and edged out Indian Sun (Worth Watching) for third, beaten 6 1/4 lengths by the now-sidelined Crown of Thorns. Mike Smith returns on Reflect Times.

Second in the Lewis was Coast Guard (Worth Watching), trained by David Hofmans. Coast Guard used a forwardly-placed running style and stayed on well for the place in the Lewis, his first race of 2008. Last year, Coast Guard broke his maiden in his third start going a mile at Santa Anita on Dec. 29. He led all the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Rafael Bejarano will handle the reins.

Through Monday, Gomez led the meet standings at Santa Anita with 41 wins, closely followed by Bejarano with 40. Flores was next in line with 31 wins.

Success Fee (trained by Doug O'Neill, ridden by Michael Baze), Trevor's Clever (Ted West, Tyler Baze) and Victory Pete (Alexis Barbra, Joe Talamo) round out the Sham Field.

Sham Honors 1973 Santa Anita Derby Winner

"I think it's terrific that the Sham has become one of the more important races leading up to the Santa Anita Derby, because it's named after one of the best colts to ever run in California, in my opinion," HRTV commentator Jon White said.

"Early in 1973, Sham won an allowance race at Santa Anita by six lengths over Table Run. Later that year, I saw Table Run race at Longacres. Table Run won all three of his races at Longacres that summer, including the Longacres Derby by nine lengths. He later became one of the most successful sires to stand in Washington. When Sham won the Santa Anita Derby by daylight over Linda's Chief and tied the stakes record, it was clear that he was the real deal.

"Few people remember that Sham actually did beat Secretariat once. After the Santa Anita Derby, Sham beat Secretariat in the Wood Memorial when neither of them won. Angle Light, a stablemate of Secretariat, won the Wood in a photo finish over Sham. Secretariat finished third. But then, of course, Secretariat went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, defeating Sham in all three races.

"If not for the misfortune of being foaled the same year as Secretariat, I think Sham quite possibly could have been a Triple Crown winner himself. He was that good. By the way, Sham and Secretariat had something in common besides both being very talented. They both were out of a Princequillo mare."



March 1: 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, Turfway Park ($100,000)
turfway.com


Turfway Park
Race 11
John Battaglia Memorial Stakes
Post Time: 5:45 ET
Purse: $100,000
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx

1 Beneficiary Rex A. Stokes, III 115 C

2 Instill John McKee 121 C

3 Big Glen James Lopez 121 C

4 Mr. Harry William Troilo 115 C

5 Dixie Decison Dean Sarvis 115 C

6 Halo's King Jesus Castanon 115 C

7 Your Round Victor Lebron 115 C

8 Absolutely Cindy Orlando Mojica 116 F

9 Cherokee Triangle Miguel Mena 121 C

10 Best Buddy Brian Hernandez, Jr. 115 C

11 Briarwood Circle Patrick Husbands 115 C





Round Two for Big Glen, Your Round in Battaglia

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

The one-two finishers from the WEBN Stakes, Big Glen (Just In Case) and Your Round (Just In Case), return to contest the John Battaglia Memorial on Saturday at Turfway Park.

John T.L. Jones, Jr. & Bill Jones' Big Glen, trained by Frank Brothers, launched a run in the final quarter of the WEBN to prevail by a length and a quarter over an even harder-charging Your Round, who rallied from ninth. Jamie Lopez returns on Big Glen, while Victor Lebron rerides Your Round, owned by Katierich Stable.

But this is not a two-horse race by any means.

Mr. Harry, third in the WEBN, will be in the Battaglia as well. After a five-wide trip, he was passed late by the surging Your Round. Jockey William Troilo is back for the Battaglia.

While the fourth- and fifth-place finishers in the WEBN, U. S. Cavalry and Texas Fever, will sit out Saturday's race, Dixie Decsion, sixth in the prep, will give it another try with a new jockey, Dean Sarvis. Dixie Decision had a tight trip in the WEBN and will seek more running room in the Battaglia.

A co-highweight in the Battaglia, carrying 121 pounds, is Cherokee Triangle. He hasn't raced since struggling in the boggy conditions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last October, followed by a similar effort on yielding turf in the Grand Canyon Handicap.

Based at the Churchill Downs Training Center, Cherokee Triangle has been training well, putting in six workouts since mid-January for trainer Mike Maker. The Battaglia will be the first non-turf race for Cherokee Triangle, whose standout career effort was a 10 3/4-length win--on firm turf--in the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs in September.

Briarwood Circle comes into the Battaglia off a good synthetic track effort, albeit three months ago, when he was nosed out of the win in the Display Stakes at Woodbine. Patrick Husbands comes down from Canada to take this mount for trainer Mark Casse and nearby owner connections in Woodford Racing LLC.

Instill ships in from Chicago's Hawthorne Race Course. His last outing resulted in a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park behind Liberty Bull, most recently third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes.

An interesting challenger in the Battaglia is Absolutely Cindy, a filly owned and trained by Ronald Kinmon. Victress of the Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs last year, Absolutely Cindy will seek her her first win of 2008. In two starts this year, Absolutely Cindy was third to Bsharpsonata in the Tropical Park Oaks, followed by a distant sixth-place finish in the Grade III Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds on Feb. 9.

The rest of the field is comprised of Beneficiary, Halo's King and Best Buddy.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:48 PM   #8
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:50 PM   #9
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #10
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Default War Pass Article a Must Read
Veitch: War Pass receiving a Slew of comparisons
By MICHAEL VEITCH, On horse racing

War Pass in his recent 3-year old debut at Gulfstream. (AP photo)Comparisons to the immortal Seattle Slew are going to continue if War Pass keeps this up.

Last year’s champion |2-year-old reminded the racing world he is still the one to beat with a highly professional return to racing on Sunday at Gulfstream Park. In what amounted to a public workout at one mile, War Pass remained unbeaten in five starts and sent his career earnings to $1,433,400. Trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, he is scheduled to run next in the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs on March 15.

Nationally known handicapper and author Andrew Beyer recently suggested comparisons to Seattle Slew in a Daily Racing Form column. Seattle Slew is the only horse in history to win the Triple Crown while remaining unbeaten.

While War Pass’s racing record is a work in progress, there is a fascinating similarity with Seattle Slew in terms of pedigree. Born in 1974, Seattle Slew was a son of Bold Reasoning, a grandson of the great Nasrullah stallion Bold Ruler.

Bold Reasoning won the Withers Stakes at one mile and the Jersey Derby at 1 1/8 miles, and finished second in the fabled Metropolitan Handicap. He also set a new track record of 1:08 4/5 for six furlongs at Belmont Park. Born in 2005, War Pass is a son of Cherokee Run, who also descends from Nasrullah.

Like Bold Reasoning, Cherokee Run was a major winner at one mile and 1 1/8 miles, those coming in the Derby Trial and Dwyer Stakes, respectively. He also finished second in the Metropolitan Handicap, and equaled a track record for 7 furlongs in 1:21 1/5 at Keeneland.

The strength of Seattle Slew’s female family enabled him to get through the Triple Crown and be successful in the demanding Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles. His mother, My Charmer, is a direct descendant of the great mare Myrtlewood, whose granddaughter Myrtle Charm won the Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga in 1948. Myrtlewood’s daughter Miss Dogwood won the Kentucky Oaks, while her daughter Durazna defeated males in the Breeders Futurity.

Durazna’s family includes champion Typecast, who defeated males in the Man o’ War and Hollywood Turf Invitational, both at 1 1/2 miles. Durazna’s tribe also includes champion Ajina, winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks at 1 1/4 miles.

War Pass is also blessed with a powerful female family. His mother, Vue, has also produced Spinaway Stakes winner Oath in 1996. Her great-grandmother is champion Bayou, who finished second in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Bayou is the mother of Alluvial, who produced Belmont Stakes winner

Coastal and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Slew o’ Gold.

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So there you have it. War Pass and Seattle Slew each were sired by runners with class and high speed, and who were bred to families with stamina and strength.

Fountain of Youth Stakes

Sunday was wall-to-wall Zito, as he also sent out Cool Coal Man to win this important prep for the Kentucky Derby. The son of brilliant Horse of the Year Mineshaft sent his career earnings to $307,531, with a record of 4-1-0 from 6 starts. All his wins have been at two turns.

Finishing second in the Fountain of Youth was Elysium Fields, who swung out late in the stretch and was gaining at the end. Trained by Barclay Tagg, he joins Big Truck and Tale of Ekati as potential Derby runners from his barn.

The most significant effort in the Fountain of Youth may have turned in by Court Vision, who rallied from far back to finish third.It was his first race since the Remsen Stakes last November, and it was a perfect return.

Honors for “The Mig”

Richard Migliore has won the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award for 2008. Begun in 1950, the award honors a rider whose personal character earns esteem for the individual and the sport.

Migliore won the Eclipse Award as top apprentice in 1981, and he has won major races with top runners such as Artie Schiller, Affirmed Success, Albert the Great and Wild Again. He joins the likes of Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr., Sandy Hawley, Eddie Maple and Don Brumfield as Woolf Award recipients. There isn’t a nicer man in racing, and he thoroughly deserves this honor.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:56 PM   #11
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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How the hell can anyone rank Tale of Ekati #4 on their list of Derby contenders? I was as high as anyone on the colt last year, in fact he was my strongest opinion of the day in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. The fact remains however that he ran terribly in his only two-turn attempt thus far (albeit on an off track), and he hasn't run in several months. That makes makes him the 4th most likely Derby winner in the country? What are these guys smoking???
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:54 PM   #13
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The Grade II Robert B. Lewis and the Sham Stakes swapped positions on the calendar this year, with the 1 1/8-mile Sham moved from early February to early March; and the 1 1/16-mile Lewis moved from early March to early February.

Santa Anita
Race 7
Grade III Sham Stakes
Post Time: 6:00 ET
Purse: $200,000
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx M Trainer

1 El Gato Malo David Flores 120 G Craig Dollase - Big favorite and just might be very beatable.

2 Success Fee Michael Baze 116 C Doug O'Neill

3 Coast Guard Rafael Bejarano 116 C David Hofmans - A very good young colt that will get better as time passes and deserves a long look in this race at a price. - Scratched with minor ankle injury

4 Trevor's Clever Tyler Baze 116 C Ted West

5 Victory Pete Joseph Talamo 116 C Alexis Barba

6 Colonel John Garrett Gomez 118 C Eion Harty - Is suppose to be sitting on a big effort and was told this one hasn't ran his best as of this date. Let's see on Saturday will probably be a overlay in this field.

7 Reflect Times Mike Smith 116 C John Shirreffs - The suppose wise guy horse in Cali, not really big on this one myself but pleny are let's hope he takes some change and pushes other upward in odds.


El Gato Malo, Colonel John Lead Sham Field

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

Craig Dollase will send out undefeated 3-year-old El Gato Malo (Looking Good) for West Point Thoroughbreds in the eighth running of the Grade III Sham Stakes, while Eion Harty has Colonel John (Looking Good) making his first start of the year in the 1 1/8-mile race.

El Gato Malo, a Kentucky-bred son of El Corredor, blew by the field in the stretch to win the Grade III San Rafael Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in his most recent start. The January win came after the gelding took his 2-year-old debut by 5 1/2 lengths and the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields by 4 1/4.
David Flores returns to ride El Gato Malo for the second time--the bay was handled by Patrick Valenzuela last year. El Gato Malo will be the 120-pound highweight among seven starters in Saturday’s race.

While El Gato Malo has more recency, WinStar Farm’s Colonel John brings a little more experience into the Sham. The homebred son of Tiznow won two of his four starts, with two seconds, last year. He's not raced since a strong second-place showing to Into Mischief (Looking Good) in Hollywood Park’s Grade I CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22. Garrett Gomez replaces the injured Corey Nakatani aboard Colonel John.

Harty has called Colonel John the complete package. Should the colt go forward, he'd be entered in the Kentucky Derby off two starts this year.

Reflect Times, a Japanese-bred trained by John Shirreffs, has shown the ability to close going around one turn. His most recent race, and his first around two turns, was the Grade II Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 2.

In the Lewis, Reflect Times sat behind more moderate fractions than he'd experienced in his two prior races and edged out Indian Sun (Worth Watching) for third, beaten 6 1/4 lengths by the now-sidelined Crown of Thorns. Mike Smith returns on Reflect Times.

Second in the Lewis was Coast Guard (Worth Watching), trained by David Hofmans. Coast Guard used a forwardly-placed running style and stayed on well for the place in the Lewis, his first race of 2008. Last year, Coast Guard broke his maiden in his third start going a mile at Santa Anita on Dec. 29. He led all the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Rafael Bejarano will handle the reins.

Through Monday, Gomez led the meet standings at Santa Anita with 41 wins, closely followed by Bejarano with 40. Flores was next in line with 31 wins.

Success Fee (trained by Doug O'Neill, ridden by Michael Baze), Trevor's Clever (Ted West, Tyler Baze) and Victory Pete (Alexis Barbra, Joe Talamo) round out the Sham Field.

Sham Honors 1973 Santa Anita Derby Winner

"I think it's terrific that the Sham has become one of the more important races leading up to the Santa Anita Derby, because it's named after one of the best colts to ever run in California, in my opinion," HRTV commentator Jon White said.

"Early in 1973, Sham won an allowance race at Santa Anita by six lengths over Table Run. Later that year, I saw Table Run race at Longacres. Table Run won all three of his races at Longacres that summer, including the Longacres Derby by nine lengths. He later became one of the most successful sires to stand in Washington. When Sham won the Santa Anita Derby by daylight over Linda's Chief and tied the stakes record, it was clear that he was the real deal.

"Few people remember that Sham actually did beat Secretariat once. After the Santa Anita Derby, Sham beat Secretariat in the Wood Memorial when neither of them won. Angle Light, a stablemate of Secretariat, won the Wood in a photo finish over Sham. Secretariat finished third. But then, of course, Secretariat went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, defeating Sham in all three races.

"If not for the misfortune of being foaled the same year as Secretariat, I think Sham quite possibly could have been a Triple Crown winner himself. He was that good. By the way, Sham and Secretariat had something in common besides both being very talented. They both were out of a Princequillo mare."



March 1: 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, Turfway Park ($100,000)
turfway.com


Turfway Park
Race 11
John Battaglia Memorial Stakes
Post Time: 5:45 ET
Purse: $100,000
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile
Surface: Synthetic

Post Horse ML Jockey Wt Sx

1 Beneficiary Rex A. Stokes, III 115 C

2 Instill John McKee 121 C

3 Big Glen James Lopez 121 C

4 Mr. Harry William Troilo 115 C

5 Dixie Decison Dean Sarvis 115 C

6 Halo's King Jesus Castanon 115 C

7 Your Round Victor Lebron 115 C

8 Absolutely Cindy Orlando Mojica 116 F

9 Cherokee Triangle Miguel Mena 121 C

10 Best Buddy Brian Hernandez, Jr. 115 C

11 Briarwood Circle Patrick Husbands 115 C





Round Two for Big Glen, Your Round in Battaglia

Posted Feb. 27, 2008

The one-two finishers from the WEBN Stakes, Big Glen (Just In Case) and Your Round (Just In Case), return to contest the John Battaglia Memorial on Saturday at Turfway Park.

John T.L. Jones, Jr. & Bill Jones' Big Glen, trained by Frank Brothers, launched a run in the final quarter of the WEBN to prevail by a length and a quarter over an even harder-charging Your Round, who rallied from ninth. Jamie Lopez returns on Big Glen, while Victor Lebron rerides Your Round, owned by Katierich Stable.

But this is not a two-horse race by any means.

Mr. Harry, third in the WEBN, will be in the Battaglia as well. After a five-wide trip, he was passed late by the surging Your Round. Jockey William Troilo is back for the Battaglia.

While the fourth- and fifth-place finishers in the WEBN, U. S. Cavalry and Texas Fever, will sit out Saturday's race, Dixie Decsion, sixth in the prep, will give it another try with a new jockey, Dean Sarvis. Dixie Decision had a tight trip in the WEBN and will seek more running room in the Battaglia.

A co-highweight in the Battaglia, carrying 121 pounds, is Cherokee Triangle. He hasn't raced since struggling in the boggy conditions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last October, followed by a similar effort on yielding turf in the Grand Canyon Handicap.

Based at the Churchill Downs Training Center, Cherokee Triangle has been training well, putting in six workouts since mid-January for trainer Mike Maker. The Battaglia will be the first non-turf race for Cherokee Triangle, whose standout career effort was a 10 3/4-length win--on firm turf--in the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs in September.

Briarwood Circle comes into the Battaglia off a good synthetic track effort, albeit three months ago, when he was nosed out of the win in the Display Stakes at Woodbine. Patrick Husbands comes down from Canada to take this mount for trainer Mark Casse and nearby owner connections in Woodford Racing LLC.

Instill ships in from Chicago's Hawthorne Race Course. His last outing resulted in a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park behind Liberty Bull, most recently third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes.

An interesting challenger in the Battaglia is Absolutely Cindy, a filly owned and trained by Ronald Kinmon. Victress of the Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs last year, Absolutely Cindy will seek her her first win of 2008. In two starts this year, Absolutely Cindy was third to Bsharpsonata in the Tropical Park Oaks, followed by a distant sixth-place finish in the Grade III Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds on Feb. 9.

The rest of the field is comprised of Beneficiary, Halo's King and Best Buddy.


Coastguard will scratch from the Sham with a minor ankle injury.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:03 AM   #14
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FEBRUARY 29, 2008

by Dick Powell

I don't really like WAR PASS' (Cherokee Run) chances in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but his seasonal debut was about as good as it gets, as long as you put it into the proper context. Returning to the races off a 120-day layoff, last year's juvenile champion showed up in a high-class allowance race going a mile at Gulfstream Park last Sunday for Nick Zito.

Even with its $60,000 purse, the race was essentially a walkover for War Pass, and the bettors bet him down to 1-20 favoritism. But unlike Bellamy Road, who ran a hole in the wind in his seasonal debut going a mile, Zito was determined to use the soft spot to do some experimenting.

Unlike in his prior four races where War Pass gunned to the front and ran blistering first quarters, he cruised to the front in the long run down Gulfstream's backstretch in a pokey :23.94. Visually, Cornelio Velasquez had a tight hold of him, but War Pass was offering no resistance and settled nicely. With his running start, he threw in a second quarter of :22.78 but was not headstrong at all.

He still runs with his head held rather high with his neck stretching out, but War Pass gets his hind end underneath him beautifully and has an immense stride. He galloped around the turn and pulled away in the stretch to win by 7 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:36.38. His BRIS Speed rating of 100 was well off his 114 earned in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), but in the context of what Zito was trying to accomplish, it was exactly what he wanted.

Considering his worktab did not begin until January 10 this year, it was a very impressive performance. Winning in fast time was not going to get him ready for the big races this year, so a good mile prep where he finished up strong should have him ready for a return to stakes company. The only question he needs to answer, besides going 10 furlongs which he won't get asked until the first Saturday in May, is whether he can run in behind horses. But when you are fast as War Pass is, it's not something he'll have to deal with very often.

One race earlier, Zito sent out a pair of Derby contenders for the Fountain of Youth S. (G2). Anak Nakal (Victory Gallop) was sent off at 10-1 odds despite winning the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) in his last start. Despite his lack of stakes credentials, COOL COAL MAN (Mineshaft), who won an allowance race over the track at 1 1/8 miles, was sent off as the fourth choice at 7-1.

With a short run into the first turn, many 1 1/8-mile races at Gulfstream are won at the start and the Fountain of Youth was no exception. Kent Desormeaux, riding Cool Coal Man for the first time, broke him beautifully from post 1 and then used him a bit to maintain his position inside Golden Spikes (Seeking the Gold). As the field straightened out for the run down the backstretch, Desormeaux had prime position on the rail behind three leaders -- Golden Spikes, Make the Point (Menifee) and Elysium Fields (El Prado [Ire]).

Unlike other races when Cool Coal Man was rank and hard to restrain, Desormeaux had him behaving like a perfect gentleman. His head was steady and he was keeping up with little effort going into the far turn. Nearing the top of the stretch, it looked like Cool Coal Man might be dropping back, but Desormeaux was gearing him up for an inside-outside move. He dropped back a bit and then suddenly swung to the outside to go up after the leaders four wide.

You can watch races every day at every level at Gulfstream and rarely see the move that Desormeaux performed on Cool Coal Man. One second he's down on the inside; the next he's swooping the three leaders without losing momentum despite losing ground. Rather than wait for a hole to open, he circled the leaders at a point when you often see horses spin their wheels on Gulfstream's main track.

Poor Eibar Coa didn't know what hit him aboard Elysium Fields, but once Cool Coal Man opened a clear lead and drifted over to the rail, he re-rallied. It looked like Cool Coal Man was home-free, but Elysium Fields began to eat into his lead until his courageous late rally fell a half-length short. Considering that he was three wide every step of the way from post 9, it was a huge effort for Elysium Fields who was moving up to stakes company off a maiden win here last out.

Cool Coal Man has a few things going for him that could make him a major contender the rest of the year. He's four-for-five going two turns, he's trained by a Hall of Fame trainer that knows how to get young horses ready for big races, and his sire, Mineshaft, was a late-maturing colt. Now that Cool Coal Man has learned to relax and save energy, he could be a force to contend with -- especially if he has Desormeaux on board.

Helen Pitts has lost some good horses the past few years, but she still has EINSTEIN (Brz) (Spend a Buck), who continues to thrive at the age of six. He's a distance turf horse, but even with his tactical speed, he has managed to find trouble in many races.

After finishing last season in the Dixie S. (G2) when he lost his rider avoiding a fallen foe, he returned to the races this year at Gulfstream with a smart allowance/optional claiming win going a mile. Pitts then tried to expand his horizons when she ran him in the Donn H. (G1) last out, but he had a wide trip from post 8 and was beaten about five lengths.

Back to the turf and back to his favorite distance, Einstein was 6-1 on the morning line for the Gulfstream Park Turf S. (G1), a three-turn turf marathon. With the temporary rail down, his inside post position and tactical speed figured to be major assets and at post time he was bet down to 3-1.

At the start, Thorn Song (Unbridled's Song) went to the front and Jose Lezcano put Einstein in behind him on the rail. Even with a first quarter in :23.80 and a half in :47.44, Lezcano was worried that the pace might get backed down in front of him so he deftly steered Einstein to the outside of Thorn Song. With a perfect first-over position, Lezcano was now willing to bide his time and when they went down the backstretch for the second time, he looked like he had Thorn Song measured and was just waiting for someone to try to rally on his outside.

Einstein edged to the front nearing the top of the stretch the final time, and like always, he kicked in strong. The only closer that was making up any ground was Dancing Forever (Rahy), whose late rally fell a half-length short after waiting for room at the top of the stretch.

Despite carrying 123 pounds, Einstein earned a career-best Speed rating of 111. With three races already this year, Pitts is in a quandary since the logical choice would be to rest him up and keep him fresh for the rest of the year. The past two seasons, Einstein has done his best racing in the first quarter of the year, and Saturday was no exception.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #15
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Default Very Interesting for Horse Players
CHRB Hears World Poker Tour Concept
Email Print RSS by Debbie Arrington
Date Posted: February 28, 2008
Last Updated: February 29, 2008


The CHRB is endorsing the concept of the "World Poker Tour" and adapting it to horse racing.
Photo: CHRB
Could the folks who invented the World Poker Tour do the same for horse racing? If so, deal California in.

At its Feb. 28 meeting in Arcadia, the state horse racing board heard the outline for the World Thoroughbred Tour, the brainchild of poker tour founder Steve Lipscomb.

“We’re extraordinarily excited about the possibility to do something in this sport,” Lipscomb said. “(After the success of the poker tour), we’ve had appeals from everything from bingo to blackjack. We passed. … But there are so many parallels (between racing) with the poker market in 2001.”

That’s when the tour started poker’s rebirth.

“At that time, poker rooms were closing in droves,” Lipscomb continued. “Fans were dying out. People asked how do we save poker?”

Exploiting a hole-card camera and boiling the game down to super-simple basics, Lipscomb’s poker tour turned the centuries-old pastime into a spectator event and popular television. The tour’s biggest fans and most of its stars are under age 30. A tournament at nearby Commerce Casino the same weekend as the Santa Anita Handicap has a $7 million pot.

About a year ago, Lipscomb and his staff started thinking seriously about horse racing in a tournament format. Working with Drew Couto of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and Billy Koch of Little Red Feather Racing, the WPT crew developed a game that combined a pick-three or pick-five concept with poker tournament strategy.

Said Koch, “We can create new heroes for our sport. Handicappers can be heroes.”

“In racing, we already stand on the shoulders of giants,” Lipscomb said. “People love horses. It’s exciting to watch. But we needed a way to try to allow that young bravado thing, allow people to compete against each other instead of the anonymity of the pari-mutuel system, then translate that group experience to TV.”

The rules of the tournament would be up to the host track. Under the proposal presented to the California Horse Racing Board, the races could be limited to the host track or include other tracks, both in and out of state.

Scientific Games, which services California tracks, has the capability to put the wager into action immediately, Couto said.

“It’s doable,” he said. “This can work both on and off track and through ADW (advance deposit wagering), too.”

Here’s the concept: A bettor buys into the tournament at a set fee, such as $25. In return, the bettor receives a fantasy bankroll loaded into a plastic swipe card similar to many tracks’ rewards cards or an online betting account. Tournament wagers are restricted to win, place or show, or a combination of those, on only one horse per pre-determined race.

Unlike a multi-race wager such as a Pick 6, the bettor decides his or her wagers between races and can go “all in” at any point. The bettor can also pass a race. Television monitors keep track of the leader board. At the end of the tournament, the pool is paid out to the top 5% of the players with the winner getting 45%.

“It’s certainly very interesting,” commented CHRB chairman Richard Shapiro. “It could add new life to another old game. It’s a wonderful thing. Poker has been a phenomenon. This is a terrific concept.”

Added commissioner Jerry Moss, “We think it’s a good idea, but it’s up to the tracks how to implement it.”

The board directed its staff to draw up a proposal in time for its March meeting and public review. Tour officials hope to have the wager in place in time to introduce it at Del Mar this summer.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:13 AM   #16
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Default Saturday's Highlights
Well I'm about to head over to the Fairgrounds to take in some live action and scurry the backstretch for a little info for next weeks monster card at theFaigrounds. I will have some quality info regarding next weeks card. I have focused my attention to DCat home track today and below are the plays I'm making there today.



Race #1

#2 - Tinz No Tiz Then


2 over 1-7-8-9-10



Race #6

#5 - Good Time Sally



Race #7

#6 - Colonel John



Big Cap I'm boxing the following horses and playing the horse with the longest odds across the board.


1-3-5-6-10
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:16 AM   #17
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Thanks and good luck.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:07 PM   #18
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Thank for the insight FB
Great write ups & reading
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:45 AM   #19
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Default Good Read for us Pony Players
Honcho didn't tell the whole story to Congress

By Paul Daley, Sun Racing Writer

Article Last Updated: 02/29/2008 12:55:09 PM EST


The date was Feb. 27. The place was room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The purpose was a hearing on "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition", conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

I'm now convinced, after listening to hours of testimony from the heads of all major sports organizations and leagues, including Mr. Alexander M. Waldrop, Chief Executive Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, that no one takes the consumer (fan) into consideration when making their decisions. After all, we, ultimately, are the ones paying the salaries through ticket sales, merchandise, marketing and advertising.

Nowhere is this truer than in thoroughbred racing, where real money is lost and won on legal wagers allowed nationwide.

Here's the real question each racing fan must ask himself or herself. Do you want a level playing field for everyone or don't you care if the "fix" is in, as long as you're part of the fix?

For myself, I felt that Waldrop, former Sr. Vice President of Public Affairs at Churchill Downs, did the sport of horseracing no favors in his testimony, talking only about the use of steroids on horses while neglecting to speak plainly about other aspects of the sport which also could compromise its integrity with owners, trainers, jockeys, fans, and the welfare of the horse itself.

Why,

Mr. Waldrop, didn't you tell the committee that the 38 racing jurisdictions in the U.S. have their own sets of testing rules rather than constituting a unified body?
Why didn't you address drugs other than steroids, such as the snake venom which was found in trainer Patrick Biancone's barn, leading to a year's suspension, rather than a lifetime ban?

Why didn't you bother to talk about the jockeys, many of whom are bordering on anorexic and will resort to extreme methods in trying to maintain their livelihood?

Representative Joseph R. Pitts of Pennsylvania correctly pointed out that no data was presented regarding horse deaths or injuries and why these may have occurred. He also believes that tests should be based on blood plasma rather than urine and non-compliance of set rules should compromise subsidy to the sport in the state. Bully for him.

While talking mostly about the use of steroids on horses, Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, the top-ranking Republican on the subcommittee, suggested that horseracing lags severely behind the other sports regarding its handling of the issues regarding performance-enhancing drugs.

In his own words, he said, "Is it time to call the federal cavalry and send it chasing into your stables with guns blazing to clean up the sport of horse racing?"

In response to a query, Waldrop told the committee, "Pre-race testing would be prohibitive, cost-wise." Let me ask you, Mr. Waldrop, what price would you put on the integrity of the sport?

As much as the New York Racing Association has been maligned in many quarters, in spite of a few early glitches, the pre-race detention barn has been well received by horsemen and bettors alike for helping keepsake the integrity of the sport.

Perhaps horseracing can learn from the practices of the NCAA, which tests over 400,000 athletes per year. Any first offense in drug testing results in a year's suspension, with a second positive resulting in permanent expulsion. In a word, one strike allowed, and then you're out.

Sounds like a plan to me, but then horses can't talk for themselves.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:49 AM   #20
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Default Top 10 Horse Racing Movies by Avid Fan
10. "A Day at the Races," 1937. At the end of this typically zany Marx Brothers vehicle, there's a steeplechase race that had to be shot twice. Both times, Chico Marx, who would bet on the first fly to leave the window, bet against a crew member on a horse that wasn't scripted to win. Losing both bets, Chico said: "How could I pass up 20-to-1?" In the movie, Groucho is supposed to head up a sanatorium, but eventually, in proposing to his perennial quarry, Margaret Dumont, he says: "Emily, I have a confession to make. I really am a horse doctor, but if you marry me, I'll never look at another horse." At the track, Chico says to Groucho, "Hey, boss! C'mere! Sun-Up is the worst horse on the track." Groucho says, "I notice he wins all the time." Chico says, "Aw, just because he comes in first." Groucho says, "Well, I don't want 'em any better than first." This is hardly a racetrack movie, in the true sense, but it's difficult finding many good films that hold to the genre. "A Day at the Races" is more of an excuse for the brothers to wisecrack away for a couple of hours, and I just couldn't leave it off.

9. "Casey's Shadow," 1978. Since this film, starring Walter Matthau as a crusty quarter-horse trainer, was drawn from the life of Randy Romero, I once asked Randy about the picture. "The only thing my mother wanted to know," Romero said, "was whether that bathtub scene was really true. There was a scene where the trainer and his sons had filled up the bathtub with all their dirty dishes. I had to tell mom that it was." There's the obligatory winning race at the end, but along the way, director Martin Ritt, who was an inveterate horseplayer, gets so close to the game that you can almost smell the backstretch. One day at Hollywood Park, an acquaintance asked Matthau for a tip on a race. "I'm not the one," Matthau said. "Go see Marty Ritt if you want a winner."

8. "The Black Stallion," 1979. Mickey Rooney, who appears on this list twice, was nominated for a supporting-actor Oscar for his portrayal of a once-successful trainer who's run into hard times. The action sequences are stunning and the photography is lush and sweeping. They finally got around to filming the novel that Walt Farley wrote in 1941. Kelly Reno, an unknown playing the boy who falls in love with the horse, was 12 years old when shooting began. A lasting career in pictures eluded Reno, who became a driver of 18-wheelers. The movie triggered a sequel, a prequel and a TV series. One day at Aqueduct years ago, I shared a table with Rooney and a few others. "Between all my marriages and the horses, I've lost millions of dollars over the years," he said. "But I've got a great marriage now, and I've got the horses under control." Standing behind Rooney in a mutuel line a little later, I saw him make an $800 win bet.

7. "National Velvet," 1945. Rooney again, philosophizing as he tries to pull off the impossible, winning the Grand National steeplechase for Elizabeth Taylor's "Pie," whom she won in a lottery. Director Clarence Brown telegraphs the ending about two reels ahead of time, and many of the lines are as high as an elephant's eye, but it's a heartwarming family picture and a teenaged Elizabeth Taylor, in her fifth film, gives a preview of coming attainments. To think that MGM considered Katharine Hepburn and Gene Tierney prior to hiring Taylor. Anne Revere, who played Taylor's mother, won an Oscar for supporting actress. Pie was played by a horse named King Charles, a grandson of Man o'War.

6. "Bite the Bullet," 1975. This is Gene Hackman (after Charles Bronson turned down the part), James Coburn, Candace Bergen and others in a 700-mile endurance horse race in the late 1890s. No exacta betting. The dialogue is snap, crackle and pop, the action is in your face, the location photography is incredible, and at the end the horses are to be more admired than the actors. There were races like this in this era, with no Humane Society to get in the way. Released the same day as "Jaws," the picture had no box-office steam, but has become an oxymoron, a minor epic. In a lifetime of stellar roles, Hackman has never been better.

5. "Premieres Armes," 1950. Every list deserves a sleeper. Also known as "First Weapons," the English translation, and "Winner's Circle," this is a dour French story about a 14-year-old boy who is sent by his father from Paris to Bordeaux to learn to become a jockey. The boy matures rapidly in the face of persecutions and abuse from the stable's trainer and his rival jockeys. The film pulls no punches in portraying his hard-knock existence. Rene Wheeler both wrote and directed.

4. "Seabiscuit," 2003. Full disclosure: My wife Pat and I were non-speaking extras on this film. We were part of a crowd of a few hundred that was made to look like tens of thousands on the day Seabiscuit finally won the Santa Anita Handicap. Those long shots make anything possible. Hollywood did well by Laura Hillenbrand's best-seller, and director Gary Ross got a best-picture nomination out of it. I'm not a Tobey Maguire fan, but Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper and Gary Stevens were fine in their roles, and William H. Macy, with just a few pages to work with, stole the show as the motor-mouthed sportscaster who lightened the load of the Depression-era saga.

3. "The Killing," 1956. This was a taut telling of a heist that just happened to take place at a racetrack (Bay Meadows, in fact, after several East Coast tracks got wet feet). Sterling Hayden, the leader of the larcenous gang, worked for $40,000, and Stanley Kubrick, looking for a break-out picture, worked for nothing and shot the whole thing in 24 days. Hayden is surrounded by a who's who of character actors, including Elisha Cook Jr., who's as wide-eyed as ever. I don't know why, but Cook, a registered tippler, showed up unannounced in the winner's circle at Santa Anita one day, dressed like he was going to sea. I'm not going to spoil Kubrick's O. Henry ending, but the caveat about airplane travel still applied then: Don't overpack.

2. "Champions," 1984. This British entry would be labeled far-fetched if the story of jockey Bob Champion and his oft-injured veteran jumper, Aldaniti, weren't true. So the filmmakers were able to lather on the heartaches without being mawkish. Champion was a recovering cancer victim who rode Aldaniti to victory in the 1981 Grand National, England's 4 1/2-mile hurdling marathon. In perfect casting, John Hurt played Champion and Aldaniti, who was 11 when he won the race, played himself.

1. "Phar Lap," 1983. When I last ranked racing films, in 1989, this picture was at the head of the class, and it still is. Other than "Seabiscuit," racing films in almost two decades have failed to crash the old list. Meantime, good boxing and baseball movies have come at us at an assembly-line clip. A hint to moviemakers contemplating horse pictures: You don't have to make anything up. The Damon Runyon denizens of the racing world have had their day. "Phar Lap," "Champions" and "Seabiscuit" were good enough real stories that they didn't need embellishment. The Australian director Simon Wincer took the life of a sensational New Zealand-bred and just followed it to its bittersweet conclusion, a win in a $100,000 race at Agua Caliente and a mysterious death in Northern California. Wincer dug deep to make sure that the warts on Phar Lap's trainer (played by Martin Vaughan) showed, and American actor Ron Leibman, in the part of the owner, came off as a mercenary. Of all those around Phar Lap, only the horse's groom (Tommy Woodcock, played by Tom Burlinson) emerged unscathed.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:53 AM   #21
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Default Executive Chef AT Turfway Embezzles 70K
The executive chef of Turfway Park is accused of embezzling more than 70-thousand dollars from the track... and then gambling it away at Argosy Casino.

Kevin Kangas was arrested yesterday. He's charged with theft by unlawful taking.

According to investigators, Kangas admitted to Turfway officials that he took money from petty cash and deposits made over the past 5-weeks.

Kangas is held on a 100-thousand dollar bond.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:28 PM   #22
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"Let it Ride" didn't make the Top 10 horseracing movies? Are you kidding me???
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DiscreetCat View Post
"Let it Ride" didn't make the Top 10 horseracing movies? Are you kidding me???
DC, Tale of Ekati is officialy entered in the Lousiana Derby. What are your thoughts on him? Wondering if you had any insight? All I have are his last year runs and a bunch of e-mailed workout reports that aren't too in depth. I've been waiting for this return since November.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:10 AM   #24
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Default A Must Read!!!!!!!!!!
TRAGEDY & TRIUMPH
Jockey Robby Albarado once again loses a family member to a heart attack, but he's able to get back in the saddle -- and win Tuesday, March 04, 2008By Bob Fortus
Jockey Robby Albarado takes pride in being a professional, doing his best no matter what's happening in his personal life, good or bad.

"That's one of my strengths as a jockey," Albarado said. "I can kind of separate my emotions from my career. . . . It's a gift that some of us have, that willpower, that strength to do this."

Since last week, Albarado has been on an emotional ride.


While he was on a flight Tuesday to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to ride Curlin in a prep race for the Dubai World Cup, his younger sister, Bobbie Jo Mahagan, 32, died of a heart attack at home in Lafayette. When Albarado called his wife, Kimber, upon reaching his hotel Wednesday morning, he received the jolting news.

"A lot of emotions ran through my mind, like my daddy," Albarado said. "That was a bad summer for me (1998, when his father died of a heart attack). I got my skull crushed. . . .

"I kind of thought of what my little sister would have wanted. . . . This is the highs and lows of life. Everybody has them. You can accept them and move on, or you can drown in your sorrows. I put myself in her shoes. She wanted me to ride horses. She was so proud of me."

Albarado rode Curlin to victory the next night. On Sunday, Albarado was back riding at the Fair Grounds. On Saturday, he'll be riding in five of the six stakes races on the Louisiana Derby Day card, for which entries were taken Monday.

In the four Grade II races, Albarado will be on Blackberry Road in the Louisiana Derby, Wisconsin Lady in the Fair Grounds Oaks, Grasshopper in the New Orleans Handicap and Brilliant in the Mervin Muniz.

Last year, Curlin provided Albarado some of the most significant victories of his career. The colt won the Preakness, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic on the way to earning Horse of the Year.

In the $175,000 prep race at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai, Curlin showed that he has retained his form. With Albarado keeping him under a tight hold most of the way, Curlin ran 2,000 meters (about a mile-and-a-quarter) in 2:00.60, about a second off the Nad Al Sheba track record of 1:59.50 set by Dubai Millennium in his victory in the Dubai World Cup in 2000.



But Curlin undoubtedly could have run faster.

"I didn't know the splits, but it felt like we were just loping," Albarado said.

He said that if he had hit Curlin once with the whip, Curline might have taken off and won by 15 lengths. The idea, though, was to save Curlin's energy for the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29.


"I felt good about it, the race and all, but I thought about (Bobbie Jo) the whole time I was there," Albarado said.

Albarado's major U.S. goal is the Kentucky Derby, and like many jockeys, he's trying to land on the right horse. He has two possibilities for trainer David Carroll -- Blackberry Road and undefeated Denis of Cork, who will run next in the Rebel on March 15 at Oaklawn Park.

In the Louisiana Derby, Albarado will be riding Blackberry Road for the first time. In the Risen Star, Blackberry Road encountered serious traffic trouble and finished fifth, 3 1/2 lengths behind winner Pyro.

"He breezed well (five furlongs Sunday in 1:02 1-5)," Albarado said. "He's coming to the race well. I'm going to try to give him a good trip and pick up the pieces."

Pyro is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered Monday for the Louisiana Derby.

"He looks good," Albarado said. "Obviously, he's a special horse, and Steve (trainer Asmussen) has made the right moves with him preparing him. But you know what, I'm pleased with my mount."

Pyro had his final pre-Louisiana Derby workout Monday, running an easy half-mile in 50 4-5 seconds.

"I was scared of doing too much with him because the racetrack's been so freakishly loose," Asmussen said.

In other workouts by Louisiana Derby horses, J Be K worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:01, and Unbridled Vicar worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:02 2-5. At Palm Meadows in Florida on Monday, Tale of Ekati worked five furlongs in 1:00 1-5.

In workouts Monday by Fair Grounds Oaks fillies, Indian Blessing worked six furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:11 3-5, and Proud Spell worked five furlongs at the Fair Grounds in 1:03. Grasshopper, the probable New Orleans Handicap favorite, worked five furlongs Monday at the Fair Grounds in 1:01 2-5.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #25
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Grade III Winner Golden Velvet Sponged
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 5:08:53 PM
Last Updated: 3/4/2008 1:51:13 PM


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Golden Velvet, Darley Stable’s candidate for the March 9 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and the dead-heat co-winner of the Sabin Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 6, was found after that race to have been “sponged,” track officials have announced.


Handlers of the 5-year-old mare found the sponge after detecting a strong odor, and they immediately contacted Gulfstream officials, according to a news release from the track. The discovery came days after Golden Velvet dead-heated with Lady Marlboro to win the Sabin, her second victory in three American starts since returning from campaigns in France and Dubai.

“Sponging” horses is a felony. A small piece of sponge is placed deep within a horse’s nostril to inhibit breathing, a practice that attempts to prevent the runner from performing at an optimum level.

“The integrity of this sport is extremely important to all of us in this industry,” said Gulfstream Park president and general manager Bill Murphy in the release. “This matter is under investigation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and no compromises will be made as we protect the impeccable, better-than 70-year reputation this racetrack has earned and maintained.”

The DBPR is racing’s regulatory body in the state of Florida.

The strong odor that Golden Velvet’s handlers noticed indicated that the deterioration of the sponge was well under way when the sponge was discovered, the release said. Investigators say there is no way of determining when or where the mare was sponged.

Eventual charges may include cruelty to animals and attempting to influence the outcome of a horse race, among others, track officials said
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