According to statistics provided by Equibase Company, trainer Jamie Ness won his 1,000th race on Thursday, September 23 when he sent out Afleet Ashley in the ninth race at Presque Isle Downs. Ness began his training career at Canterbury Park.
News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled by NTRA Communications.
HURRICANE IKE SHIPS IN FROM CALIFORNIA FOR SATURDAY’S SUPER DERBY
Six three-year-olds were entered for Saturday’s Grade II, $500,000 Super Derby, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La. The race is scheduled to air live on both TVG and HRTV.
The 9-5 morning line favorite is the John Sadler-trained Hurricane Ike, who comes in off a fourth-place finish in the Grade I King’s Bishop Stakes on August 28 at Saratoga. Prior to that, the Southern California based colt had captured the April 24 Derby Trial and was being pointed to the Preakness before a minor injury to his left hind leg sent him to the sidelines. Joel Rosario has the mount on Saturday, and the pair will break from post position 4.
“He should be up close to the lead,” Sadler told Mary Rampellini of Daily Racing Form after the colt arrived from Hollywood Park yesterday. “Hopefully, he’ll be in front.” An intriguing challenger to Hurricane Ike is Golden Moka, who is a perfect 4-for-4 in his career. He beat fellow Canada breds last time out in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. That race, his 2010 debut, followed three wins as a 2-year-old in Panama.
Golden Moka breaks from post 5 with jockey A. Stephens on board. Golden Moka is listed at 3-1 on the morning line.
The complete Super Derby field, in post position order, is: Ricky Tick (jockey: Marlon St. Julien, morning line odds: 15-1); Arctic Comet (John Jacinto, 20-1); Apart (Jesse Campbell, 3-1); Hurricane Ike (Joel Rosario, 9-5); Golden Moka (Anthony Stephen, 3-1); and Distorted Economy (Pat Valenzuela, 5-2).
SARA LOUISE MAKES 2010 DEBUT IN GALLANT BLOOM HANDICAP
Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap is the first Breeders’ Cup Challenge race of Belmont Park’s fall championship meet. The winner of the 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint at the Elmont, N.Y., oval will earn a berth in the November 5 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Hoping to earn that berth are the connections of Sara Louise, who will make her 2010 debut in the field of nine fillies and mares. Second by a head in last year’s Gallant Bloom to Indian Blessing, the daughter of Malibu Moon went on to finish fourth in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, and was last seen winning the Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack in November. A series of minor issues delayed her return to the races as a 4-year-old, but she has been training steadily through the summer.
“We hoped to get her to race at Saratoga,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “We hoped that this would be her second race of the year and we could go into the Breeders’ Cup as her third of the year. She had some real good works up at Saratoga on the synthetic track and yesterday she worked really well here.”
Highweight under 119 pounds and Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, Sara Louise drew post 2 and was tabbed the morning-line favorite at 2-1.
“I think it’s a good field but I think the best of her form would hold up,” said Mettee. “She’d have to run really well to justify her second start of the year running in the Breeders’ Cup. It should be an interesting race.”
A filly that could derail a victorious return to the track by Sara Louise is the 3-year-old Rapport, who has won three of her last four starts, most recently an impressive 3 ½-length triumph going wire-to-wire in the Victory Ride at Saratoga on August 28 against fellow 3-year-olds.
“She’s a really nice filly, and she worked well the other day, and we’re very happy with where she’s at,” said her Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. “You just never know when you’re going up against older mares. It’s a step up in grade, too, but I think she’s up to it.”
Martin Garcia will fly in from California to ride Rapport, 3-1 on the morning line from post position 8.
Trainer Bobby Ribaudo will saddle Qualia for her third straight graded start. Second by a head in the Bed o’ Roses in July at Belmont Park, she was never a factor after having the saddle slip in the Grade I Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on August 28.
“This will clear everybody’s mind if we get back on track,” said Ribaudo of Qualia, 5-1 on the morning line under Rajiv Maragh from post position 4. “We went into the Ballerina with the Breeders’ Cup in mind, and hopefully, this race will put it back in our minds.”
The complete Gallant Bloom Handicap field, in post position order, is: Lovely Lil (jockey: Mike Luzzi, morning line odds: 20-1); Sara Louise (Edgar Prado, 2-1); First Passage (Jose Lezcano, 15-1); Qualia (Rajiv Maragh, 5-1); My Jen (Julien Leparoux, 8-1); Devil by Design (David Cohen, 15-1); Moontune Missy (Alan Garcia, 8-1); Rapport (Martin Garcia, 3-1); and Pretty Prolific (Calvin Borel, 12-1).
BREEDERS’ CUP POST TIME AND WAGERING MENU ANNOUNCED
The Breeders’ Cup announced today the wagering menu and post times for the, 27th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be held on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. This year’s wagering menu on the 14 Breeders’ Cup races is a veritable “Bettors’ Banquet” of wagering opportunities including two all Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick Sixes; $6 million in guaranteed pools; 10-cent Superfectas, 50-cent Pick 4s, rolling Pick 3s, and trifectas; a Ladies’ Classic – Breeders’ Cup Classic daily double; and the Breeders’ Cup Jockey Bet. For the first time, all 14 Breeders’ Cup races will have a maximum of 14 betting interests.
There will be a total of 10 races (six Breeders’ Cup races) on the Championship Friday program that begins at 2:00 p.m., and 11 races on the Championship Saturday card (eight Breeders’ Cup races) that gets underway at 12:05 p.m. The preliminary race order for the Friday Breeders’ Cup races calls for the Marathon (4:10 p.m.) to kick things off, followed by the Juvenile Fillies Turf, the Filly & Mare Sprint, the Filly & Mare Turf, the Juvenile Fillies and the and the Ladies Classic. On Saturday, the first Breeders’ Cup race will be the Juvenile Turf (1:50 p.m.), followed by the Dirt Mile, the Turf Sprint, the Juvenile, the Mile, the Sprint, the Turf and the Classic.
The race order for both days of the World Championships will be finalized on Wednesday, October 27. The remainder of each day’s card will be set after entries and post-positions are drawn on Tuesday, November 2. “Year after year racing fans around the world know they’re going to find great horses on the track and exceptional value in the betting pools,” said Ken Kirchner, President of FalKirk International and the manager of the Breeders’ Cup wagering and simulcasting operations for the last 14 years. “The Championships give both the novice and the big player a chance to cash big tickets on their investment. With fractional bet levels at ten cents for superfectas and 50 cents for trifectas, Pick 3s and Pick 4s, this betting menu should appeal to fans at every level.”