Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some Cheltenham Horse Racing News

Some horse racing news: A 'promising' horse named Another Promise had its hopes of going to Cheltenham knocked when he finished last out of 16, beaten by 50 lengths, behind Polly Whitefoot in the Gosforth Decorating & Building Services Handicap Hurdle at Newcastle on his seasonal debut.

The horse travelled all right, but when Timmy Murphy asked him to make ground after the fourth-last he seemed gassed, and when brought under pressure there was still little response.

He gradually faded and trailed the field home in his own time. He could be horse racing again at the Queen Mother Champion Chase, where it's hoped he will do better.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Horse Racing News

Binocular is Cheltenham-bound after leaping his way into the Triumph Hurdle picture with a dominant display as the 6-4 joint-favourite in the Spargonet Consulting Juvenile Novices' Hurdle at Ascot.

Race horse owner JP McManus is already responsible for ante-post favourite Franchoek and he now has another leading contender as Coral offer the four-year-old at just 10-1 after he collected by six lengths.

Trainer Nicky Henderson said: "I suppose the Triumph will be where he goes, although I haven't spoken to JP as he is on the other side of the world at the moment."

Henderson then doubled up by sending out the winner of the Rosling King EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Qualifier in the shape of 9-1 chance Earth Crystal.

Donald McCain's Regal Heights (5-1) put his stamp on the 1942 Was A Vintage Year Handicap Chase with a storming 15-length call in the hands of Graham Lee.

Cheltenham Horse Racing News:

Last year's winner Exotic Dancer heads 13 entries for the Letheby And Christopher Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The eight-year-old, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, was third to his old adversary Kauto Star in the King George VI Chase but now has the chance to register his first win of the campaign.

Our Vic, one place ahead of Exotic Dancer in Kempton's Christmas cracker, has been entered by David Pipe along with stablemates Celestial Gold and Madison Du Berlais.

Trainer John Spearing looks like rerouting Simon after the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock was lost to the wet weather on Saturday.

The nine-year-old's jockey Andrew Thornton believes Simon could still be on the upgrade.

Jeremy Noseda's presence on a wet Monday afternoon at Kempton was completely unexpected and it was just as surprising when his only runner Laddies Poker Two went for a walk in the market.

The grey three-year-old, making her race course debut in the digibet Median Auction Maiden Stakes, opened at 6-4 favourite but drifted right out to 11-4 as the money came for Ocean Legend.

But after struggling in the early stages, Laddies Poker Two got herself back into contention in the home straight and cruised six lengths clear under Tom Queally.

The 11-8 jolly Ocean Legend was only second.

Friday, September 28, 2007

California Horse Racing News

The California Horse Racing Board on Thursday in Arcadia unanimously approved 12 days of thoroughbred and emerging-breed racing at Cal Expo, Aug. 20 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Because the fair is closed on Mondays except Labor Day, Cal Expo will actually race 11 days with a day-night doubleheader program Aug. 22, said Cal Expo racing director David Elliott.
The State Fair won't compete head-to-head against Bay Meadows for the first time since 1987. That's because the 73-year-old San Mateo landmark is scheduled to host its final program Aug. 18.

In the midst of redevelopment, Bay Meadows will close for all but training after the conclusion of its two-week San Mateo County Fair meet next August. Its final regular-season meet will be Feb. 6 through May 11.
Thoroughbred racing also attracts more fans and betting than harness racing. In 2004, the State Fair meet averaged slightly more than 9,000 fans, compared to fewer than 1,000 a night during the recent State Fair harness meet. Wagering at the 2004 State Fair totaled $19.6 million on live and simulcast races or $1.6 million a day. Harness racing drew about $800,000 a night.

Street Sense - horse of the year?

Street Sense will race this Saturday at Turfway Park in The Kentucky Cup Classic, has not won a race on the Polytrack surface in 2 tries.

But has had his greatest success in winning The Breeders Cup Juvenile and The Kentucky Derby following his Polytrack efforts.

The Kentucky Cup Classic will be run at 1 1/8 mile. Hard Spun will be Street Sense main rival in this race, finishing second to Street Sense in The Kentucky Derby.

Carl Nafzger, the trainer of Street Sense has decided that a short trip from Churchill Downs (his home base) would be wiser for Street Sense then to travel to the Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne or the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont.

So the plan will be for Street Sense to take on a short field at the Kentucky Cup Classic then head to the his final race of the year, The Breeders Cup Classic.

A win in the Breeders Cup Classic would surely stamp Street Sense as the horse of the year.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Horse Racing News Update

Even the most casual racing fans have watched the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May. In just two minutes, the best 3-year-old thoroughbreds in the country run for the roses at Churchill Downs. On Labor Day, in just 20 seconds, the fastest 2-year-old American quarter horses compete in the most prestigious event in their racing industry, the $2 million All American Futurity.

Heartswideopen, a 2-year-old filly, was the fastest qualifier for trainer Carl Draper. She sizzled to victory in her 440-yard trial in 20.921 seconds, the fastest qualifying time in the history of the Grade 1 All American Futurity.

Two Sam Houston Race Park trainers, John Buchanan and Heath Taylor will saddle finalists in the All American. Buchanan trains Coronas Fast Dash for owner/breeder Bobby D. Cox, and Taylor conditions the California-bred Captain Courage.

Buchanan is attempting to win his second All American Futurity; in 1987, he won with Elans Special. The Texas-bred Coronas Fast Dash was the fourth-fastest qualifier and will be ridden by Juan Vazquez, who piloted DM Shicago to victory in 2004.

Taylor is hoping Captain Courage, owned by Burnett Ranches & Chad Hart, will have what it takes in the final.

"The horse is phenomenally well-bred," Taylor said. "He is a full-brother to Corona Cash, winner of the 1997 All American. We have intentionally kept him lightly raced. He's very sound — starting to mature and peak at the right time. For all intents and purposes, it's an unbelievably tough race; the fillies look like world beaters. He'll have to step up, but he's got the looks, conformation and breeding for it."

A total of 18 trials were run on Aug. 23, with the 10 fastest runners earning the chance to compete for $2 million.

"It's a weird race," Taylor said. "I've run at every quarter horse track in the world and have never seen a place where luck plays such an important part. Despite the skill and preparation, there are so many aspects you can't control."

This weekend at SHRP
Sam Houston Race Park will host an extended weekend of live quarter horse racing. Friday night's card will be highlighted by the running of the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic (G2) with the four-horse entry trained by Heath Taylor: Toastin Dash, Conner Can, Automatically and St. Pat's First. Woodlands Stakes winner Ckh Valiant Ruler drew the enviable rail post position for Saturday's $35,000 Governors' Cup Marathon at 870 yards. Charlie Daniels will perform following Saturday's races.

There will be two matinee racing programs this weekend, with post time for Sunday and a special Labor Day race card at 1:30 p.m.

The 2007 American quarter horse meeting concludes the following weekend, with the $341,700 Sam Houston Futurity (G1) on Sept. 7 and the $114,400 Sam Houston Derby (G2) on Sept. 8.

Penn Derby offers $1 million
Philadelphia Park will present the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Monday. This is the first time in its 28th running that the purse has been increased to $1 million, and several of the nation's top 3-year-olds are nominated, including Cowtown Cat, Zanjero and Cable Boy.

Setback for Rags to Riches
Rags to Riches, the 3-year-old filly and upset winner of the Belmont Stakes, is undergoing further testing after running a fever on Monday. The Daily Racing Form reported that trainer Todd Pletcher canceled her workout earlier this week when she had a temperature of 102 degrees.

This is the second time this summer the filly has faced health issues. She was pulled up from a routine morning workout on July 22 and sent to the New Bolton Center for a thorough evaluation. Once cleared, she resumed training and was scheduled to make her next start in the Grade 1, $300,000 Ruffian Handicap on Sept. 8 at Belmont Park.

Presque Isle Downs opens
A new thoroughbred racetrack — Presque Isle Downs — will open Saturday in Erie, Penn. Its meet will kick off with the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The six-furlong stakes attracted a field of 10, including Cantrel, Coy Coyote, Lottacosta and Tres Dream.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Del Mar Summer Horse Racing

When the gate opened for Wednesday's second race, it began with a six-furlong race for California-bred maiden fillies and mares. This is a group that, on conventional dirt, might have run in the 1:10 to 1:11 range. But when the clock finally stopped after the race, the board read 1:13.95. It's a new era all right, for horses and handicappers.

The fractions for the race were 22.68 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.09 for a half-mile, and 1:00.29 for five furlongs. It took 26.86 seconds to complete the final quarter-mile. Special Smoke ($6.60), who had raced once previously, was favored. She was ridden by Jon Court and is trained by Ray Bell.

Del Mar's opener is one of the highlights of the Southern California racing calendar, and is one of the premier social events for those who live in and around San Diego. Befitting the day's importance, a slew of popular local athletes were scheduled to be in attendance, including Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, last year's most valuable player in the National Football League.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Triple Crown - Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes had three straight Triple Crown bids starting in 2002. Each of those races attracted more than 100,000 fans, including the Belmont Park record of 120,139 pulling for Smarty Jones in 2004. Last year’s Belmont Stakes race, with no Triple Crown on the line, drew only 61,168.

Curlin won the Preakness Stakes by beating the Kentucky Derby winner. To win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, Curlin will have to beat the Kentucky Oaks winner, and five other challengers. Derby winner Street Sense won't be around for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont. Will this affect the crowd numbers this year?