HorseRacing Central November 25, 2009
CONGRATS IN ORDER FOR WOLSKI SHOW
Tom Wolski was overwhelmed Wednesday when he heard from Carolyn Pulis, executive director of The Jockey Club of Canada, that his Sport of Kings television show has been named a finalist in the 2009 Sovereign Award Media category.
Under ‘Outstanding Film/Video Broadcast, the locally-produced half-hour show that runs at 11 a.m. Saturdays on CityTV was sited for its Episode 357 that ran in October. It featured veteran jockey Richard Hamel being ‘miked’ for the running of the BC Derby and also captured a frightful accident involving jockey Jake Barton.
“Considering the huge budgeted programs nominated for this category,” a pleasantly surprised Wolski said, “we were totally surprised to even be considered for this prestigious Canadian award.”
The Sport of Kings is up against such powerful entities such as Woodbine’s presentation of the Queen’s Plate; History, Heritage and Hope on CBC Television; the 80th Anniversary of the Canadian Derby on TSN and Horse Racing Alberta.
Entering its 19th year, Sport of Kings has been nominated for a Sovereign several times and has won it in 1998 and 2001.
WHAT’S ON TAP
It is one of the busiest extended weekends on the U.S. calendar and kicks off with American Thanksgiving. The action gets started a little earlier each day with Churchill closing out its fall meeting with three consecutive 8:30 a.m. post times.
The $150,000 Falls City Handicap (1:24 p.m.) has two millionaire fillies facing off at a mile and an eighth on the main track: Unbridled Belle (Ramon Dominguez) and Swift Temper (Alan Garcia). Woodbine-based filly Serenading (Julien Leparoux) is also in the lineup. She won the Maple Leaf Stakes in her last start.
And who says horses don’t pack much weight any more? Aqueduct will host one of the oldest stakes races with the $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (11:42 a.m.) where three runners will carry in excess of 130 pounds. The heaviest impost is Go Go Shoot, toting 134 pounds. Don’t forget earlier than usual first posts at Hollywood Park (11:00 a.m.) and Golden Gate Fields (11:15 a.m.)
Churchill Downs presents perhaps the most exciting race of the weekend with the $400,000 Clark Handicap (1:29 p.m.). It features 14 starters at a mile and an eighth on the main course headed by Einstein (Rajiv Maragh), who went unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Classic three weeks ago. He has a tough assignment with post 14 but will still be the lukewarm favourite. His main competition includes the very sharp Blame (Jamie Theriot), Bullsbay (Jeremy Rose), Macho Again (Robbie Albarado) and California invader Misremembered (Victor Espinoza).
Earlier on the card is the $100,000 River City (12:29 p.m.) with former Sovereign Award winner Rahy’s Attorney (Robert Landry) as one of the choices. Aqueduct’s feature event is the $150,000 Top Flight (12:38 p.m.) for fillies and mares at a mile.
At Hollywood Park the Turf Festival gets going Friday with five graded stakes throughout the weekend. The Friday feature is the $300,000 Citation (4:30 p.m.) at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf with Cowboy Cal and Proudinsky listed as the morning line picks.
It’s closing day at Churchill Downs and the usual get-away day stakes are the $150,000 Golden Rod for 2-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth plus the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club for the colts and geldings at the same distance.
The biggest race of the Aqueduct fall meeting is the $300,000 Cigar Mile, a race that includes such stars as Bribon, Kodiak Kowboy and Pyro. The connections at press time were undecided whether to run Quality Road, scratched at the gate in the Classic and then refusing to load on a flight. He was shipped the 3,500 miles to New York by van.
There are three other important stakes at Aqueduct: the $300,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies; the $200,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old fillies at nine furlongs and the $200,000 Remsen for colts and geldings at the same trip.
Also on Saturday the stakes action continues at Hollywood Park with the $300,000 Matriarch, featuring the return of Ventura (second in the Filly and Mare Sprint) and she looms as the heavy favourite. The $100,000 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile on the lawn also goes Saturday.
The $5.9 million Japan Cup Turf goes Saturday featuring the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit as the likely favourite. Other notables are Jonathan Sheppard’s Marsh Side and Bobby Barbara’s Interpatation. The five-race card starts at 8:30 p.m.
The Hollywood Park turf-fest with the $300,000 Hollywood Derby goes at a mile and a quarter with a big field of 12-14 runners expected to run. The $100,000 Miesque for 2-year-old fillies at a mile is also part of the guaranteed $350,000 Pick 6 at Hollywood on Sunday.
Spartacus Claiming Series at Fraser Downs
This coming Sunday (Nov. 29) features the final leg of the Spartacus Claiming Series at Fraser Downs. The pacers will go for a $20,000 purse. Regular racing resumes on Friday at 7:30. This Saturday and the first three Saturdays in December the races will start at 6:00 p.m. The Sunday card starts 1:15 p.m.