Tag Archive | "Doug O’Neill"

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O’Neill horse Goldencents settling in after arriving at Pimlico for Preakness

Posted on 07 May 2013 by WNST Staff

GOLDENCENTS SETTLES IN AT PIMLICO TO PREPARE FOR PREAKNESS START

Lukas Adds a Third Candidate; Itsmyluckyday Confirmed for Middle Jewel

 

BALTIMORE, 05-07-13 – Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents settled in at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday after arriving in the middle of the night from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

In 2012, trainer Doug O’Neill sent Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Baltimore two days after the race, and the colt won the Preakness. Goldencents didn’t run well in the Derby Saturday, finishing 17th on the sloppy, sealed track, but O’Neill decided to follow the plan that worked so well last year and shipped the colt to Pimlico early to prepare for the Preakness.

Maryland Jockey Club officials approved O’Neill’s request to have his Derby horse and 10 other runners occupy Barn D, the same place I’ll Have Another stayed in 2012.

“The horse is doing fantastic,” said assistant trainer Jack Sisterson. “He ate up everything last night. We just walked him this morning and his energy level is high. He’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and we’re happy to see that in him.”

Goldencents flew from Louisville to New York on Monday afternoon and was sent by van to Baltimore. He arrived at 1:30 a.m.

“That was a little later than expected,” Sisterson said. “We got him bedded down straightaway and he got a good night’s rest.”

The horse walked the shedrow at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

“He was out for about 25 minutes to get familiar with the surroundings,” Sisterson said. “His ears were pricked and he was happy.”

Goldencents is expected to return to the track for a jog on Thursday, resume galloping on Friday and have a timed workout Monday morning.

Sisterson said the O’Neill operation was comfortable at Pimlico.

“We love it here,” he said. “We’ve got great memories so we don’t plan to change that.”

Jockey Kevin Krigger is a member of Team O’Neill at Pimlico. The 29-year-old native of St. Croix, has ridden Goldencents in all seven of his starts and will be aboard in the Preakness. He will be the first African-American rider to compete in the Preakness since Wayne Barnett in 1985.

Krigger accepted an invitation to remain with the colt between the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He will exercise Goldencents and other O’Neill-trained runners in Maryland and ride them in the races at Pimlico.

“This horse is our bread and our butter, our best horse,” Krigger said. “The day I was leaving to go back to California on Monday, my agent phoned me and said ‘Doug would like you to stay and get on the horse.’ This is something I’ve always wanted to do, gallop him every day. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make.”

Krigger said he understands that he could lose some business with trainers who regularly give him mounts in California and is willing to make that gamble.

“If we get it done, I don’t see where that should be a negative impact,” Krigger said. “I’m going to give him my best to get it done. If we get it done, just me staying here and winning it should erase the fact that I stayed.”

Krigger has ridden in a number of states during his career and laughed as he recalled how he failed to get an agent when he looking into riding on the Maryland circuit a few years ago.

“I tried coming here when I went to Golden Gate Fields,” Krigger said. “I contacted a few agents and they said, ‘Nah, don’t worry about it.” So I didn’t.”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Tuesday that Titletown Five will be entered for the Preakness, giving him three starters for the second time in his career. Kentucky Derby runners Oxbow (6th) and Will Take Charge (8th) are also scheduled to compete in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Lukas decided to add Titletown Five to the roster of Preakness candidates after the Tiznow colt worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. It was the fifth fastest of 35 recorded at the distance. Titletown Five has a record of 1-2-1 from seven starts. In his most recent outing, he was fourth in the Derby Trial (G3).

“We had flirted with the idea of going into the Kentucky Derby and late additions bumped us from that,” Lukas said. “He has been doing so well lately and today just highlighted that. It was a brilliant work and a great gallop out. I just thought that it was a good spot maybe to try him. He’s an exceptional horse He’s very talented with good tactical speed. He’ll make some noise there.”

Lukas saddled Editor’s Note (3rd), Victory Speech (5th) and Prince of Thieves (7th) for the 1996 Preakness. If all three go to the post on May 18, it will extend his Preakness record to 40 competitors, including winners Codex (1980), Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995) and Charismatic (1999).

“I feel comfortable starting this horse,” he said. “I own a piece of him with Paul Hornung and Willie Davis, the all-pro players. They’re excited about him and so am I.”

Lukas said he was securing a rider for Titletown Five.

Itsmyluckyday, who finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby, was confirmed Tuesday morning as a likely starter in the Preakness. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. expressed confidence that the sloppy track at Churchill Downs was the reason for his Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner’s subpar showing.

“For a horse to train that well and run that poorly and come out of the race so well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out,” he said.

Itsmyluckyday has shown his connections nothing but positive signals since the Derby.

“Everything’s going 100 percent,” Plesa said.” He went to the track today, and my assistant trainer (Frankie Perez) and exercise rider (Peter Shelton) gave him a 10-plus on a scale from 1-10.”

The son of Lawyer Ron jogged two miles at Churchill Downs.

“It’s a good thing we went around twice and not once because I might not have gotten him back to the barn, because he was feeling so good,” Shelton said.

Itsmyluckyday was scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 4 p.m. and is expected to arrive at Monmouth Park at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday. Plesa said his colt would likely arrive at Pimlico on Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile at Belmont Park, trainer Shug McGaughey was pleased with what he saw in Kentucky Derby winner Orb Tuesday morning.

“We walked him under tack. Right now we’re in good shape,” McGaughey said. “He looks the picture, looks bright, happy with himself.”

McGaughey said Orb would return to the racetrack Wednesday morning.

The Bob Baffert-trained Govenor Charlie worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. Working in company with Fed Biz, Govenor Charlie was clocked in 1:11 2/5 after posting fractions of :12, :23 4/5, :35 2/5 and :58 3/5 under Ricardo Santana Jr. Stakes winner Fed Biz, who was ridden by Rosie Napravnik, was also clocked in 1:11 2/5.

Also at Churchill, Illinois Derby (G3) winner Departing galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning and is scheduled to tune up for the Preakness with a breeze on Saturday or Sunday. Mylute, fifth-place finisher in the Derby, walked the shedrow and could return to the racetrack on Wednesday morning.

Chad Brown-trained Normandy Invasion, the fourth-place Derby finisher, and  Rudy Rodriguez-trained Vyjack, who finished 18th in the Derby, remain Preakness possibles.

Street Spice, the fifth-place finisher in the Illinois Derby (G3), is under consideration for a run in the Preakness. Trainer Greg Geier said Tuesday that he will make the decision on whether to try the Preakness after he works the Street Sense colt this weekend.

The Kentucky-bred has a 2-0-1 record in six starts, all at Chicago-area tracks. At odds of 44-1, he finished 5 ½ lengths behind Preakness-bound Departing in the Illinois Derby on April 20 at Hawthorne.

“He had a lot of trouble in the Illinois Derby and got bumped around three or four times,” Geier said. “He was about eight-wide all the way around there.”

Bellarmine, an allowance winner on the Kentucky Derby undercard, has been withdrawn from Preakness consideration by trainer Ken McPeek.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

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Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Glenn Clark

LOUISVILLE — After the horses cross the finish line every year at the Kentucky Derby, there are inevitably two instinctual reactions. (Unless you attend the race at Churchill Downs, because then there’s actually three-the first being to say “wait, which horse was that?”)

Immediately after NBC’s Larry Collmus identifies the victor (and how fantastic was Collmus’ “ORRRRRRBBBBBBB” exclamation as the #16 horse made his move down the stretch Saturday?), both hardcore and casual racing fans alike try to identify whether or not they won any money on the race and then start to wonder “could this be the one?”

They’re of course wondering that in terms of whether or not the horse is capable of winning the sport’s elusive Triple Crown, a feat not accomplished since 1978 (Affirmed) and so desperately desired to be seen for a first time by a generation of fans. Perhaps making the wait more excruciating has been the heartbreak that has come with so many close calls during the 35 year span. The wrenching has just finally begun to wear off from last year’s near miss, as the Doug O’Neill trained I’ll Have Another was scratched just 24 hours ahead of his date with destiny in the Belmont Stakes after suffering a torn tendon.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes had been a hope to provide joy to millions but instead appeared more like a memorial service for an older friend. There was the attempt at celebration of a horse’s career but the disappointment of the end of the run was much more prevalent. The horse and trainer had skyrocketed to superstardom in the weeks between their unexpected victory at Churchill Downs and that difficult Friday press conference near the barns in New York.

But with another Derby champion comes another hope to see history.

The Maryland Jockey Club and everyone involved with Pimlico was served well by owner J. Paul Reddam’s decision to partner with O’Neill in sending I’ll Have Another to Baltimore very quickly after the Derby last year. (O’Neill will be doing the same thing this year with Goldencents, who finished a disappointing 17th in the Derby.) O’Neill became the honorary mayor of Charm City, taking in practice with the Baltimore Ravens, throwing out the first pitch with the Baltimore Orioles and showing up on as many media outlets as the MJC could dream possible. The stardom was in place before the horse ever claimed the Black-Eyed Susans.

That’s of course because the advantage we have in Baltimore is knowing that as long as nothing terrible happens with the Derby winner, we’ll always have a shot a Triple Crown alive and well on the third Saturday of May. There have been years where we’ve been smart enough to know the chance was a longshot (most notably when Mine That Bird won the Derby at 50-1 odds and had to face off against the horse’s own jockey Calvin Borel and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra in 2009), but there’s always the possibility.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Derby disappointment Goldencents to arrive at Pimlico Monday

Posted on 05 May 2013 by WNST Staff

GOLDENCENTS WILL ARRIVE TOMORROW NIGHT FOR PREAKNESS PREPARATION

BALTIMORE, 05-05-13—Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Goldencents will arrive at Pimlico Race Course tomorrow night to begin preparations for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday, May 18. Trainer Doug O’Neill followed a similar course shipping to Baltimore two days after the Kentucky Derby last year with dual classic winner I’ll Have Another.

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson informed the Maryland Jockey Club Sunday afternoon that the son of Into Mischief, who finished a disappointing 17th in yesterday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) as the third betting choice, and 3-year-old filly Birdlover will fly to New York Monday afternoon and then van down to Pimlico.

The Team O’Neill runners will be stabled in Barn D.

REPEAT WINNER IN PREAKNESS PORTRAITS YOUTH ART CONTEST

Lashé Speight, a seventh grader at Cross Country Elementary/Middle School, is the grand prize winner of the 14th annual Preakness Portraits Youth Art Contest. Speight also captured top honors last year and becomes the first repeat Jewel winner in the history of the contest.

 

Students from eight Baltimore City area schools, grades K through 12, were invited to create artwork showing the significance of the Preakness to Maryland history, while capturing the spirit of Thoroughbred racing. The artwork had to include Preakness related images.

 

As the winner of “The Jewel”, the best artwork for grades 5 through 12, Speight receives box seating for four at the Preakness, framed artwork autographed by this year’s Preakness winners, a $250 gift certificate and a presentation ceremony at the winner’s luncheon this afternoon.

 

“The Junior Jewel”, the best artwork for grades K through 4, went to Maiya Mone’t Hall, a fourth grader from Cross Country Elementary School.

 

The judging was conducted by Baltimore City Mayor’s Neighborhoods Liaison Betsy Gardner, retired Baltimore City principal Herbert Miller, Maryland Racing Commissioner David Hayden and his wife, prominent horse breeder Joanne Hayden, along with three representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club.

Participating schools:

Arlington Elementary/Middle

Cross Country Elementary/Middle

Edgecombe Circle Elementary/Middle

Fallstaff Elementary/Middle

Hampden Elementary/Middle

Mt. Washington Elementary/Middle

Pimlico Elementary/Middle

Western High

All the artwork is on display at Pimlico Race Course in the first floor grandstand through Preakness day.

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Selections for Saturday races at Laurel Park; Road to the Derby starts at Santa Anita

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Selections for Saturday races at Laurel Park; Road to the Derby starts at Santa Anita

Posted on 04 January 2013 by Gary Quill

From the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup during the first weekend in November through the end of the year, thoroughbred horse racings as far as national coverage goes into hibernation. With the new year, every horse turns a year older, and with that every owner who had a 2-year-old colt that showed promise in 2012 begins to dream of being at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May for the Kentucky Derby.

Getting a 3-year-old into the starting gate for the Run for the Roses took on a new twist last Summer. The Churchill Downs Corporation formed a committee which developed a “point system” to determine the pecking order for entry to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. The committee designated specific races across the country as official Derby Preps in which horses earned points based on how they finished. Some races are worth more points than others.

Click HERE for the entire list of Derby “point system” races.

So for 2013, trainers needed to map out a plan for their 3-year-olds to insure they compete in the races that offer the valuable points versus the biggest purses.

With that being said, the first test in 2013 for 3-years-olds who may have Derby aspirations where they can earn valuable points for entry into the Derby is the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Though it only offers a $100,000 purse, it is a Derby “point system” race. Run a 1 mile on Saturday, Jan. 5th, a field of 6 is scheduled to go postward for the 3rd race at “The Great Race Place”.

The 4-5 Morning Line favorite is the Doug O’Neill trained (#2) Goldencents who won the G3 Delta Jackpot last November in his most recent start, in gate to wire fashion. In 3 career races, his only loss came at the hands of the BC Juvenile Champ, Shanghai Bobby. In the Sham, Goldencents won’t have it all his way on the front end as (#6) Manando will provide a stiff challenge for the lead early. If these two hook-up in a speed duel, you might see the longest shot on the board (#3) Greeley Awesome cross the wire first in a shocker, as he’s the only other runner who ran well in his only natural dirt surface career start.

Recapping the final posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Jan. 1st had 5 winners from 9 races (4 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $12.20 (1st race), strong>$3.20 (2nd), $3.40 (3rd), $10.60 (6th), and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day(1 0-0-0) Summer Robin (7-2 PT; 4-1 M/L) had no excuse as he was placed in a nice stalking, was wide throughout the turn and never made up ground in the stretch, as anticipated. He earned the dubious but accurate comment “Even effort” for his 4th place finish.

The LONGSHOT PICK (1 0-0-0) Malibu Creek (7-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) ran like she was up a creek without a paddle. Breaking slowly from the gate she got a good look at every one of her foes… the entire race. Using the angle of when a trainer (Michael Trombetta) has two separate runners in a race, play the horse ridden by the “go to” jock(Julian Pimentel) failed. The joke was on me as the other runner won at a short price, ridden by apprentice Trevor McCarthy (2 for 31 at Laurel Fall meet).

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Partly Cloudy skies with just a 10% chance of precipitation, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Jan. 5th. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

1st race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Sixty Acres (8-1)
#1 – Amadorable (3-1) — SCRATCHED —
#4 – Turbo Tweaked (2-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming N1Y or N4L for F&M 4 y.o.and up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Three Ways Home (2-1)
#4 – Secret Life of Bea (15-1)
#7 – Impadoodle (7-5)

3rd race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o . – 7 furlongs
#7 – A Street (6-1)
#2 – Tamarindo (5-1)
#6 – Dubai Kingdom (10-1)

4th race – $35,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. OR N3L 5 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#4 – Rohirrim’s Pride (7-2)
#3 – Smileforthecamera (20-1)
#5 – Final Forest (15-1)

5th race – $7,500 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. OR N3L for 5 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#4 – Gagne (5-2)
#5 – Surrenderthemoney (9-2)
#2 – Changingoftheguard (9-5)

6th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Embraceable Win (3-1) — SCRATCHED —
#1/1A – Cat Wiesel / Orange’s Lil Sis (7-2)
#5 – Phi Beta Kaffa (8-1)

7th race – $10,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#8 – Chac Mool (7-2) *** BEST BET ***
#3 – No Shenanigans (3-1)
#1 – My Golden Opinion (5-2)

8th race – $40,000 Optional Claiming N4X for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#1 – Celtic Chant (5-1)
#7 – Exclusive Warrior (2-1)
#4 – Wild Rainbow (8-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming N2Y for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#6 – Lady Outflanker (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#7 – Ketubah (2-1)
#3 – Full Motion (12-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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