Tag Archive | "General a Rod"

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General a Rod will try again to take down California Chrome in Belmont

Posted on 31 May 2014 by WNST Staff

  • Tonalist puts in final work before Belmont Stakes
  • Belmont Stakes hopeful Samraat tunes up at Aqueduct Racetrack
  • Social Inclusion turns in fast three-furlong breeze on Saturday; final decision on Belmont Stakes or Woody Stephens to be announced tomorrow
  • General a Rod joins Belmont Stakes field following Saturday workout at Churchill Downs
  • Medal Count breezes at Churchill Downs, arrives for Belmont Thursday

Belmont Stakes contender Tonalist, trained by Christophe Clement for Robert Evans, put in his final work before the June 7 “Test of the Champion” on Saturday morning at Belmont Park. The son of Tapit was clocked in 1:00.11 for five furlongs, working in company with stablemate Life in Shambles.

“We are excited about the work and excited about the horse,” said Clement. “I got him in a minute and am very happy about everything. He went in company with Life in Shambles and it was a good work.”

Tonalist won the Grade 2 Peter Pan by four lengths on May 10 at Belmont Park over a sloppy, sealed main track. Prior to his Peter Pan score, the 3-year-old colt took a maiden race at Gulfstream Park during the winter, and finished second in an optional claimer, 3 ¼ lengths behind eventual Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Constitution.

Away from the commotion at Belmont Park, where California Chrome and Tonalist logged their final works before the Belmont Stakes on Saturday morning, Samraat geared up for the final leg of the Triple Crown at Aqueduct Racetrack. The son of
Noble Causeway went an easy mile in 1:47.55 seconds.

“It was very, very good,” said Samraat’s trainer, Rick Violette, who trains the colt for Len Riggio’s My Meadowview Farm. “He went the last quarter in :24, which was just what we were looking for. He didn’t break any stop watches, but it was pretty cool.”

Samraat has not raced since the May 3 Kentucky Derby, in which he finished fifth after contesting the early pace. The 3-year-old colt started his career with five consecutive victories before finishing second behind Wicked Strong in the Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

Social Inclusion, third in the Preakness, sizzled in a Saturday workout at Belmont Park, with his owner, Ronald Sanchez, saying a final decision on whether he competes in the Belmont Stakes or Grade 2 Woody Stephens to be made later today and announced tomorrow.

NYRA clockers credited Social Inclusion with a three-furlong breeze in 33.55 seconds and caught him galloping out a half-mile in :45 2/5, five-eighths in :58, and six furlongs in 1:09 4/5.

“We weren’t expecting him to go that fast,” said Sanchez. “The horse was real good. The track was lightning fast, and that was the best gallop out he’s ever had. He showed them this morning how good he is feeling.”

Social Inclusion, who is trained by Manuel Azpurua, easily won his first two races before finishing third in both the Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial in April and in the Preakness.

General a Rod, 11th in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness, has joined the list of contenders for the Belmont Stakes after breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 on Saturday at Churchill Downs. He’ll join California Chrome and Ride On Curlin in the group of horses who are set to run in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

“His workout was nothing out of character,” said Mike Maker, who trains General a Rod for Skychai Racing and Starlight Racing. “He’s always been a good work horse, and he had good energy this morning.”

Rosie Napravnik will ride General a Rod in the Belmont Stakes, Maker said.

General a Rod won the Gulfstream Park Derby in January before finishing second in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in February and third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in March. He was steadied on the first turn and in the stretch when beaten 9 ¼ lengths in the Derby and was shuffled back when beaten eight lengths in the Preakness.

“Sooner or later we’ll have a good trip,” said Maker.

General a Rod will fly to New York on Thursday, Maker said.

Trainer Dale Romans today sent out Belmont contender Medal Count for a second straight bullet work at Churchill Downs, where the bay son of Dynaformer covered six furlongs in a brisk 1:10 3/5, fastest of eight at the distance. Last week, Medal Count – who had an eventful trip when eighth in the Kentucky Derby in his most recent start – breezed five furlongs in 59 2/5.

“I thought he worked great and I was really happy with the way he galloped out,” said Romans of the Spendthrift Farm color-bearer. “Belmont Park should suit him well and I don’t think the mile-and-a-half will be an issue for him.”

Medal Count, who counts the Grade 3 Transylvania among his three career victories, will arrive at Belmont Park on Thursday on a flight from Kentucky along with the Mike Maker-trained General a Rod.

Medal Count will be the fifth Belmont starter for Romans, who was third in 2005 with Nolan’s Count, third in 2010 with First Dude, fifth in 2011 with Preakness winner Shackleford, and seventh in 2012 with favored Dullahan.

“Like I said two years ago [before I’ll Have Another scratched], I’m not out to spoil a Triple Crown, I want to win the Belmont Stakes,” said Romans. “I wouldn’t be coming if I didn’t think the horse could do it.”



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Derby winner California Chrome, two others arrive at Pimlico

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Staff


Derby Winner, Ride On Curlin and General a Rod Arrive at Pimlico


BALTIMORE, 05-12-14 – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome arrived at Pimlico Race Course Monday at 3:12 p.m. to continue his quest for an elusive Triple Crown sweep in Saturday’s 139th Preakness Stakes (G1).

The 3-year-old California-bred colt, who captured the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths on May 3, was soon joined at Pimlico by Preakness candidates Ride On Curlin and General a Rod, who accompanied the Derby winner on his flight from Kentucky but arrived on another van.

California Chrome, who has won five stakes races in a row by a combined 26 lengths, is expected to be heavily favored to win the $1.5 million Preakness and become the first California-bred to capture the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown since Snow Chief made his way into the Pimlico winner’s circle in 1986. Three other California-bred horses – Candy Spots (1963), Kalitan (1917) and Old England (1902) – had previously prevailed in the 1 3/16-mile spring classic.

Alan Sherman, the assistant trainer for his father Art Sherman, was at Pimlico to greet California Chrome, who was bedded down in the Preakness Stakes Barn in Stall 40, the stall traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner, as photographers snapped his every move.

“Everything went great,” said Sherman, whose father returned to Southern California a couple days after the Kentucky Derby to tend to the rest of his stable based at Los Alamitos. “He just stood there. He loved getting his picture taken.”

The 77-year-old Art Sherman, who became the oldest trainer to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner on May 3, will be making his first visit to Pimlico after his scheduled arrival in Baltimore on Tuesday. He is not a complete stranger to Maryland, however, having ridden at old Bowie Race Course in 1959.

Following training hours at Churchill Downs Monday morning, California Chrome and the others were vanned from Louisville to Lexington, Ky., where they boarded a flight that landed at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 1:46 p.m. The vans carrying the trio of Preakness contenders, as well as other candidates for Preakness Weekend stakes, received a Baltimore City Police Dept. escort to Pimlico.

Alan Sherman said he’d send the Derby winner to the track Tuesday at 6:45 a.m. but is undecided whether he’ll jog or have a light gallop.

“I haven’t made up my mind. We’ll see how he eats up tonight,” said Sherman, who reported that California Chrome would not have another workout leading up to the Preakness. “He’s fit. I’m not worried about him being fit.”

Sherman expressed no qualms about bringing back California Chrome in the Preakness on just two weeks rest.

“I’m not scared, I’m just excited,” he said. “It’s quite the experience. We’ve never gone through anything like this before.”

Ride On Curlin, trained by Billy Gowan for owner Daniel Dougherty, closed from 19th and last  in traffic to finish seventh in the Derby, 6 ¾ lengths behind California Chrome.

“He shipped good,” said Gowan after 10 or 15 trips around the shedrow of the Preakness Stakes Barn with Ride On Curlin. “He’s got a good mind; nothing much bothers him. I rode on the plane with him and in the van with him. It was good. We got a police escort, so we didn’t have to stop.”

Gowan said he’ll take the colt out for a gallop over the Pimlico surface Tuesday morning at about 8:30 a.m.

Mike Maker-trained General a Rod, who is owned by Skychai Racing and Starlight Racing, finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby following a troubled trip.

“The trip was no problem, everything was very good,” said Joel Berrenlos, exercise rider for General a Rod, who will be stabled in Barn D. “He looks good and he’s ready to go to work, so we’re hoping for the best.”

Maker was due to arrive later Monday evening.

Pablo Del Monte had been scheduled to fly with the Derby winner Monday before trainer Wesley Ward made a late decision to postpone his departure from Kentucky. Pablo Del Monte is slated to join fellow Preakness candidates Bayern, Dynamic Impact and Ria Antonia on a flight originating from Louisville on Wednesday.

Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable’s Kid Cruz was scheduled for an early evening arrival Monday at Pimlico. The Linda Rice-trained son of Lemon Drop Kid, who was slated to van from Belmont Park, captured the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico on April 19.

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General a Rod confirmed to run in Preakness

Posted on 10 May 2014 by WNST Staff


Social Inclusion Jogs, Gallops at Pimlico; California Chrome ‘Strong’; Monday Flight Confirmed Bringing Derby Winner, Ride On Curlin & General a Rod To Pimlico

BALTIMORE, 05-09-14 – The list of prospects for the 139th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on May 17 grew to 10 Friday when Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing confirmed that General a Rod would compete in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

General a Rod, trained by Mike Maker, finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday but showed so much energy this week that Maker recommended that he go on to the Preakness.

“The bottom line is that Mike thinks the horse is in good order after the Derby and he thinks the race will suit him,” Wolf said.

“He was full of himself, carrying good flesh and he didn’t get a chance to show his true colors in the Derby,” Maker said, “so it’s the Preakness and we figured we’d give it a shot.”

Javier Castellano, the leading jockey in America, has the mount in the Preakness. Castellano, who rode Bernardini to victory in 2006, will be making his third appearance in Maryland’s historic race.

General a Rod is scheduled to be flown from Kentucky to Baltimore on Monday with two other horses that ran in the Derby, the winner, California Chrome, and Ride On Curlin, who finished seventh in the 19-horse field. The Tex Sutton charter flight is due to arrive at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 1:45 p.m.

Starlight and Skychai Racing partnered to purchase the Roman Ruler colt from his original owner, J. Armando Rodriguez, on April 28. General a Rod had a strong campaign in Florida during the winter, winning the Gulfstream Park Derby on Jan. 1, finishing second by a head in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and third by 1 1/2 lengths in the Florida Derby (G1).

In the Kentucky Derby, he had a troubled trip and had to be steadied twice by jockey Joel Rosario. It was the first time in his six career starts that he did not finish in the top three. General a Rod, who had been effective running near the pace prior to the Derby, never was able to get into a contending position at Churchill Downs. He finished three-quarters of a length in front of his Starlight Racing stablemate Intense Holiday, who was forwardly placed before fading in the stretch.

Wolf said that he had expected a more competitive performance from General a Rod in the Derby.

“He came running at the end a little bit. I like seeing that,” he said. “In hindsight, if we had known that the pace would have been like it was, it would have been better if General a Rod had been where Intense Holiday was. If they had switched places we may hit the board with both of them. I thought he would have done better. We’ll tee it up again and see what happens.”

Maker, who is making his Preakness debut, said the colt would gallop up to the race.

Until his rivals start arriving on Monday, Social Inclusion will remain the lone Preakness candidate on the grounds.

Rontos Racing Stable Corp.’s 3-year-old colt, who arrived at Pimlico Thursday morning following a nearly 19-hour van ride from Gulfstream Park, got acquainted with the racing surface Friday morning. The son of Pioneerof the Nile jogged the length of the front stretch to the seven-eighths pole before galloping a mile under exercise rider Domingo Navarro.

“He looked like he loved the track,” trainer Manny Azpurua said. “The way he handled the track was nice.”

Social Inclusion is scheduled to gallop 1 ½ miles on Saturday.

“We’re not sure whether he’ll work on Monday, but what I have in mind is a half-mile,” Azpurua said. “He’ll gallop tomorrowand Sunday and then we’ll decide.”

The Preakness will mark Social Inclusion’s fourth lifetime start and first since finishing third in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5.

“He’s a strong colt, but he’s a May foal. I expect a lot of good things from him,” his 85-year-old trainer said. “I believe he hasn’t shown us all of his potential. Maybe I’m wrong, but something tells me he’s a special horse.”

Social Inclusion looked like a horse with star potential when he launched his career at Gulfstream in the winter, breaking his maiden by 7 ½ lengths in his six-furlong debut before breaking the track record for 1 1/16 miles with a 10-length victory over Honor Code in an open allowance.


In other Preakness news:

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome galloped 1 ½ miles over a fast track at Churchill Downs on a warm Friday morning with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard.

“He was strong this morning,” said Alan Sherman, assistant to his father, trainer Art Sherman. “The track was a little cuppy this morning.”

Rain began falling after training hours Friday and sporadic showers were expected to continue through the day and night and into training hours Saturday. Prior to the Derby, California Chrome trained on a sealed track the first two days after his arrival.

“We’ll play it by ear tomorrow,” Alan Sherman said. “If the track is in good shape, I don’t mind training on it.”

California Chrome stood quietly for seven minutes at the five-furlong gap before his morning activity and calmly walked back to the barn with Delgado all smiles.

“He is much stronger now than he was after the Santa Anita Derby (G1),” Delgado said. “I used to give Alan a thumbs-up when I came off the track, but now I just smile. He can tell how he (California Chrome) is doing by how much I sweat.”

Upon his arrival at Pimlico California Chrome will be bedded down in Stall 40 in the Preakness Stakes Barn, which is traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner.

Kaleem Shah’s Bayern visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.

Never off the board in four starts for trainer Bob Baffert, Bayern is scheduled to work Monday and ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.

John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner Dynamic Impact galloped 1 ½ miles before the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Marco Cano aboard.

Now riding a two-race win streak, Dynamic Impact is scheduled to work Saturday morning with jockey Miguel Mena up.

“He will be in the 6 o’clock set,” said Norman Casse, assistant to father, trainer Mark Casse. “I don’t like to work on a wet track, so we will see how it is. We may wait (until Sunday to work).”

Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia, sixth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in her most recent start, galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs with Maurice Sanchez aboard for trainer Tom Amoss.

Ria Antonia arrived in the Amoss barn on Monday and Friday marked the fourth time Sanchez had been aboard.

“She has a beautiful way of going,” said Sanchez, who was the exercise rider for Mylute, the third-place finisher in last year’s Preakness. “All I have to do is keep her safe.”

Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin galloped 1 1/8 miles under exercise rider Bryan Beccia for trainer Billy Gowan after the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs.

Ride On Curlin, seventh in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, returned to the track Wednesday and has followed a similar exercise for three consecutive mornings.

“He just ran a mile and a quarter and he is coming back in two weeks,” Gowan said. “He doesn’t need to do much.”

Gowan has Ride On Curlin scheduled for a two-mile exercise Saturday and the prospect of an “off” track is not a deterrent.

“He is going to go slow anyhow, so the track doesn’t matter,” Gowan said.

A son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin, Ride On Curlin was purchased for $25,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. His dam, Magical Ride, is a daughter of Storm Cat who was graded-stakes placed and her dam is Victory Ride, a Grade 1 winner.

“I liked his looks and that pedigree … when I saw that, I had to go in,” Gowan said. “How did I get him for $25,000? I don’t know. Ask the other buyers.”

New shooters Pablo Del Monte and Kid Cruz galloped on their home tracks Friday morning as they moved toward the final works for the Preakness.

Pablo Del Monte trained at Keeneland for trainer and co-owner Wesley Ward. The Giant’s Causeway colt was third in the Blue Grass Stakes in his last race. Ward decided to scratch and wait for the Preakness rather than start Pablo Del Monte from post 20 in the Derby. Jockey Jeffery Sanchez will ride the colt in the Preakness.

Kid Cruz is scheduled to be shipped from New York to Baltimore Monday. The son of Lemon Drop Kid galloped over the muddy training track at Belmont Park on Friday morning. Julian Pimentel, who has ridden Kid Cruz to a pair of stakes wins in Maryland, will be back aboard in the Preakness.

St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend is scheduled to breeze at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton Maryland Saturday morning.

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