Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jan. 24-25, 2015

LET'S GO TO THE RACES - JAN. 24-25, 2015

Note: This blog is non-commercial and was developed for my own personal use to organize my racing viewing activity.  Your comments as to its usefulness to you would be appreciated.  Thanks!

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!  While the Kentucky Derby Trail has been under way for several months with a few races having been completed, the industry traditionally recognizes the HOLY BULL as the official start for the Triple Crown season.   Kentucky Derby prep season Game On in Holy Bull
Blue Grass Singer eyes Derby points

Sunday: Hong Kong Triple Crown:  The Triple Crown series at Hong Kong's Sha Tin Racecourse consists of three races at increasingly longer distances. Unlike most other Triple Crown events, these races are not confined to three-year-olds.  They are:
  1. Hong Kong Stewards' Cup at 1,600 metres (0.99 mi) Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015
  2. Hong Kong Gold Cup at 2,000 metres (1.2 mi) March 1, 2015
  3. Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup at 2,400 metres (1.5 mi)  May 31, 2015
In 1994, River Verdon became the first, and to date, only horse to win the Hong Kong Triple Crown.  Read more...    Hong Kong Horse of the Year - History  

Bulletin:  ABLE FRIEND takes the Stewards' Cup easily, running next to last most of the race, then surging at the end to easily pass the field for a win by open lengths.  Results page with multi-angle video replay   Hong Kong Jockey Club Able Friend horse page with video replays of his races
Blog post, HRN:  Superstar in the Making

History was made today at Leopardstown with the 5th Irish Champion Hurdle win by the great Hurricane Fly, who has now beaten the great Istabaq's record of 4. The Fly also has 22 Grade 1s, a world record. 

Special Treat:  Hurricane Fly will meet his nemesis, Jezki, in Sunday's Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.  The Fly will be going for his record-setting 5th straight Irish Champion Hurdle, and if he's successful, he will break the venerable Istabraq's all-time record of 4 straight.  Read more

Another mighty battle between the legendary HURRICANE FLY and Cheltenham Champion Hurdle hero Jezki is on the cards, with the score currently four-two in favour of Willie Mullins' superstar. It's quite astonishing how, at the age of 11, this son of Montjeu continues to compete at such a high standard and he can create more history by winning his fifth Irish Champion Hurdle (one more than Istabraq). He took his record to nine from nine around here when beating his old adversary by just half a length in the Ryanair, putting his head down and ears back as we have seen so many times in the past, and he will be near impossible to pass if arriving in the same stubborn mood. Jessica Harrington will be hoping for third-time lucky this term with Jezki and he should put up a good fight, but ultimately, he and Arctic Fire might be left to fight out minor honours again.

Handicapping Insights - Dick Powell - 1-23-15
But things are beginning to heat up for all of us and Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park is a major step on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1).

The field of 10 has a few things in common. None are graded stakes winners. Six are eligible for non-winners-of-one allowance conditions and two others would be eligible for most tracks' allowance conditions since their other wins came against state-bred foes. Only Bluegrass Singer (Bluegrass Cat) has won an open stakes race.

So basically, the Holy Bull is a good allowance race going 1 1/16 miles on the Gulfstream Park main track. And, let's remind ourselves that we are looking to solve the Holy Bull puzzle, not pick a horse that will win the Kentucky Derby.

DRF Handicaps the Cal Cup Derby and Sunshine Millions at Santa Anita
Handicapping the races at Santa Anita Saturday - HRTV - video
THS Holy Bull Stakes - Video
TCI Insider - Holy Bull Preview - Video
Sophomores spotlight weekend Holy Bull plus 4 other stakes
James Scully KY Derby Report - Brisnet - 1-21-15

Come back after a race and click on CARD below for replay.


Time Ordered Races / Entries - printable file

Race index

1:43 ET  Rego Park S (r), Aqu, $125,000, 3yo, 6f  R3   CARD
2:58 ET  Frank Whiteley Jr S, LP, $100,000, 3yo, 7f  R6   CARD
3:30 ET  Hutcheson S G3, GP, $150,000, 3yo, 7f  RCARD
3:50 ET  Tampa Bay S G3, TBD, $150,000, 4&up, 1 1/16mT  R8   CARD
3:57 ET  Marshua S, LP, $100,000, 3yo, f, 6f  R8   CARD
4:02 ET  Sweetest Chant S G3, GP, $100,000, 3yo, f, 1mT  R8   CARD
4:30 ET  Holy Bull S G2, GP, $400,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m  R9   CARD *
5:00 ET  Cal Cup Oaks (r), SA, $200,000, 3yo, f, 1mT  R5   CARD
5:06 ET  Forward Gal S G2, GP, $200,000, 3yo, f, 7f   R10   CARD  #
5:30 ET  Cal Cup Derby (r), SA, $250,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m  RCARD
5:30 ET  Cal Cup Sprint (r), SA, $150,000, 4&up, 6f  R 8  CARD
5:38 ET  American Beauty S, OP, $100,000, 4&up, f&m, 6f  R8   CARD
5:38 ET  Kitten's Joy S, GP, $100,000, 3yo, 1mT  R11   CARD
6:00 ET  SM F/M Turf Sprint (r), SA, $125,000, 4+ f/m 6 1/2fT  R7   CARD
7:00 ET  Cal Cup Turf Classic (r), SA, $250,000, 4&up, 1 1/8mT  R9   CARD
9:56 ET  JB Connally Turf Cup G3, SH, $200,000, 4&up, 1 1/8mT  R7   CARD
10:25 ET  Houston Ladies Classic, SH, $400,000, 4&up, f&m, 1 1/16m  R8   CARD

* - KY Derby points - 10-4-2-1
# - KY Oaks points - 10-4-2-1

More on today's races
Eponymous feature highlights Tampa Bay stakes triple
Upstart faces 9 in Holy Bull
Acceptance following California Chrome's path in Cal Cup Derby
Rose to Gold defends her title Saturday in Houston Ladies Classic and faces sharp Cassatt

International - Hong Kong
3:00 a.m. ET CENTENARY SPRINT, G1, Sha Tin, $858,000, 3+, 1000mT (4+fT)  R7 CARD
                      First leg of Hong Kong speed series  Result / Race Replay
3:35 a.m. ET  STEWARDS’ CUP-G1, Sha Tin US$1,289,994, 3+, 1600mT  R8 CARD  Results
                       First leg of Hong Kong Triple Crown
                       Able Friend takes the Stewards' Cup easily - Result / Replay

Gibson wants a GOLD-FUN gold run in Stewards’ Cup
GOLD-FUN has an impressive race record. The horse that currently holds the title of Hong Kong Champion Miler has notched eight wins from 18 starts since relocating to Sha Tin from Ireland, including high-level victories in the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile, G2 Jockey Club Mile and HKG1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup. But an international Group 1 has so far eluded him.  Read more...
Able Friend instills further confidence ahead of G1 Stewards' CupStewards' Cup brace is Blazing Speed's aim
Veterans out to prove a point in G1 Stewards' Cup

Yiu happy to give AMBER SKY the green light in Centenary Sprint Cup
AMBER SKY will attempt to become the sixth horse to win back-to-back editions of the HKG1 Kent & Curwen Centenary Sprint Cup when he lines up in the 1000m dash at Sha Tin on Sunday, 25 January.  Read more
BUNDLE OF JOY for Moreira in HKG1 Kent & Curwen Centenary Sprint Cup
Manfred Man hopes Eagle can soar again in Centenary Sprint Cup

International - Ireland
9:45 a.m. ET  IRISH CHAMPION HURDLE, Leopardstown, 4+, 2miles R4

Race replay - The Fly makes history...see full write up above

HURRICANE FLY has got the better of Jezki the last twice, including in the Ryanair Hurdle over C&D last month, and can complete the hat-trick and secure a record-breaking fifth victory in this race.

Timeform 1-2-3
1: HURRICANE FLY (2)                
2: JEZKI (3)                

ATR Forecast:
8/11 Hurricane Fly, 6/4 Jezki, 12/1 Arctic Fire, 33/1 Tiger Roll, Fiscal Focus, 66/1 Plinth

No.      Horse               Jockey             Trainer_____
1          Arctic Fire        P Townsend     WP Mullins
2          Hurricane Fly    R Walsh           WP Mullins
3          Jezki                 AP McCoy      Mrs. J Harrington
4          Plinth                RM Power       A P O'Brien
5          Fiscal Flcus      MP Fogarty      D McDonogh


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