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Hawthorne Racecourse (4/5/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Sweetnorthernsaint, My Golden Song, Itsallboutthechase updates

Sweetnorthernsaint – trainer Michael Trombetta

Blood-horse profile
Thoroughbred Times profile

Arrived at Hawthorne late Tuesday night

“They tell me he traveled really well, no problems. He ran once last summer, and then I got him (to train). We liked him right away, but stuck him in a $40,000 claimer first out because in Maryland there is such a big difference between the 2-year-old claimers and the special weight races. We wanted to get his confidence up moving forward. He won the race easily, but got disqualified. The ground broke out from under him at the start, and he broke sideways into another horse.

"He was pretty dominant in his next two starts, but he’s still just a young horse learning his job. In the Gotham, he really proved himself. It was his first two-turn race, and he kind of got the worst of it, being wide on both turns. He got beat less than a length. Out of that, we eventually decided that the Illinois Derby suited us just a little better than the Wood. We have Kentucky Derby thoughts, and wanted to make sure that we give him a fair chance to get the (necessary graded stakes) earnings.

"This (the Illinois Derby) is not an easy race. There are three or four legitimate 3-year-olds in there, and a horse or two that look like they can really jump up and run big, but I like my chances. All the riders that have been on him tell me that he can get the 1 ¼ miles (of the Kentucky Derby) but he has another test to pass on Saturday.”

My Golden Song – trainer Todd Pletcher

Blood-horse profile

Arrives at Hawthorne on Friday

“We picked this spot for this horse because we think he’ll like the long stretch that Hawthorne offers. At Gulfstream he’s been in a good tactical position, but when he quickens, they quicken. This is a different racetrack that we believe will suit him.

"We came into the winter very optimistic about what we had, and he’s progressed pretty well. He’s kept himself in the (Triple Crown) picture, now he has to earn his right to go to the big one (Kentucky Derby). We just want him to find decent position going into that first turn, and hopefully save a little ground. Just find his way the first part of it so he has a chance to use that long stretch to his advantage.

"There are a couple of good ones in there. I ran against Sweetnorthernsaint in the Gotham with Keyed Entry. He’s a good horse with good (speed) figures. I’ve only seen Cause to Believe on TV, but I like what I see. He’s the real deal. Chris DeCarlo rides a lot for us in Florida, and although he’s never been on this horse (My Golden Song) in a race, he’s worked him 10-12 times.

"We have had a lot of success here (at Hawthorne) the past few years with Distilled, Pollards Vision and Iso Piu Bella, and when you ship horses to a certain place and have good fortune, of course you want to come back.”

Itsallboutthechase – trainer Garry Simms

Worked five furlongs at Churchill on Monday in 1:01 2/5; expected to arrive at Hawthorne late Thursday night.

“We told Robbie Albarado to go between 1:01 and 1:02 with him (in Monday’s work), and he nailed it. The horse galloped out strongly, and Robbie told us that he’s ready to go.

"We’re really happy to get out of Florida with this horse. The Gulfstream surface just didn’t suit him. It’s kind of a front track, and this horse is an off the pace type. We sent him a little bit in the Aventura, but that’s really not the way he wants to run. In the Holy Bull, he really didn’t like the slop, but he only got beat five lengths by the horse that won the Florida Derby (Barbaro). With First Samurai in there, we thought there’d be a lot of speed in the Fountain of Youth, but it didn’t’ turn out that way. They crawled the first part of it, and good horses don’t come back.

"We’re really looking forward to see what he can do on a different track, and I think he’ll like Hawthorne’s stretch. We thought about the Lane’s End, but I they say that horses usually need a race over that Polytrack, and this race (the Illinois Derby) actually fit better into our schedule. It allowed us to give him an extra couple of weeks off.

"Mark Guidry is a great rider, but we didn’t have great luck with him, and he had other obligations for Saturday anyway. Chris Emigh is the leading rider at Hawthorne, and I’m really impressed by his win percentage. He’s like 30 percent.

"With Sweetnorthernsaint in the race, we’re pretty sure the pace will be honest. We don’t want to get too far back. Maybe seven-ten lengths at the most. We need to run first or second to consider the Kentucky Derby. He has the potential to be that kind of horse, but it’s crunch time now. We’ll be ecstatic if he proves himself on Saturday, cause if we make the Derby, we know he absolutely loves Churchill Downs.”

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs February 24 through May 4 with live racing five days per week: Friday through Tuesday. Post time is 1:10 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday and 3 p.m. on Friday. Hawthorne is dark Wednesdays and Thursdays and Easter Sunday April 16, but full card simulcasting from racetracks across the country is offered every day.

The Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, a prestigious prep for the world famous Kentucky Derby, will be run at Hawthorne on Saturday, April 8.

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