NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
TIGER DOES DUBAI, GETS HORSE NAMED AFTER HIM
In town for the PGA European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic, golfing sensation Tiger Woods spent Wednesday afternoon touring the state of the art Al Quoz Stables in Dubai, the home of the Emirates World Series Racing Champions.
During Woods's tour, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE Minister of Defense and the driving force behind the famed Godolphin racing stable, stated that one of Godolphin Racing's most promising two-year-olds was to be named Dubai Tiger. The colt was purchased for $1,800,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September Yearling Sales and is by Storm Cat, out of the Saratoga Six mare Toga Toga Toga. "Tiger is very pleased that we are naming one of our most exciting two-year-olds after him," said Sheikh Mohammed. "We hope that Dubai Tiger will become an equally outstanding athlete of the future."
While looking around the state of the art training facilities, Woods was introduced to some of Godolphin's leading Thoroughbreds, including Best Of The Bests, who will be heading Godolphin's defense of the worlds' richest race, the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup, won last year by Godolphin's Dubai Millennium.
"This was the perfect opportunity to show one of the world's greatest sportsmen some of the world's greatest equine athletes," Sheikh Mohammed said after the tour. "Tiger Woods, Godolphin and Dubai all have one thing in common: their strive for excellence."
Woods showed a great deal of interest in the sport of horseracing and discussed with Sheikh Mohammed a number of topics relating to the training and breeding of Thoroughbred and Arabian racehorses. "It is a great honor for me that Sheikh Mohammed has chosen the name Dubai Tiger for one of his racehorses," Woods said. "I am so impressed at how sophisticated the whole training facility is here. It has been a really enjoyable afternoon."
STREET CRY TAKES SUCCESSFUL FIRST STEP EN ROUTE TO DERBY
Street Cry, third-place finisher behind Macho Uno and Point Given in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, won his 2001 debut today, taking the United Arab Emirates 2000 Guineas at Nad al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai today. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Street Cry prevailed by two lengths over Noverre, a half-brother to Arazi. Street Cry, clearly this year's top Kentucky Derby hope for Godolphin Racing, is expected to start next in the March 24 United Arab Emirates Derby, also at Nad al Sheba.
TIZNOW HEADS BAKER'S DOZEN IN BIG CAP
Last year's Horse of the Year, Tiznow, will look to rebound from his second-place finish to Wooden Phone in the February 3 Strub Stakes when he takes on 12 rivals in Saturday's Grade I, $1,000,000 Santa Anita Handicap to be run at 1 1/4 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Slated to carry 122 pounds in the race known as the Big 'Cap, Tiznow will break from post five as the highweight in the field and has been established as the 8-5 morning line favorite. The complete Santa Anita Handicap field from the rail out is: Perssonet (to be ridden by Brice Blanc, morning line odds: 20-1); Wooden Phone (Corey Nakatani, 5-1); Beat All (Gary Stevens, 12-1); Irisheyesareflying (Kent Desormeaux, 10-1); Tiznow (Chris McCarron, 8-5); Nurdlinger (Jose Valdivia, 30-1); Jimmy Z (Victor Espinoza, 12-1); Guided Tour (Larry Melancon, 6-1); Moonlight Charger (Tyler Baze, 30-1); Tribunal (David Flores, 15-1); Jorrocks (Garrett Gomez, 30-1); Lethal Instrument (Laffit Pincay, 15-1); and Bienamado (Alex Solis, 8-1).
TURFWAY, KEENELAND OFFER $1 MILLION BONUS
Keeneland Racecourse president Nick Nicholson announced today that Keeneland and its sister track, Turfway Park, will offer a $1 million bonus ($800,000 to the owner, $200,000 to the trainer) to any horse that can win three of four major races for three-year-olds this spring.
The bonus will be paid should the same horse win the $600,000 Turfway Spiral Stakes on March 24; then either the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 14 or the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, both to be run at Keeneland; and finally, the $1 million Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
AND A WOMAN SHALL LEAD THEM
With two months already in the books for 2001, the winning rampage of Turfway Park jockey Kris Prather rolls on.
Prather won three races at Turfway Park last night, giving her 85 victories at the current winter-spring meet at Turfway. Prather's 85 wins ties the Turfway single-meeting record set at last year's winter-spring meet by Tony D'Amico, but this year's winter-spring meet does not conclude until April 5 so Prather has plenty of time to add to her totals.
Prather has made a shambles out of the current Turfway Park jockey standings. Her closest pursuers are a trio of riders tied with 18 wins each. On February 11, Prather set a Turfway Park record by riding six winners in a single day.
Prather, who has ridden one winner this year away from Turfway Park, is also on top of the national victories standings for jockeys, 16 wins ahead of runner-up Jorge Chavez who has logged 70 winners, riding primarily at Gulfstream Park.
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