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Monday, May 5, 2008

Presque Isle Downs Opens Friday

Presque Isle Downs opens Friday, May 9 for its 2008 season which runs until September 27. You can find the entire race day calendar here.

Stakes nominations and past performances have been posted for its first two stakes races: $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for three-year-old fillies going six furlongs (May 9), and $100,000 Tall Ships Stakes for three-year-old colts going six furlongs (May 10).

Post positions will be drawn on Tuesday for the Inaugural, but some interesting entries among the nominees include Sunshine Millions Oaks winner American Country and Informed Decision, both of whom were withdrawn from the G3 La Troienne at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Also, Empire Maker’s first stakes winner, Miss Red Delicious, posted a sharp 4f work at Keeneland recently (:47.1), and Linda Rice-trained Psycho DJ worked 4f in :47.3 over the Belmont training track on May 1. Another possible entry is Ride Em Cowgirl, trained by Tom Amoss who captured the trainer’s title during Presque Isle’s inaugural meet last September; she also race twice over the Tapeta surface at PID last year, as did another possible starter Sumwhrovrtherainbw.

For the Tall Ships, Steve Asmussen has nominated Carson’s Legacy, second as the favorite in the Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine on April 19. Connecticut Yankee was an impressive maiden winner on April 23 at Keeneland for Wayne Mackey. It seems unlikely that Dale Romans would run Eaton’s Gift two weeks after his poor showing in the Derby Trial, but his Little Nick loved this track last year, winning an allowance race, and then narrowly finishing third in the $100,000 FDJ Memorial Juvenile on closing day. Another unlikely entry would be Massive Drama who hasn’t posted a workout since his disappointing appearance in the UAE Derby. The only definite starter thus far is Reade Baker’s Bright Pick.

Darren Fleming will be running Steve Asmussen’s string of horses at PID.

As for the experience of attending the races in person at PID, word is they finally wised up and built a wooden partition to separate the downstairs betting area from the ever-popular buffet, alleviating traffic problems caused last year for bettors. However, apparently nothing has been done about the lack of actual seating and the poor vision line from the apron. I would love to hear differently.


Sharon Crute said...

Valerie, you are being conspicuously absent with personal comments regarding the Derby.

Valerie said...

Sharon, you caught me just as I was writing up a post :)

To be honest, I've just been heart-broken over the past two days. Heartbreak mixed with anger, frustration and helplessness about all the talk out there about Eight Belles and her connections specifically, and about horse racing in general. I'm not even sure I can verbalize my thoughts well enough, but I'll try to do better :)