The last day of 2009 found Ramon Dominguez in the same place as the first -- atop the jockey standings and in the winner's circle at Aqueduct.
Ramon Dominguez hustled Wishful Tomcat to the early lead in the Discovery Handicap and they never looked back, the duo leading every step of the way in posting a 1 3/4-length victory on Aqueduct's main track.
Winter Park Partners' Wishful Tomcat, a late-blooming 3-year-old with four wins in his last five starts, tries to notch his first graded stakes score when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 22 at Aqueduct.
Some leading New York trainers said a ban on toe grabs will help level the playing field, but they're not all convinced the shoes are responsible for catastrophic breakdowns.
New York-based trainer Gary Contessa has been named president of the Exceller Fund, a non-profit organization that transitions former racehorses into new careers.
Last year, Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch romped to a six-length victory in the Go For Wand (gr. I) en route to her Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) win and being named champion older female. The scary part for her competition is that trainer Bobby Frankel says the daughter of Awesome Again is vastly improved as a 5-year-old.
A small but accomplished group of 4-year-old fillies will clash in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) April 19 on the dirt at Aqueduct, including three entering off of graded stakes victories. The seven-furlong Bed o' Roses drew a field of six.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa won their respective titles and set records when Aqueduct concluded its 2007-08 inner-track meet March 30. Racing switches to the main track April 2.
Maryland-based trainer Michael Trombetta will start a pair of 4-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) March 22 at Aqueduct, including probable favorite Control System, the only graded stakes winner in the field of six.
Carolyn's Cat won the expected early speed duel from Dill Or No Dill and then never looked back, going wire-to-wire for a 3 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) March 15 on the inner dirt course at Aqueduct.
Daaher was beaten soundly for the second consecutive race, this time in the Stymie Handicap March 1 at Aqueduct.
A Saint Liam yearling colt sold for $220,000 to top Saturday's session of the Keeneland January sale.
The veteran trainer won his 157th New York race of the year Dec. 29 at Aqueduct
The 3-year-old colt won the marathon by 10 lengths Dec. 29 at Aqueduct, denying Successful Affair's bid to repeat.
Winning Move Stable's Successful Affair will attempt to defend his title in the $75,000 Gallant Fox Handicap, the 5-year-old gelding will take on five challengers Dec. 29 at Aqueduct.
Trainer Gary Contessa, the leading trainer at the current Belmont fall meet, was suspended 15 days and fined $2,000 for a medication positive by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board Oct. 20.
New York Racing Association racing secretary P.J. Campo says NYRA officials will meet with horsemen in the next "couple days" to discuss maintenance of track surfaces at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga after a series of catastrophic injuries.
Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Greg Avioli said the organization hopes to achieve a number of goals with the newly created Breeders' Cup Challenge.
Paul Saylor's 2006 Eclipse Award winner Fleet Indian was named 2006 New York-bred Horse of the Year and Champion Older Female by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders at its annual awards banquet held May 14 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY.
Woodlander put the final touch on a successful Aqueduct season for leading owner Winning Move Stable Sunday when the 5-year-old edged Golden Commander by a neck in capturing the $114,100 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the grass at 1 1/16 miles.
New York- based trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Gary Contessa and John Kimmel are the latest horsemen to sign up for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Pony-Up Program, a new TRF fundraising initiative designed to spread the financial responsibilities of caring for retired racehorses across the training community, while taxing horsemen only when they have reaped the benefits of a win.
Gary Contessa added to his already huge lead in Aqueduct's trainer standings Friday afternoon, saddling four winners from seven starters.
Front-running Accountforthegold peeled away from the field at the head of the stretch en route to his first open and graded stakes victory in the $110,100 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Saturday.
- By Tom Precious
A group vying to take over the New York Racing Association's Thoroughbred franchise has added the state's former top racing regulator and a veteran trainer to its ranks.
The champion filly Smuggler made no impact in her first start in nine months when Magnolia Jackson dug in to defeat Grecian Lover by a neck in the $155,400 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct Saturday.
No Sleep, a winner of three straight races on the Aqueduct inner dirt course this winter, is part of a small field of five entered for Sunday's Next Move Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. won the first four races on Sunday's New Year's Day card, the first day of Aqueduct's winter meet.
Trainer Gary Contessa sends out Sleeping in Sunday's $100,000-added Valley Stream at Aqueduct expecting his 2-year-old filly to bounce back from her last-place finish in Belmont Park's Astarita (gr. III) last month.
Richard Bomze was re-elected as New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) president for his third term.
Harry J. Aleo's undefeated sprinting sensation Lost in the Fog had settled into trainer Gary Contessa's Saratoga stable Wednesday as he prepares for the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) on Travers Day Aug. 27.
The New York Racing Association is "100 percent committed" to race day security barns, but has taken immediate action to address concerns expressed by horsemen at Saratoga Race Course, NYRA president Charles E. Hayward said July 29.
The New York Racing Association announced Thursday that it will increase purses for claiming races beginning June 18.
Bright Mahogany, a winner of three of her five races in Puerto Rico including a pair of group I races, adds an intriguing element to Saturday's $150,000 Comely (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
- By Dan Lauletta
Testing for the practice known as milkshaking begins in New York today (Feb. 16). The testing, which has come together quickly, has been lauded throughout the backside, but at least one trainer thinks the New York Racing Association should not have made the information public.
Gary Contessa won four consecutive races at Aqueduct on Friday to shoot into the top position in the trainer standings.
Brandela and Big Tease tallied mild upset victories Sunday in separate divisions of Belmont Park's Mount Vernon Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares.
Until recently, Cruise Along had done most of her running and all of her winning on the turf. But a huge recent effort has earned her trip a to New York to try for a graded stakes win in Saturday's $100,000 Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct where she will be tested by a tough group of fillies and mares.
Star Track Farms' colt Grey Comet and Peter E. Mariano's filly Hanselina each won a division of Sunday's $150,000 New York Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct Park.
- By Dan Lauletta
Aqueduct-based trainer Gary Contessa is awaiting his fate on a slew of ephedra positives that have sidetracked his operation.
- By Dan Lauletta
Top New York trainer Gary Contessa is awaiting word on a ruling after at least five of his horses tested positive for the banned substance, ephedra.
Trainer Gary Contessa, a 30-year racetrack veteran, has had high hopes for Unswept, who begins his 3-year-old season in Monday's $75,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela at Aqueduct.
New York-bred Grey Comet remained perfect in his young four-race career when he held off the persistent challenge of Mustang Jock to win the $81,350 Count Fleet Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct.
Grey Comet and jockey Aaron Gryder took the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away from the field to keep his career record perfect in the 24th running of the $82,575 Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday.
Star Track Farm's Grey Comet and David Cassidy's Unswept are the colts to beat in Sunday's $75,000 Damon Runyon for New York-bred juveniles going 1/16 mile at Aqueduct.
Sunday's four-race New York Stallion Series will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses.
Lorenzo Lezcano, an apprentice rider from Panama, topped Aqueduct's winter meet standings with 70 victories.
Golden Tent made his 118th -- and final -- start at Philadelphia Park in the fourth race Monday, and now heads into retirement at the Manorville, N.Y. farm of the New York Horse Rescue, having earned better than $730,000.
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