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Charles Town Races & Slots adds racing dates

November 07, 2004|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

Management and horsemen at Charles Town Races & Slots have agreed on a new live racing schedule for the months of November and December.

The format will include the standing Sunday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday format as well as some Monday and Tuesday events and a special New Year's Eve 1 p.m. card.

"Both management and horsemen wanted to make up dates which were lost when the racetrack was shut down earlier in the year because of an unsafe racing surface. This seemed to be the best way to do it," said Don Combs, executive director of the Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

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The additional racing dates: Tuesday, Nov. 9; Tuesday, Nov. 16; Monday, Nov. 22; Tuesday, Nov. 23; Tuesday, Nov. 30; Tuesday, Dec. 14; Monday, Dec. 20; Tuesday, Dec. 21; and Tuesday, Dec. 28.

"They will all be 12-race cards," Combs said. "These new dates will join the regular schedule of live racing on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is a way for the horsemen to get some purse money back which was lost to the cancelled dates."

Motion, Dominguez share Breeders' Cup success


Trainer Graham Motion and jockey Ramon Dominguez, who compete regularly in Maryland, had a profitable Breeders' Cup.

Graham saddled three horses on the $14 million card last Saturday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and showed a winner in the Grade I, $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (Better Talk Now); a second-place finish in the Grade I, $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Film Maker); and a third-place finish in the Grade I, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Dance Away Copote).

Dominguez rode both Better Talk Now and Dance Away Copote and John Valazquez rode Film Maker.

The 40-year-old Motion, born and raised in Cambridge, England, secured his first Breeders' Cup triumph.

He has competed in Triple Crown races: Bay Eagle ran eighth in the 2001 Preakness Stakes; Equality was off the board in the 2002 Preakness Stakes; and Chilito was off the board in the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Motion saddled his first winner, Bounding Daisy, in 1993 at Laurel Park and is considered one of the top trainers in the country.

Like Motion, jockey Dominguez is enjoying another successful campaign, notching his first career Breeders' Cup victory.

The talented 28-year-old race-rider started 2004 by easily winning the Laurel Park winter meet and will become the leading jockey at the Delaware Park Racetrack, near Stanton, Del., for the second straight year.

This spring and summer, he also competed at the two New York racetracks - Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park - and the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and did very well.

The native of Caracas, Venezuela, has been successful since earning his jockey's license at the age of 16.

Dominguez rode his first race at La Rinconda Racecourse in his native country in 1995. His first mount in the United States was at the Hialeah Race Course in Miami in 1996.

He set the all-time Delaware Park record for most wins by a jockey at a meet by notching 254 winners in 2003. He was the leading rider in North America in 2003 with 453 wins and in 2001 with 431 wins. He was the third leading rider in 2000 with 361 wins.

Pony Tales


Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone was retired from racing last Wednesday after chipping a bone in his left front ankle during the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Birdstone, who spoiled Smarty Jones' Triple Crown attempt by winning the Belmont Stakes on June 5, finished seventh behind Ghostzapper in last Saturday's $4 million Classic at Lone Star Park.

The chip was discovered Tuesday during a routine exam by veterinarian Joe Migliacci at Lone Star. The problem is not serious, and surgery is unlikely now that the horse has been retired.

Birdstone, who followed his Belmont win with a victory in the Travers Stakes on Aug. 28, ends his career with five wins in nine starts and earnings of $1,575,600.

The son of Grindstone, trained by Nick Zito, also won the Champagne as a 2-year-old.

Birdstone will stand at stud in Kentucky, but final plans were incomplete Wednesday, Hendrickson said.

At least two other Classic horses have been retired since the race, Pleasantly Perfect and Newfoundland.

Pleasantly Perfect, the 2003 Classic winner who finished third in Saturday's race, injured his left rear ankle in the Classic. Trainer Richard Mandella said the injury may have occurred when the 6-year-old horse kicked the starting gate.

Pleasantly Perfect, who won the Dubai World Cup and Pacific Classic this year, ends his career with nine victories in 18 starts and finishes as racing's fourth-leading money earner with $7,789,880. He will stand at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky with a stud fee of $40,000.

Newfoundland, trained by Todd Pletcher was 12th in the 13-horse Classic. The 4-year-old colt, a $3.3 million purchase, finishes his career with seven wins in 22 starts for earnings of $677,534.

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