– from Baltimore Sun

By Brent Jones

may1309papa1.jpgIt was a typical workout for Papa Clem on Pimlico Race Course’s main track Tuesday – underwhelming if not slightly disappointing.

The Kentucky Derby’s fourth-place finisher ran a leisurely five furlongs in 1 minute, 5 seconds, a time his trainer said he wished were faster. But the result didn’t come as a surprise for Gary Stute, who said his horse doesn’t prepare for races well, yet has a way of turning it on when needed.

“All of his workouts before the Derby were bad except the last one,” said Stute, whose father, Mel, won the Preakness 23 years ago with Snow Chief. “I never really thought of him [Papa Clem] as a Derby horse because he never really trained like one. But every time he’s run, he’s run a lot better than he trained.”

Stute said he expects Papa Clem will come through again in Saturday’s 134th Preakness, although he acknowledged his chances of winning took a hit when Rachel Alexandra entered the field this week. Still, Papa Clem gives Stute a chance to become part of a rare father-son tandem to win a Triple Crown race.

Mel Stute won the 1986 Preakness when Snow Chief knocked off favorite Badger Land. Gary Stute remembers sitting next to his father and proclaiming victory that day when Snow Chief was about four jumps from the wire with a four-length lead. For a brief moment, he said his dad was “the maddest I’ve ever seen him,” until the horse crossed the finish line two seconds later for the win.,0,4729294.story



Preakness entrants wary of filly Rachel Alexandra

By David Ginsburg

Baltimore (AP) — Having already been soundly defeated twice by Rachel Alexandra, trainer Larry Jones has come to this realization as he prepares Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire for a redemptive ride in the Preakness:

“If I have any shot at beating her,” Jones said Tuesday, “it’s going to have to be with a boy.”

That boy will be Friesan Fire, who finished a disappointing 18th out of 19 horses in the Derby. The colt had cuts on his left front hoof and all four legs after being bumped early in the race at Churchill Downs, but the Louisiana Derby winner looked sharp while covering five furlongs at Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday morning in a blistering 58.4 seconds.

“I was very pleased with the way he healed,” Jones said. “If you didn’t know he had an issue, you wouldn’t know it. All is well. We’re ready to go.”

Problem is, so is Rachel Alexandra. The filly has won five consecutive races by a combined 43 1/2 lengths, including a 20 1/4-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby.



Horse – Trainer – Jockey – Last race / Finish 

Big Drama – D. Fawkes – J. Velazquez – Swale Stakes, 2nd

Flying Private – D.W. Lukas – A. Garcia – Kentucky Derby, 19th

Friesan Fire – L. Jones – G. Saez – Kentucky Derby,18th

General Quarters – T. McCarthy – J. Leparoux – Kentucky Derby, 10th

Luv Gov – D.W. Lukas – J. Theriot – Churchill maiden, 1st

Mine That Bird – B. Woolley – M. Smith – Kentucky Derby, 1st

Musket Man – D. Ryan – E. Coa – Kentucky Derby, 3rd

Papa Clem – G. Stute – R. Bejarano – Kentucky Derby, 4th

Pioneerof the Nile – B. Baffert – G. Gomez – Kentucky Derby, 2nd

Rachel Alexandra – S. Asmussen – C. Borel – Kentucky Oaks, 1st

Take the Points – T. Pletcher – E. Prado – Santa Anita Derby, 4th

Terrain – A. Stall Jr. – J. Rose – Blue Grass Stakes, 4th

Tone It Down – W. Komlo – K. Desormeaux – Tesio Stakes, 3rd

If you want to see some pp’s on the horses eligible click here:



-Yesterday the exploits of the Ontario couple who broke MINE THAT BIRD was featured on the FRONT PAGE of the Toronto Star.

Today you can read about it on THE RAIL, the New York Times blog site at:




– Basketball is in the way tonight so only 2 hours of The Score show for racing tonight at Woodbine.

The featured race – the race with the highest purse as far as tonight goes, is the $75,000 maiden allowance for fillies and mares as race 3. The Chiefswood entry of GORE BAY and INDIGO NORTH are 9 to 5 on the morning line, are both Woodbine Oaks eligibles and the guess is that Jim McAleney will pick Indigo North to ride (he is named on both). The latter is also a Queen’s Plate nominee.



-The “little professional” WHAT R THE ODDS won her season debut on Sunday at Hastings Park – the Emerald Downs Stakes worth $50,000 and continued her Cinderella story for Fran Snow.

Bought for just $1,000 at an Ocala Wionter Mixed sale as a yearling, WHAT R THE ODDS is by the Storm Cat stallion Lightnin N Thunder out of the Seattle Song mare Lindas Song. This is the family of the good mare Linda North, dam of stakes winner Majesterian.

What R the Odds answered the call from leading jockey Fernando Perez to beat two-time Edmonton stakes winner Dandy Dora by 1 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1:17.81. “She’s quite a little professional,” Mel Snow said from the winner’s circle. “She trains hard and runs hard.”

What R the Odds pressed the pace from the outside, went to the front from three wide on the second turn and wasn’t about to relinquish her lead to the Edmonton invader. The filly has won just over $99,000 for the Snow family and is 4 for 5. She ran a 78 Beyer Figure on Sunday.

On Saturday at Hastings, ALMOST TIME, a B.C. bred by Finality, ran an 83 Beyer Figure to win the the Jim Coleman Province Stakes, worth $50,00, in 1:16 .49 FOR 6 1/2 furlongs.

The 3yo was taking his first step to the B.. Classics later this year for Swift Thoroughbreds and trainer Dino Condelinos.

Racing resumes with the first long weekend of the 2009 season at Hastings with the regular Saturday/Sunday 1:25 p.m. starts and the Holiday Monday – Victoria Day – also at 1:25 p.m. Next Saturday’s 134th running of the Preakness from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland – second leg of the Triple Crown – will be shown via simulcast at Hastings.