Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Barn Notes (September 12th, 2013)


GROUPIE DOLL captures the Masters Title second year in a row!

It has been several months since we’ve seen GROUPIE DOLL in the winner’s circle, but she’s back with a vengeance, breaking the track record to prove it in 1:14.88 in Monday nights feature, the Grade II Presque Isle Masters Stakes.  The 5yo mare was crowded in the early going giving her regular rider Rajiv Maragh plenty of ground to cover in the first half of the race.  “I asked her at the 3/8th pole, and she got herself in the right position to win the race.”  The Eclipse award winning lady had to fight for it up until the 1/16th pole with PURELY HOT who had the lead down the stretch running the first three quarters in 1:08.36, an astonishing performance from the local runner.  Trainer Buff Bradley commented in the post-race interview, “They lined up and ran to make it a tough race.”  Of course, the winning connections seemed confident pre-race with the outside post position. “We knew she was going to run big today.”  Indeed she did to make it GROUPIE DOLL’S second consecutive win in the Masters.  She is expected to make her next start in the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland on October 5th before heading off to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 1st.  The runner-up, PURELY HOT, may be back for more in the final “Speedball Series” race at Presque Isle Downs, otherwise, her owners Tuozzo Racing and trainer Nick Caruso are considering two stakes at Keeneland including another face-off against GROUPIE DOLL in the TCA or going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf in $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes on October 11th.


HOGY impresses in the Mile!

The four-year-old gelding has won going short on the grass and the dirt no matter the track condition, and he just snatched his second victory at a flat mile on the synthetic.  He won on the Polytrack in the Grade III Hanshin at Arlington Park last May and prevailed in the Presque Isle Mile last Sunday night over the Tapeta.  The graded stakes winner has done more than most horses can do, “He’s a very versatile horse,” jockey Joe Rocco Jr. admits.  “I let him run his race and sit where he was comfortable.  It all worked out in the end.”  HOGY had a perfect trip from off the pace to win by a length and beat ten others on a cool evening in Erie, PA.  Trainer Wayne Catalano commented via cell phone, “We are going to cool him out and I’ll talk to the owner to see what’s next for him…possibly a stakes race at Keeneland.”  Well it seems the possibilities are endless for this fellow no matter the task.




CHIPPEWAWHITECHIEF took charge down the stretch in the Mark McDermott!

The two-year-old colt’s first stakes win came as no surprise for the winning connections, trainer Greg Compton and owner Richard Hessee.  “I saw him back in February working on the farm and knew he would fit well in this race, so we penciled it in when we arrived here in May,” said Compton.  Rider Mario Pino was able to save ground early with a quick early pace up front, and made a late rally from the outside to finish strongly to win by 1 ¾ lengths in the $75,000 Mark McDermott Stakes for juveniles at six furlongs.  Pino commented in the winner’s circle, “He has a good late kick….going farther he could be even better.”  Compton commented they may try the colt at a longer distance in an allowance race at Churchill Downs, but they are eyeing the Fitz Dixon Memorial Stakes at six and half furlongs on Presque Isle’s final day of racing, Thursday, September 26th.


Congratulations to jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. on his 3,000th career win aboard GHOST FLOWER for trainer Maria Bowersock and owner Burkholder Stables on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Barn Notes (July 17th, 2013)

 Lenape Rim wins by a neck in the Northern Fling Stakes

LENAPE RIM scored her first victory on the Tapeta Footings and fourth stakes race overall last Sunday in the $100,000 Northern Fling Stakes for Pennsylvania breds.  Named in honor of the Native American Tribe Lenape (also known as the Delaware Indians), the five-year-old daughter of RIMROD stalked the lone pacesetter, LOTTA LOVIN, through slow early fractions and was all out under jockey William Otero, prevailing by a neck over the a field of fillies and mares.  “I didn’t think she would win with slow fractions, but then she kicked it in and won,” commented her trainer Michael Salvaggio Jr.  LENAPE RIM seems to be a threat against PA bred competition wherever she runs with a record o 24-8-7-3 with majority of her races against state bred stakes competition.  “She can handle any situation you put her in whether it’s dirt, turf, long or short,” says jockey Otero.  Salvaggio admits her next stakes race would likely be on Pennsylvania Day at the Races in early September at Parx Racecourse.

Roadhog prevails in his local debut in the Leematt Stakes

ROADHOG has turned out to be a solid turf horse with several victories over turf footing, but this was a different scenario for him.  Last Sunday, he snatched his first win over the Tapeta in the Leematt Stakes, “His works were so strong over the Tapeta surface at Fairhill training center,” says trainer Elizabeth Merryman when asked why she chose this spot for his next start.  ROADHOG seemed to handle the surface quite well with a big finish pulling away by four lengths at the wire.  Jockey Horacio Karamanos said, “He’s not an easy horse to ride.  He’s a little lazy, but when I asked him at the quarter pole, he kicked into full gear.”  Connections are hoping his next start will be in a PA bred turf race this fall.  Could it be the Alphabet Soup Handicap, which he raced second by a nose last year?  Stay tuned!


MYSTIC CITY, the winner of the 2012 running of the Windward Stakes, was dismissed by the public paying $29.60 and successfully defended her title as the Windward champion in 2013.  She will make her next start in the $100,000 On The Bus Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse this Friday.  If all goes well in her campaign the next few months then the six-year-old mare could make an appearance in the Grade II Masters Stakes at Presque Isle Downs on September 9th says her trainer M. Anthony Ferraro.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Barn Notes (June  12th, 2013)

June 9th, 2013 – PURELY HOT sizzles in the Satin and Lace Stakes!

The five-year-old mare, PURELY HOT,  gave an outstanding effort in Presque Isle Down’s feature event last Sunday, the Satin and Lace Stakes for 3yo and up fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs.  She settled in stalking position early in the race then made a move while circling the field at the top of the stretch, drawing away under strong urging to win by five lengths.  The great story behind this lady of the night is she was claimed by Tuozzo Racing LLC for only $10k last March. Trainer Nick Caruso commented, “She’s a different horse on this surface (Tapeta).  She loves it!”  The trainer further explained that after a 3 ½ length victory in a starter allowance race in late May they would take a chance and step her up against stakes company.  Rider Harry Vega, who guided her to the winner’s circle in her last two starts said, “They started with a small horse and turned her into a stakes horse.”  Caruso is keeping his options open with her, but most likely will run in the speedball series, which starts in early July at Presque Isle.  “We’ll skip the 4 ½ furlong distance and wait for the next speedball race going 5/8ths of a mile.”

June 10th, 2013 – GO BLUE OR GO HOME romps in the the Karl Boyes Memorial!

The Virginia bred gelding, GO BLUE OR GO HOME, has become a solid sprinter on the turf, but also proved he can handle the Tapeta all-weather surface last Monday night.  His task was not going to be easy though, with several speed horses in the field including Grade III winner SUM OF THE PARTS, and the unfortunate draw of the inside post.  But, with his sharp rider Paco Lopez aboard and a hotly contested pace up front, which he stalked patiently until they turned for home, he angled out four wide to gain a clear lead the pulled away and won handily by two lengths.  His next start will be in the $200k Highlander Stakes on the grass at Woodbine on Queen Plates Day, according to his trainer Reade Baker.

Additional Notes:

There’s a new filly in town and she tacks 116 pounds. Her name is jockey Amanda Tamburello from Grand Rapids, Michigan and only a month into the race season; she has proven she can hold her own in this competitive jockey colony.   Her record after Wednesday night is 66-6-9-7 and says she’s enjoying every moment of it, “I love this small colony. Everyone watches out for you here.”

Tamburello started her career in 2009, but she really became a force in 2010 when she was nominated for an Eclipse award for leading apprentice.  She didn’t win the award, but did not lose her confidence to become a great jockey, which stems from her passion for horses since she was a little girl.  “When I was younger, they called me the Horse Whisperer.  The horses are what drive me to be so competitive in this sport.”  Tamburello has ridden at several tracks including Ellis Park, Turfway Park, Prairie Meadows, Mountaineer, and River Downs, where she was the second leading rider in 2011 and later became the leading rider at Beulah Park that same year.

She won her first race at Turfway Park in 2009 aboard upset winner, INCLUDE DE UNO, and paid $18.60.  But, her favorite horse is a mare that she recently won with at Presque Isle, ONE LAST NITEMARE, who will be back to run this Thursday.  Tamburello plans on staying at Presque Isle all summer, “This place has a great surface.  It plays very fairly.”  But she’s unsure where she’s going to spend the winter, but wherever she is headed she will be a force to reckon with in this business. “I am a very driven person, and I’ll always do the best I can.”

Horse to Watch: ENCHANTING LISA won by seven lengths in her debut start in the eighth race at Presque Isle Downs last Wednesday night for trainer Charles LoPresti and owner/ breeder Morton Fink.  She is the half-sister to 2012 Horse of the Year, WISE DAN, and multiple graded stakeswinner, SUCCESSFUL DAN.  Her dam was the 2012 Broodmare of the Year, LISA DANIELLE.