By - Dan Liebman It was a routine early December night in Kentucky, when suddenly residents of South Frankfort were startled by late night fireworks. The pyrotechnics display from near the state capitol could mean only one thing -- Kentucky's first female governor had closed the deal to land the Toyota manufacturing plant.
With Calvin Borel up, Street Sense had his final work Oct. 23 for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) four days later, rolling around the Monmouth Park turn and finishing a five-furlong work in 1:01 1/5.
By Dan Liebman - The preliminary recommendations of the Sales Integrity Task Force were released Oct. 15, and though the diligent work of the group is admirable, it fell far short of providing a strong blueprint for needed changes in the public auction arena.
By Dan Liebman - For baby boomers, 60 is the new 40; for airlines, 6 a.m. is the new 8 a.m.; and, according to a recent advertisement in The Blood-Horse, for the Thoroughbred industry, 6% stakes winners from foals is the new "gold standard."
Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear, speaking before an enthusiastic group of horse owners and breeders Sept. 6, said he will not only work to get a casino measure passed by the state legislature but should that happen, will travel the state to promote passage of the measure.
By Dan Liebman - Thankfully, someone at the time did have an interest in standing Danzig, Storm Cat, and Mr. Prospector, respectively. And, our breed has been changed forever because of their decisions.
By Dan Liebman - What was the most interesting thing about the $2.2 million sale topper of the annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale was not the breeder, consignor, or sire of the colt, but the buyer and underbidder.
To help ensure the proper design and execution of temporary facilities such as bleachers, tents, mutuels, and concessions, Monmouth Park hired the well-known firm HOK Sport, which in turn also brought onboard M Group Scenic Studios, to prepare for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
In a dramatic finish with three horses on the wire, Saratoga's opening day feature Wednesday went to Subtle Aly, who just edged a game I Promise and Blitzing in the $111,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies.
By Dan Liebman - But just imagine if the owner of every racetrack in North America could agree to do what is best for the sport overall, realizing what is best for all is best for one. Think of one network carrying every race televised across the continent with a cohesive schedule understood by fans.
By Dan Liebman - Sure, this is no Bobby Riggs versus Billy Jean King but that's what marketing is all about -- taking something people aren't sure they care about and making them realize they should care about it.
One of the first horses Bob Carver bought a small part of is Belmont (gr. I) hopeful Hard Spun. The auto dealer from Arkansas is enjoying the Triple Crown ride as much as he does his Razorback football.
Slew's Tizzy and Hard Spun, who figure to be the pacesetters in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), drew next to each other at the post position draw Wednesday morning at Belmont Park. Curlin, the classic-winning morning line favorite in the seven-horse field, drew post three.
Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Tuesday morning that the filly Rags to Riches will contest the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and be ridden by John Velazquez. Also, trainer Greg Fox said Rafael Bejarano has been named to ride Slew's Tizzy.
Curlin, who suffered his first defeat in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), kept gaining down the stretch and got past Street Sense in the final strides to win the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Pimlico.
The jinx has been broken. Calvin Borel and Street Sense won the $2.2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Saturday, the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner to return at 3 and win the Derby.
By Dan Liebman - New Jersey's Monmouth Park was formally announced as the host site in the fall of 2004, and from the look of the plant in mid-March, the first-time site will be ready to take racing's center stage, though much still remains to be done.