Randy Funkhouser, prominent horse owner and president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent Association, was told Oct. 16 he would be able to run his horses in the Oct. 20 West Virginia Breeders' Cup Classic.
- By Esther Marr
Though A to the Croft has been experiencing a case of "seconditis" lately in stakes company, trainer Kenny McPeek still believes the filly has enough talent to put it all together in the Oct. 27 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
At an Oct. 9 hearing in Kanawha County, W.V., Circuit Court, Judge Charles King ruled that Randy Funkhouser, president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, would be allowed to enter his horses in the Oct. 20 West Virginia Breeders' Cup Classic pending the results of an independent arbiter's hearing.
- By Esther Marr
After Old Man Buck posted a victory in the Sept. 3 Miller Lite Cradle Stakes at River Downs and a third-place finish in the Oct. 6 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, trainer Kenny McPeek decided to try the son of Hold that Tiger in either the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf or the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
At a program hosted by the University of Kentucky Horse Racing Club in Lexington, five prominent trainers gave attendees a glimpse of what life was like while walking in their shoes. Called "Inside Horse Racing: the Trainer's Point of View," the Oct. 8 event featured a question-and-answer session as well as a silent auction to benefit the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center.
- By Esther Marr
New Jersey-bred Wild Gams, who is fully accustomed to running in the Northeast, will have a home-court advantage if she competes in the $1-million Filly & Mare Sprint Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.
Fresh off a victory in the Sept. 1 Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, Miss A. Bomb figures to be the one to beat in the Oct. 6 Safely Kept Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Laurel Park.
Nine 3-year-olds will go to postward in the 13th running of the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (gr. II). Scheduled as the ninth race on the 12-race card Oct. 6, the estimated post time for the Derby is 9:50 p.m. EDT.
The topic of casino gaming that made for a heated Kentucky gubernatorial primary has continued to be the main force dividing Democratic candidate Steve Beshear and Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher as they look toward the general election in November.
The Sept. 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) will be a true test of the consistency of Student Council, who scored a stunning upset victory over champion Lava Man in the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
A nicely matched field of older males will go postward in the Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hawthorne Sept. 29.
A new group of buyers, both local and foreign, were active Sept. 21 at the 11th session of the Keeneland September yearling sale, driving substantial gains and a high clearance rate. A dark bay son of champion sprinter Orientate brought $235,000 to top the session and close the sixth catalog of the 15-day auction.
Following the announcement of the five-year suspension of veterinarian Dr. Rod Stewart for violations of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's medication regulations, the organization has scheduled a stewards' hearing in the ongoing investigation of trainer Patrick Biancone, who was found to be in possession of cobra venom and two other prohibited substances.
A son of Lion Heart fetched a bid of $440,000 to top the sixth session and the close of the third catalog of the 15-day Keeneland September yearling sale. Once again, the sale company realized increases in gross, average, and median despite a slight drop in the number of horses sold.
With the exchange rate in their favor, a plethora of Europeans flocked to the Keeneland September sale to take advantage of bargains they simply couldn't find in their native countries.
This year's Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association dinner took place at John Sikura's picturesque Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington, where elite horsemen from across the country gathered for a night of entertainment by Aretha Franklin and a ceremony to honor their accomplishments in the industry.
New consignors who have horses entered in book one this year at Keeneland's September yearling include Greg and Beth Burchell's Crossroad Sales and Ron Blake's Blake agency.
Based on her Eclipse Award-winning juvenile campaign and her recent Virginia Oaks victory at Colonial Downs, Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna appears to be the top Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) choice for its Sept. 8 renewal at Arlington Park.
Thistledown, the Ohio racetrack that has shaved about 50 racing dates off its schedule since 2005, has requested another major reduction for 2008 to maintain profitability.
Members of the Georgetown, Ky., City Council voted 7-0 Aug. 27 to sell 20 acres of the former Bradshaw farm property to Tracy Hilander instead of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.
Trainer John Forbes, who will saddle lightly raced 3-year-old colts Get Serious and Cable Boy for the $1-million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack Sept. 3, discussed their chances Aug. 28 during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association media teleconference.
While the Kentucky Equine Education Project continues to lobby for legislation that would remove the sales tax on equine feed and supplies in Kentucky, a decision is pending in regard to whether the organization will again push for casino gambling at racetracks in 2008.
Veternarians in North America have commended Australian quarantine authorities for sticking with their stringent quarantine measures to protect the country from an outbreak of equine influenza after a quarantined horse at Eastern Creek near Sydney showed clinical signs consistent with the virus.
Christmas Kid, who boasts a wealth of accomplishments in her nine-start career, will look for her third graded victory in the Aug. 17 Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga.
Emotions are sure to run high when Lava Man attempts to defend his title in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19.
Nobiz Like Shobiz proved to be back in action for victory in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Saratoga, which marked his first start on turf.
- By Esther Marr
Satish Sanan bagged his first Triple Crown race victory this spring as part owner of Curlin, who won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). But he would very much like to win the Run for the Roses and will try to achieve that goal while based in Kentucky.
Organizers of the Claiming Crown hope its 2007 edition at Ellis Park Aug. 4 goes a long way toward strengthening the foundation of the event that was inaugurated in 1999.
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.
Race Track Chaplaincy of America presented a $10,000 check to Georgetown, hoping to buy part of the former Bradshaw horse farm for use as its national headquarters.
Three-time Canadian champion Eternal Search died late last month at Curraghmore Farm near Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. Owned by Mel Lawson, the 29-year-old mare is by Northern Answer out of the Ruritania mare Bon Debarras.
The Flying Wallendas appeared at Old Friends in Central Kentucky for a July 14 performance that was part of a fundraiser.
The July 14 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) is shaping up to be a continental showdown at Delaware Park. The $500,000, 1 1/16-mile race has attracted a field of eight entrants from points across North America. Appearing to head the field are Cotton Blossom, High Heels, and Tough Tiz's Sis.
An impressive field of fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up will go postward in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) at Calder Race Course, the 11th race on the Summit of Speed program July 7.
Delightful Kiss, the 24-1 upset winner of the June 2 Ohio Derby (gr. II), will be striving for his second big win in the June 29 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. The Iowa Derby, worth $250,000, is the richest of three stakes on the June 29 card.
The Sales Integrity Task Force submitted its first report to Kentucky lawmakers at a Joint Interim Committee on Licensing and Occupations meeting June 19 in Erlanger, Ky.
Impressive speedster Bordonaro appears to head a field of mostly older sprinters in the June 9 True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. The six-furlong dirt contest for 3-year-olds and up carries a $200,000 purse.
Media and other guests were invited to a June 6 reception for the opening of a new, permanent Affirmed exhibition that includes the Triple Crown winner's trophy collection, artwork, halter, and jewelry worn by his owner.
An accomplished field of 12 older males will contest the May 19 Dixie Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico. Leading the list in earnings is millionaire Silver Tree, who will be looking to bounce back after an unplaced effort in the April 7 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Emotions ran high among opposing parties May 11 when in a narrow 4-3 vote the Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission approved a proposal for development on a portion of Pope McLean's 500-acre Crestwood Farm near Georgetown, Ky.
William Sorokolit's Sky Conqueror caught Brilliant in the final jumps of the May 5 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs to take the $500,000-added turf contest for 3-year-olds and up by head.
Immediately upon their arrival at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day, Roy and Gretchen Jackson spoke in a press conference in the Paddock Pavilion about their beloved colt Barbaro, who captured last year's Run for the Roses, but was euthanized earlier this year due to injuries suffered in the 2006 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Also on hand to promote NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund was Alex Waldrop, NTRA president and chief executive officer.
With less than a furlong left to go, Duveen got up to win the May 4 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs over California invader Whatsthescript.
With Curlin installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it's interesting to take a look at favorites throughout history to see how they performed on the first Saturday in May.
The annual Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' trainers' dinner in Louisville brought out a mixture of memories, tears, and honors. The post-dinner interviews with trainers of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls brought some insights into the running of Derby 133 on Saturday.
The $1-million Yum! Brands bonus that will be offered to this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor if he posts a margin larger than Barbaro's 6 1/2-length triumph in 2006 received cautious responses from Derby-bound trainers Tuesday morning on the backstretch at Churchill Downs.
During the crisp, clear early morning of Sunday, April 29, less than a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher watched the final workouts of three of his contenders, Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, and Scat Daddy over Keeneland's Polytrack surface.
Kicking off Churchill Down's spring meet a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the April 28 Derby Trial Stakes, where a full field of 14 3-year-old males will contend for the title of the $100,000 race. Appearing to head the field is Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
Plans to develop 59 acres of a Central Kentucky horse farm have triggered a debate, but the issue may come down to property rights.
Woodbine in Canada will employ a two-step process beginning in May in an attempt to improve the Polytrack surface it installed last summer.
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