By Evan Hammonds - Major League Baseball just celebrated its All-Star Game last month in Pittsburgh, representing the traditional midpoint as "America's Pastime" heads into its second season and hits the turn on its run to the World Series in October. So, too, is Thoroughbred racing entering its second season.
Scat Daddy pushed his backers to the brink but delivered an impressive performance late to run down Teuflesberg in the final strides of the $147,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga July 27. Scat Daddy was the 3-10 favorite in the five-horse field of 2-year-olds while Teuflesberg went off at 13-1 odds.
Peter Thomas Chew, an author, journalist and former correspondent for The Blood-Horse died July 16 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., of complications from a heart attack. He was 82.
By Evan I. Hammonds - I don't recall the meeting when it was first discussed, but I remember volunteering. Looking for new avenues of coverage for racing's big events--the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup--on bloodhorse.com, the idea of a "blog" came up. "Blog," short for "Web log," is a relatively new concept and is still subject to debate for its actual purpose and application.
Juddmonte Farms' Cacique, who just missed by a half-length in his last start in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), held off a hard-charging Relaxed Gesture to earn a head-bobbing victory in the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Bushfire, who had the early lead and then was passed by Hello Liberty in the stretch, fought back gamely down the lane to capture the $250,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) by a neck Saturday at Belmont Park.
Outperformance came wide with a big rush to win the $115,400 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) on a soft turf course at Belmont Park Friday afternoon.
Without classic winners Barbaro and Bernardini in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race appears to be wide open. Like in any race, one horse has to be the longest shot on the board. That honor will likely fall to Double Galore.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported Saturday night that a record crowd of 118,402 was on hand for the 131st Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in Baltimore.
Friendly Island attended the early pace, then took over in the stretch to win the $190,000 Emirates Airline Maryland Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Saturday by three-quarters of a length. It was the second stakes win in a row for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Garrett Gomez.
High Cotton rebounded off a dull effort in last month's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) to draw away to the easiest kind of win in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico May 20.
As of 4:30 p.m. and with more than $5 million in the mutuel pool, Barbaro was 3-5 at Pimlico Race Course for today's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Post time for the race is approximately 6:14 p.m.
Making his first start in North America, Shadwell Stable's Invasor pulled off a mild upset over favorite Wanderin Boy in the $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 19 before 24,429 at Old Hilltop. Invasor got the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.40.
Pool Land, the 3-2 favorite, pulled away from Josh's Madelyn in the lane at Pimilco to win the Allaire DuPont Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III). Grade I winner In the Gold was a distant third.
In an attempt to dress up the post position selection program for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the event was taken downtown this year.
On Monday, did anybody wish Derby contender Seaside Retreat happy birthday? Someone should have, because May 1 was his foaling date. While all horses foaled in the Northern Hemisphere have the universal birth date of Jan. 1 as their official age of racing, not all of this year's contenders are actually 3-year-olds.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is no stranger to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. The 45-year-old Lexington native was a long-time assistant to five-time Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas and last year sent out 71-1 Closing Argument, a surprise runner-up behind Giacomo. This year, the laid-back Kentuckian hopefully has two horses for this year's Run for the Roses in Jazil and Flashy Bull.
Beacon Shine, a 3-year-old son of Montbrook owned by Kinsman Stable, died April 8 after a bout of colic. The colt, trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, was based at Churchill Downs and was entered to run in last Sunday's $100,000 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland.
B. Giles Brophy, who raced 1991 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Strike the Gold in partnership, died April 9 following a lengthy battle with leukemia. He was 68.
The Racing Commissioners International (RCI) is taking an industry leading position with their subsidiary RCI Integrity Services. The push forward was made during the 72nd annual convention of the RCI that is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, N.M.
Making sure there are qualified paramedics on hand at racetracks became a touchstone issue during a panel discussion Thursday afternoon during the Association for Racing Commissioners International conference.
Model rules for race day medications, along with withdraw times and threshold levels for therapeutic drugs were a lively topic both Thursday morning and afternoon at the Association of Racing Commissioners International convention.
In order to help racing jurisdictions get a better grip on just exactly who is betting into their pools, a call was made out at the Association or Racing Commissioners International convention for the RCI to take the lead in forming a "wagering clearinghouse" for secondary betting entities.
Chuck Champion, president and CEO of Youbet.com discussed the launch of a new Web site, Youbet.net, Wednesday afternoon during the annual convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Youbet.net will be a learning site for new players to learn more about pari-mutuel wagering.
Racing is in need of some forms of additional federal regulation according to a panel of experts at the 72nd annual convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The general consensus was reached Wednesday morning during a panel discussion titled, "Is Federal Regulation Necessary for Racing?"
Dr. Curtis Barrett was awarded the William H. May Award Wednesday afternoon during an awards luncheon at the Association of Racing Commissioners International's annual convention. The convention is being held at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, N.M.
Unity was the buzzword during the opening session of the 72nd convention of the Association of Racing Commissioners International Tuesday. The conference, which unites the RCI with the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association (NAPRA), is being held at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, N.M.
Comments from officials from the United States Trotting Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, and the Greyhound industries mirrored concerns facing the Thoroughbred industry during a panel discussion at the opening session of the Association of Racing Commissioners International convention.
John Oxley's Strong Contender, one of what is shaping up to be a full field of contenders for the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park, has had plenty of experience with Polytrack and trainer John T. Ward Jr. figures that to be a plus for Saturday afternoon's race.
Breeder/owner Mahmoud Fustok, owner of Buckram Oak Farm, was killed in an auto accident Wednesday afternoon in Pompano Beach, Fla.
If ever there was a trainer with an eye for a 2-year-old, it's D. Wayne Lukas. On a trip to Kentucky in 2004, the Hall of Fame trainer was asked to check up on some of Bob and Beverly Lewises' yearlings at Taylor Made Farm that had been nominated for the yearling sales. One particular yearling caught his eye, and Lukas phoned the Lewises and requested they take the filly out of the mix.
By Evan Hammonds - Against my mother's "if you can't say something nice" advice, I'd like to rip into my own personal list of the seven most annoying things about 2005--some serious, some with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Changeintheweather, a grade I-winning son of Gone West, will relocate to Ron and Barbara Rickline's Xanthus Farm near Gettysburg, Pa. for the 2006 breeding season. The dual stakes winner, who entered stud in 2004, moves from Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Rock Hard Ten, a multiple grade I winner and impressive winner of the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree Oct. 1 in what would be his final race, will stand the 2006 breeding season at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky. The son of the late leading sire Kris S. will stand for $50,000 it was announced Friday morning.
The German-bred Shirocco opened up a big lead in the stretch of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and held off a late rally by Ace to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Favored Azamour was a neck back in third making for an all-European trifecta in the 1 1/2-mile, $2.09 million race at Belmont Park.
Friday morning as Lost in the Fog galloped around the Belmont Park track, owner Harry Aleo and Susan Seper, the breeder of the undefeated 3-year-old colt and most exciting prospect in this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, were taking it all in.
Battle-tested Battle Won got a tour of the Belmont Park layout Thursday morning, but when he faces Lost in the Fog and the other 10 entrants in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), it won't be his first start over the track. The 5-year-old gelding, owned by Jay and Gretchen Manoogian and trained by Chuck Simon, raced at "Big Sandy" back during his 3-year-old campaign under different circumstances.
Louis Pomes, who worked tirelessly to find and lead abandoned horses to safety in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, was named the 2005 winner of the White Horse Award Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park.
There was plenty of buzz Wednesday morning at the post position draw for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships schedulred for Saturday at Belmont Park.
The top three choices for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) drew tough assignments when the post positions were drawn Wednesday morning for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
While we'll have to wait until Wednesday morning for the post position draw for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, the connections of the runners in the TVG Sprint (gr. I) may be thrilled if their horse pulls the number five post.
The Jockey Club released their Report of Mares Bred in 2005 Thursday morning and report that 58,739 mares were covered by 3,097 stallions this year. The released data is reports that have been received through Oct. 13.
A Huevo, a 9-year-old gelding owned by Mark Hopkins and winner of the 2003 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) was euthanized after being pulled up soon after the start and vanned off following the West Virginia Breeders' Classic Stakes the evening of Oct. 8. The son of Cool Joe had been the 1-2 favorite in the nine-furlong race at Charles Town Races and Slots.
The Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) may be lacking a true superstar among the distaff set like last year's runaway winner, Azeri, but it does have plenty of balance. Eleven fillies and mares passed the entry box Friday morning for Sunday's $500,000 grade I contest at Keeneland, the final stakes during the meet's rich Fallstars Allstars weekend.
Claiborne Farm's homebred Laity, an 11 3/4-length winner of the Miller Lite Cradle Stakes at River Downs Sept. 5 figures to be a popular choice for Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Tim Ritchey still has designs on making a run at the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) with his dual classic winner Afleet Alex, and he plans on working the 3-year-old colt after the break Friday morning at Belmont Park.
Shakespeare, an easy winner while setting a course mark in the nine-furlong Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 11, steps up and stretches out Saturday in the 1 1/2-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Master of Disaster, owned by Puglisi Stables and trained by Steve Klesaris, returns to action Saturday for the first time since a runner-up effort to Henny Hughes in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) in Belmont's Futurity Stakes (gr. II). The seven-furlong Futurity carries a purse of $300,000 and has drawn a field of seven 2-year-olds.
Day four of Keeneland's marathon September yearling sale "might have been a little softer in spots," according to director of sales Geoffrey Russell, but business was still plenty good Thursday in Lexington, Ky. as the world's largest yearling sale rolled on. Overall, the gross revenue for the first four days is up 17.3% from last year's record sale.
Jess Jackson went to $900,000 for a son of Distorted Humor during the fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale Thursday.
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