Lenny Shulman

Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

In 1999 and again in 2000, Jerry Bailey lost photo finishes to Pat Day for leading rider by North American earnings. In 2001, however, Bailey made sure the camera was not necessary by finishing a furlong ahead of his competition. By the time his 12-month rampage across the continent (plus the Dubai World Cup, UAE-I) was in the books, Bailey had absolutely shattered Gary Stevens' three-year-old record for earnings, his $22,597,720 besting the old mark by better than $4 million.

Dealing With MRLS on the Farm: No Magic Bullet

Kentucky farm managers and owners are taking steps to prevent the reoccurrence of mare reproductive loss syndrome while fervently hoping last year's devastation was a one-shot deal. There are almost as many theories of what caused MRLS as there are people addressing the problem, so preventative measures differ from farm to farm.

Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., Southern California's Rising Star

Jose Valdivia Jr. is a rising star in the bright constellation that is the Southern California riding colony. His recent win aboard Val Royal in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) showed the rest of the world what two continents have already learned--Valdivia, 27, is a profound talent who is carrying forth the grand racing tradition of his family.

PVal Rides Again

The on-again, off-again career of jockey Patrick Valenzuela is on again. Valenzuela, 39, received a conditional license to resume riding from the California Horse Racing Board on Friday and will begin working horses Saturday, according to his attorney, Don Calabria.

Judge Throws Out Baffert Morphine Case

On Monday, Nov. 19, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the California Horse Racing Board's case against trainer Bob Baffert over a morphine positive found in a post-race urine sample of a Baffert-trained horse last year.

Churchill Downs Race Report: Fall Hues

The motif was unmistakably red at Churchill Downs for the 28th running of the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 10. Besides the bird of that color, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, the state's most famous Cardinal, was on hand signing autographs for the faithful. The color scheme didn't last for the race's finish, however, when the familiar hue of Claiborne Farm's orange flashed across the wire on the back of its homebred filly Watch.

The Next Jump

By Lenny Shulman -- Not satisfied with being a champion amateur steeplechase rider in both the United States and Great Britain, a feat no one else has approached, George Sloan desperately sought to popularize his sport by putting it before the American public.

Juvenile Preview: Just a Hunch

If ever there was a hunch bet going into a race, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27 in New York boasts one of the great ones of all time. With policemen and firefighters being hailed as heroes in the wake of the terrorist attack on the city's World Trade Center, what better play could there be than Officer?

Patrick Valenzuela Begins Long Ride Back

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who turns 39 Wednesday, had an informal meeting Sunday with three stewards at Santa Anita Park to begin the process of obtaining a license to exercise horses. Valenzuela, winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby aboard Sunday Silence, has not ridden since February, 2000, when he was suspended for the latest in a series of drug violations. The rider applied to be relicensed one year later, but that request was rejected.

Steeplechase Champion George Sloan Dead at 62

George Sloan, 62, champion amateur steeplechase jockey and chairman of the International Steeplechase Group (ISG), was found dead at his Franklin, Tennessee, farm Oct. 10. Sloan died when the rifle he was carrying accidentally discharged while Sloan was working on a fence at his Panorama Farm.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Report--10/9/2001

To paraphrase Horace Greeley, it is quite evident that all the good young men have gone west, and are now ready to head back east in an attempt to conquer the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park. The West Coast natives have absolutely dominated this division in the key months and weeks heading up to championship day Oct. 27. And if there was any doubt about that, there is none remaining after Officer's smashing win in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile distance, Oct. 6.

Juvenile Pedigree Profile: Came Home

Came Home is by Gone West, by Mr. Prospector, who was the third-leading sire in the United States in 1995. Gone West's best year on the track was 1987, when he captured the grade I Dwyer Stakes, and a pair of grade II's, the Gotham Stakes and the Withers Stakes. Gone West earned $682,251 from 17 lifetime starts.

BC Juvenile Update 9/25/01

After doing more about-faces than a soldier in boot camp, trainer Bob Baffert has decided that Officer, the leading juvenile in the universe right now, will make his next appearance in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 6 at 8 1/2 furlongs. Officer, by Bertrando, is perfect in four starts, including wins by six, eight, and seven lengths in his first three races. In his most recent effort, the Sept. 5 Del Mar Futurity (gr. II), Officer won, geared down, by 1 1/2 lengths.

Belmont TV Review: Missing the Point

While NBC's Belmont Stakes telecast showed improvement over its Preakness effort, there seems to be a basic flaw in the 90-minute format of these classic productions -- the race comes too late in the show, leaving little time for replays, interviews, and analysis.

Analyzing NBC's Preakness: 90 Minutes is 30 Too Many

They have similar hair styles and both train good horses, so perhaps Bob Baffert was beginning to panic when Kentucky Derby winner John Ward got all the air time to launch one-liners on NBC's coverage of the Preakness. With Baffert's Point Given knotting the score with Ward's Monarchos, however, expect a tight battle of witticisms for the upcoming Belmont.

Derby Winning Owners Strike Mother Lode

They don't call the major producers "gushers" at Oxley Petroleum. In the natural-gas exploration business, they're known as "high-flowing wells," exploding like the stride of John C. Oxley's Monarchos as he gobbled up the hallowed ground of the Churchill Downs stretch the first Saturday in May.

Horse of the Year Tiznow Sidelined 60 Days

2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow sustained an injury during a workout last Friday, and a nuclear-imaging test conducted Monday revealed a problem with his lumbar vertebrae. "The prognosis is good, but we're going to have to walk him for 60 days before resuming training with him," said conditioner Jay Robbins Tuesday morning from his Santa Anita barn. The injury knocks Tiznow out of the May 12 Pimlico Special (gr. I).

Slew Back with a Bang

Seattle Slew, back in the breeding shed after major surgery last year, has gotten 19 mares in foal from 22 reported covers as of April 19. "He is doing unbelievably well," said Mickey Taylor, who owns and is the syndicate manager of the son of Bold Reasoning. "He is a very happy horse and pleased to be back at work. He's feeling better all the time. In the past month or two he's gotten a lot stronger, and neurologically he's gotten better as well."

Keeneland Report: Pincay, the Millennium Man

One week before the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), Laffit Pincay Jr. sat comfortably in a rocking chair half a continent away from Keeneland in the Santa Anita Park jocks' room. Asked to pick his biggest thrill in racing, Pincay could be forgiven if he tussled awhile with the question. After all, there have been 35 years of memories: the ascension to all-time leading rider; induction into the Hall of Fame; six Eclipse Awards; seven wins on one card; historic stakes wins on horses like Affirmed and John Henry. Yet his answer came before the question had time to dry--his win aboard Swale in the 1984 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Dollar Bill Bucks The Web

For those who want to get their information straight from the horse's mouth, Dollar Bill has started his own website. Well, maybe there was human intervention somewhere in there, but Mary and Gary West's 3-year-old classic contender writes in the first-person on the site, which is aimed at his fans, known as 'Billsters.'

Tap Dance Steps to Bonnie Miss Victory

Tap Dance waltzed home by daylight to capture the 31st running of the Bonnie Miss Stakes (g. II) at Gulfstream Park March 16 under Jerry Bailey. With the win, Bailey set a track record, capturing his 13th stakes win at the meeting.

Cecil Asks Tanaka to Remove Horses From Barn

In a bit of a man-bites-dog story, Southern California trainer Ben Cecil asked owner Gary Tanaka to remove his five horses from Cecil's barn around the first of March. The horses include Falcon Flight, who won the 2000 El Rincon at Santa Anita Park and was third in this year's San Luis Obispo Handicap, and Polaire, who captured the Glendale Handicap at Turf Paradise this year.

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