The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that television viewership for the first four shows of its "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships -- Powered by Dodge" was up 45% over last year's numbers.
ABC Sports picked a tough time to get back into the Triple Crown business. Without Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Preakness victor Bernardini, the Belmont Stakes was left without a star attraction, and that was reflected in national television ratings for the June 10 running from New York.
With a thrilling late run through the final furlong, heavy favorite Gorella ran down pacesetter Pommes Frites to win the $300,000 Just A Game Handicap (gr. IIT) over Belmont Park's yielding turf course.
Belmont Stakes day stakes action got off to a rousing start in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) when Anew scorched to the lead from his outside gate and never relinquished that advantage, cruising to the wire in 1:08.10.
Three weeks after telling the world about the condition of Barbaro directly after the horse's breakdown at the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), noted veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage was relaxing on the Belmont apron, enjoying the morning workouts the day before the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
For the second time in the Triple Crown races this year, the West Point Thoroughbreds syndicate will be sending a runner postward when High Finance competes in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Although Todd Pletcher has the two favorites, according to the morning line, for Saturday's 138th running of the Belmont Stakes, a veteran of the Triple Crown races is lurking right behind him.
The owners of champion mare Intercontinental and those who ran behind her in last September's $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar argued in front of three California stewards June 5 whether the winner's share of the Palomar purse should be redistributed.
NBC's telecast of the May 20 Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore, Md., drew a slightly higher audience than the 2005 running. The network reported a 5.4 national rating and a 14 share for the program, which ran from 5 to 6:50 p.m. EDT.
The overnight ratings for NBC's coverage of the Preakness Stakes May 20 indicated a small drop-off in viewers from 2005's numbers. The overnights, which measure viewership in 54 major markets, gave the overall telecast a 5.7 rating and a 14 share, down 4% from last year's 5.9/14.
NBC reported ratings for its May 6 Kentucky Derby telecast that were down slightly from 2005 figures, but were in line with the numbers it has received for its Run for the Roses coverage since 2000.
NBC Sports said Thursday that copy included in two feature stories presented during the May 6 telecast of the Kentucky Derby was plagiarized from NBC's hit program "The West Wing" by a freelance producer.
NBC Sports reported an 8.4 national rating and a 20 share for the race portion (5:45-6:45 p.m. EDT) of its May 6 Kentucky Derby telecast. The rating is slightly down from last year's 9.0/22 national rating for the race portion of the telecast.
Three first-time Kentucky Derby trainers joined veteran conditioner Bob Holthus on a national teleconference April 25 to discuss final preparations for their horses heading into the Derby.
HBO premiered the latest edition of its "Real Sports" program April 11, featuring a segment on jockeys and the cancellation of their catastrophic health insurance by the past administration of the Jockeys' Guild.
ABC Sports, which will be televising the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) from Belmont Park in New York June 10, has announced it will be expanding the telecast to two hours. The program will air from 5 p.m.-7p.m. ET.
In a March 15 declaration given under penalty of perjury, a former California associate steward stated the director of Del Mar security said he forwarded information about the mare Intercontinental getting a late Salix shot to the board of stewards, California Horse Racing Board investigators, and CHRB executive director Ingrid Fermin well before the running of the Palomar Handicap (gr. II) last Sept. 3.
Veterinarian Amy Lee Nevens has been fined $750 by the California Horse Racing Board for falsely reporting when she administered a Salix shot last September at Del Mar.
By Lenny Shulman - The rumors of Gulfstream Park's demise, happily, are vastly exaggerated.
Bob Lewis, whose upbeat personality in winner's circles nationwide showed Thoroughbred racing in its best light throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, died at his Newport Beach, Calif., home Friday at 2 a.m. PST. Funeral services have been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23.
Santa Anita Park has settled a lawsuit brought by retired jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. stemming from the career-ending injury the rider suffered at Santa Anita March 1, 2003.
Oh, the irony. Getting out of the Thoroughbred business because he has been denied stalls in numerous states and even denied permission to enter horses at one racetrack, Michael Gill won the Eclipse Award as outstanding owner for 2005.
The good news is, after a two-month vacation in Florida, Lost in the Fog reported back to work at Gilchrist's barn in early January to begin training for a 2006 campaign, the main target of which will be another crack at the Sprint, to be run this year at Churchill Downs. Gilchrist indicated he will likely map out a less-rigorous campaign for his star this time around, with early plans calling for an April debut in California.
Jerry Bailey, 48, North America's dominant jockey for more than a decade beginning in the early 1990s, announced his retirement from riding, effective Jan 28 after the Sunshine Millions card at Gulfstream Park.
ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) announced it will produce an original film, "Ruffian," based on the story of the great filly who was undefeated until suffering a fatal breakdown in a match race against Foolish Pleasure at Belmont Park in 1975.
Hollywood Park announced Friday that it will be adding a lucrative race for fillies and mares three and up to go along with the American Oaks (gr. I) in July, building a big weekend of races at the Inglewood, Calif. racetrack.
If you're looking for that perfect holiday gift for the racing fan on your shopping list, take heart--paintings by famous racehorses will be available for purchase on E-Bay beginning Saturday, Dec. 10.
John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington has expanded north with the purchase of two parcels of land totaling 317 acres.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens announced his retirement from riding Friday, but will not be leaving the sport. In a Churchill Downs press conference, Stevens said he would be joining the Television Games Network (TVG) as a racing analyst.
Singletary, winner of the 2004 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) and an earner of better than $1.75 million in his race career, will enter stud at Cardiff Stud Farms near Atascadero, Ca., where his 2006 fee will be $5,000.
Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale continued to soar through its sixth session Saturday, as all key indicators were on the rise.
Leroidesanimaux, who won eight consecutive races before finishing a game second in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last month, has been retired to stud at Stonewall Farm near Versailles, Ky.
National television ratings for NBC's telecast of the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships from Belmont Park in New York increased slightly from last year's numbers.
Being at Belmont Park for Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr.I) represents a full-circle journey for trainer Tony Mitchell, who brings the undefeated Original Spin into the contest.
Four years ago, when he was the farm trainer for Frank Stronach at Adena Springs South near Ocala, Fla., Danny Vella had the satisfaction of seeing former pupils Perfect Sting and Macho Uno win Breeders' Cup races. At this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Vella is seeking an even bigger thrill--training a winner of his own.
Just before the running of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park last year, owner Paul Reddam confided that his horse was a longshot bomb set to explode.
An international cast of eight 3-year-old fillies are signed up for Saturday's $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
In his final work for the Oct. 1 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap, 3-year-old Lost in the Fog sizzled five furlongs in :57 1/5 Sept. 23 at Golden Gate Fields.
Charles Nuckols Jr., an icon of the Thoroughbred industry, died Sept. 2 at his home near Midway, Ky. Nuckols, 83, had been fighting a variety of ailments the past several years, and died of complications from congestive heart failure.
Roses in May, a top handicap horse over the past two seasons, has been retired by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey due to a torn tendon in the horse's left front leg.
Multiple grade I stakes winners Fraise and Ogygian arrived at the Old Friends retirement facility Aug. 16. Old Friends is based at Alfred H. Nuckols Jr.'s Hurstland Farm near Midway, Ky.
Mike Lakow, who was relieved of his duties as racing secretary in a July shake-up of the New York Racing Association, has been named general manager of John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.
Ten 2-year-olds will attempt to earn black type when they line up in Sunday's $150,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied an appeal by the former business managers of retired jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron, leaving in place an $8-million award, including interest, given to the jockeys by a Los Angeles federal judge.
Madeleine Paulson, widow of legendary horse breeder and owner Allen Paulson, is planning to marry Texas energy magnate T. Boone Pickens in the next couple of weeks.
NBC Sports' coverage of the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) managed a 4.5 national rating/11 share for its 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. EDT telecast.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union of New York, division of mutuel employees, Local 3, has overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the New York Racing Association, averting a possible work stoppage or sickout on Belmont Stakes day June 11.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will undergo knee surgery in the next couple of days and is expected to be out of action some four to eight weeks.
Jockey Mark Guidry took the overland route to get back to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Forget about going seven-wide on the final turn, Guidry went about 2,000 miles out of his way to find the mount that would bring him back to Louisville the first Saturday in May.
By Lenny Shulman - In its first big test under the new, open, responsive management of executive director Ingrid Fermin, the California Horse Racing Board proved itself quite capable of continuing the Keystone Kops routine perfected by the regime of former executive director Roy Wood.
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