Lenny Shulman

Connections Argue Palomar Purse Redistribution

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.

Preakness TV Ratings Tick Up

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.

Preakness Overnight TV Ratings Down Slightly

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.

Ex-Associate Steward Contradicts Fermin in Intercontinental Case

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.

Butt Out

By Lenny Shulman - The rumors of Gulfstream Park's demise, happily, are vastly exaggerated.

Prominent Owner Bob Lewis Dead; Services Set for Thursday

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.

Eclipse Award: Michael Gill, Owner

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.

Eclipse Award: Lost in the Fog, Sprinter

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.

Ruffian Film Slated for ABC/ESPN

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.

Horse Paintings Available for Holidays

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.

Gary Stevens Retires; To Join TVG as Analyst

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.

Vella on His Own with Knights Templar

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.

Charles Nuckols Jr. Dead

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.

Lakow Joins Hill 'n' Dale Farm as G.M.

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.

U.S. Court of Appeals Backs Pincay, McCarron

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.

New York Mutuel Clerks Ratify New Pact

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 Guidry Takes Long Way Home

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.

Won't Get Fooled Again

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.

Dutrow Suspended 120 Days; May Only Serve 60

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who trains Sis City, the likely favorite in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), was suspended for 120 days beginning June 1 for three separate violations incurred over the past two years, but half of the suspension could be stayed.

Frankel Kinda Misses Media Horde

In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby two years ago, all the action swirled around Barn 43, where trainer Bobby Frankel gave daily press conferences that were only a chorus or two of "Hail to the Chief" short of presidential.

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