Leslie Deckard

Velazquez 'Blessed' to be Back in the Saddle

Jockey John Velazquez said he feels blessed to be back in the saddle so soon after suffering serious injuries during a race at Keeneland in April. He also is looking forward forward to piloting Bluegrass Cat, who was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite, in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Lawmaker Says Youbet.com Violating Cease-and-Desist Orders

Youbet.com, the online wagering company headquartered in California, plans to review statements given by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan during the May 2 U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing at which the Democratic Congressman said the company is operating despite a cease-and-desist order from the office of the U.S. attorney general.

Jockeys in Favor of Amending 'Horseracing Act'

Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez said he would be in favor of an amendment to the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 that would provide workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, trainers, and backstretch workers.

Dutrow Duo Tunes Up for Oaks Run

Last year, trainer Richard Dutrow entered the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with hot favorite Sis City and walked away in defeat. Out to erase the memory of 2005, he is back again for another run for the lilies with two talented, but less heralded runners in Last Romance and Wonder Lady Anne L.

Adieu Pointed For La Troienne

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Adieu is out of consideration for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 5 at Churchill Downs and will instead point toward the La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) undercard the following day.

Kentucky Issues Advisory for Naproxen Use

The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council is recommending horsemen discontinue the use of naproxen at least five days before a horse is scheduled to run to avoid facing a penalty if the horse tests positive for the drug on race day.

Canani Ready to Win First World Cup Race

After sending seven starters to the Dubai World Cup program without a win, trainer Julio Canani is ready to visit the winner's circle. The Southern California-based trainer will be looking for his first win when he saddles Island Fashion in Saturday's $1-million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II).

Two Kentucky Trainers Fined for Positives

A pair of Kentucky trainers were issued fines and suspension after horses in their care tested positive for banned substances following races at Turfway Park and Keeneland, according to John Veitch, chief state steward.

Giacomo Ready for Big 'Cap

Trainer John Shirreffs said Giacomo will be ready when the gates spring open Saturday for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). The Big 'Cap will be the second start of the year for the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who began his 4-year-old season with a third-place effort in the Feb. 4 Strub Stakes (gr. II).

Cornell Collar Approved in Kentucky

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has approved the use of the Vet-Aired Cornell Collar at the state's pari-mutuel racetracks. The throat-support device developed in 2002 at Cornell University is designed to prevent the breathing obstruction known as palate displacement.

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