Ray Paulick

Fairplex To Move In 2002?

The Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, Calif., may have run its last horse race when the 2001 Fairplex Park meeting ended Sept. 24. According to published reports, next year's fair dates, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 13-29, will be run at Hollywood Park.

Officer Does About Face: He's Back in the Champagne

Trainer Bob Baffert reversed fields again on Friday with his unbeaten 2-year-old colt Officer, saying the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) winner will be going to New York for the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 6. Only two days earlier, Baffert said Officer would stay in California for the Sept. 29 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita rather than run in the Champagne as previously announced.

Community Spirit

By Ray Paulick -- One week after the repulsive attacks of terrorism on American soil, it is safe to say all of our lives have changed in one way or another. While we feel a combination of shock, anger, and sadness over the human suffering, there is also an undeniable feeling among many people that something good will come out of this, that America and its allies will build a stronger union in an attempt to rid the world of evil.

True Texas Flavor: Fasig-Tipton Sale

Opportunities were there at the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale at Lone Star Park. Overall gross revenues, as well as the sale average and median prices increased during the two-day sale.

A Worthy Cause

By Ray Paulick -- John Hettinger isn't alone in his effort to protect ex-racehorses from going to the slaughterhouse.

Priceless Memories

By Ray Paulick -- While Point Given heads to the breeding shed, American racing looks for its next Big Horse.

No Decision Yet on Where Point Given Will Stand at Stud

Richard Mulhall, racing manager of Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corp., said there has been "a lot of interest" in standing recently retired Point Given at stud but that "absolutely nothing" has been decided regarding the colt's future as a stallion. Meanwhile, Point Given will be paraded between races on Del Mar's closing program Wednesday and trainer Bob Baffert said the son of Thunder Gulch would be shipped on Thursday to The Thoroughbred Corp. farm in Bradbury Estates near Santa Anita.

Point Given Retired After Injury; Stud Plans Undecided

Leading Horse of the Year candidate Point Given has been retired because of a strain to the suspensory tendon of his left foreleg, trainer Bob Baffert announced on Friday. The strain was detected on Thursday morning, when Point Given had been expected to return to the track for the first time after his victory in last Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. "I've had to retire a lot of good horses, but I never felt like this," Baffert said. "We were just beginning to tap into his greatness."

In-house Project

By Ray Paulick -- In New York, it makes sense for live and off-track wagering to be conducted by the same company.

Peer Pressure

By Ray Paulick -- Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton gave Californians help in educating Gov. Gray Davis on the horse industry.

Blue Skies?

By Ray Paulick -- The three nights of horse trading that took place at the Saratoga yearling sale were electrifying.

Positive Tests Lead CHRB to Warn Trainers About Herbal Products

An undisclosed number of positive tests for the Class 3 drugs phenylpropanoloamine and norpseudoephedrine has prompted the California Horse Racing Board to urge trainers to scrutinize any herbal products or food supplements they feed their horses. Fifteen trainers were notified on Aug. 9 by the board, asking them to avoid a specific herbal product.

Rotten Apple

By Ray Paulick -- If the privatization of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation was a horse race, the inquiry sign would have lit up immediately after the city's mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, on Aug. 2 announced the bureaucracy would be sold to a group headed by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment and Bob Green's Greenwood Racing.

Congaree Out for the Year With Knee Injury

Congaree, who finished third as the odds-on favorite behind Scorpion and Free of Love in Saturday's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, came out of the race with an injury to his right front knee and will be out at least 90 days, trainer Bob Baffert said on Sunday. "It's the same knee he had surgery on last September," Baffert said, "but it shouldn't require surgery this time. He just needs some time off."

Fractious We Fall

By Ray Paulick -- An 11th-hour attack of remorse fever on account wagering isn't helping California racing's image.

Handicapping Tips

By Ray Paulick -- The NTRA said fan education is important, but it apparently has been put on the back burner.

Mr. Prospector Passes $200-Million Milestone in His July Finale

While only two of the six yearlings from the late Mr. Prospector's final crop of foals exceeded their reserve price, the two that did sell on Tuesday night in the final session of the Keeneland July select yearling sale pushed the legendary sire over the $200-million mark in career revenue for yearlings sold at public auction. With $5,500,000 in receipts at this year's July sale, the son of Raise a Native now has $202,884,728 in lifetime yearling sale revenue.

A Dandy Prep

By Ray Paulick -- Question: When is a prep race not a prep race? Answer: When the prep race is a grade I event.

Seattle Slew Tops Sire Average on Keeneland Opener

Taylor Made Farm stallion Saint Ballado sired the $4-million session topper on the Monday night opener to the Keeneland July select yearling sale, but Three Chimneys Farm's venerable Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew was leading sire by average on the evening, with two colts selling for an average price of $1,925,000.

Sales Cycle

By Ray Paulick -- The 2000 Keeneland July yearling sale is going to be a tough act to follow, but that could easily have been said about any of the last five installments of the world's premier auction of young racing prospects.

Bobbles

By Ray Paulick -- It's not a very satisfying way to determine the outcome of such an important race, but that's the way the game has always been played.

Merge Ahead?

By Ray Paulick -- If racing commissions can't decide which national organization should represent them, it seems almost absurd to suggest the industry should move toward uniform medication rules.

Superior Court Judge Gives Baffert Stay of Suspension

Trainer Bob Baffert received a stay of the 60-day suspension he was given last Sunday by California Horse Racing Board stewards as a result of a positive test for trace levels of morphine in Nautical Look, a Baffert-trained runner who won a maiden race at Hollywood Park last May 3.

Test Pattern

By Ray Paulick -- The 60-day suspension handed down by the three California Horse Racing Board stewards against Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bob Baffert comes as no surprise, given the CHRB track record.

On Heels of Triple Crown Success, Imus and Francesa Eye Breeders' Cup Bets

WFAN radio sports personality Mike Francesa said on Thursday's syndicated "Imus in the Morning" show that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has offered Francesa $80,000 in charity wagers for the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup--$10,000 for each of the eight championship races -- similar to the promotion that the NTRA worked out with Imus and Francesa for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Hail to the Chief

By Ray Paulick -- Without question, the presence of Bill and Hillary Clinton added a significant buzz to the Belmont.

Baffert: 'Power Nap' Puts Point Given Back on the Muscle

Most horses that compete in all three Triple Crown races show some fatigue from the grueling campaign of three grade I events in five weeks, but not so with Point Given, according to his trainer, Bob Baffert, who returned to Churchill Downs with the colt on Sunday.

Flame Thrower to Undergo Surgery; Injury Not Life Threatening

Gary Garber's Flame Thrower, who was vanned off the track following a second-place finish to Put It Back in Saturday's Riva Ridge Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, was scheduled to be flown to California on Sunday and undergo surgery after suffering a lateral condylar fracture of his left front distal metacarpus. Dr. Don Baker, who treated the Bob Baffert runner, said the injury is not life-threatening.

Farm Aid

By Ray Paulick -- The pregnancy losses may have slowed, and University of Kentucky researchers may have identified the leading cause for the mare reproductive loss syndrome that hit the Bluegrass region this spring, but the damage is just now being assessed. The losses, which will be sustained over the next several years, will be devastating for many farm owners and breeders.

Padua, Lukas Change Financial Operations

Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables of Summerfield, Fla., announced June 2 it is taking over the financial operations of the training center developed in 1998 on what was formerly Silverleaf Farm. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who moved his training operation from Westerly Training Center in California's Santa Ynez Valley to coincide with the development of Padua, had served as general manager for the Sanans and based his D. Wayne Lukas Racing Stables at the farm.

Point Given Works in Slop at Churchill; 'Ben' On Track

Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given had his final major workout before Saturday's mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I), going five furlongs on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in company with another 3-year-old from trainer Bob Baffert's stable. The son of Thunder Gulch covered the distance in :59 3/5, according to Baffert.

Wagering on the Future

By Ray Paulick -- The recent agreement between the TV Games Network and Youbet.com looks like a win-win-win-win situation for the racing industry.

Jockey Profile: Staying in Touch With the Common Man

He may ride for a Saudi Arabian prince, but Gary Stevens hasn't lost touch with the common man. As the 38-year-old native of Caldwell, Idaho, was leaving the winner's circle ceremonies following Point Given's redemptive victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Stevens spotted Gladys McHargue, a female outrider, perched on her pony, tears streaming down her cheeks. He turned to wife Nikki, who was carrying a bouquet of black-eyed Susans, plucked out a single flower, and handed it to McHargue, then reached up to give her a warm embrace and exchange a few private words.

NTRA, Horse Council Continue Disaster Relief Meetings With Federal Officials

American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Many Kentucky Mares Now Holding Pregnancies at Normal Rate; Impact Seen at 21% of Crop

An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, The Blood-Horse estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.

Welcome Relief

By Ray Paulick -- An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned.

Farm Crisis

By Ray Paulick -- Politicians should look beyond the false image of the breeding industry to the rank-and-file horse farmers.

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