Tracy Gantz

Stem-Cell Research: Potential Benefits

Harvesting a horse's stem cells at birth through the umbilical cord or as a young horse may give it an advantage later if it develops health problems. Researchers from the University of California-Davis spoke to a group of owners and breeders March 22 at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association office about stem-cell research they are performing, and the future of stem-cell therapy.

Tiznow Colt Tops Barretts Sale

Tiznow Colt Tops Barretts Sale

A son of Horse of the Year Tiznow brought $650,000 to top the Barretts sale March 10 at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif. Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables purchased the colt on a telephone bid from the Wavertree Stables consignment

Barretts March Catalog More Select

Barretts March Catalog More Select

Barretts is offering a trimmer catalog for its 2009 March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is in line with the belt-tightening mood throughout the country. The Southern California auction company has cataloged 124 horses for its March 10 auction, down from 191 in the 2008 book.

Shapiro 'Allied' with New Calif. Group

Shapiro 'Allied' with New Calif. Group

Richard Shapiro, former chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, has been hired as a consultant by the newly-formed California Horse Racing Alliance. Craig Fravel, the alliance's president and the executive vice-president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, confirmed the hiring of Shapiro shortly after the group's formation in recent weeks.

Inside Track: Stakes on the Grille

Inside Track: Stakes on the Grille

Because of the owners, trainers and jockeys who frequent The Pamplemousse restaurant near Del Mar in Southern California, co-owner and chef Jeffrey Strauss gets more than his share of tips.

Fillies Top Barretts Mixed Sale

Fillies Top Barretts Mixed Sale

Two $50,000 fillies of racing age highlighted the Barretts January mixed sale, which saw the average decline slightly from last year and the median improve. With other sales around the country experiencing double-digit decreases, sales officials expressed pleasure at the final figures.

Male Turf Eclipse Award: Conduit

Male Turf Eclipse Award: Conduit

England's Triple Crown finale, the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I), isn't considered a normal route to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). But Michael Stoute hasn't ruled England's training ranks for years by playing it safe.

Inside Track: Yatta Yatta Yatta

Inside Track: Yatta Yatta Yatta

Exercise riders have a special trash talk all their own, usually along the lines of how the horse they are aboard can trounce anything on four legs in this century or last. That's why few people paid any attention in 2007 when Steve Willard, riding a huge unraced filly from John Shirreffs' barn, told a Hollywood Park outrider, "This is the second coming of Ruffian."

Santa Anita Purses Trimmed

Santa Anita Purses Trimmed

With the economy affecting all aspects of the racing industry, Santa Anita has adjusted its overnight purses downward about 10% for the upcoming winter-spring meeting that begins Dec. 26.

Tapit Weanling Tops Barretts Final Day

A Tapit weanling colt brought a session-topping $60,000 at the second day of the Barretts October mixed sale Oct. 28. Broodmares and weanlings made up most of the sale's second half, which saw 100 horses gross $379,500 and average $3,795.

Barretts' First Session Suffers Declines

With no major dispersals in the mix and working against an ailing economy, the two-day 2008 Barretts October mixed sale began Oct. 27 facing an uphill battle. The first day saw 143 horses sell for $536,600, yielding an average of $3,752 that was 69% last year's event.

Dearest Trickski Proves Quite a Claim

Dearest Trickski Proves Quite a Claim

Dearest Trickski's road to the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint began late last year, when the Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita failed to fill. That pushed the filly into the grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 29, and a victory there gave owner Tom Mankiewicz and trainer John Sadler grander ideas.

Fabulous Strike Makes Sprint This Year

Fabulous Strike Makes Sprint This Year

Todd Beattie is happy to be in California with Fabulous Strike for the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). He had hoped to be at last year's Sprint, but instead had to battle a lung infection that could have ended the gelding's racing career.

Indian Blessing 2-1 Choice in F&M Sprint

Indian Blessing 2-1 Choice in F&M Sprint

Champion Indian Blessing drew post position 5 and was installed the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a full field for the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita Oct. 21. That puts the front-running filly three outside another speedster, 12-1 Indyanne, in the seven-furlong event.

Lady Sprinter Flying Under the Radar

As the media descend daily on barn 27 of the Santa Anita backstretch to get a glimpse of Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) favorite Curlin Oct. 20, trainer Juan Reviriego quietly goes about his business next door at barn 28. He also has a Breeders' Cup contender, though Lady Sprinter doesn't have nearly as high a profile as her neighbor.

'House' Rooting for Tiz Elemental

'House' Rooting for Tiz Elemental

When it comes to the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the Oak Tree Racing Association board members can be forgiven a little partisanship. The hosts of the 2008 Breeders' Cup Oct. 24-25 should be impartial, but fellow board member Warren Williamson bred and owns Filly & Mare Sprint contender Tiz Elemental.

Fatal Bullet Strikes at Santa Anita

Fatal Bullet Strikes at Santa Anita

Fatal Bullet, the Canadian invader for the Sentient Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface Oct. 19. Trainer Reade Baker and his wife, Janis, watched the work from the grandstand, as regular jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva was in the saddle.

'Living Legends' Talk Race Tactics

'Living Legends' Talk Race Tactics

As if they had never left the racetrack, 10 Hall of Fame jockeys spoke knowingly of tactics in the Oct. 18 "Living Legends" competition at Santa Anita -- mostly about how Angel Cordero Jr. will be herding the field from his outside post position.

Sprint: Double Time

Sprint: Double Time

Trainer Bob Baffert will be trying to accomplish something in the Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) never done before-win the race twice with the same horse.

Curlin Works Toward Classic Start

Curlin Works Toward Classic Start

Curlin took another step closer to the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he executed a flawless workout between races at Santa Anita Oct. 13. With regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas aboard and in company with Hawaii Calls, Curlin traveled five furlongs in :59.11, galloping out in 1:12.14.

Curlin, Student Council Work at SA

Curlin, Student Council Work at SA

With trainer Steve Asmussen looking on, Curlin worked over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita early the morning of Oct. 6. The trainer, who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers dirt over synthetic surfaces, said that he could not make any decision about Santa Anita's new surface on the basis of just one work.

Curlin Settles in at Santa Anita

Curlin Settles in at Santa Anita

Curlin, racing's $10 million horse, arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday, Sept. 28, and settled in at Barn 27. Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said that Curlin would probably make his first visit to the Santa Anita track Wednesday, Oct. 1.

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

New SA Surface Gets Positive Reviews

Oak Tree's opening day, Sept. 24, brought sweltering temperatures back to Southern California, almost as if by design to test the new Pro-Ride synthetic surface. The surface heated up, but after the day's six races over it (the other three being on turf), reviews were generally optimistic.

Aurebach's Karma with CARMA

Aurebach's Karma with CARMA

Look in the winner's circle after any offspring of Unusual Heat wins a race and you'll likely see a petite, brown-haired woman hugging the jockey, high-fiving the trainer, or congratulating the owner.

TOC to End Exclusive ADW Pacts

The elimination of exclusive account deposit wagering contracts and meeting the challenges of racetrack closures were among the subjects addressed at the Thoroughbred Owners of California's annual membership meeting Aug. 16 at Del Mar.

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

Santa Anita Surface Overhaul in Progress

Large piles of material dot Santa Anita's backside parking lot, as work continues on the overhaul of the track's synthetic surface. Repairs to the drainage system are expected to be finished soon, with the next step being the placement of the base grit layer, according to Ian Pearse, founder and president of Pro-Ride Racing Australia.

Del Mar Focuses On More Consistent Track

Del Mar Focuses On More Consistent Track

Water, designed to keep Del Mar's Polytrack more consistent from morning to afternoon, also led to three track records opening day, July 16, at the Southern California track. The five races carded over the synthetic surface were run at four different distances, with new marks set at 5 1/2 furlongs, six furlongs and a mile.

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