Trainer of Giant's Causeway has 21 horses under consideration for this year's Triple Crown events.
The Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), displaced from its fall date by a scheduling change, will be run this year on Preakness Day, May 19, for a purse of $500,000. The Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) will be run on the Hawthorne turf on May 12. The changes are part of an overall stakes schedule of 15 events during Hawthorne's split meet. Six will be run during the spring, the remainder during the fall/winter season.
George (Jed) Steffee III, who was general manager of Richard Duchossois' Hill 'N Dale Farm near Barrington, Ill, from 1976 to 1990, died Jan. 9 at an Aurora, Ill., hospital.
Frank Atkins, the last surviving member of the original Keeneland crew, died Jan. 15.
Macho Uno, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the leading candidate for champion 2-year-old honors, is scheduled to arrive at trainer Joe Orseno's barn at Gulfstream Park Friday, where he'll begin preparing for the classics. Danny Vella, farm manager of owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Ocala, said Macho Uno has been galloping and swimming on a regular basis, and is just about ready for a half-mile work.
The economics of Thoroughbred racing are such that most owners and trainers aim to have their horses ready for racing as 2-year-olds. On the other hand, we know that lameness problems are the most important reason for wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses, and some perceive that these injuries are due, in large part, to the training and racing of horses too early in life.
Dr. Rene van Weeren of Utrecht University discussed the alliance's first major project, which involves two groups of Thoroughbred foals in New Zealand.
By John Williams -- As many of us coped with the death of Affirmed on Jan. 12, one underlying theme was evident: it seemed everybody connected to the horse considered it a privilege that he had touched their lives. This had been true all of his life, I am sure.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- News of Affirmed's death on Jan. 12 reminded me just how much one horse can elicit emotions that change your life.
Istintaj acted up in the starting gate, unseating rider Jerry Bailey, but was perfectly behaved in the running as he rallied to win the $120,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) or 3-year-olds at Gulfstream on Monday. At Aqueduct on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card, Forest Heir drew clear in the stretch for a 3 3/4-length victory in the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes for 3-year-olds.
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