One of the top horse breeders in India, Major Pradeep K. Mehra, his wife Mrs. Beena Mehra, and their daughter Radhika Mehra, died in a helicopter accident Tuesday. According to published reports, the helicopter took off from a helipad in the higher reaches of Mussoorie under foggy conditions, at 12:05 p.m. and was headed toward Jollygrant airport in Dehra Dun when it crashed into a hill.
A purse of $100,000 and 'Handicapper of the Year' bragging rights are at stake when 204 horseplayers gather for the $212,000 "Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Association Handicapping Championship" on Jan. 12-13 at the MGM GRand in Las Vegas.
Casino gaming is becoming a hot topic in the upper Midwest, with a privately-managed, state-owned facility being proposed in Minnesota and three Indian groups in Wisconsin joining forces with an ailing Greyhound track in a casino proposal.
With the winds of change swirling hard around the South Florida racing scene, Gulfstream Park opened for its 2001 meet on Jan. 3 with its usual accompaniment of the top horses and outfits from across the East Coast and Midwest. Perhaps appropriately, with a wrecking ball due to demolish the plant once the meet concludes as part of a Magna Entertainment major reconstruction, and a war over racing dates in the offing, the results of a trio of opening week stakes were as likely as Frank Stronach joining Tim Smith for a friendly round of golf.
- By Ray Paulick
Magna Entertainment (MEC) chairman Frank Stronach said on Wednesday he has no plans to cancel the open forum he has scheduled at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 14, dismissing the suggestion made Tuesday night by breeder John Gaines in a speech at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club in Lexington, Ky.
Rick Hiles, president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, was denied access to Tampa Bay Downs' stable area Wednesday. Hiles was attempting to talk with horsemen about ways to end a prolonged purses contract dispute.
Santa Anita Park has added two new wagers to its exotic betting menu and becomes one of a growing number of tracks to offer a pick four wager. Beginning Wednesday, the track will offer a daily $1 pick four and $2 rolling daily doubles.
Man o' War Farm has new owners, but the former home of Big Red will keep its name. Carolyn and Franklin Groves, who purchased the 112-acre property outside Lexington in 1997 and renamed it Man o' War Farm (from Pharamond), have sold the operation to Michael and Rieko Baum of New York. Man o' War stood his last 11 years at stud at the property, and was originally buried on the farm. His grave and memorial were moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in 1977.
The votes are in and the major players are in New Orleans for tonight's Eclipse Awards dinner. In addition to Horse of the Year, Eclipse Awards will also be presented for other equine and human achievements during 2000. Complete results and profiles of the winners will be posted on Bloodhorse.com at 10:30 p.m. (ET). An Eclipse Awards Special will air on ESPN2 on February 4 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET).
Super Quercus, who was scratched from Monday's San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) due to what trainer Bobby Frankel called "a mistake in medication," will run Thursday in a Santa Anita optional claiming race which also features the return of multiple stakes winner Hawksley Hill. The six-horse field in the one-mile turf race also includes Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner El Cielo.
The board of directors of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association voted Tuesday to renew its membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for one year, but it will ask the NTRA to address some concerns within 90 days. Marty Maline, executive director of the Kentucky HBPA, said members will be asked to list their concerns, which will be formulated into a document that will be given to the NTRA. Kentucky horsemen, at about $750,000 a year, are one of the NTRA's biggest dues payers.
Grade I winner Irgun, who stood the 1999 and 2000 Southern Hemisphere breeding seasons at Furlong Stud in Australia, is scheduled to begin the 2001 season at John T.L. Jones' Walmac International near Lexington.
Hay cubes are favored by many trainers of Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses because they tend to be highly digestible and less "bulky" in the gut than long-stemmed hay. But that very digestibility -- the ease and speed with which they are chewed and swallowed -- can be a potential problem.
If imprinting is done correctly, a foal will be much less likely to resist such things as shoeing and having its ears clipped. However, there are some equine behaviorists and veterinarians who aren't convinced that the procedure is a good idea in theory, or in practice.
By Gary C. Young -- There are two kinds of trainers and there are two kinds of veterinarians out there today, folks: those who play by the rules and those who don't. That is common knowledge; just as it is that the two dirtiest states where the cheaters can get away with the most are Kentucky and California.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In recent weeks, New Jersey racetrack executive Bruce Garland even suggested the Graded Stakes Committee is a puppet of the New York Racing Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
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