Articles posted January 5, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Tampa Horsemen Approve New Contract

Horsemen at Tampa Bay Downs gave their leaders a strong directive Friday morning to end a protracted contract dispute with track management. Members of the Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association vote 160-2 to accept a purses contract as proposed by racetrack management, according to John Grady, general manager of Tampa Bay Downs.

Breeder Hettinger to Receive Special Eclipse Award

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has announced that John Hettinger has been selected to receive a Special Eclipse Award for his humanitarian efforts to ensure the safety and well being of racehorses on-track and after their racing careers are over. In addition to supporting the Exceller Farm, a satellite site for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the country's oldest retirement organization for racehorses, Hettinger was instrumental in the founding of the Racehorse Adoption Referral Program (RARP).

ABC's McKay Honored with Eclipse Award of Merit

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has announced that longtime ABC sportscaster and owner/breeder Jim McKay has been named the recipient of the Eclipse Award of Merit, presented in honor of an individual's lifetime achievements in Thoroughbred racing. A committee composed of representatives from the Eclipse Award-presenting organizations -- the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association -- selected McKay by unanimous vote.

Leading Trainer of 2000: Baffert's Three-Peat

What a downer. He didn't saddle a winner of a Triple Crown race, and for the second year in a row he failed to find the winner's circle on Breeders' Cup Day. His total grade I win count for the year fell from a whopping 20 a year ago to a mere six in 2000. Prior to the Breeders' Cup, he was lambasted in the Louisville and Lexington newspapers as having a "wretched" year. One would think trainer Bob Baffert had fallen from his perch as top trainer. However, just the opposite was true, as his stable remained powerful enough, and deep enough, to lead all trainers in North America by money won for the third year in a row.

Leading Breeder of 2000: 'Going Out On Top'

If Harry T. Mangurian Jr. subscribes to the theory it's best to go out on top, he is a perfect illustration of those words in action. The leading breeder of 1999 repeated the feat in 2000. Ironically, in 2001 the last of Mangurian's breeding stock will be dispersed, a process he began in October of 1999. Mangurian, 73, put the liquidation in motion in part because he and his wife, Dottie, want to spend more time at their Ft. Lauderdale home, rather than at their Mockingbird Farm near Ocala, Fla.

Horse Race Wagering Soars in Ontario

The Ontario Jockey Club reported today that wagering continued its strong upward trend in 2000. A record $1,221,684,460 in wagers was handled by the company, up 11.6% from $1,094,511,000 in 1999. Total wagering at the two OJC tracks, Woodbine and Mohawk, at 27 off-track wagering sites in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and by telephone account bettors, totalled $854,866,100, an increase of 7.4% over the $795.8 million recorded in 1999. T

Hialeah's Brunetti Upset By Dates' Requests

Hialeah Park Chairman John J. Brunetti had some harsh words for rival tracks Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park in discussing recent filings with the State of Florida for operating dates in 2002. "The actions taken by the other tracks are contrary to their public fa├žade of cooperation," Brunetti said, upset that both Calder and Gulfstream have filed for expanded live racing dates that infringe on Hialeah's customary operating period of March 17-May 22.

Graded Winner Hurricane Bertie Euthanized

Richard, Bertram, and Elaine Klein's Hurricane Bertie, a multiple graded stakes-winning mare who was zeroing in on the million-dollar mark in career earnings, has been euthanized due to complications that developed from laminitis. Richard Klein said Hurricane Bertie (Storm Boot -- Clever Bertie, by Timeless Native) had developed colitis in Florida. Surgery was successful, but the mare then developed laminitis and foundered, he said.

Casino in 'Big Easy' Files for Bankruptcy Protection--Again

For the second time in the past five years, the first casino in New Orleans, La., has filed for protection under federal bankruptcy laws. Unlike the previous bankruptcy filing in 1995, however, the casino will continue to operate as it seeks to cut its indebtedness and tax burden to the state, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Maryland Horsemen: Maintain Current Schedule

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has recommended that Maryland's racetracks maintain a schedule whereby there is a shutdown in September. That throws the decision on Colonial Downs dates back to the Virginia Racing Commisssion.

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