Olivier Peslier won the inaugural Hong Kong International Jockeys' Championship in 1998. Dettori won it in 1999. Germany's premier rider, Andrasch Starke, won it last year. All three riders have returned to compete again when the competition is renewed at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
When Morluc finished second to Falvelon in the 2000 edition of the Hong Kong Sprint, he did so while running on tender feet. "That's not going to be the case this year," said trainer Randy Morse. "We've had Morluc on bar shoes ever since he arrived in Hong Kong. The shoes provide him with just the elevation he needs. Morluc's in much better condition for this year's race."
Racing and breeding news and information
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the statewide organization representing owners and trainers at Philadelphia Park, has endorsed legislation sponsored by Rep. John Taylor to allow slot machines at Pennsylvania's four licensed racetracks.
While the public may have deserted him, the man who knows him best never lost faith. Though the highweight among the dozen starters, Band Is Passing, the favorite in 11 of his past 12 starts--each of which came in a stakes--could muster no more support from his home crowd than the 7-1 fourth-betting choice in Calder's Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Dec. 8. But his handy win by 3 1/4 lengths validated what his owner and trainer Stanley Ersoff had been saying all along.
Shades of Seabiscuit. Hallowed Dreams' lifetime record looked like a typographical error (27: 25-0-2). She was racing back in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint on just seven days of rest. She was in against eight males and one other filly. Hollywood could not have written a more perfect script for the marquee Louisiana-bred who had earned the reputation of being a winning machine.
Admire Don emerged as Japan's champion 2-year-old colt with a three-quarter-length win of the 1,600-meter Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (Jpn-I) at Nakayama Racecourse on Dec. 9. Unbeaten in his previous two starts, the son of Timber Country went postward a strong favorite in the 16-horse field of classic hopefuls for 2002.
By Buddy Bishop -- Maybe it's a sign of the times, a glimpse of what lies ahead. But I certainly hope that isn't the case. In the past few months, several Thoroughbred owners have submitted horse names that were quite obviously "vulgar, obscene, in poor taste, and offensive to religious, political, or ethnic groups."
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The expansion of gambling in the U.S., though it may have slowed in recent years, has not run its course.
It has taken almost four years, but "Instant Racing" machines have become an overnight sensation at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. In November, handle generated by the machines topped $1.2 million.
Gtech Holdings, a co-owner of Turfway Park and lottery system operator, reported Monday an 18% increase in fiscal third-quarter profits due to the sale of terminals and software to the United Kingdom. Net income rose to $21.6 million, or 73 cents a share, in the three months ending Nov. 24 from $18.3 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier.
The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky December mixed sale experienced significant declines across-the-board on Monday. The number sold and gross revenue plunged by 38.6% and 55.1%, respectively, from a year ago. The average and median prices were down by 26.8% and 14.3%, respectively.
Fasig-Tipton reported that 121 horses were sold at the Newtown Paddocks in Lexington for a gross of $531,400, an average of $4,392, and a median of $3,000. Last year, the 197 horses sold grossed $1,182,400 and averaged $6,002. The median was $3,500.
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