Articles posted December 21, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

OTB Operations in New York Seek Concessions on VLTs

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As New York's racetracks ponder the economic feasibility of installing Video Lottery Terminals under legislation that became law in October, off-track betting operations in the Empire State are asking for VLTs at their parlors.

Fan Club's Mister Draws Outside Post in Woodchopper

Like its filly counterpart last weekend, the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap had horsemen pounding down the racing office Thursday as Saturday's feature race drew a full field of 14 with two exclusions. Fan Club's Mister drew post 14 and will run as the 120-pound highweight under Craig Perret.

Eleven 3-Year-Olds Pointing Toward Malibu

The largest field in nearly a decade is expected for the 50th running of the Grade I Malibu Stakes, opening day feature of Santa Anita's prestigious 85-day winter/spring meet on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Cobra Horses Return to Southern California

Gary Biszantz' Cobra Farm has sent seven horses back to Santa Anita with trainer Mike Puype. The owner-trainer tandem left Southern California earlier this year, relocating to Kentucky to be closer to Cobra's 200-acre operation there while undergoing a downsizing.

Auction Year in Review: Huge Hit

North America's Thoroughbred marketplace suffered a big setback in 2001. To put it in perspective, the decline was bigger than anything recorded from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, when the industry suffered a disastrous slump that sent investors fleeing from the horse business.

Queue Hopes to Add La Prevoyante to Resume

Gerald Robins and Jay Weiss' 4-year-old filly Queue will attempt to add another grade II stakes victory to her growing resume when she goes to the post among the choices in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) as part of "Grand Slam II" at Calder on Sat., Dec. 29.

Farm Lowers Flame Thrower's Stud Fee

Stoneriggs Farm, the Morriston, Fla. nursery where muliple graded stakes winner Flame Thrower will enter stud in 2002, has announced it is lowering the stud fee on the horse to $6,500. The original fee was $8,500.

Astra Ready For Early January Comeback

Multiple grade I winner Astra, who has not started since developing a foot abscess shortly after her last-place finish in the Aug. 19 Beverly D Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park, is back in serious training and being prepared for a 2002 campaign.

Exclusivity: Racing Industry Debate Continues

The majority owner of a growing account-wagering service based in Ohio said exclusive contracts that govern betting could cripple the pari-mutuel industry at a time when it is poised for explosive growth. The comments came on the heels of a spirited debate between the TV Games Network and Magna Entertainment over exclusivity, an issue that won't go away.

Bunning to Speak at Breeders' Dinner

U. S. Senator Jim Bunning (R-Ky) will present the keynote speech when breeders of this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners are honored at an annual dinner to be held Jan. 6, 2002, at the Thoroughbred Club of America in Lexington, Ky.

Toga Toga Toga Euthanized

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Toga Toga Toga, who won the 1997 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I), was euthanized in late November after fracturing a leg in an accident at Bruce Gibbs' Greenfield Farm near Lexington. The 9-year-old mare was in foal to Pulpit.

Slewpy Dies at Age 21

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Slewpy, the sire of 26 stakes winners including 1992 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Thirty Slews, died Dec. 19 at Monty Roberts' Flag is Up Farm near Solvang, Calif. The grade I winning son of Seattle Slew was 21.

Twining Returning To Kentucky

Twining, who previously stood at Hilary Boone Jr.'s Wimbledon Farm near Lexington, will be returning to the Central Kentucky nursery in 2002. He stood the past two seasons at East Stud on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, and will remain the property of East Stud.

Hurdles Remain for California Account Wagering

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The clock ticks for the arrival of account wagering in California, and it may keep ticking well into the new year. The earliest the state's racing fans can expect to be able to open accounts and begin telephone or Internet wagering is mid-February 2002, but depending on how well the regulatory review process goes, wagering might not occur until some time in May.

New Jersey Racing Schedule in Turmoil Again

A deal thought to have been struck between horsemen and racetrack management for 2002-2003 racing dates in the Garden State fell apart Dec. 20 during a sometimes-contentious New Jersey Racing Commission meeting. One racing official said the "climate of pettiness" is threatening live racing in the state.

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