Graded stakes-winning distaffers Marley Vale and Pico Teneriffe have been retired from racing, according to owner Eugene Melnyk. Marley Vale, whose big win came in the 1999 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, will be bred to A.P. Indy, and Pico Teneriffe will visit the court of Danzig.
For the second year in a row William Jackson, of Cortlandt Manor, New York took the lead after the first day of the $100,000 Sports Haven Handicapping Challenge only to lose in the final races
of the two day contest.
Golden Ballet, probable favorite for of Saturday's grade I, $200,000 Las Virgenes, went to the Santa Anita track Sunday morning for a five-furlong workout under regular rider Chris McCarron. Sahadi caught the Moscow Ballet filly in 1:00.80 for the five panels.
Manndar, one of the top turf horses in the country, was flown in from California and will run next in the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on the turf on Saturday. Trained by C. Beau Greely, Manndar arrived at Gulfstream last Thursday morning and is stabled with the horses in trainer Scotty Schulhofer's barn.
Less than two weeks after recommending a new runway at Lexington's Blue Grass Field, the city's Urban County Airport Board has reversed course, opting instead to expand the existing runway.
Fasig-Tipton Company held regional sales the weekend of Feb. 3-4 and both auctions were down in gross and average from the previous year. Fasig-Tipton Texas held its annual mixed sale at Lone Star Park on Feb. 3. The gross for the 142 horses sold was $568,100 and the average was $4,001. Fasig-Tipton Midlantic held its annual winter mixed sale on Feb. 4 at Timonium, Md. The 145 horses sold grossed $896,800, an average of $6,185.
They fired up the boiler and tooted the whistle but the riverboat casino that's supposed to pour millions of dollars into Illinois racing still hasn't been able to get up a head of steam. And, after the latest setback before the Illinois Gaming Board, it appears it could be many months -- or even years -- before the boat floats.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
"Just when you think it can't get much worse, it got worse," said Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton, on Feb. 5. Browning was discussing complications involving the pending sale of 89 horses repossessed by Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland from the Maryland mystery buyer, Bernice L. Givens Sykes, who signed tickets for nearly $700,000 for 134 horses at the Keeneland November and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale and then failed to pay for them.
And you thought we were just going to flutter into February, with barely a breeze being stirred. It just goes to prove once again that the only sure thing about life on the Derby trail is its unpredictability. Instead of simply gliding along until the Fountain of Youth in two weeks, the 3-year-old picture hurtled into the new month on falcons' wings, thanks to several awesome performances.
Officials in New York are rushing to get legislation approved to re-open one of the nation's oldest, nighttime harness tracks, Batavia Downs, in time for racing to begin this summer for the first time in three years. Batavia Downs, located outside Buffalo, became the state's first -- and so far only -- racetrack purchased by an off-track betting corporation, which in New York are publicly owned entities. Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. purchased the ailing track in 1998 for $2.5 million, but was rebuked from opening it for racing when other tracks, fearing competition from a government- owned facility, said the state could not budge from New York law that bars OTBs from operating racetracks.
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