Articles posted March 29, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Lights Out For Hollywood Park's Friday Night Racing

Hollywood Park plans to move its Friday night racing to the afternoons to cope with the state's ongoing power crisis. Post time for the first Friday night, April 20, will start at its traditional 7:15 p.m. But the post time for the remaining 12 Fridays during the track's spring meet will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Fair Grounds and Harrah's Reach Slots Agreement

Fair Grounds racetrack has reached an understanding with Harrah's New Orleans casino that could put 300 slot machines at the track by 2003 and up to 700 machines by 2005. "It is not as many machines as at other jurisdictions, but it will allow us to continue to grow the business," said Bryan Krantz, president and general manager of Fair Grounds.

Seabiscuit Tops Another List

The great racehorse Seabiscuit took America by storm in the late 1930s. Now he has won a race of a different kind with the announcement that the book written about his career, "Seabiscuit: An American Legend," by Laura Hillenbrand, will occupy the top spot on the April 8 New York Times bestseller list for non-fiction after just three weeks in the nation's bookstores.

Nominations to Mid-American Triple Have International Flavor

The 2001 Mid-American Triple is highlighted by purse increases and 257 nominations, including 45 submitted by the International Racing Bureau.
The series of turf races for three-year-olds kicks off with the 67th running of the grade II Arlington Classic at 1 1/8 miles on June 30, followed by the grade II American Derby over 1 3/16 miles, scheduled to be run for the 87th time on July 22. Total purses for the trio of races have been increased by $100,000 -- a $50,000 boost in each of the first two legs -- from a year ago to $850,000.

Whoa! Two-Year-Olds Start Early in Kentucky

For the first time in recent memory -- maybe for the first time ever -- Turfway has scheduled a 2-year-old race at the tail end of its winter-spring meet. The two-furlong, $29,400 event has lured a field of 10: six fillies, three colts, and a gelding. It's carded as the first race.

TRN Adds Bay Meadows and New Zealand Racing

Viewers of The Racing Network can now watch live racing action from New Zealand, as well as Bay Meadows in San Francisco, California. Bay Meadows will run from April 4 through June 17 on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule with select special Monday cards interspersed. Post times will be 3:45 p.m. (EST) on all days except for Friday's when post time will be 10:15 p.m. (EST). New Zealand programming will air Tuesday through Saturday with a floating post time of 7:30 p.m. (EST) to 8:00 P.m. (EST).

Carolina Cup Kicks Season Into High Gear

The season's first grade I steeplecase race highlights the March 31st racing card in Camden, S.C. In addition to the grade I race, the card also features five other races worth a combined $200,000 in purses. Gates open early to accommodate the crowd, annually the largest on the NSA schedule, and the races start at 1:30 p.m.

Magna Group Hires Second New York Lobbyist

With a decision on the sale of the lucrative New York City Off Track Betting Corp. imminent, one of the groups vying for the contract has hired another influential lobbyist in Albany to help close the deal with state officials if it should emerge victorious in the bidding. The group, led by Magna Entertainment, confirmed Thursday it has retained as its second lobbyist William Powers, who until only last month was the state's powerful Republican Party chairman.

Champion Surfside Retired; Might be Going to Unbridled

William T. Young's homebred Surfside, who was champion 3-year-old filly in 2000 and a finalist for best 2-year-old filly the previous year, has been retired from racing. The daughter of Seattle Slew arrived at Overbrook near Lexington earlier in the week. "She's 100% sound, and was retired so she could be bred," said farm official Ric Waldman, who mentioned Unbridled as a possible mate

Champion Chilukki Retired; Will Be Bred to Storm Cat

Chilukki, who won an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly of 1999 for Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, has been retired and will be bred to leading sire Storm Cat. Trainer Bob Baffert said the decision to retire the daughter of Cherokee Run was made by the McNairs after some filling was detected in an ankle just before Baffert left for Dubai, where he captured the March 24 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) with Mike Pegram's Captain Steve.

Maryland Racing Commission Rejects Plan For Colonial Downs

In a tense meeting that exposed deep divisions within Maryland's racing community, the state racing commission on Wednesday rejected a plan for ceasing Thoroughbred racing for five weeks this summer so that horses can compete in Virginia. The commission voted 6-2 against the proposal advanced by the Maryland Jockey Club and a task force representing segments of the racing industry in Maryland and Virginia. The plan called for Pimlico and Laurel Park to close for racing from June 10 to July 14 while Colonial Downs, the struggling track near Richmond, conducted a 25-day summer Thoroughbred meet.

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