The 2001 season hasn't been kind to Oaklawn Park, and Arkansas in general. Wild swings in weather since December have made it tough for the track maintenance crew and the state's residents, who aren't coming to the races as much as they used to. Track owner Charles Cella said he will continue to overpay purses in the hope relief is just around the corner.
Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council, will be honored by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association as its "Man of the Year" for 2000. Hickey will be feted March 19 at the organization's annual awards dinner in Erlanger, Ky.
Purses at Charles Town Races will increase another 5% for the condition book that begins March 15, which means daily average purses at the West Virginia track will be $125,000.
Fasig-Tipton will not conduct a sale of 2-year-olds in training this spring in Kentucky. The company decided to call off its early May auction at the Churchill Downs Sports Spectrum in Louisville, Ky., because "it never achieved the level of success that we had hoped for," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's general manager and executive vice president.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has allocated more than $1 million for 12 projects this year. Much of the research involves two-year projects that will be funded along with five carryover initiatives from 2000.
Fusaichi Pegasus, last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, has 13 mares in foal, according to Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., where he stands at stud.
Pensioned broodmare Quarrel, whose first five foals were either stakes winners or stakes-placed, succumbed March 6 to the effects of old age.
A week ago the presence of Dollar Bill didn't scare anyone involved with bringing a top notch 3-year-old to the Louisiana Derby. And although highly touted Millennium Wind and Hero's Tribute are still on track for Sunday's grade II Kentucky Derby prep, the local flavor is simmering out.
Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" Saturday, March 10, has been reduced to just a pair of races, carded as the ninth and 10th, on Gulfstream's Florida Derby card
The great ones find a way to get past it all. Enough commotion had swirled around Tiznow and his preparation for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) that by the time the actual race rolled around, some were wondering why he was even there to begin with. As if his drab effort in last month's Strub Stakes (gr. II) wasn't reminder enough, Tiznow's days leading up to the Big 'Cap were like a roll call of mishaps, evil vibes, and plain bad karma. Lest we forget, this is the same horse who was a no-name last spring and Horse of the Year five months later, and the same animal whose grueling fall campaign left fans and hardboots alike in awe. No, he's not impervious to pain or the elements, but there may just be nothing that can stop him
The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has reiterated its position that live racing shouldn't be suspended in the state in June and July, and that Colonial Downs in Virginia should continue to offer Thoroughbred racing in September and early October.
How much of a horse's athletic ability is due to genetics?
Narcolepsy is a rare and severe sleep disorder that has been reported in many mammals, including horses.
This time of year all it takes is a big win by a stallion's runner(s) to move him up considerably on the leading sire list. Take for example California stallion Cee's Tizzy, whose son Tiznow earned $600,000 in winning the March 3 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). Cee's Tizzy advanced from ninth to first, and now has 2001 progeny earnings of $1,234,158.
By Suzi Shoemaker -- When six leading sale companies announced a policy last year of a $1,000 opening bid ("upset") for breeding and paddock sales, it sounded great to most breeders and consignors. But in the first two months of 2001, a lot of Thoroughbreds are suddenly worth nothing.
Colts by Bertrando and Cherokee Run turned in the fastest workouts on March 5 at the under tack show for the Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Southern California. The Bertrando colt, who is named Ashen, covered an eighth of a mile in :10.1, and the Cherokee Run colt breezed a quarter mile in :21.9.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Some Western Hemisphere breeders worry about the heavy concentration of Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector blood in the modern-day Thoroughbred. They're not alone in their concerns over a limited gene pool. A similar predicament is developing in Japan, where Sunday Silence reigns supreme.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
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In a bit of a man-bites-dog story, Southern California trainer Ben Cecil asked owner Gary Tanaka to remove his five horses from Cecil's barn around the first of March. The horses include Falcon Flight, who won the 2000 El Rincon at Santa Anita Park and was third in this year's San Luis Obispo Handicap, and Polaire, who captured the Glendale Handicap at Turf Paradise this year.
The "field" of all other 3-year-olds has been made the 5-1 morning-line favorite for the second Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. Wagering will begin Thursday, March 8, and be available through 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11.
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Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Alto Racing, LLC
Jockey: Javier Castellano