Godolphin Racing's Express Tour, winner of the UAE Derby, is shaking off the effects of a foot bruise that has hampered his training in recent days at Churchill Downs. Godolphin assistant trainer Eric Coatrieux said the colt was "off for a couple of days" after he bruised his left front foot in training. Coatrieux expects the colt to return to the track on Tuesday.
Bits and pieces from around the industry
He's the last chance for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to participate in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, but his trainer says Turnberry Isle will have to earn his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Irish-bred son of Deputy Minister is scheduled to run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lukas said Monday that a good performance by the colt in that 1 1/16-mile race could put him in the Kentucky Derby. If so, that would keep Lukas' record streak of Derby participation alive. The four-time Kentucky Derby winner has started at least one horse in every Derby since 1981.
Holy Gate, a son of Holy Bull, turned in the fastest quarter-mile work Monday during the final under tack show for Keeneland's April sale of 2-year-olds in training. He was clocked in :21 2/5 seconds over a main track that was listed as fast.
Steve Sexton is the new executive vice president of Arlington Park. The announcement was made Monday by John Long, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN). Sexton will report directly to Scott Mordell, Arlington's president and chief executive officer.
The Horse magazine will conduct a free seminar for horse owners and industry professionals addressing EPM, West Nile, and Foot and Mouth disease concerns. The April 27 event at the Kentucky Horse Park Visitor's Information Center coincides with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the same location. Speakers will include Dr. Bill Saville, of The Ohio State University, and Dr. Peter Timoney, of the Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington.
Arkansas' Oaklawn Park drew an average of 11,251 fans a day this season, down from last year's 12,428. Based on figures through the meet's April 14 close, wagering by Oaklawn patrons on races at the Hot Springs track was down 11.1%. But wagering on simulcast races was up 8%. Calvin Borel won the jockey title with 70 winners. Cole Norman won the training title by saddling 43 winners.
Point Given didn't even run over the weekend, but English bookmaking firm William Hill dropped its Kentucky Derby (gr. I) price anyway, from 7-4 to 3-2. There certainly is no disputing Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Point Given is a deserved favorite for the May 5 Derby. Mike Battaglia, who has made Churchill Downs' Derby morning line since 1975, said if he had to make the line today, he would make Point Given 2-1.
Canadian champion Saoirse has arrived at David and Ginger Mullins' Doninga Farm near Lexington following her retirement from racing.
Penn National Gaming has inked a deal with Playboy Enterprises to develop PlayboyRacingUSA.com, the company's online pari-mutuel wagering site. Operations could begin by the third quarter of 2001.
Steve Sexton, executive vice president and general manager at Lone Star Park, will take over as executive vice president of Arlington Park, effective May 7.
- By Tom Precious
A New York coalition has agreed to open up its wallet to fund a quick study of video lottery terminals in an effort to convince state lawmakers and the governor to permit their operation at racetracks. The legislative session is expected to extend into the summer.
Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press' "Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.
Electron, who began the year in a $20,000 claiming race, spoiled the seasonal debut of reigning steeplechase champion All Gong in Saturday's $100,000 Coca-Cola/UPS Atlanta Cup at Kingston Downs. An 8-year-old making his first National Steeplechase Association grade I start, Electron took the lead from Greek Hero after three fences and repulsed a strong bid from Eclipse Award winner All Gong (David Bentley) in the stretch to win by a half-length under jockey Craig Thornton. Masamadas (Cyril Murphy) was third. The winner covered the 2 3/8 miles in 4:41 2/5.
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