Fillies by Personal Hope and Seattle Sleet were the fastest quarter-mile workers Thursday during the second under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Both stopped the clock in :21 3/5.
Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given and Wood Memorial (GII) winner Congaree drew many admiring glances at Churchill Downs Thursday as they galloped over the track's one-mile racing oval. Meanwhile, Champagne winner A P Valentine arrived at Churchill Thursday afternoon to continue his training toward the Derby.
Tony Bentley called his race at the New Orleans track in 1974, and his 27 years is the longest of any announcer in track history.
Seattle Slew, back in the breeding shed after major surgery last year, has gotten 19 mares in foal from 22 reported covers as of April 19. "He is doing unbelievably well," said Mickey Taylor, who owns and is the syndicate manager of the son of Bold Reasoning. "He is a very happy horse and pleased to be back at work. He's feeling better all the time. In the past month or two he's gotten a lot stronger, and neurologically he's gotten better as well."
The $100,000-added Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Hollywood Park is expected to mark the North American bow of Argentine-bred star City West, second highweight at 119 pounds. City West, a 4-year-old colt in the Patrick Biancone barn, won four of five starts last year in Argentina, three of the victories in Group I competition. Eddie Delahoussaye has the call.
There has been a lot of talk about Balto Star recently. His last two races – actually, last three -- have been so mind-boggling, especially his Thoro-Graph numbers, people simply don't know what to make of him. Balto Star is the horse Bob Baffert is afraid of, despite being a gelding, a son of sprinter Glitterman, and a confirmed front-runner. If you go by logic, all three of those factors should add up to Balto Star having too much going against him. Then again, maybe they shouldn't.
Ten 3-year-olds, some of which may be looking for a berth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will square off Saturday in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. The Lexington, a grade II event, was won in 1999 by Charismatic, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He then finished third in the Belmont Stakes even though he suffered a career-ending injury.
Chris McCarron rode his first winner at old Bowie Race Course in 1974, and on Saturday, he'll have a chance to ride the 7,000th winner of his career in Maryland during the "Spring Challenge" at Pimlico Race Course.
Retired jockey-turned-trainer Larry Attard has been announced as the newest member of the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame. Attard will be inducted in a ceremony with three others at the 27th annual Mississauga Sports Dinner on June 7, 2001 at the Capitol Banquet Centre.
Wagering on Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Day program totaled an all-time Keeneland record of $17,076,993, topping the previous high for a single day by more than $2.8 million.
Saturday's mutuel handle increased 31 percent from the corresponding day in 2000 and erased the previous record of $14,202,152 set on Blue Grass Day in 1999. Win, place and show wagering on the Blue Grass totaled $1,924,646, topping Keeneland's single-race record.
TVG will provide tape-delayed coverage of the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr. I) from Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, featuring the globetrotting French star Jim and Tonic, the winner of the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes (gr. I) in his last race. With a purse $1.3 million, the international event will be aired on TVG Sunday, April 22 starting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).
Evangeline Downs is set to open the gates to its third card of the season tonight, but all attention is centered on a Friday night sprint contest.
Though Delta Downs has secured a $7-million loan as payment for liens tied to construction work, the Louisiana State Racing Commission has ordered the track to submit a financial statement by Aug. 10 or risk loss of its license, according to published reports.
Georgia breeder/owner Harold Harrison, who bred champion Fasliyev and a record-priced sale yearling, died April 18 at a Winder, Ga., hospital following a lengthy illness.
The opening day of the Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale saw solid international trade with buyers from throughout Europe and the Far East all making a significant impact on proceedings and Irish based vendors dominating the top of the market with the top four lots all coming from across the Irish Sea. Average for the day was up 1% to 23,223 guineas for an aggregate of 1,184,400 guineas.
Leading Derby contender graded stakes earnings
A P Valentine, owned in part by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, will arrive at Churchill Downs around 1 p.m. today, and be placed in barn 36.
Retired horse identifier George F. Sharp died April 14 after battling pancreatic cancer for three years.
A son of Danehill topped all bidding during the third-day of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket, with the half-brother to group two winner, Schubert, bringing $1,100,000. The colt, out of Rossignol, was purchased by Adrian Nichol of B.B.A. Ireland, who eventually won out over local bloodstock agent Anton Koolman. The colt will be trained at Randwick by leading trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Top officials in Michigan said an investigation has revealed that pari-mutuel wagering companies have illegally accepted wagers from Michigan residents by telephone or through the Internet. The companies have been sent "warning letters," the officials said.
In an April 17 letter to Hialeah chairman John Brunetti, Tom Meeker, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., flatly denied allegations of collusion with Magna Entertainment Corp. in their filings for 2002 racing dates for their Florida properties. Churchill Downs owns Calder Race Course, and Magna Entertainment owns Gulfstream Park.
There was little discussion by the Virginia Racing Commission Wednesday about the planned June-July meet at Colonial Downs even though it remains possible there could be racing in Maryland as usual during that period. Colonial Downs gets about 75% of its horses from neighboring Maryland.
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