Articles posted April 2, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Valenzuela Denied Reinstatement of License to Ride

The California Horse Racing Board, meeting in executive session, denied Patrick Valenzuela's license application by upholding the stewards recommendation that the 38-year-old jockey not be relicensed. However, the racing commissioners indicated Valenzuela may reapply for a license in six months if at that time he can prove that he is no longer abusing drugs or alcohol and can show proof that he has regularly attended the Winners' Foundation program without interruption for the entire six-month period.

Aintree to Allow French and Irish Horses On Course

According to a Monday release from Aintree Racecourse, six horses from Ireland and four from France are scheduled to travel to England for the weekend race meet. A number of them are pointed at Saturday's running of the £500,000 Martell Grand National. Originally only horses based in England would be permitted to travel to Aintree for the races. Papillon, who won the race last year, is among the Irish-based horses reportedly headed to Aintree.

A Look Ahead at the Illinois Derby, Lady Hallie

Dogwood Stable's Distilled, one of the leading candidates for this Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby, worked five-eighths of a mile on a fast track Monday morning at his Hialeah Park homebase. The chestnut son of Hennessy covered the distance in 1:02 1/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15. The drill was one-fifth of a second quicker than that of A. P. Valentine, who prepped Monday for the Grade III Flamingo in 1:02 2/5: The connections of Secret Romeo will decide Monday afternoon whether or not to start in the Illinois Derby. Entries for the Grade II, mile and an eighth race will be drawn Tuesday.

Preakness Winner Red Bullet on Comeback Trail

Red Bullet, winner of the Preakness Stakes last year, has started back in light training at owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Ocala, and could be ready to return to the races by August at Saratoga. Farm trainer Danny Vella said the son of Unbridled is coming along great after suffering what was believed to be a hairline fracture last summer.

Haskin's Derby Top 20 (April 2): A P Valentine Still on Top

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.

Struggling Fairmount Waits on Legislature

Fairmount Park's live meet, delayed more than a month by a crippling purse dispute, is finally under way. But the future of the track, located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo., is in the hands of the Illinois legislature.

Decker Resigns as President of WinStar Farm

Rich Decker has resigned his position as president of WinStar Farm, the Versailles, Ky., operation owned by telecommunications executives Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner, who purchased the former Prestonwood Farm from Jack, Art, and the recently deceased J.R. Preston in January 2000. Decker was manager of Prestonwood since 1988.

NYRA Chief Pushes Lawmakers for Lower Takeout

While pushing to take over the New York City Off Track Betting Corp., Barry Schwartz has been busily pressing top state lawmakers at the Capitol in Albany to back him on what has become his other chief lobbying mission this year: lowering the takeout at New York racetracks.

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