Colonial Downs will offer more races on the dirt this summer, according to a marketing plan presented Wednesday to the Virginia Racing Commission. Live racing returns to Virginia on July 3.
National City Bank of Kentucky donated $25,000 specifically to support research into the cause and prevention of the equine loss syndrome seen in Central Kentucky and several other states since late April. Also, Robert and Janice McNaris' Stonerside Stable announced that 1% of the purses earned by Congaree in any remaining Triple Crown races and in this year's Breeders' Cup will go to the same research.
Six of the seven horses headed postward for the grade III Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap are already stakes winners, so the race should prove a compelling appetizer for the main course to follow: the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The $200,000 Maryland BCH has drawn 3-year-old Flame Thrower and 4-year-old Explicit from California, 5-year-old Istintaj from New York, and 6-year-old Crucible from Canada, plus a group of New England runners.
Quiet Resolve won last year's Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) by a nose last year over Haami and Holditholditholdit. The 2001 edition of Pimlico's grade II turf event doesn't look to be any easier. Holditholditholdit is back, and joining the fight for Saturday's $200,000 race is North East Bound, who in his last start defeated Quiet Resolve and six other horses in Keeneland's Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (gr. IIT).
A couple promising stakes-placed horses hope to become stakes winners after the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Saturday. Notably Frosty, second in Pimlico's Lexington Park Claiming Stakes on April 29, and Perfect Cat, second in Keeneland's Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) on April 27 are among the nine colts, horses, and geldings contesting the nine-furlong Schaefer.
Jostle will headline what appears to be an evenly matched field in Saturday's $200,000 Pimlico Distaff Handicap (gr. III). Odds-wise, the top three picks are closely bunched with Jostle at 5-2, Strolling Belle at 3-1, and Serra Lake at 7-2.
Trainer Shug McGaughey will saddle two in Saturday's $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares going one mile at Belmont Park.
Dr. Doug Byars, head of the medicine unit at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee in Lexington, Ky., said his clinic alone has seen about 40 cases of pericarditis (fluid in the sac around the heart) in the past two weeks.
Because of recent recommendations to add probiotics to the feed of at-risk animals, Hallway has created Mare-Guard Plus that contains probiotics.
As of noon May 17, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received nine additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (four early-term and five late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 486.
Don't let anyone fool you. The 126th Preakness Stakes is so riddled with questions, it's all but impossible to truly feel strongly about one horse. You can guess or deduce or surmise or assume, but there is no way you state with any authority you know what's going to happen. We have a different scenario from the Derby, and it's anyone's guess if we'll have a fast or slow pace; if Monarchos can come back in two weeks after becoming only the second horse besides Secretariat to break 2:00 in the Derby; if the lightly raced Congaree is going to "bounce" after turning in a sensational effort in the Derby; if Point Given's Derby was a fluke; or if A P Valentine and Dollar Bill can rebound after encountering nightmare trips in the Derby.
Heading into Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), much of the interest will be around a pair of horses that have knocked heads in the past -- Guided Tour and Chicago Six. But a handful of challengers could prove strong.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning rider, Jorge Chavez, will be one of eight leading jockeys coming to Prairie Meadows May 21 to compete in Riding Cup IV, a charity fundraising event. Jockey Chavez won the May 5 Derby aboard the John Oxley-owned Monarchos, trained by John Ward.
John Oxley, the owner of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite Monarchos, announced today that he has extended his pledge of one per cent of purse earnings to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation if his three-year-old colt wins Saturday's Preakness Stakes and/or the Belmont Stakes June 9. The total purses for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are each $1,000,000.
Two Item Limit will be seeking her fourth graded stakes victory on Friday in the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course. The 3-year-old filly will face four rivals in the 1 1/8 mile event.
Champion sprinter Smoke Glacken's first winner came out May 16 at Belmont Park when the filly Smok'n Frolic won at five furlongs by four lengths in :58.31.
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