Articles posted May 22, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Gross Revenue Increases At Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Juvenile Sale

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training ended its two-day stand on Tuesday in Timonium, Md., with mixed results. On the positive side, the number sold and gross revenue both increased while the buy-back rate declined. The average price, however, suffered a moderate setback, and the median price fell significantly.

Jockey Profile: Staying in Touch With the Common Man

He may ride for a Saudi Arabian prince, but Gary Stevens hasn't lost touch with the common man. As the 38-year-old native of Caldwell, Idaho, was leaving the winner's circle ceremonies following Point Given's redemptive victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Stevens spotted Gladys McHargue, a female outrider, perched on her pony, tears streaming down her cheeks. He turned to wife Nikki, who was carrying a bouquet of black-eyed Susans, plucked out a single flower, and handed it to McHargue, then reached up to give her a warm embrace and exchange a few private words.

Trainer Profile: Baffert Back on Top in Triple Crown

It's hard to enjoy a private and special moment with 100,000 screaming fans around you. But after Point Given rolled to a 2 1/4-length victory at Pimlico May 19, trainer Bob Baffert grabbed his cell phone and tuned out the roar of the Preakness (gr. I) crowd. While watching the big red colt jog toward the winner's circle, Baffert called his 78-year-old mother in Nogales, Ariz.

NTRA, Horse Council Continue Disaster Relief Meetings With Federal Officials

American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Owner/Breeder Profile: Princely Pleasure

Prince Ahmed Salman likes quality, and he believed he had the goods in Point Given. He made the long trip from Saudi Arabia to Kentucky for the first Saturday in May to chase immortality. The Thoroughbred Corp., his racing and breeding operation, has been cranking out top racehorses for years. There have been three Breeders' Cup winners, owned exclusively or in partnership, but no classics trophies in the United States.

Analyzing NBC's Preakness: 90 Minutes is 30 Too Many

They have similar hair styles and both train good horses, so perhaps Bob Baffert was beginning to panic when Kentucky Derby winner John Ward got all the air time to launch one-liners on NBC's coverage of the Preakness. With Baffert's Point Given knotting the score with Ward's Monarchos, however, expect a tight battle of witticisms for the upcoming Belmont.

Sadler's Wells, Cozzene Reach Milestones

Don't blink now because Sadler's Wells might have caught Mr. Prospector as you are reading this. The Irish stallion chalked up stakes winner No. 171 on May 20, when his son Sligo Bay captured the Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.

Many Kentucky Mares Now Holding Pregnancies at Normal Rate; Impact Seen at 21% of Crop

An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, The Blood-Horse estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.

Those Who Touch Horses

By Kimberly S. Graetz -- While we are extremely fortunate in Central Kentucky to have skilled and learned professors, veterinarians, researchers, nutritionists, agronomists, and all the other people with degrees, it's the people who touch the horse every day who have been the unsung heroes during this spring's equine health crisis.

Welcome Relief

By Ray Paulick -- An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned.

Weather Linked To Causal Event

The University of Kentucky's coordinating group has been studying details of mare breeding records for 2001. This identified more precisely the time of the critical insult giving rise to the syndrome- -between April 17 and 23. Based on information provided, late abortions, the birth of weak foals, and early fetal losses appear to be linked to the same causal event.

Fetal Loss Syndrome Count to 528

As of noon May 21, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received 12 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and 11 late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation.

Second Industry Meeting Set on Fetal Loss Syndrome

At Monday's daily briefing from the University of Kentucky, it was announced that the scientific investigating team, with the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, will hold an information sharing session on Thursday, May 24, similar to the session held on May 10. The session will begin at 5:00 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. The entire session will be web-cast live from the Website at www.keeneland.com.

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