In the "You gotta start somewhere" department, Metatron, who finished second in last year's Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Best Pal Stakes and third in the Lane's End Breeders Futurity and Del Mar Futurity, returned to the races following a four-month layoff Friday and romped by seven lengths in a six-furlong allowance race at Golden Gate.
Wednesday at Gulfstream
Hot Contest and Definite Edge, two likely starters for the Feb. 8 $75,000 Sham Stakes, were out for exercise Friday morning.
Trainer Bobby Frankel sends out the two highest weighted horses in Sunday's $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), in which his Lido Palace likely will be sent off favored.
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan is on the fence about sending Keats, winner of last year's Lexington Stakes (gr. II), to the Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9 or the Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 10.
- By Steve Haskin
Yvonne Azeff, who has been unconscious for six days since suffering a serious head injury after being thrown from her pony at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27, is still listed in serious condition at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.
Next Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct, already an intriguing race with several top prospects, will draw this year's first European invader in Goshin's Lad, an English-trained colt who has won a pair of recent dirt races over Lingfield's all-weather track.
Magna Entertainment stock hit a new 52-week high of $10.25 Friday morning. The Canadian racing conglomerate stock price has been on a steady march upward since mid-January when it was trading for around $7 per share. Churchill Downs and Penn National keep trading at a premium on the heels of a Bear Stearns report on account wagering.
New Jersey Sen. Martha Bark, who was the co-sponsor of the bill that eventually was signed into law as the Off-Track and Phone Wagering Act, said she is "tremendously disappointed" that the state racing commission reduced the number of live Thoroughbred dates at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands this year from 141 as mandated in the law to 120.
Dockside gambling on Indiana riverboat casinos and electronic pull-tabs at Hoosier Park and the proposed Indianapolis Downs are one step closer to reality after a close vote in the Indiana Senate Jan. 31.
Eastern Echo will be relocating from Lane's End Farm in Kentucky to the Rooney brothers' Shamrock Farms near Woodbine, Md. He will be joined there by the new stallion Jazz Club.
Holy Bull winner Booklet, breezed a sharp 5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Friday at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the Feb. 16 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The smallish son of Notebook, who was purchased by John and Debby Oxley prior to the Holy Bull, has won five of his six career starts.
With the main focus of Saturday's Hutcheson Stakes likely to be on Maybry's Boy and Axis, one horse may very well be overlooked in the wagering. Listed at 9-2 on the Daily Racing Form morning line, is Shadwell Stable's Monthir. Also on Saturday, Popular, Came Home, and Werblin slug it out in the San Vicente Stakes.
Hollywood Park will pay a record $9.5 million in stakes purses during its spring/summer meet that begins April 24. The Southern California racetrack has restructured its stakes schedule to create five big days offering multiple graded stakes.
- By Tom LaMarra
In order to protect overnight purses, Turfway Park has reduced the purse for the grade II Lane's End Spiral Stakes to $500,000. In recent years, the Spiral, a 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail, has gone for $600,000.
The select colts portion of the New Zealand national yearling sales series ended on Friday at Karaka with gross revenues of $9,548,000 (approximately $4,038,804 in U.S. funds) and an average price of $32,148 ($13,599) for the 297 horses sold during the two sessions. The gross was up by 7.0%, but the average was down by 25.8% from last year, when 206 horses grossed $8,927,000 and averaged $43,300.
Jeri and Sam Knighton's Request for Parole, viewed as one of the top 2-year-olds in the Midwest last year, is scheduled to make his 2002 debut Saturday in the $50,000 WEBN Frog Stakes at Turfway Park.
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm will offer two-thirds of its current crop of 2-year-olds a public auction on March 21 at Adena Springs South near Ocala, Fla. Approximately 71 juveniles have been catalogued for the sale, which will be conducted with the help of personnel from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company.
It has become commonplace for an upper respiratory tract (URT) endoscopy to be performed at pre- and post-sale examinations of young horses--especially at Thoroughbred sales. To address what is normal and what is abnormal, Rolf M. Embertson, DVM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexing-ton, Ky., studied Thoroughbred weanlings and yearlings and comp...
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