The Texas Thoroughbred Association honored their best of 2002 at their Horse Racing/Breeding Conference and Annual Meeting in Austin the evening of Jan. 18. The winner of the prestigious T.I. "Pops" Harkins award went to Keith and Marilyn Asmussen of Larado, Texas.
Gulfstream Park will increase purses in all maiden special races and allowances by $2,000, effective with January 25, director of racing David F. Bailey announced.
Trainer Larry Robideaux, who believed Witt Ante should have been undefeated going into Saturday's $75,000 Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds, showed his confidence was not misplaced thanks to his colt's 2 3/4-length win in the 1 1/16-mile test for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds.
Gary Garber's fast-developing Domestic Dispute thundered home to win Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita, giving trainer Bob Baffert another early contender for the Kentucky Derby.
Offlee Wild's 27-1 victory in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park kicked off what could be a wide open 2003 Kentucky Derby trail.
Snake Mountain caught front-running stablemate Voodoo at the quarter pole and went on to a 7 ½-length victory over Ground Storm in the 84th running of the $107,400 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 mile Saturday.
Champion sprinter Xtra Heat broke on top and went on to score an authoritative victory in Saturday's $50,000 What a Summer Stakes for fillies and mares at Laurel Park.
Trainer Gary Contessa, a 30-year racetrack veteran, has had high hopes for Unswept, who begins his 3-year-old season in Monday's $75,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela at Aqueduct.
Impending legislation to install video lottery terminals (VLTs) at pari-mutuel facilities in Texas drew a packed house at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's annual conference on Jan. 18. The conference, which culminated in their annual awards dinner, took place at the Hilton Austin Airport hotel in Austin.
Frank Drea, former chairman of the Ontario Racing Commission, died Wednesday at the age of 69 after a lengthy illness.
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