Former Southern California exercise rider Leigh Gray was honored Thursday by the Race Track Chaplaincy of America with the organization's first "White Horse Award," given to a backstretch employee who puts their own life at risk in order to help a horse or human in danger.
- By Jack Shinar
Two Northern California men who pleaded "no contest" Sept. 4 to felony animal cruelty stemming from the torture death of a 24-year-old Thoroughbred mare were allowed to withdraw their pleas and have been scheduled to face trial Dec. 1.
It was 34 degrees in New York Thursday morning. The three New York-based horses for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) – Funny Cide, Volponi, and Evening Attire -- were a bit warmer as they tried to acclimate to the unusually hot weather in Southern California.
The rising mercury in Southern California was the hot topic of conversation at a Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships news conference held Thursday following training hours at the Arcadia, California racetrack.
Galloping Gal displayed her fondness for the grass Thursday at Keeneland, winning the $113,200 Jessamine County Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the turf.
Bowman's Band will probably be the favorite in the $100,000 Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at seven furlongs on the Belmont Park main track Saturday.
Tenpins returns to Keeneland Saturday in hopes of repeating his victory last year in the $150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. III), the final feature of the fall meeting at the Lexington, Ky., track.
Juddmonte Farm's Oasis Dream, a contender for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), took to the Santa Anita turf well Thursday morning, breezing a half-mile in :47 under jockey Richard Hughes.
- By Tom LaMarra
Despite concerns the association's signal would be sent to wagering outlets that offer rebates, and the fact there is no contract yet with horsemen, the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 23 approved an application by the Los Angeles Turf Club for its Santa Anita Park meet that begins Dec. 26.
The Joe Hirsch/Bill Leggett 2003 Breeders' Cup Writing Awards, which were presented Wednesday night, were won by Pat Forde, who became the first three-time winner, and Billy Reed, the first back-to-back winner. Both stories concerned the winner of the 2002 Classic, Volponi, and his Hall of Fame trainer, P. G. Johnson.
Trainer Allen Jerkens is hoping that Shine Again can successfully defend her title in Saturday's $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park and exit the track with one more graded stakes win to her impressive career record.
Youbet.com has hired two new marketing executives as regional general managers of Youbet's aggressive new business development program.
Youbet.com, Inc., a leading online wagering company for horseracing, named David B. Bonfield and Jeff True as regional general managers of the company's new business development program.
Mowing. Spiking. Watering. Tamping. And don't forget worrying. Leif Dickinson, turf course superintendent at Santa Anita, has been doing all of those things to ready the grass for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
There is little doubt Halfbridled looms large over her 13 rivals in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) both from a size and form perspective. However, the supersized daughter of Unbridled won't find a field she can push around on Saturday.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- To call Joe the dean of Turf writers is an understatement, because he is more than that...
How talented is Falbrav, a European invader who is one of the favorites in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT)? He's so talented that his jockey, Darryll Holland, isn't worried about being a first-time rider in the World Thoroughbred Championships.
By Victor E. Zast -- Old race fans never die, they just get old and sentimental...
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) is loaded with 2-year-old fillies trained by big-time names like Lukas, Baffert, and Mandella. Not to be lost among the shuffle, however, is newcomer Adam Kitchingman. The 29-year-old Australian conditioner is sending out his first stakes winner ever, Dixie High, in the $1-million Juvenile Fillies.
Most trainers are spending this Breeders' Cup week convincing themselves and everyone around them they have the absolute best horse in their respective races. Dermot Weld, it should be known, is an exception to the rule.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, whose 2002 campaign platform included an endorsement for racetrack gaming, will issue a "major policy speech" Nov. 12 at the closing session of Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.
Concern, winner of the 1994 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), will stand the 2004 season at Oklahoma Equine Hospital near Washington, Okla.
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup, and only one trainer has saddled horses in each rendition of racing's biggest day. D. Wayne Lukas, in addition to his vast success in Triple Crown events, is by far the winningest Breeders' Cup conditioner.
Teleprompter, the English invader who won the 1985 Arlington Million (gr. IT) and was a group II winner in his native land, has been euthanized at age 23.
Ride the Rails, sire of 2003 sensation Candy Ride, will stand in 2004 at Tom Bachman's Pegasus Ranch near Petaluma, Calif.
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