The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continued on its successful roll Thursday as the session average and median prices soared when compared with the same session one year ago. Not long after the fifth session begins Friday, the gross will eclipse the gross receipts for last year's entire 10-day sale.
Good food, lively conversation, and quality mares at reasonable prices punctuated the seventh annual Adena Springs Broodmare Auction held Nov. 6 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's Newtown Paddocks near Lexington.
The Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing returns to Hawthorne Saturday with six $100,000 stakes events scheduled to help determine the Illinois champions for 2003. Julie's Prize, Wiggins, Summer Mis and Out of My Way are among the leading runners competing.
The $166,650 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III), which serves up a perfect mix of frontrunners and closers, millionaires and up-and-comers, won't be an easy test for any of the nine contenders Saturday, including the razor-sharp Barbeau Ruckus.
Randy Mills' turf stakes star Unite's Big Red has been retired after an unsuccessful attempt to bring him back to the races as a 9-year-old this summer. The venerable chestnut gelding will move to Mills' Breakaway Farm in Ocala, according to trainer Dave Vivian, Jr.
Shake You Down, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, headlines the 26 pre-entries for next Saturday's $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park, the signature race of the fall meet.
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Yell, a pair of leading 3-year-old fillies, loom as major contenders in a field of 10 entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
Victory U.S.A., the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) third-place finisher, is scheduled to make her next start in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, trainer Bob Baffert said, before ending her juvenile season in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) on Dec. 21 at Hollywood Park.
Country music superstar Toby Keith's undefeated homebred Cactus Ridge will enter stud in 2004 at John T.L. Jones' Walmac International. The son of Hennessy will stand for $6,500.
The Woodlands, in Kansas City, Kansas, just completed its most successful meet in recent history. The track registered gains in live and off-track handle, as well as attendance, following its 30-day mixed meet which ran from Sept. 23 through Nov. 1.
Since returning to New York from Florida this spring, Lojo has posted a hard-knocking, three-win campaign with two seconds and a third from seven starts. Throughout the year, the 4-year-old filly has ascended the class ranks from second-level allowances to stakes. Now she is ready to go against stakes company in Saturday's $100,000 Athenia (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16-miles on the Aqueduct turf.
After flirting with the notion of running Take Charge Lady in Saturday's Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II), trainer Ken McPeek is pointing the Select Stable runner toward a repeat effort in the Nov. 27 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
With her days as a race mare numbered, grade I winner Awesome Humor is looking to go out a winner when she takes the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. If all goes well in the Distaff trainer Elliott Walden expects her to wrap up her career in Churchill Downs' $300,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day before joining the broodmare band at Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Ciano Cat, one of Canada's leading first-crop sires, will stand the 2004 season at Gardner Farms near Caledon East, Ontario, Canada, for $4,000 (Canadian funds).
Racing at Blue Ribbon Downs will be suspended after this weekend until next year as its new owners work to obtain a license for pari-mutuel meets.
Dwight Sutherland, who was a part owner of such grade I winners as Favorite Trick, Gentlemen, Sister Act, and Puerto Madero, died on his 81st birthday, Oct. 25, of a heart condition at a Kansas City, Mo., hospital.
Wake At Noon, Canada's 2002 Horse of the Year, will be retired later this year for stallion duty at owner Bruno Schickedanz' Select Stud in Ontario, Canada.
- By Ron Mitchell
Fair Grounds Race Course is in discussions with the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in an effort to resolve issues that led the New Orleans, La., track to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
Grade II winner Prime Timber, who stood the past breeding season at Richard Simon's Sez Who Thoroughbreds near Ocala, Fla., has arrived at the outfit's New York farm near Stillwater.
The 4th Annual Silent Auction to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was held at Thistledown on Breeders' Cup Day. Over 60 individuals donated art, memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, tack, gift items, and services. The merchandise portion generated $4,079 while additional monetary contributions amounted to $3,975 for a fundraiser total of $8,054.
The crowd appeared to thin out a bit at Wednesday's session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale, but it wasn't any easier for buyers to get a foot in the door. The totals in gross, average, and median rose this year compared to last year's figures.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry officials in Kentucky are taking a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the election of Republican Congressman Ernie Fletcher as governor, but a few said Fletcher's representation of the horse industry in Washington, D.C. bodes well for Kentucky.
Colonial Downs in Virginia is looking at four sites for an off-track betting parlor in Vinton, where voters on Nov. 4 approved a referendum by only 20 votes, the Roanoke Times reported.
The Miami Herald, in a short notice that appeared in its Nov. 1, edition, said a misunderstanding occurred between a writer and jockey Jose Santos in connection with a story that questioned whether Santos carried an electrical device in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Special Harmony completed the group I double for spring fillies with an easy victory in the 143rd Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) at Flemington Nov. 5.