As expected, four runners will test Horse of the Year Azeri in Sunday's Grade II, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's main track.
Kudos scorched the Del Mar dirt this morning in a 1:23.60 seven-furlong workout in preparation for the track's Grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic on Sunday, August 24. Kudos worked in tandem with The Tin Man, who got the same time as the two went head and head throughout the drill.
Funny Cide continued his recovery from a brief illness and returned to the track Friday morning for the first time since running third in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
Churchill Downs will add an infield hospitality village for next year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Oaks (gr. I) to help make up for the loss of 7,000 seats to the tracks ongoing renovation project.
Shake You Down will spot six foes from five to 11 pounds when he attempts to capture the $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Sunday.
Gary Biszantz was re-elected chairman of its board of trustees for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Friday. Also joining Biszantz on the Board of Trustees to serve three-year terms as new members are Bill Casner, Stuart Janney III, and Trudy McCaffrey.
Gus Schickedanz's brilliant three-year-old Wando will try to become only the seventh winner of the Canadian Triple Crown, when hevgoes postward in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine.
Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park has released its stakes schedule for its 2003 meeting. This year, the meet will be highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, which will feature eight Breeders' Cup events plus a pair of additional stakes.
The American Graded Stakes Committee received industry support for its new drug testing protocol Friday and adopted a new rule that will force tracks to up the ante to keep the grade I status of some of its races.
- By Ray Paulick
A construction program that began 2 1/2 weeks ago to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct racetrack in New York has been halted because of the ongoing criminal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
Youbet.com gets a new chairman... The Maryland Jockey Club and Magna Entertainment Corp.'s premiere of the movie "Seabiscuit" raised over $181,000 for two Maryland charities.
Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga yearling sale rebounded big time in 2003. All of the major indices for the three-day venue saw marked advances over last year's down sale and returned to the general numbers seen in 2000.
- By Ron Mitchell
Five Thoroughbred fillies scheduled to be sold at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale were killed Thursday when a fire believed caused by lightning destroyed a barn at Oscar Penn Jr.'s Penn Farm near Lexington, Ky.
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