Spanish Empire won the biggest race of his career when he captured the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds on Friday by one length over heavily favored Tenpins.
Racing nine fewer days than a year ago because of inclement weather, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined less than 3% in 2003.
Alex Solis, Santa Anita's leading rider, has been suspended for three days "for failure to exert the proper effort to maintain a straight course through the stretch" on Dec. 31.
Starting this Sunday and continuing every Sunday throughout Santa Anita's winter/spring meeting, fans are invited to join the track's vice president and general manager, Chris McCarron, and other members of track management, in the East Paddock Gardens for a "Fans' Feedback Forum."
Sunday's $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. III) could prove to be a preview of the $500,000 Franks Farms Sunshine Millions Turf to be run at Gulfstream Jan. 24 since top contenders Proud Man and Miesque's Approval are slated to square off in both events.
Max Hugel's Gal O Gal didn't draw well for Saturday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, according to Vinnie Blengs. But the trainer is keeping a positive outlook for his 4-year-old filly as she begins a campaign that might include the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf on Jan. 24.
Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) champion Cajun Beat makes his first start Saturday since his 2 ½-length win at Santa Anita in October in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Easyfromthegitgo, a stakes winner of nearly $700,000, will enter stud in 2004 at Le Mesa Stallions in Carenero, Louisiana. His stud fee will be $3,500.
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