Backers of a California initiative that could bring slot machines to several racetracks and card clubs submitted more than a million signatures Friday to county election officials around the state to qualify the measure for voter consideration Nov. 2.
Buddy Gil, the 2003 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) champion, ended a four-race losing streak Friday with a half-length victory over Royal Place in the $63,700 classified allowance feature at Santa Anita Park.
Sunday's $100,000-added Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT), which drew a field of eight tough fillies and mares to the 1 1/16-mile turf test, features trainer Bobby Frankel's first starter of the Keeneland spring meeting.
Having been persuaded by information and testimony that the most recent troubles of jockey Patrick Valenzuela were due to clinical depression, not substance abuse, and that Valenzuela's depression is being successfully treated, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board Friday issued a temporary stay of Valenzuela's suspension until an appeal of the decision by Santa Anita Park stewards to suspend him through December 31 is completed.
Santa Anita Park concludes its 67th season of racing Sunday featuring the $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) at about 1 ¾ miles on turf, the longest graded race in North America.
Rosecroft Raceway will not be permitted to offer simulcast wagering of Thoroughbred races effective April 19, according to a statement released Friday evening jointly by the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Assoc. and the Maryland Horse Breeders' Assoc.
Indiana Downs opens its 48-day Thoroughbred meeting Friday evening. The Shelbyville, Ind. track has received strong interest for this year's meet as it has received stall applications for nearly 1,300 horses. The oval offers only 400 stalls.
The annual Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trainers dinner will be held Tuesday, April 27, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville. The event features cocktails, dinner, presentations, and the infamous one-on-one interviews with the trainers of 2004 Derby contenders.
Negotiations over the potential sale of Fair Grounds to Churchill Downs Inc. commenced Thursday afternoon but several issues remain unresolved, including whether current Fair Grounds president Bryan Krantz would maintain a position at the track.