While some of racing's leading national stars compete in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and the $400,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II), there are four other stakes races on the "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" program that have attracted strong lineups of their own.
Multiple grade I winner Adoration leaves the friendly confines of Southern California to face a strong field in Saturday's $400,000-added Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Six weeks after the thrilling victory by Smarty Jones in the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), owners Pat and Roy Chapman and trainer John Servis make a triumphant return to Churchill Downs on Saturday to be honored for their Derby win and their exciting run at the Visa Triple Crown.
Jockey Chance Rollins, who was unseated in the second race at Bay Meadows Wednesday when his mount, Reds Pal propped suddenly on the clubhouse turn, escaped his fall with a sprained right wrist.
Mineshaft, Eclipse Award winner as Horse of the Year and best older male, has been named winner of the New York Turf Writers Association's Secretariat Award as New York's Horse of the Year for 2003.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, an upset winner over eventual Horse of the Year Mineshaft in last year's running of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), will face some of the toughest handicap rivals in American racing when he bids for a second consecutive victory in Saturday's $750,000-added event at Churchill Downs.
The Puerto Rican government has granted approval for up to 6,000 video lottery terminals to be placed at El Comandante Racetrack in San Juan and its approximately 700 off-track betting outlets on the island.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out grade II stakes winners Limehouse and Pollard's Vision in Saturday's $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II), going 1 1/8 miles at Thistledown. Limehouse is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite while Pollard's Vision will go off at 3-1.
Azeri's lackluster performance in her first test against males in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) apparently has not dulled her enthusiasm for morning training. The champion older mare in 2002 and 2003 breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Wednesday in 1:00.
Last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide is one of six grade I winners among the 35 nominees for the grade II, $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap to be held Saturday, June 19 at Suffolk Downs.
The New Jersey Senate Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee recently approved legislation that would award New Jersey breeders award money following out of state wins. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs and the image of Thoroughbreds racing toward the finish line will adorn a Kentucky-based NASCAR Busch Series car that is scheduled to compete in the Meijer 300 on Saturday, June 19 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.
Godolphin's Sulamani has been nominated to defend his title in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), it was announced today by the Arlington Park racing office. He headlines a group of 97 international runners nominated the signature event of the Chicago racing season. This year's Million will be run Aug. 14.
Smarty Jones' breeder/owners Roy and Patricia Chapman and trainer John Servis will not only celebrate their Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday, they'll also be supporting a good cause as they attend the third annual "Out to Pasture" Party.
The first "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships on TVG/Fox Sports Net" show of the season will air Saturday from Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
"NTRA Super Saturday," five shows of horse racing coverage airing on ABC and ESPN, will make its debut Saturday on ESPN with a two-hour telecast (4:00-6:00 p.m. ET) featuring five graded stakes from four different race tracks with reporters stationed at each venue.
- By Tom Keyser
The Maryland Racing Commission June 8 narrowly gave the go-ahead to Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, to begin rebuilding the turf and dirt tracks at Laurel Park despite strong objections by horsemen.
- By Jack Shinar
Small crowds, slots and rebate shops; those woes top the list. Horse racing representatives were given the opportunity June 8 to tell a California Senate Governmental Organization sub-committee what's troubling the sport and they had plenty to say.
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