Yearlings sired by Storm Cat were in demand Thursday night during the third and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, New York. After gross and average price declines during the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions, numbers rose during the final session when compared with the same night one year ago.
The Muckleshoot Indian tribe of Washington will invest $1.6 million in purses and a vocational training program at Emerald Downs through 2005 in a partnership agreement announced by the track Aug. 12.
Blackdoun, a solid winner of the faster division of Del Mar's opening-day Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the turf, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds for Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Perfect Drift, who turned in a dynamite second-place performance in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga last weekend, could be headed for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22 at Del Mar, too.
The $1 million Travers (G1) is now less than three weeks away, but the picture is still cloudy. With SMARTY JONES retired and Belmont (G1) winner BIRDSTONE training up to the race, it appears that starter Bob Duncan will have a gate full of sophomores since no one is being scared away.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown, who has managed to avoid the sort of injuries this year that have plagued him during his career, is the horse to beat in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs Saturday at Saratoga.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star is the one catch in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Saratoga. If he gets the kind of pace he enjoys, they may not be able to do it.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned heads at Saratoga Thursday morning when he put in a powerful one-mile workout in 1:37 4/5 on the main track with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
Augustin Stable's favored Praise the Prince made a successful Saratoga comeback Thursday, winning the $79,600 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-II) at 2 1/16 miles by a half-length.
- By Tom Precious
A measure to encourage the operation of video lottery terminals at several big racetracks in New York, including the New York Racing Association's Aqueduct track, collapsed Aug. 12 in Albany amid industry infighting, political intrigue and head-butting among powerful lobbyists.
Formal Gold, whose Beyer Speed Figures of 126, 124, and 125 in three consecutive graded stakes stamped him as perhaps America's best racehorse since the early 1990s, will be relocated to Tom Clark's Rancho San Miguel near San Miguel, Calif.
The Kentucky Racing Authority has named John Nicholson its interim executive director. Nicholson currently serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park and will fill the racing authority position until Gov. Ernie Fletcher appoints a permanent executive director.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced Thursday that is has joined the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) as the 26th member.
There was a case of mistaken identity at Ellis Park on Aug. 11 when maiden Boggy Creek ran in place of maiden Parker Valley in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden turf race. Boggy Creek finished fifth.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday that it will offer another "National Pick 4" wager this Saturday, Aug. 14, as part of its "NTRA Super Saturday" series that will be featured on the ABC and ESPN networks.
Hoping to rebound from disappointing numbers a year ago, the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association will unveil its 2004 yearling sale at Del Mar Racetrack Monday, August 16 at 7 p.m.
Talk Is Money, whose first-crop yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer sale commanded $120,000, will undergo a rise in fee from $5,000 to $10,000,
- By Ron Mitchell
A son of Giant's Causeway consigned by Gainesway Farm was purchased by Team Valor's Barry Irwin for $1,850,000 to top the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale Wednesday night.
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