Articles posted January 25, 2005

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Ghostly Vote

By Dan Liebman -- In Smarty Jones and Ghostzapper, Eclipse Awards voters were faced with two clear and deserving choices for 2004 Horse of the Year. Now they have spoken.

Meritorious Character

By James E. Bassett III -- When one thinks of Charles J. Cella, a myriad of descriptions flash by. "Indescribable" comes easily to mind, overshadowed by "indomitable" or perhaps "indestructible," followed by "unpredictable" or almost surely "unpersuadable." But lest we overlook the obvious, certainly it would be "unforgettable."

Paths Plotted for Top Runners

Hangovers weren't the only thing to come out of the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 24. Various connections gave voice to their private plans as to where they hope to run prominent horses in the coming months

Drug Consortium Moves on Violations, 'Milkshakes'

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has set a deadline for adoption of recommended uniform medication violations and testing protocol for "milkshakes," which are mixtures of bicarbonate of soda and a liquid force-fed to a racehorse before it competes.

Declan's Moon, Wilko Share Top Weight on Experimental

Undefeated Declan's Moon and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko share the highweight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2004 Experimental Free Handicap, released Monday by The Jockey Club.

Ramsey Issues Statement on Fine, Suspension

Owner Ken Ramsey, who was fined $25,000 and suspended for seven days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for improperly attempting to influence another owner to scratch a horse at Turfway Park, issued a statement Jan. 24 regarding the situation.

2004 Eclipse Award Jockey: John Velazquez

If one didn't get a sense of John Velazquez' inexorable climb to the top during his record-setting (65 winners) Saratoga meet last summer, then surely the pair of statues he earned on Breeders' Cup day made his star shine brighter than ever.

Special Eclipse Award: Dale Baird

In 1996, Dale Baird became the first trainer in history to win 7,000 races. In 1999, he became the first to reach 8,000. And in 2004, yes, he made it to 9,000. That alone makes Baird special, and a deserving winner of a Special Eclipse Award.

2004 Eclipse 3YO Male: Smarty Jones

It took a while for it to sink in, but the magnitude of Smarty Jones' accomplishments in 2004 finally hit trainer John Servis like a ton of bricks. "Gosh, I won the Kentucky Derby!" he said to himself while driving recently with jockey Stewart Elliott.

2004 Eclipse 2YO Male: Declan's Moon

Jay Em Ess Stable shelled out $125,000 for Declan's Moon at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic September yearling sale. A year and a few months later, the gelding has banked $507,300, and the stable has the recipient of the Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male category.

2004 Eclipse 2YO Female: Sweet Catomine

At the five-sixteenths pole in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sweet Catomine was blocked and in need of racing room. But having to check was no big deal for the daughter of Storm Cat. Corey Nakatani steered her out of harm's way and she rolled by the other 11 members of the field as the crowd at Lone Star Park cheered her on.

2004 Eclipse 3YO Female: Ashado

Ashado is the kind of horse that an owner and trainer dream about: Tough, consistent, and brilliant enough to compete at racing's highest level. Her command over the 3-year-old filly division throughout 2004 and her tough-as-nails victory against older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) are clear reasons she's the recipient of an Eclipse Award.

2004 Eclipse Owner: Ken & Sarah Ramsey

The year 2004 turned out to be the type of year for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey that the couple could only dream about a few years back. In their first appearance as Eclipse Award finalists, they won the outstanding owner trophy, and one of their horses, Kitten's Joy, won an Eclipse Award for best turf male.

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