Wednesday's Aqueduct card marked the debut of Eric Donovan as the full-time oddsmaker for all three New York Racing Association tracks. Donovan, who frequently substituted in recent years, took over for Don LaPlace, who set the morning line since early 2000.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project officially approved plans for a marketing and education blitz for the Bluegrass state this year, and also hired a high-powered lobbying firm to help it achieve its legislative goals.
Elusive Quality has become a poster boy for what a stallion with a modest fee can accomplish. The 2004 leading sire by progeny earnings had his stud fee go from $10,000 to $30,000, to $50,000, and now to its present $100,000. It's a success story reflecting quality through and through.
In September 2004, Storm Cat set a record when he passed Northern Dancer as the all-time leading sire of seven-figure yearlings. As the year came to a close, the Overbrook Farm stallion added another impressive statistic to his résumé.
For the second time in four years, a son of Valid Appeal and a representative of the In Reality male line is the leading first-crop sire in North America. In 2001, Valid Expectations earned the freshman sire title, and in 2004, Successful Appeal joined him in stamping Valid Appeal as a modern sire of sires.
Researchers at Texas A&M University have just completed a retrospective study into the safety of administering the killed West Nile virus vaccine to pregnant broodmares, the first study on this topic in equine reproductive research.
The road to the 2005 VISA Triple Crown is officially open as nomination forms have been mailed to horsemen. Representatives of Triple Crown Productions will begin gathering nomination forms at racetracks across the country beginning the week of Jan. 10.
By Ray Paulick -- Racing will be saying farewell this year to a man who has had an enormous influence on the sport over the last decade, as Carl Pascarella retires as chief executive officer of Visa USA.
By Dan Liebman -- Numbers. This business is about numbers. Big numbers... dramatic numbers...incredible numbers. The wildest number of 2004, and in fact perhaps the wildest number ever in the history of this game, is the number of stakes winners sired by Danehill. With only 19 stallions having sired 100 or more stakes winners in their entire careers, Danehill, by Danzig, was represented by 51 in 2004.
Former Kentucky governor and Airdrie Stud owner Brereton Jones told the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club Jan. 4 that a common sense approach and a united front would get things accomplished in Frankfort, including the creation of breeders' rewards program.
With eleven fewer racing days than in 2003, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined 4% in 2004. All sources handle totaled $868.1 million as compared to $905.7 million from the same period in 2003. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 2% from $3.48 million to $3.41million. For the fourth consecutive year, the daily average handle on the export signal increased, this time by 4%.
Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said he has "lost a tremendous amount of sleep" over the ongoing Jockeys' Guild conflict but is hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of riders and the racing industry at large.