There are some new faces in the steward stands during the California fair season that kicked off Wednesday in Stockton.
Patricia Blass' homebred Wildcat Shoes, who set a Churchill Downs track record at five furlongs in his last start, has been retired with a sesamoid injury, trainer William "Jinks" Fires said Wednesday.
Lyphard, one of the great sires of recent times and certainly one of the longest living, was euthanized June 10 at Gainesway Farm near Lexington.
Patrick F. Murphy, a retired steeplechase rider from Lexington, died at his home June 14.
Consolidator, a graded stakes winner at two and this year at three, has been bought by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley for stallion duty at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington.
It's been a rough week for trainer Bobby Frankel. On Monday his 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was retired due to injury, but things could improve dramatically by the weekend when he sends out Saint Liam and Badge of Silver in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
The rivalry between Shadow Cast and Island Sand will head into its third act Saturday at Churchill Downs when the pair of 4-year-old stakes winning fillies line up for the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
A field of seven 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's $200,000 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes on Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster (gr. I) Day card. Derby Trial Stakes winner over the strip Don't Get Mad, and WinStar Farm's Unbridled Energy top the field set to run 1 1/16 miles.
The 2005 Royal Hunt Cup winner New Seeker is among the 707 horses that will be catalogued for the Tattersalls July mixed sale, which will be held July 5-7 at Newmarket in England.
Flashy Wings extended her unbeaten streak to three for owner Jaber Abdullah with a victory in the June 15 Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) for juvenile fillies at Royal Ascot in her first stakes attempt.
A well-matched group of eight 3-year-olds will go postward in Saturday's Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT), the first of five graded stakes on the Churchill Downs' program.
Proclamation, who was well beaten earlier this year by Motivator in the Totesport Dante Stakes (Eng-II) a month ago, won the Jersey Stakes (Eng-III) for 3-year-olds at the Royal Ascot meeting June 15 for his second straight stakes win.
- By Tom Precious
New York's top fiscal watchdog has issued a scathing financial audit of the New York Racing Association--findings he claims are so troublesome that most members of the current NYRA board should resign.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's strategic plan for the next five years clearly reflects a shift in priorities for the organization, though many of the core focus areas remain intact from its first business plan issued in 1997.
Sweet Talker, who clearly loves the turf course at Churchill Downs, should be the solid favorite Saturday in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Legible, winner of the 2003 Sandown Classic (Aust-II), sold for Aus$610,000 Wednesday to top the first session of the Magic Millions national mare sale on Australia's Gold Coast.
Azamour, last year's St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) winner at Royal Ascot, won the June 15 Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at this year's meeting to give the colt's breeder/owner, the Aga Khan, his second group I winner at the meeting.
Turfway Park president Bob Elliston said he expects the Kentucky racetrack's new Polytrack surface to be ready for horses to train on by mid-August, when trainers are expected to begin arriving for the fall meet that begins Sept. 7.
The following is a potpourri of impressions, observations, afterthoughts, and memorable quotes from this year's Triple Crown, which proved to be a pretty wild ride. There was nothing ordinary about the cast of characters and the unusual paths they took to get to Churchill Downs and beyond.
Peeress, a 4-year-old daughter of Pivotal, experienced little difficulty in winning the $234,806 Windsor Forest Stakes (Eng-II) June 15 the second day of the Royal Ascot meeting.
Youbet.com, the California-based online wagering service, handled $3.4 million June 11, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day, to bring its three-day Triple Crown total to $9.5 million. In 2003, the last time Youbet.com offered wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont, total handle was $6.5 million, the company said.
Breeders' Cup founder John R. Gaines was posthumously honored as this year's Equine Industry Vision Award recipient by Pfizer Animal Health and American Horse Publications at a June 10 ceremonial breakfast held during the AHP Horse By Northwest Seminar in Seattle.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Summerly, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. I), turned in a strong six-furlong work Tuesday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a planned start in the June 25 Mother Goose (gr. I) on June 25 at Belmont Park.
Eclipse Award turf champion and a rising turf star turned in works at Churchill Downs in preparation for scheduled runs in the July 4 Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Barbara Cesare's Second of June, runner-up in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), has been knocked out of Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs an ailment in the colt's left hind ankle.
Should the Kentucky horse racing industry push for casino gambling during the 2006 General Assembly session, it apparently won't have the support of Democratic Rep. Larry Clark.
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