A good-sized crowd of local breeders and owners, pinhookers, and curiosity seekers showed up for the first session of the inaugural New York Breeders' Sales Co.'s yearling sale Thursday night. The sale, which had a county fair-like atmosphere, was conducted under blue-and-white-striped tents at the Yaddo show grounds near Saratoga Race Course.
Stakes winners El Roblar and Willow O Wisp head a field of seven 3-year-olds who will contest Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Three-year-old fillies Lemon Maid and South Bay Cove, both winners of three of four starts in their careers, figure to battle it out in Saturday's $162,150 Duchess Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.
A part interest in grade II winner Saarland, a son of Unbridled out of multiple grade I millionaire Versailles Treaty, has been sold to a syndicate and the sophomore sire will relocate to Darby Dan Farm to stand beginning with the 2006 breeding season.
With Better Talk Now unlikely to defend his $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) title Saturday at Saratoga, the race now gives an opportunity for eight others horses on the East Coast to emerge among the top turf runners in the country.
Pomeroy and Smokume will seek to continue their climb up the sprint division ladder when they lead a field of seven into the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course.
Favoritism could be up for grabs when the horses make their way onto the track Sunday for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III), which proved so popular this year there are four also-eligible horses listed on the overnight.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that vouchers worth $2.1 million, including a $1 million grand prize, have been mailed to more than 360,000 consumers as part of this Saturday's NTRA Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion.
Mike Lakow, who was relieved of his duties as racing secretary in a July shake-up of the New York Racing Association, has been named general manager of John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has taken issue with an Ellis Park purse reduction that has put the minimum purse to near $5,000 for the first time in recent memory at any Thoroughbred racetrack in Kentucky.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Roses in May breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 over the main Saratoga Race Course track Thursday with Angel Cordero Jr. in the irons.
Stonerside Stable's Sis City, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year, breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 3/5 over the main Saratoga Race Course track Thursday morning with Rudy Rodriguez aboard. The filly is scheduled to make her next start in the Alabama (gr. I) Aug. 20.
Trainer Nick Zito had Andromeda's Hero on the track Thursday morning at Saratoga Race Course working toward a start in the Aug. 27 Travers (gr. I). With exercise rider Jorge Abreu, Andomeda's Hero breezed five furlongs on the Saratoga main track in 1:02.
John T. von Stade, the longest-tenured president in the history of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., completed 16 years of service Aug. 11 and was named chairman of the museum's Board of Trustees.
Better Talk Now, who conquered all rivals in last fall's grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, will be ridden by last year's Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez should his owners at Bushwood Racing Partners decide to run in Saturday's grade I Arlington Million.
Grand Central, set to be ridden by Kieren Fallon in Saturday's Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park, has been bought from Coolmore by the Hong Kong Breeders' Club. Grand Central will be leased back to race in the Coolmore colors for the race.
Bill Casner of WinStar Farm has been elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, replacing Cobra Farm's Gary Biszantz, who was first elected to a one-year term in 2001 and re-elected three successive years.
Thoroughbred Women will honor Penny Chenery and Horse of the Year Azeri at this year's Thoroughbred Women Awards Aug. 19 at Saratoga Race Course.
Millionaire and pensioned California stallion Fighting Fit was euthanized Aug. 10 because of the infirmities of old age.
Queen's Plate winner Wild Desert, who had been training sharply in preparation for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 27, will miss the "Mid-Summer Derby" and likely be out the rest of the year due to a suspensory injury, according to trainer Richard Dutrow.
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