The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing for its production of the 2005 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and has also won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Features for its segment on the people behind Afleet Alex during its 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) telecast.
Gulfstream Park opened for its 2006 live race meet Wednesday, its palatial new clubhouse only partially completed and its patron facilities falling short of management's expectations when the project was begun nearly two years ago.
A balanced field of eight, half of them graded stakes winners, was entered for Saturday's 81st running of the $400,000-added grade II New Orleans Handicap, the marquee race of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens was somewhat disappointed with a particularly fast 1:25 4/5 seven-furlong workout by Huntington Stakes winner Saint Daimon before his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's $125,000 Aventura Stakes.
Veteran jockey Joe Bravo was thrown to the track when his mount broke down on the far turn in the second race on opening-day Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. Bravo was transported to Hollywood Memorial Hospital complaining of back pain.
Turf writer George Ennor, who was honored with the Clive Graham Award as Racing Journalist of the Year in 1982, died Dec. 31 after battling cancer for several years.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, who won the Jan. 1 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) in his first grass start, will not enter stud at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., as originally planned.
Helen "Penny" Chenery, whose captivating charm and enthusiasm as the owner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat earned her the unofficial title of "First Lady of Racing," will be honored with the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing.
Participants in U.S. and European racing, including some who trained for and worked closely with the late Sheikh Maktoum, have expressed surprise and sorrow over the prominent horse owner and breeder's death Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at age 62.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - This year's 60-day session of Kentucky's general assembly will be the first time KEEP--established in May 2004--has pushed for the "Keep It in Kentucky" constitutional amendment, so named because it is estimated that Kentuckians who crossed into Indiana and Illinois last year spent $671 million on casino gaming.
By D.G. Van Clief Jr. - For those inclined to look on the bright side, present company included, 2005 was a challenging year for Thoroughbred racing. As one Turf writer pointed out, even the best on-track performance was fraught with peril, as Afleet Alex and jockey Jeremy Rose overcame near disaster in the Preakness (gr. I).
Jockey Jorge Chavez sustained a broken collarbone and will be sidelined for at least six weeks following a spill on Calder's closing card, said his agent, Kevin Meyocks.
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