Kid Grindstone used a big finish to surprise the even-money favorite Arch Hall in deep stretch, winning the $100,000 Fifth Season (gr. III) for older horses at odds of 9-1 in his graded stakes debut Wednesday at Oaklawn Park.
Stonecrest Farm's 7-year-old Perfect Drift will make his season debut in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race over the turf Thursday at Keeneland.
A full field of 14 runners, highlighted by Lawyer Ron and Private Vow, are set to square off in Saturday's $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's 10th spring Thoroughbred season launches its 66-date run on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. when 11 older Texas-breds travel one mile in the traditional first race of the meeting, the $50,000 Premiere Stakes.
Brother Derek, the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner and favorite for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 6, is being represented by a public relations firm to help trainer Dan Hendricks and his staff manage the unprecedented demands of the media on their first trip to the Run for the Roses.
With the big names headed to Keeneland for the Royal Chase later this month, second-level stakes horses tangle in the $75,000 Georgia Cup Hurdle (NSA-II) at the Atlanta Steeplechase at Kingston, Ga. Saturday. The 2-mile open stakes draws a good group that includes Mixed Up, Mauritania, and Niello.
James J. (Jack) Phillips, who retired as a trainer in 1984 after a career that took him to Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Oaklawn Park, and numerous other tracks, died at his home in Aton, N.M., April 11.
Soaring Free, a three-time Canadian champion, made his 2004 and 2005 debuts in the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and won both times. He figures to do the same thing this Friday against 11 rivals.
Dubai Escapade kept her streak going with an easy victory Wednesday in the Vinery Madison (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Artie Schiller, just edged in the voting for last year's champion turf male, heads a small but select field in the Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland Friday.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association executive committee has accepted the resignations of president John Roark and vice president Tom Metzen Sr., both of whom have formed a company that hopes to facilitate international wagering for the benefit of horsemen.
Retired trainer Walter Medio, 77, died April 8 at his Vineland, N.J. home.
Classy Women, a graded stakes winner and dam of Irish champion Ad Valorem, was euthanized March 15 at Calumet Farm near Lexington.
First Samurai was installed as the 8-5 favorite when he drew post position five in the nine-horse field entered for Saturday's 82nd running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky.
Mimbet, dam of 1997 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Elmhurst, was euthanized March 9 because of the infirmities of old age.
Donation, dam of Arkansas Derby (gr. II) favorite Lawyer Ron, is booked to Smarty Jones.
HBO premiered the latest edition of its "Real Sports" program April 11, featuring a segment on jockeys and the cancellation of their catastrophic health insurance by the past administration of the Jockeys' Guild.
- By Tom LaMarra
More than $15 million for horse industry-related projects and financial relief is included in the 2006-07 budget approved April 11 by the Kentucky General Assembly. The spending plan now goes to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for consideration.
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