The Southern California Thoroughbred Racetrack Chaplaincy will host its annual picnic for the backstretch employees Aug. 15 at Del Mar.
Jockey Jose Velez Jr. recorded his 3,000th career win at Monmouth Park Thursday when he guided Careless Glances to a 2 ½-length win in the eighth race for trainer John Tammaro and John Bower's Roseland Farm Stables.
Swaps Stakes (gr. II) victor Arson Squad and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) winner A.P. Warrior both try the grass for the first time in Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Del Mar.
Jockey Martin Dwyer's Thursday flight from England to ride Winterbeck Manor Stud's Phoenix Reach in Saturday's 24th running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) was canceled following arrests in London connected to discovery of a terrorist bomb plot.
Zabeel Racing International's Yard-Arm, South Africa's Horse of the Year in 2004, is fine after being pulled up in apparent distress following the third race at Saratoga on Wednesday, an allowance optional claimer on the grass.
Jockey Jose Lezcano, second leading rider at Monmouth Park, was reported to be bruised, but okay following a fall just before the wire in the ninth race on Wednesday.
With rival Dr. Fager skipping the 1967 Travers, Damascus was 15 1/2 lengths behind the leader before making a huge run and drawing off to win by 22 lengths in a final time that equaled the track record.
Afrashad, unbeaten but untested against stakes company, faces a stern test Saturday at Saratoga in the six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup (gr. II). Five battle-tested foes await in the $200,000 race, but jockey Richard Migliore is confident in Godolphin Racing's 4-year-old colt.
Tests performed Aug. 8-9 on the main track at Arlington Park have determined the Illinois track is consistent and safe for racing.
With English Channel heading out of Saratoga for a trip to Chicago for the Arlington Million (gr. IT), eight older turf horses have been entered for Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT). The 12-furlong Sword Dancer goes as the ninth race and is one of two graded stakes on the Saratoga program.
Barry R. Ostrager, a senior litigation partner and head of the litigation department of Simpson Thacher, has been elected to the New York Racing Association's Board of Trustees. His appointment will be official, pending approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Morris Animal Foundation has selected the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine to receive funding for the first ever Equine Consortium for Genetic Research grant. The goal of the $2.5 million grant is to bring together the world's best researchers in a focused, collaborative effort to improve equine health.
Hirapour, champion steeplechase horse of 2004, made his long-awaited jump return a winning one Thursday at Saratoga with a victory in the $79,500 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Stakes (NSA-II).
Equibase, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information, has expanded the menu of racing and handicapping information available on its website to include Spanish-language race programs and downloadable race result charts for all North American racetracks.
A Pennsylvania laboratory is the first to employ a definitive test for erythropoietin--the blood-doping agent commonly known as EPO--and the test resulted in the suspension and fining of a trainer of Standardbreds in Ontario, Canada.
Graded stakes winner Mighty Forum has been purchased by Sarah Warmack for stallion duty at Hilltop Farm near Gordonsville, Va.
Uncle Denny, who went undefeated as a 2-year-old and was a graded stakes winner at three, has been purchased by Larry and Suzanne Bollmann for stallion duty at Tom and Debbie Stull's Tommy Town Thoroughbreds near Santa Ynez, Calif.
- By Vic Zast
Life in Saratoga changes when the yearlings are in town. The horses drive the bats out of the barns that have been their homes for nearly 11 months, and sales of tennis rackets soar, since they are the most effective weapons for shoo-ing the night-flying pests from the attic.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said it intends to proceed with the development of a slot-machine facility at Gulfstream Park despite a decision by the Florida District Court of Appeal First District.
James Scatuorchio's English Channel and Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Cacique, never more than a half-length apart in three previous meetings, renew their rivalry in Saturday's 24th Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Gorella and Honey Ryder plus a rising star from overseas top a deep line-up of 11 fillies and mares for Arlington Park's $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) on Saturday.
Lael Stables' Showing Up, winner of the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup in his last start on June 24, has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
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