The opening session of the 86th annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale was one for the ladies, as a strong market for fillies led the way Tuesday evening in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Three of the eight highest-priced yearlings that sold for $500,000 or more were fillies, including the session topper -- a $1,150,000 daughter of first-year sire Sky Mesa. A colt by Distorted Humor later sold for $1 million.
Churchill Downs, Inc. reported net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of $33.4 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, significantly higher than the $22.7 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, earned during the same period in 2005.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Aug. 8 that vouchers worth nearly $2 million, including a $1 million grand prize, had been mailed to more than 325,000 consumers as part of the NTRA Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion Aug. 12. The voucher giveaway is the NTRA's 12th such promotion dating back to August 2000. The vouchers are redeemable for cash Aug. 12 at participating racetracks and OTBs.
Trainer H. Graham Motion has a contender in two of the three big races at Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, so he's in a good spot to assess the relative quality of Saturday's fields.
Thanks in large part to the $58,000 celebrity chef Bobby Flay spent on options to breed to two of the sport's top stallions, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation raised in excess of $500,000 Aug. 7 at its annual gala at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club.
The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships - Powered by Dodge" series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through Oct. 14, will be available Aug. 12, challenging fans to correctly select the winners of four graded stakes--the $1 million Arlington Million and $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park (both gr. I); and the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Racecourse. All races will air live Aug. 12 on ABC from 4-6 p.m. (ET).
Flashing brilliance at Saratoga Race Course's Open House on the flat, Hirapour served notice that he had returned. Owned by Eldon Farm, the 10-year-old gelding takes on seven rivals in Thursday's $75,000-added A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) in his first start over jumps since November 2005.
Stakes winner Jove Stone has been purchased by Matthew and Leanna Givs for stallion duty at their Circle 4 G's Thoroughbreds near Sunset, La.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - In the few steps she took, in that brief appearance in the Saratoga winner's circle, fans and admirers of Marylou Whitney witnessed uncommon courage and the heart of a champion.
By Sue Sefscik - The Central Florida day dawned clear, bright, and slightly windy with low humidity. It was the perfect day to take a 90-minute drive from my home on Florida's east coast to Ocala, located nearly halfway across the state.
The story of Jim French, one of the most indestructible, indefatigable horses of the modern era, has faded into history, taking with it the colt's remarkable feats of durability on the racetrack and the notorious final chapter of his career, in which the Travers favorite was impounded by the Saratoga County sheriff's office and not permitted to run.
"There is no crying in horse racing" - at least, there's not supposed to be. But at the induction ceremony for new members of the Racing Hall of Fame on Monday, tears seemed a requirement.
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