Texas-breds will take the spotlight at Sam Houston Race Park Dec. 1 for the track's annual Texas Champion Day program, which features eight restricted stakes worth more than $500,000.
There will be three new grade I stakes in the United States in 2008 after a review by the American Graded Stakes Committee, but for the time being, the three Breeders' Cup World Championships races run for the first time in 2007 won't have a grade.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 28 that president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto Jr. will be leaving effective immediately to pursue other opportunities, and that Chris Dragone, a former senior vice president and general manager at the MJC, will take over his duties.
A federal bankruptcy court judge has paved the way for the New York Racing Association to emerge from Chapter 11 protection pending the outcome of a vote by creditors.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES by Alan Porter Following the Breeders' Cup World Championships each year, a major focus for race fans is the game of "spot the classic candidate," with bragging rights for the earliest identification of a future star. Colonel John was added to several lists when the youngster scored an impressive victory in a seven-furlong maiden at the Oak Tree-at-Santa Anita meet, and in all probability he has now moved several places up those lists following a decisive win in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park, an effort which may have earned him a tilt at the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).
Jockey Travis Dunkelberger reached the 3,000-win plateau when he guided Casey Doon, his only mount on the card, to victory in the eighth race at Laurel Park Nov. 28. The 30-year-old became the 140th rider to reach the milestone, according to Equibase.
Coming off a fifth-place finish in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) and carrying significantly less weight than his 126-pound load in that race, Eugene Melnyk's Host looks for his first victory since May 26 when he competes in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course Dec. 1.
Fasig-Tipton has opted not to conduct the 2008 Midlantic June 2-year-olds in training sale citing a lack of a market for a second juvenile sale in the region.
A low-key second day of the Tattersalls December foal sale in Newmarket, England, Nov. 28 was topped by a filly from the first crop of Northern Hemisphere grade I winner Starcraft.
Four-year-old fillies J'ray and Bayou's Lassie, both with graded stakes victories this year, and a group I winner from Chile are set for the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT), an evenly matched 1 1/8-mile turf test for fillies and mares at Calder Race Course Dec. 1.
Santa Anita Park, currently open for training only, will close its main track Dec. 3-10 to examine its new Cushion Track surface due to problems with drainage.
Use of anabolic and androgenic steroids in Thoroughbreds will be prohibited effective April 1, 2008, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission announced Nov. 28.
NYRA has submitted financial plans it anticipates a bankruptcy court will use to begin the process of ending its Chapter 11 protection.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said Nov. 28 it will not purchase Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track, in light of the fact the facility will not be eligible for slot machines under legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.
Churchill Downs Inc. has announced it has consolidated its four individual advance deposit wagering platforms into one common site, www.TwinSpires.com
- By Dan Liebman
By - Dan Liebman - In some ways, jockeys are no different than coal miners, oil-rig workers, and police and firemen. There is inherent risk in their everyday job. But you can't think about the risk. To dwell on it would make the job impossible to perform.
By - Morton Cathro - With the dust -- pardon, mud -- hardly settled from the first-ever two-day Breeders' Cup, the powers that be already are talking of further expanding racing's annual championship event.
Bill Hartack, a Hall of Famer who rode five Kentucky Derby winners, was found dead Nov. 26 in a cabin near Freer, Texas.
The Texas Racing Commission approved 2008 breed splits for horses and discussed the closure of one of the state's three Greyhound tracks during its Nov. 27 meeting.
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