WinStar Farms' Colonel John, a multiple grade I winner in 2008, tops the seven-horse field entered for the grade I, $250,000 Malibu Stakes, the traditional opening day feature on the Dec. 26 card at Santa Anita.
Lee Ann Shellman, who since 2003 has served as senior director of premium seating at Churchill Downs, is leaving the Kentucky racetrack. Her final day will be Dec. 31.
- By Murray Bell
On Dec. 17, tributes poured in for South African master horseman Felix Coetzee, who said goodbye to Hong Kong racing after an "experiment" that lasted 16 years, to be reunited with his family in Cape Town.
The Beck family's Gainesway Farm, located near Lexington, has readjusted the 2009 fees for stallions Afleet Alex and Orientate.
Construction is under way on a new office building at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks property near Lexington. The structure, which will be located in front of the sale pavilion, will have three levels (two above ground and a basement). A walkway will connect the second above ground level of the office building with the second story of the sale pavilion.
Jim Henwood, who serves as president and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association (LACFA), which owns Barretts, recently discussed the future of the sale company with The Blood-Horse.
The 7th annual John Franks Memorial sale of 2-year-olds in training will be held at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino March 22, 2009. An under tack show is scheduled for the previous day.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Dec. 22 it has reached agreements on advance deposit wagering contracts with Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park.
The New York Racing Association is projecting a surplus next year, its first since 2000, despite an estimated drop in handle at its three racetracks brought on by the economic downturn. But regulators Dec. 22 were unconvinced about some of the optimistic forecasts, and deferred approving NYRA's 2009 budget.
It looks as though the upcoming crop of Derby contenders will be the most stamina-laden in years, with powerful pedigrees, especially on the female side, in abundance.
Fairplex Park offers 16 days of competition in the fall as part of California's fair racing circuit. But with signs pointing to the closure and development of Hollywood Park, Fairplex soon could play a more important role in the Golden State's version of the Sport of Kings.
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