The rejuvenated New York Racing Association has big plans for its new 25-year franchise, but president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said Dec. 9 the organization has to plan wisely should revenue sources dry up.
Churchill Downs Inc. is reviewing its membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, racing industry officials said Dec. 9.
Jerry McMahon discussed his decision to leave Barretts, the health of the Thoroughbred auction business in California, his plans for the future, and other topics with The Blood-Horse Dec. 9.
Barretts Equine Ltd., based at Fairplex Park in Southern California, doesn't have an October mixed sale listed on its 2009 auction schedule. The struggling American economy and downturns in the Thoroughbred marketplace contributed to the decision not to hold the sale, according to Barretts president and general manager Jerry McMahon, who recently announced his resignation from the company.
The Arqana December yearling sale in Deauville, France, enjoyed a victory of sorts when it suffered moderate losses in gross revenue and average price instead of experiencing the huge setbacks that have plagued many other recent auctions. The gross was down 12.3% from a year ago, and the average fell 10.7%. However, the median price dropped 33.3% Dec. 9.
Artax, a champion sprinter and Breeders' Cup winner, has been acquired by R.G. Gammill to stand at his Diamond G Ranch near Edmond, Okla
Thrice Worthy, who holds the modern day steeplechase record by number of consecutive wins, has been euthanized at owner Sally Nims' Dogwood Springs Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Grade I winner Presious Passion has not been in the best of form lately, but the 5-year-old gelding will try to get back to his winning ways in an event he scored in last year, the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/2-mile turf event is one of four graded stakes on Calder Race Course's $500,000 Grand Slam program Dec. 13 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Michael Paulson said that although he considers Azeri "part of the family," he will sell the champion mare at Keeneland January to help wrap up his father's living trust.
The International Festival of Racing, featuring the 27th running of the grade I Arlington Million, tops a 2009 schedule that includes 27 stakes races worth $5,325,000 during 98 days of racing at Arlington Park from May 1 through Sept. 27.
Eagle Mountain, a leading challenger for the HK$20m Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) on Dec. 14, impressed with a spectacular gallop on the grass at Sha Tin Dec. 9.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced that it has given more than $516,000 to more than 700 horse-related organizations throughout Kentucky the last four years.
Sarava, the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, was represented by his first winner when Belo Sorte won Dec. 5 at Turfway Park.
The $65,000 Lightning City Stakes, a five furlong turf test for fillies and mares, tops opening day of the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs racing meet, which begins Dec. 13 and runs through May 3. The Tampa Bay stakes schedule encompasses 26 races with more than $2.7 million in purses and is highlighted by the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
- By Ron Mitchell
Dr. Rodney Stewart, the veterinarian who has been suspended for five years after cobra venom and other medications belonging to him were discovered in a trainer's barn at Keeneland June 22, 2007, could resume practicing soon as a result of action taken Dec. 9.
In what has to be one of the strongest and deepest 2-year-old allowance fields ever assembled at Fair Grounds, nine juveniles will go to the post in Thursday's one-mile test, several of whom have already excited fans with their dazzling performances.
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