Articles posted April 29, 2008

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Stutts a Hit at Derby Trainers' Dinner

Stutts a Hit at Derby Trainers' Dinner

An interview with Benny Stutts Jr. was the highlight of the annual Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners' and Breeders' Association's Derby trainers' dinner, as the 70-year-old trainer expressed his delight at preparing to saddle his first Kentucky Derby starter - Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air.

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.

Ringing in the Derby With Larry Jones

Ringing in the Derby With Larry Jones

Should Eight Belles run on Saturday, she will provide trainer Larry Jones with his second Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starter. Last year he conditioned Hard Spun, who ran a credible second behind Street Sense and was also owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms.

Jones Girls Rule Kentucky Oaks Line-Up

Jones Girls Rule Kentucky Oaks Line-Up

Trainer Larry Jones took it as a sign of better things to come when his Eight Belles drew the outside 12 post for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but all was not lost for the Kentucky-born trainer when his Proud Spell drew post 8 in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies on the first Friday in May.

HRTV's Target Louisville - 4/29 (Video)

HRTV's Target Louisville - 4/29 (Video)

HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Big Brown arrives, Tale of Ekati works, Big Brown and Recapturetheglory gallop, a look at the Oaks entries, and an interview with Nick Zito - his thoughts on his two Derby contenders and the rest of the field.

Second Group of Tracks Has No NYRA Deal

Second Group of Tracks Has No NYRA Deal

Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.

Halo Najib Among 11 for American Turf S.

Halo Najib Among 11 for American Turf S.

Zayat Stables' Halo Najib appears to be on the outside looking in as far as making the 2008 Kentucky Derby field. Barring a last-minute defection, he's more likely to make his turf debut in the $150,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 2, the day before the Derby.

Ginger Punch Tops Louisville Field

Ginger Punch Tops Louisville Field

Frank Stronach's 5-year-old Ginger Punch heads a field packed with talent in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day May 2. Facing the Eclipse Award winner will be grade I winner Lear's Princess, grade II winner Kettleoneup, and blacktype winner Unforgotten.

Terlingua, Storm Cat's Dam, Dead

Terlingua, Storm Cat's Dam, Dead

Terlingua, who made a name for herself as one of the fastest fillies of her generation and as the dam of leading sire Storm Cat, was euthanized April 29 because of complications from the infirmities of old age at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington.

Baze Earns 12th Isaac Murphy Award

Baze Earns 12th Isaac Murphy Award

Racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, North America's all-time leading rider who passed the 10,000-win plateau Feb. 1, earned his unprecedented 12th overall Isaac Murphy Award from the National Turf Writers Association for finishing the 2007 season with the highest winning percentage of any North American jockey.

Lacy's Tickets Have Derby Connections

Lacy's Tickets Have Derby Connections

When Tony Lacy was signing sale tickets for yearlings last year, the Kentucky-based bloodstock agent and Four Star Sales consultant didn't know that two of the horses would distinguish themselves by having siblings running in this year's Kentucky Presented By Yum Brands (gr. I).

Cowboy Cal Races to Help Fight Cancer

Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable announced April 29 that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in memory of John Long.

Cowboy Cal's Derby Earnings Special

Cowboy Cal's Derby Earnings Special

Janice and Robert McNair, owners of Stonerside Stable, announced that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Dutrow Remains Confident

Dutrow Remains Confident

Ten years ago Rick Dutrow was living in a tack room at Aqueduct, determined to make it on his own in the racing industry. On the morning of April 28, he faced a room full of media members intent on covering the progress of his contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

ADW Impact on Churchill Downs Unclear

ADW Impact on Churchill Downs Unclear

It's difficult to gauge the immediate effect of the ongoing dispute with Kentucky horsemen on the Churchill Downs' spring meet, as handle on racing from the opening weekend at the Louisville track was down only slightly from 2007, according to one data source.

NY Mandates Independent Betting Monitor

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved a regulation April 28 requiring tote companies to provide for independent monitoring of all pari-mutuel pools effective Jan. 1, 2009. Roughly $3 billion -- one-fifth of total handle in the United States -- will fall under the new monitoring system.

Strutting with Stutts

Strutting with Stutts

For 70-year-old trainer Bennie Stutts Jr., coming to the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with his first starter, Smooth Air, is a bit like getting the chance to play in another major sporting event.

Recapturing Louie Roussel

Recapturing Louie Roussel

As trainer Louie Roussel III feeds his 3-year-old bay colt a mint to keep him quiet during a morning bath in the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it isn't so hard to imagine it is Risen Star being rinsed down, not the appropriately named Recapturetheglory.

Commentary: Dear John

by Dan Liebman - One night during the 2007 Keeneland November sale, Eoin Harty was enjoying a leisurely dinner when the topic turned to horses, in particular those in his Southern California stable.

Commentary: Farewell to the Meadows

by Morton Cathro - Bay Meadows, California's pioneering racetrack, has been this aging fan's delight for nearly my entire lifetime. Now, barring an unlikely last-minute reprieve, it is marching inexorably toward May 11, the final day of its final meeting.

Inside Track: Picture Perfect

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Inside Track: Picture Perfect

By Terry Conway - When Shawn Faust wanted to enhance his portrait studies in oils, the equine artist enrolled in a class with Daniel Greene, one of America's foremost artists in oils and pastels.

Evans: Internet and ADW Key to Growth

Evans: Internet and ADW Key to Growth

Churchill Downs Inc. has invested $100 million in advance deposit wagering for a reason: The company believes it's the major growth channel for pari-mutuel wagering, as well as a means to drive traffic to the racetrack, CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said.

Morning Line: Super Tuesday

Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.

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