HRTV's weekly series analyzing each division of the Breeders' Cup. This 2008 debut episode includes a discussion of the 2-day format and the Pro-ride surface, an analysis of the Pacific Classic, a look ahead to the Spinaway and the Hopeful and much more.
Blaming a decline in purse money earned earned from wagering sources during its 2008 spring meet, Churchill Downs Racetrack has slashed its stakes program for the upcoming fall meet by $975,000 through purse reductions in 11 stakes races and the elimination of two others.
For a filly that romped in both of her starts, including a seven-length laugher in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), Mani Bhavan hasn't gotten much respect from the bettors. That's going to change, though, in the $250,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 31.
Requiring safety reins, a move strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, will be the subject of a public hearing to be held by the California Horse Racing Board during its regular monthly meeting at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.
Seven promising 2-year-olds, led by Sanford (gr. II) runner-up Officer Ipod, will vie for supremacy in the $150,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 31 at Monmouth Park.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is preparing new rules on anabolic steroids and plans to issue them before the end of this year.
Does money draw a crowd? Look no further than the Sept. 1 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) for evidence it's true, as a full field of 14 3-year-olds were entered in the $1 million race, the signature event at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack.
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Marlang, winner of the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes (Can-IRT) in his last effort, offers plenty of intrigue as he takes on seven rivals in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga.
The muddled juvenile filly picture in Southern California should begin to come into focus on Labor Day when a dozen go to work in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I).
Bill Donovan, whose popular "Backtracks" column appeared in The Blood-Horse, will be memorialized at Laurel Park Sat., Sept. 6 at noon.
Live racing and training at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will be suspended following the Sept. 20 racing program for a resurfacing project of the entire racetrack cushion. The unexpected shutdown of the Pennsylvania racetrack is believed to be due to track conditions that have resulted in a high number of recent catastrophic breakdowns, based on information from horsemen.
Mighty Mecke's owners thought they'd done the right thing when their stakes winner fractured his foot earlier this year. They retired the 6-year-old horse and found a new career for him as a stallion on a small Midwest farm, believing he was wanted and would never race again. A July 7 e-mail shattered that belief.
Mike Owens has been named Farm Manager of the Year for 2008 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club.
Magna Entertainment Corp., in a statement issued the evening of Aug. 28, acknowledged it is having discussions with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group on what company chairman Frank Stronach called "a new framework" for pari-mutuel economics.
Rick Moore, general manager at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, is leaving the Indiana track after 14 years, officials announced Aug. 29, opening day of the Thoroughbred meet. His last day will be Sept. 12.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which opened in the spring of 2004, is scheduled to offer its first turf race Sept. 1.
On the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, horse owners and veterinarians in the New Orleans, La., area are fleeing ahead of Gustav, a storm the National Weather Service says is likely to become a "large, powerful hurricane as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast."
The Texas Racing Commission has awarded 162 Thoroughbred racing dates for 2009, the same number granted for 2008.
Jockey Juan Campos died Aug. 16 from injuries suffered in a racing accident at the Downs at Albuquerque that same day.
Doncaster's St. Leger sale - the first British or Irish yearling auction of 2008 - failed to match its 2007 figures when ending Aug. 28 in England. The average of 33,649 pound sterling (approximately $61,725) was down 10%, the median of 26,000 pounds ($47,694) fell by 11%. The 13,493,500 pounds ($24,752,207) turnover for the 401 horses that sold dropped by 14.4%.
Robert Tiller, Louis Cauz, Wilderness Road, and Smart Strike are inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Aug. 28.
The attempt by the filly Peppers Pride to break the United States record for most consecutive victories in Thoroughbred racing will be broadcast live by TVG as part of its Labor Day weekend racing coverage from Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicks off a 14th season of Thoroughbred racing Aug. 29, and the 63-day meet will be one of change.
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