Chocolate Candy is not only the obvious hunch play on Valentine's Day in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Feb. 14, he's the solid one as well.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. In this Valentine's Day edition, Lenny and Steve evaluate the recent Derby preps, discuss the Preakness infield experience, touch on Nicanor's debut, celebrate the 96th Birthday of John Nerud, and more.
A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
The 2009 "Road to the Roses" Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge, a free online contest that allows racing fans to manage a stable of Kentucky Derby contenders during the three-month buildup to the historic Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is now open for registration. Located at www.roadtotheroses.com, the game's grand prize winner will receive a VIP trip for two to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2010.
A bang-up edition of the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) has attracted eight fillies and mares led by New York shipper Seventh Street, grade I winner Dream Rush, and By the Light from the powerful Richard Dutrow stable. All three will vie for favoritism in the seven-furlong main track test Feb. 14 at Laurel Park.
Dogwood Stable's Lime Rickey and Char Mari Stable's Beacon Hill Road finished second and third in the Dania Beach Stakes, respectively, going one mile on turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 17, and the two 3-year-olds meet again in the $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes on Feb. 14.
Tale of Ekati, off since winning the Hill 'N' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) by disqualification last November, will make his return to the racetrack in the $150,000 Richter Scale Sprint (gr. II) Feb. 14 at Gulfstream.
So, 23 "elite" 3-year-olds have been chosen to make up the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager field. Well, several of those who didn't make the cut are up in arms over the selections and are offering a challenge to the so-called leading Derby contenders.
Jasmine Baggerman, a veteran horsewoman, died Feb. 9.
Herman Wesley Combs, a blacksmith for a number of prominent horsemen in the 1950s to the 1990s, died in Miami Feb. 10.
The 42nd annual Holy Angels/Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball game will take place Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at La Salle High School in Pasadena, Ca. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye and Laffit Pincay Jr. will serve as honorary captains.
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee said Feb. 11 it will fund a Racing Medication and Testing Consortium frozen-sample and retrospective testing program that will begin in April.
The Horseplayers Association of North America has introduced this year a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Featured exclusively on BloodHorse.com is a countdown of the top 10 tracks. Kentucky Downs is #2.
Prices tumbled at the the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale Feb. 9 in Lexington, following the downward trends that have been seen at other recent auctions. The average price dropped 42.8% while the median price fell 28.6%. A much smaller sale catalog than in 2008 contributed to the 62.9% decline in the gross revenue.
A Stratum - Beyond Me filly topped the opening session of the BMW Magic Millions Perth yearling sale Feb. 11 in Australia. West Australia-based owner Sally Martin purchased the filly from Gervase Park Stud for Aust$160,000 (approximately $106,854 in U.S. funds).
Crestwood Farm will offer again the $500,000 Breeders' Incentive Plan to Noble Causeway for the 2009 breeding season.
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