Articles posted February 4, 2009

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Gio Ponti Can Build On Success in Strub

Gio Ponti Can Build On Success in Strub

Weather played an unexpected role when turf standout Gio Ponti won the Dec. 26 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. III), a race transferred from the grass to Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. Given a freshening since then, he takes the next step on the main track in the $250,000 Strub (gr. II) Feb. 7.

Monba, Yankee Bravo Set to Return

Monba, Yankee Bravo Set to Return

Monba and Yankee Bravo, both prominent on last year's Triple Crown trail, will make their returns to the racetrack in the $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita. However, Irish-bred Ferneley, a near-winner in consecutive graded stakes, could loom the largest in the one-mile turf event.

Pioneerof the Nile Makes Sophomore Debut

Pioneerof the Nile Makes Sophomore Debut

CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile makes his eagerly-awaited 3-year-old debut and attempts to establish himself as one of the West Coast's top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, as he faces eight sophomore rivals in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.

Handle Declines Slightly in January

Pari-mutuel handle was down 1.56% in January compared with the same month in 2008, but the decline wasn't close to the 20.3% slip in handle in December 2008 versus a year earlier.

HANA's Top 10 Tracks: #9 Oaklawn Park

HANA's Top 10 Tracks: #9 Oaklawn Park

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. Oaklawn Park is #9.

National HBPA, Stronach Work on Charter

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National HBPA, Stronach Work on Charter

Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach is advocating a charter for "horsemen's rights" and said his company, the largest in North America in terms of racetrack holdings, would work with horsemen to accomplish it.

Laurel Slots Bid Called Into Question

In a jaw-dropping revision, Maryland received requests for far fewer slot machines in five license proposals than previously thought, and two of the six bidders -- including Laurel Park owner Magna Entertainment Corp. -- failed to pay $22.5 million in required up-front fees, a state official said Feb. 3.

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