The parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp. disclosed March 10 it does not intend to keep on a long-term basis the racing assets upon which it is bidding in MEC's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, including its "immediate" intention of redeveloping Golden Gate Fields into a commercial property if the bid is successful.
After going a month with no fatalities, Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky was the site of five catastrophic injuries during an eight-day period in February, according to state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham.
The long-stalled Aqueduct casino project will now be facing yet another delay, as the company that won the rights to develop the facility is telling the state it cannot meet a deadline to make its $370 million franchise fee payment.
Representatives of two Kentucky Thoroughbred tracks said they will be forced to reduce racing dates due to declining economic conditions, with the owner of Ellis Park saying his track would not race in 2010 unless alternative gaming is legalized in the Bluegrass State.
At the moment, trainer Hal Wiggins is resisting the temptation to seriously consider racing Rachel Alexandra against the boys. But, if the ultra-talented filly should put on another scintillating performance in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14, Higgins admits the plot would thicken.
Pimlico Race Course has reduced its spring meet to 20 days and won't hold the Pimlico Special this year. The grade I race for older horses wasn't run in 2007 for financial reasons, but returned in 2008 with a reduced purse of $250,000.
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
The multi-year quest for a stable funding source for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission took another turn March 10 when legislation to increase the powers of the KHRC unanimously passed a Senate committee. Whether the bill is approved--and whether the commission gets a new funding source--could be determined on the Senate floor.
TVG will broadcast live, trackside coverage of the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) from Tampa Bay Downs March 14. Coverage of the track's marquee race begins at 4 p.m. ET, with post time at 5:26 p.m. ET.
Uniform policies that restrict use of a riding crop in under tack shows for 2-year-olds in training had a significant effect on riders' actions at the preview for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile auction, according to Fasig-Tipton director of marketing Terence Collier.
Mike Mulligan, a leading consignor at sales of 2-year-olds in training, was in stable condition, with a head injury, at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., March 9. Fasig-Tipton director of marketing Terence Collier reported March 10 that "they (doctors) are changing his medication levels today to raise him to the next level (of consciousness). All vital signs continue to be progressing."
Champion Stardom Bound, winner of five consecutive grade I stakes races, and rising star Rachel Alexandra, the heavy favorite for the March 14 $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, are the narrowly separated top betting choices heading to this week's only pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
At the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association's annual members meeting at Indiana Downs March 8, Eddie Martin presented breed development director Jacki Brown with the organization's 2008 Blood-Horse Julep Cup Award for outstanding contribution to the state's Thoroughbred industry.
Champion Proud Spell returns to the races March 12 at Oaklawn Park, making her 2009 debut in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming event. Her regular rider, Gabriel Saez, will be aboard as the 4-year-old filly prepares for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 4 at Oaklawn.
Barretts is offering a trimmer catalog for its 2009 March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is in line with the belt-tightening mood throughout the country. The Southern California auction company has cataloged 124 horses for its March 10 auction, down from 191 in the 2008 book.
A daughter of Hunter Valley-based stallion Testa Rossa out of Scone topped the second session of the BMW Magic Millions Adelaide yearling sale when she was sold for Aust$115,000 (approximating $73,390 in U.S. funds) March 10 in Australia. Victorian agent Kevin Dagg snapped up the youngster, which was consigned by Gerry Harvey's Baramul Stud.
Will Friesan Fire, whom Larry Jones says is "getting very, very good right now," sweep the Fair Grounds sophomore stakes? Will Flying Pegasus move forward in his second start off the long layoff? Will Papa Clem step up in his first race on dirt? Will Patena reward the investment made by IEAH Stables? Now THIS is why they run races.