Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he has been proactive in his support of expanded gambling to assist horse racing and breeding, and the "continued tough economy may further underscore that effort."
The Pamplemousse, with his regular rider Alex Solis aboard, turned in a sharp final tune-up March 31 for the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The 3-year-old son of Kafwain worked three furlongs in :34.80 seconds at Santa Anita Park in California. He was the fastest of 15 workers at that distance.
Proud Spell will miss the April 4 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, according to trainer Larry Jones.
Team Valor International and Gary Barber's Gitano Hernando, who is being prepared for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by trainer Marco Botti at Newmarket in England, easily won his 3-year-old debut March 29, going a mile and a quarter on turf at Doncaster.
Arlington Park management has reached an agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) to offer a bonus of up to 5% of the base purse of overnight races contingent upon the number of distinct wagering interests in the starting field.
Champion Stardom Bound is scheduled to run in the April 4 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, but her half-brother by Roman Ruler won't be offered during the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington.
HRTV will provide live coverage of Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is scheduled for April 6 and 7 in Lexington. Sessions begin each evening at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Snow Dance, who won or placed in a dozen graded turf stakes, was euthanized March 28 after undergoing colic surgery several days earlier.
Some of the 3-year-olds entered in the $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania (gr. IIIT) made brief stops on the Triple Crown trail and are now switching gears. Others began their careers on dirt but have recently found success on turf. Whatever the individual case may be, it has made for an interesting field of eight in Keeneland's feature race April 3, which is opening day of the Lexington racetrack's 15-day spring meet.
The 85th running of the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), one of the most prestigious races leading to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be run April 11 during Keeneland's 2009 spring race meeting.
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Musket Man and Illinois-bred Giant Oak lead a wide-open field of 11 in the 52nd edition of the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 4 at Hawthorne Race Course
Co-owner Mark Hoffman walked his Ashland Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Hooh Why at Keeneland the morning of March 31, a day after the Cloud Hopping filly worked a half-mile in :49.60.
Edward P. Evans' homebred Quality Road, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Fountain of Youth (gr. II), is the morning line favorite among 24 betting interests for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens four days of betting at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets April 2.
David J. Lanzman, who announced March 30 that 50% of his homebred Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender I Want Revenge had been sold to IEAH Stables, has purchased 25% of IEAH's champion filly and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Stardom Bound.
Keeneland officials announced March 31 that, for the first time, wagering on the track's upcoming spring race meeting will be available on all major North American betting platforms.
Jockey Alan Garcia, whose most recent stakes win came aboard Godolphin Stables' Regal Ransom in the March 29 UAE Derby (UAE-II), will spend the spring meet at Keeneland in Lexington for the first time in his career, agent Tony Micaleff said March 31.
There are three ways of looking at the Florida Derby (gr. I): the best horse won, the best horse finished second, and both horses ran sensational races and established themselves as major Kentucky Derby contenders. The consensus would have to be number three.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has released a 2009 stakes schedule of 27 events worth a total of $2.375 million.
Breeder/owner Henry Rathbun died March 19 in Cape Coral, Fla., from complications following a heart attack.
Grade II winnner and millionaire Hap has been relocated for stallion duty to Still Creek Farm near Brookville, Ind.
With big performances in the Florida Derby, both Quality Road and Dunkirk move up several spots, while Desert Party holds steady at number six.
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