Ventura, a stylish winner of the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) against her own sex last time out, will take aim at males when she returns to the turf for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita March 7.
Stardom Bound, who could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) next month, puts her four-race grade I victory streak on the line in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 7.
- By Tom Precious
New York lawmakers are rushing to halt a 1% takeout increase on out-of-state pari-mutuel wagers before a law kicks in next week authorizing the higher levels.
Colonel John, winner of the Travers Sakes (gr. I) last summer, makes his 2009 debut as the slight choice in a diverse 14-horse field for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7.
Shadwell Stable's Lucky Island, who reeled off four consecutive victories in the first half of 2008 before faltering, looks to start his season on a winning note when taking on eight sprinters in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) March 7 on Aqueduct's inner track.
With Magna Entertainment Corp. reportedly in financial peril, the California Horse Racing Board has called an emergency meeting March 6 to determine the status of the MEC-owned tracks in the state, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, as well as the company's licensed advance deposit wagering entity, XpressBet.
Profits from continuing operations at Churchill Downs Inc. grew 71% in 2008, the company reported March 4, despite handle drops at all of its racetracks.
On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The first foal by Florida stallion Successful Ways is a colt out of the Straight Man mare Straightforthewire born Feb. 13.
A horse was euthanized and jockey Eddie Castro suffered a bruised left shoulder during an horrific five-horse spill in the second race March 4 at Aqueduct.
For the first time, Washington-breds and British Columbia-breds will compete against each other in the BC Cup at Hastings Racecourse and the Washington Cup at Emerald Downs. Three races at each track have been opened to include horses bred in Washington and British Columbia, Canada.
I Want Revenge is a horse on a mission. The son of Stephen Got Even has traveled across the country to get a head start on his compatriots back home to see how he handles the dirt in the Gotham Stakes.
Lori and George Hall's Atomic Rain and Jayeff B Stable's Chef are prominent in a field of eight 3-year-olds entered in a 1 1/8-mile allowance feature at Gulfstream Park March 6, a race almost certain to yield a contender or two for the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) to be run over the track and distance on March 28.
A suspect allegedly involved with stealing equipment from the barns of Belmont Park-based trainers Bruce Levine and Linda Rice during the weekend of Feb. 28 was arrested by Nassau County Police on March 2.
Mike Mulligan, whose Leprechaun Racing sold the second-highest priced horse at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training March 3, was in the intensive care unit at Memorial General Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., the following day as a result of injuries he suffered in a fall.
Thomas Knust has been named racing secretary for the 71st live racing meet at Fairplex Park held during the annual Los Angeles County Fair in September, announced Mike Seder, association vice president and chief financial officer.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on United States races in February totaled $999,815,818, down 11.63% from $1,131,333,323 the same month a year earlier despite a 3.38% increase in the number of racing days.
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