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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Patient Scrofa Captures Irish O'Brien

Scrofa, ridden patiently by Patrick Valenzuela, rallied between horses and prevailed by a half-length Thursday in the $140,625 Irish O'Brien Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.

King of California May Be Crowned in San Felipe

With champion Declan's Moon on the sidelines, the 3-year-old throne in California is up for grabs in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), which has attracted a field of eight, headed by Wilko, Roman Ruler, and Consolidator. But there are at least three others with credentials who will attempt to seize the crown.

Los Alamitos Offers Option to Hollywood Park

Los Alamitos Offers Option to Hollywood Park

With the future of Hollywood Park in doubt, prominent Thoroughbred owner Mike Pegram and Los Alamitos Race Course owner Dr. Edward C. Allred unveiled a $40 million plan March 17 to expand and upgrade the Quarter Horse facility in order to fill an expected void in the Southern California market.

New York VLT Bills Approved by Senate

New York VLT Bills Approved by Senate

Seeking to prod along negotiations, the New York Senate approved two bills March 17 designed to open long-stalled video lottery terminal casinos at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway, believed to be New York's most lucrative racetracks for gaming.

Owner/Trainer Robert Levine Dies

Robert Levine, who saddled Jill Robin L to win the March 5 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, died March 17 at the age of 86.

Eleven Vie in Fair Grounds' Signature Muniz

Eleven older horses passed the entry box for the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT), the premier grass event on the Fair Grounds calendar. Highweighted California shipper A to the Z, second to grade I winner Star Over the Bay in his last start in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita, and the red-hot G P Fleet lead a group of horses most familiar with each other postward with half-a-million dollars on the line.

Grocer Can Gallop in Gotham

Saturday's $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct drew three strong Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders in Galloping Grocer, Naughty New Yorker, and Survivalist in the field of nine. While all three would prefer two turns, Galloping Grocer has the brilliance to bounce back off his fourth in the Whirlaway with a big performance.

Sawyer to Become Ohio's First Female State Steward

Kim Sawyer has been promoted to state steward in Ohio effective April 8. Sawyer replaces Allen Fairbanks who retired at the end of the 2004 live racing season last December after 21 years at Thistledown. Sawyer is the first female state steward in Ohio.

CDI: No Hollywood Comment Pending Deliberations

Churchill Downs Inc. officials discussed the company's financial picture, alternative gaming initiatives, and the industry's tote system during a March 17 teleconference but shed little light on their intentions for Hollywood Park, the Southern California racetrack that is the subject of sale rumors.

'Grand Slam of Grass' Gets Green Light

Colonial Downs' plan to offer the "Grand Slam of Grass," a major turf series for 3-year-olds that carries the potential for $5 million in total purse awards, was well received by the Virginia Racing Commission March 16. The track has hired a marketing agency to push the series.

Delta Downs Continues on Expansion Track

Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino recently unveiled its 10-story hotel as part of the finishing touches of a $60-million expansion project. Another project at the Vinton, La., racetrack--conversion of the racing surface to one mile and addition of a turf course--remains on the drawing board but faces some challenges.

Paraneck's Daddy Joe, Pavo Work for Gotham

Daddy Joe, a $900,000 son of owner Paraneck Stable's 1996 Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Unbridled's Song who is set to run in the $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, worked five furlongs in 1:00 on the Aqueduct inner track Wednesday with jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. aboard.

Jockeys' Guild and Teamsters Unite for Common Interests

Leaders of the Jockeys' Guild and Teamsters Union met Wednesday in San Diego to discuss how the two organizations can work together to advance the mutual interests of their members in the horseracing industry.

TOC: No Choice But to Evaluate Options

The Thoroughbred Owners of California, faced with the possibility of losing a major racetrack partner, has been discussing its options for the future given ongoing rumors Hollywood Park may be sold and no longer offer horse racing.

For Keeps

For Keeps

By Ray Paulick -- The horse industry now has a strong voice in Frankfort that will be heard.

More Than a Milkshake

By Dr. Rick M. Arthur - The California experience has been successful. The tracks and horsemen, on their own and outside of the state regulatory system, eliminated 99% of the problem (25% to 0.2%) in six months.

Landsburg New TOC Chair

Citing other pending business commitments, Jack Owens stepped down Tuesday as chair of Thoroughbred Owners of California, but will remain a member of its board of directors.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Here Comes the 19th Nervous Breakdown

Kentucky Derby Trail: Here Comes the 19th Nervous Breakdown

Expect some frazzled nerves on March 19 when the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture either becomes crystal clear or gets turned upside down. We saw a sneak preview of the latter last weekend when newcomers High Limit and Bellamy Road dropped out of the sky and caused some big explosions in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and in Florida.

Rockem Sockem Named Michigan Horse of the Year

Rockem Sockem received the 2004 Michigan Thoroughbred of the year honor during the Michigan Horse Council's International Stallion Expo at the Michigan State University Agriculture Pavilion in East Lansing on March 14.

Mixed Bag for New York Racing Proposals

The New York Assembly has rejected proposals by Gov. George Pataki to create an oversight board to monitor the New York Racing Association, form a super-agency to oversee all aspects of gambling, and create eight additional video lottery terminal casinos.

BCCA Auction to be Held March 26-30

The Belmont Child Care Association is soliciting donations of stallion seasons for an online auction to be held March 26-30. All of the money bid will benefit Anna House, a BCCA childcare center at Belmont Park established for the working families of New York racing.

Al Mahar Completes Girl Power Day at Flemington

Women were on top at Flemington March 12: Alinghi breezed in the Newmarket (Aust-I; Makybe Diva and Winning Belle ran one-two in the Australian Cup (Aust-I). After this combined display of Girlpower, Gai Waterhouse collected the other "Super Saturday" group I when Danehill colt Al Mahar realized his potential in the Australian Guineas.

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