Delta Princess, who familiarized herself with the Tampa Bay lawn when winning the Endeavour Stakes in her last start, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $125,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. III) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
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.
The inner dirt track meeting at Aqueduct finally ended Thursday with Richard Dutrow Jr. and Rafael Bejarano winning respective titles for top trainer and jockey.
The March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park promises to deliver some major fireworks when Afleet Alex, Rockport Harbor, and Greater Good lock horns in the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew a field of six.
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.
The March 19 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) drew a field of eight, but the race for all intents and purposes comes down to Sun King vs. Sun King. The Nick Zito-trained colt is the class of the field, and the race his to lose. Only two others in the field have even been nominated to the Triple Crown.
- By Jack Shinar
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.
The Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation for Grand Prairie awarded $60,000 to 18 Grand Prairie, Texas charities March 17 during a ceremony at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
It will be speed vs. stamina in Saturday's Cicada Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct when 3-year-old fillies Megascape and Acey Deucey hook up against each other under topweight of 122 pounds in the field of eight.
- By Tom Precious
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.
Saturday's $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will be televised on ESPNEWS at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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.
The Japan Racing Horse Association (JRHA) will conduct a select yearling auction for the first time in 2006.
Initial test results show that 19 horses have tested positive for possible strangles infection at the Trackside training center in Louisville, Ky., according to information provided by Churchill Downs.
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.
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.
The Aga Khan, one of Europe's leading breeders and owners, has purchased the Lagardere family's entire bloodstock operation.
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
Dynasty, a South African Horse of the Year and widely regarded along with Horse Chestnut as the outstanding South African racehorse of the past 20 years, will stand at Antony Beck's Highlands Stud near Robertson in South Africa.
Johar, who deadheated for first in the 2003 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), has gotten his first mare in foal.
- By Nick Hahn
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 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.
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.
The world's richest 2-year-old race, the $2.8 million (U.S.) Golden Slipper Stakes (Aus-I) over 1,200 meters (six furlongs) run at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, takes place this Saturday.
- By Ron Mitchell
Earnings for Churchill Downs Inc. in 2004 and for the fourth quarter were negatively impacted by several one-time expenses, including supporting alternative gaming initiatives, a "non-cash impairment charge" at Ellis Park, and an unrealized loss related to a note, the company reported Wednesday.
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.
Bob Lewis outlasted fellow Californian Sidney Craig in the bidding for a Songandaprayer colt at Tuesday's Barretts selected sale of 2-year-olds in training, paying $1.9 million for a horse who breezed a quarter-mile in what announcer John Henderson said was a world record time of :20.6 seconds.
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.
Unreal Zeal, Illinois' leading sire the last four years, will stand at Hal Snowden Jr.'s Roseglade Farm near Wilmore, Ky.
The Greatest Game, the Thoroughbred industry program that seeks to expand the scope of horse ownership by attracting and retaining new investors in the sport, will participate in "The Great American Horse Exposition Equine Affaire" at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, April 7.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The horse industry now has a strong voice in Frankfort that will be heard.
Stanley T. Greene, who trained for Alfred G. Vanderbilt and Liz Whitney Tippett, died March 12 in a hospital near Purcellville, Va.
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.
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.
- By Jack Shinar
Authorities are seeking a gunman who has killed at least four Thoroughbreds in their pastures with a small caliber rifle near Fresno, Calif., in the past week.
Strong Hope, a two-time New York grade II winner, has gotten 11 of the 27 mares bred to him in foal during his initial season at stud.
Age has not stopped Dixieland Band from putting on a show as one of the nation's top sires at age 25. Other seniors joining him in the ranks of top sires include Cozzene, Crafty Prospector, Runaway Groom, and Mt. Livermore.
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 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.
- By Tom LaMarra
As the 2005 Kentucky General Assembly session nears an end, the horse industry finds itself with a few important benefits--and a sense that it could show a lot of muscle in future legislative endeavors.
- By Tom Precious
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.
"What is the relationship between conformation and performance, and what can we do to impact it?" These questions have been asked by those focused on performance in many species, and they were the focus of one presentation by Liz Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at the Western Veterinary Co...
Will it be a feast or famine Tuesday at the Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training? Recent results in the juvenile market suggest that consignors could experience both extremes.
With so many fast workout times, it's been more difficult to sort out which horses at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training are the best racing prospects for the long haul and which have only cheap speed.
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.
The contingent of U.S.-based horses that will participate in the March 26 Dubai World Cup card at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse arrived in Dubai Monday.
Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who has been battling foot bruises this winter, apparently has recovered from his latest setback, and all systems are go for Saturday's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), where he'll meet Afleet Alex and Greater Good.
Timber Country and Bubble Gum Fellow had minimal impact in Australia, but the Shadai Farms-controlled pair had success March 12 on both sides of the Tasman Sea.
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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