News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Jim and Tonic on Track in Hong Kong

Defending champion, Jim And Tonic looked in great shape Friday morning at Sha Tin, as he finalized his preparation for Sunday's HK$14 million Hong Kong Cup, the last leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship. Under big race jockey, Gerald Mosse, Jim And Tonic quickened the tempo in the straight for the last 400 meters in front of a large crowd of morning trackwork watchers.

Straight Man to Dunhill

Grade II winner Straight Man, who registered a 109 Beyer Speed Figure in his first start, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Dunhill Stud near Reddick, Fla., for a fee of $5,000.

British Breeders' Group Honoring The Aga Khan

The Aga Khan will be the guest of honor at the British Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's prestigious annual Awards Dinner at the Churchill Hotel in London on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2001. Among the horses campaigned by The Aga Khan this year were Vodafone Derby, Irish Derby, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sinndar and Breeders' Cup Turf winner Kalanisi.

Hollywood Park Racing: Pincay Celebrates Anniversary

If Laffit Pincay Jr.'s career is made up of a million small battles waged in the name of determination, skill, and endurance, then his victory aboard Men's Exclusive in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) will be emblazoned in the mind forever. It was one of those rare, ineffable instances when sport

Fair Grounds Racing: Big Day For 'Little Man'

Louisiana Champions Day is when the little man can stand at center stage, and they don't get much smaller than Peter Orlando. Right On the Mark, a 6-year-old gelding owned and trained by Orlando, gave the 59-year-old his first stakes win in 40 years of racing in the Champions Day Classic Dec. 9. "I'm just a small guy," Orlando explained. "It's just me by myself and four horses. I breed 'em and race 'em. That's all I do."

Churchill Puts Three Stakes Worth $1.2 Million on One Card

There is no change in Churchill Downs' stakes schedule in the total number of stakes events and purses, but a significant change in the scheduling of several spring meet events next year will create an important day of stakes races with total purses of $1.2 million on Saturday, June 16. The day will be headlined by the $750,000- added Stephen Foster Handicap

Churchill Puts Three Stakes Worth $1.2 Million on One Card

There is no change in Churchill Downs' stakes schedule in the total number of stakes events and purses, but a significant change in the scheduling of several spring meet events next year will create an important day of stakes races with total purses of $1.2 million on Saturday, June 16. The day will be headlined by the $750,000- added Stephen Foster Handicap

Danzig Season Tops Inaugural Online Auction

Topped by a Danzig season sold for $280,000, Equine Spectrum.com bloodstock exchange kicked off its online auctions on a successful note Wednesday. Equine Spectrum, a venture formed by breeding farms and bloodstock agencies, reported 21 of the 24 listed nominations were sold. With more than 80 bidders from North American and Europe participating, the sale grossed $1,321,500 for an average price of $62,928.

Posts Set for Sunday's Hong Kong Races

A different kind of post position draw entertained attendees at Wednesday's Hong Kong International Races barrier draw ceremony. The first three races, the group III Sprint, and the group I Mile and Vase followed a format where a chosen guest, usually a steward from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, drew random pills to indicate order of receiving the posts. The gate numbers were then handed to the horses' connections in a sealed envelope; however, no one could open their envelope until the entire field had representation on stage. Then they displayed their numbers all at once.

Top Quarter Horse Trainer Apparent Suicide Victim

Steve Van Bebber, one of the country's most successful quarter horse trainers, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in what officials believed was a suicide. Van Bebber, who was 50, was the nation's leading quarter horse trainer this year in earnings and victories. He is third on the career victory list and sixth in prize money.

Maryland Jockey Club Bags Plans For Third Track

An alliance led by the Maryland Jockey Club has dropped plans for building a horse track in Western Maryland and instead plans on constructing two off-track-betting parlors in that remote region of the state. This shift in strategy would leave William Rickman Jr. as the lone applicant for building the track.

Tampa Bay Receives Favorable Ruling on Stall Allocation

A Circuit Court judge in Florida has ruled that Tampa Bay Downs has the right to determine which horsemen are allocated stalls, effectively upholding the track's denial of space to some TB Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association board members. Contending the stall denial was retribution over a contract dispute between horsemen and track management, Tampa Bay HBPA sought a temporary injunction forcing the track to reallocate stalls.

Tuning Out

By Ray Paulick -- One of the most obvious shortcomings of the 2001 racing season promises to be the loss from the television broadcast schedule of a number of important Triple Crown prep races.

Magna President Resigns; Stronach Takes the Helm

Mark Feldman, Magna Entertainment's president and chief executive officer of 4 1/2 months, has resigned. MEC is consolidating its operations in Toronto and Feldman did not want to leave his home in California, the company has announced. Frank Stronach, MEC's founder and chairman, will serve as interim president and CEO.

More Breeding Rights Sold in Storm Cat

Following on the heels of a reported 10 lifetime breeding rights sold in Storm Cat in 1999 to the John Magnier-controlled Coolmore operation, Ric Waldman, syndicate manager for W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm, has confirmed more breeding rights in North America's leading sire have been sold in 2000. Waldman would not disclose exactly how many breeding rights have been sold, or who they have been sold to, however, he did say a total of 25 lifetime breeding rights have been sold in the last two years.

Tampa Bay's Stall Denial Upheld by Court

Tampa Bay Downs and the local horsemen's association will be in court Tuesday morning. The track is accused of punishing Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association officers who were involved in a bitter contract battle last year.

Barretts Steps Up Drug-Testing at Juvenile Sale

Barretts sales company plans to introduce additional drug testing procedures beginning with its 2001 March select sale of 2-year-olds in training. "There will be some urine testing" conducted in conjunction with the auction's under tack shows, said Gerald F. McMahon, Barretts' president and general manager. McMahon said he would release the details of the new urine testing program in "a month or so." He declined to discuss specifics until that time. In California, pre-sale medication given to horses within 72 hours of an auction must be disclosed.

The Deputy Retired to Stud at Margaux Farm

The Deputy, winner of this year's Santa Anita Derby sent off as the second choice in the Kentucky Derby, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Margaux Farm near Midway, Ky. Owned by Steve Johnson, Dr. Ira Mersack, and Rick Trontz, Margaux purchased a half-interest in Irish-bred The Deputy from Team Valor (Barry Irwin, president) and Gary Barber. The Deputy, who came up with a filling in a tendon while being prepared for the Malibu Stakes, will stand for $7,500 live foal.

Jockeys' Guild Approves New Weight Scale

The Jockeys' Guild approved a new scale of weights it hopes will be adopted immediately by racing secretaries nationwide. The new scale increases the minimum weight to 116 pounds. "We're mainly concerned about the minimum," said John Giovanni, national manager for the Jockeys' Guild. "Each generation of jockeys is getting bigger and bigger. People are killing themselves to make weight."

Task Force Proposes Summer Meet For Colonial Downs

A task force made up of a number of horse organizations is likely to propose moving Colonial Downs' fall meet to June and July of 2001. The task force includes representatives of Colonial Downs, the Maryland Jockey Club, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, the Virginia Horseman's Association, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horseman's Association, and the Maryland Horse Breeder's Association. The task force proposal will be presented today to its member groups.

Pincay Earns Anniversary Win in Underwood

On the anniversary of breaking Bill Shoemaker's all time record of 8,833 wins, Laffit Pincay Jr. won on his only mount of the day, a three-length triumph aboard Men's Exclusive in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III), Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Honest Lady To Be Bred to Storm Cat

Juddmonte Farms' Honest Lady finished second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) in November in her her final start and, according to a Hollywood Park press release, Juddmonte's Dr. John Chandler said the 4-year-old filly will be bred to leading-sire Storm Cat in the upcoming breeding season.

Straight Talk From Gaines on Stronach, NTRA

John R. Gaines, the man who created the Breeders' Cup and also was behind the start-up of the National Thoroughbred Association, which many believe was the impetus for the formation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, delivered some pointed words to Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach and the NTRA while accepting an award from the University of Arizona during its Racetrack Industry Program's Symposium on Racing last Thursday.

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