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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

CHRB to Hear Valenzuela Appeal May 18

The commissioners of the California Horse Racing Board have scheduled a May 18 hearing to consider the appeal of jockey Patrick Valenzuela.

Kela Clobbers Texas Mile Foes

Southern California invader Kela was given a smooth ride by jockey David Nuesch and the 6-year-old responded with a convincing 5 ΒΌ-length victory over late running Supah Blitz in Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park.

Azeri Assigned 125 for Humana Distaff

The Allen Paulson Living Trust's Azeri, the 2002 "Horse of the Year" and champion older filly or mare in 2003, has been assigned high weight of 125 pounds for an expected start in Saturday's $250,000-added Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

He Loves Me Delivers Winning Wish

He Loves Me tracked undefeated Plata to the top of the lane before muscling her way to the lead and going on to victory in the $75,000 Caesar's Wish Stakes for 3-year-old Maryland-bred fillies at Pimlico Saturday.

Chilly Rooster Lights Fire in Fort Marcy

Off the board in three career turf starts for Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, Houbeau Farm's 32-1 Chilly Rooster defeated 50-1 Union Place by a half-length in Saturday's $111,400 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.

Keeneland Enjoys Record-Setting Spring Meet

On-track wagering totaled an all-time record $28,010,988 during Keeneland's 15-day spring meeting, which ended Friday. An all-time record 232,826 people attended Keeneland's meeting.

Epicentre Rumbles to Elkhorn Victory

Long-distance specialist Epicentre emerged from the pack to take the lead in midstretch en route to a decisive victory in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) as Keeneland closed its record-breaking 15-day spring meeting Friday.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Along Came Jones

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Along Came Jones

The moment of truth is at hand, as several Kentucky Derby (gr. I) scenarios are played out over the next couple of days. At Churchill Downs, the biggest activity Friday morning was trying to dodge the rain. But the miserable weather was brightened momentarily by the presence of the unbeaten Smarty Jones.

California Takeout Bill Headed to Assembly

Legislation that would authorize a pari-mutuel takeout hike to defray workers' compensation costs passed the California Senate by a 31-6 vote April 22 and is headed to the state Assembly, where it is expected to be addressed the week of April 26.

Almutawakel's First Winner

Almutawakel, winner of the 1999 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and a French group I winner, was represented by his first winner when his Irish-bred daughter Society Music won April 19.

California Jockeys Protest Valenzuela Ruling

California Jockeys Protest Valenzuela Ruling

The Southern California jockey colony April 22 expressed its displeasure with the April 16 decision by California Horse Racing Board chairman John Harris to grant jockey Patrick Valenzuela a stay of his recent suspension that allows him to ride while he appeals the termination of his conditional license.

Gold Rush Day In California

More than $1.3 million in purses are up for grabs Saturday and the best California-breds will duel it out over an entire day at Hollywood Park as part of the Citibank Gold Rush V program. A total of 100 horses were entered for the 10-race card, which is headlined by the $250,000 Citibank Snow Chief Stakes, a nine-furlong main track event for sophomores.

TVG Unveils New Graphics, Says Audience Up

TV Games Network rolled out new graphics and features, which began appearing in conjunction with the opening of Hollywood Park's spring/summer season, at the April 22 California Horse Racing Board meeting. It also announced an increase in the number of viewers and a slight shift toward experienced racing fans.

'Smarty Jones Day' Set for May 1 in Keystone State

'Smarty Jones Day' Set for May 1 in Keystone State

It's not everyday a horse based in the Keystone state earns national recognition. So given the accomplishments of Smarty Jones, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has taken steps to honor the undefeated 3-year-old colt who is pointing to the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

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