A state district judge ruled March 22 that Fair Grounds owes horsemen almost $90 million in damages from the video-poker lawsuit that led to the track's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last August, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
Pensioned stallion Ga Hai, who turned 33 this year, died March 17 at Thomas Reigle's Reigle Heir Farms near Grantville, Pa.
March 23, 1951
Counterpoint at Gulfstream Park
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's grade I winner Lion Heart, in preparation for his probable start in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked one mile in 1:42 2/5 in company with stablemate Tarkovsky March 22 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track.
It seems as if each Monday brings with it a new set of excuses for beaten favorites in Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps. Some will prove to be legitimate and some won't. But the bottom line is no one has a clue who is going to win this year's Derby, which is as muddled as any in memory at such a late date.
The TV Games Network, The Race For Education, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association have joined forces to create a three-month summer internship with TVG's production department for a college sophomore or junior studying broadcasting or journalism.
Stephen Margolis' Cajun Beat, who will surely start a warm favorite for Saturday night's Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at six furlongs on the Dubai World Cup card, impressed all when working on the track at Nad Al Sheba on Monday evening.
- By Victor Ryan
Legislators in Illinois have begun grumbling over riverboat casino legislation passed in 1999 that earmarks 15% of adjusted gross revenue from the state's 10th and final casino to the state's horse industry.
Vernon Downs, an upstate New York Standardbred track, was licensed March 22 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on the condition a third party oversees racing operations.
Three horses tied for the fastest workout time for an eighth of a mile Sunday during the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Texas sale of 2-year-olds in training at Lone Star Park.
Ten additional 3-year-olds were nominated to the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) before late nominations for the April 3 race at Hawthorne closed Friday, March 19.
- By Mark Popham
Attheraces, the dedicated racing broadcasting channel in Britain, is set to go off the air on Monday, March 29 and the prospect is that it will never return.
Even though he did little but gallop around the Nad al Sheba dirt track on Monday morning, Pleasantly Perfect put on a show for a throng including owner Gerald Ford and trainer Richard Mandella, as he prepared for his run in the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), sponsored by Emirates Airline.
The Ohio State Racing Commission, subject of an investigation by the state Office of Inspector General, has agreed to allocate funds to expand the scope of its customary audit. The more detailed audit will look closely at issues raised in the probe.
March 22, 1972
Riva Ridge at Hialeah
Friendly Michelle wore down the leaders in a long stretch drive and posted a 1 ¼-length victory in the $82,500 Santa Paula Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Team Block's Mystery Giver continued his mastery over the Fair Grounds' turf, coming from far back to win Sunday's $500,000 Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday, setting a course record while going over the $1 million mark in career earnings.
German-bred Meridiana, a disappointment in the United States last year after winning the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) in May, took a big step forward with a front-running victory in the $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday at 12 furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf course.
A 73-race losing streak wasn't enough to shake the confidence of jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., who warmed up in a big way Saturday.
Bluesthestandard, preparing for the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs March 28, turned in a blazing :57 2/5 work Sunday at Santa Anita.
- By Tom LaMarra
Several politically active horsemen in Ohio are considering legal action after receiving word they wouldn't get stalls for their racehorses at the upcoming River Downs meet.
March 21, 1970
Personality in New York
Under a steady rain, top Kentucky Derby prospect Birdstone never got going in Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), clunking home fifth as 16-1 frontrunner Sinister G scored a major surprise at Turfway Park.
Meteor Storm, overlooked at 7-1 in the wagering, burst to the lead in the stretch and held off a late rally by Labirinto and scored a neck victory Saturday in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) for older turf runners at Santa Anita Park.
Padua Stables' Class Above made her return to Turfway Park a successful one Saturday, handily winning the $150,000 Boubonette Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies.
Jockey Patricia Cooksey, whose career nearly ended April 12 when she broke both legs in a frightening spill at Keeneland, returned to the saddle Friday night at Turfway Park, just shy of one year later.
Walk This Way staked a claim as the top 3-year-old Louisiana-bred at Fair Grounds this meet by winning Saturday's $100,000 Gentilly Handicap for state-breds on the turf.
Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones continues to have all of the answers, tallying a sharp 3 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Padua Stable's Bohemian Lady got a much better start than she did in her previous outing and easily disposed of five rival 3-year-old fillies Saturday in the $109,100 Cicada (gr. III) at seven furlongs.
Friel's For Real had never won a stakes race until she overwhelmed a band of older fillies and mares in Saturday's $75,000 Gala Lil Stakes at Laurel Park.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Rock Hard Ten worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:24 2/5 at Santa Anita on Saturday morning in preparation for a start in either the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) or the April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
Saratoga County took advantage of a fast pace to collar Pomeroy in mid-stretch and pulled away to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Saturday.
Fred F. Bradley's homebred maiden Brass Hat, ridden by Jason Lumpkins, took command in the stretch and rolled to an easy 3 3/4-length victory over a suspect field of 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park.
Trainer Tony Dutrow was forced to scratch Peter Angelos' undefeated Among My Souvenirs from Saturday's $100,000-added Cicada (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct when she developed an abscess in her right-front hoof.
Gulfstream Park's inaugural twilight racing presentation March 19 was a success, attracting 14,628 patrons. Attendance on the comparable Friday in 2003 was 5,240.
A group of California Horse Racing Board investigators made a surprise visit to trainer Vladimir Cerin's Santa Anita barn Friday morning.
March 20, 1971
Hoist the Flag Breezes Home
Champion mare Azeri worked seven furlongs in 1:24 3/5 at Santa Anita Friday, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirming the move is in preparation for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 3.
Five 3-year-olds are pointing to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, with three others awaiting developments this weekend before a decision is made.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who did not compete in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last year for the first time since 1979, will miss the West Coast's premier 3-year-old race again this year.
In February, it looked as if Fort Calder was about to unleash the most potent corps of Kentucky Derby contenders ever assembled there. But most of the big names are gone, and it's now down to a pair of unlikely heroes to carry on the Calder name on this year's Triple Crown trail.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. has catalogued 1,210 horses for its April sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Ocean Silk, who finished second in the Feb. 28 Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park last time out, has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for Sunday's $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Wagering Systems Task Force, which was created to find out why total purses dropped in 2003 even though national handle increased, held its first meetings Thursday and Friday in New York City at the offices of Giuliani Partners.
On paper, The 33rd running of the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes looks like a one horse race. You guessed it, Birdstone, the even money morning line favorite.
- By Tom Precious
Two weeks after floating its legislative proposal around the state Capitol, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has found a legislator to introduce a measure that would force the New York Racing Association to reimburse millions of dollars it borrowed from the horsemen's purse account.
Team Block's Mystery Giver is the 120-pound highweight in a wide-open field of ten turf specialists entered in the $500,000 Mervin G. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds Sunday.
Dr. Edwin W. Thomas of Lexington died early Friday morning in his sleep. He was 85.
I got hooked on Smarty Jones just off his name--then really got interested off his run in the Count Fleet when he stumbled out of the gate, swept three wide around the field and cleared by five.
Following the record-setting trend of this year's juvenile market, the Adena Springs auction generated its highest ever figures for gross revenue, average price, and median price Thursday during its third edition.
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