News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Former Trainer Ron Gallion Sr. Dies

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Ron Gallion Sr., who trained on the Southern Ohio/ West Virginia/ Northern Kentucky circuit during the 1970s and 80's, passed away after a brief illness in Dayton, Ohio, last week.

MJC Unveils 2002 Preakness Logo

The Maryland Jockey Club unveiled the logo for the 2002 Preakness Stakes on May 18. The logo features a horse and jockey, and the Black-Eyed Susan flower against the backdrop of Pimlico's historic cupola.

Colonial Downs Shareholders Approve Privatization

Colonial Downs reported to the Virginia Racing Commission on Wednesday that the plan to privatize Colonial Downs was approved Jan. 10 by shareholders of the company that owns the Virginia track and its off-track betting facilities.

Official: Dixon Downs Plans Continue to Progress

Dixon Downs may not be on the fast track, but it's making steady progress toward ground-breaking. That's the report from the front lines in Dixon, the small California town 20 miles west of Sacramento where Magna Entertainment Corp. is hard at work developing a state-of-the-art racetrack.

Cottonwood Cowboy, National Park Seek to Upset Siphonic

Christopher Paasch hopes Cottonwood Cowboy has come of age since his disappointing debut at Del Mar last August. The 45-year-old trainer realizes that the son of Meadowlake will have to be at his best to beat pro tem 3-year-old leader Siphonic in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

Medication Policies for Juvenile Sales Tightened

Last year, for the first time, all sale companies that conduct major juvenile auctions in Florida, Kentucky, and California tested horses for drugs following pre-sale under tack shows. This year, two companies, Ocala Breeders' Sales (OBS) and Fasig-Tipton, are tightening their medication policies.

Indiana Racing Could Pay Price in Budget

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Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon gave his state of the state address Tuesday evening before members of the General Assembly, and the pari-mutuel industry wasn't left out of the equation.

Florida-Bred Cup Day Planned For Nov. 16

Modeled after other states that have state-bred days, Florida will run six races at Calder Race Course near Miami on Nov. 16, 2002. The program will be called Florida-Bred Cup Day.

Unite's Big Red Defends Mac Diarmida Title

Breakaway Racing Stable's Unite's Big Red, who won the Mac Diarmida (gr. III) two years ago, breezed five furlongs in 1:04 2/5 at Calder Race Course last Sunday in preparation for his upcoming engagement in Sunday's renewal of that same stakes event.

Speedy Leon Follows Path of Hal's Hope; Saarland Works

Two years ago, Harold Rose won the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) with Rose Family Stable Ltd.'s Hal's Hope and then parlayed that tally with a winning effort in the Florida Derby (gr. I) less than two months later. Rose is following the same path with the family's Speedy Leon, who worked a half-mile at Calder Race Course in :47 1/5 handily Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's Holy Bull.

OBS Winter Sale Produces Mixed Results

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's winter mixed sale that ended on Tuesday produced results that were both positive and negative. The 494 horses sold grossed $4,231,900 and averaged of $8,567. Compared to last year's figures, the number sold and gross dropped by 27.8% and 21.5%, respectively. The average rose by 8.5%. In 2001, the 683 horses sold grossed $5,393,400 and averaged $7,897.The auction last for two days last year compared to four this year.

Delta Downs Gets Go-Ahead for Slots Parlor

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The Louisiana Gaming Control Board on Tuesday approved a configuration plan for the Delta Downs that will allow nearly 1,500 slot machines. Board members unanimously approved the plan, which also go the go-ahead from the state police and state fire marshal's office.

Santa Anita Race Report: Beaming With Pride

No, he didn't mix it up with Monarchos and Point Given last spring. Some might say he took the easier road. But it's pretty hard to fault a horse who can lay claim to three Derbys and nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings. Nevertheless, if Western Pride had any lingering naysayers, they got stopped in their tracks on Jan. 12 after the muscle-bound colt ran off with the $214,200 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.

Gulfstream Park Race Report: A Bear at Any Age

There is a fountain of youth in Florida, just as Ponce de Leon originally suspected in the 16th century. But the Spaniard, who poked around the St. Augustine area looking for the elixir, would have been better off looking about 250 miles to the south, in the Calder Race Course barn of trainer Ralph Ziadie.

Hilbert Dispersal, Announced Monday, Now Cancelled

One day after it was announced, the dispersal of 25 horses owned by Stephen and Tomisue Hilbert has been cancelled because of "unforeseen timing complications," according to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm, which was in charge of preparing the horses for sale.

Keeneland Sets $3.65M Spring Stakes Slate

Nineteen stakes worth $3.65 million will be offered during Keeneland's 16-day spring meet from April 5-26. Anchoring the rich stakes program are two grade I races -- the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass for 3-year-olds and the $500,000 Ashland Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Secretariat's Old Grooms Still Remember

In the spring of 1969, a magical seed was planted in the equine garden known as The Meadow, located in Caroline County, Va., just north of Richmond. From that seed the following spring would sprout a legendary creature who would one day transcend the Sport of Kings and forever alter the course of racing history.

Feel Good Story of the Year: Keeneland January Sale

Are you tired of reading stories about mare reproductive loss syndrome? Do you wish all the reports about Osama bin Laden, the war in Afghanistan, and the struggling economy would just go away? Here, finally, is some good news: Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale turned in a performance that was better than expected.

Worldly Victor is First Stakes Winner For Sire

Worldly Victor, a 21-1 longshot, came from far back under Pat Day to win the $73,000 Dave Feldman Stakes on Monday at Gulfstream Park. With the win, Worldly Victor became the first stakes winner for his sire, World Stage, a son of Sadler's Wells.

Fee Follies: Breeding at the Right Level

The late John M.S. Finney once compared the science of Thoroughbred breeding with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. "Where E represents equine investment," Finney said, "M represents money, and C represents confusion--E equals MC squared."

Crackdown: Rider Gerard Melancon Wins Race Against Addiction

Addiction to crack cocaine can cost you your job, your family, and sometimes your life. Just ask jockey Gerard Melancon, who came close to losing the whole package. Melancon, currently vying for the top spot among riders at Fair Grounds, tumbled as far as a man can fall since his heady days of early stardom nearly 20 years ago.

Merci Monsieur

By Pierre Bellocq -- John D. Schapiro's constant encouragement, his belief in my artistry, and his shared enthusiasm in the development of amateur sport in America have been important factors in my determination.

The Endless Fight

By Ray Paulick -- TVG isn't the only one getting hurt by the impasse with Magna over account wagering in California.

Maria's Mon Colt Tops First Session Of OBS Mixed Sale

A yearling colt by Maria's Mon, sire of 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos, brought $160,000 on Monday to top the consignor preferred session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's winter mixed sale in Central Florida. Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey bought the dark bay or brown colt out of the winning Farma Way mare Cowgirl.. He was consigned by Nancy Bauman, agent for Bob Seeger.

West Coast Race Fields Improve as Gulfstream Park Feels Slump

While California has worried about declining field sizes for about two years, Santa Anita Park has created hope this year by attracting 20% more starters per race in its first two weeks. On the East Coast, however, average field size has gone from boom to bust. Gulfstream Park came out of its 2001 season with an 8.2% increase in average starters per race, but this year field size lagged 18% during the first week of racing.

Trainer Mendoza Cleared in Medication Case

A board of three stewards at Santa Anita Park ruled that no penalty should be assessed against trainer Jesus (Jesse) Mendoza for a morphine positive found in a horse he trained in June, 2000. The Jan. 10 ruling stated that Mendoza had "mitigated the circumstances of the charge."

Big Spruce Euthanized at Age 32

Prominent runner and successful sire Big Spruce was euthanized Dec. 28 because of the infirmities of old age. The 32-year-old pensioned stallion resided at Graham J. Beck's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. He leaves behind fellow pensioners Lyphard (now 33), Stop the Music, and Irish River.

Ky. Commission Approves Derby Future Wager Dates

The Kentucky Racing Commission on Monday approved the dates for the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools. The first pool will run Feb. 14-17, with Pool 2 opening March 14 and closing March 17. The third and final pool will run April 4-7. All pools run from Thursday through Sunday. The 128th renewal of the Derby will be May 4.

William T. Young's Wife, Lucy, Dies

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Lucy Maddox Young, whose husband, William T. Young, built Overbrook Farm near Lexington into one of the nation's leading nurseries, died Jan. 13.

Magna Plans $5-Million 'Sunshine Millions'

An eight-race, $5 million series of races for California- and Florida-bred horses has been approved by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and Magna Entertainment Corp., at whose tracks the races would be run. The plan, however, may face a challenge from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

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