Hastings Park is for sale. The Vancouver racetrack that was purchased by Woodbine Entertainment Group in 2002 apparently isn't performing as well as its parent company had hoped, even though attendance and wagering have increased since it changed hands.
A trio of stakes winners highlight the field for Saturday's $100,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. The Herecomesthebride, which is the eighth event on the 11-race card, drew 14 but the 1 1/8-mile race will be limited to a dozen starters.
John Russell, who conditioned champions Susan's Girl and Track Robbery, died last night at his home in Del Mar. Calif., from cancer.
Five-year-old Bedanken will make her seasonal debut in Saturday's Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds, where she will square off against 11 rivals in the 1 1/8-mile contest on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has hired a director for its National Office of Wagering Security, and also approved multi-year contract extensions for commissioner Tim Smith and vice chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr., who serves as Breeders' Cup president.
The $100,000 Southwest Stakes, the second of three local preps for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10, lured a field of 10, including a pair of two-horse couplings, Feb. 28 at Oaklawn Park.
Three East Coast-based colts are scheduled to tackle the local contingent of 3-year-olds Feb. 28 in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes--final local prep for the March 20 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II)--at Turfway Park.
Gal O Gal is expected to join a very large field in Saturday's $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
Capac, strong winner of a Feb. 4 allowance race at Laurel Park, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes Feb. 28 at the Maryland racetrack.
The richest stakes schedule in Del Mar's history - 27 major races worth $6,325,000 - will serve as the centerpiece for the seaside track's 65th summer racing season starting July 21. The traditional 43-day meeting will run through Sept. 8.
Is there any possibility that the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner can come out of the Miracle Wood, Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT), Southwest Stakes, John Battaglia Memorial or Borderland Derby? Not likely, but that doesn't mean there won't be any potential Derby contenders competing this weekend.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has awarded $850,888 in funding for 20 projects in 2004. The organization said the money would be distributed to scientists at 12 universities.
Prices soared to world record heights Tuesday during Fasig-Tipton Florida's sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course. A handsome colt from the first crop of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus set a new standard for a juvenile sold at public auction by commanding $4.5 million. In addition, a colt from the first crop of Stephen Got Even also blew past the previous mark of $2.7 million, bringing $3.1 million earlier in the auction.
Buckram Oak Farm's Silver Wagon, last year's Hopeful (gr. I) winner who had been scheduled to run in the Florida Derby (gr. I), likely will undergo surgery on both knees, which will keep him out of training for most of the year.
Hill 'n' Dale Farms reported that Footing is the first mare confirmed in foal to champion Vindication.
Three finalists for a dormant casino gaming license in Illinois currently held by bankrupt Emerald Casino Inc. were named by the state gaming board Wednesday.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, who is undefeated in four starts on grass, has been nominated to the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Thoroughbred racing could return to Birmingham Race Course in Alabama under a proposal set forth Wednesday by track magnate Milton McGregor.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association might be poised to hire former New York Racing Association president Terry Meyocks, industry sources said. It isn't known in what capacity Meyocks would serve if he's hired.
Turf writer Don Lee, a fixture on the Nebraska racing circuit for decades, died earlier this month in Omaha at age 82.
- By Tom LaMarra
A Louisville legislator is prepared to file a bill to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling in Kentucky under a scenario in which gaming wouldn't be limited to racetracks.
Feb. 26, 1955
Nashua in Florida
Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Domestic Dispute worked a half-mile in :47 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Wednesday morning and could make his next start in the March 6 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), trainer Paddy Gallagher said.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's undefeated grade I winner Lion Heart got his final major prep for his March 6 sophomore debut, breezing six furlongs from the gate under regular jockey Mike Smith in 1:12 4/5 at Santa Anita on Wednesday.
No filly has ever won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), but Island Fashion could become the first in 67 runnings of the 10-furlong race on March 6.
Playfair's racing days could be over for good. The 65-acre property that includes the track near Spokane, Wash., is listed for sale for $7 million and all of its contents and equipment--starting gate, tractors, seating, and more--will be auctioned March 4.
Tapit worked in-between races Wednesday afternoon at Laurel Park, drilling seven-furlongs under jockey Ramon Dominguez in 1:29.70.
Stakes-placed Arromanches has been relocated to Don Dearth's Connersville Training Center near Connersville, Ind.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Tapit, winner of the Laurel Futurity (gr. III), shipped to Laurel Wednesday afternoon where he worked seven furlongs between races in 1:29 3/5 in company with two other horses trained by Michael Dickinson.
The first foal for the stallion Max's Pal is a filly born Feb. 8 at Roy Lerman's Lambholm South near Reddick, Fla.
Three competitors from last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will meet on television Sunday when TVG screens the New Orleans Handicap from the Fair Grounds.
Magna Entertainment Corp., in conjunction with New York City Off-Track Betting, has launched a half-hour preview show that will air race days on OTB's cable television channel.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, in preparation for the Feb. 29 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, breezed a bullet five furlongs Feb. 25 at Palm Meadows in South Florida.
Lone Star Park has added a pair of $50,000 stakes for 2-year-old Texas-breds to its 2004 stakes schedule. The $50,000 Mocha Express for colts and geldings and $50,000 Honeysuckle Rose for fillies will both be run at 6 1/2 furlongs on Oct. 23, which is billed as "Stars of Texas Day."
Live racing returns to the Chicago area Friday as the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne opens its spring meet at the track near Cicero, Ill. Opening day features a 10-race card with first post at 1:10 p.m. The 47-day meet runs through May 13
Peter Wragg, a prominent bloodstock agent who was the brother of trainer Geoff and a son of champion jockey and leading trainer Harry, died last week at the age of 76 after a lengthy illness.
Einar Paul Robsham, who won the 1995 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga with homebred Pretty Discreet, died Feb. 22 of heart disease at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Hollywood Park in Inglewood Calif., is considering building a new racetrack in the Golden State at an abandoned Marine Corps air base about 45 miles south of Hollywood in Irvine.
A Gentlemen colt from the consignment of Donna M. Wormser had the fastest eighth-mile work when he scorched the recently dull Fariplex track in 10.00 during Tuesday's training preview for horses consigned to Barretts sale of 2-year-olds in training.
After having asked for invitations from trainers around the world to offer to condition the $2.79-million Sunday Silence yearling he bought at the 2003 Hokkaido foal sale, owner Fusao Sekiguchi has decided to keep the colt in Japan.
Feb. 25, 1956
Needles in the Flamingo Stakes
For the second time Tuesday, a world-record price for a juvenile sold at public auction was set during the Fasig-Tipton selected 2-year-olds in training sale at Calder Race Course. The new world record price of $4.5 million was paid by Japanese owner Fusao Sekiguchi for a colt from the first crop sired by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who was raced by Sekiguchi.
- By Jack Shinar
Jerry Moss, who co-founded A&M Records, was appointed to the California Horse Racing Board on Feb. 24, replacing longtime television producer Alan Landsburg, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced.
Majestic Thief nosed out favored Skate Away to win the $50,000 Mardi Gras Handicap, the annual "Fat Tuesday" feature at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Magna Entertainment Corp. Tuesday reported a net loss of $103.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2003, or 96 cents a share, which includes a previously announced non-cash write-down of $81.7 million on its assets.
With Tuesday's break in the recent rainy weather hitting California, several top horses were out on the track at Santa Anita getting workouts in before the next wave of wet weather is scheduled to pass through the area on Wednesday.
Despite financial results that show a net loss of $105.1 million in 2003, Magna Entertainment Corp. president Jim McAlpine said the company "made significant strides" in creating a global company built around horse racing.
- By Tom LaMarra
Legislation to establish the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority and move it under the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet was passed by the state Senate Feb. 24 and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Hastings Park opens its 71-day live season April 17. The track has scheduled two more live racing days than last season and purses have increased nearly 15% over last year.
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