Mujahid, England's champion 2-year-old male of 1998, was represented by his first foal when the Steinlen mare Barque Bleue produced a colt Jan. 27 for the National Stud Breeders Club.
Having reached an agreement with racetracks on revenue splits, Kentucky horsemen's associations are rallying the troops, so to speak, in an effort to win approval for video lottery terminals at the state's tracks.
To help sort out the contenders from the pretenders for the 2002 Kentucky Derby, The Blood-Horse's senior correspondent Steve Haskin has listed the horses to look for in coming weeks.
Normally, a weekend that features the Lecomte Stakes from Fair Grounds and a pair of allowance races from Gulfstream is not going to cause any great tremors on the Derby trail. While this past weekend was no exception, we did have several impressive performances, by losers as well as winners, that could have an impact in the weeks ahead.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- The old saying is, "Rules are made to be broken." What about a case where there are no rules? One example is the voting process for Thoroughbred racing's champions.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Racing has more strikeouts than home runs when a horse's career comes to an end.
- By Steve Haskin
Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who suffered a serious head injury after being unseated by the stable pony Saturday, remained unconscious Tuesday at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.
XpressBet, Magna Entertainment's revamped Internet and telephone service for in-home wagering, was "overwhelmed" by applications from prospective customers during its launch Jan. 26-27, a top company official said.
A Zabeel colt out of the group I winner Our Marquise brought the top price of $1,050,000 (approximately $444,140 in U.S. funds) during Tuesday's second session of the New Zealand premier yearling sale at Karaka. Consigned by Cambridge Stud, he was purchased by Emirates Park Stud, which is owned by Nasser Lootah of Dubai.
To Keeneland racing official Howard Battle, it was simple when it came time to decide who was going to get top weight on the 2001 Experimental Free Handicap for males. "He won very easily. How could you not give him the top weight?"
A Pine Bluff colt turned in the fastest eighth of a mile work Monday at Calder Race Course, covering the distance in 10 1/5 seconds during the first under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Comapany's select sale of 2-year-olds in training. The auction is scheduled for Feb. 5 at Calder in South Florida.
Oliver's Twist, who missed Timber Country by a half-length in the 1995 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will be relocated to Linda Wood's Menoken Farms near Montrose, Colo.
The new mayor of New York City left open the prospect that he may still proceed with the sale of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., a deal some of his aides are pushing him to make to raise money for the deficit-ridden city. But whether he will proceed with the sale of the $1-billion betting empire that was begun by his predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, remains a question.
Grade II turf winner El Angelo has been moved to Chris Nolan's Lakeside Farm near Sellersburg, Ind.
Thoroughbred racing will make a rare Super Bowl appearance Feb. 3 during FOX's telecast of football's championship game.
The city of Louisville, Ky., has made a pitch to the federal government for special security status for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, but the matter remains up in the air. Mayor Dave Armstrong met with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge last week.
Anees, whose victory in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) secured him a championship, and 2000 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Commendable were represented by their first foals.
Weekly reports from Steve Haskin analyze leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby.
Eleven-year-old Comet Shine, a champion in Canada as a 2-year-old, arrived Jan. 26 at Ellen Jackson's Victory Rose Thoroughbreds near Vacaville, Calif.
Two contenders for Saturday's grade II Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park worked Monday morning in preparation for the seven furlong, $150,000 test.
Fifty-three broodmares and broodmare prospects owned by Louisiana oilman John Franks will be sold during the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale on Feb. 11. Dan Kenny Bloodstock will act as agent for Franks, a four-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding owner. Franks periodically reduces the numbers in his broodmare band to accommodate fillies freshly retired from the racetrack to his farm in Ocala, Fla.
All the details have not been finalized, but Barretts plans to prevent consignors from treating their juvenile sale horses with clenbuterol within 72 hours of presale under tack shows.
Two South Florida senators have filed a bill that would allow racetracks and jai-alai frontons to operate video lottery terminals. The machines could get serious consideration this year when legislators are faced with cutting $1 billion from the state budget.
John Henry, the former leading money-earner who has been a popular attraction at the Kentucky Horse Park since his arrival in 1985, is recuperating from colic surgery performed Jan. 25 at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary clinic near Lexington.
Oaklawn Park's three-day opening weekend lured more than 45,000 patrons for what officials at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack said was one of the strongest meet kick-offs in the past 10 years.
John Oxley's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos will enter stud this year at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. The 4-year-old son of Maria's Mon will stand for $25,000 live foal, with Oxley retaining about 40% interest in the colt.
Sixty-one horses sold for a gross of $4,903,500 (approximately $2,074,181 in U.S. funds) and an average of $80,385 ($34,121) during the opening session of the Premier yearling sale in New Zealand on Monday. The median for the session reached $70,000 ($29,610). Eighty-two percent of the horses offered were sold, an improvement over the 74% clearance rate on last year's first day, according to a press release issued by New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd.
Cyclades, a gelded 6-year-old grandson of Alleged, collected a career high win in taking the $270,000 (New Zealand funds) Wellington Cup (NZ-I) Jan. 26 for Auckland publisher Wendy Pye.
The same week Kentucky's Thoroughbred racetracks and horsemen agreed on how to divvy up revenue from video lottery terminals or slot machines, a state legislator unveiled a plan for land-based casinos that could be operated by parties other than tracks.
Overbrook Farm's Snow Ridge skipped over a wet-fast track at Santa Anita Sunday to upset heavily favored Squirtle Squirt in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II). Under Mike Smith, Snow Ridge ran the six furlongs 1:07.70.
Odds-on favorite A New Twist set the pace through the opening quarter-mile then dueled with Cherokee Girl for a half-mile, before 22-1 longshot Take the Cake rolled by the leading pair to win the $100,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) by 3 1/4 lengths Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Totaly Wild, ridden by C.C. Lopez, made a move along the inside Sunday and won the $84,900 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct by a neck.
Thoroughbred owners and breeders in Central Kentucky are on high alert for signs or symptoms of mare reproductive loss syndrome, but, as of late January, they were preparing for the 2002 breeding season with a "business as usual" approach. The season traditionally begins Feb. 15.
As racetracks continued to insist they can't make money off New York's new video lottery terminal program, Gov.George Pataki released a state budget proposal that for the first time projects revenue for government from the gambling devices.
Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who was injured Saturday after being thrown and pinned beneath the stable pony, was still unconscious at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. as of Monday morning, a spokesperson at trainer John Ward's barn said. All tests have proven negative and all her vital signs are good. "She's getting better, but very slowly," the spokesperson said.
Graded stakes winners Hollycombe and Strike Gold have arrived at Jack Hoover's Circle H Ranch near Murrieta, Calif
Millionaire War Chant's first foal was born Jan. 25 at Warren Rosenthal's Patchen Wilkes Farm near Lexington, KY.
Even-money favorite Kalookan Queen alternately set and pressed a fast pace, drew away in upper stretch, and held off a fast-closing Leading Light in deep stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length at Santa Anita.
For some owners and trainers, the $100,000 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds on Jan. 26 was the goal. For others, the mile race was just a pop quiz. Questions had to be answered before the final exam, the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) scheduled for March 10. Intentions were hard to read.
Stronach Stable's homebred Wrangler beat Late Carson by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday in the 94th running of the $80,725 Paumonok Handicap for horses 3-years-old and older. Run Kush Run was third in the field of five, followed by Peeping Tom and Kashatreya.
Jerry Bailey's bag was packed for a flight to Southern California to ride Squirtle Squirt in the next day's Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II). However, having just piloted Del Mar Show to victory in Gulfstream's Fort Lauderdale Handicap (gr. IIIT), the Hall of Fame rider was steamed enough to power the airplane by himself.
Yvonne Azeff, an assistant to trainer John T. Ward Jr., was injured Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park when she was thrown from the horse she was riding after it became agitated by another horse. Azeff was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital and was listed in "serious" condition as of 1:00 p.m.
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