Darby Dan Farm was left without power or telephone service Friday morning because of an overnight storm that ripped roofs off houses and damaged homes in Central Kentucky, but most Bluegrass horse farms appear to have emerged relatively unscathed.
As Someday Farm's Smarty Jones prepares to make a run at history to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in next Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race for his future career as a stallion is rolling like a :21 and change opening quarter. One thing for certain is that in any syndication deal for Smarty Jones will include a stipulation that he will race on after the Triple Crown and may compete as a 4-year-old.
The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission has found the former executive director of the Kentucky Racing Commission violated state law when he accepted a job at Churchill Downs, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Del Mar Futurity champion Siphonizer, a breathing problem corrected by surgery, continues his comeback Saturday in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Veteran jockey Patricia Cooksey, the all-time leading female jockey at Churchill Downs and second in wins by women in U.S. racing history, scored the first win of her latest comeback from adversity as she rode Donner Pass to victory in Thursday's third race at the Louisville track.
Buddy Gil, a sensation at Santa Anita in the winter and spring of 2003, will make his first start at Hollywood Park as the 122-pound high weight in the $75,000 Ack Ack Handicap at 7 1/2 furlongs on Monday.
Trainer Tony Reinstedler knows his talented filly Sand Springs has a stubborn streak, so her behavior since her last race tells him she's ready for a big effort in Saturday's $150,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Apt to Be, who races in the colors of Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois, has accepted co-starting highweight of 119 pounds, along with Crafty Shaw, in defense of his title in the grade III Hanshin Cup Saturday at Arlington.
Willmott Stables' Eddington returned to the track for the first time since working a half-mile in :46 2/5 Monday. The son of 1990 Belmont Stakes favorite Unbridled will try to fare better than his sire did 14 years ago when he finished fourth behind Go And Go.
Smarty Jones, who stands on the threshold of Triple Crown immortality, will have his one and only all-important work for the mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Friday morning at 5:30. Trainer John Servis said he's not looking for anything quick, and is anticipating the colt will go between 1:28 and 1:29.
New York Gov. George Pataki May 27 proposed a complete overhaul of racing laws in the state, a move that would block the New York Racing Association's bid to get its racetrack franchise extended this year, and provide incentives to get video lottery terminals in operation at Aqueduct.
The past performances certainly indicate that Smarty Jones should win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and become racing 12th Triple Crown winner. But then there is the X-factor, Tapit, who looks to be the unknown quantity that could turn the past performances upside down.
With Rock Hard Ten having already been trounced by Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Jason Orman can only hope that the mile and a half distance of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will help bring the two colts closer together in the third leg of the Triple Crown.
By all accounts, Barbara Dege was a quiet, private woman who lived a simple life. But she had one great passion, and it was horse racing and the animals who provided her with enjoyment on her trips to handicap and make small bets at Belmont, Aqueduct, and the Meadowlands.
Monmouth Park, the resort racetrack located not far from the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, will kick off its 2004 meet May 29 with three stakes, including the featured $100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT), and a very healthy purse structure boosted by a casino subsidy.
In a strong display of solidarity, more than 600 members of the horse industry packed the visitors' center at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington May 26 for the first town hall meeting held by the Kentucky Equine Education Project. Several participants said they were blown away by the turnout.
As the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Systems Task Force prepares to hear recommendations on ways to address the "handle up, purses down" situation, operators of high-volume betting shops believe they might be a target and suggest that, as generators of up to 15% of annual handle in North America, they should be directly involved in the process.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale returned to the work tab for the first time since finishing 14th in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), logging three furlongs in :36 1/5 at Santa Anita on Wednesday.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit breezed six furlongs on the turf at Tapeta Farm Wednesday, four days after breezing a slow five furlongs in 1:07 2/5 on the dirt. Working in company with two other horses, Tapit was timed in 1:15 2/5.
After 60 years of waiting David Parrish, whose family owns and operates the Clay Ward Agency and Indian Creek Farm, near Paris, Ky., received a Silver Star from the United States government for his distinguished service during World War II. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) presented the award May 26 during a special ceremony on the Bourbon County courthouse steps.
Veteran jockey Mike Morgan checked out of Louisville's Norton Audubon Hospital on Tuesday, but injuries he suffered in a four-horse spill on Sunday at Churchill Downs will keep him on the sidelines for several weeks.
A private horse farm in Montgomery County, Maryland, has been under a voluntary quarantine since March 25 while veterinarians investigate the cause of illness in 12 horses, four of which have been euthanized, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said May 25.
Mary Kay Johnson, wife of Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson and a member of the family-owned Amherst Stable, which raced Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi in partnership, died Tuesday night at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, N.Y., of an apparent heart attack.
Trainer John Servis revealed at a press conference at Philadelphia Park Wednesday that Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones suffered a foot bruise before the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it quickly cleared up and the colt was able to maintain a normal training schedule.
Little Red, meet Big Red. When Smarty Jones ships to Belmont Park next week, he will be stabled in Barn 5, which was the home of Triple Crown winner Secretariat. The barn is right next door to Barclay Tagg's barn, making Smarty Jones and last year's hero, Funny Cide, temporary neighbors.