Darley Stable's Maiden Tower has been installed the 118-pound highweight in the field of seven older fillies and mares that will contest Saturday's Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Feb. 20, 1988
Winning Colors in the Las Virgenes Stakes
- By Jack Shinar
While business at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields is off in 2004, the president and chief executive officer of parent company Magna Entertainment Corporation told the California Horse Racing Board on Feb. 19 that the outlook is improving.
Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner The Cliff's Edge drew the outside post position when a full field of a dozen 3-year-olds were entered Thursday for Saturday's $100,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida.
Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park is shaping up as a showdown between the speedy Crafty Shaw, winner of the race in 2002, and Pie N Burger, a late comer to the race when a field of eight was entered Thursday.
Age hasn't slowed With Anticipation one step. The 9-year-old gelding drilled five furlongs under jockey Pat Day in 1:00 3/5 over Gulfstream Park's main track Thursday for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. With Anticipation was tuning up for the Feb. 22 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT).
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Players' Panel, formed in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 fraud of 2002, has issued policy recommendations on subjects of "serious concern and importance" to pari-mutuel customers.
The Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned Kitten's Joy and Master William highlight the dozen runners entered in Saturday's $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. The Palm Beach is the 11th event on the 12-race card.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Ohio State Racing Commission Feb. 19 deferred action on a request from the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to withhold Thoroughbred signals that originate in the state from account wagering companies. It scheduled a hearing for March 1 to further discuss the issue.
Trainer Shug McGaughy is on the lookout for a race for champion Storm Flag Flying following some positive workouts at Palm Beach Downs. Storm Flag Flying ended her juvenile season undefeated, but growing pains and minor ailments held back her 3-year-old season.
Redskin Warrior will make his sophomore debut when he squares off against six rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Best Turn Stakes going six-furlongs at Aqueduct. The Best Turn is the feature on Saturday's 10-race card with a 12:30 p.m. post.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, worked seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5 at Santa Anita Thursday in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 13.
Godolphin Racing was ordered to pay 300,000 pounds ($567,630) in damages for a plane crash in 2000 that resulted in the death of the pilot and injuries to jockeys Frankie Dettori and Ray Cochrane.
Read the Footnotes, Minister Eric, and Tapit top a record roster of 140 Early Bird nominees for the Rebel and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park. The Rebel and Arkansas Derby are the first two legs of Oaklawn's $5-million three race bonus with the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) being the final leg.
For the first time, there will only be one set of workouts prior to the April 14-15 Tattersalls Breeze-Up Sale in Newmarket, England.
Khalid Abdullah's homebred Heat Haze, runner-up for Eclipse Award honors as best turf female in 2003, arrived at the owner's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington Feb. 17 to begin her career as a broodmare.
Legislation recently introduced in both chambers of the U.S. Congress would accelerate the implementation of a proposed national livestock identification program that would include all farm-raised animals, including horses.
A full brother to champion and Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Fantastic Light was born Feb. 13 at Sheikh Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Patrons waited more than two hours to enter Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Feb. 18 for the opening of the track's video lottery terminal parlor. The scene was reminiscent of one that played out a few weeks earlier when Saratoga Gaming and Raceway became New York's first operating racino.
Classic winner and prominent sire Summer Squall has been retired from stud duty at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., due to continuing problems with his fertility.
Ohio State Racing Commission chairman Luther Heckman has resigned in the wake of a state investigation into commission activities.
Feb. 19, 1955
Swaps in the Santa Anita Derby
The 7-year-old horse El Dorado Shooter will return from a layoff of more than eight months to try to defend his title in the $100,000 Ken Maddy Sprint, a six-furlong dash for California-breds that will be run Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
For the second time in a month, the betting handle at Beulah Park reached an all-time high. On Wednesday, the Grove City, Ohio track recorded a wagering total of $2,611,746 from all sources on its nine-race program.
With two fairly uneventful weekends coming up, this is the perfect time to see how the big March Madness stakes are shaping up across the country. While many of the big-name horses will be running in smaller fields in Florida and California, look for large, competitive fields down south.
Mooney Valley Racing Club has reduced general admission prices to this year's Cox Plate (Aust-I) in October. General admission is $40 for adults, $25 concession, and $10 for children under 17.
The amazing story of Amazing Philly continued Wednesday as she finished third in her first start. Race fans might remember her as the surprise foal of Speak Compelling, produced at Philadelphia Park in 2000.
Wild Gold, a six-time stakes winner, has been relocated to Mike and Pam Connolly's Madison County Thoroughbreds near Macksburg, Iowa.
Platinum Tiara, runner-up in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), produced her first foal, an A.P. Indy filly, Feb. 10 at Stolen Hours Farm near Ocala, Fla.
Gemstar-TV Guide International announced it has named Ryan O'Hara chief operating officer of its TVG Network.
As promised, the MassCap will return in 2004 after a one-year hiatus. Suffolk Downs has announced the 64th running of the grade II race will be May 29 with a $500,000 purse.
Paper Man and Hard Buck prepare for Palm Beach Stakes, Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.
Owner and breeder Oscar Novo has moved stakes winner Sir Oscar to Marty Wolfson's barn. The colt is still on target for the Florida Derby (gr. I).
- By Peter Tonkes
Pat Glennon, the Australian jockey who thrilled racegoers with triumphs aboard Sea-Bird II in the 1965 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Epsom Derby in Europe, died Feb. 15 in Adelaide, South Australia, after a short illness.
Birdstone's easy victory in his 2004 debut moved him above stablemate Eurosilver as the Nick Zito-trained pair remained atop the list of leading contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Churchill Downs reached another milestone in its historic $121 million renovation Tuesday as the final steel beam was lifted into place in the large section of the track's clubhouse that is being completely rebuilt in the project.
A decision by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Monday to temporarily suspend a state rule requiring jockeys to wear a specific type of helmet will not immediately go into effect.
- By Tom Precious
Finger Lakes in upstate New York will open its video lottery terminal parlor Feb. 18 to become the second racino to begin operation in the past month under a 2001 state law.
Maine's Harness Racing Commission voted Tuesday to give Penn National Gaming Inc. the go-ahead to operate Bangor Raceway, bringing slot machines a step closer to reality at the state's commercial tracks.
Feb. 18, 1995
Thunder Gulch at Gulfstream Park
B. Wayne Hughes' champion Action This Day, who will make his next start in the March 13 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), worked three furlongs in :36 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Tuesday morning.
The Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation for Grand Prairie distributed $102,000 to 19 Grand Prairie, Tex. charities on Tuesday during a brief ceremony at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
Donald Dizney, owner of Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla., has replaced Harold Plumley as president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
- By Tom Precious
New York state has no choice but to give the New York Racing Association an extension of its franchise if it wants to get video lottery terminals operating at Aqueduct, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said.
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