News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

European Race Report: Red Marauder Takes Grand National

With foot-and-mouth disease cases in Britain moving beyond 1,100 and some 170 meetings canceled by the outbreak or the weather this winter, British racing needed some joy. At least there was the Martell Grand National, April 7, and the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival, April 17-19, to look forward to. Then, on April 2, it was announced Cheltenham was off again because of a foot and mouth outbreak nearby, putting the course in a British Horseracing Board-designated exclusion zone.

Spain Tops Competitive Apple Blossom Field

If it were just that Heritage of Gold and Lu Ravi were continuing their rivalry in Sunday's $500,000 Apple Blossom, that would be enough of a story, but this race may very well be the best filly and mare race in the country this year. Heritage of Gold and Lu Ravi have finished one-two, in that order, in all three of their Oaklawn meetings, but this time they will have to face Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Spain, who has to carry the topweight of 122 pounds.

Meadowlands: No Disruption in Racing Despite Report

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said Friday there is no plan to suspend racing at The Meadowlands and relocate to Monmouth Park should a NASCAR track be built at the East Rutherford facility. The NJSEA issued the statement in response to an article that appeared in the Star-Ledger newspaper April 6.

New York OTB Bidders Down to Two; Pataki Supports Sale

The long process to name a purchaser for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. reached an expected final step when city government narrowed the field to two final bidders: a consortium headed by the New York Racing Association, and another by Magna Entertainment. Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki, in a brief interview this week, said he favors the sale of NYCOTB. Pataki, who can kill any deal when it comes to Albany for review, has been largely silent on the issue in recent months.

Gtech Earnings Fall for Fourth Quarter

Gtech, one of the county's largest lottery company and a one-third owner of Turfway Park, reported declines in earnings per share for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ending Feb. 24. Fourth quarter earnings fell 13.8% to 75 cents per diluted share, and earnings for the fiscal year dropped 51.5% to $1.25 per diluted share.

Magna Finishes $53 million Ladbroke Deal

Magna Entertainment has completed a deal to acquire an account wagering system, The Meadows harness track, four off-track betting parlors, and an 18% interest in The Racing Network for $53 million in cash, stock, and a promissory note.

Songandaprayer Works; Accident Disrupts Keeneland Training Regimen

Devil Eleven Stable and D J Stable's Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Songandaprayer worked five furlongs in a quick :59 2/5 at Keeneland Racecourse Friday morning in preparation for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The workout by the bay colt with the distinctive blaze was held up for more than an hour when Keeneland's main track was closed due to a training accident.

Outofthebox Headlines Flamingo

Outofthebox, runner-up in both the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) and the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream this winter, will be a short-priced favorite Saturday at Hialeah in the $250,000 Flamingo Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles.

Ashland Stakes Draws 11

Golden Ballet is expected to be the favorite in Saturday's $500,000-added Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. The daughter of Moscow Ballet comes into the race with six consecutive victories including the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I).

'Seabiscuit' Is Subject of NBC, NPR Segments

"Seabiscuit: An American Legend," the recently-released book by Laura Hillenbrand that will occupy the top spot on the April 8 New York Times bestseller list for non-fiction, will be the focus of a segment on the Thursday (April 5) edition of the "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw.

Lazy Lode Tops Arcadia Field

Multiple graded stakes winner Lazy Lode tops a field of seven entered to the Grade II Arcadia Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The Arcadia was run for the previous 13 years as the El Rincon Handicap. Lazy Lode will carry highweight of 121 pounds and will break from post position No. 2.

Older Turf Horses Vie in San Bernardino

Not to be overlooked on Santa Anita Derby day will be Tribunal's return in the grade II San Bernardino Handicap for older horses at 1 1/8 miles. As part of a graded-stakes tripleheader on Derby Day, the San Bernardino has attracted the third and fourth place finishers from the March 3 Big 'Cap in Tribunal, conditioned by Bob Baffert, and the John Dolan-trained Irisheyesareflying.

Lane's End Again Opts For Keeneland's Fall Yearling Sale

For the second year in a row, Lane's End Farm will not have a consignment at the Keeneland July select yearling sale. Lane's End owner William S. Farish told The Blood-Horse on Wednesday that the farm would continue to focus its marketing efforts on Keeneland's September auction in 2001. Lane's End's consignment to the select portion of the 2000 Keeneland September yearling auction enjoyed phenomenal success. The 45 horses sold grossed $45,697,000.

Balto Star's Pedigree Does Not Indicate Derby Success

The free-running style of Balto Star gives him the apparent look of a sharp sprinter able to successfully stretch his speed to 1 1/16 or 1 1/8 miles. The fact he is by the one-turn wonder Glitterman would also suggest he wouldn't be suited for 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May. His Dosage Index of 1.80, aided by a stamina-laced female line, tells us otherwise, giving us the cold, hard number that getting the classic Kentucky Derby distance isn't beyond his scope.

Kentucky Moves Toward Stronger Drug-Testing Program

In keeping with the quest for what they call the best equine drug-testing program in the country, Kentucky racing commissioners on Wednesday officially opened the bidding for the state's drug-testing contract. The commission unanimously approved the request for proposal, a thick document that was four months in the making.

Steve Haskin's Third Pool Future Wager Analysis

In this analysis, we're going to add Thoro-Graph speed figure patterns on occasion to see, from that perspective, just who is likely to come into the Derby sitting on a peak performance. Thoro-Graph's Jerry Brown stated emphatically that this is "by far the best 3-year-old crop in history." Brown added, "The numbers so far have been insane, and it's probably going to take around a 2 1/2 to win the Derby," which is the same number Fusaichi Pegasus ran last year.

TVG's Spring-Summer Schedule Starts with Keeneland

TV Games Network released its spring-summer schedule of exclusive racing coverage from the nation's leading racetracks Wednesday, and it begins with opening day of Keeneland's spring meet on Friday. It will feature on-location coverage of Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I), Keeneland's 3-year-old filly prep for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Panel Debates Use Of Clenbuterol At Juvenile Sales

Should consignors be allowed to medicate sale 2-year-olds with clenbuterol right before they breeze in under tack shows? The answers to that question were mixed during a panel discussion that was conducted during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club Tuesday night in Lexington.

Derby Contenders Work

Several three-year-olds pointing toward upcoming Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep races stretched their legs Tuesday, with the sharpest move being put in by the Bob Baffert-trained Congaree, who got six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 handily at Santa Anita.

Rash of Positives for Human Drug Clonidine Reported in Nebraska

A human drug used to treat high blood pressure, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addictive behavior has been detected in at least 10 post-race samples of horses racing in Nebraska recently, and sources say the number of positive tests could double in the coming weeks. Seven trainers have been notified by the Nebraska Racing Commission that their horses tested positive for Clonidine, which drug testing experts say can have both a calming and analgesic effect on horses and is closely related to Romifidine and Guanabenz, two drugs suspected by racing officials as being used illegally on horses.

CTBA Looks to Legislation, Industry Improvements

Drive-through windows at simulcasting facilities and wagering from home are just some of the ideas on the table of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. In addition, the CTBA hopes racing-related legislation passes this year.

Three Rebel Stakes Grads Among Seven Late Triple Crown Nominees

Seven 3-year-olds, including three horses that ran in Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), were nominated to the Visa Triple Crown and $5-million Visa Triple Crown Challenge before the March 31 late deadline. As a result of the new nominees, the total nominated to this year's series was 447, just short of the record 452 nominees to the three-race series in 1986.

Portland Meadows to Close After Three Years

Tom Moyer, who bought the operating rights to Portland Meadows last month, will keep the track open up to three years then develop the property. The racetrack will be managed in the meantime by Magna Entertainment, which may step in and preserve live racing in the Portland area with a new or existing track.

Keeneland Will Look for Sponsor for Spinster

Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., recently announced it would sponsor the $100,000 2-year-old stakes formerly known as the WHAS-11 Stakes at Churchill on May 5, Kentucky Derby Day. As a result, the farm will not sponsor the grade I Spinster Stakes at Keeneland this fall.

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