News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Monarchos Rules, Even on Ebay

As of May 16, 30 different Monarchos-related items were offered on the popular auction site ebay. Some of them, such as Belmont Stakes programs and $2 Belmont win tickets on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, don't even exist yet.

Geri Colt Tops Barretts Sale

Geri McGuire, a chestnut colt from the first crop of Geri, brought the top price of $215,000 on Tuesday at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training in Southern California. Ed and Natalie Friendly purchased Geri McGuire, who was consigned by the Havens Bloodstock Agency, agent.

Ohio Diagnostic Lab Requests Owners Submit Aborted Fetuses, Deceased Foals

As Ohio veterinarians try to understand and determine what might be affecting foals in the Ohio River Valley, the number of foals and fetuses available for testing by the diagnostic lab is no greater than normal. Sheila Grimes, DVM, PhD, Pathology Section Head for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, recommends that horse owners submit aborted fetuses and deceased foals with the placenta for testing.

Magna Eyeing Four U.S. Tracks, Another in Ontario

Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach told shareholders May 11 that he plans to buy four more racetracks in the United States. He said he hopes the racing conglomerate will control 35% of the U.S. handle on Thoroughbred races within two years. Stronach is also considering breaking into the Ontario racing market.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Bridgmohan on Griffinite

It was one of those bits and pieces kind of day on the Preakness front. With the leading contenders only walking the shed this morning, at Pimlico and Churchill Downs, most of the focus was on the two open riding assignments. As of 1 p.m., one (Griffinite) has been filled, and the other (A P Valentine) was due to be announced later this afternoon. Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, said earlier that New York-based Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the son of Unbridled's Song for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Federal Aid Not Currently Available; NTRA, AHC Begin Lobbying Efforts

Industry organizations have taken a proactive stand in the wake of the fetal loss syndrome that has gripped Central Kentucky farms in recent weeks. Tim Smith, commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been in contact with federal officials and is planning to spend most of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the nation's capital, meeting with members of Congress and staff to discuss the possibility of federal assistance for breeders who are being financially crippled by the health crisis. But Smith had some bad news about existing federal programs.

Goodbyes

By Tom LaMarra -- The real Garden State Park went up in flames in 1977. Little did we know, it was the beginning of the end of a racing tradition in the Delaware Valley.

Farm Crisis

By Ray Paulick -- Politicians should look beyond the false image of the breeding industry to the rank-and-file horse farmers.

Youbet.com Reduces Loss, Gains Subscribers

Youbet.com reduced its net loss for the first quarter of the year by 31% to $2.4 million, or 12 cents per share. During the same period a year ago, the company reported a net loss of $3.4 million, or 17 cents per share. The online horse racing and wagering service also gained 1,400 new subscribers between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Keeneland to Open a Day Earlier This Fall

Keeneland has received Kentucky Racing Commission approval to open a day earlier this fall to accommodate stakes that serve as preps for the Breeders' Cup. The Lexington track will open Friday, Oct. 5, instead of Saturday, Oct. 6.

Prominent Broodmare Crimson Saint Dead at 32

Crimson Saint, who developed into a treasure trove for Central Kentucky horseman Tom Gentry, died May 12 at John Willard's Offutt-Cole Farm near Midway, Ky., where she had spent the last six years of her retirement. Crimson Saint was owned by Gentry's son, Olin. Crimson Saint produced Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner and successful stallion Royal Academy, plus grade II winners Terlingua and Pancho Villa and restricted stakes winner Alydariel. Crimson Saint's descendants also include leading sire Storm Cat. Overall, Gentry sold 10 of Crimson Saint's offspring as yearlings for a total of $17,775,000.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Baffert, Zito Hit the Work Tab

Enjoy today's action while you can. There won't be much more happening from a training standpoint from now on, as trainers will spend the remainder of the week using words like "maintain" and "preparation." With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sticking to a galloping program, today's works by Point Given and Congaree at Churchill Downs and A P Valentine at Pimlico were to be very revealing, as an indicator how these horses bounced out of the Derby.

Ireland Relaxes Foot-And-Mouth Restrictions

The Republic of Ireland has lifted its prohibition on British horses that travel there in a move that should help both the breeding and racing industries. It appears British horses, previously restricted because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, will be able to compete in the Irish One Thousand (Ire-I) and Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 26-27.

Preakness Hopefuls On Track at Pimlico, Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.

Irish Prize Wins Close Call in Fastness

Irish Prize came from off the pace to beat Timboroa by a neck and win the $110,400 Fastness Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Ridden by Gary Stevens, Irish Prize covered 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:50.01 on the firm turf course and paid $5.60, $3.20, and $2.60 as the 9-5 favorite.

Brahms Under Consideration for Met Mile

Elliot Walden-trained Brahms finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) in his most recent start and will race next in a one-mile, grade I race. Walden is considering either the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on the main track at Belmont Park, or the Shoemaker Mile on the Hollywood Park turf course for Brahm's next start. Others under consideration for the Met Mile include Bobby Hurley's 3-year-old Songandaprayer, the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Trippi and Left Bank, Oaklawn Park Handicap (gr. I) winner Traditionally, and Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Peeping Tom.

Rose Gypsy Wins French 1000 Guineas

Mrs. John Magnier's Rose Gypsy rebounded from two second-place finishes earlier in the year to win the Dubai Poule d'Essai des Pouliches--French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp. Rose Gypsy won by a head over Banks Hill, with Lethals Lady another head back and a half-length ahead of fourth-place Tempting Fate.

Chichicastenango Wins Prix Lupin

Chichicastenango tracked the leaders in third place before launching a bid with two furlongs to run en route to winning the Prix Lupin (Fr-I) by a neck on Sunday at Longchamp. Anabaa Blue finished second in the 1 5/16-mile race, with Milan third and Amiwain fourth.

Additional Information on Zearalenone

In the industry-wide meeting at Keeneland on Thursday, May 10, zearalenone, a kind of mycotoxin, was put forth as a possible cause of the recent rash of late-term stillbirths, critical foals, and early fetal loss. But while experts seem to be in agreement it is a good possibility that zearalenone in particular is indicated, they aren't ruling out other possible causes or saying only that one mycotoxin is the sole instigator of illness. Whatever the cause, the effects are cumulative.

Explanation: Ergotism or Ergot Poisoning

At the industry-wide meeting on Thursday, May 10, Dr. Steve Jackson, an equine nutrition consultant and owner of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition, and Dr. Jimmy Henning, an extension forage specialist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, both mentioned that ergot or alkaloid types of toxins were being sought in the testing of pastures. In discussing the situation further with Jackson on May 11, he said that Merck's Veterinary Manual had a good explanation of ergotism in other livestock.

Janet Holds Off Keemoon for Yerba Buena Win

Red Baron's Farm's Janet tracked pacesetter Alexine then held off a late rally from 9-10 favorite Keemoon to win the $150,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 3/4-lengths Saturday at Bay Meadows. Under David Flores, the Darrell Vienna trainee completed the 1 3/8 miles in 2:17.09 on a firm turf course.

Kalu Wins Paceless Hawthorne Derby

Under jockey Jose Santos, Christophe Clement-trained Kalu set a slow early pace and held on to win in the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) by 3/4-lengths over 2-1 favorite Proud Man Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Honor Grades completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.49 of firm turf. After the race, Santos broke his right wrist when the horse reared up unexpectedly while heading to the winner's circle.

Include Edges Albert the Great in Pimlico Special

Robert Meyerhoff's 4-year-old homebred Include rallied from fifth place to upset 3-5 favorite Albert the Great in the final strides of the $750,000 Pimlico Special Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Pimlico. Under Jerry Bailey, the 2.5-1 second choice earned the hard fought neck-length victory by completing the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.61 on fast track while drifting out in the stretch.

Kentucky Veterinarian Seeing Increase in Laminitis Cases

Dr. Rhonda Rathgeber, a veterinarian with Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary firm in Lexington, Ky., specializes in performance horse problems. She said in the past 10 days, she has seen "a lot of riding horses lame with an associated colitis (inflammation of the large or small colon). I've talked to one other vet who has seen the same thing," she said. It is unknown whether this increase in laminitis is associated with the other problems currently running through the horse industry and thought to be caused by mycotoxins.

Genuine Risk Win Bravo's Fourth on Card

Jockey Joe Bravo earned his fourth win on Saturday's Belmont Park card by guiding Overbrook Farm's homebred Katz Me If You Can to a 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II). The D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old filly carried lightweight of 113 pounds and stopped the timer in 1:09.55 for the six furlongs on a fast track.

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