The Dubai World Cup is not just the world's richest horse race, it can also be the most expensive racing event on the globe to attend. Though fans can take a low-budget approach, with free admission to certain areas, the more well-heeled patrons might reach deep into their pockets and go first class, paying as much as US$742 for a seat in one of the suites overlooking the finish line.
The first two Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders arrived at historic Churchill Downs Wednesday. Dollar Bill, trained by Dallas Stewart, and Buckle Down Ben, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, arrived on a plane from Fair Grounds Racecourse.
Holy Bull, the 1994 Horse of the Year, heads the list of final nominees for induction this year into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The inductees will be announed May 1 and enshrined Aug. 6.
Spring in Maryland means the return of live racing at Pimlico Race Course, which opens March 28 for an 11-week meet highlighted by the May 19 Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown.
A Magna Entertainment-led group that submitted a bid for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. has added a well-placed lobbyist at the state capital, an unusual pre-emptive move for a contract that hasn't been awarded. GMR-NY, a company incorporated in Delaware, has signed a deal to pay $110,000 to Patricia Lynch, who until Dec. 31 had been the closest adviser to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat.
The road to Louisville right now is like something out of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," where everyone is scurrying frantically about in different directions trying to get to a single destination. Many trainers are still confused as to where to send their steeds, whether they're trying to avoid the big guns, like Monarchos and Point Given, or looking for the best possible spot for their horse. Derby winners usually have set plans and stick to it, so it's almost time for those trainers who are still vacillating to make up their minds.
There are clear favorites in three of the big Dubai World Cup Day races, but in THE BIG race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup, Captain Steve from the U.S. and the home team's Best of the Bests are both 7-4. According to William Hill, one of England's leading bookmakers. the biggest favorite on the day is Sunline, who is the 13-8 choice in the Dubai Duty Free.
Millionaire Seeking the Pearl, the first Japanese-trained runner to win a race in Europe, produced her first foal, a Storm Cat colt, on March 1 for Richard Santulli and George Prussian's Jayeff B Stables.
On March 12, the Nasdaq composite index sank below 2000 and the Dow Jones industrial average experienced a staggering 436-point drop. The following day, Barretts conducted its select sale of 2-year-olds in training and suffered one of its worst financial beatings ever. The gross, average, and median all declined sharply. The buy-back rate climbed to its second-highest level in the auction's history. And the sale failed to produce a seven-figure horse for the first time since 1996. Just a coincidence? Gerald McMahon didn't think so. The Barretts president saw a direct link between Wall Street's crash and his California-based company's plummeting fortunes.
Top sprinter Tayseer was euthanized Wednesday after sustaining a leg fracture, the Dubai World Cup's chief veterinarian told the Associated Press.
A son of Dehere bought last fall for $50,000 was purchased Wednesday by Eugene and Laura Melnyk for $1,050,000 to top the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-olds in training sale in Ocala, Fla. The price not only represented a healthy return on the price paid by consignor Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale, but it was a record paid for any 2-year-old sold by OBSC.
A P Valentine, who will use the April 7 Flamingo Stakes as a stop on his road to the May 5 Kentucky Derby, worked five furlongs in :59.20 in between the third and fourth races Tuesday afternoon at Hialeah Park.
Eugene Melnyk announced the retirement of his stakes winner Queen's Park from racing.
West Virginia's House Judiciary Committee has approved a measure that would restrict and regulate video poker devices -- called "gray" machines" -- and use revenue from them to fund education and government.
Australian quarantine officials Tuesday denied the import ban on horses would be lifted. Meryl Stanton, executive director of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) told the Australian Associated Press she did not feel confident allowing horses into the country.
Never Knock, dam of champion Pleasant Tap and classic winner Go for Gin, died three days after delivering an A.P. Indy filly on March 2 at William du Pont III's Pillar Stud near Lexington.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has hired former Santa Anita Park president Lonny Powell as a legislative and regulatory affairs consultant. Powell will keep NTRA members up to date on legislative and regulatory matters and assist the NTRA Task Force on Economic Regulation.
The 11 top stallions from last week's 2001 leading sires list continue to hold down the fort. Cee's Tizzy, with $1,324,440, and Maria's Mon, with $1,160,703, remain one-two, and Allen's Prospect continues to hold down the ninth spot. The other seven just switched positions.
- By Scott Davis
Magna Entertainment officials, fresh off of their initial foray into team racing on March 10 at Gulfstream Park, are planning a second round of their Super Track series, possibly as soon as April in California. Organizers hope to work out some of the kinks that forced cancellation of the event in California in early March.
A proposal to use racetrack video lottery terminals to fund Ohio's educational system is dead, newspapers throughout the state reported Tuesday. A top legislator in the state had suggested that up to 1,500 machines be place in each of Ohio's seven racetracks to raise $900 million over the next two years.
How do you get a classic winner? Do you build up a broodmare band, then nurture the resulting offspring and race them as homebreds? Or do you leave all the work associated with foal production to someone else and go shopping at one of the many sales that offer young horses? Combing the sales for classic prospects is a viable option. In fact, during the past 15 years, most winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness (gr. I), and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were offered at public auction prior to their classic triumphs.
Bathing can be one of the most challenging barn chores, especially if you are dealing with a young, scared, or impatient horse.
A girth that is too tight can have a negative effect on a racehorse's performance.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will fund 12 new equine health studies, including one that will look at extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
A field of at least 10 is shaping up for Saturday's grade II spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, and the $600,000 race appears wide open. The draw for post positions will be held Thursday.
By Joe Hickey -- Out of the loop for too many years now, his hair is as white as a Lukas bridle and his titanium knees are more attuned to WD-40 than Absorbine. But at 85, he's still trim, alert, and enjoying life with Millie, his bride of 44 years. That grin--as wide and warm as a Nebraska prairie under an August morn--is still his trademark.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In some ways, Maria's Mon was a forgotten champion when he arrived at Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky., for the 1997 breeding season.
Louisiana Downs has received permission to install more than 1,700 slot machines as part of an $86-million project scheduled for completion early next year. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board gave the go-ahead during a meeting Monday in Baton Rouge.
Bob Baffert-trained Captain Steve, likely favorite for Saturday's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), zipped six furlongs in 1:10.44 over the Nad al Sheba track Monday night. Working on the outside of local horse Alboostan, Captain Steve was clocked in 23.24 seconds for the final quarter, drawing clear of his workmate in the closing stages.
The Australia import ban on horses from England and Ireland, put in place last week because of the foot and mouth disease outbreak, may soon be lifted, the Australian Associated Press reported Monday.
Trainer Kenny McPeek was dreaming of a Triple Crown campaign after Saint Damien fought off a late bid from Saved by the Sword to win the colts and geldings division of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes. In a steady rain Monday in Ocala, Fla., the 3-year-old son of Saint Ballado -- Wife Begone completed the 1 1/16 miles in the slop in 1:47 3/5. The winning rider was Edgar Prado.
ESPN Classic's "Road Show" will make a stop at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.
Grade I winner Capote Belle produced her first foal, a Storm Cat filly, March 17 for owners Robert and Lawana Low at Mr. and Mrs. Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud near Paris, Ky.
Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable privately purchased champion Ajina from the Allen Paulson Living Trust.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's premier event -- the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic -- once again will be televised by ESPN when it is presented for the 11th time at the shore track on Sunday, August 19.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations and Harness Tracks of America, two trade associations already linked through the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, are pursuing a "structured relationship" that would allow them to share information and work on joint projects. The relationship -- not a merger, officials said -- has been discussed at recent TRA and HTA conventions.
Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, updates his top Kentucky Derby contenders weekly. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000.and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997. In 1999, he co-authored "Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby" with trainer Bob Baffert and wrote the book, "Dr. Fager" for Eclipse Press'"Thoroughbred Legends" series in 2000.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
Click on horse's name to access Contender Page
Just over a week ago, the clouds over the Derby trail were so thick, everyone was fumbling along in the dark, trying to get even the slightest glimpse of the Twin Spires. Now, all of the sudden, the clouds have lifted and the stars are shining brightly. First Monarchos lit up the sky in the Florida Derby. And at Santa Anita this past Saturday, two more stars emerged, as visible against the night sky as the top of Bob Baffert's head.
The Mail On Sundaynewspaper in Britain reported the Queen, who owns and breeds horses and has her own racecourse, Ascot, thinks that the sport should be suspended while the foot and mouth outbreak continues. The British Horseracing Board confirmed that the Queen has expressed her concern. Tristram Ricketts, secretary general of the BHB, said: "Last week Her Majesty the Queen expressed her concern that racing should consider its response to the foot and mouth outbreak very carefully, but has not asked for horseracing to stop.
Quick Tip took the lead on the second turn under jockey Richard Migliore and held off the late charge of Southern Fiction to win the $150,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) Sunday at Tampa Bay Downs. Quick Tip's Florida Oaks win marks the second straight year a filly bred by William S. Farish and trained by Neil Howard won the 1 1/16-mile race.
The state-of-the-art drainage system at Sportsman's Park fell victim to a late-season snowstorm that forced cancellation of racing after the second race on Friday (March 16) and the entire St. Patrick's Day card on Saturday.
Janis R. Whitham's homebred Beautiful Noise earned her first stakes victory Sunday at Santa Anita, winning the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. II) by a head over High Walden. Under jockey Chris McCarron, the 14-5 favorite completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.27 on a firm turf course.
Heritage of Gold began her 6-year-old campaign the same way she started her 5-year-old season – defeating Lu Ravi in the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III). The one-two finishers from last year's renewal of the $200,000 race duplicated their performances Sunday at Oaklawn Park. This year the exacta returned $9.60.
You could call Burning Roma's victory in the Tampa Bay Derby a TKO, since the horse considered his toughest challenger, the Bill Mott-trained Mongoose, was prevented from running on a technicality. On the other hand, odds-on Burning Roma took the $200,000 stakes with such style and ease that Mongoose's presence in the field might not have mattered.
Saturday at Turfway Park
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