The first foal sired by grade I winner D'wildcat is a filly born Jan. 19 at Gardiner Farms near Caledon East, Ontario, Canada.
Dress To Thrill, Moyglare Stud Farm's grade/group winner produced her first foal, a Sadler's Wells filly, Jan. 26 at the Irish-based farm.
In his first workout since being injured while winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year, Rick Porter's Rockport Harbor breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 at Oaklawn Park Wednesday.
Two proposals calling for pull-tab machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs received their first hearing Jan. 26, but after three hours of debate in the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, one thing was clear: Legislation to authorize the machines could meet an early fate.
The Harris Farms' grade I winning California homebred Alphabet Kisses heads a field that includes six graded stakes winners in the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Distaff on the Sunshine Millions card at Santa Anita Saturday.
Citing dangerous track conditions, Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., canceled its Wednesday card after completing two of nine scheduled races.
Mooji Moo is back to defend her Sunshine Millions title in the $300,000 Padua Stables Filly and Mare Sprint Saturday at Gulfstream Park against five rivals that include multiple grade II winner Bear Fan.
Struggling Shake You Down faces 12 rivals in defense of his Sunshine Millions Sprint victory of a year ago Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Lost in the Fog, an ultra-impressive winner of his first two starts in 2004, gets the biggest test of his career in the Sunshine Millions' $250,000 Ocala Stud Dash for sophomores at Gulfstream Park.
Hello Lucky, winner of the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita Park and third to juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) in 2004, is part of an evenly-matched field of 12 3-year-old fillies entered for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita Saturday.
Grade I winner Midas Eyes, stretching out to nine furlongs in Saturday's $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at Gulfstream Park, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in a full field for the featured event on the Sunshine Millions card.
Canceled twice previously, Laurel Park's reopening Wednesday drew a crowd of 5,036 back to the central Maryland track after a 10-month hiatus.
The National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors announced that the 2005 NATC Futurities will be run Sept. 24 at Monmouth Park.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be the keynote speaker at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's annual conference and awards banquet as part of the association's 50th anniversary celebration. Lukas, a four-time Eclipse Award winner, is the all-time leader among trainers with earnings of more than $240 million and holds the record for the most Breeders' Cup wins by a trainer with 17.
- By Pete Spanos
The Oregon Greyhound Association filed a $1-million lawsuit against Magna Entertainment Corp. Jan. 20, alleging breach of contract for the company's failure to renew its operating lease for Multnomah Greyhound Park and for canceling the 2005 dog racing season.
- By Tom LaMarra
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
Millionaire Storming Home's first crop includes a colt born Jan. 22 at Woodpark Stud in Ireland.
A Tale of the Cat yearling filly brought $72,000 Tuesday as the Barretts January mixed sale ended with downturns in gross revenue and average price.
Multiple grade I winner Island Fashion, getting ready to defend her title in Sunday's Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I), worked a bullet :46 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association will shut off its signal to an additional six wagering outlets, claiming it has no assurances from the companies about their ownership and customer base.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- In Smarty Jones and Ghostzapper, Eclipse Awards voters were faced with two clear and deserving choices for 2004 Horse of the Year. Now they have spoken.
By James E. Bassett III -- When one thinks of Charles J. Cella, a myriad of descriptions flash by. "Indescribable" comes easily to mind, overshadowed by "indomitable" or perhaps "indestructible," followed by "unpredictable" or almost surely "unpersuadable." But lest we overlook the obvious, certainly it would be "unforgettable."
Hangovers weren't the only thing to come out of the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 24. Various connections gave voice to their private plans as to where they hope to run prominent horses in the coming months
A permanently disabled jockey who is part of a lawsuit against the Jockeys' Guild said the Guild office has refused to communicate with him and reimburse him for more than $3,800 in medical and Guild-related expenses.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has set a deadline for adoption of recommended uniform medication violations and testing protocol for "milkshakes," which are mixtures of bicarbonate of soda and a liquid force-fed to a racehorse before it competes.
Palace Music, sire of two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, has been pensioned from stud duties at the age of 24 at Rangal Park Stud in Victoria, Australia.
Lutyens, a 4-year-old son of Dixieland Band, sold for $45,000 Monday to top the first session of the Barretts January mixed auction in Southern California.
A year after a record three colts shared top weight on the Experimental Free Handicap, this time around the lead is shared by two.
Undefeated Declan's Moon and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko share the highweight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2004 Experimental Free Handicap, released Monday by The Jockey Club.
Owner Ken Ramsey, who was fined $25,000 and suspended for seven days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for improperly attempting to influence another owner to scratch a horse at Turfway Park, issued a statement Jan. 24 regarding the situation.
Smarty Jones grabbed most of the headlines in 2004, but it was Ghostzapper who earned the coveted gold Eclipse Award trophy and was named Horse of the Year for 2004 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 24.
If one didn't get a sense of John Velazquez' inexorable climb to the top during his record-setting (65 winners) Saratoga meet last summer, then surely the pair of statues he earned on Breeders' Cup day made his star shine brighter than ever.
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. had a busy year in 2004. Not only did the 19-year-old Lafayette, La., native finish his senior year of high school, but he also won his first riding title in his first full year of racing.
In 1996, Dale Baird became the first trainer in history to win 7,000 races. In 1999, he became the first to reach 8,000. And in 2004, yes, he made it to 9,000. That alone makes Baird special, and a deserving winner of a Special Eclipse Award.
Here is a complete list of 2004 Eclipse Award winners, announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the voting, where applicable.
There was nothing flashy about Ghostzapper's appearance, and nothing flamboyant about his personality. You certainly wouldn't pick him out in a crowd. In the barn, you wouldn't even know he was around, especially considering his favorite pastime is sleeping.
It took a while for it to sink in, but the magnitude of Smarty Jones' accomplishments in 2004 finally hit trainer John Servis like a ton of bricks. "Gosh, I won the Kentucky Derby!" he said to himself while driving recently with jockey Stewart Elliott.
Jay Em Ess Stable shelled out $125,000 for Declan's Moon at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic September yearling sale. A year and a few months later, the gelding has banked $507,300, and the stable has the recipient of the Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male category.
At the five-sixteenths pole in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sweet Catomine was blocked and in need of racing room. But having to check was no big deal for the daughter of Storm Cat. Corey Nakatani steered her out of harm's way and she rolled by the other 11 members of the field as the crowd at Lone Star Park cheered her on.
Ashado is the kind of horse that an owner and trainer dream about: Tough, consistent, and brilliant enough to compete at racing's highest level. Her command over the 3-year-old filly division throughout 2004 and her tough-as-nails victory against older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) are clear reasons she's the recipient of an Eclipse Award.
The year 2004 turned out to be the type of year for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey that the couple could only dream about a few years back. In their first appearance as Eclipse Award finalists, they won the outstanding owner trophy, and one of their horses, Kitten's Joy, won an Eclipse Award for best turf male.
Frank Stronach could not have asked for anything more Oct. 30. The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was being held at Lone Star Park, owned by Stronach's Magna Entertainment Corp.
Hers is a familiar name in these pages, and her star has not diminished over time. Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and champion older mare in 2002 and 2003, has now made it a three-peat in that category. The 2004 Eclipse puts North America's all-time leading money earner for fillies and mares on her own plateau--ahead of Paseana (1992, 1993), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), and Susan's Girl (1973, 1975), the only other two-time Eclipse Award-winning older mares.
Todd Pletcher, who was third in Eclipse Award balloting in 2003 after finishing the year in the No. 2 spot by earnings, ended the 2004 season atop the earnings list. That was good enough for him to cop an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
In the days leading up to the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, trainer Todd Pletcher would only say that Speightstown would have to win the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) to be considered divisional champion. Speightstown won the race and now has garnered champion sprinter honors. Pletcher took home the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
Ken Ramsey wants to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) more than any other race, and he tried to make Kitten's Joy a Derby horse. He didn't achieve his goal with the son of El Prado, but the flashy chestnut colt's development into a turf star was a very good consolation prize.
Unaided by the occult, and with no hovering, all-seeing orb to guide the way, it was Great Britain's Ouija Board herself who foretold a near-certain future victory in the VO5 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) for all eyes to behold.
Stand and deliver. That's what Hirapour needed to do to have a chance at the 2004 steeplechase Eclipse Award. He starred in the spring, skipped the summer, and lost a tight Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) decision to McDynamo in October.
Trainer John Servis, who had the ride of a lifetime last spring with Smarty Jones, received the Big Sport of Turfdom award from the Turf Publicists of America Monday afternoon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred grade I winner Empire Maker had one of his first foals born Jan. 23 at the Lexington, Ky. farm.
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