The deal to send Azeri to the court of Storm Cat is nearly completed.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, just three wins short of 800 career victories at Santa Anita Park, saddles horses in both the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) and the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday.
Two group I fixtures from Uruguay's Maronas National Racetrack simulcast into the United States on Thursday handled an impressive $424,054, buoyed by an enthusiastic response from players in California.
Smarty Jones electrifying run at the 2004 Triple Crown started modestly enough with a victory in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct. Some horsemen took note. The $75,000 race for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards Saturday attracted an overflow field of 13.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, the probable leader of the male 2-year-old division of 2004, is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on March 5, said trainer Ron Ellis Thursday.
David Flores and Sweet Catomine, the very likely 2-year-old filly champion of 2004, are scheduled to join forces again Sunday when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (g. I) winner makes her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
Santa Anita Park joins the worldwide relief effort to aid the victims of the massive Indian Ocean tsunami by auctioning off a special day at the races on March 5, Santa Anita Handicap day.
Patrons at Aqueduct Thursday were unable to place wagers from just before the fifth race until just before the seventh race due to a communications error between the pari-mutuel system and the wagering terminals.
Kieren Fallon, the six-time English riding champion, made a splash in his 2005 debut at Gulfstream Park Thursday, riding Cartoonist to victory in the ninth race.
Mayo On the Side, who beat Horse of the Year Azeri in winning the 2004 Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I), has been retired from racing and is booked to Eclipse Award sprint finalist Speightstown.
The New York Racing Association will conduct the first ever Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 17.
A deep, contentious field of 10 are signed up to contest the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) over six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
A robust field of 13 is set to head postward at Gulfstream Park for Saturday's 2005 edition of the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III). Multiple stakes winners Dynever and Purge lead a quality group of entrants drawn for the 1 1/8 mile affair, each looking to start the New Year on a high note
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., which celebrated 100 years of operation in 2004, and the Cella family, which has privately owned the track all that time, has been awarded the Eclipse Award of Merit, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 6.
Southern California Thoroughbred owner Jim Ford has moved five of his horses from the barn of his longtime trainer, Jim Cassidy, distributing four of them to Wally Dollase and one to Northern California-based leading conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer.
- By Steve Haskin
The Eclipse Award finalists, announced Jan. 5, reveal many familiar names in the human categories, with several big-name horses appearing in more than one category. Although most of the winners look like sure things, there are still some potential drag-out battles in the Sprint and 4-Year-Old and Up Female categories.
The winter convention of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States will feature a "Thoroughbred Summit" at which speakers will discuss the changing forces impacting the pari-mutuel industry.
A 639-strong entry has been received for the 2006 Vodafone Derby at the initial yearling entry stage, just nine short of the record 648 entries made for the 2005 classic at Epsom Downs.
The yearling buying boom that has swept every major world market the past two years, was put to the test on day one of the massive Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Australia. And it passed.
- By Dan Lauletta
Wednesday's Aqueduct card marked the debut of Eric Donovan as the full-time oddsmaker for all three New York Racing Association tracks. Donovan, who frequently substituted in recent years, took over for Don LaPlace, who set the morning line since early 2000.
Jockey Fernando Jara Wednesday was involved in the fourth multi-horse spill since racing at Aqueduct moved to the inner dirt track.
North American fans will have a rare opportunity to wager on a pair of Uruguayan group I races from Maronas National Racetrack Thursday.
Joe and Anne McMahon's McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in has been named the New York Agricultural Society's recipient as 2004 Business of the Year.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. has catalogued 207 horses for its select sale of 2-year-olds in training on Feb. 8 at Calder Race course.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Kentucky Equine Education Project officially approved plans for a marketing and education blitz for the Bluegrass state this year, and also hired a high-powered lobbying firm to help it achieve its legislative goals.
Elusive Quality has become a poster boy for what a stallion with a modest fee can accomplish. The 2004 leading sire by progeny earnings had his stud fee go from $10,000 to $30,000, to $50,000, and now to its present $100,000. It's a success story reflecting quality through and through.
In September 2004, Storm Cat set a record when he passed Northern Dancer as the all-time leading sire of seven-figure yearlings. As the year came to a close, the Overbrook Farm stallion added another impressive statistic to his résumé.
For the second time in four years, a son of Valid Appeal and a representative of the In Reality male line is the leading first-crop sire in North America. In 2001, Valid Expectations earned the freshman sire title, and in 2004, Successful Appeal joined him in stamping Valid Appeal as a modern sire of sires.
"Once a winner, always a winner" could be the motto for Victory Gallop, who is now continuing his winning record in his stud career.
A seven-year run by Mr. Prospector atop the broodmare sire rankings came to an end in 2004 as Dixieland Band moved to the fore based on the $11,948,215 earned by the progeny of his daughters.
For the second consecutive year Maryland-based Not For Love holds the distinction of being the top-ranked sire standing outside Kentucky on the leading general sire list.
Tropical Storm, a 5-year-old son of Storm Cat out of grade I winner Pearl City, will enter stud at NewLife Farm near Lexington for a fee of $5,000 live foal.
February Storm, a stakes winner and half-brother to grade I winner Blushing K.D., will enter stud at Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Stud near Ocala, Fla.
Researchers at Texas A&M University have just completed a retrospective study into the safety of administering the killed West Nile virus vaccine to pregnant broodmares, the first study on this topic in equine reproductive research.
The road to the 2005 VISA Triple Crown is officially open as nomination forms have been mailed to horsemen. Representatives of Triple Crown Productions will begin gathering nomination forms at racetracks across the country beginning the week of Jan. 10.
Calder Race Course closed out its Tropical at Calder meet Jan. 2, with an increase in total wagering, including all sources and all days.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Racing will be saying farewell this year to a man who has had an enormous influence on the sport over the last decade, as Carl Pascarella retires as chief executive officer of Visa USA.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- Numbers. This business is about numbers. Big numbers... dramatic numbers...incredible numbers. The wildest number of 2004, and in fact perhaps the wildest number ever in the history of this game, is the number of stakes winners sired by Danehill. With only 19 stallions having sired 100 or more stakes winners in their entire careers, Danehill, by Danzig, was represented by 51 in 2004.
Former Kentucky governor and Airdrie Stud owner Brereton Jones told the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club Jan. 4 that a common sense approach and a united front would get things accomplished in Frankfort, including the creation of breeders' rewards program.
With eleven fewer racing days than in 2003, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined 4% in 2004. All sources handle totaled $868.1 million as compared to $905.7 million from the same period in 2003. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 2% from $3.48 million to $3.41million. For the fourth consecutive year, the daily average handle on the export signal increased, this time by 4%.
- By Tom LaMarra
Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said he has "lost a tremendous amount of sleep" over the ongoing Jockeys' Guild conflict but is hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of riders and the racing industry at large.
A unique advertising campaign has been undertaken by the Kentucky Equine Education Project to alert drivers to competition faced by the Thoroughbred industry from other states.
Former Calumet Farm president J.T. Lundy was released Tuesday morning after serving a prison sentence for bank fraud, conspiracy, and bribery convictions.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Tuesday that WAVE 3 TV in Louisville, Ky. and Premiere Radio Networks have been named recipients of Media Eclipse Awards.
Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA) are discussing a joint venture to conduct an annual yearling sale.
Premier Radio Networks won the Media Eclipse Award in the audio and multi-media Internet category for its live coverage of the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
WAVE 3 in Louisville, Ky., won the Media Eclipse Award for local television for its pre-and post-race coverage surrounding last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
ESPN has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Features for its documentary "Smarty Jones: America's Horse," which aired on Oct. 31, 2004, on ESPN and ESPN HD, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
NBC Sports won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing for its production of the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
The Derby is the Derby. But Churchill Downs doesn't want to take any chances with what it considers the signature event in Thoroughbred racing.
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