News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Dubai World Cup: Big Ticket Item for Some Racing Fans

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.

Magna-Led Group Hires Lobbyist in New York

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.

Road to Louisville: Who's Going Where

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.

Barretts Downturn Coincides With Stock Market Decline

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.

Son of Dehere Brings Record Price at OBSC

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.

Former Santa Anita Executive Hired by NTRA

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.

Another 'Super Track' Series Planned for April

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.

Racetrack VLT Proposal in Ohio Appears Dead

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.

In Search of Classic Winners: Sales Are a Prime Source

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 Advice

Bathing can be one of the most challenging barn chores, especially if you are dealing with a young, scared, or impatient horse.

Case for Carl

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.

Memory Boost

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 Gets OK for Slot Machines

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.

Australia Import Ban To Change Tuesday

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.

Saint Damien Scores In OBS Championship Stakes

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.

TRA, HTA Pursue 'Structured Relationship'

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's Derby Top 20 -- March 19

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.

Haskin's March 19 Derby Report: Stars Shine as Clouds Lift

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.

Queen Expresses Concern Over Racing's Return Despite Disease

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.

Heritage of Gold Repeats in Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes

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.

Tampa Bay Report: A TKO For Burning Roma

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.

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