Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Azeri Faces Most Difficult Test in Met Mile

Monday's Memorial Day $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) kicks off Belmont Stakes week with an outstanding cast, including 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, last year's 3-year-old champion Funny Cide and Pico Central and Strong Hope, the 1-2 finishers of Aqueduct's Carter Handicap (gr. I).

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit will not run in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr.I), it was reported on trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm web site Saturday. With Tapit's defection, as well as the defection of The Cliff's Edge, the connections of Purge and Master David are considering entering, although both are still doubtful starters.

Vet Harthill Hospitalized After Stroke-Like Symptoms

Long-time equine practitioner Dr. Alex Harthill was hospitalized May 27 after experiencing stroke-like symptoms while working in his Louisville office. After undergoing a series of medical tests, Harthill, 78, is expected to be released from Jewish Hospital Saturday.

Farrier Holden Dies from Cancer

Longtime farrier Clark Holden, who most recently worked in Dubai for Godolphin Racing, died Wednesday at his home in Oldsmar, Fl. He was 65.

Storms Rattle Central Kentucky Horse Farms

Darby Dan Farm was left without power or telephone service Friday morning because of an overnight storm that ripped roofs off houses and damaged homes in Central Kentucky, but most Bluegrass horse farms appear to have emerged relatively unscathed.

Smarty Jones to Race On After the Triple Crown

As Someday Farm's Smarty Jones prepares to make a run at history to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in next Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race for his future career as a stallion is rolling like a :21 and change opening quarter. One thing for certain is that in any syndication deal for Smarty Jones will include a stipulation that he will race on after the Triple Crown and may compete as a 4-year-old.

Kentucky Panel Finds Violation by Former Official

The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission has found the former executive director of the Kentucky Racing Commission violated state law when he accepted a job at Churchill Downs, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Kentucky Governor Eases VS Restrictions

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher issued an emergency regulation late Thursday changing the restrictions on Texas livestock entering Kentucky that were imposed because of a vesicular stomatitis (VS).

Cooksey Gets First Victory of Comeback

Veteran jockey Patricia Cooksey, the all-time leading female jockey at Churchill Downs and second in wins by women in U.S. racing history, scored the first win of her latest comeback from adversity as she rode Donner Pass to victory in Thursday's third race at the Louisville track.

Eddington Returns to Track After Blazing Work

Willmott Stables' Eddington returned to the track for the first time since working a half-mile in :46 2/5 Monday. The son of 1990 Belmont Stakes favorite Unbridled will try to fare better than his sire did 14 years ago when he finished fourth behind Go And Go.

Smarty Ready For Friday's Big Work

Smarty Ready For Friday's Big Work

Smarty Jones, who stands on the threshold of Triple Crown immortality, will have his one and only all-important work for the mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Friday morning at 5:30. Trainer John Servis said he's not looking for anything quick, and is anticipating the colt will go between 1:28 and 1:29.

Consolidation of Racing, Gaming Sought in New York

Consolidation of Racing, Gaming Sought in New York

New York Gov. George Pataki May 27 proposed a complete overhaul of racing laws in the state, a move that would block the New York Racing Association's bid to get its racetrack franchise extended this year, and provide incentives to get video lottery terminals in operation at Aqueduct.

Tapit Has Unknown Factor On His Side

Tapit Has Unknown Factor On His Side

The past performances certainly indicate that Smarty Jones should win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and become racing 12th Triple Crown winner. But then there is the X-factor, Tapit, who looks to be the unknown quantity that could turn the past performances upside down.

Racing Fan Bequeths $900,000 to TRF

By all accounts, Barbara Dege was a quiet, private woman who lived a simple life. But she had one great passion, and it was horse racing and the animals who provided her with enjoyment on her trips to handicap and make small bets at Belmont, Aqueduct, and the Meadowlands.

No Signs of Disease at Lone Star

An examination of 1,450 horses stabled at Lone Star Park revealed no evidence of vesicular stomititis, a contagious disease that was discovered in three horses in southwest Texas.

KEEP Meeting Draws Strong Horse Industry Response

KEEP Meeting Draws Strong Horse Industry Response

In a strong display of solidarity, more than 600 members of the horse industry packed the visitors' center at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington May 26 for the first town hall meeting held by the Kentucky Equine Education Project. Several participants said they were blown away by the turnout.

High-Volume Shops Make Case As Wagering Study Continues

High-Volume Shops Make Case As Wagering Study Continues

As the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Systems Task Force prepares to hear recommendations on ways to address the "handle up, purses down" situation, operators of high-volume betting shops believe they might be a target and suggest that, as generators of up to 15% of annual handle in North America, they should be directly involved in the process.

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