A full brother to champion and Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Fantastic Light was born Feb. 13 at Sheikh Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Patrons waited more than two hours to enter Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Feb. 18 for the opening of the track's video lottery terminal parlor. The scene was reminiscent of one that played out a few weeks earlier when Saratoga Gaming and Raceway became New York's first operating racino.
Classic winner and prominent sire Summer Squall has been retired from stud duty at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., due to continuing problems with his fertility.
Ohio State Racing Commission chairman Luther Heckman has resigned in the wake of a state investigation into commission activities.
Feb. 19, 1955
Swaps in the Santa Anita Derby
The 7-year-old horse El Dorado Shooter will return from a layoff of more than eight months to try to defend his title in the $100,000 Ken Maddy Sprint, a six-furlong dash for California-breds that will be run Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
For the second time in a month, the betting handle at Beulah Park reached an all-time high. On Wednesday, the Grove City, Ohio track recorded a wagering total of $2,611,746 from all sources on its nine-race program.
With two fairly uneventful weekends coming up, this is the perfect time to see how the big March Madness stakes are shaping up across the country. While many of the big-name horses will be running in smaller fields in Florida and California, look for large, competitive fields down south.
Mooney Valley Racing Club has reduced general admission prices to this year's Cox Plate (Aust-I) in October. General admission is $40 for adults, $25 concession, and $10 for children under 17.
The amazing story of Amazing Philly continued Wednesday as she finished third in her first start. Race fans might remember her as the surprise foal of Speak Compelling, produced at Philadelphia Park in 2000.
Wild Gold, a six-time stakes winner, has been relocated to Mike and Pam Connolly's Madison County Thoroughbreds near Macksburg, Iowa.
Platinum Tiara, runner-up in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), produced her first foal, an A.P. Indy filly, Feb. 10 at Stolen Hours Farm near Ocala, Fla.
Gemstar-TV Guide International announced it has named Ryan O'Hara chief operating officer of its TVG Network.
As promised, the MassCap will return in 2004 after a one-year hiatus. Suffolk Downs has announced the 64th running of the grade II race will be May 29 with a $500,000 purse.
Paper Man and Hard Buck prepare for Palm Beach Stakes, Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.
Owner and breeder Oscar Novo has moved stakes winner Sir Oscar to Marty Wolfson's barn. The colt is still on target for the Florida Derby (gr. I).
- By Peter Tonkes
Pat Glennon, the Australian jockey who thrilled racegoers with triumphs aboard Sea-Bird II in the 1965 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Epsom Derby in Europe, died Feb. 15 in Adelaide, South Australia, after a short illness.
Birdstone's easy victory in his 2004 debut moved him above stablemate Eurosilver as the Nick Zito-trained pair remained atop the list of leading contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Churchill Downs reached another milestone in its historic $121 million renovation Tuesday as the final steel beam was lifted into place in the large section of the track's clubhouse that is being completely rebuilt in the project.
A decision by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Monday to temporarily suspend a state rule requiring jockeys to wear a specific type of helmet will not immediately go into effect.
- By Tom Precious
Finger Lakes in upstate New York will open its video lottery terminal parlor Feb. 18 to become the second racino to begin operation in the past month under a 2001 state law.
Maine's Harness Racing Commission voted Tuesday to give Penn National Gaming Inc. the go-ahead to operate Bangor Raceway, bringing slot machines a step closer to reality at the state's commercial tracks.
Feb. 18, 1995
Thunder Gulch at Gulfstream Park
B. Wayne Hughes' champion Action This Day, who will make his next start in the March 13 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), worked three furlongs in :36 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Tuesday morning.
The Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation for Grand Prairie distributed $102,000 to 19 Grand Prairie, Tex. charities on Tuesday during a brief ceremony at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
Donald Dizney, owner of Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla., has replaced Harold Plumley as president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
- By Tom Precious
New York state has no choice but to give the New York Racing Association an extension of its franchise if it wants to get video lottery terminals operating at Aqueduct, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said.
Texas Judge Charles Mitchell has ordered the Texas Thoroughbred Association to recertify Chauffe Au Rouge as an accredited Texas-bred racehorse. Mitchell made the decision Feb. 6 in response to a lawsuit filed against the TTA by James Donnan and Gerald Mackey, owners of the 8-year-old bay gelding by Red Attack.
Stakes winner Ile St Louis' first foal is a filly out of Full of Life born Feb. 13 at Good Win Farm near Arkadelphia, Ark
The first reported foal sired by grade II winner Cat's At Home is a colt born Feb. 11 at Brian Wallace's Wallace Thoroughbreds near Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Juddmonte Farms' blue hen mare Razyana, whose son Danehill ranks as the most successful shuttle stallion of all time, died the night of Feb. 14 from complications from hemorrhaging.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- It's only mid-February, but it's never too early to start talking about the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge.
By Frances J. Karon -- A colleague remembers Joss Collins as a man even more colorful than the multi-colored shirt that was his trademark.
Feb. 17, 1975
Master Derby at Fair Grounds
Even with the injury to Second of June, it's refreshing to finally have a weekend that held true to form and helped put several pieces of the puzzle together rather than creating more confusion, as has often been the case in recent years.
Jockey Victor Espinoza completed a sweep of the President's Day stakes doubleheader at Santa Anita when he guided Puerto Banus through heavy traffic in the stretch for a neck victory in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap. Less than one length separated the top five finishers in the turf marathon.
Star Parade took the early lead and held off Bare Necessities by a head to capture Monday's grade I, $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Turn to Lass battled with All Electric throughout before prevailing in the stretch to win the $50,000 Martha Washington, featured race on the President's Day card Monday at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
New York shipper Well Fancied led every step of the way and held off some late challengers as he went on to win the $200,000 grade II General George Handicap at Laurel Park on Monday.
Breeders' Cup Classic - Presented by Dodge (gr. I) winner Pleasantly Perfect worked seven furlongs in 1:25.40 at Santa Anita Monday as he prepped for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on March 6.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite by the President's Day crowd of 5,049, Austin's Mom did not disappoint as the 4-year-old filly came from off the pace to win the $81,600 Rare Treat Handicap at Aqueduct.
Champion and grade I winner Farda Amiga delivered her first foal, a Gone West filly, Feb. 15 at the Taylor family's Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky.
Members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority are still getting an introduction to their new roles, but that didn't stop them from changing a notable racing rule during a Feb. 16 meeting. Eleven of the 12 members present voted to temporarily suspend the rule that mandates what type of helmets jockeys must wear.
After having reviewed film of the Feb. 12 incident at Laurel Park involving Rogue Agent and Evening Attire in the John B. Campbell Handicap, the Laurel
stewards suspended Norberto Arroyo Jr., rider of Rogue Agent, for 15 days.
Everest Stables' homebred Island Fashion, who has two consecutive grade I victories to her credit, was scratched out of Monday's $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita in favor of another grade I with a bigger purse.
Rene Araya, once among the top claiming trainers in New York, has retired to return to his former career as a jockey agent. Araya's new career begins again Feb. 19 when five-pound apprentice rider Catalino Martinez makes his American debut with two mounts at Aqueduct.
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