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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Winter Storm Leads to Cancellations

Winter Storm Leads to Cancellations

Horse racing was called off Tuesday at two tracks in the New York area because of the threat of a snowstorm. The Thoroughbred card at Aqueduct on Wednesday also was scrapped; there was no racing at Aqueduct on Tuesday.

Double-Digit Gains Galore at Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs continues to make sizable gains in terms of its live signal and on-track attendance, but on-track simulcast revenues are down because of a conflict involving Magna Entertainment Corp. and the New York Racing Association.

Drug Consortium Forms Committee to Tackle Security

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has approved policy language on race-day use of Salix and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as environmental contaminants, and also formed a subcommittee to review race-day security practices.

Equine Technology Expo Set for Saratoga Springs

The Sport of Kings will converge with the age of technology when Saratoga Springs, N.Y. hosts the first-ever conference and expo dedicated exclusively to exploring and probing the potential impact and benefits advances in technology bring to the equine industry.

Landslide

Landslide

By Ray Paulick -- For clues as to why the coronation of Mineshaft as Horse of the Year was not unanimous, a call to Sigmund Freud would be necessary. The human mind can be a strange thing.

A Happening

By Cot Campbell -- The prime necessary ingredients to attract and retain horse owners are: glamour, recognition, tax benefits, and profit. In that order.

Liebau Resigns as President of Santa Anita

Jack Liebau resigned as president of Santa Anita Park Monday and will be replaced by Jack McDaniel, an entertainment executive who was involved in the design of the track's new paddock-area restaurant and bar.

California Slots Initiative Moving Forward

A California ballot initiative to allow slots at five racetracks and 11 card rooms in the state took a step forward Monday after Attorney General Bill Lockyer approved the measures legal title and summary.

Oaklawn Enjoys Strong Opening Weekend

Oaklawn Park hosted 62,982 patrons during its opening three days, making it one of the biggest opening weekends in recent memory for the Hot Springs, Ark. racetrack.

Mining for Hardware

Mining for Hardware

Mineshaft was named 2003 Horse of the Year at the 33rd annual Eclipse Awards, but it wasn't easy taking the spotlight away from Funny Cide, the New York-bred gelding who generated so much publicity during his memorable Triple Crown run last spring and was voted an Eclipse Award as outstanding 3-year-old male.

Mineshaft Runs Away With Horse of the Year Honors

Mineshaft Runs Away With Horse of the Year Honors

In seven races in Europe in 2002, all Mineshaft was able to do was break his maiden in a one-mile turf race at Newmarket in England. The final two starts of his 3-year-old campaign produced victories in allowance company in the United States, and they were much more indicative of things to come. The son of A. P. Indy went on to win 10 of 18 lifetime starts before being retired and on Monday was named Horse of the Year and champion handicap horse for 2003.

2003 Eclipse 2YO Male of the Year: Action This Day

2003 Eclipse 2YO Male of the Year: Action This Day

Action This Day didn't get into serious action for an Eclipse Award until the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). But when he did, there was no stopping him in his first added-money start. The son of Kris S. charged through the Santa Anita stretch to win North America's richest race for 2-year-olds for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Richard Mandella.

2003 Eclipse 3YO Male of the Year: Funny Cide

2003 Eclipse 3YO Male of the Year: Funny Cide

Eclipse Award voting has become extremely subjective in recent years. Because of several factors, such as shortened campaigns and the lack of a standout performer over a period of time, voters often have little in the way of ammunition when it comes time to crown a worthy champion. So, they must turn to intangibles.

2003 Eclipse 3YO Female of the Year: Bird Town

2003 Eclipse 3YO Female of the Year: Bird Town

The crowning achievement of Bird Town's 3-year-old campaign began with a dose of bad luck. When the gates sprang open for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on May 2, the Marylou Whitney homebred stumbled, and the confirmed front-running filly was 11th in the field of 12. The slower-than-usual start, however, helped turn her into a lioness in front of a national audience in deep stretch as the daughter of Cape Town ran to victory in an unforgettably powerful performance.

2003 Eclipse Older Female of the Year: Azeri

2003 Eclipse Older Female of the Year: Azeri

She is so much more than Queen for a Day. Actually, she is now even more than Queen for a Year. Azeri', 2002's champion older female and Horse of the Year, made a successful case for an encore presentation among older distaffers, and will keep the champion older female trophy for her work in 2003.

2003 Eclipse Sprinter of the Year: Aldebaran

2003 Eclipse Sprinter of the Year: Aldebaran

Aldebaran was the bridesmaid no longer in 2003. The son of Mr. Prospector, who finished second six times in eight starts in 2002, proved fully capable of reaching the winner's circle in 2003 and earned the Eclipse Award for champion sprinter in the process with five graded stakes wins in eight starts.

2003 Eclipse Grass Male of the Year: High Chaparral

2003 Eclipse Grass Male of the Year: High Chaparral

High Chaparral (IRE) is an outstanding example of trainer Aidan O'Brien's ability to put the right horse in the right place. The son of Sadler's Wells made only 13 starts in his three years at the track. He won 10 of those starts, including six group or grade I races, and never finished worse than third. In 2003, High Chaparral raced only four times -- two of those outings resulted in grade or group I victories.

2003 Eclipse Grass Female of the Year: Islington

2003 Eclipse Grass Female of the Year: Islington

After dominating the 3-year-old female division in Europe in 2002, and challenging the best that continent had to offer in 2003 -- both male and female -- Islington (IRE) shipped to the United States for a return engagement in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) where she registered a neck victory over fellow Irish-bred L'Ancresse. That one win, along with topping the final poll of the Filly & Mare Turf World Thoroughbred Rankings at 120 pounds, was enough to secure the daughter of Sadler's Wells an Eclipse Award as the top turf female of 2003.

2003 Eclipse Owner of the Year: Juddmonte Farms

Juddmonte Farms added to its growing collection of Eclipse statuettes with a second trophy for being North AmericaÕs leading owner. Juddmonte, owned by 66-year-old Prince Khalid Abdullah, has won four Eclipse Awards for top breederÑin 1995, 2001, 2002, and 2003Ñas well as the Eclipse for top owner in 1992 and 2003. As an owner in 2003, Juddmonte had 33 winners from 122 starts and earnings of $6,265,030 to rank third in North America.

2003 Eclipse Jockey of the Year: Jerry Bailey

Jerry Bailey is racing's version of Starship Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk, boldly going where no man has gone before. In 2003, he won more stakes (70) in one year than any other rider in history, and his mounts set a single-season earnings mark of $23,354,960. Bailey also established another riding record when he scored his 14th victory in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships while guiding Six Perfections to the wire first in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).

2003 Eclipse Apprentice Jockey of the Year: Eddie Castro

While working in Los Santos, Panama, Eddie Castro had to make a big decision. Would he continue attending night school to become an electrician or would he concentrate full time on racehorse riding and move to the United States? The 18-year-old chose to continue riding and now is an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey.

2003 Eclipse Steeplechaser of the Year: McDynamo

A piano player touches the keys to make music. Elton John makes the keys sing. A quarterback throws the football. Peyton Manning makes the football go places. A steeplechase winner's runs and jumps. McDynamo floats. He's better than other horses. A master.

Short Break in Store for Fire Slam; Louisiana Derby Next

Fire Slam, winner of the grade III $100,000 Lecomte Stakes Saturday at Fair Grounds, will get a short break to heal a quarter crack in his left hind foot, and will be trained up to the grade II, $600,000 Louisiana Derby on March 7, skipping the grade III Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 15.

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