News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Keeneland to Buy Interest in Equine Spectrum

Keeneland has signed a letter of intent to purchase a 25 percent interest in the online auction company Equine Spectrum. An additional 25 percent interest in the company is scheduled to be available to other investors in the Thoroughbred industry. Keeneland's board of directors will vote on the move at its April meeting.

Jamaican Rum Works Toward San Felipe

Hill Rise Handicap winner Jamaican Rum worked three furlongs in :36 4/5 Tuesday at Santa Anita in preparation for Saturday's San Felipe Stakes, the final two-turn prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. A late nominee to the San Felipe, Jamaican Rum finished fourth in the Feb.3 San Vicente Stakes.

Ohio Lawmakers Look to Put VLTs at Tracks to Help Schools

Facing a state Supreme Court deadline of June 15 to deal with public school funding problems, Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives apparently are behind a plan to install video lottery machines at racetracks to raise between $230 million to $930 million in revenue over the next two years.

National Licensing Efforts Gain Momentum

The drive toward national licensing for the horse industry picked up momentum recently when legislatures in Kentucky and Nebraska voted to join the National Racing Compact, an interstate government entity formed last year and comprised primarily of pari-mutuel regulators.

NTRA's $1-Million Mystery Mutuel Promotion to Expand

The $1-million Mystery Mutuel Voucher, one of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's most successful promotions of 2000, will be offered twice this year, it was announced on Tuesday during the NTRA's Marketing Summit in Las Vegas, Nev. The first promotion will be July 28, with the second giveaway scheduled in late fall on a date to be announced.

First Cheltenham; Now Grand National

First the Cheltenham meeting was cancelled in England, now the foot and mouth outbreak will cause Irish horses not to travel to the Grand National meeting on April 5. This is because the Irish government continues to ask the industry in the country not to ship horses or travel to the country until 30 days after the last confirmed outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

Cee's Tizzy Still Tops; Big Moves For Maria's Mon, Quiet American

Leading sire Cee's Tizzy has company in the millionaire club by 2001 progeny earnings. Maria's Mon, whose son Monarchos earned $600,000 in winning the March 10 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, increased his yearly earnings to $1,060,461 and in the process zoomed from 39th to second on the sire's list. Champion 2-year-old male in 1995, Maria's Mon (Wavering Monarch -- Carlotta Maria, by Caro) stands at Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky.

Dealing with Twins

Twins occur a little more commonly in the Thoroughbred than in other breeds. Approximately 20% of ovulations in Thoroughbred mares are double ovulations.

Bleeding

Scientists at the University of California-Davis have uncovered new information that might explain why horses bleed internally when they exercise.

The Customer is Always Wrong

By Larry Levin -- Horseplayers are the plankton of Thoroughbred racing, and get about as much respect. Plankton are the tiny organisms at the bottom of the oceanic food chain. If they were suddenly to disappear, life in the sea would plummet, probably to the point of extinction.

Brothers in Arms

By Ray Paulick -- A recent legal challenge by a group of Quarter Horse breeders could weaken the AQHA's ability to enforce its rules and regulations, and it's conceivable an adverse court ruling eventually may impact The Jockey Club and other breed registries.

Shuttlers Should Be Safe From Foot and Mouth<br>

Appalling livestock losses in England caused by the foot-and-mouth (FMD) outbreaks are unlikely to affect the general movement of shuttle stallions from Britain. The situation could change, however, if the measures taken by English authorities fail to control the disease over the next six to eight weeks.

All Points North

Northerly trounced a strong field in winning the Australian Cup (Aust-I) at Flemington March 12. With the exception of Sunline, now in Dubai, and Tie the Knot, the best horses in training assembled in Melbourne's main fall event over 2,000 meters.

NTRA to Shift Advertising Strategy

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will shift its advertising strategy this summer to target sports fans who wager on horse racing about twice a year. To that end, it will rely heavily on ads that will appear on ESPN network channels. In addition, the Breeders' Cup championship will be "repositioned" to give it greater public awareness, NTRA commissioner Tim Smith said.

Injured Jockey Noll Vows to Return

Jockey Cindy Noll, injured in a training mishap Saturday morning behind the starting gate at Oaklawn Park, was all smiles early Sunday at St. Joseph's Regional Health Center. "I'll be back, I just don't know when," she said. "It'll be six to eight weeks before my fractures will be healed."

No Progress in Search For Trainer Tammaro

Although the family of missing trainer John Tammaro Jr. has not given up hope, the city of Hallandale Beach Police Department has had little success in its search for the 75-year-old. "The investigation continues," said police spokesman Andy Kasper, "But we haven't come across anything yet."

Officials Consider Mid-April Dates for Cheltenham Festival

Discussions to continued to take place over the weekend with all interested parties about the re-scheduling of Cheltenham, with the aim of confirming as soon as possible the new dates for the three days. The Cheltenham Board Sunday and gave its backing to the process. Progress has been made but there are still various issues to be determined -- the main one being what will happen to Ireland's Punchestown Festival which is scheduled from April 24 to 27.

Haskin's Derby Report: Impressive Win By Monarchos

Now, we're not one to indulge in hyperbole, but the fact is, Monarchos was a million lengths the best in Saturday's Florida Derby. OK, so we will indulge once in a while. After all the waiting, listening to nothing but faint rumblings, the smoldering volcano finally has erupted. Although metaphoric cataclysms on the Derby trail normally signify uplifting events, such as Monarchos' explosive display, that is not true when mentioning Sunday's Louisiana Derby. This was more like an earthquake that nearly swallowed up favorites Dollar Bill and Hero's Tribute.

Pro-VLT Forces Step Up Efforts in New York

Promoters pushing to legalize video gambling at racetracks in New York have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks to make a last-gasp push to get the controversial devices turned on at Thoroughbred and harness tracks. The quiet but intense effort, first reported by The Buffalo News, has been spurred by a new plan to use the state Lottery Division as a possible way to allay concerns about the constitutionality of the machines.

In Excess Filly Breaks Down At Barretts

Excessively Unique, a daughter of In Excess, was euthanized after breaking down Sunday during Sunday's preview show for Barretts Equine's 2-year-olds in training sale that will be held Tuesday at Fairplex Racetrack. The filly had just finished working an eighth of a mile in :10.6 and was galloping out in the first turn at Fairplex Park when she fractured her right foreleg. Her rider, Quarter Horse jockey Ralph Seville, was not injured.

Blueprint Wins San Luis Rey; Ciro Fourth

Racing for the first time since a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap in September, Fog City Stable's Blueprint rallied from off the pace to win Sunday's $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. Under Gary Stevens, the 6-year-old Irish-bred held off a determined late run from Devon Deputy to ensure the victory, completing the 1 ½ miles in 2:28.57 on a good turf course.

Whata Brainstorm Draws Clear in Stretch, Wins Pan American

Whata Brainstorm saved ground along the hedge under jockey John Velazquez before swinging out for the stretch run en route to winning Sunday's $250,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on a firm turf course at Gulfstream Park. Whata Brainstorm completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.75 -- three-fifths of a second off the course record -- after running the final quarter-mile in :23.75.

Bertrando Colt Posts Fastest Workout Time at Barretts

A Bertrando--St. Helens Shadow colt worked the fastest quarter-mile in 20.7 seconds during Sunday's preview show for Barretts Equine's 2-year-olds in training sale that will be held Tuesday at Fairplex Racetrack. The colt consigned by Becky Thomas' Sequel Bloodstock was timed in 9.8 seconds for his first eighth of a mile, a time faster than any ever recorded for an eighth mile workout at a Barretts under tack show.

Fair Grounds Report: Fifty Stars Shines in Louisiana Derby

It took a giant leap of faith to see Fifty Stars as a contender in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), much less the $43 winner. Looking down the barrel at Dollar Bill, Millennium Wind, and Hero's Tribute, the late running son of Quiet American was in deep water. Fifty Stars had not made a lasting impression in his two previous races. His late run in the Jan. 27 LeComte was good for fourth place, but three weeks later he took a step backward in the Risen Star with a dull fifth-place finish.

Pool Two Closes with Monarchos as 5-1 Choice

Pool two of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future wager closed at 4:30 p.m.(EST) Sunday, prior to the running of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), with Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos the 5-1 favorite. Point Given was the narrow 6-1 second choice, with slightly more money wagered on the Bob Baffert-trained colt than the mutuel field, which also closed at 6-1.

Wild Zone Colt Fastest At OBS Preview

A colt by Wild Zone zipped an eighth in :10 1/5, the fastest work at the distance Sunday among horses slated to sell next week. The workout was during the first session of the Under Tack Preview for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training.

Startac a Well-Beaten Second as 'Hoover' Gets the Win

Carl J. Odegaard's Hoovergetthekeys -- racing for the first time since winning the Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) by five lengths in January -- rallied to win Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields. Despite blazing early fractions, 3-5 favorite Startac failed to reach contention, finishing seven lengths behind the winner. The Turf Paradise Derby winner closed from last and just managed to finish second, a head in front of Mo Mon, who raced two lengths off hot the early pace.

Santa Anita Race Report: Golden Ballet Passes Another Test

The pace was hot, and she'd been running hard from the moment the flag fell. Those who stayed close early had paid a painful price. Now, with just a quarter-mile left to run, Golden Ballet was being put to the test. A new challenge, the Seattle Slew filly Flute, had come peeling around the bend, braced to blow right on by. To that point in her career, Golden Ballet had sparkled. She had been flashy, breaking her maiden in a stakes and doing it in record time. She had been coveted, purchased privately by high rollers looking for the next superstar. She had been resilient, roaring back from a summertime illness to completely flatten her competition. And when she finally caught sight of Flute turning for home in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks, the daughter of Moscow Ballet let everyone know what she's made of.

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