On the eve of its annual convention, the Association of Racing Commissioners International is again faced with a mass exodus that could threaten its viability. As of Thursday, up to 10 jurisdictions had informed the Lexington-based organization they had defected or would withhold dues pending changes at RCI. At issue is president Tony Chamblin's handling of the organization and its finances, in particular a $50,000 check he is said to have written himself last year. In December, Chamblin's salary and benefits package for the remaining two years of his contract was reduced.
The threat of Foot-and-Mouth Disease spreading has increased inspections on incoming flights from Britain to ensure no infested meat products spark the disease in other countries.
Godolphin Racing's Street Cry, one of the leading 2-year-olds in America last year, took his first step toward his return to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May by winning the $250,000 United Arab Emirates (UAE) Two Thousand Guineas at Nad al Sheba Race Course in Dubai on Thursday.
A $1-million reduction in funding from the state has led the Kentucky Racing Commission to propose an increase in license fees. In some cases, the fees would triple, but commission officials said the hike is necessary to maintain basic services.
Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Songandaprayer was on the track for a serious seven-furlong trial on Thursday. With jockey Edgar Prado in the saddle, Songandaprayer was clocked in 1:23 4/5 handily and is on schedule for his appearance in the $1 million Florida Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles here on March 10. Songandaprayer went in fractions of :36 1/5 for three furlongs, :47 4/5 for the half-mile, :59 4/5 for five furlongs, 1:23 4/5 for seven furlongs and galloped out a mile in 1:38 3/5.
In an effort to promote the road to the Kentucky Derby in the Derby's back yard, Keeneland and sister track Turfway Park have announced a $1-million bonus for a horse that wins three of four prep races, track officials announced Thursday. The races involved are the Turfway Spiral Stakes, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby.
A fire Tuesday claimed two barns at Clovelly Farm, but no horses. A farm employee said the fire started around 12:15 p.m. at the farm's Hughes Lane location in Fayette County, Ky., and burned actively until around 4 p.m.
Joe and Diane Szymczak, owners of graded stakes winner Halissee, are offering a special bonus promotion to breeders who send mares to that stallion in 2001.
With Colonial Downs in Virginia planning to hold its Thoroughbred meet from June 10-July 14, the Maryland Racing Commission hasn't yet awarded the customary summer dates to Laurel Park. Commission officials said the issue will be resolved at a March meeting after track officials and horsemen agree on a schedule.
For centuries, horsemen have tried to breed for speed and endurance and found that the greatest genetic potential can yield disappointment as easily as reward. Consider the indomitable Secretariat, who sired a string of mostly unremarkable racers, or the supremely talented John Henry, who sprang from an unheralded sire and dam. These are not isolated i...
Police in South Florida are investigating the disappearance of well-known trainer John Tammaro Jr., who was reported missing by his daughter on Sunday, Feb. 25. Tammaro was last seen leaving Gulfstream Park about 10 a.m. that day by track security officers who later told police detectives Tammaro "didn't look well."
Jockey Pat Day and stewards at Turfway Park will have to give sworn testimony as a result of a U.S. District Court judge's denial of a motion to dismiss a case in which Day is accused of striking another horse with his whip during the $250,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup Sept. 16, 2000.
Emerald Downs reopened for simulcasting Thursday morning following a Wednesday earthquake. The quake, which was measured at a magnitude of 7.0, was centered about 35 miles southwest of Seattle.
The Racing Network has announced its broadcast schedule for many of the major stakes races leading up to the Triple Crown and major handicap races for older horses. This weekend TRN will televise the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Handicap live from Santa Anita Park and the Gulfstream Park Handicap.
The Jockey Club Information Services president Carl Hamilton said the trans-hemispheric data provides customers with more comprehensive catalogue-style pedigrees and race records, as well as a more accurate account of the racing performance of the progeny of shuttle stallions.
They keep asking questions of Startac, and so far he's come up with all the right answers. Being a son of champion Theatrical, who won multiple grade I stakes, including the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr.IT), at 12 furlongs, Startac figured to have no problem with distance limitations. Just to prove the point, he broke his maiden at first asking in August at Del Mar going one mile on the turf. In five lifetime starts, he has never raced at less than that distance.
The $18-million purse supplement bill being considered by lawmakers in New Jersey cleared another legislative hurdle Monday when it breezed through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Forbes.com, the online initiative of Forbes magazine, includes Youbet.com on a list of five fast-growing technology companies with uncertain futures. In an introduction to its "Five That Could Dive" list, Forbes.com notes: "Being one of the country's 100 fastest-growing companies is a nice place to be, even if analysts rate your chances of surviving the ramp as less than good."
Canadian champion Primaly produced her first foal, a Coronado's Quest filly, on Feb. 6 for Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable.
Tiger Woods, the reigning champion of the golfing world, spent Wednesday afternoon touring the state of the art Al Quoz Stables in Dubai, the home of Godolphin Racing. During the tour of Al Quoz, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum told the golfer that one of Godolphin's most promising 2-year-olds was to be named Dubai Tiger. A son of Storm Cat out of the Saratoga Six mare Toga Toga Toga, Dubai Tiger was purchased for $1.8 million at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Kentucky's racing industry is at the very least intrigued that two Standardbred racetracks plan to ask the Kentucky Racing Commission for permission to simulcast Quarter Horse races. But there is some question as to whether the plan will fly.
The first mare bred to Seattle Slew this breeding season was pronounced in foal Monday. The mare, Dreams of Success, a 4-year-old maiden mare by Dixieland Band, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud and was covered by the Triple Crown winner at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
Pirate's Bounty, one of California's top sires for a number of years, and Central Kentucky stallion Mt. Livermore reached milestones in February.
Funeral services for longtime Keeneland auctioneer Tom Caldwell were held at Shepherd of the Valley on Tuesday, with burial following at Memory Gardens in Medford, Ore.
Excitement was high going into the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course. The auction had a strong catalogue; the horses worked fast; and virtually every major buyer of juveniles showed up or sent a representative. But when the final figures were calculated Tuesday, business was down across the board from a year ago.
Santa Catalina Stakes runner-up Palmeiro worked four furlongs in :47.60 over Santa Anita's main track Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's grade II San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile. Probable starters in the race, with jockeys, are: Palmeiro, Kent Desormeaux; Swordfish, David Flores; Victory Roar, Gary Stevens; Crafty C.T., Eddie Delahoussaye; Early Flyer, Chris McCarron; Media Mogul, Alex Solis and Wild And Wise, Victor Espinoza.
While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.
Churchill Downs Incorporated reported Tuesday that it had record revenues and earnings for the year ended December 31, 2000. Net revenues for the year totaled $362.0 million, a 40 percent increase over $258.4 million in 1999. Net earnings were $19.2 million, a 28 percent increase over $15.0 million last year. Earnings per share for the year were $1.75, compared with $1.72 in 1999.
Prominent California breeder Van Rose, who operated Van Mar Farms near Galt with his wife, Marilyn, died Feb. 24 from throat cancer.
A couple of hours after Santa Anita honored trainer Noble Threewitt on the occasion of his 90th birthday, 79-year-young Warren Stute provided the icing on the cake when he captured the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 24 as Go Go punched by the favored La Feminn.
The first of two rounds in Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" has been canceled because of a lack of time to prepare and possibly complications tied to medication rules. The first round of the series -- six $100,000 races at Santa Anita Park March 3 -- has been scrapped, the Magna-owned California track announced Tuesday. The second round, scheduled for March 10 at Gulfstream Park, Magna's Florida track, will go as planned, officials said.
A Seattle Slew colt produced from the grade I winner Chic Shirine was purchased by Irish agent Demi O'Byrne for $1-million as the top priced offering during the early portion of Tuesday's Fasig-Tipton Florida selected 2-year-olds in training sale at Calder Racecourse. O'Byrne said the colt had the best pedigree of the offerings in the sale and had a nice workout during the under tack show, getting an eighth of a mile in 10 3/5 seconds. O'Byrne said the colt will be trained by Patrick Biancone for John Magnier and Michael Tabor.
Officials in Great Britain have ruled that horse racing will be suspended for at least a week, effective Wednesday, because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. In Ireland, racing also has been canceled, and horses and Greyhounds can't be shipped to the island country from Great Britain.
Gilded Time, who was the sole sire last week with progeny earnings of more than $600,000, has company this week, but still holds the No. 1 ranking by 2001 progeny earnings. Broad Brush moved up from the No. 12 spot to fifth. His runners have earned $560,049 and include the filly Pompeii, who won the Feb. 19 Rare Treat Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
What traits enhance an equine athlete's potential for speed and stamina?
What you feed your mare is important to the health of her foal.
By Kenneth E. Kirchner -- Magna Entertainment Corp.'s plan for an East Coast/ West Coast team series is a fascinating idea that deserves the consideration and support of the entire racing industry.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- If California Gov. Gray Davis would like to see what he's done for racing in the Golden State, he should take a trip to the racetrack--perhaps one in West Virginia or Delaware. That's where a number of horses from California are racing these days.
Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year who was upset in his last start, is questionable for Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. According to the Los Angeles Times, the colt is still being plagued by foot problems. "It's better than even money that he'll be able to run," trainer Jay Robbins said Monday night. "A lot will depend on how he comes out of a gallop [today]."
Bits and pieces from around the industry
Leading contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby.
Satish Sanan's Clearwater, Fla.-based IMRglobal Corp. will merge with CGI Group of Montreal, Quebec, according to a release from IMRglobal. But the Feb. 22 edition of the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times called it a $438-million stock sale to the Canadian company.
Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner have purchased 314 acres next to their WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. The addition brings the farm's total land to about 964 contiguous acres.
Lawmakers in New Jersey were to consider a bill Monday that would give
the horse racing industry an $18-million purse boost this year. The Senate Budget and Appropriations committee is expected to pass the
measure, according to Barbara DeMarco Reiche, lobbyist for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
Street Cry has his first outing of the year on Thursday, March 1st but another leading Godolphin contender for the American Triple Crown races, Express Tour, needs more time and will have his seasonal debut delayed until the UAE Derby at Nad al Sheba on March 24th.
If Golden Ballet is as brilliant in the Mar. 10 Santa Anita Oaks as she's been in her two starts this year, then beware, boys. Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, who co-owns the daughter of Moscow Ballet, told The Blood-Horse that if Golden Ballet comes out of the Oaks in good shape, there is a good chance she will then take on the colts.
Trainer John Ward, Jr. had his highly regarded 3-year-old Monarchos out for a five-furlong workout on Monday. With jockey Jorge Chavez in the saddle, Monarchos had a very easy trial and was clocked in 1:04 1/5 breezing. According to Ward, the colt is right on schedule for his next start, the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) to be run over 1 1/8 miles here on March 10.
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