News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

New Orleans Woman Wins Handicapping Contest

Judy Wagner of New Orleans captured the title of "DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year" as the nation's top horseplayer Saturday with a victory in the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The title of Handicapper of the Year will be presented to Wagner on Jan. 30 at thoroughbred racing's annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in New Orleans.

Pentatonic Avenges DQ With Affectionately Victory

Deprived a victory last time out when she caused interference, Sheila Sherry's Pentatonic stayed far back and out of everyone's way Saturday afternoon in the grade III, $110,500 Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct. As a result, jockey Aaron Gryder had all the room he needed to send the 6-year-old Cure The Blues mare on a six-wide rally through the lane produced a victory. It was a nice way to start the New Year, as Pentatonic ended 2000 by winning the Ladies Handicap on Dec. 16, only to be disqualified and placed second as she bore in on Strolling Belle.

Full Field Contests Gulfstream's Mr. Prospector Stakes

Well-rested and ready to roll, Delaware Township will take some beating in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) that headlines the holiday card at Gulfstream Park Monday. A full field of 14 older horses was entered for the Mr. Prospector, which was run as the Hallandale Beach Handicap last year. The six-furlong event will be offered as the ninth race on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card.

Lasersport Remains Undefeated After San Miguel Victory

In the $107,500 San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Saturday, 8-5 favorite Lasersport remained undefeated with a two-length victory over Early Flyer in 1:08 3/5 for six furlongs. By 1992 champion juvenile Gilded Time, Lasersport won his first two starts in Kentucky late last year and then was purchased privately by Bill Herrick and sent to trainer Darrell Vienna at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita Racing Report: Tiznow Returns With Victory


Making his seasonal debut in the Jan. 13 San Fernando, 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic winnerTiznow beat Walkslikeaduck by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.05 as Wooden Phone held on for third. It was not the blowout most expected a potential Horse of the Year to serve up in his 4-year-old debut. For those clutching tickets at 3-10, the final margin was way too close for comfort. But considering the recent interruptions and the chore of sating a high-maintenance competitor, Robbins was satisfied--and thoroughly relieved.

'Typical' Keeneland January Sale Concludes With $39-Million Gross

Gross sales totaled $39,657,700 for 1,207 horses during Keeneland's six-day January Horses of All Ages Sale which ended Saturday afternoon. It was the fifth highest total in the history of the auction but short of the $60,951,200 paid for 1,239 horses and two stallion shares a year ago in January. This year's average was $32,856 compared to $49,183 in 2000.

Santa Anita Braces For Possible Power Outage

Santa Anita officials said racing wouldn't stop, although the tote boards would be shut down, if the track faced a power outage. The wagering information, which is controlled by computers, wouldn't be lost. Furer said there are about 22 tote machines that could be up and running during a blackout. Escalators and elevators would be immediately turned off before the blackout to ensure no one gets hurt or trapped. The track is equipped with an emergency generator that would provide lighting.

Bertrando Colt Tops Keeneland Sale Session

Advanced Edition, a stakes-placed 4-year-old, brought a top price of $115,000 during Friday's session of Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale. Harold Loewenstine, Jr. bought the bay colt by Bertrando out of Irish Anthem by Kleven. Advanced Edition finished third in the Hawthorne Juvenile Stakes as a 2-year-old and second in the Kentucky Colonel Stakes last year at three.

Form Revives American Racing Manual

The Daily Racing Form has brought back the popular "American Racing Manual," according to an announcement from Steven Crist, editor and publisher of Daily Racing Form. The 2000 American Racing Manual covering the 1999 Thoroughbred racing season, is now available and the 2001 volume, detailing the 2000 racing campaign, is slated to be released in spring, 2001. The Form is offering 50 percent off the 2001 edition for those who order the 2000 edition, which costs $60.

IRS Quits Probe Into Uncashed Tickets at Arlington

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly has decided not to pursue the possible theft of about $1 million in uncashed pari-mutuel tickets at Arlington Park. The Chicago Sun-Times. reported the IRS has sent Arlington a letter stating lack of jurisdiction is the reason for quitting the case.

Judge Protects Beulah Park's Online Wagering

Beulah Park's online wagering service called Winticket.com got full approval by the Ohio State Racing Commission before the service was developed, said an Ohio judge. Therefore, the judge said, state officials cannot arbitrarily decide they want the service stopped until online wagering is further evaluated.

Triple Crown Winner Affirmed Euthanized

Affirmed, whose victories over Alydar in the 1978 Triple Crown races live forever in racing lore, was euthanized Friday. Affirmed was buried at Jonabell, along with the flamingo pink and black silks of owner/breeder Lou and Patrice Wolfson's Harbor View Farm. "It has been a privilege and honor to be the caretaker of Affirmed," said Jonabell general manager James Bell. "He will be greatly missed and certainly never forgotten. His tremendous heart, class and courage made him a genuine pleasure to be around – a true gentleman and champion."

It's Official: Certain Won 1999 Arkansas Derby

After several years of legal action, the attempt by owner James Jackson to overturn the disqualification of his horse Valhol from victory in the 1999 Arkansas Derby has ended. On Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling stripping Valhol of the victory and the winner's $300,000 purse.

Philly Park Phone Bet to Cut Jersey Customers

Management at Philadelphia Park sent a letter to all of its Phonebet customers in New Jersey advising them that it expects to receive formal notice from the New Jersey Racing Commission to stop accepting their phone wagers. "Once the commission issues this formal directive (expected to be on Jan. 20), you will receive notice from us and all New Jersey accounts will be closed," the letter states.

Dixie Union to Stud at Diamond A Farms

Dixie Union, who was retired due to a minor tendon injury following his victory in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I), will stand at stud at Gerald Ford's Diamond A Farms near Versailles, Ky. Diamond A raced the colt in partnership with his breeder, Herman Sarkowsky. Dixie Union will stand for a $30,000 live foal fee as the property of a syndicate managed by William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm.

Unbridled Time Returns in San Miguel

Bob and Beverly Lewis' Unbridled Time, winless since taking his first two career starts last spring, returns to competition Saturday in Santa Anita's San Miguel Stakes. The son of Unbridled's Song, who cost $1.15 million as a yearling, will carry top weight of 121 pounds and Chris McCarron in the six-furlong San Miguel.

Pleasant Breeze Ends Layoff in Skip Away

With topweighted Pleasant Breeze making his first start in nearly five months, the entry box filled to the brim for Saturday's $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park. A total of 14 horses were entered for the Skip Away, with Pleasant Breeze the likely favorite as he goes from Post 10 with Jorge Chavez named to ride.

What's In a Name? Election 2000

Thoroughbred owners often look to major news stories of the day for inspiration when devising names for their horses and the fallout from the November 7 presidential election has apparently provided them with all sorts of new material. The Jockey Club's Registry in Lexington, Kentucky has issued foal certificates or reserved names for these Thoroughbreds in the past two months: All Four Chads, Chad, Chadsanddimples, Count The Chads, Dangling Chad, Don't Countess Out, Electoral College, Florida Recount, No More Chads, Palm Beach Ballot, Tooclosetocall and Win for Chad.

Stallion Affirmed Being Treated at Clinic

Central Kentucky stallion Affirmed, who underwent surgery on his left front pastern joint at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington in the fall, is back at the clinic. The 26-year-old stallion was sent there on Jan. 8 from the Bell family's Jonabell Farm near Lexington. It is questionable whether he will be able to begin breeding when the season begins Feb. 15.

Zito Suspended, Fined For Medication Positive

Nick Zito, who has trained a pair of Kentucky Derby winners, was suspended for 15 days and fined $1,000 by the New York Racing Association on Thursday after a banned substance was found in one of his horses. Zito appealed the penalties, meaning they do not immediately take effect.

NYRA, Racetrack Cooperative Settle Simulcast Dispute

The New York Racing Association and the Southern Racing Cooperative have settled a simulcast contract dispute that will return the NYRA signal to the 11-member track cooperative. The cooperative includes Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Retama Park in Texas; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Emerald Downs in Washington; Prairie Meadows in Iowa; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs, SunRay Park, and Sunland Park in New Mexico.

Antley's Death Ruled Overdose

The death of jockey Chris Antley has been ruled an accidental overdose by the Los Angeles County coroner. In a report finalized Thursday, the coroner attributed Antley's death to multiple drug intoxication. Initially, Pasadena, Ca., police ruled the jockey's death a homicide after finding his body face down in a hallway of his Pasadena home Dec. 2. Four drugs were found present in Antley's body, according to toxicology tests performed by the coroner.

Northern Baby Pensioned

Northern Baby, a 25-year-old son of Northern Dancer and sire of 40 stakes winners, has been pensioned at Arthur B. Hancock III's Stone Farm near Paris, Ky. Northern Baby first stood in Europe before being moved to Stone for the 1982 breeding season. Northern Baby, who covered 22 mares in each of the past two breeding seasons, sired the earners of $22 million.

Third-Quarter Wagering Rose at TVG's Oregon Hub

The NTRA Services wagering hub in Oregon registered a 35% increase in handle in the third quarter of 2000 compared with the year-earlier period. According to Oregon Racing Commission figures, the betting hub, operated on behalf of the TV Games Network, handled $4,283,997 in the third quarter of 2000, up 35% from the hub's first three months of operation in 1999.

Weather Had Negative Impact on Turfway Meet

Inclement weather -- ice, snow and sleet, combined with several weeks of below normal temperatures -- wreaked havoc on the recently completed 2000 holiday meet at Turfway Park. The 23-day meet concluded Dec. 31. As a result, Turfway experienced an overall decrease of 15.9% in total handle, with a drop in on-track handle of 24.2% and out-of-state handle of 16.9%. Daily average out-of-state handle increased 19.4%, while daily average all-sources handle was up 5.1%. I

Woodman Mare Tops Keeneland's Midpoint Session

Queen of Norway, a 5-year-old chestnut mare by Woodman out of Qena, by The Minstrel, was purchased by agent John Warren for $400,000 as the top price during Wednesday's session of Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale. At the halfway point of the six-day auction, 628 horses have been sold for $33,034,200, an average of $52,602.

NTRA Mobile Will Market to College Students

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that, starting in mid-January, the NTRA Racing Experience, an interactive mobile marketing exhibit that brings racing to the fans in an area measuring 60 feet long and 12.5 feet high, will tour several college campuses from coast to coast as part of the Sports Illustrated Campus Fest.

First Derby Future Wager Pool in Mid-February

Due to the date of Easter weekend this year, Churchill Downs has amended the schedule for the third pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Pool 1 is scheduled for Feb. 15-18; Pool 2 is set for March 8-11; and Pool 3 will run from April 5-8. The 127th renewal of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5. Pool Three will be conducted a week earlier than in the first two years of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

McAlpine Appointed Magna President/CEO

Magna Entertainment Corp. appointed its third president and chief executive officer within a year. The Magna board appointed Jim McAlpine today as the company's president and chief executive officer. McAlpine was executive vice president of non-automotive affairs for Magna International, MEC's parent company and automotible parts manufacturing company founded by MEC chairman Frank Stronach.

The Aga Khan Comments on Trends in Breeding Industry

In his speech to the British breeding industry, The Aga Khan reflected on his philosophies as well as the industry's future. The top British breeder said what he and other traditional breeders find it "particularly difficult to manage today is the way in which the financial drivers of the breeding industry are changing it. An example is the 40-share stallion syndicate of a horse that never left his operating base, which is now being replaced by limitless books of mares for stallions who will travel to any market that will purchase their services."

Breakthrough Made on EPM Research

The most recent Journal of Parasitology contained an article that opens the door for battling equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Researchers and others found they could use the common domestic cat as the experimental intermediate host for the life cycle of the causative protozoal parasite.

Champion, Influential Mare Chris Evert Dies at Age 30

Hall of Fame mare Chris Evert was euthanized due to the infirmities of old age Monday at the age of 30. The Filly Triple Crown winner will be buried at Three Chimneys Farm, where she lived the last 10 years. All five of her daughters became the dam or granddam of stakes winners, most notable of which was Six Crowns (so named because she was by Triple Crown winner Secretariat, and out of Filly Triple Crown winner Chris Evert), who was the dam of champion and millionaire Chief's Crown.

Eastover Court to O'Sullivan

Ten-year-old Eastover Court, a son of Seattle Slew and a half-brother to successful sire Two Punch, has been moved from Ryver Meadow Farm in Maryland to Ruth and Randy Funkhauser's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va.

Japan Cup Winner Unanimous as Country's Best Horse

Japanese superhorse T.M. Opera O was the unanimous choice for 2000 Horse of the Year in his native country, according to the list of champion released by the Japan Racing Association. A son of Opera House, T.M. Opera received all 296 votes for Horse of the Year. Winner of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), T. M. Opera O was undefeated in eight starts last year, with earnings of ¥1,036,004,000 (about US$9,466,254) as he was also named champion older horse.

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