The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission has found the former executive director of the Kentucky Racing Commission violated state law when he accepted a job at Churchill Downs, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
If he stays healthy, Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones is likely to run as a 4-year-old, a Florida horseman who is handling stallion negotiations for the colt's owner says.
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher issued an emergency regulation late Thursday changing the restrictions on Texas livestock entering Kentucky that were imposed because of a vesicular stomatitis (VS).
Del Mar Futurity champion Siphonizer, a breathing problem corrected by surgery, continues his comeback Saturday in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Veteran jockey Patricia Cooksey, the all-time leading female jockey at Churchill Downs and second in wins by women in U.S. racing history, scored the first win of her latest comeback from adversity as she rode Donner Pass to victory in Thursday's third race at the Louisville track.
Buddy Gil, a sensation at Santa Anita in the winter and spring of 2003, will make his first start at Hollywood Park as the 122-pound high weight in the $75,000 Ack Ack Handicap at 7 1/2 furlongs on Monday.
Trainer Tony Reinstedler knows his talented filly Sand Springs has a stubborn streak, so her behavior since her last race tells him she's ready for a big effort in Saturday's $150,000-added Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
TVG will air Smarty Jones' final pre Belmont Stakes (gr. I) workout Friday from Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, Pa. The work will air at 1 p.m. EDT.
David L. Foley, executive director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, was elected president of Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy.
The connections of the three Triple Crown winners in the 1970s are all rooting for Smarty Jones to become the 12th winner of the Triple Crown in next Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I.).
Meridiana seeks her fourth consecutive victory when she faces seven foes in Saturday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) over Belmont Park's Widener Turf Course.
Apt to Be, who races in the colors of Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois, has accepted co-starting highweight of 119 pounds, along with Crafty Shaw, in defense of his title in the grade III Hanshin Cup Saturday at Arlington.
Willmott Stables' Eddington returned to the track for the first time since working a half-mile in :46 2/5 Monday. The son of 1990 Belmont Stakes favorite Unbridled will try to fare better than his sire did 14 years ago when he finished fourth behind Go And Go.
Smarty Jones, who stands on the threshold of Triple Crown immortality, will have his one and only all-important work for the mile and a half Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Friday morning at 5:30. Trainer John Servis said he's not looking for anything quick, and is anticipating the colt will go between 1:28 and 1:29.
- By Tom Precious
New York Gov. George Pataki May 27 proposed a complete overhaul of racing laws in the state, a move that would block the New York Racing Association's bid to get its racetrack franchise extended this year, and provide incentives to get video lottery terminals in operation at Aqueduct.
Colonial Downs will host the first-ever "Virginia Million" July 10, which is highlighted by a trio of turf stakes and will be the richest day of racing in the state's history.
The past performances certainly indicate that Smarty Jones should win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and become racing 12th Triple Crown winner. But then there is the X-factor, Tapit, who looks to be the unknown quantity that could turn the past performances upside down.
Colonial Downs will host the first-ever "Virginia Million," highlighted by a trio of stakes on the Secretariat Turf Course, July 10. It will be the richest card in Virginia racing history.
Oaklawn Park is planning a full-blown 'Smarty Party' for June 5 when the track's adopted son, Smarty Jones, goes for the Visa Triple Crown and second $5-million bonus in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
With Rock Hard Ten having already been trounced by Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Jason Orman can only hope that the mile and a half distance of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will help bring the two colts closer together in the third leg of the Triple Crown.
Now that his veteran stakes winner Champali has returned to the winner's circle, trainer Greg Foley is looking toward a future on both the main track and the turf course for his 4-year-old star.
For the third time in his career, Jerry Hollendorfer equaled the Northern California record for most victories by a trainer on a single card when he saddled five winners Wednesday at Bay Meadows.
By all accounts, Barbara Dege was a quiet, private woman who lived a simple life. But she had one great passion, and it was horse racing and the animals who provided her with enjoyment on her trips to handicap and make small bets at Belmont, Aqueduct, and the Meadowlands.
Debbie Given, who managed Someday Farm when Smarty Jones was born, recalls the Triple Crown contender as "ornery" as a foal, a characteristic he shared with his dam, I'll Get Along.
An examination of 1,450 horses stabled at Lone Star Park revealed no evidence of vesicular stomititis, a contagious disease that was discovered in three horses in southwest Texas.
Monmouth Park, the resort racetrack located not far from the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey, will kick off its 2004 meet May 29 with three stakes, including the featured $100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT), and a very healthy purse structure boosted by a casino subsidy.
If Smarty Jones wins the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, it may be because he has had a little extra help from the "Man upstairs."
- By Tom LaMarra
In a strong display of solidarity, more than 600 members of the horse industry packed the visitors' center at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington May 26 for the first town hall meeting held by the Kentucky Equine Education Project. Several participants said they were blown away by the turnout.
- By Tom LaMarra
As the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Systems Task Force prepares to hear recommendations on ways to address the "handle up, purses down" situation, operators of high-volume betting shops believe they might be a target and suggest that, as generators of up to 15% of annual handle in North America, they should be directly involved in the process.
The Ohio House of Representatives, by a slim margin, has defeated a proposal to allow video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Darley Australia announced that Cape Cross will remain in Ireland rather than shuttle to Australia in 2004.
The 7-year-old gelding Peeping Tom heads a field of nine lined up for Saturday's $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap (gr. III) as Philadelphia Park kicks off the 2004 stakes season.
Lone Star Park officials reported Wednesday that Texas Racing Commission veterinarians examined each of the 1,450 horses stabled in its barn area and none showed signs of vesicular stomititis (VS).
Gary Henson, a long-time track announcer, died Saturday night at his home in Renton, Wash., after a long illness. He was 60.
Siphonizer can breathe normally again, which is bad news for his rivals in the $150,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
Momentum, one of the leading handicap horses in California in 2002, will make his first start in 19 months Monday in the $350,000-added Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale returned to the work tab for the first time since finishing 14th in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), logging three furlongs in :36 1/5 at Santa Anita on Wednesday.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit breezed six furlongs on the turf at Tapeta Farm Wednesday, four days after breezing a slow five furlongs in 1:07 2/5 on the dirt. Working in company with two other horses, Tapit was timed in 1:15 2/5.
After 60 years of waiting David Parrish, whose family owns and operates the Clay Ward Agency and Indian Creek Farm, near Paris, Ky., received a Silver Star from the United States government for his distinguished service during World War II. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) presented the award May 26 during a special ceremony on the Bourbon County courthouse steps.
Azeri vs. Funny Cide in the Met Mile headline busy holiday weekend.
Veteran jockey Mike Morgan checked out of Louisville's Norton Audubon Hospital on Tuesday, but injuries he suffered in a four-horse spill on Sunday at Churchill Downs will keep him on the sidelines for several weeks.
A pair of juveniles from the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen head a list of 15 2-year-olds nominated tothe $125,000-added Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr.III) on June 5.
A private horse farm in Montgomery County, Maryland, has been under a voluntary quarantine since March 25 while veterinarians investigate the cause of illness in 12 horses, four of which have been euthanized, the Maryland Department of Agriculture said May 25.
Mary Kay Johnson, wife of Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson and a member of the family-owned Amherst Stable, which raced Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi in partnership, died Tuesday night at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, N.Y., of an apparent heart attack.
- By Victor Ryan
John Van de Kamp, who will be leaving his position as president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California July 1, was elected president of the California Bar Association Tuesday.
Trainer John Servis revealed at a press conference at Philadelphia Park Wednesday that Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones suffered a foot bruise before the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it quickly cleared up and the colt was able to maintain a normal training schedule.
Little Red, meet Big Red. When Smarty Jones ships to Belmont Park next week, he will be stabled in Barn 5, which was the home of Triple Crown winner Secretariat. The barn is right next door to Barclay Tagg's barn, making Smarty Jones and last year's hero, Funny Cide, temporary neighbors.
Smarty Jones' attempt to sweep the Visa Triple Crown Challenge and the 2004 presidential election have led a central Kentucky horseman to put a lighter touch on both events.
Trainer Nick Zito says he has until Saturday to get a work into The Cliff's Edge, who suffered a foot bruise before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), or he will be forced to miss the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The son of Gulch's problems started when he lost both his front shoes during the running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey and jockey Kent Desormeaux, along with equine stars Skip Away and Flawlessly were announced Tuesday as inductees for the class of 2004 for the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame.
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