Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Strodes Creek has been sold to Turf Company of Japan, according to Florida-based bloodstock consultant John Jacobs, who represents Turf Company.
At the National Turf Writers Association's annual awards dinner just before the 2000 Breeders' Cup, Jim McKay couldn't help taking a jab at those honoring him with the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing.
Owning horses is easy. Caring about them is a different story. And caring enough to want to make a difference in their post-racing lives is why John Hettinger is being honored with a Special Eclipse Award.
Trainer Joe Orseno had every reason to feel that Perfect Sting would return with a vengeance as a 4-year-old in 2000.
Let's see if this story sounds familiar...an international turf star, sired by Mill Reef's son Doyoun, makes one start in the United States and wins the Eclipse Award as top turf horse. If it doesn't ring a bell, then flip back the calendar just one year to when Daylami turned the trick. In 2000, it was Kalanisi's turn.
On a night of comedic one-liners, most of them from the hilarious emcee, Kenny Mayne, National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith said the single phrase most of the 500 people attending Tuesday's 30th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La., were waiting to hear. When he opened the envelope containing the name of the Horse of the Year for 2000, Smith said simply: "Congratulations California, it's Tiznow."
Love him or hate him, no one can begrudge industry maverick Frank Stronach his outstanding year at the track.
The goal of any breeder is to breed a horse that wins a major race. Frank Stronach's vast Adena Springs operation did just that and then some in 2000.
Bobby Frankel is one of only three trainers who cracked the $10-million mark in earnings last year, but look closely at his statistics. He stands apart from fellow earnings leaders Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas because he started about 50% fewer horses than they did and still won 3% more than Lukas and 9% less than Baffert.
From Ascot to Del Mar to Suffolk Downs, Jerry Bailey was aboard 59 stakes winners around the world in 2000.
Race riding is in the blood of Tyler Baze, who excelled as an apprentice in 2000 while competing on the Southern California circuit.
Enough already. If All Gong could talk, that's what he would say. And he would have a point. The steeplechase Eclipse Award winner was victorious in two unrestricted grade I races, placed in two others, led all U.S. jumpers in earnings ($228,000), and captured the year's richest race.
A new track and race record in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and five graded stakes wins for the year helped in Kona Gold's unanimous selection as North America's top sprinter for 2000.
It's difficult to imagine a colt that wins the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Travers Stakes (gr. I) as a 3-year-old has much room to improve, but Lemon Drop Kid stepped up his performances to another level in 2000.
Given her sterling record in 2000, Riboletta qualifies not only for her Eclipse Award for top older female, but for a "comeback of the year" award.
Sometimes, it is a fine line that separates a championship season from merely a good, solid campaign. Sometimes, it comes down to a simple "yes" or "no" decision. In the case of Tiznow, that simple "yes" from owners Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Rubens changed the course of racing history.
Surfside's 3-year-old season began the same way it ended--with a victory in a graded stakes race. Particularly impressive about the feat is that Surfside began 2000 in the middle of nine straight in-the-money finishes and suffered an injury halfway through her season, requiring time off. Her reward is an Eclipse Award as top 3-year-old filly.
Winning Breeders' Cup races has become a family affair for the homebred runners of Frank Stronach. In 1998, Awesome Again capped off an undefeated campaign with a three-quarter-length victory over Silver Charm in the Classic (gr. I). Two years later, Awesome Again's half-brother, Macho Uno, held off the determined charge of Point Given to capture the Juvenile (gr. I) by a nose. That performance was good enough to land him the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old male in 2000.
Caressing picked the right time to run her best race when she won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in November. The division was one of the most wide open throughout 2000, and Caressing soared to the top echelon and an Eclipse Award with her half-length victory over Platinum Tiara.
Horse of the Year titles come in all sizes, from a year's worth of heroics to a single moment of glory. In 2000, it came in the size of Tiznow's neck. That's all it took to turn the name of Tiznow from a faint whisper before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to a deafening roar after it.
HORSE OF THE YEAR: Tiznow
Two-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Macho Uno
Two-Year-Old Filly: Caressing
Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Tiznow
Three-Year-Old Filly: Surfside
Older Colt, Horse or Gelding: Lemon Drop Kid
Older Filly or Mare: Riboletta (BRZ)
Sprinter: Kona Gold
Male Turf Horse: Kalanisi (IRE)
Female Turf Horse: Perfect Sting
Steeplechase: All Gong (GB)
Owner: Frank Stronach/Stronach Stable
Breeder: Frank Stronach/Adena Springs
Jockey: Jerry Bailey
Apprentice Jockey: Tyler Baze
Trainer: Robert Frankel
Prominent California stallion Habitony, sire of three-time California Horse of the Year Best Pal and 26 other stakes winners, was euthanized the morning of Jan. 30 because of heart problems.
Sensational New Zealand sire Zabeel dominated the first sessionof the National Yearling Sale conducted by New Zealand Bloodstock Tuesday at Karaka, near Auckland. Of the $14,822,500 gross (US$6,434,151), 16 filles and colts by Zabeel accounted for $4,985,000, roughly a third of the total receipts.
The Illinois Gaming Board Tuesday voted against granting a license for Emerald Casino's plan to build a more than $100 million gambling barge in Rosemont, Ill. An appeal is expected.
Graded stakes winner Bursting Forth produced her first foal, a Woodman colt, on Jan. 29 at Catherine Parke's Valkyre Stud near Georgetown, Ky.
Laffit Pincay, racing's all-time winningest rider, set another record on Tuesday afternoon in New Orleans, La., when he became the first two-time winner of the Big Sport of Turfdom award presented annually by the Turf Publicists of America.
The votes are in and the major players are in New Orleans for tonight's Eclipse Awards dinner. In addition to Horse of the Year, Eclipse Awards will also be presented for other equine and human achievements during 2000. Complete results and profiles of the winners will be posted on Bloodhorse.com at 10:30 p.m. (ET). An Eclipse Awards Special will air on ESPN2 on February 4 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET).
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), the nation's largest organization providing homes for retired and injured racehorses, has received a $5 million endowment gift from the estate of horseman Paul Mellon. And according to TRF president John Stuart, that amount represents just the beginning of a major funding drive.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has announced the winners of its annual board of directors election, but a protest already has been filed, and there are allegations that racetrack officials attempted to influence voters.
The Morris Animal Foundation is funding 14 new equine health studies during its 2001 fiscal year that will focus on colic, digestive tract disorders, foal diseases, genetics, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, and surgery.
Different workloads, stages of growth, pregnancy, and lactation require different dietary configurations for the horse. To meet those needs, horse owners often want to use supplements. However, you should realize that supplements could cause more problems than they solve, writes Dr. Joseph J. Bertone in the February edition of The Horse.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- When Macho Uno made his first three starts last year, he was a 2-year-old colt by Holy Bull bred in Kentucky by Stronach Stables. When Perfect Sting made her first 18 starts, she was a filly by Red Ransom bred in Kentucky by Frank H. Stronach. But when each won a Breeders' Cup race at Churchill Downs last Nov. 4, something had changed.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In its first three years, the NTRA has proven it can put out fires -- and there have been many. It's what happens next that is really important, because putting out fires was not what the NTRA's commissioner, Tim Smith, was hired to do. If Smith and his top aides no longer are required to spend most of their time and energy keeping the organization intact, we finally will be able to gauge how effective this national office for racing can be.
Windsor Castle, purchased by a Dogwood Stable partnership after winning the grade II Remsen Stakes last year, has been dealt a setback that will cause him to miss the Feb. 17 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Dogwood president Cot Campbell said Windsor Castle developed a fever several days after a Jan. 6 workout. "It's nothing serious and he's normal now, but it's thrown a monkey wrench into (trainer) Frank Alexander's schedule for him," Campbell said.
There wasn't much separating Macho Uno and Point Given in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Experimental Free Handicap for males. Macho Uno held off Point Given by a nose in the Juvenile and was assigned one pound more than that rival on the Experimental. Ranked a pound below Point Given was A P Valentine, who turned in a powerful run to win the Champagne Stakes (gr. I), but then ran last in the Juvenile. Overall, nine horses were weighted at 120 pounds or more, the same number as in 1999.
Working into a stiff headwind, a colt by Valid Expectations sped a quarter mile in :21 3/5, the fastest work at the distance at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Under Tack Preview for the 2001 Sale of Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training at Calder Race Course on Feb. 6.
A silhouette rendition of the New York skyline is featured in the official logo for this year's Breeders' Cup championship day, scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The logo will be used by the national and international media outlets covering the event and will appear in Breeders' Cup advertising, promotions and on officially licensed merchandise. Belmont Park will also utilize it on all event-related materials.
Officials at Philadelphia Park announced Monday that the purse for its marquee event, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III), would be increased from $300,000 to $500,000 for its 23rd renewal, set for Labor Day, September 3. The purse boost makes the 1-1/8 mile Pennsylvania Derby the richest race in the history of Pennsylvania horse racing.
Millionaire Menifee's first foal arrived at Cedar Point Farm near Paris, Ky., on Jan. 27.
Gander had such an impressive workout here on Saturday that trainer John Terranova II and owners Mike and Ted Gatsas have decided to run him in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap to be run over 1 1/8 miles. Gander earned the bullet work when he went six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 handily. According to Gulfstream Park, possible Donn starters, with weights and jockeys, are: Captain Steve, 120, Jerry Bailey; Albert the Great, 119, Jorge Chavez; Pleasant Breeze, 116, (Indefinite); Sir Bear, 116, Eibar Coa; North East Bound, 116, Jose Velez Jr.' Gander, 115, John Velazquez; Rich Celebration, 112, Jose Santos; Noble Ruler, 111, Pat Day; Tempest Fugit, 111, Edgar Prado; and Vision and Verse, 114, (indefinite).
A P Valentine continues to top Steve Haskin's list of top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders, with Talk Is Money the newest addition to the list.
Talk Is Money
The cry of "Go, Big Blue" resounded throughout the New York area on Super Bowl Sunday. Although it was silenced following the New York Giants' defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, don't be surprised if it is resurrected by Gang Godolphin around the first Saturday in May. That's when Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum and his faithful followers will invade Churchill Downs bearing gifts and exuding confidence. Boxloads of Godolphin jackets, shirts, and caps will turn Churchill Downs into a sea of blue. Over the past two years, three members of Maktoum's Marauders made it to the starting gate on Derby Day, their coats shining like burnished copper. But there really wasn't a Derby horse beneath those glistening exteriors.
Regular rider Chris McCarron was up as Tiznow breezed six furlongs over a muddy Santa Anita track Saturday morning for trainer Jay Robbins. Officially Tiznow covered the six furlongs in 1:12.20 and, according to McCarron, galloped out strong, completing one mile in 1:40 as he prepped for Saturday's Strub Stakes.
In a meeting Saturday on the backstretch with a group of about 50 horsemen, Gulfstream president Scott Savin detailed Magna Entertainment Corporation's plan to create a rivalry between its flagship tracks, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, by running a daylong series of races on each coast that would pit Florida and California horses against each other. Magna would foot the bill for 36 Gulfstream horses, each accompanied by a groom, to fly to Santa Anita for six starter allowance races, each with a purse as high as $80,000, on Feb. 25. Approximately two weeks later, the process would be reversed and Gulfstream would host California runners.
Daniel M. Borislow's Talk Is Money was tested all the way to the finish line by Marciano but prevailed in an all-out drive to win the $50,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, Saturday's co-feature at Laurel Park. In successfully negotiatiing two turns for the first time, the $1.8 million yearling purchase remained undefeated in two career starts.
California tracks will have their backstretch housing inspected if they want a license to conduct a horse racing meeting from the California Horse Racing Board. The state's racing board is nearing completion of an amendment to its license application that would require tracks to pass the inspection before the meet is approved. The new regulation is primarily due to a sweep last summer by state inspectors who found backstretch workers often live in substandard conditions.
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