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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Pesci Gets Lead Role in Hollywood Debut

Pesci had the lead role Thanksgiving Day at Hollywood Park. That is Pesci, the 3-year-old filly namesake of the Oscar Award-winning actor, Joe Pesci. Pesci, making her first start, cruised to an 8 1/2-length victory in the second race Thursday, leaving the actor in a jovial mood.

Watchem Smokey Fires Home in Underwood

Watchem Smokey, ridden by Julie Krone for trainer Bobby Frankel, came from well off the pace to post a one-length victory over Our New Recruit in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Thursday.

Bailey Positioned for Stakes Run Saturday

Bailey Positioned for Stakes Run Saturday

Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will wrap up his year in New York on Saturday with a trio of stakes mounts. One behind Mike Smith's record of 68 stakes victories in a year, Bailey will be aboard likely favorites Congaree in the Cigar Mile, Read the Footnotes in the Remsen and Ashado in the Demoiselle.

14 to Go in Clark 'Cap; Tenpins Slight Choice

14 to Go in Clark 'Cap; Tenpins Slight Choice

Joseph Vitello's ultra-consistent Tenpins, a multiple stakes winner that has been worse than second only twice in 15 career races, is a slight favorite in a strong field of 14 older horses entered in Friday's 129th and richest running of Churchill Downs' $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II).

John Deere Sponsors Hollywood Turf Festival

John Deere, title sponsor of the $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and the John Deere Turf Division of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will be the presenting sponsor of the Hollywood Turf Festival Nov. 28-30.

California Track Slots Proposal Submitted

Major privately-owned California racetracks and card clubs have thrown down the gauntlet in their bid to potentially break Indian tribes' monopoly over operation of slot machines in the state.

Canada's Chopinina Faces Females in Matriarch

Chopinina has run well against some of the top males in North America at one mile on turf over her home Woodbine course in Toronto. Trainer Alec Fehr wanted to find a spot for the 5-year-old Canadian-bred mare at one mile against other females.

Avanzado Clear Choice in Underwood

Fresh off a dominant victory in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), Argentine-bred Avanzado will attempt to reaffirm his standing as California's premier sprinter in Thursday's $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.

Average, Median, Gross Soar at Tattersalls' Foal Sale Opener

Tattersalls' December Foal Sale began in Newmarket, England on Wednesday, with the weakest of the four days. But the 7,944 guineas average was still up by 12% over last year's record and the 5,000 guineas median was up 25%. The session aggregate of 1,421,900 guineas for an expanded catalogue was virtually double the 2002 figure.

Sovereign Award Finalists Announced

The Jockey Club of Canada has announced the three finalists in each of the divisional catagories for 29th annual Sovereign Awards. The finalists were released in alphabetical order. The winners and the three finalists for Horse of the Year will be announced during the Sovereign Awards Gala on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

Cox New Advertising Director at Blood-Horse

Blood-Horse Publications announced Wednesday that Jim Cox will succeed Greg Medley as advertising director, effective Jan. 1, 2004. Medley is leaving Blood-Horse Publications after 19 years to pursue a family business opportunity in Arizona.

Falbrav, Johar Slated to Star in Hong Kong

Falbrav, Johar Slated to Star in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced their selected horses for the Hong Kong International Races. Offering approximately $7.28 million (U.S.) in purses, the four-race series will take place at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, Dec. 14. The star of the Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) will be the globe-trotting Falbrav, a seven-time group I winner who will be making his final start.

List of Graded Stakes for 2004 Released; Total Drops By Seven

List of Graded Stakes for 2004 Released; Total Drops By Seven

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association released Tuesday its listing of U.S. graded stakes for 2004, the results of its annual grading session conducted Nov. 24 in Lexington, Ky. The committee reviewed 759 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 480 of them, seven less than were graded in 2003.

Cappuchino Likely for Clark

The field for Friday's 129th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) added another member on Tuesday when trainer Jerry Hollendorfer notified Churchill Downs officials that Cappuchino, winner of the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs on opening day, would likely run in the 1 1/8-mile test for older horses.

Be Gentle Set for Run in Golden Rod

Thomas Van Meter's Be Gentle arrived at Churchill Downs early Tuesday afternoon and is expected to join the field for Saturday's 60th running of the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies.

Scat Sam Man Works Towards Kentucky Jockey Club

Walter "Buddy" New's Scat Sam Man, a son of Scatmandu who is expected to make his stakes debut in Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), breezed four furlongs over a "fast" track on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.

Land of Enchantment

Land of Enchantment

By Ray Paulick -- Slot machines have divided the racetrack community into two groups: the "haves" and "have nots." To join the "haves," owners, breeders, and anyone making their living in the horse industry need to become active.

It's About Slots

By Dan Liebman -- The future of Maryland racing may not depend on the number of starts per stall, but perhaps the number of slot machines per grandstand.

THG Not Considered Problem in Racing

Tetrahydrogestrinone, a new designer steroid that has rocked human athletics in recent months, has been duly placed on the radar of North American racing. But there are no plans to take action against the potential performance-enhancer, racing officials said.

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