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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Lung Infection Found in Julep Choice Aud

Aud, who finished a disappointing seventh as the favorite in Saturday's Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, was revealed to have a lung infection, trainer Tony Reinstedler said Sunday morning.

Eddington Again Shows Speed in Final Belmont Work

Mark Hennig was surprised when Eddington worked a blistering half-mile last week, so for his final Belmont Stakes (gr. I) prep, he equipped the colt with blinkers, put Jerry Bailey up, and worked him in company to see how aggressive he'd be off that last work. He found out when Eddington blazed five furlongs in :59 flat.

Belmont Surprise: Caiman to Start

Veteran jockey Ramon Dominguez, leading rider in the nation last year with 453 trips to the winner's circle, has been named as the jockey aboard surprise starter Caiman for Saturday's 135th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Stalled VLT Operation Leads Racetrack to Close

Batavia Downs, believed to be the nation's oldest nighttime Standardbred track, will not open for racing this summer because of dwindling revenue and an inability to get financing for its racino operation, track officials said.

Burning Roma Holds On For Red Bank Win

Burning Roma held on for a head victory over a hard-charging Remind in the $100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT) as racing returned to Monmouth Park Saturday under blue skies, bright sunshine and a crowd of of 21,869.

Blonde Executive, Cut and Shoot Win Woodbine Prep Stakes

Bruno Brothers Farms' Blonde Executive certainly stated her case as one of the top 3-year-old sprinting fillies on the Woodbine grounds with a highlight performance Saturday in the $133,250 Lady Angela at Woodbine. Stonerside Stable's 3-year-old colt Cut and Shoot was just as impressive in taking the $106,000 Afleet.

Azeri Faces Most Difficult Test in Met Mile

Monday's Memorial Day $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) kicks off Belmont Stakes week with an outstanding cast, including 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, last year's 3-year-old champion Funny Cide and Pico Central and Strong Hope, the 1-2 finishers of Aqueduct's Carter Handicap (gr. I).

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit will not run in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr.I), it was reported on trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm web site Saturday. With Tapit's defection, as well as the defection of The Cliff's Edge, the connections of Purge and Master David are considering entering, although both are still doubtful starters.

Vet Harthill Hospitalized After Stroke-Like Symptoms

Long-time equine practitioner Dr. Alex Harthill was hospitalized May 27 after experiencing stroke-like symptoms while working in his Louisville office. After undergoing a series of medical tests, Harthill, 78, is expected to be released from Jewish Hospital Saturday.

Farrier Holden Dies from Cancer

Longtime farrier Clark Holden, who most recently worked in Dubai for Godolphin Racing, died Wednesday at his home in Oldsmar, Fl. He was 65.

Storms Rattle Central Kentucky Horse Farms

Darby Dan Farm was left without power or telephone service Friday morning because of an overnight storm that ripped roofs off houses and damaged homes in Central Kentucky, but most Bluegrass horse farms appear to have emerged relatively unscathed.

Smarty Jones to Race On After the Triple Crown

As Someday Farm's Smarty Jones prepares to make a run at history to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in next Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race for his future career as a stallion is rolling like a :21 and change opening quarter. One thing for certain is that in any syndication deal for Smarty Jones will include a stipulation that he will race on after the Triple Crown and may compete as a 4-year-old.

Kentucky Panel Finds Violation by Former Official

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.

Kentucky Governor Eases VS Restrictions

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).

Cooksey Gets First Victory of Comeback

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.

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