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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Post Positions for Hong Kong Sprint, Vase

Silent Witness, unbeaten in seven starts Hong Kong, drew post 11 for Sunday's Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I). The Tony Cruz-trained runner will likely be the even-money favorite in the 14-horse field. The five-furlong race is run down a straightaway at Sha Tin Racecourse. In the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Vase (HK-I), likely favorite Imperial Dancer drew the outside post 14.

Falbrav Draws Post 5 for Hong Kong Cup

Falbrav Draws Post 5 for Hong Kong Cup

Falbrav, who figures to be the even-money favorite for Sunday's Hong Kong Cup (HK-I), drew post 5 in the 14-horse field Thursday morning at the barrier draw held at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong. The HK$18 million (approximately $2.3 million U.S.) Hong Kong Cup is the star attraction of the Hong Kong International Races, which also includes the Hong Kong Vase, Sprint, and Mile (all HK-I).

NYRA Indicted; Avoids Trial and Retains Right to Operate Tracks

NYRA Indicted; Avoids Trial and Retains Right to Operate Tracks

The New York Racing Association, under investigation for more than three years, was indicted Thursday on fraud and conspiracy charges. Despite that, NYRA will be able to retain its franchise to run three premier Thoroughbred tracks in New York under a "deferred prosecution'' deal in which it will escape a trial in return for reforming its operations, according to the deal agreed to by federal prosecutors and the NYRA board of trustees.

Regulators View Drug Policy; No Race-Day Changes Yet

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium continued its march toward a national model policy on medication and drug testing Dec. 10 when regulators responded favorably to the proposal. But wholesale changes in race-day medication rules around the country aren't expected to take place any time soon.

Penn National Enters into Agreement on Gaming Operations in Maine

Penn National Gaming, Inc., announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Davric Maine Corporation and Scarborough Downs which grants Penn National Gaming an economic interest in and the exclusive rights to develop and operate any future gaming facilities that Scarborough Downs develops

Champion Our Mims Dead at Age 29

Champion Our Mims Dead at Age 29

Champion filly Our Mims was euthanized at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. on Dec. 9. The 1977 champion, who was 29 years old, died after suffering a bout of colic and was buried at Calumet Farm near Lexington, Ky.

Dates Set For 2004 Derby, Oaks Future Wager

Churchill Downs has established the dates for its wagering pools for the 2004 Kentucky Derby (KDFW) and Kentucky Oaks Future Wagers (KOFW). The Oaks wager, which is entering its second year, will be offered in three pools for the first time.

Toccet Heading For Santa Anita's Strub Series

Dan Borislow, encouraged by Toccet's solid third-place finish behind Congaree and Midas Eyes in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) has decided to send the colt back to Santa Anita and point for the Strub Series, beginning with the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 26.

How Much Do Slots Really Help the Racing Product?

How Much Do Slots Really Help the Racing Product?

Jean Major said he can't argue with the benefits of racetrack slot machines in Ontario, Canada. But he indicated there are two sides to every story, and suggested some procedures to ensure substantive growth in the horse racing industry.

Drug Policy: Room for More--With Scientific Evidence

Regulators in the United States will get their first look at a proposed national medication and drug-testing policy Dec. 10, but even if it wins widespread support, it could take some time before any changes are enacted in various jurisdictions.

Lakeview Farm to Disperse at Barretts January

Carl and Olivia Cannata, owners of Lakeview Farm in California, will offer a complete dispersal of their racing and breeding stock at the Barretts January mixed sale in Pomona, Calif. Jan 26-27.

Fan Voting Begins for 'NTRA Moment of the Year'

Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, www.ntra.com, for the fifth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Frank Talk

Frank Talk

By Ray Paulick -- Will 2004 be a turning point for the Frank Stronach-led Magna Entertainment, which frequently has stumbled and struggled since entering the racetrack ownership business in 1998 with its purchase of Santa Anita Park? Also, will Keeneland bring back the July yearling sale and will the Thoroughbred Championship Tour kick off in 2004?

Improving the Breed

By Martin Stiles -- Improving the breed would be well served by establishing and maintaining a purse structure that disproportionately rewards the winners of the very best races (grade I), and forbids race-day medication in those races. I think Federico Tesio would approve.

Swan Re-Elected Jockeys' Guild Chairman

Tomey Jean Swan was elected to her third term as chairman of the board of directors of the Jockeys' Guild at the 63rd annual National Assembly in Dallas, Tex.

Thoroughbred Charities Gala Raises $1.5 Million

Despite a severe snowstorm along the East Coast, a large crowd attended the Thoroughbred Charities of America's 14th annual gala and auction Dec. 6, raising more than $1.5 million to aid retired Thoroughbreds.

Australian Breeders Merge Two Bodies

Australia's Thoroughbred breeders have taken a significant step toward unity with a merger of its two leading bodies. Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and Aushorse jointly announced their amalgamation in a press statement earlier this month.

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