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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Arizona Tracks to Lobby to Seek VLTs

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One Thoroughbred race track and three Greyhound race tracks have joined forces to lobby the Arizona Legislature to install video lottery terminals in the their facilities. The group comprises of Turf Paradise, a Thoroughbred track in Phoenix, Tucson Greyhound Park, and American Greyhound Racing, the company that owns both Apache Greyhound Park and Phoenix Greyhound Park.

Sikura's Death Confirmed as Accidental

The Nov. 1994 death of Canadian owner and breeder John Sikura Sr. has been confirmed as accidental following a review of the case by the Chief Coroner of Ontario. Sikura, 60, died on his way back from a restaurant when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car in his driveway. The car subsequently burst into flames, Sikura died of smoke inhalation, and General Motors settled a product-liability suit with the Sikura family.

Red Bullet Heads Donn Worktab

Frank Stronach's classic-winning Red Bullet worked toward his anticipated start in next month's Donn Handicap (gr. I) Wednesday morning, getting five furlongs in 1:03, breezing. In other news, Mongoose, who defeated Monarchos last weekend, may get a start in the Donn; and Beatrice Oxenberg's Best of the Rest, prepares for Gulfstream Park's signature race for older horses.

Courts May Settle Artificial Insemination Debate

Thoroughbred breeders who are happy with the industry's staunch opposition to artificial insemination and embryo transfer should not get too comfortable. Pending legal action against the AQHA and The Jockey Club have the potential to wrest from breed registries control over their own rules.

Autotote's Statement on Advance Deposit Wagering in California

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Applications from four companies seeking to offer Advance Deposit Wagering, or account wagering, in California will be considered by the California Horse Racing Board Thursday, Jan. 24. The regulations were approved by the state last Friday, allowing the CHRB to proceed with consideration of the applications from Autotote Enterprises Inc., Magna Entertainment Corporation, ODS Technologies (TVG), and Youbet.com. At the invitation of The Blood-Horse, each of the four license applicants was asked to provide a brief statement concerning their proposal for account wagering in California. Here is the response from Autotote Enterprises:

TVG's Statement on Advance Deposit Wagering in California

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Applications from four companies seeking to offer Advance Deposit Wagering, or account wagering, in California will be considered by the California Horse Racing Board Thursday, Jan. 24. The regulations were approved by the state last Friday, allowing the CHRB to proceed with consideration of the applications from Autotote Enterprises Inc., Magna Entertainment Corporation, ODS Technologies (TVG), and Youbet.com. At the invitation of The Blood-Horse, each of the four license applicants was asked to provide a brief statement concerning their proposal for account wagering in California. Here is the response from ODS Technologies' TVG operation.

Stakes Winner Song Of The Moment Tops Barretts' First Session

Multiple stakes winner Song of the Moment sold for $72,000 to Sid and Jenny Craig on Tuesday to top the first session of the Barretts January mixed sale in Southern California. A 4-year-old daughter of River Special, Song of the Moment captured the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton and the restricted Solano County Juvenile Filly Stakes at Solano in 2000. In her only outing this year, she finished third in the restricted Survive Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 2.

Stephen Got Even Colt Born in Florida

Millionaire Stephen Got Even's first crop includes a colt produced from Ocean Air (by Pleasant Colony) on Jan. 13 for Donald Dizney at the latter's Double Diamond Farm near Ocala, Fla.

Kentucky Horsemen Near Consensus on Slot Revenue Splits

The chances of alternative gaming at Kentucky racetracks will lie in the hands of lawmakers, but as of mid-January, racetrack officials and horsemen's groups were said to be close to agreement on revenue splits, a crucial component of any legislation that may be introduced.

Canada Issues Graded Stakes Slate for 2002

The Canadian Graded Stakes Committee has released a list of 40 graded stakes scheduled at racetracks in Canada this year. There will be five grade I events, 10 grade II events, and 25 grade III events.

TOBA Names Membership Manager

Carmen Roberson, who has a background in marketing and advertising, has been named membership manager for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Roberson will handle membership and advertising sales, and will assist with TOBA's marketing and communications.

Honoring Judgment

By John W. Russell -- An essential precept for any impartial enforcement of the rules of racing is judgment, and nowhere on the American Turf has this principle been better upheld than under the keen eye and vast experience of Pete Pedersen, senior steward for the California Horse Racing Board.

Found Money

By Ray Paulick -- Gimmicks and bonuses are fine to help attract racing sponsors. But record keepers should show some discretion in deciding what counts and what doesn't.

Australian Sale's Results Fall Short Of Last Year's Record Pace

The Classic yearling sale in Australia ended on Tuesday with gross revenues of $9,958,000 ($5,392,257) for the 342 yearlings sold during two sessions. The average price was $29,117 ($15,767). While the statistics fell short of last year's record-breaking figures, the sale still ranked as the second most successful summer yearling sale ever held at Newmarket.

Perkins Continues Success in Capossela Stakes

Ben Perkins Jr. saddled the winner of Aqueduct's Fred ``Cappy'' Capossela Stakes for the third year in a row and fourth time overall when Char-Mari Stable's Spin Zone won by three lengths on Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day card.

Chicago Casino Deal in the Works?

MGM Mirage could take over efforts to build a riverboat casino in Rosemont, Ill., near O'Hare International Airport that would pump tens of millions of dollars into the horse racing industry.

Haskin's Road to the Kentucky Derby: Searching for the Winner

He's out there, somewhere. He may be in the back of his stall nibbling on a mound of alfalfa, or stretched out with his head nestled in a bed of straw. He may be nothing more than a shrouded figure galloping through an early morning fog or a mere silhouette against a golden sunrise. But one thing is certain: somewhere out there is the winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Juvenile Consignors To Sponsor Futurity Races

In an attempt to attract more buyers to juvenile auctions, the National Association of 2-Year-Old Consignors will sponsor a pair of restricted stakes at Delaware Park this year. The NATC Futurity will have two divisions, one for colts and geldings and one for fillies. Both will be run at six furlongs on Labor Day weekend, and both will have a purse of $100,000 guaranteed. The value of each race is expected to exceed $200,000.The divisions will be open to any 2-year-old consigned by an NATC member who also is a contributor to the organization's advertising fund.

Gold Fever Colt Tops First Session Of Classic Sale In Australia

A Gold Fever colt brought the top price of $180,000 ($97,470 American) Monday during the first session of the Classic yearling sale conducted by William Inglis & Son in Australia. Consigned by Reaville Farm, he was purchased by Sam Li for his Pastore Pty. Ltd. racing syndicate. Li also bought two Strategic colts for $75,000 ($40,612) and $50,000 ($27,075).

NYRA Plans 100,000-Square-Foot VLT Area at Aqueduct

The New York Racing Association has submitted plans to state regulators to build a 100,000 square-foot, video lottery terminal area at Aqueduct racetrack, but the chairman of NYRA says the proposal won't work unless the state revises its new video lottery terminal law to give tracks more help with expenses.

Crash Course Drives to Mac Diarmida Victory

Crash Course rallied to win Sunday in the $100,000, grade III Mac Diarmida Handicap for older horses. Crash Course, ridden by jockey Jerry Bailey, finished a half length ahead of Unite's Big Red, a 28-1 shot.

Santa Anita Race Report: Major Babe

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the betting windows, Bobby Frankel has surfaced with yet another standout. His latest shooter is Labamta Babe, who up and knocked off favored Siphonic in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) on Jan. 19.

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