In spite of ongoing construction that prohibited the use of most of the track's Clubhouse and wintry weather on the meet's final weekend, Churchill Downs reported gains in on-track attendance and wagering and set another record for total wagering during its 27-day "Fall Festival Of Racing" that drew to a close on Nov. 29.
The gritty 8-year-old Redattore hadn't been himself in his last three starts. But with Julie Krone in the irons on Saturday, the Brazilian-bred bay showed all of his former fight, holding off favored Irish Warrior by three-quarters of a length in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Saturday's weather produced the chills, but Chris's Bad Boy provided the thrills, capturing the $137,375 Kennedy Road at Woodbine in record-setting time.
- By Mark Popham
A record-breaking largest ever Tattersalls December Foal Sale concluded in Newmarket last night with a 21,157,000 guineas turnover for 738 sold, up 23% on the amount yielded by 585 sold a year ago.
The Cliff's Edge won the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Saturday, after which trainer Nick Zito said he would still rank the colt behind two of his other juveniles, Eurosilver and Birdstone.
A record-breaking largest ever Tattersalls December Foal Sale concluded in Newmarket, England on Saturday with a 21,157,000 guineas gross for the 738 horses sold, up 23% on the amount yielded by 585 sold 12 months ago.
Be Gentle lost all chance right out of the gate in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She won the $230,000 Golden Rod (gr. II) Saturday at Churchill Downs by getting out of the gate first and leading all the way. It just goes to show what racing luck can mean.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day took off all of his mounts on the closing day at the Churchill Downs' fall meet – missing his third straight day of action – but the 50-year-old marvel will win his record 34th riding title at the track anyway.
Heavily favored Ashado gave jockey Jerry Bailey his record-tying 68th stakes triumph in 2003 by a head bob in Saturday's thrilling $200,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Live racing at Laurel Park was halted after the third race Saturday due to extreme wind gusts.
Quest was the declared the winner of Friday's $582,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) on a sloppy track after Churchill Downs stewards disqualified favored Evening Attire from his nose victory for drifting out in the stretch run and repeatedly bumping with the 17-1 upstart.
Joseph Allen's overlooked Randaroo won her third straight graded stakes race since Kiaran McLaughlin assumed conditioning duties, taking the $150,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Aqueduct Friday.
A February-born Singspiel colt out of champion racemare Bosra Sham set the Tattersalls sale ring alight in Newmarket, England on Friday when selling for 525,000 guineas to Sheikh Mohammed at the December Foal Sale.
The Greatest Game owner-recruitment program has plans to continue in 2004, but it could have a somewhat different look as the process of developing Thoroughbred owners continues to evolve.
Fleetstreet Dancer, winless for the past year, fought back like a champion in the shadow of the finish line, coming back under jockey Jon Court at odds of 48-1 to shock odds-on favorite Admire Don and win the $2-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by a nose at a drenched Tokyo race course on Saturday.
If Johar becomes America's first Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner since Golden Pheasant won the 12-furlong international turf race in 1991, he'll not only have to overcome a top-class field that is headed by Japanese star Symboli Kris S. He will, for the first time in his career, be tested on a racetrack that is anything other than fast or firm.
Cornejo Racing Inc.'s consistent King Robyn was not about to get caught in Friday's $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT), rolling to his fourth straight stakes victory in gate-to-wire fashion under a strong hand ride.
Frank Manganero's Mambo Slew gained a clear advantage in the stretch and held off a late charge from Ticker Tape for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Miesque (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-old fillies battling on the Hollywood Park turf Friday.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has already saddled more winners of the $200,000-added Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) than anyone at Churchill Downs, sends out the imposing duo of Be Gentle and Stellar Jayne in Saturday's 60th renewal of the race for 2-year-old fillies.
A February-born Singspiel colt out of champion racemare Bosra Sham set the Tattersalls sale ring alight in Newmarket Friday night when selling for 525,000 guineas to Sheik Mohammed at the December Foal Sale.
Trainer Nick Zito looks for another big effort by The Cliff's Edge, the odds-on favorite for Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs will mark the progress of its sweeping $121 million renovation next week when it holds a special "Topping Off" ceremony. The track has asked its fans to leave their imprint on the renovated facility by adding their signatures to a steel beam that will be placed at its highest point.
Trainer Mike Tomlinson is eyeing stakes competition for Domino Stud's Sir Cherokee after Thursday's successful return to competition by the winner of the 2003 Arkansas Derby (gr. II).
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, the leading rider in Churchill Downs' "Fall Festival Of Racing," is ill and has taken off all of mounts on Friday's big holiday racing program.
Tattersalls' December Foal Sale continued to break records in Newmarket Thursday, with the 23,128 guineas average up 34% on the equivalent day last year.
Irish Warrior, who rallied boldly for fourth in the recent Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), should be a solid candidate to provide trainer Wally Dollase with a record fifth victory in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park on Saturday. Also on the card: the $100,000 Generous (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds.
Posse rallied from last place at the top of the stretch to take a 1 1/2-length victory over Aloha Bold in the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap Thursday in the slop on opening day at Fair Grounds
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, 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.
Lead Story, ridden by Calvin Borel, rallied along the inside on a sloppy Churchill Downs track to romp away in the $334,200 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares Thursday by a widening 6 1/2 lengths.
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.
Speedster Bossanova opened up a two-length advantage in the stretch and held on under Edgar Prado for a gate-to-wire victory in Thursday's $108,300 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor, one of the nation's top 3-year-old fillies, has been knocked out of Saturday's $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs by injury and has been retired from racing.
This is the ninth in a series of early looks at next year's potential Derby horses. The migration of Europeans to the Derby trail begins Saturday when English-trained Master David tackles the Remsen Stakes for new owner Peter Minikes.
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, 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.
Thanksgiving came a day early for jockey Martin Pedroza, who rode five horses Wednesday at Hollywood Park and guided four of them into the winners' circle.
Hollywood Park's Turf Festival, presented this year by John Deere, a three-day series of six graded grass stakes worth $1.85 million, gets underway on Friday with a pair of grade III events on the grass, the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express and $100,000 Miesque.
- By Jack Shinar
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.
Fortune Writers, who arrived Monday from New York for the $600,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Sunday, worked four furlongs on the turf course Wednesday in :49 2/5 under Craig Marshall, assistant to trainer Jim Toner.
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.
Maximum 14-horse lineups were shaping up Wednesday for the $600,000 Hollywood Derby and $500,000 Matriarch, the grade I highlights for the three-day Hollywood Park Turf Festival on Sunday.
An injury suffered in a Tuesday workout has knocked Walter "Buddy" New's Scat Sam Man out of Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
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.
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.
Trainer Tony Dutrow has gotten into the habit of shipping stakes-quality horses north from his Laurel, Md. base to Aqueduct. Dutrow will be back at it Friday at the Big A, saddling Willa On the Move in the Delta Airlines/Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at a mile.
Jockey Pat Eddery was presented with the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust Award for a Lifetime's contribution to the sport of Horseracing during a luncheon in London, England on Wednesday.
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.
Louis San Juan's Canoe, a 7-year-old son of Meadowlake, will enter stud at his owner's Weber Farms near Vacaville, Calif.
Sunland Park Race Track and Casino scored record opening-day business on their 11-race program Tuesday.
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