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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

BC Bits

BC Bits

By Steve Haskin -- The Breeders' Cup always manages to leave behind a little piece of itself that creeps into the brain, spawning questions and opinions.

Coming Up Short

Coming Up Short

By Ray Paulick -- Magna and Churchill have a common problem with short fields in California.

Aptitude Tops Clark Workouts

Aptitude Tops Clark Workouts

Juddmonte Farm's Aptitude, the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (GI) and Belmont Stakes (GI), breezed four furlongs in :49 2/5 at Churchill Downs on Monday in preparation for the Clark Handicap (gr. II). The move by Aptitude tied as the fifth fastest of 23 works at the distance over a track that was not yielding quick times.

Tampa Bay, Horsemen Again in Purse Dispute

On the heels of a horsemen's dispute that spoiled its 1999 opening week, Tampa Bay Downs is having problems signing a purse contract before opening day Dec. 16, and it could be compounded by legal problems. The Oldsmar, Fla., track appears to have violated its existing purse agreement with horsemen by denying stalls to six officers, or their trainers, of the Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, according to HBPA officials.

Meadowlands Numbers Decline; Improvements Planned

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, is planning several improvements at both racetracks and will sell $15 million in bonds to pay for them. Meanwhile, Meadowlands reported both handle and attendance fell during the Thoroughbred meet that ended Saturday.

Five Want to Buy New York City OTB

A partnership between Magna Entertainment, Greenwood Racing, and real estate investors Robert Baker and William Mack is pursuing the purchase of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. The partners are one of five groups that submitted formal bids late Friday for the nation's most lucrative OTB franchise. NYCOTB owns 68 betting parlors, three teletheaters, and four restaurant-sports pubs that generated a $1 billion handle last fiscal year.

Jersey Commission Meeting Could Be Contentious

Tuesday's meeting of the New Jersey Racing Commission in Trenton, at which the 2001 dates requests of state racetracks will be considered, is expected to be well-attended and perhaps contentious, according to Barbara DeMarco-Reiche, lobbyist for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Captain Steve Highweighted for Clark

Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.

Muntej To Start in Hollywood Derby

Sky Classic Handicap (Can-IIT) winner Muntej will race next in the $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 26 at Hollywood Park. n other Hollywood Turf Festival news, trainer Todd Pletcher will enter two horses in separate events. Texas Glitter will race in Friday's $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express (gr. IIIT) and Deeliteful Irving will run in Saturday's $200,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT).

Keeneland November Sale Concludes with Record Average

Keeneland November Sale Concludes with Record Average

Keeneland's 14-day November breeding stock sale ended Saturday with a record average and the second-highest dollar volume in the history of the auction. Keeneland sold 3,266 horses for $301,994,800 during this year's event. Last year, Keeneland sold 3,461 horses for $317,666,000. both records for thoroughbred auctions worldwide.

Swept Away Earns Her Second Safely Kept Win of the Year

Swept Away won her second career graded stakes race and her second Safely Kept Stakes win of the year, cruising to a 2 1/2-length win at the 3-5 favorite in the $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Laurel Park. In August, the Bernard Flint-trained 3-year-old filly won Arlington International's Safely Kept Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths.

HBPA Plans to Relocate Office, Hire Executive Director

HBPA Plans to Relocate Office, Hire Executive Director

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association expects to move its office from south Florida to Kentucky and have a full-time executive director on board within the next year. Scott Savin, recently named general manager at Gulfstream Park, will remain part-time executive director of the organization through the end of this year.

Churchill Declares Dividend, Sets Up Charitable Foundation

The board of directors for Churchill Downs Inc. Thursday declared an annual dividend of 50 cents per share on the Company's common stock, payable Jan. 19, 2001, to stockholders of record on Dec. 31, 2000. Also during the quarterly meeting, the board approved the establishment of a non-profit private charitable foundation to provide contributions to qualifying charitable, civic and community causes in locations where CDI and its subsidiaries do business.

Surfside, Cash Deal Work at Churchill

A pair of D. Wayne Lukas-trained fillies topped the Churchill Downs work tab Thursday morning. Surfside went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 and Cash Deal went the same distance in :59. Also working at Churchill Thursday were three horses trained by Elliott Walden -- Brahms, Meetyouatthebrig, and Golden Temper.

Bevo in Bullet Work; Cigar Mile Likely Next Start

Peter Callahan's Bevo worked five furlongs around "dogs" at Belmont Park Thursday morning in 1:00 2/5, the fastest work of the day at the distance. The 3-year-old is entered in both the $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II, Aqueduct, Nov. 23) and the $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I, Aqueduct, Nov. 25), but trainer Bill Badgett said the Prospector's Gamble colt is more likely for the Cigar Mile.

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