Midwest Region

News and features for Midwestern farm owners, racehorse owners, and breeders

Wiggins to Retire After Churchill Meet

Wiggins to Retire After Churchill Meet

After training horses for more three decades and having his career peak this year with the success of the sensational filly Rachel Alexandra, Hal Wiggins will ride off into the sunset of retirement at the end of Churchill Downs' fall meet in November.

Parker Scores 3,000th Victory at Mountaineer

DeShawn Parker, the winningest African-American jockey in Thoroughbred history, reached a career milestone the night of Aug. 17 when he scored the 3,000th victory of his career. Parker won the first race at Mountaineer Park, rallying Wildcat Cat to a narrow victory in a 4 1/2-furlong dash on the turf.

Purse Hike Among Louisiana Derby Changes

Purse Hike Among Louisiana Derby Changes

Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots has raised the purse of the grade II Louisiana Derby to $750,000, increased the distance to 1 1/8 miles and moved the 3-year-old fixture to March 27, five weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Thistledown Cancels Last Four Races

Thistledown Cancels Last Four Races

A late afternoon rainstorm knocked out the power at Thistledown, forcing the North Randall track to cancel its final four live races as well as full-card simulcasting wagering on other North American tracks.

Thistledown Steward Clark Dead at 78

Veteran racing official Robert "Bob" Clark, a steward at Thistledown since 2006, died early Aug. 7 at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. Clark had been operated on in late July for neck injuries and was reportedly on the road to recovery.

Several With a Shot at Secretariat Stakes

Several With a Shot at Secretariat Stakes

Ashbrook Farm's Reb, winner of the three straight including the American Derby (gr. IIT), and Irish invader Black Bear Island, who has a group II victory in England this season, lead a wide-open field of 11 in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds Aug. 8 on the Arlington Park turf.

Pinnacle Back on Track With Race Dates

Pinnacle Back on Track With Race Dates

After Michigan horsemen experienced a scare of losing half of their summer/fall meet at Pinnacle Race Course, negotiations were held among the Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the Office of the Racing Commissioner to shave less than 10 days from the schedule.

Calhoun, Baze Highlight 11th Claiming Crown

Calhoun, Baze Highlight 11th Claiming Crown

Trainer Bret Calhoun will be on hand July 25 when Antrim County receives the 2008 National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association "Claimer of the Year" award. A couple of hours later, he'll saddle the 6-year-old gelding for the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury Park in suburban Minneapolis.

Owner to Appeal It's a Bird Decision

Owner to Appeal It's a Bird Decision

An attorney for Edmund Gann said the owner will appeal a July 21 decision by the Arkansas Racing Commission disqualifying It's a Bird from his victory in the April 4 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) after the horse tested positive for the prohibited substance naproxen, an anti-inflammatory medication.

Charitable Jockey Luncheon Set for Aug. 7

Sponsored by the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Illinois Chapter of the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America, Dining With the Dynasty will give racing fans the opportunity to dine and converse with legendary jockeys from Thoroughbred racing's past.

Indiana Downs Has Record-Setting Meet

Indiana Downs Has Record-Setting Meet

While business nationally continues to show double-digit declines, Indiana Downs once again bucked the trends during its recently-concluded 62-day race meet. The Shelbyville track, offering a slots-enriched program, enjoyed a record-setting Thoroughbred meet, with nearly all indicators showing growth. The Indiana Downs product generated nearly $61 million in total handle, an increase of 19.5% from 2008.

Baird Picks Up Win No. 2,000

Longtime Chicago-based jockey E. T. Baird notched the 2,000th victory of his career when he guided John Karakourtis's Bond Street to a 2 1/2-length win for trainer Hugh Robertson in the second race July 17 at Arlington Park.

Ohio VLTs Progress; Horsemen Concerned

Ohio VLTs Progress; Horsemen Concerned

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland signed a directive July 13 instructing the director of the Ohio Lottery to immediately begin taking steps to implement video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio. But questions remain as to how the racing and breeding industry will benefit.

Modesty 'Cap: Pure Clan Primed For Big Effort

Modesty 'Cap: Pure Clan Primed For Big Effort

Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan, fully recovered from a minor injury suffered earlier this season, seems primed to begin her run towards the top of the older female turf division and the climb will start July 11 in the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park, where she will carry top weight of 122 pounds.

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