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.
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.
The Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association's champions for 2008 were named Aug. 15 at Remington Park. Kip Deville was voted Horse of the Year.
The first two stakes for the 2009 Remington Park season drew outstanding nomination lists with plenty of star power and quality expected in the six-digit events.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp. reported a net loss of $173,099 for the second quarter of 2009 but said reduced costs and improved operating efficiencies should help moving forward.
MTR Gaming Group, which cut jobs and corporate expenses in the past year, released improved financial results for the second quarter of 2009 and said it's poised for growth in Ohio, where racetrack video lottery terminals have been authorized.
James Day knows a good racehorse when he breeds and sells one. He also knows a claiming-box bargain when he sees it -- especially one as unexpected as the 5-year-old gelding that presented itself at Thistledown Aug. 7.
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).
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.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti notched his fourth consecutive grade I victory Aug. 8 at Arlington Park, as he rolled to a 1 1/4-length win in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) under Ramon Dominguez.
Starlight Partners' Take the Points, locked in a stirring stretch duel with Black Bear Island, got up in the final strides under Kent Desormeaux to earn his first graded stakes win in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 8 on the Arlington Park turf.
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.
European group winners Alnadana and Mad About You challenge top American-based runners Pure Clan, Black Mamba and others in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT).
Because a supply of equity fund money belonging to Fairmount Park is still being held in escrow, the Collinsville, Ill., track will end its 2009 meeting 18 days earlier than planned.
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.
Often times, European horses are the focus of attention in the internationally prestigious Arlington Million (gr. IT). And while the 2009 edition of the race does include three capable foreigners, it is a trio of terrific American horses that are the ones to beat this time around.
Speculation abounds in Ohio, where casino companies are examining racetracks for possible purchase and a deal on revenue from video lottery terminals for purses hasn't been hammered out.
Einstein, who stumbled at the start and finished fifth in last year's Arlington Million (gr. IT), drew the inside post for this season's prestigious turf race at Arlington Park, which will be held Aug. 8.
The NTRA announced Aug. 4 that Arlington Park has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility.
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.
Fast Play, a son of Seattle Slew and a half-brother to major sire Seeking the Gold, and Service Stripe, have been purchased by Rusty Roberts and Dr. Robert Zoellner for stallion duty in 2010 at the latter's Rockin Z Ranch near Beggs, Okla.
Henry Pabst, who raced several graded stakes winners, died Aug. 2 at his St. Paul, Minn., home.
Richard and Frances Hessee, owners of R & R Farms near Goliad, Texas, have purchased trainer Robert Holthus' Kilkerry Farm and Training Center near Royal, Ark.
Jockey Russell Baze ventured to suburban Minnesota to register a couple of wins for trainer Lloyd Mason and owners Theresa and Edward DeNike on the Claiming Crown undercard July 25 at Canterbury Park.
Antrim County captured his second consecutive Claiming Crown event, this time turning in a gritty performance to win the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel by a neck July 25 at Canterbury Park.
Habayeb, by Storm Cat, was represented by his first winner and first stakes winner in the same race.
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.
Remington Park officials announced a new racing schedule for the upcoming Thoroughbred season, which starts Aug. 21.
Stakes winner Quick Action was represented by his first winner when his son Eternally Fast won July 17 at Calder Race Course.
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.
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.
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.
Peach Brew, far back early, wore down her rivals in the homestretch after the pacesetters fell apart to post a half-length victory in the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) July 18.
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.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 16 confirming it will have to negotiate with racetracks for purse revenue from video lottery terminals.
One broodmare died in a July 15 fire that destroyed the primary barn at Double D Farm in northeastern Ohio, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Canterbury Park reported 72 horses have been pre-entered for the Claiming Crown, which is scheduled for July 25 at the Minnesota racetrack.
C.S. Silk, a six-length winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) as a 2-year-old last September at Arlington Park, returns to the site of her biggest victory July 18 in the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III).
Einstein and Gio Ponti are just two of several talented turf horses considering the Aug. 8 race.
It appears Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups will have to negotiate the percentage of revenue that will go toward purses and breed development from video lottery terminals.
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.
Just As Well, knocking on the door in his last two starts, broke through with his first graded stakes score in the $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf July 12.
Last at the sixteenth pole, Reb unleashed a furious drive under jockey Julien Leparoux to nail No Inflation at the wire to win Arlington Park's $300,000 American Derby by a head in his stakes debut July 11.
Lewis Lakin's homebred Pure Clan, making just her second start of the season, overtook pacesetter Tizaqueena in upper stretch and sailed to the wire for a 2 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 11 on the Arlington Park turf.
Rene Douglas, who was seriously injured in a May 23 riding mishap at Arlington Park in Illinois, continues to undergo rehabilitation following his injury.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said July 10 he will sign an executive order authorizing video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks, but questions remain as to how much revenue -- if any -- purses and breed development will receive.
Crown Ambassador, the all-time leading sire in Indiana, was euthanized July 7 at Don and Dana Myers' Swifty Farms in Seymour, Ind., due to the effects of degenerative arthritis is his stifle.
Video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio may be authorized by an executive order from Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, a newspaper reported July 10.
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.
Virginia Tarra Trust's homebred Giant Oak, successful in his seasonal turf debut while winning the Arlington Classic last out, will look for his first graded stakes win July 11 in the $300,000 American Derby (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
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