Dean Williams, who charted races for Daily Racing Form for nearly 50 years, died June 24 from complications suffered from a recent fall.
Damon Thayer, who owns Thayer Communications & Consulting and is a Kentucky senator, has officially been named general consultant/adviser for Pinnacle Race Course, the new Michigan racetrack scheduled to open July 18.
After lackluster performances in both the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the May 31 Ohio Derby (gr. II), Z Fortune has raised questions. On June 27 in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows, the son of Siphon looks to provide some answers when he faces seven rivals.
Vastly improving with every start, Storm Mesa now faces her toughest competition to date and seeks the biggest payday of her career when she takes on nine rivals in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) June 27 at Prairie Meadows.
Trainer Chris Block, the leading conditioner in Prairie State Festival history, tallied two more stakes victories in the ninth Illinois-registered series at Arlington Park June 21.
Jessica Oldham Stith, the first graduate of Chris McCarron's North American Racing Academy, failed to emulate her parents but got a lot of experience in her first ride as a jockey June 17 at River Downs in Ohio.
The Ontario division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society honored the Ontario-bred champions of 2007 at its annual awards dinner held at Glencairn Golf Club in Milton, Ontario June 13.
Pure Clan, who was last seen finishing third to Proud Spell and Little Belle May 2 in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), bounced back with an impressive victory June 14 in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.
Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan remains on schedule for a July 18 opening and has filled the position of vice president of sales and marketing.
Chris McCarron will be on hand at River Downs in Ohio June 17 to "pony" a graduate of the North American Riding Academy in her debut as a professional jockey.
The temporary "Indiana Live!" slot-machine casino at Indiana Downs opened to the public June 9, ushering in a richer future for the state's horsemen. But purses won't be going up any time soon.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp. has announced a partnership to develop a retail and entertainment venue on its property in Shakopee, Minn.
The slots era for Indiana horse racing officially began June 2 when Hoosier Park Racing & Casino opened its doors to the public.
Manoel Cruz gave Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air a perfect stalking trip and the Smooth Jazz colt responded with authority, taking over just inside the eighth-pole and then drawing clear for a three-length victory in the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air drew the rail and was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown, but he will meet some pretty stiff competition, namely, graded stakes winner Z Fortune.
Bennie Stutts Jr. is looking forward to visiting northern Ohio for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31. But unlike his first trip--about 51 years ago--Stutts won't need a snow shovel.
Courtlandt Farm's homebred filly Indescribable continued to exhibit her affinity for synthetic surfaces, this time doing it on the Arlington Park Polytrack, as she wore down Leah's Secret in mid-stretch to take the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length on Memorial Day.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air, runner-up to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown in the Florida Derby (gr. I), completed his serious work for the May 31 Ohio Derby (gr. II) with a sharp seven-furlong work at Arlington Park May 25.
Coragil Cat burst to the lead mid-stretch and drew off to win the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) by three lengths at odds of 11-1 in his graded debut May 24 on Arlington Park's Polytrack.
Front-running Meal Penalty found himself on a lonely lead and made the best of it, holding on for a three-quarters of a length win in the $150,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf May 24.
Pin Oak Stable's homebred Much Obliged surged past Scolara in the final strides to post a half-length win in the inaugural running of the $200,000 American One Thousand Guineas on the Arlington Park grass May 24.
Eight evenly-matched older fillies and mares seek their first graded stakes victory of the season, as they face off in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day.
Two feature races for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf headline the program May 24. In the American One Thousand Guineas, Dreaming of Liz tries the grass for the first time. Sporting Art is the choice in the Arlington Classic.
This time one year ago, Robert Yagos' Spotsgone was sent off at odds of 81-1 in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III). In the 2008 edition to be held May 24 at Arlington Park, the son of Bright Launch was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Of course, the drastic change in odds may have a little something to do with Spotsgone lighting up the toteboard with a $165 mutual in last year's edition.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
The Claiming Crown, a $600,000 series of races for claiming horses, returns to Canterbury Park in Minnesota this year, and already horsemen have responded with a record number of early nominations.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted May 12 to extend the grace period for anabolic steroid positives at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs to 90 days.
Mount Joy Stable's 3-year-old Smooth Air bounced out of his 11th-place finish behind Big Brown in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs in good condition, and trainer Bennie Stutts, Jr. now has him targeted for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown May 31.
Arlington Park will offer its own version of the One Thousand Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on May 24--the $200,000 American One Thousand Guineas.
William D. Lucas, whose nearly 1,500 winners as a jockey include six on a single card, died April 30 at a Lexington hospital.
Presidential Order, who ranked among Indiana's leading sires for several years, was euthanized April 23 after suffering injuries in a paddock accident at M.C. Roberts Farms near Mooresville, Ind.
Two 2007 Ohio champions finished in a dead heat for win in the $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial Stakes May 3, closing day of the Beulah Park winter/spring meet.
Declines in on-track wagering, a dispute with the New York Racing Association over signal fees, and horsemen's refusal to allow six major advance deposit wagering outlets to take its signal has led River Downs to cut purses 15%-18% effective May 8.
Jockey Orlando Mojica, one of the top riders at the recent winter/spring meet at Turfway Park, booted home his 1,000th career winner April 26 at Indiana Downs.
Through the support of many in the horseracing industry, jockey Justin Vitek will have $60,000 to help defray costs stemming from his battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. About 250 horsemen and racing fans gathered at the Kentucky Derby Museum April 21 for dinner, drinks, and live and silent auctions.
Indiana Downs enjoyed a promising start to its 54-day Thoroughbred meet April 25-26, with large crowds and strong wagering. Indiana Downs will offer racing through July 8.
Joan "Jody" Phillips, whose father started prominent Darby Dan Farm, died April 21 at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Separate rivalries will continue - this time combined - when a field of eight older fillies and mares goes postward in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course April 19.
Team Valor International's Fairbanks has not won in more than a year, but is still the horse to beat April 19 when he takes on four geldings in the inaugural $200,000 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Cliff Guilliams, a chart caller and racing writer, died in his sleep April 12 in a Louisville hotel room.
Courtlandt Farm's homebred Adriano is now considered "likely" for a run in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) following a four-furlong workout April 13 at Churchill Downs.
Live racing returns to River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 11 for a 102-day meet that extends through Labor Day.
Michigan officials were present at an April 4 groundbreaking ceremony to launch the development of Pinnacle Race Course, which will be Michigan's only Thoroughbred racetrack when it begins racing July 18.
The Ohio horse industry has officially launched the Ohio Equine Industry Coalition, which is designed to find solutions to what it calls an "economic crisis" for the industry.
Grade II winner King of the Roxy, the 2007 Ohio horse of the year, shows that struggling Ohio breeders aren't through trying to find success with the competitive forces against them.
Denis of Cork was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of seven in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 5 at Hawthorne Race Course.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will conduct a new owner seminar April 18 at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa.
Premier Turf Club has added Keeneland content to its list of track offerings, building on a business model that has allowed the North Dakota-based advance deposit wagering entity to realize four-fold growth in handle in the last few months.
Michigan Racing Commissioner Christine White issued a racing license March 19 to Post It Stables for Pinnacle Race Course, a Thoroughbred facility under construction in Romulus in the Detroit metropolitan area.
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