Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.
Two of the last three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners came out of the Florida Derby (gr. I), and based on the talent that will go to post in this year's edition of Gulfstream Park's signature event, it would not be surprising to see a third go on to wear the roses.
Big Drama, a five-time winner as a juvenile whose Triple Crown aspirations were interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery, returns to action as the one to beat in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) March 28 on the Florida Derby undercard at Gulfstream Park.
Kinsman Stable's Vanquisher and Hardacre Farm's Kiss the Kid, the only two starters with stakes wins so far this season, lead a wide-open field of 11 older horses in the $100,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIIT)on the Gulfstream turf March 28.
Sam Gordon was elected March 24 to serve his fifth term as president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.
Steve Weicholz isn't a newcomer to shopping at the top end of juvenile auctions. The Boca Raton, Fla., resident is the new owner of El Kingdom, whose $450,000 price topped the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of in training. Three years ago, through Bill Badgett, Weicholz purchased Justin Rules, a son of Mr. Greeley, for $525,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile auction in Maryland.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered downturns of 30% or more in its gross revenue, average price, and median price after posting all-time highs for those figures in 2008. Here's what people had to say about the market at the auction, which was held March 17 and 18 in Central Florida.
Dress Rehearsal, a steadily improving Irish-bred filly trained by Bill Mott, turned the tables on prohibitive favorite Criticism to win the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf course March 22.
Grade II winner Justwhistledixie, bidding for her fifth consecutive win, is strictly the horse to beat in the $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park March 27.
Buddy's Humor caught the pacesetter Presious Passion at the top of the stretch and prevailed following a long drive to the wire by three-quarters of a length in the $147,000 Pan American Stakes at rain-soaked Gulfstream Park. The race was taken off the turf course as a result of day-long showers and contested on a sealed main track.
Dunkirk and Quality Road, the two likely favorites for the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 28 at Gulfstream Park, posted impressive workouts on a fast track on the morning of March 21 at Palm Meadows.
Journeyman Stud has revised the stud fees on a number of its stallions for the remainder of the 2009 breeding season.
Calder Race Course announced its stakes schedule for the 2009 Calder Meet on March 20, a program that includes renewals of the Summit of Speed and Festival of the Sun, and the 28th runnings of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism, winner of consecutive graded stakes and a half-length from being undefeated since coming to the United States, tops a field of eight fillies and mares in the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 22 on the Gulfstream Park turf.
The owner of Colonial Downs reported it lost $4.1 million during 2008, due in part to its investment in MTR Gaming Group, it was reported March 18.
Hialeah Park received a Quarter Horse permit from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering on March 17, with an apparent mandate to begin that racing by March 17, 2010.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. closed out the two-day run of its March select juvenile auction with a bang as an El Prado colt named El Kingdom brought the sale's most expensive price of $450,000 March 18.
The National Steeplechase Association opens the 2009 season Saturday with the Aiken Steeplechase at Ford Conger Field in Aiken, S.C.
Hot off his win in the Mac Diarmida (gr. IIT) one month ago, Presious Passion is back to defend his title in the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park grass course March 21.
Saying he had found the equine equivalent of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James, trainer Eddie Plesa paid $450,000 for an El Prado colt March 18 during the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida. As of early afternoon, the price was the highest of the auction, topping the $425,000 Indian CharlieÃ¢â‚¬"Hollywood and Wine filly that sold March 17
Leprechaun Racing's Mike Mulligan, who suffered a fractured skull in a fall following the March 3 Fasig-Tipton Florida March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, is fully conscious and spoke to his wife on the phone March 18 during the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
As Leprechaun Racing's Mike Mulligan recuperated from a fractured skull in a South Florida hospital, his friends and associates in the Thoroughbred business reached out to offer support. Participants in the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training wore green rubber bracelets decorated with shamrocks and pitched in to help Mulligan's wife, Britt, at the Leprechaun consignment. They also held a prayer service prior to the March 17 opening session of the auction.
Still reeling from the effects of the worldwide financial crisis, buyers approached the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training cautiously, and their reluctance to spend the really big bucks was a major factor in the opening session's setbacks. Compared to a year ago, when the auction enjoyed a record-setting run, the gross revenue dropped 29.6% while the average price fell 32.6%,and the median price declined 22.2% March 17 in Central Florida.
A smooth-striding Grand Slam colt brought $400,000 early in the afternoon during the first session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
The Adena Springs sale of 2-year-olds in training bucked the downward trend in the Thoroughbred marketplace in one important statistical category. The median price rose 28.6% from a year ago during the eighth edition of the auction, which was held March 16 at Adena Springs South near Williston, Fla.
Odds-on choice Game Face won the Gulfstream Park rubber match when she overpowered her rival Any Limit in the homestretch to win the $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths on March 15.
Gozzip Girl, kicking home from the inside, collared Obsequious in deep stretch to score a half-length win in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf March 15.
Mount Joy Stables' 4-year-old Florida homebred Smooth Air wore down the leaders in the deep stretch of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 14 at Gulfstream Park to score a 1 1/4-length decision over Rolbea Throughbred Racing's 5-year-old Finallymadeit.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
Backseat Rhythm rallied in the stretch under Eibar Coa to nip Elusive Lady at the wire for a nose victory in the $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on March 14.
Eric Fein and Vic Carlson's Musket Man found his best stride inside the sixteenth-pole and edged out longshot Join in the Dance by a neck to win the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 14.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s homebred El Crespo took over at the top of the lane and powered to a one length victory in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 14 on the Gulfstream Park turf.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again notched his first win since taking the Jim Dandy (gr. II) last summer, as he came roaring from off the pace to capture the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in the slop at Fair Grounds March 14.
Alan Brodsky's Don't Forget Gil turned the tables on her two main rivals by drawing off to a convincing victory in the March 14 Florida Oaks (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select juvenile auction "will be as good as a 2-year-old sale can be this year," according to Tom Ventura.
The catalog for the Adena Springs sale of 2-year-olds in training is smaller this year when compared to 2008. But the auction is "full of quality," according to Mark Roberts, the manager of Adena Springs South in Williston, Fla., where the sale will be held March 16, beginning at 4:30 p.m. (EDT).
Here is a list of horses to keep an eye on during the March 16 first session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida:
Undefeated Dunkirk, the 2-for-2 contender for the Coolmore partnership of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, posted his latest workout March 14 at Palm Meadows Training Center as trainer Todd Pletcher prepares him for his first career stakes attempt in the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Here is a list of horses to keep an eye on during the March 18 seconds session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
A More Than Ready colt was the fastest worker at an eighth of a mile March 13 during the second session of the under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida. He covered the distance in :9 3/5.
Fasig-Tipton will fine nine consignors because the riders of their horses misused their riding crops during the Feb. 27 under tack show for the Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course.
Seven 3-year-old fillies, led by probable favorite Just Jenda, will try to earn their first grades stakes victory in the $100,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) March 15 at Oaklawn Park.
The top five finishers from the competitive Suncoast Stakes in February will face each other again in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) March 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Livin the Dream Racing's Dream Empress, winner of the Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) and runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), will make her 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIT) March 15 on the Gulfstream Park turf. But trainer Ken McPeek said the Bernstein filly is not a candidate for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Four horses tied for the fastest work at a quarter mile during the March 12 first session of the under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida.
MTR Gaming Group on March 12 reported a $17.7 million loss for 2008, and took a shot at a new Ohio proposal to put slots in casinos.
The rubber match between Joseph V. Shields, Jr.'s 6-year-old mare Any Limit and Zabeel Racing International's 4-year-old filly Game Face is set for the March 15 Inside Information Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Tom McCarthy's General Quarters, impressive winner of last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), will try to prove that his runaway victory was no fluke when he returns for $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
Already regarded by many as the best 3-year-olds in the land, Fox Hills Farms' Old Fashioned will look to solidify himself as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite when he takes on eight rivals in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
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