WinStar Farm's 3-year-old Al Khali rallied through the stretch for a three-quarter length victory under John Velazquez in a 1 1/8 mile allowance test March 6 at Gulfstream Park, moving him up in trainer Todd Pletcher's arsenal of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) candidates.
Acoma, who bagged consecutive graded stakes on the turf to close out her sophomore season, makes her 4-year-old debut against seven rivals in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 8 at Oaklawn Park.
Terrain breezed a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.60 March 6 at Fair Grounds in advance of his 3-year-old debut in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 14.
Citing across-the-board increases in all product lines during the first half of its 54-day season, Oaklawn officials announced March 6 a purse increase that will go into effect immediately. Through the first 27 days, Oaklawn was up in attendance, on-track handle and export handle.
A field of only four or five opponents is shaping up to face Golden Rod (gr. II) winner Rachel Alexandra in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), which is scheduled for March 14 at Fair Grounds.
Gulfstream Park said its average daily all-sources handle rose 3.6% and that its average daily on-track handle was up 7.2% during this year's first two months.
Mike Mulligan, a leading consignor at horse sales who was injured in a fall March 3, was listed in critical but stable condition at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida March 5.
When last seen, Wild Promises was scoring in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park, her sixth consecutive stakes win. Since then, the California-based mare has returned home for trainer Greg Gilchrist, but now the duo is back in Florida for more and they will look to add to their bankroll March 7 in the $100,000 Honey Fox (gr. IIIT).
The first foal by Florida stallion Successful Ways is a colt out of the Straight Man mare Straightforthewire born Feb. 13.
Lori and George Hall's Atomic Rain and Jayeff B Stable's Chef are prominent in a field of eight 3-year-olds entered in a 1 1/8-mile allowance feature at Gulfstream Park March 6, a race almost certain to yield a contender or two for the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) to be run over the track and distance on March 28.
Mike Mulligan, whose Leprechaun Racing sold the second-highest priced horse at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training March 3, was in the intensive care unit at Memorial General Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., the following day as a result of injuries he suffered in a fall.
Tackling the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Fasig-Tipton's Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered some bumps and bruises, but also scored a couple of minor victories. The number of horses sold rose from a year ago while the buy-back rate declined. Meanwhile, the gross revenue fell 25.5% and the average price dropped 31.5%. The median price was down 34.8%.
Graded stakes winners Ecton Park and Running Stag have been sent to Korea for stallion duty.
Cup o' Joe, a handsome Medaglia d'Oro colt, became the highest priced horse sold so far at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training when he brought $1.6 million from Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager John Ferguson.
A strapping Unbridled's Song colt named Cornerstone broke through the seven-figure price barrier a little more than two hours into the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training March 3 at Calder Race Course. Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager John Ferguson paid $1.1 million for the gray or roan juvenile.
Fasig-Tipton will report private sales in addition to horses sold in the auction ring during its Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training March 3 at Calder Race Course. The juveniles sold privately will be designated on the sale summary sheet as (PS), which stands for private sale. The private sales will be included in the auction's final statistics.
The fanciest juvenile sale in the world faces off against the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression March 3 at Calder Race Course, and based on the results of other recent Thoroughbred auctions, prices probably will be down considerably.
Here is a list of juveniles that buyers and consignors at Calder Race Course were talking about the most one day before the March 3 Fasig Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
A total of 218 juveniles have been cataloged for the 2009 edition of the John Franks Memorial 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale at Evangeline Downs on March 22.
These 2-year-olds stand out because of their workout times, yearling purchase prices, and pedigrees.
When Dubai-based Synergy Investments purchased Fasig-Tipton last year, Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferguson, vowed the Kentucky-based auction firm would strive to offer higher levels of customer service. According to shoppers at Fasig-Tipton's Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, the company is fulfilling that promise.
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners' Justwhistledixie stalked the pace, took over leaving the turn, and cruised to a 3 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park March 1.
Despite making just the third start of his career and facing stakes company for the first time, Edward Evans' homebred Quality Road romped to a resounding 4 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Peachtree Stable's Twilight Meteor, making his second start since an extended layoff, cut the corner perfectly under John Velazquez and outdueled pacesetter Buddy's Humor to the wire to take the $150,000 Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) by a length Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
IEAH Stables' 3-year-old colt Patena passed an important test Feb. 28 with an easy six-furlong workout at Gulfstream Park that will keep him on the path to starting in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 14 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
The son of Tiznow will attempt to win for the first time since the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in the eighth race allowance going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park Feb. 28.
The fastest times were slower than they were a year ago during the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. But the auction firm's officials and consignors said they weren't surprised or disappointed for a couple of reasons.
The Florida Legislature will begin its annual two-month session on March 3, with the state's Thoroughbred tracks and other pari-mutuels seeking changes in a gaming compact that Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed in 2007.
Since scoring in the Forward Gal (gr. II) less than a month ago, Frolic's Dream was purchased privately and has changed barns, but that won't keep the promising filly from trying to win for the fifth time in six starts in the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) March 1 at Gulfstream Park.
Magna Entertainment Corp. and partner Forest City Enterprises announced Feb. 26 the first 32 tenants for the retail portion of their The Village at Gulfstream Park development. Plans for the $1.2-billion complex, adjacent to Gulfstream's clubhouse/casino building, include a hotel and condominiums on the property in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Meanwhile, officials are reluctant to speculate on a possible bankruptcy filing by MEC.
If the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) February select sale of 2-year-olds in training was any indication, it's going to be a tough year for yearling-to-juvenile pinhookers. The rate of return (ROR) on their investment, 30.7%, ranked among their worst ever based on figures that date back to 1990. It was the weakest since the ROR dropped to its lowest point during the 20-year period of 17.1% in 1993.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Delightful Kiss will make his first start on grass since May 2007 and use the $150,000 Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) as a prep for his trip to Dubai next month. The 5-year-old gelding will face 10 older rivals in the one-mile contest Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
A deep and talented field has been entered for the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II),and when the dust finally settles on the Gulfstream Park oval Feb. 28, the still muddled Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) picture should become a little bit clearer.
The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association announced Feb. 25 that it, along with partner MaxWest Environmental Systems, has received a grant award in the amount of $2.5 million from the Florida Energy and Climate Commission for a green energy project.
Apparently, English-bred Criticism has found the footing on American soil to her liking. The Darley homebred mare, who made her North American debut this past fall, wrapped up her second consecutive graded stakes when taking the $100,000 The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) in front-running fashion Feb. 22 at Gulfstream Park.
Daniel Centeno, leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs, added five more victories to his total at the Oldsmar, Fla., track on Feb. 22.
Harold Queen's 3-year-old Florida homebred Big Drama breezed an easy half-mile in :50-flat Feb. 22 at Calder, his first workout since Jan. 18 as the colt's training schedule was interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery after kicking himself in a shin in his stall.
In his first ride at Tampa Bay Downs, Carlos Marquez brought Victory Alleged six wide into the lane to run down the leaders for a 28-1 surprise in the $142,500 Tampa Bay Stakes on the turf Dec. 21.
Presious Passion proved he might just be in the top form of his career as a 6-year-old, scoring his second graded stakes victory in a nine-week span when taking the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) by a half length Feb. 21 on the turf at Gulfstream Park.
With a week to go before the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), This Ones for Phil and two other leading 3-year-olds put in works over the Gulfstream Park main track on the morning of Feb. 21.
Driven by its live export signal to out of state outlets, total handle is up slightly at Tampa Bay Downs through the mid-way part of the 94-day meet, the track reported Feb. 20.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s talented filly One Caroline wasn't fazed the least bit when facing graded stakes winners for the first time, as she took command shortly after first call and disposed of six rivals to win the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (gr. III) by a length Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park.
Dunkirk, who made headlines before he ever started as a $3.7 million Keeneland September yearling buy, figures to be making many more on the track following his impressive 4 3/4-length win in an important 3-year-old allowance race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 19.
Bentley Smith's homebred Lady Carlock may have a small edge in the $100,000 Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 22 at Gulfstream Park based on her victory in the Suwannee River (gr. IIIT) three weeks ago, but the wide-open turf event for fillies and mares is anyone's for the taking.
The set of uniform policies developed by four major auction firms Barretts, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. took effect beginning with the OBS February select sale of 2-year-olds in training Feb. 17 in Central Florida. The policies address medication, prohibited practices, riding crops, and horseshoes. "As the first sale under these new guidelines, I thought it went tremendously well," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales.
The selling season for select 2-year-olds in training staggered out of the starting gate in Central Florida Feb. 17. The year's first major juvenile auction, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February sale, suffered sobering setbacks of 29.3% in gross revenue, 33.7% in average price, and 28% in median price from a year ago. Another discouraging result was the buy-back rate, which soared from 28.2% in 2008 to 38.3%.
Jockey Jonathan Joyce, who had not visited the winner's circle in more than a month, had a stellar day at Laurel Park on Feb. 18 when he won a career-best five races.
Grade I winner Presious Passion should get the firm ground he likes for his return to Gulfstream Park Feb. 21 in the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) following a narrow miss in the Sunshine Millions Turf last month.
Westrock Stables' Scott Ford, a former president and chief executive officer of Alltel, hasn't been in the Thoroughbred business for long, but he was a major player at the Ocala Breeders'Sales Co. select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Prices were down significantly at the first major auction of the selling season for 2-year-olds in training Feb. 17 in Central Florida. Read what one buyer and several consignors had to say about the market at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February auction.
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