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.
The field for the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) was reduced by one on March 12 as Fair Grounds officials learned that My Meadowview Farm's Nowhere to Hide will be scratched.
Duke of Homberg, winner of the Hallandale Beach Stakes last month, returns to the Gulfstream Park turf to take on six rivals in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 14.
If his last race is any indication, Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air should be set up for a big run in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) on March 14 at Gulfstream Park, a race that has been shortened from 1 3/16 miles to one mile this season.
At the moment, trainer Hal Wiggins is resisting the temptation to seriously consider racing Rachel Alexandra against the boys. But, if the ultra-talented filly should put on another scintillating performance in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14, Higgins admits the plot would thicken.
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
TVG will broadcast live, trackside coverage of the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) from Tampa Bay Downs March 14. Coverage of the track's marquee race begins at 4 p.m. ET, with post time at 5:26 p.m. ET.
Uniform policies that restrict use of a riding crop in under tack shows for 2-year-olds in training had a significant effect on riders' actions at the preview for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile auction, according to Fasig-Tipton director of marketing Terence Collier.
Mike Mulligan, a leading consignor at sales of 2-year-olds in training, was in stable condition, with a head injury, at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., March 9. Fasig-Tipton director of marketing Terence Collier reported March 10 that "they (doctors) are changing his medication levels today to raise him to the next level (of consciousness). All vital signs continue to be progressing."
Supreme Excellence, a stakes winner/producer, succumbed to the infirmities of old age Feb. 8 at The Gentle Farm near Sparta, N.C.
L and M Partners' Rachel Alexandra looms as the 4-5 morning line choice when facing five rivals in the 43rd running of the $400,000 grade II Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies March 14 at Fair Grounds.
The under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select sale of 2-year-olds in training will begin at 9 a.m. (EDT) instead of 8 a.m., as previously scheduled, because of the recent switch to Daylight Savings Time. The first session of the show is set for March 12 (Hip Nos. 1-260), and the second session will be held March 13 (Hip Nos. 261-523) in Central Florida.
Helen Alexander and Helen Groves' rising star Acoma notched her third consecutive graded stakes victory March 8 at Oaklawn Park, coming from off the pace to score a five-length win in the $144,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III).
Giant Oak's breeze on March 7, clocked in 1:00.80 for five furlongs, was a routine move in advance of Fair Grounds' $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. However, just past the wire, trainer Chris Block's big horse bobbled briefly, giving the Illinois-based conditioner some moments of concern until he was able to check out his horse back at the barn.
The Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, held March 3 at Calder Race Course, suffered downturns of 25.5% in gross revenue, 31.5% in average price, and 34.8% in median price. The number of horses sold rose 8.8% while the buy-back rate dropped to 35.5% from 40.4% a year ago. Read what people at the auction had to say about the market:
I Lost My Choo showed no rust from a nearly seven-month layoff, as the 4-year-old filly drew away in mid-stretch for a two-length score in the $100,000 Honey Fox (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Gulfstream Park March 7.
Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Albertus Maximus continues to solidify his status as America's leading hope for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) with a bullet workout March 7 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
Apprentice jockey Mike Straight notched the first win from his first career ride March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs in the sixth race aboard Ready Ruler for trainer Michael Thomas and owner Leighton Evans.
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).
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