The field that has passed the entry box for the Feb. 7 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) makes for an intriguing handicapping puzzle. The cast, which is about evenly split with horses making their first start off a layoff and those with some recent Fair Grounds experience, is long on back class, but a bit light on early pace.
For the third time in nine weeks, Cindy Jones' Just Jenda and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Four Gifts will have a showdown as they head a field of eight 3-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
Virginia Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old, was installed as the 3-1 favorite among 13 sophomores entered for the Feb. 7, $200,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
Yonaguska will be relocated from Vinery in Kentucky to Elite Thoroughbreds in Louisiana.
Though five horses have been euthanized as a result of catastrophic breakdowns at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots since Jan. 17, Dr. Tom David, equine medical director for the Louisiana State Racing Commission, said the incidents appear to have no direct connection with the condition of the racing surface.
Grade I winner Proud Tower Too, who stood at stud in 2008 and then was returned to training, has been retired again.
Jockey Jake Barton earned the 2,000th win of his career when he brought favored Song of Pirates from off the pace to win the third race at Turf Paradise Jan. 20.
Officials from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana State Racing Commission have lifted the quarantine on a barn that had been in place since late December at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Sam Houston Race Park will begin repairs to the roof of its grandstand, as well as additional construction to rebuild portions of the stable and track areas, weather permitting beginning Jan. 22.
Storm Cat, a leading sire who was pensioned last year after experiencing fertility problems at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington, might return to the sire ranks as a Quarter Horse stallion.
Peppers Pride, who holds the modern day American record for consecutive wins, has been retired from racing to become a broodmare for breeder/owner Joe Allen and is booked to Tiznow.
Grade II winner Air Commander will enter stud at Dr. Warren Center's Mighty Acres near Pryor, Okla.
Larry Jones might have one of the top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls this year, and he plans to bring the horse to Arkansas.
Andrea Young has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of Sam Houston Race Park and Valley Race Park in Texas, parent company MAXXAM Inc. announced Jan. 13. Young also joins the company's board of directors.
Jockey Francisco Torres will be out of action for an indefinite period of time after tests Jan. 9 revealed a fractured clavicle. Torres was thrown from a 3-year-old filly trained by Mark Frostad near the half-mile pole during morning workouts Jan.8.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino has hired veteran racing official and horseman Coleman Lloyd as its racing secretary.
When the Texas legislature convenes Jan. 13, a bill to legalize alternative gaming at the state's racetracks is ready to be filed. The Texas racing industry has angled for video lottery terminals for the past decade, but in 2009, business will not be as usual.
Texas is among 27 states tracing and testing horses that may have been exposed to contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted during breeding or artificial insemination. CEM can cause temporary infertility of horses. The disease, not known to affect humans, was first detected in the United States in 1978, then again in l979. In both instances, the infection was eradicated.
Some Ghost, New Mexico's champion racehorse of 2007, registered an emphatic fourth straight victory in the $100,000 Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap for state-breds at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Jan. 4.
Advance deposit wagering outlets owned by TrackNet Media, TwinSpires.com and XpressBet, as well as Youbet.com, will be taking bets on the upcoming 2009 Oaklawn racing season under an agreement announced Dec. 31.
Jockey Donnie Meche sustained apparent injuries when he was thrown from his mount in the first race at Fair Grounds Dec. 28.
The 7th annual John Franks Memorial sale of 2-year-olds in training will be held at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino March 22, 2009. An under tack show is scheduled for the previous day.
Trainer Steve Klesaris was ready to celebrate after 11-1 shot Ask Joe captured the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes by a head over Big Push in the finale of a five-stakes program at Fair Grounds.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who on Dec. 18 became the first trainer to win 600 races in a year, labeled the feat a "pretty amazing thing" and credited his staff and owners for his ability to continue to break records.
The Fasig-Tipton Texas December mixed sale, which was the last major Thoroughbred auction of the year in this country, followed the downward trend that has plagued the equine marketplace in recent months. The gross revenue plummeted 46.7% Dec. 14 compared to a year ago, while the average price dropped 36%. The median declined 14.3%.
The Fasig-Tipton December mixed sale, this country's last major Thoroughbred auction of the year, will be held Dec. 14 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. There are 221 horses listed in the catalog: 142 broodmares or broodmare prospects, 44 weanlings, and 35 yearlings or horses of racing age.
Using emergency regulations, the Louisiana Racing Commission has banned the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Golden Yank, fresh off an impressive win in the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, heads the field in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 6 at Zia Park in New Mexico.
A recent deal that allowed expanded distribution of the Fair Grounds racing signal was hailed by some as a step forward in the months-long nationwide dispute between horsemen, racetracks, and advance deposit wagering entities. But some horsemen's groups are categorizing the development as a step backwards in an overall plan to secure higher revenue shares for purses from a growing wagering segment.
The Texas division of Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 221 horses for its mixed sale at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie Dec. 14. There are 142 in-foal mares or broodmare prospects, 44 weanlings, and 35 yearlings or horses of racing age listed in the book.
Jockeys Carl Williams and Alberto Higuera were released from John C. Lincoln Hospital after suffering injuries in a spill during the running of a race Sunday at Turf Paradise.
Odds-on choice Kick On outfought He's Boy Wonder in the lane to register his fourth consecutive win by three-quarters of a length in the $150,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes for 2-year-olds at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel on the night of Nov. 7.
Undefeated Peppers Pride, the record-breaking New Mexico mare who goes for her 18th straight win in the $170,000 New Mexico Cup Fillies & Mares Championship at Zia Park Nov. 9, is expected to race once more this year, according to her trainer.
Joe Allen's undefeated record-holder Peppers Pride shoots for her 18th-straight victory in the $170,000 New Mexico Classic Cup Championship for Fillies and Mares Nov. 9 at Zia Park.
Sam Houston Race Park canceled its 2008-09 meet and transferred 43 of its originally scheduled 65 days to Retama Park, a move approved by the Texas Racing Commission during a special meeting Oct. 28.
Multiple stakes winner Littleexpectations will stand in 2009 at Robert McDowell's 519 Thoroughbreds near Arcadia, La.
Honor Glide, by Honor Grades, is being relocated to Fanlew Farms in Sarepta, La.
Sam Houston Race Park will cancel the 2008/2009 Thoroughbred meet due to damages sustained by the facility as a result of Hurricane Ike. The storm's high winds and rainfall caused significant damage throughout the property including the facility's grandstands, stable area and the large infield tote board.
Golden Yank held favored Tiz Now Tiz Then safe through the homestretch to win the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park Oct. 19, ending an eight-race losing streak.
Bucking the national trend, Louisiana Downs posted gains at the close of the 2008 meet. According to a release from the track, the race meet posted increases in handle of 6% on-track, 2% off-track and 2.5% overall.
Tiz Now Tiz Then looks to improve off his sixth-place run in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) when he faces a full field of 3-year-olds in the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park Oct. 19.
Millennium Wind is relocating to Louisiana to stand the 2009 breeding season at Robert McDowell's 519 Thoroughbreds in Arcadia.
Churchill Downs Inc., has implemented a new horseshoe policy at its four racetracks that bans the use of toe grabs greater than two millimeters. The new policy is effective immediately.
Patrick Valenzuela, whose career as a jockey has been both troubled and brilliant, won his 4,000th race Oct. 9. His milestone victory came at Louisiana Downs aboard Burst of Light in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event.
The 2008-09 Sam Houston Race Park meet probably won't make its Nov. 28 start date given extensive damage sustained by the track during Hurricane Ike, according to chief operating officer Andrea Young. Officials in Texas are studying alternatives should that be the case.
Joe Allen's Peppers Pride, who has 16 wins in a row, has entered a six-furlong allowance race at Zia Park on Saturday afternoon in her attempt to set the record for consecutive wins.
A Sept. 25 fire at Velocity Farms near Benton, La., killed 12 horses, including Deerhound, sire of champion Countess Diana. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana's yearling sale is scheduled to offer more than 300 horses Sept. 29 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, La.
Local hope My Pal Charlie put it all together in the $515,000 Super Derby (gr. II) with his first stakes victory for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Albert Stall Jr. Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
Odds-on choice Jonesboro edged away from Smokeyjonessutton through the homestretch to post a 1 3/4-length win in the $151,500 Tiznow Handicap at Louisiana Downs Sept. 20, earning a berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in the process. The Tiznow was one of five six-figure stakes on the Super Derby undercard.
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