The Breeders' Cup announced June 22 that the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by Sony (Eng-I), Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile (Eng-I) and Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at Ascot on Sept. 26, and the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket on Oct. 17, have been selected to the 2009 Breeders' Cup Challenge series.
Oil Man struck graded gold for the first time when he surged past his rivals with a big late kick in the $100,000 Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf June 21.
Five fillies with graded stakes wins on turf and a pair from renowned European trainer Dermot Weld are among 14 invitees to the $700,000 American Oaks (gr. I) at Hollywood Park July 5.
With six victories on an 11-race card, jockey Eddie Castro equaled a Monmouth Park record before a Father's Day throng of 18,802 at the New Jersey track June 21.
Zenyatta, the undefeated champion older filly or mare of 2008, was assigned high weight of 129 pounds for the June 27 $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
In spite of drifting out in the stretch, favored Eye of the Leopard edged past front-running Mr. Foricos Two U in the final strides to win the $883,819 Queen's Plate, the opening leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, by a neck June 21 at Woodbine.
Helped out by the scratch of morning line choice Spice Route, Musketier earned his first North American win in six starts when he registered an easy tally over four rivals in the $135,520 Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine June 21.
Smart Enough, winner of the Highlander Stakes (Can-IIIT) in 2007, returned to Woodbine June 21 to capture the $184,834 grass renewal for sprinters in front-running fashion.
Lansdon B. Robbins III's Legal Consent scored his third straight victory at Belmont Park June 21, holding off a late rally from Slevin to take the $105,500 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-breds.
A month after a troubled fifth-place finish in the Preakness (gr. I), Harold Queen's homebred Big Drama rebounded with a dominating performance in the $250,000 Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town the night of June 20.
Graded stakes winner Heckle sired his first winner when his daughter Syndi's Tease won June 19 at Calder Race Course.
Making his graded stakes debut in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III), favored Grazen was never headed while posting a 2 3/4-length win over five 3-year-old rivals at Hollywood Park June 20.
Battle of Hastings took advantage of a gaping hole along the inside to gain the lead and then held off an unlucky Straight Story for a head victory in the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT) June 20 in Virginia.
The initial necropsy report on Team Valor's Sailor's Cap, who died suddenly in his stall three days after winning the June 14 Poker Stakes (gr. IIIT), showed that he died of probable cardiac arrest caused by colitis-X.
The cutback in distance didn't seem to bother George Strawbridge Jr.'s homebred Winter View, as the daughter of Thunder Gulch came from last at the top of the stretch to run them all down in the $150,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 20 on the Colonial Downs turf.
Heavy rain forced the $245,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) off the turf and that was just fine with Star Crown Stable's Icon Project, who took over from tiring favorite Criticism at the top of the lane and sailed to a 13 1/4-length victory June 20 on the slop at Belmont Park.
Team Valor Stables' Unbridled Belle scored in the $125,700 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) for the second straight season, getting out to an early lead and running her six rivals off their feet to win by 11 lengths June 20 in the slop at Delaware Park.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Cannonball nearly provided the perfect end to a dream week for American trainer Wesley Ward on the final day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting June 20, when missing out by a neck in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I).
Art Connoisseur came from last to first to score a major upset in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) on closing day of Royal Ascot June 20.
For the first time in its 135-year history, Churchill Downs raced under the lights June 19. And based on the turnout, the experiment was an overwhelming success.
New York officials this week told bidders vying for the Aqueduct casino development rights to assume the contract will be awarded by Aug. 1, a questionable timetable given the chaos and leadership questions still swirling following a coup in the state Senate June 8.
There have been instances over the years with horses bred in different countries having the same name. But not often have the two won on the same day, and in this case, the same race number.
After debate of nearly four hours June 19, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a bill permitting video lottery terminals at racetracks. The vote was 52 in favor, 45 opposed with two abstentions.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in search of money to balance the state budget, on June 19 proposed putting racetrack video lottery terminals into the budget bill.
The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) has launched its new Web site at www.pdjf.org.
It was more than business as usual as the California summer fair racing season commenced its annual run in the northern half of the state on June 18.
Suffolk Downs will not conduct the Massachusetts Handicap in 2009 due to current economic conditions, track officials announced June 19.
Heros Reward and Mission Approved, winners of last year's Highlander (Can-IIIT) and Singspiel (Can-IIIT) stakes, respectively, are back to defend their titles in each event June 21 at Woodbine. The turf races are part of the $1 million Queen's Plate undercard.
Rachel Alexandra will make her first start since her historic Preakness (gr. I) victory June 27 at Belmont Park, but her presence in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) isn't scaring everyone away.
Rachel Alexandra, who last month became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness (gr. I), will "race for a cure" for the remainder of her 2009 campaign. A $20,000 donation to a breast cancer nonprofit, the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, from the Jackson Family Fund at the Blue Grass Community Foundation, will be the inaugural contribution.
Stanjames.com One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) heroine Ghanaati demolished a stellar field to capture the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 19.
Woodbine Entertainment Group has reached an agreement with TVG to broadcast both its thoroughbred and Standardbred live racing products from Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks throughout the United States. As part of the deal, TVG will also offer online wagering on all WEG races through its TVG.com Web site.
Snow Bride, an Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) winner and the dam of unbeaten champion Lammtarra, was euthanized June 10 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.
Mr. Fantasy and Haynesfield have garnered most of the attention for New York-bred 3-year-olds this season, but with both of them now on the sidelines it might be Legal Consent's time to shine. Trainer Carlos Martin is hoping it will start in the $100,000-added Mike Lee Stakes on June 21 at Belmont Park.
Grade II winner Quest was represented by his first winner when his daughter Rattlin Gyspy won by 5 3/4 lengths June 18 at Arlington Park.
Elusive Bluff, who won both of his starts as a 2-year-old but has not raced since Oct. 1, returns to action in the $100,000 Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park June 21.
Jockey Maylan Studart underwent surgery June 18 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. to help mend a broken left leg that was the result of an accident earlier in the day at Belmont Park at approximately 9:45.
Penn National Race Course, which had changed its closing time on pools after two recent separate past-posting incidents, reverted to its previous policy June 18.
Milwaukee Appeal, impressive winner of the Woodbine Oaks earlier this month, is the 3-1 morning line favorite for the $1 million Queen's Plate June 21 at Woodbine.
Hilary J. Boone Jr., a successful breeder/owner, died in his sleep at his Wimbledon Farm near Lexington.
The Indiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said it was part of a discussion to assist racetracks by surrendering a portion of horsemen's revenue from slot machines but isn't a member of the coalition that issued a June 16 release to that effect.
The Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 18 sent racetrack gaming legislation to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
While Churchill Downs Incorporated will continue to focus on racing as its primary business, its ability to expand into more profitable ventures such as alternative gaming and concerts will be key to future growth.
Yeats etched his name in history by becoming the first horse to win the prestigious Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot for the fourth straight year.
Austin Delaney, who raced five-time New York champion Irish Linnet, died May 15.
Trainer Marie Biancone, daughter of French-born conditioner Patrick Biancone, saddled Kona Stable's Grand Symphony to an upset win in the seventh race at Arlington Park June 14 for the first win of her career.
Jockeys Chad Beckon and Simon Husbands are recovering after a dangerous spill in the third race at Woodbine June 17.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed one member and reappointed two to the Minnesota Racing Commision, the St.Paul Legal Ledger reported on its Web site, legal-ledgar.com.
Thistledown race track in North Randall, Ohio made a required $36,000 payment toward a bond, which allows it to remain open, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported June 17 on its Web site, cleveland.com.
Jill Byrne, television racing analyst for Churchill Downs and the cable racing network TVG, has joined Churchill Downs on a full-time basis as director of on-air racing communications.
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