Thoroughbred Racing

News, previews, results for major North American Thoroughbred races

Mr Ross Upsets Graeme Hall in Razorback

Don C. McNeill's homebred Mr Ross earned his second graded stakes win on the year Saturday when the Donnie Von Hemel trainee upset favored Graeme Hall in the $125,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. Under a well-timed ride from jockey Donald Pettinger, Mr Ross rallied down the center of the track to catch Graeme Hall -- winner of last year's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) -- with a furlong to run in the 1 1/16 mile race.

Santa Anita Report: Point Given Scores in 2001 Debut

It wasn't supposed to happen quite like this. There was nobody breathing down his neck. There was no target to home in on. All that remained up ahead was a quarter-mile of sun-baked Santa Anita dirt. With a quartet of weary rivals to his inside, Point Given, five wide and coasting, was in control of his own destiny. Atop the massive colt, Gary Stevens could sense an urgency. He felt Point Given waiting, pleading to be let loose. Turning for home in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on March 17, Stevens shortened his cross, putting the bit firmly in his colt's mouth. For Point Given, it was a cue to roll. His response was emphatic.

Republic of Ireland to Resume Racing April 14

Racing in the Republic of Ireland is set to resume on Saturday, April 14, after being banned completely from last month in a series of often draconian measures to prevent foot and mouth disease getting a toehold in the country. No case of foot and mouth has been detected in the Republic of Ireland to date, though there has been one in Northern Ireland. The pressure to allow racing to re-start has been growing, particularly as British week's shutdown.

Tap Dance Steps to Bonnie Miss Victory

Tap Dance waltzed home by daylight to capture the 31st running of the Bonnie Miss Stakes (g. II) at Gulfstream Park March 16 under Jerry Bailey. With the win, Bailey set a track record, capturing his 13th stakes win at the meeting.

OBS Champion Stakes Races Set

Ocala, Fl. - Victoria Racing Stable's Saint Damien and Bea Oxenberg & Olga Melin's Miss Annie Bea head their respective divisions of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes at the Day of Champions race card set for Monday, March 19 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's racetrack. Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m.

Caressing to Return to Training

Caressing, the Eclipse Award-winning juvenile filly in 2000, will go back into training by the end of March, according to trainer David Vance. Winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (g. I), Caressing was scheduled to make her 2001 debut in the Honeybee (g. III) at Oaklawn Park March 10. However, she came down with a fever and a bad blood count, and went off her feed the week before the race.

Graeme Hall Heads Razorback Field

Graeme Hall will face eight challengers in Saturday's $125,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. The son of Dehere is highweighted at 120 pounds for the mile and a sixteenth feature, and will get the services of jockey Robby Albarado.

Asmussen Celebrates 39th Birthday in New Role Out of the Saddle

Cash Asmussen, who turned 39 years old on Thursday, isn't ready to announce his retirement, though for the first time since 1982 he won't be riding in France when the flat racing season there kicks into high gear. Instead, he'll tend to the Asmussen family business in Laredo, Texas, working with young horses, planning matings, and helping brother Steve turn an already successful public stable into what Cash hopes will be an operation capable of winning any race in the world.

Led By Muwakleh, Godolphin Sweeps UAE One Thousand Guineas

Muwakleh completed the second leg of the fillies Triple Crown in the Emirates with a devastating performance to win the first running of the $250,000 UAE One Thousand Guineas at Nad Al Sheba last Thursday night. The full sister to the 1999 Dubai World Cup winner Almutawakel, Muwakleh followed up her debut Moonshell Mile success of three weeks prior to land this with consummate ease.

Quarter Horse Trainer Critical As a Result of Beating

Quarter-horse trainer Robert Gilbert remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday for injuries he suffered when he was attacked at Los Alamitos race track in California. Gilbert, 56, was found badly beaten early Wednesday morning in front of an area where trainers park their trailers.

Dubai World Cup Issues Foot and Mouth Statement

Dubai World Cup officials issued the following statement Thursday regarding foot and mouth disease in the country and its affect on runners in the Dubai World Cup Day races:
International representatives in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba on March 24 are under no risk, with officials for the Ministry of Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates moving quickly to dispel fears of a possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country.

Horse Council Advisory: Horses Allowed Into U.S.

The American Horse Council has learned that recent reports saying horses are not permitted entry into the U.S. from the European Union are erroneous. Some of the misunderstanding results from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release from March 13, 2001, which said that "all animals and animal products are temporarily prohibited entry from the European Union".

Cheltenham Festival to Coincide With Newmarket Craven Meet

Cheltenham Racecourse announced Wednesday that it has agreed with the British Horseracing Board new dates for the Cheltenham National Hunt Meeting. The dates are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, April 17-19. Meanwhile, Newmarket Racecourse has adjusted its race times and will now kick off at 1.15 p.m. each day for its Craven meet that will run the same days as the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival.

Voodoo Ready for Gotham with 1:00 Move

Voodoo had his final tune-up for Sunday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 over Belmont Park's muddy training track Wednesday morning. The son of Petionville owned by John Moore, Voodoo finished second behind Regal Shivers at 1-5 in the Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 10.

Bonnie Miss Runners Long on Potential

Trainer Neil Howard began the Gulfstream meet with some well-bred and unraced 3-year-olds and one of them, undefeated Unbridled Lassie, will be starting in Friday's Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II). The 1 1/8-mile test is the closing day feature and will also feature runners Lasting Sensation and Happily Unbridled.

Jamaican Rum Works Toward San Felipe

Hill Rise Handicap winner Jamaican Rum worked three furlongs in :36 4/5 Tuesday at Santa Anita in preparation for Saturday's San Felipe Stakes, the final two-turn prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. A late nominee to the San Felipe, Jamaican Rum finished fourth in the Feb.3 San Vicente Stakes.

First Cheltenham; Now Grand National

First the Cheltenham meeting was cancelled in England, now the foot and mouth outbreak will cause Irish horses not to travel to the Grand National meeting on April 5. This is because the Irish government continues to ask the industry in the country not to ship horses or travel to the country until 30 days after the last confirmed outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

All Points North

Northerly trounced a strong field in winning the Australian Cup (Aust-I) at Flemington March 12. With the exception of Sunline, now in Dubai, and Tie the Knot, the best horses in training assembled in Melbourne's main fall event over 2,000 meters.

Injured Jockey Noll Vows to Return

Jockey Cindy Noll, injured in a training mishap Saturday morning behind the starting gate at Oaklawn Park, was all smiles early Sunday at St. Joseph's Regional Health Center. "I'll be back, I just don't know when," she said. "It'll be six to eight weeks before my fractures will be healed."

Officials Consider Mid-April Dates for Cheltenham Festival

Discussions to continued to take place over the weekend with all interested parties about the re-scheduling of Cheltenham, with the aim of confirming as soon as possible the new dates for the three days. The Cheltenham Board Sunday and gave its backing to the process. Progress has been made but there are still various issues to be determined -- the main one being what will happen to Ireland's Punchestown Festival which is scheduled from April 24 to 27.

Haskin's Derby Report: Impressive Win By Monarchos

Now, we're not one to indulge in hyperbole, but the fact is, Monarchos was a million lengths the best in Saturday's Florida Derby. OK, so we will indulge once in a while. After all the waiting, listening to nothing but faint rumblings, the smoldering volcano finally has erupted. Although metaphoric cataclysms on the Derby trail normally signify uplifting events, such as Monarchos' explosive display, that is not true when mentioning Sunday's Louisiana Derby. This was more like an earthquake that nearly swallowed up favorites Dollar Bill and Hero's Tribute.

Blueprint Wins San Luis Rey; Ciro Fourth

Racing for the first time since a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap in September, Fog City Stable's Blueprint rallied from off the pace to win Sunday's $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. Under Gary Stevens, the 6-year-old Irish-bred held off a determined late run from Devon Deputy to ensure the victory, completing the 1 ½ miles in 2:28.57 on a good turf course.

Whata Brainstorm Draws Clear in Stretch, Wins Pan American

Whata Brainstorm saved ground along the hedge under jockey John Velazquez before swinging out for the stretch run en route to winning Sunday's $250,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on a firm turf course at Gulfstream Park. Whata Brainstorm completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.75 -- three-fifths of a second off the course record -- after running the final quarter-mile in :23.75.

Fair Grounds Report: Fifty Stars Shines in Louisiana Derby

It took a giant leap of faith to see Fifty Stars as a contender in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), much less the $43 winner. Looking down the barrel at Dollar Bill, Millennium Wind, and Hero's Tribute, the late running son of Quiet American was in deep water. Fifty Stars had not made a lasting impression in his two previous races. His late run in the Jan. 27 LeComte was good for fourth place, but three weeks later he took a step backward in the Risen Star with a dull fifth-place finish.

Pool Two Closes with Monarchos as 5-1 Choice

Pool two of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future wager closed at 4:30 p.m.(EST) Sunday, prior to the running of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), with Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos the 5-1 favorite. Point Given was the narrow 6-1 second choice, with slightly more money wagered on the Bob Baffert-trained colt than the mutuel field, which also closed at 6-1.

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