A week ago the presence of Dollar Bill didn't scare anyone involved with bringing a top notch 3-year-old to the Louisiana Derby. And although highly touted Millennium Wind and Hero's Tribute are still on track for Sunday's grade II Kentucky Derby prep, the local flavor is simmering out.
Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" Saturday, March 10, has been reduced to just a pair of races, carded as the ninth and 10th, on Gulfstream's Florida Derby card
The great ones find a way to get past it all. Enough commotion had swirled around Tiznow and his preparation for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) that by the time the actual race rolled around, some were wondering why he was even there to begin with. As if his drab effort in last month's Strub Stakes (gr. II) wasn't reminder enough, Tiznow's days leading up to the Big 'Cap were like a roll call of mishaps, evil vibes, and plain bad karma. Lest we forget, this is the same horse who was a no-name last spring and Horse of the Year five months later, and the same animal whose grueling fall campaign left fans and hardboots alike in awe. No, he's not impervious to pain or the elements, but there may just be nothing that can stop him
The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has reiterated its position that live racing shouldn't be suspended in the state in June and July, and that Colonial Downs in Virginia should continue to offer Thoroughbred racing in September and early October.
In a bit of a man-bites-dog story, Southern California trainer Ben Cecil asked owner Gary Tanaka to remove his five horses from Cecil's barn around the first of March. The horses include Falcon Flight, who won the 2000 El Rincon at Santa Anita Park and was third in this year's San Luis Obispo Handicap, and Polaire, who captured the Glendale Handicap at Turf Paradise this year.
The "field" of all other 3-year-olds has been made the 5-1 morning-line favorite for the second Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. Wagering will begin Thursday, March 8, and be available through 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11.
After lengthy discussions between trainers John and Donna Ward and owner John Oxley, it has been decided Beautiful Pleasure will race another year. Oxley said the year's goal is the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Belmont Park. She has not started since the 2000 edition of the race where she finished sixth.
France on Monday banned exports of animals at risk from foot-and-mouth disease after tests on nine herds showed traces of the highly contagious virus. In Belgium, tests showed no evidence of the disease in suspected pigs. The BBC reported French horses are set to pull out of the Cheltenham festival as a result of the country's restrictions on movement of animals. managing director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said the meet is still scheduled for March 13-15.
A late-winter storm that was expected to dump a large amount of snow along the East Coast led to cancellation of Monday racing at tracks in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Philadelphia Park announced that racing was cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, and racing was also cancelled at Suffolk Downs in Boston, where forecasters were predicting snowfall ranging from 18-24 inches.
A settlement in the dispute regarding underpayment of purses between Hialeah Park and the Florida Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association is near completion, according to FHBPA President Linda Mills.
Allen Jerkens saddled his first winner since a life-threatening illness when first-time starter Shooting Party captured a maiden special weight at Gulfstream on Sunday. "You always need reassurance in this business," said the 72-year-old Hall Of Fame trainer, "No matter how many times you've won, every day you've got to prove your wings."
Champion New Zealand mare Sunline, having her final race before heading to Dubai, coasted to victory March 3 at Warwick Farm in Sydney in the seven furlong Apollo Stakes (Aust-II).
Three Plus U Stable's Northern Quest, taking advantage of a soft turf course he seems to prefer, split horses at the top of the stretch en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $242,500 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. Under Victor Espinoza, the 6-year-old French-bred completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:58.58.
De Bertie earned her second graded stakes win on the current Gulfstream Park meet, closing from last place to win Sunday's $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths over favored Apple of Kent. In January at Gulfstream, the 4-year-old filly earned her first career stakes win in the Sabin Handicap (gr. III).
The voice over the public address system said, "Bring your horses over for the eighth race." Trainer Grover (Bud) Delp had brought hundreds of horses over for the eighth race and was in no hurry. In his mind, this horse was special and everything had to be perfect. The object of Delp's attention was the improving 4-year-old Include. The handsome son of Broad Brush stood in his stall like a gentleman while the groom applied the moistened tongue-tie and slipped a set of yellow blinkers over the colt's head. "He can be a handful," Delp said, "so we tack him up in the stall. That seems to keep him in a frame of mind where he is relaxed and focused at the same time. It's not standard procedure but you have to do it the way the horse tells you."
Owner John Oxley and trainer John Ward are still discussing whether to race or retire Beautiful Pleasure. In mid-February, Oxley said March 1 was decision day, but recently he said another discussion is slated for March 8.
Under Laffit Pincay Jr., California-bred Road to Slew edged clear of Hollycombe and held off the late challenge of a slew of horses to win the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) by one length, Saturday at Santa Anita. On a turf track listed as good, Road to Slew completed the distance in 1:35.96.
C.T. Grether Inc.'s Crafty C.T. set the early pace and drew away in the stretch, winning the $200,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) by four lengths over Palmeiro on a fast track at Santa Anita on Saturday. Under jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, Crafty C.T. completed the one-mile race for 3-year-olds in 1:35.79.
The favored entry of Diversa and Sweep Dreams finished 1-2 Saturday in the $80,300 Busher Stakes at Aqueduct. Diversa won by 4 3/4 lengths in the race for 3-year-old fillies.
For the second straight year a prep race for an obscure Kentucky Derby prep may have some impact on the Triple Crown series as Futurity Stakes (gr. I) winner Burning Roma emerged victoriously Saturday from his 2001 debut in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. In last year's renewal of the Tampa Bay Derby prep race, Impeachment -- who would subsequently finish third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes -- finished fourth in the 1 1/16-mile event.
It had been a trying couple of months for Barbara and Al Smollin and their trainer, Ralph Ziadie. Pointing toward the Feb. 3 Donn Handicap (gr. I) since last summer, Ziadie was forced to scratch Sir Bear when he refused his feed and began acting uncomfortable after workouts leading up to the race. That behavior was a first in the 8-year-old gelding's career that has now encompassed 57 races and 18 wins, including 10 in stakes. Ziadie monitored his condition daily, and refused to speculate on what his next move would be. He even entered Sir Bear in the Feb. 28 $67,575 Cryptoclearance Handicap, ultimately won by Madeleine Paulson and Jenny Craig's Rock and Roll. "I truly don't know," was all the usually gregarious 62-year-old would say when asked when Sir Bear would be ready.
A field of eight has entered Sunday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap for older horses sprinting seven furlongs. The San Carlos has been upgraded to grade I status by the graded stakes committee for 2001. Kona Gold will carry high weight of 125 pounds, spotting the field from 11 to 14 pounds and will break from outside post No. 8 under regular rider Alex Solis.
Serena's Tune, the even-money favorite, kicked clear in the stretch for a 1-3/4 length victory Friday in the $115,100 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park. Ridden by Gary Stevens at 116 pounds, Serena's Tune ran about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.81 on a turf course labeled "good." The winner paid $4, $3.20 and $2.80.
TVG will debut its new documentary series, "TVG Insider," with an in-depth look at trainer Simon Bray's decision to train and race Startac, a horse bred for turf-racing, on dirt to see if he is a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. The hour-long show, entitled "The Arizona Experiment," will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m., PST).
Power went out during the stretch run of the third race Friday at Gulfstream Park and remained out through the eighth race.
The use of phenylbutazone would be permitted on race days in New York under legislation recently proposed by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, a Yonkers Raceway booster. In New York, the pain-killer can't be administered to a horse within 48 hours of a race.
Biogio's Rose, one of the most popular New York-breds to race in recent years, has been retired by Alfred and Joseph Nastasi, her owners and breeders. She will be bred to Lemon Drop Kid in a foal-share agreement with Lane's End Farm owner Will Farish.
The $75,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday should identify which of this winter's Arkansas-based horses are emerging as major contenders for the $500,000 Arkansas Derby. At Northern Kentucky's Turfway Park, the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial has attracted a field of eight
With his riding career on hold while he recovers from knee surgery, jockey Shane Sellers is launching his second career--in the country music business. "Matthew, Mark, Luke and Earnhardt," a song that will appear on Sellers' first album is getting major airplay across the country.
A field of 11 older turf runners have entered for Saturday's 42nd running of the Frank E. Kilroe Mile on the Camino Real turf course. Formerly run as the Arcadia Handicap, the race was renamed in 2001 to honor longtime Southern California racing secretary 'Jimmy' Kilroe.
From Gulfstream Park
It's the old versus the "now" as nine horses contest the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap, the Grade 1 fixture that will have its 56th running on Saturday.
Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow drew post position No. 5 Thursday for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap this weekend. The 4-year-old colt is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by the Bob Baffert-trained Wooden Phone, who upset Tiznow in the Strub Stakes, at 5-1. Wooden Phone drew the No. 2 hole. Thirteen horses have been entered in the prestigious race, including turf champion Bienamado and grade II winner Guided Tour.
Godolphin Racing's Street Cry, one of the leading 2-year-olds in America last year, took his first step toward his return to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May by winning the $250,000 United Arab Emirates (UAE) Two Thousand Guineas at Nad al Sheba Race Course in Dubai on Thursday.
A $1-million reduction in funding from the state has led the Kentucky Racing Commission to propose an increase in license fees. In some cases, the fees would triple, but commission officials said the hike is necessary to maintain basic services.
In an effort to promote the road to the Kentucky Derby in the Derby's back yard, Keeneland and sister track Turfway Park have announced a $1-million bonus for a horse that wins three of four prep races, track officials announced Thursday. The races involved are the Turfway Spiral Stakes, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby.
With Colonial Downs in Virginia planning to hold its Thoroughbred meet from June 10-July 14, the Maryland Racing Commission hasn't yet awarded the customary summer dates to Laurel Park. Commission officials said the issue will be resolved at a March meeting after track officials and horsemen agree on a schedule.
Police in South Florida are investigating the disappearance of well-known trainer John Tammaro Jr., who was reported missing by his daughter on Sunday, Feb. 25. Tammaro was last seen leaving Gulfstream Park about 10 a.m. that day by track security officers who later told police detectives Tammaro "didn't look well."
Jockey Pat Day and stewards at Turfway Park will have to give sworn testimony as a result of a U.S. District Court judge's denial of a motion to dismiss a case in which Day is accused of striking another horse with his whip during the $250,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup Sept. 16, 2000.
The Racing Network has announced its broadcast schedule for many of the major stakes races leading up to the Triple Crown and major handicap races for older horses. This weekend TRN will televise the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Handicap live from Santa Anita Park and the Gulfstream Park Handicap.
The $18-million purse supplement bill being considered by lawmakers in New Jersey cleared another legislative hurdle Monday when it breezed through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Kentucky's racing industry is at the very least intrigued that two Standardbred racetracks plan to ask the Kentucky Racing Commission for permission to simulcast Quarter Horse races. But there is some question as to whether the plan will fly.
Santa Catalina Stakes runner-up Palmeiro worked four furlongs in :47.60 over Santa Anita's main track Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's grade II San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile. Probable starters in the race, with jockeys, are: Palmeiro, Kent Desormeaux; Swordfish, David Flores; Victory Roar, Gary Stevens; Crafty C.T., Eddie Delahoussaye; Early Flyer, Chris McCarron; Media Mogul, Alex Solis and Wild And Wise, Victor Espinoza.
While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.
A couple of hours after Santa Anita honored trainer Noble Threewitt on the occasion of his 90th birthday, 79-year-young Warren Stute provided the icing on the cake when he captured the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 24 as Go Go punched by the favored La Feminn.
The first of two rounds in Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" has been canceled because of a lack of time to prepare and possibly complications tied to medication rules. The first round of the series -- six $100,000 races at Santa Anita Park March 3 -- has been scrapped, the Magna-owned California track announced Tuesday. The second round, scheduled for March 10 at Gulfstream Park, Magna's Florida track, will go as planned, officials said.
Officials in Great Britain have ruled that horse racing will be suspended for at least a week, effective Wednesday, because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. In Ireland, racing also has been canceled, and horses and Greyhounds can't be shipped to the island country from Great Britain.
Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year who was upset in his last start, is questionable for Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. According to the Los Angeles Times, the colt is still being plagued by foot problems. "It's better than even money that he'll be able to run," trainer Jay Robbins said Monday night. "A lot will depend on how he comes out of a gallop [today]."
Lawmakers in New Jersey were to consider a bill Monday that would give
the horse racing industry an $18-million purse boost this year. The Senate Budget and Appropriations committee is expected to pass the
measure, according to Barbara DeMarco Reiche, lobbyist for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
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