With one week left until the end of Hollywood Park's 2008 fall racing season, jockey Rafael Bejarano is poised to complete a rare riding feat: a sweep of each victory title at every major meet in Southern California in 2008.
Trainer Bob Baffert gave the green light to Pioneerof the Nile and Ventana for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) after the pair worked Dec. 14 at Santa Anita.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been fined $1,000 in an agreement with the California Horse Racing Board following a finding of scopolamine in a post-race urine sample taken from one of his horses last year.
With Edgar Prado at the controls, Laragh dictated the pace to score a one-length victory Dec. 13 in the $429,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies.
The stallion Unusual Heat broke the California record for progeny earnings in one year Dec. 11.
The Washington Horse Racing Commission approved a 91-day season of live racing for Emerald Downs in 2009 at its Dec. 11 meeting.
Aubrey Villyard, a long-time Thoroughbred trainer in Washington State, died Dec. 9 after a long battle with leukemia. Mr. Villyard was 67.
In what is probably her final race, unbeaten Peppers Pride puts her modern North American record 18-race winning streak on the line in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park Dec. 14.
A lawsuit aimed at preventing redevelopment of the Bay Meadows race track site has been dropped by a San Mateo preservationist group that agreed to settle the case with the property owner and the city of San Mateo.
Laragh can put a grade I exclamation point on a busy juvenile campaign when she faces six other fillies in the $429,500 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 13.
Charlie Palmer, who spent more than 60 years working in the California horse racing industry, died of an aneurism at his home Dec. 7. He was 80.
Jerry McMahon discussed his decision to leave Barretts, the health of the Thoroughbred auction business in California, his plans for the future, and other topics with The Blood-Horse Dec. 9.
Barretts Equine Ltd., based at Fairplex Park in Southern California, doesn't have an October mixed sale listed on its 2009 auction schedule. The struggling American economy and downturns in the Thoroughbred marketplace contributed to the decision not to hold the sale, according to Barretts president and general manager Jerry McMahon, who recently announced his resignation from the company.
Jerry McMahon, founding president and general manager of Barretts Equine Limited, is resigning from the Southern California-based auction firm effective Jan. 3, 2009.
Upsetter Briecat used her speed to best advantage in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) Dec. 7, turning back a challenge from even-money favorite Model in the homestretch and posting a 2 1/4-length front-running win.
A late change in flight plans played a key role in Joel Rosario connecting for five winners, including a graded stakes win, at Hollywood Park Dec. 6.
Favored Champs Elysees sliced the corner impressively and flew past pacesetter Mr. Chairman in the homestretch to win the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT), earning his first grade I win in the United States for Juddmonte Farms and trainer Bobby Frankel.
Odds-on choice Golden Yank overtook Por Que in the homestretch and drew off for a 6 3/4-length romp in the $158,730 Zia Park Derby, giving the 3-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman back-to-back Derby victories for trainer Gary Thomas.
Slew's Tizzy, bounding home from between horses for red-hot jockey Joel Rosario, outfought favored Past the Point and pacesetter Ball Four to win the $108,200 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) in a 7-1 surprise at Hollywood Park Dec. 6.
Laragh, third-place finisher as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT), is to be flown west from New York to compete in the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) on Dec. 13, trainer John Terranova said.
The Oregon Racing Commission has approved a schedule change for Portland Meadows that will drop four Sunday programs in January while adding eight Wednesday dates through the end of February, the track announced.
The Irish tandem of trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Patrick Smullen, who combined to win the Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park four years ago with Dress to Thrill, have returned with their sights set on the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Dec. 6.
John C. Alkire has been elected chairman of the board of directors for the California Authority of Racing Fairs.
Baroness Thatcher, reunited with trainer Patrick Biancone following her purchase a month ago for $1.8 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, makes her next start in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Dec. 7.
Racketeer, runner-up to Heatseeker in last year's Native Diver Handicap (gr. III), makes a one-week turnaround for trainer Barry Abrams in this year's $100,000-added renewal of the 1 1/8-mile Cushion Track event Dec. 6 at Hollywood Park.
The 5-year-old mare Black Mamba, scratched from the one-mile Matriarch at Hollywood Park this past weekend, instead will run in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) at 12 furlongs Dec. 6 against males.
A total of 75 stakes, beginning with the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on opening day Dec. 26, will be featured during the 84-day 2008-09 season at Santa Anita Park.
Court Vision surged from last in the stretch to win the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), giving jockey Ramon Dominguez a sweep of both grade I stakes on the Hollywood Park turf course Nov. 30.
Favored Cocoa Beach staged a furious rally through the homestretch to nab pacesetter Precious Kitten in the final strides, winning Hollywood Park's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on the grass by three-quarters of a length Nov. 30.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego set a Hollywood Park Cushion Track track record for 6 1/2 furlongs when he won an optional claiming allowance race Nov. 30.
Favored California Flag rebounded from a disappointing effort in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last month with a front-running romp in the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 29.
Front-running Mr. Rod shook loose of his rivals leaving the final turn and held off heavily favored Bittel Road in the final furlong to win the $109,300 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 29.
Canadian invader Springside rallied from last on the final turn and overpowered her rivals by 9 1/2 lengths in the $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Nov.29. She was vanned off afterward, however.
Thanks to a heady front-running ride from Tyler Baze, Hyperbaric took the field from gate to wire to win the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 28.
Habaya, a daughter of Storm Cat out of the Eclipse Award-winning turf mare Golden Apples, came from off the pace to earn her first graded stakes win in the Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 28.
Jockey Mike Smith, trainer John Shirreffs, and owners/breeders Jerry and Ann Moss have one trip to the Hollywood Park winner's circle guaranteed. They are hoping for a second with Madeo following the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Nov. 30.
James Scatuorchio and John Iracane's Bittel Road, the lone graded stakes winner among eight 2-year-old turfers, highlights the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 29 at Hollywood Park.
The Hollywood Turf Festival offers something for everyone over the long holiday weekend, and sprinters get their chance Nov. 29 in the $150,000 Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) at six furlongs.
Whatsthescript, defeated handily by the spectacular filly Goldikova in spite of his big closing effort in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), heads a field of 10 in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 28.
Shadwell homebred Habaya, second most recently in the JP Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland, invades Hollywood Park for the $100,000 Miesque (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-old fillies on the lawn Nov. 28.
Jack o' Lantern, the longest shot in the field at 19-1, enjoyed a dream run along the inside for jockey Isaias Enriquez to post a half-length upset over favored Azul Leon in the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 23.
J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie has returned to trainer Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park barn following a couple weeks' rest at Magali Farms near Santa Ynez, Calif.
Siren Lure snapped a 12-race losing streak Nov. 22 when he charged powerfully down the stretch to score a 1 1/4-length victory over odds-on favorite Indyanne in the $75,000 Sausalito Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
Johnny Eves, winless in seven starts this year since capturing the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) 11 months ago, got back to the winner's circle with a strong effort in the $108,400 Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 22.
Horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian, dissatisfied with a California federal court judge's decision to dismiss his lawsuit against Scientific Games over the "quick pick" wagering snafu that came to light last spring, has taken his case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
An impasse in California over fee rates for interstate advance deposit wagering that has had a negative impact on Hollywood Park's fall meet ended Nov. 21 with the announcement that one-year deals with the four licensed providers in the state have been reached.
Shadwell homebred Shakis, who won the Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second consecutive year this summer at Saratoga, was euthanized at Hollywood Park the morning of Nov. 21 after breaking his hind leg during a workout. The 8-year-old Irish-bred son of Machiavellian was making his final work prior to running in the Citation Handicap (gr. IT) Nov. 29, which was expected to be his final start before beginning his stud career in 2009.
Unbeaten Backbackbackgone puts his three-race winning streak on the line against a field that includes two-time graded stakes winner Azul Leon in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) Nov. 23.
Criminologist, a multiple graded stakes winner, will be supplemented to the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park, trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Nov. 19 from New York. The fee is $10,000 for the one-mile turf test for fillies and mares.
Speed-burner Bob Black Jack makes his first appearance since the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 22.
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