The Oak Tree Racing Association will card a record total of six grade I Breeders' Cup prep stakes on Sept. 27. The Goodwood, Yellow Ribbon, Oak Leaf, Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, Lady's Secret and the Ancient Title will offer horsemen nearly $2 million in purses on what is believed to be the biggest Breeders' Cup prep day in racing history.
A memorial tribute to long-time racing executive and publicist Bob Benoit has been set for Thursday, Oct. 16, at Santa Anita Park.
A California rule that gives owners the option of protecting a horse that has been out of action for at least 180 days from being claimed away goes into effect on Sept. 20.
Golden Gate Fields, the only major racing facility in Northern California at the present time with the closure of Bay Meadows, opens its 2008 fall/winter meeting Sept. 17.
Barretts has cataloged 514 horses for its October mixed sale, which will be held Oct. 27 and 28 at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex Park in Southern California.
Trainer Mike Mitchell has an Oct. 11 hearing with stewards at Santa Anita Park on a complaint filed against him by the California Horse Racing Board charging medication violations for the use of procaine on one of his horses.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, winner of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) by a nose at Saratoga, worked four furlongs Sept. 14 on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface in :48 4/5 for trainer Eoin Harty. The colt is headed for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.
Trainer John Sadler says he unlikely to return to his role as board president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers and could be part of a push to form a new organization.
Equine artist Fred Stone has been commissioned to commemorate the 25th running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships with a poster entitled, "Bred for Glory."
Dennis Dodge, 62, the longtime Daily Racing Form columnist/handicapper in the Northwest, died suddenly on the evening of Sept. 9 due to an apparent heart failure in Seattle.
The 19th running of the California Cup, a series of 10 races worth $1,325,000 dedicated to horses bred in California, will be staged at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, earlier than usual this year.
Barretts officials have canceled the Classic I sale of horses of racing age because of an insufficient number of entries. The auction had been scheduled for Oct. 26 in Southern California following the Breeders' Cup World Championships (Oct. 24 and 25) at Santa Anita Park.
Del Mar closed its 69th race meeting Sept. 3 with declines in handle and attendance, but track officials were left with a positive attitude in light of tough economic conditions.
Del Mar's traditional seven-week summer meet could undergo some changes in the next few years, as Hollywood Park heads for development and the entire Southern California racing calendar adjusts.
Robert and Janice McNair just might change their minds about getting out of racing now that their homebred Midshipman won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) Sept. 3 closing day. The photo finish victory at seven furlongs over the synthetic surface came just several days after the McNairs announced they were selling their horses and Central Kentucky farm to Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation.
A Cherokee Run filly sold for $92,000 to top the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association yearling sale Sept. 2 at the Morris J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion at Emerald Downs.
The aptly named maiden Stardom Bound, far behind the leaders on the final turn, unleashed a monstrous move through the home stretch to turn the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) into a 4 1/4-length stunner Sept. 1.
Madeo, justifying the faith trainer John Shirreffs has shown in him, overtook pacesetter Tangled Tango in deep stretch to post a handy upset in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Aug. 31.
Undefeated Peppers Pride will have to wait for another opportunity to run for the modern-day North American Thoroughbred record for most consecutive victories due to a sloppy track at Ruidoso Downs Aug. 31.
Several horses were out galloping on the renovated Santa Anita track surface Aug. 31. Training stables are just starting to ship in from Del Mar.
Given a patient ride by Corey Nakatani, favored Vacare bounced back from a couple of sub-par efforts this year to win the $200,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) in a close three-horse finish over the Del Mar turf course Sept. 30.
Trainer Darrell Vienna has agreed to pay a fine of $8,500 for rule violations in connection with his graded stakes winner Medici Code, who was found to have excessive levels of clenbuterol in urine samples tested following consecutive races at Del Mar last summer.
California horse owner Michael Power was found in contempt and fined for making several false and defamatory statements about John Harris, a director for the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.
The 42nd annual Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association Summer Yearling Sale will be held Sept. 2.
Northwestern jockey Sandi Gann announced her retirement Aug. 29. She is the first woman to win a riding title at Turf Paradise.
Requiring safety reins, a move strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, will be the subject of a public hearing to be held by the California Horse Racing Board during its regular monthly meeting at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.
The muddled juvenile filly picture in Southern California should begin to come into focus on Labor Day when a dozen go to work in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I).
Peppers Pride's attempt to break the modern mark for consecutive wins by a North American Thoroughbred has been on hold for more than a month, yet her shot at glory may once again be at the mercy of the weather.
A group trying to prevent the redevelopment of the Bay Meadows race track won a round in court and gained a delay in a hearing of the petition it has brought against the developer and the city of San Mateo.
Winner of the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) in his last start, Gio Ponti switches coasts for New York-based trainer Christophe Clement and takes a shot at the best the California 3-year-old turf division has to offer in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Aug. 31.
Dear Lady Ann, a daughter of Salt Lake, brought $37,000 to top the Northern California yearling sale at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa Aug. 26. Super Horse purchased the chestnut yearling from Jack and Barb Hatch's Green Acre Stables, agent for Lercari Thoroughbreds.
A day after winning the $1-million Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) with Colonel John, jockey Garrett Gomez switched coasts to guide favored Go Between to a head victory over Well Armed in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Favored Whatsthescript got the fast pace he was looking for and unleashed an eye-catching move down the center of the stretch to capture the $328,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) by three-quarters of a length on the grass Aug. 24.
Illinois shipper Lewis Michael got a perfect setup along the inside to post a runaway upset in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 24. Champion sprinter Midnight Lute failed to fire.
Northern California-based trainer John Martin earned the 1,000th win of his career Aug. 23 when Chase Neil won the fifth race at Sacramento's Cal Expo fair meet.
Heavy favorite Spring House, given a push-button ride by Corey Nakatani, set a turf course record for 11 furlongs in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 23, earning a slot in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in the process.
On Aug. 22 the Honorable Judge George Miram of the San Mateo County Superior Court denied a temporary restraining order sought by the Friends of Bay Meadows seeking to halt the scheduled auction of Bay Meadows memorabilia and commercial assets.
After wowing everyone from Southern California to Louisiana since last fall, the intermediate turf standout Daytona fell apart as the 7-10 favorite in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park. Dan Hendricks is eager to see what a seven-week break will do for his two-time grade I winning gelding in the $400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 24.
Midnight Lute, last year's Eclipse Award champion sprinter, has been tearing up the track in the mornings as he prepares for his 2008 debut in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 24.
Forty Niner Days, a multiple graded stakes winner in the early 1990s, was euthanized Aug. 22 due to extensive cancer at the UPF Ranch near Tehacahpi, Calif.
The Breeders' Cup announced Aug. 22 that, for the first time, also eligible horses will be designated following the close of entries for all oversubscribed races at the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita Park.
The California Horse Racing Board announced it is stepping up enforcement of its medication rules with increased pre-race and out-of-competition testing and by prohibiting horses from running for 30 days after they've been administered anabolic steroids,effective Aug. 22.
Go Between, the 3-1 morning line favorite, takes on defending champion Student Council in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 24. The rich 1 1/4-mile Polytrack event attracted a closely matched group of 11 older horses.
The $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 23, the first of five Breeders' Cup Challenge races at the seaside track this weekend, marks the 2008 debut of the 9-year-old multiple graded stakes winner Runaway Dancer.
While he's withholding comment, leading trainer John Sadler says that he and his attorney have discussed a shakedown of his Del Mar stable by California Horse Racing Board investigators Aug. 18 and they will respond soon.
With the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita less than 10 weeks away, track president Ron Charles told the California Horse Racing Board that its new synthetic racing surface is nearly ready for the acid test.
Defendants in the lawsuit over Santa Anita Park's troubled synthetic surface have filed motions asking a California federal court to dismiss the action against them for various reasons.
Bay Meadows wrapped up 74 years of racing with the $63,450 Last Dance Stakes Aug. 17 and fittingly, it was trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, winner of 37 consecutive training titles at the San Mateo track, who had the honor of winning the final race with a filly named You Lift Me Up.
For the first time in four years, the Thoroughbreds are coming back to Cal Expo.
It was a great day for Washington racing and breeding, as fan favorite Wasserman defeated Canadian invader True Metropolitan and Southern California-based favorite Tropic Storm in a three-horse blanket finish in the $300,000 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Emerald Downs Aug. 17.
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