Hoping to revitalize its Cushion Track racing surface following the 60-day spring/summer meet that concludes July 13, Hollywood Park plans to close its main track to training in the next few weeks for a short maintenance break.
Gene Cunningham, longtime California horseman and husband of California Thoroughbred Breeders Association president Leigh Ann Howard, died July 5.
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. guided the maiden Hiatus off the rail in the stretch to win the seventh race at Hollywood Park July 6, earning his 1,000th career victory.
Two-time grade I winner Saratoga Passage, the all-time leading Washington-bred money earner, has died from colic, co-owner Helen Beck said.
Behindatthebar, winner of the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland in his last start April 19, will be shipped west for the $350,000-added Swaps Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park July 12, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Odds-on choice Mint Lane controlled the pace and was never threatened while posting a 2 3/4-length victory in the $198,500 Dwyer Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), tallying his first graded win for trainer James Jerkens July 6 at Belmont Park.
A preliminary total handle of $24,473,930 from the American Oaks/CashCall Mile program July 5 is the highest in Hollywood Park's history other than Breeders' Cup and Triple Crown days, the Southern California track reported.
Odds-on choice Street Boss continued his rapid ascent among the nation's top sprinters when he overcame a wide trip to defeat a stubborn Elite Squadron in the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park July 5. The victory was the Bruce Headley trainee's fourth in a row, all over synthetic surfaces.
Trapped on the inside coming down the lane, a patient Julien Leparoux guided favored Pure Clan through a narrow opening between horses and outfought French raider Satan's Circus in the final furlong to win the $750,000 American Oaks Invitational (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park July 5.
Diamond Diva, apparently beaten by Ventura just yards from the wire, dug deep for the money and prevailed by a nose in the $750,000 CashCall Mile (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park July 5.
Azul Leon became the first graded winner and the second added-money winner overall for North America's leading first crop sire, Lion Heart, with a four-length triumph in the $106,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) July 5.
Unbeaten Zenyatta's effort was a cut below her best on a hot day at Hollywood Park, but that was good enough to win the $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) July 5.
Del Mar fans became used to seeing multi-millionaire Sarafan from 2001 to 2005. This summer they and the rest of the country can see the gelding on television in the new series, "The Cleaner" on the A&E network.
The strapping filly Zenyatta, unbeaten and barely challenged in five starts for trainer John Shirreffs, is the clear standout as the 124-pound topweight in the $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park July 5.
Hoping to earn a place among the nation's elite sprinters, the seven runners lining up for the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) will all have something to prove at Hollywood Park on July 5.
Defending CashCall Mile (gr. IIT) winner Lady of Venice will be out for revenge when she takes on Ventura in the $750,000 event for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park July 5.
Five incumbents and one new board member have been elected directors o the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Two advance deposit wagering companies operating through the hub system in Oregon recently had their annual license renewals tabled by the state's racing commission, but will be able to rectify the situation at an upcoming July 17 meeting.
Grade I winner Heatseeker, who was scratched from the June 28 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), has been retired from racing due to a soft tissue injury.
Favored Black Mamba ended a string of seven stakes in-the-money performances without a victory when she captured the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park lawn June 29, capping a superb weekend for trainer John Sadler.
Hollywood Park plans to race for at least one more year, the California Horse Racing Board was told June 27, while the racing industry in Southern California has "coalesced" around Fairplex Park as the region's eventual replacement for the Inglewood track.
Tyler Baze was supposed to be aboard three-time Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man for this year's 69th running. But when the veteran stakes hero was withdrawn prior to entries being taken, the jockey wound up on lightly regarded Mast Track. The move couldn't have worked out better for Baze when his 10-1 outsider employed front-running tactics to win in a Cushion Track record time June 28.
Dearest Trickski handed trainer John Sadler his third stakes win at Hollywood Park June 28 when she led all the way in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
The prohibitive favorite Daytona ran out of gas mid-stretch, opening the way for 29-1 shot Whatsthescript to score from the off the pace in the $250,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf course June 28.
California's advance deposit wagering truce may be coming to an end.
Heatseeker, the 7-5 morning line favorite for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, will be scratched from Saturday's race due to a filling in his left front ankle, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said June 27.
Foxysox, Black Mamba and I Can See, just noses apart in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) two months ago, meet again in the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT), this time on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Intangaroo was a little known 3-year-old filly with one lifetime win when she competed at Hollywood Park last winter. She returns to the Inglewood track for the A Gleam Invitational Handicap (gr. II) June 28 with two surprising grade I wins to her credit and trainer Gary Sherlock thinking about the Breeders' Cup Fillies & Mares Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita in October.
Pepper Oaks Farm in Santa Ynez, Calif., will close its doors effective July 1, owner Patricia Youngman said in a June 26 release.
Daytona does nothing but win, usually running on the front end. But last time out in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) the 4-year-old Irish bred proved he doesn't have to have the lead in order to get it done. You can't help but wonder if his seven rivals in the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) June 28 at Hollywood Park have much chance at all.
While the focus of the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) is rightfully on the powerhouse grade I victors Heatseeker and Tiago, there are seven graded winners in the field of 10 for the 1 1/4-mile classic.
Bay Meadows developers plan to move ahead with its demolition schedule in spite of a pending Oct. 10 court hearing on a lawsuit by a group trying to preserve the track, a senior planner for the city of San Mateo said June 25.
The California Horse Racing Board will vote in July on regulatory changes that would result in stricter penalties for anabolic steroids violations, and is soliciting public comment prior to a July 17 hearing at Del Mar.
Santa Anita Park announced June 23 that its main track will undergo a complete overhaul beginning July 14, and will be reconstituted with a mixture of Pro-Ride synthetic material.
Lava Man, who tied Native Diver's record of three straight Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) victories last year, won't be going for a fourth one on June 28.
Harry J. Aleo, the crusty Northern California Thoroughbred owner who burst into national prominence with 2005 champion sprinter Lost in the Fog, died at his San Francisco home on the afternoon of June 21 at the age of 88.
The simple addition of a shadow roll by trainer Richard Mandella may have spelled the difference for Tiz West, who nosed Ez Dreamer at the wire in the $147,200 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf course June 21.
Unable to travel to Saratoga Springs for the national Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 4, retired jockey Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela will receive his commemorative jacket and plaque on Sunday in a special induction ceremony at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Trainer Cirilo Sierra was fined $4,000 by stewards at Golden Gate Fields after a horse in his care was found to have exceeded the regulatory threshold for the commonly used bronchodilator clenbuterol, the California Horse Racing Board announced June 20.
Trainer Bob Baffert sends out Spaniard, a half-brother to 2007 2-year-old filly champion Indian Blessing, for his first start June 19 in the eighth race at Hollywood Park.
Polonius, front-running winner of the Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf last time out, appears to have the speed advantage once again when he faces just four 3-year-old rivals in the $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors has unanimously endorsed the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, and has authorized the THG to represent the TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in advance deposit wagering negotiations.
Even-money choice Two Step Salsa passed his first distance test with flying colors in the $107,100 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park June 15, going all the way on the front end to score a 3 3/4-length win on the Cushion Track.
Longtime California steward Pete Pedersen has been named the winner of the 2008 Laffit Pincay Jr. Award. He will be honored June 28 when the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) is run for the 69th time.
Internet gaming is here to stay and, instead of trying to prohibit it, state governments should start regulating this exponentially growing business, a panel of experts told state lawmakers.
As the popularity of advance deposit wagering increases, states need to take action to protect their horseracing industry, the president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California told a group of legislators meeting June 13 in Northern California.
Gambling sources provide more than $25.4 billion to state and local governments, according to most recent figures, but taxes on pari-mutuel wagering provided just a little more than 1% of that total.
A proposal to create a new license classification for provisional exercise riders is under consideration by the California Horse Racing Board, which is soliciting comments from the public prior to a July 17 public hearing at Del Mar. Written comments, pro or con, must be received by July 14.
An easy winner of the Lazaro Barrera Memorial (gr. III) in his last start, Two Step Salsa tries two turns for the first time in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track June 15.
Grey West, a 14-year-old son of Gone West, has been relocated to Horse Creek Thoroughbreds near Newell, S.D.
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