The Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Jefferson County Racing Association have struck a deal on a one-year contract that could lead to a return of live horse racing to the state.
Questing turned in a dazzling performance Aug. 18 in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, blazing the first half-mile in :46.01 and still pulling away to take the 1 1/4-mile test by nine lengths.
Brereton Jones' homebred Believe You Can, who had been working toward a start in the Aug. 18 Alabama Stakes (gr. I), will instead be given some time off at Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
It doesn't appear live Thoroughbred racing will return to Birmingham Race Course any time soon, but the re-energized Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said it plans to keep pushing for it.
Trainer Larry Jones revealed May 11 he would likely point Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Believe You Can to the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 23.
It's Tricky turned in her first work following her victory in the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), breezing four furlongs in :49 1/5 Aug. 6 at Saratoga.
Donver Stable's Inglorious, who defeated males in the Queen's Plate on June 26, will bypass the Prince of Wales, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, in favor facing fillies in Saratoga's Alabama (gr. I) on Aug. 20.
For the second consecutive year, TVG will be title sponsor for three of the New York Racing Association's grade I stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Multiple stakes winner Comalagold died April 2 from foaling complications. She was the all-time leading Alabama-bred female earner with $311,080, according to the Alabama Thoroughbred Breeders Racing Association.
Graded winner Smart Guy will stand in 2011 at Daryl Tuttle's Trinity Thoroughbreds near Falkville, Ala.
After being diagnosed with a non-contagious case of hepatitis Oct. 7, multiple grade I winner and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) finisher Devil May Care will skip the Nov. 5 Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The Alabama Supreme Court has affirmed a circuit court ruling that vacated a 2006 election of board members of the Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and ordered a new election.
Don't tell Proud Spell's owner and breeder, Brereton C. Jones, that his bay filly isn't tough. Even though the daughter of Proud Citizen lacks size, Jones has seen plenty of evidence that she's one of the grittiest runners on the track today.
Godolphin's Music Note is likely headed for the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) along with stablemate Little Belle Aug. 16 at Saratoga, although the Travers (gr. I) remains a possibility for the two-time grade I winner in New York this season.
As reports have surfaced that Birmingham Race Course in Alabama may again seek to install electronic bingo games, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will take yet another look at the status of the Alabama HBPA, which continues to say a return of live Thoroughbred racing to Birmingham is possible.
- By Claire Novak
Trying to catch Calvin Borel for an interview during his last day of racing at Saratoga was like attempting to pin down a darting dragonfly, and the Cajun jockey looked the part in Bill Farish's brilliant green and yellow silks as he scurried back to the private courtyard behind the jockeys' room before the fourth race of the day.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported this morning that Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in 102 years, has had her temperature drop to normal levels and will likely head back to the track Aug. 30.
Watching the Aug. 18 Alabama (gr. I) on the jumbo monitor on the first floor of the clubhouse at Saratoga, Michael Hernon pumped his fist in the air as Bentley L. Smith's homebred Lady Joanne crossed the wire first in the 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
Entering the 127th running of the Alabama (gr. I), all the talk was about Octave, who had won consecutive grade I races in New York this summer, one of them over Lady Joanne. This time, Lady Joanne was not to be denied. She held off not only Octave, but a determined Lear's Princess, to win by a neck in a heart-pounding finish on Saratoga's main track.
In the stable yard in front of Todd Pletcher's main shedrow, blacksmith Ray Amato is fitting Octave with a new pair of racing plates in preparation for her start in this afternoon's Alabama (gr. I). The gray filly stands draped in a black blanket, four white bandages encasing her delicate legs. Her ears slump sideways, eyelids droop at half-mast. She yawns and rests, quietly at ease.
For a long time, it looked as though Octave would never break her reputation as a bridesmaid. Five consecutive second-place finishes -- all in graded-stakes competition -- earned her that tag. But two grade I wins later, all that talk is in the past.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches worked Aug. 5 over Saratoga's main track, but trainer Todd Pletcher said he's still contemplating the filly's next start.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches shipped from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course July 31 and has galloped over the upstate New York racing surface the past two mornings.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags To Riches will not run in Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher said July 16.
The Alabama HBPA has a new lease on life after its 2006 election was deemed valid, but convincing dissidents to rejoin and enacting legislation to restore live racing in Birmingham remain serious challenges.
The fast improving Pine Island, second in grade I company in back-to-back starts, put it all together Saturday to win the $600,000 Alabama (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.
Pine Island could very well turn out to be the best 3-year-old filly racing in Saturday's running of the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Trainer Bill Mott says his undefeated 3-year-old filly Sweet Symphony always leaves him with the feeling that she's capable of doing more. After she trashed the field by 6 1/4 lengths in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at muddy Saratoga Race Course, one wonders how much better she can get.
Heading into Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, the question on everyone's mind is if the real Sis City will stand up and win the final leg of the New York Racing Association's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies.
Starlight Stable's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) champion Ashado and Melnyk Racing Stables' Flower Alley worked together Sunday morning for trainer Todd Pletcher. The duo breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 over the Saratoga main track.
Stonerside Stable's Sis City, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year, breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 3/5 over the main Saratoga Race Course track Thursday morning with Rudy Rodriguez aboard. The filly is scheduled to make her next start in the Alabama (gr. I) Aug. 20.
The "giant killer" did it yet once again. Trainer Allen Jerkens sent out Society Selection to upset heavily favored Ashado in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga.
Ashado, the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old filly division, will need her "A" game Saturday at Saratoga while breaking from post 6 in the historic Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Stellar Jayne and Susan's Angel, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' hopes in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, breezed a half mile in company Monday morning.
Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report will take a shot against top 3-year-old filly Ashado in the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles Aug. 21 at Saratoga.
Thoroughbred racing could return to Birmingham Race Course in Alabama under a proposal set forth Wednesday by track magnate Milton McGregor.
Citing budgetary constraints, the New York Racing Association has cancelled the $2 million "Triple Tiara" bonus after one season.
Jeffrey L. Nielsen's Island Fashion, a lights-out winner of her last start, proved it wasn't a fluke Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, romping home in the $750,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies, denying Spoken Fur's bid to sweep the New York Triple Tiara.
Jockey John Velazquez rode five winners Saturday to equal Manny Ycaza's Saratoga Race Course riding record of 41 victories in a season set in 1959.
John Amerman's Spoken Fur will take aim at a $2 million bonus when she attempts to sweep New York's Triple Tiara in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Saturday.
A representative of the Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said that, despite concerns from a few National HBPA affiliates, the organization is working to improve the outlook for Thoroughbred racing in the state.
Behind-the-scenes efforts to return Thoroughbred racing to Alabama met with a hint of allegations Jan. 28 that the Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may not have racing's best interests at heart.
It's not quite the $5 million VISA Triple Crown, but in 2003, 3-year-old fillies will have a series of their own that offers a $2 million bonus.
All around her in the winner's circle at Saratoga Race Course, the chanting continued. "Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga." At that point, late in the afternoon on Aug. 17, Farda Amiga had already flown past You and Allamerican Bertie in the stretch to win the 122nd Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Bobby Frankel was on hand at the Spa to watch Flute and Aptitude take two major weekend stakes.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Flute led all the way around the main track at Saratoga Saturday in winning the $750,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies.
The New Mexico Racing Commission has become the 25th member of the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association.
Fox Hill Farms' Jostle earned her second consecutive grade I victory Saturday, beating Secret Status to the wire by 3 3/4 lengths in the $750,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.
Fox Hill Farms' Jostle led at every call en route to an upset victory over heavily favored Secret Status in the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
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