Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa won their respective titles and set records when Aqueduct concluded its 2007-08 inner-track meet March 30. Racing switches to the main track April 2.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out two of his charges for works March 30 on the fast training track at Belmont Park. Both Stonerside Stable's Texas Wildcatter and Peachtree Stable's Spurrier are nominated to the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Aqueduct's main track.
Edward Seltzer's Wow Me Free started slowly and trailed the field around the first turn, but the poor start did little to deter the daughter of Menifee, as she took over in mid-stretch and powered to a convincing 3 -length victory in the $104,400 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) March 29 at Aqueduct.
In a financial statement released by the New York Racing Association March 28, the non-profit organization reported total net operating losses of $34.28 million in 2007. That figure is nearly double from 2006, when total net losses reached $17.83 million.
Kiaran McLaughlin will certainly have the odds in his favor March 29, as the veteran trainer will saddle three of the five entrants in the $100,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/8-mile dirt test for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
Rite Moment benefited from a clean start in Aqueduct's $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) March 22, wrapping up her fourth win from five starts over the inner track.
Bustin Stones worked March 22 in preparation for his grade I debut in the Carter Handicap on April 5. Trainer Bruce Levine said the undefeated colt will run on Lasix.
Maryland-based trainer Michael Trombetta will start a pair of 4-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) March 22 at Aqueduct, including probable favorite Control System, the only graded stakes winner in the field of six.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell Farm has become the presenting sponsor for the New York Racing Association's Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Suburban Handicap (gr. I) through 2009.
Gary Sciacca was permitted to begin training horses in New York March 18 after serving a 120-day suspension under the trainer-responsibility rule.
The New York Racing Association announced March 19 that Hill 'n' Dale Farms will continue to sponsor the Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) through 2010.
Carolyn's Cat won the expected early speed duel from Dill Or No Dill and then never looked back, going wire-to-wire for a 3 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) March 15 on the inner dirt course at Aqueduct.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez set a single-season record for wins on Aqueduct's inner track when he rode Winning Move Stable's Oedipus O'Neal to victory for trainer Gary Contessa in the fourth race on Aqueduct's March 15 card.
Contessa's entries are True Intentions and Ready for Fortune, who will be coupled for owner Dennis Narlinger, and Dill Or No Dill, who won a six-furlong event at Aqueduct in her sophomore debut.
Saratoga Russell, who finished eighth as the 8-5 favorite in the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) Aqueduct, will undergo a myectomy March 13, according to trainer Rick Violette.
Trainer Michael Matz said that Gotham winner Visionaire appears to have come out of his March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) victory in good shape, and will ship back to Palm Meadows in Florida March 11.
Louis Olah, the longtime "colors man" in the jockeys' rooms at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga, died the evening of March 8 following a brief illness. He was 79.
Betting favorite Sir Greeley saved ground in the early going, moved along that same path in the upper stretch to take the lead, and held on gamely under Eibar Coa for a 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. II) March 8 in the slop at Aqueduct.
The New York Racing Association, which has had to delay its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, was given another extension by the state to continue racing at its tracks.
In his last start, Denise Walsh's Sir Greeley finished well back in the Nov. 24 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I). Now trainer Jimmy Jerkens is dropping the son of Mr. Greeley down in class and shooting for a third stakes win in the $100,000-added Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 8.
Trained by Michael Matz, Visionaire looks to improve upon his third-place finish in the Feb. 9 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III). He will have to beat nine others March 8 at Aqueduct, including undefeated Giant Moon.
Connections of Spring At Last, a convincing winner of the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I), have decided to bypass the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 and aim instead for the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.
Trainer Richard Schosberg, who has been preparing his New York-bred Giant Moon for the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, is anxious to see if the colt will continue to show an affinity for long distances as he looks toward the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was relieved to find that grade I winner Daaher, who finished a well-beaten third as the 2-5 favorite in the March 1 Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct, was not suffering from any ailments the morning after the race.
Daaher was beaten soundly for the second consecutive race, this time in the Stymie Handicap March 1 at Aqueduct.
Trainer Bruce Levine saddled four winners at Aqueduct on Feb. 29. It was the first four-win day for a trainer in New York in nearly a year.
Visionaire, third to Pyro in the Risen Star Stakes (gr.III) at the Fair Grounds Feb. 9, will run next in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 8, majority owner Barry Irwin said Feb. 28.
Since Jackie Davis rode her first pony at three years old, her life has revolved around riding. She continually had a pony by her side growing up, and spent the rest of her time at the racetrack, shadowing her father, Robbie, as he made a career as a jockey. There was never any doubt in her mind about what career path she would choose.
With the forecast calling for a severe winter storm, Aqueduct's live racing card for Feb. 22, has been canceled.
HorseRacing TV began showing races from Aqueduct Feb. 21 after being granted the non-exclusive rights to provide the New York Racing Association circuit to its viewers as the result of an agreement reached in late December.
Legislation giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year extension of its exclusive Thoroughbred franchise was signed Feb. 19, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City reiterated that New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. can't continue under its current arrangement with the state.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - The franchise extension is only the beginning. NYRA has many hurdles to return to profitability.
Sherpa Guide found a friend in author Maggie Estep, who followed the New York-bred throughout his 39-race career and claimed him so he would be guaranteed a good retirement home.
The New York Racing Association, written off as dead a year ago by its competitors, has won the rights to a 25-year exclusive franchise to continue operating Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Aqueduct, Penn National, and other tracks canceled live racing Wednesday due to inclement weather.
The New York Racing Association, in control of Thoroughbred racing in the state since 1955, will continue to run racing under a deal that came together Feb. 12 at the state Capitol in Albany, government and industry sources say.
While unveiling what he called the framework of a Thoroughbred franchise agreement, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno blasted the New York Racing Association Feb. 7 for attempting to scare its workers and horsemen by threatening a shutdown Feb. 14.
A tentative deal is within reach to give the New York Racing Association a 25-year franchise to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, legislative sources said Feb. 6, the same day NYRA indicated live racing at Aqueduct could end Feb. 14.
The New York Racing Association is working on putting a "contingency plan" in place should Aqueduct be forced to close Feb. 14, NYRA's president and chief executive Charles Hayward said Feb. 5.
Trainer Tom Albertrani may have a promising 3-year-old on the Derby trail for Darley Stable-or so it would seem after the $109,000 Whirlaway Stakes. Going 1 1/16-miles over Aqueduct's inner track, Darley's Barrier Reef battled it down to the wire with a tenacious Roman Emperor and eked out a determined half-length win Feb. 2.
With another deadline looming that could shut down racing at Aqueduct Feb. 14, rumors are circulating among horsemen that the New York Racing Association might not be willing to accept another temporary extension to keep racing going.
High winds caused the cancellation of Aqueduct's card after three races.
The 5-year-old gelding faces six in the Jan. 26 sprint at Aqueduct.
A Republican-dominated state panel overseeing Thoroughbred racing in New York has curbed the ability of its new chairman to broker deals with the New York Racing Association. The chairman was appointed by Democrat Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The move came the same day Spitzer released his 2008 state budget plan, which includes revenue from a proposed casino at Belmont Park.
Go Go Shoot misbehaved in the starting gate but was all business when the gates opened and cruised home a 3 1/2-length winner of the $81,725 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes on a frigid afternoon at Aqueduct Jan. 21.
Negotiators in New York have agreed to another temporary extension to keep racing operating while talks continue on a longer-term franchise deal to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, officials said Jan. 21.
Negotiators trying to reach a deal on a new Thoroughbred franchise in New York are still at an impasse, and now the talks have turned to approving another extension to permit the New York Racing Association to temporarily continue running racing.
Still going strong at age 10 and one of the most popular horses on the New York circuit, Evening Attire makes his 64th career start in the $75,000 Aqueduct Handicap Jan. 19.
Paint Me Red, who began her career in Florida, took to the cold weather at Aqueduct to win the $80,850 Busanda Stakes Jan. 13.
The 2-1 favorite won the Affectionately Handicap by a neck over Aliysa Jan. 12 at Aqueduct.
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