The New York Racing Association, whose annual deficits are ?not reflective of operating in a sound and economical manner,?? underpaid the state of New York by $10.9 million in franchise fees from 2004 to 2005, according to a new audit by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Breeders' Cup prospects Tale of Ekati and Benny the Bull both breezed on the fast Monmouth Park track Oct. 16 in preparation for their respective races, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) winner Shakespeare, who won seven of eight career starts for Frank Justice's Dell Ridge Farm, has been retired from racing after suffering a flare-up of the old tendon injury that once kept him from racing for 21 months.
Kiaran McLaughlin talked all week about how blinkers had made the difference in Daaher's Aug. 26 allowance victory at Saratoga.
Apparently, the trainer was right on the money, as the 3-year-old Awesome Again colt was much the best in the $160,100 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 7.
Garrett Gomez, the leading jockey in the nation by purses earned, was scheduled to return to riding Oct. 4 but took off his mounts another day after an Oct. 3 incident at Belmont Park resulted in his hospitalization.
Coming off a four-race win streak in California, Pam and Martin Wygood's After Market seeks a fifth straight victory and a ticket to the Breeders' Cup Mile when he leads the field of 11 in the Sept. 29 Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
New York Racing Association racing secretary P.J. Campo says NYRA officials will meet with horsemen in the next "couple days" to discuss maintenance of track surfaces at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga after a series of catastrophic injuries.
Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet has long been a popular stepping stone for flat horses aiming at the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Jumpers adopt that strategy Sept. 22 with the inaugural running of the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase Stakes (gr. I).
Jockeys John Velazquez and Javier Castellano were both relatively uninjured following a Sept. 13 spill at Belmont Park. Castellano will ride the Sept. 14 card, and although Velazquez opted to take off his mounts Sept. 14, he will return to the saddle Sept. 15 to pilot his assigned starters, including Rags to Riches in her greatly anticipated Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) appearance.
Doctor Dino had not won since last October, but reuniting with jockey Olivier Peslier may have been the key to getting him over the top, as the 5-year-old French-bred courageously outfought Sunriver to win by a head in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 8 at Belmont Park.
Making her first start in America, Noel O'Callaghan's Alexander Tango rated far off the pace and then came charging down the middle of the Belmont Park turf stretch to capture the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) by three-quarters of a length Sept. 8.
Jockey Joe Bravo was hospitalized with a broken left collarbone following a spill at Belmont Park, when his mount broke down in the upper stretch during the third race on the New York track's opening day card.
Rutherienne has won five turf stakes in a row. But a victory in the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. I) is far from a sure thing, as the 3-year-old filly must overcome a whole new set of challenges in the 1 1/8-mile event at Belmont Park Sept. 8.
Only days after a record-breaking Saratoga meet ended, the 33-day Belmont Park Fall Championship Meeting stand kicks off Sept. 7 with the 25th running of the $100,000-added General Douglas MacArthur, a one-mile test for older New York-breds.
Now that Rags to Riches will not be running in the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Sept. 8, the outlook of 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares has decidedly changed. Ginger Punch is now the filly to beat.
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.
After a postponed Aug. 26 work due to wet track conditions, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches took another step back in her training program when trainer Todd Pletcher canceled an Aug. 27 workout due to the filly's elevated temperature.
In an Aug. 25 news conference at Saratoga Race Course, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he may not meet the Sept. 4 deadline to make a recommendation as to which organization should receive the franchise to run racing at the Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
The canoe in the infield pond has been painted in James Tafel's colors of yellow and blue. Street Sense is safely recovering from his exertion. Another Travers is in the record books. Talk about feeling the air go out of the balloon
A senior advisor to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said the governor has not decided on any one plan for the state's Thoroughbred racing franchise, but acknowledged that a slew of ideas "from shutting down Aqueduct to splitting up the franchise" have been on the table.
The New York Racing Association July 29 announced significant purse increases for its 2007 Saratoga Meet. Purses will also increase for the final three weeks of Belmont Park's Spring/Summer Meet beginning July 4.
William J. Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., the suspended lawyers and 20% owners of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, along with suspended attorney Melbourne Mills Jr. pled not guilty June 21 in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against more than 400 plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the diet drug fen-phen.
A day after the head of the New York Racing Association expressed optimism about holding onto its Thoroughbred franchise, Gov. Eliot Spitzer praised the new leadership at NYRA for helping the group recover from its legal troubles.
All the superlatives and accolades have been written. The 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the performance of Rags to Riches will forever be a part of Triple Crown lore, and will go down as one of the sport's greatest moments. But it was not all about one horse. There is another who deserves near-equal billing for his remarkable accomplishments.
By Ray Paulick - What fans got this year were three incredible horse races that ended with three very accomplished and deserving winners, punctuated by the history-making performance of Rags to Riches, the first filly winner of the Belmont since Tanya in 1905.
One of the first horses Bob Carver bought a small part of is Belmont (gr. I) hopeful Hard Spun. The auto dealer from Arkansas is enjoying the Triple Crown ride as much as he does his Razorback football.
The paddock opens at 11:30 for schooling. One of the first to arrive is Belmont (gr. I) entrant Tiago. Trainer John Shirreffs, his stepson David Ingordo, and Frankie Herrarte, a member of his crew, follows the Pleasant Tap colt, who is led by Frank Leal.
Multiple grade I winner Wait a While will attempt to make amends for her off-the-board performance as the 1-2 favorite in her last start when she heads to post for the Just a Game Stakes (gr. IIT) June 9 at Belmont Park.