Following reports that Santa Anita might request more time before installing a synthetic main-track surface, Santa Anita President Ron Charles announced Feb. 21 that Magna Entertainment Corp. is committed to installing such a surface this year.
Noble Threewitt, who turns 96 on Saturday, will also officially retire from training after a career that has spanned parts of eight decades. He will be honored in the Santa Anita winner's circle following Saturday's fifth race and be joined by his wife of 73 years, Beryl, as well as a large number of family and friends.
Lava Man was named the 2006 California-bred Horse of the Year in voting by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, becoming a back-to-back winner of the honor, which was announced at the CTBA's annual awards dinner Feb. 5.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking that a jockey be paid his share of the purse from a Bay Meadows race in which his mount was later disqualified for a drug positive.
TVG will air live coverage of the 36th annual Eclipse Awards Jan. 22, a celebration of horseracing's best performances of the year, from the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., with coverage beginning on TVG at 8 p.m. ET. TV and film star Jerry O'Connell, who plays a lead role in the NBC series, "Crossing Jordan," will serve as emcee of the program for his third straight year.
The number of race horses that failed drug tests in California has nearly doubled since 2000, and the offenses rarely result in disqualification or other stiff penalties, the Orange County Register reported in its Dec. 10 edition.
Jockeys in California, concerned over the rising costs of insurance offered by the national Jockeys' Guild, are looking elsewhere for alternative coverage, though they're continuing talks with Guild management, several California jockeys confirmed Dec. 12.
California customers of rival account deposit wagering companies TVG and XpressBet would be able to play any track in the state with their preferred carrier under an agreement being negotiated on a one-year experimental basis.
Russell Baze, with 9,519 career wins, still needs 11 victories to equal Laffit Pincay Jr.'s record as the winningest jockey of all time. But both riders are already getting geared up for the big moment.
The late breeder John Mabee and his wife Betty Mabee, deceased legislator Ken Maddy, and the racing stars Best Pal and Free House have been elected to the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Hall of Fame.
The simmering dispute between the organization representing California's horse owners and the racing television and wagering network TVG appeared unlikely to be resolved heading into the Oct. 26 meeting of the California Horse Racing Board.
Hollywood Park, which will debut its Cushion Track for racing when its fall meet begins Nov. 1, is expecting some out-of-town trainers to send horses after the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
Dixon Downs, Magna Entertainment Corp.'s "dream track" for Northern California, got a giant step closer to reality the evening of Oct. 23. But a local group that opposes the project is pushing for a referendum on the project in 2007.
After shipping into Kentucky Oct. 10, the California-based Lava Man is adjusting well to his new surroundings at Keeneland Race Course as he preps for the $5- million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. According to trainer Doug O'Neill, the 5-year-old gelding settled in without a problem and is galloping daily over Keeneland's new Polytrack synthetic surface.
Reducing the number of racing events without the loss of a significant number of actual racing days in the North was the goal of the California Horse Racing Board's Strategic Alliance Planning Committee, which met for the final time Oct. 12 before making a final 2007 dates recommendation to the full board.
Last year's inaugural California October yearling sale, co-sponsored by Barretts Equine Limited and the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, concluded with solid across the board results. And the two entities hope to build on last year's success for even stronger results during the 2006 edition Oct. 3 at Barretts Fairplex Park facility.
California racing has declined dramatically in the past 20 years and it needs to stop looking for easy answers, said Richard Shapiro, chairman of the state's horse racing board, during a dinner attended by about 150 breeders Sept. 22.
Dr. Rick Arthur, the new equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, told a meeting of state horse breeders Sept. 22 that he plans to hold veterinarians accountable when trainers they advise are found in violation of horse medication rules.
By Ray Paulick - Increased distribution along with the convenience of telephone or Internet betting resulted in double-digit increases of advance deposit wagering handle in 2003-2005. Del Mar reported a 24% increase one year ago, which makes this year's 7% drop all the more puzzling -- and alarming.
Several runners with their eyes on upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championship prep races around the country lit up the Southern California work tab Sept. 18, led by Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Point Ashley, who logged six furlongs in 1:11 4/5, breezing, on the fast main track at Santa Anita Park.