Handle on races in the United States sharply dropped 9.85% in the third quarter of this year, clearly in keeping with a trend that began in early 2008.
Dr. Jock Jocoy, veterinarian to several of the greatest horses in Thoroughbred racing history, including champions Swaps, Ack Ack, Cougar II and Buckpasser, died Sept. 27 at his home in Del Mar after a lengthy illness. The native of New London, Conn., was 82.
Four complaints have been filed against trainer John Sadler by the California Horse Racing Board, alleging that horses in his care ran with excessive amounts of the synthetic anabolic steroid stanozolol in their systems during the month of August at Del Mar, where Sadler was the leading trainer.
Del Mar closed its 69th race meeting Sept. 3 with declines in handle and attendance, but track officials were left with a positive attitude in light of tough economic conditions.
Del Mar's traditional seven-week summer meet could undergo some changes in the next few years, as Hollywood Park heads for development and the entire Southern California racing calendar adjusts.
Dearest Trickski, claimed for $32,000 a little more than a year ago, continued her amazing run toward the top of the filly and mare sprint division, as she broke to an early lead under Mike Smith and held off Tiz Elemental by a nose to win the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) in scintillating fashion Aug. 24 at Del Mar.
Lightly-raced 4-year-old Magnificience was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a contentious field of 10 fillies and mares lining up for the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) Aug. 24 on the Del Mar Polytrack.
While he's withholding comment, leading trainer John Sadler says that he and his attorney have discussed a shakedown of his Del Mar stable by California Horse Racing Board investigators Aug. 18 and they will respond soon.
A lot is at stake Aug. 24 in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, which marks not only one of the most prestigious races of the year on the West Coast, but also earns the winner an automatic spot in the Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Omar Berrio was suspended for six months by Del Mar stewards Aug. 13 after he tested positive for cocaine.
McCann's Mojave, fourth in the Hollywood Gold Cup, took a step toward the Aug. 24 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar the morning of Aug. 10 with a sizzling six-furlong move in 1:10.60 at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Steve Specht.
- By Ric Chapman
North American audiences are about to see the very first galloper by Australian sire sensation Redoute's Choice race in their own back yard in an allowance contest at Del Mar Aug. 10.
Sprint champion Midnight Lute appears to be ready for his next start after working faster than the track record for seven furlongs on Del Mar's Polytrack racing surface Aug. 7.
Lava Man, a seven-time grade I-winner and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, second in the July 26 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, is preparing to defend his title in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 24 at Del Mar in California.
Bettors poured an additional $3,615,779 into the Del Mar Pick Six July 27, creating a record pool of $5,177,766 for the multi-race wager at the seaside track.
Wagering has dropped 11% on North American Thoroughbred racing since the end of the Triple Crown series -- at least by one indicator -- a disturbing trend that can likely be attributed to a variety of factors.
There's a good chance Lava Man may have raced for the last time in the July 20 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
Water, designed to keep Del Mar's Polytrack more consistent from morning to afternoon, also led to three track records opening day, July 16, at the Southern California track. The five races carded over the synthetic surface were run at four different distances, with new marks set at 5 1/2 furlongs, six furlongs and a mile.
Racing's photo-finish camera was invented for and first used at Del Mar -- and as Thoroughbred fans know, there are photo finishes virtually every day at the track, some of them so tight the phrase "won by a whisker" is literally true.
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.
With the racing industry being scrutinized in the area of track safety, the seventh annual Track Superintendent Field Day conference at Keeneland June 2-3 seemed an especially timely opportunity for questions to be answered by synthetic-track maintenance professionals from around the country.
Maggi Moss's Indian Chant set his sights on a victory in the $125,000 Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and would not be denied, holding off a bid from the late-closing Noonmark to win the May 31 event by a nose.
Nominations close May 30 for Del Mar's two premier stakes for 2-year-olds -- the Del Mar Debutante for fillies and the Del Mar Futurity for all juveniles. Both are grade I events.
A request for an additional 1% takeout hike to help pay for facility improvements at Alameda County Fair, the heir apparent to the closing Bay Meadows, hit a wall of opposition before the California Horse Racing Board May 20.
Josh Rubinstein has been named the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's vice president for development, it was announced April 25.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has added three new members to its board of directors and announced Betty L. Mabee, a board member since 2002, will now serve in the role of director emeritus.
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, back-to-back winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in 2007, looks to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) when he heads a field of nine in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
Perhaps no other sport is as bound to tradition as racing Thoroughbreds. From the sheer length of its history, to the grand old venues in which it takes place, to the top-hatted and red-suited bugler calling the horses to post, racing loves its time-honored habits.
HRTV's "Inside Information" featuring owner Maggi Moss and jockey Joe Talamo.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, preparing for a start in the Nov. 24 Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse, worked a half-mile in :49 on the training track at the Quarantine Center at Shiroi, Japan, Nov. 17.
Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat tuned up for a Nov. 23 engagement in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) by working five furlongs in 1:00.60 under jockey Willie Martinez Nov. 16.
Riding on to the track at Santa Anita for the last race of the Oak Tree meet Nov. 4, leading rider Tyler Baze will flip shaded goggles down over his eyes and take a deep breath of the fresh, dry air, and will think of how close he came to losing this, the one pursuit he loves most in life.
The parent company of TVG reported a record handle of $148.5 million for the third quarter of 2007, and announced a new wagering partnership in New York during a Nov. 1 conference call with analysts.
Wildfires continued Oct. 23 to threaten homes and horse farms in Southern California, particularly in San Diego County. Scoop Vessels' Vessels Stallion Farm is among the facilities that have taken in evacuated people and horses, even while a new fire has broken out just east of the farm near Bonsall, Calif. Del Mar racetrack has taken in evacuees when the fires, and its barn area was full by Oct. 22, with 2,000 horses and livestock.
Despite surrounding property being ravaged by wildfires that have spread throughout Southern California, it was business as usual Monday, Oct. 22, at the Mabee family's Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, near San Diego.
Santa Anita racetrack will unveil racing over the Cushion Track surface Sept. 26 when the Oak Tree Racing Association begins its 39th season.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
Del Mar closed its 2007 meeting Sept. 5 - and its first with a synthetic surface - with its second-highest gross handle ever and a small increase in attendance, the Southern California track reported.
California fairs offer a realistic option for horse racing's future at a time when two major racetracks in the state are facing redevelopment and other privately held venues are pressured by stockholders for greater revenue returns amid escalating property values.
John Shirreffs, not comfortable running Tiago on the Del Mar Polytrack, has decided to scratch the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Swaps (gr. II) winner from the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Scientific Games has been awarded the contract to provide pari-mutuel wagering equipment and services for the California Horse Racing Industry, the company announced Aug. 14.
Nearing the midpoint of its 43-day season with a new Polytrack racing surface in place, Del Mar officials reported increases Aug. 10 in handle and attendance -- and no catastrophic breakdowns on the synthetic main track.
Warren Stute, a popular Thoroughbred trainer on the Southern California circuit for nearly 70 years, died Thursday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
A poker tournament will be held at the Del Mar Hilton Aug. 16 to benefit Noe Garcia, the groom for Lava Man who was seriously injured in an automobile collision July 23 near the racetrack.
Michael Baze, who led all riders at Hollywood Park and is atop the current Del Mar standings, was thrown in the first race at Del Mar Sunday when his mount, Lyrical Sound, broke down in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
Training time was shortened on the Del Mar Polytrack by nearly an hour Thursday morning after a horse working on the track slammed into the safety rail at the eighth pole and tore up part of it.
Permits in place, Golden Gate Fields plans to begin construction of its new Tapeta Footings racing surface July 23, track general manager Robert Hartman said.
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