The betting public will receive larger payoffs when wagering at Woodbine. The Toronto-area track is reducing takeout by 1% for exactor and daily double wagers on foreign race betting.
Friday's 30th running of the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap drew an overflow field of 14 starters for the about one-mile race on the Stall-Wilson turf course.
Fan Club's Mister returned from a three-month layoff to win the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap at Fair Grounds Saturday. Under Craig Perret, Fan's Club Mister completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.09 on firm turf.
Like its filly counterpart last weekend, the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap had horsemen pounding down the racing office Thursday as Saturday's feature race drew a full field of 14 with two exclusions. Fan Club's Mister drew post 14 and will run as the 120-pound highweight under Craig Perret.
Shades of Seabiscuit. Hallowed Dreams' lifetime record looked like a typographical error (27: 25-0-2). She was racing back in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint on just seven days of rest. She was in against eight males and one other filly. Hollywood could not have written a more perfect script for the marquee Louisiana-bred who had earned the reputation of being a winning machine.
Louisiana's favorite daughter, Hallowed Dreams, faces a field of 10 boys and one other filly in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint Saturday. Winner of the A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap just one week ago, Hallowed Dreams will carry 120 pounds, including regular rider Sylvester Carmouche.
After a pair of impressive runs against the boys, the hickory tough Xtra Heat should be happy enough to face only members of her own sex Saturday in the $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct. The six-furlong sprint is the first stakes race of the New York track's inner track winter season.
James Jackson's Valhol, previously best known for being the disqualified winner of the 1999 Arkansas Derby, successfully returned from a lengthy layoff to win the $75,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds on Sunday.
Hallowed Dreams was scratched out of last year's Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds after reportedly suffering a bout of colic. She made amends in Saturday's renewal, setting a new stakes record of 1:03.82 en route to her 25th career win from 27 starts.
For the second consecutive year, Jim and Dennis Richard's Bonapaw set a stakes record while winning the Thanksgiving Day Handicap on the opening-day card at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Fair Grounds in New Orleans will kick off its 130th season Thanksgiving Day with daily average purses of more than $270,000 a day. The 89-day meet will run through March 25 and feature 60 stakes headlined by the $750,000 Louisiana Derby, a grade II event set for March 10.
Fair Grounds and Lone Star Park, both of which closed their facilities Tuesday and Wednesday following the events in New York City and Washington D.C., will resume operations today.
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Racetracks and off-track betting sites lost hundreds of thousands of dollars after heavy flooding in Houston shut down a wagering hub two hours before the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
Tony Bentley called his race at the New Orleans track in 1974, and his 27 years is the longest of any announcer in track history.
Fair Grounds racetrack has reached an understanding with Harrah's New Orleans casino that could put 300 slot machines at the track by 2003 and up to 700 machines by 2005. "It is not as many machines as at other jurisdictions, but it will allow us to continue to grow the business," said Bryan Krantz, president and general manager of Fair Grounds.
A slight decline in on-track wagering was offset by simulcast business as overall handle increased for the seventh straight year during the 88-day Fair Grounds meet that concluded Monday. The New Orleans track reported a total of $430.2 million, or an average of $4.89 million per day, was wagered on Fair Grounds races, a 1.3 percent increase over the $424.9 million wagered last season.
Big money. Big money. Six-hundred thousand dead presidents were on the line in the nine-furlong Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) on March 25 and there were plenty of takers. Top grass horses from each corner of the map swarmed into Fair Grounds like moths attracted to a porch light. Five invaders came from the East Coast and six shipped in from California. The biggest name on the marquee was Centennial Farms' King Cugat, a multiple graded stakes winner, who was making his 4-year-old debut. However, trainer Niall O'Callaghan came to bury Caesar, not to praise him, and he did it with Gary Tanaka's Tijiyr. The Irish-bred, under Robby Albarado, put in a determined finish to cap off a ground-saving trip and seal the upset ($21.40) victory.
Fair Grounds on Saturday joined the ranks of U.S. racetracks offering its own Internet wagering system. The New Orleans track will introduce Net Bet, an integrated Internet and telephone account wagering service. Net Bet will provide real time odds, full race programs, web casts of live races, archived race replays, and online betting.
Hallowed Dreams led at every call on the way to earning her fourth straight victory since suffering her lone career defeat, breaking the track record for six furlongs while winning the $125,000 Victoria Lass Handicap by 5 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Fair Grounds. The win improves the career mark of the Louisiana-bred filly to 20 wins from 21 starts.
Hallowed Dreams puts her new three-race winning streak on the line in Saturday's $125,000 Victoria Lass Handicap at Fair Grounds. The 4-year-old will carry 121 pounds, spotting her four rivals from seven to 10 pounds in the six-furlong contest.
Fair Grounds hopes a $20,000 fan appreciation weekend will help soothe angry bettors who were accidentally shutout of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 11.
While the number of horses sold and gross were down, the average rose 15.3% at Fair Grounds Sales Co.'s 2-year-olds in training sale held March 13. A total of 23 juveniles were sold for $384,300 at the New Orleans sale, good for an average of $16,708. Last year, 31 2-year-olds sold for $449,200 for an average of $14,490.
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It took a giant leap of faith to see Fifty Stars as a contender in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), much less the $43 winner. Looking down the barrel at Dollar Bill, Millennium Wind, and Hero's Tribute, the late running son of Quiet American was in deep water. Fifty Stars had not made a lasting impression in his two previous races. His late run in the Jan. 27 LeComte was good for fourth place, but three weeks later he took a step backward in the Risen Star with a dull fifth-place finish.
A field of nine 3-year-olds was entered Friday at Fair Grounds for the track's Louisiana Derby. The 11/6-mile race will be run Sunday and has a 4:10 post time (Central time).
A week ago the presence of Dollar Bill didn't scare anyone involved with bringing a top notch 3-year-old to the Louisiana Derby. And although highly touted Millennium Wind and Hero's Tribute are still on track for Sunday's grade II Kentucky Derby prep, the local flavor is simmering out.
The voice over the public address system said, "Bring your horses over for the eighth race." Trainer Grover (Bud) Delp had brought hundreds of horses over for the eighth race and was in no hurry. In his mind, this horse was special and everything had to be perfect. The object of Delp's attention was the improving 4-year-old Include. The handsome son of Broad Brush stood in his stall like a gentleman while the groom applied the moistened tongue-tie and slipped a set of yellow blinkers over the colt's head. "He can be a handful," Delp said, "so we tack him up in the stall. That seems to keep him in a frame of mind where he is relaxed and focused at the same time. It's not standard procedure but you have to do it the way the horse tells you."
In an effort to promote the road to the Kentucky Derby in the Derby's back yard, Keeneland and sister track Turfway Park have announced a $1-million bonus for a horse that wins three of four prep races, track officials announced Thursday. The races involved are the Turfway Spiral Stakes, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby.
Under jockey Pat Day, 3-5 favorite Lu Ravi made her 2001 debut a winning one, easing away to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Chou Croute Handicap, Saturday at Fair Grounds. The 6-year-old mare completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.17 on a fast track.
Gary and Mary West's Dollar Bill stalked early leader Gracie's Dancer while racing in third-place on the backstretch before collaring that rival in the stretch en route to a 2 1/2-length win in the $125,000 Risen Star Stakes Sunday at Fair Grounds. Under jockey Chris McCarron, Dollar Bill completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.45 on a fast track.
With crucial issues such as its Oregon wagering hub and board voting structure still unresolved, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is moving forward with a new 15-member board of directors and a recommitment from a major racetrack that had defected. "I appreciate the ongoing discussions, but we really have reached a make-or-break point," said Fair Grounds president and general manager. "I do think there's a reasonable possibility these things can be worked out."
Hallowed Dreams won her second consecutive race after having her record-tying 16-race win streak snapped this summer, holding on for a neck victory in a tough allowance race Friday at Fair Grounds. In the feature race, Song for Annie led all the way to win the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths.
Louisiana Champions Day is when the little man can stand at center stage, and they don't get much smaller than Peter Orlando. Right On the Mark, a 6-year-old gelding owned and trained by Orlando, gave the 59-year-old his first stakes win in 40 years of racing in the Champions Day Classic Dec. 9. "I'm just a small guy," Orlando explained. "It's just me by myself and four horses. I breed 'em and race 'em. That's all I do."
Chris's Thunder closed though the stretch to win the $60,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap in a blanket finish Saturday at Fair Grounds. Hallowed Dreams, who won her first 16 career races before suffering her first loss this summer, was scratched.
Hallowed Dreams, who won her first 16 career races before suffering her first loss this summer, has been installed as the 3-1 second-choice in the $60,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds. Four-time stakes winner Steal a Heart (5-2) is the morning-line favorite and the 122-pound co-highweight for the about 5 1/2-furlong turf race.
Despite intermitent rain and an important NFL football game featuring the local New Orleans Saints, opening week of racing at Fair Grounds produced increased attendance and handle from the previous year. Fair Grounds opened its 129th season of racing Thursday, with a crowd of 7,158, the third-largest crowd at Fair Grounds since the facility reopned in 1997 after it was destroyed by fire.
Fair Grounds has doubled its “Great Post Challenge” bonus—now awarding $1 million to any horse which wins both the grade II Louisiana Derby and the grade I Kentucky Derby in 2001.
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