Churchill Downs Inc. more than doubled its net earnings against decreasing revenues from continuing operations in the third quarter, the company announced Nov. 5.
Austin Miller and Eric Halstrom have been appointed president and vice president of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, parent company Churchill Downs Inc. announced Oct. 27. Halstrom additionally was named general manager of racing.
Churchill Downs Inc., has implemented a new horseshoe policy at its four racetracks that bans the use of toe grabs greater than two millimeters. The new policy is effective immediately.
Patrick Valenzuela, whose career as a jockey has been both troubled and brilliant, won his 4,000th race Oct. 9. His milestone victory came at Louisiana Downs aboard Burst of Light in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event.
Mark Conner, a 16-year veteran of the gaming industry, has been named the new director of marketing at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced purses for its 137th season of Thoroughbred racing, which begins Nov. 14.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced Aug. 14 that Randall Soth, who since September 2004 has served as president of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, is leaving CDI to pursue other career interests.
Louisiana native Jason Boulet has been named racing secretary at Fair Grounds. Boulet, 39, has served as racing secretary at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., since 2005.
Fair Grounds in New Orleans will become the newest home of Quarter Horse racing this August.
Sam Abbey has resigned as director of racing and racing secretary at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, track president Randy Soth said June 11.
Fair Grounds will expand its racing season by two weeks next season and begin a locally-based meet prior to Thanksgiving for the first time in nearly 30 years, track president Randy Soth announced April 15.
Churchill Downs Inc. is asking for patience in seeing financial rewards from what it termed an $80 million investment into the advance deposit wagering industry in 2007, and promises to act on opportunities for the company's progress in 2008.
Jockey Joe Patin Jr., arrested earlier this month on 11 criminal counts including possession of crack cocaine, has been suspended indefinitely by the Louisiana Racing Commission.
The doubters said that Pyro's last-to-first victory in the Risen Star (gr. III) was not as good as it looked. There won't be much for the skeptics to say after the Pulpit colt's latest performance, a commanding three-length score in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 8 at Fair Grounds, a victory that cemented the Steve Asmussen trainee as one of the top two 3-year-olds in the country.
Last December, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky lost the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) to the Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona by just three-quarters of a length. But roles were reversed March 8, as Proudinsky nipped Daytona in the stretch of the $600,000 Mervyn Munitz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT).
Sometimes change is a good thing. Just ask trainer Todd Pletcher, who not only added blinkers to his struggling 4-year-old colt Circular Quay, but shipped him back to Fair Grounds, the site of his only win in eight previous starts. The moves paid off, as Circular Quay outfought a stubborn Grasshopper in a terrific stretch duel to take the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length March 8.
Louisiana-based jockey Joe Patin Jr. was arrested Feb. 29 in Beaux Bridge, La., on charges including possession of crack cocaine and reckless driving.
With less than two months until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it is time that some of the highly-touted 3-year-olds begin to answer our questions. Many of those answers will be provided March 8 at Fair Grounds, when nine top challengers will do battle in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
With some important Triple Crown prep races on tap for the weekend of March 8, many trainers are looking for victories that could bring them closer to stamping their contenders' tickets for the first Saturday in May.
Dan Hendricks saddled Daytona to four consecutive stakes victories in the past five months, his most recent being the Feb. 9 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT). In the March 8 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds, the trainer looks to extend that streak and add another graded win to his runner's resume.
The $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) is shaping up just like the Feb. 9 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) did, and that's fine as far as Neil Howard is concerned. The trainer sends 4-year-old Grasshopper to the March 8 event looking for the same form the colt showed in his Mineshaft victory - and Howard fully expects similar results.
Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing and archrival Proud Spell match strides for a third time in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) at Fair Grounds March 8.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, who stamped himself as a leading Triple Crown contender after his win in last month's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), is the 7-5 morning-line choice in a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Candy Ball broke sharply and led every step of the way in the $150,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds, soundly defeating five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile test that was moved to the dirt.
Last year's champion 2-year-old filly will make a return trip to Louisiana March 8.
A field of seven is entered for the Feb. 23 Bayou Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile turf test for older fillies and mares at Fair Grounds.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, impressive winner of the Feb. 9 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds, worked Feb. 18 at the New Orleans track and had to avoid a loose horse in the process.
The veteran trainer hit the milestone Feb. 17 when J J's Bud won at Oaklawn Park.
The two early Kentucky Derby favorites, one in Lousiana, the other in Florida, are on schedule for their respective trainers.
From the cavalry charge that entered the head of the lane for the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds, a star emerged. Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro smoked the competition, making a huge last-to-first move under Shaun Bridgmohan at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
Last year's 2-year-old champion filly and Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Fillies (gr. I) winner won at her fifth different racetrack and captured her fourth graded stakes.
Daytona, coming off a Dec. 30 win in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with an emphatic wire-to-wire win in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 9.
Grasshopper made an impressive 4-year-old debut and earned his first graded stakes victory when he took the $150,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
With his conditional license revoked in California and no chance to apply there until Dec. 31, Patrick Valenzuela is shifting his tack to Louisiana.
Todd Pletcher trainee Magna Graduate has not scored a win since April 2007 and the Neil Howard-trained Grasshopper has not raced since a second-place finish in the Super Derby Sept. 22. Both are looking for a return to their winning ways in the $150,000 Mineshaft Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing will attempt to maintain a perfect record for Hal and Patti Earnhardt when she leads a field of seven in the $200,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
The ageless Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and a graded-stakes winner each of the last five years, heads the field for the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), part of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Preview Day Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro will make his 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9, but don't think the Steve Asmussen trainee lacks experience. Prior to a Feb. 5 move over the Louisiana oval, his last two works were impressive bullets fired in company with 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
Horse of the Year Curlin is being pointed to the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse to make his first start of 2008, majority owner Jess Jackson said.
Horse of the Year Curlin, pointing toward a 4-year-old campaign, and 3-year-old contender Pyro were noses apart at the finish of a six-furlong tandem workout officially timed in 1:13 at Fair Grounds Jan. 30.
The 2007 Horse of the Year breezed five furlongs with stablemate Pyro Jan. 24 at Fair Grounds.
Jockey Julien Leparoux is shifting his tack to Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., after spending about six weeks in California, according to the jockey's agent, Steve Bass.
Potential Horse of the Year Curlin turned in a slightly faster work at Fair Grounds Jan. 12, going four furlongs in :51.20 six days after he went the same distance in :53.40.
Zayat Stables' Z Fortune put himself near the top of trainer Steve Asmussen's 3-year-old list when he came from off the pace to take the $100,000 LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
The four ungraded $100,000 stakes races at Fair Grounds' "Road to the Derby Kickoff Day" were all about gate-to-wire wins and solid payoffs, as all but one of the winners paid more than $10 while setting or contesting the pace to do so at the Louisiana track Jan. 12.
The 5-year-old gelding won for the first time in nearly 18 months Jan. 12 at Fair Grounds.
Midnight Cry Stable's 6-year-old Einstein made an emphatic comeback from eight months on the sidelines Jan. 11 at Gulfstream Park with a one-length victory going a mile on turf in a classy $59,500 allowance race.
Fair Grounds' "Road to the Derby" Jan. 12 kickoff day is headed by Silverfoot in the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Blackberry Road in the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but four other $100,000 stakes races have drawn familiar names as well.
The turf event at Fair Grounds will test 10 older horses, five of which met each other last month.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road may be the 7-2 morning line choice for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but he'll face two unbeaten runners, a graded stakes winner, and an impressive 9 1/4 length victor when a field of nine heads to the post at the Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
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