Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm's Friesan Fire swept the Louisiana 3-year-old series and made a bold statement for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when overwhelming eight rivals to win the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) by 7 1/4 lengths March 14 at Fair Grounds.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again notched his first win since taking the Jim Dandy (gr. II) last summer, as he came roaring from off the pace to capture the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in the slop at Fair Grounds March 14.
At the moment, trainer Hal Wiggins is resisting the temptation to seriously consider racing Rachel Alexandra against the boys. But, if the ultra-talented filly should put on another scintillating performance in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14, Higgins admits the plot would thicken.
Winner of the Jan. 10 LeComte (gr. III) and Feb. 7 Risen Star (gr. III), Friesan Fire will try to sweep the Louisiana series for 3-year-olds and stamp himself as one of the top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders in the nation. The son of A.P. Indy--Bollinger was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
Friesan Fire, winner of the LeComte (gr. III) and Risen Star (gr. III), has been installed the 5-2 morning line choice in the 10-horse field that will contest the March 14, $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds.
Terrain breezed a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.60 March 6 at Fair Grounds in advance of his 3-year-old debut in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 14.
- By Ryan Conley
Magna Entertainment Corp. claims it owes more than $235 million to its largest 50 unsecured creditors, including many prominent names in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.
Profits from continuing operations at Churchill Downs Inc. grew 71% in 2008, the company reported March 4, despite handle drops at all of its racetracks.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux will receive the inaugural Bill Hartack Charitable Foundation award at a ceremony at the Harrah's New Orleans Hotel March 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms' Friesan Fire stamped himself as a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender by winning his second consecutive graded stakes race at Fair Grounds. This time, the A.P. Indy colt posted a two-length victory in the $200,000 Risen Star (gr. III) Feb. 7.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred War Echo passed stablemate Four Gifts inside the sixteenth-pole and went on to win the $150,000 Silverbulletday (gr. III) by 1 1/2 lengths Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
Charlotte Musgrave's Diamond Tycoon, far back for most of the way, came charging down the center of the racetrack under Julien Leparoux to take the $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man stayed close to a slow pace, passed My Pal Charlie in upper stretch, and easily pulled away for a 4 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), the first of four graded stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 7.
For the third time in nine weeks, Cindy Jones' Just Jenda and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Four Gifts will have a showdown as they head a field of eight 3-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
A dispute over hub-fee agreements has left some Churchill Downs Inc.-owned tracks and related off-track betting facilities without racing signals from California.
Churchill Downs Inc. has announced several changes to its organizational structure that will include the recruitment of a new president for its signature racetrack.
If you spent your Saturday wagering on horses trained by Steve Asmussen at Fair Grounds, you had reason to smile at the end of the day. Last year's leading trainer nationally by wins saddled starters in seven races on the 10-race card and won six, twice ran one-two, and captured the day's stakes race.
Friesan Fire, a talented 3-year-old colt who had disappointed in his last three starts, finally showed why trainer Larry Jones considered him a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prospect from the outset.
French Beret, with James Graham in the irons, won the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) for the second consecutive year, putting his nose down perfectly at the wire to edge Golden Yank in a thrilling photo finish Jan. 10 at Fair Grounds.
Jockey Francisco Torres will be out of action for an indefinite period of time after tests Jan. 9 revealed a fractured clavicle. Torres was thrown from a 3-year-old filly trained by Mark Frostad near the half-mile pole during morning workouts Jan.8.
- By Ryan Conley
TrackNet Media Group has granted an extension of its racing signals to Nevada casinos following a meeting held Jan. 7.
Sam-Son Farms' French Beret will have a tough time defending his title in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 6 at Fair Grounds, as an evenly-matched field of 10 goes to post in the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
Indygo Mountain, who broke his maiden impressively Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs but had to be scratched from his next start because of a minor injury, was installed as the 3-1 morning-line choice in the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 10.
- By Ryan Conley
TrackNet Media Group is poised to cut off its signals to more than 80 Nevada casinos Jan. 7 unless a new agreement is met for what the content company feels are more equitable fees.
While a barn in Fair Grounds' stable area remains under a Louisiana State Racing Commission quarantine, horses will again be allowed to ship in and race at the track beginning with the Dec. 31 card.
Jockey Donnie Meche sustained apparent injuries when he was thrown from his mount in the first race at Fair Grounds Dec. 28.
Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s highly-regarded juvenile Indygo Mountain, scratched during the post parade of an allowance event for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds Dec. 18, was standing comfortably in his stall the following morning while trainer Bret Calhoun updated his colt's status.
Seven graded stakes winners, including grade I winner Square Eddie, lead the list of 93 early-bird nominations to the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), the headline event of Fair Grounds' 137th season March 14, 2009.
When 3-year-old filly Talkin Indian won the ninth race at Fair Grounds on Dec. 7, its likely the average racing fan did not notice a unique detail that came along with the first-level allowance victory.
When 3-year-old filly Talkin Indian won the ninth race at Fair Grounds on Dec. 7, the average racing fan likely did not notice a unique detail that came along with the first-level allowance victory.
- By Ryan Conley
Wagering on Tampa Bay Downs' 83rd live meet, which opens Dec. 13, will be available to most advance deposit wagering outlets, the Oldsmar, Fla., track announced Dec. 12.
Nine horses who have won during previous Louisiana Champions Day programs return to Fair Grounds in an attempt to repeat as the track plays host to the event's 18th renewal Dec. 13.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has canceled its live racing program Dec. 11 because of winter weather and track conditions. Snow began falling in the metro New Orleans area during the morning. New Orleans is under a winter storm warning.
In what has to be one of the strongest and deepest 2-year-old allowance fields ever assembled at Fair Grounds, nine juveniles will go to the post in Thursday's one-mile test, several of whom have already excited fans with their dazzling performances.
Barely a year after a career-threatening injury, jockey E.J. Perrodin won his 3,000th career race aboard He's Royal Dee in the ninth race at Fair Grounds Dec. 5.
Bret Calhoun became the first trainer this season to saddle four winners on a single Fair Grounds program Nov. 30, but that achievement pales in comparison to what the Texas-born conditioner is hoping to accomplish before the local season ends March 29, 2009.
A recent deal that allowed expanded distribution of the Fair Grounds racing signal was hailed by some as a step forward in the months-long nationwide dispute between horsemen, racetracks, and advance deposit wagering entities. But some horsemen's groups are categorizing the development as a step backwards in an overall plan to secure higher revenue shares for purses from a growing wagering segment.
After challenging for command entering the lane, Stormy West withstood late challenges from Final Refrain and Barbette to capture the inaugural running of the $60,000 Blushing K.D. Handicap, the co-feature on a wet opening day to Fair Grounds' 137th season Nov. 14.
Fair Grounds continues its increasingly exciting growth pattern when the 137th live Thoroughbred meeting at the nation's third-oldest racetrack gets underway Nov. 14.
- By Ryan Conley
The signal for the Fair Grounds race meet starting Nov. 14 will be available to a wider variety of advance deposit wagering outlets, a group that does not include TVG, Churchill Downs Inc. announced Nov. 12.
- By Ryan Conley
Churchill Downs Inc. said Nov. 6 it is in a position to grow in various gaming areas, but is mum about what possible ventures might be considered in the future.
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.
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