Monday's $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park is shaping up to be a battle between the West Coast's top turf distaffers and two Eastern-based invaders, with Astra and Starine representing the West and grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and John C. Oxley's Snow Dance shipping in from the East.
Janis Whitham's Affluent, a grade I winner on dirt and turf, will attempt to break the $1-million mark in career earnings May 25 in the $200,000 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. The grade I race will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Skipping won the $80,175 Jim Murray Handicap on Sunday, beating Startac by two lengths in the 1 1/2-mile turf race at Hollywood Park.
Tails of the Crypt, listed as a possible starter for the Belmont Stakes, finished second Saturday in the $162,750 Marine Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine. Also, another horse listed by Belmont Park as a possible starter in the third leg of the Triple Crown has been entered in Thursday's feature race at Hollywood Park –- the $75,000 Alydar Stakes.
September Secret, a daughter of leading sire Our Emblem, wins the Railbird Stakes.
Lusty Latin, 15th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will be sidelined for about three months due to a hairline fracture of a cannon bone, according to trainer Jeff Mullins.
Sky Jack utilized a front-running trip under Laffit Pincay Jr. to win Sunday's $150,000 Mervyn Leroy Handicap (gr. II) by 5 1/2 lengths over Bosque Redondo at Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old gelded son of Jaklin Klugman completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.36 on a fast track.
A day after Texas Ranger Rafael Palmeiro homered for the second straight game, Palmeiro snapped a six-race losing streak Wednesday, winning the $55,000 feature race at Hollywood Park by two lengths over Mysterious Cat. Palmeiro's victory followed a series of longshot winners on Wednesday's Hollywood Park card, resulting in a pick six carryover of $102,812 heading into Thursday's program.
The TV Games Network is enjoying record growth due to the opening of Hollywood Park, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and an increasing popularity in Quarter Horse racing at Los Alamitos.
Jockey Victor Espinoza returns to Southern California to win the Inglewood aboard Night Patrol.
Amerman Racing's Adoration set moderate fractions while alone on the lead, then held 3-5 favorite High Society in the stretch to win Saturday's $107,300 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.
Futural, a disappointing 12th in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in early March, returns to the races Wednesday in an optional claiming/allowance race at Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old horse looks to regroup for the spring and summer handicaps in the 7 1/2-furlong race.
A victory by longshot Ladylore in the Melair Stakes, the first leg of Sunday's pick six at Hollywood Park, paved the way for a pick six carryover of $683,636 heading into Wednesday's card. Track officials estimate the pot for Wednesday's pick six wager could approach $3 million.
The late John Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm colors were prominent during the opening week at Hollywood Park
Jockey Chris McCarron will attempt to win the $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) for a sixth consecutive renewal on Saturday at Hollywood Park. McCarron will guide co-favored Ask Me No Secrets in the 1 1/16-mile main track feature for fillies and mares.
David and Jill Heerensperger's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Millennium Wind worked five furlongs at Wednesday in 1:01 1/5 at Hollywood Park. The 4-year-old son of Cryptoclearance is about a month away from a race, according to trainer David Hofmans.
- By Tom LaMarra
Officials with Hollywood Park and the Thoroughbred Owners of California struck a deal April 23 on revenue splits for wagers made on the track's races. The Hollywood Park spring meet opens April 24.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Hollywood Park has landed Cal Fed Bank, based in San Francisco, as sponsor of the April 28 California Gold Rush Day. The three-year deal makes Cal Fed Bank the official bank of the racetrack.
Commercial ads are scheduled to begin showing up on jockey and racing silks with the start of the spring meets in California, but they're a little slow to make the starting gate.
TVG will unveil a new Sportscenter-type stakes recap show Sunday, April 7 at 8 p.m. eastern time.
Adelphia Communications on April 1 launched the TV Games Network on digital cable television in certain parts of Los Angeles.
Jillian Baedeker, the 19-year-old daughter of Hollywood Park president Rick Baedeker, died along with two friends following a car accident during the early morning hours of March 20, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
Daniel Eidson has been appointed stakes coordinator and assistant racing secretary at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. The track opens in late April.
Churchill Downs reported Monday that net revenues increased 17.6 percent to $427-million in 2001 and that net earnings for the year were up 15.2 percent to total $22-million. Both were record levels for the Louisville, Ky. racetrack operating company.
Amerman Racing Stable's Triple Crown hopeful Siphonic worked four furlongs in an easy :50 3/5 over a fast track at Hollywood Park Sunday, his first morning drill since finishing second after a troubled break in the Santa Catalina S. (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Jan. 19.
Hollywood Park will pay a record $9.5 million in stakes purses during its spring/summer meet that begins April 24. The Southern California racetrack has restructured its stakes schedule to create five big days offering multiple graded stakes.
TVG, the 24-hour interactive horse racing network, announced Wednesday its television network will be included in the digital cable television service for select Los Angeles area cable systems owned and operated by Adelphia Communications.
Hollywood Park concluded its autumn meet Monday with a 4.8% increase in attendance and a 2.8% increase in total handle. The growth was particularly encouraging since it rained during the Southern California's 11th annual Turf Festival, the biggest day of the meet.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Habibti edged 4-5 favorite You in the $358,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes to earn her second career grade I victory in Hollywood Park's Sunday feature race.
For the first time in 20 years, California racing will get a real holiday. Racing takes a Christmas break after the Monday, Dec. 17 programs at Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood Park, and the action doesn't return until Dec. 26, when Golden Gate resumes and Santa Anita Park opens its traditional winter
Fairplex Park has had discussions about moving its 17-day Los Angeles County Fair meet to another track in metropolitan Southern California. But Wendy Talarico, communications manager for the fair, said there are no plans to do anything commercially with the racetrack grounds. And, contrary to a published report that the Pomona, Calif., track has an agreement in principle with Hollywood Park, Talarico said no deal has been done.
He didn't have enough of it in his first stateside start, and lost all of it at the beginning of the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III), but Momentum gathered his namesake over the Native Diver's nine furlongs and proved a convincing winner of the $100,000 race at Hollywood Park Dec. 9.
No favorites won during Hollywood Park's nine-race card Sunday setting up a pick six carryover for Wednesday's program.
With no grade I races scheduled for next weekend, trainer Bobby Frankel will have to wait before attempting to earn his 18th grade I win of the year. He will, though, have a big shot at picking up stakes win 49 of the year when he sends out Euchre in the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 9.
You can go home again. Sometimes, it's exactly what you need to perk up. That's all it took for Super Quercus and Men's Exclusive, a pair of Hollywood homeboys who cleaned house over the weekend of Dec. 1-2.
Remember Tincin, whose connections threatened to enter the maiden in this year's Kentucky Derby before a cough forced his withdrawal? Those who look back on that debacle fondly will want to tune in for the Dec. 15 Hollywood Futurity, when Iowa-bred Warp Speed Scottie will ship in to take on Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) third-place finisher Siphonic in the 1 1/16-mile grade I race.
Trainer Jim Chapman entered Caller One Friday for Sunday's $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park to the surprise of track officials.
Men's Exclusive has lost his last four starts since winning the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita in January, but conditioner Wesley Ward is confident the 8-year-old gelding will run big in defense of his crown in the $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at six furlongs Sunday.
Blazing Fury, who arrived from New York late Wednesday afternoon for Saturday's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, jogged on the training track during a rainy Thursday morning. Assistant Danny Dubuc is overseeing final preparations for the 3-year-old gelding until trainer Jim Toner arrives Friday night.
After a two-day meeting in Lexington, Ky., the American Graded Stakes Committee on Thursday released the list of stakes races that will have graded status in 2002. As a result of the committee's review, which uses a five-year formula to assess races and assign graded status, there is a net gain of eight graded races in 2002, bringing to 486 the number of races assigned graded status from the 751 eligible races.
Apprentice jockey Elvis Trujillo was victorious in his first United States race Wednesday at Hollywood Park, riding 19-10 second-favorite Britetonzmyday to a half-length victory over favorite Icantgoforthat to open the eight-race card.
There were no fractures, deep wounds, or even sore muscles. As concerned peers drifted in and out of the Hollywood Park jockeys' room following the tragic conclusion of the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) on Nov. 25, Mike Smith admitted to having a single pain. "Just a broken heart."
Jockey John Velazquez's hot streak continued on the West Coast Sunday, when he picked up his fifth graded stakes win in succession aboard Starine in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Bob Baffert is considering running Popular in the $200,000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) rather than multiple graded stakes winner Officer. Hollywood Prevue winner Fonz's is also being pointed toward the Futurity, but trainer and co-owner David LaCroix also has a decision to make regarding his juvenile.
Wally Dollase-trained Good Journey survived a bumping incident in the stretch drive to win the $500,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) on Saturday at Hollywood Park. Under Chris McCarron, Good Journey completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.30 on "good" turf.
Mountain Rage edged favored Miesque's Approval by a head to win the $200,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) on a rainy Saturday at Hollywood Park.
With rain falling at Hollywood Park Saturday and the turf course downgraded to "good," Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Val Royal was a late scratch from the $500,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IIT).
Will Nevada-style gambling come to California racetracks soon? Not likely, said the president of the Federation of California Racetracks, Jack Liebau, who offered only lukewarm interest for a state gambling initiative that would allow racetracks to offer a full range of Las Vegas-style games, including slot machines.
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