A hard-hitting, comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations--including ones designed to make racehorse owners more accountable--is headed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for consideration at its May 16 meeting.
A nicely matched field of eight fillies and mares is set to challenge in the 44th running of the Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Race Course Wednesday. Topped by morning line favorite Angara, and second-choice Cape Town Lass, the field will contest 1-1/2 miles over the Lexington track's turf course.
Trainer John Ward won't be caught up in the hoopla of Florida Derby (gr. I) week like he was in 2001 when Monarchos parlayed a victory in Gulfstream's premier event into a win in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but he did send three of his talented fillies for workouts Monday, each with potential for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
The Thoroughbred industry will have to face the music and change its tune in the next few years if it is to flourish, trainer John Ward suggested during a lively discussion the evening of Nov. 4 at the monthly Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club meeting.
At an Oct. 21 open forum on Kentucky's equine medication policy, nearly everyone agreed the state should be part of a national effort to attain uniformity. However, opinions varied widely when it came to just what that policy should include.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said Friday that Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Medaglia d'Oro popped a pus pocket in a foot this week, a few days after finishing second to Candy Ride in the Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Travers winner Ten Most Wanted didn't look like he had run a mile and a quarter in 2:02 as he posed for pictures Sunday morning on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course. His dappled coat was glowing in the bright sunshine.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, whose status for Saturday's Travers Stakes has been termed "highly unlikely" by trainer Barclay Tagg, took a step closer to entering Wednesday when he worked a half-mile in :47 4/5 Tuesday morning.
Trainer John Ward received a surprise phone call on Wednesday from New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, three days after the Kentucky horseman made comments critical of the federal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
Kentucky Derby-winning trainer John Ward has called some of the recent attacks on the embattled New York Racing Association "essentially a political assassination campaign" linked to development of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
Mother Goose (gr. I) and Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) winner Spoken Fur breezed four furlongs in :51 2/5 Sunday morning over the muddy Oklahoma training track in preparation for the Alabama (gr. I) on Saturday.
One week after winning Belmont's Mother Goose (gr. I) with Spoken Fur and the Delaware Handicap (gr. II) with Wild Spirit, the Hall of Fame combination of trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Jerry Bailey join forces for Sunday's $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) with the immensely talented Sightseek.
Trainer John Ward said Thursday that he is leaning toward running Sky Mesa in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 3 instead of the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga. "I'd say I'm 60-40," Ward said.
Trainer John Ward, believing that Funny Cide will be vulnerable in his first start since the Belmont, has opted to run Sky Mesa against the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 3.
Trainer John Ward is hoping the 2003 version of the Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga is better for Forest Secrets than it was last year. Last year, the Debby Oxley-owned mare injured her left front ankle in the 1 1/8-mile race, which sent her to the sidelines for the remainder of the year.
While leading Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Funny Cide, Empire Maker and Dynever are getting most of the attention these days, it wasn't long ago that Sky Mesa, Vindication and Toccet were the darlings of the current 3-year-old class.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, often paired with some of racing's leading female turf horses in recent years, finds himself aboard another immensely talented grass runner in Lilac Queen for Saturday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Booklet, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I), was honored as the 2002 Florida-bred Horse of the Year during the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association's annual awards dinner Monday night in Ocala.
After talking to owner John Oxley on Monday, John Ward said that Sky Mesa's Kentucky Derby status is "very clouded," and that he feels the colt should not be a single betting interest in next week's second Derby Future Wager.
The $150,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap at Fair Grounds, which drew multiple graded stakes winner Snow Dance, could use a break from Mother Nature. The last two years, the richest turf race for older fillies and mares at the meet has been transferred to the main track due to wet weather.
John Oxley's Booklet had his final workout on Sunday in preparation for Saturday's Sunshine Millions $1 million Ocala Breeders Sales Classic at Gulfstream Park, where the 4-year-old has posted a grade one win.
While there's questions surrounding Saturday's $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, the biggest one is which horse will come out of the race with the best chance to make some noise in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 22.
John Oxley's Perfect Story, a half-sister to Horse of the Year Point Given, drew off to a 3 3/4-length victory under jockey Pat Day in a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on Sunday in her second career start.
Perfect Story, a half-sister to 2001 Preakness, Belmont and and Travers (all gr. I) winner Point Given, ran a powerful debut race for owner John Oxley Saturday at Keeneland, losing by about a length to Belle of Perintown after taking the lead in the stretch with a wide move.
Sky Mesa, crowned leader of the juvenile division off his victory in the Hopeful (gr. I) at Saratoga, will face five foes on Saturday, in the $400,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland, in his final prep for the Breeders Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 26.
More reserved than than usual after the race, trainer John Ward compared Hopeful winner Sky Mesa to a couple of other nice horses he's been around: champion Beautiful Pleasure and Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus.
John Oxley's 2-year-old Sky Mesa turned in an impressive performance in his maiden debut Saturday, winning the six-furlong third race by 7 3/4 lengths. Trainer Phil Johnson in Saratoga win cloumn for 42nd year.
Trainer Mark Hennig said Gygistar has a slim chance of making the Jim Dandy on Aug. 4; trainer John Kimmel got off to a good start, winning the first and third races; and trainer John Ward said that multiple stakes winner Booklet may return to the races for the first time since the Preakness later in the meet.
A July 2 panel discussion on racetrack medication and the "reality of perception" led to allegations of medication abuse, racing surfaces that damage horses, and a regulatory system that hinders progress.
On the eve of Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the buzz around Baltimore's Pimlico Racecourse is which horses will be on the lead or pressing the pace so that War Emblem does not get an uncontested victory as he did in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With only two horses left to be drawn, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem, and the first and last choices for post positions remaining, trainer Bob Baffert was poised to be either the straw that stirred the Preakness post position drink or a man without a plan.