It took only one fundraiser for Mary Lee-Butte to become a permanent fixture at the Blue Grass Farms Chaplaincy. After organizing the chaplaincy's first fundraiser in 2003, she said they just couldn't get rid of her.
For artist Merritt Finnell, painting horses was never his thing. Horses were his twin brother Michael's territory, and like many twins Merritt was different from Michael.
When Thoroughbred horse trainer and former Louisville police officer Jay Wilkinson retired from the service, he did not picture himself volunteering for a job that would teach kids a whole new career.
Feb. 14 was a relatively normal day for Justin Vitek, although the jockey felt a little more fatigued than usual.
"NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby" is presenting same-day coverage of the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) from Keeneland Race Course April 21, 6-7p.m. ET on ESPN2. Also on tap is the $125,000 Federico Tesio Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, a stepping stone for locally based horses hoping to start in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
A foundation class of 14 will be enshrined in the new Lone Star Park Hall of Fame April 21 -- as part of the year long celebration of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's 10th anniversary. Lone Star Park's spring Thoroughbred season opens for a 16-week run April 12 and will continue through July 29.
The Hancock family's Claiborne Farm will be the presenting sponsor for HorseRacing TV's coverage of two important Kentucky Derby preps -- the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Arkansas Derby (gr. II). The Florida Derby will be March 31. The Arkansas Derby is April 14..
Les Arcs was named 2006 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, champion older male, sprinter, and turf runner, in the annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. Clifton Park, Spectacular Malibu, Ah Day, Livermore Valley, Promenade Girl and Good Night Shirt were also winners.
Maryland Million announced that the purse for the Maryland Million Classic will increase to $300,000. In addition purses for both the Maryland Million Ladies and the Maryland Million Turf will grow to $200,000.
The American Horse Council's 2007 national directory of breed and sport organizations, equine publications, state resources, and racing and gaming organizations is now available for purchase. The 2007 Directory and AHC membership opportunities are available at the AHC website, www.horsecouncil.org or by phone at 202-296-4031. AHC members at the Congressional Level and up will receive their copies shortly.
Racing fans can experience all of the action from the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) prep seasons in a new way this year, through the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby, www.kentuckyderby.com. Churchill Downs will offer free video podcasts for the two prep seasons featuring updates on the contenders, replays of prep races and interviews with top handicappers. The racetrack will host the 133rd running of the Kentucky Oaks May 4 and the 133rd Kentucky Derby May 5.
Racing Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, who became Thoroughbred racing's all-time leading jockey by victories in 2006, will receive his 11th overall Isaac Murphy Award from the National Turf Writers Association for finishing last season with the highest winning percentage of any North American jockey. Baze will receive his honor from the NTWA later this year.
Racing fans will be able to get the latest information on the road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when HorseRacing TV's "Target Louisville, presented by Coolmore America" returns for its third consecutive year March 8 at 9 p.m. EST.
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