Augustin Stable's Informed Decision made it four stakes victories in a row when she came from off the pace to win the $300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 2 at Churchill Downs.
If you enjoy the suspense that can come with the selction of Eclipse Award winners, just skip right past the category of older female, dominated by Zenyatta the same way she has ruled the racetrack, dispatching foes with unfailing consistency.
Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Greg Avioli was interviewed by Blood-Horse features editor Lenny Shulman after the organization rescinded its decision to suspend its Stakes program for 2009.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors has decided to fund the Breeders' Cup Stakes program for 2009 by using money from the organization's reserve fund, according to a statement dated Dec. 17.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week, Shulman and Haskin review Thanksgiving week racing (who was the most impressive), continue the Eclipse Awards discussions, evaluate the grading of stakes races and more! Plus, Stable Boy is back from vacation.
ABC/ESPN reports that television ratings for its Oct. 24-25 telecasts of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park rose slightly from 2007 figures. However, ratings remain far below those posted by NBC before ABC/ESPN took over the event in 2006.
Kicking off the stakes action on Derby Day, Tom Walters' Elite Squadron led nearly wire-to-wire to capture the $282,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) May 3.
Medication violations in California will be subject to stricter penalties under guidelines approved by the state's racing board.
French-bred mare Live Life returns to action Saturday when she will carry high weight of 116 pounds in the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at 10 furlongs on the Santa Anita turf, a race that in recent seasons was dominated by Megahertz.
Barbaro, who thrilled racing fans with his sublime victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and captivated many millions more worldwide with his gut-wrenching fight for life after suffering a catastrophic breakdown in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), was euthanized Jan. 29.
Under blue skies with wispy clouds, the Breeders' Cup World Championships got off to a formful start at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., when favorite Dreaming of Anna led gate to wire to take the $1,832,000 Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
In his final work for the Oct. 1 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap, 3-year-old Lost in the Fog sizzled five furlongs in :57 1/5 Sept. 23 at Golden Gate Fields.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union of New York, division of mutuel employees, Local 3, has overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the New York Racing Association, averting a possible work stoppage or sickout on Belmont Stakes day June 11.
Under the new raceday security protocol in effect at Belmont Park, all starters for the 137th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) must be on the Belmont backstretch no later than noon Friday. At that time, security officers will be in place to watch each entrant.
The British-bred Pickle notched her second straight graded stakes win since her arrival in the United States when she captured the $80,625 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Pickle, who won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park by a nose on April 23, stands out among the eight fillies and mares set to start in the $100,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will undergo knee surgery in the next couple of days and is expected to be out of action some four to eight weeks.
Jockey Mark Guidry took the overland route to get back to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Forget about going seven-wide on the final turn, Guidry went about 2,000 miles out of his way to find the mount that would bring him back to Louisville the first Saturday in May.
Northern California invader Pickle was in deep trouble with jockey Jon Court when graded stakes winner Makeup Artist found room to rally in deep stretch, but the British-bred filly made it to the wire just in time to win the $109,600 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Uraib came from off the pace to nip front-running Resplendency by a nose in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at sloppy Santa Anita on Presidents' Day Monday.
Hers is a familiar name in these pages, and her star has not diminished over time. Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and champion older mare in 2002 and 2003, has now made it a three-peat in that category. The 2004 Eclipse puts North America's all-time leading money earner for fillies and mares on her own plateau--ahead of Paseana (1992, 1993), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), and Susan's Girl (1973, 1975), the only other two-time Eclipse Award-winning older mares.
Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Bill Christine of the Los Angeles Times won Media Eclipse Awards in the feature/enterprise and news/commentary categories, respectively, for 2004.
By Lenny Shulman -- For the past few years, Michael Paulson has been busy watching a reality show on TV in his Las Vegas home. His tastes don't necessarily run to "Survivor," "American Idol," or the other garbage that passes for entertainment in the 21st century. Paulson's viewing has been taken up by a horse--Azeri--whom he's watched race by race, frame by frame; remote in one hand, stopwatch in the other.
The average price at Del Mar's yearling sale, $48,589, jumped a dramatic 40.8% over last year's figure and set a sale record Monday evening.
By Lenny Shulman -- As the Thoroughbred tribe dispersed from its heady gathering at Belmont Park June 5, still flush with more media coverage than it could have dreamed, the question in everyone's head became, "How do we keep this tidal wave of interest going?"
It is horse racing's dirty little secret--the big black truck that regularly rolls along the backstretch of tracks large and small, and behind sales rings, picking up the cripples, the too-slow, and horses just plain not wanted by their owners anymore.
Bob Fierro, former president of Lexington-based Equix Biomechanics, announced he is heading a new horse analyzing company, DataTrack International, controlled by former Equix partners Anne and Don Rudder.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, arrived at D. Wayne Lukas' Santa Anita barn Dec. 28 to begin training toward a 2004 campaign. "She showed a lot of energy, so she went to the track and jogged lightly with the pony this morning," the Hall of Fame trainer said Monday.
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup, and only one trainer has saddled horses in each rendition of racing's biggest day. D. Wayne Lukas, in addition to his vast success in Triple Crown events, is by far the winningest Breeders' Cup conditioner.
By Lenny Shulman -- Remember the good old days when only injuries kept horses from running in the Breeders' Cup?
With the buzz growing ever louder over another potential Triple Crown winner, the racing industry is marshalling its marketing forces to make sure the public at large becomes aware of what's at stake at Belmont Park June 7.
By Lenny Shulman -- It's the most elusive of longshots: out of some 36,000 Thoroughbred foals born each year, just one gets to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The contest to determine the world's fastest Thoroughbred will feature approximately a dozen speedsters from all types of backgrounds. In addition, the NAPA Auto Parts Sprint (gr. I) will mark the only Breeders' Cup race featuring a "War of the Sexes." As many as three fillies and mares--Kalookan Queen, Carson Hollow, and Xtra Heat, will take on the boys to see which gender will prevail over six furlongs.
Trapper Anthony "Flash" Wilcox rids Thoroughbred farms of unwanted visitors.
By Lenny Shulman -- Not satisfied with being a champion amateur steeplechase rider in both the United States and Great Britain, a feat no one else has approached, George Sloan desperately sought to popularize his sport by putting it before the American public.
If ever there was a hunch bet going into a race, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27 in New York boasts one of the great ones of all time. With policemen and firefighters being hailed as heroes in the wake of the terrorist attack on the city's World Trade Center, what better play could there be than Officer?
By Lenny Shulman -- How can you build a fan base for a sport whose athletes retire before their prime?
This year's 11-furlong edition of the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) figures to be as wide-open as a St. Louis Rams receiver streaking downfield.
As an Aug. 31 deadline for legislative action neared, proponents of account wagering in California were busy trying to hammer out a compromise with union officials. Account wagering and the unionization of backstretch employees are linked through two separate pieces of legislation.
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