Fair Grounds Race Course concluded its 133rd season of racing, and its first under the ownership of Churchill Downs Inc. Sunday with its first increases in average all-sources and on-track wagering in four years.
Steve Asmussen's record-smashing national success in 2004 carried over to Kentucky as the Texas-born trainer earned his first Kentucky Thoroughbred Media "Trainer of the Year" award.
The Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation for Grand Prairie awarded $60,000 to 18 Grand Prairie, Texas charities March 17 during a ceremony at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
Odds-on choice Summerly opened up a daylight lead heading into the first turn and romped to victory in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) Saturday, spoiling the return to action this year of Runway Model.
Graded stakes winner Runway Model will make her seasonal debut Saturday when she breaks from post six in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval.
A pair of top 3-year-old fillies will clash when Summerly and Runway Model hook up in the March 12 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval. Runway Model will be making her 3-year-old debut, while Summerly has two wins to her credit this season.
Favored Summerly joined the ranks of graded stakes winners Saturday with an impressive win over eight rivals in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Fair Grounds.
Stakes veteran Warleigh made short work of nine rivals in the $50,000 Mardi Gras Handicap, the traditional Fat Tuesday feature on the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Favored Savorthetime surged past the pacesetting Cologny at the sixteenth pole and pulled away for a 2 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Grade II stakes winner Quintons Gold Rush died Jan. 17 while undergoing surgery at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital in California.
Punch Appeal will be seeking her sixth career stakes win when she contests Saturday's $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds. The Tiffany Lass is the first in a series of three 3-year-old filly stakes leading up to the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 12 at the New Orleans oval.
Robert L. Beck's Megascape got the jump on three rivals Sunday afternoon and took jockey Stewart Elliott to an easy victory over Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track in the $76,450 Ruthless Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
With slots approved for Fair Grounds and likely to be in place in 2005, Louisiana breeders already seem to be reaping the rewards. On Saturday, the state's horsemen will vie for a $1 million, 10-race card that features seven Thoroughbred stakes, highlighted by the $150,000 Louisiana Champion's Day Classic.
Front-running Punch Appeal turned back Summer Raven in the stretch run of the $250,000 Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies and pulled away for a 5 1/2-length victory Saturday at Delta Downs.
Two-year-old filly Punch Appeal, a winner of five races in 2004, will try to cap a successful year with a victory in the rich $250,000 Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs Saturday.
The Steve Asmussen-trained Megascape, shouldering top weight of 122 pounds, went gate to wire to easily upset odds-on favorite Alfonsina in the $106,500 Valley Stream (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies Sunday at Aqueduct.
Trainer Steve Asmussen broke Jack Van Berg's 28-year-old record for wins in a single season when he collected his 497th victory of 2004 on Saturday night at Delta Downs.
Trainer Steve Asmussen is inching closer to the North American single-season record for wins by a trainer. As of Nov. 20, Asmussen has 492 wins on the year. The current single-season record is held by Jack Van Berg, who saddled 496 winners (from 2,362 starters) in 1976.
A dozen 3-year-old colts will take the gate for Sunday's $150,000 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III), going 1 1/8-miles at Remington Park. The field is led by grade II winner Quinton's Gold Rush and grade III winner Mr. Jester.
Favored Punch Appeal didn't have the easiest of trips for jockey Pat Day, but she was not to be denied in winning the $109,500 Pocahontas for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs by a nose.
Midway Road stuck his nose in front at the finish to score a narrow victory in the $161,250 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) Saturday as Keeneland concluded its 17-day fall meeting.
Dubleo, the probable morning-line favorite, will lead a field of 11 two-year-old colts and geldings entered in Friday's featured $100,000 Bourbon County Stakes at Keeneland. Dubleo is conditioned by Todd Pletcher.
Sister Swank charged past Jinny's Gold in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $116,300 Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Keeneland.
The brilliant sprinter Lady Tak, with a confident John Velazquez in the saddle, disposed of pacesetter Molto Vita coming off the turn and cruised to a two-length victory as the heavy favorite in the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares.
Lady Tak is the obvious class in the field for Sunday's $150,000-added Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
The fields for the Sept. 18 Kentucky Cup at Turfway Park are beginning to take shape and full fields are expected.
Returning to the scene of her greatest success, Lady Tak won Sunday's Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, barely holding off My Trusty Cat by a head in the final strides.
Heiligbrodt Stable's Bwana Charlie, ridden by Shane Sellers, had favored Pomeroy measured in the stretch, pulling away in the final sixteenth of a mile for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $150,000 Amsterdam (gr. II) for 3-year-old sprinters at Saratoga Race Course.
A group of 11 2-year-olds has been entered for the 91st running of the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) on Thursday at Saratoga's famed Race Course. Known for its annual showcasing of quality youngsters, the Spa's second day of racing has a crack line-up of 2-year-old colts going six furlongs in the Sanford, headed by multiple stakes winner Lunarpal.
Expect Will remained undefeated with a win in the $125,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Stallion Stakes on closing day at Lone Star Park, giving trainer Steve Asmussen a clean sweep of all four 2-year-old stakes at the spring meet.
Dazzle Me, hustled away off the rail by Shane Sellers, took command on the backstretch and never looked back, scoring a 6 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's unbeaten Lunarpal will be looking to complete a rare sweep when he faces six 2-year-old rivals in the $150,000-added Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) Monday, the closing day of Churchill Downs spring meet.
Trainer Steve Asmussen became the first horseman to notch 500 career wins at Lone Star Park, when Star of Caveat won Saturday's first race at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack.
Unbeaten Lunarpal is set for his bid to become the second horse to sweep Churchill Downs' three-race Spring Meet stakes series for 2-year-olds when he takes the gate in Monday's $100,000-added Bashford Manor (gr. III).
Trainer Greg Foley hopes to wrap up the 2004 Churchill Downs Spring Meet on a high note when he sends out Bakster Farm's unbeaten Sweet Miss El in the $100,000-added Debutante (gr. III) on Sunday.
Warleigh, winner of the $200,000 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap, was installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Defending champion Mountain General faces a rematch with veteran sprint star Beau's Town in Saturday's $150,000-added Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, the national leader in victories, swept both divisions of Saturday's Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
There's almost $250,000 on the line in two Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurities June 12 at Lone Star Park, and trainer Steve Asmussen means business. He has 10 2-year-old entered: seven colts and three fillies.
Heavily favored Lunarpal, ridden by Shane Sellers, led from start to finish and held off a stretch charge by Consolidator to take a neck victory in Saturday's co-featured $132,088 Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Keith Asmussen's Primal Storm dominated a field of 2-year-olds to win Friday's $106,300 Flash Stakes (gr. III) at five furlongs at Belmont Park.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who leads the nation in wins in 2004, saddles Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's unbeaten and heavily favored Lunarpal in Churchill Downs' $125,000-added Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday.
Yessirgeneralsir broke fast from the starting gate and never looked back, defeating Kentucky-based Sonic West by 2 ¼ lengths in the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day before 15,648 in Grand Prairie, Texas.
A pair of juveniles from the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen head a list of 15 2-year-olds nominated tothe $125,000-added Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr.III) on June 5.
A busy morning of training at Churchill Downs saw significant moves by 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri and 3-year-old stars Fire Slam and Victory U.S.A.
Lady Tak, ridden by Shane Sellers, surged to the lead on the turn and held off a stretch challenge by Put Me In to score a three-quarters of a length victory in Saturday's first running of the $108,600 Winning Colors Handicap for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen and 3-year-old filly Everheart traded places Saturday. The result was two stakes wins.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Lady Tak, winner of Saratoga's prestigious Test (gr. I), looms as the heavy favorite as she faces six rivals in Saturday's first running of the $100,000-added Winning Colors Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Private Emblem, whose unbeaten streak in the spring of 2002 helped bring national attention to his sire, Our Emblem, was euthanized after fracturing both sesamoid bones in his left front leg.
On-track wagering totaled an all-time record $28,010,988 during Keeneland's 15-day spring meeting, which ended Friday. An all-time record 232,826 people attended Keeneland's meeting.
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