Michael Wrona, widely considered one of the premier announcers in the country, won't be calling races at Lone Star Park this year. He and Lone Star were unable to agree on a contract.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which has called 2005 a pivotal year, is working on a revised dues formula that would generate the same amount of money, if not more, yet be more equitable in light of changes in the industry since the organization launched in 1997.
Turf Express Stud, Inc. announced an incentive program by which Texas mare owners can double the breeder awards they receive from the Texas Thoroughbred Association.
Chris Nolan's Colonial Colony, winner of the 2004 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, and William Farish, James Elkins, and Temple Webber's Alumni Hall, winner of the 2004 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park, figure to vie for favoritism in the Jan. 22 Maxxam Gold Cup, a $100,000 event for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles at Sam Houston Race Park.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has endorsed a white paper on simulcasting and also heralded its support of industry efforts to police the sport in the wake of federal indictments in New York.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's board of directors will decide Jan. 18 whether to endorse an updated "white paper" on simulcasting, but it won't decide--at least for several months--its position on high-volume rebate operations.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee, in response to concerns from affiliates in Kentucky and Ohio, has asked its affiliates to make known their position on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's proposal for uniform medication and drug testing.
WinStar Farm co-owner Bill Casner was elected to a three-year at-large term on the Texas Thoroughbred Association Board of Directors.
Leaving On My Mind, a four-time stakes winner for breeder/owner George Wolff of Boerne, Texas, will be honored as the 2004 Texas Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old colt/gelding by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.
Fasig-Tipton closed out its selling year on a high note, with across-the-board increases at its Texas mixed auction Sunday at Lone Star Park.
The Jockeys' Guild wrapped up its annual assembly Dec. 7 with the announcement that the contract of Matrix Capital Associates, headed by Dr. Wayne Gertmenian, has been extended through 2009. In addition, jockey Kent Desormeaux, who has said he was conducting due diligence into Guild business practices, failed to win re-election to the Guild senate and no longer sits on the executive committee.
The Jockeys' Guild began its annual meeting Dec. 6 with a call for solidarity -- even in the face of the dismissal of member Eddie King, who had sued the organization -- and a call for members not to talk to the press.
Former jockeys associated with the Disabled Jockeys' Fund, which will be terminated at the end of the year, on Dec. 6 said they're comfortable with a plan by the Jockeys' Guild to make payments to disabled riders from the Guild's primary account.
As the Jockeys' Guild prepares for its annual meeting in Irving, Texas, Dec. 6-7, organization management is under increasing fire from the racing industry and some of its own members. Still, the Guild appears poised to make a case for solidarity, and it remains to be seen whether substantial change will come about during the two-day meeting.
Jo Ann Weber, Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame executive director, died Nov. 22 from cancer.
Breeders who send a Louisiana-bred program registered mare to Wild Zone or Littlexpectations will receive a free no-guarantee 2006 season to Easyfromthegitgo.
Pending final approval from the Texas Racing Commission, the Austin Jockey Club is almost ready to build a new racetrack in Pflugerville, a fast-growing suburb north of Austin. The commission could review the plan at its Nov. 22 meeting.
The Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park set several handle records, including an all-sources mark that topped the previous standard by a little more than $200,000.
NBC's coverage of the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships registered the lowest television ratings in the 21-year history of the event.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Lone Star Park was a sight to behold Oct. 30 when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships came to town. An enthusiastic crowd of 53,717 horse lovers from around the world was on hand to take part in the most important day in the history of the Texas racing industry.
By Gary West -- The message echoed through the grandstand and spread through the crowd. In the stable area, people from Europe, California, Kentucky, and New York gladly picked up the message and passed it along. Now, if only the so-called leaders in Texas aren't deaf.
NBC's coverage of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 30 from Lone Star Park drew a smaller television audience than the 2003 telecast from Santa Anita Park, according to overnight ratings.
Breeders' Cup and Lone Star Park officials said they were pleased with how the Grand Prairie racetrack pulled off its first World Thoroughbred Championships.
Wilko, who had won just two of 10 starts in Europe, beat the best 2-year-old colts at Lone Star Park Saturday at odds of 28-1, winning the $1.5 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Ouija Board proved those who pounded her to 9-10 odds-on favorite correct in their thinking. What they probably didn't figure on were the incredibly slow fractions that she closed on to win the $1,410,000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Ashado, a 3-year-old filly by Saint Ballado, added to her impressive resume Oct. 30 with a decisive victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
Breeders' Cup day started off with a bang, longshot Wishingitwas taking the D.R. Horton Metroplex Mile, the one stakes run at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, prior to the eight World Thoroughbred Championship races.
At 10:35 a.m. (local Central time), D.G. Van Clief Jr. walked to the microphone in the Lone Star Park winner's circle and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships officially began.
On the heels of a record wagering day, Lone Star Park was set to host its first Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships with an improved weather forecast and a flurry of activity the morning of the event at the Texas racetrack.
Breeders' Cup and Lone Star Park executives met the afternoon of Oct. 29 to discuss plans given the possibility of a heightened terror alert in the United States, but the strategy already was in place, according to an official close to the situation.
Plans for enhanced security, drug testing, and licensing by the Texas Racing Commission have been in the making for more than a year in advance of the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park. It's the first time Texas has hosted the Cup.
The financial implications of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships -- before, during, and after the event -- are huge, speakers said Oct. 29 during a seminar sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association at Lone Star Park.
The International Jockey Championship had a distinctive Texas flavor Oct. 28 when Dallas native Jerry Bailey sealed the title aboard Promise Of War in the third and final series event for owner Keith Asmussen and trainer Steve Asmussen of the Lone Star state.
Jockey Richard Migliore is bound for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships despite suffering a scare to his surgically held together arm during an Oct. 28 spill at Belmont Park.
A high-tech surgical suite, developed for human medicine, is now available to horses at Lone Star Park, the host for this year's running of the Breeders'Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The most heard word on the backside of Lone Star Park this week has been humidity. The weather has been warm but the sticky humidity has made it seem much hotter.
The "Head2Head" wager on Breeders' Cup day might also be called "Head2Head2Head" this year as the menu will offer two races with three betting interests instead of the usual two.
Given the money and time that go into preparing a racetrack for the Breeders' Cup, it would seem inappropriate to use the word "test." But when the World Thoroughbred Championships is held Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park, it will be just that.
- By Tom LaMarra
Nine of the top jockeys in the world are set to square off Oct. 28 in the International Jockey Championship at Lone Star Park.
Trainer Bobby Barnett insists it wasn't planned but admits it's an eerie coincidence his 2004 Breeders' Cup contender Fantasticat now occupies the stall at Churchill Downs that once housed Answer Lively, the horse he trained that won the 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and went on to be named 2-year-old champion.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is gearing up Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying for a historic run at the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) at Lone Star Park. The $2-million Distaff kicks off the eight-race World Thoroughbred Championships.
Littleexpectations, a full brother to leading Texas sire Valid Expectations, is moving from Kentucky to Texas for the 2005 breeding season.
Gold Storm might have been bred in Kentucky, but the gelded son of Seeking the Gold is as true a Texan as J.R. Ewing. He is owned by a pair of Dallas businessmen and resides in the barn of a Texas racing legend. If that weren't enough, he will be racing on his home turf when he takes the gate for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
What is it about the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) that makes winners want to double their fun? Of the six horses that have won two Breeders' Cup races, three did their repeat winning in the Mile.
Kentucky has lifted a ban on animals from Texas now that the state is free of vesicular stomatitis. In the summer, the situation led Breeders' Cup officials to take precautions in advance of the Oct. 30 World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.
In conjunction with the presentation of its White Horse Award Oct. 28 at Lone Star Park, the Race Track Chaplaincy of America will offer for sale life-sized works of art to benefit its programs.
"FanFest" is well underway in Grand Prairie, Texas as race fans gear up for the sold-out Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship Oct. 30. FanFest, presented by the Grand Prairie Breeders' Cup Committee and sanctioned by the Breeders' Cup, is a month-long event featuring celebrity appearances, musical performances, sporting events, and charity auctions surrounding daily racing at Lone Star Park.
TVG will offer extensive pre-and post-2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships coverage, beginning on Saturday, October 23, with the first of six, one-hour airings of "The Works."
The Fund for Horses, a Texas-based group dedicated to the protection of the country's equine population, will have an informational table at Lone Star Park on Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day, Saturday, Oct. 30, as well as on the previous two days.
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