- By Tracy Gantz
Hronis Racing tops California's major meets in 2013. Download Now
Hronis Racing tops California's major meets in 2013. Download Now
In only its second year, the Barretts paddock sale at Del Mar grew in nearly every category July 21, with Oscar Party topping the sale at $510,000.
Tracy Gantz guest blogs about the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. read blog
When the 17 horses enter the starting gate at Tokyo Racecourse Nov. 25 for the 32nd Japan Cup (Jpn-I), nearly every one of them will bring North American bloodlines to the task.
Coming off three consecutive 2-year-old auctions with increases in average, Barretts Equine Limited will offer a catalog of 116, plus eight supplemental entries for its May 14 2-year-old sale in Pomona, Calif.
Kicking off the juvenile sales season coupled with a strong turnout from Japanese buyers boosted the Barretts March selected 2-year-olds in training sale March 5 in Pomona, Calif.
Sire power will be on display among the broodmares and broodmare prospects that will be offered as part of the Barretts mixed sale scheduled for Jan. 23 in Pomona, Calif.
Carl Lizza in recent years revamped his breeding program to upgrade his stock, but he didn't live long enough to reap the rewards. The New York owner and breeder died just two weeks before Pure Gossip made her racing debut.
Led by two colts who each brought $100,000, the first session of the Barretts October Yearling Sale rose 47.15% in average, to $27,145. The 55 head sold at the Oct. 11 session grossed $1,493,000, up 42% from the 2010 gross.
With California-breds dominating the Barretts October yearling sale catalog, buyers looking to take advantage of the recently announced Cal-bred stakes additions will have plenty of choices.
Trainers Jim Cassidy and Ron Ellis have been elected and Glory Haley re-elected to the board of California Thoroughbred Trainers. Voting was conducted in June to fill three positions on the nine-member CTT board.
Faced with criticism and a move to decertify it as the official horsemen's organization in California, the Thoroughbred Owners of California held a public forum at Hollywood Park June 25.
Santa Anita's dirt racetrack will be undergoing renovation in the coming months to bring it back to the combination of sand, silt, and clay initially approved when the new dirt surface was installed late last year.
California, Pennsylvania, and Japanese buyers converged on Barretts for the March 2-year-olds in training sale, resulting in a strong auction, particularly at the top end.
Consignors sent their 2-year-olds in sensible times for the March 18 under-tack preview of the March 21 Barretts selected 2-year-olds in training sale in Southern California.
With a month left in its current winter meeting, Santa Anita is continuing to work with the California Thoroughbred Trainers and the California Horse Racing Board on its new dirt surface.
Some 35-40 people involved with California racing met at Hollywood Park Feb. 22 to discuss ways in which to improve the state's industry.
Candy Ride expanded his California influence from the racetrack to the sale ring Jan. 24, when his daughter Smoothe as Candy topped the Barretts January mixed sale at $70,000.
Santa Anita opened its new dirt track to horses the morning of Dec. 6. With most horses still stabled across town at Hollywood Park, few horses galloped on the new surface, which is a mixture of 90% sand and 10% clay.
American horses could have a tough time in the Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I). Not only is European invader Midday back to defend her title, Japan has sent a formidable adversary in Red Desire.
Keertana may go off as a longshot in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), but don't count her out. In 1994, bettors ignored another distaffer trained by Tom Proctor at their peril.
Barretts' California Cup Yearling Sale showed strength in a two-day format Oct. 12-13. Led by a $105,000 topper at the first session, the auction averaged $14,128, an increase of 13.8% over 2009.
Bloodlines from leading California breeders Martin and Pam Wygod dominated the Barretts California Cup yearling sale at Fairplex Oct. 12.
Santa Anita applied for the traditional Oak Tree Racing Association dates for 2011 during a Sept. 22 California Horse Racing Board race dates committee meeting.
As Del Mar closed its 2010 race meeting, Joe Harper, CEO of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, discussed the possible new horizons of California racing.
A full house of about 300 people turned out July 24 for a poker night to raise funds for the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), which benefits retired racehorses.
California breeders and owners met with the state's Thoroughbred breeders association management for three hours at Del Mar to discuss issues facing the industry.
When trainer Doug O'Neill's charges head to the racetrack during training hours at Hollywood Park, Lava Man, who won three Hollywood Gold Cups (gr. I) during a long racing career, often accompanies them.
A War Front colt sold for $250,000 topped the May 10 Barretts sale of 2-year-olds in training, which saw stable numbers when compared with the same auction one year ago.
The catalog for the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds is leaner than in 2009, with 166 head, including 12 supplemental entries, but nevertheless will offer variety in pedigree, consignor, and price range at the May 10 auction.
Keith Brackpool, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, called for unanimity from the racing industry in developing proposed legislation for 2010 during a meeting April 14.
Lethal Heat has attracted attention more for trainer Barry Abrams' assertion that he wanted to run her in two Breeders' Cup races on consecutive days than for her ability. But Madeline Auerbach, who bred and owns the filly in partnership, says that Lethal Heat is fit, happy, and ready to run a big race in the Nov. 6 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I).
Careless Jewel has taken Vern and Donna Dubinsky to winner's circles they never thought possible, especially for a horse who cost only $40,000.
California-bred Tiznow proved a drawing card at the Barretts California Cup Yearling Sale Oct. 5. The stallion's only offspring in the catalog, a California-bred daughter of the Lion Hearted mare Storm Hearted, topped the sale at $120,000.
A son of Tiznow sold for $300,000 topped the Barretts 2-year-old sale May 11, as the average fell along the lines of most juvenile sales this winter and spring. Buy-backs and withdrawals of some of the most buzz-worthy horses contributed to the 30.25% decline in average to $37,087.
Mike Pegram is quick with a joke when his horses win, but the owner said he felt very humbled when the Southern California racing industry turned out to honor him and his wife, Mary Ellen.
CARMA invited representatives from several California rescue organizations to a roundtable April 8 at Santa Anita to discuss ways the groups could work together to save Thoroughbreds and rehabilitate them for second careers.
Harvesting a horse's stem cells at birth through the umbilical cord or as a young horse may give it an advantage later if it develops health problems. Researchers from the University of California-Davis spoke to a group of owners and breeders March 22 at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association office about stem-cell research they are performing, and the future of stem-cell therapy.
A son of Horse of the Year Tiznow brought $650,000 to top the Barretts sale March 10 at the Hinds Pavilion in Pomona, Calif. Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables purchased the colt on a telephone bid from the Wavertree Stables consignment
Barretts is offering a trimmer catalog for its 2009 March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is in line with the belt-tightening mood throughout the country. The Southern California auction company has cataloged 124 horses for its March 10 auction, down from 191 in the 2008 book.
The stallion Unusual Heat broke the California record for progeny earnings in one year Dec. 11.
With trainer Steve Asmussen looking on, Curlin worked over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita early the morning of Oct. 6. The trainer, who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers dirt over synthetic surfaces, said that he could not make any decision about Santa Anita's new surface on the basis of just one work.
The elimination of exclusive account deposit wagering contracts and meeting the challenges of racetrack closures were among the subjects addressed at the Thoroughbred Owners of California's annual membership meeting Aug. 16 at Del Mar.
Hundreds of former racehorses owe their second careers to Leigh Gray. Manager of Dr. Don Shields' lay-up facility, Winner's Circle Ranch in Bradbury, Calif., Gray not only rehabilitates racehorses for a living, she does it in her spare time.
Following an afternoon of inconsistencies in Santa Anita's reconstituted racing surface, the main track appeared to be back in shape the morning of Feb. 14. Trainers went from scratching horses late in the card Feb. 13 because of their concern to commenting that the track was the best it has been so far the next morning.
Santa Anita canceled racing Jan. 5, because the new Cushion Track is not draining properly. The track did an extensive renovation last month that was supposed to fix this problem. Five inches of rain have fallen, according to officials. More is expected tonight and could affect racing for the entire weekend.
The renovated Cushion Track at Santa Anita Park produced a track record at seven furlongs in the second race of the opening day card on Dec. 26. Bob Black Jack hit the wire in 1:20.37, .53 seconds faster than the previous mark set during the fall Oak Tree Association meet. While new surfaces always mean new records, the previous dirt record for seven furlongs set by Spectacular Bid in 1980 was 1:20.
Great Hunter and Spring at Last, two runners for Doug O'Neill that were sidelined by ankle chips, could make their next starts before the end of the year, according to O'Neill. Great Hunter could be headed for the Strub Series, while Spring at Last may earn other trip to Dubai.