Blood-Horse Staff

Weather Had Negative Impact on Turfway Meet

Inclement weather -- ice, snow and sleet, combined with several weeks of below normal temperatures -- wreaked havoc on the recently completed 2000 holiday meet at Turfway Park. The 23-day meet concluded Dec. 31. As a result, Turfway experienced an overall decrease of 15.9% in total handle, with a drop in on-track handle of 24.2% and out-of-state handle of 16.9%. Daily average out-of-state handle increased 19.4%, while daily average all-sources handle was up 5.1%. I

Woodman Mare Tops Keeneland's Midpoint Session

Queen of Norway, a 5-year-old chestnut mare by Woodman out of Qena, by The Minstrel, was purchased by agent John Warren for $400,000 as the top price during Wednesday's session of Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale. At the halfway point of the six-day auction, 628 horses have been sold for $33,034,200, an average of $52,602.

NTRA Mobile Will Market to College Students

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that, starting in mid-January, the NTRA Racing Experience, an interactive mobile marketing exhibit that brings racing to the fans in an area measuring 60 feet long and 12.5 feet high, will tour several college campuses from coast to coast as part of the Sports Illustrated Campus Fest.

First Derby Future Wager Pool in Mid-February

Due to the date of Easter weekend this year, Churchill Downs has amended the schedule for the third pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Pool 1 is scheduled for Feb. 15-18; Pool 2 is set for March 8-11; and Pool 3 will run from April 5-8. The 127th renewal of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5. Pool Three will be conducted a week earlier than in the first two years of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

McAlpine Appointed Magna President/CEO

Magna Entertainment Corp. appointed its third president and chief executive officer within a year. The Magna board appointed Jim McAlpine today as the company's president and chief executive officer. McAlpine was executive vice president of non-automotive affairs for Magna International, MEC's parent company and automotible parts manufacturing company founded by MEC chairman Frank Stronach.

The Aga Khan Comments on Trends in Breeding Industry

In his speech to the British breeding industry, The Aga Khan reflected on his philosophies as well as the industry's future. The top British breeder said what he and other traditional breeders find it "particularly difficult to manage today is the way in which the financial drivers of the breeding industry are changing it. An example is the 40-share stallion syndicate of a horse that never left his operating base, which is now being replaced by limitless books of mares for stallions who will travel to any market that will purchase their services."

Breakthrough Made on EPM Research

The most recent Journal of Parasitology contained an article that opens the door for battling equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Researchers and others found they could use the common domestic cat as the experimental intermediate host for the life cycle of the causative protozoal parasite.

Champion, Influential Mare Chris Evert Dies at Age 30

Hall of Fame mare Chris Evert was euthanized due to the infirmities of old age Monday at the age of 30. The Filly Triple Crown winner will be buried at Three Chimneys Farm, where she lived the last 10 years. All five of her daughters became the dam or granddam of stakes winners, most notable of which was Six Crowns (so named because she was by Triple Crown winner Secretariat, and out of Filly Triple Crown winner Chris Evert), who was the dam of champion and millionaire Chief's Crown.

Eastover Court to O'Sullivan

Ten-year-old Eastover Court, a son of Seattle Slew and a half-brother to successful sire Two Punch, has been moved from Ryver Meadow Farm in Maryland to Ruth and Randy Funkhauser's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va.

Japan Cup Winner Unanimous as Country's Best Horse

Japanese superhorse T.M. Opera O was the unanimous choice for 2000 Horse of the Year in his native country, according to the list of champion released by the Japan Racing Association. A son of Opera House, T.M. Opera received all 296 votes for Horse of the Year. Winner of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), T. M. Opera O was undefeated in eight starts last year, with earnings of ¥1,036,004,000 (about US$9,466,254) as he was also named champion older horse.

Plaids and Stripes

By John Angelo -- My greatest fear as a public handicapper is that I'll become my worst version of myself. I'll give up fashion altogether and spend my days alternately swearing at and giving benediction to racetrack monitors.

Storm Cat Filly Brings $1.7 Million at Keeneland

Magicalmysterycat, a 4-year-old multiple grade II winning daughter of Storm Cat, became the first seven-figure transaction of the 2001 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale when she was purchased by WinStar Farm for $1.7-million Tuesday. The chestnut filly produced from the multiple grade II winner Nannerl (by Valid Appeal) was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent for Anne and Satish Sanan's Padua Stables. Padua had paid $1.1 million for Magicalmysterycat at the 1998 Keeneland September yearling sale. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Magicalmysterycat won the Schuylerville and Landaluce Stakes, both grade II, as a 2-year-old.

Stronach All Alone At Top of Owners' List

Frank Stronach has been viewed as everything from a maverick to a bit of a tyrant in North American racing circles this past year. Just about the only place Stronach wasn't looked upon as a rogue was on the track, where even his harshest critics couldn't fault his success. From January to December, 764 starters wearing the familiar black silks with the red and gold Adena Springs Farm logo won 163 races and earned $11,198,225, giving him his third consecutive leading owner title by money won. Stronach topped the leading owner list in 1999 with $6,221,147. In 1998, he stopped a three-year streak by the late Allen Paulson with $7,221,416 in earnings.

Spook Express Rallies for Honey Fox Win

South African champion Spook Express closed from 11th-place in the 12-horse field to win Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), catching pacesetter Please Sign In near the wire of the one-mile turf race. Under jockey Mike Smith, the Thomas Skiffington-trained mare completed the Gulfstream Park feature in 1:35.60 on a firm course.

Xtra Heat Wins Ruthless Stakes

Xtra Heat, who capped her nearly perfect juvenile season with a stakes win at Laurel Park on Dec. 29, began her 3-year-old campaign on a similar note Sunday, winning the $80,575 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. The win was the ninth in 10 career starts for Xtra Heat, whose only loss was a 10th-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Collect Call Wins Santa Ysabel

Collect Call rallied in the stretch to win the $109,300 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) by 1 1/4 lengths over Irguns Angel Saturday at Santa Anita. Alex Solis booted the winner home, the pair crossed the wire after completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.69 on a fast track.

Band Is Passing's Repeat Bid Upset in Appleton

Associate took advantage of his inside post position, saving ground early before rallying to catch Band Is Passing in the final strides in Saturday's $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park. Last year's Appleton winner Band Is Passing missed by a neck in his repeat bid, finishing second, a head in front of El Mirasol.

Longest Shot on Board Wins Count Fleet

Just Allen, the longest price on the board at 59-1, drew away to a two-length victory in Aqueduct's Saturday feature race, the Count Fleet Stakes. Second wagering choice Personable Pete, a New York-bred half-brother to Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Critical Eye, finished second.

Breeder Hettinger to Receive Special Eclipse Award

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has announced that John Hettinger has been selected to receive a Special Eclipse Award for his humanitarian efforts to ensure the safety and well being of racehorses on-track and after their racing careers are over. In addition to supporting the Exceller Farm, a satellite site for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the country's oldest retirement organization for racehorses, Hettinger was instrumental in the founding of the Racehorse Adoption Referral Program (RARP).

ABC's McKay Honored with Eclipse Award of Merit

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has announced that longtime ABC sportscaster and owner/breeder Jim McKay has been named the recipient of the Eclipse Award of Merit, presented in honor of an individual's lifetime achievements in Thoroughbred racing. A committee composed of representatives from the Eclipse Award-presenting organizations -- the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association -- selected McKay by unanimous vote.

Horse Race Wagering Soars in Ontario

The Ontario Jockey Club reported today that wagering continued its strong upward trend in 2000. A record $1,221,684,460 in wagers was handled by the company, up 11.6% from $1,094,511,000 in 1999. Total wagering at the two OJC tracks, Woodbine and Mohawk, at 27 off-track wagering sites in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and by telephone account bettors, totalled $854,866,100, an increase of 7.4% over the $795.8 million recorded in 1999. T

Graded Winner Hurricane Bertie Euthanized

Richard, Bertram, and Elaine Klein's Hurricane Bertie, a multiple graded stakes-winning mare who was zeroing in on the million-dollar mark in career earnings, has been euthanized due to complications that developed from laminitis. Richard Klein said Hurricane Bertie (Storm Boot -- Clever Bertie, by Timeless Native) had developed colitis in Florida. Surgery was successful, but the mare then developed laminitis and foundered, he said.

Casino in 'Big Easy' Files for Bankruptcy Protection--Again

For the second time in the past five years, the first casino in New Orleans, La., has filed for protection under federal bankruptcy laws. Unlike the previous bankruptcy filing in 1995, however, the casino will continue to operate as it seeks to cut its indebtedness and tax burden to the state, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

North East Bound Breezes Toward Donn Start

Julian Demarco and Richard Disano's North East Bound worked three furlongs in :36 2/5 seconds on Thursday while breezing on a fast track at Gulfstream Park. The 5-year-old gelded son of D'Accord is preparing for his return to the races in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at the South Florida oval on Feb. 3.

Gaines Calls For Stronach to Terminate or Delay Forum

Magna chairman Frank Stronach's Jan. 14 open forum to discuss the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's future "should be terminated or at least delayed" if Stronach isn't willing to establish a structure and set an agenda for the session, John Gaines told the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club Tuesday night in Lexington.

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