Blood-Horse Staff

Battle Brews Over Maryland, Virginia Dates

Colonial Downs has received approval to race in June and July this year, but the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association voted earlier in January to maintain the status quo: race in Maryland in June and July, and in Virginia in September. The head of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association says that position hasn't changed, but a board member contends the majority of Maryland horsemen wouldn't mind spending June and July in the Tidewater region.

Hoosier Park Could Get Electronic Gaming Devices

A comprehensive overhaul of Indiana's gaming laws, including a provision to allow electronic pull-tab machines at Churchill Downs-owned Hoosier Park, was approved Wednesday by a House committee. The proposed legislation passed on an 11-3 vote by the House Public Policy Committee is designed to alter state laws allowing dockside gambling for the state's riverboat industry.

Sellers Returning to Gulfstream--To Sing, Not Ride

Shane Sellers, leading rider at Gulfstream Park in 1997, returns to the south Florida oval Feb. 4 in an entirely different capacity. This time, Sellers will be performing songs from his first country recording, "God's Favorite Angel," prior to a concert by Stephen Bishop. Sellers will perform at approximately 2:10 p.m. (EST).

Magna Gives NTRA Two-Year Commitment

Ten days after a private meeting with several members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors and three days after holding an open forum at Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach announced Wednesday in a joint statement with the NTRA that the Magna racetracks will be rejoining the NTRA with a two-year commitment, effective immediately.

North East Bound Works Toward Donn

Julian De Marc's North East Bound, a close second in the Breeder's Cup Mile (gr. I) on the turf at Churchill Downs in his last start, worked on Wednesday and remains on schedule for his expected appearance in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 3 according to trainer Bill Perry. Others still on track for the Donn are Hal's Hope, Albert the Great, Captain Steve, Pleasant Breeze, Sir Bear, Vision and Verse, American Halo, Rich Celebration, Rock and Roll, and Noble Ruler.

Undefeated Songandaprayer Stretches Out in Holy Bull

From Gulfstream Park
Songandaprayer, the $1 million unbeaten colt that is owned by former basketball star Bobby Hurley, is running in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile test is the first two-turn race of the Florida Derby (gr. I) series. Songandaprayer broke his maiden with much ballyhoo when he won a five-furlong race at Monmouth Park on June 15. The bay colt underwent surgery to remove chips and came back to win the six furlong Huntington Stakes in the slop at Aqueduct on Nov. 26 in his last start.

Charismatic's First Foal

The first reported foal by Horse of the Year Charismatic was born at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., on Tuesday. The newborn colt is the third foal from the Danzig mare Tomisue's Girl, whose grade II stakes-winning dam, Glowing Honor, is a full or half-sister to six stakes winners, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero. The next dam is Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute.

Dubai Millennium Tops International Classifications

Godolphin Racing's Dubai Millennium, the impressive six-length winner of the Dubai World Cup, has been accorded top weight of 134 on the International Classifications announced in London Wednesday. Among horses trained in the U.S. on the International Classification, sprinter Kona Gold and Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus both were rated at 127 pounds. That placed Kona Gold behind only Dubai Millennium and Montjeu (130 pounds) on the older horse list and Fusaichi Pegasus' weight assignment exceeded only by Sinndar.

OBSC Preferred Sessions End With Average Decline

Adena Springs South went to $105,000 for Backatem, a 4-year-old stakes winning daughter of Notebook sold as a broodmare prospect, to top the second of two consignor preferred sessions at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Winter Mixed Sale. Consigned by Summerfield, Agent, Backatem was a stakes winner of $89,750 and is a full-sister to graded stakes-placed
Throwthebookatem.

George Steffee III Dead

George (Jed) Steffee III, who was general manager of Richard Duchossois' Hill 'N Dale Farm near Barrington, Ill, from 1976 to 1990, died Jan. 9 at an Aurora, Ill., hospital.

Bench Mark Thoroughbred

By John Williams -- As many of us coped with the death of Affirmed on Jan. 12, one underlying theme was evident: it seemed everybody connected to the horse considered it a privilege that he had touched their lives. This had been true all of his life, I am sure.

Istintaj Wins Gulfstream Feature; Forest Heir Victorious at Aqueduct

Istintaj acted up in the starting gate, unseating rider Jerry Bailey, but was perfectly behaved in the running as he rallied to win the $120,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) or 3-year-olds at Gulfstream on Monday. At Aqueduct on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card, Forest Heir drew clear in the stretch for a 3 3/4-length victory in the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Crusader Sword Mare Tops OBSC First Session

Proud Crusader, Hip No. 182, brought a final bid of $67,000 to top the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2001 Winter Mixed Sale. Consigned by Double S Farm, Agent, the 7-year-old Crusader Sword mare, in foal to Gilded Time, was sold to R Bar S Thoroughbreds. Proud Crusader is out of stakes winner Very Proud and is a half-sister to stakes winner Proud and True as well as stakes placed Proud Proud Proud and Cut Proud.

Uncharted Haven Survives Inquiry to Win San Gorgonio

Trainer Robert Frankel, who's won three of the last five runnings of the San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, saddled a strong one-two entry in this year's renewal on Monday's Martin Luther King Holiday card, with front-running Dancingonice the perfect complement to stretch closer Uncharted Haven. As it turned out, Dancingonice carved out the fractions and set things up perfectly for her 3 Plus U Stable barnmate, and Uncharted Haven took down the top prize in the nine-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.

Buckle Down Ben Favored in Holy Bull

Buckle Down Ben, third in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), has been installed the 5-2 morning-line favorite among eight 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull is one of the steppingstones to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 10. All four of Buckle Down Ben's races have been around two turns and he has won two them, including the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles in Maryland on Nov. 4.

Arlington Unveils New Fan Loyalty/Rewards Program

Arlington Park announced Monday the kickoff of its new Twin Spires Club fan loyalty and rewards program, part of a national program with Churchill Downs and replaces Arlington's former program, the A-Club. All A-Club members who were active in 2000, have been automatically transferred into the Twin Spires Club.

Native Dancer Book Latest in Legends Series

Eclipse Press, the equine book publishing division of The Blood-Horse, Inc., has announced the publication of Native Dancer, the seventh book in the Thoroughbred Legends series.
Author Eva Jolene Boyd owes her interest in Thoroughbred racing to Native Dancer, whom she saw on television in 1953. She continued to follow Native Dancer's racing career and later, his stallion career, keeping track of his deeds for posterity. Now, this effort has culminated in Native Dancer.

Another Longshot Win For Seattle Slew Filly

Longshots finished 1-2-3 in the $117,500 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Sunday. Another put away favored Bam Bam Bull nearing the sixteenth pole and drew out to win by 3 1/4 lengths at 10-1. Curious Treasures, a 25-1 shot, was second and Dynamite Diablo, 29-1, finished third in a field of 11. Katz Me If You Can, who broke lengths behind the field, managed to get up for fourth.

Echo Eddie Skims the Rail For Stakes Triumph

Echo Eddie, a consistent gray son of Restless Con, found room along the rail entering the stretch and went on to a hard-earned 1 1/2-length victory in the $109,600 Sensational Star Handicap at Santa Anita Park on Sunday. Ridden by Iggy Puglisi, Echo Eddie won for the sixth time in 11 career starts and paid $4.60 as the favorite in the field of eight California-breds in the 6-1/2 furlong race.

Desormeaux Joins 4,000 Win Club

Jockey Kent Desormeaux posted his 4,000th career victory when he won Sunday's first race at Santa Anita Park with Temporary Appeal. Desormeaux, 30, is a three-time Eclipse Award winner who became the youngest rider to reach 3,000 wins when he rode Maisonsaire to victory on April 16, 1995, at Santa Anita at age 25.

Jockey Feats at Suffolk Downs on Sunday

Jockey Taylor Hole reached the 1,000 win milestone when he booted home 5-1 shot Salt State in the ninth race at Suffolk Downs on Sunday. Also at Suffolk on Sunday, apprentice rider Oscar Colon earned his first career win with his first mount in the United States when he scored with Stage Trick in the fourth race.

Owner Wins Golden Gate Derby With First Horse

Carl J. Odegarrd's Hoovergetthekeys split the leaders in the stretch and overcame a bumping incident to win the $150,000 Golden Gate Derby (gr. III). The 3-year-old gelded son of Mt. Livermore was ridden by Ron Warren Jr. to defeat Padua Stable's High Cascade, the 17-10 favorite in the seven-horse field.

New Orleans Woman Wins Handicapping Contest

Judy Wagner of New Orleans captured the title of "DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year" as the nation's top horseplayer Saturday with a victory in the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The title of Handicapper of the Year will be presented to Wagner on Jan. 30 at thoroughbred racing's annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in New Orleans.

Pentatonic Avenges DQ With Affectionately Victory

Deprived a victory last time out when she caused interference, Sheila Sherry's Pentatonic stayed far back and out of everyone's way Saturday afternoon in the grade III, $110,500 Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct. As a result, jockey Aaron Gryder had all the room he needed to send the 6-year-old Cure The Blues mare on a six-wide rally through the lane produced a victory. It was a nice way to start the New Year, as Pentatonic ended 2000 by winning the Ladies Handicap on Dec. 16, only to be disqualified and placed second as she bore in on Strolling Belle.

Full Field Contests Gulfstream's Mr. Prospector Stakes

Well-rested and ready to roll, Delaware Township will take some beating in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) that headlines the holiday card at Gulfstream Park Monday. A full field of 14 older horses was entered for the Mr. Prospector, which was run as the Hallandale Beach Handicap last year. The six-furlong event will be offered as the ninth race on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card.

Lasersport Remains Undefeated After San Miguel Victory

In the $107,500 San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Saturday, 8-5 favorite Lasersport remained undefeated with a two-length victory over Early Flyer in 1:08 3/5 for six furlongs. By 1992 champion juvenile Gilded Time, Lasersport won his first two starts in Kentucky late last year and then was purchased privately by Bill Herrick and sent to trainer Darrell Vienna at Santa Anita.

'Typical' Keeneland January Sale Concludes With $39-Million Gross

Gross sales totaled $39,657,700 for 1,207 horses during Keeneland's six-day January Horses of All Ages Sale which ended Saturday afternoon. It was the fifth highest total in the history of the auction but short of the $60,951,200 paid for 1,239 horses and two stallion shares a year ago in January. This year's average was $32,856 compared to $49,183 in 2000.

Bertrando Colt Tops Keeneland Sale Session

Advanced Edition, a stakes-placed 4-year-old, brought a top price of $115,000 during Friday's session of Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale. Harold Loewenstine, Jr. bought the bay colt by Bertrando out of Irish Anthem by Kleven. Advanced Edition finished third in the Hawthorne Juvenile Stakes as a 2-year-old and second in the Kentucky Colonel Stakes last year at three.

Form Revives American Racing Manual

The Daily Racing Form has brought back the popular "American Racing Manual," according to an announcement from Steven Crist, editor and publisher of Daily Racing Form. The 2000 American Racing Manual covering the 1999 Thoroughbred racing season, is now available and the 2001 volume, detailing the 2000 racing campaign, is slated to be released in spring, 2001. The Form is offering 50 percent off the 2001 edition for those who order the 2000 edition, which costs $60.

IRS Quits Probe Into Uncashed Tickets at Arlington

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly has decided not to pursue the possible theft of about $1 million in uncashed pari-mutuel tickets at Arlington Park. The Chicago Sun-Times. reported the IRS has sent Arlington a letter stating lack of jurisdiction is the reason for quitting the case.

Judge Protects Beulah Park's Online Wagering

Beulah Park's online wagering service called Winticket.com got full approval by the Ohio State Racing Commission before the service was developed, said an Ohio judge. Therefore, the judge said, state officials cannot arbitrarily decide they want the service stopped until online wagering is further evaluated.

It's Official: Certain Won 1999 Arkansas Derby

After several years of legal action, the attempt by owner James Jackson to overturn the disqualification of his horse Valhol from victory in the 1999 Arkansas Derby has ended. On Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling stripping Valhol of the victory and the winner's $300,000 purse.

Philly Park Phone Bet to Cut Jersey Customers

Management at Philadelphia Park sent a letter to all of its Phonebet customers in New Jersey advising them that it expects to receive formal notice from the New Jersey Racing Commission to stop accepting their phone wagers. "Once the commission issues this formal directive (expected to be on Jan. 20), you will receive notice from us and all New Jersey accounts will be closed," the letter states.

Dixie Union to Stud at Diamond A Farms

Dixie Union, who was retired due to a minor tendon injury following his victory in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I), will stand at stud at Gerald Ford's Diamond A Farms near Versailles, Ky. Diamond A raced the colt in partnership with his breeder, Herman Sarkowsky. Dixie Union will stand for a $30,000 live foal fee as the property of a syndicate managed by William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm.

Unbridled Time Returns in San Miguel

Bob and Beverly Lewis' Unbridled Time, winless since taking his first two career starts last spring, returns to competition Saturday in Santa Anita's San Miguel Stakes. The son of Unbridled's Song, who cost $1.15 million as a yearling, will carry top weight of 121 pounds and Chris McCarron in the six-furlong San Miguel.

Pleasant Breeze Ends Layoff in Skip Away

With topweighted Pleasant Breeze making his first start in nearly five months, the entry box filled to the brim for Saturday's $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park. A total of 14 horses were entered for the Skip Away, with Pleasant Breeze the likely favorite as he goes from Post 10 with Jorge Chavez named to ride.

What's In a Name? Election 2000

Thoroughbred owners often look to major news stories of the day for inspiration when devising names for their horses and the fallout from the November 7 presidential election has apparently provided them with all sorts of new material. The Jockey Club's Registry in Lexington, Kentucky has issued foal certificates or reserved names for these Thoroughbreds in the past two months: All Four Chads, Chad, Chadsanddimples, Count The Chads, Dangling Chad, Don't Countess Out, Electoral College, Florida Recount, No More Chads, Palm Beach Ballot, Tooclosetocall and Win for Chad.

Stallion Affirmed Being Treated at Clinic

Central Kentucky stallion Affirmed, who underwent surgery on his left front pastern joint at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington in the fall, is back at the clinic. The 26-year-old stallion was sent there on Jan. 8 from the Bell family's Jonabell Farm near Lexington. It is questionable whether he will be able to begin breeding when the season begins Feb. 15.

Zito Suspended, Fined For Medication Positive

Nick Zito, who has trained a pair of Kentucky Derby winners, was suspended for 15 days and fined $1,000 by the New York Racing Association on Thursday after a banned substance was found in one of his horses. Zito appealed the penalties, meaning they do not immediately take effect.

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