Stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Friday fined jockey Greg Childs HK$300,000 (about US$$37,514) for breaching rules of racing by "engaging in conduct prejudicial to the good reputation of horse racing in Hong Kong." The action stems from a conversation Childs reportedly had with another rider, Justin Sheehan, prior to the Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 17 and Childs' reported post-race public comments about the conversation with Sheehan. Childs rode the top New Zealand mare Sunline to victory in the Mile; Sheehan finished third aboard Adam.
The Racing Network announced Friday that the lineup on its flagship channel TRN 1 will include Gulfstream Park, which becomes the 40th thoroughbred signal to join TRN's stable of racetracks when racing begins Jan. 3.
Live racing at Aqueduct has been cancelled for both Saturday and Sunday due to a impending storm. Racing will resume on Monday (New Year's Day) with a 10-race live card, featuring both the Interborough Handicap and the re-drawn Gallant Fox Handicap, originally scheduled for Saturday. Citing the same storm forecast, Philadelphia Park cancelled racing and training for Saturday.
Prominent breeder-owner Mrs. Henry D. Paxson, who earned an Eclipse Award as leading breeder of 1980, died Dec. 27 at a Doylestown, Pa., hospital from complications from pneumonia.
Brief items on racing and breeding.
Calder Race Course will offer its Grand Slam II program Saturday, with four graded stakes races linked by a $100,000 guaranteed pick four wager.
Friday at Santa Anita
Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Dixie Union has been retired from racing due to a slight tendon injury and will begin his stud career in the 2001 breeding season, trainer Richard Mandella announced Thursday.
Gerald Ford's grade II winner Reciclada has been retired from racing after suffering a sesamoid injury on her left front leg during a four-furlong workout at Santa Anita on Dec. 24.
Nicholas Stein, an attorney and racing fan, will head the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
Stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club have scheduled an inquiry for Friday into quotes attributed to jockey Greg Childs following his winning ride aboard the New Zealand mare Sunline in the Hong Kong Mile. The inquiry centers around a Sydney Morning Herald article with quotes attributed to Childs concerning a pre-race discussion he had with Justin Sheehan, rider of eventual Mile third-place finisher Adam.
Stakes winner Irish Conquest and grade II stakes-placed Gray Raider will enter stud at Donald Jones' LoAnJo Farm near Sugar Loaf, N.Y.
Thursday at Fair Grounds
Fairmount Park has cancelled the final four cards of its 2000 meet due to unsafe track conditions. The Collinsville, Ill., track decided Tuesday to cancel that night's card and the decision to cancel the final three nights of racing was made Wednesday, according to Joe Ruppert, the track's vice president.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that Fort Dodge Laboratories, Inc., has been issued a conditional license for a vaccine intended to aid in the prevention of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, more commonly known as EPM.
The TV Games Network will make its long-awaited debut on Lexington cable television Thursday. As usual, racing from Aqueduct, Calder Race Course, Fair Grounds, and Turfway Park will be offered in the afternoon. TVG has been available on cable television in the Louisville, Ky., market for two years, and before that, its predecessor, On Demand Services, offered live racing on cable TV in that market. In Lexington, Insight Communications has slotted TVG as Channel 5
English champion Warning, who started at stud at Khalid Abdullah's Banstead Manor Farm in England before being sold to the Japan Racing Association in 1996, died of acute heart failure at the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association's Shizunai Stud.
By Bruce Smart -- Articles describing the 2000 yearling sales have trumpeted the enormous prices being paid for fine physical horses by fashionable sires. But for the "little guy" breeder a darker aspect of today's market hits harder -- the financial disaster represented by the prices for the many race-worthy yearlings that lack a stylish pedigree and fall short of physical perfection.
French-based First Gold posted a slight upset when he shipped into Britain Tuesday and took the 50th renewal of the Pertemps King George VI Chase on the Boxing Day program at Kempton Park.
Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Spain, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, will be the starting highweight at 123 pounds for Saturday's grade I La Brea Stakes at seven furlongs. Joining Spain in the starting gate will be the Bob Baffert-trained Chilukki, 1999 Juvenile champion filly and the undefeated Serenita, conditioned by Bobby Frankel.
Current regulations in Palm Beach County could threaten Magna Entertainment's plans for a large South Florida training center because of the inclusion of housing for up to 500 grooms, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.
Just in time for Christmas, aptly named Jingle Bell Hop ran the right race on the right day. Trainer Vladimir Cerin had said that if his winless filly didn't hit the win column on Christmas Eve, it might never happen. Jingle Bell Hop didn't let Cerin down. Without a victory in four starts and forced to settle for two seconds earlier at the meet, the 3-year-old won easily Sunday under Gary Stevens in the last race of Hollywood Park's fall season.
Hollywood Park, site of Laffit Pincay Jr.'s historic march to surpass Bill Shoemaker as racing's all-time leading jockey in 1999, felt the after-affects of the event at its 2000 autumn meeting. The impact of Pincay's feat was evident as the 35-day meeting concluded Sunday. The 2000 common pool wagering daily average of $9.1 million was off 5.5 percent, while the daily average attendance of 16,660 was down 7.5 percent. On-track, the average handle of $1.6 million was down 11 percent, while the average attendance of 6,880 was off 9.5 percent.
Two brothers have been arrested by Inglewood, Calif. police in connection with a threatening note that Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens received Dec. 17 at Hollywood Park. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mark Frankel, 25, and his brother Adam, 28, were arrested at their homes by Det. Jeff Steinhoff. Mark Frankel lives in Sherman Oaks and Adam lives in Encino.
Feverish led the field around the first turn and into the backstretch before hooking up with favored Gourmet Girl for a half-mile duel to the wire en route to winning the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) by a head, Saturday at Hollywood Park. On a fast track, Feverish completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.26 under jockey Eddie Delahoussaye.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow worked six furlongs Friday in preparation for a possible start in the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 13. The work, however, left trainer Jay Robbins uncertain if the colt's left front foot is completely healed.
After losing all or part of seven race cards since Dec. 13, Turfway Park will switch to afternoon racing for the holiday week. Beginning Wednesday and running through Jan. 1, first post at the Florence, Ky. oval will be at 1:10 p.m. (EST).
Charles Town has canceled live racing for Saturday due to extremely cold temperatures. The temperature in Charles Town, W. Va. was 25 degrees at just before 5:00 p.m. (EST), with temperatures expected to drop prior to the scheduled first post time of 7:15 p.m.
Say Florida Sandy rallied from off the pace on the inner dirt track at Aqueduct and held late-closers Liberty Gold and Lake Pontchartrain at bay to win Saturday's $85,750 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) for the second time in his career. Say Florida Sandy won the 1998 Gravesend by a neck over Esteemed Friend. The 6-year-old earned $51,450 for his 22nd career win from 64 starts.
Jockey Shawn Bridgmohan was thrown from his mount, Steve's Thunder, approaching the stretch during Aqueduct's first race on Saturday and was taken to North Shore University Hospital.
Texas Glitter won an early speed duel with Bay Runner then held off Full Moon Madness by a head Friday in the $75,750 Dayjur Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The connections of Caller One remain undecided whether to run the 3-year-old in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I), where he would likely face Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Dixie Union, or take on older horses in the 5 1/2-furlong El Conejo Handicap on New Year's Eve at Santa Anita. The $200,000 Malibu will be run on Tuesday, opening day at Santa Anita.
Wednesday at Calder
A task force representing a diversity of racing groups in Virginia has reached an agreement on the industry's future over the next two years. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the agreement provides for a decrease in the number of live Thoroughbred racing dates and an increase in purses at Colonial Downs.
Weather conditions forced five tracks -- Turfway Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Mountaineer Park, Charles Town, and Penn National Race Course -- to cancel racing again on Friday. Friday's cancellation marks the seventh time in just over a week Turfway has canceled racing due to weather and Hawthorne's fifth such cancellation. Charles Town, Mountaineer and Penn National each have lost all or part of three cards recently.
Juddmonte Farms' Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Aptitude will be pointed to a start in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), according to a report in Racing Post.
Friday at Calder Race Course
Jockey Russell Baze earned his 400th win on the year in Thursday's fourth race at Golden Gate Fields. With the win Baze reached the 400-win mark for the eighth time in nine years.
Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) winner Kashatreya will seek his second straight graded stakes win when he faces 12 rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Also entered in the six furlong races are 1998 Gravesend winner Say Florida Sandy and Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Brutally Frank.
The Keeneland Association has filed an "interpleader" with Fayette (Lexington, KY.) Circuit Court, asking the court to decide how to disperse proceeds from last month's dispersal of horses owned by Robert (Country) and Bea Roberts. The Roberts dispersal grossed $1,902,600. After deducting Keeneland's entry fees and other charges totaling $147,250, there was $1,755,350 in net proceeds from the sale. The court filing noted that a number of parties had notified Keeneland, claiming an interest in the portion of the net sale proceeds.
English champion Celtic Swing will be moved from Haras d'Etreham in France to the Irish National Stud for the 2001 breeding season.
The inclement weather that has hit the Midwest and Northeast continues to have a negative impact on live racing. At Turfway Park, which conducted live racing Wednesday night for the first time in more than a week, cancelled the Thursday night card due to "continued snow...temperatures dipping to 30 below zero with the wind chill."
Stakes winner Manlove will be relocated to James and Lorna Mack's Silvernails Farm near Pine Plains, N.Y., from Michael Sherman's Farnsworth Farms near Ocala, Fla.
Jean-Pierre DeRoubaix of the French Bloodstock Agency announced that the Turkish Jockey Club has purchased West by West, Marlin, Fantastic Fellow, Bijou d'Inde, and Bin Ajwaad for stallion duty at the Turkish National Stud near Izmit.
Here and There...a look at what's going on in the industry.
The San Francisco Mile, a grade II race run at Golden Gate Field since 1948 (except for two cancellations), will be run at Bay Meadows next year as part of a restructuring of racing in northern California. The highest graded race run in the northern part of the state, the San Fran Mile will likely be run on the final weekend of April.
ABC's broadcast of this year's Kentucky Derby and a feature on jockey Marlon St. Julien earned the network two Eclipse Awards for media coverage. The media winners will be honored along with other human and equine Eclipse Award winners at the 30th annual dinner to be held Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001 at the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La.
Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, among the top breeders in North America this year, is the leading British-based breeder of 2000, according to the award winners announced Wednesday by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. Juddmonte received the award on the basis of success by such runners as the Vodafone Derby third Beat Hollow and Group-winning juveniles Endless Summer and Clearing. In other award winners announced by the TBA, Shadwell Stud's Unfuwain, the sire of Irish Oaks heroine Petrushka and the Sagitta 1,000 winner Lahan, is the leading British-based Flat stallion (in prize money).
Revenue shortfalls at two Mississippi casinos and from Charles Town Race's slot machines are expected to give Penn National a soft fourth quarter.
Keeneland distributed a record $755,181 to 91 charitable, educational and research organizations Tuesday, increasing its contributions through the years to more than $10 million. "Sharing our success with the community is the highlight of the year," said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. "Strong Thoroughbred sales along with successful race meetings and simulcasting enabled us to contribute a record amount in 2000."
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