The New Mexico Racing Commission has become the 25th member of the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association.
Trainer Jeff Jacobs, 40, was found dead at his condominium in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on Tuesday morning, apparently of natural causes. A press release from Oaklawn Park, where Jacobs had 22 horses at the time of his death, said there were no signs of foul play. According to the Associated Press, Jacobs suffered from diabetes, and a coroner said complications from the disease may have played a role.
International stallion Kenmare, who twice led the French sires list, died on Feb. 7 of a heart attack at John Messara's Arrowfield Stud in New South Wales, Australia.
Racing and breeding news and information.
By Barry Irwin -- Everybody in California -- the tracks, the bettors, the trainers -- is complaining about short fields. The problem is not a lack of horses, but a lack of owners willing to pay the bills to train the horses.
Magna Entertainment's stock dropped 10% Monday, the first day of trading following a company announcement that fourth quarter losses would be greater than anticipated.
Topped by the $65,000 paid by agent Ramona Good for the Crafty Prospector mare Gamble For Gold, Fasig-Tipton Kentucky concluded its February mixed sale Monday with a 9% decline in average price.Tuesday the sales company held a special auction at the Paris, Ky., stockyards, to sell horses originally purchased by Bernice L. Givens Sykes at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has predicted the mutuel field will be favored in Churchill Downs' first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. Wagering for the first of three pools opens Thursday.
The defection of Macho Uno, the co-third choice on the original list of Churchill Downs' 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 wagering interests at 10-1, and the addition of Songandaprayer have prompted track oddsmaker Mike Battaglia to adjust his morning line for the Future Wager pool. Songandaprayer has been installed at 30-1 in Pool 1, while the odds of three other horses have been adjusted downward. A P Valentine had been installed at odds of 12-1 and is now listed at 10-1,
Champion Serena's Song produced a bay colt by Storm Cat at Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud near Paris, Ky., on Feb. 10.
Seattle Slew bred his first mare of the 2001 breeding season on Monday morning, February 12 -- opening day for the Three Chimneys breeding shed. Seattle Slew successfully bred Dreams of Success, a 4-year-old maiden mare by Dixieland Band owned by Denali Stud and Barry Weisbord. "Seattle Slew bred confidently and aggressively, and physically seems to be in great shape for the breeding season," commented Three Chimneys Farm stallion manager Sandy Hatfield.
Major winner and successful sire Lost Code died of a heart attack right before he was scheduled to cover his first mare at Legacy Farm near Bluemont, Va., on Feb. 10. An autopsy revealed a ruptured aorta. Lost Code, who previously stood at Vinery near Lexington, was moved to Legacy in the fall and was owned by a syndicate.
How about a little diversionary game on the way to next Saturday's Fountain of Youth and Risen Star stakes? Picture the Derby trail as a maze. The object is to find your way through the maze and reach Churchill Downs without running into D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert or Nick Zito. Well, we didn't say it would easy. But with racing's three-headed monster concentrating on blocking all the major roads, this past weekend's smattering of minor stakes was an excellent chance for trainers to take another step in achieving their goal. Not to mention taking home some decent cash as well.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Eight of the world's finest Thoroughbred jockeys will compete in the fourth annual British Airways International Jockey Challenge at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, March 11. The four-race event has proven an instant hit with fans and has been enthusiastically supported by horsemen. The competition has been keen, Team USA winning the event two of the first three years including a 56-28 margin in 2000. The event features four of Europe's best jockeys competing against four of America's finest riders.
Irish-bred Innuendo won her first added-money event on North American soil in The Very One Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Sunday afternoon. The Christophe Clement-trainee covered the 1 3/8 mile distance over a firm turf course in 2:13.62. Lucky Lune was four lengths back in second, with Silver Bandana 1 3/4 lengths back for third.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Spain blew past High Walden on the last turn and proved too much for Chilukki in the stretch as she registered a two-length victory Sunday in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park. Ridden by Victor Espinoza at high weight of 122 pounds, Spain ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.74 on a fast main track and paid $5.20, $2.40 and $2.10.
Hallowed Dreams silenced her doubters again Saturday by winning the $75,000 Pan Zareta Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths at Fair Grounds. Now a 10-time stakes winner and victorious in all but one of her 20 career starts, Hallowed Dreams turned back her strongest opposition yet.
Golden Ballet continued her dominance of Southern California's 3-year-old filly division Saturday with a 2 1/2-length victory over Two Item Limit in the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Ridden by Chris McCarron at high weight of 122 pounds, Golden Ballet ran one mile in 1:36.89 on a fast main track and returned $2.80, $2.60 and $2.10. It was the fourth straight victory for Golden Ballet –- all in stakes races –- and her first win in a grade I event. Jenine Sahadi trains the winner for Team Valor and Heiligbrodt Racing Stables.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens was released from the hospital on Friday and made his first appearance at his barn at Gulfstream on Saturday morning. Driven to the racetrack by his wife Elisabeth, Jerkens didn't get out of the car but did talk to his employees. Jerkens had been hospitalized since Dec. 23 when, complaining of severe stomach pains, he was rushed into the hospital and diagnosed with acute pancreatitis.
Wild And Wise wore down Swordfish in the final furlong and edged clear for a half-length victory Friday in the $96,750 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
In voting concluded Friday, Craig R. Fravel, executive vice president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; Bryan Krantz, president and general manager of Fair Grounds; and Nick Nicholson, president and chief executive officer of Keeneland, were elected to fill three new, independent racetrack seats on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors, representing the West, South and Midwest regions, respectively.
The $1-million Florida Derby, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, will air during a special segment on SportsCenter Saturday, March 10, on ESPN2. Airtime for SportsCenter on March 10 is 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET), with wire-to-wire coverage of the Florida Derby scheduled to be shown approximately one hour after the live running of the Grade I race for 3-year-olds from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
Equine Spectrum, which launched its online auction sales last December with a sale of 2001 stallion nominations, is planning a breeding stock auction for the second week in March. Tom Biederman, Equine Spectrum executive director, said the company is targeting "high quality Thoroughbred breeding stock, including broodmares and fillies, or mares selling as racing and/or broodmare prospects. A number of top quality entries have already been received and will form the core group of what is sure to be an exciting auction."
The developers of a $100-million racetrack, recreational, and gaming complex in Calgary, Alberta, Canada have shelved the project and sued the provincial government and others as a result of the entity's license being revoked. According to the Calgary Herald, developers of the Resortport complex pronounced the project dead at a news conference Thursday. The developers of the complex near the Calgary Airport are also suing the provincial government, the Calgary Stampede and others for $86.5 million in connection with the cancellation of their license.
Stakes winner David, who was retired from racing earlier this month, will set up stud duty for the 2001 season at DunHill Stud near Reddick, Fla. His fee will be $3,000 payable 35 days after the foal's birth.
Hallowed Dreams and Roxelana highlight a speedy eight-horse field entered in Saturday's $75,000 Pan Zareta Handicap at Fair Grounds. Joining these two rivals in this six-furlong dash on the main track is the defending champion, Steal A Heart. Hallowed Dreams, the filly trained by Lloyd Romero, showed game determination winning an allowance race from the outside post position on Dec. 29 after a two-month layoff.
Point Given has a scare in workout; D'Wildcat will go to Florida for the Swale; Early Flyer is likely to contest the San Rafael; Lasersport has fractured knee.
Sunday's grade II La Cañada Stakes at 1 1/8 miles is shaping up to be a battle of titans. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Spain won the series opening La Brea Stakes Dec. 30 and if the Bob Baffert- trained El Encino winner Chilukki makes the lineup, then the La Cañada becomes a true rubber match of the three-race La Cañada series for 4-year-old fillies.
The agribusiness of Thoroughbred racing and breeding will be the subject of a segment on PBS's American Farm Review series that will be filmed Friday at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla.
Traffic will increase on the road to Gulfstream Park's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) next week as a field of 10, including some West Coast invaders, assembles for the grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain on Saturday, Feb. 17, serves as the final major prep for the 50th anniversary running of the Florida Derby and the 3-year-old classics beyond.
Best Of The Bests announced himself the horse to beat in the group I Dubai World Cup with a performance of sheer dominance in the Listed second round of the Maktoum Challenge at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday night.
Graded stakes winner Allen's Oop has been retired from racing after injuring a tendon in his left front leg during a workout at Fair Grounds on Feb. 7.
The EDS "Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge," a rotisserie-style fantasy game that lets racing fans pick their own stable of Kentucky Derby horses, trainers and jockeys, will go live this Saturday, Feb. 10. The game's top winner will receive a trip to the Kentucky Derby and a $5,000 betting voucher.
Proving that it's never too late to start a career at stud, 14-year-old Federal League will begin his stallion career at Sharon Cole's Mystic Hill Farm in the Finger Lakes region near Bloomfield, N.Y.
Grade II winner Southern Rhythm has arrived at Mark Ridall's Twin Creek Farm near West Chester, Pa., where he will stand for a private fee.
Horse of the Year Tiznow was enjoying another walk day today at Barn 37 at Santa Anita, his second in-a-row following his loss as the odds-on favorite to Wooden Phone in Saturday's Strub Stakes. Trainer Jay Robbins was at a loss to explain the colt's dull performance in the Strub but said the Breeders' Cup Classic champ will continue to train into the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap March 3.
Two legislative bills filed in Texas could legalize casino gambling on the reservations of three Indian tribes if they become law.
Bits and pieces from around the industry.
Word Puzzle, sixth in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride in her first start of the year, is being pointed toward Friday's $52,000-added Via Borghese Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. Free the Magic, a winner of her last two in a row on grass but a distant seventh in the grade III Herecomesthebride when that race was taken off the turf, is also pointing to Friday's race.
Manndar and Thesaurus, both slated to go postward in Saturday's $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, were on the track for morning trials on Tuesday. Manndar, recently shipped from California for the turf route, had his first workout over the local strip breezing a half-mile in :49 1/5. Trainer Ken McPeek had Thesaurus breeze five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 on Tuesday. A 7-year-old roan gelding, Thesaurus finished second in the GPBC Handicap last year and gets into this edition of the race with 113 pounds.
A former leading owner at Rockingham Park has pled guilty to federal charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. Paul R. Blanchette will be sentenced in March and is expected to serve 57 months in prison on the federal charges, following a plea agreement reached since his arrest last April. He is also expected to change his plea to guilty on the state charges he is facing -- more than 100 counts of larceny -- when he returns to court this month. Blanchett is currently lodged in a Rhode Island federal prison.
Briefs from the racing and breeding industry
Nines Wild, sire of graded stakes winner Allen's Oop, is being moved to Rudy Santopietro's Pond View Farm near
Bullville, N.Y., where his fee will be $2,500 live foal.
Millionaire Frisk Me Now's first foal is a filly born at Jim Plemmons' Old Frankfort Stud near Lexington on Jan. 20.
Stakes winner David has been retired from racing because of what trainer Mike Hushion said is a combination of "little problems." The 5-year-old horse is stationed at Richard Simon's Sez Who Thoroughbreds near Ocala, Fla., where he was taken to be prepared for a 2001 campaign. His last race was in August.
The first reported foal sired by champion Silver Charm is a filly born at Gary Biszantz' Cobra Farm near Lexington on Jan. 23.
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