Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds is looking forward to simply enjoying the ride in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). And even though the pressure will be high on his filly Justwhistledixie, who will try to measure up against the heavy morning line favorite Rachel Alexandra, Finley is refusing to let himself get anxious about something he can't control.
Prior to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) post position draw the morning of April 28, Mike Rutherford, owner/breeder of Flying Spur, and Michael Lauffer, co-owner of Rachel Alexandra, discussed the chances of their fillies in the 1 1/8-mile, $500,000 race May 1.
After watching a Discovery Channel show documenting how residents of Greensburg, Kansas, were rebuilding their tornado-ridden city as a "model green community," horse industry veterans Chad and Tammy Hassenpflug became determined to support that community in a special way.
In the past 25 years the female stars of Thoroughbred racing have taken many different avenues to reach the stage of their greatest victory in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Though her work was a bit fast for his taste, trainer Hal Wiggins was more than satisfied when his filly Rachel Alexandra made it back to the barn in good shape after zipping through a half-mile in :46 2/5 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Fitz Just Right's chances of capturing the lilies came to a halt when a chip was discovered in her right front ankle following a half-mile workout the morning of April 24 at Keeneland.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, who sponsored the legislation that resulted in Kentucky's Breeders' Incentive Fund, has inquired about another method of garnering funds for the state's Thoroughbred industry.
Three of the five trainers that were banned from Suffolk Downs last fall for violating its zero tolerance policy toward horse slaughter have been reinstated and will be allowed to saddle horses for the East Boston, Mass. track's 2009 season, which runs May 2-Nov. 7.
While it's common knowledge within the Thoroughbred industry that trainer Jeff Mullins is in hot water with the New York Racing Association for administering a herbal cough remedy to his horse Gato Go Win prior to the April 6 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, fans and horseman who are not familiar with various equine medications may be wondering exactly what ingredients make up this over-the-counter product.
Although champion Stardom Bound is the clear choice for the April 4 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) opening weekend at Keeneland, the daughter of Tapit has her work cut out of for her when facing an accomplished field of eight other females looking to secure a spot in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced March 27 the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund will distribute more than $18.7 million in awards for 2008.
After 12 years of sponsoring the Breeders' Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, William S. Farish's Lane's End has relinquished its support of the $500,000 event. The 1 1/16-mile Futurity for 2-year-olds is run in early October and had been sponsored by the farm since 1997.
Even though Iain Holmes didn't pioneer the concept of using a Thoroughbred racehorse's name to raise awareness for a cause, the fact he's used that platform to promote the act of saving lives via organ donations still deserves some accolades.
On a warm and windy overcast morning March 6, trainer Joel Marr stood pensive in the shedrow of his undefeated modern-day world record holder Peppers Pride's new home at Nathan Fox's Richland Hills Farm near Midway, Ky. Although in less than 24 hours, he will be bidding farewell to the best horse he has ever trained, Marr approached the subject with ease.
Kelly's Landing, whose career was highlighted by a victory in the 2007 Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), ran his last race Jan. 17 and is now enjoying some rest and relaxation.
Revised legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks unanimously passed out of a House of Representatives committee Feb. 12, but its sponsor is unsure the measure will be voted on by the full House during the current General Assembly session.
A month after Turfway Park experienced eight catastrophic breakdowns during its 21-day holiday meet, state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham and Turfway president Bob Elliston were on hand at a Feb. 10 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting in Lexington to present commissioners a much more positive report.
Jayne Vaders, the leading trainer at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack in 2007, lost her appeal Jan. 9 in Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania for an indefinite ban from training due to multiple drug positives.
Churchill Downs has unveiled a stakes schedule for its 2009 spring meet that is headed by the 135th renewals of the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). There will be 29 events with total purses of $7.575 million.
For the third time in nine weeks, Cindy Jones' Just Jenda and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Four Gifts will have a showdown as they head a field of eight 3-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
While the icy wonderland that has blanketed the Bluegrass region left more than 600,000 Kentuckians without power the week of Jan. 25, Thoroughbred farm managers are doing all they can to keep their operations functional and safe in spite of property damage and lack of electricity.
In December, the Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety, a horse rescue ranch in Broward County, Fla., was unable to foot its bills, and as a result, was nearly forced to close its doors. Thanks in part to several recent donations -- including $10,000 from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association -- the facility has been able to keep afloat in spite of the dismal economy.
To make its position clear on horse slaughter, Fairmount Park in Illinois has put in place a zero-tolerance policy that would take stalls away from trainers involved in the practice. And in an effort to address the unwanted horse situation, the track has created an adoption program for Fairmount runners when they retire from racing.
When Windswept Lady arrived at Shannon Hahn's Argyle, N.Y-based Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary near Saratoga Springs with her newborn foal, the outlook looked grim for the granddaughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.
Indian Blessing couldn't have ended 2008 on a more perfect note when she registered a gutsy 1 1/2-length score Dec. 27 in the La Brea (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. The win marked her fifth lifetime grade I victory.
Though five horses have been euthanized as a result of catastrophic breakdowns at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots since Jan. 17, Dr. Tom David, equine medical director for the Louisiana State Racing Commission, said the incidents appear to have no direct connection with the condition of the racing surface.
Breeders' Cup officials, who announced Dec. 11 they were suspending the Breeders' Cup stakes program and a week later decided to fund the program using money from the organization's reserve account, have yet to approve which races will receive the added money.
Attorney Jim Philpott has taken a lot of journeys throughout his life. And though he was casually involved with horses at a young age, he never imagined his career path after law school would eventually revolve around the Thoroughbred world.
The National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame ceremony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which for a number of years has taken place on a Monday in early to mid August, will be moved to Friday, Aug. 14 this year.
Clever Allemont, a 26-year-old stallion, has been rescued from the road to slaughter and will be shipped to Kentucky to spend the rest of his days at Old Friends near Georgetown.
Bob Witham, a veteran horseman who broke horses for Shadwell Farm for more than two decades, died Dec. 17 at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia, S.C. He was 65.
Economic conditions have led the operators of Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan to put some expansion plans on hold, but the track's inaugural meet in 2008 exceeded expectations, officials said.
Many Thoroughbred farm workers consider themselves lucky if they played a part in buying, selling, or raising at least a couple successful horses throughout their careers.
War Cry, a $2.7-million yearling and a half-brother to grade II winner and prominent sire E Dubai (by Mr. Prospector) and grade I winner and European champion producer No Matter What (by Nureyev), will stand the 2009 season for $2,500 at Richard Moylen's Hunter View Farm near Caledon, Ontario, Canada.
University of Kentucky student Sean Feld and alumnus Billy Ajello have defied the notion one must reach a particular age or gain a certain level of experience to invest in the Thoroughbred industry.
The trainer and identifier involved in an incident in which the wrong horse ran in a Nov. 19 race at Beulah Park have been fined and suspended by the track's stewards.
Springside, who suffered a fracture to her right-front pastern after capturing the Nov. 29 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) by 9 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct, is recovering well at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa.
Accomplished juvenile fillies Dream Empress and Sara Louise are both looking to add another graded stakes victory to their already impressive resumes in the Nov. 29 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. The race is part of the "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features races limited exclusively to 2-year-olds.
The Ohio Racing Commission has confirmed it is investigating a Nov. 19 incident at Beulah Park in which the track identifier failed to discover before the fourth race a different horse than was entered by trainer owner/trainer Enzo Canelo ran and crossed the wire first.
A barn fire that broke out the morning of Nov. 20 killed 27 horses at Riverside Downs, a former harness track that is being used as a Thoroughbred training and boarding facility in northern Henderson County, Ky., the Courier Press of Evansville, Ind., reported.
Holding fast to its zero-tolerance policy toward horse slaughter, Suffolk Downs decided to ban five trainers who were involved--though all claim unknowingly--in an incident that violated the new code, which was instituted during the track's 2007 meet.
In spite of a struggling economy, the generosity of Thoroughbred industry members and others was not lacking at the third annual Tubby's Klubhouse fundraiser Nov. 7. Hosted by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms near Lexington, the event raised more than $220,000 via items sold at a live auction, individual donations, and a matching grant from Parra's Family Foundation.
After turning over a new leaf in management, Youbet.com's net income for the third quarter of 2008 experienced a significant increase in profit from the year before.
After several months, members of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission have upheld the decision of Delaware Park stewards to suspend and fine trainer Larry Jones because of an incident this spring in which his horse, Stones River, tested positive for clenbuterol.
After having some time to reflect upon how the first Breeders' Cup Ladies' Day turned out, Peter Land, chief marketing officer of Breeders' Cup Ltd. said it was a success on most fronts, though it's still early to claim total victory.
Undefeated Maram got up to win the inaugural Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf by a nose in the final strides over Heart Shaped. The $1 million contest was the second Breeders' Cup race on the Oct. 24 Ladies Day card of the two-day World Championships card at Santa Anita.
Todd Malley, Larry Higgs, Beau Smith, and Jason Inabinnett were given the RTCA's White Horse Award at Santa Anita Park Oct. 23. The four men risked their lives to lead 19 of their 40 horses from their stalls before their Vinton, La., barn was engulfed in flames.
National Turf Writers Assoc. hosts annual awards dinner; honors Chris McCarron, the late Luke Kruytbosch, and Turf writer Maryjean Wall.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien discussed the chances of his eight Breeders' Cup contenders, who were followed by a throng of media after their morning walks on the track.
Zenyatta drew post one in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) and was made the 3-5 morning-line favorite.
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