With the inclement weather that had set in over Louisville, Ky. finally out of the area, seven contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
When horses from the Todd Pletcher barn go to the track at Churchill Downs for morning workouts, one exercise rider attracts more attention than the others. Observers know his face but often ask themselves, "Is that Angel?" The answer is yes, Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. is exercising horses for Pletcher,
After a one-year hiatus from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey is back, seeking his third win in the classic. Bailey, 47, who also just released his autobiography "Against the Odds: Riding for My Life," is booked to ride Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for trainer Nick Zito.
Trainer Ken McPeek, who conditioned grade I winners Harlan's Holiday, Take Charge Lady, Sarava, and Hard Buck during his 20-year career, is leaving the training game effective July 1 to become a bloodstock agent and advisor.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex displayed his affinity for the track at Churchill Downs when he zipped five furlongs in :59 Tuesday morning in preparation for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
As a budding athlete in grade school, Tim Ritchey recalls, he did "two-a-day" drills as a member of the football team. Now, Ritchey is applying those lessons learned at a young age, along with lessons learned as a trainer of show horses and a healthy dose of what he calls "common sense," in his training of Afleet Alex, one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With only a few differences, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. will be utilizing the same testing procedures for "milkshakes" that are in effect at Keeneland Racecourse and similar to those at many other North American tracks during the spring meet that begins April 30.
Rockport Harbor, who finished sixth in Saturday's Lexington Stakes (gr. II) as the 3-5 favorite, emerged from the race in "great physical condition" but will no longer be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) or other two legs of the Triple Crown, according to owner Rick Porter.
The hopeful expectations of both Keeneland Association officials and consignors did not materialize at the company's annual 2-year-olds in training sale Tuesday as all key numbers declined from one year ago.
Blues and Royals, whose impressive victory in the UAE Derby (gr. II) at Nad al Sheba bought him a ticket to Lousville, will miss the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), according to the Godolphin Racing Web site.
With less than four weeks until the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Godolphin Racing's Blues and Royals, winner of the UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the Dubai World Cup card, is still on top of the list of Derby contenders by graded stakes earnings.
Based on the recommendations of a special committee of independent directors, the board of Magna Developments has come out against proposals from Greenlight Capital Inc.
Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred Scipion is the latest casualty on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail after X-rays revealed a condylar fracture of his right hind cannon bone.
Earnings for Churchill Downs Inc. in 2004 and for the fourth quarter were negatively impacted by several one-time expenses, including supporting alternative gaming initiatives, a "non-cash impairment charge" at Ellis Park, and an unrealized loss related to a note, the company reported Wednesday.
Following the defeat Tuesday of a referendum that would have permitted slot-machine gaming at Churchill Downs Inc.-owned Calder Race Course in Florida's Miami-Dade County, company president and chief executive officer Tom Meeker said CDI is encouraged by slots approval in a neighboring county and would continue to seek alternative gaming.
Despite reporting increased revenues and decreased losses during 2004 and the fourth quarter of the year, Magna Entertainment was negatively impacted by setbacks in the reconstruction of Laurel Park in Maryland and spending on gaming initiatives and regulatory matters.
A spokeswoman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said Tuesday that a blood sample taken from a horse trained by Michael Dickinson was not lost but that there was an insufficient amount of the sample to be sent for independent testing.
Trainer Michael Dickinson said he is surprised that one of his horses, Lofty Call, tested positive for Flunixin at Belmont Park last summer, and that the stewards in the case "were fair and understanding."
With two sessions remaining in the six-day auction, the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Thursday soared past the gross for the entire 2004 auction.
Gary Donahue, who is a party to a lawsuit against The Jockeys' Guild, said Monday the organization has replaced him in his unpaid position as co-chairman of the Disabled Jockeys' Fund.
Making her second start in the U. S., Japanese-bred mare Festival rallied to post a six-length victory in Monday's $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. III), the closing day feature of the Hollywood Park meet.
Eighty percent of all international horse races are contested in 10% of the countries, according to statistics released Monday by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Stables that raced at Del Mar this past summer are getting an early holiday gift in the form of a retroactive 7.2% purse increase.
Fusaichi Samurai, whose purchase by Fusao Sekiguchi for $4.5 million earlier this year set a record for a juvenile sold at public auction, is scheduled to make his first career start Saturday in the fourth race at Hollywood Park.
Billed as the "greatest season auction of all time," Friday night's auction of stallion seasons to benefit the Kentucky Equine Education Project raised more than $2.2 million.
Bolsa, an 8-year-old daughter of Mr. Prospector in foal to Deputy Commander brought a top price of $400,000 during Monday's session of Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale.
With seven weeks remaining in the calendar and racing year, jockey John Velazquez is well ahead of Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey in the race to be leading rider by earnings.
Epitome, who staged a stirring stretch drive to win the 1987 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) by a nose, has died at age 19. The mare died Nov. 12 after suffering a ruptured artery. She was boarded at John and Benny Williams' Elmwood Farm in Woodford County, Ky.
Strong demand for young mares, especially those from the highly successful racing and breeding program of Bob and Beverly Lewis and from the dissolution of the breeding partnership of Stone Farm and Stonerside Stable, boosted Tuesday's second session of Keeneland's November breeding stock sale.
British jockey Kieren Fallon will fly into Louisville, Ky. Thursday and plans to ride two horses for Team Valor in stakes at Churchill Downs this weekend.
Despite the absence of 15 riders who were ejected from Churchill Downs for refusal to commit to mounts on the Wednesday and Thursday race cards in a dispute over insurance, jockeys have been named to ride horses entered for those two days, according to a statement from the track.
Topped by millionaires Unbridled Elaine and Take Charge Lady, Keeneland's November breeding stock sale jumped out to a healthy start Monday, with a 16.2% increase in gross receipts over the same session one year ago. The median price rose 2.8%, the buyback rate was down substantially, and the average price fell 5% over the same session last year.
When Carib Lady was purchased by Shadai Farm for $900,000 at Monday's opening session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, it marked a milestone of $1-billion in public auction sales for the Taylor Made Sales Agency.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2003, has been retired due to the recurrence of an injury the daughter of Unbridled sustained last spring.
Owner Frank Stronach said Sunday that Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winner Ghostzapper will remain in training next year, with a campaign aimed at defending the title in the race he won Saturday at Lone Star Park.
Three Members of the female set who won races on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Lone Star Park Saturday.
Singletary, upset winner of the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), is likely to run in the Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27, trainer Don Chatlos said Sunday.
Jockey John Velazquez, who won two races on Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Lone Star Park, was named recipient of the Shoemaker Award, voted on by the media covering the event.
Wilko, upset winner of Saturday's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in his first North American start, will remain in the U. S. and be trained by Craig Dollase during a 3-year-old campaign aimed at the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri, the all-time leading money earner among females with $4,079,820, will be retired to be bred in early 2005 after possibly making one or two more starts.
Stronach Stable's homebred Ghostzapper jumped out to an early lead and set moderate fractions before blowing away the field in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.
Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now stormed to the lead in mid-stretch and rolled on to an upset victory over favored Kitten's Joy in the $2 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Singletary, named for Hall of Fame NFL player Mike Singletary, rolled to the lead leaving the second turn and drew off to an upset victory in the $1.5 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park.
Based on the approximately $188,000 wagered at Lone Star Park Friday in advance wagering on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, joint 9-1 favorites were Pleasantly Perfect, who won the $4-million race one year ago, 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide and this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Birdstone.
Flaxman Holdings' homebred Six Perfections had her final workout at Lone Star Park Friday in preparation for Saturday's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), which she won last year.
Live Oak Plantation's In the Gold was withdrawn from Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) after developing a fever.
Diamond A Racing's Pleasantly Perfect was installed as the 5-2 favorite and drew the 12 post position as he attempts to defend his title in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Texas' Lone Star Park Saturday.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy was made the even-money favorite by Lone Star Park handicapper Rick Lee for Saturday's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Personal Rush, a Japanese-based entrant in Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), breezed Wednesday at Lone Star Park in his final workout for Saturday's $4-million race.
Despite a Monday afternoon thunderstorm that dumped up to five inches of rain on the Dallas area, the Tuesday morning work tab at Lone Star Park was busy, with workouts by four contenders in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
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