Rumor became fact Sunday night when Tony Chamblin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International for the past 15 years, announced he would step down, effective July 1. The RCI will form a committee to search for a replacement.
For some, it may be Mach-speed roller coasters or bungee jumping. Others run with the bulls in Pamplona or go crowd surfing at a punk rock concert. There are precious few experiences, however, that can match the rush of riding a hot-blooded Thoroughbred. Just imagine...you're alone on the lead at speeds beyond belief, riding low with your hair on fire. And then, without warning, your horse shifts direction. Ouch.
Serena's Tune breezed four furlongs Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for her start in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The La Habra Stakes winner won't have to face Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) third-place finisher She's a Devil Due in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, as trainer Ken McPeek says she is no longer under consideration for that race.
The National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) was a puzzle just waiting to be assembled by Guided Tour at Sportsman's Park on April 22. The out-of-town star was supposed to ship in, overcome the challenge of invading speedster Duckhorn, add another $120,000 to his earnings, and leave everybody else in the field of five to cash their checks. Puzzle solved. All the pieces were in place -- until a stout-hearted Illinois-bred named Chicago Six scattered the preordained solution all over the drying-out racetrack.
Godolphin's Street Cry, winner of the UAE Two Thousand Guineas and runner-up in the UAE Derby, will not run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after suffering an ankle injury Sunday morning. "He went out for a jog this morning," assistant trainer Tom Albertrani said, "and when he came back we noticed some filling in the right front ankle."
Xtra Heat set a quick pace under pressure from Raging Fever and drew off approaching the stretch to lead a strung-out field to the wire in Sunday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II). Undefeated in sprints, Xtra Heat has now won 12 of 13 career races, with her lone defeat coming in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The Beaumont marks her 11th stakes win and third in a graded stakes.
Tom's Thunder and Lady Katie won divisions of the $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday. Jockey John Velazquez recorded his 2,000th career victory aboard Tomn's Thunder. It was the second straight year and the fourth time in the race's eight runnings that he rode the Times Square winner.
Godolphin Racing's Street Cry has sustained an injury to his right front ankle and will not contest the Kentucky Derby, according to an announcement on Godolphin's Website. The exact nature of the injury to the 3-year-old son of Machiavellian or how long he will be out of training were not revealed in the announcement.
Gestut Fahrhof's homebred 5-year-old Silvano held favored Jim and Tonic at bay in the stretch to earn a 1 3/4-length win in Sunday's Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin. Indigenous finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Jim and Tonic.
Four horses worked quarter-miles in :21 2/5 on Saturday in Central Florida to highlight the fourth and final under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. They were an Our Emblem -- Lomond's Queen colt; Oriana's Magic, a Kipper Kelly -- Magic Meadow filly; a Prospectors Gamble -- Martha Moonshine filly; and Frugality, Fortunate Prospect -- Pinch Penny filly.