Two grade I winners whose connections are hoping for bigger things this fall, Gary Tanaka's Sarafan and The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Johar hooked up in the $75,675 Harry F. Brubaker Handicap, which started with just three horses at Del Mar Friday.
Madame Pietra was part of the "seconditis" felt by Howard Zucker's Del Mar barn last season, but the veteran trainer never lost faith in the mare, who now has four straight stakes victories.
The 11-race program at Cal Expo was canceled on Friday after jockeys decided the course was unsafe due to overnight and morning rain.
Eight 3-year-old fillies, including two entries of two horses each, are set for Sunday's $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Pont Street Stable's Tap The Admiral, winner of Churchill Downs' Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) in July, was one of 12 horses entered in the $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 mile on the turf.
The $200,000 King's Bishop, a seven-furlong stake for three-year-olds, has been a chalk player's delight the last four years. But if the likely favorites Saturday, Zavata and Posse, a pair of multiple graded stakes winners, want to keep that trend going, they better have their "A" game.
The 22-day Laurel Park summer meet ended Friday with Ryan Fogelsonger, Jerry Robb and Michael Gill winning individual titles, but trainer King Leatherbury failed to win his milestone 6,000th race.
Kudos was scratched from Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Friday morning when it was discovered he bowed a tendon in his left foreleg during Thursday's five-furlong workout on the main track.
Koji Maeda's grade II-winning Sunday Break has been retired and will take up stud duty in 2004 at Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm near Lexington.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens goes for an unprecedented three-time sweep of the Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) Sunday at Saratoga Racecourse with the ultra-consistent Shine Again.
- By Tom LaMarra
Less than a week after the National Thoroughbred Racing Association released a report that recommended upgrades in wagering technology and a streamlining of tote systems in the United States, Magna Entertainment Corp. acquired a 30% equity and voting interest in AmTote International for $3.82 million.
A recent Austrian study has shown that melanomas (malignant tumors of pigmented skin cells) are not as serious in gray horses as melanomas found in solid-colored horses characterized by early spread.
Doncaster Racecourse announced that the 2003 renewal of the world's oldest classic will be run this year as the Seabiscuit St. Leger Stakes (Eng-I).
Saturday's $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) has come up strong this year with nine solid older horses passing the entry box.
Terence Collier was unanimously named president of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation by the organization's board of directors. Collier, the director of marketing and sales announcer for Fasig-Tipton, succeeds John Stuart.
- By Tom LaMarra
Thoroughbred breeders told Kentucky legislators Aug. 21 the state must step up and offer assistance if its signature industry is to stabilize and grow in years to come.
Thoroughbred racing got plenty of television exposure Aug. 22 during the three-hour "Squawk Box" program on cable network CNBC--and so did two racing executives who have been at odds in recent years.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission denied Indiana Downs' petition for a Marion County off-track betting facility Aug. 20, but it left racetrack officials optimistic another rule change could be negated in the coming months.
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
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