Headlines for Thursday, January 8, 2004

  • Halfbridled Records Breeze at Santa Anita

    Undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies champion Halfbridled breezed six furlongs in 1:17 1/5 on Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday morning in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at one mile on Feb. 15.

  • Griffin's Skipaslew Chases Golden Gate Derby

    Television magnate Merv Griffin will try to win the $100,000 Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) Saturday at Golden Gate Fields with his surprising 3-year-old colt Skipaslew.

  • Senor Swinger, one of three Bob Baffert entries in the San Fernando.

    Baffert to Have Three Starters in San Fernando

    Bob Baffert, who won the 1998 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) with Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, has 30% of the10-horse field set to go in the $200,000 middle leg of the prestigious Strub Series at Santa Anita Park Saturday.

  • Wynn Dot Comma Looms Favorite in Spectacular Bid

    Martin Cherry's stakes-winner Wynn Dot Comma has been installed as the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds set to contest the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.

  • Pletcher Barn Ready for Sunshine Millions

    Trainer Todd Pletcher is armed and ready with three runners for the second annual East vs. West showdown in the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park. Smok'n Frolic, Music's Storm and Pick'em are all on schedule for races on the program. The 3-year-old Chapel Royal will sit out the Sunshine Millions Dash.

  • Cruise Along Takes Aim at Affectionately

    Maryland-bred Cruise Along had done most of her running and all of her winning on the turf, but a huge recent effort on the dirt has earned her a trip to New York to try for a graded stakes win in Saturday's $100,000 Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares.

  • Here and There

    News and notes from around the industry...

  • NYRA Drops Pre-Paid Admission Policy for Saratoga Seats

    In a change to recently announced policy regarding reserved seats for the 2004 Saratoga season, the New York Racing Association is not requiring patrons to prepay their admission along with the reserved seat. However, the increase in prices for reserved seats remains in effect.

  • NYRA Drops Pre-Paid Admission Policy for Saratoga Seats

    In a change to recently announced policy regarding reserved seats for the 2004 Saratoga season, the New York Racing Association is not requiring patrons to prepay their admission along with the reserved seat. However, the increase in prices for reserved seats remains in effect.

  • Sam Houston Cuts Purses

    Sam Houston Race Park has cut purses after handle failed to meet purse projections. Overnight purses were adjusted 7%, effective Dec. 18, 2003 with the cuts to stakes purses beginning Jan. 17.

  • Stronach to Build Trade School Near Pimlico

    Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach formally announced Wednesday plans for a new job-training center to be located near Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.

  • EquineCommerce.com Registers First Sale

    EquineCommerce.com, the online company which sells horses through a bid/ask system, registered its first sale on Dec. 30. An online bidder purchased a Smart Strike no-guarantee season for $24,500. EquineCommerce.com launched its Web site in early December.

  • Portland Meadows Cancels Racing Friday, Saturday

    Portland Meadows has canceled Friday and Saturday racing due to unsafe weather conditions. Friday's closure marks the third consecutive day that Portland Meadows and all MEC Oregon Racing Inc. OTB's have been closed for simulcasting due to the severe weather conditions.

  • Penn National Looks to Buy Maine, New York Harness Tracks

    Penn National Gaming Inc. has entered into an agreement with Capital Seven to purchase all of the shares of Bangor Historic Track, a company that operates harness racing in Bangor, Maine. In conjunction with the purchase agreement, PNGI also secured an option to purchase the interests in Vernon Downs, a New York Standardbred track controlled by an affiliate of Capital Seven.

  • Judge: Motion Against New Jersey THA Without Merit

    New Jersey Superior Court Judge Alexander Lehrer ruled Jan. 5 that the New Jersey Racing Commission's allegations of fiscal mismanagement against the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association were without legal merit, and that the commission cannot amend its complaint to include a claim against New Jersey THA counsel Dennis Drazin, specifically for the legal fees paid to him.

  • Memorial Service Planned for Belmont Pony Rider

    A memorial service will be held today at 1 p.m. for Hannah<br>Blumenthal, a pony rider at Belmont Park, who died Jan. 7th as the result of a severe head injury sustained in a riding accident at the track on Dec. 26th.

  • Gary Stevens to Host Eclipse Awards

    The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will host the 33rd Eclipse Awards program, to be held Jan. 26 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla. Stevens made his acting debut as George Woolf in last year's critically acclaimed movie Seabiscuit.

  • Cindy's Hobby Sets New Turfway Track Record

    Turfway Park saw another record fall Jan. 8 when Cindy's Hobby, a 7-year-old mare, set a new track record for five furlongs on dirt. Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the pair, carrying 122 pounds, stopped the clock at :56.93. The previous mark had been :56.98, set Feb. 23, 2002, by Salutee, who carried 115 pounds.

  • Hawthorne Fall Meet Post Big Numbers

    Fueled by full fields and strong simulcast support, the Hawthorne fall meet, which ended Dec. 31, closed with positive numbers as the first full year of racing under the joint venture of Hawthorne National LLC was completed. The spring National Jockey Club at Hawthorne meet posted strong numbers and the Suburban Downs Harness Meet was solid as well.

  • Hawthorne Fall Meet Post Big Numbers

    Fueled by full fields and strong simulcast support, the Hawthorne fall meet, which ended Dec. 31, closed with positive numbers as the first full year of racing under the joint venture of Hawthorne National LLC was completed. The Spring National Jockey Club at Hawthorne posted strong numbers and the Suburban Downs Harness Meet was good as well. It was all a springboard for good things to come this fall at Hawthorne.

  • You, shown winning the Test Stakes, has been withdrawn from the Keeneland January sale.

    You Withdrawn From Keeneland Sale

    You, who would have been one of the top draws at next week's Keeneland January sale, has been withdrawn from the auction.