Headlines for Thursday, May 29, 2008

  • San Juan Capistrano winner Big Booster is the likely favorite for the Gallant Man.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D4240711%0D%0A%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Gallant Man Distance Key for Big Booster

    Trainer Mike Mitchell says he's not worried about the unusual 1 5/8-mile distance of the first $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap June 1, and with good reason. After all, his horse, Big Booster, recently proved a convincing winner of the the even longer San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).

  • Appalachian winner Alwajeeha (inside) takes on 6 in the Sands Point Stakes.

    Alwejeeha Too Good to Miss Sands Point

    It's never especially exciting when all other entries in a race carry 117 pounds and your filly is given 121, but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin considers extra weight a fair assignment considering the last performance of his Alwejeeha, and he expects good things from the Shadwell homebred in the $150,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont May 31.

  • Hutcheson winner Smooth Air hopes to get back on track in the Ohio Derby.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D3215411%0D%0A%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Smooth Air Favored in Ohio Derby

    Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air drew the rail and was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown, but he will meet some pretty stiff competition, namely, graded stakes winner Z Fortune.

  • Rick Dutrow with Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown.

    Dutrow: 'It's a Foregone Conclusion'

    In a national media teleconference conducted May 28, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. continued his boastful and outspoken comments regarding potential Triple Crown winner Big Brown, saying among other things that winning the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was a "foregone conclusion," the contenders "just can't run with Big Brown," and "there was no way in the world" that Japanese-owned Casino Drive could defeat his horse.

  • Cushion Track issues caused several rainouts during the recently concluded Santa Anita meet.

    Cushion Track Sued for SA Surface Issues

    The operator of Santa Anita Park has filed a federal lawsuit against the original supplier of its troubled synthetic racing surface, claiming it has suffered at least $8.4 million in damages from improper installation and repair.

  • Assistant Raises $1M for Miami Project

    Assistant trainer Robin Cleary, who was paralyzed in an accident at Calder Race Course in 1996, will be celebrated May 30 at Calder's Turf Club for raising more than $1 million for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis' spinal-cord injury research programs.

  • Ready's Echo is a probable Belmont (gr. I) starter, his trainer Todd Pletcher said on May 28.

    Ready's Echo to Start in Belmont

    The field for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) could increase by one after trainer Todd Pletcher said it is "probably" that Let's Go Stable's Ready's Echo would be tossed into the mix of starters for the 1 1/2-mile race June 7 at Belmont Park.

  • Big Brown remains "right on target" for the Belmont.<br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D4597334%0D%0A%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Belmont Notes: Big Brown Right On Target

    Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown remains "right on target" for the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in which he will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and the first in 30 years.

  • Magic Millions Sale Sets Records

    The select portion of the Magic Millions national weanling sale ended its three-day run on Australia's Gold Coast Thursday with a record gross of Aust$19,581,750 and a record average price of Aust$46,846 for the 416 horses sold.

  • Anak Nakal

    Belmont Profile: Anak Nakal

    Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.

  • Tomcito <br><a target="blank" href="http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D4664681%0D%0A%26ref%3Dstory">Order This Photo</a>

    Belmont Profile: Tomcito

    The jury is still out on Tomcito, but following throat surgery to correct a breathing problem, he might get another shot at stardom - and Big Brown - in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)

  • Good Ba Ba Earnings to Good Causes

    The success of Hong Kong superstar Good Ba Ba will have an impact that goes way beyond the horse's racing lifetime, with owner John Yuen Se-kit announcing this week the creation of the Good Ba Ba Foundation.

  • John Amerman

    Amerman Resigns CHRB Seat

    John Amerman announced Wednesday, May 28, that he has resigned from the California Horse Racing Board due to a family decision to live a substantial portion of the year outside of California, which will prevent him from fulfilling his obligations as a racing commissioner.

  • Big Brown Quarter Crack 'Not a Setback'

    <P>Anyone following Triple Crown races this year knows there's a lot of controversy about the soundness of Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown's feet. But despite a third hoof problem in his short career--a quarter crack that showed up in his left front foot last Friday--his consulting farrier/repair expert Ian McKinlay isn't concerned. <P>"This i...