Steve Haskin, whose exclusive coverage of the Triple Crown -- including weekly updates and list of top contenders -- begins Monday, will also answer e-mail questions about the Triple Crown.
Kelly Kip, one of Thoroughbred racing's top sprinters who last fall because of a leg injury, will enter stud at Barbara and David La Croix' Meadowbrook Farms of the Ocala Jockey Club in Ocala, Fla., where he will stand for $3,500 this year. He is being syndicated at a cost of $12,500 per share.
Turnberry Isle will be looking to recapture his European form when he faces off against Millennium Wind in the grade III, $100,000 Santa Catalina Stakes Sunday. The Santa Catalina is the first major prep race for aspiring 3-year-olds on the road leading into the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. Turnberry Isle and Millennium Wind will break alongside each other as they have drawn post positions No. 5 and No. 6 respectively.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Spain will be looking to add the second leg of the La Cañada series to her resume when the gate loads Sunday for the grade II, $150,000 El Encino Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile event for 4-year-old fillies. The La Cañada Series concludes Sunday, Feb. 11 with the $200,000 La Cañada Stakes.
Odds-on favorite Feverish shot through a gap at the top of the stretch, opened up three lengths on the field of seven older fillies and mares at the eighth-pole, then held off the late run of Lovellon to win the $98,525 Paseana Handicap by one length Thursday at Santa Anita Park.
High Point Farm could soon be on the auction block due to a disagreement between its owners, Caesar Kimmel and Dr. Edwin W. Thomas. Kimmel filed a civil suit in Fayette (Lexington, Ky.) Circuit Court on Jan. 8 asking the court to sale the property at public auction and to divide the proceeds equally between the two men. The farm lies between Calumet Farm and Old Frankfort Pike near Lexington.
Southern California horsemen will be allocated stalls based on a list of criteria that includes performance during individual meets and year-round totals, according to an agreement reached between officials of the region's three major tracks.
Racetracks and Thoroughbred horsemen in New Jersey have been battling for more than a year over details in legislation that would authorize account and off-track wagering in New Jersey. Apparently, there has been a meeting of the minds, and if so, a bill could be passed by this spring. Protection of live racing dates is among the major issues.
The first foal for graded stakes winner El Amante arrived on Jan. 17 at Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud near Paris, Ky.
Godolphin Racing's China Visit put forth solid credentials to be labeled a leading Dubai World Cup contender following his brilliant return to racing in the Listed opening round of the Maktoum Challenge at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night. China Visit hadn't raced since his unplaced effort behind Giant's Causeway in the St James' Place Stakes at Royal Ascot, a month after his sixth to Fusaichi Pegasus in the Kentucky Derby.
A general meeting of the National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors in Ocala, Fla., Tuesday evening focused on a number of concerns, including medication, perception problems in the media, and buyer confidence. Much of the meeting focused on industry unity and introduction of a slogan that promotes horses coming out of the 2-year-old sales: bid, buy, and race with confidence.
Elizabeth (Betty) Sessa, who owned and operated Circle S Farm near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with her husband, Ralph, died Jan. 15 at home on the farm.
Colonial Downs has received approval to race in June and July this year, but the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association voted earlier in January to maintain the status quo: race in Maryland in June and July, and in Virginia in September. The head of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association says that position hasn't changed, but a board member contends the majority of Maryland horsemen wouldn't mind spending June and July in the Tidewater region.
Fusaichi Pegasus won't lack for mates his first season at stud, especially ones who have proven themselves at the highest level of racing or who have produced major winners.
A comprehensive overhaul of Indiana's gaming laws, including a provision to allow electronic pull-tab machines at Churchill Downs-owned Hoosier Park, was approved Wednesday by a House committee. The proposed legislation passed on an 11-3 vote by the House Public Policy Committee is designed to alter state laws allowing dockside gambling for the state's riverboat industry.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Shane Sellers, leading rider at Gulfstream Park in 1997, returns to the south Florida oval Feb. 4 in an entirely different capacity. This time, Sellers will be performing songs from his first country recording, "God's Favorite Angel," prior to a concert by Stephen Bishop. Sellers will perform at approximately 2:10 p.m. (EST).
Ten days after a private meeting with several members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors and three days after holding an open forum at Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach announced Wednesday in a joint statement with the NTRA that the Magna racetracks will be rejoining the NTRA with a two-year commitment, effective immediately.
A joint statement from Magna Entertainment Corp., and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, announces Magna's decision to rejoin the NTRA with a two-year commitment after the NTRA has committed to changes in how the organization is governed.
The first foal from grade II winner Doneraile Court is a colt out of Will You Marry Me (by Known Fact).
Horse racing is a game of upsets, but who would have thought 10 years ago that the Thoroughbred sport in West Virginia would not only bounce back from the dead, but actually prove to be a desirable commodity? With the condition book that begins Jan. 20, purses at Charles Town Races will average $115,000 a day. When the Eastern Panhandle track closed several years ago, purses barely topped $20,000 per day. Now, an open allowance race goes for more money.
Julian De Marc's North East Bound, a close second in the Breeder's Cup Mile (gr. I) on the turf at Churchill Downs in his last start, worked on Wednesday and remains on schedule for his expected appearance in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 3 according to trainer Bill Perry. Others still on track for the Donn are Hal's Hope, Albert the Great, Captain Steve, Pleasant Breeze, Sir Bear, Vision and Verse, American Halo, Rich Celebration, Rock and Roll, and Noble Ruler.
From Gulfstream Park
Songandaprayer, the $1 million unbeaten colt that is owned by former basketball star Bobby Hurley, is running in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile test is the first two-turn race of the Florida Derby (gr. I) series. Songandaprayer broke his maiden with much ballyhoo when he won a five-furlong race at Monmouth Park on June 15. The bay colt underwent surgery to remove chips and came back to win the six furlong Huntington Stakes in the slop at Aqueduct on Nov. 26 in his last start.
The first reported foal by Horse of the Year Charismatic was born at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., on Tuesday. The newborn colt is the third foal from the Danzig mare Tomisue's Girl, whose grade II stakes-winning dam, Glowing Honor, is a full or half-sister to six stakes winners, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero. The next dam is Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute.
Godolphin Racing's Dubai Millennium, the impressive six-length winner of the Dubai World Cup, has been accorded top weight of 134 on the International Classifications announced in London Wednesday. Among horses trained in the U.S. on the International Classification, sprinter Kona Gold and Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus both were rated at 127 pounds. That placed Kona Gold behind only Dubai Millennium and Montjeu (130 pounds) on the older horse list and Fusaichi Pegasus' weight assignment exceeded only by Sinndar.
Who's in and who's out? Even the National Thoroughbred Racing Association may not know for a few more days -- at least. At the end of October, 22 racetracks announced they would not renew their memberships in the NTRA for 2001. But that number appears to have grown in recent weeks. Or has it? Though the NTRA had hoped for commitments from racetracks and horsemen's groups late last year, the "deadline" was extended into 2001 while the NTRA continued negotiations with Magna Entertainment, which owns seven tracks, and officials in the Mid-Atlantic region, where 12 tracks defected.
Adena Springs South went to $105,000 for Backatem, a 4-year-old stakes winning daughter of Notebook sold as a broodmare prospect, to top the second of two consignor preferred sessions at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Winter Mixed Sale. Consigned by Summerfield, Agent, Backatem was a stakes winner of $89,750 and is a full-sister to graded stakes-placed
Trainer of Giant's Causeway has 21 horses under consideration for this year's Triple Crown events.
The Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), displaced from its fall date by a scheduling change, will be run this year on Preakness Day, May 19, for a purse of $500,000. The Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) will be run on the Hawthorne turf on May 12. The changes are part of an overall stakes schedule of 15 events during Hawthorne's split meet. Six will be run during the spring, the remainder during the fall/winter season.
George (Jed) Steffee III, who was general manager of Richard Duchossois' Hill 'N Dale Farm near Barrington, Ill, from 1976 to 1990, died Jan. 9 at an Aurora, Ill., hospital.
Frank Atkins, the last surviving member of the original Keeneland crew, died Jan. 15.
Macho Uno, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the leading candidate for champion 2-year-old honors, is scheduled to arrive at trainer Joe Orseno's barn at Gulfstream Park Friday, where he'll begin preparing for the classics. Danny Vella, farm manager of owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Ocala, said Macho Uno has been galloping and swimming on a regular basis, and is just about ready for a half-mile work.
The economics of Thoroughbred racing are such that most owners and trainers aim to have their horses ready for racing as 2-year-olds. On the other hand, we know that lameness problems are the most important reason for wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses, and some perceive that these injuries are due, in large part, to the training and racing of horses too early in life.
Dr. Rene van Weeren of Utrecht University discussed the alliance's first major project, which involves two groups of Thoroughbred foals in New Zealand.
By John Williams -- As many of us coped with the death of Affirmed on Jan. 12, one underlying theme was evident: it seemed everybody connected to the horse considered it a privilege that he had touched their lives. This had been true all of his life, I am sure.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- News of Affirmed's death on Jan. 12 reminded me just how much one horse can elicit emotions that change your life.
Istintaj acted up in the starting gate, unseating rider Jerry Bailey, but was perfectly behaved in the running as he rallied to win the $120,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) or 3-year-olds at Gulfstream on Monday. At Aqueduct on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday card, Forest Heir drew clear in the stretch for a 3 3/4-length victory in the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Proud Crusader, Hip No. 182, brought a final bid of $67,000 to top the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2001 Winter Mixed Sale. Consigned by Double S Farm, Agent, the 7-year-old Crusader Sword mare, in foal to Gilded Time, was sold to R Bar S Thoroughbreds. Proud Crusader is out of stakes winner Very Proud and is a half-sister to stakes winner Proud and True as well as stakes placed Proud Proud Proud and Cut Proud.
Having failed to collect on past due accounts, Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton plan to repossess most of the 134 horses purchased late in 2000 by Bernice L. Givens Sykes and offer them at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed auction Feb. 12. Sykes signed tickets for nearly $700,000 worth of stock. She spent $267,700 for 59 horses at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in Kentucky, and another $431,100 for 75 head at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale in Maryland.
Trainer Robert Frankel, who's won three of the last five runnings of the San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, saddled a strong one-two entry in this year's renewal on Monday's Martin Luther King Holiday card, with front-running Dancingonice the perfect complement to stretch closer Uncharted Haven. As it turned out, Dancingonice carved out the fractions and set things up perfectly for her 3 Plus U Stable barnmate, and Uncharted Haven took down the top prize in the nine-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.
Patrick W. Lynch, long a turfwriter and a former vice president of the New York Racing Association, died Monday after a lengthy illness, 10 days before his 85th birthday.
Buckle Down Ben, third in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), has been installed the 5-2 morning-line favorite among eight 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull is one of the steppingstones to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 10. All four of Buckle Down Ben's races have been around two turns and he has won two them, including the Laurel Futurity (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles in Maryland on Nov. 4.
Arlington Park announced Monday the kickoff of its new Twin Spires Club fan loyalty and rewards program, part of a national program with Churchill Downs and replaces Arlington's former program, the A-Club. All A-Club members who were active in 2000, have been automatically transferred into the Twin Spires Club.
Sunday Silence's 2000 progeny earnings of $53,672,791 (¥6,065,025,400) makes for some interesting comparisons, and perhaps none is more fascinating than comparing it to a weekly average. With 52 weeks in a year, that comes out to a little more than $1 million a week, which is what his average was in 1999, when his runners earned a grand total of $52,346,090.
An unusual meeting of the usually fractious factions in New York's racing industry quietly met near the state Capitol recently to explore whether a renewed effort should commence to bring video lottery terminals to racetracks. The session, called by a Standardbred breeders group, led to the creation of a committee of the often-competing interests to determine if they can get together to end years of stalemate over the VLT issue.
Eclipse Press, the equine book publishing division of The Blood-Horse, Inc., has announced the publication of Native Dancer, the seventh book in the Thoroughbred Legends series.
Author Eva Jolene Boyd owes her interest in Thoroughbred racing to Native Dancer, whom she saw on television in 1953. She continued to follow Native Dancer's racing career and later, his stallion career, keeping track of his deeds for posterity. Now, this effort has culminated in Native Dancer.
Longshots finished 1-2-3 in the $117,500 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Sunday. Another put away favored Bam Bam Bull nearing the sixteenth pole and drew out to win by 3 1/4 lengths at 10-1. Curious Treasures, a 25-1 shot, was second and Dynamite Diablo, 29-1, finished third in a field of 11. Katz Me If You Can, who broke lengths behind the field, managed to get up for fourth.
Echo Eddie, a consistent gray son of Restless Con, found room along the rail entering the stretch and went on to a hard-earned 1 1/2-length victory in the $109,600 Sensational Star Handicap at Santa Anita Park on Sunday. Ridden by Iggy Puglisi, Echo Eddie won for the sixth time in 11 career starts and paid $4.60 as the favorite in the field of eight California-breds in the 6-1/2 furlong race.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux posted his 4,000th career victory when he won Sunday's first race at Santa Anita Park with Temporary Appeal. Desormeaux, 30, is a three-time Eclipse Award winner who became the youngest rider to reach 3,000 wins when he rode Maisonsaire to victory on April 16, 1995, at Santa Anita at age 25.
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