Sky Jack, the morning line favorite in Saturday's Cal $250,000 Cup Classic, has been retired, trainer Doug O'Neill said Friday.
Jockey Mick Kinane confirmed Friday that he'll end his successful five-year stint as leading stable rider for trainer Aidan O'Brien and Ballydoyle.
The Tin Man, fourth in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), worked five furlongs Friday in 1:02 4/5 under exercise rider Crystal Brown.
Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) winner Honor In War, recovering from a sprained ankle that knocked him out of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), won't be ready in time for Churchill Downs' Clark Handicap (gr. II) on the main track Nov. 28.
A quick look at her pedigree suggests that Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Yell should be able to run and thrive at racing's most demanding distances. However, it is the 3-year-old filly's success around one turn that has made her the morning-line favorite for Saturday's 18th running of the $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's operation of wagering hub in Oregon met with much resistance from some of its member racetracks at the beginning of the decade, but one thing's for certain: The concept has caught on, even though the NTRA is no longer a player.
Graded stakes winners American Spirit and Semoran will stand the 2004 breeding season at Drs. Ken and Linda Quirk's Q6 Ranch near Belton, Texas.
Sunday's New York Stallion Series, featuring the Great White Way, Fifth Avenue, Perfect Arc, and Cormorant divisions, will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses. All of the New York Stallion Series races are for progeny of stallions standing in New York.
Grade II winner Smooth Jazz, a 4-year-old son of Storm Boot, will begin his stud career at Cloverleaf Farms, II near Reddick, Fla. starting with the 2004 breeding season. His fee will be $2,500 live foal.
A total of 103 horses are entered for Saturday's California Cup XIV, the 10-race, $1.325 million showcase for California breds at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Paynes Bay has been retired from racing and will stand the 2004 breeding season at T.C. Westmeath Farm near Shelburne, Ontario. His fee will be $2,500 (Canadian funds).
Senate supporters of a proposal to bring casinos and video slot machines to Massachusetts are abandoning their efforts.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's grade I-winning Tweedside, who was retired earlier this year after a 20-start career, will be bred to Storm Cat during the 2004 breeding season.
The four groups competing for the license to open a new racetrack and casino in Hobbs either have extensive experience in racing and gaming, or have put together a management team with such expertise.
Racing at Finger Lakes was cancelled Friday due to weather-related track conditions.
- By Dan Liebman
EquineCommerce.com, an online bid/ask system of selling horses that will act like a stock exchange, will be open for business Dec. 1.
Langfuhr, the leading third-crop sire of 2003 and currently the fifth-ranked sire in North America on the general sire list, will be relocated to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky. The son of Danzig, who has seven individual stakes winners this year, will stand the 2004 breeding season for a fee of $20,000 live foal.
The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continued on its successful roll Thursday as the session average and median prices soared when compared with the same session one year ago. Not long after the fifth session begins Friday, the gross will eclipse the gross receipts for last year's entire 10-day sale.
Good food, lively conversation, and quality mares at reasonable prices punctuated the seventh annual Adena Springs Broodmare Auction held Nov. 6 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's Newtown Paddocks near Lexington.
The Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing returns to Hawthorne Saturday with six $100,000 stakes events scheduled to help determine the Illinois champions for 2003. Julie's Prize, Wiggins, Summer Mis and Out of My Way are among the leading runners competing.
The $166,650 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III), which serves up a perfect mix of frontrunners and closers, millionaires and up-and-comers, won't be an easy test for any of the nine contenders Saturday, including the razor-sharp Barbeau Ruckus.
Randy Mills' turf stakes star Unite's Big Red has been retired after an unsuccessful attempt to bring him back to the races as a 9-year-old this summer. The venerable chestnut gelding will move to Mills' Breakaway Farm in Ocala, according to trainer Dave Vivian, Jr.
Shake You Down, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, headlines the 26 pre-entries for next Saturday's $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park, the signature race of the fall meet.
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Yell, a pair of leading 3-year-old fillies, loom as major contenders in a field of 10 entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
Victory U.S.A., the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) third-place finisher, is scheduled to make her next start in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, trainer Bob Baffert said, before ending her juvenile season in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) on Dec. 21 at Hollywood Park.
Country music superstar Toby Keith's undefeated homebred Cactus Ridge will enter stud in 2004 at John T.L. Jones' Walmac International. The son of Hennessy will stand for $6,500.
The Woodlands, in Kansas City, Kansas, just completed its most successful meet in recent history. The track registered gains in live and off-track handle, as well as attendance, following its 30-day mixed meet which ran from Sept. 23 through Nov. 1.
Since returning to New York from Florida this spring, Lojo has posted a hard-knocking, three-win campaign with two seconds and a third from seven starts. Throughout the year, the 4-year-old filly has ascended the class ranks from second-level allowances to stakes. Now she is ready to go against stakes company in Saturday's $100,000 Athenia (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16-miles on the Aqueduct turf.
After flirting with the notion of running Take Charge Lady in Saturday's Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II), trainer Ken McPeek is pointing the Select Stable runner toward a repeat effort in the Nov. 27 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
With her days as a race mare numbered, grade I winner Awesome Humor is looking to go out a winner when she takes the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. If all goes well in the Distaff trainer Elliott Walden expects her to wrap up her career in Churchill Downs' $300,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day before joining the broodmare band at Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Ciano Cat, one of Canada's leading first-crop sires, will stand the 2004 season at Gardner Farms near Caledon East, Ontario, Canada, for $4,000 (Canadian funds).
Racing at Blue Ribbon Downs will be suspended after this weekend until next year as its new owners work to obtain a license for pari-mutuel meets.
Dwight Sutherland, who was a part owner of such grade I winners as Favorite Trick, Gentlemen, Sister Act, and Puerto Madero, died on his 81st birthday, Oct. 25, of a heart condition at a Kansas City, Mo., hospital.
Wake At Noon, Canada's 2002 Horse of the Year, will be retired later this year for stallion duty at owner Bruno Schickedanz' Select Stud in Ontario, Canada.
- By Ron Mitchell
Fair Grounds Race Course is in discussions with the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in an effort to resolve issues that led the New Orleans, La., track to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
Grade II winner Prime Timber, who stood the past breeding season at Richard Simon's Sez Who Thoroughbreds near Ocala, Fla., has arrived at the outfit's New York farm near Stillwater.
The 4th Annual Silent Auction to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was held at Thistledown on Breeders' Cup Day. Over 60 individuals donated art, memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, tack, gift items, and services. The merchandise portion generated $4,079 while additional monetary contributions amounted to $3,975 for a fundraiser total of $8,054.
The crowd appeared to thin out a bit at Wednesday's session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale, but it wasn't any easier for buyers to get a foot in the door. The totals in gross, average, and median rose this year compared to last year's figures.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry officials in Kentucky are taking a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the election of Republican Congressman Ernie Fletcher as governor, but a few said Fletcher's representation of the horse industry in Washington, D.C. bodes well for Kentucky.
Colonial Downs in Virginia is looking at four sites for an off-track betting parlor in Vinton, where voters on Nov. 4 approved a referendum by only 20 votes, the Roanoke Times reported.
The Miami Herald, in a short notice that appeared in its Nov. 1, edition, said a misunderstanding occurred between a writer and jockey Jose Santos in connection with a story that questioned whether Santos carried an electrical device in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Special Harmony completed the group I double for spring fillies with an easy victory in the 143rd Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) at Flemington Nov. 5.
Sky Jack and Hot Market, described by their trainers as "warriors," are set to do battle as the top choices in the $250,000 California Cup Classic, the marquee event Saturday as the Oak Tree Racing Association presents California Cup XIV.
Doug O'Neill broke Bob Baffert's record for most victories at Santa Anita's brief Oak Tree meeting when he saddled Long Gone Con to victory in a $62,500 optional claiming allowance event Wednesday.
Within the week the Massachusetts legislature is expected to address an economic stimulus package which includes as many as 6,000 slot machines at racetracks. The Boston Herald reported Wednesday that the amendment was filed by Senator Brian Lees.
The Maryland Jockey Club today unveiled the 2004 Preakness logo. The 129th running of the $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown, is set for May 15, 2004 at Pimlico Race Course.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Breeders' Cup board of directors, at a special meeting Nov. 1 in Lexington, signed off on purse-money commitments tied to televised races in 2004.
The blanket worn by Secretariat after his victorious career finale in the 1973 Canadian International Championship sold for $21,600 after being offered online through E-bay and Secretariat.com, the official Web site for the champion racehorse.
- By Victor Ryan
Purses at Tampa Bay Downs should receive a boost this year with the opening of a new card room that will contribute 47% of net proceeds to the track's purse fund.
- By Victor Ryan
The new frontier in bloodstock analysis could be on the horizon through a new company formed by two scientists from the California Institute of Technology.
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