Live racing at Charles Town Races & Slots will be suspended for about three weeks in August so workers can replace the racing surface, bank the turns, and install new lighting.
By Ray Paulick -- Somewhere at the Aurora, Canada, corporate headquarters where Frank Stronach sits atop his Magna International and Magna Entertainment Corp. empire, there is a warehouse filled with architectural drawings and miniature models for changes to the racetracks Magna now owns.
By Gary McMillen -- Sometimes it takes a thorn to get rid of a splinter. Like a Maryland blue crab dropped out of a basket, I scurried to the safety of my office. There were questions I needed to ask myself. Smarty Jones did not give me what I wanted but maybe he gave me what I needed.
Will racing fans be disappointed again in their wait for a Triple Crown winner? The near-misses outnumber the times that racing's most elusive prize has been claimed.
Prompted by Smarty Jones' immensely popular run at the Visa Triple Crown, the NTRA, NYRA, and ESPN have put together an extensive block of Belmont week programming.
Young stallions Magic Cat and Matricule were represented by their first winners recently.
Five fillies and mares owned by Team Valor and partners have been imported to the U. S. from South Africa and will be sent to the organization's private trainer Ralph Nicks at Saratoga after spending two months in quarantine.
A busy morning of training at Churchill Downs saw significant moves by 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri and 3-year-old stars Fire Slam and Victory U.S.A.
Veteran jockey Mike Morgan was hospitalized overnight for treatment of injuries suffered in a chain reaction spill that involved four horses during Sunday's final race at Churchill Downs.
John Servis is a longtime Philadelphia Flyers fan, and he "wasn't happy" to see his hockey team eliminated in the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday night. Although he now has Philly's number one sports franchise in Smarty Jones, and the almost-fanatical support of the city and all of Pennsylvania, Servis said he's still not feeling any added pressure.
Links to other media reports about Smarty Jones' quest for the Visa Triple Crown in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
"Chapman Ford, home of Smarty Jones, how may I direct your call?" That is the greeting people receive when they call the Chapman Ford dealership on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia, indicating life is not exactly the same around the showroom since Smarty Fever hit the City of Brotherly Love.
The top picks failed to make the money in Sunday's Japanese Oaks (Jpn-I), with Daiwa el Cielo (Sunday Silence--London Bridge, by Dr Devious) emerging as the surprise victor in the 65th running of the fillies' classic at Tokyo. Daiwa el Cielo topped a full gate of 18 by three-quarters of a length, clocking 2:27.2 seconds over 2,400 meters of slightly yielding turf.
Harold L. Queen's Burning Roma, who has earned $1.4-million, is the most accomplished member of the prospective field for Saturday's $100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT), highlight of Monmouth Park's opening day program.
Super Elegant collected his second grade I in a week in defeating a talented bunch of sprinters in the Doomben 10,000 (Aust-I) in Brisbane, Australia, on May 22.
The New York Racing Association is making more seats available for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in which Smarty Jones will attempt to win the Visa Triple Crown.
A deal to purchase the Meadowbrook Farms at the Ocala Jockey Club property has soured and may end up in litigation.
- By Tom LaMarra
A decrease in handle in Ohio so far this year has led the Ohio State Racing Commission to reduce funding for the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund.
According to the results of a recent public opinion poll, most Texans would welcome video lottery terminals at the state's five horse and three Greyhound racetracks.
Unbeaten Attraction powered her way into the record books Sunday when she became the first filly to bag the English and Irish One Thousand Guineas double with a one-length victory at The Curragh in Ireland.
Chandtrue beat Dance Thief by four lengths Sunday in the $79,125 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park.
A chain reaction spill that involved four horses during Sunday's final race at Churchill Downs sent three jockeys to Louisville hospitals for treatment and evaluation.
Employing a gallant final surge, unbeaten Eye of the Sphynx overcame a determined Silver Bird to win Sunday's $275,000 Selene Stakes (Can-II) for 3-year-old fillies by a neck at Woodbine.
Kentucky bred Menhoubah snapped a nine-race losing streak in a big way Sunday, winning the $649,050 Oaks d'Italia (Ity-1) at San Siro racecourse in Milan.
Sweet Return and Tsigane each worked on the Hollywood Park turf course Sunday morning for the $350,000-added Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on May 31.
Quantum Merit went to the lead from the beginning and held off second-place Foreverness by a nose to win the $114,300 Kingston for New York breds on the Belmont Park turf Sunday.
Prince Kirk brushed the rail after passing favored Six Perfections with less than a furlong to go in Sunday's Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) at Longchamp, but recovered in time to hold on for an upset victory by a half-length.
Ask For The Moon outlasted Asti by a neck in a blanket finish to the Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) for 3-year-old fillies at Longchamp Sunday.
Powerscourt gave his Ballydoyle connections something to celebrate with a six-length romp in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) Sunday at The Curragh to hand Aidan O'Brien his first group I triumph of the season.
Bruce Lunsford's Madcap Escapade, winner of the Ashland (gr. I) and third in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), is out for the year following the discovery of a hairline fracture in the 3-year-old filly's hip.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said that Peter Pan third-place finisher Master David came out of the race in good shape, but is extremely unlikely to run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Frankel said a switch to the turf is likely for the son of Grand Slam.
Onebigbag, making his first start for trainer John F. Martin and owner Robert D. Bone, won the $67,512 Saratoga Handicap at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Hollywood And Wine found a quick pace to her liking in Saturday night's $50,000 Bob Bryant Stakes at Prairie Meadows.
Breeder/owner C. Francis "Frank" Hopkins Sr., a former member of the Maryland Racing Commission, died May 19 of heart failure at his Elberton Hill Farm near Darlington
Lady Tak, ridden by Shane Sellers, surged to the lead on the turn and held off a stretch challenge by Put Me In to score a three-quarters of a length victory in Saturday's first running of the $108,600 Winning Colors Handicap for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen and 3-year-old filly Everheart traded places Saturday. The result was two stakes wins.
Mercedes Stable's Laura's Lucky Boy gave trainer Jason Orman his first stakes success with an electrifying stretch drive to win the $109,400 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds in stakes-record time on the Hollywood Park grass Saturday.
After disappointing in his last two starts, Judiths Wild Rush answered the bell like a true champion in winning the $164,100 Marine Stakes (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine.
One For Rose, last year's champion older female in Canada, challenges males in Monday's $163,350 Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) in her first test as a 5-year-old at Woodbine.
Pope McLean's Princess Pelona, making her first start since February, showed no signs of rustiness en route to a front-running, 4½-length tally in the $38,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park.
Longshot Governor's Pride shot to the lead and stayed in front the whole way to capture the $50,000 Ben Cohen Stakes, contested at five furlongs on the grass at Pimlico Race Course Saturday.
Jockey John Velazquez got the high-spirited colt Purge to relax while racing on the outside of the pacesetters and the colt responded to the easy handling with a quarter-mile to go to register a sparkling victory in the $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday.
His connections hope that Rock Hard Ten, who threw a fit prior to being loaded into the starting gate for last week's Preakness (gr. I), could improve on his second-place finish in the race with some improved etiquette in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Marylou Whitney's Champagne (gr. I) winner Birdstone breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Saturday morning.
Soviet Song, ridden by veteran Johnny Murtagh, proved a popular six-length winner of the Ridgewood Pearl Stakes (Ire-II) at The Curragh Saturday.
Kentucky-bred Bachelor Duke became the first maiden to win the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) in more than 30 years Saturday at The Curragh, rallying strongly under pressure from jockey Seb Sanders to collar favored Azamour in the final 100 yards.
You had to see it to believe it. Smarty Jones' open-house gallop at Philadelphia Park Saturday morning drew between 8,500 and 10,000 fans, some of whom showed up as early as 5 a.m. Once the doors opened just before 8, it was a mad dash to secure choice spots along the rail.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Tapit, winner of the Wood Memorial (gr. I), breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:07 2/5 at trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm Saturday morning, in preparation for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Eye of the Sphynx, a leading Labatt Woodbine Oaks prospect recently supplemented to the Queen's Plate as well, heads the $250,000-added Selene Stakes (Can-II) for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine Sunday.
- By Tom Precious
An investment group is taking ownership of Tioga Park, shuttered to racing in upstate New York since 1978, with plans to begin Standardbred racing next year in a facility that it hopes will also include a video lottery terminal casino.
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