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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

KSPN RADIO, WBAL Win Media Eclipses

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that KSPN/ESPN Radio 710 in Los Angeles and WBAL Radio in Baltimore have tied for the Media Eclipse Award for Audio/Multi-Media Internet coverage of Thoroughbred racing

Biggar Resigns as President of MI Developments

William Biggar has resigned as president and chief executive officer of MI Developments, which is the parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp. He will be replaced by Werner Czernohorsky, formerly president of the Construction Group.

Ordway Bought; Going To Puerto Rico

Eleven-year-old Ordway, who stood at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., was consigned by the farm as agent to the Keeneland January sale, where he was bought by Rick Nord's Nord Thoroughbreds for $47,000 on behalf of Jose Carro.

Bluegrass Chaplaincy Begins Farm Ministry in Earnest

The Bluegrass Farms Chaplaincy, designed to meet the needs of horse farm workers in Central Kentucky, officially kicked off its program Jan. 14 with its first prayer breakfast at Keeneland during the January mixed sale. The chaplaincy hopes to line up 12 facilities to serve as "founding farms."

Early Numbers Up at Beulah; Sets Single Day Wagering Record

Beulah Park kicked off its first four days of racing in 2004 with a staggering 96% percent increase over the same number of days a year ago. On Monday the track shattered an 81-year-old all time single day pari-mutuel record of $1,554,073.

Report: Churchill Downs Inc. Interested in Fair Grounds

Churchill Downs Inc. has been in negotiations with Louisiana horsemen to acquire $90 million in legal claims against Fair Grounds, which shows CDI could be interested in purchasing Fair Grounds, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

California Bill to Increase Takeout Passes

A bill that would raise the takeout on California exotic wagers by a half of a percentage point was passed unanimously by the California Assembly Monday.

MJC President Cleared in Probe of Campaign Contributions

Joe DeFrancis, president of the Maryland Jockey Club, and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. did not violate campaign finance laws by arranging more than $200,000 in donations to a national organization headed by Miller, Maryland's state prosecutor said Monday.

High Priority

High Priority

By Ray Paulick -- This year-end headline could not have gone unnoticed by anyone operating a racing stable--large or small--or by the leaders of organizations whose mission is to improve the economics of the Thoroughbred industry: 2003 Handle Up Slightly, But Purses Decrease.

Grand Opportunity

By Jim Squires -- Being both an incurable reformer and a glutton for punishment, it is hard not to be envious of the opportunity Gov. Ernie Fletcher has given his newly constituted Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

Fans Get Chance to Offer Views at Santa Anita

Fans who attend the races at Santa Anita Park can now have their thoughts and ideas, as well as complaints and suggestions, heard by members of the racetrack's management team thanks to a new "Fan's Feedback Forum" held every Sunday at noon in the track's East Paddock Gardens immediately following handicapping seminars.

Mountaineer Deal Calls for Hike in Minimum Claiming Price

After a few years of contractual disputes, Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort and the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have agreed on a three-year contract that calls for increases in live racing dates and a hike in the minimum claiming price at the West Virginia track.

Former Ak-Sar-Ben Official Dick Becker Dead

Dick Becker, who proved instrumental in Ak-Sar-Ben's success in the 1970s and early '80s, died Jan. 7 at an Omaha, Neb., nursing home after a long illness.

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