The 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner and 2008 runner-up Kip Deville worked out Jan. 9 at Gulfstream Park for his IEAH Stables partners and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. in preparation for his 2009 seasonal debut in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) Feb. 1.
Kenny McPeek stole the show in the two highly-anticipated 3-year-old allowance races Jan. 8 at Gulfstream Park. The trainer won both 1 1/8-mile events with second-time starters and now has a pair of good-looking colts to watch for on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) trail.
Harold Queen's Florida homebred colt Big Drama will make his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to be run at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31, according to trainer David Fawkes.
Even though it's a new year, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. winter mixed sale was the victim of the same worldwide economic crisis that caused prices at many Thoroughbred auctions to plummet late in 2008. The gross revenue plunged 57.7% from a year ago while the average price and median price dropped 39.6% and 45.5%, respectively.
In a step some racing industry officials expected, Gulfstream Park has told Florida regulators that it plans to hold races during 2009's last five weeks--a lucrative set of dates on which Calder Race Course has raced exclusively in South Florida for more than a decade.
Most of the leading contenders for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24 are already stabled in South Florida for the winter season, but a few will be flying in for the 1 1/8 miles test, including West Point Thoroughbreds' 4-year-old Macho Again from Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) winter mixed sale suffered downturns of 63% in its average price and 74.4% in its median price from a year ago as it opened with a consignor preferred session Jan. 6 in Central Florida. The gross revenue dropped 43% even though the number of horses sold was up 54.1% from 2008's first day total.
Sam-Son Farms' French Beret will have a tough time defending his title in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 6 at Fair Grounds, as an evenly-matched field of 10 goes to post in the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
Indygo Mountain, who broke his maiden impressively Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs but had to be scratched from his next start because of a minor injury, was installed as the 3-1 morning-line choice in the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 10.
Gemswick Park, sandwiched between two undefeated fillies as they lurched toward the wire, got her nose in front at the line to win an exciting renewal of the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 4.
Trainer Wesley Ward gave a 'thumbs up' sign Jan. 4 at Gulfstream Park the morning after Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Notonthesamepage rolled to a near-record setting victory in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Two-time grade I winner Dream Rush added Tampa Bay Downs' $65,000 Minaret Stakes to her impressive record, though she had to hold off Rising Fever in the final strides for neck victory Jan. 3.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Delightful Kiss continued his terrific recent form, as he opened his 2009 campaign with an eye-catching, last-to-first victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 3 at Gulfstream Park. It was the third graded stakes score in the past five months for the 5-year-old gelding.
Notonthesamepage grabbed the lead soon after the start and never looked back, romping by more than eight lengths in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds, the first stakes race of the Gulfstream Park winter season on opening day at the Hallandale Beach track Jan. 3.
Two of John Oxley's top 3-year-old prospects worked out at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 3 for trainer John Ward, including Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) winner Beethoven.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2009 Winter Mixed Sale begins Jan. 6 and a total of 613 horses are cataloged for the two-day sale, which begins with 264 horses in a Consignor Preferred Session. The single Open session is Jan. 7, with 349 horses cataloged. Both sessions begin at 11:00 a.m.
Frolic's Dream leaves the friendly confines of Calder Race Course for the first time when she puts her undefeated record on the line against six rivals in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 4 at Gulfstream Park.
Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anak Nakal, who was prominent on the Triple Crown trail in 2008 and later won the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), will make his 4-year-old debut against 13 rivals during Gulfstream Park's opening day $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 3.
You Luckie Mann and Silent Valor figure to attract most of the attention in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes, the six-furlong event which kicks off Gulfstream Park's 2009 series for 3-year-olds on opening day Jan. 3.
Youbet.com has reached an agreement to take bets on Gulfstream Park for that track's meet which begins on Jan. 3, Sam Gordon, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said Dec. 30.
Citing the current difficult economic times facing the Thoroughbred industry, Lambholm South in Ocala, Florida has announced a "Breeders Stimulus Plan" to breeders sending mares to its stallions.
Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s highly-regarded juvenile Indygo Mountain, scratched during the post parade of an allowance event for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds Dec. 18, was standing comfortably in his stall the following morning while trainer Bret Calhoun updated his colt's status.
Hobeau Farm's 4-year-old homebred gelding Delightful Kiss worked three furlongs in :35 4/5 Dec. 19 at Calder Race Course to earn a 'bullet' for the distance. The roan/gray son of Kissin Kris posted his first drill since finishing second in the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Nicanor, the full brother to the ill-fated Barbaro, will be featured in a news story on Miami's Channel 10 television station during its 11 p.m. newscast Friday, Dec. 19, and again on its Dec. 21 11:30 p.m. Sports Sunday program.
Gulfstream Park on Dec. 18 asked the Supreme Court of Florida to issue an order that would give law enforcement officials authority to shut down blackjack and baccarat tables at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos in the state.
Rosemary Homeister, Jr. booted home Rustyshouldrun for her 2000th career victory Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Downs.
One major upset and the matching of two career records headlined the 18th edition of Louisiana Champions Day Dec. 13 at Fair Grounds.
Just as he did when taking the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) in wire-to-wire fashion this summer at Monmouth Park, Patricia Generazio's Presious Passion sprinted to an early lead and never looked back, as the 5-year-old gelding took them all 12 furlongs to win the W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second consecutive year Dec. 13 on the Calder Race Course grass.
Front-running Finallymadeit shook off a challenge from Dream Maestro to post a 1 1/4-length win in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course Dec. 13.
Lawrence Goichman was hoping for a storybook ending for his homebred mare J'ray. A win in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) would not only give the 5-year-old a victory in her final start, but would push her over $1 million in career earnings. Herboriste had other plans.
Trilogy Stables' homebred Yesbyjimminy earned his sixth consecutive score and the first graded stakes triumph of his career, as he shook off a pair of rivals at the top of the lane and cruised to an easy 2 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 13 at Calder Race Course.
Calder Race Course announced Dec. 12 that due to the continuing overpayment of purses at the current Tropical Meet, the racetrack is cancelling three stakes races from the schedule: the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) and $100,000 Frances Genter Stakes (gr. III) on Dec. 27, and the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) on Jan. 1. The 2008/09 Tropical Meet ends on Jan. 2, 2009.
Nine horses who have won during previous Louisiana Champions Day programs return to Fair Grounds in an attempt to repeat as the track plays host to the event's 18th renewal Dec. 13.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has canceled its live racing program Dec. 11 because of winter weather and track conditions. Snow began falling in the metro New Orleans area during the morning. New Orleans is under a winter storm warning.
Lawrence Goichman's J'ray, who has raced well over the Calder Race Course turf throughout her career, will try to earn her third graded stakes victory of the season as she takes on 10 rivals Dec. 13 in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT).
Grade I winner Presious Passion has not been in the best of form lately, but the 5-year-old gelding will try to get back to his winning ways in an event he scored in last year, the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/2-mile turf event is one of four graded stakes on Calder Race Course's $500,000 Grand Slam program Dec. 13 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
The $65,000 Lightning City Stakes, a five furlong turf test for fillies and mares, tops opening day of the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs racing meet, which begins Dec. 13 and runs through May 3. The Tampa Bay stakes schedule encompasses 26 races with more than $2.7 million in purses and is highlighted by the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
It took a wild stretch run and the perfect head bob, but Harlequin Ranches' Spice Route earned his first victory on American soil, prevailing by the narrowest of margins over Soldier's Dancer in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) Dec. 6 at Calder Race Course.
Harry Aleo's Wild Promises shipped in from California to notch her fifth consecutive score Dec. 6 on the Calder Race Course turf, displaying a determined run in the final furlong to take the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a length.
Barely a year after a career-threatening injury, jockey E.J. Perrodin won his 3,000th career race aboard He's Royal Dee in the ninth race at Fair Grounds Dec. 5.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. has cataloged 613 horses for its 2009 winter mixed sale. The auction will be held Jan. 6 and 7 in Central Florida.
Bret Calhoun became the first trainer this season to saddle four winners on a single Fair Grounds program Nov. 30, but that achievement pales in comparison to what the Texas-born conditioner is hoping to accomplish before the local season ends March 29, 2009.
Tampa Bay Downs is requiring veterinarians to pay their first-ever licensing fees for its meet that begins Dec. 13. A licensing fee for blacksmiths was planned but has been put off until the 2009-10 racing season.
Puglisi Racing and Woodfield Racing's Livin Lovin, runaway winner of the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct last out, will face a full field of 2-year-old fillies Dec. 5, including morning-line favorite C.S. Silk, in the $500,000 Boyd's Gaming Delta Princess Powered by Youbet.com Stakes (gr. III).
With the winner's share of $750,000 Boyd's Gaming Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) a lofty $450,000, the 2-year-old who earns the prize is virtually guaranteed a berth in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It is no wonder then that the Dec. 5 main track event drew a deep and talented field of classic hopefuls.
Richard Thompson's Ballast has captured the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) the past two years, but his bid for a three-peat will not be easy, as the 7-year-old gelding will face an accomplished field of horses Dec. 6 in the $100,000 event at Calder Race Course.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) recently revised the results for the 2008 August yearling sale on its Web site (www.obssales.com) because of new rules governing horse auctions in Florida that took effect in July. Sale companies now are required to disclose any horses that did not change ownership after being reported as sold.
Calder Race Course will not hold any overnight stakes through the rest of its meet that ends Jan. 2, 2009. Five have been cut from the next condition book, which runs through Dec. 14.
Jim and Treasa Donnan and Terry Bailey's unbeaten Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) auction graduate Trinity Magic has been a blessing for Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Ocala, Fla., since the 2-year-old colt was pinhooked out of a yearling sale in 2007, and the stakes are going up if he gets to the starting gate in the $1-million Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) Dec.7.
Texas Glitter, a 12-year-old son of Glitterman, died earlier this week at Signature Thoroughbreds in Reddick, Florida, from compliations due to colic, it was announced Nov. 20.
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