Undefeated Witty, a half-sister to Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed, scored her third lifetime win when she ran down favored Carlsbad in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 10.
Silver Frost came roaring down the center of the course to easily capture the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I, French Two Thousand Guineas) by two lengths at Longchamp May 10. One race later, Elusive Wave won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, French One Thousand Guineas).
Veteran jockey Vernon Bush, who learned the art of race riding watching his father, Vernon Sr., who was one of New England's top riders in the 1940s and 1950s, won the 3,000th race of his career when he guided Loadthewagon to a front-running win in the eighth race at River Downs May 9.
Smart Surprise rallied from off the pace, took over in mid-stretch and held off a late bid from Proud Heiress to win the $158,600 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) for older fillies and mares May 10 at Woodbine.
Lone Star Park announced May 10 that it will cut overnight purses by 6% effective May 22, not run one stakes and cut the purse for three other stakes.
Recent English import Pierrot Lunaire denied champion Good Night Shirt his third consecutive Iroquois Steeplechase (NSA-I) victory May 9 when he came from off the pace to win the $150,000 event at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.
Crafty 8-year-old Ball Four, reunited with trainer Patrick Biancone for his first start in four months, dealt heavily-favored Rail Trip his first career defeat by going gate to wire to win the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park May 9.
Peachtree Stable's homebred Mythical Power rebounded emphatically from a last-place effort in the Sunland Derby, taking over at the top of the lane under Victor Espinoza and drawing off for a resounding victory in the $400,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) May 9.
Monmouth Park got off to a good start May 9 with solid gains in attendance and mutuel handle for the first day of a 94-day meeting.
There hasn't been much good news for Justin Vitek since the end of February, when he found out that his leukemia, which had been in remission, returned. But things may finally be looking up for the veteran jockey, who recently found a bone marrow donor and will have a stem cell transplant later this month.
Kiaran McLaughlin has been saying for several weeks that Charitable Man is one of the most talented 3-year-olds in the country and he only needed some more seasoning to show it. On May 9 in the $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II), the son of Lemon Drop Kid backed up his trainer's words, taking over at the top of the lane and powering to a 3 3/4-length score under Alan Garcia.
Frankie Dettori guided Godolphin's Mastery to a comfortable 1 1/2-length win in the Derby Italiano Better (Ity-II) at Rome's Capannelle racecourse May 9, setting up a possible return in the Investec Derby (Eng-I) next month.
Jan Rushton, the New York Racing Association's paddock analyst and popular television host, has resigned her position in order to tend to her family in South Carolina.
While some Florida consignors bypassed this year's Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training, most of the major players have returned in force for the company's May juvenile auction.
- By Tom Precious
Trying one more time, the state of New York accepted seven new bids - from major casino operators to real estate and racing interests -- to develop a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, an authority first approved for the facility back in 2001.
Churchill Downs called off its final five races on May 8 following a heavy wave of showers and thunderstorms. It was just the third cancellation of its kind in the last 19 years at the Louisville racetrack.
- By Jim Freer
The Florida Legislature passed a gaming bill May 8 that includes several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry, and a compromise on the contentious issue of table games at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa., will begin its 100-night meet May 8 with more exposure for its signal.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International Pari-Mutuel Auditors and Regulators Conference on regulating, testing, and monitoring pari-mutuel wagering systems is scheduled for July 7-8 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel.
- By Ryan Conley
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach criticized certain hedge-fund investors for putting "unwarranted" pressure on the bankrupt racetrack company's parent entity, suggesting May 8 that those antagonists could start their own company if they didn't like what they saw.
Breeders' Cup has vastly changed its ticketing plan for the 2009 World Championships, with major price reductions of up to 80% single-day sales, and online transactions.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has issued a report outlining recommendations for improving the safety and health of workers in the horse racing industry.
Grey Goose vodka joined forces with fashion designer Rachel Roy to create a hat worn by Brooke Shields at the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Gone West, a prominent sire while standing at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington, will be pensioned after he finishes breeding this year.
Real Quiet, the 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner and champion 3-year-old male, will stand the Southern Hemisphere breeding season at Haras Cuatro Piedras in Uruguay.
Paul Saylor said "I nearly fell out of my chair" while watching the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) on television. Like a lot of people, he was surprised by Mine That Bird's huge upset. But what really knocked Saylor for a loop was the realization that a juvenile Yonaguska colt he owned suddenly had become a half-brother to a classic winner.
Grade I winner Forest Danger sired his first winner when his son Recession Buster won May 7 at Golden Gate Fields.
Tale of Ekati, winner last year of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), has been sent to John Phillips' Darby Dan Farm near Lexington.
The undefeated Arizona firecracker Carlsbad puts her five-race win streak on the line in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park May 10.
MTR Gaming Group swung to a profit of $742,000 in the first quarter of the year, with officials vowing May 7 to continue to improve on current operations rather than seek other properties to add to the company's portfolio.
Tampa Bay Downs reported May 7 a 2.7% decline in all-sources handle for its recently-concluded 2008-2009 winter/spring meet at the racetrack located in Oldsmar, Fla.
- By Tom LaMarra
A top Thoroughbred owner said NetJets' sponsorship of jockeys in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is something that can be built upon, and that owners will work with jockeys on future endeavors.
Nashville recording artist Danielle Peck will headline the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's National Awards Dinner Sept. 11 at B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farms near Lexington.
Darley stallion Librettist will shuttle from Europe to Westbury Stud in Karaka, New Zealand, for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
After tripping up odds-on choice Smart Surprise by nearly two lengths in winning Woodbine's Whimsical (Can-III) in front-running fashion last month, Dancing Allstar will try to do it again in the Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) on May 10.
A Texas native, Steve Asmussen is the all-time leading trainer at Lone Star Park, but he has never captured the racetrack's signature event for 3-year-olds, the Lone Star Derby (gr. III). On May 9, Asmussen will have his best chance when he sends out three of the seven starters in the $400,000 contest.
Bloodstock agent Barry Berkelhammer and Starlight Stables have agreed to part ways.
The morning after it was announced that powerhouse filly Rachel Alexandra had been sold to Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold T. McCormick, trainer Hal Wiggins went about his business as usual, in spite of the empty stall where the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner used to reside.
Despite growth in its online pari-mutuel wagering and Louisiana slots operations, the top executive of Churchill Downs Inc. said May 7 the company is not ignoring its racing properties, but needs legislative help to keep them viable entities.
Committed, a champion sprinter in England and France and granddam of Eclipse Award winner English Channel, was euthanized May 3 at owner Gerald Ford's Diamond A Ranch near Versailles, Ky.
A trust fund established for the health, welfare, and benefit of New Jersey jockeys has taken effect and will provide insurance coverage for healthcare, dental, and vision insurance for riders that meet the criteria set forth under the terms of the trust.
Undefeated Rail Trip puts his five-race winning streak on the line against five rivals in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park on May 9.
Monmouth Park opens its 94-day meet May 9 with an 11-race program that attracted a total of 102 entries. The stand will run through Sept. 27.
- By Ryan Conley
Citing the absence of insurance payments received in 2008, Churchill Downs Inc. reported a net loss of $4.8 million in the first quarter of the year, but said a 12% increase in net revenues were attributed to strength in its Louisiana gaming business and on-line wagering operation.
Some owners who had horses in the grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands are questioning the manner in which a corporate sponsorship tied to charitable causes was handled, but the Jockeys' Guild said the parties followed proper procedure.
Graded stakes winner Twilight Meteor has been retired from racing for stallion duty.
The lone graded stakes winner in the field, Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren's Charitable Man will continue on his comeback trail when lining up for the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 9 at Belmont Park.
A Florida jockey and two others have been indicted for what federal authorities say was a conspiracy to influence results at a Tampa Bay Downs.
Good Night Shirt is the overwhelming favorite to win the $150,000 Iroquois Steeplechase Stakes (NSA-I) for the third consecutive year May 9 in Nashville, Tenn.
Anna Roberts of Franklinton, La. became the fifth graduate of the North American Racing Academy to win a race when she rode King of Mardi Gras to victory at Evangeline Downs April 29.
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