The Fasig-Tipton Texas December mixed sale, which was the last major Thoroughbred auction of the year in this country, followed the downward trend that has plagued the equine marketplace in recent months. The gross revenue plummeted 46.7% Dec. 14 compared to a year ago, while the average price dropped 36%. The median declined 14.3%.
Trainer Bob Baffert gave the green light to Pioneerof the Nile and Ventana for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) after the pair worked Dec. 14 at Santa Anita.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has been fined $1,000 in an agreement with the California Horse Racing Board following a finding of scopolamine in a post-race urine sample taken from one of his horses last year.
Effective Jan. 1, Arthur "Archie" St. George will become a partner in Eaton Sales, one of the world's leading Thoroughbred auction consignors.
Eagle Mountain emerged a comfortable winner of the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin, a race that will also be remembered for tales of what might have been.
Good Ba Ba produced a devastating surge to win the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) at Sha Tin for the second straight year, leaving his jockey Christophe Soumillon to declare that he was the best miler in the world. That's even harder to dispute when it was confirmed the phenomenal winning time of 1:32.71 was a track record.
Doctor Dino returned to Sha Tin to land back-to-back victories in the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I). In a thrilling finish, he topped the luckless Purple Moon by a head in the HK$14 million (US$1.82 million) race.
Inspiration led home a shocking Hong Kong-based exacta in the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) at Sha Tin under a brilliant ride from Darren Beadman.
One major upset and the matching of two career records headlined the 18th edition of Louisiana Champions Day Dec. 13 at Fair Grounds.
With Edgar Prado at the controls, Laragh dictated the pace to score a one-length victory Dec. 13 in the $429,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies.
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.
Red-hot Researcher took his jump into graded stakes company in stride by winning the $108,400 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Dec. 13 for his fourth consecutive victory.
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.
A brown colt by the champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice and closely related to outstanding sire Zabeel on the distaff side, fetched the highest bid at HK$5.5m at the Hong Kong International Sale Dec. 13.
The Fasig-Tipton December mixed sale, this country's last major Thoroughbred auction of the year, will be held Dec. 14 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. There are 221 horses listed in the catalog: 142 broodmares or broodmare prospects, 44 weanlings, and 35 yearlings or horses of racing age.
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) 2007 winner Kip Deville came out earlier than normal on Saturday at Sha Tin and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said his horse was "giving all the signs that he'll run big" in the Dec. 14 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I).
Breeders' Cup officials sent a Dec. 11 memo to racing secretaries and stakes coordinators announcing they were suspending the entire Breeders' Cup stakes program for 2009.
Danny Dion's Bear Stables named Canada's owner of the year - his Fatal Bullet Horse of the Year at Dec. 12 Sovereign Awards.
The stallion Unusual Heat broke the California record for progeny earnings in one year Dec. 11.
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.
Hoosier Park Racing and Casino recently received approval from the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for dates and post times in 2009. The facility will offer 80 days of Standardbred racing and 63 days of Thoroughbred racing, with 21 of those days including Quarter Horse racing during the 2009 calendar year.
Hawthorne Race Course cancelled the last six races of its nine-race card on Dec. 12 due to inclement weather. Racing is scheduled to resume Dec. 13, post time 1:35 p.m. CDT.
- By Ryan Conley
Wagering on Tampa Bay Downs' 83rd live meet, which opens Dec. 13, will be available to most advance deposit wagering outlets, the Oldsmar, Fla., track announced Dec. 12.
It doesn't look like Thoroughbred racehorses will be breaking records anytime soon ... or perhaps ever again. According to Mark Denny, PhD, of California's Stanford University, a plateau in racing speed was reached back in 1949, 1971, and 1973 for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont Stakes (gr. I), respectively.
- By Tracy Gantz
With the economy affecting all aspects of the racing industry, Santa Anita has adjusted its overnight purses downward about 10% for the upcoming winter-spring meeting that begins Dec. 26.
Three casinos would be permitted in New York's Catskills tourist region under a constitutional amendment introduced in the Legislature for consideration next year.
A spectacularly good gallop on the dirt Dec. 12 made it clear that Doctor Dino will not relinquish his Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) crown on Dec. 14 without an almighty tussle.
The Washington Horse Racing Commission approved a 91-day season of live racing for Emerald Downs in 2009 at its Dec. 11 meeting.
Officials indicated Dec. 11 the push for equine safety and racing industry integrity is serious business, and they called on stakeholders to support the plan.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 is a double-edge sword. And the debate over whether it should be amended continues.
Aubrey Villyard, a long-time Thoroughbred trainer in Washington State, died Dec. 9 after a long battle with leukemia. Mr. Villyard was 67.
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.
In light of the current economics facing breeders today, Walmac Farm has announced a "breeders stimulus plan" applicable to 2009 stud fees
Jason and Evan analyze the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on December 13. Also The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Louisiana Champions Day Starter Handicap, Fair Grounds Race 4 on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Splash of Vanilla, a filly by Ballado Chieftan, probably will attract plenty of attention at the upcoming Keeneland January horses of all ages sale because of her golden color. She is registered as a palomino.
The Ladies Handicap, scheduled for Dec. 14 at Aqueduct, possesses a colorful history by virtue of its lengthy history and its illustrious group of winners.
In what is probably her final race, unbeaten Peppers Pride puts her modern North American record 18-race winning streak on the line in the $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Sunland Park Dec. 14.
West Virginia shipper Researcher puts his three-race win streak on the line Dec. 13 at Aqueduct, as the 4-year-old gelding faces his stiffest test yet while battling three graded stakes winners in the $100,000-added Queens County Handicap (gr. III), a 1 3/16-mile trek on the inner track.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will be a guest speaker at Ellis Park Dec. 13 at noon to present aid and auction a personally autographed saddle with the proceeds benefiting the trainers who lost horses and their equipment in the Nov. 20 Riverside Downs fire.
Following their final breeze at Keeneland on Saturday, Godolphin's precious cargo of 2-year-olds will depart for Dubai on Monday, Dec. 15, assistant trainer Rick Mettee said.
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.
The Maktoum family left the racing world in no doubt about how much terrestrial television coverage should be valued following Tuesday's annual Gimcrack Dinner at York.
A lawsuit aimed at preventing redevelopment of the Bay Meadows race track site has been dropped by a San Mateo preservationist group that agreed to settle the case with the property owner and the city of San Mateo.
- By Tom LaMarra
As hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from slot machines flows to horse racing, there is growing sentiment that perhaps the racing industry is failing to capitalize on the new wealth by solely pumping money into purses and breed development programs.
Betting on Woodbine's 2008 live Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Dec. 7, remained steady over last year, Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Dec. 10.
Laragh can put a grade I exclamation point on a busy juvenile campaign when she faces six other fillies in the $429,500 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 13.
Charlie Palmer, who spent more than 60 years working in the California horse racing industry, died of an aneurism at his home Dec. 7. He was 80.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
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