The Maryland Million Day purses will be increased by $300,000 for the 2005 event, making it the richest state sire stakes in the country. In addition to the event day purse hike, an additional $300,000 will fund other racing opportunities next year.
Harris Farms homebred Alphabet Kisses reclaimed the lead in mid-stretch and held off 8-5 favorite Bending Strings for a one-length victory Monday in the grade I, $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Pentire son Xcellent rushed home for a stunning win in the 131st New Zealand Derby (NZ-I).
Two group 1 fixtures from Uruguay's Maroñas National Racetrack will be simulcast into North America Jan. 6 with Pimlico Race Course serving as the North American wagering hub for the stakes. The highlight of the South American stakes is the group 1 Gran Premio Jose Pedro Ramirez, a 1 1/2-mile race that traditionally attracts some of the best horses from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
Ryan Fogelsonger was off his mounts on today's nine-race card at Pimlico Race Course one day after being involved in a spill. The 23-year-old rider was injured when his mount, Summer Rainbow, was galloping out after her third place finish in Sunday's seventh race and tossed the rider who landed on his head.
As the year 2004 comes to a close, Thistledown is moving up post time. Post time for Dec. 30 will be 12:15 p.m. for a 10-race card. The action will begin at noon on Dec. 31.
Yearly Report, the 6-5 morning line favorite for Monday's $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita, was scratched due to a minor ankle injury, trainer Bob Baffert reported Monday morning.
Rich in Spirit will bid to keep her perfect record on turf intact as the probable favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks, a highlight of the $350,000 Grand Slam III program at Calder Race Course.
With less than one week remaining, the 2004 American racing season will conclude with new leaders in earnings for jockeys and trainers.
Northern California invader Lost in the Fog, a 2-year-old colt trained by Greg Gilchrist, established a track record at Turf Paradise Sunday when he won the 6 1/2-furlong Arizona Juvenile Stakes in 1:13.55.
Scrofa, in her fourth start since being claimed for $62,500, posted a convincing victory in the $100,000 Work The Crowd Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Undefeated juvenile Cajun Pepper won his fifth in a row, overpowering the field by 4 1/4 lengths in the $161,331 Riley Allison Futurity Sunday at Sunland Park.
Made the favorite in his turf debut Sunday at Santa Anita Park, 2003 juvenile champion Action This Day failed to fire while finishing ninth. In other stakes on opening day of the winter meeting, Whilly prevailed in the $112,700 Sir Beaufort Stakes and Uncle Denny took the $138,625 California Breeders' Champion Stakes.
The hole opened up for Rock Hard Ten near the eighth pole and the strapping colt burst through to win the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds Sunday in front of 31,874, the largest opening-day crowd since 1999 at Santa Anita Park.
Calder Race Course introduced a new temporary safety rail Sunday that extends out of the chute for six, six-and-a-half, and seven-furlong races.
A severe winter storm affecting the Cleveland area this past week has forced Thistledown to cancel its live racing program Sunday and Monday.
Whether you felt this year's 3-year-old crop was a good one or bad one, it certainly inspired a good deal of passion and provided a number of memorable moments. The following is a look back at the tumultuous 3-year-old season and its most notable performers, broken down into categories.
Overbrook Farm homebred Storm Surge took the lead in the top of the stretch and went on to capture the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes for 2-year-olds Friday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Love of Money was delayed in Texas due to inclement weather and will not run in Sunday's $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), according to the agent for Victor Espinoza, who was slated to ride.
Jockey Victor Espinoza Wednesday lost a final appeal of a seven-day suspension handed down by Santa Anita stewards in March and will begin serving his days starting with the opening day at Santa Anita program on Sunday.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's grade I winner Sense of Style is recovering from surgery to remove a chip from an ankle, trainer Patrick Biancone said Dec. 23, and won't make her sophomore debut until sometime earlier this spring.
Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report, who set a Lone Star Park record for seven furlongs in her most recent start, shoots for her first grade I victory in Monday's $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Action This Day, the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2003, is expected to make his turf debut in an allowance/optional claiming race on Sunday at Santa Anita Park. It would be his first start since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1.
Second of June, who has not raced since finishing a game second to Read the Footnotes in the Feb. 14 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), has been entered in a 1 1/16-miles optional claiming event at Calder on Monday.
Grade II winners Rock Hard Ten and Love of Money return from layoffs to head up Sunday's $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), a test for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs that kicks off Santa Anita's 85-day winter meeting.
Superstar filly Sweet Catomine, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and certain to be voted the an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly of 2004, is slated to launch her 2005 campaign at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 9 in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III).
After a five-day break for the Christmas holiday, racing at Golden Gate Fields will pick up Sunday with a Pick Six carryover of $233,306 and the $100,000 Work The Crowd Handicap.
Rene Douglas, coming off his first Southern California riding title at Hollywood Park's autumn meeting, can be counted on for more of the same during the 85-day Santa Anita Park season, his agent says.
Azeri, North America's all-time leading money-earning female, has been retired from racing. Michael Paulson, who heads his father's Allen Paulson Living Trust that raced Azeri, made the decision to retire the 6-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter rather than race her a few more times, as was under consideration.
Mark Guidry, a successful rider on the Chicago, Kentucky, New York and Florida circuits since he began his career in 1973, will compete at Santa Anita beginning on opening day Sunday.
Minister Eric, who ran third in his only race since an eventful 16th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 1, will wear blinkers when he tackles a competitive field in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
America-bound jockey Kieren Fallon, who reached the 200-victory mark for the fifth time in eight years this week, insisted that he would not extend his stay in the states into the spring European flat racing season.
New Zealand trainer John Eagar was in critical condition at a New Plymouth hospital after suffering serious head injuries when struck by a riderless horse at Pukekura Raceway Tuesday.
Making her second start in the U. S., Japanese-bred mare Festival rallied to post a six-length victory in Monday's $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. III), the closing day feature of the Hollywood Park meet.
Merv Griffin's Cee's Irish, the even-money favorite, wore down pacesetter Island Escape in the final sixteenth of a mile for a nose victory in the $60,400 Corte Madera Stakes Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Inclement weather led to cancellation of live racing Monday at Pimlico and Thistledown racetracks.
With no Sweet Catomine to be concerned with, Peter Vegso's homebred Splendid Blended was the star of Sunday's $389,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies.
Patricia A. Generazio's Don Six sped to the front then held off his late challengers to win Sunday's $109,400 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) by 1 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko, who finished a nose behind Giacomo in third in Saturday's Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), will get some time off to allow a quarter crack to heal, according to trainer Craig Dollase.
Jockey Rene Douglas, who returned to Southern California in September after a seven-year absence, found special gratification in his banner autumn meet at Hollywood Park.
Sunny Hollywood Park won't be using its turf course for the remainder of the meet after jockeys Sunday said it was unsafe for the second straight day.
Six-time champion European jockey Kieren Fallon has engaged leading agent Ron Anderson and will compete in Florida this winter.
Defending champion Katdogawn can become the only two-time winner of the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) Monday when 10 fillies and mares vie on the grass on closing day of Hollywood Park's autumn meet.
Under jockey Ariel Smith, the 3-5 favorite Aggadan powered through an opening at the top of the lane and outstepped a determined Irish Colony to win the $100,000 Jennings Handicap for Maryland-breds Saturday at Pimlico.
Shadow Cast picked up right where she left off earlier this year at Fair Grounds, returning to capture the $60,000 Pago Hop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over the Stall-Wilson turf course Saturday.
In spite of skipping the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), undefeated Declan's Moon made an emphatic statement for 2-year-old honors in 2004 with a convincing victory over grade I winners Wilko and Proud Accolade in Saturday's $449,500 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).
Robert N. Clay's 3-year-old colt Medallist rebounded from a fifth place finish in the Fall Highweight (gr. III) last month to win the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Robert V. LaPenta's Pies Prospect seized control before the eighth pole and pulled away for an easy victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Trillium Stable's Dreadnaught closed out his 2004 campaign with back-to-back graded stakes victories, coming from off the pace with a dramatic surge to nip Demeteor by a neck with a dramatic surge in the $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on the Calder Turf Course Saturday.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Arvada held off favored Humaita by a head to win the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday at Calder Race Course.
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