As predicted, all-source wagering exceeded $140 million for the Breeders' Cup World Championships held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, according to official figures released Nov. 9.
Fair Grounds is set to open Thanksgiving Day, marking the return of live racing to the New Orleans track following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The meet is scheduled to run Nov.23-March 25, with 81 days of racing. The main reconstruction of the facility has been completed.
Lemons Forever, the longshot winner of this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), was scheduled to be sold following her run in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). But she never left her stall in the Churchill Downs barn of trainer and co-owner Dallas Stewart.
- By Tom LaMarra
Churchill Downs Inc., under the leadership of chief executive officer Bob Evans, is forming a team that will address technology-related issues for the racetrack company.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported Tuesday that earnings tumbled in the third quarter, as the year-ago period benefited from a hefty gain on the sale of assets.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - After a rocky year of changes that touched both the board of directors and the organization's top executives, stakeholders in the Breeders' Cup should feel good about its new direction.
Though Breeders' Cup officials believe Churchill Downs is a premier host site for the World Championships, the rebuilt clubhouse at the Kentucky racetrack has created a problem providing quality seating for guests of Breeders' Cup.
TVG processed a record-setting $6,708,450 in wagers, including $4,815,799 in wagering on the eight Breeders' Cup World Championships events, Nov. 4 from Churchill Downs.
An equine ambulance was delayed in getting to Fleet Indian after the mare injured her left front suspensory ligament during the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) because Churchill Downs personnel were following state regulations regarding ambulances on the track.
Jockey Lanfranco "Frankie" Dettori, who rode Ouija Board and Red Rocks to victory during the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Thoroughbred Championships, was named recipient of the annual Bill Shoemaker Award during a press breakfast the following morning at Churchill Downs.
Favored Ouija Board rolled to her second victory in the Emirates Ariline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), adding a 2 1/4-length triumph Saturday at Churchill Downs to her victory at Lone Star Park in 2004.
If I had to watch Bernardini get beat, this was the way to go.
Assistant starter Clinton Beck was named the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award recipient during the Taylor Made Sale's Agency's Nov. 2 White Horse Heroes luncheon at Churchill Downs.
- By Tom LaMarra
The new chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc. believes horse racing has an opportunity to move to another level if the industry embraces a new way of thinking.
Pine Island, bred and owned by the Phipps Stable, probably wouldn't win an equine beauty contest. But she's Miss America on the racetrack.
- By Tom LaMarra
Expanded gambling in Kentucky isn't a front-burner topic right now, but it will be next year when the state holds elections for governor and other top posts, a racetrack official said Nov. 3 during the "Thoroughbred Industry Forum" at Churchill Downs on the eve of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
- By Tom LaMarra
As Churchill Downs prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Kentucky regulators are examining the state's drug-testing policies and procedures. Upgrades, however, may hinge on state funding.
Bright One, one of the more exciting 3-year-olds based at Churchill Downs this year, rebounded from an uncharacteristic performance in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) with an authoritative victory in a money allowance event Nov. 2 at his home track.
When Satwa Queen springs from the gate in the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs trainer Jean de Roualle will be content knowing his prep work is done and the outcome of the race is in the hands of jockey Thierry Thulliez.
Trainer Tom Albetrani said his Bernardini will be facing the most difficult task of his life Saturday in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
After finishing second in Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) two years ago, Balletto returns to the Breeders' Cup, this time in the Emirates Airline Distaff (gr.I).
Owners Clinton and Susan Atkins had hoped to watch their 3-year-old filly Baghdaria race under Churchill Downs' famed twin spires on the first Friday in May. The filly didn't compete in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but they have a second chance to compete at Churchill with a berth in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships actually being just that has taken hold with at least one trainer. Ed Dunlop, who conditions Ouija Board, has planned three campaigns for the filly, each designed with the Breeders' Cup in mind.
Entered in this year's Breeders' Cup Championships is a horse who has not let the increasing years of his life affect his racing career. Perfect Drift, still going strong at age 7, has aged like fine wine, continuing to post impressive efforts as Nov. 4 rapidly approaches.
For the first time since 2000, the Breeders' Cup World Championships returns to Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The historic track has held the event five times in the past, and the six-year gap between hosting duties is the longest it has faced.
As soon as ESPN and the NTRA announced that Trevor Denman would replace Tom Durkin as the racecaller for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Denman's phone started to ring.
Right before the draw of the Breeders' Cup races takes place on the fourth floor of the clubhouse at Churchill Downs, Lisa Underwood surveys the scene. She's not eating breakfast from the buffet, but that's not to say she doesn't have a lot on her plate.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors has made no decision on limiting the racetracks that could be considered as future host sites for the World Championships, but during an Oct. 31 luncheon in Louisville, Ky., officials couldn't say enough about having the event at Churchill Downs.
Bernardini had his final workout at Belmont Park Oct. 31 and is ready for his start in the biggest race of the year.
Rev. Ed Donally is standing outside Barn 36 with an armful of new halters, watching as Lava Man cools out from his morning gallop. Donally, with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, is in from California to coordinate the White Horse Award Luncheon.
The turf at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup day should be firm--that is, if the long-range forecast holds up.
Along with Classic contenders Sun King and Flower Alley putting in their final drills for Saturday's World Championships at Churchill Downs, several other runners stretched their legs under the Twin Spires.
A bronze statue of Hall of Fame Jockey Pat Day, his arms raised in triumph, was unveiled during a noon ceremony Sunday at Churchill Downs. The sculpture, created by Louisville artist Raymond Graf, was inspired by Day's victory in the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Lil E. Tee.
A pair of contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), along with some of their stablemates in other World Championship races, took a tour of Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Breeders' Cup officials hoping the Nov. 4 World Championships at Churchill Downs will produce a record crowd for the event should be pleased with the long-range forecast.
A few minutes after King of the Roxy broke his maiden in his second start July 2 at Hollywood Park, Barry Irwin was on the phone speaking with his Team Valor partner, Jeff Siegel. Now they have a contender for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 26 that a John Deere X304 riding mower tractor with a retail value of $3,499 will be given away at the November 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is taking his record-breaking role of pre-entering 18 Breeders' Cup World Championship starters all in stride. Pletcher is expected to have at least one starter in seven of the eight championship day races, with the lone exception the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Trainer Todd Pletcher called the exclusion of Flower Alley from the body of the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) 'a joke' during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association/Breeders' Cup media teleconference Oct. 25 to announce the pre-entries for the eight-race $20-million event.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien spoke out about the chances of his star 3-year-old George Washington in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), calling him "possibly the best horse we've ever, ever had."
Trainer Aidan O'Brien pre-entered five horses for the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Based at Ballydoyle in Ireland, O'Brien holds a strong pair for the NetJets Mile (gr. IT) despite the fact one of Europe's top milers, George Washington, has been entered to run in the $5-million Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at 10 furlongs.
Considering Churchill Downs' success as host of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, track and event officials are anticipating the possibility of a record crowd when the eight races with record purses of $20 million are held at the Louisville track Nov. 4.
Officials of Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 24 the race order, post times, and wagering menu for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Thomas Meeker, who guided Churchill Downs through a racing renaissance and led the transformation of Churchill Downs, Inc. into one of the world's major racing companies, will be presented with the 2006 "Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award" by Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners Nov. 11 at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville.
Trainers Murray Johnson (Perfect Drift) and Eddie Kenneally (Bushfire and Kelly's Landing) will be guests of the Louisville Thoroughbred Club at its Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Celebration.
Two Churchill Downs-based horses were confirmed as being part of the cast for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 4 as Jay-Em-Ess Stable's Suave was pre-entered on Monday to run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) and Phoebe Mueller's Rush Bay was pre-entered in the $3 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Churchill Downs is putting the finishing touches on quarantine and isolation facilities that will house foreign participants set to compete in the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships at the historic track.
Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News became a five-time winner and three newcomers earned top honors as Churchill Downs announced the winners of its 2006 Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest, which annually recognizes the best in print media coverage of America's greatest race.
Churchill Downs will accept entries for races during its upcoming Oct. 29-Nov. 25 Fall Meet and subsequent race meets three days in advance of those races.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited have selected EarthLink to be an official sponsor of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the event's exclusive Internet service provider partner.
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