Trainer Bob Baffert, who was fined $500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for incidents involving security guards at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), said he would like for Churchill Downs to have security personnel who recognize horsemen positioned in key areas, such as the paddock.
Churchill Downs recently promoted two members of its corporate support team to the position of vice president. Ted Gay has been promoted to vice president of business development, while Julie Koenig Loignon has been promoted to vice president of communications.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association will include a for-profit partner in its bid to hold onto the state franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, NYRA president Charles Hayward said June 26.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a new non-denominational chapel located in the Churchill Downs stable area will be held today, Monday, June 19, at 7 p.m.
- By Ron Mitchell
As the search for his successor continues, Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Tom Meeker presided over his 22nd and final shareholders' meeting Thursday, painting a positive picture of the racetrack operating company's future while also accepting plaudits from fellow directors and company employees.
- By Tom Precious
The long-awaited Request For Proposals for the franchise to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga was approved for release June 13 by a state government panel, though it appears increasingly unlikely the winning bidder will be selected this year.
Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and runner-up in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), and Buzzards Bay, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), were assigned high weight of 121 pounds apiece for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- For the second consecutive year, no contemporary horses were elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. That is astonishing, considering some of the champions named on the ballot.
Churchill Downs must receive ticket applications for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships by June 1 in order to be included in a random drawing that determines the order those applications will be processed.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. has restructured some of the company's corporate staff, resulting in the elimination of several positions and consolidation of the corporate and racetrack communications and marketing departments.
Ronald H. Rodriguez of Chicago defeated 125,211 fellow handicappers to claim a $10,000 prize by selecting the winning Kentucky Derby 132 superfecta in the $1 million Kentucky Derby "Super" Challenge, a free contest sponsored by Churchill Downs Incorporated.
- By Tom LaMarra
Churchill Downs Inc. officials are encouraged by a rebound of their Louisiana operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but it appears slot machines at Fair Grounds won't be operating until mid-2008 at the earliest.
TV Games Network set a one-day handle record of $7,555,958 Kentucky Derby day, May 6. The amount was up 18% from Derby day in 2005.
Yum! Brands, the new presenting sponsor of the grade I Kentucky Derby, said it gained almost $2.7 million in "total comparable exposure value" on air during the May 6 broadcast of the event.
Youbet.com, the online wagering company with headquarters in Southern California, handled $5.6 million Kentucky Derby day, May 6, an increase of 34% from 2005 and the highest one-day amount in the history of the company.
As trainer Michael Matz savored Saturday's impressive victory by Lael Stables' Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainers of the horses that finished behind the son of Dynaformer reflected Sunday morning on what went wrong and what lies ahead.
Wagering on Saturday's 132nd Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs shattered several records, including a North American mark for total betting on a single race, as an on-track crowd of 157,536 saw Lael Stable's unbeaten Barbaro dominate the "Run for the Roses."
On Kentucky Oaks day, if you're lucky enough, try to get down near the winner's circle before the big race.
English Channel, a top turf horse last year as a 3-year-old, may be even better this year, now two-for-two in 2006 after a win Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $454,900 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).
Who is the favorite in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)? Well, the public is not sure.
Leaning up against pillar on the second floor concourse is horseman Keith Asmussen. He's flanked by a pair of crutches.
Patrick Biancone has been a big supporter of Polytrack and Stream Cat, who trained on the surface at Turfway Park, won the $114,300 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Friday.
With nearly $400,000 in the pool, admittedly a small amount compared to what will eventually be wagered to win on the Derby, the favorite is only 6-1.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is having a perfect day at Churchill Downs Friday, winning all three of the races in which he had entries. The third was Magnificent Song, who won the $114,900 Edgewood Stakes, the first undercard stakes on Kentucky Oaks day.
For Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Tom Meeker, being what he calls a "caretaker of the Derby" is one of his jobs. But that doesn't mean there can't be change for the world's most recognized horse race, or other aspects of the industry for that matter, he said.
Racing fans in Kentucky and Indiana who can't make it to Churchill Downs will have access to 9 1/2 hours of live coverage May 5-6 on the Horse Racing Radio Network.
It's 12:25 p.m. A pair of Derby contenders enter the paddock for some schooling.
In an attempt to dress up the post position selection program for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the event was taken downtown this year.
If Sharp Humor wins Saturday's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), "it might be the largest winner's circle picture of all time at Churchill Downs," said the colt's trainer, Dale Romans.
Trainer Chris Paasch had a special feeling about Diplomat Lady the first day he laid eyes on her. And that feeling has only grown stronger.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said racing fans will not have to "Wait a While" for his grey filly to be loaded in to the starting gate for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) after undergoing gate-schooling sessions.
Total purses for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs will be $20 million, up $6 million from last year under a new structure officials said is designed to keep the races competitive with other major Thoroughbred stakes around the world.
At the racing office for the draw for the order of post position draw later today at Fourth Street Live! The atmosphere is almost party like. There are a few nervous faces, but overall most people are in a jovial mood.
The annual Kentucky Derby trainer's dinner brought out a mixture of memories and laughs from conditioners past and present.
On Monday, did anybody wish Derby contender Seaside Retreat happy birthday? Someone should have, because May 1 was his foaling date. While all horses foaled in the Northern Hemisphere have the universal birth date of Jan. 1 as their official age of racing, not all of this year's contenders are actually 3-year-olds.
A full field of 14 fillies, headed by dual grade I winner Balance, is set to run for the lilies in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. If all 14 fillies start, the purse for the 1 1/8-mile race will swell to $685,900.
- By Tom LaMarra
New York City came to Louisville, Ky.--and vice versa--the morning of May 2 when the opening bell of the NASDAQ stock exchange rang from a fourth-floor porch at Churchill Downs to celebrate Derby week.
Jockey John McKee shares a chat with Bonnie Holthus back at their barn after Lawyer Ron took a tour of the track Tuesday morning. Bonnie is the wife of trainer Bob Holthus, or "Mr. Bob" as he's called at his base at Oaklawn Park.
"I worked his daddy out of that barn," jockey Robby Albarado said the morning of April 29, pointing to barn 43 on the Churchill Downs backside.
Ask Dan Hendricks the hardest part about his Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) experience, and he doesn't hesitate with his answer.
It's becoming an adventure waiting for jockeys to arrive for morning works. Unlike Kent Desormeaux, who never showed up for Sweetnorthernsaint's work on Saturday, Alex Solis did make it to Churchill Monday morning to work Brother Derek following a flight from Los Angeles to Cincinnati.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek breezed a half-mile in :49 1/5 over a muddy track at Churchill Downs Monday in his final preparation for Saturday's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is no stranger to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. The 45-year-old Lexington native was a long-time assistant to five-time Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas and last year sent out 71-1 Closing Argument, a surprise runner-up behind Giacomo. This year, the laid-back Kentuckian hopefully has two horses for this year's Run for the Roses in Jazil and Flashy Bull.
Beginning May 1 and running daily through Derby Day, bloodhorse.com introduces Morning Line, a new feature designed to bring the horses, people, and places of Thoroughbred racing closer to racing enthusiasts.
Likely Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite Balance turned in a six-furlong work in 1:11.60 at her Hollywood Park base Friday. She is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs April 29.
A trio of fillies bound for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hit the Churchill Downs oval Friday morning in preparation for the May 5 race.
Ermine and Press Camp both turned in Thursday works for a start in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 5. Ermine worked at Churchill Downs while Press Camp worked at her Bay Meadows base.
Three first-time Kentucky Derby trainers joined veteran conditioner Bob Holthus on a national teleconference April 25 to discuss final preparations for their horses heading into the Derby.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Diplomat Lady worked a half-mile in :48.20 after the renovation break at Churchill Downs April 24. The move was the third fastest at the distance. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20.
The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) field is beginning to take shape with leading contender Balance scheduled to ship from Southern California to Kentucky April 29.
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