Claire Novak

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Curlin Partners Plead Not Guilty; Face October Trial

William J. Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., the suspended lawyers and 20% owners of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, along with suspended attorney Melbourne Mills Jr. pled not guilty June 21 in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against more than 400 plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the diet drug fen-phen.

Vacare Seeks Redemption in New York Stakes

Jon and Sarah Kelly's previously unbeaten Vacare, coming off a third-place finish in the May 28 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, will stretch out to 1-1/4 miles in her first start on Belmont Park turf when a field of eight fillies and mares goes postward in Saturday's running of the $250,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT).

Illinois Racing Board Denies Houghton Appeal

An appeal filed by jockey Terry Houghton asking that the Illinois Racing Board lift Arlington Park's current ban against him was unanimously denied June 14 by a 9-0 vote of associates present from the 11-member organization.

MassCap Set to Return This Year

The storied Massachusetts Handicap, last run in 2004, will be renewed at Suffolk Downs Sept. 22, five weeks prior to the running of the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Trainer Fined $1,000 for Kentucky 'Milkshake' Positive

In the first carbon dioxide overage announced since random tests were instituted in Kentucky in the spring of 2005, a horse trained by Reynaldo Abreu turned up positive in a pre-race blood sample taken April 18 at Keeneland. Subsequently, the trainer was fined $1,000.

Grade I Winner Shakespeare Back in Training

Shakespeare, winner of the 2005 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) and Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT), is back in training under the supervision of Kiaran McLaughlin after spending more than a year on the sidelines.

Sidelined Santos Seeks Return to Riding

More than four months after an Aqueduct racing accident left Jose Santos with five fractured vertebrae and a fractured sternum, the Eclipse Award-winning jockey remains on the sidelines. But an innovative new therapy may facilitate his eventual return to the saddle.

Gallorette Handicap Could Be 'Catfight'

Precious Kitten, coming off a second-place finish in the April 14 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, will face down A True Pussycat when a field of 11 fillies and mares goes postward for Saturday's 1/16-mile Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.

Kentucky HBPA to Investigate Conflict over Derby Tickets

Board members of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association did not discuss complaints from trainers regarding an Oaks/Derby ticket provision agreement between the Kentucky HBPA and Churchill Downs at their May 15 meeting as originally planned. Instead, the Kentucky HBPA will conduct an independent investigation into the matter.

Hearing Sheds Light on TRPB Investigation, Jockey Bans

The transcript from a recent hearing before a judge appointed by the Illinois Racing Board brought new details to light concerning the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau's investigation of 10 jockeys banned last December from Florida and Pennsylvania tracks for alleged race-fixing.

Derby Day Morning Line

Standing outside the Gold Room on the sixth floor of the clubhouse of Churchill Downs is Lisa Underwood. Underwood is the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

Servis Saddles 1,000th Career Winner

Nearly three years to the day from Smarty Jones' victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), trainer John Servis celebrated another career milestone when he won his 1,000th race on Tuesday, May 1, sending Love for Pleasure to victory in the 10th race at Philadelphia Park.

Tuesday Morning Line: Day Before the Draw

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds court for an assembling of media in front of his spotless barn. He's the only trainer without a Derby horse who can still provoke a good half-hour worth of questioning.

Derby Field Minus Lukas, Baffert, Zito Starters

Look past unknown jockeys, unbeaten starters, unfamiliar owners, and other contributors to this year's intriguing Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). More noticeable than the presence of uniqueness is the absence of three trainers who held the Triple Crown spotlight for several decades.

Jockey Houghton Banned from Arlington, Douglas to Ride

Jockey Terry Houghton, banned from Tampa Bay Downs last December, will not be permitted to ride at Arlington Park this summer even though he was allowed to ride at Hawthorne Race Course when the 2007 spring meet began there in February - but Rene Douglas, also banned from two Florida tracks in December, has received clearance to ride.

Dettori Named Shoemaker Award Winner

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.

Wednesday Morning Line at the Breeders' Cup

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.

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