Riding on to the track at Santa Anita for the last race of the Oak Tree meet Nov. 4, leading rider Tyler Baze will flip shaded goggles down over his eyes and take a deep breath of the fresh, dry air, and will think of how close he came to losing this, the one pursuit he loves most in life.
The parent company of TVG reported a record handle of $148.5 million for the third quarter of 2007, and announced a new wagering partnership in New York during a Nov. 1 conference call with analysts.
Wildfires continued Oct. 23 to threaten homes and horse farms in Southern California, particularly in San Diego County. Scoop Vessels' Vessels Stallion Farm is among the facilities that have taken in evacuated people and horses, even while a new fire has broken out just east of the farm near Bonsall, Calif. Del Mar racetrack has taken in evacuees when the fires, and its barn area was full by Oct. 22, with 2,000 horses and livestock.
Despite surrounding property being ravaged by wildfires that have spread throughout Southern California, it was business as usual Monday, Oct. 22, at the Mabee family's Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, near San Diego.
Santa Anita racetrack will unveil racing over the Cushion Track surface Sept. 26 when the Oak Tree Racing Association begins its 39th season.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
Del Mar closed its 2007 meeting Sept. 5 - and its first with a synthetic surface - with its second-highest gross handle ever and a small increase in attendance, the Southern California track reported.
California fairs offer a realistic option for horse racing's future at a time when two major racetracks in the state are facing redevelopment and other privately held venues are pressured by stockholders for greater revenue returns amid escalating property values.
John Shirreffs, not comfortable running Tiago on the Del Mar Polytrack, has decided to scratch the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Swaps (gr. II) winner from the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Scientific Games has been awarded the contract to provide pari-mutuel wagering equipment and services for the California Horse Racing Industry, the company announced Aug. 14.
Nearing the midpoint of its 43-day season with a new Polytrack racing surface in place, Del Mar officials reported increases Aug. 10 in handle and attendance -- and no catastrophic breakdowns on the synthetic main track.
Warren Stute, a popular Thoroughbred trainer on the Southern California circuit for nearly 70 years, died Thursday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
A poker tournament will be held at the Del Mar Hilton Aug. 16 to benefit Noe Garcia, the groom for Lava Man who was seriously injured in an automobile collision July 23 near the racetrack.
Michael Baze, who led all riders at Hollywood Park and is atop the current Del Mar standings, was thrown in the first race at Del Mar Sunday when his mount, Lyrical Sound, broke down in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
Training time was shortened on the Del Mar Polytrack by nearly an hour Thursday morning after a horse working on the track slammed into the safety rail at the eighth pole and tore up part of it.
Permits in place, Golden Gate Fields plans to begin construction of its new Tapeta Footings racing surface July 23, track general manager Robert Hartman said.
Santa Anita Park announced July 12 that long-time track superintendent Steve Wood will leave his position at the Arcadia, Calif., track affective July 15 in order to devote more time to his other industry obligations.
TVG will kick off the 2007 season at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club with live on-site coverage beginning July 18. TVG will broadcast live from Del Mar throughout the meet's opening week and every weekend, Friday through Sunday, until the season's conclusion Sept. 5. Special programming will include live editions of some of TVG's most popular shows and exclusive airings of several of the summer's premier Thoroughbred races.
Del Mar plans to fine tune its entry procedure this summer but maintain the same routine for scratches during its 43-day shore racing season that is off and running on July 18.
Nominations close June 1 for Del Mar's two premier stakes for 2-year-olds, the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for fillies and the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I).
- By Mark Popham
Martin Collins, the creator of the Polytrack artificial surface, admitted to having faced problems in North America in an interview with a British monthly racing magazine.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will serve up its richest and most prestigious stakes schedule ever during a 43-day stand between July 18 and Sept. 5. Just as it did last summer, the seaside gem will feature 30 major stakes events but they will be worth a record total of $7.25 million.
Longtime California breeder Peter Whiting died March 20 of cancer in Fort Bragg, Calif. The English native, who moved to the U.S. in 1948, was 76.
C.P. (Mac) McBride has been named Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's director of media.
Del Mar officially broke ground Jan. 31 for the installation of a Polytrack surface, which will replace the main dirt track of the Southern California oval.
The California Coastal Commission has approved plans by Del Mar to replace its dirt surface with a synthetic Polytrack, track officials said.
California, which has the highest number of graded stakes of any racing state, will have four new grade I races in 2007, as a result of a meeting Nov. 30 of the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Increased distribution along with the convenience of telephone or Internet betting resulted in double-digit increases of advance deposit wagering handle in 2003-2005. Del Mar reported a 24% increase one year ago, which makes this year's 7% drop all the more puzzling -- and alarming.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club gained unanimous approval Sept. 12 to install an $8 million synthetic surface from the board of directors of the agricultural district that oversees the seaside track.
Clair W. Burgener, who served on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club board of directors starting in 1986, died Sept. 9 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Del Mar officials said the second half of the Southern California racetrack's 43-day meet helped offset on-track declines caused by unusual heat and humidity early in the season.
Horse Greeley, a homebred son of Mr. Greeley, charged to the lead coming out of the turn and won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) on closing day Wednesday at the seaside Southern California track.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since the conclusion of the spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park July 16, was given clearance to resume exercising horses Sept. 7 after meeting with Del Mar stewards the morning of Sept. 6.
Trainer Murray Johnson reported Sunday that his father, Geoffrey, is recovering well at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas following a heart attack on Friday afternoon at the Del Mar racetrack.
Jockey Corey Nakatani, hospitalized with a virus infection since Tuesday, was reported to be in much better condition Friday morning by his agent.
The Southern California Thoroughbred Racetrack Chaplaincy will host its annual picnic for the backstretch employees Aug. 15 at Del Mar.
TVG will make their isolated camera feeds and race replays available to Del Mar track stewards each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through the end of the season, Tony Allevato, network executive producer announced Aug. 4.
New Joysey Jeff, who finished third in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar's opening day program July 19, suffered fractured sesamoids in his left front leg while working on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course Monday morning, and was euthanized.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said he was informed by the California Horse Racing Board that one of the horses in his care, Robs Coin, tested positive for a prohibited amount of the anesthetic mepivacaine, and that he is awaiting the results of split-sample tests.
Brother Derek, fourth-place dead heater in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), continued his forward training with a bullet :47 2/5 clocking for a half-mile Thursday morning on the main track.
Journeyman Brice Blanc, a French-bred rider who found success on the Southern California circuit for nearly 10 years, has returned to ride for the rest of the Del Mar meet.
Del Mar track management held an informal meeting the morning of July 22 to address the spike in injuries and fatal breakdowns during the first days of the seaside oval's summer season.
Multi-millionaire Giacomo, winner of the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), takes the spotlight in Saturday's co-featured grade II, $300,000 San Diego Handicap in a field of older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Del Mar.
California stewards issued a unanimous decision July 5 that Intercontinental, official winner of the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last September, "did not gain an unfair advantage when it raced with a late treatment of pre-race bleeder medication."
The owners of champion mare Intercontinental and those who ran behind her in last September's $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar argued in front of three California stewards June 5 whether the winner's share of the Palomar purse should be redistributed.
A bill that would require major racetracks in California to install a polymer synthetic type-racing surface by the end of 2007 sailed through the State Senate on May 11.
Del Mar's richest and deepest stakes program will feature 30 races worth $7,150,000 during its 67th summer racing season from July 19-Sept. 6.
Veterinarian Amy Lee Nevens has been fined $750 by the California Horse Racing Board for falsely reporting when she administered a Salix shot last September at Del Mar.
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