The first wave of up to 30 American mares booked to Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Raven's Pass is scheduled to reach Ireland on Dec. 20, with two other groups slated to begin quarantine soon prior to their trips.
Even as Deep Impact continued to set a lively pace with many of his foals selling strongly during the final session of the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale on July 16, a hard reality emerged from beneath the flashy headlines.
The electric popularity of Japanese Triple Crown winner and two-time Horse of the Year Deep Impact generated enough voltage on July 15 to lift the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale out of what could have been a dark malaise induced by the nation's sputtering economy.
Spurred to take action by a troubled economy and the need for more investment in horse racing, leaders of the sport in Japan are seriously discussing opening up the world's most lucrative racing program to foreign-based owners.
Casino Drive, the Japanese-trained colt whose bruised foot prevented him from trying to follow in the hoofprints of his two Belmont Stakes (gr. I)-winning siblings, has entered quarantine in Japan as the first step to returning to the United States.
Even before the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale hummed into action on July 14 with the sing-song chant of the auctioneer, a new era in the Japanese bloodstock market had officially begun.
Local South Australian trainer Leon Macdonald, an astute judge of horse flesh, paid top price of $160,000 for a filly by Coolmore shuttler Galileo at the Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Connections of Spring At Last, a convincing winner of the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I), have decided to bypass the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 and aim instead for the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.
Zayat Stables' Massive Drama, third in two graded stakes in California this year, will detour off the traditional Triple Crown trail to take on a tough group of older Southern Hemisphere-breds in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.
Horse of the Year Curlin arrived in Dubai the evening of Feb. 17 with "pep in his step," in the words of assistant trainer Scott Blasi, and seems eager to begin an assault on Cigar's all-time earnings record with two starts at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse topped by the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.
Argentine classic winner Joe Louis surged past a tiring Premium Tap and won Saudi Arabia's most prestigious race, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, for Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer on Feb. 15 at Al Janadriah racecourse.
Describing the condition of probable Horse of the Year Curlin as "perfect," trainer Steve Asmussen has tentatively set Sunday for the colt's first timed workout since winning the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Only 114 days following the discovery of equine influenza (EI) at Centennial Park in Sydney, Australia, 66 sale horses from New South Wales will make the journey across the Murray River into Victoria on Monday.
Nearly four months to the day after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley Japan operation earned a rare license to compete on the exclusive Japan Racing Association circuit, the privilege was lost at the end of November.
A partnership assembled by bloodstock agent Ben McElroy has purchased grade I winner Gun Salute and intends to send the 5-year-old son of Military to compete in the 2008 Dubai International Racing Carnival.
West Point Thoroughbreds has decided to point grade II winner Awesome Gem, who finished third in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), toward next year's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE- I).
Making his second start in Saudi Arabia since a game runner-up effort to Invasor in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Premium Tap crushed 16 rivals Nov. 2 in the 2,000-meter Ministry of Culture and Information Cup at Al Janadriah racecourse, winning by seven lengths in 2:01.66.
With containment having failed, the Australian government announced Sept. 17 that vaccinations will be made available to help stem the spread of the equine influenza outbreak.
Commercial breeder Rob Whiteley has horses to sell at the September sale and is awaiting feedback on a sale booklet he authored.
Hat Trick, a champion son of Sunday Silence, will stand at Walmac Farm near Lexington, Ky., in 2008. He ran a mile in Japan in 1:32.10.
A squadron of bold new buyers in the middle market lifted up the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale, keeping the foal portion nearly on pace with last year's scorching record results even though there were fewer players competing for the most expensive horses.
Firing bids like a machine gun, Riichi Kondo continued his aggressive buying spree at the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale on Tuesday, grabbing another half brother to his multiple group I winner Admire Moon for a session-topping 300 million yen ($2,631,578).
Katsumi Yoshida knew he had some outstanding yearlings in his Northern Farm consignment but even he was surprised when a French Deputy colt established a Japanese record during Monday's session of the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale.
Churchill Downs Inc.'s Arlington Park apparently is poised to announce that it has chosen Polytrack for its new synthetic surface, preparations for which already are well underway at the Chicago-area track.
American champion sprinter Thor's Echo has settled in to his new accommodations at Zabeel Stables in Dubai, where trainer Satish Seemar is developing a plan of attack on the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31.
Godolphin Stable's Discreet Cat has been nominated to three races on the March 31 Dubai World Cup program, including the Dubai Golden Shaheen UAE-I), Godolphin Mile (UAE-I), and the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Great expectations are hovering over Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact as he prepares for his first season at stud, with Shadai Stallion Station officials hoping he will help ignite global interest in Japanese-bred horses.
Sheikh Rashid, who campaigned dual grade I winner Henny Hughes last year and has said he hopes to become the world's leading owner, has completed extended negotiations to purchase potential champion sprinter Thor's Echo.
An ownership change may be in the works for multiple grade I winner Premium Tap, who is being pointed toward the 2007 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
A suggestion from Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella that rules for claiming races be changed to protect against horses with physical problems being passed along as "hot potatoes" to someone else appears to be taking root.
Officials representing virtually every major racing country around the world with pari-mutuel betting have taken the first step toward creating huge pools through international commingling that could revolutionize the sport.
Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. 1) runner-up Henny Hughes has resumed training in Dubai but has missed so much time following his travel from the United States that it is not clear when he will return to racing.
WinStar Farm's homebred Well Armed burst down the stretch at Nad al Sheba racecourse in Dubai Thursday to win his first start as a 3-year-old in a campaign that ultimately is aiming for the May 6 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
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