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New York Adopts VLT, Casino Legislation

Officials in New York gave final approval early this morning to a historic gambling package giving most racetracks video lottery terminals, allowing up to six Indian-owned casinos in Western New York and the Catskills and expanding the state's lottery offerings.

Diana Upset Caps Record Day For Velazquez

Although John Velazquez lost the Saratoga jockeys' race to Jerry Bailey, the jockey rode into the record books Monday when he rode six winners, highlighted by an upset victory aboard Starine in the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. I).

Blazing Fury, Balto Star Post Turf Wins at Saratoga

Blazing Fury's impressive late run gave him a decisive 4 3/4-length victory over Fast City on Sunday in the $112,500 Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga. Earlier on the card, Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Turfway Spiral Stakes (gr. II) winner Balto Star returned from a three-month layoff to win his turf racing debut.

Came Home Ships In and Wins Hopeful

Trainer Juan "Paco" Gonzalez shipped Came Home to Saratoga to avoid running against Officer and the gambit proved successful Saturday when Came Home drew off to a two-length victory in the $200,000 Hopeful Stakes. The winning time of 1:21.94 marks the fastest running of the Hopeful at its present distance of seven furlongs.

Travers Report: Glory Train

Beads of sweat trickled down the face of Prince Ahmed Salman as he entered the winner's circle to await his conquering hero. He was so overwhelmed by what he had just witnessed, even the roar of 60,486 appreciative fans, the largest crowd in Saratoga history, was drowned out by the beating of his own heart.

Shine Again, Jerkens Hit 'Home Run' With 21-1 Ballerina Score

Though trainer Allen Jerkens may not like his "Giant Killer" nickname, the moniker is unlikely to go away as long as he keeps sending out high-priced winners in high-class races. Jerkens struck again Sunday when jockey Jean-Luc Samyn guided Shine Again through a gap along the rail at the top of the stretch and held off a late run from Country Hideaway to win Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.

Grade I Winner Victory Ride Suffers Fracture

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Victory Ride was vanned off the Saratoga track Saturday after being pulled up during a morning work. The 3-year-old daughter of Seeking the Gold, who won the July 28 Test Stakes (gr. I) in her most recent start, suffered a condylar fracture of her right front leg.

Alabama Is Test For Top Fillies

The grade I Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies is worth far more than its $750,000 purse. A win by Juddmonte Farm's Flute would put her at the top of her class and provide her with strong hold on the divisional championship.

Editor's Note Colt Beats $4.2-Million Saratoga Sale Topper at Spa

Last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale topper, a Seattle Slew colt named Distinction purchased for $4.2 million by Californian David Shimmon, was soundly beaten in his second career start, a six-furlong maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds at Saratoga on Thursday. The winner of the race was first-time starter Coach Knight, an Anthony Dutrow-trained son of Editor's Note who was a $75,000 purchase at an Ocala Breeders' Sales Company 2-year-old sale this March.

Lunch Specials at the Spa

Leonard Leveen will never forget what his trainer said to him a decade ago when he wanted sell one of his racing fillies.
"I raced a mare and when she retired, I wanted to sell her. But my trainer said I wouldn't get a ham sandwich for her."

Blue Skies?

By Ray Paulick -- The three nights of horse trading that took place at the Saratoga yearling sale were electrifying.

It's You in Adirondack

After matching Cashier's Dream in the early going, it was all You in the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. You covered the 6 1/2 furlong distance in 1:15.16 -- the fastest time for the Adirondack since the distance was changed to 6 1/2 furlongs in 1994. Cashier's Dream, the 3-5 favorite, was a neck back in second, with Magic Storm trailing the two speedsters 15 1/4-lengths farther back in third.

Chavez 'Day-To-Day' After Friday Spill

Jorge Chavez was tossed from Manorwood Stables' Whataboutus prior to the first race at Saratoga Friday, then rode the 2-year-old Clever Trick filly to a 2 1/4-length victory before taking off the rest of his mounts on the day. Chavez took off is Saturday mounts as well but may ride Sunday, according to his agent, Richard dePass.

Irving's Baby Routs Glens Falls Field

With all but four of the 10 entrants scratching when Saratoga's $106,700 Glens Falls Handicap got taken off the turf and put on the muddy main track, favorite Irving's Baby proved much the best, scoring her second consecutive stakes win Friday. Irving's Baby covered the 11 furlongs in 2:07.56 after leading gate to wire.

Secret Status Captures Muddy Allowance

Secret Status, who banged her head in the starting gate and had to be scratched from the July 29 Go For Wand (gr. I), returned to the track with a vengeance Friday, capturing a 1 1/8-mile allowance contest over four foes and a muddy Saratoga surface. The daughter of A.P. Indy will now be pointed for the Aug. 24 10-furlong Personal Ensign (gr. I).

Saratoga Auction Raises $350,000 for TRF

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An auction held this week in Saratoga has raised better than $350,000 for the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund, which provides for the welfare of ex-racehorses. The auction-topper was a bid of $97,000 from John Oxley, owner of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, for a stallion season to Ashford stallion Thunder Gulch.

Lightning Strikes as Fasig-Tipton Sale Hits Record Heights

As the first horse entered the ring for the final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale Thursday evening, the power went out. Auxiliary generators quickly restored the blacked-out conditions to the sales pavilion, but it was four big-priced horses in the ring as the evening progressed that knocked the lights out of all previous sale records for gross and average.

John's Call Looks To Repeat In Sword Dancer

In the 27-year history of Saturday's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT)), only two horses have won in back-to-back years. John's Call will try to join the ranks of Majesty Prince and El Senor and become the third to take Saratoga's lone grade I turf event in consecutive seasons.

NYRA: VLTs OK at Aqueduct and Belmont

The New York Racing Association board of trustees on Wednesday announced it would support the introduction of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct and Belmont Park under conditions that would "further the racing industry in New York state." Saratoga, located in upstate New York, is not in the mix.

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