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Older Female Eclipse Award: Zenyatta

Older Female Eclipse Award: Zenyatta

If you enjoy the suspense that can come with the selction of Eclipse Award winners, just skip right past the category of older female, dominated by Zenyatta the same way she has ruled the racetrack, dispatching foes with unfailing consistency.

And They're Off: Dec 3 (Video)

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And They're Off: Dec 3 (Video)

Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week, Shulman and Haskin review Thanksgiving week racing (who was the most impressive), continue the Eclipse Awards discussions, evaluate the grading of stakes races and more! Plus, Stable Boy is back from vacation.

Breeders' Cup TV Ratings Rise Slightly

Breeders' Cup TV Ratings Rise Slightly

ABC/ESPN reports that television ratings for its Oct. 24-25 telecasts of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park rose slightly from 2007 figures. However, ratings remain far below those posted by NBC before ABC/ESPN took over the event in 2006.

Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro Euthanized

Barbaro, who thrilled racing fans with his sublime victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and captivated many millions more worldwide with his gut-wrenching fight for life after suffering a catastrophic breakdown in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), was euthanized Jan. 29.

New York Mutuel Clerks Ratify New Pact

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union of New York, division of mutuel employees, Local 3, has overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the New York Racing Association, averting a possible work stoppage or sickout on Belmont Stakes day June 11.

Belmont Starters Face New Security Protocol

Under the new raceday security protocol in effect at Belmont Park, all starters for the 137th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) must be on the Belmont backstretch no later than noon Friday. At that time, security officers will be in place to watch each entrant.

Pickle Heads Yerba Buena BC Line-Up

Pickle, who won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park by a nose on April 23, stands out among the eight fillies and mares set to start in the $100,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

Jockey Guidry Takes Long Way Home

Jockey Mark Guidry took the overland route to get back to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Forget about going seven-wide on the final turn, Guidry went about 2,000 miles out of his way to find the mount that would bring him back to Louisville the first Saturday in May.

Pickle Squeezes Out Wilshire Win

Northern California invader Pickle was in deep trouble with jockey Jon Court when graded stakes winner Makeup Artist found room to rally in deep stretch, but the British-bred filly made it to the wire just in time to win the $109,600 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.

2004 Eclipse Older Female: Azeri

Hers is a familiar name in these pages, and her star has not diminished over time. Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and champion older mare in 2002 and 2003, has now made it a three-peat in that category. The 2004 Eclipse puts North America's all-time leading money earner for fillies and mares on her own plateau--ahead of Paseana (1992, 1993), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), and Susan's Girl (1973, 1975), the only other two-time Eclipse Award-winning older mares.

Putting the Legs in Legacy

By Lenny Shulman -- For the past few years, Michael Paulson has been busy watching a reality show on TV in his Las Vegas home. His tastes don't necessarily run to "Survivor," "American Idol," or the other garbage that passes for entertainment in the 21st century. Paulson's viewing has been taken up by a horse--Azeri--whom he's watched race by race, frame by frame; remote in one hand, stopwatch in the other.

Summer Wind

By Lenny Shulman -- As the Thoroughbred tribe dispersed from its heady gathering at Belmont Park June 5, still flush with more media coverage than it could have dreamed, the question in everyone's head became, "How do we keep this tidal wave of interest going?"

Equine Retirement Programs

It is horse racing's dirty little secret--the big black truck that regularly rolls along the backstretch of tracks large and small, and behind sales rings, picking up the cripples, the too-slow, and horses just plain not wanted by their owners anymore.

Energetic Azeri Jogs for Lukas at Santa Anita

Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, arrived at D. Wayne Lukas' Santa Anita barn Dec. 28 to begin training toward a 2004 campaign. "She showed a lot of energy, so she went to the track and jogged lightly with the pony this morning," the Hall of Fame trainer said Monday.

Trainer Lukas: He's Seen Them All

This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup, and only one trainer has saddled horses in each rendition of racing's biggest day. D. Wayne Lukas, in addition to his vast success in Triple Crown events, is by far the winningest Breeders' Cup conditioner.

Miracles

By Lenny Shulman -- Remember the good old days when only injuries kept horses from running in the Breeders' Cup?

How Not to Lose the Derby

By Lenny Shulman -- It's the most elusive of longshots: out of some 36,000 Thoroughbred foals born each year, just one gets to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Sprint Preview: Speed Thrills

The contest to determine the world's fastest Thoroughbred will feature approximately a dozen speedsters from all types of backgrounds. In addition, the NAPA Auto Parts Sprint (gr. I) will mark the only Breeders' Cup race featuring a "War of the Sexes." As many as three fillies and mares--Kalookan Queen, Carson Hollow, and Xtra Heat, will take on the boys to see which gender will prevail over six furlongs.

The Next Jump

By Lenny Shulman -- Not satisfied with being a champion amateur steeplechase rider in both the United States and Great Britain, a feat no one else has approached, George Sloan desperately sought to popularize his sport by putting it before the American public.

Juvenile Preview: Just a Hunch

If ever there was a hunch bet going into a race, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27 in New York boasts one of the great ones of all time. With policemen and firefighters being hailed as heroes in the wake of the terrorist attack on the city's World Trade Center, what better play could there be than Officer?

Handicapped

By Lenny Shulman -- How can you build a fan base for a sport whose athletes retire before their prime?

Scramble on For Compromise in California

As an Aug. 31 deadline for legislative action neared, proponents of account wagering in California were busy trying to hammer out a compromise with union officials. Account wagering and the unionization of backstretch employees are linked through two separate pieces of legislation.

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