It's hard to imagine this year's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) could top the 2005 running when the speedy Commentator held off a surging future Horse of the Year in Saint Liam.
Twelve 3-year-olds will square off Sunday afternoon in what appears to be a wide-open renewal of the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
Deputy Glitters, High Cotton, and Flashy Bull, the top three finishers, respectively, in the Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown, and the lightly raced but impressive Bright One are among the 59 nominees for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort on Aug. 6.
Last at the top of the stretch, Seek Gold closed from out of the clouds to steal the $844,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) from Perfect Drift at the wire at odds of 91-1 at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Buzzards Bay, authoritative winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in his last start more than two months ago, takes on grade I winners Brass Hat and Perfect Drift in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Fred Bradley's Brass Hat and Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, the local stars that could be the favorites for Saturday's 25th running of the $750,0000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, turned in their final major pre-race preps on Tuesday with training moves at Trackside Louisville training center.
The Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) lost a major contender when trainer Todd Pletcher said that Elisabeth Alexander's Magna Graduate would miss the June 17 race after suffering an injury during a Sunday workout at Churchill Downs.
Making his first start in North America, Shadwell Stable's Invasor pulled off a mild upset over favorite Wanderin Boy in the $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 19 before 24,429 at Old Hilltop. Invasor got the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.40.
A horse that had displayed symptoms of equine herpes virus has tested negative for the disease, resulting in the lifting of an embargo imposed by two West Virginia tracks on the Ohio farm where the horse was kept.
Trainer Nick Zito shoots for an unprecedented third win in the reinstated $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) when he saddles Wanderin Boy for the 40th running at Pimlico Race Course Friday.
Looking for his first win in 18 months, Funny Cide gave a gritty effort in Saturday's $151,900 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) but couldn't hold off the surging West Virginia, who registered a mild surprise on the Aqueduct main track.
Old favorites Funny Cide and Evening Attire need top efforts to have an impact in an evenly matched 94th running of the $200,000-added Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Aqueduct.
Legislation that would expand the West Virginia Racing Commission from three to five members and create the oversight position of a director of racing appointed by the governor has been introduced in the House of Delegates and sent to the House Committee on Government Organization.
Declines in national purses and handle coupled with continued strength in the auction sales markets and in regional breeding markets highlight statistics contained in the Jockey Club's 2006 Online Fact Book, which was released today on the organization's website.
Family Calling, a stakes-winning son of Mr. Prospector, has been purchased by Stephen Glessner and relocated to Blue Spruce Farm near Charles Town, W.Va.
West Virginia lawmakers are considering two bills--one that would prohibit account wagering, and another that would authorize county referendums on the addition of casino-style games at Thoroughbred and Greyhound racetracks.
The president and vice president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have resigned, and a West Virginia owner/breeder who headed the organization when video lottery terminals were introduced in the mid-1990s has again taken over as president.
As surrounding states took steps to protect their racetracks from Maryland horses that could be carriers of equine herpesvirus, officials and horsemen in Maryland dealt with the fallout.
Brass Hat, making only his third start after a 13-month layoff, took a commanding 2 1/2-length victory in the $435,600 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
A balanced field of eight, half of them graded stakes winners, was entered for Saturday's 81st running of the $400,000-added grade II New Orleans Handicap, the marquee race of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort has increased its on-track catastrophic injury coverage for jockeys from $100,000 to $1 million through Dec. 17, 2006.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort has canceled live racing for the evening of Dec. 13, the third consecutive day all or part of a program has been scrapped.
Pacesetting Philanthropist, passed in the stretch by two rivals, surged onward under strong left-handed urging from Eibar Coa to win the $105,400 Queen's County Handicap (gr. III) in his stakes debut at Aqueduct Saturday.
The venerable Evening Attire shoots for his ninth stakes win in Saturday's $100,000-added Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Evening Attire returned to his favorite strip at Aqueduct to put an end to his nine race losing streak, grinding out a neck victory over West Virginia in the $108,600 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
Trainer Pat Kelly would love to get his 7-year-old gelding Evening Attire, with just one win in his last 17 races, back to the winner's circle. With only five opponents to beat in Saturday's $100,000-added Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct, he should have every chance.
Hardwicke Stable's Spite the Devil wore down Organizer inside the final furlong to win the $250,000 Empire Classic Handicap for New York breds Saturday for the second year in a row at Belmont Park.
A Huevo, a 9-year-old gelding owned by Mark Hopkins and winner of the 2003 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) was euthanized after being pulled up soon after the start and vanned off following the West Virginia Breeders' Classic Stakes the evening of Oct. 8. The son of Cool Joe had been the 1-2 favorite in the nine-furlong race at Charles Town Races and Slots.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced its support Sept. 16 for a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow for casino gambling at licensed racetracks. But details of the plan won't be in the form of legislation until Jan. 1, 2006, and officials admitted the final document will be subject to revision.
West Virginia surged to the lead with less than a furlong to go and held on to defeat 65-1 outsider Zoffinger in the $190,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at Monmouth Park. The winner, ridden by Jose Velez Jr., survived an objection for drifting out into the path of the runner-up.
Bob Baffert switched signals again Monday morning, working probable Travers Stakes (gr. I) favorite Roman Ruler under sunny skies at Saratoga.
Real Dandy, who has spent the better part of this year cashing checks against some of the top 3-year-olds in the country, finally broke through--in a $750,000 race--when he went from last to first to win Sunday's grade III West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort.
Favoritism could be up for grabs when the horses make their way onto the track Sunday for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III), which proved so popular this year there are four also-eligible horses listed on the overnight.
With two days before entries are drawn, a field of 10-12 seemed possible for Sunday's $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III), one of nine stakes on an all-stakes program at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort that will rank as the richest day of racing in the history of the state.
Eleanor M. Casey, matriarch of one of West Virginia's most successful racing families, died July 28 after an accident at Charles Town racetrack.
Keep the Faith, a 5-year-old horse from Australia, set a North American record and shattered the Widener Turf Course record by winning the 6-furlong seventh race in 1:06.82 on closing day of the Belmont Park spring meeting Sunday.
The latest condition book at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort reflects a 20% reduction in purses primarily brought about by the shift of some video lottery terminal revenue to the state to fix its workers' compensation system.
The former president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is calling for a special election in the wake of what he calls repeated attempts by the current president and board of directors to discredit him and his wife.
The Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said legal proceedings against its former president, Dick Watson, have concluded.
Thoroughbred interests in West Virginia are hopeful lawmakers will correct action that took revenue for a proposed breed development program at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort and shifted half of it to an incentive program for racing Greyhounds.
An additional $200,000 has been applied to the 2005 purse structure of the West Virginia Breeders' Classics making the amount available for purses $1.44 million.
A West Virginia legislator whose district includes Charles Town Races & Slots is advocating a plan to enlarge the racing surface and, if necessary, renovate dilapidated Shenandoah Downs and race there during the down time--or perhaps permanently.
West Virginia's four racetracks moved a stepped closer to becoming full-scale casinos March 28 when the state Senate approved legislation to legalize table games at the facilities.
Legislation endorsed by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would allow casino-style table games at the four racetracks in the state, but the panel also doubled the state tax on the games from 12% to 24%.
The beneficial effect that alternative gaming at racetracks has on state Thoroughbred industries was affirmed again in 2004, according to statistics contained in The Jockey Club's 2005 Online Fact Book.
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
The Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association announced Jan. 7 it has signed a new contract with Penn National Gaming Inc., owner of Charles Town Races & Slots, which increases the number of live racing dates per year.
Black Tie Affair, 1991 Horse of the Year, has been relocated to the Funkhouser family's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va., where he will stand for $7,500 live foal.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort will offer a beefed-up stakes schedule in 2005 that includes a purse hike for the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) and the addition of stakes for 2-year-olds.
Housebuster, a two-time champion sprinter who stood the past breeding season at Blue Ridge Farm near Upperville, Va., will stand at the Funkhouser family's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va.
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