Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. This week we have a full slate of stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, a Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep at Aqueduct Racetrack, and more.
We understand the reasoning behind the bundling of "big days." Tracks can charge a premium for their simulcast signal on those days while increasing handle: That's the main driver--but has the pendulum swung too far?
The Barking Shark, a West Coast fan favorite who finished second in seven stakes, two grade 1s, died earlier this year of colic at the Glen Ellen Vocational Academy in California. The gelding by Naevus was 24.
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line, runner-up to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been retired from racing. A stud deal has not yet been arranged.
Sunland Park has effectively canceled this year's editions of the Sunland Derby (gr. III) and the Sunland Park Oaks, both significant points races for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Oaklawn Park has banned from its grounds all horses from New Mexico and Arizona because of the recent equine herpesvirus outbreaks in those states, Oaklawn director of Racing David Longinotti announced Jan. 28.
The 2015-16 meet at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino got off to a good start, but it was sidetracked Dec. 27 when live racing was canceled because of a winter storm that dumped more than nine inches of snow on the area.