Another Kentucky Derby prep is off - for now. The Santa Anita Derby, the West Coast's major prep for the Kentucky Derby, was to be run Saturday. Track officials say they are continuing to have “constructive” talks with the health department and county Supervisor Kathryn Barger and her staff about the possibility of resuming live racing.
Posted: March 31, 2020, 9:33 pm
The final deadline to nominate horses for the Triple Crown series is being extended indefinitely because of the coronavirus. The extension was agreed upon by officials at Churchill Downs, Maryland Jockey Club and New York Racing Association. The Kentucky Derby has been pushed back from May 2 to Sept. 5.
Posted: March 29, 2020, 9:17 pm
If there is a Kentucky Derby this year, Tiz the Law will have a shot to be there. Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch Saturday to easily win the Florida Derby, wrapping up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law's win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.
Posted: March 29, 2020, 12:09 am
Santa Anita immediately canceled live racing Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic after instructions from the Los Angeles County Health Department. The track in Arcadia, California, was preparing to stage eight races when the cancellation was announced about 30 minutes before the first race. As a result, the Santa Anita Derby scheduled for April 4 has been postponed.
Posted: March 28, 2020, 7:21 pm
Jack Knowlton has a condo about a mile away from the finish line at Gulfstream Park. The 69th running of the Florida Derby is Saturday, and it will be like none other - no fans in the stands, no owners allowed at the track, no bets being placed on site. The coronavirus pandemic forced massive changes in the interest of health and safety to what is typically the signature day on Gulfstream’s annual calendar, but the race is still set to go on as scheduled.
Posted: March 28, 2020, 7:15 pm
Tiger Roll will have his chance to become the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals -- in a computer-simulated version of the race next week. Tiger Roll, winner in 2018 and 2019, had been due to seek an unprecedented third consecutive success. A field of 40 runners who would have been most likely to line up in the real race will take part.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 4:53 pm
An executive with the company that owns Santa Anita urged the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to continue live racing despite a statewide stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Santa Anita in Arcadia, outside Los Angeles, and Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay area are among a handful of U.S. tracks continuing to race without fans. Horses need exercise,'' Aidan Butler, acting executive director of California racing operations for Stronach, told the board during its monthly meeting held via conference call.
Posted: March 26, 2020, 10:31 pm
The Florida Derby is set to have a full field and empty stands. A field of 12 has been entered for Saturday's Florida Derby, typically one of the biggest Kentucky Derby prep races and serves as the crown jewel of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Tiz the Law, a winner of three of his four career starts including the Holy Bull at Gulfstream last month, was installed as the 6-5 favorite at Wednesday's race draw.
Posted: March 25, 2020, 7:13 pm
British champion jump jockey Richard Johnson said Brian Hughes would be a deserving winner of this season's crown after his hopes of catching his title rival were dashed by the coronavirus shutdown. Four-time defending champion Johnson had made a speedy return from a broken arm to try and overhaul Hughes but the British Horseracing Authority's (BHA's) decision to suspend the season until the end of April has ended his hopes. Johnson tweeted that Hughes deserved the title.
Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:35 pm
Racing's 'Dubai World Cup' has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus, organizers said on Sunday.
Posted: March 22, 2020, 3:39 pm
As Wells Bayou completed a wire-to-wire victory in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, there was hardly a cheer to be heard - other than the isolated triumphant shouts of trainer Brad Cox and his stable crew. In the 107th running of the qualifying points race for the Kentucky Derby, the clubhouse and grandstand at Fair Grounds Race Course were empty and eerily quiet because of crowd restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Winning jockey Florent Geroux had noted the bizarre scene during earlier races on what is normally the busiest day of the year at the Fair Grounds, drawing crowds approaching 10,000.
Posted: March 22, 2020, 3:38 am
Horse racing is quickly learning it is not totally immune to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on other sports, and now it's grappling with the risks of continuing operations. The Louisiana Derby for now is still set for Saturday, the world's richest day of races is scheduled to go on in late March in Dubai and several tracks across the U.S. and worldwide remain open.
Posted: March 20, 2020, 8:10 pm
It's arguably more popular in Australia than any other country, so it's no surprise that horse racing is continuing - minus the spectators - despite the increasing travel and other restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The multi-billion dollar racing industry employs 250,000 part- and full-time workers in Australia, where there are more than 360 thoroughbred tracks. Australia boasts some of the world's richest races.
Posted: March 19, 2020, 9:20 am
British horse racing is preparing itself for tough times ahead after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered racecourses, putting jobs at risk and leaving the industry in limbo. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Tuesday the sport would be suspended until the end of April. Racing has faced severe crises before, notably during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, but COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge.
Posted: March 19, 2020, 3:01 am
The Great Depression and World War I and World War II didn't stop the Kentucky Derby, a race that has been run without interruption since it began in 1875. Churchill Downs postponed the opening leg of the Triple Crown from May 2 to Sept. 5, due to concern over the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc with the world's sports calendar. ''At no point did we ever consider canceling the Kentucky Derby,'' said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc.
Posted: March 18, 2020, 6:09 am
Change does not come easily to the Kentucky Derby. Fans sip mint juleps, don fancy hats and dress clothes and sing to the melancholy strains of "My Old Kentucky Home" as the thoroughbreds step onto the track on the first Saturday in May. It has always made the Derby as much a piece of Americana as a horse race. Churchill Downs postponed the Derby until September, the latest rite of spring in sports to be struck by the new coronavirus along with the Masters, March Madness and baseball season.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 7:13 pm
This year's Kentucky Derby has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, race organisers confirmed on Tuesday. Traditionally held each year on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, this year's race will now take place on September 5. Churchill Downs chief executive Bill Carstanjen said Tuesday the escalating COVID-19 crisis had left race organisers with no choice but to delay the race.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:50 pm
Horse racing in Britain is to be suspended from Wednesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, the British Horseracing Authority has announced. Tuesday's decision comes a day after the BHA said the sport would continue behind closed doors, initially to the end of March, although April's Grand National was cancelled. "As of tomorrow race meetings will cease up to the end of April," the BHA said in a statement on its website "The decision will be kept under constant review."
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:13 pm
The Dubai World Cup horse race meeting will go ahead on March 28 "without paid hospitality spectators" due to concerns of the new coronavirus outbreak, Dubai Racing Club said in a statement. Spectators have been banned at race meetings this month across the United Arab Emirates, which has recorded 98 cases of the virus. "Only horse connections, racing officials, accredited media and sponsors will be permitted entry" to the Dubai World Cup, the club said on its website.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 7:03 am
The Louisville Courier Journal, citing sources close to the race, and television station WDRB said the race would take place on Sept. 5 instead of May 2 as scheduled. Churchill Downs, which hosts the annual race, is set to hold a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown run at Pimlico on May 16, could also be in jeopardy with the third leg, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, set for June 6.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 3:01 am
At Obihiro racetrack, spectators walk alongside the course as fast as the big beasts they've backed to win, cheering as they go. The Obihiro track is for 'ban'ei keiba', traditional racing featuring giant farmhorses on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. This June, a new attraction is set to grace Obihiro.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 2:51 am
Tiger Roll will be trained to compete for an unprecedented third successive Grand National win despite the cancellation of this year's race, his trainer Gordon Elliott said on Tuesday. Red Rum won the Grand National three times in the 1970s but no horse has won the steeplechase three years in a row. Elliott was upbeat about the 10-year-old Tiger Roll's chances of a return to Aintree in 2021.
Posted: March 17, 2020, 12:45 am
This year's edition of the Grand National steeplechase has been cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Jockey Club said Monday. "Following the Government's new public health guidance regarding avoiding social contact and stopping non-essential travel, and its statement that emergency services are withdrawn from supporting mass gatherings from tomorrow, the Jockey Club has decided that it is no longer appropriate to stage the event," said a statement. Jockey Club Racecourses, which runs Aintree and a number of the UK's leading racecourses, had been looking at the possibility of running the National behind closed doors with minimal staff on site.
Posted: March 16, 2020, 9:57 pm
Racing in Britain is to carry on but behind closed doors, the sport's regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority, said on Monday. Many of the Cheltenham racegoers were Irish, which provoked a social media backlash in Ireland, but racing authorities say they were following British government advice in maintaining the meeting. Meanwhile the BHA shut its central London head quarters earlier on Monday due to "small numbers of office-based BHA staff self-isolating."
Posted: March 16, 2020, 3:01 pm
Drayden Van Dyke hopped off Charlatan after winning the sixth race by 10 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Saturday and celebrated by trading elbow taps in the winner's circle. The jockeys' room has ''hand sanitizer everywhere you look,'' Van Dyke said. Bugler Jay Cohen blew his horn to an empty grandstand, with only trainers, jockeys and those working directly with the horses on hand to hear.
Posted: March 15, 2020, 5:31 pm
Leading trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday that May's 146th Kentucky Derby could be postponed as racing went behind closed doors at California's Santa Anita track for the first time since it opened in 1934 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials at Churchill Downs revealed Saturday that they were considering the "timing" of the showpiece and Baffert -- who has saddled five winners in the "Run for the Roses" -- said that the first leg of US racing's Triple Crown could be pushed back from May 2 to later in the year. "Churchill Downs is saying they're not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I'm hearing may be June or in September," Baffert said after saddling Charlatan to a big win in an allowance race at a deserted Santa Anita.
Posted: March 15, 2020, 6:32 am
Al Boum Photo became the first horse since Best Mate in 2004 to win successive Cheltenham Gold Cups on Friday. The Irish raider, under an inspired ride by Paul Townend, held off Santini and Lostintranslation in a thrilling contest that went ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic. "I never thought I would experience a better feeling than I did last year," said Townend.
Posted: March 13, 2020, 4:30 pm
Al Boum won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday in front of thousands of racegoers as the rest of the world's sporting competitions were shut down by the coronavirus outbreak. Jockey Paul Townend steered 10-3 favorite Al Boum to victory, holding off Santini and Lostintranslation in a thrilling finish to the week's blue-riband race. Some said he was under pressure but Paul does his own thing.
Posted: March 13, 2020, 4:17 pm
Rebecca Curtis's 14-week-old baby daughter Reeva had a memorable first visit to the Cheltenham Festival as her mother trained Lisnagar Oscar to a shock success in the Stayers Hurdle on Thursday. Curtis was ecstatic to be back in the limelight -- after a rocky patch -- and revealed she had returned to work as soon as she could following the birth of Reeva. Curtis had put a stop to dominance by Irish trainers who had won the first three races on the card -- Gordon Elliott won two of them and added the last for good measure to move on to six for the week.
Posted: March 12, 2020, 6:16 pm
In 1972, Meriel Tufnell became the first female rider in Britain to win an official horse race. The Magners Cheltenham Festival, which takes place this week, is the Olympics of Jump Racing. Bryony Frost became the first female to win a Grade 1 (top level) race at The Festival.
Posted: March 12, 2020, 5:15 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Former five-time All-Star baseball player Victor Martinez paid $6,000 to nominate King Guillermo to the Triple Crown series.
Posted: March 11, 2020, 8:19 pm
Gordon Elliott delivered at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday as Ireland's banker for the meeting, Envoi Allen, came home to win the Ballymore Novices Hurdle -- one half of a double for the Irish trainer. Elliott's other winner, Aramax, took the Juvenile Hurdle -- one of four victorious horses on the day to carry the famous silks of owner JP McManus -- but his two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll was beaten in the Cross-Country Chase. Davy Russell bided his time before taking control at the final hurdle, as the 4/7 favourite led home an Irish 1-2-3.
Posted: March 11, 2020, 6:22 pm
War Emblem, the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, died Wednesday at age 21. War Emblem was sold to Prince Ahmed bin Salman's Thoroughbred Corp. and transferred to trainer Bob Baffert after the colt won the Illinois Derby.
Posted: March 11, 2020, 5:51 pm
Tiger Roll ran an encouraging trial ahead of his tilt at winning an unprecedented third Grand National by finishing second in the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday. Tiger Roll had to give second best to the highly impressive French runner Easysland, who was given a brilliant ride by Jonathan Plouganou. Tiger Roll's trainer Gordon Elliott professed himself pleased with his star's performance, who won this race in the past two years on his way to triumphing in the Grand National.
Posted: March 11, 2020, 5:05 pm
Horses at the venerable Southern California track have had enough bad luck recently. A total of 23 horses died in racing or training at Santa Anita in a three-month stretch ending March 31 of last year, and nine more have died during the current racing season that began Dec. 27.
Posted: March 11, 2020, 6:20 am
A report released Tuesday by the California Horse Racing Board on a spate of horse deaths at Santa Anita found that no illegal medications were used on the animals and 39% percent of the 23 fatalities occurred on surfaces affected by wet weather. The fatalities roiled the industry and led track owner The Stronach Group to institute several reforms involving safety and medication. ''There has been a 64% reduction in catastrophic injuries at Santa Anita Park this year, and we have not had a single fatality during racing on our main track for the entirety of this season,'' The Stronach Group said in a statement Tuesday.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 9:34 pm
A crowd of more than 60,000 attended the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, where more wash basins and hand sanitizer stations were in place to help combat the virus outbreak. ''We have been liaising very closely with the government over the last fortnight and listening to them and listening to their advice,'' he said, referring to the coronavirus outbreak that has caused many sporting events to be canceled or take place without fans, ''and they have been extremely helpful in telling us what they believe is the right thing to do. ''They want business to continue as usual in this country and sporting events such as this that take place.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 9:13 pm
Illegal medications did not play a part in the deaths of 23 racehorses at Santa Anita Park but 39% of the fatalities were on track surfaces affected by wet weather, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) said in a report on Tuesday. The agency looked at the fatalities that occurred between Dec. 30 2018 and March 31 2019, which grabbed headlines and raised concern about the safety of horses competing at the famed Southern California track and the ethics of the sport. The investigation, which was conducted by veterinarians, scientists and CHRB staff, found no evidence of any "animal welfare violations".
Posted: March 10, 2020, 8:21 pm
Owner Gary West is removing all of his horses from Jason Servis' barn after the trainer was indicted on multiple counts of administering illegal substances and performance-enhancing drugs. Maximum Security will be transferred to two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 6:38 pm
Nicky Henderson began the Cheltenham Festival on a low note with his star Altior an absentee but the sexagenarian training legend was all smiles a few hours later collecting his eighth Champion Hurdle with the dazzling Epatante. The 69-year-old lost the battle to have Altior fit for a tilt at a third successive victory in Wednesday's Queen Mother Champion Chase. It also propelled the urbane Henderson onto a record 66 Festival winners leap-frogging Irish great Willie Mullins, who drew a blank.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 5:55 pm
The owners of drug-tainted champion racehorse Maximum Security severed ties with trainer Jason Servis on Tuesday over his alleged involvement in a massive doping scandal, a statement said. Owner Gary West said Maximum Security, winner of last month's Saudi Cup in Riyadh, the world's richest horse race, would now be moved to the care of US trainer Bob Baffert. The move came after trainer Servis was charged along with 26 other individuals on Monday for involvement in a wide-ranging horse doping scandal.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 5:24 pm
The owner replaced Servis with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Servis was among the 27 people who were charged on Monday in a wide-ranging scheme to drug horses and cheat bettors in the $100 billion professional horse racing industry.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 4:59 pm
An impressive Epatante justified favouritism to give owner JP McManus a ninth Champion Hurdle on his 69th birthday on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday. The mare stormed clear after the last under Barry Geraghty to hit the bookmakers where it hurts and prevail at 2/1 to become the fifth mare to win the race. For 40-year-old Irishman Geraghty it was a fourth win and for trainer Nicky Henderson a record-extending eighth victory.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 4:13 pm
Two-time victor Altior has lost his tussle to be fit to defend his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown at the Cheltenham Festival, his trainer Nicky Henderson announced on Tuesday. Altior had been found to be lame on Sunday but Henderson had seen a marked improvement on Monday. "Sadly we have had to finally admit defeat with Altior and therefore scratch him from the Champion Chase tomorrow," tweeted Henderson.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 11:56 am
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez shock the world on TikTok, trainer of the near-winner of the Kentucky Derby is charged by the feds in massive horse racing doping scandal, charismatic Jets big man Quinnen Williams gets busted with a gun in his checked bag at LaGuardia, thoughts on staying loyal to your franchise in a down year (we’re talking about you, The Bachelor!) and Women’s History Month isn’t going smoothly for women in the sports world.
Posted: March 10, 2020, 6:27 am
More than two dozen people, including the trainer of champion Maximum Security, were charged in what authorities described Monday as a widespread international scheme to drug horses to make them race faster. Trainer Jason Servis, whose stable includes the 3-year-old champion, was charged with administering performance-enhancing drugs to that horse and others. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first at the 2019 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified for interference and has since won four of his five high-profile races.
Posted: March 9, 2020, 9:04 pm
Some 27 racehorse trainers, veterinarians and support staff have been charged with running an elaborate horse doping ring described as the largest ever to be prosecuted in the United States, federal justice officials said on Monday. A US Justice Department statement said the accused -- which included top trainer Jason Servis, the handler of champion horse Maximum Security -- had been involved in a corrupt scheme designed to cheat gamblers and plunder profits from the $100 billion racing industry. An indictment said Servis -- whose Maximum Security finished first in the Kentucky Derby last year only to later be disqualified for interference -- had administered performance-enhancing drugs to "virtually all the racehorses under his control".
Posted: March 9, 2020, 6:08 pm
The Breeders' Cup will cap attendance at 45,000 for its two-day world championships at Keeneland in November. Keeneland hosted for the first time in 2015, with 44,947 attending on Friday and 50,155 on Saturday. It won't be the first time attendance has been limited.
Posted: March 9, 2020, 5:57 pm