Belmont

Castellano: ‘Toughest Challenge I’ve Faced In My Life’

For Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, the hard part of having the coronavirus has not been the physical effects. Relatively young at 42 years old and in peak physical condition, Castellano said he feels "great" and considers himself to be "very lucky and very fortunate." But that doesn't mean the coronavirus didn't beat him up, just in other ways. Castellano said Tuesday that the mental toll COVID-19 took on him was substantial and the hardest part of his ordeal. "This has been one of toughest challenges I have faced...

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NYRA Suspends Racing Through Apr. 5; Wood Postponed

The New York Racing Association has officially suspended live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack through at least Apr. 5 due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. As a result, the GII Wood Memorial S., previously slated for Apr. 4 at Aqueduct, has been postponed to a date yet to be determined. A decision regarding the other Apr. 4 stakes, including the GI Carter H., will also be made at a later date. "While this decision is necessary, NYRA is working hard to determine when we can...

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BCCA Seeks Donations

The Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA), which operates a childcare and early-childhood education facility at Belmont Park for backstretch families, needs supplies for infants and toddlers. The BCCA provides vital support to those who work in Thoroughbred racing, but Mar. 17 they closed their facility, called Anna House, consistent with Nassau County's decision to close public schools to help limit the spread of coronavirus. "Anna House has been an integral part of the community, 365 days a year, since 2003 when we opened. This is the first time we've ever...

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King Guillermo Supplemented To Triple Crown

King Guillermo (Uncle Mo), who caused a 49-1 upset in the GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 7, has been supplemented to the Triple Crown at a fee of $6,000. The late payment having been received from Victoria Ranch, the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard has been updated, with King Guillermo in a share of third with 50 points for his defeat of Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}), who has amasssed 30 points in eighth. Horses not nominated to the Triple Crown at the first entry stage can be...

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Servis, Navarro to be Arraigned March 23, Could Face Five Years Each

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, the two biggest names among the 27 people indicted Monday after an investigation into horse doping, are due back in court Mar. 23 for their arraignment. Both were arrested Monday in Miami and released on bail. As part of the bail agreement, the court imposed the requirement that Servis and Navarro not have any contact with racehorses without the presence of the third party owner of the premises where the horse is stabled. The indicted horsemen will be allowed to enter a guilty or...

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Storm the Court Tops 347 Early Triple Crown Noms

A total of 347 3-year-olds, headed by juvenile champion and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court (Court Vision), were nominated to this year's Triple Crown during the early nomination phase, which closed Jan. 25. All of the newly-turned 3-year-olds were nominated with a $600 payment to run in this season's GI Kentucky Derby May 2; GI Preakness S. May 16; and the GI Belmont S. June 6. The total decreased 4.1% (15 horses) from last year's 362 that were nominated at this stage. Leading the fray is Exline-Border...

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NY Budget Provides for Equine Drug Testing Lab

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY) today announced legislation in the FY 2021 Executive Budget to authorize The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) to use capital funds to finance, construct and equip a new state-of-the-art equine drug testing laboratory and research center. The Executive Budget also proposes enabling New York to enter the Mid-Atlantic Drug Compact, which is designed to facilitate uniform passage of previously agreed-upon rules pertaining to equine medication and testing procedures. "Horse racing remains an important industry in many communities across New York, but preserving integrity in...

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NYRA 2019 All-Sources Handle Over $2.1B

The New York Racing Association's 2019 all-sources handle was $2,108,126,369. Also, for the first time in history, the Saratoga meet generated more than $700 million in all-sources handle at $705,343,949. Inclement weather forced the full cancellation of seven race days and partial cancellation of six cards during the year. As a result, there were 217 race days in 2019 at NYRA tracks with average daily handle of $9,714,868 compared to 2018 when 219 days of racing resulted in a daily average of $9,650,267. The 2019 season featured 2,000 races at...

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Secretariat, Turned Back to Mile, Draws Competitive Group

Arlington's GI Secretariat S., contested at a mile and a quarter since 1985, has been turned back in distance to a one-mile event this year, and drew a competitive nine-horse field for Saturday's running at the Chicago area oval. True to form, Chad Brown has a pair of imposing runners in Peter Brant's Fog of War (War Front) and e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Mike Ryan's Valid Point (Scat Daddy). Fog of War, who followed up a debut victory with a popular score in the GI Summer S. at Woodbine,...

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Brown Trio Tops Fourstardave

Trainer Chad Brown brings a three-pronged attack in the latest renewal of the GI Fourstardave H., headed by a pair of Grade I winners--Uni (More Than Ready), winner of the GI Matriarch at Del Mar last December and GI Hollywood Derby victor Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) on the same weekend. Since those victories, Uni has added another victory to her resume in Belmont's June 29 Perfect Sting S., while Raging Bull finished fourth in both Keeneland's Apr. 12 GI Maker's 46 Mile S. and the nine-furlong GI Turf...

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Carmen Barrera Dies at 60

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the passing of the longtime director of horsemen's relations Carmen Barrera, who died unexpectedly Thursday in Saratoga Springs, New York. She was 60. Barrera joined NYRA in 1978, the same year that her uncle Laz Barrera campaigned Triple Crown winner Affirmed, and began her career at NYRA in guest services as a white cap before moving to horsemen's relations. She spent 41 years at NYRA in total. Her father, Luis, was a trainer as well, campaigning Summing to victory in the 1981...

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Juveniles Take Center Stage in Saratoga Special

Long Weekend (Majesticperfection), an impressive five-length debut winner going five furlongs at Churchill Downs June 23, takes on seven rivals in Saturday's GII Saratoga Special S. The field that day included subsequent jaw-dropping 'TDN Rising Star' Dennis' Moment (Tiznow), who clipped heels early and lost his rider. "It's not so much the [6 1/2 furlongs] distance, it's more [facing] a higher-caliber field," trainer Tom Amoss said. "We think he's a good horse, but for that to be true, he has to show it on Saturday. That's the concerns of ours--how...

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