TD Thornton

Week in Review: Off-Lasix 3YOs Have Now Won 25% of This Year's Derby Preps

Besides solidifying his status as a top-tier Triple Crown threat, Saturday's win by Known Agenda (Curlin) in the GI Curlin Florida Derby bolstered the overall case that the phase-out of Lasix in this year's series of GI Kentucky Derby preps seems to be having no adverse effect on performance. Through 20 races in North America since Jan. 1 that have awarded Derby qualifying points, horses giving up Lasix after receiving it in their prior start have won five of those races. Seven others have finished second, an impressive strike rate...

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Oregon Fairs Circuit 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Racing This Summer

Regulators and stakeholders in Oregon are making tentative plans for the state's four-track fairs circuit to be back in action in this summer after getting cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. But Oregon Racing Commission (ORC) executive director Jack McGrail said during a Feb. 18 meeting he expects those venues will need to be supported by some forms of outside funding in order to conduct mixed Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets in 2021. "I'm happy to report that the larger takeaway is that the fairs really do want...

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Week in Review: More Clairiere vs. Travel Column Rivalries, Please

Turn the clock back a dozen years and recall when a fledgling filly parlayed a November win in the GII Golden Rod S. into a torrid nine-stakes win streak that culminated in Horse of the Year honors. That filly, of course, was Rachel Alexandra. Now it's 2021, and the Fair Grounds annually honors Rachel Alexandra's brief (one win, one second) tenure in New Orleans with a Grade II stakes race in mid-February. Saturday's edition just so happened to feature the one-two fillies from the Nov. 28 Golden Rod S. at...

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Colonial Downs to Donate 20,000 Meals to Front-Line Pandemic Workers

Colonial Downs Group, which includes the Virginia racetrack that reopened last summer and Rosie's Gaming Emporiums at three other in-state locations, announced Wednesday that it will transition its closed restaurants to provide 20,000 free "grab and go" meals for police officers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, grocery store employees and other workers on the "front lines" of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The company closed its facilities on Mar. 15. The meals will be provided starting Apr, 1, with day-before ordering requested. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to sign...

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NYRA Board Mulls Ways to Lure 'Pharoah'

By T.D. Thornton With the only business voted upon at Wednesday's New York Racing Association Reorganization Board of Directors meeting being rubber-stamp unanimous approvals certifying the slate of NYRA officers and the roster of peace officers, the talk among board members touched on topics related to bolstering big days on the circuit and whether or not Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) could be incentivized to compete in the GI Travers S. at Saratoga Race Course. "We are trying our best," said NYRA chief executive officer and president...

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Canterbury Antes Up $2M to Lure American Pharoah

Canterbury Park in Minnesota has emerged as the latest track to take a stab at wooing Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile). According to Eric Halstrom, Canterbury's vice president of racing operations, track management is considering completely overhauling and raising the purse of an existing non-graded stakes race by a factor of 10 to lure America's most sought-after horse. Halstrom said the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby at one mile on the turf Aug. 29 would be moved to 1 1/8 miles on the dirt for a purse of...

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