Fairgrounds Slashes Purses: Quarter Horse Lawsuit Forces Cuts

The horses will be running for less money at the Fairgrounds this year.

The horses will be running for less money at the Fairgrounds this year.

By Jim Charvat

The Fairgrounds will open November 15th with drastically cut purses for its 143rd meet. This after Quarter Horse owners, trainers and jockeys filed a lawsuit demanding a bigger share of the purse distribution from video gaming.

Back in 2008, the Fairgrounds was granted a video slots parlor license. One of the provisions was that part of the funds be paid to Quarter Horse purses, so the track created a Quarter Horse meet.

The lawsuit, contends that in addition to money from slots, the Quarter Horse industry should also get a share of the money from video poker. Legal experts say there’s a slim chance the Quarter Horse… Read the rest of this entry >>

At the Post: Readers Poll Crowns Denman King of the Race Callers

Track announcer Trevor Denman has been calling races at Del Mar for 25 years.By Jim Charvat

Once again, a bit of surprise in our “At the Post” readers poll this month. Not so much at the result, but at the sizable margin between the winner and the runner up choice.

The question was, “Now that Tom Durkin has retired, who do you think is the top race caller in the nation?” The choices were Tom Collmus at Churchill Downs, soon to be Durkin’s replacement; Trevor Denman at Del Mar and Santa Anita; John Dooley at Arlington Park; and Kurt Becker at Keeneland.

In a landslide, you the… Read the rest of this entry >>

California Chrome “Floats Like on Feathers” on Parx Racecourse

California Chrome gets his first 'feel' of the Parx racecourse.

California Chrome gets his first ‘feel’ of the Parx racecourse.

By Jim Charvat

California Chrome paid his first visit to the Parx race course Wednesday morning, walking and jogging on the main track during the time allotted for Derby contenders as he continues preparations for this Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. He didn’t look any worse for wear despite a 12-hour trip from Southern California to Bensalem, Pennsylvania Tuesday.

With regular exercise rider, Willie Delgado, in the saddle, the Kentucky Derby winner was very relaxed. Delgado told DRF.com’s David Grening that ‘Chrome’ “likes Parx.” Evidently, at Churchill California Chrome was, what Delgado called, “stabby” but during this morning’s jog he was “floating, almost like on feathers.”

California Chrome is… Read the rest of this entry >>

Street Cry Dies: Sire of Zenyatta, Street Sense Was 16

Street Cry won the Dubai World Cup and Stephen Foster in 2002.

Street Cry won the Dubai World Cup and Stephen Foster in 2002.

Street Cry, one of the world’s most successful stallions and a cornerstone of Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding operations for the past 14 years, has been put to sleep at the age of 16 after succumbing to complications relating to a neurological condition.

Watch: The 2002 Dubai World Cup

The runaway winner of the Dubai World Cup and Stephen Foster for Godolphin in 2002 was retired to stand at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky in 2003 and has been a headline stallion ever since. His first crop included the incomparable Zenyatta and Street Sense – still the only horse to win both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby.

Street Cry has made a similar impact in Australia, siring two Caulfield Guineas winners in Long John and Whobegotyou and Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Shocking. In all, Street Cry has sired fifteen… Read the rest of this entry >>

Suffolk Downs Dealt Crippling Blow by Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Suffolk Downs fate was sealed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Suffolk Downs fate was sealed Tuesday

By Jim Charvat

Suffolk Downs, the last of 17 race tracks that once operated in the New England-area was dealt a crippling blow Tuesday when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded, Wynn Resorts, the Boston-area’s only casino license. In a 3-to-1 vote, the commission rejected Mohegan Sun’s proposal to build a casino on the Suffolk Downs property.

Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs were going to partner on the project, with the infusion of new slot machine money expected to provide the race track with the funds it needs to survive. Nearly $40 million in improvements to the race track were also part of the plan.

But instead, Suffolk Downs… Read the rest of this entry >>

California Chrome Arrives at Parx: A 12-Hour Trip From So Cal

California Chrome arrives at Parx Tuesday

California Chrome arrives at Parx Tuesday

By Jim Charvat

California Chrome arrived safe and sound at Parx Racecourse in Bensalem, Pennsylvania Tuesday afternoon. He was immediately escorted to his stall in Barn 10 where he will reside for the next week. The Kentucky Derby winner and favorite for Saturday’s G2 Pennsylvania Derby is expected to tack walk on Wednesday and head out to the track around 8:30 EDT, a time set aside for Derby contenders. Sherman says he’ll probably take one lap around the track. ‘Chrome’ will gallop on Thursday and then school in the gate and paddock on Friday.

It was a long day for the big chestnut colt. He was loaded on a van at Los Alamitos at two in the morning Pacific time and driven to Ontario Airport… Read the rest of this entry >>

California Chrome Co-Owner Perry Martin’s Mother Has Died

        Catherine Martin               1930-2014

Catherine Martin at the Derby earlier this year

By Jim Charvat

Perry Martin, co-owner of Kentucky Derby winner, California Chrome, will be watching his colt race Saturday in the Pennsylvania Derby with a heavy heart. Martin’s mother passed away Tuesday. She was 84.

Catherine Martin died in Iron Mountain, Michigan where she was born. She attended the Kentucky Derby and told the Detroit Free Press that she was yelling and screaming so much as California Chrome came down the stretch that “she must have lost two pounds.”

Catherine Martin was born in Michigan’s upper pennisula but moved to Chicago in her 20′s. That’s where she met her husband, Charlie, who was working as a pressman at the Chicago Tribune. The couple had two sons, Perry and Roy. After Charlie retired about 20-years ago, they moved back to Iron Mountain where Charlie died of a heart attack while working in the yard in 2008.

California Chrome Draws Inside Post For Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby

Cal Chrome#34Parx Racecourse held the post position draw for this Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby which you saw here live on sdhorserace.com. California Chrome drew the rail in the eight horse field in the 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year olds. The Kentucky Derby winner will fly out of Southern California Tuesday morning and is due to arrive in Bensalem, Pennsylvania around 3 o’clock EDT.

Here is the post position draw for this year’s G2 Pennsylvania Derby

  1. California Chrome          1 (even)
  2. Candy Boy                     12-1
  3. Protonico                        6-1
  4. Bayern                            7-2
  5. Noble Moon                   15-1
  6. Classic Giacnroll           15-1
  7. Tapiture                           5-1
  8. C.J.’s Awesome            12-1

Untapable Draws Post #8 For G1 Cotillion at Parx Saturday

Untapable returns Saturday in the G1 Cotillion at Parx

Untapable returns Saturday in the G1 Cotillion at Parx

Untapable returns in the G1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racecourse on Saturday, her first race back since finishing fifth in the G1 Haskell. She will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik and opens the wagering at 7-5.

Here is the field for the 1 1/16 mile G1 Cotillion

  1. Cassatt                               12-1
  2. Sweet Reason                     3-1
  3. House Rules                       20-1
  4. Joint Return                       10-1
  5. Vero Amore                        20-1
  6. Little Alexis                        20-1
  7. Jo Jo Warrior                       6-1
  8. Untapable                            7-5
  9. Stopchargingmaria              5-2

Bayern Heading East To Take On ‘Chrome’ in G2 Pennsylvania Derby

Bayern runs away and hides in the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park in July.

Bayern runs away and hides in the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park in July.

By Jim Charvat

Bayern, winner of the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park, is going to take another crack at Kentucky Derby winner, California Chrome. The 3-year old son of Offlee Wild will head back to Parx Racecourse this week to run in Saturday’s, G2 Pennsylvania Derby.

Baffert was impressed enough with Bayern’s work on Sunday that he’s willing to ship his colt cross-country and take on arguably the best 3-year old in the racing. Bayern worked five furlongs in :58.6 at Santa Anita, the fastest of 78 works at the distance.

The one and only time these two colts met was in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico during the Triple Crown and California Chrome beat Bayern by 20-lengths, albeit after a bad start and a… Read the rest of this entry >>