Tuesday, August 11 2009
LONGTIME NYRA EMPLOYEE BILL JOHNSON DIES AT 76
Bill Johnson, a lifelong racetracker and longtime employee of The New York Racing Association, Inc., died August 7 of pancreatitis at age 76.
Johnson was widely known and liked throughout the racing industry. He worked as an assistant to track announcer Fred “Cappy” Capossela early in his career in the 1950s and later was director of radio and television for NYRA. He co-hosted the radio show “Breakfast at the Track” with the late Harry Downey on WGY in Schenectady, N.Y., and also worked on various handicapping television shows in the 1980s in the Albany area.
Tuesday, July 28 2009
NY RACING BOARD AND NYRA ANNOUNCE NEW LIMITS ON OXYGEN TREATMENTS
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced a new medication directive today clarifying that horses are banned from being entered into races if they have received hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment within one week of post time. The new directive, clarifying existing state rules, is endorsed by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers are accessed by some trainers to accelerate healing in a horse that has been injured or has an infection.
Monday, July 27 2009
CONTESSA, DOMINGUEZ WIN BELMONT TITLES
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa continued to dominate the competition in New York, with Dominguez running away with the jockey title for the 64-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park and Contessa edging Christophe Clement for the training title.
Dominguez rode three winners on Closing Day as he set a modern-day record for victories with 98 winners for the meet, having already broken Hall of Famer Angel Cordero Jr.’s mark of 92 set during the 1982 Belmont Park meet. Finishing second among riders was Rajiv Maragh, with 71 winners.
Saturday, July 25 2009
FUNNY MOON RISES IN COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS
ELMONT, N.Y. – Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III’s Funny Moon took full advantage of a second chance to earn Grade 1 status Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, charging hard through the stretch to post a narrow victory over Don’t Forget Gil in the 93rd running of the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks.
The three-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon, a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 6, stayed well off the early fractions of 23.83 and 47.11 set by Devotee, then swung widest of all as the field of eight fanned for home. As five fillies stormed to the wire, Funny Moon surged to the front in the final strides to get a neck in front.
DOMINGUEZ GETS 93RD BELMONT WINNER TO SET RECORD
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Ramon Dominguez set a modern-day record for victories at Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet when he guided Michael Dubb and Robert Joscelyn’s I’ve Got Speed ($7.70) to win the fifth race Friday, notching his 93rd winner for the meet.
Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., held the mark for most victories since records were first kept, bringing home 92 winners during the 1982 Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Fellow Hall of Famers Jose Santos and Mike Smith each had 86 winners for the 1986 and 1991 spring/summer meets, respectively.
NYRA NOTES: Friday, July 24, 2009
Trainer Todd Pletcher has enjoyed a great deal of success at Saratoga Race Course, winning five of the last seven training titles, but as he says, a lot depends on the performance of the barn’s babies.
“Success for us depends on how our two-year-olds run,” he said Friday morning at Belmont Park. “A lot are getting ready, and we should find out a lot more in a couple of weeks. You can only do what you can with what you have.”
Thursday, July 23 2009
NYRA ANNOUNCES JOE HIRSCH MEMORIAL WRITING AWARD
ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc., is pleased to announce the establishment of the Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award to recognize outstanding print and internet coverage of the Belmont Stakes.
Open to any member of the print/internet media who covered the 141st Belmont Stakes, won by Summer Bird, on June 6, 2009, the inaugural Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award will accept entries in two categories: Belmont Stakes feature/advance, and Belmont Stakes wrap-up.
FINAL GRADED STAKES OF BELMONT MEET DRAWS EIGHT FILLIES
ELMONT, N.Y. – Boasting a roster of past champions that reads like a who’s who of sophomore fillies, from Vagrancy and Top Flight to Shuvee and Ruffian, Davona Dale and Sky Beauty to My Flag and Ashado, the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks will be run for the 93rd time on Saturday, the final graded stakes race at Belmont Park before racing moves upstate to Saratoga.
A field of eight 3-year-old fillies is set to go postward in the 1¼-mile race, headed by the multiple graded-stakes winning Hightap, from the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen. Owned by Ron Winchell, Hightap comes into the Coaching Club American Oaks off back-to-back victories in a pair of Grade 3 events, the Dogwood at Churchill Downs and the Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows.
NYRA NAMES ELLEN MCCLAIN AS SENIOR VP & CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
ELMONT, N.Y. -- The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today that Ellen McClain has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer. In her position, McClain will oversee all NYRA financials, including accounting, budgeting, and forecasting. She will start with the company in mid-August.
From 2004 to 2009, she served as the vice president of finance for Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., a publicly traded group operator of 29 local television stations. In her role, she managed a team of professionals engaged in all aspects of corporate finance, including accounting, audit, internal and external reporting, budgeting, and forecasting and investor relations.
SARATOGA SIMULCAST AT BELMONT PARK
ELMONT, N.Y. – While The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) moves its base of operations from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course beginning July 29, fans and horse players can catch all the upstate action right here on Long Island through Labor Day.
For all race days during the duration of the Saratoga meet (Wednesday – Monday, July 29 – Sept. 7, 2009) the first and second floor of the Belmont Park Clubhouse, including the Belmont Café and the backyard, will be open for simulcast wagering. On Saturdays and Sundays only, the North Shore Terrace on the fourth floor of the Belmont Clubhouse will also be open. For credentialed NYRA Rewards members and guests only, the Players Club rooms located in the Paddock Dining Area on the second floor will be open, though guest maximums may apply on certain dates.
Tuesday, July 21 2009
RACHEL ALEXANDRA ‘ON TARGET’ FOR HASKELL
Stonestreet Stables’ and Harold McCormick’s Preakness and multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Rachel Alexandra put in her third workout over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course Monday morning since winning the Mother Goose more than three weeks ago.
With regular exercise rider Dominic Terry up at 6 a.m., Rachel Alexandra breezed six furlongs in 1:13.88, the best of six workouts at that distance for the morning.
Sunday, July 19 2009
“BARGAIN” SILVER TIMBER TAKES JAIPUR
ELMONT, N.Y. – Silver Timber, already a successful claim for trainer Chad Brown and owner Michael Dubb, made it even more worthwhile Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park when he pulled clear of favored Heros Reward in the stretch and went on to a 1½-length victory in the 26th running of the Grade 3, $156,00 Jaipur Stakes.
Ridden by Eibar Coa, the 6-year-old gelded son of Prime Timber dueled saddlecloth-to-saddlecloth through fractions of 21.71 and 44.53 with the even-money choice, then edged away to hit the wire in 1:07.60 for the six furlongs over the firm turf to earn his first stakes victory.