ascot aug08
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008



Thoroughblog's write up on the goofy Eclipse Award results for photography made it to the site today...

and GREEN BUT GAME and THOORUGHBREDBLOG from the TBA are also on there with comments.

Vanessa Ng captured the crack sprinter FABULOUS STRIKE winning last week's GRAVESEND STAKES, the last graded stake in New York for 2008.



By Nick Sortal

HALLANDALE BEACH - The biggest gamble at Gulfstream Racing and Casino doesn't involve horse racing, slots or even poker. And the results of the wager won't be known for another year.

It's the $1.2 billion The Village at Gulfstream Park, the racino's attempt to create a mega-entertainment complex.

The Village's first phase, including 70 shops, was supposed to open two months ago, well before this Saturday's start of the horse racing season at Gulfstream — the racino's busiest time. But construction and other delays have pushed the opening back a year.

"Are we disappointed? Absolutely," Gulfstream President Bill Murphy said at a media gathering Tuesday. "But we do see a light at the end of the tunnel."

Gulfstream's parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp., began plans for The Village shortly before Broward voters approved slots in 2005. It first set a completion date of 2007, then 2008.

The dust, noise and loud machines will finally relent by late February, Murphy said. The Village's exterior will be complete and the stores can quietly finish their interiors, making for a more pleasant horse track with less grit in the air.

The Village will include a hotel, movie theater and "high-end" shops and restaurants, Gulfstream's Mike Mullaney said. Specifics won't be revealed for at least another month.

"Let's just say there won't be a McDonald's," Mullaney said.

Rose Currier, who takes a weekly bus trip from Century Village in Pembroke Pines to play the slots, said she's eager for the shops to open.

"It could compete with what the Hard Rock has," Currier said. "People come to gamble, but they need something else, too."

Up to now, though, the racino has brought in less money than anticipated, like its two Broward County competitors also under state regulation.

Murphy cites the state's "impossible" 50-percent tax on slot revenues, which the Seminole Tribe doesn't have to pay on its Hard Rock and other casinos. "Actually, when you include everything, it comes out to more like 70 percent," said Murphy. He added municipal and county taxes, a $3.5 million gaming license and money paid out to support horsemen.

Murphy said horse racing remains the core product at Gulfstream. Four of the past six Kentucky Derby winners had raced at Gulfstream, including Big Brown, which dominated the Derby and the Preakness before failingtoclinch the Triple Crown last year.

Read the rest....,0,3445948.story


SPIRITWOOD (El Corredo-Waskesiu, by Rahy) won a 2 1/16 mile starter allowance at Mountaineer Park last night for Doncaster Farm and trainer Paula Loescher.
The 5yo gelding, bred in Ontario by Winsong Farms won by 2 1/4 lengths in 3:43.32.

At PENN NATIONAL, Woodbine runner WHISPER LOUDLY was 50 cents on the dolar but was unplaced in a claiming event for Ralph Biamonte.

**Speaking of PENN NATIONAL, this is a goofy track - 3 horses were eased on one race and in the 6th race, the winner was 122 to 1 shot Ms Jetsetter - she paid $247.20 to win.

Discreet Hero entered for $5,000 claiming

Stakes winner DISCREET HERO has not raced since 2005 (that's 3 years!) and the 10-year-old has won $681,000 in his career.
Suddenly the gelding by Honour and Glory was entered at Fair Grounds for $5,000 claiming recently but was scratched.
He has been working at Fair Grounds as recently as Dec. 18 for TERRI AND BERNARD FLINT. He was 8 to 1 in the morning line on Dec. 27 in the 12 post but was scratched.

Is this is joke?


Thanks to the litany of comments from readers in 2008 - recently there have been enquiries about the movie JOHN HENRY, that I mentioned yesterday...
you can find out more about the movie at this web site


from Standardbred Canada

The draws for Friday and Saturday's programs at Woodbine Racetrack are complete and entries are available for viewing online.

A total of 116 horses were entered for Friday, January 2 with 103 horses drawing in.

The first leg of the Snowshoe Series will headline the 11-race card with three $20,000 divisions for three and four-year-olds.

119 horses were entered to race on Saturday, January 3 with 98 horses drawing in.

Saturday's card also features 11 races including the first leg of the Glorys Comet Trotting Series consisting of two $50,000 splits for aged trotters.

ORC Grants Fort Erie License Continuation

Fort Erie will have its racetrack license continued for a period of 30 days according to a Notice to the Industry released earlier this evening by the Ontario Racing Commission.

Issued to Nordic Gaming Corporation, the current license would have expired on January 1, 2009. Recently Nordic applied to the ORC for an extension or continuation of the license.

Here are the terms of continuation:

* the existing 2008 license to Nordic Gaming Corporation shall expire on January 30, 2009.
* the terms and conditions associated with the existing 2008 license to Nordic Gaming Corporation shall continue to apply.
* all simulcasting, including intertrack, teletheatre and telephone account betting shall be continued until January 30, 2009.
* updates shall be provided to the Director of the ORC to include information regarding the ongoing discussions with stakeholders, potential investors, regulators/governments.


Horseman's firm loses billions in scam
Owner of Stonebridge Farm's firm out $7.5B in Madoff investments

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SARATOGA — A hedge fund investor who poured millions into Saratoga's equine economy has abruptly stopped all new construction on his huge horse farm and wants to sell his thoroughbreds after losing some $7.5 billion in the Bernard Madoff scandal.

The Desmond
Jeffrey Tucker, the founding partner of Fairfield Greenwich Group, bought Stonebridge Farm in Schuylerville in 2004, and has since built New York's first track with a synthetic racing surface and indoor arena on the 188-acre farm. Tucker, 62, owns and cares for about 50 thoroughbreds on the site, considered one of horse racing's premier training facilities, and recently purchased a 230-acre satellite farm in Gansevoort.

But two weeks ago, his Connecticut-based investment firm said it had lost $7.5 billion — apparently more than anyone — in the Madoff scandal, which is being called the biggest Wall Street scam ever perpetrated.

Authorities allege Madoff, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, created a classic Ponzi scheme with investors' money in which he defrauded clients out of potentially $50 billion. About a dozen international customers of Fairfield Greenwich are preparing legal action against the company and its founders — Tucker, Walter Noel and Andres Piedrahita — claiming they failed to watch after their investments after "feeding" them to Madoff.

The losses have caused all construction on Tucker's vast farm to grind to a halt, and the properties' manager says Tucker will soon sell his horses. "It's going to be tough financial times," manager Dennis Brida said in an interview this week.

He said that rumors about the farm closing and laying off its 50 employees are false. But Tucker plans to carefully evaluate the farm and make necessary changes, Brida said, including unloading his 20 to 25 horses, some of which ran at Saratoga Race Course, in the coming months.

Tucker, a Manhattan resident, has worked in the finance industry for most of his life. He likes to spend weekends in a home he built on Stonebridge Farm because he loves horses, those who know him say.

read the rest...


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