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Thursday, July 4, 2002



LADBROKES PRICES FOR SANDOWN TOMORROW & ANTE-POST




2-50 Sandown - Pentax Handicap, 1m 2f

8/1-PRIZE WINNER
6/1-KING'S MILL
9/1-DON'T SIOUX ME
16/1-JOKESMITH
11/1-BROADWAY SCORE
12/1-ROBANDELA
25/1-HASTY PRINCE
7/1-STRETTON
16/1-TOUGH LEADER
6/1-CHAMPION LODGE
6/1-FOOL ON THE HILL
8/1-STREET LIFE
11/1-TAKES TUTU

Each Way: -1/4 Odds 1-2-3

Coral Eurobet Eclipse

4/9-Hawk Wing, 4-Equerry, 9-Indian Creek, 10-No Excuse Needed, 16-Bach, 16-Sholokov, 66-Imperial Dancer

Each Way 1/5 odds a place 1,2,3

Vodafone Stewards Cup

12-Border Subject, 12-Chookie Heiton, 16-Halmahera, 16-Feet So Fast, 16-Onlytime Will Tell, 16-Trace Clip, 16-Torosay Spring , 18-Doctor Spin, 20-Bond Boy, 20-Brevity, 20-Candleriggs, 20-Cubism, 20-Gateman, 20-Kier Park, 20-Malhub, 20-Manorbier, 20-Palace Affair, 20-Salviati, 20-Tom Tun, 20-Watching, 25-Artie, 25-Bali Royal, 25-Banjo Bay, 25-Boanerges, 25-Elvington Boy, 25-Flying Millie, 25-Good Girl, 25-Grey Eminence, 25-Just James, 25-Kathology, 25-Maromito, 25-Mitcham, 25-Muja Farewell, 25-Peruvian Chief, 25-Scotty's Future, 25-Seven No Trumps, 25-Surprised, 25-Tudor Wood, 25-Undeterred, 25-Vanderlin

Each Way ¼ Odds a place 1,2,3,4



JOHNSTON SEEKING DERBY COMPENSATION ON DAY ONE OF JULY MEETING




Mark Johnston has left both his Vodafone Derby eighth, BANDARI, and French Derby third, SIMEON, in the £80,000 Princess of Wales's UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation Stakes (Group 2), highlight of the first day of Newmarket's July Meeting on Tuesday (9th July). The 10 confirmations for the 12 furlong contest also include Johnston's popular veteran, YAVANA'S PACE.

Saeed bin Suroor holds a strong hand for Godolphin with MARIENBARD, winner of this season's Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes, and KUTUB both standing their ground. MILLENARY, narrowly defeated in the Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes, is set to represent John Dunlop, while Marcus Tregoning is double-handed with MUBTAKER and BUSTAN. XTRA, who won on the course last weekend, has been confirmed by Luca Cumani, while Geoff Wragg is represented by ISLAND HOUSE.


Ten highly promising fillies have been entered for Europe's first juvenile Group 2 race of the season, the £60,000 Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Cherry Hinton Stakes, including PRESTO VENTO (Richard Hannon), NEVER A DOUBT (Barry Hills), LUVAH GIRL (Roger Charlton) and PEARL DANCE (John Gosden). There are ultra-competitive entries for the big handicaps, notably the £50,000 Tote Exacta Stakes over 6 furlongs and £20,000 racingpost.co.uk Fillies Rated Stakes over 7 furlongs, while Jeremy Noseda's SPINETTE, probably one of the best three-year-old maidens in training, is an eye-catching entry for the £10,000 Robin Parke Memorial Maiden Stakes.

GOING GOOD AHEAD OF NEWMARKET'S SUMMER FESTIVAL

The going is currently GOOD on Newmarket's July Course after 17 millimetres of rain fell so far this week, including 15mm in a 36 hour period between Tuesday night and Thursday morning. The forecast is for unsettled weather with some showers over the weekend and into the start of next week.


BIN SUROOR TAKES RUINART LEAD INTO JULY MEETING

Saeed bin Suroor will take a 6 point lead over Aidan O'Brien in the Ruinart Champions Challenge into next week's July Meeting when a total of 31 points will be up for grabs in Newmarket's Group Race trainers' championship.


There are 10 points awarded for a Group One victory, 6 for a Group Two and 3 for a Group Three. The July Meeting features one Group One race, the Darley July Cup on Thursday, 3 Group Two's and 1 Group Three race.


The winning trainer at the end of the season will take home his weight in champagne provided by Champagne Ruinart.


Latest Positions

SAEED BIN SUROOR (Marienbard, Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes G.2 Kazzia, Sagitta 1000 Guineas G.1)16
AIDAN O'BRIEN (Rock of Gibraltar, Sagitta 2000 Guineas G.1) 10
HENRY CANDY (Kyllachy, Victor Chandler Palace House Stakes G.3) 3
DAVID ELSWORTH (Indian Creek, Weatherbys Earl of Sefton Stakes G.3) 3
GEORGE MARGARSON (Atavus, Antec International Criterion Stakes G.3) 3
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE (King of Happiness, Macau Jockey Club Craven Stakes G.3) 3
MARCUS TREGONING (Misterah, Shadwell Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes G.3) 3



TODAY'S JOCKEY CLUB APPEAL RESULTS




Paul d'Arcy / Pat Eddery

The Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club, on 4th July 2002, held an enquiry to consider whether or not Pat Eddery, the rider of FANTASTC CHAMPION (IRE), had committed a breach of Rule 158, and whether or not Paul d'Arcy, the trainer, had committed a breach of Rule 155 (ii), concerning the running and riding of the gelding in the Hastings Maiden Stakes at Newmarket on 5th May 2002. This matter was referred to the Stewards of the Jockey Club under Instruction H19 by the Windsor Stewards following the gelding's subsequent winning run on 20th May 2002.


The Committee heard evidence from Eddery and d'Arcy, who was legally represented and considered a report from a BHB Handicapper. It also viewed video recordings of the races at Newmarket and Windsor.


Having considered the evidence, the Committee found Eddery not to be in breach of Rule 158 accepting his explanation that the horse was never travelling in a very fast run race.

It also found d'Arcy not to be in breach of Rule 155 (ii).


Mick Easterby

The Appeal Board of the Jockey Club, on 4th July 2002, considered an appeal lodged by Mick Easterby, the trainer of STONEGRAVE, against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee on 9th May 2002, to find him in breach of Rule 155 (ii) and fine him £1,300 when he ran the filly in the southwell-racecourse.co.uk Maiden Stakes on 12th April 2002. The Disciplinary Committee also found Terry Lucas, the rider of STONEGRAVE, to be in breach of Rule 158 and suspended him from riding for 14 days. The Disciplinary Committee suspended STONEGRAVE from running for 40 days.


Mr Easterby put his Appeal on two grounds, (i) that there was insufficient material on the basis of which a reasonable Committee could have been made the decision in question, and (ii) in making the decision the Committee misconstrued or failed to apply or wrongly applied Rule 155 of the Rules of Racing (Appendix J, Regulations 17 and 18 respectively).


Having reviewed the transcript of the evidence and hearing before the Disciplinary Committee as well as those documents put before the Disciplinary Committee, having viewed the video of the race in question and having considered the submissions of Mr Easterby and The Jockey Club, both of whom were legally represented, the Appeal Board was satisfied that there was sufficient material before the Disciplinary Committee on the basis of which a reasonable Committee could have made the decision which it did, and further that in making its decision the Committee did not misconstrue or fail to apply or wrongly apply Rule 155 of the Rules of Racing.


The Board therefore dismissed the appeal and confirmed the fine of £1,300 upon Mr Easterby. The Board waived any further suspension of STONEGRAVE from running on the grounds that Mr Easterby had failed to appreciate that the 40 day suspension imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had been automatically lifted by his notice of appeal and that in those circumstances, STONEGRAVE had in fact already observed a 40 day suspension.


The Board ordered the deposit money of £750 to be forfeited and ordered Mr Easterby to pay £600 towards the costs of the Board.




LISTED DOUBLE FOR TATTERSALLS AUTUMN YEARLINGS




Following the Royal Ascot win of Tattersalls Autumn Yearling purchase PENTECOST, the two year old duo of BALKENHOL and MAC MELODY continued the Sale's successful run with a Listed race double at San Siro in Italy yesterday.


BALKENHOL, a colt by the late POLAR FALCON, won the Listed Premio Giuseppe de Montel, having been purchased by Arturo Brambilla of BBA (Italia) at last year's Tattersalls Autumn Yearling Sale for 8,500 guineas. Bred at Anthony Oppenheimer's Hascombe Stud, BALKENHOL is the first foal out of the PRIMO DOMINIE mare MISS PENTON, who is a daughter of the 1982 1000 Guineas winner ON THE HOUSE.


An hour earlier the Mick Quinlan trained two year old filly MAC MELODY had initiated the Autumn Yearling Sale Listed double with a smooth 1 3/4 length success in the Premio Gino Mantovani having broken her maiden at the Milan racecourse in May. MAC MELODY, by 2000 Guineas winner ENTREPRENEUR, was purchased by Paolo Benedetti of Derby Bloodstock for 4,200 guineas from breeder Philip Freedman's Cliveden Stud.


MAC MELODY is the second foal out of the winning CAERLEON mare MILLY OF THE VALLY, whose first foal SCOTT'S VIEW also won yesterday afternoon at Catterick. A Cliveden Stud hat trick was completed at the Yarmouth evening meeting when two year old colt INDIAN HAVEN, a 62,000 guineas Tattersalls October Yearling, made an impressive winning debut. The son of INDIAN RIDGE is out of Cliveden Stud's Group 2 winning mare MADAME DUBOIS, who is already the dam of Group 1 winning two year old COUNT DUBOIS, and has a SELKIRK colt going to The Tattersalls October Yearling Sale this Autumn.




SEVEN DECLARED FOR CORAL EUROBET ECLIPSE





THE 2002 CORAL EUROBET ECLIPSE STAKES



Class A, Group One, Sandown Park, 3.30pm Saturday, July 6, 2002, 1m 2f. Total Prize Fund £325,000. For three-year-olds and upwards. Weights: three-year-old colts & geldings 8st 10lb; three-year-old fillies 8st 7lb. Four-year-old plus colts and geldings 9st 7lb; four-year-old plus fillies & mares 9st 4lb. Entries closed May 1, 2002 (87 entries), forfeit stage June 18, 2002 (44 entries remained), £20,000 supplementary entry stage June 29, five-day confirmation stage July 1 (14 confirmed), final declaration stage 10.00am, July 4 (7 declared). Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Wednesday, July 3, 2002. May not include some overseas form.


Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer/Jockey

1) (2) 013430-120 BACH (IRE) 5-9-07 Satish Sanan & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE/
2) (7) 111/1-1 EQUERRY (USA) 4-9-07 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor/Frankie Dettori
3) (1) 435-013135 IMPERIAL DANCER 4-9-07 Imperial Racing Mick Channon/Chris Catlin
4) (5) 53134-162 INDIAN CREEK 4-9-07 Seymour Cohn David Elsworth/Richard Quinn
5) (4) 5/5210-041 NO EXCUSE NEEDED 4-9-07 Maktoum Al Maktoum Sir Michael Stoute/Johnny Murtagh
6) (6) 1211-22 HAWK WING (USA) 3-8-10 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE/
7) (2) 1231-02 SHOLOKHOV (IRE) 3-8-10 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE/

7 declarations
3 Irish-trained




NEWMARKET'S 2002 JULY MEETING APPROACHES




Tuesday 9th - Thursday 11th July

The three-day July Meeting is Newmarket's major summer racing festival. It starts with Ladies' Day on Tuesday 9th July when the feature race is the Princess of Wales's UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation Stakes (Group 2) and continues on Wednesday 10th when the Falmouth Stakes (Group 2) takes centre stage. It culminates with Darley July Cup Day on Thursday 11th when the eyes of the racing world will be fixed on the highlight of the meeting, the Darley July Cup (Group 1), Europe's premier sprint race.


WHAT'S NEW IN 2002?

Prize money at the July Meeting has risen by a record 22% this year to £814,250 (up from £665,000 last year). This comes on top of an 11% increase last year and does not include the new Arab race being run on the Tuesday card. The main increases in 2002 are:

Tote Exacta Rated Stakes up £35,000 to £50,000

Darley July Cup (G.1) up £20,000 to £220,000

Princess of Wales's UAE Equestrian & Racing Federation Stakes (G.2) up £20,000 to £80,000

Falmouth Stakes (G.2) up £20,000 to £80,000

Ladbroke Bunbury Cup up £10,000 to £60,000

Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Cherry Hinton Stakes (G.2) up £10,000 to £60,000

Tripleprint Handicap up £10,000 to £50,000

All the Maidens have increased in value so that no race is now worth less than £10,000

The race programme has been considerably strengthened. For the first time there is now a major, high value handicap on each day, the £50,000 Tote Exacta Rated Stakes on day one, the £50,000 Bonusprint Stakes on day two and the £60,000 Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup on day three. The selling race has gone and been replaced with a new £12,000 handicap, while the ratings bands for several of the existing handicaps have been raised to bring in higher class horses.

For the first time an Arab Race will be run at the July Meeting, with the £25,000 President of the UAE International Challenge Derby now the first race on the opening day. With a strong challenge from France and Belgium likely, this will be one of the highest class Arab races of the European season.

Newmarket's Clerk of the Course, Michael Prosser, commented: "The July Meeting is the highlight of our summer season and this huge increase in prize money and strengthening of the race programme should help to ensure three outstanding days of top class racing.

"The meeting had started to lag behind its main competitors in terms of prize money in recent years, so we are delighted to have been able to address that, upping the money on offer by a third in just two years. This is only the start, however, as we have very ambitious plans for the future of this great race meeting."

2002 JULY MEETING RACE PROGRAMME

Tuesday 9th July


1.50 £25,000 The President of the UAE International Challenge Derby 1m2f
4-y-o, Purebred Arabians

2.20 £12,000 H & K Commissions (Bookmakers) Handicap 1m
3-y-o and up, 0-90

2.50 £50,000* Tote Exacta Rated Stakes (Showcase Handicap) 6f
3-y-o, 0-105

3.25 £60,000* Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Cherry Hinton Stakes (Group 2) 6f
2-y-o fillies

4.00 £80,000* Prince of Wales's UAE Equestrian & Racing Federation Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f 3-y-o and up

4.35 £10,000 Strutt & Parker Maiden Stakes 7f
2-y-o

5.10 £20,000 'racingpost.co.uk' Fillies Rated Stakes (Handicap) 7f
3-y-o fillies, 0-100

5.40 £10,000 Robin Parke Memorial Maiden Stakes 1m2f
3-y-o

Wednesday 10th July

2.20 £26,500 Bahrain Trophy (Listed Race) 1m6f & 175y
3-y-o

2.50 £40,000* TNT July Stakes (Group 3) 6f
2-y-o colts & geldings


3.25 £50,000* Bonusprint Stakes (Showcase Handicap) 1m2f
3-y-o, 0-105

4.00 £80,000* Falmouth Stakes (Group 2) 1m
3-y-o and up, fillies and mares

4.35 £10,000 Scottish Equitable / Jockeys Association EBF Novice Stakes 6f
2-y-o

5.10 £18,000 London Executive Aviation Ltd Rated Stakes (Handicap) 2m
4-y-o and up, 0-100

5.40 £10,000 NGK Spark Plugs Rated Stakes (Handicap) 5f
3-y-o and up, 0-85

Thursday 11th July

2.20 £15,000 Glyn Hopkin Handicap Stakes 1m
3-y-o, 0-100

2.50 £21,750 Weatherbys Superlative Stakes (Listed Race) 7f
2-y-o

3.25 £220,000* Darley July Cup (Group 1) 6f
3-y-o and up

4.00 £60,000* Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup (Handicap) 7f
3-y-o and up, 0-105

4.35 £10,000 Chippenham Lodge Stud Maiden Fillies Stakes 6f
2-y-o fillies

5.10 £12,000 Dullingham Handicap Stakes 1m4f
3-y-o and up, 0-90

* total prize fund races (all other amounts shown are added values). The value of the Darley July Cup is expected to increase on Friday when at least one horse is likely to be supplemented at a cost of £15,000.


2002 ADMISSION DETAILS

Tickets for all Enclosures can be purchased in advance or on the day:

Members Enclosure £25 each day (£12 if aged 16-21)
Grandstand & Paddock £13 each day (£9 if aged 16-21 and for Senior Citizens)
Family Enclosure £5 each day
Car parking is FREE

Children aged under 16 accompanied by an adult will be admitted FREE to all Enclosures every day. There is a professionally supervised crèche for children aged 2-8, costing £1.50 for up to 2 hours.


For advance bookings or more information: 01638 675 500 or www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk

Recent Attendances at the July Meeting

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Total
2001 8,876 7,941 10,197 27,014
2000 7,388 9,048 10,501 26,937
1999 8,345 9,955 11,162 29,462
1998 8,473 8,943 10,801 28,217
1997 8,073 8,656 10,193 26,922

FASHION TO THE FORE ON LADIES' DAY

The opening day of the July Meeting is "Ladies' Day" and an expert panel of judges will be keeping a close eye on all the fashions. The "Best Dressed Lady" competition will see nine ladies chosen for the final in the winners' enclosure with the chance to win £1,000 of clothes from designer Paul Costelloe, a weekend for two at top local hotel The Angel in Bury St. Edmunds, a couture hat from Yvette Jelfs and six premium occasion hats courtesy of Debenhams.

Prior to racing, current high-class fashions will be showcased at the EADT Suffolk Magazine Fashion Show, staged in association with Jane of Newmarket and Goldings of Newmarket. This takes place over lunch in the Millennium Grandstand on the July Course's sister track, the Rowley Mile Racecourse. Admission is by ticket only and a full package for the day is available with lunch, Members' Enclosure passes, afternoon tea and coach transfers between the two adjacent racecourses. For those ladies inspired by what they see at the fashion show and motivated to enrich their own outfit, Newmarket Hat Hire will be on hand to find the perfect hat to compliment their ensemble.


Ticket prices range from £5-25 and there is a 10% discount if purchased at least two days in advance via Newmarket's website, www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk

TOP CLASS, INTERNATIONAL RACING

The July Meeting features five Group Races (one Group 1, three Group 2s and one Group 3) and two Listed Races. The Group 1 race is the Darley July Cup, Europe's premier sprint race (see next page), which Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stud has sponsored since 1996 and for which a new 3-year deal has recently been signed, taking the sponsorship through to 2004. The first of the Group 2 races is the Princess of Wales's UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation Stakes, the first time that this race has ever been sponsored. As part of their sponsorship, the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation are staging the Arabian Derby at the start of the Tuesday card. The other Group 2 races are the Falmouth Stakes and the Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Cherry Hinton Stakes, which brings a new sponsor to Newmarket in 2002.

The July Meeting has had a strong international flavour in the last two years. AGNES WORLD, hero of the 2000 Darley July Cup, was the first ever Japanese-trained winner in Britain. He was subsequently bought by the race sponsors, Darley, and now stands as a stallion at Dalham Hall in Newmarket, just a couple of miles from the scene of his greatest triumph. Last year PROUDWINGS became the first German-trained of a British Group race for over a quarter of a century. The mare, who has since been sold and is now trained in France by John Hammond, is entered for this year's Falmouth Stakes and could attempt to be the first dual winner of the race since SONIC LADY 15 years ago.


Last year was a vintage year for the big July Meeting races: the Darley July Cup winner, MOZART, was crowned Europe's undisputed sprint champion; the Princess of Wales's Stakes winner, MUTAMAM, went on to Group 1 glory in the Canadian International at Woodbine; and the Falmouth Stakes heroine, PROUDWINGS, achieved a Group 1 victory in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville only to be unluckily disqualified after winning on merit. In addition, ATAVUS, winner of the Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup, and ALEXIUS, winner of the Bedford Lodge Maiden Stakes, went on to register Group race victories last season.


A host of high class two-year-olds have contested the two-year-old races at the July Meeting in the past. Last year was no exception, with this season's brilliant Irish 1000 Guineas winner, GOSSAMER, making a winning racecourse debut in the Chippenham Lodge Maiden Fillies Stakes on the third day. On the same day, REDBACK, who went on to finish a fine third in this year's Sagitta 2000 Guineas, won the Weatherbys Superlative Stakes. DUBAI DESTINATION landed the Strutt & Parker Maiden Stakes on the first day before stamping himself one of the two-year-old stars of last season with an impressive victory in the Rothmans Royals Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. In the previous few years, the likes of NOVERRE, WANNABE GRAND, ALHAARTH, MUJAHID, EMBASSY and PENTIRE all won as two-year-olds at the July Meeting.


The £60,000 Cherry Hinton Stakes on the opening day is Europe's first Group 2 race of the season for two-year-olds.


Sir Michael Stoute has a brilliant record in the big July Meeting races, with 3 July Cups, 4 Princess of Wales's Stakes and 4 Falmouth Stakes to his credit. Aidan O'Brien has won 2 of the last three runnings of the Darley July Cup. In the two-year-old races, the man to follow is David Loder. He has saddled 21 juveniles at the July Meeting of which 9 have won, 3 have finished second, 2 third, 3 fourth, 2 fifth and 2 sixth. His record in the TNT July Stakes (Group 3) is exceptional, his 6 runners having recorded 4 victories, 1 second and 1 fourth place.


The Darley July Cup - The Sprint Championship

Since the International Classifications first began in 1977, there have been 25 runnings of the Darley July Cup and incredibly no less than 20 of the winners in that time have been crowned champion European sprinter, with the other five all being of the very highest quality. Time and again the Darley July Cup has proved to be Europe's sprint championship.


Year Winner Rating
2001 MOZART 125

2000 Agnes World 119 (3rd to Namid on 127)

1999 STRAVINSKY 127

1998 ELNADIM 121

1997 COMPTON PLACE 121 (Joint with Elnadim and Royal Applause)

1996 ANABAA 127

1995 LAKE CONISTON 127

1994 OWINGTON 124 (Joint with Bigstone)

1993 Hamas 120 (3rd to Wolfhound on 125)

1992 Mr Brooks 121 (Joint 3rd to Sheikh Albadou on 127)

1991 POLISH PATRIOT 126

1990 Royal Academy 129 (2nd to Dayjur on 133)

1989 CADEAUX GENEREUX 124

1988 SOVIET STAR 125

1987 AJDAL 127

1986 Green Desert 122 (4th to Last Tycoon on 126)

1985 NEVER SO BOLD 130

1984 CHIEF SINGER 132

1983 HABIBTI 131

1982 SHARPO 128

1981 MARWELL 130 (Joint with Sharpo)

1980 MOORESTYLE 131 (Also champion three-year-old)

1979 THATCHING 132

1978 SOLINUS 128 (Joint with King Of Macedon)

1977 GENTILHOMBRE 133



AMERICAN STEEPLECHASE NEWS




NSA RELEASES SPRING NUMBERS

Due in large part to a decrease in sponsor commitments at NSA race meets, total steeplechase purses for the spring season were down from the record numbers established in 2001.


From March through June 6, the NSA distributed $2,583,646 in purses for 117 individual races. The purse figure was down $184,879 from the same period in 2001, while there were two fewer races this spring compared to last year.


The news was tempered by several factors including the record purse levels reached in 2000 and 2001, and slight increases in the number of starters (820) and individual horses (367).


"The purse decrease was somewhat expected due to the general state of the economy and other factors," said NSA director of racing Bill Gallo. "With no pari-mutuel wagering, steeplechase meets rely heavily on corporate support for purses and sports all over the country are seeing a decrease in sponsor commitments. We are very pleased with the horse numbers, especially because we got off to a slow start early in the year. Our late spring races had big fields."

STEEPLECHASE BETTING SOARS AT RACETRACKS

Five steeplechase races held at racetracks during the spring season resulted in significant handle numbers for the host racetracks, and reflected strong interest and healthy increases over 2001.


Total wagering on five races at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont was $2,842,953 ­ an average of more than $568,000 per race.


Churchill led the way with a record handle of $910,000 on the May 2 Hard Scuffle Stakes. At Pimlico, a move from the Thursday of Preakness Week to Friday helped power betting figures to $510,000. The number nearly doubled the 2001 figure of $216,000.


"It speaks well for the race, and goes to show you that if you put a competitive race out there, people will support it ­ no matter what kind of race it is," said Pimlico chief operating officer Lou Raffetto.


At Belmont, $637,000 was wagered on the June 6 Meadow Brook Stakes, an increase of $80,000 over the 2001 race.


"Historically, jump races handle less than flat races but hopefully we bring more to the table than wagering," said NSA director of racing Bill Gallo. "We offer a unique opportunity for fans of flat racing to see the Thoroughbred horse do something different. We are always grateful to our racetrack hosts, and hope to see the handle numbers continue to rise."

EIGHT NOMINATED TO ZEKE FERGUSON STAKES

Two Grade I winners headline the nomination list for the $50,000 Zeke Ferguson Memorial Stakes (Gr. III) to be run Saturday, July 13 at Colonial Downs. The race helps complete a banner day for Colonial, which also hosts the $500,000 Virginia Derby and $150,000 All Along Stakes.


The Ferguson starts with veterans Electron and Invest West. Both are past Grade I winners, but are winless this year. Owned and trained by John Griggs in Kentucky, Electron won three races last season including the Grade I Atlanta Cup. Augustin Stable¹s Invest West, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, was unbeaten in two starts during the 2000 season, did not run over jumps last year and returned with a third-place effort at Fair Hill May 27.


Kinross Farm's P.C. Plod, twice a stakes winner this year, carried co-highweight of 158 pounds in the Ferguson and tries to become the year's first triple stakes winner. Virginia-based trainer Neil Morris rested the son of Pleasant Tap after Fair Hill, and hopes for another quality effort from the stable star.


Edie Dixon's Indispensable tries to repeat his victory in the 2001 Ferguson for Maryland-based trainer Jack Fisher. The veteran hurdler rocked the toteboard with a $50 payoff last season, and comes into this year's race off a disqualification at Fair Hill. Indispensable defeated P.C. Plod in the $30,000 Miles Valentine Stakes, but was disqualified for interference and placed second.


The nomination list (with weights under allowance conditions): Allgrit (142), Electron (154), Hunt Lane (146), Indispensable (154), Invest West (150), Little Hurt (146), P.C. Plod (158), Tres Touche (158).


Entries for the Ferguson, a 2 1/4-mile race being run for the fifth time, close July 8.

TEAM NEILSON STARTS FAST AT COLONIAL

So far, the steeplechase season at Colonial Downs has been a coming-out party for Pennsylvania trainer Sanna Neilson's crop of quality maidens.


Neilson-trained horses have won two of the three races thus far.
Landslide Farm's first-time starter Boomtown started the ball rolling with a $15,000 maiden win on June 22. Rick Michaels' Chilean import El Guardaespalda backed up that tally with another $15,000 maiden win a week later. Champion jockey Gus Brown was aboard for both tallies. As for the Colonial bettors, they're learning. Boomtown paid $17.40, while El Guardaespalda returned $10.40. Neilson and Brown team up with Assembly for Saturday's maiden race.


"He'll probably be the favorite, but I don't know if the streak can continue," said Brown, who vaulted into the top spot in the NSA jockey standings with 10 wins. "Boomtown was a bit of a surprise, and the other horse ran great. I'm happy to get my season back on track."

In the only allowance hurdle at Colonial thus far, Ken Avanzino's Tallow improved to 2-for-2 and stamped himself a legitimate Saratoga threat with an impressive score June 22 for trainer Bruce Miller.


2002 RACING DATES
June 2 Oxmoor Steeplechase; Louisville, Ky.

June 6 Belmont Park; Elmont, N.Y.

June 22 Colonial Downs; New Kent, Va. (two races).

June 29 Colonial Downs; New Kent, Va. (two races).

July 6 Colonial Downs; New Kent, Va. (two races).

July 13 Colonial Downs; New Kent, Va. (two races).

July 20 Colonial Downs; New Kent, Va. (two races).

July 21 Saratoga Open House; Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (three races)
July 25 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

July 31 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 1 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 8 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 14 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 15 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 22 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 28 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Aug. 29 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Sept. 15 Arlington Park; Arlington Heights, Ill. (two races)


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