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BackTrack: A Sight to Behold in 2004 Rampart

Blood-Horse - 35 min 59 sec ago
This week is a recap of Sightseek's's victory in the March 14, 2004, Rampart Handicap (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The recap, written by Scott Davis, ran in the March 20, 2004, magazine. It carried the headline "Sight to Behold."

Hovdey: In Horse of the Year vote, it's Accelerate vs. history

Daily Racing Form - 46 min 8 sec ago
<div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jay Hovdey </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-article-columnist"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Jay Hovdey </div> </div> </div> <p>Justify should be Horse of the Year.</p><p>Accelerate should be Horse of the Year.</p><p>Justify should be Horse of the Year because since 1936 no Triple Crown winner has ever not been Horse of the Year.</p><p>Accelerate should be Horse of the Year because since 1950 (Noor was robbed!) no older horse with a similarly stellar record has ever not been Horse of the Year.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/hovdey-horse-year-vote-its-accelerate-vs-history" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

New Jersey purse bill advances out of committee

Daily Racing Form - 1 hour 25 min ago
<p>A bill that would send $20 million annually from the New Jersey General Fund to Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses and breeder awards has passed out of a state Senate subcommittee.</p> <p>The bill would provide $10 million each year for the next five years to subsidize overnight purses at Monmouth Park, with $7.6 million going to purses at the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway. The remainder would go to boost breeder awards in the state.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/new-jersey-purse-bill-advances-out-committee" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

Study puts $424 million price tag on Pimlico overhaul

Daily Racing Form - 1 hour 36 min ago
<div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Matt Hegarty </div> </div> </div> <p>A total teardown and rebuild of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore to make the track &ldquo;the ideal venue to host the Preakness Stakes&rdquo; would cost a minimum of $424 million, according to a study conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority in consultation with the track&rsquo;s owner, The Stronach Group.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/study-puts-424-million-price-tag-pimlico-overhaul" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

World of Trouble using Marion County as bridge to the big time

Daily Racing Form - 2 hours 42 min ago
<div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Marty McGee </div> </div> </div> <p>An outstanding 3-year-old season for World of Trouble began at Tampa Bay Downs, and that&rsquo;s where it will end. World of Trouble will make his seventh and final start of the year Saturday in the $125,000 Marion County, one of four stakes on Cotillion Festival Day at the Oldsmar, Fla., track.</p> <p>Trained by Jason Servis for a three-way partnership, World of Trouble has developed into one of the fastest horses in North America, having earned a 118 Beyer Speed Figure when finishing second in the Breeders&rsquo; Cup Turf Sprint six weeks ago at Churchill Downs.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/preview/world-trouble-using-marion-county-bridge-big-time" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

Woodbine Mohawk Park: Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout announced

Daily Racing Form - 3 hours 6 min ago
<p>Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 on Saturday, December 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.</p> <p>The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover currently sits at $269,858.26 with six cards remaining ahead of the December 22 mandatory payout date. There will be no freezing of the pool ahead of the mandatory payout.</p> <p>This will be the third consecutive year that Woodbine has offered a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout on the final Standardbred card before Christmas.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/woodbine-mohawk-park-jackpot-hi-5-mandatory-payout-announced" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

Woodbine officials hoping new turf course will attract more horses, betting

Daily Racing Form - 4 hours 32 min ago
<div class="field field-type-text field-field-alternate-title"> <div class="field-label">Alternate title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Woodbine hopes new turf course will attract more wagering </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ron Gierkink </div> </div> </div> <p>ETOBICOKE, Ontario &ndash; With the 133-day meet ending on Sunday, there&rsquo;s good and bad news on the wagering front at Woodbine. Overall betting is up, but the important home-market handle has decreased.</p> <p>&ldquo;Wagering by Ontario customers on the 2018 Woodbine Thoroughbred meet is down 5 percent,&rdquo; said Greg Martin, Woodbine&rsquo;s vice president of wagering. &ldquo;We would expect this bottom-line number to improve. All-sources wagering on the Woodbine Thoroughbred meet is currently up 3 percent due to strong growth from U.S. markets.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/preview/woodbine-officials-hoping-new-turf-course-will-attract-more-horses-betting" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

Maryland Stadium Authority Calls for Rebuilt Pimlico

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
The Maryland Stadium Authority's completed study about the future of Pimlico Race Course, expected to be released Dec. 13, will lay out a plan that includes the demolishing and rebuilding of the Baltimore racetrack at a price tag of $424 million.

Chad Brown Seeks Rampart Double with Electric Forest

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
One year after trainer Chad Brown trainee Lewis Bay scored a dominating, gate-to-wire run in the $100,000 Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, the trainer returns to the Florida track Dec. 15 with another promising filly.

New Jersey Lawmakers Advance Purse Supplement Bill

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
The New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Dec. 10 unanimously approved legislation that would provide purse supplements to Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the state.

Audible Makes Graded Return in Harlan's Holiday

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners' Audible, undefeated in two starts last winter at Gulfstream Park, returns to South Florida for the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday Stakes (G3) Dec. 15.

Problems With Pick 4 Wager Linked to United Tote

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
A regulator has determined that wagering problems associated with a New York Racing Association-hosted Pick 4 in October, featuring stakes races at ParisLongchamp and Belmont Park, were caused by a human error at United Tote.

Kentucky Approves Classification for CBD Oil, Cardarine

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
At its Dec. 11 meeting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved a "B penalty" classification (second-highest level) for cannabidiol, which previously had not been classified.

Equibase, Keeneland Collected Test GPS Workout Data

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
A six-week test held in September and October showed great promise to provide race-like accuracy for morning workouts and more in-depth analysis.

Keeneland Expands Spring Meet

Blood-Horse - 12 hours 36 min ago
Keeneland Dec. 12 announced expansions to its 2019 spring meet, which will open April 4, a day earlier than in previous years, and present two new stakes, both $100,000 turf sprints.

El Camino Real Derby to Offer Automatic Preakness Spot

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2018-12-12 17:24

The El Camino Real Derby, Golden Gate Fields’ cornerstone race for 3-year-olds to be held Feb. 16, 2019, will provide the winner with an automatic, all expenses paid berth to the May 18 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico, it was announced Wednesday. Any horse nominated to the Triple Crown series is eligible to earn the automatic berth.

A Bay Area fixture entering its 37th year, the El Camino Real Derby was originally held at the now-defunct Bay Meadows, but has been held at Golden Gate since 2005. The nine-furlong event held over the Tapeta track will also provide the winner 10 qualifying points toward the GI Kentucky Derby.

“We are ecstatic to offer this intriguing incentive to run in the El Camino Real Derby to our horsemen, owners, breeders and their horses,” said David Duggan, Vice President and General Manager of Golden Gate Fields. “We have seen horses in the past go on and do big things in Triple Crown races after running here in the El Camino Real Derby and we are hoping to see that trend re-emerge with this new bonus in 2019.”

The Golden Gate Fields Winter/Spring Meet gets underway Wednesday, Dec. 26 and runs through Sunday, June 9.

 

Pilot project to track workouts via GPS returns encouraging data

Daily Racing Form - Wed, 2018-12-12 17:14
<p>LEXINGTON, Ky.&nbsp;&ndash; A pilot project to use GPS technology to time workouts conducted in September and October at Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky has proved the system can work in the future with a larger workload, the administrators of the project said on Wednesday.</p><p><a href="http://www.drf.com/news/pilot-project-track-workouts-gps-returns-encouraging-data" target="_blank">read more</a></p>

Japanese Filly, Kukulkan, Magical All Pegasus Possibilities

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2018-12-12 16:49

After a recruiting trip to Japan, the Stronach Group’s President Mike Rogers has secured a commitment from the connections of Aerolithe (Jpn) (Kurofune) for the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational to be run Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. The race is worth $7 million.

In addition, Rogers reports that the connections of Mexican star Kukulkan (Mex) (Point Determined) are considering a start in the $9-million GI Pegasus World Cup and that the Coolmore team has indicated that it will start GI Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the Pegasus Turf race.

Aerolithe will be five when the Pegasus card is conducted. She is 4 for 13 in her career with three stakes wins, including the G1 NHK Mile Cup. Rogers said that the ownership group, Sunday Racing Co., Ltd., has agreed to come, but there still may be a hitch

Nippon Cargo Airlines had been the primary carrier in Japan when it comes to transporting horses. Earlier this year, the airline was grounded after the Japanese government found errors in its maintenance records, which has made shipping horses in and out of Japan very difficult. Rogers said he is trying to find alternative means of shipping the horse from Tokyo to the U.S. He has been in contact with both Korean Airlines and Tex Sutton Equine Transport and is cautiously optimistic transportation can be worked out.

“We’re committed to helping support the shipping costs from Japan,” Rogers said. “It’s about growing the event, so we’re committed to helping the owner with that.”

Rogers said he was also scouting for Japanese dirt horses for the Pegasus World Cup, but the horses on the list that were considering the race all ran poorly in the G1 Champions Cup on the dirt and their connections decided to pass. Nonetheless, Rogers saw getting even one Japanese horse as a major coup for the Pegasus races.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “We really want to position ourselves to be an international race, so having a horse from Japan is a step in that direction.”

A Japanese presence could also greatly help grow the handle. Rogers said it was unlikely the 2019 Pegasus Turf would be simulcast in Japan. That country limits the amount of foreign races its bettors can wager on to 20, and there are several restrictions. However, if the Japanese continue to participate in the Pegasus events that could open the doors to players in that country being able to bet on Gulfstream’s two rich races. The first ever race simulcast into Japan was the 2016 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Japanese bet about $35 million on the race.

“We are not overly optimistic we will get approved this year,” Rogers said. “We’re long-term thinkers and I think we will get approved in the future. We’re playing the long game on this one.”

Kukulkan is a sensation in Mexico, where he was undefeated in 13 starts and won the Mexican Triple Crown. He shipped to Gulfstream to compete in last Saturday’s $300,000 Carribean Classic S. and demolished his opponents, winning by 10 1/4 lengths.

“Kukulkan’s owner is considering running, as well,” Rogers said. “We are really excited about that. The horse is undefeated and you have to give him a lot of credit for that. Yes, he probably hasn’t run against this kind of competition yet, but the owner seems like a real sportsman and he’s taking it under serious consideration. For us, to have a Triple Crown winner from Mexico positions us even more so to be an international event.”

Considering that Kukulkan got a 71 Beyer Speed Figure in The Carribean Classic, he will likely have a hard time competing against the caliber of horses lining up for the Pegasus World Cup.

Rogers reported earlier that Coolmore, which has been a big supporter of the Pegasus program from the start, has made a commitment to run in both races. Rogers said he has been told the stable will likely ship Magical to run in the $7-million turf race. She’s coming off a stellar performance in the Breeders’ Cup Turf where she finished second behind Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), losing by just three-quarters of a length. She would likely be heavily favored in the Pegasus Turf.

Getting other European horses to come over is still a work in progress, and January is not a good time to have a race when looking to attract European flat horses. The top quality horses from overseas are primarily put away for the winter until the flat season starts up in the spring.

“Maybe it’s out fault because we were late in announcing this race, but we’ve been told by the Europeans if they had a little more time they could have prepared to run in the race,” Rogers said. “We’re committed to this turf race. I think you’ll see more Europeans put it on their calendar in the future.”

At $7 million, the Pegasus Turf has a bigger purse than any single race in Europe.

Meadowlands: Horses to watch from December 6 - December 8

Daily Racing Form - Wed, 2018-12-12 16:25
<p>Meet Stats: 1 - 5 / $7.60 (Stats reflect next start only)<br /> <br /> <strong>IWILLMAKEUSAYWOW</strong> (NW5000) left well to get away third, came uncovered and only lost by a half of a length.<br /> <br /> <strong>PAPPY GO GO </strong>(PREFERRED) was trapped behind horses the entire stretch while appearing to have plenty left.<br /> <br /> <strong>GRIFFON HANOVER</strong> (NW8500) stormed home from the back and seems to be getting sharper.</p>

So… Who’s Horse of the Year? Baffert & Sadler

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2018-12-12 16:24

BOB BAFFERT, TRAINER, JUSTIFY

I don’t vote and, of course, John Sadler and I are both biased. We both trained two really good horses and had really good years with them. The Triple Crown is the biggest arena the sport has. It is the holy grail of our sport. What Justify did was pretty incredible. He ran six races right in a row and won them all. That takes an incredible athlete to do something like that. I’ve been fortunate and blessed to train some great horses. He had six outs. Accelerate, who had a great year, had seven outs. But they were spaced out and John did a fantastic job of managing him. Justify had to toe the line. I didn’t have a chance to pick or chose with Justify, he had to just go. We couldn’t miss a beat with him, and he pulled it off. You can’t do that unless you have an exceptional horse. We’ve seen so many horses go down in the Belmont. I should know. They fail when they get there. It takes an exceptional , superstar kind of horse, and that’s what Justify is. My take on it is that it is incredibly difficult to win the Triple Crown and he made it look easy. With him and Pharoah, great 3-year-olds, there is something about them, their mechanics, their genetics…they are superior horses and he was a superior horse. People knocked us because the horse never ran after the Belmont, but he couldn’t run, he had an injury. Unfortunately, those things happen. I was just as sad as everyone else when we had to stop on him. I wouldn’t have had any doubts about him handling older horses. If he was that good in the spring of his 3-year-old year, just imagine how much better he would have been come the fall. He would have been twice as good.

JOHN SADLER, TRAINER, ACCELERATE

Full disclosure to everyone: I’m biased and I do not have a vote for Horse of the Year, but if I did, it would be for Accelerate. At the beginning of 2018, we mapped out a year-long campaign that was crafted to get Accelerate to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. During that period, Accelerate hit every mark we needed him to in his training, never took a misplaced step or had a setback. Accelerate went on to compile a race record of six wins from seven starts, was the high- weighted/co-highweight horse in six of those races and five of those wins were at the highest level, Grade I, going 1 ¼ on dirt– the quintessential “Classic” distance in U.S. racing. From a historical perspective, only four other horses have achieved this feat since 1975 and three of those were named Horse of the Year in their respective years (Affirmed in the pre-Breeders’ Cup era, Alysheba and Cigar since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup…Lava Man was the other and he was defeated by Invasor (Arg) in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic, their only head-to-head meeting.) The Breeders’ Cup is, by our sport’s definition, the Championship event of horse racing. Winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the equivalent of the Super Bowl and more times than not, the winner of that event has been named Horse of the Year. Accelerate did all those things in 2018, ran superior speed figures (by whatever metric you use) and did not duck anyone in the process.

It would be remiss to not acknowledge Bob Baffert and the connections of Justify for their achievements. The constraints of the Triple Crown are well known and there are no “do overs” on the trail. Bob’s record in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont needs no preamble at this stage of his career and what Justify did in a short amount of time was another of his achievements that made history. I’m sure the connections of Justify are disappointed that they were not able to finish out the year due to injury. As a sport, we were all denied the opportunity to see these two horses compete head to head in our Championship event. That said, Accelerate should not be penalized because Justify was unable to run and he did.

On a final note, while Justify overcame the “Apollo curse,” Accelerate overcame my much-maligned Breeders’ Cup record. That’s a Horse of the Year achievement unto itself!

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