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Updated: 2 days 18 hours ago

Heat Forces Woodbine To Push Back Thursday Post Times

Mon, 2024-06-17 12:40

Thursday's eight-race card at Woodbine Racetrack has been pushed back and will begin at 6:05 p.m., the track announced Monday. The move was made in the best interest of horse welfare as an extreme heat warning is in effect for the city of Toronto and the surrounding areas. Woodbine noted that the decision to push back the start time was made in consultation with the HBPA. Woodbine is the latest track to alter post times due to the heat joining Finger Lakes, who moved both Tuesday and Wednesday cards up to begin at 11:15 a.m. and Presque Isle Downs who moved their Monday-Wednesday cards up to begin at 1 p.m.


UPDATE: We have adjusted our post times for Tuesday and Wednesday this week to 11:15am due to anticipation of excessive heat and humidity. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. Stay cool and hydrated!

View the schedule:

— Finger Lakes Gaming (@FlGaming) June 17, 2024

The post Heat Forces Woodbine To Push Back Thursday Post Times appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Santa Anita Concludes Winter-Spring Season With 99.97% Safety Record

Mon, 2024-06-17 09:15

Santa Anita Park concluded the six-month 2023-24 Winter-Spring season on June 16 which, when combined with the six-week Autumn Meet from 2023, produced a 99.97% safety record, making the 1/ST Racing facility the safest track in North America among those with a comparable volume of racing and training according to a release from the track Monday.

Since the Opening Day of the Autumn meet on Sept. 29, 2023, through the Closing Day of the Hollywood Meet on June 17, 2024, 6,678 horses ran in races over Santa Anita's main track and turf course. The 99.97% safety mark ranks Santa Anita the highest in the world with a similar schedule.

Santa Anita Park's record is highlighted by a 90% improvement in racing fatalities over the past five years since historic reforms to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred racing were instituted by 1/ST Racing, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), and industry stakeholders.

Santa Anita Park is also home to one of the largest training facilities in the country, operating year-round with over 375,000 training sessions per year.

“It is impossible to overstate the diligence that the entire racing community has put into prioritizing the safety of the horse above all else,” said SVP and General Manager of Santa Anita Park Nate Newby. “From the owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and the hardworking men and women who care for the horses each day, everyone has done their part to make safety our North Star.

“Winter is always a challenge with weather, and we have a tremendous Santa Anita Park track crew, led by veteran Dennis Moore, whose tireless efforts and countless long days were vitally important.” Newby continued. “We are grateful to the CHRB for their unwavering leadership in placing the welfare of the horse first, and especially to our horseplayers, who continue to support Santa Anita Park which enable all of us to continue these industry-leading efforts.”

“Santa Anita Park veterinarians performed nearly 6,400 examinations prior to horses working at Santa Anita since Sept. 1 of last year,” said Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for 1/ST Racing. “The heightened scrutiny has allowed for additional opportunities for everyone to work for the best interest of the horse. We are pleased that since HISA adopted many of the Santa Anita Park and California protocols in the last year, the overall safety of the sport has improved throughout the country.”

The post Santa Anita Concludes Winter-Spring Season With 99.97% Safety Record appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Week In Review: Northern California Racing Begins Its Uphill Battle For Survival

Sun, 2024-06-16 19:54

You have to root for the people who strive so hard to make a go of racing in Northern California after Golden Gate Fields shut its doors for good June 9. Racing has a rich history in Northern California and there are hundreds of people, from hotwalkers to grooms to trainers to breeders, and everybody in between, who depend on the sport to put food on the table. They deserve better than the uncertainty that has left most everyone worrying about their futures after The Stronach Group announced it was closing Golden Gate Fields, which had been operating since 1941.

But if the first weekend of the post-Golden Gate Fields era is any indication, this is going to be a tough battle to win.

The first of the five fair tracks that make up the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) circuit, opened Friday and the numbers were not good. Pleasanton ran six races on Friday, opening day, and attracted only 33 runners. On Saturday, they ran seven races and there were just 38 starters. That works out to an average of 5.46 starters per race. They fared a little bit better on Sunday, when they were able to cobble together an eight-race card with 51 horses entered.

That makes for a bad betting product, but the handle numbers were actually up from last year. The total handle over the first two days was $1,840,674. Last year, the combined handle on the first two days at Pleasanton was $1,501,424. The gain was 22.5 percent.

But that was hardly a cause for celebration. The betting public sent a message loud and clear, that wagering on small fields at racetracks people aren't that familiar with is a very tough sell. Averaging $920,337 a day might work for a short fair meet, but the goal in Northern California is to turn Pleasanton into the hub for a circuit that runs for at least six months.

The biggest problems the CARF tracks face are horse population and field size. Golden Gate had to cancel racing five times over the last two months because it didn't have enough horses to fill cards. The only way to get bigger fields is to increase purses, but it doesn't look like the public is going to bet enough on these tracks to make it happen.

It only figures to get worse since California breeders are likely to cut back with so much uncertainty facing racing not just in the North but in the South as well. California-breds are vital to filling cards in Northern California and their numbers continue to decline. As recently as 2015, 1,855 horses were foaled in the state. In 2022, the number was 1,310. And that's likely to drop even further.

A turf course would help. But Pleasanton doesn't have one. The only CARF track that does is Santa Rosa, but its entire 2024 racing season comes down to just nine days.

Golden Gate Fields | Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography

In past years, the fairs would host racing from mid-June to late October and then Golden Gate would re-open and begin its long meet, which stretched out over nearly nine months. This year racing will return to Pleasanton on Oct. 19 and the meet will be run by a group calling itself Golden State Racing. That meet will run through late December.

Then what? Who will hold racing in Northern California during the first five months of 2025?

That doesn't mean that someone won't try. Racing officials in the northern portion of the state seem determined to formulate a plan that will save racing in the region.

When the California Horse Racing Board met in March and approved the Golden State Racing meet at Pleasanton, CARF CEO Larry Swartzlander issued a statement that was brimming with optimism.

“We brought together the best and the brightest of our sport,” Swartzlander said. “Our commitment was to develop a horse racing plan that is modern, enhances the economic and social health of the community, is safe for the horses and jockeys, fun for our fans and generates excitement in Northern California. “[Pleasanton] provides a financially sound location. We anticipate more dynamic racing fields, higher purses, and betting opportunities that enhance the fun. At the same time, we have adhered closely to ideas offered by experts as we continue focusing on the health of our horses and jockeys.”

That's all well and good and Swartzlander and his team deserve the chance of what amounts to pulling a rabbit out of their hat. But the bottom line is sobering: not enough horses, only limited opportunities on the grass, handles too small to generate even medium-sized purses, no plans in place yet for next year, plus no chance of receiving money from casinos or slot machines. Northern California racing was having a tough enough time as it was when Golden Gate was still around. With what is left over, how can racing in that part of the state survive? One can only hope.


Fierceness's Little Brother Wins

The news on last year's 2-year-old champion Fierceness (City of Light) has not been good of late. After a poor showing in the GI Kentucky Derby he was supposed to reappear in the GI Belmont S. but did not run because trainer Todd Pletcher felt he needed more time and is now pointing the colt to the GI Haskell S.

In the meantime, Pletcher could have a new star on his hands and it's Fierceness's full-brother, Mentee (City of Light). He turned his debut Saturday at Aqueduct into a winning one when beating six others in a maiden special weight race. He won by only a nose, but it looked like rider John Velazquez was overconfident in the stretch and wasn't aware that Colloquial (Vekoma) was making a strong late run down the middle of the track. Over time it will be interesting to compare Fierceness and Mentee to see if Mentee has any of the same quirks that have hurt Fierceness and turned him into the sport's most erratic horse.


More Good News on Break Down Rates

According to a metrics report, HISA announced last week that over the first quarter of 2024 there was a 38 percent decrease in racing-related fatalities year-over-year. The numbers were derived only from tracks that HISA has control over.

But if the data holds up throughout the year, the number of racing-related fatalities per one thousand starts will have dipped all the way to 0.89. In 2009, the first year that the Jockey Club started recording fatalities, the number was 2.0 per 1,000 starters. Fifteen years later, the number has never dipped below 1.0.

The sport has come together and done an excellent job when it comes to addressing breakdowns. But the goal must remain to reduce the overall number to as few as possible.

The post Week In Review: Northern California Racing Begins Its Uphill Battle For Survival appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Planetario Breaks His Own Track Record To Win Another GIII San Juan Capistrano S. At Santa Anita

Sun, 2024-06-16 18:33

Favored to defend his title in Sunday's GIII San Juan Capistrano S., Planetario (Brz) didn't disappoint, breaking his own course record over the 1 3/4-mile distance at Santa Anita in the process.

Installed the 3-5 choice to repeat, the 6-year-old settled at the back as longshots Bee Catcher (English Channel) and Rimprotector (Point of Entry) led through moderate early fractions. Turning for home, 5-2 second choice Rockemperor closed resolutely from the outside, while Planetario launched his own bid in between rivals down the center of course. While the former appeared to be en route to victory, the Brazilian bred had the most momentum, sweeping to the front late to post his first victory of the season.

“I rode him with patience and he gave me a good finish,” said winning rider Hector Berrios.

After the race, Antonio Fresu contemplated if he may have moved too early on Rockemperor. On the final turn, Fresu angled out Rockemperor for racing room and they seized control at the top of the stretch.

“At some point I had to go and try to get the momentum,” said Fresu. “That is how the track is playing. It is playing very speed favoring, so at some point I had to go. Maybe I should have waited a little bit longer, but I just asked when the horse was ready to go. He went and he never slowed down. The other horse just caught me.”

For Mandella, this was the third San Juan Capistrano win in his Hall of Fame career.

“He is an old pro. He knows what he is doing and he likes his job,” Mandella said. “He has a great mind and running in a race like that, that's what you need.”

A dual Group 1 winner in his native Brazil, Planetario made his initial six starts in the US, topped by wins in this race last June and the 12-furlong GII Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar in November. This season, he finished runner-up behind Missed the Cut in both the 10-furlong GIII San Marcos S. Feb. 10 and the GIII San Luis Rey S. over 1 1/2 miles Mar. 23. Favored in his latest, he came home a close-up third in the May 4 GII Charles Whittingham S.

Pedigree Notes:
Il Doge, Brazil's champion 2-year-old colt in 2014, is a son of Overbrook Farm homebred and 1998 GI Florida Derby winner Cape Town. Despite extremely small reported crops, he is the sire of two Brazilian Group 1 winners. Planetario's female family traces directly back to the Calumet Farm homebred Nellie Flag, who was sired by Man O' War's son American Flag and was Calumet's initial champion. The champion 2-year-old filly of 1934, Nellie Flag became a foundation mare for Calumet. In addition to producing champion Mar-Kell and Kentucky Oaks winner Nellie L., her descendants include three-time Horse of the Year Forego and Kentucky Derby winner Bold Forbes.


Watch as Hector Berrios and #6 Planetario (Brz) run down #2 Rockemperor (Ire) to win Santa Anita's $100,000 San Juan Capistrano (G3)!

— FanDuel Racing (@FanDuel_Racing) June 16, 2024

Sunday, Santa Anita
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO S.-GIII, $100,500, Santa Anita, 6-16, 3yo/up, 1 3/4mT, 2:46.95, fm.
1–PLANETARIO (BRZ), 126, h, 6, by Il Doge (Brz)
                1st Dam: Aerosfera (Brz), by Crimson Tide (Ire)
                2nd Dam: High Hopes (Arg), by Lode
                3rd Dam: High Sever (Arg), by Ringaro
O/B-Stud Red Rafa (BRZ); T-Richard E. Mandella; J-Hector Isaac
Berrios. $60,000. Lifetime Record: MGISW-Brz, 19-8-3-1,
$390,548. Werk Nick Rating: B.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Rockemperor (Ire), 126, g, 8, Holy Roman Emperor
(Ire)–Motivation (Fr), by Muhtathir (GB). (€50,000 Ylg '17
ARAUG; €12,000 2yo '18 ARQMAY). O-Madaket Stables LLC,
Wonder Stables, Michael J. Caruso, Michael Dubb and Michael
Kisber; B-Haras du Mezeray (IRE); T-Philip D'Amato.
3–Rimprotector, 122, g, 5, Point of Entry–Flourish, by Distorted
Humor. ($18,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Fred Desimone, Gordon
Jarnig and Tim McCanna; B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Tim
McCanna. $12,000.
Margins: NK, 2HF, 1 3/4. Odds: 0.70, 2.60, 12.90.
Also Ran: Bee Catcher, Offlee Naughty, Order and Law.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

The post Planetario Breaks His Own Track Record To Win Another GIII San Juan Capistrano S. At Santa Anita appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Aguas de Cristal Hands Sire Volatile His First Winner At Monmouth Park

Sun, 2024-06-16 15:23

5th-Monmouth, $51,675, Msw, 6-16, 2yo, f, 5f, :58.82, ft, 4 1/2 lengths.
AGUAS DE CRISTAL (f, 2, Volatile–Cedar Hall {MSP}, by Bayern) broke her maiden at first asking which handed her freshman sire (by Violence) his first winner out of 124 foals of racing age. As a 7-2 shot here, the filly pursued favorite Me Governor (The Factor) up the backstretch. As the pair separated themselves from the rest of the field, they began to trade blows into the lane. With a sixteenth left, it was clear Aguas de Cristal had more in the tank and she blazed home a winner by 4 1/2 lengths. Aguas de Cristal's dam has produced only one other offspring, a colt by Independence Hall who was foaled Jan. 29. Sales History: $75,000 Ylg '23 KEESEP; $195,000 RNA 2yo '24 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,500. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O-Strike Stable; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Jorge Delgado.

AGUAS DE CRISTAL won her debut in nice fashion today @monmouthpark under Jairo Rendon!

— DelgadoRacingStables (@RacingDelgado) June 16, 2024

The post Aguas de Cristal Hands Sire Volatile His First Winner At Monmouth Park appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Santa Anita’s Sunday Worktab Stacked With Stakes Winners

Sun, 2024-06-16 15:21

There was a slew of notable workers on a sunny Father's Day Sunday at Santa Anita. Working for Bob Baffert were Grade I winner Arabian Knight (5f, :59.20) and Reincarnate (4f, :49.20). Arabian Knight has been sidelined since a fourth-place finish in the Nov. 4 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Reincarnate most recently was second in the GII Hollywood Gold Cup May 27.

Trainer John Sadler worked Tapalo (Tapiture), who a seven-length winner of the May 12 Lazaro Barrera S. at seven furlongs. The ridgling drilled six furlongs in 1:12.80. Tapalo is targeting the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby June 29.

Johannes (Nyquist) had his first work for trainer Tim Yakteen since taking the May 27 GI Shoemaker Mile. The 4-year-old colt worked four furlongs in :48.60.

Trainer Peter Eurton worked his stakes-winning triumvirate of Exaulted (Twirling Candy), Medoro (Honor Code) and Stay Hot (Summer Front). Exaulted, winner of last year's GI Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, earned a bullet when working five furlongs in :59.60. The 7-year-old hasn't started since last September when second in the GII Del Mar Mile.

Medoro, who is a perfect 4-for-4 with three stakes wins, worked four furlongs on the main track in :47.60. The 3-year-old filly most recently won the Apr. 20 GIII Providencia S. at Santa Anita.

Stay Hot, a three-time stakes winner including last December's GIII Cecil B. DeMille at Del Mar, drilled three furlongs in :37.60. It was the 3-year-old's first work since shipping to Churchill Downs and finishing last in the GII American Turf on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 4.

Trainer Doug O'Neill worked stakes winners Happy Jack (Oxbow), E J Won the Cup (Omaha Beach, Anarchist (Distorted Humor) and Miss Lizzy (Classic Empire). Happy Jack, winner of the GII Triple Bend S. June 1, returned to the tab with a four furlong move in :49.20. E J Won the Cup, who collected his second stakes win in the May 27 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park, drilled four furlongs in :48.80. GSW Anarchist, who is on the comeback trail, worked five furlongs in 1:02.00. Miss Lizzy earned a bullet when working four furlongs on the training track in :46.80.

Also working on the comeback trail was Masteroffoxhounds (War Front) for trainer Phil D'Amato. Off since finishing 13th in last year's GI Breeders' Cup Mile, Masteroffoxhounds worked five furlongs in 1:01.20. D'Amato also worked multiple graded stakes winners Balnikhov (Ire) (Adaay {Ire}) and Desert Dawn (Cupid).

Balnikhov, recent winner of the GIII Dinner Party S. on the Preakness undercard at Plimlico May 18, went three furlongs on the training track in :36.60. Desert Dawn went three furlongs in :36.60. She has been off since a third-place finish in the Apr. 21 GII Santa Maria S. at Santa Anita.

There were a combined 184 timed workouts on the main track and training track.




The post Santa Anita’s Sunday Worktab Stacked With Stakes Winners appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Gargan Makes Summer Plans for ‘TDN Rising Star’ Complexion

Sun, 2024-06-16 14:33

Trainer Danny Gargan's stable is humming along at a nice clip in the wake of celebrating a little over a week ago his first Grade I win with Dornoch (Good Magic) in the Belmont S. and with Society Man (Good Magic) taking the GIII Matt Winn S. at Churchill Downs a day later. Gargan stopped by the TDN Writers' Room podcast for a conversation.

Finally, to cap his stellar week, Complexion (Complexity) broke her maiden at first asking during the Belmont at the Big A meet on Friday, which earned the 2-year-old filly 'TDN Rising Star' honors. Now, the trainer is making summer plans.

A half-sister to MGISW and current sire Jack Christopher (Munnings), Complexion cleared the field by 6 1/2 lengths under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez.

“Johnny came back and said she's so impressive,” said Gargan. “She stumbled at the start really bad and she just picked herself up and cleared the field pretty easily. That's hard to do. If she didn't stumble, she would've been five or six lengths ahead in a minute. She's really talented.”

Gargan said he will point the juvenile to the Schuylerville S. on Thursday, July 11, which is Opening Day of Saratoga Race Course. The GI Spinaway S. Aug. 31 will be the larger target.

Complexion | Coglianese

“The stake is coming up at Saratoga, we will train her like we are going there,” Gargan said. “Hopefully everything goes well, and we make it there. She's a talented filly, we will see how she's doing and then the Spinaway would be the ultimate goal.”

The conditioner said Complexion, a chestnut with a distinct white blaze, boasts physical similarities to Jack Christopher and was pleased to see Friday's performance resemble his ability well.

“Their faces are so much alike, said Gargan. “Their legs even. She definitely resembles him a ton and she's got talent like him. Knock on wood, I'm blessed, I trained a full-brother to a Derby-winner [Mage] and won the Belmont, and now I have Jack Christopher's half-sister and she looks talented. A lot of people say you can't get siblings that can run, but we've been blessed lately.”

Speaking of Dornoch, the plan is still to point him towards the GII Jim Dandy S. July 27 at Saratoga or the GI Haskell S. July 20 at Monmouth Park, with the long-term goal being the GI Travers S. Aug. 24 at the Spa.

Gargan said that Society Man will aim for the GIII West Virginia Derby Aug. 4 at Mountaineer Racetrack, but will also nominate him for the Jim Dandy.

“I'll nominate him to it [the Jim Dandy] and see what it is coming up like, but I'm leaning towards the West Virginia Derby with him. I'll keep Dornoch probably in New York, who could run in the Haskell or Jim Dandy,” Gargan said.

The post Gargan Makes Summer Plans for ‘TDN Rising Star’ Complexion appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Letter To The Editor: Why Calls For Synthetic Racing Surfaces Aren’t Hysterical

Sun, 2024-06-16 12:58

I have enormous respect for TDN writer Chris McGrath and Wayne Lyster. One's an outstanding journalist and eloquent writer who works for an essential trade publication; and, the other's built a highly-successful breeding operation.

I, nevertheless, must respectfully disagree with their characterization of calls for replacing dirt tracks with synthetic surfaces as “hysterical.” While I cherish racing's dirt traditions (my goodness, Man o' War is my favorite horse of all-time), I'm also mindful of existing data that explicitly show that synthetic racing is the safest surface in the U.S.

Numbers aren't emotional; and that raw data has not been disproven. Just because people speak out in moments of grave concern and sorrow does not negate the validity of such data, nor does it make the call for such change grounded in “uncontrolled, extreme emotion” as the term hysterical is defined. When calls for change are based on raw numbers, it's hardly hysterical or uncontrolled.

Do I think it's fantastic that this year's televised Triple Crown's races (and their undercards) were all successful in the sense that all horses and riders returned safely? Absolutely. Am I thrilled that since HISA's assumed oversight over safety that the rate of catastrophic breakdowns has significantly decreased? You better believe it. Do I think dirt tracks should continue to study the issue and implement all existing measures that make dirt racing safer? Undoubtedly–and they are–which really gives me hope.

On the flip side of that question, though, is how long will racing “study” the issue of what surface is safer? This is an industry that constantly suffers from analysis paralysis simply because many of its “leaders” and major investors are averse to any kind of change, to the detriment of the sport. This is a sport constantly behind the eight ball.

Let's also consider that other televised equestrian sports (i.e., Grand Prix show jumping) have already converted their dirt arenas to synthetic because it's safer. And racing is a much more dangerous sport than show jumping, even when the horses are jumping 1.6m (and everyone who insures a racehorse for mortality has experienced the high cost of premiums as compared to other sport-horses).

Does racing want to be an outlier when we face similar outside pressure campaigns from animal rights extremists who don't believe horses should be used for any sport, particularly when this is a sport always at risk for another horrific breakdown on national television?

These are legitimate questions that U.S. racing must consider.  These are not hysterical questions. These are existential. Heightened awareness of these issues is one of the reasons the industry is making such big moves forward in this very moment. The industry seems to finally be awakened to the fact that making massive changes is desperately needed to ensure racing's social license doesn't evaporate.

If the research that HISA is currently conducting regarding surface safety can show that we can consistently make dirt racing on a national level as safe as, or safer than, synthetic (or even turf) racing, I will gladly change my mind.

Racing's traditions are important; and the dirt racehorse brings a level of power and strength to the breed that has impacted the sport on an international level. Until then, however, the call for synthetic isn't hysterical, it's necessary as we strive to protect not only the life of the horse, but the life of the sport.

–Amanda Luby, Welbourne Stud

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Curlin’s Bright Future Back in Business in Monmouth’s Salvator Mile

Sat, 2024-06-15 20:23

With two Grade I winners and two 'TDN Rising Stars' comprising half the GIII Salvator Mile S. field at Monmouth Park Saturday, it was Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables LLC's Bright Future (h, 5, Curlin–Sophia's Song, by Bellamy Road)–one of the former Grade I winners who was also coming off a seven-month layoff–who got the win after a tight trip on the rail. Fellow GISW Shirl's Speight (Speightstown), who has done his best running on the lawn but was third in this race in 2022, tired to sixth.

The winner broke alertly, but was outfooted to the front and got locked into a joint-third inside spot with Shirl's Speight behind Charles Town star Coastal Mission (Great Notion) and Gulfstream stakes winner Oscar Eclipse (Oscar Performance ) through :24.05 and :48.16 fractions. Surrounded on all sides with no where to go and shuffled back to sixth on the far turn, Bright Future miraculously had the seas part in front of him just after the announcer noted him “plodding in place” coming off the turn. The chestnut accelerated sharply at the top of the stretch, found yet another gear late in the lane, and blasted right by Coastal Mission and last-out Parx allowance victor Movisitor (Uncle Mo) for a 1 3/4-length triumph.

“That was a big performance,” said Anthony Sciametta, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “We're very pleased. The horse was training well at Belmont so I'm really not surprised. They obviously liked him. When he started falling back a little bit we got a little worried but then he came running again. It's a big win for him. He is coming off the bench and it's really good for him going forward.”

Bright Future has been off since a sixth-place finish behind White Abarrio (Race Day) in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic last November, a spot he earned on the merits of a GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. win in the waning days of the Saratoga meet in September. Those two starts followed an open daylight allowance win at Saratoga, the first in a string of three consecutive races that netted triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures for Bright Future. His last several works upon returning have been very sharp, including a :47 3/5 move over four furlongs (3/172) on Belmont's training track June 8.


#2 BRIGHT FUTURE ($4.20) got rolling down the inside to win Monmouth's $150,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (G3).

This is the first start of the year for the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, who was ridden by @jjcjockey for @PletcherRacing and owners St. Elias Stable & @RepoleStable.

— FanDuel Racing (@FanDuel_Racing) June 15, 2024

Pedigree Notes:

Bright Future is one of 59 graded winners from 105 black-type winners for Hill 'n' Dale's super sire Curlin, who has 10 stakes winners (six graded) on the year thus far. Bright Future's win also marks the third consecutive weekend Curlin has had a graded winner, starting with GIII Blame S. winner Highland Falls June 1 and continuing with GII Suburban S. winner Crupi June 8.

Sophia's Song, a listed winner at Laurel who was also GSP at Charles Town, sold at last November's Fasig-Tipton 'Night of the Stars' sale on the heels of Bright Future's Jockey Club Gold Cup win. Shadai Farm picked her up in foal to Jackie's Warrior for $1.35 million and promptly shipped her to Japan. The mare had several headlining months. In addition to Bright Future's GI win in September, her debuting 2-year-old, Booth (Mitole), was named a 'TDN Rising Star' at Keeneland in October and, in December, her sophomore daughter Musical Mischief (Into Mischief) finished third in the GI American Oaks. Sophia's Song currently has a juvenile colt by Tiz the Law and a yearling colt by Maxfield. The mare is out of an unraced full-sister to dual champion sprinter Housebuster from the same family as last year's GI Hopeful S. winner Nutella Fella (Runhappy). Damsire Bellamy Road, the 2005 GI Wood Memorial S. winner, has an even dozen black-type winners out of his daughters.

Saturday, Monmouth
SALVATOR MILE S.-GIII, $155,000, Monmouth, 6-15, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:36.96, ft.
1–BRIGHT FUTURE, 118, h, 5, by Curlin
               1st Dam: Sophia's Song (SW & GSP, $155,892),
                              by Bellamy Road
               2nd Dam: Dreamscape, by Mt. Livermore
               3rd Dam: Big Dreams, by Great Above
($350,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable and St. Elias
Stables LLC; B-Clearsky Farms (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Javier
Castellano. $90,000. Lifetime Record: GISW, 9-5-0-2,
$926,940. *1/2 to Musical Mischief (Into Mischief), GISP,
$189,084. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Coastal Mission, 122, g, 5, Great Notion–Smart Crowd, by
Crowd Pleaser. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Coleswood
Farm, Inc. (WV); T-Jeff C. Runco. $30,000.
3–Movisitor, 118, c, 4, Uncle Mo–Ristretto, by Medaglia d'Oro.
$120,000 3yo '23 FTKHRA). O-Waldorf Racing Stables LLC;
B-Forgotten Land Investment Inc (PA); T-Marya K. Montoya.
Margins: 1 3/4, NK, 2HF. Odds: 1.10, 6.20, 21.00.
Also Ran: Stage Raider, Oscar Eclipse, Shirl's Speight, Artorius, Sherlock's Jewel.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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Tom’s d’Etat Records First Winner With Goosebumps

Sat, 2024-06-15 15:28

3rd-Belterra, $16,700, Msw, 6-15, 2yo, f, 5f, 1:01.42, ft, 1 length
GOOSEBUMPS (f, 2, Tom's d'Etat–Callisto, by Malibu Moon) became her sire's (by Smart Strike) first winner Saturday in her second start after being a well-beaten second going a half-furlong further over the local course May 25. Off the pace early, she worked her way through the pack through a half in :47.99, swung out off the turn and had plenty to offer late, outrunning late leader Secret Valentine (Global Campaign) to get up by a length. A Winblaze homebred, Goosebumps has a yearling half-brother by Yoshida (Jpn) and a newborn half-sister by Outwork. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $22,360.
O/B-Winblaze, LLC (OH); T-Timothy E. Hamm.

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Kentucky Derby Longshot Hero Rich Strike to Head to Bill Mott

Fri, 2024-06-14 20:16

Rich Strike (Keen Ice), who upset the GI Kentucky Derby at 80-1 in 2022, is set to join trainer Bill Mott, according to owner Rick Dawson. Rich Strike was last seen finishing fifth for his former trainer Eric Reed in the 2023 running of the GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs.

“Richie visited Rood & Riddle this morning for his final ultrasound test,” Dawson said in a Facebook post on Thursday. “All went as good as could be expected & better than expectations on several issues – our plan is to move him to HofF Trainer Bill Mott in a few days. Richie's training will be stepped up slowly & forwardly over the next month or two. Should he continue to stay sound after more training is implemented we will look for a first race that fits him coming back from over a year off the track.”

Withdrawn by Dawson from last year's Keeneland November Sale, Rich Strike subsequently underwent stem cell treatments — under the advice of Dr. Larry Bramlage — aimed at healing issues with his suspensory ligaments in his two front legs.

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Shancelot’s Midland Money A New ‘TDN Rising Star’

Fri, 2024-06-14 18:50

The third 'Rising Star' to come out of the freshman sire class in just 24 hours, Midland Money (Shancelot–Magnolias In Bloom, by Flatter) became his sire's (by Shanghai Bobby) second overall winner Friday with a gate to wire win at Santa Anita.

A $650,000 OBS March buy for CSLR Racing Partners LLC, the colt worked a quick furlong in :9.4 in Ocala to become the most expensive 2-year-old buy from his sire's first crop. He'd already shown his propensity to be quick in the mornings, putting up back to back bullets on both May 20 (four furlongs in :46 1/5 {1/35}) and May 27 (four furlongs in :46 2/5 {1/41}) to earn the wagering public's 1-5 bet of confidence. Drawn conveniently outside, Midland Money came out of the gate on even terms with Smash It (Star Guitar) and that pair quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. But the favorite was faster and opened up even on that rival into the turn through a quarter in :22.37. While it looked briefly as if Smash It might try to make a quarter-pole run, that moment was short lived and Midland Money came home under wraps in dominating fashion. Magnolias In Bloom, now the dam of two winners from three to race, foaled a filly by Spendthrift's GI Kentucky Derby winner Authentic this year.

6th-Santa Anita, $54,500, Msw, 6-14, 2yo, 5f, :58.15, ft,
6 lengths.
MIDLAND MONEY, c, 2, Shancelot
                1st Dam: Magnolias in Bloom, by Flatter
                2nd Dam: Atrea, by Storm Cat
                3rd Dam: New Dice, by Capote
Sales History: $40,000 Wlg '22 KEENOV; $130,000 Ylg '23 KEESEP; $650,000 2yo '24 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $32,400. Click for the chart and VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
O-CSLR Racing Partners LLC; B-Memory Lane Racing, LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert.

As advertised #6 MIDLAND MONEY ($2.40) was a rocket out of the gate and cruises to an easy win on debut in race 6 at Santa Anita. The 2yo son of Shancelot was ridden by Juan Hernandez and is trained by Bob Baffert.

Watch more on @FanDuelTV.

— FanDuel Racing (@FanDuel_Racing) June 14, 2024

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$375K Uncle Mo Colt Has Late Star Turn At OBS June Finale

Fri, 2024-06-14 17:29

OCALA, FL – The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training got a late boost from its supplemental section when a colt by Uncle Mo brought the top price of $375,000 during Friday's final session of the three-day auction. The 2024 June sale concluded with numbers just a tick off the sale's 2023 renewal. A total of 582 2-year-olds grossed $21,386,800 during the three-day auction, with the average of $36,747 down 2.2% from last year's figure and the median held at $20,000.

Ramon Morales purchased Friday's session topper–and the sale's third highest-priced juvenile–on behalf of Marc Tacher from Julie Davies's consignment.

Earlier in Friday's session, the Green family's D. J. Stable went to $325,000 to acquire a colt by Justify from the de Meric Sales consignment. The colt was one of five juveniles purchased by the operation at the June sale.

“I think there are good spots and there are soft spots,” Jon Green said of the market this week in Ocala. “That's the way it's been for all of these auctions over the last couple of years. We are kind of waiting and picking our spots to aggressively bid on the top ones we like. At this sale, we probably have a strike rate of 33%, which means we are getting outbid on two out of every three horses that we like. So there is definitely a strong market in pockets and I think if you bring a nice horse to any of these auctions, you are going to get rewarded for it.”

As the juvenile sales season in Ocala concluded, Greg Martin of Britton Peak said he was happy with his consignment's results this spring.

“Personally, it went well,” Martin said. “I was very happy with the results all through the sales, March, April and June. It's like every sale, you bring quality and people are going to pay. For horses who work well and vet well–there are so many hoops you have to jump through–but at the end of the day, if you get past that last hurdle, people pay. You have to bring the right pedigree, you have to bring the right animal. But it's like anything else, if you bring the product, people will pay for it.”

Britton Peak sold all six through the ring at the three-day June sale, led by a $250,000 daughter of Munnings. The consignment also sold a colt by Tiz the Law for $500,000 at the OBS Spring sale.

Looking ahead to the yearling sales, Martin said he plans to repeat the formula which has worked for him in the past.

“I am going to stick with what I've been successful with,” he said. “If the right horses are there, people are on them. People are sharp. Once in a while, you will find a diamond in the rough, but most likely, you are going to have to pay. I am going to be cautious, I always am, and I will manage the risk.”


Marc Tacher | Photos by Z

Tacher Strikes Late for Uncle Mo Colt

With just a few hips left in the OBS June sale Friday, trainer Ramon Morales bid $375,000 to acquire a colt by Uncle Mo (hip 1021) on behalf of Marc Tacher.

“Marc came last week and saw the horse and he loved him,” Morales said. “We waited for him and are happy to get him.”

Consigned by Julie Davies, the bay is out of stakes winner Kim K (Will Take Charge), a daughter of multiple stakes winner Trip for A.J. (Trippi). He was purchased by 3 Friends for $185,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale and, supplemented to the June sale, galloped during last week's under-tack show.

Tacher's Sonata Stable enjoyed a runner-up effort with Arzak (Not This Time) last weekend at Saratoga in the GI Jaipur S. He purchased the 6-year-old for $575,000 from Julie Davies's consignment at the 2020 OBS Spring sale.


Justify Colt Joins D.J. Stable

A colt by Justify (hip 768) will be carrying the colors of the Green family's D.J. Stable and Robert Cotran after selling for $325,000 early in Friday's final session of the OBS June sale. The juvenile is out of Intentonseduction (Street Sense), who is a daughter of Giant Mover (Giant's Causeway) and is a half-sister to graded winners Family Tree (Smart Strike) and Liora (Candy Ride {Arg}). Liora was second in the 2018 GI Kentucky Oaks and Family Tree's son Heroic Move won the recent GIII Steve Sexton Mile.

Justify | Sarah Andrew

“When you are coming to any of these 2-year-old sales, you are looking for a couple of things,” Jon Green said. “One is pedigree, the other is longevity as far as, is the horse going to run two turns. Certainly, this Justify colt checked both of those boxes. The horse is going to go to Joe Orseno, who has Hades for us and a number of other horses. He was not only the top horse on his list, but also on top of Mark Casse's list as well. We were happy to get him for the price we did.”

West Bloodstock purchased the colt for $45,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. He was consigned by De Meric Sales.

“One of the strengths of the OBS June sale is that it gives horses that have a little bit of a problem or hit a bump in the road or have a stumble on the way, it gives them an opportunity to show what they can do without being pressed to try to do it earlier than they are ready,” Green said. “This colt is a big, two-turn kind of horse and he would have not done as well, in my estimation, in March or April. He did have a couple of hiccups. He's over that and he looks like he will be able to go forward with us now as the races get longer.”

D.J. Stable joined with Gary Barber a few hips later to acquire a filly by Maclean's Music (hip 783) for $250,000, also from the de Meric Sales consignment.

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FanDuel TV To Broadcast Entire Royal Ascot Meet Featuring Four Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Races

Fri, 2024-06-14 13:35

FanDuel TV's coverage of the entire Royal Meeting at Ascot will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET with first post scheduled daily at 9:30 a.m. ET from Tuesday, June 18 through Saturday, June 22, the network said in a release Friday.

The broadcast team will include FanDuel TV's Scott Hazelton along with UK-based Nick Luck and Jess Stafford.

Over the course of five days, the slate includes four Breeders' Cup Challenge Races–the G1 Queen Anne S., the G1 Prince of Wales's S., the G2 Norfolk S. and the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. The winners will earn automatic berths into the GI FanDuel Mile, the GI Turf, the GI Juvenile Turf Sprint and the GI Turf Sprint, respectively.

“Once again, we are looking forward to providing full coverage of one of the premier international race meets of the year,” said Kevin Grigsby, FanDuel TV executive producer. “Royal Ascot is always special on its own, and with increasing participation from US-based connections and key qualifying races for the Breeders' Cup, this is a must-watch event for racing fans.”

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Kentucky Trainer O’Connor Retiring

Fri, 2024-06-14 12:16

Rob O'Connor II, for nearly four decades a fixture on the Kentucky racing circuit, has announced his retirement from training, he told the Churchill Downs media office.

“There are so many people in this game that are unable to retire on their own terms and I'm very fortunate to say I'm able to do so,” O'Connor said. “This sport is so special to me and I'm so proud to have built a life in it. I've had a great career and was around so many dedicated owners throughout my time as a trainer. I just can't say enough how lucky I was.”

Having taken out his license in 1985, O'Connor saddled his first winner in January 1986 with Lady Rolls at Latonia Race Track in Northern Kentucky. Over the course of his career, O'Connor recorded 477 wins from 3,696 starters for earnings of $7.4 million. His final starter was Pat'schromecompass, who finished seventh at Tampa Bay Downs. O'Connor has since transferred much of his stable to trainer Greg Foley, a longtime friend. O'Connor was in attendance at Churchill Downs Thursday night when his former trainee Cox Canyon won a $10,000 claiming event.

“I'm just so thankful and thrilled for everyone involved especially his owner Bruce McCrea,” O'Connor said after the race. “Having my family here with me, along with the entire Foley family here, that's what life is all about.”

O'Connor also trained privately for Louisville businessman James Bohanon. The duo was represented by American Dynasty, a stakes winner at Ellis Park and Turfway Park.

“I trained for Mr. Bohanon for nearly two decades,” O'Connor said. “It was a true blessing because when I had horses for him, it was when my kids were growing up. I was able to be around my family which was very important.”

In his retirement, O'Connor said he looks forward to spending more time with his family including his two young grandchildren Robert O'Connor IV and Parker O'Connor.

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Time for Trouble Named 2023 Claiming Crown HOTY

Fri, 2024-06-14 11:43

Time for Trouble (English Channel) has been named as the 2023 Claiming Crown Horse of the Year, according to a joint announcement from the National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association (NHBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), co-founders of the Claiming Crown.

A two-time winner of the Kent Stirling Memorial Iron Horse, the 7-year-old was selected as the Claiming Crown Horse of the Year from the eight winners during last year's event at the Fair Grounds. Time for Trouble was also victorious in the 2022 running at Churchill.

An $8,000 claim by trainer Jeff Hiles in June 2021, Time for Trouble has been effective on both turf and dirt, winning a muddy Oaklawn allowance on the heels of his Claiming Crown success this past January before finishing third in the GIII Essex H. Fourth in the GIII Ben Ali S. at Keeneland Apr. 20, he filled the same spot in last weekend's GII Suburban S. at Saratoga, finishing less than two lengths behind the victorious Crupi (Curlin).

“It's definitely a great achievement,” said the Louisville-based Hiles, who co-owns Time for Trouble with Thorndale Stable's Paul Parker of Paducah, KY. “We're going back in it this year, if he stays healthy. In order to do that, he's going to have to be on top of his game, because those races are difficult. He's been a really good horse for us. He just doesn't stop.”

The Claiming Crown Horse of the Year is voted on by the National HBPA's Industry Awards Committee chaired by Todd Mostoller, the Pennsylvania HBPA's executive director.

“Time for Trouble is a poster boy for how claiming horses, even at cheaper levels, can rise up to compete in racing's upper echelon with good horsemanship, a dream and some luck,” said Todd Mostoller, the executive director of the Pennsylvania HBPA who also chairs the National HBPA's Industry Awards Committee. “These horses give smaller stables the hope that they, too, can some day land the proverbial Big Horse.”

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$400K Twirling Candy Filly Sets the Pace at OBS June Sale Thursday

Thu, 2024-06-13 17:27

OCALA, FL – The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training continued its steady course Thursday, with figures through two of the auction's three sessions in line with its 2023 statistics.

During two sessions, 384 juveniles have sold for $14,402,900, with the average of $37,508 ticking up 3.1% from a year ago and the median remaining steady at $20,000. With 125 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 24.6%.

Through two sessions a year ago, 410 juveniles had grossed $14,922,600 for an average of $36,397. The buy-back rate was 21.9%.

For the second day in a row, the session was topped by a $400,000 filly from the Tom McCrocklin's consignment. Thursday's top offering was a Twirling Candy full-sister to GI Preakness S. winner Rombauer who was purchased by John Stewart's Resolute Bloodstock.

Despite the two session toppers, McCrocklin admitted the June market was “tenuous.”

“It's tough,” McCrocklin said. “I am of the opinion we might be getting into a little sales fatigue, a little financial fatigue. You know when you've been at the mall since March and your credit just went over the limit and it's time to go home. I think a lot of buyers feel that way right now.”

The record rain fall in South Florida this week may have kept some potential buyers away, McCrocklin added.

“Unfortunately, they had historic rain in Miami yesterday, so I don't think anybody came up from Gulfstream,” he said. “I don't know that they would have come in anyway, but that sure didn't help. It's June and it's hot and it's a lot of work. You have to really be motivated to be here and buying horses. Having said that, there is some tremendous value here. For people who are skeptical, there is some tremendous value at OBS June. There really is. I told somebody earlier, you could buy a racing stable here and come out ok. I'd like for them to consider that going forward.”

McCrocklin added, “We've done very well and we are very grateful to the people who bought our horses, but it is tough right now.”

Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consigned Thursday's second-highest priced offering, a filly by Justify who was purchased by Tom Durant for $310,000.

Randy Hartley | Photos by Z

“The market just seems saturated,” Randy Hartley said. “We have how many Thoroughbreds that were born this year? Say 16,000 to 17,000. When I started there was 40,000. And now you have 6,000 or 7,000 going to the yearling sale and 3,000 are coming here now. There used to be maybe 1,000–there were 300 horses in the sale, we didn't have a June sale then. I feel like the market is changing a little bit. How you get more people in, I don't know.

“The yearling sales are probably going to be good, because those people who have a gazillion dollars, they don't care about buying one. But it's the guy who has $100,000 and his wife says no, maybe you shouldn't spend that $100,000–that's who we are missing.”

Hartley theorized that the added technology available to buyers at the 2-year-old sales may be hindering the market.

“I know modern technology is a good thing, but I feel like now it's gotten out of hand,” he said. “Now with the videos walking, videos breezing, the pictures, the gallop-out times, the breeze times, there are seven things and chances are something is going to come up on one of those things. Versus coming here and just going with your gut. I think Bob Baffert is the best horse picker there is in the world because he picks his own horses. He's a gut-feel buyer. I think when you see something yourself [in person] versus just flipping through, sometimes you see something you might not have liked otherwise. I think technology is great, but at the end of the day, I think you have to go with your gut.”

The OBS June sale concludes Friday with a session beginning at 10 a.m.

Twirling Candy Filly to Resolute

A Twirling Candy full-sister to GI Preakness S. winner Rombauer (hip 509) matched the top price of Wednesday's opening session when bringing a final online bid of $400,000 from John Stewart's Resolute Bloodstock Thursday in Ocala. Like Wednesday's session topper, a daughter of Tiz the Law, the juvenile had RNA'd at the OBS Spring sale, worked a quarter-mile in a bullet :20 2/5 during last week's under-tack preview, and was consigned by Tom McCrocklin.

“She has the pedigree and the residual value is there,” Resolute's Gavin O'Connor said of the filly's appeal. “At that price, she made a lot of sense. She looked very clean and comfortable going in :20 2/5 and she galloped out well. The pitch was that we would have a go at her and basically, as good as she made it look and as comfortable as she was, with the residual value of the pedigree, she looked like the right acquisition for Resolute Racing. We were delighted to get her at that price.”

The filly, bred by John and Diane Fradkin, RNA'd for $570,000 as a weanling at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton November sale and again for $225,000 as a yearling at last year's Keeneland September sale before selling to Mustang Farm for $140,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October sale. She worked a furlong in :10 flat before RNA'ing for $285,000 at the OBS Spring sale in April.

“We didn't see her in April,” O'Connor said. “But her work this time just looked a little bit more clear and concise. She had obviously come on from April.”

Resolute purchased five horses at the OBS March sale, led by a $1-million son of Authentic. The operation now has some two dozen 2-year-olds on its roster with a group of yearlings waiting in the wings for next racing season.

John Stewart in the winner's circle last weekend with Didia | Sarah Andrew

“I know the boss is keen to build out many more active racers, so we can have more of a presence on the big days within the racing calendar,” O'Connor said. “So we are slowly, but surely, getting there and we've got another 14 or 15 yearlings to break next year to add to the racing stable as well. And we are always open to ready-made racers as well.”

O'Connor said no trainer had yet been picked out for the filly.

Among Resolute's March purchases was a $500,000 daughter of Munnings, who like hip 509, was consigned by McCrocklin.

“I am very happy Resolute bought her,” McCrocklin said of Thursday's purchase. “We sold them a Munnings filly in the March sale, so they must be happy with how she came out of the sale. We need more people like Mr. Stewart to be in the game, supporting the industry, so it's a good result and we are really happy. We think she is a genuinely nice filly.”

McCrocklin admitted having a pair of fillies bring $400,000 at the June sale after RNA'ing at the April sale was a definite longshot.

“It's like the quote from Dumb and Dumber, 'One in a million,'” he said with a laugh. “It's highly unlikely. It's difficult to do. And all the credit goes to the horses.”

Justify Filly to Durant

A filly by Justify (hip 624) will join Tom Durant's Midwest-based stable after selling for $310,000 during Thursday's second session of the OBS June sale. The bay is out of Etching (Paynter), a daughter of GI Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly (Summer Squall). She was consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, which purchased her for $275,000 at Keeneland last September.

“Tom saw her breeze and he loved her,” said Randy Hartley. “He's a good client of mine and he asked me what I thought about her. I told him she's a nice filly. We had her in the last sale and she worked in :10 flat and the sales people just didn't get on her. They got on the other fillies more than her. She came back and worked excellent. Tom loves Justify and she's a filly with a nice pedigree. She's going to Texas and he's going to race her out there. He will win some stakes with her and he will have a nice little mare for down the road.”

Smullen on the Board at OBS

Heather Smullen, who celebrated her first win as a trainer at the end of May at Gulfstream, was in action building up her stable at OBS Thursday where she purchased a colt by Win Win Win (hip 377) for $6,000.

Heather Smullen aboard Tiz the Law in 2020 | Sarah Andrew

“I have some people who just want to buy in portions,” Smullen said. “Ideally, I would love to pick up more clients up here and get a couple of nice 2-year-olds.”

Consigned by Ocala Stud, hip 377 is out of Adios Annie (Adios Charlie), a half-sister to Grade I-placed Candrea (Trippi).

“He was just a value play,” Smullen said. “He is a nice little horse with a nice stride on him. And he's a Florida-bred, so he fits in down there. I really like the Win Win Wins. He's late to mature, so he has some growing to do, but that's okay.”

Smullen has served as an assistant trainer for Arindel Farms and to trainers Dale Romans and Phil Serpe. She currently has 15 horses in her South Florida-based stable, which has been dealing with historic rains this week.

“All of Gulfstream had issues with the rain, but you just handle it,” she said. “We found dry stalls and put them in the dry stalls and carry on.”

Smullen will continue shopping into the last session of the June sale Friday.

“If anyone has anything they want to buy themselves and want to send down, I'd love to have more,” Smullen said.

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Amplify Racing’s Equine Industry Youth Mentor Program Looking For Participants

Thu, 2024-06-13 15:51

Amplify Horse Racing is accepting applications through June 30 for its fall 2024 Mentorship Program, which is scheduled for Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, the educational non-profit said in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

The program provides an introductory step for youth and young adults who want to learn more about the Thoroughbred industry by matching them with experienced industry professionals who can offer career guidance.

The suggested age range for mentee candidates is 15-25, with no restrictions based on academic achievement. The program is also accepting potential mentors who can demonstrate substantial and relevant experience in the Thoroughbred horse industry or an applied field, and can meet the program's minimum training requirements, background check and time commitment. All applicants must be residents of the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

Amplify will host a live-streamed Q&A session for potential mentees and mentors on Facebook, X and YouTube on Thursday, June 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions in real time about program logistics and timeline, or can submit questions in advance to

Travel grants to outstanding mentees will be awarded to those who complete their intake and demonstrate a strong dedication to pursuing involvement in the Thoroughbred industry. Award recipients will have the opportunity to travel to Kentucky for a weekend of behind-the-scenes tours in November, and will be recognized at Amplify's annual youth and young adult Thoroughbred industry networking event.

“I knew that applying for this program could allow me the opportunity to explore future career paths,” said spring 2024 mentee, Grace Conley. “Through my mentorship, I now have connections to people in equine media and communications if I ever need a letter of recommendation or want to apply for an internship. I was also able to meet a lot of different people and see new places that are important to the industry.”

Click here to learn about the program and to apply.

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Celebration Of Life Planned For Equine Insurance Agent At Monmouth Park Aug. 17

Thu, 2024-06-13 15:20

A celebration of life is planned for longtime equine insurance agent Louis Joseph Smith Jr., who passed away Nov. 20 of last year in Ocala, Florida at the age of 77. The event will take place at Monmouth Park on Saturday, Aug. 17 and a race will be named in his honor.

Smith was in the racing business for 36 years as an owner. He served as a valued insurance agent, safeguarding the well-being of the horses and providing peace of mind to his clients. A member of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Smith was a fixture at Monmouth and during the Ocala Breeders Sales.

Please email Laura Mogila,, for further details.

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New York Gaming Commission To Hold Hearing Over Asmussen’s Payroll Practices; Threatens To Revoke His License

Thu, 2024-06-13 14:07

The New York Gaming Commission will hold a hearing Sept. 18 to look into whether or not Steve Asmussen's owner-trainer license should be revoked, the board said via a press release on Thursday.

Asmussen has been accused on a number of occasions of violating federal labor laws by failing to pay his workforce overtime. Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Labor obtained a court order requiring Asmussen to pay $243,260 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages (for a total of $486,520) after its investigation found that his allegedly illegal pay practices denied 163 grooms and hotwalkers at Churchill Downs and Keeneland of overtime wages.

When reached for comment, Asmussen attorney Clark Brewster told the Thoroughbred Daily News that, “We welcome the opportunity to provide transparency and frank discussion to the Gaming Commission regarding federal agency actions that have impacted so many trainers in this industry. Steve has always paid at the top of the scale for all backside workers. The issue has never been the actual pay workers received, but has focused on rules relating to record keeping.”

In the Notice of Hearing issued Thursday by the New York Gaming Commission, regulators laid out the issues they will look into to determine whether or not Asmussen's license should be revoked. They are:

1) Asmussen's financial responsibility, experience, character and general fitness and whether they are such that his participation in racing would be inconsistent with the public interest, convenience or necessity and with the best interests of racing generally in conformity with the purposes of Article II of the Racing Law.

2) Whether or not Asmussen is financially irresponsible.

3) Whether or not Asmussen has been guilty of or attempted any fraud or misrepresentation in connection with racing or otherwise or has been guilty of or engaged in similar, related or like practices.

4) Whether or not Asmussen has violated or attempted to violate any law with respect to racing in any jurisdiction or has been guilty of or engaged in similar, related or like practices.

5) Whether or not Asmussen has engaged in one or more improper, corrupt or fraudulent acts or practices in relation to racing or has conspired with any other person to commit or have assisted in the commission of any such act or practice; and/or that revocation of Respondent's license is necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

The hearing will be held before a hearing officer assigned to the case by the Gaming Commission. Asmussen will have the right to appeal any decisions made by the Gaming Commission to the court system.

When it was announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a court order requiring Asmussen to pay the $486,520 it said he owed employees, it was determined that Asmussen failed to pay non-exempt employees the additional half-time owed based on their regular rates of pay for hours over 40 in a workweek.

“More than 160 grooms and hotwalkers whose work enables Asmussen Racing Stables to be successful will soon have the opportunity to recover the back wages they're owed and liquidated damages they deserve from an employer that mistakenly thought they could win without playing by the rules,” said Regional Solicitor Tremelle Howard.

While Asmussen has had persistent problems with the Department of Labor, this is first time that any gaming or racing commission has looked into the matter and threatened revocation of Asmussen's license.

The post New York Gaming Commission To Hold Hearing Over Asmussen’s Payroll Practices; Threatens To Revoke His License appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.