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Updated: 3 hours 41 min ago

Munnings’s Eda Easy As You Like in the Anoakia

Sun, 2021-10-24 19:59

Baoma Corp's Eda (Munnings) made light work of four fellow juvenile fillies to post her first stakes success in facile fashion in Sunday's Anoakia S. at Santa Anita.

Away without incident from the inside stall, the bay was beaten for speed, then angled away from the fence to stalk the pace outside of Shes Bout a Mover (Mastery) through a quarter in :21.90 and a half in :44.98. Pressing past the front-runner with a minimum of fuss at the head of the lane, Eda was under very little urging from Flavien Prat, who took a quick peek to his left to look at the infield screen to make sure the race was in safe keeping. In the end, Eda had 2 1/4 lengths to spare on the maiden Lady T (Into Mischief), while her stablemate Benedict Canyon (Midnight Lute) ran on for third.

Second, but promoted to first in her June 19 debut going five furlongs over this surface, Eda missed by a head to Elm Drive (Mohaymen) in the GII Sorrento S. at Del Mar Aug. 6. That effort established Eda as the clear favorite for the GI Del Mar Debutante, but she dropped back to finish fifth after attending a punishing early pace.

Bred in Kentucky by Nate McCauley, who successfully raced Munnings's daughter Venetian Harbor in partnership, Eda was a $240,000 Keeneland September yearling who matured into a $550,000 OBS March juvenile after breezing in :10 flat. Show Me is the dam of a weanling filly by Karakontie (Jpn) and returned to Munnings for her most recent covering. Eda is the 53rd black-type winner for her sire. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

ANOAKIA S., $79,000, Santa Anita, 10-24, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.41, ft.
1–EDA, 120, f, 2, by Munnings
1st Dam: Show Me, by Lemon Drop Kid
2nd Dam: Apt to Star, by Aptitude
3rd Dam: Sweeping, by End Sweep
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. ($240,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP; $550,000 2yo '21 OBSMAR). O-Baoma Corporation; B-Nathan McCauley (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat. $47,400. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-0, $130,000.
2–Lady T, 118, f, 2, Into Mischief–Red Carpet Miss, by Malibu Moon. ($235,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Jerome S & Tina Moss; B-Springhouse Farm & Circular Rd Breeders (KY); T-John A Shirreffs. $15,800.
3–Benedict Canyon, 120, f, 2, Midnight Lute–Bessie M, by Medallist. ($18,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $60,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP; $215,000 2yo '21 OBSAPR). O-Little Red Feather Racing; B-Mitch Haynes (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $9,480.
Margins: 2 1/4, 7 1/4, 2HF. Odds: 0.20, 5.40, 8.00.
Also Ran: Shes Bout a Mover, Cadillac Margarita.

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Santa Anita ‘Folds of Honor’ Charity Poker Tournament Raises $50K

Sun, 2021-10-24 18:23

Santa Anita Park's inaugural “Folds of Honor” Charity Poker Tournament, held Saturday night following the races in the track's Player's Lounge, raised more than $50,000 to help provide scholarships to spouses and children of disabled or fallen American military veterans.

A large contingent of Santa Anita fans, jockeys, agents, owners, trainers, employees and other racing industry personalities participated to make the event a success.

“We were very gratified with the turnout and the support we were able to provide to Folds of Honor,” said Santa Anita Senior Vice President and General Manager Nate Newby. “100% of the money won went to the Folds of Honor Foundation. This is a tremendous cause and I think everyone senses we have an obligation to help the families of those who have given so much in the defense of our freedom. We look forward to expanding this event and hosting it again next year.”

Among those Santa Anita-based jockeys that participated were Joe Bravo, Abel Cedillo, Kyle Frey, Ricky Gonzalez, Juan Hernandez, Edwin Maldonado, Tiago Pereira and Jessica Pyfer. Trainers included Vladimir Cerin, Ryan Hanson, Doug O'Neill and Jonathan Wong. Frank Mirahmadi, the Voice of Santa Anita and TVG's Dave Weaver, headed an enthusiastic group of Santa Anita employees and Thoroughbred owners.

The Folds of Honor Foundation, which has awarded more than 35,000 educational scholarships, was represented by retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant and P.O.W. Rocky Stickmann, who was one of 65 Americans taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran on Nov. 4, 1979. Stickman and his fellow Americans were held captive for 444 days until their release in January 1981.

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Code of Honor to Stand at Lane’s End

Sun, 2021-10-24 15:00

W.S. Farish-owned and bred multiple Grade I winner Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}–Reunited, by Dixie Union) will stand the 2022 season at Lane's End Farm. Earning almost $3 million in a career that included graded stakes performances each year from two to five, the colt is a six-time graded stakes winner and has a chance to add a seventh score at that level in Saturday's GII Hagyard Fayette S. at Keeneland.

Code of Honor graduated on debut before running second despite stumbling badly at the start in the GI Champagne S. Early in his 3-year-old season, he won the GII Fountain of Youth S., finished third in the GI Florida Derby and was runner-up in the GI Kentucky Derby. He followed that with scores in the GIII Dwyer S., GI Travers S. and GI Jockey Club Gold Cup against elders.

“Code of Honor impressed me from day one,” said trainer Shug McGaughey. “He is the type of horse every trainer dreams of; he is sound, balanced, and an efficient mover and takes to his training very well. What I saw him do as a 2-year-old when breaking his maiden at Saratoga gave me the confidence to go straight to a Grade I. Watching him overcome his bad break in the Champagne to run second was impressive and showed the heart and determination that's been a trademark of Code of Honor throughout his career.”

In his past two seasons, Code of Honor picked up graded stakes wins in the GIII Westchester S. and GIII Philip H. Iselin S. while also hitting the board in the GI Metropoilitan H., GII Kelso H. and GI Clark S.

“Code of Honor is a special horse on many different levels for us, and we're excited that he is returning home to the farm where he was born,” said Bill Farish of Lane's End. “He is what we like to see in a prospective stallion being a consistent performer at the highest level. He was a precocious 2-year-old that developed into a classic horse winning at the elite level. He has the proven race record, desired physical attributes and deep pedigree to make him the complete stallion package.”

Code of Honor is by European Champion Noble Mission and out of a W.S. Farish homebred who captured the GIII Thoroughbred Club of America S. and has produced eight winners from eight foals to race.

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Sportscaster Bob Neumeier Passes Away

Sun, 2021-10-24 14:43

Bob Neumeier, whose career as a sportscaster included a long stint with NBC's horse racing team, died Saturday. He was 70.
In 2014, Neumeier, known as “Neumy,” suffered a stroke and had battled health ailments ever since. Boston radio host Tony Massarotti reported that Neumeier died from heart disease/congestive heart failure.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Neumeier broke into broadcasting 1975 as the radio play-by-play man for the Hartford Whalers. In 1981, he was hired by WBZ-TV in Boston, where his duties included working as the weekend sports anchor. He was there for 20 years.

“We are saddened to offer our condolences to the friends and family of Bob Neumeier, who passed away last night,” an NBC spokesperson said in a statement. “In the midst of a prominent career in Boston, Neumy joined NBC Sports and for more than two decades was a beloved member of our family working on horse racing, football and Olympics, among other events. Our thoughts are with Bob's wife Michele, and the many sports fans to whom he meant so much.”

While at WBZ, he also served as the play-by-play commentator for the Boston Bruins.

After leaving WBZ, Neumeier went to work at WEEI, an all-sports radio station in Boston. From 2002-2005, Neumeier served as co-host with Dale Arnold on the station's midday “Dale & Neumy” show. After leaving WEEI, Neumeier covered such events as the Tour de France and the Turin Olympics, as well as racing's biggest events. He also hosted a show on Comcast SportsNet New England.

“It saddens me to report that my friend and former partner, Bob Neumeier, passed away yesterday,” Arnold tweeted Sunday. “Neumy was one of a kind, and all who knew him were better for it.”

“The Boston Bruins are saddened by the passing of our former radio play-by-play voice and longtime Boston sports media personality Bob Neumeier,” read a tweet from the Bruins. “We send our thoughts and condolences to Bob's family, friends, and colleagues.”

“We were very saddened to learn today of the passing of Bob Neumeier,” said the Breeders' Cup in a statement. “Bob was a big part of the NBC Breeders' Cup World Championships broadcasts for many years as a handicapper, reporter and analyst. Bob brought his expertise of Thoroughbred racing and a great sense of humor to every show. We extend our sincere condolences to Bob's wife Michele and to his extended family.”

In 2009, he collapsed while covering the GI Kentucky Oaks for NBC and was briefly hospitalized.

The 2014 stroke, which occurred shortly before he was to leave to California to cover the Breeders' Cup, required 5 1/2 hours of surgery and involved a stay in an intensive care unit. He went back to work seven months later.

“I was really nervous,” Neumeier told the Boston Globe about his return to the airwaves. “I didn't think there would be [butterflies], but there were. There's a lot of people involved here, colleagues and cohorts. They have an eye out, to see how I'm doing. Viewers have an eye out. People are saying, 'What is he doing? What does he sound like? What does he look like?' I didn't want it to be a freak show, not that it would have been. I just wanted it to be seamless. Maybe they missed me, maybe they didn't, but I wanted [viewers to think] my work would be the same. Maybe even better. That was how I thought about it.”

Just three months after the stroke, Neumeier won the inaugural NTRA National Handicapping Championship Charity Challenge.

An enthusiastic racing fan, handicapper and horseplayer, Neumeier was a staple of NBC's horse racing coverage for several years as he covered the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup and other major events. Along with Mike Battaglia, he was one of the network's go-to analysts for handicapping insights and betting advice. He had a smooth but dry delivery and an ability to relate to the $2 bettor.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston and New England Chapter honored Neumeier with its Silver Circle Award in 2017.

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Fasig-Tipton October Sale Opens Monday

Sun, 2021-10-24 14:23

LEXINGTON, KY – The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Sale brings the curtain down on a competitive season of yearling auctions when it begins its four-day run at Newtown Paddocks Monday morning. A total of 1,586 yearlings have been catalogued for the auction and bidding begins daily at 10 a.m.

Consignors were kept busy showing over the weekend and the foot traffic at the barns was a testament to the auction's continued growth in popularity in recent years.

“Historically, with the October sale, once the first call to post at Keeneland would ring, we would lose about 70% of the viewers,” Tommy Eastham said in front of his Legacy Bloodstock consignment on a rainy Sunday morning. “Saturday, we didn't see that. We stayed busy up to about 4:30 and our shows were up by about 20%. We saw some European guys here–that's unusual. And there has been a lot of interest from guys from all over the country that are going to be here. There is a lot of enthusiasm and there are a lot of good horses here.”

The evolution of the October sale has seen more and more yearlings pointed specifically to its later date.

“I think the sale has changed,” said Matt Lyons of Candy Meadows Sales. “Maybe before it was horses who didn't sell at other places who came here, but now there are enough good horses coming here for the first time. I think, for an agent, it's a sale you have to play because the best horse could be hip 1 or hip 1500. So you have to work the whole thing.”

Candy Meadows will offer 16 yearlings during the four-day auction, including a half-sister to stakes winner and multiple graded placed Coach (Commissioner) who the consignment sold at the 2019 October sale.

“All of my horses, this is their first sale. They've all been pointed here,” Lyons said. “So I hope there is enough money left. I have a good few later foals, so I like to give them a little bit of time.”

The auction's later date was a common answer to its rise in popularity.

“I think the catalogue and the results are the best advertisements,” Eastham said. “But even back 20 years ago, there was always a high-percentage of runners who come out of this sale. I remember asking Joe Taylor about these horses who vet better and they run better and he said, 'We leave them outside, we treat them different. We treat them like horses.' I think it gives more time for the horses to tell their stories to the buyers a little bit. So the buyers can see more of a mature product.”

The market has been strong right across the board all year. Consigner Bill Murphy expects those trends to continue at the October sale.

“I think overall it will be very strong,” Murphy said of expectations for the coming week. “Based on the sales throughout the year, the 2-year-old sales, the July Sale and Saratoga and September, there are still a lot of people who haven't been able to buy horses. So I think it will be very strong. But it will be the same old story. The high-end guys are going to land on the same horses and the middle to lower end are going to be spoiled for choice.”

Murphy agreed waiting for the last yearling sale of the season made sense for the horses in his consignment.

“I know I am [pointing specifically for the October sale],” Murphy said. “It gives the horse more time to mature, particularly if you've got a late foal. And they just do better. I used to go to July and earlier sales, but it's hard to get them ready when you are still breeding mares. For me the horses are more developed, more mature and if you have a good one, you're going to be a standout here.”

The popularity of the October sale has been bolstered by the success of its graduates on the racetrack. The list of 2020 graduates includes Jack Christopher (Munnings) who is the early favorite for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile following his victory in the GI Champagne S. at Belmont Oct. 2.

After RNA'ing for $145,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase last September, the chestnut sold for $135,000 in October through the Paramount Sales consignment.

“I think a lot of good horses have come out of the October sale,” Paramount's Gabriel Duignan said. “I think it's a very rewarding sale for somebody who puts the work in and covers the ground. I think you can get really good buys here because it's the last stop for yearlings, so you'll have to breeze them or race them if you don't sell them here.”

Duignan continued, “I think now people are pointing horses for October. Every year, the quality is definitely going up. The horses do really well from September to October, they really do mature a lot in that month.”

Of Jack Christopher, who was bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, Duignan added, “He was a horse that probably got dinged for some small things by some vets that were nothing. But I had seen him all his life and he was always a beautiful horse.”

Other recent October sale graduates include 2019 champion juvenile filly British Idiom (Flashback), 2020 GI Darley Alcibiades S. winner Simply Ravishing (Laoban), and GI Pennsylvania Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow).

Last year's October sale, held in the shadow of the ongoing global pandemic, was topped by a $600,000 son of Uncle Mo. In all, 961 yearlings sold for $32,743,700. The average was $34,073 and the median was $15,000.

In 2019, 1008 yearlings sold at the October sale for a total of $38,258,900, for an average of $37,955 and a median of $13,000.

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Hello Beautiful Shines, Prendimi Grinds in Maryland Million Wins

Sat, 2021-10-23 20:51

One-to-five favorite Hello Beautiful (Golden Lad) glided unopposed through the Laurel Park homestretch in the $100,000 Distaff S. to win a Maryland Million Day stakes for the third consecutive year while 12-1 frontrunner Prendimi (Dance With Ravens) uncorked a gritty display of tenacity to finally break through in his third attempt to win the  $150,000 Classic S., the feature event on Saturday's eight-stakes card for the offspring of in-state stallions.

A trio of Maryland stallions registered two-win days on the 36th annual Jim McKay Maryland Million program: Great Notion, the state's annual leading sire by earnings from 2018-20, has now sired at least one Maryland Million Day winner for 12 consecutive years. Golden Lad, who entered the day third in 2021 earnings by Maryland-breds, accounted for two main-track winners at six and seven furlongs. The offspring of Buffum, who died in 2019, swept the two juvenile sprint stakes.

Four of the afternoon's eight stakes produced tight finishes with winning margins of less than half a length, including a wild four-way photo in the $100,000 Turf Classic in which noses separated the top three finishers.

And there was even a dramatic touch of reclamation in the $100,000 Ladies S. on the turf: The 2020 winner of that stakes, Epic Idea (Great Notion), had gotten disqualified from her win in May 2021 when the Maryland Racing Commission took the unusual step of voting to overturn a stewards' decision to let the results stand even though Epic Idea had drifted out. After getting demoted to second in that 2020 edition of the Ladies S., Epic Idea gamely avenged that DQ by storming back to win the 2021 version.

Even though Hello Beautiful's 3 1/2-length win in the Distaff S. was not technically the feature race on Maryland Million Day, the 4-year-old was the headline horse. She didn't disappoint as the heaviest favorite of the afternoon, assuming command soon after the start and always controlling the race with an authoritative, freewheeling style that was accentuated by the fillies and mares in her wake being under full-out drives while Hello Beautiful soared home confidently under jockey Jevian Toledo, who was subbing for regular rider Sheldon Russell (broken foot).

“It was really emotional today,” said winning trainer Brittany Russell, who noted she was watching the race with her husband Sheldon, who acted as if he was “riding” Hello Beautiful himself instead of being sidelined. “I'm sure Toledo could feel that help,” she said with a laugh.

“She's so special,” Brittany Russell added. “She keeps running, and she keeps running hard.”

Hello Beautiful is owned in partnership by Madaket Stables, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stables, and Magic City Stables. Bred by Hillwood Stables, LLC, she wired the seven furlongs in 1:22.22 over a “fast” main track en route to becoming the seventh horse to win three Maryland Million races.

The Classic offered a contrast in styles. Prendimi had finished second, beaten half a length, in this stakes in 2019, then ran last in a field of seven in the 2020 Classic. On Saturday, he cleared the field from post two, got pressured by a 25-1 shot, then appeared to be well within the striking sights of 3-5 fave Tappin Cat (Tritap) turning for home.

Jockey Mychel Sanchez braced for the attack by rousing Prendimi to a furious drive that lasted the length of the straightaway. Even though the narrow lead of the 6-year-old always seemed in peril, Prendimi (which loosely translates to “catch me” in Italian) kept repulsing Tappin Cat's bids to prevail by a neck in 1:50.46 for nine furlongs. The G J Stable homebred is trained by Luis Carvajal Jr.

“We always had faith in him,” Carvajal said. “He's a big horse, and he doesn't like to be behind horses.”

Epic Idea's half-length score in the Ladies S. was a study in ground-saving placement by jockey Daniel Centeno, who shipped in specifically for this stakes mount.

Centeno picked a spot at the fence and sat fourth with his stalking 7-2 shot for most of the nine-furlong trip over firm going before angling out and splitting horses with the Vivian Rall homebred to win in 1:49.46.

“I just looked back at her form,” said trainer Michael Merryman. “Her best race she ever ran was with Centeno. And we wanted to win it, so I made him fly up from Tampa.”

Merryman took the high road when asked post-race about Epic Idea's seven-months-after-the-fact DQ by the racing commission, which Rall had chosen not to appeal.

“It's a big redemption for us. I have to bite my tongue a little bit right now because everyone knows that that was not right,” Merryman said.

In the Turf S., a 20-1 shot set the pace and nearly half the field had a chance to inhale the caving leader off the final turn.

Somekindofmagician (Street Magician) ended up prevailing by a nose for owner Bell Gable Stable, LLC, trainer Gary Contessa, and jockey Angel Cruz. The 4-1 shot, bred by Earl Barnhart, covered the nine furlongs in 1:49.00.

The $100,000 Sprint S. on the Maryland Million card was won by 7-1 Air Token (Golden Lad), who was claimed as a $10,000 maiden by trainer Jose Corrales for his own outfit (Corrales Racing, LLC) back on Aug. 1, 2020.

That investment has now yielded nearly 30 times the claim price in purse earnings. But Air Token's record also shows that he was disqualified from his only other stakes victory, the $100,000 Concern S. at Laurel on Nov. 28, 2020, because of an overage of dimethyl sulfoxide (the anti-inflammatory drug DMSO). According to the stewards' ruling, Corrales was not fined or suspended because of “mitigating circumstances.”

Saturday's winning ride by J.D. Acosta was orchestrated by conceding the lead after Air Token broke running, then stalking a too-hot pace and tipping out for the drive to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:09.63 for six furlongs. Carol Ann Kaye was the winning breeder.

The two winners of the Maryland Million juvenile stakes not only shared a sire (the late Buffum), but both also had the distinction of re-rallying after briefly losing the lead.

Buff Hello withstood prolonged pace pressure in a spirited three-way go of alternating leaders under jockey Charlie Marquez to win the $100,000 Nursery S. for owner Joseph Besecker and trainer Claudio Gonzalez. Bred by Sergio Gomez, the 5-1 colt was clocked in 1:10.51 for six furlongs while two lengths clear at the wire.

Buff My Boots scored smartly in the $100,000 Lassie S. by slapping back what appeared to be a winning deep-stretch bid to prevail by half a length under Acosta at 9-2 odds in 1:11.14 for six furlongs. Bred by Hope Hill Farm Maryland, she's owned by Bird Mobberley, LLC, and trained by John Salzman, Jr.

A year ago, both Maryland Million juvenile winners had gone through the ring at EASOCT for relatively modest money: Buff My Boots for $7,000 and Buff Hello for $26,000.

In the $75,000 Turf Sprint S., Grateful Bred (Great Notion) sprinted straight to the lead at 1-2 odds and never had an anxious moment, covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.29 en route to a 1 1/2-length tally. The Gordon Keys homebred is trained by Madison Meyers. Toledo rode.

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Gainesway’s 2022 Roster Led by Tapit

Sat, 2021-10-23 17:56

Gainesway's perennial leading sire Tapit (Pulpit–Tap Your Heels, by Unbridled) will once again head the farm's stallion roster and stud fees for the upcoming 2022 season. Tapit will remain at $185,000 live foal, stands and nurses. Currently among the top five North American stallions on the leading sires list of 2021, Tapit has three year-end leading sire titles and is North America's leading sire of Grade I winners with 27, Grade I performers with 58, graded stakes winners with 92, graded stakes horses with 177, and stakes performers with 284. Tapit leads all active sires in nearly every category, including progeny earnings of more than $175 million, which makes him the richest American stallion in history. He continues to scale new heights, with a record-tying fourth GI Belmont S. win this summer by 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality, who will be among the favorites in the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic.

Four-time Grade I winner McKinzie (Street Sense–Runway Model, by Petionville), who bred 214 mares in his first book in 2021, will also hold at his fee of $30,000 for 2022. McKinzie posted 11 triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures–more than 60% of his career starts-and won Grade I races at two, three, and four.

Also slated to see his first foals in 2022 is GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Spun to Run (Hard Spun–Yawkey Way, by Grand Slam), who gets a fee reduction from $12,500 in 2021 to $10,000 in 2022.

Previously announced as new to Gainesway for 2022 is MGISW Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}–Rosa Bonheur, by Mr. Greeley), who will make his final career start in the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Mile. He will stand for $10,000.

Karakontie (Jpn) (Bernstein–Sun Is Up, by Sunday Silence), one of the top third-crop sires by percentage of stakes winners and graded stakes winners, will stand for $10,000 and will be joined in the Gainesway barn by two sons of Tapit in Tapwrit (Tapit–Appealing Zophie, by Successful Appeal) and Anchor Down (Tapit–Successful Outlook, by Orientate). Tapwrit, a $1.2-million yearling and GI Belmont S. winner, will have his first crop of 2-year-olds in 2022. Nearly 20% of his first-crop yearlings brought 10x his 2021 stud fee. Tapwrit will stand for $10,000. With his first crop of 3-year-olds this year, Anchor Down has 14% stakes horses and will stand for $5,000. Veteran Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet–Maggy Hawk, by Hawkster), who stands for a private fee, rounds out the Gainesway roster.

Stallion, Fee (LFSN)

Afleet Alex–Private
Anchor Down–$5,000
Karakontie (Jpn)–$10,000
McKinzie–$30,000
Raging Bull (Fr)–$10,000
Spun to Run–$10,000
Tapit–$185,000
Tapwrit–$10,000

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‘Swirl’ the Girl in Raven Run

Sat, 2021-10-23 17:36

Caramel Swirl got just the better of an enervating final-furlong tussle in Saturday's GII Lexus Raven Run S. at Keeneland, dropping her nose down on the line just ahead of the over-achieving Joy's Rocket to earn her first stakes and graded stakes victory. The 33-10 second betting choice behind her Bill Mott stablemate Obligatory (Curlin), Caramel Swirl settled just behind midfield and raced three off the inside beneath Junior Alvarado before committing to a wide run around the turn. In hand approaching the quarter pole, she was angled six deep into the lane, hooked up with Joy's Rocket a furlong from home and was the recipient of a very fortuitous bob in. Cilla, lightly regarded despite her last-out score in the GII Prioress S., attended the pace from between rivals, was headed by the rallying duo at the furlong grounds and kept on gamely to be third. Obligatory, the 5-2 chalk, never landed a serious blow.

“She is just very honest. She's a very classy filly. She does everything you need to do in the race,” Alvarado said of the winner. “Today we were in a little tough spot on the backside, and I needed to get a little bit out of that spot because I wasn't really comfortable there, and she helped me to get out of there. Then at the same time, when I decided to pick it up a little bit to stay in contention, she was there for me. Like I say, she just really makes my job easier.”

Second in her first three outings, including behind future superstar Malathaat (Curlin), Caramel Swirl signaled her affinity for this very track and trip with a fifth-out 10 1/4-length romp in April. She could only manage seventh behind Obligatory in the GII Eight Belles S. on the GI Kentucky Oaks undercard Apr. 30, but reemerged at Saratoga in July for a sharp first-level allowance victory that earned her a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. She was looking to bounce back off a fourth-place finish at 7-10 in the two-turn, seven-panel GIII Charles Town Oaks Aug. 27.

“It was a little tougher than when she won by 10 to break her maiden here (in April), that was for sure, but obviously with the step up in company and class–Junior gave her a super ride,” said Godolphin President and Racing Manager Jimmy Bell. “She showed true determination and grit and heart down the lane. Made it interesting, but we're happy to be here in the Winner's Circle.”

The Godolphin team was presented with a tray by Keeneland to commemorate its eighth graded stakes win at the Lexington oval. Bell, who it was recently announced will be retiring at the end of the year, was handed the tray by his son Gatewood, Keeneland's Vice President of Racing.

“Everything about it is special,” Bell said. “Keeneland is special. Obviously, Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin are very, very special, and seeing Gatewood over here, it's very, very, very special. I'm kind of at a loss for words. But happy also that so many of our folks from the farm could be over here that have such a hand in raising these horses. This being another homebred, it's just very special for the operation. Just very happy to be on the receiving end of things. Very appreciative.”

Saturday, Keeneland
LEXUS RAVEN RUN S.-GII, $250,000, Keeneland, 10-23, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:23.42, ft.
1–CARAMEL SWIRL, 118, f, 3, by Union Rags
               1st Dam: Caramel Snap, by Smart Strike
               2nd Dam: Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister
               3rd Dam: Fleet Lady, by Avenue of Flags
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN.
O/B-Godolphin, LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Junior
Alvarado. $150,000. Lifetime Record: 9-3-3-1, $317,300.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++. Click for the eNicks report &
5-cross pedigree.
2–Joy's Rocket, 118, f, 3, Anthony's Cross–Queenie's Pride,
by Special Rate. ($47,000 2yo '20 OBSMAR). O-Team Hanley
& Parkland Thoroughbreds; B-Weston Thoroughbreds
Training & Sales (FL); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $50,000.
3–Cilla, 120, f, 3, California Chrome–Sittin At the Bar, by Into
Mischief. ($120,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEEJAN). O-P. Dale Ladner;
B-Brett A. Brinkman & P. Dale Ladner (LA); T-Brett A.
Brinkman. $25,000.
Margins: HD, 2, 4. Odds: 3.30, 24.00, 10.30.
Also Ran: Shalimar Gardens, Souper Sensational, Obligatory, Miss Speedy, Strong Silent, Minute Waltz, Someone Said So, Zainalarab. Scratched: Feeling Mischief, Just Read It.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:
Caramel Swirl is the 21st stakes winner and 11th graded winner for Union Rags, who has been potent when matched with Smart Strike mares, producing the likes of GISW juvenile Union Strike and GSW/MGISP Spielberg. He is the dam sire of 136 stakes winners, 52 graded, overall. Dam Caramel Swirl is out of GSW Fast Cookie, making her a half to the brilliant fellow Godolphin runner and now sire Frosted (Tapit) as well as GSW Indulgent (Bernardini). Another Godolpin stallion, champion 2-year-old Midshipman (Unbridled's Song), is under her third dam.

The post ‘Swirl’ the Girl in Raven Run appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

For Jim McIngvale, an Astros World Series Win Would Mean $35.6 Million

Sat, 2021-10-23 17:12

Horse owner and master promoter Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is no stranger to making big sports bets, but never anything like this. If his beloved Houston Astros win the World Series, McIngvale will make $35.6 million off of a series of bets he made in June. It would be the largest winning wager ever in U.S. sports betting history.

McIngvale often combines his wagers with promotions at his Gallery Furniture Stores in Houston. Earlier this year, he promised his customers that any mattress they bought worth $3,000 or more would be free if the favorite won the GI Kentucky Derby. McIngvale hedged, wagering $2.4 million to win on 5-2 favorite Essential Quality (Tapit), who finished fourth. A winning bet would have been worth a profit of just less than $7 million, which would have more than covered the amount he lost giving away free mattresses. A loss by Essential Quality still meant that he sold thousands of mattresses he otherwise would not have sold. Either way, McIngvale would come out a winner.

In February, McIngvale won $2.72 million on a Super Bowl wager in which he bet $3.46 million on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover the 3.5 point spread. It was the single largest legal wager placed on the game.

The latest promotion follows the same blueprint as the Derby wager. An Astros World Series win would mean that anyone buying a mattress during the promotional period would get it for free. Prior to the American League Championship Series, McIngvale estimated that having to give away the mattresses would cost him $20 million. It looks like that number has gone up.

When reached Saturday, a day after the Astros advanced to the World Series with a win over the Boston Red Sox, McIngvale said his store was being overrun by customers looking to take advantage of the promotion.

“Today is the biggest day in the store's history,” he said. “By a factor of about four and it's going up all the time. We're going to sell thousands of mattresses. I can't even count them. We're trying to buy them as fast as we can get them. We can't buy them fast enough. It will literally be thousands of mattresses.”

Believing that the promotion would prove to be a huge success, McIngvale made his wagers on June 10, when the Astros were still considered one of many teams with a good shot at going all the way. He bet $2 million that the Astros would win the World Series with William Hill at odds of 10-1 and another $1 million at 10-1 with Fanduel. He also made two smaller wagers at outlets that gave him 16-1. In total, he bet $3.2 million on the Astros.

The Astros are now an odds-on favorite to win their first World Series since 2017.

“I like to gamble,” McIngvale said. “I gamble big all the time. It's a promotion and it's a hedge. My heart and soul are with the Houston Astros, and, just as with Runhappy, I'm all in.”

For a while, it looked like McIngvale had backed a loser. The Astros fell behind, 2-1, in the series with Boston and their starting pitching was a mess. Many a pundit had already given the series to the Red Sox. Instead, the Astros rallied to win the next three games to close out the series and advance.

“I was not worried,” McIngvale said. “After they got beat Monday night, I was in Boston having a good time and saw some of the players that I know and they were upbeat and positive. I knew that sooner or later every batter on the Red Sox would stop hitting. 500. I knew there would be a statistical swing and things sure swung the Astros way over the last three games.”

Having a potential World Series winner at 10-1 means that McIngavle could “save” and bet some amount to win on the National League team. By doing so, he could lock in a guaranteed profit. It's not going to happen.

“I would consider that treason,” he said. “I would never do that to my boys. I wouldn't do that in a thousand years.”

With so many customers buying mattresses on Saturday, it was difficult for McIngvale to do the math. He knows he will make $35.6 million if the Astros win, but there was no telling how much he would lose giving away so many mattresses. That didn't matter with him. Not only is his heart with his hometown, he wants nothing more than to reward his customers with free mattresses.

“It will make customers happy and that's the whole idea,” he said of an Astros World Championship. “That's the whole idea, making customers happy. That's the name of the game. If the customers get their money back, they will talk about this for decades to come.”

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Going ‘Public’ In the Hill Prince

Sat, 2021-10-23 17:09

It had been an almost-unheard-of five years since trainer Chad Brown unsaddled the winner of Belmont's GII Hill Prince S., but Klaravich Stables' Public Sector (GB) (Kingman {GB}) put pay to that 'streak', racing within shouting distance of a surprisingly moderate tempo, then finishing with a telling late turn of speed to run his graded stakes winning skein to three Saturday afternoon on Long Island.

A firming 33-10 chance after trading as high as 5-1 early in the wagering, the 170,000gns Tattersalls October yearling acquisition landed in third position and raced a touch keenly as a headstrong Never Surprised (Constitution) took them along through a quarter in :24.35 and a half in just :49.71 while chased by 45-1 It Can Be Done (Temple City). Racing in the two and three path on the turn while slowly gaining on the pace-advantaged leaders, Irad Ortiz, Jr. took a confident look behind and to his right aboard Public Sector with about 2 1/2 furlongs to travel, set his sights on Never Surprised entering the final eighth of a mile and reeled that stubborn rival in to add to his two most recent victories in the GII Hall of Fame S. and GIII Saranac S., both at Saratoga. Never Surprised held for second ahead of It Can Be Done.

Soldier Rising (GB) (Frankel {GB}), favored off runner-up efforts to Saturday's G1 Cox Plate hero State of Rest (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) in the GI Saratoga Derby Aug. 7 and to the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf-bound Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the Jockey Club Derby Sept. 1, was done no favors by the lack of tempo and could finish only fifth after racing near the tail of the field. His final three furlongs were clocked in :33.68, bettered only by the fourth-placed Hilliard (Temple City, :33.67).

“He has a great mind, this horse,” the winning jockey commented. “He switched off when I wanted him to and when I asked him to respond, he gave me a great turn of foot.”

Brown indicated that Public Sector would follow in the hoofprints of Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and make his next appearance in the GI Hollywood Derby at Del Mar Nov. 27.

Pedigree Notes:

Having purchased likes of Domestic Spending, Digital Age (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) at Tattersalls' flagship October Yearling Sale, Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables acquired no fewer than 11 yearlings during Book 1 of the 2019 auction through agent Mike Ryan at price points as lofty as 450,000gns and as low as 75,000gns.

Public Sector is one of 42 stakes winners and 22 group/graded winners for his wildly successful Banstead Manor-based stallion, whose progeny are flying his flag with distinction all across the globe. Kingman's five-time Group 1-winning son Palace Pier (GB) won the G1 Lockinge S., the G1 Queen Anne S. and repeated in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and was second to the unbeaten Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. at Ascot earlier this month. He was recently retired to Darley's Dalham Hall Stud.

Domestic Spending has built on his Hollywood Derby victory this term, adding the GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (dead heat) and the GI Manhattan S. ahead of a pace-compromised second in the GI Mister D. S. The 4-year-old makes his next start in the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf. Kingman is also the sire of top Japanese miler Schnell Meister (Ger), winner of the age-restricted G1 NHK Mile Cup in May and who recently bested G1 Yasuda Kinen hero Danon Kingly (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in a thrilling renewal of the G2 Mainichi Okan.

The last listed produce for Parle Moi is a yearling colt by Golden Horn (GB) that was purchased by SackvilleDonald for 100,000gns at this year's Tattersalls October Book 1 sale.

Saturday, Belmont Park
HILL PRINCE S.-GII, $400,000, Belmont, 10-23, 3yo, 1 1/8mT, 1:48.68, fm.
1–PUBLIC SECTOR (GB), 122, c, 3, by Kingman (GB)
                1st Dam: Parle Moi (Ire), by Montjeu (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Di Moi Oui (GB), by Warning (GB)
                3rd Dam: Biosphere (GB), by Pharly (Fr)
(170,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-The
Kathryn Stud (GB); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $220,000.
Lifetime Record: 9-5-3-0, $598,600. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click
for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Never Surprised, 119, c, 3, Constitution–Tiz Dixie, by Tiznow.
($30,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Repole
Stable; B-Golden Pedigree LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.
$80,000.
3–It Can Be Done, 118, g, 3, Temple City–Gotham City Girl, by
Freud. O/B-Red Oak Stable (KY); T-Gregory D. Sacco. $48,000.
Margins: NK, 1 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 3.30, 7.50, 48.75.
Also Ran: Hilliard, Soldier Rising (GB), War Bomber (Ire), Sifting Sands (GB), Slicked Back, He'spuregold, Founder, Original. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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‘Hot Rod’ Tunes Up at Santa Anita

Sat, 2021-10-23 15:55

Top sophomore and last month's GI Pennsylvania Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) put in his penultimate work for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic Saturday, breezing seven panels at Santa Anita in 1:26.60 (1/1). Regular rider Flavien Prat was aboard.

“He galloped out good and we're feeling good,” said trainer Doug O'Neill. “He'll ship Wednesday to Del Mar where he'll have his final work.”

The Classic looks likely to have plenty of early pace, which could prove advantageous to a stalker like Hot Rod Charlie.

“Today he sat off a workmate and there were a couple others out there from other barns, so he kind of sat in behind three horses, split 'em turning for home and finished up good,” O'Neill said. “He had a taste of what the Classic could look like… He's versatile, so we have options.”

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Aguri Becomes First Japanese Winner for Caravaggio

Sat, 2021-10-23 15:00

Sent off the $2.30 (13-10) favorite to make the necessary improvement off a debut third at Hanshin in late June, Aguri (Jpn) (Caravaggio) became the first Japanese winner and 22nd winner overall for leading freshman sire (by Scat Daddy) with a facile victory in a one-mile maiden over the turf at Tokyo Racecourse Saturday afternoon.

Drawn the middle of the gate in a field of 13, the gray colt took up a forward position beneath jockey Yuga Kawada, settling just off the pacesetter behind modest early sectionals. Maintaining that stalking role into the final 600 meters, Aguri was held together while traveling on the bridle into the final furlong, was shaken up mildly and strode home a very comfortable three-length winner (see below). He covered his final three furlongs in :35 flat and stopped the clock in a solid 1:35.3.

Aguri is the first foal out of the privately acquired One Time Waltz (War Front), a winning daughter of champion Together (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a Group 3 winner and four times placed at Group 1 level in Europe and winner in America of the 2011 GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. Old Time Waltz foaled Aguri Mar. 4, 2019, and the colt took his place at the 2020 JRHA Select Sale on the island of Hokkaido, hammering to owner Masahiro Miki for ¥105 million ($982,202). Old Time Waltz is also the dam of a yearling colt by Daiwa Major (Jpn) that fetched ¥64 million ($596,511) at last year's JRHA Select Foal sale and a weanling colt by Suave Richard (Jpn) that was hammered down for ¥58 million ($525,582) at this year's foal sale.

Caravaggio, who has now sired winners in five different countries, has already been represented by four black-type winners, two at group level, including G1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park S. heroine Tenebrism as well as MGSW/G1SP Agartha (Ire). Caravaggio's GSW half-sister My Jen (Fusaichi Pegasus) resides in Japan and is the dam of five winners from seven to the races, including GSP Satono Gold (Jpn) (Gold Ship {Jpn}) and the 2-year-old colt Purpur Ray (Jpn) (Isla Bonita {Jpn}), a two-time winner from three runs who broke his maiden at second asking at Niigata in a record time of 1:33.3.

Having stood at Coolmore Ireland from 2018, Caravaggio was relocated to Coolmore America for this season, where he commanded a fee of $25,000.

WATCH: Aguri becomes the first Japanese winner for leading first-crop sire Caravaggio

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Chad Brown’s Breeders’ Cup Brigade Works at Belmont

Sat, 2021-10-23 14:46

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown worked multiple Breeders' Cup contenders on a crisp and overcast Saturday morning at Belmont Park.

Unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' and GI Champagne S. winner Jack Christopher (Munnings) breezed five furlongs in 1:00.85 (4/18) in preparation for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 5 at Del Mar. The move was completed in company with GI Frizette S. runner-up Gerrymander (Into Mischief), who is possible for the one-mile $150,000 Tempted S. Nov. 5 at Belmont.

“He's trained brilliant since day one and he continues to do so,” Brown said. “I'm very impressed with that horse every time he works.”

Royal Flag (Candy Ride {Arg}), a last out winner of Belmont's GII Beldame S., went a half-mile in :48.66 (11/74) in preparation of the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff Nov. 6.

Brown also sent a number of Breeders' Cup hopefuls to breeze over the firm inner turf Saturday, including grassy GISWs Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and Tribhuvan (Fr) (Toronado {Ire}). Both horses are bound for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf and worked five furlongs in tandem in 1:01.55 (3/9).

“They worked very well,” Brown said. “They were a good team together. I was very pleased with the work.”

Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) registered his first move since taking the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic  Oct. 9 at Belmont, recording a solo half-mile in :50 (9/18). He is also on target for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Two-time GIII Fasig-Tipton Waya S. winner My Sister Nat (Fr) (Acclamation {GB}) breezed five furlongs in 1:02.02 (6/9) in company with GIII Athenia S. heroine Pocket Square (GB) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) in preparation for the GI Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

“For right now, she's doing everything I'm asking her to do,” Brown said of Pocket Square. “I really liked her work today and her gallop out. I would like to try her going that far. I know it's a huge step up in class, but I'm very, very pleased with how she's doing and I think she can get a piece of it.”

The GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-bound Consumer Spending (More Than Ready), a last out winner of Laurel's Selima S., worked five furlongs in 1:02.25 (8/9) in company with graded-stakes placed maiden Kinchen (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}).

“She worked solid and galloped out strongly,” Brown said. “She's coming into the race that right way. It's a big step up but she's an improving horse.”

Trainer Christophe Clement, meanwhile, also breezed a pair of Breeders' Cup hopefuls over the Belmont grass– MGISW Gufo (Declaration of War) (Turf) (four furlongs in :48.66); and GIII Futurity S. winner Slipstream (More Than Ready) (GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf) (four furlongs in :51.14).

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NYRA Bets Now Available in Michigan

Sat, 2021-10-23 13:46

Edited Press Release

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced Saturday that NYRA Bets, LLC (NYRA Bets), is now available in the state of Michigan for residents ages 21 and older.

“NYRA Bets is the best way to bet the races, and we are thrilled that horseplayers in Michigan can download the app today to access NYRA Bets,” said Matt Feig, General Manager of NYRA Bets.

New users who sign up for NYRA Bets today are eligible to earn up to $200 in a deposit match with a $25 Free Play. For additional information, visit NYRABets.com.

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Empire Maker Colt Ices Rivals, Scores Rising Star Distinction

Fri, 2021-10-22 18:04

Crunched into 2-5 favoritism to build on a debut second at Los Alamitos at the end of June, Messier (Empire Maker) made a bold run to the front fully three furlongs from home and coasted in by 6 1/2 lengths to become a new 'TDN Rising Star' in Friday's fourth race from Santa Anita. Away only fairly beneath Flavien Prat, the $470,000 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase graduate worked his way up into a chasing second as the debuting Godsend (Midshipman) went a strong gallop up ahead of him. Prat allowed the heavy chalk to stride into the lead midway on the turn, widened without being asked into the stretch and was not fully extended while scoring by a margin that could have been significantly more. He stopped the clock in 1:10.26. Don't Swear Dave (Connect) completed the exacta, one spot ahead of Messier's stablemate Blackadder (Quality Road).

The winner counts Sovereign Award-winning 3-year-old filly Catch the Ring (Seeking the Gold) as his third dam. She is in turn responsible for champion Catch the Thrill (A.P. Indy), the dam of the current stakes winner Curlin's Catch (Curlin). Messier has a foal half-sister by Candy Ride (Arg), and his dam–herself the winner of the 2014 Trillium S. over Woodbine all-weather–was most recently bred to another standout for the same connections in Authentic.

Messier is the 12th 'Rising Star' for his sadly departed stallion and second in five days, joining Keeneland maiden winner Haughty. Messier's powerful ownership group nicknamed The Avengers has campaigned fellow Empire Maker-sired 'Rising Stars' Classier, winner of the GI Los Alamitos Derby in July; and Eight Rings, the 2019 GI American Pharoah S. hero. With Donato Lanni acting as agent, the conglomerate bought three more Empire Maker colts at last month's Keeneland September sale for a combined $550,000.

“He came out of that race with a little bruised bulb in his heel,” said Tom Ryan of co-owner SF Racing when asked about Messier's progress from his June 27 unveiling at 1-2 to Friday's breakout performance. “It was nothing major, but you're better to give them plenty of time. We had given him the experience of a race, and it's amazing how horses really thrive and step forward off that experience. Over the summer, he had gradually come back to himself, and he'd shown plenty in the mornings in his recent works.”

The Avengers' deep class of 2-year-old colts also includes the likes of GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity winner Pinehurst (Twirling Candy).

“He definitely looks like he's got unlimited potential,” Ryan said of Messier. “He's got size and scope–distance won't be an issue with him. He's sound, and mentally he's all there. He's exactly the right kind of horse for Bob Baffert. He's thriving on training and he's a very willing individual.”

Messier is named after NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier, who was a teammate of Ryan's wife Katie's father Pat Hughes, along with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr on those legendary Edmonton Oilers teams of the 1980s.

“I was fortunate enough to go to Edmonton with Katie's father when they were voted the greatest NHL team in history [in 2017, for the 1984-85 team],” Ryan said. “Katie's uncle, Mark Napier, also played for that team, so it was an amazing family event. Clearly I have no connection to hockey, but Katie is as connected as can be. We had such a nice time, and met some great players–hockey players to me are just the coolest, most modest guys. One of the players who stood out to me was Mark Messier. I've met him several times, and he's always so poised, and such a cool guy; modest beyond belief, and incredibly fit despite having been retired for a long time. He really, really impressed me, and I suppose he was and easily could be considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time.”

4th-Santa Anita, $61,500, Msw, 10-22, 2yo, 6f, 1:10.26, ft,
6 1/2 lengths.
MESSIER, c, 2, Empire Maker
                1st Dam: Checkered Past (MSW, $334,284), by Smart Strike
                2nd Dam: Catch the Flag, by A.P. Indy
                3rd Dam: Catch the Ring, by Seeking the Gold
Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $45,600. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Starlight Racing, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Donovan, Catherine, Masterson, Robert E. and Schoenfarber, Jay A.; B-Sam-Son Farm (ON); T-Bob Baffert. *$470,000 Ylg '20 FTKSEL.

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Ghostzapper Filly Impresses at Keeneland

Fri, 2021-10-22 18:00

7th-Keeneland, $83,921, Msw, 10-22, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:09.85, ft, 8 1/2 lengths.
GOODNIGHT OLIVE (f, 3, Ghostzapper–Salty Strike {MGSW, $485,266}, by Smart Strike) was second as 11-5 chalk at Keeneland back at Gulfstream in March, and proved worth the wait Friday with an impressive belated maiden breaker. Backed as the 2-5 chalk facing mostly firsters and a couple who had had plenty of chances, the FTKOCT grad showed good speed to vie for early command before being taken back adeptly by Tyler Gaffalione to let the top two go at it down the backside. She ranged up again out in the clear to under very confident handling into the stretch, and poured it on when called upon to run up the score to a widening 8 1/2 lengths. Newcomer Oscarette (Firing Line) was best of the rest. The winner's dam was a MGSW sprinter/miler who was acquired by Stonestreet for $800,000 at the 2013 Keeneland January sale. Salty Strike died in 2019 after producing a Malibu Moon colt named Halfmoon who has been working of late at Churchill. Sales history: $170,000 Ylg '19 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $59,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-First Row Partners & Team Hanley; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.

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Medaglia d’Oro Filly Airs on Debut at Belmont

Fri, 2021-10-22 17:24

7th-Belmont, $90,000, Msw, 10-22, 2yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:47.36, ft, 7 3/4 lengths.
NOSTALGIC (f, 2, Medaglia d'Oro–Been Here Before {SP}, by Tapit), scratched out of an intended unveiling here about a month ago, showed three easy breezes in the interim and was let go at 9-1 as her second-time-starting stablemate Handbelle (Tapit) took the most tote attention. The Godolphin homebred showed little early foot and sat far back in second last down the backside through splits of :24.02 and :48.50. She sliced through a seam and began to inch closer as longtime leaders Into Happiness (Into Mischief) and Saffron Moon (Malibu Moon) seemed to be separating themselves, and enjoyed an unencumbered fence run into the lane to sit third. Tipped out to take on the frontrunners, she powered to the front in midstretch and cruised away from there all by her lonesome. Into Happiness got the better of Saffron Moon for second. Handbelle never factored and checked in fourth. The winner, whose dam was second in the 2015 Caesar's Wish S. going a mile in the Laurel slop and hails from the extended female family of GISW Bob and John, was bred to Violence for 2022. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $49,500. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-William I. Mott.

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Isaacs Returning to FTBOA Board

Fri, 2021-10-22 16:17

Edited Press Release

Well-respected Florida horseman George Isaacs has returned to the board of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association after a brief absence due to term limits. Laurine Fuller-Vargas of Morriston, George Russell of Reddick, T. Paul Bulmahn of Ocala and Nick de Meric of Ocala were re-elected to the board. They will each serve a three-year term that will run until October 2024. Leaving the board because of term limits is Richard Kent of Kaizen Sales.

Isaacs is a past FTBOA board member and officer, who became stallion manager at Arthur Appleton's Bridlewood Farm in Ocala in 1989 before becoming the general manager for Allen Paulson's Brookside South Farm in 1992. In 1996, Isaacs returned to Bridlewood as general manager and currently manages operations there with John and Leslie Malone, who purchased the farm in 2013. During his tenure at Bridlewood, more than 100 Florida-bred stakes winners and 12 Grade 1 winners have been bred by the farm.

Valerie Dailey of Ocala, a breeder, realtor, executive and most recently the first vice president of FTBOA, was elected president of the Association at the board meeting that followed the Oct. 22 annual member meeting.

The board also selected the remaining executive committee officers for 2021-22 with Dailey as president while Isaacs was named first vice president. Russell was named second vice president and Brent Fernung will serve as treasurer. Joseph O'Farrell III has been elected as the secretary and Phil Matthews, D.V.M. remains an officer and director as immediate past president.

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NY-Based BC Contenders on the Worktab Friday

Fri, 2021-10-22 16:14

Several Breeders' Cup-bound horses breezed in New York Friday at both Belmont and Saratoga in preparation for the World Championships Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar.

A few of those hailed from the Todd Pletcher barn, including GII Vosburgh S. hero Following Sea (Runhappy), who covered a half-mile in :49.73 on the Belmont training track.

“I liked it,” Pletcher said of the breeze. “It seemed like he bounced out of the Vosburgh very well. It was a very easy breeze for him this morning. We weren't looking to do a whole lot with him this morning. I was very happy.”

The Vosburgh was a “Win and You're In” for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, but Pletcher said plans were still fluid.

“We wanted to see today's work and then we'll talk to the Spendthrift guys about it,” Pletcher said. “We're under no pressure to make a decision right away. We'll give him the rest of the week and continue to monitor how he's doing.”

Graded stakes winners Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) put in solo works at roughly 7:45 a.m. over the training track. GII Kelso H. victor Life Is Good went a sharp half-mile in :47.83 seconds (2/41). Fellow GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile contender Mind Control breezed five panels in 1:01.27.

“Typical works for them,” Pletcher said. “Life Is Good is a very impressive horse to watch breeze. It looks like he's doing everything very effortlessly and then you look down at the clock and go, 'Wow'. He was rolling right along. He did it in hand throughout.”

“He's coming off a good win,” Pletcher said of Mind Control. “He's trained with good energy like he always does. He had an impressive breeze today and I like where he's at.”

Top sophomore filly Malathaat (Curlin) prepped for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff with a five-furlong move in 1:01.63.

“I thought she worked great today. She's just very impressive,” Pletcher said. “She keeps going and going and gallops out super. I think the time in between races has done her well. She's put on some weight and she seems very fit and happy.”

On Thursday morning, Pletcher worked his 2-year-old Breeders' Cup hopefuls, which include Annapolis (War Front) [Juvenile Turf], Commandperformance (Union Rags) [Juvenile], and Double Thunder (Super Saver) [Juvenile].

Undefeated GII Pilgrim S. winner Annapolis and GI Champagne S. runner-up Commandperformance each went five furlongs in 1:02.02 and 1:01.02, respectively. GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity runner-up Double Thunder went a half-mile with blinkers on in :49.98 seconds.

“Everyone looked great this morning and came out of their works in good shape,” Pletcher said.

The Rudy Rodriguez-trained Grade I winner Bella Sofia (Awesome Patriot) breezed six furlongs in 1:14.23 in company with Empire Distaff-bound filly Trinni Luck (Trinniberg) over Big Sandy Friday morning. She is set to take in her elders in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint S.

“She breezed good,” Rodriguez said. “We went head and head and then I let her finish up a little bit. It was just what I was looking for–nice and comfortable. So far, so good.”

Upstate at the Spa, Hall of Famer Bill Mott sent several of his Breeders' Cup workers out, including Art Collector (Bernardini) [Classic], War Like Goddess (English Channel) [Filly and Mare Turf] Horologist (Gemologist) [Distaff], Channel Maker (English Channel) [Turf] and Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) [Mile/Turf Sprint].

Bruce Lunsford's Art Collector worked five furlongs in 1:01.85 Friday over the Oklahoma dirt training track.

“He looks good and he's a willing horse,” Riley Mott said. “He came out of his last race extremely well; he'll have to if he's going to run against the big boys in the Classic.”

Horologist, most recently second in the GII Beldame S., finished ninth in last year's Distaff at Keeneland. She breezed a half-mile in 47.84 Friday over the Oklahoma dirt training track.

“She ran second last time and is in with an outside chance,” Mott said. “I was talking to my dad the other day and we have won three Distaffs after having finished second in the Beldame. So that's a good omen.”

Champion Channel Maker finished third in last year's Turf. He worked a half-mile in :48.75 Friday over the Oklahoma dirt training track.

“He's doing well. He's one of the ones that will have to regain his form from last year to be competitive. [The Breeders' Cup] is still the plan,” Mott said.

War Like Goddess, winner of four straight graded events with the most recent being the GI Flower Bowl S., prepped for the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Turf with a five-panel move in 1:02.55 Friday over the Oklahoma training turf.

“She's doing great and we are very excited about her,” Mott said. “She'll be a top three horse in her race, and deservedly so. She's had a great year.”

Casa Creed earned a berth to the five-furlong GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint with a win in the GI1 Jackpocket Jaipur S. in June at Belmont, but is targeting a return engagement in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile.He breezed five furlongs in 1:02.55 Friday on the Oklahoma training turf.

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Bell’s The One To Bypass BC, Likely To Train On in 2022

Fri, 2021-10-22 15:55

Following a conversation with owner Robert Lothenbach of Lothenbach Stables, trainer Neil Pessin confirmed that his Grade I-winning mare Bell's The One (Majesticperfection) will not start in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 6 and will instead make her final start of the season in the $300,000 Dream Supreme S. at Churchill Downs one week later. Pessin added that the relatively lightly raced mare would likely remain in training for a 6-year-old campaign in 2022.

The $155,000 Fasig-Tipton July gradauate has won three of her six starts this season, including the GII Honorable Miss H. at Saratoga in July, and earned a fees-paid berth into the Filly & Mare Sprint with a victory in the GII Thoroughbred Club of America S. at Keeneland Oct. 9. Bell's The One returned to the worktab Friday morning, breezing an easy half-mile in :47.80 (6/90) beneath the Twin Spires.

“The work was good, just an easy half-mile, :48 3/5 I had,” said Pessin. “She finished off good. I didn't ask her for a whole lot today. She'll have two more works before running at Churchill on the 13th. But everything went according to plan.”

 

Bells the One (outside with Lanerie up) 4F 47.4. #BC21 pic.twitter.com/vEov8pm3cQ

— Kevin Kerstein (@HorseRacingKK) October 22, 2021

 

Despite the automatic berth earned in the TCA, Pessin was non-committal about the trip to Del Mar within the context of the travel arrangements secured by Breeders' Cup. A FedEx flight is departing Indianapolis, some 90 minutes north of Louisville, Nov. 1 and neither the trainer nor barn personnel are permitted on the flight.

“I was just concerned with her with the logistics of how it was set up,” Pessin explained. “She's kind of a high-strung filly and I just didn't know if it was in her best interests to make the trip or not. What it boiled down to was deciding that it would not be in her best interests, so we decided to stay here and run a week later from our backyard.

He continued, “The three causes for concern were: going from [Louisville] to Indianapolis, because you could always get tied up at the airport and you never know how long that's going to take. Also, she's never been put in a crate and if she got anxious in the crate, it could have caused some problems for her. And the fact that I or one of my employees couldn't go with her, those were the three main concerns.”

Pessin said he had the complete support of his client.

“Bob asked what I thought was in the best interest of the mare and I gave him my thoughts about the shipping and shared my concerns. He said, 'then go ahead and do what you want and run at Churchill.' He is the kind of owner that cares much more about the horse than anything else.”

Having faced the starter just 21 times in four seasons of racing, Pessin is happy to press on with her in 2022, all things equal, a season that could culminate with a run in the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland.

“Right now it looks like she's probably going to run next year,” he said. “What we do next year is next year, but that had nothing to do with our decision today. We'll see how it plays out. We'll run at Churchill and give her about six weeks off then point to the [GI] Madison [S.] at Keeneland and the [GI] Derby City Distaff S. at Churchill and then we'll see what happens.”

Third to Gamine (Into Mischief) in the 2020 Filly & Mare Sprint, Bell's The One dead-heated for second in this year's Madison and was a troubled fourth in the Derby City Distaff.

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