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Pricey Karakontie Colt Highlights Book 5 Opener

Tue, 2020-09-22 19:17

A colt by Karakontie (Jpn) (Hip 2814) achieved a very rare feat in Keeneland September’s Book 5 opener Tuesday, summoning a session-topping $500,000 from Marsha Naify. The Gainesway stallion had another yearling in the top five lots of the day with a full-sister to graded stakes-bound Spanish Loveaffair (Karakontie {Jpn}) (Hip 3161) bringing $220,000 from Ballyfair Bloodstock.

A total of 253 yearlings brought $6,484,100 Tuesday with an average of $25,629 and a median of $15,000.Fifty-five horses failed to meet their reserves Tuesday.

Throughout the first nine days of trade, 1,880 youngsters sold for a gross of $240,340,300 with an average of $127,841 and median of $62,000. There were 743 RNAs.

“It has been really thin except for top horses in your draft,” said Brian Graves of Gainesway, which bred and consigned the day’s top lot. “The top horses have a lot of action and bring more than you think they will bring and the horses below that are tougher to sell and you really have to adjust your expectations and be willing to let the market say what they are worth.”


Karakontie Colt Sparks Fireworks in Book 5

It is pretty unusual to see a yearling summon $500,000 in Book 5 of Keeneland September, but a colt by Karakontie (Jpn) (Hip 2814) did just that Tuesday, selling to California-based owner Marsha Naify, who did her bidding over the phone.

“The sire can be grass or dirt,” said Naify. “We think the yearling would be a good dirt miler, but he could also go on turf. There is a lot of upside. There were obviously a lot of bidders for that horse, which drove the price up. But, that’s okay. I stuck to my guns and stayed in there.”

The chestnut is out of Untouch (Speightstown), a half-sister to SW and GI Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Mr. Big News (Giant’s Causeway). This is also the family of GISW sire Sligo Bay (Ire). The yearling was bred and consigned by Gainesway, where Naify keeps her broodmares.

“The Karakontie was a drop-dead gorgeous horse,” Gainesway’s Brian Graves said. “He had everything you want to see. I know we were in Book 5, but he had everything you want to see in a Book 1 horse. He had a lot going for him. Physically, he was a standout. He was really athletic with a big, sweeping walk and was correct. He attracted the interest of Maria Niarchos [of Flaxman Holdings, who bred and campaigned Karakontie] and of Marsha Naify, who decided she wasn’t going to leave the sale without him. It culminated to a perfect sale. It is a very good thing for Karakontie. We wish Marsha Naify the best of luck with him.”

With Naify not in attendance at the sale, it was Graves that pointed the colt out to her.

“Brian Graves helped me and my trainer Karen Headley out,” Naify said. “That is who I will be sending the horse to here in California once it gets cold in Kentucky. I send all my purchases back to Gainesway just to stay in Kentucky a little longer.”

She continued, “He was on my short list. I made some other smaller purchases, not like that one of course. There were a couple I lost out on. Everyone else I know who is over there said he was a good-looking horse and of course they have the videos online. I also got another cell phone video sent to me.”

Naify has purchased five yearlings at Keeneland so far, but Hip 2814 is by far the most expensive. Her other purchases include: a $75,000 Liam’s Map filly (Hip 2235), a $70,000 son of Carpe Diem (Hip 1905), a $35,000 daughter of Jimmy Creed (Hip 3064) and a $30,000 filly by Gormley (Hip 2842).

“I am usually pretty conservative on my bidding,” Naify said. “I don’t spend a lot of money at auctions. I look for horses in the more conservative range who could be stars. This one was just special. He just caught my eye. Everybody said he was a great horse and obviously the underbidders thought he was a great horse. Sometimes you have to just go for it.”

She added, “They will all go to Karen. This is the biggest grouping we will have together. I used to have horses with Bruce Headley. He also looked at the video and thought this was a great horse. He still has an eye for the horses.”

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NY Harness Trainer Suspended 20 Years for Blood Doping

Tue, 2020-09-22 18:50

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) on Sept. 21 suspended Standardbred trainer Michael Temming for 20 years after two of his horses tested positive for a blood doping agent in a pair of December 2019 races at Yonkers Raceway.

The Paulick Report first reported the story, describing the drug involved as IOX-2, a stabilizer of hypoxia-inducible factor, which is known as a blood and gene doping agent.

TDN reported back in January that when the New York Equine Drug Testing Program announced the detection of this drug in Temming’s horses, the findings were “believed to be the first–either in horse racing or the worldwide WADA network of testing labs–to screen for and confirm the presence of IOX-2, an IHF stabilizer that can trigger EPO-like effects as well as overall stimulation of an athlete.”

At Monday’s hearing prior to the 5-0 commissioners’ vote to suspend the trainer and disqualify the horses, NYSGC executive director Robert Williams read Temming’s adjudication into the record as such:

“The commission issued a notice of suspension and hearing on harness trainer Michael Temming on Jan. 21, 2020, composing a summary suspension for violation of the trainer responsibility rule, and a rule against doping agents or drugs, including blood doping agents.

“Specifically, two horses trained by Mr. Temming were found in post-race testing to have had blood-doping agent known as IOX-2 present in their systems. These violations were also alleged to have established that Mr. Temming lacked the character and fitness required to hold a harness racing license….

“The hearing, initially adjourned at Mr. Temming’s request, was finally conducted on July 15, 2020. The hearing officer found that the violations were established, and that Mr. Temming’s license should be suspended for 20 years,” Williams concluded.

Chairman Barry Sample said the commissioners voted unanimously to sustain the hearing officer’s report and recommendations, and the NYSGC commissioners additionally disqualified the horses.

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Multiple Grade I Winner Bast to Be Offered at Fasig-Tipton November

Tue, 2020-09-22 15:40

Three-time Grade I winner Bast (Uncle Mo), in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), will be offered at this year’s Fasig-Tipton November Sale through Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, who will consign the 3-year-old bay on behalf of owner Charles Chu’s Baoma Corporation.

The only three-time Grade I winning filly of her crop in the U.S., she is also the only Grade I-winning juvenile filly of that crop to add a graded stakes victory at three. Trained throughout her career by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, she established herself as the West Coast’s leading 2-year-old filly in 2019 with a powerful 8 3/4-length victory in the GI Del Mar Debutante and a wire-to-wire score in the GI Chandelier S. She was then third after setting swift fractions over a tiring Santa Anita racetrack in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Bast would conclude her two-year-old campaign with a victory in the GI Starlet S. at Los Alamitos, going gate to wire over off going. She then kicked off her sophomore campaign with another triumph in the seven-furlong GII Santa Ynez S. in January at Santa Anita. She retired with a record of 6-4-1-1 and $852,200 in earnings.

“Bast’s tremendous ability and gorgeous looks should make her an outstanding broodmare,” said Baffert. “I have only seen five yearling fillies at the sales that were a ‘must buy’ in my life, and she is one them. She is that beautiful.”

Bast was purchased by Baffert and agent Donato Lanni on behalf of Baoma Corporation for $500,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s 2018 Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale.

“Bast was a fantastic racemare,” said John Sikura of consignor Hill ‘n’ Dale. “Selected and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, in foal to Triple crown winner Justify, and by leading sire Uncle Mo. She is without fault and has everything a breeder desires–class, performance, and pedigree at the highest levels.”

Added Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning: “Bast is another tremendous racehorse campaigned by Charles and Susan Chu. Her brilliance on the racetrack and impeccable pedigree make her a broodmare with unlimited potential.”

For further information, contact Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at (859) 255-8290.

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Tiz the Law to Skip Preakness, Train Up to Breeders’ Cup

Tue, 2020-09-22 13:59

Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law (Constitution), runner-up in the GI Kentucky Derby, will bypass a run in the Oct. 3 GI Preakness S. and instead train up to the Nov. 7 GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, according to a statement from Sackatoga principal Jack Knowlton.

“Tiz the Law [is] officially skipping [the] Preakness,” Knowlton said on the Sackatoga Twitter account. “Disappointing that Tiz will not be able to run in the Preakness, [but] our primary interest is doing what’s right for the horse and in this case he’s not ready. We look forward to training him up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”

Last year’s GI Champagne S. winner, Tiz the Law went undefeated in his first four starts as a 3-year-old, capturing the GIII Holy Bull S., GI Curlin Florida Derby, GI Belmont S. and GI Runhappy Travers S. Sent off as the shortest Kentucky Derby favorite in decades, the New York-bred hooked up with frontrunning Authentic (Into Mischief) at the top of the Churchill Downs stretch before eventually proving second best, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. It was the bay’s first defeat in over nine months. He had yet to return to the worktab since the Sept. 5 Derby.

Authentic is expected to run in the Preakness, along with scratched Derby second choice Art Collector (Bernardini), Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile), Pneumatic (Uncle Mo), Dr Post (Quality Road), Happy Saver (Super Saver), Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper), Mongolian Wind (Mucho Macho Man), Lebda (Raison d’Etat), Liveyourbeastlife (The Big Beast) and Jesus’ Team (Tapiture).

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Arthur Hancock Named 2020 Thoroughbred Club Honor Guest

Tue, 2020-09-22 11:06

The Thoroughbred Club of America has chosen Arthur B. Hancock III as its 2020 Honor Guest, to be honored at the 89th Testimonial Dinner on a date yet to be determined due to COVID-19. The Thoroughbred Club Testimonial Dinner was inaugurated in 1932, the same year the club was founded, to recognize distinguished contributions of leadership as well as success in the Thoroughbred industry. Previous recipients have included Col. E. R. Bradley, William Woodward, Sr., Ted Bassett, and three generations of Hancock’s extended family from Claiborne Farm.

“The Thoroughbred Club of America is excited to name Arthur B. Hancock III as our 2020 Honor Guest,” said the club’s president, Katherine LaMonica. “Arthur represents the Thoroughbred industry in its most sincere form, hailing from a family rooted strongly in tradition, while forging his own unique legacy of horsemanship and leadership in our sport.”

Hancock, who owns Stone Farm near Paris, Ky., is a fourth-generation horseman who grew up at Claiborne Farm. He leased 100 acres of his own and began Stone Farm in 1970, which celebrates its 50th year of operation this year and now comprises 2,200 acres. Hancock has bred, raised, sold, and/or raced top horses like Horse of the Year Sunday Silence (Halo), Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway), additional GI Kentucky Derby winners Fusaichi Pegasus (Mr. Prospector) and Gato Del Sol (Cougar II), dual Classic winner Risen Star (Secretariat), and nearly 175 other black-type winners.

Married for 43 years to his wife, Staci, and the father of six childen, Hancock has served on the Kentucky Racing Commission, has been a director of Keeneland Association and Fasig-Tipton Company, and has also been a member of The Jockey Club. He co-founded Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) and is a strong supporter of eliminating performance-enhancing drugs in racing, as well as Thoroughbred aftercare.

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Brisk Trade as Book 4 Concludes at Keeneland

Mon, 2020-09-21 20:50

The two-session Book 4 portion of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale concluded Monday in Lexington with spirited action at the top of the market. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, the most prolific buyer of the auction, made the day’s highest bid when going to $320,000 to acquire a colt by hot freshman sire Not This Time (hip 2739) for an undisclosed client. For the session, 255 yearlings sold for $11,832,500 for an average of $46,402 and a median of $25,000. The buy-back rate, which was as high as 40% during sessions last week, was 23.88% Monday.

For the two-day Book 4 section, 492 yearlings sold for an aggregate of $23,349,000. The average was $47,457 and the median was $32,000. The book’s $320,000 top price was one of 11 to sell for $200,000 or over for the two days.

During last year’s two-session Book 4 section, 562 yearlings sold for $28,329,200 for an average of $50,408 and a median of $37,000. The top Book 4 price in 2019 was $310,000 and 10 horses sold for $200,000 or over.

“The good ones are tough to buy, they are really tough,” Lanni said. “You just have to bid extra and push a little bit more and hopefully you get them.”

Hip 2739 was one of two yearlings to bring over $300,000 Monday. The chestnut colt, bred by Stelly Stables and consigned by Stuart Morris, is out of Ready at Nine (More Than Ready) and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Drummer Boy (Parading).

“He is a neat horse, a cool dude,” Lanni said of the yearling, who will be trained by Bob Baffert. “He was one of the standouts today. Every day there are good horses coming through, you just have to find them. He was easy to find. He’s a nice horse. And the sire helped. The sire has been on a roll and people believe in the sire. They are willing to pay extra for them. Not This Time is a horse that came under the radar. You never know who is going to make it, but it looks like he’s going to do well.”

Also topping the $300,000 mark Monday was a filly by Nyquist (hip 2419), who sold for $305,000 to Nicoma Bloodstock. Consigned by Candy Meadows Sales, the yearling was one of five by the GI Kentucky Derby-winning freshman sire to bring six figures during the session.

“I think yesterday was a little light, but the quality of horses is a bit better today in day two of Book 4 and there certainly seems to be a little more high-end trade today,” said Nicoma’s Ben Gowans.

Oracle Bloodstock, bidding on behalf of Zilla Racing Stables, struck late in the day to acquire one of three fillies by Nyquist to sell for $200,000 Monday. Hip 2772 is out of Soarwiththebirds (Giant’s Causeway), a half-sister to Canadian champion Up With the Birds (Stormy Atlantic), who was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

“I loved her,” said Oracle’s Conor Foley. “She had a coltish body, but a feminine way about her. I don’t think she’s done improving. I thought she fit the mold of the nice Nyquists. I’m excited that Zilla Racing was able to get her. This was their first time to Keeneland and they were the underbidder several times over the last several days and we just decided this filly ticked all the boxes. We were lucky to get her.”

Of Nyquist, who was represented by his second Grade I winner when Gretzky the Great won the GI Summer S. at Woodine Sunday, Foley said, “I’m really impressed with them. Obviously they are showing themselves to be the real deal on the track. The Grade I win maybe cost my client a little bit more money than I would have liked, but I am happy for Darley that they stand the horse. I used to work there and I’m a big fan of the stallion.”

Oracle Bloodstock has been active at all levels of the market during the first week of the Keeneland September sale, purchasing horses from $1.1 million to $15,000. In all, the operation has signed for 19 yearlings for $3,534,000.

“I am shocked at how strong the market is with everything that is going on in the world,” Foley admitted. “It’s been punishing because I’ve been outbid a lot. There is still a strong desire for people to get really nice horses to compete all over the world. I still have barely even bought for my foreign clients. I am nervous–I would be shocked if I was going to be able to fill all their needs at this sale. But that’s great for everybody in the business. It’s been a weird year, but I’m relieved for the breeders. They need to do well, they are the synergy and the strength of our industry.”

The Keeneland September sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Nicoma Strikes Early for Nyquist Filly

A day after earning his second Grade I winner from his first crop to race, Nyquist was responsible for the top-priced filly of Monday’s eighth session of the Keeneland September sale when Nicoma Bloodstock’s Ben Gowans made a final bid of $305,000 to secure a daughter of the GI Kentucky Derby winner (hip 2419) on behalf of an undisclosed client. Out of multiple stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Unforgotten (Northern Afleet), the bay filly is a half-sister to Grade I placed Silverpocketsfull (Indian Charlie).

“We thought coming in to today that this filly would be around $200,000 to $250,000 range, but Nyquist had a big weekend,” Gowans said.

Nyquist’s son Gretzky the Great captured Sunday’s GI Summer S. at Woodbine, adding to Vequist’s win in the GI Spinaway S. earlier this month.

“Seeing what Nyquist has done so far obviously gave us the confidence in the filly, but we loved her physically,” Gowans said. “She is a beautiful filly with good size, plenty of leg, really well balanced, and she moves really well.”

Of his client, Gowans said, “He is in it to race. We’ve really enjoyed working for him and he was delighted even though we went a little over [budget on the filly]. So that’s always a good thing.”

The yearling was consigned by Candy Meadows Sales and was bred by Matt Lyons’s Three Lyons Racing and Dennis Farkas. Farkas purchased Unforgotten, with this filly in utero, for $75,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

“Matt [Lyons] was the one who got me going on the mare a couple of years ago,” Farkas said from his home in Indiana. “I really liked her, but she was out of my price range and when she RNA’d in November, Matt asked me if I wanted to go partners on her. I said, ‘Sure.’ After that, it’s been all Matt.”

Of Monday’s results in the sales ring, Farkas said, “Matt was really happy with the way the filly had grown and thought we would do ok with her. He had high expectations, I don’t know if he thought we’d be the sale topper today, but he was very happy and I am, too.”

Unforgotten, who produced a filly by West Coast this year, is Farkas’s only Kentucky-based mare, but he has a band of some 10 mares in Indiana.

“Ian Wilkes trained [2012 GII Indiana Derby winner] Neck ‘n Neck and we ended up getting him back and we brought him up here to Indiana to stand stud,” Farkas said. “I bought five or six mares to breed to him, but toward the end of the breeding season, he got off a mare and kicked the wall and shattered his leg. So my dream of standing a stallion in Indiana ended. It’s pretty costly to take as many mares as I have right now, which is 10, to take them all to Kentucky and get them in foal and bring them back. So I have four I am going to sell in November. But we have some really nice Indiana-bred foals born this year. I have a Maclean’s Music, a Good Magic and a Practical Joke and I ended up getting five Neck ‘n Neck babies, all fillies. And they are good looking, so we’re really happy with that.

He continued, “They have the Indiana-sired program here. They can run against only Indiana-sired horses, which is a big advantage. It’s a great program and I’m leaning towards just staying with that for a little bit.”

Filly a First for Hernon Bloodstock

Michael Hernon, longtime director of sales at Gainesway, made the first purchase for his new bloodstock agency Monday at Keeneland, going to $42,000 to acquire a filly by Speightster (hip 2541) on behalf of Steve and Cynthia Sansone.

“This filly jumped out at me with her motion and she had a very good stride to her,” said Hernon, who partnered with trainer Mark Casse to purchase unbeaten stakes winner Spanish Loveaffair (Karakontie {Jpn}) for $35,000 out of last year’s September sale. “I looked at her three times and she’s a very positive type who moves forward willingly.”

The yearling is out of Diamondsandcaviar (Street Cry {Ire}), a half-sister to Grade I winner Haynesfield (Speightstown).

Hernon made his first purchase under the Michael Hernon Bloodstock banner on a single bid.

“I could have seen her bringing $50,000 and change,” Hernon said. “But we are happy with the price and we’re happy with the horse. She was the first one on our list to come up, I have a couple of other fillies to go through today and we have a short list for tomorrow, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

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Vanderbilt Winner Volatile Injured; Retired to Three Chimneys

Mon, 2020-09-21 17:06

Saratoga’s GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. winner Volatile (Violence-Melody Lady, by Unbridled’s Song) has been injured with a hairline fracture of his right front cannon bone and has been retired. He will stand the 2021 season at Three Chimneys in Central Kentucky.

While competing for the partnership of Three Chimneys Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Volatile was undefeated in three starts in 2020. In addition to his Vanderbilt win July 25, in which he clocked a final quarter in :22.94, the fastest in the race’s history, the gray also captured Churchill’s Aristides S. by eight lengths in June and an allowance/optional claimer by 7 1/2 lengths in April at Oaklawn. The Steve Asmussen trainee retires with a record of 6-5-1-0 and earnings of $341,040. He got a Beyer Speed Figure of 112 in the Aristides, the highest on record for 2020.

“He reminds me very much of Mitole [Eskendereya] in his championship season,” said Asmussen. “Volatile is as fast as any horse I have ever trained. His brilliant performances this year would have made him the likely favorite for the [GI] Breeders’ Cup Sprint and a tough horse to beat. I trained his mother and his grandmother, the incredible Lady Tak [Mutakddim], who won multiple Grade I races for us. You will not find a better looking individual than Volatile, nor one with as much speed and raw talent.”

Volatile was his sire’s most expensive yearling sold at public auction when hammered down for $850,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale.

“Volatile is a beautiful horse that breeders will like when they see him,” said Three Chimneys owner Goncalo Torrealba. “He exudes class and is a great physical. He was brilliant and that is what can make a stallion special. Three Chimneys will proudly support him with plenty of quality mares, I can guarantee that.”

A stud fee for Volatile will be announced at a later date.

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California’s More Restrictive Whip Regulations to Go Into Effect Oct. 1

Mon, 2020-09-21 14:04

California racing regulators, who have long sought measures that would limit the use of the whip, announced Monday that a set of more restrictive rules will be implemented starting Oct. 1.

The rules were approved June 11 at a meeting of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) ,but could not go into effect until undergoing a regulatory review process.

The new rules will bring about three major changes:

(*) Riders cannot use the crop more than six times during a race, excluding showing or waving the crop or tapping the horse on the shoulder.

(*) Riders cannot use the crop more than two times in succession (within the six-time limit) without giving the horse a chance to respond before using the crop again.

(*) The crop must be used in an underhanded position with the crop always at or below the shoulder level of the jockey.

“Most of the riders are not happy about this,” said Flavien Prat, who is coming off a riding title at Santa Anita. “I’m for a change, but I think we have gone from one extreme to another. We have gone from no restrictions to pretty much no whip at all. Having a restriction is fine. It would be nice to have a restriction on how many times you can use the whip, something in the middle.”

The whip will still be allowed to be used when there are mitigating circumstances, such as when the jockey feels its use is necessary because of safety concerns.

Under current rules, a jockey must give his or her horse a chance to respond after using the whip three times in succession, which is the only major restriction when it comes to whip use.

Though he was aware that it was just a matter of time before the rules were enacted, Darrell Haire, a Jockey’s Guild Regional Manager whose territory covers California, was not pleased with Monday’s news.

“The riding crop is a valuable tool,” Haire said. “It’s part of the art of race riding, how you switch sticks and how you encourage a horse. It helps you get the most out of a horse. It’s going to hurt everybody, starting with the jockeys because they won’t be able to do their job. It will hurt the owners, the trainers, the fans, the bettors. It’s going to affect everybody. We have tried to compromise and believe they could have come up with something more reasonable.”

Starting Oct. 1, any jockey that violates the rules will be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 and a minimum suspension of three days. However, the CHRB has recommended to stewards that they impose lesser penalties at first and allow for a transition period. The stewards are set to meet with the riders before the rule goes into effect in order to explain the regulations and answer any questions.

“…the CHRB is recommending to the Boards of Stewards that they should, for a reasonable period of time, use the “mitigating circumstances” language to employ the current penalty structure–lighter penalties–in order to make the transition to the amended rule less disruptive to jockeys, in particular, as well as all stakeholders and the wagering public generally,” read the statement from the CHRB.

The new rules will mean that California will have the most restrictive regulation in the U.S. when it comes to the whip, but that won’t last long. Starting with the 2021 season at Monmouth Park, jockeys in New Jersey will not be allowed to whip a horse, with the only exception being when there are safety concerns.

California appears to be heading in that same direction. CHRB Executive Director Scott Chaney has said that he would like to see whip use eventually eliminated all together. The CHRB’s new rules could be an interim step in that direction.

“I don’t think jockeys should carry crops. It’s not necessary,” Chaney told the TDN in April. “To me, it’s not a safety issue. That’s a red herring. Ten years from now, if jockeys are still carrying riding crops, we’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.”

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Pneumatic Breezes Bullet for Preakness

Mon, 2020-09-21 13:44

TDN Rising Star‘ Pneumatic (Uncle Mo), last-out winner of the Aug. 15 Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, breezed five furlongs in company in a bullet 1:00.85 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Monday morning as he continues towards a start in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Oct. 3.

With exercise rider Angel Garcia up, Pneumatic went in fractions of :12, :23.80, :36 and galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15.

“On this track, that’s about as good as horses work,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “It was a solid five-eighths. They were out well. He’s trained really good since the Pegasus at Monmouth. Off that work we expect a big effort in the Preakness.”

Third to Maxfield (Street Sense) in the GIII Matt Winn S. May 23, Pneumatic was a well-beaten fourth behind Tiz The Law (Constitution) in the GI Belmont S. June 20. He came from just off the pace in the Pegasus to defeat Jesus’ Team (Tapiture) by 2 1/4 lengths.

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New Racing Facilities Planned for Southeastern Kentucky

Mon, 2020-09-21 12:46

Keeneland and the majority owners of Kentucky Downs have made application for a racing license and have proposed the construction of a state-of-the-art racing facility and associated track extension in Kentucky. The proposed facilities, to be located in Corbin and Williamsburg, would feature live Standardbred racing as well as historical racing machines.

“Horse racing is an extremely vital part of the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Ron Winchell, who owns, controls and manages Kentucky Downs with Marc Falcone. “With the addition of a new race track and related amenities in southeastern Kentucky, it will help to continue the momentum we have created for the state and our industry in recent years.”

Added Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason: “Keeneland has dedicated resources to this region and project for many years and we look forward to working alongside our partners at Kentucky Downs to bring this project to life. This project will strengthen Kentucky’s vital horse industry and positively impact the Commonwealth and the local communities by stimulating significant economic growth, generating hundreds of new jobs and enhancing tourism and hospitality.”

Officials from each racing association are working with state and local officials on a number of incentives and necessary infrastructure improvements to bring the facilities to fruition. Additionally, the venture is working with local investors to enhance the magnitude of the impact to the region.

“Corbin is thrilled to be a part of this endeavor,” Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus said. “The new racing facility will be a welcome addition to our city’s already long list of sites and attractions for local residents and visitors.”

“We are proud of the significant investment this partnership is committed to making in our community, and are excited to see the infusion of tourism, economic development and new jobs it will bring to Williamsburg and Whitley County,” Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison stated.

Each facility is contingent upon approval of an initial pari-mutuel racing license by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

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Maximum Security, Improbable Both Being Pointed to Awesome Again

Mon, 2020-09-21 12:14

Stablemates Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) and TDN Rising Star Improbable (City Zip) will face one another in Saturday’s GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita, trainer Bob Baffert has confirmed.

Baffert had earlier discussed shipping Maximum Security to New York for the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, but instead will race him this weekend in his own backyard.

Via text, Baffert said he thought the race was a good fit for both horses because he likes the spacing and the fact that no one has to ship. The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be run Oct. 10, two weeks after the Awesome Again.

With the two Baffert stars set to meet one another, the Awesome Again could decide who will be the favorite in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic. Coming off wins in the GII San Diego H. and the GI TVG Pacific Classic, Maximum Security will be favored in the Awesome Again, but Improbable has strong credentials, as well. He has won two in a row, the GI Hollywood Gold Cup and the GI Whitney S.

The list of possible starters for the $300,000 race also includes Higher Power (Medaglia d’Oro), Midcourt (Midnight Lute), Sharp Samurai (First Samurai), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Paddy o’Prdao) and Take the One O One (Acclamation).

A win in the Awesome Again, formerly known as the Goodwood S., will give Baffert six wins in the race. He is currently tied with Charlie Whittingham for most career wins in the event. The Awesome Again is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier, though both Maximum Security and Improbable have already secured berths via their victories in the Pacific Classic and Whitney, respectively.

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Code of Honor Pointing for Kelso Handicap

Mon, 2020-09-21 10:51

Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) will not be back to defend his title in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and will instead make his next start going a mile in the GII Kelso H. at Belmont Oct. 3.

“I said all along after the Whitney that I was going to start all over again,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I thought the Kelso was a good spot to start over again, running him at a mile instead of a mile-and-a-quarter in the Gold Cup after he’s been away for 2 1/2 months. We’ll run him at the mile, see what happens and take it from there.”

McGaughey said that if Code of Honor runs well in the Kelso, he will be pointed for either the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Code of Honor was placed first in the 2019 Gold Cup after Vino Rosso (Curlin) was disqualified for interference.

Code of Honor got off to a fast start this year, winning the GIII Westchester S. June 6 at Belmont. He subsequently finished third in the GI Runhappy Metropolitan H. and, in his most recent start, fourth in the GI Whitney S.

“With him, it got all messed up because of COVID and no racing for a while,” McGaughey said. “Those races got bunched up. I probably made a mistake running him in the Metropolitan Mile. If not for COVID, I could have run him opening day at Belmont, in the Met Mile on Belmont Day and then in the Whitney in the first part of August. The spacing would have been a lot better. That wasn’t to be.”

Code of Honor worked Monday morning at Belmont, going five furlongs in 1:02.81.

“He worked good this morning,” McGaughey said. “Javier (Castellano) worked him and he came back and said that he worked really good and that there was a lot left in the tank. I’ll sharpen him up next Monday and we’ll take it from there.”

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T.I.P. Deadlines for 2021 Fast Approaching

Mon, 2020-09-21 09:39

Applications for The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) horse shows and T.I.P. Youth Ambassador Program are due Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, respectively. Created in 2011, T.I.P. sponsors Thoroughbred classes and high-point awards at sanctioned horse shows, year-end performance awards, a recreational riding program, and non-competition awards.

Horse shows, trials, and other events interested in offering 2021 T.I.P. awards must apply by Sept. 30, even if the dates are tentative. Shows that offered awards in 2020 or that were approved for awards but were canceled must still reapply for 2021.

The Youth Ambassador program, which selects about a dozen young people annually to represent T.I.P. and the Thoroughbred breed at local barns, shows, and other events, closes applications Oct. 1. Youth Ambassadors must be 18 or younger as of Jan. 1, be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, own or lease a Thoroughbred with a T.I.P. number, and must participate in T.I.P. shows or programs.

“Offering T.I.P. awards is a great way of increasing participation from Thoroughbreds and their riders at horse shows, and we encourage applications from all interested groups in anticipation of a more typical horse show schedule in 2021,” said Kristin Werner, senior counsel of The Jockey Club and coordinator for T.I.P. “Similarly, our Youth Ambassador Program has proven to be an excellent opportunity for individuals to develop leadership skills while promoting the versatility of the Thoroughbred breed.”

For more information, visit T.I.P.

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Steady Trade as Book 4 Opens at Keeneland September

Sun, 2020-09-20 20:08

The Keeneland September Yearling Sale opened its first of two Book 4 sessions with a workmanlike day of trade in Lexington Sunday. C.J. Johnsen made the day’s highest bid, going to $210,000 to acquire a filly by Ghostzapper (hip 2342) for his CJ Thoroughbreds. Three yearlings tied for the day’s second highest price of $190,000: a colt by Maclean’s Music and a pair of colts by first-crop sire Unified. A total of 31 yearlings brought six figures on the day.

In all, 237 yearlings sold Sunday for $11,516,500. The session average was $48,593 and the median was $40,000. The auction’s buy-back rate continued to fall, with 237 horses reported not sold Sunday for a buy-back rate of 26.4%.

During last year’s first Book 4 session, which was held on the eighth day of sale, 272 head grossed $15,448,700 for an average of $56,797 and a median of $41,000. The buy-back rate for the session was 27.85%.

The Keeneland September sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Ghostzapper Filly to CJ Thoroughbreds

Corey and C. J. Johnsen’s CJ Thoroughbreds struck late to secure a filly by Ghostzapper (hip 2342) for a session-topping $210,000 Sunday at Keeneland. Consigned by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm, the yearling is out of multiple stakes winner Saxet Heights (Outflanker). Bred by SF Bloodstock, she was purchased by O’Callaghan for $130,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November sale.

“We’ve been on her since yesterday and she’s kind of one of those I kept falling in love more and more with her. So I’m glad it worked out,” said C. J. Johnsen.

Of the filly’s appeal, Johnsen said, “You can’t go wrong with Ghostzapper. And then the pedigree, the first three dams are very strong. When I first saw it, I thought, ‘An Outflanker mare?’ And I thought I had to do some research on Outflanker, but it turns out that, even though the sample size for the cross is small, it has produced two 2-year-old winners out of the three that have been on that cross. So the pedigree was just enough for us to go for it because physically, she is absolutely gorgeous.”

The filly will be trained by Wesley Ward.

CJ Thoroughbreds has purchased six yearlings-all fillies–at the September sale, led by a $335,000 daughter of War Front (hip 5) during the auction’s first session.

“We race them and then we sell them as broodmares when we retire them,” Johnsen said of the operation. “That’s our business plan. We buy only fillies with strong pedigrees by proven sires and then we sell them as broodmares. I think she is the 11th filly we’ve bought this year and we have one more to go.”

Johnsen said he has found the Keeneland marketplace this week to be unpredictable.

“It’s been strange. When we’ve thought we wouldn’t be able to afford a horse, we have been able to and then when we thought we could afford a horse, we were blown out of the water,” he said. “Day one, we bought three horses and didn’t think we’d be able to afford any of them. And we came away with all of them for much less than we thought. And then on day two, I don’t think we bought anything because we’d think, ‘Oh, this one is going to go for $250,000,’ and it goes for $450,000. So it’s been really unpredictable.”

More Music for Robison

When Jackie’s Warrior (Maclean’s Music) romped home in the Sept. 7 GI Runhappy Hopeful S. at Saratoga, he gave owners Kirk and Judy Robison their first Grade I winner in over two decades in the sport. The Robisons, who purchased the colt for $95,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale, added another colt by Maclean’s Music to their roster when trainer Steve Asmussen signed the ticket on their behalf at $190,000 to acquire hip 2038 Sunday at Keeneland.

“Steve Asmussen is at the sale buying for me and he trains for me in the East,” Kirk Robison said from his home in El Paso Sunday afternoon. “He loves Maclean’s Music and we have the really good 2-year-old colt. Sometimes buyers go back to what horses worked for them before; the same stud, the same family and they have confidence. I think they also know what a certain stud should look like. And if they look like that horse, I think they like them even more.”

Hip 2038 is out of stakes-placed Yes Liz (Yes It’s True) and was consigned by the Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.

“Stonestreet is going to stay in for half the colt,” Robison said. “Steve called me about an hour ago and said they’d like to stay in for half. I said go ahead and we got him. We’ve never had a partner, but who is better to partner with than Stonestreet?”

Robison purchased four yearlings during Sunday’s session of the September sale. In addition to hip 2038, he purchased a filly by More Than Ready (hip 2078) for $75,000, a filly by Kantharos (hip 2249) for $75,000, and a colt by Street Boss (hip 2043) for $37,000.

“We are pretty picky on the vetting. We don’t have to have a perfect vet, but we’ve got to have something that works,” Robison said of his buying goals. “The ones that have to have a chip removed right off the bat are not the kind I want. I want a horse that can get to the races early and show us what they can do.”

Robison, who owns a string of pizza restaurants in Texas, continued, “We are still shopping. We want horses who are going to be early and who are sound. Steve is a pretty good judge of that and he doesn’t get too carried away because he knows what price point I’m comfortable with. If he has to stretch a little bit, I let him do that. I don’t try to micromanage him because he has such a good track record.”

Asmussen is signing tickets for Robison in the name of Downstream Racing, a tribute to the next generation of racing fans in the family.

“Those are my grandchildren-they are getting old enough now I got a license for all of them in California this summer to go to the races at Del Mar, and then of course COVID hit and it’s limited,” Robison explained. “So Downstream Racing is our grandchildren and their ownership in horses now.”

Jackie’s Warrior, pointing for the Oct. 10 GI Champagne S. at Belmont Park, worked five furlongs at Saratoga Sunday in 1:02.91 (10/19).

“He looks fantastic, he’s happy and I trust [assistant trainer] Scott [Blasi] and Steve get him to race on time and I think he’ll run well,” Robison said

Of his colt’s impressive Hopeful victory, Robison said, “I had never had a Grade I winner until him. I’ve only been in a handful of Grade I races and never been lucky enough to win one, so I know how hard it is. I don’t care how much money you’re spending or what kind of mares you’re breeding, it’s hard to get a Grade I winner. So when you get one and they win so easily and he runs a faster seven-eighths than any other Hopeful has been run, well you get all of that wrapped together and he’s so sound, it’s amazing. He won at Churchill and he won twice at Saratoga, we think he’ll run well anywhere. Hopefully he’ll run well at Belmont.”

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Lady Speightspeare Proves Best in GI Natalma

Sun, 2020-09-20 17:56

Chuck Fipke’s Lady Speightspeare, named a ‘TDN Rising Star’ for an impressive frontrunning debut victory, backed that distinction up with a gusty success in Sunday’s GI Natalma S. at Woodbine, punching her ticket to the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in the “Win and You’re In” event.

Unveiled as a 22-5 chance going seven furlongs over this course Aug. 22, the chestnut dictated terms and drew away down the lane to a 3 3/4-length graduation, with the runner-up also finishing six clear of the remainder. Drilling a sharp five-furlong bullet in :58 3/5 (1/7) over the Woodbine training turf Sept. 13, she was made a fractional favorite over morning-line choice and local Catch A Glimpse S. heroine Alda.

Breaking smartly after acting up in the gate, Lady Speightspeare was taken into the clear by Emma-Jayne Wilson and tracked longshot Big Big Plans from a close-up second through splits of :23.77 and :47.92. It briefly looked as though the frontrunner would steal away midway around the turn, but Lady Speightspeare drew alongside her by the time heads pointed for home. Going on with it entering the final furlong, she was attacked late by Alda from her outside, but stayed on strongly to hold that rival at bay.

“In the starting gate, she acted up a little bit, but [it] was a testament to her intent. Last time she ran, she was such a racehorse,” said Wilson. “She broke through the pack early and went to the lead with such intent, I think it was the same thing today in the gate. She knew it was coming, they yelled ‘last one,’ she was anticipating the doors to open so she popped up a little. The doors opened and I just kind of put my hands down and the outside horse out-stepped her the first little bit and she showed that composure of a racehorse, she knew that she was going to get a chance to run and I had a chance to let that horse cross over and just put her right on her flank and she settled into stride, got into rhythm and, man, when they started to come to her, just like last time, she really leveled off and dug in.”

Pedigree Notes:

Now one of 116 stakes winners, 57 graded stakes winners and 19 Grade I winners for WinStar stalwart Speightstown, Lady Speightspeare is the first black-type performer out of Lady Shakespeare, victress of the 2009 Ontario Colleen S. over this course and the GII New York S. and GIII Grey Goose Bewitch S. in 2010. She is a half-sister to Perfect Shirl (Perfect Soul {Ire}), who carried the Fipke colors to victory in the 2011 GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and a full-sister to MGISW Shakespeare, who took the GI Woodbine Mile S. here as a 6-year-old in 2017. Second dam Lady Shirl was a GISW over turf as well. Lady Shakespeare has a yearling More Than Ready filly and foaled a colt by the same sire Mar. 28 before visiting Bee Jersey.

Sunday, Woodbine
NATALMA S.-GI, C$253,000, Woodbine, 9-20, 2yo, f, 1mT, 1:34.61, fm.
1–LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE, 121, f, 2, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Lady Shakespeare (MGSW-USA, SW-Can, $495,608), by Theatrical (Ire)
2nd Dam: Lady Shirl, by That’s a Nice
3rd Dam: Canonization, by Native Heritage
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. O/B-Charles Fipke (KY); T-Roger L. Attfield; J-Emma-Jayne Wilson. C$150,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $146,394. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Alda, 121, f, 2, by Munnings
1st Dam: Soldata, by Maria’s Mon
2nd Dam: Soldera, by Polish Numbers
3rd Dam: La Pepite, by Mr. Prospector
O/B-Wertheimer et Frere (KY); T-H. Graham Motion. C$50,000.
3–Seasons, 121, f, 2, by Tapit
1st Dam: Winter Memories, by El Prado (Ire)
2nd Dam: Memories of Silver, by Silver Hawk
3rd Dam: All My Memories, by Little Current
O-LNJ Foxwoods & Phillips Racing Partnership; B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY); T-James J. Toner. C$27,500.
Margins: 3/4, 2 3/4, HD. Odds: 2.50, 2.60, 5.05.
Also Ran: Dreaming of Drew, Sleek Lynx (GB), Stunning Princess, Big Big Plans.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Gretzky the Great Skates to Win in GI Summer S.

Sun, 2020-09-20 16:53

Gretzky the Great (Nyquist), who became freshman sire Nyquist (Uncle Mo)’s first stakes winner in August, became his second Grade I winner less than a month later with a victory in Sunday’s GI Summer S. at Woodbine. The score in the “Win and You’re In” event punched Gretzky the Great’s ticket to the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and gave Japanese-born jockey Kazushi Kimura his first career Grade I triumph.

Unveiled going five furlongs on the local turf July 12, the Ontario-bred was runner-up to re-opposing rival Ready to Repeat before graduating by open lengths in an off-the-turfer there Aug. 2. Getting up late to capture the 6 1/2-furlong Soaring Free S. three weeks later, Gretzky the Great was made a narrow favorite here.

Coming away well, the bay deferred to draft in behind of Ready to Repeat in the two path for the long run up the backstretch. Traveling comfortably past fractions of :24.10 and :47.82, he was given just a nudge by Kimura three-eighths out and sidled up alongside the pacesetter soon after straightening for home as the top two separated themselves from the pack. Overtaking Ready to Repeat past the three-sixteenths pole, he quickly kicked clear while briefly lugging into his foe’s path and cruised home much the best. An inquiry was taken into the winner’s drifting, but the result stood.

“He is such an amazing horse,” said Kimura. “Through the final stretch, he had a tremendous explosion. He sometimes was lugging in a little bit, but he’s just still a baby. First time out it was only five furlongs, then when he won I was like, ‘Oh, that will be a stakes horse for the future.’ And then winning a stakes and now he’s got a Grade I, he’s such a nice horse.”

Pedigree Notes:

Already the second Grade I winner for Darley’s first-crop sensation Nyquist–following GI Spinaway S. victress Vequist–Gretzky the Great is the second foal to race out of MSP Pearl Turn. Bought by Anderson Farms for $310,000 at Keeneland November in 2016, she has a yearling Quality Road colt and visited Uncle Mo this spring.

Sunday, Woodbine
SUMMER S.-GI, C$280,500, Woodbine, 9-20, 2yo, 1mT, 1:34.53, fm.
1–GRETZKY THE GREAT, 122, c, 2, by Nyquist
                1st Dam: Pearl Turn (MSP, $182,560), by Bernardini
                2nd Dam: Turn Me Loose, by Kris S.
                3rd Dam: Adoradancer, by Danzig Connection
Ylg ’19 FTKOCT). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Gary
Barber; B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON); T-Mark E. Casse;
J-Kazushi Kimura. C$180,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0,
$252,205. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk
   Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*
2–Ready to Repeat, 122, g, 2, More Than Ready–Christine
Daae, by Giant’s Causeway. ($60,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP). O-Gail
Cox, John Menary, Michael James Ambler, and Windways
Farm; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Gail
Cox. C$50,000.
3–Dolder Grand, 122, c, 2, Candy Ride (Arg)–Tamboz, by Tapit.
($800,000 2yo ’20 OBSAPR). O-D. J. Stable LLC; B-Dell Ridge
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Mark E. Casse. C$27,500.
Margins: 3 1/4, 1, HF. Odds: 2.40, 4.85, 5.85.
Also Ran: American Monarch, Heat of the Night, Secret Potion, Download. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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New Winner for California Chrome at Churchill Downs

Sun, 2020-09-20 14:57

4th-Churchill Downs, $69,074, Msw, 9-20, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:04.50, ft.
DECADE (f, 2, California Chrome–Emma Carly, by Unbridled’s Song) was pounded down to 1-5  after a close-up second in her career debut at Ellis Aug. 15. Firster Color of Dawn (Exxaggerator) jumped to the lead early and Decade was hustled into a stalking position through an initial quarter in :22.82. Asked for more by Ricardo Santana Jr. leaving the far turn, the heavy favorite collared Color of Dawn and was on equal terms with her rival turning for home. Despite running greenly while remaining on her wrong lead through the length of the stretch, Decade held on to a neck advantage over Color of Dawn at the wire. Decade is the fifth winner for her GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. winning sire, California Chrome (by Lucky Pulpit). The winner’s dam, Emma Carly, is a half-sister to GSW Royale Michele (Elusive Quality). The 17-year-old mare produced a filly by Nyquist last term and was bred to Bernardini this season. Sales history: $170,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $52,064. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-LNJ Foxwoods; B-Tom Evans, Tenlane Farm & Oratis (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.

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Jesus’ Team to Be Supplemented to Preakness

Sun, 2020-09-20 13:45

Grupo 7C Stable’s Jesus’ Team (Tapiture), third in the GII Jim Dandy S. and fourth in the GI Haskell Invitational S., will be supplemented to the GI Preakness S. Oct. 3 at Pimlico. The decision was made, said trainer Jose D’Angelo, after the $30,000 Keeneland September buy breezed a half-mile Saturday at Monmouth Park in :47.80.

“I explained to the owner the races [available] to him and he thinks the best decision was to run in the Preakness,” D’Angelo said. “He worked four furlongs very well. He’s very, very good right now, and the Preakness is a great race for us.”

D’Angelo said Jesus’ Team, named after the owner’s son, would work again next weekend at Monmouth before heading to Pimlico

Jesus’ Team broke his maiden in a $32,000 claiming event Mar. 18 at Gulfstream Park and won a claiming race May 8 before finishing second behind GII Tampa Bay Derby runner-up Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) by three-quarters of a length June 10 at Gulfstream in an allowance/optional claiming event. The bay then headed to Monmouth, finishing fourth behind GI Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (Into Mischief), in the Haskell and second in the Pegasus S., before running second in the Jim Dandy Sept. 5 at Saratoga.

“In all his races, and in all his works, I think he runs his best race last to front…only one move,” D’Angelo said. “I think that will be his best way in the Preakness.”

D’Angelo, a native of Venezuela, is the son of another Gulfstream-based trainer in Francisco D’Angelo. Francisco, a champion trainer in Venezuela, came to the U.S. in 2015. Jose worked for his father before saddling his first winner in July of 2019.

Jesus’ Team is the latest to confirm participation in the Preakness. He joins Authentic, GII Toyota Blue Blue Grass S. Art Collector (Bernardini), GIII Robert Lewis S. Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile), Derby third Mr. Big News (Giant’s Causeway) Pegasus winner Pneumatic, and Jim Dandy runner-up Liveyourbeastlife (The Big Beast).

Others being considered for the Preakness are: GI Belmont and GI Runhappy Travers S. winner Tiz the Law (Constitution), Belmont runner-up Dr Post (Quality Road) Jim Dandy winner Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) and Tesio S. winner Happy Saver (Super Saver).

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Selective Market Prevails as Book 3 Concludes at Keeneland

Sat, 2020-09-19 21:35

LEXINGTON, KY – Bidding continued to be solid for the prized lots, but the market was increasingly polarized as the second and final Book 3 session concluded Saturday in Lexington. Trainer Bob Baffert and Donato Lanni purchased the day’s highest-priced offering, going to $450,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of Unified on behalf of Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman, and Karl Watson.

During Saturday’s session, 239 horses sold for $18,364,200. The average was $76,838 and the median was $52,000. With 110 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 31.52%-the lowest session buy-back rate of the sale so far.

Through the two sessions of Book 3, 439 yearlings sold for $40,167,700. The average was $91,498 and the median was $65,000. Just one horse topped the $500,000 mark–Friday’s session-topping $625,000 son of Into Mischief–during the book.

In the two-session 2019 Book 3 section, 523 yearlings grossed $56,761,500 for an average of $108,531 and a median of $80,000. Five horses sold for $500,000 or over.

“If you have the physical and the vetting and the sire, there is plenty of money here,” said Zach Madden of Buckland Sales. “But if you have one little bit of criteria that you don’t meet what the market perceives as being optimal, it’s really, really sticky. You have to be realistic on reserves and you can’t get too carried away on anything.”

While the auction market has been polarized for several years now, Madden thinks the global pandemic and uncertainty in the economy has widened the gap.

“I think the polarization is definitely accentuated because I just of how cumbersome COVID has made everything–the economy and the whole way people live. Today was a little bit of up and down, but at the end of the day, I still feel like end users are here and I feel like their may be more people in town with the shifts in books. I am still hopeful. We ended up having a pretty good day and my neighbors back at the barn seem to not be dragging their heads too much. Fingers crossed it continues.”

Bloodstock agent Deuce Greathouse signed for six yearlings during Saturday’s session.

“Everybody is getting more selective,” Greathouse said. “You hear the sellers say the middle market is weak and all the buyers say everything they follow up there to buy is hard to buy. I think the ones you like are maybe a hair more reasonable this year. It seems like we’ve got some stuff done, it’s been difficult, but we’ve got some stuff done.”

The Keeneland September sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.



Unified Colt Scores for Greathouse

Trainer Bob Baffert and bloodstock agent Donato Lanni continued to pluck the top colts from the back show ring Saturday at Keeneland, going to $450,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of multiple graded stakes winner Unified (Candy Ride {Arg}) from the Four Star Sales consignment.

“I like what I’ve seen by Unified,” Lanni said after signing the ticket on hip hip 1769 in the name of Baffert’s “Three Amigos” clients, Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman, and Karl Watson. “This colt stood out in Book 3. There is still money here for good horses, so we paid more money than we thought. But everybody is here and the good ones cost money.”

The bay colt is out of Fay Na Na (Majestic Warrior), a half-sister to graded placed The Truth and K G (Successful Appeal). He was bred by John Greathouse’s Greathouse Equine and his family’s Glencrest Farm.

“Everything about him is special: his demeanor, the way he looks and the way he walks, his mind,” Greathouse said. “He’s done everything right since he got here. He showed non-stop and has not slowed down or turned a hair. He’s been an absolute champion.”

The Greathouse family’s association with Fay Na Na traces back to the 2012 Keeneland September sale, where she was purchased by David Greathouse and his son Deuce for $90,000. The mare never raced and sold for $1,200 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

“My uncle and cousin actually bought the mare as a yearling and I bought her privately off a friend a little bit later on,” Greathouse said. “She’s been nothing but good to me. She’s lived on the farm, my wife and I foaled this colt out. And here we are. This is really special.”

Among those celebrating the outstanding result was the senior John Greathouse, who said he came out to the sale Saturday after his son told him he was expecting big things from the yearling. But, given the uncertain market conditions, the younger Greathouse admitted the colt had exceeded expectations.

“To say I expected that for him would be ridiculous,” he said. “I am thrilled. I am thrilled he’s going to good hands and I am grateful to all the people who liked him.”

Fay Na Na produced a colt by Violence this year.


Maverick Strikes for Violence Colt

WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden, bidding from the back row of the sales pavilion, went to $410,000 to acquire a colt by Violence for the farm’s Maverick Racing division to lead early returns at Saturday’s sixth session of the Keeneland September sale.

“He’s a beautiful colt,” Walden said after signing the ticket on hip 1694. “He was our favorite horse of the day.”

Violence is having a standout year and added a third 2020 Grade I winner to his resume with recent GI Del Mar Futurity winner Dr. Schivel.

“Wouldn’t be buying him last year, but you’ve got to look at them this year,” Walden said of the stallion.

As the September sale marched into its second week, Walden said, “There are some really good physicals still coming and I’m encouraged with what is in Books 3 and 4.”

Hip 1694, consigned by Hidden Brook, is out of stakes-placed Brinkley (City Zip), a half-sister to graded stakes winner Bound for Nowhere (The Factor). The yearling’s third dam produced sprint champion Midnight Lute. He was bred by Douglas Scharbauer, who purchased Brinkley for $170,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.


Dobson Over the Moon

Everett Dobson, whose Candy Meadows Sales sold a $775,000 Quality Road colt earlier in the sale, went to $400,000 to acquire a filly by Malibu Moon (hip 1934) from the Warrendale Sales consignment Saturday at Keeneland.

“Everything,” Dobson said with a laugh when asked what he liked about the yearling. “She is just the type that will ultimately hopefully come home to join the broodmare band and make really nice babies. That’s the plan anyway.”

The chestnut filly is out of Rosy Humor (Distorted Humor) and is a full-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Stanford and a half to multiple graded placed Hedge Fund (Super Saver). She was bred by Ron Stolich, who purchased the mare in foal to Orb for $225,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

Dobson said he is seeing new faces on the grounds as the September sales heads into Book 4.

“There are a fair number of people here today,” he said. “There looks like there is some new money in the house, which is always encouraging in Book 3. You want the new players to come in and it looks like that’s the case. Hopefully it will continue for the next week or so.”


More Candy for The Avengers

The partnership of SF/Starlight/Madaket, nicknamed The Avengers by trainer Bob Baffert, added a third colt by Twirling Candy to its haul at Keeneland September when SF’s Tom Ryan bid $385,000 to acquire hip 1878 from the Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services consignment Saturday.

“He is a lovely colt,” Ryan said. “He could have been in Book 2. He’s a beautiful physical and he’s by a very good stallion. We are excited about this horse.”

Ryan added that he was still finding plenty of competition for the top lots as the Keeneland sale reached its one-week mark.

“I thought that was a strong price for that horse, but he’s a beautiful colt and we are big fans of Twirling Candy,” he said.

The partnership’s other sons of Twirling Candy purchased this week at Keeneland were hip 1878, also purchased for $385,000, and hip 1175, acquired for $130,000.

The yearling, bred by Jeffrey Amling and Merriefield Farm, is out of My Own Story. Campaigned by Diane Perkins’s Wimborne Farm, she is the dam of graded stakes winner Real Story (Fast Bullet) and stakes winner My Afleet (Afleet Alex).

“We had 11 scopes on the horse, so we knew he was really popular, but you never know what they are going to bring. We didn’t think he’d bring that much,” admitted John Stuart of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services. “You never know until you lead them in there.”

  •    Of the yearling’s placement in Book 3, Stuart added, “He could have been a Book 2, but I’ve taken several out of that mare to the sales before and I’ve never been able to sell one. But now that she’s had two really good horses, it makes a difference. I bought that mare off Mrs. Perkins for about $60,000 off the racetrack. Boy, what a good producer she’s been.”

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Not This Time Filly Flies Home in Woodbine Cares S.

Sat, 2020-09-19 18:34

Dirty Dangle (Not This Time), who defeated Souper Munnings (Munnings) in a five-furlong maiden on the synthetic track Aug. 16, became the second black-type winner for her freshman sire (by Giant’s Causeway), jumping out of the ground in the final eighth of a mile to take Saturday’s Woodbine Cares S.

One of the first to break the line, the $8,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $25,000 OBS March breezer pulled a bit but came back to jockey Sheena Ryan to sit just in behind a trio of front-runners. Favored Illegal Smile (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) joined in to make a line of four off the home corner, but Ryan bided her time, angling Dirty Dangle across heels and into the clear at the eighth pole before sprinting home smartly for the victory. With the win, Not This Time, whose daughter Princess Noor took the GI Del Mar Debutante two weeks ago, joins Nyquist and Outwork as freshman sires to be represented by two stakes winners.

Dirty Dangle has a yearling half-sister by American Freedom and a foal half-sister by Mo Town. Chambray was bred to Giant’s Causeway’s paternal grandson Mor Spirit this year. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

WOODBINE CARES S., C$135,810, Woodbine, 9-19, 2yo, f, 5fT, :56.82, fm.
1–DIRTY DANGLE, 120, f, 2, by Not This Time
1st Dam: Chambray, by Alphabet Soup
2nd Dam: Prominent Feather, by Lear Fan
3rd Dam: I Mean It, by In Reality
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. ($8,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP; $25,000 2yo ’20 OBSMAR). O-C DeMizio & Mary E Biamonte; B-Nancy Shuford (KY); T-Ralph J Biamonte; J-Sheena Ryan. C$81,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $93,903. *Second stakes winner for freshman sire (by Giant’s Causeway).
2–Illegal Smile (Ire), 118, f, 2, Camacho (GB)–Fine If (Ire), by Iffraaj (GB). (€35,000 Ylg ’19 GOFOR). O-Hat Creek Racing; B-W. Maxwell Ervine (IRE); T-Wesley A. Ward. C$27,000.
3–Rocket Reload, 120, f, 2, Reload–Shes Into Mischief, by Into Mischief. O-Dennis Andrews & Sandra Lazaruk; B-Denny Andrews (KY); T-Michael P De Paulo. C$14,850.
Margins: 1 1/4, HD, 3. Odds: 4.65, 1.95, 4.80.
Also Ran: Souper Munnings, Forest Drift, Chatelet, Silent Mamba.

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