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Updated: 22 hours 56 min ago

Zayat’s Bankruptcy Lawyers Want to Sever Ties Over $368K in Unpaid Fees

Mon, 2021-07-26 19:33

The law firm representing Ahmed Zayat in his $19-million bankruptcy pleading asked a federal judge Monday for permission to walk away from the case based on Zayat's alleged non-payment of $368,273 to the firm in outstanding legal fees.

“The representation of the Debtor has consumed an extremely significant amount of the available resources of our firm,” wrote attorney Jay Lubetkin of Rabinowitz, Lubetkin & Tully, LLC, in a July 26 “motion to withdraw” filed in United States Bankruptcy Court (District of New Jersey).

“The Debtor has been consistently advised that absent satisfactory arrangements for the payment of the outstanding fees and expenses due to our firm and newly incurred billings, the firm would have no alternative but to seek to withdraw from representation of the Debtor,” Lubetkin wrote.

The purportedly insolvent owner and breeder of Triple Crown champ American Pharoah hired the firm when he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection nearly one year ago.

Lubetkin's firm has also been defending Zayat in an adversary proceeding filed against him by MGG Investment Group, LP, for allegedly obtaining a $24-million loan by fraud and then not repaying it. MGG wants that debt ruled as non-dischargeable.

Zayat's bankruptcy case has repeatedly been slowed by allegations from the trustee assigned to the case that Zayat and his family members have been uncooperative and obstructive as the trustee tries to trace millions of dollars in possibly fraudulent transfers.

Lubetkin wrote in his court filing that at the outset of their legal relationship, Zayat promised to pay what he owed in legal fees based on 60-day receivable terms. He later agreed to make at least $50,000 monthly minimum payments.

At the time of his initial bankruptcy filing in September 2020, Zayat told the court he had only $314.22 to his name.

Lubetkin wrote that Zayat has not paid his firm since May 5, 2021.

“If the Debtor were to satisfy his previously expressed commitment to keep our receivables within 60-day terms, it would require an immediate payment of $232,899 and a further payment of $76,717 when the billing governing July's efforts is tendered,” Lubetkin wrote.

“I attempted at least nine times during the month of July to communicate with the Debtor regarding status of payments to our firm, without substantive or satisfactory response by the Debtor,” Lubetkin wrote.

As for who might next represent Zayat, Lubetkin wrote in his filing that Zayat himself “fully understands the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process” and “is fully capable of representing himself.”

Lubetkin wrapped up his motion for withdrawal by noting that when he finally did manage to reach Zayat July 21, it seems as if Zayat tried to tell him he was fired before Lubetkin could quit.

“[W]hile not knowing what the Debtor's intentions were at the time of the communication,” Lubetkin wrote, “the Debtor requested that I write to the Court to advise my firm was 'no longer defending” the Debtor, which may be interpreted as the Debtor terminating his relationship with our firm.”

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The Buckeye Beast, Amadevil Does It Again

Mon, 2021-07-26 17:17

Amadevil (Dominus) backed up her 24 1/4-length victory in maiden company when winning her second career start Monday at Thistledown, running away from seriously overmatched rivals in an Ohio-bred allowance race. She paid $2.10 in what was maybe the biggest overlay of the year.

Racing for owner-trainer David Wolochuk, the 3-year-old filly debuted June 21 at Thistledown, winning by nearly a sixteenth of a mile while earning a 94 Beyer figure. That number indicated that she has the ability to win graded stakes, but, having won nothing more than a five-furlong state-bred maiden race run in the mud, Amadevil still had plenty of questions to answer. Could a horse from such humble beginnings go on to win at racing's highest levels?

That's still an unknown, but Amadevil, despite the lack of competition, took some steps forward Monday. She “stretched out” from five to six furlongs and proved she can run just fine over a fast track. This time, she won by “only” 11 3/4 lengths, but was under wraps through most of the stretch and clearly wasn't asked for her best by jockey Chelsey Keiser. The running time was 1:10.46 and she got an 85 Beyer, but it may have been faster if Keiser let her mount run in the stretch.

“She makes it look easy, doesn't she?” Wolochuk said.

Wolochuk bought Amadevil and another horse from their breeders, Marne Fauber and Heidi Cecil, in a package deal that cost him $30,000. She had some shin problems that keep her away from the races as a 2-year-old, but was more than ready to go when debuting last month. Afterward, Wolochuk let it be known that he would have no problem selling a piece of Amadevil and did just that last week. He sold a 50% interest to Blue Snow Racing. Wolochuk declined to reveal the name of the individual who races under the Blue Snow banner.

“He told me whatever my highest offer was he would beat it by 25% and buy half of the horse,” Wolochuk said. “He's an owner of mine, a guy from Omaha. He came to me the day before we were going to enter for this race. I showed him in writing what the best offer was and he wired me the money.”

Wolochuk could have gone in a number of different directions with Amadevil for her second start, including choosing a local stakes race or heading to a top-tier track. Instead, he picked the easiest option, a first level allowance race for Ohio-breds, a race that amounted to little more than a public workout.

“I want her to get a little more seasoning,” he said. “She can get a little funny, but she was good today. I didn't want to give her too much too soon. There was no speed in there, so we wanted her to get to the front, cruise around there and not pull up before the wire. It was just an educational race, to teach her something. I wanted to see her gallop out and she did. She took off around the turn [in the gallop-out] because we will eventually have to go a route. We're just trying to bring her along the right way. Luckily, I'm not under any pressure.”

Wolochuk said a piece of Amadevil can still be had and that both he and the Blue Snow owner will be happy to listen to offers. With the win Monday, the price has gone up.

“A lot of people called after the first race,” he said. “Aron Yagoda is a good friend of mine and he's got Mark Casse [as a trainer]. He's been calling. So I have a lot of guys from Kentucky. But a lot of them wanted to see a six-furlong race first. Now, they got to see it. Now, they're going to have to pay more. I'm in a good position.”

Wolochuk said he will look to get Amadevil into another allowance race for Ohio-breds. After that, there are three $100,000 Ohio-bred stakes races remaining on the 2021 calendar that she will be eligible for and those will be a target. Waiting for her in those spots could be Esplanande (Daredevil), a 3-year-old Ohio-bred filly who was runner-up in last year's GI Spinaway S. She's won three straight, including a pair of stakes for Ohio breds.

“Her and Esplanande, they're on a collision course,” Wolochuk said. “I won't have to go to Saratoga to run against a graded horse. I can stay in my own back yard.”

A win over a filly of that caliber would really prove something. Until then, Amadevil is a bit of a mystery, a fun mystery. Another chapter of this story awaits.

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OLG Returns as Sponsor of Canadian Triple Crown

Mon, 2021-07-26 12:01

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) will partner with Woodbine Entertainment Group for the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. OLG has been a long-time sponsor of the Triple Crown, encompassing the Queen's Plate at Woodbine, the Prince of Wales S. at Fort Erie and the Breeders' S. at Woodbine.

“OLG's continued support of horse racing helps organizations like Woodbine bring the fast-paced action of horse racing to more Ontarians,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “With their support, we are able to enhance premier Thoroughbred racing events and expose thousands more people to the sport we love.”

“Horse racing has a rich history in Ontario and OLG is proud to play a significant role in engaging existing and new fans with popular events like the 2021 OLG Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing,” said Lori Sullivan, OLG Chief Land-Based Gaming and Business Development Officer. “We will continue to work with our valued horse racing partners, like Woodbine, to drive growth and set the stage for future opportunities with this exciting sport.”

The Queen's Plate is North America's oldest continuously run stakes race and will celebrate its 162nd renewal over 10 furlongs of Woodbine's Tapeta track Aug. 22. The Prince of Wales S. will be contested over a mile and three-sixteenths of the Fort Erie main track Sept. 14, while the Breeders' S. will be run for the 130th time over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor turf course Oct. 3.

Tickets for the Queen's Plate will be available through a pre-sale this Wednesday, July 28, and will go on sale to the general public this Friday, July 30.

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Immaculately Bred Tapit Colt Off the Mark in Japan

Mon, 2021-07-26 09:45

1st-Hakodate, ¥9,680,000 ($87,717), Maiden, 2yo, 1800mT, 1:50.3, gd/fm.
FIFTY CHEVY (c, 2, Tapit–Stopchargingmaria {MGISW, $3,014,000}, by Tale of the Cat), an $825,000 purchase out of last year's Keeneland September sale, made the majority of the pace in his June 13 debut going this distance at Tokyo before retreating in the final 200 meters to finish fourth. Better than a 10-1 chance for this second go, the beautifully bred bay was away only fairly from gate 11 and raced with just two rivals behind as they hit the first turn. Unhappy with his mount's positioning behind a slow pace, jockey Takeshi Yokoyama boldly hit the gas with about 5 1/2 furlongs to travel, allowing Fifty Chevy to stride into the lead at the 800-meter pole. Nursed along on the turn, Fifty Chevy responded gamely when set down in upper stretch and began looking for the line in the final 50 meters, but got there with a half-length to spare. Winner of the 2014 GI CCA Oaks and GI Alabama S. for owner Mike Repole, Stopchargingmaria was a $3.15-million buyback at that year's FTKNOV sale before being purchased privately by Louise and Kiki Courtelis' Town and Country Farms. Upset winner of the 2015 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff, the mare remained in training through her 5-year-old season and was knocked down to Three Chimneys for $2.8 million at FTKNOV in 2016. She was most recently acquired by Whisper Hill Farm for $4.4 million with this foal in utero at the 2018 FTKNOV sale. Three-year-old filly Stillchargingmaria (Pioneerof the Nile), a $1.9-million graduate of FTKNOV and her dam's first produce, won her maiden at Lone Star Park this past April and added a July 5 allowance, both on turf. Stopchargingmaria is the dam of a yearling full-brother to Fifty Chevy and a filly foal by Quality Road. The winning owner also campaigns Vanishing Point (Tapit), the full-brother to multiple champion Unique Bella, who cost $1.5 million at KEESEP in 2019. Sales history: $825,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $55,856.
O-Yuji Hasegawa; B-Three Chimneys Farm LLC & Whisper Hill Farm LLC (KY); T-Kazuo Fujisawa.

 

WATCH: Fifty Chevy graduates at second asking at Hakodate

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Street Sense Colt the Latest ‘Rising Star’ for Avengers

Sun, 2021-07-25 18:03

Murray (Street Sense), the most fancied of a trio of Bob Baffert-trained juveniles owned by the stallion-making conglomerate most easily referred to as “The Avengers” and seeking their diplomas in Del Mar's second race Sunday, blew past the buzzed-about even-money Peter Miller newcomer Drink the Wind (More Than Ready) en route to 'TDN Rising Star'-dom.

The $300,000 Keeneland September yearling broke on top at 5-2 but Drink the Wind was ridden along to seize a clear lead. Murray was content to sit second under Flavien Prat and began to ratchet up the pressure after a :21.54 opening quarter. Drink the Wind backed out of it abruptly heading for home, and Murray was soon several lengths in front. He poured it on from there under minimal encouragement, dusting his competition by 10 3/4 lengths and stopping the clock in 1:04.37. Second timer Clampett (Flatter) came on for second. Murray's stablemates Carbonite (Union Rags) and Barossa (Into Mischief) rounded out the trifecta and super, respectively, while the favorite crossed the line last.

Murray is out of a half-sister to MGSW juvenile Listen Here (Gulch) and three other stakes performers, including the dam of 2017 GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup winner La Coronel (Colonel John). This is the female family of MGISW Listening, et al. Dam Now Now (Tiznow) produced a Gun Runner filly last year and a Good Magic filly this Valentine's Day.

Murray is the14th 'Rising Star' by Street Sense, who himself garnered that honor. Baffert has trained other members of that esteemed 14 like MGISW McKinzie and this year's GII San Vicente S. and GII Rebel S. winner Concert Tour.

2nd-Del Mar, $70,500, Msw, 7-25, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:04.37, ft, 10 3/4 lengths.
MURRAY, c, 2, Street Sense
                1st Dam: Now Now, by Tiznow
                2nd Dam: Listen Now, by Storm Bird
                3rd Dam: Listen Well, by Secretariat
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $42,000. Click for the
Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Free Equineline.com catalog-style pedigree.
O-Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Starlight Racing, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Robert E. Masterson & Jay A. Schoenfarber; B-Kim & Rodney Nardelli & William Werner (KY); T-Bob Baffert. *$300,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP.

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Malathaat to Target Alabama

Sun, 2021-07-25 16:24

Shadwell Stable's Malathaat (Curlin), who suffered her first career defeat when second behind Maracuja (Honor Code) as the heavy favorite in the four-horse GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday, will be aimed at a likely rematch with that filly in the Aug. 21 GI Alabama S.

“We had a difficult time analyzing the race beforehand and how we thought it might unfold,” admitted trainer Todd Pletcher. “There wasn't a lot of speed on paper and we were in the one post with a target on our backs, so our strategy was to let her run away from the gate and try to establish a position into the first turn, or if someone was to clear us, hopefully move out into the clear.

“Everyone left there with the same intention and by the time we got to the first quarter, we'd gone :23 and 1, which is fine if we could have a little breather along the way,” Pletcher continued. “But as soon as we got on the backside, Irad [Ortiz, Jr. aboard Clairiere] made a move and put pressure on her. She kind of had to fight off the whole field. When you're a heavy favorite in a race like that with a short field, those things can happen. I'm not disappointed with the filly at all. I thought she ran bravely considering everything that was thrown at her off the layoff. If she comes back well, we'll point towards the Alabama.”

Pletcher said CHC and WinStar Farm's Life is Good (Into Mischief), a recent addition to his New York-based stable, could make his next start in the Aug. 28 GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. or in the Aug. 24 GIII Smarty Jones S. at Parx following a four-furlong drill in :48.88 (5/27) at Saratoga Saturday.

“He's a very impressive horse to watch train. He did that well in hand throughout,” Pletcher said of the work. “We'll play it by ear, but we have a couple of options with the Allen Jerkens here and the Smarty Jones at Parx would be a possibility if we needed more time. He's a super talented horse and we're fortunate to have him.”

Unbeaten in three lifetime starts, Life is Good has not started since romping to an eight-length victory in the Mar. 6 GII San Felipe S. for trainer Bob Baffert.

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Bradshaw Raises Money for Derby Museum

Sun, 2021-07-25 15:28

NFL legend Terry Bradshaw's Bourbon Dinner at the Kentucky Derby Museum raised $32,246 to benefit the museum Thursday night.

“Terry Bradshaw gained another fan this week–the Kentucky Derby Museum,” said Patrick Armstrong, President & CEO of the Museum. “But not just for his superstar status. Terry showed up for us in a big way. He donated his time, shared his bourbon with our guests, and had everyone laughing and smiling the whole night. What you see on TV is what you get in person. It was a great night for Terry to promote Bradshaw Bourbon, but we're not quite sure he realizes the impact he has had on the museum, after such a tough year financially.”

Ticket sales, sponsorships and sales of Bradshaw Bourbon all helped contribute to a successful night. Additionally, two raffle winners each received a football and bottle of Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Rye, both autographed by Bradshaw. The Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Rye is not available on store shelves yet, and made its debut at the event.

Kentucky Derby Museum has been hosting its Legends Series for eight years. The bourbon series showcases a variety of bourbons and high-profile bourbon experts each year.

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Venezia Award Nominees Announced

Sun, 2021-07-25 13:42

Junior Alvarado, Julien Leparoux, Deshawn Parker, Gerard Melancon and Scott Stevens are finalists for the 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday.

Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career.

All active jockeys in the continental U.S. are eligible to vote for the award winner.

“No one knows better than their fellow riders who is the most deserving of this award,” said Terry Meyocks, President and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild. “No matter who is chosen this year, each of these finalists is an accomplished athlete whose skills and dedication to racing is rivaled only by the respect they earn off the track.”

The 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award will be presented in a special ceremony at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 2.

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Maclean’s Music Firster Runs To Her Price Tag at Del Mar

Sat, 2021-07-24 20:27

7th-Del Mar, $71,500, Msw, 7-24, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:04.44, ft, 4 3/4 lengths.
DANCE TO THE MUSIC (f, 2, Maclean's Music–Beautified, by Congrats), apparently chilly-on-the-tote at 6-1, caught a flyer out of the gate and never gave her rivals a chance, streaking to a comfortable debut success Saturday at Del Mar. The scopey chestnut jumped right into the bridle and took them along at a good clip, covering the first couple of furlongs in a sharp :22.19. Galloping along on her own courage on the turn, Dance to the Music cut the corner into the lane, was a touch tardy in switching her legs, but took off when she did to take it by 4 3/4 lengths over Bicameral (Constitution). Walnut Stream Enterprises, a pinhooking partnership led by 2-year-old consignor Paul Sharp, snapped up the filly for a mere $40,000 at Keeneland September last fall. Seven months later, the long-striding chestnut was hammered down to Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal for $575,000 at OBS this past April after breezing in a bullet :10 flat. The winner's dam had a colt by Bolt d'Oro this year. Sales history: $40,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP; $575,000 2yo '21 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $42,000. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-Red Baron's Barn LLC & Rancho Temescal LLC; B-George Kirkorian (KY); T-Mark Glatt.

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Caravel Captures the Caress

Sat, 2021-07-24 19:07

Caravel (Mizzen Mast) carried the colors of her breeder, trainer and now co-owner Elizabeth Merryman to six victories in her eight previous starts. Irad Ortiz climbed aboard Caravel sporting the silks of her new part-owner Bobby Flay for this Saratoga debut and she took her career to the next level with a decisive score in the GIII Caress S. Saturday.

Backed to even-money favoritism off a pair of stakes wins, Caravel was away well from her rail draw and settled to track from third off pacesetting New York native Robin Sparkles (Elusive Quality), who zipped through a :21.64 first quarter. Robin Sparkles turned for home in front with Jakarta (Bustin Stones)–who was only running for purse money–just off her flank and Caravel ranging up in the three path. Caravel found another gear in mid-stretch, powering past the leader to win going away. In Good Spirits (Ghostzapper) rallied late to be second and Robin Sparkles held third.

“The whole turn, she was on the bridle waiting for the time to go,” Ortiz said. “I wanted to make sure to go around the horses like she did last time at Monmouth [winning the Goldwood June 25]. I was able to get in the clear and as soon as I asked, she gave me a really good kick–a good turn-of-foot.”

“I don't know if she's improved, but I think people understand how she needs to be ridden, and the trip is better now,” Merryman said. “I said to [Irad Ortiz, Jr.] just be as quiet as you can leaving the gate because the least twitch of the reins and she's going. It's pretty amazing. You watch Saratoga and just think it's the place to be. To come up here with a filly like that, it's amazing.”

With Flay now the majority owner, Caravel will be transferred to Graham Motion following this victory.

“He's watched her train pretty much every day. He's just been so nice and classy and sweet about her,” Merryman said of Motion. “Bobby Flay now owns a majority interest in her and we made a plan when he was interested in buying to make that change. That was something I was in agreement with from the time of the sale of the majority of her. Graham is in the next barn to me at Fair Hill [in Maryland]. It'll all be good.”

She continued, “Hopefully, the goal is the [GI] Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and Graham has so much experience going that route. It seemed like a really smart thing to do from my perspective as well. Not that I don't think I could handle it, but with the change in the ownership, Graham has a system that works great and he's been through all that.”

Opening her account with a trio of victories, including the Lady Erie S. last summer, Caravel checked in third in that Pimlico's Hilltop S. in October and returned to winning ways in the state-bred Malvern Rose S. back at Presque Isle Oct. 22. Third in Belmont's License Fee S. Apr. 30, the PA-bred rallied to victory in The Very One S. in Baltimore May 14 and romped in Monmouth's Goldwood S. June 25.

Pedigree Notes:

Caravel is the 24th graded winner for Mizzen Mast and one of 61 black-type scorers by that Juddmonte sire. The winner is the first foal out of Zeezee Zoomzoom, a daughter of SW & MGSP Zee Zee (Exchange Rate). Her 3-year-old filly Tipsy Chatter (Bourbon Courage) broke her maiden earlier this year for Merryman. The 9-year-old mare is also responsible for an unraced juvenile gelding named Witty (Great Notion), a yearling colt by Holy Boss and a 2021 colt by Great Notion. Zeezee Zoomzoom was bred back to Street Boss.

Saturday, Saratoga
CARESS S.-GIII, $200,000, Saratoga, 7-24, 4yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT, 1:02.38, fm.
1–CARAVEL, 122, f, 4, by Mizzen Mast
                1st Dam: Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats
                2nd Dam: Zee Zee, by Exchange Rate
                3rd Dam: Emblem of Hope, by Dynaformer
   1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($330,000 RNA 3yo '20 WANOCT).
O-Bobby Flay & Elizabeth M. Merryman; B/T-Elizabeth M.
Merryman (PA); J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $110,000. Lifetime Record:
9-7-0-2, $367,872. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–In Good Spirits, 118, f, 4, Ghostzapper–Mon Arch Lass, by
Arch. ($200,000 Ylg '18 FTSAUG). O-Bal Mar Equine, LLC;
B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Albert M.
Stall, Jr. $40,000.
3–Robin Sparkles, 120, f, 4, Elusive Quality–My Sparky, by
Dehere. ($30,000 Ylg '18 SARAUG). O-Michael Schrader;
B-Hibiscus Stables (NY); T-Bruce R. Brown. $24,000.
Margins: 2HF, HF, 3/4. Odds: 1.00, 9.00, 1.30.
Also Ran: Tass, Flower Point, Jakarta. 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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Into Mischief Filly Rolls to ‘Rising Star’-dom at Del Mar

Sat, 2021-07-24 18:23

Building on a debut second to Just Distorted (Distorted Humor) for which she earned a lofty 89 Beyer, Gainesway Stable and LNJ Foxwoods' 2-5 favorite Sea Dreamer (Into Mischief) was never out of a high gallop in graduating by 9 1/2 lengths Saturday afternoon at Del Mar to become another 'TDN Rising Star' for her incomparable sire.

Smartly into stride from the two hole, the $250,000 Keeneland November weanling turned $285,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga buyback skipped along comfortably with some mild pressure to her outside through an opening quarter in a solid :22.50. Socially Smart (Uncle Mo), a 15-1 shot, took a run at the chalk three wide nearing the stretch, but Sea Dreamer swatted away that challenge just as quickly, widened to lead clear into the final furlong and was geared down by Flavien Prat to report home as tons the best.

Sea Dreamer becomes the 24th of her sire's offspring to be accorded 'Rising Star' status and is a half-sister to the 2-year-old filly Sahara Queen (American Pharoah), a $110,000 KEESEP purchase by Kim Lloyd's Sweetwater Trading Co. on behalf of Gary Hartunian's Rockingham Ranch. After failing to produce a foal the last two years, More Than a Cruise was most recently covered by Into Mischief's half-brother Mendelssohn. LNJ Foxwoods campaigned Into Mischief's two-time Eclipse Award winner Covfefe.

3rd-Del Mar, $70,500, Msw, 7-24, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2f, 1:17.14, ft, 9 1/2 lengths.
SEA DREAMER, f, 3, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: More Than a Cruise (SW, $260,854), by More Than Ready)
2nd Dam: River Cruise, by Not For Love
3rd Dam: Wide River, by Broad Brush
Sales history: $250,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $285,000 RNA Ylg '19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $54,200. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Click for the free Equineline.com catalog-style pedigree.
O-Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck) & LNJ Foxwoods; B-Forging Oaks LLC (KY); T-Simon Callaghan.

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Another First-Time Starter Winner for Practical Joke

Sat, 2021-07-24 16:37

6th-Ellis, $45,968, Msw, 7-24, 2yo, f, 5f, :57.06, ft, 6 3/4 lengths.
GIRL WITH A DREAM (f, 2, Practical Joke–Henley, by Corinthian) was sent off the 6-5 chalk to open her account at first asking and turned it on through the Ellis stretch to graduate by an imposing margin Saturday afternoon. The $115,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate jumped alertly from an outside gate and pressed the pace through an opening quarter-mile in :22.24. Allowed to stride into the lead with about 2 1/2 furlongs to travel, the chestnut was shaken up by Florent Geroux in upper stretch and was punched out mostly hands and heels to give her freshman sire (by Into Mischief) his fifth winner, scoring by 6 3/4 lengths. Machmer Hall acquired Girl With a Dream's dam for $31,000 in foal to one of the operation's favorite stallions, Twirling Candy, at Keeneland November in 2016. Henley, a half-sister to MGSW/MGISP Mr. Commons (Artie Schiller) and to MSW & GSP Jungle Fighter (Wild Rush), foaled a filly by Twirling Candy in 2020 and was barren to the same stallion before visiting Machmer Hall product Gift Box (Twirling Candy). Sales history: $115,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $30,600. Click for the Equibase.com chart.
O-Jim Bakke; B-Machmer Hall & D + J Racing Stable LLC (KY); T-Brad H Cox.

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Maracuja Upsets Malathaat In CCA Oaks

Sat, 2021-07-24 15:40

With a perfect five-for-five record topped by an impressive score in the GI Kentucky Oaks, 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) was bet like she could not lose a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. However, in the final strides of the nine-furlong event, it was the longest shot on the board, 14-1 shot Maracuja (Honor Code), who dethroned the mighty Malathaat with a narrow upset.

All four broke in tandem with Malathaat assuming a narrow lead rounding the clubhouse turn. Maracuja kept the favorite honest through an opening quarter in :23.38 with second-choice Clairiere (Curlin) and Rockpaperscissors (Distorted Humor) just off their heels. Clairiere moved into second with Maracuja shuffled back to a joint third as the half went in :47.13. Rockpaperscissors called it a day at the three-eighths pole, quickly backing up, while Maracuja kicked into high gear, setting her sights on the top two.

Malathaat and Clairiere turned for home together with Maracuja ranging up menacingly two paths to their outside. Malathaat dug deep to maintain her narrow advantage on the fence as her two foes continued to give her hell. Surprisingly, it was Clairiere who was first to wave the white flag with just over a sixteenth left to run, leaving the shortest and longest shots on the board to fight it out. Malathaat and Maracuja battled stride-for-stride to the wire with the latter finding an extra burst in the shadow of the wire, forging ahead just in time to deny the chalk by a head. Clairiere held third and Rockpaperscissors was eased and walked off.

It was the first Grade I victory for trainer Rob Atras, who earned his first graded win earlier this year. It was also the first graded/Grade I score for owner Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, who also campaigned MSW and New York-bred champion Newly Minted (Central Banker).

“She broke really sharp, which I was happy with, and she was kind of right there,” said Atras. “They all seemed like they were coming and I thought Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] made a smart move by backing off and coming around the outside. What a race.”

“It was nerve-racking, especially after coming in seventh in the Oaks, but it was exciting,” said John Sakkos, founding partner of Beach Haven Thoroughbreds. “I was just hoping we would perform better than the Oaks. She had been doing well and Rob and the team have done a phenomenal job with her. She had a good rest after the Oaks. We'll probably go to the [GI] Alabama [S. Aug. 21] after this.”

As for the beaten favorite, Hall of Famer John Velazquez said, “You have to play the cards you're dealt. She was doing great. She was comfortable in what she was doing, but she had to fight the whole way around and obviously set it up for somebody else. She's a great horse and you can't take that away from her.”

Graduating at third asking in a 6 1/2-panel event at Aqueduct Feb. 21, Maracuja finished second behind eventual Oaks runner-up and GI Acorn S. winner Search Results (Flatter) in that venue's GIII Gazelle S. Apr. 3. The form of that race was further flattered by third-place finisher Army Wife (Declaration of War), who went on to win both the May 14 GII Black-Eyed Susan S. and the July 2 GIII Iowa Oaks. Maracuja closed from well back to be seventh when last seen in the Apr. 30 Kentucky Oaks.

 

Pedigree Notes:

Maracuja is the second Grade I winner, third graded victor and sixth black-type scorer for her young sire Honor Code. She is also the 28th Grade I victor, 101st graded winner and 192nd black-type scorer for top broodmare sire Unbridled's Song. The A.P. Indy/Unbridled's Song cross is also responsible for MGISW Moonshine Memories (Malibu Moon), GISW Magnum Moon (Malibu Moon) and G1SW Capezzano (Bernardini). The winner's dam Patti's Regal Song is a half-sister to GSW Regally Appealing (Valid Appeal), who is the dam of MGSW & GISP Appealing Tale (Tale of the Cat) and SW Colerful Bride (Munnings). She is also a half to SW Regal Miss Copelan (Copelan), who produced MGSW sire Rockport Harbor (Unbridled's Song). Patti's Regal Song's ecent produce includes a yearling filly by Twirling Candy and a 2021 filly by Sir Prancealot (Ire). She was bred back to that stallion.

Saturday, Saratoga
COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS-GI, $465,000, Saratoga, 7-24, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:49.29, ft.
1–MARACUJA, 121, f, 3, by Honor Code
1st Dam: Patti's Regal Song (SP), by Unbridled's Song
2nd Dam: Regal Pennant, by Banner Bob
3rd Dam: Regal Relation, by Kamaraan II
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($200,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG). O-Beach Haven Thoroughbreds LLC; B-River Bend Farm Inc, Austin & Janie Musselman (KY); T-Rob Atras; J-Ricardo Santana Jr. $275,000. Lifetime Record: 6-2-2-1, $407,100. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Malathaat, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Dreaming of Julia (GISW, $874,500), by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Dream Rush, by Wild Rush
3rd Dam: Turbo Dream, by Unbridled
'TDN Rising Star' ($1,050,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Shadwell Stable; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Todd A Pletcher. $100,000.
3–Clairiere, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Cavorting (MGISW, $2,063,000), by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Promenade Girl, by Carson City
3rd Dam: Promenade Colony, by Pleasant Colony
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen. $60,000.
Margins: HD, 5 3/4, 52 3/4. Odds: 14.70, 0.30, 2.80.
Also Ran: Rockpaperscissors. 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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Tractor Mishap Forces Dirt Races to Turf at Ellis; Driver Taken to Hospital

Fri, 2021-07-23 20:02

A tractor driver had a medical emergency during track maintenance prior to Friday's fifth race that resulted in the tractor hitting the inner rail of the dirt track at Ellis Park.

The driver was taken to the hospital via ambulance. Ellis Park did not identify the employee, citing health privacy laws. The rail was damaged about the sixteenth pole and was unable to be immediately repaired, forcing the fifth and seventh races to be moved from the main track to the turf course. Track General Manager Jeff Inman said that the rail would be repaired overnight and in the morning and that racing would resume as scheduled at 12:50 p.m. CT Saturday. Training has been canceled for Saturday morning to accommodate the repair.

The surface change necessitated adjustments to the payoffs for a trio of multi-race wagers. The Pick 3 beginning with race 3 paid out on 5-6-all. The Pick 3 starting with race 4 paid off on 6-all-3. The Pick 5 starting with the fourth race paid off on 6-all-3-all-3.

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Brown Earns Third Straight Lake George with Technical Analysis

Fri, 2021-07-23 19:47

It was a different year, but the same result with Chad Brown earning his third consecutive win–and fifth overall–with Klaravich Stables' Technical Analysis (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) in Friday's GIII Lake George S. at Saratoga. In fairness, Brown came into the race with a significant advantage, saddling four of the 10 runners, including GSW Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}), Amy C (GB) (Charming Thought {GB}) and Minaun (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}).

“Going into this race, I thought these four horses were even,” admitted Brown. “I couldn't have picked between them..I hope that some of my loyal fans here that have been losing the first week got some money back.”

However, despite holding a robust hand for the eight-furlong turf test for sophomore fillies, it was a Todd Pletcher runner–

GII Appalachian S. scorer Jouster (Noble Mission {GB})–who went off the 5-2 choice ahead of Technical Analysis, who was somewhat overlooked at 7-1. The favorite assumed her customary place at the head of affairs, reeling off opening fractions of :23.53 and :47.93 as the eager Irish bred–accompanied by regular partner Jose Ortiz–was positioned in a close-up third. Coming off the far turn, Luis Saez kept Jouster to the inside as Technical Analysis assumed second, about two lengths behind the leader. Set loose turning for home, Technical Analysis responded to right-handed encouragement, overtaking Jouster midstretch and driving clear late to score by 1 1/4 lengths over her closing stablemate, Fluffy Socks. Tobys Heart (Jack Milton) rounded out the trifecta. Jouster faded to eighth.

“I think she always wanted to do this–run a mile,” explained Ortiz. “We were trying to stretch her out being a 3-year-old for the [GI] Belmont Oaks [July 10]. I told Chad, and he agreed with me, at this time it's probably not her thing and we need to cut her back. She's too antsy early and pulls a lot.”

Ortiz continued, “Today, cutting back to a mile, I could let her run to the first turn and she came back to me nicely. She relaxed very well behind the horses and I knew it was just a matter of time. I knew we were going to separate and that's what I wanted. I wanted Jouster not to walk in front of me.”

Added Brown, “From the first turn where she was pulling a little bit, [Ortiz] let her have her head exiting the first turn when he dropped in, looked behind, and got a nice spot covered up. Finally, we had [Navratilova] to our outside and he waited for that horse to get fatigued before he moved outside cleanly. I thought it was a really smart move. I was very appreciative for his ride.”

Technical Analysis made a mild bid to be third in her career debut going 8 1/2 furlongs over Belmont's yielding turf Nov. 1, but bounced back next time to score while negotiating the same distance at the Big A Nov. 29. Back in the winner's circle facing optional claiming company at Belmont Apr. 29, she faded to sixth in her latest going nine panels in the GIII Wonder Again S. in Elmont June 3.

“The cutback helped a lot,” explained Brown. “You know you're going to get more pace with the cutback and that's really what she needed to get her off the bridle down the backstretch where there's a good strong pace to run at. She'll pull on a slow pace. That was part of the thinking of cutting her back.”

“We always have thought of her as one of our better horses in this division last year. It's nice to see her achieving some of those goals we set forth over the winter when we mapped out her campaign.”

Pedigree Notes:

With Friday's victory, Technical Analysis became the 35th black-type winner and 19th graded/group winner for her sire Kingman, who stands at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket. The 4-year-old filly, who is Sealife's first foal, also has a year younger brother by Shamardal and a yearling sister by Pivotal (GB). This represents the family of Australian champion stayer and G1 Melbourne Cup hero Rekindling (GB) (High Chaparral {Ire}).

Friday, Saratoga
LAKE GEORGE S.-GIII, $150,000, Saratoga, 7-23, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.61, fm.
1–TECHNICAL ANALYSIS (IRE), 120, f, 3, by Kingman (GB)
              1st Dam: Sealife (Ire), by Sea The Stars (Ire)
              2nd Dam: Bitooh (GB), by Diktat (GB)
              3rd Dam: Sitara (GB), by Salse
   1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. (200,000gns
Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Rabbah
Bloodstock Limited (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Jose L. Ortiz.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 5-3-0-1, $188,200. Werk Nick
   Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Fluffy Socks, 120, f, 3, Slumber (GB)–Breakfast Time, by
Kitten's Joy. O/B-Head Of Plains Partners (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown. $30,000.
3–Tobys Heart, 122, f, 3, Jack Milton–Pick of the Pack, by Lil's
Lad. ($5,500 Ylg '19 FTKOCT; $45,000 2yo '20 OBSMAR).
O-Hamilton, Terry, Lynch, Brian A. and Barber, Gary;
B-Trackside Farm (KY); T-Brian A. Lynch. $18,000.
   'TDN Rising Star'
Margins: 1 1/4, NK, 1 1/4. Odds: 7.80, 12.90, 5.60.
Also Ran: Runaway Rumour, Minaun (Ire), Amy C (GB), Demodog, Jouster, Navratilova. Scratched: Invincible Gal (GB). 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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GISW Kimari to Bypass Honorable Miss

Fri, 2021-07-23 17:18

Trainer Wesley Ward said he will skip Wednesday's GII Honorable Miss S. with Ten Broeck Farm's Kimari (Munnings). The 4-year-old has not run since capturing the GI Madison at Keeneland Apr. 3. According to Ward, the filly wasn't showing the energy she previously had shown during morning training.

“She's doing well, just not quite as good as she was previously, so I thought we should err on the side of caution,” Ward explained. “We did some X-rays and according to Dr. [Luis] Castro, she was perfect. But visually, she wasn't quite kicking the same way she had. We gave her a break because she ran such a big race at Keeneland. When I lead her over there, I would want her to 100%.”

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Vequist Breezes at the Spa

Fri, 2021-07-23 16:48

Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable's reigning champion juvenile filly Vequist (Nyquist) breezed a half-mile in :47.77 on Saratoga's main track Friday under Jose Lezcano in preparation for a potential seasonal debut at the end of the Saratoga meet. According to trainer Butch Reid, Jr., the filly will target Parx's GI Cotillion S. Sept. 25. Winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile fillies at Keeneland last fall, last summer's GI Spinaway S. winner finished ninth in her season return in the GII Davona Dale S. in February.

“She did very well this morning,” confirmed Reid, Jr. “I had her galloping out in 1:01 and 2, and in about 1:15 [three quarters]. She's fitter than I thought she was. She's actually a little ahead of schedule. I wanted her ready to go five-eighths on the first of August and she's a little ahead of that. I'm very happy with her progress. She's coming along nicely. If everything works out, she could run here before the end of the meet.”

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Whitmore Works for Vanderbilt; ‘Technique’ Slated to Run

Fri, 2021-07-23 16:31

Reigning champion sprinter Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect), third in his latest start in the May 1 GI Churchill Downs S., recorded his final serious breeze Friday in preparation for the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. July 31 at Saratoga. The 8-year-old, who won the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint in November at Keeneland, went a half-mile in :48.78 seconds over a fast main track, 12 days after completing the same distance in a swift :47.21 seconds. Trained by Ron Moquett, the gelding has amassed more than $4.4 million in lifetime earnings through a record of 41-15-13-4, which includes seven graded stakes victories at four different racetracks. His only prior victory at the highest level was registered in the 2018 GI Forego S. at Saratoga.

Whitmore was second in last year's Vanderbilt, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind Volatile prior to a seventh in the 2020 renewal of the Forego, contested over a sloppy track.

“He went very well this morning,” Moquett said. “I told the rider I wanted :48 or :49 and he did it, and did it the right way so I'm very pleased. He's training well, doing well, and I like the way he's running. I couldn't be more pleased with how everything is right now. He likes the surface at Saratoga. It's a good track and it seems like he's settled right in.”

Moquett indicated the Breeders' Cup Sprint is the main objective with the possibility of using the GII Phoenix S. Oct. 8 at Keeneland will serve as a springboard. Whitmore captured the 2017 Phoenix. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., who has piloted Whitmore 17 times, including his last three starts, and will have the call for the Vanderbilt.

August Dawn's Three Technique (Mr Speaker) is also on target to contest the Vanderbilt. He finished third most recently in the seven-panel GII John A. Nerud S. at Belmont July 4.

“We've made the commitment to see how he handles sprinting and concentrate on the races that fit that category for him,” said trainer Jeremiah Englehart. “He's always trained fairly well up here. Since he came in during the spring, he's been training forwardly and doing very well.”

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Montalvo, Lopez Suspended for Whip Use at Monmouth

Fri, 2021-07-23 15:53

Jockey Carlos Montalvo, who used his whip when aboard M I Six (Mission Impazible) in a July 11 race at Monmouth, was handed a five-day suspension and a $500 fine Friday by Monmouth stewards for violating the controversial regulations that largely ban the use of the crop in all thoroughbred races in New Jersey. Montalvo was suspended despite his claims that he felt it was necessary to go to the whip because of safety concerns aboard a horse who was bearing out on the far turn. New Jersey's regulations allow for a jockey to use the whip for corrective measures when he or she feels the crop is needed for safety related issues.

The stewards apparently did not accept Montalvo's claim that his safety was in danger. The New Jersey Racing Commission does not permit its stewards to speak to the media and the commission itself does not normally returns calls from the press. As of the deadline for this story, the racing commission had not returned a call from the TDN seeking comment and clarification on the Montalvo situation.

Montalvo's suspension is set to begin August 24, but his attorney, Drew Mollica, said the jockey plans on filing an appeal.

In a related development, it has been learned that the stewards issued another five-day suspension for use of the whip when setting down jockey Carlos E. Lopez for his ride in another July 11 race. Lopez was clearly using his whip to urge his horse and will not be contesting the ruling. Lopez was suspended on July 18.

To date, there has also not been a word on the status of jockey Flavien Prat, who could be facing a suspension after he was disqualified aboard Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) after crossing the wire first in the GI Haskell S. Hot Rod Charlie may have come over in the stretch, causing Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to clip heels with his rival. Aboard Midnight Bourbon, jockey Paco Lopez was thrown to the track but was not seriously injured.

Despite the new whipping rules, the first six weeks of the meet were largely uneventful and there were no incidents that led to the stewards suspending a rider. That all changed in the first race on July 11 when Montalvo clearly struck his mount three times with a right-handed whip. It also appeared that the horse, described as a “terribly mannered horse” by Montalvo's agent, Doug Hatten, was attempting to get out. M I Six eventually straightened himself out and went on to win the races at odds of 28-1.

Shortly after learning of the ruling, Mollica lashed out at the New Jersey Racing Commission.

'This suspension is contrary to everything that this rule is supposed to stand for,” he said. “Montalvo acted properly. He used the whip in an emergency situation to protect himself, his fellow riders, the horse and the betting public. His actions were exactly what this rule was created for. To now sanction him shows the hypocrisy  of this racing commission and we intend to appeal this to a fair judge who understands that his use of the crop was proper in an emergency situation. The proof is in the pudding. Look at what happened in the Haskell when the jockey did not use his whip to protect the safety of another rider. A jockey in an emergency situation has to be given the benefit of the doubt. His use of the whip prevented a catastrophe and to now try to suspend him is not only hypocritical it is dangerous.”

Mollica said the appeal will be go to an administrative law judge.

In his first ride ever at Monmouth, Lopez was aboard Venezuelan Talent (Outwork) in a maiden special weight race. He had a narrow lead in the stretch before being confronted on the outside by the eventual winner Emirates Affair (Handsome Mike). Lopez went to the whip in an obvious attempt to encourage the horse. He finished second behind Emirates Affair.

Lopez's agent, Kevin Witte, said that his rider accepted responsibility for his actions, but added that his unfamiliarity with Monmouth and the rules were factors.

“It was the first time the rider rode there and he does not speak any English,” Witte said. “He was told in Spanish by another rider not to hit the horse. He understood but he carried the stick to be safe. Coming down to the wire he was in front, he felt pressure from the outside and he reacted. Jockeys have a habit of riding the way they ride. He understood the rule, but they were coming down to the wire, he was in front, felt pressure from the outside. It was just a mistake. He was used to whipping coming to the wire. He came back and said, 'I messed up. I apologize.'”

Lopez's suspension will begin July 24 and run through July 29.

Without access to the stewards or the racing commission, the TDN was not able to determine whether or not Venezuelan Talent and M I Six were disqualified from purse money because of the whipping.

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MJC Releases Laurel’s Fall Stakes Schedule

Fri, 2021-07-23 14:55

The Maryland Jockey Club released the fall schedule of 33 stakes worth $3.525 million in purses for Laurel Park, including the GIII Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash and 36th edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million. The fall meet begins Thursday, Sept. 9 and continues through Saturday, Dec. 31. For the complete stakes schedule, click here.

The six-furlong De Francis for 3-year-olds and up will help kick off the fall stakes schedule as one of four stakes worth $500,000 in purses Saturday, Sept. 18. Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, its roster of winners includes Hall of Famer Housebuster, fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor's Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the race's only two-time winner.

Saturday, Oct. 2 will feature five stakes, all on turf, worth $600,000 in purses, including the Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds and Selima for 2-year-old fillies, both going 1 1/16 miles. They will be accompanied by the six-furlong Laurel Dash and a pair of listed stakes-the Japan Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles and All Along for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.

The 2021 renewal of the Maryland Million returns Saturday, Oct. 23 with eight stakes, including the Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles. Juveniles are in the spotlight in the Nursery and Lassie for females, both at six furlongs.

Thanksgiving weekend will feature five stakes worth $450,000 in purses spread over two days and the final month of the calendar year will feature eight stakes worth $850,000 in purses, headedd by the Maryland Juvenile Futurity for 2-year-olds and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, each at seven furlongs, Saturday, Dec. 4.

New to the stakes calendar are the Robert T. Manfuso S. for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles and Carousel S. at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 3 and older. The Carousel, which carried Grade III status from 1988 through 1997, was last run in 2002 at Laurel.

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