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Updated: 4 hours 11 min ago

Keeneland To Encourage Use of Endoscopic Video for September Sale

Wed, 2019-08-14 14:28

Keeneland is encouraging consignors and veterinarians to make full use of the repository to upload and to view endoscopic videos of horses scheduled to sell at the company’s September Yearling Sale, to be held Sept. 9-22 in Lexington.

Keeneland has come out in support of a recent announcement from the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association endorsing the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) “Protocol for Pre-Sale Video Endoscopic Examination of the Upper Airway at Public Auction” as a means of educating buyers and veterinarians about video scopes, to increase buyer confidence in the procedure and to help create uniformity among sales companies.

Asteris Keystone, Keeneland’s Repository software, has the capability to both upload quality videos of scopes and view them along with digital radiographs and submitted eye certificates or surgery letters.

“Keeneland is hopeful that through educating veterinarians, buyers and consignors on the capabilities of the Repository software, all parties will feel confident in using these procedures in the near future,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said.

Keeneland is committed to following the AAEP guidelines for scope videos. Any consignor that chooses to put such videos on file are required to submit the same no more than 10 days from the sale day of the horse and preferably once the horse is on the sales grounds. Consignors and veterinarians will receive Repository guidelines and deadlines prior to each sale.

As with the viewing of digital radiographs, registered veterinarians inspecting horses for prospective buyers will be able to view the scope videos in the Repository. Consignors will have the right to be notified when a veterinarian views a scope of their horse.

Keeneland’s Repository, which was established in 1996, is located in the Sales Pavilion. Registered veterinarians, who have established an account (and receive a username and password), may inspect the medical records of a sales horse online at any time.

Sales officials have also announced that for the first time this year, buyers may request at the time of their purchase that blood be drawn from their purchased to be tested for the presence of bisphosphonates. Buyers may also request that their yearlings be tested for anabolic androgenic steroids. Yearlings purchased with the intent of being exported to train and race in Great Britain are subject to British Horseracing Authority testing to detect the presence of prohibited substances such as bisphosphonates and anabolic steroids. International buyers may also request testing at the time of purchase.

These provisions are covered in Keeneland’s Conditions of Sale.

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Mr. Big Colt Tops CTBA Sale

Wed, 2019-08-14 14:15

A $45,000 colt by Mr. Big topped Tuesday’s Northern California Yearling and Horses or Racing Age Sale. Consigned by Harris Farms, Hip 2 is out of SP Perched (Into Mischief) and was purchased by Legacy Ranch.

Harris Farms also consigned the sale’s second highest-priced horse, a yearling colt by Tamarando, who summoned $44,000 from Lawrence Lewis.

A total of 92 yearlings changed hands for $553,700 with an average of $6,018 and median of $2,700. Forty-eight youngster failed to meet their reserves. Thirteen horses sold in the Horses of Racing Age portion for a gross of $49,800, median of $3,700 and average of $3,831 with seven RNAs.

The yearling numbers were up from last year when 102 horses summoned $499,600 with an average of $4,898 and median of $2,200. Forty-seven yearlings left the ring unsold last term. The 2018 Horses of Racing Age portion saw 15 Thoroughbreds bring $37,600 with an average of $2,507, median of $2,000 and five RNAs.

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Runhappy Named Sponsor of Kentucky Downs Meet

Wed, 2019-08-14 11:36

The upcoming five-day meet at Kentucky Downs has been renamed the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, thanks to a sponsorship agreement with Houston furniture magnate Jim McIngvale, owner of the former sprint champion and current stallion Runhappy.

The RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs runs Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 7, 8 and 12, featuring exclusively grass racing over North America’s only European-style turf course. First post each day has been moved up to 12:15 p.m. Central this year.

“I think it’s a perfect fit: Kentucky Downs is America’s most unique race meet, and Runhappy the most unique American racehorse we’ve seen in recent years, with his speed, quality and competing without any medication,” McIngvale said. “One of Kentucky Downs’ meet mottos is ‘It’s gonna be quick.’ What better horse to sponsor that than our brilliantly quick Runhappy?”

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Hollendorfer Files Complaint for Emergency Relief Against Pacific Racing Association

Tue, 2019-08-13 16:48

Jerry Hollendorfer and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) filed a complaint for emergency relief in the Alameda County Superior Court Monday seeking either a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Preliminary Injunction against the Pacific Racing Association (PRA) which would permit the veteran trainer to stable and race his horses at the association’s Golden Gate Fields facility.

Just last month, a judge at the Superior Court of San Diego granted the trainer a preliminary injunction against Del Mar, giving him permission to stable and race horses under his name at the Southern California venue, the facility having barred him from doing so prior to the start of the meet.

Del Mar’s decision followed action taken by Santa Anita management back in June, when they told the trainer to remove his horses from The Stronach Group-owned facility, along with 60 horses from TSG-owned Golden Gate Fields. This after four Hollendorfer-trained horses were catastrophically injured at the facility during a six-month period.

CNN had also reported in June on two Hollendorfer-trained horses catastrophically injured at Golden Gate, which the Paulick Report identified as happening in November of last year and in January of this year. Hollendorfer has had no official regulatory ruling against him during this time.

Live racing at Golden Gate Fields is set to resume Aug. 15.

“We’re trying to work it out, I can tell you that,” said Darrell Vienna, an attorney representing the CTT. “Litigation is a last resort,” he added. “We’ve attempted to do this already, to work things out. That happened with Del Mar, and it’s happened with Santa Anita and Golden Gate. But we haven’t been able to get a resolution, and so, that’s why we’re in litigation.”

The “backbone” of the CTT’s argument, said Vienna, surrounds the 2018-2019 race-meet agreement that the CTT and the PRA entered into in November of last year.

“The CTT’s point of view is that we believe that the Pacific Racing Association/Stronach Group have breached the race meet agreement by doing one of two things, or both,” Vienna said. “Excluding or eliminating Mr. Hollendorfer’s ability to participate in the meeting without the consent of the CTT, and secondly, by failing to provide a timely grievance hearing. And that’s where we are right now.”

The court filing quotes language from the race meet agreement which would put the following restrictions on stall applications: “Track may, in its discretion, establish rules, regulations, and security procedures that may limit or eliminate Applicant’s ability to participate in racing or training activities at Track or any auxiliary facility, subject to the agreement of the CTT. The agreement of CTT shall be a condition precedent to any execution of a decision by Track to limit or eliminate Applicant’s ability to participate in racing or training activities at Track or any Auxiliary training facility,” the filing states.

“Any difference between the race-meet agreement and the stall application, the language of the race-meet agreement controls,” said Vienna.

Furthermore, the filing states that when it comes to stalls assignments, if the trainer is “duly licensed,” the racetrack will not discriminate in any way against that trainer “by way of any arbitrary or capricious conduct by Track.”

The filing states that if any trainer asserts that they have been arbitrarily discriminated against by the facility, “then the trainer claiming to be so aggrieved may submit his claim to Track or to CTT for examination, and if CTT shall then believe the claim to have merit, CTT shall be entitled to present the merits of the grievance on behalf of such trainer to Track. If the dispute is not settled, Track and CTT agree that the matter is to proceed immediately to arbitration before a hearing officer chosen by mutual consent by Track and CTT.”

The 65-page court filing identifies a number of issues surrounding things like fair procedure and breach of contract, with much attention paid to the Hall of Famer’s reputation during a decades-long career, including the 32 straight leading trainer titles Hollendorfer accrued at Golden Gate Fields by 2008.

The complaint also states that, “at no time prior to or after Hollendorfer was advised of Santa Anita’s ‘ban’ did any PRA representative inform him that his conduct or failure to act while stabled at and participating in race meets run at GGF were considered as a basis for the decision and actions communicated to him by Santa Anita representatives.”

Embedded in the complaint is the following piece of information: “At no time between September 1, 2015, and July 31, 2019, had Hollendorfer experienced an equine fatality–of any nature–at any racetrack in California, or elsewhere in the United States, other than at a track owned by TSG or one of its subsidiaries.”

The TDN has not independently verified that assertion. The TDN has reached out to TSG for comment on the complaint but didn’t hear back before deadline.


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Jockey Health and Safety: Necessary Advances Benefit All of Industry

Tue, 2019-08-13 15:26

Before new student athletes at the University of Kentucky (UK) embark upon their collegiate sporting careers, they undergo a 2 1/2-hour battery of physical tests to determine a variety of factors, like the alacrity of their neuromotor and neurocognitive functions, their aerobic efficiency and their musculoskeletal health.

The data generated from these tests can be used as a reference should one of these athletes get injured, as well as to help design protocols to reduce the likelihood of injury in the first place, said Scott Lephart, dean of UK’s College of Health Sciences.

“If we can get a good, accurate, epidemiological history or documentation of events after we have these baseline measurements, it will really allow us to look at injury mitigation in a scientific way,” he said. “And that’s really what we’ve done with other sports.”

The problem for horse racing, said Lephart, is this: “these other sports are so far ahead of what’s going on in the Thoroughbred industry as it relates to the human health component of it.”

Lephart’s observation is hardly revelatory. Indeed, in a recently published paper, the authors spelled out in the very first sentence how North American flat racing “lacks comprehensive collection, collation, and analysis of jockey fall and injury data”–the sort of rigorous scientific approach which could be used to identify and then implement measures to make the sport safer for jockeys. And why is this necessary?

Two jockeys on average die every year on U.S. racetracks as a result of injuries sustained race-riding. On top of that, 60% of jockey falls during a race will result in a “substantive” injury, said Peta Hitchens, a research fellow in the Equine Orthopaedic Research Group at the University of Melbourne.

Nevertheless, in this regard the sport appears to be making headway. “The University of Kentucky could be a world leader in jockey and rider safety,” said Jockeys’ Guild national manager, Terry Meyocks, pointing to a new UK program studying the physical and mental impacts from race-riding–just one of a number of interesting developments in the arena of jockey health. But substantive change comes with a caveat, Meyocks warned.

“Whether it’s a racing official or management or someone else, our industry doesn’t work well together,” said Meyocks, “and I think now’s the time our industry has to work together if it’s to survive.”

What does the data say?

Though the existing data surrounding jockey risk factors and safety is noticeably threadbare, the literature that does exist offers a useful platform from which to build.

“The most common reason for falls and injuries by jockeys, and especially for the most severe injuries, was riding a horse that had broken down,” said Hitchens, pointing to this paper using data out of California over a six-year period. During that time, 707 horses were fatally injured.

The study–comprising both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses–found jockeys were 162 times more likely to fall, and 171 times more likely to be injured, in an incident where horses died during the race, with jockey falls more likely in Quarter Horse rather than Thoroughbred racing (as a result of the higher prevalence of breakdowns in the former).

Data is only useful, of course, if it has some practical application. “So, what we can do to try and prevent the worst of the jockey injuries, and prevent a lot of the fatalities as well, is to directly address the problem of racehorse breakdowns,” said Hitchens. But catastrophic equine injuries aren’t the only predicating factor, it appears, when it comes to jockey falls.

“Another major risk is placing inexperienced jockeys on inexperienced and less accomplished horses,” Hitchens said. Indeed, Hitchens and her co-authors delved into seven years of Australian data and uncovered a range of factors that predisposed apprentice jockeys to a higher likelihood of falling, including apprentices who started their careers at an older age, and those that had fewer rides at a certain meet.

As such, the study’s authors suggest restricting jockeys with limited race-riding experience from riding maidens or horses with similarly limited racecourse experience. “Basically, putting an inexperienced jockey that has little experience in riding a race on a horse that has little experience in running a race is a bit of a recipe for disaster in my opinion, and I still can’t believe that it happens,” said Hitchens.

The findings get even more granular. In this paper, the authors found a link between a higher prevalence of falls with drier turf tracks, younger horses, shorter races, smaller field sizes, as well as cheaper races.

This small pilot study looked at what physiological factors in jockeys and exercise riders might determine likelihood of falling. It found a higher prevalence of falls among riders with lower aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and among those who rode with their full foot in the stirrup irons as opposed to the ball of the foot. Interestingly, riders with greater muscular strength were more apt to fall. “That’s likely because the stronger trackwork riders were being put on the most difficult horses,” Hitchens explained.

Hitchens also raised an interesting distinction between Australia and North America. Stateside, horses are, of course, typically ponied to the gate. Not so among our Antipodean cousins. “In Australia, 50% of our falls occurred pre or post-race, and most of our pre-race falls were tumbles on the way to the [gates] due to the horses’ fractious behavior,” said Hitchens.

So, just what kind of data collection and jockey health programs currently exist in North America? The primary ones are the Jockey Injury Database (JID), and the Jockey Health Injury System (JHIS), though both are far from being well-oiled machines.

The JID is a procedure to record the details of jockey accidents at individual racetracks, including the where, when and how of the fall, the type of equipment riders wore, along with any pertinent details about the injury. Regional managers of the Jockeys’ Guild along with track management are the ones typically charged with recording the information into the system, some of which is redacted to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.

According to Meyocks, Keeneland “and a few other racetracks” take pains to input the data. Nevertheless, “it’s very hit and miss,” he warned, about the consistency overall. “The Guild’s regional managers are doing it more than the racetracks,” he added.

Launched in 2008, the JHIS is a centralized database for inputting jockey’s medical and health history. In an ideal world, medical personnel would have access to the database in the event of an accident or injury. According to Kelly Ryan, a sports physician and a member of the Maryland Horsemen’s Health System, the JHIS is very “regional dependent,” and requires jockeys or their representatives–individuals with typically limited medical experience–to input the information themselves, making compliance patchy.

Indeed, when roughly a year ago Ryan performed physical examinations on about 30 jockeys, she asked them whether they had heard of the system and whether they had ever logged into it. Only one jockey said that they had heard of the system, said Ryan, and that jockey “hadn’t actually logged in.”

What can be done?

Some corners of the industry have stepped into the breach. The MedStar Sports Medicine’s Center for Horsemen’s Health is a centralized system already operating in Maryland. “Because Maryland racetracks contract us out, essentially jockeys are on our team–we have profiles of them on our electronic medical records system,” Ryan said, boiling the bare bones of the system down to the following:

If a jockey in Maryland takes a fall or is injured in any way, an on-track sports physician (i.e. Ryan) will conduct a medical assessment and record the details so they’re available to other medical experts within the system, which leads to the proposed MedStar Telehealth Clinic, Ryan’s brainchild.

When it comes to the impacts from any head injury, awareness continues to grow around concussions, and their possible relationship to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)–a disease caused by repeated head trauma. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion, depression, parkinsonism, and, in the worst-case scenarios, progressive dementia. Indeed, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s (NTRA) Code of Standards was recently updated with concussion guidelines.

In the U.S., 8.6% of jockey falls result in concussion, according to data from between 2012 and 2015. An earlier study determined that nearly 20% of race-day injuries were to the head and neck. But the possible misdiagnosis of concussion means that these figures could be on the conservative side, say experts.

For those tracks unable to afford an on-site sports physician, the medical technicians who attend riders who have suffered a head injury are typically untrained in diagnosing concussions. If that medical technician was connected to the MedStar Telehealth Clinic, however, they could then contact, via a telecommunication like Skype, a sports physician who could evaluate the rider remotely.

“We would then be able to say, ‘this exam is completely normal, I have low suspicions for a concussion,'” said Ryan, about a system that would cost around $150,000 to kick-start, much of the outlay required to develop specialized software. “Or, we would say, ‘this patient is exhibiting symptoms of a concussion, and needs to be removed from riding and needs to follow up.'”

There’s movement elsewhere in the industry. The Jockey and Equestrian Initiative (JEI) through the University of Kentucky’s Sports Medicine Research Institute is a program studying the effects that race-riding has on the body and mind over time. “We really don’t know what the effects from doing this for 10, 20, 30 years are on these guys,” explained Lephart, who runs the program.

Jockeys participating in the JEI, said Lephart, are put through a series of specially engineered tests in order to determine a broad variety of things–like their overall physical fitness and prowess–in order to create their injury and risk assessment profiles. But researchers also have more focused areas of interest, including the role that depression and cognitive impairment has on jockey health and performance, factors related to concussions and loss of self-identity, as well as dietary health. “Some of their weight management practices are less than ideal,” said Lephart.

The first set of jockeys (about eight in all) riding at Keeneland in the spring set the ball rolling. When racing resumes at Keeneland this fall, “we hope to get the majority of the jockeys in during the six weeks they’re in Lexington,” Lephart said. “It allows us to start tracking them,” he added, “tracking their injury rates, very specifically, and also have the opportunity to have them come back in when they come to Lexington to do serial testing.”

There are other residual benefits to tightening the safety screws in terms of the dollars and cents saved in workers’ compensation and other health care claims. “Every time a jockey comes in to see me, that’s money the racetrack has saved in paying out other exorbitant costs,” said Ryan, about Maryland.

Meyocks agrees that financial gains across the industry derived from fewer jockey injuries can’t be over-stated. “We all should be concerned about the well-being of the horse,” he said. “But how many owners and trainers have gone out of business because of workers’ comp?”

The Guild, said Meyocks, is developing an app with a variety of functions, all built around streamlining communication among members. In the meantime, the JID and JHIS should be used to their full potential, said Meyocks–indeed, he believes compliance with the JID should be made mandatory for a racetrack to gain accreditation with the NTRA’s Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Nevertheless, Steve Koch, Safety and Integrity Alliance executive director, argues that important structural changes must be made to the programs first if they’re to provide the kinds of information necessary for meaningful change. “The JID and the JHIS have been valuable,” said Koch, who co-authored the recently published paper. “Now, what does the next chapter look like? We’re evolving as an industry.”

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American Mares Make An ‘Impact’ at Niigata

Tue, 2019-08-13 14:41

A pair of immaculately bred 2-year-old fillies by the late Deep Impact (Jpn) and produced by two mares of considerable importance in the U.S. broke their maidens about 30 minutes apart at Japan’s Niigata Racecourse Sunday, Aug. 11.

Sunday Racing Co. Ltd’s Catulus Felis (Jpn), the first foal out of 2015 GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy), validated 3-10 favoritism to graduate over 1800 meters. Drawn gate 12 in the field of 14, the February foal was off a beat slowly then settled about three deep on the track and slightly better than midfield down the backstretch in the one-turn event. Improving with cover to be just behind the leading group nearing the entrance to the long straight, Catulus Felis was guided off heels and asked for her best 250m from home and kicked on best of all to win by 3/4 of a length (see below).

A five-time Grade I winner for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Stephanie’s Kitten was first offered at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, but was bought back on a bid of $3.95 million and trained on at age six. She again failed to meet her reserve at FTKNOV and was led out unsold at $2.95 million shortly after her Breeders’ Cup success at Keeneland, but the Ramseys struck a private deal to sell Stephanie’s Kitten to the Yoshida family’s Northern Farm. Stephanie’s Kitten produced full-siblings to Catulus Felis in 2018 and 2019.


WATCH: Catulus Felis rallies to take her debut


Sanctuaire (Jpn), a half-sister to ‘TDN Rising Star’ and dual-surface Grade I winner Yoshida (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}), was made the 1-2 chalk for her 1600-meter unveiling and belied her inexperience to open her account by 1 1/4 lengths. Racing in the Carrot Farm colors, the bay put herself right into the race and took up a stalking position from second. Held together into the final quarter-mile, she took some time to find top gear and wanted to lay out inside the final furlong, but reeled in the long-time leader in the final 50 yards (see below, gate 6).

Sanctuaire’s dam, former Starlight runner Hilda’s Passion (Canadian Frontier), demolished her rivals by 9 1/4 lengths in the 2011 GI Ballerina S. at Saratoga and was knocked down to Northern Farm for $1.225 million at FTKNOV later that fall. In addition to Yoshida–a ¥94-million graduate of the 2014 JRHA Select Foal Sale–Sanctuaire is kin to four other winners from as many to race as well as a yearling filly by 2015 G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) winner Duramente (Jpn) (King Kamehemeha {Jpn}) and a full-brother foaled this past Feb. 27.


WATCH: Sanctuaire becomes the latest winner for her dam



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Viola Elected to Jockey Club Board of Stewards

Tue, 2019-08-13 13:47

Vinnie Viola has been elected to the board of stewards of The Jockey Club, filling the expired position of William S. Farish, Jr.

Viola and his wife, Teresa, have campaigned the likes of GI Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming (Bodemeister), GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile victor Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song), GI Carter H. winner Army Mule (Friesian Fire) and more. He is also the owner of the Florida Panthers of the NHL and a governor on the NHL’s board of governors.

In addition to Viola, the board of stewards consists of Barbara Banke, Everett R. Dobson, C. Steven Duncker, Ian D. Highet, Stuart S. Janney III, William M. Lear Jr., J. Michael O’Farrell Jr., and John W. Phillips.


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Malibu Moon Filly Sets New York Sale Record

Mon, 2019-08-12 19:55

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The two-day Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearlings Sale couldn’t match up to its record-setting 2018 renewal, but when the dust settled Monday evening at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, the auction had seen its fourth straight record-priced yearling. The record bid came from Larry Best, who said he had only seen the filly two hours before he spent $775,000 to acquire the daughter of Malibu Moon from the Winter Quarter Farm consignment.

In all, 186 yearlings sold during the 2019 New York sale for a total of $16,200,000. The average was $87,097-down 18.9% from last year’s record figure of $107,512. The median of $60,000 was down 21.1% from last year’s highwater mark of $76,000.

“It was another strong edition of the New York-bred sale in 2019,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “Virtually every buyer I ran into today was complaining that they couldn’t get anything bought or that they were having to pay significantly more money then they wanted to for the horses they were bidding on.”

With 266 yearlings offered, 80 failed to sell for a buy-back rate of 30.1%. It was 34.6% a year ago.

“The RNA rate showed a pretty significant improvement this year compared to last year which probably led to a decrease in the average price and the median,” Browning said. “All in all, we were coming off an unbelievable jump last year compared to 2017.”

While 74 yearlings brought six figures in 2018, that number fell to 59 in 2019, but the top 20 lots were all purchased by unique buying interests.

“The buyer base continues to be very, very good for this sale and continues to improve,” Browning said. “I thought it was a very strong marketplace, similar to last year. The New York program has matured and, in my mind, is the finest state-bred program in the country.”

Malibu Moon Filly Sets New York Record

Larry Best admitted that he wasn’t planning on shopping the New York-Bred Sale, but when he found himself at the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds Monday, he decided he couldn’t go home without a certain filly by Malibu Moon. Best went to a sale-record $775,000 to acquire the yearling from the Winter Quarter Farm consignment.

“I’ve never shopped the New York sale before,” Best said after signing the ticket on hip 592. “I didn’t even intend to shop today. But I had nothing to do this afternoon, so I came over and looked at some horses and that one caught my eye. It’s a beautiful day. I had other business to do this morning, got done early and felt like I’d come over and look. And here we are.”

The bay filly is the second foal out of Savvy Sassy (Street Sense), a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Southdale (Street Cry {Ire}).

“I love Malibu Moon as a broodmare sire,” Best explained of the yearling’s appeal. “So I look at it from a breeding standpoint, long-term. If she wins some races, that would be really special, but I don’t see very many Malibu Moon fillies that I just fall in love with. This was one that is very athletic, she has a shot at the track, but after racing, I’ll use her as a broodmare. There is a consistency of quality in the filly.”

“That said, it’s a crapshoot,” he added with a laugh.

A colt by Pioneerof the Nile was the previous high-priced yearling at the New York sale, bringing a final bid of $600,000 a year ago. That figure eclipsed the 2017 record price of $500,000 for a son of Cairo Prince.

Of the investment, Best added, “She’s just a beautiful physical and then you look at the pedigree. If you are willing to be patient in the breeding side and you look five or six years out, I should get a good return if I breed her to the right sires. Which I will. I think it was a safe bet. Did I pay more than I wanted to, yes, I was going to be happy around $600,000, but quality costs money.”

The first person to congratulate Best on the purchase was trainer Christophe Clement, who co-bred the yearling along with Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Farm.

“Somebody wonderful with a great racing program bought the filly and that’s Mr. Best,” Clement said. “I wish him the best of luck with her. As you know, he has been very successful at different auctions for the last two years and I just hope the filly wins many great races for him.”

Clement, who said he generally owns between two to five mares in partnership, credited the sales success to the whole team behind the yearling.

“The filly belonged to a partnership of Dick Leahy of Oak Bluff Stable and myself and I trained the mare and we made all the decisions together,” Clement said. “The partner is just as good a partner as you can find. He is a very smart man. He believed in the New York-bred program and he has two good advisors in Doug Koch at Berkshire Stud and Don Robinson of Winter Quarter Farm. It’s a great team, which is why it all works out. I am delighted.”

Robinson purchased Savvy Sassy for $150,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Racing for Leahy’s Waterville Lake Stable partnership, the mare won twice in six starts. Leahy’s bloodstock agent John Donaldson signed the ticket at $80,000 to acquire the filly while in foal to Bayern at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Her Bayern colt, now named Bourbon Bay, sold for $205,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton New York sale and RNA’d for $240,000 at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale.

Outwork Filly Jumps to the Top in Saratoga

Trainer Jeremiah Englehart, seated alongside Travis Durr and It’s All About the Girls Racing founder Anna Seitz Ciannello, overcame a host of challengers to secure a filly from the first crop of Grade I winner Outwork (Uncle Mo) for $500,000 during Monday’s second session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale.

“She is a filly that Travis really liked and when I went and saw her, she is a really pretty filly,” Englehart said. “I like the sire and I’m glad that we got her. I’ve been outbid on a lot of them, so I was glad to get this one.”

Of the filly’s new ownership group, Englehart said, “Right now, she’s for Travis and I and It’s All About the Girls.”

The yearling (hip 495), consigned by Denali Stud on behalf of her breeder, WinStar Farm, is out of the unraced Light and Variable (Tiznow). She is a half to group-placed Bye Bye Hong Kong (Street Sense) and to recent Saratoga maiden-winning 2-year-old Our Country (Constitution).

“We’re very happy with that result,” confirmed WinStar CEO Elliott Walden. “Outworks continue to be very well received. They just look so much like Uncle Mos and we hope they run like Uncle Mos.”

The WinStar team had considered putting the New York-bred yearling in last week’s select sale.

“We discussed it,” Walden said. “Obviously, she had a big update with Our Country winning up here. So we felt like she would be a filly who would stand out in this sale. That’s one thing we try to do with our younger sires is put them in a position where people will notice them. Being by a first-year sire, it made a lot of sense to have her here. David Hanley makes those decisions and he’s done a great job with it.”

Outwork has plenty to live up to when his first 2-year-olds hit the track next year. His WinStar stablemates include a host of impressive freshman sires, led by Constitution (Tapit), who already has been represented by a pair of graded winners.

Asked if 2016 GI Wood Memorial winner Outwork would be carrying the flag for the WinStar stallion roster in 2020, Walden said, “I hope so. It would be great. We are really pleased with Constitution and Carpe Diem and Daredevil and Commissioner. So hopefully we have a couple more in the pipeline with Speightster, Tourist and Outwork.”

Twirling Candy Colt to Farmer

Longtime owner Tracy Farmer, who enjoyed a career day on the racetrack when his Sir Winston (Awesome Again) won the

GI Belmont S. in June, added a filly by Twirling Candy to his racing stable Monday in Saratoga when bloodstock agent Lincoln Collins made a final bid of $320,000 for hip 617. The bay filly was consigned by Fort Christopher’s Thoroughbreds as agent for Kingsport Farm, which purchased her in utero for $115,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

“We all liked her-[trainer] Mark Casse liked her, I liked her, we perhaps ill-advisedly passed on a couple earlier today for this one,” Collins said. “Tracy really likes the New York-breds he’s got so far this year and he’s had a great year on the racetrack. So let’s hope she is as good as as much as we like her. She’s a bit plain-headed, but we like that. She is a very honest-looking filly.”

The bay filly is out of multiple Grade I placed Soul Search (A.P. Indy) and is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Journey Home (War Front).

Collins continued to see polarization in the marketplace during the two-day New York-bred sale.

“It’s like all sales now, it’s feast or famine,” he said of the market. “The nice ones make plenty of money and the horses who fall even a little bit below the bar, there is just nobody to buy them. From the consignors point of view, it is a challenge and to some degree from the buyers point of view, it is a challenge because everybody is concentrating on the same horses. This game has become very professionally orientated in the last few years. I think we are all on the same horses. Occasionally, we’ll get lucky and one will slip through the cracks. But on the whole, to buy the nice ones, you have to step up to the plate.”

WinStar Strikes for Constitution Colt

WinStar Farm is plenty familiar with Constitution and struck Monday in Saratoga to acquire a colt by the farm’s leading freshman sire in partnership with China Horse Club for $275,000.

“He’s a very athletic colt. The Constitutions have that athleticism and class. They are very light on their feet. And this colt seemed to be that way,” said WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden.

Out of Polly Freeze (Super Saver), hip 559 was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of breeders Fred Hertrich and John Fielding. Walden has positive associations with the New York-bred sale and Hertrich-bred yearlings, having secured future multiple Grade I winner Diversify (Bellamy Road) from the sale for $150,000 in 2014.

“The last horse I bought out of this sale was Diversify from Mr. Hertrich, so hopefully we can strike again with a Hertrich and Fielding bred.”

Hertrich purchased Polly Freeze, in foal to Wicked Strong, for $75,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Her Wicked Strong filly, Text Dont Call, who was a $30,000 Keeneland January yearling and a $40,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May juvenile, was second in a Del Mar maiden special weight Sunday.

“That’s about what we thought the market was. There were a lot of people who liked the colt,” Hertrich said. “It helped that his little brother went and ran pretty well yesterday. And Constitution is as hot as any horse on the freshman sire list. It kind of all lined up and he vetted well. Great connections bought him, so we’re excited about that.”

The colt wasn’t Hertrich’s only success in Saratoga with a yearling by a WinStar stallion out of mares he purchased in 2016. Hip 487, a colt by Carpe Diem, sold for $130,000 Monday. He is out of Lady in Shades (Congrats), who Hertrich purchased for $24,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.

“I like breeding mares at WinStar,” Hertrich said. “They do such a great job. They are a great entity in the industry at all ends. And they support their stallions.”

Hunter Valley Has the New York Vibe

Hunter Valley Farm, which annually pinhooks a handful of yearlings to the New York-Bred Sale, enjoyed another standout two days in the auction ring.

“Last year wasn’t so pretty, but I knew coming up this year that this was probably the best group of horses that we’ve brought up here,” Hunter Valley’s Adrian Regan said. “They were lovely individuals and the guys at home did a great job prepping them. Fergus [Galvin], who came up here in October, did a great job picking them out.”

Hunter Valley brought five yearlings to the New York sale as part of its Atlantic Bloodstock pinhooking partnership. The farm kicked off the sale with hip 309, a colt by Freud purchased for $58,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton New York Mixed Sale, who brought $150,000 Sunday. Hip 406, a colt by Lemon Drop Kid who was purchased for $45,000 as a weanling, sold for $110,000; Hip 437, a colt by Outwork purchased for $45,000 last fall, sold for $165,000; and hip 506, a colt by Laoban purchased for $65,000 last year, sold for $170,000.

The Hunter Valley consignment sold 10 horses at the New York sale for a total of $971,000.

“Five of them were ours and the rest of them were for clients,” Regan said. “And the clients horses for the most part did very well.

He continued, “I am probably a little biased as to how the market was this year because it was so good to us. But I am not hearing many complaints. I am hearing the nice individuals are selling really well. There is a good demand for horses at the moment. Which is great. We have the big one here in a little while, so it would give you a bit of optimism going into it-cautious optimism.”

Regan said the plan for this year’s New York Mixed Sale will remain the same.

“We’ll do the same again,” he said. “I always stay at home because we have so much going on, so Fergus will come up and shop it, we’ll talk about it in the evenings and in the mornings make a plan. And start praying from there on.”

Sales Success for Mallory

Mallory Mort, longtime manager of Gallagher’s Stud, enjoyed sales success in his own name Monday in Saratoga, selling a colt by Speightster for $210,000 to Brick City Thoroughbreds. The yearling is the third foal out of the unraced Sheet Humor (Distorted Humor), who Mort purchased for $15,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale.

“She was a $300,000 RNA as a yearling and I thought she might be able to produce some nice yearlings for me,” Mort said of the mare’s appeal four years ago. “I bought her from Denali-Robert Masterson bred her. I bought her in foal to Midnight Lute, who was still pretty cold at the time, so I thought I got her bought at a nice price. She was very young.”

The mare’s Midnight Lute colt RNA’d for $45,000 at the 2017 New York sale, but her second foal, a filly by Central Banker, sold for $35,000 a year ago.

“We had a little bit of bad luck with the Midnight Lute colt, he was a nice-looking colt, but he had a splint. And Midnight Lute hadn’t come back yet. And then, we bred her to Central Banker to make the Midnight Lute a New York-bred. She was a beautiful filly and we sold here for $35,000, which was ok.”

Of the decision to send the mare to first-crop sire Speightster, Mort said, “I saw Speightster at WinStar and he was in my price range and I liked the nick and it worked out well.”

Mort expected big things from the yearling, but admitted he exceeded expectations.

“We loved him at home, but sometimes you can get a little barn blind until they get in among everybody else,” he said. “Once we saw who was looking at him and how many looks he was getting and how many vets he got, we were pretty confident we’d be ok. We weren’t quite expecting this.”

Sheet Humor is the only mare Mort currently owns.

“I bred her to Competitive Edge this year and I was going to sell her in the November sale, but she slipped. So she is barren right now. We’ll breed her back and maybe we’ll sell her next year. Or maybe we’ll just keep her.”

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Malibu Moon Filly Brings $775k at FT NY-Bred Sale

Mon, 2019-08-12 16:26

A Malibu Moon filly brought $775,000 from Larry Best’s Oxo Equine to take the lead at Monday’s Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale in Saratoga.

Hip 592, consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent for Oak Bluff Stable LLC, was bred in New York by Oak Bluff Stables and Christophe Clement.

She is the second foal out of the winning Street Sense mare Savvy Sassy, a half-sister to Canadian MGSW Southdale (Street Cry {Ire}).


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100 Years Ago Today: Man o’ War’s Upset

Mon, 2019-08-12 12:31

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. –The confluence of the number 13 and the word “upset” came into play perfectly Aug. 13, 1919, in a race that gave birth to Saratoga’s oft-repeated citation as “The Graveyard of Favorites.”

Bad luck was a key ingredient to the only defeat of Man o’ War, whose talents, even as a youngster, were considered otherworldly.

That the Sanford S. was won by a horse coincidentally named Upset adds to the story.

That the riders of both Man o’ War and Upset were denied licenses–without comment from The Jockey Club when their riding licenses came up for renewal the next year–adds to its legend.

Heading into the six-furlong Sanford, it’s difficult to overstate the regard held for Man o’ War not only by the public but also by veteran horsemen and journalists, who unashamedly compared him to the earlier greats of the then-young 20th century, Colin and Sysonby.

That respect was earned with the ease of his victories in six previous outings, five of which were in stakes races, the last of which was a comfortable two-length tally over Upset, to whom he was conceding 15 pounds, in the United States Hotel S. over the course and distance of the Sanford.

Even though the margins of victory weren’t nearly as gaudy as they would be during his campaign as a 3-year-old, racegoers knew that most of rider Johnny Loftus’s energy was expended on throttling down his mount well before the wire.

Man o’ War’s bad luck began the morning of the race, when word came that starter Mars Cassidy was ill and unable to perform his duties that day. Summoned from the patrol judge’s booth was a former starter, the venerable Charles Pettingill.

Pettingill had years of experience as a racing official, landing in New York after a tenure in the Midwest. “Mr. Pettingill is widely and favorably known as a racing official,” said the Morning Telegraph in its Aug. 15, 1900, edition, adding that he “… has the confidence of all horsemen,” and that with him in the stands “horsemen and the public will be well served.”

Unmentioned in the report was Pettingill’s role in the 1893 World’s Fair American Derby. Run amidst Chicago’s marvels, mayhem and mass murders that year, as chronicled in Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City,” Daily Racing Form breathlessly described the race nearly 40 years later in its June 22, 1935, editions as “one of the most sensational races run anywhere.”

The race featured Hall of Fame rider Edward “Snapper” Garrison at his resourceful best.

“The horses were at the post for an hour and a half, during which Garrison received permission from the starter to dismount and fix the saddle girth on Boundless,” DRF reported. “While the other horses were fretting and stamping about with their weight up, Boundless was taking things easy with the result that when they finally were off he was a decidedly fresh horse. In the home stretch Garrison called on Boundless and he came with a rush to win by six lengths.”

Pettingill would have been comfortable if people had forgotten about that American Derby so many years before and, in a sense, the Sanford would go a long way toward achieving that hope, although perhaps not in a manner he would have preferred.

Man o’ War’s presence in the Sanford, run on a Wednesday, enticed 20,000 fans to the track.

Before the advent of pari-mutuel wagering, action was handled by bookmakers, and in most books the price on Man o’ War was 1-2, with Golden Broom the second-choice, and the co-highweight at 130 pounds, at around 5-2.

Upset, with wily Willie Knapp aboard, and once again carrying 15 pounds less than Man o’ War, was 8-1.

Pettingill kept the field of seven at bay for several minutes before letting them go, and when he did Man o’ War was sideways and thoroughly unprepared.

“Man o’ War was very fractious at the gate that day,” Loftus told Sports Illustrated‘s Jack Mahon in 1966. “He broke through about three times before the starter warned me to quiet down–or else.

“I wheeled Man o’ War around for another try. My head was turned when the field was sent away. I wasn’t ready.”

Golden Broom broke sharply to get the early lead with Upset assuming the stalker’s position. Man o’ War and Loftus gathered themselves and got back into the fray approaching the turn, but at that point it was Knapp’s game to lose: Ahead of him he had Golden Broom in his crosshairs, and behind him he had Man o’ War locked in what he called “a mousetrap,” pinned to the rail. He kept him there as long as possible, but at the eighth pole, deciding he could wait no longer, he let Upset go, gaining the lead while freeing Man o’ War, which led to a nail-biting final furlong.

Upset lasted, just barely, and he got to the wire with DRF‘s official margin being a half-length, although Knapp insisted it was only Upset’s head that beat Man o’ War to the line. Whatever the margin, it was rapidly diminishing. Man o’ War was in front 20 feet beyond the wire.

Loftus and Man o’ War would exact their revenge next time out in the Grand Union Hotel S., then again in the Hopeful S., both at Saratoga, and they concluded the campaign with victory in Belmont’s Futurity S.

Without explanation, The Jockey Club denied both Loftus and Knapp their riding licenses the next year, and neither rode competitively again.

Knapp enjoyed recounting the race to fans, horsemen and journalists while Loftus went to extreme measures to avoid the topic, even ducking his induction into the Jockey Hall of Fame at Pimlico so as to avoid talking about a $4,950 race more than 40 years in his past.

“I was the goat. That’s all there was to it. It could happen to anyone,” he told Mahon.

“Heck, if a ballplayer makes an error, it’s forgotten.”

Some baseball fans may disagree with that assertion: It took a championship 13 years later for Chicago Cub fans to forgive Steve Bartman for interfering with a foul ball that, if caught, could have helped their team snap a World Series drought that would eventually hit 108 years, and it took 18 years and a championship in 2004 before Red Sox fans could forgive Bill Buckner, a former Cub playing for Boston, for his fielding miscue that helped extend a World Series drought that reached 85 years.

And maybe it’s coincidental that the “Black Sox Scandal” and the fallout from the fixed World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds would taint the sporting world less than two months after the Sanford. It’s a World Series that wasn’t forgotten, especially by Hollywood: Well after Loftus’s passing, the series was detailed in the hit movie “Eight Men Out” and was significantly referenced in “Field of Dreams.”

Perhaps redemption would have come to Loftus, a Chicago native, had he been relicensed and allowed to ride Man o’ War to his great victories as a 3-year-old in 1920, a campaign in which he set five American records, seven track records, and equaled an eighth, while concluding his career with 20 wins in 21 starts and earnings of $249,465.

But Loftus was in constant company with the metaphorical black dog for his ride aboard Big Red.

“Johnny was so humiliated that he didn’t speak to me for two or three weeks following the race,” said Knapp, who earned $25 for engineering Upset’s upset and who vigorously disputed allegations against his friend and rival.

“Any talk of Johnny Loftus pulling Man o’ War in the Sanford is pure bunk. I don’t think he would have taken $100,000 to throw that race.”

Loftus and Knapp were among the top jockeys of the era.

Loftus was the regular rider of Sir Barton, who had swept the classics of 1919, while Knapp was “The Giant Killer” of his day: In addition to his defeat of Man o’ War, he beat three Kentucky Derby winners with the otherwise undistinguished 9-year-old gelding Borrow in the 1917 Brooklyn H. and he won the 1918 Kentucky Derby with 30-1 Exterminator.

For their riding ability they were inducted into racing’s National Hall of Fame, Loftus in 1959 and Knapp in 1969.

Although denied riding licenses, they both had successful second careers as trainers.

Loftus died in California at 81 in 1976; Knapp passed away at 84 in 1972, a day after he was hit by a car in New York.

Man o’ War went to stud in 1921. His groom during his racing career was Frank Loftus, no relation to the jockey. His first groom after his retirement from racing was John Buckner, no relation to the ballplayer.

Man o’ War lived to be 30, dying in 1947. He was embalmed and had 2,000 mourners at his funeral in Lexington, Ky.

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Solid Opener to F-T New York-Bred Sale

Sun, 2019-08-11 23:08

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY–The Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale opened Sunday evening with a session of steady action capped by a son of Constitution who sold for $340,000 to trainer John Terranova.

“It was a solid opening session to the New York-Bred sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “There was lots of interest across the board. We continue to see the strength of the New York-bred market. It was on display again tonight.”

The two-day auction has a slightly different format this year, with Sunday evening’s somewhat abbreviated session of just 119 catalogued head to be followed by a longer session Monday. The change in format makes direct comparisons impossible.

In all, 66 yearlings sold Sunday in Saratoga for a total of $5,972,500. The average was $90,492 and the median was $75,000. With 31 of 97 offered head failing to reach their reserve, the buy-back rate was 32%.

During last year’s opening session of the New York sale, 80 of 136 offered yearlings grossed $8,326,000 for an average of $104,075 and a median of $75,000. The buy-back rate was 41%.

“We can talk about overall results tomorrow after we get comparable figures for the two days because then it will be apples to apples,” Browning said Sunday night. “It was a pretty consistent marketplace tonight. The median is virtually the same as last year and the average is down a little bit. But I think we’ve got a lot of outstanding horses tomorrow.”

The session-topping son of Constitution, who was consigned by Blake-Albina Thoroughbreds, was one of seven to sell for $200,000 or over. And the 11 highest priced horses of the session, purchased by a seemingly even mixture of end-users and pinhookers, were acquired by 11 different buying interests.

The Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Sale’s final session gets underway Monday at noon in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion.

Constitution Colt to Terranova

Trainer John Terranova made a final bid of $340,000 to acquire a colt by hot first-crop sire Constitution during Sunday’s first session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Sale. Terranova, bidding out back, purchased the yearling (hip 342) on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“We were really happy we got him,” Terranova said. “We looked at him and thought he was the best horse in the sale. Obviously, Constitution has gotten off to a fast start with his 2-year-olds and he has had some versatile runners on the track already.”

The bay colt was consigned by Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services on behalf of his breeder, Maurice and Samantha Regan’s Newtown Anner Stud. He is out of Akris Queen (Arch), a mare Terranova trained on behalf of the Regans, and his second dam is Catnip (Flying Paster), who produced graded stakes winners Indescribable (Pleasant Tap) and Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro).

“I actually trained the mare and she has big pedigree and she was a nice sound filly,” Terranova said. “So it’s nice to see her throw a good-looking colt like that.”

Multiple Grade I winner Constitution has been represented by seven winners to date, including graded stakes winners Amalfi Sunrise and By Your Side.

“With everything lining up–with the sire getting as hot as he has been currently, and this horse’s physical was really, really strong-just all of the stars lined up at the same time. So we had the feeling he could bring that,” said Newtown Anner advisor Nick Sallusto.

Reeves Strikes for Runhappy Filly

Patti Reeves, who along with husband Dean, and R. A. Hill Stable, and Corms Racing Stable campaigns recent GII Jim Dandy S. winner Tax (Arch), teamed with those partners again to add a filly by Runhappy to the roster when signing the ticket at $300,000 on hip 380 Sunday in Saratoga. Reeves did her bidding in the pavilion with Tax’s trainer Danny Gargan sitting not far away.

“We loved her from the start-she is just a gorgeous filly-and we love the incentive program for the New York-breds,” Reeves said. “The incentives for New York breds are heads and shoulders above other states. We wish we had something like that in the state in Georgia and if we ever get horse racing in the state of Georgia, that’s what we will do.”

The yearling is out of stakes-placed Charismata (Curlin), a half-sister to stakes winner Little Dancer (Successful Appeal). She was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. and partners. The mare, in foal to Constitution, RNA’d for $42,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Her Constitution colt, also bred by Browning and Billy Terrell, sold for $70,000 at the 2018 Keeneland January sale.

Partnership for Twirling Candy Filly

Johns Martin, Bill Rucker, Bob Hahn, and Richard Nicolai partnered to purchase a filly by Twirling Candy Sunday in Saratoga, with trainer Jeremiah Englehart bidding $260,000 to acquire hip 353 from the Denali Stud consignment.

“This is a filly that we really like and hoped that she would fall in our range. And she did. So it was good,” Englehart said.

The trainer continued, “We bought a few horses at the select sale, and obviously having New York ties, we wanted to look here, too. And we found a few New York-breds hopefully we can buy.”

The yearling is out of Awesome Bull (Holy Bull), who like her dam, was bred by Vivien Malloy’s Edition Farm.

“She is a beautiful mare,” Malloy said of Awesome Bull, whose first foal was $344,500 earner Awesome News (Congrats). “She just needs somebody to give her more black-type. I turned to my trainer this morning and told him it was his fault that she doesn’t have black-type because Awesome News ran her eyeballs out and they never tried to get black-type. She belonged to a syndicate and all they wanted to do was win. But breeders want black-type.”

A longtime New York breeder, Malloy admitted it was gratifying to see the ever-expanding growth of the New York market.

“The years behind us were pretty grim,” Malloy said. “And I’m so proud of New York and the program and the people interested in New York-breds now.”

As New York-breds continue to succeed beyond the state’s borders, Malloy is watching horses she has bred compete across the country.

“I have bred and sold two colts who are running at Del Mar,” she said. “One broke his maiden at Del Mar and another one just got second. It’s great to see.”

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Pricey The Big Beast Filly Shows Off Her Speed at Del Mar

Sun, 2019-08-11 18:53

4th-Del Mar, $62,053, Msw, 8-11, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:04.31, ft.
INSPIRESSA (f, 2, The Big Beast–Lucky Trip, by Trippi) wasthe priciest filly and co-fourth topper at OBS March at $850,000. She proved to be the fastest of a promising looking bunch to score first up at Del Mar and become the fourth winner for her sire (Yes It’s True). The :20 4/5 breezer quickly emerged between foes to vie for command through an opening quarter in :22.06, before shaking clear and almost appearing to run off through a :45.87 half. Bast (Uncle Mo), a $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad herself who covered all the ground (50 ft., or approximately 5 3/4 lengths more than the winner, according to Trakus data), gave game chase in the lane, but Inspiressa still had more in the tank and reported home 1 1/2 lengths clear. America’s Surprise (American Pharoah), the half-sister to Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro), was a non-threatening third. Inspiressa is out of a winning full-sister to SW/GISP Candrea and MSW Dream of Angels (Trippi). Her dam has a yearling filly by Prospective and was bred back to The Big Beast this year. Sales history: $850,000 2yo ’19 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $36,600. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Hronis Racing LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds & William Sandbrook; B-Ocala Stud (FL); T-John W. Sadler.

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Amid Welfare Crisis and Foal Crop Drop, Jockey Club Stresses Need for Unified Front

Sun, 2019-08-11 17:10

Against the backdrop of just-released news that the 2020 North American foal crop projects to be the lowest since 1966, speakers at The Jockey Club’s 67th annual Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, Sunday underscored the need for unity within a fragmented industry to help the sport seize opportunities during a time of existential crisis.

Stuart S. Janney III, The Jockey Club’s chairman, briefly mentioned during remarks leading into the Round Table’s intermission that the 2020 foal crop projection is expected to dip to 20,500.

After the event, The Jockey Club issued a press release confirming that number while also announcing a downward revision to the 2019 foal crop projection, from 21,500 to 20,800. The high mark for the continent’s crop was in 1986, when 51,296 Thoroughbreds were foaled.

It’s not news that the decades-long trajectory of the foal crop–long considered the key metric for measuring the health of the bloodstock industry–has been diminishing. But Sunday’s Round Table drilled home the point that that decline, coupled with a more recent calamity–the 30 equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park that put racing under a media microscope and triggered extremists’ calls for banishment of the sport–together present a very real threat that is still not adequately being dealt with.

By using the 2019 Round Table’s list of speakers as a guide, it’s no secret that The Jockey Club sees the best path to long-term industry viability as going straight through the United States Congress. In addition to one agenda item specifically devoted to “The Case for the Horseracing Integrity Act,” three other hand-picked panelists made it a point Sunday to speak in favor of pending federal legislation to establish an independent anti-doping and medication control program.

As per the custom of the Round Table format, there were no opportunities for audience members or journalists to ask the speakers questions during the event, thus no opposing viewpoints of HR 1754 were raised.

The fact that The Jockey Club now contracts with a crisis management firm to help the industry deal with the aftermath of the Santa Anita emergency (and other equine welfare-related issues that pop up nationwide) speaks volumes about the need for stakeholders to not only come up with meaningful changes, but to be able to articulate them properly to the public.

“Recognize that we can’t market or spin our way back to the public perception of eight months ago,” David Fuscus, a crisis communications specialist who is the president and chief executive for Xenophon Strategies, told the Round Table audience. “That is gone forever.”

Fuscus, whose firm is being retained by The Jockey Club, added that “This story is not going away. We can’t wait it out. We can’t muddy the waters. This is the most critical time that American horse racing has ever experienced. And without better unity and action, this sport will be diminished, and in places it will cease to exist.”

But, Fuscus added, “if we come together as an industry, negative perception can be turned. There is hope we can come through these dark days. But to do so, the public needs to understand what we are doing and believe we are on a path to success.”

Fuscus said that since January, when the Santa Anita horse deaths began to mount, his firm tallied 20,000 news stories “on the industry and our troubles.” (TDN could not independently verify that figure).

Over the past few weeks, Fuscus said, there has been “less event-based coverage now that the Santa Anita meet is done, but we’re seeing that coverage is evolving. We’re seeing less event-driven news coverage and the appearance of long-lead investigative pieces. These pieces are by high-quality journalists. And I can tell you, none of these stories are going to be flattering to the horse racing industry.

“If we look at the key elements of crisis communications–engagement, transparency, responsibility, meaningful actions–we don’t score very well,” Fuscus said. He explained that although many stakeholders are engaged in coming up with solutions, the industry suffers because those efforts are not coordinated.

“With fragmented efforts, the industry’s response is cloudy. There’s no unified narrative,” Fuscus said. “From the public’s perspective, there isn’t a clearly communicated fix or even consensus on the chief reasons for the spikes in the equine fatalities. We are a long, long way from meeting the first rule of crisis communications, which is ‘End it.'”

Separately, for the past several years, The Jockey Club has sought help from outside of the racing industry by attempting to leverage relations with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to work toward passage of HR 1754.

Valerie Pringle, the campaign manager for equine protection within the HSUS, said that, “We are not one of the animal welfare crazies who is trying to shut you down. We want to work with you.”

William Lear, Jr., a Kentucky-based equine law attorney who is The Jockey Club’s vice chair, spoke about The Jockey Club’s perspective on HR 1754. His most resonant comment about the need for reform happened during a digression, when Lear tried to get across an anecdote about how he believes the lack of a uniform drug policy is forcing some Thoroughbred breeders to consider leaving the business.

“Within the last three weeks, I’ve had two separate conversations with longtime, successful breeders who are giving serious, serious thought to having to sell their farms if something doesn’t happen quickly and effectively soon,” Lear said.

Widening the anti-doping lens to the international level, John Messara, the founder of Arrowfield Stud in Australia who has also served as chairman of the Australian Racing Board and other regulatory and marketing agencies in his country, predicted that passage of an overarching no-drugs law in U.S. racing “would unleash an economic monster” that could benefit the entire global bloodstock industry.

“I think one of the benefits is going to be that the likes of myself would look at America again as somewhat of a [marketplace] for horses,” Messara said. “As it stands today, it’s difficult [for international buyers] to judge whether we should be buying a mare [because of whether or not she was] treated with Lasix [or other drugs]. So rather than get bitten by [not knowing what drugs might have been administered] we stay clear. The same is applied as far as stallions are concerned. America’s credibility as an international provider of bloodlines is low compared to what it could be.”

Various versions of the federal bill backed by The Jockey Club have existed since 2015. GovTrack, a government transparency organization that uses logistic regression analysis to rank likelihood of passage, currently gives HR 1754 a 4% chance of being enacted.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), was in attendance and was introduced to the Round Table audience, but he was not called upon to speak during the conference.

Other Round Table topics that were discussed included updates on racing surfaces research, the pros and cons of alternate forms of stewards’ officiating, sports betting integration at racetracks, and new media and television initiatives.

“Most of us will agree that there will be more changes in the next five years than we’ve seen in the last 50,” Janney said in summary remarks that closed the conference.

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The Week in Review: At Saratoga, So Much for Conventional Wisdom

Sun, 2019-08-11 16:58

Two trainers seemed to have lost their minds Saturday at Saratoga. The result? Two graded stakes wins.

In an era in racing where trainers can’t space the races for their horses far enough apart, Mark Casse was setting himself up to look foolish when he dropped Got Stormy (Get Stormy) into the entry box for the GI Fourstardave H. It wasn’t just that he was running a filly against boys, he was running her back off one week’s rest. Seven days earlier, she had romped in the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose S. Most anyone else would have backed off and looked for a race five or six weeks down the road.

But it was actually owner Gary Barber who had other ideas. The Fourstardave is a $500,0000, Grade I race and is a “Win and You’re In” race for the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile. The horse was not nominated for the race, so Barber had to pay a $7,500 supplementary fee to enter, but that was not nearly enough to discourage him. Casse didn’t really want to run. Barber did.

“I said, ‘Honestly, I’ve never seen her train so good,'” Casse explained when asked what he told Barber prior to the race. “He said, ‘We’re running.’ I wish I could say I was the smart one, but it was Gary Barber. He’s not afraid to step out of the box.”

Got Stormy won by 2 1/2 lengths, set a new course record (1:32) for the mile run over a firm turf course, made $275,000 and is now guaranteed a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. That’s the same race that Casse also won with another filly, Tepin (Bernstein), in 2015. Got Stormy has a way to go before she can be compared to Tepin, but she took a huge step forward in her career Saturday. All thanks to an owner, and, in some small part, a trainer, who weren’t afraid to take a chance in a game where almost no one takes any chances anymore.

Some 30 minutes earlier, a field of seven 2-year-olds went to the gate for the GII Saratoga Special S. Only one was not on Lasix, Green Light Go (Hard Spun). The 2-year-old is owned by Stronach Stables. Looking very much like a star in the making, Green Light Go won by 3 3/4 lengths.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said that the Stronachs have told him not to run their first-time starters on Lasix. Other than that, he can do whatever he feels gives the horse the best chance to win. With Green Light Go, he saw no need to use Lasix for his second career start.

“A lot of their horses ultimately run on Lasix, but I know deep down they’d rather they not run on it unless it is necessary,” Jerkens said. “With this horse, if it looked like there was a reason for it we would have used it. If he had actually ever bled, yes, we would have used it. They leave it up to me. If you have a horse that runs good without it, it has to help them overall. Bleeding is certainly no good. But if you don’t use Lasix there’s got to be a lot more left in the tank running without Lasix than with it. They think horses last longer and it’s better for them in the long run if they don’t run with it. You can’t argue with that.”

Of the 95 horses that started at Saratoga Saturday, eight ran without Lasix and all were 2-year-olds. The non-Lasix angle produced another winner as the Christophe Clement-trained Decorated Invader (Declaration of War) won a maiden special weight race on the grass without Lasix.

The Impact of the Saudi Cup?

It will be interesting to see how the new $20 million race scheduled to be run Feb. 29 in Saudi Arabia will affect the schedules of America’s top horses. One possibility, and the best-case scenario for the sport, would be that it will lead to more horses staying in training rather than retiring to become stallions. Throw in the GI Pegasus World Cup and the G1 Dubai World Cup and there will now be $41 million in purse money available to a horse over just a two-month window. That’s a pretty strong incentive to stay in training.

Anyone sweeping the three races would be more than well rewarded, but doing so would be a monumental task and many owners and trainers may choose not to bite off more than they can probably chew. Not only does it involve racing three times within two months, it would require an extraordinary amount of travel. Gulfstream Park is about 7,500 miles from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Then you’d still have to get to Dubai, through that’s only about 535 miles from Saudi Arabia, and then head back to the U.S.

The Pegasus will likely still get the horses who are scheduled to go off to stud, as the Jan. 25 date makes it possible to race one last time for big money before starting a career as a sire. But if someone is planning on keeping a horse in training, the Pegasus could be the odd race out. Not only does it have the smallest purse of the three races at $9 million, but anyone wanting to run has to pay $500,000 to earn a spot in the field. That’s not the case with the other two races.

It might just be easier to pass the Pegasus, ship once to the Middle East, and run for a total of $32 million with the two races four weeks apart. If you’re going to go over for one, you might as well go for both.

A Super Saturday for Chad Brown

Four graded stakes at Arlington, three Grade I’s. He sweeps all four. Four straight GI Beverly D. winners. Three straight GI Arlington Million winners. Sorry, when it comes to his accomplishments I’ve simply run out of superlatives.

Something to Add to the Jockey Club Round Table Agenda

Though people get frustrated that after so many ideas are exchanged at the annual Jockey Club Round Table Conference nothing ever seems to get done, the annual gathering in Saratoga is a valuable resource for the sport and occasionally does move the needle in one direction or the other. On Sunday in Saratoga, the industry group tackled many of the most important issues facing the sport today, mainly horse safety and lessons in crisis management.

The one thing the Round Table does not do enough of is look at issues that relate to the bettor, and there’s one out there that keeps popping up that leads people to question the integrity of the pari-mutuel system.

XBTV’s Jeff Siegel tweeted last week about another one of those last-second, massive-odds drop on a winner. According to Siegel, when the horses were loading for Thursday’s fourth race at Del Mar, a horse named Zipper Mischief (Into Mischief) was 9-1. The horse won for fun and was, lo and behold, 5-1, when crossing the wire. As is usually the case when something like this happens, one of the computer “batch” bettors, who are able to bet a milli-second before the wagering closes and get huge rebates, likely believed–and was right–that Zipper Mischief was an overlay at 9-1.

It’s understood that this is not fixed-odds betting, but the constant and significant odds changes that come in after 99.8% of the public has made their wagers have made it where you are betting without having any idea what the price on your horse is going to be. That’s a betting system people can’t trust and if people can’t trust the pari-mutuel system, they’re not going to bet anymore. You also have a situation where people are betting on winners and end up angry and feeling ripped off. Winning feels like losing.

There’s got to be a better way, and the issue has been dealt with in other countries. Let’s hear what the experts have to say and why this is happening. This would be a perfect subject for the 2020 Round Table.

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Twirling Candy Colt Levels Off Late to Take Best Pal

Sat, 2019-08-10 20:57

Collusion Illusion seemed to come under a bit of a busy ride heading for home, but leveled off late and fended off a bid from tough-luck Wrecking Crew to go two-for-two on short rest in Saturday’s GII Best Pal S. at Del Mar. Away well, the $300,000 OBSAPR (:10 flat) acquisition sat second last in the early going with only Wrecking Crew–who totally missed the break–behind him. The bay was scrubbed on by Joe Talamo to take closer order into a :45.28 half, but the whip was out by the top of the lane with favorite Fore Left digging in and Wrecking Crew winding up down the center. Collusion Illusion continued to plug away, however, and kicked on to prevail comfortably. Wrecking Crew, an $875,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream buy, did very well to rally into the place spot.

“I had a beautiful trip. And the speed set it up right,” Talamo said. “I was impressed with my horse the way he gutted it out down the lane. And I think the farther the better with him. Wait ’til he goes seven eighths or two turns. Then you’re going to see the best of him.”

Collusion Illusion was a stalking winner here on debut July 21 going five panels.

“He’s been nothing but a pro from Day One since we got him after the sale,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “He was probably ready earlier than the race he actually debuted in, but we decided to wait for Del Mar and we’re extremely pleased with him. This race came up a little bit quick–I usually like to give a horse more time after his debut–but he’s such a classy horse and he never missed a bite of grain. I thought about running him back in the [Sept. 2 GI Del Mar] Futurity, but who knows what will happen between now and September and he was ready to run now. I wouldn’t rule out the Futurity. That might be a little too aggressive with him, but we’ll keep it as an option.”

Saturday, Del Mar
BEST PAL S.-GII, $200,351, Del Mar, 8-10, 2yo, 6f, 1:11.34, ft.
1–COLLUSION ILLUSION, 120, c, 2, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Natalie Grace, by First Dude
2nd Dam: Midway Squall, by Storm Bird
3rd Dam: Oh So Precious, by Best Turn
’18 KEESEP; $300,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-Dan J. Agnew,
Rodney E. Orr, Jerry Schneider & John V. Xitco; B-Donald R.
Dizney, LLC (FL); T-Mark Glatt; J-Joseph Talamo. $120,000.
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $156,600. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Wrecking Crew, 120, r, 2, Sky Kingdom–Truelladeville, by Yes
It’s True. ($18,000 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $115,000 Ylg ’18 FTKJUL;
$875,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR). O-Rockingham Ranch & David A
Bernsen LLC; B-Westrock Stables (KY); T-Peter Miller. $40,000.
3–Fore Left, 123, c, 2, Twirling Candy–Simply Sunny, by
Unbridled’s Song. ($97,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $145,000 RNA 2yo
’19 OBSMAR). O-Reddam Racing LLC; B-Machmer Hall (KY);
T-Doug F. O’Neill. $24,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, NK, 1 1/4. Odds: 7.70, 2.90, 0.90.
Also Ran: Thanks Mr. Eidson, We’re Still Here, Raging Whiskey. Scratched: Schrodinger. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton

Pedigree Notes:

Collusion Illusion is the only foal out of his unraced dam, who died in 2018, and appears to be the first foal to race out of a First Dude mare. Natalie Grace was a half to the talented Don Dizney sprinters Bahamian Squall (Gone West) and Apriority (Grand Slam). Collusion Illusion is the seventh graded winner for Twirling Candy, who is having a banned year thanks to the exploits of talented turf filly Concrete Rose and GI Santa Anita H. hero Gift Box.

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Cafe Americano Caps Big Day for Brown, Brant

Sat, 2019-08-10 20:16

Cafe Americano covered stacks of ground in Saturday’s GIII Pucker Up S. at Arlington, but overcame that in-race adversity to close out a truly memorable afternoon for trainer Chad Brown, who swept the day’s four graded events. Owner Peter Brant was winning his second of the day, having watched his champion Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) successfully defend her title in the GI Beverly D. S. about two hour prior.

Drawn awkwardly outside in gate 11, Cafe Americano was bumped at the break, but was nonetheless able to get over to the rails to save ground passing under the wire the first time. More than happy to bide her time from the back of the field as 80-1 Sky Flight (Sky Mesa) set a decent clip in advance of Hatoof S. winner Indigo Gin (Lemon Drop Kid). Still quietly ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. as they reached the end of the backstretch, Café Americano was committed to an overland trip around the turn, was spun seven or eight wide into the lane, took command with a rush entering the final furlong and pulled clear. Princess Carolina, also wide on the bend, just held for second over Canadian raider Art of Almost.

Sporting a race record similar to that of the Secretariat winner, the $625,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase graduated going a mile over the Gulfstream turf Feb. 9, went missing and returned with a Belmont allowance tally June 1. The bay was most recently sixth to Concrete Rose (Twirling Candy) in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. in which she was bothered and carried out on the backstretch, then raced mostly evenly thereafter.

Pedigree Notes:

Medaglia d’Oro made it two stakes winners on the day when Cafe Americano won the GIII Pucker Up S. and Goldwood won Monmouth’s Incredible Revenge S. Of course, that’s nothing new for the sire of 132 stakes winners who has been perennially at or near the top of the leading sires list since his first crop in 2006 included Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Cafe Americano’s dam was herself the 2012 champion older mare and sprinter in Canada and sold for $850,000 as a racing or broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s Winter Mixed Sale in 2013. Cafe Americano, her second foal, brought $625,000 at Keeneland September in 2017 and the mare has since produced a 2017 filly by Empire Maker, a 2018 filly by Curlin, and a 2019 colt by Gun Runner. Yearlings by Cafe Americano’s damsire Indian Charlie were a hot commodity at the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale and included the first session’s $1 million topper. Indian Charlie’s daughters have produced 55 stakes winners, including this year’s GI Metropolitan H. winner Mitole (Eskendereya) and GII Oaklawn H. victor Quip (Distorted Humor).

Saturday, Arlington
PUCKER UP S.-GIII, $100,000, Arlington, 8-10, 3yo, f, 1 1/8mT, 1:47.72, fm.
1–CAFE AMERICANO, 118, f, 3, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Roxy Gap (Ch. Female Sprinter, Ch. Older Mare-Can, MGSW, $952,790, by Indian Charlie
2nd Dam: Harts Gap, by Saint Ballado
3rd Dam: Special Test, by Hawkin’s Special
Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Peter M. Brant; B-Blue Heaven Farm (KY);
T-Chad C. Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $56,400. Lifetime Record:
4-3-0-0, $149,800. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Princesa Carolina, 118, f, 3, Tapit–Pure Clan, by Pure Prize.
O/B-Three Chimneys Farm (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek.
3–Art of Almost, 118, f, 3, Dansili (GB)–Reimpose, by First
Defence. (€150,000 RNA Wlg ’16 ARQDEC; $145,000 RNA 2yo
’18 FTFMAR). O/B-Fred Seitz, Dr. Ted Folkerth, J.R. Ward
Stables & Jon Kelly (KY); T-Roger L. Attfield. $10,340.
Margins: 2 1/4, HD, 3. Odds: 2.70, 5.00, 2.90.
Also Ran: Winter Sunset, Winning Envelope, Indigo Gin, Lightscameraaction, Gamblin Train, Comic Kitten, Aunt Hattie (Ire), Sky Freak. Scratched: Mercilla.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton

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Bricks and Mortar Gives Brown the Arlington Hat Trick in Million

Sat, 2019-08-10 19:31

It would appear that trainer Chad Brown finally has this thing figured out.

The New York-based conditioner had managed to win two of the three Grade I events comprising Arlington’s International Festival of Racing–the Arlington Million, the Beverly D. S. and the Secretariat S.–each of the last three years, falling short in the Million in 2016 and in the Secretariat in 2017 and 2018. On paper, he had the ammunition to complete the trifecta this year, with the favorites in all three heats, two of those that figured long odds-on. Still, the horses have to go out and do it on the track, and so they did, as Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) added to victories from defending champion Sistercharlie (Fr) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) in the Beverly D. and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Valid Point (Scat Daddy) in the Secretariat in America’s original seven-figure horse race.

Brown entered Saturday’s Million tied with the likes of Charlie Whittingham (Perrault, 1982; Estrapade, 1986; and Golden Pheasant, 1990) and Ron McAnally (John Henry, 1981 & 1984; and Tight Spot, 1991) as three-time winners of the race. In sending out Robert Bruce (Chi) (Fast Company {Ire}) to win last year, he surpassed the two Million scores registered by his mentor, the late Bobby Frankel, who won twice in three years with Chester House (2000) and Beat Hollow (GB) (2002).

Bricks and Mortar has overcome a potentially career-ending condition to become a leading candidate for U.S. Horse of the Year, with prior scores in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf, the GI Old Forester Turf Classic and a latest defeat of Robert Bruce in the GI Manhattan S., in which he covered 42 feet more than the runner-up.

Made the 1-2 chalk to complete a Festival Pick Three that was set to return $6.70 for the dollar, Bricks and Mortar was away without incident and landed smack dab in centerfield as GIII Arlington H. hero Bandua (The Factor) was ridden positively by Adam Beschizza to lead in advance of the globetrotting Hunting Horn (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), second to Bricks and Mortar in the Pegasus, found herself in the box seat, while Robert Bruce tracked his stable companion while hard held just in behind.

The pace was a steady one throughout–Bandua raced past the six-furlong marker in :48.65 and entered the final half-mile after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.94–but Irad Ortiz, Jr. was keeping his powder dry from six, apparently content to save ground and willing to roll the dice when push came to shove. Bandua continued to boss the Million field as the quarter pole loomed, but they were warming up to the task behind him, particularly the Wayne Lordan-ridden Magic Wand, who popped off the fence and looked dangerous in upper stretch. But Ortiz never felt a moment’s panic, as he eased Bricks and Mortar into the three path about a furlong down, confronted Magic Wand and Bandua with a quick turn of foot and edged clear.

Pedigree Notes:

Bricks and Mortar, who will enter stud at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan at the conclusion of his racing days, is one of three full black-type winners for his dam, a stakes winner and four times group-placed in France ahead of a runner-up effort in the GIII Bewitch S. in 2003. Beyond the Waves is a half-sister to MSW & MGSP Seahawk Gold (At the Threshold) and to Miss Excitement (Rajab), dam of GISW Bordonaro (Memo {Chi}) and Miss Empire (Empire Maker), a MSW/GISP runner who was also second against the boys in the 2012 GII Best Pal S. Barren to Quality Road for 2018, Beyond the Waves produced a colt by Runhappy this past April. She was bred to both Uncle Mo and Runhappy thereafter.

Saturday, Arlington
ARLINGTON MILLION XXXVII S.-GI, $1,000,000, Arlington, 8-10, 3yo/up, 1 1/4mT, 1:59.44, fm.
1–BRICKS AND MORTAR, 126, h, 5, by Giant’s Causeway
                1st Dam: Beyond the Waves (SW/MGSP-Fr, $187,752) by
                Ocean Crest
                2nd Dam: Excedent, by Exceller
                3rd Dam: Broadway Lullaby, by Stage Door Johnny
($200,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc. &
William H. Lawrence; B-George Strawbridge (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.$582,000. Lifetime Record: MGISW,
12-10-0-2, $4,885,650. *1/2 to Beyond Smart (Smart Strike),
MSW, $376,182, Emerald Beech (Maria’s Mon), GSW,
$269,338, Sir Ector (Dynaformer), GSP-Ire, $250,882, Water
View (Petionville), MSP-Fr. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Magic Wand (Ire), 123, f, 4, Galileo (Ire)–Prudenzia (Ire), by
Dansili (GB). (€1,400,000 Ylg ’16 ARAUG). O-Michael B.Tabor,
Derrick Smith & Susan Magnier; B-Ecurie Des Monceaux &
Skymarc Farm Inc (IRE); T-Aidan P. O’Brien. $194,000.
3–Bandua, 126, c, 4, The Factor–If Angels Sang, by Seattle Slew.
($150,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV). O-Calumet Farm; B-Judy Hicks &
Kathryn Nikkel (KY); T-Jack Sisterson. $97,000.
Margins: 3/4, 1, 1. Odds: 0.50, 8.90, 16.90.
Also Ran: Robert Bruce (Chi), Pivoine (Ire), Intellogent (Ire), Captivating Moon, Hunting Horn (Ire), Catcho En Die (Arg). Scratched: The Great Day (Arg).
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton


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Valid Point Makes a Statement in Secretariat

Sat, 2019-08-10 18:50

Shortened to a mile for the first time, a product of the introduction of the Turf Trinity on the New York circuit, Saturday’s Secretariat S.–the track’s first Grade I at the distance since Domedriver (Ire) (Indian Ridge {Ire}) defeated Rock of Gibraltar (Ire) (Danehill) in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Mile–took a strong foothold when ‘TDN Rising Star’ Valid Point (Scat Daddy) was produced outside in upper stretch by Javier Castellano and led home a one-two finish for his much-missed stallion, besting the running-on Van Beethoven. The Last Zip (City Zip) prompted the pace and clung on for third.

The slight second betting selection to his stablemate Fog of War (War Front), Valid Point was allowed to find his footing at the back of the pack, racing outside of Van Beethoven, as Crafty Daddy (Scat Daddy) and The Last Zip eyeballed each other up front, but went only a moderate gallop. As a result, the field was covered by no more than five lengths passing midway and positions were largely unchanged, with Valid Point about three deep on the course in the wake of GIII American Derby upsetter Faraway Kitten (Kitten’s Joy). Content to slipstream that foe around the turn, Castellano angled out Valid Point with a little less than three-sixteenths of a mile to travel, hit the front with 100 yards to go and held firm. Van Beethoven rallied nicely to complete the Scat Daddy exacta.

A one-length debut winner at Gulfstream Feb. 10, defeating the well-regarded Bal Harbor (Orb), Valid Point resumed on the eve of the GI Belmont S. June 7, sitting up on the pace before covering his final quarter-mile in a sensational :21.96 to score by 3 1/2 widening lengths.

Pedigree Notes:

With the victory, Valid Point becomes the 29th Grade I/Group 1 winner, the 73rd GSW and 121st black-type winner for Scat Daddy. A $140,000 purchase out of the 2017 Keeneland September sale, Valid Point is one of five winners for as many to race for his dam, a half-sister to GISW Santa Teresita (Lemon Drop Kid) and to Italian highweight and French G1SP Sweet Hearth (Touch Gold), dam of Japanese MGSP Lathyros (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Goldbud is responsible for a yearling filly by Orb that is set to go under the hammer as hip 1187 at next month’s Keeneland September sale as well as a filly foal by Connect. Goldbud was bred back to the latter stallion this term.

Saturday, Arlington Park
SECRETARIAT S.-GI, $500,000, Arlington, 8-10, 3yo, 1mT, 1:35.50, fm.
1–VALID POINT, 121, c, 3, by Scat Daddy
                1st Dam: Goldbud, by Buddha
                2nd Dam: Sweet Gold, by Gilded Time
                3rd Dam: Anti Social, by Pretense
WIN. ($140,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-e Five Racing
Thoroughbreds & Michael J  Ryan; B-Westwind Farms (KY);
T-Chad C. Brown; J-Javier Castellano. $291,000. Lifetime
Record: 3-3-0-0, $367,400. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple
   Plus*. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Van Beethoven, 121, c, 3, Scat Daddy–My Sister Sandy, by
Montbrook. O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor;
B-Ballycroy Training Centre (ON); T-Aidan P. O’Brien. $97,000.
3–The Last Zip, 121, g, 3, City Zip–Pumpkin Shell, by Lion Heart.
($170,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $220,000 RNA 2yo ’18 EASMAY).
O-Stallionaire Enterprises LLC; B-Normandy Farm LLC (KY);
T-Michael Stidham. $48,500.
Margins: 1, 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 2.60, 28.80, 28.30.
Also Ran: Crafty Daddy, Never No More (Ire), Fog of War, Faraway Kitten, Ry’s the Guy, Clint Maroon (GB). Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Twin Beverly D. Wins for Sistercharlie

Sat, 2019-08-10 18:28

Peter Brant’s reigning Eclipse Award-winning turf distaffer Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}), sent off the prohibitive 2-5 chalk, made history Saturday at Arlington Park, becoming the first in the 30-year history of the GI Beverly D. S. to record multiple victories while easily establishing a new mark for 9 1/2 furlongs over a very firm turf course. It was the fifth consecutive win in the race for trainer Chad Brown–one of which came via DQ–and his sixth overall dating back to 2011 when Stacelita (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}) gave him his first.

With stablemate and last year’s third placegetter Thais (Fr) (Rio de la Plata) signed on as her pacemaker, Sistercharlie had only top European 3-year-old filly Fleeting (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) behind as Thais opened up a sizable advantage, covering the opening quarter-mile in :22.76 and the half in an unsustainable :46.23. Thais carried that long lead into the far turn after six panels in 1:09.66, but in the meantime, John Velazquez had slipped Sistercharlie a bit of rein and they improved three wide into third on the swing for home. Shaken up only hands and heels as she quickly found top gear approaching the final furlong, Sistercharlie swooshed past her spent rabbit soon after and quickened clear. Awesometank (GB) (Intense Focus) raced closest to the runaway leader for the bulk of the race and could offer no resistance to Sistercharlie, but held for a valuble Grade I placing. Competitionofideas (Speightstown), inside the eventual winner, down the backstretch, followed her move into the stretch, but could do no better than third. Fleeting, runner-up to Star Catcher (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G2 Ribblesdale S. and in the G1 Darley Irish Oaks, came with a late rally from the tail to be fourth.

A Group 3 winner and second in the G1 Prix de Diane in 2017 while under the care of Henri-Alex Pantall, Sistercharlie was a four-time Grade I winner in 2018, following her half-length defeat of stablemate Fourstar Crook (Freud) in this event with a tough neck decision over Wild Illusion (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Allowed to train on into a 5-year-old season, Sistercharlie prepped for this title defense with a 1 3/4-length defeat of ‘TDN Rising Star’ and fellow Brown trainee Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) in the GI Diana S. at Saratoga July 13.

Pedigree Notes:

One of four top-level winners–two each in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere–and one of two Beverly D. winners (Euro Charline {GB}) for her sire (by Danetime {Ire}), Sistercharlie is a half-sister to Sottsass, winner for Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm of this year’s G1 QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby). Starlet’s Sister, a full-sister to French Group 3 winner Leo’s Starlet, is also a half-sister to SW & GI/G1SP Anabaa’s Creation (Ire) (Anabaa), dam of SW Create a Dream (Oasis Dream {GB}). Sistercharlie is a half-sister to the 2-year-old colt Radiant Child (Ire) (Charm Spirit {Ire}), purchased by Brant for €400,000 out of the 2018 Arqana August Yearling Sale, a yearling colt by Fastnet Rock (Aus) that is cataloged as lot 21 at Arqana next week and a filly foal by Dubawi (Ire).

Saturday, Arlington
BEVERLY D. S.-GI, $600,000, Arlington, 8-10, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 3/16mT, 1:52.43, fm.
1–SISTERCHARLIE (IRE), 123, m, 5, by Myboycharlie (Ire)
                1st Dam: Starlet’s Sister (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Premiere Creation (Fr), by Green Tune
                3rd Dam: Allwaki, by Miswaki
(€12,000 Ylg ’15 AR15). O-Peter M. Brant; B-Ecurie Des
Monceaux (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown; J-John R. Velazquez.
$356,400. Lifetime Record: Ch. Turf Female, GSW & GISP-Fr,
13-9-3-0, $3,207,003. *1/2 to Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}),
GISW-Fr, $1,011,199, My Sister Nat (Fr) (Acclamation {GB}),
GSW-Fr. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Awesometank (GB), 123, f, 4, by Intense Focus
1st Dam: Janey Muddles (Ire), by Lawman (Fr)
                2nd Dam: Slip Dance (Ire), by Celtic Swing (GB)
                3rd Dam: Hawala (Ire), by Warning (GB)
(25,000gns Wlg ’15 TATFOA). O-Lee Yuk Lun; B-Eminent Kind
Ltd (GB); T-William J. Haggas. $118,800.
3–Competitionofideas, 123, f, 4, by Speightstown
                1st Dam: Devil by Design, by Medaglia d’Oro
                2nd Dam: Beauty’s Due, by Devil His Due
                3rd Dam: Beauty’s Sake, by Lyphard’s Ridge
($325,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-John D.
Gunther, Tony Chedraoui & Eurowest Bloodstock Services (KY);
T-Chad C. Brown. $59,400.
Margins: 3, 2, 3/4. Odds: 0.40, 15.40, 6.00.
Also Ran: Fleeting (Ire), Thais (Fr), Remember Daisy, Oh So Terrible. Scratched: Magic Wand (Ire).
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton


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Got Stormy Reigns in Fourstardave

Sat, 2019-08-10 18:08

Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stables’s Got Stormy (f, 4, Get Stormy-Super Phoebe, by Malabar Gold), who trainer Mark Casse called his next Tepin, strode clear to a course-record setting victory over the boys in the GI Fourstardave H. at Saratoga Saturday. Coming back on just a week’s rest after winning the Aug. 3 De La Rose S., the chestnut filly settled off the pace as longshot Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) opened a clear lead through rapid splits of :22.66 and :44.61. As the pacesetter began to falter, Got Stormy was finding her best stride, gliding to the lead and pulling away to a three-length victory. She completed the mile in 1:32 flat to become the first female winner of the Fourstardave. Raging Bull (Dark Angel {Ire}) was second and favored Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) was third.

Lifetime Record: 15-7-1-3, $785,078. O-Gary Barber & Southern Equine Stables. B-Mt Joy Stable, Pope and Marc McLean, et al. T-Mark Casse.

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