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Updated: 11 hours 42 min ago

McLaughlin Opts Out of NY

Thu, 2020-02-13 16:31

Kiaran McLaughlin, who has been a fixture on the New York racing scene for over three decades, confirmed to the TDN Thursday he will not be returning to his usual New York training base at Belmont Park this spring. McLaughlin, who is one of several New York-based horsemen who have been investigated by both the New York Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor, was fined $304,646 last November by the state Department of Labor for what was reported as a ‘violation of minimum wage requirements’. An investigation by the federal branch is ongoing and McLaughlin indicated he expects to receive a ruling ‘any day now’.

“Obviously we made a few little mistakes, but they can really be costly,” admitted McLaughlin. “And when they fined me over $300,000, it hurts my feelings. It hurts me because I’m a very good employer and I take good care of my staff. Okay, we made a few mistakes, but I thought it was excessive. I’m still under investigation [re. the H-2B visas] by the Feds and that fine is going to be coming out soon. And I just can’t afford to go back to New York because it’s very difficult to comply. So, we’re going to try a different direction.”

In addition to the investigations, and resulting fines, McLaughlin pointed to the overall high cost of maintaining a racing operation in the state; the varying rules governing minimum wage in each county; and differing rules applying to workers on the H2B visa program as contributing factors to his departure.

“It’s expensive wherever you are to take good care of a horse,” McLaughlin explained when asked about some of the challenges of the present-day trainer. “It’s also very difficult to comply [with the Labor Department’s rules] and get help. We’ve always had trouble getting staff that want to get there at 4:30 in the morning and work six or seven days a week. It’s hard. So, that’s the tough thing to comply with all the labor laws these days.”

McLaughlin indicated his current string of [approximately] 40 horses will be sent to Kentucky, his native state, and/or Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

“We’re at Palm Meadows now, but we put in for H-2B Visa’s for Kentucky and New Jersey, because our whole staff is on H-2B Visas,” he explained. “We have been approved in Kentucky and not approved yet in New Jersey. So, at this time, we’ll head to Kentucky in April and see if the Visas come through for New Jersey. We might split up, or go to New Jersey with all of them. We’ll see how we do at Keeneland in April, for now.”

Already familiar with Monmouth Park, McLaughlin spent five years in the late 80’s at the Oceanport oval as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He departed the famed operation in 1991.

“Well, if we go to New Jersey, we can easily ship an hour and a half up the road to Belmont and run there if we have the horse that needs to run in New York,” he said. “It’s tricky to have a full time staff there and set up in New York. We feel like we could go there with 10% or 20% of our stakes horses. We’re still close enough to go to New York and, hopefully, the clients/owners are okay with that. As for Kentucky, the purses are going through the roof. The racing is great and they like horse racing in Kentucky. We’ve always gone to the Keeneland spring and fall meets. So, we are looking at Kentucky strongly, too.”

When asked if he would be sad to leave New York after calling it home for the past two decades, McLaughlin said, “Yes, New York has been very very good to me and my family.”

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Zayat Camp Releases Statement

Thu, 2020-02-13 16:15

The New York lending firm that last month initiated a $23-million lawsuit against Ahmed Zayat and his financially troubled Zayat Stables, LLC, broadly amended its civil complaint in a Kentucky court earlier this week (click here).

Zayat Stables issued the following statement Thursday regarding the amended complaint:

“We are disappointed but not surprised at MGG and Kevin Griffin’s aggressive attack on the horse industry. Zayat Stables said from the beginning that it wanted to liquidate certain assets to generate enough proceeds to pay off all of its creditors. Motivated purely by self-interest and greed, MGG, however, was more interested in litigating this dispute at the expense of other creditors. MGG has gone as far as filing baseless claims against reputable horse farms and bloodstock agents. This conduct demonstrates MGG’s fundamental lack of knowledge of the horse industry and complete lack of respect for the parties essential to its success. Zayat Stables is doing everything it can to ensure that all of its debts are repaid, but MGG has placed itself above all others and has made it nearly impossible for other creditors to be treated fairly.”

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2020 Fact Book Available at TJC Website

Thu, 2020-02-13 12:20

The 2020 edition of the Fact Book is now available in the Resources section of The Jockey Club website at

The Fact Book is a statistical and informational guide to Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auctions in North American and also includes a directory of Canadian, international, national, and state organizations. Links to the Breeding Statistics report that is released by The Jockey Club each September and the Report of Mares Bred information that is published by The Jockey Club each October can be found in the Breeding section of the Fact Book.

This year’s Fact Book includes three new statistics: percentage of mares bred by stallion covering year; percentage of first-time starters by age; and percentage of foal crop that won a race by racing year.

The 2020 editions of State Fact Books, which feature detailed breeding, racing, and auction sales information specific to numerous states, Canadian provinces, and Puerto Rico, are also available on The Jockey Club website. The State Fact Books are updated monthly.

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ORI Meeting Set for Feb. 23-26

Thu, 2020-02-13 12:07

The annual meeting of the Organization of Racing Investigators, presented by 1/ST Safety, is scheduled for Feb. 23-26 at The Downs at Albuquerque. Registration for ORI members is available at

Presentations at the four-day conference include:

Keynote presentation case study: Kwan Wolsey, Queensland Racing Integrity

    • Developing Open Source intelligence – Tyler Durand, Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario
    • “Trackman” Safety issues for the equine, related to track conditions – Glen Kozak, NYRA
    • What to do if you have an “Active Shooter” at your racetrack – Tim McLaughlin, Parx Racing
    • USTA Discussion on Standardbred racing – TC Lane, United States Trotting Association
    • Discussion on Conflict of Interest between Horsemen and Officials – Don Ahrens, Sam Houston Race Pack and Juan Estrada, Arizona Department of Gaming
    • Shenanigans in the racing office and what an Investigator should look for – Ismael (Izzy) Trejo, New Mexico Racing Commission
    • What can’t the testing Lab detect it? – Petra Hartman, Industrial Laboratories
    • Investigator role in catastrophic Injuries – Jim Blodgett, Texas Racing Commission
    • What an Investigator needs to know to enforce TCO2 and Shockwave regulations: Alan Chastain, DVM
    • Update on digital tattoos – Teena Appleby, TRPB
    • Identifying human signs on drug impairment – Jason Klouser, Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission
    • Case Study-Jockey Performance – Leasa Johnson, New Mexico Racing Commission
    • Discussion of what makes the case for prosecution/appeal – Mark Swanson, NMAAG
  • Demonstration of Equine Drug Dog – Luis Alvarez, Ruidoso Downs Racetrack

The ORI is composed of the professionals responsible for investigations associated with professional horse racing. ORI members are employed by government, police and regulatory entities as well as private security firms and racetracks.

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California Chrome Recovering from Enteritis

Thu, 2020-02-13 07:57

Two-time US Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) is recovering well from a bout with enteritis since his arrival at Arrow Stud Jan. 29, the JS Company–who manages the stallion business at Arrow Stud–reported across social media early Thursday (Japanese time). He was not part of the Arrow Stud stallion parade in recent days, prompting concern, but he will be paraded in March.

The tweet read: “Dear all of fans, CC has a minor enteritis after arriving at Arrow Stud and recovering now. Fortunately, he eats very well and his condition becomes better day by day. We are looking forward to a chance to show him next month. Thank you very much for your support. J S Co.”

Horse of the Year in 2014 and 2016, California Chrome retired to stud at Taylor Made as the richest winner of the GI Kentucky Derby in history, having added the G1 Dubai World Cup to his resume. Last November it was announced that the syndicate that owned California Chrome agreed to move forward with a sale to Japan. California Chrome, who is expected to begin covering mares in short order, will stand his first season for a fee of ¥4 million ($36,471). His first US-sired crop are 2-year-olds of 2020 and he also stood the 2017 and 2018 Southern Hemisphere breeding seasons at Haras Sumaya in Chile.


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Writers’ Room Podcast with Jim Rome, Presented by Keeneland, Now Up

Wed, 2020-02-12 19:16

How did legendary radio host Jim Rome get in the horse racing game? We find out as Rome joins writers Joe Bianca, Alan Carasso and Bill Finley. Rome calls his first ownership experience being “shot with equine crack.” Rome talks about his first homebred winner, Gidgetta (Fast Anna), and why he’s in racing because he loves the animal. Click here to listen to the podcast, presented by Keeneland,

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Walden Joins Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club

Wed, 2020-02-12 18:09

Ben Walden, Jr. has been named Chief Operating Officer for the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club. Walden has already joined the operation’s management team and live racing on the island will be under his care for the first time Sunday for the Indepedence Day card.

“Ben Walden comes to Saint Lucia with a wealth of knowledge and experience and we look forward to his contribution here,” said Teo Ah Khing, Chairman of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club.

“This is an industry built on relationships and our club is working diligently to be part of the local community, as well as the international racing community. Ben is going to be integral to growing these relationships as well as mentoring the young Saint Lucians who are entering this new industry.”

Walden’s focus will be on contributing to the club’s community and corporate responsibility initiatives, which are run under the banner of the Winston Trim Training Programme.

“Upon a complete briefing by Teo and Ivy on the master plan for the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, the surrounding development, and for the people of St. Lucia…there was not a shadow of doubt that all of my past experience in the horse business had prepared me for such a time as this, in

such a place as this, for such a project as this,” Walden said. “Elaine and I are honored to join this corporate family. I am also most excited to be developing the new curriculum for the Winston Trim Equine School for young Islanders, to teach them to be fine horsemen and horsewoman, and to include a mentoring program.”

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Zayat Lawsuit Broadens to Include Prominent Bloodstock Business Partners

Wed, 2020-02-12 15:48

The New York lending firm that last month initiated a $23-million lawsuit against Ahmed Zayat and his financially troubled Zayat Stables, LLC, has broadly amended its civil complaint in a Kentucky court. As of Tuesday, the suit now additionally targets 10 prominent bloodstock individuals and entities that the plaintiff alleges played a role in the “fraudulent scheme” orchestrated by Zayat family members “to sell at a steep discount several millions of dollars of Zayat Stables’ assets” that had been pledged as collateral for $30 million in loans.

The wide-ranging updated complaint filed Feb. 11 by MGG Investment Group, LP, in Fayette Circuit Court is seeking the return of individual horses previously owned by Zayat Stables to the court-appointed receiver now handling the case, plus the return of any breeding shares that changed hands. In instances where matings have already taken place based on the transfers of those breeding rights, the plaintiff also wants any proceeds related to future offspring held in “constructive trust for the benefit” of MGG.

“There is an actual and justiciable controversy between Plaintiff and Defendants Orpendale [Coolmore Stud], Ashford Stud, LNJ Foxwoods, Hill ‘n’ Dale, Yeomanstown Stud, My Racehorse, Flintshire Farm, Brad Sears, Thomas Clark Bloodstock, and McMahon Thoroughbreds in that Plaintiff holds priority security interests over all of the assets that Zayat Stables held when it entered the Loan Documents,” the complaint states.

“MGG also brings claims for intentional interference with contract against two affiliated horse breeding organizations, Orpendale [Coolmore] and Ashford Stud, for their facilitation of the purported sales which they knew would cause Zayat Stables to breach its loan agreements,” the complaint states.

To remedy this alleged interference by Coolmore and Ashford–which the suit claims is related to the Zayats’ purported sale of nine lifetime breeding shares to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah–MGG is requesting an award of damages against Coolmore and Ashford “in an amount to be proven at trial, but no less than $10.89 million.”

The amended complaint also newly names five Zayat family members as defendants based on “intentional interference with contract” for their alleged roles in the American Pharoah breeding rights sales. They are: Ahmed Zayat’s wife, Joanne; his sons, Justin and Benjamin, and his daughters, Ashley and Emma. The complaint seeks from them “an amount to be proven at trial, but no less than $14 million.”

In response to the expanded lawsuit, Elizabeth Woodward, the case’s court appointed receiver, issued the following statement Wednesday night.

“This morning, the receiver was notified that MGG amended its complaint to add several additional parties. Neither the receiver, nor her consultant Gatewood Bell, participated in the preparation or filing of the complaint. She takes no position on the issues raised in the original complaint or the amendments to it and does not intend to do so. The Circuit Court’s Order appointing the receiver directs her to take possession of the collateral and maximize its value, which is the work she is doing. The receiver works for and reports to the Court, not MGG, or any other party.”

The Back Story

The initial lawsuit MGG filed Jan. 22 relates to a 2016 loan agreement with Ahmed Zayat to finance his existing debt, which has been well documented in the racing press and in the courts over the past decade. On its corporate Linked In page, MGG describes itself as “a private direct lender focused on the deeply under-served and less competitive lower-middle market.”

In September 2019, Zayat allegedly began defaulting on his loan payments. The lawsuit alleges that as the two parties began discussing liquidation proposals that involved selling off Zayat Stables’ equine collateral to bring the payments current, the firm found out that starting in 2017, Zayat family members had already begun selling off shares in breeding rights and in horses that, three years later, Ahmed Zayat was claiming were still on the books as security against his loans.

In the original filing, the lawsuit stated, “Even though MGG is not aware of all of the deceptive actions of Zayat Stables and Mr. Zayat, it has already uncovered several million dollars of equine collateral…that Zayat Stables and Mr. Zayat have purported to sell out from under the agent’s security interests in violation of the Loan Agreements.”

A Jan. 22 court order granted MGG’s motion to appoint a receiver “to take charge of, operate, preserve, maintain and care for all of the assets of the Defendant Zayat Stables, LLC.”

On Feb. 6, Ahmed Zayat asked the judge in the case to dissolve the receivership order. His attorney argued that the order to appoint a receiver went well beyond the sale of collateral, allowing for a full takeover of Zayat’s company and all of its assets. TDN reported that the defendants’ fear was that giving “unfettered and unchecked” access would allow MGG to pursue fraud claims.

The court denied the Zayat motion to dissolve that order, and the amended Feb. 11 version of the lawsuit appears to be based upon a deeper dive by the plaintiff that now involves the buyers in those purportedly fraudulent sales of equine assets.

Who’s being Sued and for What?

Beyond the claims against Zayat family members and the parties involved in the “intentional interference with contract” cases listed above, MGG is seeking other remedies aimed at getting equine assets returned to the receiver.

Several of the counts involve legal terms that don’t surface regularly in horse-related litigation.

One is replevin, which according to the website FindLaw is defined as “an action to recover personal property that was wrongfully taken or detained. Unlike other forms of legal recovery, replevin seeks the return of the actual thing itself, as opposed to money damages (the more commonly-sought after remedy).”

Another is constructive trust, which FindLaw defines as something “imposed by a court in order to prevent unjust enrichment by someone who has wrongfully obtained an interest in another person’s property by obligating them to return the property to its original owner.”

A related component in these claims centers on MGG’s filing of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC-1) statements. According to Investopedia, filing UCC forms in a business loan’s contact and then again with the state where the principal business is conducted “gives the lender publicly secured rights to the collateral, which makes it easier for them to take action against the borrower and ultimately receive a court order to seize the property if a default occurs.”

MGG is claiming in its suit that it did file the necessary UCC-1 statements, and it is alleging that because of this, any buyers of equine assets from the Zayats since 2016 either knew or should have known that those assets were publicly listed as loan collateral.

In theory, anyone purchasing a pricey equine asset like a racehorse or a stallion share should perform transactional due diligence that cross-checks against such UCC filings. But in practice, it’s unclear how many buyers in the Thoroughbred industry actually take that precaution.

In replevin and constructive trust counts against Coolmore, Ashford, and LNJ Foxwoods, the suit is seeking the return of nine total American Pharoah breeding shares that allegedly sold for a cumulative $3.3 million, “far below Zayat Stables’ appraised value of its interests.” In addition, the suit seeks the placement in trust of any offspring and/or proceeds therefrom.

In replevin and constructive trust counts against Hill ‘n’ Dale, the suit is seeking the return of the broodmare American Cleopatra, who in 2017 allegedly sold for $1.3 million, “far below Zayat Stables’ appraised value.” In addition, the suit seeks the placement in trust of any offspring and/or proceeds therefrom, “including the American Cleopatra/Tapit foal.”

In replevin and constructive trust counts against Yeomanstown Stud, the suit is seeking the return of the stallion El Kabeir, who in 2017 allegedly sold for $500,000, “far below Zayat Stables’ appraised value.” In addition, the suit seeks the placement in trust of any offspring and/or proceeds therefrom.

Unjust enrichment counts against Flintshire Farm and its manager, Brad Sears, are related to replevin and constructive trust counts against Thomas Clark Bloodstock in the alleged sale and then resale of the breeding rights to the mare Lemoona. The complaint alleges that Sears bought Lemoona’s rights from Zayat Stables for $150,000 in March 2019, then resold those rights to Thomas Clark Bloodstock “at a $100,000 mark-up.”

More than four months after that sale, the suit alleges that Zayat still carried Lemoona as a collateral asset on his stable’s books, and that he even had an independent appraisal commissioned “in July 2019 that determined Lemoona to be worth $925,000.” The suit is seeking the return of the mare, plus offspring-related proceeds to be placed in trust.

In replevin and constructive trust counts against My Racehorse, the suit is seeking the return of the racemare Amandrea. In October 2019 Zayat Stables allegedly sold a 55% interest in her for $115,000, “far below Zayat Stables’ appraised value of its interests.” In addition, the suit seeks the placement in trust of any offspring and/or proceeds therefrom (although it is unlikely Amandrea has been bred considering she shows a published workout at Louisiana Downs Feb. 9).

In replevin and constructive trust counts against McMahon Thoroughbreds, the suit is seeking the return of the stallion Solomini. On Dec. 3, 2019, Zayat Stables allegedly sold its remaining 50% interest in him for $250,000 “far below Zayat Stables’ appraised value of its interests.” In addition, the suit seeks the placement in trust of any offspring and/or proceeds therefrom.

The suit is also seeking an overarching “judicial declaration that Plaintiff holds priority security rights over all the Equine Collateral that Zayat Stables improperly transferred in violation of the Loan Documents.”

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Kingman Firster Runs To The Money at Tampa

Wed, 2020-02-12 14:00

5th-Tampa Bay Downs, $20,000, Msw, 2-12, 3yo, 1mT, 1:36.47, fm.
DOMESTIC SPENDING (GB) (g, 3, Kingman {GB}–Urban Castle {SW-Eng}, by Street Cry {Ire}) firmed into odds-on favoritism in the final minutes of wagering before easing out to a relatively generous even-money and turned in a promising career debut. Ridden for some gate speed by Antonio Gallardo, the 300,000gns Tattersalls October graduate settled in the second flight of horses about four away from the rail down the backstretch. Asked to loop horses four deep at the quarter pole, Domestic Spending came calling for the lead with about a sixteenth of a mile to race and edged away to score by three-quarters of a length. Fellow firster Maroon Maniac (Violence) rallied up the fence for second, well clear of the debuting Alonzo Mosely (Tonalist) in third. Domestic Spending is the only produce from his dam, a $285,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase in 2012 who passed away in 2017. A daughter of GSW/MG1SP Cloud Castle (GB) (In the Wings {GB}), Urban Castle was a half-sister to GSW Queen’s Best (GB) (King’s Best), the dam of GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Queen’s Trust (GB) (Dansili {GB}); as well as SW/MGSP Reverie Solitaire (Ire) (Nashwan), dam of German highweight Royal Solitaire (Ire) (Shamardal). Domestic Spending’s third dam includes European standouts Warrsan (Ire) (Caerleon), Luso (GB) (Salse) and Needle Gun (Ire) (Sure Blade). Sales history: 300,000gns Ylg ’18 TATOCT. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $11,600. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Klaravich Stables Inc; B-Rabbah Bloodstock Limited (GB); T-Chad C Brown.

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Spendthrift Australia Secures Top Lot

Wed, 2020-02-12 13:39

Stakes-placed mare Tizso Wicked (Aus) (Duporth {Aus}) topped the Inglis Digital February (Early) Online Sale, with Spendthrift Australia picking up the mare in foal to Street Boss for AU$150,000.

Rushton Park offered the 8-year-old mare, who placed in the G3 Bow Mistress S. at her final start, having won six races all up. The additional appeal of her being in foal to Street Boss, having recently had her first foal by Astern (Aus), was compelling for Spendthrift.

“She obviously has a very deep American female family and there is a fair amount of action in the top end of the page,” Spendthrift Australia General Manager Garry Cuddy said.

“If it goes in the right direction, this mare might have more value in the Northern Hemisphere which is obviously something we look for when we buy anything in Australia and vice versa when we go to the sales in the USA,” added Cuddy. “Being in foal to Street Boss, for now we just sit back and cross our fingers that Hanseatic (Aus) wins the Blue Diamond and increases the value even further.”

Her colt by Astern has just been weaned with the intention he will be sold at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in 2021. The second top lot of the February (Early) Online Sale was the Chris Waller-consigned Phoneme (Aus) (Choisir {Aus}), sold to Canal Enterprises for AU$80,000.

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ABR’s ‘Stay Lucky’ Returns

Wed, 2020-02-12 12:52

Stay Lucky, the free-to-play mobile app from America’s Best Racing (ABR), has been renewed for its fourth season. With the Breeders’ Cup World Championships returning as the title sponsor, Stay Lucky’s contest races on the app will include graded stakes beginning this weekend and continuing through Breeders’ Cup weekend Nov. 6-7. Rewarded for correctly selecting winning horses in consecutive races, players can build streaks of five, seven, nine, 14, 17, and 20 races. Over the course of the first three seasons of Stay Lucky, 443 prizes were won by fans chasing the grand prize of $1 million, which is earned if a player picks the winners of 20 consecutive races.

“Stay Lucky has proven to be a fun, no-risk, fan-engagement tool allowing fans to both learn and perfect their skills in selecting winners,” said Stephen B. Panus, president of TJC Media Ventures. “We’re excited to welcome back the Breeders’ Cup World Championships as the presenting title sponsor of Stay Lucky in 2020 and look forward to another successful year of the app and free-to-play game, which culminates this season withthe Breeders’ Cup Saturday from Keeneland Race Course on Nov. 7.”

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is offering a prize of a VIP trip to its 2020 event at Keeneland. Additional prize sponsors include Old Smoke Clothing Company, STATS Race Lens, Racetrack Television Network, NTRA/NationalHorseplayer Tour and Championships, Christine A. Moore Millinery, and West Point Thoroughbreds. For more information, visit

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Gov. Visits Lock Haven; Groups Warn Tuition Plan Would End PA Racing

Wed, 2020-02-12 11:22

Governor Tom Wolf’s expected to visit Lock Haven University Wednesday to tout his college tuition plan prompted Pennsylvanians to speak out about the negative impact his plan–which would divert money from Pennsylvania agriculture–would have on jobs and the agricultural industry. Supporters of Pennsylvania agriculture argue Wolf’s plan for funding the new initiative would result in the end of horse breeding and racing, put more than 20,000 state residents out of work and it would jeopardize hundreds of thousands of acres of open space, thereby eliminating an industry that has a $1.6 billion economic impact each year.

“You don’t rob hard working families to give money away to those who have not earned it,” said local resident Randy Brungard, whose family owns the 360-acre Brungard Farm in Howard, PA, Centre County. “The Governor’s proposal would bankrupt family-owned farms and leave as many as 20,000 hard-working individuals and their families without jobs,” said Brungard. “People don’t understand how big an impact this would have on our state’s economy, or what it will do to countless Pennsylvania families, farms, and small businesses.”

“When a horse wins a race, they earn purse money for their owner, which the owner then uses to pay the horse’s jockey, trainer, blacksmith, groom, veterinarian, and equine dentist, as well as buy hay and straw from farmers, feed from local feed mills, and supplies and equipment from small businesses,” said Brungard. “They reinvest that money in new barns and fencing on their farms that are constructed by local carpenters, and purchase horse trailers, tractors and farm equipment that are sold here in Pennsylvania. The economic impact is tremendous and far reaching.”

According to Pete Peterson, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition, in 2017, legislature was passed (Act 47) outlining the money in the RHDTF “are not funds of the Commonwealth” and that “the Commonwealth is not rightfully entitled” to the funds.
“Yes, college tuition is spiraling out of control and college debt is a major concern,” said Peterson. “But you don’t fix one debt problem by creating another debt problem and putting 20,000 people out of work and bankrupting businesses and farms. If this is a priority for the Governor, he needs to find another source of funding, because his current plan would be a disaster for Pennsylvania agriculture, farms, and small businesses.”

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Pecoraro’s Shockwave Therapy Suspension Thrown Out

Tue, 2020-02-11 18:44

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission (DTRC) has reversed a ruling issued in November and dropped all penalties that had been levied against trainer Anthony Pecoraro for alleged unauthorized use of a shockwave therapy machine. Pecoraro, who was originally suspended six months and fined $1,000, appealed the ruling and the matter was resolved Tuesday at a commission meeting.

The penalties originally accessed to owner David Neilson were reduced with the commission voting to reduce his one-year suspension to 30 days.

The case revolved around 5-year-old Glencairn, who suffered a catastrophic injury in a $5,000 claiming race run on Aug. 5 at Delaware Park. It was his first start after a six-month layoff and after he had competed in a $25,000 claimer at Aqueduct for trainer Gary Gullo. After an investigation, the DTRC alleged that Pecoraro and Neilson were in violation of rules regarding shockwave therapy, which do not allow use of the machines within 10 days of a race.

Pecoraro had maintained all along that he was unaware that the horse had been treated with a shockwave machine. Under the trainer responsibility rule, his lack of knowledge of the procedure would not normally be enough for him to be exonerated, but the Delaware Park stewards did not cite the trainer responsibility rule when making their original ruling. Though voting to dismiss the charges against Pecoraro, DTRC Chair Duncan Patterson made it clear that he felt Pecoraro got by on a technicality.

“The initial ruling did not have a trainer responsibility paragraph in it,” Patterson said. “It was left out. It was a screw up. The testimony indicated that he did not know of the shockwave therapy. Had the trainer responsibility rule been invoked in the original judgment, we would have found him guilty because he should have known what was being given at the farm where he had sent that horse. Because the ruling strictly focused on the shockwave therapy, which he didn’t have anything to do personally with, there wasn’t much we could do about it. We were disappointed.

Only three members of the five-member commission were there to vote and they voted 3-0 to drop the suspension. The appeal hearing was originally scheduled for April, but the DTRC decided to move it up to Tuesday.

“When this came out, the case may have been shocking, but when you got into the facts they had no case against Mr. Pecoraro,” said Pecoraro’s attorney Drew Mollica. “They overcharged him with six months because they said he didn’t report use of the shockwave machine. There was no evidence against Mr. Pecoraro that he used the machine and the commission had no choice but to dismiss. There was no evidence that he did anything wrong. They couldn’t invoke the trainer responsibility rule because in the ruling they didn’t cite it. You can’t just throw in the trainer responsibility rule, you have to be charged with it in the first place.”

Because Pecoraro was granted a stay after the original ruling, he has continued to train. He is currently based at Gulfstream and is two for 13 at the current meet.

Attorney Alan Pincus, who represented Neilson, denied that the horse was treated with a shockwave machine within 10 days of the race. He said that the DTRC penalized his client because it found that the machine in question wasn’t properly registered.

“This was a horse who had problems and there was an unfortunate result,” he said. “With hindsight, no one would have let the horse run. But we can’t be put in a position that we guarantee that no horse will ever break down. That’s the nature of racing. What happened, it was very unfortunate, but under circumstances of the case I don’t think anybody really did anything wrong.”
Though Neilson was left with a 30-day suspension and a $1,000 fine, Pincus said he was pleased with the outcome of the case.

“This is a victory for us,” Pincus said. “I give high praise to the DTRC. When it comes to hearings, they are the finest commission in the country. They listen to the facts of the case and the commissioners, not a hearing examiner, hear the case. They put in the time, they listen, they ask questions and get to the bottom of things. I have nothing but high praise for them.”

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Fasig February Ends on a High Note

Tue, 2020-02-11 18:31

LEXINGTON, KY–After a bit of a quiet opening day Monday, trade was much stronger at the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale Tuesday with Remedy (Creative Cause) topping the auction at $570,000. She was purchased by part owner Twin Creeks Racing, which bought out its partners in order to breed the mare to its emerging superstar sire Constitution.

A filly by Street Sense was the sale’s most expensive short yearling and is headed to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale after Martin Keogh signed the $265,000 on behalf of Tami Bobo’s First Finds. There was also a high-priced RNA in Evocative (Pioneerof the Nile), who left the ring unsold at $575,000.

Remedy, Evocative and Flashly (Denman {Aus})–who was the second highest-priced offering at $310,000 and sold in foal to American Pharoah–were all part of the supplemental catalogue.

“We got some really nice horses that came in late,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “A horse like Remedy was a standout, but she would be a lovely mare wherever she is. I think sellers have confidence you can bring a quality horse in February and be rewarded.”

A total of 188 horses sold during Tuesday’s closing session for a gross of $6,407,900 with a median of $10,000 and an average of $34,085. Forty-nine horses failed to meet their reserves for an RNA rate of 20.7%. During last year’s second session, 181 Thoroughbreds grossed for $4,982,200 with a median of $13,000 and average of $27,525. Twenty-three horses left the ring unsold for an RNA rate of 11.3%.

Overall, 368 horses changed hands during the two-day auction for $9,777,100 with the median at $8,500 and the average at $26,569. There were a total of a 122 unsold offerings for an RNA rate of 24.9%, compared to last term when 84 horses failed to sell for an RNA rate of 20.4%. In 2019, 327 horses grossed $9,659,400 with a median of $15,000 and an average of $29,539. A total of 28 horses brought six figures this year compared to 22 in 2019.

“It is a continuation of the world that we live in,” said Browning. “There are either multiple bidders on your horse or you pray to God you have one bidder. It is hard to appraise horses in the world we live in today. The ones who jump through the hoops bring significantly more than you thought and the ones that miss bring significantly less. You have to adjust your expectations after you get on the sales grounds.”

Buyers and sellers alike found the market to be a bit spotty with quality still in demand.

“It is very spotty, but the quality is very spotty so it is hard to gauge it,” said Frank Taylor, whose Taylor Made Sales sold the topper. “For a very good horse, there is definitely money here.”

Keogh saw the same from the buying side, saying, “It is the usual horse sale market–polarized. Everyone wants the quality individuals.”

Douglas Arnold found the market to be a soft, but was still optimistic as the sale season moves forward.

“I think that maybe it is a tad soft,” he said. “It is competitive for the horses that people want. I think there is a lot of optimism in the market place for good mares and good yearlings. I think all those things bode well going forward.”

Twin Creeks Buys Out Partners on Remedy

The MGSP Remedy (Creative Cause) (hip 619) sparked some late fireworks during the supplemental catalogue, but when the dust settled she ended up in familiar hands with part owner Twin Creeks Racing buying out their partners on the $570,000 sale topper. Twin Creeks did their bidding over the phone with Fasig-Tipton’s Reed Ringler.

Twin Creeks purchased Remedy for $200,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Medallion Racing and Parkland Thoroughbreds bought in after she finished second in the 2018 GIII Comely S. The Brad Cox pupil retired with a record of 13-3-4-0 and earnings of $217,344. In addition to placing in the Comely, she also finished second in the GIII Remington Park Oaks.

“We bought her as a yearling and we had some guys buy into her as a racehorse, so we just bought them out,” said Twin Creeks’s Randy Gullatt when reached by phone. “She is going to be bred to Constitution.”

He continued, “She was extremely popular. It was on the high end of what I thought.”

A half-sister to SW and GSP Harry’s Holiday (Harlan’s Holiday), Remedy is out of a daughter of blue hen Leslie’s Lady (Tricky Creek), who is the dam of four-time champion Beholder (Henny Hughes), GISW Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy) and top sire and GISW Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday). She was bred by Brereton and Ned Jones and consigned here by Taylor Made Sales.

“She is a very good-looking mare,” said Frank Taylor. “She can run some. She has the hottest pedigree going today. I think she can be a foundation mare for somebody. I think she was sold fairly, but I could have seen her bringing some more at a different sale.”

Remedy is the most expensive horse sold at the February Sale since Cinnamon Spice brought $700,000 in 2017.

Pharoah Boosts Flashly at Fasig

Flashly (Denman {Aus}) is a nice horse in her own right, but was given a boost here as the only mare in the catalogue in foal to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who led the freshman sire standings last term. Bloodstock agent Hanzly Albina, acting on behalf of an undisclosed client, fended off all challengers to take home hip 630for $310,000.

“I think the covering sire is obviously doing very, very well,” said Albina, who did his bidding from the upstairs press box. “You can always use a mare in foal to American Pharoah and the pedigree has multi-generational excellence. It is a very good filly family and it is nice to get into it. She is a good-looking individual and it was a fair price.”

A half-sister to GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss), Flashly’s second dam is GSW & GISP Belterra (Unbridled). She won twice during her racing career for Zayat Stables and trainer Brad Cox.

Flashly RNA’d for $285,000 at Keeneland November when selling with Taylor Made. In the interim, all of Zayat Stables’ assets were put into receivership after MGG Investment Group sued Ahmed Zayat for $23-million and accused them of defaulting on their loans.

The appointed receiver, Elizabeth Woodward of Dean Dorton, supplemented six Zayat horses to the February Sale as hips 629 through 634 with St. George Sales. Flashly was the most expensive of the group. Stylish Ash (Malibu Moon) (hip 633) brought $31,000 from Marc Detampel; Nomee (City Zip) (hip 632) sold for $19,000 to M&M Racing in foal to Carpe Diem; and Megalicioius (Songandaprayer) (hip 631) brought $6,000 from M&M Racing carrying a foal by Paynter. Fateer (hip 629) and her Paynter yearling filly (hip 634) both RNA’d.

Street Sense Filly A Great Find

A daughter of Street Sense proved quite popular Tuesday and it was Martin Keogh who won out on the $265,000 short yearling. Keogh was acting on behalf of Tami Bobo’s First Finds and indicated the filly would be pointed to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale. Hip 526 was the highest-priced short yearling of the sale.

“I bought her for a good friend of mine, Tami Bobo,” said Keogh, who did his bidding upstairs. “She was looking for a horse to go to Saratoga and that filly fit the bill. She was the best filly on the grounds and the best [short yearling] over the last couple of days. She has a quality pedigree. She just has it all loved her from the first day we saw her.”

He added, “We didn’t think she would cost quite that much. But, for the good ones, you have to step up and pay for them. We are happy to get her.”

The gray filly is the first foal out of Froyo Star (Rockport Harbor), who breeder Southern Equine Stables purchased for $420,000 as a 2-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale. The 8-year-old mare is a half-sister to MGISW Sweet Reason (Street Sense); GSW and GISP Don’t Forget Gil (Kafwain); and SW Battle Girl (Midshipman).

“She is a classy filly,” said Meg Levy, whose Bluewater Sales consigned hip 526. “She has a beautiful stride and is very correct. Times when people are looking at the market forward, having a filly with page is a great place to be. They have residual. It looked like she might have had one of the more real pages in the book. We sold Sweet Reason, who is on the page. It seemed like there were enough people wanting to play the short game that it worked out.”

Chelsea Market Headed to Stonereath Stud

The 4-year-old filly Chelsea Market (Verrazano) (Hip 460) was the only broodmare in the sale in foal to the late Pioneerof the Nile, which increased her demand Tuesday, summoning $250,000 from Stonereath Stud’s Peter Berglar.

“It is a lovely pedigree,” Berglar said. “She is in foal to a sire, who unfortunately is no longer around. There won’t be too many left, so that was the appeal for me. That was about where I wanted to be with her. I am glad I didn’t find out if I had to stretch more.”

Bred by SF Bloodstock, the unraced bay is a half-sister to SW Woodwin W (More Than Ready); GSP runners Las Venturas (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Deep Sound (Deep Impact {Jpn}); and the dam of GISW Collected (City Zip). Chelsea Market was consigned by Bill Murphy.

Arnold Strikes Early for ‘Appealing’ Mare

Doug Arnold made Tuesday’s first six-figure purchase when going to $150,000 for Appeal to Win (Successful Appeal) (hip 390), who sold in foal to Flatter.

Consigned by Claiborne Farm, the stakes-placed bay mare is a half to MGSW Cool Cowboy (Kodiak Kowboy). This is also the family of stakes winner Afleet Lass (Northern Afleet). She has produced three foals so far, including a 2019 Connect filly who brought $125,000 at the recent Keeneland January Sale.

“She is a big, strong mare with a great family,” said Arnold. “The mare had a lot of quality as a racemare. She is throwing good foals. She had a Connect bring $125,000 as a weanling. I love Flatter and I think because she had a June 2 cover, instead of paying $300,000, we paid $150,000. I love her. I think she is really a nice mare.”

The 8-year-old mare’s late cover did not deter Arnold, who hopes to breed her in 2020, but has not picked out her mate yet.

“I will probably breed her,” said the Buck Pond Farm owner. “We will just see how the foaling goes and how quickly she comes out of it and how early she foals. I am good with that June 2 foaling date because all of your good horses are born in May, right?”


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CA Assemblymember Introduces Equine Safety and Welfare Legislation

Tue, 2020-02-11 17:57

The office of California Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) announced Tuesday the introduction of AB 2177, the Equine Welfare and Safety in Horse Racing Act. Citing last year’s rash of horse deaths at Santa Anita Park as the impetus, the proposed legislation is co-sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“If the state is to continue to sanction horse racing and its wagering as a legal sport, addressing horse fatalities to the greatest extent possible needs to take precedence,” said Kalra. “AB 2177 tackles the practices that can lead to broken bones and death, including the misuse of medication, running horses with pre-existing injuries, utilizing unsafe racing surfaces, and more. I look forward to working with the state regulators and all those working in the horse racing industry to enact bold action to protect both horses and jockeys.”

The act mandates the use of CT scan screenings for horses; an on-site central pharmacy at tracks and the prohibition of veterinarians from bringing medications onto track grounds; the prohibition of veterinarians from prescribing any medications other than for already diagnosed conditions; the suspension of a trainer’s license, pending investigation, should one of their trainees die; authorizes the California Horse Racing Board to suspend or revoke a trainer’s license for repeat medication violations; and more.

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Vitali’s Racing Sanctions Surface Anew in Pot-Growing Venture

Tue, 2020-02-11 15:43

Marcus Vitali, a Thoroughbred trainer with a lengthy history of medication violations who is currently serving a one-year suspension for interfering with and impeding a 2019 drug investigation at Delaware Park, is attempting to shift his focus to a new business venture in Massachusetts: legal marijuana cultivation.

But even before Vitali can take the first municipal step in a state that has one of the most stringent licensure processes in the nation for recreational marijuana cultivation, his litany of racing violations is drawing scrutiny in the local press.

According to a Tuesday story in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle under the headline “Horse trainer with tainted past wants to open Attleboro pot farm,” the 59-year-old Vitali is seeking to open a marijuana growing facility in a 2,000-square-foot former factory building down the street from a used car lot that he owns, with a special permit hearing scheduled for Feb. 20 before the city’s zoning board of appeals.

The article by George W. Rhodes cited Vitali’s decades-long list of run-ins with regulators in the Thoroughbred industry. When asked for his side of the story, the reporter wrote that “Vitali shrugs off the violations, which he blames on a regulation-heavy industry, and contends they should not affect his applications to the city or state” for a marijuana business.

“Every trainer has been suspended at one time or another,” Vitali told the Sun Chronicle. “There are so many different rules. Each track has different rules.

“They are not legal offenses,” Vitali added, suggesting that his infractions and penalties are only relevant within the racing industry.
“I’m getting ready to retire and need something to do to keep busy,” Vitali told the Sun Chronicle.

Ironically, the offense that led to Vitali’s current one-year suspension and $2,500 fine involved marijuana.

Last July, when a member of Delaware Park’s track security was checking the stable-area dorm of one of Vitali’s employees, Vitali allegedly ran into the room, grabbed a bubble-wrapped package out of the refrigerator that appeared to be a vial of clear liquid, and ran off with it.

The package was suspected to be a contraband equine drug, but Vitali allegedly disposed of it before security officials could take possession of it. Vitali later claimed that it was a bag of marijuana.

Between 2011 and the start of 2016, Vitali had 23 medication violations on his training record in Florida alone. In 2016, he voluntary relinquished his Florida training license in an attempt to avoid further sanctions for multiple medication violations.

Twice during 2016, when TDN spoke to Vitali to get his side of the story, he referred to his multiple problems with regulators as “a big misunderstanding.”

Vitali, who began training horses in 1989, has not started a Thoroughbred since July 21, 2019, at Gulfstream Park.

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Haskell Slated for July 18

Tue, 2020-02-11 14:25

Monmouth Park will hold the $1-million GI Haskell Invitational July 18 during its 75th race meet, which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 2. A total of 63 stakes (12 graded and 11 restricted to New Jersey-breds) worth $7.3 million will be held over the Jersey Shore oval’s 56 days of live racing. The 2020 Haskell card will feature six stakes races, two of which have received $100,000 purse increases–the now $300,000 GIII Monmouth Cup and the $250,000 GIII Molly Pitcher S. The GIII Iselin S., part of a four-stakes day along with the $300,000 GI United Nations S., also received a purse bump to $200,000. The May 24 Miss Liberty S., Aug. 16 Jersey Derby and Sept. 12 Jersey Shore S. will now each be worth $100,000. The 18th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, headlined by the $100,000 Charles Hesse III H., is scheduled for Aug. 30; while Monmouth Park’s MATCH Day will be Sept. 12, and includes five stakes worth $100,000 as part of the Mid-Atlantic championships. For Monmouth’s complete 2020 stakes schedule, visit

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Andrew Cary, Former Select Sales Partner, Launches Cary Bloodstock

Tue, 2020-02-11 13:20

Andrew Cary, a former partner in the dissolving Select Sales, is launching a new agency, Cary Bloodstock, he announced Tuesday. Cary will begin taking new clients immediately and has already purchased horses at the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale under his new banner.

“I’m very blessed and excited for this new opportunity,” Cary said. “We had a fantastic decade together at Select Sales and I’m really looking forward to a new chapter in my life and career. I greatly appreciate the support of my family, friends and clients in this new endeavor.”

Cary moved to Kentucky in 2002 and has worked for Thoroughbred Times, Taylor Made Sales and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm before joining Select Sales when it started in 2009.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to learn from some of the best minds in the business during my career: the Taylor brothers, John Sikura and Donato Lanni, Carrie and Craig Brogden, Tom Ryan, Jay Goodwin,” he said. “I’ve been involved with some incredible horses like Ashado and Better than Honour and Tepin, and it really is very gratifying to look back on my experiences. I knew nobody when I moved here in 2002.”

Cary Bloodstock will offer a full range of bloodstock services, including buying and selling horses of all ages, mating analysis and portfolio management. Cary won’t have a consignment of his own, but will funnel the majority of both his personal stock and his clients’ horses through Eaton Sales, where his close friend and former partner Jay Goodwin recently was named account manager.

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Jockey Club Round Table To Be Held Aug. 16

Tue, 2020-02-11 09:53

The Jockey Club’s 2020 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing will be held Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Saratoga Springs City Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, The Jockey Club announced Tuesday. Additional details, including the conference agenda, will be released this summer.

The Jockey Club Round Table Conference was first held July 1, 1953, in The Jockey Club office in New York City. The following year, it was moved to Saratoga Springs, where it has been held every August since.

The two-hour conference has featured a myriad of important topics and prominent speakers from the United States as well as many foreign countries and more than 300 industry participants now attend.

More information about the Round Table Conference, including transcripts, video replays, and slides from previous conferences, can be found at or under the Resources section of

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Over Emphasize Tops Fasig February Opener

Mon, 2020-02-10 18:20

LEXINGTON, KY–The multiple graded stakes placed broodmare prospect Over Emphasize (Overanalyze) topped the opening session of the two-day Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale Monday with a final bid of $150,000 from bloodstock agent Andre Lynch. The day’s top short yearling was a $140,000 son of Connect, purchased by Brian Graves on behalf of the Blue Sky Stable pinhooking partnership.

“It is hit or miss at a smaller sale like this,” Graves said. “February sales are up and down. There is not as much quality as November and January. I think there is fair value for a good one when they bring it in there.”

A total of 180 horses changed hands Monday for a gross of $3,369,200, with eight horses earning six-figure price tags. The median was $8,000 and the average was $18,718. Seventy-three horses failed to meet their reserves for an RNA rate of 28.9%.

During the 2019 opening session, 146 head grossed $4,677,200. The average was $32,036 and the median was $18,000. A total of 61 horses were led from the ring unsold for an buy-back rate of 29.4%. The session’s 13 six-figure purchases were led by eventual $300,000 sale topper Cheekaboo (Unusual Heat).

“Clearly, if you looked at the catalogue and analyzed it, tomorrow is the much strong day in terms of quality offerings,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “I thought today went as expected. For the pages you turned down in your catalogue before the sale and said, ‘There should be good interest in this one,’ there was good interest in that one. For the horses you thought won’t be easy, it wasn’t easy. It is just a reflection of the reality of the marketplace. There are just some horses we offer that have limited commercial value.”

The Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale continues Tuesday at 10 a.m. starting with hip 325 through the supplemental catalogue.

Lynch Keeps Busy at Fasig

Bloodstock agent Andre Lynch was determined for the mares who caught his eye, going to $150,000 for Over Emphasize (Overanalyze) (Hip 184) and fighting off a stubborn foe, who bid on the phone with Fasig President Boyd Browning, to take home Palace Princess (Hard Spun) (Hip 186) two hips later.

Consigned by St. George Sales, Over Emphasize only won one of her eight starts, but placed in a pair of graded events in the summer of 2019 for earnings of $109,745. A $40,000 KEESEP buy, the session topper was campaigned by Mel and Jean Annuzzi and trainer Mike McCarthy. She is a half to stakes winner Allanah (Scat Daddy) and sold as a racing/broodmare prospect.

“I bought her for myself at the moment,” Lynch said. “She is a lovely mare trained by Michael McCarthy. We ran against her a couple of times with Maxim Rate (Exchange Rate). I don’t know what I am going to breed her to yet, maybe Justify.”

Palace Princess is out of a daughter of Hall of Famer Azeri (Jade Hunter), who produced MGSW & GISP Wine Princess (Ghostzapper). She was sold by Taylor Made Sales Agency as a broodmare prospect.

“I bought her for myself and a friend. I haven’t told my friend yet,” Lynch said with a grin. “I was thinking maybe Uncle Mo or American Pharoah.”

Graves Strikes For Connect Colt

Brian Graves took home the day’s most expensive yearling on behalf of his Big Sky Stables pinhooking partnership, signing the ticket at $140,000 for a son of Connect colt (hip 254).

“He is a Saratoga-type individual, so that is probably the game plan to take him up to Saratoga and see how we do,” said Graves. “You don’t have to wait too long.”

As for his thoughts on the first crop of GI Cigar Mile hero Connect (Curlin), the Gainesway General Manager said, “That is the second horse by Connect I bought and the fourth horse I’ve bid on by him, so I guess I like what he is doing.”

Consigned by Bluewater Sales on behalf of breeder Nancy Mazzoni, hip 254 is out of the Posse mare She Be Keene, who is a half-sister to champion She Be Wild (Offlee Wild).

Goff Scoops Up Bernardini Mare

Arkansan Dash Goff came out on top of a lively round of bidding to acquire Me and Mine (Bernardini) (hip 127), in foal to Kantharos, for $135,000 at Fasig-Tipton. A $40,000 claim by Kingdom Bloodstock at Laurel in 2017, the bay had her first foal last year, a filly by Maclean’s Music, and was consigned Monday by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency.

Out of SP Oneofacat (Deputy Minister), Me and Mine is a half to three stakes-placed runners. European champion Hold That Tiger (Storm Cat) and GI Belmont S. winner Editor’s Note (Forty Niner) are under the second dam.

“She is a nice mare,” Goff said. “Bane and Chris Welker keep my horses and I am just trying to get a couple of nice mares to replace the ones I’ve had.”

Me and Mine brings Goff’s broodmare band up to three and he has 15 horses altogether, focusing on the Arkansas and Oklahoma-bred programs.

“I won the fourth race at Oaklawn [Sunday], an Arkansas-bred maiden,” said Goff, while sporting an Oaklawn hat. “I am mainly buying Arkansas-breds. What is happening at Oaklawn is unreal with the expansion and the purses. I have started really building up racing there and Oklahoma.”

DiRico Working on Retirement Plan at Fasig

Joe DiRico has been in the game a long time, even picking out MGSW Disco Rico (Citidancer) for his father Alfred DiRico back in 1999. With retirement looming, he was busy at Fasig Monday, expanding his broodmare band, purchasing a pair of six-figure mares. He went to $135,000 for Samara (Hard Spun) (hip 244) and $100,000 for My Bronx Tail (Speightstown) (hip 160).

“I am thinking of retiring,” DiRico, seated alongside advisor Jack Harvey, said. “I have free time on my hands, so I want to get more into the horses. I have some more funds at my disposal now.”

Samara was claimed by Michael Dubb for $40,000 at Saratoga in 2018. The Don Alberto-bred mare closed out her career with a trio of wins last winter, capped by a victory in the Captiva Island S. at Gulfstream. She RNA’d for $185,000 at Keeneland November and was sold by Brookdale here as a broodmare prospect.

“She had a beautiful presence and she was a real physical specimen,” DiRico said. “She looked like Mike Tyson. You have Hard Spun on top and Storm Cat on the bottom. She beat a 3-5 shot in that stakes race in Florida and won her last three races. I am happy to have her.”

He continued, “I am going to breed her to my stallion Dr. Disco (Disco Rico). I want to give him a leg up. He is sort of an unknown sire and I want to give him a shot with some good mares.”

Earlier in the session, DiRico purchased My Bronx Tail, a daughter of GSW Winding Way (Malibu Moon), who is a full-sister to MGSW & GISP Kauai Katie (Malibu Moon). Gainesway consigned the broodmare prospect on behalf of Saratoga Seven Racing Partners LLC.

“The other one I bought earlier is going to go to Mitole,” DiRico said. “I watched her last race at Aqueduct and she pulled away from the field and broke 1:35 for the mile. She has really good mechanics in the way she traveled. Being by Speightstown out of a graded dam, I thought I couldn’t go wrong.”

DiRico’s Monday purchases, plus a mare named Grace’s Treasure (Rockport Harbor) whom he purchased for $100,000 at KEEJAN, will be sent to New York to drop their foals. Grace’s Treasure is also scheduled to visit Dr. Disco, who stands at the Empire State’s Keane Stud.

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