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Goldencents Colt Tops Fasig-Tipton California Sale

Thu, 2019-09-26 23:06

by Jessica Martini & Dan Ross

A colt by two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents topped Thursday’s inaugural Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings Sale in Pomona, bringing a final bid of $150,000 from Steve Gasparelli’s Slugo Racing. The yearling was one of six to sell for six figures during the one-session auction. In all, 137 yearlings sold for $3,667,800. The sale average was $26,772 and the median was $13,000.

The Fall Yearling Sale was the second Fasig-Tipton auction of the year in California, following June’s Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, as the sales company takes up the baton from the now-defunct Barretts.

“All in all, it was a successful effort and something to build upon,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said at the close of business Thursday. “I think what we saw today is that there is a viable marketplace and that there was significant interest in a large number of offerings. I think it should give breeders confidence that, if they have a quality yearling, there will be a legitimate marketplace for them.”

Of the 285 catalogued yearlings, 255 went through the ring with 118 failing to meet their reserves for a buy-back rate of 46.3%.

“I think we also saw that the market in California is somewhat similar to what it is in Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Ireland, England, and Australia,” Browning said. “There is some polarization and there is certainly more demand for what is perceived to be quality and the lower end of the market is generally difficult. That was no different here today than what we’ve seen in other marketplaces.”

Goldencents Colt to Slugo Racing

Steve Gasparelli’s Slugo Racing struck early in Thursday’s California Fall Yearlings Sale, going to $150,000 to acquire a colt by Goldencents. Gasparelli signed for the colt (hip 25) while sitting alongside trainer Mike Puype, who conditions the yearling’s once-raced half-brother Audace (Ministers Wild Cat).

“He’s a beautiful horse,” Puype said of the yearling. “He’s very athletic. Audace ran fifth at Del Mar–I didn’t have him quite ready for that race, but he’s got a nice future ahead of him. He’s still learning the game.”

The chestnut, bred by Thomas Bachman and consigned by his Fairview LLC, is out of Bold Roberta (Bold Badgett). He is a half to multiple stakes winner Bella Luma (Ministers Wild Cat).

Gasparelli campaigned Grade III winner Estrechada (Arg) (Offlee Wild) and enjoyed pinhooking success at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale earlier this year. He and partner Paymaster Racing sold a filly by Into Mischief for $1.5 million. The youngster had been a $450,000 Keeneland September yearling.

Gasparelli admitted hip 25’s final price tag Thursday was less than he had expected.

“I actually thought it might go a bit more,” Gasparelli said. “He’s a beautiful, athletic horse who vetted well. And we really like Goldencents.”

Gasparelli was back in action later in the sale, purchasing a filly by Grazen (hip 47) for $72,000.

Bachman acquired Bold Roberta, in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus, for $20,000 at the 2011 Barretts January sale. The sale-topping yearling is the mare’s final foal.

“He’s a wonderful colt,” Bachman said of the yearling. “I own the mare in a partnership, the same partnership that owns the half-sister Bella Luma, who we are going to keep as a broodmare. This is the mare’s last foal and he’s just a wonderful individual. He’s very athletic. I think they are going to have fun with him.”

Bachman bred and consigned four of the auction’s five six-figure offerings.

“People know I’m a market breeder and they know how I raise horses,” Bachman said. “I think they have confidence in what I raise. I am fairly reasonable about what I think they are worth and I try to get them sold. I try to go home with an empty truck.”

Hard Spun Colt to Bonde

Trainer Jeff Bonde made the second highest bid of the night at Fairplex Thursday, going to $135,000 to acquire a colt by Hard Spun from the Havens Bloodstock Agency consignment. The yearling (hip 173) is out of Pamona Ball (Pleasantly Perfect), a half-sister to Group 1 placed Snowy Winter (Elusive Quality) and multiple graded placed Pamina (Street Cry {Ire}).

“I just thought he was a great walker,” Bonde said of the colt he purchased on behalf of a partnership. “I buy athletes and he was an athlete.”

The youngster was bred by Premier Thoroughbreds, which purchased Pamona Ball with him in utero for $32,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

Eclipse Scores for the Home Team

Based in California, Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners admitted it was important for his group to support the inaugural Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings Sale and he got into the fray Thursday, spending $115,000 to acquire a colt by Sky Mesa from Thomas Bachman’s Fairview consignment.

“First and foremost, I thought it was really important to come out here and support this sale,” Wellman said after signing the ticket on hip 143 while standing alongside trainer Michael McCarthy. “I give Fasig-Tipton a lot of credit for jumping into the shoes of Barretts. Our state needs all the support we can get right now and it’s a really good sign that Fasig has stepped into those shoes. Here in California, we couldn’t have asked for anybody better than [Fasig-Tipton President] Boyd [Browning] and his whole team to come in here and do the job that needs to get done. They put on a good show here.”

Out of Mary Coughlan (Gulch), hip 143 is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Outside Nashville (Broken Vow) and stakes-placed Bluegrass Derby (Bluegrass Cat). He was bred by Bachman, who purchased the mare with this foal in utero for $90,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

“This was a Grade I physical,” Wellman said of the yearling. “He’s by a Kentucky sire and he’s a Cal-bred. As far as what we were looking to accomplish, trying to buy something out of this sale, he fit the bill and he’s the complete package. He’s a beautiful colt by a proven sire. I haven’t seen too many Sky Mesa Cal-breds around here. Hopefully he will tower above his competition, but, as always, time will tell.”

The colt will be trained by McCarthy.

“This is a boutique sale, so you hone in on your really top prospects and this horse was a standout physically and a standout on paper for us,” McCarthy said. “Hopefully around this time next year, we’ll be getting interviewed for the right reasons.”

Pinhookers Active at Fairplex

Pinhookers, busy shopping at the Fairplex barns over the last two days, were also active on the results sheets Thursday. Leading the way was Ciaran Dunne, who purchased a colt by Into Mischief for $110,000 in the name of Scioto Bloodstock.

“He’s by a top sire and from a great family,” Dunne said. “We’ll roll the dice and see what happens next year.”

Out of North Freeway (Jump Start), the bay is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner and Grade I placed Take the One O One (Acclamation). His juvenile half-brother Square Deal (Square Eddie) is a two-time stakes winner for Arnold Zetcher and Qatar Racing and trainer Simon Callaghan.

“We had his half-brother Square Deal last year,” Dunne said. “He was a very honest, straightforward horse. So we know the family.”

Asked if the colt might be targeted at the Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale next spring, Dunne said, “Given he’s not a Cal-bred, we will probably keep him in Florida. But never say never.”

Dunne also signed for a filly by Majesticperfection (hip 269) for $70,000; and a filly by Square Eddie (hip 172) for $17,000.

Ocala-based Eddie Woods signed for three yearlings in the name of his Quarter Pole Enterprises, LLC, going to $85,000 for a son of Fast Anna (hip 100); $65,000 for a colt by Competitive Edge (hip 85); and $35,000 for a colt by Liam’s Map (hip 245).

Hip 100 is out of Insolvent (Big Brown), a half-sister to Girlfrienontheside (Indian Charlie).

“He’s a good-moving, strong colt by a horse who looks like he’s going to be a proper stallion,” Woods said of the yearling. “He vetted well and he’s a nice, correct horse. He acted with a lot of class here.”

Woods was one of many Florida pinhookers to skip the inaugural Santa Anita sale this past June and, while these two yearlings are destined for resale next spring, the horseman said it was unlikely to be in Arcadia.

“The date for [Santa Anita sale] was a little tricky for me in June,” Woods explained. “The only thing we’ve ever been able to sell at California that sold really well is good-proportioned horses who look quick and work well. And you can’t sit on them until June, because if you do, if something goes wrong, it’s all over for you, you’re dead. You’ve got the horse all summer. If they are going to have a sale out here and make it work, it needs to be earlier.”

Woods added the California buyers are active at the Ocala auctions in his own backyard.

“We have as many California guys who show up in Ocala at the April or March sale as show up at Santa Anita for the Santa Anita sale,” he said. “All of the top guys, none of them miss them.”

Woods will take a wait-and-see approach as to what sale these yearlings will target next year.

“I have no idea where they’ll go,” he said. “We’ll see later. It’s like a woman. You don’t marry her when you first meet her. You marry her when you have to.”

Other names on the results sheets who are traditionally active in the yearling-to-juvenile pinhooking arena included Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds, Bruno De Berdt and David Scanlon, John Brocklebank, and Tom McCrocklin.

Miller First to Six Figures
Trainer Peter Miller was the first to make a six-figure bid at Thursday’s California Fall Yearlings Sale, going to $100,000 to acquire a colt by Square Eddie. Hip 19 is the second foal out of Bas (Flower Alley), a half-sister to stakes winner and graded placed Bold Decision (Precise End).

The yearling is from the family of multiple graded winner Parisian Flight. He was bred by Reddam Racing, which purchased Bas for $43,000 at the 2012 OBS April sale.

“He looked very athletic, fast and correct,” Miller said of the yearling’s appeal. “He looks like a really nice colt.”

Asked on whose behalf he had purchased the yearling, Miller said, “I don’t know yet–one of my clients. We will sort it out as we go.”

Miller was back in action later in the evening, going to $72,000 to acquire a filly by Smiling Tiger (hip 114) and to $9,000 for a colt by Surf Cat (hip 93).

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Eight Rings Looks to Make Amends in American Pharoah

Thu, 2019-09-26 11:30

‘TDN Rising Star’ Eight Rings (Empire Maker) was heavily favored in the GI Del Mar Futurity Sept. 2, but ducked in shortly after the break, dumping jockey Drayden Van Dyke and bumping into Storm the Court (Court Vision), causing him to lose his rider as well. Adding blinkers this time around, the Bob Baffert pupil looks to make amends Friday in the GI American Pharoah S. at Santa Anita, which grants the winner a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Prior to that incident last time, the $520,000 KEESEP purchase romped by 6 1/4 lengths in his Aug. 4 unveiling at Del Mar. Storm the Court, a debut winner in SoCal Aug. 10, also returns in this spot.

Del Mar Futurity winner Nucky (Ghostzapper) will see if he can take down Eight Rings this time as he looks to double up. Prior to his top-level score earlier this month, the dark bay earned his diploma by 10 1/2 lengths at fourth asking while in for a $100,000 tag at Del Mar Aug. 21. Futurity third-place finisher Defense Wins (Flatter), who is still a maiden, seeks his diploma here. Also exiting the Futurity is fifth-place finisher Fore Left (Twirling Candy), who captured Belmont’s Tremont S. June 7.

Steve Asmussen ships ‘TDN Rising Star’ Shoplifted (Into Mischief) in from the East Coast for this one. An impressive winner at first asking at Saratoga July 27, the $800,000 FTFMAR buy split his stablemates when second in the Spa’s GI Hopeful S. Sept. 2.

Undefeated Collusion Illusion (Twirling Candy) makes his first top-level attempt here. Opening his account with a half-length success over Defense Wins at Del Mar July 21, the bay followed suit with a win in the GII Best Pal S. there Aug. 10.

Express Train (Union Rags) looks like he could be any kind as he steps up from the maiden ranks here. Runner-up to Eight Rings in their mutual 5 1/2-panel debut Aug. 4, the $500,000 KEESEP purchase demolished the field by 14 1/4 lengths next out going a mile at Del Mar Aug. 28.

American Theorem (American Pharoah) is another making a big class jump here after winning his career bow at Del Mar Aug. 31.


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Bast Seeks Second Grade I in Chandelier

Thu, 2019-09-26 11:00

Baoma Corp’s Bast (Uncle Mo) broke her maiden in style last time in the GI Del Mar Debutante S. Aug. 31 and she looks to make it two in a row Friday at Santa Anita in the GI Chandelier S., a “Win and You’re In” event for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Second on debut behind $850,000 OBSMAR buy Inspiressa (The Big Beast) going 5 1/2 panels at Del Mar Aug. 11, the $500,000 FTSAUG buy proved second time’s a charm with an 8 3/4-length demolition of the Del Mar Debutante. Inspiressa was second that day and GIII Schuylerville S. heroine Comical (Into Mischief), who also returns here, was third.

Comical’s trainer Doug O’Neill will saddle a second runner in this test in Buyer’s Remorse (Liam’s Map), who was run down late and forced to settle for second in her Del Mar unveiling Aug. 18.

KMN Racing’s Been Studying Her (Fast Anna) puts her unbeaten record on the line here. A debut winner at Sacramento July 20, she captured the Generous Portion S. at Del Mar Aug. 28.

K P Dreamin (Union Rags) enters off a second-out graduation at Del Mar Aug. 29. Rounding out the field is Leucothea (Mishipman), who won by 14 1/2 lengths at second asking in a $62,500 maiden claiming event at Del Mar Aug. 15 and was a well-beaten eighth in the Debutante.


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Leofric Retired to Rockridge Stud

Thu, 2019-09-26 10:51

Leofric (Candy Ride {Arg}–Lady Godiva by Unbridled’s Song), winner of the 2018 GI Clark H. at Churchill Downs in his career finale, will stand his first season at stud as the property of a syndicate at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York.

Originally a $330,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, he was aquired by Steve Landers for $100,000 as a horse of racing age at the 2016 KEENOV Sale. The gray also has wins in last term’s GII Hagyard Fayette S. and GIII West Virginia Governor’s S. and a third-place finish in the GI Woodward S. on his resume.

Bred in Kentucky by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, Leofric retires with a record of 14-8-1-3 and earnings of $951,040. He was produced by the unraced Unbridled’s Song mare Lady Godiva, a half-sister to MGSW Multiple Choice (Mt. Livermore). This is the extended female family of GISWs Well Chosen (Deputy Minister) and Telling (A.P. Indy).

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This Week’s TDN Writers’ Room Podcast is Posted

Wed, 2019-09-25 20:23

This week, the writers talk about the three-year-old picture after a Pennsylvania Derby, where a win by Math Wizard did little to clarify things. We recap the weekend’s races, and look ahead to the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the return of Code of Honor. The TDN team also welcomes Jon Green back to the TDN studios after his trip to Keeneland September. He talks about the sale, but jokes that he’d rather not discuss the Cotillion…where his stable’s Jaywalk finished seventh. All that and more on the September 25 Writers’ Room. Click here to listen.

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Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton Push Back November Sales

Wed, 2019-09-25 18:02

Both Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton have pushed back the starts of their respective November breeding stock sales by one day to allow participants extra time to travel from the Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita to Kentucky. Fasig-Tipton’s one-day November sale will now be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, while Keeneland’s sale will begin Wednesday, Nov. 6 and run through Sunday, Nov. 17.

“In keeping with Keeneland’s mission, we continually strive to do things that better the entire industry,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We listen to our customers and we respond; that’s what Keeneland does. We adjusted the September Sale format based on feedback from horsemen and produced the fifth-highest gross in that sale’s history. This change to the November Sale start date and our continued focus on quality guest experiences and hospitality are further evidence of how much we value our partnerships with owners, consignors and buyers, and respond to their needs.”

He continued, “We recognize the importance of being flexible With two marquee industry events within days of each other, this allows our customers to enjoy both the Breeders’ Cup and the Keeneland November Sale to their fullest. We are excited to continue the energy and positive momentum from the September Sale and upcoming Fall Meet into Breeders’ Cup and the November Sale.”

In a subsequent release, Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said, “We have advocated for this schedule change for many years, and we are pleased that other industry participants have recognized the need for this change. Buyers will be able to enjoy the Breeders’ Cup, and then have ample time to work through The November Sale at Fasig-Tipton, the world’s premier breeding stock event.”

Immediately following the final session of the Keeneland November Sale on Sunday, Nov. 17, Keeneland will host a champagne reception followed by the seventh annual Sporting Art Auction in partnership with Cross Gate Gallery.


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49 Supplements Added to OBSOCT Sale

Wed, 2019-09-25 17:01

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company has added a total of 49 additional yearlings to its upcoming October Yearling Sale, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Wednesday, Oct. 9. Twenty yearlings (hips 205-224) were added to the sale’s select session, which begins at noon on the 8th; 29 youngsters (hips 694-722) were added to the open session, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. the following day.

“We were delighted with the response to the supplemental entry program a year ago, in both the quality of the offerings and their reception in the marketplace,” said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “We have again cataloged a number of horses perhaps not shown at their best advantage earlier in the season, but the additional time to mature should enhance their appeal.”

The entire catalog can be viewed at and includes the first group of walking videos accompanying Selected yearlings. More videos will be added in the coming days and will also be available o the Equineline app. A supplemental print catalog will be available on the sales grounds.

“The evolution from still photos to walking videos has been well received by both consignors and buyers,” Wojciechowski said. “The videos provide a much more meaningful way to gain information in advance of the sale.”


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Fasig-Tipton Catalogues 1589 for October Yearling Sale

Wed, 2019-09-25 15:52

Fasig-Tipton will present a catalogue of 1,589 yearlings during its four-day Kentucky October Yearling Sale, to be held Oct. 21 through Oct. 24 in Lexington. Each session will begin at 10:00 a.m. The catalogue can be viewed online or via the Equineline app now. Print catalogues will be available on Oct. 9.

“Kentucky October continues to grow in all facets–size, overall quality, and popularity among both buyers and sellers,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “The sire power in this year’s catalogue is particularly impressive.”

Browning added, “Sale graduates have globally accrued more than 400 stakes wins or placings since 2018. It’s rare that one goes through daily race results and not come across a quality performance by one of our Kentucky October grads.”


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Unique Broodmare Transitions to Show Horse World

Wed, 2019-09-25 14:47

Kakadu (Tizway) was remarkably unremarkable until January 3, 2017, when she made headlines in the Thoroughbred world. Early that morning, she produced the first reported foal by American Pharoah. The colt is appropriately named First Pharoah and has not yet started.

With her accomplishment and rich bloodlines, Kakadu seemed like a natural broodmare but because of subsequent reproductive problems that was not to be her calling. Owner-breeder Oussama Aboughazale (of International Equities Holdings and Sumaya U.S. Stable) opted to channel her youthful beauty in another direction. The 6-year-old mare found her true destiny in the show ring at the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show Sept. 6-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. She was eighth of 46 in a special hunter division judged on jumping form and collected ribbons in other categories.

Kakadu’s transition from pampered broodmare to specialized pleasure mount was seamless according to Brooke Schafer, who handles the ground work while Taylor Wienold does the riding.

“When we restarted her, we decided to treat her like any young, unbroken horse by going very slowly and starting from scratch,” Schafer said. “We started by lunging her and to our surprise, she lunged beautifully–even better than some seasoned horses.”

The women decided within a few minutes to bridle her and Kakadu eagerly opened her mouth for the bit. The saddle followed and Wienold soon was in the tack cantering quietly around.

“She seemed very willing about the prospect of a new job,” Schafer said. “She has been nothing but a pleasure since the very first day.”

Wienold fine-tuned the confident and willing mare to follow the rider’s leg commands and to balance herself for the show ring. Kakadu thrives on the horse show’s activity and the attention she receives.

“She has been unfazed by each new place and is always open to new questions and challenges,” Schafer said. “She has no vices and is happy inside the stall or outside.”

Kakadu first came to Wienold’s and Schafer’s attention via a friend who had been contacted by her owner. Schafer liked her photo so she sent her expert-eyed mother to see her in the flesh at a Central Kentucky farm this past spring. Her mother deemed Kakadu worthy and the next day she was shipped to Schafer and Wienold in Lexington.

Kakadu is out of the unplaced A.P. Indy mare Alpha Spirit, who also produced multiple graded stakes winner and near-millionaire Protonico (Giant’s Causeway). Their second dam is Wild Spirit (Chi) (Hussonet), a Grade I winner in North America and Horse of the Year in her native Chile. Kakadu was a lackluster ninth at Gulfstream Park West as a 2-year-old in her lone career start.

Despite her shortcomings on track and in the broodmare band, Kakadu stands as a sterling example of repurposing any Thoroughbred mare for other endeavors.

“I have found that many former broodmares enjoy having a job so I don’t think anyone should rule them out,” Wienold said. “The trick is to take everything one step at a time and stay in tune to how they handle what is asked of them. Every horse is unique with a different personality. Some will take more time than others.”

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Verrazano Sold to Stand in Brazil

Wed, 2019-09-25 14:38

Verrazano (More Than Ready–Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway), whose daughter Seek and Destroy provided him with his first graded stakes winner in this year’s GIII Soaring Softly S., has been acquired by a Brazilian-based syndicate and will continue his stud career at Haras Old Friends in the region of Bage, Rio Grande do Sul. The syndicate includes the same group of breeders responsible for bringing New Year’s Day (Street Cry {Ire}) to the country, only to sell him to Japan after three months. The deal was brokered by Priscilla Beloch of Prospect Agency.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for Let’s Go Stables and Coolmore, Verrazano earned ‘TDN Rising Star’ status at first asking, graduating by nearly eight lengths and went on to win four graded races at three, including the GI William Hill Haskell Invitational S. by 9 3/4 lengths in addition to the GI Wood Memorial S. Kept in training at four and campaigned in Europe under the care of Aidan O’Brien, he was third in the G1 Lockinge S. and second–one spot ahead of future GI Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up Anodin (Ire) (Anabaa)–in the G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot before suffering a career-ending injury in the G1 Coral-Eclipse S.

Retired to Ashford Stud in Kentucky, Verrazano has sired four black-type winners in total and currently sits in fourth position on the list of second-crop sires, according to ‘TDN Sire Lists.’ He stood for a $15,000 fee in 2019.

Verrazano is the complete package: a great physical by a sire who is proven in the Southern Hemisphere not only as one of the best ever, but as a sire of sires, with a huge female family and probably the best race record of a stallion exported from the USA to ever stand in Brazil,” Beloch said. “On top of all of that, his progeny can really run on the turf, the surface were most of the graded stakes races in Brazil are run. He is being very well received and will cover the best mares in the country, so the future looks good for Verrazano there.”

Bred in Kentucky by Emory Hamilton, Verrazano is a maternal grandson of GISW Chic Shirine (Mr. Prospector) and his female family includes other top-level winners such as Serra Lake (Seattle Slew), Somali Lemonade (Lemon Drop Kid) and champion Queena (Mr. Prospector), herself the dam of GISW Brahms (Danzig). Verrazano’s paternal grandsire, Southern Halo, was a South American sire legend, having accounted for no fewer than 155 black-type winners and 119 group winners in Argentina and Brazil.

More Than Ready is closing in on 200 black-type winners worldwide.


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Sept. 26 Insights: Pricey Into Mischief Filly Debuts at Churchill

Wed, 2019-09-25 14:10

Phoenix Thoroughbreds went to $750,000 to secure IRREPRESSIBLE (Into Mischief) after the filly breezed a quarter-mile in :21 1/5 at OBS April, and she opens her career Thursday evening at Churchill. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the bay shows four consecutive five-furlong breezes at Saratoga, most recently going in 1:02 1/5 (13/15) over the Oklahoma dirt Sept. 15. Also set to open her account is Hoffman Family Racing and Steve Landry’s Wicked Smart (Wicked Strong), who became easily the most expensive progeny of her sire to sell at auction when hammering for $425,000 at OBS March after a :9 4/5 furlong breeze. The Tom Amoss pupil totes a smattering of quick works, finished off with a local half-mile spin in :47 2/5 (3/64) Sept. 20. Rigney Racing’s Purrfectly Claire (Munnings) warrants a look as well. Out of a full-sister to GISW Unrivaled Belle (Unbridled’s Song), the $250,000 Keeneland September grad tuned up for this unveiling with a swift five-furlong breeze in :59 3/5 (2/44) here Sept. 20. TJCIS PPs

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Fasig-Tipton Returns Bidding to Fairplex Thursday

Wed, 2019-09-25 12:40

The inaugural Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings Sale will be held Thursday at Fairplex in Pomona, with bidding on the first of 285 catalogued yearlings scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. PT. The Fairplex sales grounds, which last saw auction action with the CTBA sale in January, was crowded with shoppers Wednesday morning.
“It’s been a ridiculous amount of traffic,” said Adrian Gonzalez of Checkmate Thoroughbreds. “We were swamped Tuesday and they are already hitting us pretty hard this morning. It’s super, super encouraging seeing the turnout so far and we still have a whole other day to go.”
With training hours still underway on the West Coast, Gonzalez said, “Mostly we’ve been showing to pinhookers. We haven’t seen very many California guys here yet, so it’s been mostly out-of-towners doing all-shows here so far.”
Fasig-Tipton conducted its first Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in June and the catalogue included a very limited number of Florida-based consignors. With a strong group of pinhookers shopping ahead of the yearlings sale, Gonzalez is hoping some might return as sellers next spring.
“I kind of have that feeling, that they might be looking for something to bring back to the training sale here,” he agreed.
Between the activity at the barns and the strength of the catalogue, Gonzalez is looking for a strong sale Thursday.
“Personally, I brought some horses that I really, really like, so I am hoping that it will be pretty strong,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve looked through the catalogue and it seems like there are quite a few very well-bred horses through different consignors’ barns. So I am hoping they brought some really nice stock as well. If it’s a strong sale, that should rise all tides.”
While California-based sires are well-represented, there are also a large number of Kentucky-based sires with yearlings in the catalogue and many of those yearlings by Kentucky sires are California-breds. The success of Thursday’s sale could go a long way towards determining the direction the state’s breeding industry goes in the future, according to Gonzalez.
“I think what you can see in this catalogue is a lot of Kentucky-sired Cal-breds that came here as a result of a few new stallions standing in California a couple of years ago,” Gonzalez said. “People bought mares in Kentucky or had mares back there that they purposefully brought to California to breed to some of these new horses. So what you’re seeing is the result of a couple of stallions who drew these mares here and now you’re seeing a little bit better yearling crop. So I am hopeful that, if those breeders are rewarded with these yearlings, then they will continue to bring their good mares here. Because almost every farm I know out here has a string of mares that resides in Kentucky as well as here. And they swap them back and forth to make these Kentucky-sired Cal-breds. But if nobody gets paid for them–I don’t want to be negative–but they won’t do it again if these don’t sell well. That part of the program has made this catalogue strong and I hope it continues.”
For years, Fairplex was the regular home of the now-defunct Barretts, which held its final auction in Pomona last October. The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association hosted a stop-gap sale on the grounds in January and Gonzalez said he was happy to be back.
“There is not a better sales barns in the country than this venue,” he said. “I love being here. These barns are amazing. The horses show great here. There is plenty of room to see everything. For ease on the horses and my crew and the buyers, this a lovely place to be. Of any place that I’ve sold, this facility is the best.”
It has been a quick turnaround for the Checkmate team, which was active throughout the 13-day Keeneland September sale that concluded Sunday in Lexington.
“It’s a little rough on all of us,” Gonzalez said with a chuckle. “We literally had one travel day in between to repack and get to a new sale. My crew all works in Kentucky at those sales and we got here on fumes. But we’re sales prepped, so we are ready for this. As far as the calendar date, we knew what it was going to be, so our horses are ready. It’s just, for us humans, we’re just a little fried at the moment. But a good sale will help ease that pain.”

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Inaugural Fasig-Tipton California Fall Sale Thursday

Tue, 2019-09-24 17:04

The inaugural Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings Sale will be held Thursday at the Fairplex Sales Pavilion in Pomona, with bidding scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. PT. The one-day auction features a catalogue of 285 yearlings, with 25 withdrawn as of Tuesday afternoon.

Fasig-Tipton will be hosting its second California auction, following its inaugural Santa Anita 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale in June. The sales company took over from the now-defunct Barretts this year and, as showing at the sales barns began Tuesday in Pomona, consignors are hoping to see plenty of out-of-town shoppers.

“Fasig-Tipton brings a bigger group of people, so I think that’s exciting,” said Kim McCarthy, whose McCarthy Bloodstock will send 31 yearlings through the sales ring Thursday. “We have a few more pinhookers coming out from Florida and Kentucky, so hopefully we’ll have some fun.”

Fairplex, the longtime home of Barretts sales, hosted its final Thoroughbred auction with the company’s Fall Sale last October. It has been used sparingly as a sales pavilion since Barretts moved its 2-year-olds in training sales to Del Mar and Fasig-Tipton opened its California training sale at Santa Anita.

“This was what it was built for–this is a sales pavilion,” McCarthy said of the venue. “They built it to do exactly what we’re doing. It’s a shame it doesn’t get used more often.”

With the closure of Barretts and uncertainties in the California racing circuit, McCarthy agreed the success of the sale was vital to the state’s breeding industry.

“It’s huge,” she said of the auction’s importance. “We are down to one yearling and one 2-year-olds in training sale, so we need these to go well and that will keep all the breeders going. I think we are all kind of holding our breath and hoping it all goes well.”

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Post Times Set for 2019 BC World Championships

Tue, 2019-09-24 15:42

Post times for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, which will be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, were announced Tuesday.

The official race order and wagering menu for both days of the Championships will be announced Wednesday, Oct. 23. The 36th Breeders’ Cup begins Friday, Nov. 1 with Future Stars Friday, featuring all five Breeders’ Cup World Championships races for 2-year-olds, which comprises half of the 10-race program. There will be four undercard races preceding the first Breeders’ Cup race, with first race post time at 10:45 a.m. PT. Friday’s first Breeders’ Cup race will be Race #5, which will have a post time of 1:12 p.m. PT. The $2-million GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be the ninth race on the card, with a post time of 4:03 p.m. PT. Post time for the 10th and final race will be 4:43 p.m. PT.

There will be 12 races on the Saturday, Nov. 2 program, featuring nine Breeders’ Cup World Championships races. The day begins with three undercard races with a first race post time of 10:07 a.m. PT. The first Breeders’ Cup race will be Race #4, which will have a post time of 11:55 a.m. PT. Post time for the $6-million GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, Race #12, will be 5:44 p.m. PT.

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Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation Awards $80,000 in Grants

Tue, 2019-09-24 14:57

The Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF) has awarded nearly $80,000 in grants to nine organizations.

In 2019, $15,000 was awarded to Wilson College; $14,285 to New Bolton Center; $10,000 to Equine Advocates; $6,000 to Cornell University; and $5,000 to Retired Racehorse Project to fund scholarships and education. In addition, TERF granted $10,000 to Belmont Child Care Association; $10,000 to Maryland Horse Industry Foundation; and $3,000 to Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show. The funds will support these organizations’ general operating budgets. Lastly, $5,000 was awarded to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation to support their research efforts.

TERF’s grants reflect the values set forth by founders Herb and Ellen Moelis during TERF’s 2013 inception. TERF’s current Board includes co-Chairs Kathleen Anderson, DVM, and James Orsini, DVM, Margaret H. Duprey, Gretchen and Roy Jackson, Ellen and Herb Moelis, Wendy Moon, Anita Motion, Toni Orsini, Scott Palmer, Josh Pons and Lucy Zungailia.

Contributions to TERF’s financial capacity have been aided by Roy and Gretchen Jackson of Lael Stables, who recently announced a donation of 5% of their 2019 winnings to TERF.

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September Market Strains to Maintain Boom

Tue, 2019-09-24 14:16

Hats off to you, Mr. Genaro Garcia–and the very best of luck with your filly. For yours is the signature on the last of 2,855 sale dockets processed through 13 sessions of the Keeneland September Sale. A daughter of Haynesfield, out of a War Front mare; fourth dam won the GI Flower Bowl S. back in 1990. And the beauty of this business is that she retains every right, at $1,300, to overcome all the vagaries of fortune that may no less afflict the $8.2 million daughter of American Pharoah and Leslie’s Lady who had the previous week become the most expensive filly ever sold at this auction.

Between the pair, admittedly, the odds of pedigree and conformation will not favor Hip 4642. But the fact is that neither has ever had a saddle on her back, and it now boils down to how destiny chooses to reward the faith and perseverance required for both transactions. For Mandy Pope, in making her only purchase of the fortnight, it was a case of holding out to thwart Sheikh Mohammed himself for the sale-topper. For Mr. Genaro, it was about being literally the last man standing. Ten of the last 11 yearlings in the catalogue had been scratched, but the Haynesfield filly kept her appointment; the hard-working Four Star Sales team secured their 118th sale; and that worn gavel came down one last time.

The commercial abyss dividing these two fillies reflects the unique nature of Keeneland September. It’s not so much a market as the market. The frenzied closing session of Book 1 was off the charts, the $8.2-million filly being one of eight to make seven figures on the day. But while the top end of the bloodstock market has been wild for a while now, on both sides of the Atlantic, it was only when the Amish and others had completed their shopping on Sunday that we could get the full picture.

The three Fasig-Tipton summer yearling sales–July in Lexington, plus the Select and New York auctions in Saratoga–between them cover plenty of ground, and have duly become a pretty good signpost to September. Last year, Fasig’s summer business had anticipated huge KEESEP numbers by tipping $100 million for the first time, up from $75 million just two years previously. Sure enough, Keeneland went through the roof, its $377-million turnover comparing with $308 million in 2017 and $273 million in 2016.

This time around, understandably enough, the Fasig summer subsided 10.6% by gross; and 8% by average. The volume of trade had been very similar (69.9% of 523 hips finding a new home, compared with 70.7% of 538 the previous year) so it looked as though the big spenders at the top end, still rolling in the cash glut of post-recession fiscal policy, might just have begun to go too hard to drag the rest of the market into their slipstream.

In the event, however, Keeneland shed just 4.5% of its monster 2018 market as turnover dipped to $360 million. With the RNA rate virtually unchanged, around 24%, the average eased to $126,096 from $129,335.


US SUMMER & SEPTEMBER YEARLING MARKET PERFORMANCE 2012-19 FASIG-TIPTON JULY,   SARATOGA & NY                         KEENELAND SEPT                        TOTAL            sold      aggregate     average            sold      aggregate     average            sold      aggregate     average 2019 523 90,368,000 172,778 2,855 360,004,700 126,096 3,378 450,372,700 133,325 2018 538 101,048,500 187,822 2,916 377,140,400 129,335 3,454 478,188,900 138,445 2017 510 85,316,000 167,286 2,555 307,845,000 120,487 3,065 393,161,000 128,274 2016 516 74,998,500 145,346 2,792 272,890,500 97,740 3,308 347,889,000 105,166 2015 532 81,636,500 153,452 2,745 281,496,100 102,549 3,277 363,132,600 110,812 2014 452 62,636,000 138,575 2,819 279,960,000 99,312 3,271 342,596,000 104,737 2013 467 60,711,000 130,002 2,744 280,491,300 102,220 3,211 341,202,300 106,260 2012 434 55,996,000 129,023 2,516 219,723,000 87,330 2,950 275,719,000 93,464


In sum, a $450-million North American yearling market so far this year has lost $27,816,200 in value, or 5.8%. It has still maintained a giddy advance on the post-recession consolidation of 2013 to 2016, when it was worth between $341 million and $363 million.

All bull runs contain the seeds of their own destruction, of course, and it’s worth noting that the KEESEP median slipped from $50,000 to $45,000. A lot of people sieving this catalogue need to recycle the value they find there, for instance as pinhookers at the 2-year-old sales. And there’s little question that the elite sector of the bloodstock market is pretty faithfully reflecting the way a decade of recovery has principally reinforced great wealth.

But the biggest single impetus to the past two Septembers has not, of course, been a domestic investor. Even in a market like this one, the return of Sheikh Mohammed in person–having for many years previously left his investment here to his representatives–has made an enormous impact. In 2016, his former bloodstock manager John Ferguson gave $2,245,000 for five hips; in 2017, his Godolphin team ranked third on the ledger with $8,065,000 for 17 hips. With the boss back in town, to see the horseflesh and call the bidding, Godolphin has acquired 33 yearlings over the past two Septembers for a total of $35,290,000.

And that’s without an $8-million underbid! It took the Sheikh that long to figure out that Mandy Pope was going to stop at nothing for the half-sister to Into Mischief, Beholder and Mendelssohn. As it was, he had to settle for the sale’s four most expensive colts.

Once again, moreover, his brother Sheikh Hamdan came through as its second-highest investor. This time around, between them, their Godolphin and Shadwell operations gave $27,070,000 for 28 hips. Nobody in this industry should ever, for one thoughtless moment, take for granted the global benefits arising from the Maktoums’ love for the Thoroughbred. Their investment has been unprecedented not only in its scale but also in its commitment.

That the American market also owes much to the broader echelon of the big spenders is evident from the steady increase in the portion of KEESEP turnover claimed by a) seven-figure hips and b) the top ten investors each year.


TOP OF THE KEENELAND SEPTEMBER MARKET 2013-19   $1 MILLION-PLUS HIPS                     TOP 10 BUYERS      aggregate            hips % of gross      aggregate            hips % of gross 2019 40,900,000 22 11.4 79,330,000 130 22 2018 36,525,000 27 9.7 86,820,000 166 23 2017 19,950,000 13 6.5 66,950,000 162 21.8 2016 13,900,000 9 5.1 53,386,000 152 19.6 2015 14,525,000 11 5.2 43,340,000 147 16.1 2014 18,300,000 13 6.5 51,180,000 130 18.3 2013 25,250,000 18 9 50,974,000 146 18.2


Leslie’s Lady rather distorts the first group this time around, with 22 sales representing 11.4% of the gross after 27 accounted for 9.7% last year. But both plainly represent a bigger slice of the pie than before.

The top 10 buyers at each sale, similarly, are consistently hitting above the level of four or five years ago. Though they came away with just 130 animals this time, compared with 166 last year, they still accounted for 22% of the gross (similar to 2018, but until recently that share was consistently in the teens).

Their tastes remain predictable, and they reliably left to pinhookers the challenge of finding physicals likely to punch above their sires’ weight. Of the 86 hips to make over $600,000, 75 were by stallions that now stand (or, in a couple of cases, did so previously) at six-figure fees. Exceptional kudos, therefore, goes to Union Rags for producing no fewer than five of the remaining 11 at a 2017 conception fee of $50,000.

Nine of those realizing more than $600,000 resulted from a book of 235 that made Into Mischief the busiest sire in the land in 2017, at a new fee of $75,000. That, of course, was 10 times the going rate just five years previously, and he has since continued soaring to $175,000. Curiously, he still has a solitary seven-figure yearling to his name, having another near-miss with a $950,000 colt here.

His half-sister helped American Pharoah to overtake Into Mischief as the sale’s leading sire by gross (55 sold for $24,044,000, against 68 for $23,438,000) but the conservative books of War Front again permitted 14 of his collectors’ items to top the averages at $579,643. (Leaving aside, that is, the tiny sample for Dubawi {Ire}.)

His tryst with Leslie’s Lady also helped American Pharoah into the top five by average, at $437,164, though also rather stretched out the gap to a median of $240,000. His debut here last year brought him 47 sales at $416,702, with a median of $320,000.

He’s had plenty of early action on the track, of course, though some of his peers deserve a lot more patience. If there’s anything as ridiculous as the stampede for unproven new stallions, it’s the impatience the market then shows in demanding proof of their merits. Very often they aren’t even permitted time to get horses on the track before the market runs away screaming.

But I can’t alter the fact that the result is a significant sector within the overall marketplace. In grudging complicity, then, let’s take a look at how the latest group of rookies fared at their first September Sale.


FIRST-SEASON SIRES AT KEENELAND SEPTEMBER min four sold and $50,000 gross       2017 fee            ring            sold         % sold              gross    average Nyquist 40,000 38 24 63.2 6,033,000 251,375 Runhappy 25,000 47 39 83 9,472,000 242,872 Frosted 50,000 61 44 72.1 10,025,000 227,841 Tamarkuz 12,500 8 8 100 903,000 112,875 Outwork 15,000 33 23 69.7 2,365,000 102,826 California Chrome 40,000 48 27 56.3 2,685,000 99,444 Air Force Blue 25,000 47 28 59.6 2,572,000 91,857 Exaggerator 30,000 63 38 60.3 3,369,000 88,658 Not This Time 15,000 54 37 68.5 2,999,200 81,059 Hit It A Bomb 7,000 5 4 80 282,000 70,500 Upstart 10,000 49 32 65.3 1,874,500 58,578 Speightster 10,000 46 33 71.7 1,851,000 56,091 Brody’s Cause 12,500 20 14 70 687,500 49,107 Anchor Down 10,000 17 15 88.2 709,000 47,267 Flintshire 20,000 30 27 90 996,000 36,889 Vancouver 15,000 30 19 63.3 667,700 35,142 Tourist 12,500 28 20 71.4 673,500 33,675 Mshawish 20,000 27 20 74.1 658,700 32,935 Firing Line 5,000 14 13 92.9 275,000 21,154 Texas Red 7,500 6 5 83.3 64,500 12,900 Big Blue Kitten 15,000 23 22 95.6 75,400 3,427


Putting aside as an outlier the first Triple Crown winner since the 1970s, the best average among other new sires last September was the work of Honor Code at $228,095. That mark was comfortably passed by both Nyquist and Runhappy, and essentially matched by Frosted. Runhappy did especially well in processing his stock, 39 of 47 finding a new home, and for a $25,000 cover, hit the ball out of the ground with a $700,000 colt (Hip 551).

From a smaller sample, however, the star turn was Tamarkuz. He housed all eight of his hips, and five of them made six figures. An average of $112,875 stacks up impressively against a $12,500 conception fee, never mind against his revised tag of $10,000. Here’s a horse who beat two future Breeders’ Cup Classic winners in the Dirt Mile, while his half-brother has become a Group 1 winner at Royal Ascot since these yearlings were born. Yet they result from a debut book of just 38 mares.

Others plainly need to look to their laurels, though it’s always worth looking past the bald numbers. Exaggerator, for instance, achieved only an ordinary clearance rate in selling 38 of 63 into the ring. But if you add his RNAs, the average of his “last bids” actually falls pretty close to his $88,658 average, at $84,810. In other words, his unsold stock was not being allowed to go cheaply. Similar testing of Mshawish show that his RNA average, extremely unusually, actually exceeded that of his sales. So while his numbers may look disappointing, he has already had a businesslike fee cut–and it’s good to know that sensible people are prepared to hang onto his stock long enough to let them show what they can do with a saddle on their backs.

Not that the RNA would always be a reliable instrument to avoid “rewarding” sires, when ranked by average sales, for failing to shift their weakest stock. Either way, it’s easy to identify one or two huge talents who are going to pay with their fees. But they retain every right to turn things around once their stock get onto the track.

The trouble is that $360 million, changing hands in 13 sessions, will always mess with people’s heads and skew their priorities. Scrolling down the list of averages, it’s hard to stifle an impotent rage at the idiotic haste with which stallions are discarded. But I guess that gives us all a chance. Right down to a $1,300 Haynesfield filly.

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IRB Averts Showdown by Granting Arlington 2020 Race Dates

Tue, 2019-09-24 13:59

The Illinois Racing Board (IRB) on Tuesday averted a showdown on 2020 race dates by unanimously voting in a statewide schedule that includes a 68-date, Apr. 27-Sep. 30 Thoroughbred season at Arlington International Racecourse.

But the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (ITHA) expressed consternation and befuddlement over the decision, because too many unanswered questions about the future of Arlington’s racing are still up in the air.

The entire Illinois racing community had been in crisis mode for the past week over whether or not Arlington—the showcase venue on the two-track Chicago circuit—would race in 2020.

Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), which owns Arlington, stunned Illinois horsemen last month by intentionally missing a deadline to apply for recently legalized racino licensure that would have bolstered purses at the track.

The decision took on an added layer of controversy because CDI has an ownership stake in a nearby competing casino and has stated an intent to open another near Chicago. This alleged conflict has fueled accusations that the corporation used the horsemen’s support to get gaming legislation passed, but is now abandoning the idea of operating a racino at Arlington over concerns that gaming there will hurt the bottom line at its existing and proposed casinos.

At a Sept. 17 race dates hearing, the IRB verbally grilled CDI executives over the corporation’s apparent lack of commitment to Thoroughbred racing at Arlington, postponed its vote on 2020 dates, and gave CDI a mandate to come back before the board in a week’s time to demonstrate some form of long-term dedication to racing in Illinois.

(By contrast, Hawthorne Race Course and Fairmount Park, the state’s two other Thoroughbred tracks, are both swiftly moving ahead with the licensing and construction phases of their purse-boosting racinos, which were made possible by the June passage of the Illinois Gaming Act.)

At Tuesday’s hearing, CDI executives once again faced difficult big-picture questions from commissioners about the corporation’s long-term intentions for Arlington. Largely though, the CDI executives who spoke under oath did not budge from a publicly stated stance against applying for racino licensure.

So after listening to more than an hour’s worth of testimony, the IRB’s vote to go ahead and grant Arlington 2020 dates primarily came down to a consensus among board members that not having any racing at Arlington next year would likely inflict more harm than good on the racing circuit and the state.

Thus, the IRB ended up not disallowing Arlington’s race dates, as it implicitly threatened to do last week.

Nor did the board include any type of forward-thinking stipulations or requirements that pertained to Arlington’s future when the motion for race dates came to the floor for a vote.

“If you look at this as a soap opera, we had left in the last episode with the racing board telling Arlington that they had a week to come back and demonstrate a dedication to racing, and preferably a commitment to applying for the gaming license,” David McCaffrey, the ITHA’s executive director, told TDN via phone after the meeting. “But the very first thing [CDI] said is ‘We are not going to apply for the gaming license.’ That was a down moment for us, because we thought that they were going to be pressed hard on that issue.”

Another factor that contributed to commissioners voting to give Arlington the go-ahead to race in 2020 was that CDI and several commissioners stated a belief that the gaming-enhanced era of Illinois racing won’t truly start until 2021 (because the racinos have to get up and running) and that the IRB’s decision on the race dates applications on Tuesday only applied to 2020.

“It is very important to keep in mind that, realistically, the first gaming license has not been issued,” said IRB chairman Jeffrey Brincat prior to voting on the 2020 dates motion. “The first shovelful of dirt has not been turned, nor has the first wager been dropped and executed.”

But the ITHA’s McCaffrey strongly disagreed with that line of reasoning. He pointed out that both Hawthorne and Fairmount expect to be bolstering purses with gaming revenues by the fourth quarter of 2020, and the IRB’s voting on 2020 race dates should reflect that expectation.

“It’s a stunningly superficial understanding of the sport to say something like that because breeders, owners and horsemen make their plans based on what the future looks like,” McCaffrey said. “If Arlington had committed to a gaming license like Hawthorne had, it would have had a gigantic 2020 effect on recruiting, people going out to buy horses, and future breeding plans.”

IRB commissioner Thomas McCauley, who on Sept. 17 had chastised CDI for lacking “any regard for social responsibility whatsoever” preceded his affirmative vote on race dates by explaining that he now believed that the multi-year agreement that has been in place between Arlington and Hawthorne to maintain a shared racing circuit “ought to be given a lot of weight, at least for 2020,” he said.

“At this point, there would be so much disruption with respect to [horse] workers’ lives if this schedule materially changed that I’m going to vote yes,” McCauley added.

Bradley Blackwell, CDI’s senior vice president and general counsel, fielded the bulk of questioning from IRB commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting. Although he affirmed statements that CDI made in a press release last week about being committed to racing at Arlington in 2020 and 2021, Blackwell often relied on corporate-speak responses (“we can only speak to what we’ve said publicly, and about our commitment to find a solution here”) when commissioners pressed him on issues related to CDI’s intentions and future strategies for Arlington.

At one point under questioning from McCauley—who eventually began to show hints of frustration when his direct queries were sidestepped—Blackwell wouldn’t even agree to the broad statement that higher purses are generally in the best interest of Illinois racing.

“I can’t go into detail what’s in the best interest of Illinois racing…” Blackwell started to reply.

But his testimony was immediately drowned out by a chorus of objections from horsemen at the heavily attended meeting, prompting Brincat to threaten the horsemen with removal if they interrupted a speaker again.

“It was the most obnoxious comment I’ve ever heard,” the ITHA’s McCaffrey said of Blackwell’s take on the importance of purses. “And what does the chairman of the racing board do? He admonishes us for being out of line.”

Prior to voting, IRB commissioners lobbed several ideas at CDI officials that they suggested might demonstrate a commitment to racing. One idea—previously advocated by the ITHA—involved CDI giving back the “recapture” money that it has been legally allowed to reclaim from the purse account. For 2020, the estimated figure is about $4.5 million.

That suggestion did not strike CDI executives as financially appealing, and they would not commit to doing so.

Another IRB commissioner suggested even something as seemingly innocuous as CDI restoring Hawthorne’s former Illinois Derby to the “Road to the GI Kentucky Derby” schedule to bring a bit of national attention to the state. But that idea too was politely rebuffed by CDI officials.

“When push came to shove today, [CDI] was basically asked how they would demonstrate commitment to all of these options,” McCaffrey said. “Gaming license? Recapture? Illinois Derby? And they said, ‘Nope, nope, nope.’ Then the racing board granted them the license anyway. I can’t explain it. My hands are figuratively in the air wondering what [the one-week voting delay] was all about.”

Hawthorne was awarded a 37-date autumn race meet (its traditional spring meet is on a one-year hiatus to allow for racino construction). Fairmount Park, 300 miles downstate, will race 60 dates in 2020.

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Santa Anita Announces Veterinary Team As It Prepares to Reopen

Mon, 2019-09-23 16:55

Santa Anita, preparing to reopen for racing Friday on the heels of a highly-publicized spate of breakdowns during its winter/spring meet, will be served by a veterinary team of seven individuals under the auspices of Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for The Stronach Group, the track announced Monday. The team, which also includes Santa Anita’s primary Track Veterinarian, Dr. Dana Stead, will oversee every aspect of Santa Anita’s training and racing operation.

Dr. Benson’s team will be reviewing all horses that have given 48-hour notice to work out, on either the one-mile main track or six-furlong training track, as well as reviewing all horses that are entered to run in races. In addition to reviewing past performance, workout patterns and veterinary records, the team will continue to observe horses as they go to and exit both the main track and training track each morning, as well as observe horses as they go through their daily routines, be it jogging, galloping or breezing.

All horses that are entered to run will physically inspected at their respective barns and selected horses will be inspected as a part of the 48-hour workout review process.

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Separationofpowers To Sell at Fasig-Tipton November

Mon, 2019-09-23 14:35

Multiple Grade I winner Separationofpowers (Candy Ride {Arg}) will be offered at Fasig-Tipton November’s Night of the Stars Nov. 4, consigned by Elite Sales. Campaigned throughout her career by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and trainer Chad Brown, the ‘TDN Rising Star’ won the GI Frizette S. as a juvenile in 2017 and the GI Longines Test S. last summer at three. Originally bought for $190,000 at Keeneland November, the bay added the GIII Bed O’ Roses Invitational S. earlier this year and sports a record of 10/4-0-2 with $964,000 in earnings.

“The Frizette and Test are the premier races for 2-year-old and 3-year-old fillies going one turn in New York. To win both puts her in a rare group, becoming just the fifth horse to do so, joining champions Indian Blessing and Numbered Account along with elite fillies Society Selection and You,” said Elite Sales’ Bradley Weisbord.

Separationofpowers, one of the first horses to race solely under Klaravich’s banner after years of partnership with Bill Lawrence, debuted at Saratoga in July of 2017 with a dominant 11 3/4-length victory. She then upended eventual champion Caledonia Road (Quality Road) in the Frizette and outgamed future GISW Mia Mischief (Into Mischief) in the Test.

“Separationofpowers’s debut victory in Saratoga was the most impressive performance of any first-time starter I have ever trained,” said trainer Chad Brown. “She is a brilliantly fast horse with a ton of class and natural ability.”

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Interactive Horse Art Show to Benefit New Vocations

Mon, 2019-09-23 13:54

New York Capital Region native and fine art equine photographer Tracey Buyce is hosting an interactive horse art show in Ballston Spa, allowing the public to meet the beautiful horses starring in her pieces, and a portion of the proceeds will be gifted to the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, the nation’s largest horse adoption program which has rehomed over 6,000 horses. The interactive evening features Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, and American Quarter horses alongside the photographs they appear in. The show is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Trilogy Equestrian Center, located at 161 White Road, Ballston Spa, NY. Space is limited. Reserve your spot here.

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