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Updated: 58 min 12 sec ago

Battle of Midway Euthanized

Sat, 2019-02-23 12:33

TDN Rising Star‘ Battle of Midway (Smart Strike–Rigoletta, by Concerto), the 2017 GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile hero, broke down during a breeze at Santa Anita Saturday morning, shattering his right hind pastern. Blood-Horse was first to publicize the news, with co-owner Don Alberto Stable’s racing manager Fernando Diaz-Valdes initially indicating to the publication that the outlook was bleak before later reporting that the 5-year-old had been euthanized.

“He gave us so much, and it’s such a terrible loss. We are devastated,” Diaz-Valdes said when reached by TDN to confirm the reports. “We were so excited about him. He was coming into peak form and we were excited for the future of this year–the Breeders’ Cup, [G1] Dubai World Cup, you name it. We tried our best to save him, but the vet said there was nothing we could do. We had do what was best for the horse.”

Bred in Kentucky by Erik and Pavla Nygaard’s Thor-Bred Stables LLC, the $410,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling was runner-up in the 2017 GI Santa Anita Derby and a longshot third behind Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) in that year’s GI Kentucky Derby. After earning a first graded success in the GIII Affirmed S., he added an open-lengths tally in the Shared Belief S. and belied odds of 14-1 to upset Sharp Azteca (Freud) in the Dirt Mile at Del Mar.

Returned to the barn of Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer after getting just five of 60 mares in foal at his co-owners’ WinStar Farm, Battle of Midway won three of his five appearances, including the GIII Native Diver S. in November and a gritty defeat of fellow ‘Rising Star’ McKinzie (Street Sense) in a sloppy renewal of the GII San Pasqual S. Feb. 2. He had since been green-lighted for a run in the G1 Dubai World Cup Mar. 30.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, Breeders’ Cup mourned the loss of Battle of Midway, saying: “Battle of Midway was a gifted and extremely accomplished racehorse. We extend our deepest sympathies to Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and all those who took care of Battle of Midway during his brilliant racing career.”

FOY Contenders Breeze

Fri, 2019-02-22 17:20

Recent allowance winner Bourbon War (Tapit) breezed an easy half-mile in :48.68 (15/43) Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a start in the GII Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth March 2 (video).

“It went great, just what I was looking for,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “He’s doing very well. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

A debut winner Nov. 14 at Aqueduct, Bourbon War was fourth in the GII Remsen S. a month later and captured a Gulfstream allowance Jan. 18.

Also on the worktab Friday was FOY contender and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Hidden Scroll (Hard Spun). The Bill Mott pupil worked five panels in 1:00/40 at Payson Park in company with stablemate Tacitus (Tapit) (video).

Frosted Grace (Mark Valeski) prepped for his first graded try in the FOY with a half-mile work in :49.30 (24/43). He was last seen finishing fifth in the GII Swale S. Feb. 2.

 

$11M Annual Purse Boost Awaits WV Gov.’s Signature

Fri, 2019-02-22 17:11

A bill that would restore $11 million in annual purse funds to the West Virginia racing industry cleared the House of Delegates on Friday by an 86-10 margin and now goes to Governor Jim Justice for his approval or veto.

According to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, that money has traditionally been generated by gaming at the state’s two Thoroughbred and two greyhound racinos and gets deposited into the state’s “excess lottery fund.”

But starting in 2006, instead of allowing that money to pay for purses, the state redirected the excess lottery fund to pay off debt that was left over after West Virginia privatized its workers’ compensation program.

The News and Sentinel reported that the Workers’ Compensation Old Fund initially had a debt of $3 billion, and over the last 14 years, the West Virginia racing industry contributed $154 million toward paying off that debt.

Other state programs not related to racing also had funds redirected in similar fashion. But now that the debt burden is in better shape, lawmakers are starting to shift some funding back to originally intended recipients.

SB 13 would accomplish that by changing an existing law about the excess lottery fund to include a section that reads “For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, and subsequent fiscal years, the [state racing] commission shall deposit $11 million to be distributed into the special funds established by the respective licensees [and] such distribution shall be on a pro rata basis based upon the actual purse earnings of each such licensee.”

SB 13 passed the Senate 34-0 on Feb 12.

Friday’s passage in the House was preceded by a Thursday debate about whether the money could be better applied to some other sector, like public education. An amendment to instead distribute the $11 million annually to all 55 county boards of education failed, 19-78.

Delegate John Doyle pointed out on Thursday that when the purse funds were initially taken away in 2006, “the racing industry was fairly healthy, so not too many people complained too hard about it.” But, he added, “they were given the absolute assurance that once workers’ comp was paid off, the money would go back to where the legislature intended.”

Delegate Randy Swartzmiller also spoke out in favor of restoring the money to the state’s four tracks to pay for purses, the News and Sentinel reported. “By giving them back what we took, who wants to oppose that? We gave it back to everyone else, but we’re not going to give it back to them because they don’t deserve it? Because they’re way down there on somebody’s list? You want to know something? They’re way up here on my list.”

The purse money would be divided among Thoroughbred tracks Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Park, plus two greyhound tracks, Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island.

 

Preakness Berth on the Line in Inaugural Oaklawn Invitational

Fri, 2019-02-22 16:48

A free berth to the GI Preakness S. and the winner’s share of $300,000 is on the line for the inaugural running of the Oaklawn Invitational to be held May 4 at Oaklawn Park.

“We’re very happy to partner with Oaklawn Park on this unique initiative,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “We believe this provides racing fans across the world an opportunity to see a promising, and possibly late-developing, young horse run against the winner of the Kentucky Derby and other top horses exiting the Derby.”

The Oaklawn Invitational, which is restricted to 3-year-olds, will be held at 1 1/8 miles two weeks prior to the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, which will be held this year May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

“Our hope from the beginning was that the Oaklawn Invitational would serve as a prep for the Preakness or Belmont Stakes, so we are excited by this announcement from the Maryland Jockey Club,” said Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith. “As a result, we are happy to announce we have raised the purse of the race from $250,000 to $300,000. We are thankful the Maryland Jockey Club recognizes our race’s potential. The Arkansas Derby has had a long, successful history of producing Preakness winners from Elocutionist to Oxbow.”

 

Hard Spun-Zaftig Colt Much the Best at Tampa

Fri, 2019-02-22 14:53

2nd-Tampa Bay Downs, $20,000, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 2-22, 3yo, 1m 40y, 1:40.25, ft.
SPINOFF (c, 3, Hard Spun–Zaftig {GISW, $408,700}, by Gone West), a debut winner as the 3-1 favorite in his Gulfstream debut last June, was last seen completing the trifecta behind Call Paul (Friesan Fire) in the 6 1/2-furlong GII Saratoga Special S. Aug. 12. Working bullets for this first spin around two turns off the layoff, the 3-5 favorite vied for command from the inside through an opening quarter in :22.68. He briefly backed off and was guided to the outside to take another crack at the pacesetter through a half in :45.88. The chestnut hit the front as John Velazquez took a peek or two under his shoulder nearing the quarter pole, and he took off impressively from there after a couple of reminders in the stretch to win by 11 3/4 lengths over Cave Run (Street Sense) in a very sharp final clocking. Zaftig, a runaway winner over two-time champion Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie) in the 2008 GI Acorn S. with a gaudy 113 Beyer Speed Figure, brought $1.4 million from Wertheimer et Frere at the 2011 FTKNOV Sale. Spinoff is a half-brother to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Rugbyman (Tapit), SP, $134,940. Zaftig is also represented by the 2-year-old filly Lasy W (War Front). She was bred to Tapit for the 2019 season. Spinoff’s second dam is GISW Zoftig (Cozzene), who produced GISW Zo Impressive (Hard Spun), the dam of GSW ‘TDN Rising Star’ Souper Tapit (Tapit). Lifetime Record: GSP, 3-2-0-1, $60,000. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O/B-Wertheimer Et Frere (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

XBTV Unveils Triple Crown Trail Portal

Fri, 2019-02-22 11:29

Video of the top Triple Crown race contenders will be available for the first time on XBTV’s Triple Crown Trail, a portal on the XBTV website (www.xbtv.com) designed specifically with Classic-bound 3-year-olds in mind. The portal will contain exclusive workout videos, interviews and handicapping insights.

Included will be workout videos from horses California, New York, Florida and more, trainers and jockey interviews and features, an interactive Kentucky Derby Points list, updated weekly and replays of prep races.

The Triple Crown Trail will also include analyst Jeff Siegel’s Triple Crown Daily and his weekly Top 10.

“As an owner, I’ve had the good fortune to win the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, so I can vouch that the journey on the road to the Triple Crown, with all of its highs and lows, is just as exhilarating as the three-race American Classic series itself,” said Siegel. “As a journalist, I can’t wait to chronicle and analyze all of the key prep races and then the Derby, Preakness and Belmont for XBTV.com. During the next 15 weeks, we’ll cover every race, every workout, and every angle. And we’ll do it every day.”

The horses on Siegel’s ratings and the list of the Kentucky Derby points leaders are linkable to the video files of each horse that is available on XBTV.

The TDN will run a link to the portal with every TDN Derby Top 12 column.

First-Season Sire Verdicts: Alex Elliott

Fri, 2019-02-22 08:55

Continuing our series assessing the chances of the first-season sires with runners in 2019, bloodstock agent Alex Elliott gives us his verdict.

TDN: Who do you think will be leading first-season sire?

AE: I think Glenagles (Ire) is the horse with the racetrack performance, stallion’s pedigree and number of troops on the ground to win the war. We managed to buy a filly out of Sogno Verde (Ire) (Green Desert), making her a half-sister to Lilbourne Lad (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), at Tattersalls October Book 1 for 300,000gns, and the early reports are good. She is in training with Michael Bell.

TDN: Did you see/purchase many by first-season sires at the yearling sales?

AE: I found myself ‘all in’ on Gutaifan (Ire) and ended the year having bought four by the Yeomanstown Stud freshman. One of my favourite yearling purchases of the whole season was the colt out of Bali Breeze (Ire) (Common Grounds {GB}) that we purchased for €105,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale. He is also in training with Michael Bell.

Among the others to take the eye were the Darley duo of Night Of Thunder (Ire) and Brazen Beau (Aus). We didn’t add any Night of Thunders to the team but bought a filly by Brazen Beau at the Goffs UK Premier Sale for 20,000gns on behalf of Ontoawinner. She is with Michael Bell and appears sharp.

TDN: Which stallion do you think will go on to be the best of this intake?

AE: Muhaarar (GB) oozed quality throughout his career and he certainly appears to have passed that onto his offspring, if looks are anything to go by. A tremendously fast son of Oasis Dream (GB), he holds realistic claims at being able to emulate his father’s ability at stud somewhere down the line.

Possible Surface Switch For Egyptian Storm

Thu, 2019-02-21 16:18

Justify (Scat Daddy)’s year-younger half-sister Egyptian Storm (Pioneerof the Nile) made her career bow Wednesday at Tampa Bay Downs with a disappointing fifth on the turf, but connections are still hopeful for her future on the track.

“We thought she would run better,” admitted part-owner Terry Finley. “Sometimes you scratch your head a little bit and turn the page. Mr. Evans, Christophe [Clement] and I will sit down and we will see. She certainly has shown more in the mornings than she showed [Wednesday] at Tampa. We know she can run a little bit.”

Given she is a half-sibling to an undefeated Triple Crown winner, as well as The Lieutenant (Street Sense), who is a Grade III winner on dirt, a switch to the main track could be in the cards for Egyptian Storm.

“She trains at Payson on the dirt and moves very, very well on the turf,” Finley said. “We thought we’d try turf just to get her started. We certainly have dirt in our outlook for her. She has changed in the last four months. She has really grown into a big, beautiful filly. We know from a pedigree standpoint she has been successful, now she has to show it on the racetrack.”

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Horsemen Would Have Say on New Oklahoma Drug Committee

Thu, 2019-02-21 16:15

A bill that passed 42-3 in the Oklahoma Senate Thursday would create a new Medication Advisory Committee whose purpose would be to make recommendations to the state racing commission prior to the adoption of any new rules related to equine medications and drug testing.

If the bill gets signed into law, horsemen would now have a formal say in Oklahoma’s equine drug-related rulemaking process, as SB 633 mandates that two of the new committee’s 13 members be representatives “from each of the recognized horsemen’s representative organizations.”

The other committee members would be: Four members from the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OHRC); one commission veterinarian; one commission steward; three representatives from “currently licensed organization licensees,” and two practicing veterinarians (one selected by Thoroughbred horsemen, the other by non-Thoroughbred horsemen).

Although the bill does not give the new committee any specific power to overrule the commission on any policy, it states that “any rule or change in rule made by the OHRC related to equine medications and drugs or drug testing of a horse prior to or during a race including, but not limited to, threshold levels for therapeutic medications and drugs shall require such rule to be reviewed by the Medication Advisory Committee with a requirement that the Committee recommendations shall be presented to the OHRC during a public meeting of the Commission prior to adoption.”

The law authorizing the new committee, if passed, would take effect Nov. 1, 2019.

 

Lone Star Park Racing Club Seeks Members

Wed, 2019-02-20 17:29

The Lone Star Park Racing Club is accepting members for the 2019 season which runs Apr. 18 through July 21. The minimal investment is $500 and 150 shares will be sold. Membership can be purchased online by clicking here.

In addition to being part owner in a racehorse, membership perks include free admission for club members and a guest for the season, a parking pass, barn tours, e-mail updates and more.

 

CASA to Auction Justify Halter

Wed, 2019-02-20 15:07

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will auction Triple Crown winner Justify’s halter at their annual fundraising event Bourbon and the Bayou. The Mardi-Gras themed event will be held Mar. 1 at the Carrick House in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Individuals interested in the halter or any of the other amazing products we have can bid on the items online without attending the event and from any location. The wonderful part is all of the proceeds from the auction and event go directly to provide advocacy for child abuse and neglect victims right here in our own community,” said Melynda Milburn Jamison, Executive Director of CASA of Lexington.

 

Outstanding Groom & Media Finalists Announced for Sovereign Awards

Wed, 2019-02-20 14:52

Amanda Erwin has been chosen as the 2018 Outstanding Groom Award winner fo the 2018 Sovereign Awards. She has worked for trainer Mike Keogh for over 17 years and rubbed the likes of Canadian champions Wando and Woodcarver.

The finalists have also been decided for the media awards. In the writing category, the top three are Dave Briggs for “Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd: A Hero for Our Times,” Chris Lomon for “Born the Beat the Odds,” and Hayley Morrison for “Hail to the War Horses.” In the digital audio/visual and broadcast category, the finalists are Horse Racing Alberta for “Canadian Derby Homegrown Heroes,” Horse Racing Radio Network for “159th Queen’s Plate,” and Woodbine Entertainment Group for “Ricoh Woodbine Mile.” The top three in the photography category are Santino Di Paola for “Into the turn,” Hayley Morrison for “Kingsport: A Class Act,” and John Watkins for “Show Me the Money.”

 

True Timber to Godolphin Mile

Wed, 2019-02-20 14:25

Calumet Farm’s True Timber (Mineshaft) will be pointed to the G1 Godolphin Mile Mar. 30 at Meydan. Runner-up in the GI Cigar Mile, the bay was last seen finishing seventh in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. last month.

“We are planning to run him in the Godolphin Mile and he’s doing really well,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed. “He’s training great and we will breeze him weekly before we ship in. He’ll be based at Meydan with the rest of the American horses.

He continued, “He came out of the Pegasus in good shape. He’s probably better at a mile and I’m happy to try him back at one there. He’s a very nice horse and other than the Pegasus, he has been running really well. He was very wide the other day and that really hurt his chances.”

Calumet will also be represented by Bravazo (Awesome Again), trained by McLaughlin’s mentor D. Wayne Lukas, in the G1 Dubai World Cup.

 

Railbird Festival Coming to Keeneland

Wed, 2019-02-20 14:05

AC Entertainment will host Railbird Festival at Keeneland Aug. 10-11. Musical acts will be announced at a later date, but will include rock, Americana, folk, bluegrass and mare. Bourbon, craft beer and local food will also be part of the event.

“With all of our festivals, we aspire to create an experience that stands apart from others–that is a true celebration of place, of the richness and uniqueness of a community,” said Ashley Capps, president of AC Entertainment. “That, for us, is at the heart of any truly great festival experience. What a place this is, and what a team to collaborate with. This iconic setting at Keeneland in a city like Lexington, Kentucky, and these visionary leaders who make it all work, from bourbon to horses to bluegrass and everything in between. We couldn’t be more excited for this new venture.”

Railbird will also give back to the community by partnering with local nonprofit organizations Central Music Academy, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Fayette Alliance and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Each nonprofit will receive monetary support from the festival, and will have a presence on-site during the event.

Click here for more information.

Racing Commission Approves New Ky Downs Owners

Tue, 2019-02-19 19:09

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved noted horseman and entrepreneur Ron Winchell and prominent gaming executive Marc Falcone as majority owners of Kentucky Downs.

It was announced in mid-November that Kentucky Racing Acquisition, LLC, a new company co-founded by Winchell and Falcone, had agreed to purchase all the assets of Kentucky Downs from parent company Kentucky Downs Partners, LLC, the investment group that has owned the racetrack since 2007.

The sale of the track and year-round entertainment center to Winchell and Falcone is expected to close around Mar. 1. Ted Nicholson will continue as Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager, a post he has held the past three years during which time both the Historical Horse Racing (HHR) gaming operation and live race meet have experienced record-shattering growth.

“Obviously, we’re excited about what happened [Tuesday],” Winchell said of receiving KHRC approval to purchase Kentucky Downs. “It’s the first step toward closing the transaction. The racing and what’s going on at Kentucky Downs, we’re super excited to be part of it and to go forward.”

“A lot of work to do, but as Ron said, we’re very excited to come to Kentucky, own Kentucky Downs and do great things for Kentucky racing,” Falcone said.

While awaiting approval, the new owners have been working on plans for a major facility expansion.

“I don’t know when we can actually announce something, but we’re working pretty fast on stuff,” Winchell said.

“We needed to get this closed first,” Falcone said. “Now we can really focus on the business.”

Woodbine Stakes Schedule Announced

Tue, 2019-02-19 16:30

Woodbine Entertainment has unveiled its stakes schedule for the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season, highlighted by the prestigious $1-million Queen’s Plate June 29 and the $1-million GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile Sept. 14. Strengthened by the previously announced purse increases for 2019, the $16-million-plus stakes schedule consists of 95 stakes to be contested over the course of the 133-day meet, running from Apr. 20 to Dec. 15.

The GI Natalma S. and companion GI Summer S. will follow a stakes-filled Ricoh Woodbine Mile day Sept. 15. The GI Pattison Canadian International will be contested at the height of the fall stakes season Oct. 12. GI The E.P. Taylor S. is among the usual supporting features that day and will serve as the final leg of Woodbine’s new Ladies of the Lawn Series, which offers $75,000 in bonuses to the top performers based on points accumulated in the designated graded turf routes for fillies and mares. Woodbine’s stakes schedule includes a total of 41 graded stakes.

Click here to view the complete stakes lineup for Woodbine’s 2019 Thoroughbred racing season.

The TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 20

Tue, 2019-02-19 16:03

We’ve had this year’s first significant shift in the GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 rankings, with a new leader bulling his way to the top of the crop. Expect the thawing trend to continue as the stakes action heats up, with eight high-ranked hopefuls expected to start on either the weekend of Mar. 2 or 9.

1) WAR OF WILL (c, War FrontVisions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler’s Wells)
O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo ’18 ARQMAY. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 7-3-1-1, $491,569.
Last Start: 1st, GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 16
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 19
Next Start: Aiming for GII Louisiana Derby, FG, Mar. 23
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on War of Will. KY Derby Points: 10.

When War of Will assertively seized the lead three-eighths out in Saturday’s GII Risen Star S., he wrested control of the entire division, vaulting from No. 4 to the top of the totem pole with a well-honed win that showed off his physical prowess and a zeal for reeling in targets. Until last Saturday, the 2019 Derby prep season had been lacking a significant breakout performance; in fact, five of the dozen horses on this week’s list are still awaiting sophomore debuts. But now that we’re approaching March, sharp current form outweighs accomplishments from last autumn, and this €250,000 ARQMAY War Front colt has burst upon the scene with three straight dirt wins after a wide-on-both-turns fifth (beaten only 3 1/2 lengths) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. In each of those solid dirt victories, War of Will gave the impression that he won with something left in reserve, and even though he needs to be kept to task once he hits the lead, he appears to be learning from each experience. “He’s very professional. He does everything the right way,” jockey Tyler Gaffalione said after Saturday’s 2 1/4-length score. “He gets out of the gate well. He puts himself where he needs to be, and the rest is up to just getting him to relax.” Trainer Mark Casse, not known for hyperbole, said “I’ve been fortunate to train a lot of good horses, and [War of Will] is one of the best. I think he’s a superstar.” The GII Louisiana Derby is probably next. “I like to run, and we don’t really shy away from anybody,” Casse added.

2) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy)
‘TDN Rising Star’. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $110,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 4-4-0-0, $1,496,000.
Last Start: 1st, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile , CD, Nov. 2
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI American Pharoah S., SA, Sept. 29; 1st, GI Del Mar Futurity, DMR, Sept. 3
Next Start: GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 9
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 30.

‘TDN Rising Star’ and defending Eclipse Award champ Game Winner remains on the two-prep path to the Derby that has evolved as the hallmark training regimen for Bob Baffert’s A-list sophomores. Will he fire big off the bench in the Mar. 9 San Felipe S.? Has this large-framed, professionally demeanored colt developed across multiple dimensions since we last saw him roughing up the field in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile? Game Winner uncorked a long, relentless “man against boys” type of drive over the Churchill Downs strip to cement championship honors last November. Although the runner-up in that race, Knicks Go (Paynter), has suffered two stinging defeats since, the third-, fifth-, seventh- and twelfth-place finishers in the Juvenile have all come back to eventually add stakes wins to their résumés. Yet an even longer-term stat could prove the most difficult obstacle for this $110,000 KEESEP Candy Ride (Arg) colt: Only two Juvenile winners from 34 runnings have won the Kentucky Derby (Nyquist and Street Sense).

3) SIGNALMAN (c, General Quarters–Trip South, by Trippi)
O-Tommie M. Lewis, David A. Bernsen, LLC & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek). B-Monticule (KY). T-Kenneth G McPeek. Sales History: $32,000 Ylg ’17 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: GSW & MGISP, 5-2-2-1, $448,990.
Last Start: 1st, GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 24
Accomplishments Include: 3rd, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, CD, Nov. 2; 2nd, GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, KEE, Oct. 6
Next Start: Likely for GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 2
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 18.

Trainer Ken McPeek currently has two horses on the Derby trail that he picked out as yearlings: Signalman, a $32,000 FTKOCT General Quarters colt, has been firmly entrenched near the top of this list since the rankings debuted in December, and Harvey Wallbanger, a $50,000 FTKJUL Congrats colt, gained a berth on the “on the bubble” periphery after his 29-1 GII Holy Bull S. upset Feb. 2. McPeek now has a nice “problem” in terms of keeping the two separated in prep races, but he told TDN last week that Signalman will likely make his 2019 debut in the Mar. 2 GII Fountain of Youth S. while “Harvey” is likely to wait until the Mar. 30 GI Florida Derby. McPeek described Signalman as “a big bull” whose action resembles a “powerful machine,” and that well-channeled aggression was on full display in Signalman’s last start, which featured a long up-the-rail drive against 13 rivals on a sloppy Churchill surface to win the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. The betting public though, believes the two McPeek trainees are close together in ability, as both Signalman and Harvey closed at 28-1 odds last week in Pool 2 of the Derby Future Wager.

4) IMPROBABLE (c, City ZipRare Event, by A.P. Indy)
‘TDN Rising Star’. O-WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. & Starlight Racing. B-St. George Farm LLC & G. Watts Humphrey Jr. (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $110,000 Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $269,520.
Last Start: 1st, GI Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity, LRC, Dec. 8
Accomplishments Include: 1st, Street Sense S., CD, Nov. 2;
Next Start: Possible for GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 16
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Improbable. KY Derby Points: 10.

Will ‘TDN Rising Star’ Improbable start next in the GII Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park on Mar. 16? Although not yet confirmed by trainer Bob Baffert, that’s a logical launching pad for this athletic, light-footed $200,000 KEESEP City Zip colt’s sophomore debut. It’s extremely unlikely that Improbable will square off against stablemate Game Winner at any point on the prep path, and Baffert has shipped to win six of the previous nine Rebels. But he has also saddled the beaten favorite in the last two Rebels, so bettor beware. Improbable was the clear-cut victor in the GI Los Alamitos Futurity last time out, and his company line got boosted recently when runner-up Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) came back to win the GIII Lewis S. at 3-5 odds Feb. 2 and third-place finisher Extra Hope (Shanghai Bobby) scored in a first-level allowance Jan 31. Baffert has now won the last five Los Al Futurities, but only two of those winners—Dortmund (Big Brown) and Mor Spirit (Eskendereya)—went on to start in the Kentucky Derby.

5) DREAM MAKER (c, Tapit–To Dream About, by Monarchos)
‘TDN Rising Star’. O/B-John C. Oxley (KY). T-Mark Casse. Lifetime Record: 4-2-0-0, $72,850.
Last Start: 1st, Allowance/Optional Claiming, FG, Feb. 9.
Next Start: Possible for GII Tampa Bay Derby, TAM, Mar. 9
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.

Dream Maker muscled his way onto the Top 12 with a commanding first-level allowance win at Fair Grounds Feb. 9, but this Tapit-sired John Oxley homebred stamped himself as a potential Derby contender way back on June 7 when he circled the field in a Churchill Downs MSW and won going away to earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ status in his career debut. In the interim, he was fifth (but only beaten 4 3/4 lengths) in the GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga, then lost all chance at the break of the GI Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland when he stumbled and clipped heels as the beaten favorite. Given some time off, Dream Maker bulked up in all the right places, and despite racing three wide on both turns under mild restraint in his 1 1/16 miles return try, he opened up easily under light coaxing, winning by 8 1/2 lengths and galloping out like he wanted more. His stamina-centric pedigree traces to six-time Grade I winner and Eclipse Award winner Beautiful Pleasure, and trainer Mark Casse has indicated that stakes starts in the GII Tampa Bay Derby and GII Blue Grass S. could comprise this colt’s prep path to Louisville.

6) CODE OF HONOR (c, Noble Mission {GB}–Reunited, by Dixie Union)
O/B-W. S. Farish (KY). T-Shug McGaughey. Sales History: $70,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISP, 2-1-1-0, $146,750.
Last Start: 4th, Mucho Macho Man S., GP, Jan. 5
Next Start: GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 2
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 4.

In the week before the Breeders’ Cup, I was certain that Code of Honor was going to be the worthy “wiseguy” upset play in the Juvenile based on his adversity-overcoming second at 14-1 in the GI Champagne S. But this Noble Mission (GB) homebred spiked a temperature and scratched the night before the race, setting off a frustrating two months that have clouded this talented colt’s true potential. Trainer Shug McGuaghey backed him out of a planned start in the GII Remsen S. when he was not satisfied with Code of Honor’s energy level, then when the colt failed to fire as the 4-5 beaten fave in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man S., McGuaghey took part of the blame by saying he hadn’t trained him aggressively enough. Code of Honor has had six published works since—three of them bullets—and this chestnut once again looms as a compelling dark horse betting-wise in what is shaping up to be a very deep Fountain of Youth S. Mar. 2 at Gulfstream Park.

7) HIDDEN SCROLL (c, Hard Spun–Sheba Queen, by Empire Maker)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Juddmonte Farms, Inc. (KY). T-William I. Mott. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,800.
Last Start: 1st, Maiden Special Weight, GP, Jan. 26
Next Start: Possible for GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 2 Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.

Even though we’ve now had a few weeks to digest ‘TDN Rising Star’ Hidden Scroll’s otherworldly career debut on the GI Pegasus World Cup undercard, you will be forgiven if you still don’t know what to make of it. It was a freakishly fast one-turn-mile (based on both raw final time and confirmed by several flavors of speed figures) for a first-timer breaking from the one hole in the slop against a deep-on-paper 13-horse field. Judging by the 8-1 odds that day, few prognosticators saw the 14-length, eased-up win coming. Presumably, some of those same bettors saw fit to hammer this Hard Spun-sired Juddmonte homebred to 7-1 in Pool 2 of the Derby Future wager. Even Juddmonte’s U.S. manager, Garrett O’Rourke, admitted to TDN last week that Hidden Scroll’s futures price is “a little bit crazy given that he’s only run one race.” He added that although it’s not “a 100% commitment,” the coming-up-loaded Fountain of Youth S. could be the colt’s next start.

8) VEKOMA (c, Candy Ride {Arg}Mona de Momma, by Speightstown)
O-R. A. Hill Stable & Gatsas Stables. B-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC (KY). T-George Weaver. Sales History: $135,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $151,250.
Last Start: 1st GIII Nashua S., AQU, Nov. 4
Next Start: Possible for GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 2
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.

This undefeated $135,000 KEESEP Candy Ride (Arg) colt merits respect based on his 2-for-2 juvenile season that culminated with a win in the GIII Nashua S. last November. But like several other unraced-in-2019 horses who lost positions on this week’s list, he has been leapfrogged in the rankings because it’s been nearly four months since we’ve seen what he can do in afternoon action. Vekoma had his head cocked to the grandstand and was on the wrong lead for a bit in that one-turn mile GIII Nashua S. win. And considering he’s a May 22 foal without two-turn experience, he could be in a bit over his head seasoning-wise if he goes in the Fountain of Youth S., which has three horses ahead of him on this week’s Top 12 (Signalman, Code of Honor, Hidden Scroll) considering that spot. Another option could be the GIII Gotham S. Mar. 9, which would be yet another one-turn mile, but with the advantage that Vekoma has already run well over Aqueduct’s main track.

9) INSTAGRAND (c, Into MischiefAssets of War, by Lawyer Ron)
‘TDN Rising Star’. O-OXO Equine LLC. B-Stoneway Farm (KY). T-Jerry Hollendorfer. Sales History: $190,000 Ylg ’17 FTKJUL; $1,200,000 2yo ’18 FTFMAR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $144,000.
Last Start: 1st, GII Best Pal S., DMR, Aug. 11
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 0.

Intrigue has shadowed Instagrand since this $1.2 million FTFMAR co-sales-topping son of Into Mischief was taken out of training by his owner after winning his maiden and the GII Best Pal S. by a combined 20 1/4 lengths. It’s now been six months (and eight published works) since his last start, and no one in this ‘TDN Rising Star’s’ camp has revealed where or when he’ll next surface in the entries. Santa Anita’s stable notes over the weekend mentioned in passing that the San Felipe S. could be a target race, which would set up a “best in the west” showdown between champ Game Winner and this precocious colt, who would have been the likely favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile had he started. Bettors remain bullish about Instagrand’s chances on the first Saturday in May, crunching him to 10-1 in each of the first two Derby Future Wager pools.

10) SUPER STEED (c, Super Saver–Totally Tucker, by Elusive Quality)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Michael Pressley & Steed Jackson. B-Mike Pressley (KY). T-Larry Jones. Lifetime Record: GSW, 5-2-1-0, $364,500.
Last Start: 1st, GIII Southwest S., OP, Feb. 18
Next Start: Possible for GII Rebel S., OP, Mar. 16
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10

Don’t put too much emphasis on Super Steed’s outlandish $126.60 winning mutuel in Monday’s GIII Southwest S. Granted, this Super Saver homebred deserved to be a double-digit price after a blah seventh at 6-1 on opening day at Oaklawn in the Smarty Jones S. But considering he was a well-heralded ‘TDN Rising Star’ facing five of the same foes from that race while stretching out to a distance that better suits his pedigree, wasn’t a tenfold increase in his odds a bit out of whack? When this colt broke his maiden against an allowance field at Churchill Downs Nov. 24, trainer Larry Jones likened him to the talented Southwest S. winner he conditioned in 2009, Old Fashioned. In the post-race interview on Monday, Jones explained away Super Steed’s loss as the fave in the Dec. 22 Sugar Bowl S. by saying the colt wasn’t quite feeling right, and he attributed the Smarty Jones S. defeat to racing against the grain of a “merry go round” speed bias that hampered this come-from-behinder’s true running style. Moving forward, there’s lots of upside here. Just don’t expect 62-1 again in the near future.

11) MUCHO GUSTO (c, Mucho Macho ManItsagiantscauseway, by Giant’s Causeway)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Michael Lund Petersen. B-Teneri Farm Inc. & Bernardo Alvarez Calderon (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $14,000 Ylg ’17 KEEJAN; $95,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $55,000 RNA 2yo ’18 OBSMAR; $625,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 4-3-1-0, $234,000.
Last Start: 1st, GIII Robert B. Lewis S., SA, Feb. 2
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 14.

‘TDN Rising Star’ Mucho Gusto gets lost in the shuffle within Bob Baffert’s deep stable of Derby contenders, but he’s won three of four lifetime starts and his only defeat was to odds-on stablemate Improbable in the Los Al Futurity. This tall, still-growing $625,000 EASMAY two-time stakes winner from the first Mucho Macho Man crop is progressing more rapidly than his sire, who didn’t register his first stakes win until start number seven (eight years ago last week in the Risen Star S.) prior to running third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and competing in all three Triple Crown races. Mucho Gusto’s 4 3/4-length, geared-down win in the slop over only four other rivals in the GIII Lewis S. doesn’t provide many face-value handicapping clues to help judge his true Derby chances, but his connections have indicated that they are pleased with how he’s learning to relax off the pace, making Mucho Gust a work in progress who could turn out to be a sneaky-good sort if he peaks at the right time this spring.

12) MIND CONTROL (c, Stay Thirsty–Feel That Fire, by Lightning N Thunder)
O-Red Oak Stable (Brunetti) & Madaket Stables LLC. B-Red Oak Stable. T-Gregory Sacco. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-3-1-0, $323,400.
Last Start: 1st, Jerome S., AQU, Jan. 1
Next race: GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 9
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 10.

Mind Control remains on target for his next expected assignment, the Mar. 9 Gotham S. With three wins from five starts, the only poor showing in his past performance block is a trip-troubled seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which was also his only two-turn attempt. Because the Gotham is a one-turn mile, it’s unlikely to provide major evidence as to whether this homebred Stay Thirsty colt will be up for the task of ten furlongs on the first Saturday in May. His sire won the 2011 version of the Gotham (run over 1 1/16 miles on the former inner track), and although Stay Thirsty ran twelfth in the Derby, he subsequently finished second in the GI Belmont S., won both the GII Jim Dandy S. and the GI Travers S., and ran third in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup. Mind Control’s dam—also a Red Oak homebred trained by Greg Sacco—was a listed stakes victress who won three times from eight lifetime starts, all at six furlongs. “We’re happy where he is with his training and where he’s at physically,” Sacco said Friday. “The two months [off] is beneficial and we’re coming in with a fresh, strong horse for the Gotham.”

On the bubble (alphabetical order):
Avie’s Flatter (Flatter): Six Palm Meadows works for presumptive Canadian juvenile champ aiming for Tampa Bay Derby.
Bourbon War (Tapit): Possible for the deep Fountain of Youth S. after closing at 31-1 in Derby Future Wager Pool 2.
Country House (Lookin At Lucky): Green but game when closing late behind War of Will in Risen Star S.
Galilean (Uncle Mo): On to a graded stakes start after roughing up state-breds in California Cup Derby.
Global Campaign (Curlin): 2-for-2 half to MGISW Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) could try Tampa Bay Derby next.
Growth Engine (Tapit): Feb. 10 two-turn MSW winner at Gulfstream merits a shot against tougher competition.
Gunmetal Gray (Exchange Rate): Deep-closing SoCal hopeful currently ranked sixth on Derby points leaderboard.
Harvey Wallbanger (Congrats): Last-to-first upset winner of Holy Bull S. likely to aim for GI Florida Derby at nine furlongs.
Knicks Go (Paynter): Dropped out of the Top 12 rankings after no-excuse fifth in GIII Davis S.
Mihos (Cairo Prince): ‘TDN Rising Star’ back breezing at Palm Meadows with possible eye on Florida Derby or GII Wood Memorial.
Nolo Contesto (Pioneerof the Nile): Recent Santa Anita maiden winner awaits a stakes start.
Sueno (Atreides): Only horse gaining on winner when second in Monday’s Southwest S.
Tax (Arch): Prevailed in three-horse Withers S. photo and likely to await 9f Wood Memorial.
Well Defined (With Distinction): Won Tampa’s Davis S. at 7-1 in mild upset to become fourth also-ran out of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to win a subsequent stakes.
Win Win Win (Hat Trick {Jpn}): Likely to stretch out in Tampa Bay Derby off track-record score over seven furlongs in Pasco S.

Feb. 20 Insights: Justify’s Half-Sister Makes Career Bow at Tampa

Tue, 2019-02-19 13:21

8th-TAM, $22K, Msw, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 4:30 p.m.

When West Point Thoroughbreds and Robert Evans went to $230,000 for EGYPTIAN STORM (Pioneerof the Nile) at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, her year-older half-brother Justify (Scat Daddy) had yet to step foot on the racetrack. Fast forward to present day and the bay filly, who makes her career bow at Tampa Wednesday just 367 days after her champion half-brother made his debut, is now the sibling of the reigning Horse of the Year, whose historic six-race campaign culminated in a Triple Crown and a pair of Eclipse Awards. In addition to the mighty Justify, who is breeding his first mares this season at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, the Christophe Clement pupil is also a half to GSW The Lieutenant (Street Sense), who also stands his first season this term at Sequel New York. Gainesway homebred Indigo Gin (Lemon Drop Kid) also makes her debut in this salty maiden. She is out of the Galileo (Ire) mare Lady Bingo (Ire), who is a daughter of GISW Sharp Lisa (Dixieland Band) and a full-sister to Irish Highweight Housesofparliament (Ire) and Group 1 winner Foundry (Ire). Mike Stidham unveils e Five Racing’s $375,000 FTSAUG buy Strange Design (Ghostzapper). Her unraced dam is a daughter of GISW Runup the Colors (A.P. Indy) and a half-sister to MGSW Revolutionary (War Pass). This is also the family of Grade I winners Mineshaft (A.P. Indy), Dickinson (Medaglia d’Oro) and Little Belle (A.P. Indy). Todd Pletcher saddles a first timer from a family he is familiar with in Pep (City Zip). The chestnut is a half-sister to SW & GSP Orbolution (Orb) and their dam is a half to GISW turfer Jack Milton (War Front) and GSW Peace Preserver (War Front), all three of which were trained by Pletcher. TJCIS PPs

Super Saver’s ‘Rising Star’ Super Steed Pulls Off Southwest Shocker

Mon, 2019-02-18 18:42

Michael Pressley and Steed Jackson’s Super Steed (Super Saver), tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ after breaking his maiden in a Churchill Downs optional claimer last November, rebounded from a pair of off-the-board stakes efforts with an emphatic victory as a 62-1 outlier in the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park Monday.

“He’s a nice horse,” said winning trainer Larry Jones. “It’s been a while since [jockey] Terry [Thompson] and I have been in this position. This is wonderful.”

Super Steed settled near the back of the pack as Gray Attempt (Graydar) and Jersey Agenda (Jersey Town) vied for the early lead. Jersey Agenda squeezed Gray Attempt going into the first turn and both speedsters were carried out on the bend before matching strides again once straightened for the backstretch run, but Gray Attempt was rank and fighting jockey Shaun Bridgmohan through a half-mile in :47.63. A host of challengers were lining up turning for home, with Super Steed making eye-catching progress while five wide. He catapulted out of the turn and into the lead in the blink of an eye and pulled away despite drifting in and out down the lane. Sueno (Atreides) came flying late to cut it close at the wire, finishing about a length back, while Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy) rounded out the trifecta.

“Larry said wherever we were, make sure he gets the lead heading into stretch,” said Thompson. “He has a big heart.”

Of his trip aboard the winner, Thompson said, “He ran just a beautiful race. He wasn’t as aggressive. The other day [in the Smarty Jones], he got shuffled back, but he was aggressive. Today everything was in flow. It worked out perfect.”

After his eventful trip into the first turn, Gray Attempt faded to 11th.

“Very unsportsmanlike what they did,” said trainer Jinks Fires. “I don’t mind them outrunning us, making us keep running. But don’t come in and wipe me out.”

Super Steed came up a head short of fellow ‘Rising Star’ Boldor (Munnings) when second in his Oct. 25 debut at Keeneland, but easily bested that foe when they met in the allowance ranks next time out. He overcame a troubled start to score a six-length victory going 6 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy Churchill track Nov. 24. Stepped up to stakes company for his third start, Super Steed came home only fourth, beaten seven lengths by the front-running Gray Attempt, as the even-money favorite in the Dec. 22 Sugar Bowl S. at Fair Grounds. He never threatened over a speed-favoring track when seventh behind Gray Attempt in the one-mile Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn last time out Jan. 25.

“He got sick going into the Fair Grounds race,” Jones said. “It wasn’t serious, but you could tell he didn’t feel well. And, in the Smarty Jones they ran a Merry-Go-Round race.”

Pedigree Notes:

Totally Tucker produced a colt by Empire Maker in 2017 and a filly by Street Sense in 2018 before being bred back to Hard Spun. Out of Champagne Royale, she is a half-sister to Grade I winners Majestic Harbor (Rockport Harbor) and Danza (Street Boss). Breeder and co-owner Michael Pressley purchased Totally Tucker for $20,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Pressley signed the ticket at $15,000 on the mare’s Empire Maker colt at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Pressley, a Henderson, Kentucky-based entrepeneur, also campaigned graded stakes winner Payton d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro).

Super Steed is the ninth graded stakes winner and 18 stakes winner for GI Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, whose son Inside Straight also enjoyed graded success at Oaklawn when he won the 2017 GII Oaklawn H.

Monday, Oaklawn Park
SOUTHWEST S.-GIII, $500,000, Oaklawn, 2-18, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.05, ft.
1–SUPER STEED, 117, c, 3, by Super Saver
1st Dam: Totally Tucker, by Elusive Quality
2nd Dam: Champagne Royale, by French Deputy
3rd Dam: All Tanked Up, by Tank’s Prospect
‘TDN Rising Star’ 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES
WIN. O-Michael Pressley & Steed Jackson; B-Mike Pressley
(KY); T-J. Larry Jones; J-Terry J. Thompson. $300,000. Lifetime
Record: 5-2-1-0, $364,500. Werk Nick Rating: N/A (first SW
from this cross).
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Sueno, 117, c, 3, Atreides–Class Above, by Quiet American.
($1,500 Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $61,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Silverton
Hill LLC; B-Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc (KY); T-J. Keith
Desormeaux. $100,000.
3–Long Range Toddy, 119, c, 3, Take Charge Indy–Pleasant
Song, by Unbridled’s Song. O/B-Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY);
T-Steven M. Asmussen. $50,000.
Margins: 3/4, 1 1/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 62.30, 7.60, 7.90.
Also Ran: Six Shooter, Bankit, Boldor, Cutting Humor, Jersey Agenda, Ninth Street, Olympic Runner, Gray Attempt. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

Coal Front Game in Two-Turn Test in Razorback

Mon, 2019-02-18 18:04

Coal Front made his first start around two turns a winning one, leading home a ‘TDN Rising Star’ exacta over Copper Bullet in Hot Springs Monday.

Away to a sharp start from the often-tricky post 14, Coal Front immediately locked horns with California invader All Out Blitz (Concord Point) heading into the first turn and the pair sparred through a sharp opening quarter-mile in :22.78. Coal Front allowed his pace rival to momentarily spurt clear after that juncture, but quickly reasserted himself heading into the far turn. Striking the front in mid-stretch, the dark bay dug in determinedly to hold off a persistent late bid from Copper Bullet to claim the victory. Longshot Rated R Superstar, who encountered some traffic trouble while closing from the back of the pack, settled for third at odds of 70-1.

Coal Front displayed significant talent from the outset of his career, capturing his first three starts, including the GII Amsterdam S. at Saratoga in July 2017. He added a victory in the GIII Gallant Bob S. in September of that year, but was subsequently sent to the sidelines for an extended layup. Returning to action 13 months later with a fifth-place finish in Aqueduct’s GIII Bold Ruler S. Nov. 2, he got back on track with an authoritative score in the GIII Mr. Prospector S. at Gulfstream Dec. 22. The son of Stay Thirsty posted a steady series of drills at Todd Pletcher’s Palm Beach Downs base in preparation for his two-turn debut.

Pedigree Notes:

Coal Front’s dam Miner’s Secret is an unraced half-sister to MGSW turfer Woodlander (Forestry), SW Admiral Alex (Afleet Alex) and to the dam of GSW Azar (Scat Daddy). In addition to SW/GSP Conquest Titan (Birdstone), Miner’s Secret is represented by a 2-year-old filly by Pioneerof the Nile and a yearling colt by American Pharoah. She was bred to Arrogate last year.

Monday, Oaklawn Park
RAZORBACK H.-GIII, $500,000, Oaklawn, 2-18, 4yo/up, 1 1/16m, 1:43.45, ft.
1–COAL FRONT, 120, r, 5, by Stay Thirsty
1st Dam: Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft
2nd Dam: Madam Lagonza, by Kingmambo
3rd Dam: Hire a Brain, by Seattle Slew
‘TDN Rising Star’ ($575,000 2yo ’16 OBSAPR). O-Robert V.
LaPenta & Head of Plains Partners LLC; B-Michael Edward
Connelly (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-John R. Velazquez.
$300,000. Lifetime Record: 8-6-0-0, $777,280. *1/2 to
Conquest Titan (Birdstone), SW & GSP, $241,344.
Werk Nick Rating: F.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Copper Bullet, 117, c, 4, More Than Ready–Allegory, by
Unbridled’s Song. ‘TDN Rising Star’ ($200,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP).
O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Willis Horton Racing LLC;
B-Dell Ridge Farm, LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $100,000.
3–Rated R Superstar, 119, g, 6, Kodiak Kowboy–Wicked Wish,
by Gold Case. O-Crystal Racing Enterprises & Contreras Stable
Inc.; B-ThornDale Stable LLC (KY); T-Cipriano Contreras.
$50,000.
Margins: NK, 1 1/4, 2. Odds: 1.30, 5.00, 79.90.
Also Ran: Sonneteer, All Out Blitz, Souper Tapit, Nun the Less, Remembering Rita, Rocking the Boat, M G Warrior, Nanoosh, Lone Rock, Thirstforlife, Tiz He the One. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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