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Son of Candy Ride Gets the Best of Baffert Duo in San Vicente

Sun, 2019-02-10 19:38

The buzz going into Sunday’s GII San Vicente S. at Santa Anita undoubtedly centered around Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s bid to notch his 10th victory in the Southern California sprint fixture, but when all was said and done, a rallying Sparky Ville (Candy Ride {Arg}) proved too much to handle for Baffert’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ pair. Coliseum (Tapit), held in high regard since breaking his maiden by a flashy 6 3/4 lengths at Del Mar in November, was a brief pace factor before flattening out to finish third, while second-place finisher Dessman (Union Rags) mounted a menacing, wide bid on the turn before being outfinished by Sparky Ville in the final strides.

Sparky Ville broke alertly and settled in fourth as Savagery set the pace through a quarter-mile in :22.07 with Coliseum closely in tow. Coliseum was asked for more on the turn when Dessman circled up to his outside, but ultimately could not go with his previously undefeated stablemate. Dessman seized control at the head of the stretch and held on to his advantage in midstretch, but could not hold off a late rush from Sparky Ville, who angled out to find clear running in upper stretch and surged down the center of the strip to score.

Sparky Ville knocked heads with some of the best in Southern California as a juvenile, finishing second in the GII Best Pal S. behind ‘TDN Rising Star’ Instagrand (Into Mischief) and a distant sixth in the GI Del Mar Futurity behind champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}). He notched his first stakes victory in the restricted Sunny Slope S. in Arcadia Oct. 21. Third in the GIII Bob Hope S. at Del Mar Nov. 17, he was last seen finishing an even sixth in a one-mile turf experiment in the Dec. 28 Eddie Logan S.

Pedigree Notes:

Sparky Ville’s unraced dam Lorelei K (Storm Cat), a $1.5-million Keeneland September yearling in 2007, is a half-sister to GISW Harmony Lodge (Hennessy), MGSW & GISP Graeme Hall (Dehere) and GSW Win McCool (Giant’s Causeway). Second dam Win Crafty Lady captured the GIII Interborough Breeders’ Cup H. This is the same female family that produced last year’s GIII Molly Pitcher S. heroine Berned (Bernardini), who subsequently sold for $825,000 to Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings at Fasig-Tipton November.

Sparky Ville becomes the latest graded stakes winner from a prolific cross that has produced the likes of champion Shared Belief and GISW Sidney’s Candy.


Sunday, Santa Anita Park
SAN VICENTE S.-GII, $200,000, Santa Anita, 2-10, 3yo, 7f, 1:21.93, wf.
1–SPARKY VILLE, 120, g, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
                1st Dam: Lorelei K, by Storm Cat
                2nd Dam: Win Crafty Lady, by Crafty Prospector
                3rd Dam: Honeytab, by Al Hattab
RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Del Secco DCS Racing; B-Aaron & Marie
Jones LLC (KY); T-Jeff Bonde; J-Joel Rosario. $120,000. Lifetime
Record: 8-3-1-2, $257,770. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple
   Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Dessman, 120, c, 3, Union Rags–Frolic’s Appeal, by Trippi.
‘TDN Rising Star’. ($120,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $750,000 2yo ’18
FTFMAR). O-Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum;
B-Wind Hill Farm (FL); T-Bob Baffert. $40,000.
3–Coliseum, 120, c, 3, Tapit–Game Face, by Menifee.
‘TDN Rising Star’. O/B-Godolphin, LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert.
Margins: NO, 6HF, 4 1/4. Odds: 7.40, 2.20, 0.70.
Also Ran: Synthesis, Savagery.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


Scat Daddy Colt Makes his Point on Debut

Sun, 2019-02-10 16:30

e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Mike Ryan’s Valid Point (c, 3, Scat Daddy–Goldbud, by Buddha) bound home a 1 1/2-length winner of his debut at Gulfstream Sunday. Shuffled back in traffic, the 8-5 favorite raced keenly along the rail from fourth. Tipped out for running room, the bay pulled his way into contention, ranged up three wide into the stretch and drew clear late despite racing greenly. He completed the one mile over the lawn in 1:36.23. Bar Harbor (Orb), who lacked running room in the stretch, was second and Readyforprimetime (More Than Ready) was third.

Goldbud is a half-sister to Grade I winner Santa Teresita (Lemon Drop Kid). Valid Point was a $140,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $30,000. O-E Five Racing Thoroughbreds & Michael Ryan. B-Westwind Farms (Ky). T-Chad Brown.

Tapit Sophomore an Easy Winner at Gulfstream

Sun, 2019-02-10 15:26

7th-Gulfstream, $43,210, Msw, 2-10, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.23, ft.

GROWTH ENGINE (g, 3, Tapit–Wild Vision, by Wild Again) closed to be second behind Saturday’s newly tabbed ‘TDN Rising Star’ Global Campaign (Curlin) in his seven-furlong debut at Gulfstream Jan. 5. The 6-5 favorite broke from the far outside in the 10-horse field and was caught four wide into the first turn, settling off just off the pace through a half in :47.95. Widest of a trio moving to challenge the pacesetter turning for home, Growth Engine grabbed command after three-quarters in 1:12.42 and easily turned back Thetrashmanscoming (Take Charge Indy) before reporting home a geared-down 2 1/2-length winner. Growth Engine, a $300,000 KEESEP yearling, is a half-brother to Pyro (Pulpit, GISW, $1,673,673) and Longview Drive (Pulpit, MSW & MGSP, $337,022); and a full to War Echo (GSW, $284,387) and Farrier (SW & G1SP-UAE, $434,031). Wild Vision produced a filly by Tapiture in 2018. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $35,260.

O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.


Orb Filly Goes Two for Two at Gulfstream

Sun, 2019-02-10 15:01

5th-Gulfstream, $45,520, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 2-10, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:10.94, ft.
ORRA MOOR (f, 3, Orb–Carleton Grinnell, by Royal Academy) overcame a tardy start to score by 3 1/4 lengths here Dec. 22, and was further flattered when a pair of also-rans returned to graduate. She was installed the 2-1 second choice behind Chad Brown-trained Break Curfew (Into Mischief), a debut winner at Belmont back in October who was cutting back off a seventh in the GII Golden Rod S. at Churchill in November. Slow to get going again, the big dark bay was pushed on into fourth leaving the backside as the chalk set the pace. Reeling in her foes willingly around the bend, she came to challenge for command while three deep at the quarter pole. Neither of the rivals to her inside had much of an answer for her, and she pulled away with big strides in the lane to run up the score to 7 3/4 lengths. Wildwood’s Beauty (Kantharos) bested Break Curfew for second. The winner is a half to Royal Song Dancer (Langfuhr), SW, $100,004. Her dam produced a colt by Orb in 2018 before being bred back to Fed Biz. Sales history: $180,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $50,400. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-StarLadies Racing; B-Edward H. Lane (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

Gilbert Leads Late on Day 2

Sat, 2019-02-09 19:33

With the mandatory races done and just a few optionals remaining, Robert Gilbert held a commanding advantage on the leaderboard at the 20th NTRA National Horseplayers Championship, presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens and Treasure Island Las Vegas. Gilbert had a bankroll of $289, well ahead of runner-up Chris Littlemore’s $241 tally. Littlemore was last year’s champ and is looking to become the first two-time NHC winner. Ten Strike Racing’s Marshall Gramm was set to advance to Sunday’s semifinal with both of his entries. He was in 20th at $187.60 with one and at 52nd with another. Little Red Feather partner Joseph Rosen was a tick behind Gramm at $187.50.

Former TDN-er Steve Decaspers hit the last race at Santa Anita with a 5-1 shot that secured him a semi-final spot, as well.

“God bless John Kimmel and Paynter,” said Decaspers, whose big knock on the day was courtesy the 41-1 Mega Fortune in the 5th at Gulfstream.

For up-to-date results, visit

NHC Player Hits Big at Gulfstream

Owner/breeder Barry Kerbel didn’t make much of an impact on the NHC leaderboard yesterday. But the Toronto-based commercial realtor had a massive afternoon at the Treasure Island ballroom nonetheless.

Kerbel invested about $1,250 in a pair of 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6 tickets at Gulfstream and hit both to the tune of $200,000. Kerbel had two of the six winning tickets. There was a mandatory payout Saturday, and a big payday was guaranteed when Papa Y (Gone Astray) won the opening leg at 58-1.

“He looked excellent on the track, and I’ve seen him work out at Gulfstream,” Kerbel said. “And I like that rider [Marcos Meneses]. I know he’s a hustling rider who would go to the front.”

Kerbel went five horses deep in that opening leg. Asked if it wasn’t his biggest-ever score, he said, “No. I hit a Pick 6 for $1.3 million at Santa Anita a couple years ago, and I hit a Woodbine Pick 6 for $800,000.”

Kerbel, 65, is playing in his first NHC and only second-ever tournament.

Kerbel and his son have 25 horses in training with Denyse McClachrie in Canada and with Jorge Abreu and Fernando Abreu.

“We have a pretty good claiming stable, and have some nice up-and-coming youngsters,” he said. “If they stay healthy, we’ll have some good ones.”

Well Defined Upsets Sam F. Davis

Sat, 2019-02-09 17:47

Well Defined (With Distinction), a 7-1 shot, set all the pace and came home an authoritative 2 3/4-length victor, while favored Knicks Go (Paynter) faded to fifth as the Tampa Bay Downs path to the Kentucky Derby kicked off with the GIII Sam F. Davis S. at the Oldsmar oval Saturday. Well Defined, adding blinkers for the Davis, sprinted out to the early lead and enjoyed a clear advantage through fractions of :23.23 and :47.09 with Knicks Go his closest pursuer. The favorite was asked for more midway on the turn, but Well Defined scampered further clear into the lane with only the late-running Kentucky Wildcat (Tapit) offering any sort of threat in the closing strides.

“That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” said winning trainer Kathleen O’Connell. “He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on. I like this horse a lot and the decision [on what’s next] will be up to the owners, but we just want him healthy.”

The front-running victory was no surprise to jockey Pablo Morales.

“This horse has a ton of natural talent and I was going to take advantage of that,” Morales said. “I wasn’t too worried about where I was going to be because we were really lucky with the draw position on the outside, so I figured I was going to ride a cool race. The horse is naturally fast and has a super-long stride.

I was going to come out running, but if somebody wanted to take the lead, I was OK with that. My horse was going as comfortable as he possibly could. I knew he was doing it relaxed and very much on his own. I had a lot of horse going into the second turn, so I figured I was going to ask him a little more and not wait for them to get me. If they were going to catch me, they were really going to have to come running.”

Kentucky Wildcat, coming off a maiden score at Aqueduct Dec. 1, stormed into contention turning for home and briefly looked to have a chance in the lane, but was unable to match the winner’s strides late. He was pulled up after the wire and vanned back to the barn.

Knicks Go, runner-up in last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, settled for fifth in his first outing since finishing 11th over a sloppy track in the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S.

“Albin [Jimenez] said he was getting out a little around the turn, so I don’t know what to make of that,” trainer Ben Colebrook said of the beaten favorite. “It looked like he had dead aim and then he kind of flattened out. It didn’t go the way we wanted, but hopefully there will be another day.”

A maiden winner on debut at Gulfstream last June, Well Defined earned a trip to the Breeders’ Cup with a 7 1/2-length romp in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes last September. He came home a well-beaten 12th behind champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and opened his sophomore campaign with a fifth-place effort behind Mihos (Candy Ride {Arg}) in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man S.

“He is kind of a free-running horse,” O’Connell said. “His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside, but he’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

Pedigree Notes:

Well Defined is out of the unraced Fru Fru. Gilbert Campbell’s Stonehedge purchased the mare for $18,000 at the 2013 OBS January sale. She produced a filly by Khozan last year and was bred back to Greenpointcrusader. The winner’s second dam is Lolabell, who won the 1999 Minaret S.

Stonehedge’s colors have also been carried to graded stakes success by Always Sunshine (West Acre), who captured the 2016 GIII Maryland Sprint H.

Well Defined is the second graded stakes winner for his sire, With Distinction. With Distinction is also the sire of multiple graded stakes winner Distinctiv Passion.

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs
SAM F. DAVIS S.-GIII, $250,000, Tampa Bay Downs, 2-9, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.70, ft.
1–WELL DEFINED, 122, g, 3, by With Distinction
1st Dam: Fru Fru, by Medaglia d’Oro
2nd Dam: Lolabell, by Phone Trick
3rd Dam: Private Dish, by Private Account
T-Kathleen O’Connell; J-Pablo Morales. $170,000. Lifetime
Record: 7-3-1-1, $490,570. Werk Nick Rating: C+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Kentucky Wildcat, 118, c, 3, Tapit–Better Lucky, by
Ghostzapper. O/B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Thomas Albertrani.
3–So Alive, 118, c, 3, Super Saver–Mythical Bride, by Street Cry
(Ire). ($160,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Robert V. LaPenta; B-John
D. Gunther (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $20,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 8 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 7.00, 2.90, 3.40.
Also Ran: Counter Offer, Knicks Go, Five Star General, Still Dreaming, Moonster, Going for Gold. Scratched: Cave Run.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Well-Bred Curlin Colt Looks Ready for Derby ‘Campaign’

Sat, 2019-02-09 17:05

Global Campaign (c, 3, Curlin–Globe Trot, by A.P. Indy), a razor sharp debut winner with an 85 Beyer Speed Figure going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Jan. 5, successfully stretched to two turns in a salty optional claimer in Hallandale Saturday, good for ‘TDN Rising Star’ honors.

The half-brother to the talented Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro), MGISW, $1,016,00, fired a five-furlong bullet in 1:00 2/5 (1/9) at Palm Meadows Feb. 3 and was off as the 3-5 favorite here.

He broke sharply and showed the way into the clubhouse turn, but backed off to chase in second as Blue Steel (Will Take Charge) made an aggressive move entering the backstretch.

Global Campaign charged up on the outside to draw alongside Blue Steel through a half-mile in :47.57, took command without being asked on the far turn, turned for home in complete control as Luis Saez took a peek under his shoulder, and was geared down late to cross the line 2 1/4 lengths clear over the comebacking GISP Standard Deviation (Curlin).

Blue Steel tired to fifth. The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.29.

“He’s a talented horse,” winning trainer Stanley Hough told the Gulfstream press department. “Obviously, you don’t know the first time two turns for a lot of them, but, gosh, he handled it well.”

As for what’s next Hough added, “Hopefully, it will be one of the many races coming up. The [GII] Fountain of Youth [Mar. 2] is a possibility.”

The $250,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, campaigned in partnership by Sagamore Farm and breeder WinStar Farm, is also a half-brother to Sonic Mule (Distorted Humor), MSW & MGSP, $264,190. Global Campaign is the late Globe Trot’s final produce.

10th-Gulfstream, $44,180, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 2-9, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.29, ft.
GLOBAL CAMPAIGN, c, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Globe Trot, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Trip, by Lord At War (Arg)
3rd Dam: Tour, by Forty Niner
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $52,200. Click for the chart, free catalogue-style pedigree or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Sagamore Farm, LLC & WinStar Farm, LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-Stanley M. Hough. *$250,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP.

Tapit’s Winter Sunset Stays Perfect

Sat, 2019-02-09 15:49

‘TDN Rising Star’ Winter Sunset, a sharp, front-running debut winner over the Fair Grounds lawn Nov. 29, showed a new dimension while staying perfect in Saturday’s Shantel Lanerie Memorial Overnight S. The second-choice missed the break and trailed the field of five as they passed the grandstand for the first time. She began to advance on the outside down the backstretch and kept rolling while four-deep and one to the inside of heavily favored Elsa, a last out winner of the GIII Jimmy Durante S., on the far turn. After racing shoulder to shoulder with that one down the lane and drifting out some throughout, Winter Sunset pulled clear late to remain unbeaten. A stewards inquiry into the stretch run was quickly posted and removed.

The winner’s dam Winter Memories was a MGISW on the turf for John Phillips’s operation, just like her mother, Memories of Silver. Winter Memories is a half-sister to GSW La Cloche (Ghostzapper), the dam of GSW Bellavais (Tapit); stakes winners British Blue (Storm Cat) and War Choice (Storm Cat); and the unraced dams of GSW Hawkish (Artie Schiller) and SW Red Lodge (Midshipman), both of whom are ‘TDN Rising Stars’. Winter Memories produced a Tapit colt in 2017 and a filly by the Gainesway stalwart in 2018. She was bred back to Union Rags.

SHANTEL LANERIE MEMORIAL OVERNIGHT S., (NB) $60,000, Fair Grounds, 2-9, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:42.34, fm.
1–WINTER SUNSET, 118, f, 3, Tapit–Winter Memories
(MGISW, $1,268,100), by El Prado (Ire). ($900,000 RNA Ylg ’17
KEESEP). O-Coffeepot Stables & Phillips Racing Partnership;
B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY); T-Wayne M. Catalano;
J-Channing Hill. $38,400. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $61,200.
2–Elsa, 120, f, 3, Animal Kingdom–Abtasaamah, by Distorted
Humor. O/B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Michael Stidham. $12,000.
3–Naughty Me, 116, f, 3, Handsome Mike–Naughty Matilda, by
Indian Charlie. O-Candy R. Courtemanche; B-Beth Bayer (FL);
T-Joseph Kanhai. $6,000.
Margins: 1HF, 5 3/4, HF. Odds: 2.70, 0.40, 41.10.
Also Ran: Cypress Point, Red Rounder. Scratched: Liora.
Click for the chart.

Hagyard Equine Issues Statement in Response to Lawsuit

Sat, 2019-02-09 15:06

Hagyard Davidson McGee Associations issued a statement Saturday in response to a class action lawsuit filed Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court alleging it has been falsifying the dates that radiographs were taken on some horses about to be sold at Keeneland since 2006.

“Hagyard Equine Medical Institute believes the lawsuit filed Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court regarding several of Hagyard’s  veterinarians is without merit and will demonstrate it is based on a fundamental misrepresentation of the facts,” the statement, issued through attorney Michael Casey, read. “We will vigorously address the misrepresentations and claims made in the suit through the proper legal channels.”

The defendants in the lawsuit include Hagyard and four of its veterinarians, Drs. Michael T. Hore, Robert J. Hunt, Dwayne Rodgerson and Michael Spirito. An accounting firm, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, which works with Hagyard in the areas of computer and information technology services, is also named as a defendant.

The primary plaintiff in the lawsuit is Midwestern based trainer Tom Swearingen, who has purchased 24 horses at Keeneland sales since 2007.

Kinchen’s Unlikely Rise

Fri, 2019-02-08 17:25

LAS VEGAS, NV.–Jonathon Kinchen is maybe the closest thing the handicapping world has to a rock star. In little more than four years, Kinchen has gone from an unknown real estate investor with little tournament experience to a commentator on Fox Sports’ Saturday at the Races. He’s arguably the most recognizable and popular player at the NHC, and it’s easy to see why. Kinchen’s young (for a horseplayer), he can pull off the odd tropical shirt, and his sleeved left arm is covered in tattoos of Barbaro, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. His Tweets are often clever, and even his Twitter handle–@UTBigHair, a nod to his alma mater–is above average.

At root, though, the 36-year-old Kinchen is simply a good horse player. He remains the only player in NHC history to have both of his entries qualify for The Final Table, and in 2015 he won the NHC Tour, a testing year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned events.

You’d be familiar with Kinchen’s introduction to handicapping. He grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and his father often brought him along on trips to Lone Star Park.

“He’s a horrible bettor,” Kinchen laughed. “He doesn’t look at the Form; he’s the guy standing in line in front of you looking back at the TV screen, betting our address. But I saw a lot of guys with computers and papers doing it seriously, and I figured that if I was going to come with him, I should at least figure what it’s all about.”

Kinchen fell in love with the puzzle of handicapping while at the University of Texas at Austin. On Kentucky Derby Day in 2005, he and some friends made the trip to the now-defunct Manor Downs, about 45 minutes from the city. Kinchen went with $100 and was down to his last $15 after tying several bets to Afleet Alex. He put five across the board on Giacomo with the remainder, cashed for $500, and bought the keg that night like a conquering hero. The next day he bought Steve Davidowitz’s Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century.

Kinchen was still a casual player in 2010 when he attended the GI Belmont S. But an $84,000 Pick 4 score changed his perspective.

“Obviously I started playing a whole lot more after that, and that’s when I started to really learn the game,” he said. “I took my bumps and bruises like everyone.”

When Texas outlawed ADW wagering, he began playing online contests instead. In the first contest he played, Kinchen qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), and the following year, in 2015, he qualified for the NHC for the first time. Both of his entries qualified for The Final Table, but rules allowed for only one to advance. He finished seventh and earned a total of $84,000.

“And I rode that momentum out to winning the tour that year,” he said.

That same year, he won an online contest on Derby Day, and also cashed for $150,000 after nailing a Pick 6 and a $300 cold Pick 3 that paid $50,000.

“And it was all on track with a bunch of friends, so that was a ton of fun,” he said. “It was the best racing day I’ve had at the track, ever.”

Kinchen has qualified for the NHC every year since, and in 2018 checked in at 67, his best finish since his inaugural run.

“My strength is that I can take information from 17 different sources, process it, and then make a decision,” Kinchen said when asked about his success. “I think a lot of the old-school guys–and not everybody–find one or two things and base their decision on that.”

He continued, “I am a big pace-makes-the-race guy. So I use Timeform US and look at the pace projector, and handicap from front to back. I feel that tells a better story than starting with post one and finishing with post 10. When you do it that way, you miss a lot of the meat of the race and what’s actually going to happen.”

At the windows, Kinchen prefers multi-race wagers. “If I love a horse at 4-1, and with takeout and in this day and age of computer wagers, I need to turn that into 14-1,” he said.

Kinchen’s experience gives him plenty of authority on the mistakes neophytes make, and when the topic of sucker plays comes up, he offers, “I think the biggest sucker play in racing is handicapping for 45 minutes, and then spending three minutes deciding how to bet it. So often, players will get home from work, handicap to 11, wake up and handicap, go to the track and then construct their Pick 5 ticket at the window. I think you should spend as much time constructing your ticket as handicapping, if not more.”

He added, “Picking winners isn’t all that hard. Everyone does it. Everyone goes three of four in the Pick 4, or hits it. But the question is: did you make money when you do hit?”

Kinchen recently joined the on-air team at Fox Sports’ Saturday at the Races, and has already endeared himself to the viewers who heeded his advice on Kinchen’s very first broadcast. On that show, Kinchen gave out a 20-1 winner at Oaklawn Park as his final play of the day.

Kinchen also seems to have the golden touch as a horse owner. Back in 2017, he noticed the racing prospect Long On Value (Value Plus) was purchased by his friends at Ten Strike Racing at Keeneland November, and texted the principals, NHC regulars Marshall Gramm and Clay Sanders.

“I asked if I could get in, and honestly I was just joking,” he said. “But they said, ‘Sure!'”

Last summer, Long On Value won Churchill’s Mighty Beau S. for his new connections, then gave both Kinchen and Ten Strike their first Grade I winner in the Highlander S. at Woodbine.

So far that’s been his only runner, but he’s expressed an interest in operating a claiming operation at some point.

Plan on seeing more of Kinchen this summer at Saratoga. Along with the newly named host Gary Stevens, he’ll appear on Fox Sports’ daily coverage of the meet. In the meantime, he’s keeping busy with In The Money Players’ Podcast, which he does with tournament expert Peter T. Fornatale.


With just a few optional races to go, Robert Gilbert led the leaderboard during Friday’s opener of the 20th NTRA National Horseplayers Championship, presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens and Treasure Island Las Vegas. The double qualifier from Yardley, PA had amassed a bankroll of $198.20, just ahead of the $180.00 put up by John Pinder. Some notables in racing to mention include Ten Strike Racing’s Marshall Gramm, who has two entries. Gramm was sitting in 206th on his preferred entry toward the end of the day before rocketing to 10th with a bankroll of $132.40. Track announcer Vic Stauffer was in 48th with $95.60, while Little Red Feather principal Gary Fenton was tied in 182nd place. Little Red Feather partner Joseph Rosen, the leading rookie during the NHC Tour, had a big opening day, checking in at $141.90—good for 7th place. Rosen is eligible for a $1 million bonus should he win the NHC. TVG’s Dave Weaver was in 114th. To check on Friday’s final results, visit


Lawsuit Alleges Hagyard Falsified Dates on Radiographs at Keeneland

Fri, 2019-02-08 17:13

A class action lawsuit was filed Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court alleging that Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates has been falsifying the dates that radiographs were taken on some horses about to be sold at Keeneland since 2006.

The story was first reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The defendants include Hagyard and four of its veterinarians, Drs. Michael T. Hore, Robert J. Hunt, Dwayne Rodgerson and Michael Spirito. An accounting firm, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, which works with Hagyard in the areas of computer and information technology services, is also named as a defendant.

The primary plaintiff in the lawsuit is Midwestern based trainer Tom Swearingen, who has purchased 24 horses at Keeneland sales since 2007. Keeneland is not named in the lawsuit and an official from the track and sales company told the TDN they would have no comment.

Most major sales companies have developed a repository over the year as a convenience to potential buyers, so that they did not have to take X-rays or radiographs on horses themselves. It became the responsibility of the consignors to take radiographs of their horses and then place them in the repository, where they were available to any potential buyers, their representatives and their veterinarians.

Because a radiograph taken within close proximity of a sale is more useful than one that may have been taken months ago, Keeneland instituted rules requiring that a radiograph for a yearling must have been taken no more than 15 days prior to the time they are sold and the time limit for all other horses was 21 days.

“The reason such deadlines exist are self-evident: the recency of the images is important,” the suit states. “The more current the radiographs are, the more useful and reliable the information will be to the buyers, which in turn enhances buyer confidence.”

The suit goes on to claim that “had the truth been disclosed (about outdated radiographs), bidding on horses at the Keeneland sale was, in essence, the functional equivalent of playing Russian Roulette: the Plaintiff would be bidding on horses not knowing they were subject to fraudulent X-rays, and not know if those X-rays affected one horse or 100 horses.”

Hagyard has been one of the major suppliers to the repository since its inception. Attorney Mason Miller, who is representing Swearingen, said he believes that Hagyard took short cuts that led to its failure to comply with Keeneland’s rule. He said that when someone from Hagyard visited a farm they took the radiographs on the same day of all the horses that the particular farm was selling. If one of those horses were selling on the first day of the sale, the radiograph likely would have been taken within the time frame established by Keeneland. That may not have been the case if the horse was sold on the 10th day of the sale.

“They were trying to do about half of all the radiographs done for each sale,” Miller said. “What they needed to do to be in compliance with the rules was to, say, take five on one day at a farm and then head down the road to the next farm and then come back three or four days later to the original farm to get more radiographs. They’ve been saying they could never do that, that there would be too much pressure to get the job done. If that’s the case, perhaps they shouldn’t have been so eager to keep so much of the business of doing radiographs to themselves.”

The suit claims that if Hagyard had a radiograph it knew did not comply with Keeneland’s rules it would simply falsify the date as to when the radiograph was taken.

Miller said there is no telling how many radiographs had their dates altered because Hagyard has destroyed the originals.

“Indeed, based on information and belief, the fraud has involved tens of thousands of radiographs, although the exact number will never be known because the Defendants intentionally destroyed the evidence,” the suit states.

The case came to light when some of the Hagyard veterinarians reported themselves to the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners in mid-2018. According to the suit, Dr. Hore admitted under oath that 5% of the total radiographs he took were intentionally altered and that Dr. Spirito testified that 10% of the X-rays he took for sales purposes were intentionally altered.

Calls made to Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates Friday seeking comment were not returned. Triple Crown Throwdown: Sam F. Davis

Fri, 2019-02-08 16:49

Ed DeRosa of takes on TDN’s Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap each prep race leading up to the GI Kentucky Derby. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets–highest bankroll after Arkansas Derby/Lexington day wins.

DeRosa: Last Week Maximus Mischief was third in the Holy Bull. Lucky Lee was seventh in the Withers. Nolo Contesto scratched. Bankroll: $530.

GIII Sam F. Davis S. – After whiffing last week, we’re going to try to go full-on Dave Kingman and try for the home run this week with Going for Gold. Still a maiden, this likely longshot fits with these with any sort of improvement stretching out for new owner Ron Paolucci. Knicks Go to his outside is the primary danger, but if Going for Gold gets the jump on the inside, I think he’ll be hard to catch by anyone else. Selection: #2 Going for Gold (20-1).

Sherack – Last Week – Almost feels like that Nolo Contesto late scratch was a win after another pair of disappointing efforts from Admire (fifth at 18-1 in Withers) and Mihos (fifth at 2-1 in Holy Bull)… Time to get going. Bankroll: $0.

GIII Sam F. Davis S. – Between the short price (good luck seeing that 5-2 listed on the morning line) and expected hot early pace scenario, I’ll take a stand against the front-running Knicks Go in his comebacker with a very promising son of Tapit, Kentucky Wildcat. The first foal out of the talented Better Lucky (Ghostzapper) exits a pair of very live races in New York, including a strong third-place finish behind King for a Day (Uncle Mo) and a game win over super impressive next out maiden winner Country House (Lookin At Lucky) going a one-turn mile at the Big A last time Dec. 1. The Godolphin homebred tries two turns for the first time here and geared up for this with a five-furlong bullet in 1:01 3/5 (1/5) at Palm Meadows Jan. 24. Trainer Tom Albertrani has enjoyed his share of success in 3-year-old stakes in Oldsmar, boasting a pair of Tampa Bay Derby winners on his resume as well as last term’s GIII Florida Oaks heroine. Selection: #6 Kentucky Wildcat (9-2).

DiDonato – Last Week – One scratch, and two very disappointing efforts. Good thing my fellow competitors didn’t fare any better. Bankroll: $500.

GIII Sam F. Davis S. – Slop or not, Cave Run‘s debut romp was very visually impressive for a barn that rarely wins first out. He was somewhat disappointing when a distant third as the favorite in the seven-furlong Pasco S. last time, but it’s possible he reacted a bit off of that big first effort. Plus the two runners who finished in front of him would look pretty good in here. The Godolphin homebred is obviously bred to improve with the added ground: he’s by Tampa Bay Derby winner Street Sense, out of a Bernardini daughter of Grade I-winning router Sugar Shake. Sugar Shake is also responsible for a GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up, and herself is out of a Cotillion winner. Selection: #4 Cave Run (6-1).

Click here for Sam F. Davis Ultimate PPs from

Belmont Stakes Schedule Released

Fri, 2019-02-08 16:31

The stakes schedule for the 48-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet will feature 59 total stakes races worth $18.4 million. The meet, which runs from Friday, April 26 through Sunday, July 7, will be highlighted by the three-day Belmont S. Racing Festival June 6 through June 8. Belmont day will once again feature nine graded stakes, eight of which are Grade Is.

The Man o’ War Racing Festival set for May 11 boasts five stakes, including four graded events, led by the $700,000 GI Man o’ War S. New York-breds take the spotlight May 27 for Big Apple Showcase Day. The card features six stakes worth $900,000 for horses bred in the Empire State led by the $200,000 Commentator S.

The Stars & Stripes Racing Festival will be contested over three days beginning Thursday, July 4 and concluding Saturday, July 6 with five graded events. The packed card will include the GI Belmont Derby, GI Belmont Oaks, the GII Suburban H., the GIII Dwyer S. and the GII John A. Nerud S., formerly the Belmont Sprint Championship.


Class Action Suit Alleges Hagyard Dates on Radiographs at Keeneland

Fri, 2019-02-08 15:58

A class action suited was filed Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court alleging that Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates falsified the dates of radiographs taken on horses about to be sold at Keeneland. Keeneland requires that radiographs are taken within a set time period of when a horse sells, time frames that vary from sale to sale. But the law suit alleges that many of the radiographs were not in accordance with Keeneland’s rules and were, therefore, outdated. An outdated radiograph may not reveal a problem a horse has developed nearing the time of the sale, which could lead to a buyer purchasing a horse without complete and accurate knowledge of its physical history.
The story was first reported by the Lexington Herald Leader. Keeneland is not named in the lawsuit.

This story will be updated throughout the day.

NYRA Officially Announces Schedule Changes to Belmont, Saratoga

Thu, 2019-02-07 14:31

Confirming a story reported in TDN last week, the New York Racing Association is adjusting its 2019 Belmont Park spring/summer meet and Saratoga schedules to adapt to planned construction on a new arena for the New York Islanders set to begin this summer. The changes have cleared the final hurdle of getting approval from the New York State Gaming Commission.

As a result, the Belmont spring/summer meet will feature a revised 48-day calendar to commence Friday, Apr. 26 and run through Sunday, July 7. Saratoga’s meet will begin eight days earlier than normal, opening Thursday, July 11 while running through its usual closing day of Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. There will be no change to the number of live racing dates at Saratoga, which has been comprised of 40 days since 2010. The traditional six-day racing week at the Spa, however, has been scrapped in favor of a five-day week, with dark days coming on Monday and Tuesday as they do at Belmont.

“Given the initial and proposed timelines for the potential construction of a new arena at Belmont Park, we believe it is the responsible action to move our racing operations to Saratoga Race Course slightly earlier than usual this summer,” said NYRA Interim CEO David O’Rourke. “We appreciate the patience of our horsemen, fans and the community in awaiting this announcement. We are working diligently with our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to this new calendar.”

“The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and New York’s horsemen understand that the possible construction on the Belmont property will require flexibility and accommodation from the state’s entire thoroughbred community,” added NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum. “We will work with NYRA to ensure the safety of our horses and riders and to do all we can to protect the thousands of jobs in our backstretch community as we navigate this challenging time. NYTHA supports the interim solution NYRA has worked out for summer racing dates. While it presents certain complications, we all get to spend five extra days a year in Saratoga–which is always good for the soul.”

Monmouth Park to Offer $7.1 Million in Stakes in 2019

Thu, 2019-02-07 13:01

Headlined by the $1-million GI Haskell Invitational, Monmouth Park is set to offer $7.1 million in stakes races over 61 days of racing at its 2019 meet, it was announced Thursday. The track kicks off its 74th year of racing Saturday, May 4.

The Haskell will shift from its traditional Sunday spot on the calendar to a Saturday this year, July 20. In total, Monmouth will race nine more days in 2019, compared to its 52-day schedule in 2018, while the $7.1-million stakes program represents a significant increase over last year’s $4.3-million docket. In addition to funds generated by Monmouth’s sports betting operation which opened in June 2018, the track is poised to receive a $10-million influx in purse money thanks to a bill that recently passed through state legislature.

“This year will be a game-changer for Monmouth Park and for racing in the State of New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park. “For too long we have seen our neighbors enjoy casino-fueled purses placing New Jersey at a competitive disadvantage. With a $100-million purse subsidy over the next five years, half of which is dedicated to Monmouth, awaiting the signature of Governor Murphy, we can now start to close that gap and move Monmouth Park to a more even playing field.

“This is a terrific opportunity and we will shepherd these monies in a manner that creates a superior betting product with fuller, more competitive fields. To that end, beginning in 2019, we will offer an enhanced stakes schedule, substantial increases to our purse structure and more race dates, all the while keeping intact the owner and trainer guarantees we offered last year and expanding those into the state-bred program. In addition, we will continue to offer free worker’s compensation for trainers stabled at Monmouth Park and will pay a 40% bonus to New Jersey-bred horses who compete in open company.”

Drazin added that Monmouth would offer “approximately $500,000” in purses per day during the 2019 meet.

In an effort to showcase top events, Monmouth will once again offer bundled stakes cards on May 25, June 22, July 20, Sept. 1 and Sept. 28, with the latter serving as a championship day for the MATCH Series, which is back after a successful return last year. The 17th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, with three stakes events, will be renewed on Aug. 25.

Stall applications, which are due by March 15, are now available online at or in hard copy format in the Monmouth Park racing office.

Stevens to Join FOX Sports, NYRA Television Programs

Thu, 2019-02-07 12:03

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will join FOX Sports/NYRA Live television programming as a racing analyst, making his debut on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races this spring, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and FOX Sports announced Thursday.

Inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1997, Stevens registered 5,187 wins and totaled purse earnings of more than $258 million in a career that started in 1979 and concluded with his retirement in 2018. The 55-year-old won nine Triple Crown races and 11 Breeders’ Cup races in his career.

Outside of the irons, Stevens enjoyed success as an actor and television analyst, portraying Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf in the film “Seabiscuit,” starring in the HBO series “Luck” and providing racing analysis for various TV networks, including NBC.

“I’m lucky to be able to transition to the next phase of my career with the powerhouse team that FOX Sports and NYRA have assembled,” said Stevens. “There are few things more important to the future of our sport than bringing the best quality TV coverage to America’s biggest races, and that is just what we will be doing with these shows. I’d like to thank FOX Sports for their commitment to the sport of horse racing, and to NYRA for doing the most in-depth, innovative coverage available today.”

In addition to Stevens, FOX Sports and NYRA announced that veteran host Laffit Pincay III and handicapper Jonathon Kinchen will join a broadcast team that includes host Greg Wolf, handicapper and racing analyst Andy Serling, paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale, trainer Tom Amoss, and handicapper and former Major League Baseball all-star Paul LoDuca. Larry Collmus, NYRA announcer and voice of the Triple Crown, will provide live race calls throughout the year.

The new broadcast team will also be featured on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races, which was launched in 2018 and expanded in 2019 to a 12-show schedule over February, March and April, providing nationwide coverage and analysis of major stakes races and key Triple Crown preps.

In 2019, FOX Sports is scheduled to televise 500 hours of NYRA racing, including coverage of nearly every race day at Belmont and Saratoga. The broadcast schedule will then expand to over 600 hours annually in 2020. This agreement builds upon the prior deal between NYRA and FOX Sports that resulted in more than 100 hours of NYRA coverage on FS2 in 2018.

“FOX Sports has assembled a broadcast team without equal in horse racing,” said Tony Allevato, President of NYRA Bets & Executive Producer for NYRA TV. “Collectively, their knowledge of all aspects of the sport will provide our national audience with the best handicapping, analysis and insights available anywhere. We welcome Gary, Laffit and Jonathon, and look forward to breaking new ground in 2019.”

The 2019 NYRA shows on FOX Sports will be presented by America’s Best Racing, Runhappy and Claiborne Farm.


CBA Sets New Board, Lyster Named President

Thu, 2019-02-07 11:21

The Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) installed its new board at its most recent meeting with Gray Lyster of Ashview Farm assuming the role of President, the trade organization announced Thursday. Allaire Ryan of Lane’s End Farm has been named Vice President, and Matt Koch of Shawhan Place will serve as Treasurer. Outgoing president Joe Seitz will maintain a newly established advisory role to the organization as former president.

“The CBA owes Joe Seitz and the outgoing board members a big thanks for leaving us with a really strong organization who is the collective voice of the selling community,” Lyster said. “We look forward to continuing to help facilitate a vibrant commercial market within our industry.”

In total, the CBA board consists of 15 members: eight from the top 20 consignors and seven from other consignors and commercial breeders. Each year a portion of the board rotates off and new members are appointed to fill the vacant positions.

The newly appointed board members are Andrew Cary, Select Sales; Renee Daily, VanMeterGentry Sales; Tom Hamm, Three Chimneys; Derek McKenzie, Vinery; and Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift Farm.

The remaining board members include the following representatives of top 20 consignors: Conrad Bandoroff, Denali Stud; Liz Crow, ELiTE; Brian Graves, Gainesway Farm; Walker

Hancock, Claiborne Farm; and Adrian Regan, Hunter Valley Farm. Directors who are other consignors and commercial breeders are: Ben Henley, Airdrie Stud; and Sean Tugel, WinStar


More information can be found by visiting the CBA website.

The Answer to Multiple Pimlico Studies? Yet Another Study

Wed, 2019-02-06 17:01

The legislative answer to the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA)’s multi-year study that recently recommended a $424 million razing and rebuilding of Pimlico Race Course was filed in the state Senate Feb. 4.

The gist of the proposed bill? The state should conduct yet another study to figure out who might pay for what was called for in the previous study.

According to a summary of SB800, the bill, if passed, would establish “the Workgroup to Study the Implementation of Phase 2 of the MSA’s Pimlico Race Course Study [and] make recommendations regarding financing options.”

Six weeks ago, the MSA’s Phase 2 Pimlico study called for a sweeping plan to build a new 15/16-mile dirt track, seven-furlong turf track, grandstand, and four-story clubhouse as part of a shared-space neighborhood that would include athletic fields, commercial and residential mixed-use, and a health care campus. The focal point would be the construction of The Palio, a 300 by 500 foot public multi-use plaza designed to serve both as the once-annual saddling area for the Preakness while also hosting outdoor public concerts, performing arts, festivals, and markets.

But the MSA’s detailed Phase 2 research did not address who might pay for what amounts to the most ambitious racetrack reconstruction project in America in decades.

The Stronach Group (TSG), which operates both Pimlico and Laurel Park, has repeatedly expressed interest in wanting to cease all operations at Pimlico and move the second jewel of the Triple Crown to Laurel, where TSG has invested in tens of millions in upgrades in recent years. TSG management has also indicated it is not willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to revamp Pimlico, which last year conducted only 12 dates of racing.

Baltimore’s civic officials have been emphatic about not wanting to suffer the economic consequences of losing the Preakness to Laurel, some 25 miles south of the city.

The Baltimore Business Journal reported that Sen. Antonio Hayes, chairman of the Baltimore City Senate Delegation, and Sen. Jill Carter, who represents Park Heights, co-sponsored the bill on behalf of on behalf of Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh.

When the Phase 2 study was released, some Maryland horsemen expressed concern that the entire issue was being framed around the threat of Baltimore’s losing the privilege and history of hosting the Preakness, and not what might be best for the state’s Thoroughbred industry as a whole.

Whatever happens with the bill proposing the new study, the Preakness is unlikely to be on the move in the immediate future: The deadline for completing the new study would be Dec. 1, 2019, and by Maryland law, relocating the state’s signature horse race requires the approval of the General Assembly.

Satisfactory Start to Sales Year at Goffs

Wed, 2019-02-06 14:52

KILDARE, Ireland – The second and final session of the Goffs February Sale followed a similar script to the opening day, but it still saw some significant transactions take place. The first 40 or so lots offered in the morning were 2-year-olds, some broken, others not, and while it represents an unusual stage of a flat horse’s lifecycle to be offered–it hovers between yearling sale stage and breeze-up stage–the section still produced one of the more high-profile sales of the whole auction when an unnamed Lawman (Fr) filly sold for €110,000.

While not many were rejoicing over the level of business being conducted, the sale still held its own and taking into account the reduced catalogue proceedings were more or less in line with last year. The aggregate of €3,976,150 was achieved by selling 264 of the 386 offered lots yielding a 68% clearance rate, while both the average of €15,061 and the median of €7,850 showed minor gains on last year.

At the close of business Goffs CEO Henry Beeby said, “Goffs February starts each year as the preferred option for many breeders at this time of year, as it combines the largest selection of weanlings with an eclectic mix of mares and fillies with breeding potential. Yesterday’s weanlings enjoyed a vibrant trade with strong competition for the best from a huge group of pinhookers who did battle for the youngsters they feel will be the most obvious candidates for the first-choice yearling sales later in the year.

Consequently, the knock-on effect is a trade that remains unforgiving for those that did not fall into that category; such is the way the market is operating at present as we clearly saw at all sales and locations through the autumn. Today’s breeding stock and mixed session has performed well with statistics that reflect the first choice nature of the sale and so we have enjoyed top prices in several categories on both days for the sales taking place at this time of year. We have been delighted to welcome a truly international group of buyers from as far afield as Uzbekistan whilst the home team has also been very active.”

He continued, “Of course the catalogue was smaller by over 150 lots when compared to last year, which in turn was 120 less than in 2017, so it was unlikely were going to match the turnover. However, all the other figures show growth so we have started the year with positivity and have much to look forward to in the coming months. For now we extend our thanks to each vendor and every purchaser for their support as we are nothing without them.”

Session-topping lot 298 certainly got every chance to achieve her maximum price in the ring and after a marathon game of bidding tennis between Curragh trainer Michael O’Callaghan and Tom Biggs of Blandford Bloodstock, it was the former who emerged victorious after a bid of €110,000. The Lawman (Fr) filly was offered by Baroda & Colbinstown to dissolve a partnership and boasts a regal back pedigree, being out of La Divina (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells), a full-sister to champions Islington (Ire) and Greek Dance (Ire). Michael O’Callaghan has built up a quality squad to go to war with this year and he reported, “I’ve bought her to race for an existing client, she is a lovely filly and has a great pedigree. She has been in pre-training with David Myerscough so she has plenty of ground work done.”

O’Callaghan signed for the filly under Moran Stud Farm, a name which also cropped up later on as the buyer of lot 380 Myopic (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}). The winning half-sister to stakes winner Twitch (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) was offered in foal to Kodiac (GB) and was hammered down for €95,000.

The consigning team of David Cox and David Myerscough offered another attractive proposition in lot 318 Vrai (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), and they were duly rewarded when the 3-year-old filly was snapped up by Mick Flanagan for €75,000. The half-sister to Lilbourne Lad (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) has shown consistent form in both France and England, placing three times and her appeal was heightened by the future prospects of her year younger half-sister by Gleneagles (Ire) who sold for 300,000gns as a yearling last year.

“She is a lovely moving filly with a great pedigree and she will most likely be covered by New Bay (GB),” reported Flanagan afterwards.

The €75,000 mark was also reached when BBA Ireland’s Eamonn Reilly signed for lot 333 Stellar Mass (Ire), the multiple stakes winning 6-year-old entire offered by Jim Bolger’s Glebe House Stables.

Goffs Scandinavia agent Filip Zwicky had his heart set on acquiring one mare in particular in the catalogue and his conviction was rewarded when lot 389, First Spirit (First Defence) was knocked down to him for €80,000. Zwicky, standing alongside a Danish client who had flown in on the day especially to see the mare, was pushed for much of the way by Matt Houldsworth, but when Zwicky countered Houldsworth’s €72,000 bid with an €8,000 rise, it was a tactic that ultimately sealed the deal for Zwicky.

The unraced half-sister to Group 1 winner Announce (GB) (Selkirk) was offered by Grenane House Stud in foal to Zoffany (Ire) and the agent said, “She was the one we wanted and I thought she was the most beautiful mare with the head of a queen.” Zwicky continued, “I have bought her for JC Organisation, who are new to breeding, but who invested in some nice yearlings last year. She will go to York Stud in Denmark and the progeny will be retained to race in Scandinavia to hopefully raise the profile of racing in the region.”

Mares from the draft of the Aga Khan Studs are often most sought after not only for their deep current pedigrees but also for what the pedigrees may unearth in the future. Lot 343 Shareva (Ire) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) is a prime example and she was purchased by Tally-Ho Stud for €62,000, with Tony O’Callaghan getting the better of Hugo Merry for the 4-year-old. Shareva was placed five times for Dermot Weld and, as a daughter of Group 3 winner Shareen (Ire) (Bahri) and a half-sister to two stakes winners in Shamreen (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Shahroze (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), her breeding credentials are obvious. In addition to this, the dam has a 2-year-old filly by Iffraaj (GB) and a yearling filly by Sea The Stars (Ire) coming through the ranks and is currently in foal to Frankel (GB). According to Roger O’Callaghan Shareva will be sent straight to the breeding shed at Tally-Ho with a date with rookie stallion Kessaar (Ire) on the immediate agenda.

Sean Flannery was a key member of the Goffs Bloodstock team until he decided on a major lifestyle change last year and returned to college to study medicine. But he hasn’t turned his back completely on the bloodstock business as he teamed up with his father Gerry Flannery to buy lot 373. Elshabakiya (Ire) (Diktat) was offered by Godolphin in foal to Dark Angel (Ire) and while the Flannerys had to fork out €62,000 to buy the 11-year-old, who was a black type performer in her racing days. Given the stallion will stand this year for €85,000 it seemed to represent good value.

“It’s obviously an attractive cover so she will go back home [to Esker Lodge Stud] and hopefully we will be back here in November with the foal,” reported Sean Flannery. “We haven’t decided who we will cover the mare with this year, but we will discuss it over the next while.” Of his current life as a trainee doctor in the University of Limerick Flannery said, “It’s certainly different, but I’m loving it. It’s my first time back here in Goffs since I started, as I missed the November Sale probably for the first time since I was about 10 years old. I actually have an exam tomorrow, so I’m glad we got this one so I can head off now and do some study.”

Following on from his major purchase of a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt on Tuesday, Avaz Ismoilov was busy again on Wednesday stockpiling bloodstock and he signed for 18 lots in total during the session, the majority of them fillies at the other end of the market compared to Tuesday’s main acquisition. Speaking to the TDN through an interpreter, Ismoilov indicated all the cheaper lots would make their way to Uzbekistan to boost that country’s breeding industry. Ismoilov purchased the former Ballydoyle trained James Cook (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}–Red Evie {Ire}, by intikhab) for 42,000gns in Newmarket last year and the plan is to acquire up to 100 fillies to support that young stallion’s career in Uzbekistan.