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Updated: 10 hours 1 min ago

Candy Ride Colt on Top as KEESEP Book 2 Concludes

Sat, 2019-09-14 20:07

by Jessica Martini and Brian DiDonato

LEXINGTON, KY – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale added another million-dollar transaction to its total as Book 2 concluded with a solid day of trade in Lexington Saturday. A colt by Candy Ride (Arg) became the auction’s 22nd yearling to sell for seven figures when bringing a final bid of $1 million from bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, bidding on behalf of Speedway Stable. The colt was consigned by Don Robinson’s Winter Quarter Farm.

“Book 2 worked very well,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “We tried to cut down the numbers a little bit to increase the quality of the sale and I think that the numbers reflect that very well today.”

During the two-day Book 2 section, Keeneland sold 445 yearlings for $97,585,000. The average was $219,292 and the median was $185,000. A pair of yearlings sold for $1 million during Book 2, which comprised the fourth and fifth overall sessions of the 13-day auction.

In a larger 2018 Book 2, which comprised sale’s fifth and sixth overall sessions, 548 head grossed $87,103,700. The average was $158,948 and the median was $130,000. A single yearling sold for $1 million during the section.

“Going into the sale, we were looking for a very strong Book 1,” Russell said. “Obviously, we got that. And then our goal for Book 2 was to tighten down the numbers and increase the quality. And the huge rise in the median today and yesterday shows we were successful.”

The buy-back rate, which was 29.56% during Saturday’s session, now stands cumulatively at 28.18%, and remains largely in line with 2018 figures.

“That just tells you where the market is,” Russell said of the buy-back rate. “It is consistent to last year. So we take that as a positive.”

Taylor Made Sales Agency was Saturday’s leading consignor by gross, with 27 yearlings sold for $4,332,000.

“I think the market is very good,” said Taylor Made’s Mark Taylor. “We’ve had a great day of selling, but I think you have to be realistic about your reserves. People are being pragmatic and they are bidding very fair prices, but you can’t just throw caution to the wind. You have to know your horse and you have to know who is interested in it and basically assess the value. And if you do that, and don’t get greedy, then it’s a very fair market.”

The September sale continues with the first of two Book 3 sessions Sunday.

“With the way the catalogue is this year compared to last year, having fewer horses in Book 1 and having fewer horses in Book 2, has put some of those horses down in Book 3, so there is going to be a good level of high-quality horses still available in Book 3,” Russell said.

The Keeneland September sale continues through Sept. 22 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Speedway Steps Up For Candy Ride Colt

Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner’s Speedway Stable got in on the action Saturday when paying a session-topping $1 million for a Candy Ride (Arg) colt out of triple Grade II winner Always a Princess (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}). The May 6 foal was consigned by Don Robinson’s Winter Quarter Farm as hip 1062.

“Every single person on my team loved this horse from the very first sighting. He took my breathe away,” said agent Marette Farrell after signing the ticket. “We were underbidder on [$425,000 KEESEP ’15 grad and 2016 GI Los Alamitos Futurity winner] Mastery (Candy Ride {Arg}), and this horse gave me that same feeling; very easy on the eye, such a good mover and an amazing demeanor. I saw him at the beginning of the day and I saw him at the end of the day and he moved the exact same with the same look on his face. I think he can handle anything, we’re excited. We love Candy Ride. He’s an incredible stallion and we hope he’s going to be a champion.”

Speedway campaigns this year’s GI Santa Anita Derby winner and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Roadster (Quality Road), a $525,000 buy here two years ago; and raced fellow highest-level-winning Bob Baffert trainees Collected (City Zip) and Noted and Quoted (The Factor). Baffert will condition hip 1062 as well.

Speedway didn’t make any purchases in Book 1, but also grabbed a $290,000 Air Force Blue filly (hip 982) Saturday.

“Very hard to buy, extremely difficult,” said Farrell of the market. “Wonderful for the horse business, there are so many different entities here. Three months ago we were worried about the horse business and if it’s going to survive and here we are at September and it’s a new world.”

Farrell wasn’t surprised by how much it took to land 1062, adding, “We were underbidder on a really nice Curlin colt in the first book and we figured we were probably going to have to do the same thing. We got this one.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Candy Ride Colt Blossoms at the Right Time

Hip 1062 always had the pedigree to produce a seven-figure sale, and in the time leading up to September, he blossomed into a physical specimen to match.

“He was so popular…I knew he’d be at the top of this sale or up there,” said an elated Don Robinson, who consigned the colt through his Winter Quarter Farm on behalf of breeder Arnold Zetcher. “He’s probably the most popular, well-received yearling I’ve ever brought to a sale. Bar none. And, people who usually keep their mouths shut told me this was the best-looking horse on the grounds, so I didn’t have to do anything. I’ve had three generations. I had the granddam and the mother at the farm, so it’s been nothing but a thrill. It’s an offspring that belongs to Mr. Arnold Zetcher, and the family produced his first Grade I winner that was raised on my farm, so it’s a huge reward. I’m absolutely tickled.”

Zetcher imported the colt’s second dam Gabriellina Giof (GB) (Ashkalani) from Italy, and she took her first Stateside start in the former Talbot’s CEO’s pink silks in the 2001 Manhattan Beach S. at Hollywood Park before finishing second in the GII San Clemente H. She produced eventual MGISW and $1.25-million FTKNOV seller Gabby’s Golden Gal (Medaglia d’Oro) in 2006, and foaled hip 1062’s dam Always a Princess (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) the following year. Handed over to Bob Baffert like Gabby’s Golden Gal had been, Always a Princess turned in two-turn dirt romps in the 2010 GII Indiana Oaks and 2011 GII El Encino S. and GII La Canada S.

When asked if being in Book 2 might have allowed hip 1062 to stand out, Robinson said with a smile, “I know it did. Keeneland and I just got lucky. I felt like he would stick out. He’s a May baby and he came to the sale and, boy, in the last 30 days he was like a different horse. I thought he could be there, and he got there. It’s cool. And a good buyer and a good eye for a horse signed the ticket. She’s great.”

Robinson continued, “He was really nice, but he was always immature. Sales are so brutal in this era that it’s tough to get one who looks the part, and walks the part and for all that stuff to come together. He vets beautifully, and it worked.”

Always a Princess has produced a pair of prior winners for Zetcher, including 4-year-old Stylishly (Speightstown), who broke her maiden at Del Mar in July and cleared her first allowance condition there in August. Always a Princess’s 2-year-old filly by Bernardini brought $290,000 at OBS March, and she visited Bolt d’Oro for 2020.

“Very exciting!,” Zetcher said when reached by email while traveling. “There was a lot of interest in the colt, so we were hoping for the best. Bob trained the mother, so he knew the family well. Best of luck to the new owners!” —@BDiDonatoTDN

‘Sweet’ Day for Robinson

As if the million-dollar sale of hip 1062 wasn’t enough, Winter Quarter Farm sold another high-priced son of Candy Ride later in the session when Sapphire Stable went to $650,000 for hip 1109. The second Candy Ride colt was bred by Ron and Deborah McAnally out of their MSW and MGISP Charm the Maker (Empire Maker). Ron McAnally also trained the second dam of hip 1062.

“I was high on both horses–they’re both family members,” Winter Quarter’s Don Robinson said. “This horse wasn’t as popular as the other one, but almost. It’s an incredible family, so I’m thrilled. Everybody’s happy. It’s been an amazing day–probably as strong a day as I’ve had at the sales in a long time.”

Robinson consigned this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling topper, a Malibu Moon filly who set a sale record at $775,000.

Hip 1109 received a timely update when his 3-year-old full-sister She’s Our Charm (Candy Ride {Arg})–a $600,000 buyback 24 months ago–annexed a Del Mar maiden special weight at second asking Aug. 18 under Hall of Famer McAnally’s tutelage. The McAnallys bred and campaigned hip 1109’s next two dams: GSW Charm the Giant (Ire) (Giant’s Causeway) and MGSW/GISP Olympic Charmer (Olympio). Charm the Maker is half to last year’s GII John Henry Turf Championship S. winner Liam the Charmer (Smart Strike).

Hip 1109 is bred on the same cross as Grade I winner Separationofpowers.

“They were just stick-outs in Book 2,” Robinson said of the two Candy Ride colts. “They were probably borderline Book 1 types. Really, I love to be the big fish in the little pond. They just really stuck out, and that helped a lot. I had a Tapit horse in the first book [who was withdrawn], but there were [35] other Tapits in there. It just wasn’t there.”–@BDiDonatoTDN

Into Mischief Colt to Baffert

The partnership of SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Racing, this time joined by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet, struck late in Saturday’s session of the Keeneland September sale, going to $650,000 to acquire a colt by Into Mischief.

“This was a horse that [Stonestreet’s] John Moynihan identified as a horse they loved also,” said SF’s Tom Ryan as bloodstock agent Donato Lanni signed the ticket on hip 1239</. “Into Mischief is a very established stallion that everyone wants a piece of at the moment.”

The colt, out of Keysong (Songandaprayer), is a New York-bred, but will join all of the partners’ purchases at the Southern California barn of trainer Bob Baffert, Ryan confirmed.

The yearling was bred and consigned to the September sale by Becky Thomas’s Sequel New York. Thomas purchased Keysong for $75,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale.

“The mares that I bring to New York are mares that I would bring anywhere,” Thomas said. “I try to produce winners. She is a very pretty Songandaprayer mare–she’s really racy. She is a big, scopey mare. So I thought it was a good cross for Into Mischief. Into Mischief is one of those sires that all along the way, I’ve tried to breed to. He’s a wonderful sire.”


Union Rags Colt Heads West

A colt by Union Rags will be heading west after selling for $650,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent David Ingordo early in Saturday’s fifth session of the Keeneland September sale.

“He’s going to end up with a client of John Shirreffs who likes Union Rags a lot,” Ingordo said. “He is going to end up in California.”

Shirreffs trains Express Train (Union Rags) for Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable. That 2-year-old colt, a $500,000 Keeneland September purchase last year, romped home a

14 1/4-length maiden winner at Del Mar Aug. 28.

The yearling (hip 992) is out of graded stakes winner Sky Girl (Sky Mesa), a half-sister to champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road). He was consigned and bred by Greg Goodman’s Mt. Brilliant Farm, which purchased Sky Girl with this foal in utero for $1.5 million at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. The mare was bred to Quality Road this year.

Yearlings by Lane’s End’s Union Rags have been in demand this week in Lexington, with his 21 selling for an average of $369,143 including a pair of $1-million youngsters.

“I am a Union Rags man,” admitted Ingordo, who also serves as a bloodstock advisor at Lane’s End. “I love Union Rags. We’ve got [Hronis Racing’s multiple graded stakes winner] Catalina Cruiser with John Sadler, we have Express Train with John Shirreffs. My wife [trainer Cherie DeVaux] has a nice one that ran yesterday named Dinar [third at Churchill Downs]. Union Rags is a horse who is going to do a Quality Road. He’s got really good books in front of him, he’s got some top horses on the track. I never got off Union Rags and he’s pretty good value for money right now.”

Ingordo, an active buyer throughout Saturday’s session, admitted there was plenty of competition for the top lots this week at Keeneland.

“The way the market is going, we were underbidder on some very expensive horses multiple times over yesterday,” he said. “I know the same people are getting pushed back. You always want to buy the best horse you can for the most reasonable price you can, so we were happy with where we were at with this one.” —JessMartiniTDN

Juddmonte Still Active at the End of Book 2

Juddmonte Farms Manager Garrett O’Rourke stuck around almost to the end of Saturday’s second and final Book 2 session, and came away with a $650,000 Uncle Mo colt for Khalid Abdullah’s operation. Hip 1256 was offered by Paramount Sales, Agent CVIII on behalf of breeder Don Alberto Corporation.

“Now that we’re in Book 2, the number that have the credentials that he had, which is good looks, by a top sire, also with a lovely female pedigree.. are going to thin out considerably,” O’Rourke said before pausing to make shipping arrangements for the colt. “He’s just a colt from a lovely King Ranch family that I’ve really admired over the years as well. It’s nice to get into something along those lines, and again just looking for horses today who, if they could hit the top line, could ultimately be stallion prospects.”

Don Alberto paid $240,000 for unraced dam Lost Empire (Empire Maker) in foal to Giant’s Causeway at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. Lost Empire is out of GSW La Reina (A.P. Indy), making her a half to GSW Chief Havoc (Giant’s Causeway) and a granddaughter of champion Queena (Mr. Prospector).

This is the extremely deep female family developed by Emory Hamilton and her family that has produced contemporary Grade I winners like Verrazano, Keen Ice and Somali Lemonade.

It didn’t hurt that hip 1256 is out of a mare by Empire Maker, the Juddmonte homebred and MGISW who started his stud career at the nursery.

“I wouldn’t say that it was the primary factor, but obviously there’s a fondness there that I’ve always had for the horse, so it’ll be nice to be bringing back some of the genes,” O’Rourke said. “He didn’t quite resemble [Empire Maker], I don’t think, but at the same time between the Empire Maker and the Uncle Mo and back to that Queena family, you’re talking about nothing but Classic bloodlines. Hopefully he can follow his genes.”

Hip 1256 is bred on the same cross as 2016 GI Wood Memorial S. winner and promising young sire Outwork.

For the sale, Juddmonte has purchased seven yearlings–six colts–for a combined $3,225,000. Among its other acquisitions were a $900,000 Curlin colt (hip 278) and another $650,000 son of Uncle Mo (hip 484) out of a mare by another son of Unbridled in Unbridled’s Song, the sire of Juddmonte monster Arrogate.


The post Candy Ride Colt on Top as KEESEP Book 2 Concludes appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Old Persian Far Too Classy for Northern Dancer Rivals

Sat, 2019-09-14 18:37

Godolphin’s Old Persian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) made 65 cents on the dollar look like an absolute gift, taking over at will in upper stretch before proving a much-the-best winner of Saturday’s GI Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine. The race is the course-and-distance prep for next month’s GI Pattison Canadian International S.

A bit slow to begin from the inside stall, Old Persian and James Doyle mustered a bit of speed to be up into third turning down the side of the track as Cooler Mike (Giant Gizmo) opened up by the better part of 15 lengths in the opening six furlongs. The front-runner’s advantage was dwindling away rapidly as the field approached the half-mile marker, and Tiz A Slam (Tiznow)–winner of the GIII Singspiel S. and GII Nijinsky S. over the track and trip in his two most recent appearances–was the first to come calling for the lead inside the final three furlongs. But knowing full well that he was aboard a superior stayer, Doyle allowed Old Persian to claim Tiz A Slam in upper stretch and powered home to score as much the best as the heavy favorite. Nessy (Flower Alley), a full-brother to 2017 Canadian International romper Bullards Alley, was up late to take a photo for second, while Focus Group (Kitten’s Joy) just managed to touch Tiz A Slam out of third. Old Persian was providing James Doyle with a first North American Grade I victory.

Fifth in the 2018 G1 St Leger exactly one year ago Saturday, Old Persian had to call upon all his class to win the G2 Dubai City of Gold S. on seasonal debut Mar. 9, overcoming a world of traffic at the 300-meter mark to score by a nose. After besting the Heart’s Cry (Jpn) duo of Cheval Grand (Jpn) and Suave Richard (Jpn) in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic Mar. 30, Old Persian was a low-odds seventh in the G1 Investec Coronation Cup over the tricky Epsom layout May 31 and was a latest third in the G1 Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin Aug. 11.

“He didn’t run great in the Coronation back at Epsom there after a good run in Dubai,” said Alex Merriam, assistant to trainer Charlie Appleby. “We were pleased enough with his run in Germany and I think the ground was a bit on the soft side for him there. But James gave him a nice ride today and it worked out well.”

Old Persian could yet make another appearance in Greater Toronto this season.

“Not quite sure at the minute,” offered Merriam. “I spoke to Charlie and he said we’ll go back to Europe, see how he is, see how he comes out of the race and make a plan from there. No immediate plans at the minute.”

Pedigree Notes:

The fifth North American Grade I winner and one of 41 worldwide top-level winners for his wildly successful sire, Old Persian is out of a full-sister to Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Silkwood (GB) and GSW Silent Honor (Ire) (Sunday Silence). The late MGSW & G1SP Permian (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) appears under his third dam. Old Persian’s broodmare sire defeated Sam-Son’s Chief Bearhart (Chief’s Crown) in the 1996 Canadian International before finishing second to Pilsudski (Ire) (Polish Precedent) in that year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Turf at Woodbine. Indian Petal’s current 3-year-old filly Chapelli (GB) (Poet’s Voice {GB}) was third in this year’s Listed Chelmer S. and she is the dam of the juvenile filly Renaissance Queen (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and a yearling full-brother to Old Persian. She foaled a colt by Dubawi’s G1 2000 Guineas and G1 Lockinge S. winner Night of Thunder (Ire) this past Apr. 12.

Saturday, Woodbine
NORTHERN DANCER TURF S.-GI, C$304,200, Woodbine, 9-14, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:27.78, gd.
1–OLD PERSIAN (GB), 126, c, 4, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Indian Petal (GB), by Singspiel (Ire)
2nd Dam: Wood Vine, by Woodman
3rd Dam: Massaraat, by Nureyev
O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charles Appleby; J-James Doyle.
C$180,000. Lifetime Record: 16-9-1-2, $4,349,231.
2–Nessy, 119, g, 6, Flower Alley–Flower Forest, by Kris S.
O/B-Sierra Farm (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes. C$60,000.
3–Focus Group, 123, h, 5, Kitten’s Joy–Cocktail Hour, by
Dynaformer. ($140,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables,
Inc. & William H. Lawrence; B-Dixiana Farms LLC (KY); T-Chad
C. Brown. C$33,000.
Margins: 2HF, NO, HD. Odds: 0.65, 23.15, 3.90.
Also Ran: Tiz a Slam, Sir Sahib, Cooler Mike. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Old Persian Far Too Classy for Northern Dancer Rivals appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

El Tormenta Upsets the Woodbine Mile

Sat, 2019-09-14 18:14

Let go as the third-longest shot on the board at 44-1, Sam-Son Farm homebred El Tormenta (Stormy Atlantic) gave trainer Gail Cox her first top-level success, outfinishing the favored filly Got Stormy to win Saturday’s GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile and, in so doing, earning a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Nov. 2.

“It’s a Grade I win and it’s a ‘Win and You’re In,’ so it’s huge,” winning trainer Gail Cox said. “I was a little worried with the one-hole and being on the rail because if you’ve seen his past three starts, they’ve been troubled. I just think he was laying closer and really bullied his way through a little bit. He’s a very, very nice horse, and was probably overlooked here.”

Allowed to settle in mid-field, El Tormenta was able to save ground on the back of pacesetting Silent Poet (Silent Name {Jpn}) and looked to be full of run approaching the long Woodbine straight. Asked to quicken entering the final quarter-mile, El Tormenta found running room three paths off the inner rail and had the GI Fourstardave H. heroine Got Stormy-who looked to be cruising beneath Tyler Gaffalione-in his sights. El Tormenta made the lead inside of the chalk with less than a furlong to run and stayed on best of all.

Lucullan (Medaglia d’Oro) crossed the line third, but was demoted to fourth for veering out sharply and interfering with Raging Bull in the final stages.

El Tormenta won one of his five prior trips to the post this term, posting a neck victory in the GII Connaught Cup S. June 1. He was also a close fourth in both the GI Highlander S. June 29 and GII Play the King S. last time Aug. 24.

Michael Balaz of Sam-Son Farm added, “He’s had a good campaign, but a lot of tough luck. Eurico [Da Silva] gave him a masterful ride, and got him through. He was able to really show his best self today. What a special win.”

Pedigree Notes:

El Tormenta is one of 108 stakes winners and the eighth Grade I winner for sire Stormy Atlantic, a son of former leading sire Storm Cat who traces tail female to blue hen Moccasin. El Tormenta’s damsire, El Prado (Ire), is no less successful, with black-type winners out of his daughters including 2012 GI Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can (Proud Citizen) and 64 others. While El Tormenta is the first stakes performer out of his dam, who also has yearling and weanling fillies by Mizzen Mast and Palace, respectively, he traces to one of Canada’s top families. His third dam produced 1999 Canadian champion Hello Seattle (Deputy Minster) and is a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year, Canadian Broodmare of the Year, and GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Dance Smartly (Danzig), as well as to two-time leading U.S. sire Smart Strike (Mr. Prospector). They all trace to Sam-Son Farm foundation mare No Class.

Saturday, Woodbine
RICOH WOODBINE MILE S.-GI, C$1,121,200, Woodbine, 9-14, 3yo/up, 1mT, 1:32.60, gd.
1–EL TORMENTA, 123, g, 4, by Stormy Atlantic
1st Dam: Torreadora, by El Prado (Ire)
2nd Dam: Fleet of Foot, by Gone West
3rd Dam: Seattle Classic, by Seattle Slew
1ST GRADE I WIN. O/B-Sam-Son Farm (ON); T-Gail Cox;
J-Eurico Rosa Da Silva. C$720,000. Lifetime Record: 13-4-3-0,
$774,356. Werk Nick Rating: C+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Got Stormy, 123, f, 4, Get Stormy–Super Phoebe, by Malabar
Gold. ($23,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $45,000 2yo ’17 EASMAY).
O-Gary Barber & Southern Equine Stable, LLC; B-Mt. Joy
Stables, Pope & Marc McLean & Pope McLean Jr. (KY); T-Mark
E. Casse. C$200,000.
3–Raging Bull (Fr), 123, c, 4, Dark Angel (Ire)–Rosa Bonheur, by
Mr. Greeley. (€90,000 Ylg ’16 GOFORB). O-Peter M. Brant;
B-Dayton Investments Limited (FR); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: HF, HF, HF. Odds: 44.70, 1.55, 3.80.
Also Ran: Lucullan, Synchrony, Emmaus (Ire), Admiralty Pier, Made You Look, Silent Poet, Awesometank (GB), American Guru. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post El Tormenta Upsets the Woodbine Mile appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Rising Star Dennis’ Moment Romps in the Iroquois

Sat, 2019-09-14 17:41

Albaugh Family Stable LLC’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Dennis’ Moment (Tiznow) announced himself as a major player in this year’s juvenile colts’ division with a dominating 19 1/4-length maiden victory going seven furlongs at Ellis Park July 27. The $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga graduate backed up that performance in style Saturday, landing the GIII Iroquois S. with a fair bit of authority to punch his ticket to Santa Anita and the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile the first weekend in November.

“This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore,” winning trainer Dale Romans said. “He’s just an amazing animal. He goes out there and does it, his ears up, like he’s just galloping around out there. The jock was shutting him down with a sixteenth of a mile to go, and he still finished in the time he did. He’s something special. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”

Pounded into 2-5 favoritism and with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in from New York to ride, Dennis’ Moment, who dumped jockey Robby Albarado at the start of his local debut June 23, was off in good order this time around and was a forward factor from third, three wide without cover, as the Iroquois field raced into the first turn. Traveling on the bridle and in a nice rhythm down the backstretch, Dennis’ Moment was given his cue with about three furlongs to travel and made the lead while being held together nearing the lane. Firmly in front in upper stretch, he opened a daylight advantage passing the eighth pole and was well within his rider’s grasp for the better part of the final sixteenth of a mile, scoring by a 1 3/4-length margin that could have been at least triple that and in stakes-record time to boot.

Scabbard (More Than Ready) finished with interest after enduring a troubled trip to be second while no menace to the winner. Lebda (Raison d’Etat) was third home.

The Albaugh-owned/Romans-conditioned Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway) won the 2016 Iroquois prior to running second in the Juvenile.

“Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup,” winning owner Dennis Albaugh said. “They officially delivered it, so that’s exciting. We’re very happy with him now, and they named him after me, which was a surprise. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, of course, but getting 10 points toward getting into the Derby, that’s a big help. We’ll give this horse plenty of time.”

Pedigree Notes:

Two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow is the sire of Dennis’ Moment and 77 other stakes winners, including Eclipse champion Folklore and several other Grade I winners like Well Armed, Tourist, Colonel John and Tizway. Last weekend’s black-type winners by the sire were Blue Chipper (Keeneland Korea Sprint), Flor de La Mar (Beverly J. Lewis S.), and Ledecka (Malvern Rose S.). Dennis’ Moment is the second foal out of the Elusive Quality mare Transplendid, who also has yearling and weanling fillies by Verrazano and Into Mischief, respectively. Her unraced 3-year-old, Bridge to Heaven (Verrazano), sold at the 2017 Keeneland September sale for $650,000, while Dennis’ Moment sold at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sale a year later for $400,000. Transplendid is a half to 2007 GIII Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness S. winner Time’s Mistress (Mr. Greeley) from the extended family of GISW Golden Pheasant (Caro {Ire}). Elusive Quality is becoming a top broodmare sire, with two Eclipse champions of 2018 out of his daughters: Roy H (More Than Ready) and Shamrock Rose (First Dude), as well as 101 other black-type winners.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
IROQUOIS S.-GIII, $200,000, Churchill Downs, 9-14, 2yo,
1 1/16m, 1:43.58, ft.
1–DENNIS’ MOMENT, 118, c, 2, by Tiznow
1st Dam: Transplendid, by Elusive Quality
2nd Dam: Doyenne, by Deputy Minister
3rd Dam: Seewillo, by Pleasant Colony
WIN. ($400,000 Ylg ’18 FTSAUG). O-Albaugh Family Stables
LLC; B-Tolo Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Dale L. Romans; J-Irad Ortiz,
Jr. $117,800. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0, $147,800.
Werk Nick Rating: C+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Scabbard, 118, c, 2, More Than Ready–Cowgirl Mally, by
Gone West. ($190,000 RNA Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O/B-Joseph W.
Sutton (KY); T-Eddie Kenneally. $38,000.
3–Lebda, 118, c, 2, Raison d’Etat–Lenders Way, by Hook and
Ladder. ($1,000 Ylg ’18 EASOCT). O-Joseph E. Besecker;
B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-Claudio A. Gonzalez. $19,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, 5 1/4, HD. Odds: 0.40, 8.90, 25.50.
Also Ran: Letmeno, Rowdy Yates, January Won, Flute Maker, Automate, Juggernaut, Zyramid. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Paynter Filly Earns Breeders’ Cup Berth in Pocahontas

Sat, 2019-09-14 17:17

Raiding from California off a distant fourth to Bast (Uncle Mo) in the GI Del Mar Debutante Aug. 31, Lazy Daisy (Paynter) fought back in the final eighth of a mile to decision a resurgent longshot His Glory in Saturday’s GII Pocahonta S. at Churchill, a ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in early November.

First to break the line from gate four in this two-turn debut, Lazy Daisy took the field under the wire and into the first turn, but made the running in the two path, allowing His Glory to slide up underneath her and hold a pace-pressing spot from the rail. Given a bit of rein by Abel Cedillo leaving the three-eighths marker, Lazy Daisy inched in front and it looked at that stage as if His Glory would fail to be a stretch factor. But although James Graham atop the 43-1 longshot was able to tap his filly’s reserves and reassume control at the three-sixteenths, Lazy Daisy had the answers and fought back late to secure the victory. Favored Portrait sat a perfect trip and had dead aim on the top two turning for home, but was out on her feet at the furlong grounds, though did manage to hang on for a slice.

Lazy Daisy was a half-length debut winner over next out grassy maiden winner Greg’s Diva (Shackleford) at Del Mar Aug. 3 prior to her aforementioned effort in the Debutante.

Pedigree Notes:

Lazy Daisy breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 before commanding $39,000 at the OBSAPR Sale. The second graded winner for her sire (by Awesome Again), Lazy Daisy hails from the deeper female family of the good sprinter Valid Expectations (Valid Appeal) and has a foal half-brother by Commissioner. John Elder homebred Romantic Intention, a four-time winner, was bred to Astern (Aus) for the 2020 season.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
POCAHONTAS S.-GII, $200,000, Churchill Downs, 9-14, 2yo, f,
1 1/16m, 1:44.89, ft.
1–LAZY DAISY, 118, f, 2, by Paynter
1st Dam: Romantic Intention, by Suave
2nd Dam: Lights Out (Aus), by Way of Light
3rd Dam: Miss Pache, by Baldski
’18 KEEJAN; $24,000 RNA Ylg ’18 OBSOCT; $39,000 2yo ’19
OBSAPR). O-ERJ Racing, LLC, Great Friends Stable, LLC & Tom
Mansor; B-John Elder & Paynter Syndicate (KY); T-Doug F.
O’Neill; J-Abel Cedillo. $120,280. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0,
$174,880. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–His Glory, 118, f, 2, Mineshaft–Glorious Sky, by Aldebaran.
($52,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Ben & Sheila Rollins; B-Farm III
Enterprises LLC (FL); T-Thomas M. Amoss. $38,800.
3–Portrait, 118, f, 2, Tapizar–My Bellamy, by Bellamy Road.
($75,000 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $140,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-LNJ
Foxwoods; B-Alvin D. Haynes Estate (KY); T-Brad H. Cox.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3HF, 9 1/4. Odds: 7.20, 43.80, 1.30.
Also Ran: Blood Curdling, Morning Gold, Lotta Ott, Shadilee, Addilyn. Scratched: British Idiom. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Opinions on the Cap: Gerry Dilger

Sat, 2019-09-14 15:12

Editor’s Note: The Jockey Club has asked for public comment on their proposal to cap at 140 the number of mares a stallion can breed annually. In this ongoing series, we will publish the perspectives of breeders, stallion farms and others on the proposal.

Gerry Dilger:
Some horses have very large books and it’s hard to compete, but on the other side, if the farms put up their money for these stallions, and they have to get out in two, two-and-a-half years, you have to consider those guys as well. They’re paying millions and millions for stallions and some of them, as we know, don’t make it. They have to have a shot to get their money back to reinvest. I don’t think 140 is the number. I’d say 150, 160, maybe? Give the breeders or the farms a chance to get their investment back if they can or get most of it back and they can go out there and look for the next prospect.

Want to share your opinion? Email

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Honor Code Gets Fourth Winner at Churchill

Sat, 2019-09-14 15:10

5th-Churchill Downs, $94,697, Msw, 9-14, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:44.72, fm.
BAMA BREEZE (g, 2, Honor Code–Stella Blue {Fr} {GSW-Fr, SP-US, $138,270}, by Anabaa) rallied from the second half of the field to cause a $48 upset and become the fourth winner overall for his freshman sire (by A.P. Indy) and first on turf and over a distance of ground. Drawn gate one for Corey Lanerie, Bama Breeze settled about third-last early on and was one spot behind centerfield entering the final half-mile. Waited with in behind the leading group approaching the stretch, the dark bay was looking for a spot to run at the eighth pole and responded three off the inside with a sixteenth to travel before kicking on nicely to take it by 1 1/4 lengths from Cardiac Kid (American Pharoah). Bama Breeze’s dam, winner of the G3 Prix Miesque in France and stakes-placed in this country for Fred Seitz and Ted Folkerth, had already produced MSW & GSP Sirius Prospect (Gone West, $428,380), when she was knocked down to Hunter Valley Farm for $80,000 carrying this foal in utero at Keeneland January in 2017. Stella Blue is the dam of a yearling filly by Noble Mission (GB). Sales history: $150,000 RNA Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $80,000 RNA Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $54,412. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Miacomet Farm; B-Fred W Hertrich (KY); T-Ben Colebrook.

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Keeneland Book 2 Opens With Vibrant Trade

Fri, 2019-09-13 21:22

by Jessica Martini & Brian DiDonato

LEXINGTON, KY – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale lost none of its momentum following a dark day, with the two-session Book 2 opening with strong trade Friday in Lexington. The day was dominated by the Farish family’s Lane’s End Farm, which consigned the day’s top three lots, and four of the top five, including the $1-million session topper by the farm’s Union Rags, while Lane’s End stallion Quality Road was responsible for two of the day’s top four offerings.

The buying triumvirate of SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Racing, largely shut out of a competitive Book 1, purchased, along with various partners, five lots, including the million-dollar topper, a $900,000 son of Quality Road and a $800,000 Curlin colt.

“It was a solid start to Book 2,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “We made a concerted effort with Book 2 this year to trim the numbers a little bit. We catalogued 367 horses, compared to over 410 last year. Our goal was to continue to keep the quality from Book 1 up as high as we could as we go into Book 2 and the numbers reflect that that worked very well.”

During Friday’s session, 221 yearlings sold for $54,229,000. The average was $245,380 and the median was $210,000. With 94 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 29.84%.

While the revamped format of the September sale makes year-to-year comparisons inexact, Keeneland released figures comparing Friday’s opening Book 2 session, and the auction’s fourth overall, to the 2018 opening Book 2 session, which was the auction’s fifth overall session. Last year’s fifth session saw 284 yearlings gross $51,049,700. The average was $179,752 and the median was $140,000. The buy-back rate was 22.40%.

A total of 16 yearlings sold for $500,000 or over Friday.

“It was very vibrant and the last hour and a half was spectacular,” Russell said of Friday’s trade. “But I thought all during the day, we saw some buyers left over from Book 1 and buyers buying a lot more horses than they could do in Book 1.”

In a Book 1 dominated by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, SF/Starlight/Madaket purchased just two lots during the first part of the week. But the partners jumped into action with both feet Friday.

“I’m sure there are other people in the same position,” said SF’s Tom Ryan. “If we are pushed back, it must be the same situation for most others. It’s amazing when you see Sheikh Mohammed fly in here with his entourage. It’s great for the market and for the business, but it also makes it hard to compete.”

The Mayer family’s Nursery Place had its biggest sales result Friday when a colt by Quality Road sold for $900,000. That sale capped a perfect six-for-six day for the operation.

“It is a bull market, as they say,” Griffin Mayer said. “Today shows it. I thought we had a nice group, but this very much exceeded my expectations.”

The Keeneland September sale continues with a final Book 2 session Saturday and continues through Sept. 22 with bidding beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Patience Pays Off for Courtlandt

Don Adam’s Courtlandt Farm has been active once again at Keeneland September, and saved its biggest purchase so far for last at the end of Friday’s session in the form of a $975,000 filly (hip 923) by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and out of a half-sister to the dam of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. Lane’s End consigned the Mar. 27 foal on behalf of Dixiana Farms, which had purchased the bay for $290,000 in utero at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

“She was our top horse, even out of Book 1,” said Courtlandt’s Farm Manager Ernie Retamoza, who was joined for the bidding process by trainer Mark Hennig. “We thought she was Book 1 quality, obviously, with that family, American Pharoah. What can you say? She’s definitely the type of horse Mr. Adam’s looking to buy. We were hoping it wouldn’t go to the million, so we feel great getting her for the number that we did. She’s just the type of horse Mr. Adam’s looking for.”

Courtlandt has purchased 10 head at KEESEP ’19 for a combined $5.72 million, including three buys Friday for $1.86 million total.

“It’s strong on the ones we were after, I’ll tell you that,” Retamoza said of the market. “We did what we wanted to do in Book 1. We were saving a little for this book, and particularly this filly, so I think we pulled it off.”

Hip 923’s dam Momentary Magic (Indian Charlie) was a $230,000 September graduate herself and eventual Gulfstream Park maiden special weight winner, but was claimed out of her final career outing for $40,000. She is out of GISP Magical Illusion (Pulpit), who in turn is the dam of GSP Stage Magic (Ghostzapper), who produced Justify and GSW The Lieutenant.

An American Pharoah filly from another hugely important female family topped Book 1 at a record $8.2 million. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Quality Road Colt for Durant

Tom Durant added a colt by Quality Road to his racing operation when bloodstock agent Josh Stevens made a final bid of $950,000 to acquire the yearling from the Lane’s End consignment at Keeneland Friday.

“Quality Road is one of the best out there now,” Stevens said after signing the ticket on the yearling. “Tom bought a couple at the 2-year-old sales this year and he’s obviously looking for horses who are Derby prospects–like everybody else out here. We tried on some early and we just realized how strong it was going to get. After a couple of days of watching the prices, we just decided, let’s find a couple that we really love and go after them. Tom gives me the orders and I follow them.”

The yearling (hip 646), bred by W. S. Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership, is out of Storm Showers (Storm Cat). His second dam is graded winner Welcome Surprise (Seeking the Gold) and his third dam is blue-hen mare Weekend Surprise (Secretariat).

“The horse was just an elite physical; he had a great walk on him,” Stevens said. “He had everything you wanted to see in a physical. He was really well put together. He just has that look to him–a horse that can run early, but can stretch out and get you into those races you want to get into.”

Of the yearling’s deep roots at the Farish family’s operation, Stevens added, “If you look at what Lane’s End has done over the years, if you see a nice colt at Lane’s End’s consignment who was raised there, you know what they are capable of getting to down the road. That gives you a little bit more excitement when you see these type of horses and you know they’ve been raised at the best farms possible in Central Kentucky.”

Durant’s three purchases at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale included a $530,000 colt by American Pharoah (hip 350). At the OBS April sale, Stevens went to $275,000 to secure a filly by the Triple Crown winner (hip 725) on Durant’s behalf.

Stevens agreed the market has been highly competitive at Keeneland this week.

“When you look at the paper and you look at the physicals and you appraise them, right now in the market, you might as well double that,” Stevens said. “There are a lot of guys who haven’t signed their names yet at this sale, so you know there is plenty of money left. If you want to get horses like this, you have to step up and pay for them.” @JessMartiniTDN

Lane’s End Offerings, Stallions Dominate

Lane’s End couldn’t have had a better day than it did Friday, both as a consignor and with its stallions. Lane’s End consigned four of the day’s five top lots, and the remaining member of the top five was a son of Lane’s End phenom Quality Road. The Versailles-based operation led all sellers with 29 yearlings bringing $9.45 million.

“They lined up well for us,” said Lane’s End’s Bill Farish at the end of the session. “We just had some really good horses on this day, and it was great to see a couple of our stallions represented there at the top with Union Rags and Quality Road. Both of them had great days–not just our [consignment], but other people’s.”

A colt by Union Rags was the day’s session topper at $1 million, while Quality Road produced colts for $950,000 and $900,000 and was the day’s leading sire by average with more than one sold at $495,625 (eight total for $3,925,000).

“His mare books got better and better and better, and this [crop of yearlings] is still [the product] of $35,000 stud fee mares,” Farish said of Quality Road, who had another $900,000 colt sell during Book 1 and is currently third on the 2019 general sires list. “Next year’s $70,000, and then the next year is $150,000, so I think he’s really going to be one of the top tier commercial stallions.”

As for the strength of the Book 2 market, Farish said, “It was crazy. I don’t think we’ve ever seen more vetting on any day of the sale than we saw for today. I think a lot of the agents and lookers were trying to catch up, and they might’ve vetted more horses than they normally would because they had so many horses to see. It was incredible. I think the video scoping has really helped. They can get it done faster and get around a lot quicker.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Career Day for Nursery Place

The Mayer family, which has been consigning horses under its Nursery Place banner for decades, enjoyed its biggest success in the sales ring Friday at Keeneland, selling a colt by Quality Road for $900,000.

“I owned this horse in partnership with my dad [John], my brother [Walker], my uncle [Happy Broadbent] and my two best friends,” Griffin Mayer said after congratulating the SF/Starlight/

Madaket team on the purchase of hip 851. “So this was really special. He has always been a really nice horse. Coming in here, we knew he was nice, but over the last couple of days, it became evident how popular he was.”

The yearling is out of stakes-placed Hot Spell (Salt Lake) and is a half to stakes winner Saratoga Heater (Temple City). The partnership purchased Hot Spell, in foal to Morning Line, for $85,000 at the 2015 Keeneland January sale.

“This partnership has about eight mares together,” Mayer said. “It’s kind of new in the last three or four years, we started buying some mares. [Hot Spell] had already had a stakes horse at the time in Saratoga Heater, so that brought our attention to the mare.”

Since being acquired by the Nursery Place partnership, Hot Spell has produced stakes placed Malocchio (Orb), who sold for $190,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale.

Quality Road had two of the top four sellers during Friday’s session. Of the decision to send the mare to the Lane’s End stallion, Mayer said, “We really went out to Lane’s End with this horse in mind. This mare had a really good Orb, but she was just a hair short on leg and we went out and saw Quality Road and said, ‘This is the perfect fit for this mare.’ When the foal got on the ground, I wasn’t expecting that–he was awesome.”

Confirming the colt was the highest-priced Nursery Place consignee, Mayer said, “We had a baby bring $850,000 here a couple of years ago. But this one is great.”

The colt’s sale capped a big day for Nursery Place, which sold all six sent through the ring Friday. The group included a $350,000 son of Air Force Blue (hip 840) and a $250,000 daughter of Hard Spun (hip 841).

“We’ve had a great day, we’ve gone six-for-six,” Mayer said. “It was a great day for the Nursery Place team. Our guys do a phenomenal job at the farm and they all come up here and work with us at the sales and I can’t thank them enough for the good work that they do.” @JessMartiniTDN

SF, Starlight, Madaket Continue Building Their Empire

The powerful conglomerate spearheaded by SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables was perhaps slightly quieter than might have been expected during Book 1 of the Keeneland September sale, but sprung into action Friday, first securing an Empire Maker ridgling for $775,000 and eventually ending up with four of the top six lots and five in total once the day was done, including the session-topping $1-million Union Rags colt (hip 920) from the Lane’s End draft.

The partnership purchased three colts for $1.61 million during Book 1, but still had some work left to do to match the $11.43 million outlay made last year on 24 Classic-leaning colts, all purchased with the plan of turning them over to two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert. The group purchased a pair of yearlings at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale for a combined $985,000.

“It’s the same group–Baffert calls us the Avengers. Everyone has a role and everyone adds value,” said SF Bloodstock’s Tom Ryan after agent and Baffert buyer Donato Lanni signed the ticket on hip 763.

In response to a comment about the group’s relative lack of purchases during Book 1, Ryan said, “It wasn’t for the lack of not trying. It’s a very strong sale. There are a lot of high-quality horses on the market and a lot of money around for them. And it’s come from all over the world.”

The partnership’s first group of purchases are 2-year-olds of this year, and include TDN Rising StarEight Rings (Empire Maker), who turned in one of the most impressive performances by a juvenile this season when taking his Aug. 4 Del Mar unveiling by 6 1/4 lengths, only to duck in and lose his rider at 1-2 odds in the GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity.

“One thing we know right now is that Eight Rings is a very talented horse. All we know about [hip 763] right now is that he’s a very athletic horse,” Ryan said when asked to compare the two. “He’s just balanced, [has a strong] shoulder–the way his hind end ties in. He’s a beautiful horse… These kind of horses are generally quite obvious. It doesn’t take you a long time to pick them out. He was very well raised, too. He comes from a very good farm in Lantern Hill, he has a beautiful pedigree. There’s no reason not to get excited about him.”

SF, et al. paid $900,000 later in the session for hip 851, a Quality Road colt consigned by Nursery Place and made their biggest splash of the session right at the end, securing the lone million-dollar yearling of the day in hip 920, a G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.-bred chestnut from the family of Grade I winners Dream Deal, Creme Fraiche, Clear Mandate, Strong Mandate and Romantic Vision.

“When pedigree comes together with physical and they work well veterinary wise, that’s where we are at,” Ryan said of the session topper. “He’s a big, obvious horse and the competition was strong for him all over the ring as far as I could see. We found ourselves in a position where that’s what we had to give if we wanted to buy him.”

Overall, the partnership spent $3,975,000 to be leading buyer.

Others involved with the group are Fred Hertrich III, John Fielding and Ben Goldberg and Elliott Friman’s Golconda Stables.

They were represented last week by dominant Los Alamitos debuter Mo Hawk (Uncle Mo), who cost $400,000 12 months ago. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Stonestreet Joins in For Curlin Colt

Just when it seemed like the partnership involving SF Bloodstock, Starlight, Madaket, et al couldn’t get any more powerful, Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet joined in with them to partner on hip 900, an $800,000 son of Curlin. The grey was consigned by Lane’s End on behalf of breeder Paul Pompa.

“We’re very happy to have [Stonestreet] in–they’ve done a great job with Curlin to make him the stallion he is today,” said SF’s Tom Ryan as Donato Lanni signed the ticket and with Bob Baffert, Banke and her advisor John Moynihan and SF’s Gavin Murphy close by. “He’s just a big, powerful horse. Unbridled’s Song is a great broodmare sire, there’s plenty of depth to the pedigree and there was clearly loads of competition for him.”

Hip 900 is the first foal out of Lyrical Moment (Unbridled’s Song), a $500,000 OBS June graduate of 2015 who broke her maiden on the Belmont turf at three. She hails from the female family of GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Eight Belles (Unbridled’s Song).

Stonestreet’s 2019 GIII Doubledogdare S. winner Electric Forest is the lone graded winner so far bred on the Curlin–Unbridled’s Song cross. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Perfect ‘Storm’ for Sullivan, Shoemaker

Longtime owner/breeder Mary Sullivan typically isn’t one to spend much time in the spotlight, or to sell her horses, but Lantern Hill Farm’s Suzi Shoemaker picked a good time to convince her to give the latter a try. Out of a half-sister to the dam of this year’s GIII Beaugay S. and GII New York S. winner and GI Diana S. third Homerique (Exchange Rate), the Sullivan-bred Classier (Empire Maker), offered as hip 763, garnered the attention of SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables to sell for $775,000 during Friday’s Book 2 opener.

Florida-based Sullivan co-bred and co-campaigned hard-knocking Grade I-winning millionaire Kiri’s Clown in the mid-90s, and more recently bred and raced three-time Grade I winner Get Stormy (Stormy Atlantic). Now standing at Crestwood Farm, Get Stormy has gained some momentum this season thanks in large part to the exploits of his 4-year-old daughter Got Stormy, who bested the boys in Saratoga’s GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 10 and is the morning-line favorite to repeat the dose in Saturday’s GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile.

“This is the first colt that I’ve been allowed to sell by his, breeder Mary Sullivan,” Shoemaker revealed. “She has raced and bred for many years–she bred and raced Get Stormy–and he is emerging as a good sire with low numbers and modest mares. She’s a very modest person herself. She doesn’t seek publicity. She never sells and I managed to talk her into selling this horse. Like all breeders, we end up with too many horses on our training and boarding bills, so I asked her to sell him and she did and he was perfect in every way… Homerique is a filly who obviously has a lot of class… There was just a lot of sizzle in the pedigree. It was definitely a perfect storm.”

Sullivan paid $300,000 for Classier’s dam Class Will Tell (Bernardini) at the 2013 Keeneland September sale. Hailing from the female family of Group 1 winner White Moonstone and Grade I winner Desert Stormer, she graduated in the last of her 12 career starts in a Gulfstream maiden special weight going a mile on the dirt in 2016.

“This whole year has been kind of magical for Mary,” Shoemaker said. “Because she doesn’t sell, the fact that we were able to have such a great sale for her is just a great thrill for me professionally… This colt has a 2-year-old full-brother in training with Ian Wilkes, and normally Mary just races. Tom Bush also trains for her, and she races everything. But, over the years, I’ve seen horses who maybe would fit a sales program and tried to suggest it, and not gotten anywhere, but this year she said, ‘Okay. Let’s give this one a try.'”

Classier’s brother is named Make a Classic. Class Will Tell produced a Tiznow colt earlier this term and was bred back to Union Rags. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Team Shoplifted Take Another Home

The team buying on behalf of Robert Clay’s Grandview Equine, Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables and the Roth family’s LNJ Foxwoods was back in action Friday, striking for a $700,000 Speightstown colt out of the graded-placed TDN Rising Star Tokyo Time (Medaglia d’Oro). The well-bred bay was consigned as hip 679 by Gainesway, Agent XXIV on behalf of breeder Emory Hamilton.

“He’s a beautiful colt, lovely pedigree, raised on a spectacular farm,” said agent Jason Litt after signing the ticket. “We’ve had a lot of luck buying from Gainesway and with something raised on Helen Alexander’s farm (Emory Hamilton’s sister). He was just the classic ‘checks all the boxes’–beautiful mover, lovely type. We’re happy to have him.”

LNJ campaigns the flashy GI Longines Test S. heroine Covfefe (Into Mischief), who was bred by Alexander and her mother Helen Groves.

“It was good,” Litt said of the price paid for hip 679. “When you’re signing the ticket, you’re always feeling pretty good. If you’re crying when you’re buying, that’s never a good sign. So, we’re pretty happy.”

Litt said competition remained tough at the start of Book 2 and that he didn’t expect it to get much easier.

“There are some lovely horses,” he said. “There’s still good stuff, and there will be some good stuff for the rest of the sale. There’s still quality and plenty of people here with money.”

Grandview, Cheyenne and LNJ co-campaign 2-year-oldTDN Rising Star Shoplifted (Into Mischief), who was second in Saratoga’s GI Runhappy Hopeful S. as part of a Steve Asmussen-trained trifecta Sept. 2. The colt was an $800,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream buy signed for by Gatewood Bell’s Cromwell Bloodstock.

Bell signed for the $950,000 Twirling Candy half-brother to Grade I winners Ascend and Roadster purchased by this same group Wednesday.

Tokyo Time is a half to graded winners Hungry Island (More Than Ready) and Soaring Empire (Empire Maker), and the colt’s already jam-packed page got even more cramped thanks to the exploits of a son of another half to Tokyo Time–Preservationist (Arch) took the GII Suburban S. this July and added the Aug. 31 GI Woodward S. since the catalog was printed. This is the female family of Grade I winners Chic Shirine, Queena, Keen Ice, Somali Lemonade and Verrazano. —@BDiDonatoTDN

McIlroy, Callaghan Right on the Money for Empire Maker Colt

Agent Ben McIlroy and trainer Simon Callaghan stretched to secure an Empire Maker colt (hip 638) for $550,000 on behalf of a racing partnership early in Friday’s Book 2 opener. The Feb. 6 foal was consigned by Denali Stud, Agent XLIX on behalf of breeder Don Alberto Corporation.

“Obviously, he’s by a top-class stallion in Empire Maker out of a mare by a great broodmare sire in Bernardini,” McIlroy said. “He’s a top physical from great breeders–there wasn’t a whole lot no to like.”

Don Alberto paid $625,000 for winning dam Spare Change (Bernardini)–an eight-length Saratoga maiden special weight romper at two for her breeder Phipps Stable–in foal to Distorted Humor at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. Spare Change herself is a daughter of MGISW Finder’s Fee (Storm Cat) and granddaughter of GISW Fantastic Find (Mr. Prospector). A stakes-placed half to Spare Change produced GSW/MGISP Feathered (Indian Charlie), whose Tapit colt was a $1-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad last month.

Yearlings out of Bernardini mares have been in high demand this week. Among the high-priced sellers with Bernardini on their bottom side have been a $1.2-million Curlin colt, a $1-million Union Rags filly, a $900,000 Quality Road colt and a $500,000 Quality Road colt who sold just a few hips before hip 638. The Darley resident is the broodmare sire of 2019 Grade I winners Serengeti Empress (Alternation) and Dunbar Road (Quality Road) as well as the versatile MGISW Catholic Boy (More Than Ready).

“That was definitely a [factor in the colt’s appeal],” McElroy said. “And on top of that it was Bernardini over Storm Cat [on the dam’s side], which is another good cross. Those were factors, but it was mainly about the physical. He was one of the best physicals today by a top sire. That’s where we valued the horse and that’s where we got him… that was our last bid. That’s where I thought he would be. Maybe we got a little lucky because he was in early in the sale today. More times than not, you’ve got to go a few extra bids, but we got him right where we wanted.”

Later in the session, another son of Empire Maker out of a Bernardini mare sold for $775,000 to SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables (see more on hip 763 above). Hall of Famer Royal Delta is among the most noteworthy products of the Empire Maker–A.P. Indy (Bernardini’s sire) cross. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Encore for Imagine and Applauding

Marne Fauber and Heidi Cecil’s Imagine purchased the mare Applauding (Congrats) in foal to Curlin for $100,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale and was rewarded for the purchase when that Curlin filly sold for $475,000 to Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. The mare’s second Imagine-bred foal, a son of Distorted Humor (hip 728), nearly matched his half-sister when selling for $400,000 to trainer Ken McPeek during Friday’s session of the Keeneland September sale.

“Honestly, when I first bought her, I was trying to get a Curlin and she was in foal to Curlin,” Fauber said of the now 10-year-old mare’s appeal. “But she was just a nice, pretty mare, she was very well-balanced. She was good all the way around. I thought I had a bargain when I was buying the mare for what I got her for when the stud fee was more than that at the time.”

Applauding has a weanling filly by Curlin and was bred back to the Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion this year.

“We might offer the weanling in November, but I’m not sure,” Fauber said. “We are doing pretty well with the yearlings, so far.”

The Imagine broodmare band currently numbers just three head, but Applauding is the only member acquired specifically as a broodmare.

“We do a lot of the 2-year-old-in-training horses, so the other mares that we have, for whatever reason, couldn’t get sold,” Fauber explained. “But they are really well-bred, so we decided to breed them. I am happy with all of them.”

Fauber continued, “We have some racing, but they are racing because they didn’t sell. The plan is to sell. Whenever we buy weanlings, we offer all of them as yearlings. We don’t hold anything back. Everything goes to the sale and whatever doesn’t go, just stays in the program.” @JessMartiniTDN


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Opinions on the Cap: Barbara Banke

Fri, 2019-09-13 20:20

Editor’s Note: The Jockey Club has asked for public comment on their proposal to cap at 140 the number of mares a stallion can breed annually. In this ongoing series, we will publish the perspectives of breeders, stallion farms and others on the proposal.

Barbara Banke, Stonestreet Farm:
The health and welfare of the Thoroughbred breed should always be our number one concern. As a member of the Board of Stewards, I believe the proposal is a way to address a concern held broadly in the industry and look forward to the feedback from our invitation for comments.

Want to share your opinion? Email

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Craig Fravel to Leave Breeders’ Cup for The Stronach Group

Fri, 2019-09-13 15:20

Craig Fravel, since 2011 the President and Chief Executive Officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited, will leave his roles following this year’s World Championships Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations, for The Stronach Group.

“I can think of no greater privilege than to have had the opportunity to preside over what I consider the greatest championships in Thoroughbred racing,” said Fravel. “Every race comprising the Breeders’ Cup World Championships provides the chance to witness the splendid horses that reflect the hard work of breeders, trainers, jockeys, owners and backstretch workers. It has been an honor to serve them all during my time at the Breeders’ Cup. I want to thank the women and men of the Breeders’ Cup for their dedication and passion for our event. My particular gratitude goes to the Breeders’ Cup Board led in recent years by Bill Farish and Fred Hertrich whose support has been invaluable. I now look forward to new and important challenges and opportunities and the chance to join my family back in California.”

In his new position, Fravel will assume management and oversight of all racing operations across racetracks and training facilities owned by The Stronach Group. He will be focused on the implementation and enforcement of global best practices and integrity standards for horse and rider safety in collaboration with key industry stakeholders, according to a release.

During his tenure at the Breeders’ Cup, Fravel developed and executed a long-term host site strategy and was instrumental in iconic racetracks such as Keeneland (2015) and Del Mar (2017) hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time. He also expanded international participation in the Breeders’ Cup to its highest levels in history and struck an unprecedented 10-year partnership with NBC Sports to televise the event through 2025. He is also credited with spearheading plans to increase horse safety and welfare efforts.

“On behalf of our Board and Members, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Craig for his outstanding leadership and enormous accomplishments as our President and CEO these past eight years,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman, Fred Hertrich III. “His management and stewardship of the organization, not to mention his quick wit and calm demeanor, will be greatly missed by all of us. We wish Craig continued success in his new venture with one of our most valuable host site partners, The Stronach Group.”

Added Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group: “I am delighted to have Craig join our company at this pivotal moment in our sport. Craig’s stellar reputation and proven track record of leadership will enable us to further our goal to become North America’s preeminent horse racing organization as we work lock step with industry partners to prioritize horse and rider safety.”


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Spendthrift Adds Five Stallions to Roster

Thu, 2019-09-12 20:53

Spendthrift Farm announced the addition of five stallions to its roster at the farm’s annual breeders’ event Thursday evening. Having previously revealed the acquisition of MGISW Mitole (Eskendereya) and GISW Omaha Beach (War Front)’s breeding rights, Spendthrift has also brought on board GISW Vino Rosso (Curlin), MGSW Coal Front (Stay Thirsty) and GSW Maximus Mischief (Into Mischief) for 2020.

“There is obviously a tremendous amount of history here at Spendthrift, and it’s long been a goal of Mr. Hughes to return this great farm to its better days as a premier stallion operation. We believe we are doing that,” said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift general manager. “Currently, we are the only North American farm standing three stallions that have multiple Grade 1 winners in 2019, with Malibu Moon, Temple City and, of course, Into Mischief who’s the number one General Sire in the land. The addition of these five new horses will greatly complement our stallion roster and is representative of our commitment. It is the finest group we’ve had the privilege to bring in, and the best this storied farm has seen in decades. There is quality and diversity for every breeder. We’re extremely excited about all five horses and the future of Spendthrift.”


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Keeneland September Sale Resumes Friday

Thu, 2019-09-12 15:22

LEXINGTON, KY – There may have been no bidding at Keeneland Thursday, but it was anything but dark at the sales grounds as consignors were kept busy showing horses to perspective buyers on a sweltering day in the Blue Grass. The 13-day September sale opened with a blockbuster, three-session Book 1 and expectations are for that demand to carry into the two-session Book 2, which gets underway Friday at 10 a.m.
“The next two sessions have 365 horses a piece of really quality animals and there is a whole lot of money sitting on the sidelines still, who couldn’t get in here on Book 1,” said Keeneland’s vice president of sales and racing Bob Elliston. “I think we are going to see some fireworks still on Friday and Saturday.”
Hunter Simms of Warrendale Sales is looking forward to getting Book 2 started.
“We are very pleased with our Book 2 horses, we have a lot of sire power, we have some great physicals and great pedigrees,” Simms said. “We are selling for some great breeders. Coming out of Book 1, we are looking forward to Books 2, 3, and on through the sale. Everyone likes selling in Books 2, 3, and 4 and people like buying. It’s very competitive. That’s what you want. You’ll see some expensive horses in the next four or five days. ”
The idea that a competitive Book 1 market would set the table for the remainder of the auction was a common refrain at the sales grounds Thursday.
“I think Book 2 could be very strong,” said Paramount Sales’ Gabriel Duignan. “I think a lot of people got pushed back, traffic seems very encouraging and we’ve gotten good comments on the horses we have here, which helps.”
Asked if he was being kept busy outside Paramount’s Barn 44, Duignan said with a laugh, “They’re keeping me a little too busy.” He added, “It’s been crazy busy-all of the players we’ve had in the past and it looks like some new ones. Everybody seems like they want horses and they are very busy.”
Things were equally busy at the Select Sales Barn 36.
“Book 1 was great and we have been slammed here for Book 2 the last couple of days,” said Select Sales’ Andrew Cary. “I think the sale is going to continue being really strong all the way through. We’ve been having people wait and have to come back and see horses. From a consignors perspective, you never want to keep people waiting, but it’s good the demand is there and people are excited to see horses. That’s all you can ask for as a seller.”
Matt Lyons is overseeing the first consignment of Everett Dobson’s Candy Meadows Sales. Lyons said the demand for Book 2 horses started earlier than expected.
“We started showing Wednesday afternoon-we were going to wait until [Thursday] because we were selling out of Barn 24, but people were knocking on the doors to look, so we came down and started showing yesterday afternoon. Action has been busy ever since.”
In its debut consignment, Candy Meadows offered two horses in Book 1 and will have an additional two in Book 2.
“We’ve had a lot of good comments on how good the horses look and how well they are showing,” Lyons, who served as vice president and general manager of Woodford Thoroughbreds for 10 years before joining Candy Meadows in January, said.
“We are 100% so far, maybe we should retire,” he added with a laugh. “We are two-for-two-maybe we should retire at the top, but we’ll keep going.”
Of Candy Meadows’ Book 2 horses, Lyons said, “We have two nice colts, we think, a Twirling Candy who is going down well so far, and a More Than Ready colt from Daredevil’s family, so the same kind of cross.”
The Keeneland September sale continues through Sept. 22 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

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Opinions on the Cap: Greg Goodman

Thu, 2019-09-12 13:42

Editor’s Note: The Jockey Club has asked for public comment on their proposal to cap at 140 the number of mares a stallion can breed annually. In this ongoing series, we will publish the perspectives of breeders, stallion farms and others on the proposal.

It’s kind of a Catch 22, but I would say that it’s up to the stallion owners and the breeders. You have the choice of breeding to a stallion who breeds 200 horses, or you don’t have to breed to them. I don’t think The Jockey Club should limit people who own something as to what they can do with it. On the other side, it’s probably not a bad thing for the horses in general and for the business, but I just don’t think they should be telling people what to do.

It depends upon the stallion for us, too. I breed to Into Mischief a lot and he breeds a lot of horses, but there are other stallions we will look at and say, there’s going to be so many of them at the sale, let’s not do that, or let’s breed to a different stallion. If we have a nice mare that goes really well with that particular stallion, we’ll breed to him anyway but we do pay attention to that when we’re making our breeding decisions. We definitely talk about, “oh there’s going to be 30 of those in book 1,” and we shouldn’t do that with that horse. But people should make their own business decisions.

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Baffert Responds to Allegations in New York Times

Thu, 2019-09-12 13:36

In his first public comments since a New York Times story broke that 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) tested positive for the prohibited substance Scopolamine following the colt’s win in the GI Santa Anita Derby, trainer Bob Baffert issued a statement Thursday morning which denied that the drug was intentionally given to the horse.

“I unequivocally reject any implication that Scopolamine was ever intentionally administered to Justify, or any of my horses,” Baffert wrote in the statement. “Test results indicating trace amounts of the drug were undoubtedly the result of environmental contamination caused by the presence of jimsonweed in feed, a naturally growing substance in areas where hay and straw are produced in California. In addition, I had no input into, or influence on, the decisions made by the California Horse Racing Board.

“Following the Santa Anita Derby, Justify raced in three different jurisdictions during his Triple Crown run – Kentucky, Maryland and New York. He passed all drug tests in those jurisdictions. I call on the relevant testing agencies in those jurisdictions to immediately release information related to Justify’s test results.

“Justify is the one of the finest horses I’ve had the privilege of training and by any standard is one of the greatest of all time. I am proud to stand by his record, and my own.”

Had the California Horse Racing Board disqualified Justify from his win in the Santa Anita Derby he would not have had enough points to make the field for the GI Kentucky Derby.
Baffert’s attorney, W. Craig Roberston III, also released a letter he sent to the author of the story, Joe Drape. He called the article “long on sensationalism, short on facts and a great disservice to Mr. Baffert, Justify, and the entire horse industry.”

No one has disputed that Justify tested positive for Scopolamine in a race that was run 28 days before the Kentucky Derby. The lingering question is whether or not the California Horse Board erred in not adjudicating the matter in a more timely manner.

Proper procedures must be taken between the time a horse fails a drug tests and the findings are made public. In an earlier interview with the Thoroughbred Daily News, the CHRB’s equine medical director Rick Arthur said that it can take as many as 60 to 90 days to resolve a drug positive case.

In a statement released Thursday by Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery, Flanery said Churchill had not been informed of the Scopolamine positive.

“Until media reports surfaced Wednesday night, neither Churchill Downs nor the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission had knowledge of any potential positive tests that may have emanated from California in advance of the 2018 Kentucky Derby,” he said. “We do know that all pre- and post-race tests for 2018 Kentucky Derby participants came back clean, including Justify. In advance of our race each year, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission conducts pre-race out-of-competition testing for every Kentucky Derby starter and all starters’ results were clean. After the race, the top finishers are tested for a myriad of banned substances and the results for all were clean.”

Scopolamine, though illegal, is generally not considered a performance-enhancing drug. Rather it is found in jimsonweed, which grows wildly, and has been known to inadvertently get mixed into a horse’s feed.

In a statement, the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium explained, “Scopolamine (also known as hyoscine) is conventionally used in human medicine for the prevention of motion sickness. It is available by prescription in tablet and transdermal patch formulations. It has also had limited use in conjunction with general anesthesia in reducing airway secretions. It is associated with side effects of dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea and dry mouth. Scopolamine has limited historical use in equine veterinary medicine to relieve intestinal spasms in the treatment of gas colic. However, gastrointestinal side effects, potential toxicity and the development of safer, more effective medications have rendered its use as a therapeutic medication obsolete.”

“…there was never any intentional administration of Scopolamine to Justify and any insinuation in your article otherwise is not only defamatory, but is also defies logic and common sense,” Robertson wrote to Drape. “No trainer would ever intentionally administer Scopolamine to a horse. It has a depressant effect and would do anything but enhance the performance of a horse. There is zero scientific evidence to suggest that Scopolamine has any performance-enhancing properties.

“… Scopolamine is a known environmental contaminant. It is contained within jimsonweed, which is a naturally growing substance in areas where hay and straw are produced in California. There is a long history of environmental contamination cases involving Scopolamine in the state of California. In the past, the CHRB has even issued official advisories concerning contaminated feed to horsemen. There is no doubt that, with regard to Justify, the alleged positive was the result of environmental contamination from hay or straw.”

WinStar chief Elliott Walden, who raced the colt in partnership, also backed his trainer.

“It’s a year and a half later, so I don’t remember the exact date, but we were notified about it in mid-April,” Walden said. “I understood it was a contaminant, a known contaminant in California. We turned it over to an attorney, Craig Robertson, he communicated with them that he was handling it for us, and we never heard about it again.

“Bob Baffert’s reputation speaks for itself,” Walden continued. “He’s a great ambassador for the sport, and it’s a shame it has come to this.”

Through Justify’s Triple Crown campaign, the CHRB never disclosed the Scopolamine positive. It did not take any action until August when it voted to dismiss the case against Justify and ease rules on Scopolamine. Currently, any trainer who has a horse test positive for the drug may be subject to a fine or suspension, but the horse will not be disqualified.

“It is most unfortunate that the correct decision by the CHRB to not pursue action due to what was clearly a case of environmental contamination has been badly mischaracterized,” former CHRB head Chuck Winner said in a statement. “All possible tests and procedures and investigations were followed by the CHRB Equine Medical Director and senior staff, which led to the overwhelming evidence that Justify, along with six other horses in four different barns at Santa Anita, ingested scopolamine from Jimson Weed which was present in the hay that had been delivered to the barns … The California Equine Medical Director, the CHRB staff and the investigators followed all correct procedures in this case. When the Board was presented with all of the facts, it correctly voted to affirm the staff recommendation. It would have been a complete miscarriage of justice for the CHRB to have taken action against Justify or Baffert, knowing full well that the horse was poisoned by an environmental contaminate and not injected with a substance.”

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Nearly 250 Thoroughbreds Competed in T.I.P. Championships

Thu, 2019-09-12 12:19

Over $30,000 in cash and prizes were awarded at the third annual Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) Championship Horse Show, held Sept. 7-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington. The championships, held in conjunction with the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Show, offered 26 divisions in which 248 Thoroughbreds competed. Between the two shows, 450 Thoroughbreds competed while representing 26 states. In addition, the American Eventing Championships were also held at the Horse Park the weekend prior, with 218 Thoroughbreds (23% of the total entrants) competing.

Included among the T.I.P. divisions were classes in English pleasure, Western pleasure, dressage, Western dressage, hunters, and jumpers. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) sponsored high-point awards in four categories for horses adopted from TAA-accredited organizations, with the adopting organizations each receiving $250.

Proceeds from the New Vocations show, which ran Sept. 6-8, support Thoroughbred aftercare efforts.

“I am thrilled with the growth of the T.I.P. Championships since its inception in 2017 and the enthusiasm of all participants toward showcasing off-the-track Thoroughbreds,” said Kristin Werner, senior counsel for The Jockey Club and the administrator of T.I.P. “This weekend showcases the versatility of Thoroughbreds in a wide range of disciplines, and we hope that Thoroughbred-centric competitions will encourage horse owners to consider riding and competing with former racehorses.”

Any Thoroughbred registered with The Jockey Club or any foreign stud book recognized by The Jockey Club is eligible for T.I.P. shows. To qualify for the championships, a T.I.P.-eligible Thoroughbred must participate in a show offering T.I.P. high-point awards, classes, or divisions beginning Aug. 1 of the prior year through July 31 of the championships year or participate in the T.I.P. Performance Awards in the applicable discipline. For more information, visit T.I.P.

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TDN Writers’ Room Podcast: September 12

Wed, 2019-09-11 21:47

This week, Joe Bianca, Alan Carasso and Bill Finley discuss the astronomical returns through the first three days at Keeneland, the $8.2 million filly purchased by Mandy Pope, the upcoming weekend’s racing, and Finley’s horrible understanding of the apostrophe rule. It’s our `best Writers’ Room podcast to date,’ according to the writers. Listen to the podcast here. 

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Report: Justify Failed Drug Test Before Derby; CHRB’s Arthur Calls Story ‘Nonsense’

Wed, 2019-09-11 21:40

In a story written by Joe Drape, The New York Times is reporting the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) failed a drug test April 7 after winning the GI Santa Anita Derby and alleges that the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) should have taken the win away from the horse in an expeditious manner. Had it done so, Justify would not have had any Kentucky Derby points and would not have made it into the field of 20 for the Derby.

Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the CHRB called the story “absolute nonsense.”

“I will tell you this, Joe knows better,” Arthur said. “Joe thought he had a story and he wrote it the way he wanted.”

Drape wrote that Justify tested positive for a drug called scopolamine after winning the April 7 Santa Anita Derby. He alleges that the CHRB did not inform Baffert of the drug positive until nine days before the running of the Kentucky Derby and then let the matter drag on until after he finished off his Triple Crown sweep in the GI Belmont S. June 9. Eventually the CHRB dropped that case altogether.

Arthur would not confirm that the horse had tested positive and referred that question to other CHRB officials, none of whom were available for comment. He did downplay the effects scopolamine can have as a performance-enhancer and said that when it shows up in a horse’s system, it is usually the result of environmental contamination.

Elliott Walden, CEO and Racing Manager of WinStar Farm, a co-owner of Justify during his racing career, said he would have no comment at this time. Reached by text, Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert also declined to comment but said he would make a statement Thursday.

The Times maintains that had the CHRB dealt with the positive within the usual time frame it takes to levy penalties and suspensions, the horse would have been disqualified from the Santa Anita Derby before entries were taken for the Kentucky Derby and therefore would not have been able to run. Arthur said this premise is the major flaw in the Times‘s story.

“The fact of the matter is, even a high bute case can take 60-90 days to resolve,” he said. “There’s no way this case could haven been resolved prior to the Kentucky Derby, which would have been the only grounds for removing the points. This article show Drape’s ignorance of the regulatory process and due process allowed to licensees.”

CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker told the Times: “There was no way we could have come up with an investigative report prior to the Kentucky Derby. That’s impossible, that would have been careless and reckless for us to tell an investigator what usually takes you two months, you have to get done in five, eight days. We weren’t going to do that.”

However, Drape wrote of the drug positive: “That meant Justify should not have run in the Derby, if the sport’s rules were followed.”

Drape conferred with Dr. Rick Sams, former head of the drug lab for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and reported that Sams claimed scopolamine can be used as a bronchodilator that will clear a horse’s airway and optimize its heart rate. According to Drape, Sams said that 300 nanongrams per mililiter was found in the horse’s system, an excessive amount that “suggested the drug was intended to enhance performance.”

Drape never quotes Sams and does not make it clear why someone from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission would have detailed knowledge of a test performed by the CHRB.

As Justify continued on to win the GI Preakness S. and the GI Belmont S., the story remained in the dark. He never ran again after the Belmont.

Eventually, the CHRB let the case drop, deciding that the drug likely showed up in the horse’s system through environmental contamination and loosened its rules on scopolamine positives.

Scopolamine is listed as a “4C” drug by the Association of Racing Commissioner’s International. 4C drugs are considered the least serious of all drugs that are prohibited in horse racing. The ARCI’s recommended penalty for any trainer’s first offense with a 4C drug is a minium of a written warning to the maximum of a $500 fine. However, the presence of even such a minor drug can result in the disqualification of a horse.

Scopolamine is found in jimson weed, which grows wildly, and has been known to inadvertently get mixed into a horse’s feed. Arthur believes that is precisely what happened with Justify.

“Jimson weed is a weed we see in California not infrequently,” he said. “This is not a case of someone drugging a horse. This is a case of a horse poisoning. The source of it is a poisonous plant.

“The Board, on my and the executive director’s recommendation, made the correct, appropriate and the gutsy decision to dismiss the case,” Arthur said.


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Report: Justify Failed Drug Test Before Triple Crown

Wed, 2019-09-11 19:30

The New York Times is reporting the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) failed a drug test April 7 after winning the GI Santa Anita Derby which should have kept him from starting in the GI Kentucky Derby. Instead, the paper reports, the California Horse Racing Board took more than a month to confirm the results before dropping the case. The Times said the substance found in the test was scopolamine.

However, Dr. Rick Arthur, the Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board said that he found “several inaccuracies” in the story, written by Joe Drape, which Arthur attributed to “the reporter not understanding the normal regulatory processes in horse racing.”

This is a developing story. Return to this space later for updates

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Pair of Million Dollar Babies at KEESEP for Medaglia d’Oro

Wed, 2019-09-11 16:44

A son of Medaglia d’Oro out of GII Black-Eyed Susan S. heroine Keen Pauline (Pulpit) brought $1.2 million from bloodstock agent Ben McElroy at Keeneland September Wednesday afternoon. He was consigned as Hip 472 by Gainesway, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised.

A filly by Medaglia d’Oro, consigned as Hip 420 by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for breeders Aaron & Marie Jones LLC, registered a $1.1-million bid from New River Equine earlier in the session. She is out of graded winner Gloryzapper (Ghostzapper).



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More KEESEP ‘Magic’ as Book 1 Nears Conclusion

Wed, 2019-09-11 16:23

A Pioneerof the Nile half-brother to brilliant ‘TDN Rising Star’ and MGISW Guarana (Ghostzapper) realized a $2.1-million bid from bloodstock agent Mike Ryan on behalf of E Five Racing at Keeneland September Wednesday afternoon.

Produced by the winning mare Magical World (Distorted Humor), Hip 519 is also a half-brother to 2-year-old ‘TDN Rising Star’ Magic Dance (More Than Ready), SW & GSP, $154,023.

He was bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm and consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent CXCII.

The May 5 foal’s second dam is GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Pleasant Home (Seeking the Gold).

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