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Updated: 7 hours 7 min ago

Gaffalione: Stewards Never Spoke to Me

Sun, 2019-05-05 13:00

Though he did nothing wrong in Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby, jockey Tyler Gaffalione was a central player in the bumping incident that led to the historic disqualification of Maximum Security (New Year’s Day). Yet, Gaffalione said the Churchill Downs stewards never spoke to him after the race.

“They never spoke to me,” he said. “To be honest, I thought there’d be an inquiry. I was surprised that there wasn’t.”

Gaffalione rode War of Will (War Front), who was just outside Maximum Security when the latter came out near the top of the stretch and collided with Gaffalione’s mount. That set off a chain reaction that led to War of Will bothering Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy). Bodexpress (Bodemeister) was also affected and had to be steadied by jockey Corey Landeros.

After a delay of about 20 minutes, Country House (Lookin At Lucky), who crossed the wire second but did not appear to be affected by the bumping incident, was declared the winner.

One obvious reason that the stewards did not make it a priority to talk to Gaffalione is that he did not claim foul. However, he said there have been times during his brief career when he has been interviewed by stewards when he did not lodge an objection or was not in a position to have his horse moved up or down due to a disqualification.

“It depends. Every track has different ways of handling things,” he said. “There have been instances where I might have finished last, but something happened and I was in the mix and they asked me of my opinion of that. With everything going on Saturday, I’m sure the stewards had their hands full.”

When asked why he did not claim foul, Gaffalione said that he discussed doing so with trainer Mark Casse, but they saw no benefit in doing so.

“When I got off the horse I went to see Mark,” he said. “We finished eighth, so we felt it really wasn’t necessary. We thought that was the stewards’ job in a race like that, especially a race like the Derby. If they felt there was something wrong they should have put up the inquiry sign and there was no inquiry. If we finished fourth or fifth and could have been moved up and gotten more money for the horse, owner and trainer, I definitely would have claimed foul. But we had nothing to gain from it.”

Gaffalione said at the time of the incident, War of Will was traveling easily and he sensed that he had a legitimate shot of winning the race.

“Going into the turn I was sitting behind Luis Saez on Maximum Security,” he said. “I was just kind of following him around there. The horses outside of me looked like they were starting to back up a little bit and they were both longshots. So I wanted to advance my position, move forward a little bit. So, I got outside of Luis. It seemed like his horse kind of switched leads on him and kind of went out. Luis did nothing wrong. Things happen out there. Horses see things and get spooked; there’s a lot going on. At that point, we had just started to make our initial run and I had plenty of horse. Luis’s horse stopped all my momentum, I definitely had to take a good strong hold of him to make sure we didn’t clip heels. He definitely bumped into me a couple of times. It was unfortunate.”

Would he have won if not bothered?

“It’s tough to say,” he replied. “I think the horse had every chance to be 1-2-3 if nothing happened. I had a lot of horse around the turn. And he’s a strong horse who usually finishes strong. He stopped his momentum. I’m not sure if he would have beaten the winner, but he definitely would have given him a run and I think we definitely would have finished in the top three.”

It was a much improved effort from War of Will after he had finished ninth as the heavy favorite in the GII Louisiana Derby and Gaffalione believes a major victory is right around the corner for his colt.

“I’ve always been so confident in this horse,” he said. “I know he’s special and he’s showed it so many times. He’s just been a little bit unlucky in his last two starts. Hopefully, moving forward, he can get a clean trip and show everybody what he can do. We all believe in him and everyone else will soon enough.”


The post Gaffalione: Stewards Never Spoke to Me appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Maximum Security DQ’d, Country House Put Up in Shocking Derby Result

Sat, 2019-05-04 19:43

LOUISVILLE, KY – On this First Saturday in May, it was the most exciting 22 minutes in sports.

Maximum Security (New Year’s Day), unbeaten in his first four career starts, including the GI Florida Derby, led the field every step of the way beneath Luis Saez and crossed the wire 1 3/4 lengths clear of 65-1 longshot Country House (Lookin At Lucky) before a rain-soaked crowd of 150,729.

But the celebration for owners Gary and Mary West and trainer Jason Servis was short lived, however, as the tote board began flashing Maximum Security’s number seven after a pair of jockey’s objections lodged by Country House’s rider Flavien Prat as well as Jon Court, aboard Long Range Toddy (Take Charge Indy), who tired to 17th.

Maximum Security, off as the 9-2 second-choice, showed the way through fractions of :22.31 and :46.62 over the sloppy, sealed going, and veered out sharply at the five-sixteenths pole, impeding War of Will (War Front), who reported home eighth. The incident caused a wild chain reaction, also impacting the aforementioned Long Range Roddy and eventual 14th-place finisher Bodexpress (Bodemeister).

After a review of no less than 22 minutes, Maximum Security was disqualified for the infraction and placed 17th behind Long Range Toddy. This was the first disqualification in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby.

Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}), who shot up the rail at the top of the stretch as Maximum Security wandered, was elevated from third to second. The stretch-running Tacitus (Tapit) was moved up a slot to third.

Barbara Borden, Chief Steward for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, offered a brief, prepared statement while not taking questions from the large press corp on hand.

“We had a lengthy review of the race,” she said. “We interviewed the affected riders. We determined that [Maximum Security] drifted out and impacted the progress of [War of Will], in turn, interfering with [Long Range Toddy] and [Bodexpress]. These horses were all affected, we thought, by the interference. Therefore, we unanimously determined to disqualify number [Maximum Security] and place him behind [Long Range Toddy].”

Of the disqualification, Servis said, “I don’t think it changed the outcome of the race. It looks like something scared him in the infield. I feel bad for the Wests. It looked like he ducked out a little bit. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it will.”

Saez added, “I thought I never put anybody in danger. My horse shied away from the noise of the crowd and may have ducked out a little.”

Country House, still eligible for a first-level allowance race, paid $132.40 to win and is the second longest shot to win the Kentucky Derby. Donerail paid $184.90 in the 1913 Derby.

Placed in a good spot in a mid-field ninth for most of the way, the chestnut began to wind up on the far turn with a four-wide blitz and miraculously stayed out of harm’s way from the fiasco. Country House looked a winner as they straightened for home but Maximum Security had plenty left in the tank and dug in gamely to cross the wire first.

“Well, the entire trip was good,” Prat said. “He broke well and just put me in the race. He was traveling really well the entire race. And once I got him outside and I started to make my move, well, Maximum Security, he kind of drift out and turned us sideways. Like you say, the two horses inside of me had a lot more trouble than I did, but it affected me anyway.”

It may not be exactly how he dreamt, but Country House becomes the first Kentucky Derby winner in the brilliant career of Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who was winless from eight previous starters. He also saddled Tacitus.

“You know, as far as the win goes, it’s bittersweet,” Mott said. “I would be lying if I said it was any different. You always want to win with a clean trip and have everybody recognize the horse as the very good horse and for the great athlete that he is. I think, due to the disqualification, probably some of that is diminished. But this is horse racing.

Mott continued, “And I know the stewards had a very, very difficult decision. I mean, I’m glad I wasn’t in their shoes. But with that being said, I’m damn glad they put our number up.”

Country House, tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ after blowing the start and posting an eye-catching maiden win in his sophomore bow at Gulfstream Jan. 17, ran well in defeat in his next three attempts versus stakes company. Second-best after lugging in down the lane in the GII Risen Star S., he reported home fourth after a wide trip in the GII Louisiana Derby. He punched his ticket to Louisville with a third-place finish in the GI Arkansas Derby.

Country House was bred by the late longtime owner/breeder Joseph V. Shields Jr., who past away last fall. Shields campaigned homebred Wagon Limit to a memorable victory over the great Skip Away in the 1998 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup. Country House is campaigned in partnership by Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J. McFadden and LNJ Foxwoods.

“Well, it’s very exciting because Jerry bred the horse,” Mrs. Shields said. “He’s a homebred. And I just thank Billy Mott for training him, Flavien for riding him, and for this incredible win. It will take a while for it to sink in.”

Pedigree Notes:
Country House is the first Triple Crown race winner and third North American Grade I winner for Lookin At Lucky, who was represented by champion and five-time Grade I victor Accelerate and GI Beldame S. heroine Wow Cat (Chi) last term. Country House is 25th graded stakes winner and 44th black-type winner for his sire Lookin At Lucky. His stakes-winning son Lookin At Lee completed the exacta in the 2017 Run for the Roses. Joseph Shields, Jr., purchased the winner’s third dam, Allen Paulson-bred Ayanka (Jade Hunter), for $100,000 with second dam, GISP Shooting Party (Sky Classic), in utero at the 1997 Keeneland November Sale. Quake Lake is the second foal out of Shooting Party, who is also responsible for MGSW & GISP millionaire Breaking Lucky (Lookin At Lucky). The 21-year-old mare is still in production, foaling a Palace Malice colt in 2017 and an Exaggerator filly in 2018. She aborted twins by Exaggerator this year. Country House is the final foal out of Quake Lake, who carried the Shields silks to two wins from six starts for trainer Graham Motion. Her year-older foal is the Mott-trainer filly Mitchell Road (English Channel), who captured the Albert M. Stall Memorial S. at the Fair Grounds earlier this term.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
KENTUCKY DERBY PRESENTED BY WOODFORD RESERVE-GI, $3,000,000, Churchill Downs, 5-4, 3yo, 1 1/4m, 2:03.93, sy.
1–COUNTRY HOUSE, 126, c, 3, by Lookin At Lucky
                1st Dam: Quake Lake, by War Chant
                2nd Dam: Shooting Party, by Sky Classic
                3rd Dam: Ayanka, by Jade Hunter
   WIN. ‘TDN Rising Star’. O-Mrs. J. V. Shields, Jr., E. J. M.
McFadden, Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods; B-J. V. Shields (KY); T-William I.
Mott; J-Flavien Prat. $1,860,000. Lifetime Record: 7-2-2-1,
$2,120,175. *1/2 to Mitchell Road (English Channel), SW,
$154,570. Werk Nick Rating: C. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Code of Honor, 126, c, 3, Noble Mission (GB)–Reunited, by
Dixie Union. ($70,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O/B-W.S. Farish
(KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III. $600,000.
3–Tacitus, 126, c, 3, Tapit–Close Hatches, by First Defence.
O/B-Juddmonte Farms, Inc. (KY); T-William I. Mott. $300,000.
Margins: 3/4, 3/4, HD. Odds: 65.20, 14.40, 5.80.
Also Ran: Improbable, Game Winner, Master Fencer (Jpn), War of Will, Plus Que Parfait, Win Win Win, Cutting Humor, By My Standards, Vekoma, Bodexpress, Tax, Roadster, Long Range Toddy, Maximum Security, Spinoff, Gray Magician. Scratched: Haikal, Omaha Beach.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Maximum Security DQ’d, Country House Put Up in Shocking Derby Result appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Bricks and Mortar Keeps Streak Going in Turf Classic

Sat, 2019-05-04 17:45

Bricks and Mortar makes it four wins in a row since returning from a 14-month layoff in December with a late-flying victory in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic S. beneath the Twin Spires Saturday. Running off the hedge, the even-money favorite was back off the pace as Markitoff (Giant’s Causeway) clocked an opening quarter in :24.33 and a half in :50.10. Five wide turning for home, Bricks and Mortar began a steady advance in the lane and kicked it into high gear late to deny Qurbaan at the wire. Clyde’s Image held on for third. It was third win of the day for jockey Irad Ortiz, who also piloted GII Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile winner Beau Recall (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire}) and GII American Turf S. victor Digital Age (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who also sported the Klaravich colors for trainer Chad Brown.

Opening his account with four straight wins in 2017, including the GII Hall of Fame S. at Saratoga, Bricks and Mortar tasted defeat for the first time at the hooves of eventual Grade I winner Voodoo Song (English Channel) in that venue’s 2017 GIII Saranac S. Third behind another future top-level scorer in Yoshida (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) in that term’s GIII Hill Prince S., the dark bay was subsequently sidelined for 14 months and returned a winner in a one-mile optional claimer at Gulfstream Dec. 22. Brown was confident enough in his charge to take him to the nation’s richest turf race off that comeback and he proved his trainer right with a 2 1/2-length score in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf S. in Hallandale Jan. 26 over a yielding course. Bricks and Mortar bested the re-opposing Markitoff and Synchrony (Tapit) by a nose last time in the GII Mervin Muniz Memorial H. at the Fair Grounds Mar. 23.

Pedigree Notes:

Bricks and Mortar is out of French stakes winner Beyond the Waves, who is graded/group stakes-placed in both France and America. She also produced MSW Beyond Smart (Smart Strike), GSW Emerald Beech (Maria’s Mon), GSP Sir Ector (Dynaformer) and SP Water View (Petionville). Beyond the Waves is a half-sister to the dam of GISW Bordonaro (Memo {Chi}) and MSW & GISP Miss Empire (Empire Maker). The 22-year-old mare has a 3-year-old filly named Davida (Animal Kingdom) and failed to get in foal to Quality Road for both 2017 and 2018, but produced a Runhappy colt Apr. 24 of this year.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
OLD FORESTER TURF CLASSIC S.-GI, $1,000,000, Churchill Downs, 5-4, 4yo/up, 1 1/8mT, 1:51.80, gd.
1–BRICKS AND MORTAR, 124, h, 5, by Giant’s Causeway
                1st Dam: Beyond the Waves (SW & MGSP-Fr, $187,752),
                                by Ocean Crest
                2nd Dam: Excedent, by Exceller
                3rd Dam: Broadway Lullaby, by Stage Door Johnny
($200,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc. & William
Lawrence; B-George Strawbridge (KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Irad
Ortiz, Jr. $570,400. Lifetime Record: 10-8-0-2, $3,768,650.
*1/2 to Emerald Beech (Maria’s Mon), GSW, $269,338; Sir
Ector (Dynaformer), GSP-Ire, $346,533; Beyond Smart (Smart
Strike), MSW, $332,204.
2–Qurbaan, 120, h, 6, Speightstown–Flip Flop (Fr), by Zieten.
($300,000 Wlg ’13 KEENOV). O-Shadwell Stable; B-Justin
Carthy (KY); T-Kiaran P. McLaughlin. $184,000.
3–Clyde’s Image, 118, g, 5, Get Stormy–Marquetessa, by
Marquetry. ($24,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Sullimar Stable; B-Barr
Inman (KY); T-Thomas M. Bush. $92,000.
Margins: HF, 1 1/4, 2. Odds: 1.10, 13.40, 27.40.
Also Ran: Raging Bull (Fr), March to the Arch, Markitoff, Synchrony, Sabador (Fr), Ticonderoga, Next Shares, Multiplier, Prime Attraction, Breaking the Rules. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


The post Bricks and Mortar Keeps Streak Going in Turf Classic appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Goldencents’s Mr. Money Gets the Cash in Pat Day Mile

Sat, 2019-05-04 16:52

Mr. Money may not have made the Kentucky Derby field, but he was still an impressive winner beneath the Twin Spires on the First Saturday in May with a decisive score in the GIII Pat Day Mile. The 7-1 shot saved ground in mid pack through 22.21 opening quarter set by the battling trio of Manny Wah (Will Take Charge), Dunph (Temple City) and Mr Money Bags (Silver City). Eagerly tugging his way up to sit on the leading trio’s tails through a half in :45.42, the bay squeezed between Dunph and Manny Wah to take control entering the far turn. Mr. Money cruised clear in the lane, opening up on the field with ease to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Hog Creek Hustle tried his best in the lane, but never gained ground on the leader and finished second ahead of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Dream Maker. Heavily favored Instagrand (Into Mischief) failed to show his usual speed and never fired throughout, finishing eighth.

“He was a little bit more forward than By My Standards over the winter,” said winning trainer Bret Calhoun. “In the Louisiana Derby, he ran a good race, didn’t have a perfect trip. But he got up here and he’s trained phenomenally well. We thought the Pat Day Mile would suit him. I don’t know how far he wants to go, but based on the way he ran today, I don’t think going a little farther is going to stop him.”

He continued, “Great ride by [Gabriel Saez]. He hit a little traffic and didn’t panic. He really couldn’t have waited any longer, couldn’t hold him any longer. I knew they’d be coming, but when he split horses and got in the clear he looked like a winner.”

“It was a good race for him,” Saez said. “He was finally able to get it back together again. I couldn’t have a better trip than that. Saving ground for later, I split horses turning for home and, man, the minute he was free, he explodes. He finished really well, and handled the track, and got the job done. He’s been doing fabulous, day by day, week by week. He’s been coming along, and I was just really happy with him today, and thought he would run a big race, and he did, he did.”

Mr. Money graduated at third asking when stretched to 1 1/16 miles for the first time at Churchill Downs Sept. 28 and was fourth behind champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) next out in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile beneath the Twin Spires Nov. 2. A well-beaten seventh in the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds Feb. 16, he was an even fifth behind his stablemate, fellow Allied Racing Stable colorbearer and GI Kentucky Derby contender By My Standards (Goldencents) in the GII Louisiana Derby in NOLA Mar. 23.

Pedigree Notes:

Mr. Money is the second graded winner from the first crop of his two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winning-sire Goldencents with the first being his stablemate By My Standards. He is also the fourth black-type victor for the young Spendthrift stallion. The winner’s dam Plenty O’Toole has produced two winners from two foals to race thus far. She has a juvenile colt named Mr. Kidd (Palace), a yearling filly by Awesome Again and a Speightstown filly born Feb. 17 of this year. Mr. Money hails from the family of G1 Dubai World Cup hero Well Armed (Tiznow), GI Maker’s 46 Mile victory American Patriot (War Front), GSW Witty (Distorted Humor) and GISP Helsinki (Distorted Humor).

Saturday, Churchill Downs
PAT DAY MILE S. PRESENTED BY LG AND E AND KU-GIII, $396,000, Churchill Downs, 5-4, 3yo, 1m, 1:35.21, ft.
1–MR. MONEY, 118, c, 3, by Goldencents
                1st Dam: Plenty O’Toole, by Tiznow
                2nd Dam: O’ Toole, by Distorted Humor
                3rd Dam: Well Dressed, by Notebook
Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Allied Racing Stable, LLC; B-Spruce Lane
Farm (KY); T-W. Bret Calhoun; J-Gabriel Saez. $225,680.
Lifetime Record: 7-2-2-0, $400,080. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click
   for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Hog Creek Hustle, 118, c, 3, Overanalyze–Candy Fortune, by
Candy Ride (Arg). ($150,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Something
Special Racing, LLC & Beth Moore; B-Hargus & Sandra Sexton
& Silver Fern Farm, LLC (KY); T-Vickie L. Foley. $72,800.
3–Dream Maker, 118, c, 3, Tapit–To Dream About, by
Monarchos. ‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-John C. Oxley (KY); T-Mark Casse. $36,400.
Margins: 5 1/4, 2HF, 1 3/4. Odds: 7.50, 16.50, 16.70.
Also Ran: Captain Von Trapp, Everfast, Frolic More, Dunph, Instagrand, Last Judgment, Durkin’s Call, Tobacco Road, Manny Wah, Mr Money Bags. Scratched: Market King, Global Campaign.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


The post Goldencents’s Mr. Money Gets the Cash in Pat Day Mile appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Digital Age Caps Big Day for Invincible Spirit

Sat, 2019-05-04 15:58

The 2017 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale: the gift that just keeps on giving for trainer Chad Brown.

Digital Age (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a narrow last out winner of Tampa’s Columbia S. Mar. 9, remained unbeaten with a smart, come-from-behind tally in the GII American Turf S. on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

A bit chilly on the board at 8-1 considering his perfect record and high-profile barn, Digital Age raced in a ground-saving ninth through a half-mile in :49.32. Tipped out off the turn for home, he was fanned out at least six or seven-wide at the top of the stretch and came charging down the center of the course to get the money.

Digital Age won his debut over the Tampa turf Jan. 19 prior to his head victory in his aforementioned stakes debut.

“He saved a lot of ground,” Brown said. “He was stuck on the inside of the turf course, which is a double-edged sword. You want to save ground in these turf races, but clearly the outside of the turf course is a little bit better. I was just hoping Irad [Ortiz Jr.] found good ground, and he did a good job of it. You’ve got to respect this horse, he knows where the wire is. He knows when to kick and he can get there in time. We bought him as a yearling at Newmarket. We just took our time getting him to the races. He had a few baby issues, but the owners were real patient. His time is now.”

Pedigree Notes:

Digital Age added to a huge day already for Invincible Spirit, also the sire of Saturday’s G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia (Ire). Digital Age was a 325,000gns purchase by Klaravich Stables at the aforementioned TATOCT Sale while last term’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), second in her seasonal debut in Churchill’s GIII Edgewood S. Friday, brought 200,000gns; two-for-two ‘Rising Star’ Demarchelier (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was a 425,000gns purchase; and recent ‘Rising Star’ debut winner Value Proposition (GB) (Dansili {GB} was a 400,000gns acquisition. All four are trained by Brown. Digital Age’s unraced dam is a half to Irish Group 1 winner and English Group 3 winner Cursory Glance (Distorted Humor). He has 2-year-old and yearling full-sisters.


The post Digital Age Caps Big Day for Invincible Spirit appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Eskendereya’s Mitole Continues His Ascent in Churchill Downs

Sat, 2019-05-04 15:05

The fleet-footed Mitole continued his hot streak, registering his sixth straight victory and first at the highest level in the newly upgraded GI Churchill Downs S. It was the third Grade I win of the weekend for trainer Steve Asmussen and rider Ricardo Santana, who also teamed up to win Friday’s GI La Troienne S. with She’s a Julie (Elusive Quality) and Saturday’s GI Humana Distaff with Mia Mischief (Into Mischief), who is also partly owned by Mitole’s owners William and Corinne Heiligbrodt.

Favored at 2-1, the bay did not take up his usual position at the head of affairs, but instead stalked from a two-wide third as Bobby’s Wicked One and Promises Fulfilled duked it out through an opening quarter in :22.38. Sitting patiently on Promises Fulfilled’s outside hip with Uncontested (Tiz Wonderful) running alongside him, Mitole inched a bit closer as the half went up in :44.71. The Steve Asmussen pupil drew even with Promises Fulfilled while out wide on the far turn and that rival called it a day in early stretch, while Bobby’s Wicked One continued to box on from the fence. Mitole quickly disposed of that foe as well, bounding clear in late stretch for yet another decisive victory. Bobby’s Wicked One was a valiant second with Promises Fulfilled holding third over Do Share (Candy Ride {Arg}).

“Steve [Asmussen] has done a really amazing job with this horse,” said Santana. “He’s a really special horse for me. Today we knew there was a lot of speed in the race and it set up perfectly for him.”

“He’s for real,” said Asmussen. “Everyone has always been beaming about his potential and he met his potential today and is now a Grade I winner. The horse has been capable of what he’s done before. But you see his attitude, the way he moves, you love to see it come together. Ricardo’s confidence in the horse, the way he rode him, he didn’t panic. He wasn’t on his normal [spot on the] lead, but he was comfortable. Quick back in three weeks off a very fast race, he’s a quality horse. Like I said all week, the only thing I was worried about was not running him when he was doing this good. Yes, I think we all know what would be next off what he did today [the GI Met Mile]. As long as he’s telling us he was as ready as he was today, we will gladly be there.”

Donning cap and gown by 10 lengths at third asking at Oaklawn last February, Mitole was second in the Gazebo S. last February prior to an open-length optional claimer score in March 2018. A dominant nine-length winner of Oaklawn’s Bachelor S. last April, he defeated next-out GII Woody Stephens S. upsetter Still Having Fun (Old Fashioned) in a sloppy renewal of Pimlico’s Chick Lang S. last May.

Sidelined following that effort, Mitole made a victorious return to the races Mar. 2 at Oaklawn, winning an optional claimer by 4 1/4 lengths off a 10-month layoff. The 4-year-old entered this test off a 2 3/4-length defeat of re-opposing Grade I winner Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) in the Apr. 13 GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. over a sloppy six panels in Hot Springs.

Pedigree Notes:

Mitole is the second Grade I winner for his sire Eskendereya, following GI Met Mile and GI Los Alamitos Futurity S. victor Mor Spirit. They are also two of the four graded winners for their sire with the others being of the fairer sex, Eskenformoney and Isabella Sings. The late Edward Cox, Jr., bred and raced Mitole’s dam Indian Miss, who never found the winner’s circle. The bay colt is her second foal and she has since produced the unraced 3-year-old Tipperary Jack (Violence), a juvenile filly by Creative Cause and a yearling filly by Oxbow. WinStar purchased the half-sister to GSW Live Lively (Medaglia d’Oro) for $240,000 carrying a foal by Into Mischief at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale as part of the Cox dispersal. The 10-year-old mare has yet to produce that foal, according to the Jockey Club records.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
CHURCHILL DOWNS S. PRESENTED BY TWINSPIRES.COM-GI, $500,000, Churchill Downs, 5-4, 4yo/up, 7f, 1:21.21, ft.
1–MITOLE, 118, c, 4, by Eskendereya
                1st Dam: Indian Miss, by Indian Charlie
                2nd Dam: Glacken’s Gal, by Smoke Glacken
                3rd Dam: Lady Diplomat, by Silver Deputy
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($20,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $140,000 2yo ’17
OBSAPR). O-William and Corinne Heiligbrodt; B-Edward A. Cox
(KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr. $291,400.
Lifetime Record: 10-7-2-1, $992,910. Werk Nick Rating: A.
   Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bobby’s Wicked One, 118, c, 4, Speightstown–Wicked
Charm, by Ghostzapper. ($130,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Autumn
Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Ramona S. Bass, LLC (KY);
T-Albert M. Stall, Jr. $94,000.
3–Promises Fulfilled, 120, c, 4, Shackleford–Marquee Delivery,
by Marquetry. ($37,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Robert J. Baron;
B-David Jacobs (KY); T-Dale L. Romans. $47,000.
Margins: 3HF, HF, 1HF. Odds: 2.20, 7.70, 5.80.
Also Ran: Do Share, Whitmore, Warrior’s Club, Majestic Dunhill, Still Having Fun, Uncontested, Uno Mas Modelo, Wild Shot. Scratched: Limousine Liberal. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.



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Into Mischief Filly Gets Her Grade I in Humana Distaff

Sat, 2019-05-04 13:32

‘TDN Rising Star’ Mia Mischief (Into Mischief), heroine of last term’s GII Eight Belles S. on Kentucky Derby weekend, broke through for her first top-level score in Saturday’s GI Humana Distaff beneath the Twin Spires.

She pressed Amy’s Challenge through an opening quarter in :22.70, set her sights on that foe approaching the quarter pole while under very confident handling beneath Ricardo Santana Jr. and took off nicely once sat down in the stretch to pull off the upset over favored GISW Marley’s Freedom in a sharp final clocking.

“She’s doing really well and this was our first major target of the year with her,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “And she came through. It means so much [getting a Grade I] with a filly who tries as hard as she does.”

Winning owner Bill Heiligbrodt added, “Grade Is are tough but the mare is that quality mare. She’s my kind of horse. Go fast and get to the front.”

A painful second in last summer’s GI Test S. at Saratoga at this distance, Mia Mischief concluded her sophomore campaign with a ninth-place finish in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs. She began the year with an optional claiming tally at Oaklawn Mar. 3, then was second in the slop as the heavy favorite in the Carousel S. in Hot Springs Apr. 6.

Pedigree Notes:

Mia Mischief becomes the fourth Grade I winner for leading sire Into Mischief. She brought $300,000 from Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt after breezing an eighth in :10 at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-Year-Old Sale. Mia Mischief’s winning dam Greer Lynn, a daughter of the very successful broodmare Roll Over Baby (Rollin On Over), produced a Cross Traffic filly in 2017 ($120,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Timber Stables), an Into Mischief filly in 2018 and a Goldencents filly this year. Geer Lynn, a $400,000 RNA as a KEENOV weanling and a $435,000 RNA as a KEESEP yearling, is a half-sister to four stakes winners, including Value Plus, who was also runner-up in the GI Florida Derby. She is also a half-sister to graded winners Roll Hennessy Roll (Hennessy) and Sing Baby Sing (Unbridled’s Song).

Saturday, Churchill Downs
HUMANA DISTAFF S.-GI, $500,000, Churchill Downs, 5-4, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f, 1:21.78, ft.
1–MIA MISCHIEF, 118, f, 4, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Greer Lynn, by Speightstown
                2nd Dam: Roll Over Baby, by Rollin On Over
                3rd Dam: Sweet Praise, by Honey Jay
‘TDN Rising Star’ 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($135,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP;
$300,000 2yo ’17 FTFMAR). O-Heiligbrodt, Heiligbrodt, Heider
Family Stables LLC & Madaket Stables LLC; B-Spendthrift Farm
LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr.
$303,800. Lifetime Record: 14-6-6-0, $883,420. Werk Nick
   Rating: A++. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Marley’s Freedom, 120, m, 5, by Blame
                1st Dam: Relaxing Green, by Formal Gold
                2nd Dam: Charlotte Augusta, by Chief’s Crown
                3rd Dam: Noble Damsel, by Vaguely Noble
($35,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Cicero Farms, LLC; B-Jack Swain
(KY); T-Bob Baffert. $98,000.
3–Amy’s Challenge, 118, f, 4, by Artie Schiller
                1st Dam: Jump Up, by Jump Start
                2nd Dam: Susie Joe’s, by Bertrando
                3rd Dam: Fleet Cozzene, by Cozzene
($20,000 Ylg ’16 FTKOCT). O-Novogratz Racing Stables Inc.;
B-Sierra Farm (KY); T-McLean Robertson. $49,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, 4, 1. Odds: 11.50, 0.90, 4.20.
Also Ran: Spiced Perfection, Emboldened, Spring in the Wind, Talk Veuve to Me. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


The post Into Mischief Filly Gets Her Grade I in Humana Distaff appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

That Was Empress-ive!

Fri, 2019-05-03 18:34

LOUISVILLE, KY – Serengeti Empress (Alternation) bled and was vanned off after finishing seventh, beaten 50 1/4 lengths, at .30 cents on the dollar in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks Mar. 23.

Now, just one start later, she’s a GI Longines Kentucky Oaks winner.

Taking a major hit late in the win pool to drop to 13-1, the Joel Politi colorbearer cleared the field-thought to be loaded with other speed, at least on paper–from post 13 as Positive Spirit (Pioneerof the Nile) clipped heels, stumbled badly and lost her rider before a pinked-out crowd of 105,719 on what turned out to be a pleasant spring day after heavy morning showers.

The $70,000 KEESEP yearling purchase led comfortably beneath Jose Ortiz into the clubhouse turn as announcer Travis Stone reported that Positive Spirit was corralled by the outriders.

Serengeti Empress sped through an opening quarter of :23.25 and let it out a notch or two to lead by three lengths through a sharp opening half-mile in :46.65 over the drying-out fast going. Ortiz took a look back approaching the quarter pole and had to like what he saw as Serengeti Empress was still going strong.

Liora (Candy Ride {Arg}), meanwhile, made a bold run at Serengeti Empress into the stretch, but the pacesetter responded well to several left- and right-handers from Ortiz down the lane to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths. Runner-up Liora was 5 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Lady Apple (Curlin).

Champion Jaywalk (Cross Traffic), victress of the 2018 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, was disqualified from sixth and placed last for squeezing Positive Spirit at the start.

“She’s such a fast filly,” said Ortiz, who will ride Tacitus (Tapit) in Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby. “She took me to the front and she fought the entire way around there. This is an incredible win. Tom [Amoss] gave me a lot of confidence in her. I had never been on her, and he told me, ‘Ride her like you own her.’ And that’s what I did.”

This was by far the biggest victory of perennial leading trainer Tom Amoss’s career, who has saddled no fewer than 3,638 winners.

“Well, I have never won a race this big in my entire life, and I have been training since 1987,” Amoss said. “I just had so many emotions and they were going through my head so fast. As you can tell from the way I’m talking, I’m usually not at a loss for words, but my head is spinning right now.”

Serengeti Empress, a 19 1/2-length winner of the GII Pocahontas S. beneath the Twin Spires last September, was a disappointing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in the fall. The Indiana Downs debut winner delivered a sharp, front-running win over Liora in the GII Rachel Alexandra Mar. 23 prior to her aforementioned episode in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Serengeti Empress breezed a pair of bullets at Churchill Downs since, a four-furlong drill in :47 (1/23) Apr. 16 and a five-furlong move in :58 1/5 (1/30) Apr. 23, and was given the green light for the Oaks after scoping clean after her final breeze.

“She bled outwardly [in the Fair Grounds Oaks], and they gave her a precautionary ride back to the barn area on the horse ambulance,” Amoss said. “I called it that morning after [her final] work a ‘wow’ work. And most importantly, on that particular day, we treated her therapeutically just as we were going to treat her for the Kentucky Oaks. So it was important that not only she worked well, but that she didn’t have a bleeding episode. So we scoped her afterwards and she was clean. I called Joel and I said, ‘We’re a go. We’re going to go in the race.'”

Politi, an orthopedic surgeon from Columbus, Ohio, has been a horse owner for more than a decade. Serengeti Empress was his first stakes winner.

“My dad grew up in Egypt, loved going to the track,” Politi said. “They migrated through Europe to wind up getting over here. He was a physician, and once he got settled, he went to the track, and we had some $1,500 claimers at Waterford Park (now Mountaineer Park) and that’s how he got going. And I was at the track all the time. So it was a passion of my dad’s that I loved, and it was a joy, a treat for me to go to the track. I have been going since forever, and here we are.”

Serengeti Empress Pedigree Notes…

One of two graded winners for her Pin Oak-based sire and former ‘TDN Rising Star,’ Serengeti Empress is the lone runner from her dam, a daughter of Argentinian Group 3 winner and UAE Oaks third Love Dancing, who was bought back on a bid of $34,000 carrying the filly at Keeneland November in 2015. Havisham was reoffered back in foal to Alternation at KEENOV in 2016, hammering for $12,000, and produced a full-sister to Serengeti Empress in 2017, her last listed produce.

Bellafina Off the Board…

Bellafina (Quality Road), favored at 9-5 off an ultra-impressive win in the GI Santa Anita Oaks Apr. 6, raced as far as ninth in the early stages and never turned in a serious stretch rally to finish fifth, beaten eight lengths. “I think that it was the distance that did her in today,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “I think she wants to run in one-turn races. We’ll give her a break now and refocus on one-turn races. We may look at the [GI] Test [S. at Saratoga Aug. 3] next.” Jockey Flavien Prat added, “She broke a little slow but she always does. In California, with a five-horse field, you are not that far back after [a slow] break. The break was not the issue. I thought I was in a good spot, but when it was time to fire, she just didn’t.”

‘Positive’ Report…

Positive Spirit, a half-sister to GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) and double-digit length heroine of last term’s GII Demoiselle S., walked back to trainer Rodolphe Brisset’s barn under her own power and didn’t appear to suffer any significant injuries, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners on-call vet Dr. Al Ruggles. “From what we understand at this point, it’s likely a soft-tissue injury,” Dr. Ruggles said. “Sometimes there can be a little bit of skin lacerations. Sometimes it’s just losing a little bit of hair. But that will all be evaluated.” Jockey Manny Franco added, “I clipped heels out of the gate. I’m OK.”

Friday, Churchill Downs
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS-GI, $1,237,500, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:50.17, ft.
1–SERENGETI EMPRESS, 121, f, 3, by Alternation
                1st Dam: Havisham, by Bernardini
                2nd Dam: Love Dancing (Arg), by Salt Lake
                3rd Dam: Le Midi (Arg), by Fitzcarraldo (Arg)
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($25,000 Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $70,000 Ylg ’17
KEESEP). O-Joel Politi; B-Tri Eques Bloodstock, LLC (KY);
T-Thomas M. Amoss; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $705,250. Lifetime
Record: 8-5-0-0, $1,037,120. *1st GISW for her sire (by
Distorted Humor). Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Liora, 121, f, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
                1st Dam: Giant Mover, by Giant’s Causeway
                2nd Dam: Gold Mover, by Gold Fever
                3rd Dam: Intentional Move, by Tentam
($175,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Coffeepot Stables; B-Dell Ridge
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Wayne M. Catalano. $227,500.
3–Lady Apple, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Miss Mary Apples, by Clever Trick
                2nd Dam: Sacred Sue, by Holy Bull
                3rd Dam: Bootshine Girl, by Green Dancer
($100,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Phoenix Thoroughbred III
& KatieRich Stables; B-KatieRich Farms (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen. $113,750.
Margins: 1 3/4, 5HF, NK. Odds: 13.00, 38.60, 10.90.
Also Ran: Champagne Anyone, Bellafina, Street Band, Chocolate Kisses, Motion Emotion, Jeltrin, Out for a Spin, Flor de La Mar, Restless Rider, Jaywalk, Positive Spirit. Scratched: Dunbar Road, Point of Honor.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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QIPCO 2000 Guineas: Ten Up?

Fri, 2019-05-03 16:29

When convinced, Coolmore’s embrace of varying bloodstock schemes is total and unflinching, but there is always an accompanied dynamism which is exemplified yet again at Newmarket on Saturday. As another glorious passage is written in the non-ending narrative of the 2000 Guineas, their already-vital role in the Scat Daddy phenomenon extends to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Ten Sovereigns (Ire) as he tests No Nay Never’s capacity to extend his own sire’s building legacy. In what will prove to be a compelling edition of the G1 QIPCO-sponsored Classic, Ballydoyle’s premier nominee for Classic honours will be asked to plunge within for the stamina that this undulating quest has always demanded. Winners of the G1 Middle Park S. have a dubious history in the May monument, but the wily Ryan Moore has forecasted that his mount has the fortitude to procure a stunning 10th triumph for the inestimable and indefagitable Aidan O’Brien. Racing’s seeker extraordinaire, the sorcerer of Rosegreen has stamped this race like no other since he emerged with the similarly swift-of-foot King of Kings (Ire) in 1998 and 21 years on his defiance of the norm rages on.

Since the versatile equine impresario Rodrigo de Triano succeeded here in 1992 after a juvenile program that featured a Middle Park victory, few have tried the same deed and none succeeded. Now that the Commonwealth Cup is there to lure the previous season’s sprinting 2-year-olds, it is debatable how many connections of that particular brand of Thoroughbred will contrive to chase what is often the greatest of all lost causes in pitching for mile Classic laurels. Ironically, it was Rodrigo de Triano’s trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam who went closest in that endeavour in the long barren spell in between when his Dutch Art (GB) was third in 2007. Despite finishing in that overall position, the fast and precocious colt actually “won” his race on the far side as the assembly split into two, finishing ahead of the formidable middle-distance presences Duke of Marmalade (Ire) and Eagle Mountain (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}).

Yet the sacred art of getting speed juveniles to eke out their level of endurance to a mile is one that O’Brien revels in. At the beginning of the rise of Ballydoyle’s second empire, their Middle Park winner Minardi (Boundary) was fourth here and in the same year the supremely quick Mozart (Ire) (Danehill) had the Irish equivalent won in all bar the last 50 yards. Just 12 months ago, US Navy Flag (War Front) who had captured the 2017 Middle Park was similarly undone only in the closing stages of that Curragh Classic, while the yard’s Ad Valorem (Danzig) flaunted raw pace in the 2004 edition of Newmarket’s six-furlong juvenile feature before excelling over an extra two furlongs in the G1 Queen Anne S.

“I always think if they’re good enough, they usually get it,” the Ballydoyle handler proffered after Ten Sovereigns’ G3 Round Tower win when posed the age-old question of whether these types can last this far. In 2006, he faced similar internal questions as to the chances of George Washington (Ire) (Danehill) in the Guineas and they were answered categorically. “Gorgeous George” even stayed a mile and a quarter afterwards, while this is the man who won a G1 Nassau S. with the sprint-bred Halfway To Heaven (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}) and got the ridiculously fast Airwave (GB) (Air Express {Ire}) to land a G2 Ridgewood Pearl S. over The Curragh’s demanding mile.

Yet the fact remains that Ten Sovereigns does not fit the profile of stable’s recent leading contenders. Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), Churchill (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Gleneagles (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Australia (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) and Camelot (GB) (Montjeu {Ire}) came to post with cast-iron guarantees attached to excel at this trip. In recent years, the operation’s only experimental gambit came with the dirt-bred Air Force Blue (War Front) and that resulted in a mighty reversal in 2016. Those who side with custom can take comfort that Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) is also here to slot perfectly into the race’s perfect contender profile. One of this renewal’s proven stayers, he has an already commanding form profile having won the G1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster in October, a race which is fast becoming the chief juvenile pointer to the Guineas.

Dashing in his own right and far from supplying a supporting actor role, Magna Grecia had to learn quickly post-summer and suffered his sole defeat when encountering the race’s most profoundly galling absentee Persian King (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) in the course-and-distance G3 Autumn S. Owned in partnership with Flaxman Stables, he is in a prominent position to end a decades-long agony in this race for the family of the Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos. Thirty nine years on from the baffling disqualification of Nureyev, the operation who also went close with Machiavellian and Enrique (GB) (Barathea {Ire}) could finally be about to lay an imposing ghost to rest.

Aidan O’Brien was weighing up the prospects of his two protagonists on Friday. “Ten Sovereigns has done very well–he’s a fine, big colt now,” he said. “You can’t be sure about the mile until he goes and does it, but we’ve been happy with him so far. We couldn’t have dreamed of Magna Grecia doing any more. The Guineas was always a possibility for him–that’s why we went to Newmarket for his second run. He’s very straightforward and seems to get the mile well.”

While Coolmore and Ballydoyle wrestle with their high-class problems, racing’s fringe players look to sew rich pastures from errant seeds. One of the Co. Tipperary institute’s relative minnow sires in Requinto (Ire) has conspired to generate a live contender in this year’s Classic in Great Scot (GB). Proof that the discovery of top-level talent will never have a set formula, the bay relative of the 1997 1000 Guineas heroine Sleepytime (Ire) (Royal Academy) was judged unworthy of another bid over £2,500 at the 2017 Tattersalls Ireland Ascot November Sale. Engineered by a trio of dreamers in Steve Mound, Neil Clyne and Pete Thompson who are collectively Empire State Racing Partnership, the bay has consistently testified on the track to the aptitude of trainer Tom Dascombe.

Proven on all surfaces, Great Scot took Haydock’s Listed Ascendant S. over a mile on testing ground in September having upstaged Line of Duty (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) over seven furlongs there in July and been beaten a head when third to Al Hilalee (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the Listed Criterium du FEE at Deauville. His effort when fifth in the Vertem Futurity can be upgraded and he shaped with encouragement when runner-up on his return in the G3 Greenham S. over seven furlongs Apr. 13. Jockey Richard Kingscote is excited, if disappointed with the dry lead-up to the race. “My lad ran a promising race last time and is still learning, but any rain would have helped us really,” he said. “The track is an unknown, as he’s only been on easy tracks so far but he is a well-balanced horse and the extra furlong will suit. I’m really hopeful and confident of a big run.”

‘TDN Rising Star’ Al Hilalee was surprisingly thrust late into the mixture as Godolphin looked to plug the hole left by the forced absence of stablemate Quorto (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). While the Derby is looking more his bag at present, as a Charlie Appleby representative and the sole son of his sire in the list he commands respect. Not seen since his aforementioned Criterium du FEE win, the son of the talented Ambivalent (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) is one of a few who will be seeing out the trip with vigour. “Stepping up in trip is always going to suit him in time, but we saw with Masar last year that the 2000 Guineas is one of the best trials for the Derby,” Appleby explained. “It is only his third start, so he doesn’t take as much experience into the race as most of the field, but he does things the right way round–he finishes off strongly and races can change complexion when you hit the rising ground at Newmarket.”

Al Hilalee, who was in Meydan until Sunday, will be partnered by William Buick and appears to have a perfect draw in 12 as long as the field does not separate. Speaking at Lingfield on Friday, he was aware that it could be tactical. “Everyone is taking their chance in the 2000 Guineas this year and although it looks an open race, it doesn’t look an easy race,” he said. “All you want to know when it comes to these sort of races is that it will be evenly-run and that everyone will race on the same patch of ground. I know with 19 horses in, that’s not going to be the case but you don’t want any biases. He’s a nice horse and I can see him progressing from the race.”

Also in the royal blue is their mid-summer acquisition Dark Vision (Ire) (Dream Ahead) whose current odds of 50-1 would have looked outlandish in the immediate aftermath of his dynamic display in the seven-furlong G2 Vintage S. at Goodwood. Last of six in Doncaster’s G2 Champagne S. in September, he was third in a mile conditions event on Chelmsford’s Polytrack Apr. 11 and trainer Mark Johnston saw some encouraging signs there. “Dark Vision was very disappointing on his final start last year at Doncaster, but he clearly wasn’t right afterwards,” he said. “The Chelmsford race wasn’t the class of the 2000 Guineas by any means, but at least the run had a lot of similarities with his Goodwood win in the Vintage S. last year. I think with another 50 yards, he probably would have won at Chelmsford. It is a very short straight there and he came from an impossible position. If he runs up to his Goodwood form, then he has to be a live contender.”

Drawn in eight is another of the “speed” 2-year-olds in Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited’s Advertise (GB)(Showcasing {GB}) which places him in the slipstream of Ten Sovereigns on that side. His successes in the six-furlong G1 Phoenix S. at The Curragh and the G2 July S. on the July Course here show him in a favourable light, as does his second over seven in the G1 Dewhurst S. There are definite stamina concerns to deal with and it is entirely possible that he could be away from the main action as he was when runner-up in the G2 Coventry S. at Royal Ascot in June. Staying concerns do not apply to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Madhmoon (Ire), who is surprisingly the only flag-bearer for the Galileo (Ire) sire line in this year’s race as a son of the 2013 2000 Guineas hero Dawn Approach (Ire). He beat Ballydoyle’s Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) in Leopardstown’s G2 Golden Fleece S. in September, but that colt looks to have grown wings in the interim and the Shadwell representative will need to improve off his return second in the Listed 2000 Guineas Trial back there Apr. 6.

It is 28 years since the seven-furlong Listed European Free H. boasted a 2000 Guineas winner in Mystiko, but this year’s renewal saw King Power Racing’s Shine So Bright (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) dominant against the stand’s rail which is his for the taking again drawn in the high numbers. He has abundant stamina on the dam’s side, which is also the case for the third-placed Azano (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) from John Gosden’s stable. Shaping with some promise although initially disappointing in that Apr. 16 prep, the latter hails from the Aga Khan family of Azamour (Ire) and was only 1 1/2 lengths off Mohaather (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) in the G3 Horris Hill S. at Newbury in October.

Friday’s draw for the G1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas sees 15 fillies assemble for Sunday’s Classic, with the sole defector on Friday being the G3 Prestige S. winner Antonia de Vega (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). Likely favourite Qabala (Scat Daddy) is drawn towards the far side in six with the fellow Roger Varian-trained Mot Juste (Distorted Humor) also that way in two. First and second in the Apr. 16 G3 Nell Gwyn S. over seven furlongs here, they help form a cluster of favourites in low numbers along with ‘TDN Rising Star’ Fairyland (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in one and Iridessa (Ire) (Ruler of the World {Ire}) in stall three. Frankie Dettori has been booked by Aidan O’Brien for the G1 Cheveley Park S. heroine Fairyland, with Ryan Moore on fellow ‘Rising Star’ Just Wonderful (Dansili {GB}) drawn nearest the stand’s rail in 15.

Also at Newmarket on Saturday is the G3 Zoustar Palace House S., where ‘TDN Rising Star’ Sergei Prokofiev (Scat Daddy) bids to get Ballydoyle off to a flyer in the five-furlong burn-up. With the penalised G1 Prix de l’Abbaye heroine Mabs Cross (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) in attendance alongside some established dragsters, last year’s G3 Cornwallis S. scorer should have the fierce pace he needs as he builds towards the G1 King’s Stand S. at Royal Ascot. The card’s G2 Roaring Lion Jockey Club S. has seen better days, but a virtuoso from ‘Rising Star’ Coronet (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) would provide it with a much-required shot in the arm. Denford Stud’s 5-year-old starts out on another crusade for an elusive Group 1 success that her record merits and she meets some members of the other sex who are beginning to look exposed.

Aside from those offered by the Guineas action, suggestions of Derby potential could also come from the Listed Lightning Spear Newmarket S. in which Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s impressive Apr. 17 Wood Ditton S. winner UAE Jewel (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) takes on a trio in another race whose reputation has suffered of late. Trainer Roger Varian said, “UAE Jewel has done nothing wrong since winning. He’s highly promising and I look forward to seeing him back on the track.”

At ParisLongchamp, there are two more listed contests for colts and fillies with Derby and Oaks aspirations staged on the card headlined by the G3 Prix d’Hedouville for older horses. The Prix de l’Avre over a mile and a half acts as an intriguing diversion for the Charlie Appleby-trained Apr. 17 Newmarket novice winner Jalmoud (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), a son of the G1 Epsom Oaks heroine Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), while in the 11-furlong Prix de la Seine Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s impressive Apr. 1 Chantilly scorer Villa d’Amore (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) is Andre Fabre’s selected representative. It was nine years ago that Fabre sent out a Godolphin filly named Seeking Solace (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) to post a career-best when runner-up in this before she went off to the following year’s Tattersalls July Sale. In 2016 she produced a colt from Camas Park Stud by No Nay Never. His Name? Ten Sovereigns.

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Wet Weather Expected for Kentucky Derby 145

Fri, 2019-05-03 16:18

LOUISVILLE, KY – Here we go again.

A year after making history as the wettest GI Kentucky Derby day in the record books with more than three inches of precipitation, another soaker is expected on the First Saturday in May.

The forecast calls for up to an inch of rain throughout the day in the Louisville area. Temperatures will be in the 60s. Post time for the 145th Kentucky Derby is 6:50 p.m. ET.

“Rain building in through the day on Saturday. Once it starts, it looks to be pretty persistent and at times heavy,” WLKY meteorologist Matt Milosevich said during his forecast.

With the complexion of the 1 1/4-mile Classic changing drastically after the Wednesday evening defection of favored Omaha Beach (War Front), all eyes will be on Bob Baffert as he has three shots at tying the legendary conditioner Ben Jones for a record sixth Derby win.

His trio of ‘TDN Rising Stars’ is led by the revised 9-2 morning-line favorite and last year’s champion 2-year-old colt Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}), who captured the 2018 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile beneath the Twin Spires. He will also saddle fellow Grade I winners Roadster (Quality Road) and Improbable (City Zip).

Barn 33, former home of Baffert’s Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and Justify (Scat Daddy), was once again the place to be during training hours on the backstretch all week with the Hall of Famer frequently holding court with the media and signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.

“There are a lot of good horses in here,” Baffert said. “I think they’re a pretty evenly matched group of horses. You don’t see anybody really puffing off the screen here. When American Pharoah came in here, we knew he was from another planet.”

Baffert added, “[This year] reminds me a little bit of the Silver Charm Derby [in 1997]. You had a lot of good 3-year-olds in there and whoever gets the trip is going to win it.”

The unbeaten GI Florida Derby winner Maximum Security (New Year’s Day), a debut winner for just $16,000 in December, puts his unbeaten record on the line for trainer Jason Servis. Owners Gary and Mary West also campaign the aforementioned Game Winner.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott will have two chances at saddling his first Derby winner with the stunning gray Juddmonte homebred Tacitus (Tapit) and the stretch-running ‘TDN Rising Star’ Country House (Lookin At Lucky).

By My Standards (Goldencents) has been tabbed as this year’s backstretch buzz horse after putting on a show during training hours throughout Derby week. The handsome bay upset the GII Louisiana Derby at 22-1.

Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher will tighten the girth on longshots Cutting Humor (First Samurai) and Spinoff (Hard Spun).

Other highlights on the Kentucky Derby’s loaded 14-race program include: streaking sprinter Mitole (Eskendereya)’s debut at the top level in the GI Churchill Downs S., GI Pegasus World Cup Turf winner Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) taking on a full field in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic, and the talented sophomore Instagrand (Into Mischief) turning back in distance for the GIII Pat Day Mile S.

Post time for the day’s first race is 10:30 a.m.

Happy Derby!

The post Wet Weather Expected for Kentucky Derby 145 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Elusive Quality’s She’s a Julie Gets Up Just in Time in La Troienne

Fri, 2019-05-03 15:12

One race after ‘TDN Rising Star’ McKinzie (Street Sense)–named in honor of the beloved late Los Alamitos track executive Brad McKinzie-blasted home to win the GII Alysheba S., She’s a Julie (Elusive Quality), named after trainer Steve Asmussen’s wife, engaged California raider Secret Spice (Discreet Cat) at the midstretch marker and outgamed that one for a breakthrough Grade I victory in Friday’s GI La Troienne S. at Churchill Downs. Favored Blue Point (Arg) (Pure Prize) won a photo for third.

Alertly away from gate one, She’s a Julie, a near-miss second in an allowance on the Oaks undercard last year, ultimately settled in third as longshot Awe Emma (War Front) crossed and cleared to set the pace with Secret Spice glued to her outside. Under a bit of Ricardo Santana, Jr. urging to keep up while hugging the fence on the far turn, she was poised to strike behind the top two in upper stretch, was pulled to the outside of Secret Spice nearing the midstretch marker and wore her rival down in the shadow of the winning post.

“I had plenty of horse at the three-eighths [pole],” the winning jockey said. “A hole opened really well and when I asked her she gave me a really nice run. We felt like there was plenty of speed today. I told [trainer] Steve [Asmussen], ‘I want to stay behind the speed.’ Steve said, ‘You know the filly really well. Do what you can.’ I put her behind horses and she relaxed really well. When she picked up the bridle at the three-eighths, she started running.”

Winner of the GIII Iowa Oaks and GIII Remington Park Oaks around a runner-up effort in the GI Alabama S. last year, She’s a Julie disappointed when fourth at 3-10 in the Nov. 21 Zia Park Oaks, but made a splashy reappearance this term, drawing off to take Oaklawn’s GIII Bayakoa S. Feb. 18.

Pedigree Notes:

The 16th Grade I/Group 1 winner for her late sire and the first as a broodmare sire for Seeking the Gold’s tremendously talented son Dubai Millennium, She’s a Julie is a maternal granddaughter of MGSW turf mare Parade Queen, whose GSW & GISP daughter Untouched Talent (Storm Cat) produced Bodemeister (Empire Maker), runner-up in the 2012 GI Kentucky Derby and sire of 2017 Derby winner Always Dreaming. Elusive Quality also serves as sire of Secret Spice’s GSW/GISP second dam Chimichurri from his first crop born in 2000. Kydd Gloves is the dam of a 2-year-old full-brother to She’s A Julie and was most recently covered by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah.

Friday, Churchill Downs
LA TROIENNE S. PRESENTED BY INSIDE ACCESS FROM CHASE-GI, $500,000, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.58, ft.
1–SHE’S A JULIE, 118, f, 4, by Elusive Quality
1st Dam: Kydd Gloves, by Dubai Millennium (GB)
2nd Dam: Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Spanish Parade, by Roberto
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($160,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Bradley
Thoroughbreds, Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC, Team Hanley,
Madaket Stables, LLC & Tim & Anna Cambron; B-Godolphin
LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr.
$297,600. Lifetime Record: 13-6-2-1, $878,130.
Werk Nick Rating: B+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Secret Spice, 123, f, 4, by Discreet Cat
1st Dam: Chimayo, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality
3rd Dam: Hard Knocker, by Raja Baba
($4,500 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $125,000 2yo ’17 EASMAY). O-Little
Red Feather Racing; B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Richard Baltas.
3–Blue Prize (Arg), 120, m, 6, by Pure Prize
1st Dam: Blues for Sale (Arg), by Not For Sale (Arg)
2nd Dam: Key Cure, by Cure the Blues
3rd Dam: Dancer’s Key, by Key to the Mint
O-Merriebelle Stable LLC; B-Bioart S.A. (ARG); T-Ignacio
Correas, IV. $48,000.
Margins: HF, 3HF, HD. Odds: 5.00, 4.80, 2.30.
Also Ran: Mopotism, Awe Emma, Viva Forever, Chocolate Martini, Divine Miss Grey, Teresa Z. Scratched: Golden Award.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Twirling Candy’s Concrete Rose Upsets Newspaperofrecord in the Edgewood

Fri, 2019-05-03 13:33

Making her first afternoon appearance since romping away by nearly seven lengths in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf beneath these same Twin Spires last November, ‘TDN Rising Star’ Newspaperofrecord  (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) was duly bet down into 20 cents on the dollar for Friday’s GIII Edgewood S. But just like fellow ‘Rising Star’ and stablemate Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) 12 months ago, the heavy chalk tasted defeat for the first time in her career, as second favorite Concrete Rose (Twirling Candy) raced past her as the sixteenth pole and on to a convincing victory.

Quickly away from the one hole, Newspaperofrecord was allowed to make the running while racing well off the inside rail and it appeared that Irad Ortiz, Jr., had a fistful of horse as they raced under the wire with a lap of the Matt Winn turf course to travel. Two or three deep into the first turn, Newspaperofrecord appeared to settle better, as the half-mile was posted in :47.87 after an opening couple of furlongs in :23.53 over turf listed as good, but likely on the easy side of that characterization after morning rains. She opened up on her rivals going apparently well on the turn and into the lane, but Concrete Rose, covered up from mid-division for the opening five panels, made eye-catching progress on the swing for home, rolled up to the heavy favorite while racing on her incorrect lead at the sixteenth pole and pulled readily clear. Winter Sunset (Tapit) veered to her right at the break, perhaps brushing the gate, trailed for most of the opening five-eighths of a mile and rallied gamely to be up for third.

A debut winner sprinting over the Saratoga turf last August, Concrete Rose punched her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup with a smart success in the GII Jessamine S. at Keeneland in October, but raced on the worst part of the track on Breeders’ Cup day and struggled home eighth. The dark bay resumed with a half-length score in the GIII Florida Oaks Mar. 9, where she had Winter Sunset a length back in third.

“She had one bad race [Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies], there were a lot of reasons for that,” winning trainer Rusty Arnold said. “We ran her back pretty quick, she’s matured a lot at three and ran a good race. She beat a couple of good horses in there. I would have preferred for it not to have rained. But this turf is really fresh, we’ve only run on it three days. We got in on it in a lot better spot than last fall.”

Newspaperofrecord holds an entry for next month’s G1 Coronation S. at Royal Ascot, a race for which she was first or second favorite ante-post. Trainer Chad Brown was willing to shoulder the blame for the loss and is keeping his options open going forward.

“She just wasn’t fit enough today,” he said. “Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] said she was a little keen early on turf–it looks pretty soft–and she set some strong fractions–:47-and-change early. I was a little concerned. She just ran out of gas the last part of it. Hopefully, she gets a lot out of this race. It’s unfortunate she’s no longer undefeated, but we’ll have to go on. We have a really good horse. We’ll have to see what we’ll do with her next.”

Pedigree Notes:

One of two graded stakes-winning females on the turf for her sire in 2019 and one of a half-dozen graded winners overall, Concrete Rose is the last of three foals listed for her dam.

Friday, Churchill Downs
EDGEWOOD S. PRESENTED BY FORCHT BANK-GIII, $250,000, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.34, gd.
1–CONCRETE ROSE, 120, f, 3, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Solerina, by Powerscourt (GB)
2nd Dam: Sky Blue Girl (GB), by Sabrehill
3rd Dam: Nemea, by The Minstrel
($19,000 RNA Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $20,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP;
$61,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY). O-Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing,
LLC; B-Ron Patterson (KY); T-George R. Arnold, II; J-Julien R.
Leparoux. $151,900. Lifetime Record: 5-4-0-0, $418,650.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
Rating: D.
2–Newspaperofrecord (Ire), 123, f, 3, Lope de Vega (Ire)–
Sunday Times (GB), by Holy Roman Emperor (Ire). (200,000gns
Ylg ’17 TATOCT). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Times of Wigan
Ltd (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown. $49,000. ‘TDN Rising Star’
3–Winter Sunset, 118, f, 3, Tapit–Winter Memories, by El Prado
(Ire). ($900,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Coffeepot Stables and
Phillips Racing Partnership; B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY);
T-Wayne M. Catalano. $24,500. ‘TDN Rising Star’
Margins: 3 3/4, 2HF, NK. Odds: 5.90, 0.20, 13.30.
Also Ran: Cambier Parc, New Roo, Fortunate Girl, Destiny Over Fate. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


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The TDN Kentucky Derby Edition Now Online

Fri, 2019-05-03 12:51

The TDN Kentucky Derby edition is now online, featuring commentary and pedigree analysis from the TDN editorial staff and video past performances on each of the horses entered for Saturday’s first leg of the Triple Crown.

The TDN Kentucky Derby edition can be downloaded here. Good luck and good racing!

The post The TDN Kentucky Derby Edition Now Online appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Country Day’s Break Even Remains Perfect in Eight Belles

Fri, 2019-05-03 12:48

Break Even (Country Day) took her record to a perfect four-for-four with a dominant score in the GIII Eight Belles S. to kick off the Kentucky Oaks day stakes action at Churchill Downs.

Slightly favored at 2-1, the dark bay rocketed out to the front and zipped through early fractions of :22.08 and :44.14 over a sloppy, sealed track. Still going strong turning for home, the Klein homebred was kept to task down the lane by Shaun Bridgmohan and never slowed down, cruising home to an impressive victory.

Romping by five lengths in a sloppy off-the-turfer on debut at Fair Grounds on New Year’s Day, Break Even followed suit with another open length score in a NOLA optional claimer Jan. 28. She captured Oaklawn’s Purple Martin S. last out Mar. 30.

“This filly is very fast,” winning trainer Brad Cox said. “And I think the most impressive thing about her is how laid back she is. A lot of times horses that go that fast are horses that tend to be keyed up and want to over train in the mornings. Not this filly. She just gallops around each morning nice and easy with her ears up. It’s almost like [champion] Monomoy Girl to some degree, she was laid back like that. Same thing with this filly. For such a lightly raced filly, she’s very mature.”

As for what’s next Cox added, “I was already thinking today we’re going to find out if we need to look at the [GI] Acorn [S. at Belmont June 8] or the [GII] Prioress [S. at Saratoga Aug. 31]. It’s something we can look at. It’s something we’re going to nominate to for sure.”

Pedigree Notes:

Break Even’s sire Country Day carried the Kleins’ lime silks to a trio of stakes victories and was also runner-up in the 2011 GII Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint beneath the Twin Spires. Break Even becomes the second graded winner for her sire, joining last year’s GII Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. winner Will Call. Exotic Wager, a 22 1/4-length debut winner at Turfway Park, was purchased by Bertram Klein for $285,000 at the 2001 Keeneland April 2-Year-Old Sale. She was previously a $110,000 KEESEP yearling. Exotic Wager is also the dam of the stakes-placed Hey Bro (Congrats) and a yearling colt by Country Day. This is the extended female family of GISW The Lumber Guy (Grand Slam).

Friday, Churchill Downs
EIGHT BELLES S. PRESENTED BY DERBY CITY GAMING-GII, $250,000, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:22.13, sy.
1–BREAK EVEN, 118, f, 3, by Country Day
1st Dam: Exotic Wager, by Saint Ballado
2nd Dam: Right Chanel, by Valid Appeal
3rd Dam: General Chanel, by General Holme
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O-Klein Racing; B-Richard Klein &
Bert Klein (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Shaun Bridgmohan. $148,800.
Lifetime Record: 4-4-0-0, $287,400. *1/2 to Hey Bro
(Congrats), SP, $252,128. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bell’s the One, 118, f, 3, Majesticperfection–Street Mate, by
Street Cry (Ire). ($155,000 Ylg ’17 FTKJUL). O-Lothenbach
Stables, Inc. (Bob Lothenbach); B-Bret Jones (KY); T-Neil L.
Pessin. $48,000.
3–Queen of Beas, 118, f, 3, Flatter–Wild Bea, by Wild Rush.
($170,000 Ylg ’17 FTSAUG). O-Kingsport Farm; B-James Arrison
(KY); T-Jorge R. Abreu. $24,000.
Margins: 5HF, 1HF, HD. Odds: 2.20, 23.50, 5.50.
Also Ran: Proud Emma, Bizwhacks, Mother Mother, Del Mar May, Lyrical Lady, Take Charge Angel. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Derby Update: Haikal Scratched; Mike Smith to Ride Cutting Humor

Fri, 2019-05-03 07:54

Shadwell homebred Haikal (Daaher), winner of the GIII Gotham S. and third-place finisher in the GII Wood Memorial, has been scratched from the GI Kentucky Derby due to an abscess in his left front. He is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.

“We put shoes back on him this morning and jogged him and he was still not 100%,” McLaughlin said. “After speaking with [Shadwell’s North American Vice President and General Manager] Rick Nichols, we decided to scratch. The horse always comes first. He will head home today to Shadwell and live to fight another day.

“It’s tough for the whole team, His Highness [Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum] and everyone involved, especially with being a homebred who was training so well. We’ll have to see what else is there is now after he recovers.”

It was also announced early Friday morning that Mike Smith will replace Corey Lanerie aboard Starlight Racing’s GIII Sunland Derby winner Cutting Humor (First Samurai). The Hall of Famer became available after the Wednesday evening defection of morning-line favorite Omaha Beach (War Front). Starlight will pay double jockey fees on purse earnings in the Derby.

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Thursday’s Trackside Derby Report

Thu, 2019-05-02 16:42

LOUISVILLE, KY – With the shocking news of Omaha Beach (War Front)’s late evening defection continuing to dominate all the backstretch chatter, it was back to business for the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks horses on a warm Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.

Bellafina (Quality Road) and last year’s champion 2-year-old filly Jaywalk (Cross Traffic) briefly took in their surroundings by the chute as the special 15-minute training session was underway at 7:30 a.m.

Trainer Simon Callaghan, fitted with a sling on his right arm, stood alongside bloodstock agent Ben McElroy as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Oaks galloped strongly for 1 1/2 miles. Callaghan dislocated his shoulder after taking a spill in his rental house in Louisville earlier this week.

Bill Mott was all smiles leading out the stunning Juddmonte homebred Tacitus (Tapit)-the Hall of Famer certainly has reason to be feeling good these days–while aboard his stable pony. He will also saddle the stretch-running Country House (Lookin At Lucky) in the Derby.

It was another impressive trip to the track for By My Standards (Goldencents), who continues to give off nothing but good vibes training with his necked arched, during his morning preparations. Kentucky native Chester Thomas has made the rounds on the backstretch throughout the week and is the subject matter of an owner profile in TDN’s Kentucky Derby preview edition.

Trainer Mark Casse gave the thumbs up while walking by the large contingent of media lined up along the rail after watching the blaze-faced War of Will (War Front) turn in another energetic gallop.

Now officially in the starting gate following Omaha Beach’s defection, the also-eligible maiden Bodexpress (Bodemeister), sporting four red wraps, was a bit of handful for his exercise rider throughout his 1 1/2-miles gallop.

Win Win Win (Hat Trick {Jpn}) got a nice pat on the neck from exercise rider Melanie Williams while heading off. Trainer Mike Trombetta, of course, saddled 2006 Kentucky Derby favorite Sweetnorthernsaint to a seventh-place finish behind the ill-fated Barbaro.

Haikal (Daaher), noticeably absent from the training window, is currently dealing with an abscess in his left front, it was revealed. A decision will be made on his Derby status by Friday morning, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

The sun began to emerge through the cloud cover as the media flocked to Barn 33 to get a closer look at Bob Baffert’s GISWs Roadster (Quality Road) and Improbable (City Zip), who both galloped during the special training session. The large crowd in attendance also included Roadster’s breeder Arthur B. Hancock III.

After suffering what has to be the toughest blow of his Hall of Fame career, Richard Mandella’s class was on full display, graciously granting interviews throughout the morning while continuing to love on Omaha Beach.

Good to see that he hasn’t lost that sense of humor of his, either.

“I’m very appreciative-it seemed like a lot of people have been rooting for me here all week,” Mandella, winless with six starters in the Derby, said at his press conference later Thursday morning. “My wife has got a little bucket. She’ll walk around. If you throw a donation in there to help us get home.”

Champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}), who has now inherited the role of 9-2 morning-line favorite in the Derby, came out to train at 9 a.m. along with Baffert’s Oaks filly Flor de La Mar (Tiznow). Former NBA great Avery Johnson was one of several well-wishers back by the Baffert camp as last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner was getting his bath on the sun splashed backstretch.

Khozan Gets His First Winner at Gulfstream

Thu, 2019-05-02 16:34

7th-Gulfstream, $66,050, Msw, 5-2, 2yo, f, 4 1/2f, :51.97, gd.
SOLID AS A ROCK (f, 2, Khozan–Silver Rock {Ire} {SP}, by Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}), sent off at 7-2 to become her freshman sire’s (by Distorted Humor) initial winner, took charge soon after the start and carved out a sharp initial quarter in :21.70. Clear turning for home, the Florida bred kept up the tempo late en route to a three-length score over favored Bosworthy (Uncaptured). Silver Rock was barren to the cover of Uncaptured last season and foaled a filly by Treasure Beach (GB) this term. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $43,000. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Stonehedge LLC; B-Stonehedge LLC (FL); T-Kathleen O’Connell.


Distorted Humor’s Foolish Humor Captures Belmont Unveiling

Thu, 2019-05-02 14:50

3rd-Belmont, $80,000, Msw, 5-2, 2yo, f, 5fT, :58.75, gd.

FOOLISH HUMOR (f, 2, Distorted Humor–Foolish Cause, by Giant’s Causeway) provided conditioner Wesley Ward and jockey Joe Bravo with a sweep of the two juvenile maiden specials on the Belmont card Thursday. The pair also teamed to win the first race with new ‘TDN Rising Star’ Aurelia Garland (Constitution). Favored at 9-5 for this unveiling, the $200,000 FTKJUL buy stalked from second through a :23.12 opening quarter. Switched out to mount a bid turning for home, the chestnut took control in early stretch and cruised clear to win by 2 3/4 lengths over Kit Kat Katie (Sky Mesa). Foolish Humor is the first foal out of Foolish Cause, a half-sister to MGISW millionaire and sire Get Stormy (Stormy Atlantic). She has not produced any foals since, but was most recently bred to Violence last term. Sales history: $200,000 Ylg ’18 FTKJUL. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $44,000. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

O-Andrew Farm; B-Gabriel Duignan, Crosshaven Bldsk, Petaluma Bldsk & Hazelmere Bldsk (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward.


Constitution Filly Becomes Sire’s First Winner & ‘Rising Star’

Thu, 2019-05-02 13:44

Aurelia Garland (Constitution) ran to the money with a dominant debut victory at Belmont Thursday, becoming the first winner for her Grade-I winning freshman sire (by Tapit) and the newest ‘TDN Rising Star’. Hammered down to 3-5 favoritism for Wesley Ward, always red hot with early 2-year-olds, the $185,000 FTSAUG buy raced in third early, but rushed up to challenge the chalk as the opening quarter went up in :22.21. Taking command at the top of the lane, she cruised clear of the field with ease to win by five lengths in :57.51. Talk You Out of It (Overanalyze) got up late for second, while second choice Sweet Melania (American Pharoah) rounded out the trifecta. Purchased as a yearling for $185,000 by Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock/Arthur Hoyeau at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sale, Aurelia Garland is produced from the Dixie Union mare Azalea Belle. The filly’s second dam is GI Alcibiades S. winner Westerly Breeze. The winner is a half to Diamondsandpearls ( Congrats), a $1.7 million OBS March juvenile in 2017, in addition to Positive Attitude, an unraced Orb filly that realized $310,000 at Fasig-Tipton Select yearling sale the same year. She foaled a filly by Exaggerator in 2018 and was bred back to Nyquist.

1st-Belmont, $92,500, Msw, 5-2, 2yo, f, 5f, :57.51, ft.
AURELIA GARLAND, f, 2, by Constitution
1st Dam: Azalea Belle, by Dixie Union
2nd Dam: Westerly Breeze, by Gone West
3rd Dam: On the Brink, by Cox’s Ridge
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $50,000. Sales history: $185,000 Ylg ’18 FTSAUG. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-George Bolton; B-Todd Frederick, Chad Frederick & Phoenix Farm and Racing (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward.




Uncle Mo Colt Scores on Debut at Churchill

Thu, 2019-05-02 13:01

1st-Churchill Downs, $95,446, Msw, 5-2, 2yo, 5f, :58.59, sy.
MEMORABLE (c, 2, Uncle Mo–Unforgettable, by Empire Maker) pressed from a close-up second early, before taking control as the first quarter went up in :22.32. Showing the way through a half in :46.09, he was challenged by Enforceable (Tapit) in the lane, but turned back that rival and splashed clear to score by 1 1/4 lengths. Favored Lady Delaware (American Pharoah) finished sixth. Subsequent to the winner, Unforgettable produced a pair of colts, the first by Quality Road followed by another by Twirling Candy. The 14-year-old mare is a half to several stakes horses, including graded winners Good Mood (Devil’s Bag), Academy Award (Secretariat), and Statuette (Pancho Villa), herself the dam of Irish Highweight juvenile colt Tomahawk (Seattle Slew). Sales history: $40,000 Ylg ’18 FTKJUL; $100,000 2yo ’19 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $56,888. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-KEM Stables; B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.