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Updated: 15 hours 36 min ago

With Hazards Having Abated, Golden Gate Returns Thursday

Wed, 2020-09-16 17:25

While racing this week at Santa Anita has been canceled due to the fires that are ravaging the West, its sister track, Golden Gate Fields, will be back in business starting Thursday. Golden Gate Vice President and General Manager David Duggan said the area surrounding the track has undergone a dramatic transformation, with clear blue skies having replaced the orange glow that had surrounded the Bay Area earlier.

Golden Gate was forced to cancel its three weekend cards last week and as not raced since Sept. 7.

“Last Thursday, you couldn’t make it up. It was truly bizarre,” he said. “At 9:30 in the morning we had lights on on the track because you could not see in front of you. Visibility was down to about 10 meters.”

Duggan said that as recently as Sunday he was still convinced that racing would not be held at Golden Gate this week, but then came an abrupt change.

“You would not believe the change,” he said. “I promise you, you would not believe the change. It is absolutely beautiful here with an air quality reading of 20. It was just extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s clear and the visibility is great. You can seethe city, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s no hint of smoke in the air whatsoever. It’s as if nothing had ever happened.

“I was frighteningly bad. We lost Friday, Saturday and Sunday and had to interrupt training. Everything that could go wrong with the air quality and the prevailing conditions went wrong. Today, if you were dropped into the place from the sky you’d say ‘Why were you guys making such a big deal about this?'”

Duggan said when the effects of the fires were at their worst the Air Quality Index was about 292.

“It was extremely unhealthy around here for a while,” he said.

An AQI of 20 means the air is satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.

Duggan said the change was likely the result of shifting wind patterns.

“The winds that came just blew everything away and we’re back to being a beautiful bayside racetrack,” he said.

The post With Hazards Having Abated, Golden Gate Returns Thursday appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Illinois Grants 2021 Dates Amid Distrust for Arlington’s Corporate Ownership

Wed, 2020-09-16 17:12

Citing distrust in Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), the gaming corporation that owns Arlington International Racecourse, the leadership of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (ITHA) on Sept. 16 asked the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) to impose a condition on 2021 race dates that would withhold millions of dollars in purse fund “recapture” money from the track if it did not end up racing its applied-for 68 days next year.

The IRB, which was meeting with three newly appointed commissioners for the first time on Wednesday, probed Arlington president Tony Petrillo about CDI’s intentions for racing in suburban Chicago in 2021 and beyond.

Board members specifically wanted clarification on earnings-call comments made July 30 by Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of CDI, that said the corporation will honor its 2021 race meet contract with the ITHA “if we elect to do so” and that the Arlington property “will have a higher and better purpose for something else at some point.”

But after the IRB received advice from its attorney that statutory provisions covering recapture don’t allow the attachment of such a stipulation to dates orders, board members voted 6-0 to grant Arlington’s schedule with no strings attached.

The IRB also unanimously approved 2021 racing at Hawthorne Racecourse for 50 dates. Since 2016, the two Chicago-area tracks, Arlington and Hawthorne, have presented a unified race dates and dark-day host status template for the IRB’s approval.

Fairmount Park, which is 350 miles south and not considered part of that Chicago circuit, got its requested 53 dates.

Prior to the ITHA’s request for the recapture provision, Petrillo told the IRB that Arlington anticipates “running eight races per day during those 68 days and being able to offer a purse structure that will allow us to attract a sufficient horse population to fill those races, as well as conducting a stakes schedule that is necessary to support a long race meet over five months over the most competitive time of the year.”

John Walsh, Hawthorne’s assistant general manager, said the 10-month Chicago circuit arrangement “is good for the industry. The horsemen will have a place to be, and they’ll have something to look forward to in 2022 as we hopefully finish our casino sometime toward the end of next year.”

But despite the news of apparent accord, ITHA representatives made it clear the horse community didn’t have 100% faith that CDI would follow through on its contracted commitment to 2021 racing.

ITHA executives cited last year’s stunning decision by CDI to intentionally miss a deadline to apply for newly legalized racino licensure that would have bolstered purses at the track, plus an acrimonious eight-month battle with Arlington over recently inked contracts for 2020 and 2021.

“[Arlington saying] that they’re going to run in 2021 after the difficult time with the contract we had this year, that’s purposeful. It’s meaningful. We’re grateful for that,” said ITHA president Michael Campbell. “However, Arlington is the organizational licensee. CDI is not. And CDI will do whatever is in their best interest to fulfill their [corporate] fiduciary responsibility. And that’s a problem for us given [the disconnection] that we are greatly concerned about. We cannot go through another year as horsemen [with] even the possibility that there’s going to be some disruption or the cancellation of the racing season.”

David McCaffrey, the ITHA’s executive director, then made the request for the recapture provision.

“It’s not meant to be antagonistic or provocative in any way. And there really shouldn’t be any resistance, in my judgment, on Arlington’s part if their intention is to truly race,” McCaffrey said. “Because if they race, this would be meaningless. [It] would at least give some surety to the horsemen. Or, if for some reason, the meet doesn’t happen, at least it preserves the $4.5 million in recapture that would be taken out of the purse account.”

IRB chairman Daniel Beiser asked Petrillo to clarify CDI’s intentions for 2021 and beyond. But the Arlington president’s drawn-out reply was vague and laden with corporate-speak.

“Although 2022 will be here before we know it, there is some time needed to sort this out,” Petrillo said, in part. “And I know that these conversations have come up daily within the confines of the strategic team at Churchill Downs. And I know that they are working on some solutions. What they are at this time I don’t think that anybody could comment on publicly on that right now. But we…do feel our responsibility to the industry as well as the community. And we intend to fulfill that in 2021, and beyond that when the opportunity does exist.”

Beiser, after considering the ITHA’s request to use recapture payments as a cudgel for compliance, asked if Petrillo could provide written clarification from CDI regarding the gaming corporation’s intentions for Arlington.

Petrillo replied that the IRB would get that written assurance in the form of a signed dates acceptance letter that licensees are required to submit to the commission after getting dates orders. He bristled at the proposed “unprecedented conditions” over recapture that “might cause a flurry of legal matters to arise.”

Petrillo continued: “I think we’re opening up a can of issues that then also impede upon the agreement that we have with the horsemen’s association. Again, I just want to reiterate that it is our intent to race in 2021. When that acceptance is signed, that’s written in stone. If we do not comply, the IRB has a number of mechanisms to try and enforce that acceptance or penalize Arlington if there’s a failure to fulfill those commitments.”

Beiser again told Petrillo he’d prefer a separate form of written commitment. The IRB then recessed and voted upon the slate of dates after hearing advice from the board’s attorney. It was noted that while the IRB doesn’t have the authority to attach the recapture stipulations to the dates order, it does have the power to set the recapture payment schedule, and board could consider that when it certifies recapture payment amounts in January. But that would be nearly four months before the track even opens for racing.

Next year will see the return of a spring Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne (Mar. 6-Apr. 25), which had been cancelled this season to allow for racino construction at the property.

Arlington’s dates will span Apr. 30-Sept. 25.

Hawthorne races again in the autumn, Oct. 1-Dec. 26.

Fairmount races Apr. 27-Sept. 6.

The actual race dates were awarded in blocks. The days cited above account for the dark days at the beginnings and ends of meets that were indicated in each track’s application.

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Keeneland Sales Director Geoffrey Russell Joins TDN Writers’ Room

Wed, 2020-09-16 16:50

The world-renowned Keeneland September Sale has been a long time coming this year. With the coronavirus pandemic canceling and postponing much of the sales season, all eyes are on Lexington this week as Keeneland hosts its first live in-person auction since COVID-19 first hit American shores. Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell joined the TDN Writers’ Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss the obstacles faced by the company in conducting the sale and his early impressions of the trading.

“We’ve been fortunate that we are pretty much the only sales company in the world that has conducted the sale on the calendar that we set in January, which we actually find quite amazing,” Russell said. “We’ve been planning for it since we went into lockdown Mar. 16 and each plan changed monthly. We didn’t know what we were allowed to do, what we weren’t allowed to do. At one stage, we were told we couldn’t use the sales pavilion. Now we’re allowed to use it at 40%. It has been a moving target all the way along. We joked back in the early part of the pandemic, our internal Zoom calls were called the ‘what if?’ meetings. What if this happens, what if that happens, what can we do here?”

The sale has gone off without a hitch through the first several hundred hips, however, and considering the circumstances, results have been robust, with 14 seven-figure horses changing hands in the first two days.

“The top of the market has been very strong,” Russell said. “We’ve had 14 individual horses bring in excess of $1 million and, most interestingly, to 13 different buyers. So the buying group has spread out a bit and the numbers at the top end are staying the same.”

Keeneland has been proactive about instating strict COVID-19 protocols for both its sales and racing seasons, which Russell admits has gotten some mixed responses but says is necessary to get through this extraordinarily busy couple of months for the company and the business as a whole.

“COVID has been a very polarizing situation, but we are very concerned about this time of year,” he said. “We have September, we have our October race meet, we have the Breeders’ Cup in November and we have our November Breeding Stock Sale. It’s a very important three months for us and for the Thorougbred industry. We wanted to make sure that we could conduct all of those and we work very diligently with our state government and local health departments. We have pushback form several people about masks, about the fact that we ask for testing on our consignors. But when you explain to them why we want it, for the safety of everybody, everybody understands it. While they’re not happy about it, they’re at least fulfilling our requests.”

Elsewhere on the show, in the West Point Thoroughbreds news segment, the writers lamented the fall of the Betfair exchange in America and analyze why it didn’t work out. Plus, they discuss the scary situation of wildfires raging near Santa Anita, react to the announcement of no fans being allowed at the Breeders’ Cup and pay tribute to the late Pat Smullen. Click here to watch the podcast, click here for the audio-only version.

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Swiss Skydiver Remains Possible for Preakness

Wed, 2020-09-16 14:02

GI Alabama winner Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) remains possible to contest the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Oct. 3.

“It’s going to depend on who shows up,” said trainer Ken McPeek. “We are also nominating her to the [GI] Spinster [Oct. 4] and she’s been invited to the [GI] QEII [Oct. 10]. We’re shopping it, that’s all. We have three good choices. My strong preference would have been a 3-year-old filly Grade I [on dirt], but there isn’t one out there.”

Both alternatives to the Preakness, the nine-furlong Spinster for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up, and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies, will be contested at Keeneland.

Campaigned by Peter Callahan, the chestnut finished second behind Art Collector in the July 11 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland. Swiss Skydiver also captured the Aug. 21 Alabama at Saratoga and finished second in the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

“She’s likes to run, work,” said McPeek. She acts like she wants to do more. She never misses an oat. If she had backed out of the feed tub at any time, we would have spread her races, but she hasn’t done it,” McPeek said. “As long as she’s telling us she wants to do something, we’re going to consider it.”

McPeek indicated that a run in the Preakness would be more likely if Tiz the Law (Constitution), the GI Belmont S. winner who finished second behind Authentic in the Kentucky Derby, should skip this year’s third leg of the Triple Crown.

“We know the two toughies will be Art Collector [Bernardini] and Authentic [Into Mischief],” he said. “They’re both nice horses. We’re just waiting to see who else is going, Right now, we’re undecided. We’re doing the research.”

Swiss Skydiver won the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks, GIII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn and GII Santa Anita Oaks earlier this season.

The post Swiss Skydiver Remains Possible for Preakness appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

$100K Trainer Bonus Returns for Preakness Weekend

Wed, 2020-09-16 12:46

For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering the $100,000 Sentient Jet Trainer Bonus to horsemen that accumulate the most points during stakes races over GI Preakness S. weekend, Oct. 1-3 at Pimlico Race Course.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen captured the $50,000 prize in both 2017 and 2018 but finished second to Brad Cox in 2019.

Led by the 145th running of the Preakness, presented this year as the final jewel in a refashioned Triple Crown and a “Win and You”re In” qualifier for the Nov. 7 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, a total of 15 Thoroughbred stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million will be contested over three days.

Trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races during Preakness weekend will be eligible for bonus money, with $50,000 going to the trainer with the most points, $25,000 for second, $12,000 for third, $7,000 for fourth, $4,000 for fifth and $2,000 for sixth.

Points are accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five) and fourth (three) and by having a starter (one) in each of Pimlico’s Thoroughbred stakes.

Included among the participating races: the GIII Chick Lang S. (Oct. 1); GIII Pimlico Special (Oct. 2); and in addition to the Preankess Oct. 3, races will included the GII Dinner Party S., Black-Eyed Susan S., GIII Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, GIII Miss Preakness and GIII Gallorette S.

Nominations for all 15 Thoroughbred stakes close Thursday, Sept. 17. For the complete rundown of races, visit www.laurelpark.com

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Norevale Farm Launched in Central Kentucky

Wed, 2020-09-16 11:27

Leo and Sarah Dooley announced Wednesday the opening of Norevale Farm, a new boarding, quarantine, and sales prep operation located on Hume Bedford Pike near Paris, Ky. The 110-acre farm will focus on small scale, quality horsemanship and offer both year-round and seasonal boarding for mares, foals, yearlings, and layups; foaling and breeding; quarantine after all major sales; and sales prep.

“‘Going out on our own’, as they say, has always been our goal–both individually and as a couple,” said the Dooleys in a joint statement. “We’re really proud of the prep work we have put into this decision and what we can offer clients as a team. The farm is looking great and we couldn’t be more excited to be up and running.”

Leo Dooley graduated from University College of Dublin with an Equine Science degree and has previously been associated with Jim Bolger’s racing stables, Ballylinch Stud, Dromoland Farm, Ecurie des Monceaux, Hunter Valley Farm, and Indian Creek Farm. Sarah, a graduate of the Irish National Stud course and the Godolphin Flying Start course, has previously been with Bluewater Sales, Hunter Valley Farm, Lane’s End Farm, and Marula Park Stud.

The Norevale property is located near Marula Park Stud, which is owned by Sarah’s parents, Tony and Susan Holmes.

The post Norevale Farm Launched in Central Kentucky appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

TAA Official Aftercare Partner of 2020 Breeders’ Cup

Wed, 2020-09-16 10:14

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), an official charity of the Breeders’ Cup, has been named the official aftercare partner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be held at Keeneland Nov. 6-7. The TAA is asking connections of Breeders’ Cup runners to pledge a percentage of their championship day earnings to the TAA, which awards annual grants to accredited non-profit Thoroughbred aftercare organizations to retire, retrain, and rehome Thoroughbreds.

“It is our privilege to see Thoroughbreds at their finest moments in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and it is this industry’s collective responsibility to see to their aftercare when the celebrations are over,” said Dora Delgado, TAA board member and executive vice president and chief racing officer at Breeders’ Cup. “As a proud founding member and supporter of the TAA’s mission and vision, we partner with them in their work and dedication to Thoroughbred aftercare.”

During Breeders’ Cup weekend, the TAA will present the GII Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance S., which was formerly the Marathon S. The TAA also has partnered with TVG to be a part of the GI TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Since 2012, the TAA has granted more than $17.2 million to accredited aftercare organizations. There are currently 74 aftercare organizations holding TAA accreditation.

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Del Mar Increases Fall Meet Purses, “Ship & Win” Bonus

Tue, 2020-09-15 13:44

Del Mar’s seventh fall race meeting–starting Saturday, Oct. 31–will provide horsemen with a 10% blended increase in their overnight purses and the highest bonuses ever tied to the popular “Ship & Win” program.

Despite the ongoing pandemic situation, the track was able to hold firm on its recently announced stakes schedule that offers 16 events with $2.25 million in purses.

The track’s minimum purse has increased from 2019’s $17,000 to this fall’s $20,000.

Additionally, the track’s “Ship & Win” program–now in its 10th year–will provide its richest incentive ever with a guaranteed $3,000 “starter fee” for all runners.

Further, those runners will be eligible for a 30% purse bonus added on top of whatever they win (for finishing first through fifth) in that initial outing.

“We worked with our partners at the Thoroughbred Owners of California on this and I think we’ve got a solid foundation that should encourage our horsemen–as well as those from other racing venues–to want to be part of what we do here in the fall,” said Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “Our fall meet has grown year by year and is now as good a run of racing as you’re going to find anywhere in the country this year.”

In reference to the “Ship & Win” program, Robbins noted that since its inception in 2011, the incentive plan has drawn more than 1,400 runners to Del Mar and they’ve made more than 2,000 starts at the track, as well as more than 4,200 starts at other state tracks, such as Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Golden Gate.

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Workouts Canceled at Santa Anita Tuesday Due to Air Quality

Tue, 2020-09-15 13:39

Santa Anita management sent a text to trainers Tuesday morning advising them that workouts would be canceled because of the air quality.

“The AQI is at 159 this morning. We are going to cancel workouts and only allow gallopers and joggers,” the text said.

In conjunction with Dr. Rick Arthur, the Equine Medical Director at UC Davis, where he is assigned full time to the California Horse Racing Board, the Stronach Group has a policy that any air quality index about 150 could be unhealthy for horses, and that exercise should be limited on those days.

“Starting at 100 AQI, we start to watch the facility daily and that’s our first level of observation,” said Dionne Benson, TSG’s Chief Veterinary Officer. “At 150, we consider limiting training to jogging and gallops only, just to decrease the amount of air horses are taking into their lungs. At 175, we’ll recommend cancelling live racing, workouts, and prohibiting galloping or breezing. We would still consider having them jog or walk on the track to balance the risks of having them in their stalls for days at a time.” Benson said that the AQI reached 180 last Friday and Saturday when racing was canceled at Golden Gate.

Santa Anita is being affected by the Bobcat Fire, which is burning just north of the track in the Angeles National Forest. As of Tuesday night, the fire had burned over 41,000 acres and was only three percent contained. Over 1,000 fire personnel are currently assigned to the fire, which is burning downhill toward the foothill communities near Arcadia. The spread has prompted mandatory evacuations for residents of several communities living along the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains which provide the backdrop for Santa Anita.

The cancellation marks the third time that workouts have been canceled, allowing only joggers and gallopers, after works were canceled last Monday and Tuesday in the early stages of the fire. The winds then shifted, allowing a return to workouts until Tuesday morning. Typical wind patterns in the area of the track see the air quality at its worst in the morning, and improving during the day.

The smoke is distinctly visible in the air on the daily workouts shown on XBTV.

The Red Cross opened an evacuation center at Santa Anita last week, but closed it when it appeared the danger had passed. They reopened it Sunday afternoon.

Late in the day Tuesday, Santa Anita issued revised training guidelines, allowing trainers to make their own decisions about workouts if the air quality index is from 150-155; from 156-175, allowing only joggers and gallopers, and cancelling training and racing at 176 and higher.

The San Gabriel Mountains are invisible from the Santa Anita grandstand Tuesday, September 15

Hazy air is visible from the Santa Anita apron Tuesday morning

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No Public Admitted at Keeneland Fall Meet

Tue, 2020-09-15 11:21

The Keeneland Fall meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, will be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Keeneland announced via press release Tuesday. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be permitted to attend the live race meet.

Keeneland conducted its five-day Summer Meet in July without spectators but did allow a limited number of owners and essential personnel to attend.

“The safety of our employees, our participants and our fans remains Keeneland’s top priority,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We have the most loyal fans in the world and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome them back for live racing. The decision to close the meet to the public was made after consulting with local and state government officials and public health experts and monitoring how various sporting venues and events around the world have operated during the pandemic. With the guidance of these experts and lessons learned from recent events, we know this is the responsible course of action.”

“Sunday’s kickoff of the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which is followed by the Fall Meet, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the November Breeding Stock Sale, marks the beginning of a significant three months of business for Keeneland and the horse industry as a whole,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “It is paramount that we conduct our sales and racing operations in a safe and responsible manner that promotes the health and success of everyone involved.

“We will remain flexible and vigilant leading up to and throughout our Fall Meet to ensure that we observe the most current health and safety protocols and respond to any changes in a timely and thoughtful manner,” Arvin added.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, strict compliance with the following health and safety protocols will be required for participants and employees while they are at Keeneland. Similar protocols were in place for the Summer Meet and are in effect for Keeneland’s current September Yearling Sale:

• Individuals permitted to come onto the Keeneland grounds will be credentialed or ticketed in advance. Seating will be assigned and properly social distanced on race days.

• Participants include those with a competing horse, including a limited number of owners and trainers. Keeneland also will allow limited access to sponsors, box holders and Club members.

• Keeneland will not permit any general admission or walk-up attendees. Credentialed participants will be assigned a seat for the race day.

• Keeneland will maintain records to allow for contact tracing.

• Health screenings, including a series of questions and temperature checks, will continue at all entrance gates.

• All individuals must wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while at Keeneland.

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Former Zayat Financial Advisor Among Creditors Trying to `Force’ Stable’s Bankruptcy

Tue, 2020-09-15 06:15

Ahmed Zayat’s former financial advisor is among the entities now initiating an “involuntary bankruptcy” petition against Zayat’s family-owned racing stable. This Sept. 14 court action comes six days after the allegedly insolvent Triple Crown-winning breeder and owner voluntarily filed for his own personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Although once prevalent, involuntary bankruptcy proceedings are now relatively uncommon in United States courts. They are designed to protect creditors, not debtors, and are often filed against companies (as opposed to individuals) as an attempt to get paid when it is believed that a firm is rapidly burning through assets and/or financial malfeasance is alleged.

Zayat Stables, LLC, is currently a defendant in a $23 million lawsuit filed in January by a New York lender alleging fraud and loan defaults. A Kentucky receiver is in the process of liquidating those equine assets.

Although it is unclear exactly what effect this attempt at “forced” bankruptcy might have on that case, one possible scenario is that the petitioners believe that the only way to preserve the remainder of the dwindling assets for distribution to them is to take legal action via an involuntary bankruptcy. They’d be banking on the bankruptcy order stopping the current liquidation from moving forward, which might keep others from getting paid first.

The Chapter 7 documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey (Newark), on Monday allege that Zayat Stables owes $275,000 in loans “above the value of any lien” to Steven Keefer.

A 2003 New York Times story on Zayat’s beverage business referred to Keefer as “a former New York investment banker and now chief of staff to Mr. Zayat” who was also head of the development group for the beverage firm.

Zayat apparently even named a Thoroughbred racehorse “Keefer” in honor of his business associate. The colt broke its maiden in 2008 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, the home state for both men.

Keefer is now the chief executive officer at U.S. Elite, LLC, a New Jersey company that specializes in “tactical” apparel for fitness and military enthusiasts. According to Keefer’s bio page on the company website, the firm’s motto is “We exist to Enhance the Warrior Lifestyle.”

U.S. Elite itself is also listed as a petitioning creditor in the court documents, alleging $188,500 in loans owed by Zayat Stables.

A third party, Joseph Bodner, who lives in the same town (Teaneck) as Zayat, is listed in the petition as being owed $150,000 by the stable.

Under involuntary bankruptcy law, if a debtor has more than 12 creditors, three creditors must join in the involuntary petition for a “force” to move forward.

The claims total $613,500. All three amounts match what Zayat stated he owed those entities in his personal Chapter 7 filing last week.

The petitioners indicated via checking a box that “The debtor is generally not paying its debts as they become due, unless they are the subject of a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount.”

In his separate, voluntary petition for bankruptcy, Zayat is claiming $19,371,466 in total liabilities versus total estimated assets of $1,892,815.

Thoroughbred trainers, horse farms, bloodstock businesses, veterinarians, and equine transportation companies are among the 132 entities listed as creditors in Zayat’s own Chapter 7 filing. They are due $14,755,1717 in “non-priority unsecured claims,” which means they are at the bottom of the hierarchy to get paid—if they get paid at all. Zayat Stables is listed as a co-debtor to 112 of those 132 non-priority unsecured claims.

The next step in the involuntary petition is for Zayat Stables to file a response. If the debtor contests an involuntary petition, the petitioning creditor must prove that the debtor is generally not paying its debts.

If the petitioners are successful, the bankruptcy court will enter an “order for relief” granting the involuntary petition.

But if the court dismisses the petition, the creditors might be on the hook for paying Zayat Stables’ attorney fees and court costs. In addition, if the court rules that the petition was made in bad faith, it can award compensatory and even punitive damages.

Involuntary bankruptcies can be complicated and fraught with peril for both sides. Nicholas Gebelt, an attorney who writes on the subject as a California-certified bankruptcy specialist, described the process like this on his law blog:

“On a practical level, the most compelling reason for filing an involuntary bankruptcy against a debtor is the fear that the debtor is rapidly depleting the resources available to pay its creditors. [But] filing an involuntary bankruptcy against someone is very dangerous. If you are a creditor who files an involuntary bankruptcy against a debtor, then if you can’t establish one of the two grounds for relief…you may find yourself paying the very entity from whom you’re trying to collect. Therefore, absent compelling exigent circumstances it is probably safer to use some other approach to debt collection.”

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Book 1 Finishes With a Flurry at Keeneland September

Mon, 2020-09-14 20:25

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY–With four of the day’s nine million-dollar-plus horses selling in the final dozen or so hips to be offered, the second and final session of Book 1 of the Keeneland September yearling sale finished strong.

The session topper and likely sale topper was hip 435, a son of Tapit out of the GISW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Tara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song) offered by Eaton Sales on behalf of Stonestreet Bred & Raised and acquired by a partnership between Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Bob LaPenta, Gainesway Farm and Ron Winchell.

The sale’s leading filly thus far sold just two hips later, when Larry Best of OXO Equine took home an Into Mischief daughter of SW and GSP fellow ‘Rising Star’ Taylor S (Medaglia d’Oro), a half-sister to young sires Liam’s Map and Not This Time. The bay was consigned by Taylor Made Sales as hip 438.

“It was a great end to the sale today, and among the last [11] hips there were four million-dollar horses,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “It had a frantic end to it. We appreciate Barbara Banke and her support of Keeneland and having another top-priced horse over here. [Larry] Best came in and bought the top-priced filly, so it was a very exciting couple of minutes.”

Keeneland’s President Elect Shannon Arvin added, “The diversity of the buyers of horses over $1 million was exciting too– there were 14 million-dollar horses [over the course of both Book 1 sessions] and 13 different buyers. Primarily, it was domestic, but there was some international presence as well.”

Watch Arvin and Russell address the media at the end of the day.

For the session, an even 100 yearlings changed hands for gross receipts of $44,535,000. The average was $445,350 and median was $360,000. The buyback rate was a fairly high 42.86% after a significant number of outs.

The Book 1 gross was $85,215,000 at an average of $407,727 and median of $330,000. The overall buyback rate was 39.6%. Year-to-year comparisons would be inexact at this time as last year’s Book 1 was spread out over three sessions.

“[The RNA rate] was a little higher than we wanted or would’ve anticipated,” Russell admitted. “We are in that Book 1 market where people are willing to send horses to the racetrack. As we go through the sale, there are people who are commercial breeders with commercial crops who have to sell, so hopefully we see a change in that.”

The current topper would be the lowest at Keeneland September since 2012.

There has been notable strength during Book 1 for fillies, with 11 seven-figure sellers of the fairer sex this year compared to six during Book 1 last year. This year’s filly median among the top 20 was $1,012,500 versus $912,500 12 months ago.

The leading Book 1 buyer was the stallion-making partnership of SF, Starlight and Madaket, with Donato Lanni as agent, which was responsible for 12 purchases for $5,905,000. Taylor Made

Sales assumed its usual spot atop the consignor standings with 38 horses sold for $14,435,000.

Into Mischief was the leading sire by gross with 20 head bringing $13,085,000, while Medaglia d’Oro led by average at $720,537 from 14 head.

After a dark day Tuesday, Keeneland will continue with two days of selling each for Books 2 through 6. Sessions will begin each day at 10:00 a.m. Visit www.keeneland.com for more information.

Powerful Conglomerate Teams Up for Topper

Aron Wellman’s Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Bob LaPenta, Antony Beck’s Gainesway Farm and Ron Winchell pooled their sizable resources and struck late in the day Monday to land the current KEESEP sale topper, a $2-million Tapit colt out of GISW TDN Rising StarTara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song). The grey was consigned to the sale as hip 435 by Eaton Sales on behalf of Stonestreet’s Barbara Banke, who will also stay in for a piece.

“The power of the partnership is so prevalent in today’s market,” said Wellman. “It’s wild to think how far the partnership has come. We have such a remarkable of [racing partnership pioneer] Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable, going back to the beginning of when Eclipse really got started. To think of how the partnership model has evolved, now, we–a partnership company–are partnering with moguls, titans of industry like Bob LaPenta, like Antony Beck, like Ron Winchell. It speaks volumes for the model… Hopefully, between all of us, we have plenty of good mojo.”

Tara’s Tango, whose now 2-year-old Curlin colt was purchased by Godolphin here last year for $2.15 million, is half to 2008 GI King’s Bishop S. winner Visionaire (Grand Slam)–who was bred by Eaton’s Reiley McDonald–and GSWs Scarlet Strike (Smart Strike) and Madison’s Luna (Tapit). The page got even more crowded when 3-year-old half-brother Toro Strike (Toronado {Ire}) was second in Goodwood’s G3 Supreme S. Aug. 30.

“Visionaire was the first Grade I winner that I was associated with during my tenure at Team Valor when he won the King’s Bishop,” Wellman noted. “The family speaks for itself; Tapit speaks for himself. The reality is, all I care about is that you’re interviewing our partnership after he wins a Grade I. Right now, it’s a big gamble, and the only thing we proved today is that we were the only people who were willing to pay $2 million for him.”

As for the colt as an individual, Wellman said, “He was just a phenomenal physical; he was a man amongst boys, to our eye, in the sale. We waited two days to pull the trigger on him. We just couldn’t find any chinks in his armor; physically, mentally, pedigree wise. He handled it all, and we’re just thrilled to be associated with a horse like him, and hope he makes us look smart and not silly when it really matters.”

Stonestreet paid $850,000 for the colt’s stakes-placed second dam Scarlet Tango (French Deputy) while she was carrying a full to Visionaire at the 2008 Keeneland November sale.

“It was exciting,” said Banke, noting that she would’ve retained hip 435 if he were a filly. “I love the colt, love his mother, I love his granddam. His family is terrific. If he does it on the track, which I think he shows every indication of doing, he will be a great sire. His breeding is impeccable.”

@BDiDonatoTDN

Best Gets Into Some More Mischief

Larry Best has been a big supporter of Into Mischief for years, campaigning the likes of GSW Instagrand, Rowayton, Clivetty, Mundaye Call and Center Aisle. The OXO Equine principal added another offspring of the red hot Spendthrift sire to his stable Monday, going to $1.9 million to acquire a well-bred filly (Hip 438) out of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Taylor S (Medaglia d’Oro).

“I like her frame. She looks like a two-turn filly,” Best said. “She has a wonderful family. With my collection of Into Mischief fillies, she has to be one of the best in terms of pedigree. I continue to bet a lot on Into Mischief and so far, so good. I feel good about this one.”

As for the price, Best said, “I didn’t get in til about $1.6 million. I knew she was going to go for between $1.5 million and $2 million. So, it did not surprise me. An earlier filly that doesn’t have this pedigree went for $1.025 million. With that as a marker, I knew I was going to have to be in the $1.7-2 million range. Book 1, I think, has been unbelievably strong. It blew my expectations away. Keeneland should be very happy.”

Hip 438 will certainly carry Best’s red and white silks around the racetrack, but was also bought with his broodmare band in mind, which he began to develop at last year’s November sale. His purchases last fall were topped by GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Blue Prize (Arg) (Pure Prize), who summoned a whopping $5-million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

“I am up to about 27 fillies and mares [in my broodmare band],” Best said. “I love the breeding process. This filly fits both my racing protocol and my breeding strategy.”

Breeder Dennis Albaugh privately purchased Hip 438’s second dam Miss Macy Sue (Trippi) near the end of her racing career, which was highlighted by a Grade III win and over $867,000 in earnings. Her second foal Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) brought $800,000 at the 2012 renewal of this auction and went on to win the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and GI Woodward S. before retiring to the Lane’s End stallion barn.

The Albaugh family retained her next foal Taylor S, who was a stakes winner and Grade II-placed. Two seasons later, Miss Macy Sue produced Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway), who carried the Albaugh silks to a win in the GIII Iroquois S. and a second in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He retired to Taylor Made and has his first runners this year, headlined by Grade I winner and $1.5-million OBSAPR topper Princess Noor.

Hip 438 is the third foal for Taylor S. Her first is a now 3-year-old named Four Grands (Honor Code), who won one of four starts for the Albaughs. She is also responsible for an unraced juvenile colt by Bernardini.

“I am so excited,” said a jubilant Albaugh. “This was a horse we loved a lot, but sometimes you need to take some money off the table and we have spent a lot at this sale. We are very happy. Larry Best got a very nice horse. There is a lot of upside for him on this filly. We couldn’t be happier.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Anderson Farms Hits Another High Note With Orchard Beach

The Anderson Farms-bred mare Orchard Beach (Tapit) has been quite the blue hen for the operation, producing Dave Anderson’s first million-dollar sale in Sergei Prokofiev (Scat Daddy). She provided the Canada native with a new high Monday when her yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro (Hip 319) hammered for $1.6 million to Shadwell Farm.

“It means everything,” Anderson said. “I am very emotional right now. I bred the mother and now I bred this filly. She is probably the most athletic filly that I’ve ever had on the farm. I came in here fairly confident, hoping everyone would feel the same way I do. I am just thrilled that Mr. Nichols bought her for Shadwell. I want to thank Mr. [Joe] Allen for being the underbidder on the filly. So many wonderful people I respect, came by to see the filly and bid her. It means a lot to a little guy from Canada.”

The Ontario-based Anderson Farms purchased Hip 319’s second dam Song and Danz (Unbridled’s Song) for $400,000 with Orchard Beach in utero. Orchard Beach was winless in two starts on the track, but has more than made up for it in the breeding shed. Her first foal, GSW Sergei Prokofiev, sold for $1.1 million to M.V. Magnier at the 2017 renewal of this auction and her second foal, a Hard Spun filly now named Turko Beach, brought $950,000 from Shawn Duggan. She is also responsible for a now-2-year-old colt named Early Warning (Air Force Blue), who sold for $400,000 last year.

“It has been a long time,” Anderson said of his increasing success. “We try hard. I don’t necessarily have the resources to buy the top stock, so I just do the best I can.”

As for this filly in particular, Anderson said, “From the day she was born she was meant to be a sale topper. Not only is she athletic, but she has unbelievable racehorse mind. She wants to do it. She dragged that showman around for three days and never turned a hair. It was amazing to watch. I could sit there for a year and watch that filly walk back and forth.”

Watch Anderson’s post-sale comments below.

Anderson Farms is also responsible for the likes of Canadian Horse of the Year and GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) and one-eyed Grade I winner Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun). @CDeBernardisTDN

Shadwell Gets On the Board in a Big Way

Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company, perennially among the leading buyers at the September sale, purchased a pair of fillies by Medaglia d’Oro during Monday’s second session of the auction and came back later in the day to secure a colt by the Darley stallion. Shadwell’s Kentucky general manager Rick Nichols warmed up with the $425,000 purchase of hip 231 and then refused to be denied when bidding $1.6 million to acquire a daughter by Medaglia d’Oro out of Orchard Beach (Tapit) from Dave Anderson’s Anderson Farms consignment later in the session.

“She was a beautiful filly, extremely well bred and conformationally correct,” Nichols said after signing the ticket on hip 319. “It’s one of those you kind of got to have.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s operation purchased 18 yearlings for $11,070,000 at last year’s September sale and was the auction’s second leading buyer.

“[Sheikh Hamdan] told me this morning to try to concentrate on getting some really nice fillies,” Nichols said. “We send all of our really good fillies to England and he promises that he’s going to send them back, but he never does. So our broodmare band is starting to get a little old and we need to rejuvenate it a little bit. We are looking for a nice colt, but mainly our focus will be on some nice fillies.”

Later in the day, Nichols got his colt and a third yearling by Medaglia d’Oro. The horseman went to $450,000 to acquire hip 369 from the Taylor Made Sales consignment.

Asked if the Shadwell game plan was to buy fewer horses this September, Nichols said, “Yes. We are looking for quality not quantity.” @JessMartiniTDN

Medina & Allen Keep Busy at Keeneland

Joe Allen did not make it to Kentucky for the yearling sales this year, but his presence was heavily felt with Blackwood Stables trainer and former Shug McGaughey assistant Robbie Medina signing plenty of big tickets on the breeder’s behalf. Medina represented Allen on the $1.5-million Quality Road filly that topped the Fasig-Tipton sale and he kept busy at Keeneland, where his acquisitions were highlighted by a $1.4-million daughter of Medaglia d’Oro (Hip 442).

“For me, I thought she was the best horse that I saw,” Medina said after signing the ticket in the back show ring. “She’s a big, athletic-looking filly. Obviously the mare has produced a Grade I winner and a 2-year-old winner and I like everything about her. She’s a May foal and she’ll grow into herself. I told Joe that of all the fillies I saw, and there are some great fillies in the sale, I liked her the best.”

He continued, “When I first saw her, I thought she would be in that ballpark [price wise]. I thought she was a $1-million horse. Then when I saw what happened in the last 45 minutes or so, I didn’t know what would happen. I thought I’d have to stretch a little more than that. But with her pedigree and all that, there is nothing to complain about”

Chris Baccari of Baccari Bloodstock purchased Hip 442’s SP dam Theycallmeladyluck (Dixie Union) for just $60,000 back in 2009 at the Keeneland November Sale. Her second foal brought $500,000 at the 2013 renewal of this auction and Baccari raced her next foal in partnership with Gary Barber and Chester Prince. That foal was Grade I winner Salty (Quality Road), who sold to Don Alberto for $3 million at the 2018 FTKNOV sale.

Chris Baccardi talks to the TDN below:

Theycallmeladyluck’s 2016 foal Master of Luck (Candy Ride {Arg}) summoned $800,000 from Kerri Radcliffe here back in 2017, but has yet to race. Justin Casse purchased her 2018 filly Salty as Can Be (Into Mischief) for $850,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and she won on debut at Churchill Downs Sept. 4.

“It has been a very good family, Baccari said. “We have had very good luck with her fillies. I wish them the best. She was one of the better individuals this mare has had. I am very pleased with what she did. I think they are going to do very well with her.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Curlin Colt Attracts a Crowd

A colt by Curlin has no shortage of new owners after Gainesway’s Alex Solis signed the ticket on hip 282 at $1.2 million Monday at Keeneland. The new partnership includes Mike Repole, Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias, Gainesway, John Oxley and Robert Clay’s Grandview.

“We’ve been talking about all the colts we liked and I really liked this colt,” Solis said after signing the lengthy ticket. “I thought his mother was a pretty special filly. All week long I kept seeing him and thought I’d like to find a way to take a piece of this colt.”

The gray colt is out of multiple Grade I winner Midnight Lucky (Midnight Lute) and was co-bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, Mike PEgram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman. The mare was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who was an interested observer while standing out back as the bidding escalated.

Pegram purchased Midnight Lucky for $220,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. She went on to win the 2013 GI Acorn S. and 2014 GI Humana Distaff S. for Pegram, Watson and Weitman. The 10-year-old mare produced a filly by Curlin this year and was bred back to Triple Crown winner Justify.

Solis did his bidding while standing in the doorway of the sales pavilion and surrounded by a crowd which included Gainesway owner Antony Beck, Clay and trainer Todd Pletcher.

“I thought he’d be somewhere around there,” Solis said of the colt’s final price. “I didn’t know where. In this market, it’s kind of who you run into.”

Asked if the purchase was made considering a future stallion career for the yearling, Solis said, “Oh yes. When you pay that much money, you’re hoping it’s multiples if they hit.” @JessMartiniTDN

His consignor, John Sikura, talked to the TDN:

Well-Related ‘Pharoah’ Filly Keeps Ball Rolling

Longtime owner/breeder Mike Rutherford of Lexington’s Manchester Farm fended off several stiff challenges to ultimately land an American Pharaoh half-sister to unbeaten GII Amsterdam S. romper Yaupon (Uncle Mo) for $1.2 million.

The chestnut (hip 291) was consigned to the sale by Bill Betz’s Betz Thoroughbreds and bred by Betz, J. Betz, CoCo Equine, former Chicago newscaster Ron Magers and Burns.

“She is beautiful, gorgeous,” said Rutherford while rushing out of the sales pavilion. “Best filly I have seen. Let’s hope she can run.”

Rutherford said he currently has six other sons and daughters of American Pharaoh in training. He said he hadn’t yet decided on a trainer for hip 291, but he has employed Yaupon’s trainer Steve Asmussen in the past.

Betz paid $195,000 for mare Modification (Vindication) at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. She was carrying her first foal by Spring At Last that day, and that $100,000 KEESEP yearling eventually because MGSP Sawyer’s Hill. Other sales out of Modification include a $475,000 Candy Ride (Arg) filly, also trained by Asmussen to a couple wins. Yaupon was a $350,000 KEESEP grad, $485,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream RNA and $255,000 OBS June purchase by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt.

Rutherford was congratulated after the sale by Heiligbrodt representative Susan Montanye, and Rutherford said that Heiligbrodt was one of the underbidders on the filly.

@BDiDonatoTDN

Blacker Strikes Late for Medag Filly

California-based trainer Dan Blacker, bidding on behalf of a new owner racing as What Time Is It Racing, made a final bid of $1.1 million to secure a filly by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 443) as Monday’s session of the September sale wound down with a bevy of high-priced yearlings. Blacker did his bidding in the new show ring bidding area alongside Oracle Bloodstock’s Conor Foley.

“Conor Foley and Jim Hatchet of Oracle Bloodstock found her,” Blacker said. “They just loved her. They did all the work and I just came in. I have a super generous owner, What Time Is It Racing, a new owner on the scene. He really loves racing. His father was into racing when he was a kid and he’s just coming back to it. I am just pumped for him to get a horse like this. This filly just seems like a superstar. I am really thrilled.”

What Time Is It Stables also purchased a yearling colt by Constitution (hip 382) at the Fasig-Tipton Showcase last week.

Asked if he was done shopping for his new owner, Blacker said, “I need to talk to him and find out.”

Consigned by Indian Creek, hip 443 is out of multiple stakes winner Thirteen Arrows (Indian Charlie), a daughter of multiple Grade I winner Stop Traffic and a half-sister to Grade I winner Cross Traffic (Unbridled’s Song). The mare was purchased for $575,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton November sale. The yearling was bred by Bob Edwards’s Fifth Avenue Bloodstock and Glennwood Breeding.

“She is really, really nice. She did everything great at the farm. We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Indian Creek’s Shack Parrish. “This is team effort between, not just myself and Mr. Edwards, but Sarah [Sutherland], Charles [Campbell] and Juan [Agular] and everyone else at the farm.”

Dan Blacker talked to the TDN’s Katie Ritz, below:

Indian Creek sold an Into Mischief colt (hip 501) for Five Avenue Bloodstock for $800,000 at last week’s Fasig-Tipton Showcase. The two teamed up last year to sell a Medaglia d’Oro filly out of Veracity (Distorted Humor) (hip 150) for $1 million at the Fasig Saratoga sale. @JessMartiniTDN

Brogden’s Special Mare Justifies Her Faith Yet Again

The love affair between Carrie Brogden and the Unbridled’s Song mare Special Me goes back quite a ways. She tried to claim her back in 2008, but her trainer talked her out of it when seeing the mare was only 14.2 hands. Six months later, Brogden saw the mare for herself in the back ring of the Keeneland January sale and found out her petite stature was due to being born six months premature (Click here for a TDN video feature on Special Me & her Into Mischief filly).

Brogden could not ignore her gut feeling on the mare and scooped her up for just $6,000, a price that would prove to be the bargain of a lifetime. Special Me has produced three graded winners, several six-figure yearlings and now her and Brogden’s first million-dollar horse with her Into Mischief filly (Hip 405) selling to Liz Crow for $1.025 million Monday.

“Honestly, it means so much because it’s from the beginning,” an overjoyed Brogden said. “We bought her out of the back ring as a broodmare prospect. This is the little mare that could. We bred her back to Curlin.”

The horsewoman continued, “We were just hoping to break our personal farm record for a yearling which is $550,000. But the crazy thing is Craig and I personally own half of this baby. So she’s owned by Machmer Hall [Brogden’s mom, Dr. Sandra Fubini’s, farm] and we own the other half of her. I’m blown away. It’s been the whole progression through seeing and raising every single foal. She’s a special mare.”

Special Me’s second foal was a fleet-footed filly named Stonetastic (Mizzen Mast), who won two graded stakes and was Grade I-placed with earnings over $856,000. Two years later came Gift Box, her first Grade I winner, and two years after that, she produced GSW Special Forces (Candy Ride {Arg}). Special Me’s now-2-year-old filly Meir Point (Medaglia d’Oro) was purchased by Larry best for $500,000 as a weanling at Fasig-Tipton November. The 14-year-old mare aborted her Quality Road this year, but is back in foal to Curlin.

“David [Hayden] from Dark Hollow [who bred and sold Special Me] came up and talked to me [Sunday] at the sale,” Brogden said. “We were talking about how this was not bad for a premie, nocardioforplacentitis mare that throws beautiful foals. She’s a great mom, easy to get in foal and she raises nothing but runners.”

It is no secret that Brogden loves both Into Mischief and Unbridled’s Song. This is a cross she breeds a lot of and has been good to her. In fact, Crow purchased another Into Mischief filly bred on that cross and raised at Machmer Hall for $425,000 at last week’s Fasig-Tipton sale.

“We bred [SW & MGISP] Shoplifted (Into Mischief) on that same cross and Intense Holiday (Harlan’s Holiday) on that same cross,” said Brogden. “Because Unbridled’s Songs offer him beauty and stretch. Into Mischief gives them the will, the heart, the bone and the bodies. It’s been an incredible match.”

This is the first yearling sales season for Carrie and Craig Brogden’s new Machmer Hall consignment. They sold four horses during Book 1 for a gross of $1.92-million and average of $480,000. They had two yearlings RNA during the opening session, but sold all three of their Monday entries.

“[Sunday] I had horses that had a lot of vetting,” Brogden said. We felt we were solid at ‘X’ level, but people wanted them to be at ‘Y’ level, so we adjusted our reserves. I think, like for this filly, her reserve was less than half of what she brought. It’s about trying to be realistic, adjust our expectations, and let people get involved and feel like they’re getting a fair market price for what is going on in the world right now.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Crow Goes to Seven Figs for Gift Box Sib

Agent Liz Crow went to $1.025 million late in Tuesday’s Book 1 session to secure an Into Mischief half-sister to GISW Gift Box (Twirling Candy), MGSW Stonetastic (Mizzen Mast) and MGSP Special Forces (Candy Ride {Arg}). Hip 405 was bred by Carrie and Craig Brogden and Dr. Sandra Fubini’s Machmer Hall and offered by their new Machmer Hall Sales.

“We just really like buying from Carrie; I think she and Craig do such a good job of raising really good racehorses,” Crow said. “Obviously, the mare has proven that she can do it time and time again, so we just hope that this is another one of the mare’s good horses.”

When asked to describe the Mar. 23 foal, Crow said, “I went to see her on the farm–I saw her at Carrie’s farm first. She had a great attitude; just the way she carried herself and presented herself with a lot of class. She did the same here. Every time I saw her, she was classier than the last time.”

While Crow has built her reputation as a sharp judge off of value buys like $100,000 superstar Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) and $40,000 champion 2-year-old filly British Idiom (Flashback), she and Bradley Weisbord’s BSW/Crow have signed for four horses this week for $2.84 million .

“[These are] for a different client, and we’ll go right back down to buying our $25,000 and $50,000 and $100,000 horses in Books 2, 3 and 4,” Crow said sheepishly. “We haven’t changed our mentality, but when you’re buying that kind of pedigree page, that’s what it costs.”

As for the market as a whole, she said, “I think the market’s pretty good. We’re obviously missing Godolphin and Shadwell [to an extent]–we’re missing a lot of that money. But these groups, these partnerships that they’re putting together, are very hard to outbid.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Crow talked to the TDN after the sale.

Courtlandt Determined to Get Into Mischief

After missing out on a million-dollar son of leading sire Into Mischief during Sunday’s opening session (Hip 121), Courtlandt Farm was determined to take home on of the Spendthrift stallion’s daughter, going to $1.025 million for Hip 275 Monday.

Bred and consigned by Clearsky Farm, the bay filly is out of SP Mary Rita (Distorted Humor) and her third dam is Hall of Famer Personal Ensign.

“We thought she was a big, beautiful filly with a lot of substance to her,” Courtlandt Farm manage Ernie Retamoza said. “We’ve looked at a few Into Mischiefs, [Sunday] we got outbid on the colt that brought $1 million. We’re a big fan of Into Mischief. We thought she had a lot of substance and a lot of class and she’s the kind of filly we want in our race program. It seems like for all the better ones you have to go further than you thought you’d want to go. But that’s the way the sale is going. Everybody is on the same ones it seems like.”

Don Adam’s Courtlandt Farm was very active at both Fasig and Keeneland, taking home four yearlings at Newtown Paddocks and another three during Book 1 of Keeneland. In addition to Hip 275, Courtlandt purchased a $950,000 Quality Road colt (Hip 366) and a $690,000 son of Into Mischief (Hip 314).

“Mr. Adam has a plan,” Retamoza said. “I don’t know if we’ll stick to a number but we would like to pick up eight or 10 yearlings total. You get outbid on nice colts you have to keep swinging. We’re excited about what we got at Fasig-Tipton and what we’ve got here so far. We have a few more to go and hopefully we will get lucky.”

As for his thoughts on the market, Retamoza said, “For the right horses [the market] it’s strong. A lot of horses, if they’re average or below, you see what’s happening. It seems like there were more RNA’s [Sunday] than [Monday], but the right horses are bringing the money.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Tapit Filly Proves Brilliant

On the day he announced the retirement of his Grade I-winning sophomore Honor A. P. (Honor Code), Lee Searing survived a protacted bidding duel to acquire a filly by Tapit for $850,000 during Monday’s second session of the Keeneland Sale. The chestnut yearling (hip 417) was bred and consigned by Mt. Brilliant Farm, which purchased her dam Strike Charmer (Smart Strike), with the filly in utero, for $700,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

“She is magnificent,” bloodstock agent David Ingordo said after signing the ticket in the name of Mayberry Farm. “Mt. Brilliant raises great horses and I love buying from them. Mr. [Don] Adam [of Courtlandt Farms], raced the mare and we [Lane’s End] sold the mare in foal with that baby to them. John Shirreffs will get the filly. He loved her and Mr. Searing was brave enough to keep bidding against whoever was bidding against him.”

Ingordo also found success as a breeder during Monday’s session of the September sale. Hip 366, a son of Quality Road out of Rutile (Medaglia d’Oro), co-bred by Ingordo and Jerry Moss, sold for $950,000 to Courtlandt Farm. The yearling’s second dam is Set them Free (Stop the Music), dam of Moss’s multiple Grade I winner Tiago (Pleasant Tap) and GI Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo (Holy Bull).

“Mr. Moss let me have that mare back somewhere along the line,” Ingordo said. “She is the most like Set Them Free, the mare that my mom and Ms. Mayberry bought 100 years ago. So it was nice to get something out of that family and she went to a great home. I’m not usually much of a breeder, but that’s the best work I’ve ever done.”

Of the market at Keeneland, Ingordo added, “I know everybody is nervous about the market out there, but I promise you, if a horse walks up here that is any good, it’s very difficult to buy them.”

The Goodman family’s Mt. Brilliant Farm enjoyed a quick return on its $700,000 investment in Strike Charmer. The 10-year-old mare won the 2016 GII Ballston Spa S. and GIII Beaugay S. for Courtlandt Farm.

“She is a beautiful filly from a really good family,” Hutton Goodman said of the yearling. “This filly has been the top of the class from the beginning. From the day she was born, she’s been straightforward, one of those that never has anything wrong with them, always the front of the pack. We are thrilled she is going to a great home. It’s the best possible scenario for us–to get to that barn where you know she is going to get the best chance she could possibly get. With owners who have a great track record and do right by them and give them every chance. We are just thrilled.”

Goodman said purchasing the mare in 2018 had been a no-brainer.

“She is a beautiful mare who could really, really run,” he said. “That year, Tapit averaged $600,000 and we paid $700,000 for the mare. So we thought it was a smart buy, to get a gorgeous mare who was a multiple graded stakes winner from a family which continues to produce. They produce stallions and race fillies and broodmares. That’s something that appealed to us-a family that just keeps on growing and getting better.”

Strike Charmer has a weanling colt by Medaglia d’Oro and was bred back to Justify. @JessMartiniTDN

Heider Jumps for Another ‘Joy’

Heider Family Stable’s Scott Heider will be sending another high-class filly over to trainer Joseph O’Brien in Ireland after snatching up hip 229 for $800,000 early in Tuesday’s second Book 1 session. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy was consigned by Gainesway, Agent XII.

Heider and O’Brien campaign the likes of June’s G3 Gallinule S. heroine Crossfirehurricane (Kitten’s Joy), as well as Thursday’s G2 Park Hill Fillies S. winner Pista (American Pharaoh), a $675,000 buy here two years ago.

“She’ll go to Joseph O’Brien–we’ve got a 3-year-old Kitten’s ?Joy with Joseph now, Crossfirehurricane, who’s doing really well over there; we’ve got a 2-year-old Kitten’s Joy with Joseph as well, Corsa [who was a $250,000 KEENOV ’18 buy],” said Heider, who was joined during the bidding process by advisors Tony Lacy and Donato Lanni. “We love sending Kitten’s Joys to Joseph over in Europe. They fit really well.”

Hip 229 is of MSW turf sprinter Joya Real (Eddington), who’s half to GSW grasser La Dolce Vita (Quiet American). She was a $140,000 KEENOV acquisition by the pinhooking partnership led by Gainesway’s Brian Graves and which signs as Fish Bloodstock.

“We were really excited about this filly the last couple days,” Heider said. “We had to certainly stretch here–Kitten’s Joys, commercially, aren’t usually lightning up the board like that. But, part of [the decision to keep bidding] was the strength of our conviction for Kitten’s Joys in Ireland, specifically with Joseph. It’s worked, so we’re going to go back to the same well and try it again.”

Other Kitten’s Joys to find success on the other side of the pond are fellow KEESEP grads and international superstars Hawkbill ($350,000 in 2014) and Roaring Lion ($160,000 in 2016).

“We’ve looked at them all, and there are some great offerings–colts and fillies–but this one was our favorite,” said Heider when asked how hip 229 stacked up with other Kitten’s Joys in Book 1. “This filly is super athletic. She looks like a horse who’s going to fit Ireland with the way she moved. I think Joseph will be very happy with her. We’re excited.”

Graves, who had a productive day as co-breeder and pinhooker Sunday when selling a $1-million Quality Road colt and a $260,000-to-$635,000 Nyquist colt, had plenty more to celebrate Monday with the rest of the Gainesway team.

“It was for myself, [Gainesway President Antony] Beck, [Gainesway Yearling Manager] Sherri Ivanovich, [retired Gainesway General Manager] Neil Howard and some other people at Gainesway,” the farm’s GM said. “It’s a family operation, and everybody works hard so when I buy a weanling it’s open to anybody at Gainesway to get involved. We got lucky on this filly. She just developed the right way. We thought she was one of the top fillies we had on the farm this year. When buyers came through everybody liked her. She walked the same every time. The top judges found her. Mr. Heider liked a Tapit filly he bought from us at Saratoga last year (Thoughtfully, $950,000) that is undefeated now and has won the [GII Adirondack S. at Saratoga]. Everything came together and we wish him a lot of luck. The filly proved herself to be a top prospect. There have been a lot of good Kitten’s Joys and she looks like she could be one of them.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

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‘Rising Stars’ Account for Day’s Top Two Sellers

Mon, 2020-09-14 18:20

Yearlings by a pair of this country’s most prominent sires and each the produce of ‘TDN Rising Stars’ sold minutes apart late during the second session at Keeneland September to close the day as the top two lots. First through the ring was hip 435, a son of Tapit out of Tara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song), who brought the hammer down at an even $2 million. The colt will be campaigned by a powerhouse partnership including Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta, Gainesway and Ron Winchell. Stonestreet will also retain an interest. Just three hips later, a filly by Into Mischief out of ‘Rising Star’ Taylor S (Medaglia d’Oro) bred by Albaugh Family Stable fetched $1.9 million. Hip 435 was bred by Stonestreet, who raced Tara’s Tango to a victory in the GI Santa Margarita S. The mare’s Medaglia d’Oro colt made $2.15 million from Godolphin here last year. Hip 438 is out of the GSP Taylor S, a daughter of Miss Macy Sue (Trippi), whose distinguished produce include Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song)–himself a ‘Rising Star’–and boom freshman sire Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway). Not surprisingly, Larry Best signed the winning ticket.

 

Best Gets Into Some More Mischief

Larry Best has been a big supporter of Into Mischief for years, campaigning the likes of GSW Instagrand, Rowayton, Clivetty, Mundaye Call and Center Aisle. The OXO Equine principal added another offspring of the red hot Spendthrift sire to his stable Monday, going to $1.9-million to acquire a well-bred filly (Hip 438) out of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Taylor S (Medaglia d’Oro).

“I like her frame. She looks like a two-turn filly,” Best said.  “She has a wonderful family. With my collection of Into Mischief fillies, she has to be one of the best in terms of pedigree. I continue to bet a lot on Into Mischief and so far, so good. I feel good about this one.”

As for the price, Best said, “I didn’t get in til about $1.6-million. I knew she was going to go for between $1.5-million and $2-million. So, it did not surprise me. An earlier filly that doesn’t have this pedigree went for $1.025-million. With that as a marker, I knew I was going to have to be in the $1.7-2-million range. Book 1, I think, has been unbelievably strong. It blew my expectations away. Keeneland should be very happy.”

Hip 438 will certainly carry Best’s red and white silks around the racetrack, but was also bought with his broodmare band in mind, which he began to develop at last year’s November sale. His purchases last fall were topped by GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff heroine Blue Prize (Arg) (Pure Prize), who summoned a whopping $5-million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

“I am up to about 27 fillies and mares [in my broodmare band],” Best said. “I love the breeding process. This filly fits both my racing protocol and my breeding strategy.”

Breeder Dennis Albaugh privately purchased Hip 438’s second dam Miss Macy Sue (Trippi) near the end of her racing career, which was highlighted by a Grade III win and over $867,000 in earnings. Her second foal Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) brought $800,000 at the 2012 renewal of this auction and went on to win the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and GI Woodward S. before retiring to the Lane’s End stallion barn.

The Albaugh family retained her next foal Taylor S, who was a stakes winner and Grade II-placed. Two seasons later, Miss Macy Sue produced Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway), who carried the Albaugh silks to a win in the GIII Iroquois S. and a second in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He retired to Taylor Made and has his first runners this year, headlined by Grade I winner and $1.5-million OBSAPR topper Princess Noor.

Hip 438 is the third foal for Taylor S. Her first is a now 3-year-old named Four Grands (Honor Code), who won one of four starts for the Albaughs. She is also responsible for an unraced juvenile colt by Bernardini.

“I am so excited,” said a jubilant Albaugh. “This was a horse we loved a lot, but sometimes you need to take some money off the table and we have spent a lot at this sale. We are very happy. Larry Best got a very nice horse. There is a lot of upside for him on this filly. We couldn’t be happier.” @CDeBernardisTDN

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Another Seven-Figure Baby for Into Mischief

Mon, 2020-09-14 17:14

   Agent Liz Crow went to $1.025 million late in Tuesday’s Book 1 session to secure an Into Mischief half-sister to GISW Gift Box (Twirling Candy), MGSW Stonetastic (Mizzen Mast) and MGSP Special Forces (Candy Ride {Arg}). Hip 405 was bred by Carrie and Craig Brogden and Dr. Sandra Fubini’s Machmer Hall and offered by their new Machmer Hall Sales.

   “We just really like buying from Carrie; I think she and Craig do such a good job of raising really good racehorses,” Crow said. “Obviously, the mare has proven that she can do it time and time again, so we just hope that this is another one of the mare’s good horses.”   

   When asked to describe the Mar. 23 foal, Crow said, “I went to see her on the farm–I saw her at Carrie’s farm first. She had a great attitude; just the way she carried herself and presented herself with a lot of class. She did the same here. Every time I saw her, she was classier than the last time.”

   While Crow has built her reputation as a sharp judge off of value buys like $100,000 superstar Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) and $40,000 champion 2-year-old filly British Idiom (Flashback), she and Bradley Weisbord’s BSW/Crow have signed for four horses this week for $2.84 million .

   “[These are] for a different client, and we’ll go right back down to buying our $25,000 and $50,000 and $100,000 horses in Books 2, 3 and 4,” Crow said sheepishly. “We haven’t changed our mentality, but when you’re buying that kind of pedigree page, that’s what it costs.”

Brogden’s Special Mare Justifies Her Faith Yet Again

The love affair between Carrie Brogden and the Unbridled’s Song mare Special Me goes back quite a ways. She tried to claim her back in 2008, but her trainer talked her out of it when seeing the mare was only 14.2 hands. Six months later, Brogden saw the mare for herself in the back ring of the Keeneland January sale and found out her petite stature was due to being born six months premature (Click here for a TDN video feature on Special Me & her Into Mischief filly).

Brogden could not ignore her gut feeling on the mare and scooped her up for just $6,000, a price that would prove to be the bargain of a lifetime. Special Me has produced three graded winners, several six-figure yearlings and now her and Brogden’s first million-dollar horse with her Into Mischief filly (Hip 405) selling to Liz Crow for $1.025-million Monday.

“Honestly, it means so much because it’s from the beginning,” an overjoyed Brogden said. “We bought her out of the back ring as a broodmare prospect. This is the little mare that could. We bred her back Curlin.”

The horsewoman continued, “We were just hoping to break our personal farm record for a yearling which is $550,000. But the crazy thing is Craig and I personally own half of this baby. So she’s owned by Machmer Hall [Brogden’s mom, Dr. Sandra Fubini’s, farm]] and we own the other half of her. I’m blown away. It’s been the whole progression through seeing and raising every single foal. She’s a special mare.”

Special Me’s second foal was a fleet-footed filly named Stonetastic (Mizzen Mast), who won two graded stakes and was Grade I-placed with earnings over $856,000. Two years later came Gift Box, her first Grade I winner, and two years after that, she produced GSW Special Forces (Candy Ride {Arg}). Special Me’s now-2-year-old filly Meir Point (Medaglia d’Oro) was purchased by Larry best for $500,000 as a weanling at Fasig-Tipton November. The 14-year-old mare aborted her Quality Road this year, but is back in foal to Curlin.

“David [Hayden] from Dark Hollow [who bred and sold Special Me] came up and talked to me [Sunday] at the sale,” Brogden said. “We were talking about how this was not bad for a premie, nocardioforplacentitis mare that throws beautiful foals. She’s a great mom, easy to get in foal and she raises nothing but runners.”

It is no secret that Brogden loves both Into Mischief and Unbridled’s Song. This is a cross she breeds a lot of and has been good to her. In fact, Crow purchased another Into Mischief filly bred on that cross and raised at Machmer Hall for $425,000 at last week’s Fasig-Tipton sale.

“We bred [SW & MGISP] Shoplifted (Into Mischief) on that same cross and Intense Holiday (Harlan’s Holiday) on that same cross,” said Brogden. “Because Unbridled’s Songs offer him beauty and stretch. Into Mischief gives them the will, the heart, the bone and the bodies. It’s been an incredible match.”

This is the first yearling sales season for Carrie and Craig Brogden’s new Machmer Hall consignment. They sold four horses during Book 1 for a gross of $1.92-million and average of $480,000. They had two yearlings RNA during the opening session, but sold all three of their Monday entries.

“[Sunday] I had horses that had a lot of vetting,” Brogden said. We felt we were solid at ‘X’ level, but people wanted them to be at ‘Y’ level, so we adjusted our reserves. I think, like for this filly, her reserve was less than half of what she brought. It’s about trying to be realistic, adjust our expectations, and let people get involved and feel like they’re getting a fair market price for what is going on in the world right now.” @CDeBernardisTDN

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Arizona Horsemen Secure Some Disputed Purse Funds

Mon, 2020-09-14 16:29

At the six-month mark of the shutdown of live racing in Arizona that is the result of both the pandemic and a prolonged fight over off-track betting (OTB) privileges, the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) has reportedly secured some of the disputed money from the horsemen’s account that had been controlled by Turf Paradise and placed it into a trust to pay purses if and when racing resumes elsewhere.

This news was shared in the form of a widely circulated email that made the rounds on social media Monday. It was purportedly written to the AZHBPA membership by National HBPA president Leroy Gessmann and dated Sept. 12.

“[AZHPA president] Bob Hutton, with suggestions from the Board members, was able to acquire part of our purse fund from Turf Paradise,” the email stated. “These funds are now in our control in a trust account and will remain there until our legal issues with Turf Paradise are resolved. When they are available, they will only be used for purse money, for whatever track wants to run a live meet! We have retained an attorney that is working on getting the rest of our money and all money earned in 2021 by Turf Paradise’s OTBs. If [Turf Paradise] won’t host a live meet for Arizona horsemen, they should not be able to profit from our business.”

The state’s two commercial tracks are Turf Paradise in Phoenix and Arizona Downs 82 miles north in Prescott.

Turf Paradise ended its spring meet prematurely Mar. 14 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation. Last month track management withdrew its dates request for a traditional 2020-21 autumn-to-spring meet, citing liability concerns related to COVID-19.

Arizona Downs is the former Yavapai Downs. It reopened in 2019 under the new name but called off part of its race meet because of a simulcasting signal dispute that eventually wound up in the courts. Its 2020 summer season never started as scheduled because local health officials would not extend permission to reopen under pandemic conditions.

At a Sept. 10 Arizona Racing Commission meeting, members of the horse racing community lobbied for officials to help clear the way for expanded dates at Arizona Downs.

“Arizona Downs future with racing is totally dependent on the proposal that Arizona Downs presents to the HBPA board,” the email stated. “The HBPA will make sure the purses are funded properly and that the management team is performing to the standards that the Arizona Horsemen deserve…The HBPA is about live racing and any permittee that doesn’t support live racing will not be recognized by our group. No permittee will be able to operate OTBs after Dec. 31, 2020, without having a live meet!”

At the Sept. 10 commission meeting, chairman Rory Goree said that moving forward, the commission needs to “start looking at what the requirements are regarding live racing versus having an OTB [and] what powers we may have regarding if [a licensee is] not offering live racing [but still operating] OTB networks.”

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Wildfire Smoke Forces Postponement of Grants Pass Downs Opener

Mon, 2020-09-14 16:15

Heavy smoke from wildfires in the northwest portion of the country has blanketed Grants Pass Downs at the Josephine County Fairgrounds in southern Oregon, causing track management there to postpone the scheduled opening day of the autumn meet from Sep. 14 to Sep. 21.

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, human and equine athletes, community of horsemen and women, and Grants Pass Downs staff,” stated a track-issued press release published by FOX26 News. “Until the smoke from the fires decreases to a safe level, we will not conduct training nor racing. Our hearts are with the members of our community who have been impacted by these historic fires, and our sincere gratitude goes out to the firefighters battling the blazes and first responders working to keep our communities safe.”

According to the Josephine County website, people in the county who must evacuate because of the fires are being directed to report to the fairgrounds property where the track is located.

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Santa Anita Pushing Back Opening Day to Sept. 25 Due to Fires

Mon, 2020-09-14 15:13

The opening day of Santa Anita’s Autumn season will be pushed back a week until Friday, Sept. 25 due to the impact of the Bobcat Fire on the air quality and surrounding community.

“Our local community has been deeply impacted by the Bobcat Fire burning for more than a week in the mountains behind us,” said Aidan Butler, Executive Director of California Operations for The Stronach Group. “The current weather pattern has kept the smoke in the valley and the air quality is quite poor right now. The Red Cross is using Santa Anita as the evacuation zone for people–including many of our horsemen–whose homes are less than two miles from here. As excited as we are to welcome back live racing, we are first and foremost committed to safety. This is the responsible decision to make at this time so people can plan accordingly.”

“The stakes races set for this weekend will be brought back next weekend,” said Steve Lym, Santa Anita’s VP, Racing & Racing Secretary. “The smoke has impacted some training schedules, so postponing until next weekend will allow everyone a chance to be ready to go. We are planning on filling extra races throughout the meet to give our horsemen the opportunity to run their horses.”

The Opening Week now will feature a blockbuster schedule of stakes action, offering over $2-million in purse money. The stakes schedule includes seven races which are “Win and You’re In” races for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The stakes races originally slotted for this weekend will be run as follows: the Chillingworth Friday, Sept. 25, the Speakeasy Saturday, Sept. 26 and the GIII Tokyo City Cup Sunday, Sept. 27.

Entries for Opening Day, September 25, will be drawn Sunday, Sept. 20, as scheduled. First post will be 12:30 p.m. PT.

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Honor A. P. Retired, Ships To Lane’s End Wednesday

Mon, 2020-09-14 15:10

The GI Santa Anita Derby winner, Honor A. P. (Honor Code–Hollywood Story, by Wild Rush) has been retired following a fourth-place finish in the GI Kentucky Derby during which he suffered an injury, according to trainer John Shirreffs. He is scheduled to arrive at Lane’s End Farm Wednesday afternoon to take up stud duties.

The 3-year-old colt retires as the top earner of his leading second-crop sire Honor Code.

In his most recent start, Honor A. P. dealt with an unlucky trip to finish a closing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, posting a 99 Beyer and traveling the furthest distance of all the horses in the field, according to data from Trakus.

“Honor A. P. is a horse with an immense talent,” said Shirreffs. “He was so forward and precocious that he broke his maiden second time out by over five lengths going two turns. Honor A. P. showed brilliance as a 2-year-old from the first time I saw him train and replicated it as a 3-year-old defeating the future Kentucky Derby winner. He ran a super race in the Derby and we later found that he came out of the race with an injury, so all things considered, what he accomplished was something special.”

As a 2-year-old, Honor A. P. broke his maiden at Santa Anita by over five lengths posting a 91 Beyer, one of the highest of his generation. His first start as a 3-year-old was in graded stakes company when he finished second in the GII San Felipe S. In his next start, he won the GI Santa Anita Derby, posting a 102 Beyer and becoming the only horse to defeat subsequent Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (Into Mischief) while also defeating GII Pat Day Mile S. winner Rushie (Liam’s Map). In his next start, the Shared Belief S., he posted another 102 Beyer making him one of four 3-year-old colts in 2020 to post multiple triple-digit Beyers beyond a mile.

“Honor A. P. was a ‘wow’ horse from the beginning. He was the highest priced yearling in Honor Code’s first crop. He was a standout 2-year-old at April Mayberry’s, and the most recognizable horse in training at Santa Anita,” said Lane’s End’s Bill Farish. “His stunning good looks paired with his obvious talent make him just the type of prospect we are looking for at Lane’s End.”

Honor A. P. is out of the multiple Grade I winner Hollywood Story, who earned $1,171,105 in her career, and he is a half-sibling to three black-type winners. Hollywood Story is by Wild Rush, making Honor A. P.’s pedigree free of Mr. Prospector on his dam’s side to five generations. His sire Honor Code is one of just four second-crop sires including Liam’s Map and Constitution to produce a Grade I winner in 2020. To date, Honor A. P. is Honor Code’s highest-priced yearling, earning a final bid of $850,000 from David Ingordo for Lee and Susan Searing’s CRK Stable at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.

“Like any owner in this game, Susan and I have long dreamt about having a leading Derby contender,” said Lee Searing. “Honor A. P. has given us the journey of a lifetime and we are excited to stay involved in his next career as a stallion where we know he’ll be in great hands at Lane’s End.”

Honor A. P. will be available for inspection at Lane’s End farm in the coming weeks and a stud fee will be determined.

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Medaglia d’Oro Half-Sis to Sergei Prokofiev to Shadwell

Mon, 2020-09-14 15:05

Hip 319, a Medaglia ‘Oro half-sister to Group 3 winner Sergei Prokofiev (Scat Daddy), rolled to the top of the leaderboard about midway through the second day of bidding at the Keeneland September sale after selling to Shadwell Farm for $1.6 million. The Apr. 27 foal was bred in Ontario and consigned to the sale by Anderson Farms and was produced by Orchard Beach (Tapit), a $200,000 graduate of the 2012 September sale, whose produce have now accounted for better than $4 million in turnover at this auction since 2017. Sergei Prokofiev was a $1.1-million acquisition by M.V. Magnier out of the 2017 September sale, while the mare’s foal of 2017, a Hard Spun filly named Turko Beach, made $950,000 in 2018. Early Warning (Air Force Blue) was purchased by David Redvers for $400,000 at this venue 12 months ago. On Monday it was announced that Sergei Prokofiev would stand at Whitsbury Manor Stud.

Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company, perennially among the leading buyers at the September sale, purchased a pair of fillies by Medaglia d’Oro during Monday’s second session of the auction. Shadwell’s Kentucky manager Rick Nichols warmed up with the $425,000 purchase of hip 231 and then refused to be denied when bidding $1.6 million to acquire a daughter of the Darley stallion out of Orchard Beach (Tapit) from Dave Anderson’s Anderson Farms consignment later in the session.
“She was a beautiful filly, extremely well bred and conformationally correct,” Nichols said after signing the ticket on hip 319. “It’s one of those you kind of got to have.”
Sheikh Hamdan’s operation purchased 18 yearlings for $11,070,000 at last year’s September sale and was the auction’s second leading buyer.
“[Sheikh Hamdan] told me this morning to try to concentrate on getting some really nice fillies,” Nichols said. “We send all of our really good fillies to England and he promises that he’s going to send them back, but he never does. So our broodmare band is starting to get a little old and we need to rejuvenate it a little bit. We are looking for a nice colt, but mainly our focus will be on some nice fillies.”
Asked if the Shadwell game plan was to buy fewer horses this September, Nichols said, “Yes. We are looking for quality not quantity.”

Anderson Farms Hits Another High Note With Orchard Beach

The Anderson Farms-bred mare Orchard Beach (Tapit) has been quite the blue hen for the operation, producing Dave Anderson’s first million-dollar sale in Sergei Prokofiev (Scat Daddy). She provided the Canada native with a new high Monday when her yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro (Hip 319) hammered for a $1.6-million to Shadwell Farm.

“It means everything,” Anderson said. “I am very emotional right now. I bred the mother and now I bred this filly. She is probably the most athletic filly that I’ve ever had on the farm. I came in here fairly confident, hoping everyone would feel the same way I do. I am just thrilled that Mr. Nichols bought her for Shadwell. I want to thank Mr. [Joe] Allen for being the underbidder on the filly. So many wonderful people I respect, came by to see the filly and bid her. It means a lot to a little guy from Canada.”

The Ontario-based Anderson Farms purchased Hip 319’s second dam Song and Danz (Unbridled’s Song) for $400,000 with Orchard Beach in utero. Orchard Beach was winless in two starts on the track, but has more than made up for it in the breeding shed. Her first foal, GSW Sergei Prokofiev, sold for $1.1-million to M.V. Magnier at the 2017 renewal of this auction and her second foal, a Hard Spun filly now named Turko Beach, brought $950,000 from Shawn Duggan. She is also responsible for a now-2-year-old colt named Early Warning (Air Force Blue), who sold for $400,000 last year.

“It has been a long time,” Anderson said of his increasing success. “We try hard. I don’t necessarily have the resources to buy the top stock, so I just do the best I can.”

As for this filly in particular, Anderson said, “From the day she was born she was meant to be a sale topper. Not only is she athletic, but she has unbelievable racehorse mind. She wants to do it. She dragged that showman around for three days and never turned a hair. It was amazing to watch. I could sit there for a year and watch that filly walk back and forth.”

Anderson Farms is also responsible for the likes of Canadian Horse of the Year and GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) and one-eyed Grade I winner Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun).  @CDeBernardisTDN

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Well-Related ‘Pharoah’ Filly Keeps Ball Rolling at Keeneland

Mon, 2020-09-14 14:10

   Longtime owner/breeder Mike Rutherford of Lexington’s Manchester Farm fended off several stiff challenges to ultimately land an American Pharaoh half-sister to unbeaten GII Amsterdam S. romper Yaupon (Uncle Mo) for $1.2 million.

   The chestnut (hip 291) was consigned to the sale by Bill Betz’s Betz Thoroughbreds and bred by Betz, J. Betz, CoCo Equine, former Chicago newscaster Ron Magers and Burns.

   “She is beautiful, gorgeous,” said Rutherford while rushing out of the sales pavilion. “Best filly I have seen. Let’s hope she can run.”

   Rutherford said he currently has six other sons and daughters of American Pharaoh in training. He said he hadn’t yet decided on a trainer for hip 291, but he has employed Yaupon’s trainer Steve Asmussen in the past.

   Betz paid $195,000 for mare Modification (Vindication) at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. She was carrying her first foal by Spring At Last that day, and that $100,000 KEESEP yearling eventually because MGSP Sawyer’s Hill. Other sales out of Modification include a $475,000 Candy Ride (Arg) filly, also trained by Asmussen to a couple wins. Yaupon was a $350,000 KEESEP grad, $485,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream RNA and $255,000 OBS June purchase by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt.

   Rutherford was congratulated after the sale by Heiligbrodt representative Susan Montanye, and Rutherford said that Heiligbrodt was one of the underbidders on the filly.

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