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That Drunken Chalk-On-Curtain Sketch? It’s a $60,000 Munnings

Wed, 2017-09-13 15:29

Just after midnight on a chilly November evening 110 years ago, two liquored-up British socialites got into a heated argument over what was required by an artist to create quality works of art.

One member of the private Norwich City Club insisted that an artist must have all the comforts of a proper studio and the solitude of an undisturbed atmosphere in order to produce meaningful work.

The other gentleman, a known hothead who probably peppered his tirade with some choice epithets, raged back that the man was an idiot and that his belief was ridiculous.

To prove his point, the second man leaped from his chair, tore a pair of curtains off the wall, grabbed a stub of billiard chalk, and feverishly began sketching away. By 2 a.m. he was finished, signing his name and the date with a flourish.

The two richly nuanced works created in less-than-ideal conditions were of a steeplechase horse on one curtain and a clown flirting with a saucy pierrette on the other. Accepting praise from fellow club members, the artist exulted in having proven his point that no special studio was required. But by the next day his fragile creations had been folded up in a drawer and were well on their way to being forgotten.

Years later, when the club was preparing to move, an official pulled the chalk-on-curtain sketches out of storage. Just prior to throwing them away, the signature caught the man’s eye–the artwork had been created by none other than Sir Alfred Munnings, who in the ensuing years had risen to international prominence as one of the finest and most famous painters of equine art.

Now, more than a century later, the clown sketch, Fancy Dress Party, a framed 50″ x 42.5″ white-chalk-on-black-linen creation, is among 175 artworks on display at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion during the September Yearling Sale. It is expected to fetch in the range of $60,000 to $80,000 when it goes up for bidding at the fifth annual Sporting Art Auction, to be held in the Keeneland pavilion Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

Organized in conjunction with Cross Gate Gallery of Lexington, one of the country’s foremost galleries of fine sporting art, Keeneland’s portion of the auction proceeds will benefit its non-profit initiatives, including the Keeneland Library Foundation.

“Actually, we sold this piece once before. We’ve just always loved it,” said Bill Evans Meng, the director of Cross Gate Gallery, adding that several equine-related Munnings works will also be up for auction. “We thought it was just a really neat and interesting piece that we though a lot of people would get a kick out of. One thing we do with our auctions is we pride ourselves in that there’s something for everyone, and we thought this was the type of thing that people would enjoy seeing, so we went for it again.”

Upon being initially rediscovered, according to the sales catalog, Fancy Dress Party was framed and hung in the Norwich City Club’s billiard room until the club had to move buildings again. At that point it was sold. Meng said the piece is in surprisingly good shape considering that moisture or being smudged the wrong way at any time in the past century could have ruined it.

“It essentially hasn’t been handled much in those 110 years,” Meng said. “It was put away in a drawer thankfully, which I thought was pretty funny [because the artist’s] stature kind of grew during the time the piece was stored away. Condition- wise, the people who had it in the past really enjoyed it and cared for it. It has been framed, just [hung] on the wall, and not handled, so that’s worked out well.”

Other notable sporting works that can be viewed during the sales week at the Keeneland pavilion include Heading Home, a signed 30″ x 40″ oil-on-canvas by Andre Pater; A Morning’s Work, Newmarket Heath, a signed 15.25″ x 28.25 oil-on-canvas by Munnings, and Jocks Room Colors, a 40″ x 30″ oil-on-canvas by LeRoy Neiman.

The auction will also feature works by such acclaimed artists as Henry Stull and John Frederick Herring Jr., plus contemporaries Larry Wheeler, Peter Howell, Richard Stone Reeves and Quang Ho.

Catalogs are available from Sporting Art Auction representatives in the Keeneland pavilion’s Limestone Cafe or via on the auction’s website,

Gary West on the TDN Podcast

Wed, 2017-09-13 14:58

Gary West has had great success as a hospital administrator, running a private equity firm and in particular in the field of telecommunications. Along with his wife Mary, West founded the West Corporation in 1985, which went on to become one of the largest customer relationship management providers in the world with more than 35,000 employees and $3.5 billion in annual sales. His ability to build something from the ground floor and prosper also extends to the horse racing business, where the West family’s pink and black silks are a regular visitor to the winner’s circle in major races. Gary West is this week’s guest on the Thoroughbred Daily News podcast, brought to you by Taylor Made. Click here to listen.

Rescues Unite to Weather the Storms

Wed, 2017-09-13 14:20

First Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma, have devastated Texas and Florida, respectively, but a spirit of camaraderie is emerging after the natural disasters as Thoroughbred rescue organizations from coast-to-coast are doing their part to help.

“When you love horses, you love all of them,” said Donna Keen of Remember Me Rescue in Burleson, Texas. “We only had a quarter inch of rain where we are located, but a just a few hours south of us was really, really bad. I think a lot of people get caught up in the thought that Thoroughbred trainers and owners only care about making money, and that’s just not true. They are horse lovers, and they help everybody. When we needed it, they really came through for us.”

Keen was not in Texas when Harvey made landfall, and instead reached out to a friend who would have the contacts she required to help those most in need.

“I was in California when the hurricane hit, but I knew we needed to do something because our rescue is based in Texas,” Keen said. “I called Dawn Mellen, who is a friend of ours and who also runs After the Finish Line in California, because she has so many contacts and does a lot of fundraisers. She did not hesitate one second to say, “What do you need? What do you want to do? Let me help you.'”

Together, the two organizations held an auction on the last day of the meet at Del Mar to raise money. Jockeys Victor Espinoza, Mike Smith, and Gary Stevens were among those who autographed donated items to help increase their value.

“We ended up raising over $4,500 for the Harvey horses,” said Keen. “We are going to use that money to send hay down there, and now we are probably going to have another fundraiser to send money to horses in Florida who need help, too. I didn’t have the contacts in California to be able to pull something off like Dawn did. I learned a lot from her, and I am really happy we could work with together. To have friends like that and be able to reach out is so important.”

Remember Me Rescue, which is a Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) accredited organization, sent its most recent load of supplies to help those impacted by Harvey on Tuesday.

In a similar vein, Jim Rhodes from Equine Rescue of Aiken in South Carolina knew he wanted to help but was aware he didn’t have the right contacts to be as effective as he wanted to be. Equine Rescue of Aiken is also a TAA accredited organization, and he decided to reach out to a Texas-based accredited rescue to learn the best ways to contribute to the cause.

“I had very few connections in Texas to figure out how to get stuff on the ground,” said Rhodes. “Through the TAA I found Lynn Reardon with LOPE, and she’s out of Driftwood, Texas. I called her, and she immediately called me back and said she could help me. I trust the TAA tremendously on their accreditation policies, so I knew when I called Lynn she was on the up-and-up. That to me was instant validation.

“I couldn’t have done it without LOPE. Lynn was instrumental in getting me to the right people, and she did it fast. She got me in touch with the Austin Equine Hospital, and they told me they needed supplies, and they could put it where it needed to be.”

All told, Equine Rescue of Aiken has coordinated eight loads of supplies that went to four different drop points in Texas.

“After Harvey hit, I had a couple loads of hay, shavings and vet supplies donated,” Rhodes said. “The rescue was planning on sending about three truck loads out, and raising trucking money is what I was looking for. Donations pretty much covered that, but then it grew to a bigger need than just three truck loads.

“We were one of the first people that had supplies there. The truck drivers were getting hugged by ranchers, farmers, and horse owners. Even a goat guy came up, and the guy running the drop off point called to ask if he could give him 10 bales of hay. He told me that was all he is asking for. I said, ‘If he is asking for 10, give him 20. Don’t let any animal starve.'”

Rhodes currently has truckloads of supplies organized and ready to be sent to Florida, but he is waiting for approval from the state to be allowed to enter. Another major issue is balancing the needs of horses in immediate danger with the day-to-day responsibilities of Equine Rescue of Aiken.

“My biggest problem is the financial resources to get the supplies there,” he said. “We are a rescue, and while we are financially secure, I can’t take my donors’ money away from what it was donated for, which was to run the rescue. I have to have extra resources. I have access to plenty of great hay, but the biggest problem is the trucking expenses. It was anywhere from $2,500-$4,000 to get trucks to Texas.

“I made a commitment with our board when Harvey hit. We agreed to lose some money if we had to. We actually only went in the hole about $2,700. That’s not bad, and I was very impressed with that. I want to do the same for the animals affected by Irma, but I need some help. If I can send 8-10 trucks to Florida, that is only a small amount, but it is what we can do to help.”

Another way Rhodes is prepared to help is by filling the 15 empty stalls he currently has with adoptable horses from TAA-accredited organizations in Florida. The Aiken rescue is also an accredited “Safe Stall” facility through the Humane Society of the United States, which helps horses rescued from neglect cases and during natural disasters.

“I plan on reaching out to say I can take adoptable horses,” he said. “I am up and running. I can get them adopted and take some of that financial responsibility away while they are getting their feet back on the ground. I thought I was done, but there is a huge need out there.”

Obviously, these are just two examples of rescues combining resources to help those impacted by the hurricanes. Others have also donate supplies, while some, such as fellow TAA-accredited organization Our Mims Retirement Haven in Kentucky, have contributed financially.

However, both Keen and Rhodes emphasized the fact the amount of work it will take to make land fit for animals again is staggering, meaning help will be required for months to come.

“We are trying to set up individual hubs for people that did evacuate so they can come get their hay, and then in the next week or two, we will be sending the hay back to Houston,” said Keen. “People are going to go home, and the horses won’t be able to eat the grass for a long time because of the sewage and trash. The pastures will all be contaminated.

“What we are going to need now is more bales of hay because even if you have a big green pasture, the horses aren’t going to want to eat the grass. We are going to have to continue to provide support for them, or the horses are going to suffer.”

Rhodes echoed those thoughts, saying, “While people are definitely suffering, we have, in general, done a pretty good job of helping them. In the last couple years, we have also improved our small animal policies. You are encouraged now to take your small animals, whereas before they wouldn’t let you take them. But we haven’t done a good job with what we do with large animals and livestock ahead of these storms.

“We don’t have a system in place to protect them,” he continued. “The best we can do right now is get in as soon as possible and bring them the resources they need and try to mitigate the damage. A lot of these ranchers have lost their livelihood. A lot of this land is not going to be suitable for a long time because of the brackish water. We are each trying to help, even if it is in a small way, and we are trying to make a difference. I think we all know that is what we are supposed to do.”


Deep Impact’s Akihiro Back With a Win at Saint-Cloud

Wed, 2017-09-13 13:30

Considered a live Classic prospect after his success in the G3 Prix des Chenes at Chantilly in September, Akihiro returned to be runner-up as the 2-5 favourite for the 10 1/2-furlong G3 Prix Noailles at that track Apr. 16 before finishing third in the G2 Prix Greffulhe over a mile and a quarter here May 8. Rested since, the bay was settled with one behind early and after his pacemaker Galikeo (GB) (Dansili {GB}) had cerved out the necessary fractions moved through to lead a furlong out. Tackled soon after by the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin fifth Instigator, the homebred held on to return to the winner’s spot ahead of his autumn campaign.

Baahama, who won the Listed Prix Charles Laffitte and was second in the G3 Prix d’Aumale, also has an as-yet unraced 2-year-old filly by Deep Impact (Jpn) named Bartaba (Fr), a yearling colt by Motivator (GB) named Malabata (GB) and a filly foal by Frankel (GB). She is a half to the G1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis runner-up Opposite (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) and their dam Silver Rain is a half to the G2 Prix de Malleret scorer Silver Fun (Saumarez {GB}). The fourth dam is the revered G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-winning champion Gold River (Fr) (Riverman), responsible for the Classic-placed sire Goldneyev and G1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Riviere d’Or (Lyphard) who in turn is the dam of the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac and G1 Coronation S. heroine Gold Splash (Blushing Groom {Fr}).

PRIX TURENNE-Listed, €55,000, SCD, 9-13, 3yo, 12fT, 2:45.21, vs.
1–AKIHIRO (JPN), 125, c, 3, by Deep Impact (Jpn)
1st Dam: Baahama (Ire) (SW & GSP-Fr, $123,775), by Anabaa
2nd Dam: Silver Rain (Fr), by Rainbow Quest
3rd Dam: Riviere d’Argent, by Nijinsky II
O/B-Wertheimer et Frere (JPN); T-Andre Fabre; J-Maxime Guyon. €27,500. Lifetime Record: GSW-Fr, 5-3-1-1, €109,650.
2–Instigator (Ger), 126, c, 3, Nayef–Imagery (Ger), by Monsun (Ger). O-Stall Ullmann. €11,000.
3–Londres, 126, c, 3, Sea the Stars (Ire)–Shawara (Ire), by Barathea (Ire). (650,000gns Ylg ’15 TAOCT). O-D Smith, M Tabor, M J Jooste & Mrs J Magnier. €8,250.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, 3. Odds: 1.90, 5.50, 4.30.
Also Ran: Inverloch (Ire), Parabellum (Ire), Galikeo (GB). Scratched: Tres Belle (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Scat Daddy Colt Goes to Magnier for $1.1 Million

Wed, 2017-09-13 12:57

Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier snapped up a colt (hip 578) by the late Scat Daddy for $1.1 million to take the lead at Keeneland September Wednesday. Consigned by breeder Anderson Farms, the Ontario-bred’s dam Orchard Beach (Tapit) is a half-sister to Grade III winner Necessary Evil (Harlan’s Holiday).

Horton Snaps Up Will Take Charge Colt for $975k

Wed, 2017-09-13 12:43

Hip 564, a colt by Will Take Charge out of Oblige (Bernardini) brought a final bid of $975,000 from Willis Horton to top the early hips during the second day of Book 2 of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Horton raced the colt’s champion sire Will Take Charge, who won the GI Travers S. Purchased in utero for $150,000 during the 2015 Keeneland November sale, the colt was bred by Elm Tree Farm, LLC, Curt Leake & Bart and Angie Stark in Kentucky. Consigned by Mr. and Mrs. Jody Huckabay’s Elm Tree Farm, the bay, is a half-brother to GII Bowling Green S. hero and GI Sword Dancer S. fourth Hunter O’Riley (Tiz Wonderful). This is also the extended family of GI Hollywood Starlet heroine Diplomat Lady (Forestry).

Radcliffe Offers $950K for Scat Daddy Colt Late to Top Day 2 at KEE SEP

Tue, 2017-09-12 20:15

Just when it appeared that things might start winding down late in Tuesday’s session of the Keeneland September sale, Kerri Radcliffe was just getting warmed up. She purchased a pair of high-priced yearlings in quick order, topping Tuesday’s action at Keeneland September with Hip 506, a colt by Scat Daddy, which realized a $950,000 final bid from the agent. She also signed a few hips earlier with Three Chimneys for hip 489, a colt by Violence, for $850,000. Bred by Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust, the son of the late Coolmore stallion is out of stakes-placed Miss Lamour (Mr. Greeley)–a daughter of the talented turf runner Batique (Storm Cat)–and a half-sister to the useful turf mare Tejida (Rahy). Consigned by Gainseway, Agent XXVII, the chestnut is from the extended family of the Group 1 winning English Highweight Hawksbill.

Violence Continues to Roll late in Session with $850K Colt

Tue, 2017-09-12 19:49

There was still money to be spent late in Tuesday’s session of the Keeneland September sale when hip 489, a grey son of Violence, brought an $850,000 final bid from two entities acting in association–Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock and Three Chimneys. The Mar. 20 foal is out of the stakes winner Melody Lady (Unbridled’s Song), a daughter of the talented millionaire Lady Tak (Mutakddim), victorious in the GI Test and GI Ballerina. The full brother to stakes winner Buy Sell Hold was consigned by agent Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency. Hill ‘n’ Dale bred the grey in partnership with Stretch Run Ventures.

War Front Filly Brings $750K Tuesday at Keeneland September

Tue, 2017-09-12 17:35

Hip 400, a daughter of War Front bred by Joseph Allen, reeled in a bid of $750,000 from Cheveley Park Stud during the initial session of Book 2 at the Keeneland September sale. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent LI, the Kentucky-bred is a daughter of La Conseillante (Elusive Quality), making her a full sister to Group 2-placed War Envoy. The 13-year-old dam, purchased by Horse France for $87,000 at last fall’s Keeneland November sale in foal to Declaration of War, is a granddaughter of sophomore champion and GI Kentucky Derby heroine Winning Colors (Caro).

Colt by Cairo Prince Wows with $900,000 Final Bid from Shadwell

Tue, 2017-09-12 17:16

A colt by first crop sire Cairo Prince realized a $900,000 final bid from Shadwell at Tuesday’s session of the Keeneland September sale. Consigned by his breeder Brereton Jones of Airdrie Stud, the Feb. 23 foal is out of Kittery Point (Include), the dam of GI La Brea S. winner Sam’s Sister (Brother Derek), who herself was secured by Colt’s Neck Stables for $1.15 million at Keeneland November in 2015. Hip 391 hails from the family of Grade I winners Sweet Talker (Stormin Fever) and Include Me Out (Include).

Street Sense Filly Yields $750K from Bridlewood

Tue, 2017-09-12 16:35

Hip 359, a daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, brought $750,000 from George Isaacs of Bridlewood Farm. Consigned by agent Ashview Farm (Bryan Lyster & Gray Lyster), the Mar. 38 foal is a half-sister to GI Spinaway heroine Sweet Loretta (Tapit). Bred by Ashview and Colts Neck Stables, the Kentucky bred is out of Ithinkisawapudycat (Bluegrass Cat), who brought $2.2 million at last season’s Keeneland November sale, where Marette Farrell signed the ticket on behalf of Mount Brilliant Farm. A half-sister to Canadian champion juvenile filly Spring In the Air (Spring at Last), the eight-year-old mare was in foal to Constitution.

Into Mischief Colt Realizes $750K at Keeneland September

Tue, 2017-09-12 16:10

Hip 342, a colt by Spendthrift stallion Into Mischief, brought a $750,000 final bid from Shadwell Estate Co. during the initial day of Book 2 action at the Keeneland September Sale. Out of the 11-year-old mare Indian Rush, the New York bred is a half to Colleen S. winning Harlan’s Honor (Harlan’s Holiday). Bred by Pine Ridge Stables, the Apr. 7 foal was consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent XXII.

War Front Filly to $1.6 Million at KEESEP

Mon, 2017-09-11 19:03

Hip 128, a filly by War Front out of the GSW mare Aloof (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), sold for $1.6 million to Larry Best Monday at Keeneland September. Consigned by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Sweezey’s Timber Town as agent, the filly ‘s second dam is G1SW Airwave (GB) (Air Express). The filly was bred in Kentucky by Whisper Hill Farm.

Tapit Colt Goes for $2.5 Million to Shadwell

Mon, 2017-09-11 18:16

Hip 105, a Tapit colt out of GI Ogden Phipps H. winner Tiz Miz Sue (Tiznow), hammered for $2.5 million to Shadwell Farm at Monday’s Keeneland September sale. Consigned by Paramount Sales as agent, the bay was bred in Kentucky by Cres Ran. Shadwell also acquired Hip 104, a colt by War Front, for $1.2 million just one hip earlier.

Tapit Filly Hammers for $2.7 Million at Keeneland September

Mon, 2017-09-11 17:12

Hip 69, a Tapit full-sister to GI Gold Cup winner Cupid and a half to GSWs Heart Ashley (Lion Heart) and Ashley’s Kitty (Tale of the Cat), raised the bar at Keeneland September Monday afternoon, selling for $2.7 million to M.V. Magnier. Consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales as agent, the gray was bred in Kentucky by Turner Breeders. Grade II-placed dam Pretty ‘n Smart (Beau Genius) is also responsible for stakes winner Indianapolis (Medaglia d’Oro).

Tapit Colt Lights Up KEESEP Board at $2.6 Million

Mon, 2017-09-11 16:39

Hip 49, a colt by Tapit out of two-time Grade I-placed Miss Besilu (Medaglia d’Oro), hammered for $2.6 million to Mandy Pope to set a new high price at Monday’s Book 1 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale. The gray’s dam–who herself sold for $2.6 million as a weanling to Besilu Stables at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale–is a half-sister to Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado) and Quiet Giant (Giant’s Causeway), dam of MGISW Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}). Hip 49 was bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables and Three Chimneys Farm.

War Front Colt Brings $1.9 Million at KEESEP

Mon, 2017-09-11 15:59

Hip 27, a colt by War Front out of the two-time Grade I-winning mare Iotapa (Afleet Alex), set an early high bar at the Monday Book 1 session of Keeneland September sale, hammering for $1.9 million. Donato Lanni signed the ticket for the colt, who is his dam’s first foal. Iotapa was acquired by the colt’s breeder, China Horse Club, for $2.8 million at the 2014 Keeneland November sale after the conclusion of her racing career.

First Black-Type Winner for Intello at Maisons-Laffitte

Mon, 2017-09-11 09:18

   Sonjeu was a May 25 debut winner going 5 1/2 panels at Tarbes and doubled her tally when successful in a July 4 conditions heat upped to six furlongs at La Teste de Buch next time, but slipped to fifth tackling seven in Vichy’s Listed Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles on stakes bow last time Aug. 5. Smartly into stride and positioned fourth within range of the pace through the early fractions here, she made smooth headway inside the final quarter mile to challenge at the eighth pole and kept on well under a late drive to narrowly deny Beau Ideal for a career high.
   Sonjeu was a first winner for Intello (Ger) (Galileo {Ire}) when annexing her Tarbes debut and the half-sister to a yearling filly by Le Havre (Ire) becomes the first stakes winner for the Haras du Quesnay-based freshman. She is the leading performer for G3 Prix Vanteaux second Wait and See (Fr) (Montjeu {Ire}), herself a half-sister to G3 Prix Allez France victress Daksha (Fr) (Authorized {Ire}), and her third dam is G1 Coronation S.-winning European highweight Golden Opinion (Slew o’Gold), who also hit the board in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and G1 July Cup. Golden Opinion, herself a daughter of G2 Nassau S. heroine Optimistic Lass (Mr. Prospector), is also the granddam of G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches third Rahiyah (Rahy), who in turn is the dam of G3 Prix la Rochette runner-up Decathlete (Medaglia d’Oro).

PRIX SARACA-Listed, €60,000, MLF, 9-11, 2yo, 6 1/2fT, 1:18.70, vsf.
1–SONJEU (FR), 125, f, 2, by Intello (Ger)
1st Dam: Wait and See (Fr) (GSP-Fr, $111,658), by Montjeu (Ire)
2nd Dam: Dareen (Ire), by Rahy
3rd Dam: Golden Opinion, by Slew o’ Gold
*1st stakes win. (€120,000 Ylg ’16 AROCT). O-Wertheimer & Frere; B-Sydney Vidal (FR); T-Christophe Ferland; J-Maxime Guyon. €30,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, €53,000. *1st SW for her freshman sire (by Galileo {Ire}).
2–Beau Ideal (GB), 128, c, 2, Exceed and Excel (Aus)–Lay Time (GB), by Galileo (Ire). (150,000gns Ylg ’16 TATOCT). O-Godolphin SNC. €12,000.
3–Fastidious (Fr), 128, c, 2, Zanzibari–Rapid Transaction, by A.P. Indy. (€8,000 RNA Ylg ’16 ARAUG). O-Jean-Philippe Dubois, Louis Baudron & Ecurie Victoria Dreams. €9,000.
Margins: NK, HF, 1 1/4. Odds: 6.10, 1.20, 7.20.
Also Ran: So Hi Society (Ire), Yayajonh (Fr), Salt Lake City (Fr), Yori (Ire), Sagres (GB), Blue Tango (Ger). Click for the Racing Post result. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Union Rags Colt ‘Bends’ but Doesn’t Break in Dueling Grounds Derby

Sun, 2017-09-10 18:41

EXACTA SYSTEMS DUELING GROUNDS DERBY, $350,000, KD, 9-10, 3yo, 1 5/16mT, 2:11.57, fm.
1–#BIG BEND, 118, c, 3, by Union Rags
1st Dam: Lenatareese (SW & MGSP, $223,406), by Broad Brush
2nd Dam: Eubee (Fr), by Common Grounds (GB)
3rd Dam: Fextal, by Alleged
($105,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Union Rags Racing LLC; B-Daniel
J. Burke & Kathleen Schweizer (KY); T-Thomas F. Proctor;
J-Drayden Van Dyke. $210,490. Lifetime Record: 10-3-1-1,
$267,510. *1/2 to Miss Chatelaine (Pulpit), SW & GSP,
$234,072; and Taralena (Arch), MSP, $173,800.2–Parlor, 120, c, 3, Lonhro (Aus)–My McIntosh, by Pulpit.
($60,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Anderson Stables, LLC; B-KatieRich
Farms (KY); T-Eddie Kenneally. $67,900.
3–Bronson, 124, c, 3, Medaglia d’Oro–Cambiocorsa, by Avenue
of Flags. ($350,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP; $275,000 3yo ’17 FTKHRA).
O-Three Diamonds Farm; B-Ran Jan Racing, Inc. (KY); T-Michael
J. Maker. $33,950.Margins: 3/4, 1 1/4, HF. Odds: 7.60, 2.40, 6.50.
Also Ran: Holiday Bonus, Gorgeous Kitten, Hollow Point, Society Beau, Capture the Glory. Scratched: Watch Me Whip, Muggsamatic, Giant Payday.

Big Bend made all the pace, appeared to be in deep water in midstretch, but responded valiantly to turn back all challengers and capture his first stakes win in the Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs.

Failing to find the mark in four dirt tries to begin his account, the $105,000 KEESEP grad scored wire-to-wire in his turf debut Feb. 12 at Tampa before running seventh in that oval’s Columbia S. Mar. 11. Third in a Keeneland allowance Apr. 8 at sixth in a similar Monmouth spot June 10, the bay got back on track with a frontrunning success when stretching out to 12 furlongs July 13 at Delaware.

Given a 38-5 chance in this return to stakes waters, Big Bend was allowed to do his thing on the engine by Drayden Van Dyke and loped along through the opening seven furlongs or so. The field began to bunch nearing the top of the lane, with a host of challengers coming to call, but none more menacingly than ‘TDN Rising Star’ Parlor, who drew up alongside the leader at the three-sixteenths pole. That one appeared poised to run by, but Big Bend had something left, dug in resolutely and gradually turned his rival back to earn the victory.

The winner has a juvenile half-brother by Blame named What’s to Blame and a weanling colt by Candy Ride (Arg). His dam was bred to Frosted this spring. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Monmouth Park Posts Across-the-Board Gains

Sun, 2017-09-10 18:30

Monmouth Park closed out its 2017 racing season Sunday in successful fashion, posting across-the-board gains from the 2016 season. On-track wagering averaged $424,556, a 7.9% increase over last year’s average when the track ran 57 days. Simulcast handle showed a slight increase to average $3,050,257, which represents .4% more than last year’s average. Attendance was up 7.4%, with an average of 9,234 visitors attending the races daily.

“This year’s numbers are indicative that people continue to support racing in New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack. “We continue to operate at a distinct disadvantage to our neighbors, who have alternative revenue streams boosting their purses. Nevertheless, fans embrace our product, our determination has never wavered, and people continue to make Monmouth Park one of the top destinations in the state.”

The 2017 season marked the sixth since Darby began operations at the racetrack. Since that time, the facility has seen the advent of the Blu Grotto restaurant and beer garden, Blue Grass Mini Golf and the William Hill Race & Sports Bar. Operations off-track have expanded to include the Hillsborough OTW and Betfair US exchange wagering, making New Jersey the only state to offer the alternative form of gaming.

“Our accomplishments have been many, but much work remains to be done,” Drazin said. “We continue to explore new revenue sources and are cautiously optimistic for a favorable outcome when the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict on our more than five-year fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey.”

The 2017 meet saw Jorge Navarro land his fifth consecutive training title with a record 65 winners, while Nik Juarez took home the jockey’s title with 75 victories. Top owner at the Oceanport oval was John Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable, who won 13 races at the meet.

Live Thoroughbred racing in the Garden State shifts to the Meadowlands Sept. 22 for the first of eight all-turf race cards.