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Updated: 10 hours 16 min ago

Indiana Derby Highlights 2020 Indiana Grand Season

Mon, 2020-02-10 17:10

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino will offer 37 stakes worth a record $4.65 million in 2020. The stakes schedule is headlined by the $500,000 GIII Indiana Derby which will be run July 11. The Derby card will include six stakes worth over $1.1 million.  The card will also feature the $200,000 GIII Indiana Oaks. The Warrior Veterans S. will be run as the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial for the first time in 2020. The $100,000 race was renamed in honor of the former vice president and general manager at Indiana Grand who passed away in late 2019.

Indiana’s richest turf races, the $200,000 Caesars S. and $200,000 Indiana Grand S. will be held Sept. 9. The track will introduce two Indiana-sired stakes races set for Oct. 17, the $150,000 Indiana Stallions Championship and the $150,000 Indiana Ladies Championship.

“We are anticipating another great season of racing at Indiana Grand,” said the track’s director of racing Kevin Greely. “Our Indiana Derby has become one of the area’s top races during the summer months and will be supported by some really nice stakes on the undercard, including the newly named Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial. Being able to add two stakes for our Indiana-sired program has also placed us in a position to offer the most purse money ever for our stakes races in the 18-year history of Indiana Grand.”

Indiana Grand’s 120-day race meet begins Apr. 14 and concludes Nov. 18.

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Alittlebitearly Dies

Mon, 2020-02-10 16:31

Alittlebitearly (Thunder Gulch–Aquilegia, by Alydar), dam of GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern (Offlee Wild), died at Helen Alexander’s Middlebrook Farm after producing a healthy filly by GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. The 18-year-old mare was bred by Alexander in partnership with her mother, Helen Groves, and sister, Dorothy Matz.

Bayern, purchased by Kaleem Shah for $320,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale, won the 2014 Classic, as well as that year’s GI William Hill Haskell Invitational S., GII Pennsylvania Derby, and GII Woody Stephens S.

Alittlebitearly had no reported foal in 2019, but produced a colt by American Pharoah in 2018.

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McGaughey Suspended 15 Days by Ohio Authorities

Mon, 2020-02-10 16:17

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has begun serving a 15-day suspension handed down by the Ohio Racing Commission after a horse he trained tested positive for the prohibited medication hydrochlorothiazide. The suspension began Feb. 6 and runs through Feb. 20. McGaughey was also fined $500.

The test came from a Sept. 9, 2019 race at Belterra Park and with the mare Tactical Affair (Tapit). Tactical Affair, who is owned by Phipps Stable, won the Sept. 9 allowance race, but has been disqualified and placed last.

According to Bill Crawford, the executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission, McGaughey, after receiving news of the positive, appealed, requested a split sample and that DNA testing on the sample also be done. Once the split sample also revealed the presence of the drug, McGaughey dropped his appeal.

Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic and is used in humans to combat high blood pressure.

McGaughey told the Paulick Report that he had no knowledge of how the drug got into the horse’s system.

“Basically, it was a stable mistake,” McGaughey said. “I’m taking the blame for it and doing my days. Obviously, we weren’t trying to give anything to the horse. It’s one of those things that happens.”

During his suspension, McGaughey’s horses will run under the name of his assistant trainer, Robert Medina.

McGaughey has a spotless reputation within the industry and he, along with he Phipps family, has often called on the sport to tighten its rules regarding drugs. The  website lists McGaughey with only two infractions since 2014, neither of which involved drug positives and resulted in small fines.

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NY Jock Gets Penalty Overturned in Injured Horse Dismount Case

Mon, 2020-02-10 16:07

An Aqueduct apprentice jockey who last year was suspended 10 days for allegedly not dismounting from his injured horse in a timely manner had his penalty wiped off the books via appeal by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) Monday.

The case involved jockey Benjamin Hernandez, who rode Tiger Man (Desert Party) in the eighth race Feb. 8, 2019. According to the Equibase chart, the 0-for-9 maiden-claimer “completed the half hobbling its way to the quarter pole, was eased [and] then pulled up.”

The NYSGC’s Equine Breakdown, Death, Injury and Incident Database noted that Tiger Man “sustained injury to left front leg, [was] ambulanced off track and subsequently euthanized next morning due to poor prognosis.”

Executive Director Robert Williams read into the record that the state steward at Aqueduct alleged a “failure to ride in a professional manner” when citing the reasoning behind the 10-day penalty. “Specifically, [Hernandez] was accused of failing to protect the best interest of his mount by not dismounting when his horse illustrated distress.”

Hernandez appealed, and his case was heard over three days in June and July. In a Dec. 30 written report, the hearing officer recommended that the finding of the violation be upheld, but that the penalty be reduced to five days.

Chairman Barry Sample said Monday that after the commissioners read the full report, they voted 4-0 to “modify” the hearing officer’s recommendation to instead “provide for no suspension.”

Monday’s NYSGC agenda was extremely light in terms of actionable items. The only other case heard on appeal involved charity bingo violations by a volunteer fire department. From the call of order to adjournment, the entire NYSGC meeting clocked in at six minutes, 40 seconds.

Two issues of importance that are being widely debated by racing and gaming commissions nationwide–whip reform and a possible phasing out of Lasix–both figured to come up under the “old business” heading, but neither did.

At the December meeting, the NYSGC directed staff “to undertake a review of Lasix use changes nationwide and the progress of NYRA’s reported Lasix use changes and report findings at the January Commission meeting.”

In addition, staff in December were also “directed to discuss the proposed California crop use proposal with the NYRA jockey colony and with other leading regulatory jurisdictions and report back at a future Commission meeting.”

But Monday, Sample cited the absence of commissioner Peter Moschetti, who had a previous commitment and was unavailable to attend the NYSGC meeting, as the reason the NYSGC would put off discussing those major topics.

Sample said that the issue of the crop “was of keen interest to commissioner Moschetti, and the Lasix issue was of keen interest for commissioner [John] Crotty. Due to the fact that commissioner Moschetti is not with us today, we’d like to take that matter up at our next meeting, where we could have more of a comprehensive discussion of the matter.”

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California Native Strikes ‘Gold’ at NHC

Mon, 2020-02-10 08:48

Playing in the NTRA National Horseplayers’ Championship (NHC) for just the second time, Thomas Goldsmith of Montgomery, CA, amassed a total mythical bankroll of $404.10–second largest in tournament history–to take home the $800,000 first prize Sunday afternoon at Bally’s in Las Vegas.

Goldsmith, 57, defeated a field that totaled 694 entries from 564 individual players and a final table that included NHC Hall of Famer Trey Stiles, Ashley Taylor and Day 2 leader John Vail of Lyndhurst, NJ. The latter held on for second ($250,000), just shy of $30 behind Goldsmith after drawing to within $2 of Goldsmith with four mandatory races to play Sunday afternoon. Ray Arsenault finished with $362, while Taylor, competing in her first NHC, finished with $350.40 in fourth place.

“I’m just like in shock,” said Goldsmith, who couldn’t even bring himself to stand in middle stage during the Final Table proceedings. “This is it. I’m never going to top this, right? $800,000? How am I going to top that?”

Goldsmith qualified for the NHC in a live-money tournament at Lone Star Park on his birthday weekend last July. He was off to a slow beginning on Day 1, collecting just $69, but sprung to life Saturday, aided by his selection of 21-1 Admiralty Pier (English Channel) in the GIII Tampa Bay S. He entered Sunday’s Final Table in fourth position and selected three winners and a 24-1 place horse in his first five plays.

“I was just trying to find something that’s going to win, like anything else. I’m not a numbers guy,” Goldsmith explained. “I look for horses that are in trouble…whatever. Bad break. Excuse trips. Bad trips. And in this place you’ve got to bet long shots. Most of these are horses I’m not going to easily play. It’s hard. You’ve got to find winners at all different race tracks.

He added, “Some of it is just searching for and looking…because you’re not going to win this thing betting a chalk. I was feeling good (after cashing the first three at the Final Table) but I was still sweating.”

With a near $20 advantage entering Sunday’s eighth and final mandatory, Goldsmith allowed himself to celebrate midway through, knowing that none of the challengers had selected either of the top two finishers.

“I got lucky for two, three days. Two big days I got lucky. Those days come,” he said.

The 2020 NHC finals awarded cash to the top 10% overall from a total purse of $2,997,500. Of that total, $50,000 went to the top 20 in today’s Consolation Tournament, which was won by former turf writer Dick Jerardi.

WATCH: Thomas Goldsmith talks about his NHC championship

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Laurel To Host Fair Hill Races

Mon, 2020-02-10 08:35

The Maryland Jockey Club has entered into an agreement with the Cecil County Breeders’ Fair and the Fair Hill Foundation to stage the 86th renewal of the Fair Hill Races at Laurel Park Saturday, May 23, 2020.

The temporary move is necessitated by ongoing construction to the turf course at Fair Hill which began just after last year’s Fair Hill races and includes track realignment, adding advanced irrigation, and building out wider, sweeping, and banked turns to enhance safety measures. The surface was also upgraded to a Kentucky Bluegrass mix that needs time to mature this spring before it can be used for competition.

“We are thankful to Laurel Park and the Maryland Jockey Club for allowing us to host the Fair Hill Races this year and keep its tradition going,” said Nancy Simpers, President of the Races, and member of the Fair Hill Foundation. “Laurel Park is a historic venue in its own right with a top-class turf track. It’s a tremendous venue for our competitors, sponsors and spectators this year while we wait to return to Fair Hill in 2021.”

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T.I.P. Announces Shows, Awards, Ambassadors for 2020

Mon, 2020-02-10 08:30

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) has approved nearly 7,000 awards and classes at more than 1,400 shows in 41 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces for 2020.

Awards are to be distributed in a variety of disciplines, including eventing, dressage, Western and English pleasure, hunter/jumper, endurance, Western performance, games, and polocrosse. Awards are also available at some events for Thoroughbreds within their first two years of showing or for Thoroughbreds within two years of their last start. A full calendar can be viewed here.

T.I.P. will also host two shows at the Kentucky Horse Park in conjunction with New Vocations/All-Thoroughbred Charity Shows. The first show Sept. 4-6 will offer classes for classes for hunters, jumpers, Western pleasure, and English pleasure. The second show Oct. 4 will include classes for dressage, Western dressage, and a combined test. A class list is available here.

T.I.P. also announced its youth ambassadors for the 2020 T.I.P. Youth Ambassador Program. The 13 ambassadors come from eight states and two Canadian provinces and cover multiple disciplines. Additional information about the Youth Ambassador Program is available at

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Nadal Nets Victory in San Vicente

Sun, 2020-02-09 18:49

It wasn’t nearly as easy as his 1-5 odds suggested it would be, but ‘TDN Rising Star’ Nadal (Blame) survived a grueling pace and gutted out a hard-fought win that would have made his notoriously tenacious namesake proud in Sunday’s GII San Vicente S. at Santa Anita, the promising colt’s first step along the GI Kentucky Derby trail.

Garnering expectations early on after commanding $700,000 as a :10 flat Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream breezer, the bay showed up to his Jan. 19 debut with a sharp worktab and delivered on 6-5 favoritism with a 3 3/4-length frontrunning success and a 98 Beyer despite breaking a bit tardily. Drilling sharply twice over this track in the interim and back in three weeks here, Nadal was clearly the public’s pick and broke more smoothly this time around. Deferring the lead narrowly under Joel Rosario, he sat a close-up second as Ginobili clicked off a :21.81 quarter, with huge longshot Party Town (Shackleford) to their inside in third. Eclipse champion juvenile Storm the Court (Court Vision), making his 3-year-old debut, tracked from fourth of a tight pack down the backside. Party Town was the first to give way, leaving it to Nadal and Ginobili to spar through a scorching :44.09 half.

Those two arrived at the top of the stretch together, with Ginobili surprisingly forging a narrow lead past the three-sixteenths marker. Nadal, however, was hand ridden by Rosario and responded to poke his nose back in front once set down nearing the furlong grounds.

Ginobili, game and determined, took one final try at the favorite in the final 100 yards, but could not quite get to him, as the Bob Baffert trainee hit the wire a determined half-length in front of his pesky rival. Fast Enough (Eddington) completed the trifecta, with Storm the Court checking in an even fourth.

“Today, I told Joel, ‘Don’t get cute, just go,'” said winning trainer Bob Baffert. “They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat. I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work. I thought he was gonna get beat. He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now. This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the [Mar. 14 GII] Rebel.”

“He broke sharp and he handled the pressure from the outside. I was never worried about it,” said Rosario. “My horse was moving very well and I was confident because I could feel I had a lot of horse under me. He was very impressive. He ran very fast today and he runs like he’ll like two turns, but you never know until they do it.”

“This horse looks like it could be a special horse,” added winning co-owner George Bolton. “You just want him to be happy and hold together. He will be on the road now. He’ll be on different surfaces and he’s going to go a different distance yet again, so he will go maybe go to the Rebel. I’m proud we got that chance. I’m extremely happy about everything that has happened here.”

As for runner-up Ginobili, trainer Richard Baltas commented, “At the quarter pole, I thought I might get [Nadal]. We’ve got a nice colt, I just don’t think he wants to go very far. He ran great and I’m very proud of him.”

Pedigree Notes:

With the victory, Nadal becomes the 29th stakes winner and 16th graded stakes winner for his sire. He is the second and final foal to race out of Ascending Angel, who died in 2017. Second dam Solar Colony is a full-sister to 1991’s Champion 2-year-old filly Pleasant Stage, as well as MGSW Stage Colony, GSW Colonial Play–producer of MGISW Marsh Sire (Gone West)–and the dam of GISW Changeintheweather (Gone West). Third dam Meteor Stage is a half to GISWs A Phenomenon (Tentam) and Seattle Meteor (Seattle Slew).

Saturday, Santa Anita
, $200,500, Santa Anita, 2-9, 3yo, 7f, 1:22.59, ft.
1–NADAL, 120, c, 3, by Blame
1st Dam: Ascending Angel, by Pulpit
2nd Dam: Solar Colony, by Pleasant Colony
3rd Dam: Meteor Stage, by Stage Door Johnny
($65,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $700,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR).
O-George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman & Mark
Mathiesen; B-Sierra Farm (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Joel Rosario.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $153,000. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
, 120, c, 3, Munnings–Find the Humor, by Sharp
Humor. ($35,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Slam Dunk Racing, Richard
Baltas, Jerry McClanahan & Michael Nentwig; B-Hinkle Farms
(KY); T-Richard Baltas. $40,000.
3–Fast Enough
, 124, g, 3, Eddington–Brilliant Melody, by
Bertrando. O/B-Craig Martin (KY); T-Rafael Becerra. $24,000.
Margins: 3/4, 1 1/4, NK. Odds: 0.30, 12.90, 14.40.
Also Ran: Storm the Court, Ra’ad, Party Town. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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By My Standards Returns a Winner at Fair Grounds

Sun, 2020-02-09 17:14

7th-Fair Grounds, $47,000, Alw (NW2X)/Opt. Clm ($40,000), 2-9, 4yo/up, 1 1/16m, 1:43.75, ft.
BY MY STANDARDS (c, 4, Goldencents–A Jealous Woman {MSW & GSP, $469,956}, by Muqtarib), a maiden winner over this track and trip last February, earned a ticket to the GI Kentucky Derby with a next-out victory in the Mar. 23 GII Louisiana Derby, but had been missing since a troubled 12th-place effort in the big dance last May. Sent off the 1-2 favorite, the bay colt shadowed pacesetting Two Emmys (English Channel) through fractions of :24.64, :49.29, and 1:13.50. He took charge in upper stretch and strode home an easy six-length winner. By My Standards was a $150,000 OBSAPR juvenile. Multiple stakes winner A Jealous Woman produced a colt by Runhappy last year. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-3-2-1, $681,910.
O-Allied Racing Stable, LLC; B-Don Ladd (KY); T-W. Bret Calhoun.

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Back in Charge Puts Longtime Friends in the Winner’s Circle

Sun, 2020-02-09 16:16

When longtime friends and business partners Greg Back and Al LaRose sold their Special Logistics trucking company three years ago, they decided to give racehorse ownership a try. The fledgling racing stable made it to the winner’s circle Sunday when longshot Back in Charge (Will Take Charge) scored a dramatic late-running debut victory at Gulfstream Park.

“It was very exciting for us,” Back, who watched the race from his Texas home said. “We knew she had it in her, but first time out, you just never know.”

LaRose was at Gulfstream for the race, but wasn’t quite as optimistic even as he supported his filly at the windows.

“It was awesome,” LaRose said of the result. “We are blessed. It was a real awesome experience.”

Asked if he expected the victory, LaRose admitted, “I did not.  She was a longshot. But I did have $300 across on her, so I won $9,000.”

Trainer Ken McPeek purchased Back in Charge on behalf of Back and LaRose’s C&H Diamond Racing for $250,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton July Sale. That purchase price was a far cry from the partners’ first foray into racing nearly three decades ago with the bargain acquisition of a Texas-bred named Battle of Apollo (Seattle Battle).

“In 1993, I was friends with the track announcer at Sam Houston and I was going there every day and wagering with him,” LaRose recalled. “He told me about a horse that was for sale, he was a grandson of Seattle Slew. I bought him sight unseen for $2,500. After I bought him, I called Greg and said, ‘I just bought a horse, do you want half?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take it,’ instantly. He won his first race out wire-to-wire and we were hooked. We had him for three years and he paid for himself the whole time.”

Racing took a backseat to business for a time, however.

“Greg and I started a business in 1980 with $5,000 a piece and sold it to J.B. Hunt in 2017,” LaRose said. “To treat ourselves, we both put up $1 million and bought 10 babies with Kenny. And that was our gift to ourselves.”

Back added, “We’ve been partners and friends since the sixth grade. We decided we wanted to keep our partnership going. And we chose horse racing.”

C&H Diamond Racing–named after wives Carol and Hilda–now includes all or part of 15 horses. Also in the group of original yearling purchases is Morning Gold (Morning Line), acquired for $205,000 at the Fasig July sale, who broke her maiden at Saratoga last August. The filly was fifth in the GII Pocahontas S. and sixth in the GII JPMorgan Chase Jessamine S.

“We have Morning Gold, a very fine filly who is hurt right now,” Back said. “We have two other 3-year-olds who haven’t raced yet. And we just got into a partnership on six or seven yearlings that we bought at the Keeneland September sale.”

Back continued, “We are primarily buying yearlings. That’s Kenny’s expertise and that’s one of the reasons that we went with Kenny, his skills at buying horses.”

LaRose added, “We just bought six babies with Three Chimneys and a couple other partners at the last Keeneland September sale. We are in it for a while.”

Asked about his goals for the racing stable, LaRose said he was trying to keep realistic expectations.

“We’ve had a horse in Dubai already, we are running with all of the top horses in the world,” he said. “So just to not embarrass ourselves and make a good showing, is what I’m looking for. Winning the Derby or something like that would be fantastic, but you know that’s one in a million. So we just want to have fun and meet a lot of nice people. People say one in 10 win and we bought 16, so she could be our one in 16.”

While the two Texans might be pragmatic businessmen, they’ve already broken one of their own rules with Back in Charge’s name.

“It’s kind of a funny story because my partner said we couldn’t name them after any of our family,” Back said with a laugh. “And when I went to him wanting to name her Back in Charge, he said, ‘You can’t do that.’ And I said, ‘I sure can. That’s just a verb.'”

LaRose responded, “I liked the name, so I let him get away with it. But you’ll be seeing one LaRose-type in the future.”

As for what is next for Back in Charge, Back said, “My hope is that she becomes a stakes quality horse, which after that performance, I think she’s headed that way. I think she has the conformation and the build, the speed and the pedigree to be one. We’re going to have to huddle up with Kenny and see what he wants to do next, but I’ve got a feeling she will go to some Grade III or something like that, I would think.”

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Select Sales Dissolving Partnership

Sun, 2020-02-09 14:41

Select Sales Agency will begin the process of dissolving its partnership effective with the end of the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale this week, the agency announced Sunday.

“It has been a great ride since we started Select Sales in 2009,” said Select Sales partner Andrew Cary. “The success we achieved as a startup to become one of the leading consignors in the country in a short amount of time, was nothing short of phenomenal. To have sold horses like Tepin, Sharp Azteca, and Mucho Gusto, amongst many other graded stakes winners, has just been an incredible process to be a part of. I couldn’t be prouder of what we all achieved together. I personally want to thank all of my partners and our amazing clients for all they did to contribute to our success over the years. We have a strong consignment at the FT Winter Mixed Sale and I look forward to us all finishing together strongly.”

Announcements will be made in the near future regarding future plans for the Select Sales partners. Earlier Sunday, it was announced that former Select partner Jay Goodwin would be moving on to become the account manager for Eaton Sales. Additionally, founding partner Carrie Brogden announced the creation of her own consignment, saying that she “has formed Machmer Hall Sales to focus on yearlings. We look forward to selling our own horses, plus those of long-term clients and partners. Future press releases to come!”

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Chance It Tunes Up for Fountain of Youth

Sun, 2020-02-09 13:32

Shooting Star Thoroughbreds’ Chance It (Currency Swap) tuned up for the Feb. 29 GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. with a five-furlong breeze in company in :59.74 (3/43) at Gulfstream Park Sunday.

“It was a good work. I’m happy with where we’re at,” trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. said. “He’ll have two more works and we should be ready to go in the Fountain of Youth.”

Chance It is coming off a win in the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man S. Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}), who finished third that day, returned to win the GIII Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday.

“The true test for any race comes in four or five weeks when you see how the form works out,” Joseph said. “Smash Factor (Khozan) [second behind Chance It in the In Reality S. last September and sixth in the Mucho Macho Man] came back to win [a Feb. 5 optional claimer] and Sole Volante won at Tampa. To beat those horses off a layoff was impressive.”

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Additional Fasig February Supplement

Sun, 2020-02-09 12:57

Kayce Lu (Lonhro {Aus}), a 6-year-old mare in foal to Constitution, has been supplemented to this week’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, the half-sister to graded stakes winner and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Comical (Into Mischief) will be offered as hip 651.

The Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale will be held Monday and Tuesday, with bidding beginning each day at 10 a.m. at Newtown Paddocks. The supplemental catalogue will be offered Tuesday following the conclusion of the main catalogue.

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Goodwin Named Eaton Sales Account Manager

Sun, 2020-02-09 12:42

Jay Goodwin, formerly a partner in Select Sales Agency, has been named account manager at Eaton Sales. Goodwin was a partner at Select for 10 years.

“We are thrilled to have Jay on board,” said Eaton Sales partner Ben McElroy. “He brings valuable auction experience to Eaton Sales, in addition to his extensive horsemanship and unparalleled energy and enthusiasm for horse racing.”

Goodwin, who moved to Lexington in 2005, currently manages around 125 broodmares on his farm, and formerly oversaw the business of numerous clients at Select Sales.

“We are all very excited to welcome Jay to Eaton Sales,” Eaton’s Reiley McDonald said of the appointment. “He understands horse sales as well as anyone in the business and has a reputation for honesty and hard work. We are excited to start the year with his addition.”

Goodwin added, “To join a name like Eaton Sales, Reiley McDonald, and Ben McElroy was a no brainer for me. I started getting the BloodHorse magazine 30 years ago and since then Reiley and Eaton Sales have been names that have led and landscaped the sales ring in North America. Ben is without a doubt one of the best bloodstock agents in the business. Teaming up with two guys at the top of our industry is very exciting and I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

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‘Rising Star’ No Parole Takes No Prisoners in Prince S.

Sat, 2020-02-08 19:46

Tom Amoss has taken this slowly with No Parole (Violence), allowing him to progress through the restricted Louisiana-bred ranks. But it’s likely on to bigger and better for the colt, who posted a third consecutive dominating victory in annexing his first two-turn test in Saturday’s Louisana Premier Night Prince S. at Delta Downs.

Drawn outside in a field of six, No Parole found his way to the front with a minimum of fuss and settled very kindly through an internal second quarter mile that was timed in nearly 26 seconds. Still well within himself approaching the second turn, he opened an unassailable advantage and was kept to his task in the final sixteenth of a mile.

The Maggi Moss colorbearer debuted with a 14 1/4-length defeat of Guitar Tribute (Star Guitar) in a six-furlong Fair Grounds maiden Dec. 15 and earned ‘TDN Rising Star’ status for his latest stroll, a 13 1/4-length demolition of a first-level state-bred allowance in the Big Easy Jan. 11.

A 19th black-type winner for his sire, No Parole has a Louisiana-bred yearling half-sister by Connect. His dam was not bred in 2019. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

LA BRED PREMIER NIGHT PRINCE S., $100,000, Delta Downs, 2-8, (S), 3yo, 1m, 1:39.93, ft.
1–NO PAROLE, 117, c, 3, by Violence
1st Dam: Plus One (SW, $168,847), by Bluegrass Cat
2nd Dam: License Free, by Miswaki
3rd Dam: Star Deputy, by Deputy Minister
*1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. ($75,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Maggi Moss; B-Coteau Grove Farms (LA); T-Thomas M Amoss; J-James Graham. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $114,600.
2–Freedomfi, 117, c, 3, Guilt Trip–Charming Colleen, by Charismatic. O/B-James McIngvale (LA); T-Chris Richard. $20,000.
3–Guitar Tribute, 120, c, 3, Star Guitar–Sunday’s Child, by Any Given Saturday. O-Brittlyn Stable Inc; B-Brittlyn Inc (LA); T-Jose M Camejo. $10,000.
Margins: 6HF, HD, 4HF. Odds: 0.05, 11.10, 26.40.
Also Ran: Luckenbacher, X Clown, Outofmybind. Scratched: Speaktomeoflove.

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Karakontie’s Sole Volante Upsets in Independence Hall in Sam Davis

Sat, 2020-02-08 17:59

With all eyes on unbeaten Independence Hall (Constitution) in Saturday’s GIII Sam F. Davis S., Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) came rolling down the Tampa Bay stretch to upset the 3-5 favorite by a widening 2 1/2 lengths. It was 11 1/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Ajaaweed (Curlin).

Sole Volante, campaigned in partnership by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone and Limelight Stables Corp., won his first two starts on grass, including an impressive come-from-behind win in the Pulpit S. at Gulfstream Nov. 30. He ran on nicely to finish third with a strong 90 Beyer Speed Figure while making his dirt debut in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man S. in Hallandale last time Jan. 4.

Sam F. Davis winning trainer Patrick Biancone also saddled last Saturday’s GIII Holy Bull S. runner-up Ete Indien (Summer Front).

“We love him a lot,” Biancone said. “He’s fantastic on the turf and in America, the life is the dirt, so I ran him in a sprint race at Gulfstream just to see if he could handle it and let him take some kickback. He’s a very interesting young horse. We’ll see how he comes back first, the plan first was to go to Fair Grounds because this horse has a lot of stamina, but nothing is cast in stone.”

Away well from post two, the $20,000 OBSAPR buy ran second last early, as ‘TDN Rising Star’ Premier Star (Tapiture) and Chapalu (Flatter) threw down through fast fractions of :23.34 and :46.52 while tracked intently by Independence Hall with a long way back to the others.

Independence Hall made a menacing sweeping move to take over approaching the quarter mile pole, but Sole Volante was winding up with an explosive bid of his own. Sole Volante collared Independence Hall as they turned for home and powered clear late to get the money.

“We’ll see how he comes back and how he progresses,” Biancone said. “What he did today was really good. I bought the horse for my daughter when she turned 22 [click here for story] and said if I can get her for $22,000, I’ll buy her, and we got her for $20,000. We have plenty of races to choose from, maybe we’ll come back here in a month [for the GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby].”

Independence Hall, a brilliant 12 1/4-length winner of the GIII Nashua S. Nov. 3 and four-length victor after lunging at the start in the Jerome S. Jan. 1, both going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct, was making his two-turn debut at Tampa Saturday.

“Jose [Ortiz] said his tongue tie came loose in the post parade, but I’m not saying that as an excuse,” trainer Michael Trombetta said. “It’s an inconvenience and I’m going to have to watch the replay and take it all in. He broke sharp and he was good, he was a little excitable [in the paddock] but he wasn’t terrible, so we’ll see.”

Pedigree Notes:

Sole Volante becomes the second graded winner for young sire Karakontie (Jpn).

The winning mare Light Blow, already the dam the of GIII Canadian Derby winner Explode (Trappe Shot) and the stakes-placed Light of Joy (Kitten’s Joy), is also represented by the 2-year-old colt Naden Harbour (Air Force Blue) and a yearling filly by Karakontie. She was bred back to the latter for the 2020 season.

Light Blow is a half-sister to group winners Limnos (Jpn) (Hector Protector), Shiva (Jpn) (Hector Protector) and a full to Group 1 winner Light Shift-dam of Group 1 winner Ulysses (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). She is also a half to the dam of Group 1 winner Cloth of Stars (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}).

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs
SAM F. DAVIS S.-GIII, $200,000, Tampa Bay Downs, 2-8, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.60, ft.
1–SOLE VOLANTE, 118, g, 3, by Karakontie (Jpn)
1st Dam: Light Blow, by Kingmambo
2nd Dam: Lingerie (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
3rd Dam: Northern Trick, by Northern Dancer
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($6,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $20,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone & Limelight Stables Corp; B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY); T-Patrick L Biancone; J-Luca Panici. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-1, $196,310. *1/2 to Explode (Trappe Shot), GSW, $255,863. **Second GSW for sire (by Bernstein). Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
2–Independence Hall, 122, c, 3, Constitution–Kalahari Cat, by Cape Town. ($100,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $200,000 RNA 2yo ’19 FTFMAR). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC, Kathleen & Robert N Verratti; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Michael J Trombetta. $40,000.
3–Ajaaweed, 118, c, 3, Curlin–Asiya, by Daaher. O-Shadwell Stable; B-Shadwell Farm LLC (KY); T-Kiaran P McLaughlin. $20,000.
Margins: 2HF, 11 1/4, NK. Odds: 5.80, 0.70, 3.30.
Also Ran: Tiz Rye Time, No Getting Over Me, Premier Star, Chapalu. Scratched: Albert Park.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Munnings Filly Runs Off with Las Virgenes

Sat, 2020-02-08 17:47

Venetian Harbor (Munnings) earned her diploma at second asking in her dirt debut in jaw-dropping fashion going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita Dec. 29, and passed her first two-turn test with flying colors here.

The bay broke like a shot and the race was pretty much over from there. She ran off by six lengths beneath Flavien Prat through an opening quarter in :23.20, but began to settle much better from there and let the field come back to her through a half mile in :46.72. She left the turn in complete command and poured it on down the lane while under a hand ride to win for fun.

“The plan was to break and just get her to relax,” winning trainer Richard Baltas said. “She’s very strong and Flavien did a great job getting her to relax. It looked like at the three eighths pole, we might get passed, but I was just hoping the public was right.”

Baltas continued, “I am happy she got the two turns. That was a bit of a concern today, she had never been two turns and this is a tiring track. She trains at San Luis Rey, she is doing good down there and I didn’t want to change anything. She delivered today. She passed the first test.”

A debut second as the even-money favorite finishing ahead of four next out winners in her unveiling sprinting in a very live maiden special weight on grass at Del Mar Nov. 15, she earned a gaudy 94 Beyer Speed Figure next out while scoring by 10 3/4 lengths.

Pedigree Notes:

Venetian Harbor becomes the 15th graded /37th black-type winner for Munnings. Four-time winner and multiple stakes- placed Sounds of the City, owned and bred by Rich Santulli’s Colts Neck Stables, was bred to Oscar Performance for the 2020 season. Venetian Harbor’s fourth dam is the brilliant female sprinter Safely Kept, who famously defeated males in the 1990 GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont Park.

Saturday, Santa Anita
LAS VIRGENES S.-GII, $200,000, Santa Anita, 2-8, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:37.51, ft.
1–VENETIAN HARBOR, 120, f, 3, by Munnings
1st Dam: Sounds of the City (MSP, $293,399), by Street Cry (Ire)
2nd Dam: Welcome Home, by Dixieland Band
3rd Dam: Safe Return, by Mr. Prospector
($110,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $205,000 RNA 2yo ’19 OBSAPR).
O-Ciaglia Racing LLC, Highland Yard & River Oak Farm; B-Colts
Neck Stables LLC (KY); T-Richard Baltas; J-Flavien Prat.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $163,400. Werk Nick
Rating: D+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Gingham, 120, f, 3, Quality Road–Chapel, by Pulpit.
($420,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Sarah Kelly & Jane Wiltz; B-Stone
Farm (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $40,000.
3–Stellar Sound, 120, f, 3, Tapit–Siren Serenade, by Unbridled’s
Song. O-Don Alberto Stable; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY);
T-Bob Baffert. $24,000.
Margins: 9 1/4, 2 1/4, 9 1/4. Odds: 0.30, 4.40, 4.90.
Also Ran: Go Big Blue Nation, Cholula Lips.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Dennis’ Moment Breezes for Fountain of Youth

Sat, 2020-02-08 14:28

Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Dennis’ Moment (Tiznow) breezed five furlongs in 1:00.22 (4/35) at Gulfstream Park Saturday in preparation for a planned 2020 debut in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Feb. 29.

The GIII Iroquois S. winner stumbled badly at the start and was a non-factor eighth as the 4-5 favorite in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Nov. 1.

“Everything went well, exactly what we were looking for,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He hasn’t missed a beat. His progression has been great. He’s just a good horse. He’s only going to improve.”

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Stakes Schedule for Belmont Spring/Summer Meet Announced

Sat, 2020-02-08 14:15

The stakes schedule for the 51-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet, featuring 58 total stakes races worth $18.65 million starting Friday, Apr. 24 through Sunday, July 12, was announced by the New York Racing Association, Inc. Saturday.

The meet will offer 11 total Grade I contests and five races with purses of $1 million or higher, with the first four of those contests coming during the three-day GI Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from Thursday, June 4 through Saturday, June 6.

The festival will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade Is on Belmont Stakes Day, capped by the $1.5-million “Test of the Champion” in final leg of the Triple Crown.

In addition to the 152nd running of the Belmont S. June 6, the card will also include three Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers: the $1.2-million GI Runhappy Metropolitan; the $700,000 GI Ogden Phipps; and the $500,000 GI Jaipur. The day’s third seven-figure purse will come with the $1-million GI Manhattan.

Rounding out the stacked card will be the $700,000 GI Acorn; the $500,000 GI Longines Just a Game; and the $400,000 GI Woody Stephens.

The Stars & Stripes Racing Festival returns Saturday, July 11 and features five graded stakes headlined by the opening legs of NYRA’s Turf Triple Series. After a successful program launch in 2019, the Turf Triple returns with a pair of races earning Grade I status, the $1-million Belmont Derby Invitational and the $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational.

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Arizona Racing Commission Upholds Simulcast Decision

Fri, 2020-02-07 17:53

In a special meeting Friday, the Arizona Racing Commission upheld its earlier decision to enforce a state law passed last year requiring all simulcast providers that send their races into Arizona to offer the products uniformly among all tracks and all their Off-Track Betting parlors (OTB).

“I didn’t expect anything different,” said Bob Hutton, president of the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), about the decision. The meeting, which went on for two-and-a-half hours, was well attended by individuals on both sides of the stand-off, said Hutton. “It was standing room only.”

The crux of the issue surrounds Arizona Downs, one of three tracks in the state alongside Turf Paradise and Rillito Park. When Arizona Downs reopened for live racing in 2019, Monarch, an arm of The Stronach Group (TSG) tasked with distributing the company’s signal, had sent its signal to the track itself but not to the track’s network of OTB’s. In contrast, Monarch distributed its signal to Turf Paradise and its network of some 60 OTB’s.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that any signal beamed into Arizona must be shared uniformly. In January of this year, the Arizona Racing Commission passed a motion requiring all state tracks to comply with that law.

TSG’s Monarch argues that the law is unconstitutional, that it is preempted by the federal Interstate Horseracing Act, and has filed an appeal of the ruling with the ninth circuit. Monarch hasn’t beamed its signal into Arizona since Jan. 24–the day the commission sent a letter to Monarch to “stop sending any simulcast signals to Arizona permittees racetracks and/or their additional wagering facilities.”

Representatives from Turf Paradise argue that the loss of Monarch’s signal has had a profound impact on its business. Eleven days of the dispute resulted in a $948,512 decline in on-track, in-state and OTB live and simulcast handles–a loss of $77,726 in purses–Vince Franzia, Turf Paradise general manager, had previously told the TDN.

Indeed, in an earlier email blast to its OTB partners, Turf Paradise urged them to email and write the Arizona Racing Commission before this Friday’s meeting to explain how “economically damaging” the January decision has been.

In contrast, HBPA representatives argue that the impacts aren’t nearly as clear-cut. “When you look at the last week, we have more money going into the purse account than a year ago,” Leroy Gessmann, the HBPA president, had explained earlier this week. According to Hutton, about 95 percent of the horsemen are behind the commission’s decision to uphold state law.
Franzia has warned that, should the stand-off continue, Turf Paradise would need to cut a day of racing per week. That possibility will be presented to the commission at the next scheduled commission meeting next week, said Hutton.

“Most probably, to be safe, it will have to be done,” he said, before turning his thoughts towards the broader stand-off: “I just think the only one who can resolve this is Monarch and Scott Daruty [Monarch’s president].”

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