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Ontario Racing’s Mare Purchase Program Concludes

Tue, 2020-02-04 13:45

Ontario Racing’s Mare Purchase Program (MPP), designed to bolster the province’s breeding and racing industry through its Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program (TIP), has concluded with a total of 123 new broodmares added to the breeding program and 76 of those pledged to breed back to Ontario stallions.

Through the end of the OBS Winter Mixed sale Jan. 29, a total of 24 in-foal broodmares were purchased at various public auctions with 16 expected to be bred back to a registered Ontario sire during the 2020-21 breedingseason and eligible for the MPP program offer.

The Mare Purchase Program offered eligible applicants 50% of the purchase price of an in-foal broodmare, up to a maximum of $15,000 (CDN), at various recognized public auctions, plus another $2,500 (CDN) as an Ontario Sire ‘breedback’ incentive.

Last month, the Mare Recruitment Program, which offered $5,000 (CDN) to horsepeople to bring an in-foal mare to Ontario to foal, also with an Ontario Sire breed back incentive worth $2,500 (CDN), had 99 broodmares with 60 pledged to be bred back to a registered Ontario sire, submitted. The paperwork for 23 broodmares (21 bred back to an Ontario sire) came through immediately after the time the program was fully subscribed. Ontario Racing will disburse for those submissions.

“The success of the Mare Purchase Program and Mare Recruitment Program has gone beyond our expectations,” said David Anderson, longtime breeder-owner and Ontario Racing (OR) board member. “The objectives of Ontario Racing’s ThoroughbredHorse Improvement committee were crafted to accommodate all sectors of the racing and breeding community.  We want the broodmares to stay in Ontario permanently, offer a significant incentive to breed back to a registered Ontario sire, to produce an Ontario-bred,to be sold at the local yearling sale, while eventually racing at Woodbine or Fort Erie. We’re clearly off to a great start.”

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Pennsylvania Governor Seeking to Raid Slots Money That Goes to State Tracks

Tue, 2020-02-04 11:48

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf submitted his 2020-2021 budget Tuesday, which called for a massive cut in the amount of money that goes to horse racing from slots proceeds. Wolf is seeking to take $204 million away from the Race Horse Development Fund, which totals about $250 million.

Such a move would prove devastating to racing and breeding industries, as slot money accounts for 88% of the total purses.

“This scheme would destroy an industry that provides a $1.6-billion economic impact and supports an estimated 16,000 to 23,000 jobs in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, retail and hospitality industries here in Pennsylvania,” said Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition, an organization representing the six Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen and breeder associations in the state.

When addressing the General Assembly Tuesday, Wolf laid out a plan to create a $200-million fund that would provide college scholarships for Pennsylvania residents at Pennsylvania state schools under a program called the Nellie Bly Tuition program. He proposed that the program be paid for by taking money out of the Race Horse Development Fund.

“We will use existing tax dollars that are right now flowing into the Horse Racing Development Fund,” he said. “Let’s bet on our kids, instead of bankrolling racehorse owners, to ensure the viability of Pennsylvania’s state system of higher education.”

The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition issued a press release shortly before Wolf’s address that quoted numerous individuals involved in the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries, all of them coming out strongly against Wolf’s proposal.

“I cannot believe that our Governor would turn his back on the horse breeding and racing industry,” said Pat Chapman, who owned Smarty Jones. “This would be absolutely devastating to so many of us in the horse business. I brought Smarty Jones back to Pennsylvania for breeding because of what we were told four years ago and I thought I could trust what we were told. If the governor goes through with this proposal, the end is near for my breeding and racing days in the state of Pennsylvania and the end for many others. This is a very devastating possibility.”

“I strongly oppose the governor taking any of the money from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund, which funds purses and breeder incentives,” said trainer Mark Reid. “It will be the end of horse breeding and racing in Pennsylvania. The industry in Pennsylvania will never recover from this.”

This is not the first time that a Pennsylvania governor has gone after racing’s slot money. In 2012, then governor Tom Corbett took $72 million from the fund, spread out over three years. But the racing industry thought that it had guarantees in place that would prevent any future attempts at diverting money out of the fund. In 2017, the legislature passed legislation that converted the fund into a trust called the Race Horse Development Trust Fund (RHDTF), which industry leaders believed could not be touched by the government.

“I don’t know that he’s necessarily taken a hard look at all the legal ramifications for him and the Commonwealth if he is to take the money away from the trust,” Peterson said. “The legislature put the money into a trust fund because of complaints from breeders organizations and others who said they were having had difficulty getting people to bring stallions in and encouraging new investment in Pennsylvania because of the uncertainties. They put it onto a trust fund for that very reason, to deliver certainty. I don’t understand how this governor can go in and say the trust fund doesn’t mean anything. The 2017 Race Horse Industry Reform Act, which established the trust, noted that the money in the trust are not funds of the Commonwealth and that the Commonwealth shall not be rightfully entitled to any money.”

Peterson predicted that legal action would be taken against Wolf and the state based on the guarantees that were supposedly a part of the RHDTF.

When the formation of the trust was announced, Pennsylvania breeders saw an immediate spike in business, a welcome development after the uncertainty about the future of the fund has caused many breeders to choose other states. The number of mares bred in Pennsylvania in 2019 was 686, a 12.5% increase.

“If the governor takes money from Pennsylvania horsemen, it would decimate the entire agricultural industry in the state,” said Layne Shaffer, the farm manager at Arrowood Farm. “What people don’t understand is that the majority of horsemen don’t have a ton of money. Most of the money we earn goes to pay the veterinarian, the farrier, the hay farmer, the horse trailer driver and so on. If this happens, I don’t know what thousands of families in Pennsylvania will do and what will happen to the horses they love.”

The budget cannot go into effect until after it is approved by both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature. That will give the industry’s lobbyists time to state their case regarding the RHDTF. Another possibility is that pressure from the industry and racing-friendly politicians could persuade Wolf to seek less than the $204 million.

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Alempijevic Named NYTHA Executive Director

Tue, 2020-02-04 10:56

Will Alempijevic (pronounced Al-em-pee-ya-vich) will join the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association effective Feb. 12, 2020, as the new Executive Director, NYTHA announced Tuesday. Alempijevic replaces Andy Belfiore, who served in the role for four years before leaving to take the post as the national THA’s Project Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities last October.

A member of the New York Racing Association team since November of 2015, Alempijevic was the Director of Business Development before being promoted to Director of Guest Services. He most recently was named Director of Racing Analytics, where he focused on horse safety and welfare initiatives, as well as compiling and analyzing racing office data to help inform the department’s business decisions.

“We are excited to welcome Will to the NYTHA team,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “He brings a wealth of experience in a number of areas vital to the health of New York’s racing industry, and skills in data analytics and interdepartmental collaboration that will be of great value to our organization. He is also passionate about the sport, and we look forward to working with him.”

Prior to coming to New York, Alempijevic was with Portland Meadows racetrack in Portland, Oregon, for nine years, starting as Director of Wagering and Guest Services and working his way up to General Manager in January of 2008, a position he held for more than seven years.

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Cettina, Goodall Selected to NHC Hall of Fame

Tue, 2020-02-04 10:21

Roger Cettina, the only player to finish second twice in the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), and 2008 NHC champion Richard Goodall have been selected for induction into the NHC Hall of Fame, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Tuesday.

Goodall and Cettina represent the sixth class of NHC Hall of Fame inductees and will be recognized during the NHC Champions Dinner on Sunday evening at the conclusion of the 21st NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s, set for Feb. 7-9 at Bally’s Las Vegas. Since its launch in 2014, the NHC Hall of Fame has inducted two impact figures each season, making Goodall and Cettina the Hall’s 11th and 12th members.

“It’s pretty exciting actually. I was surprised,” Cettina, who also finished second in the 2016 NHC, said of his Hall of Fame selection. “I knew I was nominated because a couple people I know actually voted. But it’s a great honor. It really is.”

“It’s validating,” Goodall said of being voted into the Hall of Fame. “My wife and I have made this the centerpiece basically of our travel plans for the last 20 years and we’ve just had a wonderful ride. Winning was of course wonderful and awesome and this is sort of the cherry on top of the cake. It’s great. We really do plan our entire life around it. Basically if I had one word to sum it all up, it would be fun.”

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Collected Sires First Foals

Tue, 2020-02-04 10:08

The first foals by Grade I-winning multimillionaire Collected (City Zip–Helena Bay, by Johannesburg), have been reported at leading nurseries Airdrie Stud, Anderson Farms and Trackside Farm, Airdrie announced Tuesday. Airdrie Stud resident Believe You Can (Proud Citizen), winner of six stakes including the 2012 GI Kentucky Oaks, foaled a colt by Collected Feb. 1.

“We bred the most important mare on our farm to Collected and he has greatly rewarded our faith in him,” said Airdrie’s Bret Jones. “Believe You Can’s colt is an absolutely exceptional foal with the presence and charisma to match all the physical attributes you brag on with a great baby. It’s the best

possible start for a stallion in which we have tremendous belief.”

Dattt Echo (Stormy Atlantic), a Stakes-placed half-sister to GISW Mani Bhavan (Storm Boot), delivered a Collected filly at Anderson Farms in Ontario. “We are thrilled with the bone, leg and scope of our filly. Like a good one, she was up and nursing in 25 minutes. We bred 11 mares to Collected last year and are doing the same this year. He reminds me of Blushing Groom (Fr), who resonates in his family. I think he is one of the best values in the stud book, period,” said David Anderson.

It’schemistrybaby (Meadowlake) delivered a three-quarters brother to GSW Majestic City (City Zip) at Tom Evans’s Trackside Farm near Versailles, Kentucky.

“He has the qualities we hope to see in a young foal, length, depth and a confident presence. We are sending the mare right back to Collected,” said Evans.

Collected, who defeated Eclipse Champions Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) and Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky) in the 2017 GI TVG Pacific Classic, earned just shy of $3 million for Speedway Stable and Bob Baffert. He stands at Airdrie Stud for $17,500 stands and nurses. For more information, visit or contact Cormac Breathnach at 859-873-7270 or

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Orange County Judge Rules in CHRB Favor On NoCal Simulcasting Dispute

Mon, 2020-02-03 16:20

At the Orange County Superior Court this Monday, judge Gregory Lewis ruled that the Pacific Racing Association (PRA)–the arm of The Stronach Group (TSG) licensed to operate the meet at Golden Gate Fields–must continue to send its audiovisual signal to the network of satellite wagering facilities in Northern California, thereby throwing a lifeline to the county fairgrounds where these satellites are primarily found, along with the broader status quo of the industry in the northern half of the state.

The crux of the issue surrounded PRA’s legal obligation to contract with the northern fairs that operate as brick-and-mortar satellite wagering facilities if it withdrew from the Northern California Off-Track Wagering, Inc (NCOTWINC)–the organization which has provided the simulcast services to the Northern California satellite facilities for decades. Since June of 2018, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has required that PRA contract with these facilities in return for being granted a racing license.

PRA has argued that the CHRB required this condition illegally. Indeed, at Monday’s hearing, PRA’s attorney, Richard Specter, argued that “no law” exists requiring the PRA to contract with these satellites if it doesn’t utilize the services of NCOTWINC.

“There’s no applicable statute that requires a racing association like the plaintiffs to enter into a contract with each satellite wagering facility” on condition of being granted a license, he said. “And this court does not make that finding.”

But on Monday, Judge Lewis formally ruled in favor of the defendants, comprising the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) and the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Racing Association. The latter relies heavily on the wagering made on its races sent as a signal through the Northern California satellites.

According to Drew Couto, who represented the defendants, a ruling in PRA’s favor would have had a profound impact in Northern California. “That was our fear–that was our concern. And it wasn’t just in Northern California. That’s the reason Los Al[amitos] was involved,” he said. “It would also have had an impact on the Standardbred industry at night. The impact was quite broad.”

The decision follows Lewis’s tentative ruling made last week, in which he stressed the knock-on effects on the industry as a whole if PRA were no longer required to send its signal to these satellite facilities.

“Plaintiffs’ position that large racing associations need not contract directly with satellite wagering facilities affects various aspects of the horse racing industry, including the viability and/or profitability of satellite wagering facilities in Northern and Southern California as well as the racing association’s ability to generate purses,” the judge had written in his tentative ruling.

“In addition, because Plaintiffs’ position affects the viability of satellite wagering operations, it could also affect the California Authority of Racing Fairs, the individual racing fairs, labor, horsemen, and other statutory recipients of handle revenue,” he added.

A portion of the handle wagered over the internet on horse racing by California residents is distributed on a pro rata basis to Northern California satellites. In 2018, that amount was $2,879,935. “PRA maintains that if the satellites do not exist, that portion distributed to the satellites would largely inure to it, as PRA operates the predominant racetrack in the Zone,” wrote Drew Couto, in a prior court filing.

The issues at play were complicated–indeed, in a May 2018 letter, CARF executive director, Larry Swartzlander, wrote that PRA’s withdrawal from NCOTWINC “also creates other concerns in regards to past liabilities, which total nearly $13 million.” Historically, the Fairs have funded about 25% of the organization and Golden Gate about 75%.

In his court filing, Couto had argued that TSG’s ultimate aim is to control distribution of the signal in Northern California and to establish its own chain of satellites in that part of the state.

“Plaintiffs seek to divest and shut down the Northern California network of State and county owned satellite wagering facilities, purportedly to replace them with a chain of wholly owned, branded subsidiary internet wagering sites PRA refers to as ‘ADW Cafes,'” he wrote.

“No other licensed racing association, authorized horsemen’s organization, representative of labor, service provider, authorized agricultural district and/or racing fair, nor any members of the betting public has come forward in support of Plaintiff’s Writ or position. None. Not one,” Couto added in the filing.

On Monday, Couto told the TDN that the court’s ruling solidified consistency in the interpretation of both “the statutes and the rules for the past 30 years of practice” in California.

“And that is that the signal must be distributed to all of the satellites in Northern California, and wagers have to be facilitated in all of the satellites in Northern California, and it’s going to continue,” he said.

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Churchill to Debut New 20-Stall Starting Gate for Derby 146

Mon, 2020-02-03 14:18

Churchill Downs has entered into an agreement with Australian-based Steriline Racing to design and construct a new custom-made, 20-stall starting gate that will be used for the 146th running of the GI Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 2, the track announced Monday. The new starting gate will be utilized exclusively for the Kentucky Derby and will replace Churchill Downs’ standard starting gate, which will continue to be used for all other races.

A six-stall “auxiliary starting gate” addition, which was attached to Churchill’s main 14-horse starting gate, was first used in 1942 and 54 times for the Kentucky Derby within that period, including each of the last 22 years. The origination of a 20-stall starting gate eliminates the wide gap between post position number 14 in the standard gate and number 15 in the auxiliary gate.

“We believe that a new custom-made, 20-stall starting gate will deliver a clean start for all horses and enhance safety for horses and riders in the Kentucky Derby,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “We’re thrilled to partner with Australia’s Steriline Racing to supply this new starting gate at Churchill Downs.”

The new contiguous 20-stall starting gate, which is due to arrive in early April, is 65-feet wide and will fit comfortably within the 120-foot space on the racetrack at the quarter-mile pole for the start of the Kentucky Derby.

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Halstrom Named VP, GM of Indiana Grand

Mon, 2020-02-03 12:44

Eric Halstrom, who has served in a variety of executive position at racetracks predominantly in the Midwest and Mid-south regions, has been named vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, pending all regulatory approvals. Halstrom, who begins his new roles Monday, Feb. 17, is just the second individual to hold that position and succeeds Jon Schuster, who passed away late last year.

“I’m very excited to begin a new chapter at Indiana Grand,” said Halstrom. “This is such an amazing time for this facility and the recent addition of live table games is such a boost to the property. There is so much opportunity for the racing program to grow in the state of Indiana. I’m excited to be part of the team to carry on the great tradition that Jon Schuster has developed over the past 18 years.”

Halstrom, a native of Minneapolis, MN, is–like Schuster before him–a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program and has previous served as vice president of racing at Canterbury Park, vice president and general manager of racing operations at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, assistant director of racing at Prairie Meadows and most recently vice president of operations at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

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Kauai Named Iowa Horse of the Year

Mon, 2020-02-03 11:01

The Allen Poindexter owned- and -bred Kauai (Girolamo) has been named the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners (ITBOA) Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.

Trained by Lynn Chleborad, the bay posted a record of 7-3-2-1 in 2019 and earnings of $167,520, with victories in the Iowa Stallion S. and the Iowa Breeders’ Derby (each non black-type races).

“I was thrilled with his efforts in 2019,” said Allen Poindexter. “I expected that he would run better as the distances increased, and that’s exactly what happened last season.”

The other divisional champions were as follows:

  • 2YO Filly Flat Out Speed (Flat Out)
  • 2YO Male Chacha Real Smooth (Palace)
  • 3YO Filly Snapy Gal (Snapy Halo {Arg})
  • Older Male Minecraft Maniac (Mineshaft)
  • Older Female Hello Darling (Girolamo)
  • Broodmare Gizzy (Malabar Gold, dam of Kauai)
  • Breeder H. Allen Poindexter
  • Stallion Native Ruler

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Finley, Dominguez Assume New Roles for NY Racetrack Chaplaincy

Mon, 2020-02-03 10:41

West Point Thoroughbreds’ Terry Finley and retired Hall of Fame jockey Ramon Dominguez have been named chairman and president, respectively, of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy.

Finley has been an active supporter of the Chaplaincy for several years and he and his wife Debbie were honored last August for their continued support of the backstretch community and the chaplaincy in particular. Dominguez has been on the Chaplaincy’s Board of Directors since 2012.

“Terry and Ramon both maintain a deep appreciation for the importance of our work,” said Humberto Chavez, the chaplain in New York. “They are universally respected and we are thrilled to have them at the helm as we continue to pursue activities and programs designed to improve the quality of life for our backstretch community.”

The entire board of directors is comprised of Finley (chairman), Dominguez (president), Nancy C. Kelly (vice president) Dorothy Bagnato (treasurer), John Andrew Kay (secretary), Bob Curran Jr., Will Phipps, Vincent Pisani, Kathy Theroux-Reynolds, Johnny Velazquez and John Young.

The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America ministers to the backstretch community with children’s enrichment, social service, and recreational programs, as well as educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services.

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Independence Hall Works for Davis

Sun, 2020-02-02 17:20

Independence Hall (Constitution) tuned up for Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile GIII Sam F. Davis S. with a  four-furlong drill in :48.60 (10/82) at Tampa Bay Downs Sunday.

“He kicked on nice. I’m very happy with the breeze,” trainer Michael Trombetta said. “The way he started off [an opening eighth of a mile in about :13 seconds], you wouldn’t have thought he’d breeze in :48 and change. The ‘ask’ was somewhere in the :48-49 range and out in the 1:01 range, and he galloped out in 1:00 4/5. So if you’re choosier than that, you’ll never be happy.”

A first-out winner at Parx last September, Independence Hall romped by 12 1/4 lengths in the Nov. 3 GIII Nashua S. and opened 2020 with a four-length victory in the one-mile Jerome S. at Aqueduct Jan. 1.

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Wood Memorial Next Up for Max Player

Sun, 2020-02-02 16:57

George Hall’s Max Player (Honor Code) exited his victory in Saturday’s GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct in fine shape and will likely make his next appearance in the Apr. 4 GII Wood Memorial.

Sent to post at odds of 5-1, Max Player was in tight and taking significant kickback into the first turn before jockey Dylan Davis angled him outside for smoother sailing. Settled wide in fifth, he grinded his way into contention through the final turn and found his best stride late to put away GII Remsen S. winner Shotski (Blame) by 3 1/4 lengths.

“He’s not seasoned enough to handle the kickback yet,” trainer Linda Rice said of the dark bay colt who was making his third start Saturday. “He hasn’t handled it well, but Dylan did a good job of keeping him close enough to contention and getting him outside to where he could get comfortable.”

Rice continued, “He looks good this morning. He came out of the race great and looks happy and playful. We’ll head on to the Wood Memorial.”

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Pantofel Stable and Mike Karty’s Shotski could make his next start in the Mar. 7 GIII Gotham S. or the Feb. 29 GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., according to trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer.

“He came out of the race good. I’m very happy with him and we’ll give him a couple of easy days before heading back to the track,” said O’Dwyer. “I spoke with Mr. Wachtel and he mentioned the Gotham and maybe the Fountain of Youth. There’s a couple options in the pipeline. We’ll let the dust settle and make a plan over the next couple of days.”

Also possible for the Gotham is Southern Equine Stable’s Sixto (Curlin), a first-out winner at Aqueduct last Thursday.

“I think he’s going to be a nice horse,” trainer Eric Guillot said of Sixto. “He’s named after my number one traveling man over the years, Sixto Chavez. He’s been my main man with a lot of Grade I horses. We’ll see what the race looks like when the time goes and take it from there.”

Sophomore stakes action Saturday also featured the unbeaten Taraz (Into Mischief)’s win in the Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park. Trainer Brad Cox is keeping all options on the table for the filly, including a run at the boys on the Kentucky Derby trail.

“I thought about it last night and haven’t really come up with a decision on what we’re going to do yet,” Cox, who also trains last year’s champion juvenile filly British Idiom (Flashback), said. “And race-wise? Same thing.”

The trainer continued, “She came back good, so far. We’re just walking her, obviously, but she appeared to check out of the race in great order last night and cooled out great and looked great. Everything looks good.”


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Pharoah Filly Runs Up the Score in Busanda

Sun, 2020-02-02 16:45

Harvey’s Lil Goil started a bit slowly, but finished fast to dominate Sunday’s Busanda S. at Aqueduct and become the fifth black-type winner for her Triple Crown-winning champion first-crop sire–on his birthday no less. A debut fourth on the local lawn Nov. 9, the grey broke through by an emphatic six-length margin going a mile over this good main track Dec. 12 and was heavily supported to see out a additional furlong for this.

Away last, Harvey’s Lil Goil was hung very wide while trying to make up some ground into the first turn. She settled out in the clear behind splits of :25.30 and :50.59, and was given an early cue by Junior Alvarado to sweep to the front entering the home bend. Already several lengths clear by the time she hit the top of the lane, she poured it on from there to dominate her competition. According to Trakus data, Harvey’s Lil Goil covered more ground in the Busanda than every also ran, including 56 ft. (approximately 6 1/2 lengths) more than the runner-up.

“She was much the best; I was just the pilot,” Alvarado said. “At the half-mile [mark], she switched gears and I let her run along there. She took over and didn’t do much… I didn’t want to fight with her to make her stand properly [in the gate], but then she hopped at the break a little bit. In a stakes race, that’s not what you want, but she was much the best, so it didn’t matter.”
Leanna Willaford, assistant to winning conditioner Bill Mott, said, “She ran really well and to expectations, or possibly even better. She came back up to us from Florida last week and has been here for a few days. She had been here prior from July until when she broke her maiden, so we know her well. She looks really about the same since she’s left and is progressing well, so it’s exciting.”

The winner is out of an unraced half-sister to 2012 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. winner I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley), who was also bred by the late Harvey Clarke, and to stablemate Golden Award (Medaglia d’Oro), winner of the GIII Turnback the Alarm H. over track and trip in November. Gloria S produced a Cairo Prince colt last February before being bred back to that former Clarke co-owned runner.

BUSANDA S., $101,000, Aqueduct, 2-2, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:54.49, ft.
1–HARVEY’S LIL GOIL, 118, f, 3, by American Pharoah
1st Dam: Gloria S, by Tapit
2nd Dam: Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch
3rd Dam: Force Five Gal, by Pleasant Tap
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Estate of Harvey A. Clarke & Paul
Braverman; B-Harvey A. Clarke (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Junior
Alvarado. $55,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0, $96,600.
2–Water White, 118, f, 3, Conveyance–Uzume, by Unbridled’s
Song. ($50,000 Ylg ’18 FTKJUL). O-E.V. Racing Stable; B-Richard
Forbush (KY); T-Rudy R. Rodriguez. $21,000.
3–Fiftyshays Ofgreen, 119, f, 3, Bernardini–Divine Dispatch, by
Touch Gold. ($100,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Leonard C. Green &
Sean Shay; B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (KY); T-John C.
Servis. $12,000.
Margins: 7HF, 1HF, 4 1/4. Odds: 0.75, 3.70, 11.60.
Also Ran: Persisto, Ankle Monitor, Truth Hurts. Scratched: Quality Heat.
Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Louisiana Derby Could Be Next for Tiz the Law

Sun, 2020-02-02 16:26

Jack Knowlton, who heads the syndicate that owns Tiz the Law (Constitution), reported that his horse came out of Saturday’s win in the GIII Holy Bull S. in good order and may go next in the Mar. 21 GII Louisiana Derby. Knowlton said the other choice is a start in the Mar. 28 GI Florida Derby, but confirmed that he was leaning toward going to Louisiana.

“We have been leaning toward Louisiana all along,” Knowlton said Sunday. “We are kind of intrigued by the fact they extended it to a mile-and-three-sixteenths. You have that long stretch and he should get a clear run down the stretch. That is appealing to us. We will have a lot of discussions and watch what goes on elsewhere. [Trainer] Barclay [Tagg], [assistant trainer] Robin [Smullen] and I have been through this before [with Funny Cide]. We’ll make a decision that everybody is happy with.”

Knowlton and Tagg were successful taking the Holy Bull-Louisiana Derby route with Funny Cide (Distorted Humor) in 2003. The gelding finished fifth in the Holy Bull and then an improving third in the Louisiana Derby. He followed that with a second-place finish in the GI Wood Memorial before winning the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. Should Tiz the Law run in the Louisiana Derby, it would be his last start before the GI Kentucky Derby.

“It’s not so much that the Louisiana Derby is sentimental to us,” Knowlton said. “But it was a path that we took and we won the Derby. It was a path we liked then and like now. The downside is shipping, what that entails and the extent it could take something out of the horse. We also know, after yesterday, that he likes Gulfstream. While we won’t be ducking anybody, we will want to see what happens in the GII Fountain of Youth. If Dennis’ Moment (Tiznow) is as good as Dale Romans and a lot of other people think he is and he runs a 105 Beyer in the Fountain of Youth, I wouldn’t want to take him on in the Florida Derby. I’d rather wait for that to happen in the Kentucky.”

Knowlton said he has been watching the competition in the 3-year-old ranks closely and will continue to do so.

“I looked at the other Derby preps Saturday and Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) was all out to beat an 18-1 shot.” Knowlton said. “Shotski (Blame) got passed by a relative newcomer in the Withers. The next one coming up is Independence Hall (Constitution) in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa. It’s pretty impressive that Constitution now has two horses from his first crop who have run 100 Beyers and are major threats for the Derby.”

Tiz the Law had to overcome a bad trip to win the Holy Bull. Under Manny Franco, he showed surprising early speed before he was taken back, steadied and wound up fourth behind horses. Once he settled and got into the clear, he shot by the front-runners to win by three lengths.

“He showed a new dimension, popping right out of the gate like he did,” Knowlton said. “We didn’t want to be on front end and didn’t want to be in a speed duel. We told Manny don’t get stuck inside. That’s what cost us the race in GII Kentucky Jockey Club. He knew he needed to get outside, and fortunately, the horse responded. It probably cost him two, three lengths, but he was good enough to overcome it and Manny got the job done.”

Saturday’s card at Gulfstream also included the GIII Swale S., a seven-furlong race won by Mischievous Alex (Into Mischief). Trainer John Servis reported Sunday that he isn’t ready to commit his colt to the Kentucky Derby trail.

“If he’s doing good, he’s going to have to show me he wants that, but I don’t think he does,” Servis said. “I don’t want to put him on the trail and next thing, you end up with no horse at the end of the year.”

Servis said the GIII Gotham S. at Aqueduct could be next for his horse.

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A Poindexter Pick Three at Santa Anita

Sun, 2020-02-02 16:13

The early race card at Santa Anita had a decidedly Midwest flair Saturday as the winners of the first three races of the day were bred by Missouri-resident Allen Poindexter and two of the three winners were Iowa-breds. The streak began with 15-1 shot Posit (Cairo Prince)’s half-length win in an optional claimer; continued with the debut victory of OBS June topper Clivetty (Into Mischief) (video) and concluded with ‘TDN Rising Star’ Auberge (Palace)’s 2 1/4-length allowance win (video).

“I wasn’t sure about Posit in the first, but I thought the other two had a good shot,” Poindexter said Sunday. “Auberge is Grade II placed and was running in an allowance, so I thought she would win. The other filly, I really didn’t know if six furlongs would be the right distance. She is a really big Into Mischief filly. I think she is going to want to go long, but she still won going three-quarters.”

Of the hat trick, Poindexter said, “I was very pleased. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before to win the first, second, and third at Santa Anita with the same breeder. I’m very proud. We work hard to try to get racehorses. There is a lot of hard work that goes into this. It’s a passion, so it’s always nice to see your passion paying off.”

Auberge, who sold for $140,000 as a weanling at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton November sale, brought $170,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale before Speedway Stable purchased her for $570,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale. She was tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ following her debut win in Arcadia last October and then was second in the GII Santa Ynez S. Jan. 5.

Auberge is out of Prenuptial Vow (Broken Vow) and Poindexter is still considering 2020 matings for that 15-year-old mare.

“We ended up not breeding her back last year because she was going to be on a late cover,” he said. “I think right now, we’re kind of pointing her towards either Audible or City of Light.”

Clivetty, out of Rosemonde (Indian Charlie), is a full-sister to multiple Grade I placed Rowayton and both carry the colors of Larry Best’s OXO Equine.

“Rosemonde had a May baby and we did not breed her back,” Poindexter said. “She is going to Tapit this year.”

Best purchased Rowayton for $320,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and acquired Clivetty for $900,000 at last year’s OBS June Sale. He added more of the family to his stable when going to $375,000 to acquire the mare’s Frosted filly as a weanling at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

Rosemonde’s 2-year-old colt by Frosted is expected to make an appearance at the juvenile sales this spring.

“The Frosted colt is with Julie Davies [in Ocala] and he’s going to a 2-year-old sale,” Poindexter said.”

Asked if he was hoping Larry Best would be attending that particular auction, Poindexter said with a chuckle, “I don’t know, he buys almost everything else, doesn’t he? He has bought the whole family. I think I need to sell him the mare, don’t you? It would be cheaper for him–buy the factory.”

Poindexter has a broodmare band of some 60 head spread around the country and making good use of several regional markets.

“We have about 25 what I would call top-notch mares that we breed to be Kentucky-breds,” he said. “And the rest of the mares we have regionally. I usually foal out between 12 and 15 in Iowa. This year I have six in Minnesota, nine in Indiana and four or five in Oklahoma, three in Pennsylvania, and the 25 in Kentucky.”

But it is the Iowa racing and breeding scene which has him particularly captivated.

“I am on the HBPA in Iowa, so I am very involved with Iowa-bred racing and breeding,” Poindexter said. “I have a market for a lot of my horses with the Iowa people and I partner a lot with them where they buy half of one of my babies and I stay in for half. It gets a lot more people involved in Iowa with some really good Iowa-breds. This past year, we had the 2-year-old Iowa-bred filly champion, the 3-year-old colt champion, the Horse of the Year, the Broodmare of the Year. So we’re very big into Iowa, improving the Iowa-bred horse racing.”

Posit, the Iowa-bred who kick-started Poindexter’s win streak at Santa Anita Saturday, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and graded placed Chanel’s Legacy (Dominus).

“Chanel’s Legacy was an Iowa-bred and I think she only ran once in Iowa,” Poindexter said. “She won the Dixie Belle and the Martha Washington S. and was second in the GIII Fantasy. I still have her.”

Chanel’s Legacy produced a colt by Bernardini in 2019 and was bred back to More Than Ready.

“Some of these Iowa-breds will never run in Iowa,” Poindexter said. “They are good mares bred to Kentucky stallions. Horses like Auberge–she is going to compete with anyone.”

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Declaration of War Filly Sharp in Gulfstream Unveiling

Sun, 2020-02-02 16:02

6th-Gulfstream, $43,000, Msw, 2-2, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:11.01, ft.
EVE OF WAR (f, 3, Declaration of War–Special Thanks, by Broken Vow) was pounded down to even-money off a steady, if not overly quick series of drills at Palm Beach Downs (click for XBTV video), but she showed plenty of zip in the afternoon to run up the score Sunday. Slicing through foes soon after the start to take over, she sped away by several lengths heading to the turn and always appeared in a race of her own from that point forward. Ridden out with hands and heels after posting a :46.11 half, she cruised to the line 7 1/2 lengths to the good of firster and $400,000 KEESEP yearling Skinny Dip (Into Mischief). The winner’s dam is the first foal out of an unraced daughter of MGSW Bedanken (Geri) who cost $115,000 as a yearling. Her Street Sense filly cost just $22,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale. After producing an Air Force Blue filly last season she was bred back to Hard Spun. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Treadway Racing Stable; B-Jeff Treadway (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

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Louisiana HBPA Teams with Fair Grounds for Aftercare Support

Sun, 2020-02-02 14:58

The Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots have partnered on an initiative to financially support racehorse aftercare.

During the entire Fair Grounds’ 2019-2020 Thoroughbred racing season, consenting Louisiana HBPA member owners have contributed $5 per starter to racehorse aftercare. At the conclusion of the meet, the track will then match that dollar amount. Efforts made during the Fair Grounds’ 12th annual, 10-day summer Quarter Horse Race season resulted in a total race horse aftercare donation of $6,580.

“The Louisiana HBPA thanks Fair Grounds for matching our members’ donations to help with horse aftercare,” said Edwin Fenasci, executive director of the LAHBPA. “Our members care deeply for our equine athletes and want to help find a place for them after their racing career. The LAHBPA has provided financial grants to great charitableorganizations like NTWO and New Vocations. Their efforts in Louisiana have been transformative and we look forward to their continued good work. Fair Grounds matching those funds is vital for the success of aftercare in Louisiana and shows their commitmentto help this great effort.”

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From Champion to ‘Babysitter,’ Main Sequence Still Producing for Motion

Sun, 2020-02-02 14:42

Every trainer deals with difficult horses, and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. There was a time when Graham Motion didn’t know whether Mean Mary (Scat Daddy) would fulfill her potential. Owned and bred by Alex Campbell Jr., she was that tough.

“You had to have your best rider on her,” Motion said.  “You had to have her on the pony or she’d pull some antics going to the track. Nothing that was unmanageable, but something you always had to be ready for. She was just very tough.”

Today, Mean Mary is a stakes winner, a feat she accomplished in last Saturday’s GIII La Prevoyante S. at Gulfstream. Perfectly well behaved throughout, she led every step of the way on her way to a five-length victory under Luis Saez.

Motion deserves credit and so does Saez. But they may not have been able to engineer the La Prevoyante win if it were not for an assist from 2014 GI Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Main Sequence (Aldebaran).

Main Sequence is an 11-year-old gelding who was trained by Motion. A four-time Grade I winner who was named champion older horse and champion turf horse in 2014, he’s now more or less a pet who lives with Motion’s stable at the Fair Hill training center. He’s turned out, living the good life.

With Motion struggling to get Mean Mary to settle down, his wife, Anita, and his assistant, Cat McGee, came up with the idea of turning Mean Mary out in the same paddock with Main Sequence. Maybe something would click.

“We hoped that being turned out all the time would settle her down,” Motion said. “We would turn her out in the morning, train her and then turn her out for the rest of the day.”

But would Main Sequence accept the presence of the filly in his paddock? That was hard to predict and the odds were against it as Motion describes Main Sequence as “pretty cantankerous.” It turns out that there was something that drew them together.

“We just thought it was worth a try,” Motion said. “He was almost like a babysitter. Was he the boss? Probably. But they were very compatible. They sparked this relationship as soon as they were turned out together. They got along great. As nasty as she could be she always got along very well with him and it seems like she turned the corner after we put them together.”

Motion can’t tell you why the two got along so well together.

“It’s hard to say. It’s just part of nature,” he said. “He’s not like that with every horse. He’s not accepting of every horse he goes out with. He’s more accepting of fillies, but it’s odd with her personality that they were so accepting of each other.”

When Motion shipped Mean Mary and several other horses to Florida it meant that the Main Sequence-Mean Mary friendship would have to be put on hold. But this was now a different Mean Mary than the one who had been giving his trainer so many headaches.

“You still have to watch her and we still tend to keep her on the pony most of the time, but she’s mellowed a lot,” Motion said.  “She is actually a kind horse to be around. As she has raced more and more she has become more professional.”

Mean Mary broke her maiden at Keeneland in her second career start. Two races later, she won a mile-and-an-eighth allowance at Gulfstream. The big unknown in the La Prevoyante was the mile-and-half distance. With the way Mean Mary ran, it looks like the added distance is something she relished.

“I’d like her to be around for the major races later in the year,” Motion said. “I doubt we’d run her again before we get to Keeneland because Mr. Campbell is pretty partial to Keeneland.  We would love to make the (GI) Beverly D. with her. Her style could make her very dangerous in these longer races. She won the race the other day with ease and she ran a decent number. That makes you think she can be competitive in the big races this summer.”

Those are big goals, but Motion believes Mean Mary has the talent to win Grade I races. Would that be the case if not for Main Sequence?

“It would have been tough to get through this if we didn’t have the environment we have at Fair Hill, where you can turn horses out,” he said. “If not, it’s possible I would have had to send her somewhere else. If we didn’t do what we did with her, it’s possible that we wouldn’t have been able to bring out the ability that she obviously has.”

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Thousand Words Toughs It Out in Bob Lewis

Sat, 2020-02-01 18:32

THOUSAND WORDS (c, 3, Pioneerof the Nile–Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy), at the top of the list on the TDN Top Kentucky Derby contenders, did nothing to tarnish his reputation with a tough 3/4-length defeat of Royal Act (American Pharoah) and stablemate High Velocity (Quality Road) in Saturday’s GIII Robert B. Lewis S. at Santa Anita. Exiting a neck victory in the GII Los Alamitos Futurity in which he contested the pace heads apart, the $1-million Keeneland September yearling was reined back off the speed and sat fourth turning up the backstretch as High Velocity cut out the running from Tizamagician (Tiznow). Edging a bit closer entering the final four furlongs, Thousand Words traveled sweetly on the bend and it was a matter of what path he’d take to the wire. Flavien Prat somewhat audaciously elected to knife through a narrow opening between High Velocity and Tizamagician three-sixteenths of a mile from home and managed to grind it out from there to give Bob Baffert his 3000th North American training victory. Royal Act was up late for second. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0. O-Albaugh Family Stable & Spendthrift Farm; B-Hardacre Farm (FL); T-Bob Baffert.

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Tiz The Law Back To His Best in Holy Bull

Sat, 2020-02-01 17:31

While it briefly looked like he was finding similar traffic trouble to what he faced when a disappointing third in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 30, last year’s leading juvenile colt Tiz the Law (Constitution) kicked off his sophomore season Saturday with an impressive tally in Gulfstream’s GIII Holy Bull S. Drifting up to 6-5 at the off as well-connected Toledo (Into Mischief) took late action, the blaze-faced bay broke like a shot but rider Manny Franco took a hard hold of him to concede the early advantage to Ete Indien (Summer Front). He found himself shuffled all the way back to fourth heading down the backside after getting squeezed out of a spot, and had to be guided into the clear and ridden along by Franco to find a more comfortable position. Ete Indien got the half in :46.60, and Tiz the Law was soon on him as they headed for home. Tiz the Law had about a half length on his pesky foe when he hit the quarter pole and, after crossing over on him once clear, pulled away to a three-length victory. There was a chasm of 11 lengths back to Toledo in third.

“He ran like I expected him,” Franco said. “He got out of there and I was able to decide where I wanted to be. For a second, I had to make the turn and I was back on the rail, but when I saw those guys putting pressure on I was able to drop back and get outside where I wanted to be. After that, he jumped in the bit and I was traveling like I wanted.”

Saturday, Gulfstream
HOLY BULL S.-GIII, $250,000, Gulfstream, 2-1, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.04, ft.
1–TIZ THE LAW, 124, c, 3, by Constitution
1st Dam: Tizfiz (GSW, $410,944), by Tiznow
2nd Dam: Gin Running, by Go for Gin
3rd Dam: Crafty and Evil, by Crafty Prospector
($110,000 Ylg ’18 SARAUG). O-Sackatoga Stable; B-Twin Creeks
Farm (NY); T-Barclay Tagg; J-Manuel Franco. $151,900.
Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-3-0-1, $498,900. *1/2 to Awestruck
(Tapit), MSP, $357,116. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ete Indien, 120, c, 3, Summer Front–East India, by Mizzen
Mast. ($85,000 RNA Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $80,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP;
€240,000 2yo ’19 ARQMA). O-Shanahan, Linda, Bacon,
Sanford, Dream With Me Stable, Inc., Horse France America, D
P Racing LLC and Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC; B-Robert B.
Tillyer & Eric Buckley (KY); T-Patrick L. Biancone. $49,000.
3–Toledo, 118, c, 3, Into Mischief–Endless Chat, by Bernardini.
O/B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $24,500.
Margins: 3, 11HF, 4 1/4. Odds: 1.30, 4.20, 1.80.
Also Ran: Relentless Dancer, Mayberry Deputy, Uncork the Bottle, Clear Destination. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The recipient of a strong 90 Beyer Speed Figure for a 4 1/4-length debut score against fellow New York-beds at Saratoga Aug. 8, Tiz the Law turned in another powerhouse performance when besting Saturday’s GIII Swale S. third Green Light Go (Hard Spun) in the GI Champagne S. going a one-turn mile at Belmont in October. His connections opted to skip a cross-country trip to Santa Anita for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and instead gave him a tour around Churchill Downs, but he could only manage third in the slop at 3-5 with some traffic trouble that many felt he should’ve overcome. Last month’s GIII Lecomte S. winner Enforceable (Tapit) finished one spot behind Tiz the Law in the KYJC.

“His race was perfect,” said trainer Barclay Tagg, who teamed up with owner Sackatoga Stables to take the 2003 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. winner another New York-bred in Funny Cide (Distorted Humor). “We told [Franco], ‘Stay off the rail no matter what you have to do. Lose the ground and go around them… It worked out perfectly.”
Tiz the Law could make his next start at Fair Grounds.

“We’ll try to stretch it out a little bit,” Tagg said. “They’re just young horses. We’ll probably go to Louisiana [for the Mar. 21 [GII] Louisiana Derby], but I’m not sure.”

Pedigree Notes:
Part of a huge first season with runners for his young sire Constitution, Tiz the Law’s dam took the 2009 GII San Gorgonio H. over nine grassy panels. Tizfiz’s full-brother Fury Kapcori was a Grade I-placed juvenile and annexed the GIII Precisionist S. as a 4-year-old on the Santa Anita main track. Tizfiz produced a Mission Impazible filly in 2018 and colt by the same New York-based sire in 2019. She was bred back to Constitution for 2020.

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