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Updated: 15 hours 52 min ago

Instagrand Retired to Taylor Made Stallions

Fri, 2020-09-11 12:31

Instagrand (Into Mischief–Assets of War, by Lawyer Ron), a TDN Rising Star and blowout winner of the GII Best Pal S. in 2018, has been retired to Taylor Made Stallions for the 2021 breeding season. He will stand for a fee of $7,500.

Instagrand earned his ‘Rising Star’ after graduating by 10 lengths at first asking at Los Alamitos, covering five furlongs in a swift :56 flat, before validating that performance with a 10 1/4-length romp in the Best Pal. At three, he finished third off a seven-month absence in the one-mile GIII Gotham S. at Aqueduct before filling the same spot when trying two turns for the first time in the GI Santa Anita Derby.

Bred in Kentucky by Stoneway Farm, Instagrand was purchased for $190,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton July Sale and was knocked down to Larry Best’s OXO Equine for joint sales-topping $1.2 million after breezing :10 flat at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale.

Instagrand is out of a winning daughter of GSW Added Asset (Lord At War {Arg}), a half-sister to Grade II winner Added Gold (Gilded Time) and from the family of GI Spinaway S. victress Irish Smoke (Smoke Glacken). Like Into Mischief’s dual champion Covfefe, Instagrand–one of 78 black-type winners and 32 graded winners for his enormously successful sire–carries Danzig on the bottom side of his pedigree.

Instagrand is currently available for inspection at Taylor Made.

The post Instagrand Retired to Taylor Made Stallions appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Ollie’s Candy to be Offered at Keeneland November

Fri, 2020-09-11 10:38

Paul and Karen Eggert’s versatile Grade I winner Ollie’s Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}) will be offered for sale during Book 1 of the Keeneland November sale on Nov. 9–two days after she competes in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

“Ollie’s Candy’s Grade I talent combined with her pedigree and conformation make her a tremendous prospect to offer this November,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales, which will consign the 5-year-old. “I also love the fact that she is an open book to breed to many of the top stallions from around the globe.”

Two-for-two on synthetic to kick off her career, the homebred annexed the GII Summertime Oaks as a sophomore on the dirt and was a narrow second in the GI American Oaks on turf. She got her Grade I last year in Del Mar’s Clement L. Hirsch S. on the main track, and has been on the board despite tough trips in all four of her tries this term–all at the highest level–including a second in defense of her Hirsch title last time Aug. 2.

The John Sadler pupil is scheduled to prep for the Breeders’ Cup in the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. at Keeneland Oct. 4. She currently has earnings in excess of $830,000 and has been on thee board in 12 of 14 career starts. Ollie’s Candy is out of the Grade III winner Afternoon Stroll (Stroll).

“Ollie’s Candy exemplifies the finest in Thoroughbred racing and has a global appeal that makes her an invaluable addition to any broodmare band,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “Keeneland is pleased to offer a broodmare prospect of her class, talent and promise.”

The post Ollie’s Candy to be Offered at Keeneland November appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Derby Scratch Finnick the Fierce Diagnosed With Leg Strain

Fri, 2020-09-11 09:21

Arnaldo Monge and Rey Hernandez’s Finnick the Fierce (Dialed In), a Friday scratch from last Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby after appearing off during morning training, has been diagnosed with a minor strain of his upper suspensory ligament. The injury is not career-ending, and the one-eyed gelding must rest for 30 days before resuming training.

“We sent Finnick to Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle and he found him to have a slightly enlarged proximal suspensory ligament with no fiber disruption. In layman’s terms, it’s a strain, not a tear, and his prognosis is good for a full recovery,” said Dr. Arnaldo Monge, DVM, who co-owns Finnick the Fierce with his   trainer Hernandez.

Third in a division of the GI Arkansas Derby in May, Finnick the Fierce most recently finished seventh in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. in July. His connections hope a return to full training in October will allow him to make a start in November or December.

“Racing-fit horses don’t lose much condition in 30 days, so we’re hopeful he can make a start sometime in November or December,” said Monge. “That being said, it’s not about a particular race or schedule–it’s about the horse. The horse always comes first. That’s why, as disappointing as it was to let go of that once-in-a-lifetime dream to run in the Derby, it was an easy decision, because it was about the horse and what’s best for him.”

The post Derby Scratch Finnick the Fierce Diagnosed With Leg Strain appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Market Momentum Builds with First Ky Yearling Sale in the Books

Thu, 2020-09-10 20:43

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY–Fasig-Tipton’s two-day Selected Yearlings Showcase concluded Thursday with solid enough trade–especially on flashier offerings–given the global uncertainty leading up to the first major yearling sale in the year of COVID-19.

The auction, necessitated by the cancellation of the July, Saratoga and New York-bred sales, featured 348 transactions for gross receipts of $61,765,000 at an average of $177,486 and median of $120,000. The buy-back rate was 33.7%.

The sale topper came on Wednesday when Robbie Medina, bidding on behalf of Joe Allen, went to $1.5 million to acquire a regally bred Quality Road filly (hip 232) from the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consignment.

“I would like to thank the 662 people who own horses and entrusted them with us in a sale that had never been done before. That is one of the greatest compliments you could ever expect, when they entrust something of value to you,” said Fasig-Tipton president and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “We demonstrated viability in the marketplace. It is not easy. We all know nothing is easy right now. It’s selective. You’ve heard me say a thousand times over the last 30 years it is selective. But, there is viability and there is hope. I have to take my hat off to my team. If anyone could have imagined six months ago, no Gulfstream Sale, no July Yearling Sale, no Saratoga Sale, no New York-bred Sale and we would be sitting here tonight having sold $60 million worth of horses over the last two days, I would have called BS on it. There were a lot of days people would say, ‘What are we going to do?’ I’d say, ‘Hell, I don’t know.’ We tried to do the right thing every day and we make a decision, we put our heart and soul into it and try to do the best we can.”

Browning, never one to hide his emotions, continued, “This spring, we lost a valuable member of our team, Dennis Lynch. Take COVID, sales cancellations and losing one of your key people, key friends in one year. I am pretty confident Dennis is up there right now mixing a couple of stiff drinks, one for him and one for Billy [Graves]. Dennis said, ‘Hey Billy, our people did a pretty good job.’ And Billy looked at him and said, ‘Yeah, but we taught them everything we knew. They had to do a pretty good job.’ And that is the truth. It is a cumulative effect of people that are here today and people that are no longer with us. We have a great team and their commitment to this industry is remarkable. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the buyers. No one knows what is going to happen tomorrow or a month from now or next year, but people came and supported the industry and bid enthusiastically. They participated in an uncertain time and helped move everybody forward. The resiliency in our industry has been on display again in the past few days. It says something about how special our game is. It has been a very gratifying experience. It’s been a challenge. You think of all the obstacles everybody has had to overcome.”

Wednesday’s session kicked off with a section of New York-breds, but Thursday’s session was all open horses, yielding somewhat higher numbers. The session two average was $196,585 and median was $150,000 on $34,599,000 in gross receipts from 176 sold. The RNA rate was 33.1%.

Thursday’s topper was a $1.25-million American Pharoah colt (hip 400) consigned by Denali Stud on behalf of Bayne and Christina Welker and purchased by Speedway Stables.

A Curlin half-sister to GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner and GI Kentucky Derby fourth Honor A. P. (Honor Code) RNA’d for $1.4 million.

With travel restrictions in place, foreign buyers were notably absent from the results sheets on both days.

“There was an overwhelming amount of horses bought by domestic buyers,” Browning said. “There was an effort made by Fasig, Keeneland, the Breeders’ Cup and the NTRA and Senator McConnell’s office to grant some waivers and we were able to do that. Once we got those waivers in place, there was a quarantine requirement in virtually all of Europe and Japan. It is unrealistic to expect broad participation internationally this year.”

Yearling sales season continues with the two-week Keeneland September sale starting Sunday. Fasig-Tipton will hold the Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale in Maryland Oct. 5 and 6, and action will return to its Newtown Paddocks in Lexington Oct. 26 and 29.

Watch our video with Browning below.

Speedway Stable Fends Off Coolmore for ‘Pharoah’ Colt

A son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was the first to set off fireworks at Fasig-Tipton Thursday, igniting a spirited round of bidding between a trio of powerhouse connections in Donato Lanni, Coolmore and Marette Farrell, acting on behalf of Speedway Stables. Lanni was the first to throw in the towel, leaving Coolmore and Farrell to duke it out and it was Farrell left to sign the winning $1.25-million ticket on behalf of Speedway’s K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor.

“K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor are two of the best owners a person could possibly have,” said Farrell, who was shocked to find out she had outbid the Coolmore team. “They are game. They are very successful in their own business world and they apply all of those principles to our little horse world. They have done very well so far. They love being part of the game. They love working with Bob Baffert.”

Consigned by Denali Stud, Hip 400 was bred by Fasig’s Bayne and Christina Welker, who purchased the MSW mare Swingit (Victory Gallop) for $50,000 in foal to Bodemeister at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. Already the dam of MGISP millionaire Neolithic (Harlan’s Holiday) at that time, her second foal for the Welkers was new ‘TDN Rising Star’ Travel Column (Frosted), who was purchased by Larry Best for $850,000 at last term’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.

“We just thought he was an absolutely stunning horse,” Farrell said. “We were the underbidder on his half-sister last year, who was the ‘TDN Rising Star.’ We had seen this horse on the farm and knew how much his connections thought of him and Bob Baffert, who is going to train him, loved him. I was on the phone with K.C. Weiner, who coached me through this. We are thrilled to get him. We think he is a really special horse and it looks like the mare has already produced a couple of very good horses. He fits what Speedway wants and what Bob Baffert is looking for.”

Baffert and Speedway have enjoyed a successful partnership over the years, campaigning the likes of Grade I winners Collected (City Zip), Roadster (Quality Road) and Noted and Quoted (The Factor). —@CDeBernardisTDN

Watch our interview with Marette Farrell below.

Welkers Strike Again

When Bayne and Chris Welker sold a filly by Frosted for a personal high at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, Chris admitted she had one thought in mind.

“When the filly sold for $850,000 last year, all I thought to myself was, ‘What is the colt going to be worth?’ I tried to keep it in check for a year plus a month because that always creeps into your head.”

By American Pharoah, the colt proved worth the wait when selling for $1.25 million to bloodstock agent Marette Farrell bidding on behalf of Speedway Stables Thursday at Fasig-Tipton.

The yearling is out of Swingit (Victory Gallop), a 16-year-old mare Welker purchased for $50,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. It was just months later that the mare’s son Neolithic finished third in both the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational and G1 Dubai World Cup. He ended that season with another third-place effort in the GI Woodward S.

“I just wanted something that I could sell out of and then Neolithic came along almost immediately,” Welker said of her purchase in 2016. “So that was just a lot of luck with the mare. She had kind of a spotty produce record, so that kept her in my price range.”

Swingit was in foal to Bodemeister when Welker purchased her. That colt sold for $310,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. But it was the following year at Saratoga that Welker had her best sales result–until Thursday–when Larry Best purchased the daughter of Frosted. Now named Travel Column, the filly timed her racetrack debut perfectly ahead of the Fasig Showcase, coasting to a ‘TDN Rising Star’-earning performance at Churchill Downs on Oaks day last week.

“She was awesome,” Welker said of the filly. “But completely different from him. She was very tough, like you want a filly, and this colt was easy from day one. Easy and classy from day one. She was classy, she was just tough. The difference in a good colt and a good filly, exactly what you want to see.”

The American Pharoah colt had originally been targeted to sell at the canceled Saratoga sale, but the extra time may have helped the yearling.

“It was pretty stressful,” Welker admitted. “He was originally going to go to Saratoga, but the extra time was actually good for him. He is a May foal and he was really immature for a long time. We had to let him mature himself. There is nothing you can do to make him look good against January foals except time. So really the COVID [pandemic] might have been a help to give him that extra month.”

Swingit produced a colt by City of Light this year, but is not in foal this year.

“She is barren this year,” Welker said. “She had a mid-May City of Light who is unbelievable, like she always does. She was barren to Audible. But that’s ok, because we had one shot and we had to short cycle her. It wasn’t the best. It’s all fine though, we’ll just regroup a little and get her in foal early. But she is some mare.”

Asked who the mare might be bred to next year, Welker said, “Don’t know. It doesn’t matter who you breed her to. She is going to have a good foal.” @JessMartiniTDN

SF, Starlight & Madaket Get Into More Mischief

Into Mischief has been very good to SF, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, providing them with last weekend’s GI Kentucky Derby hero Authentic. The team’s bloodstock agent, Donato Lanni, was back in action for another son of that red hot Spendthrift stallion Thursday, going to $800,000 for Hip 501.

“There are some new partners in this deal this year,” said Lanni. “SF, Sol Kumin and Starlight are all great guys. This year we spent a month looking at horses at the farms, myself, Tom Ryan and Caroline [Walsh]. He was a horse we saw at Indian Creek and we quite liked him. He is a very athletic horse. He looked like Practical Joke (Into Mischief), an early, fast horse. Those are the kinds of horses we try to buy.”

As for his thoughts on Into Mischief, Lanni said, “I am happy he got a Classic winner this year and I am happy for B. Wayne Hughes and his team. He is finally a Classic producer and B. Wayne deserved that. He has done so much for the business.”

Mike Ryan purchased Hip 501’s dam Blind Copy (Distorted Humor) for Bob Edwards of e Five Racing and Fifth Avenue Bloodstock for $180,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. This colt was her first foal and she was subsequently sold to Fred Hertrich for $105,000 in foal to More Than Ready at last term’s Keeneland November Sale. A daughter of SW & GSP Lucky Copy (Unbridled’s Song), Blind Copy is a full-sister to SW Lucky Folie.

“He is a horse that we have always been really, really high on,” said consignor Indian Creek’s Sarah Sutherland. “We had hoped to go to Saratoga with him, but obviously that didn’t pan out. So, Mr. Edwards said to bring him to this sale and give it a shot, try to support Fasig. It worked out beautifully. He is going to a great home.”

The horsewoman continued, “He has a great mind. He showed himself the same every single time someone came to look at him. I think that is one of his biggest assets. For a big horse, he is very light on his feet and covers a huge amount of ground. He is bred on the same cross as Practical Joke, so we hope he can run like him.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Watch our video with Sarah Sutherland below.

‘Avengers’ Strike For More Into Mischiefs

On Wednesday it was Spendthrift Farm and MyRacehorse–later additions to the ownership group of Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (Into Mischief)–who took home a pricey Into Mischief colt, and on Thursday it was Authentic’s original owners’ turn to grab two sons of the Spendthrift Farm stalwart. Acting on behalf of the powerful partnership of SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, et al–nicknamed “The Avengers” by their trainer Bob Baffert–agent Donato Lanni went to $560,000 to secure hip 433. The son of SW/MGSP Twice the Lady (Quiet American) and half to August maiden special weight-winning 2-year-old Run Casper Run (Ghostzapper) was consigned by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Agent XIII on behalf of WinStar Farm.

“He’s an Into Mischief–we got lucky with him last weekend,” Lanni stated plainly. “He’s got everything we’re looking for. We’re happy with the price and happy that we’re here shopping.”

Lanni later landed another son of Into Mischief, hip 501, for $800,000.

When asked to describe him physically, Baffert’s go-to agent said, “This horse is going to change so much from now to next year when we go to the races with him. Hopefully, he stays the way we want him to stay… He’s just got to put the tack on now.”

WinStar general manager David Hanley offered: “He’s a really nice horse, bred to go two turns. He’s got plenty size, and plenty of Into Mischief kind of muscle tone–strength. He’s a very nice horse. We’re happy with the price.”

WinStar paid $350,000 for Twice the Lady at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

While the Avengers were quiet during the first session, they sprung into action on Thursday, acquiring seven colts for a combined $2,820,000, including five youngsters in the span of some 20 hips.

In addition to hips 433 and 501, the stallion-making group also bought:

Hip 342, a $180,000 son of Union Rags out of a half-sister to MGISW Paradise Woods (Union Rags) from Vinery Sales, agent for Spendthrift Farm

Hip 439, by Twirling Candy and bred and consigned by KatieRich Farms. The May 19 foal cost $150,000 and is a grandson of GSP Daisyago (Affirmed), who produced GSP Victory Nor Defeat (Unbridled’s Song)

Hip 445, a $420,000 Uncle Mo out of GSW Walk Close (Tapit), making him a half to last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d’Or (Medaglia d’Oro). He was consigned by James M. Herbener, Agent II.

Hip 447, a Maclean’s Music from the family of Starlight’s GII Fountain of Youth S. hero Itsaknockout (Lemon Drop Kid). The Denali Stud consignee cost $400,000.

Hip 450, a $300,000 New York-bred son of More Than Ready sold by Indian Creek.

Hip 531, a $470,000 Sam-Son Farm-bred and consigned son of Empire Maker out of MSW Checkered Past (Smart Strike) from a potent family. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Violence Colt to Allen

Robbie Medina continued adding yearlings to Joe Allen’s racing stable when he signed the ticket at $550,000 to acquire a colt by Violence (hip 480) from the Gainesway consignment Thursday at Fasig-Tipton. The chestnut colt is out of Antics (Unbridled) and is a half-brother to sprint champion Covfefe (Into Mischief).

“He’s a beautiful colt and half-brother to a champion,” Medina said of the yearling’s appeal. “Helen Alexander bred him and she breeds a great horse. He’s everything you would want in a new horse.”

Medina, longtime assistant to trainer Shug McGaughey and now general manager at Guinness McFadden’s Blackwood Stables, made the Showcase’s highest bid when going to $1.5 million to acquire a colt by Quality Road for Allen during Wednesday’s first session of the two-day auction.

“Reeve McGaughey and I are helping look for Joe here,” Medina said. “Reeve is Shug’s daughter and I worked for Shug for 25 years, so it’s pretty easy to deal with. I love looking at horses and bidding on them. The colt will go to Blackwood until the first of December and then to Florida.”

Also Thursday, Medina signed for a filly by Speightstown (hip 448) for $450,000.

In addition to Allen, Medina has also been buying for Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm.

“I have bought a couple for Coach Parcells,” he said. “I’ve bought horses for Coach the last couple of years.”

Alexander said she was happy with Thursday’s sale, especially in light of the uncertain market conditions.

“It’s hard to have outsized expectations right now in this kind of marketplace,” Alexander said. “Without having a lot of the principals here who can sometimes egg on their agents, there is less momentum. The nice horses are selling well, though. That’s always the case.”

Covfefe was purchased by LNJ Foxwoods for $250,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. The filly won last year’s GI Test S. and GI Breeders’ Cup F/M Sprint and was named Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly and female sprinter.

The 22-year-old Antics has a 2-year-old filly named Caper (Nyquist) which has been retained by Alexander and has been working at Saratoga. The Violence yearling may be the mare’s final foal.

“Of course there is sentiment involved in selling,” Alexander said. “Right now, he is her last foal. She has missed the last couple of years and she is kind of at an age that I am considering retiring her. But I have a really nice 2-year-old filly out of her by Nyquist that is in training and getting close to running. I am excited about her. If this [yearling] was a filly, she would not have been here. I can guarantee you that.” @JessMartiniTDN

Partners Regroup with Gun Runner Filly

Trainer Jeremiah Englehart, bidding on behalf of a partnership headed by Richard Nicolai’s Fortune Farm and It’s All About the Girls Stable, went to $500,000 to acquire a filly from the first crop of champion Gun Runner (hip 570) Thursday in Lexington. Consigned by Gainesway, the filly is out of graded placed Divine Dawn (Divine Park), a full-sister to graded winner Divine Miss Grey. The yearling was bred by Oussama Aboughazale’s International Equities Holdings, which purchased the mare in foal to Nyquist for $285,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

“The first time that Travis [Durr] and I saw her, she just gave us the impression that she was a nice filly,” Englehart said. “She was later in the sale, so we had some other horses that we were looking at. But it worked out that we were able to buy her. I was a little nervous that she might go a little higher. We’re really excited to get a group of people together, Fortune Farm, It’s all About the Girls, Bob Hahn and Eric Johnson and other partners that were involved in a real special filly before and it’s kind of cool to be able to keep them together and have something to look forward to next year.”

In addition to hip 570, Gun Runner was also represented by a colt (hip 430) who sold for $420,000 to Centennial Farms, as well as a $400,000 colt (hip 486) sold to Joe Hardoon, agent, and a $400,000 colt (hip 366) purchased by Maverick Racing. During the two-day showcase, seven yearlings by Gun Runners sold for an average of $331,429.

“I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far from Gun Runner,” Englehart said. “He was one of my favorite racehorses, just watching him. I liked how he developed from early on his career to later on, he ended up being much better as a 4 and 5-year-old then he was as a 3-year-old. I’d like to see my horses develop like that, too. They don’t have to all be first-time out winners. It’s nice to see them develop over a whole career.”

Several of the partners on the Gun Runner filly were also owners in the filly Samborella (Outwork), who looked to be sailing to an easy victory in the Seeking the Ante S. at Saratoga last week only to take some bad steps as she crossed the wire. The filly had to be euthanized later that afternoon.

“It’s pretty much the same group,” Englehart said of the partnership group. “It’s the ultimate highs and lows in the game in a minute and 15 seconds. You go from thinking you have a really nice filly to having her take a bad step. But there are other horses in the barn that are counting on us every day. So we just have to get up the next day and get back at it.” @JessMartiniTDN

Ruis Buys Out Black on Kingman Filly

Mick Ruis partnered up with Christian Black on a mare named Amber Romance (Ire) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}), who Black picked out at Tattersalls March for 200,000 guineas with a Kingman (GB) filly in utero. Ruis liked the resulting filly so much, he decided he had to have her and bought out his partner for $500,000 Thursday.

“I was in partnership with Christian Black,” Ruis explained, adding that the filly would likely be sent to his daughter Shelbe Ruis in California. “He bought the mare when he went to Europe. I just bought out the partnership and will race her. She is beautiful. We have a Hard Spun weanling also. It is pretty rare that we are able to get this family in the first place.”

Amber Romance is a half-sister to Group 1 winners Free Eagle (High Chaparral {Ire}) and Search for a Song (Galileo {Ire}); and MGSWs Custom Cut (Notnowcato) and Sapphire (Medicean).

Hip 473, who is a Pennsylvania-bred, was consigned by Mike Recio’s South Point Sales Agency. Recio and Black teamed up Wednesday to sell a $510,000 son of Nyquist (Hip 297) bred by Black’s Blackstone Farm.

“We went to Tatts in December,” Recio said. “It was our first venture over there and it was more of a fact-finding mission. But, Christian found two very nice mares and I ended up buying a race filly who has done okay for Richard Baltas.”

He continued, “We hadn’t had a great day of finding things, but then we turned the corner and saw this mare with a great pedigree and so much class. Her feet weren’t great, but we figured we could take care of them and manage her. She came over here and had a fantastic filly. Mick supported her with Bolt d’Oro. It is a fantastic family and is getting better and better. It was a really good opportunity all the way around.”


Albaughs, West Point Team Up to Take Home ‘Giant’ Colt

Albaugh Family Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds joined forces Thursday to land a Giant’s Causeway colt to be trained by Dale Romans. The $500,000 purchase was consigned by Wynnstay Sales, Agent I as hip 618. He is a half to hard-knocking MGSW and GISP Isotherm (Lonhro {Aus}) and GISP Gio Game (Gio Ponti).

“We partnered with them for the first time two years ago–they’re great partners, and they’re really a pleasure to work with. And they’re lucky!” said West Point’s Terry Finley, who stood along Albaugh bloodstock advisor Barry Berkelhammer during the bidding process.

Finley noted Dennis Albaugh and Jason Loutsch’s past success with sons of Giant’s Causeway, including GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up and freshman sire sensation Not This Time and MGISW Brody’s Cause, who sired Saturday’s GIII Iroquois S. winner Sittin on Go. Sittin on Go is campaigned by the Albaughs and Romans and was bred by Wynnstay.

“Interestingly, when I first started out, I remember Mariah’s Storm as she walked up to the ring to be sold [for $2.6 million at the 1996 Keeneland November sale] and Giant’s Causeway was in her belly,” Finley recalled. “That’s a lot of years between those two.”

As for hip 618’s appeal, Finley said, “He’s just the kind of horse that Dale has done well with. The Albaughs are obviously trying to get to the Derby. They had some tough luck this year, but I love to be around guys and partners who can put a bad situation in the past and can look forward. They’ve got some great young horses–they won the two [graded juvenile] stakes on Derby week… This is exactly the kind of horse that we try not to buy ourselves and instead try to partner up with people. We’re just glad they gave us a shot to participate.”

Team Albaugh also annexed the GIII Pocahontas S. last Thursday with ‘TDN Rising Star’ Girl Daddy (Uncle Mo). West Point made six additional purchases by itself for $647,000 total.

“I thought the New York-breds were solid–obviously, I don’t think the sellers were that happy, but overall I thought people got square deals,” Finley said of trade overall. “There’s still plenty of money–the world’s not in a depression. The equity markets are still very strong. So, I would surmise that Keeneland’s going to be tough to buy. You just have to be disciplined and do your homework just like everybody, and try to pick the best spots possible.”

Hip 618 was bred by Allen Poindexter, who paid just $8,000 for MSP dam Game for More (More Than Ready) in foal to Bwana Charlie at the Fasig-Tipton Heiligbrodt Dispersal back in 2011.

“This was [Wynnstay’s] Tim Hamlin’s cross–he had thought that this mare and Giant’s Causeway would get the kind of baby who we got,” Poindexter said. “So, I give all the credit to him for doing the mating. We got the physical we wanted.”

As a seller, Poindexter was slightly less bullish on the market: “I think you have to have good horses–it’s still a tough market. Hopefully it’ll improve as we get through with COVID. I think these horses are still bringing 25%-35% less than what they would’ve gotten [normally], but we’re still grateful for what we got given what the country’s going through right now.”


Courtlandt Back in Action

Don Adam’s Courtlandt Farm is perennially active at the top end of the yearling market, and it took home four head this week at Fasig, including a $500,000 Nyquist filly (hip 487) from the Warrendale Sales consignment; and a Medaglia d’Oro filly (hip 560) for the same price out of the Gainesway draft.

“We were thankful to have Mike Cline and David Ingordo do some looking before we arrived, so it kind of made my job a little easier,” said Courtlandt farm manager Ernie Retamoza after bidding alongside retiring Lane’s End manager Cline on hip 487. “We just had to go through some of the better ones and decide the value. I think these are all horses that Mr. Adam is going to love to put in his race program and hopefully be successful with.”

Hip 487 is a half to this year’s GIII Iowa Oaks runner-up Aurelia Garland (Constitution) as well as talented 2015 OBS March topper Diamondsandpearls (Constitution). Her second dam is

GII Alcibiades S. winner Westerly Breeze (Gone West).

Darley resident Nyquist led all first-crop sires last year with a yearling average of $236,318, and those who bought in early have been rewarded–his runners ran one-three in Sunday’s

GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga, one day before a son of his won well in a Spa maiden special weight. Another son of Nyquist annexed Woodbine’s Soaring Free S. a few weeks ago.

“For a first-year sire like that who has done what he’s done over the summer, it sure makes you pay attention to a filly like this,” Retamoza said. “We just loved her–she was a great physical; met all the criteria, so we were happy to have her.”

The Medaglia d’Oro filly is out of a Bernardini half-sister to GISW Heavenly Love (Malibu Moon) and GSW Forever Darling (Congrats).

Courtlandt also bought a $280,000 Distorted Humor colt (hip 264) on Wednesday and a $190,000 Twirling Candy filly (hip 348) early in the day Thursday.

“I think it’s solid,” Retamoza said of the market. “Average horses are not doing well here, but the right horses are selling the way they should. We’ve had to stretch a couple of times for horses we’ve bought. It’s not unexpected, and I think it’s good for everyone.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

McCormack Gets His ‘Share’ Early Thursday

Agent John McCormack appeared equal parts elated and surprised after landing the well-related hip 350 early Thursday for $400,000. From the first crop of brilliant and undefeated Mastery (Candy Ride {Arg}), the Sam-Son Farm-bred and consigned filly is out of 2010 GI Breeders’ Cup F/M Turf upsetter Shared Account (Pleasantly Perfect), making her a half to last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner andTDN Rising StarSharing (Speightstown), whose exploits this term include a second-place finish in Royal Ascot’s G1 Coronation S. and a clear-cut success in last week’s GII Edgewood S. at Churchill Downs.

“I loved her and I’m very surprised I bought her,” said McCormack, noting that the purchase was made on behalf of an existing client and that she would remain Stateside, at least for the moment. “I thought she was an absolute standout here. I loved the class of her; I loved the shape of her; I loved the big ears on her. She was just so elegant. We don’t know what Mastery can do–that’s the unknown–but the mare has done it, [given that hip 350] is out of a Breeders’ Cup winner and a half to a Breeders’ Cup winner. But, she has the physical. For me, I loved everything about her.”

Hip 350 is also a half to stakes winner Riley’s Choice (Distorted Humor). Her dam is a half to GSW Colonial Flag (Pleasant Tap) and hails from a deep family jam-packed with graded performers. The Samuel family’s legendary Sam-Son Farm purchased Shared Account for $550,000 while she was carrying hip 350 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

“I just loved her class, and Sam-Son Farm–there’s nothing they don’t know about the horse business,” McCormack said. “They’re great breeders up in Canada, and everywhere. It’s lovely to buy from Sam-Son.”

While Wednesday’s first yearling session of the season started off a bit slowly, it picked up steam as the higher-dollar horses began to sell and McCormack said he expected that momentum to continue into Keeneland September.

“It started off a bit slow with the New York-breds and people were sort of on their back haunches a little bit,” he said of Wednesday’s trade. “But it picked up as the day went on, and I think nice horses are starting to show themselves and with better pedigrees. The money’s coming for them. Put it this way, I’m glad I bought her today, rather than waiting for Keeneland, because I think that momentum is going to continue as we move forward. But she was a filly who fit everywhere. I can’t believe I bought her, because I just loved her.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Lord Nelson Proves Worth the Wait

Three-time Grade I winner Lord Nelson (Pulpit) has been a bit of a passion project for the team at Spendthrift. He developed laminitis shortly after retiring to B. Wayne Hughes’ stallion barn, forcing him to miss his first breeding season. The chestnut fought his way back and was represented by his first yearlings at Fasig Thursday, topped by a $325,000 colt.

“Lord Nelson has been a special project from day one having developed laminitis right after his racing career,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said. “At one point, it was touch and go on whether or not he was going to make it. We had to skip his first breeding season all together. The horse is so tough, so smart and such a kind horse. He is a big part of why he was able to even make it. He is such a good-looking horse and so talented.”

Consigned by Four Star Sales on behalf of Spendthrift Farm, Hip 624 was purchased by John Fort, who also bought Lord Nelson as a yearling at the 2013 Keeneland September Sale. Spendthrift privately purchased Lord Nelson at the conclusion of his sophomore season and he won all four of his starts carrying the operations purple-and-orange silks, including his trio of Grade I sprint victories.

Spendthrift purchased Hip 624’s GSP dam Goldrush Girl (Political Force) for $210,000 in foal to More Than Ready at the 2015 Keeneland November Sale. She hails from the family of Grade I winners Daredevil and Albertus Maximus.

“What we are seeing at this sale is what we thought we had all along, so it is nice to see him getting to this point,” said Toffey. “We bred some very nice mares of our own to him and have been very happy with how they have been received, how they sold and who bought them. They are getting into the right hands and we are really happy about it.”

A total of 11 yearlings by Lord Nelson changed hands during the two-day Fasig-Tipton sale for a total of $1.475 million and an average of $134,091.

Spendthrift’s flagship stallion Into Mischief has been having a sensational sale, fresh off his first Classic victory with Authentic in last weekend’s GI Kentucky Derby. Seventeen of his offspring sold for $6.745 million throughout the two sessions, averaging $396,765.

“Into Mischief is just such an amazing horse,” said Toffey. “He is so consistent. He just does everything right. He gets really commercial, good-looking horses. He gets really talented horses and now he has shown that he can get a sprinter as well as a stayer. That was sort of the last box he had to tick off. Goldencents has done so well. He has demonstrated that he can be a sire of sires as well as a Classic sire. I don’t think there is anything else you can ask a stallion to do.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Krikorian Takes Curlin Filly Home

Late in Thursday’s second session of the Fasig-Tipton Showcase, it looked like the auction might have its third seven-figure yearling, but hip 648, a Curlin half-sister to GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A. P. (Honor Code), was led out unsold at $1.4 million. Breeder George Krikorian watched the bidding from inside a nearly empty pavilion, even taking a video of the yearling in the sales ring.

“She was close to selling, but we were hoping to get a little bit more for her,” Krikorian said. “She is such a special horse and she’s so well-bred. With a racing career and a few foals, she will easily exceed what we were willing to sell her for here today.”

Krikorian purchased Hollywood Story (Wild Rush) for $130,000 as a yearling at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton July sale and she went on to win the 2003 GI Hollywood Starlet and 2006 GI Vanity International S. in his colors.

As a broodmare, Hollywood Story has produced a $1.35-million Keeneland September yearling, as well as foals who sold as yearlings for $650,000, $550,000, and $875,000.

CRK Stable purchased Honor A.P. for $850,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. In addition to the Santa Anita Derby, the sophomore was second in the GII San Felipe S. and Shared Belief S. and was fourth in last week’s GI Kentucky Derby.

Hollywood Story was also represented on the racetrack by multiple graded stakes placed Hollywood Star (Malibu Moon).

The 19-year-old mare produced a filly by Tapit this year and was bred back to Triple Crown winner Justify.

“I’m very happy to take her home,” Krikorian said of the yearling. “We haven’t thought about a plan for her yet, but we’ll just move forward with her career. And we’ll look forward to racing her. We hope she stays healthy.” @JessMartiniTDN

Lanni Eyes Classic Double in Queen’s Plate

Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, part of the team which picked Authentic (Into Mischief) out at the 2018 Keeneland September sale, stood in the winner’s circle when that colt won the GI Kentucky Derby last week. But the Montreal native could win a more personally meaningful Classic when Clayton (Bodemeister) lines up for the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Saturday. While he helped purchase Authentic for the partnership of SF Bloodstock and Starlight West, Clayton was a horse the agent purchased in his own name for $50,000 at the same sale.

“He looked like a cool horse,” Lanni said of Clayton while taking a quick break from another buying spree for SF, Starlight and Madaket Racing, at the Fasig Showcase Thursday. “I was looking for a Canadian-bred to take up there and have some fun with my friends and family. I have a lot of family and friends up there and it was something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Clayton started showing promise early in his training with Barry Eisaman in Ocala and opened his career with a 7 1/2-length debut win at Woodbine last November. He earned a spot in the Queen’s Plate with a half-length tally in the Aug. 15 Plate Trial S.

“We took our time with him and then when he won first time out back in October, we knew he was a runner,” Lanni said. “I ended up turning some money down for the horse because he’s a horse I share with my family and friends. [Trainer] Kevin Attard has done a great job with him-he’s one of the most underrated trainers in North America.”

Among the partners on Clayton are eight friends from Lanni’s school days in Montreal, all first-time owners, and his father Giuseppe, who owned harness horses when Lanni was growing up and helped nurture his son’s love of the sport.

Lanni purchased Clayton with the hope of spending days at the races with friends and family, but those plans have been squashed by the pandemic. While Lanni will be home in Kentucky for the Queen’s Plate, his colt’s co-owners will be at the track for what will be an emotional day as the elder Lanni battles health issues.

“I’m so happy I get to share this with him and it’s nice that he gets to go,” Lanni said of his father. “He got me involved in racing. I gave him a piece of the horse, so he gets to feel like it’s his horse, too. It is helping him keep going. Horses do that for people.”

Lanni continued, “Being Canadian, the Queen’s Plate is so special. It’s such an historic race. I never thought I’d be in a position to have a horse like this.”

Lanni worked at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms for over two decades and one of the horses Clayton will face in the Queen’s Plate is Curlin’s Voyage (Curlin), a filly co-owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale.

“He is going to run against one of my good friends, John Sikura, who I worked for for 20 some years and it’s ironic we both have horses running in the Queen’s Plate,” Lanni said. “I will be the first guy to congratulate him if he wins and I’m sure he’ll be the first guy to congratulate me. We both wish each other the best of luck.”

Of a possible Classic double, Lanni said, “I don’t think about it. It’s just part of the job. We try to find them and then the chips fall where they fall. You’ve got to get lucky. If you look what happened in the Derby, how many scratched, you just don’t know what’s going to happen until they put them in the gate. You just have to consider yourself very lucky, very fortunate and very blessed to be there.” @JessMartiniTDN

What They’re Saying

“It is hit or miss. I think Fasig did a great job with the catalogue and picking out physicals. They always do. The New York-breds were tough. There is nothing like Saratoga. That was a little rough. I did get all three [New York-breds sold], but I think I would have gotten two to three times more up there under the lights. It is kind of hard to compare a Freud with a Kingman in the same shedrow or the [$510,000] Nyquist colt with a very good Mucho Macho Man New York-bred. I don’t know what the right venue would have been or if maybe they should have mixed them in the catalogue or put them at the back to let the sale get some momentum. The sale got strong yesterday and was pretty good today for the right ones. It is a mix of July, Saratoga and New York-breds, so it is pretty hard to gauge. The top end is going to be electric and I think as you get later in the sale, you have to have a good physical and vet or you are going to struggle a little bit.” –Mike Recio, South Point Sales

“I think the perceived good horses are making a ton of money, the same as normal. But, I think, as time goes on, there is going to be a point where it falls off the cliff, sadly. The good ones each day will sell well, but the under-the-radar horses may not have the people they hope for, so that is where I’m going to be.”

Agent Marette Farrell

“The horses that we like have sold well. It seems like the higher-end market is still there, but you can definitely tell people are being a little cautious because 2020 has just been a very strange year. There is a lot of uncertainty still and we don’t know how it will be next year. But it gives you a little hope that the sales are still looking pretty strong.” –Trainer Jeremiah Englehart

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AZ Breeders: ‘No Future’ Without Commission Help to Kickstart Live Racing

Thu, 2020-09-10 17:45

Thursday’s Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) meeting opened with the chairman Rory Goree asking stakeholders to “refrain from discussing anything” related to a controversial appeal over who controls purse account money that is scheduled for the October meeting. And it ended with Turf Paradise owner Jerry Simms apologizing for the frustration the state’s Thoroughbred community feels over his decision not to incur liability by running a 2020-21 meet during a pandemic.

In between those brief, book-ended statements that define the currently closed status of racing in Arizona, commissioners heard a slew of impassioned pleas from breeders, owners, and trainers all desperately imploring the AZRC to take some form of action so that live racing can get back up and running in the state for the first time since March.

Last month, Turf Paradise withdrew its request for a traditional autumn-through-spring meet, citing COVID-19 concerns. Arizona Downs months ago called off its summer race meet after failing to secure permission top open from local health officials. Beyond the pandemic, a prolonged fight over off-track betting (OTB) privileges, simulcast signals, and how the horsemen’s purse money can be used has been batted back and forth in the courts and during commission meetings, clouding the future of the state’s two commercial tracks.

“Anybody sitting within the Arizona breeders has seen the value of their horses drop 50%-plus, with no place to run our horses in-state,” said Kevin Owens, a board of directors member of the Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “There’s a couple of big farms and there’s a lot of people who have people who have ‘backyard’ horses that count on Arizona as a state to facilitate a racing facility to bring these Arizona-breds to track. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I would certainly hope the commission is getting behind Arizona Downs to try to assist them in any way possible to get their meet open [and] operating.

Owens was referring to the possibility of Arizona Downs taking on some winter race dates, an idea that is feasible but depends in part upon the yet-to-be-decided status of the purse account.

“We have no future,” Owens continued. “We’ve been destroyed in this business. Our studs aren’t worth anything. We have a sale coming up [Nov. 19], that by all potential is going to be a bloodbath. We are continuing with our sale, [and] I would encourage the commission to maybe show up at the sale and see what we’re about. We haven’t had much interest from you guys in actually getting into our business and seeing what we do and what it costs to sponsor a sale like this and raise a bunch of horses.

“We’ve given more than one chance to Turf Paradise, and it’s time to move on. There’s been no good faith put forth by that facility at this point, and I believe that we should put everything that we have behind Arizona Downs, as it seems like they are the only ones that are going to have a chance to survive in this state. We need to go forward with an entity that’s concerned with the racing public, the horsemen, and the breeders.”

Breeder, owner and trainer Stacy Campo told commissioners that, “We really need this to happen. I have 18 horses ready to go into training immediately. Twelve of them are Arizona-breds. And you know, we’ve worked very hard to be able to sit here and be the backbone of racing in Arizona. And I hate to say it, but the breeders in Arizona are the backbone. We do supply the stock [and] we need to get live racing. Arizona Downs can do it. I’ve got the horses and the supply to go up there and run.”

Cynthia George, who said she is an owner, trainer, pony person, and exercise rider, underscored that, “the time is critical, because people can’t hold on much longer. Many [out-of-state] meets are coming to a close, and we all need a place to go…. If there’s [an in-state] track available, we need to open.”

Owner Freddy Alvarez added that, “Arizona Downs is the future for the horsemen. We need a place to go. We own 12 horses…. I know [the commission does its] best, but all it takes is a couple of eyes at Turf Paradise to see there’s nothing going on there,” with regard to reopening in the conceivable future.

Robert Hutton, the president of the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said that, “the horsemen of Arizona are not looking for handouts, but only the opportunity that is offered when a live meet takes place…. It is time for this industry to move forward without the constant distraction that has hindered us for years.”

Not a single one of the 10 horse community members who spoke at the meeting expressed constructive or encouraging sentiments for Turf Paradise over Arizona Downs.

Yet despite all the support thrown behind Arizona Downs, Tom Auther, an owner and partner in Arizona Downs, said he had “nothing to report” in the section of the AZRC agenda devoted to updates from the tracks.

Jerry Simms, the owner of Turf Paradise, did have something to say during the public commentary period after most of the horse community members had spoken. He began by saying that he understood their frustration, but that he felt like he was in a “no good deed goes unpunished” position.

Simms said he has been involved in the Turf Paradise ownership for 20 years, and that the track has been operating at a “huge negative” in recent years.

“The track owes me $8 million. And there hasn’t been a distribution since 2005. But I was happy—and am happy—to continue doing that,” Simms said.

But then, Simms added, COVID-19 changed everything.

“I made the decision that I didn’t want to have the liability,” Simms said. “There are many lawsuits out there where people are suing, and claiming that [business owners are negligent for operating in a pandemic]. And it was a difficult decision for me to make. But we sat down with my top management and realized this is what we had to do. We just didn’t want the liability of putting people in that kind of risk. But I completely understand the frustration that the folks have had. I’m sorry about that part. That’s all.”

Although no immediate lifeline for the return to live racing was proposed by the AZRC, Goree said that moving forward, his organization needs to “start looking at what the requirements are regarding live racing versus having an OTB. I would just want the department to maybe start looking at that and report back to us as to what powers we may have regarding if [a licensee is] not offering live racing [but still operating] OTB networks.”

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Pharoah Half to Recent ‘Rising Star’ Lights Up Board at Fasig

Thu, 2020-09-10 12:21

A son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was the first to set off fireworks at Fasig-Tipton Thursday, igniting a spirited round of bidding between a trio of powerhouse connections in Donato Lanni, Coolmore and Marette Farrell, acting on behalf on Speedway Stables. Lanni was the first to throw in the towel, leaving Coolmore and Farrell to duke it out and it was Farrell left to sign the winning $1.25-million ticket on behalf of her longtime clients, Speedway’s K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor.

“K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor are two of the best owners a person could possibly have,” said Farrell, who said she was shocked to find out she had outbid the Coolmore team. “They are game. They are very successful in their own business world and they apply all of those principles to our little horse world. They have done very well so far. They love being part of the game. They love working with Bob Baffert.”

Consigned by Denali Stud, Hip 400 was bred by Fasig’s Bayne and Christina Welker, who purchased the MSW mare Swingit (Victory Gallop) for $50,000 in foal to Bodemeister at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. Already the dam of MGISP millionaire Neolithic (Harlan’s Holiday) at that time, her second foal for the Welkers was new ‘TDN Rising Star’ Travel Column (Frosted), who was purchased by Larry Best for $850,000 at last term’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.

“We just thought he was an absolutely stunning horse,” Farrell said. “We were the underbidder on his half-sister last year, who was the ‘TDN Rising Star’. We had seen this horse on the farm and knew how much his connections thought of him and Bob Baffert, who is going to train him, loved him. I was on the phone with K.C. Weiner, who coached me through this. We are thrilled to get him. We think he is a really special horse and it looks like the mare has already produced a couple of very good horses. He fits what Speedway wants and what Bob Baffert is looking for.”

Baffert and Speedway have enjoyed a successful partnership over the years, campaigning the likes of Grade I winners Collected (City Zip), Roadster (Quality Road) and Noted and Quoted (The Factor). —@CDeBernardisTDN

Watch our interview with Marette Farrell below.

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Del Mar Releases Fall Stakes Schedule

Thu, 2020-09-10 12:07

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club outlined its fall stakes schedule consisting of 16 stakes worth $2,250,000 and will be presented through its 15-day Bing Crosby Season, beginning  Oct. 31.

Del Mar has added a pair of California-bred sprint stakes for juveniles that were not on its agenda the past two seasons.

Nine of the 16 fall stakes are graded; nine of the 16 stakes will be run on turf; seven of the stakes–all of them on grass–will be presented over the track’s extended closing weekend which begins Thanksgiving Day, and continues through closing day Nov. 29.

“Given the current climate of things, we are very pleased to keep our fall stakes purse levels intact,” said David Jerkens, Del Mar’s racing secretary. “The response to our summer racing program was exceptional. We are expecting similar results this fall. I am especially excited about our Thanksgiving stakes weekend, which has taken on national prominence.”

The track’s two premier stakes will be presented on its closing weekend–the GI Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs Nov. 28 and GI Matriarch S. for fillies and mares at a mile Nov. 29. Additionally, closing weekend also will feature the GII Hollywood Turf Cup Nov. 27 and GII Seabiscuit H. Nov. 28.

Racing will be conducted Saturday and Sunday for opening weekend, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the next three weeks, finishing finally with a four-day week around Thanksgiving. First post daily will be 12:30 p.m. on all racing days with the exception of the track’s special holiday card on Thanksgiving when racing begins at 11 a.m.

There will be six stakes offered for juveniles, including a trio of Grade IIIs–Bob Hope S. Nov. 15; Jimmy Durante S. Nov. 28, and Cecil B. DeMille S. Nov. 29.

For the complete stakes schedule, visit

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OwnerView Conference Held Virtually Breeders’ Cup Week

Thu, 2020-09-10 09:42

OwnerView’s seventh Thoroughbred Owner Conference, presented by Breeders’ Cup, Bessemer Trust, and Dean Dorton, will be conducted in a virtual format in Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 3-4. The conference originally planned for July 19-22, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“We are committed to offering the owner conference in a safe format for attendees, so we made the decision to move our event online given the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView. “Registrants will be able to watch nine panels on a range of topics relevant to Thoroughbred ownership and submit questions to our expert panelists from the comfort of their home or office.”

The registration fee for the virtual conference is $425. For more information about the owner conference, including the full schedule of panels and registration, please visit

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Bright Spots As Unusual Yearling Season Kicks Off at Fasig-Tipton

Wed, 2020-09-09 20:45

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY–The Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, a hybrid of the company’s July yearling sale, Saratoga sale and New York-bred yearling sale brought about by COVID-19- induced rescheduling, kicked off the 2020 yearling sales season Wednesday with signs of life for the market.

A total of 172 yearlings changed hands for gross receipts of $27,166,000–good for an average of $157,942 and median of $100,000. The RNA rate was 34.4%.

“At the outset, we had no expectations for the statistics,” said Fasig-Tipton president and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “It was impossible to know how to compare this sale to 2019 results. What we hoped to achieve was to have a viable marketplace, to have commerce be conducted amongst buyers and sellers and to create an environment which would help to restore some confidence in the marketplace and to provide it some stability and foundation for the 2020 yearling sales. We are only halfway through, so I am going to be cautious in my overall analysis at this point, but I am very encouraged. These sales grounds have been jam-packed with buyers since Sunday. They bid pretty enthusiastically. I think any time you start a sale, there is a little bit of trepidation and it takes you a little bit of time occasionally to find its way to get a little confidence. I think that was certainly the case today, but I think as it progressed through the day, people gained more confidence. The bidding was very competitive. We are only halfway through the catalogue, but I would say we are very encouraged by the level of participation and the enthusiasm that people participated in the sale and the enthusiasm of the people who came to attend the sale.”

Watch our complete interview with Boyd Browning below.

Hip 232, a regally bred Quality Road filly from a potent Coolmore family, was the lone seven-figure seller from a $1.5-million bid by Robbie Medina on behalf of Joseph Allen. The bay filly was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.

The sale began with a section of 164 New York-breds, and that group seemed to struggle a bit more than the open horses, with a significant percentage failing to find new homes as fewer New York-based connections were on the grounds than would be in Saratoga.

“Traditionally, if you look over the last 10 years, the New York sale has had probably the highest RNA rate of any of our major sales because there are so many racing opportunities for the New York breeders,” Browning said. “There is less pressure on them to begin with. Certainly the group that got dealt probably the toughest hand in terms of the marketplace was the New York breeders. Saratoga has a wonderful environment with the race meet going on and all of the interest and enthusiasm with so many folks that participate in the marketplace, both owners and trainers, who are used to being in Saratoga that are engaged. So they have probably been the most impacted of any segment of the market, not being able to have the sale in Saratoga. It was unrealistic to have a meaningful Thoroughbred auction in Saratoga in the summer and fall of 2020, so those breeders certainly had to adapt. And we have adapted with them and tried to have the best possible alternatives, but there were no perfect alternatives in the environment that we were dealing with in 2020.”

What They’re Saying…

“[The market] is extremely selective, which is nothing new, but I think this year is probably going to be more so. People are all landing on the same horses. They work it very thoroughly. They know what they want. They know what they like. There is competition for, as Boyd Browning says all the time, perceived quality, but below that is tough.” –Agent Mike Ryan

“I thought when you measure the sale today, factoring in the crazy world we are in, I thought the folks at Fasig should be reasonably comfortable. There was enough buying power where people could get out. It could be worse, let me put it that way.”  –OXO Equine’s Larry Best

“Those horses have sold on an island, so to speak, up in New York. Then they come down here and start knocking heads with Into Mischiefs and Curlins and Tapits and Medaglia d’Oros and sires like that–they can still be nice horses, but your eye is going to gravitate to something that’s fancier. At the end of the day, these breeders–Fasig-Tipton has done an incredible job offering this right now in the times that we’re in–but the breeders are kind of hampered, a little bit, by not having those middle-of-the-road trainers here to buy those horses. They couldn’t travel in for whatever reason. When they’re in Saratoga, it’s a little different–they just have to go across the street. It’s a little different getting on a plane and coming down here. Hopefully, everybody made it through, and now it looks like the sale has picked up a little bit with these open-session horses. Hopefully, it just means that tomorrow it’ll be stronger and for all the breeders’ sakes we’ll go into Keeneland [September] and it’ll be strong.” –Agent Jacob West

Allen Strikes For Quality Filly

A daughter of Quality Road ignited a fury of bidding at Newtown Paddocks Wednesday, jumping into the seven-figure range in a matter of seconds and dropping the hammer at $1.5 million, which was the highest price of the day. When the smoke cleared, it was trainer Robbie Medina left signing the ticket on Hip 232 on behalf of longtime owner and breeder Joe Allen.

Watch our post-sale interview below.

“She had the best pedigree in the book, so Joe wanted her,” said Medina, who worked as an assistant to Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey for years before taking over training duties at Blackwood Training Center. “I have known Joe for 25 years when I worked for Shug. Joe had a team here and he asked me to go look at her and she is a beautiful filly. You can’t get a better pedigree than that. There is plenty of horse there and, as you can see she is a late April foal, so there is plenty of horse still to come.”

Bred by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt, hip 232 is out of Group 1 winner Marvellous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who is also responsible for SW & MGSP Fort Myers (War Front). Out of GSW You’resothrilling (Storm Cat)–a full-sister to Giant’s Causeway–Marvellous is a full-sister to multiple Group 1 winners Gleneagles (Ire) and Happily (Ire), as well as MGSW & GISP Taj Mahal (Ire), GSW & GISP Coolmore (Ire) and Vatican City (Ire), runner-up in this year’s G1 Irish 2000 Guineas.

“She is a wonderful, lovely filly,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale, who consigned the youngster. Coolmore owns the best mares in the world with the top pedigrees, so, for the long term, this is great value. Wonderful, classy filly with pedigree full of black-type, just a fantastic page that is still productive. We have a couple of really well-bred fillies, but she was the pearl of the group. For collectors like Joe Allen, who race and breed internationally at the highest level, that is what they seek. It is rare that you find those fillies, but when you do, you have to bid with authority and that’s what he did. I wish him the best of luck with a wonderful filly.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Lanni, Baffert Buy Curlin Filly for Petersen

Agent Donato Lanni and now six-time GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert teamed up to secure a $700,000 Curlin filly (hip 285) Wednesday on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen. She was consigned by her breeder, Bonnie Baskin’s Blue Heaven Farm.

Lanni purchased the Baffert-trained and Petersen-owned GI Longines Acorn S. and GI Longines Test S. heroine and recent GI Kentucky Oaks third Gamine (Into Mischief) for a sale-topping $1.8 million at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale last year; and bought Petersen the $1.1-million Uncle Mo colt topper at that auction this June.

“I’ve seen this filly at the farm before, and she just keeps getting better and better,” said Lanni, who bid from the press box alongside Baffert and his wife Jill. “She’s a really sweet, fast-looking, athletic filly by I’d say the top sire in the country–one of them, at least. Bob and I thought she was just a real classy filly that would fit in his barn. You never know what they’re going to bring, but the price was plenty.”

Blue Heaven paid $600,000 for hip 285’s graded stakes-winning dam Our Khrysty (Newfoundland) in foal to Tiznow at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Our Khrysty is a half to GSIW Bullsbay (Tiznow).

“They raise a good horse, [Blue Heaven vice president and general manager] Adam [Corndorf] and [farm manager] Jamie [Corbett],” Lanni said. “It’s a mom-and-pop farm–they own all their own mares and they raise them all. I feel good about how we did, and having Bob here with me makes my job a lot easier. It’s fun having him here. He’s the best.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

O’Byrne Hangs Tough on Into Mischief

Demi O’Byrne was determined when Hip 274 came into the ring, winning a furious bidding war with trainer Kenny McPeek to take home the son of red hot Into Mischief for $700,000. He was one of four yearlings purchased by O’Byrne, who was bidding on behalf of Peter Brant throughout the day. The colt was bred by Jeff Lewis, son of Bob and Beverly Lewis.

“That was the true market value,” said Conrad Bandoroff of Denali Stud, where the colt was born and raised. “It is what two guys said the horse was worth. Who is to say if in a normal year he brings more. He is a nice horse and we are happy with the price. We are thrilled for Mr. Lewis and we are thrilled for Demi.”

Hip 274 is out Night and Day (Unbridled’s Song), who is a daughter of the Lewis family’s Hall of Fame mare Serena’s Song (Rahy), as well as the dam of MGSW Made You Look (More Than Ready). Serena’s Song’s resume on the racetrack and in the breeding shed speaks for itself. An Eclipse Award winner and 11-time Grade I victress, she produced Group 1 winner Sophisticat (Storm Cat), who was also purchased by O’Byrne; GSWs Grand Reward (Storm Cat), Harlington (Unbridled) and Schramsberg (Storm Cat); and SW Serena’s Tune (Mr. Prospector), who is the dam of MGISW Honor Code (A. P. Indy).

“That is a special horse to us,” Bandoroff said. “He was born and raised on the farm for Jeff Lewis, who has continued on the family legacy. He is from the family of Serena’s Song out of a graded stakes producer. That is home team. It is obviously a family that has meant a lot to us. He is a horse that from the day he hit the ground, we always liked him and thought pretty highly of him. It is nice when a judge like Demi O’Byrne, one of the top judges of horse flesh, agrees with you. It is a testament to the team and to Serena’s Song legacy, which is something near and dear to us.”

Watch the complete interview with Conrad Bandoroff below.

Into Mischief has been getting hotter by the minute with his most recent success coming this past Saturday when Authentic became the Spendthrift sire’s first GI Kentucky Derby winner. His offspring proved exceptionally popular Wednesday, topped by this $700,000 colt. Eight yearlings by Into Mischief changed hands Wednesday for a total of $3.25-million and an average of $406,250. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Sondereker Hits a High with War Front Filly

John Sondereker usually plans to spend around $500,000 to buy yearlings for his West Coast-based racing stable, but he blew past that budget to acquire just one filly for $625,000 Wednesday at Fasig-Tipton. The yearling (hip 248), a daughter of War Front and out of Miss Chatelaine (Pulpit), was consigned by Brookdale Sales, as agent for her breeder Highland Yard LLC.

“I didn’t plan to spend that much money, but you get caught up in it and it’s so much fun,” Sondereker said. “Instead of buying two or three horses, maybe I’ll just buy one.”

Multiple graded placed Miss Chatelaine is a half-sister to graded winner Big Bend (Union Rags).

Asked what he liked about the yearling, Sondereker said, “Everything. She is a beautiful filly, she’s so correct. She had great movement. She was a really easy horse to buy–it’s not hard to buy those kind, you just have to have the money, right?”

Sondereker’s involvement in racing began several decades ago, but his foray into ownership started in the early 2000s.

“I was mucking stalls at Thistledown in 1959,” he said. “And then I worked for 40 years in the financial industry at Wells Fargo. I retired and I started buying racehorses on the West Coast in 2003.”

Sondereker has about 20 horses in training in California with Eric Kruljac. His 3-year-old Kiss Today Goodbye (Cairo Prince) was third behind Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) in the Aug. 1 Shared Belief S. and was fifth in the GII Del Mar Derby Sunday. In partnership, he campaigned last year’s GIII Santa Barbara S. winner Causeforcommotion (Americain).

“We’ve always had fun,” Sondereker said. “And this filly is going to be my best one. I’m counting on it.” @JessMartiniTDN

Lows Get In on the Mischief

Prominent owners Robert and Lawana low got involved in Wednesday’s frenzy for progeny of red-hot Into Mischief as their bloodstock advisor Jacob West stretched to $600,000 to secure hip 268. The bay colt was consigned by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Bred & Raised.

“We thought he was in the $500,000 to $600,000 range and we had all the right people [on him],” said Francis Vanlangendonck. “These guys, they’re sharp, they know what a good horse is. That was in the ballpark that we thought.”

The Feb. 15 foal is out of speedy GSW and GISP My Wandy’s Girl (Flower Alley), who Stonestreet bought for $700,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

“He’s a really good Into Mischief,” Vanlangendonck said. “He’s correct, he’s got a good body on him; a good mind. Those horses are easy to sell. I’m just blessed to have Stonestreet give me horses like that. He’s a nice horse.”

West, like the other buyers who landed Into Mischiefs Wednesday, said hip 268’s sire power was obvious.

“Obviously, the stallion doesn’t need any introduction,” West said. “He’s out of a mare who could run; a cross that has worked before; and he comes from in incredible nursery in Stonestreet. We have a lot of faith in buying off of them; they raise incredible horses. They brought an incredible horse here to sell in support of Fasig, and they ended up getting a good result.”

Hip 268 is bred on a version of the same Into Mischief–Distorted Humor cross that produced Grade I winner and buzzed-about young sire Practical Joke.

“He’s the hottest stallion in the world right now, so you know you’re not going to steal one,” West said of hip 268’s price tag. “He was a beautiful horse; obviously, he was well sought after by a lot of other buyers, I’d assume. So, we just feel lucky to get him.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Crawfords Take a Shance

Al and Michelle Crawford enjoyed graded stakes success at Saratoga last summer with the speedy Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby) and the couple went back to that family to acquire a filly by Speightstown for $600,000 at Fasig-Tipton Wednesday. The bay filly is out of multiple graded placed One True Kiss (Warrior’s Reward), a half-sister to the GII Amsterdam S. winner. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, who purchased her for $325,000 at the Fasig-TIpton November sale just days after their Mitole (Eskendereya) defeated Shancelot in last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“What was there not to like about her?,” Michelle Crawford asked after signing the ticket on hip 283. “We were one of the underbidders when she was a weanling. We bid up to maybe $280,000 or $290,000 and were very sad not to get her.”

The Heiligbrodts maintained a half-interest in the yearling.

“We are going to partner with Bill on her–new partnerships are fun,” Al Crawford confirmed. “We are using Steve Asmussen–he has all of our horses now. To go in with Bill and using Steve on a filly with the Shancelot connection, it seemed like everything came together. But I’ll let you know in two years.”

Of the yearling’s final price tag, Al Crawford admitted, “It was our top. Right there. We watched it and, if it had clicked again, we were probably out.”

Hip 283 was bred by Geoff Nixon’s Tolo Thoroughbreds and Ryan Conner, who purchased One True Kiss with the filly in utero for $250,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

Shancelot has not raced since last year’s Breeders’ Cup, but returned to Steve Asmussen’s barn earlier this week.

“He had a little injury back in February and we’ve been ultra-conservative with him,” Al Crawford said. “Hopefully we will see him in early 2021. Obviously his speed is there, it’s just a question of being ultra-conservative with that little injury.”  @JessMartiniTDN

Perfect Note Rewards Blackstone

When Perfect Note (Elusive Quality), a daughter of MGISW Music Note (A.P. Indy), went through the ring at Keeneland September in 2016, she was not as perfect as her name suggests, hammering for just $17,000 to Blackstone Farm. The commercial Pennsylvania nursery, which is a partnership between Christian and Douglas Black and Mark Weissman, took a chance on the filly despite her issues, buying her as a future broodmare and she rewarded their faith in a big way Wednesday when her first foal, a colt by Nyquist, sold for $510,000 to Mike Ryan.

“I actually bought the filly as a yearling,” Christian Black said. “She had some issues so I bought her as a broodmare prospect. I fell in love with her and we bought her for a very small amount, turned her out and let her be a mom eventually. This is the first foal. We put her in foal to Nyquist because we liked his race record and the way he looked. He was a great physical fit for our mare.”

As for the price, Black said, “It is difficult to put that kind of money on a foal or any horse that you have. He has been special from the beginning. I know a lot of people say that, but he has. He has a great mind set, very easy to be around and he showed it here at the sales too. He has been out over 200 times and he never missed a beat. If you saw him here in the back ring, he has been acting the same as he has the last three or four days.”

The breeder, whose farm also produced MGSW & GISP Tom’s Ready (More Than Ready), added, “The timing was also good with Nyquist’s recent success and Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) winning. It is a live family.”

Perfect Note is a half-sister to last Saturday’s GII Jim Dandy S. victor and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mystic Guide. On Sunday, freshman sire Nyquist was represented by his first Grade I winner in Vequist and was also responsible for the third-place finisher in that Saratoga staple, Lady Lilly.

Ryan is a big fan of Nyquist and is very familiar with the stallion. The bloodstock agent purchased Hip 297 from the South Point Sales Agency consignment on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“I am very partial to Nyquist,” Ryan said. “Niall Brennan and myself pinhooked him as a yearling, so obviously I followed him with great interest. I have been a big fan since he went to stud. I have bred multiple mares to him. I knew he was an exceptional colt and he had a great pedigree. The second dam produced the Jim Dandy winner the other day.”

He continued, “He looks like a horse that is hopefully going to be a top horse on a Saturday. He looked like he would get two turns and he has a stallion’s pedigree to carry him, so if he is a good horse, there is plenty of residual there. He is a lot like his father. The sire had the first and third in the Spinaway the other day and has two stakes winners already. He is one of the horses who can get you a Classic horse.”

Nyquist, whose first stakes winner came at Woodbine last month in Gretzky the Great, was another stallion who proved quite popular Wednesday. Seven youngsters by the Darley stallion summoned $1.84-million and averaged $262,857.–@CDeBernardisTDN

McPeek Active at All Levels of the Market

Trainer and highly regarded judge Ken McPeek was active in all segments of the market Wednesday at Fasig–he took home a total of 10 yearlings for a combined $2.145 million at prices ranging from $35,000 (the same price he paid for Peter Callahan’s GI Alabama S. heroine and GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up Swiss Skydiver {Daredevil}) to $500,000.

McPeek’s priciest buy was a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to GISW and young sire Cupid (Tapit) consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent L as hip 305. Bred by Turner Breeders, hip 305 is a half to a number of horses who cost big money as yearlings–Cupid was a $900,000 yearling, and his unraced 4-year-old full-sister topped the 2017Keeneland September sale at $2.7 million.

“A Medaglia d’Oro filly? With that female family? What’s she worth as a broodmare? There’s enough residual value there–she’s probably worth $250,000 if she never ran,” McPeek said, noting that hip 305’s principal owner would be Paul Fireman’s Fern Circle Stable but that he could take on additional partners.

As for prices in general, McPeek said before leaving with his  better half: “I thought they were reasonable. I thought they might be stronger. I bought a couple horses for a lot less than I thought they’d bring. Now I can afford  to buy my wife dinner.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

OXO Saves the Best for Last

Larry Best of OXO Equine had been quiet throughout Wednesday’s auction, but he snuck in late in the day to snap up the last yearling through the ring, a $500,000 daughter of Jimmy Creed.

Hip 330 is a half-sister to last season’s champion juvenile filly British Idiom (Flashback). Their multiple stakes-winning dam Rose and Shine (Mr. Sekiguchi) is also responsible for SW Parade of Roses (New Year’s Day).

“She was a great-looking filly with a decent pedigree,” said Best. “It was worth a shot. As usual, a little higher than I thought based on how the sale went. She is the only one I bid on all day.”

He added, “She will get a lot of good care. She will head to Eddie Woods in the next month and we will see how she does.”

Consigned by Warrendale Sales, Hip 330 was bred by Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm. Sexton and her late husband Hargus purchased Rose and Shine for $21,000 with British Idiom in utero at the 2017 Keeneland January Sale. British Idiom brought just $40,000 from Liz Crow at the Fasig-Tipton October sale and Steve Landers bought the mare’s 2018 foal, a colt named Royal Prince (Cairo Prince), for $70,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Sale. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Spendthrift, MyRacehorse Shopping for Next Authentic

Just days after their colt Authentic (Into Mischief) ran away with the GI Kentucky Derby, Spendthrift Farm and went back to the well for another son of the nation’s leading stallion. Hip 217, consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent XXV on behalf of breeder Don Alberto Corporation, cost $450,000.

“He’s a little cold, but we thought we’d take a chance anyways,” Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey quipped in reference to Spendthrift’s super sire. “What’s left to say about Into Mischief, right? He’s done all the talking. We thought this was a really nice example of one; a big, scopey, rangy, athletic colt–we’re very happy to have him.”

Toffey received congratulations from MyRacehorse team members Nick Hines and Joe Moran after singing the ticket, and confirmed that hip 217 would be campaigned in partnership with the quickly growing micro-share syndicate in which Spendthrift is invested.

“We’ll try to do it all over again,” he said.

Hip 217 is out of an unraced Empire Maker daughter of GSW La Reina (A.P.  Indy) and is a half to last year’s $650,000 KEESEP purchase by Juddmonte, Mayan (Uncle Mo). That colt had been breezing at Los Alamitos this summer. Their third dam is champion Queena (Mr. Prospector), who produced GISW Brahms. This is the deep female family of highest-level winners Chic Shirine, Verrazano, Somali Lemonade, et al. Don Alberto paid $240,000 for hip 217’s dam Lost Empire at the 2014 Keeneland November sale while she was in foal to Giant’s Causeway.

Spendthrift and MyRacehorse also teamed up to acquire hip 173 for $300,000 after he RNA’d. A fellow Paramount Sales offering, the son of American Pharaoh and GSW juvenile Just Louise (Five Star Day) was bred by Paramount partner Gabriel Duignan’s Springhouse Farm.

“He’s a really stout, athletic-looking guy,” Toffey said. “[Some of the American Pharoahs] have been a little bit turfy, but this guy looks a little more American dirt speed. He looks like a really athletic horse, so we’re really excited to have him as well.”

As for the market, Toffey said: “It’s a little spotty–we’ve sold some we’ve been really happy with. We had one we RNA’d who we thought we were reasonable with our reserve, so we were a little disappointed not to get that one [sold], but we’ve also sold  some very well and thought the prices were fair on the two that we bought. I think it’s solid.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

 Popular Into Mischief Filly Marks Emotional Sale for Brogden

Carrie Brogden was overcome with emotion, battling through tears as she thanked bloodstock agent Liz Crow for purchasing her homebred Into Mischief filly for $425,000 Wednesday.

“When I moved here in 2001, Dennis Lynch [Fasig’s beloved late Senior Account Executive] was my advisor for Fasig,” said Brogden as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “When we looked at this filly at the farm with [Fasig’s Recruiting and Marketing Manager] Evan [Ferraro], I said, ‘I know Dennis would have looked at this one and said, Car, Car, you know we want this one.’ So when she came up here, I just pictured him giving me a big bear hug. He is a big, bright shining light for our farm and our relationship with Fasig.”

The horsewoman added, “I am thrilled and delighted. Liz is a rising star in our industry. She knows I cheer for her in everything,”

Kicking off the open portion of the sale after the New York-bred contingent, Hip 165 was the first homebred through the ring for Carrie and Craig Brodgen’s new Machmer Hall Sales venture. Out of the unraced mare Jazz Flute (Unbridled’s Song), the bay hails from the family of European Highweight Sleepytime (Ire) (Royal Academy). She is bred on the same cross over Unbridled-line mares responsible for dual champion Covfefe.

“When she came in the back ring, Frank Taylor was like, ‘Oh my God, what is that,'” Brodgen said. “That is the way she has always presented herself. I am thrilled to bits. There are two things I love in the Thoroughbred industry, which everyone knows, and that is Into Mischief and Unbridled’s Song. They have produced in the sales ring and out on the track. I think that is what everyone wants right?”

The Into Mischief over Unbridled’s Song pedigree were big attractions for Crow, who was acting on behalf on undisclosed clients.

“I really like buying off Carrie,” Crow said. “I think they do a really good job. Whenever I see Machmer Hall as the breeder, it gives me a lot of confidence that they were raised the right way. She looked like an Into Mischief who could carry her speed around two turns and I loved Unbridled’s Song on the bottom side.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Classic Empire Rewards Investors

Classic Empire had a pair of first-crop yearlings break through the $300,000 barrier Wednesday at Fasig-Tipton, with bloodstock agent Liz Crow striking late in the session to secure a son of the 2016 champion 2-year-old for $375,000. Out of stakes placed Rever de Vous (Distorted Humor), the bay (hip 323) was consigned by Gainesway. He had been purchased by the En Fuego pinhooking partnership for $185,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

“He was a beautiful horse and a great-walking horse when we bought him,” Davant Latham, part of the partnership, said of the yearling. “Like most young horses, they go through stages, but we knew we had something special early this summer.”

Classic Empire, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, won the 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the following year’s GI Arkansas Derby and was second in the GI Preakness S.

“They were consistently good as weanlings and I think they’ve proven here as yearlings, they are consistent physicals and they are good physicals,” Latham said of the champion’s first crop of horses. “You don’t have a lot of variation in physicals, they are all nice horses.”

Of the return on his investment Wednesday, Latham said, “I am very happy with the price. You think about what that would be in another year and it’s $100,000 more, maybe. But I am thrilled with the price. We bought him for $185,000. That’s a great return, especially today.” @JessMartiniTDN

Classic Empire Colt a Score for Gladwell

Tori Gladwell, regularly successful in the pinhooking arena in which she sold $1.35-million OBS Spring sale topper and now Grade I winner Princess Noor (Not This Time), had success sending a homebred through the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton Wednesday. Through Scott Mallory’s consignment, Gladwell sold a colt by Classic Empire for $325,000 to Ben McElroy as agent for Kaleem Shah. The yearling is out of Just Parker (Forest Camp), a mare Gladwell purchased in partnership for $57,000 at the 2018 Keeneland January sale.

Gladwell was familiar with the mare’s family when she made the purchase two years ago.

“Foxy Posse (Posse) was one of the first foals out of the mare and we trained her and sold her and there are a couple other horses in that family that we knew were really fast and precocious. And that’s why we bought the mare,” Gladwell explained.

Just Parker was in foal to Vancouver (Aus) when she was purchased, but Gladwell thought champion 2-year-old Classic Empire would be a good fit for the mare.

“I liked Classic Empire as a racehorse and I thought he would help put some leg on her,” Gladwell said. “Forest Wildcat mares are really speedy horses, but she needed a little more leg and that’s what we got when we bred to Classic Empire.”

The yearling’s final price was well above his reserve.

“That was about double what we were thinking,” Gladwell said of the result. “The market is kind of scary because there were a lot of RNAs earlier, so I was really worried we wouldn’t get him sold for what the reserve was, which was below $200,000. So we’re really happy with that result.”

Gladwell has 12 broodmares, with the Kentucky band boarded with Scott Mallory and a group in New York.

“I love the mares,” Gladwell said. “I have a couple in New York at the McMahons and the rest of them stay here in Kentucky. I have multiple partners on them with me. We’ve been really blessed this year.”

After the standout result Wednesday, Gladwell was asked if she would be selling more homebreds in the future.

“My husband just told me to sell more of them,” she said with a laugh.

Just Parker produced a filly by American Pharoah this year and was bred back to Good Magic.

Ben McElroy has been successful buying 2-year-olds for Kaleem Shah, most recently this year with Sunday’s Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. winner Madone (Vancouver {Aus}) and impressive maiden winner Vittorio (Ghostzapper).

“I told Kaleem this was the type of horse we’d buy at a 2-year-old sale and, if he breezes :10 flat, we are talking $700,000 or $800,000,” McElroy said of the rare yearling purchase for Shah. “[Shah] is more of a 2-year-old buyer and we’ve been very successful at the 2-year-old sales, but if we can keep an eye out for a top horse, we’ll take a shot.”

McElroy admitted he has been impressed by the first-crop offspring of Classic Empire.

“I’ve been around a few of the farms before the sale and he has been one of the freshman sires who certainly stood out,” McElroy said. “They are very well balanced. They are great movers. They seem like they have really good attitudes. The horse we bought was just one we decided we had to have.”  @JessMartiniTDN

Team ‘Tiz’ Gets a Tiznow

Sackatoga Stable, fresh off its second-place finish in the

GI Kentucky Derby this past Saturday with Tiz the Law (Constitution), added another high-class New York-bred colt to its roster Wednesday in the form of a son of Tiznow, who just happens to be Tiz the Law’s broodmare sire. The $300,000 purchase, the priciest lot during the all-New York-bred portion of Wednesday’s session, was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm as hip 135. He had previously been acquired for $120,000 as a Keeneland November weanling.

Sackatoga operating manager Jack Knowlton bid while accompanied by trainer Barclay Tagg and Tiz the Law partner Eric Kordsmeier.

“Barclay’s our bloodstock advisor and and liked him better than any of the other New York-breds we looked at,” Knowlton said. “We only had two that we bid on–we got outbid on the first one, but luckily we got this one.”

Knowlton said hip 71, the $295,000 Candy Ride (Arg) colt purchased by Demi O’Byrne, had been Sackatoga’s other target. They had looked at Tiz the Law’s Mission Impazible half-brother (hip 73, $245,000), but he did not make it on to their short list.

“We’re just looking for athletes,” Knowlton said of hip 135’s appeal. “We look at families; we like stakes winners; and [Tiznow’s] a sire who we think can get a good horse. Physically, he’s a great-looking horse.”

The Mar. 4 foal is out of stakes-placed juvenile Eternal Grace (Gilded Time), who has already produced GSW Bye Bye Bernie (Bernstein) and two other stakes horses.

As for the price and market, he said: “It’s soft except for the real good horses, and we’re hoping he’s one of the good ones. Physically, we really like him a lot, and we really like the pedigree. We’re hoping he’s really going to turn into a runner for us.”

“This is the only one we’re buying–we’re done,” Knowlton said. “Now I can head out and be happy we got a horse. You never know; we’re very particular. Barclay’s very particular in what he advises us to buy, and his vets are even more particular. So, we’re really happy when we can find one.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Tiz the Law Half RNAs

The half-brother to MGISW and recent GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Tiz the Law (Constitution) will remain with breeder Twin Creeks Farm to race in his home state of New York after leaving the ring unsold at $245,000. Hip 73 is by Mission Impazible and was consigned by Becky Thomas’ Sequel New York, where he was foaled and raised.

“They priced him at what they thought was a fair price, but unfortunately, we are in COVID times,” Thomas said. “So, they will keep him and race him. They really like the 2-year-old full-sister Angel Oak, who they plan to race themselves, and obviously Tiz the Law is magnificent.”

Tiz the Law, a $110,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s New York-Bred Sale, scored ultra-impressive wins in both the GI Belmont S. and GI Runhappy Travers S. Heavily favored to carry his win streak into the Run for the Roses, the flashy bay finished second to a gutsy Authentic (Into Mischief). —@CDeBernardisTDN

Candy Ride Colt Stars in New York Section

Veteran bloodstock agent Demi O’Byrne, who recently launched O’Byrne and Grassick International Bloodstock Agency with agent Sean Grassick, signed the ticket to secure a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) for $295,000 on behalf of Peter Brant’s White Birch during the opening New York-bred yearlings section of the Fasig-Tipton Showcase Wednesday. Consigned by Eaton Sales, hip 71 is out of the unraced Sweet Love (Any Given Saturday), a full-sister to graded winner Adventist. He was bred by Joe Fafone.

“He was a great mover and a nice colt. That’s about it,” O’Byrne said of the yearling’s appeal.

Of the colt’s final price, O’Byrne added, “I thought he was a little high, but he was a nice horse.”

Sweet Love’s first foal is a colt by Brody’s Cause who sold to Curragh Racing for $170,000 at this year’s OBS Spring sale.

O’Byrne said he would continue to shop for Brant at the sale and later in Wednesday’s session purchased an Into Mischief colt (hip 274) for $700,000. @JessMartiniTDN

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MyRacehorse Founder Michael Behrens Joins TDN Writers’ Room

Wed, 2020-09-09 18:00

As far as marketing for a nascent, unorthodox racehorse ownership venture goes, you couldn’t do much better than a horse carrying your silks into the Churchill Downs infield as the GI Kentucky Derby winner. That’s what Michael Behrens experienced Saturday, as Authentic (Into Mischief), bought into by his MyRacehorse microshare partnership in June, fought off favored Tiz the Law (Constitution) past the Twin Spires to earn the garland of roses. Wednesday, Behrens joined the TDN Writers’ Room podcast presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to explain MyRacehorse’s business model and how the startup came to own one-eighth of a Derby winner.

“I am not from the racing world, I’ve been in ad tech and marketing my whole career,” Behrens said of his background. “Growing up in Southern California, Santa Anita was 15 minutes away and that’s where we went to decompress after crazy stressful weeks. Go out there with friends, have a couple of drinks and bet a few races. I just loved it as a sport, but was always very intrigued about how we can get more fan engagement. I started looking around and [found that] people who really were energized and excited about our sport were those that had some kind of interest in ownership, either through friends or a partnership, whatever it may be. And I just left that was where we could scale, where we could get mass adoption to appreciate the sport.”

MyRacehorse, which started as a pilot program in California, went national only last July. The company sells .001% microshares in Thoroughbreds with multiple shares available and returns that are deposited into owners’ accounts and can be withdrawn via its app. Previously acquiring stakes in Grade I winner Street Band (Istan) and graded stakes winner Lazy Daisy (Paynter), MyRacehorse stepped into the deep end when buying 12.5% of Authentic after the colt finished second in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Behrens credits co-owner Spendthrift Farm’s B. Wayne Hughes with opening the door to that partnership.

“When I wrote the original business plan for this, I looked at the industry to try to figure out who had the personality, the DNA [for the idea],” he said. “B. Wayne Hughes, with his success in business and his innovation with breeding, I just loved his disruptive nature. I actually used to do marketing for Public Storage, one of his companies. I came out and took [Spendthrift General Manager] Ned [Toffey] through the idea. The next day, Mr. Hughes called me back in and we started talking. He wants the sport to continue to thrive and grow, so he loved the concept. We started partnering on a couple of deals and that relationship has only gotten stronger and stronger over time. Now he’s come in as one of our partners. Our relationship with Spendthrift and Mr. Hughes has been critical.”

Elsewhere on the show, the writers reacted to all angles of the Derby, GI Kentucky Oaks and the many impressive undercard and juvenile performances we saw this week. Plus, in the West Point Thoroughbreds news segment, they discuss the bankruptcy filing of Ahmed Zayat and wonder how it went south so quickly for the owner of the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Click here to watch the podcast; click here for the audio-only version.

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House Version of Integrity Act Amended and Advanced

Wed, 2020-09-09 17:15

Several hours after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) got introduced in the United States Senate on Wednesday, the co-sponsor of the existing Horseracing Integrity Act (HRIA) proposed striking all of the language of his existing bill and replacing it with the exact wording from the new Senate bill to create companion legislation that now reads the same in both branches of Congress.

In a video conference mark-up session of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, this newly amended version of the federal bill was then reported to the full House of Representatives by a 46-5 vote.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who has co-sponsored three different versions of the Integrity Act since 2015 (including the current version) said that the chief differences between his original bill and the one that will now mirror the HISA backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are the inclusion of racetrack safety standards and a 3-year phase-out period for race-day Lasix usage instead of prohibiting it outright.

“While no legislation is usually deemed perfect, the agreement represented in [the amended version] has the support of the overwhelming majority of not only the horse racing industry…but also major animal welfare groups,” Tonko said.

But House members who spoke out against and voted against advancing the amended version of HB 1754 cited concerns over a lack of veterinary oversight on the new authority panel that would be created by the legislation. And several others chafed at the provision that race-day Lasix would be phased out over the objections of some horse owners and trainers.

“The intent of this legislation, to achieve uniform standards across the country, I think we all agree is a great one. We need this expertise and this help,” said Rep. Kurt Shrader (D-OR), a veterinarian. “But we can’t do it without the veterinary or medical advice being at the table on an ongoing basis. So while well-intended, this bill falls way short of its goals…. I don’t think the bill is right for prime time at this point.”

Tonko rebutted that to achieve the new compromise legislation, “significant concessions” have already been made, particularly with regard to allowing Lasix to be phased out instead of banned immediately. He added that not advancing the compromise version of the legislation “would undermine public confidence in the sport.”

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), who chairs the committee, urged fellow lawmakers just before the vote to consider that the compromise version of the HISA is the result of years of work that represents a “solution that could actually become law this session.” He also reminded dissenters that they would still have opportunities to tweak the final version when it comes up for debate in front of the full House.

“The beauty part of [achieving Congressional consensus] is this could pass the House, and then pass the Senate and be signed into law,” Pallone said. “So that’s why I do want to move it today, because of the work that Paul [Tonko] and Mitch McConnell did together on this…. But I do want [Congresspeople who spoke against the bill] to know that as we move forward to the floor, we’re certainly going to keep working on this.”

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Carava To Cease Training to Become Jockey’s Agent

Wed, 2020-09-09 16:22

Jack Carava, who saddled better than 1,100 winners in a career dating back to 1986, has announced he is trading in his stopwatch in exchange for a condition book, as he will book mounts on behalf of Tyler Baze beginning with the Santa Anita fall meet Sept. 19. Baze is returning to California following an eight-month absence.

“The time is right,” said Carava, 54, who has operated both a public and private stable in Southern California for the past 33 years. “I’ve had a lot of success with Tyler over the years and he’s probably the hardest-working jock I’ve ever known. I love training, but my stable has contracted over the past couple years and when Tyler called me, I realized this is a great opportunity.”

Carava, the son of a trainer, worked for Jerry Fanning and Joe Griffin before launching his own stable in 1987. Carava celebrated the best year of his career in 2001, sending out 74 winners from 355 starters (21%) and was the leading conditioner at the Hollywood Park Spring/Summer meeting that year and at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet in 2002. He retires with stable earnings of $32.4 million and five graded wins, including the 2006 GI Bing Crosby H. with Washington-bred Pure As Gold (Stolen Gold).

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Quality Road Filly Brings Big Money at Fasig

Wed, 2020-09-09 16:08

A daughter of Quality Road ignited a fury of bidding at Newtown Paddocks Wednesday, jumping into the seven-figure range in a matter of seconds and dropping the hammer at $1.5 million, which was the highest price of the day. When the smoke cleared, it was trainer Robbie Medina left signing the ticket on Hip 232 on behalf of longtime owner and breeder Joe Allen. (Click here for our post-sale interview with Robbie Medina)

“She had the best pedigree in the book, so Joe wanted her,” said Medina, who worked as an assistant to Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey for years before taking over training duties at Blackwood Training Center. “I have known Joe for 25 years when I worked for Shug. Joe had a team here and he asked me to go look at her and she is a beautiful filly. You can’t get a better pedigree than that. There is plenty of horse there and, as you can see she is a late April foal, so there is plenty of horse still to come.”

Bred by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt, hip 232 is out of Group 1 winner Marvellous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who is also responsible for SW & MGSP Fort Myers (War Front). Out of GSW You’resothrilling (Storm Cat)-a full-sister to Giant’s Causeway-Marvellous is a full-sister to multiple Group 1 winners Gleneagles (Ire) and Happily (Ire), as well as MGSW & GISP Taj Mahal (Ire), GSW & GISP Coolmore (Ire) and Vatican City (Ire), runner-up in this year’s G1 Irish 2000 Guineas.

“She is a wonderful, lovely filly,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale, who consigned the youngster. Coolmore owns the best mares in the world with the top pedigrees, so, for the long term, this is great value. Wonderful, classy filly with pedigree full of black-type, just a fantastic page that is still productive. We have a couple of really well-bred fillies, but she was the pearl of the group. For collectors like Joe Allen, who race and breed internationally at the highest level, that is what they seek. It is rare that you find those fillies, but when you do, you have to bid with authority and that’s what he did. I wish him the best of luck with a wonderful filly.”

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Santa Anita To House ‘Free Animal Doctor’

Wed, 2020-09-09 15:35

Santa Anita will provide a home for the not-for-proft Free Animal Doctor, which will provide free veterinary surgeries for at-risk animals. Officials at Santa Anita are working with Free Animal Doctor to make the organization’s services available to the track’s backside community and other community groups at no or low cost.

“There is a need for this type of small animal veterinary assistance locally and nationwide,” said Santa Anita’s Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director, CA Racing Operations for The Stronach Group. “We are well positioned to provide the assistance needed for the Free Animal Doctor clinic to administer necessary care for these precious animals, and we’re honored to do so. We’ve let them know we are here to help in any way that we can.”

Free Animal Doctor (FAD) utilizes Crowdfunding to raise monies for specific pets and provides detailed itemized cost accounting which is directed by each animal’s attending veterinarian.

“This serves to self-authenticate the cost of each surgery,” said FAD co-founder Sam Bernardo, who hopes to have FAD’s veterinary “bus” fully operational in Santa Anita’s parking Lot 7 by Sept. 15. “Once the money is raised for each individual animal’s procedure, no additional money is accepted.”

Though a variety of surgeries will be performed, the majority of the procedures will be spaying and neutering of pets.

For additional information and or to contribute to the cost of a procedure for an in-need animal, visit

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McConnell Introduces Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in U.S. Senate

Wed, 2020-09-09 14:07

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Wednesday to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. At a press conference last week in Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, Senator McConnell joined U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and leading Kentucky stakeholders, including Keeneland, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Breeders’ Cup Limited, and the Jockey Club in announcing the introduction of the bill.

They also announced the launch of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, an independent, non-governmental regulatory body responsible for improving current regulations and bringing a new level of transparency. The Board will set national standards for track safety, anti-doping and medication rules, and lab protocols. Senators McConnell and Gillibrand’s bipartisan bill will provide federal recognition and enforcement power for the Board to enable them to develop uniform, baseline standards for Thoroughbred racing.

“It’s been a privilege throughout my Senate career to deliver for Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry and the workers who support it. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act we introduce today will help protect this sport for the future with uniform, national standards. Baseball, football, and other professional sports have a central regulatory authority, and Thoroughbred racing should too,” said Senator McConnell. “I am proud to join Senator Gillibrand, my colleague from another Triple Crown state, in introducing our bipartisan legislation, along with Senator McSally and Senator Feinstein. Together, we can make Thoroughbred racing as fair and as safe as possible. We owe nothing less to the jockeys, trainers, breeders, equine athletes, and fans.”

“Having grown up near the races at Saratoga Raceway, I know how important it is to protect horses at Saratoga and across the country. Congress must put an end to the harsh treatment of racehorses and solidify health and safety standards for both racehorses and racetracks,”said Senator Gillibrand“I’m proud to work with Majority Leader McConnell on the bipartisan Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. This legislation will do the important work of creating an independent regulatory process tasked with implementing anti-doping and safety programs to help ensure health and safety in America’s historic horseracing industry.”

“The misuse of potentially dangerous substances in racehorses to boost performance harms horses and has led to numerous injuries and deaths,” said Senator McSally. “I have worked for years to protect racehorses against this abuse and uphold the integrity of the sport. I’m pleased to join Majority Leader McConnell and other bipartisan Senators to do just that by creating uniform racetrack safety standards that will better enforce anti-doping measures.”

“I’m pleased to join Leader McConnell in introducing a bill to finally establish uniform, nationwide standards to protect racehorses, jockeys and the integrity of the sport,” said Senator Feinstein. “Given the troubling number of racehorse deaths in recent years, this legislation is a step in the right direction, and I will continue working to ensure that increased safety standards, like those adopted in California, are applied nationally.”

Through its communications director Patrick McKenna, the New York Racing Association issued a statement saying: “The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) strongly supports the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act and urges both houses of Congress to quickly bring this bill to a vote. NYRA has long supported a national approach to medication control and anti-doping across horse racing, and this legislation will move the sport forward through a unified set of enhanced safety and integrity standards. We thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for their work to prioritize the future of a sport responsible for 19,000 jobs in New York and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact, including $240 million alone in the Capital Region during a traditional summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.”

U.S. Congressmen Andy Barr (KY-06) and Paul Tonko (NY-20) will sponsor identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives

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NTRA Votes to Support HISA

Wed, 2020-09-09 13:43

The Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has voted to support passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA). The action was taken Wednesday afternoon at a special meeting of the Board of the Directors.

The HISA will improve the integrity and safety of Thoroughbred racing by requiring uniform safety and performance standards, including an anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

“We thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his willingness and unique ability to bring the industry to the table to craft this comprehensive legislation,” said Alex Waldrop, President and Chief Executive Officer of the NTRA. “We also applaud Congressmen Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for their pioneering efforts in support of federal anti-doping and medication control standards in the form of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which served as the basis for this historic compromise. We are committed to working with Leader McConnell, Sen. Gillibrand, Rep. Tonko, Rep. Barr and other allies in Congress to pass this important legislation before the end of this year.”

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Jockey Club Projects Foal Crop of 19,200 in 2021

Wed, 2020-09-09 12:47

The Jockey Club is estimating that the 2021 North American Foal crop will be 19,200, which would mark the first time since 1965 that the number has been below 20,000.

The Jockey Club released the projections Wednesday, some three weeks later than normal. The delay was to allow farms that have been affected by the coronavirus more time to submit their reports of mares bred.

The North American foal crop hit an all-time high in 1986 when 51,296 horses were born. By 2006, it was down to 38,104 and with the exception of 2015, when there was a slight uptick in the numbers, the foal crop has declined every year since. Based on the Jockey Club’s projections, the foal crop in 2021 will be about half of what it was in 2006.

With the 2020 foal crop estimated at 20,500, the 2021 number equals a decline of 7.3%.

The North American foal crop numbers include horses bred in Puerto Rico and Canada. The Jockey Club did not release a separate number for the U.S. foal crop, which was estimated to be 18,950 in 2020.

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Keeneland Accepting Entries for New October Digital Sale

Wed, 2020-09-09 12:40

Keeneland will start accepting entries of horses of racing age for its first October Digital Sale on Friday, Sept. 11, it announced Wednesday. The October Sale will be held Thursday, Oct. 1 via the new Keeneland Digital Sales Ring platform.

The entry deadline for the October Sale is Monday, Sept. 21. The catalog will be available online Friday, Sept. 25.

The Keeneland Digital Sales Ring successfully debuted June 23 with the inaugural Online Select Horses of Racing Age Sale.

“The Keeneland Digital Sales Ring expands the scope of sales options we can provide our customers by giving us the flexibility to host small, select online auctions throughout the year,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “The Horses of Racing Age Sale in June was well received and proved to be a productive outlet for buyers and sellers. We look forward to continuing to build on its success.”

To enter horses in the sale, sellers may use the Keeneland Sales Portal.

For more information about the October Sale, contact Dean Roethemeier at, Kyle Wilson at or Chip McGaughey at

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Trio of Champions at FT November from Elite

Wed, 2020-09-09 09:00

Elite Sales will offer three champion fillies and mares for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale Nov. 8 when they send Monomoy Girl (Tapizar–Drumette, by Henny Hughes), Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute–Diva Delite, by Repent) and Uni (GB) (More Than Ready–Unaided {GB}, by Dansili {GB}) through the ring. Among them, the group have earned a combined $13.2 million.

Monomoy Girl, owned by Monomoy Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables, was 2018’s Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner. She is three-for-three in 2020 and added her most recent Grade I win in Friday’s La Troienne S. at Churchill. The six-time Grade I winner is now set to target the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and has crossed the finish line first in 13 of 14 lifetime starts.

The 2019 Champion Older Mare Midnight Bisou has earned $7,471,520, making her the top-earning U.S.-based filly of all time. She is owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing. A five-time Grade I winner, Midnight Bisou was second in this year’s $20-million Saudi Cup to Maximum Security (New Year’s Day). Her 13 graded stakes victories equal those of Beholder. She will be pointed next for the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. at Keeneland before a scheduled date in the Breeders’ Cup.

Uni, last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Mile winner and Champion Turf Female, competes for owners Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables. A three-time Grade I winner, Uni finished 2019 on a tear, setting a Keeneland course record when posting a dominant win in the GI First Lady S. before her Breeders’ Cup Mile triumph at Santa Anita Park. She is on target for a repeat in the First Lady.

“This is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to offer three champions in the prime of their careers,” said Elite Sales’ Bradley Weisbord. “They aren’t one-hit wonders; they have been leaders in their divisions since they hit the racetrack. With these unprecedented times we look forward to speaking with all interested parties as these mares will appeal to anyone around the world looking to target the highest end of the Thoroughbred industry.”

For more information, contact Weisbord at, or visit Elite Sales at

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$19 Million in Debt, Ahmed Zayat Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Wed, 2020-09-09 06:24

Claiming access to only $300 in cash and $14.22 in two checking accounts, Ahmed Zayat, the financially embattled Triple Crown-winning breeder and owner, filed for Chapter 7 protection Sep. 8 in United States Bankruptcy Court in his home state of New Jersey.

In court documents, Zayat is claiming $19,371,466 in total liabilities versus total estimated assets of $1,892,815.

Thoroughbred trainers, horse farms, bloodstock businesses, veterinarians, and equine transportation companies are among the 132 entities listed as creditors who are due $14,755,1717 in “non-priority unsecured claims.” In his legal filing, Zayat marked most of those debts as “disputed.”

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws, non-priority unsecured claims are at the bottom of the hierarchy to get paid—if they get paid at all—once a trustee is appointed to liquidate assets and discharge debts.

Zayat’s family-owned racing operation, Zayat Stables LLC, is listed as a co-debtor to 112 of those 132 non-priority unsecured claims. In the filing, Zayat described his racing business as “insolvent.” He noted that a Kentucky receiver is in the process of liquidating those equine assets as a result of an ongoing $23 million lawsuit filed in January by a New York lender alleging fraud and loan defaults.

Zayat’s personal assets are primarily comprised of a single-family home in Teaneck (with adjacent unbuilt-upon lots) that has an estimated valuation of $3.55 million. His filings claim $1.775 million in equity in that property.

Zayat is claiming zero dollars in current monthly income. His filing indicates that his household’s income is entirely comprised of $13,875 in monthly wages that his non-debtor spouse earns as a speech pathologist. Two dependent children live with Zayat and his spouse. He reports monthly liabilities of $72,903 and claims to own no stocks, bonds, or pension accounts.

Five entities head the list of $4,616,294 in claims secured by the family residence via mortgages or loan agreements. Upon liquidation, they would get paid first according to Chapter 7 protocols.

The Internal Revenue Service and 12 individual state taxation agencies have the next dibs on debt as priority unsecured claimants. Each is listed as being owed “unknown” amounts.

Among the non-priority unsecured claimants who would be last to get paid (if at all) are trainers Rudy Rodriguez ($394,437), Richard Baltas ($316,070), Bob Baffert ($227,884), Brad Cox ($194,836), Todd Pletcher ($125,598), Mike Maker ($120,921) and Steve Asmussen ($102,541).

The documents state that Zayat has non-priority unsecured debts to the shipping company Brook Ledge of $164,401, and there are over $200,000 in debts from veterinary providers including Hagyard Equine Medical, Kentucky Equine Medical Associates, Kesmarc, Rood & Riddle, Stephen Selway, and Teigland, Franklin & Brokken.

By far the largest debt on the list is the $7.9 million listed for the Manhattan-based Cedarview Capital Management LP.

Zayat’s bankruptcy filing will undoubtedly have ripple effects upon the four cases of civil litigation in which he stated he or his racing company are currently defendants. The most prominent among them is the above-mentioned $23 million suit filed by MGG Investment Group, LP, in Fayette Circuit Court in Kentucky.

That lawsuit revolves around accusations that Zayat Stables hid the proceeds from the sale of nine lifetime breeding rights shares to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, plus at least 15 other “valuable racing Thoroughbreds” held as collateral, including retired Zayat color bearers and bloodstock-rights assets Bodemeister, Eskendereya, El Kabeir and Zensational.

A hearing in that case had already been scheduled for Sep. 9, and the court overseeing that suit and the parties to it have already been notified of Zayat’s Tuesday bankruptcy filing.

Years before Zayat Stables bred and raced champion American Pharoah, Ahmed Zayat was in the news and in the courts for money troubles. In 2009, Fifth Third Bank sued Zayat for $34 million, alleging he had defaulted on loans.

That suit resulted in a 2010 federal bankruptcy court deal to repay the loans while reorganizing Zayat Stables. At the time of settlement, Zayat said in a statement that “Zayat Stables will come out of this in a stronger financial position than ever, and it will allow us to devote all of our energies to what is most important: nurturing, developing, and racing the next generation of great American horses.”

According to the U.S. Courts website, Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection provides for liquidation of a debtor’s non-exempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.

However, to qualify for Chapter 7, a debtor must first meet strict income requirements. If a debtor’s current monthly income is more than the state median, the Bankruptcy Code requires application of a “means test” to determine whether the chapter 7 filing is presumptively abusive.

If a debtor doesn’t pass the means test, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be an option. But that version pays off debt through a repayment plan over a three- or five-year period instead of via liquidation.

The court on Wednesday appointed a trustee to oversee the bankruptcy. She is Barbara Edwards, an attorney based in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

An Oct. 5 telephonic hearing date has been set, at which Zayat is required to attend and face under-oath questioning. Creditors may attend, but are not required to do so.

The deadline for anyone wishing to object to the bankruptcy discharge or to challenge whether certain debts are dischargeable is Dec. 4.

In the Sep. 9 filing that appointed the trustee, the court added a notation that reads, “No property appears to be available to pay creditors. Therefore, please do not file a proof of claim now. If it later appears that assets are available to pay creditors, the clerk will send you another notice telling you that you may file a proof of claim and stating the deadline.”

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