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Updated: 7 hours 58 min ago

Godolphin Sophomores Have Weekend Graded Assignments

Mon, 2018-01-29 14:33

A pair of Godolphin homebreds with 2-year-old graded stakes wins on their resumes will kick off their sophomore seasons Saturday, with GII Nashua S. winner Avery Island (Street Sense) going postward in the GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct and GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. winner Enticed (Medaglia d’Oro) lining up for the GII Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream Park.

“Avery Island flies to New York Tuesday morning and he’ll run Saturday in the Withers because he won the Nashua at Aqueduct and he was second in the Remsen at Aqueduct, so we think he is familiar with the track and we thought that was the way to go,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Monday.

Stretched to 1 1/16 miles for his second career start, Avery Island graduated by 5 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park last September (video) before a commanding victory in the Nov. 5 GII Nashua S. at Aqueduct (video). He concluded his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort behind Catholic Cowboy (More Than Ready) in the Dec. 2 GII Remsen S.

Avery Island has been working steadily at McLaughlin’s winter base at Palm Meadows, most recently going five furlongs in 1:00.75 (6/32).

“Avery Island is improving every day,” McLaughlin said. “Every race he’s run, he has improved and he improves every morning in his training. We’re very happy with him. We’re excited about Saturday.”

A debut winner at Saratoga last September (video), Enticed was third behind Firenze Fire (Poseidon’s Warrior) and recently named champion juvenile Good Magic (Curlin) in the Oct. 7 GI Champagne S. He battled to a narrow victory when last seen in the Nov. 25 GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. (video) at Churchill Downs and makes his fourth start at a fourth track Saturday.

Enticed tuned up for his Holy Bull assignment with a four-furlong work at Palm Meadows last Friday in :49.75 (15.28).

“Enticed is doing very well,” McLaughlin said. “He worked Friday and the track was a little bit slower when he worked. He worked in :49 and a couple, but he worked well and is doing well. We’ll see how it goes Saturday in Florida.”

Enticed is the first foal to race out of Godolphin’s multiple Grade I winner It’s Tricky (Mineshaft). Now 10, the mare won the 2011 GI Acorn S. and GI Coaching Club American Oaks, as well as the 2012 GI Ogden Phipps H., for McLaughlin.

Asked if he sees similarities between mother and son, McLaughlin laughed, “No. Luckily not because she was properly named–It’s Tricky. She was tricky and was known to misbehave from time to time. He is a classy, classy colt that does everything right. But we see some similarities in their abilities because she was one of the best fillies that I ever trained. It’s nice to have a Medaglia d’Oro out of her that is so classy and does everything right and is talented.”

McLaughlin is ready to get the 2018 Triple Crown trail started.

“This is what we hope for every year,” McLaughlin said. “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed. It’s still quite a ways away from the first Saturday in May, but we are happy to have two of them heading that way and running this Saturday in important prep races.”

Two Seven-Figure Lots Anchor Karaka Day 2

Mon, 2018-01-29 14:06

Day two of the NZB Karaka Yearling Sale Book 1 followed on from Sunday’s opener as momentum continued to build during the second day of trade. Two lots made seven figures by the close of the session on Monday, a colt by Waikato Stud’s Savabeel (Aus) went to David Ellis of Te Akau Racing for NZ$1,025,000 (US$750,318/A$926,923/£533,177/€605,899 /¥81,740,940) and earlier in the day, a colt by Coolmore shuttler Fastnet Rock (Aus) brought an even NZ$1 million on the bid of Mark Pilkington Management/Lindsay Park Racing.

From a statistical perspective, 232 lots have grossed NZ$38,307,500 from a catalogue of 320. The average is NZ$165,119, while the median is NZ$120,000. The clearance rate is an encouraging 77%, as local and international buyers continue to make their presence felt during the reformatted sale.

Topping the session, and the entire sale so far, was a Cambridge Stud-consigned Savabeel colt (lot 301) out of New Zealand champion 3-year-old Katie Lee (Aus) (Pins {Aus}). A two-time Classic winner, Katie Lee is out of Group 3 winner Miss Jessie Jay (NZ) (Spectacularphantom), herself a half-sister to New Zealand champion sprinter/miler Gee I Jane (NZ) (Jahafil {GB}).

“He’s just one of those colts I had to have–he’s a beautiful example of equine excellence,” said Ellis, who is well on his way to being the sale’s leading buyer by gross for the 13th consecutive year. “I can see him winning a Group 1 like the Sires Produce and then heading to Australia to win a good 2-year-old race, but our goal will be the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton.”

Ellis is currently leading the buyers’ table, with 17 lots having caught his eye to the tune of NZ$4,595,000. Another Savabeel offering from Cambridge Stud–this time a filly (lot 290)–joined the Te Akau fold for NZ$900,000, the most expensive filly of the sale and the third highest lot of the day. Out of the winning Joy’s Choice (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}), who was third in a Group 2, the filly is the second foal of her dam. Joy’s Choice is a half-sister to MGSW and G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas bridesmaid La Sizeranne (NZ) (Stravinsky), while G1 Australian Derby hero Tavago (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) also sits under the second dam, the GSP Tricia Ann (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}).

Among the other purchases bought to bear the tangerine and blue and the third in the top 10 lots on Tuesday, was a Haunui Farm-consigned Snitzel (Aus) colt (lot 215). Ellis shelled out NZ$625,000 for the son of the Arrowfield-based champion sire out of MGSW Floria (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}). The August-foaled bay is the first foal of his dam, whose biggest day in the sun was a third in the G1 Tattersalls Tiara.

Pilkington snags Fastnet colt for NZ$1 million…

The NZ$1-million lot 156 purchased by Mark Pilkington in conjunction with Lindsay Park Racing, the second dearest lot on Monday, is the first foal out of Group 1 winner Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}) by Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock from the Curraghmore draft.

“He had the right pedigree, the right physique, and so all the credentials to be a good horse,” said Pilkington. “He certainly had the price tag, so hopefully he is a good horse. It made good sense, as the colt is out of a gun mare. He’s in keeping with the same sort of horse as Merchant Navy (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). We recently negotiated the sale of him [the G1 Coolmore Stud S. victor] to Coolmore for A$27 million, so it would be nice if this colt was going well enough to head down the same path. The Lindsay Park guys [co-trainers David Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig] have had a lot of luck here. They got [GSW & G1SP] Tulip (Aus) (Pierro {Aus}), who has been a great filly, then [undefeated listed winner] Long Leaf (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), who won the other day.”

The pedigree continues to improve, as Diademe’s full-brother Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}), a NZ$775,000 Karaka Premier graduate of 2016 who races for Te Akau Racing, captured the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas earlier this season and narrowly ran second in the Listed Karaka 3YO Classic on Saturday at Ellerslie. Embellish is bound for stud duty at Cambridge Stud when he retires.

Added Pilkington of the redesigned sale format, “I think the new concept has worked well, Everybody gets a chance to look at the horses and make up their own mind.”

Tavistock popularity continues…

Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan’s Cambridge Stud offered three of the top four lots on Tuesday, with a bay filly by their resident sire Tavistock (NZ) out of Listed Lightning H. victress Diamond Like (Aus) (Danehill) attracting the attention of Peter Moody. The trainer of Black Caviar (Aus) (Bel Esprit {Aus}) stretched to NZ$750,000 to acquire lot 159.

“She’s a lovely filly from a family that speaks for itself,” said Moody. “She’s one of those magical fillies that has a page to match. We’re looking to put a few nice fillies together, my wife and a few clients, that we can race back in Australia. She will stay here and get broken-in–like we traditionally do with our New Zealand fillies–we’ve always had good success doing it. Then she’ll head to Australia come October or November.”

Already the dam of GSW & MG1SP Forever Loved (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}), Group 3 winner Zephyron (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), G1SP Zenella (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and SP Ardeche (NZ) (Dehere), this was Diamond Like’s eighth foal. Her dam is high-class MG1SW Tristalove (NZ) (Sir Tristram {Ire}), who also left G1SW Viking Ruler (Aus) (Danehill) and GSW & MG1SP Kempinsky (Aus) (Danehill).

During Sunday’s opening session, a pair of Cambridge-consigned Tavistock foals were popular from this family: a filly (lot 10) out of Zenella brought NZ$420,000 on the bid of Bruce Perry Bloodstock, while lot 35, a colt, went to Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for NZ$300,000.

Nicoll looking for more Fastnet success…

Only 15 lots removed from Moody’s purchase, Adrian Nicoll, who had selected the aforementioned Long Leaf (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) at last year’s Premier Sale for NZ$750,000, was the winning bidder at NZ$725,000 for lot 172, a filly by the same sire and offered by Hallmark Stud. Out of the unraced Dragon’s Tail (Aus) (Galileo {Ire}), she is a full-sister to Te Akau’s 2018 G1 Levin Classic victor and G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas runner-up Age of Fire (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {NZ}.

“She’s a beautiful filly–the best individual I saw here,” said Nicoll of BBA Ireland, who was acting for an international syndicate. “I thought she might go for more than $600,000 and less than $800,000, so I was happy to go to $725,000 for her. Being a full-sister to a Group 1 winner, it just became a no-brainer. She’ll be going to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. We’ve put a partnership together, which includes the Niarchos family. It’s a similar group to the one we put together for a Frankel (GB) colt we bought a couple of years ago.”

Mulcaster busy on Tuesday…

Karaka’s Tuesday session did not take long to heat up, as bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster, acting for Kaha Syndicate and Mulcaster Bloodstock, struck for a striking bay son of Savabeel (NZ) (lot 108) just seven lots in. Offered by Waikato Stud, who stand the New Zealand champion sire, the September foal is the seventh from his unraced dam Chilled Out (NZ) (Anabaa). She is out of the listed winner Icy Calm (NZ) (Western Symphony), who also produced Listed Red Roses S. heroine and MG1SP The Big Chill (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) and the winning Forty Two Below (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}). The last named is responsible for three-time group heroine Coldplay (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}).

“We have a sister to this colt [Randwick scorer Savacool (NZ), a NZ$220,000 2016 NZBPRE purchase] and she has won her last two starts in Sydney, which has been very promising,” said Mulcaster, who has selected Horse of the Year and three-time G1 Cox Plate heroine Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) among others. “We thought he was a lovely colt which is what we came to try and buy. We are very happy with the horses we have bought from Waikato before. We will leave him here for about eight months and let him go through the system before he heads up to Melbourne for a small preparation. He will then go to the Sydney stable.”

Mulcaster was back in action for the very next lot, spending NZ$220,000 for a son of Ocean Park (NZ) (lot 109) from the Waikato Stud consignment. Out of Chorus (NZ) (Danasinga {Aus}), the foal is a half to three winners, among them the listed-placed Tralee Chorus (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}).

He also outlaid NZ$300,000 for a bay filly (lot 285) by Savabeel (Aus) out of Jacilo (NZ) (Entrepreneur {GB}), a Waikato consignee and half-sister to G1SW Miss Keepsake (NZ) (Keeper {Aus}); and NZ$100,000 for a son (lot 186) of Charm Spirit (Ire)–Enjuja (Aus) offered by Westbury Stud. The Charm Spirit colt is out of a half-sister to MGSW Cajarian (Sharastani) and the dam of G1 Nunthorpe S. heroine Margot Did (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}).

Mulcaster reflected, “We had Scream Park (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) run in the Karaka Millions 3YO Classic on Saturday and he ran an acceptable race [10th]. He probably felt the ground a little bit. For the owners to come and have an enjoyable time, they really loved it. We will be looking to bring another horse again next year. We have some Ocean Parks and we’re happy with them–it makes sense to keep sticking to what you know.”

The third session of Book 1 continues Tuesday from 11 a.m. local time, with lots 321-540 going under the hammer. For the complete results, go to www.nzb.co.nz.

Uncle Mo Ridgling Caps Off Sunday In Style

Sun, 2018-01-28 20:00

9th-SA, $55,725, Msw, 1-28, 3yo, 1mT, 1:35.13, fm.
EPICAL (r, 3, Uncle Mo–Klondike Hills, by Deputy Minister) ran down 8-5 favorite Concur (Curlin) and held off the closing Fibonacci (Artie Schiller) in an impressive debut performance to cap off Sunday at Santa Anita. The bay, sent off as a 19-1 longshot, sat comfortably behind a wall of horses around the first turn and onto the backside. She continued to stalk around the far bend before finding a lane just outside of the pacesetter at the quarter pole and gradually gained on Concur, who snuck through on the rail. Epical took command outside the sixteenth pole before holding off the charging Fibonacci in the final strides for a neck success on debut. Epical was a $205,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling purchase and he RNA’d for $145,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Spring 2-Year-old sale last year. His dam foaled fillies by Sky Mesa and To Honor and Serve in 2016 and 2017, respectively before visiting Oxbow in 2017. Turf runs deep in his pedigree, as his dam is a half to MGSW Strut The Stage (Theatrical {Ire}) and G3SW Sacred Song (Diesis {GB}). His third dam produced multiple Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearhart (Chief’s Crown) and GISW Explosive Red (Explodent). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $32,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-D P Racing; B-Jamm, Ltd. (KY); T-James M. Cassidy.

 

 

 

Record Weekend at Gulfstream

Sun, 2018-01-28 18:54

A weekend of racing which featured the $16-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. Saturday and a mandatory Rainbow 6 payout Sunday, set an all-sources handle record at Gulfstream Park. Handle for the weekend totaled $70.062 million, according to figures released by the track Sunday.

Saturday’s all-sources handle of $41,983,881 was the largest single-day handle in Gulfstream’s 79-year history, excluding Breeders’ Cup days. Sunday’s 12-race program produced a total handle of $28.079 million, with $15.788 million wagered on the 20-cent Rainbow 6.

The previous record for a two-program handle was set Florida Derby weekend last year when total wagering was $48.792 million, more than $8 million over 2016 figures.

Total handle on Gulfstream’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday programs totaled a record $81.186 million.

“This weekend shows what fans should come to expect from The Stronach Group, not only in world-class racing and life-changing wagers, but in entertainment, fashion and food,” said Gulfstream General Manager Bill Badgett. “We had some incredible moments from our athletes on the track this weekend and some remarkable feedback from those attending the weekend program. We will continue to challenge ourselves to engage the public, support horsemen, and create memorable moments.”

Karaka Begins Well

Sun, 2018-01-28 16:10

The opener of the reformatted New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale saw 76 yearlings find new homes during the first day of Book 1, good for an encouraging clearance rate of 81% from the 94 lots offered at the Karaka Sales Pavilion on Sunday evening after the day’s racing. A filly by boom kiwi sire Tavistock (NZ) went the way of Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for NZ$500,000. That early topper’s price was equaled near the end of trade, with Wallace Thoroughbreds snapping up a More Than Ready colt later in the night.

Although comparisons won’t be able possible until the end of the Karaka yearling sales, international and local buyers were out in force. The aggregate was NZ$11,505,000, the average hit NZ$151,382 and the median settled at NZ$110,000. Eleven lots brought NZ$300,000 or more, with Cambridge Stud’s Tavistock siring five of that number, while Waikato Stud’s Savabeel (Aus) (2) and Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock (Aus) (2) also featured.

“With no comparable Sale, we won’t get the full measure of the sale from a statistics point of view until the end of the week, but all early indications point to a great week ahead,” said New Zealand Bloodstock Managing Director Andrew Seabrook. “This is probably the best opening session we’ve seen at Karaka to date, and with really good reports on the overall quality on offer this year, and great depth to the buying bench, it bodes well for the momentum to continue.”

Dean Hawthorne struck for lot 48, going to NZ$500,000 for the Highden Park filly, who is a full-sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (NZ) and GSW Gobstopper (NZ). The filly will stay in New Zealand for another six months before heading across the Tasman.

“She’s athletic, neat, and a good Tavistock filly,” said Hawthorne, who was shopping Karaka for one reason–the pre-eminence of the New Zealand stayer. “We love the pedigree and what the mare’s [offspring] do. The stayers in New Zealand are the best in the Southern Hemisphere. We have seen some nice fillies in this sale and there are some nice Tavistocks still to come.”

Hawthorne also went to NZ$300,000 for another Tavistock, this time a colt (lot 35) from Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan’s Cambridge Stud. The colt is out of Ardeche (NZ), a half-sister to GSW & G1 Vinery Stud S. third Forever Loved (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}), GSW Zephyron (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and G1SP Zenella (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}). Rounding out Hawthorne’s Sunday trio was lot 64, an Iffraaj (GB) colt from the Haunui Farm draft for NZ$140,000, whose second dam is French champion and MG1SW Bright Sky (Ire) (Wolfhound).

Just under 40 lots later, co-trainers Bruce Wallace and Allan Peard paid NZ$500,000 for an attractive bay son (lot 84) of top shuttler More Than Ready offered by Haunui Farm. A half-brother to New Zealand Group 2 winner Ego (NZ) (E Dubai), as well as the stakes-placed duo of Ready Steady (NZ) (Perfectly Ready {Aus}) and Sans Souci (NZ) (Pins {Aus}), he is the ninth foal from Buckling (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}).

“We saw him during the parades out here and really liked the look of him,” said Peard. “He is a big raw-boned type who has a lot of scope about him and a great pedigree. We’ve bought him for a Hong Kong client who has raced a number of horses with us. It was a tough battle and I thought we had him NZ$100,000 earlier than his final price. He looks a sprinting type, although you can never tell at this early age. He has a pedigree that could make him a stallion with the right racetrack performance, but you just never know.”

Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan’s Cambridge Stud and their resident sire Tavistock were a recurring theme throughout the first day of selling. Sir Patrick is offering his final draft during the Karaka January Sales after selling the stud to Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who will take over in April. The most expensive yearling from the Cambridge draft was lot 10, a bay filly by Tavistock out of G1SP Zenella. She caught the attention of Bruce Perry Bloodstock, who stretched to NZ$420,000.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club was listed twice on the buyers sheets by the end of the first session, outlaying NZ$400,000 for a Fastnet Rock (Aus) colt (lot 26), the second foal out of the three-time winner Aneto (Aus) from Henley Park’s draft and another NZ$240,000 for Trelawney Stud’s bay colt (lot 80) by Savabeel (Aus). Produced by G1 New Zealand Oaks heroine Boundless (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy), the latter is from the same family as GSP Purrfection (NZ) (Tale of the Cat).

Seven yearlings from the Cambridge draft brought NZ$1,400,000, tops among vendors by aggregate. Tavistock was fourth by average (for three or more sold) at NZ$192,000 for 15 individuals, with only Fastnet Rock (Aus) (3 sold averaging NZ$283,333), first-season sire Sacred Falls (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) (3, NZ$201,667) and Savabeel (9, NZ$197,778) coming out ahead.

Fresh off capturing his second Karaka 2yo Million with Avantage (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) on Saturday, Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis, leading buyer at Karaka for the last 12 years, led all buyers by gross, shelling out NZ$1,030,000 for eight head, topped by a NZ$230,000 colt (lot 70) by Savabeel {Aus} hailing from the Brighthill Farm consignment. He is out of a full-sister to GSW & MG1SP G1 Golden Slipper second Von Costa De Hero (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}).

The second day of action at Karaka kicks off at 11 a.m. local time. For the complete results, go to www.nzb.co.nz.

New Rider for Bolt d’Oro

Sun, 2018-01-28 15:47

Javier Castellano will replace Corey Nakatani aboard Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) when the multiple Grade I winner makes his sophomore debut in the Mar. 10 GII San Felipe S. Nakatani was aboard for all four of Bolt d’Oro’s previous career starts, including wins in the GI Del Mar Futurity and GI FrontRunner S. He was third after a troubled start and a wide trip in the Nov. 4 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“Castellano’s going to ride Bolt d’Oro the San Felipe,” owner/trainer Mick Ruis told the Santa Anita publicity department Sunday. “I was disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup, but I just don’t want to make excuses.”

Nakatani was aboard Saturday when Bolt d’Oro had his first work since the Breeders’ Cup, going three furlongs in :36.80.

Away from racing for nearly a decade before reemerging as a major force in the game two years ago, Ruis recently purchased the 169-acre Chestnut Farm in Lexington. The property was previously owned by Michael House.

“I bought it sight unseen,” Ruis said of the purchase.

Week in Review: Principles Propel Mott to Court Battle

Sun, 2018-01-28 14:01

While newly christened Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) carried last week’s on-track headlines with his scintillating score in the GI Pegasus World Cup, there was no shortage of behind-the-scenes news percolating out of various racing commission meetings, lawsuits, and legislative efforts.

Bill Mott’s legal crusade against the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has all the elements of a fight worth following, both from the perspective of the Hall-of-Fame trainer wanting to clear his own name and for Mott’s stated desire to establish a legal precedent to protect other trainers who similarly believe they have been wronged by the NYSGC’s drug-testing process.

March 9 is now the next court date for Mott’s ongoing lawsuit against the NYSGC, which traces back to a pair of alleged medication overages in 2014, but has since escalated into a civil rights case based on the commission’s failure to provide the trainer with split blood samples to defend the allegations made against him.

State court action in Mott’s suit had been stayed pending the outcome of his NYSGC hearing report and results order. But that portion of the case reached a regulatory conclusion Jan. 22 when the NYSGC voted to concur with a hearing officer’s recommendation that Mott is responsible for an overage of the therapeutic drug flunixin (Banamine) in Saratoga Snacks (Tale of the Cat), who finished sixth and last at Belmont Park Sept. 20, 2014.

Even though the hearing officer deemed that Mott presented substantial evidence that he was not responsible for an improper third-party administration of furosemide (Lasix), the NYSGC still voted to uphold the original 15-day suspension and $1,000 fine handed down by the Belmont stewards based on the two original alleged violations (last week’s TDN story here).

Upon first learning of the penalty last Monday, Mott’s attorney, Andrew Mollica, termed the NYSGC decision a “travesty of justice.” In the days since, Mollica has had time to digest the hearing officer’s report in its entirety and attend a Thursday status hearing with a judge about how the court case will proceed.

Beyond finding it incredulous that some 2,000 pages of testimony transcripts got “glossed over” and boiled down into just a 17-page recommendation, Mollica said via phone on Friday that the NYSGC’s decision to cast aside the alleged Lasix infraction while not reducing the original penalty demands further scrutiny.

“On further reflection after looking at that order, what stands out to me is that [the hearing officer] found [the state’s testing lab to be] not right on the Lasix,” Mollica said. “Well, we take the position that if the [testing for] Lasix isn’t right, then neither is the Banamine.”

The hearing officer’s report established that when Mott initially requested a “referee” sample of the body fluids sampled from Saratoga Snacks, only the urine sample was delivered to the testing facility because the blood sample had been “consumed in the testing” at the NYSGC-approved lab.

The report, authored by Robert Liebers (an attorney who is an independently contracted hearing officer, and not a full-time commission employee), also asserted “There was no bad faith by failing to preserve a blood sample…. The fact that Dr. [George] Maylin [director of the New York Drug Testing and Research Program] testified that he would prefer to have more blood drawn does not create bad faith…. The fact that Dr. Maylin and [Mott] both believe that there could be a better system does not equate to bad faith.

“In summary, the system here worked as designed,” Liebers concluded.

Mott and Mollica strongly disagree with the hearing officer on that last point.

“So we’re now in a holding pattern, which is fine,” Mollica said. “All court battles take a long time, and this one’s going on 3 1/2 years so far.”

Alternate Preakness Pitch

A years-long $426,000 study conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority over the future of Pimlico Race Course edged closer to a second phase when the Maryland Racing Commission voted Jan. 25 to approve state funding to allow the analysis to continue.

The project still requires additional legislative sign-offs before it advances further, and it’s important to keep in mind that this initiative is only the research phase to determine if the home of the second jewel of the Triple Crown is worthy of a $250-300 million refurbishment–it is not the actual renovation or rebuild of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC)-owned track itself.

According to the Baltimore Sun, completion of the study in 2018 will involve “analysis of the neighborhood surrounding the track and of possible non-racing uses for the facility,” with the goal of being able to use the information that is gathered to debate Pimlico’s future during the 2019 General Assembly session (full story here).

But at least one state representative doesn’t think the Maryland legislature will ever fund a Pimlico rehab, and that studying that scenario further is a passive waste of time.

Delegate Patrick McDonough, a Republican running for Baltimore County executive, told the Sun he’ll be filing a bill to create a public-private commission to instead research building a brand-new “state-of-the-art” racetrack elsewhere in Baltimore County as part of a grand-scale sports and entertainment complex.

Without it, McDonough said he believes the GI Preakness S. is in danger of being transferred by the MJC to its sister track, Laurel Park, which sits roughly 30 miles south in Prince George’s County.

“I’m trying to stimulate debate on the subject,” McDonough told the Sun. “When politicians sit on their butts, bad things happen…. This is a major sporting event. Losing it would be like losing a professional team.”

McDonough added that Baltimore County has ample open space to accommodate a sports-and-racetrack facility, and he is advocating for private funding of the project.

Ark Sinking?

Remember all the buzz about the Ark a few months ago? In September, the TDN profiled the first racehorse to clear quarantine through the new $65 million, privately owned, full-service animal transit facility at Kennedy International Airport.

For international Thoroughbred shippers, the equine portion of the 178,000 square-foot, climate-controlled, veterinarian-staffed complex built adjacent to the JFK runways was supposed to offer inbound New York horses a faster, better alternative to vanning two or three hours to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) facility in Newburgh, New York.

Now, four months later, the Ark is incurring “massive operational losses” and is in imminent danger of closing, the facility’s owner, John Cuticelli Jr., told the New York Times last Wednesday.

Although the Ark was designed to house many types of imported animals, racehorses had been projected to be key clients. Cuticelli also operates the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital just outside the Belmont Park stable gate.

In September, Cuticelli told TDN that the opening of the Ark “will lead to a lot more horses shipping to the U.S. or shipping to race in other countries. It’s all about how the horses are cared for. When a horse comes through here, that horse is ready to run. That’s our goal. So we believe it is a foregone conclusion that we will help make it easier for horses to ship around the world.”

According to the Times, Cuticelli recently filed a $426 million lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Queens against his landlord, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, based on a claim that the Port Authority is failing to enforce the “exclusive rights” part of the Ark’s lease that pertains to the intake of animals coming to the airport from outside the country.

The story cited an added cost of several hundred dollars per animal as a potential reason transporters are bypassing the Ark for the Newburgh facility. But it also pointed out that Cuticelli “does not know whether he has stumbled into some bureaucratic nightmare with the Port Authority, a turf war between government agencies, or is the object of a boycott” by livestock shipping agents and transporters.

“It makes no sense to me why the Port Authority, the USDA and all the other agencies involved in the creation of this facility are not supporting its use,” Cuticelli told the Times. “I entered into a technically, legally binding contract with exclusivity. Otherwise, I never would have done it.”

The Times reported that Dora Delgado, a senior vice president of racing and nominations for the Breeders’ Cup, sent a December letter to the USDA expressing “concerns about the Port Authority’s plans to require ‘international equine athletes’ to use Ark,” when flying into New York instead of allowing owners to utilize other USDA-approved quarantine options.

“The 40 or so racehorses a year that fly into Kennedy from Europe, Japan and elsewhere for races within two weeks of landing represent only a fraction of the total expected volume,” the Times reported.

A Horse of a Lifetime: Gun Runner Stands Tall in Pegasus

Sat, 2018-01-27 20:57

Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}–Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway) had absolutely nothing to prove heading into Saturday’s $16-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park. Crowned a most deserving Horse of the Year and champion older male dirt horse at Thursday night’s Eclipse Awards, he had earned Beyer Speed Figures north of 110 in ths last six races he contested on these shores, beginning with his victory in the 2016 GI Clark H. up to and including his 2 1/4-length defeat of Collected (City Zip) and fellow champion West Coast (Flatter) in November’s GI Breeders’ Cup Classic. One could quietly assume that he would also have earned a lofty number for his runner-up effort in the G1 Dubai World Cup behind inaugural Pegasus winner Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song).

Pegged at 4-5 on the morning line, Gun Runner opened at 7-5, something of a vote of no confidence given that he drew gate 10 with a short run to the first turn at the nine-furlong trip, not to mention the presence of those that filled the four of the next five placings behind him at Del Mar 11 weeks ago. The slick chestnut touched 4-5 at one point during the latter stages of the betting and the tote read even money when the field of 12 loaded the gate about 10 minutes later than the advertised post time. Ultimately, those that took the 11-10 about the favorite were left feeling they received good value for their betting dollar, as Gun Runner never looked a loser at any point of the race, reporting home two lengths clear of West Coast, with Gunnevera (Dialed In) a mile further back in third.

Despite the apparent poor draw, Gun Runner and Florent Geroux figured to be able to work out a good trip, assuming a clean break. The 5-year-old showed in his victories in the GI Stephen Foster H. and in the Classic that he could set a strong pace and still keep finding, but arguably more importantly, had demonstrated a rating gear in taking out the GI Whitney S. and the GI Woodward S. at Saratoga last summer.

It appeared that the latter tactic would win out, with the likes of Collected and the outstanding GI Cigar Mile H. winner Sharp Azteca (Freud) drawn underneath him, but when the latter was not aggressively ridden away from the machine by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Gun Runner was easily able to slide across the face of the field and into a two-path trip, the best possible outcome to make use of his high cruising speed.

With Collected hustled away from there by Mike Smith, he was able to secure the lead, but had to go reasonably hard through an opening quarter in :23.41. Gun Runner lobbed along under an easy hold from Geroux while West Coast got the best trip inside from fourth. Sharp Azteca was set a hopeless task, racing in the breeze three and four wide, while late runners and horses for the course like Gunnevera and Fear the Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) bided their time in the rear, hoping that their classier rivals might come back to them late.

Gun Runner raced full of run into the far turn, appearing to have Collected whenever he wanted, and with three-eighths of a mile, Geroux released the hand brakes and the chalk looked ready to blow the race open, especially with Javier Castellano hard at work atop the rallying West Coast. Still confidently ridden, Gun Runner turned them in and led clear into the final eighth of a mile.

As is his wont, he hopped off onto his incorrect lead when cracked left-handed inside the final eighth of a mile, but there was no quit in him and he remained clear to the wire, then galloped out well in front. West Coast stamped himself as the future king of the hill while pulling better than 10 lengths clear of some good horses.

“I’m so impressed for him to come through like he did today, to overcome the draw. I’m just so proud of the horse. What a dream come true,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “He has improved with every opportunity. Even when he didn’t have success, he moved forward from it. So pleased to be in his presence. This memory will be with us forever. To be able to share it with my family, just a wonderful ownership group. What a special horse.

Asmussen continued, “It’s the cherry on the top, this one. This race, the world’s richest horse race after him being named Horse of the Year on Thursday night. For him to be able to go out on top and go back to his next career with everybody feeling the way that we have, and it’s built up to this point. I’m just so proud of the whole team and happy for them. How much love that this team and Florent have for this horse is just a beautiful thing. You’re rooting him on. But when he broke like he did and got in the position that he did, we felt wonderful about it.”

And so a brilliant career at the races gives way to another in the breeding shed at Three Chimneys. Winner of the GII Risen Star S. and GII Louisiana Derby, Gun Runner was third in the GI Kentucky Derby and was runner-up in the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile before walloping his elders in the Clark. His 2017 campaign commenced with a towering success in the GIII Razorback H. and might have won the World Cup but for one of the great performances in recent history. Gun Runner retires with 12 wins and five minor placings from 19 starts for earnings of $15,988,500.

What They Said:

“Turning for home I thought Gun Runner might be a little empty but his tank is so big and he just kept going. He’s just a great horse. He just kept on running. I was proud of my horse [West Coast]. He just keeps getting better. I can’t really complain. We just got beat by a really good horse. He was tested the whole way around there. It was a good horse race. I just came up a little short.” –trainer Bob Baffert

The one good thing about this race is I won’t have to deal with [Gun Runner] anymore; he’s retired and I think my horse is really gonna step out and become a top, top horse.” –Javier Castellano, jockey, West Coast

“I’m so happy and so proud for my horse. The horses that beat him were both champions. I don’t think many people thought he had a chance to win but he showed he’s a very good horse and he ran a big race.” –Antonio Sano, trainer, Gunnevera

Pedigree Notes:

Gun Runner is one of 12 Grade I winners for his outstanding Lane’s End-based stallion, five of which are out of Storm Cat-line mares. Another, ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mastery has a second dam by the former legendary stallion. Gun Runner’s dam won the 2011 GII Molly Pitcher S. for the Estate of Edward Evans and was purchased by Ben Leon’s Besilu Stable for $3 million at that year’s Keeneland November Sale. Gun Runner is her first foal. A daughter of SW & GSP Quiet Dance (Quiet American), Quiet Giant is a half-sister to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado)–himself the sire of HOTY Havre de Grace from his lone crop to race–SW Dance Quietly (A.P. Indy), GSW Congressionalhonor (Forestry), MGISP Miss Besilu (Medaglia d’Oro), GSP American Dance (A.P. Indy) and SP Funtastic (More Than Ready). Another of Quiet Dance’s daughters, Quiet Now (Tiznow), is the dam of GSW Lull (War Front). Gun Runner’s third dam was a half-sister to Irish champion Minstrella. Quiet Giant, now 11 years old, is the dam of a 3-year-old Tapit filly that Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm bought for $1.4 million at Keeneland September in 2016. The mare is represented by a 2-year-old Tapit filly and her 2017 produce is a full-brother to Candy Ride. She was not bred last year.

Saturday, Gulfstream Park
PEGASUS WORLD CUP INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $16,300,000, GP, 1-27, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:47.41, ft.
1–GUN RUNNER, 124, h, 5, by Candy Ride (Arg)
1st Dam: Quiet Giant (GSW, $405,389), by Giant’s Causeway
2nd Dam: Quiet Dance, by Quiet American
3rd Dam: Misty Dancer, by Lyphard
O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Three Chimneys Farm;
B-Besilu Stables LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Florent
Geroux. $7,000,000. Lifetime Record: Horse of the Year & Ch.
Older Dirt Male-US, G1SP-UAE, 19-12-3-2, $15,988,500. Werk
Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–West Coast, 124, c, 4, Flatter–Caressing, by Honour and
Glory. ($425,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Gary & Mary West; B-CFP
Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $1,600,000.3–Gunnevera, 124, c, 4, Dialed In–Unbridled Rage, by
Unbridled. ($16,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Margoth &
Gallo Stables; B-Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch (KY);
T-Antonio Sano. $1,300,000.
Margins: 2HF, 10 3/4, HF. Odds: 1.10, 3.70, 13.70.
Also Ran: Fear the Cowboy, Seeking the Soul, Stellar Wind, Collected, Sharp Azteca, Giant Expectations, War Story, Singing Bullet, Toast of New York. Scratched: Game Over, Giuseppe the Great. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Gun Runner Goes Out a Winner in Pegasus World Cup

Sat, 2018-01-27 18:10

GUN RUNNER (h, 5, Candy Ride {Arg}–Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway), crowned Horse of the Year at Thursday night’s Eclipse Awards, went out a winner Saturday with a convincing score in the $16-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream. Away well from his much-talked-about outside draw, the chestnut sat a perfect trip in second pressing splits of :23.41, :46.61 and 1:10.21 set by Collected (City Zip). Only he or West Coast (Flatter) looked like possible winners turning for home, and while 2017’s champion sophomore gave game chase, Gun Runner simply had more in the tank despite struggling with his lead changes a bit. The margin of victory was some two lengths, with a chasm back to Gunnevera (Dialed In) in third. Gun Runner, last seen annexing the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 4, stopped the timer in 1:47.41. He will now head to Three Chimneys Farm for stud duty, and will command an initial fee of $70,000. Lifetime Record: Horse of the Year and Ch. Older Male, 19-12-3-2.
O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Three Chimneys Farm. B-Besilu Stables LLC (Ky). T-Steven Asmussen.

Saturday, Gulfstream Park
PEGASUS WORLD CUP INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $16,300,000, GP, 1-27, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:47.41, ft.
1–GUN RUNNER, 124, h, 5, by Candy Ride (Arg)
                1st Dam: Quiet Giant (GSW, $405,389),
                                by Giant’s Causeway
                2nd Dam: Quiet Dance, by Quiet American
                3rd Dam: Misty Dancer, by Lyphard
O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Three Chimneys Farm;
B-Besilu Stables LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Florent
Geroux. $7,000,000. Lifetime Record: Horse of the Year & Ch.
Older Dirt Male-US, G1SP-UAE, 19-12-3-2, $15,988,500. Werk
   Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–West Coast, 124, c, 4, Flatter–Caressing, by Honour and
Glory. ($425,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Gary & Mary West; B-CFP
Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $1,600,000.
3–Gunnevera, 124, c, 4, Dialed In–Unbridled Rage, by
Unbridled. ($16,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Margoth &
GalloStables; B-Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch (KY);
T-Antonio Sano. $1,300,000.
Margins: 2HF, 10 3/4, HF. Odds: 1.10, 3.70, 13.70.
Also Ran: Fear the Cowboy, Seeking the Soul, Stellar Wind, Collected, Sharp Azteca, Giant Expectations, War Story, Singing Bullet, Toast of New York. Scratched: Game Over, Giuseppe the Great.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Pricey Uncle Mo Colt Gets it Done Second Out at Gulfstream

Sat, 2018-01-27 13:18

4th-GP, $53,000, Msw, 1-27, 3yo, 1m, 1:37.08, ft.
LIFE’S A PARLAY (c, 3, Uncle Mo–Mir Cat, by Tale of the Cat), backed down to even-money stretching out an additional furlong after a third-place run as the chalk on debut Jan. 6, dueled and drew off to get the job done this time around. The $725,000 KEESEP pick-up knocked heads early with Travelling Midas (Quality Road) before putting that one away at the top of the lane. Wandering about a bit as the finish line approached, he made it with daylight to spare by 1 1/2 lengths from the fast-charging Personal Time (Malibu Moon). Travelling Midas held of for third. The winner is a half to Declassify (Orientate), GISW, $261,740. His dam visited American Pharoah last breeding season. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-1, $35,670. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-Bell Tower Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

 

The ‘Cache’ Proves Accurate on Distorted Humor Filly

Sat, 2018-01-27 12:27

2nd-GP, $53,000, Msw, 1-27, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:24.60, ft.
CACHE (f, 3, Distorted Humor–Wait Til Dawn {SW}, by Giant’s Causeway), bet off the board down to 6-5 for the same barn that unveiled super impressiveTDN Rising StarStrike Power (Speightstown) here last month, soon showed what all the fuss was about. Bounced around at the start, she rushed up along the rail to take closer order tucked in behind splits of :22.54 and :46.08. The $500,000 KEESEP yearling took over turning for home and, despite showing significant greenness in the stretch, put 2 3/4 lengths on fellow firster Takechargedelilah (Take Charge Indy) at the wire. Cache’s stakes-winning dam produced a Tapit filly in 2016 who brought $800,000 from Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. Wait Til Dawn followed that up iwth another Tapit filly this past season before being bred back to Medaglia d’Oro. Stakes-winning second dam Path of Thunder (Thunder Gulch) produced GSW Excited (Giant’s Causeway), who in turn was responsible for SW/MGSP Thrilled (Uncle Mo). This is also the family of MGISW Spain (Thunder Gulch). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,800. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Courtlandt Farms (Donald & Donna Adam); B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-Mark A. Hennig.

TAP-it Filly Kicks off Pegasus Day Festivities

Sat, 2018-01-27 11:49

1st-GP, $53,000, Msw, 1-27, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.55, fm.
AMERTUME (f, 3, Tapit–Honest Pursuit, by Storm Cat), let go at 8-1 despite her strong pedigree and formidable connections, kicked off the Pegasus World Cup Day festivities with a green but promising debut score. The bay homebred bided her time well out of it early, but emerged down the center of the course heading for home and inhaled her foes over the top despite obvious immaturity to defeat pacesetting Figarella’s Queen (Medaglia d’Oro) by a half-length. The winner’s dam, a $3.1-million KEENOV acquisition in 2009, is a daughter of GISW Honest Lady (Seattle Slew), making her a half to GISW First Defence (Unbridled’s Song). Her third dam is blue hen Toussaud (El Gran Senor). Honest Pursuit has a 2-year-old colt named Fairface (Tapit) and a yearling colt named Nomadic (Pioneerof the Nile). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,800. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O/B-Wertheimer Et Frere (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

Uncle Mo Filly Racks Up Another Victory for Eclipse-Winning Owner

Fri, 2018-01-26 18:55

6th-SA, $55,380, Msw, 1-26, 3yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:05.08, ft.

COGNITIVE (f, 3, Uncle Mo–Dream Sweeper {SP}, by Salt Lake), backed down to 6-5 to carry the famed pink and green silks of Thursday evening’s Eclipse Award-winning owner Juddmonte Farms to victory, ran to the money with a stalk-and-pounce trip. Settling in just behind the speed while saving ground, the $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad tipped out turning for home as Spend Spend Spend (Majestic Warrior) assumed command with a strong move. Spend Spend Spend dug in gamely in the run to the line, but Cognitive’s kick was relentless and she wore her rival down late by a half-length. The winner was produced by a stakes-placed half-sister to MGISW Dream Rush (Wild Rush)-the dam of GISW Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Ind) and stakes-winning young sire Atreides (Medaglia d’Oro)-and is a half-sister to multiple stakes-placed Dreams to Reality (Lookin At Lucky). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $32,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

O-Juddmonte Farms, Inc.; B-Dr. Rod Orr (KY); T-Bob Baffert.

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San Luis Rey Funds Update

Fri, 2018-01-26 17:46

In Friday’s TDN, we reported on the money distributed through the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation and the GoFundMe efforts which were discussed at Thursday’s CHRB meeting, but two other notable fundraising efforts are worthy of mention as well.

Coolmore and Mike Repole donated two no-guarantee 2018 seasons to Uncle Mo to help the victims of the San Luis Rey Downs fire in December. Proceeds from both seasons went to the Thoroughbred Charities of America Horses First Fund in aid of the San Luis Rey Downs fire relief efforts. Juddmonte Farms and Gary Barber made the winning bids of $110,000 each ($220,000 total).

“Everyone at Coolmore has been moved by what we have seen happen in Southern California and we hope by donating this season we will be able to provide some comfort to those who need it most,” commented Dermot Ryan of Coolmore America at the time.

Close to $90,000 was collected by the Racetrack Chaplaincy of California, one of the organizations that was first on the ground at the scene to help. Those monies included a $26,000 bid on a no-guarantee season to California Chrome, donated by Taylor Made Farm and the California Chrome syndicate and purchased by Arizona’s Elena Crim. “It made sense to us for California Chrome to donate to the victims in California, but overall, we just felt it was just a good thing to do,” said Duncan Taylor.

Donations to the Racetrack Chaplaincy were also spurred by a $10,000 matching grant announced in the TDN by two anonymous horsemen which far outstripped its goal.

“We have been getting donations in from all over,” said Dan Waits, Executive Director of the RCCA. “Most of the immediate needs have been met, with bedding and clothing distributed, after these workers had lost just about everything in the fire. We gave out sleeping bags and mattresses, the food needs have been met, and the supplemental needs have been met. (The RCCA’s) Mark Dunn was one of the first responders who was there and they sprang into action, bought pillows, blankets, small heaters, toothbrushes. In the barns that were burned, they lost everything–car titles, passports, immigration papers. We are sitting with a surplus and we want to be good stewards. Those monies were meant for the fire relief victims. They’re gathering information and ideas so they can make the wisest decisions on what to do with the remaining funds.”

Waits said that one consideration was to help burn victims to pay for what he called “sizeable balances” at local burn centers. “We feel like all the donors gave for the specific purpose of helping those fire victims,” he said. “It’s going to be long-term decision on projects, as we want to make sure it goes to the fire victims. The council is gathering information and we’re going to make the best decisions possible.”

Israel Vega, the board chairman of the RTCC, said that watching not just the equine industry but people from the region reach out to help was inspiring. “People from the community rolled up their sleeves, people showed up in one-horse vans, picking up the stray horses and taking them to Del Mar or taking care of them themselves. Area restaurants literally came driving through the back gates of Del Mar with boxes of sandwiches and drinks. It was just heartwarming that, tragic as the event was, it showed the best of people and they all came through together.”

 

Quality Road Colt Stays Unbeaten, Becomes Newest ‘Rising Star’

Fri, 2018-01-26 16:49

Captain Scotty (c, 4, Quality Road–She Is Raging, by Aggressive Chief) ran five overmatched rivals off their feet at Santa Anita Friday afternoon, good for ‘TDN Rising Star’ honors.

A visually impressive 6 3/4-length debut winner for owner/trainer Tim Ritchey at Laurel Park Dec. 3, the $75,000 FTMOCT yearling graduate was off as the even-money favorite while making his first attempt for owners Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable and trainer Peter Miller.

The bay quickly sprinted to the lead and was three lengths in front through an opening quarter in :22.53. Still under a hand ride by Flavien Prat and unchallenged at the quarter pole, Captain Scotty let out another gear in the stretch and kicked away with ease for a 5 1/2-length decision. Stablemate Big League (Speightstown) completed the exacta.

Captain Scotty hails from the same female family as MGSW and MGISP Majestic City (City Zip). His multiple stakes-placed dam She Is Raging is also represented by a Quality Road filly of 2016, a $220,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess. She Is Raging was most recently bred to Upstart. Captain Scotty’s red-hot sire Quality Road was represented by a pair of champions at Thursday evening’s Eclipse Awards.

2nd-SA, $58,361, Alw (NW1$X), Opt. Clm ($40,000), 1-26, 4yo/up, 6f, 1:09.83, ft.
CAPTAIN SCOTTY, c, 4, by Quality Road
1st Dam: She Is Raging (MSP, $286,863), by Aggressive Chief
2nd Dam: Not So Pleasant, by Pleasant Tap
3rd Dam: Go For Bold, by Bold Forbes
($75,000 Ylg ’15 EASOCT). Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $56,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Wachtel Stable & Gary Barber; B-John R. Mulholland & Martha Jane Mulholland (KY); T-Peter Miller.

Street Sense Breeze Up Sensation Scores On Debut

Fri, 2018-01-26 15:56

WALK IN THE SUN (c, 3, Street Sense–Mystic Melody {SW & MGSP-Fr}, by Seattle Slew), the €1.4million Arqana Breeze-Up record setter, was hot property for this belated debut and travelled like a short-priced favourite from the outset as he tanked behind the unbeaten Godolphin pace-setter First Contact (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}). Needing the whip to eventually edge ahead of that rival inside the final 100 yards, the 5-4 chalk stayed on in professional manner to prevail by a short head and start his career in perfect fashion, with eight lengths separating the front duo and the third. Walk In the Sun was a stand-out at the Breeze-Up, with his pedigree stacking up against his impressive paces. His dam was a useful performer for Andre Fabre, winning the Listed Prix Coronation and placing in the G3 Prix des Reservoirs and G3 Prix Vanteaux. Her half-brother Alpha (Bernardini), now residing at Sequel Stallions, New York, was successful in the GI Woodward S. and dead-heated in the 2012 GI Travers S., while she is also a half to the MGSP Lavender Sky (Mt. Livermore). Initially a $15,000 KEESEP yearling, Walk In the Sun was a pinhooking masterpiece even by the exalted standards in that sphere of Willie Browne’s Mocklershill organisation. The second dam Munnaya (Nijinsky II) was a Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial winner out of the G3 Princess Margaret S. scorer Hiaam (Alydar) who is a half to Key To the Moon, Gorgeous (Slew o’ Gold) and Seaside Attraction (Seattle Slew). The latter was responsible for the champion Golden Attraction (Mr. Prospector) and sires Cape Town and Cape Canaveral, with this also being the family of Fantastic Light and Swain (Ire). Mystic Melody has been bred to both Animal Kingdom and Elusive Quality. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $5,487. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited; B-Godolphin (KY); T-Jeremy Noseda.

Criquette Head-Maarek on the Taylor Made-TDN Podcast

Fri, 2018-01-26 15:54

On February 1, Criquette Head-Maarek will retire, concluding one of the greatest careers any trainer has ever had. A member of what one may call France’s first family of racing, she has won the Arc de Triomphe three times, established herself at a time when few thought a female could rise to the top ranks of the French trainer standings, and on two occasions beat life-threatening illnesses. Head-Maarek is this week’s guest on the Thoroughbred Daily News podcast, brought to you by Taylor Made. Click here to listen.

Gun Runner Takes Home More Hardware as Horse of the Year

Thu, 2018-01-25 23:03

In what was pretty much a foregone conclusion–especially after he took home the hardware as champion older dirt male earlier in the evening–Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) was crowned Horse of the Year at Thursday evening’s Eclipse Awards. The then 4-year-old turned in an excellent five-for-six season in 2017, with his lone defeat a runner-up effort behind Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) in the G1 Dubai World Cup. The Steve Asmussen pupil came back to the States better than ever, reeling off four dominant victories culminating in a comprehensive success in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Curlin’s Good Magic Gets the Nod in Juvenile Male Category

Thu, 2018-01-25 22:53

e Five Racing and Stonestreet Stables’s Good Magic (Curlin–Glinda the Good, by Hard Spun) has been named champion 2-year-old male at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park. The chestnut colt, who was second in the GI Champagne S., broke his maiden while making his third career start in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

BC Upsetter Caledonia Road Gives Quality Road Second ’17 Eclipse Winner

Thu, 2018-01-25 22:45

GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Caledonia Road (Quality Road–Come a Callin, by Dixie Union) has been named champion 2-year-old filly at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park. Owned by Zoom and Fish Stable, Charlie Spiring and Newtown Anner Stud, the bay filly was also second in the GI Frizette S.

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