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Updated: 4 hours 35 min ago

Mia Mischief The One to Beat in Honorable Miss

Tue, 2019-07-23 12:16

William and Corinne Heligbrodt, Heider Family Stables and Madaket Stables’ TDN Rising Star‘ Mia Mischief(Into Mischief) will spot five rivals anywhere between three and nine pounds as the 123-pound highweight in Wednesday’s GII Honorable Miss H. at Saratoga.

The tough-luck loser of last year’s GI Test S. and also runner-up in the GII Prioress S. at the Spa last summer, the 4-year-old was a handy Oaklawn allowance winner on her seasonal debut Mar. 3, but she did not look entirely comfortable when a well-beaten second to Louisiana-bred Ours to Run (Half Ours) in a sloppy renewal of the Carousel S. Apr. 6. Those who still believed got 11-1 in the GI Humana Distaff S., a race in which Mia Mischief defeated the classy Marley’s Freedom (Blame) by 1 3/4 lengths, and she exits a hard-fought, 3/4-length success in the June 22 Roxelana S. at Churchill. On that occasion she defeated big-figure GIII Miss Preakness S. winner Covfefe (Into Mischief) into third.

Chalon (Dialed In), caught on the wire in last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, has an imposing record of 4-2-1 from seven tries over Wednesday’s six-furlong trip, including a popular two-length victory in the Skipat S. on the Preakness S. undercard May 17. She was a latest second to last year’s Test winner Separationofpowers (Candy Ride {Arg}) after being bumped at the start of the seven-furlong GIII Bed O’Roses S. at Belmont June 7 and gets three pounds from the likely favorite.

“She came back from her last race in good shape and we’ve been aiming for this one,” Delacour said. “I like this spot better because it fits better than seven [furlongs]. She’s been training well heading in and I’m excited to see her back. It looks like she’s back in good form and ready to try again this year.”

Former claimer Ours to Run carries a six-race winning streak into this first graded foray and has won eight straight on the main track. Perfect in three outings this season, she annexed Delta’s Premier Night Matron S. Feb. 9 and the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle S. May 25 around her open-company tally at Oaklawn. John Velazquez takes the call for trainer Larry Jones.

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A Historical Look At First-Season Sires

Tue, 2019-07-23 11:39

It’s true that the bloodstock world can be preoccupied with the success or failure of first-season sires. The lack of immediate success can condemn some stallions and it can also put undue pressure on others far too early in their careers. Just like any horse race, the race to become a top sire frequently changes complexion in the course of the first two to three years. And that’s fine as long as it fits with expectation. Some stallions will blaze a trail in the first three months and join the many also-rans when their true ability is fully exposed.

Our table of all freshmen sires since 2000, ranked by individual winners to July 21 in the season, clearly demonstrates the mix of precocity and class. Gutaifan (Ire)’s 15 winners so far is just one shy of were his grandsire Acclamation was in 2007 and identical to the number his sire Dark Angel had in 2011. All the sires on our table can be considered fast starters, but for the vast majority it was always going to be their only time in the spotlight. Later in year one and during years two and three as the focus turns away from precocity and points inexorably towards quality, most stallions fall by the wayside, to be replaced by the next generation of shooting stars.

Of the 25 fast starters between 2000 and 2018, over two-thirds ended up with a stakes winner to runner percentage of less than 5% and as many as 12 could not even manage 3%. Moreover, the vast majority failed to improve their mares. And don’t forget, we are looking only at the better first-season sires here.

There are, however, stallions that can manage to be both precocious and long-lasting. The Irish National Stud’s Invincible Spirit (Ire) had a table-topping 18 winners to his name by this stage in 2006, one ahead of another ultimately successful sire in Iffraaj (GB), who set a record for winning first-season youngsters with 38 in 2010. Cape Cross (Ire) also combined a fast start with ultimate longevity: he had 12 winners by this point and went on to sire Sea The Stars (Ire) and Golden Horn (GB). And it looks very likely that No Nay Never will follow the same path. He too had 12 individual winners by this time and he’s just sired the winners of the G1 July Cup and G2 Superlative S. Significantly, his strike rate stands at 11.2% stakes winners to runners, the best of this group. Let’s see if he can stay the right side of 10% which could very much depend whether he’s a sire of pure sprinters or sprinter-milers.

The lack of a stakes winner at this point is not significant. Cape Cross hadn’t yet sired a stakes winner, while Invincible Spirit (listed winner Bahama Mama {Ire}) and Dark Angel (listed winner Lily’s Angel {Ire}) had only one apiece. So there is still ample time for the likes of Night Of Thunder (Ire), who had produced the best winners-to-runners strike rate of any freshman sire with 20-plus runners in the past 20 years with 12 winners in 2019 from only 22 runners (55%). And you can be certain there are more progressive types waiting in the wings.

What this table tells us more than anything else is that there’s a keen commercial demand for all types of stallions, ranging from the fast-starting winner getters to the traditional Classic sires and all points in between.

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Graydar to Milky Way Farms

Mon, 2019-07-22 18:03

Graydar (Unbridled’s Song–Sweetest Smile, by Dehere) has been relocated to Linda Madsen’s Milky Way Farms in Temecula, California. The stallion had previously stood at Taylor Made Stallions in Kentucky.

“There aren’t many Grade I-winning sons of Unbridled’s Song and we are very excited to bring one of Graydar’s caliber to California,” said Madsen. “He was an accomplished racehorse and a dominant performer on the track. He is passing on his looks, speed, and class, and two of his best horses have had success in California. He is a perfect complement to our roster.”

Graydar, winner of the 2013 GI Donn H., GII Kelso H., and GII New Orleans H., is the sire of this year’s Smarty Jones S. winner Gray Attempt, as well as graded stakes winner Lombo. He is also the sire of this year’s G2 UAE Derby and GIII Indiana Derby runner-up Gray Magician and recent stakes-winning filly Wondrshegotthundr.

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MJC Opens Eighth OTB Site

Mon, 2019-07-22 17:27

The Maryland Jockey Club opened its eighth off-track betting facility Monday at Long Shot’s sports bar in the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center. The opening of Long Shot’s comes 10 months after the MJC expanded its network of off-track betting sites to the MGM National Harbor, a luxury resort, retail, dining and entertainment venue in Oxon Hill and it joins facilities at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Greenmount Station in Hampstead, Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, GBoone’s Events Center in Boonsboro and Hollywood Casino in Perryville, as well as the Riverboat Restaurant in Colonial Beach, Va.

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Colonial Downs Announces Take-Out Rates

Mon, 2019-07-22 17:24

Colonial Downs, following approval Monday from the Virginia Racing Commission, has announced take-out rates for its upcoming meeting.

During its 15-day race meeting, which begins Aug. 8, the track will have a win, place and show take out of 16%. Exacta, trifecta, superfecta and early and late daily doubles, Pick 3s and Pick4s will have a 20% takeout rate and the Pick 5 will feature a promotional 12% takeout.

“Our team at Colonial Downs Group has worked diligently to be widely inclusive with the revival of Thoroughbred racing in Virginia and we have left no industry group behind,” said John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group Executive Vice President. “Today we advocate for the driving force behind live racing everywhere–the horseplayers. Today more than ever, optimal take-out rates are essential ingredients to a successful race meet. We thank the Virginia HPBA for its support in this effort.”

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Reports of Mares Bred Due Aug. 1

Mon, 2019-07-22 17:11

The Jockey Club requires all Reports of Mares Bred for the 2019 breeding season to be submitted by Aug. 1.

“To ensure that the breeding statistics we release in the fall are as accurate as possible, we request that RMBs be submitted by Aug. 1,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.

Stallion managers who submit completed RMBs by that date will be among the first to receive their Stallion Service Certificates, which facilitates the timely registration of 2020 foals.

Reports of Mares Bred may be submitted via Interactive Registration at registry.jockeyclub.com or a form is available by e-mail, fax, or mail by contacting inquiries@jockeyclub.com.

 

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One Bad Boy Back for More in Prince of Wales

Mon, 2019-07-22 17:00

Sayjay Racing, Greg Hall and Brooke Hubbard’s One Bad Boy (Twirling Candy), a 3 1/2-length winner of the June 29 Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, will look to annex the second leg of Canada’s Triple Crown when he goes postward in the Prince of Wales S. at Fort Erie Tuesday evening. The dark bay is the 7-5 morning-line favorite while facing just four rivals in the 1 3/16-mile race.

One Bad Boy has been training at Woodbine since the Queen’s Plate and worked five furlongs over the track’s Tapeta surface in 1:02.60 last Tuesday.

“He has been thriving at Woodbine,” said Hubbard, who has been in Toronto with the Classic winner for the last week. “He really loves the surface at the track and he’s been doing great and staying fit.”

The Prince of Wales will be One Bad Boy’s third start over a dirt surface. He opened his career with a pair of starts over the main track at Santa Anita, finishing second behind GI Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite Omaha Beach (War Front) in a Feb. 2 maiden special weight before graduating over the turf in Arcadia in April. He was second in the off-turf Alcatraz S. over the Tapeta at Golden Gate May 19 before travelling north of the border for the Queen’s Plate.

Hubbard, who purchased One Bad Boy for $65,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, said she didn’t think the move back to the dirt Tuesday would be a problem.

“It’s not really a concern for any of us,” she said. “We know that he trains well on the dirt and he’s run fairly well on it. So we’re just hoping that he is coming in in form, which we believe he is. The turf is definitely where we want to end up with him, but it’s a fun thing to have a horse who is good on a variety of surfaces.”

The year before purchasing One Bad Boy, Hubbard had purchased the sophomore’s half-sister Ms Bad Behavior (Blame) for $75,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September sale. That filly, now a stakes winner and five-times graded placed, had only made two starts when her half-brother went through the Keeneland sales ring in 2017, but Hubbard had seen enough to want to check out the yearling.

“I originally bought his sister and so I had to go and see him,” Hubbard recalled. “He has a lot more leg than his sister and he had a really great walk. Those were the two things that I liked the most about him.”

The Fort Erie’s compact field is not short on talent, according to Hubbard.

“It’s a pretty salty field for how small it is,” she said. “We are feeling fairly confident, but you can never be too confident. It is horse racing.”

One Bad Boy faced all four of his Prince of Wales challengers in the Queen’s Plate. Ivan Dalos’s Avie’s Flatter (Flatter), last year’s champion 2-year-old and runner-up in the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, is 5-2 on the morning line. The colt, winner of the Apr. 5 GIII Transylvania S. at Keeneland, worked five furlongs over the Fort Erie surface in 1:00.20 July 11.

“Avie’s Flatter skipped over the track and seemed very comfortable,” trainer Josie Carroll said of the local work. “He’s a very consistent horse across every surface.”

Carroll will also saddle Di Scola Boys Stable’s He’s a Macho Man (Mucho Macho Man), fourth in the Queen’s Plate, in Tuesday’s race. The chestnut colt also went five furlongs at Fort Erie July 11, covering the distance in 1:03.80.

“I’m glad we brought him down,” Carroll said. “Patrick Husbands worked him and said he was a little lost on the track because he likes to take a look at everything, so his time wasn’t very fast, but Patrick loved the way he got across the track.”

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Twirling Candy Colt Wins Debut at Del Mar

Sun, 2019-07-21 20:35

7th-Del Mar, $61,351, Msw, 7-21, 2yo, 5f, :59.00, ft.
COLLUSION ILLUSION (c, 2, Twirling Candy–Natalie Grace, by First Dude), a $50,000 Keeneland September Yearling who flourished into a $300,000 OBS April juvenile off a :10 flat breeze, was given a 5-1 chance following a pair of sharp morning works, including the most recent going four panels in :48.00 (4/35) July 16. The Florida-bred was far back in the early going as favored Bronn (Conveyance) and Disco Ball (Orb) duked it out through fractions of 22:27 and :46.08. Turning for home, Bronn was already working hard to keep position and Disco Ball wrested the advantage along the inside. However, moving fastest of all was Collusion Illusion, who swung out well wide into the stretch and was closing with purpose on the front runner down the center of the track. Also rallying from behind, Defense Wins (Flatter) cut his way through the center of the pack, however, it was Collusion Illusion who was moving fastest of all and was a half-length ahead of his grey rival at the wire. Disco Ball held on for third over Bronn. The winner’s unraced and now deceased dam was a half-sister to the good Don Dizney sprinters Bahamian Squall (Gone West) and Apriority (Grand Slam). Sales history: $50,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $300,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $36,600. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Dan J. Agnew, Rodney E. Orr, Jerry Schneider & John V. Xitco; B-Donald R. Dizney, LLC (FL); T-Mark Glatt.

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Golden Award Shines in Shuvee

Sun, 2019-07-21 19:41

Golden Award, who narrowly missed a graded stakes score last out, took advantage of a slow pace and finished strongly to pick up her first black-type success in the GIII Shuvee S. to close out a marathon 13-race card Sunday at Saratoga.

Graduating at fourth asking last fall at Belmont, the bay reeled off two more victories in allowances Nov. 7 at Churchill and Jan. 16 at Gulfstream before running fourth as the favorite in the sloppy-track GIII Hilliard Lyons-Baird Doubledogdare S. Apr. 19 at Keeneland. Chasing throughout in the GIII Allaire DuPont Distaff S. May 17 at Pimlico, she surged late, but came up a nose short on the wire.

Made the third choice here behind returning GISW and GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up Wow Cat (Chi), Golden Award broke sharply and shadowed She’s a Julie through a pedestrian :25.24 quarter as the favorite caboosed the field. Drawing on even terms past a :50.24 half, she started to do the better work of the pace players as the tempo quickened through three-quarters in 1:13.88. Wow Cat came calling three deep at the top of the lane, but Golden Award had more than enough to turn that rival back and strode home a clear winner. Wow Cat wore down She’s a Julie for the place.

“The trip set up nicely,” said winning rider Tyler Gaffalione, who picked up his first graded stakes win at Saratoga. “She broke alertly and put herself in a good position. She was kind of keen a little bit down the backside but we were going awfully slow, so I just let her out a little bit and put my hands down and she just kept reaching and reaching. When I asked her coming into the stretch, she really exploded and finished the job.”

Pedigree Notes:
Golden Award is the 130th stakes winner and 67th graded stakes winner for Medaglia d’Oro and is a half-sister to 2012’s champion 3-year-old colt and GI Kentucky Derby/GI Preakness S. winner I’ll Have Another. Her dam, who won her only start for Harvey Clarke and Kiaran McLaughlin at 27-1 in 2005, is responsible for a juvenile American Pharoah filly named All American Gal and returned to Medaglia d’Oro this spring.

Sunday, Saratoga Race Course
SHUVEE S.-GIII, $194,000, Saratoga, 7-21, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:49.64, ft.
1–GOLDEN AWARD, 118, f, 4, by Medaglia d’Oro
                1st Dam: Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch
                2nd Dam: Force Five Gal, by Pleasant Tap
                3rd Dam: Last Cause, by Caucasus
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O-Summer
Wind Equine; B-Harvey A. Clarke (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Tyler
Gaffalione. $110,000. Lifetime Record: 9-4-3-0, $294,600. *1/2
to I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley), Ch. 3yo Colt-US, MGISW-
US, $2,693,600. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Wow Cat (Chi), 120, m, 5, Lookin At Lucky–Winter Cat (Chi),
by Cat Thief. O-Peter M. Brant & Stud Vendaval, Inc.; B-Haras
Paso Nevado (CHI); T-Chad C. Brown. $40,000.
3–She’s a Julie, 124, f, 4, Elusive Quality–Kydd Gloves, by Dubai
Millennium (GB). ($160,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Whispering
Oaks Farm LLC, Team Hanley, Tim & Anna Cambron, Bradley
Thoroughbreds & Madaket Stables LLC; B-Godolphin LLC (KY);
T-Steven M. Asmussen. $24,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 3/4, 8HF. Odds: 3.25, 1.15, 1.75.
Also Ran: Pink Sands, Forever Liesl. Scratched: Skeptic, Coach Rocks, Electric Forest.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Medaglia d’Oro Co-Topper Crushes Winners at Ellis

Sun, 2019-07-21 17:19

7th-Ellis, $49,775, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($25,000), 7-21, 3yo/up, f/m, 1m, 1:37.13, ft.
GOLD STANDARD (f, 3, Medaglia d’Oro–Mi Vida {SP}, by Distorted Humor), who co-topped last year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale off a :10 flat breeze, made it two-for-two on the dirt Sunday while winning as she pleased. Beaten a head after rallying from far back on the Fair Grounds grass Mar. 23, the dark bay settled for third in a similar spot at Churchill on GI Kentucky Derby day May 4. She broke through by an emphatic 7 1/2 lengths in the Louisville slop in an off-the-turfer June 8, and was 1-2 this time while looking like a major standout on paper. Tucked in along the fence in third early, the dark bay was tipped out into the clear heading for home and took over midway on the turn for home. She ran up the score from there, cruising away to a no-doubt-about-it nine-length drubbing. Devilite (Tapit) was second best. The winner’s second dam is SW Crystal Current (A.P. Indy), a full-sister to Grade I winner Majestic Warrior out of MGISW Dream Supreme (Seeking the Gold). She has an unraced 2-year-old half-brother by Tapit and a yearling full-sister. Mi Vida was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro this year. Sales history: $200,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $1,200,000 2yo ’18 FTFMAR. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-1, $105,448. Click for the Equibase.com chart.
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC & LNJ Foxwoods; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Brad H. Cox.

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Basin Becomes First Winner for Liam’s Map at the Spa

Sun, 2019-07-21 16:55

8th-Saratoga, $90,000, Msw, 7-21, 2yo, 6f, 1:09.77, ft.
BASIN (c, 2, Liam’s Map–Appenzell, by Johannesburg) kicked off his career with a close-up second behind By Your Side (Constitution) in a June 14 maiden at Churchill and was flattered when that rival came back to take the GIII Sanford S. here last weekend. Installed the 2-1 second choice behind fellow second timer Three Technique (Mr Speaker), Basin took to the front early and slugged it out with Federale (Dsicreetly Mine) through an opening quarter mile in :22.32. Federale was soon spent, but Basin continued on as Three Technique and another foe began to make their presence known. Turning for home, Basin was in the clear and Three Technique was doing his best running up along the inside, but the frontrunner had too much left in reserve and powered home a 1 1/4-length winner over the chalk despite lugging in. With the victory, Basin became the first winner for his freshman sire (by Unbridled’s Song). He is a half to bullring-loving Rise Up (Rockport Harbor), GSW, $1,225,540 and a yearling colt by Orb. His dam was bred to Nyquist for 2020. Sales history: $150,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $68,500. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Jackpot Ranch; B-Cottonwood Stables, LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.

 

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Ghostzapper’s Guarana Gets the Distance in CCA Oaks

Sun, 2019-07-21 14:18

Exhibiting sheer brilliance in her first two outings, ‘TDN Rising Star’ Guarana was more workmanlike Sunday at Saratoga, but got the job done in her two-turn debut with a wire-to-wire success in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks.

Unveiled as a 4-5 favorite Apr. 19 in the Keeneland slop, the Three Chimneys Farm homebred blew her competition away to the tune of a 14 3/4-length romp, easily good enough for ‘Rising Star’ honors. Her rider, Jose Ortiz, made the difficult decision to give up the mount on GI Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress (Alternation) to ride Guarana in the GI Acorn S., and she rewarded him, tracking a supersonic pace and drawing off in the stretch to a dazzling six-length triumph.

Recording four powerful breezes in the interim, capped by a local half-mile move in :48 3/5 (36/127) July 13, the bay was pounded down to 1-4 favoritism in the CCA, pushed back one day due to Saturday’s heat cancellation, and broke on top from her rail draw. Hugging the rail going into the clubhouse turn as the other four fillies drifted a bit wide, Guarana held a measured half-length advantage over Champagne Anyone (Street Sense) through soft fractions of :24.27 and :49.49. Nudged along a bit as the quintet bunched up through three-quarters in 1:13.58, the big favorite shook loose once set down at the top of the lane. Point of Honor, last behind the slow pace, swung to the center of the track to make her run and started to get to the leader inside the eighth pole. Guarana, despite drifting out briefly from a lefty whip, kept to her task, however, and held sway late from the game runner-up by a length. An owner’s objection was lodged into Guarana’s drifting on behalf of the runner-up, but it was quickly dismissed.

“She handled a mile and an eighth well,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “I thought she got a really good ride from Jose. Nice, comfortable fractions and had enough to get to the wire. The runner-up ran terrific as well. It was a good horse race. I think she got a little lonely out there towards the wire, but like Jose indicated to me, she was starting to get a little tired. She did overreact to the stick a little bit. It caused her to briefly come out, but she was well clear. I’ll talk to [Three Chimneys Chairman] Mr. [Goncalo] Torrealba and his team about what’s next.”

Pedigree Notes:

Guarana is one of 11 Grade I winners for 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, eight of which are fillies or mares. Her dam, a winner once in seven starts for Phipps Stable and Shug McGaughey, is also responsible for Magic Dance (More Than Ready), who captured the Debutante S. June 29 at Churchill, and a yearling colt by Pioneerof the Nile. Second dam Pleasant Home pulled a 30-1 upset by a remarkable 9 1/2 lengths in the 2005 GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff. That mare is also a full-sister to MGSW/MGISP Country Hideaway, as well as Matlacha Pass, producer of MGISWs Point of Entry (Dynaformer) and Pine Island (Arch). Third dam Our Country Place was an unraced half-sister to champion Sky Beauty (Blushing Groom {Fr}), who captured the CCA Oaks in 1993 as one of eight Grade I victories.

Sunday, Saratoga
COACHING CLUB AMERICAN OAKS-GI, $485,000, Saratoga, 7-21, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:49.65, ft.
1–GUARANA, 121, f, 3, by Ghostzapper
1st Dam: Magical World, by Distorted Humor
2nd Dam: Pleasant Home, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Our Country Place, by Pleasant Colony
TDN Rising Star O/B-Three Chimneys Farm (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $275,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0,
$697,400. *1/2 to Magic Dance (More Than Ready), SW,
$130,023. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Point of Honor, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Zayanna, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Heavenly Cat, by Tabasco Cat
3rd Dam: In Excelcis Deo, by Forty Niner
($825,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred
Partners & Stetson Racing, LLC; B-Siena Farms LLC (KY);
T-George Weaver. $100,000.
3–Off Topic, 121, f, 3, by Street Sense
1st Dam: Off Limits, by Include
2nd Dam: Swinging, by Wild Again
3rd Dam: Pennant Champion, by Mr. Prospector
($160,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Paul P. Pompa, Jr.; B-WinStar
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $60,000.
Margins: 1, 1 3/4, 5. Odds: 0.25, 3.75, 31.25.
Also Ran: Champagne Anyone, Boxwood. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Expensive Warrior’s Reward Filly Rolls to ‘Rising Stardom’ in Del Mar Unveiling

Sat, 2019-07-20 21:28

Pure Xena (f, 2, Warrior’s Reward-Pure Desire, by Gold Legend) turned heads when hammering for $370,000–over 82 times her sire’s $4,500 stud fee–at OBS April, and did so again with a devastating first-out romp Saturday at Del Mar. Originally a $7,500 weanling purchase at Keeneland November, the bay turned into a $160,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling and more than doubled that price tag after breezing a quarter-mile in :20 4/5 in Ocala. Backed to 11-5 second favoritism here off a half-mile work at Santa Anita in :47 4/5 (5/54) July 13, the Jay Em Ess Stable colorbearer broke a bit outwardly and was hustled to duel with favored Save the Story (Will Take Charge) through a :22.27 quarter. Briefly appearing to be turned back by that rival midway around the turn, she re-rallied to take control at the top of the lane and drew off powerfully with every stride thereafter to score by 11 1/4 lengths over longshot Gold Included (Goldencents). Six-time winner Pure Desire was claimed out of her career finale for $7,500 at Monmouth Park in 2006. Pure Xena is her most recent listed produce.

9th-Del Mar, $61,351, Msw, 7-20, 2yo, f, 5f, :58.95, ft.
PURE XENA, f, 2, by Warrior’s Reward
1st Dam: Pure Desire, by Gold Legend
2nd Dam: Gold ‘N Desire, by Gold and Myrrh
3rd Dam: Am Desirable, by Red Monk
Sales History: $7,500 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $160,000 Ylg ’18 FTKJUL; $375,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $36,600. Click for the Equibase.com chart, free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Jay Em Ess Stable; B-Shelby Lane Farm (KY); T-Brian Koriner

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Mucho Macho Man Filly Rallies From Last to Stay Perfect On Grass in San Clemente

Sat, 2019-07-20 20:55

Saturday, Del Mar
SAN CLEMENTE S.-GII, $201,755, Del Mar, 7-20, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:34.66, fm.
1–MUCHO UNUSUAL, 123, f, 3, by Mucho Macho Man
1st Dam: Not Unusual, by Unusual Heat
2nd Dam: Fly First Class, by General Meeting
3rd Dam: Laura’s Jet, by Wajima
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($170,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP).
O/B-George Krikorian (CA); T-Tim Yakteen; J-Joel Rosario.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 7-4-2-0, $372,680. *1/2 to Big
Score (Mr. Big), GSW & GISP, $635,372.
2–Apache Princess, 123, f, 3, Unusual Heat–Puskita, by Indian
Charlie. O/B-KMN Racing (CA); T-J. Keith Desormeaux.
$40,000.
3–Over Emphasize, 118, f, 3, Overanalyze–Star in the Corner,
by Holy Bull. ($9,500 RNA Wlg ’16 KEENOV; $40,000 Ylg ’17
KEESEP). O-Mel & Jean Annuzzi; B-John R. Penn (KY); T-Michael
W. McCarthy. $24,000.
Margins: NK, 3/4, HF. Odds: 2.50, 17.30, 8.60.
Also Ran: Keeper Ofthe Stars, Maxim Rate, Seranitsa, Stillwater Cove, Harmless, Kalliniki, Devils Dance. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Mucho Unusual stayed unbeaten on turf and picked up her first graded stakes win with a last-to-first rally in the GII San Clemente S. Saturday at Del Mar.

A second-out victress last fall at Santa Anita, the George Krikorian homebred was runner-up as the favorite in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies S. there Nov. 2 before fading to fourth at odds-on in a state-bred optional claimer in her sophomore bow Jan. 27. Switched to turf in the California Cup Oaks Feb. 18, the bay went wire-to-wire to pull to upset at nearly 11-1, and repeated by a head in an open optional claimer June 16.

Made a lukewarm 5-2 chalk here, she dropped back to trail the 10-filly group as a pair of longshots duked it out through sharp fractions of :22.72 and :46.50. The field began to bunch up midway around the far turn, and longshot Apache Princess (Unusual Heat) made a bold, four-wide bid to take control at the top of the lane. That one went clear past the eighth pole, where Mucho Unusual emerged as the only danger, and the Tim Yakteen trainee kept charging under Joel Rosario to just get up in the shadow of the wire.

“She just didn’t show me a lot [of speed] early, so I let her do her thing away from there,” said Rosario. “On the backside, she wanted to go, so we went after them. Turning for home I thought about going down inside, but she was making up ground and I didn’t want to chance it. She had that nice acceleration through the stretch and we got it.”

Pedigree Notes:

Mucho Unusual is the third stakes winner and second graded stakes winner for her sophomore sire, following up Saturday’s GI Haskell Invitational runner-up Mucho Gusto. Her dam, a two-time winner for Krikorian, produced a colt by Mr. Big named Big Talker last term and a filly by the same sire this season.

 

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Maximum Security Gets Back On Track in Haskell Score

Sat, 2019-07-20 20:21

Considering his involvement in one of the most surreal moments in racing history, it was only fitting that Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) would be the one to come out on top at the end of a GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. that was not without its own controversy. And of course, he had to survive another inquiry to do so. With sweltering weather prompting the majority of east coast tracks to cancel their cards, all eyes were on Monmouth Park Saturday. After holding the afternoon’s first two contests following a delay, the announcement was made that all non-stakes events would be cancelled and that the carded stakes races would be held later in the evening.

The gate for the day’s feature sprung some 2 1/2 hours after its originally scheduled post time and Maximum Security, the
4-5 chalk perhaps best known for being disqualified from first to 17th in the GI Kentucky Derby May 4, broke well and took up a stalking spot three deep. All but GI Preakness S. runner-up Everfast (Take Charge Indy) bunched up through splits of :22.92 and :47.71. King for a Day (Uncle Mo), who bested the favorite in the June 16 Pegasus, was the first to make his move up the fence heading into the home turn, but he was immediately tackled by Maximum Security with TDN Rising Star‘ Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) soon joining the fray out wide for Haskell record holder Bob Baffert.

King for a Day was the first to blink and seemed to be running out of horse, then dropped back sharply as Maximum Security appeared to make it tight for him along the inside. That left it up to Mucho Gusto to pull off the potential mild upset, but Maximum Security had more to give still and kept on steadily to score by a length. After a quick look by the stewards that stood in stark contrast to the seemingly endless looks at replays before the Derby decision, the stewards made no change.

“When he was doing as well as he was coming up to the race I had every reason to be confident,” said Maximum Security’s trainer Jason Servis. “My horse has a lot of heart. He does not mind going head-to-head with any horse.”

This was the first Haskell win for the long-time Monmouth fixture.

“I’ve been here 40 years so winning the Haskell means a lot. I worked in the jockeys’ room [as a valet] for 22 years.”

Servis remained noncommittal in terms of a next start.

Eight-time Haskell winner Bob Baffert said of the race, “That was exciting. I’m glad they didn’t disqualify [Maximum Security]. That would have been awful. My horse is improving.”

With the victory, Maximum Security earned an automatic berth into the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Saturday, Monmouth Park
TVG.COM HASKELL INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $990,000, Monmouth, 7-20, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:47.56, ft.
1–MAXIMUM SECURITY, 120, c, 3, by New Year’s Day
1st Dam: Lil Indy, by Anasheed
2nd Dam: Cresta Lil, by Cresta Rider
3rd Dam: Rugosa, by Double Jay
O/B-Gary & Mary West (KY); T-Jason Servis; J-Luis Saez. $600,000. Lifetime Record: 7-5-1-0, $1,279,400.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Werk Nick Rating: A.
2–Mucho Gusto, 118, c, 3, Mucho Macho Man
Itsagiantcauseway, by Giant’s Causeway. ‘TDN Rising Star’
($14,000 Ylg ’17 KEEJAN; $95,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; $55,000 RNA
2yo ’18 OBSMAR; $625,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY). O-Michael Lund
Petersen; B-Teneri Farm Inc. & Bernardo Alvarez Calderon
(KY); T-Bob Baffert. $200,000.
3–Spun to Run, 118, c, 3, Hard Spun–Yawkey Way, by Grand
Slam. ($64,000 2yo ’18 EASMAY). O-Robert P. Donaldson;
B-Sabana Farm, LLC (KY); T-Juan Carlos Guerrero. $100,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 8, 2HF. Odds: 0.80, 3.10, 34.60.
Also Ran: Everfast, King for a Day, Bethlehem Road. Scratched: Joevia. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

“I [knew there was] going to be a lot of speed in the race,” said winning rider Luis Saez, who was also aboard Maximum Security in the Derby. “I’m not going to go to the lead and let everybody press me, and I had the best post, I think. I just came out of the break from the gate and waited to see how fast they were going. When I saw that everybody wanted take the lead I just stayed right there. And when he came to the half-a-mile he put me inside in a pretty nice spot, he was traveling good. When I saw [Mucho Gusto], he came outside me, he came close to me and tried to beat me. I just let my horse run and he kept battling with him.”

Dangled in for just $16,000 when he aired by almost 10 lengths at first asking in a Gulfstream sprint back in December, Maximum Security crushed starter/optional claiming foes in his next two before stretching out and dominating the GI Xpressbet Florida Derby going this distance Mar. 30. He veered out heading for home and impacted several runners before seemingly proving best in the GI Kentucky Derby, only to see his number pulled down and a frenzy of opinions–and litigation from his owners–to follow. The strength of his Derby performance had been flattered by subsequent efforts by a number of also-rans, but Maximum Security didn’t seem quite like himself after stumbling and getting out-kicked by King for a Day going a sixteenth shorter at five cents on the dollar.

Pedigree Notes:

With Maximum Security part of his second crop, GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day has had six stakes winners, which include GIII Ben Ali S. winner Bourbon Resolution. After standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm near Lexington, New Year’s Day was exported to stand in Brazil in 2018 and was subsequently sent to Japan. Less well known is Maximum Security’s broodmare sire, the A.P. Indy stallion Anasheed, who was runner-up in the 2002 GIII Arlington-Washington Futurity. He had six crops numbering a total of 112 foals and his daughters have been responsible for three black-type winners, including Florida’s triple stakes winner Garter and Tie (Brooks ‘n Down). Maximum Security’s dam, Lil Indy, is a half-sister to three-time Grade I winner Flat Out (Flatter). She and her 2019 filly, a full-sister to Maximum Security, were sent to Korea earlier this year after she sold for $11,000 with the filly in utero at last year’s Keeneland November sale. She leaves a yearling colt by Flashback in this country.

 

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Haskell Card at Monmouth Paused; Stakes to Be Held Starting at 6:00 P.M.

Sat, 2019-07-20 13:42

After the delayed completion of its first two races under extremely warm and humid conditions, Monmouth Park announced that it would cancel part of the remainder of its GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational card (races 3,4,6,7,13,14), but would hold its scheduled stakes races beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The following statement from Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park, was issued after the announcement:

“We’ve been carefully monitoring the heat for days, including today, and we have a staff of veterinarians and state veterinarians, independent vets and consultants, all of whom tell us it’s safe to run, that we’re below the level required for the recommendation for cancellation.

“However, given the heightened concern from the public about the heat, and in the interest of the safety of the horses, we’ve decided to proceed with an abundance of caution, to cancel the remaining non-stakes races and to delay the six stakes races until a later post time starting at 6 p.m., with those races 25 minutes apart. The Haskell Invitational will now have a post time of 8:05 p.m.

“We’re doing this to err on the side of caution.”

Rescheduled post times are as follows:

6:00 p.m. – GIII Oceanport S.

6:25 p.m. – GIII Molly Pitcher S.

6:53 p.m. – Wolf Hill S.

7:15 p.m. – GIII Monmouth Cup S.

7:40 p.m. – GIII Matchmaker S.

8:05 p.m. – GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S.

 

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Start of Haskell Card Delayed; Monmouth to Reevaluate After Second Race

Sat, 2019-07-20 13:02

The start of Monmouth Park’s GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. card was delayed approximately 30 minutes as officials and participants discussed whether or not to run on an extremely warm and humid day that had caused the majority of other tracks in the area to cancel. According to the Asbury Park Press, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy contacted the track’s operator Dennis Drazin to express his concerns about the conditions. After two late scratches, the first race took place, and the track said it would reevaluate the running of any more races after the second contest–as of now, there appears to be a delay before that race. This story will be updated as necessary.

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Trainer Jimmy Picou Dies

Sat, 2019-07-20 11:57

Accomplished trainer James “Jimmy” Picou died Friday in South Florida following a long illness. One of 16 children born to Cajun parents in Southeast Texas, Picou got his start in racing as a jockey in 1949 before a training career that spanned 45 years. Based in New York and Florida, he conditioned runners for the likes of Fred Hooper, saddling 422 North American winners with earnings in excess of $15 million before retiring in 2004 at the age of 70. Picou’s standout trainees included 1981 GI Travers S. winner Willow Hour; MGISW and $2 million-plus earner Val’s Prince, who took the 1997 Hong Kong Cup; Hooper homebred Diplomatic Jet, who won a trio of Grade I events in 1996; 1967 Coaching Club American Oaks heroine Quillo Queen. Picou is survived by his son Jim Picou and daughters Debbie Markowski and Lisa Picou. His wife Helen passed away in December 2016. Brother Clarence Picou, also a trainer, died in November 1998. Arrangements for a family celebration of life will be planned at a later date.

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‘Longshot’ Regal Glory Best in Lake George

Fri, 2019-07-19 19:04

Sent off the ‘longest’ price of a trio of Chad Brown runners in a scratched-down renewal of the GIII Lake George S. at Saratoga, Paul Pompa, Jr.’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) reeled in pacesetting favorite Blowout (GB) (Dansili {GB}) in the final furlong to give Brown a third win in the race in the last five years. Dogtag (War Front), narrowly favored off her victory in the May 17 Hilltop S., checked in third.

Blowout won the break and had things very much her own way from the front as Dogtag was content to sit second with Regal Glory three deep in the breeze from last. Positions remained unchanged for the opening five-eighths of a mile, but Luis Saez began to get after Regal Glory and had her in top gear four wide off the final corner. Blowout offered some resistance when tackled in earnest a furlong down, but Regal Glory had the momentum and streaked home first as Blowout gave game chase inside. Dogtag was free of excuses in third.

Brown said, “What I did was I told all the jockeys, ‘Look, just try to ride your own race and do the best you can to win. Outside of that, if you want to talk to your individual clients or representatives that are here today, please do so and draw up a plan.’ I didn’t give any instructions other than that. I thought that was the fairest way to do it, only because it was my horses in the race.”

Romping to ‘Rising Star’-dom at first asking sprinting at Belmont last October, Regal Glory added a narrow victory in Aqueduct’s Stewart Manor S. Nov. 11 before calling it a season. Runner-up in the GIII Sweetest Chant S. at Gulfstream Feb. 3, she rallied to fill the same spot in Keeneland’s GII Appalachian S. Apr. 7 and validated dime-on-the-dollar favoritism when proving 2 3/4 lengths too strong in the June 1 Penn Oaks at Penn National.

Pedigree Notes:

The fourth graded winner for his Kentucky Derby-winning sire, Regal Glory is the second graded winner for her dam, whose first foal Night Prowler was a two-time graded winner for Pompa and Brown in 2015. He remained in training through his 7-year-old campaign and was third as the favorite in the Barbados Gold Cup this past March. Regal Glory, also the 35th graded winner produced by a daughter of dual-hemisphere sensation More Than Ready, has a 2-year-old half-brother by American Pharoah that was acquired by Narvick International’s Emmanuel de Seroux for $475,000 after breezing a quarter-mile in :21 1/5. Mary’s Follies foaled a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) this term.

Friday, Saratoga
LAKE GEORGE S.-GIII, $130,500, Saratoga, 7-19, 3yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.23, fm.
1–REGAL GLORY, 121, f, 3, by Animal Kingdom
1st Dam: Mary’s Follies (MGSW, $338,889), by More Than Ready
2nd Dam: Catch the Queen, by Miswaki
3rd Dam: Wave to the Queen, by Wavering Monarch
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. TDN Rising Star O-Paul P. Pompa,
Jr.; B-Paul P Pompa (KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Luis Saez.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 6-4-2-0, $356,750. *1/2 to Night
Prowler (Giant’s Causeway), MGSW, $475,682. Werk Nick
Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Blowout (GB), 121, f, 3, Dansili (GB)–Beauty Parlour (GB), by
Deep Impact (Jpn). (€450,000 Wlg ’16 GOFNOV). O-Peter M.
Brant; B-Dayton Investments Ltd. (GB); T-Chad C. Brown.
$30,000.
3–Dogtag, 121, f, 3, War Front–Diamond Necklace, by
Unbridled’s Song. O/B-LNJ Foxwoods (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.
$18,000.
Margins: HF, 1 3/4, NO. Odds: 2.30, 1.20, 1.25.
Also Ran: Stillwater Cove. Scratched: Espresso Shot, Winter Sunset, The Mackem Bullet (Ire). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Spa Notes: War of Will Breezes Towards Jim Dandy

Fri, 2019-07-19 18:13

Gary Barber’s War of Will (War Front) indicated his readiness for the July 27 GII Jim Dandy S., breezing a smooth half-mile in :49.33 over the Saratoga main track Friday morning. The GI Preakness S. winner was put through his paces by Tyler Gaffalione, who retains the mount in what will be a prep for the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 24.

“He went great. It was honestly one of his best works to date, really,” Gaffalione said. “He seemed to love the track, handled it real well, and was full of energy. Every week he’s just getting stronger and stronger. We’re really looking forward to his next race. It’s going to be a competitive field, but the way he’s been training and how he looks, his whole demeanor, we’ve got a ton of confidence.”

The move also pleased trainer Mark Casse.

“He went well, you couldn’t ask him to do anything better. I told Tyler I didn’t want him to go fast,” the conditioner said. “The first quarter he was a little slow, so we radioed Tyler to pick it up a bit. He gets over the Saratoga surface really well. Tyler said it reminded him of the work before the [Kentucky] Derby. He said last week was good and this week was even better.

Casse added: “If you want to see poetry in motion for a horse, and what you would like to see out of a racehorse–he’s what it is. He’s the entire package.”

Hofburg Possible for Woodward…

Trainer Bill Mott reports that Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Hofburg (Tapit) emerged from his comebacking allowance win July 18 and is under consideration for the GI Woodward S. over the same nine-furlong distance Aug. 31.

“I thought he ran really well,” said Mott. “Tactically, he was good. He was up in the race and when Jose [Ortiz] asked him, he drew away from his company. He didn’t hang at the end and it seemed like he had good energy the last eighth of a mile. It was a very good race.”

A half-brother to MGISW Emollient (Empire Maker), Hofburg was runner-up in last year’s GI Florida Derby in just his third career appearance and was third to Justify (Scat Daddy) when that one clinched his Triple Crown in the GI Belmont S. The overpowering five-length winner of the restricted Curlin S. last July, he was unplaced in the GI Pennsylvania Derby and GII Fayette S. and was getting the blinkers off for his return to action Thursday.

He’s No Lemon Headed to Jockey Club Derby…

He’s No Lemon (Lemon Drop Kid), who rallied from last behind no pace whatsoever to take a second-level allowance over 11 furlongs Thursday afternoon, will likely make his next appearance in the $1-million Jockey Club Derby going a mile and a half at Belmont Sept. 7. The Jockey Club Derby is the final leg of NYRA’s newly formed Turf Trinity, which also features the GI Belmont Derby and Saratoga Derby.

“I actually questioned a little bit how far he wanted to go but the way he won [Thursday afternoon] he put that to rest. We’ll point to the last leg of the Turf Triple,” trainer Graham Motion said.

A homebred for Alex G. Campbell, He’s No Lemon has never missed the top three in now four tries over the mile and three-eighths. A maiden winner at Tampa going that trip Feb. 3, he was third in allowance company at Churchill May 17 and at Belmont June 6 ahead of Thursday’s score as the 3-2 chalk.

 

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