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Updated: 9 hours 21 min ago

The Jockey Club Calls for Sweeping Industry Reform

Thu, 2019-03-28 14:51

The Jockey Club published a major white paper Thursday calling for comprehensive reform of the U.S. horse racing industry, including a major overhaul of drug use and uniform out-of-competition drug testing, citing the need for “transparency into the medical treatment, injuries, and health of all racehorses.”

The paper’s release follows the death of 22 racehorses at California’s Santa Anita Park in less than three months. The Jockey Club wrote, “It would be a mistake to view the Santa Anita fatalities as an isolated situation–spikes in the deaths of horses have occurred at other tracks and they will continue to occur without significant reforms.”

The Jockey Club was particularly critical of drug use in the horse racing industry, noting that “improper drug use can directly lead to horse injuries and deaths. Horses aren’t human and the only way they can tell us if something is wrong is by reacting to a symptom. If that symptom is masked, the results can be devastating…We lag behind cheaters and abusers and by the time we have caught up they have moved on to the next designer substance.”

The Jockey Club expressed its strong support for federal legislation citing the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2019, H.R. 1754, which would create a private, independent, horse racing anti-doping authority responsible for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping and medication control program. The program would be administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the body responsible for administering anti-doping programs for human athletes including the U.S. Olympic teams.

“For far too long, cheaters have been abusing the system and the horses are most often the ones to suffer,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “It is particularly disturbing that there is little out-of-competition drug testing in the United States. U.S. horse racing lags far behind international standards. It’s time we joined the rest of the world in putting in place the best measures to protect the health and safety of our equine athletes.”

In addition to reforming how drugs are used and monitored, The Jockey Club is calling for other reforms targeted at health of equine athletes, including:

  • Enhanced race surface analysis
  • Reporting of all injuries during racing and training
  • More comprehensive pre-race veterinarian examination
  • Use of approved medications only
  • Confirmed fitness to train
  • Industry-wide contributions to aftercare

“Will we ever know the exact cause of spikes in horse fatalities? Unless there is change in the industry that answer is, sadly, probably not,” wrote The Jockey Club. “A key to this change is the requirement of full transparency into the medical treatment, injuries, and health of all racehorses. Today, we can’t fully see what is going on with a horse because of differing state and track practices, antiquated practices, and purposeful deceit about what drugs are given to horses at what times.”

The Jockey Club is the breed registry for Thoroughbreds in North America. Since its founding 125 years ago, it has been dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, focusing on improvements to the integrity, health, and safety of the sport. The Jockey Club has long held that horses must only race when they are free from the effects of medication.

The full report can be found here. For additional information, please visit The Jockey Club or the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity.

Roy H Scratched From Golden Shaheen

Thu, 2019-03-28 08:27

Roy H (More Than Ready), the back-to-back winner of the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Eclipse award for champion sprinter, has been scratched from Saturday’s G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan. Owner Brian Trump of Rockingham Ranch tweeted on Thursday morning, “We have decided to scratch Roy H from the Golden Shaheen. When Roy arrived in Dubai, he developed a sore foot which [trainer Peter Miller] and his team immediately attempted to treat. Unfortunately, the only cure for his foot is time off to heal. So that is what he will get, time off until he tells us he is ready with our goal of pointing towards the Breeders’ Cup.”

Rockingham Ranch still has two chances for success on Saturday’s card, with the back-to-back GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Stormy Liberal (Stormy Atlantic) lining up in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, in which he was second last year, and X Y Jet (Kantharos) looking to go one better than his second in last year’s, and the 2016, Golden Shaheen.

Trainer Jorge Navarro said after X Y Jet trained on Thursday morning, “He looks good. He’s ready. My little horse has handled everything. Is he going to run a big race? Yes.

“I think I’m the speed of the speed. We’re going to find out who’s faster,” Navarro said. “One thing with the American horses–they use a beep here, not a bell, so they won’t be used to that. X Y Jet, he’s heard it before. This is his third time here and he’s acting like he’s at home. He loves it here.”

Stormy Liberal schooled at the gate on Thursday and required a bit of persuasion to enter the stalls. Trainer Peter Miller said, “He had a little adventure at the gate. California style is what I wanted to do, but it’s just different here with the lights, the crew. Normally, he’s great in the gate. Today was different for him and that’s why you school them. It worked out OK. Hopefully on Saturday night we’re good.”

Vibrant Trade at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream

Wed, 2019-03-27 20:54

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The fifth renewal of the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale proved to be one for the record books Wednesday, with all-time record average and median for the company’s Florida sale and with the auction’s highest gross since moving to Gulfstream in 2015. Six horses brought final seven-figure bids, led by a Curlin colt who sold for $3.65 million to Jamie McCalmont and Donato Lanni, as agents for Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and undisclosed partners, after a protracted bidding duel with an unidentified phone bidder. It was the most paid for a North American juvenile since 2006. The juvenile was consigned by Crupi’s New Castle Farm.

“I think we saw the marketplace today that we were hoping for in many regards,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “The upper end of the market was obviously fantastic, there was great competition and great depth of buyers and bidders on a large number of horses today. So, overall, we were very pleased with the vibrancy of the market.”

In all, Fasig-Tipton sold 59 juveniles for a total of $29,115,000. The average was $493,475 and the median was $375,000. During the 2018 auction, 61 horses sold for $23,495,000. The average was $385,164 and the median was $295,000.

There were 188 juveniles catalogued for Wednesday’s boutique auction, with 100 ultimately going through the ring and 41 of those failing to find buyers.

“It was a 2-year-old in training sale,” Browning said. “So the RNA rate and the scratch rate is a little higher than you would hope for. There are a lot of evaluative tools that go into buying at a 2-year-old sale. That’s why the horses that jump through all the hoops bring a significant premium. And right now, the consignors have other alternatives, so they are not forced to sell. We’ll see a lot of these horses at later sales and you’ll see some of them on the racetrack.”

Eddie Woods admitted consignors were kept busy analyzing what the buyers were looking for.

“When you bring something in they all want, they all want them,” Woods said. “We are scratching horses and not even bringing them up here that are nice horses with nothing wrong with them, but the only ones that shop here are basically the upper echelon. When you are in the gray area of two or three or four scopes, you take a winger.”

Curlin Colt Proves Worth the Wait

Several horses sparked fireworks that moved them into seven-figure range throughout Tuesday’s auction at Gulfstream, but a Curlin colt (hip 173) proved to be in a league of his own. The dark bay incited a lengthy bidding war between a pair of relentless prospective buyers, during which the colt stood calmly, displaying the characteristics that added to his value.

At $3.65 million, Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, who was on the phone with an anonymous bidder, waved goodbye and the colt was sold to bloodstock agents Jamie McCalmont and Donato Lanni. McCalmont was representing Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and Lanni was acting on behalf of undisclosed clients, but indicated the horse would be trained by Bob Baffert. Hip 173 is the most expensive 2-year-old sold at a North American public auction since the Coolmore contingent went to $16 million for The Green Monkey (Forestry) at the 2006 renewal of this auction.

“He was such a standout this horse,” McCalmont said. “He has a stallion’s pedigree and is by a great stallion. He was the obvious sales topper. Once a horse goes over $2 million, it can go anywhere. It is very exciting to be involved with a horse like this”

He turned to Lanni and said, “Some bloody horse isn’t he?”

Lanni added, “I think when he crossed the wire in the breeze show [in :10 flat], everybody was on the phone. All I can tell you is Bob is going to train him. Coolmore owns him and some undisclosed clients that want to stay anonymous. When the horse starts, the names will be on the program.”

Coolmore took home four of the top six horses either acting alone or in partnership. Their new additions include hip 142, a $1.65 million American Pharoah colt; hip 119, a $1.3-million Curlin filly; and hip 15, a $1-million Into Mischief colt.

Hip 173 is a son of Achieving (Bernardini), who is a half-sister to GISW Streaming (Smart Strike) and stakes winners Treasuring (Smart Strike) and Cascading (A. P. Indy). Achieving is also responsible for GSW and G1SP Arabian Hope (Distorted Humor) and stakes winner Counterforce (Smart Strike). The colt’s third dam is GSW & GISP blue hen Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister), who produced the likes of GI Belmont S. winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.

Consigned by Crupi’s New Castle Farm, the sales topper was bred by John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables. Sikura typically sells his homebreds as yearlings, but said he felt the colt wasn’t at his best in September, so he and Viola agreed to wheel him back here.

“We entered him in the September sale and he was on the grounds,” Sikura explained. “There was interest, but he just didn’t show himself enough. It wasn’t going to be his best day, so we scratched him and sent him down to Crupi. He did a wonderful job with the horse. He blossomed, grew leg and lengthened. He has a world-class pedigree and is by a great sire. His work was fantastic and he did all the things that these guys look for.”

He continued, “I don’t know much about 2-year-old sales, so I was optimistic, but until it happens, you don’t know. Credit goes to Jimmy Crupi and his crew for how well the horse performed and trained and Vinnie Viola for agreeing to stay in and wait to sell him as a 2-year-old. He bought into the mare. It was our best pedigree. I told him if I ever sold a daughter of that mare [second dam Teeming {Storm Cat}], I would do a deal with him. We were partners. This was the first foal of the partnership. It was a great result, so I am thrilled for everybody.”

While Sikura thought highly of the colt all along, the price exceeded his expectations.

“After $2 million, you are just dreaming,” he said. “A good horse gets in the ring, emotion stirs and astute horsemen, if they are brave, I don’t think they price buy, they buy the horse they want. It was a great price and is great for Curlin, as well as Barbara Banke, Jim Crupi, Vinnie Viola and all these great people I am lucky enough to do business with. It is all about when success is shared.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Coolmore Wins Out on ‘Pharoah’ Colt

It was no surprise to see a colt from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah summon $1.65 million and it was even less of a surprise to see that the winning bid came from the Coolmore contingent, who stands the three-time Eclipse winner and has been quite active at the sales for his progeny. Jamie McCalmont signed the ticket on behalf of M.V. Magnier, who was in attendance earlier in the session, but was not in sight when the hammer fell on hip 142.

“He didn’t do the fastest time [:10 2/5], but his gallop out was one of the fastest gallop outs. He just kept going at the same pace. He comes from a great place to buy horses with Eddie Woods. Let’s hope he can be somewhere close to where his father was.”

Bred in Florida by CESA Farm, hip 142 is out of GSW Spice Island (Tabasco Cat), which makes him a half-sibling to GI Florida Derby winner and GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box (Pulpit). The bay was purchased by Woods’s pinhooking partnership Quarter Pole Enterprises for $215,000 at Keeneland September.

“Did I think he’d bring that? Not in my wildest dreams,” said Woods, who sold last year’s $1.2-million co-topper Instagrand (Into Mischief). “I’m thrilled.”

Woods continued, “He is a Phaorah. They have style, they move, they have class, they are quiet. This horse was beautiful. He has a head on him you’d kill for. He went in :10 2/5, but it is not the work. That is the thing. You see, the :9 4/5 don’t win Derbies. They win first time out and might win something going around one turn. The good horses are the ones that gallop on out and are the big, free-moving horses with pedigree.” @CDeBernardisTDN

More Mischief for Best

Larry Best purchased a son of Into Mischief for a co-topping $1.2 million at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale and watched as the youngster became graded stakes-winning ‘TDN Rising Star’ Instagrand. Best was back in action at Gulfstream Wednesday and came home with another offspring of Into Mischief, this time going to $1.5 million for a daughter of the Spendthrift stallion.

“I was looking for a filly and I settled on this Into Mischief,” Best said, but added, “Instagrand didn’t have anything to do with it. It could have been a Quality Road filly, it was just this filly looked the part. She had a strong breeze. And the fact that she was an Into Mischief makes me happy because I think the Into Mischief sire line, those horses have a strong heart.”

Hip 139, out of Specification (Empire Maker), worked a quarter-mile in a co-fastest :20 3/5 during Monday’s under-tack preview of the sale.

Best struck again late in Wednesday’s auction, going to $700,000 to acquire a colt by Verrazano (hip 181) from the Wavertree Stables consignment. @JessMartiniTDN

Early Pinhooking Success for Gasparelli

Steve Gasparelli’s first venture into pinhooking paid off in spades Wednesday at Gulfstream when he and partner Steve Dowell of Paymaster Racing sold a colt by Into Mischief for $1.5 million to Larry Best. The partners had purchased the bay filly for $450,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

“To be honest, we were pretty sure she was going to bring over a million based on the breeze and her looks and her pedigree,” Gasparelli said. “We were hoping we would get a number like we got. We thought $1 million to $1.5 million was possibly realistic, but until you hit that number you never know.”

Gasparelli watched the action unfold from afar on his computer.

“It’s way nerve-racking,” he admitted. “My wife and I and Scott and his wife were all watching the computer. Buying a horse for $450,000 and hoping to pinhook it for big money is a huge gamble, but you can get a huge reward if it turns out.”

Gasparelli credited consignor Tom McCrocklin with picking out the filly last fall.

“Tom McCrocklin did his job,” Gasparelli said. “He picked a really, really nice horse who had the ability that he thought she would. A lot of kudos to him for doing it. He has a great eye for a horse.”

Gasparelli and Dowell also sent a Broken Vow filly through the ring Wednesday, buying her back for $285,000.

“We’re taking her home and racing her,” Gasparelli said. “She’ll race for me, and Paymaster and Tiger Racing. [Trainer] Mike Puype is very happy. He wants to race her.”

In addition, the two original partners teamed up wih Tiger Racing to purchase a colt by Summer Front (hip 179) privately after he RNA’d for $160,000.@JessMartiniTDN

Shah & Coolmore Join Forces for Curlin Filly

A daughter of Curlin (hip 119) proved so popular that she inspired a new partnership between Kaleem Shah and Coolmore, who went to $1.3 million to secure the :10 flat breezer. Bloodstock agent Ben McElroy signed the ticket on behalf of the new partnership with trainer Simon Callaghan standing just behind him.

“I have to give Simon and Ben McElroy all the credit for picking this filly,” said Shah. “The Coolmore gang, especially Mr. Magnier, was kind enough to partner with me, so it will be a true partnership. This is the first time I have ever done a partnership with the Coolmore folks and I am looking forward to it. They are very nice people.”

As for the price, Shah said, “I think we paid a lot more than what we expected to, but we hope we get lucky with the filly. I think we bought two nice fillies in the sale so far, so we are excited.”

The other filly Shah was referring to was hip 12, an $800,000 daughter of Uncle Mo, who breezed in a bullet :9 4/5.

“Ben and Simon liked this filly, so I am hoping she will be a good one like [MGISW] Bellafina (Quality Road),” Shah said. “She brought the same price as Bellafina [did at this auction last year], so we are hoping two times is a charm.”

He added, “We are two-for-two so far [with getting horses purchased]. I don’t like to spend this type of money, but typically in 2-year-old sales, you get proven runners. We hope we get lucky with these fillies.”

Bred by Southern Equine Stables and Team Valor International, hip 119 is a daughter of South American MGSW Sarasota (Arg) (Luhuk), who is also the dam of Grade I-winning millionaire Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge); GSW Sarah’s Secret (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}); and GSP Su Goddess (A Little Warm). A $300,000 in utero purchase at the 2016 Keeneland November sale, hip 119 brought $250,000 at the following year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale and hammered for $470,000 to Sand Ridge Stables at last term’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.

“We expected her to sell well, but you never know,” said consignor Paul Sharp. “That is a different stratosphere. She jumped through all the hoops and deserved to sell well. She is a very nice horse. I really believe in this filly and we have conveyed that to everyone that has come along.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Narvick in Action Again

Emmanuel de Seroux’s Narvick International, a major player at the OBS March sale two weeks ago, was again in action Wednesday at Gulfstream, going to $1.2 million to secure a colt by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 175) on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“The owner preferred not be mentioned,” de Seroux said. “But the colt will stay racing in America.”

Of the colt, he added, “He was a very good mover and a very nice type and he’s by Medaglia d’Oro. He’s got everything going for him.”

Consigned by Bobby Dodd, the dark bay colt was purchased by Brad Grady’s Grand Oaks for $310,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. He is out of After Thought (Fusaichi Pegasus) and is a half-brother to stakes winners Annulment (Broken Vow) and Youngest Daughter (The Factor).

De Seroux purchased 11 juveniles at the OBS March sale, including a $650,000 son of Speighstown on behalf of Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud.

“It’s a good market,” de Seroux said of the 2-year-old market this spring. “It’s selective. You have to look at a lot of horses to find the ones you like, but it’s a very good market.” @JessMartiniTDN

Another Million-Dollar Sale for Venosa

For the second year in a row, Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds sold a million-dollar colt to Coolmore at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale. Last year, it was a son of Scat Daddy. Wednesday, it was a son of Into Mischief (hip 15) who sold for an even million to the Irish operation’s M.V. Magnier. Venosa purchased the bay for $400,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale and signed for the youngster in the name of longtime friend Paul Brodsky.

“Paul Brodsky has been a partner with me from day one and we teamed up with a few other people to buy this horse,” Venosa said. “Normally, we don’t pay that much to resell a horse, but we went in there and we felt he was the best horse in the sale and sometimes you’ve just got to buy them. He came down here and performed and it looked like a lot of other people loved him, too.”

The standout result in the sales ring cost Brodsky a quick dip in the Gulfstream paddock’s fountain.

“We made a bet,” Venosa explained. “We said, if the horse brings that price, Paul would jump in the fountain. As soon as the hammer dropped, he took his hat off and stuck his whole head in the fountain.”

With his head still wet from the excursion, Brodsky admitted he had no regrets.

“I didn’t hesitate at all,” Brodsky said of living up to his end of the wager.

He continued, “I’ve been with Steve since he started. We’ve been good friends for probably almost 30 years. It actually started with $10,000–I told him if he had something left over, if he wanted to throw in some money for a horse, I had $10,000 for him.”

It was another strong Gulfstream sale for SGV. In addition to the $1-million colt, the consignment sold a filly by Bayern (hip 51) for $500,000, also to Coolmore. The dark bay filly is out of stakes placed Hot Roots (Indian Charlie), a half-sister to ‘TDN Rising Star’ and last year’s GI Del Mar Debutante runner-up Mother Mother (Pioneerof the Nile). SGV purchased the filly for $210,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale.

“We called her Big Mamma,” Venosa said of the juvenile. “It was funny because everytime we were up in the stands, everybody wanted to know when Big Mamma was training. She is a lovely filly. We loved her when we bought her, she had a nice update in the family, and there aren’t many like her. Horses like her, that’s the reason you come to the barn in the morning.”

Also Wednesday, SGV sold a colt by City Zip (hip 172) for $430,000 to Solis/Litt. The colt was a $120,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.

Always quick to credit his entire team for SGV’s success, Venosa said, “We are blessed. For us to be able to do what we do, we’re just blessed.” @JessMartiniTDN

Into Mischief Colt Brings a Cool Million

It did not take long for things to heat up in the Gulfstream paddock as hip 15, a colt by Into Mischief, was the first to bring seven figures, selling to Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier for $1 million.

“He was a lovely horse and he breezed very well [:10 flat],” said Magnier. “Steve [Venosa] was very high on the horse. Let’s hope he works out. We have had a lot of luck with Into Mischief in the past. Practical Joke has covered a lot of mares and been very popular. Let’s hope this fella can be as good as him.”

As for the price, Magnier said, “Plenty of people here had a high opinion of the horse. It is a lot of money, but he deserved to make it.”

Venosa, whose SGV Thoroughbreds consigned the juvenile, signed the $400,000 ticket on the bay colt at Fasig-Tipton October on behalf of longtime friend Paul Brodsky. Venosa sold a $1 -million son of Scat Daddy to Coolmore at last year’s renewal of this sale.

Out of MSW & GSP Cor Cor (Smoke Glacken), Hip 15 was bred by Stonestreet Stables and hails from the family of MGSW Meafara (Meadowlake). @CDeBernardisTDN

Sky Kingdom Colt to Rockingham Ranch

Consignor Ciaran Dunne had been touting his colt from the first crop of graded winner Sky Kingdom (hip 155) all spring and the juvenile rewarded the Irishman’s faith in him, first with a flashy furlong work in a co-bullet :9 4/5 during Monday’s under-tack preview and then when selling for $875,000 during Wednesday’s Gulfstream sale. The speedy youngster was purchased by Rockingham Ranch’s Gary Hartunian, who did his bidding standing behind Dunne in the middle of the Gulfstream paddock.

“Ciaran told me he was the nicest horse he had,” Hartunian said of the colt’s appeal. “He vetted clean and Ciaran said he could go two turns. I’m looking for a two-turn horse.”

Of the youngster’s final price, Hartunian said, “I didn’t want to lose him over $100,000 or $150,000, so I just kept bidding.”

But the California owner admitted he was about at his limit.

“I wasn’t going to go a dime higher,” he said.

Hip 155, bred by Westrock Stables, is out of Truelladeville (Yes It’s True). The colt was purchased by Dunne for $115,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale.

Also Wednesday, Hartunian purchased a filly by Cairo Prince (hip 141) for $150,000.

Hartunian has three horses running Saturday in Dubai, but admitted he was sitting this trip out while son-in-law Brian Trump watches champions Roy H (More Than Ready), Stormy Liberal (Stormy Atlantic) and X Y Jet (Kantharos) go postward in Meydan.

“We drew badly, we drew the one hole on Roy and Stormy. X Y Jet drew the three, so it’s going to be tough. You never know how they’ll come out of the plane. We should be good, but it’s a lot of traveling.” @JessMartiniTDN

Bradshaw Has No One to Blame

Randy Bradshaw hit a pinhooking home run late in Wednesday’s Gulfstream sale, selling a colt by Blame for $700,000 to Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock. Out of Ascending Angel, hip 183 was purchased by Bradshaw for $65,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Sale. The youngster was bred by Ed and Sharon Hudon’s Sierra Farm, an operation Bradshaw was very familiar with.

“One of my best clients, a guy out in California named Ed Hudon, had him in the sale,” Bradshaw recalled. “Ed died the day before this colt went through the ring. But I really loved the family–he has Stage Colony and all of those in the family.”

Of the yearling, Bradshaw said, “He was a big, strong colt, a little bigger than what I usually like, but I’ll tell you what he’s been a stone cold racehorse from day one. We called him The Beast around the barn. He went to a great home and I hope they have a lot of fun with him. He’s a good one.” @JessMartiniTDN

Second Seven-Figure Seller for Curlin Tops the Gulfstream Sale

Wed, 2019-03-27 17:43

An immaculately put-together colt by Curlin descending from one of the premier families in the studbook was hammered down for $3.65 million as the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale neared its conclusion Wednesday afternoon. Donato Lanni and Jamie McCalmont reportedly signed the ticket on behalf of Coolmore and an undisclosed partnership, but he will reportedly be trained by Bob Baffert. The Feb. 12 foal, cataloged as hip 173, was consigned to the sale by Jimmy Crupi’s Crupi’s New Castle Farm and is the latest foal from Achieving (Bernardini), making him a half-brother to European SW & G1SP Arabian Hope (Distorted Humor) and to SW Counterforce (Smart Strike). Achieving is a half-sister to three full stakes winners, including Grade I-winning juvenile Streaming (Smart Strike) and the stakes-winning duo of Treasuring (Smart Strike) and Cascading (A.P. Indy). The colt’s third dam is Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister), dam of champion Rags To Riches (A.P. Indy), her fellow GI Belmont S.-winning half-brother Jazil (Seeking the Gold), GSW Casino Drive (Mineshaft) and Breeders’ Cup Marathon hero Man of Iron (Giant’s Causeway). Hip 173, bred on the same cross over Seattle Slew-line dams as Grade I winners Stellar Wind, Exaggerator and Off the Tracks, breezed a powerful eighth of a mile in :10 flat this past Monday. It was the second seven-figure sale for Curlin, who accounted for hip 113, a filly out of Saratoga (Arg) (Luhuk) that sold earlier for $1.3 million.

Late Fireworks for American Pharoah Colt at F-T Gulfstream

Wed, 2019-03-27 16:53

An American Pharoah colt (Hip 142) lit up the board at $1.65 million to lead the way at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale Wednesday afternoon.

Jamie McCalmont, agent for M.V. Magnier, signed the slip on the :10 2/5 breezer from the Eddie Woods, Agent VIII consignment.

Bred in Florida by CESA Farm, he previously brought $215,000 from Quarter Pole Enterprises as a KEESEP yearling.

Hailing from the first crop of the 2015 Triple Crown winner, Hip 142 is out of graded winner Spice Island (Tabasco Cat). He is a half-brother to GI Florida Derby winner Ice Box (Pulpit).

Best Jumps Into Fray For Into Mischief Filly

Wed, 2019-03-27 16:52

The Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale surpassed last year’s total of two $1-million plus horses when hip 139, a filly by Into Mischief out of Specification (Empire Maker) was purchased by Larry Best’s OXO Equine for $1.5 million. The Valentine’s Day-foaled bay was consigned to the sale by Tom McCrocklin, agent, and is out of an unplaced half-sister to MGISW Skimming (Nureyev). A $165,000 Keeneland November weanling, hip 139 was purchased by McCrocklin on behalf of Slugo/Paymaster Racing for $450,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Hip 139 was under the whip at the start of her quarter-mile breeze Monday, but skipped along to the tune of :20 3/5.

Curlin Filly Takes Command at Fasig-Tipton Florida

Wed, 2019-03-27 16:20

A Curlin half-sister to GISW Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge) and to GSW Sarah’s Secret (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}) was knocked down to prominent owner Kaleem Shah for $1.3 million to shoot to the head of the class at Wednesday’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale. The March-foaled bay, a daughter of Sarasota (Arg) (Luhuk), was consigned to the sale by Paul Sharp, agent, and turned in a brilliant furlong breeze Monday that was clocked in :10 flat. Bred in partnership by Southern Equine Stable and Team Valor International, hip 119 was originally sold for $300,000 in utero at Keeneland November in 2016 and repaid a good chunk of that investment when hammering for $250,000 as a weanling at Fasig-Tipton November in 2017. Sandridge Stable, who was the successful bidder on Sarasota in 2016, paid $470,000 for the filly at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.

Thoroughbred Safety Committee Makes 2019 Recommendations

Wed, 2019-03-27 15:15

The Thoroughbred Safety committee announced four new recommendations for 2019 Wednesday:

• Avoidance of bisphosphonates use in a manner inconsistent with indications of use on the label and, further, discontinuance of bisphosphonates use in any horses in training regardless of age

• Every jurisdiction to employ a full-time equine medical director

• All racing associations and regulatory officials to record additional data or make such additional data sources available for analysis in the Equine Injury Database

• Creation of crisis best practices tailored to the industry, including template materials and a list of crisis response resources

The recommendations were the product of a meeting of the committee in Versailles, Kentucky Mar. 19. The full text of those recommendations can be found on The Jockey Club’s website here.

“Recommendations from the Thoroughbred Safety Committee have always been in the best interest of our sport, its integrity, and the welfare and safety of its athletes,” said Craig Fravel, chairman of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee and president and chief executive officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “Because of the recent events in California and the response from the industry, we are announcing the recommendations early instead of waiting for The Jockey Club Round Table Conference, which is the traditional channel for our recommendations.”

James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, added, “The Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommendations complement the positive industry reforms resulting from the recent rash of Thoroughbred injuries in California. The Jockey Club fully supports the industry’s and The Stronach Group’s reforms, and we are prepared to testify to our support at the California Horse Racing Board’s meeting on Thursday, Mar. 28.”

Gagliano also noted that all recommended reforms complement the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, H.R. 1754.

“In point of fact, the recent events that have dominated the news on these subjects are examples of why a unified regulatory structure with high standards is so sorely needed,” he said. “It is reasonable to believe that under the authority established by this bill, matters such as potential abuse of bisphosphonates would be more readily uncovered by a robust, nationwide out-of-competition program. That structure simply does not exist today.”

The Thoroughbred Safety Committee was founded in 2008 to “review every facet of equine health and to recommend actions the industry can take to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds.

Committee members are Craig R. Fravel (chairman), John Barr, James G. (Jimmy) Bell, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dell Hancock, Christopher J. McCarron and Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.


Into Mischief Colt First to Seven Figures at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream

Wed, 2019-03-27 14:37

Hip 15, an SGV Thoroughbreds-consigned son of Into Mischief from Cor Cor (Smoke Glacken), was the first to breech the seven-figure barrier at Wednesday’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale, hammering to Coolmore for an even $1 million. The Mar. 7 foal was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and was the third-highest offering at last year’s Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale when he was scooped up by Paul Brodsky for $400,000. The second foal out of a stakes-winning and Grade III-placed dam, the bay counts the fleet-footed two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Meafara (Meadowlake) as his third dam. Hip 15 was timed in :10 flat for his under-tack breeze, with his rider sitting hard against him.

NYRA Starter Loyalty Program Returns Apr. 1

Wed, 2019-03-27 13:01

The New York Racing Association’s Starter Loyalty Program will return for a second straight year, NYRA announced Wednesday. The 2019-20 Starter Loyalty Program will begin Apr. 1 and run through Mar. 30, 2020. The program rewards owners and trainers of horses who make at least five starts on the NYRA circuit in a 12-month period.

“I was very pleased with the program and I think the horsemen in general, and their owners, were very happy with it,” trainer Linda Rice said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction for New York racing. They are making it more lucrative for horsemen and their clients to stay and race in New York.”

For a complete breakdown of the Starter Loyalty Program’s rewards, click here.

Horse Euthanized at Golden Gate Tests Positive for EHV-1N

Wed, 2019-03-27 12:50

A 3-year-old filly at Golden Gate Fields who was euthanized Mar. 23 after developing severe neurological signs has tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 neurotrophic strain (EHV-1N), the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) announced Tuesday night. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) veterinary personnel inspected the barn and reviewed biosecurity procedures that had been put in place. One barn of exposed horses has been placed under restricted quarantine with enhanced biosecurity measures and twice daily temperature monitoring. In addition to CHRB and Golden Gate Fields management, CDFA personnel will continue to monitor the situation. Horses have resumed entering and leaving Golden Gate.

There is no indication of additional cases at this time, the CHRB said. Updates will continue to be posted in the official veterinarians’ office and on the following websites: and

Mid-Atlantic Racing Industry Announces Plan to Reduce Fatalities

Wed, 2019-03-27 10:37

The Mid-Atlantic region’s Thoroughbred racing industry–including track operators, horsemen’s organizations, breeders, racing commissions and regulatory and racetrack veterinarians–has voted unanimously to formally adopt and fully implement a long-term Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities, according to a press release issued by the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The aforementioned stakeholders all participated in the creation of the plan, which is available for download here.

Many phases of the plan had already been put into practice stemming from the 2012 New York Task Force Report on Race Horse Health and Safety, which initially served as the model for regional and national industry reform. Since regional implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations, and many others since that time, the incidence of equine racing fatalities in the Mid-Atlantic region has declined 29%. In New York alone, the incidence of equine racing fatalities in 2018 was 1.29/1000 starts, the lowest fatality rate in the state in decades and well below the national average of 1.68/1000 starts.

The plan, drafted by New York State Gaming Commission Equine Medical Director and New York Task Force Chairman Dr. Scott Palmer, former AAEP Presidents and regional veterinarians Dr. Kathy Anderson and Dr. Reynolds Cowles, and THA Chairman and New York Task Force member Alan Foreman, incorporates five key goals, including the establishment of regional safety best practices, improved methods to identify horses at increased risk of injury, the implementation of protective factors to reduce the risk of injury, information sharing and communication, and improvement of the general health and welfare of the horse. According to the release, the participants will use evidence-based decision making to ensure the integrity of the process at every level. The plan is intended to be a living document, with new strategies and practices implemented throughout the region as they become available.

“Our Plan is, and has to be, the number one priority for the racing industry,” said Dr. Palmer. “The decrease in equine fatalities in the Mid-Atlantic region over the last four years is due in no small part to the introduction of a number of safety initiatives. That’s a good piece of news. It is important to recognize the progress we have made and encourage other jurisdictions to follow. Now we have to get behind this Plan in an aggressive fashion going forward.”

The introduction to the Strategic Plan explains, “The conscientious use of risk management techniques, including the introduction of protective factors, have been proven to be successful in reducing the risk of injury to racehorses. However, the use of risk management programs is not uniformly practiced across all racing jurisdictions. The development of a strategic plan to reduce equine fatalities in the Mid-Atlantic region is an effort to develop and share regional best practices and communication tools that can be used to minimize equine fatalities on a broad scale.”

“We’ve been a leader on racehorse safety in the Mid-Atlantic and nationally, the numbers show it, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” said Joe Appelbaum, President of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA) and the New York THA. “We need to focus on protecting our horses, and there’s only one way to do it–collaboratively, collectively and comprehensively. We all have to contribute.”

Foreman, who initially proposed the concept of a regional Strategic Plan, praised the Mid-Atlantic stakeholders and regulators for their ongoing commitment to racehorse health and safety, but acknowledged that there is much work to be done. “We have got to do better. The fatality rate is still too high. We have to continue to learn from our experiences and make the changes and adopt reforms that we know will make things better for our horses and our industry.”

The Mid-Atlantic region comprises the largest concentration of Thoroughbred racing on a daily basis in the United States. Last year, there were approximately 90,000 starts at 14 racetracks spread throughout the region from New York to Virginia.


Kentucky Turf Cup Highlights Kentucky Downs Stakes Schedule

Tue, 2019-03-26 16:58

Kentucky Downs will stage its first $1-million race in track history with the 2019 GIII Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup getting a $250,000 purse increase. It is one of five stakes slated for Sept. 7.

The all-grass track’s 14 stakes will offer a record total of $7.4 million in purses and KTDF supplements. Opening on the last day of August, Kentucky Downs will run Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 7, 8 and 12. Kentucky Downs’ average daily purses topping $2 million a race card are the highest in North America and Europe.

“Having our first $1-million race is just the next logical step in Kentucky Downs’ ascent as a national leader,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager. “The Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup is our oldest stakes, having a different name but starting back in 1990 when the track opened. So it’s fitting this is our race that first reaches the seven-digit landmark, especially teaming with one of the most iconic names in horse racing in Calumet Farm.”

Eight stakes received purse hikes for the 2019 meet, including the GIII Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint from $500,000 to $700,000. The six-furlong stakes is the track’s first to be selected for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

O’Rourke, McGaughey Ready for Rematch in Florida Derby

Tue, 2019-03-26 15:50

Despite only having run one time, all eyes–and the bulk of betting dollars–were on Juddmonte Farms’ ‘TDN Rising Star’ Hidden Scroll (Hard Spun) heading into the GII Fountain of Youth S., allowing W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) to spring a 9-1 upset. The favorite faded to finish fourth after battling on a fast pace, but Juddmonte manager Garrett O’Rourke thinks his inexperienced colt is ready to rebound, while Code of Honor’s trainer Shug McGaughey sees no reason for a fortune reversal when the two clash in this Saturday’s $1-million GI Florida Derby.

O’Rourke talked at length on an NTRA teleconference Tuesday about Hidden Scroll getting caught up in the Fountain of Youth’s speed duel, and said he expects the Bill Mott pupil to be more tractable Saturday, that is, if he needs to.

“Having been around the horse his whole life, he’s actually a real character and not a hard-pulling type, but he does have natural speed,” he said. “The works he has had since then, Bill has been working on trying to teach him to sit behind horses. From what I’ve seen from them on XBTV, the horse has no problem whatsoever sitting behind horses. Now he doesn’t necessarily have to do that, I think he’s got speed to go up front, but it just shows he definitely won’t be a one-dimensional type horse.”

Hidden Scroll’s Fountain of Youth effort was flattered when the horse he dueled into a last-place finish, Gladiator King (Curlin), returned to pull off a 12-1 upset in Saturday’s GIII Hutcheson S. at Gulfstream.

“I think Joel [Rosario] just having ridden him the first time probably thought nothing can live with this horse, but we found out last weekend after the Hutcheson what caliber of horse he was trying to outrun early,” O’Rourke said.

Hidden Scroll will have a new pilot Saturday, with Rosario being replaced by Javier Castellano. O’Rourke explained the decision by noting that Rosario is committed to 2-year-old champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}), and Juddmonte would prefer to have a jockey who knows Hidden Scroll should he run in the GI Kentucky Derby.

That may be the rub, however, as Hidden Scroll has just five Derby qualifying points, and will need to run first or second Saturday to secure a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate. But O’Rourke said that with such a lightly-raced horse, nothing will be forced to get the colt there should he fail to crack the Florida Derby exacta.

“It [would be] a concern if we were putting all of our chips on the Derby alone, but given that the horse is inexperienced, we’ve said and Bill has said that if this doesn’t work this weekend, we can regroup with this horse,” he said. “He’s such a talent that I think there will be big races, maybe we could skip to the Preakness or start thinking about races later in the year, but there’s no point trying to push. We wouldn’t run on Saturday and come back in another prep to try to squeeze something to get to the Derby. It wouldn’t be the right thing to do and the hope is that he shows his talent on Saturday. If that doesn’t happen, outside of really, really bad luck, it’s probably a sign that the horse isn’t ready for a step forward like that and we’ll listen to that sign should it present [itself].”

If Hidden Scroll does get the job done at Gulfstream, he will likely draw comparisons to last year’s Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) heading into the first Saturday in May due to the two’s similar precocity, inexperience and speedy tendencies.

“Supreme talent can always overcome, especially if you’re a frontrunner and can stay out of trouble,” O’Rourke said. “I think that’s the beauty of Hidden Scroll hopefully, is that he’s got the natural speed to be closer to the front than the back by the time they hit the first turn, similar to what Justify had, and I think that’s the kind of horse that can overcome the inexperience.”

For his part, McGaughey is brimming with confidence in his three-quarter length Fountain of Youth upsetter, who completed preparations for the Florida Derby with a half-mile bullet in :48 2/5 (1/12) Monday at Payson Park.

“I was very impressed with his race in the Fountain of Youth and I thought that he was kind of an easy winner,” McGaughey said. “He made the lead and started waiting on horses. He’s come out of it very well, he’s trained well at Payson Park since then, I was there [Monday] and liked his work, liked the way he looked and acted.”

McGaughey called the result of the Fountain of Youth a fair one, and noted that the additional half-furlong Saturday could tilt affairs further in Code of Honor’s direction, despite Hidden Scroll being likely to go favored once again.

“He was pretty overlooked in the Fountain of Youth too,” McGaughey said. “I think that if that’s the way it is this coming Saturday, he’ll make some people feel funny. I wouldn’t trade places with any of the horses who are in there. Hidden Scroll’s obviously a talented horse, but he couldn’t carry his speed going a mile and a sixteenth. I know they went fast over a fast racetrack, but speed carries over this track, so I thought we caught him pretty easy and I think the mile and an eighth is going to help us even more.”

Buyers Busy Ahead of Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale

Tue, 2019-03-26 15:34

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Shoppers were out in force at the Fasig-Tipton sales barns Tuesday, a day ahead of the company’s Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, with all of the industry’s leading buyers battling for shade and showing space on a sun-baked day in South Florida. Larry Best, whose OXO Equine purchased future graded stakes winner Instagrand (Into Mischief) for a co-topping $1.2 million at the 2018 sale, was making the rounds at the barns alongside advisor John Dowd, as was the Stonestreet Stables team which struck for a $1.2-million daughter of Medaglia d’Oro from the Niall Brennan consignment a year ago, and the Coolmore contingent which purchased a $1-million son of the late Scat Daddy.

Trainer Simon Callaghan, who picked out multiple Grade I winner Bellafina (Quality Road) for owner Kaleem Shah at the 2018 auction, took to the barns alongside bloodstock agent Ben McElroy. Tom Ludt of Phoenix Thoroughbreds–which acquired Grade I winner Dream Tree (Uncle Mo) in 2017–was also making the rounds, as was bloodstock agent Dennis O’Neill, who purchased GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo) at the Hallandale sale in 2015.

“The traffic has been very good all morning,” confirmed Eddie Woods, who consigned Instagrand to the auction a year ago. “It’s been steady all week with the usual customers who come through and come through early to watch horses train. And this morning it has been pretty flat out since we started at 8 a.m. So that’s always good.”

Of his 2019 consignment, which includes a colt from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (hip 142) and a filly by leading sire Tapit (hip 126), Woods said, “We don’t have a horse who had the fastest work of the day, but I still think we have some nice horses. Going by the way they are looking at them this morning and the people that are looking at them, they’ve gone pretty good and they’re pretty much liking what they see. It’s just a case of them going through whatever else is around here and comparing them to everything else. And hopefully we stay in there.”

Woods said he is expecting demand at the boutique auction to be high on Wednesday, but also that many buyers will land on the same horses.

“The demand is still high on the top end and it always has been because that’s where all the money is,” he said. “And those people, economy doesn’t effect them as much. We’ll see how it goes here because they’re probably going to start latching onto the same ones as we go through the motions.”

Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds offered one of three million-dollar juveniles at last year’s Gulfstream sale and the Ocala horseman returns with a five-horse consignment this year.

“Every year we come down here, we go through our horses and we try to bring a little bit of something for everyone,” said Venosa. “The horses trained well all week, they previewed well and look like they came out of the works very nicely. And they have been well-received back at the barn.”

Venosa, whose draft includes a colt by the sire of last year’s co-topper Into Mischief (hip 15), is looking for a strong sale on Wednesday.

“There are a lot of people here,” he said. “The traffic has been non-stop. And I think it’s a great group of horses. Fasig-Tipton always does a fantastic job recruiting horses for this sale.”

Consignor Tom McCrocklin sent out the co-fastest quarter-mile worker of Monday’s under-tack preview of the Gulfstream sale. A daughter of Into Mischief, hip 139 covered the distance in :20 3/5.

“We had a very good breeze show and Mr. Vet was kind to us,” McCrocklin said. “So I think we’re going to have a good sale. And there seems to be no lacking in buyers and lack of money here.”

McCrocklin admitted the Thoroughbred market remains polarized, but he said the boutique Gulfstream sale caters to the high-end buyers who are driving trade.

“I don’t care what sale you go to, these buyers are going to gravitate to the same horses overall,” McCrocklin said. “And that’s just the world we live in. But this sale is designed for this market. So if you walk away, as a consignor, and you’re not happy here, then shame on you. Because the people are here and the money is here. You just have to present your product and get the job done. I think it should be a very strong sale.”

Fasig-Tipton will be hosting its fifth juvenile sale at Gulfstream Park Wednesday and the auction has firmly found its footing at the Hallandale oval, according to Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr.

“I think everyone has gotten comfortable here,” Browning said. “I think we’ve got a really good home. It’s hard to beat this set up and these conditions. From a weather standpoint and then you’ve got an unbelievable racecard here this weekend with the GI Florida Derby–there are four stakes Friday and seven on Saturday. It’s a really upbeat time of the year. The facilities are fantastic. The horses get a great opportunity to train over a racetrack where a lot of people are hoping that they are going to be running 12 months from now in races like the ones that are coming up this weekend. And I do believe that that is an important consideration, for both buyers and sellers alike, that they get the opportunity to train and work on a racetrack like this.”

The Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale will be held in the track’s paddock with bidding scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

O’Rourke Named NYRA CEO & President

Tue, 2019-03-26 11:58

David O’Rourke, who has been serving as interim CEO of the New York Racing Association since the departure of Christopher Kay a little more than two months ago, has been unanimously appointed by the NYRA Board of Directors as CEO and president of the organization, effective immediately.

“I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Directors to lead NYRA during this exciting time in its storied history,” said O’Rourke. “We have made tremendous progress as an organization over the past several years, but there is still much work to be done to continue to grow our racing product during an era of unprecedented competition and change within the sports and entertainment industry. I thank the NYRA Board for this opportunity and will continue to rely upon the outstanding talent within our organization as we work closely with industry partners and stakeholders to build upon our successes.”

O’Rourke, 45, became NYRA’s director of financial planning in 2008 before taking on the role of vice president for corporate development in 2010. Three years later, he was appointed NYRA chief revenue officer and senior vice president, where he was responsible for NYRA’s business development strategies across a range of disciplines including industry relations, simulcast markets and contracts, television strategy, advance deposit wagering (ADW) operations, and capital projects.

During his tenure at NYRA, O’Rourke has played a key role in fostering the development and growth of NYRA Bets, the company’s national advance deposit wagering platform that is currently available in 30 states. He has also helped promote the growth of NYRA’s television broadcasts Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live, which in 2019 will televise nearly every raceday in 2019 from Belmont and Saratoga.

Mid-Atlantic Region Mandates Bisphosphonates Ban

Tue, 2019-03-26 10:23

An “immediate and strict prohibition” on the use of bisphosphonates on all horses under the age of four has been adopted by horsemens’ organizations, gaming commissions and racetracks up and down the Eastern seaboard in the Mid-Atlantic region. The decision was made at the annual Mid-Atlantic Regulatory and Stakeholders meeting held at Delaware Park Mar. 21, 2019. The action follows a recommendation from the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors on Mar. 7, 2019, urging a regional and national ban.

The mandate reads: “The entire Mid-Atlantic region will impose, and strongly urges all Thoroughbred industry stakeholders and regulators to support, the enactment of an immediate prohibition on the use of bisphosphonates in all horses under the age of four, unless and until the scientific and veterinary community determines that the use of such drugs does not compromise the health and welfare of the horse. The use of bisphosphonates in horses four years old and older should be limited to only those horses who have been diagnosed with navicular disease by a veterinarian and for whom the use of such drugs is warranted.”

The National HBPA participated in the Mid-Atlantic meeting and voted to support the directive. It has issued its formal support and will advise its affiliates to join with their Mid-Atlantic counterparts in a nationwide prohibition.

“The National HBPA and its affiliates are, and have always been, committed to the highest standards of equine health and welfare,” said NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “Together, we join with other major industry stakeholders and regulators in supporting an immediate prohibition on the off-label use of bisphosphonates, which we believe is in the best interest of our equine athletes and our industry.”

Alan Foreman, the chairman and CEO of the THA and long-time coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic meetings, commented:

“There is absolutely no reason for these drugs to be administered to a horse, except under the very limited circumstance for which they were approved by the FDA. While we recognize that there are scientific and testing challenges, it is indisputable that there is no legitimate extra-label use for these drugs in racing and breeding and we must act to stop it now if we are to fulfill our commitment to the health and welfare of the horse.”

“The regulatory community strongly supports this action and will take the necessary steps to see that it is enforced. I thank our Mid-Atlantic regulators and stakeholders for joining together quickly and unanimously to implement this prohibition and will seek the full support of the ARCI at our meeting in California”, said J. Michael Hopkins, Executive Director of the Maryland Racing Commission and Chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

On Mar. 25, America’s three leading auction houses, Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and OBS, issued a joint declaration that buyers of horses less than four years old will retain the right to have those horses tested for bisphosphonates and should a positive test result occur, the buyer may rescind the sale.

Sky Kingdom Colt, Uncle Mo Filly Fastest at Fasig Breeze Show

Mon, 2019-03-25 17:36

HALLANDALE, FL – The under-tack preview of the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale was held under brilliantly blue skies and temperatures reaching up to the high 70s in Hallandale Monday. Two juveniles shared the fastest furlong time of the preview, with a colt by Sky Kingdom hitting the :9 4/5 mark during the day’s second set and a filly by Uncle Mo reaching that mark in the day’s fourth of five sets. It was the first time in the auction’s five years at Gulfstream Park that a horse broke :10 for the furlong. The fastest quarter-mile of :20 3/5 was shared by a colt by Uncle Mo and a filly by Into Mischief.

“It was a very productive day on the racetrack,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “We saw a huge number of quality horses that worked over the racetrack today. There were some beautiful movers and there are some spectacular videos that we’ve already had a chance to see. I thought the track was very consistent from beginning to end and we were very, very pleased with the quality of horses that our consignors have brought to us. They had shown well earlier in the week and we felt very good about the physicals and they performed, for the most part, across the board on the racetrack today spectacularly.”

The breeze show attracted a broad swathe of onlookers to the Gulfstream grandstand Monday, with trainers like Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen, Mark Hennig, Eddie Kenneally and Neil Drysdale in attendance. Among the bloodstock agents in the grandstand were Patti Miller, Kim Valerio, Shawn Dugan, Marette Farrell, Kerri Radcliffe, Donato Lanni, Deuce Greathouse, Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, Jason Litt, Jamie Hill, and Pete Bradley. Major operations were also represented, with Stonestreet’s Barbara Banke watching the works alongside John Moynihan, as well as Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds.

“The under-tack show was well attended,” Browning said. “There certainly seems to be a high level of interest and we are optimistic heading into the sale on Wednesday. It is a 2-year-old in training sale. There will be some polarization in the marketplace without any question because there are lot of evaluative tools that people go through, watching the video, stride analysis, hearts, veterinary scrutiny, so there are a number of factors that will come into play in making buying decisions, but I think we’ll see lively competition for a significant number of horses on offer.”

Hip 155 was the first horse to shade :10 for a furlong work at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale when he covered the distance in :9 4/5 Monday. The dark bay is from the first crop of graded stakes winner Sky Kingdom (Empire Maker) and is out of the unplaced Truelladeville (Yes It’s True). He is consigned to the sale by Wavertree Stables.

“He advertised himself as a good horse all year,” Wavertree’s Ciaran Dunne said. “We thought he would work really well, but you’re never thinking :9 4/5. But the good ones tend to show up.”

Dunne purchased the colt for $115,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale.

“Everybody at the sale wanted to buy him, it was just a question of who was going to be the last man standing,” Dunne recalled of buying the youngster last summer. “He’s just a gorgeous horse; they don’t make horses any prettier than he is. He is big, he’s strong, he moves good and we just took a shot.”

Asked if he had any reservations about bringing a lesser-known pedigree into the boutique Gulfstream sale, Dunne said, “Not after that [work]. Physically he is as good as they come and he worked really well. I think if he had missed on either the physical or the way he worked, we would have been in trouble. But he will sell himself. He’s a bit special.”

Wavertree sent out 15 juveniles to work Monday and Dunne said the track seemed consistent throughout the day.

“We were really happy [with the results],” he said. “For the most part, they showed up like we thought they were going to. You always want them to go a tick quicker than they did, but I think the great thing about down here is, that while the bullet is the bullet, they are willing to forgive you a tick or two if they do it the right way and they gallop out. For the most part, these are big two-turn horses and they shouldn’t be expected to all go in :10 flat.”

Late in the day, a daughter of Uncle Mo (hip 12) equaled the :9 4/5 work for the Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consignment. The juvenile is out of Coin Broker (Montjeu {Ire}), a daughter of GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Cash Run (Seeking the Gold) and her third dam is Grade I winner Shared Interest (Pleasant Colony). She was purchased by Randy Hartley and Dean DeRenzo for $450,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

“She is a special filly,” said Hartley. “She has done everything right since the day I bought her. She has a demeanor that nothing bothers her.”

Of the decision to work the speedy filly late in the day, Hartley explained, “When you have a small group of horses like these, it was hard to decide. So I thought, we’ll take two of ours and two of Chris [Baccari]’s and then our last two last. I think it shows that the track stayed consistent throughout the day, if you have the horse.”

A son of Coolmore’s Uncle Mo (hip 82) shared the day’s fastest quarter-mile work of :20 3/5. Consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, the $350,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase is out of Grade I placed Modification (Vindication) and is a half-brother to multiple graded placed Sawyer’s Hill (Sprint at Last).

A daughter of Into Mischief (hip 139) matched that :20 3/5 quarter-mile time later in the preview. The bay filly is out of Specification (Empire Maker), a half-sister to Grade I winner Skimming (Nureyev). She is consigned by Tom McCrocklin as agent for Steve Gasparelli’s Slugo Racing and Scott Dowell’s Paymaster Racing which purchased her for $450,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

The Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale will be held Wednesday in the track’s paddock beginning at 2 p.m.

Keeneland April HORA Catalog Now Online

Mon, 2019-03-25 14:34

The catalog for Keeneland’s April Horses of Racing Age Sale, featuring 81 horses and scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 2 p.m. ET, is now available for viewing online. The digital catalog features Daily Racing Form past performances, Thoro-Graph and Ragozin sheets. Sellers also have the opportunity to submit professional walking and/or conformation videos and professional photography of the horses to accompany this information. A print version of the Horses of Racing Age Sale catalog will be available Monday, Apr. 1.

The April Sale to date has cataloged 72 juveniles in addition to the horses of racing age. Keeneland will host a Preview Day featuring breezes by cataloged 2-year-olds over both the dirt track and turf course Monday, Apr. 8, beginning at 11 a.m.

Keeneland will continue to accept supplemental entries for the April Sale.

Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Becomes Track’s First Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race

Mon, 2019-03-25 14:25

The $700,000 Grade III Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint S. has been selected for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, providing Kentucky Downs its first “Win and You’re In” race as a launching pad to the World Championships, the track announced Monday.

As part of the Challenge Series, the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint winner will get an automatic berth and waiver of the $30,000 in entry fees to the $1 million GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

“We’ve aggressively pursued getting a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series stakes the past couple of years, and this is a very big deal for us,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’s senior vice president and general manager. “Having the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint as a ‘Win and You’re In’ for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint provides great incentive for horsemen to run here in addition to the huge purse we are offering. We look forward to working with the Breeders’ Cup to recruit European horses and to make this an exceptional event for all participants, coming on a day when the eyes of the racing world will be on Kentucky Downs.”

This year’s Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint will be run Saturday, Sept. 7 as part of a five-stakes card at the Franklin oval.