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Updated: 1 hour 59 min ago

Orbolution Gives Orb a First BTW in the P. G. Johnson

Thu, 2017-08-31 17:58

Pounded into 3-4 favoritism for Thursday’s P.G. Johnson S. at Saratoga, StarLadies Racing’s Orbolution sat a trip nearly identical to that of her victorious turf debut over course and distance July 23, saving ground from a low draw and accelerating through at the rail before going on to a powerful victory and becoming the first black-type winner for her first-crop sire (by Malibu Moon).

Able to drop down onto the fence soon after the start, the $370,000 Keeneland September purchase enjoyed the run of the race behind a very slow pace. Traveling on the bridle around the far turn, she was right on the back of the leaders exiting the bend and when the gap came for her, she exploded through and sprinted home to score convincingly. As she did in her debut, she raced greenly through the final furlong, switching leads a couple of times. The outposted Wild N Ready raced wide on both turns and finished willingly for second while covering 53 feet more than the winner, per Trakus data. Sassy Sienna endured the second-widest journey (+48) and kept on well for third.

A debut third as the favorite at Keeneland Apr. 27, Orbolution rounded out the triple in a five-furlong Belmont maiden rained off the lawn May 25. She graduated with authority over course and distance July 23 and doubled her win tally in style Thursday.

“I trained the mare, My Rachel, and she was nice on the turf, so we weren’t surprised that she ended up on the turf,” commented winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “She was training pretty well on the dirt and she was precocious. She was ready to go early. Once we got the opportunity to put her on the grass, it allowed her to show what she’s capable of.”

A half-sister to a pair of black-type performers, Orbolution is out of a Grade III-placed half-sister to GISW turfer Jack Milton (War Front) and to GSW Peace Preserver (War Front). Orbolution’s yearling half-sister by the late City Zip is consigned as hip 1762 to the upcoming Keeneland September sale. My Rachel produced a filly by Declaration of War earlier this year and was bred back to Honor Code.

P. G. JOHNSON S., $100,000, SAR, 8-31, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.18, fm.
1–#ORBOLUTION, 120, f, 2, by Orb
1st Dam: My Rachel (GSP, $138,285), by Horse Chestnut (SAf)
2nd Dam: Preserver, by Forty Niner
3rd Dam: Berth, by Believe It
($370,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-StarLadies Racing; B-Hinkle Farms (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-John R. Velazquez. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 4-2-0-2, $125,800. *First stakes winner for freshman sire (by Malibu Moon). **1/2 to Firehouse Red (Arch), MSP; and Rachel’s Ready (More Than Ready), MSP.
2–Wild N Ready, 116, f, 2, More Than Ready–D’wild Ride, by D’wildcat. ($190,000 Ylg ’16 FTSAUG). O-Robert E Masterson; B-SF Racing LLC (KY); T-Mark E Casse. $20,000.
3–Sassy Sienna, 120, f, 2, Midshipman–Tap for Gold, by Pleasant Tap. ($65,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Zayat Stables LLC; B-Haymarket Farm LLC (KY); T-Brad H Cox. $10,000.
Margins: 4 3/4, 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 0.75, 8.80, 6.30.
Also Ran: Mentality, Romantic Babe, Life Time Citizen, Oldfashioned Style.

‘European Road to the Kentucky Derby’ to Guarantee 2018 Derby Slot

Thu, 2017-08-31 16:17

For the first time, a standalone qualification series for the GI Kentucky Derby will be run in Europe, with seven one-mile races to be run across England, France and Ireland. The points-based series, called the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby” and based upon the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” introduced last year, will guarantee one horse a spot in next year’s Derby, to be held May 5.

The seven races will include four turf events this fall and three on synthetic next season, beginning with the Sept. 24 G2 Juddmonte Beresford S. at Naas and closing with Newcastle’s Burradon S. Mar. 30. The series also includes the G2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge S. Sept. 30 at Newmarket, the G1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe undercard Oct. 1 at Chantilly and the G1 Racing Post Trophy Oct. 28 at Doncaster.

“With premier races for Europe’s top horses often staged on turf in the months of May through October, we felt it was important to work with our European partners to create a distinctive path for horsemen who are interested in the Kentucky Derby,” said Bill Mudd, president and chief operating officer for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Any European horse that intends to test the Kentucky Derby now has an opportunity to qualify by competing in the new series. By working with great partners at the racecourses along with the British Horseracing Authority, France Galop and Horse Racing Ireland governing bodies, we’re optimistic this new series can add to the worldwide popularity of the Kentucky Derby.”

Points will be awarded to the first four finishers of all qualifying races, with a 10-4-2-1 distribution for the four juvenile events, a 20-8-4-2 setup for the first two races of next season and a 30-12-6-3 dispersal for the final qualifier.

In addition, the Dec. 13 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun, a race that often decides Japan’s champion 2-year-old dirt horse, has been added to the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” to make it a three-race series, joining the Cattleya Sho Nov. 25 and the Hyacinth in mid-February. Domestically, the Springboard Mile S. for 2-year-olds at Remington Park Dec. 17 has also been added to the Derby points schedule.

Three Strategies to Attract the Millennial Gambler

Thu, 2017-08-31 16:09

In Part I – This Time, Horse Racing’s Aging Demographic Problem is Very Real, we examined the changing gambling markets, racing’s reliance on patrons over the age of 60 and why the recent trends are troubling. The piece submitted evidence that while younger, smart, tech-savvy gamblers are seeking more and more skill games to play, they are not flocking to wagering on horse racing like they were even a half-generation ago.

In Part II, I’d like to offer three strategies that I think may help horse racing attract the younger, modern gambler, so that in three or four decades, horse racing holds its place in the gambling market.

Invest, Innovate & Reinvest (Without an Eye on Current ROI)

I received an email a few weeks ago. It was from a fellow in Finland who had been betting the pick 4, 5 and 7 on Swedish harness races. He asked me if these bets were offered in North America, and (if yes) if we were able to upload tickets via FTP to our ADWs like he does. Someone contacting me for an answer to a question like this wasn’t overly striking, but the last couple of lines of the email made me take notice.

“I have now played the V6/V4/V75 with positive ROI almost every day for a little over year. I am a stats major, so my angles are based on statistics and machine learning,” he wrote.

This young man is 21 years old. He was not attracted to racing by a band or giveaway, nor was he introduced to the races like many of you and I–through a family member who liked the sport. Also, unlike many of us at that age, he was betting some serious money; probably six figures a year.

Young Josse represents an important part of racing’s younger target market. Ensuring him, and those like him are able to use the tools they are comfortable with to consume the sport is of paramount importance.

The problem, however (as we noted in Part I), is that racing is very old, and getting older. It’s glaringly obvious that not many 70-year-olds are uploading tickets via comma delimited files they created through artificial intelligence. It stands to reason that new ways to wager, the use of data, and many other innovative ideas do not have much of a market in racing’s current demographic landscape. This is a problem because it’s extremely difficult to bring something innovative to a boss at a public company like Churchill Downs Inc. and have to sell him or her on the development of a product that might not pay dividends for years.

Despite the lack of current ROI on these products, I believe they’re vital. If these tools are not created, people like Josse will seek out games of skill where they are readily available.

The Writing is on the Wall–New Gamblers Love Fixed Odds

In 2008, Australian horse racing opened up its betting markets to fixed odds and exchange wagering. In that year, according to the Australian Racing Fact Book, handle on this form of win betting was AUS$167M. Eight short years later, over AUS$3.5B was bet on this form of wagering. The market spoke loud and clear–bettors like betting a horse at a 5-1 locked in price.

This, really, should not be too surprising. Sports betting in the US is only legal in Las Vegas, and its handle has doubled since 2006 in casino sports books. In shadow markets, people have been betting New England +7/-110 since forever. E-Sports betting and forms of daily fantasy sports betting are not dissimilar, and overseas, fixed odds have been offered for all types of gambling. Telling a younger gambler than a 3-1 shot can end up at 8-5 while the race is being run is like telling them we once had to call the operator to make a long distance call.

What Australian racing has noticed is that despite this wagering being considered an affront to pari-mutuel win betting, the pie has grown. In 2007, total handle on Thoroughbred racing in Australia was AUS$12.7B. In 2016 it was close to AUS$16B.

Other jurisdictions have modified their offerings due to the popularity of locked-in prices. In 2016, New Zealand announced an investment totaling $30M over three years to develop a fixed-odds betting system. Their racing head John Allen told Business Day, “customers prefer the certainty of fixed odds and we need to be competitive in that space.”

Now, certainly a system like this in North America is not something that’s doable overnight. However, expanding and exploring more areas for a quasi-fixed odds offering like Betfair–currently licensed and operating in New Jersey–should be something the sport takes a hard look at.

In racing, cannibalization worries are often used as an excuse to do nothing, but nothing is being cannibalized if overall handle is growing. Fixed-odds or exchange wagering represents not only the present, but the future. In some way, or some form, I believe U.S. horse racing needs to be a part of it.

Lean on “Skills-Based Pricing” By Injecting Value into the Betting Pools

Jeff Hwang, an expert on gambling (especially with the millennial demographic), introduced the concept of “skill-based pricing.” Skill-Based Pricing simply means that the game itself must be priced right, be beatable, and must compensate for the opportunity cost to play it. Hwang believes that this is what the millennial gambler is looking for when choosing a game to play.

For racing, obviously the top-line price–the takeout, please stop raising it!–is very important. But there are other ways to inject value into betting pools, too; some of them already being explored by horse racing.

I love Patch as a racehorse, but my goodness, his price in the Derby was mind-numbing. He created value for every other win wagering choice in the race. This happens more often than you think on “Big Days” and the sport should keep trying its best to attract casual fans to the betting pools.

Because takeout rates are not coming down and signal fees are going up, newer players who want to get better and play more are relegated to player rewards systems that are unavailable to them (they don’t play $500,000 per year, but they may want to). Racing should drop the high thresholds for rebating, make them more available to those who seek them out, and broaden the tent. It creates immediate value.

Over the years, horse racing has learned that carryovers drive value-seeking punters from just about everywhere. Promoting them, and looking for new innovative ways to create them is a step forward towards skill-based pricing.

My new Finnish friend Josse has found value in the high takeout “V” pools in Sweden, in part, because these bets are offered to the general public in corner stores and online through the lottery system. Brad Cummings’s Equilottery and other lottery concepts can place immediate value into the pools if brought to market. There are horse racing-friendly states and provinces that should continue to be lobbied to allow for such a concept here in North America.

In the end, today’s younger gambler expects everything obvious–to play on mobile phones and tablets; to watch crisp pictures in high definition; to be treated well when visiting a racetrack; for cost-effective intricate data they can use to wager. But beyond that, the true skill game gambler–those who play fantasy sports, E-Sports or are attracted to other brain games–is smarter than any generation before them. These punters expect to work hard at a game, be able to consume it easily through modern mediums, and if they’re good enough, have a chance to win.

I believe if horse racing invests and modifies its offering to marry it with what’s currently happening in the gambling world, it can continue to be, for generations, what it always has been–the greatest gambling game the world has ever seen.

Dean Towers has been a board member of the Horseplayers Association of North America since 2008. He has presented at various gambling conferences across North America.

Unified Retired, to Stand at Lane’s End

Thu, 2017-08-31 14:39

‘TDN Rising Star’ and multiple graded stakes winner Unified (Candy Ride {Arg}–Union City, by Dixie Union) has been retired to Lane’s End and will stand for $10,000, the farm announced Thursday.

Campaigned by Centennial Farms and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the $325,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga purchase started his career with a fast and professional maiden win to earn his ‘Rising Star’ nod last February and followed up with scores in the GIII Bay Shore S. and GII Peter Pan S. in the spring . Laid up for eight-plus months after running fifth in the GIII Pegasus S. last June, the dark bay returned to defeat MGISW Mind Your Biscuits (Posse) in the GIII Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship S. before running second in the GI Carter H. and seventh in the GII Belmont Sprint Championship S. in his final start. He retires with a record of 7-4-1-0 and earnings of $476,880.

“It’s rare that a horse with that kind of speed can carry it,” said trainer Jimmy Jerkens. “It’s those types that make great sires.”

Lane’s End owner Will Farish added, “He has the physique and pedigree to be a speed and 2-year-old sire. His pedigree is filled with precocious influence–he’s by Candy Ride, who produced Champion 2-year-old Shared Belief, and his dam is by Dixie Union, a well-known source of speed.”

Two-Time Champion Songbird Retired

Thu, 2017-08-31 11:57

Dual Eclipse winner and “TDN Rising Star” Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro–Ivanavinalot, by West Acre) has been retired from racing and will be offered at the upcoming Fasig-Tipton November sale, owner Rick Porter announced on the Fox Hill Farm Facebook page Thursday morning. Porter also posted the full vet report from Rood and Riddle, which included x-rays, ultra sound photos and a detailed diagnosis and recommendation from Dr. Larry Bramlage (click here to view).

Porter released the following statement explaining the reason for the 4-year-old filly’s retirement, “There is an ancient proverb that says all good things must come to an end. Today, Fox Hill Farm announces that something that was very good for us, and very good for racing, has come to an end–the racing career of Songbird.

Over the winter, Songbird had bone bruising and a specific area was very slow to heal. She was finally cleared to return, but the three races from Songbird this year weren’t what we expected from the bigger, stronger, and smarter Songbird. There were so many variables with her long layoff, shipping, tiring tracks, going 1 1/4 miles, and more, we were never sure which of the variables may explain what wasn’t quite Songbird.

After this past race, we thought something seemed off in her hind end, so we sent her to Rood & Riddle for an evaluation. Her lameness was readily apparent to Dr. Bramlage, and ultrasounds proved both hind suspensories were enlarged. Since suspensories are usually the result of something else amiss and he knew of her history, Dr. Bramlage shot a set of x-rays of the area of bone Songbird had issues with over the winter. A distinct line on the bone was present. We followed up with a bone scan, and then an MRI.

Unfortunately, the results weren’t what we wanted to see. We have a situation where it’d be dangerous for Songbird to continue training, and Dr. Bramlage isn’t optimistic that the site will fully resolve even if given ample time.

So for this reason, we are retiring our lovely Songbird. She was an absolute joy to race, and we expect that she’ll be as wonderful a broodmare as she was a racehorse. She took us on an incredible and unforgettable journey. While we’re sad that we must retire her, we absolutely cannot risk having another Eight Belles kind of devastation and are ultimately happy that she is retiring in good health. May she soar to new heights in her future journey.

We’d like to publicly thank the incomparable Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dr. Katie Garrett, and the rest of the staff at Rood & Riddle.”

Tabbed a “TDN Rising Star” after her sparkling debut victory at Del Mar in July of 2015, Songbird followed suit with ultra impressive victories in that term’s GI Del Mar Debutante, GI Chandelier S. and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She won those four races by a combined 22 lengths and earned her first Eclipse award as top 2-year-old filly for her efforts.

Songbird was just as sensational at age three, kicking off her 2016 campaign with dominant victories in the GII Las Virgenes S., GIII Santa Ysabel S. and GI Santa Anita Oaks. She was the early favorite for the GI Kentucky Oaks, but was ruled out of the race after spiking a fever two weeks prior that caused her to miss training.

The bay returned better than ever, crushing a field of overmatched foes in last term’s GII Summertime Oaks. She took her show on the road to Saratoga, where she proved equally dominant, besting GISW Carina Mia (Malibu Moon) by 5 1/4 lengths in the GI CCA Oaks before romping by seven lengths in the GI Alabama S.

Besting Carina Mia and Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss) with another decisive score in the GI Cotillion S., Songbird suffered her first defeat at the hooves of four-time champion and future Hall of Famer Beholder (Henny Hughes) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff, coming up a nose short after a gritty stretch battle. The Fox Hill runner lost nothing in defeat to her older rival and was granted her second Eclipse as the country’s best 3-year-old filly.

Returning to winning ways in 2017, Songbird posted a one-length victory in Belmont’s GI Ogden Phipps S. June 10 and wired the field to win the GI Delaware H. July 15 by a similar margin at her owner’s hometrack. Making her final start at Saratoga this past Saturday in the GI Personal Ensign S., the $400,000 FTSAUG buy was run down late by MGISW Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) to be second by a neck, after which Porter decided to send her to Rood and Riddle for a full evaluation.

“Songbird was probably the best horse I’ve ever had in many ways and I’ve had some good ones,” Porter told the TDN Thursday afternoon. “She was just so popular and exciting. It’s hard to believe that she is retired. I’ve been talking to Dr. Larry Bramlage for three days about this. I’m just glad that I decided to pull the plug and get her down there and get her examined.”

Porter, who underwent a long battle with lymphoma during Songbird’s campaign, but recently announced he is in remission, continued, “They mean a lot to you when you have them so it’s hard to compare. If you had them all at once maybe you could compare them. I can’t think of any horse that has given me more excitement, though I’ve had excitement from a lot of horses. She was something awful special. She obviously meant a lot to me and my family and we enjoyed racing her. She kept my mind off some things when I was going through my health issues. As a racehorse, she couldn’t have meant more to me than anything.”

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Mike Smith for the entirety of her stellar career, Songbird won 13 of 15 races, with nine of those wins being Grade Is, and retires with earnings of $4,692,000.

“It is hard to see her go,” Hollendorfer told the TDN. “I’ve been blessed and grateful to train a horse like Songbird. No one in our barn or that has ever been around her will ever forget her. We wish her the best in her new future.”

Smith echoed similar sentiments, saying, “It is a bittersweet sad. Certainly, I am going to miss seeing her everyday and miss getting the opportunity to ride her in all these great races. I am happy she is retiring to be a momma. All is good. I just want to thank her and all the connections that were involved. I am very blessed to be the guy who got to ride her. I am very proud to put her on my resume of horses that I’ve been so blessed to ride. She was a champion over and over again.”

Bred by John Antonelli, Songbird is out of Grade II winner Ivanavinalot, a granddaughter of Forty Niner, who was privately purchased by Coolmore in 2015. In addition to Songbird, the Medagalia d’Oro/Forty Niner cross has produced the likes of Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra, MGISW New Money Honey and recent GI Alabama S. heroine Elate.

Ivanavinalot is also responsible for the juvenile filly Song of Mine (Ghostzapper), who summoned $800,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale; the yearling filly Sophisticate (Tapizar); and a weanling filly by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The 17-year-old mare was bred back to Pioneerof the Nile.

Songbird will go to Taylor Made until the Fasig-Tipton November sale to be held in Lexington Nov. 6. Porter has enjoyed many good results at that auction, selling MGISW Round Pound (Awesome Again) to Darley for $5.75 million in 2007; Horse of the Year Havre de Grace (Saint Liam) to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for a record $10 million in 2012; and Grade I winner Joyful Victory (Tapit) to Aaron and Marie Jones for $2 million in 2013.

 

Quality Road Debutante Provides ‘Instant’ Satisfaction at Del Mar

Wed, 2017-08-30 19:12

+INSTANT REFLEX (f, 3, Quality Road–Without Delay, by Seeking the Gold) survived a pace duel and kicked away strongly in the lane to graduate at first asking sprinting over the Del Mar turf. Showing consistent speed in her workouts, capped off by a five-furlong move in 1:00 3/5 (13/30) Aug. 23 on the local main, the $150,000 KEESEP buy was well-backed to 3-1 off of a 6-1 morning line quote and broke sharply to lead early. Not as cleanly away, Kentan Road (Into Mischief) rushed up on the inside to challenge and the pair were inseparable through a :22.24 quarter. Instant Reflex started to do the better work outside the eighth pole and shot away from her pursuer to score by five commanding lengths under minimal urging in :56.70. Sales History: $175,000 Ylg ’15 KEEJAN; $150,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $36,000. O-DP Racing; B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY); T-James Cassidy.

More Than Ready Colt Strikes in With Anticipation

Wed, 2017-08-30 18:08

Wednesday, Saratoga
WITH ANTICIPATION S.-GIII, $150,000, SAR, 8-30, 2yo,
1 1/16mT, 1:40.94, fm.
1–#@CATHOLIC BOY, 120, c, 2, by More Than Ready
1st Dam: Song of Bernadette, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Winner’s Edge, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Lucky Us, by Nijinsky II
($170,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEEJAN). O-Robert V. LaPenta; B-Fred
W. Hertrich lll & John D. Fielding (KY); T-Jonathan Thomas;
J-Manuel Franco. $90,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $114,000.
Werk Nick Rating: B.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Irish Territory (Ire), 116, c, 2, Declaration of War–Sleeping Beauty (Ire), by Oasis Dream (GB). (€475,000 Ylg ’16
GOFORB). O-Zayat Stables, LLC; B-Springbank Way Stud (IRE);
T-William I. Mott. $30,000.3–Untamed Domain, 120, c, 2, Animal Kingdom–Ciao, by Lear
Fan. ‘TDN Rising Star’ ($90,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-West Point
Thoroughbreds; B-Clearsky Farms (KY); T-H. Graham Motion.
$15,000.
Margins: 1, 3/4, HF. Odds: 12.20, 6.90, 4.40.
Also Ran: Seabhac, Earth, Morrison, Evaluator, Trumpi, Nauti Buoy, Machtree, Fort Wise Treaty. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Sent off at a juicy 12-1 in a wide-open renewal of Wednesday’s GIII With Anticipation S. at Saratoga, Robert LaPenta’s CATHOLIC BOY sat a cozy trip from just better than midfield and got through when it mattered most to post a one-length victory. Making the trip north off a smart two-length success down at Gulfstream Park July 20, the $170,000 Keeneland September buyback settled in a share of fifth spot, three back on the rails as Earth (Orb) galloped them along in advance of Trumpi (Majestic Warrior). Patiently handled by Manny Franco, Catholic Boy clipped the hedge rounding the turn and looked ready to roll in upper stretch. The bay ducked out sharply at about the three-sixteenths marker, but fortunately there was no company there, and Catholic Boy surged through a gap and onto victory. Irish Territory (Ire) (Declaration of War), crushed into 6-1 from a morning line of 15-1 off a tough-trip seventh in his Aug. 5 debut, took off around horses on the turn and led into the final furlong, but ran out of steam late and settled for second. ‘TDN Rising Star’ Untamed Domain (Animal Kingdom) was very slow to begin and raced well back early. He uncorked a strong rally leaving the three-eighths and stayed on well to be third. Catholic Boy is the 175th worldwide black-type winner and 79th graded winner for his successful dual-hemisphere sire. The win also gaveBernardini his second of the meet as a broodmare sire (Hunter O’Riley, GII Bowling Green S.) and fourth of his career. Catholic Boy and trainer Jonathan Thomas were the subjects of a piece by Brian DiDonato in Wednesday’s TDN.

Tapizar’s Mr. Crow Romps Again at the Spa

Wed, 2017-08-30 17:17

8th-SAR, $85,000, Alw, 8-30, (NW1$X), 3yo/up, 7f, 1:22.07, ft.
MR. CROW (c, 3, Tapizar–Black Chocolate, by Harlan’s Holiday), a blowout winner earlier in the Saratoga meet to earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ status, repeated with another dominant performance in a first-level allowance Wednesday at the Spa. An unlucky runner-up by a neck with a tough trip on debut June 24 at Belmont, the $150,000 OBS March buy annihilated a field of maidens by 11 1/2 lengths with an eye-popping 109 Beyer despite failing to switch leads July 22, and he was backed to 3-5 favoritism to double up in this first try against winners. Away well, the bay tracked the speed of longshot Foreset (Forestry) from second through a moderate :22.71 quarter. Turning up the heat on that one around the turn, Mr. Crow was on even terms passing a half in :45.74 and took charge willingly into the lane. Second choice Patternrecognition (Adios Charlie) tipped off the rail at that point to try and mount a bid, but Mr. Crow slammed the door in a handful of strides, spurting well clear by the eighth pole and coasting home 6 1/4 lengths to the good of that rival in a sharp clocking while staying on his left lead once again. The winner’s dam is responsible for a juvenile Uncle Mo colt named Shiitake and a yearling filly by To Honor and Serve named Sayitagainjustice. She was paired with Twirling Candy this spring. Sales History: $12,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $115,800. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-KRA Stud Farm; B-Avalon Farms, Inc. & Scott Swaim (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

WinStar Acquires Always Dreaming Breeding Rights

Wed, 2017-08-30 16:10

WinStar Farm has acquired the breeding rights to Always Dreaming (Bodemeister–Above Perfection, by In Excess {Ire}) and will stand this year’s GI Kentucky Derby and GI Florida Derby hero upon completion of his racing career.

“We are excited to add another potentially breed-shaping stallion from the dominant Unbridled line, which has proven to be today’s preeminent classic sire line,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar President & CEO. “Always Dreaming has all three things we look for: looks, he was a $350,000 yearling; pedigree, he is out of a fast, Grade I-level race mare and is a half to a Grade I winner; and performance, he’s a brilliantly fast winner of two prestigious Grade 1 races this year, including the race everyone wants to win–the [Kentucky] Derby. He represents four straight generations of a sire line that finished first or second in the Kentucky Derby.”

Always Dreaming arrived at WinStar early Monday morning for a planned freshening and examination at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. A determination on whether he will enter stud in 2018 or 2019 will be made following an exam by Dr. Larry Bramlage. Always Dreaming is owned and campaigned by MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St Elias, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds. Among the partners in Always Dreaming’s future stallion career with WinStar are SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, and Siena Farm.

“Always Dreaming is a very special horse, and we are excited about his future stallion career at WinStar,” said co-owner Vinnie Viola. “We will continue the ride and support him with some great mares down the road. The combination of SF Bloodstock, China Horse Club, Siena Farm, and WinStar Farm ensures a super partnership with access to some of the best broodmare bands in the world. This is a group that knows how to make leading sires, and we want to give Always Dreaming the best opportunity when he retires to stud.”

A $350,000 Keeneland September acquisition, Always Dreaming is out of the fleet GSW & GISP Above Perfection, also the dam of 2009 GI Spinaway S. winner Hot Dixie Chick (Dixie Union). The latter has gone on to produce the mulitple stakes-winning sprinter Union Jackson (Curlin). Always Dreaming’s sire and paternal grandsire Empire Maker were both runner-up in the Kentucky Derby, while his great-grandsire Unbridled was victorious in the ‘Run for the Roses.’

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming has a record of 9-4-2-1 and earnings to date of $2,344,700.

Bated Breath Filly Impresses At Lingfield

Wed, 2017-08-30 10:35

2nd-LIN, £6,000, Cond, 8-30, 2yo, f, 7fT, 1:25.67, gd.
GAVOTA (GB) (f, 2, Bated Breath {GB}–Ombre {GB}, by Galileo {Ire}), who was racing under a seven-pound penalty after her debut win over six furlongs at Newmarket Aug. 11, settled behind the early leaders under restraint. Sweeping to the front approaching the furlong marker, the 3-10 favourite strode clear under hand riding to register a facile six-length success from Unchaining Melody (GB) (Excelebration {Ire}). Trainer Roger Charlton’s son and assistant Tom said, “She’s a sweet filly with a lovely long stride. She’s got an entry in the [G2] Rockfel [S. at Newmarket Sept. 29], but there’s a chance she’ll get a mile as well. She’s got a lovely attitude, typical of her sire Bated Breath. She seems like a straightforward filly and is easy to train.” The dam, who has a yearling filly by Showcasing (GB) and a foal full-sister to the winner, was an unraced half to three black-type performers in Grand Vista (GB) (Danehill), World Ruler (GB) (Dansili {GB}) and Disclose (GB) (Dansili {GB}). Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $10,890. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Khalid Abdullah; B-Juddmonte Farms (East) Ltd (GB); T-Roger Charlton.

 

Texas Thoroughbreds Largely Spared

Tue, 2017-08-29 18:01

As heavy tropical downpours Tuesday continued to submerge parts of Houston, pushing rain totals in coastal Texas and Louisiana toward 50 inches, local and national equine entities banded together in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to help save horses imperiled by the rising, state-of-emergency floodwaters.

There have been numerous news reports and dramatic internet photos and videos of horses being moved from flooded ranches, stables, and paddocks in the deluged region. But no firm number of equine rescues, injuries, or deaths has yet been reported by any animal welfare agency, mainly because tallying and communicating such figures is a difficult, secondary task as the potentially deadly waters continue to rise.

Yet the Thoroughbred population in the region seems to have been spared by the worst of the damage and danger, at least according to various racing and breeding entities in Texas and Louisiana that the TDN was able to reach via phone on Tuesday.

And nearly every Thoroughbred industry person contacted for this story had the same message to get out to the larger equine community: We’re here to help–not just right now, but in the difficult weeks and months ahead as the cleanup begins and a “new normal” settles in.

“Right now it is truly a rescue and recovery sort of mode, so unless people are physically there, there’s not a lot we can do other than make sure we are prepared, both monetarily and with supplies to try and help any way possible,” said Eric Hamelback, chief executive officer for the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “I do know from talking to folks on the ground there that Sam Houston Race Park (SHRP) is not a part of the flooding zone, and as a matter of fact the racecourse is accepting horses as a refuge spot if–and I stress if–they can get there safely. That’s a big ‘if’ because my understanding is it wouldn’t be an easy trek to get there.”

The primary reasons Thoroughbreds avoided the brunt of the disaster are that no Thoroughbred racing is scheduled at this time of the year in Texas and very few racehorse farms were in the hurricane’s path.

“So from that standpoint, horsemen have been fortunate that not a lot of horses are on the grounds of [Texas] racetracks,” Hamelback said. “But again, if there’s a positive side to it, [the empty stables] give us a little bit of a spot for refuge for recreational horses, if they can get to those tracks.

“Having lived through many hurricanes myself, I know it takes a little bit of time just to kind of get your feet on the ground and know what the next step is,” Hamelback continued. “So we may even be a little bit too early to get a grasp of what folks need because there’s not a lot of communication that’s able to come out of that area.”

Mary Ruyle, the executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, said that she too was surprised how few Thoroughbred owners have reached out to her organization for assistance.

“It’s kind of odd, but we are not hearing anything right now from people who are requesting help to move their horses out,” Ruyle said. “I’m hoping that is because people paid attention to the evacuation notices and made provisions for their animals. And because there is not a live meet running yet at SHRP, I’m hoping that there just weren’t a lot of horses in the area at this time, and that those that were, got out. At this point we’re just asking everybody if they know of a resource or can be a resource to let us know and we’ll get that out there for people to see. I’m expecting as things go along over the next few days we’ll begin to get more requests for help.”

Some 240 miles east of Houston in Louisiana, Evangeline Downs is in the midst of the closing week of its Thoroughbred season. As a precaution because of anticipated roadway flooding, the track has canceled Wednesday evening’s program as rain moves into that region, said JoAnn Comeaux, the track’s program coordinator.

Delta Downs, situated roughly between Evangeline Downs and metro Houston, doesn’t start it’s Thoroughbred season until Oct. 18. There are no horses stabled on the grounds, and no horse owners have requested refuge in the track’s stable area, said director of racing Chris Warren.

But Karl Broberg, the nation’s leading trainer in terms of wins (320), has a Thoroughbred farm about a mile form Delta Downs, and he told TDN there is a possibility he might have to evacuate his horses.

“The water has actually gone down in the last 24 hours, but we are supposed to get blasted again beginning [Tuesday] evening, so the verdict is still out,” Broberg said. “Fortunately I’m blessed with a lot of good help and couple of drivers on standby if [flooding] were to actually become as issue. I know there are a lot of people in the area that have it far worse off than I do.”

Vanning his horses to slightly higher ground at Delta Downs, Broberg said, “was considered as a possibility, [but] has not even been addressed yet, which is actually a little surprising to me.” Plan B, he added, is to “ship them all up to the Shreveport area.”

SHRP initially took in about a dozen horses when it opened its barns earlier this week. But two large incoming shipments on Tuesday swelled the number to about 100. Roland Tamez of the track’s security department said SHRP still has room to offer emergency stabling.

“In this approximate area we don’t have any high water. It’s a higher elevation. There is no flooding or wind damage to the racetrack,” Tamez said. “It is wet and it was raining, but that’s about it. Most of Houston, the downtown area versus the outskirts, a lot of the freeways and the interstates are flooded still. Today we took in about 10 to 12 owners. One had 50 (horses) and another had about 40. One had several big trailers following each other. The other group, they made multi trips to bring the horses here.”

Teo Mallet, who owns Century Acres in Hempstead, some 55 miles northwest of Houston, said the 24 Thoroughbreds at his farm were not affected by flooding, even though neighboring ranches were.

“I’m high and dry. Luckily, I have some pretty high property next to the old Lane’s End Texas. My hundred acres and paddocks are dry. I’ve almost not even been affected besides the rain,” Mallet said.

“I feel guilty, because I’ve got family and friends in Houston that have lost everything, and luckily, thanks to God, we’ve been not affected,” said Mallet. “We’ve taken in a bunch of horses from other people that weren’t so lucky. I have room for anybody who needs help. We’ve been putting it out, that I’ve still got some room to take in more horses. We’ve taken in six so far; we rescued some yesterday from a neighbor whose barn has flooded. I wish I could do more.”

Mallet said that the grim economics of racing in Texas have taken such a toll on Thoroughbred owners over the past several years that there are not too many racing operations left for the hurricane to wipe out.

“Unfortunately, with the state of racing in Texas, most of the farms have left,” Mallet said. “My farm used to be part of the original Lane’s End Texas that the Farishes owned, and they sold out last summer. So the stallions left here and we lost all our broodmares. It’s been pretty rough for us. There’s probably only half a dozen Thoroughbred farms left in Texas.”

Once the rains stop, the rescue efforts will not be over. Even after floodwater recedes, it can leave behind sewage and chemicals that can cause infections and diseases in both horses and people.

How to help

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation’s Equine Disaster Relief Fund is accepting aid to help horses in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey. Donations will be distributed among credible programs and organizations that are helping with recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath and towards preparedness efforts for future disasters. To donate, click here.

If you instead wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email the AAEP’s Keith Kleine at kkleine@aaep.org and you will be contacted with further instructions.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is also accepting donations to its disaster fund here. Since noon on Tuesday, donations have exceeded $50,000. A generous donor has pledged to match the next $25,000 in donations, and the USEF is aiming to reach $100,000.

Kentucky Cup Classic Returns to Turfway

Tue, 2017-08-29 17:04

The Kentucky Cup Classic will return to the Turfway Park stakes schedule for the first time since 2011 when the Florence track opens for its 59th season Nov. 29. The race, which was last run as a Grade II event, has been won by Classic winners Tabasco Cat, Silver Charm and Thunder Gulch, as well as G1 Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May and Grade I winners Perfect Drift and Hard Spun. It will be run as part of Turfway’s GIII Spiral S. card Mar. 17 and will be worth $100,000 for 4-year-olds and up going nine furlongs.

Turfway has also renamed the Wintergreen S. Now named the Latonia S., the race for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles will also be run on the Mar. 17 card and will be worth $75,000. The new name honors the original Latonia Race Track, which operated from 1883 to 1939 about 10 miles north of present-day Turfway Park, and is Turfway’s original name.

“Reviving the Kentucky Cup Classic and celebrating our history with the Latonia S. will make Spiral S. day more exciting for fans,” said Turfway General Manager Daniel “Chip” Bach. “Adding stakes for older horses rounds out the card and gives trainers wider opportunities and greater incentive to ship. Three-year-olds looking to enhance their chances at making the GI Kentucky Derby or Oaks field will have that opportunity in the Spiral or Bourbonette. Focusing on higher-caliber races across the entire card will make the day more attractive to bettors as well.”

The Spiral, which offers 34 points towards a Kentucky Derby berth, will be worth $200,000 in 2018. The GIII Bourbonette Oaks, which offers 34 points towards a Kentucky Oaks berth, will be worth $100,000.

Turfway has also moved five stakes races from traditional Saturday runnings to Friday evenings: the Dec. 1 Holiday Inaugural; Dec. 29 Prairie Bayou; Jan. 19 Forego; Feb. 9 Cincinnati Trophy; and the Feb. 23 Battaglia Memorial.

Turfway will race Wednesday through Saturday from opening day Nov. 29 through Dec. 31 and Thursday through Saturday from Jan. 1 through the close of the season on Mar. 31.

Lady Aurelia Returns to Keeneland

Tue, 2017-08-29 16:21

Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy), who just got nipped on the wire in the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe S. at York, is returning to Keeneland later this week and will be aimed at a start in the Nov. 4 GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar. The 3-year-old filly has made two transatlantic crossings this year. She won the G1 King’s Stand S. at Royal Ascot in June before missing by just a nose to Marsha (Ire) (Acclamation) on the Knavesmire last Friday.

“She thinks she won,” trainer Wesley Ward said of the Nunthorpe. “They do know. If they’re running hard and they’re in front and then somebody blows by them, the next day they’re kind of like ears back, dejected and sad almost. But the ones that win are the opposite. Their ears are up; they come out of the stall bouncing. She really thinks she won. The filly that won it, she ran a valiant race to run us down. She was very courageous to come and get what I believe is the fastest horse in the world.”

Lady Aurelia began her 2017 campaign with a win in the Giant’s Causeway S. at Keeneland in April before her back-to-back English efforts.

“I was proud Lady Aurelia made such a tremendous effort back to back from here in the spring at Keeneland to Ascot to that race,” Ward said. “We’ll look forward to the Breeders’ Cup, then we’ll put her away.”

Ward said plans are for Lady Aurelia to remain in training next season.

“[Owners] Barbara Banke and Peter Leidel have committed to running her next year and possibly the year after that,” Ward said. “It’s good for racing to have a filly of this quality to keep going. Hopefully, she can maintain her form to where she runs such great races.”

This Time, Horse Racing’s Aging Demographic Problem Is Very Real

Tue, 2017-08-29 14:57

For decades, the horse racing chicken littles have been proven wrong with their “our patrons are dying off” narrative, but the tide is changing and racing needs to be ready for it.

Alarmism is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as the “often unwarranted exciting of fears or warning of danger.” If we turn on the news or open an online magazine, we see it almost daily. It’s everywhere.

Racing is certainly not immune to alarmism, and the narrative that racing does not attract a younger customer is one which has led to many fantastical claims. Year after year, decade after decade, we’ve been told that one day soon everyone will die off and Kentucky Derby ratings will be lower than that of Matlock reruns; attendance for the Breeders’ Cup will consist of horsepeople, a few octogenarians and a half dozen barn cats; that when the game’s patrons get older and pass on, it’s over.

This, in large part, hasn’t happened. Sure, racing is not as popular as it was once was, but revenue keeps chugging along; this despite the fact that many fans and bettors born in 1930’s or 1940’s are no longer with us.

I think the alarmists have been wrong for several reasons:

• Racing has always enjoyed a quasi-monopoly in the skill game gambling market, i.e. if you want to play a legal brain game, the sport is right in front of you, licensed in almost every state. Others have not been so lucky.

• In the online, connected age–an age in which only 20 short years ago Amazon.com didn’t exist, and Mark Zuckerberg was in grade school–racing, through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, has continued to exploit its carve out.

• The sport has been regulated since the early 1900’s and this has had many benefits. Regulatory capture has helped the business, and states have long depended on horse racing for revenue. Racing is the devil the regulators and politicians know; slot machine revenue didn’t go into general state revenues, it went to racetracks for this very reason.

The above pillars have allowed racing to hold an advantageous position in the wagering market. As regular, everyday patrons pass on, the top of the funnel keeps getting stuffed with younger customers eager for skill-game wagering opportunities.

Racing has owned its space.

Although this has worked well for decades, I’m here to submit that we are seeing cracks in racing’s near impenetrable wall. I believe there’s strong evidence that the alarmist “we need to get younger or die” message is finally very real.

The Numbers Are, Frankly, Staggering

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to present on a panel at the World Trotting Conference in Prince Edward Island. A co-presenter on my topic–“A Brave New World, New Ways to Bet on Horses”–was Chris Lush, Senior Vice President of Technology, Wagering and Broadcast for Woodbine Entertainment Group. A part of Chris’s presentation focused on demographics for Woodbine’s nationwide betting ADW, and it was eye-opening.

From 2009 to 2017, Woodbine has garnered the most business from those above the age of 60, with the over-50 set holding their own. This in itself is not new news. But what was most worrisome was that the top of the funnel for this lifetime pursuit we all enjoy has been sputtering–the 20’s to 40’s segment is seeing negative growth.

What caused an audible gasp from a few in the audience was when Chris extended the graph, as below:

Based on analysis of Woodbine’s current trends, in two decades wagering will be a fraction of what it is today, with most almost all the betting giant’s patrons over 60 years of age.

To Woodbine’s credit, Chris shared what he and the executive team was working on to slow this trend and capture new markets. However, the takeaway was very obvious. A quarter century ago this graph would’ve never existed.

What Has Changed in 25 Years?

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, lotteries and gaming expansion occurred, with both governments and smart entrepreneurs looking for new revenue. Despite these new competitors, racing soldiered on. I believe one reason it did was because horse racing was not a slot machine or a lottery ticket; in fact, it’s probably the antithesis of a slot machine or a lottery ticket. Horse racing commonly attracted a completely different gambler and that gambler–outside betting with his or her bookie, or flying to Vegas to play poker–had little choice in the matter. It was racing or bust.

Forty or so years later, this is no longer the case:

• While Las Vegas slot machines and table games stagnate, betting on sports is flourishing. From 2006 to 2016–which includes the years of the great recession–handle on sports in Vegas casinos has doubled. This market, which is now offering in-game betting and other innovative ways to wager, appears to be only scratching the surface of what’s possible. This doesn’t even include the likelihood that sports betting will become legal in the not so very distant future.

• Fantasy sports–something played for years by engaged sports fans–became more mainstream and lucrative through Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS. This form of gambling has grown from no handle in 2009, to over $3.2B last year.

• While you and I may have played Atari in our basements, others do things a little differently in the present day. More people play the “League of Legends” than live in France, and video game markets with highly challenging game play have exploded in popularity. This has spawned a new betting medium called “E-Sports”. Wagering on team play is slated to grow rapidly in the coming years; with a bull case scenario calling for over $13.6B in handle by 2020.

Source: STATS Inc.

Horse racing is not battling slot machines or lottery ticket competition; it’s now competing with innovative tech companies offering younger demographics the skill game gambling choices that they crave.

Why Does This New Type of Betting Attract Millennials in Such Big Numbers?

As I explored in a previous column, today’s under 30s are not remotely comparable to the same demographic of even a half generation ago. These millennials have grown up in the smartphone age and are smarter in science, math and computing than any generation before them.

Jeff Hwang, an expert on this burgeoning gambling market, postulates that there’s never been a more savvy generation when it comes to wagering, and this group is acting rationally. They tend to avoid high-hold games of chance and are more attracted to games of skill, but only if these games are priced right with something he calls “skill-based pricing”–where the game compensates for that skill. This, in part, he believes, explains some of the growth we’ve seen in sports betting or E-Sports, while at the same time slot machine revenue has fallen.

As horse racing (or other skill games) bettors we are hard-wired a certain way. Today’s millennial is not much different than Pittsburgh Phil a century ago seeking out an edge; not different than Andy Beyer in 1970 trying to figure out how he can gain an advantage using the variant of a racetrack to standardize time. The main difference is that the Andy or Phil of 2017 has a choice of games to play where they can use their skillsets to their full potential. And many of these games represent much better value than horse racing.

Back in the early 1980’s I was 12 or 13 years of age, sitting up in the grandstand, dutifully reading the past performances. An old-time railbird commented to my chaperon that he didn’t see too many kids at the track reading the PP’s, and that the game would be dead in 20 years. I didn’t believe him, or the long line of those who followed him professing the same opinion. But, in 2017, I must confess, I’m coming around. The gambling world is changing rapidly, and so are those who patronize it. Horse racing needs to be ready.

Dean Towers has been a board member of the Horseplayers Association of North America since 2008. Dean would like to thank Chris Lush and Woodbine for allowing him to share the screenshots in the above piece.

Bated Breath Colt Heads Strong Start At Goffs UK

Tue, 2017-08-29 14:39

DONCASTER, UK–Bated Breath (GB) often plays second fiddle to Frankel (GB), who retired to Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud in the same year, but the former top-class sprinter has steadily been building an impressive record this season after a solid start with his first juveniles, and he had the spotlight all to himself at a red-hot opening session of the Goffs UK Premier Sale on Tuesday.

Lot 195 was a rare offering in Doncaster from James Hanly’s Ballyhimikin Stud, but the Irish farm’s change of strategy proved worthwhile when the homebred Bated Breath colt out of winning Night Shift mare Night Sphere (Ire) took the top spot on day one. For a while it seemed as though the half-brother to four winners would be joining Sheikh Hamdan’s string, but Angus Gold eventually gave way to Joe Foley, bidding in company with Steve Parkin of Clipper Logistics, and making the final play at £270,000.

“Steve and I saw him on Sunday morning and he was a special colt,” Foley said. “He’s a beautiful horse by an emerging sire and he comes from a great nursery.”

Hanly explained the colt’s presence in the catalogue, adding, “Nick Nugent saw him earlier in the year and loved him so he asked me to bring him here. I’ve always loved Bated Breath and most of the foals out of this mare have been rated between 95 and 100. She’s a beautiful mare and this colt has always been exceptional.”

A 91% clearance rate set the tone for a day of trade which boasted strength in depth. Only 19 of the 200 yearlings offered on the first day failed to find a buyer, pushing the day’s turnover to £10,653,500–up from £8,751,000 on the same day last year–while the average rose 22.4% from £43,537 to £53,268, and the median climbed 4.3% from £35,000 to £36,500.

Early Strikes For HKJC…

There was plenty of early action in the ring as the sale started its two-day run. Mark Richards of Hong Kong Jockey Club was among those to make significant outlays within the first hour of the sale, going to £260,000 for lot 33, the Grove Stud-consigned son of Kodiac (GB) who justified his fairly lavish foal price of £75,000 to provide a nice return for John Cullinane and partners.

First foals have become increasingly sought after and this colt, bred by Con Marnane, is the first offspring of the lightly-raced Red Rocks (Ire) mare Folegandros Island (Fr), a half-sister to the Wokingham S. winner and Group 3-placed Dandy Boy (Ity) (Danetime {Ire}), who was trained by the breeder’s brother David Marnane.

According to Richards his purchase was a no-brainer, and there are plenty who agree with him when it comes to Kodiac. The stallion’s first-day average for nine sold was £156,889.

“I liked him from the moment I saw him and he was the one we really wanted so we were prepared to push the boat out a little,” Richards said.

Just seven lots earlier (26), the HKJC buyer had gone to £120,000 to buy Taroka Stud’s speedily-bred colt by Equiano (GB), a 68,000gns foal purchase by Ghislain Bozo out of a daughter of the consistent multiple group-winning sprinter Millyant (GB) (Primo Dominie {GB}). His dam Fatal Attraction (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB})–a full-sister to another fast French group-race winner, Mirza–failed to win but was placed twice in six starts and has already produced three winners from three runners, including the Group 3 runner-up Take A Deep Breath (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}).

Richards also went to £125,000 for lot 182, Owenstown Stud’s colt out of the GIII Long Island H. third Musical Rain (Ire) (Val Royal) by Holy Roman Emperor, whose reputation remains strong in Hong Kong racing.

Welcome To The Club…

A colt who should feature in sprint contests before too long is lot 27, the first foal of Listed Empress S. winner Fig Roll (GB) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}) and by the proven sire Iffraaj (GB). He was bought for £190,000 by Mick Flanagan on behalf of China Horse Club, making its first purchase at Goffs UK.

“We’re delighted to be here and through we probably won’t buy a lot in Europe this year we thought we’d spread it out a bit to be at all the premier sales,” Flanagan said. “This colt is by a good stallion who seems to have a good season every year and he’s the first foal of a good, precocious mare.”

Fig Roll, who was herself a first foal, did all her best work at two, as did her dam Cake (GB) (Acclamation {GB}), who won three races as a juvenile including the Listed St Hugh’s S. Fig Roll’s colt was consigned by Longview Stud on behalf of breeder Ed’s Stud.

Another Darley stallion made his way into the top 10 later in the day when lot 161, a Teofilo (Ire) colt out of the juvenile winner Midget (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), raised a bid of £200,000 from Anthony Stroud, acting on behalf of Godolphin.

Teofilo has already worked well with this family, with Midget’s half-sister by the sire, Amralah (Ire), having won the G2 Herbert Power S. in Australia for Lloyd Williams and Robert Hickmott. A bold pinhook by Luke Barry of Manister House Stud, the colt increased significantly in value from the €64,000 it took to buy him at Goffs last November.

Angel Soaring High Again…

At this sale in particular, the name Dark Angel (Ire) is rarely far from the leader board and so it proved again, with lot 125, a colt by the Yeomanstown sire offered by Guy O’Callaghan of Grangemore Stud, being bought by Ed Sackville on behalf of MV Magnier for 250,000gns.

“He’s by a very good stallion and is already a full-brother to a stakes performer,” Sackville noted. “It’s a good, fast family and this farm has already had plenty of success with Dark Angel as the breeder of [Group 2 winner] Birchwood (Ire).”

The February-born colt is the second foal of Last Bid (GB) (Vital Equine {Ire}), bought by O’Callaghan as a 2-year-old. Her first foal is the Listed Empress S. runner-up Maggies Angel (Ire).

Shadwell is an operation that has often reaped the benefits of Dark Angel’s prowess, so unsurprisingly his name was also on the shopping list of Angus Gold, who bought lot 86, Glenvale Stud’s colt out of the unraced Inca Trail (Royal Academy) for £240,000.

“We know the sire well and I felt he was one of the better individuals here,” Gold noted. “Needless to say, plenty of members of the training fraternity were keen on him. He’s a powerful horse who seems to have a good mind.”

Dark Angel topped the Premier Sale last year with a colt out of the Lordship Stud mare Swiss Dream (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) who sold for £280,000. Now named Yafta (GB), the Richard Hannon trainee secured his first win in Sheikh Hamdan’s colours last week at Bath.

Highclere To Highclere…

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing annually recruits a select band of yearlings for its elite syndicates and that process began early on Tuesday morning when lot 10, an Oasis Dream (GB) colt bred in the Lake District by Gary and Lesley Middlebrook, was bought by John Warren for £190,000.

The agent would have had plenty of chances to see the son of juvenile winner Eminently (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) as he was consigned by his wife, Lady Carolyn Warren, through Highclere Stud.

This is a family which has been good to the Middlebrooks, who own one of the most picturesque farms in Britain. The colt’s second dam is the speedy multiple group winner Imperial Bailiwick (Ire) (Imperial Frontier), who has produced the dual Group 1-winning sprinter Reverence (GB) (Mark OF Esteem {Ire}) and Chesham S. winner Helm Bank (GB) (Wild Again) among her 10 winners.

Swann Keeps It In The Family…

Peter Swann of the Cool Silk Partnership has been a loyal client of the various sales at Goffs UK and was back in action on Tuesday when signing for a filly whose family is very familiar to the owner. Lot 95, a daughter of Kodiac bred and offered by Noel O’Callaghan’s Mountarmstrong Stud, was the most expensive filly of the session at £180,000, but her appeal to Swann is that he currently races her half-sister Darkanna (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who was runner-up to Tantheem (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the G3 Prix de Cabourg last month. Furthermore, the fillies’ dam Jadanna (Ire) (Mujadil), also raced for the Cool Silk Partnership, for whom she won twice and finished third in the G2 Cherry Hinton S.

“Obviously we know the family and Darkanna has been good to us this season. She really picked up in the soft ground to win at Haydock which is why we then sent her to France, hoping for softer ground. This filly is a bit bigger and stronger than her sister and she will also go to Richard Fahey.”

Swann has also had notable success when buying at the breeze-up sales. In 2016, he bought subsequent G2 Norfolk S. winner Prince Of Lir (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) from Goffs UK for £170,000. He is now resident at Ballyhane Stud but has been replaced in the Cool Silk racing string by another smart breeze-up purchase, this one a recruit from Tattersalls Ireland Ascot but also a Bansha House graduate, Sands Of Mali (Fr). The Panis (Fr) colt won Saturday’s G2 Gimcrack S. at York and will be aimed next at the G1 Middle Park S. at Newmarket.

“Saturday was an amazing day,” Swann recalled. “We were patient with him and didn’t push him to make Royal Ascot. I’m already working on my Gimcrack speech and it will be even better if Sands Of Mali wins the Middle Park.”

Notable Firsts…

The first yearling by Frankel to appear at Doncaster was lot 120, a daughter of multiple stakes winner Ladies Are Forever (GB) (Monsieur Bond {Ire}), who was consigned by CBS Breeding Ltd. Initially led out unsold at £160,000, a private sale was later agreed, with Dermot Farrington buying the chestnut filly at £180,000. Farrington was also the purchaser of Frankel’s first-crop Group 2 winner Eminent (Ire), trained by his father-in-law Martyn Meade.

Among a number of freshman sires with their first yearlings on sale this week, Mickley Stud’s Heeraat (Ire) made the biggest splash on the first day via the Yeomanstown Stud-consigned colt (lot 214) who was bought for £100,000 by Armando Duarte. Bred by Robert Percival and sold as a foal for 38,000gns, the colt is a son of Piranha (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), a dual winner at two whose dam Mosaique Beauty (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) is a sister to GI Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup H. winner Subtle Power (Ire).

Coolmore freshman War Command also made a good start, with lots 175 and 37 fetching £95,000 and £92,000, respectively. The former, Duhill Stud’s half-brother to 10-time winner Safari Sunseeker (Ire) (Tagula {Ire}), was bought by Ollie Cole, while Blandford Bloodstock bought West Moor Stud’s filly out of the dual winner Foreplay (Ire), whose five winners include the cheekily-named Anticipated (Ire), a son of Whipper.

September: The Big Picture and the Second Week

Tue, 2017-08-29 13:06

When you look at the 4,309 yearlings catalogued over 13 days of selling, there’s just no other sensible overall organizing tool we can use besides chronological: the first week will consist of the new Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase on Sunday, Sept. 10, and four days of selling at Keeneland–Book 1 on Monday, Sept. 11, and Book 2 Tuesday–Thursday, Sept. 12-14. The second week will begin after the one-day break on Friday, with Keeneland Book 3 starting Saturday, Sept. 16 and continuing for eight days, finishing Saturday, Sept. 23. Of the 4,309 catalogued, there are 1,373 catalogued in the first week (32%, 171 at Fasig and 1,202 in Keeneland Books 1-2), and 2,936 catalogued in the second week (68%), Keeneland Books 3-6.

If all sires combined have roughly one-third of their yearlings in the first week and two-thirds in the second week, it stands to reason that the best sires will have most of their yearlings catalogued in the first week, and especially in Keeneland Books 1-2: Tapit for example has 44 yearlings in the entire sales, of which 41 are in Books 1-2 and three in Books 3-6. War Front has 34 catalogued in the entire sales, one in the Fasig Turf Showcase, the other 33 in Keeneland Books 1-2. So it’s illuminating to look at, first, the number of yearlings a sire has catalogued from the total of 4,309; but also the distribution of those yearlings between the first and second weeks.

For the overall September sales series–one day at Fasig plus 12 days at Keeneland–Coolmore Ashford’s late, great Scat Daddy is the leading sire by number catalogued, with 88: five at Fasig, 66 in Keeneland Books 1-2, and 17 in Keeneland Books 3-6. Spendthrift’s Into Mischief is still the leading sire of 3-year-olds standing in North America by 2014 crop earnings (click here) with 97 winners, 21 black-type horses, and the earners of over $8.1-million, including, of course, Practical Joke, who scored his third Grade I win in last weekend’s GI H. Allen Jerkens S. (formerly the King’s Bishop), and was the subject of Andrew Caulfield’s column in Tuesday’s TDN. Into Mischief has 83 catalogued in September, all at Keeneland (39 in Books 1-2, 44 in Books 3-6). WinStar’s Bodemeister, leading North American second-crop sire (click here), sire of GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Grade II winner American Anthem in his first crop, has 80 catalogued, again all at Keeneland and with a similar distribution to Into Mischief’s, in his case 35 in Books 1-2, 45 in Books 3-6.

A total of 30 sires have 50 or more yearlings catalogued in the seven books of September (one Fasig, six Keeneland), and it’s striking that they have sired 1,926 of the 4,309 yearlings catalogued, which is 44%; in other words, four out of every nine yearlings catalogued will be by one of these 30 sires–but notably these 30 do not include Tapit (44) or War Front (34). Of the 30, eleven are sires which have their first yearlings (4), 2-year-olds (4), or 3-year-olds (3)–this is for all 13 days, remember.

Of the four stallions with their first yearlings, the top sire numerically is Ashford’s Verrazano (75), winner of the GI Wood Memorial S. and GI Haskell Invitational S. (by nearly 10L, Beyer 116) in 2013. Three Chimneys’ Will Take Charge (65) was unplaced in all three Triple Crown races, but Wayne Lukas brought him back with four wins and four seconds in his next eight starts in five Grade I and three Grade II races, including wins in the GI Travers S. and GI Clark H. (against olders), split by a nose defeat by Mucho Macho Man in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, all of which earned him the 2013 Eclipse Award for 3-year-old males. He’s deservedly been this crop’s commercial leader so far, and figures to remain in that spot. Lane’s End’s full brother to Frankel, Noble Mission, has 58 catalogued, and Airdrie’s ‘market darling’, Cairo Prince, has 54.

Among sires with their first 2-year-olds, Ashford’s Declaration of War, from his first Kentucky crop after standing his first season in Ireland, leads the pack with 78 yearlings catalogued (fourth overall), including 13 at the Fasig Turf sale, 34 in Keeneland Books 1-2, and 31 in Books 3-6. Claiborne’s Orb and WinStar’s Paynter have 54 each; Ashford’s Shanghai Bobby has 53. Among sires with their first 3-year-olds, so their third crop of yearlings, Lane’s End’s The Factor, like Declaration of War a son of War Front, has 72 catalogued, and the farm’s Union Rags, number two freshman sire last year, has 61. Gainesway’s Tapizar has 50 catalogued.

Having looked at the sires of ‘first week’ yearlings in last week’s column and tables, let’s now look at the sires of the 2,936 Book 3-6 yearlings. Of the 193 sires represented by Book 3-6 yearlings, 16 have 40 or more yearlings catalogued in Books 3-6. Naturally younger, unproven sires are more to the fore in the second week, and in fact, eight of the nine sires already mentioned among this top 16 (meaning they had 50+ catalogued total) are in the younger sire crops. F2014 The Factor (61), who has his first 3-year-olds, has the highest number of yearlings in Books 3-6, with Tapizar (49) and Bodemeister (45) also from the F2014 sire group. Verrazano (54), Will Take Charge (42), and Cairo Prince (40) represent F2016 sires, with their first crops selling, along with WinStar’s Fed Biz (43, also has two in Book 2 for 45 total), a ‘market darling’ in his own right whose stock has impressed a lot of judges, and Spendthrift’s Goldencents (also 43), a dual GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner from Into Mischief’s first crop. Sires with first 2-year-olds with 40+ catalogued in Book 3-6 include Paynter (54) and Shanghai Bobby (53). Into Mischief (44), by the way, is the one proven sire whom we had mentioned earlier with 40+ catalogued in the ‘back books’.

Five other sires have 40+ catalogued in Books 3-6. Ramsey Farm’s Kitten’s Joy has 49 in the back books, 77 overall as he also has seven in the Fasig Turf sale and 21 in Books 1-2. Three F2012 sires (first 5-year-olds) are on this list: WinStar’s Super Saver (52 in Books 3-6, 66 total); Ashford’s Munnings (42, plus one in Book 2); and Spendthrift’s Temple City, who is the top sire in the Fasig sale, with 18. He also has four in Books 1-2 and 40 in Books 3-6 (62 total). Lane’s End’s F2013 Twirling Candy, whose first foals are 4-year-olds, has 42 in the ‘back books’, plus four in Book 2. That crop’s leader, Ashford’s Uncle Mo, has 43 in Books 1-2 and another 30 in Books 3-6, for a total of 73 through the entire sales fortnight. Our thanks to TDN’s Heather Anderson, who compiled the tables we’ve used for last week’s and this week’s columns.

Contact Bill Oppenheim at bopp@erb.com (cc suefinley@thetdn.com).

Pioneerof the Nile Colt Takes Better Talk Now

Mon, 2017-08-28 17:16

BETTER TALK NOW S., $100,000, SAR, 8-28, (C), 3yo, 1mT, 1:33.69, fm.
1–#HIEROGLYPHICS, 118, c, 3, by Pioneerof the Nile
1st Dam: Double Lime, by Limehouse
2nd Dam: Kona Kat, by Mountain Cat
3rd Dam: Double Sunrise, by Slew o’ Gold
($70,000 Wlg ’14 KEENOV; $450,000 2yo ’16 OBSMAR).
O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners; B-Anthony Guida (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-John R. Velazquez. $60,000. Lifetime
Record: 8-3-3-0, $164,272.
2–Small Bear, 120, g, 3, Macho Uno–Stella Prima, by El Prado
(Ire). ($45,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo ’16 OBSAPR).
O-August Dawn Farm; B-Martin Lake & Serendipity Farm (KY);
T-Jeremiah C. Englehart. $20,000.
3–Snap Decision, 118, c, 3, Hard Spun–Salute, by Unbridled.
O/B-Phipps Stable (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III. $10,000.
Margins: NK, HF, 3/4. Odds: 7.70, 11.10, 2.80.
Also Ran: Holiday Stone, Blind Ambition, Adonis Creed. Scratched: Aquamarine.

Hieroglyphics took over in the final sixteenth and held on late to upset the Monday featured Better Talk Now S. at Saratoga.

A fifth-out winner May 27 at Gulfstream, the $450,000 OBS March buy captured a course-and-distance allowance July 29 and was let go as the fourth choice in this stakes debut. Tracking the pace while saving ground from fourth through splits of :23.28 and :47.13, the bay split horses at the three-sixteenths marker and surged past dueling leaders a furlong after that. Small Bear launched a bold bid from last to make it close, but Hieroglyphics found the wire first by a long neck.

“He’s one of those colts who took a little while to put everything together,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “We could see in the winter and the spring he was gradually getting better and better. It felt like his last two races were a step forward, and he took another step forward today.”

Victorious pilot John Velazquez added, “We talked about strategy before the race and we were hoping to just sit off the front. When it unfolded at the break, I was able to do just that and get towards the rail, which was perfect. I got to bide my time there and make sure they saw me behind the other horses. When I tipped him out, he was electric and full of run. It played out perfect. We couldn’t plan it any better. It’s just the way we wanted things to happen.”

The winner is the first foal out of an unraced dam whose subsequent produce is a juvenile colt by Majesticperfection and a yearling To Honor and Serve colt. Second dam Kona Kat is a half to champion sprinter Kona Gold (Java Gold). Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Sally Lundy Passes Away

Mon, 2017-08-28 13:59

Longtime horsewoman, Sarah Ann Lundy, known to her racetrack peers as Sally, passed away due to a long battle with cancer. She turned 63 years old the day she died. Sally was the first women to saddle a GI Belmont S. starter when she sent Minstrel Star out in 1984.

Sally grew up in the Pennsylvania-Delaware region and took to galloping horses and riding steeplechase races in her late teens. She worked for Burley Cox and Bruce Miller in her early riding years. Later on, she took a job with David Whiteley and galloped one of the top runners, Instrument Landing, for the stable. She traveled out to Southern California with the stable and went to work for Willard Proctor upon Whiteley’s return to the East Coast.

Sally became a great part of the Proctor barn as exercise rider galloping some foundation mares such as Belair who was a multiple graded stakes winner.

Upon completion of her stay with the Proctor barn, she married former trainer Richard J. Lundy and they began training privately for Virginia Kraft Payson at Payson Park and in New York.

Lundy, traveled to Japan with Salem Drive who won the Fiji S. in Tokyo, a prep for the Japan Cup.

During her time with Richard J. Lundy, she was instrumental in the careers of a long list of stake horses such as Blushing John, Green Barb, Bello Horrizonte, Jade Hunter, Carr De Naskra and many others.

After separating from Richard J. Lundy, Sally continued her public stable at Belmont Park. From 690 career starts, Sarah Lundy won 85 races. Among her successes, were back-to-back wins in the Ashley T. Cole H. at Aqueduct in 1990 and 1991 and the 1991 Kingston H. at Belmont. Training in Florida during the winter months, she won the Sam F. Davis Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs in 1993. She trained numerous stake winners such as Marco Bay, Audio Cassette, Kate’s Valentine and Lilac Star.

Due to her early California connections and respected work ethic, Sally’s barn became the home away from home for many trainers such as Charlie Whittingham, Bobby Frankel, Rodney Rash and Ben Cecil when they shipped in for stakes in to New York and Florida. Sunday Silence was most notable resident of the Lundy stable.

When Lundy retired from training, she took a job as an assistant to Bobby Frankel and stayed with him until his passing in 2009. Recently, Sally was working for Carla Gaines as her secretary for the barn.

Funeral arrangements are pending, while a Celebration of Life is currently being planned for late September or early October in Southern California. She is survived by two brothers, Steve and John Caldwell.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.

 

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings Catalogue Available Online

Mon, 2017-08-28 13:35

The catalogue for Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale is now available online and via the Equineline sales catalogue app.

The sale will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 2 and 3. Monday’s session will begin at 4 p.m. and offer hips 1-150, while Tuesday’s session will begin at 10 a.m. and offer hips 151-495.

“This is a sale that all serious yearling buyers need to attend,” said Midlantic Director of Sales Paget Bennett. “We have a catalogue that is 32% larger than last year, strong sire power, and yearlings that are eligible for every major Midlantic state-bred program.”

Bennett continued, “Our sale graduates continue to perform at high levels, led by this year’s cover horse Stellar Wind (Curlin). The sale is also a top ranked North American yearling sale by percentage of winners, two-year-old winners, and repeat winners.”

Print catalogues will be available from all Fasig-Tipton offices by Sept. 5.

 

Upwardly Mobile Premier Sale Underway Today

Mon, 2017-08-28 13:06

In 2012, 396 horses were sold at what was then known as the DBS Premier Sale, exactly the same number as changed hands at last year’s rebranded Goffs UK Premier Sale. What has changed in the intervening years is that the figures for turnover, average and median have all improved significantly. From £10,645,000 five years ago, last year’s aggregate shot up to £17,455,000, while the average rose from £26,881 to £44,078 and the median from £20,000 to £34,000.

Also within that time have come two G1 Darley July Cup-winning graduates–Harry Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Limato (Ire) (Tagula {Ire}), bought for £44,000 and £41,000 respectively­­­­–while Barney Roy (Ire) (Excelebration {Ire}), Rajasinghe (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}) and Different League (Fr) (Dabirsim {Fr}) provided the sale with a Royal Ascot Group-race treble in 2017. All things considered, confidence among the Goffs UK team, now headed by affable Australian Tony ‘Tubba’ Williams, should be sky high as it prepares to tackles its most important three days of the year.

The bloodstock crowd has ignored the traditional British August Bank Holiday and has been hard at work in Doncaster since Saturday. From 470 catalogued for the two-day Premier Sale, which starts today at 10am, 23 had been withdrawn at the time of writing.

Standing her ground is lot 355, a filly from the first crop of Shadwell’s Mukhadram (GB) offered by Baroda & Colbinstown Studs. Her recent updates have come from half-brother Beckford (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), who added a runner-up finish in the G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. to his victory in the G2 Railway S., while Poet’s Word (GB) (Poet’s Voice {GB}), a half-brother to the filly’s dam Whirly Dancer (GB) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), won the G3 Glorious S. at Goodwood.

Denis McDonnell of Parkway Farm sold his homebred treble Group 1 Olympic Glory (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}) at Doncaster for £65,000 back in 2011 and returns this year with two yearlings, including a filly by the perennially popular Kodiac (GB) (lot 383). The half-sister to four winners has plenty to recommend her beyond her racing days, too, as she is from a strong Aga Khan family which includes the top-class stayer Alandi (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and former champion 3-year-old Aliysa (GB) (Darshaan {GB}), a full-sister to the filly’s grandam.

Meanwhile, Parkway Farm’s most famous son, the Haras de Bouquetot-based Olympic Glory, has seven of his first-crop yearlings on offer this week. Among them is lot 246, a colt out of River Test (GB) (Beat Hollow {GB}) who is offered by Coulonces sales and is eligible for French premiums. Though the mare was unraced, she hails from a talented Kinsclere Stud family and is a half-sister to 10 winners, seven of whom notched black type, headed by the Group 2 winner Passing Glance (GB) (Polar Falcon).

The story of former sale-topper Gale Force Ten (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) is recounted in The Weekly Wrap and his Invincible Spirit half-sister (lot 250) is included on behalf of her breeder Stowell Hill Stud among a strong draft from Paul and Sara Thorman’s Trickledown Stud, which last year consigned both the aforementioned Royal Ascot juvenile winners, Rajasinghe and Different League, while other previous graduates include the dual Guineas winner Cockney Rebel (Ire) (Val Royal {Fr}). Another of the filly’s half-brothers, Eynhallow (GB) (Nathaniel {GB}), has won twice this year for Roger Charlton and is rated 92. Like Olympic Glory, Gale Force Ten is among a sizeable batch of first-season sires with yearlings on sale this year and has seven catalogued this week.

With the exploits of Society Rock (Ire)’s progeny having boosted him to the head of the first-season sires’ table in Europe, members of the late stallion’s second crop are destined to sell at a premium and there are seven up for grabs this week. Tally-Ho Stud, which stood Society Rock and bred his first Group 1 winner Unfortunately (Ire), offers three of the septet, including lot 312, a colt out of the unraced Whipper mare Suffer Her (Ire) who has produced four winners from her first five foals.

Another freshman riding high is Darley’s Farhh (GB), who recorded his first Group winner at York last week courtesy of Wells Farhh Go (GB). The son of Pivotal (GB) has had relatively small crops to date and only one yearling has made his way into the Goffs UK sale. Lot 130, from Lynn Lodge Stud, will be well worth a look as not only is he French-bred and thus eligible for valuable owners’ premiums, but he is the first foal of treble winner Little Shambles (GB), a daughter of Shamardal whose profile as a broodmare sire is rising steadily.

On the subject of premiums, it’s worth remembering that Sheikh Fahad Al Thani developed a lucrative scheme along the lines of the French system upon the retirement to stud of his beloved multiple Group 1 winner Dunaden, who was himself bred in France. The Overbury Stud resident has just two first-crop yearlings catalogued this week–lot 176 in the Premier Sale from Tinnakill House and lot 511 from Catridge Farm Stud in Thursday’s Silver Sale. Both are eligible to earn a 64% bonus of any prize-money they earn on the racecourse at two and three.

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