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Updated: 7 hours 59 min ago

University of Kentucky Fans Have Rooting Interest in Pegasus

Tue, 2018-01-23 13:47

The unranked Kentucky men’s basketball team plays at No. 7 West Virginia Saturday night, so it may not be a good day for Big Blue Nation. That is unless Fear the Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) wins the GI Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park a few minutes before tip-off. He is a product of a school best known for its basketball team, but one that every so often produces a pretty good four-legged equine athlete.

Fear the Cowboy, who will be a longshot in The Pegasus, was bred by the university, in particular the UK Ag Equine Program. Students who enroll in the program basically run a small breeding farm, in which they learn all aspects of that side of the horse business.

“The students do everything at the farm, everything from the foaling to the halter breaking to helping with the vet work to sales prep,” said Animal Resource Manager Bryan Cassill. “They’ll show at the sales. They do everything from getting the mare in foal, taking her to the breeding shed, all they way up to taking the yearling to the sales.”

And just as a history professor needs texts books and a chemistry class could not get by without test tubes, the equine program needs horses–mainly broodmares and yearlings. Before he was winning on the racetrack, Fear the Cowboy was a classroom tool.

“We have a lot of classes and labs out here at the farm,” Cassill said. “Our main challenge is teaching and research.”

Each year the UK equine team solicits the help of area farms who donate broodmares and stallion seasons. The UK program has 35 broodmares. While many area farms have been very helpful to the program, no one is giving away a graded stakes winning broodmare or letting UK breed to War Front for free. What they get, more or less, are some pretty modest pedigrees, but they’re not looking to breed a GI Kentucky Derby winner. Rather, they’re looking to breed a horse that can be used to help the students learn the business.

The mating that produced Fear the Cowboy is a good example. The sire, Cowboy Cal, now stands in South Korea, and Fear the Cowboy is his only U.S. graded stakes winner. The dam, Whom Shall I Fear (Soto), never started.

Yet, Fear the Cowboy is starting in a $16-million race, has earned $570,869 and is a two-time Grade III stakes winner. Good horses can in fact come from anywhere, and the Kentucky program has produced more than you might expect. Casiguapo (Sightseeing) finished second in both the GI Hopeful S. and the GIII Delta Jackpot in 2013. Honey’s Ryan (Student Council) is a two-time stakes winner. Spectacular Me (Catienus) won a Claiming Crown race in 2016 and has career earnings of $489,234. Riddell’s Creek (Exclusive Enough) was the 1998 2-year-old male champion in Canada, but might have lost his spot in the UK Equine Hall of Fame when he later reeled off 51 straight losses.

“What we’ve been able to do, it’s a little bit of luck, but also a matter of really good support from the horse industry,” Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences Dr. Laurie Lawrence said. “Yes, we’re not getting the best of all possible worlds but we’re getting horses that I think have plausible pedigrees. If you look back at the dam of Fear the Cowboy, she’s got a nice family. First Samurai is in the family as are some other nice horses. It’s not like there are horses no one heard of back there. We’ve been able to capitalize on that.”

Cassill says the students tend to get attached to the horse, but come yearling sales season, it’s time to say goodbye. The school does not keep any to race. Because of their modest pedigrees, most sell for very little. Fear the Cowboy sold for $1,500 at the 2013 Fasig Tipton February Mixed sale. Casiaguapo was a $4,700 yearling buy. Cassill says the program usually sells about 20 yearlings a year.

“I know what you’re supposed to say, that from day he was born I knew Fear the Cowboy was going to be something special,” Cassill said with a laugh. “He was a big-framed colt and we liked that mare a lot. We liked the sire and we thought it was a good cross. We had hopes for him. When we sold him in February, he had quite a bit of frame and he hadn’t grown into himself yet. He looked kind of immature and I think that’s what [co-owner] Raffaele [Centofanti] liked about him. They could see the frame he had and they knew he needed time to grow into it.”

Whom Shall I Fear also produced a horse, Wait Your Turn (Warrior’s Reward) who has earned $134,450 and pinhookers sold her 2015 foal Fear No One (Yes It’s True) for $180,000 at the 2017 OBS April Sale. Her 2016 foal, an unnamed filly by Overanalyze, sold for $60,000. Should Fear The Cowboy continue to succeed on the racetrack, his future siblings figure to sell for healthy sums. Cassill said whatever money the UK program makes at the sales goes back into a pool to support all the school’s agricultural programs.

“Just like every time the dairy program sells a tank of milk, when we sell a horse, the revenue goes to fund all the university’s experiment stations,” he explained.

The equine program is a small one, with about eight to 10 students. They’ll be rooting for Fear the Cowboy.

“It’s been a nice ride and it’s fun for the students to see the horses they foaled out and sold and then see them get to this kind of stage,” Lawrence said.

At 4-3 in the SEC and 14-5 overall and riding a two-game losing streak, it’s been a rare down year for the Wildcats on the hardwood. Facing Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) and a bunch of other top horses, Fear the Cowboy probably won’t win. But he could. Looks like Big Blue Nation could use the lift.

 

Kentucky Sires: Where’s the Value

Tue, 2018-01-23 13:32

Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder; subjective, not objective. In the strange world of bloodstock, however, it sometimes seems as though you can’t even be subjective.

Because you can’t look at Stallion A and Stallion B, both standing for $20,000, and decide that Stallion A is better value simply because you think he is more likely to sire a good racehorse. If the sales averages of Stallion B are superior–and who can say how those fires start?–then you know more and better mares will follow; and that Stallion A, unless he gets lucky on the track, will be standing for $5,000 in five years’ time. So how can he be better value at $20,000?

Of course, the nature of the beast is such that Stallion B may also be standing at $5,000 in five years anyway! New sires, very often, never again stand at a higher fee than the one they start with. If their farms have pitched them at the right level, true, many can enjoy a bull run through their first weanlings and yearlings. After that everyone holds their breath–and typically, a few months later, their noses.

Let people down with your first crop or two, and it’s a long way back. So we tend to end up with a small, stratospheric sector of sires who ride the bumps and come out the other side; a gaudy, annual carousel of fresh-in-the-memory rookies; and a yawning abyss in between.

To a degree, such an unforgiving market means that nearly every stallion has to represent some kind of “value”–or he will soon be out of business. So while I’m going to pick a handful of sires for consideration, they are offered with all due humility. Subjectively, some of them might deserve a second look. But several, for sure, already have a cold tide lapping round their ankles.

Equally, there is no point adding an extra klaxon to the bandwagons making their noisy way through all the obvious indices. In the interests of fairness, we’ll identify some of these in a round-up of each sector–and then break away, with your indulgence, for a few maverick detours. We’ll also canvass some industry insiders for their own picks.

 

Sires with First Covers in 2018

As one seasoned judge remarked to me at Keeneland earlier this month: “If anyone asks me whether a new sire is going to make it, I always say no-because the sad reality is that 95% of them won’t.”

As such, with value strictly in mind, it might be best to sail straight past all those untested sires so incorrigibly beloved by the market. That said, by historic standards you could argue that both the big guns who are about to extend their track rivalry have been introduced at a relatively temperate rate, Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) (Juddmonte, $75,000) paying a sensible price for his post-Dubai decline and Gun Runner (Three Chimneys, $70,000) impossible not to like as, apart from everything else, a son of a Grade II-winning half-sister to poor Saint Liam (Saint Ballado).

Likewise enhancing the current hegemony of the Fappiano line, another champion juvenile finds himself in their customary retirement home in Classic Empire (Pioneerof The Nile) (Ashford, $35,000) alongside one of his glitzier contemporaries in Practical Joke (Into Mischief) (Ashford, $30,000).

But let’s take a look at a couple with a bit more margin for error, at their opening fees:

KLIMT (Quality Road), Darby Dan, $10,000

There’s been something of a stampede for this guy, evidently, as much through his sheer presence ($435,000 2-year-old) as his paper profile as a Grade I-winning 2-year-old by a sire surging out of reach in Quality Road. Klimt won the Del Mar Futurity by 4 1/4 lengths in a fast time, having graduated from the GII Best Pal S. But he was then given the slip by Gormley (Malibu Moon) on his two-turn debut, and rather derailed thereafter–albeit he did chase home West Coast (Flatter) in the GIII Los Alamitos Derby at three.

His stakes-placed dam is by a rising broodmare sire in Dixie Union out of a daughter of one of the greats in that sphere, Storm Cat; and his third dam is sister to tough-guy Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Concern.

Klimt has joined the same outfit as 2016 champion freshman Dialed In (Mineshaft) and will benefit from the same expert presentation. It is not hard to see him revving up plenty of sharp and early types to keep breeders comfortable with a restrained opening fee. The right money, the right farm; could very well be the right horse.

TU BRUTUS (Scat Daddy), Crestwood, $5,000

A longshot, clearly, but pretty much a bet to nothing. True, the American market was only afforded a tantalising glimpse of the talent he had appeared to show in shallower waters in his Chilean homeland. Switched to dirt there, he ran up four wins at an aggregate 26 lengths and was imported by Gary Contessa. On his U.S. debut he launched a wild pace attack over 11f in the GIII Excelsior S., unable to repel a late runner but still notching an eye-watering Beyer of 118–and he then backed that up with a 109 when coasting by 11 lengths in the Flat Out S. at Belmont.

One way or another he could not kick on from there, in fact managing only two more starts, but he had hinted at freakish ability and perhaps his gusto might have been better deployed over shorter trips. Either way, it’s fairly incredible that Scat Daddy has no other son at stud in Kentucky, given how urgent is the search for his heirs in Europe.

And the variegation of the tragic Ashford sire’s own line is healthily reciprocated in Tu Brutus by a dam representing a potent strand of local blood: herself Grade I-placed, and already responsible for another of Scat Daddy’s top shuttle sons in dual champion El Bromista (as well as for the dam of another champion juvenile). She is by Seeker’s Reward (Gone West), just like the dam of a Scat Daddy migrant who did make it at GI level here in Dacita (Chi).

Deeper down you’ll find, as sixth dam, the mother of Forli– whose son Forego reminds us of the virtue of occasionally importing some South American exotica to the U.S. gene pool. And just remember who’s the Daddy.

 

Sires with First Weanlings in 2018

Naturally the same caveats as above apply to this group, headed on fees by two Jonabell buddies in Frosted (Tapit) (Darley, $50,000) and, seeking to emulate the flying start he gave his own sire, Nyquist (Uncle Mo) (Darley, $40,000). So far as you can read anything into the sale of their covered mates, so good; and you have to love Frosted’s famous 123 Beyer being underwritten by a GII-winning Deputy Minister dam.

In contrast, dual Horse of the Year California Chrome (Taylor Made, $40,000) had a relatively blue-collar background–but Pulpit blood is in vogue, and then there’s that wacky thing of his dam having two grandparents out of Numbered Account, so who knows?

There are plenty of others in their slipstream, of course, so here’s just one against the field–on the basis that we only saw the tip of his iceberg and he had to be priced accordingly:

NOT THIS TIME (Giant’s Causeway), Taylor Made, $15,000

The 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile made the superiority of the front two to the rest rather more obvious than their own relative merit, Classic Empire getting first run before Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway) closed to a neck, the pair seven clear of Grade I winner (and $30,000 freshman) Practical Joke (Into Mischief).

It was Not This Time who clocked the higher numbers: the highest Beyer for any juvenile colt that year, and the top 2-year-old Ragozin, too. But it was the winner, of course, who gained divisional honors; and while you might question how far a rather frustrating Classic campaign advanced his status, Classic Empire has been able to retire at $35,000. Not This Time was deprived by injury of any opportunity to clarify their mutual standing at three, and found himself starting out at less than half that fee.

Perhaps the best 2-year-old by his sire of sires, Not This Time is out of a dam who has meanwhile launched another exciting (if pricier) young prospect in Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song). Moreover, Miss Macy Sue (Trippi), herself a tough winner of 11 races including at the Grade III level, is out of a mare inbred 2×3 to champion sprinter Ta Wee–who in turn shared her own dam with Dr Fager.

You just love to see a knot on the bottom line like Not This Time’s third dam, Stem, who was by Damascus out of a daughter of Secretariat and Ta Wee. There is a lake of John Nerud blood here and that quality is physically apparent in both Liam’s Map, himself an $800,000 yearling, and the very handsome Not This Time.

Dale Romans described Not This Time as the most talented horse he has trained. He won his maiden by 10 lengths, and the GIII Iroquois S. by very nearly as far, beating subsequent Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee (Lookin At Lucky). With 145 partners in his first season, you have to ask yourself: if Not This Time, when?

 

Sires with First Yearlings in 2018

Still shadow-boxing with these guys, albeit their pack leader American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) (Ashford, private) has by all accounts subsided to a highly palatable fee after a somewhat ambitious launch at $200,000. The weanlings he sold (13 of 18) did the necessary at an average $467,307; but it’s a mighty attractive posse in behind, too, a good dozen recording medians at healthy multiples of their covering fee.

Honor Code (A.P. Indy) (Lane’s End, $40,000) has a mouth-watering pedigree, physique and track profile and his sold weanlings were touching a $200,000 average. His neighbour Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) (Lane’s End, $25,000)–whose royal blood is charted in relation to Not This Time above–weighed in next on $143,076, while sires who threw penthouse numbers from basement fees include Bayern (Offlee Wild) (Hill ‘n’ Dale, $15,000), hitting six figures, and Lea (First Samurai) (Claiborne, $7,500).

The latter has been made hard to ignore with a cut from $12,500 after averaging $88,294 off his first covers, not least with 17 out of 20 changing hands. The farm was responding to a book of just 46 last year, down from 100, but the lift will be heading up again now.

Another to take a very seductive cut after catching attention with his first weanlings is Daredevil (More Than Ready) (WinStar, $7,500), who has a very solid pedigree and melted the stopwatch in his GI Champagne S. Pity he burned so bright so briefly, but he seems bound to get fast horses and looks like real value now.

Tapiture (Tapit) (Darby Dan, $7,500) also worked his passage very auspiciously, and likewise the beautifully bred turf miler Karakontie (Jpn) (Bernstein) (Gainesway, $10,000). But here are three rolls of the dice with different things in their favour:

SUMMER FRONT (War Front), Airdrie, $10,000

Competition is increasing among sons of War Front as value alternatives to the $250,000 heavyweight and here is one with a great deal going for him. In fact he might yet gain the attention of imaginative European breeders, with a strong turf profile.

Those Euros alarmed by one or two glaring failures to train on, among War Front’s star juveniles over there, will be comforted to know that Summer Front was not only an undefeated stakes winner at two but was also still placing (for a fifth time) at Grade I level at age six. And that hardiness was harnessed to a real flair, extending from a trademark turn of foot to a lovely physique.

You can tell something of the latter from his $475,000 2-year-old tag, in only War Front’s second crop, when his sire was himself still operating at this kind of level. True, he came with a page recently adorned by a Grade I success for his half-sister, Hollywood Starlet S winner Laragh (Tapit). (Their dam, moreover, is a half-sister to another Grade I-winning juvenile in Siphonic (Siphon {Brz})). But you can glean something of how he is transferring that physical appeal from a debut weanling average of $92,090, placing him sixth among his fellow rookies – and cheapest of the top 10. The sun’s coming out.

TONALIST (Tapit), Lane’s End, $20,000

An exciting young roster at Lane’s End has taken up the full trifecta from the 2015 Whitney, where Tonalist (Tapit) filled the podium behind Honor Code and Liam’s Map. In embarking on their new careers, likewise, Tonalist is coming off third best for now–but the farm has responded quickly, slashing him from a $40,000 debut fee to $30,000 and now $20,000.

It is not as though an average of $86,294 for his debut weanlings represents any kind of disgrace, not least as he found new homes for 17 of 21–compared with 10 of 19 for Honor Code, for instance. And if Honor Code also beat him in the Met Mile, then Tonalist did manage to wrap up with a Grade I mile success of his own in the Cigar. Holding his own in these races is, of course, a terrific credit to a Belmont winner who also won two Jockey Club Gold Cups.

In terms of accomplishment, in fact, Tonalist is perhaps second only to Frosted among sons of Tapit. And that’s before you throw his family into the mix: out of a half-sister to the dams of multiple Grade I winners Havre De Grace (Saint Liam) and Riskaverse (Dynaformer), all three in turn out of a daughter of the influential Buckpasser mare Toll Booth. The 1991 Broodmare of the Year produced seven stakes winners, headed by champion sprinter Plugged Nickle, and was herself out of the stellar Missy Baba–who also produced Grade I winner Sauce Boat, champion sire Raja Baba and, in Gay Missile, third dam of A.P. Indy and ancestress of many other top-class runners and sires.

Maybe some breeders can’t bring themselves to support a Belmont winner who didn’t win at two, but those who can see the bigger picture will see that everything else is in in place–including, by this stage, the price.

CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway), WinStar, $25,000

Himself the most expensive 2-year-old by Giant’s Causeway ($1.6 million sale-topper), Carpe Diem has in turn made a strong start in the ring, shifting 19 of 25 weanlings in 2017 at an average $112,236. That placed him fourth among the freshmen but at a better clearance rate than the three above –a record entirely consistent with the vibe about his foals, and his own physique.

Carpe Diem lived up to his name on the track, showing the full range of his class despite a relatively short career: a debut winner at Saratoga over just 5 1/2f, he jumped straight into the deep end to win a Grade I by 6 1/4 lengths in the Breeders’ Futurity before closing for second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He confirmed himself among the best of his generation in his Triple Crown preps, winning the GII Tampa Bay Derby by five on his reappearance and then the GI Blue Grass, only to disappoint in the Kentucky Derby–after which a career-ending injury transpired.

His dam, Rebridled Dreams (Unbridled’s Song), had already produced a GI Futurity winner in J.B.’s Thunder (Thunder Gulch) while her daughter Farrell (Malibu Moon) has meanwhile embellished the page with four Grade II wins in 2016 and 2017. His maternal line proceeds into some long grass, the third dam being by the sunk-without-trace Aloma’s Ruler (won the 1982 Preakness under 16-year-old Cowboy Jack Kaenel, who would also poignantly submerge), but somehow it’s all functioning in both physique and performance.

Carpe Diem finds himself in a competitive intake, but 306 mares in his first two years will give him every chance of maintaining his early momentum. So, yep, seize the moment.

 

And the Judges Say…

CRAIG BANDOROFF

I have a share in Lea (First Samurai) (Claiborne, $7,500)–I always liked him, and then the way his babies sold this year was really good; they dropped his stud fee, and you always have horses in that sort of range that you have to use, so we’re using him a bunch.

Among the new horses, I really like Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) (WinStar, $20,000) physically and we’re using him a lot; and I really like Classic Empire (Pioneerof The Nile) (Ashford, $35,000) physically, too, so we’re going to use him. Munnings (Speightstown) (Ashford, $25,000) is a horse one of our pedigree advisers has pushed a lot: we’re thinking he could move up to the next level, so we’re thinking he’s good value. But I also think the two new big horses are both good value, Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) (Juddmonte, $75,000) and Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) (Three Chimneys, $70,000). Once upon a time you had to pay a lot more money to breed to horses of that caliber.

 

Mott Penalties Upheld, Due Process Fight to Continue in Court

Mon, 2018-01-22 17:25

Bill Mott’s nearly 3 1/2-year battle with the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) over two alleged medication overages and the state’s failure to provide him with split samples to defend those allegations reached a regulatory conclusion Jan. 22. But the fight over testing principles is far from over, and will continue as a civil rights case in the court system, the Hall-of-Fame trainer’s attorney has vowed.

The NYSGC voted to concur with a hearing officer’s recommendation on Monday that Mott is responsible for an overage of the therapeutic drug flunixin (Banamine) in Saratoga Snacks (Tale of the Cat), who finished sixth and last at Belmont Park Sept. 20, 2014. But the hearing officer also deemed that Mott presented substantial evidence that he was not responsible for an improper third-party administration of furosemide (Lasix).

Yet based on the Banamine overage responsibility alone, the NYSGC voted to uphold the original 15-day suspension and $1,000 fine handed down by the Belmont stewards.

“We are infuriated at this travesty of justice,” Mott’s attorney, Andrew Mollica, said via phone after Monday’s NYSGC meeting. “Justice doesn’t always come fast, but we will continue to seek it in this case.”

Mollica spoke under the caveat that he has yet to read the full hearing officer’s report and NYSGC decision, and is going off of what he heard verbally at Monday’s NYSGC meeting.

“But to say the least, anyone who reads the transcript [of Mott’s seven-session series of hearings, which took nearly eight months to complete 2017] will see that this is a travesty of justice.”

When Mott initially attempted to obtain a split sample from New York’s contracted testing lab to have his own independent testing done, Mollica said he was not provided with one because the sample size was either inadequate or had been destroyed.

Mott initially sued NYSGC regulators in federal court over the alleged violation of his civil rights for being denied the opportunity to confront the overage evidence against him. Mollica said that federal case was dismissed, but not on merit–it was deemed to be a state, not federal, matter and was re-instituted in a New York court. The suit has remained active, but the court has been waiting on the NYSGC adjudication prior to letting it proceed.

Now that Mott’s penalties have been affirmed, Mollica said there is a court conference on Thursday to potentially allow the New York suit to move forward.

Previous published news stories have reported that Mott has spent six figures not only trying to clear his name, but to spare other trainers from being denied their own rights to due process when accused of medication violations.

In a way, Mollica said, Mott’s case has already helped other horsemen, as evidenced by the protocol change that started in November allowing horsemen at New York tracks to have the option of sending a “referee sample” to an independent lab to verify results in the event of a positive test. That program is primarily funded by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

“Bill has put an inordinate amount of money, time and effort into not only protecting his rights, but the rights of all horsemen,” Mollica said. “The proof of the justice in our fight is that split testing is now available in New York for all horsemen. But the gaming commission wants to punish Bill Mott for something that they know is wrong, because they never would have instituted split sampling if they thought they didn’t have to. We forced their hand, but now they want to punish Bill. This is a disgrace.”

 

Real Solution to Blue Star Racing

Mon, 2018-01-22 16:52

Calumet Farm’s Real Solution (Kitten’s Joy–Reachfortheheavens, by Pulpit), winner of the 2013 GI Arlington Million and 2014 GI Manhattan S., will stand at Dex Comardelle’s Blue Star Racing stallion facility in Scott, Louisiana. The 9-year-old stallion will be on lease from Calumet.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to stand Real Solution here in Louisiana,” said Comardelle. “We believe he can be the type of stallion to set the foundation of what we want to build here at Blue Star and offer Louisiana breeders a tremendous opportunity being one of Kittens Joy’s most accomplished sons at stud. We’re honored to work with Calumet Farm as they have been one of the most iconic organizations in horse racing over the years.”
Calumet’s director of stallions Jak Knelman added, “With Big Blue Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) joining the Calumet roster in 2017, we found that a lease to Blue Star would be the best option for Real Solution to attract the book of mares he deserves. The opportunity to participate in the Louisiana-bred program will give Real Solution a distinct advantage in the 2018 breeding season.”
Real Solution will stand for $5,000 LFSN with discounts for multiple mare packages and quality mares.

NY Adopts ‘Anti-Stacking’ Rules, Proposes Health-Related Claim Voids

Mon, 2018-01-22 15:23

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) unanimously voted in a rule change at its monthly meeting on Jan. 22 designed to curb the practice of “stacking” non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.

In a separate rulemaking vote on Monday, the NYSGC advanced a new proposal to the public commentary period that would allow a claimant to void a claim of a Thoroughbred if the horse is discovered to have become lame or experienced epistaxis due to exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).

The anti-stacking rule passed with zero debate among commissioners.

“NSAIDs act to reduce pain by inhibiting the inflammatory process, which can improve healing and recovery from injury but can also inhibit the effects of the natural healing process, including swelling and associated pain that would prevent a horse from sustaining further injury,” NYSGC general counsel Edmund Burns wrote in a brief that was read into the record prior to Monday’s voice vote. “The intent of this rulemaking is to prevent concurrent and otherwise excessive administrations of NSAIDs in race horses. This practice, commonly known as ‘stacking,’ could be employed to enhance and disguise the presence of prohibited substances in horses from regulators’ testing methods.”

This anti-stacking proposal was published initially in the Nov. 9, 2016, New York State Register. At that time, the proposal was intended to disallow the use of more than one NSAID within one week of racing, as NSAIDs can be administered in combinations that increase the potency and duration of effect of the drugs.

But after consideration of public comments from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the NYSGC revised the proposal to permit up to two NSAIDs within one week of racing, provided that one is not used within 96 hours of the race and the other is not used within the current 48-hour restricted period.

That revision, according to Burns, “preserved the intent of the initial proposal while addressing a legitimate concern raised” in the comments that were received.

“The revised proposal also includes a rule amendment to delete meclofenamic acid (formerly marketed as Arquel) as an NSAID permitted to be administered within one week of racing,” Burns wrote. “This substance is no longer marketed by any pharmaceutical company and it might be efficacious for more than 48 hours. There is no veterinary necessity for its use within one week of racing and there is no national threshold for this drug.”

The claim voiding proposal drew about 10 minutes of back-and-forth consideration that largely centered on balancing the positive aspects of horse welfare with the need to make sure the NYSGC wasn’t inviting implementation difficulties or liability issues by tweaking existing claiming rules.

Burns explained the claim voiding rules in his brief this way: “Under this new proposal, a claimed horse would go to the test barn. After an appropriate cooling out period, before which lameness is not always apparent, the state veterinarian, who supervises the test barn, would examine the horse for lameness.”

If the horse is determined have “grade two” or higher lameness according to the guidelines of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (the same standard New York uses to put a horse on the veterinarians’ list), or if the horse is determined to have bled, the claimant would then be permitted to elect to void the claim, rather than take the horse from the test barn.

“If the claimant voids the claim, then the owner who entered the horse in the race and whose representative took the horse to the test barn would continue to be responsible for the horse,” Burns wrote. “The claimant could also decide not to void the claim and may take the horse. This decision would not waive any other objections (e.g., for a post-race positive) that might later be identified” as a possible objection to the claim.

“The proposal is intended to provide further protection for the welfare of racehorses by removing the incentive to enter a horse, prone to such conditions, in the hope the horse might be claimed,” Burns wrote.

“I can tell you that claim races have a higher percentage of fatalities that do non-claiming races for sure,” NYSGC equine medical director Scott Palmer said at the meeting. “Without giving a precise number, I can tell you that more horses experience fatal musculoskeletal injuries in claiming races than in any other type of race at the track.”

The NYSGC has precedent for modifying claiming rules in recent years to promote equine safety.

“In 2013, for example, the commission amended the rules to permit a claimant to void a claim if the horse was vanned from the racetrack,” Burns wrote. “This action followed the recommendation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety in 2012.”

 

TDN Derby Top 12, Presented by WinStar Farm

Mon, 2018-01-22 15:10

This late January edition of the TDN Derby Top 12 represents the calm before the early February stakes storm. The national docket for sophomore stakes races has been on the quiet side for the past several weekends, but two new horses managed to crack the rankings with eye-opening efforts since the last Top 12 update was published. Feb. 3 now looms as the next shakeup date on the calendar, when Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points races will be carded in New York, Florida and California.

1) CATHOLIC BOY (c, More Than ReadySong of Bernadette, by Bernardini)
O-Robert V. LaPenta. B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY). T-Jonathan Thomas. Sales History: $170,000 RNA yrl KEEJAN ’16. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 4-3-0-0, $314,000.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 1
Last Start: 1st, GII Remsen S., AQU, Dec. 2.
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII With Anticipation S., SAR, Aug. 30.
Next Start: Possible for GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 10
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 10
Training out of the public spotlight at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, the versatile, game, unafraid-to-mix-it-up Catholic Boy has the Feb. 10 GIII Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs targeted for his 2018 debut. His 3-for-4 juvenile season stood out because of his ability to win around two turns right off the bat, his getting faster in each race numbers-wise on the Beyer scale, and (perhaps most importantly) his willingness to fight his way out of trouble and to seemingly make his own breaks when faced with in-race adversity. His breakout win in the GII Remsen S. went a long way toward answering the question about whether he can handle the turf-to-dirt transition, but winning at nine furlongs in December isn’t the same as being able to beat graded stakes peers at that same distance in March or April. On paper, the Remsen projects to be a better-than-it-looks key race in the making, as several talented colts who ran behind Catholic Boy also endured less-than-ideal trips and have yet to run back. But the traditional final distance stakes of the year for top-level 2-year-olds in New York hasn’t been a great historical indicator of Kentucky Derby prowess over the last half-century or so: Only three horses in the last 54 years–Thunder Gulch, Go For Gin and Pleasant Colony–have successfully parlayed the Remsen into a blanket of roses on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

2) GOOD MAGIC (c, CurlinGlinda the Good, by Hard Spun)
O-e Five Thoroughbreds & Stonestreet Stables. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $1,000,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-1-2-0, $1,216,600.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 2
Last Start: 1st, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, SA, Nov. 4.
Accomplishments Include: 2nd, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 7.
Next Start: Possible for GII Fountain of Youth S., GP, Mar. 3
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 24
Good Magic’s first published workout of 2018 was a bullet three-eighths breeze at Palm Meadows Training Center on Sunday timed in: 36.95 (1/10). This million-dollar KEESEP son of Curlin (Smart Strike) has the Mar. 3 GII Fountain of Youth S. targeted for his sophomore debut, but he has a chance to get an off-the-track victory before then as a finalist for 2-year-old juvenile champ in Thursday’s Eclipse Awards. It will be intriguing to see how this colt’s tactics evolve with a four-month maturity break under his belt. Stretching out in distance over the course of three 2017 races, Good Magic already has proven stalking speed, but could be an up-front pace-pressing force if he hones an aggressive edge that puts him closer to the lead earlier in his races. By the time he hits the entries, we’ll already have an advance look at the sophomore stakes competition in Florida based on the results of the GII Holy Bull S. coming up on Feb. 3, and that lineup is likely to include a couple of Derby Top 12 contenders who blossomed after Good Magic shellacked the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field.

3) MCKINZIE (c, Street SenseRunway Model, by Petionville)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul Weitman. B-Summer Wind Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $170,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GISW,
3-3-0-0, $270,000.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 3
Last Start: 1st, GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 6
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 9
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on McKinzie.
KY Derby Points: 20
‘TDN Rising Star’ McKinzie put in a half-mile maintenance breeze in :49 flat (45/87) at Santa Anita on Sunday, two weekends after a solid 3 1/2-length win in the GIII Sham S. His form received a flattering when Instilled Regard (Arch) emerged as a power player with his GIII Lecomte S. win in New Orleans Jan. 13, because when McKinzie ran second in a three-way photo in the Dec. 9 GI Los Alamitos Futurity (and was elevated to a win via disqualification), Instilled Regard was only a head behind him (and 29 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field). McKinzie is progressing incrementally as a comfortable stalker, but it’s also worth noting this colt has swished his tail in the stretch runs of all three of his races–twice when he was urged along with the whip and again in he Sham when shaken up by jockey Mike Smith to motor away from his rival. Is it a “tell” that the colt is not yet comfortable with being aggressively put into a drive or just a quirk that will smooth over with maturity? Trainer Bob Baffert traditionally is flexible with next-race commitments for his emerging Derby candidates, and he said on “At the Races with Steve Byk” last week that, “What we’re doing now is we’re just going to nominate [3-year-olds] everywhere, and whoever’s doing well that week, he goes.”

4) BOLT D’ORO (c, Medaglia d’OroGlobe Trot, by A.P. Indy)
O-Ruis Racing. B-WinStar Farm (KY). T-Mick Ruis. Sales History: $630,000 yrl FTSAUG ’16. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 4-3-0-1, $576,000.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 4
Last Start: 3rd, GI Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, SA, Nov. 4
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Del Mar Futurity, DMR, Sept. 4; 1st GI FrontRunner S., SA, Sept. 30.
Next Start: Aiming for GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 10
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Bolt d’Oro.
KY Derby Points: 14
The top two favorites for Thursday’s juvenile champion Eclipse Award, Bolt d’Oro and Good Magic, are the only two contenders within the Derby Top 12 rankings to have 2018 debuts scheduled as late as March. In previous decades, that might be cause for concern. But considering American racing’s general shift toward fewer starts and greater spacing between races for top-tier horses, this might be one of those historical trends that is not as relevant as it once was. After all, being fashionably late worked out pretty well for American Pharoah (Pioneeerof the Nile) in 2015, especially considering he had a 5 1/2-month gap between his last 2-year-old race and 3-year-old debut Mar. 14. “Bolt” has been galloping steadily at Santa Anita after a stiffness/soreness issue caused him to miss some training earlier this month. Mick Ruis, owner/trainer of the $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro (El Prado {Ire}) said last week he’ll now have to “get him into race shape here by working him in company before the [GII] San Felipe” S. Mar. 10. One thing that is out of Ruis’s control though, is the relative strength of this year’s southern California-based sophomore contingent, meaning that the 1 1/16-mile prep is likely to feature a cast of characters that already has an established recent edge in afternoon experience.

5) INSTILLED REGARD (c, Arch--Enhancing, by Foresty)
O-OXO Equine LLC. B-KatieRich Farms (KY). T-Jerry Hollendorfer. Sales history: $110,000 RNA yrl KEESEP ’16, $1,050,000 2yo OBSMAR ’17. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 5-2-2-1, $228,000.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: NA
Last Start: 1st , GIII LeComte S., FG, Jan. 13
Accomplishments: 2nd, GI Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 9
Next Start: Uncommited
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on Instilled Regard.
KY Derby Points: 14
Instilled Regard took an assertive step forward by winning the Lecomte S. in authoritative fashion. His professional 3 3/4-length score not only extended the colt’s own development arc (while imparting the sense that there’s even more progression in his pipeline), but the win also provided underpinning to the argument that SoCal sophomores as a whole stack up pretty good so far, with Santa Anita-based trainees this week occupying one-third of Derby Top 12 spots. In that Jan. 13 prep, Instilled Regard broke running, settled willingly behind 28-1 and 29-1 dueling pacemakers, and was always in the hunt while giving the impression he could have pounced at will in the middle stages of the race. He got first run on the tiring leaders at the quarter pole, effortlessly found an extra gear one furlong out, then bounded away under mild encouragement and galloped out strongly after the wire. The colt shipped back to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Santa Anita training base following the race, and while a trip back to New Orleans for a subsequent stakes hasn’t been ruled out, no definitive plans have yet to be announced for Instilled Regard’s next start.

6) ENTICED (c, Medaglia d’OroIt’s Tricky, by Mineshaft)
O-Godolphin Racing. B-Godolphin (KY). T-Kiaran McLaughlin. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 3-2-0-1, $213,880.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 5
Last Start: 1st, GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 25.
Accomplishments Include: 3rd, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 7.
Next Start: Aiming for GII Holy Bull S., GP, or GIII Withers S., AQU, both Feb. 3
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 12
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has Feb. 3 circled as a next-race starting point for each of the two Godolphin-owned and -bred Derby hopefuls, and although it’s not etched in stone, it’s likely that Enticed remains in Florida for the GII Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream while Avery Island (Street Sense) returns to Aqueduct for the GIII Withers S. (based on his previous win and a second in stakes races there). Both are big-bodied, robust colts, and McLaughlin has expressed confidence that both want every inch of the 10-furlong Derby distance should they earn their way into the first leg of the Triple Crown. Enticed blossomed a bit earlier than his stablemate, establishing himself as a legit Classics contender by barreling to contention early and uncorking a solid, six-wide, length-of-stretch rally that put him a head bob in front at the finish of the 14-horse GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. on Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs. He breezed three-eighths in 1:01 at Palm Meadows (3/11) Friday.

7) MOURINHO (c, Super Saver-Sandi’s Ready, by More Than Ready)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Phoenix Thoroughbred III. B-WinStar Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $30,000 yrl KEESEP ’16; $625,000 2yo OBSMAR ’17. Lifetime Record: 4-2-2-0, $154,360.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: NA
Last Start: 1st, Smarty Jones S., OP, Jan. 15
Next Start: Uncommited
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 10
There is little doubt that sleek ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mourinho’s wire job in the Jan. 15 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn was good enough to crack the Top 12, but figuring out exactly where to rank him was a challenge. Sure, on a who-beat-whom basis, you could argue he deserves a berth ahead of number five Instilled Regard. But that Sep. 30 maiden sprint win they both competed in is now light years away in the rear view mirror in terms of Derby development, and even though Mourinho’s 2018 debut was faster numbers-wise than Instilled Regard’s (99 versus 92 Beyer), Mourinho’s win came under everything-his-own way circumstances. Still, the 3 1/4-length victory was a meaningful step forward, as the re-blinkered Mourinho easily outsprinted a sent-for-the-lead challenger to his inside, allowed jockey Drayden Van Dyke to throttle back the pace, quickened again into the third quarter, and was well clear when sailing solo off the far turn. Mourinho needed a stride or two to make a smooth transition when roused in the short (for the mile configuration) Oaklawn stretch, but otherwise looked focused, putting together successive quarters in :23.33, :24.76, :24.18 and :24.98. Trainer Bob Baffert said the colt is candidate to return to Hot Springs for the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 19. But the way Baffert calls audibles with his deep bench of Triple Crown nominees, mark it down in pencil, not ink.

8) PRINCIPE GUILHERME (c, Tapit–Aubby K, by Street Sense)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Three Chimneys Farm (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Sales History: $600,000 wlg FTKNOV ’15. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $101,800.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 6
Last Start: 2nd, GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 13
Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 17.
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 4
While two winners of stakes winners over the past several weeks leapfrogged Principe Guilherme for spots on the Top 12 list, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that his GIII Lecomte S. second behind Instilled Regard still represents encouraging advancement in his overall progression, even though he was the beaten favorite. Going into that Jan. 13 stakes try, trainer Steve Asmussen’s stated goal was “to get him to relax and use [the speed he displayed in his first two wins] effectively with his acceleration and his quickness.” This $600,000 Tapit (Pulpit) yearling broke well from post 10, rated willingly while five wide on the first turn, appeared unfazed by mild backstretch jostling, then launched a four-wide move on the far turn that resulted in him beating 11 other rivals while finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind much-the-best second favorite Instilled Regard. The lost ground on both bends cost this colt a little bit, but the overall experience benefited Principe Guilherme, and he remains a viable work-in-progress proposition as the distances stretch out to suit his stamina- centric pedigree.

9) MASK (c, Tapit–Hidden Expression, by Yonaguska)
‘TDN Rising Star’ O-Lane’s End Racing. B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $685,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: SW, 2-2-0-0, $105,760.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 8
Last Start: 1st, Mucho Macho Man S., GP, Jan. 6
Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 17
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 0
Mask has shown flashes of brilliance in his two-for-two career. We already know this $685,000 KEESEP colt possesses sharp enough early speed to put himself in control of races early on, and both trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano went on record praising this ‘TDN Rising Star’s’ poise and focusing ability after his 6 1/4-length, one-turn mile romp in the Jan. 6 Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream. The next box to check off on Mask’s Derby development list will be a two-turn race, and Brown confirmed to the Fair Grounds press team earlier this month that he’s considering the Tapit colt for the 1 1/16-mile GII Risen Star S. Feb. 17. Mask’s dam, the stakes-winning sprinter Hidden Expression (Yonaguska), also began her career with a pair of wins around one turn, but she did not attempt a route race in three subsequent starts before retirement. Her only other two foals to race remain maidens.

10) FIRENZE FIRE (c, Poseidon’s Warrior–My Every Wish, by Langfuhr)
O-Mr. Amore Stables. B-Mr. Amore Stables (FL). T-Jason Servis. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-4-0-0, $539,100.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 7
Last Start: 1st, Jerome S., AQU, Jan. 13
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GI Champagne S., BEL, Oct. 7; 1st, GIII Sanford S., SAR, July 22.
Next Start: Possible for GIII Gotham S., AQU, Mar. 10
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 20
Firenze Fire had to work quite a bit harder than a 4-5 favorite might be expected to in order to prevail over a six-horse wintertime Aqueduct stakes field, but his grind-it-out rally in the Jan. 13 Jerome S. at least stamps him as the type of colt who can wind up in the winner’s circle even when things don’t go his way. Perhaps overcoming adversity will be the sophomore theme for the powerful winner of the key-race GI Champagne S. (Good Magic, Enticed) back in October. His 2018 debut was delayed by nearly two weeks because adverse weather kept causing the Jerome to be pushed back, and Firenze Fire missed six days of training during that time. When the gates finally flew open for the rescheduled Jerome, the :25.01, :50.81 and 1:16.72 splits did not exactly favor this last-to-first closer, but he motored home methodically a half-length in front after wresting control from a pesky pacemaker in the shadow of the wire.
“Heading into the race, I thought he might be up against it,” said trainer Jason Servis. “It looked like there was a speed bias…. He didn’t have the easiest of trips; he didn’t break on top and had to deal with some traffic.”

11) TIZ MISCHIEF (c, Into Mischief–Indivia, by Tiznow)
O-Frank L. Jones, Jr. B-T/C Stable (KY). T-Dale Romans. Sales History: $55,000 yrl KEESEP ’16. Lifetime Record: GSP, 4-1-2-0, $88,000.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 9
Last Start: 2nd, GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 25.
Next Start: Aiming for GII Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 3
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 4
This $55,000 KEESEP Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) colt is getting serious, works-wise, for his expected sophomore debut in the Holy Bull S. His five Gulfstream Park breezes since Dec. 16 have all been the first-, second- or third-fastest morning moves of the day for the half-mile and five-eighths distances, and his most recent race, the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., gets my vote for the “sleeper” prep of 2017 to come up as highly productive Derby indicator for 2018. In that Nov. 25 try, Tiz Mischief displayed maturity in the form of targeting and dispatching with rivals from well back in a 14-horse field, knifing between rivals with decisiveness when cued to quicken, cornering efficiently into the lane, and not backing down from a fight while finishing with determination. He was ahead in the jumps before and after the wire, and his rivalry with number five-ranked Enticed could be one of the better grudge rematches within the division if they hook up again through the winter and spring in Florida.

12) AVERY ISLAND (c, Street Sense-Kinda Spicy, by A.P. Indy)
O-Godolphin Racing. B-Godolphin (KY). T-Kiaran McLaughlin. Lifetime Record: GSW, 4-2-1-0, $215,332.
Jan. 9 TDN Top 12 Rank: 10
Last Start: 2nd, GII Remsen S., AQU, Dec. 2.
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GII Nashua S., AQU, Nov. 5.
Next Start: Aiming for GII Holy Bull S., GP, or GIII Withers S., AQU, both Feb. 3
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 4
His pedigree resonates distance top and bottom, but his naming is the result of some hot stuff: Playing off his dam, Kinda Spicy (A.P. Indy), Avery Island takes his name from the Louisiana Gulf Coast salt dome that is known as the home of the Tabasco brand pepper sauce. As a racemare in 2011, Kinda Spicy retired undefeated at two-for-two, winning on debut at a Belmont mile by 8 3/4 lengths and in a nine-furlong Saratoga allowance by 3 1/2 lengths. After his beaten-favorite sprint debut when unveiled at the Spa last summer, Avery Island has thrived since stretching out, winning a pair of one-turn route races by 10 combined lengths at Belmont and Aqueduct prior to an even-effort second as the beaten fave behind Catholic Boy in the nine-furlong Remsen S. He is on target to return to New York for the Feb. 3 Withers S. (although those plans could change depending on winter weather, quarantines, and who knows what else) and Avery Island has been working on Friday mornings this month at Palm Meadows to prepare for his 2018 debut. His most recent timed workout was a 1:00.75 five-eighths breeze (4/31) on Jan. 19.

On the Bubble (in alphabetical order)
Arrival (Tapit): Yet to resurface in works after wide trip CD stakes.
Ax Man (Misremembered): San Vicente S. likely next for Baffert MSW monster.
Choo Choo (English Channel): Calumet colorbearer won Cal Derby as fave on Sat.
Combatant (Scat Daddy): Second in Smarty Jones S. for Asmussen.
Free Drop Billy (Union Rags): Kee GSW breezing at GP.
High North (Midnight Lute): Cox trainee aims for GIII Southwest S.
Hollywood Star (Malibu Moon): Better-than-looked sixth in BC Juvenile.
Marconi (Tapit): ‘TDN Rising Star’ Pletcher trainee aims for Withers S.
Montauk (Medaglia d’Oro): ‘TDN Rising Star’ yet to work since blowout Oct. win.
Noble Indy (Take Charge Indy): Now two-for-two after two-turn GP ALW win.
Retirement Fund (Eskendereya): Two-for-two Asmussen colt considered for Risen Star S.
Solomini (Curlin): Baffert trainee lost Top 12 spot after sidelined by fever.
Sporting Chance (Tiznow): ‘TDN Rising Star’ GI Hopeful S. winner breezed OP bullet last week.
Tricks to Doo (Into Mischief): Breezing at Tam after winning stakes by 7 1/4.
Vouch (Yes It’s True): Breezing at Classic Mile since Remsen third.
World of Trouble (Kantharos
Zulfikhar (Bodemeister): Baffert ‘TDN Rising Star’ nears stakes debut.

Pedigree Insights: Mourinho Proving He’s Special, Too

Mon, 2018-01-22 13:39

It almost seems like tempting fate to name a horse after a man who once declared at a press conference that he thinks he is special. The man in question, soccer manager Jose Mourinho, now virtually owns the nickname of “The Special One,” with journalist Sean Gibson once commenting that “he has helped write his own legend with spectacular triumphs on the pitch, volatile behavior off it, and sabre-toothed soundbites from which no one in football could count themselves safe.”

That’s a lot to live up to, but the equine Mourinho is doing pretty well, without displaying the cussedness now expected of his namesake. The son of Super Saver transformed his $30,000 price as a yearling into a $625,000 price tag with a :20 1/5 bullet work at the 2-year-old sales, well before his actual second birthday on May 21. He then became a ‘TDN Rising Star’ with a debut victory over a field which included Instilled Regard (Arch) at Santa Anita last September. And now he has recorded his first stakes victory in the Smarty Jones S., to theoretically put himself on the road to the GI Kentucky Derby–a race won by his sire Super Saver in 2010.

All this has made him the current poster boy for Super Saver, whose other 2018 stakes winner is Inside Straight, winner of last year’s GII Oaklawn H. It is worth mentioning at this point that Mourinho is a member of Super Saver’s cheapest crop, sired at a fee of $17,500 in 2014.

The WinStar stallion hasn’t been immune to the fluctuating fortunes which dog many a young stallion. You would think that any Kentucky Derby winner would be guaranteed healthy support after his retirement, but Super Saver’s initial fee of $20,000 indicated that there were a few obstacles standing in his way.

The first was that he was the second son of Maria’s Mon to win the Derby and his predecessor, Monarchos, had hardly set the world alight as a stallion. Having started out at $25,000 at Claiborne, Monarchos’s fee stood no higher than $6,000 by 2011, the year that Super Saver made his debut as a stallion. Monarchos still has only two Northern Hemisphere graded stakes winners to his credit, from more than 500 foals of racing age.

Then there was Super Saver’s own racing record to take into account. He had failed to build on his Kentucky Derby success, finishing eighth in the GI Preakness S., fourth in the GI Haskell Invitational and 10th of 11 in the GI Travers S. In fact his Derby win was his only success from six starts as a 3-year-old. Fortunately, he had partly compensated for this by running out a five-length winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., showing that he had inherited plenty of the juvenile ability which had made Maria’s Mon the champion 2-year-old of 1995.

There were also some definite pluses to be found in Super Saver’s pedigree, especially on his dam’s side. His dam Supercharger represents the celebrated A.P. Indy/Mr. Prospector cross which is also responsible for the likes of Mineshaft, Pulpit, Malibu Moon, Congrats and Flatter, who collectively have around 40 Grade I winners to their credit. Supercharger has also advertised this nick’s merits, with Super Saver being the first of her three graded stakes winners. So, too, have her sisters Daydreaming and She’s A Winner. They are respectively the dams of Imagining (GI Man o’War S.) and Bluegrass Cat (runner-up in the 2006 Kentucky Derby and GI Belmont S. prior to taking the GI Haskell Invitational).

For the pedigree purists, Super Saver also had the attraction of having the champion 2-year-old Numbered Account as his fourth dam. Numbered Account was inbred 4×5 to La Troienne, the legendary mare who appears no fewer than seven times in Super Saver’s pedigree. This includes three lines (4x5x5) to La Troienne’s brilliant great-grandson Buckpasser.

It took Super Saver no time at all to demonstrate that he is capable of siring high-class performers with plenty of speed. This speed first became apparent at the 2-year-old sales of 2014, which saw his first-crop youngsters sell for such impressive prices as $750,000, $675,000, $600,000 and $525,000.

The 2014 Saratoga meeting showed several of these high-priced juveniles to excellent effect. The $750,000 colt, Competitive Edge, became a ‘TDN Rising Star’ when he came home more than 10 lengths clear over six furlongs on July 26. The following day saw the $675,000 High Dollar Woman take another six-furlong maiden special weight. And then the $600,000 I Spent It improved his record to two wins from as many starts with a courageous win in the GII Saratoga Special over 6 ½ furlongs. At the end of the Saratoga meet, I Spent It finished second in the GI Hopeful S., nearly six lengths behind the impressive Competitive Edge.

Super Saver’s first crop was also in fine form at Saratoga a year later. Embellish The Lace became his second Grade I winner when she led throughout in the Alabama S., and Grade I winner number three soon followed, with the sensational Runhappy landing the King’s Bishop S. as a prelude to further Grade I triumphs in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Malibu S.

All the above was surely very beneficial to Super Saver. Those high prices at the 2-year-old sales must have been one of the reasons why Super Saver’s 2014 book numbered around 150 mares, compared to 97 mares the previous year. Then Super Saver’s close second behind Quality Road among 2014’s first-crop sires was even more helpful. With his fee doubled to $35,000, he covered 165 mares in 2015, And the 2015 exploits of Runhappy, Embellish The Lace and Competitive Edge prompted another increase in Super Saver’s fee, this time to $65,000 in 2016, when he attracted 154 mares.

I was interested by the Super Saver advertisement which ran in yesterday’s TDN, charting the number of graded stakes winners or producers which visited Super Saver during his first six years. The figures were 26, 14, 5, 8, 32 and 38, while the totals for Grade I winners or producers stood at 7, 4, 0, 3, 7 and 11.

This strongly suggests that Super Saver’s 2016 and 2017 crops are destined to shine brightly. The 2016 crop has already made its mark, with yearlings selling for $625,000, $430,000 and $425,000, off a fee of $35,000.

As Mourinho was sired at $17,500 and was originally sold for $30,000, it would be unfair to expect him to have a pedigree full of graded winners. His dam Sandi’s Ready, a stakes-placed More Than Ready mare who raced mainly on turf, sold for $150,000 last November. However, her price had been no higher than $12,000 in January 2016. She was then sent to Hangover Kid, an inexpensive Grade II turf winner based in Maryland.

Although More Than Ready’s daughters are still awaiting their first Grade I winner in the U.S., they have already been represented by five in Australia and New Zealand, including the fast performers Miracles of Life, Rebel Dane and Delectation. This adds to my suspicion that Mourinho may struggle to stay a mile and a quarter, even though he is by a Kentucky Derby winner. His second dam, the Mr. Greeley mare Snickeez, did most of her winning over sprint distances, as did her stakes-winning half-brother Out Of My Way.

Teofilo Homebred Impresses For Godolphin

Mon, 2018-01-22 13:29

2nd-WOL, £5,800 Cond, 1-22, 3yo, 9f 104y (AWT), 1:59.44, st.
CROSS COUNTER (GB) (c, 3, Teofilo {Ire}–Waitress {SP-Fr}, by Kingmambo), who was off the mark in style over a furlong shorter at Wolverhampton Dec. 9, was sent off the 4-9 favourite and travelled with purpose in second throughout the early stages. Sent to the front with two furlongs to race, the homebred stayed on strongly to score by eight lengths from Natch (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}). Cross Counter is the first representative for his useful dam, who also has a yearling filly by Farhh (GB) and a filly foal by Helmet (Aus). The second dam Do the Honours (Ire) (Highest Honor {Fr}) was successful in the G3 Prix de Meautry before producing the G3 Prix de la Grotte runner-up Woven Lace (GB) (Hard Spun), while her own dam Persian Secret (Fr) (Persian Heights {GB}) threw the Listed Chesham S. winner and GI Mother Goose S. third Seba (GB) (Alzao). She in turn is a half-sister to the celebrity sprinter and broodmare Cassandra Go (Ire) and the late successful sire Verglas (Ire). Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $10,392. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby.

Expensive Redoute’s Filly Salutes at Sale

Sun, 2018-01-21 18:38

Blue-blooded Al Naifa (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}), runner-up in a Moonee Valley 1000-metre affair on Dec. 8, donned cap and gown in her second start by 1 3/4 lengths for trainer Tony McEvoy at Sale on Sunday. Owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum purchased Al Naifa for a session-topping A$1.8 million during the opening session of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park as lot 87. A half-sister to champion 2-year-old and 3-year-old filly English (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}), who also scored in the G1 All Aged S. after a runner-up performance in the G1 Golden Slipper, the $1.30 favourite jumped well as the barriers flew and soon dashed up to sit in a stalking second from Godolphin’s Nivalis (Aus) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}). Motoring up to the leader by the 400-metre marker, the blinkered bay powered clear, and, having established plenty of cushion, held off the closing duo of Gheedaa (Aus) (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) and Dramadale (Aus) (Real Saga {Aus}) for the victory. Nivalis was fourth.

“She took a lot out of that run at Moonee Valley and she was a real professional here today,” pilot Andrew Mallyon told Racing.com. She jumped well, she travelled really nicely behind the leader who was a bit of a bunny and even though in her work she’s waited for them a little bit, today she really put them away. I still had a kick in the locker, so she probably wouldn’t have taken any harm from the run and looks set for bigger and better things. I think she’ll derive even further benefit from today. Tony [McEvoy] has a huge opinion of her and I definitely think she’s justified that today with a lot of improvement to come and it will be nice to see where she ends up after she furnishes.”

“She’s a filly that’s always shown us a high amount of talent and today was just about giving her a good experience and trying to accumulate some prizemoney to try and get her into some of the better races,” said assistant trainer Michael Sheperdson.

Jim and Joan Brady Join WHOA

Sun, 2018-01-21 17:25

Long-time owner/breeders Jim and Joan Brady put their support behind the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) Sunday as the group makes efforts towards the passage of The Horseracing Integrity Act. The Brady family races under Mill House stable, and their past graded stakes winners include America Alive, Brilliant, and Trappe Shot. Jim Brady’s brother, Nick, has previously pledged support of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

In a statement to WHOA, Mr. Brady shared the following:

My family and I have derived immense enjoyment from Thoroughbred breeding and racing through the years, and it is my strong desire to see our sport not only survive but thrive in the future. I’m not sure that can happen, however, unless we get our proverbial house in order when it comes to the topic of medication and anti-doping.

Frankly, we have wrestled with the issue for far too long. I served as a steward of The Jockey Club for more than 30 years, and it was a constant topic of concern for us. The McKinsey Study that was commissioned and released in 1991 [“Building a World Class Drug Detection System for the Racing Industry: A National Strategic Plan”] addressed many of our issues, but several of the recommendations from that study have yet to be fully implemented.

There was a time when a wager on a horse race was the only legal bet a person could place. Obviously, times have changed and there are many options out there for anyone who wants to make a wager. That makes the integrity of competition even more critical for our sport. If we want to build and maintain consumer confidence, we need to take every step possible to ensure a level playing field for all participants–and that includes our bettors.

To me it is clear that we sorely lack uniformity in rules, in drug-testing lab standards, and in penalties, and we can’t expect to prosper as an industry until we have a system that efficiently deters the use of illegal substances [and overuse of legal ones] in our equine athletes.

I have been impressed with the cross-section of individuals represented in WHOA and the steady increase in its membership. Each of these people share a desire to see federal legislation enacted to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing. They also share a passion for our sport and I’m proud to join their ranks. For these reasons, I support the passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017.

This bill would require that a uniform anti-doping and medication-control program be developed and enforced by a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization known as the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority. The authority, which would include as members both horse-racing and anti-doping experts, would be overseen by Travis Tygart’s team at the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The time to act is now. For this sport to be sustainable, we need this bill enacted into law.

 

From the TDN Weekend…Charlotte Weber: “It’s a Nice Life”

Sun, 2018-01-21 16:08

Racing revels in a narrative. It cheers the underdog and subtly rolls its collective eyes at the well-fancied blue-blood. Adoring its humble figures and finding ways to flaw the forthright, the Sport of Kings, crowns and castle balls willingly rides the waves of eternally twisting plot lines, while hoping for Cinderella to earn her way from soot to celebrity.

What happens, though, when a character comes along who is so dynamic in nature that the industry cannot help but cheer for their success, no matter how privileged or plain-spoken they may be? Someone whose energy outweighs any archetype; whose nature overrides the narrative, turning said paradigm upside-down.

Such is the case with Charlotte Weber, whose Live Oak operation–Plantation (stable) and Stud (farm)–had a remarkable 2017, including a championship-worthy winning performance by homebred World Approval (Northern Afleet) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile. Decades into the sport, one of the heirs to the Campbell’s Soup dynasty has, much like said product, flourished against the fire; developing a world-class racing operation, enviable broodmare band and state-of-the-art farm that can each hold their own against any on the planet.

As well-rounded in delivery as the red polka dots on her familiar silks, Weber does things her way, but is wise with her counsel. Competitive, clever and candid, she has carefully chosen her advisors through such filters and understands that while success in racing is elusive, a wise executive mind in the industry examines as much as they execute, if not more. With her Ocala, Florida-based operation competing at the highest level, despite sporting numbers dwarfed by the powerhouses of global racing, Weber is a 50-year force in Thoroughbred world, if not an icon.

“I was raised outside Philadelphia and, in the late 1960s, I bought my first horse,” Weber, 74, said. “I really wanted something to do that would be fun and a way to meet people. Some of my family was into steeplechase horses and I thought that was way too complicated. I figured, let’s take the obstacle out of the equation and that’s how it started long ago. Of course, without having the wonderful legacy of Campbell’s Soup, there would be no horses. What they do have in common, though, is that you have to mind your business and keep your integrity.

“When I was in my 20s, my ex-husband and I we were looking for a place to raise a family and he also wanted to raise some cattle, so we went to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and California before we decided on Ocala,” Weber continued. “Joe O’Farrell originally asked me if I would be interested in Florida and the more time we spent in Ocala, the more we just fell in love with it. The thing that really got us was the weather. It is just a beautiful place to raise horses and has these big, beautiful Live Oak trees.”

A 4,500-acre commercial thoroughbred training operation and cattle facility, Live Oak has been a beacon in racing for decades. Whether through the breeding or training, it has reared such banner-bearing standouts as aforementioned World Approval and his fellow Breeders’ Cup Mile-winning half-brother Miesque’s Approval (Miesque’s Son), Eclipse finalist To Honor and Serve (Bernardini), Kentucky Derby runner-up Laser Light (North Light {Ire}), Kentucky Oaks runner-up In the Gold (Golden Missile) and Grade I winners Solar Splendor (Majestic Light), Sultry Song (Cox’s Ridge), My Typhoon (Ire) (Giant’s Causeway), Brilliant Speed (Dynaformer), High Fly (Atticus), Zo Impressive (Hard Spun) and Victory to Victory (Exchange Rate). Overall, Live Oak boasts in excess of 60 graded stakes victories from more than 30 graded stakes winners.

In 2017, Weber’s warriors include four graded stakes winners: talented lightly raced sophomore Souper Tapit (Tapit), GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile third-place finisher Awesome Slew (Awesome Again), turf sprinter Holding Gold (Lonhro {Aus}) and four-time GI winner World Approval. Those four Mark Casse cadets, plus rapidly improving stakes-winning turf sprinter and Mike Trombetta trainee We Deer You (Hat Trick {Jpn}) each earned at least six figures in 2017.

Live Oak has 35 broodmares that beget an average of 25 in training per year, which Weber reports with palpable pride. When “not chasing a sale or a golf ball,” Weber is gladly watching them develop and checking on her mares with a dedicated hands-on approach that has trickled down to the tune of a 19.2% strike rate since the turn of the century and in excess of 700 victories. Weber’s red, white and black silks upped their game in 2017, to 21.2%, and have hit the board 50% of the time, with earned purses approaching $4.5 million.

“That’s what I’m trying to do: perform at the top level with my horses,” Weber said. “I would rather have fun with a bowl of cherries instead of with a bushel of whatever. I want to keep the sport in its excellence and that’s very hard to do, but I enjoy trying. It’s hard to compete when you don’t have the numbers, but I think I have a very nice group of horses right now. Obviously, I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m very excited about World Approval, Victory to Victory and a few of our other 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. I’m just looking for a strong season. That would be just wonderful.”

To read the rest of this story in the TDN Weekend, click here.

 

Undefeated Amy’s Challenge Likely to Stretch Out

Sun, 2018-01-21 14:07

One of the most thrilling races across the country Saturday was captured by one of the most intriguing fillies in her class as undefeated Amy’s Challenge (Artie Schiller) survived a stretch-long duel with Mia Mischief (Into Mischief) to capture Oaklawn’s six-furlong Dixie Belle S. by a neck. Previously a two-time winner at Minnesota’s Canterbury park as a juvenile, Amy’s Challenge emerged from her victory in good order Sunday and is likely to target a stakes race over a route of ground next, according to trainer Mac Robertson.

Robertson said the filly is a candidate for the Feb. 10 one-mile Martha Washington S., but would also stretch out in the Mar. 10 GIII Honeybee S. or the Apr. 13 GIII Fantasy S.

“Personally, I’d like to run March 10 and then April 13,” Robertson said. “We’ll see. Good race–she was tired at the end. She had four works in four months. I’m hoping she’ll improve.”

Amy’s Challenge bobbled at the start of the Dixie Belle, but quickly recovered and tracked Mia Mischief through blazing fractions of :21.48 for a quarter-mile and :44.49 for a half-mile. The pair became fully engaged in the stretch, with Amy’s Challenge surging to the front in the final stride.

The dark bay, a $20,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling purchase, caught the eye of many with a pair of wins over males that produced Beyer Speed Figures of 91 and 92, respectively, at Canterbury last summer. She was originally slated to make her two-turn debut in Keeneland’s GI Alciabiades S. Oct. 6, but ultimately missed the race due to muscle cramping.

 

Eskendereya Rising Star Remains Undefeated in NOLA

Sat, 2018-01-20 18:16

9th-FG, $43,000, Alw (NW1X), Opt. Clm ($50,000), 1-20, 3yo, 1m 70y, 1:43.05, ft.
RETIREMENT FUND (c, 3, Eskendereya–Northern Station {SW, $181,680}, by Street Cry {Ire}) stretched clear of his rivals to record a 7 1/4-length debut success over track and trip Dec. 22 to become a ‘TDN Rising Star’ and was sent off at 80 cents on the dollar to negotiate this next step. Quickest into stride for Shaun Bridgmohan, the $100,000 FTSAUG yearling purchase set a pressured pace as Dark Templar (Tapit), the only other of the six rivals in the market, enjoyed the run of the race. Retirement Fund shrugged off his pace pressure approaching the stretch, opened a daylight advantage into the final furlong and plugged home a two-length winner. Dark Templar raced erratically in the final eighth of a mile, but was a clear second. A half-brother to Barbados (Speightstown), GSW, $377,241, Retirement Fund is out of a stakes-winning dam who was bought back on a bid of $435,000 when offered in foal to Uncle Mo at FTKNOV in 2016. Northern Station produced a filly by the Coolmore stallion in 2017. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $50,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart.
O-L and N Racing LLC; B-Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen.

Distorted Humor Filly Gets Up in Time for Wayward Lass Score

Sat, 2018-01-20 17:59

Well Humored dominated in her debut by 11 lengths Sept. 16 over a good Delaware Park main track and answered that with a victory in her first attempt against winners on a sloppy Keeneland main track Oct. 28. She switched to the turf last time out in the Winter Memories S. at Aqueduct Nov. 23 and settled for sixth after a troubled trip.

The bay got into a good stalking position in third behind heavy favorite Tapa Tapa Tapa through the early stages. Daniel Centeno set Well Humored down for the drive midway on the far turn and she began to gain on the pacesetter turning for home. She continued to grind away at the deficit inside the eighth pole and took command in the final 100 yards to stay unbeaten on the main track.

Life Well Lived, who is a half to G1SW Well Armed (Tiznow) has a juvenile colt by Pioneerof the Nile, a yearling filly by Super Saver and visited Triple Crown champion American Pharoah last seasom. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

WAYWARD LASS S., $50,000, TAM, 1-20, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.86, ft.
1–WELL HUMORED, 116, f, 4, Distorted Humor–Life Well
Lived, by Tiznow.
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. ($130,000 RNA Ylg ’15 KEESEP)
O-Winstar Stablemates Racing LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY);
T-Arnaud Delacour; J-Daniel Centeno. $30,000. Lifetime
Record: 4-3-0-0, $91,350. *Full to Muqtaser, MGSP, $301,605;
& 1/2 to American Patriot (War Front), GISW, $487.272
2–Tapa Tapa Tapa, 118, f, 4, Tapit–Kickin’ the Clouds, by
Dixieland Band. O-Beau Ravine LLC; B-Patricia Pavlish (KY);
T-Timothy E. Hamm. $10,000.
3–Sweet Legacy, 120, m, 5, Candy Ride (Arg)–Aspiring, by
Seeking the Gold. O/B-G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & W. S. Farish
(KY); T-George R. Arnold, II. $5,000.
Margins: 3/4, 4 3/4, 7 3/4. Odds: 5.40, 0.40, 41.70.
Also Ran: Folk Magic, Ms. Scarlet Fever, Blue Collar, Full of Zip, Tejana.

 

Artie Schiller Filly Remains Perfect in the Dixie Belle

Sat, 2018-01-20 17:58

AMY’S CHALLENGE (f, 3, Artie Schiller-Jump Up, by Jump Start) kept her perfect record in tact with a hard fought victory over “TDN Rising Star” and 4-5 favorite Mia Mischief (Into Mischief) in Oaklawn’s Dixie Belle S. Tracking from a close-up third through a sharp first quarter in :21.96, the 7-5 shot advanced up the outside to battle pacesetting Mia Mischief through a half in :45.42. The pair continued to duel into the stretch with Amy’s Challenge forging past the favorite in the final strides for a head success. Demolishing the field by 16 1/2 lengths in her career bow at Canterbury in August, Amy’s Challenge followed suit with a win in that venue’s Shakespeare Challenge S. last time Sept. 16. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0.

O-Novogratz Racing Stable; B-Sierra Farm (KY); T-Mclean Robertson.

Kantharos Colt Romps at Tampa

Sat, 2018-01-20 16:48

World of Trouble stamped himself as one to watch with this jaw-dropping performance.

A 14-length debut winner for breeder Darsan Inc and trainer Kathleen O’Connell in a $25,000 seller in Hallandale Aug. 10, he finished a game second carrying Michael Dubb’s colors for the first time in the seven-furlong FTBOA Florida Sire Affirmed S. Sept. 2. Well-supported in his first attempt for the Jason Servis barn off the bench here, he faced some early pressure through fractions of :22.51 and :44.91. World of Trouble began to let it out a notch on the far turn as jockey Antonio Gallardo took a peak in the rear view and he took off impressively down the lane to win for fun. Previously unbeaten He Hate Me (Algorithms), off since scoring in Belmont’s Tremont S. June 9, completed the exacta.

The final time of 1:21.52 was .12 of a second off the track record set by Catalina Red in 2014. World of Trouble becomes the 13th stakes winner for Kantharos. The winner’s dam had a colt by Kantharos last year and was bred back to The Big Beast.

PASCO S., $120,000, TAM, 1-20, 3yo, 7f, 1:21.52, ft.
1–WORLD OF TROUBLE, 118, c, 3, by Kantharos
1st Dam: Meets Expectations, by Valid Expectations
2nd Dam: Meetmeontime, by General Meeting
3rd Dam: Parlay, by Mt. Livermore
($10,000 RNA Ylg ’16 OBSAUG). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN.
O-Michael Dubb; B-Darsan Inc. (FL); T-Jason Servis; J-Antonio
A. Gallardo. $95,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $149,400. *1/2
to Money Or Love (J Be K), SW, $189,780.
2–He Hate Me, 124, c, 3, Algorithms–Quiet Holiday, by Harlan’s
Holiday. ($90,000 Ylg ’16 FTKJUL). O-Sagamore Farm; B-Mike
Mareina & Nathan Mitts (FL); T-Horacio DePaz. $15,000.
3–Mind Trappe, 118, c, 3, Trappe Shot–Sauvignon Girl, by
Fusaichi Pegasus. O-I. C. Racing LLC; B-B.D. Gibbs Farm LLC,
Robert Langley & Keith James (KY); T-Ignacio Correas, IV.
$5,000.
Margins: 13 3/4, 3HF, 3/4. Odds: 0.90, 2.40, 17.60.
Also Ran: Driven by History, Awaken, Trenton Traveler, Arazi Like Move, Twin Farms. Scratched: Lord Barna, His Name Is Sue.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Algorithms Colt Runs to the Money at Tampa

Sat, 2018-01-20 15:43

7th-TAM, $20,000, Msw, 1-20, 3yo, 7f, 1:23.60, ft.

GLEASON (c 3, Algorithms–Trip {MGSW, $888,773}, by Lord at War {Arg}) was hammered down to even-money favoritism for this unveiling off a five-panel bullet in 1:00 4/5 at trainer Todd Pletcher’s Palm Beach Downs base Jan. 13. Away alertly, the $220,000 KEESEP buy kept close tabs on pacesetting Getyourmindright (Stormy Atlantic) from a two-wide second through an opening quarter in :21.91. He advanced to breathe down the leader’s neck, turning up the heat through a half in :44.89. Seizing control from that foe at the top of the stretch, the bay cruised clear in the lane to win as he pleased by 5 1/2 lengths. Getyourmindright held on for second. A son of MGSW Trip, Gleason is a half-brother to Passport (Pulpit), SW, $279,479; the dam of MGISW and Eclipse nominee Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) and MSW & MGSP Sonic Mule (Distorted Humor); and the dam of SW & MGSP Recruiting Ready (Algorithms). This is also the family of MGISW Zensational (Unbridled’s Song) and MGSW Departing (War Front). The winner has a 2-year-old half-sister by Blame. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $11,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

O-Paul Pompa, Jr.; B-Claiborne Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher.

 

Observations: Jan. 20, 2017

Fri, 2018-01-19 15:54

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Today’s Observations features the debut of a well-bred Godolphin filly.

7.15 Chelmsford, Mdn, £8,000, 3yo/up, f/m, 10f (AWT)

MENUETTO (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) is a half-sister to one-time Classic hopeful Franz Schubert (GB) (Dansili {GB}), whose dam is the 2007 Listed Swettenham Stud Fillies’ Trial S. winner Measured Tempo (GB) (Sadler’s Wells). Godolphin through and through, the descendant of Allegretta (GB) (Lombard {Ger}) is therefore linked to the legendary Urban Sea (Miswaki) and King’s Best and debuts for the Charlie Appleby stable so prolific with its all-weather runners.

Gun Runner Settling in at Gulfstream

Fri, 2018-01-19 15:33

Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}), the likely favorite in the upcoming $16-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational Saturday, Jan. 27, took his first trip around Gulfstream Park Friday morning (video).

Taking to the track at approximately 5:50 a.m., more than an hour before sunrise, Gun Runner “just had an easy day, going straight off a mile,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi said.

Gun Runner, a winner of four straight Grade I events, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, shipped into Gulfstream Thursday evening from New Orleans.

“He’s in such good condition right now, and he’s so fit, when you get him off that van, off an airplane, he knows where he’s at and what he’s getting ready to do,” Blasi said. “He’s just such a champion. He takes everything in stride. Never had a problem shipping, I think this is his 12th or 13th different racetrack he’s run at. It’s kind of old news to him. It’s probably more stressful on us than him. We expect him to settle in and train, get a little work over the racetrack, and school in the paddock a time or two.”

Giant Expectations Works for Pegasus…

In his final major breeze for the Pegasus World Cup, GII San Antonio S. winner Giant Expectations (Frost Giant) went five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track at 7:45 a.m. Friday morning in a bullet :58 flat under exercise rider Pepi Aragon. It was the fastest of 53 drills at the distance. “He went well,” said trainer Peter Eurton. “I couldn’t be happier. We’ll know more as he goes along. We’re taking it one day at a time.”

Enhanced Protocols for Pegasus World Cup…

The Stronach Group has announced its enhanced security measures and protocols for horses competing in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. “The Stronach Group is committed to the safety, welfare and integrity of all our athletes. We believe these security measures and protocols reaffirm our commitment to the sport, the fans and our participants,” said Mike Rogers, a member of The Stronach Group’s Executive Team. A complete list can be viewed here.

Insights for Saturday January 20, 2018

Fri, 2018-01-19 15:28

9th-FG, $43K, OC 50K/N1X, 3yo, 1m70y, post time: 6:03 p.m. ET

L and N Racing LLC’s RETIREMENT FUND (Eskendereya) takes on winners for the first time after being named ‘TDN Rising Star’ following his wire-to-wire 7 1/4-length victory at first asking here Dec. 22.

The bay is a half-brother to GSW Barbados (Speightstown), and his dam, Northern Station (Street Cry {Ire}), was a stakes winner in her own right. Retirement Fund also hails from the family of MGSW/MGISP sire E Dubai (Mr. Prospector) and 2008 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass (Elusive Quality). He is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. TJCIS PPs

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