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Updated: 3 hours 38 min ago

Accelerate Leads Home Lookin At Lucky Exacta in Gold Cup at Santa Anita

Sat, 2018-05-26 17:57

ACCELERATE (h, 5, Lookin At Lucky-Issues, by Awesome Again), a romping winner of the GI Santa Anita H. over this track and trip Mar. 10, settled for second behind race favorite City of Light (Quality Road) in the GII Oaklawn H. Apr. 14, but turned the tables on that one and the rest of his foes here to post a convincing success. Settled in just off an honest pace, the 9-5 shot proved much too much for his competition to handle, as he powered away in the lane by about four lengths in 2:01.38. Pacesetter Dr. Dorr (Lookin At Lucky) completed an exacta for his sire, while City of Light faded a bit late to settle for third. Sales history: $380,000 yrl ’14 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 19-7-5-5.
O-Hronis Racing LLC. B-Mike Abraham (Ky). T-John Sadler.

 

Holy Roman Emperor’s Romanised Shocks Irish Guineas Rivals

Sat, 2018-05-26 11:33

With Elarqam (GB) (Frankel {GB}) running no sort of race, Saturday’s G1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh was open to something from leftfield and so it proved as Romanised (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) sprang a 25-1 upset to provide the Ken Condon stable with a first Classic. Highly tried as a 2-year-old, the bay had partially justified his trainer’s lofty opinion when second to Masar (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) in the G3 Solario S. in August but his return sixth in the Listed Tetrarch S. understandably set few pulses racing on his warm-up at Naas May 7. While he missed the break and raced in rear early, that may have proved a blessing with Ryan Moore taking no prisoners on U S Navy Flag (War Front) up front. That pace had already begun to see off Elarqam at halfway, where Shadwell’s representative looked nothing like the 2-1 favourite he started at, but Romanised’s rider Shane Foley was just getting into his stride and he was delivered wide with a strong-staying effort to reel in the long-time leader 150 yards from the line for a 2 1/4-length success.
Introduced over six furlongs at Navan last April, Romanised was 14-1 there but served early notice that he was at least useful when swooping on the subsequent listed winners Brick By Brick (Ire) (Big Bad Bob {Ire}) and Declarationofpeace (War Front) to get off to the perfect start. Taken to Royal Ascot for the G2 Coventry S. from there, he missed the kick and met some trouble in running but kept on to be just over two lengths away in seventh before running just over three-lengths sixth behind Sioux Nation (Scat Daddy) in the G1 Phoenix S. here in August. Upped to a more suitable seven furlongs next time, he was unable to match Masar but was determined in pursuit and was only two lengths behind at the line. In the last fortnight, that race had received several boosts with Arbalet (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Purser (Mizzen Mast) winning and Vintager (GB) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) a solid third in the Listed Heron S., but Romanised had already become a sideline act by the time he reappeared in the seven-furlong Tetrarch. Staying on late, he almost ran into the back of the filly Hence (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and his effort was finished there and then but there was market support for him despite this looking beyond him on form.
Gradually creeping into contention in a war of attrition created by last year’s champion juvenile, he arrived alongside the trio of Gustav Klimt (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Symbolization (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) and Threeandfourpence (War Front), who got in each other’s way chasing US Navy Flag. Taking dead aim at the leader passing the furlong pole, he had all the momentum there with the Ballydoyle runner possibly running out of steam after such endeavours. “I had to make up quite a bit of ground to get to them, so I just nursed him and he got there,” Foley said. “I quietly fancied this horse, so it is not a great shock to me. His run in the Solario last year was good enough and everything worked out today. It’s just amazing. After I rode my first Classic winner I wasn’t sure where my next one was going to come from, so it’s great to have this.”
Condon was also far from shocked by the outcome. “We kept faith in him and he had excuses at Naas on his comeback,” he said. “He worked the best he’s worked all spring last Tuesday. We knew we were a long-shot coming in here, but I felt he was going to run a big race. He’s always shown talent and he just seems to have come to himself in the last few weeks. I’m in a bit of shock and it will be a few days before it sinks in. It’s just amazing to win a Classic. It’s all I wanted to do when I entered racing. We just train 30 and we are lucky enough to have a few stakes performers among them. There are a lot of guys like me. The country is full of very good horsemen and very good riders and we’re all looking to get our hands on a good horse and show what you can do. Thankfully he walked through our door and he showed us very early on that he was talented.” He is looking at Royal Ascot now. “He’s in the [June 19 G1] St James’s Palace and [June 22 G1] Commonwealth Cup, we’ll see how he comes out of this,” he added. “We’re in the Commonwealth because he’s always shown lots of pace in his work. But there’s no doubt now he’ll stay the mile and we’ll talk to connections.”
Elarqam ended up a very disappointing sixth and trainer Mark Johnston’s son and assistant Charlie had no explanation for the laboured effort. “It was a disappointing run–there are no two ways about it, but I spoke to dad briefly and he says there are no obvious physical issues,” he said. “My gut instinct is either that the ground was too quick or the trip too short or maybe both, but we’ll get him home for the debrief and regroup. He’s not become a bad horse overnight.”
This is not the first time that Holy Roman Emperor has been responsible for a big-priced Classic winneer, with Homecoming Queen (Ire) having taken the 2012 1000 Guineas at the same odds as Romanised. His dam Romantic Venture (Ire) (Indian Ridge {Ire}), who was a winner at the Galway festival for Moyglare Stud Farm and Dermot Weld, was sold for €40,000 to Brendan Corbett at the 2008 Goffs November Mares Sale. She went on to produce the G3 St Leger Italiano winner Rock of Romance (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) and the dual listed-winning Fictional Account (Ire) (Stravinsky), who accounted for Fame and Glory (GB) (Montjeu {Ire}) in the 2011 Listed Irish St Leger Trial here. Romantic Venture is a full-sister to the G3 Brigadier Gerard S. and G3 Arc Trial S. winner Sights On Gold (Ire) and a half to the MG1SW and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Designs On Rome (Ire), who is also by Holy Roman Emperor, as well as the GII American Derby hero Simple Exchange (Ire) (Danehill). The third dam Seasonal Pickup (The Minstrel) won four races in listed company and her descendants include the G2 Feehan S. winner and G1 George Ryder S. runner-up Rekindled Interest (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) and the G1 Irish Derby and G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup hero Grey Swallow (Ire) (Daylami {Ire}). Romantic Venture’s 2-year-old full-sister to Romanised is named Roman Venture (Ire).

Saturday, Curragh, Ireland
TATTERSALLS IRISH 2000 GUINEAS-G1, €400,000, Curragh, 5-26, 3yo, 8fT, 1:38.93, g/f.
1–ROMANISED (IRE), 126, c, 3, by Holy Roman Emperor (Ire)
1st Dam: Romantic Venture (Ire), by Indian Ridge (Ire)
2nd Dam: Summer Trysting, by Alleged
3rd Dam: Seasonal Pickup, by The Minstrel
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN; 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Robert Ng; B-Mrs Monica Aherne (IRE); T-Ken Condon; J-Shane Foley. €233,000. Lifetime Record: GSP-Eng, 6-2-1-0, $298,407. *1/2 to Fictional Account (Ire) (Stravinsky), Hwt. Older Mare-Ire at 14f+, SW-Eng & Ire, $178,094; and Rock of Romance (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}), GSW-Ity, SW & MGSP-Ger, $125,944). Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–U S Navy Flag, 126, c, 3, War Front–Misty For Me (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Misty For Me Syndicate (KY); T-Aidan O’Brien. €80,000.
3–Gustav Klimt (Ire), 126, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Massarra (GB), by Danehill. O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. €40,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 1 1/4, 1. Odds: 25.00, 3.30, 4.50.
Also Ran: Threeandfourpence, Symbolization (Ire), Elarqam (GB), Theobald (Ire), Zihba (Ire), Landshark (GB), Would Be King (Ire), Spanish Point (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Kodiac’s Fairyland Leaves the Boys Behind in the Marble Hill

Sat, 2018-05-26 10:24

A 925,000gns TATOCT purchase, Fairyland had earned TDN Rising Star status on debut at Naas May 7 and fully justified that by leading home an Aidan O’Brien-trained one-two-three to give her stable an 11th renewal. Sent off the 4-1 second favourite with all the focus on her stablemate Van Beethoven (Scat Daddy), she broke smartly for Seamie Heffernan and raced just behind Land Force (Ire) (No Nay Never) before taking over travelling much the best passing two out. Striding clear as the 4-6 favourite Van Beethoven struggled to match her pace, she hit the line with 2 1/4 lengths and a neck to spare over that pair of colts. “We’ve not had many Kodiacs, but the boys loved her at the sales,” her rider said. “We were always aware that the Kodiacs were all speed and might not stay, but the lads have done a great job relaxing her at home and she got has got very relaxed. She has class and is so straightforward, so she could be nice.”

Saturday, Curragh, Ireland
COLD MOVE IRISH EBF MARBLE HILL S.-Listed, €60,000, Curragh, 5-26, 2yo, 6fT, 1:13.20, g/f.
1–FAIRYLAND (IRE), 124, f, 2, by Kodiac (GB)
1st Dam: Queenofthefairies (GB), by Pivotal (GB)
2nd Dam: Land of Dreams (GB), by Cadeaux Genereux (GB)
3rd Dam: Sahara Star (GB), by Green Desert
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. (925,000gns Ylg ’17 TATOCT). O-Evie Stockwell, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Tally-Ho Stud (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien; J-Seamus Heffernan. €35,400. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $55,224. *1/2 to Now Or Never (Ire) (Bushranger {Ire}), GSW & G1SP-Ire, GSW-Aus, $283,187.
2–Van Beethoven, 129, c, 2, Scat Daddy–My Sister Sandy, by Montbrook. O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor. €12,000.
3–Land Force (Ire), 129, c, 2, No Nay Never–Theann (GB), by Rock of Gibraltar (Ire). (€350,000 Ylg ’17 GOFOR). O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith. €6,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, HF. Odds: 4.00, 8.00.
Also Ran: Gee Rex (Ire), Recon Mission (Ire), Evasive Power, Wartime Hero (GB), Chestnut Express (Ire), Scotts Honor (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Dansili’s Just Wonderful a New Rising Star At The Curragh

Sat, 2018-05-26 09:24

The word was out about Just Wonderful (Dansili {GB}), whose dam Wading (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) had been so impressive when winning Newmarket’s G2 Rockfel S. on what proved to be her last start in 2013, but a late drift to 9-2 second favouritism suggested she would need this introduction every bit as much as her stable’s other juveniles. Keen initially after a sharp break, the bay was settled behind the leaders racing among the far-side group as the field split into two. Sent forward with two furlongs remaining, she was notably green out on her own but still managed a neck winning margin over the stand’s side’s best Lethal Promise (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). That sounds far from exciting, but there was over five lengths back to the next filly racing in her group and her trainer was excited afterwards.
“We thought she was a lovely filly and just let her go a bit last week and she worked really well,” commented Aidan O’Brien, who had introduced Clemmie (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in this last year. “You’re never sure when they have never been on the grass and she was just ready to come racing, but Ryan was very happy with her. After that, we have to look at Royal Ascot and the [June 22 G3] Albany is the obvious race. She must be natural in herself to do that if the others are anything to go on. She should improve and when Ryan rode her dam at Newmarket all those years ago he always though she was one of the best he ever rode. We couldn’t be happier.”
Just Wonderful is the third foal out of Wading and the first winner, with a yearling half-brother by War Front to follow. The dam is a daughter of Ballydoyle’s G3 Blue Wind S. runner-up Cherry Hinton (GB) (Green Desert) who was fifth in the G1 Epsom Oaks and also produced the stable’s G1 Irish Oaks and G2 Ribblesdale S. heroine Bracelet (Ire)–who like Wading was by Montjeu–as well as last week’s Listed Newbury Fillies’ Trial runner-up Athena (Ire) (Camelot {GB}). It hardly needs mentioning that Cherry Hinton is a half to the legendary Sea the Stars (Ire) and Galileo (Ire), as well as My Typhoon (Ire) (Giant’s Causeway) and Born To Sea (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Wading was bred to American Pharoah for 2018.

3rd-Curragh, €17,500, Mdn, 5-26, 2yo, f, 6fT, 1:14.57, g/f.
JUST WONDERFUL, f, 2, by Dansili (GB)
1st Dam: Wading (Ire) (GSW-Eng), by Montjeu (Ire)
2nd Dam: Cherry Hinton (GB), by Green Desert
3rd Dam: Urban Sea, by Miswaki
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $12,553. O-Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith & Mrs John Magnier; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (KY); T-Aidan O’Brien; J-Ryan Moore. Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigreeVideo, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Well-related Point of Entry Colt Finishes Fast at Belmont

Fri, 2018-05-25 19:01

9th-Belmont, $75,000, Msw, 5-25, 3yo/up, 1 1/16mT, 1:40.23, fm.
ADMISSION OFFICE (c, 3, Point of Entry–Miss Chapin, by Royal Academy) was off at 13-1 despite a nice pedigree and high-profile connections, as the bulk of play went towards fellow Chad Brown trainee Frontier Market (Lemon Drop Kid), who was looking to break through after missing by a neck last out with a solid 88 Beyer Speed Figure. Sluggishly away and in a far-back last early, Admission Office sat back behind swift early splits and started to come alive around the turn for home. Circling up down the center, he took some time to level off, but found his best stride late to inhale his stablemate by a widening half-length under a confident Jose Ortiz ride. According to Trakus data, the winner covered his final quarter in a swift :23.06. He is a half-brother to Coffee Clique (Medaglia d’Oro), GISW, $1,063,988; Royal Fury (Langfuhr), MGSP, $313,377; and Schoolofhardrocks (Rock Hard Ten), SP, $221,330. His dam produced an Animal Kingdom filly last term and another Point of Entry colt earlier this season. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $45,000. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Amerman Racing LLC; B-Jerry Amerman (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.

Alex Solis, More in Love With Racing Than Ever

Fri, 2018-05-25 15:55

For seventeen years, those who’ve swung by the Richard Mandella stable in Southern California have done so expecting the presence of a Hall of Famer. But right now, Mandella’s barn can boast a two-for-the-price-of-one deal when it comes to one of racing’s most auspicious accolades.

“Anything that needs to be done, I do it,” said Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis, about his latest role as Mandella’s assistant. From exercising the horses, riding work, feeding them, shadowing his boss as he watches the horses train or goes around checking legs, “I’m just trying to understand everything that’s going on in the barn,” Solis added.

The two men were far from strangers when the former jockey knocked on Mandella’s door, resume in hand. During Solis’s riding career, which spanned more than 5000 victories, some of his biggest wins came on Mandella trained horses–think Johar in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Turf, or Pleasantly Perfect in the 2004 Dubai World Cup.

And now, with a handful of months as assistant under his belt already, Solis sat down to talk about what he’s learning from his mentor. He also looked back on his riding career–he retired from the saddle officially last year–and forward towards plans to eventually take out his own training license. The following conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.

TDN: What kind of teacher is Mandella?

AS: He’s a great teacher. Very patient. He always explains, “This is why we’re doing things this way.” Or, “You don’t do things this way because this is the consequence.” How long has he been training–50 years? [Mandella started out as a private trainer in 1974] I’m getting the crash course.

TDN: If you could boil down the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far, what would they be?

AS: I don’t know if I want to share that info–I’m putting in all this work, and people will know my secrets! Seriously, one of the things I’ve really learned from Richard is you never stop paying attention to the horses. He can look a horse in the eye, and he can tell you things–if it’s not eating right. He can see if something’s bothering them. All those little details.

It’s amazing how much he has on his mind at one time. Every little aspect, he sees it. That’s one of the things I’ve come to understand, and why I keep my hand in everything that goes on in the barn. It’s cool–I never paid much attention to this side of things.

TDN: As a jockey, did you not appreciate all that went into getting a horse to the races?

AS: As a jockey, you love the horses and you know the risks. But now, doing this kind of work, you really get to know the horses a lot more, and the people, too. It’s long hours that we all put in together to even make the race. I understand that now. I enjoyed being a horseman, but now, this is more complex. To really understand it, you really have to live it.

TDN: Would it have been useful to have done something similar when you were a jockey?

AS: Yes. In Panama, you have this kind of program [at what is now called the Laffit Pincay Jr. Jockey School at Preisdente Remon Racetrack]. It’s intense–you have it for two years when you go to jockey school. But of course, you don’t carry on with it. I wish I’d known as a jockey what I know now. Galloping horses, being around the barn, doing more stuff, I feel like I’m a way better horseman now.

And the bottom line is, I have more love for the sport than I ever have. It’s the soul of the horse, the soul of the people, as to why it works. If we didn’t have these people making the sacrifices that we do, there wouldn’t be this sport.

TDN: So, you think a similar kind of apprenticeship program would be useful for young jocks coming through?

AS: It should be brought back. If you remember, a long time ago, most of the riders used to learn at a barn or at a farm. They were great horsemen. Why? They knew how to work. Just look at Drayden Van Dyke [2014 winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey]. He learned how to do everything in the barn of Tom Proctor the old-fashioned way.

TDN: Has this experience helped inform your work as a commissioner for the California Horse Racing Board?

AS: I understand that we’re just trying to keep horses safe. Like, some people see a lip-chain over the lip of a horse and they think that you’re hurting them. But actually, you’re trying to stop that horse from hurting himself. Same thing with medication–if you’re doing it right, give them enough time, then you’re helping them.

One of the guys who’s really helped me with this is Jeff Blea [a Santa Anita-based practicing veterinarian]. Jeff’s very patient-I’m always asking questions, and he always answers. When Jeff and Richard talk about what we can do to help this horse, I’m always listening.

TDN: Is it hard to switch from jockey brain to trainer brain?

AS: The hustling–that’s the thing [as a jockey]. The hustle. When you get to the backside, you’re so focused on which horse you want to ask the guy to put you on. But one of the things I’ve learned from [Richard], he doesn’t use jockeys very often [in the morning]. He trusts the people he hires–the people working there have been with him for a long time. He’s got a good eye for them, too. He knows what he wants, and right away, he can see someone galloping his horses, and he’ll say, “Yeah, I can use them in the program or not.”

And it’s easy to get into his program because it’s very simple. You get to know [the horses], do what he asks you to, and then spend time with the horse, walk them around. It makes sense to me because these horses are in a stall all day long.

TDN: When are you looking to take out your own license?

AS: I don’t want to rush anything. I’m having a lot of fun just being around the barn and the people. I’ve a few people telling me, “Just tell me when you’re ready.”

TDN: Potential owners? Am I allowed to ask who?

AS: I can’t say anything right now.

At the same time, it’s a hard job–you’re under so much stress every day because of the hours, seven days a week. And any little thing could happen.

I had a horse a couple weeks ago, we went in the paddock a few days before he was supposed to run. Really quiet. Another horse spooks in the paddock, rears up and runs back into my horse. Now, my horse runs into the rail and needs some stitches. This horse was so ready to race, he’s looking for action and he’s out. All that work.

It’s hard to explain it to people–you have to live it. So many little things. The bottom line is, you need to have a unique kind of person to do this. The trainer doesn’t get a vacation–and you need time away for yourself.

TDN: That was a big component of your riding career, working out how to maintain your mental equilibrium.

AS: I think it’s very important to give yourself a little break–it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. I’ll have to make sure I don’t get caught up.

TDN: How does Mandella cope with it?

AS: That’s what he said to me, “Even when I’m home, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with this horse or that horse. It never ends.” Again, it takes a really unique kind of person to do this kind of work. You have to really love it and understand it.

TDN: How will you manage?

AS: I’m preparing myself for it. You only live once, and you’ve got to do something you really love. When I set out as a jockey, I never thought I would win 5000 races. Now, I have goals I’m putting on myself. I want to train winners. I want to win races. Why not a Kentucky Derby? Why not be the first Hall of Fame jockey to make it into the training Hall of Fame?

Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ve got to do something with your life. I was off for a year doing nothing, drinking beer, going to the beach, fishing. Afterwards, I was pulling my hair out. For 37 years, I was always focusing on accomplishing something. I’ve always had goals. I had to find something that would make my heart beat-something for which I can be recognized.

I’m getting more and more in tune with everything [as a trainer]. I’m grasping a lot of stuff–there’s so much that’s going on all the time. That’s one thing [Mandella] always does, writes things down, keeping it in files. Everything’s very organized in that barn. It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it, recording all the things he did with each horse, so, if you can’t remember, you can go back…

TDN: A file for everything?

AS: Every little thing, there’s a file for it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. That’s the way it should be. If you’re going to take a horse’s life in your hands, you should be that prepared. He’s very serious about that. And he listens to you. He’s a pretty amazing guy–there’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame.

 

Acorn Next for Monomoy Girl

Fri, 2018-05-25 15:50

Streaking GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Monomoy Girl (Tapizar)  will make her next start in the GI Acorn S. on the GI Belmont S. undercard.

“The Acorn is a Grade I, sits right on the calendar five weeks after the Oaks, and we think a mile is probably her best distance,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She’s proven she can carry her speed going a mile at one turn. The one-turn mile at Belmont, we think she’ll take to that.

The $100,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, campaigned in partnership by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables, has won six of seven career starts, including the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 7.

“We have a four-race plan right now: Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks or possibly the Alabama or Cotillion, then on to the Breeders’ Cup,” Cox said. “It would be nice to get four more races out of her this year. We’ve gotten three so far, and everything has gone as planned.”

Audible Will Not Run in Belmont

Fri, 2018-05-25 12:52

Audible (Into Mischief), who most believed was the main threat to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Justify (Scat Daddy) in the GI Belmont S., is no longer being considered for the final leg of the Triple Crown, reports Elliott Walden, the president and CEO of the colt’s co-owner, WinStar Farm.

The story was first reported by the Daily Racing Form’s David Grening.

Audible and Justify are owned by the same partners, and that could have created one of the more unusual and potentially awkward situations in Triple Crown history. The owners of Justify potentially could have cost their horse a Triple Crown sweep by beating him with another horse they own. Now, it’s a moot point.

Walden said the decision not to run Audible was not a matter of ducking Justify. Rather, he said the decision was made by Audible’s trainer, Todd Pletcher. Walden said Pletcher was not pleased with the way the colt was training after his third-place finish in the GI Kentucky Derby. Pletcher had scheduled a work for Audible Friday morning at Belmont but decided to gallop him instead.

“I know people are going to wonder about Audible and all that, but Todd called me yesterday and said he didn’t want to work him this morning,” Walden said. “He wanted to give him a little more time. I told him it was completely up to him. I was for running (Audible). I think we showed that by running Quip (Distorted Humor) in the Preakness. These are good problems to have and we’re blessed to have so many good horse. We just want to do what’s best for each individual horse.

“It was really up to Todd. Todd decided that he didn’t want to run him. He felt like he wasn’t back to where he was before the Derby and wanted to give him a little more time”

WinStar will still enter a competitor to Justify in the Belmont. Walden said ‘TDN Rising Star’ Noble Indy (Take Charge Indy), which it owns in partnership with Mike Repole, worked well Friday and is being pointed for the race. Noble Indy won the GII Louisiana Derby before finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby. While a quality horse, Noble Indy isn’t as accomplished Audible, whose biggest win came in the GI Florida Derby.

“With Noble Indy, Mike and I have been talking about it for a week and decided to see how he was doing,” Walden said. “He worked head and head with Vino Rosso (Curlin) and Javier (Castellano) thought he worked great. We’re going to proceed through next work and if he’s doing as well as he is now he will run.”

Walden said he is fine with tackling Justify with horses owned by WinStar and its partners. They already did just that with Quip in the Preakness. Quip, the winner of the GII Tampa Bay Derby, was sent off at 12-1, but did not fire. He finished last.

“I don’t think anybody is going to beat Justify in the Belmont if Justify runs his race,” he said. “I feel very good about that. He’s doing really well and came out of the Preakness in good shape. The idea behind running Audible or Noble Indy in the Belmont was, if for some reason Justify doesn’t run his ‘A’ race, somebody else has to win and we would feel stupid if we had a contender and didn’t run him in there.”

Walden said there were no firm plans for Audible but speculated he would be pointed for one of the big summer races, the GII Jim Dandy, the GI Travers or the GI Haskell.

Favoured Lah Ti Dar Out Of Oaks

Fri, 2018-05-25 09:37

Favoured Lah Ti Dar (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) has been ruled out of next Friday’s G1 Investec Oaks by trainer John Gosden after returning an unsatisfactory blood picture. The unbeaten ‘TDN Rising Star’ won by six lengths on debut at Newbury on Apr. 20 and took the Listed Pretty Polly S. at Newmarket on May 6 by 3 1/4 lengths.

The news continues a streak of bad luck with the Oaks for owner/breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber; Lah Ti Dar’s full-sister So Mi Dar (GB) last year won the Musidora S. by four lengths but was forced to miss Epsom due to injury, and The Fugue (GB) (Dansili {GB}) started favourite in 2012 but suffered a bad trip and was third. Lah Ti Dar’s dam, Dar Re Mi (GB) (Singspiel {Ire}), did not start in the Oaks but went on to win three Group 1s.

“It was a routine blood sample, but it was not to our satisfaction,” Gosden said. “Therefore she will not be able to work this weekend in preparation for the Oaks, so in view of that she will not be running at Epsom.”

“I’ll have to let that come right and hopefully it will be the [G2] Ribblesdale at [Royal] Ascot now. It’s incredible bad luck for the owners, it being the Oaks again. The mother [Dar Re Mi], her sister [So Mi Dar] and now another one, but that is the way it goes. They are fantastic owner-breeders and fully understand the need to do what is right for the filly.”

Godolphin’s G1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner Wild Illusion (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) now assumes favouritism with most bookmakers, followed by Ballydoyle’s G2 Debutante S. winner Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a full-sister to recent G1 Lockinge S. winner Rhododendron, who was second as the favourite behind Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in last year’s Oaks.

WinStar: Justify’s Breeding Rights Still Undetermined

Thu, 2018-05-24 19:15

The breeding rights for undefeated dual Classic winner Justify (Scat Daddy) are still undetermined, according to a statement from WinStar Farm released in response to an ESPN story published Thursday afternoon. The story stated that Coolmore had purchased the colt’s breeding rights for around $60 million.

The statement from WinStar, who owns Justify in partnership with the China Horse Club, SF Racing, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing, said, “We have had numerous inquiries into the breeding rights of Justify, including from Coolmore. Nothing is finalized at this time and won’t be in the foreseeable future. We are focused on the [GI] Belmont [S.] and his racing career at this time.”

Click here to read the ESPN story.

On A Session Doubles Up For Noble Mission at Angers

Thu, 2018-05-24 10:20

4th-Angers, €24,000, Cond, 5-24, 3yo, 6fT, 1:14.53, sf.
ON A SESSION (c, 2, Noble Mission {GB}–Destiny Calls {MSW-US, $644,220}, by With Approval), the first winner for his freshman sire (by Galileo {Ire}) when successful going five panels at Lyon-Parilly on debut last time May 10, was shuffled back to race at the tail of the field after breaking in the front rank here. Coming under pressure at the top of the straight, the 7-10 pick kept on strongly under mainly whipless rousting in the closing stages to prevail by 3/4 of a length from Jamala (Fr) (Evasive {GB}). Full-brother to a filly foal and half to a yearling filly by Paynter, the bay is one of four winners for six-time stakes scorer Destiny Calls (With Approval), herself a half-sister to the stakes-winning duo You’llbeinmyheart (Broad Brush) and Nowandforevermore (Sky Classic), from a family which features G1SW sire and dual champion juvenile Storm Bird (Northern Dancer). Sales history: $50,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP; £60,000 RNA 2yo ’18 GOFAPR. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, €21,000. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Mme Theresa Marnane; B-Green Lantern Stables (KY); T-Matthieu Palussiere.

Hall of Fame Announces 12 New Pillars of the Turf

Wed, 2018-05-23 17:51

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will induct 12 additional members in 2018 as Pillars of the Turf. The Pillars of the Turf below will join previously announced 2018 selections of horses Heavenly Prize and Preakness and trainer William Lakeland to be inducted at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga on Friday, Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. The museum’s executive committee approved a measure to induct up to 12 additional members as Pillars of the Turf in 2018 and 2019 in order to address the sizable backlog of worthy candidates.

The 2018 Pillars of the Turf are as follows:

Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin (1828 – 1909), owner of champions Emperor of Norfolk and Los Angeles and one of the first major breeders in California. He also opened the original Santa Anita racetrack.

August Belmont I (1813-1890), the extremely prominent New York-based owner, breeder and track operator involved in the opening of Jerome Park and Long Branch Race Track (eventually renamed Monmouth Park). Upon his death, Belmont’s vast Thoroughbred holdings were dispersed for a then record $639,500. His son August Belmont II purchased several of his father’s broodmares to begin his own breeding operation. Belmont II later built the original Belmont racetrack.

Cot Campbell (born 1927), who began syndicating racehorses in 1969 and is considered the founding father of racehorse partnerships. His Dogwood Stable has raced more than 80 stakes winners, including 1990 GI Preakness S. hero Summer Squall and 2013 GI Belmont S. winner Palace Malice. A member of The Jockey Club, Campbell received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2012.

Penny Chenery (1922-2017), who guided her family’s famed Meadow Stud in Virginia and most famously campaigned legendary racehorse and Hall of Famer Secretariat. Chenery remained a prominent fixture in the racing community until her death last September.

John W. Galbreath (1897-1988), former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates who oversaw the construction of the new Aqueduct Racetrack and rebuilding of Belmont Park. A member of The Jockey Club, he was involved in the purchases of both Hialeah Park and Churchill Downs. He founded important Kentucky nursery Darby Dan Farm in 1949.

Arthur B. Hancock, Sr. (1875-1957) founded Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY some 100 years ago and the nursery remains one of the world’s foremost Thoroughbred operations today. A perennial leading breeder, he imported significant breeding stock from Europe, and had a major hand in shaping the breed both domestically and internationally.

Hal Price Headley (1888-1962), a Lexington, KY native who took over the management of his family’s farms, Beaumont and La Belle, after graduating from Princeton in 1908. He would go on to become one of America’s most significant breeders, breeding the champions Alcibiades, Apogee, Menow and Askmenow. He was one of the original organizers of Keeneland Race Course, and was its first president from 1936 to 1951. Headley was involved in establishing the Breeders’ Sales Company, which later became part of Keeneland Association.

John Morrissey (1831-1878), born in Ireland, began Thoroughbred racing in Saratoga. A bare-knuckle boxing champion who later became a Congressman and New York State Senator, he amassed a fortune through gambling houses in New York City and the Saratoga area. He organized the first formal racing meet at Saratoga in 1863, and opened Saratroga Race Course the following year.

Dr. Charles H. Strub (1884-1958) was a Hollister, CA dentist who partnered with filmmaker Hal Roach to develop the Los Angeles Turf Club and Santa Anita Park. Through innovations like the inauguration of the well-funded Santa Anita H.–known as the “Big Cap”–California racing rose to prominence under Strub’s leadership. Strub is credited with introducing finish line cameras, electronic timing and electronic starting gates.

William Collins Whitney (1841-1904), a politician who was introduced to racing by August Belmont II and John E. Madden, purchased his first racehorse in 1898 and had immediate success, winning the Belmont S. in 1899 with Jean Bereaud and the Epsom Derby in 1901 with Volodyovski. He spearheaded the restoration of Saratoga Racecourse, promoted the relocation of New York’s premier yearling sale to Saratoga, and was also involved in the creation of Belmont Park. He bred three champions, and was instrumental in the establishment of Aiken, SC as a popular winter destination for racing stables.

Harry Payne Whitney (1872-1930) followed in his father William Collins Whitney’s footsteps after purchasing much of the bloodstock from the dispersal of his late father’s holdings in 1904. The younger Whitney went on to develop one of the most successful racing and breeding operations in America, breeding 192 stakes winners and an incredible 20 champions. He was leading breeder 11 times and leading owner eight times.

Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney (1899-1992), son of Henry Payne Whitney, carried on the Whitney family legacy in both polo and racing. He won the U.S. Open polo title three times and acquired his father’s breeding and racing stock in 1930, enjoying success with the likes of Equipoise, Top Flight, Phalanx and Counterpoint. He bred 176 stakes winners and five champions, and was one of the founders and first president of the National Museum of Racing. He was presented with an honorary Eclipse Award in 1984.

The Pillars of the Turf committee is comprised of D. G. Van Clief (chairman), Edward L. Bowen, Bob Curran, Jane Goldstein, Ken Grayson, Jay Hovdey, G. Watts Humphrey, Bill Marshall, Daisy Phipps Pulito, Barry Schwartz, Mary Simon, Stella Thayer and Gary West.

 

Mind Your Biscuits Sold, To Stand in Japan

Wed, 2018-05-23 14:48

Three-time Grade I/Group 1-winning sprinter Mind Your Biscuits (Posse) has been sold to Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm in Japan, where he will stand after being retired from racing, trainer Chad Summers confirmed Wednesday. The story was first reported by Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.

The 5-year-old chestnut, voted New York-bred Horse of the Year in 2016, is best known for winning back-to-back renewals of the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen the past two years.

“They approached us last summer at Saratoga and had some representatives come look at the horse and liked him,” Summers said. “Over the wintertime, [bloodstock agent] Eugenio [Colombo] stayed in touch with us. When we won in Dubai again this year, they came and made us an offer, which I turned down. Then they made us another offer, which I took.”

Unraced since his Meydan heroics, Mind Your Biscuits is scheduled to make his return in the GI Metropolitan H. on the GI Belmont S. undercard June 9, a stepping stone on the way to the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November. He finished third in that event last year and second the previous fall. His specific path beyond the Met is undetermined.

“It’s all going to be up to him,” Summers said. “I think he’s going to love Churchill Downs, we’re excited about that, but from the Met Mile to the Breeders’ Cup, how we get there is going to be kind of a wait-and-see approach. We’re all in on the Met Mile and it’ll depend on the outcome of that race where we go in the future.”

Summers also added that plans beyond the Breeders’ Cup aren’t set, but that this will probably be Mind Your Biscuits’s final campaign of racing.

“That decision will be made at the end of the year, but more than likely he’ll go to stand stud over there,” he said. “They’re excited about that, but the decision will be made by Mr. Yoshida and the Shadai team.”

Suffolk Enters Agreement to Lease Great Barrington Fairgrounds

Wed, 2018-05-23 11:48

Suffolk Downs has reached an agreement with Fairgrounds Realty LLC and Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment Project Inc., the entities that own the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in western Massachusetts, for a long-term lease of the previously shuttered racetrack in Great Barrington to commence racing as soon as 2019, the companies announced today.

Under the agreement, the Sterling Suffolk Downs company would refurbish the Fairgrounds property and operate a commercial race meeting at Great Barrington while continuing to operate simulcast wagering at its main property in East Boston, which has seen its race dates cut significantly in recent years as the track moved towards closure.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us to help preserve and refurbish an iconic property in the heart of the Berkshires, to boost economic development in Great Barrington, continue live racing and preserve the hundreds of jobs, associated agribusinesses and working open spaces associated with the Massachusetts racing industry,” said Chip Tuttle, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse’s chief operating officer. “We are confident that we can do this consistent with Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment’s vision for sustainable preservation of the fairground property as a space devoted to community recreation and with a strong connection to its agricultural heritage.”

Great Barrington was the host of the longest continually operating agricultural fair in New England. Horse racing started on the property in 1859 and it was regarded as the centerpiece of the Massachusetts fair circuit. Pari-mutuel wagering began at Great Barrington in September of 1940 and continued through 1983. The track last offered Thoroughbred racing 20 years ago in 1998.

The grandstand, barns and track facilities still stand, though they will require restoration and repair. In addition to improvements to the track surface, grandstand and other facilities, Suffolk officials indicated that they would be looking at expanding the racing surface at Great Barrington from its current bullring configuration.

“In its current condition, we are confident that we could conduct racing as soon as next year, should we need to,” Tuttle said. “There was traditionally strong support for racing here and we hope to attract fans from across New England and New York.”

Suffolk Downs is scheduled to host three weekends of live racing this summer June 9-10, July 7-8 and Aug. 4-5.

The Barrington property is currently owned by Bart and Janet Elsbach, who purchased the property in December 2012 with the goal of preserving the environmental health of the site.

 

Scat Daddy’s Legends of War Earns Rising Star Tag in Yarmouth Debut

Wed, 2018-05-23 10:16

1st-Great Yarmouth, £15,000, Cond, 5-23, 2yo, 6f 3yT, 1:11.36, g/f.
LEGENDS OF WAR, c, 2, by Scat Daddy
1st Dam: Madera Dancer, by Rahy)
2nd Dam: Maxxi Arte (Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire)
3rd Dam: Liyana (Ire), by Shardari (Ire)
   Legends of War (Scat Daddy), who fetched a tidy 900,000gns at Tattersalls’ recent Craven Breeze-Up, was unveiled by John Gosden at a track which hosted the initial victories of Dubai Millennium (GB) (Seeking the Gold) and Ouija Board (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}), and the bay unleashed a display worthy of such luminaries to earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ status in stunning fashion. The newcomer, also a $200,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase last September, was steadied to stalk the leaders in fifth through the initial fractions. Making smooth headway from halfway to challenge hard on the steel at the quarter-mile marker, the 2-1 second favourite seized control entering the final eighth and quickened clear of 7-4 chalk San Donato (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), going through the gears, to easily dispose of that market rival by an impressive four lengths. “Oisin [Murphy] rode him well and had him in behind the pace,” said Gosden. “He went through a narrow gap, but was a little green when hitting the front and the education he received today will bring him on. He’s a lovely 2-year-old and is very relaxed for a breeze-up horse. We’ll see how he is over the next 10 days or so and he’s certainly a horse which could look at a race like the [June 19 G2] Coventry [S. at Royal Ascot].” Legends of War is the second foal, and first scorer, for a daughter of Listed Viejas Casino H. victress Maxxi Arte (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and is kin to yearling filly by Majesticperfection and a filly foal by English Channel. Maxxi Arte’s second dam Lisanna (Ire) (Alleged) produced G3 Prix Minerve heroine Linnga (Ire) (Shardari {Ire}), GI San Juan Capistrano Invitational third Liyoun (Ire) (Shernazar {Ire}) and Lilissa (Ire) (Doyoun {Ire}), who in turn is the dam of MSW Irish highweight and G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup runner-up Livadiya (Ire) (Shernazar {Ire}) and G3 Prix Vanteaux placegetter Liska (Ire) (Bigstone {Ire}). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $13,034.
1ST-TIME STARTER. O-Qatar Racing Ltd; B-DP Racing (KY); T-John Gosden. Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Keeneland’s Inside the Winner’s Circle: Justify Packs Plenty of Punch for Glennwood

Tue, 2018-05-22 16:09

“Inside the Winner’s Circle, Presented by Keeneland” is a series showcasing graduates of the Keeneland September sale that have gone on to achieve success on racing’s biggest stages.

When undefeated GI Kentucky Derby winner Justify (Scat Daddy) and champion Good Magic (Curlin) darted into a dense fog bank enveloping the far turn of Pimlico Race Course racing neck-and-neck at the front of the pack in Saturday’s GI Preakness S., Justify’s breeder John Gunther, just like everyone else, was left wondering what happened. After a few anxious seconds, the two chestnuts emerged from the cloud and, much to Gunther’s relief, it was Justify–the colt bred and raised at his Glennwood Farm–who held the advantage. Just as he has in his four previous starts, the ‘TDN Rising Star’ bounded across the wire in front, keeping his unblemished record in tact while securing the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

The victory was far from stress-free for the connections of Justify, although Gunther said he believed jockey Mike Smith asked the Bob Baffert trainee just enough to preserve the victory by a half-length over a surging Bravazo (Awesome Again).

“Coming out of the fog, I wasn’t sure where we were,” Gunther said with a laugh. “I was highly nervous, but he still got the job done… A lot of people thought [Bravazo] was going to catch him. After watching the replay, Mike Smith basically hand rode him prior to the wire–he knew he wasn’t going to get beat, regardless of that other horse closing in on him.”

While the fog made the outcome of the Preakness all the more suspenseful, Gunther said there was never anything clouding the picture during Justify’s development as a young horse. The son of the GSP Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, by all accounts, was a man among boys by the time he stepped into the sales ring as lot 50 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale, ultimately hammering for $500,000 to China Horse Club and WinStar Farm.

“He just turned out to be one of the best-looking yearlings we ever sold,” Gunther recalled. “He just got better and better after we sold him, and once he matured, he’s just got muscles on muscles, this horse. He is unreal–he’s the heavyweight champ.”

As fate would have it, the heavyweight champ made a rapid ascent to the top of the game by winning each of his five bouts in a remarkably short period of time. A first-out maiden winner by 9 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita Feb. 18, he added an equally facile allowance victory there Mar. 11 prior to capturing the GI Santa Anita Derby by three lengths over MGISW Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro). From there, the hulking chestnut ran into the record books, smashing the “Curse of Apollo” by becoming the first Derby winner without a start as a juvenile before adding the Preakness Saturday.

“It’s so gratifying when something this important happens,” said Gunther, who credits his daughter, Tanya, with much of the operational success at Glennwood. “There’s a lot of work in the mating, the foaling of the mare, raising the foal to the yearling stage and prepping the foal for the sale at Keeneland. For all of this to come together, it requires a lot of work. I have to thank the Glennwood staff, especially my daughter, who plans the matings of these mares.”

Gunther explained that Tanya arranged the matings that produced both Justify and GII Wood Memorial hero and Kentucky Derby ninth-place finisher Vino Rosso (Curlin), as well as many of the other Glennwood Farm-breds who have gone on to achieve at a high level. Among their success stories is

GI Travers S. and GI Cigar Mile H. winner Stay Thirsty (Bernardini), who passed through the Keeneland September sales ring for $160,000 as a yearling in 2009. More recently, the Gunthers have brought the likes of GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Tamarkuz (Speightstown; $325,000 yearling in 2011) and GI Hollywood Derby victor Mo Town (Uncle Mo; $200,000 yearling in 2015) to Keeneland as a gateway to success with their new connections.

“It’s very important,” Gunther said of the buyers’ bench available at the September Sale. “A significant part is who ends up buying the horse. If you’re at the higher end of the game, breeding to higher priced stallions with good mares, they usually end up in the hands of a good owner with a good trainer. And that makes a big difference in terms of the future of the particular horse you’re selling. When they win these graded races, they just add to the value of the families you’re breeding and keeping long term. It all works out in the end.”

Justify will likely be joined in the Belmont starting gate by fellow Glennwood homebred and Keeneland September graduate Vino Rosso. While Justify strode home 2 1/2 lengths clear of Good Magic (Curlin) in the Derby, Vino Rosso found himself in 18th place early and offered a belated, wide close to cross the wire ninth. Gunther said he looks forward to seeing both colts navigate the 12-furlong configuration of the Belmont.

“I’m hoping for a one-two, naturally. Vino Rosso is bred to go a mile-and-a-half and handle the extra distance–it will be very interesting,” Gunther said. “It’s going to be a historic event for me. Myself and my family are going to be flying to New York to attend it. It will be something I’d certainly never want to miss.”

Gunther admitted that the last three months have been a bit of a blur, watching his star yearling swiftly mature to become arguably one of the greatest 3-year-olds in recent memory. The Vancouver resident noted that the possibility of leaving an imprint on the history of the American Triple Crown is something that makes him particularly proud.

“You have to pinch yourself to see if this is really happening,” Gunther said. “He wins the Preakness and all of a sudden you really feel you have a good chance to breed a Triple Crown winner. I don’t think there’s ever been a Canadian breeder who has bred a Triple Crown winner.”

 

Trainer Currie Banned Two Years

Tue, 2018-05-22 15:08

Mark Currie, father of trainer Ben Currie, has been banned from training for two years after being found guilty of 16 charges related to raceday treatments, according to Racing.com. The charges related to activities of the elder Currie at the Toowoomba stables of his son on Mar. 24 and Apr. 7. Three others persons connected to Ben Currie have been banned in recent weeks.

“While it is more than six weeks since the ongoing investigation began into suspicious activity at the Currie Racing stables in Toowoomba, it is expected to be sometime before it is concluded,” Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said.

 

Churchill to Raise Purses 10%

Tue, 2018-05-22 13:17

Churchill Downs will increase its overnight purses by 10% effective Thursday, May 31, the track announced Tuesday. Citing record wagering on races during the week of the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Longines Kentucky Oaks and an overall strong start to the spring meet, Churchill is slated to increase purses over the final 19 days of the 38-day spring meet, which concludes June 30.

Total overnight purses offered for the meet are projected to be $13.1 million, up from the original forecast of $12.4 million. The daily average purse distribution, not including stakes money or Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF), will be $344,337 per day. That number grows to $601,456 when stakes and KTDF money is included.

“Despite historic rainfall on Kentucky Derby Day, fans wagered at record levels on races presented throughout Derby Week at Churchill Downs, and it’s exciting that owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders who compete in our races will benefit from those increased business levels,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

 

NFL Asks for Sports Betting Standards

Tue, 2018-05-22 12:49

Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) called upon Congress to enact regulatory standards for states that pursue legalized sports betting in a statement issued Monday. The statement is the latest cautionary reaction from one of the major sports leagues in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling which struck down a federal law banning wagers on team sports last Monday. The decision has wide-reaching implications for the racing industry, as numerous tracks–led by Monmouth Park in New Jersey, which could be first to market in early June–are eyeing the addition of sports books.

“Our fans, our players and our coaches deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field,” Goodell stated. “This…ruling by the Supreme Court has no effect on that unwavering commitment.”

According to the statement, the NFL is seeking legislation that preserves the integrity of the game in a new landscape where legalized sports wagering is widespread.

Goodell continued, “We are asking Congress to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting that include, at a minimum, four core principles: (1) There must be substantial consumer protections; (2) Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it; (3) Fans will have access to official, reliable league data; and (4) Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home and abroad.”

While Goodell’s statement did not explicitly mention a request for compensation, the NBA and the MLB have previously called for legislation that would allow them to receive 1% of the gross handle on all of a league’s games as an “integrity fee” to help ensure games are conducted honestly.

That suggestion was met with a strong push back from Dennis Drazin, CEO of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth Park on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Drazin suggested the idea of an integrity fee is hypocritical, because it is often errors by league officials that impact the results of games and by association, would affect the outcome of sports bets. Moreover, opponents of integrity fees have asserted that legalized sports betting is inherently more regulated and therefore creates a safer environment for the leagues when compared to the illegal sports betting market.

The arrival of sports wagering in New Jersey is currently under a delay as the state senate finalizes legislation.

World Horse Racing Launched

Tue, 2018-05-22 12:35

World Horse Racing, a media company dedicated to telling the story of international Thoroughbred horse racing, was launched on Tuesday following a partnership between the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Ascot Racecourse, Goodwood Racecourse and the Victoria Racing Club. The company will provide a unique digital fan experience across all major social networks and will be free to access via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. WHR aims to earn the respect of hardcore fans and attract new ones to the world of horse racing, with its focus on racing’s athletes and engaging personalities–human and equine–along with the festivals that stage these spectacles. WHR will also provide a platform of user-generated content that will allow the sport’s stars to connect with its fans.

Ascot’s Chief Commerical Officer Juliet Slot said, “We already know horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world, but we felt there was real potential to tell our brilliant stories to a much wider audience. World Horse Racing gives us the perfect platform to reach a new generation of fans and give a more compelling and engaging story arc compared to standard news coverage.”

Added Breeders’ Cup CMO Bryan Pettigrew, “Breeders’ Cup continues to forge relationships and collaborate with international racing leaders to move the Thoroughbred industry forward. We anticipate a great partnership with Ascot, Flemington and Goodwood in promoting our sport on a global platform.”

“In recent years, the sport has become increasingly global, and so it seems the perfect time for a collection of the world’s most important festivals to launch a new platform that will enrich the existing fans’ experience through some real behind the scenes and previously unseen content, as well as introducing racing to a new audience by focusing on the horses, the people and the sport,” said Goodwood’s MD Adam Waterworth.

Neil Wilson, CEO of The Victoria Racing Club, said, “This is an opportunity to broaden our reach and engage with racing fans globally by highlighting our spectacular race days including the four days of the world-renowned Melbourne Cup Carnival, our events, our equine and human athletes and the people behind it all, to new and existing audiences. World Horse Racing is a must-follow destination for fans seeking original and exclusive stories on and off the track.”

To view a video or find out more about World Horse Racing, go to www.worldhorseracing.com.

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