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Updated: 14 hours 59 min ago

Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for August Announced

Fri, 2020-09-04 12:34

Editor’s Note: As a service to the industry and in consideration of the economic changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Equibase is currently providing monthly reporting of its Economic Indicators Advisories. The Advisory is typically disseminated on a quarterly basis to provide key metrics used to measure racing’s performance throughout the year.

* Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.

August 2020 vs. August 2019

Indicator                                              August 2020         August 2019             % Change

Wagering on U.S. Races*                  $1,154,522,663     $1,177,165,980          -1.92%

U.S. Purses                                        $104,515,752        $128,293,370             -18.53%

U.S. Race Days                                  445                       515                             -13.59%

U.S. Races                                         3,607                    4,026                           -10.41%

U.S. Starts                                         26,964                  28,895                         -6.68%

Average Field Size                            7.48                      7.18                             +4.16%

Average Wagering Per Race Day    $2,594,433         $2,285,759                    +13.50%

Average Purses Per Race Day        $234,867            $249,113                        -5.72%


YTD 2020 vs. YTD 2019

Indicator                                                 YTD 2020                   YTD 2019           % Change

Wagering on U.S. Races*                      $7,308,988,910        $7,792,183,885      -6.20%

U.S. Purses                                             $518,901,054           $775,638,076         -33.10%

U.S. Race Days                                       2,144                        3,103                      -30.91%

U.S. Races                                              17,793                      25,225                    -29.46%

U.S. Starts                                              140,022                    185,746                   -24.62%

Average Field Size                                 7.87                          7.36                         +6.87%

Average Wagering Per Race Day         $3,409,043               $2,511,178               +35.75%

Average Purses Per Race Day             $242,025                  $249,964                  -3.18%

The post Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for August Announced appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Into Mischief Filly Lives Up to Her Name in Churchill Debut

Fri, 2020-09-04 11:53

2nd-Churchill Downs, $99,290, Msw, 9-4, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.79, ft.
SALTY AS CAN BE (f, 2, Into Mischief–Theycallmeladyluck {SP}, by Dixie Union), a half-sister to 2018 GI La Troienne S. winner Salty (Quality Road), GISW, $688,500, was purchased by Team Casse for $850,000 out of last year’s FTSAUG sale from the Baccari Bloodstock consignment, but her worktab yielded few clues and she was no better than 11-1 despite her impeccable pedigree. Settled in about fifth spot early and punching the breeze three wide, Salty As Can Be rolled up to make a line of three at the quarter pole outside of fellow first-timer Amusing Antics (Super Saver) and pacesetting Quick Munny (Munnings). Amusing Antics came in soon after, bothering the front-runner, but Salty As Can Be would not let her out of her sights and grabbed Amusing Antics on the wire. Lady Traveler (Quality Road) sat a mid-pack trip and finished with good energy to be third. A maternal granddaughter of GSW Vegas Prospector (Crafty Prospector), Salty As Can Be has a yearling half-sister by Medaglia d’Oro. Theycallmeladyluck was covered by Quality Road this year. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $55,144. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Gary Barber & Baccari Racing Stable LLC; B-Seclusive Farm LLC, Chester & Anne Prince (KY); T-Mark E Casse.

The post Into Mischief Filly Lives Up to Her Name in Churchill Debut appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Finnick the Fierce Withdrawn from Kentucky Derby

Fri, 2020-09-04 11:02

Arnaldo Monge and trainer Rey Hernandez’s Finnick the Fierce (Dialed In), a 50-1 shot on the morning-line for the GI Kentucky Derby, has been scratched from the 1 1/4-mile classic.

The one-eyed gelding, third in the GI Arkansas Derby, was seventh last out in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland July 11.

“Because he’s blind on the right eye, he carries himself a little funny,” Monge said. “And we always knew that. But ever since he arrived, the vets have been keeping an eye on the horse and I’m telling Rey, ‘Well, they’re concerned about this’ and there might be a legitimate reason, but a regular vet doesn’t seem to think so. So we’re always trying to do the best for the horse so we made the decision [to scratch] because we don’t want to go tomorrow and we’re all excited and then he gets scratched at the post. So we always said this is a horse for the long term. It was an honor to be selected [for the Derby], but at the end of the day the most important thing is the horse. Maybe we are missing something I don’t know, but I think the plan is to do more diagnostics on him and if everything is OK, we’ll run another day. What can we do, that’s life.

Monge continued, “I didn’t notice anything, but it was always the right front. That’s the same side as his eye and it’s always been that way. Rey rides the horse and said, ‘This horse is fine’ and that he didn’t feel anything. I don’t know. I know horse racing is under scrutiny all the time so I understand not trying to risk that publicity.

“We’ll have to see what comes out of this next diagnostic test. Just to be on the up and up, we’ll probably send him to Rood and Riddle and get an independent opinion on the horse. If all is good, [the GI Preakness S.] could be a consideration. Maybe the Breeders’ Cup. Rey wanted to turn him out after the Derby anyway, but it will depend on how this comes out. It’s a bummer but we’ll be back.”

The post Finnick the Fierce Withdrawn from Kentucky Derby appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Girl Daddy Leads Home ‘Rising Star’ Exacta in Pocahontas

Thu, 2020-09-03 18:23

TDN Rising Star‘ Girl Daddy (Uncle Mo) was kept in the clear by jockey Joe Talamo, was given her cue nearing the stretch and sprinted home an impressive winner of Thursday’s GIII Pocahontas S., clinching a spot in the field for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland on the first weekend of November.

Girl Daddy tracked a fast early pace, first from midfield before improving to be third and three deep rounding the turn. Cut loose by Talamo leaving the quarter pole, the $500,000 Keeneland September yearling opened a bit of daylight and was always holding favored fellow ‘Rising Star’ Crazy Beautiful (Liam’s Map) in the run to the wire. The chalk lingered at the back of the pack early and made stealthy progress into the final three furlongs, but was stopped behind horses. Bumping with Xtrema (Exaggerator) cost her a bit more momentum and she finished a meritorious second. Alexandria (Constitution) came home a distant third.

“This filly was super impressive with that fast pace up front,” said trainer Dale Romans, winning the Pocahontas for the fourth time. “They were running really fast but Joe [Talamo] got her in a great spot. She’s shown some incredible talent for this stage of her career. It’s exciting having a filly developing this quickly. We’re thrilled to only have to take a short trip down the road to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup.”

Girl Daddy was favored at 9-5 for her July 24 debut at Ellis Park and missed the break by a couple of lengths. She made good mid-race progress and loomed up full of run before sprinting home to graduate by 5 1/2 lengths in a performance that didn’t set figure-makers’ heads spinning, but was nonetheless highly impressive.

Pedigree Notes:

Girl Daddy continues a remarkable run for her sire, who has now been represented by 65 stakes winners, 37 graded winners and 12 in 2020. She is also the 183rd black-type winner and 96th graded winner produced by a daughter of the late Unbridled’s Song. The same cross is responsible for Uncle Chuck, winner of this year’s GIII Los Alamitos Derby.

Girl Daddy is the second foal from her dam, who did her best running on the grass, winning the Indy Star S. and finishing third in the GII Lake George S. for Three Chimneys Farm and Kellyn Gorder. China Horse Club acquired Cara Marie for $650,000 in foal to Speightstown at Keeneland November in 2016 and sold that produce, a filly now name Sosua, for $260,000 at Keeneland September in 2018. Cara Marie is a half-sister to SW & GSP Abby’s Angel (Touch Gold), the dam of Comicas (Distorted Humor), a GSW & G1SP sprinter in Dubai.

Barren to Gun Runner for 2019, Cara Marie foaled a Quality Road colt this year and was bred back to Uncle Mo.

Thursday, Churchill Downs
POCAHONTAS S.-GIII, $200,000, Churchill Downs, 9-3, 2yo, f, 1m, 1:34.94, ft.
1–GIRL DADDY, 118, f, 2, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Cara Marie (SW & GSP, $103,650), by Unbridled’s Song
2nd Dam: Miss Kilroy, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Miss Caerleona (Fr), by Caerleon
WIN. ($500,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP). O-Albaugh Family Stables LLC;
B-China Horse Club International Limited (KY); T-Dale L.
Romans; J-Joseph Talamo. $119,040. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0,
$141,240. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Werk Nick Rating: A+.
2–Crazy Beautiful, 120, f, 2, Liam’s Map–Indian Burn, by Indian
Charlie. ‘TDN Rising Star’ ($250,000 Ylg ’19 FTKOCT).
O-Phoenix Thoroughbred, LTD; B-Carolyn R Vogel (KY);
T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $38,400.
3–Alexandria, 120, f, 2, Constitution–Spring Water, by Spring At
Last. O-Winstar Farm LLC, Blazing Meadows Farm LLC &
Michael Lewis; B-Blazing Meadows Farm LLC & WinStar Farm,
LLC (OH); T-Timothy E. Hamm. $19,200.
Margins: 2, 3 3/4, 5 3/4. Odds: 3.30, 1.70, 14.30.
Also Ran: Xtrema, Fabricate, Mania, American Grace, Inject, Blissful Change. Scratched: Ava’s Grace, Dream Quist, Scat’s Choice. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post Girl Daddy Leads Home ‘Rising Star’ Exacta in Pocahontas appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

King Guillermo to Miss Kentucky Derby

Thu, 2020-09-03 17:03

King Guillermo (Uncle Mo), winner of this season’s GII Tampa Bay Derby, will miss an intended date in this Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby because of a fever, Victoria’s Ranch principle and former MLB player Victor Martinez confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The GII Tampa Bay Derby hero and runner-up in the faster division of the GI Arkansas Derby, King Guillermo was trying to defy a four-month absence in the ‘Run for the Roses’ Saturday, but he was found to have a fever Wednesday evening. The colt did not go to the track Thursday morning and walked the shedrow instead. Avila told pool reported Greg Hall that he would be conferring with doctors and that further information could be forthcoming Thursday afternoon.

“To race in a race like the Derby we need him at 100%,” Avila said. “We aren’t going to be able to demonstrate how good he is like this. I think we are going to have plenty of time to show his quality. He’s going to be a great horse and everybody knows we have to take care of the horse first. The next step is to try to get him ready for the Preakness and go from there.”
Martinez added, “The sad part is that Juan said yesterday was his best day here. When we left the track in the morning following training and came back in the afternoon for feed time, we discovered he had a fever. It’s just the sad part about this game.”

A field of 17 remains for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The two inside stalls and the widest stall will be left open.


The post King Guillermo to Miss Kentucky Derby appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Pricey Curlin Colt Out of Taris Scores First-Time Out at Churchill

Thu, 2020-09-03 16:51

7th-Churchill Downs, $100,436, Msw, 9-3, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.55, ft.

KING FURY (c, 2, Curlin–Taris {GISW, $1,086,260}, by Flatter), a $950,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling last year, donned cap and gown at first asking Thursday over the Churchill main track. Positioned midpack on the outside and always interested while in a good stalking spot in the strung-out field, the chestnut made a wide move on the turn after sitting behind fractions of :24.58 and :48.76. He came a bit awkwardly into the stretch, but ground down the leaders to shake clear late and score by 2 3/4 lengths. It was a blanket finish for the next five across the line, with 26-1 Ram (American Pharoah) getting the place spot by a nose and 12-1 Palazzi (Pioneerof the Nile) in third. The winner, who went off at nearly 7-1, is the first foal out of Taris, winner of the GI Humana Distaff S. over this surface in 2016 in addition to four other graded stakes. She sold as a racing or broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton’s Kentucky Fall sale in 2014 for $2,350,000. King Fury is her only reported foal. Sales History: $950,000 Ylg ’19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $55,144. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

O-Fern Circle Stables & Three Chimneys Farm, LLC; B-Heider Family Stables, LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek.


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With Anticipation To Remain a Listed Stakes

Thu, 2020-09-03 16:46

The Sept. 2 With Anticipation S., rained off the turf at Saratoga and onto the main track, was immediately downgraded from Grade III status and to listed status per the policy of the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owner and Breeders Association.

Upon review of the race, the AGSC has determined that the original Grade III status of the With Anticipation will not be reinstated for this renewal. The victorious Fire At Will (Declaration of War) is therefore credited with a listed victory, while Blame The Booze (Blame) and Zippy Baby (Cairo Prince) are credited with listed placings.

The post With Anticipation To Remain a Listed Stakes appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

TCA Awards Over $1M in Grants

Thu, 2020-09-03 16:10

Edited Press Release

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) announced today that grants totaling nearly $1,070,000 will be awarded this year.

A record 92 grant applications were received earlier this year during the organization’s annual grant cycle. Ultimately, 70 organizations were approved for a grant including 45 aftercare organizations, 16 backstretch and farm worker programs, five equine-assisted therapy organizations, three Thoroughbred incentive programs and one research organization. Grant recipients from the last three years can be found on

In May, TCA’s Horses First Fund made emergency grants to three backstretch organizations, seven aftercare organizations, and supported two feed assistance programs across the U.S. to aid in the relief efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic. The total expended from the Horses First Fund was $79,900 bringing the organization’s total 2020 grantmaking over the $1 million mark.

“In a year where we’ve seen a greater need than ever before we are so grateful that we are able to increase our impact among our grantees,” said Erin Crady executive director of TCA. “TCA’s investment in our charities helps to make their work with Thoroughbreds, backstretch and farm workers possible.”

TCA’s annual grants are provided to organizations that successfully meet the criteria set forth in an annual grant application.  Grant applications for the 2021 grant cycle will be available in early January.

The post TCA Awards Over $1M in Grants appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

‘A Message To Our Community from Churchill Downs’

Thu, 2020-09-03 15:49

With the running of the Kentucky Derby just over two days away, Churchill Downs has issued “A Message To Our Community From Churchill Downs.” We are publishing the message in its entirety:

The Kentucky Derby has been run every year for the past 145 years. It is a great American tradition that has survived depressions, wars, pandemics and myriad changes in our country, large and small.

The first Derby was run just ten years after the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery in America. Over ninety years later, during the 1967 Derby, protestors took to the streets around Churchill Downs, demanding equality and change.

Today, more than fifty years after that, our fellow Kentuckians and fellow Americans are still asking to be heard; for all of us to understand the ongoing inequality that exists, and finally to adopt meaningful change.
We are not doing enough, quickly enough. That is true in our country, in our city and in our sport.

We know there are some who disagree with our decision to run the Kentucky Derby this year. We respect that point of view but made our decision in the belief that traditions can remind us of what binds us together as Americans, even as we seek to acknowledge and repair the terrible pain that rends us apart.

Our sport shares a disconcerting history that led to the exclusion of Black jockey participation through the years.

The legacy of the Kentucky Derby begins with the incredible success of Black jockeys. We feel it is imperative to acknowledge the painful truths that led to their exclusion. Churchill Downs strongly believes in preserving and sharing the stories of the Black jockeys who are a critical part of this tradition. This is not a new commitment, but we continue to seek ways to share these stories and honor these athletes.

Our goal has always been that the Kentucky Derby and the way it is observed throughout the city should be inclusive of the entire Louisville community. However, we hear the calls to do more and we have challenged ourselves to do so. We hear the voices that tell us we have not successfully created an environment in which everyone feels welcome or included. That is not acceptable and we need to do more to ensure that our best intentions become a reality. We need to do more, now, to ensure that every member of our community is a part of our traditions. Churchill Downs is committed to engaging in the hard conversations in our city, our sport and within our own organization. We are committed to taking real, concrete action to address institutional roadblocks to progress and playing our part in advancing the changes America so desperately needs.

We recognize that people in our community and across our nation are hurting right now. The atmosphere of the Kentucky Derby will be different this year as we respond to those calls for change. This will be a Derby unlike any other. As it should be.


The post ‘A Message To Our Community from Churchill Downs’ appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Old Forester Colt Tops CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale

Thu, 2020-09-03 14:54

A colt by Old Forester, whose Horse of the Year son Pink Lloyd goes for a fourth consecutive victory in the GIII Vigil S. at Woodbine this Saturday, fetched a final bid of C$90,000 (US$68,977) to top Wednesday’s CTHS Canadian Premier Yearling Sale at Woodbine. Pink Lloyd, winner of 25 of his 30 career starts, was a graduate of the 2013 sale.

Consigned to the sale by Bernard McCormack’s Cara Bloodstock, the chestnut–offered as hip 15–was bred in Ontario by Whitford Bloodstock and is the latest foal from the multiple stakes-placed Holidaysatthefarm (Smarty Jones). The 12-year-old mare, already the dam of three winners from as many to race, is a half-sister to dual Grade III winner Rich In Spirit (Repriced), in turn the dam of GSW & GISP Wishing Gate (Indian Charlie) and granddam of SW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Summering (War Front). The winning ticket was signed by John Di Scola.

A pair of offerings tied for second-dearest lot on bids of C$82,000. Hip 119, a Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales-consigned daughter of Lane’s End’s Mr Speaker from the family of Queen’s Plate and Sovereign Award winner Woodcarver (Woodman) was hammered down to Jim Menzies, while hip 136, a Langfuhr full-brother to SP Sweet Crimson and close relative to SW Will She (Wando) and MSP Sweet Grass Creek (Wando) was sold to Derek Chin, also from the Hill ‘n’ Dale draft.

A filly by Noble Mission (GB), who is a half-sister to SW Always Inthe Munny (Munnings), was led out unsold on a bid of C$100,000.

CTHS reported sales on 142 horses from 197 through the ring (27.9% RNA) and turnover of C$2,795,300. The average was C$19,685 with a median price of C$14,000. In 2019, a total of 157 horses were sold for C$3,381,400, an average of C$21,358 and a median of C$13,000. The buyback rate was 35.9%.

Click here for full results.

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McPeek Filly Romps In Off-Turf P.G. Johnson, Becomes First Stakes Winner for Laoban

Thu, 2020-09-03 14:31

P. G. JOHNSON S., $93,000, Saratoga, 9-3, 2yo, f, 7f (off turf), 1:21.85, ft.
1–SIMPLY RAVISHING, 122, f, 2, by Laoban
1st Dam: Four Wishes, by More Than Ready
2nd Dam: Emilyna, by Valid Wager
3rd Dam: Piano Affect, by Fappiano
($50,000 Ylg ’19 FTKOCT). 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Harold
Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek) & Nehoc
Stables; B-Meg Levy (NY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek; J-Luis Saez.
$55,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $94,600. *First SW for
freshman sire (by Uncle Mo).
2–Con Lima, 120, f, 2, Commissioner–Second Street City, by
Consolidator. ($15,000 Wlg ’18 KEENOV; $19,000 RNA Ylg ’19
KEESEP; $22,000 RNA 2yo ’20 OBSMAR). O-Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph F. Graffeo, Eric Nikolaus Del
Toro & Troy Johnson; B-Lisa Kuhlmann (TX); T-Todd A.
Pletcher. $20,000.
3–Union Gables, 120, f, 2, Speightstown–Tonasah, by Malibu
Moon. ($40,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP; $90,000 2yo ’20 OBSAPR).
O-GMP Stables LLC & F Bellavia, LLC; B-Stonestreet
Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $12,000.
Margins: 6HF, 2 1/4, 8 1/4. Odds: 2.65, 1.15, 1.90.
Also Ran: Thursday. Scratched: Invincible Gal (GB), Mischievous Dream, Plum Ali.

Simply Ravishing, a first-out winner on grass, took to the dirt in the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson S. Thursday at Saratoga, powering away in the stretch to become the first stakes winner for her freshman sire (by Uncle Mo). Let go at 14-1 when unveiled over 1 1/16 miles on the local mellon course Aug. 2, the $50,000 Fasig-Tipton October graduate tracked the speed and edged clear to a one-length graduation while earning just a 50 Beyer.

Let go as the third choice in this four-horse group, the bay tracked favored Con Lima (Commissioner)–making her first start for Todd Pletcher after being bought into by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners–from second through a :22.82 quarter. Steadily turning up the pressure on the pacesetter going by a :45.67 half, she took over approaching the stretch and kicked clear entering the final three-sixteenths. Pletcher’s other runner, Union Gables (Speightstown) briefly looked like she would produce a rally, but flattened soon after and Simply Ravishing finishing full of run to score by six lengths in a sharp 1:21.85 for seven furlongs. Con Lima salvaged the place. The winner’s dam was bred to Speightster this season.

“We’ve been very happy with this horse and felt she could run on any surface,” said winning co-owner Harold Lerner. “What I saw today was very impressive. You just love to see them draw off and win in the right way. Hopefully, she’ll have a big future in front of her. She’s a New York-bred and twice a winner against open company. Now, we know she can [run on] turf and dirt. She’s gone two turns and she’s gone seven furlongs, so I think we have a really nice filly on our hands and we’re extremely happy with her. Ken [McPeek] and I talked about it and we’re going to send her down to Kentucky to take a look at the [GI Darley] Alcibiades at Keeneland [Oct. 2]. We’re hopeful she’d be up for the next step. She’s nominated now to the Breeders’ Cup, and after what I saw today, I think we’re going to roll the dice and just keep going with her.” Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

The post McPeek Filly Romps In Off-Turf P.G. Johnson, Becomes First Stakes Winner for Laoban appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

King Guillermo Derby Status Up in Air

Thu, 2020-09-03 10:34

King Guillermo (Uncle Mo), who would be making his first start in over four months in Saturday’s GI Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, did not go to the track Thursday morning, as reported by Greg Hall, an assigned pool reporter for the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

While refusing to reveal any specifics, trainer Juan Carlos Avila told Hall: “We have a little problem. We have to wait until afternoon.”

Avila told Hall there would be a meeting to speak with vets and that there “may be additional information” later today.

“It’s a big race and a little problem is a big problem for me,” the Venezuelan told Hall.

The GII Tampa Bay Derby winner, King Guillermo was last seen fighting his way to a runner-up effort in the GI Arkansas Derby May 2.

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Jockey Club Elects Five New Members

Thu, 2020-09-03 10:00

The Jockey Club today has elected five new members: Gatewood Bell, Fred W. Hertrich III, James McIngvale, Dr. Mary Scollay, and John Sikura.

As a bloodstock agent, Gatewood Bell, president of Cromwell Bloodstock Agency, selected horses including Mastery and Undrafted. In addition to his work in bloodstock, Bell is a memberof the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and a United States representative for Goffs sales agency. He previously worked for Kiaran McLaughlin and Nicoma Bloodstock and served as a jockey’s agent for Fernando Jara.

Fred W. Hertrich III is chairman of the Breeders’ Cup and proprietor of Watercress Farm. Horses co-bred by Hertrich include Boys at Toscanova, Catholic Boy, Diversify, Rushing Fall, Shamardal and Street Boss. Hertrich is also the president of the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships.

Longtime Thoroughbred owner James “Jim” McIngvale is best known as the owner of Eclipse Award champion sprinter Runhappy. He has also campaigned graded winners During and Wimbledon. The owner and operator of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, McIngvale is also known for his philanthropy efforts for a variety of causes in the Houston area and around the world.

Dr. Mary Scollay is the executive director and chief operating officer of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Previously, she was the equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the senior association veterinarian for Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park. She has served as a member of the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety, a veterinary consultant for The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database, and a board member of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.

Toronto, Canada, native John G Sikura is the president and owner of Hill ‘n’ Dale/Xalapa, a 1,400-acre estate founded by Edward Simms in 1903. A consignor and breeder, Hill ‘n’ Dale bred/co-bred GI Belmont S. winner Touch Gold and GI Preakness winner Cloud Computing in addition to having owned Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, dam of Belmont S. heroine Rags to Riches. Hill ‘n’ Dale stands a notable roster of stallions, including champion and leading sire Curlin.

The post Jockey Club Elects Five New Members appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Mike Smith Talks Honor A. P., Derby Memories On TDN Writers’ Room

Wed, 2020-09-02 18:18

As a Hall of Fame jockey and two-time winning rider of the GI Kentucky Derby, Mike Smith knows his way around Churchill Downs. After having his morning-line favored mount Omaha Beach (War Front) scratched the week of the race last year, Smith is back aboard a major contender in Saturday’s Run for the Roses. Wednesday, the 55-year-old rider who’s still at the top of his game joined the TDN Writers’ Room presented by Keeneland. Calling in via Zoom from Louisville as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Smith talked about his mount Honor A. P. (Honor Code), his past Derby wins, Holy Bull, Arrogate, whether he thinks about retirement and more.

Honor A. P. punched his ticket for the Derby with a win in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, but was second at 1-5 last out in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar Smith said he thinks the colt’s improved training and distance capabilities give him confidence in a peak effort Saturday.

“The Santa Anita Derby was a mile and an eighth, Shared Belief was a mile and a sixteenth, so he shortened back up,” Smith said. “And he didn’t get a whole lot of serious training in between the two races. They certainly wanted him to be peaking at this time and not then. I think his best work going into that race was 1:02 something, so he kind of ran a bit sluggishly and finally came running at the end. And actually still ran really well. He ran a 102 Beyer. But since then, we’ve really stepped up his training and put some sharp works into him. Then after his two really sharp works, we did a maintenance work and he did it so nice. He went seven-eighths in 1:27 and galloped out in 40, which was really good. He did that all on his own. So he’s coming into the Derby training extremely well, really fine-tuned and fit to run his best effort.”

Smith has chosen to stay aboard the John Shirreffs trainee instead of taking the return call on Authentic (Into Mischief), who he rode to victory for Bob Baffert in the GI Haskell Invitational.

“They’re tied with each other. The first time they ran against each other [in the GII San Felipe S.], Authentic beat Honor A. P.,” he said. “We’d come off a foot injury, had missed some time, so I knew he wasn’t 100% going into that race. In the Santa Anita Derby, I knew he was. And I thought that the distance would really suit him well. I just truly think that when we’re going to go a mile and an eighth and further, that’s when you see Honor A. P. really start to shine, really start to stand out. And that’s just what made my mind up. I can’t wait to see what he does going a mile and a quarter.”

Smith reminisced on his previous two Derby wins, first aboard 50-1 shot Giacomo (Holy Bull) and second on undefeated favorite Justify (Scat Daddy).

“We were running out west [with Giacomo] where the tracks were really fast at the time,” Smith remembered. “They weren’t suiting him, but he would run second or third and really gallop out strong, so I knew that once we got off the West Coast racetracks, he was going to excel. He was going to run better. Was it going to be good enough for him to win the Derby? I wasn’t really sure, but I was talking myself into it. I’d ridden his father in the Derby. He was a big favorite and ran probably his worst race, so I wanted to redeem his father’s name. I was using that to keep me pumped up and keep me excited. Then the more I looked at the race, I saw that this pace is going to be really hot. This could really set up for me. And that’s exactly what happened.”

“When I was with Justify, it was a whole different story,” he said. “We had all the hype, he was the horse to beat. We actually believed that he had the kind of talent to be a Triple Crown winner. He was that kind of horse. So there was a whole lot more pressure with him.”

Asked about the secret to his longevity and whether or not he thinks about retiring, Smith said, “At times I think about it, but then I think, ‘Well, where else am I going to have this kind of fun?’ I’m having a blast right now, getting the opportunity to ride in these big races. And if I did anything right early on in my career, I really took up physical fitness instead of going out and playing golf and not doing a whole lot. Every morning, I just made it a way of life. I train every morning. If I’m not training myself, I have two different personal trainers that train me at least five times a week. I go at it pretty, pretty hard. I’ve been doing it for a long time and it’s starting to pay off in my later years. I’m still as fit as I was 10 years ago. So for some reason I’m hanging in there. And as long as I can continue to do that, I plan to ride another few years.”

Elsewhere on the show, the crew broke down the Derby and Oaks fields from all angles and, in the West Point Thoroughbreds news segment, reacted to the creation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act and its corresponding alliance. Then, host Joe Bianca addressed the comments made by Barclay Tagg Tuesday about the racial unrest in Louisville. Click here to watch the podcast, click here for the audio-only version.

The post Mike Smith Talks Honor A. P., Derby Memories On TDN Writers’ Room appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

The TDN Derby Rankings for September 2

Wed, 2020-09-02 17:54

Here are the final TDN GI Kentucky Derby rankings after an entertaining, intriguing, and unusually long buildup to the first Saturday in September. The field is listed in “likeliest winner” order.

The Top 10…

1) TIZ THE LAW (c, ConstitutionTizfiz, by Tiznow)
O-Sackatoga Stable. B-Twin Creeks Farm (NY). T-Barclay Tagg. Sales History: $110,000 yrl ’18 FTNAUG. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 7-6-0-1, $2,015,300.
Last Start: 1st GI Runhappy Travers S., SAR, Aug. 8
Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Belmont S., BEL, June 20, 1st GI Curlin Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 28, 1st GI Champagne S., 1st GIII Holy Bull S., GP, Feb. 1, 3rd GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., CD, Nov. 30. Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 372.

Tiz the Law is a Kentucky Derby standout no matter how you parse his credentials. He’s 6-for-7 lifetime and undefeated in four starts at age three. He’s thrice run Beyer Speed Figures at or above the elite-level 100 mark. He’s already won at the Derby distance of 10 furlongs and that victory was a resounding trouncing of the GI Runhappy Travers S. field at Saratoga. Most importantly, his progression into a mature, confident, aggressor who carries himself with swagger is evident in the visually impressive nature of his races. This $110,000 SARAUG Constitution colt makes his own breaks and controls the tempo of his races from an imposing stalking position, and he’s never been in a serious stretch fight beyond the eighth pole while pasting the competition by open lengths (never fewer than three). Detractors will point to the fact that his only career loss came over the Churchill Downs surface, but that argument is a reach. Tiz created his own trouble in that third-place try in a sea of slop last November in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S., and he’s long since advanced in his development into a colt who relishes throttling his competition. Post 17 shouldn’t be a problem. Tiz is an alert breaker who knows how to seize prime early positioning and he’ll have a long run through the home straight to settle just behind the anticipated speed. The only reason not to bet on him will be the prohibitive price. Tiz the Law has had an amazingly long run of luck, maintaining his form for well over a year for an old-school trainer and ownership group that underscores fun and doing right by their horses, so he’s an easy favorite to root for.

2) HONOR A.P. (r, Honor CodeHollywood Story, by Wild Rush)
O-C R K Stable LLC. B-George Krikorian (KY). T-John Shirreffs. Sales History: $850,000 yrl ’18 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-2-3-0, $382,200.
Last Start: 2nd Shared Belief S., DMR, Aug. 1
Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby June 6, 2nd GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 7
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 140.

This $850,000 FTSAUG Honor Code ridgling figures to be a far better contender in the Derby than he appeared in his not-fully-cranked second at 1-5 odds when shortening up to 1 1/16 miles in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar. He has a long stride, a keen mind and an unruffled demeanor, and the projected (more up-tempo) pace dynamic of the Derby figures to suit both his pedigree and target-oriented running style. For a launching-off point for what Honor A.P. might be capable of on Saturday, reference his 102-Beyer GI Santa Anita Derby score on June 6, in which he methodically wore down the pacemakers and fluidly covered ground like he wanted more of it. Honor A.P. does take a while to torque up to his main attacking gear, but he’s also been described by trainer John Shirreffs as being light on his feet, which is an attribute that is usually a necessity in any 18-horse scrum.

3) KING GUILLERMO (c, Uncle MoSlow Sand, by Dixieland Band)
O-Victoria’s Ranch. B-Carhue Investments, Grouseridge Ltd. & Marengo Investments (KY). T-Juan Avila. Sales History: $90,000 RNA yrl ’18 KEESEP; $150,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 5-2-1-1, $340,350.
Last Start: 2nd GI Arkansas Derby, OP, May 2
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, 3rd Pulpit S., GP, Nov. 30
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 90.

King Guillermo’s 127-day layoff quest to win the Derby doesn’t strike me as outlandish as it might seem to some traditionalists. This colt was intentionally kept out of hard training in the early part of summer after running back-to-back impressive races when winning the GII Tampa Bay Derby and grinding out a gutsy second in the faster division of the split GI Arkansas Derby. Having plenty of down time was always the prescribed plan for this Uncle Mo bay ($90,000 RNA KEESEP, $150,000 OBSAPR), who runs best when fresh. The filly Regret won the 1915 Derby off a 259-day break, and Sir Barton won the 1919 Derby off a 238-day rest. Since 1929, the longest winning layoff has been 42 days, equaled by Needles in 1956 and Animal Kingdom in 2011. What is a little concerning is that trainer Juan Carlos Avila has been nursing a tepid 1-for-25 record over the past two months. And jockey Samy Camacho is booked on no other Derby day mounts at Churchill, which means that the rookie Derby rider will be sitting in the jocks’ room for hours before his big-race debut without the benefit of being able to ride over the track and (more importantly) focus on another race as a distraction from the pressure. Still, having said all of that, King Guillermo’s 20-1 morning line represents considerable value if you can actually snag that price.

4) THOUSAND WORDS (c, Pioneerof the NilePomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy) O-Albaugh Family Stables & Spendthrift Farm. B-Hardacre Farm (FL). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $1,000,000 yrl ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 7-4-1-0, $327,000.
Last Start: 1st Shared Belief S., DMR, Aug. 1
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Los Alamitos Futurity, LRC, Dec. 7, 1st GIII Robert B. Lewis S., SA, Feb. 1
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 83.

In a Derby prep season extended to 10 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thousand Words is the epitome of a comebacking contender. He was the No.1 Derby prospect on this list from December through early March, then slid off the grid for three starts between March and July (in two of those races he just looked uninterested, and in the sloppy Oaklawn S. he clearly didn’t like taking wet kickback). But this million-dollar KEESEP colt’s 104-Beyer tally in the Shared Belief S. over Honor A.P. stamped him as a resurgent player for a trainer known to produce Derby winners (even when they’re not favorites). Thousand Words doesn’t resonate as a “Wow!” horse, but one talent that is decidedly in his favor is his oft-demonstrated ability to fight through tenacious early pace battles while still being able to repulse serious stretch challenges. Not too many horses in this year’s Derby field have demonstrated that skill, and it will suit this Pioneerof the Nile colt well if he can handle the stretch to 10 furlongs.

5) ENFORCEABLE (c, TapitJustwhistledixie, by Dixie Union)
O-John Oxley. B-Clearsky Farm (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $775,000 RNA yrl ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP,
10-2-2-2, $367,150.
Last Start: 4th GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, July 11
Accomplishments Include: 1st GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 18; 3rd GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, KEE, Oct. 5, 2nd GII Risen Star S. Div. 1, FG, Feb. 15
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 43.

Enforceable is the long-shot play of the Derby, and a must inclusion for all exotics. Admittedly, it’s tough to make a case for him based on results on paper alone. This $775,000 KEESEP RNA was fifth in the GII Louisiana Derby, then ran fourth in the July 11 GII Toyota Blue Grass S., his lone summer prep for Louisville. But he was wide on both turns in the Blue Grass behind dominant one-two finishers who both came back to win stakes in impressive fashion, and this Mark Casse trainee has now had six weeks of conditioning over the Churchill surface. Knowing that he’s coming in fresh with run-all-day bloodlines (by Tapit out of a Dixie Union mare), dismiss Enforceable at your own peril. He is going to fly under the radar betting wise, and he is highly likely to be flying by some of the more stamina-challenged pacemakers late in the lane on Saturday.

6) AUTHENTIC (c, Into Mischief–Flawless, by Mr. Greeley)
O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Fred Hertrich III, John D. Fielding & Golconda Stables. B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds LLC (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $350,000 yrl ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-4-1-0, $1,011,200.
Last Start: 1st GI Haskell Invitational S., MTH, July 18.
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII San Felipe S., SA, Mar. 7; 1st GIII Sham S., SA, Jan. 4, 2nd GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, SA, June 5
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 200.

Considering that more preps were added to the calendar to qualify for the Derby, it’s a bit odd that only three entrants in this 18-horse field–Tiz the Law, Thousand Words and Authentic–are sporting victories in their last races. This $350,000 KEESEP Into Mischief bay has high-level pace-pressing ability, and his outermost gate draw makes it a near-cinch that he’ll be sent for speed to attain prominent positioning. But it’s not guaranteed that Authentic is going to abide by the strategic wishes of new jockey John Velazquez and trainer Bob Baffert. He’s had adverse issues leaving the starting stalls in three of his five races and his stretch antics by now are well-documented, underscored by his caving-then-saving final eighth in the GI Haskell S. in which Authentic nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by losing focus. Ability beyond nine furlongs remains an open question (because having multiple Grade II-winning sprinter Mr. Greeley as his dam-sire does give Authentic’s pedigree a short-distance slant). But it’s also not difficult to envision a scenario in which the Churchill strip comes up speed-favoring and Authentic gets bold on a loose lead.

7) SOLE VOLANTE (g, Karakontie {Jpn}Light Blow, by Kingmambo)
O-Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone & Limelight Stables Corp. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Patrick Biancone. Sales History: $6,000 yrl ’18 KEESEP; $20,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 7-4-1-1, $323,310.
Last Start: 6th GI Belmont S., BEL, June 20
Accomplishments Include: 1st GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 8, 1st Pulpit S., GP, Nov. 30, 2nd GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, TAM, Mar. 7.
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 30.

Sole Volante has more upside than people might perceive coming into the Derby. This $6,000 KEESEP and $20,000 OBSAPR Karakontie pinhook will be firing fresh (78-day respite) after reportedly not liking the track in the Belmont S., and trainer Patrick Biancone backed this gelding off from deep-summer preps to instead leg up with a series of turf works at Palm Meadows in Florida. Sole Volante has already run four 92-plus Beyers on dirt, and it’s crucial to point out that he earned those numbers over two tracks–Gulfstream and Tampa–that are historically not conducive to off-the-tailgate running styles like his. This is a light-bodied stayer who could be in the hunt well into the final furlong of the Derby. Sole Volante’s dam only won once, but it was over 14 furlongs in England.

8) NECKER ISLAND (c, Hard SpunJenny’s Rocket, by Mr. Greeley) O-Raymond Daniels, Wayne Scherr & Will Harbut Racing LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Chris Hartman. Sales history: $250,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSP, 10-2-0-3, $199,730.
Last Start: 3rd Runhappy Ellis Park Derby, ELP, Aug. 1.
Accomplishments include: 3rd GIII Indiana Derby, IND, July 8.
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 14.

Necker Island, a $100,000 claim three starts back, owns Churchill wins over both a fast and a sloppy surface, but those two victories were last autumn at the start of his career when one-turn miles and seven-furlong sprints seemed to be his sweet spot. Although this Hard Spun colt hasn’t been able to break past the 86-87 Beyer plateau his last four starts, he was facing some talented winners in Art Collector (Bernardini) and Maxfield (Street Sense). Necker Island’s third in the GIII Indiana Derby is actually quite a bit more impressive than it appears on paper: he stumbled at the break, got hooked wide on both turns, then got first run at the pacemaker before hanging in admirably behind a winner who shaved 0.17 seconds off the nine-furlong track record.

9) NY TRAFFIC (c, Cross Traffic–Mamie Reilly, by Graeme Hall)
O-John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing & Paul Braverman. B-Brian Culnan (NY). T-Saffie Joseph, Jr. Sales History: $27,000 RNA 2yo ’19 EASMAY. Lifetime Record: GISP, 9-2-3-2, $565,470.
Last Start: 2nd GI Haskell Invitational S., MTH, July 18
Accomplishments Include: 2nd GII Louisiana Derby, FG, Mar. 21, 2nd GIII Matt Winn S., CD, May 23, 3rd GII Risen Star S. Div. 2, FG, Feb. 15
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 110.

In four graded stakes preps this season, the 2-for-9 Ny Traffic has run three seconds and a third, and he hasn’t been beaten by more than 1 1/2 lengths in any of those efforts. But this $27,000 EASMAY Cross Traffic gray hasn’t won a stakes yet, and his only two lifetime wins were a Parx MSW and a Gulfstream allowance/optional claimer. Yet he has a hard-trying, overachieving way of going, and he was barely nosed out of a  Haskell S. upset by 3-5 fave Authentic. This colt has experience at nine furlongs (twice) and 1 3/16 miles, and generally outruns his odds. Is he the “sleeper” New York-bred in the Derby with fellow Empire Stater Tiz the Law drawing all the attention and betting action?

10) MAX PLAYER (c, Honor CodeFools in Love, by Not For Love)
O-George E. Hall & SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp. B-K&G Stables (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Sales History: $150,000 RNA yrl ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW & MGISP, 5-2-1-2, $373,500.
Last Start: 3rd GI Runhappy Travers S., SAR, Aug. 8
Accomplishments Include: 1st GIII Withers S., AQU, Feb. 1, 3rd GI Belmont S., BEL, June 20
Equineline PPs. KY Derby Points: 60.

This first-crop Honor Code colt ($150,000 KEESEP RNA) was a commendable third in both the Belmont S. and the Travers S., but he wasn’t in the same league as dominant winner Tiz the Law in either contest. We still haven’t seen a big breakout race from this slow-but-steady learner, and his connections have gambled on a trainer change for the Derby. Steve Asmussen took over from Linda Rice after the Travers, and while that’s probably too short a time window for a new conditioning regimen to produce immediate results, Max might awaken under the aggressive handling of new jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., who rides quite a bit more assertively than the strong-finishing, but more patient Joel Rosario.

The Rest of the Field…

11) SOUTH BEND (c, AlgorithmsSandra’s Rose, by Old Trieste) O-Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch & Pantofel Stable LLC; B-Highclere Inc (KY); T-Bill Mott. Sales History: $47,000 RNA Ylg ’18 FTKJUL; $70,000 2yo ’19 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: SW & MGSP, 12-3-2-2, $390,114.
Last Start: 4th GI Runhappy Travers S., SAR, Aug. 8
Equineline PPs.

Trainer Bill Mott saddled 65-1 Country House (Lookin At Luck) in the Derby last year and ended up getting moved up from second to win via DQ. This year his trainee South Bend figures to be in the same stratospheric odds range. This $70,000 OBSMAR Algorithms bay (RNA’d for $47,000 at FKTJUL) began his career a perfect three-for-three but hasn’t won since. At 12 starts, he’s the most experienced starter in this year’s edition. He rated from last to get fourth in the Travers S. (first start under Mott’s care), so he already has 10-furlong experience. And at age two, he ran a crackerjack race over the Churchill surface, winning the one-turn-mile Street Sense S. while only a hundredth of a second off the stakes record. Not an overt win threat, but definitely fodder for exotics.

12) MR. BIG NEWS (c, Giant’s CausewayUnappeased {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}) O-Allied Racing Stable LLC; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Bret Calhoun. Sales History: $95,000 Ylg ’18 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: SW, 7-2-1-0, $168,553
Last Start: 6th GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, July 11
Equineline PPs.

With a distance-centric pedigree (by Giant’s Causeway out of a Galileo mare), you can see why 10 furlongs could very well be within the wheelhouse for Mr. Big News. The exclamation point in his past performance block is the 46-1 half-length splashdown win he earned when relishing a sealed/sloppy Hot Springs track in the Apr. 11 Oaklawn S. But Mr. Big News was drifting out in that victory, and only one of the dozen horses he bested that day (Thousand Words) has proven to be of Kentucky Derby caliber. Although his career-top Beyer of 88 will not be good enough to win the Derby, it’s worth noting that this colt has never regressed in terms of speed numbers, earning Beyers that have moved upward for each of his seven lifetime tries.

13) MONEY MOVES (c, Candy Ride {Arg}Citizen Advocate, by Proud Citizen) O-Robert V LaPenta & Bortolazzo Stable; B-Whitehall Lane Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $975,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $67,400.
Last Start: 2nd Allowance, SAR, July 25
Equineline PPs.

This $975,000 OBSAPR Candy Ride (Arg) colt is light on experience (just three races), but high on potential based on a pair of one-turn Gulfstream wins to kick off his career and an eye-catching 98-Beyer second at Saratoga over nine furlongs. He’s run well as a pace-pressing threat and has overcome two stutter-step starts leaving the gate, but being in the hunt over 10 furlongs in just his second start back since March is still a major ask at this point in his career. But history could be on his side: dam-sire Proud Citizen was also a late consideration for the 2002 Derby, yet he ran a better-than-expected second at 23-1 odds.

14) ATTACHMENT RATE (c, Hard SpunAristra, by Afleet Alex) O-Jim Bakke & Gerald Isbister; B-Mr & Mrs C Oliver Iselin (VA); T-Dale Romans. Sales History: $100,000 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSP, 8-1-3-1, $143,732.
Last Start: 2nd Runhappy Ellis Park Derby, ELP, Aug. 9
Equineline PPs.

As a May 18 foal, Attachment Rate has no doubt benefitted from the September rescheduling of the Derby. But with only a maiden win to his credit, this Virginia-bred Hard Spun colt ($100,000 KEENOV; $200,000 KEESEP) is facing a tall task coming off a best-of-the-rest second behind Art Collector in the Ellis Park Derby. Prior to that, he had trip trouble in three consecutive stakes yet managed to improve his Beyers in each of those efforts.

15) FINNICK THE FIERCE (g, Dialed InSouthern Classic, by Southern Image) O-Arnaldo Monge & Rey Hernandez; B-Paige Jillian Blue Sky Stables (KY); T-Rey Hernandez. Lifetime Record: GISP, 9-2-1-2, $191,290. Last Start: 7th GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, July 11 Equineline PPs

Finnick the Fierce hasn’t dodged any heavy hitters in his preps, and he’s run some respectable races at long odds while picking up a handful checks for minor awards. Most notably, he is one of only two horses to ever finish in front of Tiz the Law, running an 87-1 second in the Kentucky Jockey Club S. over a waterlogged Churchill surface. But Finnick’s only true win was a five-furlong sprint at age two at Indiana Downs in a four-horse field (he also got moved up via DQ at Oaklawn going 1 1/16 miles). Although co-owner and trainer Rey Hernandez noted this Dialed In gelding has thrice run well from post one, the rail draw is traditionally a disadvantage in the crowded Derby, and it’s even more complicated for Finnick because he lost his right eye as a baby (congenital cataract) and won’t be able to see the wall of horses to his immediate outside.

16) STORM THE COURT (c, Court Vision–My Tejana Storm, by Tejano Run) O-Exline-Border Racing LLC & David A Bernsen LLC; B-Stepping Stone Farm (KY); T-Peter Eurton. Sales History: $5,000 Ylg ’18 FTKFEB; $60,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo, GISW, 9-2-1-3, $1,310,451.
Last Start: 2nd GIII La Jolla H., DMR, Aug. 9.
Equineline PPs.

Storm the Court enters the Derby winless in 10 months, with his last score being the  45-1 shocker in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that he has been unable to replicate. Although this $60,000 OBSAPR bay (bought for $5,000 as a FTKFEB yearling) doesn’t have a “traditional” Derby-horse pedigree, hints of it are there. Sire Court Vision, although known as a MGISW turfer who capped his career with a win in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile, did start his career on dirt with wins in the GIII Iroquois S. and GII Remsen S. at age two, and he started in both the Kentucky Derby and GI Travers S. at three. Dam-sire Tejano Run was a rugged (8-4-6 from 21 starts) MGSW/MGISP galloper who ran second in the 1995 Derby.

17) MAJOR FED (c, GhostzapperBobby’s Babe, by Smart Strike) O-Lloyd Madison Farms IV LLC; B-Lloyd Madison IV (KY); T-Greg Foley. Lifetime Record: MGSP, 6-1-2-1, $215,600.
Last Start: 2nd GIII Indiana Derby, IND, July 8
Equineline PPs.

Major Fed is one of three Derby entrants who have yet to win beyond the maiden ranks. This Ghostzapper homebred out of a Smart Strike mare has earned two seconds in Grade II and Grade III stakes, and his best efforts have come from mid-pack stalking trips. He has a habit of getting parked out wide on the turns, so trying to tuck in to save ground from post five might be his best shot.

18) WINNING IMPRESSION (g, PaynterUnbridled Sonya, by Unbridled’s Song) O-West Point Thoroughbreds & Pearl Racing; B-WinStar Farm LLC (KY); T-Dallas Stewart. Sales History: $17,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $77,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: 9-1-1-2, $98,552.
Last Start: 7th Runhappy Ellis Park Derby, ELP, Aug. 9
Equineline PPs.

Winning Impression has the makings of a mudlark. Unfortunately for him, the advance forecast for Derby day is clear and sunny. He’s crossed the finish wire first both times he’s raced over the slop (losing one via DQ) but has been beaten double-digit lengths in a pair of seventh-place efforts in two summer stakes preps since then. His sire, Paynter, was second in the 2012 GI Belmont S. over 1 1/2 miles, so there is a glimmer of hope that 10 furlongs in the Derby could be a move-up for him.

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Declaration of War Colt Graduates in Rained-Off With Anticipation

Wed, 2020-09-02 17:20

Three Diamonds Farm’s Fire At Will (Declaration of War) came from off the pace to win his main track debut in an off-turf renewal of the GIII With Anticipation S. at Saratoga Wednesday. Sent off the 3-1 second choice behind the Wesley Ward-trained Blame the Booze (Blame), Fire At Will was allowed to ease back to last of four, well behind the favorite, who carved out opening splits of :22.60 and :45.61 on the sloppy and sealed track. Kicking into another gear passing the five-sixteenths marker, the colt gained the advantage along the rail, and repelled Blame the Booze late en route to a half-length victory. Originally carded for 1 1/16 miles on the turf, the With Anticipation was cut back to seven furlongs once moved to the main track.

“I talked to the assistant [Nolan Ramsey] and we talked about staying close to the pace,” explained winning rider Irad Ortiz Jr., who was partnering the colt for the first time. “Speed is doing well so far, but I don’t like to rush the horses too much, so I just broke out of there with good intentions. He didn’t have the speed to stay close with them, so I just let him be him, let him settle and tried to save some ground. When I asked him, he responded really well from the half-mile all the way to the wire.”

In his career debut, Fire At Will, who was accompanied by Tyler Gaffalione, came home sixth going a mile and a sixteenth over the Saratoga turf Aug. 8.

“With a short field, it made sense [to stay in the race],” explained Ramsey, assistant to Mike Maker. “The horse really seemed to get a lot out of his first start and he’s been pretty sharp since. He worked a really nice half for us last time and we talked to Mr. [Kirk] Wycoff [owner, Three Diamonds Farm] and Mike and made the decision to stay in and we’re clearly happy we did.”

Wednesday, Saratoga
*WITH ANTICIPATION S., $93,000, Saratoga, 9-2, 2yo, 7f (off turf), 1:23.14, sy.
1–FIRE AT WILL, 118, c, 2, by Declaration of War
1st Dam: Flirt, by Kitten’s Joy
2nd Dam: Gamely Girl, by Arch
3rd Dam: Helstra, by Nureyev
($97,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Three
Diamonds Farm; B-Troy Rankin (KY); T-Michael J. Maker; J-Irad
Ortiz, Jr. $55,000. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $55,432.
2–Blame the Booze, 120, g, 2, Blame–Discreet Star, by Discreet
Cat. O/B-Mark Breen (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward. $20,000.
3–Zippy Baby, 122, g, 2, Cairo Prince–Zip Cash Back, by City Zip.
($25,000 Wlg ’18 KEENOV; $65,000 Ylg ’19 KEESEP; $50,000
2yo ’20 OBSMAR). O-Glenn Del Russo; B-Fredrick Allor (KY);
T-Dermot Magner. $12,000.
Margins: HF, 5, 5HF. Odds: 3.10, 1.00, 4.00.
Also Ran: Winfromwithin. Scratched: American Monarch, Nathan Detroit. *Automatically downgraded from Grade III due to surface switch.
Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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Cutting Humor Retired to McDowell Farm

Wed, 2020-09-02 16:49

Cutting Humor (First Samurai–Pun, by Pulpit), winner of last year’s GIII Sunland Derby, has been retired to has been retired to Bill McDowell’s McDowell Farm in Sparkman, Arkansas.

Bred by Dell Hancock & Bernie Sams, the $400,000 FTSAUG buy carried the colors of Starlight Racing to two wins in nine starts and earnings of $525,467. He was trained by Todd Pletcher.

“Cutting Humor presents a tremendous opportunity for Arkansas breeders to get access to an awesome physical specimen, from a great Claiborne family, who raced at the highest level,” said Jay Goodwin, who put together the syndicate to stand the 4-year-old. “He was picked out by Frankie Brothers, who is one of the best judges in the horse business, at the most boutique horse sale in the country, and then competed with the best colts in his generation. What’s not to love?”

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No Spectators At Preakness 145

Wed, 2020-09-02 16:25

The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club announced that Oct. 3 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico will proceed without fans in attendance. The 145th Preakness will air live on NBC from 4:30-6:00 p.m. ET. The Preakness, like the other two Triple Crown races, are a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ events for the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.

“The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club have been working closely in consultation with local and state health and governmental authorities for the past several months to thoughtfully and safely plan for Preakness 145,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group and 1/ST. “While we had hoped to be able to welcome fans as we have for the past 145 years, the health and safety of our guests, horsemen, riders, team members and the community at large is, and will always be, our top priority. Although Preakness 145 will look and feel much different from all those that have come before it, 1/ST RACING is committed to delivering a day of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing.”

The Stronach Group and 1/ST indicated only essential racing personnel and horsemen will be permitted on-site at Pimlico on race day. The Preakness will operate in full compliance with all state, county and local health department orders and will follow all current and recommended CDC precautions and safeguards to ensure the health and safety of the limited number of essential racing personnel and participants required.

Existing ticket holders that have already purchased tickets will have the option to either transfer their purchased tickets to next year’s Preakness 146 or to apply for a full refund.

Information on ticket transfer or refund options is available at, via email at or by calling 1-877-206-8042, Monday-Friday, 9:00a.m.-5:00 p.m.ET.

For the first time since its inception, Preakness will represent the third jewel of the Triple Crown and will feature an all-stakes program with $3.35 million in purses, including the 96th running of the GII Black-Eyed Susan S.

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Speightstown Colt Romps in the Saratoga Slop to Earn ‘TDN Rising Star’ Badge

Wed, 2020-09-02 14:06

Nashville (c, 3, Speightstown–Veronique, by Mizzen Mast) set sharp early fractions in the Saratoga slop on debut Wednesday afternoon and ran away and hid from his three overmatched rivals in the stretch en route to a ‘TDN Rising Star’ performance.

The $460,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate, campaigned in partnership by CHC INC. and WinStar Farm LLC, sported a pair of flashy bullets on his worktab for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, including a five-furlong spin in :58 4/5 (1/20) from the gate at the Spa Aug. 9.

The 1-5 favorite broke sharply, and sped through sparkling opening splits of :21.50 and :43.87. He hit the quarter pole in complete command beneath Irad Ortiz, Jr. and splashed his way home to an eye-catching and geared-down 11 1/2-length daylight victory. Democratic Values (Honor Code) was second.

Nashville becomes the fifth ‘Rising Star’ in 2020 for leading sire Speightstown. Asmussen also campaigns fellow ‘Rising Star’ Echo Town (Speightstown), winner of this summer’s GI H. Allen Jerkens S. presented by Runhappy.

Nashville’s unraced dam Veronique was purchased privately by Tony Holmes in foal to Mastery after the 2019 KEENOV Sale. She is also represented by the unraced 2-year-old colt Market Cap (Candy Ride {Arg}) and a Mastery colt of 2019 and filly of 2020. The 9-year-old was bred to Collected for 2021.

Nashville’s third dam Set Them Free (Stop the Music) produced 2005 GI Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo (Holy Bull) and MGISW Tiago (Pleasant Tap).

3rd-Saratoga, $66,960, Msw, 9-2, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 1:14.48, sy.
NASHVILLE, c, 3, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Veronique, by Mizzen Mast
2nd Dam: Styler, by Holy Bull
3rd Dam: Set Them Free, Stop the Music
Sales history: $460,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $39,600. Click for the chart, free catalogue-style pedigree or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-CHC INC. & WinStar Farm LLC; B-Breffni Farm (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.

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Real Rider Cup Goes Virtual

Wed, 2020-09-02 11:43

The 2020 edition of The Real Rider Cup–an annual competition designed to showcase off-the-track Thoroughbreds and raise funding FOR the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program and The Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show–is going virtual this year. The champion will be crowned Oct. 24.

This fundraiser invites individuals working in various parts of the racing industry to compete against each other on a Thoroughbred over a show jumping course wearing the silks of one of their sponsors. Each competitor pledges to raise a minimum of $1,000, which goes directly to the aforementioned beneficiares.

Each rider will submit a video of themselves navigating a pre-determined course of jumps aboard an off-track Thoroughbred and the public will be invited to choose their favorite rounds. There will be no competitor limit.

“This year has been strange and unsettling,” says event organizer Anita Motion. “Our hope is that we can encourage as many people as possible to get involved, raise much-needed funds for our benefactors and have lots of fun while we do it. We can’t wait to start ramping up the competition and seeing how creative competitors can be to attract votes and donations.”

In addition, there will be calendars available for purchase featuring stunning Thoroughbred artwork or bid to bring home the 18 original pieces donated by the artists in an online auction.

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