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Updated: 3 weeks 4 days ago

Open Letter To The Industry: Tom Rooney

Sun, 2023-10-01 13:01

Many of you may have seen that last week a bill was introduced in Congress to repeal the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, better known as HISA. I want to set the record straight as to what this legislation does or doesn't do, assure you that the bill isn't going anywhere in Congress, and stands no chance of becoming law.

First things first-it's important to remember that any member of Congress can introduce a bill. They write the language, file the bill, and voila it's been introduced. Just in the 118th Congress, which began in the beginning of 2023, more than 10,000 bills have been introduced. Of those more than 10,000 bills, only 14 have become law. It's important to have that perspective to truly understand why the likelihood of this bill ever becoming law is next to nothing.

Now let's get to this particular bill. Introduced by Congressman Higgins from Louisiana, the Racehorse Health and Safety Act (RHSA) has just one cosponsor. In order for any bill to become law, it needs a lot of support, support that comes in the form of “cosponsors.” HISA had more than 260 cosponsors and was supported by both Republicans and Democrats. RHSA only has one, and both are Republicans. In fact, the member of Congress who has been working to garner support for this bill for months has decided he can no longer support it. Without bipartisan support and many cosponsors, bills don't go anywhere in Congress.

Now to the lack of merits of the legislation. The very same people who spent years and millions of dollars fighting in Congress and in the courts against uniform safety standards and a unified regulator would now have us believe that they are actually for uniform safety standards and a unified regulator. The goal of RHSA is to repeal HISA, return the industry to the state-by-state patchwork regulatory system, and then create a unified regulator and unified safety standards. You read that correctly-this bill suggests rolling back all the work HISA has done, turn the industry back over to the states, and then create its own regulatory body and rules. Instead of trying to work with HISA, within the scope of the law, HISA's detractors are simply wasting everyone's time.

Congressman Higgins and the detractors of HISA know that it would take years to slog through the cumbersome process of passing enabling legislation in nearly three dozen racing states to establish RHSA. Repealing HISA to then enact RHSA with the consent of 32 states would be similar to the time-consuming process of amending the Constitution, which has only happened 27 times in more than 200 years. This bill is a laughable attempt to turn back the clock on track safety and anti-doping rules – which is precisely why there is so little support in Washington for the HISA repeal bill.

As I've said for months, these detractors need to put an end to their arguments. It is crucial that the whole of the Thoroughbred industry comes together for the betterment of our sport. In these challenging times, we must rally around HISA to ensure the highest standards of integrity and safety are upheld. The Racehorse Health and Safety Act would set the industry back when we should be setting aside our differences and working collaboratively towards a brighter, safer future for Thoroughbred racing under the guidance of HISA which is already the law of the land. Together, we can safeguard the integrity and longevity of this beloved sport.

Tom Rooney is the President and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives for five terms, representing the state of Florida.

The post Open Letter To The Industry: Tom Rooney appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

2023 Horse Racing Women’s Summit Concludes At Santa Anita

Fri, 2023-09-29 17:07

Edited Press Release

After 364 days and stops in Kentucky, Arizona, Florida and New York, the Horse Racing Women's Summit (HRWS) returned to Santa Anita Park Sept. 29 with over 150 women from 13 states and Canada gathered for the second Horse Racing Women's Summit.

“What a difference a year makes,” said HRWS Chairwoman, Stephanie Hronis. “We can't thank our community enough for their participation and investment in the Horse Racing Women's Summit movement. One of the things that we are most proud of is that over 10% of our attendees this year are here because of Pay It Forward scholarship tickets. Those are made possible by our generous sponsors and individuals who want to be sure that this event is accessible to all. We look forward to growing that percentage in the future. Generous support from 1/ST and FANDUEL TV led a total of 31 sponsors that made the extraordinary event possible.”

On Friday morning, over 50 HRWS attendees gathered again for an opportunity to have roundtable discussions with the goal of identifying a 2024 'Pillar of Priority' that will guide the HRWS efforts in the next year. Collective think tanks, attendee surveys, and a brand new membership platform are all key ways the HRWS is already empowering individuals in racing to contribute to the advancement of women in the industry.

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Rice Hit With Bute Fine, Suspension; Lodges Appeal Just Before NYSGC To Rule On ‘Improper Practices’

Fri, 2023-09-29 16:40

Trainer Linda Rice has been suspended 14 days and fined $2,000 by the New York State Gaming Commission after a filly under her care returned a positive test for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone following a 9 1/2-length win as the 4-5 favorite at Aqueduct Racetrack more than eight months ago.

Rice has appealed the Sept. 28 ruling, so she has been granted a stay of those penalties pending a final resolution.

The NYSGC also made it public on Friday that Rice will be appearing before the commission for a separate matter when the board conducts its monthly meeting this coming Tuesday.

Rice's name appears on the just-released agenda for the Oct. 3 meeting for an adjudication of her “improper practices” case that has persisted at the commission level and in the New York courts for more than two years.

In 2021, the NYSGC fined Rice $50,000 and revoked her license for three years after investigating claims that Rice received favorable treatment from the New York Racing Association and that the racing office was releasing to her the names and past performances of horses that had already been entered in races, giving her an unfair advantage.

It was further alleged that Rice had paid racing officials in exchange for the information, a charge she denied. She did, however, admit to routinely giving members of the racing department, as well as the gate crew, Christmas presents.

On June 8, 2023, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that the three-year banishment imposed by the NYSGC was “entirely unwarranted.”

But that same court also upheld the commission's determination that the “improper practices” rule had been violated, and ordered the matter back to the NYSGC to reassess the penalty “with the constraint that any reassessed penalty cannot contain a license revocation.”

Rice's Jan. 21, 2023, bute penalty was triggered by Afleet Arlene (Afleet Alex), who is owned by Winning Move Stable and has been unraced since that victory. A disqualification from the win and a purse redistribution from the $16,000 claimer ($15,400 winning purse) was mandated by the under-appeal ruling.

The ruling stated that the bute finding was “in excess of the quantitative threshold” of 0.3 mcg/ml in plasma.

The relatively long time that the NYSGC's drug-test findings linger behind the scenes prior to a ruling being issued has been an issue of concern in 2023, with some cases still resurfacing even after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority took over as the sport's nationwide testing entity back on May 22.

Back on May 11, trainer Todd Pletcher was fined $1,000 and suspended 10 days after tests revealed that his trainee Forte (Violence) tested positive for meloxicam following a win in the GI Hopeful S. on Sept. 5, 2022, at Saratoga Race Course.

The length of the delay made headlines because in the interim between the Hopeful S. and the ruling, Forte won the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, was voted the Eclipse Award champion of his division, had won two other graded stakes, and was the favorite for the GI Kentucky Derby before being scratched the morning of the race with a right front foot bruise.

Another Pletcher trainee, Capensis (Tapit), triggered a bute finding in a Saratoga post-race test on July 30, 2022, but that ruling (14-day suspension, $2,000 fine) was not made public until 10 ½ months later, on June 11, 2023. Pletcher is currently appealing both cases.

In the ensuing debate over why New York's positives take so long to come to light, regulators have blamed trainers for “repeated procedural delays” in getting split samples tested, while horsemen have accused the commission of needlessly dragging out the process and not being responsive or timely in responding to scheduling requests.

At the May 22, 2023, NYSGC meeting, it was disclosed that three outstanding, pre-HISA  Thoroughbred drug positives remained unadjudicated by the commission and were still lingering at various stages in the regulatory process.

When commissioner John Crotty asked what the timeline was for resolving those cases, NYSGC chairman Brian O'Dwyer told him that in light of the scrutiny related to the Forte delay, he suspected that the commission “will be very, very diligent in terms of making sure that those things are adjudicated much more promptly.”

It turns out that Rice's bute finding was one of those then-undisclosed cases. It took more than eight months from the date of the alleged violation until a ruling was issued.

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OBS October Yearling Supplemental Catalog Available

Fri, 2023-09-29 15:59

The Supplemental Catalog for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2023 October Yearling Sale is now available via the OBS website and in printed form at the OBS sales grounds. Thirty-seven horses have been supplemented; in all 713 horses will be sold.

There are two sessions, set for Tuesday, Oct. 10 and Wednesday, Oct. 11. Hip No.'s 1-338 plus supplements 339-359 will be offered Tuesday and Hip No's 401-739 plus supplements 740-755 will be sold Wednesday. Both sessions will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The supplemental catalog adds substantial sire power to the sale. Flatter, Liam's Map and Munnings are represented, as are Nyquist, Oscar Performance, Quality Road, Spun to Run, Thousand Words and Win Win Win.

This group joins the large roster of sires in the original catalog, headed by Audible, Bernardini, Bolt d'Oro, Bucchero and Candy Ride (ARG).  The list also includes Catalina Cruiser, City of Light, Complexity, Curlin's Honor, Game Winner, Girvin, Global Campaign, Good Magic, Gunnevera, Hard Spun, Honest Mischief, Improbable, Instagrand, Instilled Regard, Kantharos, Khozan, Maximum Security, McKinzie, Mendelssohn, Not This Time, Omaha Beach, Practical Joke, Tiz the Law, Union Rags, Vekoma, Vino Rosso, Volatile and War of Will.

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Tickets Please! Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, Other Graded Action Whistles Into Weekend

Fri, 2023-09-29 15:32

Just over 100 years ago, the Jockey Club's resident New York handicapper, William Vosburgh, knew the value of history and understood how it could be applied when he penned his magnum opus, Racing In America, 1866-1921.

The turf wordsmith revealed his intent in the Preface when he said, “I shall show that, owing to want of popular support, racing had fallen so low, and so infrequent, as to excite little or no interest.”

What he was talking about was a sport in crisis, as progressive forces in America drove racing to the edge of extinction. With renewed governmental support from states and a bit of luck from private sources in the 1920s, everything began to turn around. Investment coupled with excitement, revived American competition.

It's a cycle of precipices Thoroughbred racing has continued to weather to this day.

In the current era, one of the sport's greatest innovations, the Breeders' Cup World Championships, is set for its 40th edition in November. As we celebrate the final month of the Challenge Series, here's a preview of all the weekend graded activity which will leave the station at Churchill Downs, Santa Anita, and Aqueduct.

Next Stop, Churchill

Chugging into Louisville, the Saturday action lands under the Twin Spires for the GIII Ack Ack S. going a mile around one turn. With a trip to the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile up for grabs, GII Louisiana Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) will serve as the 6-5 morning-line favorite. The Brad Cox trainee was last seen running fourth in the GIII Philip Iselin S. Aug. 19 at Monmouth Park.

Zozos | Horsephotos

The 4-year-old colt will face a number of challengers which includes MGSP O Besos (Orb), the last out winner of the GII John Nerud S. at Belmont Park Three Technique (Mr Speaker) and come from behind hero Aug. 13 of the R.A. Cowboy Jones S. at Ellis Park in 'TDN Rising Star' Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile).

Also scheduled is the nine-furlong GII Lukas Classic which pits GISP Rattle N Roll (Connect) against GI Cigar Mile champ Americanrevolution (Constitution). Shortleaf homebred Whelan Springs (Street Sense), who incidentally won the Iselin S., will look to upset both for trainer Lindsay Schultz.

Santa Anita, The Place To Be

The whistle stop tour of graded events doesn't stop there because Santa Anita Park begins its Autumn Meet with a number of key Saturday and Sunday races.

The GI Awesome Again S., which the TDN previewed and highlighted in a special edition of Friday's paper, will lead a packed weekend at 'The Great Race Place', as nine will face one another for the chance to line up in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic.

Three Grade II races compliment the Saturday card and it is going to be quite a duel in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. between former winner Dr. Schivel (Violence) and GI Woody Stephens S. hero and 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Lion (Justify).

Heading to the Downhill Turf Course, a competitive group of grass specialists will cross paths with one other led by MGSW Bran (Fr) (Muhaarar {GB}) from John Sadler's stable. The dark bay gelding will line up along the inside next to MGSP Sumter (War Front), who goes with the blinkers for Richard Mandella.

Staying on the grass, the GII City of Hope Mile S. wraps up the evening with a route as local favorite MGSW Hong Kong Harry (Ire) (Es Que Love {Ire}) returns to a course where he has captured three wins in five attempts.

Arabian Lion | Sarah Andrew

The Sunday Santa Anita slate has its share of graded action as the GII Zenyatta S. marks the return of Michael Lund Petersen's Adare Manor (Uncle Mo), who comes in riding a four-race win streak. Also featured will be the GIII Tokyo City Cup S. and the GII John Henry Turf Championship S.

Sunday's BAQ Forecast, Brighter Days Ahead

Speaking of the Jockey Club's New York historian and handicapper, William Vosburgh received a nod from the New York Racing Association when they named a race after him. Now moved to Sunday because of a deluge, the GII Vosburgh S. continues to be a mainstay on the NYRA stakes schedule and, with the Belmont Park construction, returned to Aqueduct last year for the first time since 1986. The seven-furlong event offers paid entry into the GI Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Last year's GI Breeders' Cup Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile champ Cody's Wish (Curlin) certainly impressed when the 5-year-old took home both the GI Churchill Downs S. and Belmont Park's GI Met Mile earlier this summer. Even though the stretch out in the GI Whitney H. at Saratoga did not yield a win, his ability is unmatched even over a wet surface against five others here.

“One turn and seven [furlongs] to a mile is good for him,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “We wanted to see if he could win the Whitney–it's a very important race and if he could win the Met Mile and the Whitney, those are two very big races.”

The Sunday BAQ card also sports three other graded races. Heavy morning-line favorite Caramel Swirl (Union Rags), who was a runner-up in last year's GI Ballerina at Saratoga, finished fourth this time around to MGISW Echo Zulu (Gun Runner). The 5-year-old mare will look to get back on track in the GII Gallant Bloom S. when she faces five others.

A soggy turf course at Aqueduct will not deter runners for the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic S. Going the distance will be MGISW War Like Goddess (English Channel), who faces the boys once again after she missed by just a neck against older females in the GII Glens Falls S. Aug. 3 at Saratoga. Also headed to the post will be GI Breeders' Cup Turf victor Rebel's Romance (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who last lost his rider in the GII Bowling Green S. July 30 at Saratoga. The dark bay gelding will not only have to contend with War Like Goddess but also MGISP Soldier Rising (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and MGISP Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Algiers | Dubai Racing Club

Finally, a can't miss on this Sunday card is the GII Woodward S. 'TDN Rising Star' Charge It (Tapit), winner of the GII Suburban S. July 8 at Belmont, and GISW Zandon (Upstart), who will head to stud duty at Spendthrift Farm next year, will take on G1 Dubai World Cup runner-up Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal). The Simon Crisford trainee is making his first U.S. start after taking the summer off.

“It is a fact-finding mission,” said Ed Crisford, who shares a license with his father. “We want to see if he can handle the American dirt because it is different than Meydan. I do think the New York tracks are more similar to Meydan than some of the other tracks. We want to see what he can do against top American dirt horses. If he goes well, wins or runs very well, we can justify going to the Breeders' Cup. If not, we'll probably just take him back to Dubai. It all depends on what happens on the weekend.”

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Unbeaten Brightwork Preps For Keeneland’s Opening Day

Fri, 2023-09-29 14:26

WSS Racing's undefeated Brightwork (Outwork) completed her major preparations for next Friday's GI Darley Alcibiades by working a half-mile in :48.60 over a fast track Friday morning.

With Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard, Brightwork produced fractions of :24.60, :48.60 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. Last Friday here, Brightwork produced a best-of-20 half-mile in :47.

“That was very perfect, and I am grateful that Ricardo made the drive over from Louisville both times to work her,” trainer John Ortiz said. “Last week was a good drill for speed, and this morning was to maintain that speed.”

Ortiz is pointing another runner to next Friday's stakes in 4 G Racing's Crown Imperial (Classic Empire). Winner of the Pepsi Untapable S. at Kentucky Downs, Crown Imperial is considered probable for the GII Jessamine S. Crown Imperial worked a half-mile in :49.20 at Churchill Downs Friday morning.

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RRP Elects New Board Members, Establishes Advisory Council

Fri, 2023-09-29 13:29

The Retired Racehorse Project has elected new officers and created an advisory council, a body of non-governing individuals representing an array of backgrounds and professional experience chosen to help enhance the RRP's execution of its charitable mission the organization announced Friday.

Existing board member Neil Agate was confirmed as board chair earlier this Spring when personal obligations required previous chair, Richard Lamb, to step back from the officer position. Lamb is still completing his second term serving on the board of directors.

“I have enjoyed being part of the RRP during the first ten years as a volunteer and competitor,” said Neil. “I am extremely honored to be asked to help shepherd the organization as board chair and I am looking forward to working with our great team of staff and volunteers to keep the RRP ecosystem growing and vibrant.”

The formation of the advisory council allows the RRP to engage a variety of professionals in an ongoing, consultative fashion without the full governance obligations of becoming board members.

“We're pleased to grow the community of individuals who help to inform the RRP's approach to issues relating to development, marketing, governance, and strategic planning,” said RRP executive director Kirsten Green. “The RRP has reached a stage in organizational maturation where it has firmly established itself as an integral part of the national aftercare industry and as we look to build upon our impact, it's essential that we are seeking expertise from a broad range of individuals who not only have the skills we need but also represent the communities that we serve.”


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Saturday’s Card at Aqueduct, Led by GI Turf Classic, Moved to Sunday Due to Torrential Rain

Fri, 2023-09-29 11:57

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has moved Saturday's 11-race card at Aqueduct, featuring a quartet of graded stakes races, to Sunday and pushed Sunday's 10-race program to Wednesday due to torrential rainfall causing widespread flooding and hazardous conditions in the New York metropolitan area.

Friday's 11-race card, featuring the GIII Noble Damsel and Ashley T. Cole, was canceled with more than five inches of rain expected and Ozone Park under a flash flood warning and flood watch on Friday. Heavy rainfall will continue throughout Friday and into Saturday.

Saturday's card, headlined by the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, will move in its entirety to Sunday with a first post time of 12:05 p.m. Eastern. The stacked 11-race program also features the GII Woodward S., the GII Gallant Bloom S. and the GII Vosburgh S., a “Win and You're In” for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint.

The 10-race card originally scheduled for Sunday will move in its entirety to Wednesday with a first post time of 1:05 p.m. Wednesday's action is co-headlined by a pair of Grade II “Win and You're In” qualifiers for juveniles at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The Pilgrim S. awards a berth to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf while the Miss Grillo S. for fillies awards a berth to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The all-turf Monmouth-at-Meadowlands cards for Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 have also been canceled due to the inclement weather.

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Paco Lopez Suspended 30 Days for Greenwood Cup Ride

Fri, 2023-09-29 11:08

Jockey Paco Lopez, who pulled up his mount Ridin With Biden (Constitution) a few steps before the finish of last Saturday's GIII Greenwood Cup S. at Parx, likely costing the horse a second-place finish, was handed a 30-day suspension Thursday by the stewards at Parx.

In ruling, the stewards wrote that the suspension was “for failure to give his best effort and failure to use the proper diligence in Race 7 on September 23, 2023 while astride the horse Ridin With Biden…”

The suspension began Thursday and will conclude on Oct. 27. Lopez has waived his right to appeal.

“The penalty is justified,” said trainer Butch Reid. “We have to look out for our owners as well as the betting public. My concern was that the horse was sound and he is. He has been inspected by state vets three times since the race and is fine.”

In the Greenwood Cup, a mile-and-a-half race, Ridin With Biden chased the winner Next (Not This Time) for about 10 furlongs before that rival started to pull away to what would become a 25-length laugher. However, Ridin With Biden appeared to have second-place wrapped up as he was eight lengths clear of the rest of the field at the eighth pole. But when he pulled the horse up, he was caught for the place, losing out by a nose to 84-1 shot My Imagination (Lea).

Here's how the Equibase chart caller saw it: “Ridin With Biden prompted the winner to midway on the final turn, proved no match then was eased in the final stages costing the place.”

For third-place, Ridin With Biden earned $19,000 or $19,000 less than the second-place payout of $38,000. Lopez's move also, no doubt, costs plenty of bettors. The combination of Next over Ridin With Biden was the lowest payout among all exactas.

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Jockey Jessica Pyfer Retires; Joins XBTV/Santa Anita

Fri, 2023-09-29 10:34

Jessica Pyfer, the 2021 Eclipse Award Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, has retired as a jockey and will join XBTV/Santa Anita Park as a full-time racing analyst, she announced on the social media platform X.

“After an amazing three years as a Jockey, I am officially transitioning my career and have accepted a full time position with XBTV/Santa Anita Park as a Racing Analyst and couldn't be more excited to continue working in this role,” she said in a post.

“I am so thankful for the times I have had in the apprentice jockey. I will still be riding in the mornings because if you know me, I could never spend more than a day off the back of a horse.”

From 819 mounts, Pyfer posted a record of 88-89-106 and career earnings of $4,210,897.

After an amazing three years as a Jockey, I am officially transitioning my career and have accepted a full time position with XBTV/Santa Anita Park as a Racing Analyst and couldn't be more excited to continue working in this role. I am so thankful for the times I have had in the

— Jessica Pyfer (@jockeyjess) September 28, 2023

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Speakers at Upcoming Pedigree and Conformation Clinic at Fasig-Tipton include Terry Finley and Kenny McPeek

Fri, 2023-09-29 09:50

West Point's Terry Finley, leading trainer Kenny McPeek and others have been announced as speakers for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's Pedigree & Conformation Clinic on Monday, Oct. 23 at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington, Kentucky.

The day-long clinic will take place on the first day of Fasig Tipton's Kentucky October Yearling sale.

Attendees will learn insights on different aspects of Thoroughbred auctions, bloodstock, pedigree, and conformation analysis, and more from industry professionals as well as enjoy a day at the sales.

The topics and speakers at the clinic include:

• Role of the Auction House & Auction Process, presented by Anna Seitz-Ciannello (Fasig-Tipton, Director of Client Relations)
• Thoroughbred Horse Racing Partnerships, presented by Terry Finley (West Point Thoroughbreds, President & CEO)
• Yearling Prep for the Sales, presented by Katie Taylor (Taylor Made Sales, Vice President of Operations)
• Horse Selection/Conformation/Pedigree, presented by Kenny McPeek (Multiple Graded Stakes Winning Trainer and Leading Thoroughbred Bloodstock Advisor)
• Equine Insurance, presented by Tyler Clarke (Clay Ward Agency)
• Equineline & Pedigree Resources, presented by Susan Martin (The Jockey Club Information Systems, Director of Marketing)
• Grayson-Jockey Club Current Research, presented by Jamie Haydon (Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, President) and Johnny Mac Smith, DVM (Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Veterinary Advisor)

Registration is available online, until Friday, Oct. 20, at:

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90k Anchor Down Colt Tops Louisiana Yearling Sale

Fri, 2023-09-29 09:33

A colt by Anchor Down out of the unraced Half Ours mare Solo Buena was purchased by Noble Oaks Farm for $90,000 to top Thursday's Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association's Breeders Yearling Sale.

Hip 131 is a full-brother to the stakes-placed Swot Analysis and a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Free Drop Maddy (Free Drop Billy). The top three yearlings in the sale were all sold by Clear Creek Stud LLC, agent.

A total of 120 yearlings sold for a gross of $1,306,100, an average of $10,884 and a median of $6,000. There were 40 RNAs.

Followed by mixed session, two weanlings sold for a gross of $6,700 and an average of $2,350. One horse of racing age sold for $1,000 and 23 broodmares sold for a gross of $67,300 and an average of $2,926. The overall gross for the sale was $1,381,100.

Complete results can be found on the LTBA Website.

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Live Racing at Aqueduct Canceled Friday Due to Torrential Rain in New York; Meadowlands Canceled for Friday and Saturday

Fri, 2023-09-29 07:44

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has canceled Friday's live racing program at Aqueduct Racetrack due to significant rainfall forecast to create hazardous weather conditions in the New York metropolitan area, according to a press release issued Friday morning.

With as much as five inches of rain expected, Ozone Park is under a flash flood warning and flood watch throughout the day on Friday. As a result, Friday's 11-race card has been canceled in the interest of the safety of all participants.

Aqueduct Racetrack will remain open for simulcasting on Friday.

NYRA has yet to determine a new schedule for Friday's featured GIII, $150,000 Noble Damsel and $125,000 Ashley T. Cole.

Live racing at Aqueduct is scheduled to resume Saturday with an 11-race card featuring the GI $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the GII $400,000 Woodward, the GII $250,000 Gallant Bloom and the GII $250,000 Vosburgh, a “Win and You're In” for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. First post is 12:05 p.m. Eastern.

The all-turf Monmouth-at-Meadowlands cards for Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 have also been canceled due to inclement weather.

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Apprentice Suspended 30 Days for ‘Extremely Careless’ Riding in Delaware Race that Caused Equine Fatality

Thu, 2023-09-28 19:54

Eighteen-year-old jockey Axel Concepcion, who is Maryland's top apprentice this year, has been suspended 30 days for “extremely careless” riding in a Sept. 21 race at Delaware Park that resulted in the euthanization of a rival horse that had fallen.

The Sept. 28 Delaware stewards' ruling stated that Concepcion failed “to control and guide his mount, Backwoods Boogie (Red Rocks [IRE]), leaving the starting gate, impeding several horses, and causing the horse Trumpence (Eskendereya) to fall, which resulted in a fatal injury to Trumpence. Due to the fallen horse, the race had to be immediately suspended, all horses pulled up, and declared a no contest.”

The Paulick Report first broke the news, quoting Concepcion's agent, Tom Stift, as saying the penalty will be reduced to 21 days because the ruling was not appealed.

The Sept. 21 report for race seven submitted by Delaware stewards Joelyn Rigione, Robert Colton and William Troilo stated that Trumpence, ridden by Kevin Gomez, “clipped heels past the finish the first time” and that “horse and rider were down and not moving.”

The warning lights and siren were activated, and the stewards ordered the outriders to have the jockeys pull up their mounts.

“The gate crew was out on the track also, diverting the field to the outside. Horse was euthanized on the track when he couldn't get up. Jockey Kevin Gomez after some time was able to stand and be escorted to the ambulance,” the report stated.

Gomez resumed riding the next afternoon at Delaware, winning with his first mount after the spill.

Trumpence was a 9-year-old gelding trained by Dan Ward and owned in partnership by George Todaro, Robert Blanchard, and Brad's Equine Adventure. He didn't start racing until age five at Will Rogers Downs, but won his first three races there before eventually compiling an 8-4-3 mark from 25 starts while competing at Canterbury, Remington, Sam Houston, Oaklawn, Monmouth and Delaware.

Concepcion turned pro Jan. 1 in his native Puerto Rico. He won 21 races there before earning his first mainland U.S. victory Feb. 19 at Fair Grounds. He shifted his tack to Laurel a week later, and has since been among the leaders at the Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course meets while also picking up mounts at other mid-Atlantic region tracks.

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Secretariat Exhibition To Visit Woodbine Racetrack And Keeneland Race Course In October

Thu, 2023-09-28 16:01

In celebration of Secretariat's Triple Crown sweep a half century ago, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame's traveling exhibition will visit Woodbine Racetrack and Keeneland Race Course in October, the museum said in a release Thursday afternoon.

A Tremendous Machine: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown will be at Woodbine in Toronto from Oct. 5-8 and at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, from Oct. 25-29.

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Jacobson Runner Collapses Post Race At Aqueduct

Thu, 2023-09-28 15:49

David Jacobson's Bowl of Cherries (Speightster) collapsed and died on the horse path following her sixth-place finish in Thursday's second race at the Belmont at Aqueduct meeting. Making her 32nd lifetime start, the 5-year-old mare went off favored at 6-5 but was never a factor in a $25,000 claiming race eventually won by Beautiful Karen (Competitive Edge). Bowl of Cherries was also owned by Jacobson but had a claim voided on her following the race.

“Following the running of Race 2 at Aqueduct on Thursday, Bowl of Cherries (#3) collapsed and died suddenly while returning to the barn area,” said NYRA Vice President of Communications Patrick McKenna. “Bowl of Cherries was trained by David Jacobson and ridden by Isaac Castillo, who had dismounted the horse and was uninjured. NYRA will work with HISA officials and the New York State Equine Medical Director to investigate the circumstances around this unusual sudden death.”

A phone call to New York's Equine Medical Director Scott Palmer for comment was not immediately returned.





Per NYRA Sr. Veterinarian, Bowl of Cherries collapsed and died on the horse path walking back following Race 2 @TheNYRA #BAQ

— Keith-TripleDeadHeat (@TripleDeadHeat) September 28, 2023

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Keeneland Breeder Spotlight: How Greg Goodman, A Good Texan, Became a Brilliant Kentuckian

Thu, 2023-09-28 15:19

They call it “nominative determinism.” Your name suggests your path in life: like the world's fastest man being a Bolt. On that basis, you would say that being born a Goodman raises expectation enough–without then going ahead and buying yourself a farm named Mt. Brilliant.

The last year or so, however, suggests that things are playing out much as they should. Last September, TOBA presented Greg Goodman with the Robert N. Clay Award for his work in preserving horse country around Lexington from development. In April, the KTA/KTOB honored him with the William T. Young Humanitarian Award, reserved for no less a person or organization in the industry than one who “recognizes and promotes the human endeavor.” In between, moreover, the Mt. Brilliant graduate Extra Anejo (Into Mischief) has flashed potential to prove one of the best sophomores of the crop; and while the farm's Keeneland consignment this time couldn't quite match that colt's $1.35 million sale a couple of Septembers ago, it did feature a $850,000 son of Candy Ride in Book 2.

Greg Goodman | Keeneland

All rather brilliant, rather than merely good. But the relaxed figure presiding over the Mt. Brilliant draft at the recent auction welcomes a visit from TDN with a pleasing blend of self-deprecation and affability. It is a long time now, after all, since he first came here for a November Sale, a greenhorn sent by his dad to buy a couple of mares for a stallion they were standing back in Texas. He was given a budget of $45,000 for one, and $35,000 for the other.

“And back then of course there weren't cellphones or anything,” Goodman recalls. “So he couldn't be telling me, 'Okay, bid,' or, 'Don't worry, go on, you can go over.' And I'm sitting there bidding on this mare, and now I'm getting confused which one was $35,000 and which $45,000. And my dad didn't suffer fools very much.

“So I've bid $35,000. And then she sold to the next bid, $37,000 or $38,000, whatever it was. And at this point I'm really scared. 'Okay, I really hope this was the right one.' So I called him and he was like, 'Why did you stop at $35,000 on that mare?' By that time, I knew that I had got them the right way round. But he said, 'I meant $35,000 or around there.'”

“No!” Goodman replied. “You never mean anything different than what you say! If I'd bought her, you'd be yelling at me, telling me I had to pay.”

He chuckles at the memory. “My dad was tight,” he says. “Didn't spend any money, except on horses. I mean, he drove a crappy car. I had to buy him his first decent one, his first cellphone, too. Because he'd been like, 'Why would I want to spend money on that thing? They're going to charge me every month. I can just stop and use a payphone.' But he would spend money on gambling, and horses.”

And could afford do so, of course. Because this was Harold V. Goodman, founder in 1975 of an air-conditioning manufacturer that would become the second largest in the world.

Michael Stidham with Joel Rosario | Sarah Andrew

Just as Goodman is sharing these memories of his dad, Michael Stidham calls by the barn. Stidham was still a very young man when given his start by Goodman Sr., who had hitherto been a patron of Stidham's own father. In fact, Stidham's first graded stakes winner was in his silks: Manzotti, a son of Nijinsky imported from Europe who later stood on the Goodman farm in Texas. In turn Manzotti's homebred daughter, Two Altazano, was Stidham's first Grade I winner in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

“His dad was a visionary,” Stidham attests. “In his business, in horse racing, in everything he did: he had a way of knowing.”

“Killed it,” Goodman agrees. “He was a thinker, a deep thinker.”

“He really was an amazing man,” Stidham says. “And he passed it on to this guy.”

Goodman firmly demurs, and Stidham teases him by accepting that he is only “almost as good” as his late father. But Goodman does grant that a love of horses is most certainly in the blood.

“My father raced all his life,” he says. “I have pictures of him aged 20, holding some Quarter Horse that he'd race down the streets in Houston. His buddies all used to have horses, and they'd put these little jockeys on them and race down Main Street in the afternoons.

“My dad was leading breeder in Texas five years in a row. And he had a lot to do with getting parimutuel betting passed there. So I never went on a vacation in my life that didn't involve a racetrack. From the time I was 17 or 18, weekend after weekend, I'd be driving with friends to Evangeline Downs, sometimes Delta Downs. You could stay in the Howard Johnson's for cheap, and sometimes you could pay for that and your gas from betting. And other times you're trying to scrape a few pennies together to get home. But it was always a blast.”

The real clincher, for Goodman, was when his father partnered in a $2.9 million Seattle Slew yearling bought at Keeneland July Sale in 1990. As Goodman puts it: “I mean, A.P. Indy was so exciting that I didn't have any choice but to go into the horse business.”

On his father's death, in 1996, Goodman inherited five shares in A.P. Indy, by then at stud. For someone who had just bought a storied Bluegrass farm, those comprised an ideal foundation for a breeding program.

“I'd been looking at a bunch of farms,” he recalls. “It was a gorgeous day, and I just sat under this big shade tree, looking at it. I mean, the place was really rough. But I was like, 'Man, I just love this piece of land. It's beautiful.' It had those undulations that are so good for the horses, and the soil is classified number one in the county. I think a lot of that was because there hadn't been horses on it for 50, 60 years. It had been just crops and cattle.”

Goodman read up the long history of Mt. Brilliant, and was inspired. He read how the original land grant to the Russell family, in recognition of military service, had been signed in 1774 by Thomas Jefferson; how the farm was named for the Virginia estate of Patrick Henry, who had sealed that deal; about the miraculous survival of Kentucky politician and abolitionist Cassius Clay in the duel at Russell Cave in 1845; and about the farm's 20th Century fame under James Ben Ali Haggin.

Man o' War with Will Harbut at Faraway, 1942 | Keeneland Library

“And then I wanted to expand a little bit and bought a farm next to us, Faraway, which was where Man o' War was raised,” Goodman explains. “And since the 1960s there hadn't been a thing there, not cows, not a crop, nothing. It had even more rolling hills, and it had more of the Elkhorn running through it. So we got more Elkhorn, ended up with a mile and a half. In the old days they would say that there'd never been a Kentucky Derby winner that didn't drink out of that water, and my farms just flow straight down there. I think that's what makes the soil so good. That, and all the limestone deposits.”

Around a decade ago, there was a further expansion into Poplar Hill. Throughout, even if bricks and mortar were not always so scrupulously preserved, the land itself has been treated as sacrosanct. Much of it has been placed into a conservation scheme that prohibits development.

And then came a day when Goodman hosted members of the city council to meet an informal lobby of horse farmers, who were resisting proposals for rural development.


Mt. Brilliant Farm | Kevin Cosgriff

The vice-mayor said to Goodman: “You guys all stay out here on your farms. You never come into town. Y'all never deal with anything unless it's in your backyard, or affecting you.”

Goodman looked at him across the table. “Just be careful of what you wish for!” he said.

“And the Fayette Alliance was born that minute,” he says. “So for 17 years since we've been fighting as hard as we can to save the farmland. It's a two-sided coin. We look at protecting the rural area, and also making downtown a better place to live. Because this land is a finite resource. We have the best environment in the world for raising horses, and you just don't want to see it destroyed.”

This is once again a major battleground, the council having proposed a 5,000-acre urban expansion.

“They brought in 5,000 acres 23 years ago, and still have 2,500 acres of that left,” Goodman says. “And besides that, there's about 13,000 blighted, undeveloped and underdeveloped acres already inside the urban service area. Lexington burns about 110 acres a year. So that's over 200 years, at the current burn rate, of available land. You add this 5,000 acres, and it's 250 years. Which would basically be like them planning Lexington, and everything about it, in 1800.”

Man o' War's former barn | Sarah Andrew

Goodman scoffs at the notion that affordable housing is central to the project. “The big builders that are pushing for this haven't built an affordable house in Lexington, ever,” he claims. “So part of our fight is to say, 'Okay, y'all can do it, but we're going to mandate 20 percent has to be affordable housing.' And would they cry!”

Through the courts, the Alliance is asserting that development can only be recommended, after due analysis, by the planning commission; and that the process needs to start over.

The Alliance recently conducted a survey that showed 77 percent of the community against expansion, with only 18 percent in favor. And Goodman stresses that preservation of land for the Thoroughbred industry actually represents its most economically fertile use.

“Creates $3 billion for this county,” he says succinctly. “The only thing in town that brings more money to the community is the University of Kentucky and the hospital, combined. And that doesn't include the tourism dollars that we bring in. At least 10 percent of the community is involved in the horse business. And that's without things like all the lawyers and accountants we need for our businesses.”

So far as Mt. Brilliant's own business is concerned, the aspiration is commercial but realistic.

“Well, I never expect to maintain my lifestyle through the horse business,” acknowledges Goodman. “But I do treat it like a business. Some years we're profitable, some years we're not. But it wouldn't be as much fun if I wasn't trying to make money, and that's something I will expect to do overall.

Mt. Brilliant Farm | Kevin Cosgriff

“Now that I'm getting older, I want to dive into the racing side a bit more. But, to me, to sell a horse for a lot of money is as exciting as winning a Grade I. The sale really excites me. Keeneland September is my favorite week of the year, as well as the most stressful. You've three years invested before you even bring a horse here. A few months of planning; then you work at getting the mare in foal; 11 months of gestation; 18 months raising the horse. So I love the tactical part of it, the decision-making along the way.”

As a rule–though he has made an exception for two Triple Crown winners–he will only use a new stallion if he has bought a share. Why, he asks, should he prove someone else's stallion? And the mare, in his view, contributes at least as much to the equation.

Goodman has repeatedly imported mares from Europe and was especially drawn to the Ballymacoll dispersal in 2017. He coveted Justlookdontouch (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), but had to yield to Peter Brant and instead bought two of her daughters, Abingdon (Street Cry {Ire}) for 1,050,000gns and Superioritycomplex (Ire) (Hard Spun) for 400,000gns—the latter in partnership with his friend Orrin Ingram. And Extra Anejo is her first foal.

“He's just a big, beautiful horse and was always confident,” Goodman recalls. “Smart horse, did everything right. He was the man. I think he might still be the man, just nobody knows it yet. He came out of the [GI] Haskell dead lame. They did X-rays, everything, couldn't find anything. And then it turned out he had a deep bone bruise in his foot. So he's having 60 days off.”

It was not the colt's first hold-up, as he reportedly had a chip removed after his dazzling debut at Keeneland last fall. As a result, he still has very few miles on the clock.

“Actually, I sat next to Ron Winchell at dinner the other night and he told me that he still has a lot of faith in Extra Anejo,” Goodman said. “He thinks he's an incredible horse and he'll be back. I do think that he'll maybe prove the most talented horse we have raised. He's massive, but so smooth. He hits the ground like a cat.”

With luck, then, fresh chapters will be added to a saga dating back to a first graded stakes winner, bought as a weanling from his father's estate at the November Sale for just $8,000: a homebred son of Manzotti, Desert Air, who won the GIII Razorback at Oaklawn. The farm has since raised a GI Belmont S. winner in Creator (Tapit), sold as a Keeneland September yearling for $440,000, while Private Mission (Into Mischief) has been another to advertise the nursery with three graded stakes over the past couple of years.

But nothing has been more fulfilling than the growing involvement of Goodman's sons. “I'm so excited that they're in it,” he says. “They like the racing as much as I did when I was their age, and they're better horsemen than me. They like the racing side, and I'm ready for that again. I like that we have no raceday medication, and feel ready to compete again.”

Greg Goodman with Hutton Goodman | Keeneland

Even so, life will never be as good as where it's “Brilliant.”

“I mean, I love just being on my farm,” Goodman says with enthusiasm. “The sale and the races get me away from there–and the winter, too! But otherwise, I'd rather be there than anywhere. I don't go out to dinner, go places much. I like to spend the evenings on the porch, just hanging out. I'm crazy, I'll drive around my farm like 10 times a day, just checking everything out. Everybody that works for me hates that, because I'm like, 'That fence board needs to be fixed.' And they're like, 'What fence board!?'

“I'm from Texas and I'm still a Texan. But I love it here and spend as much time here as I can. It's just a beautiful, beautiful place. I love this community; it has been very welcoming to me and my family over the last 30 years. I moved my kids here when they were young. They grew up here, and then went off to colleges all over the country. But they all came back. My grandchildren are here. It's home now. That's hard for a Texan to say. But it's the truth.”

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Letter To The Editor: Breeders Need To ‘Look Within’ As Well

Thu, 2023-09-28 13:55

I read with much interest the recent article involving the interview with John Sikura from Hill 'n' Dale farm. I happen to agree with some of his points, especially that fixing many of the issues currently present in racing will require the combined sacrifice and agreement of many facets of the racing industry.

However, what struck me the most in this article was that, once again, a member of the breeding community in racing does not seem to think anything with their own business needs to change. From a business model perspective of course, this makes sense. It is no secret that people today are breeding more to sell than to race, and huge stud fees and stud deals are driving many top horses to what would be considered by most early retirements from racing. Looking at it from an overall health of the breed now and going forward perspective, however, gives one pause to think if this really is the best for the breed and sport in the long term. Mr. Sikura touched on this aspect a little when he made an analogy using a family that acquires a German Shepherd and if that breeder should be considered immoral or not knowing that the dog likely will have medical issues in life.

Yes, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, and a lot of them end up having quite serious issues because of it. However, the reason that the issue has gotten worse over time and not better is because the desire of the dogs to look a certain way now to fit the “breed standard” that judges in shows seem to think makes a “champion dog.” So, the breeders are looking for those genetics to breed what they feel is the “best specimen” from a look's standpoint but not necessarily from a medical or health standpoint. It is the same with other breeds of dog such as bulldogs. If the breed standard changed to go back to dogs that both looked good and had solid health behind them, you wouldn't have the same number of issues with them you do today (Heck…in Britain vets have suggested severely curtailing and even banning the breeding of bulldogs and pugs because of how horrible their health has become all in search for meeting the “breed standard”).

So, to answer his question of “do you blame the breeder?” Well…in some instances…yeah…you do. It may not be every single breeder of German Shepherds, but certainly some will breed poorly in search of meeting market demand. If judges at shows and breed registries were able to get what they considered the “breed standard” to be changed to a healthier dog overall (something that really boggles the mind of us small animal vets who see the horrors that their idea of a “breed standard” brings into this world), then the breeders would adjust their genetics accordingly. Not too much different than what we are seeing in racing these days in the US. Instead of looking to get the “Best in Show” award, though, it is about having the fastest and most precocious horse in hopes of winning early and cashing in. Durability appears an afterthought.

Looks and precocity sell in today's yearling market. Everyone knows that. Most also know that corrective surgeries and other alterations are done to some foals to hide or correct faults that may be present after birth. When you breed to fit a specific demand or need, there are going to be unwanted other results in the breed one cannot avoid. One really can't fault breeders, per se, if they are merely providing what the market is demanding right now. However, at what point do breeders have to start looking at what is best for the healthy continuation of the sport we all love even if that means a temporary loss of major profits? At what point does doing the morally correct thing for the horse outweigh the need to have the highest priced yearlings or 2-year-olds that may look great in the ring and/or run a 10 second 1/8th of a mile, but whose bodies can't stand even the most basic rigors of training and racing past one season?

Just as one can't paint the entire dog breeding world with the same wide brush, this is not a condemnation of the entire Thoroughbred breeding industry. Just as there have been cries for the racing industry to do better policing itself before having to resort to the oversite of HISA, there needs to be better self-policing or oversite of some kind in the breeding industry for Thoroughbreds.

Many, I'm sure, will say I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. To an extent they may be correct. What I do know, though, is that Mr. Sikura is right in that in order to get real change then everyone will need to make some sacrifices in the name of progress, and that includes breeders. Those sacrifices need to come now, and not for the next generation of racing folks to have to worry about, because there might not be a real next generation.

-Dr. Bryan Langlois, DVM served as President of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association from 2018-2019 and is a current board member of their charitable arm, Animal Care PA. He is also on the Board of Directors of ThoroFan.

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Turf Paradise’s Simulcast Extended, Plans To Card Races In Early January

Thu, 2023-09-28 11:55

The Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has extended Turf Paradise's contract to simulcast races for wagering until Nov. 12, the Phoenix track said in a tweet Thursday morning.

The extension avoids a shutdown of the track's 37 Off Track Betting sites. A new live horse racing meet is scheduled to start in early January. The news comes after Turf Paradise reported Sept. 19 that the owner of the track, Jerry Sims, would be retiring and that no more live racing or simulcasting would take place after Oct. 1.

Additional information on this developing situation will be reported when it becomes available.

The AZ HBP has extended Turf Paradise's contract to simulcast races for wagering until November 12th.
The extension avoids a shutdown of the track's 37 Off Track Betting sites.
A new live horseracing meet is scheduled to start in early January.

— Turf Paradise (@turf_paradise) September 28, 2023

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Old Friends Oct. 16 Fall Fundraiser Scheduled

Thu, 2023-09-28 11:34

Old Friends Farm will hold its Fall Fundraiser on Monday, Oct. 16, the Thoroughbred retirement home said in a release Thursday morning.

Before the fundraiser, at 11:30 a.m. (ET) the farm will pay tribute to MGSW Timely Writer, who lost his life in a breakdown at Belmont Park in 1982. Due to construction of a new synthetic track in Elmont, his grave has been exhumed and his remains will now be reinterred at the Nikki Bacharach Memorial Cemetery at Old Friends. There is no cost to attend the service.

Gates open at noon and the fundraiser features a light lunch with Old Friends items offered for sale. Mini farm tours and special guests will round out the afternoon. Admission is $40 for adults, $20 for 2023 Clubhouse Members, and Kids 12/under are free.

Click here for more information.

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