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Updated: 13 hours 54 min ago

Dec 6: Bolt d’Oro Has the Lead

Wed, 2022-12-07 17:14

A three-horse match race for the 2022 first-crop sire crown is on! The TDN will continue to publish our earnings list on a nightly basis with data streaming in for Northern Hemisphere-born foals from stallions standing in North America.

Note that Japanese earnings are added every Sunday night, and there may be delayed reporting from other countries, which could postpone the final results in a very tight race into early January. We will also be providing a preview of 2-year-olds entered the next day in North America and beyond. Let the final jockeying for position, begin!


Current Earnings Standings through racing of Dec. 6:

1st—Bolt d'Oro, $2,468,708

2nd—Good Magic, $2,446,087

3rd—Justify, $2,281,355


Notable Runners for Wednesday Night, Dec. 7:

Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), Spendthrift Farm, $20,000

167 foals of racing age/23 winners/5 black-type winners

5-Turfway, 7:55 p.m. EST, Msw 6f, Moment to Shine, 5-2

$50,000 KEE NOV wnl; $165,000 FTK JUL yrl; $290,000 OBS MAR


   *Entered as the 5-2 morning-line favorite on the all-weather, this filly out of Moment of Speight (Ire) is looking to improve after debuting at Churchill Downs on Nov. 16 where she rallied late to secure third behind runaway winner and first-time starter Dazzling Blue (Into Mischief).

The TDN sire lists contain full-dollar earnings of Northern Hemisphere foals winning anywhere in the world. To view the current standings updated overnight, click here.

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NYRA Bets Holding Announces Partnership with Game of Silks

Wed, 2022-12-07 16:29

NYRA Bets Holding, LLC, a subsidiary of NYRA Bets, LLC, the official online wagering platform of the New York Racing Association, Inc., and Game of Silks, the online game connected to the real world of Thoroughbred horse racing, announced Wednesday a new partnership resulting in NYRA Bets Holding, LLC acquiring a minority equity ownership position in Game of Silks.

In addition to this strategic investment, the partnership establishes Game of Silks as the Official Blockchain Game and Metaverse Partner of NYRA. The agreement will enable the global horse racing industry to capitalize on the rapid growth of Web3 gaming through the Game of Silks, a top 10 sports-themed NFT platform on the Ethereum blockchain which boasts a community of more than 25,000 members.

“Game of Silks presents its players with a fascinating and entertaining challenge by gamifying racehorse ownership in a completely new way,” said Dave O'Rourke, NYRA President & CEO.

NYRA will utilize America's Day at the Races and Saratoga Live, the acclaimed national television shows produced by NYRA and broadcast on the networks of FOX Sports, to provide owners with the latest news, data and information on the Game of Silks metaverse. As the operator of Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, NYRA will accelerate the creation of digital versions of New York's premium racing venues in the Game of Silks metaverse.

For more information on Silks, visit

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2023 Race Dates Approved For Horseshoe Indianapolis

Wed, 2022-12-07 15:57

Racing dates for the 21st season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis were approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) at their regular meeting Dec. 1 held at Harrah's Hoosier Park. A total of 123 racing days are on the calendar with six all-Quarter Horse racing days included in the overall total.

One of the biggest changes for the 2023 racing season is the addition of several Saturday dates from June 3 through Sept. 2. Five of those dates are allotted for Quarter Horse racing with a first post time of 10:45 a.m. Five dates in that time frame will be Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing with a first post of 5:30 p.m., while two dates, July 8 and Aug. 26, will have an earlier post time of 12 p.m. The July 8 date will be the track's signature event, the GIII Indiana Derby.

The general racing calendar will begin with a Monday through Thursday schedule with Monday racing dropped in the summer to accommodate Saturday racing. In September, the schedule will go back to the original format of Monday through Thursday.

In addition to Indiana Derby, the fourth annual Indiana Champions Day, also featuring stakes races in excess of $1 million, is slated for Saturday, Oct. 28 with a first post of 12 p.m.

Horseshoe Indianapolis will also conduct live racing on three holidays during the meet. Racing will be held Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day and Tuesday, July 4 for Independence Day with a first post of 12 p.m. Racing will also be held Saturday, Sept. 2 for Labor Day, featuring an all-Quarter Horse card beginning at 10:45 a.m.

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Northview Stallion Station Open House Saturday

Wed, 2022-12-07 15:29

Northview Stallion Station's stallion roster will be available for inspection during an open house Dec. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Chesapeake City, Maryland. The roster includes: Eclipticalspraline, Engage, Galawi (Ire), Golden Lad, Great Notion, Hoppertunity, Irish War Cry, Madefromlucky, True Valour and Uncle Lino.

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ARCI Asks FTC to Delay HISA’s Proposed Medication Rules

Wed, 2022-12-07 15:18

The Board of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has unanimously requested the Federal Trade Commission to delay final action on HISA's proposed Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules until the constitutional questions being litigated are resolved, they announced in a press release Wednesday.

“We cannot have a situation where an enforcement action is overturned because the authority of the enforcing entity to act is in question,” said Ed Martin, ARCI President. “The only way to avoid that is to delay approval of HISA rules leaving existing state rules and enforcement in place for the time being. The choice for the FTC is clear, state rules are better than no rules during this time of legal uncertainty. To approve them now with this legal uncertainty is an invitation to cheaters that you might get a free ride during the first 10 days in January, if not longer.”

The ARCI release also states: “Should the FTC approve the HISA rules and penalties were imposed for a violation of those rules the action could be appealed and potentially overturned and wiped away due to the finding in the Fifth Circuit that HISA is unconstitutional.

Likewise if a racing commission enforces the existing State anti-doping rule and penalties imposed for a violation are appealed using the argument that the federal rule preempts state action the possibility that it can be overturned also exists.

The only way to avoid this Catch-22 is to leave state rules and enforcement in place by delaying final action on the HISA ADMC rules.”

The ARCI has not taken a position on the pending litigation, although some member states have and are litigating the constitutionality of the Act.

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Six-Day Los Al Meet Starts Friday

Wed, 2022-12-07 15:07

The six-day winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos will begin Friday, Dec. 9. Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday both weeks with a 12:30 p.m. post time. The meet will be highlighted by the GI Starlet S. Dec. 10, offering 10 points towards the GI Kentucky Oaks, and GII Los Alamitos Futurity S. Dec. 17, with 10 points towards the GI Kentucky Derby.

Completing the stakes program are a pair of one-mile races for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California, the $100,000 Soviet Problem S. for fillies Dec. 11 and the $100,000 King Glorious S. Dec. 18.

There will also be a handicapping contest Saturday, Dec. 17 and the Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer a cash prize and a pair of berths to the 2023 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Cost to enter is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining $400 going towards a live money wagering card.

Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos. Permitted wagers include win, place, show, exactas, trifectas and daily doubles. Each entry must wager at least $50 on a minimum of five races that day, but there is no wagering limit. The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and the second highest bankroll will be the runner-up. The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool. The remaining payoffs: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place, 7.5% (4th place) and 7.5% (Most Money Wagered).

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Derby Preps Highlight Aqueduct Winter Stakes Schedule

Wed, 2022-12-07 14:31

A trio of GI Kentucky Derby preps highlight the Aqueduct 2023 winter meet stakes schedule, which was released by NYRA Wednesday. The 44-day winter meet, which begins Jan. 1 and runs through Mar. 26, will offer a total of 25 stakes races worth $3.2 million. Live racing will be conducted Thursday to Sunday until Feb. 12 and will move to a Friday to Sunday schedule from Feb. 17 through the end of the meet.

Stakes action kicks off on opening day with the first Derby prep, the $150,000 Jerome S., which offers 10 qualifying points to the winner. The next Derby qualifier will be the 20-point, $250,000 GIII Withers S. Feb. 4 and the third is the $300,000 GIII Gotham S., worth 50 points, to be held Mar. 4.

The winter meet also includes two prep races for the GI Kentucky Oaks, starting with the $100,000 Busanda S., a 20-point qualifying race. The other is the $200,000 Busher S. Mar. 4, worth 50 qualifying points.

The first graded race will be the $150,000 GIII Toboggan S. Jan. 28 and the final graded event takes place on Gotham day, the GIII Tom Fool H.

Aqueduct will host a special President's Day card Monday, Feb. 20, which will be highlighted by the $100,000 Haynesfield S. for older New York-bred males.

The final weekend of the winter meet will feature the $100,000 East View S. for New York-bred sophomore fillies Mar. 24, followed by New York Claiming Championship Day Saturday, Mar. 25 with six starter events offering a combined $380,000 in purse money.

Click here for the full winter meet stakes schedule.

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Oral Arguments In Sixth Circuit HISA Case Heard Wednesday

Wed, 2022-12-07 14:31

CINCINNATI, OHIO — The latest challenge to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) was the first case before the three judges selected to weigh in on the law's constitutionality Wednesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.

The plaintiffs comprise the state of Louisiana; Oklahoma and its racing commission, plus West Virginia and its racing commission. Three Oklahoma tracks-Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs, and Fair Meadows-are also plaintiffs, as are the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association, the U.S. Trotting Association, and Hanover Shoe Farms, a Pennsylvania Standardbred breeding entity.

On the other side of the aisle are the United States of America, the HISA Authority, and six individuals acting in their official capacities for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Whether the brisk winter gloom that cloaked the austere courthouse in Downtown Cincinnati Wednesday morning was a good omen for the federal law, or a portent of further legal trouble ahead, is undecided for now, the three-judge panel offering no obvious tip of the hat as to which way it will rule as a body, though with some important clues as to their individual preferences.

The two conservative judges on the panel–Jeffrey Sutton and Richard Griffin–were the most vocal in grilling lawyers from both sides, who each were originally given 15 minutes to argue their cases, with the clock running well over time.

Judge Ransey Guy Cole, the most liberal judge on the panel, remained the quietest, largely staying away from hard constitutional questions.

Sutton–an expert on state constitutionality–was the most vociferous of the three judges, repeatedly drilling down on both sides into whether the FTC has sufficient rule making power over the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the private entity charged with developing rules related to medication control and racetrack safety, and otherwise just known as the Authority.

The key issues surrounded the FTC's interim rule making power, and whether that was enough of an independent mechanism to keep it from being subordinate to the Authority– key problem, in the eyes of the conservative judges.

In other words, the Authority appears to wield a lot of “discretion” in the rule-making process “not reviewable” by the FTC, said Sutton. “And that's a worry,” he added.

Towards the end of the oral arguments in the Sixth Circuit–which has legal jurisdiction over the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee–Griffin's mind appeared firmly set against the constitutionality of the law, as written.

“The Authority has so much broad power that is not subject to review by the FTC” other than in its ability to review a proposed rule's consistency with the statutes, said Griffin.

Sutton, however, appeared somewhat swayed by the earlier arguments of attorney Pratik Shah, representing the FTC.

In pre-hearing court filings, lawyers representing the plaintiffs cite the recent ruling in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed an earlier Northern District of Texas's decision that had found HISA constitutional.

The plaintiffs point out that the Fifth Circuit found HISA fundamentally different from another important relationship between a governmental agency and a private entity–that between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)–because the SEC has the power to “abrogate, add to, and delete from FINRA rules as the SEC deems necessary or appropriate.'”

In contrast, “HISA unambiguously and 'explicitly limits agency review to 'consistency,'” wrote the plaintiffs, adding that, “In sum, that court explained that 'the Constitution vests federal power only in the three branches of the federal government,' but HISA 'defies this basic safeguard by vesting government power in a private entity not accountable to the people,'” wrote the plaintiffs.

On Wednesday, Shah argued that the makeup of the rule-making relationship between the FTC and the Authority indeed mirrored that between the SEC and FINRA.

In being limited to reviewing the consistency of the Authority's proposed rules, the FTC was very similar to “a lot of law” in the relationship between the SEC and FINRA, Shah said.

Furthermore, Shah argued that the FTC's ability to write and promulgate interim final rules, many of which would go into permanent effect, is indeed enough of an independent mechanism–in the vein of the SEC–to counter concerns that the FTC has no ability to modify rules proposed by the Authority.

Attorney Matthew McGill, representing the plaintiffs, challenged that notion, arguing that the Authority has broad discretion to write its own rules, “and the FTC is utterly powerless to modify that.”

Griffin appeared sympathetic towards that argument, noting unfavorably that the FTC still remains “much more limited” in its scope to write interim final rules than the Authority's rule-making discretion.

In wrapping up his arguments, Shah referenced the defendants' own court documents–in the process, sign-posting a possible endpoint for the case.

In court documents, the defendants claim that the Fifth Circuit's ruling from last month “contradicts (without addressing) the FTC's interpretation of its independent rulemaking authority under section 3053(e), FTC Br. 32-35, and turns constitutional avoidance on its head.

“The panel's holding also overlooks that the Coal Commission in Sunshine Anthracite Coal Company v. Adkins could modify proposed minimum prices only 'to conform to the requirements' of the statute, not at its freewheeling discretion, Authority Br. 37-38–yet that scheme was 'unquestionably valid,'” the defendants write.

“For both reasons, the Fifth Circuit panel's decision is wrong–and stands at odds with not only the two other federal courts that have upheld HISA, but also 80 years of precedent from the Supreme Court (Adkins) and the courts of appeals (uniformly upholding the SEC-FINRA model). Accordingly, this Court should reject the Fifth Circuit's wayward decision,” the defendants wrote.

On Wednesday, Shah called the Adkins case “the most factually analogous” to the one before the Sixth Circuit, saying that it's “up to the Supreme Court to overturn Adkins.”

Mention of the Supreme Court raises the possibility that the highest court in the land potentially hears this case, or the one before the Fifth Circuit. For that to happen, a number of dominoes must first fall, however.

Constitutional law experts say that the Supreme Court would be more inclined to hear a HISA-related case in the event of conflicting rulings between the different appeals courts–in other words, if the Sixth Circuit finds that HISA is indeed constitutional as written.

In the interim, HISA's proponents are apparently seeking a congressional re-write of the rules, to cede the FTC greater input on the rule making process.

Last week, it was reported that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell–who was so instrumental in pushing HISA through in 2020–is seeking that fix to be included in the full-year omnibus spending bill, which could pass later this month.

Whether or not that happens, HISA's anti-doping and medication control program is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 in the vast majority of states that conduct pari-mutuel wagering.

If a congressional fix isn't sought soon, however, and if the defendants fail to get a stay in the Fifth Circuit decision, HISA will no longer be legally binding in the states of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi come Jan. 10 next year.

Rarely if ever has the industry been in such flux–cold comfort for the thousands of trainers, jockeys, grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, breeders, farriers and assortment of other industry stakeholders that rely on it for their living.

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Winter Auction to Benefit Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs

Wed, 2022-12-07 13:41

In order to help finance the essential programs of the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs (BLC), The Louisville Thoroughbred Society (LTS) will sponsor a public auction of donated items Friday, Dec. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. The Pressbox will provide phone numbers and the staff, while their website updates bidding every five minutes.

Some of the highlighted items include horse blankets from Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, as well as one used by Spendthrift Farm's leading sire, Into Mischief. Also on the block, will be a reserved table for eight at Kentucky Downs, and a three-bottle set of select LTS craft bourbons.

In light of Churchill Downs Inc. recently announcing that it would be keeping the backside and racetrack open through the winter to assist with the stabling of the Kentucky horse population, as their very own Turfway Park runs its meet, the BLC will continue to respond with a range of services for workers. These include: a weekly fresh food market, social services and case management, free mental health therapy, and an adult program for second language learners. Sherry Stanley, the Executive Director of the Churchill Downs Backside Learning Center said, “We have always worked with the community of families over the winter who stay in town.”

Click here for more information on special auction items added to the list.

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2023 George Woolf Award Finalists Announced

Wed, 2022-12-07 10:06

Jockeys Daniel Cedeno, Javier Castellano, Terry Houghton, Edwin Maldonado, and Willie Martinez have been named by Santa Anita Park as finalists for the 2023 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Determined by a vote of their fellow riders nationwide, the Woolf Award can only be won once in a lifetime. It has been presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950. All of the finalists, except Castellano, are appearing on the ballot for the first time.

The Woolf Award was named in honor of the late George Woolf, known as “The Iceman,” who passed away due to a racing accident at Santa Anita in 1946. The first recipient of the award was Gordon Glisson in 1950, while Joe Bravo was the 73rd recipient this past year. The Woolf Award trophy is a replica of the life-sized statue which adorns Santa Anita's Paddock Gardens area.

The 2023 Woolf Award winner will be announced in February.

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The Queen’s Plate Renamed The King’s Plate

Wed, 2022-12-07 09:34

The historic Queen's Plate, North America's longest continuously run stakes race, will be renamed The King's Plate. Woodbine will run the next edition of the Canadian Classic Sunday, Aug. 20. Entry conditions for the 2023 King's Plate are unchanged with the race remaining open to all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds foaled in Canada.

“The Plate is one of the most celebrated events in horse racing, and we're proud to celebrate its history while starting a new chapter under the banner of The King's Plate,” said Jim Lawson, Woodbine Entertainment's CEO. “Those who attend can expect more than elite-level horse racing. They can soak in the elements of food, fashion, and culture that have become associated with this prestigious annual event while enjoying moments designed for a new generation of race fans. We're excited to share more details about The King's Plate in the months to come.”

First run in 1860 with a purse of 50 guineas from Queen Victoria to Canadian-bred horses, the prize from the British monarchy still continues this day. The Queen's Plate was renamed in 1901 to The King's Plate during the reign of four consecutive kings, then returned to The Queen's Plate moniker in 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne. In September, King Charles III was named British monarch.

The King's Plate is Canada's oldest and most prestigious Thoroughbred race and the 2023 running, worth $1 million and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, will mark the 164th edition.

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Racehorses Lead the Way at Fasig-Tipton December Sale

Tue, 2022-12-06 18:33

The top six sellers at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed and Horses of Racing Age Sale Tuesday were all racehorses, led by the 3-year-old gelding Radical Right (First Samurai) (Hip 281), who brought $260,000 from Tom Kagele.

The Richard Shultz homebred is a three-time winner and entered the sale off a second in the City of Laurel S. Nov. 26 for trainer Dale Capuano. He was consigned by Northview Stallion Station.

Trainer Mike Maker was very active, purchasing four racehorses, including the second highest-priced offering Heldish (Great Notion) (Hip 243), who summoned $160,000. His four purchases totaled $437,000 with an average of $109,250.

The highest-priced weanling was a $75,000 filly (Hip 139) from the first crop of Grade I winner Global Campaign, bought by Wellspring Stables LLC. The most expensive broodmare was In My Time (Scat Daddy) (Hip 113), who sold in foal to Practical Joke for $62,000. She was purchased by trainer Wayne Potts, acting as agent for Barak Farm.

In total, 172 horses grossed $3,233,600 with an average of $18,800 and median of $10,000. Fifty-six horses failed to meet their reserves for an RNA rate of 24.5%.

During last year's sale, which was bolstered by the 86-horse dispersal of Joseph Becker, 261 of the 332 horses on offer sold for $3,905,100. The average was $14,962 and the median was $10,000. Seventy-one horses failed to sell for an RNA rate of 21.38%. The 2021 renewal was topped by maiden 2-year-old Safalow's Mission (Mission Impazible), who brought $130,000 from New York-based trainer Linda Rice, acting on behalf of Thelma and Louise Stable.

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Symposium Panel: Act Locally Before Thinking Globally

Tue, 2022-12-06 16:56

It might seem odd that during a Tuesday panel discussion titled “Capitalizing on Racing's Global Footprint,” one presenter at the 2022 Symposium on Racing hosted by the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program insisted that localism trumps globalism when you're trying to market the sport worldwide.

Yet Simon Fraser, the senior vice president in charge OF international simulcast signal distribution for 1/ST Content, made his case effectively by drawing upon his experiences in managing the content rights, data, odds and signals on behalf of a broad portfolio of global partners who work with the world's leading fixed-odds, spread-betting and commingled wagering companies.

“One of the points that I've learned over the years is that racing is an inherently local sport. It isn't a global sport. It's a very local sport,” Fraser said.

As example, he pointed out that racetrackers worldwide, “all speak a version of the same language, and we all can understand each other when we talk.”

But when a bettor from one part of the planet opens up a racing publication or looks at past-performance data from another corner of the globe, it can be very difficult for them to interpret the information with enough familiarity to confidently place a wager.

Other local/global differences exist. Think fixed odds-versus-mutuels, dirt-versus-turf, jumps-versus- flats. Now toss into the mix different rules and officiating styles, plus the inherent disorientation of working across multiple time zones.

“To take advantage of the fact that people really do like racing, and they like to bet on racing internationally, you have to react to what the local market needs,” Fraser said. “First of all, the local product has to be right. If the local product isn't right, then it doesn't matter what happens internationally. And all of the revenue that you're really going to make to make the local product right comes from the local market. Anything international is just the cherry on top.

“Now, when you do the local product right, you can take it to countries and you can adapt it, and you can work with local partners and local betting companies and local journalists to turn that product into a suitable product for that market.”

Fraser gave the specific example of selling North America simulcast signals to Turkey, where the only wager routinely attractive to players in that market is a Pick Six. That means his focus on providing content to that market revolves around providing six strongly bettable races.

“But that work for Turkey doesn't translate to Italy,” Fraser explained. “It doesn't translate to Australia. It's very specific for that market, and you have to do everything differently for each market.”

Bill Nader, currently the president and chief executive officer for the Thoroughbred Owners of California, drew upon his decades of executive-level experience with the New York Racing Association and the Hong Kong Jockey Club to remind his U.S.-based audience that global participation is a two-way street.

“Not just America trying to find out what it can gain from venturing outside the country, but also horses coming in and running in our races, and trying to capitalize, from their own way, on global participation,” Nader said.

As a prime example, Nader cited the recent rise in international prominence for Japan-based Thoroughbreds. He, too, tied in that global shift to what's happening locally in Japan.

“You don't really see the top Japanese horses running in the [GI] Breeders' Cup Turf, because at that time of the year they have their own races. But in the dirt program, they don't. So where will they go? They'll go to where dirt racing is at the center of the global universe, America, and target [Grade I] races like the [G] Kentucky Derby, the [GI] Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup,” Nader said. “In Japan, there's only one Grade I race on dirt. And I think that's their next chapter, and they'll develop more with their dirt program in the next five to 10 years.”

Maybe not so much in sprint races, Nader postulated. But because Japan's bloodstock program is adept at cultivating runners that excel between nine and 12 furlongs, their horses as a whole tend to be, “stronger in more [of] the staying races,” he said.

“You've seen the broodmares that they continue to buy, especially here in America. They're just getting stronger and stronger. But I do think that eventually, they'll come for us on the dirt. And when they do, it's a good thing.”

Why good for American entities?

“Because if a Japanese horse is running in those races, all of Japan is watching. The benefit of that is incredible,” Nader said, in terms of long-term, trickle-down economics.

At one point, Fraser was asked what a typical, mid-level American racetrack can do to stand out to international bettors.

“One thing to remember is internationally, people don't necessarily know what is a mid-range [American] track [or] what is a top track. I know that might come as a surprise,” he said.

“Some of what you would think of as mid-range tracks are very popular internationally because they run on the right days. They run on days when there is not much going on. So if you are in the winter on the East Coast, there's not a lot of evening racing happening in France, or the U.K., or in Ireland during the winter. So those tracks that run Tuesday are pretty prominent tracks [overseas]. Whereas some of the bigger tracks that all run on Saturday and are crowding against each other don't get much share or voice.”

Data compatibility across different cultures is a topic that has percolated at racing's international conferences since the advent of global simulcasting. Tuesday's panel discussion re-examined the issue.

Dean McKenzie, the managing director for McKenzie Sport International, Ltd. in New Zealand, noted that bettors in other parts of the world are baffled when they encounter an American equipment change listed simply as blinkers on or off. They're used to being able to find out exactly what type of blinkers are being used among the many variations. And if a trainer decides to tell his rider to switch running-style tactics, in many foreign jurisdictions that gets communicated to the public via stewards.

Nader noted that gamblers in other parts of the world are used to judging a horse's fitness based on its body weight, which is a standard and widely available stat outside of the U.S. but practically unheard of here except for a couple of brief experiments at various tracks.

Tallulah Wilson, the head of international partnerships for UK Tote, pointed out that global rules conflicts, such as a horse running for “purse money only” in a big race like the Breeders' Cup, can create significant confusion. (Such a concept is unheard of outside the U.S.)

But, Wilson added, stakeholders have to overcome these sorts of challenges.

“You have to adapt for the benefit of your customers,” she said.

When Fraser chimed in on the topic of what U.S. content providers need to do right to be more  internationally appealing, he pinpointed two nagging issues that the American racing industry has long debated but just can't seem to get right: offering decent field sizes and adhering to published post times.

“Eight-plus runners, and [going] off on time is crucial,” Fraser said.

Although the tie-in went unspoken by anyone on the panel, that final comment from Fraser dovetailed neatly with his initial point about racing entities needing to optimize local practices before trying to scale up to the global level.



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Inaugural Big Data Derby Winner Announced

Tue, 2022-12-06 15:51

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) announced that a team led by Brendan Kumagai has been selected as the winner of the inaugural Big Data Derby competition, beating out 105 other submissions for first prize. Kumagai, together with Gurashish Bagga, Kimberly Kroetch, Tyrel Stokes, and Liam Welsh, took the $20,000 first prize with the submission, “Bayesian Velocity Models for Horse Race Simulation.”

Kumagai's team created a dynamic model that focused on horses' forward versus lateral speed and examined the results of sustained momentum and velocity within races. The team also studied jockey performance and how that would impact a horse's running style in addition to biometric data, leading to the possibility of calculating a horse's welfare and injury probability.

“We're honored to be named the winners of the inaugural Big Data Derby competition,” Kumagai said. “Our team primarily works in financial analytics and hockey statistics, so working with horse racing data has been a unique challenge which allowed us to apply our skills to a relatively new and unexplored domain.”

The Big Data Derby was launched with the goal of analyzing the vast amounts of data available to racing organizations, and to understand how the results of those studies could impact traditional methods of racing and training. The competition was sponsored NYRA and the NYTHA in partnership with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Equibase, The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

Other models in the competition shed light on injury prevention, jockey decision making metrics, race tactics, track bias and more. Kumagai, a Data Science intern at Zelus Analytics, was previously part of a team that won the 2022 Big Data Bowl offered by the National Football League. The competition was judged by data analyst Rob Bingel, Rhodes College Economics Professor, horseplayer and thoroughbred owner Marshall Gramm, and Craig Milkowski of TimeformUS.

An open notebook of user-created content and data can be viewed at:

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Churchill Downs Releases Official Art For Derby 2023

Tue, 2022-12-06 13:14

Churchill Downs Racetrack on Tuesday released the 2023 “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” created this year by renowned international artist Romero Britto.

Britto's work for the 149th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve highlights his iconic approach of mixing bright colors with unique patterns. With sparkling, textured accents and elements of pop graphics, the art features subtle details that bring the racetrack scene to life, highlighting the energy and excitement of the Derby in a modern way.

“The Kentucky Derby has such a rich history, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Romero Britto to commemorate the 149th running with artwork that brings a modern perspective to our longstanding tradition,” Casey C. Ramage, Churchill Downs' Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships, said. “Working with an icon like Britto is an exciting opportunity for us to connect with new fans around the globe through this visually compelling representation of the fun and exhilaration of the Derby experience.”

Britto will also attend this year's event to watch the race and participate in a variety of Derby week special activities, including sitting on the judging panel for the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest. Britto's work will be featured on the 2023 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks official racing programs and a variety of merchandise, and 1,000 limited-edition prints will be available for purchase starting December 6, 2022, at All other items will be available for purchase beginning in late February.

“I'm honored to partner with Churchill Downs to unveil the official art of this year's Kentucky Derby and celebrate this spectacular occasion,” Britto said.

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HISA CEO at Symposium: ‘To External Threats, We Need to Speak in One Voice’

Tue, 2022-12-06 13:01

Lisa Lazarus, the chief executive officer for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), on Tuesday made an appeal for sport-wide unity with United States racing on the cusp of a Jan. 1 roll-out of HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules.

“I want you to think about what this sort of change is going to mean for the industry,” Lazarus said. “It's going to look and feel different, and it's going to allow us to say to those that are our detractors, to those that doubt horse racing is clean, 'Look, we now have a rigorous, comprehensive program that is uniform; where laboratories are harmonized.'”

Lazarus made her remarks as part of the kickoff to the 2022 Global Symposium on Racing hosted by the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program in Tucson, Arizona. She briefly acknowledged, but did not dwell upon, the looming legal fight that HISA faces that could derail its very existence.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Nov. 18 ruled that HISA is unconstitutional, and the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court will hear oral arguments Dec. 7 in a similar case that also seeks to reverse a lower court's decision to dismiss a constitutional challenge.

Although petitions for legal stays, rehearings, or potential actions by Congress are all in play for the near future, HISA is otherwise operating in business-as-usual mode until an expected Jan. 10 mandate gets issued by the Fifth Circuit to enforce its order. So in that spirit, Lazarus kept her Dec. 6 remarks forward-focused.

“One of two things are going to happen,” Lazarus said. “Either we're going to be able to show, and I think we will, that the vast majority of racehorses are competing clean. And if we have [drug] positives, we'll be able to show that we're now taking significant action, that we're now on our own initiative cleaning things up. So this, to me, is a game-changer.”

Lazarus said she would like industry stakeholders to think of HISA as a “stabilizer.” She gave the analogy of a stable stock market, in which that stability allows growth to occur.

Lazarus also mentioned a couple of ways in which she didn't want stakeholders to think of HISA: Not, she said, as an entity “making rules that complicate people's lives. Not to being sort of a top-down regulator. But genuinely helping to grow the industry through creating uniformity; through creating this protective sheath around issues of integrity and safety.”

Wrapping up, Lazarus underscored the need for unity.

“We need to be united as an industry. We can fight, and scream, and yell, and debate and malign behind closed doors. But to the outside public, to the external threats, we need to speak in one voice,” Lazarus said.

“This is our moment in time. This moment is very unlikely ever to replicate itself,” Lazarus said. “We can't lose this moment in time.”

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Keeneland Catalogs 1,509 Horses to January Sale

Tue, 2022-12-06 11:29

Keeneland has cataloged 1,509 horses–broodmares and broodmare prospects, yearlings and horses of racing age as well as stallions and stallion prospects–for the 66th January Horses of All Ages Sale, which will cover four sessions from Jan. 9-12, 2023.

The January Sale catalog now is available online at Print catalogs are scheduled to arrive in the mail the week of Dec. 19.

“Because the January Sale is held at the crossroads of racing and breeding seasons, the auction is a terrific opportunity for horsemen to plan for the future, whether they are breeders who seek broodmares and broodmare prospects for the coming breeding season or owners and trainers focused on the track who want to obtain newly turned yearlings and horses of racing age,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said.

Denali Stud, agent, will handle 54 horses cataloged in the Dispersal of successful New York breeder Patricia Generazio. Among them are stakes winner Mischievous Dream (Into Mischief) along with Pure Bode (Bodemeister) and Marquet Legacy (Gio Ponti), who are all cataloged as racing or broodmare prospects.

The most recent graduate of the January Sale to excel at the highest level is Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom), who captured the GI Matriarch S. Sunday for her third Grade I win of the year. In addition, stakes winners of 2022 who were sold as yearlings at the January Sale include Grade I-winning juveniles And Tell Me Nolies (Arrogate) and Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) as well as MGSW Interstatedaydream (Classic Empire).

Each session of the January Sale begins at 10 a.m. ET. The schedule is as follows, with Book 1 settling Monday-Tuesday, Jan. 9-10 and Book 2 going Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 11-12. The entire January Sale will be livestreamed at and will be aired on the FanDuel Plus App. Scott Hazelton will report periodically on the first two sessions on FanDuel TV.

The January Sale catalog includes mares in foal to prominent stallions and emerging young sires. Among them is Charlatan, the leading covering sire at Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale. Additional covering sires include American Pharoah, Army Mule, Audible, Authentic, Bolt d'Oro, Constitution, Essential Quality, Girvin, Good Magic, Gun Runner, Hard Spun, Justify, Kitten's Joy, Knicks Go, Liam's Map, Medaglia d'Oro, McKinzie, No Nay Never, Not This Time, Quality Road, Sharp Azteca, Uncle Mo and Vekoma.

Among the sires of yearlings in the catalog are Audible, Authentic, City of Light, Constitution, Curlin, Good Magic, Gun Runner, Justify, Maclean's Music, McKinzie, Not This Time, Omaha Beach, Quality Road, Uncle Mo, Vekoma, Volatile and War of Will.

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Chan Pleads Guilty to Single Felony Count in Plea Deal

Mon, 2022-12-05 18:09

The New York-based veterinarian Alexander Chan, facing three felony charges related to drug adulteration, misbranding, and wire fraud conspiracies for allegedly injecting purported performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) into racehorses trained by co-defendant Jason Servis and then hiding the billing for his services, cut a plea bargain with the government Monday.

Chan's deal involved waiving indictment and pleading guilty to a single superseding information charge of drug adulteration and misbranding in exchange for the other charges against him being dropped, a format that is similar in substance to deals that other convicted defendants in the wide-ranging doping conspiracy case have agreed to with government prosecutors rather than face a trial by jury.

Chan had signaled his intention to plead guilty last Thursday, when he asked for and was swiftly granted a Dec. 5 change-of-plea hearing in United States District Court (Southern District of New York).

That decision seemingly left Servis as the lone remaining high-profile defendant in the case to go to trial as scheduled Jan. 9. But news broke Friday that Servis, too, is seeking a plea deal to adjudicate his own trio of felony drug misbranding and conspiracy to commit fraud charges. There was no update on the court docket with regard to Servis's case status as of early Monday evening.

As part of his plea deal, Chan will also have to pay the feds a forfeiture of $311,760. The money judgment represents the value of “any and all drugs that were adulterated or misbranded when introduced into or while in interstate commerce or while held for sale…” according to court documents filed Dec. 5.

Chan's sentencing will be Apr. 13.

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Attorneys Sanctioned in X-Ray Case Against Hagyard

Mon, 2022-12-05 17:12

Two attorneys representing Midwest trainer Tom Swearingen, who filed a class-action lawsuit in February 2019 alleging that Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates had been falsifying dates on radiographs for over a decade, have in a rare judicial move been ordered to repay the defendants' legal costs in the case, according to a decision dated Dec. 1 out of the Fayette Circuit Court in Kentucky.

In her decision, judge Julie Muth Goodman determined that Swearingen's attorneys, Mason Miller and William Rambicure, had violated civil rule (CR) 11 in bringing the case against four Hagyard veterinarians without “reasonable inquiry” to gauge the merits of their client's claims.

“Miller and Rambicure's conduct in the case became particularly egregious when they continued to prosecute the Complaint after Swearingen's written discovery responses confirmed that the Complaint's allegations regarding Swearingen's review of x-rays in the repository were untrue, that Swearingen could not prove requisite elements of his individual or class claims, and that he never qualified as the putative class representative,” wrote Goodman.

The circuit court ruling follows an appeals court ruling from earlier in the year that affirmed an earlier Fayette Circuit Court decision to dismiss Swearingen's original class action complaint, along with the trial court's denial of the trainer's contemporaneous motion to file an amended class action complaint.

According to attorney Mike Casey, who represents three of the Hagyard veterinarians in the case, it is “exceedingly rare” for a court to grant Rule CR 11 sanctions against attorneys.

“And frankly, we don't ask for them unless we believe the conduct was egregious because people have a constitutional right in Kentucky to file a lawsuit,” said Casey.

“However, that can only be filed if there's a good faith basis for that complaint to be filed. That's what the court said—and the court of appeals–that there was never anyone to bring this lawsuit,” said Casey. “It's ironic to file a lawsuit for fraud and it ends up being a fraudulent lawsuit.”

According to last week's court order, Miller and Rambicure are required to pay “jointly or severally” the defendants' reasonable attorney fees and costs “from the day following the tendering of discovery responses until the date of this order.”

These “costs and fees” preclude those associated with the plaintiff's appeals court case. “This Court lacks jurisdiction over filings in matters before the Court of Appeals,” Goodman notes.

Casey declined to comment on the amount Miller and Rambicure will be required to pay, adding that he would first have to discuss the matter with three other law firms representing the defendants.

It is currently unclear if Miller and Rambicure will appeal last week's circuit court decision. They did not respond to an emailed request for comment before deadline.

In his original complaint, Swearingen claimed that he had purchased two dozen horses at Keeneland during the time the time the Hagyard veterinarians had allegedly been falsifying dates on the X-rays placed on file at the sales, and suggested he would not have purchased the horses had he known about the alteration.

It later transpired that Swearingen had never viewed or relied on X-rays during the years in question, nor did he have a veterinarian examine the X-rays.

“While it is certainly questionable whether the Complaint should ever have been filed, it should have become clear to Miller and Rambicure that their Plaintiff's case was completely groundless when Swearingen's discovery responses and deposition testimony indicated that he had never accessed Keeneland's x-ray depository and therefore could never have made purchasing decisions based on the misdated x-rays,” Goodman writes.

“Both Miller and Rambicure could have, and should have, dismissed the case at this point, and their decision to continue prosecuting the case anyway was egregious enough to merit an award of sanctions. The Court, therefore, in its discretion, finds it appropriate to compensate the Defendants for attorney's fees and other costs incurred past this point in the litigation, beginning the day following the tendering of Swearingen's discovery responses.”

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Wagering Down, Purses Up in November

Mon, 2022-12-05 15:29

Purses for U.S. races continued their positive trend in November, while wagering handle ticked down to essentially put the year's betting numbers on par with 2021's figures heading into 2022's final month, according to economic indicator figures released by Equibase Monday.

A total of $918,196,787 was bet on U.S. races in November, a 4.47% decrease from the $961,166,113 wagered in November 2021. For the year, $11,360,902,118 has been bet, just a .4% drop from the $11,406,643,956 wagered through 11 months in 2021. This year's total still represents an 11.7% increase from the number through November in 2020.

Purses totaled $123,469,492 this November, a 4.91% improvement from the $117,688,125 paid out in November 2021. For the year, purses have totaled $1,226,689,699, a healthy 10.91% jump from the $1,106,062,847 from November 2021. Compared to the COVID-affected year of 2020, purses are up an overwhelming 51.03% in 2022.

For the year, average field size in American racing is 7.26, a slight .93% drop from 7.33 in 2021 and an 8.19% decrease from 7.91 in 2020.

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