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Updated: 16 hours 52 min ago

Velazquez to Winter at Santa Anita

Mon, 2021-11-29 17:04

Jockey John Velazquez will be based primarily at Santa Anita Park for the upcoming meet there that starts Dec. 26, a switch from recent seasons in which the 50-year-old Hall-of-Famer has wintered at Gulfstream Park.

Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form first broke the news Monday. TDN left a phone message for Velazquez seeking comment, but it did not yield a return call prior to deadline for this story.

The four-time GI Kentucky Derby-winner and co-chairman of the Jockeys' Guild made his decision public Nov. 29 via his agent, Ron Anderson.

Velazquez has increasingly flown in from his East Coast base to ride stakes horses for trainer Bob Baffert in recent years. He rode at Del Mar over Thanksgiving weekend, winning twice from 10 mounts. Six of those rides were for trainer Richard Baltas; two were on Doug O'Neill trainees.

The post Velazquez to Winter at Santa Anita appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Trainer Morris Nicks Dies at 74

Mon, 2021-11-29 14:38

Morris G. Nicks, who trained for parts of six decades, primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky, died Nov. 25 at his home in Waskom, Texas. He had been fighting cancer and was 74 years old.

His passing was confirmed by his wife Ellen in a Daily Racing Form story that broke the news Sunday. His son, the trainer Ralph Nicks, told DRF that his father had requested no funeral services to be held. According to DRF, Nicks grew up on a farm in Texas and galloped horses and rode in match races before spending a summer at age 17 working at Ruidoso Downs. He began training shortly thereafter, around 1965, at Oaklawn Park.

According to Equibase, Nicks won graded stakes with the sprinter Run Johnny in the 1999 GIII Aristides H. at Churchill Downs and with Golden Sonata in the 2004 GII Oaklawn Breeders' Cup S. at Oaklawn Park.

Nicks won the 2011 Louisiana Downs training title. He had retired from running a stable in 2018, citing health issues.

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Report: Corniche to Freshen at WinStar Before Returning to Baffert

Mon, 2021-11-29 13:36

Presumptive 2-year-old champion male and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile hero Corniche (Quality Road) will be freshened briefly at WinStar Farm in Kentucky this winter before returning to Bob Baffert's barn, according to a report in Daily Racing Form. Marette Farrell, who purchased the $1.5-million colt for Speedway Stable, said Corniche was sent to Kentucky last Wednesday.

“It's time to give him a little bit of a break,” Farrell told DRF. “Speedway likes to use WinStar for lay-ups. He can be turned out, graduate to a paddock, and they have a track, too. It's important to get a break mentally. A change of scenery is good for all of us.”

The ongoing subplot regarding Corniche and Baffert's other potential GI Kentucky Derby contenders is what the respective ownerships will do with their horses as the Derby, now a little over five months away, inches closer on the calendar. Baffert was suspended for two years from running horses at Churchill Downs after his Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for an overage of betamethasone in this year's Derby.

If that suspension holds, it would likely prompt owners to move their horses from Baffert in time to run in the May 7 Derby. But for now, Peter Fluor and KC Weiner's Speedway is staying loyal to Baffert, as Farrell said the plan is to return Corniche to Baffert's barn at Santa Anita after his freshening.

“Peter wants to be loyal,” she said. “Corniche won the Breeders' Cup, and he's a possible 2-year-old champion. No decisions have been made–there hasn't even been any talk about another trainer, or who he'd go to if he needs to go to another trainer. If the time comes that a decision needs to be made, if it needs to be that way, we'll put our heads together and make a decision.”

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Former HOF President von Stade Dies

Mon, 2021-11-29 13:19

John T. Von Stade, the longest serving president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame from 1989-2005, passed away Nov. 25 at his home in Lutherville, Maryland. He was 83 years of age.

Born June 28, 1938, in Old Westbury, New York, von Stade graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and Harvard University, pursuing a passion for music while participating in and managing the choir at St. Paul's and the glee club at Harvard. After attending the Aspen School of Music and a stint in the Army Reserves, von State spent some time in the world of banking before opening the Essex Gallery of Sport in Far Hills, New Jersey.

Von Stade's father was a founder of the National Museum of Racing in 1950, president of the National Steeplechase Association and the final president of the Saratoga Association, which owned and operated Saratoga Race Course. In his youth, John von Stade drove a tractor at the track.

For a half-century, von Stade served as co-chair at Far Hills, helping to grow an event that early on attracted a few thousand spectators to the country's richest day of steeplechasing.

After serving more than a decade as a trustee of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, von Stade was elected as its president in 1989, succeeding Whitney Tower. During his tenure, von Stade oversaw an $18-million project that modernized the institution and increased the size of the facility to better than 45,000 square feet. In 1995, von Stade was the recipient of the F. Ambrose Clark Award, the highest honor in steeplechasing, given periodically to an individual who has done the most to promote, improve and encourage the growth and welfare of American steeplechasing.

Von Stade is survived by his wife, the former Phyllis Kaltenbach DuVal; his son, John von Stade Jr. and daughter-in-law Ann von Stade; Phyllis's daughters and son-in-law Anna DuVal, Olivia Duval and Joseph Cutrone; and six grandchildren. He was also the uncle to many nephews and nieces, including the opera singer Frederica von Stade.

Services will be held Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Ownings Mills, Maryland.

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RTIP Global Symposium to be Streamed Live

Mon, 2021-11-29 10:53

The 47th annual University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) Global Symposium on Racing, to be held in Tucson Dec. 6-8, will be streamed live online for the first time. Roberts Communications Network (RCN) will make the live streaming package, which will include archived sessions of each panel, available for $195 on Racetrack Television Network (RTN), with all proceeds from the sales going back to the RTIP.

“We are thrilled to stream the symposium to a global audience for the first time,” said RTIP Chair Robert Hartman. “While there will be a huge turnout of industry attendees, we also understand that travel may not be possible for some, and felt it was important to make these panel sessions available to everyone. We are very appreciative of RCN's help in this endeavor and especially their generosity in donating all of the proceeds back to the program.”

The agenda for this year's symposium includes panels on and/or reports from the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), industry leaders sharing their three-year plan, ways to increase field size, seizing the fixed odds and sports betting opportunities, growing sponsorship revenue, and more.

For more information on the symposium, including a full agenda, visit


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Lukas to be Keynote Speaker at HBPA Convention

Mon, 2021-11-29 10:12

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will deliver the keynote address at the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA)'s annual convention in March. The conference will be held Mar. 1-5 at Oaklawn Park's new hotel overlooking the first turn.

“When we seek out our keynote speaker, we look for inspiration and passion,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “Not only do we get that in spades with D. Wayne Lukas, but his overall legacy is unmatched in horse racing. Yet it's not only that Wayne has impacted so many aspects of racing with his well-known accomplishments and vision. He also has been an extraordinary ambassador for our industry in so many unpublicized and behind-the-scenes ways. There's no telling how many little kids will become diehard racing enthusiasts because D. Wayne invited them into the winner's circle after one of his victories.”

Lukas, 86, will give his address Wednesday, Mar. 2. The convention will also include legal topics and discussions centering on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA); crisis-management recommendations; ideas for creating positive interactions with local, state, and federal representatives; ways to utilize the guest-worker visa programs; fixed odds' place in American racing; and the annual Kent Stirling Memorial Medication Panel addressing the need for screening limits. Other speakers will include Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.

For more information, visit

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All ‘Glory’ in the Matriarch

Sun, 2021-11-28 18:47

Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom), purchased by Peter Brant's White Birch Farm for $925,000 at this year's Keeneland January sale, went wire-to-wire to earn her first Grade I victory and give trainer Chad Brown and jockey Jose Ortiz their second graded winner on the closing-day card at Del Mar in the GI Matriarch S. Sunday. Sent off the 8-5 second choice, the 5-year-old chestnut mare rushed up from her outside post to grab the lead into the first turn. She was unchallenged and running freely through fractions of :24.06 and :48.50, skipped further clear on the far turn and was unchallenged to the wire.

“I thought I'd have the lead and thought I was the only real speed in the race,” Ortiz, who also rode the Brown-trained Verbal (Flintshire {GB}) to victory in the GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. Sunday, said. “The horse inside [Princess Grace] has speed, but when she used it last time, she didn't finish. So I thought I'd be out front and it worked out just that way. We got away with some easy fractions and then she had lots for the finish.”

The victory was Brown's fourth in the eight runnings of the Matriarch conducted at Del Mar.

“Just go to the lead. That's what my boss told the jockey,” said Brown's assistant Jose Hernandez. “That was the plan. She's a really nice filly and she did it all. They all [Chad Brown's seven horses to race at Del Mar over the holiday weekend] go back to Kentucky on Tuesday and then to Florida.”

The consistent Regal Glory, who has been first or second in all but three of her 16 lifetime starts, won the GIII Lake George S. and GII Lake Placid S. over the Saratoga lawn in 2019 and added a graded victory in the GIII Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf S. last September.

Purchased by Brant from the dispersal of the late Paul Pompa, Jr. at Keeneland in January, Regal Glory won the Apr. 11 Plenty o' Grace S. in her first start for her new owner. A troubled fourth in the June 5 GI Just a Game S., she returned to the winner's circle in the Aug. 8 De La Rose S. at Saratoga and she was coming off a runner-up effort behind stablemate Blowout (GB) (Dansili {GB}) in the Oct. 9 GI First Lady S. at Keeneland.


Pedigree Notes:

Multiple graded stakes winner Mary's Follies is also the dam of graded stakes winner Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway) and Japanese Group 1 winner Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah)   The mare produced a colt by Connect in 2020 and, after aborting in 2021, was bred back to American Pharoah. She sold to BBA Ireland for $500,000 at Keeneland January this year. Her Connect yearling, purchased by Larry Best's OXO Equine for $185,000 in January, RNA'd for $425,000 at this year's Keeneland September sale.

Regal Glory is the fourth Grade I winner for GI Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who has also been represented by G1 Australian Derby winner Angel of Truth (Aus), GI Jaipur S. winner Oleksandra (Aus) and last year's GI American Oaks winner Duopoly.

Sunday, Del Mar
MATRIARCH S.-GI, $400,500, Del Mar, 11-28, 3yo/up, f/m, 1mT, 1:35.33, fm.
1–REGAL GLORY, 123, m, 5, by Animal Kingdom
1st Dam: Mary's Follies (MGSW, $338,889),
              by More Than Ready
2nd Dam: Catch the Queen, by Miswaki
3rd Dam: Wave to the Queen, by Wavering Monarch
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($925,000 5yo '21 KEEJAN). O-Peter M.
Brant; B-Paul P Pompa (KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Jose L. Ortiz.
$240,000. Lifetime Record: 16-9-4-0, $1,244,884. *1/2 to
Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), MGSW, $535,682; and
Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah), G1SW-Jpn, $1,928,283.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A++.
2–Zofelle (Ire), 123, m, 5, by Zoffany (Ire)
1st Dam: Height of Elegance (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Brigid, by Irish River (Fr)
3rd Dam: Luv Luvin', by Raise a Native
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (27,000gns 3yo '19 TATJUL). O-Heider
Family Stables LLC; B-Fullbury & Minch Bloodstock (IRE);
T-Brendan P. Walsh. $80,000.
3–Princess Grace, 123, f, 4, by Karakontie (Jpn)
1st Dam: Masquerade (MSP, $233,873), by Silent Name (Jpn)
2nd Dam: Present Colors, by Prized
3rd Dam: Blue and Green, by Miswaki
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O/B-John Moore & Susan Moore (KY);
T-Michael Stidham. $48,000.
Margins: 2HF, 1, NO. Odds: 1.60, 7.40, 1.50.
Also Ran: Viadera (GB), Fast Jet Court (Brz), Bodhicitta (GB).
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.



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God of Love First Graded Winner for Cupid

Sun, 2021-11-28 18:42

God of Love closed stoutly to give freshman sire Cupid (Tapit) his first graded victory in the GIII Grey S. at Woodbine Sunday. The chestnut colt broke from the outside and was caught five wide into the first turn while racing towards the back of the field. He had one horse beaten down the backstretch behind an opening quarter in :24.42 and a half in :49.58, but he began inching closer approaching the far turn. Caught wide once again turning for home, God of Love stormed into contention at the top of the lane and strode effortlessly to the lead in the final strides for an authoritative victory.

God of Love broke his maiden in the Cup and Saucer S. over the Woodbine lawn Oct. 10, but was mired in traffic before closing to finish fifth as the favorite over the Tapeta in the Coronation Futurity last time out Oct. 30.

Pedigree Notes:

No Wonder, also the dam of 2018 Clarendon S. winner Muskoka Wonder (Into Mischief), has a weanling filly by Where's the Ring and was bred back to Ami's Holiday. The mare is a half-sister to multiple Grade I winner Weemissfrankie (Sunriver) and to graded placed Stop Smiling (It's No Joke).

The late breeder William Graham purchased No Wonder, in foal to Into Mischief, for $53,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton February sale. In foal to Good Samaritan, No Wonder sold for $25,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November sale.

Winner of the 2017 GI Gold Cup at Santa Anita, Cupid is also the sire of two-time stakes winner The Sky Is Falling and graded placed Desert Dawn.

Sunday, Woodbine
GREY S.-GIII, C$174,800, Woodbine, 11-28, 2yo, 1 1/16m (AWT), 1:44.20, ft.
1–GOD OF LOVE, 122, c, 2, by Cupid
1st Dam: No Wonder, by Three Wonders
2nd Dam: Starinthemeadow, by Meadowlake
3rd Dam: Lite a Star, by Our Michael
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($77,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $9,000
Ylg '20 KEESEP; $100,000 2yo '21 OBSMAR). O-Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber; B-William D. Graham
(ON); T-Mark E. Casse; J-Rafael Manuel Hernandez. C$108,000.
Lifetime Record: 4-2-0-0, $208,993. *1/2 to Muskoka Wonder
(Into Mischief), SW, $111,436. **1st graded stakes winner for
freshman sire (by Tapit). Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ironstone, 121, c, 2, Mr Speaker–Casey's Dreamin', by
Unbridled's Song. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. (C$7,000 Ylg '20
CANSEP). O-Tequesta Racing Inc. and Jupiter Leasing Co.;
B-Kingview Farms (ON); T-W. V. Armata. C$36,000.
3–On Thin Ice, 119, c, 2, More Than Ready–Frozen Treat, by
($140,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP). O/B-DJ Stable, LLC (KY);
T-Mark E. Casse. C$15,000.
Margins: 1HF, 1HF, HD. Odds: 4.80, 5.05, 11.55.
Also Ran: Churchtown, Heat Merchant, Hicksy, Be Like Clint, International, Stowaway, Shamateur. Scratched: Speak Unity, The Minkster. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

The post God of Love First Graded Winner for Cupid appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Gun Runner Breaks Freshman Progeny Earnings Mark

Sun, 2021-11-28 18:13

Three Chimneys' Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) set a new record for progeny earnings for a first-crop sire when his total moved past the $3.8-million mark Sunday. Coolmore's Uncle Mo held the previous record of $3,717,490, which he established in 2015. Prior to Uncle Mo, the first-crop progeny earnings record had been held by Gainesway's Tapit, who set the mark in 2008.

Gun Runner took over the record earnings figure when the Tom Amoss-trained Shotgun Hottie won a $92,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs Sunday, becoming the stallion's 22nd winner.

Gun Runner's record start at stud is a crowning achievement for the farm and its philosophy,” said Three Chimneys' owner Goncalo Torrealba. “To surpass a record established by Uncle Mo, and Tapit previous to that, clearly compares Gun Runner favorably at this point in time with two of the most influential sires at stud today. He not only established a new progeny earnings record, but he is also the Leading Sire in America by percent Stakes Winner to runners among all sires, pretty astonishing. Three Chimneys' whole team is grateful to the breeders who continue to support him with great mares, and a special thanks to partner Ron Winchell. He has been fantastic. I am grateful for his continued commitment to breed his best mares and race their progeny. Trainer Steve Asmussen has created his legacy through Horse of the Year Gun Runner and his progeny. Thank you, Steve.”

From his first crop to race this year, Gun Runner has been represented by GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and expected champion Echo Zulu, as well as GI Hopeful S. winner Gunite and graded winners Pappacap and Wicked Halo.

Echo Zulu, Gunite and Wicked Halo are all trained by Asmussen, who conditioned Gun Runner to a Horse of the Year title in 2017, and are owned or co-owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, which, along with Three Chimneys, campaigned the stallion to six Grade I victories.

Gun Runner will stand the 2022 breeding season at $125,000.

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Flintshire’s Verbal Makes Noise in DeMille

Sun, 2021-11-28 17:30

Verbal replicated his impressive debut victory when he came flying late to win the GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. at Del Mar Sunday.

The bay colt was unhurried from his outside post and was well back as longshot pacesetters Groovy Huey (Dad Caps) and Get Back Goldie (Goldencents) ran away from the field through fractions of :22.04 and :46.10. Get Back Goldie took over entering the far turn, but the field was quickly closing in on the pacesetters. Verbal made rapid progress while four wide into the stretch and he closed relentlessly to get his nose on the line first.

“He won easy last time, but that was against maidens,” said winning rider Jose Ortiz. “He was running against winners today, much better horses. I knew there would be speed in the race so, even though I had the outside post, I was able to drop over and save some ground. He came running when it counted. The boss [trainer Chad Brown] knows how to spot a horse. He had it right today.”

Verbal came from well out of it to win his debut going one mile over the Belmont lawn and that victory gave connections the confidence to pre-enter the colt in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He failed to get into that race and was rerouted to the DeMille.

Pedigree Notes:

Verbal became the second group/graded winner for Flintshire (GB), who will stand the 2022 breeding season at Haras de Montaigu Farm in France after opening his stud career with five seasons at Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Kentucky. The stallion, a Grade/Group 1 winner in the U.S., Hong Kong, and France for Juddmonte, has also sired French Group 3 winner Cheshire Academy (Fr) and stakes winner and multiple graded placed Runaway Rumour.

Endless Chat, whose first foal was 2020 GIII Holy Bull S. third-place finisher Toledo (Into Mischief), produced a colt by Arrogate in 2020 and a colt by Into Mischief in 2021. She was bred back to Kantharos. The mare is a half-sister to Group 1 placed Teletext (Empire Maker) and multiple graded placed Seismic Wave (Tapit). Toledo sold for $275,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale and was exported to Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, Del Mar
CECIL B. DEMILLE S.-GIII, $102,500, Del Mar, 11-28, 2yo, 1mT, 1:36.16, fm.
1–VERBAL, 120, c, 2, by Flintshire (GB)
1st Dam: Endless Chat, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Conference Call (GB), by Anabaa
3rd Dam: Phone West, by Gone West
O-Juddmonte; B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Chad C. Brown;
J-Jose L. Ortiz. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $109,500.
*1/2 to Toledo (Into Mischief), GSP, $109,563. Werk Nick
   Rating: F. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Barsabas, 120, g, 2, Tale of the Cat–Indy's Million, by
($22,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Christopher Drakos and Ryan
Hanson; B-Charles Fipke (KY); T-Ryan Hanson. $20,000.
3–Cabo Spirit, 120, c, 2, Pioneerof the Nile–Fancy Day (Ire), by
($145,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP; $575,000 2yo '21 OBSAPR).
O-Kretz Racing LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-George
Papaprodromou. $12,000.
Margins: HF, NO, 1 1/4. Odds: 1.00, 49.90, 8.80.
Also Ran: Lottery Pick, Optimising (Ire), Derecho Dandy, Khantaro d'Oro, Stotland, Get Back Goldie, Groovy Huey. Scratched: Il Capitano. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Independence Hall Sharp in Cigar Mile Drill

Sun, 2021-11-28 14:24

Independence Hall (Constitution), coming off a 7 1/4-length win in the GII Fayette S. at Keeneland Oct. 30, breezed a bullet half-mile in :46.80 (1/25) Saturday at Churchill Downs ahead of next Saturday's GI Cigar Mile.

“I'm very happy with the way he worked,” trainer Michael McCarthy said. “We wanted to go ahead and put a little air in his lungs and that's definitely what we got. A race like the Cigar Mile doesn't come around very often and we wanted to make sure we're nice and sharp.”

Independence Hall is two-for-two at Aqueduct, with wins in the 2019 GIII Nashua S. and 2020 Jerome S., both one-turn miles for former trainer Michael Trombetta.

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Miles D Possible for Saudi Trip

Sun, 2021-11-28 14:18

Peter Brant and Robert LaPenta's Miles D (Curlin) may have earned a trip to the G1 Saudi Cup in February with his victory in Saturday's Discovery S. at Aqueduct.

“I'm not one to send my horses to other continents to run. I like to stick to my circuits. But that race has been on my mind with the right style of horse,” trainer Chad Brown said. “This might be the kind of horse that fits for me trying one of those races. Although he's had a couple of hard races, he is lightly raced. If you look at his record, he hasn't had that many starts. He didn't have to do battle in the Triple Crown, and he doesn't have a ton of miles on him.”

Miles D was second in the Curlin S. and third in the GI Runhappy Travers S. over the summer at Saratoga and took a Belmont allowance in October before winning his first stakes race Saturday in his sixth career start.

Brown said Miles D was unlikely to target the Jan. 29 GI Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream where he would face Breeders' Cup winners Knicks Go (Paynter) and Life is Good (Into Mischief).

“I have to talk to the owners about it. I'm not really sure,” Brown said. “I'm not so much interested in the Pegasus against those two horses. I'll get him down there and see. There's definitely a pace scenario to consider as well. If I race in big races in the wintertime, it's horses that are lightly raced. With horses that have had long campaigns, I don't care how much money they offer me at any track. I don't really run them too much. This horse, there's a possibility that we keep on going with him.”

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’22 Secretariat Calendar Supports Charities

Sun, 2021-11-28 13:31

The 2022 Secretariat's Legacy calendar, which features the Triple Crown winner's legendary daughter Weekend Surprise and her descendants, is now available at for $25. Proceeds from the sale of the calendars goes to Bright Futures Farm, an equine rescue and sanctuary accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance; Old Friends, another TAA-accredited organization; and Victory Alliance Ranch, an equine rescue and sanctuary supporting veterans and special needs children.

The calendar series was launched in 2018 and has raised more than $22,000 for charities.

“Racing fans, especially Secretariat fans, have loved the Living Legends calendars, and I hope they will enjoy this new take on Secretariat's legacy through his important descendants,” said writer/photographer Patricia McQueen, whose creative project is part of her research work on Secretariat as a sire.

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$5K Bisphosphonate Fine for Sadler

Sat, 2021-11-27 20:17

Trainer John Sadler has been fined $5,000 by the Del Mar stewards, and has entered into a settlement agreement and mutual release with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), for “knowingly” bringing a horse into a CHRB enclosure “that had been administered bisphosphonates within previous six months,” according to a ruling Friday.

The horse in question–as first reported by the BloodHorse–was GISW sprinter Flagstaff (Speightstown), who was recently retired at the age of seven.

Flagstaff tested positive for the bisphosphonate “clodronate” after finishing second in the 2020 GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship. The Santa Anita stewards subsequently disqualified him, requiring $40,000 in purse monies to be returned, according to a ruling dated June 19 this year.

Bisphosphonates are Food and Drug Administration approved for use in horses 4-year-olds and up for things like osteoarthritis and navicular disease.

But many in the industry have been concerned about the off-label use of these drugs, especially in young horses being prepared for the sales. That's because, rather than strengthening bones as intended, misuse of these drugs could make them weaker, more susceptible to fractures.

These drugs, however, have been notoriously difficult to regulate. Part of the conundrum is that too little is currently known about how long they remain in the horse's system. Bisphosphonates potentially stay in the bone for years.

Too little is also currently known about exactly how they behave for that duration.

As of July 1 last year, the CHRB put into effect a rule broadly prohibiting administration of bisphosphonates to any horse within any CHRB regulated facility. It also prohibits any horse from entering the grounds that has been administered the drug within six months.

Sadler's attorney, Darrell Vienna, stressed that the ruling did not constitute a fine for a medication positive. “If you look at the wording of the actual rule,” he said, “this is not a medication violation.”

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Tenacious Tezzaray Takes Jimmy Durante

Sat, 2021-11-27 19:58

Tezzaray (GB) turned an eventful trip into a nose win in Del Mar's GIII Jimmy Durante S., staying undefeated in two U.S. starts since moving stateside this fall. Promptly bumped leaving the gate, the tidy chestnut was undeterred, angling over to the rail to sit midpack. Comfortable stalking in fourth through early fractions of :23.41 and :48.52, she was third going into the turn before suddenly checking off the heels of Awake At Midnyte. Tezzaray took back, angled out and around that rival, then split horses and commenced a tenacious drive to the wire, wearing down Awake At Midnyte to win the bob by a scant nose.

“I had a good trip,” said winning rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., who also won the Jimmy Durante last year on Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}). “I was in a little tight at the three-eighths pole, but that wasn't anything big. She's a very European filly; she likes to run covered up. When it came time to run–boom–she went.”

Trainer Peter Miller, who was taking his first Jimmy Durante, said, “I had confidence in her. She's one of those fillies that are very classy and does everything right. I thought we won, then I thought we didn't, but luckily we got the head bob.”

Tezzaray (GB) debuted with a pair of thirds in maiden races in her native England for Karl Burke in August before shipping stateside to Miller's barn. Her inaugural race on U.S. soil was the Thursday before Breeders' Cup over this course and distance, where she was bumped at the start but settled kindly before angling out and mowing down the competition from midpack.

Pedigree Notes:

The 20th black-type winner for Bated Breath (GB), who stands at Banstead Manor Stud in England, Tezzaray also marks her sire's 14th graded winner. She is the third of his offspring to shine over Del Mar's course as his Viadera (GB) won the 2020 GI Matriarch S. and Jasikan (Ire) was a 2019 SW & GSP over the La Jolla lawn.

Tezzaray is the first black-type winner for her dam, Amber Queen (Ire), whose most recent foal is a yearling filly by Hot Streak (Ire) that sold at the 2020 Tattersalls December sale to G. & E. Arrowsmith for 2,000gns. Amber Queen is a half to G1SW Spinning Queen (GB) (Spinning World). Her sire, English champion Cadeaux Genereux (GB), has 69 stakes winners out of his daughters with Tezzaray's win.

Saturday, Del Mar
JIMMY DURANTE S.-GIII, $103,000, Del Mar, 11-27, 2yo, f, 1mT, 1:37.56, fm.
1–TEZZARAY (GB), 120, f, 2, by Bated Breath (GB)
1st Dam: Amber Queen (Ire), by Cadeaux Genereux (GB)
2nd Dam: Our Queen of Kings (GB), by Arazi
3rd Dam: Lady Blackfoot (Ire), by Prince Tenderfoot
Wlg '19 TATFOA; £22,000 Ylg '20 GOFFUK). O-Slam Dunk
Racing & Roger H. Newman; B-Lady Richard Wellesley (GB);
T-Peter Miller; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $60,000. Lifetime Record:
4-2-0-2, $104,997. Werk Nick Rating: B.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Awake At Midnyte, 120, f, 2, Nyquist–Midnight Union, by
($85,000 RNA Wlg '19 KEENOV; $190,000 Ylg '20 FTKOCT;
$320,000 2yo '21 FTFMAR). O-Reddam Racing LLC; B-Forty
Oaks (KY); T-Doug F. O'Neill. $20,000.
3–Toeris, 120, f, 2, Tourist–Sutil (Brz), by Redattore (Brz).
International & Gary Barber (KY); T-Dan Blacker. $12,000.
Margins: NO, HF, HD. Odds: 3.10, 7.80, 45.70.
Also Ran: Helens Well (Ire), Liam's Dove, Travel Smart, Virulente (Fr), Miss Bellatrix, Half Past Twelve, Sparkle Blue, Reem Zabeel (Ire).
Click for the chart, the PPs, or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


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‘Meaux’ Brilliance at Del Mar

Sat, 2021-11-27 19:47

Twenty-four hours after producing Say the Word (More Than Ready) from last to scoop the GII Hollywood Turf Cup, jockey Kent Desormeaux rode a perfect race from the front to upset Saturday's GI Hollywood Derby with the appropriately named Beyond Brilliant (Twirling Candy) for Lee Searing's C R K Stable and trainer John Shirreffs. Midwest shipper Santin (Distorted Humor) was given a peach of a ride from the 14 hole by Umberto Rispoli and was getting to the winner late, while Cathkin Peak (Ire) (Alhebayeb {Ire}) checked in third.

Desormeaux has found a purple patch of form over the last week or so at the seaside oval, winning with eight of his mounts since Nov. 20, a streak that also included the $100,000 Cary Grant S. aboard longshot Principe Carlo (Coil) Nov. 21 and Friday's Turf Cup. A three-time Kentucky Derby winner, the Hall of Famer was winning his first Hollywood Derby Saturday.

Ridden positively from gate two, Beyond Brilliant had some token early pressure from Team Merchants (Nyquist), but was clearly in front with a circuit to travel and went through the opening couple of furlongs in :23.96. Desormeaux got Beyond Brilliant to switch off beautifully in the middle furlongs–the half was up in :49.23 and three-quarters in 1:13.62–and began to feel for his mount in earnest with 2 1/2 furlongs to travel. Asked to kick off the home corner, Beyond Brilliant pinched a bit of a break under energetic handling and covered his final eighth of a mile in :11.88 to score narrowly. Santin was able to sit a three-wide trip with cover for the opening seven furlongs, followed the move of the well-bet Subconscious (Tapit) while going better than that one into the lane and got to within a neck of the winner on the line. Cathkin Park parlayed an inside trip into a board placing.

A seven-length maiden winner going a mile on dirt at Santa Anita June 13, Beyond Brilliant was well-beaten in two subsequent tries on the main track, but–with Desormeaux in the irons for the first time–went gate to wire over this turf course Sept. 6. He was unable to make the lead from the 10 hole in the GII Twilight Derby in Arcadia Oct. 31, but fought on gamely to round out the triple beneath Subconscious and Cathkin Peak.

“All credit for this win goes to the barn,” Desormeaux said. “They've done wonders with this horse over the past month. When I rode him last time, he was a handful to control. Today he was easy. He was dry as a bone in the paddock and he was happy out on the racetrack. His mind was right. And he showed he can sprint that last part.”

Pedigree Notes:

Beyond Brilliant is the 33rd stakes winner, 13th graded winner and seventh Grade I winner, two of which have accomplished that feat on the grass.

The winner, whose half-brother Ainoa (Blame) was scheduled to compete in an allowance race on dirt at Hanshin Sunday afternoon (Japan time), is out of a winning half-sister to MGSW & GISP Summer Applause (Harlan's Holiday) and MSP Big Easy (Gulch). His third dam was responsible for the outstanding Chicago-based handicap horse of the late 1990s Recoup the Cash (Copelan). Barren to City of Light for 2020, Summer On the Lawn produced a Mitole filly this past February and was most recently covered by More Than Ready.

Saturday, Del Mar
HOLLYWOOD DERBY-GI, $404,500, Del Mar, 11-27, 3yo,
1 1/8mT, 1:48.84, fm.
1–BEYOND BRILLIANT, 122, c, 3, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Summer On the Lawn, by First Defence
2nd Dam: Summer Exhibition, by Royal Academy
3rd Dam: Dewan's Flag, by Dewan
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($50,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP; $200,000 2yo
'20 EASMAY). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-Fred W. Hertrich III, John
Fielding & Robert L. Tribbett (KY); T-John A. Shirreffs;
J-Kent J. Desormeaux. $240,000. Lifetime Record: 9-3-2-2,
$381,280. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. **Triple Plus**
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Santin, 122, c, 3, Distorted Humor–Sentiero Italia, by
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. O-Godolphin, LLC; B-Godolphin (KY);
T-Brendan P. Walsh. $80,000.
3–Cathkin Peak (Ire), 122, g, 3, Alhebayeb (Ire)–Drumcliffe
Dancer (Ire), by Footstepsinthesand (GB). 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE.
(€0 RNA Wlg '18 GOFNOV; €17,000 Ylg '19 GOFSPT). O-CYBT,
Sterling Stables, LLC & Michael Nentwig; B-G. Kinch (IRE);
T-Philip D'Amato. $48,000.
Margins: NK, 1 1/4, HD. Odds: 10.90, 17.70, 7.10.
Also Ran: Public Sector (GB), Subconscious, Zoffarelli (Ire), Flashiest, Sifting Sands (GB), Hudson Ridge, Camp Hope, It Can Be Done, Dicey Mo Chara (GB), Team Merchants, In Effect. Scratched: Airman.
Click for the chart, the PPs, or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


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Violence Filly Takes Fern Creek

Sat, 2021-11-27 19:08

Marissa's Lady took her record to two-for-two with her first black-type score at Churchill Saturday night. Rallying to a narrow score in her career bow over this strip Oct. 31, she was given a 3-1 chance in this event. Stalking from a second through a snappy first quarter in :22.18, the gray charged up to take control turning for home. Matareya confronted her on the fence, but Marissa's Lady found more late, rolling clear to score.

Marissa's Lady is the 34th black-type winner for her sire Violence. Her dam produced a Nyquist filly named Miss Quest in 2020 and an Idiot Proof colt named Harold's Joy in 2021. She was bred back to Idiot Proof. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


FERN CREEK S., $193,500, Churchill Downs, 11-27, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, 1:16.85, ft.
1–MARISSA'S LADY, 122, f, 2, by Violence
                1st Dam: Marissa's Joy, by Cee's Tizzy
                2nd Dam: Jenna's Joy, by Half Term
                3rd Dam: Theresa's Pleasure, by Greenwood Star (GB)
   1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Boone Family Trust and Tillema
Family Trust; B-Harold & Pamela Tillema & Ron Boone Family
Trust (KY); T-William E. Morey; J-Rafael Bejarano. $121,140.
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $190,600. *1/2 to Richard's Boy
(Idiot Proof), MSW & GISP, $1,011,872.
2–Matareya, 122, f, 2, Pioneerof the Nile–Innovative Idea, by
Bernardini. 1ST BLACK TYPE. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad H.
Cox. $39,400.
3–Sweet Dani Girl, 122, f, 2, Jess's Dream–My Sweet Dani Girl,
by Scat Daddy. O-J & J Stables, LLC and Vaccarezza, Nicholas;
B-J&J Stables, LLC & Carlo Vaccarezza (FL); T-Carlo Vaccarezza.
Margins: 1, 2HF, 2HF. Odds: 3.00, 1.70, 2.10.
Also Ran: Bali Del Sol, Knowing Glance, Verylittlecents, Laura's Charm. Scratched: Golden Sights.

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Smiles, Everyone…Smiles

Sat, 2021-11-27 18:17

Smile Happy (Runhappy) built on a monster 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut victory on closing day at Keeneland Oct. 29 with an equally eye-catching score in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Saturday at Churchill Downs, establishing himself as one of the early favorites for the GI Kentucky Derby about six months down the road.

Welcome to Fantasy Island, Lucky Seven Stable.

A generous 24-5 third favorite despite the domination of that towering 5 1/2-length graduation, Smile Happy landed in about fifth spot, just ahead of centerfield, as Street Sense S. hero Howling Time (Not This Time) found his way to the front and galloped them along at a sensible pace. Guided out into the clear to punch the breeze four wide and covering favored Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway) down the backstretch, Smile Happy traveled ominously well within the grasp of Corey Lanerie and was poised to pounce despite a wide passage around the second turn. Advancing on his own courage as the field neared the entrance to the stretch, Smile Happy circled up four deep, hit the front a furlong and a half from home under a left-handed stick and stayed on powerfully for the win. White Abbario (Race Day) was a game, but no-menace third.

“You'd think this horse ran 10 times already with how mature he acts,” Lanerie said. “He's very rateable and easy to ride. I felt very confident with him at the half-mile pole. I could tell I had a lot of horse beneath me. I got him into the right spot and he really kicked clear in the stretch. He's got a bright future.”

Smile Happy capped a four-timer on the afternoon for trainer Ken McPeek, who said that Smile Happy would follow the Florida route back to Churchill next spring.

“We'll probably take it easy with him in December and January and start deciding his future in February.” said McPeek, who also won the 2001 Kentucky Jockey Club with Repent (Louis Quatorze) and was forced to scratch morning-line favorite Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb) Saturday morning. “At this stage we have a lot of options on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It's a good problem to have.”

Pedigree Notes:

Smile Happy is the sixth black-type winner and second graded winner for the resurgent Runhappy, who also has GSW and GI Breeders' Cup Sprint third and fellow 'Rising Star' Following Sea flying the flag. The latter heads to next weekend's GI Cigar Mile H. at Aqueduct.

One of 49 winners for his sire this year, Smile Happy is out of a half-sister to SW Miracle Mets (Metfield) and is his dam's most recent produce.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB S.-GII, $400,000, Churchill Downs, 11-27, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.94, ft.
1–SMILE HAPPY, 122, c, 2, by Runhappy
                        1st Dam: Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap
   2nd Dam: Relax and Smile, by Relaunch
   3rd Dam: Bunch of Smiles, by Graustark
   STAKES WIN. ($175,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $185,000 Ylg '20
FTKSEL). O-Lucky Seven Stable (Mackin); B-Moreau
Bloodstock Int'l Inc. & White Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Kenneth
McPeek; J-Corey J. Lanerie. $234,410. Lifetime Record:
2-2-0-0, $284,810. Werk Nick Rating: First SW on this cross.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Classic Causeway, 122, c, 2, Giant's Causeway–Private
World, by Thunder Gulch. O-Kentucky West Racing LLC &
Clarke M. Cooper; B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M.
Cooper Family Living Trust (KY); T-Brian A. Lynch. $76,100.
3–White Abarrio, 122, c, 2, Race Day–Catching Diamonds, by
($7,500 Ylg '20 OBSWIN; $40,000 2yo '21 OBSMAR). O-C2
Racing Stable LLC & La Milagrosa Stable, LLC; B-Spendthrift
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr. $38,050.
Margins: 3 1/4, 2 3/4, HF. Odds: 4.80, 1.40, 6.70.
Also Ran: Ben Diesel, Howling Time, Vivar, Call Me Midnight, Red Knobs, Guntown, Texas Red Hot, Ready Pursuit. Scratched: Mannix (Ire), Rich Strike, Tiz the Bomb.
Click for the chart, the PPs, or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Medaglia d’Oro Filly Gets the ‘Gold’ at Churchill

Sat, 2021-11-27 17:45

On this day 12 months ago, Robertino Diodoro saddled Cypress Creek Equine and partners' Keepmeinmind (Laoban) to a popular maiden-breaking victory in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. en route to a trip down the Triple Crown trail. Saturday afternoon beneath the Twin Spires, the same connections' Dream Lith (Medaglia d'Oro) officially served notice that she is on a GI Longines  Kentucky Oaks trajectory, overcoming a tricky trip to post a narrow success in the GII Golden Rod S.

When favored Rags To Riches S. winner Sandstone (Street Sense) failed to break cleanly, the blinkered Yuugiri (Shackleford) took full advantage, sprinting to the front and easing down the pace through an opening quarter in :24.04. Dream Lith settled well off the inside with cover in the slipstream of Secret Oath (Arrogate) while racing at the back of the leading group. By the time the field had reached the midway point, Sandstone had recovered to be in a stalking position and there were no real changes in the plot until Ramon Vasquez asked Dream Lith to improve four wide approaching the three-eighths.

Sandstone tried to take the race to the pacesetter with 2 1/2 furlongs to travel, but Yuugiri met that bid and took them into the lane, as Dream Lith continued with a menacing run four deep. Having shrugged off Sandstone in upper stretch, Yuugiri fought on bravely inside, but Dream Lith managed to sustain her momentum and edged clear late. Making her first start around two turns, 'TDN Rising Star' Famed (Uncle Mo), the half-sister to champion Essential Quality (Tapit), raced freely and in tight for the opening six panels and could not quite sprint with the leaders in the final stages.

Dream Lith belied debut odds of 36-1 to graduate at first asking at Saratoga Aug. 8, but endured a nightmarish trip and split the field in the GI Spinaway S. Sept. 5, finishing a dozen-plus lengths in back of likely champion Echo Zulu (Gun Runner). The beautifully bred dark bay was exiting an even fifth (dead-heat) in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. at Keeneland Oct. 8 and was adding blinkers for the first time in the Golden Rod.

Pedigree Notes:

The 158th worldwide black-type winner and 85th graded/group winner for Medaglia d'Oro, Dream Lith is also the 101st stakes winner and 53rd GSW out of a daughter of the late Street Cry (Ire).

Southern Equine and Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings paid $6 million for 2004 GI Ashland S. winner Madcap Escapade at the 2006 Keeneland November Sale in foal to Pulpit and the resulting produce became Mi Sueno, who was knocked down for $1.7 million at KEENOV in 2007 and carried the Southern Equine silks to victory in the 2009 GI Del Mar Debutante and GIII Sorrento S. Mi Sueno was sold to Katsumi Yoshida in foal to Frankel (GB) for $1.9 million at Fasig-Tipton November in 2013 and is the dam of four winners from six to race in Japan, including the filly she was carrying at the time of her sale, Group 3 winner Mi Suerte (Jpn).

Elle Sueno is the dam of a yearling full-sister to Dream Lith, a weanling half-sister by Justify and was most recently bred to Laoban.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
GOLDEN ROD S.-GII, $400,000, Churchill Downs, 11-27, 2yo, f,
1 1/16m, 1:44.72, ft.
1–DREAM LITH, 122, f, 2, by Medaglia d'Oro
1st Dam: Elle Sueno, by Street Cry (Ire)
2nd Dam: Mi Sueno, by Pulpit
3rd Dam: Madcap Escapade, by Hennessy
($590,000 RNA Wlg '19 FTKNOV). O-Cypress Creek Equine & Arnold
Bennewith; B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (KY); T-Robertino
Diodoro; J-Ramon A. Vazquez. $240,455. Lifetime Record:
4-2-0-0, $313,455. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Yuugiri, 122, f, 2, Shackleford–Yuzuru, by Medaglia d'Oro.
1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Sekie Yoshihara & Tsunebumi
Yoshihara (KY); T-Rodolphe Brisset. $78,050.
3–Sandstone, 122, f, 2, Street Sense–Seattle Shimmer, by
Seattle Slew. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($165,000 Ylg '20
KEESEP). O-Susan Moulton; B-Mark & Cindy Stansell (KY);
T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $39,025.
Margins: 1, 3 1/4, 3 1/4. Odds: 9.10, 8.30, 0.80.
Also Ran: Famed, Secret Oath, Code for Success, Cancel This, Hal's Dream.
Click for the chart, the PPs, or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Pletcher Breezes Cigar Mile Duo

Sat, 2021-11-27 15:04

'TDN Rising Star' Following Sea (Runhappy) and the progressive Americanrevolution (Constitution) worked a half-mile in company in :49.21 over the Belmont training track Saturday morning, with both 3-year-old colts headed towards next Saturday's GI Cigar Mile, presented by NYRA Bets.

Spendthrift Farm's Following Sea, two-back winner of the GII Vosburgh S., exits a third-place effort to Aloha West (Hard Spun) and Dr. Schivel (Violence) in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, while Americanrevolution ran up the score last time in the Oct. 30 Empire Classic, besting his New York-bred elders by 11 3/4 lengths over a sloppy Belmont main track.

“They both went well,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, a four-time winner of the Cigar Mile. “It was a good breeze for them both with a solid gallop out. They both seem to be happy and healthy, knock on wood.”

Seven 3-year-olds have won the Cigar Mile, including Maximum Security in 2019.

In other Cigar Mile news, Ginobili (Munnings), second to 'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, tuned up for Saturday's race with a five-furlong drill at trainer Richard Baltas's San Luis Rey base in :59.60 Friday morning.

“It was an excellent work,” Baltas said on Friday evening. “He galloped out in 1:12 1/5 and out in 1:26 and did it in a gallop. I was really happy with the way he worked. He was more relaxed than usual.”

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