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Updated: 1 week 4 days ago

Ward Outlines Team Plans

Fri, 2022-08-12 16:17

Stonestreet Stables' Love Reigns (Ire) (U S Navy Flag) breezed a half-mile in :48.66 seconds Friday over the Oklahoma training turf in preparation for the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing S. Aug. 21 at Saratoga. Trained by Wesley Ward graduated by 9 3/4-lengths in her April debut sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs over the Keeneland turf ahead of a close fourth last out in the G2 Queen Mary S. June 15 at Royal Ascot. Love Reigns lost some time after the Queen Mary due to illness but has now breezed four times over the Oklahoma training turf.

“She's doing great,” Ward said. “She's had no hiccups since Ascot and we're looking forward to getting her back. She's been up at Saratoga and had several breezes on the grass, including today, and she's ready to go.”

Stablemate No Kay Never (No Nay Never), also owned by Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables, is nominated to both the Bolton Landing and the Aug. 19 Skidmore S., a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint against the boys. No Kay Never was an impressive maiden winner at Horseshoe Indianapolis May 30, but Ward said he may try to separate the fillies.

“We'll look at both races. She'll breeze Sunday on the grass,” Ward said. “Barbara owns them both. We may go against the boys. We'll have a little further discussion.”

Lael Stables' MGSW Arrest Me Red (Pioneerof the Nile) and Hat Creek Racing's Illegal Smile (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) also worked five-eighths in 1:00.94 Friday over the Oklahoma training turf. Arrest Me Red is targeting the GII Turf Sprint Sept. 10 at Kentucky Downs, while Illegal Smile is pointed to the Aug. 20 Smart N Fancy S. at Saratoga. Arrest Me Red, winner of last year's GIII Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational and GII Turf Sprint in May, was a close second last out in the GI Jaipur S. at Belmont June 11.

“He got a beautiful trip following us around there and then it kind of parted where he got a ground saving trip and got out. He was the best horse on the day,” Ward said.

Ward indicated Andrew Farm and For the People Racing's No Nay Hudson (No Nay Never) will make his turf debut in the Skidmore. The $190,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase graduated on debut in April in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland prior to a fourth-place effort in Belmont's Tremont S. in June.

The post Ward Outlines Team Plans appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Bar of Gold’s Justify Half-Sister Breaks Maiden With Flourish

Fri, 2022-08-12 13:51

1st-Saratoga, $88,000, (S), Msw, 8-12, 2yo, f, 5 1/2fT, 1:03.18, fm, 1 length.
IM JUST KIDDIN (f, 2, Justify–Khancord Kid {GSW, $167,343}, by Lemon Drop Kid) scored here at second asking for the same connections of GI Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint shock winner Bar of Gold (Medaglia d'Oro), GISW, $1,551,000, becoming the eighth winner for her freshman sire (by Scat Daddy). Breaking well from the rail as the 4-5 favorite, the Kimmel trainee was outrun early but content to track from fourth behind :22.36 and :45.34 splits. Swung to the outside for her rally, she took aim at frontrunner Highway Harmony (Mo Town) and greenly ran down that pacesetter despite swapping leads in deep stretch. Im Just Kiddin won with ears pricked after finishing second last out on debut July 15 sprinting this distance on the main track. Kingsley Creek (Lord Nelson) flipped behind the gate before the start, and was scratched. Conditioner John Kimmel reported later that she appeared to come out of the incident okay. Im Just Kiddin's aforementioned older half-sister is a graded stakes producer herself as the dam of GIII With Anticipation S. victor Coinage (Tapit), who the Bromans race in partnership with D. J. Stable after he passed through the ring for $450,000 at KEESEP. The victress also claims Land Mine (Mineshaft), SP, $158,342; and stakes-placed Homeland (American Pharoah) as half relations. Dam Khancord Kid (Lemon Drop Kid) claimed the GIII Herecomesthebride in Hallandale as a race-mare, and is half to MSP Crackerjack Jones (Smarty Jones). She produced a 2022 Uncle Mo filly and visited Medaglia d'Oro for 2023. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $66,000.  Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O/B-Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman (NY); T-John C. Kimmel.

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Brown Hopes Million Dominance Transfers to Churchill

Fri, 2022-08-12 12:18

Perhaps no trainer felt the loss of Arlington Park more keenly than Chad Brown, who had dominated the historic track's signature Arlington Million Day card for the past decade, but the multiple Eclipse Award winner will have a pair of runners as he tries to keep the momentum going at the relocated–and truncated–Million card at Churchill Downs Saturday. Currently leading North American trainers with 10 Grade I wins on the year, Brown will be in search of a record-extending fifth victory in the Million when he sends out recent GIII Monmouth S. winner Sacred Life (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in Saturday's nine-furlong race. The 7-year-old is 9-2 on the morning line and faces eight rivals, including morning-line favorite Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute), last year's GI Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up who is coming off a second-place finish in the May 30 GI Shoemaker Mile H.

Brown, who saddled the winners of all four graded races on the 2019 Arlington Million card, won his first Million in 2013 with Real Solution (Kitten's Joy). Four years later he was victorious with Beach Patrol (Lemon Drop Kid) and followed up that win in 2018-19 with Robert Bruce (Chi) (Fast Company {Ire}) and Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway).

In Saturday's GI Beverly D. S.–a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In event–Brown will saddle Peter Brant and Michael Tabor's Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}), who opened the year with a win in the GIII Beaugay S. and was most recently fourth in the July 16 GI Diana S. at Saratoga. The 2-1 morning-line favorite, Rougir could become Brown's record-extending seventh winner in the race.

Brown's first win in the Beverly D. came in 2011 with Stacelita (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}). From 2015-19 he won the race with Watsdachances (Ire) (Diamond Green {Fr}), Sea Calisi (Fr) (Triclaria {Ger}), Dacita (Chi) (Scat Daddy) and back-to-back runnings with Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}).

New York-based jockey Manny Franco has the call on both Brown runners Saturday at Churchill.

“Manny has really come a long way with his skill,” Brown said of the 27-year-old rider Wednesday. “He really pays attention a lot, is always trying to get better at his profession and I see him at the best he's ever been right now. He has a really good agent with Jon Panagot, who's really great to work with, and he fits a lot of our horses well. He's willing to ride any level of horse. I find him equally effective on turf or dirt and he normally puts my horses in good positions.”

'Rising Stars' Do Battle in Special

The graded stakes action at Saratoga Saturday is headlined by the GI Fourstardave S.–another Win and You're In event–where the 6-year-old mare Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom), 6-5 on the morning line, will take on four male rivals.

Earlier on the card, a pair of 'TDN Rising Stars' will do battle in the GII Saratoga Special. Gulfport (Uncle Mo), who proved his seven-length debut victory was no fluke with a resounding 12 1/4-length score in the July 4 Bashford Manor S., is 4-5 on the morning line.

The precocious colt is co-owned by Jackpot Farm's Terry Green, Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt and Whispering Oaks Farm and he will be making his first start since Coolmore joined the ownership group Saturday.

“That was one of the more exciting things when they made that phone call to us,” Green said of the new partners. “We feel like they're one of the best at what they do. We were excited to be part of their organization.”

Green, a veteran of the casino industry, named Gulfport after his hometown in southern Mississsippi.

“That's where I grew up and that's where my main business is,” said Green, who owns Island View Casino in Gulfport with Rick Carter. “That's the tough thing about these names. I've been kind of saving that name. Sometimes it can be tough to pull the trigger on it because you want that name to go somewhere and be in the record books. I'm very pleased with him so far.”

Despite the early success and the new high-powered partner, Green, who owns a 200-acre farm for cutting horses in Weatherford, Texas, is trying to keep his expectations for Gulfport grounded.

“Time always tells on these things, so you just try to keep both feet on the ground, but he's shown that he's a good, strong colt,” Green said. “He's been very healthy in both races with no problems. Steve [Asmussen] and all of us just love the way he travels and the way he covers the ground. We've never had anything like him before, so it's extremely exciting.”

Cliff and Michele Love's Damon's Mound (Girvin) turned heads with his dramatic 12 1/2-length debut victory at Churchill Downs July 2. The colt could give fast-starting freshman sire Girvin, who already has Astoria S. winner Devious Dame to his credit, his first graded winner. While fellow freshman Bolt d'Oro could have his first stakes winner with Bashford Manor runner-up Owen's Leap.

Two-year-old fillies will be in the spotlight at Del Mar Saturday and another freshman sire, Good Magic, could make the grade when Vegas Magic, already a stakes winner at Pleasanton, faces five foes in the GII Sorrento S. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Procrastination (Not This Time), a front-running eight-length winner of her July 4 debut at Los Alamitos, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the six-furlong race.

Earlier on the Del Mar card, seven fillies and mares, led by 6-5 morning-line favorite Going Global (Mehmas {Ire}), face off in the GII Yellow Ribbon H.

Going Global, coming off a third-place finish in the May 30 GI Gamely S., has a record of two wins and a second in three starts at Del Mar. She won last year's GI Del Mar Oaks and GII Goldikova S. at the oceanside oval.

“She likes Del Mar,” trainer Phil D'Amato said. “She's been training very well here on the turf course and I'm excited to run her.”

Woodbine hosts a pair of graded races Saturday, the GIII Bold Venture S. and GIII Trillium S.

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NYRA Acquires 49% Interest in United Tote

Fri, 2022-08-12 12:05

Churchill Downs Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell 49% of United Tote Company to NYRA Content Management Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of the New York Racing Association. The transaction is subject to usual and customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory notices and approvals, and is expected to close by the end of 2022. As part of the agreement, the United Tote pari-mutuel settlements business will be excluded and will remain with CDI.

CDI and NYRA intend to work together to create and provide a comprehensive and efficient industry-leading pari-mutuel solution through United Tote that will expedite the expansion of horse racing seamlessly onto sports wagering platforms to reach new customers. Pending the appropriate regulatory approvals, NYRA will transition its pari-mutuel wager processing to United Tote in 2023 under a separate agreement.

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Northern California Sale Wednesday

Fri, 2022-08-12 09:20

The Northern California Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale will be held next Wednesday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds with bidding beginning at noon.

There are 151 horses cataloged or supplemented for the sale, which is presented by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. The catalog can be found online by clicking here.

The auction's catalogue cover features Freeport Joe (English Channel), winner of last year's GIII Berkeley H. who sold for $2,000 at the 2018 sale.

CTBA is offering a $500 travel allowance with a minimum purchase of $3,500 to out-of-state trainers and trainers from Southern California who attend the sale. Proof of travel is required.

The sale will accept live onsite and online bidding. For credit applications and further information visit email  or

The post Northern California Sale Wednesday appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Breeders’ Cup Winning Trainer Noel Hickey Dies

Thu, 2022-08-11 19:06

Trainer, owner and breeder Noel Hickey, who was the first trainer to breed a Breeders' Cup winner when Buck's Boy captured the GI Breeders' Cup Turf in 1998, died Monday at the age of 94. Blood-Horse first reported the story.

The Irish-born Hickey, who raced under the name of Irish Acres Farm, his Ocala breeding operation, trained for over four decades and had his best success at Arlington Park. He won the 1990 training title at the Chicago-area track with 49 winners, all of whom were homebreds.

He trained his greatest known pupil, Buck's Boy, to 16 wins in 30 career starts and earnings of over $2.7 million. The gelding raced until age seven and was named champion turf male in 1998 for his Breeders' Cup heroics and four other stakes wins.

Hickey sent out 1,049 winners, including 10 other graded stakes winners besides Buck's Boy, and racked up over $19 million in earnings before retiring in 2013.

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Lea’s Poppy Flower Blossoms Late In Saratoga’s Galway S.

Thu, 2022-08-11 18:40

Poppy Flower took three tries to break her maiden at Belmont last Spring before making the jump into stakes company, posting on-the-board efforts in Saratoga's Bolton Landing S. behind future GISW Chi Town Lady (Verrazano) and the Ainsworth S. in the fall before ending her year with a fifth in the GIII Futurity S. for Wesley Ward. After a seven-month layoff, Poppy Flower returned for new trainer Bill Mott to capture the Stormy Blues S. at Laurel June 19 and check in just a half-length short behind Empress Tigress in Saratoga's Coronation Cup S. when last seen July 15.

Given a 4-1 chance Thursday, Poppy Flower took back off the early pace, settling close to the back of the field to race in eighth through an opening quarter set by Delmona (Ire) in :22.25. Shifted off the rail into the far turn, she angled four wide as the field straightened for the money and came with a rally down the center of the course to steal the lead from Empress Tigress inside the final sixteenth and go on to win by a length.

“I could have waited longer to see if something opened up inside, but I felt like there was a blanket of horses and I didn't want to be a hero,” said winning jockey Jose Ortiz. “I knew I had a lot of horse underneath of me and she always finishes well, so I wanted to have a clean run home. I didn't want to have any excuses. She came home flying.”

Trainer Bill Mott added, “I gave him [Jose Ortiz] no instructions. He rode her last time and rode her well. We thought maybe we'd be a little bit closer to the pace today, and she broke well and she was up there for a few strides but she just wanted to settle and he let her do what she wanted to do.”

Poppy Flower has an unraced 2-year-old half-brother by Noble Mission (GB) and a yearling half-sister named Got Sunny (Get Stormy). Her dam dropped a filly by Air Force Blue in 2022 and was bred back to Cairo Prince in 2023. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

GALWAY S., $150,000, Saratoga, 8-11, 3yo, f, 5 1/2fT, 1:02.09, fm.
1–POPPY FLOWER, 122, f, 3, by Lea
                1st Dam: Nisharora (Ire) (SP-Ity, SP-USA, $106,173), by Excellent Art (GB)
                2nd Dam: Art Fair (GB), by Alzao
                3rd Dam: Lypharita (Fr), by Lightning (Fr)
($9,500 RNA Ylg '20 KEEJAN). O-Arnmore Thoroughbreds, LLC;
B-Brenda Harding & Megan Jones (KY); T-William I. Mott;
J-Jose L. Ortiz. $82,500. Lifetime Record: 10-3-4-1, $340,520.
2–Empress Tigress, 122, f, 3, Classic Empire–Tigress Tale, by
Tale of the Cat. ($37,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP; $410,000 2yo '21
OBSAPR). O-Augustin Stable; B-Springhouse Farm (KY);
T-Jonathan Thomas. $30,000.
3–Delmona (Ire), 118, f, 3, Dandy Man (Ire)–Imelda Mayhem
(GB), by Byron (GB). (£44,000 Ylg '20 TATIRY; 170,000gns 2yo
'21 TATAHI). O-Red Baron's Barn & Rancho Temescal;
B-Ballyhane Stud (IRE); T-James Bentley Begg. $18,000.
Margins: 1, HF, 1. Odds: 4.20, 1.45, 18.90.
Also Ran: Makin My Move, Have A Good Day (Ire), Breeze Easy (GB), Half Is Enough, Derrynane, Artos (Ire). Scratched: Benbang, Freedom Speaks, Mystic Eyes.

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Georgia Legislator Renews Effort to Legalize Horse Racing in State

Thu, 2022-08-11 18:16

The push to legalize horse racing in Georgia goes back years, but the sport's proponents have never been able to get it across the finish line. Now, a recently elected State Senator who is an owner and breeder hopes to change that. Billy Hickman, a Republican from Statesboro, Georgia, is determined to see the sport come to his state and is confident his efforts will succeed.

“I believe we will get this done,” Hickman said. “We are doing a good job trying to educate people. We have three Republican Senators who own interests in race horses and another Senator owns an interest in a pinhooking partnership. They are all leaders. They are not underlings. We're working hard to make this happen.”

In March, the move to legalize the sport suffered another setback. Hickman and others were behind a Senate Resolution that, if passed, would have allowed the state's voters to decide on horse racing's future. It was expected that the voters would approve legalizing the sport but they never got the chance. The Senate voted 33-20 in favor of Senate Resolution 131, but that wasn't enough to meet the two-thirds requirement for a constitutional amendment to move forward to the House. Hickman's side needed five more votes. Religious and anti-gambling forces were able to stop the resolution. Ironically, a bill to legalize sports betting passed in the Georgia Senate by a 41-10 margin.

“We've all met people who could not handle gambling,” Senator Marty Harbin told Georgia Recorder after the resolution was shot down. “It's a health problem, because among those who are addicted to gambling, there's a high suicide rate as well that goes along with that.”

When Hickman, a certified public accountant who entered the State Senate in 2020, took office he was an obvious choice to lead the push to legalize racing in Georgia. He's been around horses since competing in barrel races as a child and owns nine horses in various partnerships, plus two yearlings and two broodmares. He also pinhooks four or five horses a year.

“I love this stuff,” he said. “Racing is my passion. I'm not just somebody sitting on the sidelines saying this is something we have to do. They were always trying to get someone in the Senate or in the General Assembly who understood racing and was willing to push for it. Now they have someone in the Senate who understands the sport and the benefits it would bring to the state.”

Those benefits include 8,500 jobs and the creation of a $1.28-billion industry, the numbers Georgia Southern University came up with after being brought in by Hickman to conduct an economic impact study.

“As much as I love racing, if it doesn't make economic sense for Georgia I don't want to do it,” Hickman said. “We did the economic impact study to make sure this would be good for Georgia. I need for it to make business sense. The 8,500 jobs, that's more jobs than Lockheed Martin, more jobs than Chick-fil-A, more jobs that Synovus Bank. So, it's a big, big deal.”

But for those for numbers to pan out, racing in Georgia would have to be a success. The easiest way to make that happen would be to allow the tracks to open casinos. Hickman said that's not going to happen because he knows that would doom the effort to bring the sport into the state. He also said there are also no current plans to push for Historical Horse Racing Machines.

“Around here, 'casino' is a bad word,” he said.

But he acknowledges that racing would need an alternative revenue source to make it. What that might be? He's not sure.

“We would need something else to provide money for the purses and we are working on that,” he said.

Another issue is who would put up the money to build a racetrack if doing so didn't include opening a casino or, at the very least, having the HHR machines? Hickman said there are companies willing to invest in Georgia racing.

The Georgia Southern study explored having three tracks in the state, the largest of which would be in the Atlanta area. Another track could be built in the Savannah area.

“Georgia's biggest industry is agriculture,” Hickman said. “This would be a huge boost for our agriculture industry. It will take a while to build up the industry, but I see us having the type of purses where a maiden race would go for $65,000. We have 11 million people in Georgia and 5 million in the Atlanta area. Kentucky only has 4.5 million people.”

Hickman is in the process of collecting names of those in Georgia who take part in the Thoroughbred business and/or want to see the sport come to the state and is encouraging those people to reach out to him at

“We are in the process of developing a data base of supporters as a defacto petition to show the Georgia Legislature the ground swell of support behind this initiative,” he said.

His supporters include prominent owners and Georgia residents Dean and Patti Reeves, who have been at the forefront of the effort to bring racing to the state. Dean Reeves is a board members of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, an advocacy group trying to bring horse racing to Georgia.

As involved as Hickman is in the sport, he isn't contributing to the Georgia economy. His horses are bred in and foaled in either Kentucky or Florida. He sells his horses in Ocala and in Lexington and races up and down the map, but not in his home state.

“I purchased my first Thoroughbred at the Ocala Breeders' Sales,” he said. “Since then, my wife and I have bred, trained, raced and pinhooked many Thoroughbreds. Unfortunately, those dollars are being spent in neighboring states that have legalized pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.”

That's something he'd like to change. Hickman will reintroduce a resolution to legalize the sport when the State Senate reconvenes early next year. In the meantime, there will be some campaigning and some arm twisting.

“I am confident we will see there be horse racing in this state.” he said. “And that will be good for horse racing and good for Georgia.

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TOBA Names Officers and New Trustees to Board

Thu, 2022-08-11 13:04

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association re-elected Brant Laue as chairman of its Board of Trustees. Also joining Laue on the Board of Trustees to serve three-year terms as new members are Billy Koch, Braxton Lynch, and Francis Vanlangendonck.

Re-elected to three-year terms were current trustees Doug Cauthen, Marshall Gramm, Stephanie Hronis, Jason Loutsch, and David O'Farrell.

Officers named for 2022-2023 are: Laue, chairman, O'Farrell, vice-chairman, Dan Metzger, president; Doug Cauthen, secretary; and Garrett O'Rourke, treasurer.

The TOBA Board also approved the appointment of O'Farrell and reappointment of Barbara Banke to the American Graded Stakes Committee. The 2022-2023 committee is comprised of TOBA members Everett Dobson (chair), Banke, Craig Bernick, Walker Hancock, Laue and  O'Farrell and racing officials Frank Gabriel (NYRA), Rick Hammerle (Oaklawn Park and Kentucky Downs), Ben Huffman (Churchill Downs and Keeneland), Chris Merz (Santa Anita Park), and Thomas Robbins (Del Mar).

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Del Mar Post Times Adjusted

Thu, 2022-08-11 11:19

Del Mar' Friday post time has been moved up to 3 p.m. instead of the usual 4 p.m. start time. The Friday switch to 3 p.m. will be the first of four such Friday changes–Aug. 19, Aug. 26, Sept. 2 and Sept. 9–going through to the track's final Sept. 9, 10, 11 weekend. The change is being brought into play to ensure that the track has enough light to run its final races in a safe and viewable manner with sunset coming earlier in the late afternoon as summer nears its end.

Besides the Friday adjustments, Del Mar also will alter its first post times on its other racing days with the turn of the calendar to the month of September. Instead of the usual 2 p.m. first post, the track will present a 1 p.m. start for all of its Thursday, Saturday and Sunday cards, as well as the special Monday program on Labor Day, Sept. 5.

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UK Gluck Center’s Ernie Bailey Talks Thoroughbred Genetic Diversity Study On Writers’ Room

Thu, 2022-08-11 09:30

The opinion-heavy but heretofore science-light debate over whether or not certain stallions covering record numbers of mares per year will weaken the Thoroughbred breed gained a lot of clarity in late June when the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center released the findings from part one of its genetic diversity study. Tuesday, UK professor Ernie Bailey, PhD, joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to explain the major takeaways from the Gluck Center's research, what it means for the breeding industry, what comes next in the study and more.

“We now have a really great tool, we can do whole genome sequencing, we can sequence every single base, every single piece of DNA in a horse,” Bailey said. “That's really the complete assessment of diversity that one can do. The costs of doing sequencing have been dropping precipitously over the last 10 years and it's come to the point where it is feasible for us in research to do that. So we set out to sequence 100 Thoroughbred horses to assess the diversity that exists by soliciting samples from over 1,000 Thoroughbred horses. The breeders were very responsive and helpful for that.

“From that, we looked at the pedigrees, so we picked the 100 horses among the 1,000 that appeared to be the most diverse. And our goal was really to capture all of the common genetic variants that exist in the Thoroughbred and a lot of the variants that are fairly rare, less than half of a percent, to basically get a snapshot today of what the Thoroughbred looks like. The results that we had were interesting; we found that there's considerable genetic diversity in the Thoroughbred, and it overlaps that of different breeds. This means that the Thoroughbred breeders have done a good job over 300 years of continuing to maintain the diversity in the breed. That's not to say that there isn't a decrease when breeders are selecting for horses. Inbreeding is a constant part of it and it is going to gradually increase over time. So what we want to do is to be in a position to monitor the changes in the genetic diversity.”

Bailey was later asked about The Jockey Club's recently rescinded rule restricting the books of stallions to 140 mares, and whether that number is statistically significant.

“There isn't any academic information that says 140 is a magic number as to protecting the integrity of the breed,” he said. “I'm not sure where the number came from. One of the things that we would like to do is to be able to look at the diversity model, the breeding, and make a recommendation as to what is the proper approach. It's common sense that if you reduce the number of the stallions that you use, that you would restrict diversity, you would restrict inbreeding. But the study that we did shows that there's a lot of genetic diversity, so this is a really small effect. There are perhaps 100,000 broodmares that exist out there, and they basically contain most of the diversity that exists in the Thoroughbred. So it's likely that restricting the book size for a small number of stallions is going to have a very minimal effect. It would be a bit like trying to turn an oil tanker around in the middle of the ocean. If you have a rowboat that is pushing on the bow, you're not going to have a very large effect on it. I don't know what the answer is. I'm skeptical about 140. But I think that when we have the numbers about the diversity, we can then model and make a prediction and say, here is the best way to manage it.”

Elsewhere on the show, which is also sponsored by Coolmore, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, XBTV, Three Chimneys, West Point Thoroughbreds and Legacy Bloodstock, the writers reacted to Life Is Good (Into Mischief)'s GI Whitney S. win, the explosive results from this week's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and the California Horse Racing Board's decision to require licenses for media members on the backstretch. Click here to watch the show; click here for the audio-only version or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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CHRB Revises Media Policy

Wed, 2022-08-10 17:55

The CHRB rescinded its recent ruling requiring members of the media to be licensed through the and will instead allow the standard practice of allowing tracks to provide credentials.

They released the following statement Wednesday:

“While the California Horse Racing Board values safety and security in the stable area, it also recognizes the importance of a free and independent press. After considerable feedback, rather than requiring licenses or visitors passes for stable area media access, the CHRB will allow publicity departments to issue credentials for visitor access to the stable areas. The CHRB will hold the racetracks responsible for the conduct of credentialed media they authorize for stable area access.

“The CHRB needs to know who has been authorized by racetracks to enter stable areas, so publicity departments have agreed to provide the names of those individuals. The CHRB has made it clear that the lists will not be submitted for CHRB approval. The information will be used solely for the purpose of understanding who the tracks have authorized to be in the restricted area.”

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Coolmore Buys Into Undefeated ‘Rising Star’ Gulfport

Wed, 2022-08-10 17:20

Coolmore has reached an agreement with the partnership that owns runaway Bashford Manor S. winner Gulfport (Uncle Mo–Fame and Fortune, by Unbridled's Song) to stand the undefeated 2-year-old colt at Ashford Stud upon his retirement. Gulfport is owned by L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Jackpot Farm, and Whispering Oaks Farm LLC.

Bred in Kentucky by Diamond Creek Farm, Gulfport fetched $275,000 from Pick View as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling. He debuted for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen June 10 at Churchill Downs with a scintillating seven-length score to earn 'TDN Rising Star' designation. He was even more impressive on return in the July 4 Bashford Manor at the same track, blowing the doors off his competition with a 12 1/4-length drubbing as the 1-5 favorite. It was the widest margin in the history of the six-furlong black-type event and his time of 1:09.25 was the second-fastest clocking in the race. Gulfport earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort, the co-second-highest number by a 2-year-old this year.

“We are delighted to partner with William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Jackpot Farm, and Whispering Oaks Farm LLC on such an exciting son of Uncle Mo,” said Coolmore's M.V. Magnier. “His performance in the Bashford Manor was very special, and we think there's a lot more to come.”

Gulfport will eventually stand alongside his sire–one of the industry's perennial leading sires–at Ashford. He is out of a daughter of MGISW Stop Traffic (Cure the Blues), who also produced GISW Cross Traffic, a full-brother to Fame and Fortune. The 2021 GI Cigar Mile H. winner Americanrevolution (Constitution) is part of the extended family as well, while Gulfport's 3-year-old half-sister Favor (Pioneerof the Nile) placed in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks earlier this year.

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Cross Traffic Filly Runs to the Buzz At Saratoga

Wed, 2022-08-10 16:52

6th-Saratoga, $88,000, (S), Msw, 8-10, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:11.48, ft, 5 lengths.
MAPLE LEAF MEL (f, 2, Cross Traffic–City Gift, by City Place), named after trainer Jeremiah Englehart's assistant trainer Melanie Giddings, entered this unveiling with a reputation that preceded her, and garnered 3-5 favoritism in this state-bred affair. Quick to the front from mid-pack, the $150,000 EASMAY purchase (:10.2) set the tempo against the fence and expanded her gap at each point of call as Spinning Colors (Hard Spun) chased in vain. In much of a one-horse race from the far turn on, Maple Leaf Mel stayed clear under a hands-and-heels ride, cruising home to win by five lengths over Security Code (Frosted), who led the rest of a strung-out field. A half-sister to Eddie's Gift (El Corredor), SP, $167,950, Maple Leaf Mel has a yearling half-brother by Brody's Cause who, is her dam's last reported foal. Sales History: $18,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $150,000 2yo '22 EASMAY. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $48,400. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-August Dawn Farm; B-Joe Fafone (NY); T-Jeremiah C. Englehart.

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Lukas Changes Spinaway Plans

Wed, 2022-08-10 14:51

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas thought Naughty Gal (Into Mischief) was so good in the GIII Adirondack S. Sunday that her next start ought to be in the GI Spinaway S.

Summer Promise (Uncle Mo), runner-up in the GIII Schuylerville S. on opening day was being pointed to the $300,000 seven-furlong Spinaway Sept. 4, but Lukas said Wednesday that he was reconsidering that approach.

“I've kind of changed gears after I watched Naughty Gal run the other day and win,” he said. “I might run Naughty Gal back in the Spinaway and I'm thinking maybe of shipping Summer Promise over to Monmouth and go in the Sorority.”

The $200,000 one-mile Sorority will be run Aug. 21.

Despite a wide trip through the stretch, Holy Cow Stable's Naughty Gal prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack, giving Lukas his first Saratoga graded stakes win since 2017 and 61st over all.

“I think that Naughty Gal is going to have a better chance to win the Spinaway, better chance physically to go that extra distance. They're adding half a furlong,” Lukas said. “I think it's a better fit. I always treat them all like I own them and I've got to convince the owners that it's the best thing to do. I'm leaning that way.”

Lukas, 86, is tied with Todd Pletcher for the most wins in the Spinaway with six. His most recent victory was in 1995 with Golden Attraction (Mr. Prospector). In 1984, his first season at Saratoga, Lukas won the Spinaway with Tiltalating (Tilt Up).

“I had the Spinaway plugged in for Summer Promise and the other filly I thought I could go in any direction,” Lukas said. “But after I trained and watched the two of them this last week, I think I'm going to end up with Naughty Gal in the Spinaway. I wouldn't run them against each other.”

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16 Added to Texas Summer Yearling Sale

Wed, 2022-08-10 12:52

A total of 16 yearlings have been supplemented to the Texas Summer Yearling Sale, slated for Aug. 29 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

“The interest in our sale has been strong since we released our catalog late last month,” said TTA Sales Director Foster Bridewell. “These additions only help boost our sale and we're thrilled to offer these additional yearlings later this month.”

The Supplement Catalog features yearlings bred in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas, including a Texas-bred filly by first-crop stallion Vino Rosso, winner of the

GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Additionally, a full-sister to 2021 Texas Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Champion Tengo Mis Papeles (My Golden Song) will be offered as Hip 223.

The interactive catalog, including the supplements (Hips 213-228), is available now at The complete catalog is also available for download on the Equineline IPad App. Supplement Catalogs will also be available on the sales grounds and at the Lone Star Park Sales Pavilion.

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$2.3-Million Gun Runner Colt Tops Record-Crashing Saratoga Sale

Wed, 2022-08-10 00:41

by Jessica Martini and Christie DeBernardis

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – During an electrifying session of bidding Tuesday, the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearlings Sale produced 10 seven-figure yearlings–topped by a $2.3-million son of Gun Runner–and crashed records for gross, average and median.

“Rarely do you find me speechless,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said Tuesday night. “We are blown away by the results. The energy, the excitement, it just feels so good from an industry perspective. The statistics are phenomenal. We averaged over $500,000 tonight and had 10 horses over seven figures. We shattered every record known to mankind. It is a really good feeling. It's not just for us. It is a really good vibrancy for the industry. We basically had two yearling sales so far this year and both of them have been really good. It gives breeders hope and encouragement there.”

When the dust had settled after a frenzied two sessions of bidding, 143 yearlings had sold for $66,955,000, topping the auction's previous record gross of $62,794,000 set in 2018. The sale average of $468,212 broke the previous record of $411,459 set in 2019, while the median of $375,000 eclipsed the record of $350,000 recorded in both 2019 and 2021.

During the 2021 auction, 135 yearlings grossed $55,155,000 for an average of $408,556 and a median of $350,000.

With 36 yearlings reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 20.1%. It was 25% a year ago.

A colt by Three Chimneys' sire sensation Gun Runner brought the two-day auction's top price when selling for $2.3 million to the partnership of Coolmore's M.V. Magnier and Peter Brant's White Birch Farm. The yearling was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of breeder Debby Oxley. It was the second time during the night that a yearling hit the $2-million mark, with the team of West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing and 3C Stable going to that figure to acquire a filly by Curlin from the Stone Farm consignment.

In all, 14 yearlings sold for seven figures at the boutique auction. Only four hit that level at the 2021 auction.

Tuesday's 10 seven-figure yearlings were purchased by nine different buyers, reflecting the deep buying bench that was active throughout the two-day sale.

“Tonight we sold 74 horses and 10 out of the 74 brought seven figures, which is, frankly, unheard of,” Browning said. “Those 10 were sold to about eight or nine entities. The RNA rate is right about 20%–that doesn't reflect post-sales. It was just a robust market. If you are in the Thoroughbred industry anywhere in the United States, Saratoga is the epitome at the racetrack and I hope in the yearling sales arena. It is kind of the annual dose of hope and excitement. This is why we do it.”

Brant, Magnier Team Up for Sale-Topping Gun Runner Colt

As the electrifying second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale began to wind down Tuesday night, the Coolmore team which had already purchased a seven-figure son of Gun Runner from its traditional bidding perch out back of the pavilion, was joined by Peter Brant and the partnership pulled out all the stops to secure another yearling by the Three Chimneys stallion (hip 202) for a sale-topping $2.3 million. Bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, standing just a few feet away, was the underbidder on the colt who was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of his breeder, Debby Oxley.

“[Gainesway's] Brian Graves told us he was a really nice horse,” Coolmore's M.V. Magnier said. “Mr. and Mrs. Oxley breed a very nice horse.”

Of the partnership with Brant's White Birch Farm, Magnier said, “We've had horses with him in the past and hopefully we will have a lot more of them.”

The Oxleys' relationship with the sale-topper's family goes back two generations, with John Oxley purchasing the yearling's second dam Darling My Darling (Deputy Minister) for $300,000 at the 1998 Keeneland September sale. Darling My Darling, who is a daughter of 1994 GI Ballerina H. winner Roamin Rachel (Mining), was second in the 1999 GI Matron S. and GI Frizette S. for the Oxleys and the late trainer John Ward.

“My husband bought Darling My Darling for me because I loved Roamin Rachel,” Debby Oxley said. “You guys are too young to know who Roamin Rachel was, but she was just this hard-knocking race mare that raced on the Kentucky circuit. Darling has brought a lot of joy to our lives. It's so amazing to think–you have to pinch yourself. John Ward is up in heaven doing a big dance tonight. To think we could be a sale topper out of the mare is just incredible.”

Heavenly Love, who won the 2017 GI Darley Alcibiades S. in Debby Oxley's colors, has an unraced 2-year-old colt by Uncle Mo and a weanling colt by Nyquist.

The sale-topper wasn't the only success the Oxleys had thanks to Darling My Darling Tuesday in Saratoga. The mare's unraced daughter Darling's Darling (Bernardini) was represented by a colt from the first crop of Flameaway (hip 169) who sold for $425,000 to the bid of Ken McPeek as agent for Herold Lerner. Flameaway, a multiple graded stakes winner for John Oxley, stands at Darby Dan Farm for $7,500.

“We have a lot of faith in Flameaway,” Debby Oxley said. “That result exceeded our expectations totally, but he is a magnificent-looking colt. And I am happy that Ken McPeek bought him because I will get to see him run.”

On the back of the sales success Tuesday, Debby Oxley said, “I would like to thank our farm manager Laurie Gimmon and all of our help at Fawn Leap and our broodmare vet Luke Fallon. None of this happens without those folks who are on the grounds every day with them taking care of them. I am just happy for our little Fawn Leap Farm.”

Magnier, who made three seven-figure purchases at the two-day Saratoga auction, acquired the first of his two colts by Gun Runner (hip 186) for $1.4 million.

“What can anybody say about Gun Runner?” Magnier said “He's a very good sire, what he is doing is very good. We just hope that [Coolmore freshman sire] Justify can do the same thing.”

Hip 186, who was consigned by Denali Stud on behalf of breeder Earle Mack, is out of the unraced Flag Day (Giant's Causeway).

“We are over the moon. Elated doesn't begin to describe it,” said Denali's Conrad Bandoroff. “We've had him since the day he was born. He was bred by Earle Mack and we've always wanted to bring a nice horse to Saratoga for Earle and we thought this horse really fit the bill. We talk about Saratoga magic and this is the definition of that.”

Of the yearling, Bandoroff added, “He is a beautiful horse. He showed over 250 times. He was dog tired, but he came out and dropped his head and walked every time. I am proud of him. I am proud of the team. It's very gratifying and we are thrilled for Mr. Mack. He's a guy who has done so much for the industry. He deserved to breed a horse like this and we look forward to watching him go on and do big things.” @JessMartiniTDN

America Provides More Saratoga Fireworks

Three years ago, a yearling by Curlin out of America (A.P. Indy) produced fireworks in the Saratoga sales ring when bringing a co-sale-topping final bid of $1.5 million from a partnership group that included West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing. First Captain, already a graded stakes winner and expected to line up for next month's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, was eclipsed in the sales ring by his full-sister Tuesday in Saratoga when West Point and Woodford, joined this time by 3C Stable, was forced to $2 million to acquire the filly from the Stone Farm consignment.

“The power of the partnership,” West Point's Terry Finley said after signing the ticket on the yearling. “We see it time and time again. I think it's just going to get bigger and stronger. The key is that you have to have good partners and I think we do. I know we do.”

Of the filly's appeal, Bill Farish of Woodford Racing explained, “She reminds us a little bit of First Captain. She is a very athletic, strong-made filly with a lot of Curlin in her for sure. We have had luck with him and we were hoping to have luck with her on the racetrack. She is the kind of filly who will be a great broodmare one day.”

The filly's broodmare potential should only increase if her full-brother is able to secure a Grade I victory, according to Finley.

“Everybody is excited for First Captain in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in September, so I think that will be, on top of the rooting interest, I think we all be excited just to add to this filly's pedigree,” Finley said. “That will be really, really good if we can get a Grade I on the resume of First Captain.”

West Point and Woodford also teamed up to purchase the $1.5-million son of Uncle Mo during Monday's opening session of the boutique auction.

The $2-million sale was another success for the ever-strengthening broodmare band of celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

“It's a strategy that has taken a long time to create the foundation of, but basically it's trying to buy some of the best families in the stud book, both in Europe and in the United States,” Flay said of his broodmare band. “This is not an overnight project. This has taken over 10 years to build up and I've had really great advisors–Barry Weisbord is like the Warren Buffett of pedigrees and James Delahooke is a legendary horse picker. I rely on those two people to really help me out. I do all the matings myself, that's something that I really enjoy doing. I try to play at the highest level.”

Flay, who stayed in for a piece of First Captain, agreed it was a tough decision to sell a filly out of his prized mare.

“It is very tough to let a filly like that go,” he said. “But as everybody knows this is not an inexpensive business. You have to take some money off the table when you can sometimes. But that said, one of the great things about breeding a horse like this, you can sell them to a great buyer and hope they go to a great trainer–which I know they will–and you can root just as hard. I still have the mom and the siblings and that is the great thing about breeding. It takes a lot of patience, but once you get to a point where you have a lot of things going on, it's so, so much fun. And it's so great to root for them.”

America, who herself was bred by Flay and RNA'd for $3.1 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November sale, has a 2-year-old colt by Uncle Mo who RNA'd for $550,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September sale. She has a weanling colt by Uncle Mo and is currently back in foal to Curlin. @JessMartiniTDN

Baffert Secures Another Quality Filly

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert ended the Saratoga Sale on a high note, securing a $1.8 million Quality Road filly (Hip 213) just three hips before the end of the sale. He was acting on behalf of an undisclosed client and did his bidding from the second floor of the pavilion alongside bloodstock agent Donato Lanni and his wife Jill Baffert.

“She's a beautiful filly,” said Baffert, who trained Quality Road's champion filly Abel Tasman. “I've done well buying fillies here. Mt. Brilliant raises a really good horse. I was fortunate I had somebody to buy her. She is the kind of filly that I like to buy. I've had a lot of success with those types of fillies. Those kind pan out and play at the top level.”

As for the price, he said, “I thought she was going to be expensive, especially tonight, the way the prices are. It is my job to get that back and hopefully we will.”

Consigned by Lane's End, Hip 213 was bred by Greg Goodman's Mt. Brilliant Farm & Ranch and Lane's End's W. S. Farish. Goodman purchased her SP dam Ithinkisawapudycat (Bluegrass Cat) for $2.2 million in foal to Constitution at the 2016 KEENOV sale. Her first foal born in 2014 was GI Spinaway S. winner Sweet Loretta (Tapit). The half to Canadian champion Spring In The Air (Spring At Last) is also responsible for SP Bridlewood Cat (Street Sense), who was the mare's previous most expensive offspring as a $750,000 KEESEP purchase.

“The filly has so much class,” Goodman said. “We came thinking she might bring between $700,000 and $800,000. She was so great. She showed here like she is going to be a real racehorse. She was all business the whole time.”

When asked how the filly developed on the farm, the breeder said, “She's always been smart. She's never taken a bad step. She does nothing wrong. She's been so nice. She's just been perfect. All of our employees did a great job. Lane's End did an awesome job selling her.”


Ryan Jumps in the Colt Partnership Game

Partnerships focused on buying colts with the potential to run two turns are the name of the game right now and bloodstock agent Mike Ryan is the latest to get in on the action. He went to $1.75 million to acquire a son of Curlin (Hip 127) on behalf of his new group, headed by owner Jeff Drown, who was beside Ryan as he signed the ticket Tuesday.

“We put a group together with Jeff Drown and some other guys,” said Ryan, who indicated the colt would go to a top New York trainer. “We are looking at the First Saturday in May. He is the complete package. It is very hard to find a hole in him. I don't like to use the phrase ticked all the boxes, but I couldn't fault him. He is very smooth, beautiful pedigree and came off a good farm. If he is a Grade I winner, he is worth a lot of money down the road. He has a great stallion future.”

As for the price, Ryan said, “To be honest, we were thinking about $1.5 million, but when you are looking at these types of horses, it is very hard to split them. If they are good, they're good and they'll reward you. We thought he was the best colt sale and now we will have to see if we were right or wrong”

Consigned by Taylor Made, Hip 127 is out of Grade I winner Angela Renee (Bernardini), who is also responsible for recent Curlin S. runner-up and GSP colt Gilded Age (Medaglia d'Oro), a $600,000 KEESEP purchase. The chestnut colt shares the same third dam as Monday's $1.5-million session-topping Uncle Mo colt (Hip 68) in SW & GSP Misty Hour (Miswaki), the matriarch of Jane Lyon's Summer Wind Farm. His second dam is SW Pilfer (Deputy Minister), who also produced MGISW To Honor and Serve (Bernardini).

Hip 127 was bred by Don Alberto Corporation, which acquired Angela Renee for $3 million at the 2015 FTKNOV sale. The colt topped an excellent Saratoga sale for the organization which also sold a $675,000 Curlin filly (Hip 15), a $700,000 Constitution colt (Hip 66), a $525,000 Into Mischief colt (Hip 75) and a $1.2 million Into Mischief filly (Hip 150), who is a full-sister to last year's Saratoga sale topper.

“It's been a fantastic sale for us,” said Don Alberto's Fernando Diaz-Valdes. “Fasig is doing a great job for us, too. I think we are having some results and that is good. When you buy quality, they have to pay up. We have invested a lot of money. Sometimes it's not always roses, but this time it's been very good for us. I think we have to say thank you to the whole team at the farm, starting with Reed [Ringler] and the group down there. All those guys, they deserve thanks because they put in 20 hours a day at the farm. The family has invested so much money into the game coming from Chile and they deserve to be rewarded. That is most important. I wish the best to all the buyers.” @CDeBernardisTDN

The Coach Schools 'Em in Bidding War For Medaglia d'Oro Colt

A colt by Medaglia d'Oro (Hip 114) was the first to seven figures Tuesday when hammering for $1.35 million after a furious round of bidding lit up the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion early in the session. However, the real excitement came when the crowd realized the buyer was none other than D. Wayne Lukas. A sense of déjà vu and universal delight filled the surrounding crowd as the familiar figure in his signature aviators, cowboy hat and boots signed the ticket on the million-dollar colt, while seated in his typical spot on the right side of pavilion alongside his wife Laurie Lukas.

Lukas signed the ticket under the name of John Bellinger, one of the partners in BC Stables, which campaigns 'TDN Rising Star' and recent GIII Schuylerville S. runner-up Summer Promise (Uncle Mo) with the Hall of Fame conditioner.

“I think we will do something creative with him,” said the charismatic Lukas. “We didn't have time to put anything together. We talked about it briefly. We will sleep on it. John [Bellinger] has a good friend named Brian Coelho [his partner in BC Stables]. A few of us might take a piece. We will just have to work through it.”

Summer Promise is one of five 2-year-olds that make up BC Stables' current roster. Bellinger and Coelho approached Lukas just before Keeneland September last year. (Click here for a profile on BC Stables). The conditioner purchased a pair of $425,000 yearlings during Monday's session on behalf of BC Stables in Hip 65, an Into Mischief colt, and Hip 60, a Munnings filly.

“I think they sat back for a few years and watched what I was doing and they finally came by and said we want to do what Bob Lewis and some of these others did. So, there you go,” Lukas said with a broad grin.

The final price was more than double what Bellinger had spent on any of his previous horses and Lukas said the colt brought a little more than he expected.

“I was a little surprised at what we had to give for him,” the Coach said. “I estimated he would bring maybe $1-million or a bit over. I didn't think he would go quite that high, but when they are good, and you like them, it's hard to evaluate. Nobody in the building knows whether he is a bargain or not. We will find out. We all think we are smart about it. People have opinions. Horses have the facts. That is how that works.”

Back in his heyday from the 1980's through the early 2000s, it was par for the course to see Lukas sign a million-dollar ticket, but it has been quite some time since he has been the agent on a seven-figure horse. It has also been two years since the 86-year-old has been to Saratoga due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wasn't here for two years because all of our clients died and I got Covid,” said Lukas, who captured Sunday's GII Adirondack with Naughty Gal (Into Mischief). “It is fun to be back here and be in this arena. We will try to keep things going in the fall at Keeneland. As long as we can keep buying yearlings like this, we will have a nice race stable. I don't want a lot. I don't want to train like I used to. I still get up early in the morning, but I want them all in front of me.”

Out of GSW Walk Close (Tapit), Hip 114 is a full-brother to GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Aneau d'Or. His second dam is MSW and GISP Spring Awakening (In Excess {Ire}).

“He is a wonderful colt,” Lukas said. “He was a really good physical, obviously. We weren't the only people who liked him. I thought he had a tremendous walk and tremendous disposition. I watched him come out about two or three times. He looks like he has a good head on his shoulder, but he has a great walk. I've got a hunch that horse will get over the ground pretty good. I have a theory on angles and skeleton and he fit all of that.”

Consigned by Four Star Sales, Hip 114 was bred by Lochlow Farm and Godolphin, which stands Medaglia d'Oro. Lochlow Farm purchased Walk Close for $550,000 at the 2018 FTKNOV sale in foal to Uncle Mo. The resulting colt summoned $420,000 from Donato Lanni on behalf of the group known as the Avengers at the 2020 FTKSEL sale. She produced another Uncle Mo colt this year.

“I think you can hope, but it is not always easy to expect that kind of money,” said Godolphin's Darren Fox. “He had an exceptional physical, a tremendous walk. We loved everything about him. He is a full-brother to a Grade I 2-year-old. Medaglia is certainly keeping his side of things going. Exceptional results. All credit to the breeder Mrs. Lenehan, to Four Star and to Fasig for putting on a sale like this. Also, a lot of credit to Chris Welker, who prepped him and did a tremendous job.” @CDeBernardisTDN

GMP Hits It Out of the Park With First Saratoga Offering

Anthony Melfi and retired trainer Gary Gullo's GMP Stable began just short of two years ago and they hit a high note when their first homebred to sell at the Saratoga Sale, a Curlin filly (Hip 151), summoned $1.05 million from Eclipse Thoroughbreds, Robert LaPenta's Whitehorse and Sol Kumin's Madaket Stable. (Click here for pre-sale feature on GMP Stable).

“It's unbelievable,” an emotional and ecstatic Melfi said. “We've worked so hard. Gary Gullo is the best partner I've ever had. The best. I am so excited. We were feeling very confident. Everybody said she was beautiful. They loved her. We expected we would do well, but not this well. We are so happy.”

GMP Stable purchased Hip 151's dam, MGSIP Cassies Dreamer (Flatter), for $435,000 with this filly in utero at the 2020 FTKNOV sale.

“It's amazing,” said Gullo, who spent 40 years training horses on the NYRA circuit. “Trying to get the right horse and right breeding is hard. You have to have the right team. I feel so comfortable being involved with the right people who can point us in the right direction. I'm very thankful. I can almost say it is better than winning any kind of race. To have a horse you bred come for over $1 million is a great thing.”

The horseman added, “We were thinking maybe $700,000-$800,000. Everyone kept telling us at Taylor Made—and Elliott Walden was unbelievable—saying this is a real racehorse. We just listened to everybody who is on our team saying how good she is. I am happy and will be rooting for the people who bought her. I hope they do very well with her.”

Eclipse has a history of success with Curlin mares, such as MGISW Curalina and current top sophomore filly Nest, so it was no surprise to see Aron Wellman sign the ticket. He indicated the filly would go to Todd Pletcher, who trained both of the aforementioned fillies.

“She was a queen all week long,” Wellman said, while seated beside LaPenta. “She is the same cross as Nest (Curlin/A.P. Indy). We've had a lot of luck with Curlin fillies and she possessed all the traits we've seen in our good ones. Time will tell as it always does.”

As for the price, Wellman said, “When you try to get a barometer on the market here and you see what these fillies are bringing, it is pretty serious stuff. We thought she'd be in the $1-million range. We took a swing and hopefully in a couple of years, she will be in the Lexington pavilion.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Live Oak Strikes For Into Mischief Filly

Live Oak principal Charlotte Weber had been patiently watching the action through the first session and a half of the Saratoga Sale and jumped in just past the halfway mark Tuesday, going to $1 million for an Into Mischief filly (Hip 166).

“She is beautifully balanced,” Weber said. “She has a nice walk. She has great prospects as a racehorse and a broodmare.”

Trainer Mark Casse, who bid on Weber's behalf, added, “She has it all, Curlin and Into Mischief. We've had pretty good luck with both. It didn't hurt that there was a little With Approval in the family. That is all Live Oak.”

Happy Alter bred and trained Hip 166's MGSW dam Curlin's Approval (Curlin) with Bridlewood Farm buying in as a partner during her racing career. Gainesway consigned the bay filly, who is the mare's second foal.

“Happy Alter owned and bred Curlin's Approval,” Bridlewood's George Issacs said. “He has trained for Bridlewood Farm for many, many years. We became friends 30 years ago. When this filly developed like she did, I approached Happy about Bridlewood being his 50% partner. Curlin's Approval herself is a queen and her first foal by Tapit is a very nice filly. Then we bred her to Into Mischief and this filly obviously developed very nicely also.”

Alter added, “The partnership with Bridlewood and Happy Alter is something I am very proud of. We sold a beautiful filly at a fair price, but we might have sold a champion.”


Saratoga Perfection for Machmer Hall

The Brogdens' Machmer Hall Sales had a perfect seven-for-seven strike rate at the two-day Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, highlighted by a $720,000 daughter of Into Mischief (hip 131) purchased by Peter Brant's White Birch Farm and a $625,000 son of Medaglia d'Oro (hip 157) purchased by CRK Stable.

“I knew there was the potential for it to happen because they had the right action,” Carrie Brogden said.

Machmer Hall purchased the dam of hip 131, Astray (Bernardini), for $170,000 at the 2018 Keeneland January sale. And sold a Curlin colt out of the mare for $470,000 to Mike Ryan at last year's Keeneland September sale. Claire's Song (Unbridled's Song), the dam of hip 157, was purchased in foal to Gun Runner for $290,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January sale.

Medaglia d'Oro was a no-brainer for Claire's Song because that family just works so well with him,” Brogden said. “I have to thank Jim Fitzgerald–the three stakes winners she has produced since we bought her were all under his care and raising. Her Mo Clare (Uncle Mo) just won a $125,000 a couple of weeks ago. It was good timing.”

Machmer Hall had a pair of pinhooking scores during Monday's first session of the auction. The operation sold a colt by Classic Empire (hip 45), who was purchased last year for $50,000 at Keeneland November, for $240,000 to Hideyuki Mori. A filly by Audible (hip 43), purchased privately, was sold for $320,000 to My Racehorse.

“We bought the Audible privately for $65,000,” Brogden said. “I just thought she was a exquisite. We have a share in Audible and we have supported him every single year, breeding multiple mares to him. I just love what I am seeing. They all look fast and they have great minds.”

As for what type of yearlings Machmer Hall targets for Saratoga, Brogden said, “The walk. The most important thing is to have an athletic walk. The way the sale grounds are set up, everyone is watching these horses from all sides. When I am sitting at my consignment and I see another horse walk by me–I saw the Speightstown colt that brought $950,000 yesterday and when he walked back from the ring, I grabbed my catalogue asking, 'What the hell is that?' That is the kind of horse to bring here to Saratoga. The horses that, the more you look at them, the more you like them.”  @JessMartiniTDN

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Baffert and Lanni Go Big for ‘Quality’ Filly

Tue, 2022-08-09 22:12

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and agent Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of an undisclosed client, added a big-ticket item to his future roster when stretching to $1.8 million to land a Quality Road half-sister to GI Spinaway S. heroine Sweet Loretta (Tapit) late in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga session Tuesday. The May 4 foal was consigned by Lane's End as hip 213 and bred by Mt Brilliant Farm & Ranch and W. S. Farish. Her dam was a $2.2-million KEENOV '16 purchase (in foal to Constitution) by Greg Goodman's Mt Brilliant.

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Coolmore Comes Out on Top for Justify Colt

Mon, 2022-08-08 21:11

The Coolmore contingent has to be happy with the hot start Triple Crown winner Justify has had with his first 2-year-olds, and the operation continued to support its young stallion Monday in Saratoga when landing hip 78 for $1.1 million. Michael Wallace was credited as agent for Coolmore's M.V. Magnier. The colt, consigned by Warrendale Sales, Agent IV, was bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm. He is half to stakes winner Ledecka (Tiznow).

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Uncle Mo Colt First to Seven Figures

Mon, 2022-08-08 20:57

An Uncle Mo colt already named Stop the Press made news Monday evening when garnering a winning bid of $1.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale from West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing. Consigned by Lane's End, agent as hip 68 on behalf of Jane Lyon's Summer Wind Equine, the Mar. 25 foal is a grandson of MGSW India (Hennessy), making his Tapit dam a half to Japanese MGISW Mozu Ascot (Frankel {GB}). He hails from the family of highest-level winners Rahy's Attorney, To Honor and Serve, Angela Renee, et al. Summer Wind will reportedly stay in on the colt. West Point, Woodford and Summer Wind are among the ownership group that campaign unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' and leading older horse Flightline (Tapit), who was also bred by Summer Wind and cost $1 million at this auction in 2019.

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