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Updated: 6 days 19 hours ago

FTC Affirms Wong Suspension and Fine, Case Heads to Federal Court

Thu, 2024-04-25 13:39

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has affirmed an earlier Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) arbitration panel ruling against trainer Jonathan Wong, suspending him for two years and fining him $25,000 for a 2023 post-race metformin positive. Metformin is a type 2 diabetes drug that HISA has classified as a banned substance.

The next step in the appeals process would be a request for review by the FTC of the FTC administrative law judge's decision, according to a Horseracing Integrity and Safety Unit (HIWU) spokesperson.

Wong will instead take the case to federal court bypassing that process, according to the trainer's long-time owner, Brent Malmstrom. This would make it the first HISA-related medication violation case to work its way up to the federal court level.

“If anyone thinks I have enjoyed spending over $510,000 litigating this, they would be mistaken, but to think we will stop now is misguided. I look forward to our ability to force discovery, take depositions, force accountability, and allow this case to be properly adjudicated,” wrote Malmstrom.

In his written ruling dated April 22, FTC chief administrative law judge D. Michael Chappell agreed with the plaintiffs that HISA had departed from the anti-doping medication control (ADMC) program's standards or protocol in key instances.

Nevertheless, Chappell determined that “there is no basis presented by Appellant to support a conclusion that the resulting sanctions were 'arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.”

HISA and the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) had no comment on the FTC decision.

Though banned from operating in jurisdictions that fall under HISA's authority, Wong operates a stable out of Evangeline Downs, in Louisiana, a state that currently falls outside of HISA legal purview.

The ruling marks the latest twist in a case involving a drug that appears to be playing an out-sized role in the organization's anti-doping crusade.

Metformin ranks as the nation's third-most-prescribed human medicine, according to the consumer healthcare website Healthgrades, with more 20 million patients taking it. As a banned substance under HISA, a metformin positive comes with a possible maximum two-year suspension and $25,000 fine.

The Wong-trainee Heaven and Earth (Gormley) broke her maiden at Indiana Grand on June 1 but subsequently tested positive for metformin.

As a matter of protocol at that time, HIWU initially provisionally suspended Wong at the beginning of June when the A sample returned a positive finding for Metformin.

The HISA Authority subsequently announced that it had modified the rules surrounding provisional suspensions. Under the revised provisions, responsible parties who request B Sample confirmation following a positive test for a banned substance would no longer face a provisional suspension until the B sample findings are returned.

In Wong's case, he was notified on Aug. 9 that the B Sample confirmed the Metformin positive.

Though Wong was technically permitted to return to training for a brief period while the B sample was being processed, he explained at the time that his owners did not wish to transfer the horses back with the B Sample results expected imminently, and effectively has not trained since July 2.

Earlier this year, a HISA arbitration panel imposed on Wong the maximum possible sentence for such a violation. The two-year period of ineligibility retroactively started July 1, 2023, when Wong's initial provisional suspension was first imposed.

The panel's ruling also set the case up for review anew before the FTC.

In his appeal, Wong made several claims that the way the blood and urine samples in the case had been processed were a departure from the “rules and standards” of HISA's drug testing program, and that these departures rendered the test results “inadmissible.”

Judge Chappell agreed that some of these “departures” from the ADMC program's rules and regulations indeed occurred, including how HISA failed to “document the chain of custody” of the samples between the time of collection and shipment to Industrial Laboratories for testing.

Chappell also agreed that Brendan Heffron, lab director at the University of Illinois Chicago Illinois (UIC) where the B samples were sent for confirmation testing, failed to “decant” the urine sample according to the ADMC rules.

Chappell disagreed with the assertion that the findings did not undergo “independent review” by two certifying scientists.

Even though one of the certifying scientists conducted his review well after UIC reported its test result to HIWU in contrary to ADMC rules, “there is no evidence to support a conclusion – implied by Appellant – that UIC altered the laboratory package after Benoit's review and prior to certifying the result,” Chappell wrote.

In an unusual turn of events in the case, the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, conducted “Further Analysis” on the A blood sample sent to Industrial Laboratories, and intended to analyse what should have remained of the B urine sample processed by the Chicago lab.

Wong argued that ADMC rules required such further analysis to have been conducted by UIC—the laboratory that conducted B sample analysis—rather than by the UC Davis Lab.

Chappell rejected this argument by stating that Wong had failed to make this assertion in arbitration, and that “Appellant has failed to rebut the presumption that the analyses of the A and B samples conducted by Industrial and UIC were valid in detecting the presence of a banned substance. In this context, whether the further analysis conducted by UC Davis failed to comply with applicable testing rules is immaterial.”

In his ruling, Chappell concluded that Wong “has failed to meet his burden of establishing that the demonstrated departures from applicable testing standards or protocols could reasonably have caused the AAF. Therefore, pursuant to ADMC Rule 3122(c)-(d), the test results are presumed valid and the departures are not a defense to the possession violation.”

In his written statement, Malmstrom pointed to the parts of the judge's ruling identifying where sample processing procedures had deviated from the stipulated rules. “Better stated, HIWU can issue a fine/suspension but not follow the stated rules, leading you to that conclusion,” Malmstrom wrote.

Because of the possible severity of metformin-related sanctions and its ubiquity in the environment, the drug has been at the heart of several controversial cases that have led some to question whether HIWU is deploying too strict an enforcement approach to the drug.

In justification of its stance, HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus told the TDN earlier this year that “we do have intelligence that metformin is being used intentionally” as a performance enhancer.

According to Malmstrom, the challenge “we and every other trainer face” is the difficulty in proving the root source of adverse analytical findings, especially in ship-in scenarios.

“We have all read about the disproportionate number of tests returning from situations where the trainer shipped their horses to various locations,” Malmstrom wrote, pointing to his “letter to the editor” from last July.

“Due process isn't a scenario where some rules can be followed while others can be ignored. Under the current regulations, you can have your entire economic livelihood taken from you through no fault of your own,” Malmstrom wrote.

“Trainers are not omnipresent and can't always control everything,” he added. “Why are trainers the only ones subject to transparency? Given that environmental contaminations continue to be significant events, a better solution that shares responsibility is needed.”

The post FTC Affirms Wong Suspension and Fine, Case Heads to Federal Court appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Jockey Jevian Toledo Sidelined with Collarbone Injury

Thu, 2024-04-25 13:13

Jockey Jevian Toledo is expected to be out of action until late June after having minor surgery to repair his collarbone, while rider J.G. Torrealba will return to action Friday, five days after they were involved in a spill at Laurel Park.

Toledo was injured during Sunday's fourth race after being unseated when his mount, Jackie A, tripped over Torrealba and Bourbon and Ice, who had stumbled when in tight quarters at the top of the stretch and fell. Both horses walked off the track.

One shy of 1,600 career wins and a four-time annual leading rider in Maryland, the 29-year-old Toledo and five-pound apprentice Torrealba, 22, were both taken to University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. Toledo was subsequently sent to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

“It was a dislocated collarbone [from] the breastplate. They had to go in, make a little incision and do a tiny surgery on him. He spent two nights at Shock Trauma, but he's home now,” Toledo's agent, Marty Leonard, said. “He's going to be out probably two months. He's disappointed, but he's OK. It could have been much worse.”

The post Jockey Jevian Toledo Sidelined with Collarbone Injury appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Muth Favored Over Fierceness and Sierra Leone in Preakness Future Wager

Thu, 2024-04-25 13:02

Likely GI Kentucky Derby favorites and 'TDN Rising Stars' Fierceness (City of Light) (9-2) and Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) (6-1) will open as the second and third choices in the Preakness Future Wager when the final pool opens Friday, Apr. 26.

The Preakness Future Wager favorite is GI Arkansas Derby winner and 'Rising Star' Muth (Good Magic), listed at 3-1 after opening at 19-1 in the first Preakness Future Wager, while Bob Baffert-trained stablemate and GI Santa Anita Derby runner-up Imagination (Into Mischief) is 12-1. Muth and Imagination will not run in the Kentucky Derby.

There are 31 individual entries and a pari-mutuel field of “all other 3-year-olds.” The field is 20-1.

The Preakness Future Wager has a $2 minimum and 18 percent takeout. The second and final Preakness pool runs until Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit https://www.preakness.com/futurewager.

 

The post Muth Favored Over Fierceness and Sierra Leone in Preakness Future Wager appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Honor Marie Fires Five-Furlong Bullet for Kentucky Derby

Thu, 2024-04-25 12:48

Ribble Farms, Michael Eiserman, Earl Silver and Kenneth and Dave Fishbein's Honor Marie (Honor Code) worked five furlongs in company with his stakes-placed stablemate Agoo (Munnings) in a bullet :59.20 (1/11) over a fast track on a chilly Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.

With jockey Ben Curtis aboard for trainer Whit Beckman, the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. winner and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby runner-up clicked off fractions of :12, :23.80, :35.60, :47.40 and :59.20. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.60 and seven-eighths in 1:27.60.

“We can take one breath now that the work is over,” Beckman said about an hour after the 7:30 a.m. breeze. “He came back to the barn and everything was great. The work was great. It reminded me a lot of his work leading up to the Kentucky Jockey Club, except that work was over at (Churchill Downs') Trackside.”

“Everybody was smiling when I got back to the barn, and a lot of times that doesn't happen,” Curtis added.

Also working Thursday morning were three candidates for the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks: Willis Horton Racing's Tapit Jenallie (Tapit) (four furlongs, :49.40), Whisper Hill Farm's 'TDN Rising Star' Leslie's Rose (Into Mischief) (four furlongs, :49.40) and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Candied (Candy Ride {Arg}) (four furlongs :47.60 in company).

Watch #KyDerby contender Honor Marie work 5 furlongs in :59.20 for trainer Whit Beckman. pic.twitter.com/GcPJdclmEQ

— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) April 25, 2024

 

The post Honor Marie Fires Five-Furlong Bullet for Kentucky Derby appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Bidding Open For Mensa Flash Sale Via Fasig-Tipton Digital

Thu, 2024-04-25 12:17

Bidding has opened on Fasig-Tipton Digital for the “Mensa Flash Sale,” a one-horse online auction of Mensa (Complexity), a debut-winning 2-year-old colt who was the first winner for his freshman sire. Bidding will close Monday, April 29, at 2 PM ET. Trained by Mark Casse for owner D.J. Stable LLC, Mensa won by three lengths going gate-to-wire in his debut at Gulfstream Park April 12. Mensa is scheduled to make his next start in the Kentucky Juvenile S. at Churchill Downs May 2.

“Mensa earned a 9 Thoromanager figure in his first-out win, a faster number than Casse-trained champions Classic Empire and Wonder Wheel received in their debut wins in the spring as two-year-olds,” said Fasig-Tipton Director of Digital Sales Leif Aaron. “He is an exciting prospect that Mark Casse thinks has a very bright future. This is an opportunity for racing stables to buy a live two-year-old with unlimited potential.”

Mensa is stabled at Churchill Downs and will train each day at 9:10 am in a special saddle cloth. Prospective buyers can follow him back to Barn 36 post-training to inspect him.

Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for D.J. Stables LLC Graduate, consigns Mensa. Successful horses sold by D.J. Stable on Fasig-Tipton Digital include Witwatersrand, who was recently named Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in Canada.

Prospective buyers may view the entry and register to bid here.

The post Bidding Open For Mensa Flash Sale Via Fasig-Tipton Digital appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Bewitch Continues To Run Through War Like Goddess

Thu, 2024-04-25 10:50

War Like Goddess (English Channel) typically makes a single stop at Keeneland per year and she does so exclusively to win the GIII Bewitch S. Not only did the 7-year-old mare win last year's edition, she also won the same race in both 2022 and 2021. Making her first start of 2024 off a seventh to Auguste Rodin (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita last November, War Like Goddess began her 2023 campaign in exactly the same way, debuting to a win in Keeneland's closing-day feature to kick off a season that saw her defend her titles against the boys in the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Aqueduct. Trainer Bill Mott also used this race at a stepping-off point for her 2022 campaign.

Opposing the favorite from the outside is Vergara (Noble Mission {GB}), a 5-year-old who will look to be the speed of the field also making her first start of the year since checking in third in November's GIII Long Island S. But while she's had plenty of experience going the 1 1/2 miles, including a start two races back over the local course, the Graham Motion trainee has yet to find the winner's circle over the distance.

Potentially making things interesting along the rail will be GI Darley Alcibiades S. runner up Chop Chop (City of Light). Unraced on the turf since a narrow third in last year's Allen Black Cat Lacombe Memorial S. at Fair Grounds in March 2023, she does come in off a run of good form over the Tapeta at Turfway, winning two of her last four dating back to December. She also has youth on her side, being one of just two 4-year-olds in the field (the other being Cherie DeVaux's Tower Bridge [Street Sense]).

The post Bewitch Continues To Run Through War Like Goddess appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Apr. 18-24

Wed, 2024-04-24 17:58

Every week, the TDN posts a roundup of the relevant Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) related rulings from around the country.

Among this week's rulings, trainer Candelario Villamar has been suspended 15-days and fined $1,000 after his trainee, Olivia's Choice, tested positive for capsaicin when finishing third at Turf Paradise on Feb. 26.

A Class B controlled medication under HISA, capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilli peppers causing burning and irritation, and can be found in topical analgesics.

Trainer Valorie Lund has been banned seven days and fined $1,000 after Amaretto Di Amore tested positive for gabapentin when finishing second at Turf Paradise on Feb. 26.

Gabapentin is a Class B controlled medication under HISA that is an FDA human-approved anticonvulsant used to treat conditions like epilepsy, postherpetic neuralgia and in the treatment of partial onset seizures.

There is currently no detailed explanation behind these rulings posted on HIWU's website.

NEW HISA/HIWU STEWARDS RULINGS
The following rulings were reported on HISA's “rulings” portal and through the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit's (HIWU) “pending” and “resolved” cases portals.

Resolved ADMC Violations
Resolution Date: 04/24/2024
Licensee: Valorie Lund, trainer
Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on April 25, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $1,000; imposition of 2 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: For the presence of Gabapentin-Controlled Medication (Class B)–in a sample taken from Amaretto Di Amore, who finished second at Turf Paradise on 2/26/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/23/2024
Licensee: Carlo Vaccarezza, trainer
Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314–Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method–on the horse, Little Blaze. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222–Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Resolution Date: 04/23/2024
Licensee: Jose Garoffalo, trainer
Penalty: A fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: For the presence of Phenylbutazone-Controlled Medication (Class C)–in a sample taken from Sarawat on 03/09/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/22/2024
Licensee: Danny Gargan, trainer
Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method–on the horse, Cool Operator. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222–Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Resolution Date: 04/22/2023
Licensee: Richard Baltas, trainer
Penalty: A fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Highly Desirable on 03/23/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/22/2024
Licensee: Ruben Alvarado, trainer
Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Final decision by HIWU.
Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314–Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, One Smokin Moon. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Resolution Date: 04/22/2024
Licensee: Candelario Villamar, trainer
Penalty: 15-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on April 23, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $1,000; imposition of 2 Penalty Points. Final decision by HIWU.
Explainer: For the presence of Capsaicin-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Olivia's Choice, who finished third at Turf Paradise on 02/26/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/22/2024
Licensee: Ron Rozell, trainer
Penalty: None. Withdrawal of Equine Anti-Doping Charge/Moved to and Resolved under Atypical Finding Policy.
Explainer: For the presence of Pemoline–a banned substance–in a sample taken from Bavaria. This was a possible violation of Rule 3212–Presence of a Banned Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/18/2024
Licensee: Bill McLean, trainer
Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Final decision by HIWU.
Explainer: For the presence of Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Street Tiger, who finished fourth at Golden Gate on 3/2/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 04/18/2023
Licensee: Bret Calhoun, trainer
Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); treated as 1 violation with Dixon Tuff under 9/8/23 HISA Guidance. Final decision by internal adjudication panel.
Explainer: For the presence of Diclofenac-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Ain't Broke, who won at Churchill Downs on 09/21/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 4/18/2024
Licensee: Bret Calhoun, trainer
Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Final decision by internal adjudication panel.
Explainer: For the presence of Diclofenac-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Tatanka, who finished eleventh at Churchill Downs A on 9/14/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Pending ADMC Violations
Date: 04/23/2023
Licensee: Steve Knapp, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)–in a sample taken from Caribbean King, who won at Santa Anita on 2/17/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/23/2023
Licensee: Gary Stute, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)–in a sample taken from Sand to Sea, who finished second at Santa Anita on 2/16/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/22/2024
Licensee: Isidro Tamayo, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)–in a sample taken from Dust Maker, who won at Turf Paradise on 4/2/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/18/2024
Licensee: Amador Sanchez, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Capsaicin-Controlled Medication (Class B)–in a sample taken from Dontkissdaminister, who finished second at Gulfstream Park on 3/22/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/18/2024
Licensee: Matthew Fales, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Vet's list medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Phenylbutazone-Controlled Medication (Class C)–in a sample taken from Rantanen, who finished third at Turf Paradise on 3/21/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/18/2024
Licensee: Arturo Chavez, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Capsaicin-Controlled Medication (Class B)–in a sample taken from Jr's Confidence, who won at Sunland Park on 03/15/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312–Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 04/18/2024
Licensee: Casey Lambert, trainer
Penalty: Provisionally suspended
Alleged Violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Methamphetamine–a banned substance–in a sample taken from Storey's Fury, who won at Sunland Park on 2/9/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3212-Presence of a Banned Substance and/or its Metabolites or Marker.

Violations of Crop Rule
One important note: HISA's whip use limit is restricted to six strikes during a race.

Fanduel Sportsbook and Horse Racing
Juan Molina – violation date April 20; 250 fine and no other public details provided

Horseshoe Indianapolis
Jaime Torres – violation date April 23; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Oaklawn Park
Rafael Bejarano – violation date April 20; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Santa Anita
Kyle Frey – violation date April 19; $250 fine and one-day suspension, 2 strikes over limit
Tyler Baze – violation date April 20; $250 fine and one-day suspension, 2 strikes over limit
Victor Espinoza – violation date April 21; $250 fine and one-day suspension, 1 strike over limit

Tampa Bay
Jose Torrealba – violation date April 20; $250 fine and one-day suspension
Angel Castillo – violation date April 21; $250 fine and one-day suspension
Jacinto Herrera – violation date April 21; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Other Key Rulings
The TDN also publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky.

Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where.

California
Track: Santa Anita
Date: 04/19/2024
Licensee: Antonio Fresu, jockey
Penalty: Three-day suspension
Violation: Careless riding
Explainer: Having received notice from the California Horse Racing Board that the appeal of LATC Ruling #34 issued at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 21, 2023, has been overruled, the original ruling is reinstated. Jockey Antonio Fresu is suspended for three racing days (Apr. 27-28, and May 3, 2024).

New York
Track: Aqueduct
Date: 04/21/2024
Licensee: Gokhan Kocakaya
Penalty: Three-day suspension
Violation: Careless riding
Explainer: Jockey Mr. Gokhan Kocakaya for having waived his right to an appeal is hereby suspended three NYRA racing days May 5, 2024, May 9.2024, May 10, 2024 inclusive. This for careless riding during the running of the 1st race at Aqueduct Racetrack on Apr. 19, 2024.

Kentucky
Track: Keeneland
Date: 04/16/2024
Licensee: Walter Rodriguez, jockey
Penalty: Three-day suspension
Violation: Careless riding
Explainer: After a hearing before the Board of Stewards, Walter A. Rodriguez, who rode fracture in the fourth race at Keeneland on Apr. 13, 2024, is hereby suspended three racing days, Apr. 21, Apr. 24 and Apr. 25, 2024 for careless riding in the stretch that resulted in the disqualification of his mount.

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NY Times, FX Investigation Into Racing Fails To Break New Ground

Wed, 2024-04-24 17:27

The much-anticipated documentary “The New York Times Presents: “Broken Horses” will debut on the FX Network Friday at 10 p.m ET and will begin streaming on Hulu next day. What follows is a review of the documentary.

You probably haven't seen the FX documentary “The New York Times Presents: “Broken Horses” yet, but, then again, you have. Be it from 60 Minutes, HBO's Real Sports, the Washington Post or in the pages of the New York Times, the story of horse racing's problems has been told numerous times. It's not that these aren't serious issues or things that the sport should be sweeping under the rug. It's just that after a while one grows weary of being told ad nauseam that the sport is rotten…especially when the positive changes racing has made are always downplayed and the many things that make the game special are conveniently ignored.

But when it was announced last year that the FX Network and the New York Times had teamed up to produce a documentary on racing and its woes it was time to be concerned. Thanks in large part to the reporting of and relentless criticism by sportswriter Joe Drape, no outlet had been tougher on racing than the Times or caused more damage to its image. That the Times was now taking the story to the small screen and that Drape and colleague Melissa Hoppert were listed as the producers of the documentary was ominous. The Times appears to have an anti-racing bias and two of its reporters had been given free reign to use its ample resources to bludgeon horse racing. This promised to get ugly.

By no means is Broken Horses kind to racing, but what is truly surprising is that after all the time and effort that was obviously put into creating this piece, the documentary seems a bit stale.

The gist of the story is that racing has become a huge business that is all about money and that greed has led people in the industry to put the almighty dollar ahead of the welfare of the horse.

“I have been covering racing for 25 years and I have seen the money and the economics just bloom,” Drape says. “It's a 'win now' culture and I'm afraid it's eclipsed the culture of 'let's care for our horses first,'” Drape says.

He continues: “The use of drugs in horse racing really picked up in the eighties and it was largely because of the money. Purses were exploding, stallion rights were exploding. And you saw more horses dying.”

Arthur Hancock has this to say: “Willie Nelson said greed is a terminable disease and I think you see a lot of that in this business, in every aspect of it.”

When it comes to controversies, they leave no stone unturned. There were too many breakdowns at Churchill Downs and then Saratoga. Jorge Navarro, Jason Servis, Dr. Seth Fishman. It took an FBI investigation to bring them down. Bob Baffert is the boogeyman. The use of even legal drugs has gotten out of hand. Super trainers are ruining the sport. Things got so bad that the government needed to intervene and create the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. Their narrative is complemented by the predictable montage of gore, one scene after another of horses falling, breaking down and flailing helplessly on the racetrack until they could be euthanized.

With all the controversies he has been involved with, Baffert was an especially easy target.

That Churchill Downs banned him after the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby is a big part of the narrative. The Broken Dreams team deserves credit for getting Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen, who rarely grants interviews, to come on a camera. He explains the rational behind banning Baffert when he says, “We needed to take action because we actually run a racetrack. We have to make sure our product is fair and that it is safe.” Carstanjen goes on to say that the ban was extended through 2024 because Baffert never accepted responsibility for or apologized for his actions after Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for betamethasone following the 2021 Derby.

Broken Horses also drudges up the subject of the breakdown of the Baffert trained Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) in the GIII Chick Lang S. on the undercard of the 2023 GI Preakness. They conclude that the horse came into the race with numerous problems that any trainer or veterinarian should have recognized and that he had no business racing that day. Their “smoking gun” is that the horse allegedly had corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid injected into both hocks and both stifles. Or at least that is the conclusion formed by Dr. Sheila Lyons. The problem is that Lyons is not a racetrack veterinarian. This is from her own website: “Doctor Lyons' international private consulting practice includes elite race, dressage, show jumping, combined training, endurance and polo horses.” Lyons has been attacking racing for years and that she is not directly involved in the sport makes her less than credible.

It will be interesting to see how the industry reacts to the documentary. After 60 Minutes aired its piece last November the reaction was vitriolic and much of it was aimed at The Jockey Club and its chairman Stuart Janney III. (Janney is also interviewed in the FX production but probably didn't say anything that would draw the ire of his critics).

Though this very review may raise concerns that we are attacking the messenger, that isn't necessarily the case. It is more a critique of the body of work and how it left a lot to be desired and that the reporting was borderline lazy. Much of what it had to say is true, even if we have heard it all before.

What they got right is that horse racing has serious problems, so much so that its very existence is in jeopardy. The industry tends to circle the wagons when things don't go its way, and that hasn't done the sport any good. You don't have to like Drape, the New York Times, The New York Times Presents: “Broken Horses” or Dr. Lyons. But to ignore what they have to say is not the answer. Yes, this documentary was hardly enlightening, but that doesn't make things any better. The way to silence the critics is not to shout them down but to solve the problems they seem so eager to bring to light.

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Kentucky Downs Condition Book Released With Expanded Stakes

Wed, 2024-04-24 16:47

Headed by the renamed $2.5 million GIII Nashville Derby Aug. 31, Kentucky Downs will stage six races worth at least $2 million apiece, including supplements for registered Kentucky-breds, at this year's seven-day race meet which runs Aug. 29 and 31 and Sept. 1, 5, 7, 8 and 11, the track said in a Wednesday release.

The Kentucky Downs condition book features purses scheduled to total $35 million, including $16 million in Kentucky-bred money. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday approved Kentucky Downs's purse enhancement request from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF), which is restricted to registered horses that were foaled in the Commonwealth and sired by a Kentucky stallion.

Previously known as the Dueling Grounds Derby, the Nashville Derby becomes the richest race in track history and the most lucrative grass race in North America outside the $5 million GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf. The only American race offering more money for Kentucky-breds on any surface outside the Breeders' Cup are the GI Kentucky Derby and the GI Pegasus World Cup.

“We want to build the Nashville Derby into a race that American and European horsemen alike point to and buy horses for,” said Ron Winchell, co-managing partner of Kentucky Downs with Marc Falcone. “The name change reflects our close proximity to one of America's great cities, which we see as an added incentive for coming. Even horses that aren't Kentucky-breds still will race for $1.5 million, and we've positioned the Nashville Derby so that it fits into a big-money circuit for 3-year-old turf horses with Keeneland and Churchill Downs' stakes as well as the New York's Belmont Derby, Saratoga Derby and Jockey Club Derby.”

The Kentucky Downs meet will have 11 stakes overall worth at least $1 million (including KTDF supplements) out of a total of 18 stakes. Nine stakes enjoy graded status, including the track's first Grade I stakes in the $2 million Franklin-Simpson for 3-year-old sprinters. The showcase Sept. 7 card's six graded stakes offer a total of $10 million in purses, including a quartet of $2 million races.

Kentucky Downs | Coady Photography

Also being bumped to $2 million this year are the Franklin- Simpson; the GII Kentucky Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles for older horses; GII Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint for sprinters and the GII Music City S. for 3-year-old filly sprinters. The Kentucky Turf Cup was raised from $1.7 million last year; the others from $1 million, including KTDF.

Other races getting purse hikes: the $1.5 million GIII Ladies Turf and $1.5 million Dueling Grounds Oaks (both $1 million last year). Kentucky Downs's four stakes for 2-year-olds were increased to $750,000 from $500,000 for Kentucky-breds.

An 18th stakes was added: The $500,000 Nashville Gold Cup at 2 1/16 miles set for Sept. 11's closing card.

The Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint and Kentucky Downs Turf Cup winners receive a fees-paid berth in the corresponding Breeders' Cup race.

Kentucky Downs overnight purses, the richest in America, also were raised. Maiden races, already the richest in the world, increase from $150,000 to $170,000, with allowance races worth up to $220,000 for Kentucky-breds among the 75 total races scheduled for the meet.

To boost its international profile, Kentucky Downs has added track executive Martin Panza to its staff. He brings 30 years of experience, including being senior vice president of racing operations at the New York Racing Association from 2013-2021.

Another addition includes the services of the International Racing Bureau, which has planned and/or launched the Breeders' Cup, Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup and Arlington Million. The organization recruits overseas horses for big race dates around the world, working with horsemen and the tracks on logistics.

Click here to access the condition book and here for the index.

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OBS Alters June Sale Start To June 12

Wed, 2024-04-24 16:04

The start of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June 2024 Two-Year-Olds in Training & Horses of Racing Age Sale will now start at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 12 and run through Friday, June 14, the auction company said in a release Wednesday afternoon.

The Under Tack Show will be Tuesday, June 4 and continue through Sunday, June 9 with each session beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The June Sale was shifted forward one day to allow additional travel and inspection time for those attending Belmont Stakes weekend held at Saratoga this year from June 6-9.

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Forever Young Goes Six Furlongs At Churchill Amid Busy Derby Workers

Wed, 2024-04-24 15:44

With Derby week just around the corner, the morning work tab under the Twin Spires was chock full of participants Wednesday, but one Derby entry went further than the others.

Susumu Fujita's undefeated Forever Young (Jpn) (Real Steel {Jpn}) worked six furlongs in 1:19.60 over a fast track. With jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard, the colt posted fractions of :14.80, :28.80, :42.60, :55.20, 1:19.60 and out seven furlongs in 1:33,60. He was joined for the last half-mile by Cuffed Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}), an unraced 3-year-old for trainer Dale Romans.

“Thanks to Dale Romans (with providing the workmate) so we were able to do exactly what we want to do this far out (from the Derby),” Ryusei said through a translator.

As usual, Forever Young warmed up in the mile chute for a half-hour during the first harrow break of the morning before commencing his work that went off slowly and finished with a final quarter-mile in :24.40. The Yoshito Yahagi trainee also visited the starting gate after the work.

“The gate was no problem,” said the jockey, who missed out on riding in last year's Derby after Continuar (Jpn) (Drefong) was scratched days before the race. “He has been to the gate before at all the places he has run.”

Forever Young, winner of the GIII Saudi Derby and GII UAE Derby, is scheduled to have another work next week. However, Ryusei will not be aboard as he is returning to Japan to ride this weekend.

 

Next Up … Pletcher, Brown, Cox

As for the Derby prep schedule pointing towards the weekend, trainer Todd Pletcher plans to work Fierceness (City of Light) on Friday morning with John Velazquez in the irons.

While trainer Chad Brown is scheduled to send out on Saturday morning Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) and Domestic Product (Practical Joke). Brad Cox will do the same with his trio of Derby hopefuls, Encino (City of Light), Catching Freedom (Constitution) and Just a Touch (Justify).

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NYTB To Honor Vivien Malloy With Lifetime Achievement Award

Wed, 2024-04-24 15:08

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) will honor breeder and owner Vivien Malloy with a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence, the organization said in a release Wednesday.

Malloy, who owned and operated Edition Farm for more than four decades and bought her first racehorse in 1971, will be recognized at the NYTB's Awards Dinner sponsored by the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund from 6-9 p.m. Monday, May 13 at Sacred Saratoga on the property of GMP Farm in Schuylerville.

“What a thrill it was to hear I'll receive this award,” Malloy said, who first joined the NYTB board in the 1980s on the advice of the late prominent New York breeder Gerald Nielsen. “He called and she I should be on the board. I told him I needed to talk to my husband first, and Harry said “oh, don't get into anything political.' ”

Among others, Malloy bred A Shin Forward (Forest Wildcat) who went on to become a Grade 1 winner in Japan and earned over $3 million, which ranks him as the third highest earning New York-bred in history

“Vivien has been an integral and influential person in the development of New York breeding and racing,” said NYTB President Dr. Scott Ahlschwede. “She has been involved in every facet of our industry from breeding to ownership and standing stallions. On behalf of our board of directors and membership, we are proud to honor and recognize her lifetime contributions.”

Click here to purchase tickets.

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Sixth Annual PDJF Telethon Shatters Record With Over $430K Raised

Wed, 2024-04-24 13:56

Last Sunday, Apr. 21, the sixth annual PDJF Telethon shattered the previous record when the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund raised over $430,000, FanDuel TV said in Wednesday release.

Presented by Lane's End Farm, the telethon was broadcast for the third consecutive year on FanDuel TV and FOX Sports's America's Day at the Races.

The event, which brings Hall of Fame jockeys, FanDuel TV's on-air talent and other prominent racing personalities together to man the phone lines, has grown each year since the inception in 2018.

“The PDJF is very appreciative for all the support from the over 1000 donations received during the broadcast of the Telethon,” said Nancy LaSala, PDJF President. “Without this support and the hard work of all involved this would not be possible. A special thanks to FanDuel and Lane's End for your continued support of the PDJF mission.  ”

There were donations from supporters across the country including major gifts from Heider Family Stables, John Stewart, Kentucky Downs, Patricia's Hope, Bobby Flay, Debbie Finley and Janie Buss. In addition, FanDuel and Lane's End each donated $100,000.

 

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Keith Asmussen Joins TDN Writers’ Room Podcast

Wed, 2024-04-24 09:47

Few jockeys have ever come so far so fast. Keith Asmussen, the son of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, has been riding full time for less than two years, but has already snagged mounts in the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks and sits in second-place in the jockey standings at Oaklawn Park. Asmussen, who will ride Just Steel (Justify) in the Derby and Lemon Muffin (Collected) in the Oaks for trainer Wayne Lukas, joined the TDN Writers' Room Podcast presented by Keeneland this week to discuss his rapid ascension, riding in the Derby, how, at 5 foot 10, he manages his weight and much more. Asmussen was the Green Group Guest of the Week.

Though his father has enjoyed much more success as a trainer than he did as a jockey, Asmussen never gave training a serious thought. His dream was to be a jockey.

“I think it just comes with being around the racetrack,” he said. “It was the immediate infatuation of being on the backside and around horses. I had kind of the progression of hot walker, groom, exercise rider. I just absolutely fell in love with the idea of being on the back of a horse. It just kind of progressed from there. It was a pipe dream to begin with. And now it's a very real profession that I absolutely am in love with.”

That Lukas has enough faith in Asmussen to let him ride his Derby horse says a lot about the jockey's ability and that he can compete against the very best.

“To ride for him is an awesome feeling,” he said. “He's a horseman that has literally changed the game into what it is today. For him to show confidence in my ability…I mean, there's nothing more invigorating than that on a professional level. He is notorious for being critical of jockeys, but it's because he expects the best and that's the level I aspire to compete at. I believe I am malleable enough that he will help make me into an incredible rider, which is my aspiration.”

He speaks highly of his entire family, including his uncle, Cash. Cash Asmussen, who enjoyed success in Europe and the U.S., was one of the best riders of his generation. Asmussen has been quick to pick his uncle's brain and seek his advice.

“He is so knowledgeable,” Asmussen said. “You would start a sentence and you try to say what you mean. You don't even need to finish the sentence. He already knows what you're talking about. He can totally walk you through what small alterations you need to make.”

In our breeding spotlight section, we took a look at the WinStar stallion Independence Hall. We also spotlighted the Coolmore stallion Jack Christopher.

Elsewhere on the podcast, which is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders' Association, Coolmore, West Point Thoroughbreds, WinStar, Pleasant Acres Farm https://www.winstarfarm.com/and XBTV.com, the team of T.D. Thornton, Bill Finley and Zoe Cadman talked about owner Amr Zedan's on-going quest to force Churchill Downs to allow his star 3-year-old Muth (Good Magic) to be entered in the Derby despite the ban of trainer Bob Baffert. We also discussed the news of the recent Hall of Fame inductees, Justify (Scat Daddy), Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Joel Rosario. Cadman said that Kona Gold (Java Gold) should have been added to the list and Finley made the case for trainer John Sadler. Cadman gave an update on the OBS Spring sale and the team discussed Charlie Appleby's decision to campaign a string of horses in the U.S.

To watch the Writers' Room, click here. To view the show as a podcast, click here.

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Justify to Remain at Ashford, Will Cover Select Mares on So. Hemisphere Time

Wed, 2024-04-24 09:15

Justify (Scat Daddy–Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper) won't be returning to stand at Coolmore Australia this spring and will remain at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky where he will cover a select book of mares to southern hemisphere time late in the year.

“It's a similar situation to Frankel in England where they serve mares to southern hemisphere time,” said Coolmore's Tom Magnier. “We will be sending up some of our best mares and some of our clients here will have the opportunity to send their mares to him too.”

“Many of the mares that might have visited Justify here have already been booked into our G1 Golden Slipper winner Shinzo (Aus) whose retirement was announced a few days ago,” added Magnier. “We have had a fantastic response to him from our clients.”

The Triple Crown winner has enjoyed a productive year in both hemispheres, including Northern Hemisphere champions Just F Y I and City Of Troy, in addition to Grade I winners Hard to Justify, Aspen Grove, Opera Singer and Arabian Lion. In the Southern Hemisphere, he is responsible for Storm Boy and Learning to Fly in Australia. Overall, he has 28 black-type winners and 18 group/graded winners.

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HISA Trialing New 44-Factor Computer Generated Risk Model at Churchill Downs

Tue, 2024-04-23 18:30

A new HISA computer model to identify at-risk horses is being used by Churchill Downs officials to complement existing track safety nets, representatives from the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) and Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) announced during Tuesday's press conference on equine safety protocols in place for this year's GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks.

“It's essentially a model that looks at 44 potential risk factors that might cause a horse to be at risk for injury,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus, who added that the model assigns a “numerical” value to the horses analyzed.

HISA is currently beta-testing the system with regulatory veterinarians at roughly 10 tracks around the country, said Lazarus.

“But it is being provided to Churchill Downs' head of the Derby to be one of the tools that they are able to use with their sophisticated veterinary team and practices to help determine whether there are any horses at the Derby or on Derby Day that are at risk of being injured,” she said.

Though the system as a whole is still being beta-tested, “I would expect by the end of this quarter that it's available to any regulatory veterinarian,” a HISA representative explained on background during a follow-up conversation.

“Right now, it's grabbing the things that we already know are concerning,” the HISA representative added. “It's the 'what's-going-to-happen' that's so exciting, because we've never been able to think about using data before in this way.”

Experts have long identified specific factors that place a racehorse at increased risk of injury, including fatal injury. Some of these long-understood factors include sex of the racehorse, type and distance of race, and number of previous non-fatal injuries.

The 44 factors woven into the computer model, said Lazarus, include vets' list histories, if the horse has changed hands, any drops in class, and time between races.

According to the HISA representative, the model also looks at possible associations with the horse's veterinary treatment history.

“One of the things HISA can do that the state commissions couldn't necessarily do at this scale is look for associations with treatment records,” said the HISA representative, explaining how even in fairly closed racing populations like California, such processes were difficult to accomplish for logistical reasons.

“We can look at associations between this type of treatment pattern in the past and a poor outcome,” said the representative.

As to how the system works, a daily report is generated on every horse entered to race, said the HISA representative. This report assigns a number between 0 and 44 depending on the number of individual risk factors flagged by the system.

“It's got the horse's name, it has an aggregate number, and then it has the breakdown of that within the 44 risk factors,” the HISA representative explained.

When asked if a certain numerical threshold triggers a specific set of follow-up protocols, Lazarus said that regulators have broad discretion as to how they weave the model into their existing safety and screening practices.

“It's not a tool that's designed to say this horse has to be scratched. It's a tool that's designed to help the veterinarians on the ground do the most effective veterinary inspection they can,” said Lazarus.

“These are the horses you may want to spend extra time on when you're out on your rounds,” the HISA representative further explained. “Or, if you're in a jurisdiction that does post-entry screening and then goes and looks at the horses, like in California, maybe there's an extra horse you put on your list to go and look at before race day.”

The model, said Lazarus, is still being tweaked to ensure that horses at no increased risk of injury are inadvertently flagged by the system. “The reason why we haven't deployed it everywhere yet is because we're still improving it and making sure that it's at an optimal level,” she said.

“There's always a tension between a false positive and a false negative,” agreed the HISA representative.

“There are horses where there's a predictive value here [that] go out and don't just run credibly but run off the charts and win,” the HISA representative added. “But the harm in being wrong by saying 'this horse needs extra scrutiny' is a much lesser harm than in missing a horse.”

When asked about the accuracy of the model, the HISA representative said that HISA had got the percentage of “poor outcomes” down to the low single-digits. Poor outcomes, the HISA representative further explained, includes horses scratched on race day and other injury records. “It's not just fatalities.”

Currently, horsemen are not privy to the information generated by the model, said the HISA representative, while leaving the door open to such an eventuality. “That's just a policy discussion we haven't got to yet.”

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Dettori to Ride Society Man in Derby

Tue, 2024-04-23 16:58

Frankie Dettori, who hasn't ridden in the GI Kentucky Derby since an off-the-board finish in 2000 aboard Godolphin's UAE Derby winner China Visit (Red Ransom), has picked up a mount in this year's Derby in West Paces Racing LLC, Danny Gargan, and GMP Stables LLC's Society Man (Good Magic). The news was first reported by Daily Racing Form Tuesday.

Trained by Danny Gargan, who also has MGSW Dornoch (Good Magic) pointing to the big race, Society Man was last seen finishing second Apr. 6 in the GII Wood Memorial S. at Aqueduct. He was ridden by Luis Rivera, Jr. to the runner-up finish behind Resilience (Into Mischief).

The Kentucky Derby is one of the few major races worldwide that has eluded the popular Dettori, who was originally scheduled to retire in 2023. The champion jockey instead moved his tack to the U.S. late last year and postponed retirement indefinitely.

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2025 NYS State Budget Finalized, Includes Thoroughbred Industry Updates

Tue, 2024-04-23 14:49

The New York State Budget for the 2025 fiscal year totaling $237 billion was finalized Apr. 20, according to the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Tuesday.

Included among the 2025 State Budget includes updates pertaining to New York's horse racing and breeding industry:

  • A state-backed loan for the redevelopment of a new and improved Belmont Park.
  • Increased Breeder Awards offering up to 40% for New York Sired progeny and 20% for Non-NY-Sired progeny.
  • Annual Fund Caps legislation that allows the Breeding Fund to payout program awards as advertised.
  • Groundbreaking anti-slaughter legislation with the support of the entire racing industry.
  • Continuing to prevent legislation that would impose sales tax on the sale on the purchase of thoroughbreds sold at auction in New York.
  • Protecting of Racing support payments made from Video-Lottery Terminal revenue from Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct racetrack which ensures increased purse levels in New York and the overall increase in value of stallions standing in New York
  • Extend Pari-mutuel Tax Rates and Simulcast Provisions for One Year
  • Extend New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, Inc. Authority Through 2027
  • Belmont at Saratoga Meet – Extend certain licensing flexibilities for the Belmont Festival to apply while conducted at Saratoga Race Course (through Dec. 31, 2026).

For the complete budget, click here.

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Fierceness, Catalytic, Domestic Product Make First Appearances at Churchill

Tue, 2024-04-23 14:11

Repole Stable's Fierceness (City of Light) made his first appearance over the Churchill Downs main track on a sun-splashed Tuesday morning. Under regular exercise rider Danny Wright, Fierceness galloped a mile during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks runners. Wright has been the regular morning partner for the defending juvenile champion since last summer at Saratoga.

“He looked smooth and handled it well,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of the morning's activity.

Winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and GI Curlin Florida Derby, Fierceness is scheduled to work Friday morning, weather permitting.

Pletcher indicated Fierceness would make a couple of trips to the starting gate as well as a couple of paddock schooling sessions next week.

Also making his first appearance on track Tuesday morning was Tami Bobo, Julie Davies and George Isaacs' Catalytic (Catalina Cruiser), who jogged a mile under exercise rider Olaf Hernandez. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., the Florida Derby runner up arrived at Churchill Downs Monday morning after vanning from South Florida. Catalytic is scheduled to work Sunday.

Also getting a first look at Churchill Downs, the Chad Brown-trained Klaravich Stables' Domestic Product (Practical Joke) galloped a mile and a half during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. Partnered by Peter Roman, the GIII Tampa Derby winner, who was partnered by Peter Roma was accompanied by stablemate Sierra Leone (Gun Runner), winner of the GI Blue Grass S. and GII Risen Star S.

“The first day on the track was excellent. [Domestic Product] was moving well,” Brown said.

Sierra Leone had regular exercise rider Kriss Bon aboard. Sierra Leone is owned by the partnership of Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg and Brook Smith.

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TCA Hosts ‘Speaker Series’ on Equine Diagnostic Imaging, Safety and Welfare

Tue, 2024-04-23 13:38

Thoroughbred Club of America will host a “Speaker Series” event at its Lexington headquarters Apr. 25. The discussion about Equine Diagnostic Imaging and the impact on safety are aimed at owners, trainers, breeders, farm managers, bloodstock agents, sales companies, the racing media, and other industry participants. Discussion will center around a variety of subjects, including injury detection, the diagnostics approach of PET Scan, MRI, CAT Scan, Nuclear Scintigraphy and Digital Radiography and the benefits and limitations of each.

The moderator will be Dr. Chris Kawcak, and the panelists will include: Dr. Katie Garrett (AAEP President & Rood and Riddle Imaging Specialist); Dr. Will Farmer (Equine Medical Director Churchill Downs); Dr. Laura Kennedy (UKVDL Pathologist); Dr. Robert Hunt (Hagyard Equine Surgeon); Dr. Luke Fallon (Hagyard Equine Medical Institute); Dr. Matthew Coleridge (Davidson Surgery Center); and Dr. Stuart Brown (Keeneland Vice President-Equine Safety).

Open to all industry members, a cocktail period will be held from 5:30-6:15p.m., with the program running from 6:15-7:30 p.m.

The TCA address is: 3555 Rice Road, Lexington, Kentucky.

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