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Updated: 5 hours 56 min ago

Runhappy Colt Runs to Rising Stardom in Hot Springs

Sat, 2021-04-10 15:00

Following Sea (Runhappy) took the trip down to Hot Springs with his GI Arkansas Derby-bound stablemates for this lucrative maiden test and proved more than up for the task with a dominant debut victory, earning 'TDN Rising Star' honors. A $230,000 in utero purchase by Spendthrift Farm at the 2017 KEENOV sale, the bay crossed the line second behind stablemate and subsequent GI Runhappy Santa Anita fourth Defunded (Dialed In) on debut at Santa Anita Mar. 6, but he was demoted to third by the stewards for interference. Receiving Lasix for the first time here, the overwhelming 1-2 favorite bounded out to a clear lead, zipping through early splits of :21.89 and :45.18. Showing the way into the lane, Following Sea cruised further clear under a hand ride from Joel Rosario to win as he pleased by 5 3/4 lengths. Happymac finished second for a Runhappy exacta.

Following Sea's stakes-winning dam Quick Flip (Speightstown) is a half-sister to the Baffert-trained SW & MGSP Qahira (Cairo Prince) and SW Stormin' Lyon (Storm Boot). The first of her six foals is the SP mare Inspeightof (Orb). Quick Flip's recent produce includes a 2-year-old Into Mischief filly, purchased by Mike Ryan for $450,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Select Sale, and a 2021 Hard Spun colt born on St. Patrick's Day.

4th-Oaklawn, $93,000, Msw, 4-10, 3yo, 6f, 1:09.92, ft,
5 3/4 lengths.
FOLLOWING SEA, c, 3, Runhappy
                1st Dam: Quick Flip (SW), by Speightstown
                2nd Dam: Motel Lass, by Bates Motel
                3rd Dam: Devil's Lass, by Devil's Bag
Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-1, $64,920. O-Spendthrift Farm LLC; B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree or the VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Like the King Works on the Grass

Sat, 2021-04-10 14:01

Like the King (Palace Malice), who earned a berth in the field for the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his last-out victory in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks over the Turfway synthetic track Mar. 27, drilled six furlongs over a firm Keeneland turf course in 1:16 Saturday morning under the watchful eye of trainer Wesley Ward.

With Drayden Van Dyke in the irons, Like the King started off his work well behind MSW & GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf third Outadore (Outwork) and GIII Futurity S. runner-up After Five (The Factor), passing the former while making up five lengths on After Five.

“I wanted to make sure [Like the King] got a lot out of it today,” Ward said. “Those were two good horses in front of him. He got a good blow today. I wanted Drayden on him today because it is only his second time on him.”

Van Dyke was aboard for the first time in the Jeff Ruby.

Ward said that Like the King's next two works will be on the main track under the guidance of former jockey Julio Garcia, with the last one Sunday, Apr. 25, weather permitting.

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Mandaloun, Helium Record Churchill Breezes

Sat, 2021-04-10 13:16

'TDN Rising Star' and GII Risen Star S. hero Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and D J Stable's Helium (Ironicus), upset winner of the GII Tampa Bay Derby, each tuned up for their upcoming starts in the GI Kentucky Derby May 1 with Saturday morning drills over the Churchill Downs main track.

Working in the company of fellow his fellow graded-stakes winning Juddmonte colorbearer Bonny South (Munnings), Mandaloun went five furlongs in :58.80 in splits of :23.40 and :46.60 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.40 and seven-eighths in 1:25.60, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols.

“I thought they both worked great,” said trainer Brad Cox, who made a bee-line to nearby Muhammad Ali International Airport for a flight to Hot Springs to saddle 'Rising Star' Caddo River (Hard Spun) in the GI Arkansas Derby later in the day. “They both worked fast but looked like they were doing it really easy.”

Helium, who overcame a torrid trip from a high draw to cause a 15-1 upset in the Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 6, went five-eighths of a mile in :59.20, with his Kentucky Derby rider Julien Leparoux at the controls. Helium was time in :11.80, :23.20 and :35.40 and was up six furlongs in 1:12 flat while working alongside his maiden stablemate Ghost of the Mambo (Ghostzapper).

“Everything went as smoothly as we could've drew it up,” said David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “He came in from Florida on Wednesday and has been doing very well since.”

Joining Helium on the trip up was fellow Derby hopeful Soup and Sandwich (Into Mischief). The GI Curlin Florida Derby runner-up is scheduled to breeze Sunday beneath the Twin Spires.

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Raging Bull Returns a Winner in Maker’s Mark

Fri, 2021-04-09 17:49

Having last tasted victory in the GI Shoemaker Mile last May, Peter Brant's Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) exploded from off the pace to comfortably best 8-1 chance Ride a Comet (Candy Ride {Arg}) in Friday's GI Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland. Settled in a rail-hugging fifth behind Get Smokin (Get Stormy) through opening fractions of :22.47 and :45.65, the 7-2 chance made a big move to get into contention approaching the quarter pole, swung out three wide to take control at the head of the lane and drove clear to score by two lengths over the game Ride a Comet. Chad Brown-trained stablemate Sacred Life (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) was third.

“He was traveling so good down the backside,” said Ortiz Jr. “I was close to the leaders. I tried to stay in contact with the field. He broke sharp today. I had an advantage there. The first turn, I let him run then I slowed him down. He relaxed so well. He was like three or four lengths behind the leaders. I said I'm just gonna wait until it's time to go. By the three-eighths pole, I saw some separation, so I went for it a little early. He responded well, so I just went for it. He still had something at the end.”

“Both horses [Raging Bull and stablemate and third-place finisher Sacred Life] ran great, especially given the layoffs they were facing,” added Brown. “Raging Bull got a great trip and setup. He's much more effective with a solid pace in front of him. Irad deserves a lot of credit for getting him into the race early and securing a great spot into the first turn.”

Winning four of six to start his career as a 3-year-old, including victories in the GII Hall of Fame S., GIII Saranac S. and Manila S., the 2016 Goffs September buy recorded his first win at the highest level in the 2018 GI Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. Despite failing to score in five starts as a 4-year-old, he earned second in the GI Fourstardave H. and third in the GI Manhattan S. before getting promoted to third via DQ in that season's GI Woodbine Mile. Kicking off 2020 with a confident score at the Grade I level at Santa Anita, the French bred was a close-up third in last year's renewal of this race before finishing fifth in the Fourstardave at the Spa. A good second in the GI Shadwell Turf Mile in Lexington in October, the 6-year-old finished 10th in his latest start in the Nov. 7 GI Breeders' Cup Mile.

Pedigree Note:
Raging Bull, one of seven Group 1/Grade I winners for Dark Angel, holds the distinction of being the Yeomanstown Stud stallion's second North American Grade I winner, following Hunt (Ire) in 2018. One of two winners from four foals to race thus far out of his French SP dam, Raging Bull is a grandson of Rolly Polly was an Italian highweight filly at two and annexed both the GII Senator Ken Maddy S. and GIII Las Cienegas S. going down the hill at Santa Anita. Bought by Brant's White Birch at Goffs November in 2016, Rosa Bonheur is responsible for an unraced juvenile full-brother to Raging Bull named Bobbie D (Ire) and a yearling brother by Dubawi (Ire).

Friday, Keeneland
MAKER'S MARK MILE S.-GI, $300,000, Keeneland, 4-9, 4yo/up, 1mT, 1:33.86, gd.
1–RAGING BULL (FR), 118, h, 6, by Dark Angel (Ire)
                1st Dam: Rosa Bonheur (SP-Fr), by Mr. Greeley
                2nd Dam: Rolly Polly (Ire), by Mukaddamah
                3rd Dam: Rare Sound (Ire), by Rarity (GB)
(€90,000 Ylg '16 GOFORB). O-Peter M. Brant; B-Dayton
Investments Limited (FR); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$180,000. Lifetime Record: 18-7-3-3, $1,496,750. Werk Nick
   Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ride a Comet, 118, h, 6, Candy Ride (Arg)–Appealing Zophie,
by Successful Appeal. ($45,000 RNA Ylg '16 KEESEP; $375,000
2yo '17 OBSAPR). O-John C. Oxley &My Meadowview Farm
LLC; B-My Meadowview LLC (KY); T-Mark E. Casse. $60,000.
3–Sacred Life (Fr), 118, h, 6, Siyouni (Fr)–Knyazhna (Ire), by
Montjeu (Ire). (€50,000 Ylg '16 ARAUG). O-Michael Dubb,
Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables & Bethlehem Stables
LLC; B-Mr. Viktor Timoshenko & Mr. Andriy Milovanov (FR);
T-Chad C. Brown. $30,000.
Margins: 2, HF, HF. Odds: 3.50, 8.80, 4.50.
Also Ran: Field Pass, Hit the Road, Darain (GB), Somelikeithotbrown, Get Smokin, Flying Scotsman.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Spice is Nice Returns a Winner at Keeneland

Fri, 2021-04-09 16:05

 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1

SPICE IS NICE (f, 4, Curlin–Dame Dorothy, by Bernardini) made her return to the races a winning one with an optional claimer score at Keeneland Friday. Hammered down to 1-2 favoritism for this return after eight months on the bench, the $1.05-million KEESEP buy raced two-wide in a joint third through opening splits of :24.15 and :48.63. Scrubbed on by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the chestnut swept up to confront the leader Market Rumor (Afleet Alex) approaching the turn. The duo pulled well clear of their three remaining rivals as the battled down the lane with Spice is Nice cruising clear late to score by two lengths. Tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' after romping by 12 lengths in her Gulfstream debut in January of 2020, Spice is Nice finished second in that venue's GII Davona Dale S. six weeks later and rallied to be fifth next out in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks last March. Winning a Belmont optional claimer when next seen July 3, she was sixth last time out in the 10-furlong GI Alabama S. at Saratoga Aug. 15. Lifetime Record: GSP, 6-3-1-0.

O-Robert & Lawana Low; B-B. Flay Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Todd Pletcher.

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Laurel to Add Racing Days to Spring Meet

Fri, 2021-04-09 15:34

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Maryland Jockey Club announced the addition of racing days over the next several months to make up for multiple cancellations in the winter and early spring because of weather conditions and equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) restrictions.

MJC earlier announced that the Spring Stakes Spectacular program originally scheduled for Apr. 17 at Laurel Park has been moved to the following Apr. 24.

Racing will be held April 17-19 instead of Apr. 15-18. Extra races listed for Thursday, Apr. 15, will move to Saturday, Apr. 17, while the program slated for Friday, Apr. 16, has been moved to Monday, Apr. 19. The Laurel Park spring meet ends Sunday, May 2.

Only horses stabled at Laurel Park are eligible to enter and race through the end of the EHV-1 quarantine Apr. 17. The quarantine at Pimlico Race Course is scheduled to end Apr. 12.

Live racing had been scheduled for three days a week–Friday through Sunday—at Laurel Park in June and July. Seven Thursday programs have been added June 3, 10, 17 and 24; and July 1, 8 and 15. The summer meet concludes with racing on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule until Aug. 22.

Pimlico will race 15 days from May 5-31. The Laurel summer meet begins Thursday, June 3.

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ARCI to Hold Meeting on Medication Policies

Fri, 2021-04-09 15:10

The Association of Racing Commissioners International Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee will conduct its next meeting Monday, Apr. 12 to assess the regulation of certain medications included on the RCI Controlled Therapeutic Schedule (CTS). The meeting agenda, materials and registration link can be found on the Meetings page of the ARCI website https://www.arci.com/meetings-events/. The meeting may also be viewed later on the Horse Racing Integrity ARCI YouTube Channel.

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New Dunlap Novel to Benefit Square Peg

Fri, 2021-04-09 14:36

Lifelong Thoroughbred Owner and Non-Profit Founder Joell Dunlap released her first novel “A Damn Fine Hand”–A Story of Women Riding for Their Lives–as an eBook on Gumroad. Dunlap is the co-founder and executive director of the Square Peg Foundation. All proceeds for book sales benefit Square Peg Foundation, a 501(c3) charity accredited by the Thoroughbred AfterCare Alliance.

“Riding a racehorse is a thrill that changed my life,” Dunlap said. “It's the stuff of dreams. I wanted to be able to take the reader along for that ride. What started as a short story swelled

into an examination how humans project our hopes and dreams onto horses–and how the animals bear that burden with breathtaking grace.”

For more information or to order a copy, click here.

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Saratoga to Open for Training Apr. 17

Fri, 2021-04-09 12:15

Saratoga Race Course will open for spring training at 6 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 17, the New York Racing Association announced Friday. The barn area at the Oklahoma Training Track will open to horsemen  Thursday, Apr. 15.

To accommodate the completion of a major renovation of the Oklahoma Training Track facility, training will begin on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

When training resumes at the Oklahoma in early May, horses and riders will be met with a completely reconstructed track featuring a limestone base, renovated surface layer and modernized drainage systems. In addition, the training track has been widened by 10-14 feet in most areas to address the increasing population of horses training over the Oklahoma annually from April-October.

Additionally, to enhance safety for exercise riders and jockeys, the inner rail at the Oklahoma has been replaced with a rider protection system designed by Horsemen's Track and Equipment.

“The Oklahoma Training Track renovation is an investment in the future of Saratoga Race Course that reflects NYRA's commitment to providing our athletes with the safest possible environment for training and racing,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA Senior Vice President for Operations and Capital Projects. “The Oklahoma is a special place in our sport, and these improvements will serve horses, riders and the racing community well for many decades to come.”

The renovation of the Oklahoma Training Track was modeled after the work that was done to the Saratoga main track in 2020.

“Track surfaces at Saratoga need to stand up to a wide variety of weather conditions, including incredibly intense storms that can hit with almost no warning,” Kozak continued. “The main track can now recover from these weather events much more quickly while retaining consistency from day to day. We are confident the result will be just as positive on the Oklahoma as we have seen on the main track.”

Dr. Mick Peterson and the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL) served as consultants on the Oklahoma renovation, performing regular testing of the quality and composition of the new surface.

“NYRA prioritizes the scientific analysis and continuous data collection that have proven to result in consistent racing surfaces,” Dr. Peterson said. “It's a privilege to work on these types of transformative projects with the world class NYRA team led by Glen Kozak.”

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Chandler Made Sure Daddy’s Legacy Endured

Fri, 2021-04-09 09:06

As the librarians at Keeneland were making plans to move items from the old facility in the general offices to a new, larger building, they realized how many duplicates they had of many books, periodicals, papers, catalogs, etc.

Working at The Blood-Horse at the time, I received a call inquiring if the publication would be interested in any items. As the library there was bursting at the seams, the short answer was no.

But … I would come take a look.

Searching through boxes, I found a set of old, old stud books and decided to take them. Surely I could find a place somewhere.

That somewhere ended up being in my office.

Six months later, I had cause to look up something in one of those books. Sitting down with worn leather bindings in my hands, I noticed writing inside the front cover. There in cursive was the name Hal Price Headley.

I phoned his daughter, Alice Chandler, at her Mill Ridge Farm, and we had a wonderful conversation–one of many over the years–about the books.

Hal Price Headley was a co-founder and former president of Keeneland and we figured they were in his office and later boxed up and put in the library, as were many of his archives.

I could feel Alice's warm smile through the phone lines as we chatted.

I offered to bring the books to her, but in typical Alice fashion, she insisted that I keep them. She said her Daddy–she always called him that–would be happy with them on my shelves.

Years later, the day I learned The Blood-Horse was moving from its longtime home on Alexandria Drive to Beaumont Centre Circle, the first person I phoned with the news was Alice.

It was fun telling her that her Daddy's books were coming home, so to speak. Beaumont Centre is named for Hal Price Headley's Beaumont Farm, which once encompassed 4,000 acres of land outside Lexington.

Today Lexington has grown well past Beaumont.

Alice, who died this week at 95, took part of the old family land and developed Mill Ridge, now overseen by her children and grandchildren.

Alice Chandler was a pioneer in the Thoroughbred industry, as has been beautifully recounted in recent days. Sure, she and I often discussed racing, breeding, sales, industry topics, etc., but most often we loved to chat about the history of the game, the days of Sir Ivor, whom she bred, and when stallions covered maybe 32 mares in a season.

She was a great storyteller. Seems her Daddy taught her well.

And, just as her Daddy was aware of continued industry success by passing along his land to his daughter, she, too, knew the future of her family in the business was secure.

I will miss Alice Chandler, but there is much comfort in that thought.

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‘NC Derby Act’ Sidesteps Key Issue

Thu, 2021-04-08 15:57

Two North Carolina senators filed a bill Apr. 6 that would create a racing commission to promote and regulate a built-from-scratch Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry in a state where pari-mutuel wagering is currently not legal.

Despite that seemingly large hurdle, Senators Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) and Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) for the most part sidestepped the controversial issue of horse betting in Senate Bill 629, which is titled “The North Carolina Derby Act.”

The only gambling-related reference within the bill comes under the definition for the proposed “North Carolina Racing Office,” which is to be established under the Lottery Commission and would be “vested with control of all horse racing in the State and with power to adopt rules under which racing and wagering shall be conducted.”

In other words, the bill's backers are banking on fellow legislators and the citizenry of a very conservative state being okay with allowing a newly created racing commission to legalize horse betting simply by writing regulations that make it allowable.

When asked by WRAL News why betting wasn't more specifically addressed within the bill, Lowe replied, “That's part of the industry.”

North Carolina hosts limited steeplechase and harness meets that are non-pri-mutuel.

Lowe told WRAL that commercial Thoroughbred racing presents an opportunity for economic development, even in rural areas.

“It's a billion-dollar industry,” Lowe said. “You start looking at restaurants, hotels and all of the things that go around with this kind of agricultural sporting event-there's a lot that goes into it.”

The bill states that the racing commission would be charged with the duty to “Develop a long-term plan for racing in North Carolina to determine the appropriate location and number of tracks to be built in this State so as to position any major track and its purse structure in the upper segment of good quality tracks while creating a strong breeding, foaling, and training structure throughout the State.”

The bill further adds that the commission would be tasked with issuing “permits to build only quality racing facilities that are designed to permit year-round racing.”

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Slack Buys Kilflynn Farm

Thu, 2021-04-08 15:43

Florida businessman, Robert Slack, founder of Robert Slack, LLC, a Florida real estate brokerage, purchased Kilflynn Farm on Winchester Rd. near Paris, Kentucky.

The 417-acre farm, formerly owned by Denis Brosnan, was originally part of Stone Farm. Joe Riddell of the Riddell Smith Group at Rector Hayden Realtors handled the sale.

“I have been interested in a farm in Kentucky for many years, and when this one became available, I finally took the plunge, and I am excited to be in the same neighborhood as Claiborne, Machmer Hall, Hidden Brook, and other farms who produce such great runners,” Slack said. “I am also very happy that Martin Keogh, one of Kentucky's most respected horsemen, will be my General Manager. The farm will be known as Stoneriggs Farm, which is the name of the farm that my parents went to in 1941 and is still in the family today.”

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Floroplus DQ’d From Turfway Win For Lidocaine

Thu, 2021-04-08 15:26

Floroplus (City Zip), a Turfway Park-based gelding who won three straight races in March, has been disqualified for the second of those victories after post-race testing revealed a 3-hydroxylidocaine (lidocaine) positive.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has voided the win and redistributed purse money for the Mar. 18 victory by Floroplus in an $18,000 claiming sprint. Trainer Kim Hammond has been penalized with a $500 fine and a 30-day suspension, 15 days of which will be stayed because of “mitigating circumstances (number of violations in relation to overall record).”

The stay is also conditional on Hammond not incurring a Penalty Category A or B medication violation in any jurisdiction within a year of the Apr. 5 ruling.

Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is classified as a Class 2, Penalty Category B substance on the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule compiled by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI). For a first offense, the ARCI's recommended Category B penalties are a “minimum one-year suspension absent mitigating circumstances [and a] minimum fine of $10,000 or 10% of total purse (greater of the two) absent mitigating circumstances.”

According to the ruling, both Hammond and Kevin Brown (who owns Floroplus under the stable name Small Town Paddock), waived rights to formal stewards' hearings.

Small Town Paddock won six of nine races, second in the standings at Turfway's 2021 winter/spring meet, and Hammond won four of 10 starts during that time. Her suspension runs Apr. 6-20.

Floroplus, a 7-year-old, has won nine of 22 lifetime starts.

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Fastnet Filly Flies to ‘TDN Rising Star’-dom

Thu, 2021-04-08 15:23

Dispatched at debut odds of 9-1 in Thursday's fourth race from Aqueduct, Lawrence Goichman's Star Devine (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) gave her rivals a bit of a head start after hopping slightly at the break, but she was handled perfectly thereafter by Trevor McCarthy and stormed home down the center of the track to graduate in sharp time to become a new 'TDN Rising Star.'

Spotting the field a couple of lengths after that slow break, Star Devine–a 200,000gns purchase by Mike Ryan out of the 2019 Tattersalls October Sale–Book 1–was allowed to find her feet and settled last but one as the leaders went a good gallop up front. Tracking favored Dovima (Union Rags) through in about the three path on the turn, she was steered out decisively to the grandstand side as they hit the top of the lane and she covered her final two furlongs in a slick :22.53 (per Trakus data) to take it by 1 1/2 lengths.

Star Devine is the second foal for her dam, who was purchased by Mick Flanagan for 350,000gns in foal to Mastercraftsman (Ire) at the 2016 Tattersalls December Mares sale. Stars At Night is a half-sister to 2011 G1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas and G1 Darley Yorshire Oaks winner Blue Bunting (Dynaformer) and a full-sister to MGSP Exemplar (Ire). Star Devine has a 2-year-old full-brother named Poker Face (Ire) and a yearling full-sister. Star Devine is bred on the exact same cross responsible for GI Man o' War S. heroine Zhukova (Ire), G1 Investec Oaks winner Qualify (Ire), G1 Moyglare Stud S. victress Intricately (Ire) and Australian Group 1 winners Personal (Aus), Age of Fire (Aus) and Magicool (Aus).

4th-Aqueduct, $80,000, Msw, 4-8, 3yo/up, f/m, 6fT, 1:07.83, fm, 1 1/2 lengths.
STAR DEVINE (IRE), f, 3, by Fastnet Rock (Aus)
1st Dam: Stars At Night (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Miarixa (Fr), by Linamix (Fr)
3rd Dam: Mrs Arkada (Fr), by Akarad (Fr)
Sales history: 200,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $44,000.
O-Lawrence Goichman; B-Rockhart Trading Ltd (IRE); T-Jorge R Abreu. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG. Click for the free Equineline.com catalog-style pedigree.

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Golden Gate to Reopen to Fans at Limited Capacity

Thu, 2021-04-08 14:20

Golden Gate Fields will reopen the racetrack to a limited capacity of fans starting Friday, Apr. 16, for the remainder of the winter/spring meet that runs through June 13.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fans will be required to reserve tickets for the duration of the meet. General admission and walk-ups are not permitted at this time. Fans are encouraged to sign-up online to be the first to receive notification when tickets go on sale.

Reopening protocols will include social distancing, mandatory masking when not actively eating or drinking, contactless thermal temperature scanning, accessible hand sanitization stations and enhanced cleaning throughout the facility.

While the track will reopen to fans in limited capacity for live racing, the Turf Club Restaurant and simulcast facilities will remain closed until further notice.

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Tiznow Filly Gives Ennis, Graham Another Baby Race at Keeneland

Thu, 2021-04-08 13:54

2nd-Keeneland, $55,240, Msw, 4-8, 2yo, f, 4 1/2f, :52.04, ft, 1 length.
SHESGOTATTITUDE (f, 2, Tiznow–Mackenzie Capri, by Eskendereya) was allowed to drift up to 21-5–better than twice her morning line–in the face of the heavily backed Wesley Ward 3-5 firster Twilight Gleaming (Ire) (National Defense {GB}) and ran to some eye-popping morning trials to provide trainer John Ennis with his second debut winner of the meet. Exiting a bullet three-furlong blowout in :34 flat (1/32) over this main track Mar. 30, the bay filly hit the ground running and showed the way exiting the chute through an opening quarter-mile in :22.41. She cut the corner into the stretch and responded gamely through the final 50 yards to score by a length. Twilight Gleaming, the first runner for her Irish National Stud-based stallion, was slowly into stride, raced three wide around the turn, loomed with every chance at the furlong pole and could not sustain a winning bid. James Graham was in the irons for Ennis, the same team responsible for the good-looking debut winner Bohemian Frost (Frosted) on opening day Apr. 2. The winner's dam, a half-sister to SW & GSP 'TDN Rising Star' Telekinesis (Ghostzapper), was acquired with this filly in utero for $85,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale. Shesgotattitude's third dam was MGSW/MGISP Gold Mover (Gold Fever), whose SW daughter Giant Mover (Giant's Causeway) produced GSW & GISP Family Tree (Smart Strike) and GSW Liora (Candy Ride {Arg}), runner-up in the 2019 GI Kentucky Oaks. Mackenzie Capri is the dam of a yearling colt by Kantharos and was most recently covered by The Factor. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $36,000. \fs21fs21 Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-Ken Donworth & John Ennis; B-Des Ryan, Ken Donworth & Tony Dardis (KY); T-John Ennis.

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Tony Ryan Book Award Finalists Announced

Thu, 2021-04-08 13:11

Six finalists have been announced for the 2021 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, which recognizes the year's best long-form writing on racing. The award is presented annually by Castleton Lyons.

A Hole Through the Wind, by Alan Patterson, reveals the lives of twin colts through the diary and remembrances of an old horseman.

Diane Crump, A Horse-Racing Pioneer's Life in the Saddle, by Mark Shrager, is a biography of the first woman to ride in a pari-mutuel race in the U.S.

First-Time Starter is a novella written by former owner and jockey's agent Stan Jensen.

Good Things Come is the first novel by equine artist Linda Shantz and mixes hope, heartbreak and romance on the Canadian racing scene.

Ruffian, by Precious McKenzie, is a fictional account of the life of the champion filly as seen through a young racing fan.

Sylvia Rideoutt Bishop Had a Way With Horses, by Vicky Moon, is the biography of the first black woman to obtain a trainer's license in the U.S.

The Tony Ryan Book Award winner had been announced at a Castleton Lyons reception in April since 2006, but the 2021 announcement was by necessity moved back to November and was conducted remotely for the first time, via Zoom conference. A similar format is expected this year with a tentative target date of late April.

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Stewards to Provide Televised Explanations for Decisions at Indiana Grand

Thu, 2021-04-08 11:41

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino has implemented a new audio and visual system for the track's stewards which will allow Senior State Steward Eric Smith to provide a live, televised explanation from the steward's room on how officials made their decision during an infraction.

“We feel providing an explanation directly from the stewards is a great way to inform fans watching and wagering on our product,” said Eric Halstrom, Indiana Grand's vice President and general manager of racing. “They will now be able explain how they came to a conclusion on a specific ruling and give insight on the information they reviewed and gathered from the jockeys involved in the incident.”

Indiana Grand also announced Thursday it will be using a drone to offer enhanced camera angles for television production of its upcoming Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets.

“Our team has been challenged to take Caesars' racing to the forefront in technology and a drone is one step in doing so,” said  Halstrom. “As we began to pull this new concept in, we started realizing how this drone could really showcase our racing program and set our TV production apart from others. It's important to note we do not plan on changing the way people watch our races but rather complement our current production with innovative views that nobody else is offering in their daily broadcasts. Lastly, we also view this as a potential way to assist the stewards in reviewing races, especially in areas where current camera angles are more difficult than others to see the full action of a race”

The Matrice 200 Drone, which is a little less than three feet in width and stands 16 inches high, is capable of zoom options with adjustable speed and is programmable from location to location. Operators are required to be licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration with a Remote Pilot Certificate. Three of Indiana Grand's audio-visual department team members recently completed training and are now licensed to fly the drone.

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Fair Hill Races to Skip 2021

Thu, 2021-04-08 11:18

Officials with Fair Hill Races, which annually holds jump racing events in Elkton, Md., announced Thursday the decision to skip the 2021 season and not schedule any races. Traditionally held in May, the Fair Hill Races are extremely popular with both the racing segment and the general public.

While uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and safety regulations came into play, the cancellation was also an opportunity to let the newly installed turf surface mature. Through a $20 million public-private partnership between the state of Maryland and the Fair Hill Foundation, upgrades to the historic one-mile track were completed last year. Among the upgrades were a new irrigation system, distance poles, finish pole and running rails, and widened turns. The course is part of the newly constructed equestrian Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. The venue also features a new cross-country course, updated timber course, and new competition arenas built within the turf track's infield. The inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, to be held in October, will be the first event to take place in the Special Event Zone this October.

“While it is disappointing that we will not be able to host the races this spring, we know that holding off and letting the new surface develop properly is the right decision,” said Fair Hill president and CEO Charles C. Fenwick, Jr. “We want to ensure the course will be stable and secure for many decades to come. When the course was first constructed in 1928, William du Pont, Jr. waited six years before allowing horses on the track for the same reason. With today's technology, we do not expect the maturing process to take nearly that long.”

The Turf Course at Fair Hill was modeled after the original design of England's Aintree Racecourse and hosted its first race in 1934.

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Trainer Orseno Responds to Bleeding Incident

Thu, 2021-04-08 10:45

When MGSW Imprimis (Broken Vow) finished second by a nose to Bound for Nowhere (The Factor) in Saturday's GII Shakertown S. at Keeneland, he returned bleeding from both nostrils. The horse had broken through the gate prior to the start and banged his head, but was examined on the scene by the state veterinarians and pronounced fit to run. Trainer Joe Orseno, who said he “thought [his] horse bled horribly,” issued a statement Thursday morning through the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) in response to the incident. It read, in part:

“Published reports and social media have had some incorrect information about what did and didn't happen to my horse Imprimis…Saturday while racing without the anti-bleeder medication Lasix. I want to set the record straight.

“Thank God the considerable blood coming from Imprimis' left nostril after the race was not pulmonary hemorrhaging. It also was not from what has been erroneously reported as being a cut on his nose sustained when he broke through the gate prior to the start. Imprimis does have a sizable bump on his nose–about six inches from his nostril–from where his head apparently hit the gate, but he did not sustain any cuts. The endoscopic examination that I had my private veterinarian conduct did reveal trace levels of Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhaging [EIPH]. I'm just so thankful that it wasn't more severe.”

Orseno reported Imprimis is doing well this week, but does have a large bump still visible on his nose. He stands by what he said about the new Lasix rules.

“I also don't retract what I told journalists after the race. I'll say it again right now: It's not good for the industry what they're doing forcing horses, particularly older horses, to run without Lasix in stakes races. And apparently that's not just one trainer's opinion. I didn't know so many people had my phone number, all the horsemen who called or emailed me and said, 'Thank you for speaking up'–trainers I don't even know. Someone in California called me out of the clear blue and said, 'Thank you, someone had the guts to say something.' I don't look at it that way. At the time, it wasn't about guts, it was about being very upset over my horse. I've been doing this 44 years and it's not just my livelihood, it's my life.

“I made my statement that someone has to explain to me why we're making horses bleed, older horses that have run on Lasix their whole life, and now all of a sudden you're going to penalize the best horses in the country. It's not good for the game, when we can stop it with an easy fix.

“My veterinarian's endoscopic exam of Imprimis showed that most of the blood was from banging his head. He did have traces, a trickle down his throat, showing that he did bleed a little in the trachea. We were very lucky.

“There are many horses that bleed significantly but not always externally. It is wrong and naive to think no damage is being done to horses just because they didn't bleed through the nostrils. It is also deceptive for those who are trying to label an EIPH episode only by visible blood from the nostrils. How are you going to tell an owner this horse is going to only run four times this year instead of eight or nine because I need more time in between to heal them up because he bleeds and we can't use Lasix? They are going to start to get disgusted, and horses will be hurt if they return at all. Owners are not going to be as excited about buying horses and racing if they can't run them more than four times a year.

“I am on the board of the Florida HBPA. We are scoping stakes horses–which must run without Lasix at Gulfstream Park–and we're paying for it so we hopefully can all learn something and together make informed and intelligent policy decisions from transparent data going forward. I'd say overall that the overwhelming majority of these horses are bleeding to some degree. The numbers aren't good. Do we really want to do this to our horses? I sure don't.”

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