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Updated: 4 days 7 hours ago

TAA On Site At Pimlico For Preakness Week

Thu, 2024-05-09 16:16

Edited Press Release

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will be on-site this year at Pimlico Race Course for the week leading up to Preakness 149 on Saturday, May 18, 2024. With the combined efforts from 1/ST RACING, Maryland Jockey Club, America's Best Racing, and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, accredited aftercare will be promoted with several on-site activations throughout the week.

The ninth annual America's Best Racing (ABR) Pre-Preakness Party to benefit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation will be held at Mt. Washington Tavern in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m. ET, and on Friday, May 17, the TAA will be recognized with a named race sponsored by Hallway Feeds on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard. Following the running of the race, a presentation will be made to the winning connections including a branded blanket and gift bag.

TAA will present the Sir Barton S. sponsored by Brandon and Diannah Perry of Paragon Farms and Newgate Realty on Preakness Day May 18. Paragon Farms, founded by Thoroughbred owners and breeders Brandon and Diannah Perry, entered into an agreement to annually donate $100,000 to TAA as the title sponsor of the Sir Barton Stakes for three consecutive years beginning with the Preakness 147. After the running of the race, a presentation will be made to the winning connections, including a branded blanket and gift bag, as well as a check presentation made to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance from Paragon Farms.

“Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST RACING is proud to be partnered with Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and we are very excited to have them back once again for Preakness 149,” said Mike Rogers, 1/ST RACING Executive Vice President and Maryland Jockey Club Acting President and General Manager. “Through the promotion of accredited aftercare throughout the race weekend, we hope to garner support from race fans.”

TAA will have a booth on the first level of the grandstand on Friday and Saturday, where race fans and participants can learn more about accredited aftercare. Branded merchandise and race memorabilia will be gifted in exchange for donations.

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Maryland Governor Signs Bill To Rebuild Pimlico

Thu, 2024-05-09 15:51

As expected, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed a bill Thursday that calls for Pimlico to be rebuilt and for the track to be donated to the state.

Under the law, $400 million in state bonds will be used to tear down and rebuild the dilapidated grandstand. While Pimlico is being rebuilt, racing will move to Laurel. Once the new Pimlico is up and running, Laurel will be closed for racing.

Because of the eventual closing of Laurel, there will be a need to open a training center since Pimlico alone cannot accommodate all the horses based in Maryland. The site of that training center has yet to be determined.

“This is an historic moment for Maryland racing and it wouldn't have been possible without the support of the governor, the leadership of the Maryland legislature and the cooperation of all the stakeholders and the work of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. It's an historic moment for Maryland racing and for the city of Baltimore,” said Alan Foreman, the general counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

The Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico and Laurel, will turn the tracks over to a newly formed nonprofit group that will resemble the structure in New York, where the tracks are operated by the New York Racing Association. The Stronach Group had wanted out of Maryland because it has been losing money running the two tracks.

Foreman outlined the future plans for Pimlico and the timelines that involve such matters as moving the GI Preakness S. to Laurel:  “Pimlico will be transferred to the state of Maryland on July 1,” he said. “Pimlico will close for training sometime before the early fall. The Stadium Authority has already begun work and a design team is in place. They have put out the request bids for the construction firm that will do the actual construction work. Demolition work at Pimlico should begin, if not the end of this year, early next year. The bonds will be issued sometime in early 2025.

“The location for the training center has to be decided between now and the end of the year. I expect that will happen within the next 90 days because the construction of the training center needs to begin at the same time that Pimlico goes under construction. Racing will be conducted at Laurel for the next three years while construction takes place. The not-for-profit entity is currently being formed and a management team will be hired. It is anticipated that by Preakness 2025, which will be at Pimlico, the old grandstand will have been demolished and the old barn area will have been demolished. Full construction at Pimlico will continue after Preakness 2025. It is anticipated that the Preakness will be conducted at the new Pimlico in 2027. The Stadium Authority made it clear that they expect to deliver the project within three years from Jan. 1, 2025. Finally, the not-for-profit entity that will conduct Maryland racing will be put in place on Jan. 1, 2025.”

Foreman said that “The Stronach Group will conduct the 2025 and 2026 runnings of the Preakness and it will be operated similar to the Breeders' Cup arrangement where they go into a racetrack, operate the event and then come back out again. Beginning in 2027, the Preakness will be controlled by and operated by the new not-for-profit entity under the auspices of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority.”

The 2025 Preakness will be run at Pimlico despite the fact that the construction will have already begun. It will be run at Laurel in 2026 before returning to Pimlico in 2027.

“Running the Preakness next year at Pimlico will be a bit of a challenge, but it's the 150th Preakness and the governor and the city very much want it held at Pimlico, regardless of what is going on,” Foreman said.

Pimlico, which opened in 1870, is the nation's second-oldest racetrack behind Saratoga. But the facility had become so rundown over the years that its continuing to operate without millions being spent on upgrades as a racetrack was a problem. In 2019, nearly 7,000 grandstands seats were closed off, with The Stronach Group stressing that move was made for the “safety and security of all guests and employees.”

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Catching Freedom ‘Under Consideration’ For Preakness

Thu, 2024-05-09 15:29

Albaugh Family Stable's Catching Freedom (Constitution) is being considered for a start in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico a week from Saturday, Jason Loutsch, co-owner and racing manager for the operation, told the Pimlico media office.

Settled far off the strong early pace of the GI Kentucky Derby by Flavien Prat, the $575,000 Keeneland September yearling made a long run into contention, sneaking through inside in upper stretch before staying on into fourth, beaten two lengths behind the three-horse photo.

Loutsch said the GII Louisiana Derby winner, trained by Brad Cox, would either get on a van to Baltimore or remain in Louisville for the GIII Matt Winn S. at Churchill Downs June 9.

“We never really ruled it out,” Loutsch said of the Preakness. “We were just going to give the horse some time to come back. We weren't going to commit until we found out how the horse is doing. We'll know something by Saturday. Obviously, you'd love to run in Triple Crown races, but at the same time the horse is always first.

“We'll make a decision by the weekend. He's doing well now. I'm not opposed to taking a shot in the Preakness, but I've got to listen to Brad and the horse and take my heart out of it. Of course I want to run, but at the end of the day it's all about the horse. He ran a bang-up race, ran hard in the Derby. We'll just see how he comes back out of it. If we don't run in the Preakness, we'll go to the Matt Winn.”

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First-Crop Sire Instagrand Gets First Winner At Horseshoe Indy

Thu, 2024-05-09 15:17

2nd-Horseshoe Indianapolis, $33,280, Msw, 5-9, 2yo, 4 1/2f, :53.19, wf, 1/2 length.
BAYTOWN BOO BOO (c, 2, Instagrand–Profound Legacy, by Proud Citizen) made a pair of attempts to break his maiden at Keeneland, and finished fifth Apr. 17 and fourth Apr. 26. Debuting as the 9-5 choice while facing four others here, the colt set the tone early up the backstretch as first-time starter Special Creed (Jimmy Creed) tried to keep pace. Arriving at the top of the lane, the juvenile turned up the pressure, steadily separated himself from his rival in the final furlong and won by half a length. Baytown Boo Boo is his first-crop sire's (by Into Mischief) first worldwide winner out 135 foals of racing age, and is his dam's first registered foal. Profound Legacy is responsible for a yearling filly by Rowayton and she revisited Instagrand for this season. Her full-sister is GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Believe You Can, who herself produced GSW Conclude (Collected). Lifetime Record: 3-1-0-0, $25,360. Click for the chart.
O-McEntee Racing, Inc.; B-OXO Equine LLC (KY); T-Paul McEntee.

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Ellis Park Stakes Worth Record $3.7M

Thu, 2024-05-09 15:09

The 25-day meeting at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, will feature 18 added-money events worth record prize money of $3.7 million, officials from the track announced Thursday.

The lone graded and richest event on the calendar is the GIII Pucker Up S., a nine-furlong contest on the turf for 3-year-old fillies for a purse of $400,000 (including $150,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund). The Pucker Up is one of seven stakes across the $1.95-million Kentucky Downs Preview weekend Aug. 3 and 4.

A pair of valuable races are programmed for Sunday, Aug. 11. The one-mile Listed Ellis Park Derby is worth $275,000 (incl. $125,000 KTDF) for the 3-year-olds and is accompanied by the Listed Groupie Doll S., a $175,000 (incl. $75,000 KTDF) for older fillies and mares at a mile on the main track.

The meet opens Thursday, July 4 with the running of the $125,000 Dade Park Dash (incl. $25,000 KTDF), and the schedule also includes the Ellis Park Juvenile and Ellis Park Debutante for 2-year-old males and fillies, respectively, Aug. 11 and the $175,000 Audubon Oaks.

The Ellis Park season will begin on a Thursday-Sunday schedule but will shift to Saturday-Monday from July 13-Aug. 26.

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OBS June Catalogue Now Online

Thu, 2024-05-09 14:47

A total of 994 horses–980 2-year-olds and 14 horses of racing age–have been catalogued for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June 2-Year-Olds In Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale, to be held Wednesday through Friday, June 12-14.

The under-tack show and sale itself have both been moved forward by one day to facilitate inspection and travel time for those horsepeople attending the Belmont S. at Saratoga the week prior.

Hips 1-350 are set to go under the hammer during the opening session and a similar number of horses will be offered during day two of trade (hips 351-700). On the final day of the sale June 14, hips 701-980 and supplements will take their turn, and hips 1101-1114–the HORA section–will complete the auction. Supplemental entries close May 22, 2024 at noon ET.

The sale's under-tack preview will take place over the course of six days, Tuesday, June 4 through Sunday, June 9, with all sessions beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET. The breakdown by hip number will be released following the closing of supplemental entries. The breeze shows will be streamed live at the TDN homepage.

Graduates of the June Sale include Adare Manor (Uncle Mo), a $375,000 purchase by owner Michael Lund Petersen and impressive winner of the GI Apple Blossom H. in April; War Like Goddess (English Channel), a $30,000 acquisition by owner George Krikorian out of the 2019 sale and a three-time Grade I winner; and Grade II-winning millionaire Webslinger (Constitution), bought by DJ Stable for $50,000 in 2022 and a latest third in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic, his third such elite-level placing.

OBS will again offer online bidding during the June Sale. Buyers may go to the OBS website and register to gain bidding approval, then access the OBS Bidding Screen with their credentials. For complete information on registration and online bidding please go to obs-online-bidding.

For the complete catalogue, visit

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First Mission Headed To Stephen Foster

Thu, 2024-05-09 13:25

Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), impressive winner of the GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs May 3, will take the next logical step in the $1-million GI Stephen Foster S. beneath the Twin Spires Saturday, June 29.

“He ran a huge race,” trainer Brad Cox told the Churchill media office. “We're very proud of his effort, Down the lane, it seemed like he was getting stronger as he got closer to the wire.”

Favored at just over even-money in the 8 1/2-furlong Alysheba, the homebred sat handy enough to a lively pace set by Japan's T O Saint Denis (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) and steadily reeled him in late, drawing clear to win by four lengths while earning a strong 106 Beyer Speed Figure. T O Saint Denis was awarded a 99.

Connections will hope First Mission's second attempt at the highest level goes better than his first when he was beaten better than 20 lengths into ninth in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 27. He bounced back in no uncertain terms with a five-length romp in the GIII Essex H. prior to the Alysheba.

The Stephen Foster is a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar Nov. 2.

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Peter Pan Field Scratched Down To Half-Dozen

Thu, 2024-05-09 12:52

The field for Saturday's GIII Peter Pan S. at Aqueduct has been reduced from eight to six, with the connections of both 'TDN Rising Star' Tuscan Gold (Medaglia d'Oro) and Lonesome Boy (Nationhood) opting for other age-restricted spots. Daily Racing Form's David Grening was first to report the news.

William Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stables' Tuscan Gold is being rerouted for next Saturday's GI Preakness S., trainer Chad Brown confirmed to the Form. The $600,000 Keeneland September yearling was fourth to stablemate and recent GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) on debut before romping to 'Rising Star' honors when trying two turns for the first time at Gulfstream Jan. 31. He was most recently third to Sierra Leone and Derby fourth Catching Freedom (Constitution) in the GII Louisiana Derby Mar. 23. Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Sierra Leone in the Derby, will take the ride.

“My first instinct was to always run in the Preakness,” Brown told the Pimlico notes team. “I wanted to enter the Peter Pan to give myself some options. I wanted to look and survey the field and see who was actually going to show up in the Preakness. At the end of the day, the reward is so much greater if he were to run well in the Preakness going for a much bigger prize.”

Lonesome Boy will pass on the Peter Pan in favor of a much softer landing in Saturday's Long Branch S. on opening day at Monmouth Park. Victorious in the City of Brotherly Love S. at Parx Mar. 5, the Washington-bred was part of the early pace in the Apr. 6 GII Wood Memorial S. before weakening in the final furlong to be fourth, some 7 1/2 lengths behind Resilience (Into Mischief).

The Wine Steward (Vino Rosso) figures to go favored in the Peter Pan on the back of a comebacking second to Encino (Nyquist) in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 13.

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Bidding Open For Fasig-Tipton May Digital Sale

Thu, 2024-05-09 12:21

The catalogue for the Fasig-Tipton May Digital sale is now online at and bidding is now open for the 110 horses of all ages that are on offer. The sale will close on Tuesday, May 14, beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

The catalogue includes breeding stock in addition to horses of racing age, 2-year-olds and yearlings.

Among the offerings are the first mares in foal to champions Elite Power (Curlin), Forte (Violence) and Up To The Mark (Not This Time), as well as Gunite (Gun Runner) Mage (Good Magic) and Taiba (Gun Runner). Perennial leading sires Constitution, Into Mischief and Not This Time are also among the covering sires.

“We have a serious collection of breeding stock, the type of quality buyers usually have to wait until November to find,” said Leif Aaron, Fasig-Tipton Director of Digital Sales. “Mare buyers will miss important opportunities if they don't shop this sale.”

The horses of racing age include graded-stakes quality colts and geldings, as well as last-out winners. Graded winners and performers have been catalogued among the racing/broodmare prospects and can continue their careers at the track or be bred.

“There is good quality and depth among the racehorse offerings in both the male and female divisions,” noted Aaron. “Many of the fillies have global appeal and can even be bred right away on Southern Hemisphere covers.”

Added Aaron: “The buying public has really begun to embrace our digital platform, and sellers are responding by upping the quality that they offer online. Our clearance rate on Fasig-Tipton Digital is 90% in 2024. This demonstrates that we provide a fair marketplace with realistic sellers. I think more and more buyers are coming to realize and appreciate that.

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Stewart Strikes for A$3.2 Million Tutta La Vita at Inglis Chairman’s Sale

Thu, 2024-05-09 09:47

John Stewart's Resolute Racing continued its world-wide buying spree in Australia Thursday when going to A$3.2 million to acquire multiple Group 1-placed Tutta La Vita (Aus) (The Autumn Sun {Aus}) (hip 87) at the Inglis Chairman's Sale. The 3-year-old filly, the second-highest priced lot at the sale, had been campaigned by Kevin and Vikki Payne, who purchased her for A$300,000 as a yearling in 2022. She will continue to be trained by Chris Waller.

“We are really excited about buying Tutta La Vita,” Stewart said. “We met Chris Waller when we were in Australia a few weeks ago and knowing that Chris was training her and having a relationship with him and knowing how he felt about the horse was one of the reasons we were looking at her. We are constantly evaluating the top fillies and mares globally. It's something that we are really dedicated to understanding. There were a lot of impressive horses in this auction. We thought that Tutta La Vita fit with our breeding program long-term a little bit better than the other fillies that were for sale. So we decided to wait and put all of our focus on her. We were lucky to come away owning her.”


Lot 87 Tutta la Vita sells for $3.2m @inglis_sales Chairman's

— TTR AusNZ (@TTRAusNZ) May 9, 2024

Coolmore's Tom Magnier made the highest purchase at the auction, going to A$3.4 million to acquire She's Extreme (Aus) (Extreme Choice {Aus}), but Stewart said the operation was underbidder on Tutta La Vita as well.

“We have a good relationship with Coolmore and Tom texted me after we bought her and that's how I found out that they were actually on her as well,” Stewart said. “That makes me even more confident in the purchase because I view them as a very good judge of horses, especially of this caliber and on the breeding side.”

Tutta La Vita was most recently 10th in the 2400-meter G1 Australian Oaks in April and is expected to cut back to 2200 meters in the G1 Queensland Oaks next month.

“Right now, we are just excited to have her continue to race in our colors,” Stewart said. “We are organizing getting our silks down there for races coming up and excited to have her continue her training with Chris Waller. We look forward to being in Australia and being able to see her race. We are going to try to work it out so that we can be there for the Queensland Oaks in June and be able to see her in person.”

Of long-term plans for the filly, Stewart said, “We haven't really talked about breeding yet. Everything is on the table. We have breeding operations in America, of course. We are a breed-to-race operation and we are looking to make a long-term investment in Australia. It's very possible she could end up staying in Australia as well. We are just really excited about this purchase and excited to make more of an investment in Australian racing. We hope the Australian racing fans will join us in cheering her on when she races next.”

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Champion German Rider Adrie De Vries Mulls Moving To Southern California Circuit

Wed, 2024-05-08 17:01

Is there room for still another European rider in the Santa Anita jockey colony, which includes Italians Frankie Dettori, Antonio Fresu and Umberto Rispoli? Adrie de Vries thinks there just might be.

The 54-year-old Dutch jockey spent last weekend visiting friend Carlos Arias in California and decided to ride a couple of horses at Santa Anita. Though he had just two mounts and finished off the board with both he said riding in California was among the most exciting moments of his career.

“It was absolutely a thrill,” he said. “I follow American racing and it was always a wish of mine to ride here. I'm just happy Carlos gave me the chance to get on a couple of horses.”

De Vries started riding in his native Holland when he was 15 and he won the Dutch Derby five times and was champion rider there 13 times. But racing was on the decline in Holland and de Vries left his home country in the 1980s to start what has been a whirlwind tour of racetracks all over the world. He has won stakes races in nine countries and had ridden in 18 total.

But he was mostly based in Germany and won the riding title there in 2014. He won the GI German Derby in 2018 on Weltstar (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB} and guided German import Energizer (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) to a win at Royal Ascot in the GIII Tercentenary S. in 2012.

In the early 90's he began to ride in Dubai, which became part of his circuit. He would winter in the U.A.E. and then head to Germany for the rest of the year. In 2012, he won the GI Dubai Golden Shaheen aboard Krypton Factor (GB) (Kyllachy {GB}).

“I'm not slowing down,” said de Vries, who estimates he's won 2,500 races in his career. “At this age, you don't want to take long breaks. You want to keep riding and stay fit. I wanted to do it as long as I still enjoy it and are still getting good horses to ride.”

He is not under contract to any stable this year in Germany so didn't need to be in a hurry to return to Europe, which is why he spent three weeks at Santa Anita. He admits he has been influenced by the success the other foreign riders in California, in particular Fresu, have had there.

“Antonio Fresu made a name for himself here,” de Vries said. “He's very talented. It's just a matter of getting on the right horses. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be successful in the U.S. I was motivated by him. I followed Antonio. He sat next to me in the jockey room in Dubai for a couple of seasons and he's a very good rider. I know him well. I expected him to do good. I am very happy for him. I like his style. He is a good guy.”

De Vries is committed to riding in Germany this year and then it is on to Dubai. But after that? He might call Santa Anita home.

“It's an option,” he said about possibly staying in the U.S. “I'm thinking about it. I am about the same age as Frankie Dettori. I'd like to have another experience before my career is over. I just had a little taste of it and it felt good. I felt welcome and met some nice people who were interested in putting me on horses. Carlos did a great job introducing me to a lot of great people. Coming back here after Dubai next year is definitely an option. Dubai finishes toward the end of March. There's a good possibility I could come back here after that.

“Can I be successful here? It's hard to say. You have to work hard and be lucky. If you can get a few winners early on that would really help. I really enjoyed it here. I'm really going to try to come back.”

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Champion Nest Retired, Set To Visit Uncle Mo

Wed, 2024-05-08 16:30

Champion 3-year-old filly and MGISW Nest (Curlin–Marion Ravenwood, by A.P. Indy) has been retired from racing her owner Mike Repole told the Daily Racing Form on Wednesday.

The owner who bought out his partners on Nest–Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House–for $6 million last fall at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale intended to race Nest this year. After three workouts at Stonestreet Farm in Ocala, Florida, she was set to ship to trainer Todd Pletcher's string at Saratoga, but a diagnostic exam was performed and showed “a slight abnormality in her hind ankle,” Repole told DRF.

“Since she wasn't perfect, it made it easy,” he said. “We shipped her to Lane's End, she arrived today. She has a date with Uncle Mo.

“We tried our best to bring her back as a 5-year-old and keep her in training. If we didn't have that intention we would have bred her in February. We're going to breed her now; ecstatic about her career, wish it could have been one more season. She was a stakes winner at 2, 3, 4, a multiple Grade I winner, and a champion.”

Nest took home the 2022 Eclipse Award for best 3-year-old after she won the GI Central Bank Ashland S., finished second in the GI Kentucky Oaks, and then took on the boys and was the runner-up in the GI Belmont S. She then won back-to-back Grade Is in the CCA Oaks and the Alabama S.–both at Saratoga. Although she got a late start to her 4-year-old campaign, Nest returned to win the GII Shuvee S. upstate that summer of 2023.

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Hillwood Stable’s Ellen Charles To Receive Special Award of Merit At Pimlico’s Alibi Breakfast May 16

Wed, 2024-05-08 15:47

Longtime horsewoman and lifetime philanthropist Ellen Charles, who has bred or owned some of Maryland's most popular and successful horses of recent years, will be recognized with the Special Award of Merit May 16 during the Alibi Breakfast at historic Pimlico Race Course, 1/ST Racing said in a Wednesday release.

The Special Award of Merit is given to those who have made a positive impact on the racing industry. Past recipients have included Jim McKay, Hall of Fame trainers D. Wayne Lukas and King Leatherbury and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

The Alibi Breakfast began in the 1930s on the porch of the old Pimlico clubhouse and features a gathering of media, owners, trainers, jockeys, horsemen and fans to celebrate the Preakness while gaining interesting and humorous race predictions.

Charles' roots in the racing industry run deep. Her mother, Adelaide Close Riggs, was one of the major supporters of Maryland's breeding and racing industry for nearly 70 years and her father, Merrall MacNeille, held many jobs in racing before spending more than 20 years as a steward at Maryland tracks.

Racing since 2004 as Hillwood Stable, named in tribute to her grandmother, Marjorie Merriweather Post, former owner of General Foods and heiress to the Post cereal fortune, Charles bred filly Hello Beautiful, Maryland's champion older female of 2021 that is one of just seven horses in history with three career Maryland Million wins.

Top horses owned by Charles include GSW Bandbox (Tapit), MSW Phlash Phelps (Great Notion), Maryland's 2015 turf champion, and many others. Charles was voted the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) Owner of the Year in 2016.

Charles has sat on the MTHA board of directors and currently serves on the MTHA's finance and aftercare committees. For 25 years, Charles was president of the board of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C., helping realize her grandmother's dream to turn her former estate into a public museum known for its large decorative arts collection.

In addition to horses, Charles has bred and owned multiple dogs that went on to compete for Best in Show at the famed Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

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Jacob West Named As Stallion Seasons And Bloodstock Manager At Claiborne Farm

Wed, 2024-05-08 14:45

Jacob West will join the Claiborne Farm team in October as the Stallion Seasons & Bloodstock Manager, the organization said in a release Wednesday.

West, a Kentucky native, graduated from UK with a degree in Economics. He began his career in the Thoroughbred industry at the ground level, first serving as a groom in Taylor Made Farm's broodmare division.

From there, he ascended to barn foreman, divisional yearling manager, and then Buyer Account Manager. During his tenure at Taylor Made, West managed all aspects of his clients' investment portfolios, including public and private acquisitions, breeding and racing management.

In 2016, he joined Three Chimneys as Director of Bloodstock Services, and then served Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners as Vice President of Bloodstock before launching his own business, West Bloodstock.

Most recently, West formed Highgate Sales Consignment with partner Jill Gordon to service clients at public auction. He will continue to serve his existing clients at West Bloodstock while at Claiborne.

Longtime Stallion Seasons & Bloodstock Manager, Bernie Sams, will remain on Claiborne's staff during this transition.

“We are ecstatic to have Jacob join our team at Claiborne early this fall,” said Walker Hancock, Claiborne President. “He brings a wealth of industry knowledge, sales expertise and will be a huge asset recruiting new stallions, selling seasons and helping clients manage their bloodstock portfolios.”

“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the Claiborne team,” West said. “The history and tradition of such an iconic farm is something I have marveled at since I got into the horse industry. I look forward to building upon the tradition and being a part of their future.”

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Kenny McPeek Joins the TDN Writers’ Room Podcast

Wed, 2024-05-08 13:10

For trainer Kenny McPeek it was an unforgettable weekend. He struck first with Thorpedo Anna (Fast Anna) in the GI Kentucky Oaks and came back the next day to win the GI Kentucky Derby with Mystik Dan (Goldencents). McPeek became the first trainer since Plain Ben Jones in 1952 to win both the Oaks and Derby the same year.

How did he pull it off? What's next for Mystik Dan? Why was he so confident before each race? Those were among the questions our panel asked McPeek when he appeared on this week's edition of the TDN Writers' Room Podcast, presented by Keeneland.

McPeek, who said he received over 2,000 text messages following the Derby win, was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week.

He was so confident in Mystik Dan's chances that he thought the colt could win the Derby by open lengths.

“I told my wife Sherri before the race that it wouldn't surprise me if he won by four or five lengths,” he said. “I expected to win. I really did.”

And where was that confidence coming from?

“In the Arkansas Derby, he got mugged in that turn,” he said. “You can't really see it because there's no head-on angle. But Brian [Hernandez, Jr.] nearly got knocked off the horse and he felt that cost him four or five lengths. We wanted to win the Arkansas Derby, but it just didn't happen. We drew outside in the race and we drew inside for the Derby and we knew he'd love an inside trip. I bet more on him on Saturday than I bet on any horse in my life.”

While Mystik Dan is a homebred, Thorpedo Anna was a McPeek special, just one more bargain buy that turned into a star. She was bought for just $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale.

“I love looking at the horses, looking at their pedigree and how they are made and how they race,” he said. “I like to look at their angles. I believe horses are like constellations, stars in the sky. If you look at the angles, there are patterns. You have to envision how they are made and what they will do on the racetrack. As a young trainer, I used to be so frustrated because I would get all these average horses. I wanted horses that were fast enough to compete with Wayne Lukas, Todd Pletcher, Nick Zito, all those guys with great horses. If you can't beat them with your budget, you have to beat them with your brain. This whole sport is a big chess match. It's cerebral. You have to plot and plan and know how to move around the board. You can't just throw money at it. That's been proven. You have to outsmart the people who have all the money.”

McPeek wasn't the only man of the hour. Brian Hernandez, Jr. was aboard both Thorpedo Anna and Mystik Dans and his rail-skimming ride in the Derby was one for the ages.

“I've said repeatedly that he's the consummate professional,” McPeek said. “There's nothing complicated about Brian. He comes in with a smile on his face and an even keel. I've never had a cross word with him and never will. He loves to come breeze the horses. He'll be there at 5:15, no problem.”

In our breeding spotlight section we took a look at the WinStar stallion Audible and the Coolmore stallion Jack Christopher

The TDN Writers' Room podcast is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders' Association, Coolmore, West Point Thoroughbreds, WinStar, the KTOB, 1/ST Racing and

Among the primary topics covered by the team of Randy Moss, Zoe Cadman and Bill Finley was the failure of the Churchill Downs stewards to post an inquiry and take a look at the bumping during the stretch run between Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) and Forever Young (Jpn) (Real Steel {Jpn}). Moss was particularly critical of the stewards' failure to take action.

“The stewards let [Churchill Downs] down big time. Big time,” Moss said. “That there was no inquiry either meant that the stewards were incompetent or that it was a calculated move. I think it was probably the latter. That was an elementary school DQ. They don't get any more obvious than that. They dropped the ball in so many ways.”

The team also reviewed the Kentucky Oaks and the GI La Troienne S. The La Troienne winner was Idiomatic (Curlin), who picked right up where she left off last year when winning an Eclipse Award as the nation's top older dirt mare. Finley declared that, regardless of sex or age, Idiomatic is the best horse in the sport.

To listen to this week's podcast, click here.

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Bill Ford Elected President of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Wed, 2024-05-08 12:21

Bill Ford has been elected president of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for 2024. Ford has been an executive with Woodbine Entertainment since 2011 and is currently its Chief Racing Officer and General Counsel. He has been a Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for the past two years representing Racetracks Canada.

Ford succeeds Darryl Kaplan, who held the role of CHRHF president from 2018-2024. Kaplan, currently the President and CEO of Standardbred Canada, maintains his position as a CHRHF Director and is now the Vice-President of the CHRHF.

“I am very honored and excited to take on this new role with the CHRHF. The Hall is an important part of the fabric of the Canadian horse racing industry and the place to recognize the men, women and equine athletes who have contributed so much to the industry,” said Ford. “I would also like to thank and recognize the amazing contribution of Darryl throughout his years of leadership, and I look forward to working with him moving forward.”

Other changes to the Board of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall include the departure of director Peter Berringer, who represented CTHS National, a position that will now be filled by Dave Pihl, of CTHS National. John Hind of the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association will replace Jackson Wittup, also from ASHA.

Founded in 1976, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is a registered charity with a mission to honor and preserve the history and majesty of horse racing in Canada by celebrating and bestowing recognition for excellence achieved by those who have significantly contributed to horse racing in Canada.

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Weekly Rulings: May 1-7

Wed, 2024-05-08 12:09

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 Pavel Matejka has four separate pending cases issued against him for cannabidiol (CBD) positives. The four cases occurred between Feb. 17 and March 15.
Under HISA, CBD is classified a Class B controlled substance, a first offense for which comes with a possible 15-day suspension and $1,000 fine.
The massive proliferation in CBD products for humans has spilled over into the equine world. The purported benefits from CBD use in horses include treatment of inflammation, ulcers, laminitis, colic, and decreased anxiety.
This trend has also led to several regulatory warnings issued to trainers in recent years about the largely unregulated market place for these products, leading to questions over purity, consistency and safety.

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: 05/06/2024
Licensee: Gary Stute, 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 Methocarbamol—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Sand to Sea, who finished second at Santa Anita on 2/16/24. 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: 05/01/2024
Licensee: Steve Knapp, 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. Admission.
Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Caribbean King, who won at Santa Anita on 2/17/24. 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: 05/07/2024
Licensee: Terri Eaton, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Vet's list medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Acepromazine—Controlled Medication (Class B)—in a sample taken from Do it for Dave on 4/5/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 05/03/2024
Licensee: Pavel Matejka, trainer
Penalty: Pending
Alleged violation: Medication violation
Explainer: For the presence of Cannabidiol (CBD)—Controlled Medication (Class B)—in a sample taken from Calrissian, who finished second at Oaklawn Park on 3/15/24; in a sample taken from Erna, who finished third at Turfway Park on 2/24/24; and in a sample taken from Calrissian, who finished second at Oaklawn Park on 2/23/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Violations of Crop Rule
One important note: HISA's whip use limit is restricted to six strikes during a race.
Danilo Grisales Rave – violation date May 2; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Catalino Martinez – violation date May 4; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Magdaleno Salazar – violation date May 1; $250 fine and one-day suspension
German Terraza – violation date May 1; $250 fine and one-day suspension
Alberto Burgos – violation date May 1; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Francisco Joaquin Arrieta – violation date May 3; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Alex Gonzalez – violation date May 3; $250 fine and one-day suspension, 2 strikes over limit

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.

Track: Aqueduct
Date: 05/03/2024
Licensee: Justin Rivera, trainer
Penalty: $500 fine
Explainer: Trainer Mr. Justin Rivera is hereby fined the sum of five ($500.00) hundred dollars for failing to tend to business in a professional manner necessitating a late scratch of Horse “Sig” in the 7th race at Aqueduct Racetrack on May 3rd 2024.

Track: Aqueduct
Date: 05/02/2024
Licensee: Isaac Castillo, jockey
Penalty: Three-day suspension
Violation: Careless riding
Explainer:  Jockey Mr. Isaac Castillo is hereby suspended three (3) NYRA racing days May 5th 2024, May 9th 2024, May 10th 2024 inclusive. This for careless riding during the running of the 3rd race at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 28th 2024.

Track: Aqueduct
Date: 05/02/2024
Licensee: Keith Doleshel, racing official
Penalty: $2,000 fine
Violation: Administrative error
Explainer: Racing Secretary Mr. Keith Doleshel is hereby fined the sum of two ($2,000) dollars for failing to tend to business in a professional manner, necessitating a scratch in the 8th race at Aqueduct racetrack on May 2nd 2024.
Read more on the story here.

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Nominations Open for ’24 TIEA Awards

Wed, 2024-05-08 11:10

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. The nomination period concludes July 15. The awards, sponsored by Godolphin, in association with The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders

Association, and the Breeders' Cup, offers cash prizes totaling $122,000 to be presented to winners and two finalists in a total of seven categories, as well as monetary awards going to two runners-up. The awards are the Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson

Community Award, Katherine McKee Administration Award, Dedication to Breeding Award, Dedication to Racing Award, Newcomer Award, Support Services Award and Management Award.

Returning as sponsors for the awards again in 2024 are Keeneland, Churchill Downs, 1/ST Racing, Hallway Feeds, NYRA, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and the NTRA.

The awards will be presented during a ceremony at Keeneland Oct. 15.

For additional information, click here.

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Justify Filly Awesome Result On Breeders’ Cup Distaff Trajectory

Wed, 2024-05-08 10:11

With one Japanese raid on America just completed, another looks set for the fall, as Awesome Result (Justify) will be pointed towards the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at Del Mar in November after making virtually all the running in Wednesday's Listed Empress Hai at Kawasaki Racecourse. The victory, the first black-type success for the 4-year-old filly, takes her record to a perfect six-from-six.

Contested over 2100 metres (about a mile and five-sixteenths), Awesome Result bounced well from gate 10 beneath Yutaka Take and was initially taken in hand to sit second before rolling forward to take command rounding the first of the three turns. Joined for the run around the second turn by second pick Icon Tailor (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}), Awesome Result maintained a comfortable advantage down the back straight for the final time, responded when set down with a bit more than a furlong to travel and proved a cosy winner as the $2.60 (8-5) favourite (see below). Third choice Grand Bridge (Jpn) (Sinister Minister), who won this race last year when it was contested in March, flashed home for second ahead of 55-1 Carrick a Rede (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in third.

“There was a lot of cause for concern, because it was her first stakes race, racing at night and the tight turns, but the horse's ability and the way the jockey rode her won the race,” trainer Yasutoshi Ikee told Netkeiba. “After this I hope to have one or two races in Japan and then challenge the Breeders' Cup Distaff.”

Marche Lorraine (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) won the 2021 Empress Hai before causing a massive upset in that year's Distaff, also at Del Mar.

Awesome Result is the 29th worldwide black-type winner for Justify and his second in Japan–both on dirt–joining recent Oasis S. winner Yuttitham (Jpn). Also the granddam of the multiple stakes-placed Royal Spa (Violence) and three-time Japanese winner Ju Taro (Arrogate), the now 21-year-old Blossomed made the most recent of her seven trips through the Keeneland sales pavilion in 2018, when she was sold to Springhouse Farm for $425,000 in foal to Honor Code at the auction house's November Sale.

Blossomed's most recent foal is a 2-year-old full-brother to Awesome Result, who made $350,000 at Keeneland November in 2022 before being led out unsold on a bid of $520,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.



Wednesday, Kawasaki, Japan
EMPRESS HAI (Jpn-G2)-Listed, ¥68,000,000 ($437,172), Kawasaki, 5-8, 4yo/up, f/m, 2100m, 2:14.5, gd.
1–AWESOME RESULT, 121, f, 4, Justify–Blossomed, by Deputy Minister. 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Insel Racing Co Ltd; B-Orpendale/Chelston/Wynatt (KY); T-Yasutoshi Ikee; J-Yutaka Take; ¥40,000,000. Lifetime Record: 6-6-0-0, $717,149. *1/2 to Bodacious Babe (Mineshaft), GSP, $154,259; and Sippican Harbor (Orb), GISW, $262,650.
2–Grand Bridge (Jpn), 121, m, 5, Sinister Minister–Dirretrice (Jpn), by Daiwa Major (Jpn). (¥3,410,000 Ylg '20 HOKSEP). O-Cypress Holdings LLC; B-Yukio Kanemasu; T-Koichi Shintani; J-Yuga Kawada; ¥14,000,000.
3—Carrick a Rede (Jpn), 121, m, 5, Kizuna (Jpn)–Irish Sea (Ire), by Galileo (Ire). (¥15,000,000 Fl '19 JRHAJUL). O-Silk Racing Co Ltd; B-Northern Farm; T-Terunobu Fujita; J-Norifumi Mikimoto; ¥8,000,000.
Margins: NK, 2, 1HF. Odds: 1.60, 2.40, 55.20.
Click for the chart. VIDEO.

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McPeek Gives Update on Mystik Dan’s Preakness Status

Tue, 2024-05-07 16:21

While still officially remaining on the fence when it comes to whether or not he will run his GI Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan (Goldencents) in the May 18 GI Preakness S., trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed that an appearance in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown is a distinct possibility.

“Who wouldn't want to?” he replied when asked if he is leaning toward running in the Preakness. “You only get so many of these windows of opportunity. It would give him a chance to prove himself again and maybe make amends for his loss in the GI Arkansas Derby. We wouldn't run him just for those reasons. But if he's well and he's ready and we feel like he can win it, we will go. We have a few days. There's no rush to make a decision.”

McPeek explained why he is being deliberate about the decision.

“The colt is doing fine,” he said. “We're going to get him back to the track [Wednesday]. He's been in the feed tub the last couple of days, so I'm not overly worried about that. An old guy told me years ago, don't make a decision until you absolutely, positively have to. We just want to get him back out on the racetrack and make sure he is moving good and that his energy level is fine. Right now, I can't tell you one way or another. The owners and I will discuss it and ultimately we'll do the right thing. I actually told [co-owner and breeder] Lance [Gasaway] before the Kentucky Derby that because we skipped the Rebel, I felt pretty good that, if we needed to, we could run back in the Preakness. At this stage, I am optimistic. But right now we don't need to make a call.”

When asked about the spacing between the races in the Triple Crown, McPeek had a number of opinions, but said, “I don't think the two weeks is that big of a deal.”

“I've run horses back in two weeks plenty of times in my career,” he said. “But if they made me commissioner or whatever and I could rearrange the Triple Crown, I would have it run on the first Saturday in May, the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in July. But you'd have to get three huge organizations to agree to that. I think the uniqueness of the Triple Crown is the two weeks, three weeks. That's why it is such a test.

“The fact that we've removed Lasix from the conversation makes it an even better test. Horses recover quicker without the Lasix. Lasix was a detriment. I know there are guys that will hear me say that and scream, 'I need Lasix.' No, you don't need Lasix. Maybe there are certain horses that do and, yes, we do have bleeders. But they shouldn't be the ones running in the Grade I, Grade II, Grade III races. The two weeks is easier without the Lasix because the Lasix would dehydrate a horse and then you'd have to recoup that fluid within the two weeks.

“I'm not scared of the two weeks at all. I just want to make sure my horse is right.”

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