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Updated: 3 weeks 4 days ago

Dr. Stowe Burke, DVM Joins TRF Board Of Directors

Mon, 2023-09-18 18:52

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has appointed Dr. Stowe Burke, DVM, a Saratoga Springs native, to its Board of Directors.

“I am deeply honored to join the Board of Directors at TRF,” said Dr. Stowe Burke. “My lifelong passion for horses has guided my career path and I am thrilled to contribute to an organization that shares my dedication to the welfare of these magnificent animals.”

TRF Executive Director Kelly Armer expressed her excitement at Dr. Burke's appointment: “Dr. Stowe's exceptional background and commitment to equine care make him a valuable addition to our board. We are confident that his expertise will further enhance our ability to provide loving homes and second chances to retired Thoroughbred racehorses.”

The post Dr. Stowe Burke, DVM Joins TRF Board Of Directors appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

HBPA: Negotiations Between HISA And Sales Companies Equate To ‘Preferential Treatment’ For Breeders

Mon, 2023-09-18 18:02

Two days after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority disclosed at a press conference last week that it had initiated discussions with sales companies in an attempt to bring about voluntary compliance with medication policies throughout the lifetimes of Thoroughbreds, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) went on record with a letter filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit alleging that those efforts equate to improper rulemaking by the Authority and “preferential treatment” for breeders.

The purpose of the HISA Authority's Sept. 13 press conference was to go public with a months-in-the-making report on 12 horse deaths at Churchill Downs this past spring, and also for the Authority unveil a wide-ranging “strategic response plan” to predict and halt catastrophes before they occur. According to the report, which also listed numerous other safety proposals, the goal of entering into agreements with Thoroughbred auction houses would be “to more effectively align and coordinate our respective anti-doping and medication control [ADMC] programs.”

The purpose of the NHBPA's Sept. 15 legal filing, by contrast, was to let the court know that as the plaintiffs/appellants in a two-year-old lawsuit that is trying to derail HISA based on alleged constitutional violations, the NHBPA and 12 of its affiliates believed that by entering into such negotiations with sales companies, “the Authority has announced its intention to add another line to the already long list of 20-plus examples of the Authority writing the rules for the industry without going through the rulemaking process.”

The two-page letter written by the NHBPA's attorney, Daniel Suhr, prefaced its legal criticisms of the Authority's discussions with sales companies by first stating that, “The NHBPA Appellants appreciate the policy goal to ensure effective ADMC standards that include breeders: as the advocate for owners of horses, they support measures that ensure full and accurate information from breeders for buyers.

“But as a legal matter, two things are obvious from the announcement,” the NHBPA letter continued. “First, one section of the industry that is included in the scope of the Act is receiving preferential treatment-the breeders get to negotiate their rules through voluntary agreements while other sectors like trainers and racetracks have rules imposed upon them by Authority fiat.

“And second, once again the Authority is engaged in regulatory activity outside the rulemaking process. When the Authority enters into a 'voluntary agreement' with a breeding company, it is not required to publish or publicize the text of that agreement (or provide it if requested through FOIA), receive and consider public comment (including feedback from other affected equine constituencies), or run it by the Federal Trade Commission [FTC],” the NHBPA letter stated.

The allegations by the NHBPA were filed with oral arguments in the highly anticipated Fifth Circuit appeals case coming up soon, on Oct. 4.

A lower federal court already ruled back on May 4 that the rewritten HISA law that went into effect Dec. 29, 2022, is indeed constitutional because it fixes the problems the Fifth Circuit had identified in an earlier version of the law. The NHBPA plaintiffs are arguing for another reversal.

The points of law raised by the NHBPA's Sept. 15 letter, however, won't be considered by the court in their current format.

That's because the letter did not meet the standard for the type of filing that notifies the court of pertinent and significant findings after a party's brief has been filed, according to a docket entry made by the court clerk on Sept. 15. “Therefore, we are taking no action on this letter,” the clerk stated.

If the NHBPA wants its comments on the issue to be considered, the clerk's notation continued,  “A motion seeking leave to file a supplemental brief is required.”

Regardless of its status, the letter was made public within the docket once the court refused to take action on it, and its contents are important to the broader world of horse racing because the objections over the sales company discussions underscore both the ongoing and newly developing rifts between the NHBPA plaintiffs and the HISA and FTC defendants.

A chief point of contention between the two parties is that the Authority has stated that it will negotiate (rather than propose and implement) ADMC rules upon sales companies because its interpretation of the law is that some young horses sold as auction aren't yet “covered horses” under HISA.

Speaking at the Sept. 13 press conference, Lisa Lazarus, HISA's chief executive officer, explained that “a horse becomes a HISA [covered] horse after it's had its first public workout, first timed workout. So some of the 2-year-old sales would certainly fall under HISA's purview. The weanlings and yearlings wouldn't.”

But, Lazarus added last week, “I think we're at the point where if HISA leads the way that we should, and the way that we intend to, that we'll be able to motivate the industry to come under one kind of comprehensive, understandable, kind of ADMC approach.”

The NHBPA, on the other hand, wrote in a footnote to its Sept. 15 letter that under its reading of HISA, it believes breeders do qualify as “covered persons,” and that breeders as a group are included “among equine constituencies.” Thus, the plaintiffs' argument goes, it's allegedly not fair for one sector of covered persons to have a say in negotiating rules while other covered persons don't.

Asked on Sept. 18 if the HISA Authority would like to comment on the NHBPA's assertions in the letter, an Authority spokesperson wrote in an email that, “The NHBPA overlooks the fact that Congress decided that Thoroughbred horses are not covered horses under the Act until their 'first timed and reported workout.' Therefore, it is necessary for the sales companies to voluntarily agree so that we could effectively align and coordinate our respective ADMC programs throughout the lifetime of a horse.”

The post HBPA: Negotiations Between HISA And Sales Companies Equate To ‘Preferential Treatment’ For Breeders appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Reincarnate Favored In PA Derby, Draws Post 11

Mon, 2023-09-18 17:35

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will look for a record fifth victory when he sends out 3-1 morning-line favorite Reincarnate (Good Magic) in Saturday's GI betPARX Pennsylvania Derby.

“This race is going to be a good step up for him,” Baffert said. “He ran really well at Los Alamitos. He is going to have to break well and show up. That's the main thing. If he shows up, I don't see why he wouldn't run well.”

The field of 11 also includes 7-2 second choice Saudi Crown (Always Dreaming) for Brad Cox and FMQ Stables while Steve Asmussen will saddle 5-1 third choice Magic Tap (Tapit) for Winchell Thoroughbreds.

Rounding out the field is Scotland (Good Magic), Il Miracolo (Gun Runner), Gilmore (Twirling Candy), Dreamlike (Gun Runner), Daydreaming Boy (Goldencents), West Coast Cowboy (West Coast), Crupi (Curlin) and Modern Era (Honor Code).

The post Reincarnate Favored In PA Derby, Draws Post 11 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Former KY Gov. And Airdrie Stud Founder Brereton Jones Dies At 84

Mon, 2023-09-18 16:46

Former Kentucky Governor and Airdrie Stud founder Brereton Jones died at age 84 on Monday.

His Sept. 18 passing was announced via social media by current Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

No cause of death or details about services were listed, although the current governor's posting said the Jones family would release a statement in the coming days.

Jones was governor from 1991 to 1995, and is best remembered in politics as a reformist who advocated for universal health care in Kentucky. He had previously served as lieutenant governor under Governor Wallace Wilkinson from 1987 to 1991.

In the Thoroughbred world, Jones will be remembered for taking a gamble in 1972 along with his wife, Libby, on transforming a farm on Old Frankfort Pike near Midway, Kentucky, into what would eventually become a well-respected, 2,500-acre bloodstock operation that has bred and/or raised 215 stakes winners, including 24 Grade 1 winners.

Jones was also a 2004 co-founder of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), chairing that group's board of directors until 2011.

“Brereton Jones was a true champion for the horse-racing industry at all levels for decades,” said Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association president Rick Hiles, who at one time trained horses for Jones.

“Yes, he was an owner and breeder himself, but he also understood how vital the breeding and racing industries are for the economy and tourism throughout the state,” Hiles said. “He was a great horseman, was great for the industry and bred and raced a lot of great horses. It was so fitting that he won the [GI] Kentucky Oaks three times-like a well-deserved lifetime achievement award that kept multiplying. He was just so friendly and respectful of everyone at the racetrack, whether they ran the track or mucked out stalls. He will be sorely missed.”

Brereton Chandler Jones was born June 27, 1939 in Gallipolis, Ohio, but grew up on his family's dairy farm in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He was one of six children born to E. Bartow Jones II, who served two terms in the West Virginia Senate, and to Nedra Wilhelm Jones.

After graduating from high school as valedictorian, he attended the University of Virginia on a football scholarship. While still in his 20s, Jones had already begun to make his mark in politics, being the youngest delegate at the time ever elected to West Virginia's lower house.

In a July 2022 profile of Airdrie on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, TDN's Chris McGrath captured the spirit of the early years of Brereton Jones's life in an interview with Bret Jones, Brereton's son, who now serves as Airdrie's vice president.

“As a little boy in Point Pleasant, he'd ridden his pony Trixie around the hills pretending he was Roy Rogers,” Bret Jones told TDN. “He started showing, but then somebody told him about Lexington, Kentucky, and at that moment he made the decision: 'If that's where the best horses are, that's where I need to be.' So after university he decided that he needed to make some money before he could come out here and live the life he'd set his heart on.”

After his marriage to Elizabeth “Libby” Lloyd in 1970, the Joneses moved to Airdrie Farm, which was then part of Libby's family's estate in Woodford County, Kentucky.

“Mom's family had a farm,” Bret explained in the fiftieth anniversary profile. “Not a Thoroughbred farm, an agrarian one. Dad never wanted to be viewed as someone who had just married into this, so he negotiated a 30-year lease with my mother's father and found a way to work 25 hours a day. And as he began to have some success, he was able to purchase more land on the back of investments he'd made. So that was always a great point of pride: that he'd worked for everything he had, and done it by working harder than everyone he competed with.”

Bret Jones recalled that, “In the early '70s, this was a tough game to break into if you weren't a central Kentuckian. And Dad was aggressive. He would go out there, he'd put partnerships together, and he'd compete for stallions that the big farms were also after. And I'm sure there were tensions that came from that. I'm sure plenty of people said, 'Who's this West Virginian upstart that's come in here shaking things up?”

Jones eventually added to the Airdrie land by acquiring the famed Woodburn Stud, home of the famed Lexington during his 16-year tenure as America's leading sire in the 19th century. Woodburn was also the home of five 19th Century Kentucky Derby winners.

“When so many in the industry had their struggles, in the early '90s, Airdrie had them too,” Bret Jones said in the 2022 profile. “But that was when Dad brought Silver Hawk over from Europe, just a Group 3 winner, the absolute antithesis of the modern-day commercial horse: wasn't particularly attractive, wasn't particularly correct, and struggled mightily for mares. But Dad believed in him and bred his own mares to the horse. And Silver Hawk came through for him, really took off and became Dad's first major stallion.”

Bret Jones admitted that trial and error played a big part in his father's shaping of Airdrie, too.

“Nothing teaches you a lesson faster than investing your own money,” Bret Jones said. “I can't imagine how many mistakes he made along the way. But they were his mistakes, and they made him very good at the business he loved. Dad had tremendous trust in his instincts. There were plenty of times where he would invest in something that probably didn't make a lot of sense to other people. And those others may have been exactly right. But he was fearless. He would trust his own gut.”

Bret Jones said his father had a knack for transforming horses from humble beginnings into top stallions.

“Dad would take a horse like Harlan's Holiday, whose sire Harlan didn't really have time to prove himself as a sire of sires,” Bret Jones said. “Indian Charlie was by In Excess, and now you look at Upstart, only a Grade II winner on the track. Some of these perhaps weren't quite shiny enough for a more deep-pocketed farm. But there was always a belief that with the right support, they could make it. Upstart always struck us as a tremendously talented horse, so our great hope was that he was a Grade II winner with a Grade I future.”

That same long-shot mindset also helped to shape Jones's political career. When he first threw his hat into the ring for lieutenant governor in 1987, one of the initial polls gave him only a 2% chance of winning.

Mottos like “If you believe you can, you can,” and “No such word as can't,” were mainstays in the Jones household.

Despite growing up in a household where his dad ran the state, Bret Jones recalled that “Mom and Dad did a pretty incredible job making it not seem as crazy as I'm sure it was. Though it would be hard to be in a busier profession, Dad always made time for us. He never scheduled anything for Sunday, that was always family day. And luckily the governor's mansion was about 12 minutes from the back gate of Airdrie Stud. I can't imagine the stress that he and Mom were under, balancing it all, but I never got a hint of it because of how positive they always were.”

In 1992, Jones narrowly escaped death when a helicopter in which he and members of his staff were riding crashed in Shelby County after it lost one of its tail-rotor blades.

While hospitalized, Jones issued a statement in which he said he was convinced that God had spared him because He had a plan for him.

The post Former KY Gov. And Airdrie Stud Founder Brereton Jones Dies At 84 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

‘TDN Rising Star’ Taiba Retired

Mon, 2023-09-18 15:46

Zedan Racing Stables' Taiba (Gun Runner), a three-time Grade I winner and 'TDN Rising Star', has been retired from racing and taken up residency at Spendthrift Farm, where he will begin his stud career in 2024 along with Zandon (Upstart) and Arabian Lion (Justify) as was announced Saturday.

Taiba will stand for an introductory fee of $35,000 S&N and is available for inspection by appointment.

“There are very few stallion prospects that tick all the boxes, to use the old cliché. Taiba is certainly one of those horses that possesses everything commercial breeders are looking for today, and we believe he will be wildly popular,” said Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey. “We are grateful to Mr. Zedan for the opportunity to stand such an exciting horse.

“Taiba will be afforded every resource necessary to have a successful stallion career, and we think he has a big chance to hopefully replicate some of the good fortune we've had in recent years in terms of developing young sires. We invite all breeders to make an appointment with one of our sales guys to come out and see him. He's really a stunning individual,” added Toffey.

“Taiba is a special horse to us,” added Amr Zedan of Zedan Racing Stables. “He is the first horse to jump from a six-furlong maiden to immediately winning the GI Santa Anita Derby. I knew he was special and that is why I insisted he make that jump. He rose to the calling like the true champion he is and made us proud.”

Taiba retires with a record of 8-4-1-1 and earnings of $2,356,200.

The post ‘TDN Rising Star’ Taiba Retired appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Katie Davis To Serve 7-Day Suspension At Start Of ’24 Spa Meet

Mon, 2023-09-18 14:43

Jockey Katie Davis will be suspended from riding the first seven days of the 2024 Saratoga Race Course season after she opted not to appeal a “careless riding” penalty handed down by the stewards. The ruling follows the disqualification of her mount on the final Saturday of this summer's meet.

According to the ruling dated Sept. 17, the infraction occurred in Saratoga's sixth race Sept. 2, a New York-bred maiden special weight over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Davis was aboard the 52-1 first-timer Vin Santo (Vino Rosso), who got disqualified from fifth to tenth (last) for causing interference near the sixteenth pole.

The Equibase chart explained that Vin Santo “swung six wide into the stretch, was bumped by a rival outside the furlong marker, came in significantly under a right-handed crop nearing the sixteenth-pole, had the rider's right hand slip off the rein while trying to correct, slammed into a foe causing several horses to have trouble, was taken up while corrected and missed the superfecta.”

Davis rode in 86 races at Saratoga this year, compiling a 7-5-9 record with earnings of $544,078.

The post Katie Davis To Serve 7-Day Suspension At Start Of ’24 Spa Meet appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Good Magic Colt Hammers For $700K During Book 4 Opener at Keeneland

Mon, 2023-09-18 13:04

The Keeneland September Sale moved into its second week of trade Monday and the first of two Book 4 sessions demonstrated that there are still plenty of orders to be filled. During the first hour of activity, a Gainesway-consigned son of the in-form Good Magic was knocked down to Donato Lanni, bidding on behalf of SF/Starlight/Madaket Stable, for $700,000. Foaled three days prior to last year's GI Kentucky Derby, the bay is out of Beauty Buzz (Bernardini), whose own dam Orchardof the Nile (Empire Maker) is a full-sister to the late Pioneerof the Nile. Hip 2009 was bred by Gary Broad's Walmac Farm, which acquired Beauty Buzz for $110,000 in foal to another Smart Strike-line stallion–namely Accelerate–at the 2020 Keeneland November Sale. Beauty Buzz delivered a colt by Walmac's Core Beliefs (Quality Road) this past May 8 and was most recently covered by the nursery's Pinehurst (Twirling Candy). SF and partners paid $775,000 for a son of Good Magic–Allanah (Scat Daddy) at this sale in 2021. Reincarnate won this year's GIII Sham S., most recently added the Los Alamitos Derby and was on the Santa Anita worktab Sept. 16, breezing six furlongs in 1:12.40 for Bob Baffert and is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby.



Still incredibly strong at the top end at Keeneland. Book 7 and a Good Magic colt sells for $700k, looks to be the most expensive yearling to sell in the 7th session since 2015

— Nancy Sexton (@nancygsexton) September 18, 2023

The post Good Magic Colt Hammers For $700K During Book 4 Opener at Keeneland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Foreman to Donate Ombudsman Salary to TAA

Mon, 2023-09-18 12:52

Alan Foreman, the recently appointed ombudsman on behalf of HISA's rules with a primary focus on the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, will donate all compensation paid to him by both groups in connection with his duties as ombudsman to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), according to a press release from the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority.

Foreman is a leading racing law and equine attorney in the U.S. with expertise in medication, drug testing, equine safety and welfare. He is counsel to many horsemen's and racing industry organizations and was recently named by Maryland Governor Wes Moore to the newly created Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority.

The post Foreman to Donate Ombudsman Salary to TAA appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

TCA Returns as Title Sponsor of the Retired Racehorse Project

Mon, 2023-09-18 11:35

The Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) has returned as the title sponsor of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) announced on Monday. The TCA has been a supporter of the RRP since 2012.

The Thoroughbred Makeover features trainers from across North America who have worked throughout the year to prepare recently retired Thoroughbred ex-racehorses to compete for more than $100,000 in ten equestrian sports. This year, the competition scope expanded to include recently retired broodmares exiting the breeding industry.

“The Thoroughbred Makeover has really moved the needle in aftercare by increasing the demand for and value of Thoroughbreds in their post-racing careers,” Erin Halliwell, executive director of TCA, said. “TCA is pleased to once again support this important event that has impacted the lives of thousands of Thoroughbreds.”

The Thoroughbred Makeover culminates in a four-day competition, set for Oct. 11-14 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, and a symposium with educational, networking and social opportunities.

A full schedule of Thoroughbred Makeover events can be found on the Retired Racehorse Project's website.

The post TCA Returns as Title Sponsor of the Retired Racehorse Project appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Lael, DeVaux Sittin’ ‘Pretty’ For Breeders’ Cup Following Natalma

Sat, 2023-09-16 17:38

Lael Stables' She Feels Pretty (Karakontie {Jpn}) came with a stinging rally down the center of the E. P. Taylor turf course to punch her ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with an impressive victory in Saturday's GI Johnnie Walker Natalma S. at Woodbine. It marks the first elite-level scorer for the barn of Cherie DeVaux.

Sent off at odds of 8-1 while stretching out to the mile off a first-up graduation sprinting over the Ellis Park turf course July 16, the $240,000 Keeneland September acquisition was bumped at the break from an outside barrier and settled just behind midfield and in the slipstream of the well-backed Ozara (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), from the Summer S.-winning barn of Christophe Clement. Always traveling sweetly with that cover as Golden Canary (Medaglia d'Oro) continued to show the way through a half in :47.01, She Feels Pretty was up into fifth and under a nice John Velazquez hold at the three-eighths. Pulled off heels in upper stretch, She Feels Pretty descended on the leaders with about a furlong to travel and shot clear to score by daylight. The maiden Simply in Front (Summer Front) ran on for second ahead of a slow-starting and favored Dazzling Star (GB) (Blue Point {Ire}) in third. The final time was some 0.36 seconds faster than the Summer S. two races prior.

“I was very confident, I got to say she was feeling very confident,” said Velazquez, winning his first Natalma. “I made sure I put her in a good position behind Dylan Davis [rider of Ozara], a horse that could take me a little way down. When we turned for home, I moved her to the clear and her ears went up and I said, 'Wow, look at this.' I went after her and she instantly responded. The way she did it was very impressive.”

Pedigree Notes:

She Feels Pretty is the 12th worldwide stakes winner, seventh graded winner and second top-level scorer for Karakontie, upset winner of the 2014 GI Breeders' Cup Mile whose lone starter on championship weekend, Spanish Loveaffair, was sixth in the 2020 Juvenile Fillies Turf. She Feels Pretty is the 161st worldwide SW, 74th GSW and 20th Grade I/Group 1 winner out of a daughter of the late, great More Than Ready, and the first by a sire descending from an immediate Storm Cat line.

Arthur Hancock's Stone Farm raised and sold She Feels Pretty to the second Book 4 session of last year's Keeneland September Sale, where she caught the eye of Roy and Gretchen Jackson's high-class operation. Payson Stud acquired dam Summer Sweet for $550,000 as an early 2-year-old from the partial dispersal of the Estate of Sarah Leigh at Keeneland January in 2016, the most expensive horse of racing age during the sale. Payson also gave a sales-topping $700,000 for Summer Sweet's Grade I-placed half-sister Summer Solo (Arch), whose daughter Solo Album (Curlin) won this year's GIII Selene S. over the local synthetic track.

The filly's second dam was a listed winner in France for the late Gerald Leigh and Jonathan Pease–who coincidentally trained Karakontie for the Niarchos Family's Flaxman Holdings–and her other winners included SW Summer Breezing (Langfuhr) and Adirondack Summer (Thunder Gulch). This is also the family of Gerald Leigh's dual French Group 1 winner Act One (GB) (In the Wings {GB}).

The yearling relation to She Feels Pretty, a colt by Good Magic, was purchased for $600,000 by Boardshorts from the Stone Farm draft at Keeneland September this past Thursday. Summer Sweet foaled an American Pharoah filly Apr. 19 and was bred back to Olympiad.

Saturday, Woodbine
JOHNNIE WALKER NATALMA S.-GI, C$503,500, Woodbine, 9-16, 2yo, f, 1mT, 1:35.34, gd.
1–SHE FEELS PRETTY, 121, f, 2, by Karakontie (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Summer Sweet, by More Than Ready
                2nd Dam: Summer Solstice (Ire), by Caerleon
                3rd Dam: Summer Sonnet (GB), by Baillamont
WIN. ($240,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Lael Stables; B-Payson Stud
Inc (KY); T-Cherie DeVaux; J-John R. Velazquez. C$300,000.
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $262,379. Werk Nick Rating: A+++.
*Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Simply in Front, 121, f, 2, by Summer Front
                1st Dam: Complicated, by Blame
                2nd Dam: Consequence, by El Prado (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Educated Risk, by Mr. Prospector
TYPE. ($115,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Colebrook Farms;
B-William Harrigan & Mike Pietrangelo (KY); T-Patrick Dixon.
3–Dazzling Star (GB), 121, f, 2, by Blue Point (Ire)
                1st Dam: Dancing Sands (Ire) (SW-Ger, GSP-Ity, GSP-Fr,
                                 GSP-Tur, $128,976), by Dubawi (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Past the Post, by Danzig
                3rd Dam: Qui Royalty, by Native Royalty
TYPE. O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charles Appleby. C$50,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, 2HF, 1 3/4. Odds: 8.00, 29.65, 1.40.
Also Ran: Ozara (Ire), Golden Canary, Ready to Jam, Rhapsody, Bolt Enoree, Dea Matrona (Fr), She's Fire, Ms. Tart, Brocknardini, Dancing Duchess. Scratched: Airosa, Go With Gusto.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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1ST/Racing Will Request 2024 Racing Dates

Sat, 2023-09-16 17:14

The Stronach Group's 1/ST Racing, the owner/operator of Golden Gate Fields, will request racing dates for the northern California Thoroughbred facility for the first half of 2024, the organization announced Saturday. The request will extend the previously announced closing of the facility at the end of 2023 until June 30, 2024.

The decision to request dates falls on the heels of the passage of AB 1074, which authorizes the reallocation of purse and commission revenues generated in the Northern zone of California to support racing in the Southern and Central zones should there be unallocated weeks in future years. The bill will not be law until signed by Governor Newsom.

“We are pleased we could work out a solution with our industry stakeholders to be able to keep Golden Gate Fields open for an additional and final meet,” Aidan Butler, Chief Executive Officer of 1/ST Racing & Gaming, said.

The Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Authority of Racing Fairs, California Thoroughbred Trainers and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association urged an extension in the interest of developing a statewide transition plan after 1/ST Racing in July announced their plan to shutter Golden Gate Fields and focus on Santa Anita Park and improving racing in Southern California.

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NYTHA General Nominating Meeting For 2023 Board Election to be held Friday

Sat, 2023-09-16 13:33

Edited Press Release

A General Nominating Meeting will be held at Belmont Park Friday, Oct. 6, to announce candidates for the 2023 New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Board election, NYTHA announced Saturday. The NYTHA Board consists of the President, five Owner Directors, and five Trainer or Owner/Trainer Directors.

Nominations can be submitted in person at the meeting or via email to


(A) Be a voting member of NYTHA in good standing (licensed as an owner or trainer by the New York State Gaming Commission, and listed as a Thoroughbred racehorse owner or trainer in the Equibase owner or trainer records and in an official track program, OR own a minimum of 5% of a Thoroughbred racehorse that starts in a qualifying race within the jurisdiction of this Association) for at least one year immediately preceding the date of her/his nomination.

(B) Remain a member in good standing for the entire term of her/his directorship.

(C) Have started one or more horses a minimum of five times at a NYRA track while a member of NYTHA in the one year immediately preceding the date of her/his nomination.


(A) Be a voting member of NYTHA in good standing (licensed as an owner or trainer by the New York State Gaming Commission, and listed as a Thoroughbred racehorse owner or trainer in the Equibase owner or trainer records and in an official track program, OR own a minimum of 5% of a Thoroughbred racehorse that starts in a qualifying race within the jurisdiction of this Association) for at least three years immediately preceding the date of her/his nomination.

(B) Remain a member in good standing for the entire term of her/his presidency.

(C) Have started one or more horses a minimum of five times while a member of NYTHA in each of the three years immediately preceding the date of her/his nomination.

Candidates will be announced in November. The election is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023.

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Constitution’s Parchment Party Charges Home on Churchill Debut

Fri, 2023-09-15 17:31

7th-Churchill Downs, $120,000, Msw, 9-15, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.47, ft, 1 1/4 lengths.
PARCHMENT PARTY (c, 2, Constitution–Life Well Lived, by Tiznow) sported a typically steady worktab for this outfit over the Belmont training track and shipped in from the Big Apple to make his debut here as the 16-1 second-longest shot in a field of nine. Slowly into stride from the four hole, the $450,000 Keeneland September graduate was void of any speed and settled at the back of the pack behind a moderate tempo. Still last entering the final half-mile, the June foal was making progress at the fence on the turn but James Graham had to shut him down a bit at the five-sixteenths when off heels. Still full of run as they hit the stretch, Parchment Party was once again in very tight inside of 14-1 Warp Nine (Hightail) at the eighth pole, but squeezed through that opening and outfinished tough-trip Django (Medaglia d'Oro) by 1 1/4 lengths. It was also a horror watch for Warp Nine backers, as the Calumet homebred was stopped cold in traffic at a critical stage and was forced to settle for third, a further two lengths away. A half-brother to Muqtaser (Distorted Humor), MGSP, $303,605; and to Darley Japan stallion American Patriot (War Front), GISW, $487,272, Parchment Party is out of Life Well Lived–a full-sister to MGI/G1SW Well Armed–who was purchased by Bobby Flay in foal to American Pharoah for $1.25 million at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. Sales history: $450,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP. Life Well Lived is also kin to GSW Witty (Distorted Humor), the dam of GSW Bombard (War Front), and MGSP Amuse (Medaglia d'Oro); and to Well Lived (Tiznow), whose daughter Played Hard (Into Mischief) won this year's GI La Troienne S. Life Well Lived, who was RNAd for $750,000 when offered in foal to Curlin at KEENOV in 2019, has a yearling full-brother to Parchment Party and returned to Constitution this term. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $69,000. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O-Pin Oak Stud LLC; B-B Flay Thoroughbreds (KY); T-William I Mott.

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Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Back At Woodbine, Derby-Oaks Roads Begin At Churchill

Fri, 2023-09-15 16:32

Racing roads converge this Saturday. With a little over a month left before horses and their connections officially point to Santa Anita, the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series returns to Woodbine Racetrack. Featured are three 'Win and You're In' chances, including the GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile.

Meanwhile, at Churchill Downs, the prep seasons officially open for 2-year-old colts and fillies, who are seeking to bank points for next May's 150th editions of the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks.

There is much to get to with Belmont at the Big A, Pimlico and Hastings, all carding graded races as well.

Appleby Looks to Repeat in Woodbine Mile

Last year, trainer Charlie Appleby sent MGISW Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) to Toronto for the Woodbine Mile and the now-retired globetrotter with William Buick aboard brought home the prize en route to another win in the Breeders' Cup.

With a trip to the FanDuel GI Breeders' Cup Mile on the line, this time around the Godolphin conditioner ships in multiple-group winner Master of The Seas (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was well-beaten last March on the World Cup undercard in the G1 Dubai Turf, but won the G2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile S. by four lengths at Ascot July 15.

“He has natural pace and travels well,” said Charlie Appleby. “The E.P. Taylor is a nice conventional track which suits him. It is a fair track with a nice straight that gives you a chance.”

The 5-year-old morning-line favorite will face five others, including MGSW War Bomber (Ire) (War Front), whose stalking trip led to a key victory in the Aug. 19 running of the GII King Edward S. That race saw 'TDN Rising Star' and GI Maker's Mark Mile hero Shirl's Speight (Speightstown) run fourth, which was the 6-year-old's first attempt since finishing fourth in the G1 Dubai Turf.

Also scheduled, trainer Mark Casse has almost half of the field looking for a trip to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in the GI bet365 Summer S. Out of his entries, My Boy Prince (Cairo Prince) was certainly eye-catching when he won against restricted company by 14 lengths in the Simcoe S. over the Tapeta at Woodbine Aug. 27. The gray upstart will do battle with Catch a Glimpse S. victor Airosa (Uncle Mo), who is looking to take on the boys.

The fillies will get their chance for a trip to Santa Anita and the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Saturday in the GI Johnnie Walker Natalma S. Airosa could run in this spot, but it is an incredibly open race with Appleby's import Dazzling Star (GB) (Blue Point {Ire}) present and the Christophe Clement-trained Ozara (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), who broke her maiden by a neck Aug. 6 at Saratoga.

“We liked this horse from day one,” said Miguel Clement, son and assistant to the trainer. “She'd been working well on the grass, and we were actually quite confident in her. She's a gutsy little filly, with tactical speed and a turn of foot that makes her very dangerous.”

Switching to the Tapeta, Woodbine rounds out their graded races with the GIII Vigil S. Seven sprinters will try to derail the early speed of Patches O'Houlihan (Reload), who stepped up to win the GIII Bold Venture S. in Toronto Aug. 20.

The Roads Begins Where It Ends at Churchill

Less than nine months from now, the 150th GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks will be crowned. The roads start at Churchill Downs on Saturday as points of 10-5-3-2-1 will be distributed to the top five finishers.

For the colts, the GIII Iroquois S. includes Winchell Thoroughbred's Risk It (Gun Runner), who sprinted home a winner at first asking Aug. 19 at Saratoga for trainer Steve Asmussen. The morning-line favorite will try to outrun WinStar and Siena Farm's Gettysburg Address (Constitution), who won in his first career race for trainer Brad Cox at Ellis Park Aug. 6.

As for the fillies, their race is no-less competitive as nine will be sent on their way in the GIII Pocahontas S. V V's Dream (Mitole) makes her return to the races after garnering 'TDN Rising Star' honors when she debuted for Kenny McPeek back in mid-May at Churchill Downs. The gray filly was second in her last effort to the undefeated GISW Brightwork (Outwork) at Ellis July 2 in the Debutante S. Facing her will be a number of contenders on the make, including SW Hot Beach (Omaha Beach), Empire Island (Classic Empire) and Peignoir (Mendelssohn).

Rounding out the first Saturday of racing at Churchill's September meet is the GIII Locust Grove S. Out of these older females, the two-turn test welcomes back GISW and MGSW Pauline's Pearl (Tapit). The Stonestreet homebred will once again do battle with the likes of MGSW Search Results (Flatter) and GISW A Mo Reay (Uncle Mo).

Grade III Tests at BAQ, Pimlico and Hastings

Swinging up to Aqueduct for the BAQ meet that just opened, we find the final leg of the Turf Triple Series for the fillies in the GIII Jockey Club Oaks Invitational.

Charlie Appleby will look to make his presence felt here too when he sends out Eternal Hope (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}). Last seen running third Aug. 20 at Deauville in the G2 Prix Alec Head S, she will match wits with Graham Motion trainee Speirling Beag (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}), who was second by a nose at Laurel Park Aug. 13 in the Searching S.

Speaking of racing in Maryland, Pimlico's short September meet continues and featured on Saturday is the GIII Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup S., which includes MSP Smokin' T (War Front), GSP Wolfie's Dynaghost (Ghostzapper) and SW King Vega (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}).

Wrapping up the graded day of racing, Hastings Racecourse will put on the GIII British Columbia Derby. Morning-line favorite SW Sunbird (Orb) will look to rebound after the bay gelding ran fifth in the GIII Canadian Derby.

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Wagering Up 4.3% at Kentucky Downs

Fri, 2023-09-15 15:59

Edited Press Release

The key indicators to measure the success of a race meet were either up or maintained a lofty level at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, which came to a close Wednesday.

Purses paid out to horse owners were a record for the 12th straight year. Money wagered was another record, increasing 4.3%. Field sizes remained among the highest in the country with an average of 10.42 starters per race.

“Kentucky Downs' ownership led by Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone continually pushes us to present racing in a different way, to look for ways to innovate and improve,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs' Vice President for Racing. “We put a premium on creating a memorable experience for our guests, horsemen and our sponsors. Horse owners put on the show. We want to show our recognition and appreciation for that with our hospitality.”

All-sources wagering on the meet totaled $83,640,261, up from $80,175,928 last year. A total of $25,065,000 was offered in purses for 76 races, including $10,523,750 in purse supplements from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. Of the 11 stakes offering $1 million or more in purses, 10 were won by Kentucky-breds.

Total purses paid out this meet is still being verified but is certain to top last year's $17,863,177 for 73 races. Seventy-two different ownership entities won races.

Damon Thayer, Kentucky's Senate Majority Floor Leader, has seen up close the transformation of Kentucky Downs.

“Yes, the financial success is there with the handle being up,” said Thayer, who attended five of the meet's seven days. “But it also has a cool vibe factor going for it. I also think the prestige of the meet is starting to get baked in across North America. It used to be kind of a quirky, novelty track, and there were some people who wouldn't run here. Now everybody is coming. All the jockeys are here, all the trainers, the big outfits. It exemplifies what's going right with Kentucky racing.”

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Judge Halts Anti-HISA Suit in Louisiana Pending Outcome of HBPA Case in U.S. Appeals Court

Fri, 2023-09-15 14:53

A federal judge has stayed a 14-month-old lawsuit initiated by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia that is trying to wipe out the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) via alleged constitutional violations, ordering the case to be “administratively terminated” until the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals makes a ruling in a separate suit in which the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) is also alleging HISA is unconstitutional.

However, U.S. District Court (Western District of Louisiana) Chief Judge Terry Doughty wrote in his Sept. 14 ruling that, “This Order shall not be considered a dismissal or disposition of this matter,” and that he was halting the case while the Fifth Circuit decision played out “without prejudice to the right of the parties to reopen the proceedings.”

This means the plaintiffs (the two states are joined by the Louisiana racing commission, the Louisiana HBPA, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, West Virginia's racing commission, and five individuals regulated as “covered persons” under HISA) and the defendants (the HISA Authority, the Federal Trade Commission [FTC], plus overseers of both entities) must now await the decision–likely to be issued months from now–that will result from the Fifth Circuit oral arguments scheduled Oct. 4.

In 2 1/2 weeks, the National HBPA and 12 of its affiliates will be trying to prove claims that the 2022 rewrite of the HISA law remains “patently unconstitutional,” and that the Authority overseeing the sport “is basically a private police department” whose sweeping powers equate to “oligarchic tyranny.”

The HISA Authority and the FTC will go into those same arguments backed by a lower court's opinion issued in May that ruled HISA is indeed constitutional, because “Congress cured the unconstitutional aspects of HISA's original approach.”

It's also on the judicial record that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of HISA back in March.

One day prior to Judge Doughty's ruling, Magistrate Judge David Ayo wrote in a report that recommended staying the Louisiana case that the multiple, overlapping anti-HISA lawsuits currently swirling in the court system are clogging federal dockets.

“After an exhaustive review of the landscape of suits challenging the Act, this Court concludes that [an amended complaint the plaintiffs had filed] is the result of deliberate strategy” that equated to “an abuse of procedure and an impermissible use of judicial resources,” Judge Ayo wrote in his Sept. 13 report.

The original lawsuit in this case was filed June 29, 2022, alleging that HISA violates the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, plus the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

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Mage’s Connections To Receive Engraved Kentucky Derby Trophies Saturday

Fri, 2023-09-15 12:48

The connections of Mage (Good Magic) will be on-hand at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Sept. 16 to receive their engraved Kentucky Derby 149 trophies after the GIII Iroquois S., the track said in a release Friday.

The group includes: owners OGMA Investments (Gustavo Delgado), Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing (Sam Herzberg) and CMNWLTH (Brian Doxtator and Chase Chamberlain); trainer Gustavo Delgado; and breeder Grandview Equine (Robert Clay). Jockey Javier Castellano is unable to attend due to riding commitments elsewhere. Engraved Oaks trophies will be presented to the connections of Pretty Mischievous (Into Mischief) after the GIII Pocahontas S.

All guests in attendance on Saturday also will be able to take pictures with the trophies beforehand at The Grove, which is located just inside the Clubhouse and VIP Gates, between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m (ET).

Also, Wylie Caudill, Kentucky artist of the recently-released “Official Art of the 150th Kentucky Derby,” will be at the track from 11:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. to sign his print.

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Two More Million-Dollar Yearlings As Competitive Book 2 Concludes

Thu, 2023-09-14 21:57

by Jessica Martini & Christina Bossinakis

LEXINGTON, KY – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale continued to match the figures from its blockbuster 2022 renewal with colts by Curlin and Not This Time bringing seven figures during a competitive concluding Book 2 section Thursday.

“Today was a very steady, good healthy market,” said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy. “We were tracking the median all through the day and it never moved at all. It was very, very steady. Overall, I think people were very happy. I think there was a confidence that, if you brought a product that people really liked, you were going to get well rewarded. There was definitely a lot of trade going on and there was good energy. It wraps up the first week that equates almost identically to last year, which was incredible.”

The two sessions of Book 2 saw 416 head gross $117,375,000 for an average of $282,151 and a median of $225,000.

During the 2022 Book 2 section, 449 yearlings sold for $123,330,000. The book average was $274,677 and the median was $225,000. Eight million-dollar yearlings, including a $1.7-million son of Quality Road, sold during the section.

Through four sessions, 637 horses have sold for $234,300,000. The average is $367,818–up 3.83% from the corresponding 2022 figure–and the median was up 9.09% to $300,000.

Thursday's buy-back rate was 30.77%, up from the 2022 fourth session figure of 28.13%, while the cumulative buy-back rate stands at 28.67%. It was 25.50% at this same point a year ago.

“I think today there was a great energy for the preferred offerings,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach. “The RNAs were a little higher, there is selectivity creeping into the market, but it's still a very healthy robust market with a lot of good trade, a lot of domestic interest.”

Seven horses sold for $1 million or more during Book 2, bringing the total for the four-day auction to 30. That matches the figure from the 2022 and is the most at a September sale since 32 sold for seven figures in 2007.

Bloodstock agent Lauren Carlisle made the highest bid of Thursday's session, going to $1.1 million to acquire a colt by Curlin from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. Earlier in the session, West Point Thoroughbreds and Mike Talla paid $1.05 million from the St George Sales consignment.

Despite the strength at the top of the market, sellers were casting a wary eye at both the buy-back rate and the number of late outs as the September sale marches into its second week.

“I think the market is very good on the top end, you know for very, very top offerings, the market is outstanding,” said Taylor Made's Mark Taylor. “I think in the middle market, we're finding more polarization and the buyers are a little finicky. If there's any vet stuff, that's even a miss at all, people are taking a wait-and-see cautious approach. And that's why I think the buy-back rate is trending a little bit higher throughout the sale. It will be interesting to see what happens in Book 3. Keeneland has done a nice job at pushing better physicals forward into Book 1, and I think in some ways that might have weakened Book 2 physicals a little bit. There might have been some well-pedigreed horses that were average physicals that used to go into Book 1, but now are in Book 2 and I think that Book 3 is going to be really strong physicals at the heart of the middle market and there's going to be more buyers that we haven't even seen. So I expect things to keep kind of just the domino effect going forward with some strength in the market. We'll see, we're not even to half time yet. We still have to see what the market will do the rest of the way.”

Lincoln Collins oversaw a contingent of Woodford Thoroughbred offerings, with the operation selling five of six yearlings during the first four September sessions.

“This is a funny market here,” Collins said. “We've been fortunate so far. That's something of an exception the way it is going at the moment. When you look at the number of horses that aren't selling–when you calculate the buy-backs and the late outs–it's slightly nerve-wracking. It's very much all or nothing. Sometimes even if you have the right horse, it doesn't come out to your expectations.”

With a dark day Friday, the Keeneland September sale continues through Sept. 23 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

$1.1M Curlin Colt Tops Thursday Action

Half way through Thursday's action, Hip 977, a colt by Curlin, reeled in $1.1 million final bid from agent Lauren Carlisle on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“He looks really fast and, hopefully, he proves that,” said Carlisle. “He has a really good walk and looks very athletic. We're looking for a nice two-turn colt. Hopefully, he can be that horse.”

Weighing in on the price, she said, “I was worried that the price would be that high. I did not want it to be but that is how it is right now.”

The Mar. 3 foal is out of GII Lexus Raven Run S. scorer Miss Sunset (Into Mischief), who also finished runner up in the GI Madison S. This family also represents dual graded stakes winner Prayer for Relief.

The colt was bred by Breeze Easy, who purchased the mare for $825,000 at Fasig-Tipton November Sale in 2018.

“He is a very just well balanced colt, and the main thing about him was he was very athletic–he has good angles and is well put together,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales, who consigned the colt. “When you see him walk, he just barely hits the ground. He just kind of floated.”

Taylor added, “He is a very nice horse bred by Breeze Easy, which is Mike Hall and his late partner Sam Ross. Sam passed away, so it was a nice tribute to their program. He was well prepped coming into the sale, looked great and really we had the easy part. We just had to show him for a couple days and let him do his thing, and we're very happy with the result.” —@CbossTDN

West Point, Talla Team for Not This Time Colt

Mike Talla and West Point Thoroughbreds partnered up to acquire a Not This Time colt (hip 879) for $1.05 million at Keeneland Thursday. The bay, who was the sixth seven-figure yearling of the auction's Book 2 section, was consigned by St George Sales. He is out of Foreign Affair (Exchange Rate), a half-sister to multiple group winner So Perfect (Scat Daddy), and was bred in Virginia by Audley Farm.

“He's just a beautiful horse,” said West Point's Terry Finley. “[Trainer] John Sadler loved him. John just got here a day and a half ago and this is one of the horses that he put at the top of his list.”

The yearling was the fourth seven-figure purchase of the four-day auction for West Point, which teamed with Chuck Sonson and Woodford on the $3-million sale topper.

“Power of the partnership–it's great to join forces with someone like Mike,” Finley said. “John [Sadler] will train the horse on the West Coast and we think he's a really, really good prospect.”

Hip 879 was the second seven-figure pinhook for Archie and Michelle St George, who teamed with Roger and Tony O'Callaghan to purchase the colt for $375,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale.

“It's a big thrill when it all works out,” Archie St. George said. “It's a big team effort with Roger and Michelle and everyone at the farm. He's just a nice horse. Not This Time continues to go from step to step and he was raised a very nice farm.”

St George continued, “Most importantly, I'd like to thank the buyers, David Ingordo, Terry Finley, John Sadler, and Mike Talla. I hope he goes on and he's a runner.”

During Tuesday's second session of the Keeneland sale, St George sold a colt by Into Mischief (hip 283) for $1.8 million to M V Magnier. That yearling had been purchased for $550,000 at Keeneland last November.

Asked if he came into the auction thinking he might have two seven-figure sales, St George said, “Certainly not. We just got lucky. These yearlings, they have to vet and do all of that. And some years it's good and some years it's not. We are just very fortunate to have a horse like him.” –@JessMartiniTDN

Hip 920 | Keeneland Photo

Omaha Beach Colt brings $950K Day 4

Continuing the successful run for Spendthrift's freshman sire Omaha Beach, Hip 920 went to Jim and Dana Bernhard's Pin Oak Stud for $950,000 during the second day of selling in Book 2.

“Obviously, Omaha Beach is off to a great start at stud with his first crop. I thought he was a beautiful colt,” said Equine Analysis Systems' Matt Weinmann, advisor to the Bernhards. “Every colt that we buy is really nice and well balanced, physically. If he's the real deal, he'll be a nice stallion prospect.”

He continued, “I know being at the 2-year-old sales this year, we saw a lot of Omaha Beaches that we liked, so you know by seeing a lot of good ones out on the sales grounds. It's a little early, but he's had a lot of winners and impressive horses on the track.”

Consigned by Burleson Farms, the Apr. 9 foal is out of the unraced Infraction (Tapit), a daughter of GSW and MGISP Andujar (Quiet American). The 8-year-old mare is a half-sister to SW Marion Ravenwood (A.P. Indy), the dam of champion 3-year-old filly Nest (Curlin) and GI Santa Anita H. winner Idol (Curlin). She is also responsible for stakes winner Lost Ark (Violence).

Weinmann added, “We kind of let our testing procedures do the judging most of the time, but traditionally judging the horse, he had a beautiful great walk and was an outstanding individual.” —@CbossTDN

Nice Guys' Colt Makes Most of Delay

When Lyn Burleson sent a colt by Omaha Beach (hip 920) through the sales ring at Keeneland last November on behalf of Steve Spielman's Nice Guys Stables, the weanling was led out unsold at $175,000. The colt's next trip through the ring, again with Burleson Farms, proved more profitable when he sold for $950,000 to Pin Oak Stud Thursday.

“Before the sale, I didn't expect that, but I knew when he was pretty active today that it was going to be good,” Burleson said of expectations Thursday. “I just didn't know how good. But all of the right people were on him.”

Last November, the colt followed his dam, the unraced Infraction (Tapit), into the ring at Keeneland. The mare, a half-sister to the dam of champion Nest, sold for $600,000 to Steve Young as agent for Ramona Bass.

“We had him in November with the mare and we thought we would sell the foal, but we used the foal to help showcase the mare a little bit,” Burleson said. “We sold the mare and we ended up RNA'ing the colt as a baby.”

“All of the foals that I have seen out of the mare have been late-maturing and that was the case with this foal,” Burleson continued. “Sixty days ago, he was nothing like the horse that he was today. And the 2-year-old was the same. The more time these babies have the better. It just worked out that he peaked at the right time to come to this sale.”

Nice Guys Stables purchased Infraction for $120,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale. Her 2-year-old filly Shore War (Omaha Beach) sold for $350,000 at this year's OBS April sale.

“Nice Guy Stables are very loyal clients and very good to deal with and he gets all of the credit,” Burleson said. @JessMartiniTDN

Big Day for Woodslane Led by $700K Curlin

Lauren and Rene Woolcott's Woodslane Farm enjoyed a banner day at Keeneland Thursday, led by Hip 1020, a filly by Curlin that brought $700,000 from Green Lantern Stables and Patrick Masson. The chestnut was consigned by Hidden Brook.

The Mar. 1 foal is out of Prospector's Moon (Malibu Moon), the dam of a pair of winners, including GSP Malibu Curl (Curlin). The 11-year-old mare is a half-sister to Florida Oaks winner Ender's Sister (A.P. Indy), herself the dam of GISW A.P. Indian (Indian Charlie), GSW Tiz Shea D (Tiznow) and GSP Its All Relevant (Hard Spun). Prospector's Moon was a $350,000 purchase by the Woolcotts at this venue in 2013.

Earlier in the session, the couple sold Hip 856, a filly by Ghostzapper, for $550,000. On the day, the Woolcott's sold the pair for gross receipts of $1,250,000 for an average of $625,000.

Legacy Runs Deep $550K Ghostzapper Filly

To say that the Woolcott's have a deep connection with family of Hip 856 would be an understatement. Having already campaigned a Grade I winner out of the mare Dynaire (Dynaformer), Lauren and Rene Woolcott watched as their homebred filly by Ghostzapper realized $550,000 in the ring Thursday. Consigned by agent Hidden Brook, the Apr. 28 foal was purchased by Texan Doug Scharbauer.

“I like this filly a lot,” said Scharbauer, who purchased four yearlings in Book 1, highlighted by a $900,000 Uncle Mo filly. “I thought she might bring closer to $1 million. From now to the end, it's going to get better [for buyers].

Through Book 1 and 2, Scharbauer, whose family is best known for campaigning dual Classic winner and Horse of the Year Alysheba, purchased seven head for $4.3 million, including a grey colt by Tapit (Hip 348, post sale $525,000).

“I really like [the colt],” he affirmed. “This is the most I've ever bought in my life.”

Now 15 years old, Dynaire has already shown she can produce runners with both ability and longevity, as is the case with GI Sword Dancer S. winner Sadler's Joy (Kitten's Joy), who started in 37 starts over six seasons, amassing over $2.6 million in earnings for trainer Tom Albertrani. Coupled with four victories at the graded level, the chestnut also hit the board in an additional five Grade Is.

“He was just a fantastic horse,” said Lauren Woolcott. “He gave 100% every time. If he wasn't getting black-type in a graded race, that was unusual. Unfortunately, distance and turf didn't make him appeal to American farms, so a stud in Turkey was interested in him so he went there.”

For the Woolcotts, Dynaire–a $360,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase in 2009–also produced this season's Kentucky Cup Classic winner Wolfie's Dynaghost (Ghostzapper), an earner of $596,805.

“We bought the mare here as a yearling and put her in pre-training. Since we couldn't race her [because of injury], we sent her to the breeding shed,” she explained.

In his latest start at Kentucky Downs, the 6-year-old won a valuable money allowance Aug. 31. Dynaire is also responsible for the stakes-placed pair of Lunaire (Malibu Moon) and Dyna Passer (Lemon Drop Kid).

“With Wolfie, we tried to develop a more versatile horse. He's not Sadler's Joy but he just delivers,” Woolcott explained.

Currently residing at Hidden Brook, Dynaire has a Munnings colt by her side and is back in foal to Not This Time. Her daughter, Dyna Passer, has a yearling filly by Speightstown (Hip 1685) slated to sell in Book 3 Sunday, also under the Hidden Brook banner. She currently has a filly foal by Munnings in tow.

“It's a business, and we have to generate revenue,” said Woolcott. “It was a hard decision to sell this filly today. We really liked this filly. She obviously has a great pedigree. But we needed to put her out there and see what would happen. We're thrilled because somebody gave a fair price for her. I had a figure in my mind and the buyer agreed. We're very happy.”–@CbossTDN

Steve Young Gets the (Blue) Point

Amongst a sea of Into Mischiefs and Uncle Mos, a filly by Blue Point (GB) (hip 800) was always going to stand out as the only yearling by the European first-crop sire sensation catalogued for the  12-day Keeneland September sale. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency as agent for breeder WinStar Farm, the dark bay yearling sold for $400,000 Thursday to the bid of bloodstock agent Steve Young.

Through Howson & Houldsorth Bloodstock, WinStar Farm purchased the unraced Birdwatcher (Uncle Mo), in foal to Blue Point, from the Godolphin draft for 160,000gns ($231,835) at the 2021 Tattersalls July sale.

“We asked Matt Houldsworth to look at Tattersalls for anything of interest with an American slant and he came back with her,” explained WinStar's Elliott Walden.

The mare is out of multiple graded stakes winner Bizzy Caroline (Afleet Alex), a half-sister to champion Lady Eli.

Blue Point, a four-time Group 1 winner, recorded a memorable double at Royal Ascot in 2019 when he won his second G1 King's Stand and returned five days later to win the G1 Diamond Jubilee S.

“Blue Point was an interesting horse because we were at Royal Ascot with Yoshida when he won twice in five days,” Walden said. “So we did have some respect for him. But being his second crop, we didn't know how it would turn out.”

Blue Point, who stands at Kildangan Stud, has gotten off to a flyer with his first crop to hit the track this year. The stallion has already been represented by over 30 winners and four stakes winners.

“We brought the mare back [to the U.S.], we foaled her out here and, since we sell most of them, she was always going to come here [to Keeneland],” said Walden. “It's nice that the stallion has gotten off to such a great start. When you buy those type of mares, you weigh that in on the front end. You're not sure how it's going to work out. We just got lucky that Blue Point is a good stallion.”

Of the yearling, Walden said, “She's always been a really nice filly. She's been one of the best fillies that we had on the farm physically for a long time. She had such a great walk. I was kidding with Steve Young and Ramona Bass that we almost just walked her over from WinStar Farm to Keeneland. She would have done it in four jumps. She has a big, loose walk.”

Young said the sire was just one part of the equation in his decision to bid on the filly.

“He was obviously a tremendous talent for Sheikh Mohammed and I have great respect for Blue Point, but I wouldn't have bought her just on that one piece of the puzzle,” Young said. “I don't think one part of the equation is worth more than any other. I think she was the total package.”

Young continued, “I think some people pigeon hole horses for where they are from as to what they want to do. And that can be right, but it doesn't have to be. If you look at all of those horses that Bull Hancock went and brought to America, they were good horses. They weren't dirt horses when he brought them here, but it worked out that they were.”

Walden said there was plenty of interest in the filly from European buyers at Keeneland before she sold to a domestic buyer.

“I think it's nice that the market is so interwoven and you have European buyers appreciating the American bloodstock and now you have Americans appreciating the European bloodstock,” Walden said. –@JessMartiniTDN

Simple Math With Complexity

In a sale where several of the industry's marquee stallions were firing off cannons balls with a bevy of seven-figure yearlings, others struck a lower key while still offering big rewards for breeders who jumped in to support them early in their stallion career. In that group, Airdrie Stud's Complexity (Maclean's Music), who is represented by his first crop of yearlings in 2023, made a good showing with four yearlings selling through the first two books.

“He was a fast and early horse, and everything you see from the yearlings leads you to believe that the babies will fit that same pattern.” said Airdrie's Bret Jones. “We are thrilled and have been thrilled since the babies have started hitting the ground. He's always been a very popular stallion and we've put a great group together to support him. Those breeders are enjoying the same success we are. These are exciting times.”

Leading the small but select group, Hip 1042, a filly out of Rushin No Blushin (Half Hours), reeled in a $400,000 final bid from Arnmore Thoroughbreds Thursday. Consigned by Paramount Sales, the Feb. 16 foal is a half-sister to GI Champagne S. and GI Allen Jerkens Memorial scorer Jack Christopher (Munnings). Airdrie also sold a pair of fillies by the GI Champagne S. winner–Hip 356 and Hip 951–both for $375,000. The former was secured by Mike Ryan, while the latter was purchased by Thomas Bachman/Fairview LLC.

“The two fillies we sold are as good as anything we have had in the barn,” Jones said. “Both are exceptionally nice. They give you a lot of reason to get excited about next racing season.”

Rounding out the early-book quartet, Hip 769, a half-brother to GI Santa Anita Derby scorer Practical Move (Practical Joke), realized $300,000 straight out of the box Thursday morning.

The foursome generated $1,450,000 in gross receipts, averaging $362,500.

While those numbers are impressive for most stallions, they offer a little extra glitter for a sire that stood for a bargain $12,500 fee in 2023. With a total of 63 still slated to sell as of Thursday afternoon, it appears there are many more bullets left in Complexity's holster at Keeneland.

Jones said, “You love it when your breeders get rewarded and the momentum we have going right now, the breeders with the Complexity's in Book 3 and 4 will get rewarded as well.”–@CbossTDN

Woodford Downsizes

John Sykes's Woodford Thoroughbreds, which closed its Kentucky branch to consolidate operations at its Florida farm in 2018, will now be shutting the Ocala farm and downsizing its commercial broodmare band.

“The farm in Florida is closing down–if anyone wants to buy it, get in touch,” said Woodford advisor Lincoln Collins said with a laugh Thursday at Keeneland. “We are selling 18 mares in November. Not especially because we don't like the mares, but because we've decided we want to keep a band of 20 really nice mares here in Kentucky. We're just downsizing and reorganzing. The mares are boarded at Town and Country, they will be sold probably with similar consignors that we are using now and we will continue with the operation just at a smaller and hopefully at a tighter level.”

Of the decision to downsize, Collins said, “John has been in this a long time. Obviously, he is getting on, but he's still very active. He decided he wanted to continue in the business because he likes it, but on a smaller and on a more selective scale.”

It was recently announced that Woodford trainer and general manager John Gleason would be joining Margaux Farm as farm trainer. Woodford director of sales Beth Bayer has joined Elite Sales, while the farm's director of client relations Shannon Castagnola has been named Airdrie's new director of sales.

“John Gleason, Shannon Castagnola and Beth Bayer have all got new jobs,” Collins said. “They are great people and we are very happy that they are well-settled.” @JessMartiniTDN

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Baffert/Zedan File New Medina Spirit Appeal

Thu, 2023-09-14 21:42

Owner Amr Zedan and trainer Bob Baffert, connections of the ill-fated Medina Spirit (Protonico), filed a petition for a judicial review of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commissions's disqualification of the colt from his win in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby.

The news, first reported by Bloodhorse, noted that the petition was filed in Franklin Circuit Court in Kentucky Tuesday and also includes a protest over Baffert's suspension in Kentucky.

BloodHorse reported that Zedan and Baffert claim in the petition that the “laboratory limit of detection” used to identify betamethasone in Medina Spirit “is contrary to the plain terms of KHRC regulations and is void as arbitrary and capricious.”

They also argue that KHRC's exercise of rule making and adjudicatory powers is illegal and that the penalties against Zedan “are unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious.”

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Legislation Leaves Door Wide Open For Extended Golden Gate Operations

Thu, 2023-09-14 21:34

California lawmakers Thursday passed legislation that means if Golden Gate Fields is not licensed to operate beyond July 1 next year, proceeds from simulcast wagering in the north are funneled south when there is no live racing in the northern half of the state after that date.

The rule of thumb is that proceeds from wagers made in the “northern zone” stay in Northern California to pay for purses and operational expenses, while the proceeds from wagers made in the “southern zone” stay in Southern California for the same purposes.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14 to sign or veto AB 1074, introduced by Assemblymember Juan Alanis (R-Modesto). The bill passed a concurrence vote in the state Assembly Thursday, after being passed off the Senate floor by unanimous vote the day prior.

“The swift passage of AB 1074 in the Senate and Assembly with consensus backing of the racing industry provides the short-term answers that we desperately needed and the framework for the future,” wrote Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) president and CEO, Bill Nader, in a statement Thursday. “This was critically important to our constituents to know that Golden Gate Fields is still in play to June of next year.”

The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns and operates Golden Gate Fields, announced in July that it was closing the Bay Area facility at the end of December with the goal of increasing field size and adding another day of racing a week at Santa Anita.

If TSG applies for dates to operate a live meet at Golden Gate during the first half of 2024, such a proposal would first need approval by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). The next CHRB meeting is scheduled for Sept. 21.

In terms of simulcasting proceeds, the state is broken into three main geographical zones–the “Southern,” “Central” and “Northern” zones.

Largely speaking, the south and central zones are rolled into one big “southern zone,” roughly spanning the northern tip of San Luis Obispo County down to the Mexico border. The “northern zone” consists of the remaining counties in the state.

The monies generated from simulcasting wagering are used for a variety of operational expenses besides purses, including payments to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), the backstretch retirement fund and workers' compensation.

According to a legislative analysis of the bill, Golden Gate Fields handled over $524 million in 2022, which generated approximately $25 million in track commissions and purse funds.

The bill states that, “notwithstanding any other law, if the board does not license a thoroughbred race meet to be conducted by a racing association at a racetrack located in the cities of Berkeley and Albany after July 1, 2024, a thoroughbred racing association, or racing fair, in the southern or central zone licensed by the board to conduct a thoroughbred race meet or fair meet shall, during racing weeks not allocated by the board for a race meet in the northern zone, be deemed to be operating in the northern zone for the purpose of conducting all permissible forms of wagering in the northern zone pursuant to this chapter and making and receiving required distributions from those wagers in accordance with this chapter.”

Initially, various stakeholders in Northern California–including representatives of the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) —had voiced reservations about altering the system by which simulcast wagering proceeds are allocated.

CARF executive director, Larry Swartzlander, told the TDN last weekend that the legislative amendment was drafted by CARF in agreement with TSG, on the proviso that Golden Gate Fields remains open for racing an extra six months.

Next year's racing calendar in Northern California is, of course, still to be decided. Last weekend, Swartzlander floated a plan that if Golden Gate Fields remains open until mid-2024, Santa Rosa would stage a Thoroughbred meet from mid-October–when the Fresno fair meet ends–until the end of the year.

The 2025 Northern California Thoroughbred racing calendar, Swartzlander added, could still hinge around a permanent base at Cal Expo. Such a plan would apparently require reaching an agreement with California's harness racing industry, which only last year extended its lease of operations of the Cal Expo Harness racetrack until May 2030.

Swartzlander also suggested the permanent bases of any extended 2025 Thoroughbred racing calendar in the north could be split between Cal Expo and Santa Rosa.

“Negotiations are continuing,” Swartzlander had told the TDN. “We'll work with them [WatchandWager Cal Expo] to come up with a solution. Whether we end up with a 50-50 split between Cal Expo and Santa Rosa, or whether we end up relocating Harness to another track, there's several options.”

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