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Updated: 6 days 10 hours ago

Kimari Returns to Winning Ways in Honorable Miss

Wed, 2022-07-27 15:54

'TDN Rising Star' Kimari (Munnings) earned her first graded win of the season Wednesday when rallying to victory in Saratoga's GII Honorable Miss H. The 3-1 third choice in a four-horse field, the bay broke a hair slow from the outside post, though not as slow as second choice Frank's Rockette (Into Mischief) in the one-hole. Kimari sat off the fence in third with Frank's Rockette off her inside flank as favored Bella Sofia (Awesome Patriot) and 8-1 outsider Amadevil (Dominus) knocked heads on the front end. Amadevil cruised clear of the chalk, clocking a first quarter in :22.72. Frank's Rockette got into gear, charging up the fence to take control from her longshot foe with Bella Sofia and Kimari ranging up together on the outside as they entered the far turn. Frank's Rockette took command at the top of the stretch with Bella Sofia navigating her way to the fence for an inside attempt and Kimari still coming on the outside. Bella Sofia never turned on the after burners and posed the briefest of threats before backing up. Meanwhile, Kimari was just finding her best stride in the final sixteenth, forging clear of a determined Frank's Rockette to win by a half-length. Amadevil and was eased, vanned off and reported to have bled.

“I thought the race set up for today, especially drawing the outside,” trainer Wesley Ward said. “It gave Joel [Rosario] a nice easy run down the backside with no opposition as far as maneuvering to try to get there. He was already there when they opened the gates. That was a key. It just worked out great, and it's always great to stand in the winner's circle for a graded race at Saratoga. There's nothing like it.”

As for what's next, the conditioner said, “Our ultimate goal would be the [GI] Breeders' Cup [Filly and Mare Sprint in November at Keeneland] because it's my home track and her home track. So we'll work backwards from there and get together with Coolmore and give them a few options.”

“She ran good,” Rosario said. “She's a nice horse and always tries hard. I'm glad we got the win today. It looked like there was going to be so much speed and she [Kimari] can be up closer, but we kind of were in a good spot and she did great and responded to everything I asked her to do. I thought for a second the leader might get away, but she kept fighting and got the job done.”

Kimari captured the GI Madison S. at Keeneland last April and was subsequently sent to the sidelines. Resurfacing in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar seven months later, she checked in seventh behind stablemate Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) and went through the ring at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale two days later, summoning $2.7 million from Coolmore's M. V. Magnier. Returned to Ward's care, Kimari made her seasonal bow in a main track event at Gulfstream Mar. 3, romping by 5 1/4 lengths. The bay was third when attempting to defend her title in this year's Madison Apr. 9 and was fifth last time in the GI Derby City Distaff S. at Churchill Downs May 7.

Wednesday, Saratoga
HONORABLE MISS H.-GII, $186,000, Saratoga, 7-27, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:10.78, ft.
1–KIMARI, 123, m, 5, by Munnings
1st Dam: Cozze Up Lady (GSW, $407,169), by Cozzene
2nd Dam: The White Lady, by Johannesburg
3rd Dam: Maha Al Iman, by Pulpit
($152,000 Ylg '18 FTKJUL; $2,700,000 4yo '21 FTKNOV).
'TDN Rising Star' O-Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier,
Jonathan Poulin, Derrick Smith & Michael B. Tabor; B-China
Horse Club International Limited (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Joel
Rosario. $110,000. Lifetime Record: GISW-US & G1SP-Eng,
15-8-2-2, $981,327. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Frank's Rockette, 121, m, 5, Into Mischief–Rocket
Twentyone, by Indian Charlie. 'TDN Rising Star' O-Frank
Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.; B-Frank Fletcher (KY);
T-William I. Mott. $40,000.
3–Bella Sofia, 125, f, 4, Awesome Patriot–Love Contract, by
Consolidator. ($20,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN). O-Michael Imperio,
Medallion Racing, Sofia Soares, Vincent S. Scuderi & Parkland
Thoroughbreds; B-Two Tone Farms (KY); T-Rudy R. Rodriguez.
Margins: HF, 5 3/4, 40HF. Odds: 3.05, 2.90, 0.70.
Also Ran: Amadevil. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Texas Summer Yearling Sale Catalogue Released

Wed, 2022-07-27 14:10

Over 200 yearlings made the catalog for the 2022 Texas Summer Yearling Sale, presented by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park. The sale will be held on Aug. 29 at the sales pavilion at Lone Star.

The catalog lists yearlings by Kentucky stallions such as Justify, Good Magic, Sharp Azteca, Mendelssohn, Bernardini, Practical Joke, Goldencents, Kantharos, Mitole, Vino Rosso and more. Texas stallions such as Too Much Bling, Bradester, My Golden Song and Competitive Edge are also represented.

The interactive catalog is available now at or on the Equineline IPad App.

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PDJF Awareness Day at Saratoga July 30

Wed, 2022-07-27 12:42

The riders competing at Saratoga Race Course will participate in a host of activities Saturday, July 30 to raise awareness and funding for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

Highlighting the day's events will be a special meet and greet and autograph session with riders from the Saratoga jockey colony, who will sign autographs on the Jockey Silks Room Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fans who make a donation to the PDJF will receive a commemorative poster.

This year, PDJF Day was selected to coincide with this week's National Disability Independence Day, which marks the 32nd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990

“We thank the many jockeys from Saratoga and around the country for supporting this effort to heighten awareness of the Americans with Disabilities Act and assist in raising funds for the PDJF,” said Terry Meyocks, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jockeys' Guild and a member of the Board of Directors of the PDJF. “We also are immensely grateful to everyone who contributes financially to the PDJF.”

In conjunction with PDJF Day, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund will be featured at the Community Outreach Booth Saturday. The PDJF provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has disbursed nearly $11 million dollars to permanently disabled jockeys.

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Delaware Park Names Jerome Doro Director of Racing

Wed, 2022-07-27 11:09

With the retirement of Delaware Park's long-time Executive Director of Racing John Mooney announced earlier this week, Delaware Park has promoted Jerome “Jed” Doro to Director of Racing. He will assume most of Mooney's duties, effective Aug. 1.

“I am very pleased and excited to announce that Jed Doro has been promoted to Director of Racing,” said Kevin DeLucia, Chief Financial Officer at Delaware Park. “We believe the continuity of the program built by [Mooney] is important to the future success of racing at Delaware Park and we believe there is no better person to accomplish that goal. [Doro] brings a level of knowledge and experience of not only racing but racing in the Mid-Atlantic region and Delaware Park that is indispensable.”

Doro has served as the Racing Secretary at Delaware Park from 2014 through 2018, and again since 2021. He has also served in other capacities at Delaware, Oaklawn Park, the Maryland Jockey Club, Colonial Downs, and Timonium Racecourse.

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Legal Appeal Filed Against Lexington’s Soccer Complex

Wed, 2022-07-27 10:19

In the ongoing concern over approval for a soccer complex in an agricultural-rural zone of Lexington's Fayette County, the Fayette Alliance, Greg Goodman, Don Robinson, and Lisa Lourie have appealed the Board of Adjustment's approval of a conditional use proposal by Anderson Communities in conjunction with and on behalf of Lexington Sporting Club to develop commercial soccer facilities on land that was once Ashwood Training Center on Russell Cave Road.

Fayette Alliance, a non-profit of citizens dedicated to achieving equitable, sustainable growth in Lexington-Fayette County through land-use advocacy, education, and research, has also filed an Open Records Request to uncover additional information regarding the process by which recommendations for approval were made and ultimately adopted.

“This proposal threatens Lexington's signature agricultural and equine industries by reversing course on the historic land-use precedent that protects the land they depend on from inappropriate urban development–something our community has honored for decades,” said Fayette Alliance Executive Director Brittany Roethemeier. “Not only did the Board of Adjustment dismiss the earnest testimony of dozens of concerned citizens and hundreds of letters written in opposition, but they also ignored all of the most protective of the Planning Staff's 19 recommended conditions of approval that were designed to mitigate the adverse consequences generated by the soccer complex. Fayette Alliance questions the legal basis for the approval of this proposal, and we look forward to making our case against it in court on behalf of the entire Lexington-Fayette community.”

Anderson Communities did not present any studies or traffic management plans at the hearing. According to the Fayette Alliance, Anderson Communities also did not engage with the Division of Traffic Engineering beforehand. In addition, according to the Fayette Alliance, the Board of Adjustment also disregarded a local law requiring them to review “potential impacts to any identified environmentally sensitive area,” such as the millions of gallons of polluted stormwater that the development would potentially generate and feed into nearby Cane Run Creek. According to the Fayette Alliance, the conditional use request was approved without requiring the applicant to address the concerns raised during an environmental expert's testimony.

“The purpose of the [agricultural-rural] zone is to preserve the rural character and nationally significant soils that are synonymous with the Lexington we know and love. We are therefore disturbed by the approval of this disruptive proposal, especially given the substantial amount of unrebutted testimony about safety concerns over existing roadway capacity and adverse environmental impacts,” Bruce Simpson of Rose Grasch Camenisch Mains PLLC said. “The entire process has lacked transparency and buy-in from the community.”

On Thursday, the Planning Commission will consider two zoning ordinance text amendments (ZOTAs) that would permit lights, concessions, and retail sales at the site as well as a 10,000-person stadium, thousands of surface parking spaces, and commercial use in the nearby Economic Development zone. Approval of these ZOTAs would potentially bring unintended consequences to the Bluegrass farmland that has supported the community's sustainable and responsible growth since it came under protection in 1958.

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Baffert 2YO Injured, Euthanized at Los Al

Wed, 2022-07-27 09:26

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who returned to training recently after a 90-day suspension issued by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, had an unraced juvenile colt suffer an accident while leaving the track at Los Alamitos July 26. Named Rapacious (Into Mischief–Princess La Quinta, by Quality Road), the bay was euthanized. Bred by Aaron and Marie Jones LLC in Kentucky, Rapacious was sold for $400,0000 to SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing, and Madaket Stable at the 2021 Keeneland September sale.

Los Alamitos issued a statement late Tuesday evening regarding the incident. The statement follows in full:

On Tuesday morning, Rapacious, an unraced 2-year-old, was humanely euthanized following an unfortunate post-training accident that occurred as he was on his way back to the stable area at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Rapacious had completed his morning exercise and was just about to exit the track when he reared, and then reared up high a second time. He lost his balance in the process and fell over on his back. Rapacious was immediately attended to by veterinarians on duty for morning training at Los Alamitos.

After further medical examination and observation, it was reported that Rapacious had been humanely euthanized because of a back injury. Exercise rider Enrique Garcia, who was aboard Rapacious, was uninjured.

Purchased at the 2021 Keeneland September sale by SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stable, the son of Into Mischief out of the Quality Road mare Princess La Quinta was trained by Bob Baffert.

The thoughts of Los Alamitos Race Course management and staff go out to everyone who cared for Rapacious. Los Alamitos remains committed to horse and rider safety and is conducting a full review of this incident.

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Quarter Horse Racino Approved for Eastern Kentucky

Tue, 2022-07-26 17:10

By unanimous voice vote after zero public discussion among commissioners at a “special” meeting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday quickly approved a license awarding a Quarter Horse racino license for a track to be constructed in the northeastern part of the state.

The license is the ninth and final of its kind to be awarded in Kentucky.

Although the focus of press releases announcing the deal accentuated the rebirth of Quarter Horse racing in a state better known as the nation's Thoroughbred epicenter, the real prize for applicant Revolutionary Racing will be the privilege of operating historical horse race (HHR) gaming at the facility and its satellite locations.

Although the July 26 KHRC meeting was short on details, the Daily Independent newspaper in the town of Ashland, where the racino will be located, has previously reported that the track will be built behind a mall there, with the 400 HHR machines to be installed in a vacant Sears department store.

In a press release, Revolutionary Racing stated that it envisioned a $55-million investment in the 177-acre property would transform the suburban site near the Ohio River into a “world-class facility.”

The 660-yard sprint track is projected to feature purses of $500,000, which would make the facility the kingpin of Quarter Horse racing east of the Mississippi River, where the breed gets only sporadic support from sanctioned racetracks.

No specific race dates or an opening date were discussed during the public portion of the KHRC meeting. The facility is projected to get year-round use for Quarter Horse shows and other equestrian competitions, and an adjacent entertainment complex is also part of the plan.

No existing Thoroughbred or Standardbred track licensees stated objections to the Quarter Horse racino. Its nearest in-state Thoroughbred competitor would be Keeneland, some 120 miles west.

Four years ago Revolutionary Racing was a partner in the $20-million purchase of then-dormant Colonial Downs in Virginia. Revolutionary Racing was eventually bought out of that deal, and Colonial Downs was subsequently sold in 2022 to the gaming corporation Churchill Downs Inc., for $2.5 billion.

According to the KHRC, in 2021 The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a resolution in support of the Quarter Horse industry in the commonwealth, recommending that at least one race track license be awarded or held explicitly for Quarter Horse racing.

According to the brief comments made prior to the vote, Revolutionary Racing needed to adhere to six conditions to achieve its licensure. But it was not publicly disclosed during the meeting what those conditions were.

One day prior to the meeting, TDN requested from the KHRC the portion of the public meeting packet that contained the license application and related materials. That query did not result in a reply from the KHRC prior to the Tuesday deadline for this story.

Two commissioners, William May and James Worley, abstained from the vote, citing interest conflicts.

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Redesdale Sires First Winner

Tue, 2022-07-26 14:45

N Y Riesling became the first winner for his New York-based freshman sire Redesdale (Speightstown) Tuesday at Finger Lakes. He was a well-beaten eighth on debut behind a 'TDN Rising Star' performance from next-out GIII Sanford S. third Andiamo a Firenze (Speightstown), a half-brother to GISW Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior), at Belmont June 3. Favored at 6-5 as part of an entry while facing easier company, the chestnut went straight to the front, ticking off a :22.97 opening quarter. Showing the way into the lane, N Y Riesling kept on finding, edging clear of Bobby Ride (Central Banker) for a 1 1/2-length graduation. The winner has a yearling half-sister by Solomini.

2nd-Finger Lakes, $32,100, Msw, 7-26, 2yo, 5f, 1:00.43, ft, 1 1/2 lengths.
N Y RIESLING (c, 2, Redesdale–El Coyote, by A.P. Indy) Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $20,010. Click for the chart.
O-Dixon, Linda K. and Alejandro, Hector M.; B-Hidden Lake Farm LLC (NY); T-Linda K. Dixon.

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John Mooney Announces Retirement

Tue, 2022-07-26 14:24

John Mooney, executive director of racing at Delaware Park, has announced his retirement, effective Aug. 1.

Mooney has been involved in racing in the Mid-Atlantic region for nearly 40 years. Shortly after Delaware Park was purchased and reopened by William Rickman, Sr., in 1984, Mooney was named general manager. He was instrumental in keeping Delaware Park competitive in the 1980s and early 1990s with his innovative approach to the sport which included the introduction of the very successful Twin Trifecta.

In the summer of 1993, he left Delaware Park to take a similar post with the Maryland Jockey Club and later headed up the drive to establish racing in Virginia as head of Maryland/Virginia Racing which was the group that organized the opening and operation of Colonial Downs.

Mooney returned to Delaware Park as the Executive Director of Racing in the spring of 2008 at the request of William Rickman, Jr.

“His career has been brilliant, and like everyone in the Delaware Park family, I am proud and thankful to have been a part it,” said Kevin DeLucia, the track's chief financial officer. “So much of what Thoroughbred racing at Delaware Park is today has come from his leadership, guidance and experience over the last four decades. I wish John all the best in his retirement and am truly grateful for the significant contributions he has made to the industry.”

Mooney was born into the sport. His grandfather, J.D. Mooney, won the 1924 Kentucky Derby aboard Black Gold and trained the 1962 Canadian Horse of the Year Crafty Lace. His father, John J. Mooney, was a prominent horse racing executive who served at many racetracks, including the Ontario Jockey Club where he played an instrumental role in the development of the “new” Woodbine Racecourse in 1956.

Delaware Park's seven-furlong turf course will be dedicated to Mooney during a naming ceremony planned for Owners Day, Saturday, Oct. 1.

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Injunction Halts HISA Rules, But Only in Louisiana and West Virginia

Tue, 2022-07-26 13:59

The plaintiff states of Louisiana and West Virginia won a preliminary injunction in federal court Tuesday that will keep the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority's rules from being implemented in those two states until a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HISA gets decided in full.

“This court believes the threatened harm to Plaintiffs outweighs any harm that may result to the Defendants and that a preliminary injunction will not undermine the public interest,” wrote Judge Terry Doughty of U.S. District Court (Western District of Louisiana).

“This Court is only ruling on the adoption of the rules by HISA, not the constitutionality of the Act,” Doughty was quick to add.

“The geographic scope of the injunction shall be limited to the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, and as to all Plaintiffs in this proceeding,” Doughty wrote.

The defendants, who consist of the HISA Authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and board members and overseers of both entities, are alleged in the June 29 suit to have violated the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, plus the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which governs the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

Lisa Lazarus, the chief executive officer of the HISA Authority, told TDN in an emailed statement that read, in part, “[Tuesday's] ruling from the Western District of Louisiana relates only to the FTC rules, is limited in geographic scope to Louisiana and West Virginia…and does not question HISA's constitutionality or validity. The Authority remains focused on implementing the Racetrack Safety program and drafting Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules for implementation in January 2023….

“The reality is that the majority of racing participants support the Authority's mission to protect those who play by the rules and hold those who fail to do so accountable in order to keep our equine and human athletes safe and the competition fair. The immense collaboration with state racing commissions, stewards, veterinarians, racetracks, trainers, and other horsemen that has taken place to date is evidence of this support, and we intend to continue to fulfill our mandate and work to make the industry safer,” Lazarus continued.

The plaintiffs, led by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, plus the Jockeys' Guild and various Louisiana-based “covered persons” under HISA rules, had told the judge that it was imperative to obtain an injunction before the case winds its way through the legal system, lest they be exposed to the alleged harms of the rules. These types of federal court cases can often linger in the legal system for years without resolution.

In a 28-page memorandum explaining his ruling, Doughty noted that two civil suits attempting to get HISA struck down based on alleged unconstitutionality have already failed in federal courts and are currently pending appeal, and that those suits shared some common plaintiffs with the case that is now before his court.

But a key difference, Doughty wrote, is that, “This suit is the third attempt at stopping enforcement of HISA but the first to address the legality of the rules enacted.”

Doughty wrote that he first had to determine whether his court has judicial power to hear this case under the doctrine of “standing.” A federal court has judicial power only where a plaintiff has demonstrated that it 1) suffered an injury in fact; 2) is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and 3) is likely to be redressed by a favorable decision. The party invoking federal jurisdiction has the burden of establishing those three elements.

Once the first phase of rules (covering racetrack safety, enforcement, and financial assessment methodology) went into effect July 1, Doughty wrote “All Plaintiffs allege they will suffer injuries 'in the form of vast destruction of the horseracing industry through individual penalties and systematic changes to the longstanding regulatory structure and revenue model. They argue that there will be financial costs so great that numerous participants will be driven out of business if the rules are enforced.”

On the other side, Doughty wrote, “Defendants argue there is no injury to Plaintiffs because 1) none of the alleged injuries have 'transpired over the two weeks in which the rules have already been in effect'; 2) the harms are self-inflicted under the rules; 3) there is not a challenge to the Act's scope; 4) the injuries derive from the Act enacted by Congress itself, not any of the implemented rules, and 5) the mere apprehension or fear of future harm does not establish a concrete injury.”

Doughty reconciled those conflicting viewpoints this way: “The applicable time period under this element is not whether the injury has occurred since the implementation of the rules, but whether it was imminent at the time the complaint was filed. While Defendants' argument that the injuries have not occurred and that the private Plaintiffs' fear of future injury might go to the success on the merits, they do not negate Plaintiffs' standing. Plaintiffs are challenging the legality of government action and are objects of said action. All Plaintiffs are participants in the horseracing industry, making them directly affected by regulation actions.”

Doughty wrote that the “fairly traceable” link requirement was straightforwardly accomplished by the plaintiffs.

“Here, there is an obvious link between the HISA rules and Plaintiffs' alleged injuries,” Doughty wrote. “All the above alleged injuries are 'fairly traceable' to the rules enacted thus far by HISA and the FTC.”

The plaintiffs also had to prove the “redressability element of standing,” which requires demonstrating “a substantial likelihood” that the requested relief will remedy the alleged injury.

“Because Plaintiffs are challenging the legality of government action in the form of HISA and the FTC approving and implementing rules, Plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood that the requested relief would remedy the alleged injuries in fact,” Doughty wrote. “If Plaintiffs are successful in having the HISA rules declared invalid, this would redress their alleged injuries.”

At a later point in the memorandum, Doughty wrote that “Obtaining a preliminary injunction is an 'extraordinary and drastic remedy'” that a movant is only entitled to if four factors are established.

They are: 1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; 2) the movant is likely to suffer irreparable harm without preliminary relief; 3) the possible injury to the movant outweighs the possible harm to the other party, and 4) an injunction is in the public interest.

“Plaintiffs have satisfied all four elements required for a preliminary injunction to be issued. After considering all factors, this Court has determined that a preliminary injunction shall be issued by Plaintiffs against the Defendants,” Doughty wrote.

The injunction shall be in effect, Doughty wrote, “pending the final resolution of this case,” adding that the final ruling could extend all the way up to an appeal before the United States Supreme Court.


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Steeplechase Star Snap Decision Tackles Flat Horses in Colonial Stakes

Tue, 2022-07-26 13:34

Snap Decision (Hard Spun) may be the best jumper in the country, but his next assignment will be in a flat race, Wednesday's $150,000 Colonial Cup at Colonial Downs. As trainer Jack Fisher sees it, he's got nothing to lose. While he wants to win and doesn't think that is out of the question, Fisher said one of the reasons he went into the race is that it should set his horse up for the G1 Jonathan Sheppard S., an Aug. 17 steeplechase at Saratoga.

“If nothing else, this will be a good work for the Jonathan Sheppard S.,” he said. “I can get that much more into the horse by doing this. In this case, one race equals three works. Depending on where he finishes, we should also pick up a little bit of purse money.”

Take a closer look at Snap Decision's lifetime record and you'll see a horse that shouldn't be in over his head in a stakes race on the flat. A half-brother to Mr Speaker (Pulpit), the winner of the 2014 GI Belmont Derby Invitational, Snap Decision began his career for the Phipps Stable and trainer Shug McGaughey. He was 2-for-18 on the flat, but finished third in the GIII Palm Beach S. and third in the Better Talk Now S.

Fisher went to the connections and got them to agree to sell.

“For one, they wanted to know that he was going to go to a good home,” Fisher said. “Secondly, he wasn't winning those races. He was third, fourth, fifth. That's the type of horse I am very interested in buying. I have to give all the credit to [co-owner] Charlie Fenwick because he was all about the sire, Hard Spun. I told him it wasn't Hard Spun, it was the dam [Salute]. She is a very nice dam. But Charlie was right.”

Snap Decision, who is eight, debuted over the jumps in 2019 and ended that year with a pair of stakes wins. He won his first Grade 1 win over jumps in the 2021 Iroquois S. and this year has run second in the G2 Temple Gwathmey S. before winning another Iroquois, this time by 7 1/4 lengths. He has finished first or second in 15 consecutive jump races.

After the Iroquois, Fisher had the option of running Snap Decision over the jumps in the G1 A.P. Smithwick S. at Saratoga, but passed the race because of the amount of weight Snap Decision would have had to carry. Fisher said he was told his horse would have had to carry 158 pounds in the race. The winner, Down Royal (Alphabet Soup), carried 141 pounds.

“If I ran him in the Smithwick, I was going to get creamed with the weight,” he said.

Not wanting to go into the Sheppard off of a three-month layoff, Fisher found the Colonial Cup. (A race with the same name used to be one of the major stakes on the steeplechase circuit). Can he win? Fisher is trying to take a realistic approach to the race.

“I saw they had this 1 1/2-mile race there on the turf and I thought he is a good enough horse that he belonged,” Fisher said. “Rusty Arnold has a tough horse in there in Cellist (Big Blue Kitten). He won the [GIII] Louisville S. in his last start. I'm not sure he can beat him, but I'm not really scared of anyone else. I don't think the race is too short for him. I think it will be perfect.”

There aren't many examples of top steeplechase horses winning on the flat. In 1971, the Sheppard-trained Wustenchef won a flat stakes, the Sussex Turf H., and one over jumps, the Indian River Hurdle H., at the same Delaware Park meet. John's Call ran four times over jumps before being converted to a flat horse. In his second career, he became a two-time Grade I winner, winning the 2000 GI Turf Classic Invitational S. and the 2000 GI Sword Dance Invitational.

Fisher said that if Spun Decision turns in a big effort in the Colonial he might be tempted to run him again on the flat. But he said that the etiquette in his profession is that once a steeplechase trainer buys a horse from a flat racing stable, the horse should compete only in jump races. He said he will keep that in mind when making future decisions.

Forest Boyce has the riding assignment on Snap Decision and the gelding has been assigned 122 pounds, 36 less than he carried in the 2022 Iroquois at three miles. It's been three years and four months since he last raced over the flat, finishing third in a 1 1/8-mile dirt allowance race at Aqueduct. Since then, he's become one of the best jumpers in the sport. Does that mean he is good enough to be competitive in a $150,000 non-graded stakes race on the flat? The question will be answered Wednesday at Colonial Downs.

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Wallace Joins St. Elias, Gandharvi Teams

Tue, 2022-07-26 12:38

Michael Wallace has accepted roles working for Vinnie and Teresa Viola's St. Elias Stable as well as Kuldeep Singh Rajput's Gandharvi Racing Stables, the bloodstock agent told the TDN Tuesday. Wallace served as Chief Operating Officer of the China Horse Club before leaving that post at the end of last year. He will serve as a sales and bloodstock consultant for St. Elias and an overall bloodstock manager for Gandharvi.

“It's a wonderful opportunity to work with two great business minds, really,” Wallace said. “You can learn a lot off of them in terms of business and the way they think about things.”

St. Elias has been one of the more active participants in the yearling market in recent years, particularly in partnership with Mike Repole's Repole Stable. Last year, the two powerful New York-based operations spent nearly $17.5 million together on yearlings at the major U.S. auctions.

Wallace said that partnership will continue at this year's sales.

“They already have their teams in place, and they will continue in their roles,” he said. “I'll just quietly slot into those teams and offer an opinion where I can.”

He added, “I took a bit of time off earlier in the year, and it was a nice call to get from that operation asking if I would join them and assist their team. I feel very privileged to get a call from the Viola family and Rory Babich. I'm excited about that for sure.”

Gandharvi, meanwhile, is in its relative infancy. Rajput, founder and CEO of the digital health company Biofourmis, emerged on the radar last year, and partnered with China Horse Club on three yearlings at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale (see Rajput Makes Most of Spa Trip), and another nine at Keeneland September for $3.765 million. Gandharvi has remained very active in the international market, and has even gotten into the claiming game, teaming up with Michael Dubb and trainer Rob Atras to claim next-out stakes winner and recent GII Delaware H. runner-up Battle Bling (Vancouver {Aus}) for $62,500.

“Kuldeep Singh is a very intelligent, great business man. He's an exciting addition to the Thoroughbred industry worldwide. I met him last year, and he reached out–he has a growing portfolio of horses and asked if I'd step in and look after the management of them. Obviously, I was more than happy to do that.”

Gandharvi celebrated a first victory at Saratoga last week when Impulsiveness (Quality Road), a $280,000 OBSJUN '21 acquisition, graduated at second asking while stretching out on the grass for Todd Pletcher.

“It was great for them to experience that and have a winner at such a great place–hopefully the first of many,” Wallace said.

Wallace expects both entities to be active at the upcoming Fasig Saratoga sales: “Any time there's a yearling sale of that quality, you've got to be there and see what's available. No preconceived plans–just see what's put in front of us and go from there.”

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Open Letter to the Industry: You Can’t Put a Price on Giving a Child a Great Start in Life

Tue, 2022-07-26 10:11

Change the first five years of a child's life and you change everything! BCCA's tag line is a familiar phrase we've all grown accustomed to seeing in public ads for local child care centers and private schools.

What makes BCCA so unique is that we are changing lives at the racetrack every day. For the past 20 years, we've provided a state-of-the-art child care center, Anna House, at Belmont Park, which is open 365 days a year and offers a STEAM-based curriculum for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Last year, we opened Faith's House at Saratoga Race Course which fulfilled our dream of providing a year-round program at Belmont Park and a summer program at Saratoga.

BCCA's mission is to provide a safe, supportive, and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working in the New York Thoroughbred backstretch area located at historic Belmont Park, Aqueduct Race Track, and Saratoga Race Course. We are committed to promoting early childhood education, molding young minds, and encouraging the fulfillment of dreams.

Following graduation from Anna House at age 5, our students are prepared to enter local public schools at the same level as or above their peers. For years, we asked ourselves the question: What happens to these children when their parents need to arrive at the barns at 5 a.m.? How do they get to school and how does this affect the work schedules of their parents?

BCCA heard the call to action and, thanks to grant funding, our school-age program was created to offer our kids and their families a place to come in the early morning hours before and after school for enrichment and tutoring. We arranged for local school bus transportation and we expanded our programs and licensed two classrooms to accommodate the need.

Each year, we have watched our budget increase due to the expansion of our programs and the rising need of providing scholarships for our children, which cost on average $1,300/month per child. The high cost of child care is regularly reported and BCCA is affected by this with an annual budget of over $1 million to operate two child care centers. But we recognize that you really can't put a price on giving a child a great start in life.

If you have horses running on the New York circuit, then you have backstretch workers who care for your horses who are likely members of our families. Our incredibly successful program has been life-changing and sustained for many years thanks to the generous horsemen and women in our industry. BCCA seeks outside funding through family foundations, grants, individual and corporate donations, and special events.

Here's how you can help. Please consider a gift to BCCA.

On August 25th, BCCA will host its annual Racing for the Children dinner and auction, Over the Rainbow with BCCA, honoring Marc and Sheree Holliday, at Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York, only two days before the Travers Stakes. We invite you to THINK BIG for BCCA because when we come together, we can make a great impact on the lives of our children and their families. To learn more about our event, please visit us at

Belmont Child Care Association, Inc. (BCCA) is a 501 c 3 organization.

Joanne K. Adams

Executive Director

Belmont Child Care Association, Inc. (BCCA)




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Bandbox Yearling Named MHBA Champion

Mon, 2022-07-25 16:07

A Hillwood Stable homebred son of Bandbox was named grand champion of the 88th Maryland Horse Breeders' Association's Yearling Show, which was held at the Timonium Fairgrounds Sunday. The gray or roan colt is the third foal out of the Scrimshaw mare Dearie Be Good to win a class at the show–the colt's full-sister was reserve champion in 2018 and his half-sister by Great Notion was reserve champion in 2021. All are homebreds for Ellen Charles's Hillwood Stable, which also campaigned 2014 GIII General George H. winner Bandbox.

Bandbox, who stood his entire career at Northview Stallion Station before his death last year, also took home the Northview Stallion Station Challenge Trophy as the show's leading sire for the third time, thus retiring the trophy.

“It's special for Mrs. Charles to have a son of Bandbox win,” said JoAnn Hayden of Dark Hollow Farm, where the colt was born and raised. “We've loved this colt since birth. This one is big, robust, and looks very mature.”

Jonathan Thomas, who judged 59 yearlings at this year's show, concurred with Hayden's assessment.

“He was the best of a very good group. When you have to pick five finalists per class, you end up leaving out a bunch of good ones every time,” said Thomas. “Everyone looked very well-raised and prepared, but he had the best balance and substance.”

All yearlings who were judged are now eligible for the $40,000 premium award which is split annually, with $20,000 going to the exhibitors of the four show contestants who earn the most money as 2-year-olds during 2023, and another $20,000 divided among the exhibitors of the four highest-earning 3-year-old runners the next year


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Lonny Powell Receives FSAE Honor

Mon, 2022-07-25 15:46

Lonny Powell, the CEO and executive vice president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners,' was recognized as the Executive of the Year by the Florida Society of Association Executives at its annual conference held July 20-22 in Tampa.

The award, which was presented Friday during the conference awards luncheon, honors the association executive who has displayed the highest commitment to professional growth and pride in association management, with evident professionalism and leadership in both services to the association management profession and to the community.

“I am very honored to be selected by the FSAE as Florida Executive of the Year,” Powell said. “I extend my greatest appreciation to FSAE, their awards committee and salute the Association's state-wide and diverse membership of leading executives and decision makers in our Sunshine State's expansive non-profit, hospitality, member and trade association spaces. I also extend my appreciation to the member or members who nominated me in the first place to be considered for this Association's highest honor.”

Powell was also honored by the American Horse Council, which represents all breeds of horses in the nation's capital, with its acclaimed Van Ness Award in Washington D.C. in June.

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Fasig-Tipton Digital Announces Sale Dates and New Features

Mon, 2022-07-25 15:38

The Fasig-Tipton Digital Sales calendar for the remainder of the year will include an August Digital Sale (Aug. 25-30); Glen Todd Dispersal, Final Phase (Sept. 22-29); October Digital Sale (Oct. 6-11); and December Digital Sale (Dec. 8-13).

The August, October, and December Digital Selected sales will focus on racehorses and quality breeding stock, while the Glen Todd Dispersal Final Phase will primarily feature the remaining breeding stock of the late British Columbia Thoroughbred industry fixture.

“The December Digital Selected Sale will be a larger sale and one to plan for,” said Fasig-Tipton Digital Sales Director Leif Aaron. “The timing of the sale will help buyers and sellers to alleviate tax burdens before the end of the calendar year. There are also major benefits for breeders looking to sell mares in foal in an online arena.”

For the December sale, Fasig-Tipton will open its Newtown Paddocks in Lexington for people cataloguing weanlings to the auction. Buyers will have the opportunity to inspect young stock in person, while still utilizing the Fasig-Tipton Digital online sales platform.

Nominations for the August Digital Selected Sale close Aug. 19.

In addition to the scheduled Digital Sales, Fasig-Tipton officials will also be available to discuss opportunities for flash sales.

Fasig-Tipton's digital platform has received several upgrades, including a 'Learn More' section with information for prospective buyers and sellers, as well as a 'News' section.

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First Responders Day Thursday at Saratoga

Mon, 2022-07-25 11:52

Edited Press Release

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will honor police officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for their dedication and service to the community on First Responders Day, Thursday, July 28.

The day will feature free grandstand admission for all first responders with proper identification.

“The New York Racing Association is honored to recognize the brave men and women who answer the call of duty to protect our communities,” said NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. “We hope our first responders will enjoy a relaxing and stress-free day at Saratoga as we thank them for their dedicated service.”

First responders recognized at the track will include members of the New York State Police, Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, Saratoga Springs Police Department and Saratoga Springs Fire Department. Festivities and events will mark the day and include a race named in their honor and special recognition in the Winner's Circle.

One of the many highlights will include an appearance by the New York State Police Pipes and Drums, who will perform on the track apron following the second and third races of the afternoon. There will also be a trackside demonstration by a New York State Police K-9 unit. A vintage New York State Police car will be on display by the main entrance to Saratoga Race Course at Gate B; as well as a modern-day fire engine featured in the backyard, courtesy of the Saratoga Springs Fire Department which will offer fire safety information and kids activities.

Several first responder agencies will host a recruiting event on track between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Jockey Silks Room Porch. Among the participants will include the New York State Police, Saratoga Springs Police Department, State University of New York Police, and Department of Environmental Conservation Police and Forest Rangers. Representatives from each first responder agency will be available to discuss the benefits of a career in public service.

NYRA will donate partial proceeds to the Saratoga Springs Fire Department from all sales on track of the limited-edition, Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine will be available in dining areas and at the Josh Cellars gazebo exclusively on First Responders Day in honor of Joseph Carr's father, who was a volunteer firefighter from Rensselaer County. A native of the Capital Region, Joe Carr is the founder of Josh Cellars wines.

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Del Mar Sets Handle Records on Opening Day, Weekend

Mon, 2022-07-25 09:32

Del Mar's summer meet kicked off with racing Friday through Sunday, and the oceanside oval broke an opening day handle record with $23.56 million wagered and set an average daily handle record for opening weekend of $22.35 million.

“We hoped for this kind of beginning, but it turned out even better than we thought,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president Josh Rubinstein. “We've gotten terrific support from our horsemen and horsewomen, from racing fans across the country and, of course, from the horses themselves, the amazing athletes who run here. Our team feels really good about our racing surfaces and our racing office put together three spectacular programs on consecutive days to get us off to a great start.”

Added Gary Fenton, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, “Del Mar continues to showcase the very best of California racing. We look forward to continuing to work with the Del Mar team to highlight all the work, effort and investment that goes into putting on world-class racing in the state.”

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Ghostzapper Filly Gallops in Woodbine Oaks

Sun, 2022-07-24 19:37

Moira looped the field impressively en route to a dominant score in Sunday's Woodbine Oaks, providing trainer Kevin Attard with a second-straight win in this event and adding to a long list of accomplishments for her ownership group. And she did it all without her hind shoes, having acted up in the paddock and been unable to be adequately re-shod in time.

An impressive debut graduate from out of the clouds in the C$250,000 Princess Elizabeth S. here last October, the bay settled for second as the favorite in the GIII Mazarine S. Nov. 28. She resurfaced in the seven-panel Fury S. for Ontario-breds June 11, and got the job done narrowly over Pioneer's Edge (Pioneerof the Nile). Looming large here on the stretch back out to two turns and with $1.6-million New York-based, Chad Brown-trained maiden Sahlabiya seemingly the main danger, the dark bay was unhurried early while saving ground. She was guided off the fence a bit and ridden to keep pace down the backside. Rider Ramon Hernandez hit the gas early and split horses into the home turn, and Moira blew past Sahlabiya like she was standing school before running up the score in a time that was nearly a second faster than the boys went in the Plate Trial two races earlier.

“She was push button in the first turn,” said Hernandez. “We just sat there and saved as much ground as we could and made our move down the backside. I knew horses were going to be stopping in front of me, so I just tried to get her away from them. By the three-eighths, I was already where I wanted to be. Turning for home, I just talked to her and said, 'Come on Moira, it's all about you. Go get it.' And she just exploded. I have to give a lot of thanks to this excellent group, the owners, for giving me an opportunity to get back on this amazing filly. From the first day I got on in the morning I was impressed. Today, she showed up. She just played with the rest of the field.”

Of the pre-race incident, trainer Kevin Attard said, “It was crazy. You know, she's always been a little bit kind of antsy in the paddock. We school her a lot and she just kind of had a little episode and unfortunately stepped on her hind foot and kind of knocked off the one shoe and kind of bent the other shoe. The paddock blacksmith tried to adjust it and fix it. I appreciate his effort. So, we elected to run her without the hind shoes. I wasn't too concerned with it being a synthetic surface. But obviously you're not accustomed to doing it, so it's always a little bit in the back of your head anyways. She's a class horse and I've always thought highly of her, and she obviously ran to that today.”

Moira, named for the character Moira Rose from the Canadian sitcom Schitt's Creek, acted up once more for good measure as her picture was being taken in the winner's circle.

While fillies have a particularly stellar record in the first leg of Canada's Triple Crown, top bloodstock agent and Montreal native Donato Lanni–the organizer of X-Men Racing–would not yet commit to the Aug. 21 Queen's Plate.

“It's going be up to her and Kevin,” Lanni said. “It may be great to run in that race again. Fillies have won it before, but we're just so lucky to be here today. So, let's take one race at a time and thank you for Woodbine. You do a great job here and it's a great place to come.”

The winner has a 2-year-old full-brother named Runaway Charlie and her dam fetched $400,000 back in foal to Ghostzapper at the 2020 Keeneland November sale. Devine Aida–a stakes winner on both dirt and turf–lost that foal of 2021, but produced a Sir Prancealot (Ire) colt this term. She is a daughter of the speedy GSW Passion (Came Home).

WOODBINE OAKS PRESENTED BY BUDWEISER, C$500,800, Woodbine, 7-24, (C), 3yo, f, 1 1/8m (AWT), 1:49.78, ft.
1–MOIRA, 121, f, 3, by Ghostzapper
1st Dam: Devine Aida (MSW & GSP, $273,215), by Unbridled's Song
2nd Dam: Passion, by Came Home
3rd Dam: Rajmata, by Known Fact
($150,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables
LLC & SF Racing LLC; B-Adena Springs (ON); T-Kevin Attard;
J-Rafael Manuel Hernandez. C$300,000. Lifetime Record:
4-3-1-0, $440,331. *1/2 to Jungle Cry (Animal Kingdom), SW,
2–Sister Seagull, 121, f, 3, Hard Spun–Sweet Kitten, by Kitten's
Joy. ($95,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE.
O-Sean & Dorothy Fitzhenry; B-Sean Fitzhenry (ON);
T-Catherine Day Phillips. C$100,000.
3–Sahlabiya, 121, f, 3, Medaglia d'Oro–Orchard Beach, by Tapit.
($1,600,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Shadwell
Stable; B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: 10 3/4, 4 3/4, NO. Odds: 1.00, 9.80, 4.60.
Also Ran: Souper Flashy, Pioneer's Edge, Swoop to Finish, Maccool's Girl, Bizymaline, Curlin Candy, Loaded Vixen. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Saratoga 2YO Turf MSW Declared No Contest

Sun, 2022-07-24 19:10

Saratoga's seventh race Sunday, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for maiden juvenile fillies, was declared a no contest after a mechanical issue with the starting gate tractor caused an outrider to attempt to stop the field on the backstretch (click for replay). While the starting gate was ultimately moved in time and the majority of runners finished the race, several were pulled up prematurely.

Towhead (Malibu Moon), a third-time starter stretching out off a pair of on-the-board efforts on the Churchill dirt and part of a 5-1 entry, battled back to narrowly best buzzed-about Chad Brown firster Idea Generation (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in a posted time of 1:44.15.

“Ensuring a safe racing environment for jockeys and horses is paramount,” said Pat McKenna, Vice President of Communications for NYRA. “Our outriders are highly skilled and experienced professionals who made a swift decision today based on concern for the safety of the jockeys and horses in the heat of competition.”

All wagers starting in race seven were refunded. Consolation payouts were made for the daily double ending in that race, and the race was treated as an “all” for other multi-race wagers.

Towhead, a $100,000 KEESEP yearling owned by Deuce Greathouse, Cindy Hutson and Brett Setzer and trained by Mike Maker, remains a maiden.

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