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Updated: 5 hours 54 min ago

With a Simple Formula, Sam Houston Concludes Another Big Meet

Mon, 2021-04-05 16:41

When the 2019 meet at Sam Houston Race Park came to an end there wasn't much cause for enthusiasm or confidence going forward. The total handle for the night barely cracked the $1-million mark and the purses were some of the worst in the sport. Fast forward to Saturday's card at Sam Houston, the last of the 2021 Thoroughbred meet, and the handle was nearly $3 million and the allowance races that were going for $20,500 in 2019 were now worth more than double, $42,500.

As impressive as those numbers may be, they don't necessarily come as a surprise. Sam Houston didn't do anything extraordinary. Rather, it proved that if a racetrack offers attractive takeout rates and a good racing product the betting dollars will follow.

“We had a meet where it went as good as it possibly could,” said Frank Hopf, Sam Houston Race Park's senior director of racing operations. “Every season throws its curve balls at you. This year we had the winter storm (that cost Sam Houston a week of racing) and issues with COVID, but we were very pleased with the way things shook out this year.”

For years, the Texas state government had been an impediment to success. Sam Houston had failed in its attempts to get Historical Horse Racing machines and state law prohibits any form of off-track betting, including ADWs. If you want to make a bet in Texas, you have to go to a racetrack.

“Ninety percent of our revenues come from pari-mutuel wagering, either simulcasting or on track,” Hopf said. “In order to have a competitive purse structure, we had shrunk our Thoroughbred meet down to 32 days. We were trying to have as good a meet as we could, but it certainly was challenging.”

Things took a turn for the better before the start of the 2020 meet when the state decided it would give the racing industry a $25-million annual payment to bolster purses and breeding funds. Half of the money went to Quarter Horse racing, but there was more than enough left over to fatten the Thoroughbred purses at Sam Houston.

Better purses meant bigger fields and a better quality of racing. That translated into significant increases in handle. Total handle for 2019 was $38.75 million. That number rose to $61.4 million in 2020, a year that ended early because of COVID-19, and to $96.4 million in 2021.

Sam Houston also set a single-day handle record this year when $5.3 million was bet on the Houston Racing Festival card, which was topped by the $300,000 GIII Houston Ladies Classic.

With the 2021 handle numbers exceeding expectations, Sam Houston was able to twice raise purses during the meet. By the end of the season, the purses for all overnight dirt races had gone up by $13,000 per race.

Still, it is hard for a track like Sam Houston to stand out in what is an overcrowded simulcasting marketplace. What set it apart from so many other tracks was the takeout structure. Starting in 2013, Sam Houston dropped its takeout on all multi-race bets to 12%. It may have taken some time for bettors to catch on, but the handle on the horizontal wagers kept going up. More so than any other track in the country, Sam Houston was able to market its product as one of best betting options in the sport. A total of $5.6 million was bet this year on Sam Houston's Pick 4. The same pool attracted only $1.5 million in wagering in 2019.

“Our racing product has taken positive steps forward and we have made concerted effort to improve the product and focus our marketing efforts on the low takeouts in the multi-race bets,” Hopf said. “I began pushing for the lower takeouts years ago. I was noticing the trends and our product had taken some hits. We were losing racing dates and we needed new ways to promote Sam Houston. That was the original motive for going to the low takeouts.”

The 12% takeouts cast a positive light on Sam Houston and gave the track a major marketing tool, but the takeout in all pools but multi-race remains high. Win, place and show is 18%, exactas are 21% and the bite on superfectas and trifectas is a big one. The takeout on those bets is 21%.

Hopf said management will look into reducing takeouts in the single-race bets.

“Each year at the end of a meet we take a look at went well and what didn't go so well,” he said. “Every year we take a look at our wagering format and where the takeouts are at and where they could go. We are always working on things. I don't know if we will go any lower on the multi-leg bets. But there are other pools that we'll look at that could be addressed in some fashion.”

It took a long time, but Sam Houston looks like it has finally caught the attention of the average player. More takeout reductions would certainly be welcome.

The post With a Simple Formula, Sam Houston Concludes Another Big Meet appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Keeneland Website Celebrates September Sale

Mon, 2021-04-05 15:33

Keeneland has unveiled an interactive website,, which highlights the successes of its September Yearling Sale through video, photography, testimonials and storytelling.

“The Keeneland September sale is a common thread that runs through many of the most pivotal moments in racing history,” Keeneland President, CEO and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “This website is an innovative platform to showcase these connections and create even more excitement leading into September. Each step of the way we celebrate the heart-pounding sales with our sellers and buyers, and cheer on our September sale graduates as they compete on racing's biggest stages.”

Keeneland will add features to in the months leading up to this year's September sale.

“We want to keep the site fresh and vibrant so every time you visit you discover something new,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “From recalling an impactful moment in time or highlighting graduates who make headlines on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails, provides a destination to share these stories in a unique and powerful way.”

The post Keeneland Website Celebrates September Sale appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Wagering, Purses Up Significantly in Q1 2021

Mon, 2021-04-05 13:09

According to statistics released Monday by Equibase, daily average wagering and average purses per race day each saw significant increases in the period from Jan. 31-Mar. 31, 2021 when compared to the same time frame in 2020.

Total wagering in the three-month period was reported at $2.776 billion, an increase of 10.27% over last year, with daily average wagering at $3,611,092, which represented a 14.15% improvement from 12 months ago. Nearly $215 million in purses were disbursed from January through March, some 4.6% better than last year, with several tracks offering multiple purse increases during their meets. Average purses per race day for the first quarter was $280,677, up 8.45% from 2020.

While the number of live racing days (766) was down 3.4% this year versus last, the number of races staged (6,702) and number of starts (52,211) were fractionally higher. The corresponding figures for the month of March alone showed even more dramatic increases, as the impacts of the coronavirus on racing began to increase in March 2020. A total of 292 U.S. race days took place (+36.45%) encompassing 2,563 races (+43.42%) and 19,452 starts (+39.75). Average field size of 7.59 was off 2.56% from March 2020, while average wagering per race day over just over $3.3 million represented a 3.25% decline over 2020. Average daily purse money in March was $280,129, an improvement of 7.48% from last year.

The post Wagering, Purses Up Significantly in Q1 2021 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

IFAR Forum Kicks Off April 6

Mon, 2021-04-05 10:18

Registration remains open for the fifth International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), to be held virtually in a series of live webinars each Tuesday, beginning Apr. 6 through Apr. 27. Each session begins at 12 p.m. GMT (8 a.m. Eastern time) and lasts approximately one hour.

“With nearly 300 registrants already, we are excited by the enthusiasm demonstrated by the Thoroughbred industry for what will truly be a global event,” said Di Arbuthnot, chair of IFAR. “Between educating on aftercare best practices, offering case studies on aftercare programs in various jurisdictions, and showcasing the versatility of racehorses in second careers, the four sessions that compose the 2021 IFAR will be 'must-see' viewing for all who are impacted by the Thoroughbred.”

The opening session, entitled “Aftercare-Racing's Responsibility,” will provide an update on IFAR's activities from Arbuthnot and feature perspectives from Yogi Breisner MBE, equestrian coach (U.K.); Irish trainer Jessica Harrington; Graham and Anita Motion, the owners of Herringswell Stable; and Nemone Routh, racing office manager for the Aga Khan Studs. The discussion will be moderated by international racing broadcaster Nick Luck.

The schedule of upcoming webinars, including speakers, moderators, topics, biographical information and the link to register may be found here. All sessions are free of charge, but do require registration.

The post IFAR Forum Kicks Off April 6 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

KEEP Announces New Board Members

Mon, 2021-04-05 09:22

Edited Press Release

Officials at the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky's equine economic advocate, have announced the new leadership of KEEP's Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors unanimously approved the promotion of Case Clay to become the Board's Chairman, while Kentucky horseman David Ingordo was unanimously approved to become the Board's Vice Chairman. Clay and Ingordo replace Doug Cauthen and Ken Jackson, respectively, who will both continue serving on the KEEP Board. Additionally, Courtney Schneider was added to the Board of Directors.

Clay is the Chief Commercial Officer of Three Chimneys Farm. Ingordo is the owner of Ingordo Bloodstock. Schneider is the Director of Sales at Shawhan Place and is the current President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club.

“I am thrilled to have Case and David taking on the leadership roles of the KEEP Board,” said Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP's Executive Vice President, who oversees the daily operations of the organization. “Doug and Ken did an incredible job over the past three years, shepherding KEEP through an evolution that led to our investment in workforce development and our recent legislative successes in Frankfort. I know that Case and David will build on this success and take KEEP to even great heights.”

Added Clay: “I am very excited to continue working with the staff and the Board at KEEP and building on the momentum that we have at the moment as a result of tackling the challenges we recently faced with historical horse racing. I was encouraged to see the industry come together for the greater good in a short amount of time. I think we have opportunities ahead of us with regard to growing our relationships in Frankfort, as well as engaging and including all horse breeds and disciplines in the Commonwealth.”

The post KEEP Announces New Board Members appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Champion Gamine Gallops As Expected in Las Flores

Sun, 2021-04-04 17:04

Michael Lund's Gamine (Into Mischief) ran to overwhelming favoritism in what amounted to a paid workout in Sunday's GIII Las Flores S. at Santa Anita. Last seen solidifying champion female sprinter honors with a 6 1/4-length drubbing of formidable elders in Keeneland's GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint Nov. 7, the newly turned 4-year-old was supplemented to this event for $2,000 and took practically every penny of tote support to be off at 1-9. Ridden along from the fence by John Velazquez to seize the early lead, she looked more like 1-900 after that, clicking off splits of :22.74 and :45.77 while perhaps bearing out slightly turning for home under stout restraint. A bit slow to switch her leads, the chalk found her footing after a right-handed reminder and cantered away from there to run up the score to five lengths. Fellow Bob Baffert trainee Qahira (Cairo Prince) was best of the remaining three.

Sunday, Santa Anita Park
LAS FLORES S.-GIII, $98,000, Santa Anita, 4-4, 4yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:09.52, ft.
1–GAMINE, 124, f, 4, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Peggy Jane (SP, $102,050), by Kafwain
2nd Dam: Seattle Splash, by Chief Seattle
3rd Dam: Grand Splash, by Bucksplasher
'TDN Rising Star'. ($220,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP; $1,800,000 2yo
'19 EASMAY). O-Michael Lund Petersen; B-Grace
Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-John R.
Velazquez. $60,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. Female Sprint,
MGISW, 7-5-0-0, $943,000. Werk Nick Rating: A++.
   Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Qahira, 122, m, 5, Cairo Prince–Motel Lass, by Bates Motel.
'TDN Rising Star'. ($130,000 Ylg '17 FTKOCT; $375,000 2yo '18
OBSOPN). O-Baoma Corporation; B-Nekia Farm & Hunter
Valley Farm (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $20,000.
3–Biddy Duke, 124, f, 4, Bayern–Ghostslayer, by Ghostzapper.
($22,000 Wlg '17 KEENOV; $30,000 RNA Ylg '18 FTKOCT;
$40,000 2yo '19 FTKHRA). O-Joseph E. Besecker; B-Machmer
Hall & D + J Racing LLC (KY); T-Doug F. O'Neill. $12,000.
Margins: 5, 2 3/4, 18 3/4. Odds: 0.05, 10.00, 31.80.
Also Ran: Hang a Star. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

“She came back so good,” Velazquez said. “Bob has done a great job to bring her back after so many months on a layoff. She felt as good as last year. Bob thinks she's not ready yet, that's what he told me. She does everything so effortlessly, it's just everything she does makes my job a lot easier. I just steer where I want to go and that's it. That's the biggest point of her strength I believe.”

The $1.8-million Fasig-Tipton Midlantic '19 topper off a powerful :10 flat breeze was a shoe-in for 'TDN Rising Star'-dom when she surfaced here last March to open her account a 6 1/4-length victoress. She bested eventual GISW Speech (Mr Speaker) when stretched out to two turns in an Oaklawn allowance in May, but was subsequently DQ'd for a lidocaine positive. After an 18 3/4-length laugher in the GI Acorn S. at Belmont June 20 first time under Velazquez, she took Saratoga's GI Test S. Aug. 8 by seven lengths going seven eighths. The bay was 7-10 to see out nine furlongs in the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks, but never looked like herself that day and checked in third before again being stripped of purse earnings, this time for the anti-inflammatory betamethasone. Gamine presented further evidence that one turn might be her best game when pairing up her 110 Acorn Beyer Speed Figure in the F/M Sprint, crushing the likes of speedy MGISW Serengeti Empress (Alternation) and in-form Bell's the One (Majesticperfection).

“She looked fantastic, they both (Qahira) looked fantastic in the paddock and the only thing I was worried about was bad luck,” Baffert said. “I told [Johnny] before, 'With the one hole make sure you don't let her make the gap. Ride her like she's 10-1.' I'm happy for my owners and everybody involved. They are excited, it's Easter Sunday, so it's a big win. For her to start off here, I'm glad I got to run her. There's a lot of people who came out to watch her run.

“[The fans] saw one of the greatest fillies I've ever trained going one turn. Hopefully we'll stretch her out. Michael Lund has been a great supporter of mine. I told him I was going to give her a little race but the purse isn't very big. But he was excited he said, 'I want to see her run.' So when you own one like that it's fun to see them run.”

Danish-born and Maryland-based Lund has also campaigned the likes of MGISW Mor Spirit (Eskendereya) and $625,000 FTMMAY purchase and MGSW Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man), who he sold to Prince Faisal before the fellow Baffert pupil took last year's GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. Presented by Runhappy. The Pandora Jewelry co-founder went back to the well at Fasig Midlantic last term, purchasing a sale-topping Uncle Mo filly for $1.1 million who remains unraced and unnamed.

Pedigree Notes:

A major factor in her sire Into Mischief's progeny earnings record in 2020, along with former stablemate and Horse of the Year Authentic, Gamine is one of 39 graded winners for the Spendthrift super sire. She is one of his nine highest-level winners, which now also includes Mischevious Alex after Saturday's dominant victory in the GI Carter H.

Kafwain has sired the dams of four graded/group winners, including fellow Test S. heroine Paola Queen (Flatter). Gamine's dam Peggy Jane was a $200,000 OBSAPR '11 purchase by Barbara Banke's Grace Stables. Peggy Jane's 3-year-old colt Splashtown (Speightsown) was a $300,000 FTKOCT yearling and is on the worktab at Palm Beach Downs. She has a Ghostzapper juvenile filly and a Kantharos yearling colt and was most recently bred back to Into Mischief.

Banke's Stonestreet was represented by a pair of standout fillies in the GI Kentucky Oaks division in homebred and GIII Fantasy S. heroine Pauline's Pearl (Tapit) and Stonestreet bred and sold GI Ashland S. winner Malathaat (Curlin).

The post Champion Gamine Gallops As Expected in Las Flores appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Sunday Morning Stakes Runner Round-Up

Sun, 2021-04-04 16:23
  • Trainer Brad Cox was plenty pleased with how champion juvenile and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) exited Saturday's hard-fought decision in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. “He looks good this morning and I am happy with the way he came out of the race,” Cox said Sunday. “I liked that he got a test yesterday. It was not like he just galloped up to the leader and went on by.” Essential Quality will join Cox's string at Churchill Downs after training Monday to prepare for the GI Kentucky Derby.
  • Blue Grass runner-up Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) was also no worse for wear according to trainer Chad Brown's assistant Whit Beckman: “He is good this morning. He put in a valiant effort yesterday going two turns for the first time. He took all the heat and kept battling… I am not sure [how long he will stay at Keeneland], but knowing Chad I would not be surprised to see him go to Churchill for a couple of works.”
  • Conditioner Mike McCarthy told the Keeneland notes team that Blue Grass third finisher Rombauer (Twirling Candy), who is right on the Derby points bubble currently, might wait for the May 15 GI Preakness S.
  • Fourth-place Hidden Stash (Constitution), 23rd on points for now, may also be Preakness, or Belmont-bound. “He is good this morning,” trainer Vicki Oliver said. “We will see what the owners want to do–either the Derby or, if he looks tired, wait for the Preakness or [GI] Belmont [S.].”
  • GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. winner Keepmeinmind (Laoban)'s fifth-place run in the Blue Grass had his trainer Robertino Diodoro scratching his head: “I don't know what to tell you. Obviously we don't have enough points [to make the Derby] and what's next, that's the million-dollar question.” Diodoro also sent out Ava's Grace (Laoban) Saturday to a runner-up finish in Oaklawn's GIII Honeybee S. “We are pretty excited about her,” he said of the lightly raced GI Kentucky Oaks prospect. “I don't know if she will come [to Keeneland] first and then go to Louisville, but either way we have to get her up here ASAP from Oaklawn.”
  •  Trainer Todd Pletcher's productive Saturday at both Keeneland and Aqueduct included victories in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. with 'Rising Star ' Malathaat (Curlin) and with Jouster (Noble Mission {GB}) in the GII Appalachian S. Presented by Japan Racing Association. “They are all good this morning,” said Amelia Green, who is overseeing Pletcher's string at Keeneland.
  • Ashland runner-up Pass the Champagne (Flatter) will ship back to Florida before returning to Kentucky. “I thought we had it won, but I know Todd has been very high on Malathaat,” said trainer George Weaver. “She is doing fine this morning and will ship back [to Palm Beach Downs Monday] morning.”
  • Wesley Ward won two sprint stakes on Friday's Keeneland card, and two more on Saturday with GI Madison S. heroine Kimari (Munnings) and GII Shakertown S. scorer Bound for Nowhere (The Factor). “They are both fine this morning,” Ward said, adding that neither will be back for races on Kentucky Derby weekend. “That is too quick.”
  • Bell's the One (Majesticperfection) dead heated for second behind Kimari and will look to defend her GI Derby City Distaff S. title May 1 at Churchill. “She's got a few nicks, but nothing we can't manage,” trainer Neil Pessin said of Bell's the One. “I still wouldn't trade horses with anyone.”
  • The aforementioned Pletcher ran one-two in Aqueduct's GII Wood Memorial S. with longshots Bourbonic (Bernardini) and Dynamic One (Union Rags), and both were in fine fettle Sunday according to the Hall of fame finalist's New York-based assistant Byron Hughes: “They both look good. They both ate up last night and are walking around here this morning with a purpose.”
  • Florida-based trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. has 12 stalls at Belmont this spring, and the barn got its New York endeavor off to a hot start Saturday at Aqueduct with three wins from as many starts, including with Mischevious Alex (Into Mischief) in the GI Carter H. and Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music) in the GIII Bay Shore S. “Everyone looks great and ate up all their food,” said assistant Sabine Langvad. “I'm super happy with how they came back and they took to traveling really well. Shipping back and forth from Aqueduct didn't seem to bother them at all.”
  • Klaravich Stables and Chad Brown have a serious GI Kentucky Oaks contender on their hands with unbeaten Search Results (Flatter), who saw out nine panels with aplomb in the GIII Gazelle S. at the Big A. “She looks great this morning,” said Brown's assistant Dan Stupp. “She ran well yesterday and she still has room to move forward. She certainly handled the distance well.” The same connections were represented in the Wood by third finisher Crowded Trade (More Than Ready) and seventh-place Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro). “He tried and ran well,” said Stupp of the former. “Everyone is fine this morning. We'll see what Chad wants to do moving forward with them.”
  • Trainer John Sadler was still savoring Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg})'s breakout victory in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Sunday morning. “We're still enjoying this win,” Sadler said when asked about plans for shipping to Kentucky to ahead of the Derby. “This is Easter Sunday, so Monday we'll look at the calendar, but he would have a traditional California pattern where we'll train here and go to Kentucky the week of the race.”
  • It'll also be on to Louisville for Santa Anita Derby runner-up Medina Spirit (Protonico). “He ran a game race like he always does,” trainer Bob Baffert said of GIII Robert B. Lewis winner and now three-time graded stakes runner-up. “The winner was very impressive, but our horse showed up, he ran his race, he came out of it well and we've got four weeks to sharpen him up… He'll be right there. He's always going to be tough; he tries hard all the time.”

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Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Card Produces High Handle Number

Sun, 2021-04-04 10:22

The card for the 84th GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby produced all-sources pari-mutuel handle of $24,282,400 Saturday. This was the largest Santa Anita Derby day handle since 2007. In addition, fans returned to the Arcadia oval on a restricted basis, with 8,246 on-track for the 12-race program. It was the first time in over a year that fans were allowed back at Santa Anita since the COVID-19 pandemic began last winter.

Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) saluted in the day's feature event, the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler. Soothsay (Distorted Humor) gave trainer Richard Mandella his fourth GII Santa Anita Oaks for Claiborne Farm, Perry Bass II, Ramona Bass and Adele Dilschneider. Trainer Phil D'Amato leads in the trainers' standings with 29, one better than Bob Baffert. Flavien Prat holds a sizeable advantage in the jockeys' equivalent with 80 wins to 50 for Juan Hernandez.

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Rock Your World Coast-To-Coast in Runhappy Santa Anita Derby

Sat, 2021-04-03 19:32

Hronis Racing and Talla Racing's Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) threw his hat in the ring for the GI Kentucky Derby with a front-running upset in his first try on dirt in Saturday's GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby.

A debut winner sprinting on the grass at Santa Anita on New Year's Day, the $650,000 KEESEP purchase scored a decisive victory in the one-mile Pasadena S. over the local lawn Feb. 27. He prepped for this with a best-of-82 five-furlongs in :59 1/5 over the Arcadia main track Mar. 28.

Given a 5-1 chance in this step up to the big leagues, Rock Your World showed good early foot, pushing his way up between foes to seize the early advantage. The dark bay was hard-pressed by 45-1 shot Parnelli (Quality Road) with 4-5 favorite Medina Spirit (Protonico) perched on that one's outside in third through opening splits of :22.42 and :46.11. Umberto Rispoli let Rock Your World out a notch at the three-eighths pole and he readily responded, shaking free of his foes as he entered the bend. A determined Medina Spirit tried his best to reel in the pacesetter in the lane, but Rock Your World had plenty left in the tank and effortlessly rolled clear of the chalk to win for fun by 4 1/4 lengths. 'TDN Rising Star' Dream Shake (Twirling Candy) completed the trifecta.

It was the second Santa Anita Derby victory for trainer John Sadler. Coincidentally, his first also came with a son of Candy Ride, when winning the 2010 edition with Sidney's Candy.

“We have been laying in the weeds,” said Sadler, who also won Saturday's GIII Commonwealth S. at Keeneland with Flagstaff (Speightstown). “I thought it would be good to start this horse off on the turf, much like Omaha Beach (War Front), and develop. The plan was to run him a couple of times on the turf and now it was time to get the points. We gotta get the points to get to Kentucky.”

He continued, “The post [position] dictated our strategy. I saw Umberto in the paddock this morning at 8 a.m. and I told him 'Go big or go home.' We had to get out of there with the scratch inside of us. It worked out great and I'm very excited.”

Sadler and the Hronis family have campaigned the likes of champions Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky) and Stellar Wind (Curlin), as well as Grade I winners Combatant (Scat Daddy), Higher Power (Medaglia d'Oro), Gift Box (Twirling Candy), Cistron (The Factor), Hard Aces (Hard Spun), Iotapa (Afleet Alex) and Lady of Shamrock (Scat Daddy).

“Things came together and thank God, John Sadler has done a great job, Juan Leva and Alex Bosano, everybody on the backside they made all this happen,” said Kosta Hronis. “They did a great job with the horse. We told Umberto to be aggressive, but if somebody was going to go let them go. But I think he just felt comfortable, it was just kind of the thing you had to come out and compete right off the bat and he did. He rode a great race, think he knew he had the horse to do it. We get to go to the Kentucky Derby, that's going to be a fun day. We're going to try to enjoy this for today. He's only had three starts, making his fourth start in his career in the Kentucky Derby, I guess we really have nothing to lose. Just go in there and enjoy it.”


Pedigree Notes:

Rock Your World is the 17th Grade I winner and 50th graded winner for the timeless Candy Ride. The Lane's End stallion is responsible for 98 black-type winners in total and also earned another graded winner as a broodmare sire earlier in the day courtesy of GIII Gazelle S. heroine Search Results (Flatter).

Juddmonte homebred Empire Maker, who died last January, continues to burnish his legacy as a sire and broodmare sire. Rock Your World is bred on the same cross as GI Frizette S. and GI Test S. heroine Separationofpowers (Candy Ride {Arg}) and GIII Hanshin Cup winner Crewman (Candy Ride {Arg}). Already one of 55 black-type winners out of a daughter of the 2003 GI Belmont S. victor, the winner is his 26th at the graded level and fifth Grade I winner as a broodmare sire.

Saturday, Santa Anita
RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY-GI, $752,000, Santa Anita, 4-3, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:49.17, ft.
1–ROCK YOUR WORLD, 124, c, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
                1st Dam: Charm the Maker (MSW & MGISP, $340,290),
                                by Empire Maker
                2nd Dam: Charm the Giant (Ire), by Giant's Causeway
                3rd Dam: Olympic Charmer, by Olympio
'19 KEESEP). O-Hronis Racing LLC & Talla Racing LLC; B-Ron
& Deborah McAnally (KY); T-John W. Sadler; J-Umberto Rispoli.
$450,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $546,600. *Full to She's
Our Charm, GSP, $144,598. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple
   Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Medina Spirit, 124, c, 3, Protonico–Mongolian Changa, by
Brilliant Speed. ($1,000 Ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20
OBSOPN). O-Zedan Racing Stables Inc; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob
Baffert. $150,000.
3–Dream Shake, 124, c, 3, Twirling Candy–Even Song, by Street
Cry (Ire). ($32,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP; $75,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR).
'TDN Rising Star' O-Exline-Border Racing LLC, SAF Racing &
Richard Hausman; B-Dunwoody Farm (KY); T-Peter Eurton.
Margins: 4 1/4, 2 1/4, 4 3/4. Odds: 5.20, 0.90, 4.50.
Also Ran: Defunded, Law Professor, Parnelli, The Great One, Back Ring Luck, Ottothelegend. Scratched: Roman Centurian. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Stonestreet Further Impacts Oaks Picture in Fantasy

Sat, 2021-04-03 19:07

Already with its GII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton winner Clairiere (Curlin) among the short list of GI Kentucky Oaks contenders, and having bred and sold GI Central Bank Ashland S. heroine Malathaat (Curlin) to Shadwell, Barbara Banke's Stonestreet was represented by another serious contender for the run for the lillies with GIII Fantasy S. heroine Pauline's Pearl (Tapit) Saturday at Oaklawn.

Moved up to fourth after a very tough trip sprinting at Fair Grounds Dec. 19, the grey improved to be third going two turns there Jan. 15. She put it all together in the NOLA slop Feb. 12, and most recently finished a close second at nearly 19-1 in the track-and-trip Mar. 6 GIII Honeybee S. behind Will's Secret (Will Take Charge), who was third in the Ashland.

Installed as the 4-5 favorite facing five foes and a seemingly softer bunch than the one that lined up in Lexington, Pauline's Pearl broke alertly from her outside post but was hung four deep around the first turn before eventually working her way closer to the rail. Lightly raced and stretching out Ava's Grace (Laoban) showed the way through a :46.86 half, but Pauline's Pearl tugged her way closer behind six furlongs in 1:11.84 as Coach (Commissioner) also revved up out wide from farther back. Pauline's Pearl proved to have the deepest stamina reserves in the lane, and powered away late under a pumped-up Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Pauline's Pearl, who is also Triple Crown nominated, earned 100 Oaks points for the win, putting her in fourth in the standings with 120 total.

“With who she is and the confidence that race [Honeybee] gave us, I think Ricardo used more of her today, put her in a better position,” said Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. “He said how confident he was around there. He used a little of her away from there, just to not hand it to them; said down the backside she was traveling extremely comfortably and obviously we're very pleased with the results.

“She's all class. Has a tremendous pedigree. She's gotten better every day. She's gotten faster with each race. She's getting extremely good at the perfect time.”

Saturday, Oaklawn Park
FANTASY S.-GIII, $600,000, Oaklawn, 4-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:43.64, ft.
1–PAULINE'S PEARL, 117, f, 3, by Tapit
                1st Dam: Hot Dixie Chick (GISW, $343,252),
                by Dixie Union
                2nd Dam: Above Perfection, by In Excess (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Something Perfect, by Somethingfabulous
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana,
Jr. $360,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-1, $461,500. *1/2 to
Union Jackson (Curlin), MSW & GSP, $273,874. Werk Nick
   Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ava's Grace, 117, f, 3, Laoban–Cover Girl Elle, by Out of
Place. O-Cypress Creek Equine; B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC
(KY); T-Robertino Diodoro. $120,000.
3–Coach, 121, f, 3, Commissioner–And Stay Out, by Exchange
Rate. ($65,000 Ylg '19 FTKOCT). O-Kueber Racing, LLC; B-Three
Lyons Racing LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $60,000.
Margins: 1, 3/4, 3HF. Odds: 0.80, 8.40, 3.30.
Also Ran: Take Charge Lorin, Sylvia Q, West Side Girl. Scratched: Sun Path. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:

Pauline's Pearl becomes the 89th graded stakes winner for Tapit, sire of 2014 Kentucky Oaks heroine and fellow Asmussen trainee Untapable and 2011 Fantasy winner Joyful Victory. Dixie Union is the broodmare sire of 21 graded winners.

Brilliant and precocious Hot Dixie Chick was a $435,000 FTFFEB '09 juvenile who took that year's GI Spinaway S. She is the dam of two prior winners for the connections, including MSW/GSP 'TDN Rising Star' Union Jackson (Curlin), who stands in New York and has first 2-year-olds. A half-sister to 2017 GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister), Hot Dixie Chick has a 2-year-old colt by Curlin and produced a Constitution colt Feb. 21.


The post Stonestreet Further Impacts Oaks Picture in Fantasy appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Essential Quality Guts It Out in the Blue Grass

Sat, 2021-04-03 18:52

Godolphin homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) gave his connections a few anxious moments in the stretch, but, in the end, he proved why he is a champion with a gutsy score in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Saturday evening.

Hustling up to contest the early pace, the 1-2 favorite allowed Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) to take control, settling on his outside hip through a :23.83 first quarter and :48.21 half-mile. The top two continued to duke it out as three-quarters went in 1:12.08 with the rest of the field watching from a few lengths back. Essential Quality glided up alongside his foe, looking him in the eye as they entered the far turn. Highly Motivated regained a narrow lead at the top of the stretch, but Essential Quality stuck right with him. Both colts proved all class as they battled down the lane, each refusing to yield as they pulled away from their competition. But, in the end, the relentless Essential Quality muscled past his determined foe to win by a neck. It was 5 1/2 lengths back to Rombauer (Twirling Candy) in third.

“It's a tremendous feeling,” said winning trainer Brad Cox. “He had to dig in today. It was probably what he needed. It was good for him to get a good test today. He did everything easy enough in his last race. I was proud of what he was able to overcome today. Big effort.”

He continued, “I was happy where we were [turning for home]. I could tell the horse on the inside [Highly Motivated], Javier [Castellano] had horse, and we really had to work to get by him. [Highly Motivated] ran a huge race. Both of them really duked it out the whole way. It set up for both of them, and they both responded well. That was a good race four weeks out [from the GI Kentucky Derby]. Four weeks from today. Hopefully we're ready.”

“That other horse was fighting, and I thought we weren't going to get him,” said winning rider Luis Saez. “But I always had faith in Essential Quality. He's a nice horse. No matter how fast or slow the pace, he always wants to be first at the wire.”

Tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' off an impressive four-length score in his six-panel career bow at Churchill Downs Sept. 5, Essential Quality scored a decisive victory when extended to two turns in Keeneland's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity S. Oct. 3. He rallied from off the pace to capture the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile in Lexington Nov. 6, clinching the Eclipse award for top 2-year-old male. Making his seasonal bow in a sloppy renewal of Oaklawn's GIII Southwest S. Feb. 27, the homebred proved he was only getting better as he matured, charging home a 4 1/4-length winner.

Pedigree Notes:

Essential Quality is one of 27 Grade I winners for Gainesway kingpin Tapit, and is one of 142 black-type winners overall (88 graded) for the leading sire. The Eclipse winner joins Frosted as a three-time Grade I winner for their sire, sitting only behind Tonalist, Tapit's most accomplished Grade I-winning son with four victories at the highest level. The late Darley sire Elusive Quality's daughters have been churning out stakes winners for some time, with Essential Quality being one of their 126 black-type winners (54 graded). Third in the GIII Bed o' Roses H., Delightful Quality is a half-sister to champion juvenile filly Folklore (Tiznow), a winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, as well as stakes winner and GIII Tempted S. runner-up Divided Attention (A.P. Indy). She has a 2-year-old filly by Uncle Mo; was barren to that sire for 2020; and was covered by the Coolmore stallion's GI Kentucky Derby-winning son Nyquist last spring. Folklore is the granddam of 2020 Japanese Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who returns in the G1 Osaka Hai Sunday.

Saturday, Keeneland
TOYOTA BLUE GRASS S.-GII, $800,000, Keeneland, 4-3, 3yo,
1 1/8m, 1:48.50, ft.
1–ESSENTIAL QUALITY, 123, c, 3, by Tapit
                1st Dam: Delightful Quality (GSP, $253,900),
                                by Elusive Quality
                2nd Dam: Contrive, by Storm Cat
                3rd Dam: Jeano, by Fappiano
'TDN Rising Star'. O/B-Godolphin, LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox;
J-Luis Saez. $480,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt-US,
5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Highly Motivated, 123, c, 3, Into Mischief–Strong Incentive,
by Warrior's Reward. ($240,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV). O-Klaravich
Stables, Inc.; B-Klaravich Stables (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.
3–Rombauer, 123, c, 3, Twirling Candy–Cashmere, by Cowboy
Cal. O-Fradkin, John and Fradkin, Diane; B-John Fradkin &
Diane Fradkin (KY); T-Michael W. McCarthy. $80,000.
Margins: NK, 5HF, 4 1/4. Odds: 0.50, 3.60, 24.00.
Also Ran: Hidden Stash, Keepmeinmind, Sittin On Go, Hush of a Storm, Untreated, Leblon.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Rosario Roll Continues With Kimari in the Madison

Sat, 2021-04-03 18:27

The temperatures were on the cool side Saturday in Central Kentucky, but jockey Joel Rosario was hot. As in en fuego. The Dominican sensation had ridden, in succession, Flagstaff (Speightstown) to victory in the GIII Commonwealth S.; Bound For Nowhere (The Factor)–who was drawn somewhere in the middle of Versailles Road–to win the GII Shakertown S.; and produced 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) at just the right time to snatch the GI Central Bank Ashland S. Rosario completed a spectacular stakes four-timer in the day's penultimate race, riding Ten Broeck Farm's 'TDN Rising Star' Kimari (Munnings) to absolute perfection in the GI Madison S.

Not always the quickest away from the stalls, the $152,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling jumped well–indeed, almost too well–as she raced freely through the early stages while tracking second favorite Mundaye Call (Into Mischief) through an opening quarter-mile in a modest :22.90. Stalking the Audubon Oaks winner into and around the turn, Kimari claimed that one under a hold at the three-sixteenths marker, was asked for more speed entering the final furlong and was more or less ridden hands-and-heels to the victory. Estilo Talentoso (Maclean's Music) bid three wide in upper stretch and stayed on nicely to dead-heat for second with Bell's the One (Majesticperfection).

“She broke better than she usually does, which put her right into the race,” said trainer Wesley Ward, who also saddled Bound For Nowhere earlier in the day. “On paper, there really wasn't a lot of speed up front. Everything went our way. As soon as she turned for home, [Rosario] started riding her. I was a little worried the last part; I wasn't sure seven-eighths is really her game. But this is her track, and this guy [Rosario] is on fire. So we had all the luck with us today.”

Named a no-brainer 'Rising Star' when galloping home a 15-length winner on debut over this main track two years ago, Kimari was a dual stakes winner sprinting on the turf that season, then won the Purple Martin S. on the dirt at Oaklawn before finishing a bang-up second against the boys in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last June. Rested off a slow-starting third in the Sept. 15 Music City S. at Kentucky Downs, she returned to the main track to romp by 4 1/4 lengths in a sloppy-track renewal of the Spring Fever S. in Hot Springs Feb. 27.

Pedigree Notes:

Kimari is the 19th graded winner for Munnings and joins A.G. Vanderbilt H. hero El Deal and Cotillion S. and Delaware H. victress I'm A Chatterbox as his Grade I winners. Kimari's dam was herself a Grade III winner, having annexed the Chicago H. at this same seven-furlong distance in 2013, and was purchased by China Horse Club for $300,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. The dam of the 2-year-old colt Imola (Quality Road), Cozze Up Lady was barren to Always Dreaming for 2020 and foaled a Constitution colt this past Feb. 15.

Saturday, Keeneland
MADISON S.-GI, $300,000, Keeneland, 4-3, 4yo/up, f/m, 7f, 1:21.53, ft.
1–KIMARI, 118, f, 4, 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
'TDN Rising Star'. ($152,000 Ylg '18 FTKJUL). O-Ten Broeck Farm, Inc.; B-China Horse Club International Limited (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Joel Rosario. $180,000. Lifetime Record: G1SP-Eng,  10-6-2-1, $758,777. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
(DH) 2–Bell's the One, 120, m, 5, by Majesticperfection
                1st Dam: Street Mate, by Street Cry (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Day Mate, by Dayjur
                3rd Dam: Possible Mate, by King's Bishop
($155,000 Ylg '17 FTKJUL). O-Lothenbach Stables, Inc. (Bob
Lothenbach); B-Bret Jones (KY); T-Neil L. Pessin. $45,000.
(DH) 2–Estilo Talentoso, 118, f, 4, by Maclean's Music
                1st Dam: Bazinga Baby, by Afleet Alex
                2nd Dam: Elizaveta, by Quiet American
                3rd Dam: Carezza, by Caro (Ire)
($77,000 Ylg '18 FTKOCT; $95,000 RNA 2yo '19 OBSAPR;
$15,000 2yo '19 OBSOPN). O-Juan Arriagada; B-Mile High
Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Juan Arriagada. $45,000.
Margins: 3/4, 2 1/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 0.70, 4.30, 50.80.
Also Ran: Sanenus (Chi), Mundaye Call, Fair Maiden, Sconsin.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Bernardini Longshot Caps Pletcher Exacta in Wood Memorial

Sat, 2021-04-03 18:15

Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic (Bernardini) was well deserving of his 70-1 odds on paper, but came flying late to nail stablemate Dynamic One (Union Rags) on the line in Aqueduct's GII Wood Memorial S.

Away well from post three, Bourbonic was unhurried early, trailing the field as fellow 70-1 shot and familiar foe Market Maven (Super Ninety Nine) dictated terms, setting early fractions of :24.88 and :50.18 with Weyburn (Pioneer of the Nile) breathing down his neck and Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) close behind. Weyburn drew even with the pacesetter as three-quarters went in 1:14.98 with Bourbonic still biding his time, well behind the rest of the field. Weyburn took control at the top of the lane with Dynamic One ranging up menacingly to his outside and Crowded Trade (More Than Ready) coming alive in the four path. Meanwhile Bourbonic had just one rival beat with plenty left to do. Dynamic One disposed of Weyburn in mid-stretch, but Crowded Trade still posed an imminent threat as he continued to gain on the leader. However, Bourbonic was just finding his best stride on their outside, gobbling up ground in the final sixteenth to deny his stablemate in a photo finish. Crowded Trade completed the trifecta with Weyburn holding on for fourth.

“Todd [Pletcher] asked me what I was going to do and I told him I wouldn't move,” said winning rider Kendrick Carmouche. “I was just going to sit, sit, sit, sit and hopefully get out the last quarter of a mile. I knew he would go on from there. My horse was in a good stride. Each pole I was picking them up one by one without even asking. I'm thrilled for Calumet Farm. I won my first Grade I with True Timber in the Cigar Mile for them and now I won the Wood for them. These past six months of my career have just been what you dream of.”

“We felt like both horses were coming into the race in good order and we always had high hopes for Dynamic One,” said Pletcher, who was winning his sixth Wood Memorial. “He's a horse that's just starting to put it all together. I was pleased with how they were coming into it, but with Bourbonic, it was Mr. Kelley of Calumet, who said he'd like to try a race with Derby points in it. They're always game to take a chance. We always felt this horse [Bourbonic] would handle added distance. He was able to get a perfect trip and sit back and make one late run. He was able to get there just in time. It was a big effort.”

As for Dynamic Force, the conditioner said, “The one thing we were concerned about is if he made the lead he might idle a little bit. Jose [Ortiz] said he tried to time it as well as he could and he was hoping the leader would carry him to the wire more than he did. It was another step forward for him.”

The one-two finish gives Pletcher four possible GI Kentucky Derby contenders as he was represented by GI Curlin Florida Derby hero Known Agenda (Curlin) and GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks S. runner-up Sainthood (Mshawish) during last weekend's prep races.

“I'll talk to all the connections and see what everybody wants to do but that was the purpose of being in today's race; take a shot and see who would step up and fortunately it worked out,” Pletcher said.

Sixth in his seven-panel unveiling on the Belmont main track in October, Bourbonic didn't run a step when trying two turns on a yielding turf course at Aqueduct Nov. 14. Breaking through by 4 3/4 lengths when dangled for a $50,000 tag going a mile on the Aqueduct main track Dec. 6, he posted a narrow victory in a starter optional claimer over track and trip Jan. 17. The homebred entered this off a runner-up finish to re-opposing Market Maven in a sloppy optional claimer at Parx Feb. 23.


Pedigree Notes:

Bourbonic is the 48th graded winner and 80th black-type scorer for the ultra-consistent Bernardini. He also provides Afleet Alex with his fifth graded victor and ninth black-type winner as a broodmare sire. Calumet Farm purchased GII Delaware Oaks heroine Dancing Afleet for $170,000 with Bourbonic in utero at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. She failed to get in foal to Mineshaft the following season, but produced a filly by Calumet's Ransom the Moon in February of 2020. The 11-year-old mare was bred to both Oxbow and Ransom the Moon last spring. The winner is also a half to MGSP Avant Garde (Tonalist).

Saturday, Aqueduct
WOOD MEMORIAL S. PRESENTED BY RESORTS WORLD CASINO-GII, $750,000, Aqueduct, 4-3, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:54.49, ft.
1–BOURBONIC, 123, c, 3, by Bernardini
        1st Dam: Dancing Afleet (GSW, $286,250), by Afleet Alex
        2nd Dam: Mrs. Vanderbilt, by Citidancer
        3rd Dam: Hey Up There, by Cormorant
O/B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Kendrick
Carmouche. $400,000. Lifetime Record: 6-3-1-0, $465,880.
*1/2 to Avant Garde (Tonalist), GSP-UAE, MGSP-USA,
$269,745. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Dynamic One, 123, c, 3, Union Rags–Beat the Drums, by
Smart Strike. ($725,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Repole Stable,
Phipps Stable & St. Elias Stable; B-Phipps Stable (KY); T-Todd A.
Pletcher. $140,000.
3–Crowded Trade, 123, c, 3, More Than Ready–Maude S, by
Jump Start. ($185,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV). O-Klaravich Stables,
Inc.; B-Forging Oaks LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $75,000.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, 1 3/4. Odds: 72.25, 15.60, 2.90.
Also Ran: Weyburn, Brooklyn Strong, Prevalence, Risk Taking, Market Maven, Candy Man Rocket.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Distorted Humor’s Soothsay Upsets Santa Anita Oaks

Sat, 2021-04-03 18:11

Stepping up into graded company fresh off a debut maiden victory over six furlongs, SOOTHSAY (f, 3, Distorted Humor–Spellbound, by Bernardiniwas given a tremendous ride by leading jockey Flavien Prat, met the late-stretch bid of favored Beautiful Gift (Medaglia d'Oro), and went on to a gutsy victory in Saturday's GII Santa Anita Oaks in Arcadia. While Beautiful Gift and Moraz (Empire Maker) took the bulk of the betting and battled up front in a rematch of the GIII Santa Ysabel S., Soothsay tracked those two from behind. The opening quarter of :24.34 and the half in :49.04 passed uneventfully until Soothsay suddenly made a bold move, catching a hole at the rail and surging through in an instant to seize the advantage. Moraz and Beautiful Gift made a line of three turning for home, but Moraz was the first beaten, leaving her two rivals to settle it. Soothsay had a half-length on Beautiful Gift three-quarters from home and held sway despite the pressure on the outside. Beautiful Gift dogged her all the way to the wire, but the less-experienced Soothsay would not be denied. Prat gave her two right-handed reminders in early stretch and vigorously hand rode her the rest of the way home to secure a half-length win. The field had been reduced to four after the Saturday morning scratch of Doug O'Neill's longshot Brilliant Cut (Speightstown).

“We expected a lot of her from the first start and from that start until now, she just grew up,” said Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. “You kind of see it happening. Otherwise, we wouldn't do something like this. If you watched her last workout, you could see how serious she was. We'll see about the [GI Kentucky] Oaks. We asked a lot of her to do this, so we'll make sure we pare back whatever we need.”

Soothsay received 100 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks with the Santa Anita win.

The Santa Anita Oaks was only Soothsay's second lifetime start and her first with any distance. In a case of deja vu, Soothsay followed the hoofprints of Mandella's Paradise Woods (Union Rags), who, in 2017, broke her maiden in a sprint and went straight to victory in the Santa Anita Oaks. That filly would become a MGISW and bank over $1 million. Soothsay bulleted Feb. 19 with five furlongs in :59 2/5 (1/32), then debuted a week later with a sound win over this track at six furlongs. She got her second bullet of the year Mar. 26–six panels in 1:11 2/5 (1/8)–just over a week before the Oaks.

Pedigree Notes:

Veteran sire Distorted Humor is responsible for Soothsay and 159 other black-type winners. Soothsay marks the 28-year-old WinStar sire's 70th graded winner. While his progeny have won all three Classics and have won or placed in a number of Breeders' Cup events, he has yet to have a winner of the Kentucky Oaks. Like Distorted Humor, Soothsay's dam, Spellbound, doesn't lack quality. She won the 2014 GII La Canada S. for Mandella and is by stellar broodmare sire Bernardini, who counts Soothsay as his 48th stakes winner out of a daughter. Spellbound, a half to MGSW Kid Cruz (Lemon Drop Kid), hails from the same family as 2018 Broodmare of the Year Stage Magic (Ghostzapper) and $4.4-million yearling Shah Jehan (Mr. Prospector). She has a 2020 filly by More Than Ready and delivered a Mar. 11 colt by Street Sense.

Saturday, Santa Anita
SANTA ANITA OAKS-GII, $392,000, Santa Anita, 4-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:44.35, ft.
1–SOOTHSAY, 124, f, 3, by Distorted Humor
                1st Dam: Spellbound (GSW, $231,750), by Bernardini
                2nd Dam: Layreebelle, by Tale of the Cat
                3rd Dam: Voodoo Lily, by Baldski
Farm, Perry R. Bass II, Ramona S. Bass & Adele B. Dilschneider;
B-Raydelz Stable (KY); T-Richard E. Mandella; J-Flavien Prat.
$240,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $276,600.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*  Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Beautiful Gift, 124, f, 3, Medaglia d'Oro–Sea Gift, by A.P.
Indy. O/B-Baoma Corporation (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $80,000.
3–Moraz, 124, f, 3, Empire Maker–Malvinia, by A.P. Indy. O-Don
Alberto Stable; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Michael W.
McCarthy. $48,000.
Margins: HF, 5 1/4, 8HF. Odds: 4.20, 0.90, 1.90.
Also Ran: Javanica. Scratched: Brilliant Cut.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Curlin’s ‘Rising Star’ Malathaat Up In the Nick of Time in the Ashland

Sat, 2021-04-03 17:44

With principal Sheikh Hamdan having passed away just 10 days earlier, unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) provided the Shadwell team with a major pick-me-up as she ran down Pass the Champagne (Flatter) in Keeneland's GI Central Bank Ashland S. Saturday under red-hot Joel Rosario.

“I can't put it into words,” said an emotional Rick Nichols–Vice President and General Manager of Shadwell–after the race. “I am sure [Sheikh Hamdan] is up there with a big smile on his face looking down on us. We really needed this.”

Already with 10 GI Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to her name, Malathaat picked up another 100 on Saturday.

“I think she might be pretty special,” Nichols said. “We will see if we can get in the Oaks and see what we can get done.”

Purchased for $1,050,000 at Keeneland September–part of $11,070,000 in expenditures at that sale for Shadwell, always among the auction's leading buyers–Malthaat opened her account with a pacesetting victory over seven panels at Belmont last October. She stepped forward with a 7 3/4-length tally in Aqueduct's one-mile Tempted S. Nov. 6, but had been off since annexing the GII Demoiselle S. back in the Ozone Park slop going 1 1/8 miles Dec. 5.

Having wintered at Palm Beach Downs, Malathaat was backed at 3-2 as the narrow second choice behind last year's local GI Darley Alcibiades S. romper Simply Ravishing (Laoban). Away well, the bay was taken back to second last by Rosario as she traveled in the two path. She was pushed along for more after a tepid :48.56 half, and Pass the Champagne caught the eye as she appeared locked and loaded in the pocket, awaiting running room behind the favorite. Pass the Champagne split foes and took a clear lead at the top of the stretch as Malathaat struggled briefly to switch leads. Once she leveled off, however, Malathaat gobbled up ground to get up by a head. GIII Honeybee S. winner Will's Secret (Will Take Charge) rounded out the trifecta from last, while Simply Ravishing trailed the field in.

“She has a beautiful stride,” said Rosario. “This morning talking with [trainer Todd Pletcher], he told me exactly how to ride her. It looked like [Pass the Champagne] was getting away from me but I knew my filly would be there for me.”

George Weaver, trainer of the runner-up, said, “I thought she was a winner when she came off the turn. I know it's a short run to the wire and I was like 'man we've got open lengths.' The wire could not come soon enough and Todd's filly came running. Todd's filly has been training with me at Palm Beach Downs and I know he's very high on her. There is no embarrassment getting beat by her today. First time two turns, I would look for a big improvement next time.”

Trainer Ken McPeek later tweeted that Simply Ravishing “cooled out sound [but] has a minor breathing issue that we are unable to resolve in time for the Kentucky Oaks.”

Saturday, Keeneland
CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND S.-GI, $400,000, Keeneland, 4-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:42.94, ft.
1–MALATHAAT, 121, f, 3, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Dreaming of Julia (GISW, $874,500), by A.P. Indy
                2nd Dam: Dream Rush, by Wild Rush
                3rd Dam: Turbo Dream, by Unbridled
1ST GRADE I WIN. 'TDN Rising Star'. ($1,050,000 Ylg '19
KEESEP). O-Shadwell Stable; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Joel Rosario. $240,000.
Lifetime Record: 4-4-0-0, $412,150. Werk Nick Rating: A+++.
   *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Pass the Champagne, 121, f, 3, by Flatter
                1st Dam: Champagne Taste (SW, $115,622),
                                by Distorted Humor
                2nd Dam: Go Go, by Falstaff
                3rd Dam: Key Mist, by Plugged Nickle
O-R. A. Hill Stable, Black Type Thoroughbreds, Rock Ridge
Racing LLC, BlackRidge Stables LLC & James Brown; B-Preston
Madden (KY); T-George Weaver. $80,000.
3–Will's Secret, 121, f, 3, by Will Take Charge
                1st Dam: Girls Secret, by Giant's Causeway
                2nd Dam: Well Monied, by Maria's Mon
                3rd Dam: Queen of America, by Quiet American
O/B-Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY); T-Dallas Stewart. $40,000.
Margins: HD, 5 1/4, 5 1/4. Odds: 1.50, 4.90, 4.40.
Also Ran: Moon Swag, Curlin's Catch, Simply Ravishing.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:
Shadwell also won Saturday's GI South African Derby, and took Keeneland's opener with sophomore colt Ghazaaly (Curlin), who cost the same amount as Malathaat at the same sale. Shadwell bought third a Curlin, an $800,000 filly, at KEESEP '19 who remains currently unraced. Malathaat was certainly bred for a big Oaks prep performance–her dam Dreaming of Julia turned in an other-worldly effort in the 2013 GII Gulfstream Park Oaks, winning by 21 3/4 lengths and earning a gaudy 114 Beyer Speed Figure for Stonestreet and Pletcher. Dreaming of Julia was subsequently fourth in that year's Kentucky Oaks.

Malathaat becomes the 14th Grade I winner for her sire, and is bred on the same cross as last year's GI Woodward H. hero Global Campaign and recent GI Santa Anita H. victor Idol. A.P. Indy is now the sire of the dams of no fewer than 30 highest-level winners, including last Saturday's G1 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper).

Malthaat is the third foal–first to race–out of Dreaming of Julia, herself a daughter of MGISW Dream Rush. Dreaming of Julia has a 2-year-old colt by Medaglia d'Oro, a yearling full-sister to Malthaat and foaled a Medaglia d'Oro filly on Tuesday.

The post Curlin’s ‘Rising Star’ Malathaat Up In the Nick of Time in the Ashland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Search Results Stays Perfect in the Gazelle

Sat, 2021-04-03 17:20

Klaravich Stables' Search Results (Flatter) remained undefeated and stamped her ticket to the GI Kentucky Oaks with a decisive victory while making her two-turn bow in Aqueduct's nine-panel GIII Gazelle S. Saturday. Graduating by four lengths in her six-panel unveiling at Gulfstream Jan. 3, she captured the one-mile Busher Invitational S. at the Big A next out Mar. 6. Hammered down to 2-5 favoritism to repeat in this step up to graded company, the $310,000 KEESEP acquisition was away in good order from the outside post in this eight-horse affair. Settling in an eager second, the bay kept pacesetting Alwayz Late (Animal Kingdom) honest through a :24.88 first quarter and :50.09 half-mile. Charging up beside the leader on the backstretch, Search Results stuck her nose in front just before the three-eighths pole and stormed clear of her competition in the lane to win as she pleased. Late-running Maracuja (Honor Code) closed the gap to 2 3/4 lengths at the line and Army Wife (Declaration of War) filled the show spot.

It was the fifth win on the card for rider Irad Ortiz and his third graded victory of the day, having captured both the GI Carter H. and GIII Bay Shore S. earlier in the day.

“She relaxed so good,” Ortiz said. “She did everything right. We broke out of there and had a target. Going into the last turn, I had plenty of horse, I was just waiting to make my move. When I asked her, she really picked it up.”

“I thought she was very professional today,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “She maybe lost focus when she surged to the front and there was no one around her in deep stretch. When she had a horse in front of her, I loved the way she was moving into the bit. I was relieved to see that she could handle the mile and an eighth. We were cautiously optimistic, but you always have to see them do it first to be sure.”

As for the Apr. 30 GI Kentucky Oaks, Brown said, “If she comes out of it in good shape, that would be the next step and it's something we've been working towards. Although she got her season started late, she seems to be catching up fast on this crop. She seems like one of the contenders, at least, so we're thankful for that.”


Pedigree Notes:

Search Results is the 21st graded winner for Flatter and one of 57 black-type winners by that Claiborne stallion, who also sired Saturday's GI Central Bank Ashland S. runner-up Pass the Champagne. The Klaravich colorbearer is also the ninth graded scorer and one of 23 black-type winners out of a daughter of Candy Ride (Arg). Search Results is the third foal out of Co Cola, who followed the winner with a Flatter colt, who was purchased by Nick de Meric for $100,000 at Keeneland September and is entered in the upcoming OBS April Sale as Hip 644. Co Cola aborted a foal by West Coast in 2020 and was bred back to Nyquist for this year.

Saturday, Aqueduct
GAZELLE S.-GIII, $250,000, Aqueduct, 4-3, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:54.14, ft.
1–SEARCH RESULTS, 120, f, 3, by Flatter
                1st Dam: Co Cola (GSP), by Candy Ride (Arg)
                2nd Dam: Yong Musician, by Yonaguska
                3rd Dam: Alljazz, by Stop the Music
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($310,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP).
O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Machmer Hall (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0,
$299,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Maracuja, 119, f, 3, Honor Code–Patti's Regal Song, by
Unbridled's Song. ($200,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG). O-Beach Haven
Thoroughbreds LLC; B-River Bend Farm Inc., Austin Musselman
& Janie Musselman (KY); T-Rob Atras. $50,000.
3–Army Wife, 118, f, 3, Declaration of War–Tread, by Arch.
($50,000 Ylg '19 FTKFEB; $190,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR). O-Three
Diamonds Farm; B-J D Stuart & AR Enterprises, Inc. (KY);
T-Michael J. Maker. $30,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 3 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 0.40, 18.60, 14.60.
Also Ran: The Grass Is Blue, Alwayz Late, Mia Martina.  Scratched: Hybrid Eclipse, Song of Innocence.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

The post Search Results Stays Perfect in the Gazelle appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

‘Rising Star’ Makes the Grade in Appalachian

Sat, 2021-04-03 16:05

Looking to go one better off a narrow runner-up effort when making the majority of the running in the GIII Florida Oaks at Tampa Mar. 6, 'TDN Rising Star' JOUSTER (f, 3, Noble Mission {GB}–Playtime, by Street Cry {Ire}) proved not for catching this time around and led throughout to take Saturday's GII Appalachian S. at Keeneland. Kicked straight into the lead by Luis Saez, the $360,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga acquisition raced by her lonesome through easy sections of :24.82 and an even more sedate half that was posted in :49.87. Racing with a clear margin back to her five rivals on the turn, she eased past the quarter pole well in front, was tenderly ridden into the final furlong and easily held sway late as the U.S. debuting Gift List (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) and Plum Ali (First Samurai) gave vain chase. Jouster is now three-for-four on the turf, having aired in her grass debut at Gulfstream Jan. 10 and adding a facile allowance success ahead of her near-miss in Oldsmar last time. Sales history: $360,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: 6-3-2-0. O-Starlight Racing; B-St Elias Stables LLC (KY); T- Todd Pletcher.

The post ‘Rising Star’ Makes the Grade in Appalachian appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Mischevious Alex Dominates In the Carter

Sat, 2021-04-03 15:45

Cash Is King LLC & LC Racing's MISCHEVIOUS ALEX (c, 4, Into Mischief–White Pants Night, by Speightstown) validated 4-5 favoritism in Saturday's GI Carter H., coming away to score by about four lengths over MGISW Mind Control (Stay Thirsty). Souper Stonehenge (Speightstown) rallied late for third. The $75,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase settled in midpack through the opening furlongs as Chateau (Flat Out) cut out fractions of :23.09 and :45.89 over a track that has been yielding times well below par over the course of the past several days. Given the hurry-up with three furlongs to go, Mischevious Alex gained outside and he easily raced past the spent pacesetter and on to a comfortable victory. Winner of this track's GIII Gotham S. going a one-turn mile last March, Mischevious Alex entered this first attempt at the top level off victories in a Gulfstream allowance Jan. 10 and in the GIII Gulfstream Park Sprint S. Feb. 13. The ninth Grade I winner for his sire, Mischevious Alex is bred on the same cross as Mia Mischief and on the cross over Gone West responsible for champion and GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Authentic. It was the second graded win on the program for Saffie Joseph, Jr., whose Drain the Clock (Maclean's Music) was the easy winner of the GIII Bay Shore S., albeit in a time fully two seconds slower than the Carter. Lifetime Record: 12-7-1-1. O-Cash Is King LLC & LC Racing; B-WinStar Farm LLC (KY); T-Saffie Joseph Jr.

Saturday, Aqueduct
CARTER H.-GI, $291,000, Aqueduct, 4-3, 4yo/up, 7f, 1:23.97, ft.
1–MISCHEVIOUS ALEX, 123, c, 4, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: White Pants Night, by Speightstown
                2nd Dam: More d'Amour, by Tour d'Or
                3rd Dam: Love Connection, by Master Derby
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($75,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP; $140,000 RNA
2yo '19 OBSAPR). O-Cash is King LLC and LC Racing; B-WinStar
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $165,000.
Lifetime Record: 12-7-1-1, $614,730. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ 
*Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Mind Control, 123, h, 5, Stay Thirsty–Feel That Fire, by
Lightnin N Thunder. O-Red Oak Stable (Brunetti) & Madaket
Stables, LLC; B-Red Oak Stable (KY); T-Gregory D. Sacco.
3–Souper Stonehenge, 118, g, 5, Speightstown–
Onepointhreekarats, by Medaglia d'Oro. O-Live Oak
Plantation; B-Live Oak Stud (FL); T-Mark E. Casse. $36,000.
Margins: 5HF, 1, HD. Odds: 0.85, 2.60, 18.00.
Also Ran: Chateau, Shoplifted. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


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Classic Bound Sophs Highlight Saturday Worktab

Sat, 2021-04-03 14:44

On a brisk spring morning, Juddmonte Farm's Mandaloun (Into Mischief) began his serious preparation toward the GI Kentucky Derby with a half-mile breeze in :49.80 under jockey Florent Geroux Saturday. The GII Risen Star S. winner worked outside of stakes winner Australasia through a moderate :25.40 opening quarter-mile fraction. The duo galloped out together through five furlongs in 1:02.60 and completed the work with a six-furlong time of 1:16.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. Trained by Brad Cox, Mandaloun was the 6-5 favorite in the Mar. 20 GII Louisiana Derby, but finished a disappointing sixth.

“There really wasn't an excuse in the Louisiana Derby,” Cox said. “I hate to use the cliché of drawing a line through the race, but that is what we are doing. At the half-mile pole, he really didn't continue to put himself into the race and was out of gas. We had high hopes, obviously, that he would run better in that race. We talked it over with the folks from Juddmonte and if he continues to train well, we are going to pursue the Derby.”

Moments before Mandaloun's work, Cox's top GI Longines Kentucky Oaks contender Travel Column (Frosted) breezed a half-mile in :48.60. She began the work with a :24.60 quarter-mile time and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.

Other stars that recorded works Saturday morning at Churchill Downs included 2020 GI Preakness S. winner Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil), who worked a half-mile in :48 under jockey Robby Albarado and undefeated GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf hero Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire)), who worked a half-mile in :48.60 under Geroux.

On the West Coast, Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) worked four furlongs Saturday morning in :49.40 under Flavien Prat, while Derby-bound GII Rebel S. winner Concert Tour (Street Sense) went six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80 for Bob Baffert.

“He went the last eighth in :11 and change,” trainer Doug O'Neill said of Hot Rod Charlie. “I'm very happy.”

Of the 145 recorded workouts, including 25 on the training track, 21 were for runners conditioned by O'Neill. Baffert also sent Rebel runner-up Hozier (Pioneerof the Nile) four furlongs in a bullet :46.60 as the colt prepares for next Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby. It was the fastest of 67 drills at the distance and almost three seconds quicker than the average time of :49.26

The post Classic Bound Sophs Highlight Saturday Worktab appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Bankruptcy Judge Grants Extra Time to Probe Zayat’s Finances

Sat, 2021-04-03 13:38

The federal judge overseeing Ahmed Zayat's Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition has ordered that the trustee in the case will now have through Apr. 30 to pore over financial documentation to make sure the allegedly insolvent owner and breeder of Triple Crown champ American Pharoah isn't hiding assets.

In a court order dated Mar. 31 that was filed Apr. 2 in United States Bankruptcy Court (District of New Jersey), Judge Vincent Papalia wrote that “the Trustee's time to file a complaint objecting to the Debtor's discharge is further extended…”

In the same order, the judge also denied a cross-motion that Zayat had filed Mar. 16 asking the court to put a stop to the discovery process, which is now nearing the seven-month mark since Zayat filed for bankruptcy protection.

According to documentation that Zayat filed back in September, he allegedly has $19 million in debt but only $314.22 in assets.

MGG Investment Group, LP, the lender who is separately suing Zayat and his family members for allegedly obtaining a $24-million loan by fraud and then not repaying it, told the court Mar. 23 that the trustee's probe must be allowed to go forward with the extra time granted because Zayat's attempt to put an end to the discovery process “does nothing more than establish that Ahmed Zayat is a perpetual liar determined to hinder and obstruct the Trustee, the Court and creditors at every turn.”

MGG has previously asserted that loans it made in 2016 to Zayat's racing and bloodstock business were the product of years of systematic fraud that Zayat allegedly orchestrated, including Zayat Stables' desperate selling-off of equine assets that had been pledged to MGG as collateral.

Because MGG is seeking to recover that money, it does not want Zayat's debts to be declared legally forgiven under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection he is seeking.

MGG has specifically alleged that the trustee needs to examine bank accounts in the names of Zayat's wife (Joanne Zayat) and son (Justin Zayat) because “they appear to have been used as conduits through which Sherif El Zayat, the Debtor's brother, loaned money to Ahmed Zayat.”

Ahmed Zayat's Mar. 16 cross-motion included a letter from his attorney, Jay Lubetkin, who wrote that the trustee's request for the banking documents of family members didn't “have any apparent relevance to the Trustee's decision whether to file an objection to discharge complaint.”

Lubetkin also wrote that “The Debtor has been extremely cooperative with the Trustee [and has] provided to the Trustee significant documentation respecting his financial affairs….”

The primary role of a trustee in bankruptcy cases is to ensure that a debtor who files for federal bankruptcy protection is not hiding assets that could instead be used to pay creditors. An objection can be filed to the proceedings if a trustee believes aspects of the filing are not on the up-and-up. A judge can either dismiss a case on his own or by acting on a trustee's objection. A judge can also deny the discharge of a particular debt.

If alleged fraud is uncovered in a bankruptcy filing, the Federal Bureau of Investigation can investigate, and the U.S. Department of Justice can prosecute if it believes a crime has been committed.

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