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Updated: 6 days 10 hours ago

Laurel Cancels Sunday Program Ahead of Excessive Heat Forecast

Thu, 2022-07-21 13:48

Due to excessive heat forecast for the Mid-Atlantic region, and with an abundance of caution for its horses, horsemen and fans, the Maryland Jockey Club will not host live racing at Laurel Sunday, July 24.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s through the weekend with near-record highs approaching 98 degrees forecast for Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Races that were in the condition book and all extras for Sunday will now be used for an additional live program Thursday, July 28. Entries will be taken Saturday, July 23.

Laurel Park will remain open Sunday for simulcasting.

Live action is scheduled to return to Laurel Park with an eight-race program Friday starting at 12:40 p.m.

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Santa Anita Named Host of 2023 Breeders’ Cup

Thu, 2022-07-21 12:14

Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, will host the 2023 Breeders' Cup World Championships for a record 11th time. The 40th renewal of the Breeders' Cup will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4, 2023.

“Santa Anita Park is an integral part of Breeders' Cup history and is the perfect venue for our landmark 40th running,” said Drew Fleming, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. “Since our founders conceived this season-ending championship four decades ago, the Breeders' Cup has consistently been one of the leading global events in Thoroughbred racing. Santa Anita's outstanding reputation and scenic venue provide us with the ideal setting to continue to grow our audience by combining the best that racing, hospitality, and entertainment have to offer.”

Added Craig Fravel, CEO of 1/ST RACING and a former CEO of the Breeders' Cup, added: “1/ST RACING is delighted to welcome back the Breeders' Cup to Santa Anita Park for the special 40th running of these extraordinary World Championships. 1/ST RACING looks forward to showcasing Santa Anita Park for a record 11th time as California's premier racing venue committed to delivering the best backdrop for world-class racing, entertainment and hospitality, and to being part of the unique excitement that comes with the Breeders' Cup.”

Based on a 2017 study, Breeders' Cup officials expect the 2023 event to have a near $100-million economic impact on Southern California. Previous runnings of the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita have consistently set the standard for both wagering and attendance figures. The 2016 event was witnessed by a record 118,484 fans, while handle for the 2019 renewal was a record $175 million.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Breeders' Cup back to Santa Anita Park for a record 11th time next November,” said Kathryn Schloessman, President & CEO, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission. “This signature event will once again deliver a memorable experience for guests and significant economic impact for the greater Los Angeles region.”

To sign up for ticketing and other information pertaining to the 2023 Breeders' Cup, click here.

The 2022 Breeders' Cup will be run at Keeneland Race Course Nov. 4 and 5.

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Modernist to Chile for Southern Hemisphere Season

Thu, 2022-07-21 11:05

Darby Dan Farm's first-year sire Modernist (Uncle Mo) will stand the Southern Hemisphere season at Haras Santa Olga in Santiago, Chile. He bred 141 mares this spring at Darby Dan while standing for an initial fee of $10,000, stands and nurses.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott conditioned Modernist for Martin and Pam Wygod, who campaigned him as a homebred. His wins included the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds and Aqueduct's GIII Excelsior S., while also placing in another three graded events. His unraced dam is a half-sister to Breeders' Cup winners Sweet Catomine (Storm Cat), also a champion, and Life is Sweet (Storm Cat).

The deal was brokered by Matt Bowling of Bowling Bloodstock.

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Galluscio and Amato, Jr. to be Remembered at Saratoga Saturday

Thu, 2022-07-21 10:26

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will raise funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research at Saratoga this coming Saturday, July 23. The first race will be named in honor of trainer Dominic Galluscio, while farrier Ray Amato, Jr. will also be remembered. Both passed away from pancreatic cancer.

An autograph session with leading trainers, to be held at 11:30 a.m., will benefit the Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission of advancing scientific and medical research related to pancreatic cancer.

For more information, visit NYRA.com.

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NYRA, Fox Sports TV Analyst Andy Serling Talks Saratoga On Writers’ Room

Wed, 2022-07-20 18:06

With the first week of the 2022 Saratoga meet in the books, NYRA and Fox Sports TV analyst Andy Serling joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Tuesday as the Green Group Guest of the Week to talk about how Saratoga somehow continues to exceed its sky-high expectations, what track trends handicappers should look out for the rest of the summer, whether or not the sport needs fewer stakes races and more.

“I'll be honest, I came into this meet concerned [about a drop in business], and I think rightfully so, because our numbers were so spectacular last year when you're up 13% like we were,” Serling said when asked to explain Saratoga's continued growth. “I was shocked how much we were up [opening week]. Saratoga, even as we expanded, always sort of stayed the August place to be. It was a little quieter when the meet started and the last week, especially when you're into September, can get quieter. I'm wondering now if it's starting to matter less and less. This weekend was incredible, huge crowds, the handle numbers were great, the racing was also terrific. We averaged almost 10.5 horses per race on the inner turf. We were up about three-quarters of a horse over last year. So all the stars aligned, the racing was great, and the love for Saratoga keeps growing and growing. And maybe it's that once somebody comes to Saratoga, they never stop coming back. And over the years that's just going to build and build and build.”

The conversation turned to the increasingly redundant racing calendar and the abundance of short fields seen in stakes races.

“It's 100% a problem. To suggest otherwise is to continue, as we love to do in racing, to keep our heads in the sand,” he said. “It's not just a problem in America, but it's a bigger problem in America. The purses shouldn't matter in these big races, because there's so much intrinsic value for stallions and broodmares. But there are too many races. We were trying to fill the Mother Goose, and it pains me to think of that as a race that will go by the wayside, because the winners of that race are a veritable who's who of the greatest horses that have ever raced in that division. But something has to give. I'm not blaming any of these tracks, but there's an Iowa Oaks, there's this Oaks, there's that Oaks. There are races everywhere and it's just giving people too many options. Whether it's the graded stakes committee, the boards, the racing offices, something has to be done, because there are just too many big races with small fields.”

Elsewhere on the show, which is also sponsored by Coolmore, Lane's End, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, XBTV, West Point Thoroughbreds and Legacy Bloodstock, the writers previewed a big weekend of racing, remembered the great Kitten's Joy and called for more meaningful sanctions for Paco Lopez's reckless riding. Click here to watch the show; click here for the audio-only version or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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Asmussen Heavyweights Tune Up For Spa Stakes

Wed, 2022-07-20 16:18

Top sophomore colt Epicenter (Not This Time) and Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) highlighted the Saratoga worktab over the last few mornings as each prepares for big-race engagements July 30.

Winchell Thorougbreds' GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. runner-up Epicenter makes his first start of the second half of the season in the GII Jim Dandy S. and went five furlongs over the Oklahoma training track Monday in 1:01.13 in the company of the 3-year-old maiden Flute Master (Gun Runner) (1:03.12).

“Visually impressive is what he is,” trainer Steve Asmussen told the NYRA notes team. “He's an extremely talented horse and he's doing well. His work Monday was as good of a work as I've seen from him, and I've seen some impressive works from him. It's a good time to be doing well.”

J. Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior was last seen overwhelming his competition by five lengths in the June 10 GII True North S. and breezed five-eighths of a mile in 1:00.72 Sunday over the Oklahoma track. The strapping 4-year-old is scheduled to make his next appearance in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt S.

“It's so rare to have a champion colt be back in training and not only that, his three runs this year have been visually impressive,” Asmussen said. “He had a nice work here on Sunday and we're on target for the Vanderbilt.”

Jackie's Warrior, who defeated 'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in last year's GI H. Allen Jerkens S., is also potentially a candidate for the GI Forego S. on the GI Runhappy Travers S. undercard Aug. 27.

“We want more of the same from him. He's 4-for 4 here which is an unbelievable record,” Asmussen said. “His win here in the Allen Jerkens against Life Is Good was as good of a horse race as I've been involved with. It was wonderful to come out on the right side of that.”

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Taiba Favored in Haskell

Wed, 2022-07-20 12:45

GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby hero and 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) was given the morning-line nod at 7-5 in the 55th GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. Saturday at Monmouth Park. Drawn in post two, the chestnut looks to give Bob Baffert his 10th Haskell win.

Not far behind him on the morning-line at 3-2 is undefeated MGISW 'Rising Star' Jack Christopher (Munnings), who will be in stall seven of eight. The flashy chestnut tries two turns for the first time Saturday off a good-looking score in the GI Woody Stephens S. June 11.

The rest of the field is as follows: Cyberknife (Gun Runner), post 1, 6-1; One Time Willard (Micromanage), post 3, 30-1; Howling Time (Not This Time), post 4, 10-1; King of Hollywood (Palace Malice), post 5, 30-1; White Abarrio (Race Day), post 6, 5-1; Benevengo (Gormley) ­post 8, 20-1.

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KY Downs Offers New Option for KEESEP Grads

Wed, 2022-07-20 11:40

Kentucky Downs offers a new option this year in collaboration with its horsemen and the Keeneland Association in a pair of $250,000 allowance races restricted to horses who went through the ring at last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

The 6 1/2-furlong allowance races–one for fillies and one for colts and geldings–will be staged Sept. 8 with no conditions other than the 2-year-old must have been offered for sale at Keeneland last September. Yearlings that sold as well as those not reaching their reserve bid are eligible.

Funding for the races comes out of the Kentucky Downs purse account under an agreement with the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association.

Kentucky Downs also will stage four 2-year-old stakes. The Aristocrat Gaming Juvenile Fillies and the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile Sept. 3, Global Tote Juvenile Sept. 8 and Ainsworth Untapable for 2-year-old fillies Sept. 11 offer purses of $500,000, of which $250,000 is available only to registered Kentucky-breds through the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

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Timonium Meet Kicks off Aug. 26

Wed, 2022-07-20 11:29

Thoroughbred racing at the Timonium meet runs Aug. 26 through Sept. 6 during the Maryland State Fair. The meet will conduct the $125,000 Timonium Distaff S. Aug. 27. A $20,000 trainers' awards will be offered this year, sponsored by the Maryland State Fair. Grooms awards will also be given to the best turned out in each race.

Annual College Day at the Fair will take place Aug. 27. Eleven $1,000 college scholarships are awarded to preregistered full time college students in attendance.

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Monmouth Names John Brennan the 2022 Handleman Winner

Wed, 2022-07-20 11:04

New Jersey's Monmouth Park honored John Brennan of usbets.com as the winner of the 2022 Bill Handleman Award for outstanding coverage of last year's GI TVG.Com Haskell S. Brennan covers legalized gambling and horse racing in New Jersey.

“John's blog is a must-read for people interested in horse racing in New Jersey, specifically at Monmouth Park, and throughout the legalized gaming industry,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development, LLC, the operator of Monmouth Park. “We're pleased to formally recognize John's coverage of horse racing at Monmouth Park and his coverage of the TVG.com Haskell S. with this year's Handleman Award.”

The award is named for the late Bill Handleman, one of New Jersey's top sportswriters for nearly three decades. First presented in 2012, the Handleman Award honors distinguished media coverage of the Haskell and is presented annually prior to Monmouth's showcase race. Previous winners include Dave Johnson and Steve Byk.

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Catalogue for Wanamaker’s July Available

Wed, 2022-07-20 10:28

Wanamaker's, the host of monthly online Thoroughbred auctions, has released its July catalogue, which includes the first weanlings of the auction year. The Wanamaker's July Sale has 17 horses entered, ranging from broodmares to racing prospects, and from yearlings to weanlings.

Among the offerings is the stakes-winning mare Abby Road (Ire) (Danehill), whose half-siblings include GSW & MGISP Ballagh Rocks (Stormy Atlantic) and GSW Eh Cumpari (Elusive Quality). She is in foal to Spendthrift's Brody's Cause.

To see the catalogue and the buying process, go directly to Wanamaker's. Bidding opens Thursday, July 28, at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the first listing closing at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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Callaghan to Receive Avelino Gomez Memorial Award

Tue, 2022-07-19 16:35

Slade Callaghan, who has recorded nearly 850 career wins, including 31 stakes, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The award is given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than five years, who has made significant contributions to the sport.

“I was really humbled,” said Callaghan. “I've been here at Woodbine 28 years and every year I've been here I've seen so many great riders, who have had amazing careers, receive this award. For me to be added to this list is overwhelming. It's also gratifying. I don't know where the time has gone. It's been about 10 years since I was what I'd call semi-retired, riding a few horses, but definitely not full time. I love this racetrack and I love the people. I'm glad I made the decision to ride here.”

Callaghan, 51, has enjoyed great success over a riding career that began when he was just 16. In 1994, he made decision to come to Canada with the hope of becoming a regular at Woodbine, a place where his brother, Brett, had also competed. His first Canadian victory came at Fort Erie that same year. In 1999, Callaghan won 60 races, including six stakes. After a 48-win campaign in 2000, Callaghan posted 43 victories in 2001 and 54 in 2002. One year later, he topped the $2 million plateau in purse earnings, marking the fifth straight year he reached that number. In 2004, he posted a career-best 64 wins.

This year's Avelino Gomez Memorial Award ceremony will take place July 24 at Woodbine.

Slade Callaghan, who has recorded nearly 850 career wins, including 31 stakes, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The award is given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than five years, who has made significant contributions to the sport.

“I was really humbled,” said Callaghan. “I've been here at Woodbine 28 years and every year I've been here I've seen so many great riders, who have had amazing careers, receive this award. For me to be added to this list is overwhelming. It's also gratifying. I don't know where the time has gone. It's been about 10 years since I was what I'd call semi-retired, riding a few horses, but definitely not full time. I love this racetrack and I love the people. I'm glad I made the decision to ride here.”

Callaghan, 51, has enjoyed great success over a riding career that began when he was just 16. In 1994, he made decision to come to Canada with the hope of becoming a regular at Woodbine, a place where his brother, Brett, had also competed. His first Canadian victory came at Fort Erie that same year. In 1999, Callaghan won 60 races, including six stakes. After a 48-win campaign in 2000, Callaghan posted 43 victories in 2001 and 54 in 2002. One year later, he topped the $2 million plateau in purse earnings, marking the fifth straight year he reached that number. In 2004, he posted a career-best 64 wins.

This year's Avelino Gomez Memorial Award ceremony will take place July 24 at Woodbine.

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Clairiere Going After Saratoga Glory in the Shuvee

Tue, 2022-07-19 12:00

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — Just a mere mention that Clairiere (Curlin) might be underappreciated, brought a quick, robust reaction from Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

“Not by us,” Asmussen said, shaking his head.

Asmussen promptly made the case for the 4-year-old filly, a Stonestreet Stables homebred daughter of Cavorting (Bernardini), who will seek her third win in four starts this year in the GII Shuvee S. Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

“She's a multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire by one of the greatest horses of all time out of one of the greatest horses of all time,” he said. “I do not believe Clairiere has ever been underappreciated or ever will be underappreciated. Because of who she is, she's more than a little special.”

Cavorting, a former 'TDN Rising Star' trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, won six graded stakes, three of them Grade I, and earned just north of $2 million.

The nine-furlong Shuvee will be the fifth round of the cross-country series between Shadwell Stable's 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) and Clairiere, both of whom were bred by Stonestreet. Malathaat finished in front of Clairiere in each of their three meetings as 3-year-olds–the GI Kentucky Oaks and the GI CCA Oaks and GI Alabama S. at this track–but Clairiere prevailed in their most recent showdown, winning the GI Ogden Phipps by a head June 11.

“It was where she finally turned the tables on the champion, Malathaat, the deserved 3-year-old filly champion last year,” Asmussen said. “We competed well against her, but did not come out on the right side of it. Obviously, things have changed now.”

In the 1 1/16 mile, one-turn Phipps, which was part of the GI Belmont S. program, Malathaat and Clairiere sat far back off the torrid pace set by champion Letruska (Super Saver) and Search Results (Flatter). They launched their rallies pretty much in tandem approaching the half-mile pole, ran past the tiring Letruska at the top of stretch and caught Search Results inside the sixteenth pole. Malathaat had a slight lead, but Clairiere finished just a bit better under Joel Rosario.

Asmussen said her talent has always been evident–carrying her to a 5-4-2 record and $1,799,592 in earnings in her 13 career starts–and feels that she is getting better.

“She is first class all the way. Always has been. Never been anything but,” he said. “First time out,  two turns, broke her maiden against an eventual graded stakes winner and has never done anything but keep the best company. I do think that with maturity she has broken through to a new level.”

Asmussen noted that Clairiere is the top-ranked female in the weekly NTRA poll, putting her at the top of the division.

Despite her sterling record, because she has consistently been in top races–seven of them Grade I–Clairiere has only been the favorite twice. She won both, the GI Cotillion S. in September, and her season-opener, a stakes-quality optional claimer in March at the Fair Grounds.

In addition to Malathaat, Clairiere is likely to face two other millionaires, Bonny South (Munnings) and 'Rising Star' Crazy Beautiful (Liam's Map) in the $200,000 race for older fillies and mares that is on the undercard of the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. Together, those four have earned over $5.9 million and won 13 graded stakes, five of them Grade I.

“It's Saratoga,” Asmussen said. “It's the best in the world.”

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NYRA Welcomes TAA to Saratoga on Whitney Day

Tue, 2022-07-19 11:52

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will host the Saratoga Community Booth for GI Whitney S. Day Aug. 6.

Patrons are encouraged to stop by the community booth to learn about the organization's mission from Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance representatives, and to make a donation in exchange for a variety of racing memorabilia and TAA swag.

Racing fans can also show their support by opting to donate to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance throughout the Saratoga meet when cashing a winning ticket on an AmTote International self-service betting terminal. All donations are tax deductible.

On the Whitney undercard, horses will don NYRA-donated Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance saddle towels for a race named in honor of the TAA. In the winner's circle after the race, the TAA will present awards to the best turned out horse and winning groom and connections.

“The Saratoga Community Booth is a great opportunity for racing fans and participants alike to learn more about the TAA,” said TAA President, Jeffrey Bloom. “We are also honored to have the TAA represented with a race on the Whitney Day card. NYRA has been an invaluable stakeholder to the TAA for many years and we're excited to continue the tradition of celebrating accredited aftercare on Whitney Day.”

The New York Thoroughbred industry is a leader in aftercare, donating more than $1.28 million toward racehorse retirement every year. In addition to the contributions made by NYRA, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), the New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB), the NYRA jockey colony, and individual owners and trainers, two ground-breaking programs have been implemented at the NYRA tracks: owners contribute a per-start fee for every horse that races, and they pay a surcharge on every horse claimed out of a NYRA race. Those two programs alone raise about $500,000 every year.

“The work of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance is of the upmost importance to the New York Racing Association,” said NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, Frank Gabriel Jr. “We're thrilled to highlight such a worthy organization on one of Saratoga's biggest days of racing.”

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Miles Ahead Voted Claiming Crown Horse of the Year

Tue, 2022-07-19 09:34

Miles Ahead (g, 5, Competitive Edge–Jennie R., by Awesome Again), winner of last term's GIII Smile Sprint Invitational S. and the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit, has been named the 2021 Claiming Crown Horse of the Year. The honor is voted on by the National HBPA's Industry Awards Committee, chaired by Todd Mostoller from the Pennsylvania HBPA.

Miles Ahead will be recognized at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) annual awards dinner on Sept. 10. The Claiming Crown–designed to give the blue-collar workhorses their own championship day–is sponsored by the National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, TOBA and the host track.

Miles Ahead was purchased in 2019 for $175,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old in training sale by trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. and the ownership partnership of David Melin, Leon Ellman and the trainer's wife, Laurie. After winning the Gulfstream Park Sprint S. in February, they accepted an offer to sell the gelding, who now races for Jay Em Ess Stable and is trained by Paul McGee. Miles Ahead most recently finished second by a neck to GI Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Aloha West in the Kelly's Landing S.

Eric Hamelback, NHBPA CEO, said Miles Ahead epitomizes what the Claiming Crown and the Claiming Crown Horse of the Year were created to recognize.

“The committee zeroed in on Miles Ahead and felt as if the horse and the connections were indeed the horse to be recognized for their accomplishments,” Hamelback said. “We are pleased that we can recognize and award a trophy to Miles Ahead at this year's TOBA awards ceremony.”

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Gun Runner to Cover Mares on Southern Hemisphere Time

Tue, 2022-07-19 08:59

Gun Runner, the runaway leading second-crop sire in North America, will be available to cover a limited book of mares on Southern Hemisphere time in 2022, Three Chimneys has announced.

The son of Candy Ride (Arg) will be available to breeders in the Southern Hemisphere at a fee of US$75,000 (AU$109,700).

Since retiring to the breeding shed in 2018, Gun Runner has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the U.S. stallion ranks and with only two crops of racing age, he is already the sire of 12 stakes winners, spearheaded by five top-flight winners including GI Preakness winner Early Voting.

Doug Cauthen, the Vice Chairman of Three Chimneys, told TDN AusNZ he believed the stallion had all the attributes to make him a successful sire in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The decision to make the stallion available to cover Southern Hemisphere time is two-fold; firstly, there have been a lot of inquiries about him and we have some matings booked already,” he said.

“Secondly, on a limited basis, we want to try to introduce him into the market because we believe he has all the potential to be a successful Southern Hemisphere (sire) as well.”

Staggering start at stud

With 53 winners from 97 starters this far, three of which have come in Japan, Gun Runner's winners-to-runners strike rate stands at 54.6 per cent, while the 12 stakes winners means he fires at a staggering 12.4 per cent for stakes winners to runners.

The 30 winners, headed by six stakes winners, led him to be North America's leading first-crop sire of 2021 by both winners and earnings in 2021, with GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Echo Zulu his leading earner.

“We have a high respect for the market there and you don't want to go in half-cocked, so we felt that now he is fully loaded to be introduced properly.,” said Cauthen. “There has been demand already and that is encouraging and shows it is the right time.”

“We want to respect breeders' opinions on what they think will work with the stallion,” he continued. “When top breeders show interest, you can give them input, but you should let them decide what will work with the stallion in the market.”

Flawless pedigree

A son of successful sire Candy Ride, Gun Runner boasts a beautiful pedigree and importantly for Australian breeders, he is free of Danehill blood.

His dam is the GII Molly Pitcher S. winner Quiet Giant, by Giant's Causeway, and she is herself a daughter of Listed scorer and top-producer Quiet Dance (Quiet American).

Gun Runner proved a dominant force on a racecourse, winning 12 of his 19 starts including six at the highest level which saw him accrue $16,037,138 in earnings.

Determination and speed

Cauthen said Gun Runner was a brilliant racehorse himself and instils similar traits within his progeny, making his offspring very popular with trainers.

“He has a great pedigree and he himself was a magnificent racehorse who had very few limits,” he said. “He could come from off the pace, he had determination and he had speed,” he said. “In his progeny, you see lovely action. They are great walkers, they're great movers and they have great minds and they want to do it; these are primary aspects for a racehorse, any horseman or trainer will tell you that and that is what he is passing on to his progeny.

“We are blessed to have him doing so well and we hope and pray it continues. We are encouraged by his talent and we feel the time is right to test out another continent–it is the right time.”

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Pennsylvania Racing Commission Releases Welfare and Safety Quarterly Report

Mon, 2022-07-18 16:11

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission reported Monday on the progress of its Equine Safety and Welfare Plan, a list of tangible steps intended to increase protections for horses racing at Pennsylvania's six tracks. The measures, which the commission began implementing Mar. 1, 2022, included an Integrity Hotline for reporting suspected illegal or unethical behavior.

“Early results from the hotline and other measures have been promising and reinforce the thorough consideration that went into developing the action plan,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, who chairs the commission. “Implementing the strategy will be a long-term effort. The commission is committed for the long haul to protecting the integrity of the sport and the safety and welfare of the horses and participants.”

The development of an equine fatality database was among the plan's 10 measures. Thoroughbred fatalities from Apr. 1-June 30 were 30 in 2021 and 17 in 2022. Fatalities to date in 2022 include 10 at Parx Racing in Philadelphia, five at Penn National in Dauphin County, and two at Presque Isle Downs in Erie County. Harness racing fatalities included three in 2021 and two during the same period in 2022–one at The Meadows in Washington County and one at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County.

Other new measures included an independent, third-party analysis of the racing surfaces at each track. No racing surface issues were flagged as a result of the analysis.

As a result of increased commission veterinary oversight of morning workouts, eight horses were placed on the veterinarians' list and deemed ineligible to race. As a result of enhanced post-race supervision and stricter criteria, 17 horses were placed on the veterinarians' list and six horses were retired from racing.

Five horses were deemed ineligible to race in Pennsylvania based on the new rule providing for the disqualification of any horse that finished 12 or more lengths behind the winner in five consecutive starts.

The Integrity Hotline received 51 calls from Mar. 1 through June 30. Every call is investigated and referred for action as warranted. Ten calls are pending investigation and 41 alleged issues have been closed. No fines or penalties have been issued as a result of issues alleged in calls.

Allegations at Thoroughbred tracks accounted for 32 calls, including unethical conduct by race officials and horsemen, use of illegal devices by a jockey, unethical treatment of horses, unauthorized ingress or egress by horses, wagering irregularities and monetary disputes.

Among 17 allegations made regarding standardbred race tracks were incorrect decisions by judges, unethical conduct by horsemen and training center officials, unethical treatment of horses, licensing concerns, and administration of performance-enhancing medications.

Two calls without a specific location included an allegation of unethical treatment of horses, and a question about standardbred racing.

Tips can be reported to the hotline anonymously at any time by leaving a detailed message at (717) 787-1942. More information about the Pennsylvania State Horseracing Commission can be found at agriculture.pa.gov.

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Jockeys to Pay Tribute to National Disability Independence Day, Fundraise for PDJF July 30

Mon, 2022-07-18 15:52

Jockeys competing on Saturday, July 30 (or another mutually agreed upon date that week at racetracks not racing that day) will pay tribute to National Disability Independence Day and raise awareness and funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Last year's event raised more than $50,000 at racetracks across the country.

Jockeys at some 20 racetracks are expected to participate in various activities to support the PDJF while also saluting National Disability Independence Day, which marks the 32nd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Throughout the day, fans and industry participants will be encouraged to contribute to the PDJF at PDJF.org. The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides financial assistance to approximately 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.

“The PDJF welcomes teaming up with the Jockeys' Guild and NTRA to honor the passage of this very important piece of legislation that has changed the lives for all Americans living with a disability,” said Nancy LaSala, Board President of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. “The lives of PDJF recipients are improved as a result and for this we are very grateful.”

Racetracks and jockey colonies set to participate in the promotion include: Arizona Downs; Colonial Downs; Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; Delta Downs, Horseshoe Indianapolis, Monmouth Park, Prairie Meadows, and Saratoga Race Course. A complete listing of participating outlets will be released prior to the event date(s).

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Finger Lakes Romper Another Winner for Sharp Azteca

Mon, 2022-07-18 14:25

2nd-Finger Lakes, $28,635, Msw, 7-18, 2yo, f, 5f, :59.55, sy, 9 3/4 lengths.
CUZ UR PRETTY (f, 2, Sharp Azteca–Without the Risk, by Majestic Warrior) became the 12th winner for her red-hot freshman sire (by Freud) with an authoritative debut victory. The 2-1 shot contested the early pace, but was squeezed back entering the turn and settled into a stalking third. She rerallied along the rail and bound clear into the lane before splashing home to score by 9 3/4 lengths. Puzzle (Brethren) rallied from last to be second. Cuz ur Pretty sold for $20,000 at the 2021 Keeneland January sale and brought a final bid of $6,000 following a :10 1/5 work at this year's OBS April sale. Click for the Equibase.com chart. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $15,960.
O-Marcello Rosa; B-Jay Goodwin & Cloyce C Clark Jr. (KY); T-Christopher Progno.

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Vazquez Banned In New York

Mon, 2022-07-18 11:23

Trainer Juan Carlos Vazquez has been banned from running horses in the state of New York, according to a release from the New York State Gaming Commission.

In a ruling issued July 7, the Pennsylvania Board of Stewards suspended Vazquez through Jan. 26, 2025, alleging that a horse under his care was shipped from Belmont Park to Parx Racing who was in such poor health that it had to be euthanized after its arrival. The stewards labeled Vazquez's behavior “grossly negligent, cruel and abusive.”

It its statement Monday, the NYSGC confirmed that it would be honoring the reciprocity of the suspension and would be prohibited from running horses at any New York track, including those run by the New York Racing Association (Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga) and Finger Lakes.

New York is one of 38 racing states that honors out-of-state suspensions issued by regulators. Reciprocity is addressed specifically in N.Y. Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law Section 910:

“§ 910. Reciprocity of licenses. All license denials, suspensions and revocations imposed by the pertinent racing and gambling authorities of other jurisdictions, including states, United States territories, and Canadian provinces shall be recognized and enforced by the commission …”

In February, Vazquez was handed down a stay of another suspension, at which time NYRA officials were forced to allow the trainer to run horses, while suggesting they reserved the right to file charges of their own.

There was some uproar on social media in the last week after Vazquez was permitted to enter and run horses at Saratoga. Over the course of the first four days, Vazquez saddled six horses, including Suprise Boss (War Dancer), who was third in Sunday's GIII Quick Call S.

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