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Updated: 22 hours 12 min ago

Ellis Director of Racing Jeff Hall Dies

Mon, 2022-06-06 16:30

Jeff Hall–Ellis Park's popular director of racing operations who began his more than 50 years at the track by parking cars as a teenager–passed away Saturday morning at University of Louisville Health-Jewish Hospital. He was 75. A lifelong resident of Henderson, Hall was known for his strong local connections in the Tri-State region, his deep love of horse racing and his knowledge of how the different components of a track worked and were interrelated.

“When we lost Jeff Hall, we lost on both sides of the river,” said Ellis Park-based trainer John Hancock, who had a particularly close association with Hall, including with his work as a Kentucky HBPA board member. “Jeff Hall was a horsemen's track manager. His door was open at all times. He would listen at all times, and he would do his best to get done what needed to get done. He always had a smile. He was always there when we needed him.”

“I started nearly every day at Ellis by getting myself a cup of coffee and spending my first 10-20 minutes with Jeff,” said Ellis Entertainment LLC General Manager Jeff Inman. “Just because his optimism and energy gave me a boost to start the day off. He loved this place and he loved the sport; but most of all, he loved the people here. I appreciated his knowledge, but it is his friendship that will always stay with me.”

Hall graduated from Henderson (City) High School and Western Kentucky University. He worked for years at Black Equipment selling heavy equipment and at one stage worked in the oil business. Through most that time, Hall also worked summers at Ellis Park, starting out as a mutuel clerk and advancing to full-time work as mutuels director to general manager to concentrating on the racing component as director of racing operations. Hall's career in racing spanned six ownership groups at Ellis Park, dating back to when Lester Yeager ran the track for the heirs of James C. Ellis.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Raini Smith Hall; two daughters, Kristie Hall Watson and her husband, Mark, of Lexington, Ky., and Ashley Harper Smith of Nashville, Tenn.; brother Tim Hall and his wife, Susan, of Sturgis, Ky.; and granddaughters Charlie Watson and Margot Watson.

A celebration of life will be held from noon until 2 p.m. Central Saturday, June 11, at Rudy-Rowland Funeral Home, 604 Center Street, Henderson, Ky., 42420.

The post Ellis Director of Racing Jeff Hall Dies appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

‘All Grown Up’ June Sale Brings Curtain Down on Juvenile Sales Season

Mon, 2022-06-06 15:29

A juvenile sales season which set records at each stop along the way, comes to a close with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age, which begins its three-day run Tuesday morning in Ocala.

OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski expects demand for 2-year-olds to remain high at the June sale.

“I think there is still demand for horses,” Wojciechowski said. “I think we saw that certainly in April [at the OBS Spring sale]. We heard from a lot of people who still had orders to fill and said they'd be back.”

The OBS Spring sale set records for gross, average and median and, while that April auction has turned into a powerhouse destination, the June sale has had its own renaissance over the last few years.

“The June sale is all grown up,” Wojciechowski said. “It was not always considered a stand alone sale. It was an afterthought sale for a number of years, but nowadays, June is a heck of a sale in its own right. Quality horses have come out of June every year. I think people appreciate that. And it seems, as the sales calendar has gotten later over time, some of these horses that need a little more time, that maybe aren't ready for March or April, can really showcase themselves at June and people are finding success with those horses.”

In 2021, 567 horses sold at the June sale for a gross of $24,626,450 and an average of $43,433–both highwater marks for the auction. The median was a record-tying $20,000.

“I try not to prognosticate things like that,” Wojciechowski said when asked if the sale's 2022 renewal could live up to those lofty figures. “I think we will have a good sale and we will be thankful, and the consignors will be thankful, if we get horses sold.”

The 2022 June sale has already eclipsed the 2021 renewal in one respect, with 1,131 juveniles catalogued this year, compared to 907 a year ago.

“I don't know that it is good or bad,” Wojciechowski said of the larger catalogue. “It is what it is. I am happy that the consignors have enough faith that the June sale is a place where they can market their horses.”

During last week's under-tack show, a pair of fillies shared the fastest furlong time of :9 4/5: hip 560, a daughter of Flatter consigned by Julie Davies (video); and hip 795, a filly by Irish War Cry consigned by Thorostock (video).

A filly by Army Mule (hip 437) turned in the week's fastest quarter-mile work of :20 2/5 for the Fast Horses consignment.

“I thought we got very lucky with the weather,” Wojciechowski said of the under-tack show. “It is Florida. It is hot in June, but we were able to dodge rainstorms and didn't really have any interruptions and we were able to get six consistent days in a row. They were hot, but they were consistent.”

The June sale begins Tuesday morning and continues through Thursday with bidding beginning each day at 10 a.m.

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NYRA to Offer New York-Sired Bonus Program

Mon, 2022-06-06 13:13

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, in conjunction with the New York Racing Association, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund has introduced a lucrative new purse enhancement for owners of New York Stallion-sired New York-breds competing on the NYRA circuit.

Effective immediately, the 'New York-Sired Bonus' will provide an additional $5,000 to the winning owner of a New York-sired New York-bred who finishes first in all open company and New York-bred restricted maiden special weight, allowance, and allowance optional claiming races. The bonus does not apply to horses entered for a claiming tag.

“This agreement, coupled with the updated residency requirements for mares, ensures the best incentives and opportunities for all who participate in the New York-bred program,” said Najja Thompson, NYTB Executive Director. “As we enter the heart of the racing season, there is no better time to get involved in the New York-bred program.”

The New York-Sired Bonus program is funded through the NYRA Purse Account and will be awarded retroactively for qualifying winners dating back to November 18, 2021. NYRA will begin processing and paying out retroactive awards in the coming weeks. Moving forward, bonus payments will be made in the month following the qualifying win.

“The marketplace for New York-breds is extremely strong, and NYRA is pleased to support initiatives designed to fuel the continued growth of the breeding industry throughout New York,” said Dave O'Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “Beyond their continued success on the racetrack, the New York-bred program generates jobs and positive economic impact in every corner of the state.”

Designed to further incentivize participation in the growing New York-bred program, the New York-sired bonus will remain in place at all subsequent NYRA race meets. The bonus aligns with the residency rules concerning mares purchased at public auction established by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund in 2020. For a complete description of the New York-bred program mare residency rules, click here.

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Half to Jack Christopher Highlights Fasig-Tipton June Digital Sale

Mon, 2022-06-06 13:07

A half-sister by Mo Town to the GI Champagne winner Jack Christopher (Munnings), a recent winner of the GII Pat Day Mile S. at Churchill, highlights 12 entries for Fasig-Tipton's June Digital Sale, now online at Bidding is officially open and will close this Thursday, June 9, at 2 p.m. EDT.

“We have several attractive offerings for this Belmont week sale, including a two-year-old half-sister to undefeated GI winner Jack Christopher,  who is expected to run in the GI Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes day,” said Leif Aaron, Fasig-Tipton Director of Digital Sales. “In addition, we have mares in foal on attractive covers, and some exciting race horses.”

The two-year-old filly, from Mo Town's first crop, sells as hip 1, has been broken and is galloping. She sells as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Others in the sale include:

• Bali Dreamin (Bal A Bali {Brz}) (Hip 3): A three-year-old filly who broke her maiden by three-and-half lengths in a maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park Apr. 15, she is out of a half-sister to multiple GI winner and sire English Channel, and is offered as racing/broodmare prospect.

• Easy Silence (Constitution) (Hip 5): A four-year-old stakes placed filly, who is carrying her first foal by Maclean's Music.

• Got It Made (Uncle Mo) (Hip 6): Five-year-old mare out of a full-sister to multiple GI winner and GI producer Cavorting. She is in foal to current leading third-crop sire Not This Time.

• Malibu Mischief (Goldencents) (Hip 12): Six-year-old stakes-stakes placed daughter of Goldencents from the family of GI winner Stormy Lucy, she is carrying her first foal by Yaupon, and will be the first mare to be offered at public auction in foal to that sire.

Each entry's page features a catalogue-style pedigree, five-cross pedigree, photos, and walking videos. Horses of racing age and racing/broodmare prospect pages offer Daily Racing Form Past Performances, Thoroughmanager past performances, Ragozin speed figures, and race replays. Access to veterinary information and a repository are available on applicable entries.

Location information for entries is also provided, and registered bidders may contact sellers from the entry's page to arrange an inspection or ask for additional information.
To create an account or register to bid, as well as read a list of Frequently Asked Questions, prospective buyers should visit

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Flay Buys Into Belmont Contender We the People

Mon, 2022-06-06 12:33

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has acquired an interest in recent GIII Peter Pan S. romper and 'TDN Rising Star' We the People (Constitution), who figures to be one of the top betting choices in Saturday's GI Belmont S. on Long Island. The famed restaurateur also bought into Creator (Tapit) ahead of his Belmont victory in 2016. Flay joins an ownership group that consists of WinStar Farm, CMNWLTH and Siena Farm on the Rodolphe Brisset trainee.

“I'm thrilled to join the We the People team,” said Flay. “I have been an admirer of this colt since he started his career at the beginning of this year. I want to thank Lisa and Kenny Troutt of WinStar for giving me this exciting opportunity. Winning the 2016 Belmont with Creator will be a moment that me and my family will never forget.”

WinStar President, CEO, and Racing Manager Elliott Walden, added, “We appreciate Bobby wanting to partner with us again. He is great for the business, and a great partner.”

A 5 3/4-length debut winner going a mile at Oaklawn Feb. 12, We the People earned 'Rising Star' honors with a five-length allowance tally in Hot Springs one month later. He failed to fire when a low-odds seventh in the GI Arkansas Derby Apr. 2, but turned it around in a big way in the Peter Pan May 14, leading every step of the nine-furlong trip to score by 10 1/4 lengths.

A $110,000 Keeneland November weanling, We the People was a $220,000 Keeneland September purchase and was knocked down to WinStar for $230,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale.

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Thomas To Judge MHBA Yearling Show

Mon, 2022-06-06 11:50

Edited Press Release

Jonathan Thomas, trainer of the versatile multiple Grade I winner Catholic Boy, will judge the 88th annual Maryland Horse Breeders Association Yearling Show. Open to all yearlings eligible for Maryland-bred registration, the show will be held Sunday, July 24 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds' Horse Show Ring in Timonium. Entries are due by June 24.

Thomas was born in Virginia and raised at Paul Mellon's famed Rokeby Farm, where his grandfather, father and mother all worked. Growing up around quality horses, Thomas was 13 when Mellon's homebred Sea Hero won the Kentucky Derby. Twenty-five years later as a trainer, he was sending out Catholic Boy to win Grade Is on the turf and dirt, the latter in Saratoga's Travers S. It was only the third time in history that an American 3-year-old accomplished the Grade I dirt/turf double, following in the footsteps of Secretariat and California Chrome.

Before going out on his own, Thomas was an assistant for leading trainers Christophe Clement, Dale Romans and Todd Pletcher, and spent a year training in Saudi Arabia. He also worked in sales and breaking with J.J. Pletcher in Ocala, Fla., and over the years built up a business buying, breaking and training Thoroughbreds at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala.

Since saddling his first runners in 2005, he has a win percentage of 24%, and more than half his starters finish in the top three.

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NYS Gaming Commission Outlines Belmont Security Protocols

Mon, 2022-06-06 11:31

The New York State Gaming Commission has articulated the security protocols it has established for this weekend's Belmont Stakes Festival.

Horses running in the GI Belmont S. will be subject to continuous, 72-hour 'dedicated watch' by experienced security personnel. One guard will be stationed full-time for every Belmont S. entrant. Horses running in the GI Metropolitan H. will be under 'intensified watch,' by six to eight security personnel conducting mobile surveillance and direct horse checks at least three times a shift from 72 hours up to 30 hours prior to post time. A dedicated watch as detailed above will be in place for the final 30 hours.

Horses in the Belmont and the Met must be on the grounds no later than 72 hours prior to the designated post times for each race. Horses must remain on the grounds until after the running of their races.

The NYSGC will obtain out-of-competition blood and hair samples competing in the two races and will have same tested at the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Morrisville State College. The NYSGC has coordinated with other jurisdictions to obtain OOC samples from horses not stabled in New York.

Horses entered for either the Belmont or the Met may not be treated within 72 hours of the race unless Commission security personnel are present. All treatments performed by vets will be monitored by NYRA or Commission security. No medication or substance may be administered via dose syringe within 24 hours of the races. All syringes and containers for administered medications will be retained by Commission personnel for possible testing.

Veterinarians are required to submit a 72-hour treatment plan for each Belmont and Met runner prior to June 8 at 12 p.m. ET. Comprehensive records for that 72-hour period shall be submitted to the Commission, which will review and publicly post the records to its website.

All persons–including veterinarians, trainers, assistant trainers, farriers, owners, or other connections–on entering the stall, engaging in contact with the horse, or performing any service for the horse, must have a valid Commission license on their person. Such persons will be logged-in by security personnel, along with the reason for their visit. Routine stall and horse maintenance by identified grooms and staff will be monitored, but are exempt from logging. Entry/exit logs will be maintained by NYRA and Commission security.

All equipment, feed, hay bales, etc. are subject to search and seizure by both NYRA and the Commission, as provided by law.

On race day, no treatments will be permitted for horses entered in any Stakes Race pursuant to NYRA policy, unless it is for an emergency or as approved by the Stewards. All horses participating in the Belmont and the Met must report to the Assembly Barn no less than 45 minutes prior to the designated Post Time. On race day, blood samples for TCO2 analysis will be collected from horses in the Assembly Barn between 45 minutes to one hour before post time. Horses will then be escorted to the paddock.

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Ethereal Road Out of Belmont

Mon, 2022-06-06 10:57

The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Ethereal Road (Quality Road) has a quarter crack and will not ship to New York for Saturday's GI Belmont S., the New York Racing Association announced Monday.

A maiden winner in his second start around two turns this past January, the $90,000 Keeneland September graduate ran a monster race to be second in the GII Rebel S. before finishing off the board in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. and GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. on consecutive weekends in April. Nevertheless, Ethereal Road was entered for the GI Kentucky Derby and drew gate 20, but his 11th-hour scratching allowed the first of two horses on the also-eligible list, Rich Strike (Keen Ice), to draw into the race. The chestnut would go on to upset the Run for the Roses at 80-1, while Ethereal Road entered the Belmont conversation with a convincing victory in the Sir Barton S. on the GI Preakness S. undercard May 21.

“He popped a quarter crack. We'll soak it and get him better and look for another one,” Lukas said. “I really wanted to run him in [the Belmont Stakes], I thought that's the one he really fit. But the horse has the final say, so we'll have to skip it. We'll look at the Ohio Derby, definitely the Jim Dandy and Travers will be on our radar. We'll bring him up to Saratoga, so we'll look at that.”

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Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races Highlight Santa Anita Fall Stakes

Mon, 2022-06-06 09:53

The 18-day Autumn meet at Santa Anita will feature a total of 26 stakes races, including five 'Win and You're In' qualifying races for the 2022 Breeders' Cup to be held at Keeneland Nov. 4 and 5. Fifteen of the stakes are contested at the graded level.

The meet begins Friday, Sept. 30 and the opening weekend is set to be highlighted by 11 of the stakes races, seven of which are graded. The Saturday, Oct. 1 program includes the GI Awesome Again S. (WAYI) for older handicappers headed towards the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, as well as the GII Eddie D. S. down the hillside turf course, the GII John Henry S. at 10 furlongs on the grass, the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship, the GII City of Hope S. at a mile on the grass and the Unzip Me S.

A total of five added-money events are on offer Sunday, Oct. 2, including the GII Zenyatta S. for GI Breeders' Cup Distaff-bound horses, the GIII Chillingworth S. for female sprinters, the Speakeasy S. (WAYI) for juvenile turf sprinters, the Tokyo City Cup for dirt marathoners and the Senator Ken Maddy S., a downhill turf sprint for fillies and mares.

The second weekend of live racing features three 'Win and You're In' challenge tests–the GI American Pharoah S. for juvenile males; the filly counterpart, the GII Chandelier S.; and the GI Rodeo Drive S. for distaff turfers.

Four California-bred restricted races for total purse money of $600,000 are also programmed. The Golden State Juvenile and Golden State Juvenile Fillies have had their purses increased from $150,000 to $175,000, while a pair of restricted stakes–the Swingtime S. and the Lure S.–carry purse money of $80,000, up from $70,000 last year.

The entire stakes schedule will be available soon at

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Golden Glider Works for Belmont

Sun, 2022-06-05 16:42

Golden Glider (Ghostzapper), most recently second in the GIII Peter Pan S., tuned up for Saturday's GI Belmont S. with a four-furlong work in :49.90 (33/84) at Belmont Park Sunday. NYRA clockers caught the colt, with exercise rider Kylie Wellington up, through a quarter-mile in :26.20 and a gallop-out in 1:02.80.

“I thought he worked really well. He settled early, which is what you want out of a Belmont horse, and flew home,” trainer Mark Casse said.

Casse won the 2019 Belmont with Sir Winston (Awesome Again), who also finished second in the Peter Pan heading into the Test of the Champion. The Hall of Fame trainer expects Golden Glider will have no trouble with the Belmont's 1 1/2-mile distance.

“I'm not worried about the mile and a half, it's just how long it's going to take him,” said Casse, with a laugh. “He's a one-paced type of horse, so I'm hoping he'll have a similar trip like Sir Winston. In his previous races, Sir Winston used to come from the clouds, but in the Belmont, Joel Rosario kept him close enough and I could see the same thing happening Saturday with Dylan [Davis].”

Also working Sunday ahead of Saturday's stakes-packed card at Belmont, Speaker's Corner (Street Sense) went four furlongs in :48.01 (5/117) over the training track ahead of an engagement in the GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H.

“I let him pick it up a little more,” trainer Bill Mott said. “He shaded :24 coming home today. He was off nice and I had him in :47 3/5. The gallop out was just normal. We let him finish up to the wire.”

Speaker's Corner, a Godolphin homebred, won the GIII Fred Hooper S. at Gulfstream in January, the GII Gulfstream Park Mile in March and is coming off a win in the Apr. 9 GI Carter H.

“We've had a nice schedule. We've got a good foundation and plenty of time to be fresh for this race, so hopefully it works out,” Mott said. “He seems to be doing well and we got all our works in and been fortunate enough that we haven't missed anything. We did what we wanted to do.”

Trainer Chad Brown sent out GI Resorts World Casino Manhattan S. hopeful Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) to work five furlongs in 1:01.80 (1/3) over the inner turf course at Belmont Sunday.

“He worked really good,” Brown said. “He likes Belmont quite a bit and the key with him is firm turf. If the turf is firm on Saturday, he will run.”

Rockemperor won the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic S. over the Belmont lawn last year.

Also working for the Manhattan, Gufo (Declaration of War) worked four furlongs in company in :49.60 (9/19) over the inner turf course at Belmont Sunday.

“Gufo worked great and is ready for the Manhattan,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “He tried very hard and ran very well in the Man o' War.”

Third in last year's Manhattan, Gufo is coming off a runner-up effort in the May 14 GI Man o'War S.


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Klesaris Files Appeal of Voided Claim

Sun, 2022-06-05 16:19

Trainer Robert Klesaris and his lawyer Drew Mollica have filed an appeal of the voided claim of Battalion (Tiznow) following the fourth race at Belmont Park May 28 with the New York State Gaming Commission. Mollica has filed a brief on behalf of Klesaris and owner Mike DeBella and the matter will be heard June 7 by Peter Moschetti.

Battalion finished seventh in the May 28 race and, when he received no notification of any claim, Klesaris said he had the horse returned to his barn. Once notified that trainer Rob Atras and owner Sanford Goldfarb had actually won a shake for the 5-year-old gelding, Klesaris had the horse sent to the testing barn, where he arrived shortly after 2:49 p.m., according to the filing. At 3:14 p.m., Klesaris was notified by Steward Brooke Hawkins that the claim had been voided because the horse was not at the testing barn. The void was later confirmed by New York Gaming Commission Steward Braulio Baeza.

In the filing, Klesaris seeks to have the commission vacate the voiding of the claim and transfer ownership of Battalion to Atras and Goldfarb.

“Our position is clear and unmitigated,” said Mollica. “There was no reason the claim should have been voided. Mr. Klesaris followed every rule and every order of the Gaming Commission. The horse was returned to the test barn in a timely manner as soon as he was notified. The horse should have been transferred at that point. There was no reason or rule that the claim should have been voided. The ruling against Frank Gabriel is a smokescreen for the wrongful voiding of this claim.”

In response to a TDN request for comment on the filing, the Gaming Commission's Brad Maione said, “This matter is the subject of an appeal. It would be inappropriate to comment on a pending adjudication.”

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Letter to the Editor: E.H. Beau Lane

Sun, 2022-06-05 13:38

The time has come to start getting real about this wonderful sport that we all love so much. I feel blessed to have spent my life striving to reach a goal that I may never reach, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will never stop trying. I just turned 80, can feel the sunny slope…anyway, enough of that!

I have been in the horse business in one form or another, for close to 60 years. I used to drive 125,000 miles a year and bought Thoroughbred mares from the old Narragansett Park Racetrack in Providence, Rhode Island to Charles Town, West Virginia. This was before the sales companies got so strong. I would buy and sell 85 to 90 mares a year. During this time, I met a lot of wonderful people that make their living with horses.  What I am wanting to say is this…We are all so blessed to be in this Thoroughbred Industry. The challenges we are going to face in the coming months and years are like nothing our generation or the past generation has ever faced. Thanks to our current worldwide economic situation, prices are rising at a frightening pace. i.e. I spent $47,000 on fuel last year, it will double this year. The effect on our industry will be devastating.

This is not the time to be trying to take a hard stand or implement major changes. This is the time to find common ground and come together as lovers of the sport of horse racing.  There are thousands of people at the smaller tracks that get up and go to work, just like those in the upper tier of our industry.  Everyone has the same dream, to get their hands on a great horse. Before this crisis is over, everyone will be tested. A great many will go under. Right now, less than 2% of the world's population gets to do what we do…we are blessed to work in this industry.

Let's take this wonderful sport, often call the Sport of Kings, and make it the sport of the people. We are the selected few, all with one common goal. We have people making the rules for our industry that do not know what they cost. We are running races at our best tracks, with five-horse fields. Cut it out and get real.  We stand together, or we all go down.

E.H. Beau Lane, owner and breeder at Woodline Farm

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Peter Miller Fined, Suspended for Alleged Program Training

Sat, 2022-06-04 21:12

Trainer Peter Miller has been fined $10,000 and suspended seven days by the Santa Anita Park stewards for violating the California Horse Racing Board's rule against program training. The ruling was made pursuant to a stipulated agreement and mutual release with the CHRB.

As previously reported, the CHRB filed a complaint earlier this week alleging that Miller remained involved in the daily training of horses after they had been turned over to and listed under the name of his former assistant Ruben Alvarado. Alvarado was named in a related complaint, but a ruling was only posted against Miller on the CHRB site as of Saturday evening.

Miller announced last fall that he was taking a “temporary hiatus” from training for what he claimed was to spend “more time with my family, focus on overall health and wellness, and pursue other interests.” Speculation ensued that Miller was actually stepping away due to scrutiny he had received for a series of five catastrophic injuries among his horses in 2021. Miller denied such claims.

Former Miller trainees began running in Alvarado's name in early December, but the CHRB alleges that Miller “engaged in behavior consistent with the duties of a trainer at the San Luis Rey Training Center with horses in the barn of Ruben Alvarado” from Dec. 23, 2021 to Mar. 24, 2022.

Miller made his return as a listed trainer at Churchill Downs May 29, and has reportedly been gearing up for a return at the upcoming Los Alamitos and Del Mar meets in California.

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Trio of Juveniles Share Bullet Work at OBS

Sat, 2022-06-04 17:42

A trio of juvenile fillies worked a bullet quarter mile in :20 4/5 during the final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June 2-Year-Olds-in-Training Sale Saturday. Those fillies were:

Nine 2-year-olds shared the fastest furlong time of :10 flat. They were

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More Than Ready’s Emmanuel Takes Turf Debut in Pennine Ridge

Sat, 2022-06-04 17:25

'TDN Rising Star' Emmanuel (More Than Ready), at one point considered a leading Triple Crown contender, looks to have found a new home on the lawn after leading at all calls Saturday to justify 19-10 odds in Belmont Park's nine-furlong GII Pennine Ridge S.

A 6 3/4-length debut winner at Gulfstream going a mile in December followed by an easy Tampa optional claiming tally in January, the WinStar Farm and Siena Farm representative was fourth in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. Mar. 5 and third after showing the way in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 9 behind subsequent GI Kentucky Derby third finisher Zandon (Upstart).

Having gotten acquainted with the lawn thanks to a pair of local breezes leading up to this, the $350,000 Keeneland September yearling found no company on the front end here as he cruised through splits of :25.19, :51.72 and 1:15.91. Pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr. seemed to play a bit of possum as he allowed his rivals to stack up behind him entering the stretch, but when he got Emmanuel to switch leads the bay found another gear to slam the door and stride away in command despite drifting slightly. Chad Brown-trained Napoleonic War (War Front) was second, while Shug McCaughey pupil Limited Liability (Kitten's Joy) rounded out the trifecta.

“He was the speed of the race,” said Ortiz, who had never ridden the winner before. “He broke well and put me in a good position. I just kept it together and stayed out of his way. He was ready. He's by More Than Ready, so he had a great pedigree to run on turf. I expected that he would like it and he did like it.”

Winning conditioner Todd Pletcher, who won the inaugural running of this event in 2014 as well as last year's renewal with another WinStar Farm co-owned making his turf debut, said, “He's bred for the turf, but he's always trained really well on the dirt. He's had some good dirt races, but we kind of wanted to experiment with this. We worked him twice on the turf. My biggest concern was two weeks ago we worked him and it had a little give to it like it does today, and I didn't think he was as good as he was the following work when it was firm. It looked like we had a pace advantage and took advantage of that and he ran well… He quickened when Irad asked him to, but I do believe he'll be even better once we get him a little firmer ground.”

The GI Caesars Belmont Derby going 10 panels July 9 is the next logical spot.

“That's what we're thinking,” Pletcher said. “We'll see how he comes out. We haven't ruled out going back to the dirt at some point. All our options are open.”

Saturday, Belmont Park
PENNINE RIDGE S.-GII, $200,000, Belmont, 6-4, 3yo, 1 1/8mT, 1:51.11, fm.
1–EMMANUEL, 118, c, 3, by More Than Ready
                1st Dam: Hard Cloth, by Hard Spun
                2nd Dam: Trensa, by Giant's Causeway
                3rd Dam: Serape, by Fappiano
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. 'TDN RISING STAR'. ($350,000  Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-WinStar Farm LLC and Siena Farm LLC; B-Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher;  J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.. $110,000. Lifetime Record: GISP, 5-3-0-1, $272,100. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Napoleonic War, 118, c, 3, War Front–Naples Parade, by Street Cry (Ire). 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-Peter M. Brant; B-White Birch Farm, Inc. (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $40,000.
3–Limited Liability, 118, c, 3, Kitten's Joy–Hold Harmless, by Blame. O/B-Stuart S. Janney, III LLC (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III. $24,000.
Margins: 1, HF, 1. Odds: 1.90, 3.60, 5.70.
Also Ran: Unanimous Consent (GB), Daunt, Elizar (Fr). Scratched: Gilded Age.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:

Emmanuel is one of 51 Northern Hemisphere graded/group winners (106 overall) for the ever-present international powerhouse More Than Ready. He is bred on a version of the cross responsible for U.S. highest-level scorers Uni (GB) and Hit the Road, and myriad Group 1 performers in Australasia. Hard Spun is the broodmare sire of 13 graded winners, including recent European MG1SW Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never), Asian MG1SW Danon Smash (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and champion juvenile Good Magic.
Emmanuel was produced by a half-sister to globetrotting MG1SW Hawkbill (Kitten's Joy) and 2017 GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity winner Free Drop Billy (Union Rags), who has had several strong breezers from his first crop this 2-year-old sales season.
Emmanuel's 2-year-old half-brother by Kitten's joy was a $125,000 KEESEP yearling turned €272,715 Goffs Dubai Breeze Up Sale graduate in March. Hard Cloth produced a full-sister to Emmanuel last year and a Munnings filly Apr. 8.

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Gulfstream Cancels Saturday and Sunday Programs

Sat, 2022-06-04 16:20

Officials at Gulfstream Park were forced to cancel both Saturday and Sunday's race cards due to the effects of a weekend tropical storm that dumped more than 12 inches of rain on the South Florida area. Live racing will resume Thursday, June 9 with a 1:05 p.m. first race post. Gulfstream's casino and simulcast center remain open.

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Top Contenders Put in Final Belmont Breezes

Sat, 2022-06-04 15:48

Several major contenders for next week's $1.5-million GI Belmont S. completed their final serious preparations Saturday morning. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher seeks his fourth Belmont trophy, and sent out his pair of representatives, GII Wood Memorial S. winner Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) and GI Longines Kentucky Oaks runner-up Nest (Curlin), to an in-company half in :49.90 (68/129) over the Belmont training track. Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Jose Ortiz, respectively, piloted the pair, who Pletcher caught breaking off in :24.80 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:27.20.

“I thought it was good. I liked the way they finished and galloped out,” Pletcher said. “Those horses seem to be in good form. This was more of a maintenance work. They had a strong work last week with a big, long gallop out. This week we wanted just a maintenance type of work, which they were able to execute properly.”

Mo Donegal exits a fast-finishing fifth in the GI Kentucky Derby May 7, while GI Central Bank Ashland S. heroine Nest will look to become Pletcher's second filly to win this race, following in the hoofsteps of 2010 heroine Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy).

Also appearing on the Belmont tab was WinStar Farm, CMNWLTH and Siena Farm's 'TDN Rising Star' We the People (Constitution), who covered a solo half-mile on the main track in :47.59 (9/66, out in 1:00.40). Two-for-two at Oaklawn to kick off his career, the $230,000 FTFMAR acquisition bounced back from a seventh-place run in the GI Arkansas Derby Apr. 2 to air by 10 1/4 lengths in the local GIII Peter Pan S. May 14.

“It was a little fast,” said trainer Rodolphe Brisset. “The track with the moisture in it will carry you. He couldn't have done it any easier. He was just galloping. He repeated what we've been seeing the whole time here. It looked like he really enjoyed it to me. We've got to have a good week now.”

Belmont longshot Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator), fifth in the GI Preakness S. May 21, breezed a five-eighths over Big Sandy in 1:02.41 (13/17).

“We're coming back in three weeks, so we weren't looking for much. We wanted a steady, long and easy breeze and that's what we got,” trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. said.

GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) put in a strong two-mile gallop Saturday.

“He was great,” said conditioner Eric Reed. “The rider said he was moving good and liked it. When he came down the stretch, I was loving the way he was moving today. He can get into his stride and not get distracted here. We went two miles today and tomorrow we'll probably back it up a little bit.”

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Twirling Candy Filly Walks All Over Regret Rivals

Sat, 2022-06-04 15:04

Walkathon got the jump on odds-on McKulick and kept finding in the lane to make the grade and stay unbeaten on gras while becoming jockey Julien Leparoux's 1000th winner at Churchill Downs.

Having finished second and fourth in her second and third starts, respectively, sprinting on the main track, Walkathon was runner-up in a rained-onto-Tapeta Gulfstream route Feb. 13. She resurfaced to graduate over the Keeneland turf Apr. 22, and was flattered when the next two finishers came back to earn their own diplomas. The Whitham homebred was coming off a first-level allowance tally going a sixteenth shorter here May 14.

Away on top from the rail, Walkathon was eventually reined in by Leparoux to sit second behind keyed-up longshot Lola Flo (Get Stormy). They crawled down the backside single file through a half in :48.46 and six furlongs in 1:12.91, and as the pacesetter dropped anchor midway around the home bend Walkathon quickly seized command. She was three or four lengths clear at the head of the stretch, and was not for catching from there.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
REGRET S.-GIII, $200,000, Churchill Downs, 6-4, 3yo, f, 1 1/8mT, 1:49.26, fm.
1–WALKATHON, 118, f, 3, by Twirling Candy
                1st Dam: Walkabout (GSW, $242,563), by Stroll
                2nd Dam: Arlucea, by Broad Brush
                3rd Dam: Bayakoa (Arg), by Consultant's Bid
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O/B-Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes; J-Julien R. Leparoux. $122,760. Lifetime Record: 7-3-2-0, $290,341. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–McKulick (GB), 118, f, 3, Frankel (GB)–Astrelle (Ire), by Makfi (GB). (180,000gns Ylg '20 TATOCT). O-Klaravich Stables, Inc.; B-Essafinaat UK Ltd (GB); T-Chad C. Brown. $39,600.
3–Beside Herself, 118, f, 3, Uncle Mo–Excited, by Giant's Causeway. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-Michael B. Tabor; B-Chelston (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $19,800.
Margins: 1 1/4, 6 1/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 2.60, 0.80, 4.40.
Also Ran: Kneesnhips, Candy Raid, Lola Flo. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:

Walkathon becomes the 15th graded stakes winner for her sire (by Candy Ride {Arg}), and the third out of a mare by Stroll, who also sired the dam of talented GISW Ollie's Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}). She traces her lineage back to Janis and Frank Whitham's most noteworthy of many standout runners, with Hall of Famer Bayako (Arg) as her third dam. Fort Larned (E Dubai), these connections' 2012 GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner, is a half to Walkathon's dam, herself a winner of the GIII Matron S. over this main track in 2017. After producing Walkathon in her first mating, Walkabout lost a Mendelssohn foal and was unsuccessfully bred to Omaha Beach thereafter. She produced a colt by Nyquist Apr. 25.


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Inaugural Horse Racing Women’s Summit to be Held at Santa Anita

Sat, 2022-06-04 14:42

Edited Press Release

The inaugural Horse Racing Women's Summit (HRWS) has been confirmed for Sept. 28-30 at Santa Anita Park. The multi-day event aims to bring together people from all facets of the horse racing industry with the mission of connecting and empowering women in horse racing. To that tune, Susan Packard, an entrepreneur and co-founder of popular TV channels like CNBC, HGTV and Food Network, has been announced as the keynote speaker for the event.

Originally a vision of Stephanie Hronis, the Committee Chair for the Horse Racing Women's Summit, the event started out as an idea to connect women in California, but when it quickly gathered national attention, the decision was made to expand the summit's reach. The HRWS planning committee now has bi-coastal representation and is being designed to embrace a national group of participants.

“On behalf of our Horse Racing Women's Summit planning team, we are excited to offer this summit and honored to have Susan Packard as our keynote speaker for this inaugural event,” Hronis said. “As an internationally recognized business power player and author, Packard embodies all that is being offered to our HRWS participants. We look forward to having her inspire attendees to be trailblazers, build networks, meet new friends, foster deep discussions, and ultimately Engage, Innovate, and Invest. If you are currently or interested in becoming a racehorse owner, bloodstock agent, executive, young professional or a veteran of the sport, this event is for you.”

Packard is no stranger to horse racing as she served from 2004 – 2010 on the Board of Directors of Churchill Downs Incorporated, where she made significant contributions in guiding their television strategy to expand and enhance its performance and attract a more female audience. She has also been on the ground floor of building major media brands like HBO, CNBC, and HGTV. She was the co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and former chief operating officer of HGTV. Under Packard's guidance, HGTV became one of the fastest-growing cable networks in television history.

In addition to the keynote, the HRWS will include opportunities for participants to network, learn and enjoy. Speakers, topics and related opportunities will be released as they are confirmed. To sign up for announcements regarding future details, visit

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First Foal Out of Paola Queen Makes Impressive Debut

Sat, 2022-06-04 14:01

4th-Monmouth, $56,925, Msw, 6-4, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:10.94, ft, 4 1/4 lengths.
PASS AND STOW (c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro–Paola Queen {GISW, $431,490}, by Flatter) was hammered down to 3-2 favoritism for this unveiling and ran to the money with an impressive debut score. Away alertly from his rail draw, the Don Alberto homebred seized the early advantage, dueling through a :22.86 opening quarter and :46.18 half-mile. Opening up on his foes turning for home, the bay strode clear with ease down the lane to graduate by 4 1/4 lengths. Peter Brant's Balantyne (Tapit), a $310,000 KEESEP buy trained by Chad Brown, filled the place spot. Pass and Stow is the first foal out of GI Test S. winner Paola Queen, who Don Alberto purchased for $1.7 million at the 2017 KEENOV sale. Her second foal, a now 2-year-old colt by Into Mischief, topped last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale when selling to Coolmore's M.V. Magnier for $2.6 million. Paola Queen had an Into Mischief filly in 2021 and a Tapit colt Apr. 10 of this year. Sales history: $100,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $34,500. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-Don Alberto Stable; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Jerry Hollendorfer.


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