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HISA Adds Four New Members to Horsemen's Advisory Group

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-11 13:10
Consignor Craig Bandoroff, owner John Green, owner Michael Levinson, and trainer Todd Pletcher are the newest members of HISA's Horsemen's Advisory Group.

Racing a Family Bond for Elliotts

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-11 13:10
Stewart Elliott, who ranks No. 8 in all-time wins among active North American riders, was joined in the Lone Star Park jockey colony this year by his 18-year-old son Christopher.

BHA Figures Show Steep Decline in Claimer, Seller Races

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-11 13:10
The average field size for last year's seller and claimer races was below eight. They are seen as uncompetitive and therefore unattractive to both racecourses and bookmakers. This is reckoned to be a large part of the reason for their decline.

Epsom Runner-Up Ambiente Friendly Targets Irish Derby

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Epsom runner-up Ambiente Friendly will be targeted at the Irish Derby (G1) at the Curragh June 30, owner Tim Gredley has revealed.

BHA Seeing 92% Decline in Claimers, Sellers

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
The average field size for last year's sellers and claimers was below eight. They are seen as uncompetitive and therefore unattractive to both racecourses and bookmakers. This is reckoned to be a large part of the reason for their decline.

Central KY Riding for Hope to Host Annual Fundraiser

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is preparing to welcome about 500 guests to its 21st annual gala fundraiser June 22 at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington. Tickets remain for the event, which includes dinner and drinks, a Silent Auction, and a Live Auction.

Webslinger, Intricate Aim to Rebound in Churchill Tests

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Several horses on Churchill Downs' June 15 Downs After Dark program have something to prove before the second half of the season. Three-year-old fillies compete in the Monomoy Girl while older turf males go long in the Chorleywood.

Drake's Passage Wins Commentator, Stars on NY-Bred Day

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Robert S. Evans' homebred Drake's Passage was arguably the star of the New York Showcase Day card June 9 at Saratoga Race Course. His win in the $200,000 Commentator Stakes was so good that he might be ready for bigger and better things.

Multiple Graded Stakes Winner Ide Dies From Colic

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., is saddened to report that multiple graded-stakes winning stallion, Ide, was euthanized at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital June 7 due to colic. He was 31.

Munnings Filly Leads Final Day of OBS June Under Tack

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Hip 1009, a daughter of Munnings consigned by Hoppel, sped a quarter in :21 to post the fastest work at the distance at the sixth and final session of the Under Tack Show for the 2024 Ocala Breeders' June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale.

Trio of Triple Crown Race Winners Muddles 3-Year-Olds

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
For a sixth straight year, three different horses won the trio of Triple Crown races, leaving the chase for the division championship a muddled mess.

Society Man the Real Deal in Matt Winn

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Society Man proved himself the real deal with an impressive win in the $400,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs June 9.

O'Rourke: Shift to Saratoga Brought Energy to Belmont

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
The smile on Dave Rourke's face the day after Saratoga and the Belmont Stakes (G1) became a coupled entry for the first time told the story of a weekend that for the most part exceeded grand expectations.

Ortiz Rides 3,000th Winner at Churchill Downs

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Jockey Jose Ortiz celebrated a career milestone June 9 as he won his 3,000th career race aboard Save the Trees in the third race at Churchill Downs.

Do Deuce Leads Fan Vote for Takarazuka Kinen

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Report from Japan

City of Troy to Target Eclipse Stakes

Blood-Horse - Mon, 2024-06-10 13:10
Following a thrilling victory in the Epsom Derby (G1) June 1, Coolmore's City of Troy will target the Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown July 6.

Silver Skillet skips to Mount Vernon win; Spirit of St Louis wins the Kingston

New York Thoroughbred Breeders - Sun, 2024-06-09 20:15

Silver Skillet dominates the off-the-turf Mount Vernon. Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo.

Christophe Clement heard the rain. Then he saw the rain. He didn’t care either way, Silver Skillet was running, rain or shine, turf or dirt. 

Silver Skillet showed she could handle either in her first 12 starts and did so again on Sunday’s New York Showcase Day card to close the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course. The 4-year-old daughter of Liam’s Map, a stakes winner in New York-bred company and placed in open stakes last year, added another stakes victory in the off-the-turf $125,000 Mount Vernon.

Joel Rosario rode Silver Skillet to her front-running score, finishing 4 lengths clear of Stonewall Star with 8-5 favorite Tough Street third in the scratched-down field of six. 

“She likes a wet track,” Clement said after the win. “She has run well before on a wet track. She was a little bit unlucky first time back at Aqueduct on the grass. She’s trained well. I just told Joel to break well and make it simple. And she broke well and he made it simple.”

Silver Skillet took command from the start, opening up 2 lengths through the opening quarter-mile in :24.31 and Rosario put his five rivals to bed from there. 

“With a sloppy track, we get in a position and see where we’re at,” Rosario said. “It looked like she showed a lot of speed and I was able to just go to the front and let her do what she wants to do.”

Silver Skillet continued to lead without pressure through the half in :47.35 and 6 furlongs in 1:11.21. She turned for home well in front and opened up 2 lengths in midstretch. Silver Skillet cruised from there, winning under a hand ride after on tap of Rosario’s right-handed whip in deep stretch. Silver Skillet won in 1:37.55. 

Silver Skillet improved to 2-for 4 on a wet track, adding the Mount Vernon to a 14 ½-length maiden win in December 2022. 

“She ran before on this kind of track and has run very well,” Rosario said. “Today, she proved that she’s OK with this track. You never know because (when a race comes off the turf) you could lose the speed of the race. We just try to get a good spot in the beginning and I was hoping to be close on the pace. I just tried to ride it from there.” – Tom Law

Sprit of St Louis handles off going to win Kingston to close New York Showcase Day card. NYRA Photo.

• Spirit of St Louis owner Michael Dubb didn’t have a stressful weekend.

He was only stressed before the Belmont Stakes festival started when he saw the thunderstorms scheduled for the weekend but other than that, there was no stress.

There definitely wasn’t any stress when he was standing in the winner’s circle after his New York-bred Spirit of St Louis won the $125,000 Kingston Stakes to close out the New York Showcase Day at Saratoga.

“I’ve been coming to Saratoga for 50 years and I’ve never had an experience like this in Saratoga,” Dubb said. “On Thursday when I arrived, I said ‘It’s a little awkward to be here.’ When I left Thursday afternoon, I said ‘Oh my God, this is unbelievable. I wish we could do this all the time.’ ”

Due to rain Sunday morning, the usual 1 1/16 mile turf race was moved to the dirt track for a muddy mile. It didn’t seem to bother the Chad Brown-trained 4-5 favorite.

Jockey Manny Franco put the son of Medaglia d’Oro near the lead in the shortened five-horse field and surged coming out of the final turn, passing Jerry the Nipper and Disarmed. From there, the race became how about the winning margin.

“He’s a good, consistent horse,” Brown said. “He’s effective on the dirt, particularly when it’s wet. He’s a real pleasure to have and he just continues to improve.”

The 5-year-old posted a 1:37.44 time and added his seventh victory and fourth stakes win in nine starts. This was his first dirt victory since his debut at Aqueduct in early 2023.

“He does whatever you ask him to do,” Franco said. “From the turf to dirt, he is a nice horse. He is very nice. Every time I ask him, he is there. He’s a cool horse.”

Dubb, before answering questions, asked a question of his own: “Where’s the champagne room?”

“It’s just phenomenal,” Dubb said. “This is the best racing place on Earth.” – Spencer Ripchik

The post Silver Skillet skips to Mount Vernon win; Spirit of St Louis wins the Kingston appeared first on New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. News.

Doc Sullivan delivers for Lostritto in Mike Lee; Clear the Runway: Landed wins Bouwerie

New York Thoroughbred Breeders - Sun, 2024-06-09 20:05

Doc Sullivan and Javier Castellano roll to victory in Sunday’s Mike Lee at Saratoga. NYRA Photo.

As he celebrated Doc Sullivan’s win in the Mike Lee Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course Sunday, Joe Lostritto had one concern.

“This is the major league,” Lostritto said. “This is make believe. This is not real. I’ll wake up tomorrow and say, ‘What a hell of a dream I had.’ ”

Not to worry, Joe, it is indeed real and your horse is a stakes winner.

Doc Sullivan, a 3-year-old son of Solomini, enjoyed a perfect trip in the Saratoga slop under Javier Castellano, taking the lead at the three-eighths pole and gradually extending it down the stretch to win the $125,000 stakes by 4 lengths in 1:22.61.

“Once he got the lead, he looked really tough,” trainer Mike Miceli said. “He was laying in a good position down the backside. Javier had him within range. When he asked him to run, he had a lot of horse. I said to myself at the head of the lane, ‘they’re going to have to run to get by him because I could see Javier hadn’t asked him to run.’ ”

Castellano was relieved that his horse behaved better on the racetrack than in the paddock, when he was a bit obstreperous when being saddled.

“He kind of reacted a little bit in the walking ring when they put (the saddle) on,” he said. “But before the race he was well-behaved today. He warmed up really good.”

The fifth foal and first stakes winner out of Queen Frostine, Doc Sullivan was bred by Seamus Coughlan. He went for $58,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton 2022 New York Bred sale and Lostritto and his son, Glenn, who race as Tristar Farm, bought him for $59,000 at last year’s OBS June 2-year-olds in training sale. Doc Sullivan became the latest stakes winner by Solomini, a 9-year-old son of Curlin who stands for $7,500 at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughreds in Saratoga Springs.

Lostritto, a former trainer who has a 50-acre farm in Old Brookville on Long Island, said the horse was named for a medical doctor friend of his and a professor his son had at Penn State. “I think he named him more after his professor than I named him after the doctor. But he was also a doctor of teaching,” he said.

Doc Sullivan broke his maiden and romped in an allowance at Aqueduct before running second in the Gander Stakes for New York-breds and the New York Stallion Series. He came back with a solid win in an allowance in his last start before the Mike Lee for Miceli, whose Saratoga entries always deserve a second look.

“You just have the right horses because this is always a tough place,” he said. “So we like to try to come here with a loaded gun.” – Paul Halloran

Landed gives her dam Glory Gold a second Showcase Day victory in Sunday’s Bouwerie Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Jetta Vaughns/NYRA Photo.

• Landed looks like she’s on her way to bigger and better things after her 1 1/4-length win in Sunday’s $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes for owner Lael Stable and trainer Wesley Ward. The 3-year-old filly by Omaha Beach broke well and sat close to the pace set by Sunday Girl on the backstretch through fractions of :22.15 and :44.83. Under jockey John Velazquez, Landed started to inch her way clear as the field arrived at the top of the stretch and was able to hold off the late rallies from Caldwell Luvs Gold and Tricky Temper to get her first stakes victory in 1:23.61 for the 7-furlong distance on the main track.

“I didn’t think I was going to be in the lead, but I wanted to make sure she came out running,” Velazquez said. “She was misbehaving a little bit in the gate. All of a sudden I was close to the lead and I just left her alone.”

Velazquez noted that Landed did have to regain concentration late in the stretch after she had opened a gap on her competition, but once she realized there was still work to do, she was all business.

“Coming down the lane, she’s by herself and easing up, and I said ‘OK, we’ve got to get focused here,’ ” Velazquez said. “I went left-handed and kind of drifted out a bit so she could feel the competition and then she did it pretty handily after that.”

Co-breeder Shaun Nettleton of Final Furlong Racing Stable was in the winner’s circle to celebrate the win after having already won as an owner with the filly’s half-sister, Venti Valentine, earlier on the card in the Critical Eye Stakes. As one can imagine, he was thrilled.

“It’s a true honor,” he said. “We bought the mare for $13,000 on a whim. We owned Espresso Shot who was a great New York runner, turned around and had Venti Valentine who has given us the ride of a lifetime, and now to watch her younger sibling just keep following those winning ways on the New York circuit, we are thrilled to support the family and couldn’t ask for any more.”

Nettleton hopes that Landed can make a step forward into deeper waters.

“It looks just like her sister Venti where she could start stepping into bigger shoes, step into an open competition and start stretching out and see what life has in store for her,” he said. “We are excited for the future.”

It certainly seems like the race for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies is going to be a stepping stone to Landed’s future.

“We’d love to get some open black-type for her, and she’s just the horse to do it,” Nettleton said. “She has a great ownership and trainers behind her, so we wish them the best of luck and we love it.”

Landed is out of the winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold. Lael Stables purchased Landed for $500,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings out of the Eaton Sales consignment. – Alec DiConza

The post Doc Sullivan delivers for Lostritto in Mike Lee; Clear the Runway: Landed wins Bouwerie appeared first on New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. News.

Venti Valentine cruises to Critical Eye victory; Drake’s Passage wins Saratoga return in Commentator

New York Thoroughbred Breeders - Sun, 2024-06-09 19:30

Venti Valentine shines on Showcase Day with victory in the Critical Eye. NYRA Photo.

Dan Zanatta and Vince Roth jumped from their seats in the Saratoga Race Course clubhouse and headed to the top of the stairs leading to the winner’s circle Sunday, patting each other on the chest in excitement.

The representatives of NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds celebrated after watching their New York-bred mare Venti Valentine break away from the pack to win the $200,000 Critical Eye Stakes Sunday on the New York Showcase Day card at Saratoga.

“Any place on New York Showcase Day is a dream,” Roth said. “But to be here, Belmont Stakes at Saratoga weekend, and have her win like that, that’s the race you plan and today it happened.”

Venti Valentine stayed off the lead early in the 9-furlong stakes over the muddy track, waiting until the top of the stretch to make her move and track down frontrunners Bustin Bay and Bon Adieu. The daughter of Firing Line won by 6 3/4 lengths as at the 5-2 second choice in the field of six. Venti Valentine won in 1:52.51.

Venti Valentine’s trip wasn’t quite the trip trainer Jorge Abreu envisioned for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

“I’d like to see her on the lead,” said Abreu, decked out in a New York Yankees sweater for the occasion. “Irad told me ‘three other horses are going to go, so I am going to sit right off of them.’ I said, ‘well I’m not going to tell you how to ride it.’ He gave her a perfect ride.”

Venti Valentine hadn’t seen the winner’s circle since October 2023, when she won the Jack Betta Be Rite Stakes at Finger Lakes. She lost six straight after that win, racing in one- and two-turn races. She exited a second in the Serena’s Song Stakes at Monmouth Park May 12.. Abreu said she came out of the race in “great shape.” 

“Early on she looked like a horse that wanted to go a one-turn mile,” Abreu said. “Now that she’s older she’s got that speed and she wants to go two turns.”

Abreu doesn’t have a definite next outing in mind for Venti Valentine, but she’ll likely stay in similar spots to the Critical Eye. 

“We’re going to see how she comes out,” Abreu said. “We’re just going to keep her a New York-bred for now.” 

Bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable and foaled at Schuylerville Thoroughbred Farm in Schuylerville, Venti Valentine improved to 7-5-5 in 21 starts and boosted her bankroll to $883,600 with the victory. – Spencer Ripchik

Drake’s Passage adds the Commentator to his victory in last year’s Albany Stakes on Sunday’s New York Showcase Day card. NYRA Photo.

• Robert “Shel” Evans’ homebred Drake’s Passage improved to 2-for-2 at Saratoga in Sunday’s $200,000 Commentator Stakes, a 9-furlong contest for older New York-breds on the main track. The son of Tonalist added the Commentator to his 7 3/4-length victory in last year’s Albany Stakes at the same distance.

Breaking from post 2, the 4-year-old colt took the lead right away after the expected early pacesetter to his inside, Sheriff Bianco, stumbled at the start and almost lost rider Jose Lezcano. Drake’s Passage ran the opening quarter-mile in :24.45 and the half in :48.88 with Donegal Surges about a length behind on the backstretch. As the field rounded the turn and entered the stretch, Drake’s Passage gained some separation over that rival and was all by himself with a furlong to go. He galloped home on the muddy and sealed track 4 lengths ahead of Donegal Surges in 1:49.32 under jockey Manny Franco. Christophe Clement trains the winner. 

“When I saw the one stumble out of there, I said I’m going to go,” Franco said. “After that, I was in cruise control there the whole way.”

The winning trainer was pleased with the effort by his colt.

“He was very impressive,” Clement said. “Great trip. He was in front, comfortable. He’s a nice horse. When he got to an easy lead, I thought he’d be very dangerous, because I know he stays a mile and an eighth.”

Drake’s Passage came out of two runner-up finishes in open-company allowance races at Aqueduct. Despite the defeats, Clement was encouraged by how well he ran on both occasions coming into the Commentator.

“I know we got beat in New York in these allowance races, but they were actually spectacular allowance races if you look at numbers,” he said. 

Drake’s Passage could try to go 3-for-3 at Saratoga this summer in another major stakes event for New York-breds, according to Clement, with a possible start before then.

“We got a big stakes, New York-bred, in the Saratoga meet,” he said. “Where do we go in between? I’m sure we’ll find a place for him.”

As for the day as a whole, Clement is grateful that there is a day to celebrate the New York-breds as well as their owners and breeders with a card full of stakes races.

“It’s a great program,” he said. “There’s a lot of money. It’s a great owner/breeder program because they get us all these breeders’ awards. We need that kind of day to be successful for everybody involved.” – Alec DiConza

The post Venti Valentine cruises to Critical Eye victory; Drake’s Passage wins Saratoga return in Commentator appeared first on New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. News.

Four Share Furlong Bullet at OBS Under-Tack Finale

Thoroughbred Daily News - Sun, 2024-06-09 14:52

Three colts and one filly shared the furlong bullet time of :9 4/5 during the final session of the under-tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training Sunday. The quartet all took to track within the first half-hour of the session, with a colt by Tapiture (hip 993) getting the day started with his bullet work for Navas Equine. The colt is out of Union Queen (Union Rags) and his third dam, Above Perfection (In Excess {Ire}), produced GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Next up, Top Line Sales sent out a colt by Practical Joke (hip 945) to put up his :9 4/5 work. The bay colt is out of Mo's Song (Uncle Mo), a half-sister to multiple stakes winner She's My Gem (Into Mischief). He was a $185,000 Keeneland September purchase.

A colt by Honest Mischief (hip 906) joined the :9 4/5 parade some 10 minutes later. The juvenile was bred by Robbie Harris and is consigned by his Harris Training Center.

“We felt he would work good,” Harris said. “I bred and raised him. He was foaled in New York and he came to the farm [in Williston] after he was weaned. He's been a real straightforward horse. We had him in one of the earlier sales, but we hit a little bump in the road, nothing major, but we felt like we needed to give him more time, so we did and it's paid off for us.”

The colt is out of Memories of Mom (Include), a mare Harris purchased for $9,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale.

“I didn't give anything for her,” Harris said of the purchase. “She could really run. I ended up partnering up with Mr. [Alex] Lieblong on her. She got hurt in her second or third start and he told me he would give me his half back.”

The colt is from the first crop of Honest Mischief (Into Mischief). The stallion, who stands at Sequel Stallions for $6,500, has had 15 juveniles sell this year for an average of $104,200. The group is led by a filly who sold for $310,000 at the OBS March sale and includes a colt who sold for $260,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale.

“[Sequel Stallion's] Becky [Thomas] talked me into him,” Harris said of the decision to send the mare to Honest Mischief. “Becky is a dear friend and she told me I really needed to breed to him. I just listened to her. She's pretty sharp. So we bred the mare to Honest Mischief basically because of Becky.”

Memories of Mom died shortly before her Honest Mischief colt was weaned.

“We lost the mare, so he will probably go on and win the Kentucky Derby or something,” Harris said with a wry chuckle.

With the loss of Memories of Mom, Harris has just one broodmare.

“I'm down to just one,” he confirmed. “I've got one in Kentucky. I had as many as eight or nine over the years, but we've been scaling back and scaling back.”

A filly by Complexity (hip 996) became the last of the under-tack show to work the furlong in :9 4/5. Consigned by Old South Farm, the bay is out of Will Ye Go Lassie (Trappe Shot), a half-sister to graded winner Venus Valentine (Congrats). The youngster was purchased by Greg James for $70,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale.

Through the six-session under-tack show, 11 horses worked the furlong in :9 4/5.

A filly by Munnings (hip 1009) turned in the fastest quarter-mile work of Sunday's session, covering the distance in :21 flat. Out of stakes-winner Desert Duchess (Hard Spun), she is consigned by Hoppel LLC and was purchased for $130,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale.

From the horses of racing age section, Just a Gem (Court Vision), an unraced 3-year-old filly (hip 1115) worked the fastest three furlongs Sunday, covering the distance in :33 4/5. She is consigned by Silvestre Chavez Thoroughbreds.

The OBS June sale will be held Wednesday through Friday. Bidding begins each day at 10 a.m.

The post Four Share Furlong Bullet at OBS Under-Tack Finale appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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