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Trey Gordon Named West Point Thoroughbreds President

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-04-10 14:22

West Point Thoroughbreds has appointed Trey Gordon as its new President, while Terry Finley continues as Chief Executive Officer, the racing partnerships company said in a Wednesday release.

In his new role, Gordon will work closely with Finley, who remains fully involved in the company's strategic direction and commitment to operating North America's largest public racehorse syndicate.

“Trey has been a West Point Partner since 2021 and has an incredible passion for the game,” said Finley. “Our company has grown tremendously over the past several years and with over 130 horses in training and 650 Partners, we see bringing him on board as a natural expansion of our executive team. He is passionate about introducing new people to the sport and helping us execute on the highest level of Partner service. To know Trey is to like Trey, he's personable, kind, and a great ambassador for racing.”

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Texas Tech University School of Law, Gordon practiced law for 33 years in Fort Worth, Texas. Additionally, he has 17 years of experience as a certified mediator. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

“I am honored to join the West Point Thoroughbreds team,” said Gordon. “I've had a wonderful experience as a Partner and this opportunity presented itself organically, combining my passion for racing and decades of experience working with people and organizations. Terry and I share the same values and I look forward to enhancing West Point's reputation as a world leader in racing partnerships.”

The post Trey Gordon Named West Point Thoroughbreds President appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Wesley Ward-Trained Maclean’s Music Firster Sharp on Debut at Keeneland

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-04-10 13:54

2nd-Keeneland, $64,254, Msw, 4-10, 2yo, 4 1/2f, :52.17, sy, 2 1/4 lengths.
RAISE THE BAR (c, 2, Maclean's Music–Paschali, by Bernardini) ran to the money for trainer Wesley Ward as the even-money favorite on debut over the sloppy going at Keeneland Wednesday. The rail-drawn Douglas Scharbauer homebred was hustled to the front beneath John Velazquez, kicked for home under very confident handling and was never seriously asked for run while crossing the wire 2 1/4 lengths clear of Tuxedo Park (Complexity). Paschali, a daughter of MGISW Pure Clan (Pure Prize), was bred to Shoplifted and Competitive Edge for 2024. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $30,551. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O/B-Douglas Scharbauer (TX); T-Wesley A. Ward.

Favored RAISE THE BAR ($4.26) went gate-to-wire under a hand ride to win his first career start in race 2 at Keeneland!

Johnny Velazquez was in the irons for trainer Wesley Ward and owner/breeder Douglas Scharbauer. pic.twitter.com/uzoMq0ZNzK

— TVG (@TVG) April 10, 2024

The post Wesley Ward-Trained Maclean’s Music Firster Sharp on Debut at Keeneland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Master of The Seas Back Stateside for Maker's Mark Mile

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Godolphin's Master of The Seas is out to avenge his former stablemate's defeat, as well as make amends of his own, when he lines up April 12 in the $600,000 Maker's Mark Mile (G1T) at Keeneland.

Eileen's Dream Sets Record at F-T April Digital Sale

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
The Fasig-Tipton April Digital Sale closed April 9 with 87 horses sold for $4,274,300. Sale topper Eileen's Dream (Hip 21) set a record for a single offering on the Digital platform when sold for $660,000.

Tiz the Law Filly Equals OBS Sale Track Record

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Hip 365, a Tiz the Law filly consigned by Tom McCrocklin, agent, breezed a quarter in a track record-equaling :20 1/5, the fastest work at the distance at the third session of the 2024 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training Under Tack Show.

Salice, Owner of International Star Falbrav, Dies at 88

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Luciano Salice, who owned the brilliant Falbrav along with a host of other top-class horses, has died. He was 88.

Adare Manor, Baffert Ship In for Apple Blossom Raid

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Five-time graded stakes winner Adare Manor has lost the only two times she raced outside her Southern California base, but she still should be favored in the $1.25 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 13 at Oaklawn Park.

Back From Saudi, Skelly Pursues Second Count Fleet Win

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Skelly, second to Remake in the $1.5 million Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3) Feb. 24 in Saudi Arabia, is back racing at a familiar domestic track: Oaklawn Park. The speedster bids to win a second consecutive running of the Count Fleet Handicap (G3).

Regally Bred Arrogate Filly Wins Despite Traffic

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Maiden Watch: Week of April 1-7

NYRA Donates 25 Belmont Picnic Tables to Nonprofits

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
The New York Racing Association announced it is providing 25 local nonprofit organizations with a reserved picnic table for each day of the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which will be held at Saratoga Race Course from June 6-9.

Hall of Fame to Host Derby Preview Panel April 27

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will play host to its annual Kentucky Derby Preview Panel program as well as a book and memorabilia sale April 27.

Fierceness Holds Lead Over Sierra Leone in Derby Dozen

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Byron King's Top 12 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, presented by Spendthrift Farm.

Baltas Court Petition to Set Aside Suspension Denied

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
A petition filed by trainer Richard Baltas seeking a court order directing the California Horse Racing Board to set aside a one-year suspension of his license has been denied in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Sierra Leone Tops Fierceness in NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Not only did Sierra Leone's impressive turn of foot propel him to the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winners' circle, but also to the top of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's 3-year-old poll.

Maryland a Step Closer on Pimlico-Centered Racing Plan

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
Maryland's House of Delegates approved legislation on the night of April 8 that will remake Maryland racing around Pimlico Race Course.

BH Interview: Dede McGehee of Heaven Tree

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-04-10 10:13
BH Interview: Dede McGehee of Heaven Tree

Fincher Back To ‘Bread & Butter’ After Dubai, Oaklawn Road Beckons

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-04-10 07:38

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico–Todd Fincher cuts an easy path along the apron through the Sunday crowd at Sunland Park, giving nods and an occasional smile as he goes. It's closing day at the track and a homebred owned by Kirk and Judy Robison from his shedrow just won the Island Fashion S.

Sporting his standard duds, including a ball cap, creased jeans and shades, Fincher has his modular phone slung on his belt, ready to be drawn from its holster.

“Busy,” replies the New-Mexico based trainer when asked about how it's all going. “It's just been such a non-stop crazy time, but coming back to Sunland Park, this is my bread and butter.”

Fincher returned only a week ago from his second Middle East junket which capped Senor Buscador's (Mineshaft) successful two-race sojourn to that part of the world. Unless you have resided under an igneous rock, then you know that Joey Peacock's 6-year-old stalwart won the G1 Saudi Cup and then finished third in the G1 Dubai World Cup.

“The experience was great and even though the result in Dubai wasn't what we wanted, everyone was incredibly welcoming,” he said. “Even in a race as big as that one was, I don't get disappointed because at least 75 percent of the time you are going to lose in racing, so getting down like I used to serves no purpose whatsoever.”

Don't misinterpret Fincher's words because he wanted Buscador to win the World Cup. He wants to win them all and badly. Feigning disappointment is his prosaic outlook shining through. You have to have this kind of attitude, which hails from a special place inside and comes from a host of life experiences.

Like a character out of an Ace Reid Cowpoke cartoon, the horseman has a thin build which is a reminder that he used to ride for a living. The mental toughness he developed in the saddle while breaking young horses and as a New Mexico jockey some 30 years ago has served him well, especially in a business like conditioning.

Todd Fincher (left) with Only One America in the Island Fashion S. | Coady Photography

“I'd win three races riding and think I was on top,” he said. “And then that would dry up and I would get really, really down on myself, so you can't do that. It's a humbling sport with so many factors out of your control. You always have to be thankful for wins like Buscador delivered and he is not done yet, we hope.”

Fincher confirmed that Senor Buscador has arrived safely at Peacefield Farm in Temecula, California and will be given several weeks off before a new training cycle could start.

“Just like always, we are going to let him tell us,” he said. “I think the GII Pat O'Brien S. could be possible, we'll see, and then long term, the GI Breeders' Cup Classic.” Two years ago at Del Mar, Buscador finished third in the O'Brien to Laurel River (Into Mischief), who ran away with this year's Dubai World Cup.

While the Saudi Cup champ gets a break, his trainer will be doing nothing of the sort. With Sunland complete, Fincher's stable shifts to SunRay Park up in Farmington, New Mexico, but he loaded up a trailer bound for Hot Springs, Arkansas to start this week.

“We have a couple that I am taking to Oaklawn and I will be there all week,” he said. “I don't like hauling them this far, but it is going to be good to run against competition like this.”

Fincher is entering Perfect Dude (Majesticperfection)–who shifted from Vann Belvoir over to him in February–in Saturday's GIII Count Fleet S. It's a race which will feature Skelly (Practical Joke), who is making his first U.S. start since the gelding ran second in the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint in Saudi Arabia.

Making the some 900-mile trip to Oaklawn for the GI Apple Blossom S. is Flying Connection (Nyquist). Last year, the filly won the Island Fashion S. and then netted the Sunland Park Oaks, which earned her a spot in the starting gate for the GI Kentucky Oaks. She ran a game sixth in defeat that Friday.

“Perfect Dude is a fairly new acquisition, but I can tell he has a ton of talent and he is really quick out of the gate,” said Fincher. “I think Flying Connection has developed a real tactical advantage and she has really come far since last year when she just went straight to the front all the time.”

Flying Connection is co-owned by Brad King, Randy Andrews, Chris Coleman, Jim Cone, Suzanne Kirby and Lee Lewis, which is the same group who invested in another Fincher-trained runner, Olivia Twist (Mshawish). Incidentally, King, Andrews, Cone and Lewis are a part of MSW Candy Aisle (Gun Runner), who was ninth in Oaklawn's GII Fantasy S. Mar. 30, and who Fincher will possibly send to the Valley of the Vapors S. Apr. 20.

A half-sister to MGSW/MGISP Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator), Olivia Twist already made the trip to Hot Springs to join Candy Aisle and put in a six-panel work over the weekend. According to her trainer, the 4-year-old could be ready for the April 27 running of the Dig A Diamond S., but for now Fincher is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to her next start.

Olivia Twist working with Cristian Torres aboard at Oaklawn | courtesy of Robert Yates

“She raced a ton starting as a 2-year-old,” he said. “I really think she needed a good rest and got it during the second half of last year. I really like the way she carries her weight and she's developed over the winter, she has continued to be aggressive in the mornings, so we'll see if that continues to translate to the afternoons.”

Olivia Twist started eight times from when she broke her maiden at Remington Park late in her juvenile year through last summer at Del Mar. The biggest puzzle for Fincher is to figure out what distance she wants.

“That will come,” he said.

In the interim, Todd Fincher has plenty more puzzles to solve as Saudi Arabia and Dubai are now firmly in the rearview mirror. The road to Oaklawn beckons, and that means it is an opportunity to develop some more bread and butter.

The post Fincher Back To ‘Bread & Butter’ After Dubai, Oaklawn Road Beckons appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

New Record for Fasig-Tipton Digital Set at April Sale with $660K Mare

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-04-09 19:55

When the dust settled at the close of the Fasig-Tipton April Digital Sale Tuesday evening, the 15-year-old broodmare Eileen's Dream (Bernardini, hip 21) held the new record for a single offering on the digital platform when she sold for $660,000 to DJ Stable. Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa, Eileen's Dream sold with her 2024 colt by Curlin at her side. She was bred back to Charlatan Mar. 27.

The sale closed with 87 horses sold for $4,274,300, an average of $49,130. The clearance rate was 92.5% with 670 registered bidders. A total of 20 horses sold for $50,000 or more.

“We had extremely spirited bidding throughout the sale, especially as it closed this afternoon,” said Leif Aaron, Fasig-Tipton's Director of Digital Sales. “The clearance rate was over 90% again. We're very happy with the results for our buyers and sellers.”

Eileen's Dream has a 2-year-old filly by War Front and a yearling colt by Curlin, who sold for $600,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale to John Stewart and has since been named Stable Boy. She is also the granddam of 2023 GII Saratoga Special S. winner Rhyme Schemes (Ghostzapper). The Fasig-Tipton Digital topper is a half-sister to MGISW Dream Rush (Wild Rush), dam of Broodmare of the Year Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Indy). The latter has produced dual champion Malathaat (Curlin) and GSW Julia Shining.

“Anytime you have the opportunity to secure a nice-looking mare from this family, you have to seriously consider it,” said DJ Stable's Jon Green. “She's got the looks, conformation, female family, broodmare sire, and foal pipeline to be a 'foundation mare' for our program. This is a mare that my dad [Leonard Green] particularly wanted. He loves the family and is excited to have a mare and foal like this.”

Prior to Tuesday's sale, Fasig-Tipton Digital's previous record was held by the broodmare Amazonian (Malibu Moon), who was purchased for $420,000 by KatieRich Farms from the consignment of Ballysax Bloodstock, agent for the Estate of Glen Todd, during the Glen Todd Dispersal Final Phase in September of 2022. The Fasig-Tipton Digital platform launched in March of 2022.

Rounding out the top five sold Tuesday were:

  • Gray Lightning (Social Inclusion, hip 6), a racing/broodmare prospect sold for $370,000 to NRCLUB LLC from the consignment of Full Servis Equine, agent. A lightly raced 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred, Gray Lightning has a record of two wins and one second from three starts at two and three and earnings of $76,720.
  • Secret Love (Not This Time, hip 22), a broodmare prospect sold for $310,000 to Steven W. Young, agent, from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. Secret Love is a stakes winner from her sire's first crop.
  • Charlie's Penny (Race Day, hip 20), a racing/broodmare prospect sold for $260,000 to Steven W. Young, agent, from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Lothenbach Stables Complete Dispersal. Minnesota-bred Charlie's Penny is a multiple stakes winner with a record of seven wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 15 career starts and earnings of $413,272 to date.
  • R Calli Kim (Revolutionary, hip 11), a broodmare prospect sold for $220,000 to Resolute Bloodstock from the consignment of Gainesway, agent. A multiple graded stakes winner, R Calli Kim won GIII The Very One S. at Gulfstream Park in her most recent start. She earned $635,640 in her career, with nine wins from 15 starts.

Full results for the April Digital Sale can be seen here.

The post New Record for Fasig-Tipton Digital Set at April Sale with $660K Mare appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Maryland Legislature Approves Plan to Reform State Racing Industry

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-04-09 16:33

A bill to radically reform Maryland's racing industry has passed both chambers of the state legislature, with the House voting 105-32 Monday night to approve a project that will see among other things ownership of Pimlico Race Course transferred from 1/ST Racing and Gaming to the state and the establishment of a year-round training facility for Maryland's horsemen and women.

After the Maryland House of Delegates initially passed the legislation unanimously, the bill was subsequently amended by the Senate. This amended bill was then sent back to the House for Monday's concurrence vote.

The legislation will now go to the desk of Maryland Governor Wes Moore for a final signature, with a veto seemingly unlikely.

“I've worked with governors going back to the mid- to late-1970s in Maryland, and most were very supportive of the industry in one shape or form. But Governor Moore was absolutely committed to this project. His support was instrumental in getting this passed,” said Alan Foreman, voting member of the non-profit Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority (MTROA), about passage of HB 1524, otherwise known as “Pimlico Plus.”

The MTROA is an industry-led non-profit created last year by the legislature to essentially oversee and help facilitate the Pimlico Plus plan. Pending gubernatorial approval, the rollout of the plan will be a multi-year project beginning June 1, when the law goes into effect.

Among key provisions of the plan, the legislation requires the formation of a non-profit to manage daily operations of Maryland's new industry infrastructure. Those responsibilities are currently filled by the Maryland Jockey Club, owned and operated by 1/ST Racing. The MTROA will have ultimate oversight of this new entity.

“Like the [New York Racing Association] reports to the franchise oversight board, the entity to be created in Maryland will report to the MTROA,” said Foreman.

Though much-needed renovations to Pimlico could begin later this year, said Foreman, the 2025 Preakness is still expected to be staged at the Baltimore track, with the 2026 edition set to be hosted temporarily at Laurel Park.

“After Preakness 2025, Pimlico will undergo full construction, and the plan is that the 2027 Preakness will be at Pimlico under the auspices of the new non-for-profit.” said Foreman. “For the horsemen, racing will be conducted at Laurel for the next three years.”

Like Pimlico, Laurel is currently operated by 1/ST Racing under the umbrella of The Stronach Group (TSG). Transfer of Pimlico from 1/ST Racing to the state comes at a nominal one-dollar price-tag.

The MTROA has already negotiated a licensing agreement with 1/ST Racing to operate and promote the GI Preakness S. and the GII Black-Eyed Susan S., Maryland's two signature races.

“It's a 10-year agreement with five-year renewals,” said Foreman. “After ten years, if the state wanted to buy it out, it could. But any renewals would be for five-year intervals.”

Complementing a revamped Pimlico will be the selection of a year-round companion training facility to accommodate the horses not stabled at Pimlico. According to Foreman, some 1,300 horses are expected to be split evenly between the two facilities.

The MTROA has identified eight potential training facilities for purchase, rating them by several criteria, including their location, size, cost to purchase and cost of redevelopment. According to this rating system, two facilities come out jointly on top: Shamrock Farm and Mitchell Farm Training Center.

Shamrock Farm Training Center is a 155-acre facility just over 20 miles from Pimlico. Mitchell Farm Training Center is a 97-acre facility near the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The third-rated facility is the Bowie Race Track, a 131-acre training facility.

The legislation also allows the Maryland Stadium Authority–a state-founded entity to help fund and operate key building projects in Maryland–to issue $400 million in bonds to help bankroll the Pimlico Plus plan.

Ultimately, ownership of Laurel Park will be transferred fully to TSG for redevelopment at the beginning of 2028, “unless we have to extend the lease,” said Foreman.

According to Foreman, state taxpayers won't be on the hook should the non-profit formed to manage daily operations going forward run into operating deficits.

“If there's an operating loss when the non-for-profit takes over, the Thoroughbred purse dedication account has to backstop the losses. It will not come from taxpayer dollars,” said Foreman.

“I can't overstate the historical moment this is for Maryland racing. It's historical for the City of Baltimore. This is great for the City of Baltimore. It stops decades of worries about Pimlico and the future of the Preakness in Maryland and Baltimore. It's great for the Park Heights community. And I think it's great for the racing industry overall,” said Foreman.

The post Maryland Legislature Approves Plan to Reform State Racing Industry appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Stable Recovery Spring Meet Gala Saturday

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-04-09 16:04

Stable Recovery will hold its second annual Spring Meet Gala Saturday at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks in Lexington. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a mocktail hour and will offer men in the substance abuse recovery program the chance to share their transformative stories.

The evening will also include numerous items in live and silent auctions, including a Knicks Go package, a Not This Time halter, horseshoes from Medina Spirit and Arabian Knight, and a California Chrome saddle towel. Bidding on silent auction items begins Wednesday. For more information, click here.

The post Stable Recovery Spring Meet Gala Saturday appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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