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NTRA Launches 'Today in Thoroughbred Racing History'

Blood-Horse - Wed, 2024-06-05 12:59
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association launched a campaign June 4 titled "Today in Thoroughbred Racing History," to highlight the tremendous accomplishments and other noteworthy moments that have been seen in the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

ARCI President Ed Martin Issues Statement On Louisiana Medication Rules

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-06-05 12:39

The day after the Louisiana Racing Commission held an emergency meeting in which it voted to restore the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) guidelines that were governing Clenbuterol and Depo-Medrol in the state, the President of the ARCI, Ed Martin, reacted to the news in a press release. The statement is printed in its entirety.

“The ARCI Model Rules process has served the horse racing industry and fans well for decades and has been a vehicle to achieve a substantially common approach to anti-doping regulation in a sport not limited by the borders or any state, province or county.

Recent actions by the Louisiana Racing Commission indicated a desire to rethink some of those rules. We respect the laws that authorize each regulatory entity to determine its own rules, but we encourage a collective and transparent approach to policy formation where all viewpoints are openly considered and discussed. That is what the ARCI Model Rules process offers.

Reasonable people can disagree on a particular rule, threshold or recommended policy. There are clearly different approaches to anti-doping in sport and athlete health as evidenced by the World Anti-Doping Agencies policy of permitting the use of certain medications in training and competition if there is a documented medical need. With the exception of Lasix, horse racing does not allow equine athletes to compete with such substances.

Years ago, when I discussed these different approaches to integrity with the head of the Partnership for Clean Competition (U.S. human sport's equivalent of the RMTC) she said the thinking of those making the rules was that certain medically necessary administrations would not allow the athlete to compete beyond his or her natural ability and was therefore not considered doping.

Representatives from the Louisiana Racing Commission have told ARCI that the impetus for their desire to revisit their medication rules is based on a desire to protect the health of each horse and not to negatively affect the integrity of any race.

The ARCI Model Rules are a living document. If there is compelling reason to modify a recommended policy we have demonstrated time and again our ability to do that. Sometimes we decide not to change a recommended policy but that is after open discussion and debate. Some agree with what we recommend, some don't but the recommendations are the collective thinking of our member agencies.

Louisiana has asked the ARCI to consider the information they reviewed that prompted some of the modifications they put forward. We will do that through our Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee (DTSP), chaired by Dr. John Chancey, DVM. We will consider this in an open forum and other organizations, individuals or regulatory entities like HISA afforded the opportunity to provide input.

Horse racing continues to struggle with breakdowns. By working together collectively we have reduced the rate, but we must remain ever vigilant to ensure that we never stop trying to improve.

We applaud yesterday's decision by the Louisiana Commission to re-engage in this process. I make no representation as to what will or will not happen as a result of our discussions.   Likewise, we would encourage HISA to become active in the ARCI Model Rules process as the horse racing industry does not stop with Thoroughbreds or at the borders of the U.S. or states where HISA is in effect.

We continue to encourage all racing regulatory entities to rely upon the Model Rules.

There is nothing wrong with a regulatory entity trying a new approach and it should not matter whether it is Louisiana, HISA or someone else. What matters is whether it works better than what we have been doing. If it does, then everyone should embrace it.”

Click here to read TDN's complete coverage of the Louisiana Racing Commission story.

The post ARCI President Ed Martin Issues Statement On Louisiana Medication Rules appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Siskany Freshened Up For Belmont Gold Cup Defense

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-06-05 12:00

A berth in the G1 Melbourne Cup is at stake in Thursday's GII Belmont Gold Cup, the first of the weekend's graded stakes during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga. The New York Racing Association has gone so far as to fly in one of the world's premier commentators, Victoria-based Matt Hill, to describe the action in the two-mile test–essentially two laps of the inner turf course at the Spa.

Godolphin won the 2018 Melbourne Cup with Cross Counter (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) and Siskany (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) returns to New York looking for back-to-back scores in the Gold Cup. Whereas the 6-year-old had a run between his near-miss second in the 2023 G2 Dubai Gold Cup and his victory in this downstate 12 months ago, he arrives a fresher sort this time off a three-race preparation in Dubai over the winter.

A stayer with a very good turn of foot, Siskany needed every yard of the Meydan straight after breaking from a high draw in the Listed Al Khail Trophy in January, coming from third-last to be up on the line. Pouncing from closer range for a second straight victory in the Feb. 23 G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy, he loomed a wide threat in this year's Dubai Gold Cup, but peaked on his finish 100 meters from home and lost a photo for third behind the very impressive Tower of London (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Any one of those efforts should see Siskany back in the winner's circle in the Thursday finale.

“Siskany was last seen in Dubai in the Gold Cup running his usual solid race,” said trainer Charlie Appleby, looking for a 12th graded winner in New York. “He's in good form and hopefully he can get it done again.”

The Grey Wizard (Ire) (Caravaggio), beaten two lengths into second in last year's renewal, returned from a nine-month absence and trailed in behind Godolphin's Silver Knott (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) in Keeneland's GII Elkhorn S. in April, but improved for the comebacker to finish a running-on third in the GIII Louisville S. at Churchill May 18. The extra half-mile should work in his favor.

From a speed-figure perspective, Limited Liability (Kitten's Joy) has run three of his four fastest races over extended trips, including back-to-back 96 Beyers in the GI United Nations S. (fourth) going a mile and three furlongs and in the GIII Sycamore S. (third) over 12 panels. He is out of a mare by Blame from a female family full of Janney black-type and he may just enjoy himself going this far.

Starting Over (Liam's Map), winner of the GII Mac Diarmida S. in March, goes out for the Mike Maker barn, which is always dangerous with its grass marathoners, while Cibolian (Temple City) makes his third straight Gold Cup appearance, having finished fourth in 2022 and fifth last year.

The post Siskany Freshened Up For Belmont Gold Cup Defense appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Luttrell’s Tisbury Stud Purchases Springland Farm

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-06-05 11:08

Tisbury Stud's Austin and Amanda Luttrell have purchased Springland, a 260-acre horse farm located in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

Founded in 1962 by W.K. Taylor while he was the general manager at Claiborne Farm, parts of Springland's original parcel were eventually sold to Hidden Brook and Beau Lane. However, it was Taylor's grandson, Bill Nicholls, who added to the estate in the late 1990s.

The Luttrells–who started Tisbury Stud two years ago by leasing 130 acres–intend to offer the ultimate in racehorse care with breeding, foaling, racetrack lay ups and sales prep as focal points.

“We have an incredible farm, great clients and a very solid team,” said Austin Luttrell. “I might be the last Kentuckian who grew up in a tobacco field to start a horse farm. It is a dream come true.”

Austin's equine background includes stints serving under several trainers like Rusty Arnold, Christophe Clement and Kiaran McLaughlin. He also worked for Magic Millions in Australia before becoming a manager at Denali Stud and Donamire Farm in Kentucky.

As for Amanda, she is a life-long equestrian and former show jumper who was based in Middleburg, Virginia and Wellington, Florida before moving to Kentucky.

“I'm excited to expand the business,” Austin said. “Our top priority at Tisbury Stud is to get horses into the winner's circle.”

The post Luttrell’s Tisbury Stud Purchases Springland Farm appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Vets Who Say They Thought They Were Following HIWU Rules Now Face Lengthy Suspensions

Thoroughbred Daily News - Wed, 2024-06-05 08:09

When Dr. Barbara Hippie drove through the backstretch gates at Mahoning Valley Race Course last September, she knew she had some substances and medications on her truck that were banned by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU). But she said she thought she had no reason to worry.

She said she knew the banned medications were not to be used with any covered Thoroughbred racing or training at an Ohio racetrack. Hippie, part of a three-person practice based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has a vast practice and treats many non-race horses at farms spread across Ohio and West Virginia. Because horses on those farms are not covered by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) no restrictions were in place for using those medications on farm animals.

But could they be on her truck when she entered a racetrack? That was the key question.

According to Hippie's lawyer Craig Roberston, HISA Chief of Science Dr. Mary Scollay visited several racetracks to educate veterinarians on the rules regarding what could and could not be on their trucks. He said they were told that it was permissible to have otherwise illegal medications on their trucks as long as there was “compelling justification.” Robertson said that Scollay said on multiple occasions that racetrack veterinarians who also worked at outside farms could possess banned substances as that was a matter of compelling justification.

According to Roberston, during a March, 2023 seminar in Oklahoma, Scollay said the following: “(if) veterinarians are practicing also on a population of non-Covered horses, they're taking care of quarter horses, or they've got a country practice part-time they are able to possess a Banned Substance because we don't have control over those horses… But at the end of the day if someone is practicing out in the country, we don't have the authority to control the medications they administer or carry for non-Covered horses.”

But soon after she entered the Mahoning Valley backstretch, Hippie's truck was searched by HIWU investigators. Because of what Scollay had told several veterinarians, Hippie said she still wasn't concerned and went about her business, having no idea what was to come. Eight days later she was notified that four banned substances (Pitcher Plant Extract, Levothyroxine, Isoxsuprine, and Clodronate) were found on her truck and that she was being provisionally suspended. She admits she was in possession of the medications, but can't understand why she was being charged when she was told she had permission to keep the drugs on her truck when entering a racetrack covered by HISA. For each banned medication, she faces a two-year suspension and a $25,000 fine. The incident could wind up costing her eight years and $100,000.

“She was trying to do the right thing and follow the rules,” said Hippie's attorney, Craig Robertson. “She had raised the question regarding if she could have these medications on her truck and the answer was that she could. She relied on that. Now they're charging her with a violation.”

At roughly the same time investigators were checking Dr. Hippie's truck at Mahoning Valley, a separate team at Thistledown was examining the truck of Dr. Scott Shell, who was in the same practice as Hippie. They found three banned medications on his truck: Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), Isoxsuprine, and Clodronate (a type of bisphosphonate).

Dr. Margaret Smyth, the third member of the vet practice in Chagrin Falls, had her truck searched on Oct. 4 at Thistledown. Two banned substances were found, Levothyroxine and Pitcher Plant Extract.

At the time, Smyth had no idea that her two partners had been busted by HIWU. Persons accused of drugs violations by HIWU do not learn overnight that they are being charged. Smyth was caught bringing banned substances on the tracks before Shell and Hippie had been notified of their suspensions.

To the lawyers representing the three vets, the case isn't complicated. The doctors had the prohibited medications on their trucks because they were told by HISA's Chief of Science that it was okay to do so.

“Their defense is simply that they were told they could possess them because they had farm practices and treated horses that were outside of HIWU's jurisdiction,” Robertson said. “They claim that the statements of Dr. Scollay were unequivocal: if you have a farm practice, you can possess Banned Substances.”

The process of adjudicating the fines and suspensions is still in the early stages. Dr. Shell had a Provisional Suspension hearing, and his suspension was not lifted by the hearing officer. Currently, he is not able to practice on Covered horses Dr. Hippie's suspension was lifted after a Provisional Suspension hearing, and, as a result, HIWU did not impose a Provisional Suspension against Dr. Smyth. However, these are just preliminary steps. Hearings will be held regarding the incidents involving the three vets on June 17, 18 and 19, at which time they could be fully exonerated or suspensions and fines could be ordered.

So why did HIWU provisionally suspend Hippie and Shell? Did Mary Scollay tell vets who also work outside the racing industry that these drugs could be on their trucks on the grounds of a racetrack? We asked HIWU, who said that just having an outside practice wasn't enough to meet the compelling justification requirement, and that further proof will be examined at those hearings.

“As per Rule 3214(a), Possession of a Banned Substance is an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) `unless there is compelling justification for such Possession,'” HIWU Director of Communications & Outreach Alexa Ravit said in an email. “Dr. Scollay advised veterinarians that the treatment of non-Covered Horses could be a basis for showing `compelling justification' for possession of Banned Substances. However, the Covered Person has the burden of proving a `compelling justification,' which is a defense to a 3214(a) ADRV Charge.

“On its own, a Covered Person's verbal statement that they have a non-Covered Horse practice is not sufficient proof to establish the compelling justification. To properly establish the compelling justification defense, the Covered Person needs to demonstrate the existence of their non-Covered Horse practice with supporting or corroborating evidence, such as treatment records, day logs, prescription records, billing invoices, or any other documentation or evidence that demonstrates that the Banned Substance(s) in question were possessed to treat non-Covered Horses.

“Each case is handled based upon the specific facts and circumstances, and 'compelling justification' can be established by myriad circumstances so long as there is actual, credible evidence to support the defense.”

Robertson isn't buying it.

“Now they're trying to backtrack from what Dr. Scollay said,” Robertson said. “That's a long detailed answer but you have to look at her quotes, and the words she actually said at these seminars, when she was going around the country before HISA went into effect. She gave the same presentation and said the same thing everywhere. If you look at what she said at these seminars, she didn't say any of that. She didn't say, 'Oh, hey, you have to prove you treat farm horses and you have to show us records, etc., etc. She just said if you have a a non-covered practice you're allowed to posses these banned substances. Period. I don't think anyone is going to argue that my clients don't have a non-covered practice. They treat horses at farms and on the racetrack. What they're trying to do is backtrack from what Mary Scollay said at these seminars. If they wanted it done this way, what they needed to do was to come out with a pronouncement and say, 'Just so you know, here is how were going to interpret compelling justification going forward.' But that's not at all what she said.

“What's not fair is that people got swept up in this because they relied on what Dr. Scollay said. These people are facing penalties that could ruin their career and force them into bankruptcy.”

The post Vets Who Say They Thought They Were Following HIWU Rules Now Face Lengthy Suspensions appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Record $820K for Canadian Champion Cairo Consort at Fasig-Tipton June Digital

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 19:23

Canada's 2022 champion 2-year-old filly Cairo Consort (Cairo Prince), winner of the GIII Sweetest Chant S. in 2023 who also placed in both the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and GI Natalma S. in 2022, sold for $820,000 to Town and Country Racing at Fasig-Tipton's June Digital Sale, which closed Tuesday evening. The price marked a Digital Sale record. Sold as Hip 26, Cairo Consort was consigned by Highgate Sales, agent.

The June Digital Sale closed with 60 horses sold for a gross of $2,247,200 and an average of $37,453. Full results for the sale, which featured 2-year-olds, horses of racing age, breeding stock, and yearlings, are available at Fasig-Tipton.

“We are very excited about the results for racehorses, topped by graded stakes winner and multiple Grade I performer Cairo Consort,” said Leif Aaron, Fasig-Tipton's Director of Digital Sales. “It's gratifying to get such a positive result on such a nice filly, for the sellers and the buyer. We learned it's a bit more difficult to sell broodmares this late in the spring, but the action on the racehorses and yearlings offered was consistent with previous sales. We're very pleased with those results.”

Other top sellers Tuesday included Bluewater Sales-consigned Snow Princess (Quality Road, Hip 1), offered in foal to Taiba for 2025, for $145,000 to Charlie Allen, agent for CAG LLC; and Nasty Habit (Violence, Hip 23), a racing/stallion prospect who went to Steven Young, agent, for $120,000 from the consignment of Farrior Racing.

Fasig-Tipton's next digital sale will be the July Digital Sale, which opens for bidding on Thursday, July 18, and closes Tuesday, July 23. Nominations are now being accepted through July 10.

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Louisiana Racing Commission Switches Course, Goes Back to ARCI Guidelines on Clenbuterol and Depo-Medrol

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 18:33

Just days after announcing that a set of emergency rules were about to be enacted on June 8 that would loosen drug regulations in the state when it came to numerous medications, the Louisiana Racing Commission held an emergency meeting Tuesday in which it voted to restore the rules that had been governing Clenbuterol and Depo-Medrol. The Louisiana Racing Commission kept in place the new rules that had been enacted that covered dozens of other less controversial medications.

Of the numerous drugs over which regulations were changed that, for the most part, called for shorter withdrawal times and higher dosages of medications, the alterations to the rules on Clenbuterol and Depo-Medrol were considered particularly controversial. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that is believed to act like a steroid and build muscle mass. Depo-Medrol is a steroid injected into joints to treat pain and swelling.

Louisiana, which is not under the control of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), had been following guidelines put together by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI). Commission members voted unanimously to return to the ARCI rules, which call for a 14-day withdrawal period for Clenbuterol and a 21-day withdrawal period for Depo-Medrol. Under the proposed rules that were set to be enacted June 8, the withdrawal time for Clenbuterol was to be three days and the withdrawal period for Depo-Medrol was to be reduced to seven days. The changes went against a long-running trend in the sport where regulators, including HISA, had been working to tighten drug rules and to get away from an era where the sport was seen by many as being too lenient when it came to legalized drugs and medications.

“We on the Racing Commission and myself in particular, we are 100 percent for the health and welfare of these beautiful God-given animals,” said Commission member Dr. Larry Findley. “As far as Clenbuterol goes, Clenbuterol is an excellent drug and we all know that it is an excellent drug. But it is abused. So I'd like to make a motion to roll back Clenbuterol to where it was and for Depo to go back to where it was so these two drugs can be looked at and we can take them exactly back to where they were in the beginning.”

There was a severe backlash when the new rules were first announced, which included most corners of the industry, including from Churchill Downs, which owns Fair Grounds, and from several prominent trainers who winter at the Fair Grounds but leave the state once that meet is over.

There was also political pressure to make a change. On June 2, a letter signed by 57 members of the Louisiana Legislature and sent to the Commission implored the Commission to return to the ARCI withdrawal times when it came to Clenbuterol and Depro-Medrol.

“Departing from ARCI standards will make Louisiana an outlier as it relates to racing in America,” the letter read. “This would be very unfortunate given all the progress the entire industry has made to improve the safety of racing and enhance the purse structure at all tracks in the state… By departing from ARCI standards Louisiana will become an 'island' in the national racing community.”

The post Louisiana Racing Commission Switches Course, Goes Back to ARCI Guidelines on Clenbuterol and Depo-Medrol appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

West Coast Colt, Bucchero Filly Share Quarter-Mile Bullet at OBS Tuesday

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 16:23

The six-session under-tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training kicked off Tuesday morning with juveniles by Bucchero and West Coast sharing the quarter-mile bullet time of :20 3/5, while fillies by Frosted and Munnings shared the day's fastest furlong time of :9 4/5.

A colt by West Coast (hip 16) got the under-tack show off to a quick start with a quarter-mile breeze in :20 3/5 just minutes into the day's session. Consigned by Omar Ramirez Bloodstock, the bay is out of multiple stakes winner Overprepared (Quality Road), who is a half-sister to Grade I winner Shadow Cast (Smart Strike). Omar Ramirez purchased the colt for $14,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale.

The :20 3/5 time was matched about a half-hour later by a filly by Bucchero (hip 163) who is consigned by Richardson Bloodstock on behalf of breeder Ricardo Romo.

“It's kind of what we've been expecting all year,” Lane Richardson said of the breeze. “She's been a straightforward filly, just really nice and athletic, and kind of typical of the sire. We've enjoyed her all year.”

The Florida-bred juvenile is out of Sister Aurora (Majestic City).

“[Romo] bred her and raised her and had her all winter,” Richardson said. “He's done a terrific job.”

Of the filly's presence in the June sale, Richardson said, “She was kind of on the bubble for the April sale, so we thought to give her more time.”

Waiting for the June sale may also allow the filly to bask in the afterglow of a potential Grade I winner for her sire, with Book'em Danno (Bucchero) going postward in the GI Woody Stephens S. at Saratoga Saturday.

“You want to have something going for you going into these sales and be on the right note going in,” Richardson said. “So if something happens there, I think it would be fantastic.”

A filly by Frosted (hip 144) was first to work the furlong in :9 4/5 Tuesday morning. Consigned by Grade One Investments, she is a daughter of the unraced Shawklit Cake (Majesticperfection), a half-sister to graded winner Shawklit Mint (Air Forbes One). The juvenile was purchased by Grade One Investments for $18,000 at the 2023 OBS Winter sale.

A filly by Munnings (hip 34) equaled the :9 4/5 mark some two hours later for Britton Peak. The gray is out of Piccadilly Line (Air Force Blue), a daughter of graded-placed Sloane Square (Giant's Causeway) and a granddaughter of Grade I winner Marleybone (Unbridled's Song). The juvenile was purchased for $70,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

The under-tack show continues through Sunday with sessions beginning daily at 7:30 a.m.

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

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19 Elected Breeders’ Cup Members

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 14:56

Nineteen individuals have been elected Breeders' Cup Members by 2023 Breeders' Cup foal and stallion nominators in voting that concluded Monday evening. Each Member will serve a four-year term.

The following individuals, listed alphabetically, received the most votes from the Breeders' Cup nominators to fill 19 Member seats: Conrad Bandoroff, Maria Niarchos-Gouaze, Barbara Banke, David O'Farrell, Boyd Browning, Bernie Sams, Doug Cauthen, Alex Solis II, Matt Dorman, Edward (Ned) Toffey, Craig Fravel, Elliott Walden, Eric Gustavson, Barry Weisbord, Bret Jones, Aron Wellman, Gray Lyster, Jacob West, and Clem Murphy.

The elected include three new members: Dorman, Toffey and West.

“The knowledge and insights provided by Breeders' Cup Members prove key in our continued efforts to enhance the Breeders' Cup World Championships and our incentive programs while increasing the safety and integrity of our great sport to the benefit of all,” said Banke, Chairman of the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors. “I congratulate those who were newly elected or reelected to serve the Breeders' Cup over the next four years and look forward to working with them.”

The Breeders' Cup Members are elected every other year by Breeders' Cup foal and stallion nominators through a proportional voting system based on the level of nominations paid to the organization. There are a total of 39 elected Breeders' Cup Members. The Members meet each July and elect individuals to the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors, which oversees the activities of the organization.

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Moquett Q&A: The Steps To Mounting An ADMC Defense

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 14:51

Trainer Ron Moquett, a member of the HISA Horsemen's Advisory Committee, was not immune this past year from the threat of an Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) violation.

Last fall after the GII Hagyard Fayette S. at Keeneland, a controlled medication called Mepivacaine, which can be used during the gelding process, was found in one of Moquett's horses named Speed Bias (Uncle Mo). The conditioner mounted a defense which resulted in a May 29 ruling by a HIWU internal adjudication panel that he would not be fined nor penalized for the post-race positive.

The conditioner joined TDN for a discussion of what you can do as a 'covered person' if you find yourself in a similar predicament.

TDN: Ron, thanks for agreeing to an exchange. Looking back at the Speed Bias case, what would you advise others to do if they find themselves in a similar situation?

RM: I would say follow the protocol set forth by HIWU. Things have to be done in a specific order.

First, write your response to the notification to let HIWU know that you acknowledge the notice of the positive and how you wish to proceed. You will need to make a statement explaining that you did not knowingly give the drug in question.

Then, see if you can help them understand where and how your horse came into contact with the substance.

TDN: Are there other resources people might not know about?

RM: If you need help with any of the above, reach out to a HISA Advisory Member and or an Ombudsman, whichever makes you feel more comfortable and let them help you navigate the steps. Keep in mind that you may qualify for legal help from a lawyer that has experience dealing with cases such as this for no charge.

TDN: Speaking of attorney fees, can you tell us how much this whole process cost you? Didn't Speed Bias have to forfeit the purse money he won for finishing third in the GII Hagyard Fayette S.?

RM: Yes, it cost my owners the purse. Besides the stress, it cost me my lawyer fees. Lawyers aren't cheap, but I could not have gone through the process without one. I can tell you that the financial cost to defend this was significantly more than the fine would have been.

TDN: Retaining counsel and doing a records search make total sense, but was there any apprehension that the video evidence from Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission could not be obtained?

RM: The video provided by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission of the day's activities in my shedrow and barn was the key evidence needed to defend this case. That and the fact that the medical records kept on the Portal showing the exact drug used in the standing castration verified the introduction of that medication to the particular stall Speed Bias ran out of.

TDN: So, if you had not obtained that, would it have been difficult to defend yourself?

RM: Without the video it would have been just a trainer stating facts he could not prove while expecting the panel to just take our word of the facts of the case. Instead, they could see it all clearly for themselves verifying what we told them exactly.

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Lukas Not Worried About Seize the Grey’s Belmont Post Position

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 14:32

One thing Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was not going to do was fret over the post position assigned to Seize the Grey (Arrogate) for Saturday's GI Belmont S. at Saratoga Race Course.

Seize the Grey got the rail for the 1 1/4-mile Belmont. It's a post most dread, but Lukas, who has won 15 Triple Crown races–including four Belmonts–isn't going to lose any sleep over it.

“You have no control over it,” Lukas said, sitting a few feet away from Seize the Grey's stall at his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track Tuesday morning. “I just take it in stride. Would I choose the one? No. If I had a choice, I would probably choose the three or the four.”

Seize the Grey won the GI Preakness S. going gate-to-wire. Drawing the rail in the Belmont doesn't necessarily mean that Seize the Grey and jockey Jaime Torres will be gunning for the front Saturday.

“If we don't send him, we will have horses on the outside and there is a chance we could get caught covered up on the rail,” Lukas said. “This horse is very manageable. You could lay him anywhere in the race and he would be effective. He is not at all a one-dimensional horse. We can do whatever we want with this horse; he is adaptable to any situation.”

Ever since he upset the Preakness at 9-1, Lukas has been raving at how well Seize the Grey, owned by MyRacehorse, bounced out of the race. He said the horse looks better to him heading into the Belmont than he did before the Preakness.

Lukas took Seize the Grey to the main track early Tuesday morning and he galloped a mile and three quarters.

“When he pulled up, you could have said, 'let's do it again,” Lukas said. “It was like he hadn't even done anything.”

Taking a Chance with The Wine Steward

Trainer Mike Maker said he had been thinking about a match between The Wine Steward (Vino Rosso) and the GI Belmont S. for a while.

It goes back to before the New York-bred, owned by Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher, ran in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland Apr. 13.

The Wine Steward finished second in the Lexington, his first race since last October.

“He really came out of the layoff well,” Maker said. “We were talking about [the Belmont] before the Lexington. He is a very consistent horse and he is doing well. We've got to take a chance.”

The Wine Steward followed the Lexington with a second in the GIII Peter Pan S., three quarters of a length behind Belmont rival Antiquarian (Preservationist).

If he were able to win the Belmont, The Wine Steward would become the fifth New York-bred to do so. The last was Tiz the Law in 2020.

In six career starts, The Wine Steward has three wins and three seconds; four of his races have been in open company.

Manny Franco will ride The Wine Steward in the Belmont. He replaces Luis Saez, who was on board for the colt's last three starts. Saez has opted to ride Dornoch (Good Magic) in the Belmont.

The Wine Steward will start from post position four and is 15-1 on the Belmont morning line.

Blazing Sevens Gets Rematch with National Treasure

There has been plenty of talk about the agonizing loss trainer Chad Brown had when Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) got beat a nose by Mystik Dan (Goldencents) in the GI Kentucky Derby.

Brown experienced another Triple Crown race agony last year when Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) lost by a head to National Treasure (Quality Road) in the GI Preakness S.

Brown and Blazing Sevens get a rematch Saturday when they meet in the one-mile GI Metropolitan H. on the GI Belmont S. undercard.

The race also includes White Abarrio (Race Day), the 6-5 morning-line favorite. National Treasure is the 8-5 second choice in the six-horse field. Blazing Sevens, owned by Rodeo Creek Racing LLC, is 8-1.

“There might not be many horses in the Met Mile, but it's a real war,” Brown said. “[Blazing Sevens] is going to have to come with that Preakness effort to be competitive, but, the way he is training, I do see him doing it.”

Blazing Sevens raced just once after the Preakness last year, finishing third in the Curlin S. at Saratoga. He reappeared in an allowance in April and won by a length.

“The horse came back better than expected,” Brown said.

So much better that Brown has the confidence to bring him into this spot.

Manny Franco, who rode Blazing Sevens in the allowance race for the first time, keeps the mount.

Brown will also saddle Sierra Leone, the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the GI Belmont S. Saturday. He was originally also going to run Tuscan Gold (Medaglia d'Oro) in the race as well, but pulled the plug at the last minute.

He did not like the way Tuscan Gold came out of his four-furlong breeze Saturday.

“I didn't want to run him in a race of this magnitude unless he was 100%,” Brown said. “I'm  going to take a step back and re-evaluate that horse.”

The post Lukas Not Worried About Seize the Grey’s Belmont Post Position appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Suspensions Deferred as HISA Calls for Metformin Review

Thoroughbred Daily News - Tue, 2024-06-04 13:58

Trainer George Weaver is one of several trainers whose horses have tested positive for metformin who will have their suspensions deferred as the Board of Directors of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has requested additional review of the drug which is heavily prescribed and used to treat diabetes in people.

“In line with HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control requirements, metformin is included in the Prohibited Substances List because there is no recognized therapeutic use for the substance in horses involved in Thoroughbred racing,” HISA Board Chairman Charles Scheeler said in a Tuesday release from the organization. “In addition, HIWU has intelligence that some horsemen may be using metformin to try and gain a performance advantage. However, there is limited scientific information available regarding the substance's use in horses. The HISA Board feels that further expert analysis on the topic is necessary to determine if any refinement of HISA's rules is appropriate.”

HISA and HIWU have asked the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium's Scientific Advisory Committee to conduct a review of the available science relating to metformin. During the review, which is expected to take months, metformin will remain on the prohibited substances list and its presence will result in the automatic disqualification of race results of the relevant covered horse.

Weaver faced a two-year suspension after Anna's Wish (Dialed In) returned a positive for metformin following the Cicada S. in March. Through his attorney, Drew Mollica, Weaver had argued the positive was a result of external contamination and that the groom who cares for the horse takes metformin.

Weaver's provisional suspension will be lifted as of Wednesday, according to Mollica.

“George and I are over the moon that HISA has taken the position it has,” Mollica said Tuesday afternoon. “We have always believed that George and Anna's Wish were the victim of contamination and the draconian penalties they sought were so out of line that it shocked the conscience and I am glad in a bittersweet way that our exposure on this subject has led to an introspection and scientific look at an issue that needed correction. We look forward to further guidance and George being fully exonerated. George will now start the process of repairing his public image and putting his stable back together.”

A representative from HISA responded to an inquiry from TDN about how the policy change might affect trainer Jonathan Wong, who was suspended for two years and fined $25,000 for a 2023 post-race metformin positive.

“Previously resolved cases are not affected by this policy change,” said the representative.

The post Suspensions Deferred as HISA Calls for Metformin Review appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Mystik Dan Featured in KY Derby Museum Exhibit Update

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
Guests can relive the unforgettable victory of Mystik Dan in the 150th Kentucky Derby (G1) by visiting the newly updated Winner's Circle exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Calm Before the Belmont Festival Storm in NTRA Poll

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
Not many changes were made in week 19 of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Top Thoroughbred and Top 3-Year-Old Polls, but that is likely to change as the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival begins at Saratoga Race Course.

Nyquist Steadily Climbing Sire Rankings

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
The List: An Update and Review of the Top 25 General Sires List Rankings

Sierra Leone 9-5 Morning-Line Favorite for Belmont

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up is two noses away from being 5-for-5. He drew post 9. The 2-for-2 Mindframe, the 7-2 second choice, has post 10. Derby winner Mystik Dan (post 3) is listed at 5-1, with Preakness hero Seize the Grey (post 1) at 8-1.

West Saratoga, Society Man Return in Matt Winn

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
The $400,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs June 9 will feature 10 sophomores looking to see where they fit within the division, including Kentucky Derby longshots West Saratoga and Society Man.

Polisseni To Be Inducted in Finger Lakes Hall of Fame

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
Wanda Polisseni's dedication to horses, as well as her résumé as a horse owner, has earned her a deserving place in the Hall of Fame at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack.

Godolphin, Appleby Bring Two in Overflow Jaipur Field

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
The $500,000 Jaipur Stakes (G1T) appears a wide-open race at Saratoga Race Course June 8. Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby will hope one of their two entrants can take the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) "Win and You're In" spot.

Arqana Pop-Up Sale Offers Stakes Winner Fun With Flags

Blood-Horse - Tue, 2024-06-04 12:55
Group 3-placed stakes winner Fun With Flags (IRE), who is entered in the June 16 Prix de Diane (G1) (French Oaks) at Chantilly, will be sold at an Arqana pop-up sale June 10.

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