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Updated: 3 days 12 hours ago

Gabbert is New Interim Director of Racing at Ellis

Fri, 2022-07-08 09:43

Vince Gabbert, who recently left Keeneland after 14 years with the Lexington organization, has joined Ellis Park as interim director of racing. The Henderson, Kentucky track, which kicked off its 100th-year race meet Friday, July 8, has also brought on Megan Devine as paddock analyst and simulcast host and Allie Sclafani as race marketing coordinator.

Gabbert had been the chief operating officer and vice president of strategic initiatives at Keeneland since 2009.

“The opportunity to work at Ellis Park and be a part of the continued momentum for Kentucky racing is extraordinary,” said Gabbert. “I am very much looking forward to being a part of the 100-year celebration and working with the horsemen and staff to help deliver a wonderful race meeting.”

Devine has previously been on-air talent for TVG and a number of others, while Sclafani has also worked with TVG and three Kentucky tracks. Live racing at Ellis Park will be conducted Fridays through Sundays until Aug. 28.

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Eads Named KHRC Interim Executive Director

Thu, 2022-07-07 16:22

Jamie Eads has been named interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission by Governor Andy Beshear. Eads joined the KHRC in 2008 as the director of the Division of Incentives and Development. In 2016, she was appointed deputy director of the KHRC where she worked closely with the executive director and commission members in the overall operations of the agency.

“Jamie Eads is a great asset to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and has been a part of the evolution of horse racing in Kentucky,” said Beshear. “Jamie has the right combination of background and vision to lead Kentucky horse racing.”

Eads succeeds Marc Guilfoil who led the KHRC as executive director for six years.

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Breeders’ Cup Digital Series Highlights International Challenge Series

Thu, 2022-07-07 14:24

The Breeders' Cup has launched a new monthly digital series, Breeders' Cup Challenge Rundown with Rosie, highlighting international races which are part of the organization's Win and You're In program. The first episode is available now and can be viewed on the Breeders' Cup Facebook and YouTube pages, and World Horse Racing's social platforms.

The new series, produced and promoted by World Horse Racing, will run from July through November, with a final episode produced at Keeneland Race Course previewing the 2022 Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 4 and 5. New episodes will be released at the beginning of each month. Host Rosie Tapner will introduce the top performances from prior Challenge Series races, as well as identify unique storylines based around the Thoroughbred athletes and their connections.

“We are delighted to partner with World Horse Racing to bring international racing fans a lot closer to the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, and tell the fascinating stories of the people behind these great horses as they are being prepared for this year's World Championships,” said Justin McDonald, Breeders' Cup Chief Marketing Officer. “Among our highest priorities each year is to expand the global reach of the Breeders' Cup, and we look forward to doing that with this new series.”

The post Breeders’ Cup Digital Series Highlights International Challenge Series appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

New Exhibits Added to National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Thu, 2022-07-07 11:38

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will open two new exhibitions to the public July 14, coinciding with opening day of the Saratoga. Betting on America: The Immigrant Experience and the Hall of Fame will debut in the McBean Gallery, while Jim Raftery: A Turfotos Retrospective (from the collection of Barbara D. Livingston) opens in the von Stade Gallery.

Betting on America: The Immigrant Experience and the Hall of Fame is an in-depth look the lives and impact on the sport of the Hall of Fame inductees born outside of the United States. The exhibit features multimedia content, artwork, memorabilia, photography, and much more to tell the stories of the 41 foreign-born members of the Hall of Fame and the 16 Hall of Fame racehorses bred outside the United States.

Jim Raftery: A Turfotos Retrospective (from the collection of Barbara D. Livingston) examines the remarkable career of photographer Jim Raftery, featuring more than 60 iconic images of the racing scene Raftery covered in his unique style for more than half a century. Additional Raftery images will be added throughout the summer to an online gallery on the Museum's website racingmuseum.org.

Two other special exhibitions also opened recently at the Museum. The Paintings of Richard Stone Reeves features a selection of original works by the legendary artist from the Museum Collection, including Hall of Fame racehorses Cicada, Exceller, Gallorette, Ruffian, Susan's Girl, and Sword Dancer, among others. This exhibition is located in the Museum's Link Gallery.

Along with Betting on America, the McBean Gallery is featuring the Charles H. Thieriot Collection, a seasonal exhibition featuring several paintings from the masters of British sporting art.

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Sam F. Henderson Dispersal Begins July 13

Wed, 2022-07-06 19:04

ThoroughbredAuctions.com will conduct the Sam F. “Sonny” Henderson Horse Dispersal, which commences July 13 before concluding July 18. The online only auction will feature many offerings selling without reserve. The catalog is available at www.ThoroughbredAuctions.com.

Highlighting the catalog are 2022 Sunland Park Oaks winner, Cleopatra's Charge (Will Take Charge–Cleopatra's Finest by Smart Strike) is a homebred 3-year-old filly who has won 2 of 8 starts, with earnings of over $200,000. Other offerings include mares bred to MacLean's Music, Kantharos, Dialed In, and Mitole, as well as regional stallions, Flat Out, Dorrance, and AQHA stallion, Pa Cha Ching. Several of the mares will sell as 3-in-1 packages, which include foals by Munnings, Outwork, Brody's Cause, Flat Out, and Dorrance, among others. Horses in training include youngsters by stallions such as Nyquist, Outwork, Kitten's Joy and Right Rigger.

Sonny Henderson, a Texas rancher and oilman who's been involved in horse racing since the early 60's, was represented in 2016 by Suddenbreakingnews (Mineshaft), winner of the GIII Southwest S.

For more information and to register as a buyer, visit www.ThoroughbredAuctions.com.

The post Sam F. Henderson Dispersal Begins July 13 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Stanley Cup Champion Erik Johnson Joins Writers’ Room

Wed, 2022-07-06 17:03

As far back as he can remember, and that includes 15 long years and over 900 career games in the NHL, defenseman Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche has been chasing the ultimate dream of winning the Stanley Cup. A week and a half ago, Johnson, who also owns ERJ Racing over in our corner of the world, realized that dream, as his Avalanche took out the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the Stanley Cup Final. Still glowing from that triumph, Johnson joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Tuesday as the Green Group Guest of the Week to describe the whirlwind he and his teammates have been on since last Sunday night, his plans to take the Stanley Cup to Del Mar for Pacific Classic day, his thoughts on the vastly improved safety of California racing and more.

Asked to compare his Cup victory to potentially reaching the mountaintop in racing, winning a race like the Kentucky Derby with ERJ, Johnson didn't mince words, saying, “I've never won the Derby, but I imagine this feels 1,000 times better. Because when you're an owner in the Derby, you're a spectator and you have no impact on what happens. When you're part of a team that wins the Stanley Cup, and you're actually out there doing it with your teammates, and it's something that you've put your whole life into since you were a kid, you can't top this feeling. It's just amazing, and I'm lucky because not a lot of people get to experience this. I've played with a lot of great players who never won.”

Southern California racing, mired in so many negative headlines during the rash of breakdowns at Santa Anita in 2019, has made–unfortunately–smaller headlines for a drastically improved safety record in the two years since. Johnson, who primarily races in California, was asked about the work California racing has done to correct such a dire problem.

“I think they've done a great job,” he said. “No matter what, you're not going to escape the negativity. There's always going to be someone that's upset. But seeing the statistics that have come out recently, there probably was a need for some reform and the leadership has done a really good job throughout the state. I think what's really helped is those pre-race checks. Every horse gets checked out, and I'm sure it makes some owners upset because some of their horses won't run after you've paid 30, 60 days worth of bills getting your horse ready to run, then they pull it out. But for the betterment and longevity of the game, those are things that needed to happen and steps that needed to be taken. So overall I think [California officials] should be commended. They've done awesome, and the game is now in a much better place than it was just a couple of years ago.”

Elsewhere on the show, which is also sponsored by Coolmore, Lane's End, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, XBTV, West Point Thoroughbreds and Legacy Bloodstock, the writers reacted to a weekend full of huge performances on the racetrack and Terence Collier's letter to the editor criticizing Bill Finley's argument for fewer stakes races. Click here to watch the show; click here for the audio-only version or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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Feds: Fishman ‘Amplified the Disastrous Effects of Doping’

Wed, 2022-07-06 16:16

Six days before veterinarian Seth Fishman is to be sentenced for his two felony drug-supplying convictions in a decades-long international racehorse doping conspiracy, United States prosecutors told a judge he deserves a prison term greater than the 10 years recommended by federal probation officials, but below the maximum sentencing guideline of 20 years.

The feds also recommended that the judge not use convicted trainer Jorge Navarro's five-year sentence-the most severe among prison terms meted out so far in this conspiracy-as a measuring stick, because Fishman's criminal actions had a multiplying effect that caused exponential harm to racehorses, and he continued to peddle alleged performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) “until practically the eve” of his trial.

“[U]nlike the trainer-defendants charged and sentenced in this matter, Fishman's reach extended far beyond a single barn,” prosecutors stated in a July 5 sentencing submission filed in U.S. District Court (Southern District of New York).

“He supplied at least hundreds of trainers with his unsafe and illegal drugs. The breadth of the drugs the defendant offered for sale is unmatched by any other charged defendant in this action. The defendant was thus responsible for amplifying the disastrous effects of doping on racehorses in the industry. The defendant, under the guise of providing medically necessary veterinary care, enabled scores of corrupt trainers by selling unnecessary PEDs to enrich himself,” the filing stated.

Fishman undoubtedly tried to paint a different picture in his own sentencing submission that got filed June 27. But the public can't access that document, because his legal team asked for and received permission from the court to file it under seal.

Three days prior, on June 24, TDN reported that Fishman had to be hospitalized for psychiatric reasons during his trial earlier this year, thus explaining his cryptic absence during closing arguments. The presence of records related to his health could have been a reason the judge okayed shielding what is normally a public document.

The July 5 filing by the feds, however, shed some light on what Fishman wrote in his pre-sentencing filing, which is a convict's final chance to impress upon a judge that he doesn't deserve harsh punishment.

“It is unsurprising that the defendant's sentencing submission contains no expression of remorse or contrition,” the feds stated. “He likewise expresses no desire to reform. Even on the verge of sentencing, the defendant is entirely unrepentant for his crimes, and, absent a significant term of imprisonment, is at a high risk of recidivism.”

The government's report continued: “For almost two decades, including two years after his arrest in this matter, Seth Fishman cravenly pumped hundreds of thousands of illegal PEDs into the marketplace, and was dissuaded by no one–not state racing commissions, racetracks, the Food and Drug Administration, Customs and Border Protection, state drug regulators, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, nor this Court-to comply with the law.

“The defendant earned millions of dollars. He did so on the backs of racehorses that were doped by corrupt trainers. The defendant and his convicted co-conspirator, Lisa Giannelli, armed trainers motivated by greed with the means to corruptly win races by injecting and drenching racehorses with unsafe, medically unnecessary, prohibited PEDs.

“Fishman was not naïve or ignorant of the law. He did not 'exercise very poor judgment.' His crimes were not the product of a momentary lapse. Fishman was at the helm of a sophisticated, years-long, cross-border scheme to profit from the creation, marketing, sale, and distribution of illegal PEDs that he shipped across the country and around the world to unscrupulous trainers and others in the racehorse industry that sought to gain a competitive edge…” the filing stated.

“Over approximately 20 years, Fishman perpetuated the myth that he was operating as a legitimate veterinarian, conducting examinations, reaching diagnoses, and prescribing necessary medications for the treatment and prevention of bona fide medical issues.

“Yet Fishman did no such thing. He instead concocted novel PEDs, mass-produced his creations, and marketed and sold them to trainers across the country and around the world, resulting in millions of dollars of sales. He ran an illegal wholesale drug distribution business.

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Euro Invaders Converge for Triple Turf Series

Wed, 2022-07-06 16:05

Wielding great might in Europe, the Aidan O'Brien arsenal has also proven one to be respected in many of the nation's top turf contests. That influence will once again be in evidence this weekend with the appearance of Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Concert Hall (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who arrived in New York Wednesday and are slated to contest Saturday's 10-furlong first legs of NYRA's Caesars Turf Triple series. The former, bred and co-owned by Peter Brant with Coolmore partners Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg, is set for the GI Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational, while Westerberg, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith's Concert Hall takes on nine other fillies in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational. Runner up in the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at two, Stone Age was a prominent winner of the 10-furlong G3 Derby Trial in May at Leopardstown before finishing sixth last time out in the 12-furlong G1 Cazoo Derby June 4.

“He showed plenty of pace [in the Derby Trial],” explained O'Brien. “He traveled very strongly and galloped through the line very well. There's a chance that going back to 10 furlongs might suit him better. We thought he would have no problem with the mile and a half [last out], but there might be a chance that it was too far for him. He seems to have come out of the Derby well.”

Ryan Moore, who is slated to ride both O'Brien runners this weekend, was also on board for last season's Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks with Bolshoi Ballet (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Santa Barbara (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), respectively. O'Brien also captured the 2016 renewal of the Belmont Derby with Deauville (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), courtesy of Jamie Spencer.

Also considered for last weekend's G1 Coral-Eclipse S. won by Vadeni (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}), Stone Age gets the opportunity to face fellow sophomores in New York.

“We had the choice of going here [to New York] or going to the Eclipse and we decided to come to [the New York] race, which is a race we thought would suit him well,” O'Brien explained. “Your race suits perfectly to give him another chance against his own age and then we can step up again against older horses after if we want.”

Also facing fellow 3-year-olds, Concert Hall will be attempting to give O'Brien his third victory in the race. In her two most recent races, she finished fourth in the 12-furlong Epsom Oaks June 3 and was elevated from fifth in the 10-furlong G1 Pretty Polly S. June 26 at The Curragh.

“She didn't have much luck inside the last couple of furlongs,” O'Brien said of her latest start. “She got a bad enough bump and squeeze and had to stop and go back to last and come around them again. She was staying on well at the line.”

At two, Concert Hall won The Curragh's G3 Weld Park S. going seven furlongs and returned this April to capture the 10-furlong Listed Salsabil S. at Navan. She subsequently finished third in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas in May at The Curragh.

Further underscoring the influence of the O'Brien name this weekend, Aidan O'Brien's son, Joseph, will be represented in the Belmont Oaks by multiple group winning Agartha (Ire) (Caravaggio), who finished fifth last time in the G1 Irish Guineas May 22. The junior O'Brien, who recently confirmed he will keep a small string of horses in Saratoga this summer, took last season's Saratoga Derby with State of Rest (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who is possible for either the July 27 G1 Sussex S. at Goodwood or Deauville's G1 Jacques le Marois next month.

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NYRA, NYTHA and NYTB to Host Saratoga Aftercare Day

Wed, 2022-07-06 13:20

The New York Racing Association, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders will host the second annual New York Thoroughbred Aftercare Day at Saratoga Race Course July 21. The day will include a variety of events and demonstrations to highlight the work of the New York State aftercare community.

The featured race will be the $125,000 Rick Violette, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for New York-bred sophomores named for the late trainer and NYTHA President who spearheaded the creation of the TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and TAKE THE LEAD Retirement Program.

Violette was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), the non-profit organization that accredits, inspects, and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain, and rehome Thoroughbreds. Based in Lexington, the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals, and other industry members

Representatives from TAA-accredited aftercare organizations will be on-site at Saratoga to educate racing fans about the importance of responsible aftercare efforts, including New Vocations, ReRun, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, Lucky Orphans, ACTT Naturally, Old Friends at Cabin Creek, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga.

Fans can visit the Community Booth behind the jockeys' quarters to learn more about the participating organizations.

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Weekly Rulings: June 28-July 3

Wed, 2022-07-06 13:09

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky.
Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where.

CALIFORNIA
Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/01/2022
Licensee: Diego Herrera, jockey
Penalty: $1,000 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Jockey Diego Herrera is fined $1,000.00 for violation of California Horse Racing Board rule #1688(b)(8)(d) (Use of Riding Crop – more than six times – third offense in the last sixty days) during the fifth race at Los Alamitos Race Course on June 26, 2022.

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/01/2022
Licensee: Randal Gindi, owner
Penalty: Restoration of good standing
Violation: N/A
Explainer:  Owner Randal Gindi (dba Monster Racing) having satisfied a financial complaint filed by Bob Hubbard Horse Transport for $1,180.00, is restored to good standing and California Horse Racing Board ruling LAFL Ruling #06 is set aside.

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/02/2022
Licensee: Edgar Payeras, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Jockey Edgar Payeras, who rode Bob's Sniper in the first race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 1, 2022, is suspended for 1 day (July 9, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Jockey Edgar Payeras is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 2, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/02/2022
Licensee: Erick Garcia, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Jockey Erick Garcia, who rode Fun Coupons in the third race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 1, 2022, is suspended for 1 day (July 9, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Jockey Erick Garcia is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 2, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/02/2022
Licensee: James Marsden, owner
Penalty: Restoration of good standing
Violation: N/A
Explainer: Owner James Marsden having satisfied a financial complaint filed by Steven Cole Ranch for $4,893.33, is restored to good standing and California Horse Racing Board ruling LATS Ruling #10 dated January 12, 2020, is set aside.

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/03/2022
Licensee: Abdul Alsagoor, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Apprentice Jockey Abdul Alsagoor, who rode Stanford North in the fourth race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 2, 2022, is suspended for 1 day (July 10, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Apprentice Jockey Abdul Alsagoor is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 3, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/03/2022
Licensee: Francisco Orduna-Rojas, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Jockey Francisco Orduna-Rojas, who rode Rawhide Rawlins in the third race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 2, 2022, is suspended for 1 day (July 10, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Jockey Francisco Orduna-Rojas is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 3, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/04/2022
Licensee: Diego Herrera, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Jockey Diego Herrera, who rode Wizard of Westwood in the seventh race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 3, 2022, is suspended for 1 day (July 22, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Jockey Diego Herrera is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 4, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

Track: Los Alamitos
Date: 07/04/2022
Licensee: Ricardo Ramirez, jockey
Penalty: One day suspension, $250 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Having violated the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2280 (Use of Riding Crop) and pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties – Class 3), Apprentice Jockey Ricardo Ramirez, who rode It's My House in the eighth race at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 3, 2022, is suspended for ONE (1) day (July 22, 2022), and fined $250.00 for one (1) strike over the limit. Furthermore, Apprentice Jockey Ricardo Ramirez is assigned three (3) violation points that will be expunged on January 4, 2023, six (6) months from the date of final adjudication pursuant to Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Rule #2282 (Riding Crop Violations and Penalties).

KENTUCKY
Track: Churchill Downs
Date: 07/02/2022
Licensee: Chel-c Bailey, jockey
Penalty: $500 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: After a hearing before the Board of Stewards, Chel-c Bailey, who rode Pats Property in the seventh race at Churchill Downs on June 30, 2022 was found to have violated the crop regulation. This being her first offense, Ms. Bailey was given the option and chose to pay a fine. Chel-c Bailey is hereby fined $500 for her improper use of the crop by exceeding the allowable use in the overhand manner.

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Indiana-based Trainer Marvin Johnson, Vet Suspended

Wed, 2022-07-06 12:22

Trainer Marvin Johnson, tied for second in the standings at Horseshoe Indianapolis, has been summarily suspended by track stewards pending the outcome of an investigation.

In a related development, veterinarian Cynthia Diane Loomis has also been summarily suspended. The suspensions for both Johnson and Loomis began July 4.

Horses that Johnson entered on the July 4 and 5 cards at the track were ordered scratched.

When reached by the TDN, Johnson said “this is not a cheating matter.”

“On May 24, I had pelvic surgery that limited my participation at the barn,” Johnson said.  “On July 4, as I understand, the vet that I had used for the entire meet was observed treating a horse that was in that day, which is obviously against the rules. Whether she did that or not, that's what the investigators are saying. I am cooperating fully with the commission on this matter.”

When asked if he knew why Loomis had treated the horse, Johnson replied, “All I do is hire my vet to be responsible for me. I trusted her fully with the horses and the times that my horses get treated. All the naysayers will say he is cheating, he is cheating. This was not a cheating matter and I'm not hiding behind some lawyer.”

Senior State Steward Eric Smith said that, with an investigation on going, he could not divulge any details regarding the Johnson and Loomis suspensions.

“It's an on-going investigation, so there is nothing I can share at this point,” Smith said. “His horses have been scratched and he has been summarily suspended. The next step is for the investigation to conclude and then there will be a hearing in front of the board of stewards or in front of the racing commission, depending on what the investigation finds. Hopefully, this will be wrapped up soon and there will be more details. But at this point the investigation is on-going.”

The Indiana Racing Commission has posted rulings regarding Johnson and Loomis which states that the individuals were  “summarily suspended for actions not in the best interests of racing and which compromise the integrity of operations at a racetrack.” The ruling also states that “at a hearing on a summary suspension, the sole issue is whether the licensee's license should remain suspended pending a final disciplinary proceeding and order.”

Johnson has been training since 1974 and is a member of the Nebraska Horse Racing Hall of Fame. According to Equibase, he has 2,133 career wins. He is 18-for-94 at the Horseshoe Indianapolis meet.

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Report: Geroux Heading to Del Mar This Summer

Tue, 2022-07-05 17:43

Florent Geroux, who currently sits seventh in the national earnings rankings for jockeys in 2022, will ride in California full-time for the first time this summer at Del Mar, according to a report in Blood-Horse. Geroux, perennially one of the leading rider in Kentucky in the spring and fall, used to spend summers in Saratoga, but had moved his tack to Ellis the past few years.

Geroux's agent, Doug Bredar, told Blood-Horse his client will ride for “almost everybody at the top of the standings” at Del Mar and that the move could serve as a trial run for Geroux to move to California for the long run.

“This is short-term for the moment,” Bredar said. “We just wanted to test the waters. We've had a lot of people, a lot of horsemen out there have asked us to go in the past. We feel that now is the right time.”

The California jockey standings, dominated by Flavien Prat for the better part of the past six years, suddenly have an opening at the top after Prat decided to move his tack to New York full-time in a quest to win his first Eclipse Award. The move has paid off for Prat, who is winning at 21% at the Belmont Park meet and has surged to second nationally in earnings, behind only Irad Ortiz, Jr. The current leading rider in California, Juan Hernandez, is 10th in the country in earnings.

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Barred Trainer Tannuzzo Poised to Change Plea in Doping Case

Tue, 2022-07-05 16:35

The barred trainer Michael Tannuzzo appears poised to join the parade of indicted defendants in the 2020 racehorse doping conspiracy case who have changed their pleas to guilty in order to keep felony charges against them from getting decided at trial.

On Tuesday a federal judge granted Tannuzzo a swift July 7 hearing to explain his reasons for wanting to change his initial “not guilty” plea.

Tannuzzo, 50, who had 11 horses under his care and had been racing at Aqueduct at the time of his March 9, 2020, arrest, made headlines 24 hours later by steadfastly declaring his innocence and maintaining that the New York State Gaming Commission shouldn't have suspended his license after learning he had been booked by the feds on two felony charges related to conspiracies and drug misbranding.

Tannuzzo told Daily Racing Form at that time that he was being targeted by the feds because his “best friend” was the trainer and high-profile defendant Jorge Navarro. His two conspiracy charges were related to Tannuzzo picking up a package of purported performance-enhancing drugs from Navarro's residence and delivering it to him at Monmouth Park. Tannuzzo said that equated to “guilt by association.”

But since Tannuzzo made those initial statements in the press nearly 2 1/2 years ago, Navarro has admitted to doping his horses, changed his own plea to guilty, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Tannuzzo's trial had been set to start Sept. 12.

According to a trove of wiretapped calls made public by federal prosecutors, on March 3, 2019, Navarro and Tannuzzo discussed modeling a doping program based on one Navarro had used on his elite-level stakes sprinter, X Y Jet.

A key takeaway from this discussion is that neither trainer seems sure of the name of the substance that would be administered.

Navarro: What I'm going to do is tap his ankles, put him in a series every week with SGF. I'm just trying [to get] my vet to give me a good price, man, because I want to [expletive] tap every week.

Tannuzzo: You're going to tap him every week?

Navarro: Yeah, with SGF. That's what I did with X Y Jet. I'm going to call my vet up north, my surgeon, to see how he did it to X Y Jet and that's it. Don't worry man, you're in good hands. Don't worry.

Tannuzzo: You're talking about the HGF, not the SGF.

Navarro: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. The SGF whatever. The thing that you sent me the syringe.

Tannuzzo: Yeah.

Navarro: Yeah, yeah. And [this undisclosed horse] is getting one of those SGF-1000 whatever. He's getting one today.

Within 10 months of that conversation, X Y Jet would die suddenly under Navarro's care, allegedly from cardiac distress that has never been fully documented or explained.

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Fasig-Tipton Adds 27 Supplemental Entries to July Horses of All Ages Catalogue

Tue, 2022-07-05 15:35

Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 27 supplemental entries of horses of racing and breeding stock to its upcoming July Selected Horses of All Ages sale.

These latest entries are catalogued as hips 584-610 and may now be viewed online. These newest entries include:

  • First Constitution (Chi) (Hip 587): A Group 1 stakes winner in his native Chile, this son of Constitution is a multiple stakes winner in New York this year. Consigned by WinStar Racing, agent.
  • Miss Costa Rica (Hit It a Bomb) (Hip 590): Four-year-old filly was Grade II placed at two and is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Gas Station Sushi (Into Mischief). Consigned by Highgate Sales, agent.
  • One Step Ahead (Hip 591): Three-year-old daughter of Upstart was a stakes winner last year at year at two. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
  • Moretti (Hip 595): Son of Medaglia d'Oro was a multiple stakes winner in New York that notched graded stakes placings in the GII Suburban S. and GII Brooklyn S. on his way to career earnings of $367,520. He is a half-brother to GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway (Smart Strike). Consigned as a stallion prospect by Highgate Sales, Agent.
  • Song Parody (Hip 609): Two-year-old New York-bred daughter of Practical Joke won her debut by 5 1/2 lengths June 25 at Belmont. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

Also included are mares in foal to Bolt d'Oro, current leading first-crop sire by winners; Higher Power, Grade I winner whose first foals arrived this year; and Upstart a leading third-crop sire.

The July Selected Horses of All Ages sale will take place this coming Monday, July 11, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. On the following day–Tuesday, July 12–Fasig-Tipton will conduct The July Sale of Selected Yearlings beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Online bidding and phone bidding will be available for all sales.

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Wagering & Purse Trends Continue in June

Tue, 2022-07-05 12:35

Recent trends continued in the month of June, as wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing decreased slightly year over year while purses continued to rise, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Tuesday by Equibase. Q2 of 2022 also reflected the same trends compared to last year's second quarter.

 

 

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KY Downs Reserved Seating and Dining Now on Sale

Tue, 2022-07-05 10:15

Edited Press Release

Reserved seating is now on sale online for Kentucky Downs's seven-date meet, to be held Sept. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 and 14.

Advanced purchase of reserved seating and dining in the Finish Line Pavilion are being sold only as tables of eight or groups of four here. Individual tickets will be sold as availability permits on race day both online and at the track.

The open-air Finish Line Pavilion has been expanded and this year will offer more amenities, with the ticket price including lunch buffet, afternoon snacks and open bar.

Ticket prices for groups of four range from $399 ($99.75/per person) on weekdays to $699 ($174.75/pp) on weekends and $799 ($199.75/pp) for Kentucky Downs' signature Sept. 10 card. Tickets for groups of eight range from $699 ($87.38/pp) on weekdays to $1,249 ($156.13/pp) on weekends and $1,499 ($187.38/pp) on Sept. 10, when the track features five graded-stakes races.

Horsemen with runners in that day will receive VIP seating and meal.

“As fast as our meet goes, our tickets sell out almost as quickly,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs' vice president for racing. “We urge those wanting reserved seating and dining to go to our online box office as soon as possible to avoid being shut out. The good news is we do have a seventh day this year, including four weekend dates, that will allow more people to experience one of American racing's great spectacles.”

Free general admission will again be at the top of the stretch in the grassy area in front of The Mint Gaming Hall. Tailgating also returns, with guests able to park in close proximity to the course.

 

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KEEP & RFE Announce Scholarship Recipients

Tue, 2022-07-05 09:39

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) Foundation and The Race For Education (RFE) have announced their 2022 scholarship recipients.

KEEP granted 13 scholarships worth $30,000 to students attending nine different Kentucky universities for 2022. Eligible recipients for KEEP scholarships must be currently enrolled at a school in Kentucky in either an equine and/or agriculture related major or their parents must work in the equine industry.

Additionally, the RFE awarded its annual Robert J. Frankel Scholarship to two New York state students: Anitza Parilla and Francis Marrone. Named in honor of the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel and in its 12th year, the scholarship is open to any student attending a college in New York or California whose family is employed in the Thoroughbred industry.

“We had an excellent group of scholarship applicants this year,” said Alexandra Harper, KEEP Foundation's Executive Director. “I am excited for these students to embark on their collegiate careers and also for the future of the equine industry. These students are eager and ready to make a difference, and I'm glad that we can help take some of the financial burden off by awarding scholarships.”

The 2022 KEEP Foundation Scholarship Recipients are as follows: Connor Bermejo, Kentucky Horseshoeing School; Brant Brower, Midway University; Meghan Clancy, University of Kentucky; Audrey Dollase, University of Kentucky; Emma English, Transylvania University; Alysa Farrell, University of Kentucky; Terada Hiroto, Bluegrass Community & Technical College; Margaret Hollingsworth, Asbury University; Lauren Mullikin, University of Kentucky; Kaitlyn Praisler, Morehead State University; Eric Resendiz, Bluegrass Community & Technical College; Julia Sammet, Midway University; Samantha Versocki, University of Louisville.

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Into Mischief Filly Impresses in Debutante

Mon, 2022-07-04 16:09

Wonder Wheel broke better and showed more speed than she did on debut to set strong splits and draw off impressively in Monday's Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. Having taken her local unveiling by 2 1/4 lengths from off the pace June 3, the $275,000 KEESEP acquisition emerged from between horses here to dole out an opening quarter of :21.52. Already well clear and threatening to run away from them after the half in :45.05, Wonder Wheel did just that as she cruised away to a facile  score. Sabra Tuff) and Les Bon Temps rounded out the exacta and trifecta, respectively.

“When I first got on her the other month I thought she could be special,” said the meet's leading rider Tyler Gaffalione. “She did everything so professionally today. She left the gates really well today and did it all on her own. The [Mark] Casse team got her ready to fire a big effort today. I'm so thankful for all of the people and horses that have supported me this meet. Without them I wouldn't be in this position today. It's been a wonderful meet.”

Casse's assistant David Carroll added, “She's a special filly and we're so thrilled for [owners Len and Lois Green] that they were able to be here this afternoon for this win. She was very impressive in her debut and in her preparation for this race she couldn't have been any better. She's by Into Mischief so we were confident she'd be able to handle the extra distance.”

A juvenile daughter of the runner-up's sire gave the Green family's D J Stable perhaps their most noteworthy win when future champion Jaywalk aired in the 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies under the same Twin Spires.

Wonder Wheel's dam Wonder Gal was precocious enough to take her debut almost exactly eight years ago by 14 1/2 lengths in Belmont's Lynbrook S. for state-breds. She finished second in the GI Frizette S. and third in the Juvenile Fillies later that year. Hailing from the extended family of GISW turfer Force the Pass (Speightstown), Wonder Gal lost her Into Mischief foal the year after producing Wonder Wheel and was subsequently barren to Constitution.

DEBUTANTE S., $167,500, Churchill Downs, 7-4, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.26, ft.
1–WONDER WHEEL, 120, f, 2, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Wonder Gal (MSW & MGISP, $904,800),
                                by Tiz Wonderful
                2nd Dam: Passe, by Dixie Union
                3rd Dam: Gal On the Go, by Irgun
($275,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-D. J. Stable
LLC; B-Three Chimneys Farm, LLC & Clearsky Farms (KY);
T-Mark E. Casse; J-Tyler Gaffalione. $106,140. Lifetime Record:
2-2-0-0, $175,600.
2–Sabra Tuff, 120, f, 2, Cross Traffic–Cactus Cadillac, by Cactus
Ridge. ($38,000 RNA Ylg '21 LTBSYM). 1ST BLACK TYPE.
O-Valene Farms LLC; B-Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson (LA);
T-Dallas Stewart. $29,400.
3–Les Bon Temps, 120, f, 2, Laoban–Winsanity, by Tapizar.
($65,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Deuce
Greathouse, Cindy M. Hutson, & Brian Setzer; B-Southern
Equine Stables (NY); T-Norm W. Casse. $14,700.
Margins: 6 3/4, 1 1/4, HD. Odds: 1.80, 9.20, 5.20.
Also Ran: Empire of My Own, Eyes of Gold, Frango Electrico, Crackalacking.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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Uncle Mo’s Gulfport Gallops in Bashford Manor

Mon, 2022-07-04 15:37

'TDN Rising Star' GULFPORT (c, 2, Uncle Mo–Fame and Fortune, by Unbridled's Song) showed Monday that he really is as good as his seven-length debut drubbing June 10, for which earned an 83 Beyer Speed Figure, as he dominated Churchill's Bashford Manor S. as overwhelming 1-5 chalk. Bidding to add to Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen's record six wins (now three in the last five years) in this early season juvenile focal point, the bay broke on top from the fence and quickly cleared off. Doling out splits of :21.65 and :45.07 with one pesky pursuer in tow, he opened up rapidly when set down at the top of the lane and ran up the score to some 10 lengths. Owen's Leap (Bolt d'Oro) edged out Andthewinneris (Oscar Performance) for second. Gulfport's final time of 1:09.25 was the second fastest in the race's 121-year history behind only the Asmussen-trained future MGISW Kodiak Kowboy (1:09.15 in 2007). Asmussen also clinched the Churchill spring training title with the victory. Sales history: $275,000 ylg '21 FTKJUL. O-L. William & Corinne Heiligbrodt, Jackpot Farm & Whispering Oaks Farm LLC. B-Diamond Creek Farm (KY). T-Steven M. Asmussen.

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Into Mischief’s Naughty Gal On Best Behavior in Churchill Maiden Romp

Mon, 2022-07-04 15:06

4th-Churchill Downs, $88,002, Msw, 7-4, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.35, ft, 9 1/4 lengths.

NAUGHTY GAL (f, 2, Into Mischief–Conway Two Step {SW, $102,605}, by Spanish Steps) tracked the pace before flattening out to fourth on debut here June 10 and was made the 14-5 second choice off an 8-1 morning-line quote in this spot. Dueling with favored firster Stunningly (Gun Runner) through a :22.18 quarter, the $350,000 OBS March purchase started to get the better of that rival while in hand past the three-eighths pole, took charge leaving behind a :45.94 half split and poured it on down the stretch for a dominant 9 1/4-length victory. Chiquita Mosca (Commissioner) got up late to complete the exacta. The winner, who shares a second dam with MGISW turfer Miss Temple City (Temple City), has a yearling half-sister by Malibu Moon and a foal Omaha Beach half-sister. Sales History: $200,000 Wlg '20 FTKNOV; $240,000 RNA Ylg '21 KEESEP; $350,000 2yo '22 OBSMAR. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $38,735. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

O-Holy Cow Stable, LLC; B-Loren Nichols (FL); T-D. Wayne Lukas.

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