Skip to:

Thoroughbred Daily News

Subscribe to Thoroughbred Daily News feed
Thoroughbred Horse Racing’s Leading Worldwide Source of News & Information
Updated: 12 hours 28 min ago

U S Navy Flag Filly Romps to Rising Star Honors

Fri, 2022-04-29 13:19

Love Reigns (Ire) (f, 2, U S Navy Flag–Humble And Proud {Ire}, by Pivotal {GB}), backed as the 2-1 favorite on debut for Wesley Ward going 5 1/2 panels over the Keeneland lawn, romped to 'TDN Rising Star' honors.

Hustled to the front from her inside draw by Irad Ortiz, Jr, she raced under pressure while traveling nicely through a sharp opening quarter in :22.04. She began to let it out a notch rounding the far turn, kicked for home with a seven-length advantage and kept on motoring down the stretch to an eye-catching 9 3/4- length victory over stablemate Rivka (Ire) (No Nay Never) in 1:02.33.

She becomes the third winner for her freshman sire (by War Front).

Sales history: Eu160,000 yrl '21 GOFSEP.

Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0.

O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Patrick Grogan (Ire); T-Wesley Ward.

The post U S Navy Flag Filly Romps to Rising Star Honors appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Exercise Rider Callie Witt Dies at Keenland

Fri, 2022-04-29 12:08

Callie Witt, 20, an exercise rider for trainer Joe Sharp, died Friday morning following a training accident on the Keeneland training track. The incident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. when Witt was thrown from a 2-year-old horse.

Alpha Event Medicine, the track's on-site medical team, immediately attended to her life-threatening injuries. Lexington Fire and Emergency arrived at the scene within six minutes and transported Witt to the University of Kentucky Emergency Department, where she was pronounced dead from blunt force injuries.

“We are heartbroken by this tragic loss,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said.  “Our hearts and prayers go out to Callie's family, friends and our collective racing community at this difficult time.”

A native of Nebraska, Witt was studying at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and was interviewed in a 2021 TDN feature on her then-participation in the exercise riding portion of the course.

“Since I was a little girl, it's always been my dream to be a jockey,” she said. “My parents' big thing was that I had to have a degree in something to fall back on, so I was really lucky to find this type of program where I can continue my passion for horses, learn how to ride, and still get a degree.”

The post Exercise Rider Callie Witt Dies at Keenland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

‘Speedy’ Smithwick Passes Away

Fri, 2022-04-29 11:14

Daniel M. Smithwick, Jr., better known as “Speedy,” passed away Apr. 23 in Middleburg, Va. He was 62.

A former amateur steeplechase jockey, Smithwick was the son of Hall of Fame steeplechase trainer D.M. 'Mikey' Smithwick and his wife, fellow steeplechase trainer Dorothy 'Dot' Fred Smithwick. After a successful steeplechasing career of his own in the 1980s, Smithwick deviated from his parents' path and became a flat trainer along with his wife, Eva. Among their most prominent owners was Jack Kent Cooke and among their top graded winners were Ziggy's Act and Zignew.

Smithwick eventually returned to his family's Sunny Bank Farm in Middleburg, where he focused on steeplechasing, foxhunting, and cattle herding.

He is survived by his wife, the former Eva Dahlgren; daughters Kathy Smithwick Swain and Patricia Smithwick; granddaughter Dorothy Adelaide Swain, who was named after his mother; brother Roger; and many close friends.

A memorial service will be held May 16 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Va. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs.

The post ‘Speedy’ Smithwick Passes Away appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Derby Week Fundraiser Returns for Second Stride

Fri, 2022-04-29 10:38

Second Stride, the Louisville-based organization which provides professional rehabilitation, retraining, and placement of retired Thoroughbreds, will hold its 11th annual Derby Week fundraiser Monday, May 2, at 6 p.m. after two years of being sidelined and/or limited by the pandemic. The event will be titled “Champions Night” and will be held at Molly Malone's in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood.

Sponsored by Churchill Downs and Skychai Racing, Champions Night will feature a handicapping session moderated by Byron King of BloodHorse. Panelists include Horse Racing Nation's Ed DeRosa, television talent Megan DeVine, and jockey agent Jake Romans. The traditional kick-off to Derby Week will also have live and silent auctions and raffles and will be emceed by WHAS radio host Dwight Witten with assistance from auctioneer Phil Ammon. The auction, which closes at 9 p.m. May 2, is already open online.

Champions Night is open to the public, with tickets not required. A suggested donation of $20 can be given at the door. For more information, please visit

The post Derby Week Fundraiser Returns for Second Stride appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Line of Vision Tops Wanamaker’s April

Fri, 2022-04-29 09:59

Wanamaker's, host of monthly online Thoroughbred auctions, closed April's sale with a top price of $60,000 for young broodmare Line of Vision (Court Vision). The MSW is carrying her first foal, which is due next spring and is by Coolmore America's MGISW Tiz the Law. Carrie Brogden of Machmer Hall signed the ticket.

“One of my clients alerted me to a stakes-winning mare carrying her first baby by Tiz the Law in the Wanamaker's Sale,” said Brogden. “We have had several of his babies born on our farm and were very impressed with his progeny, so this seems like a very solid, long-term purchase for us.”

A total of 19 horses changed hands at the Wanamaker's April Sale, bringing a gross of $197,300. The next Wanamaker's auction will take place May 26, with entries being taken up until May 17. For more information, visit

The post Line of Vision Tops Wanamaker’s April appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Miceli Suspended 30 Days

Thu, 2022-04-28 20:35

Trainer Mike Miceli has been suspended 30 days and fined $2,500 by the New York Gaming Commission for failing to follow Commission rules pertaining to the horse Cover Photo after a win in a $10,000 claiming race Mar. 13 at Aqueduct. The horse raced within 14 days of receiving a joint injection, which violates Commission rules. Cover Photo was not disqualified from her victory. Miceli will begin his suspension May 8 and, according to the DRF, bloodstock agent Joe Brocklebank will take over in his absence, granted he passes his trainer's test.

The post Miceli Suspended 30 Days appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Cohen Testifies in Giannelli Trial

Thu, 2022-04-28 19:57

Day two of Lisa Giannelli's horse-doping trial in a New York courtroom began April 28 with opening statements and ended with testimony from an ex-harness trainer turned government cooperating witness.

“The defendant wasn't just in the doping business, she was in the deception business,” prosecutor Benjamin Gianforte told the jury in U.S. District Court in New York.

But defense attorney Louis Fasulo countered by saying that his client couldn't be found guilty because her actions lacked criminal intent.

“Intent,” he wrote in large letters on a computer screen for the jury of eight men and four women to read.

Fasulo said intent was the crux of the case. “What was Lisa Giannelli's intent? Why did she do what she did?”

Giannelli is challenging the government's evidence against her in a case growing out of the federal government's crackdown on horse doping at racetracks across the country. The defendants included the prominent trainer Jason Servis who faces trial in early 2023.

Giannelli is being tried on one count of conspiring to violate federal law prohibiting the adulteration or misbranding of drugs.

In his opening, Gianforte said that for more than two decades Giannelli distributed illegal performance enhancing drugs that corrupt trainers used to dope horses. He said the drugs clearly violated racing regulations. But that didn't stop the cheaters, he said.

“Why? Because fast horses win money,” the prosecutor said.

Gianforte said the drugs Ginannelli sold were sought after because they were designed not to show up in post-race testing.

“Professional horseracing is highly competitive,” the prosecutor said. “Winning highly lucrative.”

Those create a huge temptation to cheat and defraud others, he said.

“That's what doping amounts to-fraud,” he said.

Gianforte never mentioned by name a key figure: the veterinarian Seth Fishman who manufactured the drugs Giannelli sold at racetracks and training centers. Her customers were mostly harness trainers.

In February, Fishman was convicted of conspiracy. Fasulo told the jury that Giannelli would testify that she did nothing wrong.

“She will tell you what she did and why she did it,” he said. “We're not hiding from that.”

He told the jury that horse racing was a sport in its purest sense and “how it is manipulated goes to the people in the sport.”

He said the trial wasn't about PEDs or horse racing or whether animals should be subjected to drugs. And he said it wasn't about Fishman “with his own motives that he kept” from Giannelli.

“At no time did he tell her she was doing anything wrong in fulfilling his orders,” he said. “She was not the veterinarian; she was not the doctor.”

The cooperator was Ross Cohen, who took the stand after an FBI agent and an FBI photographer testified about law enforcement searches conducted at Giannelli's home in Felton, Del., in 2020 and at Fishman's warehouse in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2019.

Cohen was arrested in 2020 during the government's big takedown. He has since pleaded guilty as part of cooperation agreement with the government.

Cohen, 50, testified that he purchased performance enhancing bleeder pills from Giannelli when he was training horses in New York.

Under questioning from prosecutor Sarah Mortazavi, Cohen said Giannelli told him that he should give the pills to horses on the day of a race even though that would violate race regulations.

“She said they do not test for it at this time, but there was no guarantee they'd always not test,” he testified.

He said testability was important to him.

“I did not want to get suspended and fined and have the owners lose the purse money,” Cohen said.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors showed the jury a 2016 text that Giannelli sent to Fishman referring to Cohen.

“Propanthelene bromide? Ross Cohen is asking about it,” Giannelli wrote.

“Have but it tests,” Fishman replied.

Cohen testified the substance is a bronchodilator that increases a horse's airways. He told Mortazavi he didn't remember talking to Giannelli about that. His testimony resumes April 29.

The post Cohen Testifies in Giannelli Trial appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

New Wagering and Dining Options Debut at Monmouth

Thu, 2022-04-28 15:35

Monmouth Park opens its 2022 meet May 7 with new wagering and dining options. The New Jersey oval will offer fixed odds wagering, allowing bettors to retain the odds at the time of their bet as opposed to tote wagering.

“We are excited to finally be able to offer this new wagering opportunity to our fans,” said Dennis Drazin, CEO and Chairman of Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park. “We believe this is just the start of what will be an extremely popular wager. For the first time, bettors can shop for the best odds and aren't subjected to fluctuations that can occur in the tote pool.”

Monmouth Park will also unveil a new outdoor dining option, the Summer Wind, located at the trackside first floor of the Clubhouse. Seating will be first come, first serve.

The Oceanport oval will also debut a new 3,800 square foot infield tote board with new camera angles. It features three sections and will be in front of the original tote board.

The post New Wagering and Dining Options Debut at Monmouth appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Fleming Wins Buddy Raines Award

Thu, 2022-04-28 15:14

Millie Fleming, president of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award, Monmouth Park announced Thursday. The Raines Award is presented annually just prior to Monmouth Park's season opener, which is coming up May 7.

“This means the world to me. I know the elite company I'm in,” said Fleming. “I'm the first breeder to receive this award so it truly is special to me.”

Fleming is still active as an owner and breeder. She also taught Equine Studies at Centenary College in Hackettstown.

The post Fleming Wins Buddy Raines Award appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Taiba Puts in Final Derby Work

Thu, 2022-04-28 15:03

Undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) had his final work ahead of the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby Thursday at Santa Anita, going six furlongs in 1:12.80 in company with Drayden Van Dyke aboard.

“It was very straight forward,” trainer Tim Yakteen said. “He worked three-quarters from the five-eighth pole. It was a typical Taiba work and we accomplished what we wanted. I got him in 1:12.60 and out in 1:26. We're good.”

An ultra-impressive debut winner at Santa Anita Mar. 5, the $1.7-million FTFMAR buy followed suit with a good-looking score in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Apr. 9.

Yakteen will work Santa Anita Derby runner-up Messier (Empire Maker) Friday in Arcadia. Both colts are scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Indianapolis Sunday and then van south to Churchill Downs.

“My general feeling is that both horses are doing really super,” Yakteen said. “They are both very professional and make my job easy.”

The post Taiba Puts in Final Derby Work appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Mystic Guide Retires to Jonabell Farm

Thu, 2022-04-28 14:49

Last term's G1 Dubai World Cup hero Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper–Music Note, by A.P. Indy) has been retired to Jonabell Farm, where he will stand the 2023 breeding season, Godolphin announced Thursday. A fee will be announced at a later date.

“The decision has been made to retire Mystic Guide due to a soft tissue injury,” Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America, said. “The timing unfortunately rules out his major summer and fall targets and as a result he will take up stud duties at Jonabell Farm. He proved himself a top-caliber horse on the world stage and has an outstanding pedigree with an impressive physical to match. We can't wait for breeders to be able to see him in person.”

Out of Godophin's homebred MGISW Music Note (A.P. Indy), Mystic Guide graduated at second asking at Fair Grounds in March of 2020 and won that year's delayed GII Jim Dandy S. that September. Runner-up in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. a month later, the 'TDN Rising Star' captured Oaklawn's GIII Razorback H. last February and followed suit with an impressive victory in the Dubai World Cup. The 5-year-old was last seen finishing second in the GII Suburban S. at Belmont July 3. He retires with a record of 9-4-3-2 and earnings of $7,593,200.

“Horses of Mystic Guide's caliber just don't come along too often,” trainer Mike Stidham said in the Godolphin release. “To win the Dubai World Cup for Godolphin was obviously a special moment for me and my team and one that I'll always remember. I'm sure the next chapter in his life will be equally as exciting.”

The post Mystic Guide Retires to Jonabell Farm appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Dortmund Passes Away in Korea

Thu, 2022-04-28 14:32

MGISW Dortmund (Big Brown–Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) passed away at Korea's Great Hill Farm Apr. 18 due to a small bowel torsion, the farm reported on Instagram Thursday.

Dortmund won his first six starts for Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert, including the 2015 GI Santa Anita Derby and 2014 GI Los Alamitos Futurity. The hulking chestnut was the bettors' second choice in the 2015 GI Kentucky Derby behind his stablemate American Pharoah. The 'TDN Rising Star' finished third to eventual Triple Crown winner that day and was fourth behind him in the GI Preakness S.

Dortmund's last victory came in the GIII Native Diver S., but he hit the board in the GI Pacific Classic and GI Awesome Again S. in 2016. He retired with a record of 16-8-2-2 and earnings of $1,987,505.

The $140,000EASMAY buy retired in 2017 and started his stud career at Bonita Farm in Maryland with just 14 foals in his initial crop. In 2021, he was sold and exported to Korea. The 10-year-old covered 16 mares this year according to the Korean Stud Book.

The post Dortmund Passes Away in Korea appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Freshman Oscar Performance Off the Mark at Keeneland

Thu, 2022-04-28 13:55

2nd-Keeneland, $76,240, Msw, 4-28, 2yo, 5 1/2fT, 1:03.85, fm, 2 lengths.
ANDTHEWINNERIS (c, 2, Oscar Performance–Run Like the Boss, by Scat Daddy) was sent off the 4.10-1 second choice and showed a decisive turn of foot in the final eighth of a mile to become the first winner for his Mill Ridge-based freshman sire (by Kitten's Joy) at Keeneland Thursday afternoon. Void of early speed, Andthewinneris raced last but one early and improved by one position as they hit the turn. Traveling smoothly inside on the bend, he was angled out sharply approaching the quarter pole and steamed home down the center of the course to take it by a handy two-length margin. The blaze-faced bay clocked his final two furlongs in a slick :22.77, fully 0.72 seconds faster than any of his vanquished rivals, according to Trakus data. Bought back on a bid of $67,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale, Andthewinneris has a yearling half-brother by Enticed and a foal half-sister already named Bonne Fille (Cupid). Racing as a homebred for Amerman Racing, Oscar Performance won the 2016 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile and added the GI Belmont Derby and GI Secretariat S. at three, both going 10 furlongs. He set a Belmont course record of 1:31.23 in winning the GIII Poker S. in 2018 and achieved additional Grade I glory at four in the Woodbine Mile. Oscar Performance is standing the 2022 breeding season for a fee of $12,500 LFSN. Sales history: $67,000 RNA Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $45,880. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O/B-Susan Moulton (KY); T-Wayne M Catalano.


The post Freshman Oscar Performance Off the Mark at Keeneland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

No Nay Never 2-Year-Old Graduates At Keeneland

Thu, 2022-04-28 13:37

1st-Keeneland, $54,416, Msw, 4-28, 2yo, 4 1/2f, :51.92, ft, 4 lengths.
NO NAY HUDSON (IRE) (c, 2, No Nay Never–Raw Silk {GSW, $201,958}, by Malibu Moon), bet down to even money, broke straight to the lead from the outside gate to set the pace a path off the rail. He had slight pressure behind from both Top of My Game (Mark Valeski) and stable-mate Ashcroft (Munnings) on either flank turning for home but as the trio straightened, No Nay Hudson kicked on and only lengthened his advantage, puling clear to win by four lengths over The Big Wam (Mr. Big) for trainer Wesley Ward's 11th win of the meet. No Nay Hudson is a half-brother to Tailor's Row (Street Cry {Ire}), SP-UAE, $200,865. His dam, winner of the GII Sands Point S., most recently produced a yearling colt by US Navy Flag. Sales History: $190,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $29,016.  Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-Andrew Farm and For the People Racing Stable LLC; B-RJB Bloodstock (IRE); T-Wesley A. Ward.

The post No Nay Never 2-Year-Old Graduates At Keeneland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Corniche Nearing Return

Thu, 2022-04-28 12:30

He has yet to run this year, which has turned GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Corniche (Quality Road) into the forgotten horse in the 3-year-old male division. That, however, may be about to change. Corniche has had two recent works at WinStar Farm and, according to Marette Farrel, an advisor to owners K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor, the colt will return to the racetrack within a couple of weeks.

“His last work at WinStar [four furlongs in :48.94 last Saturday], they said that it was an 'A' work,” Farrel said. “He couldn't have been more impressive.”

Corniche, a $1.5-million purchase at the 2021 OBS Spring Sale, debuted Sept. 4 for trainer Bob Baffert, breaking his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths. Up next was a 3 1/4-length win in the GI American Pharoah and then a 1 3/4-length victory in the Breeders' Cup. Named 2-year-old male champion, Corniche was the early favorite for the GI Kentucky Derby and his connections began to plot a course to get him to Churchill Downs. But there was a problem. Corniche was not flourishing.

“He really only got 30 days off,” Farrel said. “He didn't come to WinStar until the beginning of December. The first week of January, he started jogging and then he started galloping. It was then that he didn't bloom like he should have.”

Farrel said there were rumors that Corniche had suffered some kind of physical setback, but says that was never the case. But he wasn't showing the connections what they wanted to see. With the calendar entering mid-March and with Corniche still not having had a workout, a decision had to be made. Press on for the Derby or come up with an alternate plan?

“He was a little slow to come around physically and he was still holding on to his winter coat,” Farrel said. “Peter and K.C. had a choice to make in March. Do you push the horse and rush him to the Derby or do you let the horse come back naturally in his own time and in his own way? They are very successful businessmen and they understand big picture things. They said, 'We want to do right by the horse.' Let him tell us what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. I applaud Peter and K.C. for taking what is, in my opinion, the right road.”

But that meant giving up on any chance to win the Kentucky Derby.

“There hasn't been any frustration,” Farrel said. “They took the horsemen's path and did the right thing by the horse. They weren't shortsighted and said, 'Let's go for it, let's take a chance.' If they did that they might not have had any horse left after running him in the Derby.”

Corniche's first published workout of the year came on Apr. 15 when he breezed three furlongs in :36.80 at WinStar. It was exactly what his team had been looking for, a sign that he was finally coming around. After one or two more works at WinStar, the next step for Corniche will be to return to the track and continue to work toward his first start of the year. The problem with that is that his return will come while Baffert is serving a 90-day suspension for the betamethasone positive he was hit with in last year's Kentucky Derby. That opens up the possibility that Corniche will be turned over to a new trainer. Farrel said the owners have yet to reach a decision concerning who will get the horse.

Farrel said the main goals will be the GI Haskell S. and the GI Travers S. and she is confident Corniche will be ready by then and will return to top form. The Derby and the entire Triple Crown may be out, but Corniche may still make something out of what so far has been a lost year.

The post Corniche Nearing Return appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Apr. 19-25

Thu, 2022-04-28 11:32

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.


Track: Santa Anita
Date: 04/20/2022
Licensee: Ed Moger, trainer
Penalty: $500 fine
Violation: Out of competition medication violation
Explainer: Trainer Ed Moger, who worked the horse Squalotoro for removal from the Veterinarian's List on March 10, 2022, at Santa Anita Park, is fined $500.00 pursuant to California Horse Racing Board Rules #1887(a) (Trainer or Owner to Insure Condition of Horse) for violation of California Horse Racing Board Rule #1866(h) (Veterinarian's List), #1843(a)(b)(d) (Medication, Drugs and Other Substances) and Rule #1843.1(a) (Prohibited Drug Substances – Phenylbutazone – Class 4).

Track: Santa Anita
Date: 04/20/2022
Licensee: Bob Hess, trainer
Penalty: $500 fine
Violation: Out of competition medication violation
Explainer: Trainer Robert Hess, who worked the horse Rantanen for removal from the Veterinarian's List on February 14, 2022, at Santa Anita Park, is fined $500.00 pursuant to California Horse Racing Board Rules #1887 (Trainer or Owner to Insure Condition of Horse) for violation of California Horse Racing Board Rule #1866(h) (Veterinarian's List), #1843(a)(b)(d) (Medication, Drugs and Other Substances), Rule 1844(d)(1) (Authorized Medication) and Rule #1843.1 (Prohibited Drug Substances – 5-Hydroxy Dantrolene [Class 4]).

Track: Santa Anita
Date: 04/20/2022
Licensee: Diego Herrera, jockey
Penalty: $1,000 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: Apprentice 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 past sixty days) during the eighth race at Santa Anita Park on April 17, 2022.

The following ruling was not posted in time for inclusion last week.

Track: Keeneland
Date: 04/10/2022
Licensee: Brian Hernandez, Jr., jockey
Penalty: $500 fine
Violation: Excessive use of the whip
Explainer: After waiving his right to a hearing before the Board of Stewards, Brian J. Hernandez, Jr., who rode Cilla in the seventh race at Keeneland on April 9, 2022, was found to have violated the crop regulation. This being his first offense, Mr. Hernandez was given the option and chose to pay a fine. Brian Hernandez, Jr. is hereby fined $500.00 for his improper use of the riding crop by exceeding the allowable use in the overhand manner. Upon receipt of this ruling, it is required within 30 days to pay any and all fines imposed to the Kentucky horse Racing Commission. Failure to do so will subject the licensee to summary suspension of license pursuant to 810 KAR 3:020 Section 15 (cc).

The post Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Apr. 19-25 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

ROAP Schedules Accreditation School and Certificate Course

Thu, 2022-04-28 10:13

The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP), which accredits and provides continuing education to all racing officials, stewards, and judges in racing, will hold its annual accreditation school for stewards and judges at California's Los Alamitos Race Course from Sept. 11-18. The course, which includes 60 hours of schooling, provides classroom instruction as well as time shadowing officials. Curriculum covers both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, as well as harness racing. The accreditation school is open to all applicants who meet and complete the registration requirements by Aug. 12.

In addition, in association with Chippewa Downs, ROAP will also hold a certificate course at the Sky Dancer Resort and Casino in North Dakota May 13-14. This course, which is open to the public and has no charge, consists of general racing industry education geared toward those interesting in becoming racing officials. There will be job-specific modules for the racing official positions of clerk of scales, horse identifier, paddock judge, placing judge, outrider, and starter/assistant starter.

For registration for both the accreditation school and the certificate course or for more information, contact Wendy Culberson at or 859-224-2702. ROAP's website is

The post ROAP Schedules Accreditation School and Certificate Course appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Churchill’s Paddock to be Expanded by 2024 Derby

Thu, 2022-04-28 09:43

Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) will launch a $185- to $200-million redesign of the paddock that will be in place for the 150th GI Kentucky Derby in 2024. The “Paddock Project,” a massive expansion and redevelopment, is the final phase of CDI's three-year capital investment plan.

The transformation will increase the current 5,000 square feet of guest space to 12,000 square feet, update the capacity inside the paddock from 1,000 to 2,400 people, and add various club spaces and seating, including 3,612 new premium reserved seats and 3,250 new standing room-only tickets. In addition, the current paddock configuration blocks views of the twin spires from the entrance gate, while the new design will give better visibility.

“This is one of the most significant construction projects in the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack because it significantly impacts what we consider to be the heart of the property,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We took great care to ensure this is designed in a way that would transform Churchill Downs while enhancing our ability to deliver on what our fans hope for and expect from us for generations to come.”

Construction will begin after Churchill's spring meet and will accommodate future live racing dates. The massive transformation of the paddock follows the $44.5-million Homestretch Club project that is set to debut this year during Derby Week and the $89.2-million Turn 1 Experience that will open next year.

The post Churchill’s Paddock to be Expanded by 2024 Derby appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Lisa Giannelli Trial Begins

Wed, 2022-04-27 19:51

Jury selection kicked off April 27 in the trial of a Delaware woman who prosecutors say helped veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman supply illegal performance-enhancing drugs to trainers who used them to secretly dope horses to win races.

By day's end, a jury of eight men and four women was sworn in to hear the case against Lisa Giannelli in U.S. District Court in New York.

Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil scheduled opening statements for Apr. 28. The government has two FBI agents lined up to testify as their first witnesses.

Giannelli was in court for the jury selection.

One of the jurors chosen is a 60-year-old woman who said during voir dire that she has attended the GI Kentucky Derby “numerous times.”

Giannelli, of Felton, worked for Fishman and his Florida company Equestology as a sales representative. They were arrested two years ago following a lengthy FBI investigation into suspected backstretch horse doping that nabbed more than two dozen others.

Those charged included prominent Thoroughbred trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis. Navarro pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to five years in prison. Servis is awaiting a trial that has been pushed back to early 2023.

Giannelli's case is being heard in the same courthouse where Fishman was convicted Feb. 2 on two counts of conspiracy to violate adulteration or misbranding laws after an 11-day trial. She is charged with one of those crimes.

Fishman and Giannelli have been the only ones in the case to take their chances at trial. There have been nine other guilty pleas since the arrests, including Navarro's.

Giannelli was to be tried with Fishman, but after opening statements and testimony from the government's first witness, a mistrial was declared in her case after her lawyer Louis Fasulo tested positive for COVID-19, preventing him from proceeding.

She faces five years in prison if convicted. She is free on $100,000 bond.

At a conference Apr. 25, Fasulo said his client would be testifying in her own defense. He also said she would be his only witness. Fishman didn't testify, and his lawyers called no other witnesses.

Fasulo told Vyskocil that he was “100% certain” Gianelli would take the stand.

“I never make that commitment, but we know it's going to happen,” he said.

In court papers last month, prosecutors spelled out their case against Giannelli.

They said she had traveled to racehorse training facilities in the northeast U.S., offering to sell Fishman's drugs “on demand, without regard to the existence of any prescription, the medical need for such drugs or the legality (or propriety) of selling such drugs directly to racehorse trainers.”

In court papers, Fasulo has signaled his intent to put on a “good faith” defense.

“A person acts in good faith when he or she has an honestly held belief, opinion, or understanding that as part of her experience in the horse racing industry veterinarians were allowed to sell drugs they compounded or manufactured and it was the trainer's responsibility to follow withdrawal times, even though the belief, opinion or understanding turns out to be inaccurate or incorrect,” Fasulo wrote in a proposed instruction that he wants the jury to hear before it begins deliberations.

At the previous trial, Fasulo sought to distance his client from Fishman, a tactic he is expected to take this time around.

“We sit here today after hearing the government's opening statement that Lisa Giannelli is a lone wolf in a herd of sheep,” he said as he began his opening remarks to the prior jury. “This case will prove that Lisa was a sheep herded by the sheep master.”

Fasulo said then that Giannelli had been a groom and a trainer before she went to work for Fishman. He said they had worked together for 18 years.

Fasulo said his client had no ability to create the products that Fishman manufactured and had no ability to label them.

“She took no responsibility as to the products as they were presented to her, other than they were presented by a veterinarian who was licensed in the states in which she was dealing,” he said.

At the end of his remarks, he said they don't hide from the fact that Giannelli worked for Fishman.

“What the government found in her home were products given to her by Seth Fishman, the veterinarian, and you will hear that she believed those products to be okay to transport to others,” he said.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

   The Thoroughbred industry's leading publications are working together to cover this key trial.

The post Lisa Giannelli Trial Begins appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Early Voting Targets Preakness

Wed, 2022-04-27 17:00

Klaravich Stables' Early Voting (Gun Runner) is possible to make his next start in the May 21 GI Preakness S. at Pimlico, although trainer Chad Brown may opt to enter the GIII Withers S. winner Monday in the GI Kentucky Derby if there is a strategic defection. The four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be represented by Keeneland's GI Blue Grass S. winner Zandon (Upstart) at Churchill Downs for the Derby.

“Right now the horse is still in New York preparing for the Preakness,” Brown said of Early Voting. “If the complexion of the Derby field changes a certain way before the race, it's not out of the question that I go ahead and ship him over to Churchill and enter him in the Derby. But right now we're planning on running in the Preakness.”

He continued, “We have the points [to get in the Derby]. The horse is doing well. We have the flexibility to keep it as an option. No one is forcing us to make a decision earlier than we want. I don't want to make a 'final' decision and then change your mind. That's worse than delaying. Things happen. Horses drop out, the pace scenario could change, things like that. Seth [Klarman] and I want to handle it intelligently. We want the flexibility. But if everything stays the way it is right now with the field, I plan on running the horse in the Preakness.”

Early Voting has raced only three times: winning a one-mile maiden race at Aqueduct Dec. 18, followed by a 4 1/2-length victory over Un Ojo (Laoban) in the Withers Feb. 5 before finishing second to Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) in the GII Wood Memorial Apr.9. Un Ojo subsequently won the GII Rebel S. at odds of 75-1 at Oaklawn Feb. 26.

“With only three starts under his belt, putting him in a 20-horse field not even knowing what post you're going to draw and bringing him all the way over here [to Churchill], I didn't feel was a good gamble for the future of the horse. Seth feels the same way. However, if the field changes in such a way where it looks like he's moving up to be one of the main contenders and maybe one of the only pace horses in the race, then I would change my mind.”

Early Voting's path to the Preakness is similar to that of former Brown charge, Cloud Computing, who captured the Classic in 2017. Also owned by Klaravich, Cloud Computing also ran three times, winning his debut at Aqueduct in February, finishing second in the GIII Gotham S. before coming home third in the Wood. He also skipped the Derby before winning the Preakness.

“We've won the Preakness before, obviously,” Brown said. “With Seth being a Baltimore native, it's a very important race to him and he'd be honored to win it a second time, he tells me. So it's not a disappointing goal to shoot for. We hold the race in high regard, and we want to do the right thing for the horse for the future, too, beyond the Derby and the Preakness.”

He added, “This horse has a big career ahead of him. Right now he's a beautiful, sound, improving horse. We want to continue to develop him.”

The post Early Voting Targets Preakness appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.