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Updated: 3 hours 46 min ago

Breeders’ Cup Foal Nominations Close Feb. 28

Tue, 2022-02-01 17:27

The last opportunity to nominate foals of 2021 to the Breeders' Cup closes Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The one-time nomination fee of $1,500 entitles each foal to lifetime eligibility to the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Breeders' Cup Racing Programs. All foals sired by a fully nominated North American Breeders' Cup stallion are eligible for nomination to the Breeders' Cup program in their year of birth and up to Feb. 28 of their yearling year.

The post Breeders’ Cup Foal Nominations Close Feb. 28 appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

MSW Purses to Trend Upward at Keeneland, Churchill

Tue, 2022-02-01 16:16

Purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races are projected to trend upward this spring at both Keeneland Race Course and Churchill Downs.

Track executives disclosed the pre-condition book figures during Tuesday's Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting.

“The MSWs for older horses are going to be $100,000. And the [MSW races for] 2-year-olds are going to be $80,000,” said Keeneland's vice president of racing, Gatewood Bell.

At Keeneland's 2021 spring meet, the comparable MSW purse levels were $79,000 and $60,000.

Mike Ziegler, the senior vice president and general manager at Churchill, told KTDF board members that, “We have yet to finalize our purse structure for the upcoming meet. I expect them to be probably right in line with where they were in the fall, which was at $120,000 for [MSW races].”

In the spring of 2021, Churchill carded two levels of MSW money. For the lead-in to the GI Kentucky Derby, the purses were $115,000. After that, those races were written for $100,000.

Bell also outlined the allowance purse structure for Keeneland's April meet: Starting at the 1x condition, purses will be $110,000, with consecutive bumps upward of $10,000 for each the 2x, 3x, and open allowance levels, maxing out at $140,000.

Rick Hiles, the president of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said, “I think it's great. Just don't leave out the claiming races. Make sure the guys that are running their horses in the claiming races every day are well-compensated, too.”

Bell said he agreed, and that Keeneland's condition book–which will come out later this week or sometime next week–will reflect claiming purse increases “just to help bolster those races that [don't] qualify for the KTDF funds.”

When prodded by KTDF advisory committee chair Bill Landes, III to give a glimpse of what purse levels might look like in the fall when Keeneland hosts the Breeders' Cup, Bell said the “hope [is] that it'll carry from the spring right into the fall and look fairly similar.”

When Churchill follows Keeneland in the spring rotation, it will open this year with a new turf course in place. Construction and seeding of that surface prevented Churchill from carding grass races last fall.

Ziegler noted that Churchill will be adding three Wednesday programs in June, making for two five-date weeks of racing and one six-date week that concludes with a Monday, July 4, holiday card.

It was not discussed at the meeting how that outlying six-date final week might adversely affect the available horse population at Ellis Park, which has a scheduled July 8 opening.

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Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings: Jan. 25-31

Tue, 2022-02-01 16:01

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 and where.

CALIFORNIA

Track: Santa Anita

Date: 01/28/2022

Licensee: Richard Dean Greenman, trainer

Penalty: Required to participate in a fitness for licensure hearing before being permitted to get re-licensed (his license having expired in August of last year).

Violation: N/A

Explainer: Acting on an Order of Remand from the California Horse Racing Board DMTD Ruling #28 issued August 1, 2021, is amended as follows: Pursuant to CHRB rule #1900 (Grounds For Suspension Or Revocation) Trainer Richard Dean Greenman is suspended for 30 Days (August 19, 2021 through September 7, 2021–already served) for violation of CHRB rule #1874 (Disorderly Conduct–detrimental behavior) on March 3, 4 and 5, 2021, at Santa Anita Park. Further, Richard Dean Greenman must participate in a fitness for licensure hearing before being permitted to apply for a California Horse Racing Board Trainer's License.

Track: Santa Anita

Date: 01/28/2022

Licensee: Ruben Valdes, owner

Penalty: Suspended license

Violation: Failure to appear at hearing for non-payment of bill

Explainer: Owner Ruben Valdes, having failed to respond to written notice to appear before the Board of Stewards at Santa Anita Park on or before January 27, 2022, is hereby suspended for violation of California Horse Racing Board rule #1547 (Failure to Appear) pending an appearance at a hearing before a Board of Stewards to answer charges alleging violation of CHRB rule #1876 (Financial Responsibility–$4,240 to K.C. Transport). During the term of suspension, all licenses and license privileges of Ruben Valdes are suspended and pursuant to California Horse Racing Board rule #1528 (Jurisdiction of Stewards), subject is denied access to all premises in this jurisdiction.

Track: Santa Anita

Date: 01/30/2022

Licensee: Abel Cedillo, jockey

Penalty: $750 fine

Violation: Excessive use of the riding crop

Explainer: Jockey Abel Cedillo is fined $750.00 for violation of California Horse Racing Board Rule #1688(b)(8) (Use of Riding Crop–more than six times in succession during a race–second offense in the last sixty (60) days) during the eighth race at Santa Anita Park on January 29, 2022.

KENTUCKY

Track: Turfway Park

Date: 01/25/2022

Licensee: Wesley Ward, trainer

Penalty: Thirty-day suspension (15 days stayed), and $500 fine

Violation: Medication overage

Explainer: Upon receipt of notification from Industrial Laboratories, the official testing laboratory for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and confirmed at Texas A & M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, sample number E418071 taken from Averly Jane, who finished first in the ninth race at Churchill Downs on April 28, 2021 contained Metformin in blood (Class 8). After a formal hearing before the Board of Stewards, Wesley A. Ward is hereby suspended 30 days and fined $500.00. Due to mitigating circumstances (number of violations in relation to overall record), 15 days are to be served from January 26, 2022 through February 9, 2022 (inclusive). The remaining 15 days are stayed on the condition that no Class A or Class 8 medication violation occurs in any racing jurisdiction within 365 days from the date of this ruling. Averly Jane is disqualified and all purse money forfeited. Pari-mutuel wagering is not affected by this ruling. During his suspension Mr. Ward is denied the privileges of all facilities under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Entry of all horses owned or trained by Mr. Ward is denied pending transfer to persons acceptable to the stewards. Upon receipt of this ruling, it is required within 30 days to pay any and all fines imposed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Read the TDN story on the matter here.

NEW YORK

Track: Aqueduct

Date: 01/28/2022

Licensee: Heman Harkie, jockey

Penalty: Three-day suspension

Violation: Careless riding

Explainer: For having waived his right to appeal Jockey Heman Harkie is hereby suspended three NYRA racing days January 29th 2022, January 30th 2022 and February 3rd 2022 inclusive. This for careless riding during the running of the seventh race at Aqueduct racetrack on January 27th 2022.

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OBS March Catalogue Online

Tue, 2022-02-01 15:42

The catalogue for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training is now online at www.obssales.com. A total of 635 juveniles have been cataloged for the two-day sale, set for Mar. 15 and 16, with both sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. The auction's under tack show will be held Mar. 10-12 and all three sessions are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

Graduates from last year's March sale include Call Me Midnight (Midnight Lute), winner of the Jan. 22 GIII Lecomte S., and last year's GI Starlet S. winner Eda (Munnings).

OBS will again offer online bidding during the March sale. Buyers can register on the company's website. For complete information on registration and online bidding, visit obs-online-bidding.

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T.I.P. Championships Returns to Stable View

Tue, 2022-02-01 12:13

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) Championships in hunters, jumpers, combined test, English pleasure, and English in-hand will return this year to Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina, The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program announced Tuesday. The show will kick off with a welcome party on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 6, and will run through Sunday, Oct. 9.

“We are thrilled to be returning to Stable View for T.I.P. Championships in 2022,” said Kristin Werner, senior counsel for The Jockey Club and administrator of T.I.P. “Thoroughbreds continue to prove their versatility across a wide range of disciplines, and we are excited to again team up with Stable View to showcase and promote Thoroughbreds' abilities beyond the racetrack.”

Created and announced in October 2011, T.I.P. recognizes and rewards the versatility of the Thoroughbred through sponsorship of Thoroughbred classes and high point awards at sanctioned horse shows, performance awards, and non-competition awards.

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First Foal a Filly for Fog of War

Tue, 2022-02-01 11:37

Hidden Lake Farm's Fog of War (War Front), winner of the GI Summer S. at Woodbine, sired his first reported foal when a filly out of the Tapit mare Kitty Foyle was born for breeder 3C Stables Monday, Jan. 31 at Hidden Lake Farm in Stillwater, N.Y.

Kitty Foyle, a $575,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Crupi's Newcastle Farm in 2016, is produced from the multiple graded stakes-placed Mt. Livermore mare Lavender Sky, a half-sister to multiple GISW and millionaire Alpha and to multiple graded stakes-placed Mystic Melody.

Fog of War, a $400,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Peter Brant, will stand the 2022 season for $7,000 S&N.

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Led by Haskell, Monmouth Releases Stakes Schedule

Tue, 2022-02-01 11:17

Led by the $1-million TVG.com GI Haskell S., Monmouth Park is set to offer $8.135 million in stakes races when the track kicks off its 77th season Saturday, May 7.

This year's race meet, which runs through Sept. 17, will feature 50 total stakes, 10 graded events, and nine stakes restricted to New Jersey-bred horses.

Several stakes will see purse boosts in 2022, including the GI United Nations, which goes from $500,000 to $600,000 and is now double its purse from just two years ago; the GIII Monmouth Cup going from $300,000 to $400,000; the GIII Molly Pitcher going from $250,000 to $400,000; and, the GIII WinStar Matchmaker, moving from $150,000 to $200,000.  All of those races, along with the $100,000 Wolf Hill Stakes, will be run on Haskell Day.

In preparation for the July 23rd Haskell program, Monmouth will offer a “Haskell Preview Day” with four stakes events Saturday, June 18–TVG.com Pegasus, GIII Monmouth, GIII Salvator Mile and GIII Eatontown.

The 20th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, with three stakes events, will be renewed on Aug. 28, with the $125,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap headlining that card.

The meet will conclude Sept. 17 with the third running of the $500,000 Nownownow S. for 2-year-olds going a mile on turf.

Stall applications, which are due by March 16, are now available online at www.monmouthpark.com or in hard copy format in the Monmouth Park racing office.

The post Led by Haskell, Monmouth Releases Stakes Schedule appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Fishman Absent From Court After Wiretaps Reveal Him Bragging About Dubai Sales

Mon, 2022-01-31 18:59

Closing arguments were a late scratch Jan. 31 in the horse doping trial of veterinarian Dr. Seth Fishman being held in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

New York U.S. District Court Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil met the lawyers for both sides in the robing room, then called the jury into the courtroom and sent them home. She told the jurors to return to court Tuesday.

“There has developed legal issues that need to be dealt with,” Vyskocil told the jury of eight women and four men.

But Fishman's absence in court only deepened the mystery. His wife, Hanna, was in the courtroom in the morning and at one point appeared to be visibly upset. Fishman is free on $100,000 bond and has appeared in court for each of the trial's previous eight sessions.

The only other clue as to what was happening came when Fishman attorney Maurice Sercarz appeared in the courtroom after the jury had been dismissed and told the judge Fishman was on his way to the hospital.

“We are in open court,” Vyskocil said to Sercarz in admonishment.

Sercarz and his co-counsel Marc Fernich and prosecutors declined further comment.

Lawyers showed up in the afternoon for another conference in the robing room. The day ended with Vyskocil never returning to the bench.

Closing arguments in Fishman's trial were set to begin after the prosecution rested its case and the defense rested without calling a single witness, including Fishman. The jury has heard five days of testimony from 11 government witnesses, as well as an FBI wiretap in which convicted trainer Jorge Navarro was recorded speaking to Fishman.

Another prominent name that emerged in court in one of the wiretaps was that of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and the owner of the internationally successful Godolphin racing stable.

On the wiretap, Fishman appears to discuss a $2-million “program” with the Sheikh's hospital in Dubai, known as Dubai Equine. On the other end of the line in the 2019 call was Florida harness trainer Adrienne Hall, who testified Thursday that Fishman put her on a program with his PEDs and that she administered the drugs to a horse that won a low-level claiming race. Hall agreed to testify in exchange for a non-prosecution agreement.

A transcript of the wiretap obtained Monday begins with Fishman telling Hall that his program “is not instantaneous.”

“Right, so ok, because they are racing on Sunday–they are going to be in on Monday. I gave the other stuff today anyway,” Hall says.
Fishman then goes on to say that it takes one or two weeks to start things.

“This is a program,” he says. “This is a program that Dubai Equine spent probably $2 million devising for their Thoroughbreds, you know? It is part of a program that uh, you know…there's other stuff too.”

Fishman goes on to say that he was bringing Hall on slowly.

Fishman adds, “This is what they do for all their horses and overall, they are very happy. Sheikh Mohammed Maktoum said the best three years, you know, in the 30 years he has been racing and they are very happy. So, I'm sharing stuff with you. But then again that's for Thoroughbreds so we just have to tweak something out because some of the stuff I design for Standardbreds, they don't work.”

It was unclear if Fishman was simply trying to impress Hall; a Godolphin spokesman said they would have no comment Monday night.

Fishman, 50, is on trial on for conspiring to violate medication adulteration and misbranding laws. He's accused of supplying horse trainers with illegal performance-enhancing drugs designed to evade testing by racing regulators in various states, including Florida, New York, and Kentucky.

Sercarz says the actions his client has been accused of were carried out to protect the health and welfare of horses in keeping with his oath as a licensed veterinarian.

Prosecutors allege that Fishman was part of a sweeping conspiracy to dope racehorses that included top trainers Navarro and Jason Servis and two dozen others. The New York U.S. Attorney's Office announced the charges in March 2020.

Servis is awaiting trial and Navarro has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty. Servis's name hasn't come up in testimony, but Navarro's name has come up numerous times. Prosecutors said Navarro paid Fishman tens of thousands of dollars for PEDs.

The jury also saw a video of Navarro's doped X Y Jet (Kantharos) winning the $2.5-million G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2019. In a text seen by the jury after the race, Navarro thanked Fishman for his help. A tally shows the FBI's aforementioned wiretap was one of 55 recordings the jury heard in the case. Almost all of them involved Fishman.

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

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Fasig-Tipton Adds 35 Supplement Entries to Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale

Mon, 2022-01-31 16:17

Fasig-Tipton has catalogued an additional 35 supplemental entries to its 2022 Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale. The entries are catalogued as hips 572-606 and may now be viewed online. They will also be available in the Equineline sales catalogue app. Print versions of supplemental entries will be available on the sales grounds at sale time.

Latest entries include:

Road to Romance (Hip 592): Four-year-old daughter of Quality Road was stakes placed at two. Dam is half-sister to two stakes winners including graded stakes winner and millionaire Super Frolic (Pine Bluff). Consigned as a broodmare prospect by Bluewater Sales, agent.

Smartly Agree (Hip 594): Stakes-placed daughter of Smart Strike is a half-sister to graded stakes performer Der Lu (Orb), and out of a kin to Grade I winners Creative Cause (Giant's Causeway) and Vexatious (Giant's Causeway), and graded stakes winner Destin (Giant's Causeway). Offered in foal to Constitution, she is consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

Maggi O'Prado (Paddy O'Prado) (Hip 597): Half-sister to Grade I winner Dream Tree (Uncle Mo), offered in foal to leading international sire More Than Ready. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

Regal Retort (Hip 598): Daughter of Jimmy Creed is a stakes placed earner of $316,437. Her immediate family includes Grade I winners Zipessa (City Zip), Flashy Bull (Holy Bull), and Perfect Soul (Ire) (Sadlers Wells). Consigned as a racing/broodmare prospect by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent.

Taylor Avenue (Mshawish) (Hip 599): Stakes placed at two and a half-sister to stakes winner Respect the Hustle (Colonel John). Consigned as a broodmare prospect by Gainesway, agent.

Gypsy Angel (Silver Train) (Hip 600): Dam of Mrs. Orb (Orb), a multiple stakes winner and graded stakes placed earner of $556,280. Her immediate family includes Grade I winners Killer Graces (Congaree) and Killer Ability (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Offered in foal to Spun to Run, she is consigned by Gainesway, agent.

The Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale will be held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 7-8, in Lexington, Kentucky. Sessions will begin each day at 10 a.m. Online bidding and phone bidding services will be available.

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Keeneland, Kentucky Downs Break Ground On Cumberland Run Harness Track

Mon, 2022-01-31 15:23

Officials from Keeneland and Kentucky Downs broke ground Monday on Cumberland Run harness track in Corbin, Ky. and Cumberland Mint, a satellite historical horse racing venue in Williamsburg, Ky. The project is a joint venture between Ron Winchell and Marc Falcone's ECL Racing Management and Keeneland Association. Winchell and Falcone are the majority owners and managing partners in Kentucky Downs and The Mint Gaming Hall in Franklin in south-central Kentucky between Bowling Green and Nashville.

Projections call for construction to be done in time for Cumberland Run to conduct its Oct. 16-Nov. 8 meet on the Corbin property at 75 Buchanan Blvd. off the Corbin Bypass. Combined investment in both enterprises will be about $80 million with more than 200 year-round jobs expected to be created.

“Cumberland Run and Cumberland Mint represent an $80-million investment in Kentucky's tourism and horse racing industries and serve as another example of how the economic momentum that we are experiencing is reaching every community in the Commonwealth,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “These exciting new attractions will create good paying jobs for Kentuckians and attract new travel markets to Southeastern Kentucky.”

Cumberland Run will be the first horse track in Eastern Kentucky since Thunder Ridge, also a harness track, in Prestonsburg closed in 2017. It will feature a five-eighths mile limestone track, 150 historical horse racing terminals and a restaurant upon its completion, which is targeted for January 2023. Construction already has begun on the Williamsburg project, set to open in July with 450 HHR machines.

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Con Lima Named Texas-Bred Horse of the Year

Mon, 2022-01-31 13:47

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Erik Nikolaus Del Toro, and Troy Johnson's Con Lima (Commissioner) has been named the 2021 Texas Horse of the Year by the Texas Thoroughbred Association. She was also named Champion Three-Year-Old Texas-Bred Filly for 2021 following a season that included wins in the GIII Saratoga Oaks Invitational S., GIII Wonder Again S. and GIII Herecomesthebride S. Bred by Lisa Kuhlmann, the dark bay also added wins in the Ginger Brew S. and Honey Ryder S. and runner-up efforts in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. and GIII Sweetest Chant S. Con Lima's dam, Second Street City (Consolidator), was named the Texas Broodmare of the Year and Kuhlmann the Breeder of the Year.

For a complete list of 2021 honorees, visit the TTA's website here.

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Afleet Alex Pensioned at Gainesway

Mon, 2022-01-31 12:02

Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet–Maggy Hawk, by Hawkster), perhaps best known for his dramatic win in the 2005 GI Preakness S. after he stumbled in the stretch, has been pensioned after 16 years of stud duty at Gainesway, the farm announced today. Afleet Alex, who went on to win the GI Belmont S. in the same year, turned 20 this year.

“Gainesway has officially pensioned Afleet Alex from stallion duties,” said Sean Tugel, Gainesway's director of stallion sales and recruitment. “He is in great health currently and will remain at Gainesway for the entirety of his retirement, available to be visited by all of his fans on Horse Country Tours, etc.”

Owned by Chuck Zacney's Cash is King Stable and trained by Tim Ritchey, the Florida-bred won the GII Sanford S., and the GI Hopeful S. before finishing second in the GI Champagne and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at two. Third in the GI Kentucky Derby, he stumbled badly in the stretch of the Preakness when he clipped heels with another horse, but recovered to go on and win.

 

 

“He was an outstanding colt on the track and was an exciting stallion to retire to Gainesway,” said Tugel. “His stallion career was successful in producing seven Grade I winners and making his mark as a broodmare sire.” Among those seven Grade I winners were Texas Red, winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile; and Afleet Express, winner of the GI Travers S.

“Alex turned 20 this year and in talking people to Gainesway, his book has declined,” said Chuck Zacney, “So, it's a business decision, but the good news is he's going to remain at Gainesway, and when people stop by, they want to see Afleet Alex. He's going to live a very good life at Gainesway. I talked to Antony Beck and he reassured me he would continue to be held in high regard.”

Zacney, who named Afleet Alex for his then 4-year-old son, who now manages his father's stable, said that his 12-month career, “was such a great ride. He won his first two races by double digits, then he went to Saratoga and won two graded stakes. He had a great campaign at two, and through the Triple Crown races, but after the Belmont, we found out he had an injury and we had to retire him, but what a great 12 months. He will live a long and healthy prosperous life. He has a special place in my heart and always will. It was a great experience for the family, a great ride, shared by so many. Tim Ritchey had his eyes on him from day one at the sale, and did a great job training him.”

 

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Harrison Crowned NHC Champ; Kinchen DQd

Mon, 2022-01-31 10:28

David Harrison, a real estate appraiser and collateral analyst from Webster, New York, northeast of Buffalo and near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, took home the $725,000 first prize and an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year ad the 23rd annual National Horseplayers' Championship at Bally's Las Vegas Jan. 30.

The 63-year-old amassed a total of $342 over the course of the three-day tournament from 53 mythical $2 win/place bets–18 each during the qualifying rounds Friday and Saturday, 10 in Sunday morning's semi-final round and seven at the Final Table, intended to mimic the final stages of high-stakes poker events. When all was said and done, Harrison had a margin of $17.20 on Ryan Patrick Scully of Montgomery, IL ($200,000), while A. J. Benton of Manchester, NH, finished third another $3.80 behind.

Harrison entered the final race of Sunday's event–the Baffle S. at Santa Anita–with a $16.60 lead over Benton and $17.20 over Scully. He landed on Don't Swear Dave, who ran home for second behind odds-on Maglev, allowing Harrison to stand up in the saddle, figuratively speaking, before the race had crossed the wire.

“The guys in second and third only had a few options,” Harrison said. “Don't Swear Dave went up to 4-1 and I thought, 'If I don't have that horse they could nip me. And my name's Dave! I can't let that horse beat me.'”

Harrison was in 14th position to begin the day, but advanced steadily through the semi-final round.

“My goal was to creep up and I hit my first couple of races,” he said. “Then the one that really got my confidence up was the horse at Laurel–Let Me Finish. Every time I get into a discussion with my wife she's always telling me that–let me finish. That was one of my hunch plays and that's probably the reason I won.

He added, “This is an absolute life-changing score,” Harrison said. “I'm a middle-class, middle-income, hard-working guy. This is going to help me hopefully retire a little bit earlier than I'd planned. I'm totally overwhelmed and don't even know what else to say.”

Harrison said he has been handicapping since the late 1970s, when he would frequent Belmont Park, and credits the late New York Racing Association broadcaster and handicapper Harvey Pack for teaching him how to handicap. After the trophy presentation, Harrison tossed his Daily Racing Form in the air in tribute to Pack, who died last July at the age of 94.

Dale Day, the track announcer at Remington Park, finished 10th, good for a $50,000 payday and the proverbial icing on the cake, after his beloved Cincinnati Bengals outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs to secure a spot in the Super Bowl.

Kinchen DQd at NHC…

Jonathon Kinchen, winner of the 2015 NHC and widely recognized from duties at NYRA and FOX television, was disqualified from the NHC Saturday after it was learned that he was not in Las Vegas in person for the competition, as required by rule. Ron Flatter, reporting for Horse Racing Nation, was first to break the news.

According to Flatter, Kinchen was present at Gulfstream Park Saturday for the Pegasus program and employed an intermediary to run his bets, strictly prohibited as laid out in the rules for the NHC which read, “All wagers must be placed personally, and in person, by the contest player. To avoid being disqualified, no person shall, directly or indirectly, act as an intermediary, transmitter or agent in placing wagers for the contest player, unless prior authorization is given by NHC officials.”

According to Flatter, one of Kinchen's two NHC entries was in contention for the semi-final round.

Kinchen tweeted several times from Las Vegas in the days leading up to the contest, including a photo of an older gentleman with the Twitter handle @MarvBetRunner. After the news broke of the disqualification, he tweeted a photo, drink in hand, from what appears to be an outdoor venue in his typically eclectic garb with verbiage that read: “It was worth it…Also, I'm done being nice…” At 2:11 Sunday afternoon, Kinchen tweeted, “Yes @ronflatter, I got a statement…”

Monday morning, the NTRA issued a statement of its own regarding the situation, while not mentioning Kinchen by name. That statement reads: “The NTRA disqualified a player from the 2022 NHC for violating the official rules. One of the violated rules states, “All wagers must be placed personally, and in-person, by the Contest Player.” The disqualified player was not present at Bally's during the NHC tournament and his contest wagers were being submitted on-site by an intermediary without authorization. No authorization was given to the player to leave Bally's or the State; he violated both. The rules of the NHC are clearly outlined and all participants are required to sign them prior to the tournament.”

NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney said, “The rules are clear that participants must be onsite to participate in the NHC. The NHC is the world's most prestigious handicapping tournament. The integrity of the event is of paramount importance–not just to us but to the thousands of men and women who attempt to qualify and play each and every year. The NTRA will staunchly and steadfastly follow the rules and defend the integrity of this prestigious event and it's participants.”

Kinchen tweeted Sunday at 2:58 p.m. that “'I got a statement” too…'” and suggested that he would address the issue in an upcoming podcast with his “partner in crime” Peter Fornatale.

Through his Twitter feed Monday, Kinchen issued the following statement: “This weekend, while participating in the NHC, I traveled to Gulfstream Park to attend the Pegasus World Cup, planning to return to Las Vegas for the final day of the competition. I am a passionate racing fan first, and I was excited by the opportunity to see a heavyweight matchup in person. At the time, I did not believe that I was violating any tournament rules. I learned that I was incorrect and was subsequently disqualified from the competition. While my traveling to Florida certainly did not give me an unfair edge or advantage, the rules are clear and I accept the disqualification. I apologize to my fellow competitors for distracting any attention away from the event itself and offer my congratulations to David Harrison on his well-earned victory.”

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Letter to the Editor: Hall of Fame Comparisons

Mon, 2022-01-31 08:16

Have you lost all editorial accuracy in comparing the violations of trainers such as Jason Servis, Marcus Vitali, Wayne Potts, with Bob Baffert? Until Medina Spirit had the very unfortunate appearance of a skin disease requiring application of an ointment containing a one half strength variant of bethamethasone, Bob Baffert was a celebrated top trainer, who had become one of the faces of the sport.

The sad oversight that led the vet to prescribe Otomax for Medina Spirit without noticing the presence of beta valerate, causing a minute overage positive in the Derby, has resulted in a brouhaha that in no way compares to the drug violations and criminal actions of the other trainers named above.

In fact, there is a real possibility that beta valerate is not even regulated in KY as prohibited in their races. The TDN and TD Thornton, in their coverage, seem determined to paint Bob Baffert with a damning brush. His very explainable reaction with some interviews right after the Derby was full of raw emotion, knowing Medina Spirit had never been injected with Beta Vet, beta acetate, the injectable liquid prohibited in the rules.

When his vet informed him three days later that one of the ingredients in the skin ointment he had prescribed was beta valerate, Baffert immediately apologized for his emotional remarks, and did so again in the hearings, where he said he regretted his actions, would not do them again if he had a do over.

Yet, the NYRA attorney closed his remarks by saying Baffert never said he was sorry, that's all they wanted. The TDN in their articles about this hearing conveniently left these apologies out. The regulated penalty for this overage is a $1500 fine, not a two-year suspension!

But the real reason for this letter is the failure of the racing media to report accurate and complete facts where Baffert is concerned. Charges against him were that he had risked the safety and welfare of the jockeys and horses. Two Hall of Fame riders, Mike Smith and John Velasquez, testified they were always secure riding his horses due to the excellent care he gave them. Two highly respected veterinarians testified that his positive tests were of very small amounts of permitted medications that had no effect on the horses.

He has not hurt the business of racing, betting is higher than ever. Commercial sales are up, fatalities on the tracks are down, aftercare for thoroughbreds has never been better. Baffert has not done anything that deserves comparison in the racing media, especially the TDN, with trainers who have used performance enhancing drugs, and broken rules of operation, including criminal conduct.

The only thing that is hurting racing now is the determination of Churchill Downs and the NYRA to continue with their unmerited lengthy suspensions against Bob Baffert, supported by a media that seems afraid to report complete and accurate facts, perhaps scared of losing advertising?

It seems as if the Woke Culture taking over racing is what we really need to fear.

Yours truly,

Cynthia R. McGinnes
Chestertown, Md.

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Emmanuel Impresses in Tampa Two-Turn Test

Sun, 2022-01-30 15:27

6th-Tampa Bay Downs, $31,000, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 1-30, 3yo, 1m 40y, 1:40.24, ft, 4 1/2 lengths.
EMMANUEL (c, 3, More Than Ready–Hard Cloth, by Hard Spun) backed up the 'TDN Rising Star' moniker and his place at number five on T.D. Thornton's GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 Sunday as he handled a salty Tampa allowance field with aplomb. A 6 3/4-length debut scorer going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Dec. 11, he was forced to scratch from a spot similar to this one Jan. 7 when he spiked a fever, but he was backed like a sure thing here at 1-5 for the red-hot Todd Pletcher barn. With locally based Pablo Morales in the irons, the bay wasted little time taking command but was kept off the fence through soft splits of :25.03 and :49.88. Fellow last-out Gulfstream graduate Glider (Quality Road) moved inside of the leader in upper stretch and looked like he might go right on by, but Morales was playing possum. He hadn't moved a muscle yet on Emmanuel to the eighth pole, but as soon as he hit the gas the chalk burst away and ran up the score with impressive ease to march home 4 1/2 lengths to the good. Glider was a clear-cut second ahead of Emmanuel's stablemate In the Union (Union Rags).

“Just a class horse. I felt like I had so many gears underneath me,” Morales said. “Every time I would just move a hair, he would take off a little bit more and just do it easily. He felt [Glider] coming on the inside down the lane, so I decided to give him a little bit of a hand ride and I could feel him extending more and more.

“He just did it easy–it felt like a workout for him. He acts like an old horse who has run 100 times and he gives you what you ask out of him. I'm thankful I was considered to ride him. It was a pleasure.”

Pletcher and WinStar Farm were of course represented on Saturday by fellow 'Rising Star' and impressive $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. winner Life Is Good (Into Mischief), while Siena Farm is co-owner of $750,000 GIII Southwest S. hero and fellow undefeated 3-year-old colt Newgrange (Violence). Produced by a half-sister to globetrotting MG1SW Hawkbill (Kitten's Joy) and GISW Free Drop Billy (Union Rags), Emmanuel has a 2-year-old Kitten's Joy half-brother who cost $120,000 at Keeneland September and a yearling full-sister. Unraced Hard Cloth, a granddaughter of GISW Serape (Fappiano), visited Munnings last term. Sales history: $350,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $50,400. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-WinStar Farm LLC & Siena Farm LLC; B-Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher.

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Flightline Works for San Carlos

Sun, 2022-01-30 15:22

Unbeaten Flightline (Tapit) tuned up for his expected 4-year-old debut in the Mar. 5 GII San Carlos S. with a four-furlong work in :47.80 (6/86) at Santa Anita Sunday.

“I had him in :48 and one on my watch, but more important is the way he went,” said trainer John Sadler. “He looked very comfortable and it was just a start on the road back. He'll return in the San Carlos, but the big goal is the [June 11 GI] Met Mile.”

Flightline, unchallenged in three lifetime starts, was tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' following his debut win at Santa Anita last April and he added an optional claimer at Del Mar in September before a devastating 11 1/2-length victory in the Dec. 26 GI Runhappy Malibu S. in his most recent start.

Asked about a possible meeting with Saturday's impressive GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational winner Life Is Good (Into Mischief), Sadler said, “It would be a terrific race, very exciting.”

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First Foal for Mr. Money

Sun, 2022-01-30 14:55

Five-time graded stakes winner Mr. Money (Goldencents–Plenty O'Toole, by Tiznow) was represented by his first foal when Road to Riches (Quality Road) produced a filly Jan. 20. The foal is the first out of the unraced mare.

“We're excited to see Mr. Money's first foals,” said Brent Fernung of Journeyman Stud, which stands the 6-year-old stallion. “Mr. Money is a handsome horse and I fully expect that he'll pass that along to his foals. With his talent and pedigree, we're anticipating great things from Mr. Money's progeny.”

Campaigned by Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm and trained by Bret Calhoun, Mr. Money won the 2019 GIII Matt Winn S., GIII Pat Day Mile, GIII West Virginia Derby and GIII Indiana Derby and was second in that year's GI Pennsylvania Derby. He added the GIII Ack Ack S. to his resume in 2020.

Mr. Money will stand for $4,000 in 2022.

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Daughter of Groupie Doll Comes Out Running at Gulfstream

Sun, 2022-01-30 14:54

4th-Gulfstream, $53,000, Msw, 1-30, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:25.34, ft, 1 length.
DOLL BABY (f, 3, Tapit–Groupie Doll {Ch. Female Sprinter, Ch. Female Sprinter, MGISW, $2,648,850}, by Bowman's Band) faced a field of well-bred rivals on career debut here–but none as well-bred as her–going seven furlongs on the dirt with first-time Lasix as well as sporting a pair of blinkers. Breaking sharply, the 5-2 second choice immediately cleared her competition to claim the rail and rolled up the backstretch as the commanding speed. Coming through the turn and into the homestretch, the Whisper Hill Farm homebred built up a three-length lead through a :45.63 half, and maintained enough of it to claim victory first out over a rallying Catiche (Arrogate), who came up a length short on the wire.

Out of two-time Eclipse Award-winning Groupie Doll, Doll Baby has five full-siblings, and is the third winner among them. She also has a 2-year-old half-brother by Justify. The dam sold for $3.1 million in 2013 at Keeneland November to Mandy Pope after a stellar career which included back-to-back victories in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Groupie Doll came up barren in 2021 after a visit to leading sire Into Mischief, and is expecting a foal by Speightstown this season. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $31,800. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O/B-Whisper Hill Farm, LLC; T-Ralph E. Nicks.

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Will Life Is Good and Flightline Meet? Maybe

Sun, 2022-01-30 14:36

It's not too early to lump Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in with some of the best horses of the modern era. That's how good he was Saturday at Gulfstream when he dominated over a field that included the soon-to-be-named 2021 Horse of the Year Knicks Go (Paynter) in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. in what was nothing less than a sensational performance.

But is he even the best horse in training?

It's a rare and special time for horse racing, which has been blessed with not just one but two horses who appear to be generational talents who could go down as among the best that ever raced.

The other, of course, is Flightline (Tapit), the fabulously talented but lightly raced $1-million yearling buy whose effortless win in the GI Runhappy Malibu S. drew comparisons to superstars like Ghostzapper (Awesome Again). He was given a 118 Beyer in the Malibu win, better than Life Is Good's best figure, which is the 110 Beyer he picked up in the Pegasus.

Who's better? The debate has already begun, but it's a question that can only be answered on the racetrack. Unfortunately, the two aren't exactly on a collision course to meet.

Flightline returned to the work tab Sunday at Santa Anita. In his first work since Dec. 19, a week before the Malibu, he went four furlongs in 47.80. Afterward, trainer John Sadler told the Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman that Flightline would start next in the Mar. 5 GII San Carlos S. at seven furlongs. The next start after that will likely be the GI Metropolitan H. to be run June 11.

As for Life Is Good, his next start will likely come in the Mar. 26 G1 Dubai World Cup.

“We're going to huddle up this week and discuss it,” said Elliott Walden, the president and CEO of racing operations for WinStar Farm, the co-owner of Life Is Good. “He will not run in the Saudi Cup, back in four weeks. So, Dubai would be the next option. We're going to see how he comes back and then start to map out the whole year.”

So far as the Met Mile goes, Walden wouldn't rule it out, but said that, if Life Is Good is to run in Dubai, that may eliminate the Met Mile from consideration. The next spot that could bring Flightline and Life Is Good together is the GI Whitney S. Sadler has listed that as a possible start for Flightline and Walden said Sunday it is a race that is also under consideration for Life Is Good. If all else fails, there is always the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, a race both stars are pointing toward.

“It would be fabulous if those two were to meet,” Walden said. “It would be great for horse racing. I think it's more a question of when than if. We haven't ducked anybody. We said right after the Dirt Mile what we were planning on doing. We want to do right by our horse and I know John Sadler wants to do right by his horse. He's a tremendous trainer. At some point they will meet and it will be great for racing.”

Life Is Good made his first three starts for trainer Bob Baffert. When Baffert ran into problems with the New York Racing Association, which has been attempting to suspend him, Life Is Good was transferred to Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher.

“I can't think of a horse [I trained] better than him,” Pletcher said following the Pegasus.

“To me, Life Is Good is right up there with Justify,” Walden said. “Justify won the Triple Crown and was undefeated. Bob [Baffert] early on compared him to American Pharoah and Justify. You think about all of the good horses Bob has had and all the good horses Todd has had and it's pretty amazing to think he's in that elite company.”

Walden, a former trainer, sees in Life Is Good characteristics that set him apart from most every other horse.

“The thing that separates Life is Good from the rest of the good horses I've been around is the fact that he never had a bad day,” he said. “Most horses will have an average workout from time to time, even though they are a very good horses, or they might look flat. This horse has never had a bad day on the racetrack. That's something, the more I've been around and the more I see, that is a characteristic of the great ones.”

That Life Is Good, who was the 4-5 favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., won was hardly a surprise, but few could have imagined that he could have out-sprinted a horse as quick as Knicks Go and open up by 3 1/2 lengths on his rival. Walden said the plan was to do what it took to get the lead.

“That was the game plan,” Walden said. “I know people say that's hard to fathom that, but this horse was in front of Jackie's Warrior at Saratoga in the Allen Jerkens. Why wouldn't he be in front of Knicks Go? I know Knicks Go is a great horse and is a deserving champion, but I didn't have any doubt he could be up there with Knicks Go. I'm not saying I thought he'd be three or four lengths in front of him, but I never thought he'd take a back seat to his speed, just because of what happened at Saratoga. To be in front of Jackie's Warrior like he was, that showed the speed and athleticism that Life Is Good has.”

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Owner/Breeder Fipke Represented By First Japanese Winner

Sun, 2022-01-30 13:57

Prominent North American owner/breeder Charles Fipke was represented by his first winner in Japan when the newly turned 3-year-old filly Kana Tape (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) ran out an impressive three-length winner of a newcomers' event going 1800 meters on turf at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday afternoon.

Sent off the narrow second favorite at odds of 3-2, the bay filly jumped well from gate two for top rider Takeshi Yokoyama and tracked pacesetting Mozu Cleopatra (Jpn) (American Pharoah) from close up in second. Felt for as the field entered the final 400 meters, Kana Turn quickened nicely while racing a touch greenly switching her leads back and forth in the final furlong, but maintained a safe margin to the wire (see below). Boulard Buck (Jpn), the 13-10 chalk, completed the exacta for her leading Shadai-based stallion. Kana Tape is conditioned for Fipke by Noriyuki Hori.

Kana Tape is a daughter of American-raced 2004 GI American Oaks and GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup heroine Ticker Tape (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}), who was acquired by Katsumi Yoshida for $950,000 in foal to Giant's Causeway at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale. The bay, bred in the name of Yoshida's Northern Farm, was purchased by Fipke for ¥84 million ($772,800) as a foal at the 2019 JRHA Select Sale.

According to Umanity.jp, Kana Tape is the third horse to race in the Fipke silks in Japan, following Stellar Impact (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}–Topliner, by Thunder Gulch) and Galileo Impact (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}–Galileo Always {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}).

Fipke's best North American runners include champion and GI Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Forever Unbridled (Unbridled's Song), GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare upsetter Perfect Shirl (Perfect Soul {Ire}), Tale of Ekati (Tale of the Cat), Unbridled Forever (Unbridled's Song) and Grade I-winning milers Jersey Town (Speightstown) and his son Bee Jersey. Fipke also races horses in England, Ireland, France, Australia and Dubai.

 

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