Latest Racing News2019-02-25T18:20:39-05:00

Latest Racing News

Get Caught up on Thoroughbred Horse Racing, The Sport of Kings with Jonathan Stettin’s Take on The Latest Racing News.

Louisiana Derby Upset

March 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  By My Standards pulled off a shocking 22/1 upset in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby by 3/4 of a length over Spinoff, to secure his spot in the gate for the May 4, Kentucky Derby. Ridden by Gabriel Saez, By My Standards settled in behind the front runners and saved precious ground on the rail, while 62/1 shot. Lemniscate went on with it through a 1/4 mile in 23.63 and a 1/2 mile in 47.68. At the top of the stretch, Sueno assumed the lead for a brief moment but Spinoff and By My Standards both went by that rival and pulled away from the field. By My Standards prevailed late over a stubborn Spinoff and Sueno held third while Country House rallied for fourth. Trained by Bret Calhoun, By My Standards was a $150,000 purchase as a two-year-old and took four attempts to break his maiden but it seems like it was a pretty decent investment. By My Standards completed the 1-1/8 mile in 1:49.53 under a perfectly timed ride by Saez. "What can I say,?" he [...]

Street Band Takes Oaks

March 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  1/5 favorite, Serengeti Empress was hustled out of the gate early by James Graham, secured the early lead in the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks and looked serious as a heart attack to go wire to wire in the 1-1/16 mile event. She cut out a 1/4 mile in 24.12 while Slewgoodtobetrue chased in second and Liora tracked in third. Street Band kept up with the group in fourth, and the positions were unchanged as Serengeti Empress ran a 1/2 mile in 47.48. But she seemed to hit the wall at the far turn and Liora went on by and roared clear, and as Serengeti Empress retreated on the rail, Street Band with Sophie Doyle aboard took aim at the leader. The two squared off but Liora was no match for Street Band and she drew off to a 3-3/4 length victory. Liora ran a good second and Sweet Diane was a clear third, while Eres Tu completed the superfecta. Street Band, trained by Larry Jones, completed the 1-1/16 mile contest in 1:44.54 over a track labeled as fast. [...]

Let’s Catch Up

March 22nd, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Kaitlin Free gets you caught up with the Latest Racing News with her backside blurbs: G1 winner Kementari has been retired. Will stand at Darley Kelvinside in New South Wales, Australia. Bellafina will scratch from Saturday's Sunland Oaks and wait for the Santa Anita Oaks per owner Kaleem Shah. Mitole will miss some training time after another hoof flare up. Justify's half sister Egyptian Storm has been retired after sustaining an injury in her lone start. Will be bred to Quality Road and sold as a broodmare in November. Vyjack has been retired for a second time, this one for good. Jaywalk has been confirmed for the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. Long time Old Friends resident Danthebluegrassman was euthanized after chronic intestinal issues. Coolmore has bought into Golden Slipper contender Yes Yes Yes.

Colonial Downs Reopening

March 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Colonial Downs Reopening in August By Mary Dixon   On July 21, 2012, I drove 26 miles past Richmond, Va. to New Kent. It was Virginia Derby Day at Colonial Downs Racetrack and the parking lot was almost full. I had been interested in thoroughbred horse racing for some time and was exhilarated to attend my first experience of live racing.   Upon entering the large grandstand I could smell hot dogs, then it was on to study the past performances, lineage, and workouts of the horses running. I had read a handicapping book and knew just enough to get myself into trouble.   There was a jockey and horse I was delighted to see. Curlin's jockey, Robby Albarado was on Dale Romans' trainee, Silver Max, in the Virginia Derby. I had long been a Curlin fan, and throughout the legend's career, Albarado was always on board. Like all the races, the Virginia Derby was on the turf and Silver Max won.   Lentenor, Barbaro's full brother was entered in the Kitten's Joy Stakes which was his final win [...]

A Closer Look: Pioneerof the Nile

March 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    A Closer Look: Top Stallion Pioneerof the Nile Dead at 13 by Nicolle Neulist   Leading stallion Pioneerof the Nile has passed away suddenly at age 13, WinStar Farm announced this morning.   Born in 2006, he was a homebred for Zayat Stables, by Empire Maker through their foundation mare Star of Goshen (Lord at War (ARG)).  Pioneerof the Nile won two Grade 1 races during his racing career under the tutelage of Bob Baffert. As a juvenile, he won the 2008 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park, digging in to nose out I Want Revenge.  Pioneerof the Nile then ruled the California series of Kentucky Derby preps in 2009, sweeping the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2), San Felipe Stakes (G2), and Santa Anita Derby (G1). Sent off the 6/1 third choice in the Kentucky Derby (G1) off of that resume, Pioneerof the Nile stalked a blazing pace and stayed on for second behind Mine That Bird.  He raced once more, finishing eleventh in the Preakness Stakes (G2), but retired to stud after a soft tissue injury in July.   [...]

Pioneer of the Nile Dies

March 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Pioneer of the Nile, the WinStar Farm stallion by Empire Maker out of Star of Goshen by Lord at War has died this morning following breeding a mare. Pioneer of the Nile was raced by Zayat Stables and was a Grade 1 winning millionaire who had hit the board in the Kentucky Derby. He is also the sire of two Eclipse Award winners and two Breeders' Cup winners from his first four crops. He was the sire of Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner

The End

March 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  No, you are not about to enter the Twilight Zone, you are about to read one of the most "Spot On" articles on the Sport of Kings. The End By Charles "Chuck" Simon   “This is the end, Beautiful friend This is the end, My only friend, the end” Modern American horse racing surely wasn’t on Jim Morrison’s mind when he wrote the classic Doors song, The End. Racing was trending up the chart’s when the Doors released the hit on their iconic first album in 1967, a year that featured on track clashes between racing legends Damascus, Dr Fager and Buckpasser. Secretariat was going to be born soon, the Triple Crown drought was about to end in spectacular fashion, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and Alydar and Forgeo were all less than a decade away. Yes in 1967 horse racing was getting ready to embark on its most prosperous and successful period, yet no one had a clue that this was on the horizon. Times were far simpler in racing in the late 60’s and early 70’s. New York racing was [...]

Santa Anita to Allow Lasix

March 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

In the latest in what has become a sad joke at the expense of our equine athletes and the entire Thoroughbred Racing Industry, Santa Anita has now backed off their Lasix ban for a possible phase out of the drug. Let us be clear, this is not about Lasix right now, that is a discussion for another day. This is about a knee jerk reaction to 22 fatalities since the current meet opened, and the inept manner in which the entire situation has been mismanaged. Phasing out Lasix might actually be a better and safer alternative than an immediate ban. That is not really the issue. I am not sure any truly knowledgeable horsemen thought Lasix in and of itself was the cause of the 22 breakdowns. The ban as I understood it, was part of a much needed overhaul to improve the sport and level the playing field and get back to breeding stronger and healthier horses. Silly me. In the wake of the 22 equine fatalities, Belinda Stronach, on behalf of the Stronach Group, issued a press release announcing [...]

Omaha Beach Upsets

March 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Omaha Beach showed some brutal stubbornness to hold off a charging Game Winner to win the second leg of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Under Mike Smith, Omaha Beach broke alertly and grabbed the early lead out of the gate but Smith snatched him just a bit and let Market King and Jersey Agenda go on with it to his inside. Omaha Beach sat chilly in third and at the 1/2 mile marker, Smith turned him loose and the pair opened up. Game Winner, the two-year old champion and Breeders' Cup winner followed that move and when the field turned for home, it was apparent that it would be a two-horse race. At the 1/16 pole, Omaha Beach was still in front by two-lengths with Game Winner bearing down on him. The pair battled it out to the wire where Omaha Beach would prevail by the smallest of noses. Market King ran a distant third at 45/1 and Gunmetal Gray closed in no hurry to be fourth. Trained by Richard Mandella, the son [...]

Long Range Toddy in Rebel

March 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Long Range Toddy and jockey Jon Court tracked down 2/5 favorite Improbable to score by a head in the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. Although off slowly, Galilean set the early pace under Flavien Prat and long shot Classy John joined the front runner. They traveled a 1/2 mile in 47.58 before Extra Hope joined the fray and Improbable moved impressively on the outside. As they straightened for home, Drayden Van Dyke gave Bob Baffert trainee Improbable his cue and the pair roared off the turn, opened up and looked like they were home. But Jon Court and Long Range Toddy put it in high gear and made a sustained bid in the middle of the racetrack to run down Improbable on the wire. Galilean ran third and Extra Hope held fourth. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Long Range Toddy completed the 1-1/16 miles in 1:42.49 and improves his record to 4-1-1 from seven starts. The win assures the son of Take Charge Indy a spot in The Kentucky Derby on May 4. Improbable never looked [...]

Midnight Bisou takes Azeri

March 17th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Midnight Bisou showed her class and made short work of some top females in the $350,000, Grade 2, Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. Tapa Tapa Tapa assumed the early lead out of the gate and Shamrock Rose tracked in second after veering out at the break through a 1/4 mile in 25.51. Midnight Bisou settled in third, tucked in sweetly on the rail and Elate settled back in fourth. Through a 1/2 mile the top two positions were unchanged but Elate moved up and took over third. When they turned for home Steve Asmussen trainee Midnight Bisou was loaded but there was a wall of horses between him and the winner's circle. But Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith was beyond patient and his ground-saving trip paid off. As Tapa Tapa Tapa tired, Smith split horses and charged through an opening on the rail and it was all over. Midnight Bisou was hand ridden late to an easy score and the four-year-old secured her second win of the year. Elate, trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Jose [...]

Oaklawn Error

March 15th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Oaklawn Park is not only a great place to prep for the Kentucky Derby but also a track that normally gets it right. In their upcoming Derby prep not so much. Horses trained by Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer, and Richard Mandella were split equitably into the two divisions of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes on Saturday when the race was drawn. Trainer Steve Asmussen's six horses were not, with two in one division and four in the other, an obvious error or oversight by the Oaklawn Stewards. It can happen to anybody.

The Right Thing

March 14th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Right Thing By Chuck Simon Santa Anita being closed in March is something that few living humans have been around long enough to recall. It's been 85 years since the current Santa Anita Park opened in 1934. The inaugural Santa Anita Handicap with its then unheard of $100,000 purse was run in February 1935 with great fanfare, race coverage was on the front page of the LA Times. Last week Santa Anita Park found itself back on front pages, horse racing has returned to the spotlight, yet not just in Southern California, but plastered all across phone screens and websites, firmly embedded in the spin zone of the 24/7 news cycle. Death and mayhem sell, and scores of majestic animals perishing violently at a picturesque and famous California racetrack is a ready to serve pieces of click-bait pie. Pointed Op-Ed pieces were penned, mainstream media outlets slammed the sport, some calling for the abolition of horse racing, some just calling for some sort of reform though few if any really have any clue as to what that would actually entail. [...]

A Conundrum

March 14th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Twenty-one (21) fatal breakdowns since December 26th at one meet is a lot by any measure. I'd venture to say that number is too high for it to be coincidental, remaining cognizant that breakdowns are inherent to the sport. Track management has set forth a new set of protocols they claim are to maximize safety of the horses and riders. Whether that works remains to be seen at the very expense of the human and equine athletes these new rules, referred to as the "new normal" are designed to protect. Considering Princess Lili B broke down this morning bringing the count to 22, following a half mile work would indicate the "new normal" might not be working. Let's look at what we know before we speculate:   We know there have been a rash of breakdowns at the track since the meet began. We know filling races is difficult, especially at Santa Anita. We know Ritvo was brought in to address that and other issues facing the track. We know they frown upon scratches, and try to hustle horses in [...]

Day 2 Sales Highlights

March 13th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  OBS March Day 2 Highlights by Nicolle Neulist   The 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale drew to a close today.     Year-over-year results were mixed..  During the course of the two-day sale, 309 horses were sold for a total of $44,22,500, both figures up from the 257 horses who sold for $42,275,000 at OBS March 2018.  The buyback rate dropped compared to a year ago. This year 23.1% of offerings failed to meet reserve; last year, that rate was 29.2%. Average and median, on the other hand, lagged behind last year.  The $143,762 average was a 12.6% drop from last year’s average price. The $80,000 median price was a 23.8% drop compared to the 2018 median.   Day Two Top Sellers   After yesterday’s pair of seven-figure horses, no horse soared past the million-dollar mark today, though three commanded more than $800,000.   Just as with yesterday’s session, the Wednesday sale-topper had Tapit in the pedigree -- though this time, the formidable grey stallion was the damsire, not the sire.  Hip 422, a colt by [...]