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.

Churchill Downs Spotlights Two Year Olds

September 15th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Churchill Downs ran the Grade 2 Pocahontas for two-year old fillies and the Grade 3 Iroquois for two-year olds colts and geldings on Saturday. The races are designed to hopefully give us a glimpse of horses who just may be competing in the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby this coming spring. The Pocahontas went to the Doug O'Neill trained Lazy Daisy who shipped in for the race with jockey Abel Cedillo. She paid $16.40 and ran the mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.89.   The heavily hyped and backed Dennis' Moment took the Iroquois under Irad Ortiz Jr. in 1;43.58. Dennis' Moment was coming off a runaway win at Ellis Park. Trainer Dale Romans has touted the horse as something special and he did nothing on Saturday to cause any doubt about his talent. He drew off nicely in the stretch and Ortiz shut him down completely approaching the wire when it was obvious he had it won. The previously named Noose now racing as Scabbard ran a good second closing into the shut down winner after encountering some traffic trouble [...]

Justify: A Triple Crown Tainted?

September 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Justify: A Triple Crown Tainted? By Nick D'Agostino     In light of the recent developments or perhaps allegation being the more accurate word, The Triple Crown of Justify will likely be forever tainted. This is unfortunate for the Sport of Kings because at this point we do not know that any asterisk is warranted. Let's take a close and realistic view at what we know. According to an article in the New York Times, by Joe Drape, retired thoroughbred Justify who won the Triple Crown in 2018 was tested after his win in the Santa Anita Derby and found to be positive for Scopolamine. If a disqualification occurred as a result of the positive test, he of course would not have earned enough points to compete in the Kentucky Derby. According to  Drape, Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, should have indeed been disqualified around April 7th when the positive results were yielded just after winning the key derby points prep race. Instead, the California Horse Racing Board notified Baffert of the failed test nine days before the Kentucky Derby while [...]

Jockey Club Derby Offers ‘Cup Bid

September 6th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Jockey Club Derby Offers 'Cup Bid   Saturday’s inaugural $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont Park takes on added significance as the race is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.     Run at 1 ½ miles, the Jockey Club Derby is the third and final leg of the New York Racing Association’s newly minted Turf Trinity which began with the Belmont Derby (G1) in July and continued with the Saratoga Derby Aug. 4. The Jockey Club Derby drew a field of nine, with Leonard Green’s A THREAD OF BLUE and Klaravich Stable’s DIGITAL AGE, the 1-2 finishers of the Saratoga Derby, leading the way. The former, a 3-year-old son of Hard Spun led every step of the way for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and again looks like the controlling speed, while the latter, a son of Invincible Spirit (IRE), closed stoutly late to miss by a length for trainer Chad Brown. A Thread of Blue is 5-for-10 lifetime, which includes a win in Gulfstream Park’s Palm Beach (G3) in March, while Digital Age is 3-for-5 lifetime, including the American Turf (G2) at [...]

Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Highlights a Lucrative Day at Kentucky Downs

September 6th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Highlights a Lucrative Day at Kentucky Downs     The ”Win and You’re In” Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G) on September 7 is shaping up as one of the stronger turf sprints of the year and highlights a card that also includes the $1 million Calumet Farms Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3), $500,000 Three Chimneys Ladies Turf Stakes (G3), and $500,000 Spendthrift Farms Ladies Sprint Stakes (G3).    Run at six furlongs, the Turf Sprint is expected to attract Rockingham Ranch’s reigning two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner STORMY LIBERAL, who is still looking for his first win after four starts this year. The 7-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic ended 2018 with a win at Churchill Downs in the Turf Sprint for trainer Peter Miller but has been a bit unlucky this year, as he’s run well without winning, including a third-place finish in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) at Meydan in Dubai in March. Stormy Liberal is 12-for-34 lifetime and enters off a third-place finish in Del Mar’s Green Flash (G3) August 17.   David Palmer’s WET YOUR WHISTLE figures to love [...]

Gulfstream Park Trainer Peter Walder off to Korea

September 5th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pyramist, Sweet and Sour Nina, Lacy's Slew, Sonja's Angel, and Sir Quesqueyano are just a few of the horses Peter Walder moved from the claiming ranks into stakes company. He has been doing it for years while consistently winning at high percentages. He came within a head of a Breeders' Cup sprint victory and a likely Eclipse Sprint Championship with Force Freeze who very well may have been the victim of an ever so slight early move and an ultra game Amazombie. His career and record is filled with trips to the winners' circle but this weekend he hopes to make a very special trip in a land far away.   Fast Pass and Peter Walder in Korea   Fast Pass is not exactly a household name in the Sport of Kings and not on any short lists for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. That has not stopped him from being noticed by Korean racing and getting invited to the Grade 1, $ One Million Dollar Korea Cup Sprint at Lets Run in South Korea. The prestige of a Grade [...]

Meet Rick Mocklin

September 4th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Meet Rick Mocklin:     Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man with no wealth and taste, been around for a long, long, time, loved to watch and call a race, pleased to meet you, hope you remember my name.   Those words, of course, are a play on some of the lyrics from the Rolling Stones song Sympathy For The Devil.  I wanted to find a way to break the ice, and introduce myself to the readers of, so I'm pleased to meet you, hope you remember my name.    My name is Rick Mocklin, and I'm very excited to say that I have joined the writing staff of, to cover Louisiana racing and it's players. For starters, I've been involved in racing for 47 years, in one capacity or another.  Racing has afforded me the opportunity to meet people and visit race tracks that most people only dream about.    Let me start from the beginning to tell you about my experiences.  Now keep in mind, I am a self-proclaimed "Jack Of All Trades" and [...]

An Overdue Grade 1

September 4th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When the Peter Miller trained Nucky rolled down the Del Mar stretch under a flawless and well timed ride by Norberto Arroyo Jr. to take the Grade 1 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity, it was a special moment for the rider. In a career that has had both ups and downs, it was the first, and long overdue Grade 1 win for the immensely talented jockey. Norberto has been a leading rider on top circuits amongst the best jockey colonies in the country. He's ridden at the Dubai World Cup meet. He has hit the board in a Triple Crown Classic, finishing third on Nolan's Cat in the 2005 Belmont Stakes. He has won stakes like the Lanes End Spiral, Aqueduct Handicap, Del Mar Derby, Bed of Roses, Queens County Handicap, Nassau County Handicap, and Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap along with several others. That Grade 1 always seemed to elude him however because of bad decisions, timing, and just not getting the right mount. His talent and ability were never the question as he has shown time and time again. When he [...]

Sixth Jockey Club/TOBA Owners Conference At Santa Anita 

September 2nd, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sixth Jockey Club/TOBA Owners Conference At Santa Anita    Hosted by Thoroughbred OwnerView and BloodHorse, the sixth Thoroughbred Owners Conference will be held at Santa Anita Park October 28-30, 2019. This innovative and entertaining conference will focus on Thoroughbred ownership with panel discussions from industry experts and social events & networking opportunities throughout the week of the 2019 Breeders' Cup Championships. There will be a new panel added this year titled the "State of the Industry" covering many of the topics confronting the industry.   Prominent panelists give insight into the business of ownership and syndicates. Speakers include Equine Accountant Jen Shah, Equine Attorney Shannon Arvin, Advisor Reynolds Bell, Syndicate Managing Partner Gary Fenton, and Syndicate Members Barb Meserve and Russ Sapienza.    Successful owners will discuss what it takes to put together a winning team. Hear from owners Dean Reeves, Maggi Moss, Madeline Auerbach and Kostas Hronis. Other speakers will include trainers Gary Mandella and Mike McCarthy, Veterinarians Dr. Larry Bramlage and Dr. James Chiapetta, and breeding advisors Clark Shepherd and Sid Fernando.    To round out the conference there [...]

A Quick Saturday Stakes Recap

September 1st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Vasilika rallied late under Flavien Prat to win her second straight John Mabee Stakes (Grade 2) at Del Mar by a head bobbing nose over Julia Foxtrot. Wearing blinkers for her second start in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and with Drayden Van Dyke back in the irons, 5-2 Bast turned the tables on 7-5 favorite Inspiressa after losing by 1 1/4 lengths to that rival at first asking in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight Aug. 11 at Del Mar. Preservationist and Junior Alvarado overcame traffic on the rail in the stretch to rally for a score over Bal Harbor and Yoshida in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga. English Bee earned his first graded stakes score with a head victory in the $250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby (Grade 3) at Colonial Downs under Jorge Vargas Jr. Steadying, clipping heels, and dropping back to 11th out of 12 horses did not stop Snapper Sinclair from taking the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs under Julien Leparoux by half a length. Mrs. Sippy made her US debut a winning one in the [...]

Another Week in the Sport of Kings

August 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Since its 2017 inception the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (Grade 1), for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, has attracted the sport's biggest stars including 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, 2014 and 2016 Horse of the Year California Chrome, 2016 Longines World's Best Racehorse Arrogate, and Mexico's undefeated Triple Crown winner Kukulkan. Last year's inaugural running of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) attracted an international field including Japan's Aerolithe and Ireland's Magic Wand. The initial pegasus World Cup Turf was won by Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar. The $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1), has produced 44 starters who have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown events and will be part of a Derby Day with seven stakes, four of them graded with total purses of $1.950 million. One of those four stakes will be the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (Grade 2), the 3-year-old filly counterpart to the Derby. All in all The Championship Meet, which has attracted the world's top horses, horsemen and jockeys since 1939, will have [...]

RIP Randy Romero

August 29th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero's decades-long battle with multiple severe health issues ended around midnight Aug. 28 when the Louisiana native passed. He was 61. Romero had been battled a series of health issues going back to 1983, when a near-fatal sauna explosion at Oaklawn Park burned over 60% of his body. While receiving blood transfusions during skin graph operations, he contracted hepatitis C. The hepatitis had severely damaged his liver. He would continue to deal with additional health issues, including a stomach tumor in 2015 while he was being screened as a candidate for a liver and/or kidney transplant. More stomach cancer was found last year, and Romero was placed on a home hospice program around a month ago. recently he could no longer tolerate dialysis which he had been receiving for years. Randy Romero won 4294 races and over 75 million in purses. It has been said the film Casey's Shadow was loosely based on his family growing up in Louisiana. One of racing's best memories of Romero is his guiding Personal Ensign to a thrilling nose victory [...]

Fan Favorite Imperative Retired

August 28th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fan Favorite Imperative Retires to NTWO in Lexington   The National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization (NTWO) announced on Twitter Tuesday night that 9-year-old gelding and fan favorite, Imperative, had arrived at his new home at the NTWO farm in Lexington, Kentucky.    Originally announced to retire to Old Friends after his start in The Whitney at Saratoga on August 17, Imperative's owner, Ron Paolucci of Loooch Racing, then said he wished to run his horse in at least one more race. Mr. Paolucci stated August 19 that he planned to enter Imperative in the Presque Isle Mile on September 9 in Pennsylvania pending a veterinarian examination. Then Mr. Paolucci announced on Twitter August 24 that Imperative had passed the vet exam but he had had a change of heart and would retire Imperative to the NTWO farm as their ambassador.    Imperative had 50 starts with 30 of those starts in graded stakes. At the peak of his racing career his speed figure was consistently in the low 100s. Imperative won the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic twice in 2015 and 2017 [...]

Code of Honor a Fitting Travers, and so much more!

August 25th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Code of Honor proved best in the mid-summer Derby thanks to a flawless ride by John Velazquez and a typically masterful training job by Shug McGaughey. Kept towards the back of the field early as the pace was fair but more towards the faster side for the mile and a quarter and calibre of horses, Velazquez was able to pick up horses approaching the half mile pole and go to the middle of track in the stretch where he unleashed a strong rally to win going away. Things were a bit contested early as Jose Ortiz aboard Tacitus, equipped with blinkers for the first time, was up on the pace and seemingly comfortable being there. Joe Talamo, riding the Bob Baffert trained Mucho Gusto, also had his sights set on the front so those two kept each other company while Johnny sat back watching things unfold, likely with a big grin on his face. The final time for Code of Honor was 2:01.05. For the first time in history, fans nationwide watched the Runhappy Travers action unfold on the FOX Broadcast [...]

Betting the 150th Travers Stakes: Could Be A Race for the Ages

August 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

NYRA President David O’Rourke and Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly unveil the banner that will hang on Broadway.. PHOTOGRAPHER: ERICA MILLER As a race ranked only behind the Triple Crown events you would expect the Travers Stakes to be high-end, but in actual fact it could in fact be an underestimated and undervalued race. Considering that by the time the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont come around, previous contenders have dropped out or are considered too quick or too slow to handle the varying race conditions of those Triple Crown events they are often not as deep as this contest. The Travers however brings together pretty much the very best of the 3-year-old generation over the classic distance of 1¼ miles and the 2019 running could be a vintage one.  Here’s a look at the main contenders on show for the 150th Travers at Saratoga on August 24: Code Of Honor A winner last time out, he finished ahead of Tacitus in the Kentucky Derby but on a line through Maximum Security from the Florida Derby he may actually have some [...]

Higher Power Takes Pacific Classic

August 20th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, Higher Power notched a 5 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar Aug. 17—his first stakes win in 13 career starts. That effort came against a field which included Grade 1 winners Seeking the Soul and Pavel. Higher Power was ridden by the red hot Flavien Prat who added the Pacific Classic to his wins in the Kentucky Derby and Queens Plate this year.    Always check with Past the Wire for the latest horse racing news and more…..