Archives for June 2018

Arizona Downs is the New Track Coming Soon out West

“A stronger circuit helps everyone in the industry: the breeders, horse owners, trainers, jockeys and all the related professions it takes to get a horse to the races.”

The former Yavapai Downs horse track will reopen with a new name – Arizona Downs.

The new ownership of the horse track in Prescott Valley has changed Yavapai Downs’ name to Arizona Downs. That was the name of a former racetrack in Phoenix that opened in 1951 at one site and later ran its annual race meetings by leasing Turf Paradise before ceasing operations in 1985.

Yavapai Downs last ran in 2010. The facility was bought for $3.22 million out of bankruptcy court in January by J&J Equine Enterprises LLC, an entity formed by brothers and Phoenix-based JACOR Partners principals Tom, Dave and Mike Auther and their partner Joe Jackson, along with longtime racing executive Corey Johnsen.

“First of all, we would like to thank the Herbeveaux family for allowing us to use the name,” said Johnsen, referencing the owners and operators of the original Arizona Downs. “We want to be known as Arizona’s racetrack that benefits horsemen throughout the state. We want a year-round circuit returning to Arizona with the resumption of summer racing, so horses and all the jobs they create stay in the state. A stronger circuit helps everyone in the industry: the breeders, horse owners, trainers, jockeys and all the related professions it takes to get a horse to the races.”

The new Arizona Downs will re-open to the public in July for simulcasting. Live racing is scheduled to begin in 2019, with a meet running from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Plans call for off-track wagering facilities in sports bars and restaurants throughout the state.

Ann McGovern, Arizona Downs’ general manager, has been overseeing more than $2 million in improvements to the facility. The general contractor is Midwest Construction, which has handled major renovation projects at Kentucky Downs, Remington Park and Lone Star Park.

Arizona Downs sits on 120 acres on the northeast edge of Prescott Valley, located eight miles from downtown Prescott in a rapidly growing market.

Source:  Press Release

Thursday at Gulfstream Park features carryover of $637,676

Gulfstream Park grandstand copyright All Star Press 2012Bettors will return to live racing Thursday at Gulfstream Park with a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $637,676.94.

There was no single winning ticket Sunday for the 22nd consecutive race program. Multiple tickets with six winners returned $2,342.44.

Racing resumes Thursday with a 10-race program beginning at 1:15 p.m. The Rainbow 6 sequence kicks off with the fifth race, a maiden claiming event going six furlongs on the main track.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Wednesday Morning’s Royal Ascot Stakes Features Cracksman

Anthony Oppenheimer’s 4-year-old Coronation Cup (G1) winner Cracksman (GB) will likely be a substantial favorite when he faces six rivals on Wednesday in the 1 ½-mile, $750,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot for an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 82 stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positons and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 2-3.

Wednesday’s race is the second of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be held at Royal Ascot this year. The Queen Anne Stakes (G1), which gives the winner a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) will be run on Tuesday. On Thursday, June 21, the Norfolk Stakes (G2) will offer the winner an automatic starting position into the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) on Saturday, June 23, provides the winner an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Prince of Wales’s to start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of October 22 to receive the rewards.

Cracksman, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori from post, 2 is the No. 3 rated horse in the world behind Winx (AUS) and the retired Gun Runner in the latest IFHA Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings. The bay son of Frankel (GB) out of the Pivotal (GB) mare Rhadegunda (GB), has won five consecutive races, and further punctuated his prowess with a determined stretch drive in the 1 ½-mile Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom on June 1, collaring Salouen (IRE) at the wire to win by a head over soft ground. The Coronation Cup was Cracksman’s second win in as many starts this year. He opened the season in France on April 29 with a dominant four-length score in the 1 5/16-mile Prix Ganay (G1) at Longchamp. Gosden has won the Prince of Wales’s three times, training back-to-back victories with Muhtarram in 1994, ’95, and again with The Fugue (GB) in 2014.
Cracksman completed his 2017 season with a stirring triumph in the 1 ½-mile QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot on Oct. 21, defeating Poet’s Word (IRE) and Highland Reel (IRE) by seven lengths. Prior to that, Cracksman won the Prix Niel (G2) at Chantilly and the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes (G2) at York last August.

Poet’s Word, trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Saeed Suhail, comes into the Prince of Wales’s off 2 ¼-length win in the 1 ¼–mile Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) at Sandown on May 24 as the odds on favorite over five rivals. Prior to that, the 5-year-old bay son of Poet’s Voice (IRE) was second by three lengths to Hawkbill in the 1 ½- mile Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). Poet’s Word has won five race in 14 career starts, which includes the 1 ½ mile Betfred Glorious Stakes (G3) at Goodwood last August. He will be ridden by James Doyle from post 2.

Ascot racecourse in UKHawkbill’s win in the Dubai Sheema Classic was his seventh career victory. Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, Hawkbill (post 5, William Buck), a Kentucky-bred son of Kitten’s Joy, has won two of his three starts this year. He captured the 1 ½-mile Dubai City of Gold (G2) at Meydan on March 10 by a head over stablemate Frontiersman (GB). He did not fare well in his most recent start, the Coronation Cup, where he was not a factor in fifth-place finish. Hawkbill was bred by Helen K. Groves Revokable Trust.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien won last year’s Prince of Wales’s with the globetrotting, multiple-Group 1 winning Highland Reel (IRE). This year, O’Brien has entered Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Markus Jooste’s Cliffs of Moher (IRE) (Ryan Moore, post 1). A 4-year-old bay son of Galileo (IRE), Cliffs of Moher finished second by two lengths behind stablemate Lancaster Bomber in the 1 5/16-mile Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1) at The Curragh on May 27. Cliffs of Moher, second in last year’s Investec Derby (G1), came into the Gold Cup off a 1 ¾ length victory in the Group 2, 1 ¼-mile Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas in Ireland on May 7.

Sir Peter Vela’s 4-year-old Eminent (IRE), (Oisin Murphy, post 4), third in last year’s Irish Champion Stakes (G1); Abdullah Al Mansoori’s 6-year-old gelding Desert Encounter (IRE) (Jamie Spencer, post 3), winner of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Legacy Stakes (G3) at Newbury and Mme Jade Prescillia Angelini’s Royal Julius (IRE) (Gerald Mosse, post 7), winner of the Group 2, 1 1/8 mile Presidente della Repubblica at Capannelle in Italy on May 18, complete the field.

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes will award the third automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf this year. The first two to qualify were the filly La Extrana Dama (ARG), who won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1) at San Isidro in Buenos Aires, and Quarteto de Cordas (BRZ), who captured the Grande Premio Brasil (G1) at Gavea in Rio de Janeiro.

3-Day Pick-6 Carryover at Belmont Park – June 20, 2018

The Pick 6 went unsolved for the third straight day Sunday at Belmont Park, triggering a three-day carryover of $235,671 when live racing resumes on Wednesday.

Sunday’s Pick 6 sequence kicked off with longshot Swamp Rat (No. 6) upsetting Race 5 at odds of 24-1 returning $51.50 for a $2 win wager. Have Another (No. 3, $4.20) followed in Race 6 with long-priced winner Stolen Pistol (No. 7, $21.80) winning Race 7. Post-time favorite Still Krz (No. 5, $6.50) hit the wire first in Race 8 with Oscar Performance (No. 3, $8.10) capturing the Grade 3, $300,000 Poker in Race 9. Battle Joined (No. 2, $18) took the day’s finale.

A consolation payout of $1,588 was awarded to bettors who has five of six winners.

Wednesday’s Pick 6 sequence will begin with Race 4 with a scheduled post time of 3:09 p.m. ET.

Wagering on the Pick 6 is available through NYRA Bets, on-track, and Belmont Café, as well as simulcast facilities across the country.

Source: NYRA

Great Horse Racing Videos – Watch a horse and jockey take a terrifying tumble

Then See What Happens!

Watch a horse and jockey take a terrifying tumble and go on to ….

Horse falls but jockey Aaron Kuru remounts … and wins steeplechase Independent Community Newspaper Full coverage

Source: Watch a horse and jockey take a terrifying tumble and go on to win the race

Triple Crown winner Justify to resume training in California

Triple Crown winner Justify to resume training in California USA TODAY How Justify went from maiden to Triple Crown winner in 112 days

Courier Journal Full coverage

Source: Triple Crown winner Justify to resume training in California

Industry Profile: Jockey Santo Sanjur

While all eyes were recently on Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., as Justify trained up for his bid for the Triple Crown, one man was been busy making headlines for himself 100 miles North of the Twin Spires. Santo Sanjur, a native of Panama City, Panama, has taken the Indiana Grand jockey colony by storm in his first year riding in the Hoosier state.

Although the track’s meet started only 37 days ago, Sanjur has picked up 108 mounts so far, and has already 22 wins under his belt. This ties him for Indiana Grand leading rider standings by wins ahead of local veterans such as Rodney Prescott and Marcelino Pedroza.

What’s more? This is only the 22-year-old’s fifth year riding competitively. With an in-the-money percentage of 53% this meet, many have taken notice of the new kid with those numbers. Others have taken notice of Sanjur for another reason: his name.

While officially taking the last name “Sanjur,” Santo is no stranger to having family in the racing business. Indiana racing natives will recognize the name of Sanjur’s cousin, Juan Saez, a rider who was killed tragically in an accident at Indiana Grand in October of 2014.

Though he was on a path nearly identical to that of Santo, Juan is not the young rider’s best known relative. His most famous cousin is Luis Saez, pilot of horses such as Will Take Charge, Gunnevera and, more recently, Arkansas Derby winner Magnum Moon.

Just like his two well-recognized cousins, Sanjur also attended Panama City’s famed Laffit Pincay Jockey School.

It was a perfect fit. According to the school motto, it is directly in the heart of “the cradle of the best jockeys in the world.” During his two years at a school he considers to be “one of the best,” Sanjur said he learned the basics of being a successful jockey, though it was his desire for more that brought him to the United States.

“I had always wanted to come and ride here and make my family proud,” Sanjur said.

With his record so far, he is doing just that.

Despite being new to Indiana, Sanjur is by no means new to racing in the Midwest. He spent the first four years of his American riding career at Arlington Park in the suburbs of Chicago, where he had much of the same impact as he has had at Indiana Grand. From May of 2017 to September of the same year, Sanjur rode 452 horses and picked up 57 wins that totaled almost $1.5 million in purse money. He finished second that year in the Arlington jockey standings.

The impression those four years in Illinois gave him carried over across the border to Indiana, where horsemen of all types cannot get enough of him. Michelle Elliott, trainer and daughter of the well-known Indiana breeder Jim Elliott, is one of them.

“I think he’s the new up-and-coming rider. He’s going to be amazing,” Elliot said of Sanjur, who she met through his agent, Jeremy Acridge. A short time before the Indiana Grand meet began, Acridge called Elliott, asking her to “give his guy a chance.” Sanjur brought Crossed, a filly in Elliott’s barn, home first in the sixth race on Indiana Grand’s opening day card, and has been riding for her ever since. “I really like this kid,” Elliott said. “I’d put him on just about anything.”

Where he continues to experience days where he rides three or even four winners on the same card, it is easy to see why Sanjur continues to make news in the Midwest. Though he doesn’t see himself moving out of the Hoosier state anytime soon, Sanjur does have a few races in mind that he would really love to win more than anything: the Kentucky Derby and a Breeders’ Cup race. And if his current success is any indicator, it won’t be long before we see Sanjur on a bigger stage.

Source: Press Release

Is Horse Racing Dead in Massachusetts? Not Yet

Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC (SSR), the company that operates Thoroughbred racing, wagering and simulcasting at Suffolk Downs, and Fairgrounds Realty LLC and Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment Project Inc., the entities that own the Great Barrington Fairgrounds, have reached an agreement for a long-term lease of the historic race track property in Great Barrington to commence racing as soon as 2019, the companies recently announced.

Under the agreement, Sterling Suffolk Downs would refurbish the Fairgrounds property and operate a commercial race meeting at Great Barrington while continuing to operate simulcast wagering at its current location in East Boston. Suffolk Downs, the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NEHBPA) and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders (MTBA) are seeking modifications in state racing and simulcasting laws, which are set to expire at the end of July, to accommodate the new arrangement.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us to help preserve and refurbish an iconic property in the heart of the Berkshires, to boost economic development in Great Barrington, continue live racing and preserve the hundreds of jobs, associated agribusinesses and working open spaces associated with the Massachusetts racing industry,” said Chip Tuttle, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse’s chief operating officer. “We are confident that we can do this consistent with Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment’s vision for sustainable preservation of the fairground property as a space devoted to community recreation and with a strong connection to its agricultural heritage.”

“We are excited to enter into this partnership which offers potential benefits to so many people and organizations in our community, western Mass. and the surrounding area,” said Bart Elsbach, chairman of the Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment Project, “Finding a group to partner with us in a meaningful way to continue use of our site in keeping with its history while continuing to offer the area valuable recreational and economic benefits without aggressive commercial development is consistent with our ongoing vision for the fairgrounds.”

The Great Barrington Fairgrounds has a rich history. It was the host of the longest continually operating agricultural fair in New England. Horse racing started on the property in 1859 and it was regarded as the centerpiece of the Massachusetts fair circuit. Pari-mutuel wagering began at Great Barrington in September of 1940 and continued through 1983. The track last offered Thoroughbred racing 20 years ago in 1998. The grandstand, barns and track facilities still stand, though they will require restoration and repair. In addition to improvements to the track surface, grandstand and other facilities, SSR officials indicated that they would be looking at expanding the racing surface at Great Barrington.

Massachusetts map“In its current condition, we are confident that we could conduct racing as soon as next year, should we need to, and we plan to explore with Bart, his team and the town options on expanding the racing surface to accommodate racing at longer distances. There was traditionally strong support for racing here and we hope to attract fans from across New England and New York.”

Suffolk Downs is scheduled to host three live racing and food truck festival weekends this summer on Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, July 7-8 and August 4-5. Track officials have said that they hope to continue racing at the site in 2019.

In December 2012, the 57-acre fairgrounds property was purchased by Sheffield couple Bart and Janet Elsbach with the vision to preserve and restore the environmental health of the site. The Elsbachs created the not-for-profit Fair Grounds Community Redevelopment Project which has provided agricultural, educational, recreational, and other beneficial opportunities to the local community and visitors through the preservation and sustainable development of this historic fairgrounds site.

The revival of racing at Great Barrington has the support of the NEHBPA and the MTBA. The two organizations entered a joint agreement with Sterling Suffolk Racecourse in November of last year to seek alternative venues for continuing Thoroughbred racing in the state and to pursue changes in the state’s racing and simulcast laws that would facilitate the continuation of live racing. SSR sold the Suffolk Downs property to a development company in May of 2017 and has continued to operate under a lease agreement since then.

“Our membership is made up of hundreds of small businessmen and women and local family farms who want to continue the chance to earn purse monies and to make a productive contribution to the Massachusetts’ economy,” said Anthony Spadea, president of the NEHBPA. “Many of us raced at Great Barrington in 1997 and 1998 and would enjoy the opportunity to make it the seasonal home of racing here. We appreciate the support of the Legislature, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the Suffolk Downs team to keep this industry active and vital.”

Source: Press Release

NBCSN to Cover 2018 Stephen Foster Handicap

Night coverage from NBCSN.

The second automatic berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on the line this Saturday evening, June 16, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Source: NBCSN to Cover Stephen Foster Handicap

New Horse Racing Book Released Overseas

Book Shines Spotlights on Horse Racing’s Emergence into the Mainstream

An emeritus professor from the University of Cumbria, who last year was elected to the post of President of the European Committee for Sport History, this month publishes his latest book Horse Racing and British Society in the Long Eighteenth Century.

The volume, published by Boydell press, is the fifteenth of Mike Huggins’ monographs and edited collections. It explores the cultural world of racing and its relationship with British society during the 1700s, examining how and why race meetings changed from a marginal and informal interest for some of the elite to become the most significant leisure event of the summer season.

The book provides a fascinating chronicle of racehorse ownership, as well as the previously hidden world of racing’s key professionals: jockeys, trainers, bloodstock breeders, stud grooms and stable hands.

Mike is not only a major commentator on sport history and culture, but also on British mainstream history, and his long and distinguished career has resulted in widespread recognition for his international scholarly work from the North American Society for Sports History, the British Society for Sport History and the International Society for Physical Education and Sport.

Mike says of his new book:

“Exploring the hitherto under-explored origins of British racing has been fascinating. The recent move to digital history has really opened up the past, so I was able to search early newspapers on-line, exploit genealogical material, search court records of testimony to see how racing was used in discourse, and track trends through what historians now call ‘culturomics’, as well as using more traditional archival approaches. And it has also informed my next collection, out later this year, which explores the world of match fixing in sport in historical perspective.”

Source: University of Cumbria (UK)