Archives for March 7, 2019

Horse Deaths at Santa Anita Spell Trouble for the Horse Racing Industry

NY Times coverage:

As the Triple Crown season approaches, the talk should be about contenders for the Kentucky Derby. Instead, dead horses and canceled races are hot topics after Santa Anita Park suspended thoroughbred racing because of a spike in fatalities that has cast doubt on the safety of its racing surface.

A filly named Lets Light the Way was euthanized on Tuesday after shattering a sesamoid bone at the ankle joint. It was the 21st horse fatality in racing or training at Santa Anita since Dec. 26. That is more than the 20 deaths that occurred over 122 racing days in 2017, according to Jockey Club data.

“The safety, health and welfare of the horses and jockeys is our top priority,” Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of the Stronach Group, which owns the track, said in a statement. “While we are confident further testing will confirm the soundness of the track, the decision to close is the right thing to do at this time.”

It was the second time in eight days that the historic track below the San Gabriel Mountains a few miles east of Pasadena, Calif., was shut down. The closure has forced the postponement on Saturday of the track’s signature race, the Santa Anita Handicap, which was won by the storied horse Seabiscuit in 1940, and the San Felipe Handicap, a major prep race for 3-year-olds trying to qualify for the Kentucky Derby…

The track was closed on Feb. 26 and 27 after the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, Battle of Midway, was fatally injured during a workout. A track safety expert from the University of Kentucky, Mick Peterson, was brought in to search for possible irregularities that might explain the spike in fatalities.

He didn’t find any. Shortly after the course was reopened, however, the filly Eskenforadrink became the 20th fatality, breaking down during a race and later being euthanized…

How a young Qatari sheikh shook up the ‘Sport of Kings’

(CNN)The young Qatari royal was instantly smitten as he attended his first horse race at the home of British Flat racing in Newmarket.

It was 2010, and Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al Thani was so gripped watching the historic 2,000 Guineas Classic he bought his first race horse soon after.

Together with his brothers, the now 29-year-old – the son of a former prime minister of Qatar – has become a dominant force in the “Sport of Kings.”

Their Qatar Racing is now challenging the world’s biggest racehorse operations, such as Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum’s Godolphin , and Irish billionaire John Magnier’s Coolmore outfit…

Tampa Bay Derby could make or break horses for Kentucky Derby

The Tampa Bay Derby takes place on Saturday, March 9th at Tampa Bay Downs. The event is one of American Thoroughbred racing’s biggest lead-up races to the Kentucky Derby. This year’s event will carry a significant number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The Tampa Bay Derby could make or break a horse ahead of May’s race in Louisville. American horse racing fans are following the build-up to the race in Florida. The Tampa Bay Derby could have an impact on the rest of the American racing calendar and bettors can use PA sportsbooks to wager on the outcome of the big race.

The race has grown in popularity in recent years. Due to horse racing fans being able to glimpse a possible Kentucky Derby winner, it has led many to seek out the race. In addition, due to the number of races held at Tampa Bay Downs during the day, it brings out quite a few well-known jockeys and horses.

With the Tampa Bay Derby on tap for this Saturday, here are some of the key storylines horse racing enthusiasts should know.

Tampa Bay Derby – Impact on Kentucky Derby

One of the most important aspects about the Tampa Bay Derby is the impact it has on the Kentucky Derby. Top horse racing trainers, owners, and jockeys want to compete at Churchill Downs in May. However, to get to Louisville, race horses must earn points in specified prep races.

The Tampa Bay Derby is one of these designated races. The race winner receives 50 points, which means they will qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Second, third, and fourth place divide up the remaining 35 points available.

Tampa Bay Derby – The race

The Grade 2 race will see a prize fund of $400,000 up for grabs. The Derby will be the highlight of the day at Tampa Bay Downs. Twelve races will be run during the event as horse racing fans will get their fill of thoroughbred horses. The one and one-sixteenth mile race sees 11 horses competing for Kentucky Derby points.

Trainer Dale L. Romans’ Admire is listed as the sportsbooks’ favorite. The three-year-old and up race is run on dirt at Tampa Bay Downs. Opened in 1926, Tampa Bay Downs is one of the Unite States’ oldest and most famous racetracks.

Tampa Bay Derby – Experts top choice

Derby experts have praised Win WinWin as the horse to beat. There is a lot of hype surrounding the horse and Saturday’s race should show the world if it is warranted. In his most recent effort, Win WinWin won the Pasco Stakes, marking his third victory from four career starts. If the horse can win at Tampa Bay Downs, he could parlay that success into the Kentucky Derby.

The Tampa Bay Derby started in 1981. Since its inception, two horses who have run in the race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. In 2007, Street Sense won at Churchill Downs after participating at Tampa. Three years later, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby after placing third at the Tampa Bay Derby.

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58 horse entered to compete in Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National

copyright Pixabay

The Martson’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National will take place on Saturday, March 16th at Uttoxeter. The 50th anniversary of the race has 58 horses entered. The Midlands Grand National is the top horse race of the year held at Uttoxeter Racecourse. The event is run over four miles and two furlongs as horses race for a piece of the £150,000 prize fund. With 58 competitors entered into the race, there are plenty of options for horse race bettors. Horse race fans can use WV horse betting and wager on the outcome of this year’s exciting Midlands Grand National.

The marquee race held at Uttoxeter attracts top names. Leading trainers from Ireland and Great Britain will descend on the racecourse for the Class 1 chase.

Midlands Grand National – What is it?

The Midlands Grand National is one of the top steeplechase races on the British racing calendar. A number of former winners have gone onto success in the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It ranks as one of the most exciting race days each year due to the top horses, jockeys, and trainers that compete.

The racecourse features 24 jumps and a distance of four miles and two furlongs. Horses five-years old and above can enter the race.

Midlands Grand National – Top Horses

Nineteen of the 58 horses entered into this year’s race carry a BHA rating of 140 or more. Horse racing fans will see some of the most exciting staying steeplechase horses running in the race.

One of the early favourites is Yala Enki. Trained by Venetia Williams, Yala Enki has seven career wins. The horse’s last victory came in November at Bangor. That victory saw Yala Enki take top prize in a three-mile Handicap Chase. Yala Enki holds the highest BHA rating of the horses running at 155.

Cheltenham Festival – Recent news

Despite holding the highest BHA rating, Yala Enki is not the favourite according to leading sportsbooks. That honour goes to Robinsfirth. The 154-BHA rated horse is trained by Colin Tizzard and goes into Uttoxeter at odds of 8/1, according to top bookmakers.

Midlands Grand National 2018 champion, Regal Flow, finds himself down the odds list of leading bookies. The former winner is 40/1 to win the race for a second straight year. Regal Flow will be joined by 28/1 odds listed horse Milansbar. The Neil King trained horse finished second at last year’s event. It was the second time Milansbar finished as runner-up at the race.

Midlands Grand National – Can Regal Flow repeat as winner?

Regal Flow will attempt to do what no horse has done in the previous 49 editions of the Midlands Grand National. He will try to win it for a second time. No horse has won the race more than once, which may indicate why leading sportsbooks have given Regal Flow such long odds for a former winner.

Trained by Bob Buckler, Regal Flow will be 12-years old when he takes to the Uttoxeter Racecourse. Since winning last year’s edition of the Midlands Grand National, Regal Flow has finished no higher than fifth place in his last six races. Regal Flow last ran in January at Taunton finishing fifth. Buckler will hope his 12-year-old can surprise everyone on race day and take top-prize once more.