Archives for September 2020

Champion Mare Midnight Bisou Retired. Lifetime PPs

Internationally recognized Equine Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY, confirmed that Midnight Bisou sustained a sesamoid fracture in her right front fetlock. According to Dr. Bramlage surgery is not required, and she has already shipped to WinStar Farm, where she will be turned out. The injury will be inconsequential to her and her broodmare career.

She will be offered as a broodmare prospect with Elite Sales at the Fasig-Tipton November sale (November 8), where she will certainly headline the “Night of the Stars” sale.

Midnight Bisou had a routine maintenance work at Saratoga on Monday, September 28 in advance of the G1 Juddmonte Spinster taking place at Keeneland on October 4 as a final prep for her participation in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. While cooling out, and under the watchful eye of Scott Blasi, Assistant Trainer to Steve Asmussen, he noticed something was amiss.

“I cannot begin to tell you what this mare has meant to me, my family, and my partners,” said Jeffrey Boom, co-owner and Managing Partner of Bloom Racing.  “The places she has taken us and the thrills she has given us are immeasurable.  And just to be in her presence is to feel what greatness is all about.  Her calm, inquisitive demeanor, her fierce determination in a race is unlike any other horse.  She is all class.  I’m just so grateful I got to be a part of her incredible journey, and I’m extremely excited to watch the next phase of her life, watch her become a mother, and for her babies to hit the track with all of her class and elegance, and continue the Midnight Bisou legacy.”

Midnight Bisou retires as the highest-earning dirt mare of all time, earning $7,471,520.  She raced at 10 different tracks.  Never off the board in 22-lifetime starts, with a record of 13-6-3.  A daughter of Midnight Lute out of Delightful Diva, she received the Eclipse award in 2019 for Older Dirt Female.  Her five GI wins include the Santa Anita Oaks and the Cotillion in 2018; and the Apple Blossom, Ogden Phipps, and Personal Ensign in 2019.

 “I want to thank trainer Steve Asmussen, assistant trainer’s Scott Blasi, Darren Fleming, her main exercise rider Angel Garica, groom Gerardo Morales (Chocolaté), and the entire Asmussen team for the devotion and care they provided each and every single day. I would also like to thank her regular rider, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith who shared a very special bond with her, and was aboard for all five G1 wins, as well as the other jockeys who were fortunate enough to climb aboard. Finally, a sincere thank you to all of Midnight Bisou’s legion of fans who have been extremely loyal with their support and love for our Champion throughout her career.”

#EarsUp always, we love you Bisou.

Group 1 Prix L’Opera Next Weekend

French horse racing blurrfrom the French PMU

We look at the likely leading contenders for the Prix l’Opera on ‘Arc’ Day (4 October) at Longchamp.  [This is typically a major prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare turf.]

 

Fancy Blue

One of multiple Group One winners for first-season trainer Donnacha O’Brien in 2020, Fancy Blue returns to France for the first time since her G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) success in July. Out of a half-sister to High Chaparral, the three-year-old filly confirmed her authority in the division with a G1 victory in the Nassau Stakes (2000m) at Glorious Goodwood. She has since run with credit to place third in the G1 Matron Stakes (1600m) at Leopardstown and will appreciate a return to a longer distance.

Tawkeel 

One of the top three-year-old fillies in France, Tawkeel remains unbeaten in five racecourse starts. She broke through for a Group One success in the Prix Saint-Alary (2000m) in June and was given time to develop before returning with a victory in the G2 Prix de la Nonette (2000m) at Deauville in late August. The Teofilo filly is potentially still improving and seems to excel over this distance.

Peaceful 

Irish 1000 Guineas winner Peaceful was unable to uphold the form against long-term rival Fancy Blue in the G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) over the longer distance finishing a neck third. Trainer Aidan O’Brien gave the filly time off the track following her big efforts in the Classics and she returned with a fair second in the G1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown (1600m) in early September. It was well-documented by connections that they expected Peaceful to improve for the run and play a major role once again.

Alpine Star

Full sister to multiple Group One winner Alpha CentauriAlpine Star upheld the family reputation when scoring in the G1 Coronation Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot in June. The filly started favourite for the G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) and was narrowly denied by Fancy Blue, placing second. She returned to France for an eye-catching second in the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois (1600m) at Deauville in open company and the experience against older competition will stand her in good stead.

Nazeef

Nazeef has emerged as a top-class miler in 2020 and recorded her first Group One success in the Falmouth Stakes (1600m) at Newmarket in July. Her unbeaten run was ended when she placed third in the G1 Nassau Stakes (2000m) behind Fancy Blue and the filly has since been well-beaten in the G1 Prix Jean Romanet (2000m). Although yet to win over 2000m, connections seem confident that Nazeef does stay and can reverse her fortunes.

Tarnawa 

Tarnawa was a surprise winner of the G1 Prix Vermeille (2400m) at Longchamp and has been generally overlooked this season despite an excellent record in stakes races, with five wins and two placings from nine attempts. A multiple winner over 2000m, Tarnawa is a proven stayer compared to the rest of the field and may use that stamina to her advantage.

Cayenne Pepper 

Cayenne Pepper is a top-class performer who has been very consistent throughout the course of her career. Having finished second in the G1 Irish Oaks (2400m) and the G3 Give Thanks Stakes (2400m) behind Tarnawa, she broke through for her first victory of the season when recording a four-length success in the G2 Blandford Stakes (2000m). Cayenne Pepper is very capable of producing a big performance against these rivals and must not be dismissed.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not at Little ‘Ole Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs enjoys another record-breaking meet with total betting at over $59M on 62 races

By Jennie Rees and Dick Downey
Kentucky Downs 2020 Recap

Even before Saffie Joseph won Wednesday’s eighth race with Sugar Fix on closing day of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, the trainer’s thoughts had turned to next year.

“First meet here. I love it,” said Joseph, one of America’s fast-rising trainers who this summer expanded his East Coast base to include Kentucky. “It’s a cool setting, different from what you’re used to seeing in America. It’s kind of like a European track. I’m coming back every year. As long as we have the owners providing the horses, we hope to make this an important part of our year.”

Fergus Galvin, a representative for Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad al Thani, said that Guildsman’s victory in the Grade 3 Franklin-Simpson Stakes on the closing card “certainly made Sheikh Fahad a big fan of Kentucky Downs. He’s already wanting to stock up the stable to point to the meeting next year.”

Kentucky Downs smashed its betting records at the six-date meet with total wagering of $59,828,444 on 62 races, including $9,487,705 on Wednesday’s 10-race finale. The previous record was last year’s $41,239,699 for 50 races over five days….

Kentucky Downs purses since 2011
Year (dates) purses

2020 (6) $12,337,000
2019 (5) $11,520,380
2018 (5) $10,273,630
2017 (5) $8,625,396
2016 (5) $7,923,476
2015 (5) $6,609,355
2014 (5) $4,875,722
2013 (5) $4,150,687
2012 (5) $2,086,650
2011 (4) $796,810

UofL Equine Speaker Series Begins Today

Sept. 22  – “Racing’s Now Reality: Is it Sustainable?”

Is horse racing’s new operational model sustainable for the long run?

•    Mike Penna (moderator) – Owner, Horse Racing Radio Network
•    Chris Kotulak – CEO, Fonner Park
•    Andrew Offerman – VP Racing Operations, Canterbury Park
•    Terry Finley – Founder, West Point Thoroughbreds
•    Jack Jeziorski – EVP, Monarch Content Management (subsidiary of the Stronach Group)

No Fans at Keeneland Meet which Begins Oct. 2

Keeneland black and white

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

Keeneland announced that its 2020 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, will be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be permitted to attend the live race meet.

Keeneland conducted its five-day Summer Meet in July without spectators but did allow a limited number of owners and essential personnel to attend.

“The safety of our employees, our participants and our fans remains Keeneland’s top priority,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We have the most loyal fans in the world and we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome them back for live racing. The decision to close the meet to the public was made after consulting with local and state government officials and public health experts and monitoring how various sporting venues and events around the world have operated during the pandemic. With the guidance of these experts and lessons learned from recent events, we know this is the responsible course of action.”

“Sunday’s kickoff of the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which is followed by the Fall Meet, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the November Breeding Stock Sale, marks the beginning of a significant three months of business for Keeneland and the horse industry as a whole,” Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales Shannon Arvin said. “It is paramount that we conduct our sales and racing operations in a safe and responsible manner that promotes the health and success of everyone involved.

“We will remain flexible and vigilant leading up to and throughout our Fall Meet to ensure that we observe the most current health and safety protocols and respond to any changes in a timely and thoughtful manner,” Arvin added.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, strict compliance with the following health and safety protocols will be required for participants and employees while they are at Keeneland. Similar protocols were in place for the Summer Meet and are in effect for Keeneland’s current September Yearling Sale:

·       Individuals permitted to come onto the Keeneland grounds will be credentialed or ticketed in advance. Seating will be assigned and properly social distanced on race days.

·       Participants include those with a competing horse, including a limited number of owners and trainers. Keeneland also will allow limited access to sponsors, box holders and Club members.

·       Keeneland will not permit any general admission or walk-up attendees. Credentialed participants will be assigned a seat for the race day.

·       Keeneland will maintain records to allow for contact tracing.

·       Health screenings, including a series of questions and temperature checks, will continue at all entrance gates.

·       All individuals must wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while at Keeneland.

The Surprising Starship Jubilee goes for Woodbine Mile Today

Attard knew he was getting a decent horse when he won a three-way-shake to acquire the undistinguished, four-year-old filly for $16,000 at Gulfstream Park. But little did he know that Starship Jubilee — under the training tutelage of his son, Kevin Attard — would be named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2019, Canada’s older female turf champ for three straight years, and win multiple graded stakes, including the prestigious Grade 1 E.P Taylor Stakes.

That $16,000 has turned out to be one of the all-time great investments in Canadian horse racing.

“Honestly, at the time when we claimed her, we were just looking for a horse that we could bring back to Woodbine that would be competitive in around the level that we claimed her at,” Kevin Attard told the Toronto Sun on Tuesday. “When you’re claiming horses, you’re never thinking — especially at that price level ($16,000) — ‘I’m going to claim this horse and I’m going to turn him into a stake winner. Because it doesn’t happen. You’re just hoping that maybe you can improve the horse a little bit and, if it gets a little bit better, you’re able to grind off a couple of wins.”

What We Know about the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Lot of Questions Raised

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The federal bill putting in place a national regulatory body for Thoroughbred racing is considered a near certainty for passage later this year, generating timely questions about how the body will function and deliver on its promise of improving the industry’s drug-testing abilities and the safety of its athletes.

Washington DCThe bill, called the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, was introduced in the Senate last week by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader. On the same day, a House committee that had not called for a vote on similar legislation for the past five years swiftly approved its passage on a bipartisan basis. Officials who support the effort are now confident the legislation will be approved by the end of this year’s lame-duck session, if not sooner.

“I don’t like to quote odds for anyone, but I rate its chances better than they’ve ever been,” said Bill Lear, vice chairman of The Jockey Club, which has made passage of a federal bill overhauling the sport’s regulation a priority since 2014. “I still think there are lots of hurdles to overcome, but I do think with the bipartisan support in both houses, we are in a position where we should get it done by the end of the year.”

While racing officials who have worked on the bill …

Santa Anita Postpones Due to California Fires

Santa Anita San Gabriel

copyright Cheryl Ann Quigley

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2020)– The opening day of Santa Anita’s Autumn season will be pushed back a week until Friday, September 25, due to the impact of Bobcat Fire on the air quality and surrounding community.

“Our local community has been deeply impacted by the Bobcat Fire burning for more than a week in the mountains behind us,” said Aidan Butler, Executive Director of California Operations for The Stronach Group. “The current weather pattern has kept the smoke in the valley and the air quality is quite poor right now. The Red Cross is using Santa Anita as the evacuation zone for people – including many of our horsemen – whose homes are less than two miles from here. As excited as we are to welcome back live racing, we are first and foremost committed to safety. This is the responsible decision to make at this time so people can plan accordingly.”

“The stakes races set for this weekend will be brought back next weekend,” said Steve Lym, Santa Anita’s VP – Racing & Racing Secretary. “The smoke has impacted some training schedules, so postponing until next weekend will allow everyone a chance to be ready to go. We are planning on filling extra races throughout the meet to give our horsemen the opportunity to run their horses.”

The Opening Week now will feature a blockbuster schedule of outstanding stakes action, offering over $2-million in purse money. The stakes schedule includes seven races which are “Win and You’re In” races for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The stakes races originally slotted for this weekend will be run as follows: the Chillingworth on Friday, September 25, the Speakeasy on Saturday, September 26 and the Tokyo City Cup on Sunday, September 27.

Entries for Opening Day, September 25, will be drawn on Sunday, September 20, as scheduled. First post will be 12:30 p.m. PT.

Gambling Executive discusses the best horse racing betting strategies to improve your chances

Regardless of whether you’re new to sports wagering or are already a betting ace, there is always room for improvement. A small number of sports bettors just engage in horse gambling during the Triple Crown races; however, the amount of cash bet on horse races every year indicates there are “regulars” who wager races all year. Regardless of whether you are an inconsistent bettor making a bet from an online platform or an enthusiastic bettor appearing at the circuit regularly, everyone can profit by some type of wagering advice. Adam Bjorn, a gambling executive with extensive knowledge of all types of betting activity, provides tips that are sure to help any gambler improve their efforts.

With different games, numerous bettors will depend on the eye test when making bets. These bettors contend they have seen groups play ordinarily and can, in this way, foresee the results of their next games. States Bjorn, “In horse racing, seeing each pony’s earlier races is almost inconceivable. There are an excessive number of horses in an excessive number of tracks to be able to contrast all of them around the nation. As a result, the race program ought to be seen as a bettor’s Holy Grail and the source of all applicable data.”

The Economic Impact of the Horse Racing Industry in Just One State

According to information published in the Equibase program at Monmouth Park in 2019:

The total economic impact of the equine industry is $1.1 billion annually.

The industry pays over $160 million in federal, state and local taxes.

176,000 total acres of real estate are in use in New Jersey alone for equine operations.  An additional 46,000 acres produce hay and grain for horses.  An estimated 13,000 jobs are generated just in New Jersey.

The original Monmouth Park racetrack opened in 1870.  The current structure opened on June 19, 2946 and with its desirable location close to the Jersey beaches, it has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Here is a look at the impact of the horse racing industry in the great state of  Florida.