Archives for October 2021

Free Pace Chart for Thursday at Keeneland, October 28th

Here is your complimentary Pace Chart for today at Keeneland.  Best of luck today, handicappers!  Remember, oftentimes pace makes the race!

Keeneland – 10/28/2021
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
6.50 Furlongs / Dirt Slow/Modest 4 7-2 8-1-5 3-6
Race 2
9.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 7 5 4-6-2 3-8
Race 3
8.50 Furlongs / Turf Unknown 4-7-5 8-2 6-11-9 1-3-10-13
Race 4
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 7 8 5-6-3 1
Race 5
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown 1-5 3-11-8 10 2-4-6-7-9
Race 6
5.50 Furlongs / Turf Fast 7 2-1 10-4-3 6-8
Race 7
7.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown *9 7-2 12-11 1-5-6-8-10
Race 8
8.50 Furlongs / Turf Modest/Honest 1-7 4-5-6 10-2-3 14-8-9-12-15-16-13
Race 9
6.50 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 6 10-3-9 4-12-5 2-11-8-1 13

 

Remembering the Great Bob Neumeier, longtime NBC Sports horse racing expert

Bob Neumeier, longtime Boston sports reporter and NBC Sports horse racing expert, dies at age 70Bob Neumeier, who sports fans from Fenway Park to Churchill Downs knew affectionately as “Neumy,” died Saturday [October 23, 2021] at the age of 70.

Within New England, sports fans saw Neumeier on Ch. 4 and heard him on WBZ and WEEI. Nationally, Neumeier appeared on NBC Sports as a horse racing expert.

Neumeier’s wife Michele Ucci told The Boston Globe the sportscaster suffered from congestive heart failure and heart disease, and he had been in hospice care for the past eight weeks.

For more than 40 years, Neumeier made an imprint on sports coverage in Boston. He began at Ch. 4 in the early ‘80s. He moved from reporter to anchor and eventually the play-by-play voice of the Boston Bruins on WBZ until 2000.

Following his time at WBZ, the Syracuse University graduate worked at WEEI from 2002 to 2005. Neumeier later joined Comcast SportsNet New England, now NBC Sports Boston, in 2010 and was also well known as a horse racing expert on NBC…

Huge Week in Sports: NY Mobile Sports Betting Deadline, BC News and More

The New York Gaming Commission completed a key procedural step Monday in the state’s complicated bidding process for licensing mobile sportsbook operators. Last week, the commission informed applicants that they had five business days to amend their initial “pricing matrices” to conform with the state’s “final tax rate matrix.” Bidders have until 5 p.m. ET to modify their preferred tax rate scenario within the applications. Based on the matrix released by the commission last week, the final tax rate for successful applicants could be as high as 64% on a licensee’s online gross gaming revenue. Sen. Joseph Addabbo, chair of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, is still hopeful that the Empire State will go live with mobile sports betting before the Super Bowl.

Breeders’ Cup pre-entry lists revealed

Over the last four years, trainer Brad Cox has been on a tear at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, notching seven victories over the span. Though Cox captured four wins last year, he has yet to capture the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the signature event of the two-day world championships. Cox will pack a formidable one-two punch in this year’s Classic, though, with Whitney Stakes winner Knicks Go and Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality. The trainer is expected to enter both horses when the Breeders’ Cup pre-entry list is unveiled on Wednesday.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is also expected to enter Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Classic. While Medina Spirit tested positive after his Derby win for betamethasone, a banned corticosteroid, Churchill Downs has still not disqualified the horse from the first leg of the Triple Crown. Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association, however, in light of the positive test. The Breeders’ Cup announced on Oct. 18 that Baffert’s horses could compete at the world championships on Nov. 5-6, but under enhanced testing protocols…

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves Ellis Park’s Owensboro expansion

Ellis Park officials say they could close if a solution isn’t reached on historical horse racingOWENSBORO, Ky (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved Ellis Park’s request on Tuesday to build an off-track betting site in Owensboro.

Officials say that the site will be a non-contiguous extension and will have hundreds of historical horse racing machines. Ellis Park officials say the 60,000 square-foot building will be located in the Town Square Mall development.

“We at Ellis Entertainment are incredibly excited to bring our Quality, Value, and Service core values to a new venue in a new market in Kentucky,” said Jeffery Inman, General Manager of Ellis Entertainment. “In addition to this being a major addition to the Owensboro community, we believe the new venue will create $6m to $8m in additional purse money per year at Ellis Park, which will help improve the quality of racing for the summertime leg of the Kentucky Thoroughbred circuit.”

Officials say they expect to create 200 new jobs in the Owensboro community, including more than 100 new construction jobs and over 100 permanent jobs once operations commence.

The park hopes to close on expansion financing later this week. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and end in early 2023.

Minella Indo Ready For Gold Cup Defence

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious National Hunt contest in the world and as the new season gets underway, many of the leading trainers in jumps racing will be preparing their horses for the contest at the Cheltenham Festival.

Last year’s winner Minella Indo tops the betting to prevail again in the 3m2f race. Only two horses in the last 50 years have been able to defend their crown. Best Mate won three straight races between 2002 and 2004, while more recently, Al Boum Photo was successful in 2019 and 2020.

The eight-year-old from Henry De Bromhead’s yard has not featured since his impressive Cheltenham result last March. He had to miss the Punchestown Festival back in April due to a bruised foot. He has now had the summer off which should ensure he is fresh when he returns to action.

Cheltenham is a course the Irish horse has produced his best at throughout his career. He was successful in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2019, while in 2020, he finished second behind Champ in a close finish to the RSA Chase.

De Bromhead, who had an excellent campaign last season, winning the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase along with the Blue Riband event of the meeting, has indicated the Gold Cup winner’s seasonal reappearance is likely to come at Down Royal.

Minella Indo is also likely to appear at the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown in December in the Grade One Savills Chase. He came down at the eighth fence when making a mistake in the race in 2020. Connections will be hoping he can make up for that error by prevailing in one of the biggest races in the division 3m+ division in Ireland.

Challengers To 2021 Winner Include His Stablemate

The biggest challenger to Minella Indo in the 2022 renewal of the Gold Cup is likely to be his stablemate and last year’s runner-up A Plus Tard. There was just over one length separating the two horses in the race earlier this year.

As a seven-year-old, A Plus Tard was one of the youngest horses in the field for the Gold Cup in 2021. He is likely to gain more experience over fences this season before he arrives at Cheltenham at the back end of the campaign.

Retained stable jockey Rachel Blackmore may have a tough decision to make as to which horses she chooses to rise at Cheltenham next year. She opted for A Plus Tard last March in what must have been a tough call to make.

Unfortunately for racing fans, one of last season’s leading novices, Monkfish, has been ruled out for the season so he will not line up at Cheltenham. Marsh Novices’ Chase winner Chantry House is set to step out of novice company, with the Gold Cup being his target. Nicky Henderson’s runner is expected to be a strong contender.

Two-time winner Al Boum Photo is also likely to be back as he bids to win the race for a third time. Willie Mullins’ runner could only finish third in 2021. Given how strong his record is in the Gold Cup, he cannot be ruled out from having another success.

It should be another strong renewal of the feature race of the Festival on March 18. If Minella Indo can defend his crown, he will prove he is one of the best chasers of his generation.

Regulator Approves Louisiana Downs Sale for this Reason

Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board approved the sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs horse racetrack and casino in Bossier City Thursday and granted FanDuel a fantasy sports gambling license.

The sale of Louisiana Downs by Caesars Entertainment to Rubico Gaming for $16.5 million has been in the works for more than a year.

It will need final approval of the Louisiana Racing Commission during its 10 a.m. Oct. 26 meeting.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said he believes the sale is critical to the future of Louisiana Downs.

“I really believe if this sale didn’t go through Caesars would ultimately close the facility; the company just isn’t interested in operating a horse racetrack,” Johns said.

Louisiana Downs has roughly 12,000 square feet of casino floor space in addition to the expansive horse racing facility.

He said profits from the casino have kept the horse racetrack afloat…

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Sports interest


Premier French Race for Two-year-olds – G1 Critérium de Saint-Cloud

Critérium de Saint-Cloud

The Critérium de Saint-Cloud is a Group One thoroughbred race for two-year-olds, staged at Saint-Cloud over 2000m. The race is the only Group One event at this distance for juveniles in Europe.

Established in 1901, the event was originally run in September over 1400m, before switching to the current journey five seasons later. The race was given Group Two status in 1971 before being promoted to the top tier in 1987. In recent years the most successful winner of the race is Waldgeist (Galileo) – winning by one length in 2016 – a first of four Group One victories. Subsequently he won the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) defeating Enable (Nathaniel) in 2019. Today, he stands at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland for a fee of €17,500.

Horse by Horse Analysis

Unconquerable
Unconquerable has plenty of experience and seemed to enjoy the step up in trip to 2000m when second in the G3 Zetland Stakes at Newmarket (UK). He is yet to win at Group level but the Irish-trained colt is capable of featuring in the closing stages.

Dreamflight
The well-bred Frankel colt out of a Dansili mare was off the mark on his third outing in the G3 Prix Thomas Byron Jockey Club de Turquie (1600m). He made all the running in gutsy style, fending off a couple of well-touted rivals by a short neck. André Fabre raises him in class and distance and is the pick of the home team against multiple overseas challengers.

Stone Age
Yet to win in four starts but proving progressive is Stone Age who ran sixth in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (1400m) on Arc weekend at Longchamp earlier this month. Aidan O’ Brien has plenty of runners, with this Galileo colt an imposing type who may appreciate this extra journey as his dam was a half-sister to G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) winner Bright Sky. He deserves respect.

Garachico
The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained youngster ran out a comfortable maiden winner at Evreux prior to a fair fourth in a Chantilly Group Three over 1800m. He needs to take a step forward with two-and-a-quarter lengths to find over the winner that day, El Bodegon.

Goldspur
The Godolphin-owned Goldspur is unbeaten in both starts including a determined display to put his head in front on the line at Group Three level over this distance at Newmarket. His dam was a Group Two winner who reached the frame in the G1 Prix Vermeille (2400m). This unexposed contender could easily make the jump to this level for his top trainer and rates the one to beat.

Dillian
Michael Bell’s Camelot colt was off the mark in decisive fashion at Pontefract (UK) over this distance on soft ground after a promising debut at Newmarket. He finished behind a subsequent Group Three winner, with the form working out exceptionally well. The youngster will have no trouble if conditions deteriorate and is a fascinating contender.

El Bodegon
The James Ferguson-trained El Bodegon has made an impressive start to his career with two successes, notably when scoring by one-and-a-quarter lengths in the G3 Prix de Conde (1800m) at Chantilly last month. He appreciated the extra distance and soft ground on that occasion. El Bodegan is a brother to Best Solution (Kodiac), who finished runner-up to Waldgeist attempting this contest in 2016 and aims to go one better.

Buckaroo
The thrice-raced Joseph O’Brien contender was a luckless sixth in the G2 Champion Juvenile Stakes (1600m) at Leopardstown (IRE) on third career run. He would need to improve on the bare form of his first couple of starts but is open to progress over this increased journey.

Martel
The Wertheimer Brothers owned Frankel colt made it two from two in a Class Two conditions event at this track over 1600m. There is scope for further progress stepping up to this new trip for André Fabre and holds strong claims. sion will be made next week but that is the plan and most likely it will be the G1 Breeders Cup Turf (2400m).

Tom Rooney, Grandson of Art, Named NTRA President And CEO

Tom Rooney Named NTRA President And CEO; NTRA To Open Washington, DC OfficeNTRA To Open Washington, DC Office

LEXINGTON, Ky., Oct. 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Former US Congressman Thomas J. (Tom) Rooney has been named the successor to Alex Waldrop as the president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), it was announced today by the NTRA Board of Directors. As announced earlier this year, Waldrop will retire at the end of 2021.

A Thoroughbred owner and breeder who hails from one of America’s great sporting families, Rooney has taken an active role for several years in his family’s Shamrock Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding and lay-up operation in Woodbine, Maryland, founded by his grandfather, including serving on the board of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association since 2020.

“It is a great privilege for me to join the NTRA and serve as the organization’s next leader,” said Rooney. “Having been immersed in horse racing my entire life, I know the issues and have a solid understanding of the needs of the industry. Coupled with my ten years serving as a Member of Congress, I know how to get things done in Washington, D.C. and look forward to increasing our advocacy efforts with our nation’s lawmakers. I’m excited to join the team and look forward to working with all our member organizations to move our agenda forward.”

“On behalf of the NTRA Board, I am excited to confirm Tom Rooney’s appointment as the next president and CEO of the NTRA,” said Alan Foreman, Chairman and CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the NTRA Board member who led the NTRA’s transition and search committee. “We are incredibly fortunate to have engaged such a talented and experienced individual as Tom as we position the NTRA to address the challenges facing our industry. I believe Tom’s taking on this position will be a game-changer for the NTRA and the Thoroughbred racing industry. Tom’s track record of experience and leadership will be invaluable as we move forward and as we expand our presence and advocacy on the federal level.”

In conjunction with Rooney’s appointment as president and CEO, the NTRA will conduct a strategic review of the organization and its activities as it places additional focus on its role as the trade association for the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. As such, in the coming months the NTRA plans to open an office in Washington, D.C., where it will focus primarily on federal legislative and policy issues. As part of his appointment, Rooney will also become President of Horse PAC, the NTRA’s political action committee.

Rooney has a deep background in racing and sports. He grew up attending the races in his native Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Florida and Kentucky with family members. Led by his grandfather, Art Rooney, Sr., the Rooney family has been the majority owners and operators of the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers since 1933. Rooney family members also own the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida, owned Yonkers Raceway in New York until 2019, and owned former racetracks Green Mountain in Vermont and Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania.

As a Congressman, Rooney focused on economic, agricultural, national security and military issues. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida from 2009 to 2019. He served on the Committee on Agriculture, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he played a prominent role in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Prior to becoming a member of the House, Rooney served with the U.S. Army as a lawyer in the JAG Corps. During his tenure, he was Special Assistant U.S Attorney at Fort Hood, Texas, prosecuting all civilian crimes on post, and he served in the 1st Cavalry Division. After completing active duty with the rank of captain, Rooney taught constitutional and criminal law at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

He received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and became a member of the Florida Bar in 1999. He also has an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida. Rooney played football for Syracuse University and Washington & Jefferson College, where he earned a B.A. in English Literature.

Rooney resides in Palm Beach County, Florida with his wife, Tara, and three sons, Tommy, Sean and Seamus.

About the NTRA
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; NTRA.com; the Eclipse Awards; the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC); NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC®, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com and social media.

Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar: French Group 1 Sunday and Tarnawa Update

This week, we chat to trainer Dermot Weld about Search For A Song’s participation in the G1 Prix Royal Oak on Sunday, October 24. He also gives us an update on G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up Tarnawa…

She looked to be right back to her best when winning the G3 Loughbrown Stakes (3200m) at the Curragh last month. How has she come out of the race, and do you think she’s in similar form?

Look we were really satisfied with her, and she put up a good performance that day. I’ve been pleased with her ever since to be quite honest with you.

That success was just her second start over the 2mile trip, do you think there could be further improvement to come over this similar staying distance?

I think she’s a pretty adaptable filly.

It looks likely there will be some cut in the ground. Is that of any concern for you or would you say she is fairly versatile?

She’s definitely versatile but I would definitely not want to see any more rain.

You won the G1 Prix Royal Oak (3100m) back in 2001 with a horse called Vinnie Roe. Are there any similar characteristics between the two and how do you think the race has developed over the years?

Yes, there are definitely similar characteristics, and both were very good horses. The pair are very genuine. Vinnie Roe obviously won four G1 Irish St Ledgers (2800m) whilst Search For A Song has won two and both hold their form consistently.

Colin Keane was onboard her for the first time when winning the G3 Loughbrown Stakes (3200m). Is the idea for him to continue that partnership or will regular rider Oisin Orr be back onboard?

Colin Keane rides, Oisin Orr is unfortunately out injured. Colin Keane will ride Search For A Song on Sunday.

Since a few weeks have passed can I just ask how Tarnawa has come out of her brilliant run in the G1 Prix Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) and if a trip to the Breeders Cup remains on her agenda.

Yeah, look we’re pleased with her she was naturally tired post-race, and it took her a week to freshen up but she’s back in full production and in great form. As regards the Breeders Cup, a final deci

Source: French PMU