Archives for October 2023

NYRA to raise purses for 2024 NY-bred foal crop

by Pat McKenna

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a significant investment in the future of the New York-bred program, paving the way for the 2024 New York-bred foal crop to compete for some of the richest purses of any state-bred program in the nation.

Beginning on January 1, 2026, NY-bred overnight races for 2-year-olds on the NYRA circuit will offer purse amounts matching the race’s open-company counterpart. Accordingly, the 2024 New York-bred foal crop will gain the benefits and financial rewards that will flow from purse parity.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdAt the 2023 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, maiden races restricted to New York-bred 2-year-olds featured a purse of $88,000 compared to a purse of $105,000 offered for 2-year-olds competing in an open-company maiden event.

While this purse increase will impact only the 2024 New York-bred foal crop, NYRA intends to further expand purse parity for additional categories of New York-bred races in the future.

In 2022, NYRA conducted 556 races exclusively for registered New York-breds with purses totaling $42,366,000. Among those races were 56 stakes with $8,725,000 of purse money on offer. NYRA holds three high profile NY-bred showcase days annually, highlighted by New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. In 2023, Saratoga Showcase Day was run on the Sunday of Travers Weekend and featured a whopping 113 NY-breds competing in 11 races, including six stakes worth a combined $1.25 million.

As a result of the partnership between NYRA and FOX Sports, nearly every NY-bred contest is broadcast live to a national audience on the FOX Sports family of networks. Both Saratoga Live and America’s Day at the Races, which are produced by NYRA, have generated sustained ratings growth since they were launched nationally in 2016.

“The New York-bred program is critically important to the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “This new purse structure increases the value of the upcoming foal crop of New York-breds, and reflects NYRA’s commitment to the owners, breeders and trainers who choose to breed and race in New York.”

Beyond the rich purses offered by NYRA, a variety of owner, breeder and stallion awards are available to those who breed and race in New York. These lucrative incentives serve as a significant benefit to thoroughbred breeding farms across the state, which create and sustain thousands of jobs in every corner of New York.

“This initiative is a strong signal to the bloodstock market on why you should breed and foal in New York, and own a New York-bred to race,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB). “New York-breds compete and win at the highest levels, and NYRA’s consistent support guarantees more opportunities than ever for New York State’s breeders and owners.”

New York State has adopted rules that expand the reach of the New York-bred awards and benefits by clarifying a pathway for non-resident mares to gain residency status. According to the rule changes, a non-resident mare purchased in foal through public auction is deemed a resident mare provided the mare is purchased for at least $50,000 in the public auction; is present in the state of New York within 15 days after a sale in North America and 60 days at any public auction sale abroad; the foal is foaled in New York; and the mare thereafter is continuously in residence in New York from within 120 days after her last cover in the year of conception of another foal and remains in residency until foaling.

“It pays to participate in the New York-bred program,” added Thompson. “And bringing a mare back to New York is a valuable proposition, especially for the 2024 foaling season.”

For additional information on resident and non-resident mares and their foals, visit

To support the residency rule, NYRA and The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (NYTBDF) provide up to $650,000 per year in purse bonuses to owners. The bonus offers $5,000 every time a New York-sired New York-bred wins at the maiden special weight or allowance level at NYRA’s tracks.

Source: NYRA

Top European Turf Runner Ace Impact Retired

Unbeaten Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor Ace Impact has been retired to stud.

Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, the three-year-old has enjoyed an exemplary campaign, rising through the ranks from a Cagnes-Sur-Mer all-weather win in January to an electrifying length-and-three-quarters victory in the ParisLongchamp showpiece at the start of this month.

After his initial win in January, Rouget bided his time until sending Ace Impact for a conditions win in April, with a Listed success coming the following month.

Upped to Group One level for the Prix du Jockey Club after that, the son of Cracksman showed his trademark turn of foot to win the French equivalent of the Derby by three and a half lengths from Big Rock.

Read more about Ace Impact

Look for this horse in the company lines of the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Past Performances!

How to Watch the Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita

How to Watch the 2023 Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita

Live Coverage of Nov. 3-4 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park will be featured on NBC, Peacock, USA Network, and FanDuel TV

Here is the broadcast coverage schedule for the 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The two-day championship event will be shown live across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, and FanDuel TV on Friday and Saturday.

Arrogate BC 2016 winners circleThis year’s Breeders’ Cup begins Nov. 3 with Future Stars Friday, featuring all five Breeders’ Cup World Championships races for 2-year-olds. There will be four undercard races preceding the first Breeders’ Cup race on Friday’s 10-race program, with the first race post time at 2:30 p.m. ET.

USA Network and FanDuel TV will both televise the first day of this year’s World Championships. USA Network coverage will take place from 4-8 p.m. ET and will include one undercard race and all five Breeders’ Cup races, concluding with the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at 7:40 p.m. ET. FanDuel TV coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET with the first undercard race and will conclude with undercard Race #10 at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Schedule

Nine Breeders’ Cup races anchor a 12-race card on Saturday, Nov. 4. First post is 1:10 p.m. ET, with two undercard races preceding the first Breeders’ Cup race, which will have a post time of 2:30 p.m. ET.

The USA Network coverage on Saturday is from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET, followed by an extended 3 1/2 hours of live programming on NBC and Peacock from 3:30-7 p.m. ET that will feature five World Championship races, concluding their coverage with the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Post time for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, Race #9, will be 6:40 p.m. ET. The Classic will lead into NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football coverage.

FanDuel TV will also televise the first two undercard races and eight of the nine Breeders’ Cup World Championships races on Saturday. Following the running of the Breeders’ Cup Classic on NBC and Peacock, FanDuel TV will televise the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and will conclude its coverage with a final undercard race with a post time of 8:32 p.m. ET.

This year marks the first time that Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be held after the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The official race order and final post times for the 2023 World Championships will be released on Oct. 25.


Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races through an 80-race series hosted by 11 countries, and the U.S.-based Dirt Dozen Bonus Series. The Breeders’ Cup supports and operates under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which, for the first time, establishes a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack. HISA seeks to enhance the safety of both horse and rider and to protect the integrity of the sport to the benefit of all racing participants, fans, and bettors.

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Grade 1 Championship races, and $31 million in purses and awards, is scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The Championships will return to the West Coast in 2024 with Del Mar in Del Mar, California, set to host Nov. 1-2. The Championships will be televised live by NBC Sports. Press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.

Source: edited press release

Industry Profile: Jockey Ray Sibille Enters LA Sports Hall of Fame

With the first of his 4,264 winners coming on June 29, 1969 at Evangeline Downs in his native Louisiana, the highlight of jockey Ray Sibille’s 35-year career came on Nov. 5, 1988, when he guided a 5-year-old gelding named Great Communicator to a gutty half length victory over a course softened by rain in the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs. While that was undoubtedly the highlight of his career, Sibille experienced a once-in-a-lifetime thrill off the track when it was announced Wednesday that he would be inducted into the prestigious Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2024 in June.

“You know, to these guys down here, going into the Louisiana Hall of Fame is better than the Saratoga Hall of Fame,” quipped Sibille, who rode full-time in Southern California from 1981 prior to shifting his tack to Northern California in 1992. “I stayed out of trouble, for the most part and now, looking back on my career, it’s a really good feeling knowing that you accomplished a lot and treated people right.

“When I first started out, every young jockey was under contract and you learned the fundamentals of horsemanship. A trainer named Buster Leger had my contract and boy, you had to work. No goin straight home after you galloped some horses. You had to groom ‘em, do the bandages, take care of their feet, do everything. And then, if we were running at night, you ponied horses to the gate.

Jockey Chris Emigh still hoping racing at Arlington can be savedI had an agent named Jimmy Daigrepont. We went to Chicago and right away at Arlington, I was third-leading rider and I thought, ‘Man, this is pretty good.’ We were together there about nine years and he did a great job. I was leading rider a few times at all three tracks, Arlington, Sportsman’s and at Hawthorne.”

In 1981, Sibille followed his lifetime friend, Eddie Delahoussaye, to Southern California in the fall of 1981 with legendary trainer “King” Richard Hazelton.

“Eddie and me were together from the time I was 14. He started riding full time out there in 1978 and I came out with Richard just to ride the Orange County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos,” Sibille recalled. “Well, Richard went back home at the end of the meet and I stayed.”

Indeed he did, becoming a fixture in a Santa Anita/Hollywood Park and Del Mar Jockeys’ Room that at the time, included the likes of Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Eddie Delahoussaye, Chris McCarron, Sandy Hawley, Fernando Toro, Patrick Valenzuela and others.

Regarding his biggest moment on the track, Great Communicator’s win in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Turf, run at a mile and one half over a grass course listed as “good,” Sibille fondly recalls the entire day, including a college football result.

“I didn’t really realize the magnitude of that race until I got the (Breeders’ Cup) ring, that’s when it really sunk in,” said Sibille, who currently works as an association clocker at Evangeline Downs, which is 12 miles from his place of birth and current home in Sunset, LA. “The other thing about that day is, I was in the jocks’ room all day and I was watching LSU and Alabama.

“I went out and rode the race (which went off at 5 p.m. ET) and did all the interviews after the race, with about 20 reporters. Then I got back in jocks’ room just in time to see LSU kick the game-winning field goal. We hadn’t beat Alabama in about 20 years, so that was the icing on the cake.

“And then the most amazing thing about that day was when I walked out of the interview room right behind the paddock at Churchill Downs. When I walked out into the paddock, I said ‘It’s dark!’ And they still had five minutes to the Classic with Alysheba. ‘How they gonna run this race, it’s dark?’ Well, they did, and Alysheba won it.”

Trained by fellow Cajun Thad Ackel, Great Communicator was a Kentucky-bred by Key to the Kingdom. With Sibille up, he had a sensational year throughout 1988, winning not only the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but prior to that the San Luis Obisbo, San Marcos and San Juan Capistrano Handicaps at Santa Anita and the Hollywood Turf Cup across town at Hollywood Park.

So, what in Ray Sibille’s opinion does a jockey need, besides good horses, to have a long, successful career?

“Well, back when we first started, we raced six days a week and took Sundays off,” he said. “So, we’d stay out all night on Saturday and sleep all day Sunday. But I’ll say this, the last 15 years I rode, I worked out a lot and I took care of myself really good…Didn’t drink near as much. And I guess that’s what kept me around for so long…I got a whole lot smarter and if you’re going to have a long career, you gotta make those adjustments.”

A winner of the 2005 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, Ray Sibille, who was born Sept. 13, 1952, will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in late June along with several other Louisiana legends including Drew Brees, who quarterbacked the New Orleans Saints to victory in the 2010 Super Bowl.

–Mike Willman, source: