Japanese Invader a Major Threat in 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL.–The new $7 million GI Pegasus World Cup Turf S. has attracted a diverse international array of runners and Japanese invader Aerolithe (Jpn) (Kurofune) may be one of the most intriguing of the group as a relatively unknown commodity on these shores.

A three-time group stakes winner in Japan, including the 2017 G1 NHK Mile, the 5-year-old mare has never raced outside her native land. Aerolithe’s journey took a total of 21 hours and 25 minutes, traveling from Tokyo to South Korea to Anchorage to Miami.
When asked how the mare handled the long ship and her new surroundings at Gulfstream, Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative and translator for the Japan Racing Association, said. “Absolutely fabulous! She has never traveled this far. She has never traveled internationally, so we weren’t sure how she was going to handle it, but she was a natural.”
Owner Sunday Racing Co. and trainer Takanori Kikuzawa had originally intended to run Aerolithe in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 3, but travel issues derailed those plans.

“The connections had been targeting the Breeder’s Cup Mile and once [The Stronach Group] announced the fact they were going to have this [Pegasus Turf race], they were actually thinking about racing her in both,” Hunter said. “Then airplane trouble happened and they weren’t able to get her to the Breeders’ Cup, but they kept this in mind. We were able to get the airplane sorted this time.”
In her previous races in Japan, Aerolithe has run both clockwise and counter-clockwise, but her team feels counter-clockwise is her preferred direction, making her well-suited for American racing.

Yoshida Gets Favorite’s Role in Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ Yoshida, already a rare Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt, returns to the grass in search of his biggest payday yet in the inaugural $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park.

The debut of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the third running of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) – the richest races on either surface in North America – comprise the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $17.125 million in purses.

First race post time is 11:30 a.m. EST. Post time for the Pegasus Turf is 4:50 p.m. EST. The race will be shown during NBC’s live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Yoshida was assigned Post 2 and installed as the 5-2 program favorite among 10 older horses entered during Tuesday morning’s post-position draw in Frankey’s Sports Bar at Gulfstream. The field features nine group or graded-stakes winners, including Yoshida’s Hall of Famer Bill Mott-trained stablemate Channel Maker.

A 5-year-old Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry, Yoshida made the first 10 starts of his career on the turf, including a trip abroad where he finished fifth by 1 ¼ lengths in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) last June at Royal Ascot. He ran first or second in seven of those grass races, four of them wins, topped by the Turf Classic (G1) on the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard in his 2018 debut.

Yoshida, who trains regularly over the dirt, was given his first shot on the main track in the historic Woodward (G1) at Saratoga in September, and he responded with an impressive come-from-behind two-length triumph. In his last start, he again came from well back to be fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 3 behind likely Pegasus World Cup favorite and 2018 Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate.

Since the same connections also own 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner and Pegasus World Cup contender Audible, they decided to put Yoshida – out of the Canadian Frontier mare Hilda’s Passion – back on grass for the Pegasus Turf.

“He’s got a pedigree that would probably lend itself to turf or dirt. On the top side, maybe a little turf and dirt. The bottom side, his mother was a Grade 1 winner at the sprint distances … so he’s got a pedigree for both and he’s one of the odd horses that has transitioned from one to the other,” Mott said. “It’s probably debatable whether his dirt races are better than his turf races, and they may well be, but he’s a horse that won very nicely for us in the spring last year on the turf. He’s run with good company, and we weighed our options here and thought that maybe the turf was the spot to go this time.”

Following the Breeders’ Cup, Yoshida joined Mott’s winter string at Payson Park in Florida, where he shows six works over its main track since mid-December. Jose Ortiz, up in the Joe Hirsch and Breeders’ Cup, is named to ride back in the Pegasus Turf.

“We gave him a little bit of a break … when he came out of the Breeders’ Cup, but we kept him … jogging and training easily,” Mott said. “We made the decision to run in the Pegasus, so we started cranking him up and he’s done very well since then. He seems like since every work he’s picked up in condition and seems to be feeling very good with himself.”

Channel Maker on Mark

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Channel Maker exits an off-the-board finish over a soft course in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) Nov. 3. The 5-year-old son of grass champion English Channel won two of eight starts last year, dead-heating with Eclipse Award male turf finalist Glorious Empire in the Bowling Green (G2) and romping by 4 ½ lengths in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) in September.

“He’s very good. He had been in really great form during Saratoga and Belmont. He won a ‘Win and You’re In’ when he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and we ran in the Breeders’ Cup Turf going a mile and a half. Very soggy turf that day, a lot more pace than maybe he had had when he won the Joe Hirsch,” Mott said. “We made the decision collectively to have him in the race that day and I think by doing that we kind of forced his hand a little too much and the turf was very soft and it just worked against him.

“He’s not a horse that has to be in front or up on the pace, it just happened that he won the Joe Hirsch so that was freshly in our mind when he went into the Breeders’ Cup. It wasn’t the day to have him up on the pace,” he added. “He’s a horse that’s not really one-dimensional by any means. It looks like the Pegasus is going to have some pace in it, so in that particular instance I don’t think we have to push him up toward the lead early in the race.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Channel Maker (12-1) from Post 3.

Before he attempts to win the Pegasus World Cup with Accelerate, trainer John Sadler will send out Woodford Racing’s Catapult in the Pegasus Turf, second choice on the morning line at 7-2. The 6-year-old son of turf champion and prolific sire Kitten’s Joy won the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read (G2) and Del Mar Mile (G2) prior to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), where he was second by a half-length to Eclipse Award finalist Expert Eye.

“I think he’s better than he was last year. He had a little foot issue after the Del Mar Mile and we trained him right into the Breeders’ Cup, but he’s been perfect out of the Breeders’ Cup. I think he’s in tip-top shape,” Sadler said. “His record is so good. He won both those stakes at Del Mar, [and was] almost kind of an unlucky loser … in the Breeders’ Cup Mile so his record is very, very good. They might look at the distance, but he won the Eddie Read at a mile and an eighth and he’s a big, strong horse. He won’t have any problem with the distance.”

Catapult will break from Post 9 with Joel Rosario aboard.

Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar, a 5-year-old son of late six-time Group 1 winner Giant’s Causeway, will be making just his eighth career start in the Pegasus Turf. He is undefeated in two tries over Gulfstream’s turf, breaking his maiden at first asking in February 2017 and returning from a 14 ½-month break between races to capture a one-mile optional claiming allowance Dec. 22.

Bricks and Mortar won each of his first four career starts including Manila Stakes and National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (G2) in 2017, the latter by three-quarters of a length over Yoshida. Bricks and Mortar was third in his final two starts at 3, a half-length behind runner-up Yoshida in the Saranac (G3) and by a total of three-quarters of a length in the Hill Prince (G3), won by Yoshida.

“He’s a horse that always showed a lot of promise as a 3-year-old and unfortunately had some injuries and needed a long time away from racing,” trainer Chad Brown said. “We were able to get him back in time to have a real productive allowance race, and he seems ready to move forward. It’s a big jump to go right into a Grade 1 like this, but he’s a horse that’s doing well and he’s got that race under his belt. He’s fit and we’re happy to have a horse to participate.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., favored to earn his first Eclipse Award as champion jockey during Thursday’s ceremony at Gulfstream, will ride Bricks and Mortar (5-1) from Post 7.

Sunday Racing Co. Ltd’s Aerolithe, a Group 1 winner from Japan, and Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s European Group 2 winner Magic Wand lend international intrigue to the Pegasus Turf. Both are females facing males, with Irish-bred Magic Wand having one previous North American start when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) Nov. 3. Irish jockey Wayne Lordan has the call from Post 1.

Aerolithe will be racing for the first time outside her native country. She has been first or second in nine of 13 lifetime starts, four of them wins, including victories over males in the 2017 NHK Mile Cup (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) last October.

Florent Geroux, winner of the 2018 Pegasus with Horse of the Year Gun Runner, will be aboard from Post 4.

“She’s never shied away from the boys, and she always runs really well,” trainer Takanori Kikuzawa said through interpreter Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative for the Japan Racing Association. “She’s got a very strong personality and likes the competition, so she’s in a good spot mentally, as well. This filly has got a lot of speed and, if you look at some of her previous races, she can really go to the front. If we get a good start we plan on going forward and hopefully staying there.”

Frankie Dettori Has a Mount

Stronach Stables’ homebred Delta Prince will be making his 6-year-old debut in the Pegasus Turf. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the 6-year-old son of Street Cry has been worse than third just once in 11 lifetime starts, when fourth in the Woodbine Mile (G1) Sept. 15.

Winner of the King Edward (G2) over Woodbine’s turf last summer and second by a neck in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga, both at one mile, Delta Prince returns to the grass after finishing third in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler (G3) over Aqueduct’s main track Nov. 2.

“We’re taking a little bit of a shot. He’s running further than he ever has in his life but he’s bred to go the route. The furthest I ever had him in was in a race going a mile and an eighth, the Knickerbocker, and we ended up having to scratch. I think as long as he rates kindly enough and gets a decent enough trip, he’ll get the distance,” Jerkens said. “The other day I gave him nice, easy mile around two turns just to see and make sure he didn’t turn the other way and get a little bit on the rank side because of it, and he didn’t. He rated like a baby and he finished up nice so I was really happy with it.”

Internationally acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori has the call on Delta Prince (15-1) from Post 8.

Mike and Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Christopher Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor’s Next Shares enters the Pegasus Turf having won three of his last four starts, the most recent a gutsy nose triumph in the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel (G2) Jan. 5 at Santa Anita. An impressive 3 ¼-length winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in October at Keeneland, he was in contention before fading to 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile to cap 2018.

“She’s never shied away from the boys, and she always runs really well,” trainer Takanori Kikuzawa said through interpreter Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative for the Japan Racing Association. “She’s got a very strong personality and likes the competition, so she’s in a good spot mentally, as well. This filly has got a lot of speed and, if you look at some of her previous races, she can really go to the front. If we get a good start we plan on going forward and hopefully staying there.”

“There was so much rain that day, and he drew inside, and it was really bad. The inside part of the turf was really boggy, and he got covered up and just spun his wheels. Those are the best horses in the world, obviously, and they ran a mile in 1:38 so that tells you how soft the turf was,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “That being said, he was doing great going into that race.

“He’s just getting good. He’s a gelding, so I think he’s probably just coming into his own. He seems like a very happy horse,” he added. “He’s just been in good form. He ran a big race again, and he came back really good. I walked him from the track [the other] morning and he was coming out of his skin. He’s happy.”

Next Shares (15-1) will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from Post 5.

Bran Jam Stable and David W. Clark’s Fahan Mura punched his ticket to the Pegasus Turf with a front-running three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Robert J. Frankel (G3) Dec. 29 at Santa Anita. Also by English Channel, the 5-year-old former claimer is the most experienced runner in the field with 23 starts, nine of them wins. Regular rider Edwin Maldonado returns in the irons from Post 6.

“I think when Edwin Maldonado started riding her, he just let her loose on the front end and she maintained her speed and just got more and more confident and was just able to beat better and better horses,” trainer Vladimir Cerin said. “She only went over a mile and an eighth once, and I think the longer the distances are the more relaxed the pace is and she may be able to maintain a greater advantage for a little longer. I think she has a pretty good chance.”

Rounding out the field is Ron Paolucci Racing’s Dubby Dubbie. The gelded 4-year-old son of 2010 Florida Derby winner Ice Box most recently won a second level optional claiming allowance going 1 1/8 miles over a yielding Churchill Downs course Nov. 23, and ran third in the American Derby (G3) last summer. Luca Panici has the mount from outside Post 10.

Industry Profile: Chuck Fipke Mining for Success in 2019 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Seeking the Soul figures to be a price at the betting windows when the Grade 1-winning 6-year-old horse competes in Gulfstream Park’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1). But owner-breeder Charles “Chuck” Fipke has made a career out of long shots. Actually two careers.

Fipke, who grew up dirt poor in British Columbia in Western Canada, became a multi-millionaire by literally finding diamonds in the rough throughout the world as a geologist and prospector. For the past quarter-century, he has done the same in racing and breeding thoroughbreds.

Seeking the Soul — winner of Churchill Downs’ Clark Handicap (G1) in 2017, most recently second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and fifth in last year’s Pegasus — is a good example. He is a son of Perfect Soul, the Fipke homebred who gave the breeder his first American Grade 1 triumph in the 2003 Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile in a still-standing course record 1:33.54. Perfect Soul sired Fipke’s first Breeders’ Cup winner in Perfect Shirl, the 2011 Filly & Mare Turf heroine at 27-1 odds, and Golden Soul, second in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) at 34-1.

For Fipke, the thrill …

Pegasus World Cup 2019: Post-Position Draw Quotes

“We’re happy with that. I always like saving ground, especially on the turf, and we’ll go from there. I always like to be the favorite, because it feels like you’re in the right spot if you’re the favorite. ~ Elliott Walden on Yoshida’s draw.

Trainer John Sadler (Accelerate, PP #5, 9-5): “It’s a good post. We didn’t want to be on the outside and we didn’t want to be on the inside. We were hoping for 5 or 6, so we’re very happy with the draw. He has a style that doesn’t get in trouble, typically. Hopefully, he

Gun Runner 2018 Pegasus

gets away good and gets a good trip from there.”

Trainer Mike McCarthy (City of Light, PP #3, 5-2): “I’m very pleased to be drawn into the three-hole. It got down to the wire there with the three or the 12, so we were obviously very grateful to have the three-hole. He’s a horse that carries his speed a long way, so hopefully we get a nice, clean break and find ourselves in a good position going into the first turn and turning up the backside.”

“Very pleased with the way he’s settled in. I was happy with the way he got over the racetrack Saturday morning. I thought his work was dynamite. He came out of it well and seems to be enjoying himself here. I don’t know if a horse could have come into a race better than he did coming into the Breeders’ Cup. Obviously, 10 or 11 weeks between races certainly seems to me like he is holding his form. Very pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”

Trainer Antonio Sano (Gunnevera, PP #8, 8-1): “I like the post. He’s not outside or inside. He’s close to the middle, so it’s good. The horse comes from the back, so we hope to have a good pace.”

Co-Owner Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm (Audible, PP #10, 10-1): “It’s not ideal, but it’s not a killer, either. Gun Runner won out of it last year. I think it’s fine. I didn’t really want the 12 but, other than that, everything else seems to be OK. A little further out than we wanted, but there’s some pluses to that, as well. You get a clean break and he’s tactical, so we’ll see where he puts himself and go from there.”

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas (Bravazo, PP #1, 12-1): “We have to take care of the things we can control and that’s something we can’t control, so we just leave it alone. Here, I think with this field and everything, the way it shook out I don’t think it’s all that bad. It’s a short run to the turn. We’ve got good gate speed. I don’t know that it’s that big a disadvantage. Normally, I wouldn’t like it. I wouldn’t like it in the Derby or the Preakness or a race like that, but it might not fit too badly here.”

Trainer Jose Corrales (Something Awesome, PP #2, 20-1): “I think it’s OK. You wish to be in the middle, but it’s very difficult to get what you want. It’s not the best position that you can get at that distance, but I go in with a rider that’s won all kinds of races. When you have a rider like him, he knows what to do. They have to break and they have enough time before the first turn to make a decision where he wants to be. He’s a horse that you can put anywhere. I think he’s going to perform well. I go in with a good feeling that they have to run to beat him, because he’s going to compete. It’s not easy, but if everything was easy everybody would win the Pegasus.”

Owner Ron Paolucci (Imperative, PP #11, 30-1): “Most people wouldn’t be happy with 11, but I was happy with 11. Imperative is not a horse that likes to be down inside or in between horses. Every race that he has ever run that is a big race, he’s been outside of horses. I was worried with as much speed in the race if he drew inside they would come down on him with the quick run to the first turn. We got three horses that don’t have a lot of speed directly inside of us and a fast horse on the outside of us. I think that will allow us to come out and set our own tempo and maybe lay fifth or sixth, right off the speed. We should get a clean trip from out there.”

Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Post-Position Draw Quotes

Co-Owner Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm (Yoshida, PP #2, 5-2): “We’re happy with that. I always like saving ground, especially on the turf, and we’ll go from there. I always like to be the favorite, because it feels like you’re in the right spot if you’re the favorite. It doesn’t mean he’s going to win but it means he’s in with a big chance. I think he’s training extremely well. Couldn’t be happier with the way he’s done since the Breeders’ Cup. He’s so versatile, he runs on the dirt and runs on the turf. That’s a real plus for him.”

Trainer John Sadler (Catapult, PP #9, 7-2): “Catapult drew on the outside, but that’s not a bad draw from him. He’s a turf horse at a long distance that settles and then puts his run in.”

Trainer Takanori Kikuzawa, through interpreter Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative for the Japan Racing Association (Aerolithe, PP #4, 8-1): “Since Yoshida and Magic Wand are on the inside of her, the post-position will be good because she’s on the outside of them. She’ll go forward more likely at the beginning of the race, so I’m very happy with the post position.”

Co-owner Michael Iavarone (Next Shares, PP #5, 15-1): “I think it is great. I don’t think it was that incredibly important to us. I didn’t want to be all the way on the outside. But I think it ended up being really, really good. Speed is outside of us, so I don’t think we are going to be trapped on the rail.”

Owner Ron Paolucci (Dubby Dubbie, PP #10, 30-1): “I love the post. The filly coming from California [Fahan Mura] is very fast. My horse has blinkers and he’s a little keyed up sometimes and if a horse was to go by him on the outside and come over, he might try to go after him. Whereas with this post we can kind of relax and let [Fahan Mara] do her thing and act like she isn’t in the race.”

Source: Click here to view original web page at www.gulfstreampark.com

Industry Profile: A sibling rivalry. How Ortiz brothers took horse racing by storm

Angel Cordero Jr. was playing dominoes inside the jockey’s room at Gulfstream Park one afternoon recently, killing time during the races, when he was asked for his opinion on racing’s two new riding hotshots, brothers Irad Ortiz Jr. and Jose Ortiz. Cordero once ruled the sport, a fierce rider …

And it’s why Cordero is often asked to compare the two.

“People always ask me the same question: Who is better?” Cordero said, turning a domino over and over in his fingers. “The only answer I can give is this: Flip a coin. I can’t separate them.”

Cordero isn’t alone.

While neither Ortiz has yet to win a Kentucky Derby, most figure it’s only a matter of time. They’ve won just about everything else at an age when most riders haven’t yet reached they prime.

Breeders’ Cup victories? Check and check for Irad and Jose.

The Belmont Stakes, final leg of the Triple Crown? Check and check again.

Pegasus Cup 2019: Big Brown’s Owner is Back in the Game

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After watching a Santa Anita turf stakes on New Year’s Day, 2018, Michael Iavarone got the itch again.

And he’s soothed it in a big way with the purchase of Next Shares, who will start in the inaugural running of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

One of the principles of the IEAH Stables syndicate that campaigned 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and a slew of other Grade 1 winners, Iavarone was out of the horse ownership for five years following IEAH’s financial implosion. He was dabbling into re-entry when he saw a horse close from well back to finish second in a $100,000 stakes over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Iavarone immediately called his friend Nick Sallusto, the bloodstock agent who helped IEAH buy many of its stars, including Big Brown. With Next Shares a 6-year-old gelding with no breeding future, Iavarone was simply looking for a good horse who could run in good races. His owners had the same idea, having just purchased Next Shares for $190,000 at Keeneland’s 2017 November sale after the horse had won an Aqueduct allowance race.

“He hadn’t run in a while, and I saw he’d changed ownership and trainers,” Iavarone said. “This horse is kind of a big heavy horse. He closed just unbelievably fast, ran some really fast fractions. I said ‘Wow, this horse is really eager. I think if they can get this horse to go a little more ground that they’ve got something.’”

Iavarone and his wife, Jules, bought 50-percent interest in Next Shares last March not long after the horse finished a close second in Santa Anita’s Frank Kilroe Mile (G1)…

KY Derby Stepping Stone: War of Will has no problem with Lecomte’s fast track

NEW ORLEANS – It’s says in some weathered chapter of the horseman’s manual that you can get away with running a turf horse on a sloppy track, and when War of Will, who is turf-bred and made his first four starts on turf, won his dirt debut Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, he did so on a sloppy track.

But what we apparently have here is not a turf horse who managed a wet-track win, but a natural dirt horse originally miscast as a grass horse.

For as good as War of Will looked beating maidens in the Churchill slop, he looked even better winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes over a Fair Grounds main track rated fast.

War of Will, a barely controlled bundle of energy stalking the pace wide down the backstretch under Tyler Gaffalione, inhaled Manny Wah at the top of the stretch and ran off to a four-length win in the Lecomte. The performance was visually impressive and pretty good on the clock, War of Will stopping the timer in 1:43.44 for the one mile and 70 yards. That was nearly two seconds faster than Needs Supervision’s winning time in the Silverbulletday Stakes over the same distance one race earlier.

Asked how War of Will traveled on the fast track early Saturday evening compared to the sloppy Churchill going, jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, “He was better, really.”   Read more…

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Ohio

Mahoning Valley Racecourse concluded its Fall Meet and 2018 calendar season and did so with yet another annual increase in wagering. Since its launch in 2014, the young racetrack in Austintown, Ohio, has seen handle increases each calendar year since opening its doors. All told, wagering volume on the Mahoning product for 2018 increased 10.6% compared to the prior year.

“We are extremely proud to announce yet another increase in handle and both the state of Ohio and Ohio horsemen should also take pride in this accomplishment,” said Vice President of Racing Mark Loewe. “It’s incredibly exciting to see our team, from Racing Secretary Ed Vomacka, his racing office crew, valets, gate crew, and all operate at such a high level year after year. It takes a team effort and we have one heck of a team.”

For the Fall Meet, jockey Luis M. Quinones captured his first riding title at Mahoning Valley, piloting 31 of his 189 mounts to the winner’s circle. Quinones also finished third nationally in 2018 with 281 wins.

“He’s such a hard worker,” said Quinones’ agent Billy Johnson. “He’s out there every morning working hard. He drives from track to track without complaint. I don’t know how he does it, but his work ethic and obvious talent make it a pleasure to work with him.”

While Quinones notched his first riding title, it was more business as usual in the trainer’s standings as Jeff Radosevich collected yet another training title. For the Ohio-based Radosevich, there’s little better than winning another training title on his longtime stomping grounds.

“I have great owners. Obviously, I couldn’t have done any of this without their continued and unwavering support. I love Ohio. Mahoning Valley gives me an opportunity to race year-round from my home. Thank you Mahoning Valley!”

Mahoning Valley held its signature event – the $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint – on November 19 and the marquee race of the meet didn’t disappoint as Trigger Warning won an epic stretch duel with Bobby’s Wicked One. Trained by Mike Rone, Trigger Warning was put on the lead early under Irwin Rosendo and then engaged in a fierce battle with the runner-up from the top of the stretch to the wire and was made the winner after Tyler Gaffalione’s claim of foul was not allowed. In the $75,000 Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Distaff on the Steel Valley Sprint undercard, the gray mare Puntsville was able to hold off a late charge from Lake Ponchatrain to score her 13th victory in 25 career outings.

While she did not take part in any of the unrestricted stakes Mahoning offered during the Fall Meet, Leona’s Reward was tabbed the horse of the meet after dominating Ohio-breds in her three starts in restricted stakes events. Trained by Tim Hamm, Leona’s Reqard romped by eight-lengths over Ohio-bred fillies and mares in the Ohio Debutante Handicap on November 3 and followed that up with a win against the boys in the Ruff/Kirchberg Memorial two weeks later. In her final start of the meet, the daughter of Parents’ Reward returned to face fillies and mares in the Bobbie Bricker and again cruised to a seven-length score. All told, Leona’s Reward banked a total of $135,000 during the Fall Meet for her owners Blazing Meadows Farm LLC and Michael Friedman.

2018 Mahoning Valley Fall Jockey Standings (final)
Rank Jockey Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 Luis M. Quinones 189 31 19 16
2 T. D. Houghton 163 25 24 17
3 Christian P. Pilares 122 24 15 22
4 Luis Raul Rivera 120 23 13 17
5 Luis H. Colon 60 22 7 9

2018 Mahoning Valley Fall Trainer Standings (final)
Rank Trainer Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 Jeffrey A. Radosevich 108 30 14 4
2 Robert M. Gorham 99 21 15 11
3 Gary L. Johnson 86 17 9 8
4 Jay P. Bernardini 60 13 8 10
5 Rodney Faulkner 102 12 9 8

Source: Press Release

Monmouth Park waiting on multimillion-dollar subsidy for horse racing

New Jersey has brought in over $1 billion in revenue in sports betting since it was made legal last year.

Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport alone made millions – but the owners say that they need more revenue to survive.

They are banking on a subsidy from the state to contribute to racing purses. The $20 million subsidy has been approved in the state Legislature. But now the horse racing industry is waiting for lawmakers to vote on it.

Monmouth Park officials say the subsidy is important for scheduling. A higher purse means better talent coming to race.

Officials say they are used to waiting. They are forced to make changes every year to benefit races, including the date of the Haskell Invitational – one of horse racing’s most well-known races.

KY Derby Stepping Stone: Win Win Win is Impressive


Win Win Win speeds home in Pasco, setting a track record as the first horse in Oldsmar history to better 1:21 for 7 furlongs; Molto Bella shakes off early speed duel to dominate Gasparilla foes; Tapa Tapa Tapa pretty as a picture in Wayward Lass; Dennis Scott, Jim Tipps finish 1-2 in “High Rollers Handicapping Contest.”

Michael Trombetta, the trainer of 3-year-old colt Win Win Win, had a helpless feeling after Gladiator King broke through the gate as the field for the $125,000 Pasco Stakes was being loaded, delaying the start.

But a horse with the kind of talent Win Win Win displayed in setting a 7-furlong track record has a way of making his connections feel like they’re just along for the ride, anyway.

After breaking slowly from the No. 2 post, Win Win Win was taken in hand for the first part of the race before jockey Julian Pimentel launched his bid from the outside at the ¼-mile pole. Win Win Win surged past Gladiator King and Overdeliver, speeding to a seven-and-a-quarter length victory in track and stakes-record time of 1:20.89.