Gun Runner Wins The 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational, The World’s Richest Thoroughbred Horse Race

Gun Runner 2018 PegasusCelebrities Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, and Ludacris Among the 10,000 Guests to Witness History

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla., Jan. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Stronach Group’s $16 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational was held on Saturday, January 27, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in front of a record… [Read more…]

Racehorse Owner Bill Gallo Swinging for the Stars

pegasus world cup logoAs a relative newcomer to horse racing, Bill Gallo is still learning some of the game’s many nuances. Having recently retired from running one of the world’s largest grain brokerage companies but still with interests in the movie and real estate business, he also knows about seizing an opportunity.

In the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the world’s richest Thoroughbred race to be run Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park, the 69-year-old native New Yorker has found one.

Gallo, a partner with Gulfstream-based trainer Jena Antonucci in Bella Inizio Farm, is one of a dozen stakeholders who put up $1 million for a spot second edition of the Pegasus World Cup, the unique and innovative brainchild of The Stronach Group founder Frank Stronach.

With Antonucci’s guidance, Gallo worked out a deal with owner Solomon Del-Vallee to run multiple graded-stakes winner Gunnevera in his spot. The 4-year-old colt remains in the care of trainer Antonio Sano at Gulfstream Park West.

“I just come to the track to see my horses run. I’m not the kind of guy that will sit there and bet on every race. It’s not me. I just love the experience,” Gallo said. “And what better experience can a guy like me have than getting a slot in the Pegasus World Cup, which I’m not likely to ever give up. I don’t think people really understand what The Stronach Group has done here. This is ingenious.”

Gallo said he was approached last year about purchasing a spot in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, won by champion Arrogate in track-record time. Given his business background, Gallo chose instead to be an interested observer and was eager to join in once he saw the inaugural event’s success.

“In my quest to understand this business, the Pegasus World Cup was presented me in 2016 when they were first talking about the race. I thought about it and decided I didn’t know enough about the business. It’s a pretty big commitment,” Gallo said. “The next time it came around I said to myself, how else can you get involved at the highest level of the industry at an entrance fee that to me is quite reasonable, because you don’t have to have your own horse. You can go and negotiate with someone else, a Grade 1 horse that has a chance of winning.

“I left it up to Jena to find that horse,” he added. “I strongly believe that the image of the Thoroughbred racing industry needs to be improved and the best way to improve it is to go global. This is what they’re attempting to do with the Pegasus World Cup – get the best horses in the world.”

Born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, Gallo said his involvement in racing goes back five or six years, when he was asked by a group of college friends if he wanted to get in on a horse in a partnership that used Antonucci as its trainer. Gallo also had horses in California in partnership with Swag Stables including Mike Man’s Gold, a multiple stakes winner with nearly $300,000 in career purses.

Ultimately, Gallo decided that he wanted to own his own horses which run under the GalloStables banner. For the first time last year he got involved in pinhooking, visiting sales in Ocala, Kentucky and Saratoga Springs buying horses to later sell.

“I’m not the average guy that’s been brought up in the race business. I just got involved a few years ago,” Gallo said. “What I did was I traded grain my entire life. That’s pretty volatile. Physical grain, not futures, moving it on ships all over the world. To me, I view the horse business as a commodity.

“I don’t fall in love with the animal even though I think he’s a magnificent beast. Initially I was brought into the industry to have fun. I can have fun and if you make money at it, you can have a lot more fun,” he added. “That’s exactly why I’m in the industry and I’m looking forward to the years ahead.”

For decades Gallo, who owns homes in New York and Florida, was the senior managing partner and majority owner of Pasternak Baum and Co., an international grain brokerage company that was acquired in 2008 by Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp. Following the purchase, Gallo established Columbia Grain Trading Inc. which he developed into the No. 1 supplier of soybeans to China in the four years prior to his late 2017 retirement.

Gallo is majority owner of Amasia Entertainment, a motion picture production company that produced movies such as 2013’s The Call with Halle Berry and 2016’s Mr. Right with Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. Amasia is run by Gallo’s oldest son Bradley, 40, while 38-year-old Darren operates DWG Management, Gallo’s real estate company.

Gallo’s youngest son, Ross, is a Los Angeles-based actor. All three will be in attendance with Gallo at the Pegasus.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a lot of fun,” Gallo said. “When I had horses out west, I was never there. I was always here. I never saw the horses, and then I started to go to Gulfstream and meet with Jena and visit the stable and watch the horses breeze and I got really into it. I really like it.

“It’s a very interesting business, and it fits with my commodity mentality. It’s a risk and you have to know how to hedge a risk just like we hedge ourselves in the grain business. It’s been fascinating. There’s ways of making money in this industry, you’ve just got to work at it. You’ve got to take the risk,” he added. “That’s what I’m doing here with Pegasus. No risk, no reward.”

2018 Belmont Stakes Festival Tickets on Sale Tomorrow, Jan. 25

Belmont Park horse racingTickets for the 2018 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will go on sale to the public on Thursday, January 25 starting at 10 a.m. via

Source: Belmont Stakes Festival Tickets on Sale Jan. 25

$3,129,357 Jackpot Rainbow Six at Gulfstream Park for 1/24/18

Press Release

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot swelled to $3,129,357.50 for Wednesday’s card at Gulfstream when the popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 35th consecutive program Sunday.

Gulfstream Park grandstand copyright All Star Press 2012Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $16,657.68.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

The carryover jackpot pool going into Sunday’s six-race sequence (Races 6-11) was $2,929,465.31, producing a Rainbow 6 handle of $833,084.

The Rainbow 6 was last solved on Dec. 7, when a lucky ticketholder cashed for a $98,309.32 jackpot payoff.

Who’s Hot: Jose Ortiz rode a pair of winners Sunday, scoring aboard Cash Call Kitten ($4.40) in Race 6 and Ray’s The Bar ($3.20) in Race 8.

Collected Breezes at Santa Anita for 2018 Pegasus World Cup

pegasus world cup logoSpeedway Stable’s 5-year-old, grade 1 winner Collected was sent out by trainer Bob Baffert for a seven-furlong breeze at Santa Anita Park under Mike Smith Jan. 15 in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1).

Source: Collected Breezes at Santa Anita for Pegasus

NYRA Plans Belmont Changes to Target Potential Fans

Belmont Park crowd


Belmont Park Changes on Tap

New York Racing Association officials are ready to move forward with their own renovation plans as they target potential new fans drawn by the development at Belmont Park.

Source: NYRA Plans Belmont Changes to Target Potential Fans

New Owners Plan to Restart Racing at Yavapai Downs

A Phoenix-based ownership group that also includes Kentucky Downs president Corey Johnsen has purchased Yavapai Downs with plans to restart racing at the Prescott Valley, Ariz. track.

Source: New Owners Plan to Restart Racing at Yavapai Downs

Successful 2017 Hawthorne Race Meet

Despite a rain-filled opening two months of the fall thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne and a cancellation of the closing day card due to extreme cold temperatures, both handle and field size saw significant increases as the meet concluded on December 29.

Total daily handle for 36 day fall meet averaged $1,708,081, up 9.17% from the $1,564,655 wagered per racing day in the fall of 2016. While the poor weather led to a slight onsite decrease of 5% from $54,031 per card in 2016 to $51,284 per card this fall, In-state handle rose 3.74%, $105,305 this fall compared to $101,510 in the fall of 2016. Out of state handle on Hawthorne’s races rose 10%, increasing to $1,551,492 this fall versus $1,409,114 wagered per day in the fall of 2016.

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse. Fans at Hawthorne racecourse

Despite being able to contest only 27 races on the turf this fall, compared to 46 in 2016, average field size for the fall meet was 8.49 starters per race up from the average of 7.80 starters per race in 2016.

With the help of grant funds from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2017 fall meet also brought about the return of the stakes schedule. Longshot My Bariley kicked off the stakes season with a late closing score in the return of the Hawthorne Derby on October 28. Prado’s Sweet Ride and Goneghost were winners in the slop in the Illini Princess and Buck’s Boy Handicap respectively on November 4. In the Showtime Deb, trainer Larry Rivelli saddled a winner in Richie’slilwildcat while RIvelli’s Pass the Gravy was the victor in the Sun Power Stakes.

The grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap made its return on November 25 as 2016 Grade 2 Marathon winner Scuba got up in the shadow of the wire to catch Futile. On the Gold Cup day undercard, Shar Ran was the winner of the Powerless Handicap while Goneghost impressed again in winning the Lightning Jet Handicap.

The fall stakes season closed out with Cowgirl Callie just holding on in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante while Pass the Gravy stretched out to win the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.

“This fall meet was about making things simple and doing everything we could to offer a great wagering product for our players,” stated Hawthorne President and General Manager Tim Carey. “Fans want to see full fields and competitive racing and our horsemen were great about filling races at all levels. We make it a point at Hawthorne to avoid racing on top of other tracks, something our players and simulcast partners appreciate as we aim to be a focus for the bettor. Lastly, the support we receive on a daily basis from TVG with racing coverage along with our online partner in Xpressbet have helped bring Hawthorne back to the forefront in racing.”

With the fall thoroughbred meet complete, there is no rest at Hawthorne. Immediately upon the conclusion of the meet, track maintenance crews and staff will be taking to the track to begin the track conversion to a Standardbred surface as Hawthorne is the final remaining track in the United States to race dual breeds over the same oval. 11,000 tons of dirt will be removed along with the Fontana safety rail as the track will be graded to a perfectly even consistency and pylons placed down, all in a 96 hour period in preparation for a January 5 start to the winter harness season.

Source: Press Release

Industry Profile: Jockey Antonio Gallardo

Two seasons ago, Antonio Gallardo rode a 3-year-old first-time starter named Imperial Hint to an eye-opening victory in a 7-furlong Tampa Bay Downs allowance in a sizzling time of 1:22.39. The Luis Carvajal, Jr.-trained Florida-bred colt lowered that time to 1:22.15 in his next start with Gallardo in the irons, the Florida Cup Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore Stakes.

“That is the dream of every jockey every year, to have a nice horse like that,” said Gallardo, who watched Imperial Hint race to a second-place finish in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint last month under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano. “In this game, you stay positive because you can find a good horse anywhere.”

The 30-year-old Spaniard, whose meteoric rise upon moving to the United States resulted in three consecutive riding titles at both Tampa Bay Downs and Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., has shown a knack for winning all kinds of races, including five graded stakes the last two years.

But while Gallardo’s quest to secure another “big horse” continues at full speed, he’s a devoted family man who strives for the right balance between his professional and personal lives.

Gallardo’s early-meeting Oldsmar performance, with 17 victories, has earned him the SenÞor Tequila Mexican Grill Jockey of the Month Award.

When the 2017 season at Presque Isle Downs in western Pennsylvania ended in early October, Gallardo, his wife Polliana and their two children, Carlos, 9, and Christa, almost 4, traveled to his hometown of Jerez in Cadiz, Spain for about a month to visit his relatives.

Gallardo’s ambition to be known as one of the world’s best jockeys hasn’t changed. But the pull of home, both in Spain and Tampa, helps charge his batteries to succeed on the track.

“That (traveling to Spain) helped me a lot. My family is real close, and I was able to have fun with them and forget about the horses for a while,” said Gallardo, who got to visit his parents, his sister, his grandmother and other relatives. “If one of us is crying, everybody is crying, and if one of us is happy, everybody is happy.

“It was good for me mentally and good for my muscles and my bones. If I have a chance to go next year, I’m going again,” he added.

After riding in New York last season, where he finished seventh in the 2017 winter meeting standings at Aqueduct with 19 victories, Gallardo has returned to his home away from Spain on Florida’s west coast.

Gallardo, who finished second in North America in victories in both 2015 and 2016, riding 652 winners during that two-year period, recently bought a home on a farm a few miles from Tampa Bay Downs. The property includes a seven-stall barn, several paddocks and a riding arena.

Gallardo said the reasons he has returned to Tampa Bay Downs are “simple. It’s my home, my family is here and the weather is good. I was making more money in New York, but I wasn’t as happy.

“As a jockey, you risk your life every day. Yes, you have to make money, but you have to have fun and enjoy your family. Money comes and goes, but when time leaves, it never comes back to you.”

Gallardo finished third in the Monmouth Park standings this year with 50 victories. On Dec. 16, he won the inaugural $125,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Marion County Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on 3-year-old gelding Mo Cash with a bold move between rivals on the turn.

Among his five graded-stakes victories is the 2016 Grade II Nashua at Aqueduct on Hemsworth. He also won the $400,000 (ungraded) Poseidon Handicap last winter at Gulfstream on Imperative on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational card and finished fifth on War Story in the $12-million Pegasus.

It appears Gallardo’s next major assignment is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Whoever it happens to be with, the connections can rest assured their jockey will know the way home.


Source: Press Release

Horse Racing and Hockey?

NY Islanders Bid Selected For Belmont Park Development

You may have recently heard … the state of New York has selected a bid by the NHL franchise Islanders to build an 18,000-seat arena on a 43-acre site at Belmont Park.

Source: NY Islanders Bid Selected For Belmont Park Development