Secretariat Owner Penny Chenery has died at age 95

The Great Secretariat

The Great Secretariat. Photo by Rich Nilsen

Penny Chenery, who bred and raced 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat as well as realizing her disabled father’s dream to win the Kentucky Derby in 1972 with Riva Ridge, has died. She was 95. Louisville Business First news partner WHAS-TV reports …

Source: Secretariat owner Penny Chenery dies at 95

Century Downs Racetrack and Casino Named as one of 15 Can’t-Miss Adventures in Calgary

Century Casino logoCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 11, 2017 /CNW/ — Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market®: CNTY) announced today that Tourism Calgary named Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in North Calgary, Alberta, Canada as one of 15 Can’t-Miss Adventures for the Ultimate Sports Weekend in Calgary.

Tourism Calgary with it’s website is Calgary’s official destination marketing organization,… [Read more…]

Apprentice Jock Caroline Quast Gaining a Reputation for Longshot Winners

Three jumps from the wire in Friday’s first race, jockey Caroline Quast looked like she had her third victory out of five mounts at Ellis Park. She wound up third, losing by less than three-quarters of a length. But what the heck? The Oklahoma-bred OU Make Me Happy was 45-1 and by far the longest shot in the field.

Source: Apprentice Quast Gaining A Reputation For Longshot Winners At Ellis

Thoroughbred Horse breeding in Minnesota is a High-risk, High-reward Business

“They’re all Kentucky Derby contenders,” Rake said, “until you find out they’re not.”

On the seventh day of his vigil, Scott Rake hovered over his laptop and rubbed his bleary eyes. His mare, Peaceful Sky, should have given birth by now — and with her pregnancy at 340 days and counting, he was trying his best not to worry. Rake, his wife, Angie, and farm manager Heather Haagenson began… [Read more…]

Maryland’s Ben’s Cat was Something Very Special

Delaware Park walking ring, horses. June 2013. Photo by Art Parker for

copyright Art Parker &

Through his eight-year racing career, Ben’s Cat developed a cult-like following among thoroughbred horse racing fans in the mid-Atlantic region. It got to the point that it was an event when Ben’s Cat ran. His admirers traveled to watch him in the …

Source: HORSE RACING: Ben’s Cat was something very special

Saratoga’s All-time Greatest Horse Racing Fan

copyright AGameofSkill.comSARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Born down the street from the Saratoga Racecourse, Louisa Foye, also known as “Weezie,” would wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the horses work out. “Easy to fall in love and I fell hard and fast at young age,” …

Source: Saratoga’s all-time greatest horse racing fan

Winner of 26 Stakes, Ben’s Cat Was Incredible

Press Release

Wearing a bright orange shirt and helmet cover, Elizabeth Eckert went about her business as an exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury Wednesday morning with a heavy heart.

It was only the evening before that Eckert, working for Leatherbury at Laurel Park since December, had heard the news about Ben’s Cat, the recently retired Mid-Atlantic legend who was euthanized as a result of complications from colic surgery at the age of 11.

She drove to work in her dark blue 1992 Chevrolet Z-28 adorned with tributes to Ben’s Cat. “R.I.P. Big Ben” was written across her windshield. Her side windows read, “The Cat!” while on the back window she wrote, “The Beast from the East. Rest Easy.”

Naturally, the lettering was done in orange to match the silks of Leatherbury’s The Jim Stable, for whom Ben’s Cat ran his entire 63-race career that included 32 wins, 26 stakes wins, and more than $2.6 million in purse earnings.

“Ben was an incredible horse. I was honored to ride him,” Eckert said. “He taught me how to better listen to my horses underneath me. To hear what was going on [with him] broke my heart. Even though I only knew him a short time I loved him like I knew him my whole life.

“The Leatherbury team took great care of him when he was here, and I gave him all my effort every ride,” she added. “I am happy to stand here today and say I was able to ride the beast of the east, Maryland’s great Ben’s Cat.”

“At the Preakness this year, Todd Pletcher said to me that other than the horses he trains himself, of course, Ben was his favorite horse of all time,” Trainer King Leatherbury said.

Leatherbury, 84, bred, owned and trained Ben’s Cat, retiring him on June 27 just three days after finishing ninth by 4 ½ lengths in the Mister Diz – a stakes the gelded son of Parker’s Storm Cat had won six straight years from 2010-15. He was sent to the Versailles, Ky. farm of Bayne and Christina Welker June 28 but developed colic that required surgery July 6 at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, where he was euthanized July 18 due to post-operative complications.

“I was devastated. We thought he was going to be all right,” Leatherbury said. “I thought he’d pull through, being Ben’s Cat. He’s used to winning, you know? To get that call saying he had gotten worse and they had to put him down, it broke my heart. I thought he would do it.

“It was a tragic ending to a magnificent horse,” he added. “Many times in a race I didn’t think he’d win and then he got up. I thought he was going to pull another one off, surviving, and he didn’t. It is a horrible thing for me and for all of his fans and for the horse, of course. It’s a shame.”

Ben’s Cat had his Mister Diz streak broken Aug. 20, 2016 by the unheralded John Jones, a 43-1 long shot racing first time off a $25,000 claim for trainer Lacey Gaudet, whose family has long been synonymous with Maryland racing.

“When John Jones won the Mister Diz, I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I had just claimed this horse for $25,000 and he won a stake and it was my first stakes winner as a trainer. It was, ‘We just beat Ben’s Cat,’” Gaudet said. “You never wanted to see a horse like that get beat and even when it was you, it was overshadowed.

“Every morning you’d go to the racetrack and you’d see him sitting there for 15 or 20 minutes before he got going. For a long time Doug Leatherman was on him and every morning people would jog by and say, ‘Morning Doug. Morning Ben.’ It was like you always knew he was going to be there,” she added. “I cried when I found out. It’s just sad.”

Ben’s Cat had only six different riders through his lengthy career, but it was Julian Pimentel that got on him more than anyone. Pimentel was aboard in 41 of 63 starts, including 30 in a row from June 2012 to November 2015.

Together, Pimentel and Ben’s Cat won 22 races, 17 of them in stakes, topped by the 2013 and 2014 Parx Dash (G3), 2012 Turf Monster (G3), 2012 Maryland Million Turf Sprint, 2013-15 Mister Diz and Jim McKay Turf Sprint, and 2012-14 Fabulous Strike Handicap.

“At the beginning of his career he was a little difficult in the mornings to train and stuff like that. He was like a student with a lot of growing pains,” Pimentel said. “But as he got older he was just very cool. He knew what he was supposed to do. You look at his record and he’d win by a head or a nose – it was like he knew where the wire was.

“He could run pretty much on anything. He won on the slop, he won going short, he won going a mile,” he added. “Going long wasn’t his favorite distance but he did that a couple of times. He liked turf, dirt, the slop, it didn’t much matter to him. I think he would run on concrete. He was just unbelievable.”

Ben’s Cat’s last two victories came to start his 10-year-old season, taking an open 5 ½-furlong allowance last May before his fifth triumph in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint. The closest he came to winning after that was in his 11-year-old debut, finishing fifth by less than a length in an April 16 allowance.

“At the Preakness this year, Todd Pletcher said to me that other than the horses he trains himself, of course, Ben was his favorite horse of all time,” Leatherbury said. “The thing is, you have good horses come along all the time but they don’t last. For him to last is where he created that ‘People’s Horse’ thing.

“A lot of horses are so good that they retire because of their value in the breeding industry, and others have problems that knock them out early. They run a couple years and that’s it,” he added. “But Ben, year after year after year he’d come back and that’s why he got that reputation. It is a sad end to the great Ben’s Cat.”

History: The Magnifica ‘Palio di Siena’ – Horse Races In Italy

The World’s Best Horse Race – Siena, Italy

Article By Kathleen Peddicord

No one knows for sure when it began or exactly why, but official record formalizes the event starting in 1310. By that time, it was already an institution. I’ve wanted to witness the spectacle firsthand since I learned of it more than 30 years ago.… [Read more…]

Trainer Dale Romans approaches Churchill Record for Wins

churchill downs ky derby dayLOUISVILLE, Ky . (WHAS11) – As he approaches Bill Mott’s all-time wins record at Churchill Downs, Dale Romans says there are tons of memories he’s had while being a part of barn 4. He says it’s kind of his identity at this point.

Source: Romans approaches Churchill wins record

Free Friday Admissions at National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

New Offer Starts Tomorrow, June 30, 2017 in Saratoga Springs, NY

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will be offering free admission each Friday from 2 p.m. to close through the end of the year compliments of EMBRACE THE RACE®. “Free Fridays” begin June 30 and continue throughout the year, including the Saratoga Race Course meeting.

Animal Kingdom - Derby MuseumVisitors are invited to take advantage of the opportunity to explore all of the Museum’s offerings, including its newest exhibit, Man o’ War at 100, which chronicles the racing career and cultural impact of the 1957 Hall of Fame inductee.

“A core element of the EMBRACE THE RACE® mission is to invest in fan development. This innovative program from the Museum is a great way to help people connect with the history and passion that is the essence of horse racing,” said Michael F. DeAnzeris III, president and founder of EMBRACE THE RACE®. “There is no better way for fans to show their love of the sport than with clothing and accessories from EMBRACE THE RACE®. We are proud to be a founding partner of this great Museum program.”

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is currently open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From July 21 through Sept. 4 (Saratoga Race Course dates), the Museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are pleased to be partnering with EMBRACE THE RACE® on this initiative,” said Cathy Marino, the Museum’s director. “Like the Museum, EMBRACE THE RACE® is committed to developing new fans of the sport and supporting ideas related to that concept. They are an ideal partner for Free Fridays and we thank them for their participation.”

About EMBRACE THE RACE®: Founded and based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., EMBRACE THE RACE® is the exclusive provider of The Apparel for the Horse Racing Lifestyle® and The Official Apparel of Horse Racing®. Featuring an inspirational logo and impassioned phrase, EMBRACE THE RACE® captivates worldwide customers with luxurious clothes, accessories, jewelry and more. Shop today at, EMBRACE THE RACE® Company Store in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.