2018 Fall Churchill Downs Meet a Success

The recently-concluded Fall Meet at Churchill Downs distributed record prize money for horsemen and delivered a great deal of substance for horseplayers as numerous memorable moments were produced during the historic Louisville racetrack’s action-packed, four-week stand.

The popular 21-day Fall Meet, which ran from Oct. 28 through Nov. 25, was spearheaded by a record-equaling ninth visit by the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 2-3 that brought together the best horses, jockeys, trainers, owners and breeders from around the world.

When excluding the two-day Breeders’ Cup, a record daily average of $604,432 in purses was paid to horsemen over the 19 days, which was a lofty 20.9% increase from the $499,959 paid daily a year ago. Also, the average purse per race was $57,135, which was up 20.3% from 2017’s $47,507.

The significant growth in purses was attributed to early returns from state-of-the-art historical racing machines at Derby City Gaming, Churchill Downs Incorporated’s new $65 million facility that opened in mid-September at nearby 4520 Poplar Level Road. For example, maiden special weight races were worth a record $76,000 and allowance races ranged from $78,500 to $90,000.

For some perspective, the average purse per Fall Meet race has grown 76.5% in a five-year period. At the 2013 Fall Meet, the average purse was $32,373 and average daily purses were $328,911.

“This was an incredibly strong Fall Meet,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “The hailed return of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to Louisville on opening week after a seven-year hiatus helped set the tone for an outstanding season. Day in and day out, our horsemen, their owners and a robust jockey colony delivered an attractive and competitive racing product that appealed to bettors around the world. We express sincere gratitude to them for their continued support of our thriving racing program, and thank the horseplayers, guests and the greater Louisville community for backing our entertainment experience.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? No

During the 19 days, Churchill Downs staged 201 races, which lured 1,789 starters for a strong average of 8.9 horses per race – the same as the 2017 Fall Meet. The season’s racing product featured fields of seven or more in 89.6% of the races. There were only 21 races with six or less starters.

It was an extremely chilly Fall Meet as Louisville’s average temperature during the month of November hovered just above 43 degrees. As a result, only 23 of the 50 planned turf races went on as scheduled, and the going was less than “firm” for each race of the grass races (seven races listed as “good,” 11 listed as “yielding” and five listed as “soft”). A total of 47 scheduled turf races have been lost over 23 of the last 42 Fall Meet racing days just two years after none were transferred to the main track during the 2016 Fall Meet. This year’s surface transfers caused 99 “off the turf” scratches. Meanwhile, the main track had races listed as “muddy” or “sloppy” on five of the 21 days this year, including Breeders’ Cup Friday and “Stars of Tomorrow II.”

The 129th Fall Meet was anchored by the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which showcased 14 races and 13 Grade Is with purses and awards totaling a record $30 million. Much like its previous eight visits to Louisville, the prestigious two-day event delivered numerous dramatic and memorable moments.

Southern California-based 5-year-old Accelerate (22-10-5-5—$5,792,480), owned by Hronis Racing LLC, made a case for Horse of the Year honors with a one-length win over Gunnevera in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) for his fifth Grade I win of the year. The victory gave trainer John Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup triumph after going winless with his previous 43 starters. Joel Rosario rode the winner, and his mounts amassed an event-high $5,768,840 over the two Breeders’ Cup days after winning with four of his 13 mounts, including a trio of Breeders’ Cup conquests.

The megastar of Breeders’ Cup Saturday was Juddmonte Farms Inc.’s homebred 4-year-old filly Enable (GB) (11-10-0-0—$10,705,631), who became the first horse to win both the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (GI) and $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) with a thrilling three-quarters of a length win over Coolmore’s 3-year-old filly Magical (IRE). The victory down the middle of the Matt Winn Turf Course, her ninth win in a row, gave world-famous jockey Frankie Dettori his 14th Breeders’ Cup win and greatly-admired trainer John Gosden his fifth.

Two-year-olds Game Winner and Jaywalk emerged as the early favorites for next year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) after comfortable victories in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodika Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), respectively, on the Breeders’ Cup’s inaugural “Future Stars Friday.”

Other Breeders’ Cup highlights included Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Monomoy Girl’s victory over elders in the $2 millionLongines Distaff (GI) to cement champion 3-year-old filly honors for locally-based jockey Florent Geroux and trainer Brad Cox; back-to-back Breeders’ Cup wins by Roy H (Sprint) and Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint) both for trainer Peter Miller and the ownership of Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen; a fourth Grade I win of the year for Peter Brandt’s Sistercharlie (IRE) in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf (GI); a dominant 2 ¾-length conquest by City of Light in the $1 million Dirt Mile (GI); and a stunning performance by utterly superiorNewspaperofrecord (IRE) in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI).

Bulletin (Juvenile Turf Sprint); Expert Eye (GB) (Mile); Line of Duty (IRE) (Juvenile Turf); and Shamrock Rose (Filly & Mare Sprint) also won Breeders’ Cup races.

The two-day Breeders’ Cup attendance was 112,672 – the third highest in event history – and total betting reached more than $157.4 million, which was the fifth highest total since Breeders’ Cup adopted a two-day format in 2007.

In addition to the Breeders’ Cup, highpoints during the Fall Meet included Steve Landers’ 5-year-old Leofric, who turned back a determined challenge by 3-year-old Bravazo in deep stretch to win a thrilling renewal of the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) – the traditional “Black Friday” headliner on Nov. 23 and the most lucrative non-Breeders’ Cup race on the 30-race, $30.9 million stakes schedule.

Leofric capped a Fall Meet stakes treble for Cox, the 38-year-old Louisville native who also landed his 1,000-career win on Nov. 18 (although it occurred at Fair Grounds). In addition to stakes wins by Monomoy Girl and Leofric, the Cox-trained Mr. Misunderstood remained perfect in four stakes appearances over the Churchill Downs turf course when the 4-year-old gelding owned by Staton Flurry surged to the lead in late stretch to land the $100,000 River City Handicap (GIII) on Nov. 17.

Churchill Downs’ strong racing program for 2-year-olds was emphasized by impressive stakes performances on its two 14th annual “Stars of Tomorrow” programs, which are entirely devoted to 2-year-olds. Signalman, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) 22 days earlier, earned 10 points on the 35-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” series when he turned back a late charge from Plus Que Parfait to win the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) by a neck on Nov. 24. Earlier that day, Liora – the longest shot in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies at odds of 27-1 – led every step of the way and narrowly repelled a late bid by odds-on 3-5 favorite and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) runner-up Restless Rider to win the $200,000 Golden Rod (GII) for fillies by a scant nose. Also that day, the Larry Jones-trained Super Steed, a son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, arose as a tantalizing prospect with an impressive first-level allowance win on the “Stars of Tomorrow” undercard.

Golden Rod winner Liora ended the season as the only horse to win multiple times at the Fall Meet.

Another 2-year-old that impressed onlookers during the meet was Improbable, who dominated rivals by 7 ¼ lengths in the $100,000 Street Sense on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard. Like Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner, Improbable is trained by Hall of Famer and five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert.

Game Winner was the clear 5-1 second choice in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager behind the pari-mutuel field of “All of 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” that closed as the 6-5 favorite. Improbable ended as the 17-1 fifth betting choice and Signalman closed at 30-1 in the field of 24 betting interests. Offered for the 21st consecutive year on Nov. 22-25, betting over the four days totaled $258,389 and was up 3.2% from last year. Also offered concurrently was the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager in which “All Other Sires” (9-2) and Tapit (6-1) attracted the most attention in the betting pool that reached $32,924.

Other stakes winners during the Fall Meet were Divine Miss Grey in the $200,000 Chilukki (GII); Prado’s Sweet Ride in the $200,000 Falls City Handicap (GII); Princess Warrior in the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII); Rocketry in the $200,000 Marathon (GII); English Affair in the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (GIII); Hot Springs in the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII); Dunph in the $300,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes; Audible in the $200,000 Cherokee Run; Mother Mother in the $100,000 Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes; Uno Mas Modeloin the $100,000 Bet On Sunshine Overnight Stakes; and Vertical Oak in the $100,000 Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes.

The season champions were decided on closing day. Circuit-newcomer Tyler Gaffalione (118-21-15-8—$1,201,027), 24, won 10 races on closing week, including four on “Black Friday,” to narrowly edge 16-time local champion Corey Lanerie (126-20-21-20—$1,201,505) and Spring Meet leading rider Brian Hernandez Jr. (134-20-19-17—$2,002,802), 21 wins to 20, en route to his first title as Churchill Downs champion jockey. Edgar Morales (136-18-18-15—$831,412), who rode as an apprentice through Nov. 16, and Ricardo Santana Jr. (106-18-17-19—$1,432,475) tied for fourth with 18 wins each, one more than Florent Geroux (101-17-16-15—$2,705,991), who led all riders with five stakes wins.

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen (72-11-14-10—$971,442) won with his final starter of the meet Sunday (Share the Upside in Race 11) to tie Dallas Stewart (40-11-7-3—$803,850) at 11 wins for his record-extending 20th Churchill Downs training title. For Stewart, it was his first local title and he did it with a considerably smaller operation than powerhouse Asmussen. Kenny McPeek (57-9-9-9—$1,164,663) was third with nine victories and was followed by Cox (52-8-12-7—$2,169,970), Tom Amoss (23-6-0-4—$328,664), Mike Maker (47-6-6-3—$436,451) and Ian Wilkes (54-6-4-5—$381,836).

Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stables (16-5-1-0—$182,123) emerged as the Fall Meet leading owner with five wins and one second from 16 starters and edged Gayle Benson’s G M B Racing (7-4-1-0—$251,180), G. Watts Humphrey Jr. (25-4-6-4—$317,276) and Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms Inc. (9-4-1-0—$3,444,251), who each had four trips to the Woodford Reserve Winner’s Circle.

A total of 147 horses were purchased through claiming races during the Fall Meet for a total of $2,638,500. For the year, a total of 428 horses were claimed during Churchill Downs’ three racing meets for a total of $8,483,000, which resulted in a $508,980 sales tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The popular 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot delivered a significant payday for a TwinSpires.com customer on the penultimate day of the meet. The six-race sequence challenged bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races daily but the Jackpot pool, which grew to $317,738 throughout the meet, was only paid if there was a single winning ticket. That occurred Nov. 24 when the sequence went down for a whopping $500,256.88. The lucrative payoff occurred one day after a bettor was deprived of the jackpot when a rare double-disqualification transpired in the Nov. 23 finale, and one day before a worthwhile mandatory payout would have been paid to the most winners of six races.

In addition to the stellar racing, two additional events proved to be extremely popular with on-track guests: a special Halloween Family Adventure Day Presented by Kroger on opening day that featured fun activities for children and a giveaway of more than a ton of candy, and Thanksgiving Day, a Louisville tradition at Churchill Downs since 1969 where more than 8,000 turkey dinners were served with all the trimmings, making it the largest number anywhere in the region.

Churchill Downs will conduct three racing meets in 2019 over 75 race dates. The 38-day Spring Meet will be staged from April 27-June 29 with the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) staged on Saturday, May 4. The 11-day September Meet is scheduled for Sept. 13-29, and the Fall Meet will run over 26 days from Oct. 27-Dec. 1.

When guests return for the 2019 Spring Meet, three capital improvement projects will be complete. Churchill Downs has invested $4.4 million to improve the infield guest entry experience for the 2019 Kentucky Derby and beyond through the construction of a new Infield Gate at the corner of 4th Street and Central Avenue. In addition, Churchill Downs will complete the colonnade wall from the Paddock Gate to the Clubhouse Gate in a $3.9 million project. Those projects are occurring concurrently with a $5 million capital investment that will expand the Starting Gate Suites through the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden which will deliver a unique hospitality experience with exclusive sightlines and access for more than 500 ticketed guests.

Source: Press Release

Santa Anita Sees Rise in Handle – Autumn 2018 Meet

With a staggering $6,746,114 in “new money” wagered, Santa Anita’s closing day 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot amounted to a total of $7,888,308 by fifth race post time, ensuring a massive all sources pari-mutuel pool of $18,948,679 on Sunday, which helped the track post increases in both on-track and all sources handle for the 22-day Autumn Meet.

With 22 racing days producing $206.7 million in overall pari-mutuel handle, all sources average daily handle was up seven percent compared to last year. A total of $23.7 million was wagered on-track, which marked a three percent average daily handle increase over 2017. (With 19 racing days last year, all sources handle was $167.3 million, while last year’s on-track take was $19.8 million).

A parade of short priced horses on closing day resulted in 10,466 winning tickets in the 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six, with each ticket returning $601.10.

The Breeders’ Cup results in Kentucky once again underscored the depth of equine talent at Santa Anita, as no less than five Southern California-based horses tasted Breeders’ Cup glory over the two-day World Championships on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Gary and Mary West’s Game Winner, trained by Bob Baffert, won the $2 million Juvenile, which followed a win here in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes Sept. 29.

On Saturday, Peter Miller pulled off an incredible year-to-year double, as Stormy Liberal and Roy H each won their respective races, the Turf Sprint and the Sprint, for the second year in a row while based at San Luis Rey Downs. Both horses are owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen, LLC. Stormy Liberal used a win in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course Sept. 28 as his final Breeders’ Cup prep, while Roy H again struck Breeders’ Cup gold following a win in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6.

Trainer Michael McCarthy, a graduate of Arcadia High School, took Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with the Santa Anita-based City of Light. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, City of Light won last year’s Grade I Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 as well as the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes here on March 10.

John Sadler put an exclamation point on the day Saturday, as Accelerate, owned by Hronis Racing, took the $6 million Classic. Based at The Great Race Place, Accelerate won three out of his five Grade I victories this year in Arcadia; the Santa Anita Handicap on March 10, the Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 26 and the Awesome Again here on Sept. 29.

Flavien Prat, who scored a stakes double by winning both the Grade II Goldikova Stakes and the Twilight Derby on closing day, finished as the meet’s leading rider with 20 wins, two better than a resurgent Rafael Bejarano. In the trainer’s division Jerry Hollendorfer and Peter Miller dead-heated atop the standings with 15 Autumn Meet wins, one clear of Doug O’Neill’s 14.

On-track attendance figures for the 22-day season totaled 158,000, compared to 137,000 attendees in the 2017 season, which had three fewer racing days.

Santa Anita’s traditional Winter Meet will kick off the day after Christmas, on Wednesday, Dec. 26. For additional information, please visit www.santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Source: Santa Anita

Lady Aurelia Lights Up Bid Board at $7.5 Million

Is Horse Racing Dead? I Don’t Think So.

Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings went to $7.5 million to purchase full interest in the European champion Lady Aurelia during Fasig-Tipton’s The November Sale. She was consigned as hip 200 by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency.

Source: Lady Aurelia Lights Up Bid Board at $7.5 Million

Off-track horse race gambling coming to Horsetown USA next month

“If it opens, the Norco enterprise would be California’s 12th satellite horse-race betting venue, Marten said. State law allows up to 45, including 15 in each of three regions — north, central and south, he said

It is no accident The Derby Room is going into the building of a former restaurant, which is being remodeled at a cost of $500,000.

Zolnier said it will be more than a place to bet on Santa Anita and Los Alamitos races, or the Kentucky Derby. It will be a sports bar and restaurant, he said, with 80 percent to 90 percent of sales coming from food and drinks. Zolnier said he views the gambling element as a way to pull people into the eatery…”

THE DERBY ROOM

Location: 3230 Hamner Ave., Norco

Operator: California Horse Racing and Sports, LLC

Open date: Aiming for mid-December

Employees: 30 to 40. Job seekers may apply at thederbyroom.com

Is horse racing dead?  Not in California

Press-Enterprise Full coverage: Off-track horse race gambling coming to Norco after false start

Laurel Park Fall Meet Up Big

Laurel Park’s Fall Festival of Racing, featuring the 27th running of the Frank De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and six other stakes races, handled $5.073 million Saturday, an increase of 35.5 percent over last year’s program.

Total handle in 2017 on the corresponding day was $3.743 million. Handle in 2016 was $4.513 million and in 2015 $3.775 million.

Woodford Racing’s Switzerland was an impressive winner of the De Francis. Switzerland’s victory was the third stakes win of the day for jockey Feargal Lynch.

This year’s De Francis marked the fifth and final race in the 3-year-old and up dirt sprint division of the revived Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which kicked off May 18 and 19 at Pimlico. The original MATCH Series debuted in 1997 and ran for five years.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Maryland

“The Fall Festival of Racing was a great way to start what will be a memorable month of Thoroughbred racing in Maryland and Laurel Park,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “There was a lot of great energy and excitement today, and we want to thank everyone who came out to watch and wager on this great program. We also think the MATCH Series has been a great edition to the Mid-Atlantic calendar.

“We witnessed some incredible performances by our equine and human athletes, and we expect that will carry over to our program Saturday featuring the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) and the inaugural running of the Bald Eagle Derby. And this year’s Maryland Million will be very special with the edition of the great entertainment The Stronach Group has planned for Clubhouse Festival.”

Source: Laurel Park

Simulcast Wagering up Big in Arizona

Arizona DownsThe new Arizona Downs’ off-track-betting operation triggered a 25-percent surge in simulcast wagering in the greater Prescott market for August, the facility’s first full month in business, over the same time frame in 2017, according to the state’s racing commission.

Arizona Downs brought back wagering on racetracks across the country to the site of the old Yavapai Downs on July 13. The track, which last ran in 2010, was purchased in January by J&J Equine Enterprises LLC, an entity formed by brothers and Phoenix-based JACOR Partners principals Tom, Dave and Mike Auther and their partner Joe Jackson, along with longtime racing executive Corey Johnsen. Renamed Arizona Downs, the track is undergoing extensive renovation and will open for live Thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing in 2019 with a meet running Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Arizona Downs also has received approval from regulatory authorities to open two more off-track-betting facilities in the state. The Route 66 icon Museum Club, an 80-year mainstay in Flagstaff, and Bull Shooters, the premier location for darts and billiards in Phoenix, are both scheduled to open in October.

“Our goal has been to generate additional revenue and purses for Arizona horsemen, and our first few months in Prescott have illustrated the great potential for the state,” said Arizona Downs general manager Ann McGovern. “We’re excited to expand our OTB footprint to provide easy access to this year-round betting and entertainment option in the region. Eight years is a long time to be closed, and we’re confident that the early momentum of our simulcasting operation will steamroll with the lead-up to the Breeders’ Cup in November, the road to the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, and of course the long-awaited resumption of live racing here next May.”

Arizona Downs’ simulcast room is on the first floor of the grandstand, featuring more than 40 television monitors, both mutuel clerks and self-bet machines and with easy access to food and beverage service. The facility is open seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. MST. Admission and parking are free.

Is Horse Racing Dying? Not in New Mexico (Albuquerque Downs)

Albuquerque Downs registered a 24-percent increase in total wagering handle during the 11-day New Mexico State Fair portion of its 2018 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet.

According to figures reported to Equibase, a total of $3,010,221 was wagered on The Downs’ 104 live races from September 6-16, compared to $2,427,891 bet on 103 live races during the 2017 State Fair meet. On-track handle rose 7 percent to $637,030, compared to $595,655 in 2017, and off-track handle increased 24 percent to $2,373,191, compared to $1,832,236 a year ago.

Live racing resumed at Albuquerque Downs with a nine-race program on Wednesday 9/19. The track closes its 55-day season with a 10-race program on Sunday, September 23, featuring five stakes, topped by the 440-yard, $300,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship (G1), and New Mexico’s longest horse race, the 1 13/16-mile, $25,000 Con Jackson Claiming Stakes.

Source: Albuquerque Downs

Eleven Sires Dominate at 2018 Keeneland Fall Sales

copyright DarbyAmerica

With 26 yearlings selling for $1 million plus in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, 11 sires with three or more sold in Book 1 accounted for 465 yearlings or 47% of the number cataloged in Book 1.

Is Horse Racing Dead?  Apparently not if the Keeneland sales in Lexington KY are any indication.  Check out the full Blood-Horse story below.

Source: Eleven Sires Create Book 1 Surge at Keeneland

2018 Del Mar Summer Meet Surges

Horse Racing is Alive and Well in So. California

All sources handle in 2018 rose 6.8 percent to $13.44 million per day as Del Mar completed a highly successful summer season – its 79th – on Labor Day Monday. The wagering increase follows a 5.1 percent gain in all-sources handle in 2017, which averaged $12.58 million. The strength of the 2018 summer racing program and the increase in field size helped drive a 10.8 percent increase in wagering by out-of-state patrons and a 14.1 percent increase in betting by California ADW customers.

Drew Brees at Del Mar

Drew Brees at Del Mar

“Across the board, we’ve hit all our marks with a wonderful display of teamwork in a group effort,” said DMTC CEO Joe Harper. “Our owners, our trainers, our jockeys – everyone is pulling their oars in the same direction. It is amazing what positive things can happen when we all get on the same page to put on a first-rate show. The bar was set very high in 2017, but here we’ve gone and jumped far over it in a very gratifying summer.

Field size, which averaged 8.7 runners per race, rose again over the seven-week season, just as it had the year before. Del Mar’s highly successful “Ship & Win” program drew 105 new runners to the track from out-of-state. Since its inception in 2011, the “S & W” plan has lured more than 1,200 runners to Del Mar.

“The response from our horsemen and horsewomen to our program at Del Mar has been just terrific,” said executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “We have a wonderful partnership going right now and we’ll continue to work to make it even better.

“And our track crews – headed by Leif Dickinson on our turf course and Dennis Moore on our main track – have been nothing short of exceptional. Their superior work has allowed us to conduct highly competitive and safe racing throughout the summer and we all owe them a huge thank you. We dedicate significant off-season time and resources to preparing the surfaces for their best and it is heartening to see such positive results.”

Accelerate the Horse of the Meet

Foremost among the exceptional racing that unfolded over the course of the summer was a dominant win by Hronis Racing’s Accelerate in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic. The Hronis outfit and their trainer, John Sadler, also cut loose one of America’s rising stars in Catalina Cruiser, who pulled off a stakes double with impressive tallies in the San Diego and Pat O’Brien. Then there were a series of 2-year-old stars led by the Bob Baffert-trained and Gary and Mary West-owned Game Winner, victorious in the Grade I Futurity. Bellafina, conditioned by Simon Callaghan and carrying the silks of Kaleem Shah, was the meeting’s top juvenile filly, winning the Grade I Debutante.

Metaboss at Del Mar
copyright Gary Tasich

“On behalf of the California horse owners, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results at Del Mar”, said Nick Alexander, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. “We congratulate the Del Mar management team and staff on a job well done. It was an outstanding summer and we look forward to returning later this fall.”

Del Mar’s spectacular presentation of the Breeders’ Cup in 2017 earned it a return performance of the championship event in 2021, an announcement that was made at the track in August. The track will now take a short respite before returning for its fifth fall race meeting between November 9 and December 2.

Source: Del Mar

Ellis Park’s strong finish sets stage for 2019 meet

Ellis-Park logoIs Horse Racing Dead?  Not in Henderson, KY

Ellis Park’s strong finish sets stage for 2019 meet.

Evansville Courier & Press Full coverage: Ellis Park’s strong finish sets stage for 2019 meet