Archive for December, 2010

Updated Injury Data Statistics show slight decline

The Jockey Club on Wednesday released an updated North American fatality rate for Thoroughbreds that includes two years’ worth of data in the Equine Injury Database, the North American database for racing injuries.

Based on an analysis of 754,932 starts collected during the two-year period November 1, 2008, through October 31, 2010, the prevalence of fatal injury declined to 2.00 per 1,000 starts, as compared to the 2.04 rate reported in March for the one-year period November 1, 2008, through October 31, 2009.

The analysis was performed by Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database.

Parkin noted that the change in the overall fatality rate stemmed from cumulative two-year data that revealed a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of fatality on both turf and synthetic surfaces versus dirt. The difference in the prevalence of fatality between synthetic and turf surfaces was not statistically significant.

“The addition of 376,000 starts to the database in year two enabled us to statistically validate certain trends seen in the data,” said Parkin. “Trends will continue to emerge and evolve as additional data becomes available for study and as more complex statistical analyses are performed. This will allow us to understand how different variables, alone and in concert, may impact the risk of fatality.”

“We will continue to publish these national benchmarks on an annual basis to provide the necessary statistical foundation participating racetracks need for monitoring and comparing their individual results,” said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club’s executive vice president and executive director.

The following table presents the comparable fatality rates by surface type for the one-year and cumulative two-year periods beginning November 1, 2008.

Thoroughbred Fatality Rate per 1,000 Starts by Surface and Reporting Period

Surface Type

Nov. 1, 2008-

Oct. 31, 2009

Nov. 1, 2008-

Oct. 31, 2010













Grade I winner Discreetly Mine to Lane’s End

Discreetly Mine, winner of the Grade I King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga in August, has been retired and will enter stud at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm in 2011. He will stand as property of a syndicate for an advertised fee of $15,000.

Bred by the late E. Paul Robsham, Discreetly Mine was considered one of the nation’s leading sprinters heading into the Breeders’ Cup but suffered an injured stifle in October. The 3-year-old son of Mineshaft was a presence on the Kentucky Derby trail, winning the Grade II Risen Star Stakes, but was turned back to shorter distances after running 13th in Derby in May.

Out of the Grade I winning mare Pretty Discreet and a half brother to Grade I winner Discreet Cat, Discreetly Mine also captured the Grade II Amsterdam Stakes and Grade III Jersey Shore Stakes.  He retires with five wins from 13 career starts and earnings of $799,350.

“We are very pleased Mrs. Robsham chose Lane’s End to stand Discreetly Mine,” Farish said. “Not only was he an exceptional racehorse from six furlongs to 1 1/16-miles, he has an outstanding pedigree and excellent conformation.”

Turfway gets new sponsor for Derby prep

Turfway Park announced today that it’s signature Kentucky Derby prep – most recently known as the Lane’s End Stakes – will now be sponsored by Vinery beginning next spring.

Beginning with the 40th running on March 26, 2011, the race will be the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes.

Established in 1972 as the Spiral Stakes, the race has continually attracted top fields and is a significant prep for the Kentucky Derby. The initial contract will run five years, with renewal considered annually after that time.

“Vinery is committed to supporting racing,” said farm president Tom Ludt, “and we are especially pleased to be associated with a race that is a major fixture in the 3-year-old division.

“Turfway was a pioneer in Thoroughbred race sponsorship, and the Spiral Stakes has had strong sponsorship support since 1982,” said Turfway Park president Robert Elliston. “We have appreciated all the contributions to this race’s success and are proud to move forward with Vinery as we incorporate fresh ideas into this long tradition.”

The Turfway race carries graded status and a $500,000 purse, virtually guaranteeing the winner a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.

Zenyatta not arriving until after 6 p.m.

The schedule for Zenyatta’s appearance at Keeneland is currently operating on a two-hour delay. She is tentatively set to arrive at Keeneland after 6 pm.

Due to darkness, Zenyatta will be paraded in the lighted outdoor show ring at the back of the Keeneland sales pavilion. She was previously scheduled to be in the saddling paddock and walking ring.

Zenyatta was originally slated to appear at Keeneland around 4:15 p.m.

Coolmore Lexington, Lane’s End Stakes downgraded for 2011

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association today presented its listing of U.S. Graded Stakes for 2011, the results of its annual grading session conducted December 1 in Lexington.

The Committee reviewed 689 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 474 of them, 13 fewer than were graded in 2010.  A total of five graded races were upgraded, including one new Grade I race and four new Grade II races; five new Grade III races were identified.  Eight races which carried graded status in 2010 are no longer eligible for grading.

One race was upgraded to Grade I status for 2011: the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

One race was downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2011: the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park.  The Pimlico Special at Pimlico was not eligible for grading in 2011.

Four races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2011: the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, Breeders’ Cup Marathon and Presque Isle Downs Masters at Presque Isle Downs.

Five races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2011: the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park, Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows, San Francisco Mile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields and Allaire DuPont Distaff Handicap at Pimlico.  The Frank J. De Francis Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park and Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park were not eligible for grading in 2011.

Five races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2011: the Charles Town Classic at Charles Town, Tampa Bay Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing, JP Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland and Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Ten races were downgraded from Grade III to Ungraded status for 2011: the Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park, Tropical Park Derby at Calder Race Course, Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico, Memorial Day Handicap at Calder Race Course, Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct, Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course, Kenny Noe Jr. at Calder Race Course, Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, Santa Paula S. at Santa Anita and Stage Door Betty H. at Calder Race Course.  The Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs, Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park, Sport Page Handicap at Belmont Park, Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park and Hawthorne Handicap at Hollywood Park were not eligible for grading in 2011.

Total of 1,827 horses cataloged for Keeneland January

A total of  1,827 horses have been cataloged for the Keeneland 2011 January Horses of All Ages Sale, to be held Monday- Friday, January 10-14.

The number is an increase over the 1,753 which were cataloged in the sale last season. Last year’s January auction grossed $23,895,100, down from $32,824,000 in 2009.

“The January sale is well-known as a market for stakes-winning broodmare prospects,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “It is also proving to be a solid market for yearlings, offering a broad representation for pinhookers and end-users alike as well as those interested in horses of racing age or stallion prospects.”

Last year’s January sale was topped by graded stakes winner Miss Isella, who sold for $1.085 million to Adena Springs owner Frank Stronach.

Catalogs for the January sale will be available on Keeneland’s website,, beginning Monday, December 6. Print catalogs will be mailed the week of December 20.