Archive for December, 2011

Also-eligibles to be permitted for Kentucky Derby, Oaks

Having been hit with notable late scratches to the first leg of the Triple Crown in recent years,  Churchill Downs announced Friday it would now permit four also-eligible entrants to the Kentucky Derby and the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, beginning with the respective 138th runnings of those races in 2012.


For the first time in the history of those races, the new system allows as many as four horses to remain eligible to compete in each race beyond the official time of entry and one or more of the “also eligible” horses could be allowed to run in their respective race if members of the original fields for their races scratch from the race within a specified period of time.  A maximum of 20 horses is allowed to compete in the Kentucky Derby, the 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds conducted each year on the first Saturday in May, while the Kentucky Oaks, the Derby’s 1 1/8-mile counterpart for fillies run on the eve of the Derby, is limited to 14 starters.



This year saw reigning juvenile champion Uncle Mo scratched the day before the Kentucky Derby due to what was later diagnosed as a rare liver ailment. Sway Away, second in the Grade II Best Pal and San Vicente Stakes, would have been the first horse in under the new rules although eventual Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice was also among the horses left out of this year’s oversubscribed race.




In 2009, morning-line favorite I Want Revenge was scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby due to filling in his ankle.


Entries for the Kentucky Derby are due the Wednesday before the race, while Oaks entries are taken on the Tuesday before its annual Friday renewal.  Also-eligible horses would be permitted to compete in the Kentucky Derby or the Kentucky Oaks if there are scratches from either race prior to their shared official “scratch time” of 9 a.m. (Eastern) on Friday, Kentucky Oaks Day.  That time is the opening of wagering on the Kentucky Oaks Day racing program and the beginning of preliminary betting on the Kentucky Derby.


In the event of a scratch or scratches from either race, preference among also-eligible entrants would be determined under the current eligibility system for the Derby and Oaks.  Horses with the highest total earnings in graded stakes races would “draw-in” to the field for their respective race.  If the total entrants for either of those races should exceed the maximum field size plus four, the four horses listed as also-eligible entrants would be determined by the same system.


“There has been significant discussion in recent years regarding also-eligible entrants for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, especially in light of the late scratches of Derby favorites I Want Revenge in 2009 and Uncle Mo from this year’s running,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack.  “Our concerns have always focused on preliminary wagering on the Kentucky Derby permitted during our Kentucky Oaks Day racing program, including refunds of wagers on scratched Derby horses and potential confusion during those two special days among our massive crowds of bettors.


“Also-eligible horses for Oaks will have nearly three days of opportunity to get into their race, while the Derby’s window for also-eligible entrants to participate is just under 48 hours. We feel strongly that the deadline for also-eligible horses to join the Derby field must be set before preliminary wagering on the race begins.  Despite the more limited window for also-eligible horses for the Derby, this system provides owners and trainers an opportunity to keep their Derby dreams alive that has never existed before.”

Equibase past performances for also-eligible horses for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks will appear in racing programs along with the original fields for the two races.  As many as four also-eligible horses outside of the Kentucky Derby’s 20-horse field would be listed, in order of preference, with program numbers 21, 22, 23 and 24.  Kentucky Oaks also-eligible fillies would be numbered between 15 and 18, also in order of preference.


In the event of a scratch from either the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks fields, horses in post positions outside of the scratched horses would move in a spot and the also-eligible horse would then occupy the outermost position in the starting gate.  Also-eligible entrants are not required to compete in either race in the event of a scratch.


Rulings on trainers now available through new Jockey Club database

The Jockey Club today announced the launch of Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings, a searchable online database of rulings on Thoroughbred trainers from racing regulatory authorities. The web address is


“In response to recommendations from the recent McKinsey study, Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings is one part of a strategic initiative to develop new information resources to assist owners and other decision makers in our industry,” explained James  Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “This website was created as a service to the industry to make regulatory information more easily accessible. Over time, we will add more features to this database and eventually migrate it into a new, comprehensive website for owners. We thank the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and the regulatory community for their continuing assistance and cooperation in obtaining the rulings data.”


“Racing Commissioners International is pleased to collaborate with The Jockey Club and other racing industry organizations that share our goal of ensuring integrity in racing,” said Edward Martin, president of RCI. “We look forward to continued joint efforts to automate the flow of public information to racing fans and participants.”


“Providing access to regulatory rulings is an important part of maintaining the overall integrity of our sport,” said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. “Our fans and owners have told us repeatedly that they desire greater transparency, and this new website is clearly a step in that direction.”


The design of the Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings database features extensive sort and advanced-search functions supporting queries of the data, including regulatory authority, date range, trainer name and track/association.


Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings currently includes approximately 12,000 Thoroughbred trainer rulings from 33 U.S. racing jurisdictions. A list of regulatory authorities represented in the database, along with the date of earliest and latest rulings from each, is available on the homepage. Updates to the database will be made on a periodic basis as the latest rulings are made available from racing regulatory authorities.


Those seeking the most current Thoroughbred trainer ruling information are advised to contact the respective regulatory authority for updated information.


Regulators and representatives of regulatory agencies may contact Jamie Haydon in The Jockey Club’s Lexington, Ky., office for additional information about Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings. He can be reached at (859) 224-2750 or by email


The website made its debut on December 15, 2011.


Jockeys’ Guild, CDI officials to meet

The Jockey’s Guild announced on Thursday that a meeting to discuss and resolve all of the issues between the Guild and Churchill Downs Inc. has been scheduled for next week with hopes of reaching an  agreement within a month.

The Guild and CDI – which owns its flagship track in Louisville, Fair Grounds, Arlington Park and Calder Race Course – have been at odds in recent months when the latter announced it would no longer contribute $330,000 to the Guild to help provide temporary disability, life insurance, AD&D and other benefits for active jockeys.

The Guild has openly criticized CDI for that stance, citing how “an overwhelming number of the largest and midsized tracks have contributed to the Guild” at the same rate CDI did including all of the tracks classified as ‘A’ tracks by the Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the majority of the midsized tracks. CDI countered that jockeys are independent contractors responsible for their own benefits and questioned the transperancy’s of the Guild’s financial books.

On Thursday, Daily Racing Form reported the California Horse Racing Board had issued a four-month license to Churchill Downs Inc. allowing its account-wagering company to operate in California through April 30.  The CHRB had been holding up the license process over CDI’s decision due to the Guild dispute.

“The Guild deeply appreciates the strong sentiments expressed this morning on behalf of jockeys and jockey insurance issues during the California Horse Racing Board’s consideration of an extension of the Twin Spires’ ADW licensure by the CHRB, including those of Chairman Keith Brackpool and the individual Commissioners,” the Guild said in a statement. “The Guild is also pleased that a meeting to discuss and resolve all of the issues between the Guild and Churchill Downs Inc. has been scheduled for next week.  The Guild hopes that it can reach a fair agreement with CDI on all issues within the next 30 days.”


Top sire Indian Charlie dead at age 16

Top  stallion Indian Charlie, sire of such champions as Uncle Mo, Indian Blessing, and Fleet Indian, was euthanized at the age of 16 on Thursday morning, officials with Airdrie Stud confirmed. The son of In Excess had been diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma – a fast growing type of cancer – recently.

“It’s very sad news,  it came upon us very suddenly,”  said Ben Henley, who works in bloodstock services for Brereton and Libby Jones’s Airdrie Stud. “It’s been a tough battle the last few weeks and unfortunately it wasn’t one he could win. He was  like part of the family.”

Trained by Bob Baffert and campaigned by Hal Earnhardt and John Gaines Racing, Indian Charlie made just five starts on the track, winning the 1998 Grade I Santa Anita Derby, but had a far reaching impact in the breeding shed. The large bodied dark bay has sired six champions and 65 stakes winners to date from 1o crops of racing age.

Fittingly, Baffert conditioned Indian Charlie’s leading money earner, Indian Blessing. The dark bay filly won 10 of 16 lifetime career starts, including the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies en route to being named that year’s champion 2-year-old filly.

Indian Blessing won five Grade I races and $2,995,420 in her career and came back to be named champion female sprinter in 2008.

Though his offspring were often known for their precocity, Indian Charlie’s  daughter Fleet Indian showed he could produce a horse that could get a classic distance. The champion older female of 2006 won the Grade I Beldame and Personal Ensign Stakes that season  in addition to capturing the Grade II Delaware Handicap before suffering a career-ending injury in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Other top runners by Indian Charlie include Grade I winner Pampered Princess as well as graded stakes winners My Pal Charlie, Bwana Charlie,  Two Trail Sioux, Conveyance and Indyanne. Having stood at Airdrie since 2003 after beginning his career at Vinery, Indian Charlie  has progeny earnings of $43,067,807





Grade I winner Weemissfrankie recovering from surgery

From today’s Hollywood Park notes:


Grade I-winning juvenile filly Weemissfrankie was back in her stall in Barn 52 at Hollywood Park Wednesday following successful surgery Sunday for a condylar fracture of her right foreleg.

“The surgery went excellent,” said trainer Peter Eurton of the operation performed by Dr. Wayne McIlwraith at Los Alamitos. “I just got the e-mail from Dr. McIlwraith. The prognosis is very good.”

The injury was discovered after Weemissfrankie finished fourth as the 9-to-10 favorite in the Hollywood Starlet. “One screw was put in,” said Eurton of the surgery. “The fracture was non-displaced.”

Eurton said the filly might be able to return to training in four months. “We can start hand-walking her in 14 days,” said Eurton. “She will stay here for 45 days. She might start aqua-tread work in three months.

“In four months, we could start jogging her,” said Eurton in hopes of a return to the races at Del Mar or the autumn Santa Anita meet.

Weemissfrankie established herself as the top 2-year-old filly on the West Coast after victories in the Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes, both Grade I’s, and a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Jockeys’ Guild sends letter to Kentucky lawmakers

 The Jockeys’ Guild has sent letters to Governor Steve Beshear and all members of the Kentucky General Assembly, asking that jockeys not be forgotten when the legislature considers any changes in the laws concerning the equine industry, especially horse racing.


In the letter, Jockeys’ Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks tells lawmakers that in 2010 nearly one in five jockeys was injured and temporarily disabled on the job and asks that the indispensible role of jockeys be considered. “Since Kentucky is the horse racing capital of the world, it is imperative that the Commonwealth take the lead in promoting the best interests of the entire horse industry: owners, breeders, trainers, horsemen, affiliated businesses, jockeys and fans,” Meyocks said.


Recently, the Interim Joint Committee on State Government considered the issue of how advance deposit wagering (ADW) is affecting purses at state tracks, and whether legislative action is needed to ensure Kentucky receives a share of ADW proceeds to strengthen the industry.  The Guild was represented at that hearing.


The Guild expects corporate pressure on legislators to expand gaming in the Commonwealth. While not taking a position on the issue of expanded gaming itself, the letter informs legislators about the dispute the Guild currently has with Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI).


The letter states, “During the very period for which CDI recently announced record revenue and profits, CDI declared that it was not renewing a longstanding agreement to help the Jockeys’ Guild provide temporary disability, life insurance, AD&D and other benefits for active jockeys, nor was it willing to help the Guild continue to provide assistance to currently disabled riders. This was done unilaterally and without any good faith attempt to negotiate.  We tried repeatedly to get CDI to the table, but they said they would not meet. In fact, CDl’s President and COO, Bill Carstanjen told me personally that CDI did not intend to contribute, the decision was final and would not change. Similarly, a petition from more than 240 jockeys appealing directly to CDI’s Board has not swayed CDI. The company’s move poses an immediate threat to overall jockey health and safety.”


The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) recently expressed its concern over CDI’s actions by deferring renewal of CDI’s advanced deposit wagering license inCalifornia. In announcing the deferral, CHRB Chairman Keith Brackpool said, “This board…will do whatever it can to protect the welfare, safety and well-being of jockeys… If that means we look to good corporate citizenship as one of the tests, then that’s one of the tests we’re eventually going to look to.” The Illinois Racing Board also has delayed approval of CDI’s ADW license for the same reason.  Both states have asked CDI to explain its actions.


The letter goes on to say, “Kentucky, as the capital of international horse racing and the headquarters of CDI, has an interest in ensuring that CDI renews its commitment to what has been, until recently, its core business. In the public’s mind, Churchill Downs isKentucky, and therefore, the acts of CDI have the potential to reflect poorly on Kentucky.”


RCI adopts model rule on Lasix adminstration

Several changes were recently adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Model Rules Committee, including rules limiting who can administer race-day furosemide and the reporting of changes to the condition of a horse on race day.


The modified rules prohibit veterinarians and/or veterinarian technicians who work privately with participating licensees from administering race-day furosemide, which officials believe will lead to increased protection of the betting public.


“This change is designed to restrict private veterinarians from administering any medication to a horse on race day,” RCI President Ed Martin said. The proposal was presented to regulators by NTRA President Alex Waldrop on behalf of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.


The RCI Board also reiterated its opposition to the race day use of adjunct bleeder medications and urged all member regulatory commissions to adopt the model rules. The only therapeutic treatment allowed on race day is furosemide under strictly regulated terms. This policy is currently under review at the request of several RCI Member regulators.


Newly adopted changes to the Model Rules also stress the importance of all racing officials to report to the Stewards or Judges “any perceived issues” with a horse that may significantly affect the running of the race.


The rule changes were approved on Thursday, December 8 at the RCI Model Rules Committee Meeting, which was held at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson, AZ. The RCI Board of Directors gave their final approval on Friday.


The Model Rules Committee also adopted changes that clarified the Jockey Scale of Weights, allowing more flexibility of the rules when 3-year-old horses are competing against older horses. Jockey insurance issues were also addressed with new rules that require more disclosure of on-track jockey insurance policies.


Other Model Rules amendments were made that include the finalization of changes to the RCI Tote Standards, alternations to the Superfecta wager, the implementation of Model Rules concerning the Pentafecta or “Super High Five” wager, and additions to rules concerning Instant Racing.


Representatives from eighteen North American racing jurisdictions were in attendance, as well as industry groups such as the Jockeys’ Guild, the National HBPA, the American Quarter Horse Association, the United State Trotting Association, and several racing associations.

Rapid Redux not done yet in 2011

From the Maryland Jockey Club:


Racing history could be made at Laurel Park as Rapid Redux, who broke the record for consecutive wins last month at Mountaineer Park with his 20th straight score, looks to tie the all-time North American record for victories in a calendar year, when he starts in Tuesday afternoon’s sixth race, a $17,000 starter allowance.


Citation currently holds the single-season record with 19 wins in 20 starts in 1948, the year he captured the Triple Crown.


Rapid Redux is a perfect 18-of-18 in 2011. The 1-1/16 mile test, for horses who have started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2010 or 2011, drew six other runners, including Zosogood, a winner of three straight races at Monmouth Park since mid-October. Rapid Redux will start from the rail. Post time will be approximately 2:55 p.m.


“Citation is one of the all-time greats, just to be mentioned in the same sentence is unbelievable,” owner Robert Cole said. “The Citation record has stood for more than 60 years so I would like to get a part of that and possibly break it before the end of the month. That record might be more impressive, not that the consecutive record isn’t, because how a horse can win 19 races in one calendar year is like going to another galaxy on a space ship. It is beyond imagination.”


Cole, a Baltimore County native, claimed the son of Pleasantly Perfect at Penn National for $6,250 on October 13, 2010. The win-streak began December 2, 2010 at Penn National. Since then, the gelding has won 21 of 22 races with earnings of $246,694.


Cole and trainer David Wells have sent their star to seven different tracks at distances from five-furlongs to 1-1/8 miles, using seven riders. J.D. Acosta, who has been aboard six times during the streak, has the mount.


“We are going straight to the lead,” added Cole. “He is as fit as he’s ever been and we think he’ll carry the speed without a problem.”


Rapid Redux earned his 19th straight victory at Laurel Park on October 27 to tie Zenyatta and Peppers Pride in the record book and has won three other races here during the streak.

Aqueduct releases winter/spring stakes schedule

The New York Racing Association, Inc. released the stakes schedule for Aqueduct Racetrack’s 2012 winter/spring meet, with the Grade I, $1 million  Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 7 the centerpiece of 13 graded stakes worth $3.75 million for the 79-day meet which begins on January 1.


The $3.75 million in graded stakes purses represents a 44 percent increase over the $2.6 million in graded stakes purses during the 2011 winter/spring meet, which had 11 graded stakes.


The increase in purses is possible due to the opening of Genting’s Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct. During the first year of the casino’s operations, 6.5 percent of the revenue from the Video Lottery Terminals must go to NYRA’s purse structure.


Two graded races returning to the stakes schedule after a year hiatus are the Grade III, $200,000 Withers for 3-year-olds, which will be run on Saturday, February 4, and the Grade II, $200,000 Top Flight for 3-year-old & up fillies and mares, which will be run on Saturday, March 3.


The Withers will be run on a card with the Grade III, $150,000 Toboggan for sprinters and will serve as a prep race for the Grade III, $400,000 Gotham, which will be run Saturday, March 3 on a card with the Top Flight and the Grade III, $200,000 Tom Fool for sprinters.


The 88th running of the Wood will be featured on NBC’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, airing April 7 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. during a broadcast that will also include live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby.


Additional stakes on Wood Day comprise the prestigious Grade I, $400,000 Carter for 3-year-olds & up going seven furlongs, the Grade III, $250,000 Bay Shore for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs and the Grade III, $250,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies going a mile.


Aqueduct’s slate of graded stakes also includes the Grade III, $150,000 Cicada on Saturday, March 10, the Grade III, $150,000 Excelsior on Saturday, March 17, the Grade II, $200,000 Distaff on Saturday, April 14, and the Grade II, $200,000 Jerome on Saturday, April 21.


In addition, the Big A will offer 16 listed and New York-bred stakes.


“We are very excited to announce this enhanced Aqueduct winter stakes schedule,” said NYRA vice president and director of racing P. J. Campo. “Placing the Withers in early February on a card also featuring the Toboggan and Correction creates another marquee day of racing during the meet. Additionally, with the Gotham’s purse increased to $400,000 to go along with the addition of the Withers, our 3-year-old stakes program is on par with any track in the country. We are hopeful that our horsemen will respond positively to the new stakes schedule and believe it will generate a lot of interest for our fans.”


The Aqueduct winter/spring stakes schedule, which was approved by the NYRA Board of Directors, now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.


The remainder of the 2012 NYRA stakes schedule will be announced at a later date.



79 days, January 1 – April 22

Dark Mondays and Tuesdays except:

Open: Monday, January 2, 16 and February 20;

Dark: Wednesday, January 4, 18; Wednesday, February 22; Sunday April 1, 8.

Post Times: 12:20 p.m. daily January 1- February 26

1 p.m. daily February 29 – April 22



Date Stake Grade Purse Age Distance
Sun. Jan. 1 Interborough  


F&M 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Sun. Jan. 1 Ladies  


F&M 3&UP 1 1/8
Sat. Jan. 7 Count Fleet  


3YO 1 Mile 70 Yds
Sat. Jan 7 Busanda  


F 3YO 1 Mile 70 Yds
Sat. Jan. 14 Ruthless  


F 3YO 6 Furlongs
Mon. Jan 16 Jimmy Winkfield  


3YO 6 Furlongs
Sat. Jan 21 Evening Attire  


3 & UP 1  1/16
Sat. Jan 28 Affectionately  


F&M 3&UP 1  1/16
Sat. Feb 4 Correction  


F&M 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Sat. Feb 4 Withers III


3YO 1  1/16
Sat. Feb 4 Toboggan III


3 & UP 6 Furlongs
Sat. Feb 11 Dearly Precious  


F 3YO 6 Furlongs
Sat. Feb 18 Stymie  


3 & UP 1 1/8
Mon. Feb 20 Hollie Hughes (NYB)  


3 & UP 6 Furlongs
Sat Feb 25 Busher  


F 3YO 1  1/16
Sat. Mar 3 Gotham III


3YO 1  1/16
Sat Mar 3 Tom Fool III


3 & UP 6 Furlongs
Sat Mar 3 Top Flight II


F&M 3&UP 1  1/16
Sat Mar 3 King’s Point (NYB)  


3 & UP 1  1/8
Sat Mar 10 Fred “Cappy” Capossela  


3YO 6 Furlongs
Sat Mar 10 Cicada III


F 3YO 6 Furlongs
Sat Mar 17 Excelsior III


3 & UP 1 1/8
Sat Mar 24 Broadway (NYB)  


F&M 3&UP 6 Furlongs
Sat Apr 7 Wood Memorial I


3YO 1 1/8
Sat Apr 7 Carter I


3 & UP 7 Furlongs
Sat Apr 7 Comely III


F 3YO 1 Mile
Sat Apr 7 Bay Shore III

Committee announces graded stakes for 2012

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association today presented its listing of U.S. Graded Stakes for 2012, the results of its annual grading session conducted November 30 and December 1 in Lexington.


The Committee reviewed 659 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 465 of them, nine fewer than were graded in 2011. A total of nine graded races were upgraded, including four new Grade I race and five new Grade II races; four new Grade III races were identified. Eleven races which carried graded status in 2011 are no longer eligible for grading.


Four races were upgraded to Grade I status for 2012: the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing and Jenny Wiley Stakes. at Keeneland.


Four races were downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2012: Hopeful Stakes. and Ruffian Invitational at Saratoga, Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park and Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar.


Five races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2012: the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs, Charles Town Classic Stakes at Charles Town, Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park and Pan American Stakes and Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park.


Five races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2012: the American Derby at Arlington Park, Carry Back Stakes at Calder Race Course, Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Providencia Stakes. at Santa Anita Park and Shuvee Handicap at Belmont. The Colonial Turf Cup S. at Colonial Downs and First Flight H. at Belmont Park were not eligible for grading in 2012.


Four races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2012: the Smarty Jones Stakes, Greenwood Cup  and Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Parx Racing and James Marvin Stakes at Saratoga.


Two races were downgraded from Grade III to Ungraded status for 2012: the Ouija Board Distaff Stakes at Lone Star Park and Endine Stakes at Delaware Park. The Bryan Station Stakes and Perryville Stakes at Keeneland; Will Rogers Stakes, Round Table Handicap. and Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park; Golden Gate Fields Turf at Golden Gate Fields; El Conejo Handicap. and Tuzla Handicap at Santa Anita Park; and Nassau County at Belmont Park, were not eligible for grading in 2012.


Following is a summary breakdown of all grade levels and a complete list of all upgraded and downgraded U.S.

races for the 2012 racing season as well as the complete list of 2012 graded stakes.


2012 Graded Stakes

Grade I

Grade II

Grade III

All Graded


All Eligible Races










% Graded







Change from 2011