Archive for November, 2012

Momentum on Lanerie’s side for his first full Gulfstream meet

Courtesy of the Gulfstream Park publicity staff, here’s a great piece on jockey Corey Lanerie –  who just wrapped up his first Churchill Downs Fall Meet title –  as he prepares to ride the Gulfstream meet full time for the first time

 

Corey Lanerie left a positive impression with racing fans and horsemen at Gulfstream Park last January during a pair of triumphant visits to the South Florida Thoroughbred track.

A third-place finish aboard King Kid in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby and a victorious trip aboard Finnegans Wake at 30-1 during his first visit on Jan.1 were followed by a score aboard Heavenly Landing in the Grade III, $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes 12 days later.

Gulfstream Park, likewise, received a highly favorable review from the veteran of the Kentucky-Louisiana racing circuit.

“It was awesome. I had never been to Gulfstream. I’ve been riding 20 years, but I’d never been there,” the 37-year-old jockey recalled. “I thought the facility was great. It’s an elite track. It feels like you’re at the top of racing when you’re there.”

Thus, it should be no real surprise that Lanerie is looking forward to riding full time at Gulfstream Park for the first time during the 2012-2013 meeting that gets under way Saturday and runs through April 5. The native of Cankton, La., who has three mounts opening day, including one on Nikki’s Sandcastle in the $125,000 Claiming Crown John Deere Emerald, is likely to receive a lot of top quality mounts and support from Dale Romans, who trains Finnegans Wake, and Eddie Kenneally, the trainer of Heavenly Landing.

Lanerie credits Romans with planting the seed for his decision to ride at Gulfstream Park instead of Fair Grounds in New Orleans this winter.

“I’ve never ridden in the (Kentucky) Derby. Dale said, ‘If you want to ride the Derby, you need to go to Florida, because that’s where most of the good horses come out of,’” Lanerie said. “It seems like the bigger clients go to Florida for wintertime. Being the leading rider at Churchill last summer, if there’s any time to go, I think now’s the time.”

Lanerie’s career received a big boost during the Churchill Downs spring/summer meeting, during which he rode 71 winners to capture the riding title and make a strong case for being included among the country’s riding elite.

“It was like a dream. It just seemed that everything kept falling into place. It obviously helped with (Julien) Leparoux not being there. A lot of our business was the same, and I was kind of sitting behind him. With him leaving, it just opened up some doors, opened them wider where I was getting first call on a lot of good horses,” said Lanerie, who also won his first Churchill Fall Meet crown last weekend.

Lanerie is likely once again to benefit from the absence of Leparoux, who is scheduled to ride in Southern California this winter after finishing third in both races-won and purse earnings behind Javier Castellano and John Velazquez during the 2011-2012 meeting. He has always made the most of his opportunities wherever he has ridden while amassing more than 3300 trips to winner’s circles in Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Illinois, as well as on trips throughout the country for stakes engagements.

Having grown up in a racing family, Lanerie rode briefly at Louisiana’s bush tracks before taking out his license in 1991. After riding in Louisiana for several years, he moved on to Texas, where he dominated the jockey’s standings at Lone Star Park for four years (1999-2003) and won titles at Sam Houston and Retama Park, as well. He made the move to the tougher Kentucky circuit in 2005.

“It was a pretty scary decision to come to Kentucky. I had only ridden in Texas and Louisiana and a little in Chicago,” said Lanerie, who found a solid working relationship with agent Terry “Jaws” Miller. “I always held my own. I did OK. I think persistence and a good work ethic, coming out and trying my best, got me where I am today.”

Lanerie has earned his way to Gulfstream Park, where he will have the opportunity to showcase his skills aboard the racing world’s fastest and finest Thoroughbreds. Yet, he isn’t going to work any less diligently to reach his goal of riding in and hopefully winning this year’s Kentucky Derby.

“I’m sure I can always improve. That comes with riding good horses where you get more confidence. I get better every day that I ride. I am riding the best I’ve ever ridden, I’d say, right now, and that comes with being confident and comfortable,” he said. “But I think I can still get better.”

Hopeful, Delaware Handicap elevated to Grade I for 2013

One year after being downgraded to Grade II status, the Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga was restored as a Grade I contest when the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association presented its listing of U.S. Graded and Listed Stakes for 2013 on Friday.

 

This year’s Hopeful Stakes was captured by Shanghai Bobby, who went on to cap off his undefeated 5-for-5 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on November 3.

 

Joining the Hopeful in being elevated to Grade I status for 2013 is the Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park, which this year was won by champion Royal Delta – who went on to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on November 2 – and also featured Grade I winner Awesome Maria and eventual multiple Grade I winner Love and Pride.

 

 

The annual grading session was conducted November 28 in Lexington where the Committee reviewed 673 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 457 of them, eight fewer than were graded in 2012, and Listed status to 201 races.  This is the first year the Committee is responsible for assigning Listed status.  A total of five graded races were upgraded, including two new Grade I races and three new Grade II races; one new Grade II race and six new Grade III races were upgraded from Listed status.  Nine races which carried graded status in 2012 are no longer eligible for grading.

 

 

Three races were downgraded from Grade I to Grade II for 2013: the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park, Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct and Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

 

Four races were upgraded to Grade II status for 2013: the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Colonial Turf Cup Stakes (from Listed) at Colonial Downs, Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar and Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

 

Seven races were downgraded from Grade II to Grade III in 2013: the Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct, W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder Race Course, General George Handicap at Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

 

The Kentucky Cup Stakes at Turfway Park was not eligible for grading in 2013.

 

Six races were upgraded to Grade III status for 2013: the Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, Arlington Classic Stakes at Arlington Park, Gallant Bob Stakes. and Parx Dash at Parx Racing and Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs.

 

Six races were downgraded from Grade III to Listed status for 2013: the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes and Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park, Spend A Buck Handicap at Calder Race Course, Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs, Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park and Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct.

 

The La Habra Stakes, San Rafael Stakes and Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park, Kentucky Cup Stakes, Kentucky Cup Distaff, Kentucky Cup Sprint and Turfway Park Fall Championship at Turfway Park and Kentucky Juvenile and Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill Downs were not eligible for grading in 2013.

 

Fifteen races were downgraded from Listed to non-Listed Black Type status for 2013: the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park, Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park, Zia Park Derby at Zia Park, Sophomore Sprint, Memorial Day Handicap, Summer Finale, Decoration Day Handicap and Firecracker Stakes at Mountaineer Park, Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Rumson Stakes at Monmouth Park, San Juan County Commissioners at SunRay Park, Brandywine Stakes at Parx Racing, Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at Prairie Meadows and Femme Fatale Stakes and Red Carpet Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

 

Following is a summary breakdown of all grade levels and a complete list of all upgraded and downgraded U.S. races for the 2013 racing season as well as the complete list of 2013 graded and listed stakes.

 

2013 Graded Stakes        Number        % Graded       %Eligible        Change from 2012

Grade I                                    111               24.3%                                                 -1

Grade II                                   148               32.4%                                                 -3

Grade III                                 198               43.3%                                                 -4

All Graded                              457                                         67.9%

Listed                                       201                                         29.9%

All Graded and Listed Races          658

 

                                            

TOBA American Graded Stakes Committee

Summary of Decisions Made at November 28, 2012 Grading Session

 

RACES UPGRADED FOR 2013:

 

Two-Year-Old Fillies

Sorrento S.                                                        (Del Mar)                                           Grade III to Grade II

 

Three-Year-Old Fillies

Florida Oaks (T)                                              (Tampa Bay Downs)                        Listed to Grade III

 

Older Fillies and Mares

Delaware H.                                                     (Delaware Park)                               Grade II to Grade I

Monrovia S. (T)                                               (Santa Anita Park)                            Grade III to Grade II

 

Two-Year-Olds

Three Chimneys Hopeful S.                          (Saratoga)                                          Grade II to Grade I

Dania Beach S. (T)                                          (Gulfstream Park)                            Listed to Grade III

 

Three-Year-Olds

Oklahoma Derby                                             (Remington Park)                             Listed to Grade III

Arlington Classic S. (T)                                  (Arlington Park)                               Listed to Grade III

Gallant Bob S.                                                  (Parx Racing)                                    Listed to Grade III

 

Older Horses

Ft. Lauderdale S. (T)                                       (Gulfstream Park)                            Grade III to Grade II

Colonial Turf Cup S. (T)                                (Colonial Downs)                             Listed to Grade II

Parx Dash H. (T)                                              (Parx Racing)                                    Listed to Grade III

 

RACES DOWNGRADED FOR 2013:

 

Two-Year-Old Fillies

Debutante S.                                                     (Churchill Downs)                           Grade III to Listed

Arlington-Washington Lassie S.                   (Arlington Park)                               Grade III to Listed

Brandywine S.                                                 (Parx Racing)                                    Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Prairie Gold Lassie S.                                     (Prairie Meadows)                           Listed to non-Listed Black Type

 

Three-Year-Old Fillies

Gazelle S.                                                         (Aqueduct)                                        Grade I to Grade II

Fantasy S.                                                         (Oaklawn Park)                                Grade II to Grade III

Cicada S.                                                           (Aqueduct)                                        Grade III to Listed

Railbird S.                                                        (Betfair Hollywood Park)               Grade III to Listed

Femme Fatale S.                                              (Penn National)                                Listed to non-Listed Black Type

La Habra S.                                                       (Santa Anita Park)                            not eligible

 

Older Fillies and Mares

Santa Monica S.                                               (Santa Anita Park)                            Grade I to Grade II

Robert J. Frankel S. (T)                                  (Santa Anita Park)                            Grade II to Grade III

Summer Finale S. (T)                                      (Mountaineer Park)                         Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Decoration Day H. (T)                                    (Mountaineer Park)                         Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Firecracker S. (T)                                            (Mountaineer Park)                         Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Red Carpet S. (T)                                             (Penn National)                                Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Kentucky Cup Distaff S.                                (Turfway Park)                                 not eligible

Locust Grove H. (T)                                        (Churchill Downs)                           not eligible

 

Two-Year-Olds

Hollywood Juvenile Championship S.        (Betfair Hollywood Park)               Grade III to Listed

Gold Rush Futurity                                         (Arapahoe Park)                               Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Kentucky Juvenile S.                                      (Churchill Downs)                           not eligible

 

Three-Year-Olds

Mine That Bird Derby                                    (Sunland Park)                                  Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Zia Park Derby                                                (Zia Park)                                          Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Sophomore Sprint S.                                       (Mountaineer Park)                         Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Bachelor S.                                                       (Oaklawn Park)                                Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Rumson S.                                                        (Monmouth Park)                             Listed to non-Listed Black Type

San Rafael S.                                                    (Santa Anita Park)                            not eligible

Kentucky Cup Sprint S.                                  (Turfway Park)                                 not eligible

 

Older Horses

Charles Whittingham Memorial H. (T)        (Betfair Hollywood Park)               Grade I to Grade II

Red Smith H. (T)                                             (Aqueduct)                                        Grade II to Grade III

W.L. McKnight H. (T)                                    (Calder Race Course)                      Grade II to Grade III

General George H.                                          (Laurel Park)                                     Grade II to Grade III

Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship S.    (Gulfstream Park)                            Grade II to Grade III

Commonwealth S.                                           (Keeneland)                                      Grade II to Grade III

Spend A Buck H.                                             (Calder Race Course)                      Grade III to Listed

San Juan County Commissioners H.            (SunRay Park)                                  Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Memorial Day H.                                             (Mountaineer Park)                         Listed to non-Listed Black Type

Kentucky Cup S.                                             (Turfway Park)                                 not eligible

Turfway Park Fall Championship S.            (Turfway Park)                                 not eligible

Thunder Road S. (T)                                       (Santa Anita Park)                            not eligible

 

 

Morton Fink named outstanding breeder of Breeders’ Cup

Edited press release:

Bolstered by his homebred Wise Dan, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 3, Morton Fink has won the second annual John Deere Award as outstanding breeder of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The John Deere Award, presented by Breeders’ Cup Limited and NTRA Advantage, emphasizes the contributions of breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program. The industry’s breeders fund the purses for the World Championships through annual nominations of foals and stallions.

The John Deere Award winner goes to the breeder who received the highest number of points based upon graded/group first-place finishes in the 73 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and the 15 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races held this year.  Morton Fink earned 30 points, finishing four points ahead of Palides Investments NV, Inc., breeders of Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Royal Delta, and Stonehaven Steadings, who bred Shanghai Bobby, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

In addition to his Breeders’ Cup triumph, the chestnut 5-year-old gelding Wise Dan, trained by Charles Lopresti, captured two Breeders’ Cup Challenges races – the Grade I Woodbine Mile on September 16 at Woodbine Race Course, and the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on October 6 – before taking $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf at Santa Anita Park in course record time of 1:31.78.

Bred in Kentucky, Wise Dan was sired by Wiseman’s Ferry out of Lisa Danielle by Wolf Power. Fink named broodmare Lisa Danielle after his granddaughter Lisa Danielle Marcus.

NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award Fink a John Deere TS Gator Utility Vehicle.

“I’m very proud to win this award. I’ve been in the business for more than 40 years and it’s a major miracle when you breed and race a horse like Wise Dan,” said Fink, who lives in Northbrook, Ill. “I bought Lisa Danielle for $29,000 and she won all of one race in her career. Wiseman’s Ferry’s stud fee was $1,000, so there are no words to describe when something like this happens. With a few distractions, everything has worked out perfectly.”

Fink said he would give the Gator to Lopresti for him to use on his Kentucky farm.

“When Charlie told me early on that Wise Dan was a special horse, I didn’t believe him, but Charlie knows a horse like a father knows a son,” said Fink, who said that he expects Wise Dan to return to the races in the spring of next year.

“We congratulate Morton Fink on his outstanding homebred, Wise Dan, in winning the John Deere Award,” said Heather Higgins, Breeders’ Cup Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “John Deere continues to be an outstanding Breeders’ Cup partner and its expanded role with NTRA Advantage emphasizes the essential importance of our breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program.”

 

 

The John Deere Award point system was based on wins in Challenge/Championships stakes races for U.S and Canadian Grades events and International Group events:

Grade/Group I                         10

Grade/Group II                          6

Grade/Group III                         4

Ungraded                                  2

 

Palides Investments earned second place in the competition from the victories by the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly Royal Delta in the Ladies’ Classic, and wins two Breeders’ Cup Challenge races, the Grade I Beldame Stakes on September 29 at Belmont Park and the Grade II Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park on July 21 at Delaware Park.

For Stonehaven Steadings, Shanghai Bobby earned 26 points for his win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and two Breeders’ Cup Challenge victories in the Grade II Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on September 3 and in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on October 6.

Palides Investments gained the second place finished based on higher earnings by Royal Delta.

Last year, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey won the inaugural John Deere Award.

 

Who’s your momma? A few candidates for 2012 Broodmare of the Year

With little more than a month remaining in the year and only a smattering of Grade I races still on the docket, the debate around which humans and equines will take home Eclipse Awards for 2012 has begun in earnest throughout the Thoroughbred racing community.

One of the more coveted awards in the industry, however, won’t be handed up until next spring when the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ honors its 2012 Broodmare of the Year.

First awarded in 1946, the Broodmare of the Year designation is the oldest award the KTA/KTOB distributes and is voted upon by the organization’s Board of Directors (mares must be based in Kentucky). Though the KTA/KTOB awards committee determines the nominees, that doesn’t mean fans and pedigree junkies can’t banter back and forth about who they think will be in the running and ultimately prevail.

A  leading candidate for this year’s honor would be the lone mare in owner Morton Fink’s broodmare roster – Lisa Danielle. Named for one of Fink’s grandchildren, the 18-year-old daughter of Wolf Power is the dam of multiple Grade I winner and leading Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan as well as graded stakes winner Successful Dan, both conditioned by Charlie Lopresti.

Wise Dan’s well-documented resume is a tribute to his all-encompassing talent, featuring graded stakes triumphs on all three surfaces. When Successful Dan and fellow Grade I-winning stablemate Turallure each went to the sidelines with season-ending injuries this summer, the Wiseman’s Ferry gelding picked up the ball and stuffed it, winning four straight tests on turf to close out his season including scores in the Grade I Woodbine Mile, Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile and a course record-setting romp in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3.

Before a ligament injury flared up prior to his expected run in the Grade I Whitney, Successful Dan was in the midst of a comeback from a prior suspensory ailment that sidelined him for 17-months. The 6-year-old gelded son of Successful Appeal  won an allowance race at Keeneland in April and defeated eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned in the Grade II Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 4, taking that race in track record time for 1 1/16-miles.

“Whoever we bred her to, the horse comes out looking like her and they all run,” Fink said of Lisa Danielle following Wise Dan’s Breeders’ Cup triumph. “She has had three stakes winners, five horses have won over $150,000 this is from a $29,000 mare. You have to be lucky.  You can do things right but you have to be lucky, too.”

No mare has earned the Broodmare of the Year honor more than once, but My Meadowview’s blue hen Oatsee could change that. The 2011 Broodmare of the Year might have an even stronger case for the honor this season with three of her offspring winning stakes in 2012 and two of them taking multiple graded stakes.

Already the dam of 2007 Grade I Alabama Stakes winner Lady Joanne and multiple Grade III winner Baghdaria, Oatsee produced 2011 Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford, who became a multiple Grade I victor this year with scores in the Met Mile and Clark Handicap. Twenty four hours before Shackleford closed out his career with his Clark victory last weekend, his 5-year-old half sister Afleeting Lady captured the Grade II Falls City Handicap at Churchill, her third stakes win and second graded stakes triumph of 2012.

Add in to all that the fact Stephanoatsee, Oatsee’s 3-year-old son of A.P. Indy, captured the Barbaro Stakes in October. When the 15-year-old daughter of Unbridled visits  undefeated European champion Frankel in the breeding shed this coming year, the resulting foal better have a good shoulder for which to handle the expectations heaped upon it.

Shackleford’s Grade I-winning stablemate Dullahan also gave his dam Mining My Own potential Broodmare of the Year credentials. The 11-year-old daughter of Smart Strike hit paydirt when her first foal, Mine That Bird, captured the 2009 Kentucky Derby and went on to hit the board in the remaining two Triple Crown races.

Proving she is nobody’s one-hit wonder, Mining My Own was back in the spotlight the last 12 months with Dullahan toppling champion Hansen in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes prior to his third place effort in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Even the Score enjoyed his best moment though when he defeated older horses – including multiple Grade I winner Game On Dude – to become just the fourth 3-year-old to win the Grade I Pacific Classic in August.

A dark horse but no less admirable candidate could also be Matlacha Pass, dam of multiple Grade I winner Point of Entry. A product of the storied Phipps breeding program, the 15-year-old Matlacha Pass shows why one shouldn’t lose faith in a proven mare that has a bit of a dry spell. The 15-year-old Seeking the Gold mare produced the ill-fated, multiple Grade I winning filly Pine Island as her second foal in 2003 but didn’t have another stakes winner until Point of Entry, who was foaled in 2008.

Prior to his runner-up finish to Little Mike in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, Point of Entry had won five straight including the Grade I Man o’ War Stakes, Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational and Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.

With only one shot a season to make an impact, broodmares are the quite literally the heartbeat of any breeding operation regardless of scope. These mares are among the treasured bunch that has repeatedly delivered top level quality and given every horseman hope each time a foal hits the ground.

Keeneland bolsters catalog for January Horses of All Ages sale

Keeneland’s 2013 January Horses of All Ages Sale will boast more heft and days this year as a total of 1,893 lots have been cataloged.

The total lots are up from last year when 1,594 were cataloged over four days. This year’s January auction will take place over five days from January 7-11.

The interactive January Sale catalog will be accessible online at www.keeneland.com beginning Tuesday, December 4.  Print catalogs will be mailed the week of December 17.

 

Comprising the 1,893 lots cataloged are 832 broodmares and broodmare prospects, 731 yearlings, 327 horses of racing age, two stallions and one share in Corinthian.

 

The January Sale will feature the complete dispersal of Issam Fares’ Fares Farm. The 80-horse consignment will be highlighted by Canadian champion Embur’s Song, in foal to Giant’s Causeway; Deputy Saint, a half-sister to two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, in foal to Lemon Drop Kid; and a yearling half-sister to Curlin by Distorted Humor. Lane’s End Farm will act as agent for the dispersal.

 

Keeneland will offer broodmares in foal to, and yearlings represented by, such top stallions as Arch, Awesome Again, Bernardini, Blame, Broken Vow, Candy Ride, Cape Blanco, Curlin, Distorted Humor, Drosselmeyer, Elusive Quality, Eskendereya, Ghostzapper, Giant’s Causeway, Hard Spun, Harlan’s Holiday, Henrythenavigator, Indian Charlie, Kitten’s Joy, Lemon Drop Kid, Lookin At Lucky, Majestic Warrior, Malibu Moon, Medaglia d’Oro, More Than Ready, Pulpit, Quality Road, Scat Daddy, Speightstown, Street Cry, Tapit, Tiz Wonderful, Tiznow, Trappe Shot, Unbridled’s Song, Uncle Mo and Zenzational.

 

Among the recent January Sale alumni are such graded stakes winners as Love Theway Youare (2012 Vanity H.-G1);Willy Beamin (2012 Foxwoods King’s Bishop S.-G1); Bern Identity (2012 Sanford S.-G2); Twilight Eclipse (2012 W.L. McKnight H.-G2); Joyful Victory (2011 Fantasy S.-G2); Stunning Stag (2011 Vigil S.-G3); Two Months Rent (2012 Hawthorne Derby-G3); Unbridled’s Note (2012 Eddie D S.-G3); and Ollie Olga (2012 Whiteley Clinic Prestige S.-G3).

Bach named general manager of Turfway Park

Edited press release:

Central Kentucky native Daniel “Chip” Bach has been named general manager of Northern Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racetrack, Turfway Park. Bach, who has held leadership positions at Turfway for more than a decade, most recently served as the track’s director of operations since 2006. The appointment coincides with Thursday’s opening of Turfway Park’s 37th holiday meet.

 

“Turfway and the Kentucky horseracing industry have undergone significant change over the past decade,” said Kevin Kline, Caesars Entertainment senior vice president and Horseshoe Cincinnati general manager.  “Chip’s industry experience, strong leadership, operational expertise and dedication to customer service make him an excellent candidate to navigate and grow Turfway’s future,” Kline said.

 

Bach joined Turfway in 1999 as director of human resources and safety, where he developed and implemented the track’s continuous improvement customer service program that is still in use today.  In this role he also developed the equine industry standard protocol for communications and response to high-risk infectious diseases, also still in use today.

 

In 2006 Bach was named director of operations and assumed oversight of all day-to-day track activities including racing, mutuels, admissions, facility, grounds, customer service and horsemen relations.  In this role he served as a key contributor to one of the sport’s most important Kentucky Derby spring qualifiers, the Spiral Stakes, which has been hosted annually at Turfway for more than 40 years.

 

Bach earned his bachelor’s degree in public and police administration from Eastern Kentucky University and began his professional career in the Information Technology sector overseeing loss prevention, security and technical training at firms on the East Coast.

Graded stakes winner Rule retired to Vinery New York

Edited press release:

Multiple graded stakes winner Rule has been retired from racing and will stand stud at Vinery New York for 2013. The WinStar homebred joins leading sire Bluegrass Cat as a Vinery/WinStar Venture standing in the Empire State. Rule’s introductory fee will be $6,500 stands and nurses.

 

“Rule is a natural for New York, and his pedigree should be a very familiar one to local breeders. Obviously, his dam is the sister of perhaps New York’s best racehorse ever in Funny Cide, who was the first Kentucky Derby winner we bred, and the horse that really put WinStar on the map,” said Elliott Walden, President and CEO of WinStar. “Rule is an awesome-looking individual and a precocious, high-quality racehorse in his own right, winning a Grade 2 this year over Flat Out and placing in three of North America’s most coveted Grade 1 races during his career.”

 

Rule captured the Grade III Delta Jackpot Stakes as a juvenile and opened his 3-year-old season with a win in the Grade III Sam F. Davis.  This year, Rule impressed in his seasonal debut while scoring a clear win over multiple Grade I winner Flat Out in the Grade II Monmouth Cup.

 

By Roman Ruler, Rule hails from the mare Rockcide, a half-sister to New York-bred Kentucky Derby and Preakness  winner Funny Cide. He retires with six wins from 20 starts and $1,162,350 in earnings.

Grade I winner Summer Soiree retired

Owner Team Valor announced Tuesday that its Grade I winning filly Summer Soiree was officially retired following  a third-place finish in the Grade I Matriarch Stakes on November 25 at Hollywood Park.

 

The 4-year-old daughter of War Front is set to visit Darley sire Medaglia d’Oro. Team Valor plans to offer her in foal at public auction next November.

 

Summer Soiree, winner of the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in 2011, was trained by Graham Motion and retires with a record of 16-5-1-5. She boasts two wins on dirt by a combined 16 lengths and a Grade III victory at Turfway Park by 10 ¾ lengths on Polytrack. She roared to an 8 ½-length win in the Grade III Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth Park in her first grass opportunity, registering a 99 Beyer Speed Figure and 3 on the Thoro-Graph Sheets.

Groupie Doll returns home, similar path on tap for 2013

After his soon-to-be-champion filly Groupie Doll lost a heartbreaking photo to 2011 Travers winner Stay Thirty  in Saturday’s Grade I Cigar Mile, trainer Buff Bradley expected to hear it from the Aqueduct faithful for getting the even-money favorite beat.

Instead of piling on, the crowd let Bradley know that just because the daughter of Bowman’s Band didn’t make it to the winner’s circle didn’t mean they didn’t savor the show she put on against her male rivals.

“Here she was the even money favorite, she gets beat and I thought walking back I’m going to get an earful,” Bradley said when reached by phone Sunday afternoon. “But actually it was really nice. People were telling me thank you for bringing her and I was taken back by it, I really was.”

Though Groupie Doll came up about three inches short of her what would have been her sixth straight win and fourth Grade I triumph, her trainer and co-owner Bradley wasn’t second guessing his decision to the 4-year-old to the Cigar Mile just three weeks after her win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Not only was her reputation not dulled, but Bradley said Groupie Doll bounced out of the race well physically and was back at his family’s Frankfort-based farm by Sunday morning. Of her four races at the mile distance this year, her two losses were both against males as she previously ran second to Grade I winner Boys At Tosconova in an allowance race at Gulfstream this past January.

“We just turned her out for a bit, she bucking and playing,” Bradley said. “She ate up last night, her legs and cold and tight. We have no regrets running her yesterday. We just got out run by a better horse yesterday. She ran her race and we just missed a head bob. You run that race four more times and she might win a couple of them.

“She’s wonderful. When we got back to the barn, she was eating hay looking for people to take her picture.”

Groupie Doll had won five straight heading into the Cigar Mile, including scores in the Grade I Vinery Madison and Grade I Humana Distaff this spring. Bradley, who bred and co-owns the filly along with his father Fred, said that she would likely be pointed for a similar schedule in 2013 beginning with a start in the Grade II Inside Information at Gulfstream in March.

Groupie Doll was third behind 2011 female sprint champion Musical Romance in the seven-furlong Inside Information this year.

“Right now, probably the best case scenario would be to look at the exact same races as last year,” Bradley said. “The good thing is she came out of (the Cigar Mile) good and she’ll be turned out with (retired Grade I winner) Brass Hat.”

Among those who also bounced out of Saturday’s action well were Uncaptured and Seaneen Girl, winners of the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club and Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs respectively.

Uncaptured, trained by Mark Casse, suffered some some minor cuts on his legs during his stretch dual with Frac Daddy but was otherwise in good form Sunday.
“He came out great, thank goodness, other than a few cuts on his legs that I think he got at the start, where he got banged around pretty good,” Casse said. “He’s going to go to Palm Meadows and get a little bit of a break there. I’ll sit down with (owner) John Oxley and we’ll map out probably three races to get him to the Kentucky Derby. I just don’t know which three they’ll be.”
Seaneen Girl, trained by the venerable Bernie Flint, is slated to ship to Fair Grounds with the Kentucky Oaks as her ultimate goal.
“She’s doing great and she ate up everything,” Flint said. “We’ll look at the Silverbulletday (on Jan. 19), but if we have to ship, we’ll ship. She’s at the top of her game. “They’re going to run the (Kentucky) Oaks here (at Churchill Downs) and she loves the place.”

Clark top three in good order; decision on Take Charge Indy in next few days

From today’s Churchill Downs notes:
 The day after a fantastic renewal of the Grade I Clark Handicap, the top three finishers were in fine order in their stalls at Churchill Downs, but definite plans for each horse have yet to be decided.
        The decision to retire Clark winner Shackleford following Friday’s race was made before he even passed the entry box, but what remains unknown is when the 4-year-old son of Forestry will walk out of his stall at Churchill Downs for the final time. Trainer Dale Romans said Shackleford will likely leave for Darby Dan Farm on Monday, but nothing has been finalized.
        Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Take Charge Indy, runner-up in the Clark, came out of the race in fantastic order, according to trainer Pat Byrne.  Chuck and Maribeth Sandford, along with WinStar Farm President and CEO Elliott Walden, were at Churchill Downs early Saturday morning to discuss the future racing career of Take Charge Indy.
        “He came back great and he’s as happy as he could be,” Chuck Sandford said. “A decision (on whether or not he will be retired) is coming quick. WinStar will make the announcement when the decision is made. It could come as early as Monday or Tuesday and shouldn’t be any later than Wednesday.”
        Kellyn Gorder’s assistant trainer Evan Downing said Bourbon Courage exited his third-place effort in the Clark in perfect condition.
        “There’s no reason to turn him out if he’s 100-percent,” Downing said. “The plan is to take him to New Orleans on Monday. We’ll look at something like the Mineshaft (GIII at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23). That would be a good prep for something like the New Orleans Handicap (GII at Fair Grounds on March 30).”

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