Archive for February, 2014

Darley purchases majority interest in Holy Bull winner Cairo Prince

Edited release:

Darley announced Friday that it has purchased a majority interest in Cairo Prince, a runaway winner of the Grade II Holy Bull Stakes on January 25th. The colt will stay in the barn of current trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and race in the colors of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable, along with owners Terry Murray, Paul Braverman, Harvey A. Clarke and Craig W. Robertson, III.

Prior to his Holy Bull victory, Cairo Prince had registered two wins from three starts, including a victory in the Grade II Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct. His lone defeat came in the Grade II Remsen where he was caught at the wire by Honor Code.

“We are excited to be involved with such a promising 3‐year‐old at this time of the year, and it is also special that our longtime trainer is handling the horse and we have the opportunity to share this excitement with the colt’s current owners,” Jimmy Bell, President of Darley America, said in a release.

Terry Murray, spokesman for the current owners, added, “We are very pleased to be aligned and in partnership with one of the preeminent Thoroughbred racing and breeding operations in the world.”

A son of Pioneerof the Nile, Cairo Prince remains on track to make his final pre-Kentucky Derby prep in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

Gary and Mary West to offer $2.5 million in breeder bonuses

Owners Gary and Mary West announced in an open letter Thursday plans to offer up to $2.5 million in breeder’s bonuses for the 2014 breeding season for their Grade I-winning stallions New Year’s Day and Power Broker standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale.

In their open letter, the Wests said they will offer a $250,000 to the breeder of the first Grade I winner by each stallion, and $1,000,000 to the breeder of a 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Colts winner and/or 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner by either stallion. In the event both Juvenile events are won by progeny of the stallions, they will  award $2,000,000 in bonuses ($1,000,000 to the breeder of the Juvenile Colts winner and $1,000,000 to the breeder of the Juvenile Fillies winner).

The entire content of the open letter is as follows:

An Open Letter from Gary West

Dear Fellow Breeders,

Mary and I are passionate about our thoroughbred operation and have been extremely fortunate to enjoy the thrill of winning Grade 1’s with both Power Broker and New Year’s Day (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Champion and top weight on the Experimental Free Handicap), both as two-year-olds. We are proud of and excited at the opportunity to stand these two outstanding racehorses at stud as they both have the proper mix of performance, pedigree, and conformation. We have purchased over 40 mares to support both horses and are thrilled that breeders are enthusiastically supporting them as well. Additionally, it is well documented that Mary and I purchase “well-bred athletic” foals by our own sires that fit the criteria of our racing program.

In an effort to maximize our color bearers’ success in the breeding shed, we have decided to further incentivize outside breeders and to say “Thank You.” We are offering $250,000 to the breeder of the first Grade 1 winner by each stallion, and $1,000,000 to the breeder of a 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Colts winner and/or 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner by either stallion. In the event both Juvenile events are won by progeny of our stallions, we will happily award $2,000,000 in bonuses ($1,000,000 to the breeder of the Juvenile Colts winner and $1,000,000 to the breeder of the Juvenile Fillies winner). These payments are limited to horses that win a Grade 1 race in the United States and will only be paid to the first Grade 1-winning breeder of each horse. The same breeder is eligible to win both incentive bonuses. If a foal of either of our sires is first to win a Grade 1 and then win the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Colts or Juvenile Fillies, they will win $1,250,000. And, if a foal of either of our sires is first to win a Grade 1 in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Colts or Juvenile Fillies, they will win $1,250,000. If Mary and I are the breeder of the first Grade 1 winner of either or both horses, then the second Grade 1 winner will get the breeder’s award. Mary and I are disqualifying ourselves from the $250,000 bonus.

We encourage you to come see both horses at Hill ‘n’ Dale. Both horses are extremely well bred, superior racehorses, and great looking individuals. We are pleased to offer these significant breeder’s bonuses for your support of our two new stallions. We hope you feel this generous incentive is making a good deal even better.

Sincerely,
Gary West

$1,000,000 BREEDER’S BONUS
To win: You must be the breeder of record of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Colts winner or 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner sired by either Power Broker or New Year’s Day. Your stud fee must be paid in full when due to be eligible. Neither Gary nor Mary West are eligible to win.

$250,000 BREEDER’S BONUS
To win: You must be the breeder of record of the first U.S. Grade 1 winner sired by Power Broker or New Year’s Day (no time restriction). Grade 1 winners by both sires are eligible for the bonus and the same breeder can win both ($500,000 total). Your stud fee must be paid in full when due to be eligible. Neither Gary nor Mary West are eligible to win.

*Only for the 2014 Breeding Season

Keeneland Library to sell duplicate books, journals from collection

Keeneland release:

For the first time since its establishment in 1939, the Keeneland Library will sell duplicate books, journals and magazines from its unique collections during a special event for the public on March 6-8.  Approximately 7,000 books, many of which are from the 19th and 20th centuries, and journals dating from the 1930s to the present will be available for purchase.

 

Proceeds from the sale will enhance the Library’s ability to preserve its collections and to offer outreach and research services.

 

The sale will take place in the Keene Barn at Keeneland’s Entertainment Center on March 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on March 7-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (All times Eastern).

 

As the world’s largest repository of materials on the Thoroughbred, the Keeneland Library serves fans and researchers who value and enjoy Thoroughbred racing and its history.  Most of the duplicate books are currently out of print, and all but the rarest books will be priced to sell.

 

Material in the sale covers equine art, fiction, horse care, breeding and pedigrees, history, the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup, biographies, racetrack media guides and memorabilia. Titles include:

 

Rare books from the 19th and 20th centuries: Sporting Society (1897), The American Turf (1898), First-Hand Bits of Stable Lore (1903), Catalogue of Books on Sport & Natural History (1904) and Pretty Polly (1907).

 

Large sets: American Stud BookBlood-Horse WeeklyWallace’s Annual Register and Ruff’s Guide to the Turf & Sporting Life.

 

International stallion registers and stud books: Weatherby’s Stallion BookChronique du TurfJapan Stallion Statistical Record, and New Zealand Stud Book.

 

Volumes and single magazine issues: The Blood-HorseThoroughbred TimesPalermo Blanca and Turf Elevage.

 

There will be no advance sales. All purchases must be made in person.  Most books are priced from $1 to $25, although some rare books will be individually priced based on market value, condition and scarcity.

 

During the book sale the Keeneland Gift Shop will also hold its popular annual sale, featuring giveaways and special discounts at Keeneland’s Entertainment Center.  The sale will run Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Fridayand Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  WBUL-FM’s DeAnn Stephens will be at the sale on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. for giveaways.  Special pricing discounts will be available to shoppers from 9 – 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

NBC Sports, Churchill Downs extend broadcast agreement through 2025

 Edited release:

NBC Sports Group and Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Wednesday a 10-year agreement extending NBCSG’s exclusive rights to broadcast the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks through 2025.

The 10-year renewal extends the partnership which began in 2001 and includes multiplatform rights to the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Derby and Oaks day programming which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Churchill Downs for both the iconic Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby and are proud to have them as   signature elements of our Championship Season,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “This decade-long deal is a testament to the strength of the relationship between Churchill Downs Incorporated and NBC Sports, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing. We will continue to utilize the wide-ranging media platforms of NBCUniversal to surround the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with wall-to-wall coverage and extensive promotion.”

“This agreement extends our relationship with NBC to 25 years and includes what will be a very special historical moment, the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024,” said Churchill Downs Chairman and CEO Bob Evans. “We will not only achieve our financial objectives with this deal, but we will also continue to benefit from NBC’s unique media assets and innovative perspective to help us continue to grow the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby brands.”

Three of the last five Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 16 million viewers and NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 13 races averaged over 2 million more viewers than the previous 12 Kentucky Derby broadcasts (14.3 million vs.12.0 million, up 19 percent).

NBC  also has a multi-year partnership deal to  broadcast the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Two-time horse of the year Wise Dan returns to work

Looking as if he “never missed a day” according to trainer Charlie LoPresti, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan put in his first timed workout of the year on Monday, covering three furlongs in 36 flat at Keeneland.

Wise Dan returned to LoPresti’s Keeneland shedrow a couple weeks ago after getting his usual winter time off on his conditioner’s Lexington-based farm. In typical form, Morton Fink’s homebred gelding went through his first major move with freakish ease.

“He worked really good. He went just :12s, :12s, :12s every pole and was sure full of himself pulling up,” LoPresti said Tuesday. “It was like he never missed a day. He could have went a half in 48 if I had asked him to without even blinking an eye.”

Wise Dan swept the Eclipse Awards for champion turf male, champion older male and horse of the year for a second consecutive season when honors were handed out in January after a 2013 campaign that saw him win six of seven starts. Included in his four Grade I wins last season was a course-record triumph in the Woodbine Mile and his second straight victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

LoPresti said that barring bad weather or a physical setback, Wise Dan could open his season in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in April, the same race he won last year to kick off that championship campaign. Doing right by the 7-year-old gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry, though, remains priority No. 1.

“I’m going to look at my first race back and then go from there,” LoPresti said. “If weather permits and we don’t have any hiccups, maybe he’ll run in the Maker’s, maybe he’ll run in the Woodford (Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3); He could even show up in the (Grade II) Alysheba (at Churchill on May 2). I just don’t know.

“Ideally, my choice would be to run him in the same race he came back in last year. That’s my choice. But I’m going to be real careful how many times I run him this year and where I run him.”

He has dominated the turf ranks the last two seasons, but Wise Dan also is a Grade I winner on dirt, having taken the 2011 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. LoPresti said the most likely opportunity for the chestnut stunner to possibly try dirt this year would occur during the Saratoga meeting.

“I’m thinking probably, in a perfect world we would do the same sort of schedule (as last year) and then when we got to Saratoga maybe we make a  little bit different change,” LoPresti said. “Who knows, maybe we get to Saratoga this year and he trains really well on dirt. I wanted to try him on dirt there last year.”

This past Saturday also saw Wise Dan’s older half brother, Successful Dan, put in his first work of the year when he covered three furlongs in :39.20 at Keeneland. A multiple graded stakes winner himself, 8-year-old Successful Dan has battled suspensory problems over the years and has not run since finishing third in the Grade I Woodward at Saratoga in August.

“Successful Dan came out of his work good, both of them are really good right now,” LoPresti said.

Samraat, Uncle Sigh to meet again in Grade III Gotham

NYRA release:

Undefeated Samraat will shoot for his fifth straight victory on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack when he heads a field of 11 for the Grade III, $500,000 Gotham, a major prep for the April 5 Wood Memorial and the Kentucky Derby one month later.

 

The winner of the 1 1/16-miles Gotham will be awarded 50 points under the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” point system, virtually guaranteeing a berth in the starting gate for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

 

Samraat, a dark bay son of Noble Causeway, enters the Gotham off two consecutive stakes wins on Aqueduct’s inner track: a 16 ¾-length romp in the Damon Runyon against New York-breds on December 18 and a hard-fought one-length score over Uncle Sigh in the Grade III Withers on February 1, his first start in open company.

 

“There’s no question more racing will help him,” said trainer Rick Violette, who also will saddle Klaravich Stables’ Financial Mogul in the Gotham. “If we’re lucky enough to make it to the Derby, we felt two races [Gotham and Wood] would be the way to go and Mr. [Leonard] Riggio felt strongly about that. In the Gotham, we’ll be racing out of our own stall on a racetrack he’s familiar with. It’s an upgrade as far as competition goes. He has to step up but if you watched the prep races over the weekend, there were a few horses who stepped up and a lot who didn’t.”

 

Jose Ortiz, who has been aboard for all four of Samraat’s victories, will be in the irons again when they leave from post position 8. Coupled with the Wesley Ward-trained New York-bred Noble Cornerstone in the wagering, Samraat was listed at 5-2 on the morning line. Financial Mogul drew post position 2 at 10-1 on the morning line.

 

Uncle Sigh, who came off a maiden victory to duel saddlecloth-to-saddlecloth with Samraat before yielding in the final yards of the Withers, drilled a half-mile in 46.90 seconds Monday morning in preparation for Saturday’s race. The New York-bred son of Indian Charlie drew post position 3 and will have Corey Nakatani aboard for the first time.

 

“I’m super pleased with the way he’s coming into the race,” said Gary Contessa, who trains the 3-1 second choice on the morning line for Wounded Warrior Stables. “I was hoping for a good post position because it can play a big part in the landscape of this race. He’s trained good, had a good work this morning, and we’ll see what happens.”

 

Completing a quartet of New York-breds for the Gotham is Treadway Racing Stable’s Deceived, who was third in the Damon Runyon behind Samraat and most recently defeated state-breds by 8 ¼ lengths in an optional claimer on January 31. Trainer Leah Gyarmati has named Rajiv Maragh aboard the Broken Vow colt, who drew post position 6 and was listed at 15-1 on the morning line.

 

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2011 Gotham with Stay Thirsty and the 2007 edition with Cowtown Cat, will saddle Let’s Go Stable’s Harpoon, most recently second in the Grade III Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs, and Master Lightning, fourth behind fellow Gotham entrant Extrasexyhippzster in the Miracle Wood at Laurel Park on January 25. Mike Repole’s Monopolize, who was sixth in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park last time out, was entered, but, according to Pletcher, is 50-50 to run.

 

At 10-1 on the morning line, Harpoon drew the outside post 11 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., while Master Lightning (20-1) will leave from post position 10 with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons. Monopolize (20-1) drew post position 5 with Chris DeCarlo named to ride.

 

“Normally I wouldn’t like the outside draw [for Harpoon] but after his last race from post position 1, I would say it’s a good post position for him,” said Pletcher. “We’re hoping Master Lightning shows up with his ‘A’ game. He’s shown in the past he’s capable but he’s been a bit erratic. This would be a good time for him to show up.”

 

In Trouble, who won both starts as a juvenile, including the Grade II Futurity at Belmont Park, will be making his 2014 debut and his first start beyond six furlongs.

 

“I don’t know [about the distance], but I feel good about trying it,” said trainer Tony Dutrow. “He’s excellent; he’s really, really happy. I feel the horse is ready to give us what he’s got Saturday.”

 

The Tiz Wonderful colt, 6-1 on the morning line, will leave from the rail with Joe Rocco, Jr. aboard.

 

Rounding out the field are Miracle Wood winner Extrasexyhippzster (4-1), who took the Don Rickles on December 21 in his lone New York appearance, and Classic Giacnroll (20-1), who was second in the Grade 2 Jerome to Noble Moon and fourth in the Grade 3 Withers.

 

The field for the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham:

PP Horse Jockey WGT Trainer Odds
1 In Trouble (KY) J Rocco, Jr. 120 A W. Dutrow  6-1
2 Financial Mogul (KY) S Bridgmohan 116 R A. Violette 10-1
3 Uncle Sigh (NY) C S. Nakatani 116 G C. Contessa  3-1
4a Noble Cornerstone (NY) K Desormeaux 116 W A. Ward  5-2
5 Monopolize (KY) C P. DeCarlo 116 T A. Pletcher 20-1
6 Deceived (NY) R Maragh 116 L Gyarmati 15-1
7 Classic Giacnroll (KY) M Franco 116 L Guerrero 20-1
8a Samraat (NY) J L. Ortiz 123 R A. Violette  5-2
9 Extrasexyhippzster (PA) J Pimentel 123 M J. Trombetta  4-1
10 Master Lightning (PA) C H. Velasquez 116 T A. Pletcher 20-1
11 Harpoon (KY) I Ortiz, Jr. 116 T A. Pletcher 10-1

a – coupled entry

Santa Anita Handicap added to FOX Sports 1 schedule

Edited Jockey Club release:

FOX Sports 1 and The Jockey Club announced Monday that the network will provide live coverage of the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap from Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 8. The telecast, as part of The Jockey Club Tour on FOX, will air from 7 – 7:30 p.m. ET.

 

The 77th edition of the Big ’Cap is expected to feature leading handicap horses Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge. Game On Dude won the historic race in 2011 and 2013 and Mucho Macho Man beat Will Take Charge by a nose in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita last November 2.

 

Will Take Charge, the Eclipse Award winner for champion 3-year-old male of 2013, was second to Lea in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in his 2014 debut, which was shown live on FOX Sports 1 on February 9. Mucho Macho Man won the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on January 18 by 14 lengths.

 

“We’re thrilled to add a gem like the Big ’Cap to the FOX Sports 1 schedule on March 8,” said Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports’ senior vice president, Programming and Research. “This rematch of the top two finishers from last year’s spine-tingling Breeders’ Cup Classic will be one of the most anticipated races of the year, and we’re happy to give it the national platform it deserves.”

 

“We are delighted to be a part of The Jockey Club Tour on FOX and to be able to showcase this magnificent race in Eastern Prime Time on Fox Sports 1,” said Santa Anita Chairman Keith Brackpool. “We want to thank the connections of Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge for committing to this historic rematch, and we’re hoping to have Game On Dude and a strong overall contingent of local horses as well. That said, this year’s Santa Anita Handicap should provide our fans with great racing and compelling television and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

 

“This edition of the Big ’Cap promises to be one of the most exciting and most important races of the year, and we are elated that our television partner could find a spot for it in the programming schedule and that The Stronach Group was willing to shift the post time slightly to accommodate us,” said Jason Wilson, vice president of business development for The Jockey Club.

 

A replay of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic featuring Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge is available at http://youtu.be/M9orPvB6Ju0.

 

After the Santa Anita Handicap, The Jockey Club Tour on FOX series of races will continue with eight other telecasts, including the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest Thoroughbred race.

 

The complete schedule follows:

 

Date                            Time (ET)            Race                                         Track

Saturday, March 8      7:00 – 7:30 pm      Santa Anita Handicap (G1)      Santa Anita Park,

                                                                                      Arcadia, California

 

Saturday, March 29    1:00 – 2:30 pm      Dubai World Cup                     Meydan Race Course,

                                                                                      Dubai

 

Saturday, April 12      4:30 – 6:00 pm      Toyota Blue Grass                    Keeneland, Lexington,

                                    Stakes (G1)                               Kentucky

                              

Sunday, May 11          4:30 – 6:00 pm      Man o’ War Stakes (G1)          Belmont Park, Elmont,

                                                                                      New York

 

Sunday, July 6            5:00 – 6:30 pm      United Nations Stakes (G1)     Monmouth Park,

                                                                                      Oceanport, New Jersey

 

Sunday, July 20          5:30 – 7:30 pm      Eddie Read Stakes (G1)          Del Mar, Del Mar,

                                                                                      California

 

                                    TVG Coaching Club                Saratoga Race Course,

                                    American Oaks (G1)                Saratoga Springs,

                                                                                      New York

 

Sunday, Aug. 10         5:00 – 6:30 pm      Saratoga Special                       Saratoga Race Course

                                    Stakes (G2)                          

 

Sunday, Aug. 17         5:00 – 6:30 pm      Sword Dancer Invitational       Saratoga Race Course

                                    Stakes (G1)                          

 

Sunday, Sept. 14         5:00 – 6:30 pm      Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1)      Woodbine Racetrack,

                                                                                      Toronto

Normandy Invasion sets track record in return

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

Fox Hill Farms’ Normandy Invasion, fourth in last year’s Kentucky Derby,  returned from a 10-month layoff Saturday to win the fourth race, an allowance optional claiming event for non-winners other than.

The 4-year-old son of Tapit had only a maiden win in six prior starts to his credit coming into the race. Bet down to 2-5, he ran like an over-classed favorite should, rolling home to a 7 ¾ length triumph ahead of Chee and Morgan’s Guerrilla.

The margin of victory was impressive, but the final time was even more so. Normandy Invasion covered the mile distance in 1:33.13, a new track record. The previous mark of 1:33.71 was set by Grade I winner Commentator in 2008.

 

“I had a beautiful trip,” jockey Javier Castellano said. “I had so much horse. When the horses in front of me stopped, I had to go completely around the horses. I asked him a little bit, and he took off.”

Normandy Invasion missed the entire second half of 2013 due to a nagging foot injury that progressed to an abscess, prompting owner Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms and trainer Chad Brown to shut the horse down for the year and focus on preparing for a 4-year-old campaign.

“It was a long wait, but it was worth it,” Porter said. “We thought giving him the year off after the injury was the right thing to do. It’s hard to give them that much time off, but it turned out better than we thought it could. You can see how much weight he put on. We couldn’t ask for anything better than what we got today.”

 

Brown was equally happy to see his colt have a successful return. Though confident in how Normandy Invasion was training, he also admitted that, coming off a long layoff, one can never be certain of how a horse will run.

 

“When they train as well as this horse and they physically look that good – he’s never looked better in my opinion – you’re quietly confident they’ll go out there in the afternoon and do it,” he said. “That’s the final piece of the puzzle. They have to go out there and do it. As a trainer, I don’t care who you are, I don’t think you’re ever certain they’re going to do it until they cross the line and do it. We were confident he was sound and training better than ever. We were confident to put Javier right back on this horse. They get along well, and hopefully this is a start to a great year for this horse.”

While a specific race has not been selected for Normandy Invasion’s next start, a two-turn race is in the plans.

“This one-turn mile was a good starting point,” Brown said. “We’re looking to run the horse in those two-turn dirt handicap races, really anywhere.”

 

Adena Springs purchases interest in Mucho Macho Man

Adena Springs release:

Adena Springs Farm announced Friday the agreement to purchase an undisclosed interest in Dean and Patti Reeves’ Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Mucho Macho Man.

The agreement in the six-year-old multiple Grade I winner is for racing and breeding purposes, and is effective immediately.

Mucho Macho Man is by Adena Springs-bred and raced Breeders’ Cup winner Macho Uno, who in turn is by Horse of the Year Holy Bull out of Broodmare of the Year Primal Force. Upon his retirement, Mucho Macho Man will join a stallion roster that will feature five Breeders’ Cup Classic winners: Alphabet Soup, Awesome Again, Fort Larned and Ghostzapper.

“It’s a homecoming of sorts,” Stronach stated. “Our program bred Ponche De Leona to Macho Uno, before selling her with Mucho Macho Man in utero. Mucho Macho Man is not only a beautiful animal, but an incredible runner, who has already won or placed in 16 major stakes races. There are not many stallion prospects anywhere in the world that can hold their top form from two through six like he has. I look forward to his races this year, and subsequent retirement to Adena Springs.”

Mucho Macho Man will continue to campaign in the colors of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. A 14-length winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic in his last start, Mucho Macho Man is slated to make his next start in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 8 where he is expected to face Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, Will Take Charge.

Kathy Ritvo will continue to train Mucho Macho Man, who has earned $5,580,410 in his 24 starts to date, and Finn Green will remain as racing manager.

“Patti and I are happy that we reached the agreement with Frank. Mr. Stronach has a great organization that will give Mucho Macho Man every chance to succeed as a stallion,” Dean Reeves said.

Ramsey’s We Miss Artie taking another try on the dirt

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

A winner on both grass and Polytrack, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie goes after his first victory on dirt in Saturday’s Grade II,  $400,000  Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, We Miss Artie is by  2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller and won the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity over the Keeneland Polytrack last October. The dark bay colt opened his 3-year-old campaign finishing second by a head to Storming Inti after a stretch-long duel in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy on Jan. 19 over the Gulfstream turf.

Since then, he has had two half-mile works at the Palm Meadows training facility in Boynton Beach, each in 48 seconds, ranking second of 67 horses on Feb. 9 and third of 55 horses on Feb. 16.

“The bottom is, the horse is just training too well on the dirt at Palm Meadows not to give it another try,” Pletcher said. “His breezes since the Kitten’s Joy have been really good on the dirt, and we just feel like he’s a horse that over the past eight or nine months has continued to impress us with his training on the dirt. We’ll just see where we are.”

In his two dirt starts as a juvenile, We Miss Artie was second in a five-furlong sprint at Belmont Park on July 4 and seventh, beaten four lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“He actually loomed up and made a big move in the Breeders’ Cup, and I thought it was a pretty respectable effort,” Pletcher said. “He’s trained so well we feel like he deserves another chance. We know he’s good on the synthetic as well, so we’ve got those options if this doesn’t pan out, but we figured it was time to find out.”

We Miss Artie will be ridden by Joe Bravo in the Fountain of Youth and break from post 2 in the field of 13. The Pletcher-trained Commissioner, with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard, drew post No. 1 in his stakes debut as was installed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite.

“In a big field like this, you certainly don’t want to get stuck way outside, although the one probably wouldn’t be my first choice either,” Pletcher said of the draw. “Considering the size of the field, I’m okay with it. “We’ll size up the field and see what we think the pace scenario is going to look like. Both of these horses are not the kind of horses that you could put on the lead, so we’ll try to get a good stalking position and hopefully secure some position going into the first turn. Those guys are going to have to size it up from there in a big field.”

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