Page 1

Thoroughbred Today


Catch up with the champion filly and her personal massage therapist.

Also Inside: Triple Crown Highlights,

Catch Up with Commanding Curve, Seek Inspiration from California Chrome and Tepin, Summer Fashion and more!

July 2016


Thoroughbred Today

Recently, a friend sent me a snapchat of herself crying as she watched the replay of Beholder’s 2015 Pacific Classic, and I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed myself. It’s amazing how much these horses lift us up and keep us moving forward when the going gets tough. The last six months have been really hard for me on a personal level. From January through May, a personal relationship derailed my focus and made me question everything I had worked so hard to achieve in this industry. I’m fortunate to have an amazing support system of family and friends that are always there when I need a little help. But my heroes always seem to have four legs, and this time around was no different. In October of last year, I fell in love with a colt by the name of Nyquist after he found it in himself to overcome a trouble plagued trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He should have lost, but he didn’t let the challenges of that race defeat him. Coincidentally, the turmoil in my life began in October and ended on the day of the Florida Derby, when Nyquist galloped to a big win at Gulfstream Park. I almost didn’t show up for the race because I was afraid of what I had to lose. But, like Nyquist, I showed up. When he won, I felt as if his victory had been my own. Something about watching him win made me realize my worth and gave me the strength to turn the page and move on. I’ll never forget it. Thanks to Nyquist, I found closure in a Grade One stakes. So, if you find yourself in a dark place, questioning who you are or what you’re doing, focus on that one thing that lifts you up and keeps you moving forward. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, let it drive you back into the light. And, most importantly, don’t ever let anyone steal your sunshine.

Claudia L. Ruiz

Managing Editor Kristin Lee

Cover Photography Benoit Photo

Ryan Dickey, Nicole Schiveley

Photographers Mary Ellet, Eric Kalet, Kristin Lee, Jay Moran,

15 Inspirational

03 Triple Crown Recap

A look back at the three winners

Photo gallery

06 Triple Crown Highlights

Meet the full sisters to American Pharoah & California Chrome

09 Trainer Spotlight Meet Raymond Handal

11 Getting to Know: Beholder

California Chrome & Tepin

19 Updates

Frosted, Mohaymen, Cavorting

Amanda Murphy, Claudia L. Ruiz

Advertising 302.394.9233

21 OTTB Spotlight

07 Big Expectations


Acacia Courtney, Chris Crestik


Ciara Austin, Ciara Bowen,

Editor-In-Chief Thoroughbred Today

Everything Equestrian, LLC. Wilmington, DE.

Contributing Writers

A huge thank you to everyone who made this issue a success.


The Learning Curve

26 Fashion

From Saratoga to Del Mar

29 Track Talk

Industry pros comment on one another


/everythingeq @EverythingEqLLC @everythingeqllc

Songbird On The cover: This champion filly has a personal massage

therapist... pg. 17

Thoroughbred Today


Triple Crown Recap By: Ryan Dickey

Kentucky Derby 142 - Nyquist Eric Kalet

Heading into the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist presented more questions rather than answers. Could he join Street Sense and become the second colt to win both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby? Could the first-crop son of 2015 leading freshman sire Uncle Mo get the distance? Could he maintain his perfect record? It seemed unfair that this 7-for-7 lifetime starter wasn’t getting any mainstream respect, but his tracks were overshadowed by those of last year’s Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Trained by Doug O’Neill and piloted by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist broke alertly from the gate and stalked behind Danzing Candy, who set scorching early fractions of :22.58, :45.72 and 1:10.40. Rounding the final turn, he put a nose in front of Gun Runner then took the lead for good at the top of the stretch and hit the wire first in 2:01.31, 1¼ lengths ahead of late closing Exaggerator. All of our questions had been answered.

Preakness Stakes 141 - Exaggerator Eric Kalet

The Preakness marked the fourth time that Nyquist and Exaggerator faced each other, with the former winning all three previous contests. However, on this rainy day, the son of Curlin sought revenge on a sloppy Pimlico track and ended Nyquist’s unblemished record and Triple Crown aspirations in one fell swoop. With both colts winning on wet tracks in their final prep race before the Kentucky Derby, it was obvious that both could handle less than favorable conditions. But those that saw Exaggerator romp over a treacherous track in the Santa Anita Derby knew that his “off-track” liking was much higher. When he came flying around the final turn, it was over. He won by 3 ½ lengths over Cherry Wine and gave trainer Keith Desormeaux his first Triple Crown race victory. Nyquist finished third and there would be no fifth meeting in the Belmont.

Belmont Stakes 148 - Creator Mary Ellet

Just over 60,000 attendees at Belmont Park and a worldwide television audience were rewarded with one of the most exciting finishes in Belmont Stakes history. At 8-1 odds, Destin was 200 yards away from victory, while Arkansas Derby-winner Creator, an even bigger longshot, was in full flight coming down the stretch. As the horses inched closer and closer to the wire, the son of Tapit, who finished thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby, made it a true photo finish. When the replay was shown, Creator (at 16-1 odds) had caught Destin by a nose. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden expertly by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Creator paid $34.80 to win, $14.60 to place and $9.40 to show, and the $2 superfecta paid $27,935.00. One would be hard-pressed to recall a more exciting finish.


Thoroughbred Today | (859) 873-1717























Belmont Stakes (G1) Winner

*Taylor Made / WinStar Venture standing at WinStar

Triple Crown Highlights

Terra Promessa leads the cavalry charge around the first turn in the Kentucky Oaks. (Claudia L. Ruiz)

Javier Castellano and Cathryn Sophia are center stage (Eric Kalet) after winning the Kentucky Oaks.

Nyquist heads back to the barn after work- Heads up on the track! Japanese Lani walks Creator poses for the camera with rider Abel Flores (Eric Kalet) (Eric Kalet) over solo for the Kentucky Derby.(Claudia L. Ruiz) and trainer Steve Asmussen in tow. ing at Churchill Downs.

Triple Crown winning Bob Baffert stands out from the crowd. (Claudia L. Ruiz)

Victory is sweet! Team Exaggerator celebrates their big Preakness win. (Eric Kalet)

Irad Ortiz Jr. & WinStar CEO Elliott Walden after Creator’s Belmont Stakes win.(Eric Kalet)

Thoroughbred Today


s n Tio



n family life, the youngest sibling usually has the biggest shoes to fill. It is like that for people and is no different in horse racing, where pedigree is a key component in breeding a top equine athlete. Once the racing world catches wind that a full sibling to a champion is about to hit the track, well, we definitely pay attention. California Chrome exceeded expectations when he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2014. Last year, he finished second in the Dubai World Cup and just a couple months ago, the California-bred superstar gave it another shot, adding the win to his fairytale-like career. Kentucky-bred American Pharoah ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought when he galloped to a 5 ½ length victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, 2015. But that’s not all, later in the year, Pharoah went on to win what was dubbed the Grand Slam of racing, when he galloped to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Breeders’ Cup Classic… we may never see a horse win all four again. Now, connections have two fillies that are full sisters to the champs, and expectations have been set high for both. 7

Thoroughbred Today

American Cleopatra A prodigy of Zayat Stables, like her brother American Pharoah, American Cleopatra is by Pioneerof the Nile and out of Littleprincessemma (Yankee Gentleman), and trains under Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. She is smaller in stature and has a blaze running down her face. “She is very nice and super classy,” commented Dana Gibbs Barnes, who gallops Baffert’s trainees and cares for his California string. “American Pharoah was much more spooky at her age, that’s why we put the earplugs in. But she does absolutely nothing wrong, nothing bothers her.” It’s almost unfair to compare her to her older brother, because he was just such a phenomenal racehorse in every aspect. But Barnes is excited to have her in the barn and enjoys galloping her in the mornings. “She is everything you want in a two-year-old. She’s aggressive when she works, but not tough. She just takes a nice hold [of the bit], and she has a great mind. If they all acted like her, my job would be very easy.” As of July 10, connections have yet to set a date for American Cleopatra’s debut. R Sunday Surprise Lucky Pulpit and Love the Chase (by Not For Love) have produced a filly that looks almost identical to California Chrome, with white socks and a blaze to match. California Chrome, who surpassed

, rome ack. h C e tr rnia alifo ke to th C d h an se ta aroa y Surpri h P rican unda iz Ame and R S o t L. Ru a rs r a e i t t d a s i p s Clau Full can Cleo tik & s i e r r e er C Am toph s i r h By: C Curlin to become North America’s all-time leading money earner, is still running and looks to take on powerhouse Beholder in the Pacific Classic. If you thought R Sunday Surprise was going to have it a little easier than American Cleopatra, you thought wrong.

R Sunday Surprise

Trained by 2012 and 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Doug O’Neill, this chestnut filly is calm and relaxed in the barn. Head assistant trainer to O’Neill, Leandro Mora spends quite a bit of time with her. “We call her ‘Little Chrome,’” he said. “She gets a little sassy at times and likes to bite at her stall pads.” R Sunday Surprise has been in the barn for a couple of months and already has one start under her girth: On June 16, she ran a respectable third in her debut, showing an impressive turn of foot on the stretch at Santa Anita Park. “She put her game face on pretty quick and got pumped up,” stated assistant trainer Jack Sisterson. “She came out of the race in great shape and will look to run again at Del Mar towards the end of July.” R Sunday Surprise still has time to perfect her game, but the most important aspect at this time is her work ethic on the track, and according to Sisterson, there are no problems in that department.

American Cleopatra

“She gets a lot out of her training and enjoys being out there, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that she follows in her brother’s path. It’s an honor to have her in the barn, and at the end of the day we just want her to run well for her owners and fans.” Header photo by Claudia L. Ruiz Profile photos by Kristin Lee

Trainer Spotlight

Up & Coming

Raymond Handal Story By: Claudia L. Ruiz


Photography: Jay Moran

t’s not easy being a young, up and coming trainer in the state of New York. Actually, scratch that; it’s not easy in any state. But that’s exactly what 28-year-old Raymond Handal is doing.

Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Handal fell in love with horses at a young age. His father frequented the racetrack regularly and brought him along on his many excursions. But Raymond Handal Sr. suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa – a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment – and knew he would soon have difficulties with his eyesight. That’s when he took it upon himself to teach Ray Jr. to get comfortable with reading the often intimidating information found on a racing form. “I’m a numbers guy, so it came naturally to me,” Ray Jr. said of learning how to handicap. But being around the horses and the culture of racing is what made him fall in love with the sport. Spending time at the track gave Handal the opportunity to network with top horsemen and at the age of fifteen he left home to pursue his dream of becoming a trainer. He started from the bottom, hotwalking and grooming horses for others and then moved to Pennsylvania, where, under the guidance of Jonathan Sheppard, he learned to ride. He spent about a year-and-a-half getting comfortable in the saddle before hooking up with Michael Matz at Fair Hill in Maryland. Matz taught him everything there is to know about horsemanship. “He’s a tremendous horseman,” Handal expressed, “with a lot of great people working under him.” Having a great team is a key component in finding success. Finding people who believe in you, encourage you and support you is just as important. Mike Piazza of Zilla Racing Stables – a growing racing syndicate based out of New York – sees the potential in Handal and currently has three horses under his care. “This industry is tough,” Piazza commented. “I’ve seen people give [Ray] horses that don’t run well under top trainers and then expect him to turn them around. It doesn’t work like that. I’m always looking to buy him horses at the sales because he’s great at what he does. People need to give him a chance.”

Raymond Handal may be young, but he works just as hard, if not harder than many established trainers. His stable is small, but his passion for the sport is larger than life. Horses in Handal’s stable get 1-on-1 attention, are trained and galloped by him and receive therapeutic treatments regularly to ensure they are feeling their absolute best. Handal debuted as a trainer in 2014, bringing in $45,840 in earnings in just three starts. He followed up his efforts in 2015 with 49 starters and ended the year with $115,749 – nearly tripling his earnings. Now, only half way through 2016, the fruits of his labor are starting to flourish. With half the amount of starters from 2015, Handal has already earned $120,964 and the rest of his stats speak highly of his work ethic and ability. “It’s been a really great year,” Handal expressed. “I’m so blessed to have so many great people supporting me. I’m really excited to see what lies ahead.” You may not know much about him now, but you may want to start paying attention. This up and coming trainer, Raymond Handal, looks to do great things in the near future.

Get to Know Ray: All-time Favorite Horse: - Caller One Favorite Trainer: - Anthony Dutrow Favorite sport (racing aside): - Basketball & Baseball Favorite Movie: - Anything Guy Ritchie Favorite Food: - Seafood 3 things to take on a desert island: - Lumina Belle (dog), endless supply of margaritas, a grill.


Thoroughbred Today

Getting toKnow


Thoroughbred Today


eholder Photo: Amanda Murphy

Thoroughbred Today


Getting to Know:

Beholder Get to know the champion filly through the eyes of her Hall of Fame trainer, Richard Mandella.

Q&A with Richard Mandella NAME:



Henny Hughes - Leslie’s Lady


May 9, 2010


22 - 17 - 3 - 0




Pacific Classic (2015)

ECLIPSE AWARDS: Champion Older Mare(2015)

Champion 3YO Filly (2013) Champion 2YO Filly (2012)


Clement Hirsch (G1) 7/30 Del Mar


Q: If she were a famous athlete, who would she be? A: Serena Williams

Q: Does she have any quirks?

A: “She has a larger than life appetite, which is rare in fillies and mares.”

Q: Does she have any dislikes?

A: “She’s constantly being groomed to the point where she doesn’t like it and we have to stop.”

Q: What does she mean to you?

A: “She’s family, like my wife and children, but she makes me money.” (chuckles)

Q: What is she like?

A: “93% of the time she’s a sweetheart, the other 7% she’s a monster.”

Beholder working completely in sync with a stablemate at Santa Anita Park. 13

Thoroughbred Today

Photos: Kristin Lee


The Champion Within By: Nicole Schiveley

California Chrome (CA)

Tepin (KY)

(Lucky Pulpit - Love the Chase, by Not For Love)

(Bernstein - Life Happened, by Stravinsky)

DOB: Gender: Cost: Earnings: G1 Wins: Biggest Win:

Feb. 18, 2011 Stallion $12,500 $12,532,650 5 Dubai World Cup (G1)


very once in a while, an athlete comes along possessing a relatable story with which we can all identify. The tale of California Chrome is no exception. The chestnut has catapulted into the company of racing’s all-time greats, despite his less-than-white-collar beginnings. Ranked as the world’s best and richest racehorse following his dominating, record-setting victory in the Dubai World Cup, his story has not included a trip to the winners’ circle after every performance. Ensuing a dominant three-year-old season in 2014, which ended with an Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and four other end-of-year titles, California Chrome’s Cinderella Story took a turn for the not-so-stellar. In 2015 he suffered a bruised hoof, was later sidelined due to a bruised cannon bone and rounded out the year winless.

DOB: Gender: Cost: Earnings: G1 Wins: Biggest Win:

Mar. 14, 2011 Mare $140,000 $3,563,838 5 Queen Anne Stakes (G1)

Watching the chestnut run and succeed has given me a sense of vindication, as I, like many of us, have faced difficulties in the past. Each and every one of us have been a little bit broken, have needed time to decompress and collect, before getting back up to fight another day. California Chrome is the poster boy for perseverance. Because of this, he serves as a reminder that there is a champion somewhere inside all of us, just waiting to be discovered.

Changes in ownership changed the plan when co-owner and breeder Steve Coburn sold his share to Taylor Made Farms. Retirement was postponed and connections announced Chrome would run as a fiveyear-old. He returned to racing in 2016, better and stronger than ever before.

Not-so-distant second choice in the poll was turf phenomenon Tepin, who was not always the fierce competitor she is known as today. After inconsistent two and three-year-old campaigns, the mare began to harness the ability her connections always felt she possessed. Those abilities have led to a win streak amounting to seven straight graded stakes wins, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile and, most recently, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, both Grade One races, and both against some of the best male turf milers in the world. When considering Tepin’s tremendous accomplishments, it is safe to say the term “You run like a girl” can no longer be considered anything less than a compliment. recently conducted a poll asking fans which horse they considered most inspirational. California Chrome was voted the winner.

Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. If it comes in the form of four hooves that carry us from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Thoroughbred Today

Photos: Eric Kalet

presented by

THE BREEDERS’ CUP EXPERIENCE THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY Enter our VIP sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the 2016 Breeders’ Cup on November 4 and 5. Each experience includes a customized, VIP trip to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park, and a $1,000 wager on the Breeders’ Cup Classic.









•Meet and greet with 2015 Triple Crown and Grand Slam winning trainer and jockey, Bob Baffert and Victor Espinoza

•Watch a race with Bobby Flay starting in the paddock and finishing in the Winner’s Circle

•Watch morning workouts from the exclusive Trackside Marquee

•Tickets to the exclusive Taste of the World event, hosted by Bobby Flay

•Private backside tour visiting the top Breeders’ Cup contenders

•Dinner for two at one of Bobby’s favorite LA restaurants

•Watch the Breeders’ Cup Classic from the Winner’s Circle

•Watch a race with Elizabeth Banks starting in the paddock and finishing in the Winner’s Circle

•Watch a race with Carson Kressley starting in the paddock and finishing in the Winner’s Circle

•Tickets to the exclusive Taste of the World event

•A $1,000 shopping spree and designer gifts

•Walk the Purple Carpet and mingle with celebrities in the Trophy Lounge

•Be a judge in the Longines Prize of Elegance Fashion Event

•Tour of Warner Bros. and Universal Studios

SIGN UP AT BREEDERSCUPVIP.COM FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Fan Program is open only to legal U.S. residents residing in the 50 U.S. & D.C., who are 18+. The Sweepstakes take place from 6/6/16 at 12:00:01 a.m. ET to 10/9/16 at 11:59:59 a.m. ET and are only open to members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing with the Stars VIP Fan Program. Go to to join and for full details. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Breeders’ Cup Limited


Maintaining Songbird The champion filly has to stay in top physical shape to put forth her best effort. That is where Steve Bourmas, Songbird’s personal massage therapist, comes into play. Story by: Ciara Bowen

Photos by: Amanda Murphy


he has dazzled ever since the first time she stepped onto the racetrack; beating talented fillies in her age group time and time again, each performance looking more effortless than the last. She is currently unbeaten in eight starts, has a combined winning margin of 42 ½ lengths, and the closest that any horse has ever come to her is 3 ¾ lengths. She exudes class and her body of work has earned her high praise. She is a powerhouse, and her name is Songbird. Bred by John Antonelli, Songbird is a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and Ivanavinalot (by West Acre) and was sent to the Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale in August of 2014. She was hip #28, consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, and was purchased by Fox Hill Farm for $400,000. Ever since then, the pretty filly has been in the hands of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and has won $2.1 million in just one year. After winning her debut at Del Mar by an easy 6 ½ lengths last July, Songbird moved straight up to graded company and won back-toback-to-back Grade One races in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes, the Chandelier Stakes and the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Fact: Last fall, future Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist won the 1 1/16mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 1:43.79 by half a length. Going the same distance in the Juvenile Fillies division, Songbird clocked 1:42.73 and she won by 5 ¾ lengths.


Thoroughbred Today

Jockey Mike Smith shared after the race that he didn’t have to do much. “She’s so talented and she gives you so much confidence,” the Hall of Fame rider said. “I almost felt like yawning as we went along. I don’t mean that in a bragging way. She just gives me so much confidence.” The Breeders’ Cup win gave Smith his 22nd Breeders’ Cup victory, gave Hollendorfer his second (his first came in the 2010 Dirt Mile with Dakota Phone), and cinched the Eclipse Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Following the Breeders’ Cup, Songbird enjoyed the rest of 2015 turned out at WinStar Farm and shipped back to California-based Hollendorfer in January. She returned to the races in the Gr. 2 Las Virgenes Stakes on February 6 and romped. After winning the Gr. 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes on March 5 and then the Gr. 1 Santa Anita Oaks on April 9, she was firmly established as the early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, but developed an illness a couple weeks later that kept her out of the race. Steve Bourmas is the exclusive massage therapist for all of Jerry Hollendorfer’s horses. On June 18, when Songbird made her comeback in the Gr. 2 Summertime Oaks, Bourmas was a bit nervous. “I thought to myself, if she gets tested now and they go 22 and 45, what is she going to do? When I saw her shrug off Bellementary after the fractions of that race, I said to myself, this filly is a freak. I had a smile from ear to ear.”

sition that led to Bourmas being contracted out to work on all of Carver’s horses. In 2010, they won the Breeders’ Cup and the Breeders’ Crown in the same month. A couple of years later, Carver introduced him to Jerry Hollendorfer and by the Fall of 2012 the budding massage therapist began working exclusively on the Hall of Fame trainer’s horses. Bourmas has had the opportunity to work on many talented equine athletes, including the late Shared Belief, who was not as well-mannered as Songbird. “She’s a cool horse. Some horses are really tough to work on in their stall, but she is just a sweetheart and very classy.” The work done on Songbird includes massage, laser therapy, myofascial therapy (also known as trigger point therapy) and stretching, to name a few. “I do a lot of maintenance work to get her to loosen up after races. She does things a lot easier than most horses,” Bourmas explained. “She gallops faster than most horses can run, so it’s a matter of getting her muscles to relax and lengthen afterwards. A muscled-up, tight horse doesn’t spring off the ground and propel correctly. A really tight muscle gasses because there’s not a lot of blood flow, which causes lactic acid to build quickly. That’s not good.” For five years, Bourmas worked for free, offering his services to trainers so he could get practice. His years of experience have helped

him develop the ability to simply watch a horse walk and know what needs to be done to remedy their issues. “If a horse’s body is not moving correctly, if one muscle is not working for them, it is actively working against them and they aren’t getting fit.” It is obvious from the way Songbird covers ground that her muscles do not stay tight. “I work to keep her in top physical condition. Sound horses are mentally happy horses, and mentally happy horses train well, which allows the trainer do his job.” Songbird is currently gearing up for a trip out east, where she looks to take on Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia during Saratoga’s prestigious summer meet. She will start in the Coaching Club American Oaks (July 24) and later point to the Alabama Stakes (August 20). Steve Bourmas is set to accompany her for portions of that trip. It takes a fantastic team to make a great horse, and while there’s no denying that Songbird is brilliant, just how brilliant is she? Could she beat the boys? Could she take on the likes of Beholder and win? Will she fall victim to the Graveyard of Champions? How much more does she really have left in the tank? Only time will tell.

Songbird was back in action and delivered another smashing performance, drawing away on a loose rein to win by 6 ½ lengths. Bourmas, who is also known as “LaserMan” throughout the racing industry, has worked on both racehorses and professional human athletes – and he puts in the same amount of work on each. Having no family ties to racing, he never imagined he would end up where he is today. A few years ago, while getting his oil changed in Chicago, something caught his eye. “They were showing some live coverage of Cigar getting ready to run at Arlington Park on the TV,” and he felt compelled to go check it out. “I’ll never forget the sound the horses made when they came around the turn and the way Cigar moved. In that moment, I was hooked.” One day, John Carver – a client of his who happened to own Blind Luck – made him a propoThoroughbred Today


UPDATES Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin gets us up to speed on Godolphin owned Frosted and Mohaymen, and shares what’s next for Cavorting and Kareena. By: Claudia L. Ruiz

Frosted After one of the most remarkable performances in racing history, Gr.1 Metropolitan Handicap winner Frosted is looking forward to what the second half of 2016 has in store. The 14 ¼ length victory came as a shock to many, even to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who expressed over the phone, “I thought he could win, but not like that. He was impressive.” When asked what may have sparked such an effort, McLaughlin pointed out four possibilities: the jockey (Joel Rosario), backing up to a one turn mile, seventy days in between races and being back on Lasix. “I don’t really know which one attributed to his performance, but it helped,” McLaughlin said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bleeder. But sometimes that happens when horses get back on Lasix.”

Mary Ellet

The grey son of Tapit is currently at Greentree Training Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, and is working towards a start in the Gr.1 Whitney on August 6. Afterwards, he will point to the Woodward or Jockey Club Gold Cup before heading to California for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Santa Anita Park on November 4 and 5. Frosted’s win in the Metropolitan Handicap secured him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but the question of whether or not he will end up running in it remains unanswered. “We don’t know yet,” McLaughlin stated. “I suppose he’ll answer that question the next race or two.”

Mohaymen A tough beat in the Florida Derby caused Mohaymen to drop off the Kentucky Derby favorites list almost overnight. By the time the first Saturday in May rolled around, he was an afterthought. His run under the twin spires did not result in a victory, but McLaughlin was content with the way the colt handled running like a closer. “He didn’t break real well and found himself back in traffic, but he came on strong from there and ended well. We’re very pleased with his effort.” Mohaymen finished fourth, a nose ahead of Suddenbreakingnews. The three-year-old son of Tapit and Justwhistledixie (by Dixie Union) came out of the Kentucky Derby in good order and took a one month vacation before resuming training at Greentree Training Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, where in addition to his conventional counter-clockwise routine, he also gallops clockwise. “We work him right handed every day,” McLaughlin said. “It helps with balance and builds strength. Frosted does it too.”

Claudia L. Ruiz

On July 8, the colt clocked a four-furlong work in 48.87 and galloped out in 1:01.4 over Saratoga’s dirt track. “He’s doing well,” McLaughlin expressed. Mohaymen fans can expect a start in either the Jim Dandy on July 30 or the Haskell on the 31. “The reason we’re looking at the Haskell is because it’s a grade one, the Jim Dandy is a grade two and he’s won four of those already.”

Other Updates: Gr.1 Ogden Phipps Stakes winner Cavorting, who has been stabled at Belmont Park, is pointing towards a start in the Gr.1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on August 27. Kareena, who last won the Jersey Girl Stakes in impressive fashion, will look to the Gr.1 Test Stakes on August 6, also at Saratoga. 19

Thoroughbred Today

Thoroughbred Today


OTTB Spotlight

The Learning Curve Training with Phillip Dutton 2014 Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve joins the barn of 2x Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton, as he looks ahead to an exciting new career in the world of Three-Day Eventing. By: Acacia Courtney


rowing up on a farm in Australia, it is safe to say that horses have always been in Phillip Dutton’s blood. Horses were used for farm work, his grandfather was involved with racehorses, and trips to “picnic” races and Pony Club rallies were regular outings. A lifelong passion for horses turned into an illustrious career as a rider and coach, and Dutton has two Olympic gold medals to prove it. A love and respect for one’s craft is the trademark of many successful individuals, and Dutton is no different. He competed in the Olympics on three occasions, and four times in the World Championships, earning a gold medal when representing Australia in the 1996 Games in threeday eventing, which he calls the “true test of all-around horsemanship.” Now, he resides in Pennsylvania with his family and is one of the most well-respected coaches, voted 2009 Developing Rider Coach of the Year. His enviable resume, seemingly limitless knowledge and patient approach have set him apart. “We have a full service business where people who are interested in the sport send horses to me to compete and they range from very young to Olympic Games caliber,” Dutton said of his operation.


Thoroughbred Today

Though he has worked with all different types of riders and horses, Dutton is a well-known fan of the Thoroughbred, calling their attitude and desire to please the most appealing parts of the breed. He has helped transition several Off-Track Thoroughbreds (OTTB’s) into second careers after the racetrack. Icabad Crane, a seven-time winner and multiple graded stakes placed gelding trained by Graham Motion, was sent to Dutton after his racing days were over. Dutton’s daughter, Olivia, has competed with him at the Novice level, and Dutton calls the horse, “the epitome of a great athlete.” Now, Dutton has a new project in the barn, and he too has had success on the racetrack. The pinnacle of American Thoroughbred racing undoubtedly comes on the first Saturday in May, when the most talented three-year-olds run for the roses under the twin spires of Churchill Downs. To have a horse run in the Kentucky Derby is the dream of many owners, trainers, and breeders. To watch the race unfold with the feeling that your horse might actually exceed your expectations is the realization of another dream entirely.

Photo: Eric Kalet

There seems to be a real understanding now that once you have a racehorse you have to think about what the horse is going to do after, because it’s not a very long career. With patient training, a lot of these horses can really do well in the sport-horse world. I think the industry gets that now. - Dutton

A horse named Commanding Curve took his owners – members of a syndicate formed by West Point Thoroughbreds – and his trainer, Dallas Stewart, on a thrilling ride in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, when he rolled down the stretch with a late closing kick, a longshot at odds of 35-1. He finished second behind eventual Horse of the Year California Chrome. >>>

Thoroughbred Today


OTTB Spotlight

Stewart has developed a bit of a reputation for finishing in the money with longshots in Triple Crown races, having done so twice in the Kentucky Derby and twice in the Preakness Stakes. Commanding Curve, ridden that day by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, will most likely be remembered in racing for his thrilling Derby performance. “He took his partners and our team on a great ride and gave us the thrill of a lifetime when he was rollin’ turning for home in the Derby,” said West Point president Terry Finley. “His partners came from coast to coast with backgrounds ranging from investment bankers to school teachers, but for only a modest investment they all experienced the highest of racing’s highs together.”

Commanding Curve

He won only one other race after that, an Allowance race back at Churchill Downs after one of his long layoffs. The disappointing finishes that followed that victory affirmed the connections’ decisions that it was time for “The Curve” to retire sound in the early half of 2016 and move on to a second career. That’s where Dutton stepped in. “Overall, I’m very impressed with his disposition; he seems to like to be ridden. He’s inquisitive and is prepared to try new things. He is a beautiful type of horse,” Dutton said of his new charge, who he will work to transition into an eventer. While Dutton believes Commanding Curve to already be a fairly balanced horse, his new training regimen will emphasize more work on his weaker side (his right side) to even him out, and a focus on building trust with his rider over simple exercises before he learns the fundamentals of flatwork, such as contact with the bit, commands from the rider’s leg, and a proper frame. “Every horse learns at a different speed... Taking a horse off the track, there certainly is an element of patience needed. They have to start again, go back to basics and learn a whole new sport,” Dutton explained. “If I were to learn a new sport, well, it certainly wouldn’t happen overnight. It would take time for my body and mind to adjust.” There will be no rush with Commanding Curve’s training, but there certainly is excitement for the future. “To have this special, special horse under the care of an accomplished professional like Phillip Dutton is a home run for Commanding Curve. It’s not often that retired racehorses get the chance to train with and learn from an Olympic athlete,” said Finley. “This is going to be one exciting chapter.”

Daughter Olivia Dutton aboard 3rd place ‘08 Preakness finisher Icabad Crane (left) and Phillip Dutton aboard Water Cube (right).


Photos courtesy of Anita Motion


Summer Style From Saratoga to Del Mar By: Ciara Austin

With the Triple Crown season now behind us, it’s time to look forward to summer racing from coast to coast. Though Saratoga Race Course (Saratoga Springs, NY) and Del Mar Turf Club’s (Del Mar, CA) racing meets overlap, the fashion trends at both racetracks are unique and truly reflect each location. These winning style selections are perfect for an afternoon at Saratoga or Del Mar!

Saratoga Style

The motto of Saratoga Springs, NY, is “Health, History, Horses.” Words to live by, right? For over 150 years, Saratoga Race Course has been a staple in thoroughbred racing and known for its sophisticated lifestyle. There is a classic, traditional nature to summer at “The Spa,” which is visible as you drive through town or walk around the track. Be prepared for six weeks of sharply dressed gentlemen in bright colored blazers and lovely ladies sporting large hats and heels!

For the Gents:

For the Ladies:

This is the quintessential track ensemble for summer racing at Saratoga. Stroll through the clubhouse in this light blue linen sport coat that will look great with a pair of dress slacks, and if you are feeling inclined, try a pair of colored slacks. Bowties are always in fashion at the races. Adding simple accessories like this Brooks Brothers pocket square can truly make the outfit come together and make you stand out from the crowd! The days are long at the track, so keep your feet comfortable by rocking a pair of boat shoes.

Fun and feminine sums up this classic look! Summer is meant for seersucker and this lightweight sleeveless dress is perfect for a day at Saratoga. The ruffles on the dress will naturally draw your eyes to the darling horseshoe necklace. When it comes to accessories, simple elegance is key. You’ll turn heads with this large fascinator headband, while keeping it unique with your personalized clutch to store your winning bets!

Men’s Unconstructed Cotton Linen Unlined Sport Coat,; Repp Bow Tie, $59.90, brooksbrothers. com; Authentic Eye Rancher Boat Shoes,; Medallion Pocket Square,

Whitney Ruffle Neck Mudpie Sleeveless Seersucker Dress, $54.95,; Elegant Formal Curlicue Center Sinamay Fascinator Headband, $19.99,; Breckelles Sydnet-31 D-Orsay Sandals, $39.99, amazon. com; Round Horseshoe Disc Pendant Necklace, $122,; Monogrammed Scallop Wallet Clutch, $13.99,

Thoroughbred Today


Fashion Cont’d

Del Mar Style

The livin’ is easy down at old Del Mar, “where the turf meets the surf.” With the racetrack located so close to the ocean, you truly feel like you are on vacation each race day. When it comes to fashion at Del Mar, almost anything goes. Your outfit could be worn in box seats, or at a beach party. You’ll find fedoras and floppy hats, linen pants and long dresses that are able to catch the breeze from the ocean that passes through the track.


Thoroughbred Today

For the Gents:

For the Ladies:

California casual is the way to go. Keep it cool and comfortable in this palm tree polo shirt. On those exceptionally warm summer days, linen shorts will come in handy. The accessories really make this ensemble stand out. Coordinate from head to toe in this stylish Fedora with matching blue leather shoes. And, doesn’t everyone need a pair of Bamboo shades?

Looking lovely will be effortless in this blue and white striped midi dress. Off-the-shoulder is very popular this season and there is no doubt that this ensemble will be a hit. These versatile lace-up sandals have a thicker heel, which are great for longer days at the track. The straw fedora hat will shield you from the sun, but not obstruct your view of the ponies. When you’re ready to do away with the hat, store it in the lovely floral shopper bag that is made out of polyvinyl which is sturdy for both track and beach!

Men’s Linen Shorts, $34.99,; Palm Tree Band Polo Shirt, $29.90,; Zebra Wood Wayfarer Sunglasses, $52,; Cayo Brim Fedora, $60,; Trimocc Sun Blue Leather Shoes, $69.99,

Translantic Voyage Blue and Ivory Striped Midi Dress, $49,; Fading Light Ivory Fedora Hat, $8, lulus. com; Encyclopedia Floral Small Shopper Bag, $45,; Coach Larissa Lace Up City Sandals, $159.99,; Customized Horseshoe Bangle, $31

Thoroughbred Today


Amanda Murphy

Amanda Murphy

track talk

Gary Stevens & Beholder “I’d need a whole day to talk about Gary Stevens because that’s how highly I think of him. I love his compassion for the game, for horses, I love how competitive he is, and I love his knowledge. He’s just an amazing rider and I’ve learned a lot from him. He makes me raise my game to another level. That’s what he does. He makes other riders better.” - Mike Smith (Hall of Fame Jockey) “Beholder immediately separates herself from the competition. She demands your undivided attention, floating around the walking arena with an arrogance exclusive to that of a champion, like she knows something you don’t.”

- Doug O’Neill (Trainer of Nyquist)

Mary Ellet

Kent Desormeaux “I admire Kent’s competitive desire to win and his ability to adapt to the circumstances in an instant, at any point of a race.” - Gary Stevens (Hall of Fame Jockey) 29

“A blue collar superstar. California Chrome came from humble beginnings and has been nothing short of a worldwide sensation.”

- Steve Bourmas (Massage Therapist to Songbird)

Eric Kalet

California Chrome

Thoroughbred Today

Weep No More “Rusty Arnold did a good job mapping out a schedule for Weep No More. It allowed her to come into the Ashland with a lot of confidence and set her up for a peak performance.” - John Servis (Trainer of Cathryn Sophia)

Thoroughbred Today July 2016  

Meet Songbird's massage therapist, seek inspiration from California Chrome and Tepin, Summer Style for Saratoga and Del Mar, and more in our...

Thoroughbred Today July 2016  

Meet Songbird's massage therapist, seek inspiration from California Chrome and Tepin, Summer Style for Saratoga and Del Mar, and more in our...