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W W W. A ME RI CA NRA CEH ORSE. C OM MARCH/APRIL 2016

IN THIS ISSUE: MINNESOTA’S WOOD-MERE FARM HOW EQUINE INSURANCE WORKS IOWA’S HONOR ROLL THE BENEFITS OF GELDING A HORSE


A Division of Center Hills Farm

POLLARD’S VISION (Carson City-Etats Unis, by Dixieland Band)

KIPLING (Gulch-Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird)

Nearly $18 million in progeny earnings, averaging $46,300+/Rnr!

One of only two active Oklahoma stallions ranked in the Top 5 of both the general & juvenile sire lists in 2015!

Sire of 21 SWs incl Champion BLIND LUCK ($3.2 million in earnings)

Sire of Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile Winner KIP DEVILLE ($3.3 million in earnings)

2016 FEE: $3,000

2016 FEE: $2,500

SAVE BIG MONEY (Storm Cat-Tomisue’s Delight, by A.P. Indy)

THE VISUALISER (Giant’s Causeway-Smokey Mirage, by Holy Bull)

Leading second-crop sire in Oklahoma for 2014!

A leading third-crop sire in Oklahoma for 2015!

Sire of more than 17% stakes horses in first 2 crops, including SW MAMA’S MAD MONEY ($98,954)

Sire of 3-time SW ZEALOUS VISION ($197,998), on the board in 11 of 15 starts

2016 FEE: $2,000

2016 FEE: $1,500

All fees are stands and nurses All stallions are nominated to the Oklahoma Bred Program, Oklahoma Stallion Stakes, Iowa Stallion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup

Mighty Acres

675 W. 470 Rd. • Pryor, Oklahoma 74361 Phone: 918-825-4256 • Cell: 918-271-2266 • Fax: 918-825-4255 www.mightyacres.com


RUBIANO – ROSE COLORED LADY, BY FORMAL DINNER

TOO MUCH BLING LEADING GENERAL SIRE IN TEXAS $7,300,000+ in Earnings 19 Stakes Winners 1.22 Average Earnings Index $56,662 Average Earnings/Starter

CONGAREE $5,000

GRASSHOPPER $3,500

TOO MUCH BLING $4,000

Owner - W. S. Farish | Manager - Danny Shifflett | 26685 Mitchell Rd. | Hempstead, TX 77445 (979) 826-3366 | Cell: (713) 303-8509 | Fax: (979) 826-9405 | E-mail: danishfflett@aol.com AMERICAN RACEHORSE • 2016 MARCH/APRIL 1

002198-LE-American Racehorse FP-Too Much Bling.indd 1

3/14/16 11:25 AM


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CHECK OUT THE LATEST STAKES WINNERS SIRED BY VALOR FARM STALLIONS… BRAVURA, BY EARLY FLYER, WINS THE $75,000 JIM’S ORBIT DIVISION OF THE CLARENCE SCHARBAUER JR. TEXAS STALLION STAKES AT SAM HOUSTON IN FEBRUARY AFTER TAKING THE $50,000 GROOVY STAKES IN JANUARY. THE 3-YEAR-OLD HAS ALREADY BANKED $139,752 WITH A RECORD OF 8-4-2-1 AND WAS NAMED HORSE OF THE MEET AT SAM HOUSTON. Coady Photography

EARLY FLYER

GILDED TIME – BISTRA, BY CLASSIC GO GO

Sire of EIGHT stakes horses in 2015 alone, including HE’S COMIN IN HOT, winner of the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs

2016 Fee: $2,500 I AM JANE DOUGH, BY MY GOLDEN SONG, PICKS UP HER THIRD CAREER STAKES WIN BY DEFEATING MALE HORSES IN THE $50,000 RICHARD KING STAKES ON THE SAM HOUSTON TURF. SHE HAS EARNED NEARLY $170,000 IN HER CAREER.

MY GOLDEN SONG Coady Photography

UNBRIDLED’S SONG – GOLDEN PAR, BY GOLD MERIDIAN

MY GOLDEN SONG sired TWO Texas-bred graded stakes winners – G2 winner and G1-placed THEGIRLINTHATSONG ($479,945) and G3 winner FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD ($420,521) – from his 2011 crop of only 21 foals and 18 runners.

2016 Fee: $4,000

CROSSBOW

JET PHONE

Look for his first crop on the track in 2016!

The sire of four stakes horses from his first 19 starters

2016 Fee: $1,500

2016 Fee: $2,000

BERNARDINI – FOREST HEIRESS, BY FOREST WILDCAT

PHONE TRICK – JET ROUTE, BY ALYDAR

The Estate of Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Ken Carson, General Manager Donny Denton, Farm Manager • David Unnerstall, Attending Veterinarian Post Office Box 966 • Pilot Point, Texas 76258 (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179 www.valorfarm.com • www.facebook.com/valor.farm


ABOUT AMERICAN RACEHORSE

American Racehorse (formerly Southern Racehorse) covers Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the Southwest, Midwest and Midsouth regions. The magazine is mailed to all members of the following associations: • Alabama Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association • Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Horsemen’s Association • Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association • Georgia Horse Racing Coalition • Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association • Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association • Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association • Minnesota Thoroughbred Association • North Carolina Thoroughbred Association • Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma • South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association • Texas Thoroughbred Association • Plus hundreds of Louisiana horsemen.

For more information or to inquire about advertising, contact Denis Blake at (512) 695-4541 or visit www.americanracehorse.com.

CONNECT WITH AMERICAN RACEHORSE HHH

Online: www.americanracehorse.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/americanracehorse Twitter: @AmerRacehorse Email: info@americanracehorse.com Phone/Text: (512) 695-4541 • Fax: (512) 870-9324

Published by Pangaea Enterprises LLC d/b/a American Racehorse American Racehorse P.O. Box 8645 • Round Rock, TX 78683

Contributors Todd Lieber Annise Montplaisir Natalie Voss

Physical Address American Racehorse 1341 Meadowild Drive • Round Rock, TX 78664

Photographers Michelle L. Benson Photography Denis Blake Terri Cage Photography Coady Photography Horsephotos.com/NTRA iStockphoto/MYDinga iStockphoto/numbeos Memories by Lea Annise Montplaisir Don Shugart

Editor/Publisher Denis Blake • info@americanracehorse.com Senior Art Director Amie Rittler • arittler3@gmail.com Graphic Designer Julie Kennedy • julie@digitalcitydesigns.com Copyeditor Judy Marchman

Cover Photo Michelle L. Benson Photography

Copyright © 2016 American Racehorse All rights reserved. Articles may not be reprinted without permission. American Racehorse reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy for any reason. American Racehorse makes a reasonable attempt to ensure that advertising claims are truthful but assumes no responsibility for the truth and accuracy of ads. 4 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016


WHAT’S INSIDE

American RACEHORSE

March/April 2016

28

A mainstay in Minnesota

35 The best of Iowa

Departments Letter from the Editor

6

Fast Furlongs 10 State Association News

18

The Marketplace Classifieds

58

Features Positive Impact 28 Minnesota’s Wood-Mere Farm predates pari-mutuel in the state by more than a decade and is still going strong Hawkeye Heroes 35 Iowa-breds find success at home and on the road Does ‘The Ultimate Equipment Change’ 42 Actually Impact Performance? Gelding a horse clearly has benefits but the effect on the track is harder to quantify Covering Your Assets 46 How equine insurance works and whether it’s right for you Winter Winners 54 Texas-breds take center stage at Sam Houston

42 When and why to geld AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 5


Editor’s letter

Why the Horse Racing Industry Matters I was having dinner recently with a small breeder, and during the meal we took a break so that she could watch a horse that she had bred run in a race, which in itself was pretty cool simply for being able to do that on her smartphone. Now keep in mind that she no longer owned that horse’s dam, had no connection to the stallion and wasn’t in line to earn any breeder awards. Yet she watched that maiden claiming race with a passion and focus that you simply do not often find in everyday pursuits. When that horse crossed the finish line after a hard-fought victory, she was so full of pride and joy. She glowed when she told me about the personality of that horse when he was a foal and eagerly showed me some photos of his mama. You probably know horsemen and horsewomen who are the same way—there’s a good chance you are the same way. You probably know people who hate their jobs and dread going to work every day. I think very few of those people are horsemen. And for those of you who have “regular” jobs and breed, own or train racehorses on the side, I’d wager you sometimes wish that you could be a full-time horseman. I know how dedicated horsemen are and how much they love the Thoroughbred horse, and how it’s really not about the money. That’s why it’s so frustrating to me, and no doubt to many of you, when there is a situation like we have in Texas, where elected government officials, albeit a small number of them, are actively trying to run the horse racing and breeding industry right out of the state. And that is putting the livelihoods of those dedicated to this industry on the line. It doesn’t bother me just because it’s happening here in Texas; it bothers me simply because it’s happening. Yes, I happen to live in Texas, and I happen to have formerly worked at the Texas Thoroughbred Association, but honestly I have no special affinity for Texas. I wasn’t born or raised here. But I do have an affinity for horse racing and horse people. There are plenty of examples where some type of gaming, whether a pari-mutuel form like historical racing/Instant

Racing (which Texas horsemen were trying to get approved) or another form like slot machines or full-blown casinos, have helped racing (although in some cases it can also be a detriment). But I have never seen a grassy pasture with baby slot machines running around. And I highly doubt that the people who build slot machines are constantly checking up on those machines to see how they are doing years later, like the breeder I mentioned above did. I guess slot machines do require a bit of periodic maintenance and some electricity to operate, but I’m quite sure they do not need years of veterinary care, feeding, grooming, training and overall human care that goes into each racehorse. And then there are the jobs and economic impact that the industry makes on the communities and states where horses are raised and raced. Whether you care about the future of Texas racing probably depends on where you live and race. Maybe some of you wouldn’t mind seeing it continue to struggle as to not threaten any other states in the region, although I think most would agree that a strong racing industry in Texas would be an overall positive and give horsemen everywhere more opportunities to race and breed. Being not far from Austin, I have attended the majority of Texas Racing Commission meetings over the past few years and have seen first-hand the dedication of the state’s horsemen to the sport and the animals they love. I also saw that same dedication in Minnesota when I worked at Canterbury Downs and it shut down. Horsemen stayed the course and ultimately were rewarded when the track reopened as the successful Canterbury Park. I see that dedication in horsemen I meet in all the states this magazine covers. I don’t know what the future holds for horse racing in Texas (despite someone asking me almost every day), but I have no doubt that the horsemen here will persevere and continue to work for a better industry, just as I know the horsemen and breed associations in other states are doing. Regardless of the state in which you live or breed Thoroughbreds, horse racing is still horse racing, and we are all in this together. Sincerely, Denis Blake, Editor/Publisher

6 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

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Illegal DopIng Meets Its Match trainers praise natural alternative By: Mark hansen

The pressure to win is so enormous that many horsemen resort to whatever it takes to get a piece of the purse or a decent sale…even if it means putting their horses’ lives in mortal danger by doping them with illegal synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) drugs to boost endurance. Veterinarian Gary Smith said, “It’s a problem all over the industry. There is no way horses should be put on (synthetic) EPO.” So how do racers win? How do you gain a competitive edge without harming your horses or risking your livelihood? The answer may be found in a safe all-natural horse supplement that supports natural EPO function. Why is EPO boosting so critical? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen for fuel. Red blood cells are the body’s oxygen-carrying cells. A higher red blood cell count = more oxygen = more muscle energy. Elevated muscle energy helps the horse perform harder, faster and longer during endurance events. All horses naturally produce EPO in their kidneys to stimulate production of new red blood cells from bone marrow. In short, EPO is a natural “blood builder.” With EPO doping, trainers try to boost the EPO effect to get a winning performance every time. They use a synthetic EPO (recombinant human EPO), even though the side effects can harm the horse. That’s one reason why it’s illegal. Fortunately there’s another option. EPOEquine® is a safe, highly effective natural dietary supplement scientifically engineered for performance horses. A Kentucky trainer who refused to give out his name, said, “I don’t want my competition to know about this.” He found EPO-Equine® to be

so effective that he’s dead set against disclosing who he is, who his horses are, or even where he trains and races. He first started ordering a single jar of EPO-Equine® once a month. Now he’s ordering several CASES each month. And he won’t tell BRL exactly why. He said respectfully, “Sorry – no way.” Bioengineers at U.S. based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL), first discovered a completely natural EPO-booster for human athletes (and it’s working miracles for top athletes and amateurs around the world). Seeing these results, horse trainers contacted BRL and asked about using this natural formula for their animals. That’s when the BRL team dug deeper and discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of a common herb that promotes optimal bloodbuilding results. EPO-Equine® is based on the blood-boosting abilities of a certain strain of Echinacea that’s astounding researchers and trainers alike. (It’s not a strain you can find at the local health store.) Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in Ontario, Canada ran a double-blind trial investigating the blood building properties of the active ingredient in EPO-Equine® in healthy horses. For 42 days, one group of horses was supplemented with the active ingredient in EPOEquine® and another group of horses was given a placebo. The supplement delivered significant blood building results, increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Researchers also observed improved blood quality and increased oxygen transport in the supplemented horses. Improved blood levels leads to elevated exercise physiology and performance. The patent-pending formula in EPO-Equine® contains a dozen different herbs, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components combined to promote natural red blood cell production…for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers find it easy to add just 1 scoop (3.2 grams) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within a few weeks of daily use, you can expect to see increased red blood cell levels with no undesirable side effects. An increase in red blood cell levels can improve muscle performance, supercharge endurance, and enhance recovery after hard exercise. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe and natural formula. Compared to the cost of veterinarians, drugs, icing, tapping the knees, and putting the horse on Bute; or even the consequences of being banned for synthetic doping, EPOEquine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. Or save $180 if you are ready to commit to a larger trial of 12-jar case for just $539.55 with FREE shipping. EPOEquine® can be ordered at www.EPOEquine.com or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.


fastfurlongs Texas Racing Commission Repeals Historical Racing truly wants to help the TexThe Texas Racing Commission on February 18 as horse industry, as he has voted by a 5 to 4 margin claimed, he will work to apto repeal rules for historical prove legislation in the 2017 racing at Texas racetracks. session to give Texas tracks a The vote seemingly ends fighting chance to compete a drawn-out ordeal dating against neighboring states. back to 2014 when the TRC So far, we have only heard authorized the form of pawords. In 2017, the 36,000 ri-mutuel wagering that has people who work in our inproven to be popular and dustry will settle for nothing short of action.” successful in other states. After originally passing Patrick issued this statethe rules for historical racment, “I support today’s ing, the TRC faced pressure action by the Texas Racing from some state legislators to Commission to repeal its repeal them, and the agency’s rules for historical racing ongoing funding was put in in Texas. As a state disjeopardy. This vote cleared trict court has ruled, only the way for the TRC’s fundthe Texas Legislature can ing to be restored, but it also approve any expansion of puts the future of the indusgambling. With this issue try in Texas in question. now behind us, I look for“Today’s vote was brought ward to sitting down with about because of extreme responsible members of the pressure placed on commishorse racing industry to dissioners by a small handful of cuss the future of horse racSenate leaders with threats to ing in Texas.” Denis Blake shut down the [Texas Racing That echoes a similar The Lone Star Park meet will commence as scheduled on April 7 after the Texas Racing Commission] if historical statement made earlier by Commission’s budget was restored. racing wasn’t repealed,” said Patrick. However, Texas Texas Horsemen’s Partnership Executive Director Marsha Rountree in horsemen, despite repeated efforts, were unable to get a meeting with a statement. “We maintain that the budget rider that forced this vote Patrick in recent months. That was mentioned at the TRC meeting was unconstitutional and that today’s actions are meant to deny us our with at least one commissioner expressing disappointment that such a day in court. Real Texans will now suffer due to the continuing decline meeting had not taken place. of the horse racing industry in Texas. The Texas Thoroughbred Association would like to thank all mem“Horse racing has been approved by voters and historical rac- bers and horsemen who supported the effort for historical racing. The ing is a legal form of pari-mutuel wagering covered in the Racing TTA continues to fight to grow the Thoroughbred racing and breeding Act,” the statement continued. “If Lieutenant Governor [Dan] Patrick industry in Texas through all available means. 10 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016


Equine Sales Company Announces Date for Unified Yearling Sale with LTBA

Equine Sales Company announced that it will hold its Consignor Select Yearling Sale on September 7, 2016, in Opelousas, Louisiana. This will be the first unified yearling sale held by Equine Sales together with the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA). A mutual agreement between Equine Sales and the LTBA was announced earlier, and both entities will work jointly to promote and support the September sale.

“We are thrilled to have the endorsement of the LTBA and truly believe that by working together we can grow the market for Louisiana-bred horses, both nationally and within the state,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director for Equine Sales. “We expect to have robust interest from both consignors and buyers for this joint yearling sale, especially with the support and promotion of the LTBA.” Equine Sales also announced that it is still accepting consignments for its 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale to be held May 10. “We already have a strong catalog on tap for that sale,” noted Bridewell, “and we are getting a lot of calls about the new Equine Sales Oaks and Equine Sales Derby that will debut this year.” The new races for sale graduates, to be run May 6 and 7 at Evangeline Downs, will each feature a $75,000 purse for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles. Horses going through the ring at this year’s 2-year-old and yearling sales will be eligible for future runnings. For more information, go to equinesalesofla.com.

AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 11


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Grade 2 Winner Excaper to Stand at River Oaks in Oklahoma Excaper, winner of the 2014 Connaught Cup (G2) and runner-up in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), has been retired to stand at Francisco and Lori Bravo’s River Oaks Farms in Oklahoma as the property of Mike Grossman in a deal brokered by Chad Schumer. The 7-year-old son of Exchange Rate will stand for a fee of $2,000. Excaper retires as the winner of five races and $775,360. A high-class 2-year-old, Excaper broke his maiden first time out at Woodbine and signed off his juvenile campaign by running second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs. A tough and consistent performer, he later captured the Connaught Cup at Woodbine and placed in the Play the King Stakes

(G2), King Edward Stakes (G2) and Kent Stakes (G3). In all, he won or placed in 11 stakes races. “Excaper is a horse that offers world-class 2-year-old form,” Schumer said. “He is also by a leading 2-year-old known for siring fast and early types, so he’s a perfect horse for the Oklahoma market.” Excaper is a half brother to six winners including stakes winner Quite a Ruckus. His winning dam, Ada Ruckus, by Bold Ruckus, is a half sister to successful Canadian sire Tethra. Excaper will stand alongside Chitoz, Foreign Policy, Latent Heat and Read the Footnotes at River Oaks Farms.

First Winners for Texas Stallions Unbridled’s Heart, Preferred Issue

Preferred Issue

Terri Cage Photography

12 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

Terri Cage Photography

Former Texas stallion Unbridled’s Heart, who died last year Away, who is the dam of Grade 2 winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) due to complications from colic, was represented by his first win- runner-up Eight Belles. ner on Valentine’s Day when his daughter Big Hearted Gal captured a maiden claiming race at Fair Grounds. Owned and bred in Texas by Eugene Jupe, the 3-year-old gray/roan filly prevailed by two lengths in the one-mile event with James Graham aboard for trainer Dallas Keen. Unbridled’s Heart, a son of Unbridled’s Song who sold for $1 million as a yearling, broke his maiden at first asking and posted a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in a 10-length romp on the main track at Belmont Park. He went on to score two more wins on the turf along with stakes placings at Belmont and Lone Star Park. The stallion stood as property of Ian Yarnot at Double Infinity Ranch after previously standing at Keen Farms. Texas stallion Preferred Issue recorded his first winner on February 27 as his son Unbridled’s Issue scored in a maiden special weight race at Fair Grounds. The 3-year-old gelding Unbridled’s Heart was bred in Texas and runs for Richard and Susan Couron’s Couron Farms LLP. The Courons also stand Preferred Issue, a son of Giant’s Causeway, at Keen Farms in Burleson, Texas, for a fee of $500. Ridden by Richard Eramia for trainer Dallas Keen, Unbridled’s Issue went wire-to-wire in the 1 1/16-mile turf event for a $37,000 purse. The gray/roan gelding stopped the timer at 1:44.78 and boosted his lifetime earnings to $34,510. Unbridled’s Issue had hit the board in his four prior starts with three thirds at Fair Grounds and a second-place effort in his debut at Canterbury Park. The 9-year-old Preferred Issue is out of the Mr. Prospector mare Be a Prospector, a half sister to noted sire Belong to Me. A $420,000 Keeneland yearling, Preferred Issue is a half brother to the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed mare


Memories by Lea

Oklahoma Stallions Oratory, Going Wild Die As a stallion, Going Wild was coming off his best year in 2015 with seven winners from nine runners. His leading runner is Mancation, an earner of $84,322 who won the 2014 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby at Sunland Park. Going Wild is also the sire of multiple stakes-placed Vernissage. “Going Wild was an extremely kind and friendly stallion,” said Cope. “He would meet me at the gate and beg for attention to be petted or for hands full of grass or pears and apples in season from our trees, located just out of his reach. I didn’t realize how many times I looked out my kitchen window to view him, until he was no longer there.”

Oratory

Don Shugart

Oratory, one of Oklahoma’s leading stallions, was euthanized in February following an accident while recovering from surgery to address a nerve problem. The son of Pulpit stood at Francisco and Lori Bravo’s River Oaks Farms in Sulphur, Oklahoma, as property of Mike Grossman’s Eureka Thoroughbred Farm. One of the top 3-year-olds of 2005, Oratory won three of his five starts that year for owner Darley Stable. He captured the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park by 4 ¾ lengths under Jerry Bailey, earning a 114 Beyer Speed Figure, and was later retired after sustaining an injury in a workout. From six crops to race, Oratory has sired the earners of nearly $8 million. His leading earner is multiple stakes winner Monster Sleeping with a bankroll of $481,880, and last year he was represented by the undefeated Texas-bred 2-year-old My Master Plan, a two-time stakes winner at Remington Park who was named the top juvenile filly at the Oklahoma City track and also Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Filly. “The loss of this good stallion is a loss for many people that were willing to support him and recognized his impeccable breeding and conformation,” Francisco Bravo said. “Undoubtedly it’s a terrible loss for owner Mr. Mike Grossman. We would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding.” Oratory previously stood in Texas at Eureka Thoroughbred Farm and was that state’s leading sire by earnings in 2012. He also stood in Maryland. Oklahoma stallion Going Wild, a multiple stakes-winning son of Golden Missile, also died in February after a stall accident. The 14-year-old was standing at Equitech Services in El Reno, Oklahoma, as property of Denise Cope. A $600,000 2-year-old purchase by Bob and Beverly Lewis who was trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Going Wild won seven of 35 career starts and banked $513,200. He recorded a total of six stakes wins, including the San Miguel and Sham stakes at Santa Anita, and also placed in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes and Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint. Among the horses he defeated in the Sham Stakes was eventual Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Giacomo.

Going Wild

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Louisiana-bred Stakes Winner Populist Politics Claimed, Retired by Former Connections Louisiana-bred Populist Politics earned more than $650,000 in his racing career and now will be retrained for a second career. talented foes he clashed with include Tapizar, Prayer for Relief, Alternation, Redeemed and Sunbean. In arguably his best race, Populist Politics nearly put an end to Louisiana legend Star Guitar’s nine-race winning streak when losing by a head to the four-time state-bred Horse of the Year in the 2012 Costa Rising Stakes. Star Guitar went on to race once more and retired to stud with 10 consecutive victories to cap his career. “He’s going to retire a happy horse,” Amoss concluded. “He goes up to a farm in Ohio and they’ll retrain him and see what he wants to do, whether that’s do something else, or become a [racetrack] pony. Otherwise, he’ll live his life out eating grass and being a horse.”

Coady Photography

Populist Politics, a tough Louisiana-bred stakes winner who won for the 10th time in his 45-race career on February 24 at Delta Downs, was claimed for $4,000 and retired by original owner Klaravich Stable (Seth Klarman and Jeff Ravich) and trainer Tom Amoss. An earner of $653,396, the 8-year-old bay horse is still intact and was winning for the first time since February 2015 and only the second time in 12 starts since being claimed from Klaravich and William H. Lawrence for $20,000 in December 2014. “It was initiated by Klaravich,” Amoss reported. “They texted me and said he was in for $4,000. They said we should take him back, and I put up half and they put up half and now we’ll retire him. He goes out a winner, which is really neat, and he’s really sound, despite his deteriorating performance.” Bred by B. Wayne Hughes of Kentucky’s Spendthrift Farm, Populist Politics, by Don’t Get Mad, had a record of 33-8-8-8 for Amoss and Klaravich, including five stakes wins at Fair Grounds, Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs. Populist Politics placed in 13 stakes, including the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in 2011. Some of the

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Remington’s Springboard Mile Proves to Be Key Race at Oaklawn

Suddenbreakingnews, here winning the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn, is one of five entrants from the Springboard Mile at Remington Park to find the winner’s circle in Hot Springs. Five horses entered in the $250,000 Springboard Mile for 2-yearolds on December 13 at Remington Park have won races at the Oaklawn Park meeting through late February, including two important races on the road to the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and eventually the Kentucky Derby (G1). Springboard Mile winner Discreetness won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes in January, and runner-up Suddenbreakingnews won 14 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) in February. Other Springboard Mile graduates to strike in Hot Springs include fourth-place finisher Cutacorner, who captured an entry-level allowance/optional claimer, and ninth-place finisher Giant Trick, a maiden special weight winner. A fifth horse, Blanket of Ice, scratched from the Springboard Mile because of a minor problem, broke his maiden at Oaklawn. Donnie K. Von Hemel, who trains Suddenbreakingnews, said the Springboard Mile has “proven to be a very nice race” in preparing horses to tackle Oaklawn’s series of Kentucky Derby prep races. “I think if you look at the Remington 2-year-old stakes schedule, it just fits real nice with what Oaklawn has going on here, especially the Springboard,” Von Hemel said. “You look at the horses that have run in it over the years, it probably should be a Grade 3. I think the Smarty Jones should be a Grade 3.” Texas-bred Texas Bling beat Will Take Charge in the 2012 Springboard Mile. Will Take Charge then edged Texas Bling in the Smarty Jones en route to an Eclipse Award for 3-year-old champion male honors in 2013. The Von Hemel-trained Caleb’s Posse finished seventh in the 2010 Springboard Mile but bounced back to win the Smarty Jones in his 3-year-old debut. Caleb’s Posse finished a close second in the Eclipse voting for champion 3-year-old male of 2011.


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STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS

ARKANSAS THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS’ AND HORSEMEN’S ASSOCIATION NEWS Easter Indy, Weast Hill Win Arkansas-bred Stakes at Oaklawn Oaklawn Park held its first two Arkansas-bred stakes of the meet on February 27 and 28, with $100,000 on the line in each contest for 3-year-olds and up, a boost from the $75,000 pot offered last year. Easter Indy proved she’s the top female horse bred in Arkansas with her powerful 5 ½-length victory in the Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes for fillies and mares. The William Martin-trained runner covered six furlongs in 1:11.66. “She did everything I asked her to,” said winning jockey Walter De La Cruz. “I was able to sit just off the speed on the backside and when I asked her turning for home, she gave me a strong run. I want to thank the owners and Mr. Martin for giving me the opportunity to ride this filly.” 18 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

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The second running of the Kenneth Cotton Memorial will be held at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana on Saturday, April 23. The race conditions have been modified to encourage more entrants with the race now at six furlongs with a $25,000 purse for Alabama-bred 3-year-olds and up who are maidens or non-winners of two races that have run for $25,000 or less. The Kenneth Cotton Memorial is sponsored by both the Alabama HBPA and the Louisiana HBPA. Many thanks go out to the Louisiana HBPA and the folks at Evangeline Downs for supporting our Alabama races. The Alabama HBPA will also reimburse up to $500 in qualifying shipping expenses for horses finishing fourth and below in the Kenneth Cotton Memorial. Billing should be submitted to the contact information below. In support of Alabama horsemen, we are also pleased to announce that the Alabama HBPA will continue to distribute supplemental funds to the owners of Alabama-breds running in open company. We are keeping the payouts at $800 for first, $600 for second, $400 for third and $200 for fourth. Continue to contact us via email at nancy.m.delony@ms.com or by phone at (205) 9697048 when your horse qualifies. For 2015, we distributed a total of $25,000 among 20 Alabama-breds. The top three earners were Ira, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Tracy Nunley and Jerry Hackett and bred by Hackett Brothers Thoroughbred, receiving a total of $3,600; Rebel Breeze, a 5-year-old mare owned and bred by William Burleson, receiving $3,400; and Buggin Out, a 4-year-old gelding owned and bred by Dennis Murphy, receiving $3,200. We look forward to the 2016 racing year and Alabama horses winning around the country. Nancy Delony, Executive Director

Pink Flash closed late to be second. She was followed by Sophias Big Girl, 2-1 favorite Lady Lake, Brooke’s a Bookin, Chilean Queen, Demi Ten, Pretty Suspect, Patchofbadweather, Jonesboro Polly and Be My Caroline. The Downthedustyroad was Easter Indy’s second straight victory this year and third overall from seven career starts. The 4-year-old A.P. Million filly has now earned $164,465 for owners John and Libbie Thiel and Martin Brothers Inc. She was bred by the Thiels. Starsky Weast’s homebred Weast Hill did not disappoint his backers that made him the heavy 3-5 favorite with an easy 3 ¼-length victory in the Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes. Ridden confidently by jockey Joe Rocco Jr., Weast Hill sprinted six furlongs in 1:10.10 to prevail over second choice Bumpy Cat. Last year’s winner, We Be Stormin, closed well to get third, followed by Comic Bird, Mallard’s Bro, Goods Gone West and Indygo Bo. “He’s a nice horse,” Rocco said. “My horse broke sharp, was on it Weast Hill (inside) and I had a lot of horse. I was trying to conserve it early on and he had enough to get home. He’s a nice horse all around.” Weast Hill, a 4-year-old gelded son of Rockport Harbor, has now won five of seven career starts, including all three of his local races, and has now earned $219,710. Trainer Brad Cox said that it is possible that Weast Hill could attempt to stretch his speed out to 1 1/16 miles in the Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes April 1. Easter Indy

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ALABAMA HBPA NEWS Kenneth Cotton Memorial and Alabama-bred Funds

Five Owners Collect Arkansas-bred Bonus at Oaklawn Through the first 33 days of Oaklawn Park’s meet, five owners have capitalized on the $5,000 incentive bonus for registered Arkansas-breds winning in open company with a total of $30,000 paid out for six victories. That bonus is up from $2,000 last year. Congratulations to the following owners: Date Horse Owner Jan. 24 Allredetogo Eugenia Benight Jan. 29 Weast Hill Starsky Weast Jan. 31/Mar. 3 Carmen’s Picture Four Horsemen Stable LLC (Mike Simpson and Jackie Lackie) Feb. 19 Mae B Jones William S. Sparks Mar. 4 Innocent Storm Danny Caldwell


COLORADO THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Arapahoe Park Set to Open May 20 Arapahoe Park will hold its 2016 meet from May 20 to August 14. The racetrack will feature 39 days of Thoroughbred, Arabian and American Quarter Horse racing taking place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There will be special racing programs on Memorial Day, May 30, and on the Fourth of July, and during these holiday weekends there will be racing on Mondays instead of Fridays. The first race each day will be at 1 p.m. Arapahoe Park’s opening weekend of racing in 2016 will coincide with the Preakness Stakes on May 21. “While we’ve normally begun our season on Memorial Day weekend, we want our fans in Colorado to enjoy live racing while following the buzz of the Triple Crown on the heels of American Pharoah in 2015,” Arapahoe Park Executive Director Bruce Seymore said. Arapahoe Park opened in 1984 and has raced every summer since 1992, making 2016 its 25th year in a row of horse racing. On the final day of the 2015 season, the track hosted the richest day of horse racing in the history of the Rocky Mountain State with $500,210 in total purses. “Last year was the best year we’ve ever had at Arapahoe Park, and we hope the momentum continues in 2016,” Seymore said. The 2016 stakes schedule features eight events for Colorado-bred Thoroughbreds, plus two divisions of the Silver Cup Futurity. The richest Thoroughbred race is the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity on closing day. The $35,000 Arapahoe Park Classic will be held August 13. Stall applications are available on the racetrack’s website, mihiracing.com, along with the stakes schedule and first condition book. The stable area will open on April 19, and the racetrack will open for training on April 20.

GEORGIA HORSE RACING COALITION NEWS Georgia Voters Denied the Chance to Vote on Horse Racing The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition regrets that bills to allow voters to decide whether to allow horse racing in the state were prevented from coming before the Georgia Senate for a vote during the 2016 session. Not only would the legislation have created an industry with 5,000 jobs and a $500 million economic impact, it would have produced more than $15 million for educational needs. With developers standing ready to build a world-class, $750 million, mixed-use track in Georgia, the GHRC is very disappointed that the bills were blocked by Republican leadership and interests that did not want the issue to be put before voters. All of our polls—several conducted in leadership districts—show that constituents want to be able to decide this issue for themselves and that the majority would approve it. The GHRC was denied a chance to bring this project to Geor-

gia voters, and one of the greatest job-producing and economic opportunities available to this state has been lost. We see this as a great loss for our state and for students. As we discuss our next course of action, we want to thank Sen. Brandon Beach and his staff, the lawmakers who supported the legislation and the many racing enthusiasts in Georgia who took the time to contact their legislators. We appreciate all you have done. For more information, go to gahorseracing.org.

INDIANA THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Indiana Grand Releases $4.4 Million Stakes Schedule A total of 36 Thoroughbred stakes races valued at more than $4.4 million will be featured during the 2016 racing season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The season, which gets underway Tuesday, April 19, will be highlighted by the 22nd running of the Grade 2, $500,000-added Indiana Derby slated for Saturday, July 16. “The move of the Indiana Derby to July last year proved to be a great spot on the summer stakes calendar for 3-year-olds,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing at Indiana Grand. “We had a strong field for the race and broke attendance records due to warmer weather. In addition, 20 state stakes for Indiana-bred or -sired horses were raised from $85,000 to $100,000 in 2016, adding another boost to our stakes program.” The Indiana Derby will be joined by six other stakes to create a mega racing program beginning at 6:05 p.m. EST. One of the highlights will be the 21st running of the Grade 2, $200,000-added Indiana Oaks. Other undercard stakes include the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes, the $100,000 Michael G. Memorial, the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff, and the $100,000 Warrior Veterans Stakes. The $200,000-added Centaur Stakes and the $200,000-added Indiana Grand head the list of 10 stakes scheduled for the turf course in 2016. Both races will be held Wednesday, September 7, and will be accompanied by the $100,000 A.J. Foyt Stakes and the $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes, also turf events. The afternoon racing card will mark the final stakes of the season over Indiana Grand’s seven-eighths-mile turf course. “By showcasing a lot of our stakes races on Wednesday afternoons, we have become known as one of the premier Thoroughbred tracks mid-week,” Greely said. “This gives us the opportunity to showcase our races in front of a national audience. It also allows us to draw entries from some of the top operations in the Midwest that might otherwise be committed to weekend racing events elsewhere, which only strengthens our racing product.” Indiana Grand Racing & Casino begins its 14th season of live Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 19. Racing will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 p.m. EST with a Saturday evening post time of 6:05 p.m. EST. Thursday racing will be added in July and August beginning Thursday, July 7, and will feature a 2:05 p.m. EST post time. For more information or a complete list of stakes for the 2016 racing season, go to indianagrand.com. AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 19


STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS Mike Smith Named Executive Director of IHRC

ITOBA Spring Sale Set for June 12

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has named Michael “Mike” Smith as its new executive director. IHRC Chair Thomas Weatherwax sent the following letter to industry participants announcing the hire on February 1: Dear Industry Stakeholder, There has been much activity in the past few months as we prepare for the 2016 racing season, and we look forward to a wonderful year. As you are likely aware, in recent weeks the Indiana Horse Racing Commission undertook a nationwide search for an executive director, and we were fortunate to have had many qualified candidates. After conducting interviews, the Commission has selected a person who possesses the combination of management and overall skills we were seeking. We are most pleased to introduce Michael “Mike” Smith of Rensselaer, Indiana, as the new executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Mike, who begins work today, brings outstanding skills and experience that will continue to move Indiana horse racing forward. He started his involvement in horse racing in the ’60s with his father as owners of Thoroughbreds, then moving on to owning, training and driving Standardbreds. He continues to maintain a qualifying driver’s and trainer’s license. Mike’s overall business and management experiences are remarkable—owning and operating a successful insurance and investment firm; president and CEO of a major trade association in Indiana (Casino Association of Indiana); and served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1993 to 2002 where he was Republican Floor Leader. His hands-on background in horse racing coupled with his successful business experience and as a leader in the Indiana General Assembly makes him uniquely qualified to lead the IHRC. The Commission continues its commitment to maintain the highest integrity for Indiana’s racing along with fostering and promoting an environment that will encourage investment and growth of Indiana horse racing to expand the industry’s role in Indiana’s economy. Knowing that Mike shares the Commission’s goals, we believe his leadership will continue our progress. We trust you will welcome Mike Smith as the Executive Director of IHRC. On behalf of the entire Indiana Horse Racing Commission, we wish you much success in the days ahead.

The ITOBA Spring Sale has been set for Saturday, June 12, at 2 p.m. at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The sale will include 2-year-olds and horses of racing age with the breeze date scheduled for June 11 at 11 a.m. The entry deadline for the sale is April 25. For more information, go to itobasales.com.

ITOBA Awards Banquet Set for April 16 The ITOBA awards banquet will be held Saturday, April 16, at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event is free to ITOBA members, and we encourage everyone to attend. Invitations are being sent, and more information is available at itoba.com.

ITOBA Stallion Season Stakes on June 11 The 2016 ITOBA Stallion Season Stakes, with divisions for 3-year-old fillies and colts/geldings going one mile on the main track at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, have been set for June 11. Each division will offer a $75,000 purse. For more information and a list of eligible stallions, go to itoba.com. 20 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

IOWA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS AND OWNERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Prairie Meadows Sets 2016 Racing Schedule Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino has set the calendar and schedule for the 27th season of live horse racing at the Altoona, Iowa, facility. The 67-day Thoroughbred season will open on Thursday, April 28, and end with Iowa Classics Day on Saturday, August 13. Despite reduced revenues from alternative gaming, overnight purses have been held at 2015 levels, with maiden special weight races going for a purse of $30,000. Iowa-breds will receive a supplement of 25 percent in restricted races and 40 percent against open company. Fans and horsemen alike will notice several changes in both the calendar and the day-to-day schedule, including new post times on weekdays and weekends. On Thursdays and Fridays, racing will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT. Saturday and Sunday racing will begin at 1 p.m. CT. The four exceptions to the regular schedule are afternoon cards on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, and Independence Day, Monday, July 4, and also Wednesday evening programs on June 15 and August 10. The popular Iowa Festival of Racing, which has historically attracted some of the top horses in the nation to Prairie Meadows, will become a three-day event covering Thursday, June 30, Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, with two stakes on each of the three days. The $100,000 Saylorville and the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) are scheduled for June 30; the $100,000 Iowa Distaff and the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) are set for July 1; and the $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap and $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) are slated for July 2. Two stakes have new names for 2016. The Wild Rose, an overnight stakes for older fillies and mares, is now The Jack Bishop, and the restricted Ralph Hayes Stakes for older Iowa-bred colts and geldings has been renamed the Governor Terry E. Branstad Stakes. The stakes program again features 13 stakes for registered Iowa-breds, as well as three $60,000-guaranteed races for the offspring of stallions whose seasons sold in the 2013 or 2014 ITBOA stallion season auction. The complete 2016 racing calendar, including regular and special post times, along with the full stakes schedule and first condition book, can be found at prairiemeadows.com/racing.


MICHIGAN THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Hazel Park Dates Set The Michigan Gaming Control Board has set the schedule for the third season of Thoroughbred racing at Hazel Park Raceway. A total of 30 days of Thoroughbred racing were approved with the meet to start on Friday, May 27, and run through Saturday, September 3. Racing will be held Fridays and Saturdays with no less than nine races per day. Last year’s meet started May 1, and track management believes a slightly later start will help this year. “Starting in late May, we will have more horses race-ready, which will help us,” said Ladd Biro, director of racing at Hazel Park Raceway, in an article on madisonparknews.com. “It’s also close to summer when people like to be outside, and we have a great facility for watching horses outside. The atmosphere, the action on the apron on Friday nights—it’s a very young and vibrant audience that comes out here, and like any other year, we have the same challenge, which is to attract the fans and show them a great time.” For more information, go to hazelparkraceway.com.

MINNESOTA THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS Yearling Sale with New Incentives Highlights Busy Schedule of MTA Events The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association has scheduled a variety of events for the summer that will provide our members and guests with opportunities to learn, celebrate, support our jockeys and add a Minnesota-bred or two to their stables. The first ownership seminar of the season will be held on May 7 at Canterbury Park. As we begin the quest for the next Triple Crown winner, we will invite current and potential owners to learn more about the exciting world of Thoroughbred ownership. We’ll have local industry experts sharing their skills and knowledge. We’ll cover the important business aspects of ownership, purchasing options, finding a trainer, what’s involved in the daily care and training of racehorses, and ultimately, retirement options when a horse’s racing days end. There will be plenty of time for questions from the audience, and we will give MTA members, who might have partnership opportunities, time to meet with interested parties at the end of the morning. The MTA will be celebrating the 2015 accomplishments of our Minnesota-bred equine athletes, their breeders, owners and connections at our awards banquet on May 19. Holding this special event on “opening night eve” will give us a chance to remember the excitement of the 2015 race meet as we look forward to the 2016 meet that opens the following day. June 26 is Canterbury Park’s Leg Up Fund Day, where we’ll be raising money to help injured jockeys. A raffle, silent auction, a poker tournament, kids’ events, photo ops with our jockeys and many other fun activities will help to raise awareness and money to support our jockeys, should the need arise.

The Leg Up Fund provides emergency transitional financial assistance to jockeys who have sustained on-track injuries in the performance of their profession at Canterbury Park. Many jockeys face financial hardship during their rehabilitation from injuries sustained on the track. The needs of our injured jockeys can be substantial. The day-to-day living and family support expenses pose financial challenges to these individuals who courageously test their physical limits every day. July 31 will find the MTA and the Minnesota Quarter Horse Racing Association teaming up to fire up the grills, roll out the fixings and feeding Canterbury’s backside workers in a favorite annual event. The people who work on the backside are critical to the health and safety of our racehorses, and we look forward to this opportunity to show our appreciation for their long hours, diligence and tender care. In 2015, nearly 500 people enjoyed grilled pork loin, a variety of salads, baked beans and plenty of dessert. August 6 will feature David Miller of Star of the North Bloodstock sharing his knowledge and expertise in a conformation and pedigree clinic. David will be helping attendees learn more about the importance of a horse’s conformation and pedigree when selecting the next horse for their racing stable. This is an ideal opportunity for interested individuals to learn or refresh these important skills before the MTA’s yearling sale. August 21 and 22 will bring a new crop of Minnesota-bred yearlings to the sales ring during the 2016 MTA Yearling Sale at Canterbury Park. Up to 65 Minnesota-bred yearlings will be available for inspection on August 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. following the afternoon’s Minnesota Festival of Champions race card. The sale will be held in Canterbury’s new Expo Center beginning at 5 p.m. on August 22. The MTA board announced several twists to the sale, making consigning and buying at the auction even more lucrative. The breeder of each Minnesota-bred yearling consigned to the MTA yearling sale that sells to a new owner during the auction will receive a yearling sale graduate breeder’s bonus when the MTA sales grad breaks its maiden in a maiden special weight or allowance race. The bonus will be paid to the breeder within 30 days of the horse breaking its maiden at Canterbury Park. Minnesota-conceived and -foaled MTA sale grads will receive a $2,000 bonus. Minnesota-bred MTA sale grads will receive a $1,000 bonus. The MTA board is offering this bonus to breeders as an added incentive to bring top-quality, competitive Minnesota-conceived and -foaled, as well as Minnesota-bred, yearlings to their annual sale. “While purses have increased, raising awards to breeders is a little more difficult,” said MTA President Jay Dailey. “The past couple of years have seen nice bumps in awards to breeders and, with these bonuses, we’re looking to keep that momentum going while new sources of income to the breeders’ fund are cultivated.” The MTA is also offering a $10,000 bonus to the winner of the 2020 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes if the season was purchased during the 2016 MTA Stallion Auction. Additionally, in cooperation with Canterbury Park, eligible 2-year-olds of 2016 will have AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 21


STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS the opportunity to run in the new five-furlong, $40,000 MTA Sales Graduate Stakes in July. Yearlings that were consigned to the 2015 sale are eligible to nominate to this race, plus consignors selling a horse can, in turn, nominate an additional Minnesota-bred to the MTA Sales Graduate Stakes. This race is an added perk to both buy and sell at the MTA yearling sale. There will be so much happening at Canterbury Park this summer that you won’t want to miss a minute. Details about all of our events can be found on the MTA’s website at minnesotabred.com.

Minnesota Thoroughbred Association Announces Board Officers The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association’s board of directors named its 2016 slate of officers at the January meeting. Jay Dailey was re-elected president for a fourth consecutive term. Cameron Mahlum was named vice president, with Scott Rake as treasurer and Mary Malkerson as secretary.

NORTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS

Courtesy NCTA

President’s Message Our awards dinner to honor our 2015 champions was a success. We had a nice crowd and a wonderful speaker who was entertaining and pertinent to this time in the Thoroughbred industry. Our speaker was Mike Pons of Country Life Farm and Merryland Farm, who filled in for his brother Josh after he woke up that morning with the flu. Mike and his wife, Lisa, were nice enough to detour their visit to Kentucky and the Fasig-Tipton sale to speak in his brother’s place. They were the most gracious couple and spoke to everyone. They also brought a guest, Marion Bagwell, a breeder from Greensboro. It was such a pleasure to have them all join us. The NCTA honored its top racehorses as well as retired racehorses with the Thoroughbred Incentive Program participants.

Mike spoke about the beginnings of Country Life Farm in 1933, about his grandfather Adolph Pons and his ties with August Belmont, and with Man o’ War. He spoke of the good luck and the hard times the farm has gone through. We learned of the way that they became half owners of Malibu Moon and standing him at their farm and later in Kentucky. Mike was very interesting, timely, funny and serious, all tied up in an off-the-cuff talk. The NCTA thanks him for giving his time and sharing his knowledge with all of us. The NCTA became a sponsor of the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) that The Jockey Club has started. It is a program to recognize retired Thoroughbreds that have excelled in a new career in the show ring. The Jockey Club collects all of the information and 22 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

then names the winner and runners-up who reside in North Carolina. We invited our T.I.P. participants to join us at the awards dinner. Two were not able to come, but the winner, Sarah Blanchard, joined us along with her rider, Kenna Wilson, and shared pictures of her horse Hey Virginia (racing name Hey Now) competing in dressage. We also had the third-place finisher Miranda Schill and her parents, Tracy and James. Miranda, who is only 15, and her horse Rocket Zone (kept the racing name) competed in jumping. It was such a pleasure having the winners join us, we look forward to reaching out to them and others who have retired Thoroughbreds in North Carolina. To all who could not come to the awards dinner, you missed a very nice event. We gained three new members. First was Susan Allen, who loves the Thoroughbred horse and came in place of Nancy Shuford, who could not come because she had horses foaling. We thank Nancy for introducing her to us. We also welcomed the aforementioned Sarah Blanchard, who wants to help us get more people who own retired Thoroughbreds interested in the NCTA. We are hoping to come up with a program to report on these horses. Our third new member is Ralph Moore, who had joined us before when Steve Cauthen spoke and is involved in racing partnerships. We also have two new members that joined us earlier this year: Liz Houck and Anna Simms, who owns JJ’s Lucky Train, who is standing stud in West Virginia. Welcome to the NCTA!

2015 NTCA Champions The NCTA would like to congratulate all of our champions: Breeder of the Year: James Chandley Champion 2-Year-Old: Tribal Heat (by Bring the Heat) Owned by Clinton Lowry Champion Claiming Male: Incremental (by Flatter) Bred by Nancy Shuford Champion Claiming Female: Missdixieactivist (by Activist) Bred by James Chandley Champion Allowance Male: True Bet (by Yes It’s True) Owned by George and Stephanie Autry Champion Allowance Female: Milaya (by Eskendereya) Owned by George and Stephanie Autry Champion Stakes Horse: Daring Kathy (by Wildcat Heir) Owned and bred by Steve Laymon in partnership with John Eaton Champion Graded Stakes Horse and Horse of the Year: Pretty N Cool (by Scat Daddy) • Bred by Nancy Shuford Broodmare of the Year: Stayclassysandiego (by Rockport Harbor) • Owned by Nancy Shuford Eileen Williams was awarded the Unsung Hero Award for all the work she has done for the NCTA by reporting the results of our horses every week. She has done this for years and also contributed her beautiful prose and poems to our newsletter. She donates to the silent auction at every awards dinner. We are so lucky to have Eileen give her time to this association. She does not even own a horse but loves racing and this association.


THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA NEWS SOUTH CAROLINA THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION NEWS Will Rogers Downs Thoroughbred Meet Opens with SCTOBA Award Winners Honored Increased Purses Trainers, owners, horses and fans alike were geared up for the return of Thoroughbred racing to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs on March 14. In its 10th year in operation, the track celebrated with a special announcement before the meet. Following discussions with the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, Will Rogers Downs increased purse levels during the meet by 10 percent. The spring meet marked a return to a more traditional calendar, running through Preakness Day, Saturday, May 21. Races are set to begin at 1:15 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday beginning March 14, and every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday beginning April 4. Each day features 10 races. During the spring of 2015, $19.3 million was wagered on live racing at the Downs, with five days surpassing $1 million. The stakes schedule begins April 4 with the third running of the $50,000-guaranteed Wilma Mankiller Memorial. The 10th running of the $50,000-guaranteed Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 is the following day on April 5. Oklahoma-breds will compete in the eighth running of the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint and the fourth running of the TRAO Classic Sprint on April 25 and April 26, respectively. Both races offer a $55,000-guaranteed purse. Closing out the spring meet stakes on May 16 and May 17 are the fourth annual RPDC Classic Distaff and the fifth annual Cherokee Nation Classic Cup. Both races carry a purse of $55,000 guaranteed for Oklahoma-breds. The backside will be full this year, as 2015 leading trainer Roger Engel is back with 28 stalls. He is on a mission to retain his title for the sixth consecutive year. Engel is expected to be challenged by Boyd Caster, Scott Young, Joe Offolter and Kenneth Nolen. Oklahoma-bred More Than Even, last year’s Horse of the Meet and the 2014 Co-Horse of the Meet, is back to defend her title for Engel and owner Doyle Williams of Tulsa. Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit cherokeestarrewards.com or call (918) 283-8800.

Remington Park Announces EHV-1 Policy Remington Park, along with most other tracks in the region, has announced an entry policy in response to the outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) reported at Sunland Park in New Mexico. This policy may change or be updated prior to the Thoroughbred meet depending on the status of the outbreak in the Southwest. Please check remingtonpark.com for the latest information.

TRAO Awards Banquet Set for May 20 Please mark your calendars for Friday, May 20, as the date for this year’s TRAO awards banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa. Invitations will be sent soon, and more information will be posted at traoracing.com.

The South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association honored its 2015 award winners on January 16 at the National Steeplechase Museum in Camden. Legendary track announcer Tom Durkin was our featured speaker. Congratulations to our award winners: Breeder of the Year: Franklin G. Smith Sr. Older Horse of the Year: Gin Makes Ya Sin Breeder/Owner: Franklin G. Smith Sr. Older Mare of the Year: Persnickity Breeder: Lee Christian and Brown Fant 3-Year-Old Horse of the Year: Black Martino Breeder: Bailey Bolen 2-Year-Old Horse of the Year: Sittin’ n’ Sippin Breeder: Franklin G. Smith Sr. • Owner: Franklin G. Smith Sr. and Hamilton A. Smith

South Carolina-trained Colt Sells for $1 Million in Florida Cary Frommer and her partner, Barry Berkelhammer, hit a grand slam at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of 2-year-olds in training at Gulfstream Park on March 2. Their colt by Uncle Mo out of Five Star Dream was purchased by Stonestreet Stables and M.V. Magnier for $1 million. Frommer, a SCTOBA member, purchased the colt for $90,000 last October at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale. She brought him to the Aiken Training Track to prepare for the sale. Frommer commented that when she looked at him at the Timonium sale, “He was correct [good conformation] and a little raw looking, but he looked like a colt that would mature into a nice looking horse, which he is now.” South Carolina is the place to be when preparing horses for sales and the racetrack!

TEXAS THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION NEWS Ivan Fallunovalot Named 2015 Texas Horse of the Year In one of the closest races in the history of Texas-bred racing, three horses finished within three points of each other for the title of Texas Horse of the Year, including a tie at the top between Promise Me Silver and Ivan Fallunovalot with 40 points each based on stakes performances throughout 2015. Using the tiebreaker based on earnings during the year, Ivan Fallunovalot prevailed as the Horse of the Year, in addition to Texas Champion Older Horse, while Promise Me Silver took the title of Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. The award for Texas Champion Claimer will be determined by an online vote on the TTA website in March, and all of the 2015 champions will be honored at the TTA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on June 18 at Lone Star Park. Following is the complete list of 2015 champion horses: 2-Year-Old Filly: My Master Plan (by Oratory) Owner: Joyce McGough • Breeder: Dan McGough 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Texas Chrome (by Grasshopper) Owner: Danny Keene • Breeder: Craig Upham AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 23


STATE ASSOCIATION NEWS Grasshopper stands in Texas at Lane’s End Texas 3-Year-Old Filly: Promise Me Silver (by Silver City) Owner/Breeder: Robert Luttrell 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: A M Milky Way (by Elusive Bluff) Owner/Breeder: David Davis Older Filly/Mare: Thegirlinthatsong (by My Golden Song) Owner: D. Gatto, J. Hollendorfer, S. Melen, P. and T. Russo and S. Taub • Breeder: Clarence Scharbauer Jr. • My Golden Song stands in Texas at Valor Farm Horse of the Year and Older Horse: Ivan Fallunovalot (by Valid Expectations) • Owner: Lewis Mathews Jr. • Breeder: Eileen Hartis Champion Broodmare: Flashdance Missy (dam of Ivan Fallunovalot)

Texas Juvenile Sale Attracts 85 Entries at Lone Star Park The Texas Thoroughbred Association, in concert with Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, cataloged 85 juveniles for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale. The sale will be held, as always, in the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion at Lone Star Park on Monday, April 4, at noon. The under tack show will be held on Saturday, April 2, and will begin at 11:00 a.m. on the main track. A horses of racing age session will follow the 2-year-olds with a supplement of those horses available closer to the sale date. Having been the leader in the Southwest for nearly two decades, the juvenile sale is opening the Lone Star meet for the first time. Stakes runners such as Code Warrior, Cash Bonus, Fleet Glory, Saritta, Meme Jo, Snappy Girl, Adrianne G and Oh Baby Oh Baby have trumpeted the sale’s power from Texas to California in the past year. “We have a lot of solid pedigrees this year, top to bottom,” said Sales Director Tim Boyce. “What we may lack in overall numbers we have gotten back in quality.” Included in the catalog are horses by sires such as Afleet Alex, Awesome Again, Broken Vow, Haynesville, Henny Hughes, Scat Daddy and The Factor, as well as regional leaders like Early Flyer, Euroears, Grasshopper, Intimidator, Mr. Nightlinger, My Golden Song, Special Rate, Too Much Bling, Yankee Gentleman and Valid Expectations. “Some of the younger sires are going to be exciting as well this year,” Boyce said. “Horsemen are liking freshmen sires Tapizar and Gemologist and locally, Redding Collier.” All horses that pass through the ring are eligible for the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, which was formerly known as the TTA Sales Futurity but will be run with changes to the eligibility requirements this year. The race will be run this summer at Lone Star Park with divisions for fillies and colts/geldings with an estimated purse of $100,000 apiece. “We are especially pleased to once again conduct this sale at Lone Star Park as a service to our members,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. The online catalog, along with information about the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity, can be accessed at texasthoroughbred.com/tta-races. The catalog is also available on the equineline.com app, and paper catalogs can be ordered by calling (512) 458-6133 or (972) 523-0332. A recap of the sale will appear online at americanracehorse.com and in the May/June issue of American Racehorse.

TTEF Scholarships Renewed for 2016–17 School Year The Texas Thoroughbred Education Fund is pleased to announce its scholarship awards for the upcoming school year. The TTEF helps 24 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

place young Texans on the road to success by providing grants and awards to benefit Texas Thoroughbred Association members and their children and further their educational opportunities. More than $280,000 has already been awarded through the TTEF. Following are the recipients for this year: Quentin McPherson of Canadian, Texas; son of TTA members Kenny and Jackie McPherson; Oklahoma State University, Natural Resource Ecology & Management Victoria Spakes of Round Rock, Texas; daughter of TTA member Audrea Spakes; Sam Houston State University, Animal Science Wyatt Sheffield of Wimberley, Texas; son of TTA member Tracy Sheffield; Texas State University, Computer Science Bryson Smith of Clarksville, Texas; son of TTA member Doug Smith; Texas Tech University, Kinesiology

We Have Your Money…You Have Our Information!

Is your name on this list of breeders and owners who have earned money through the Accredited Texas-Bred (ATB) Program for 2014 racing? For various reasons, the TTA has been unable to pay the individuals listed below. Usually the problem is very simple to correct. Perhaps a transfer form was never completed when you purchased your money-earning Texas Thoroughbred, or maybe you have moved and forgotten to tell us. Please call the TTA’s Accreditation Department at (512) 458-6133 so we can complete your paperwork…and so you can collect your ATB earnings! MARIO ALVAREZ • $1,945.10 BRONCE-PLAMAT STABLES • $995.81 KYLE CLEMONS • $114.12 ERNESTO FELIX-SALMON • $1,045.48 JUAN G. FLORES • $91.72 JOEL GARZA • $269.38 MAGNOLIA RACING STABLE AND JIM WARD • $317.86 R A HILL STABLE & REEVES THOROUGHBRED • $6,700.30 JAMES A. SCOTT • $86.81

Horse Owners Invited to Participate in Texas Equine Study Texas horse owners are invited to participate in a study of the state’s equine industry. “The purpose of this study is to gather information about respondents’ horses and facilities, demographics, participation in the industry, horse-related expenditures and economic impacts,” said Dr. James Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the equine initiative at Texas A&M University in College Station. “Results of this study will be used by industry representatives, the Texas Department of Agriculture and other policy makers to respond to current needs of the state’s horse owners and related businesses.” The study asks about horse ownership, participation in horserelated activities, boarding facilities and horse-related expenditures. Owners of businesses that serve horse owners, such as feed stores, training facilities, farriers and veterinarians, are also invited to participate in the survey. The online survey will remain open through May 1 and can be accessed at bit.ly/1R61UuH. The current study will reflect changes within the industry and the statewide economy over the past 20 years. Heird said a 2005 American Horse Council Foundation study found that Texas ranked No. 1 among U.S. states in the number of horses and that the Texas horse industry had a direct economic impact of $3 billion and an overall economic impact of $5.2 billion.


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Michelle L. Benson Photography

Positive Impact

At right, a 1970s photo from the farm shows stallion Traffic Ruler. Above, one of the approximately 30 mares at Wood-Mere with her foal.

Minnesota’s Wood-Mere Farm predates pari-mutuel racing in the state by more than a decade and is still going strong By Annise Montplaisir

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A winding blacktop road cuts through gently rolling hills and farm fields in Scott County, Minnesota, and passes by a Thoroughbred farm owned by Dean and Teresa Benson. Wood-Mere Farm, named for the mural-like scenery that surrounds the facility, is a three-time leading breeder in the state and starting point for success stories like 2015 Canterbury Park Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old Hold for More. Although the snowy scenery and freezing temperatures of Minnesota in February are unlikely to evoke images of champion Thoroughbreds, the Benson family is busy year-round, attending sales, foaling mares and sale-prepping yearlings. Wood-Mere Farm was established in 1974, years before Canterbury Park (Canterbury Downs at the time) opened in 1985. But the roots of the farm located near the small community of Webster can be traced farther east to when Dean was stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey in 1971 while serving in the U.S. Army.


Michelle L. Benson Photography Michelle L. Benson Photography

had ridden show horses and knew how to ride, so he thought, ‘Oh, I’ll try that.’ ” Dean, who worked second shift at the officers’ club, began to fill his free mornings by working at Jack Howie Farm and walking hots. After breaking and galloping the two yearlings on the farm, the couple transitioned to the racetrack and followed the local racing circuit. And that was how the Benson family emerged into the world of racing. “When we lived in New Jersey, you could go in any direction 100 miles and run into a racetrack. They had a stack of condition books on a trainer’s desk that big,” Dean said, motioning with his hands. “They could go to New York, all over—there were just tracks all over. Prayintheprairie, a stakes-placed gelding by Louisiana stallion “But we came back here [in 1972], they had no Songandaprayer bred in Minnesota by Wood-Mere Farm, stretches racing, so we joined the Minnesota Thoroughbred his legs at Canterbury Park. Association, and just kind of watched for pari-muDean and his wife, Teresa, lived in a rented residence off base, and tuel for a lot of years and finally got it passed,” he retheir landlord happened to own racehorses. Teresa had grown up called. “I think it was in ’83 it passed. The track [Canterbury Downs] showing hunters and jumpers, while Dean had minimal prior horse opened in ’85. We bought this and started Wood-Mere Farm in ’74.” experience. The Bensons have two daughters. Jenny lives in California, “When we got married, I knew a horse had four legs and a tail,” while 25-year-old Michelle has followed her parents’ footsteps Dean said. “I knew nothing about horses other than watching cow- into the racing industry. Currently working as the digital meboy shows when I was little. dia specialist at Canterbury Park, Michelle is also involved in the “We rented and lived in a trailer park off base,” he added. operations at Wood-Mere. “Our landlord owned racehorses and he had just bought a couple Michelle recalls fond memories of riding in her baby swing while yearlings [at the 1970 Fasig-Tipton November Sale in Timonium, it hung from a hot walker and romping around the farm on their Maryland], and had them at a farm maybe a mile or two down the ponies. road. He needed somebody to gallop them, and he found out Teresa “Ruffian was always my favorite horse as a child,” Michelle said. “We had these little ponies, these little Shetland ponies. And then I got a bigger sized pony and she was black. She had a star and a sock, just like Ruffian did. Fattest pony you’ll ever see. I mean, she had a belly on her. “So going to the races, seeing everything and Ruffian being my favorite horse, I’d go tack up my ‘Ruffian,’ ” Michelle continued. “She went through a lot of names; I changed her name all the time. It ended up being ‘Star.’ So I tacked her up in this little English saddle, and I’d go into these two pastures in the way back. I’d jack those stirrups up as short as they would go and I’d go racing.” At the age of 20, Michelle purchased her first weanlings, a War Pass filly and a Silver Train filly, from the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock Canterbury Park holds snowmobile races on the track during the sale. The following summer she pinhooked them as

winter, while Wood-Mere raises foals on snowy pastures.

AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 29


30 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

Coady Photography

yearlings at the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association yearling sale. Multiple stakes-placed Bigeyelittleyou, bred and consigned by Although her pinhooking experience was successful, Michelle said Wood-Mere, was the second-highest priced yearling at the 2003 she’d prefer to focus on breeding. MTA yearling sale at $30,000. He went on to win $25,740 in three “I would probably stick to the breeding side of it,” she said. “My starts before suffering a career-ending injury. Raspberries, the dam of goal, at least some time in my life, somewhere in my lifetime when I Bigeyelittleyou, is a full sister to Pareepassoo, the dam of Wood-Merehave the money, is to be in the racing end and get to either own my bred stakes winner Sasha’s Fierce and stakes-placed Shangrila Bar. own, be in a partnership or manage the partnership.” Consigned by Wood-Mere, Sasha’s Fierce, by Include, topped the Over the years, the Bensons have stood stallions, created partner- 2009 MTA 2-year-olds in training sale when she sold for $25,500 to ships and been involved in ownership, always remaining consistent Astar Linquist Stable. As a 3-year old, she was second in the Minnesoin their mission of contributing to the Minnesota Thoroughbred ta Oaks at Canterbury before winning the Minnesota Distaff Classic industry. The first stallion to stand at Wood-Mere in the 1970s was Championship Stakes by five lengths over 2009 Minnesota Distaff Traffic Ruler, a stakes winner owned by prominent local farrier Keith Classic champion and 2009 Horse of the Year and champion 3-yearRaleigh, and then in the 1980s the farm stood the Honest Pleasure old filly Chick Fight. Sasha’s Fierce amassed earnings of $130,920 son Civil Ceremony. from 27 starts, with five wins, four seconds and two thirds. The Bensons began developing racing partnerships in the 1980s, The 2014 Northern Lights Futurity was a Wood-Mere Farm-bred and by 1986 Wood-Mere was racing its own horses. Throughout their years of ownership, the Bensons predominantly ran their horses in Minnesota, as well as in Florida and Illinois on occasion. “Ninety-seven, 98 percent of our horses ran in Minnesota—that was what we went for,” Dean said. “Back then, in the ’80s, I think the meet ran six months. It was a long meet. Started earlier and went through October. So that, for a Minnesota breeder, was kind of nice. We had one or two, just by ourselves, but most of our horses were partnerships. I don’t know if we ever really lost money, I think we broke even. I always thought that was pretty good. For what it costs to train them and stuff, that was pretty good. And then we’d get breeders awards and stallion awards on some of them, so it worked out OK.” Canterbury Park Hall of Fame breeders Art and Gretchen Eaton were the couple’s first ownership partners. The Bensons were catalysts in ushering the Eatons into the racing industry. Although no longer involved in racehorse ownership, Wood-Mere remains one of the leading breeders in Minnesota, having produced a number of Minnesota-bred winners and stakes horses. The Wood-Mere Farm-bred Hold for More, here winning the Sandcreek Cab was the first horse Wood-Mere bred and Minnesota Derby, captured three stakes last year at Canterbury kept to race. A daughter of Cabrini Green, Sandcreek Cab Park to be named the track’s Horse of the Year. was out of the Blade mare Fenian Retreat, who produced the Bensons’ first stakes-placed horse, Pennies Retreat, in 1987. exacta, with eventual 2014 Canterbury Park champion 2-year-old Sandcreek Cab went on to produce stakes-placed Up the Sandcreek, Hold for More winning over Prayintheprairie. by Tilt Up, in 1996. As a 2-year-old, Up the Sandcreek finished secHold for More is by Hold Me Back out of the Mining mare Miners ond in the 1998 Northern Lights Futurity for Minnesota-breds at Mirage. Owned by Dale Schenian and trained by Francisco Bravo, Canterbury. the gelding followed up a shining 2-year-old season with wins in the “His whole career, he was just a hard-knocking horse,” Michelle 2015 Victor S. Myers Stakes, MTA Stallion Auction Laddie Stakes said. “He was a bettor’s favorite, he was so consistent.” and Minnesota Derby at Canterbury. Hold for More exited the 2015


Michelle L. Benson Photography

Few Minnesotans have supported racing and breeding in the state as much as Dean and Teresa Benson. Daughter Michelle purchased her first horse at age 20 and works in media relations at Canterbury.

Canterbury meet as leading horse by wins and money earned, with $221,900 in total earnings and six wins and two seconds from eight career starts. He’s currently ranked in the top 20 career earning horses of all time at Canterbury. Hold for More’s accomplishments earned him the title of 2015 Canterbury Park Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male. Wood-Mere Farm was recognized for the third time as the top Minnesota breeder, receiving awards totaling $16,749 from the Minnesota Racing Commission Breeders Fund. Hold for More was the final offspring of Miners Mirage, who died in 2013 at the age of 20. She also produced multiple stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Kentucky-bred Beta Capo, stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Ontario-bred Candy Box and stakes winner Alpha Capo, also a Kentucky-bred. She is eligible for the MTA broodmare of the year honors handed out in May. Wood-Mere Farm makes all of its broodmare purchases outside of Minnesota, taking annual trips to attend the Keeneland November breeding stock sale and inspect Kentucky stallions. During foaling season, Dean makes multiple trips to Kentucky, shuttling mares back and forth to be rebred. “We select proven producers and/or proven race mares that we feel would produce competitive offspring for the Minnesota program,” Michelle said about the Keeneland sale. “We breed to sell, so we also look for mares that will be marketable in Minnesota. While in Kentucky in November, we visit farms to inspect stallions that we may be interested in breeding to.” A few of Wood-Mere’s most successful purchases from Keeneland have included Miners Mirage and the New York-bred Distinctive Pro mare Pareepassoo. Arctic Lady, a Grade 2-placed and stakes-producing Housebuster mare, foaled a number of winning horses at Wood-Mere Farm, including stakes-placed Prayintheprairie. Arctic Lady succumbed to

colic in 2014 at the age of 19. Her final foal, a 2014 Munnings colt named Luas Brio, will make his 2-year-old debut for trainer Bernell Rhone and owner Suzanne Stables this year. Between its own broodmares and those belonging to clients, Wood-Mere foals around 30 mares per year. “We have five of our own mares, four of which are stakes producers and the fifth mare is a graded stakes winner and 100 percent producer,” Michelle said. “We also have mares currently on the farm for clients, a few of which are carrying their first foals. This year we’ll be foaling out mares in foal to Uncle Mo, English Channel, Point of Entry, Majesticperfection, Annise Montplaisir Mizzen Mast, To Honor and Serve, First Samurai, Revolutionary, Strong Mandate, Hat Trick (Jpn), Tizway [and others].” In addition to the breeding division of Wood-Mere, the farm boards track layups during the Canterbury race meet. Sales prep for the MTA yearling sale, typically held in August, begins in June. Wood-Mere consigned three yearlings at the sale in 2015 and led all consignors by average sale price, even without the sale topper. “I always think it’s nice when you breed a horse and you watch them race, and particularly watch them win, and particularly win a stake race,” Dean said about his favorite aspect of the racing industry. “I mean that’s pretty fulfilling. But I’m just as happy if it’s a $5,000 claimer or allowance horse or stake horse. When it’s a horse that we bred and sold, it’s kind of nice.” “We hope that the racehorses we breed, raise and sell go on to be successful on and off the track,” Michelle added. “We hope that the impact we have on the Minnesota breeding industry is positive, and that we continue to lure new owners into this exciting sport.” H Annise Montplaisir is a blogger-student-equestrienne who loves to travel and has a passion for horse racing. She is currently a junior at North Dakota State University who is studying abroad for a semester in Chile. Her blog is at annisesanecdotes.com. AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 31


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34 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • 2016 MARCH/APRIL


Hawkeye Heroes

Iowa-breds find success at home and on the road By Todd Lieber

E iStockphoto/MYDinga

iStockphoto/MYDinga

ach year breeders, owners and trainers of Iowa-breds set their sights on the lucrative state-bred stakes races at Prairie Meadows near Des Moines, but horses from the Hawkeye State have also had notable stakes success in open company, both within the borders of Iowa and beyond. While Iowa might be known for being the nation’s largest producer of corn, the state’s residents know it has much more to offer as a Midwest hub for technology, healthcare and financial services. And now horsemen around the country are learning that Thoroughbreds from the state can compete anywhere. Since 1990, Iowa-breds have captured 119 open stakes races, and although most of those have been at their home track or at some of the smaller Midwestern venues, a handful of performers have stepped onto the main stage with important stakes victories around the country. Here’s a chronological look at their careers.

Amazing Siblings One of the first to claim an important stakes victory outside his home state was Sure Shot Biscuit, Iowa’s all-time leading money winner and still the only Iowa-bred to hit the $1 million mark in earnings. After winning several open stakes at Prairie Meadows, Sure Shot Biscuit travelled to Omaha to win the $100,000 Omaha Handicap at Horsemen’s Park on July 22, 2001. Only a month earlier, his full sister, Nut N Better, had captured her first outof-state stakes win, topping Canterbury Park’s Hoist Her Flag Stakes. The siblings were bred by Roger and Betty Luebbe of Grand Island, Nebraska, who mated their stallion Miracle Heights to the Our Native mare Native Secretary and foaled the babies in Iowa to take advantage of that state’s greater opportunities. It paid off. When Sure Shot Biscuit retired in 2003, the gelding had won 23 of 54 starts with a bankroll of $1,025,480. “His greatest quality was his sheer desire to win,” recalled his trainer Kelly Von Hemel. “Short or long, grass or dirt, it didn’t matter. When you led him over there he was just a pure racehorse.” AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 35


Sure Shot Biscuit passed away last summer at the age of 19. The Luebbes retained Nut N Better, who earned $572,828 herself in the barn of Fred Falldorf and was a three-time Iowa champion, as a broodmare. She is the dam of 2015 Iowa Champion Older Mare Sumting Wong and is currently owned by Iowans Brandi and Joe Fett, who are anticipating a 2016 foal by Self Control. The year after the siblings won stakes in Minnesota and Nebraska, another Iowa-bred connected to the Von Hemel family made headlines as Cowboy Stuff carried the Hawkeye banner to Illinois, winning Arlington Park’s $100,000 Round Table Stakes. The son of Evansville Slew ran for breeder, trainer and co-owner Don Von Hemel (with Alan Lee and Shelly Bates). That victory was one of four stakes wins for Cowboy Stuff in 2002, the other three coming against restricted company at Prairie Meadows, leading to his being named 2002 Iowa champion sophomore.

A Horse for Course River Ridge Ranch’s Sound of Gold became the first winner for her sire Mutakddim, when she broke her maiden at Prairie Meadows in 2000, but the filly found it hard to sustain that early success in the ensuing years. “She was struggling in $15,000 claiming races,” recalled River Ridge’s farm manager at the time, Doug Vail. “We sent her south to Sam Sure Shot Biscuit Houston for the winter of 2002–03, and [trainer] Paul Pearson entered her in a turf race, not thinking she’d win but just to get a race in her. She went out and won wire to wire.” Sound of Gold was so impressive in victory that she was next entered in the $35,000 Willowbrook Stakes, a five-furlong sprint over the John B. Connally turf course. Again she came home a winner. Returning to Houston the following season, Sound of Gold successful- Sound of Gold ly defended her title in the Willowbrook and followed that victory by stretching out around two turns to take the Jersey Lilly Stakes over the same course. A victory there gave her a total of seven wins, including three stakes wins, in nine starts over the turf at Sam Houston and led to her being named champion turf horse of the 2004 meet, the only filly or mare up to that time to receive that honor. A few months later she was sent north to Canterbury, where she recorded another out-of-state stakes win in the Minnesota HBPA Mile over that track’s turf. After the race, however, she seemed to limp com36 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

ing into the winner’s circle, and a few minutes later she tragically collapsed and died in the test barn, having suffered an aneurism in a hind leg. “I tell people that story,” Vail said, “to make the point that this sport gives you the highest highs and the lowest lows, and sometimes they can come within 30 seconds of each other.”

A Pair from a Gray Mare A couple of years after Prairie Meadows opened in 1989, Ray Shattuck went to a sale in Arkansas to buy broodmares. His wife, Peggy, had only one request: “Don’t bring home a gray mare.” But Shattuck did, and that mare eventually produced an Iowa champion, so when he next went broodmare shopping at Keeneland in 1998, Shattuck bought another gray mare named Reissaurus. In 1999, as Shattuck tells the story, she had a gray filly they called Reishelle. “As a youngster out on pasture, Reishelle was kicked and developed some ankle chips,” he said. “We put her in training anyway and she showed a lot of potential. [Jockey] Terry Thompson worked her once and came back and said, ‘Ray, I know you’ve had a lot of good horses but this one’s in a class by herself.’ After her next work she came up lame, and I probably Coady Photography would have sold her except I thought if Terry says she’s that good maybe I should keep her as a broodmare.” It turned out to be a wise decision, as Reishelle produced three stakes winners and was twice named Iowa Broodmare of the Year. Her success began in 2006 with a gray filly by Mutakddim named Seekingthereinbow. After breaking her maiden at Oaklawn Park in her first start, “Reinbow” won her next three races, including a gate-to-wire cruise Coady Photography in the restricted Bob Bryant Stakes at Prairie Meadows. She took her unbeaten streak on the road in late June, shipping to Canterbury for the $40,000 Northbound Pride Stakes. It would be her first try around two turns and her first try on turf, and though rain forced the race off the grass, the sloppy going proved no obstacle as she again went gate-to-wire for a 2 ½-length victory. She ended the year with third-place finishes in two stakes at Prairie Meadows, won the restricted Mamie Eisenhower Stakes the next year and finished her career with eight wins from twelve starts and earnings of $224,755.


As good as Seekingthereinbow was, her younger brother Red Hot N Gold, by Gold Case, was arguably even better, winning 13 of 28 starts and earning $506,318. He was a stakes winner at 3, 4 and 5 at distances from six furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth, including an upset dead heat victory in Oaklawn Park’s Hot Springs Stakes in his first start of 2009. Both horses were trained throughout their careers by Kelly Von Hemel. Shattuck retained Seekingthereinbow as a broodmare, but after only two foals she contracted cancer and passed away. Red Hot N Gold is retired and works as a “babysitter for weanlings, yearlings or anything we need” at Shattuck’s farm.

Kate’s Main Man

Seekingthereinbow

With 14 wins from 65 starts at age 2 through 8 and career earnings of $647,427—second only to Sure Shot Biscuit—for three different owners, Kate’s Main Man ranks as one of the most talented and durable of all Iowa-breds. A foal of 2005, he was raised by Loretta McClintock of Centerville, Iowa, who purchased his dam Kate d’Kate in foal to Bernstein. He was twice stakes-placed in sprints Red Hot N Gold at 2 but really came into his own the next year when given the opportunity to run long, capping his season by winning the restricted Iowa Breeders Derby. On June 5, 2009, at age 4, he was claimed from McClintock for $25,000 by Allen Poindexter and went to the barn of trainer Lynn Chleborad. “We were disappointed to lose him,” McClintock said, “but there was no other place to run him. Our only Kate’s Main Man option besides a claiming race was to leave him in the barn.” He went on to win two allowance races and finish third in the Cyclones Handicap at Prairie Meadows for his new connections. After finishing off the board in his first start of 2010 at Oaklawn, he changed hands again in his next out, when Randy Patterson and trainer Randy Morse claimed him, this time for $35,000. “He’d run some really good races on the grass at Remington the

previous fall,” Morse said. “Plus he was Iowa-bred, which gave us that second option, so we felt he was worth taking a chance on.” After finishing out of the money in his next three starts at Oaklawn and Prairie Meadows, Kate’s Main Man returned to the winner’s circle in the Cyclones Handicap. Two starts later he scored in Prairie Meadows’ $93,925 Ralph Hayes Stakes and later finished second by a neck in the $150,000 Remington Green Stakes at Remington Park. “He was really unlucky,” Morse said about that race in Oklahoma City. But his accomplishments were enough to earn him the honor of being named 2010 National HBPA Claiming Horse of the Year. Morse kept Kate’s Main Man in Coady Photography stakes company the following spring at Oaklawn, and after finishing third in the Fifth Season Stakes behind the late-running Oaklawn fan favorite Win Willy, he turned the tables on that rival in the $100,000 Essex Handicap. Sent off as the second betting choice behind Win Willy, he went straight to the lead under Calvin Borel, rated kindly on the front end, and had just enough left to hold off the favorite’s Coady Photography late charge and win by three-parts of a length. It was the biggest victory of his career. After two more seasons in which he was stakes-placed, Kate’s Main Man was retired, and like Red Hot N Gold returned to the farm of his birth. “He’d been good to me,” Loretta McClintock said. “I told his owners that when he was finished racing I’d like to have him back. So today he’s here in Centerville, turned out on Coady Photography pasture.”

Magic and More Scherer Magic is another Iowa-bred who found stakes success after passing through the claim box. The son of Doneraile Court out of the Touch Gold mare She’s a Nasty One was bred by Joe Robson and foaled at his farm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Robson likes to send his young horses to warm places in the winter to get them ready to race, and this one was sent to Southern California with trainer Craig Dollase. AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 37


On June 14, 2012, he was entered in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Hollywood Park, where he won by 7 ¼ lengths in :58.09 over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park. “We didn’t think anyone out there was going to claim an Iowa-bred,” Robson said. But he and Dollase had underestimated the young gelding’s attractiveness. Six claims were filed, with trainer John Sadler winning the shake for owners Gary and Cecil Barber. Sadler wheeled Scherer Magic back a month later in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes, and again he won easily, this time by 2 ½ lengths in the six-furlong race under Joe Talamo. That made him the first, and still the only, Iowa-bred graded stakes winner. “Gary Barber is kind of a riverboat gambler,” Sadler told Daily Racing Form after the race. “I liked the works on him. I liked the way he looked when he came over [for the maiden race]. You have to have some guts to claim an Iowa-bred.” Scherer Magic faced stakes foes three more times during his juvenile campaign, with the highlight being a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. He was unable to hold his form at 3 and eventually ended Scherer Magic up back in the claiming ranks. In December 2013, after winning a $35,000 claimer over the inner dirt at Aqueduct, he was claimed for $50,000 by Sunny Meadow Farm in a starter optional claimer. After two unsuccessful tries at that level, he was purchased privately by trainer H. Ray Ashford for Lester Wright and sent to Prairie Meadows for the 2014 season. He did not find the winner’s circle again until the summer of 2015, when he re- Boji Moon corded sharp victories in consecutive six-furlong Iowa-bred allowance races. He failed to fire as the favorite in the Dan Johnson Memorial Sprint on closing night at Prairie Meadows but returned to form last fall in New Mexico, Ashford’s winter base, rallying to a third-place finish in the Premier Cup Handicap at Zia Park. The 6-year-old is currently being rested for another summer campaign at Prairie Meadows. Although Scherer Magic’s win in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship was the headliner of 2012, two other Iowa-breds also claimed out-of-state stakes victories that year. Lane Thoroughbreds’ Cat Five’ O, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect who was that year’s Iowa Champion 2-Year-Old, continued her juvenile success at Remington Park with a 38 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

win in the one-mile Mistletoe Stakes and a second in the E.L. Gaylord Memorial Stakes. Also that fall, Prairie Lane Farm’s homebred Harlan’s Holiday filly Someplace Else, another Kelly Von Hemel trainee who had won two stakes against Iowa-breds and finished second in the Ricks Memorial Stakes at Remington, shipped to Zia Park and came away with a victory in the $40,000 Chaves County Stakes.

Full Moon Iowa HBPA and now National HBPA President William L. “Leroy” Gessmann of Grimes, Iowa, has owned many top runners over the years—he was the managing partner of Sure Shot Biscuit—but few of them exhibited as much sheer brilliance as Boji Moon. Gessmann bred the son of Cactus Ridge out of Philadelphia Moon (by Malibu Moon) under the name of his Okoboji Racing Stable and owned him in partnership with Brian Hall. Boji Moon debuted in July 2013 in a five-furlong state-bred 2-year-old maiden race, which he won in hand by 11 ¾ lengths in a blazing :58.49, leading at every call. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in his next start, the $87,000 Iowa Cradle Stakes, he repeated the Coady Photography front-running effort, this time stretching the margin of victory to 12 ½ lengths. After the Prairie Meadows meet ended, trainer Chris Richard took the juvenile to Kentucky, where he demonstrated that neither open company nor a change in surface would hinder him. On the grass in the $117,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes at seven furlongs, he stalked the early pace before drawing off to a convincing 5 ¼-length win at the Coady Photography track just across the Kentucky border from Nashville. His unbeaten streak came to an end in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, which was taken off the turf and run at a mile and a sixteenth over a fast surface. Taken back off the pace early, Boji Moon advanced to second, a length behind the leaders in the stretch, but lacked a closing punch and faded to sixth. A similar performance in Remington’s Springboard Mile convinced his connections that he would be best sprinting, and after a brief freshening he was pointed toward a spring campaign at Oaklawn. He came back February 1, 2014, with a convincing win in an allowance race against older horses and was entered in the Hot Springs Stakes, but returned from galloping the day before the race with a badly bruised


foot. A series of injuries followed, including an ankle fracture, that kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the year. “Eventually we got him healed up and brought him back in an allowance race at Prairie, in which he ran third,” Gessmann said. “But not long after that race we discovered he had another fracture in the same ankle, and we decided we had pushed him as far as we were going to.” Boji Moon was enrolled in Iowa’s Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (HART) program, where he is to be retrained for adoption into a second career. Another Iowa-bred who had success on the turf in 2013 was Rudy’s Edge, who won Remington’s Ricks Memorial Stakes for owner Allen Poindexter and trainer Lynn Chleborad, the same team that three years earlier had lost Kate’s Main Man via the claim. The son of Iowa-based stallion Added Edge was bred by Roger Pelster and Leroy Bowman and purchased for $11,500 by Poindexter from the 2010 Iowa yearling sale. It is perhaps no accident that, especially in recent years, Iowa-breds have had particular success away from home in turf races and in the

juvenile division, since Prairie Meadows lacks a turf course and the meet there ends in early August, which limits the local opportunities for 2-year-olds. Although the state produced no major stakes winners at other tracks in 2014 or 2015, the quality of Iowa-breds continues to improve, and it surely will be just a matter of time until the next outof-state star appears. H

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Does ‘The Ultimate Equipment Change’ Actually Impact Performance?

Gelding a horse clearly has benefits but the effect on the track is harder to quantify

By Natalie Voss

42 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

Denis Blake

As rules surrounding the reporting of a horse’s first start as a gelding have changed around the country recently, handicappers (and horsemen) have begun forming opinions around whether or not to bet geldings, and when. It’s well accepted among horsemen that gelding a horse has its benefits, but does it actually result in an improved performance? Statistics have not been compiled regarding the performances of first-time geldings, but experts say that the procedure usually has several upsides, including improved training, if done under the right circumstances. Many male horses may need to reach the age of two before they can successfully breed a mare, but they begin to reach sexual maturity around 12 or 14 months of age. That’s about the time they can begin showing interest in fillies and can become more challenging for handlers on the ground. As horses age, their sperm output increases along with scrotal width, and those behaviors can become more pronounced. “Sometimes they’re walking up to the track on their back legs,” said Karen Dreaver, farm manager at Glen Hill Farm in Florida. “Or sometimes if they see a filly, or something they think is a filly, they just go nuts. It can be the lead pony that’s clearly not a filly and they just cannot handle it. It’s not safe for the people or the horse.” That behavior can be even more problematic if the horse is injured and requires stall rest for an extended period of time. Extended confinement can give even the kindest horse a case of cabin fever, but for intact colts, it can seem like they’ve been tossed in a pressure cooker. Chiropractor, winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last year, suffered a major accident as a yearling and required six months of stall rest followed by six months of hand walking to heal from a back injury. In his case, gelding him seemed like a practical consideration to help him through the recovery process, according to Dreaver. The presence of testosterone naturally in the horse’s system also predisposes him toward building extra muscle mass and retaining more fat as he develops the thickened neck, larger


Horsephotos.com/NTRA

jaw and wider body build of a stallion. For some individuals, that growth pattern can outstrip the maturity of their joints. “Sometimes it’s about their weight,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “Sometimes gelding will help them lose some weight and keep them sounder.” Some horsemen also believe that horses with undiagnosed testicle abnormalities may experience discomfort while galloping as a result. This could include ridglings or cryptorchids, who have one or both testicles undescended. In Dreaver’s experience, it could even include horses whose testicles appear descended but could be partially caught in the inguinal ring, which surrounds the inguinal canal they must pass through during the descent into the scrotum. The gelding procedure is generally a simple one and is usually performed outside of the clinic. Dr. Jose Bras, surgeon and ambulatory veterinarian at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, said that the procedure may be done while the horse is standing under sedation or while the horse is lying down under anesthesia. In Bras’ experience, post-surgical complications are usually minimal. He prefers to give his patients about two weeks to recover before advising they return to heavy work. He has not noticed that horses need a race to “adjust” to their movement in the hind legs following a surgery. McLaughlin has found that behavior changes, either in the form of a calmer demeanor or improved work ethic in training, follow quickly after the surgery. Studies show that testosterone levels in the blood drop within 48 hours after gelding. Changes in body shape and musculature could take as much as six months. Bras doesn’t believe there are any drawbacks to gelding from an athletic perspective. “People talk about gelding a horse and say that they won’t have the same energy that a stallion would have, but you’re going to have pros and cons,” he said. “A horse might be all built up because he’s intact, but he might not be training well because he’s not concentrating on his job.” Bras delivered an important caveat, however—gelding only works to improve behavior if the horse is fairly young at the time of the procedure. “It depends on a horse’s age,” he said. “There are two things— learned behavior and a reaction to hormones. You will have horses that if you geld them when they are four, five, six years old, they already have a learned behavior. Once the testosterone decreases, they are not going to be that interested in females but they still have behavior that they learned and may act a little bit studdish.” Gelding has another important benefit after the racetrack, too: as Old Friends founder Michael Blowen can attest, many rescue organizations are not equipped to house stallions, who require special handling and private paddocks. Just as important, Dreaver said Glen Hill often gelds horses with pedigrees the farm thinks should not be reproduced. “It’s more when you lose them at the track, that they aren’t a stallion, so that someone doesn’t get the idea, ‘Let’s breed this horse,’ ” she said. “There’s already a lot of bad stallions out there.” H Copyright © 2016, PaulickReport.com, reprinted with permission

Geldings Funny Cide (pictured) and Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby in 2003 and 2009, respectively, but before that the last gelding winner was Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.

Famous Geldings throughout History Chiropractor isn’t the only horse who was aided by a gelding surgery. Mine That Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, was gelded after his purchase at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale for $9,500. The great John Henry was gelded both as a device to improve his temper and also due to his unimpressive breeding, as was 1985 Belmont Stakes winner Creme Fraiche. (Amusingly, trainer Woody Stephens used to tell the press that he waited until after the horse’s first win to inform owner Betty Moran that he had gelded Creme Fraiche. Moran told the Los Angeles Times in 2003 that actually, her farm manager talked her into the surgery while the horse was raising Cain before heading to the track.) Regular jockey Craig Newitt estimated that gelding surgery improved Australian group stakes winner Lankan Rupee by 10 lengths. Other famous geldings made the transition for reasons other than behavior issues, and it’s hard to know with certainty whether they benefited from the surgery. Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, was gelded as a yearling because he was a cryptorchid and his connections were concerned the undescended testicle would cause discomfort and impact the horse’s performance. Kelso, one of racing’s most famous geldings, was supposedly gelded as a yearling to encourage him to fill out and to discourage fighting between colts on the farm where he was born. That move remained a sore spot for owner/breeder Allaire du Pont, who, of course, regretted the decision after the horse went on to become a five-time Horse of the Year. But it’s impossible to say whether an intact Kelso would have developed into that kind of racehorse, and it’s very possible he would have left the track for the breeding shed rather than racing through age eight. Interestingly, geldings weren’t always welcome in top-level competition: From 1919 to 1956, they were barred from entry to the Belmont Stakes, and were disallowed in the Preakness from 1920 to 1935. Can’t a guy catch a break? AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 43


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Covering Your Assets

How equine insurance works and whether it’s right for you By Natalie Voss

iStockphoto/numbeos

I

t’s 1 a.m. You’re at the local vet clinic while your horse is being prepped for colic surgery. It isn’t until you read some of the intake paperwork and estimated costs (yikes) that it occurs to you—do they make medical insurance for horses? This isn’t the time to begin wishing you’d looked into it.

Where to Begin? As it turns out, there is medical insurance, and a wide variety of other types of insurance, for horse people and their animals. Websites promote everything from loss-of-use to theft protection to liability insurance, and it can be difficult to know where to start shopping for insurance—especially if you’re also in the process of horse shopping. Experts agree that the most important thing to look for is an agent who is willing to give you the one-on-one attention you deserve. “Your agent should be more than willing to answer every question you ask,” said equine insurance agent Jim Lane of Whitesboro, Texas. “I tell my clients there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and if the agent is not willing to answer your questions, find another agent.” Lane also recommends looking beyond the insurance rates, since most companies charge about the same amount for their coverage but some agents may offer different terms or add-ons that make signing with them a better deal. American Quarter Horse trainer Bennie Sargent, who owns and operates Highpoint Equestrian

46 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016


Center in central Kentucky, agrees that the person who handles your Lane added that it’s important to distinguish between your perinsurance can sometimes make a world of difference. sonal opinion of the horse’s value, which could be based on emotion “The insurance policy is only as good as your agent is,” he said. “If or a subjective assessment of his potential, and solid numbers. The you do not have a proactive agent who cares about you, the insurance insurance company isn’t interested in what your trainer estimates you policy is not as good. In my experience I’ve found there is a lot of could sell the horse for, or what another owner or trainer has casually gray area to some of this. Adjusters are going to be fair but they’re offered you for the horse; the company is interested in numbers. going to be working for the company. The agent you’re working with “All the insurance company cares about is replacing your investis someone you know and trust…they can go to bat for you and help ment in that horse,” he said. “You cannot use insurance to make a you quite a bit. profit—when you purchase a horse, that’s what you can insure it for “I recommend to all my customright off the bat.” ers who spend a fairly large amount For people who are raising their of money on a horse, or even if they own foal, the insurance company have to borrow money to buy a horse, will allow the animal to be insured to have life insurance on the horse,” for up to triple the breeding fee he added. “I don’t think it’s smart to once the foal is 24 hours old. insure a horse if it’s not a very expenThe amount an owner pays in sive horse. I think the insurance, after a annual premiums for mortality infew years, will eat up the value of your surance varies based on the horse’s horse.” breed and discipline but typically It’s important to take stock of some runs about 3 percent to 3.5 percent basics about your horse and yourself of the horse’s insured value. to decide what type of insurance you’ll For a competition or racing horse be looking for. What’s your budget for who is moving up the ranks, a your next horse? Are you buying yearhorse’s value can be a shifting tarlings, broodmares or racing age horses? get. Lane recommends keeping the If you’re thinking of insuring a horse insurance company abreast of the you already own, what did he cost horse’s race record, as increased sucwhen you purchased him? How much cess (especially at a high level) could do you have invested in his training? result in an increase in value. UnWhat is his medical history? derwriters will also usually allow 50 When it comes time to ask for a percent of training expenses to be quote, these are the types of questions added into the horse’s value, since that may seem a little trivial but ultihalf of the typical training bill usumately play a central role in the agent’s Denis Blake ally goes toward board. If the horse assessment of your insurance needs and If you are raising your own foal, the insurance company will allow dies without an update to the policy, costs. It’s not as simple as car insurance; the animal to be insured for up to triple the breeding fee once the it’s too late. it’s easy to assess the value of a 2014 foal is 24 hours old. Another important consideration Ford Mustang, but not so easy to do so with a 2014 Thoroughbred. is that insurance companies that have written a policy on the horse’s life will require you to make every reasonable effort to save the horse’s The Basics life in a medical crisis. For some people, the news that their $7,000 According to a 2010 American Horse Publications study, about horse needs treatments or surgery that could total $7,000 or more 24 percent of horse owners (across all disciplines) have some form might normally prompt them to put the horse down. An owner could of insurance on their horse. The simplest and most common type is still euthanize the horse, but the insurance company will almost ceran equine mortality policy, which is designed to protect the owner’s tainly void the claim. financial investment in the horse in the risk of its death. Another possibility is that an owner can pay for the surgery and still “I tell people, ‘If you can’t afford to lose that [purchase price], if lose the horse, but, depending on the value of the horse, the insurance that would create financial hardship if you lose it, it’s that simple’— payout may be mostly eaten up paying vet bills on a dead animal. like a car or a boat or a motorcycle or anything like that,” Lane said. That’s where medical insurance may come in handy.

AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 47


No ID Cards Needed Horses can have health insurance, but it doesn’t work quite the same way it does for people. To start with, health insurance is only available to horses with mortality insurance. There are two types of insurance that can help offset the expensive bills from your vet—major medical and surgical. Major medical coverage is available to horses who are at least 31 days old but under a certain maximum age (Lane says for most companies it’s 15 years old). The coverage itself is available in a variety of limits (typically $7,500, $10,000 or $15,000) on surgical charges and other, non-surgical medical expenses. Some major medical policies include separate, $5,000 allowances for a colic surgery. Others may require a copayment, similar to human insurance. The premium for major medical is a flat rate per year on top of the premium for the mortality insurance. It can range between $325 and $500 depending on the coverage limit selected by the owner. “Major medical is one of those things that I go just short of forcing it on my clients,” joked Lane, who estimates he receives two or three calls a week with claims on major medical coverage. “If somebody is dead set against it, I don’t push it, but it’s one of those things that’s so important.” Given that major medical is a few hundred dollars a year, Lane said the insurance often pays for itself in one claim. “I’ve had everything from snakebites and spider bites to colic, founder, pneumonia…I tell people that horses do dumb things,” he said. “You can do everything with these things, thinking you’re protecting them and they’ll still get hurt. There’s nothing textbook about horses.” For older horses, surgical insurance is usually the only type of medical policy available. As its name suggests, surgical endorsements may only cover the expenses the horse incurs while on the table, not necessarily follow-up or rehabilitative care. It sometimes includes restrictions on the types of surgery covered. So what happens when your insured horse is down and rolling with a nasty case of colic? Lane says your first call should be to your vet, and the second should be to your insurance company. A toll-free number will be provided in the policy for claims calls, and it’s a good idea to program it into your phone or leave the number on a card in your tack box. If the horse needs to go to the hospital, you will need to inform the insurance company and pay the hospital whatever deposits are required. From there, the insurance company’s adjuster will typically communicate directly with your veterinarian. “The insurance company knows that you and the vet are going to do a better job of saving the horse’s life than they are,” Lane said. “They’re going to listen to what your vet says first and foremost.” Barbara Dallap, VMD, professor of emergency medicine and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, said 48 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

that insurance representatives remain hands-off in terms of advising on the horse’s care. “Insurance companies are typically very good to deal with for veterinarians,” she said. “They don’t really decide on the [horse’s] care, although they may make decisions about what they’re going to cover.” Insurance agents will be informed of the horse’s prognosis and the expected risks as the case evolves. Most of the time, the clinic will bill the owner and the insurance company will reimburse the owner for allowable expenses. Dallap’s day-to-day work mostly involves colic surgeries, lacerations and occasionally fracture cases. In her experience, medical insurance can sometimes be the difference between a life-saving surgery and euthanasia for an otherwise healthy animal, especially in these tough economic times. “I think what I tend to see with my clients is that they didn’t necessarily plan to see me,” Dallap said. “One of the things about insurance is that I think it can offer them peace of mind at a time when things are very uncertain and very daunting.”

It’s Not Just About Colic Medical insurance can also be a budget-saver with diagnostic work, too. Horse owner Krista Lea learned just how quickly a little veterinary detective work can add up. Lea had been showing her reining mare named Texas for a few years when the horse developed a strange behavior—the horse would sometimes kick out while cantering. She jogged sound both in hand and under tack, and the mare didn’t display any reluctance to work. Texas had always been a little quirky and after passing an extensive physical exam by her veterinarian, Lea thought she might need some extra training and chiropractic work. The problem persisted, and Lea made an appointment with a specialist at a nearby equine clinic. Texas still appeared to be working comfortably until the night before their appointment, when she developed a very mild lameness. After thousands of dollars worth of tests, the diagnosis was a one-two punch: an avulsion fracture of the right hock combined with suspensory desmitis. “She trotted in hand sound,” Lea said. “We thought it was her back, not a leg injury. What’s frustrating is that had we caught it when it first happened, it probably would have been fine, but everyone said she didn’t present like a normal case. Most horses would refuse to be ridden at all in this instance. She has a lot of heart in her. She wanted to try.” Rest and therapy did not allow the fracture to calcify, which would have given Texas regained athletic function in the hock. So Lea held a retirement party for her 9-year-old mare. Texas will enjoy her remaining years out to pasture, but the end of the story wasn’t so happy for Lea. “I basically went into debt over her, and I came out of it with


about $3,000 in bills,” she said. “And I came out of it with no functioning horse (functioning in terms of being ridden), but a horse who still needs her vaccines and her feet trimmed and dewormer and all that.” Lea said she hadn’t thought about purchasing medical insurance before, especially since she only showed Texas in small, local events. Now, she’s planning to look into it when she buys her next reiner. Jim Lane reminds horse owners in the market for medical insurance that it doesn’t cover procedures that are deemed “elective,” which can include chiropractic, corrective shoeing and often, joint injections. It also won’t Denis Blake cover complications that result from For a yearling purchased at auction, a value for insurance purposes is fairly easy to determine, but it can be a bit more complicated for a horse in training. those elective procedures. Further, a horse who has a medical issue with a particular joint or to Sargent. Liability insurance for an individual horse owner or for a limb can sometimes have that body part or illness excluded by the trainer can pay for bodily injury or property damage incurred by the insurance company. Lane says that once the company has paid for horse, whether at home or away. Sargent recalled a horse show at which colic surgery, colic is typically on the exclusions list for the rest of the his horse, pulling a carriage, escaped the arena and ran loose through a parking area long enough to damage several trucks and trailers. horse’s life. “The insurance company took care of fixing all those trucks and Leaving important information off an application in hopes of avoiding an exclusion is a big mistake, too—once a claim has been those trailers,” he said. “It’s not just on your place—things can hapfiled, the insurance company will investigate thoroughly, and if they pen at horse shows.” find a discrepancy in the horse’s medical history, they can deny the No Wrong Answers claim completely. In the end, the decision to purchase insurance (or not) should be based on your financial situation and goals. Choosing not to insure Other Types of Insurance Options for additional insurance on top of a mortality policy are can result in high bills later on, but Sargent points out that insuring a also available. In the past, some companies have offered loss-of-use horse also means accepting the risk that you will pay more in premicoverage for athletic or breeding horses. Lane says these policies are ums than the horse is worth—it comes down to knowing which type usually prohibitively expensive since they are so risky and aren’t of- of risk you’re more willing to accept. “We have a pretty good horse here,” Sargent said. “We bought him fered as commonly anymore. An insurance company will offer a perwhen he was 5 years old and paid what was for me a lot of money for centage of the horse’s overall value if a loss-of-use claim is made. Loss of use will add a percentage or two of the horse’s value to him, and he became a multiple world champion so he was worth a lot a yearly premium and is generally only offered on horses valued at of money. I never raised his insurance, and when he turned 15, the coverage became very basic. I went back and figured up how much $25,000 or more. “I’m not a real big advocate for loss of use and a lot of underwriters I’d paid in insurance on this horse, and I almost paid as much on the have quit writing it just because there’s a lot of gray area,” said Lane, horse as what I spent on the horse. “Then again, I’ve had horses that have an issue or a problem; the who said he’s written just two loss-of-use policies in 15 years. “If you have an injury that is so bad that the vets are going to say there’s no people are hard-working people, not super-wealthy…the major medquality of life, they’ll recommend you euthanize the horse and your ical helped them quite a bit. It’s a different time now [economically]. I think insurance is important to some people, and for others it’s not [mortality] claim will be paid anyway.” Equine liability coverage is an add-on worth considering, according as important as it used to be.” H AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 49


What’s a Horse Worth? For the purposes of insurance, it’s important to remember that a horse’s valuation is based on his attributes, not necessarily what people will pay for him. Mario Espin, founder of Santa Fe Equine Transport and a certified equine appraiser, looks at pedigree, age, performance history and conformation to put a value on a horse for the purposes of insurance. For Espin, the evaluation process is different depending on the horse’s value. Multimillion-dollar broodmare prospects or stallions require extensive pedigree research and assessment of their individual attributes because they have established themselves as unique entities. The average weanling or yearling coming out of an auction, however, is more easily assessed in a mathematical formula. Espin keeps a database of information from auctions going back years and can quickly determine what an offspring of a given stallion sells for, on average. He factors in the strength of the dam and any conformational strengths or weaknesses, and this gives him a starting value. Valuations can be adjusted upward at the request of the owner if the horse hits the track and is successful. Courtesy Mario Espin Younger, unproven horses typically are valued lower than those that have begun training, Mario Espin looks at a variety of factors when determining the value of a horse. according to Espin. Another factor that he considers: the horse’s location. Due to the regional nature of the Thoroughbred market, a colt or filly by almost any sire will be worth less in a state in the Midwest or Southwest than in Kentucky. Selecting an equine appraiser is just as important as selecting an insurance company. Espin advises owners to select appraisers with experience in the breed they’re purchasing. He also suggests owners work with experienced agents and consult with their own veterinarians to be sure they have a full understanding of the risks and benefits associated with one particular animal before purchasing or insuring.

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NEW TO INDIANA FOR 2016 BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS

Benoit Photo

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2016 FEE: $3,500 – LIVE FOAL Property of Bad Boy Racing LLC

SWIFTY FARMS INC.

Inquiries to Sue Berger 351 South U.S. Highway 31 • Seymour, Indiana 47274 Phone: (502) 680-6385 • Fax: (812) 524-1449 Email: swiftyfarms@frontier.com • Website: www.swiftyfarms.com Nominated to the Indiana-bred Program and Breeders’ Cup

HARMONY TRAINING CENTER HTC-trained Horses Have Already Earned $316,288 This Year! HTC, centrally located in Inola, Oklahoma, is the premier location for your Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse training needs.

In 2014, HTC-trained horses earned nearly $4.8 million, and in 2015 that number jumped to $7,739,614, including the All American Futurity winner! We are aiming even higher in 2016!

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34396 S. 4220 Road • Inola, OK 74036 • 918-843-2301 (cell) • 918-543-6940 (office) info@HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com • www.HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 51


MISTER LUCKY CAT Age

2 3 4 5 6

RACE AND (STAKES) RECORD Starts

7 3 10

1st

2nd

3rd

unraced unraced unraced 2 3 0 0 2 3

2008 Bay - Dosage Profile: 13-5-14-0-0; DI: 3.57; CD: +0.97

Earnings

Northern Dancer Storm Bird

0 0 0

$66,269 1,220 $67,489

At 5, WON an allowance race at Monmouth Park (5 1/2 fur., turf, equal top weight of 120 lbs., defeating R. Bee Ess, Battle Call, Didn’t Take It, etc.), a maiden race at Monmouth Park (5 1/2 fur., by 3 lengths, defeating Conte, National Prayer, In the Building, etc.).

IN THE STUD

Shining Sun

Storm Cat (1983)

Bold Ruler

Secretariat

Somethingroyal

Terlingua

Crimson Satan

Crimson Saint

Bolero Rose

Mister Lucky Cat

Native Dancer

Raise a Native

Raise You

Mr. Prospector

MALE LINE

MISTER LUCKY CAT is by STORM CAT, stakes winner of 4 races to 3, $570,610, Young America S.-G1, etc. Leading sire twice, sire of 181 stakes winners, incl.-GIANT’S CAUSEWAY. 4 wins in 5 starts in Ireland, horse of the year in Europe, hwt. colt at 3 on Irish Hand., 7 - 9 1/2 and 9 1/2 - 11 fur., Esat Digifone Irish Champion S.G1, etc.; winner in 1 start at 2 in France, Prix de la Salamandre-G1; 4 wins in 6 starts in England, hwt. colt at 3 on English Hand., 9 1/2 - 11 fur., Juddmonte International S.-G1, etc.; placed at 3, $954,000, in N.A., 2nd Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. Leading sire 3 times. STORM FLAG FLYING. 7 wins in 14 starts at 2 and 4, $1,951,828, champion 2-year-old filly, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1, Frizette S.-G1, Personal Ensign H.G1, Matron S.-G1, Shuvee H.-G2, 2nd Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1, Ogden Phipps H.-G1, Comely S.-G3, etc. SWEET CATOMINE. 5 wins in 7 starts, $1,059,600, champion 2-year-old filly, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1, Santa Anita Oaks-G1, Del Mar Debutante S.-G1, Oak Leaf S.-G2, Santa Ysabel S.-G3. AMBITIOUS CAT. 5 wins, 3 to 5, $805,305, champion grass mare in Canada, Dance Smartly S.-G2, 2nd Nassau S.-G2, Bell Canadian H.-G2, Nassau S.-G2, etc. HOLD THAT TIGER. 2 wins in Ireland, champion 2-year-old colt in Europe, Anheuser Busch Railway S.-G3; winner in France, Grand Criterium-Lucien Barriere-G1; placed at 2 and 3, $348,400, in N.A., 2nd Woodward S.-G1, etc. Sire. ALJABR. 4 wins in 7 starts in England, champion 2-yearold colt in Europe, Champagne Lanson Sussex S.-G1, etc.; winner in France, Prix de la Salamandre-G1. Sire. ONE COOL CAT. Winner at 2 in England, champion 2year-old colt in Europe, hwt. at 3 on English Hand., 5 7 fur., 3rd Victor Chandler Nunthorpe S.-G1; 4 wins to 3 in Ireland, hwt. at 3 on Irish Hand., 5 - 6 fur., Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix S.-G1, etc. Sire. SILKEN CAT. 3 wins in 4 starts at 2, $102,120, champion 2-year-old filly in Canada, Mazarine S.-L. BLACK MINNALOUSHE. 3 wins in 5 starts at 2 and 3 in Ireland, hwt. colt at 3 on Irish Hand., 7 - 9 1/2 fur., Entenmanns Irish Two Thousand Guineas-G1, etc.; winner at 3 in England, St. James’s Palace S.-G1, etc. Sire. HEART SHAPED. Winner at 2 in Ireland, hwt. filly at 2 on Irish Hand., T. P. Waters E.B.F. Marble Hill S., etc.; placed in 1 start at 2, $230,000, in N.A., 2nd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-L. DENEBOLA. 2 wins at 2 in France, hwt. filly at 2 on French Hand., Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches Royal Barriere Deauville-G1, Prix de Cabourg-G3, etc.

Nashua

Gold Digger

Sequence

Get Lucky (1988) Northern Dancer Dance Number Numbered Account

MISTLE CAT. 4 wins, 3 to 5 in England, Crawley Warren Heron S., etc.; placed to 5 in Ireland, 2nd Ballycorus S.G3, etc.; winner at 6 in France, Prix du Palais-RoyalG3; winner at 6 in Italy, hwt. older horse at 6 on Italian Hand., 7 - 9 1/2 fur., Premio Vittorio di Capua-G1. CATRAIL. 6 wins in 10 starts at 2 and 3 in England, hwt. at 3 on European Hand., 5 - 6 1/2 fur., hwt. at 3 on English Hand., 5 - 7 fur., hwt. older horse at 4 on English Hand., 5 - 7 fur., Challenge S.-G2, etc.; placed in 1 start at 4 in France, 2nd Prix Maurice de Gheest-G2. Sire. MUNAAJI. 5 wins at 3 in Germany, hwt. at 3 on German Hand., 5 - 7 fur., 124 Jacobs Goldene Peitsche-G2, etc.; placed at 4 in Italy, 3rd Premio Umbria-G3. SHIMAH. 2 wins at 2 in Ireland, hwt. filly at 2 on Irish Hand., Balanchine Saoire S., 2nd Moyglare Stud S.-G1.

FEMALE LINE

1st dam GET LUCKY, by Mr. Prospector. 5 wins to 4, $157,760, Affectionately H.-G3, etc. Sister to RHYTHM ($1,592,532, champion 2-year-old colt, Travers S.-G1, etc., sire). Dam of 9 foals to race, all winners, including-GIROLAMO (c. by A.P. Indy). 5 wins, 2 to 4, $443,800, Vosburgh S.-G1, Jerome H.-G2, 3rd Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile H.-G1. Sire. DAYDREAMING (f. by A.P. Indy). 7 wins, 2 to 4, $696,680, Top Flight H.-G2, Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks-G3, Next Move H.-G3, 2nd Gazelle H.-G1, Shuvee H.-G2, 3rd Spinaway S.-G1, Comely S.G3. Dam of IMAGINING (c. by Giant's Causeway, 9 wins, $1,177,394, Man o' War S.-G1, Pan American S.-G2, Red Smith H.-G3, Bowl Game S., Idle Rich S.-R, 2nd Sword Dancer Invitational S.-G1, Gulfstream Park Turf H.-G1, Hollywood Derby-G1, etc.), Reflecting (c. by Elusive Quality, 3 wins, $290,123, 2nd PTHA President's Cup S.-L, etc.). ACCELERATOR (c. by A.P. Indy). 4 wins to 4, $414,908, Pilgrim S.-G3, 2nd Wood Memorial S.-G2, 3rd Metropolitan H.-G1, Remsen S.-G2, etc. Sire.

Natalma New Providence

South Ocean

MISTER LUCKY CAT entered stud in 2015. His first foals arrive in 2016.

Nearctic

Nearctic Natalma Buckpasser Intriguing

Nearco *Lady Angela Native Dancer Almahmoud Bull Page *Fair Colleen Chop Chop Solar Display *Nasrullah Miss Disco *Princequillo Imperatrice Spy Song *Papila Bolero First Rose Polynesian Geisha Case Ace Lady Glory *Nasrullah Segula Count Fleet Miss Dogwood Nearco *Lady Angela Native Dancer Almahmoud Tom Fool Busanda Swaps Glamour

HARBORAGE (c. by Monarchos). 2 wins at 3, $118,312, 3rd OBS Championship S.-LR. Sire. Fighting Brave (c. by Storm Cat). Winner at 2 in Ireland, 3rd Amethyst S.-G3. Supercharger (f. by A.P. Indy). 3 wins, $91,110. Dam of SUPER SAVER (c. by Maria's Mon, 3 wins, $1,889,766, Kentucky Derby-G1, Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G2, 2nd Arkansas Derby-G1, etc., sire), BRETHREN (c. by Distorted Humor, 5 wins, $386,465, Sam F. Davis S.-G3, etc.), Charge Now (c. by Tiznow, $149,126, 2nd Curlin S.-R), Lisa T. (f. by Awesome Again, $66,850, 3rd Limit S.-L, etc.). Granddam of CALLBACK (f. by Street Sense, 2 wins to 3, 2015, $291,050, Las Virgenes S.-G1, etc.), DEFY GRAVITY (f. by Bandini, $171,240, Smart Halo S., etc.), Miss Super Quick (f. by Rock Hard Ten, $98,908, 3rd Beverly J. Lewis S.). Malka (f. by Deputy Minister). Winner at 2, $15,220. Dam of GOT LUCKY (f. by A.P. Indy, 6 wins to 4, 2015, $951,340, Juddmonte Spinster S.-G1, etc.). New Dice (f. by Capote). Winner at 3, $21,560. Dam of MOLTO GRANDE (c. by War Chant, 6 wins in Japan, Fukushima Minyu Cup, 2nd UHB Hai, etc.). She's a Winner (f. by A.P. Indy). Unraced. Dam of BLUEGRASS CAT (c. by Storm Cat, $1,761,280, Haskell Invitational S.-G1, Remsen S.-G2, etc., sire), LORD OF THE GAME (g. by Saint Bal-lado, $543,730, Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breed-ers' Cup H.-G2, etc.), DRAMEDY (c. by Distorted Humor, to 6, 2015, $271,440, Dixiana Elkhorn S.-G2), SONOMA CAT (c. by Storm Cat, $132,042, Oak Hall S., sire), Cal Nation (r. by Distorted Humor, 3 wins, $127,884, 2nd Select S.-L, etc.). ). Granddam of Poof Too (f. by Distorted Humor, $137,753, 3rd Mazarine S.-G3, etc.). Broodmare Sire MR. PROSPECTOR, 1970. Leading broodmare sire 9 times, sire of 533 dams of 4777 foals, 3847 rnrs (81%), 2814 wnrs (59%), 785 2yo wnrs (16%), 1.87 AEI, 1.48 CI, 403 stakes winners.

2016 FEE: $1,500 – LIVE FOAL Property of Millar Equine

OKLAHOMA EQUINE REPRODUCTIVE CENTER Inquiries to Cyndi Compton or Heather Serrano 2652 Reece Lake Rd. • Washington, Oklahoma 73093 Phone: (405) 288-6460 Email: Okeqhosp@wavelinx.net • Website: www.oklahomabred.com or www.okequine.com Accredited Oklahoma Stallion • Nominated to the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes


MISTER LUCKY CAT

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

thorostride.com

thorostride.com

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

STORM CAT – GET LUCKY, BY MR. PROSPECTOR

A promising son of STORM CAT with one of the most impressive pedigrees you will find anywhere! • A $650,000 select yearling who was a winner on both turf and dirt in a career shortened by a trailer accident, MISTER LUCKY CAT is a son of the great STORM CAT (sire of top stallions GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, STORMY ATLANTIC and TALE OF THE CAT) out of the Grade 3-winning MR. PROSPECTOR mare GET LUCKY • GET LUCKY, a full sister to champion RHYTHM (winner of G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Travers Stakes), is one of the most accomplished broodmares in recent history as the dam of G1 winner GIROLAMO, G2 winner and G1-placed DAYDREAMING, G3 winner and G1-placed ACCELERATOR and Supercharger, who has produced Kentucky Derby winner SUPER SAVER

2016 FEE: $1,500 – LIVE FOAL OKLAHOMA EQUINE REPRODUCTIVE CENTER

Inquiries to Cyndi Compton or Heather Serrano 2652 Reece Lake Rd. • Washington, Oklahoma 73093 Phone: (405) 288-6460 Email: Okeqhosp@wavelinx.net Website: www.oklahomabred.com or www.okequine.com Accredited Oklahoma Stallion • Nominated to the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes

52 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • 2016 MARCH/APRIL

AMERICAN RACEHORSE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 52


Winter Winners

Texas-breds take center stage at Sam Houston

The months of January and February are a time for many horses to rest up for a spring campaign, but the mild temperatures and Texas-bred-laden stakes schedule provided by Sam Houston Race Park always entice the top horses in the Lone Star State. This year’s Sam Houston meet again kicked off with Texas Champions Weekend and later included two divisions of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes. Following is a recap of all the Texas-bred stakes winners during the meet, plus horses bred in the states covered by American Racehorse who won stakes against open company. (For a recap of the Arkansas-bred stakes at Oaklawn Park, please turn to page 18).

BRAVURA

$50,000 Groovy Stakes and $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes (Jim’s Orbit division) • Sam Houston Race Park • 3yo colt by Early Flyer Owner/Breeder: Victoria Ashford (Texas) Trainer: Bret Calhoun • Jockey: C.J. McMahon Early Flyer stands in Texas at Valor Farm

BROOKE’S A BOOKIN

$75,000 By the Light Stakes • Delta Downs 3yo filly by Jonesboro • Owner/Breeder: Jess George (Arkansas) • Trainer: Tim Dixon Jockey: Rico Flores • Jonesboro stands in Arkansas at Lake Hamilton Equine Associates

BULLY GOOD

$50,000 Houston Turf Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 5yo gelding by My Golden Song Owner/Breeder: Robert and Myrna Luttrell (Texas) • Trainer: Bret Calhoun Jockey: Gerardo Mora • My Golden Song stands in Texas at Valor Farm

EVERYTHING BLING

$50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 4yo filly by Too Much Bling Owner/Breeder: Hall’s Family Trust (Texas) Trainer: Danele Durham • Jockey: Glenn Corbett • Too Much Bling stands in Texas at Lane’s End Texas

IVAN FALLUNOVALOT

$100,000 King Cotton Stakes • Oaklawn Park 6yo gelding by Valid Expectations • Owner: Lewis Mathews Jr. • Breeder: Eileen Hartis (Texas) • Trainer: Tom Howard • Jockey: Calvin Borel

OL WINEDRINKER WHO

$78,600 Curribot Handicap • Sunland Park 7yo gelding by Sligo Bay (Ire) • Owner/ Breeder: Sam E. and Sammy L. Stevens (Texas) • Trainer: Joel Marr Jockey: Ken Tohill $50,000 San Jacinto Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 5yo mare by Seneca Jones Owner: Double Dip Stables • Breeder: Keith Asmussen (Texas) • Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Deshawn Parker

THIEVERY

$75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes (Two Altazano division) • Sam Houston Race Park 3yo filly by Valid Expectations • Owner: Ackerley Brother Farms • Breeder: Glory Days Breeding Inc. (Texas) • Trainer: Steve Asmussen • Jockey: Iram Diego

TOO MUCH PRADA

$50,000 Bara Lass Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 3yo filly by Too Much Bling Owner/Breeder: Hall’s Family Trust (Texas) Trainer: Danele Durham • Jockey: Glenn Corbett • Too Much Bling stands in Texas at Lane’s End Texas

$50,000 Houston Distaff Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 6yo mare by Valid Expectations • Owner: Loyana Pollok Breeder/Trainer: Leroy James Pollok (Texas) Jockey: Iram Diego

F or the second consecutive year , T exas - bred IVAN FALLUNOVALOT captures the K ing C otton S takes at O aklawn P ark ; this win pushed the V alid E xpectations gelding over the $500,000 mark in career earnings .

A rkansas - bred BROOKE’S A BOOKIN, a daughter of J onesboro , scores a 22-1 upset against open company in the B y the L ight S takes on a sloppy D elta D owns track .

F J UNCLE VIC

$50,000 Star of Texas Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 5yo gelding by Uncle Abbie • Owner: Terry Eoff and Johnny Evans Breeder: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prifitera (Texas) Trainer: Terry Eoff • Jockey: Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez • Uncle Abbie stands in Texas at Key Ranch Coady Photography

I AM JANE DOUGH

54 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016

T he E arly F lyer colt BRAVURA scored two stakes wins at S am H ouston R ace P ark with front - running wins in the G roovy S takes and J im ’ s O rbit division of the T exas S tallion S takes .

SENECA DESTINY

EXPECT ROYALTY

$50,000 Richard King Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 5yo mare by My Golden Song Owner/Breeder: Rose Mary Chandler (Texas) Trainer: Danny Pish • Jockey: Glenn Corbett My Golden Song stands in Texas at Valor Farm

Coady Photography

$50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes • Sam Houston Race Park • 4yo gelding by Elusive Bluff Owner/Breeder: David Davis (Texas) • Trainer: Karl Broberg • Jockey: Patrick Valenzuela

Coady Photography

A M MILKY WAY


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Career Earnings $1,014,361 G1 and G2 winner Stephen Foster G1 and Alysheba G2 in 2014

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American Racehorse Advertisers Index 7S Racing Stables.............................................59 The Art of Horse Racing.................................58 Asmussen Horse Center............................. 15, 58 Biomedical Research Laboratories.................. 9 Blueskiesnrainbows...........................................51 Brandon Jenkins Racing Stable.......................58 Caines Stallion Station.....................................45 Carter Sales Co................................................. 16 Channon Farm LLC........................................59 Cinder Lakes Ranch...........................................7 Drinkwiththedevil.............................................57 Equine Equipment Savings............................. 32 Equine Sales Company....................................26 Equiwinner........................................................11 ERA Simmons Real Estate.............................39

7S Racing Stables 254-643-2035 5001 Hwy 1027, Carbon, TX 76435 www.7SRacingStables.com

Eureka Thoroughbred Farm..........................40 Flashpoint.........................................................27 Foal to Yearling Halter.....................................58 Glasses Creek Ranch....................................IBC Going Wild Horses for Sale.............................58 Harmony Training Center................................51 Heritage Place.................................................. 55 Indiana Horse Racing Commission............... 60 ITOBA Spring Sale......................................... 25 JEH Stallion Station..................................... BC Knorpp Bloodstock..........................................50 Lane’s End Texas................................................ 1 Mallory Farm....................................................58 MBM Horse Transport...................................58 Mighty Acres.................................................IFC

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AMERICAN RACEHORSE • MARCH/APRIL 2016 59


Linscott Photo

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE THE MOVE TO INDIANA! Over $15.6 Million Paid during the 2015 Program! · Restricted Racing Opportunities – Over $9.4 Million Paid · Purse Supplement on Open Races – Over $520,000 Paid · Lucrative Stakes Program – Over $2.5 Million Paid · Breeder’s Awards – Over $2.5 Million Paid · Stallion Owner Awards – Over $690,000 Paid The November 1st mare registration deadline has passed, but it is not too late to get involved in Indiana's lucrative program. You can still have an Indiana bred foal in 2016! Make plans to bring your mare to foal in Indiana and breed back to a registered Indiana Stallion. Don’t Miss Out on the Opportunity to Become Involved in the Indiana Program

For more information:

Visit our website at www.in.gov/hrc/tb 60 AMERICAN RACEHORSE • 2016 MARCH/APRIL

or call (317) 233-3119


American Racehorse - March/April 2016  

This issue of American Racehorse magazine includes articles on Minnesota's Wood-Mere Farm, the success of Iowa-breds around the country, the...

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