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w w w . A MERICANrace ho rs e. com

MAY/JUNE 2015

MAKING THE GRADE

Promise Me Silver

get happy mister

Far Right in this issue: • Secretariat’s Forgotten First Foal • Superman the OTTB • Indiana’s Horsepower • Colic Prevention Tips

texas air


A Division of Center Hills Farm

Kipling (Gulch-Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird) Sire of Breeders’ Cup winner and all-time leading Oklahoma-bred KIP DEVILLE ($3.3 million in earnings) 2015 Fee: $2,500

Toccet (Awesome Again-Cozzene’s Angel, by Cozzene)

Save Big Money (Storm Cat-Tomisue’s Delight, by A.P. Indy) Oklahoma’s leading second-crop stallion and sire of stakes winner MAMA’S MAD MONEY and stakes-placed Rich Uncle 2015 Fee: $2,000

Multiple G1 winner with progeny earnings of more than $11 million 2015 Fee: $2,500

The Visualiser (Giant’s Causeway-Smokey Mirage, by Holy Bull)

$1 million yearling and graded stakesplaced son of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY Sire of ZEALOUS VISION, an easy winner of the 2014 Oklahoma Classics Lassie 2015 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


Texas-bred promise me silver is still undefeated after winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day!

Steve Queen

Promise Me Silver followed in the footsteps of another Valor Farm-sired runner, FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD by MY GOLDEN SONG, who won the same race in 2014.

SILVER CITY

Unbridled’s Song – Proposal, by Mt. Livermore

SILVER CITY is the sire of the incredible PROMISE ME SILVER ($435,915), a winner of her first EIGHT starts with SEVEN stakes wins:

• $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs • $108,300 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs • $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park • $100,000 Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park • $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park • $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston • $50,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds

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


my golden song

Unbridled’s Song – Golden Par, by Gold Meridian

Already the sire of EIGHT stakes winners from just 56 starters, MY GOLDEN SONG is represented by graded stakes winners FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD ($420,521) and THEGIRLINTHATSONG ($479,695). A stakes winner on turf and dirt, THEGIRLINTHATSONG won this year’s Grade 2 La Canada and placed in the Grade 2 Santa Maria and Grade 1 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita and Grade 3 Torrey Pines at Del Mar.

MY GOLDEN SONG

Unbridled’s Song – Golden Par, by Gold Meridian First foals arrive in 2009! MY GOLDEN SONG retired with earnings of $101,050 from six starts with two wins at Aqueduct and Belmont Park. MY GOLDEN SONG finished third to Kentucky Derby (G1) winner BARBARO in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and fourth the G1 winner FIRST SAMURAI in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

early flyer

Gilded Time – Bistra, by Classic Go Go

By proven sire UNBRIDLED’S SONG, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and sire of 71 stakes winners, including G1 winners UNBRIDLED ELAINE, OCTAVE, SPLENDID BLENDED, POLITICAL FORCE, FIRST DEFENCE, BUDDHA, MAGNIFICANT SONG and SONGANDAPRAYER, and 2008 Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up EIGHT BELLES.

EARLY FLYER has sired six stakes horses in 2015, including Texas Champions Weekend winners FLY THE RED EYE and EARLY FANTASY. From a female family known for its soundness – dam is GOLDEN PAR ($318,636), a multiple stakes-winner and graded stakes producer who won nine of 26 starts.He is also the sire of SOLID SENDER with a record of 6-4-2-0 and earnings of $171,355. VALOR FARM

Inquiries to Ken Carson P.O. Box 966, Pilot Point, Texas 76258 Phone (940) 686-5552 • Fax (940) 686-2179 E-mail: kencarson@valorfarm.com • Website: www.valorfarm.com Accredited Texas Stallion • Nominated to the Texas Stallion Stakes Series and Breeders’ Cup

JET PHONE Phone Trick – Jet Route, by Alydar

JET PHONE has sired two Texas Champions from a limited number of starters: four-time stakes winner ACES N KINGS ($246,639) and two-time stakes winner and Grade 2-placed W V JETSETTER ($142,296).

CROSSBOW

BERNARDINI – FOREST HEIRESS, BY FOREST WILDCAT

Poised to become the next Valor success story, CROSSBOW is an exciting young son of BERNARDINI who was a graded stakes performer at Saratoga with blazing speed. Watch for his first crop of yearlings in 2015!

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 Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The magazine reaches more than 7,000 readers and is mailed to all members of the Alabama HBPA, Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Horsemen’s Association, Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, North Carolina Thoroughbred Association, Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and Texas Thoroughbred Association, plus more than 1,200 Louisiana horsemen. That makes it the largest racing and breeding magazine in the region by far. 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 Physical Address American Racehorse 1341 Meadowild Drive • Round Rock, TX 78664 Editor/Publisher Denis Blake • info@americanracehorse.com Art Director Amie Rittler • arittler3@gmail.com Copyeditor Judy Marchman Contributing Writers Mary Cage John Alan Cohan Rudi Groothedde Jen Roytz Fred Taylor Jr.

Jarred Williams, DVM Kathy Williamson, DVM Photographers Ackerley Images Benoit Photo Denis Blake Rick Capone/kentuckyhorsephotos.com Coady Photography John Duca/SV Photography John Engelhardt Horsephotos.com iStockphoto.com Linscott Photography Barbara D. Livingston Dustin Orona Photography Steve Queen Remington Park Cover Photo Promise Me Silver/Steve Queen, Far Right/Coady Photography, Get Happy Mister/Benoit Photo, Texas Air/Dustin Orona Photography

Copyright © 2015 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.

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

34 Wh


WHAT’S INSIDE

American

Racehorse May/June 2015

28

Regional stars shine on the national stage

34 Who was Big Red’s first foal?

Departments Fast Furlongs State Association News The Marketplace Classifieds

10 22 66

Features Making the Grade 28 From Texas and Oklahoma to Colorado and Indiana, horses with ties around the region have been making national headlines Secretariat’s Forgotten First Foal 34 A look back at the surprising true story of Big Red’s Appaloosa colt OTTB Spotlight: Superman to the Rescue 38 An Oklahoma-bred known for his bad attitude is now a special horse for a young rider Added Horsepower 42 Indiana, home to the Indy 500, motors forward with accelerated growth in the Thoroughbred industry Preventing Pasture-Associated Laminitis and Colic 46 There are steps you can take to ensure a healthy spring for your horses Ask a Vet 50 What causes colic and how can it be prevented? Tax Talk 52 The material participation test can trick taxpayers

46 Learn how rich pasture

can affect your horse

Texoma Talent 54 Oklahoma’s Will Rogers Downs featured a busy spring stakes schedule, and Texas-breds fared well at home and away Selling the Game 58 Understanding the training stages, types of races and entry process

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 5


WW W.S OUT

HER NRA CEH

COV ERIN G

ORS E.CO M

THE THO

JULY /AU GUS

T 2014

REG ION ARO UND THE AHO MA AND TEXA S, OKL INDU STRY IN ROU GHB RED

In This Issue:

s for the Layman Big • Prepurchase Exam Track Rider Won • Oklahoma BushIRAs and S Corps • Understanding

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! American Racehorse covers the racing and breeding industry in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas and provides you with the news and information you need to know! Each issue features articles on horse health, secondcareer racehorses, horsemen and horses in the region and more, plus breeding, racing and sales news.

GET TWO FREE GIFTS WITH ANY NEW OR RENEWED SUBSCRIPTION! ••• Every American Racehorse subscription order through August 31, 2015, will receive a free horse stress reliever and light-up pen.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY FOR JUST $49/YEAR

(SIX ISSUES PLUS THE STALLION REGISTER) OR SAVE BIG AND GET TWO YEARS FOR JUST $79!

Choose [ ] 1 year for $49 or [ ] 2 years for $79 Name:_____________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:_____________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: ______________________________________________________________________ Email:______________________________________________________________________________ Amex/Visa/MasterCard #______________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_____________ CCV#_________ Phone: ________________________________________ Signature___________________________________________________________________________ Mail this form with a check or credit card info to: American Racehorse, PO Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683 Or subscribe online at www.AmericanRacehorse.com, fax to (512) 870-9324, call (512) 695-4541 or email info@americanracehorse.com 6

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


BETTER THAN A

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BETTER THAN PAY OUT OF

PROCEEDS.

BREED WITH

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OWED UNTIL SALE.

If you don’t profit, you don’t pay.

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PROCEEDS.

Sell weanling at auction and first $4,000 goes to you. Anything over $4,000 goes toward stud fee, and Spendthrift is ONLY eligible to get back stud fee and nothing more. Sell yearling at auction (July-Oct) and first $8,000 goes to you. Anything over $8,000 goes toward stud fee, and Spendthrift is ONLY eligible to get back stud fee and nothing more.

Standing at: Le Mesa Stallions Carencro, Louisiana

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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 Western Bloodstock to Conduct Thoroughbred Sales in Texas The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie announced that they have entered into an agreement with Western Bloodstock Ltd. to conduct public auctions of Thoroughbreds at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park. The first auction will be the Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale, scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015. “We are extremely pleased to announce this new partnership with Western Bloodstock,” TTA President Ken Carson said. “They have a 15-year track record of conducting sales at the highest level, and we are confident they will bring a new enthusiasm to the market, to the benefit of our members and horsemen throughout the Southwest. “The TTA and Lone Star Park have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Fasig-Tipton in the production of our auctions since 1997,” Carson continued. “But with Fasig-Tipton making the decision to focus their efforts on other markets, it provided us with the opportunity to develop this new alliance with Western Bloodstock.” “Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie is proud to be a part of this new alliance to produce Thoroughbred auctions,” Lone Star President Scott Wells added. “We are committed not only to offering the best racing possible, but also to having Lone Star Park serve as a marketplace for quality bloodstock through these sales. We believe that this new partnership provides for a bright future toward that goal.” Regarded as the premier auction company in the performance horse industry, Western Bloodstock has offered more than 27,500 horses at public auction for total gross sales of $319 million since its establish-

ment in 2000. During the past 18 months, Western Bloodstock has cataloged 2,382 horses for gross sales of $35,670,575. The company’s database of more than 11,400 customers offers an attractive opportunity to bring new owners into the Thoroughbred industry, as well. “We are excited about our new alliance with the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park and look forward to bringing our knowledge and expertise in public horse auctions to the table,” said Jeremy Barwick, owner with his wife, Candace, of Western Bloodstock. To conduct the sales in conjunction with the TTA and Lone Star Park, Western Bloodstock has teamed with longtime Texas Thoroughbred industry leader Jeff Hooper. Hooper’s experience includes nine years as the executive director of the TTA and three and a half years as vice president of administration at Lone Star Park. “We are honored to have this opportunity to work with the TTA and Lone Star Park,” Hooper said. “The Texas Thoroughbred racing industry has strong roots and, combined with Lone Star Park’s commitment to Texas racing and its outstanding facilities, offers an exceptional regional market for quality yearlings and 2-year-olds in training. We are proud of our track record of innovation and pledge to offer a first-class market for consignors and buyers, in tune with their needs.” Consignment contracts for the August 24 Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale are available at westernbloodstock.com/thoroughbredsales or by calling Jeremy Barwick at (254) 485-2542, Jeff Hooper at (817) 992-0609 or the Western Bloodstock offices at (817) 594-9210.

Corinthian Colt Tops Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Old Sale The Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale was held March 31 at Lone Star Park, and a son of Corinthian topped the auction at $75,000. The Kentucky-bred, who worked an eighth-mile in :10 1/5 in the under tack show, sold to Carl R. Moore Management LLC from the consignment of Ray Bryner, agent for B & C Bloodstock. The highest-priced filly and second-highest price overall at the sale was a Texas-bred daughter of Too Much Bling out of the stakes-placed Dove Hunt mare Funny Tune. Clark Brewster purchased her for $68,000 from Asmussen Training Center, agent. The third-highest seller was also 10

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

a Texas-bred, as a colt by Valid Expectations sold for $63,000 to Danny Keene from Benchmark Training Center, agent for Ed Few. All told, 66 head sold for $1,161,900 for an average of $17,605 and a median of $13,000. Thirty-three horses were reported as not sold. Last year’s auction totaled $1,818,700 with 80 of 124 sold for an average of $22,734 and median of $15,000. For complete hip-by-hip results, go to fasigtipton.com. The auction marked the final sale for Fasig-Tipton in Texas after nearly 20 years. The Texas Thoroughbred Association, which sponsors the sale, has announced that Thoroughbred auctions will continue in the state in partnership with Lone Star Park and Western Bloodstock Ltd.


s

OKC Summer Sale Set for August 16 The Carter Sales Co.’s OKC Summer Sale, which posted record-breaking figures last year, will be held this year on Sunday, August 16, at the Oklahoma City State Fairgrounds. The sale will include yearlings and horses of racing age. Last year’s auction set records across the board with gross sales of nearly $500,000, an average of $8,863 and a sale topper of $67,000. That sale also debuted a $25,000 bonus incentive for sale grads running in the Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park. Entries are due June 10. For more information, call (405) 640-8567 or go to cartersalesco.com.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner Concern Dies in Oklahoma Concern, the only Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner to race and stand at stud in Oklahoma, died in late March at age 24. The 1994 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner was laid to rest at Oklahoma Equine Hospital in Washington, Oklahoma. The Maryland-bred son of Broad Brush moved from Northview Stallion Station in his home state to Oklahoma in 2004, where he stood until being pensioned in 2011. Concern brought national attention to the young Remington Park when he ran in the 1994 Great Western Stakes. He ran third that day behind Al Horton’s Oklahoma-bred Silver Goblin before winning the Arkansas Derby (G2) at Oaklawn Park and ultimately the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Going off as the fourth betting favorite in the Classic at Churchill Downs, Concern unleashed his familiar kick and went from last to first. Running six wide in the stretch, he caught Tabasco Cat in the final yards to win by a neck as Tom Durkin shouted, “And it’s Concern from out of the clouds!”

A lifetime winner of $3,079,350, Concern won more than any other horse to compete exclusively in North America in 1994 with a bankroll of more than $2.5 million that year. In 1994, Concern ran 14 times, with three wins, five seconds and six thirds. He was a runner-up for the 3-yearold Eclipse Award to Holy Bull (who was also named Horse of the Year). “Concern was such a gentleman to be around,” said Dr. Joe Carter of Oklahoma Equine Hospital. “He wasn’t your typical stallion. He honestly had the presence of a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and many fans came just to see him. “He was born on Valentine’s Day in 1991, and he had the big heart to prove it,” Carter added. In addition to producing multiple stakes winners, Concern sired two-time Eclipse Award-winning steeplechaser and millionaire Good Night Shirt.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 11


WHERE REAL CONSIGNORS AND REAL BUYERS COME TOGETHER! CONSIGNOR SELECT YEARLING SALE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2015 • CONSIGN NOW! • Make plans to join us at our state-of-the-art sales facility in Opelousas, Louisiana for the fastest-growing auction in the region! Call us today or visit www.equinesalesofla.com for a consignment form and more information For Further Information: Foster Bridewell, Sales Director Tel: 214-718-7618 Web: www.equinesalesofla.com

Equine Sales Co.

372 Harry Guilbeau Road Opelousas, LA 70570 Tel: 337-678-3024 • Fax: 337-678-3028


ff Gross Sales Jump at Equine Sales Company 2-Year-Old Auction A Gold Tribute colt topped the Equine Sales Company 2-YearOlds in Training and Race Age Horse Sale on Monday, April 27, in Opelousas, Louisiana, as the auction posted an increase in gross sales compared to last year. A total of 55 of 77 horses sold for $715,200, an increase of 7 percent from the inaugural auction in 2014 that recorded total sales of $668,500 from 50 of 73 head sold. The buyback rate decreased slightly this year to 28.6 percent from 31.5 percent, and the overall average decreased slightly to $13,004 from $13,370. The high seller was a bay colt by Gold Tribute named Cale’s Gold. Consigned by Boutte Sales, agent, and purchased for $65,000 by Jerome Namy, the Louisiana-bred worked an eighth-mile in :10 2/5 in the April 26 breeze show, which was pushed back a day due to weather.

The second-highest price and high-selling filly was a Louisianabred daughter of Ready’s Image who put up the fastest time during the breeze show with a :10 flat clocking. She sold for $57,000 to JRita Young Thoroughbreds LLC from Pike Racing, agent. “We appreciate the patience of all the consignors and buyers after Mother Nature forced the breeze show to be held on Sunday,” Sales Director Foster Bridewell said. “We are pleased to show an increase in gross receipts for the second edition of this sale, and we look forward to our yearling sale later this year.” The Equine Sales Company Consignor Select Yearling Sale is set for September 2 with an Open Yearling and Mixed Sale to be held later in the fall. For complete results of the auction, go to equinesalesofla.com.

Oaklawn Posts Gains Despite Weather Challenges

14

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Coady Photography

Highlighted by a season-high crowd of 67,500 and a scintillating performance by Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), Oaklawn’s 2015 live meet ended Saturday, April 11, with record-setting purses and increases in total handle. “We couldn’t have asked for a better end to the season,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “We had picture-perfect weather the final week and unbelievable performances by champions Untapable and American Pharoah. We believe our fans witnessed something special this season and hope that those memories will carry them through the Triple Crown season and beyond. We also wish the best of luck to all of the horsemen who participated in our racing program and look forward to welcoming them all back next year.” With business good across the board—on track, off track, Oaklawn Anywhere, Instant Racing and gaming—Oaklawn was able to increase purses three times during the season. Total purses were a record $24.2 million, an average of $465,000 per day. This marked a 13 percent increase over 2014 and a 70 percent increase over just 10 years ago. Despite losing seven days to weather, total handle topped last year’s with $174,201,721 wagered compared to $169,248,051. Not only was the weather unkind, but it also cost Oaklawn some of what would have otherwise been among the best days of the season, including opening weekend and President’s Day. On the track, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. secured his third straight leading rider title, while trainer Chris Hartman earned his first

A crowd of 67,500 watched American Pharoah win the Arkansas Derby before he went on to Churchill Downs to capture the Kentucky Derby.

Oaklawn trainer’s title after coming on strong the final month. Danny Caldwell was the leading owner for the second straight year. Champion American Pharoah proved to be the horse of the meet after winning both the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and the Arkansas Derby in impressive fashion. Oaklawn’s 2016 season begins January 15 and continues through April 16, Arkansas Derby Day.


Coady Photography

Trainer Steve Asmussen Earns 7,000th North American Victory

Steve Asmussen became just the second trainer in history to reach 7,000 career wins.

Trainer Steve Asmussen earned his 7,000th North American victory on April 1 when Drama Coach won the second race at Oaklawn Park to also give the trainer the sweep of the early Daily Double. “I’m extremely proud for the whole barn; Darren [Fleming] being here at Oaklawn, Scott [Blasi], the job that everybody’s done,”

Asmussen said. “Everybody’s stuck together. It’s an extremely significant milestone that we’re extremely proud of and, hopefully, we can continue.” The two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, who sent out his first winner in July 1986, is second only to the late Dale Baird, who had saddled 9,445 winners at the time of his death in 2007. Asmussen is currently ranked fourth all-time among North American trainers in career earnings at more than $227 million. Asmussen’s most notable accomplishments include training the Horse of the Year for three straight years between 2007 and 2009 with Curlin (twice) and Rachel Alexandra. Curlin won the 2007 Arkansas Derby (G1) in just his third lifetime start and then went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) that year. He repeated as Horse of the Year with victories in the 2008 Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster (G1), Woodward (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra won the Fantasy Stakes (G2), Kentucky Oaks (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1), Haskell Invitational (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1) during her Horse of the Year campaign. The current star of the Asmussen stable is champion Untapable, a five-time Grade 1 winner with earnings of more than $3.4 million.

Sam Houston Posts Gains in Handle and Attendance

Coady Photography

Total handle for the 32-day Thoroughbred meet at Sam Houston Race Park that concluded March 10 increased more than 15 percent, totaling $51,258,598 in 2015 from $44,493,991 in 2014. This marked the fourth consecutive year of average daily handle gains for the track’s Thoroughbred meet. Total average daily handle ticked up to $1,601,537 for the meet. “This was another successful Thoroughbred racing season with many notable gains,” said Sam Houston Race Park President Andréa Young. “We were very pleased to top the $2 million mark seven times this season compared to just once in 2014. Without a doubt, the success and the excitement surrounding this meet continue to build.” Other notable figures from the 2015 season include an increase in average field size to 8.4 runners per race (up 5 percent from last year), daily average purses of $167,900 (a slight decrease from last year) and an increase in average live attendance on Fridays and Saturdays to 6,622 (up 8 percent from last year). The largest weekend of the season came on March 6 and 7, when Sam Houston hosted the fourth annual camel and ostrich races, adding zebras for this year’s festivities. The weekend attracted a crowd of 24,568, topping the previous year’s record-setting attendance of 23,685, and up significantly from 18,231 fans in 2013. Cassatt, winner of the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, the

Camel racing continued to be a big draw at Sam Houston Race Park with nearly 25,000 fans coming out to watch them race along with ostriches and zebras.

richest Thoroughbred race in Texas, was named Horse of the Meet. Steve Asmussen won his seventh training title, finishing the meet with 28 wins. Jockey Deshawn Parker made his Sam Houston debut last year, finishing a close second in the standings to defending champion Gerardo Mora. This year, he quickly caught the attention of horsemen and returned to Houston with plenty of business; he topped the standings with 55 wins for his first title at the track. Texas businessman Danny Keene won his second Sam Houston leading owner title with 15 wins.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 15


Healthy Horses Win.

Barry Eisaman, DVM

McLain Ward

Tim Ober, DVM

Eisaman Equine

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Show Jumping Competitor

US Equestrian Team Veterinarian

“Especially that first couple of months, it’s miraculous how quickly this process moves it along.”

“We use it on most of our top competition horses, horses that regularly compete at the highest level. We use it all the time.”

“We’ve used Cytowave most effectively for tendon injuries, some suspensory branch injuries. It’s been very helpful.”

D


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ff Oklahoma Hall of Fame Breeder/Owner Don McNeill Dies

Remington Park

Don McNeill, the Edmond, Oklahoma-based commodities broker with a lifelong love for breeding and racing horses, passed away on March 21. McNeill grew up on his family farm in Thomas, Oklahoma, and immersed himself in the business of breeding racehorses at a young age. Once pari-mutuel wagering became legal in Oklahoma in the early 1980s, McNeill was immediately involved in supporting the state’s newest sport. When Remington Park opened in 1988, McNeill Stables was primed for victory in its home state. Under the guidance of trainer Donnie Von Hemel, McNeill runners won four races in the track’s first season. In the second season, the spring of 1989, one McNeill homebred would make history. Bred in Oklahoma by McNeill, Clever Trevor, already a top local runner as a 2-year-old, became the first winner of the Oklahoma Derby, known originally as the Remington Park Derby. The triumph catapulted the Slewacide gelding and his connections into a successful tour of North America in 1989. Clever Trevor, who was out of the Twice Bold mare Little Mary Beans, finished 13th behind Horse of the Year Sunday Silence in the Kentucky Derby but would rebound to win the St. Paul Derby (G2) at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota and the Arlington Classic (G1) in Chicago. In defeat, Clever Trevor may have run his best career race, leading the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga before Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Easy Goer could run him down in the final strides. Clever Trevor earned more than $1 million before his 3-year-old campaign was over and retired in 1992 with nearly $1.4 million in earnings. He was the first horse to earn more than a million dollars for McNeill. A few years after Clever Trevor, another Oklahoma product bred by McNeill emerged. Mr Ross, named after McNeill’s high school football coach in Thomas, would win stakes races both sprinting and going more than a mile. He won three consecutive Oklahoma Classics in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Taking his act on the road in 2001, Mr Ross nearly swept the Oaklawn Park graded handicap series by winning the Essex (G3) and the Razorback (G3), and then running second in the Oaklawn Handicap (G1). After a career spanning six years, Mr Ross finished in 2003 with total earnings of $1,091,046. Almost half

Oklahoma-bred Clever Trevor was one of three millionaires campaigned by Don McNeill.

of the money was made at Remington Park, where Mr Ross won nine races from 15 starts before retiring to McNeill’s farm in Edmond. Caleb’s Posse, a Kentucky-bred out of an Oklahoma-bred Slewacide mare, was McNeill’s most recent national talent. He campaigned the colt with Oklahoma businessman and friend Everett Dobson. After winning the 2010 Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park, Caleb’s Posse matured as a 3-year-old in 2011, winning the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown, and then scoring both the Grade 2 Amsterdam and the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga. He then ran away with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs. Caleb’s Posse moved to a stallion career in Kentucky, having amassed more than $1.4 million on the track. McNeill’s steady plan for racing enjoyment produced three millionaires and countless exciting memories for his family as most of his runners were named after children or grandchildren. McNeill joined some of his best horses in the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Remington Park in 2012. He was the second leading owner in stakes wins at Remington Park with 17. McNeill’s horses were trained nearly exclusively by Von Hemel for more than 30 years.

Tim Boyce Named Sales Director for Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana Auction Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana (BSCOL), a subsidiary of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, announced that Tim Boyce has been named sales director for the company’s 2015 yearling sale to be held September 29 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe. Boyce was sales director for Fasig-Tipton Texas for 19 years before that sales company decided earlier this year to no longer conduct sales in the Lone Star State. That Texas sale will still be conducted jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star Park and Western Bloodstock Ltd. “Since its start, the BSCOL has continued to show growth in numbers and marked improvement in bloodlines,” the company said in a news release. “Yearlings bred in states other than Louisiana have done 18

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

quite well in recent years as well, making this sale a leader in the Southwest market.” “This sale has already proven to be a leader in Louisiana, and I am looking to enhance our offering of Louisiana-breds while also developing the auction into a true regional sale for the entire Southwest,” Boyce said. “I’ve already seen a lot of interest and enthusiasm from outside of Louisiana, and I think our central location makes it the perfect venue for buyers and sellers.” All Louisiana-breds that pass through the ring at the yearling sale are eligible for either the Elge Rasberry Memorial Stakes or the A.L. “Red” Erwin Memorial Stakes in 2017.


A Splash of Color

Texas-bred stallion Blue Eyed Streaker formerly stood in the Lone Star State.

Koda Chrome was bred in Kentucky, but his sire Blue Eyed Streaker is a Texas-bred.

Advertising in American Racehorse is easy and affordable! To find out more, go to americanracehorse.com, send an email to info@americanracehorse.com or call (512) 695-4541. AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 19

Barbara D. Livingston

Barbara D. Livingston

John Engelhardt

While Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah reigned as the most talked about Thoroughbred during the first week of May, another 3-yearold colt at a track a notch below Churchill Downs also attracted plenty of attention. The obscurely bred Koda Chrome, sired by former Texas stallion Blue Eyed Streaker, made a flashy debut at Belterra Park (formerly River Downs) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and his unique color created quite a buzz on Facebook and Twitter. Even though he doesn’t look like a Thoroughbred, he is. Registered with The Jockey Club as dark bay or brown, the Kentucky-bred finished third in a May 7 maiden special weight contest with Cory Orm aboard for trainer Thomas Drury Jr. The colt was bred and is owned by Karen Babcock of Echo Hill Farm, which is located in Louisville. The farm is home to Blue Eyed Streaker and specializes in colored Thoroughbreds and sport horses. Blue Eyed Streaker is a 22-year-old Texas-bred son of Koda Chrome, who made his racing debut at Belterra Park in Ohio, is believed Blue Gazi who made 25 lifetime starts, all in the Lone to be the first Thoroughbred with the unique frame overo gene to race in the Star State, without finding the winner’s circle for his United States in nearly 20 years. breeder Ray Green. Despite his less than stellar race record, he has found a niche as one of the few Thoroughbreds with the frame overo gene, which produces his unique coloring that is often passed on to his offspring. Blue Eyed Streaker, who is also registered with the American Paint Horse Association and indeed does have blue eyes, formerly stood in Texas at Yellowhand Horse Co. in Macdona. For more information and photos, go to echohillsporthorses.com.


Congratulations to Steve Asmussen and his team on another big milestone!

Coady Photography

STILL GOING STRONG!

On April 1 at Oaklawn Park, Steve Asmussen became only the second trainer in history to saddle 7,000 winners. He also ranks fourth all-time by earnings at $228 million and trains the incredible five-time Grade 1 winner UNTAPABLE, last year’s Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old filly and the commanding winner of the G1 Apple Blossom in April at Oaklawn! Steve and wife Julie

Keith Asmussen

Dr. Steve Velasco, veterinarian Dee Martinez, office manager, 956-763-7594 P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 • Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 Email: kaasmussen@aol.com • Website: www.asmussens.com 20

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


WHAT DO CHAMPIONS STEVE ASMUSSEN, TAPIT AND UNTAPABLE HAVE IN COMMON?

They are all EL PRIMERO TRAINING CENTER graduates!

Congrats to owner Clark Brewster, whose Texas-bred Fleet Grey just broke her maiden by 5 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs in her first start. The filly was a $68,000 Texas 2yo sale purchase consigned by Asmussen Horse Center and prepped at El Primero Training Center.

We’ve been here, and we are still here going strong! Contact us today to find out what we can do for you and your horse. More than 200 stakes winners have come through our program, and yours could be next! We’d like to thank the following owners who have helped make Asmussen Horse Center and El Primero Training Center a success! Ackerley Brothers Clark Brewster Hal Browning and Dave Faulkner Pozo De Luna Jerry Durant

Kathy East Will Farish Curtis Green Bill Heiligbrodt Mike McCarty

Connie Scherr Ron Winchell Alan Woodbury Erv Woolsey

Keith and Marilyn Asmussen

Keith Asmussen

Dr. Steve Velasco, veterinarian Dee Martinez, office manager, 956-763-7594 P.O. Box 1861 • Laredo, TX 78044 • Phone: 956-723-5436 • Fax: 956-723-5845 Email: kaasmussen@aol.com • Website: www.asmussens.com AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 21


State Association News Alabama HBPA News First Winner for Alabama Stallion Sky Hollister

Courtesy Trinity Thoroughbreds

Alabama stallion Sky Hollister’s first starter also became his first winner when his daughter Mrs Peacock won a maiden special weight at Mountaineer Park on March 31. The filly was not only the first winner for her sire, but also the first horse bred and owned by Dr. Vincent and Gemma Ziegler’s Rags to Riches Racing Stable. The 3-year-old Mrs Peacock, who was foaled in Kentucky out of the Cape Canaveral mare Miss Rocket Jag, won by a length with Rolando Aragon riding for trainer Matt Hebert. Sky Hollister is a son of Sky Mesa who stands at Carl and Daryl Tuttle’s Trinity Thoroughbreds in Falkville, Alabama. Although unraced due to injury, Sky Hollister showed considerable promise as a racehorse when he sold as a Keeneland weanling for $140,000 and then $235,000 as an Ocala Breeders’ Sales 2-year-old after posting a :10 1/5 work. Sky Hollister’s dam is the Unbridled’s Song mare Littlebigthing, who is out of a half sister to Horse of the Year Holy Bull. In other Alabama stallion news, the state’s perennial leading stallion Smart Guy was euthanized in March. Also standing at Trinity Thoroughbreds, the 19-year-old son of Smarten won the 1999 Pennsylvania Derby (G3). Among his offspring is multiple stakes winner and $570,711 earner Secretintelligence. Sky Hollister

Deuceswildcat Wins Kenneth Cotton Memorial for Alabama-breds

Coady Photography

The Kenneth Cotton Memorial for Alabama-bred maidens was held April 25 at Evangeline Downs with Charles Rhett Harrelson’s homebred Deuceswildcat scoring an impressive 4 ½-length victory. The race featured a $25,000 purse, including $5,000 thanks to the Louisiana HBPA. The 3-year-old filly by Jade Forest was ridden by Filemon Rodriguez and trained by Kenward Bernis. Royal Punter, a gelding by Royal Empire owned by Salena Walker and bred by Melvin Kelly, finished second. Cheryl King’s Joyce’s Buckaroo, a daughter of Royal Strand (Ire) bred by Delbert Cuevas who finished third in Deuceswildcat last year’s Magic City Classic Stakes, took the show spot. The race is named for one of the greatest supporters of Thoroughbred racing in Alabama who passed away in 2014.

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Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Horsemen’s Association News ATBHA Board Election Results Election results for the 2015–2017 ATBHA Board of Directors were recently announced. The officers are Bill McDowell, president, and Tommy Ives, vice president. The directors are Linda Anderson, Jesse Clement, DVM, James Glover, Tim Martin, Lewis Mathews Jr., Stanley Roberts, Jeff Sheets, Ernie Witt and Val Yagos. The alternate director is David Whited.

Arkansas-bred Stakes Winners Three Arkansas-bred stakes races were contested toward the end of the Oaklawn Park meet, and the ATBHA would like to congratulate the winning connections. In the $75,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes for 3-year-olds and up on March 27, Shortleaf Stable’s homebred Trace Creek scored the first stakes victory of his career. The 5-year-old son of Harperstown, who earlier in the year finished second in the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston Race Park, won the 1 1/16-mile event at Oaklawn by a half-length in 1:46.33 with Chris Landeros up for trainer Kenny McPeek. The Arkansas-bred’s record now stands at 17-6-3-2 with earnings of $261,659. On March 28, Be My Caroline jumped out to a big early lead in the $75,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and held on to prevail by a nose at the wire. Bred and owned by the Sanders Brothers, the daughter of Storm and a Half broke her maiden in her previous outing at Oaklawn after starting her career with a third-place effort in the Lady Razorback Futurity last fall at Remington Park. Jareth Loveberry rode Be My Caroline for trainer Allen Milligan to a 1:11.57 clocking for the six furlongs to improve her bankroll to $86,500. Be My Caroline is a full sister to 2011 Rainbow Miss winner All About Allie, who won the Lady Razorback and three editions of the Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes. In the $75,000 Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings on March 29, Starsky Weast’s homebred Weast Hill, a gelding by Rockport Harbor, scored a wire-to-wire victory by 3 ¼ lengths in a very fast 1:09.85 for six furlongs. Jesus Castanon rode for conditioner Brad Cox. Weast Hill scored a similar front-running victory in his career debut on February 26 at Oaklawn when he trounced a maiden field by 7 ½ lengths. Following his Rainbow win, Weast Hill shipped to Churchill Downs and ran fifth in the $100,000 William Walker Stakes against open company to increase his earnings to $86,370.

Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association News Colorado Silver Cup Yearling Sale Consignments Due June 26 Consignments for the annual Silver Cup Yearling Sale, sponsored by the Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association, are due June 26. This year’s sale will be held on Saturday, August 8, at Arapahoe Park near Aurora, Colorado. Sale graduates are eligible for the 2016 Silver Cup Futurities. The 2015 stakes generated purses of $42,048 for the colts and geldings division and $38,393 for the fillies division. Past sale graduates include Get Happy Mister, recent winner of the


Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The son of First Samurai has also registered stakes wins at Oaklawn Park and in Arapahoe Park’s headline events, the Gold Rush Futurity and Arapahoe Park Classic. Graded stakes-placed Tenango also passed through the same sale ring; the son of Lion Heart has placed in stakes at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Laurel. At the 2015 sale, a son of Big Brown brought the highest price at $26,000, going to Annette Bishop’s Tangarae LLC. Sam Brookover paid $20,000 for a son of Fort Prado, and a daughter of Mr. Nightlinger went to Richard Lueck for $16,500. Last year’s sale catalogued 65 horses with 43 selling for an average of $5,937. For more information, go to cotba.com or call the CTBA office at (303) 294-0260.

Arapahoe Park to Air Two Shows on Altitude Arapahoe Park will broadcast a new feature television show giving a behind-the-scenes look at horse racing and a race replay show on the Denver-based network Altitude Sports & Entertainment during the 2015 live horse racing season at the Aurora, Colorado, racetrack. Hosted by Arapahoe Park announcer Jonathan Horowitz, “Gates Open at Arapahoe Park” will air on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and rebroadcast on Fridays at 10 a.m. with a focus on feature stories and profiles of horses and horsemen. The replay show, “Today at Arapahoe Park,” will air at 10 p.m. after each day’s races and rebroadcast the following morning at 10 a.m. The 2015 season of Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing at Arapahoe Park will run from May 22 to August 16, with the first “Gates Open at Arapahoe Park” show airing on May 21. Arapahoe Park is also teaming up with organizations such as CANTER Colorado for the feature show to promote the journey of horses after they finish their racing careers. “Our television shows are going to be a way for us to share horse racing’s vibrancy and excitement to a wider audience,” Arapahoe Park General Manager Bruce Seymore said. “There are so many amazing stories at Arapahoe Park that we want to tell.” For the first time ever, Arapahoe Park will film its races in HD for the television shows. Altitude Sports & Entertainment, available in more than three million homes in 10 states, is the most-watched regional sports network in the Rocky Mountain region.

Georgia Horse Racing Coalition News Kentucky Derby Dreams Deep in the Heart of Georgia By Brian Zipse Like anyone who has been bitten by the horse racing bug, Dennis Morgan has dreams of someday running in the Kentucky Derby. The longtime racing fan could be a little closer than most of us, though. He owns a pair of classically bred juvenile colts, in which he has high hopes. Making the prospect all the more exciting for the Georgia resident is the not so small fact that both are registered Georgia-breds. I had the opportunity to catch up with Dennis to discuss racing, his colts and his strong connection to the push for racing in Georgia.

Horse Racing Nation: Dennis, how long have you been involved in Thoroughbred horse racing as a fan, and what drew you to the sport? Dennis Morgan: I have always had a love for horses from the time I was staying with my grandparents in Davy, West Virginia, and would run to meet my grandpa when he unhitched the work horse from plowing. I would ride it back down off the hill; I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time. I remember watching my first horse races on TV in ’63 and ’64. I was living in Bluefield, West Virginia, at the time, and we had just gotten cable TV. I kept up with the sport, the horses and the jockeys and read all I could get my hands on about them. Eddie Arcaro came to Bluefield when his son was getting married. I sneaked away from home and rode across town on my bike just to get a glimpse of one of racing’s greatest jockeys ever. I saw the nice cars and people all dressed up and figured that must be their room. I was kinda embarrassed with what I was wearing but walked past the room just to catch a glimpse, and there he sat. I froze but was asked what I wanted. I said I just wanted to see Mr. Arcaro. I was invited in and got to meet Eddie Arcaro. He was super nice and got up and shook my hand. He autographed a picture of me on a horse that I still cherish. When I got back home, I got a whipping from my dad for sneaking off, but it was worth every bit of it. I have talked to his daughter in the last few years on the phone, and she remembered that little boy in Bluefield that was a fan of her daddy and how her dad always took time for his fans. HRN: You own two juvenile colts that are nearing more serious training; how did you acquire them, where are they now and how are they doing? Morgan: The two colts are out of two broodmares I acquired. One broodmare is from the Gone West line and is by Belmont Stakes winner Commendable. The other broodmare is by Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold. I sent them to Coolmore in Kentucky and had them bred to the sires (Dunkirk and Fusaichi Pegasus) that I selected to produce the colts I have now. Both colts are in training at the famed Dogwood Stables in Aiken, South Carolina, home to Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice. They are primarily in the training care of Gene Tucker, who is doing an excellent job. Gene says both colts are doing everything that is asked of them and that their pedigrees are definitely starting to show. HRN: No Georgia-bred has ever won the Kentucky Derby. What would it mean to you to own the first? Morgan: To own the first Georgia-bred to win a Kentucky Derby, if fate should have it and God wills it, would definitely be a historical event in horse racing to be remembered and cherished, not only by me but for the people of the great state of Georgia. My jockey silks are the red and black colors of the University of Georgia. There have been Georgia owners make it to the Kentucky Derby with a horse, but no true Georgia-bred horse that I know of has made it. That may be a first in itself. If someone knows of one, tell us. To read the complete interview, go to horseracingnation.com.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 23


State Association News

Linscott Photography

Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association News 2014 Indiana Champions Named Congratulations to all the horses and their connections who were honored at the ITOBA Award Banquet on April 18 at Indiana Grand. Following is a list of winners. Indiana Horse of the Year and Indiana-Bred 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Mister Pollard (Pollard’s Vision–Sweet Summer, by Summer Squall) Indiana-Sired Older Horse: Sucess Is Racing (Major Success–Lady Benchmark, by Benchmark) Indiana-Bred Older Horse: Buster Rose (Pioneering–Sister Rose, Service Stripe) Indiana-Sired Older Mare: In a Jif (Saintly Look–Damie’s Peanut, by Stravinsky) Indiana-Bred Older Mare: Wild Swava (Offlee Wild–El Swava, by El Prado [Ire]) Indiana-Sired 3-Year-Old Filly: Mary N Eileen (Indy King–Apleasantnight, by Pleasant Tap) Indiana-Bred 3-Year-Old Filly: Cactus Joe (Cactus Ridge–Jailhouse Coffee, by Doneraile Court) Indiana-Sired 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Union Express (Unbridled Express–Union Belle, by Dixie Union) Mister Pollard Indiana-Sired 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Supreme Justice (Lantana Mob– Miss Miracle, by A.P. Jet) Indiana-Bred 2-Year-Old Colt: Academy Bay (Magna Graduate–Icey Energy, by Unbridled Energy) Indiana-Sired 2-Year-Old Filly: Spooled (Dr. Large–High Draw, by Quiet American) Indiana-Bred 2-Year-Old Filly: Heart’s Song (Desert Party–Secret Psalm, by Cryptoclearance) Indiana Stallion of the Year: City Weekend Indiana Broodmare of the Year: Sweet Summer

Peter Lurie Joins Broadcast Team at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park

Nationally acclaimed horse racing analyst and commentator Peter Lurie has joined the broadcast teams at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino. Lurie will make more than one dozen appearances throughout 2015. Lurie brings in more than three decades of experience in both the television and horse racing fields. He has been on the sidelines covering many major races, from the prestigious Saratoga meet to the Florida Derby. Lurie has interviewed racing’s finest participants over the years, including Tom Durkin, Bob Baffert, Kent Desormeaux and, more recently, the team behind 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome. He also served as a host for HRTV’s syndicated weekly show, “Across the Board.” Lurie has covered both the Indiana Derby and the Dan Patch Invi-

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

tational at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park, respectively, for the past four years and is very familiar with racing in the Hoosier State. He has also provided past support to some of the major American Quarter Horse stakes in the state of Indiana, showing his immense versatility and expertise in racing. In addition to special appearances throughout the racing season at both tracks, Lurie will provide daily handicapping for Indiana Grand. His selections may be found in both the live racing program as well as Indiana Grand’s website. In addition, he will provide frequent call-ins and video to both facilities as well as conduct interviews and additional television coverage while on property during the season.

North Carolina Thoroughbred Association News NCTA Board Meets to Discuss Association Goals The new board of the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association met on April 22 to discuss several ideas, such as how to get pari-mutuel betting in North Carolina and what interest the members have in different kinds of social events or meetings. Rebecca Montaldo volunteered to be our social secretary, and we plan to survey the membership on what it would like to see the association do. We are going to partner with the North Carolina Horse Council to see if pari-mutuel betting can be put on the agenda through its lobbying. That seems to be the number one issue that everyone in the association wants to see passed. This has been a long-standing issue, with several tries to have pari-mutuel betting passed but without a good outcome. It would help if we had more members to help push this issue and who may know the right people to contact. Another thing the board would like to see is more events, such as going to a Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association seminar as a group. Each of us would pay our own way and make our own travel arrangements, but meet at the event as a group. Those of us who have been in the association for a very long time have forgotten how exciting it is to have farm meetings and people to talk to about the horse business. We now have quite a few new members who have never been a part of this. So I say let’s give it a try. I hope in the near future we will have many things to share with the association. I hope to get the support of the older members as well as the new members. Let’s see if we can do more things and get more interest in the Thoroughbred by recruiting more members and being an association that does things and not just one that barely exists. On a sad note, we would like to send our deepest sympathies to the connections of Cheers for Sidney, a game filly bred by Beth Muirhead and owed by Beth, Frank Coniglio, Sidney Ritman and Richard Redina. The filly broke down in a race at Tampa Bay Downs and had to be euthanized. Joanne Dew, NCTA President

Racing News Jim Chandley has not slowed down this year with a group of horses that he has bred. They are still running in the money: Taliesin was third at Turfway Park on March 20, Michael’s Tribute ran third at Penn National on March 21 and Suyeta, the old man at age 9, ran third at


Oaklawn Park on April 4. Beth Muirhead has seen much success with the band of horses she has bred in recent years with Double the Cheers winning at Tampa Bay Downs on March 21. He is owned by Beth in partnership with David Benge. Beth also bred Special Congrats, another old boy who is still running at 6. He was third at Laurel on March 20 and then on April 2 won a race at Pimlico. It is good to see breeder/owner Kenan Rand again in the winner’s circle with his filly Once More for Love, who won twice in March at Tampa. The Boy’s Sharp, another homebred for Kenan, hit the board twice at the Florida track in March. George and Stephanie Autry are relatively new players in the group but have had great success. They have already owned a graded stakes winner and a couple of stakes winners, and this year is starting off well for them. True Bet had a couple of thirds at Aqueduct in March and April, and Milaya ran second at Gulfstream Park in a maiden special weight on March 5. James Jones enjoys being a member of the Country Life Farm racing partnerships and is part of the group that owns Miss Moonshine, who ran second on April 11 at Pimlico. Among the proudest of our members is Bob Calabrese, who stands Justawalkinthepark in North Carolina. His nice North Carolina-bred Walkwithmysista ran third at Charles Town on April 8. She is by his stallion and out of his mare Sherunsforbilly, so this is a true homebred. Congratulations to Bob; he has waited a long time for one of Walk’s babies to run. Hangover Saturday, who is owned by NCTA Owner and Breeder of the Year Steve Laymon, ran third at Gulfstream Park on March 13. NCTA Horse of the Year Dayatthespa, last year’s Eclipse Award winner as champion grass mare and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, was sold by Steve and his partners and retired to the broodmare ranks. We will all miss the excitement she brought to the association. Speed Seeker, a graded stakes winner from last year, is again running in the graded stakes ranks and was third in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa. She is owned by NCTA members Frank Coniglio, Richard Rendina and Sidney Ritman. Rickashea ran second at Gulfstream on March 29, losing by a head. He is owned by our member Danny Shea, who has had a great year so far. He also owned Tiz Shea D, who he sold for a lot of money. Unlike most of us, he knew when to sell and keep a breeding right. Nancy Shuford has raised many horses over a long period of time, and lots of them are North Carolina-breds. She bred Incremental, who ran third at Oaklawn Park on March 22. We missed Nancy at the awards dinner because she is always foaling her own horses; she does not trust anyone else to do it right and what she is doing appears to be working.

Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma News TRAO Awards Banquet Reminder TRAO will hold its fourth annual champions awards banquet on July 31 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. Look for more information to come at traoracing.com

Fair Meadows Race Dates Following are the 2015 race dates for Fair Meadows in Tulsa. June: 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 July: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26

Oklahoma-bred Wins Battle of the X’s Challenge The 2015 Battle of the X’s Trainer’s Challenge and All Breed Horse Show was held March 21-22 in Fort Worth, Texas, and ended with a winning performance by Oklahoma-bred Miss Zanjero. Hosted by Remember Me Rescue of Burleson, Texas, the event was the first phase of a Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas and afforded the opportunity for off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) to be paired with trainers from across the country to compete for $10,000 in prize money. In the months leading up to the challenge, all competitors were spotlighted and adoption applications were accepted for the right to bid on the contestants at the conclusion of the challenge. Proceeds benefited Remember Me Rescue, as well as Oklahoma-based Thoroughbred Athletes Inc. for its entry of Miss Zanjero, who was trained by Wendy Thompson of Piedmont, Oklahoma. This year’s challenge had eight horses and trainers competing for top honors. Following the event, Miss Zanjero was offered at auction to approved adopters and was purchased by Lisa Hunt of Edmond, Oklahoma, who plans to continue the horse’s show career by participating in the Sport of Kings Challenge to be held June 19-21 at Remington Park. The Sport of Kings, part two of the Red River Shootout, is an annual event highlighting the Thoroughbred horse and benefiting Thoroughbred Athletes. Miss Zanjero was discovered at an Oklahoma auction by a representative of Helping Hands Equine Assistance in late September 2014. The particular auction is known to attract buyers looking to purchase horses to ship to Mexico for slaughter. Thoroughbred Athletes was contacted and arrangements were made for the purchase of Miss Zanjero and another filly. Helping Hands procured and delivered the horses to Thoroughbred Athletes to help find them new homes and new careers. After her evaluation, Thoroughbred Athletes selected Miss Zanjero to represent the organization in the challenge.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 25


State Association News South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association News

Courtesy OTRP

Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program Hosts Help a Horse Day

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

All Female Partnership Group Gets First Win

John Duca/SV Photography

The Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program (OTRP) participated in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) national Help a Horse Day with a two-day event to compete for a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant prizes to assist with its efforts to protect Thoroughbred racehorses off the racetrack. To start the celebration, the OTRP hosted a meet and greet on April 25 at its satellite facility, C K Thoroughbreds, in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The community had the chance to meet many OTRP adoptable horses, pucker up for Murphy the donkey in the “Kiss My A$$” kissing booth and witness Highland Ice, an Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer and OTRP permanent retiree, display his artistic skills as a painter. The festivities continued April 26 at Remington Park. The day featured “extreme racing” with camels, ostriches, pigs, zebras and miniature donkeys. The Express Clydesdales made their first appearance in an exhibition match race with an old-fashioned flag start before the races. Highland Ice was also on hand to meet his fans. The now 22-year-old gelding was a fan favorite at the Oklahoma City track where he won 15 times during his illustrious career. This nationwide competition aims to help equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the work they do year-round to care for at-risk horses in their communities that often have been abused or neglected. “Taking part in this national event is another example of the work of the OTRP in continuing efforts to raise awareness for retired racehorses and their lives once they leave the racetrack,” OTRP publicist Dana Kirk said. “The ASPCA Help a Horse Day contest is a wonderful opportunity for our team to welcome the residents and businesses of central Oklahoma, as we help in seeking forever homes for at-risk horses in our community. These horses are majestic and affectionate animals.” Dedicated to providing new opportunities for retired Thoroughbred Oklahoma-bred Highland Ice shows off racehorses, the OTRP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit orgahis painting skills. nization started in 2007 by a veteran group of Oklahoma horsemen concerned about the future of Oklahoma’s ex-racehorses. TRAO is among the many supporters of the OTRP. The OTRP cares for more than 50 horses at various satellite facilities across the state and is made up entirely of volunteers. There are no salaried employees, expenses for offices or overhead associated with staffing. All funds donated to the OTRP are used for the care of the horses. For more information about the OTRP, please visit otrp.info.

Fast Women LLC, a 32-woman partnership group started by Donna Freyer of Custom Care LLC in Camden, South Carolina, got out of the gate nicely as the group’s Minimambo won at first asking on March 21 at Tampa Bay Downs. The Kitalpha filly, ridden by Rosemary Homeister Jr. for trainer Maria Bowersock, won the one-mile turf event by nearly four lengths. The Kentucky-bred filly, who was purchased for $7,000 as a weanling, followed up that win with a third-place Minimambo effort against allowance/optional claiming foes at the same track.

McCutchen Training Center, Lamont Smalls Dominate Elloree Trials McCutchen Training Center trainees won three of the four Thoroughbred races at the 53rd running of the Elloree Trials in March. Trainer Bobby McCutchen won the sixth race with Victor Newman, while trainer Jason McCutchen won the ninth with Back Yard Boogie and the Elloree Cup with Paper Dollie. All three horses were ridden to victory by Lamont Smalls. As usual, a good time was had by all with tailgating aplenty. This year’s trials were also highlighted by a special appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Congratulations and thanks for all the hard work to make the day special for those of us who attended. Following are the Thoroughbred winners: Third Race: 3yo fillies, 4 furlongs; Winner: Toosexyformyjockey; Trainer: Cody Durr; Owner: Lane & Huck Durr; Jockey: Wesley Ho; Time: :49.45 Sixth Race: 3yo & up maidens, 4 furlongs; Winner: Victor Newman; Trainer: R.B. McCutchen; Owner: Walker McCutchen; Jockey: Lamont Smalls; Time: :49.22 Ninth Race: 4yo & up, 4 furlongs; Winner: Back Yard Boogie; Trainer: Jason McCutchen; Owner: Mason McCutchen; Jockey: Lamont Smalls; Time: :47.87 11th Race: The Elloree Cup, 3yo, 4 furlongs; Winner: Paper Dollie; Trainer: Jason McCutchen; Owner: Carson Ann McCutchen; Jockey: Lamont Smalls; Time: :48.36 The 73rd annual Aiken Trials were also held in March, and congratulations go to those winners as well. First Trial: The Danny Furr Memorial Trophy, 2yo maiden fillies, 2 furlongs; Winner: Indulgent; Trainer: Tim Jones; Owner: Godolphin; Jockey: Jordan Pruiksma; Time: :25 3/5 Second Trial: The Coward Trophy, 2yo maidens, 2 furlongs; Winner: Unnamed filly by Love of Money; Trainer: Cary Frommer; Owner:


Brooke Bowman; Jockey: Adan Moreno; Time: :23 4/5 Third Trial: The Gaver Trophy, Polo Pony Race, 300 yards; Winner: Chesney; Trainer, Owner and Jockey: Tom Uskup; Time: :11 4/5 Fourth Trial: The Bruce Duchossois Memorial Trophy, 2yo maiden colts, 2 furlongs; Winner: Trade Zone; Trainer: Tim Jones; Owner: Godolphin; Jockey: Rebekah Hammond; Time: :24 Fifth Trial: The City of Aiken Trophy, 3yo and up, winners, 4 ½ furlongs; Winner: Glowing Ember; Trainer: Brad Stauffer; Owner: Dogwood Stable; Jockey: Gene Tucker; Time: :53.

Texas Thoroughbred Association News Western Bloodstock to Conduct Thoroughbred Sales in Texas The Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie announced that they have entered into an agreement with Western Bloodstock Ltd. to conduct public auctions of Thoroughbreds at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park. The first auction will be the Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale, scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015. To read more, please turn to page 10.

TTA Awards Banquet Reminder The TTA will hold its annual meeting and awards banquet on June 20 at Lone Star Park. The card will feature the $50,000 Lane’s End Stallion Scholarship Stakes for Texas-bred fillies and mares. The next TTA Board of Directors meeting will also be held June 20. Invitations have been mailed to all TTA members, and the reservation deadline is June 8. The Hyatt Place Dallas/Arlington is offering a special Texas Thoroughbred room rate of $119 plus tax for the weekend of June 20.

TRC Approves Revised Calendar for Retama Park Meet The Texas Racing Commission has approved a revised calendar for the 2015 Thoroughbred meet at Retama Park. Rather than the traditional Friday/Saturday schedule, Retama Park will be running a three-day per week schedule in 2015. The 26-day meet will begin a bit earlier this year, on August 21, and conclude on October 17. Live racing will be conducted each Friday and Saturday, along with the following Sundays: August 30; September 6, 13, 20, 27; October 4 and 11. There will also be live racing on Monday, September 7.

TTA and The Paddock Foundation to Compile Database

The Paddock Foundation and the Texas Thoroughbred Association are compiling a database to make it easier for people who are looking for second-career Thoroughbreds. The database will indicate which Thoroughbred stallions have active progeny in a career other than racing. For more information, go to texasthoroughbred.com.

TTA Is Now on Instagram TTA is pleased to announce that in addition to our website, Twitter and Facebook, we are now on Instagram at instagram.com/ttatexas. Check it out, and for those who follow us on Instagram, we invite you to share your Lone Star Park photos. Throughout the meet, post photos of your time at the track, and be sure to tag @ttatexas and use the hashtag #ttalonestar. We may even share the best ones! AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 27


Promise Me Silver, a Texas-bred daughter of Silver City, is among the top 3-year-old filly sprinters this year with two $100,000 stakes wins at Oaklawn Park and a Grade 3 victory at Churchill Downs. Steve Queen

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Owner Annette Bishop leads Get Happy Mister into the Santa Anita Park winner’s circle as the leading Colorado-bred earner of all time.

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


Texas-breds Shine in Kentucky FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD and PROMISE ME SILVER have each completed sweeps of the historic Debutante Stakes and Eight Belles S.-G3 at Churchill Downs! Both fillies were bred, born and raised at Valor Farm and are by Valor Farm stallions.

Amber Chalfin

Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs

Fiftyshadesofgold (My Golden Song - Hadif Cat)

Debutante 2013

Eight Belles S. 2014

Steve Queen

Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs

Promise Me Silver (Silver City - Uno Mas Promesa)

Debutante 2014

Eight Belles S. 2015

Congratulations to Bret Calhoun, the trainer of both horses, and to Bob and Myrna Luttrell, the owners and breeders of PROMISE ME SILVER. FIFTYSHADESOFGOLD was bred and owned by the late Clarence Scharbauer Jr. 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


RED EARTH TRAINING CENTER Oklahoma’s Finest Horse Training Facility for Nearly 25 Years!

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RED EARTH TRAINING CENTER 3056 SOUTH LADD AVE. GOLDSBY, OKLAHOMA 73093 (405) 288-6128 WWW.REDEARTHTRAININGCENTER.COM


Secretariat’s

Courtesy Appaloosa Journal

forgotten

First Foal Horsephotos.com

A look back at the surprising true story of Big Red’s Appaloosa colt Secretariat’s legacy continues to live on more than 45 years after his birth, but his first foal, an Appaloosa named First Secretary, is largely unknown.

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

By Mary Cage


He was America’s Horse. He was Big Red. He was a legend. He was Secretariat.

Thoroughbred. She was an Appaloosa, a breed that is now becoming one of the most popular in the United States but at the time was far from being highly respected.

Regarded as one of the all-time greatest racehorses (and by many, the greatest), Secretariat was honored as the Horse of the Year in both 1972 and 1973. In the latter year, he became the ninth horse ever to sweep American racing’s Triple Crown and the first to do so since Citation in 1948. And he did so in legendary fashion. His crowning triumph in the Belmont Stakes, in which he crossed the wire 31 lengths in front in a record time of 2:24 for a mile and one-half, is among the greatest performances in the history of any sport.

A stocky, dark-colored mare with white splattered over her hips, Leola was not the sleek, plain-colored Thoroughbred mare of royal bloodlines that everyone expected to carry Secretariat’s first foal. But she was a top-class mare in her own right, having been purchased for a thenrecord Appaloosa price of $1,050 in San Antonio in 1963. While the Thoroughbred world was rather ashamed of the situation, the Appaloosa industry was proud. Suddenly, Leola became coveted among Appaloosa owners and breeders. After having been bred to Secretariat and confirmed in foal, she became the most sought-after Appaloosa in the world, one that could make a colossal difference for that breed.

If Big Red was not fertile, more than $6 million would go down the drain.

The price tag that followed Secretariat into the breeding shed was an incredible $6.08 million. Considering this syndicate was a record at the time, hopes—and nerves—soared nearly as high when the big red horse entered stud at the iconic Claiborne Farm in Kentucky as they had when he stepped into the starting gate at Belmont Park with a Triple Crown on the line. Shareholders could only wish that his success as a stallion would mirror his breathtaking victory in New York.

But there was a major obstacle to tackle. When Secretariat began his stud career, an abundance of doubt hung over his connections like a dark cloud. The worry that he could not replicate his success on the racetrack in the breeding shed was not the only concern. A much larger fear—one that could ruin everything—was haunting his connections. Testing had revealed that the son of Bold Ruler had immature sperm in differing amounts. If Big Red was not fertile, more than $6 million would go down the drain. To test his fertility, Secretariat was bred to a nurse mare named Leola, owned by Claiborne’s manager, Bill Taylor. But this mare was no

As is the case with any breeding, there were no guarantees when it came to the foal Leola was carrying, except that she had been confirmed to be in foal. In addition, Nankivil would not necessarily end up with a colored colt, which, as the best way to integrate Secretariat’s legacy into the Appaloosa breed, was Nankivil’s hope. But that was not Nankivil’s only reason to hope for this; he had made quite the gamble. Before the foal was even born, Nankivil had sold 15 lifetime breeding rights to the colt for $1,500 apiece.

Courtesy Appaloosa Journal

First Secretary, shortly before the son of Secretariat died in 1993.

Courtesy Appaloosa JournaM

First Secretary and his dam, Leola.

Into the picture stepped Jack Nankivil, who ran an Appaloosa breeding operation in southeastern Minnesota. Possession of the mare that carried Secretariat’s first foal could serve as the perfect asset to his breeding program. Nankivil was among many who had made offers for the mare, but he was the only one who succeeded. For an amount that was undisclosed but rumored to be around $25,000, Nankivil acquired Leola and her unborn foal.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 35


2015 bre

The tale up to this point was already close to unbelievable, portraying a storyline fit for a clichéd film. It only became more mawkish when, on November 15, 1974, Leola foaled a colt with a white blanket over his hips, like his dam, and a chestnut coat and three white socks, like his sire. Now that the foal had been born and was revealed to officially be a colored colt, Nankivil was able to sell five additional lifetime breedings to Secretariat’s first son—this time for $15,000 each. Given the name First Secretary, the colt was initially registered with the Canadian Appaloosa Horse Club, as the American Appaloosa Association would not register First Secretary with Secretariat’s name listed as his sire. Rather, the Triple Crown winner would be referred to, almost comically, as “an unnamed Thoroughbred sire.” Eventually, however, the two organizations soon merged, solving this issue. First Secretary grew to become what was virtually an Appaloosa version of his sire. He was a fine individual, standing nearly 17 hands high and carrying the same impressive build and gleaming red colt as Secretariat. Nankivil chose to never race or show First Secretary due to his value and November birthdate, so when First Secretary entered the breeding shed at age four, he was unproven in every aspect. To ensure the best offspring possible for his stallion, Nankivil limited the annual amount of breedings to First Secretary and was selective in the mares that were bred to him. First Secretary was able to get a very high percentage of mares in foal and many of these progeny also possessed his Appaloosa coloring. He produced numerous foals that boasted his remarkable conformation, thus leading to much success for his offspring in halter classes at various Appaloosa shows. He also quickly encountered success with his racing progeny, as three of the five horses that were among the stallion’s first racing crop found the winner’s circle, despite the fact that Appaloosas normally run American Quarter Horse-like distances down a straightaway and Secretariat could run all day.

Secretariat’s Last Foal While Secretariat’s legacy as a sire of racehorses never approached that of the legend he left on the track, those who label him as a “failure” at stud are perhaps blinded by the unrealistic expectations that followed him into the breeding shed. Among Secretariat’s top runners were General Assembly, the runnerup in the 1979 Kentucky Derby (G1) and winner of that year’s 1 ¼-mile Travers Stakes (G1) in a still-standing track-record time of 2:00 at Saratoga; 1986 Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret, perhaps the best Oklahoma-bred of all-time; Risen Star, winner of the 1988 Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) stakes; and Tinners Way, a $1.8 million earner and three-time Grade 1 winner who was the last foal sired by Secretariat. Tinners Way enjoyed a solid, though not spectacular stud career, and spent the final years of his stallion duty at Joe Kerby’s Key Ranch near Salado, Texas, where he stood as property of Phil Leckinger and Jerry Hardin. The now 25-year-old stallion was pensioned in 2010 and resides in Kentucky at Old Friends along with other greats such as 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm. —Denis Blake

Courtesy Rick Capone/kentuckyhorsephotos.com

Nankivil’s investment had proven ingenious, and in 1988, he sold First Secretary to a New Hampshire farm, where Secretariat’s first son would now stand for $1,000. The later stages of his life saw him stand stud in Maryland, where he died in 1993 due to colic. First Secretary’s 247 foals covered a wide range of disciplines, including Appaloosa shows, speed events, racing, eventing, hunter/jumper, endurance riding, dressage and trail riding. His showhorse progeny actually eclipsed his racehorse progeny, as he sired Appaloosa National and World Champions Jetta Rue, Helen Wheels, Nanny Brow, Secret Ingredient and Something’s Sweet. Whereas Secretariat’s influence is still being felt in the Thoroughbred world, particularly as a broodmare sire through descendants of horses like A.P. Indy, Storm Cat and Giant’s Causeway, a scarce amount of his blood remains in the gene pool of Appaloosas. But numerous Appaloosa descendants of First Secretary still exist, allowing Appaloosa owners to hold onto a piece of the legendary Secretariat and a story that still surprises many in the Thoroughbred world. H

36

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Grade 1 winner Tinners Way, the last foal sired by Secretariat, concluded his stallion career in Texas before being pensioned at Old Friends in Kentucky.


2015 breeders sale am racehorse_Layout 1 5/15/15 10:58 AM Page 1

Tuesday, September 29

Ike Hamilton Expo Center, West Monroe, Louisiana

Consignment Deadline June 15 For consignment forms or more information contact Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association P.O. Box 24650, New Orleans, Louisiana 70184 504.947.4676 • 1.800.772.1195 • ltba@louisianabred.com www.louisianabred.com AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 37


OTTB Spotlight: Superman to the Rescue

Oklahoma-bred Musical Maddy has become “Superman” for young rider Ella.

By Jen Roytz An Oklahoma-bred known for his bad attitude is now a special horse for a young rider

Courtesy Brit Vegas

S

ometimes you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a horse by his attitude, for that matter. Bred, raised and raced in Oklahoma, Musical Maddy was one tough customer. He was tough as a racehorse, not letting anyone or anything get in the way of him doing his job. He was tough as a retiree, changing hands several times in quick succession due to a perceived bad attitude. But the big gray gelding has a soft spot for a little girl named Ella, and he is her Superman, both literally and figuratively. Weighing only 38 pounds, Ella is barely heavier than the saddle she sits in, but she is precious cargo to Superman (Musical Maddy’s current and forever barn name), and every step he takes with her atop his back is careful and precise. “When you win his heart, you win his every move, and that little girl has his number,” said Brit Vegas, Ella’s mother and the current owner of Musical Maddy/Superman. “She is a fearless little girl. Thank God he is the horse that he is.” Ella gets her horse gene from Brit, who began riding at age five and was obsessed with the activity from then on, even though her parents and siblings were not “horse people.” She grew up riding Western, but switched to English and learned to jump on a Warmblood that she leased after graduating from high school. “[Jumping] was the missing part of my life I had always been searching for,” Brit said. “Six months after that, I bought my first OTTB [off-track Thoroughbred] to retrain. 38

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

I now own three OTTBs, am a trainer and riding coach here in Nebraska, and have a barn full of retired track Thoroughbreds. Naturally, when my clients are looking for horses, the first place I turn is the track.” It’s the network that Brit has built among her local equestrian community that brought Superman into her life. After running eighth in his last three races at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, the son of Prospector’s Music retired from the track into a situation in which he did not fit due to his showing of aggression toward another horse. The owner’s veterinarian offered to take him in and soon gave him to another client, a trainer who often takes in project horses. “Superman is just a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” Brit said. “She had too many project horses at the time, and he was a bit of a tougher ride for her girls, so she passed him along to me. We bonded instantly, and the rest is history. It’s a clear case of ‘what is meant to be.’ ” Though she is Superman’s fourth owner since he left the racetrack, Brit is the first one to really log training miles on him. She worked with Superman to give him a solid foundation, first on the flat and then over small jumps. Eventually, he was ridden by her students and evolved from a tough ride to a trustworthy one. “My students all learn to jump on him and they joke that he’s so grumpy—he shows more expression in his face and ears than any other horse I’ve ridden,” she said. “But he will get them from one side of the fence to the


other safely, no matter what mistake they make, and I cherish him deeply for it.” A lifelong fan of furry four-leggeds, Brit didn’t stop her involvement in retraining animals with horses. She is also a volunteer with Big Dogs Huge Paws, a dog rescue that specializes in giant breeds. Many of the traits Brit has seen evolve in Superman and her other Thoroughbreds are the same ones she notices in her rescue dogs as well. “Whether it’s the dogs or A seven-time horses, a lot of the retrainwinner on the ing centers around a comtrack, Superman bination of understanding is now mentoring why they are giving you a riders and other specific behavior, patience, horses in Nebraska. and creating boundaries and structure,” Brit explained. “Horses and dogs Courtesy Brit Vegas both thrive on that.” Superman has taken that lesson to heart, and today, he is happy to take on all comers, jumping four feet six inches with experienced riders. But his heart truly belongs to Ella. He is an animated mover with loads of suspension at the trot, but when Ella is the pilot, he will only walk, and together, they navigate a variety of obstacles set up in the arena, including a bridge, a tarp and poles. Lately, Ella has been learning how to post atop Superman while he’s being lunged by Brit, and the horse gives the girl the slowest of jogs, making sure she is balanced and secure on his back.

Name: Musical Maddy (a.k.a. “Superman”) Born: March 10, 2003 Color: Gray/roan Sire: Prospector’s Music Dam: Maddy’s Prize Sale History: None Race Record: 29-7-6-2 Race Earnings: $60,413

“He easily schools three-foot-six-inch courses and will compete in the three-foot divisions for his first year of showing,” Brit said. “He will also teach lessons a few times a week and, of course, be Ella’s trusty steed for as long as she chooses to love him, which I’m certain will be until the end of days.” Recently, Superman was given a new role at Broken Spoke Stables, as he’s been tabbed to be the mentor for a young horse with some big plans. “Our newest horse, Honest Expectation [a Kentuckybred by all-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations], will be competing in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover in October, and until then, Superman will be showing him the ropes of what being a good boy is all about.”H Jen Roytz is a freelance writer and marketing and public relations consultant for various entities, both equine and non-equine. She can also be found on the back of an OTTB most days. This article originally ran in the Paulick Report’s “OTTB Showcase” at paulickreport.com. If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we’d love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz (jenlroytz@ gmail.com) with the horse’s Jockey Club name, background story and a few photos. This section is sponsored by the Retired Racehorse Project, which works to facilitate placement of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in the marketplace and inspiring an army of equestrians to provide the training that secures their futures. RRP programs include online educational resources, programs at major horse expos, interactive databases including a Bloodline Brag and Retired Racehorse Resource Directory, featuring 300 farms and organizations, and more than 200 online horse listings, with most of the horses having some second career training. RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium moves in its third year to the Kentucky Horse Park October 23-25, 2015. For more information, go to retiredracehorseproject.org.

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 39


15-50


AddedHorsepower

Linscott Photography

Indiana is home to two pari-mutuel tracks, but all Thoroughbred racing is now held at Indiana Grand (above) while Standardbred racing is held at Hoosier Park.

The Hoosier State, home of the Indy 500, motors forward with accelerated growth in the Thoroughbred industry •

By Rudi Groothedde

Known as the home of the incomparable Indianapolis 500 auto race, Indiana has also become a powerhouse in the Thoroughbred realm, with a horse racing and breeding program that has enjoyed accelerated growth during the past decade. Proof of the Hoosier State’s remarkable transition can be found in The Jockey Club’s 2015 Fact Book, which shows Indiana as the only foal-producing state with a positive trend in this category over the past 10 years. Indiana’s annual foal crop from 2004 to 2013 increased 24.8 percent, from 459 foals to 573 foals, placing the state in the nation’s top 10 by total foal production. In comparison, national foal production experienced an alarming 39.8 percent decline during that same time period, with the established Thoroughbred stalwarts Kentucky, Florida and California recording decreases of 25.4 percent, 52.9 percent and 56.1 percent, respectively. The primary reason for Indiana reaching this unique status was the passage of legislation in 2007 permitting electronic gaming at the two pari-mutuel racetracks in the state. Since then, the resulting revenue allocated to the Thoroughbred Breed Development Program, administered by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC), has grown an incredible 400 percent, from $3.1 million to more than $13 million in annual awards and incentives. In tandem with this growth, purses have since almost doubled to payouts of $24.4 million to Thoroughbreds last year. This year at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, of the 38 stakes scheduled for the meet, 26 contests worth $2.45 million have been written exclusively for runners bred or sired in Indiana, including four events with a guaranteed purse of $150,000 each.

Driving the Industry Forward The inclusion of slot machines may have served as the catalyst for the racing industry’s upswing in the state, but cooperation among the industry’s key players has helped the state avoid the pitfalls that some other racino states are facing including declining foal crops and reduced purses. Increased purses for Indiana-bred races, purse supplements for Indiana-breds finishing in the top three positions in open races and in-state and out-of-state breeders’ awards have resulted in major 42

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


Courtesy Edward Kip Hannah/Hollywood Park

Indiana-bred Hillsdale (third from rail), who reigned as the state’s leading earner for five decades, gets up to win the 1959 Hollywood Gold Cup. benefits to the participants in Indiana’s Thoroughbred program. “The governor-appointed Breed [Development] Advisory committees, past and present, should be proud of the Indiana-bred state program they have helped to build,” said Joe Gorajec, executive director of the IHRC, about the three-member board that meets about four times a year and makes recommendations to the IHRC on the Breed Development Program. Jessica Barnes, the IHRC’s director of racing and breed development, expanded on Gorajec’s statement. “The IHRC is a state agency whose primary focus is regulation; we uphold the regulations that Indiana lawmakers enact into law,” Barnes explained. “We provide annual reports and statistics on Indiana’s horse racing industry. In Indiana, the horsemen’s associations have taken on the role of educating lawmakers of the importance of the industry. Barnes pointed out that the IHRC also distributes the breeder and stallion awards for eligible races. Breeder awards are available to the breeder if a registered Indiana-bred or -sired horse wins any race at Indiana Grand (excluding races classified below $10,000 claiming). The amount of the breeder’s award is 20 percent of the total purse. Stallion awards, which are 10 percent of the purse, are available to the stallion owner of an Indiana-sired horse that wins any race (excluding races classified below $10,000 claiming). In addition, out-of-state breeders’ awards are available when Indiana Grand is not running. An out-of-state breeder’s award is 10 percent of the winner’s share of the

purse, not to exceed $10,000 for a single award. Working closely with the IHRC, the Thoroughbred Breed Development Program and other industry groups such as the Indiana HBPA, the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA) helps to protect the interests of Indiana horsemen and to represent their voice when changes in the Thoroughbred horse racing landscape are proposed or enforced. The current ITOBA Board of Directors, led by President Herb Likens, is composed of 11 members who each serve two-year terms based on annual elections. In April, the ITOBA Winner’s Circle Awards Banquet was held at Indiana Grand, where more than 150 of the association’s membership attended to see such highlights as the Indiana Stallion of the Year trophy going to City Weekend and the 4-year-old colt Mister Pollard receiving the Indiana Horse of the Year accolade. (For a complete list of winners, see page 24.) The ITOBA has also hosted an annual mixed sale every fall since 2011 and is looking to reintroduce a 2-year-olds in training sale next year, according to ITOBA Director Amy Elliott. Indiana-breds have also sold well nationally: In 2014, a dozen weanlings averaged $21,417; 37 juveniles grossed $1,351,000; and 97 yearlings sold for $1,425,500.

The Track to Success Another major shift in Indiana’s Thoroughbred landscape was the sale at a 2013 bankruptcy auction of the former Indiana Downs for $500 million to Centaur Holdings, the owner of the state’s other racetrack, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. This acquisition, which was approved by the IHRC in February 2013, led to the latter facility, where horse racing first began in Indiana in September 1994, continuing with only Standardbred racing. All Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse competition has since been held at the renamed Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. In an economic impact survey commissioned by Indiana’s four racing and breeding associations, the published statistics based on 2009 data showed that the local racing industry had a $733 million direct effect and more than $1 billion total impact on Indiana. The survey also noted $69 million in state and local tax revenue and direct and

ALL-TIME LEADING INDIANA-BRED EARNERS HORSE NAME STARTS Unreachable Star, 2004 gelding by Unloosened 64 Heza Wild Guy, 2001 gelding by Wild Event 87 Hillsdale, 1955 horse by Take Away 41 Dreamin Big, 2008 mare by Pure Prize 36 Pass Rush, 1999 horse by Crown Ambassador 40 Fight for Ally, 1997 gelding by Fit to Fight 32 Yeardley, 2009 mare by Don’t Get Mad 28 Linda’s Lace, 2003 mare by Is Sveikatas 61 Aint She a Saint, 2009 mare by Saintly Look 25 Edgerrin, 2001 gelding by Category Five 93 (Statistics provided by The Jockey Club as of May 5, 2015)

WINS 17 32 23 11 7 12 7 12 7 18

2NDS 11 6 6 11 11 4 6 15 4 15

3RDS 9 13 4 5 3 7 4 8 2 15

EARNINGS $784,595 $695,965 $646,935 $602,350 $594,603 $546,559 $522,232 $500,147 $497,381 $460,903

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 43


On the Honor Role Even before the advent of Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand, Indiana-breds have been making their mark outside the state’s borders. The current all-time highest-earning Indiana-bred is the now 11-year-old Unreachable Star, who took over the top ranking from fellow gelding Heza Wild Guy in 2012. It was only a year earlier that Heza Wild Guy grabbed the top spot from Hillsdale, whose reign as the leading Indiana-bred earner had begun more than half a century earlier. A stakes winner every year from 2008 to 2013, Unreachable Star’s 44

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Linscott Photography

related employment of 9,865 jobs. Furthermore, Hoosier Park and the then Indiana Downs generated a cumulative income of $319,136,342, from which the tracks paid out purses of $49,043,165 and taxes of $5,106,261. These numbers become even more impressive when one takes into account that the economic environment was in turmoil during 2009, both in general and especially for Indiana and the equine industry. Indiana Grand, which originally opened its doors in 2002, plans to build on its success with a 120-day meet through October 31 that offers a stakes schedule valued at more than $4.2 million. Indiana Grand’s National Racing Festival, featuring four days of black-type races, culminates with the $200,000-added Indiana Oaks (G2) and the 21st running of the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) on July 18. The meet’s closing day features “Indiana Champions Night,” with four stakes exclusively for Indiana-breds. The meet’s top turf races, the Indiana Grand Stakes and Centaur Stakes, both worth $200,000-added, are set for September 9. Three weeks later, Indiana Grand will host the first-ever Indiana Sprint Championship composed of half a dozen stakes races for runners bred or sired in the Hoosier State, all contested at six furlongs on the main track and offering purses of more than $500,000 in total. “We also have races for horses whose season was purchased through our annual Stallion Season Auction,” ITOBA Director Amy Elliot said. Those events are the ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies Stakes and Paul Tinkle ITOBA Stallion Season Colts & Geldings Stakes, each valued at $75,000 and scheduled for August 26. Last year, Indiana Grand’s total handle topped $100 million while runners competed for an average purse per race of more than $25,000 and approximately $35,000 for Indiana-bred and -sired maidens and allowance horses. “We are excited to move toward a new racing season with even more enhancements for our horsemen and racing fans,” said Jon Schuster, Indiana Grand’s vice president and general manager of racing, prior to the 2015 meet. Schuster recently was appointed to the Thoroughbred Breed Development Advisory Committee. “Looking at the response for stalls this season, it’s evident that horsemen are incorporating Indiana Grand into their circuits and, as a result, our racing program continues to grow.”

Indiana Grand will present a stakes schedule worth more than $4.2 million with 38 events this year. earnings through his last career start in August 2014 were $784,595 from a 64-17-11-9 record. Heza Wild Guy retired in 2013 as a 12-year-old with 32 wins, including eight stakes victories, from 87 trips to post that yielded a bankroll of $695,965. The winner of the 1959 Hollywood Gold Cup worth $150,000 at the now-defunct Hollywood Park in California, Hillsdale won 22 additional races during a 41-start career that produced $646,935 in earnings. Also a major stakes winner on the East Coast, Hillsdale defeated the great Round Table on more than one occasion. Ranked fourth on the money winning list is multiple stakes winner Dreamin Big, a 2008 mare who last raced in September of last year, through which time she had earned $602,350 from 11 wins, 11 seconds and five thirds from 36 starts. The daughter of Pure Prize, who has stakes wins in Indiana and Kentucky, is now the highest earning distaffer bred in the state. The $594,603-earner Pass Rush also won the biggest race of his career in California before retiring to stud at his birthplace. The winner of the 2003 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita is now in his ninth season at Swifty Farms in Seymour. There, the grandson of Storm Cat has sired five stakes winners from 43 starters, whose average earnings per starter are more than $54,000. The 1997 gelding Fight for Ally was a Grade 3 winner with lifetime earnings of $546,559. Indiana champion Mister Pollard, a four-time stakes winner at Indiana Grand in 2013 and 2014, has now banked $378,501, while Buster Rose, the 2008 gelding who was named 2014 Indiana-bred Champion Older Horse, has a $364,168 bankroll.

A Most Competitive Group With Indiana staying on the positive side of the North American foal crop numbers, the state can boast an impressive roster of Thoroughbred stallions, both proven and up-and-coming, that are attracting both quality and quantity when it comes to mares.


“We need to continue to lure better mares and better stallions to stay in Indiana,” ITOBA President Herb Likens said. “That is what stimulates our industry and its economic impact on the people who live here, and breed and race horses here.” Amy Elliot added, “Good purses always attract the best stallions and the best mares, and we have them.” Leading the charge are reigning Stallion of the Year City Weekend and Strong Contender. A 2002 son of Carson City, City Weekend stands at the Equine Veterinary Hospital of Northern Indiana in Wakarusa. His runners have earned approximately $1.7 million and include Lena Love, the 12 3/4-length winner of the 2014 ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies Stakes. A stakes-placed winner of eight races, City Weekend is out of Weekend Storm, a half sister to four successful sires, including 1992 Eclipse Horse of the Year A.P. Indy. Strong Contender covered his first mares in Indiana this year, following eight breeding seasons in Kentucky and then Florida. A multiple Grade 2 winner at three in 2006, Strong Contender is by Maria’s Mon and has enjoyed three consecutive years of more than $1 million in earnings by his runners. He has six stakes winners to date, including Group 1 winner An Acquired Taste and multiple Grade 3 winner Grand Contender. With more than $45,000 in average earnings per starter, he stands at R Star Stallions in Anderson.

Indiana, and subsequently rewarded the faith of those owners who bred more than 30 mares to him by becoming the state’s leading firstcrop sire of 2014. This group of juveniles earned $247,822 and included the stakes winners Supreme Justice and Daddy Justice. The 2005 son of Posse stands at Southern Indiana Equine in Austin. Another young Indiana sire of note is the 2008 Grade 2 winner Elite Squadron. Standing at Swifty Farms, the 11-year-old son of Officer was the state’s top third-crop sire by a wide margin last year. Meanwhile, among the older sires making headlines are Domestic Dispute, Irish Road and the aforementioned Pass Rush. Domestic Dispute, the 2013 Indiana Stallion of the Year, is still going strong at the Indiana Stallion Station in Anderson with his seven crops to race having banked more than $8.6 million. Irish Road, like Domestic Dispute, is a 15-yearold son of Unbridled’s Song, and his progeny have averaged more than $34,000 per starter. He stands at Breakaway Farm in Dillsboro. Indiana’s newest stallion prospects include Grade 2 winner Ventana, a 9-year-old who stands at Indiana Stallion Station and whose first Indiana-breds are 2-year-olds of 2015; fellow Indiana Stallion Station resident Lentenor, a 2007 full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro who relocated to Indiana after standing his first season in Kentucky in 2013; and 7-year-old Swagger Jack, a Grade 1-winning son of the deceased Smart Strike who was bred to 54 mares in Kentucky last year and is now based at Nicks Farm.

Linscott Photography

Success Is a Team Effort

Unreachable Star, an earner of $784,595 with 17 wins from 64 starts, is now the highest earning Indiana-bred of all time. Monba, Indiana’s 2014 leading second-crop sire, promises to be a strong challenger to this duo on Indiana’s overall stallion list for 2015. Also by Maria’s Mon, he won the 2008 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and is standing his first season in Indiana this year after a five-year stint in Pennsylvania. Out of a half sister to the dam of the successful regional sires Gold Case, Hadif and Secret Hello, Monba stands at Nicks Farm near Sellersburg. Standing at the Midwest Equine & Veterinary Hospital in Trafalgar is Strong Hope, who placed in Grade 1 events at both three and four. The 15-year-old stallion by Grand Slam is closing in on $9.5 million in progeny earnings and boasts more than $40,000 in average earnings per starter. In 2011, multiple Grade 3 winner Lantana Mob retired to stud in

Despite all of these positive attributes of Indiana’s Thoroughbred racing and breeding program, challenges still remain for the state’s owners and breeders. “Some of the biggest challenges facing the Indiana racing and breeding industry are the competition from neighboring states that have secured alternative gaming and trying to continually grow the [racing and breeding] program while focusing on improving quality,” IHRC’s Jessica Barnes said. Herb Likens expanded on this issue. “We need to spread purses out more between open races and those for Indiana-breds,” he said. “Of course, another way to continue growing our industry would be more racing opportunities.” Teamwork toward a united goal is essential to the state’s success. “We are fortunate that, in Indiana, all industry stakeholders play a pivotal role in the success of our racing program,” Barnes said. “The racetracks, [Thoroughbred] Breed Development Committee and horsemen’s associations all work closely together to create a successful program. We are proud that our breeding program is the only one in the United States that has shown growth in years reported by the Jockey Club’s Fact Book.” Such words reinforce the fact that Indiana is emerging as a major player on the national stage as a very lucrative region to breed and race Thoroughbreds. H AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 45


ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/©HORSEMEN

PREVENTING PASTUREASSOCIATED LAMINITIS AND COLIC THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO ENSURE A HEALTHY SPRING FOR YOUR HORSES

being aware of potential problems and taking steps to protect your horses from them, you can still enjoy the spring.

GREEN GRASS—NOT SO SWEET FOR MANY HORSES As horse pastures come out of winter dormancy, their photosynthesis activity greatly increases. As a result, the grass becomes full to bursting with the byproduct of all this activity: sugars. Grass contains numerous types and amounts of sugars depending on the species. Glucose, sucrose and fructose are produced through photosynthesis and are used for energy and as building blocks of other plant components. Excess sugars are stored in the plant as starch and fructan. Simple sugars, starch and fructan in plants are referred to as nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC). Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda grass, crabgrass and native grasses store excess sugar as starch. Starch levels may increase in these grasses when they are grown under heat stress.

By Kathy Williamson, DVM, Manager Veterinary Services for Purina Animal Nutrition

Cool-season grasses such as ryegrass, orchard grass, timothy grass and fescue primarily store sugars as fructan. Studies have shown there is considerable variability in NSC

After a long, cold winter, we all look forward to spring. For

levels in grasses depending on the season, ambient temperature,

pleasure and show horses, it’s time to get out of the indoor

light intensity and time of day. In fact, NSC concentration is

arena and hit the trails again, and for racehorses, it means new

primarily a function of these environmental factors. NSC

foals are on the ground, yearlings are being prepped and 2-year-

concentrations are highest during late spring, with cool

olds are getting ready to run. Unfortunately, the long-awaited

temperatures, when the sun is bright and in the late afternoon.

change of season can spell danger to horses on pasture. But, by 46

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


H

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 47


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?

Ask a Vet

What causes colic and how can it be prevented? By Jarred Williams, MS, DVM, PhD, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Two of the most common questions veterinarians are asked are: (1) What causes colic? and (2) How can I prevent my horse from colicking? Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. The most important thing to understand is that colic is just a general term for abdominal discomfort and not a specific disease. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a horse can be 100 feet or longer, with numerous sections throughout this length all very loosely attached to the internal abdominal wall. Much like the plumbing in your home, problems can arise anywhere along its length. When a problem does arise somewhere along the GI tract, we call this problem a lesion, and any of these lesions can cause a horse to have abdominal discomfort and exhibit outward signs of colic. Where the lesion is located and what specifically is happening at that site determine how your horse may need to be treated. The most common sites along the horse’s GI tract that lead to problems are the stomach, small intestine and large colon. A number of problems can develop in each of these parts. Let’s look at the large colon, for instance. The large colon can become impacted with ingesta (food that is being digested) that causes a physical blockage within the intestine; it can become inflamed, which can lead to diarrhea; or it can twist, leading to an interruption of the blood vessels that keep the tissue alive. All three scenarios can cause your horse to colic, but they are all very different lesions that likely stemmed from different causes and require different treatment methods. Therefore, there is no general answer to what causes a horse to colic and how to prevent it.

Reducing your horse’s chances of colicking

You can do a number of basic things to help decrease, though not eliminate, the chances of your horse experiencing colic. Always provide access to fresh water and good quality hay. Some horses tend to not drink much in a given scenario, therefore providing a salt block or a second water bucket with something added to the water (such as a handful of sweet feed or electrolytes) could encourage them to drink. Horses are herd animals that are prone to stress in scenarios that isolate them. If your horse needs to be stall-confined for some reason, or if your horse’s environment is changing (e.g., you are moving barns, going to a new track or farm, etc.), then monitoring fecal output and appetite are very important. Most horses will defecate on average eight times per day. Of course, this varies between horses, but it is important to have an idea of what is regular for your horse so that you can recognize when there is a decrease in manure output and hopefully act accordingly (veterinary examination, give a wet bran mash, etc.) before an episode of colic happens. For horses that are prone to colic when going to a new location or being shipped, it may be worth having your veterinarian come to the farm and administer mineral oil or water via a nasogastric tube before transport. You should have your horse’s teeth evaluated by your veterinarian every six months. The teeth may not need to be floated every six months; however, a quick look will ensure that you are staying on top of any potential problems with chewing and adequately breaking down food. It is also important to deworm regularly. With the emergence of parasite resistance to many dewormers, choosing which dewormer to use and when to administer it is somewhat controversial. The best method we have for determining if a horse has too many parasites is by examining its manure for parasite eggs. Therefore, we recommend routine fecal evaluations by your veterinarian with a deworming decision made based on those results, rather than deworming based on a routine protocol. This practice may be better for your horse, may decrease the chance of parasite resistance at your farm and could save you money.

What if your horse acts colicky?

In the unfortunate event that your horse exhibits signs of colic, when do you call the vet? As we discussed earlier, horses can colic due to a variety of problems that can occur in different areas of their GI tract. From the outside, these problems can all look the same: a horse showing abdominal discomfort. The severity of what is going on inside the colicky horse, however, can depend on the location and type of the problem. Therefore, we recommend having your veterinarian evaluate any horse that may exhibit signs of colic to determine which section of the GI tract may be involved, whether medical

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or surgical treatment is necessary and, if medical treatment is needed, whether it can be performed at the farm. Most colic cases respond to a dose of Banamine (flunixin meglumine), a walk or trailer ride, plus removal of food for a few hours. If you feel that your horse has very mild signs of colic, consult with your veterinarian on the best plan of action for that particular instance. Your veterinarian may have you give a half dose of Banamine and tell you to walk your horse for 20 to 25 minutes while the medication takes effect. If the signs of colic do not resolve in a short period of time (30 to 40 minutes) or if they become more severe, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Over the years, the outcomes following a colic episode have continued to improve. This is most likely due to early recognition of the problem, advancements in husbandry and, above all else, prompt veterinary attention. A colic episode has the potential to have devastating effects, therefore immediate recognition and action is important. It is never wrong to call your veterinarian when you think your horse may be colicky, or at the least, just not right. When it comes to colic, there is no call that is too early. H Dr. Jarred Williams is a clinical assistant professor of large animal emergency medicine at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Have a horse health question? Ask an expert! American Racehorse has teamed with the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital to provide horsemen with accurate, helpful information about equine health. Each issue of the magazine will include an “Ask a Vet” feature covering a general health topic or answering a question submitted by an American Racehorse reader. To submit a question to possibly be answered in a future issue, send an email to info@ americanracehorse.com or a fax to (512) 870-9324. To find out more about the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, go to vet.uga.edu/hospital. Please note that all questions may not be answered in the magazine, and horsemen should seek the advice of their veterinarian for urgent issues.

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Tax Talk:

The Material Participation Test Can Trick Taxpayers

By John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Taxpayers who are audited in connection with their horse or livestock activities often are questioned on the issue known in tax law as the “material participation test.” Under this legal test, you are permitted to deduct losses against outside salary and wages only if, among other things, you “materially participate” in the activity. Many duties related to owning horses or livestock, such as training, showing or racing the animals, are delegated to qualified experts, and sometimes the IRS will question the validity of your own participation in decision-making in an effort to say you have failed to meet the material participation test. This usually happens in the context of operations that involve a partnership or joint venture. For instance, a horseman in California entered into a partnership with four other partners to purchase a broodmare. One partner was the managing partner and was responsible for maintaining the books and records of the partnership and for paying all expenses. The partnership made decisions by majority vote of all partners. The broodmare was bred to a number of stallions, but the partnership generated losses over a period of seven years. The U.S. Tax Court denied the horseman the right to write off these losses against his income from a trucking business he owned because it held he did not materially participate in the partnership. Accordingly, his losses were limited by the passive income rules of Section 469 of the IRS Code and could not be used to offset his nonpassive income. This case illustrates the importance of obtaining advance legal guidance whenever you enter into a partnership if you intend to write off possible losses against nonpassive income sources. The material participation test is something you must plan on meeting and complying with, and it is not something to be treated lightly. As a general rule, a taxpayer will be regarded as materially participating in a partnership if he or she is involved in the operation of the activity on a “regular, continuous and substantial” basis. What does that mean? A threshold requirement for meeting this test is that the taxpayer has participated in the activity for more than 100 hours during each taxable year. A taxpayer can establish the extent of his or her participation by any reasonable means including “the identification of services performed over a period of time and the approximate number of hours spent performing such services during such period, based on appointment books, calendars or narrative summaries.” But in the case referenced above, the only evidence the taxpayer presented at trial regarding participation in the partnership was his uncorroborated testimony that he spent hundreds of hours researching potential stallions to breed with the broodmare and a calendar log that reflected 15 entries for phone calls he made relating to the partnership. Even with that meager evidence, the number of hours shown was less than 100 hours per year. The kinds of activities that a taxpayer should be able to document during 52

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


each year may include the following: • consulting with advisers, other breeders and veterinarians; • attending horse shows, horse sales or races; • seeing horses being worked; • keeping business records; • discussing matters with one’s spouse and other partners; • implementing or formulating business plans and revising them; • reviewing finances, making cost projections and making disbursements; • speaking with vendors on the telephone or in person; • talking to potential customers; • grooming horses and tending to the physical labor that is part of proper animal husbandry; and • performing other tasks and decision-making functions. But it is imperative that records be kept to reflect the number of hours involved, and the number must be 100 or more hours per year. In my opinion, the material participation test does not apply to ordinary stallion syndications, which are not partnerships in the

technical sense but instead are co-ownership entities where each owner has a fractional interest in the stallion. Still, the IRS has been known to challenge taxpayers on the material participation test in these contexts. I think part of the reason is that some revenue agents are confused as to the application of this provision of tax law. It is important to keep in mind that the material participation test is supplemental to the overall IRS regulations concerning the objective intention to make a profit. Even if you can prove material participation in a horse activity, the IRS could still find that the venture was merely a hobby by arguing that you do not have the overall intention to be engaged in a trade or business for profit, or that there are other elements, such as recreation, lack of reliance on experts or insufficient showing of the amount of time expended in the venture, that fail to satisfy IRS regulations on the subject. H John Alan Cohan is a lawyer who has served the horse, livestock and farming industries since 1981. He serves clients in all 50 states and can be reached at (310) 278-0203 or by e-mail at johnalancohan@aol.com. His website is JohnAlanCohan.com.

HARMONY TRAINING CENTER Where winners train!

HTC, centrally located in Inola, Oklahoma, is the premier location for your Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse training needs.

In 2013, HTC-trained horses earned just over $3 million, and in 2014 that number jumped to nearly $4.8 million. Through April of this year, HTC-trained horses have already earned $2,208,129.

• Why choose HTC? • • HTC is located near Tulsa and an easy haul of less than 12 hours to 12 tracks, including Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Fair Meadows, Lone Star, Sam Houston, Retama and Oaklawn • Approved for official timed workouts • Completely railed, professionally-maintained training track is 40’ wide and 6 furlongs with a 350-yard chute • 152 stalls, each 11’ by 12’ • Round pens, sand pen, walkers and starting gate usage included with stall rental

HARMONY TRAINING CENTER 34396 S. 4220 Road • Inola, OK 74036 • 918-843-2301 (cell) • 918-543-6940 (office) info@HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com • www.HarmonyTrainingCenterOK.com AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 53


Texoma Talent Oklahoma’s Will Rogers Downs featured a busy spring stakes schedule, and Texas-breds fared well at home and away

FLAT BLACK

$51,450 Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 Stakes Will Rogers Downs 7-year-old gelding by Flatter out of Trailena, by Trail Dancer Owner: Tim Williams and Richard Albrecht • Trainer: Tim Williams Breeder: Tony Jones (Kentucky) • Jockey: Floyd Wethey Jr.

Coady Photography

$75,000 Golden Circle Stakes Prairie Meadows 3-year-old gelding by Elusive Bluff out of Actress E, by Noactor Owner/Breeder: David Davis (Texas) Trainer: Karl Broberg • Jockey: Floyd Wethey Jr.

HEYKITTYKITTYKITTY

$55,000 Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint Stakes • Will Rogers Downs 4-year-old filly by Tactical Cat out of Eternal Joy, by New Way Owner: Westrock Stables LLC • Trainer: Ron Moquett Breeder: Diamond G Ranch Inc. (Oklahoma) Jockey: Didiel Osorio Stallion Tactical Cat stands in Oklahoma at Raywood Farm 54

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Dustin Orona Photography

A M MILKY WAY

Coady Photography

Coady Photography

Springtime in Texas and Oklahoma means live racing at Will Rogers Downs and Lone Star Park, and both tracks featured a slew of events for state-breds. Horses from around the region also found success against graded stakes company from California to Kentucky (see page 28), and Texas-breds in particular took their show on the road, including stakes wins in Iowa and Louisiana. Following is a recap of the spring stakes action.

LASTING BUBBLES

$50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes • Lone Star Park 7-year-old mare by Pulling Punches out of Slim’s Secret, by Desert Secret (Ire) Owner/Breeder: Judy Peek (Texas) • Trainer: Kevin Peek Jockey: Iram Diego


MORE THAN EVEN

Coady Photography

Coady Photography

Coady Photography

$50,000 Wilma Mankiller Memorial Stakes • Will Rogers Downs 5-year-old mare by Stephen Got Even out of Sallybrooke, by Dehere Owner/Breeder: Doyle Williams (Oklahoma) Trainer: Roger Engel • Jockey: Cliff Berry

REFLECTOR

$55,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (Colts and Geldings Division) Will Rogers Downs 3-year-old gelding by Tactical Cat out of Memory Divides, by Star Dabbler Owner/Breeder: Lori Bravo and Ann Sachdev (Oklahoma) Trainer: Francisco Bravo • Jockey: Bryan McNeil Stallion Tactical Cat stands in Oklahoma at Raywood Farm

Coady Photography

Z ROCKSTAR

$55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint Will Rogers Downs 6-year-old gelding by Rockport Harbor out of Nasty Little Star, by Nasty and Bold Owner/Breeder: Robert Zoellner (Oklahoma) Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel Jockey: Luis Quinonez

Dustin Orona Photography

OKEY DOKEY KYLE

$60,000 Need For Speed Stakes • Evangeline Downs 4-year-old colt by Ready’s Image out of Passionate Dancer, by Cat Thief Owner: Preston Stables LLC • Trainer: Patrick Devereux Jr. Breeder: John T.L. Jones Jr. (Texas) • Jockey: Diego Saenz

WAGSON

$50,000 Premiere Stakes • Lone Star Park 6-year-old gelding by Wagon Limit out of Great Lady B, by Raja’s Best Boy Owner: Wimp Free Racing Stable Trainer: Bret Calhoun Breeder: Derek Grant and James Horton (Texas) Jockey: Lindey Wade

ZEALOUS VISION

Coady Photography

$55,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes (Fillies Division) Will Rogers Downs 3-year-old filly by The Visualiser out of American Sound, by Awesome Again Owner: Center Hills Farm and Big Sugar Racing LLC Trainer: Scott Young • Breeder: Center Hills Farm (Oklahoma) Jockey: Bryan McNeil Stallion The Visualiser stands in Oklahoma at Mighty Acres

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 55


WHY RACE IN INDIANA?

H More than six months of consecutive racing with 120 race days at Indiana Grand from April 21 through October 31 H Indiana Grand is a world-class racing and gaming facility with a renowned dirt and turf course H In 2014, Thoroughbreds in Indiana ran for total purses of $24.4 million with an average purse per race of more than $25,600 H There are 37 Thoroughbred stakes events in Indiana worth more than $4 million in 2015, including the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) and $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (317) 709-1100 • info@itoba.com • itoba.com

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AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015


WHY BREED IN INDIANA?

H The Indiana Breed Development Fund totaled $10.3 million in awards and purses in 2014 H Indiana-bred and -sired maidens and allowance horses run for approximately $35,000 per race H In 2015, there will be 26 stakes for Indiana-bred or -sired horses with four offering purses of $150,000-guar. and 20 for $85,000-added H Over the past three years, Indiana-breds won or placed in stakes from coast to coast at Gulfstream Park, Woodbine, Monmouth Park, Colonial Downs, Hollywood Park, Oaklawn Park, Canterbury Park, Turfway Park, Hazel Park, Arapahoe Park, Mountaineer Park, Ocala Training Center and more H Increased sire power with approximately 75 stallions standing in the state

AMERICAN Racehorse â&#x20AC;˘ MAY/JUNE 2015 57


Selling the Game:

Becoming an Owner—Understanding the Training Stages, Types of Races and Entry Process It’s important to know the basics of a horse’s journey to the racetrack By Fred Taylor Jr.

This is part four of Selling the Game, a series of articles about the excitement of Thoroughbred racehorse ownership and how to attract new owners, by Fred Taylor Jr. He is the founder and managing partner of Mojo Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, which operates Mojo Racing Partners offering affordable opportunities for newcomers and veterans to become involved in Thoroughbred ownership. Taylor serves as a liaison to the Department of Transportation for a major airline and is a former recipient of the Texas Thoroughbred Association’s Allen Bogan Memorial Award for member of the year. If you missed a previous installment, you can find past issues of American Racehorse at americanracehorse.com.

Stages of Training Depending on a young Thoroughbred’s health, maturity and overall physique, it could need six to eight months before it is ready to race as a 2-year-old, and some horses are not ready to race until they are 3 or older. Most young horses, particularly if they go through public auction as weanlings or yearlings, receive training in basic ground manners, such as how to stand and walk properly on a lead. The next step for these potential racehorses is learning how to be ridden. As such, they have a lot to learn before they are ready to race, and the next stage in their development starts with their schooling at a farm or training center. Farm and Training Center Schooling The first step of transitioning a young Thoroughbred into a racehorse begins at a facility that specializes in teaching horses the fundamental concepts that aren’t typically mentioned in the news stories about horse racing. Farms and training centers acclimate horses to the standard racing equipment, provide soundness evaluations and health certifications, as well as offer trainers and owners early talent assessments. It is important to point out that, before agreeing to hire a trainer or use a training center, each owner or designated managing partner of a racing group is encouraged to learn (and share information with the rest of the group) about a trainer’s particular training 58

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Ackerley Images

Hello, American Racehorse readers! We are in the heart of the racing season, and there’s no better time to introduce the ways racehorses are trained, to provide a general overview of the types of races offered and to touch on the basics of how horses are entered into a race. Please understand, I am not professing to be an expert on the training process, nor am I endorsing a particular way in which horses should be trained. My goal in this article is to provide readers with insights on the standard stages of training so a person who has no knowledge of the process will have a good understanding of what to expect. Also, it should be noted that trainers, like coaches on baseball, football and basketball teams, have different ways to prepare the horses under their care and personal methods by which they select races to enter. In this regard, my comments are not intended to be an opinion about anyone’s racing strategy—the information is meant only to inform readers about the different types of races and fundamental steps for entering horses into a race. program and practices. Most racing fans who have never owned a horse probably don’t realize that every horse in a race had to be taught how to accept a saddle, bit and reins, plus a rider. This equipment is so commonplace that people might think horses simply allow it to be put on as if placing a collar and a leash on a dog’s neck. But, that’s not the case. Young horses will buck, kick and try to toss off anything that’s put on their backs—this is just a natural defense reaction. With proper instruction, a horse will eventually accept being tacked up once it realizes there is no risk to its safety. As soon as the horse accepts a rider, it needs to learn basic steering instructions: going forward and back, turning left and right, speeding up, slowing down and stopping. With the rider up and steering knowledge in place, the horse is ready to be led out to a training track to become familiar with galloping in the correct direction under the control of the rider. After about 45 days of initial training—usually, the second month of its 2-year-old year (all Thoroughbreds are technically considered to be a year older on January 1 regardless of the month they were born), the horse is given about 30 days off to give its muscles time to rest and ensure proper bone modeling resulting from the standard stresses of the training program. This also gives the training facility an opportunity to have a veterinarian evaluate the horse’s soundness. Once the 30-day rest period ends and the soundness of the horse


is verified, the training center will start the process of introducing the horse to a series of weekly breezes (or “works”)—sprints at short distances (starting at a half-furlong) that increase in distance a couple of weeks apart. These timed works test the horse’s natural speed, strength and stamina at that point in its training, and can serve as indicators of the horse’s talent and competitive ability. Some training centers also have starting gates to help the horses become comfortable with going into the confined space of the gate’s stall (which is only a few inches wider and longer than the horse’s actual width and length). Horses don’t like feeling trapped, so they have to learn that the starting gate is a safe place to be. Once comfortable standing in the stall, the horse will be given the opportunity to run out of the gate to simulate the start of a race. Before being sent to a licensed trainer at the racetrack, the horse will typically have a timed breeze from the starting gate. Racetrack Schooling and First Race Readiness Unless a horse is acquired through the claiming process, most trainers receive racehorses that are new (or “green”) to the racetrack environment. At this point, these horses have been breezing distances shorter than the typical race. Some have not received starting gate schooling. So, it is up to the trainer to provide the necessary lessons and conditioning to get the horse race-ready. Trainers have their own programs, routines and regimens that they have perfected over the years to help each horse reach its peak competitive ability. Through daily gallops (typically, once around the racetrack) and weekly timed breezes (three furlongs or more), a trainer will evaluate a horse and begin to form an opinion about the types of races in which it will likely be successful. The trainer’s program may include matching a horse against other horses in the barn that are equally talented and have all of them work together. This increases the horse’s happiness and competitive spirit, helps the horses stay engaged in their training and keeps them from being pushed beyond their physical limits. It also provides the trainer with opportunities to form an opinion about the horse’s talent. In order for a horse to qualify for racing at a particular racetrack, it must meet certain regulated requirements (based on the rules of

racing in each state). The horse’s Jockey Club paperwork and health certificates must be filed with the racing office; the horse must be certified by the track’s starting gate superintendent that it is capable of safely entering, standing in and leaving the starting gate; and the horse must have a couple of published works within 90 days. Types of Races There are essentially two types of races, and within each race type, there are several categories. The first type includes races in which horses compete freely against one another, such as maiden special weights, allowances, handicaps, stakes and graded stakes. The horses that are entered into these races are considered to be top quality for the category at that race meet. We’ll explore each category in more detail below. The second type includes races in which horses can be purchased, or “claimed,” for a set price stated in the conditions of the race and range from maiden claiming races to optional and set claiming races. Claiming races are the most common races at any track and are typically populated by horses that aren’t talented enough to compete against the top quality horses. Purchase prices for each horse are atDenis Blake tached in these races to put owners on notice that they risk having their horses purchased from them if they drop a horse below his true value. This tends to keep horses of similar talent at the same claiming level, which makes these races attractive for wagering. Maiden (Special and Claiming) Races The word “maiden” means the horse has never won a race. Maiden special weight races are created for owners and trainers who believe their horses are top tier. Maiden claiming races are offered for horses of lesser talent. Allowance Races In allowances races, horses typically start at a set weight, and then are given allowances or weight off for certain criteria such as the number of races won since a particular date. Allowance races typically carry a purse that is higher than a claiming race. AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015 59


Stakes Races Racetracks offer stakes races to feature and reward the best horses that race in a particular racing condition during the meet. These races offer both higher purse value and lasting prestige for the horse, owner and trainer. Entering a horse in a stakes race generally requires higher qualifying standards, as well as nomination and entry fees—which can supplement the larger purse being offered. (There aren’t entry fees for non-stakes races.) Graded stakes races are the highest level of races. These races are classified and ranked according to grade levels (1, 2 or 3) annually by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s American Graded Stakes Committee. These races are offered for the best of the best, with the Grade 1 featuring the highest-quality horses. The Purpose of Claiming Races While all owners seek the prestige of running their horses in stakes races, the majority of Thoroughbreds are not able to compete at the highest levels. In fact, most horses aren’t able to race at the allowance level. In this regard, U.S. racetracks mostly feature claiming races in order to serve the greatest population of runners. One of the rewarding aspects about racing is that no matter the type of race, when the field of horses is matched up based on equivalent ability, it ensures the outcome is both unpredictable and thrilling. This fundamental concept is just as true for claiming races as it is for allowance and stakes races. Claiming races are offered at different purse values and claiming prices that are based on the quality of the horses. Owners that enter their horses in a claiming race do so knowing that another owner or trainer can submit a claim slip prior to the start of the race. Owners and trainers claim horses because they believe they will be acquiring race-ready bloodstock that can produce immediate racing success, perhaps even at a higher level. While every runner is checked by a veterinarian prior to a race, there is no guarantee the horse does not have a minor ailment or nagging injury. That is perhaps the biggest risk in claiming a horse. Before making a claim, it’s wise to consult with your trainer and seek his or her opinion about the horse you would like to claim and whether it would be a good fit into the trainer’s program. 60

AMERICAN Racehorse • MAY/JUNE 2015

Race Meets and the Condition Book Most racetracks do not offer racing year-round. Some race meets are short (less than 30 days) and others are stretched out over several months. Some racetracks host several meets during a year. Based on the types of horses that are expected to race during an upcoming meet, the racing secretary will put together an advance schedule (known as the condition book) of primary races offered each day, generally for a two-week period, accompanied by several substitute races in the event the primary races are not used. Sometimes extra races are also added to the potential schedule by the racing secretary. Each race in the condition book lists the purse, race distance, racing surface, age and gender of the horses allowed to be entered and any other restrictions. Before a horse can be entered into a race, the horse’s registration certificate and ownership paperwork must be on file with Denis Blake the racing office for the particular race meet. Once the paperwork is in place, the applicable entry form must be submitted by a person who is authorized to submit the entry form, usually the trainer. The Draw and Overnight List After the entries are closed, the racing secretary then designates two people to draw the entry forms and post position numbers for the races that will be used for that race card. The draw is held in public, and the horse that is drawn receives the starting gate position corresponding to the number drawn. At the time of the draw, the owner or trainer is expected to designate a jockey. If the number of entries exceeds the number of horses that are allowed to start in a race (due to racetrack and starting gate limitations), the racing secretary may “split” the race or offer an extra race for another day. If there are insufficient entries, the racing secretary will drop the race and use a listed substitute or other race that was carried over as an extra. Once the list of races for the specific day is finalized, an “overnight” list is published for the public to see the horses that have been entered for that particular day. In the next issue, we will shift gears and start to examine the first part of developing a racing strategy by discussing ownership standards and goals and setting a budget. H


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American Racehorse - May/June 2015  

This issue of American Racehorse magazine includes feature articles on the first, and sometimes forgotten, first foal of Secretariat; a revi...

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