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THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL CONTENTS | WINTER 2020 | VOLUME 67/#4
Microshare Ownership Broadens Racing’s Fanbase and Makes the Sport More Accessible
Message from the National HBPA
04 Op-Ed from Trainer Steve Asmussen
Authentic took thousands of owners on a memorable ride with wins in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic
38 Rehoming Racehorses in the Digital Age Have a Thoroughbred to retire and rehome? With OTTB United, there’s an app for that
44 Medroxyprogesterone Acetate: From Innocuous Substance to Class B Penalty
A cautionary tale about the medication commonly used for fillies and mares
12 HBPA News
14 Research & Medication Update
48 Affiliate News
One for the Record Books Jockey Luis Saez captures five Claiming Crown Races and handle hits a new high at Gulfstream Park
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THE CEO NATIONAL HBPA 3380 Paris Pike Lexington, KY 40511 P (859) 259-0451 F (859) 259-0452 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hbpa.org
PRESIDENT/ CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD Leroy Gessmann SECRETARY/ TREASURER Lynne Schuller CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Eric J. Hamelback VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN REGION Stephen Screnci VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN REGION Rick Hiles VICE PRESIDENT CENTRAL REGION Joe Davis
t’s hard to believe the first Claiming Crown was run 21 years ago back in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. That inaugural running was certainly a success, but even the late Tom Metzen, who with the Minnesota HBPA and Canterbury management was integral in getting the event off the ground, could not have foreseen what it has now become. The latest running on December 5 at Gulfstream Park was an unquestionable success in every way imaginable. I am so thankful for the management team at Gulfstream and the Florida HBPA for making this latest Claiming Crown one of the best ever. On the track, it brought together some of our sport’s finest horsemen, with trainer Mike Maker winning his record 18th Claiming Crown race and Brad Cox adding another feather in his cap with a Claiming Crown win after a fourvictory performance at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Jockey Luis Saez put on a show with a record five Claiming Crown wins. And even though Eclipse Award-winning breeders and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey did not add to their record 16 Claiming Crown wins, they remain huge supporters of the event over the years. Of course, the biggest stars were the horses we all love, capped by Jesus’ Team winning the Claiming Crown Jewel after a 3-year-old campaign that included a third-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and a runner-up finish in the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Now the Tapiture colt is being pointed to the Pegasus World Cup (G1) in January at Gulfstream. That truly speaks to the quality of horses that the Claiming Crown now attracts. In addition to Metzen, we owe a debt of gratitude to another late horseman, my friend and mentor Kent Stirling, who with the Florida HBPA and leadership at Gulfstream Park helped make the Claiming Crown an elite event after its arrival in South Florida in 2012. I also want to thank the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which has been a great partner with the National HBPA on the Claiming Crown. Without the luxury of a large marketing budget or big nomination fees, the Claiming Crown has firmly established itself as one of horse racing’s marquee days. Off the track, which is where nearly all the money was bet this year due to COVID-19 preventing fans from being at the track, the Claiming Crown broke yet another handle record with $14.6 million being wagered on the card. That’s a testament to how much horseplayers respect—and love to bet—on the hard-working horses who fill the races at tracks every day. The formula for the Claiming Crown’s success is rather simple: full and competitive fields at a world-class racetrack with tremendous support from horsemen, both large and small, locally and nationally (and even internationally from Canada). Yet as obvious as this recipe for success is, the Claiming Crown really is the only event of its kind and is special in that it is truly attainable for any owner or trainer, even those with a one-horse stable. Like any 21-year-old, the Claiming Crown has experienced some growing pains over the years. But I can confidently report that it has never been stronger, and it has developed into a 21-year-old who is ready to strike out and take on the world as a full-grown adult. Thanks to you—the horsemen at all levels of racing and the handicappers around the world—the Claiming Crown will only get stronger. Here’s to the next 21 years and beyond!
SINCERELY, ERIC J. HAMELBACK
VICE PRESIDENT WESTERN REGION J. Lloyd Yother
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The opinions, representations and viewpoints expressed by the authors in the articles contained in The Horsemen’s Journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions, representations and viewpoints or the official policies or positions of The Horsemen’s Journal, National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation or National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association Inc. and its affiliates (collectively “HJ”). HJ is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on any information contained within this issue. Information in this issue may become outdated due to the rapidly changing nature of the horse industry. The publication of any advertisements or articles should not be construed as an endorsement of any product, service or position unless specifically stated. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 67 #4. Postal Information: The Horsemen’s Journal (ISSN 0018-5256) is published quarterly by the National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation, with publishing offices at P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683. Copyright 2020 all rights reserved. The Horsemen’s Journal is the official publication for members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, a representative association of Thoroughbred owners and
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trainers. HBPA is a non-profit 501(c)6 Kentucky corporation. Members receive The Horsemen’s Journal as a benefit of membership paid by the national office from affiliate dues. Annual non-member subscriptions are $14. Single-copy back issues, if available, are $7. Canadian subscribers add $6. All other subscriptions outside the U.S. add $20 payable in U.S. funds. To order reprints or subscriptions, call (866) 245-1711. The HBPA National Board of Directors has determined that the publication of this periodical is necessary in the transaction of the public business required of the association. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or HBPA board or staff. Query the editor prior to sending any manuscripts. Periodicals Postage Paid at Round Rock, Texas and additional mailing offices. CANADA POST: Publications mail agreement no. 41530527. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P. O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Horsemen’s Journal, 3380 Paris Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.
BY STEVE ASMUSSEN
PLEASE DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THE RACEHORSE With heightened accountability for the health and welfare of horses, trainers today are being held to the highest of standards— as we should. However, we can see every day that racetracks and track ownership groups are not held to that same standard.
prime example is the unfortunate trend of closing a racetrack to training one day a week. This shortsighted cost-cutting move is not in racehorses’ best interest. I feel that I’ve exhausted the proper channels to discuss this with people in charge of safety. We need all concerned horsemen and horsemen’s associations to explain to track management and regulators why being closed one day a week for training is not a simple scheduling hurdle for trainers but also absolutely is not doing right by the horse. Tracks have added multiple maintenance breaks during training hours in order to maintain the best track surface possible. But the practice of closing a racetrack one day a week funnels an unnecessary volume of horses to work over the same racetrack, which defeats the purpose of having a renovation break or multiple breaks. At a time when horsemanship and reacting to the individual needs of a horse should be encouraged, a mandated training “dark day” does not allow taking into account variables such as weather, track condition on a given day, timing of races or just how the horse is doing—and how the horse performed in training one morning might necessitate an adjustment for the next day. If there’s so much more accountability for the health of a horse, then let us do everything possible to get them over there in the best shape achievable. Soundness keeps horses training and racing, and without sound horses, there are no races. Denying an opportunity to train on a schedule tailored to the individual horse, rather than for someone sitting in an office, hurts the health of our racehorses. From my Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park veterinarian, Dr. William C. Hawk: “It’s not a herd mentality, where we’re trying to milk a certain group of cows at a certain time every day. Mandated days off increase the incidence of the syndrome known as ‘tying-up,’ which can lead to muscle damage, with fillies particularly susceptible. Often those horses will have to be tranquilized as prevention the day after they don’t train. If they tie-up, we have to scratch them in order to treat them, and we can’t treat them to prevent it. Most horses can benefit from a day off. It just needs to be by the trainers’ discretion based on what they see with each individual horse, and we want these horses training up to the day they race. We don’t want the day before for sure, and usually a couple of days before that, off before exerting at full speed. There are metabolic issues. Proper movement affects hooves and legs, as well as the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Proper exercise improves their circulation, digestion, flexibility and muscle and bone development, which in turn impacts their overall health and happiness. No athlete is scheduled to take a set day off every week because schedules change, weather changes and games are played on different days of the week. We find the same in horse racing. On top of this, the track cannot be at its optimum condition for morning training after a day with no maintenance. Putting sufficient amounts of water on the track is one of the most critical components to track safety. After missing a day, it can take another day or more—depending on weather—to gain back what was lost.” It’s amazing the resistance you meet from people in a position to make decisions for the safety of the horses. It’s not OK to do nothing. It’s 100 percent not what’s best for a horse. I continue to see the layers of safety measures being put in place, the motivation of some edicts having more to do with the hope of changing perceived public perception rather than actually benefiting the horse. What I don’t see is horsemen being part of determining thoughtful measures that effect positive transformation. That must change, and the ill-advised practice of mandatory non-training days should stop now. Steve Asmussen is a Hall of Fame trainer who has won more than 9,000 races. William C. Hawk, DVM, has practiced equine medicine at the racetrack for more than 40 years.
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Keeneland Breeders’ Cup Handles More Than $160 Million
otal all-sources handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course on November 6-7 was $160,472,894, the sixth-highest total since the Breeders’ Cup expanded to a two-day event in 2007 and an 8 percent decrease from the 2019 record handle of $174,000,574 at Santa Anita. The two-day total handle represented a 7 percent increase from the 2015 Championships at Keeneland. Breeders’ Cup did not report attendance figures for the 2020 Championships at Keeneland as no tickets were made available to the general public and attendance was restricted to participants and essential personnel due to COVID-19 safety precautions. “We had an extraordinary two days of racing showcasing the best
Thoroughbreds from around the world, and we want to thank our hosts here at Keeneland, who did an amazing job, and the city of Lexington,” Breeders’ Cup CEO Drew Fleming said. “Given the unique circumstances for this year’s event with attendance limited here and at other tracks and simulcast facilities around the country, we are very pleased with the overall handle for the two days.” Total common-pool handle on Saturday’s 12-race Breeders’ Cup card was $110,186,908, a 6 percent decline from last year’s Saturday handle of $117,483,346 at Santa Anita. The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held at Del Mar in 2021 and will return to Keeneland in 2022.
MyRacehorse Named New Owner of the Year; Group to Be Honored at Rescheduled Thoroughbred Owner Conference
wnerView announced that MyRacehorse has been named the 2020 New Owner of the Year, presented by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. The award recognizes a new Thoroughbred owner who has been successful in the sport and has had a positive impact on the industry. The award will be presented during the next Thoroughbred Owner Conference. The event was not held this year because of COVID-19 but is planned to resume in 2021. MyRacehorse is a novel ownership concept whereby individuals can purchase U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-approved microshares in Thoroughbred racehorses. Since its founding, it has partnered in horses such as Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Authentic and Grade 1 winner Street Band. “MyRacehorse launched nationally in June 2019 with aspirations of making a real impact on the sport of horse racing,” said founder and CEO Michael Behrens. “We were confident it would happen, but never in our wildest dreams did we expect it to happen so quickly. Winning this award, especially considering the innovators that have won it previously, is truly the icing on the cake to a surreal and magical year for MyRacehorse.” “MyRacehorse has revolutionized horse racing to make the ownership experience more accessible than ever,” said OwnerView project manager Gary Falter. “OwnerView’s mission is to grow Thoroughbred racehorse ownership, and we are pleased to honor a group that has brought thousands of owners to the pinnacle of our sport.” The New Owner of the Year award has been previously presented to Larry Best, the Churchill Downs Racing Club, Charles and Susan Chu, Sol Kumin and LNJ Foxwoods. The 2020 Thoroughbred Owner Conference was planned to be held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in July, but as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the event was rescheduled to be held at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, and then planned as a virtual conference during Breeders’ Cup week before ultimately being rescheduled for 2021. “Because of the uncertainties of travel and in-person gatherings, we still plan to provide a virtual event for the seventh Thoroughbred Owner Conference,” Falter said. “However, we are rethinking the format to provide engaging and educational content over a period of weeks or even months in 2021 instead of the originally planned two days.” 8
Details for the 2021 conference will be provided as soon as they are available. “The impressive group of topics, speakers and panelists who were looking forward to participating during the 2020 conference will be our go-to group when we plan the next conference,” Falter said. Read more about MyRacehorse on page 28 of this issue.
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Godolphin and Thoroughbred Charities of America Launch Mobile App for Industry Workers
odolphin and Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) jointly announced the launch of a mobile app for backstretch and farm workers. The app, called Cómo, connects Thoroughbred industry employees to the vital services they need through a network of chaplains and industry organizations. Designed by The Jockey Club Information Systems, sponsored by Godolphin and managed by TCA, Cómo offers the ability for chaplains and industry organizations to serve as content creators or “contributors” on the app. Contributors can upload information about their services and resources or can provide recommendations for service providers in their areas. Service provider categories include health care, dental services, immigration assistance, religious services, mental health counseling, ESL classes and more. The app currently includes 22 categories in which contributors can provide a resource for industry workers. “Cómo is the result of extensive industry research, including a survey of farm and backstretch workers, which began when Godolphin took a hard look at the needs of our industry’s workers,” said Katie LaMonica, Godolphin USA’s charities manager. “What we found is that our industry provides vital resources and services through various organizations, but what was crucially missing was the workers’ knowledge of and ability to connect to those resources. Cómo exists to bridge that gap, and, in doing so, be a tool for those critical service providers in our industry. Godolphin is fortunate to have a partner in TCA, who has been diligently developing the app with us and will continue to successfully manage Cómo going forward. Given the depth of the research and the time it has therefore taken to develop this app, we are excited to finally release it to the industry.” To find resources, industry employees can download the Cómo app on their smartphones and follow the contributor closest to them. Users are then able to access the area resources available to them and can call, email or text contributors from within the app. Cómo also offers contributors the ability to create real-time news posts,
which assist in the dissemination of time-sensitive information to app users on backstretches and farms. “The Cómo app has allowed for immediate delivery of pertinent information regarding chapel events, activities and programs for the backstretch workers at Emerald Downs,” said Chaplain Gilbert Aguilar. “The app provides an opportunity to address the spiritual needs of our workers with such features as a daily biblical devotional. Additionally, the social needs of the backstretch workers can be facilitated with employment, educational and other resources and referrals to professional service providers.” “Since the inception of Cómo, Blue Grass Farms Charities has used the application to reach out to the farm and track workers in Central Kentucky when food items are available, health screenings are scheduled and family programs are implemented, like our upcoming Festival of Christmas event,” said Julie Berry, executive director of Blue Grass Farms Charities. “We’ve received a positive response, and it is reassuring to know that information is being given directly to the horsemen. We are building trust when the Cómo app is used.” “Cómo is a tool that can connect chaplains and industry nonprofits with the industry personnel they serve,” added Erin Crady, executive director of TCA. “Among Cómo’s many features, it allows for the transfer of important information quickly. Whether it be weather alerts, notification of a health fair, or as we saw this year, notice of track closures, Cómo provides a way for our industry’s employees to both seek and receive information they may need.” Soft-launched earlier this year, Cómo currently has more than 30 active contributors across 15 states with more than 1,600 users. Chaplains or organizations interested in becoming contributors are encouraged to contact TCA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cómo does not collect data on its users nor does it track users’ locations. It is free and available in Google Play and the App Store by searching “Cómo – Resources You Need.”
OTTB United App Available, Connects Thoroughbred Buyers and Sellers
he Retired Racehorse Project and OTTB United jointly announced the release of OTTB United, a mobile app that connects sellers, buyers and shippers of Thoroughbred exracehorses and gives back to the Thoroughbred placement community. The app is designed to make the entire process, from listing a horse to communicating between buyer and seller to organizing shipping to a horse’s new home, as easy as a few taps of a button. A portion of the app’s premium subscription fee is donated to the Retired Racehorse Project, which takes a market-based approach to Thoroughbred aftercare to drive demand for ex-racehorses. App subscribers also can select from a list of aftercare organizations and for-profit resellers to receive an additional contribution. “We are so fortunate to partner with the Retired Racehorse Project,” said OTTB United co-founder Amy Rubin. “The organization’s mission is at the center of everything we want to achieve, and helping off-the-track Thoroughbreds is our No. 1 goal. The Retired Racehorse Project has strengthened the Thoroughbred community, and it’s our hope that the OTTB United app produced in partnership will unite that community on one platform.” OTTB United is designed to meet the specific needs of the Thoroughbred industry by creating a network to help more ex-racehorses find good homes. Bringing sellers, buyers and shippers together on one mobile platform greatly THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
simplifies the entire process from start to finish and helps buyers and sellers navigate changing rules on social media that prohibit animal sales. “The Retired Racehorse Project works to increase the market for Thoroughbreds after racing in the equestrian world, and we are always seeking out new ways to make that process easier and more successful,” said the organization’s executive director, Jen Roytz. “We understand and respect the reasons for social media sites to place animal sales posts under increased scrutiny, and it has surely gone a long way to prevent unwanted animals to end up in the wrong hands. It has also, however, compromised the efforts of many upstanding and responsible Thoroughbred placement organizations who depend on the platforms to market their available horses to reputable homes. Through our partnership with OTTB United, we are able to offer a potential solution.” OTTB United is free to download from Google Play and the App Store and a premium subscription is $4.99 per month. The app is available in the United States and Canada. Read more about the app on page 38 of this issue. 9
Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Winners Announced
he Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, now in its fifth year in the United States, concluded November 5 with winners being announced via a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Studio 46 Media in Lexington, Kentucky. Jill Byrne, vice president of racing operations at Colonial Downs, was once again the master of ceremonies. Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin in America, commented, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in so many ways. But in our industry, we are all very fortunate to have an enormous group of talented and dedicated frontline workers who have continued their hard work, often requiring endless hours, to provide the care for our equine athletes. The Thoroughbred business could not function without them and we truly appreciate what they do.” Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, said, “It doesn’t matter if we celebrate the achievements of these outstanding individuals in person or through a virtual platform, we are still reminded how important they are to the Thoroughbred industry. Their passion and commitment cannot be understated, nor can we say and do enough to show our appreciation.” Metzger further commented, “And on behalf of TOBA, the Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club and the National HBPA, thank you to Godolphin for asking us to be a part of such an important program that rewards these fine men and women for their significant contributions to our great sport.” The recording of the virtual ceremony is available at tiea.org. Here is the full list of winners and runners-up.
Administration Award Winner: Dionne Johnson, Business Manager, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. (NYTHA) (Runners-up: Lynelle Fox Smith, Executive Director, Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Michele Holbrook, Office Manager, Silver Springs Stud) Dedication to Breeding Award Winner: Helen Otero, Stallion Administrator, Coolmore America (Runners-up: David Kyle, Plant Manager, Fasig-Tipton Company Inc.; Steve Avery, General Farm Manager, Taylor Made Sales Agency) Dedication to Racing Award Winner: Gregory Smothers, Head Rider, Niall Brennan Stables (Runners-up: Marcelo Arenas, Assistant Trainer, Leah Gyarmati Stables; Patrick “Shawn” Autry, Assistant Stable Manager, McPeek Racing) Leadership in Breeding Award Winner: Wayne Clem, Assistant Yearling Manager, Claiborne Farm (Runners-up: Matt Lyons, Vice President and COO, Candy Meadows Farm; Christy Holden, General Manager, Country Life Farm LLP) Leadership in Racing Award Winner: Carmen McShane, Assistant Trainer, D/M Racing (Runners-up: Roy Smith, Track Superintendent, Indiana Grand Racing and Casino; Cindy Hutter, Assistant Trainer, George Weaver Racing) Newcomer Award Winner: Aaron West, Racing Operations Manager, Bradley Thoroughbreds LLC (Runners-up: Robert Cole, Intern/Co-op Program Student, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association; Alexis Kolasa, Administrative Assistant, Denali Stud) Community Award Winner: Maria Cristina Silva, Backstretch Program Coordinator, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association
Veterinary Pioneer Jerry Johnson Passes at Age 81
erry H. Johnson, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, CVA, died November 9 at age 81. Raised on his parents’ expansive working farm in Georgia, Johnson attended the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate and veterinary degrees. A veteran of seven years in the U.S. Army Reserve, he was honorably discharged in 1963 with the rank of staff sergeant. Upon graduation, he entered academia and became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. As a boarded surgeon, he taught equine surgery for 16 years at the University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center, Iowa State University (where he received his Master of Science), Kansas State University, Auburn University and the University of Missouri. During the 1970s, Dr. Alex Harthill flew Johnson to Louisville, Kentucky, on numerous occasions to test various medical and technological innovations. Through Harthill, Johnson became credited with introducing what is now known as Lasix (furosemide) to prevent pulmonary bleeding in racehorses. Johnson was a fierce defender of the horse, and he considered it unimaginable, unacceptable and inhumane to withhold the therapeutic medication from a horse’s care. 10
As a fully tenured professor, Johnson grew weary of academia, and with Harthill’s encouragement, he entered private practice in 1979 in Lexington, Kentucky. He conducted field trial studies for pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Merial and Schering-Plough, and served on the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council. He performed endoscopic examinations on the stomachs of 2,500 racehorses along the East Coast to test the results of a new treatment for ulcers now known as Merial’s GastroGard. Licensed in numerous states, he served on arbitration panels for several Thoroughbred auction companies. Johnson lectured nationally and internationally on equine respiratory diseases and lameness, and he authored chapters in veterinary textbooks and had articles published in numerous journals and publications. A memorial service will be held in 2021. The family has established a memorial fund in his honor and requests remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the UGA Foundation (please note The Jerry H. Johnson, DVM, Memorial Fund), Office of Development, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 or online at gail.uga.edu/jerryjohnson. HJ
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HBPA NEWS NATIONAL HBPA PLANS TO RESCHEDULE 2021 CONFERENCE The 2021 National HBPA Conference, originally scheduled to be held in February in Hollywood Beach, Florida, and hosted by the Florida HBPA, has been rescheduled with the intention of holding a smaller event in Lexington, Kentucky. “As we all know, the current health pandemic has affected so many things, including travel and the ability to meet in large groups, so for the health and safety of our members, the decision was made to not hold a largescale conference in 2021,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “While we do not have any concrete plans as of now, we are examining the possibility of having a conference in mid-April in Lexington. “I would also like to thank the Florida HBPA for all the work they put into trying to plan a conference there, and we hope to put on a conference in South Florida at some time in the future,” he added. Holding the 2021 conference in a central location like Kentucky would give more members the option of driving rather than flying. The NHBPA is currently looking at options that would allow members to participate and view the conference remotely as well. More information will be posted on the NHBPA website at hbpa.org when plans are finalized, and members also are encouraged to sign up for the NHBPA email newsletter for the latest updates. HJ
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RESEARCH AND MEDICATION UPDATE
New Research Program to Accelerate Transformative Advancements in Equine Musculoskeletal Health Together with MARS Equestrian, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) has launched an innovative educational research program dedicated to advancing critical frontiers in equine health. improve the lives of our equine partners.” Ciamillo also has the opportunity to work alongside other leading Penn Vet faculty, including Dr. Dean Richardson, chief of large animal surgery at New Bolton Center; Dr. Darko Stefanovski, associate professor of biostatistics; and Dr. Andrew van Eps, associate professor of equine musculoskeletal research. “The MARS Equestrian Early Career Investigator program is more than just an immersive experience into a practical and applicable learning environment,” said Dr. Bridgett McIntosh, director of MARS Equestrian. “By coupling New Bolton Center’s prowess as an innovator in equine health with MARS Equestrian’s commitment to enriching lives through equestrian sport, our hope is to make a lasting impact on equine health through future generations of veterinarians, ultimately creating a better world for our horses.” Dr. Pat Harris, head of the equine studies group at the WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute and director of science for MARS Horsecare, stated: “I am incredibly excited to be part of this important initiative championing the development of new researchers whose work will be vital in helping to advance frontiers in equine health and science.” “Through this extraordinary opportunity to work alongside trailblazers in various facets of the animal health field, we hope to inspire more young people interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine and research at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center,” said Christa Schmidt, who serves on Penn Vet’s board of overseers. “These budding veterinarians will be at the nexus of creating the clinical solutions of tomorrow for some of the most complex and challenging conditions facing our equine partners.” “The MARS Equestrian Early Career Investigator program is providing crucial training in research areas that are fundamental to advancing the field of equine veterinary medicine,” Ciamillo added. “I am incredibly grateful to my mentors at New Bolton Center and to MARS for this unique opportunity to play an integral role in this field of research, develop critical thinking and benchtop skills and, as a result, contribute to my ultimate career goal—to make a lasting difference for horses and humans alike.” HJ
COURTESY JAMES GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
At its core, the MARS Equestrian Early Career Investigator program is providing aspiring veterinary researchers with a multidimensional mentorship experience guided by a team of leading Penn Vet researchers and animal health experts from MARS Equestrian and the WALTHAM Equine Studies Group. Sarah Ciamillo, DVM, of Boonton Township, New Jersey, has been selected as the first Early Career Investigator for the newly minted program. “As a long-time equestrian, equine advocate and new equine veterinarian, there is nothing more important to me than the future health and welfare of the horse,” Ciamillo said. The Early Career Investigator program will give Ciamillo the opportunity to refine a set of comprehensive skills necessary for a career in veterinary medicine research, from data collection and analysis to stewardship and public service. The program’s most compelling element, however, is the immersive opportunity to assist in developing novel and transformative clinical techniques. Specifically, Ciamillo will assist a team of Penn Vet New Bolton Center researchers in a dynamic, first-of-its-kind study assessing equine bone characteristics and limb biomechanics using New Bolton Center’s advanced diagnostic imaging technologies—including its standing robotic computed tomography system. The researchers hope to use the findings to understand bone and joint injury in horses and to develop preventive tools that would improve the health and well-being of equines across all discipline spectrums. Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved, assistant professor of large animal surgery at New Bolton Center, is serving as the primary mentor and lead researcher for this Early Career Investigator project. A clinical expert in equine orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, Ortved, through this research program, seeks to better understand attributes of the equine joint in order to improve clinical outcomes associated with osteoarthritis following injury in horses. “Mentorship is a cardinal element of individual career success, particularly in the veterinary medicine field,” Ortved said. “The MARS Equestrian Early Career Investigator program’s unique platform will provide junior researchers with an unparalleled learning experience, while simultaneously fostering fundamental discoveries in vital areas of research that will unequivocally
THE MARS EQUESTRIAN EARLY CAREER INVESTIGATOR PROGRAM IS SET TO PIONEER NOVEL DISCOVERIES IN EQUINE HEALTH THROUGH A MENTORSHIP EXPERIENCE.
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Horse must have started ONCE at the claiming level or less since January 1, 2013 to be eligible.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
JOCKEY LUIS SAEZ CAPTURES FIVE CLAIMING CROWN RACES AND HANDLE HITS A NEW HIGH AT GULFSTREAM PARK Compiled from Gulfstream Park news releases/Photos by Derbe Glass and Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
uis Saez loves riding at Gulfstream Park, and, on Claiming Crown Day, it was very apparent why as the jockey rode six winners on the 11-race December 5 card, including winning a record-breaking five of the nine Claiming Crown races. Among them was a score in the $150,000 Jewel aboard Jesus’ Team, who in his previous outing finished second in the Grade 1 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland. Jesus’ Team is being aimed for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on January 23, 2021, at Gulfstream. “It’s been a great day,” Saez said. “I’m so blessed to be here. This is one of my favorite places. This is like home.” Saez also brought home victories in the $75,000 Iron Horse with Frost Or Frippery, the $90,000 Canterbury with Fiya, the $90,000 Distaff Dash with Jakarta and the $95,000 Tiara with Queens Embrace, as well as a maiden turf win aboard Fighting Force. On top of Saez’s accomplishment, the Claiming Crown once again set a new handle record with total wagering of $14.6 million, topping last year’s $13.846 million and illustrating how the event continues to grow and evolve. Total handle for the Claiming Crown has increased each year since Gulfstream began hosting the event in 2012. The event, which originated in 1999
Gulfstream Park • Saturday, December 6, 2014 $1,000,000 in Purses
For qualification criteria and nomination deadlines, call the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) at (888) 606-TOBA. Visit claimingcrown.com or email email@example.com for more information. The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
at Canterbury Park, is hosted by the National HBPA in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and with support from the Florida HBPA. National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback believes the Claiming Crown has come to be viewed differently in its years at Gulfstream. “I believe in the past some people looked at it as a year-end blowout, but I see it as the launch of a new year,” he said. “The Breeders’ Cup kind of wraps up the year. But because [the Claiming Crown] is at Gulfstream and it’s the opening weekend of the Championship Meet, I think it’s become the beginning of a new year. I think if it was earlier in the fall or summer, you wouldn’t have the buildup or the quality you have. The job [Vice President of Racing] Mike [Lakow], [stakes coordinator] Eric Friedman and, of course, [Executive Director of Florida Racing Operations] Billy Badgett did incredible.” In addition to Jesus’ Team, 10 other horses that won or placed in graded stakes participated in the Claiming Crown. In total, 108 horses were entered in the nine Claiming Crown races. “No question, this event has evolved,” agreed TOBA President Dan Metzger. “I thought Saturday’s fields, from top to bottom, were some of the best we ever had.” Following are recaps of all of the Claiming Crown races. LUIS SAEZ WON SIX RACES, INCLUDING A RECORD FIVE CLAIMING CROWN RACES, ON THE DAY’S CARD, WITH HIS FIFTH WIN COMING ON FIYA IN THE CANTERBURY.
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rainer Peter Walder sent out his second straight winner of the $80,000 Glass Slipper with Descente. Stablemate Liza Star, who won last year’s running, ended up fifth after setting a pressured pace as the favorite. Descente, whom Walder claimed for himself for $6,250 in her previous outing, a mile-and-70-yard race at Gulfstream Park West on October 18, hit the wire in the Glass Slipper 3 ¾ lengths clear of runner-up Don’t Get Khozy. The Glass Slipper, run at one mile for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares who have started for a claiming price of $12,500 or lower, became Descente’s sixth win in eight starts this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Bodemeister, bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack, improved her career record to seven wins in 24 starts and earnings of $176,260. Descente came into the Glass Slipper off of two straight daylight wins, the mile-and-70-yard race by 4 ½ lengths and a mile claimer at Gulfstream by six lengths. “She’s a winner; right off the bat, I wasn’t thinking about this race,” Walder said prior to the Glass Slipper. “Then I worked her, and she worked really good. Then I worked her again, and she worked really good. I said to myself, ‘You only get one shot at this thing. She knows how to win.’” Ridden by Miguel Vasquez for the first time in the Glass Slipper, Descente rated in second behind Liza Star through an opening quarter in :23.58 before
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taking over in the turn after a half in :45.89. She pulled away in the stretch to win in 1:36.99. She paid $9.20 as the third choice at nearly 4-1. Three-year-old Don’t Get Khozy, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for owner Drawing Away Stable and trainer Antonio Sano, was last early in the 10-horse field before getting up for second by a half-length over second-choice Sky Chaser. The latter, who races for Sun Dance Stables and is trained by Ronald Spatz, bumped with Charge Account at the start before settling mid-pack and then going four-wide in the stretch. She finished four lengths in front of fourthplace finisher Charge Account. Liza Star was next, followed by Dana Grace, Bargainaire, Victory Crusade, Chubofftheoldblock and Slingin Sammy B. 17
rsto Skye came into the $75,000 Express off two strong efforts in graded company, so it was no surprise he was made the odds-on favorite—and he won like it with a wire-to-wire score in the six-furlong race for horses that have started for a claiming price of $8,000 or lower. With Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, the 8-year-old gelded son of City Zip covered the distance in 1:10.14. Owned by Daniel Feit and Carlos David and trained by the latter, Krsto Skye set fractions of :22.35 and :45 on his way to his 14th career victory in 61 starts and earnings of $357,915. The gelding had showed his mettle this fall with a second in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint at Gulfstream on September 5, followed by a fourth (back two noses and 1 ¼ lengths) in the Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Pimlico on October 3. For Ortiz, the Express was his first win of Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. “It feels great to be back at Gulfstream,” said Ortiz, the meet’s two-time defending champion. “This is a nice horse. Carlos told me to let him do his thing in that you can control the pace from the inside post. He put me in a
good position, so I just held it there, and when it was time to go, he responded very well.” Krsto Skye finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Whyruawesome, who finished four lengths in front of 3-1 second-choice Combination, who had won eight of 10 starts this year coming into the Express. Game Boy Benny finished 2 ½ lengths back in fourth in the six-horse field, followed by Ray’swarrior, White Wolf and Long Blade. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
takes winner and graded stakes-placed Jakarta powered to a 2 ¼-length score as the odds-on favorite in the $90,000 Distaff Dash for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less. The 5-year-old daughter of Bustin Stones was ridden by Luis Saez, who captured his second win and his first of five Claiming Crown races on the day. Jakarta stalked the pace early before Saez set her down for her drive. She quickly seized command and drew clear to win the five furlongs on the turf in :56.48. Owned by Three Diamonds Farm and bred in Pennsylvania by Arrowwood Farm Inc., Jakarta gave trainer Mike Maker a record 18th win in the Claiming Crown. “Claiming Crown is always a fun day, a little different without fans this year,” Maker said. “I was glad to do it with Jakarta. She’s been a great filly for us all year, so it’s very rewarding. She didn’t get away today as quickly as she usually does, but her class prevailed.” Jakarta came into the Distaff Dash off of a sixth in the Grade 2 Bessarabian going seven furlongs on the all-weather surface at Woodbine on November 21, but, prior to that, she finished third in the Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes, racing 5 ½ furlongs on the grass at Keeneland on October 9. And in May, at Gulfstream, she earned her first stakes win in the one-mile THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Powder Break Stakes on the main track. Jakarta has won four of nine starts and earned $245,727 this year. In the Distaff Dash, Unaquoi closed from 10th in the 11-horse field to nab second by a nose over last year’s winner Thinkin Cowtown, who finished a half-length in front of Katieleigh. Sweet Yare N Dira finished fifth, followed by My Sarasota Star, Cat’s Astray, Precocious Peach, The Great Kath, Dahlonega and Midtown Rose.
RAPID TRANSIT—AVANT GARDE
elfenstein Farm LLC’s Avant Garde captured the $85,000 Rapid Transit to cap an impressive debut season. The 3-year-old son of Tonalist made his first start in maiden claiming company at Gulfstream in February. In his fifth try, he broke his maiden by 5 ¼ lengths going a mile at Gulfstream on July 4 and then rattled off three more daylight victories before running fourth in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) on September 27. In his last outing before the Rapid Transit, he was back in the winner’s circle on October 25 at Gulfstream Park West. After the Rapid Transit, his record now stands at six wins in 11 starts and earnings of $143,020. Trainer Jesus Lander has saddled Avant Garde for all of the gelding’s victories, having claimed him for $10,000 on June 10 at Gulfstream. Avant Garde ran second that day going a mile before launching his win streak. Jockey Leonel Reyes has ridden Avant Garde in all of his victories. In the Rapid Transit, for horses that had raced for $16,000 or less, the duo broke second to last but moved up quickly to fourth in the backstretch. Entering the stretch, eventual second-place finisher Town Classic took the lead but couldn’t hold off Avant Garde and Reyes, who closed to win the seven-furlong race by a half-length in 1:21.98. 20
Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, Town Classic finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Lookin At Roses. It was the fourth straight second-place finish for Town Classic, who races for Mercy Man Racing and is trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. Travin Stables’ Lookin At Roses came into the Rapid Transit off two allowance wins at Parx, including a three-length score at 1 1/16 miles in his last start on October 26. The 4-year-old Lookin At Lucky gelding, with Robby Albarado aboard, finished a neck in front of Yodel E. A. Who in the Rapid Transit, with Joe Di Baggio two lengths back in fifth. Crea’s Bklyn Law was sixth in the 12-horse field, followed by 2-1 favorite Miles Ahead, T Loves a Fight, All Around, I’m a G Six, Examiner and Fix Me a Sandwich.
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ransferring Fiya from the main track to turf proved to be a wise decision earlier this year because the 3-year-old Friesan Fire gelding is now five-for-five on the surface after his win in the $90,000 Tom Metzen Memorial Canterbury for horses that had started for $25,000 or less. As the odds-on favorite, Fiya took control right from the start of the five-furlong turf sprint and drew clear to win handily by 1 ½ lengths in :55.63. “He really is an incredible turf horse; since we’ve seen him go from dirt to turf, he just does things so easily,” said trainer Tom Albertrani, who has saddled Fiya in his last three starts. Owner Robert Masiello acquired the gelding for $400,000 during the Wanamaker’s Online Auction in July from breeder Ann Merryman and trainer Michael Merryman after his win in a 5 ½-furlong turf allowance at Laurel. Fiya went on to win an allowance at Belmont Park in September and then came into the Canterbury off a 2 ¼-length victory in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint Handicap at Laurel in October. “Every time he runs, he just seems to run better and better,” Albertrani added. “I think we’ll give him a break now and bring him back later next year.” Fiya also provided jockey Luis Saez with his fifth of sixth victories on the day’s card. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
“He’s a special horse,” Saez said. “When I rode him for the first time at Belmont, he showed me a lot of ability. I couldn’t wait to be on him today.” Super Super Stable’s Fully Loaded tracked Fiya throughout to finish second by 1 ¼ lengths with Edgard Zayas aboard. He came into the Canterbury off a third in a $62,000 optional claimer at Gulfstream Park West going five furlongs on a sloppy surface for trainer Amador Sanchez. Harry’s Ontheloose, with Leonel Reyes aboard, finished third in the Canterbury for owners Sam Wilensky and Harry Orgo and trainer Herman Wilensky. He was a half-length in front of fourth-place finisher Tiger Blood in the 12-horse field. Legendary Prince was fifth, followed by Citrus Burst, Belgrano, Unmoored, Lusitano, Memorable, Munn Passage and Like What I See. 21
IRON HORSE—FROST OR FRIPPERY
entucky shipper Frost Or Frippery earned his first career stakes win in the $75,000 Kent Stirling Memorial Iron Horse for runners who had started for $8,000 or less. Trained by Brad Cox for Steve Landers Racing LLC, Frost Or Frippery was still in seventh at the stretch call and took the lead with only 70 yards to go. With Luis Saez aboard, he held off a late-closing Bobby G and Irad Ortiz Jr. to win the 1 1/16-mile race by a nose in 1:44.57 as the 3-1 second choice. It was the sixth victory on the afternoon for Saez and the 21st career win for Frost Or Frippery. A 7-year-old son of Lewis Michael, the gelding has now won or placed in 46 of 66 total starts and earned $365,718. Eight of those wins have come this year, including five in a row this spring and summer at Oaklawn, Churchill Downs and Indiana Grand. Mohan Stable Inc.’s Bobby G came into the Iron Horse off of three straight wins in Maryland for trainer Jonathan Maldonado. Although he just missed in the Iron Horse, he was the clear runner-up, finishing 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Deal Driven and jockey Joe Bravo. Owned by Troy Johnson and Charles Lo and trained by Robert Mosco, Deal Driven stalked the pace early before taking the 22
lead near the three-eighths pole. He relinquished the lead to Frost Or Frippery in deep stretch and held on for third by a neck over O’Kram, who had closed for fourth after running last early. Business Cycle was another neck back in fifth in the 12-horse field, closely followed by Charlie the Creek and Souper Fly Over, who finished a neck and a nose back in sixth and seventh, respectively. Quenane, Bold Paynter, Snap Hook, Meade and Incubator completed the order of finish. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
ueens Embrace was making only her second start for owners Spedale Family Racing LLC and Flying P Stable in the $95,000 Tiara for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less. In her previous start, the 3-year-old daughter of Real Solution was claimed by trainer Danny Gargan for $80,000 in an allowance optional claimer at Belmont Park. She finished fifth and last that day, but earlier in the year, she won four straight at Tampa Bay Downs, breaking her maiden on January 1 for a $16,000 tag and then capturing two starter optional claimers and an allowance optional claimer. After winning a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance at Monmouth Park on July 3, Queens Embrace earned stakes status with a third in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga on July 19. In the Tiara, Queens Embrace and jockey Luis Saez (who earned his fourth win on the day) raced well off the pace in the early going while saving ground before reeling in leader Sugar Fix near the sixteenth pole. Queens Embrace then burst free to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:40.26 for the 1 1/16 miles on the turf. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
It was her sixth win in 12 career starts for earnings of $155,876. Favored Sugar Fix, with Tyler Gaffalione up, held on for second, a length in front of Bienville Street and Christian Torres, who closed from mid-pack for third. Irony of Reality was three-quarters of a length back in third in the 10-horse field, followed by Jost Sayin, Rosa Star, Jabuticaba, Afficionado (FR), Isadorable Aida and Maries Melody. 23
EMERALD—HIGH NOON RIDER
enStar Thoroughbreds’ High Noon Rider scored the biggest win of his career in what was the day’s biggest upset as the 55-1 winner of the $95,000 Emerald for horses that had started for $25,000 or less. The 8-year-old gelding by Distorted Humor paid his supporters $113.00 for the win. High Noon Rider and jockey Edgard Zayas saved some ground around the first turn of the 1 1/16mile turf race before angling out on the final turn and closing strongly to get up by a half-length in 1:40.94. The finish was a close affair as second place ended up in a dead heat between last year’s winner Muggsamatic and favored Temple, who hit the wire together three-quarters of a length in front of Artie’s Rumor. The Emerald was the first Claiming Crown victory for High Noon Rider’s trainer, Saffie Joseph Jr. Temple, Muggsamatic and Artie’s Rumor were three of five horses in the field trained by Mike Maker, who holds the event’s record for most victories at 18, including seven in the Emerald. “We’re just thankful,” Joseph said. “We’ve claimed horses that won graded stakes but had never won a Claiming Crown race. It’s good to get it done finally. He’s a cool, old horse. 24
“He’s just a horse for a course, honestly,” he added. “If you see his numbers before he left Gulfstream this year, they were good. Then we got ambitious. We went all around with him, and he kind of lost his way. Today, he ran back his best race.” High Noon Rider made seven starts at Gulfstream this spring and summer, winning four, before traveling to Virginia and Kentucky, where he placed in three turf allowances. With the Emerald victory, his record now stands at 15 wins in 55 starts and $633,591 in earnings. Hieroglyphics finished fifth in the 12-horse Emerald, followed by Over the Channel, Rijeka (IRE), Tusk, Apreciado, Speed Franco, King of Spades and Zippy. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
n prepping for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January, Jesus’ Team made short work of the $150,000 Jewel, winning the 1 1/8-mile race by three-quarters of a length as the 2-5 favorite. It was the 3-year-old Tapiture colt’s first victory since he defeated $25,000 claimers at Gulfstream in May, but in six starts since, he has finished third in the Preakness (G1), third in the Jim Dandy (G2), second in the TVG.com Pegasus and, most recently, second in the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland. Jesus’ Team now has three wins in 13 career starts with earnings of $518,540. “I think the race was good for him because he only had the one work since the Breeders’ Cup,” said trainer Jose D’Angelo, who conditions the colt for Grupo 7C Racing Stable. “I am very sure he’s going to improve because this race worked out very good for him. I can give him some days off and prepare him for the Pegasus World Cup.” Ridden in the Jewel by Luis Saez (as one of the jockey’s six winners on the day), Jesus’ Team saved ground while running in behind Storm Runner, who set fractions of :23.14 and :46.40. Saez moved Jesus’ Team off the rail into the homestretch, and they gradually wore the pacesetter down to win in 1:49.30. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
The Dale Romans-trained Storm Runner held on for second, hitting the wire two lengths ahead of Dack Janiel’s. “This is a very nice horse, who ran a very big race last time,” Saez said. “I knew today would be a little tough…but he has such a big heart.” Finishing fourth in the eight-horse Jewel was the Mike Maker-trained Treasure Trove, followed by Prince of Arabia, Toughest ’Ombre, Rebelde and last year’s winner, Leitone (Chi). HJ
IOWA NEW MARE BONUS NOMINATION FORM
For Mares that have never foaled in the State of Iowa or Maiden Mares for 2021 Foaling Season
RECEIVE UP TO $20,000 BONUS BY FOALING YOUR NEW OR MAIDEN MARE IN IOWA By nominating your mare, you are eligible for a $10,000 Bonus if that foal is the leading money earner (from mares nominated) at Prairie Meadows for any season, starting in 2022. That foal is only eligible to win the Bonus one year. $5,000 Bonus if that foal went through the sales ring as a weanling or yearling during the
ITBOA Fall Sale.
$5,000 Bonus if the foal is by a stallion that sold in the Dec. 2019 ITBOA Stallion
TOTAL OF $20,000 IN BONUSES AVAILABLE
This is non-transferrable. Bonus will only be paid to the Breeder of the foal, as long as it is the same entity that nominates the mare. NO REFUNDS. Name of New or Maiden Mare:
2021 Foal Sired By:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Nomination Schedule: July 1, 2021 ……….……….…..$200.00 (ITBOA Members) $300 (non-members)
Late entries by September 1, 2021 ………...………..$500.00 OWNER_____________________________________________________
I have enclosed payment to the ITBOA for
Please return this form with payment to the ITBOA Office: 1 Prairie Meadows Dr. Altoona, IA 50009
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the ITBOA Office at 1-800-577-1097 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR OFFICE USE ONLY:
IOWA NEW MARE BONUS For Mares that have never foaled in the State of Iowa or Maiden Mares for 2021 Foaling Season
RECEIVE UP TO $20,000 BONUS BY FOALING YOUR NEW OR MAIDEN MARE IN IOWA
By nominating your mare, you are eligible for a $10,000 Bonus if that foal is the leading money earner (from mares nominated) at Prairie Meadows for any season, starting in 2022. That foal is only eligible to win the Bonus one year.
DID YOU KNOW?
that when you purchase a mare and bring her to Iowa, you can make her foal an Iowa-bred. Here’s how:
Register the mare with the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Call (515) 281-4103
• $5,000 Bonus if that foal went through the sales ring as a weanling or yearling during the ITBOA Fall Sale.
The mare must be registered prior to foaling and must remain in the state until she foals.
• $5,000 Bonus if the foal is by a stallion that sold in the Dec. 2019 ITBOA Stallion Season Auction.
If you brought the mare to Iowa and registered her before December 31, 2020, you may breed her back to any stallion. If you bring the mare to Iowa after December 31, 2020, and registered her prior to foaling, you must breed her back to an Iowa-registered stallion if not in foal to an Iowa-registered stallion
NOMINATION SCHEDULE: July 1, 2021: $200.00 (ITBOA MEMBERS) $300 (NON-MEMBERS) Late entries by September 1, 2021 $500.00
The mare is required to be in the state of Iowa for a minimum of 30 days during the foaling period. After foaling, the Department of Agriculture must inspect your foal before it leaves the state.
TOTAL OF $20,000 IN BONUSES AVAILABLE This is non-transferrable. Bonus will only be paid to the Breeder of the foal, as long as it is the same entity that nominates the mare.
The foal must also be registered with the Iowa Department of Agriculture prior to racing.
IOWA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS AND OWNERS ASSOCIATION
For More Information Contact Our ITBOA Office at 800-577-1097 or e-mail ITBOA@msn.com
Ownership Broadens Racing’s Fanbase and Makes Racing More Accessible
Authentic took thousands of owners on a memorable ride with wins in
the Kentucky Derby and
Breeders’ Cup Classic By Richard E. Glover Jr.
AUTHENTIC WINS THE BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC AT KEENELAND TO WRAP UP WHAT IS LIKELY TO BE A HORSE OF THE YEAR CAMPAIGN.
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ALEX EVERS/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/BREEDERS’ CUP/CSM
When the gates opened for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) on September 5, the number of people who previously had the distinction of owning part or all of a winner of the “greatest two minutes in sports” numbered in the hundreds. Just 2:00.61 later, that number skyrocketed well past 5,000 when Authentic authoritatively turned back the challenge of heavy favorite Tiz the Law and crossed the wire 1 ¼ lengths in front under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. He did so for his owners, the partnership of Spendthrift Stable, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing. For myself and so many others, that moment marked the realization of a seemingly impossible dream—my horse won the Kentucky Derby. My road to racehorse ownership and a Kentucky Derby victory was a long and winding one, and MyRacehorse Stable’s microshare racehorse ownership model radically changed the course of that journey.
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Like all sports, horse racing has a constant need to grow its fanbase. More uniquely, it also has a constant need to develop new owners to fuel the sport with their horses. Racing’s reputation as “the sport of kings” is both a blessing and a curse—people want to be part of something viewed as exclusive, but they also tend to shy away from things they perceive to be out of reach for people like them. When founder and CEO Michael Behrens conceived MyRacehorse Stable, he saw a need to grow the sport and generate new owners. Behrens told Chelsea Hackbarth of The Paulick Report, “There’s nothing like watching ‘your’ racehorse thunder down the stretch and battle to the wire. The sport needs to find a way to connect average fans to that experience, to make them part of the action.” Behrens was a successful marketing executive with a background in e-commerce, advertising technology and direct-to-consumer marketing. Most recently he had been the chief marketing officer of the fast-growing mattress company Casper prior to starting his own companies—MSB Digital, a marketing firm, and Experiential Square, described on his LinkedIn profile as “building experiential investment platforms that enable sports fans to take a vested interest in their favorite sport and unlock a suite of unique content and experience.” It was through the latter that Behrens created MyRacehorse Stable. The MyRacehorse concept allowed Behrens to dive into what he believes is an important business trend. He explained: “A few years ago, I really started to get the entrepreneurial itch and was extremely enamored by the shift to the experiential economy. According to McKinsey, the experience economy is expected to continue to grow four times faster than the goods economy. What better ‘experience’ is there than owning a racehorse that competes on the biggest stages? Hence, the idea of MyRacehorse was born.” It took Behrens a couple of years to make microshare racehorse ownership a reality because he had to develop a model that would allow him to sell the microshares and satisfy U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. He eventually found a solution by issuing Regulation A securities, which allowed the company to seek unaccredited investors. Under this model, anyone over 18 in a qualifying jurisdiction can purchase microshares from MyRacehorse, but SEC regulations require that no purchaser’s investment is allowed to exceed 10 percent of their total assets. Since each purchaser must attest that they meet this rule, people are only able to purchase microshares for themselves. However, once someone purchases a share, there is a process by which they can transfer the microshare to another person as long as both parties fill out and sign the proper paperwork. According to Behrens, “MyRacehorse was launched with a simple goal in mind—racehorse ownership for everyone. That meant we had to keep it simple. We worked on developing a no-out-of-pocket model that allows potential racehorse owners to get involved for one-time payments. We kept them small (as low as $35), and we never require another dollar to be invested during your ownership experience.” As Behrens told BloodHorse’s Eric Mitchell, “Our north star mission is to have a fully liquid, easy exchange with full transparency.” That transparency is obvious on MyRacehorse.com, where all of the details of every offering are readily available. Moreover, the site makes it clear that racehorses are a risky investment. Not every offering is set up the same. For example, some are eligible for bonuses if the horse wins a Grade 1 race, and some include interest in the horse’s breeding career (such as with Authentic). Some include “kickers” that have to be paid to third parties out of revenues earned before shareholders can be paid. The one thing each offering does have in common is that every detail of the offering is disclosed publicly for any potential buyers to see prior to making an investment. 30
Key to the MyRacehorse plan is a commitment to purchasing part or all of racehorses and racing prospects with top bloodlines and sending them to the country’s top trainers. Purchasers are not just buying microshares in an average racehorse; they are securing an interest in high-end horses who either already have proven ability or have the pedigree and conformation to warrant high expectations, all for a low one-time investment. Owner benefits include race-day privileges that may include things like exclusive areas to enjoy the day; paddock access or winner’s circle access; visits with their horses; opportunities to meet their horses’ trainers and jockeys; health and training updates and videos; race entries, recaps and post-race assessments; private owners’ groups on Facebook; and revenue dividends paid directly to owners’ online accounts. Some of the in-person benefits are limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis or via contests. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the availability of in-person experiences.
MyRacehorse Stable Gets Off to the Races MyRacehorse Stable launched its pilot program in California on June 9, 2018, the day of the Belmont Stakes (G1). Behrens believed there was already a built-in market for his concept, and he had a plan for how to reach those potential purchasers. “In 2018, we knew there was a pent-up demand,” he asserted. “Ownership is an aspiration for so many racing fans, but the sheer economics and financial commitments make it virtually unattainable for the vast majority of fans. With that being said, we set up booths at the racetracks in Southern California, targeted racing publications and kept it very simple.” ALEX EVERS/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/BREEDERS’ CUP/CSM
Making Top-Level Racing Accessible to the Masses
BY THE TIME AUTHENTIC ENTERED THE STARTING GATE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY, HE HAD MORE THAN 5,000 OWNERS THROUGH MYRACEHORSE.
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
The California pilot program met with success, and after working to get a number of other jurisdictions approved for the sale of microshares, MyRacehorse Stable went national in May 2019. Over the remainder of that year and into early 2020, MyRacehorse Stable continued to build momentum, and purchasing an interest in horses like 2019 Cotillion Stakes (G1) winner Street Band helped increase the stable’s visibility and ability to attract more owners to its model. It was during this time that Behrens sought out Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes, hoping he could convince Hughes to join the venture. According to Behrens, “Mr. Hughes is one of the great disruptors and innovators of our generation. My previous ad agency worked with Public Storage [founded by Hughes] on its marketing, and it was there that I was exposed to his creativity, drive and innovative spirit. Once we saw the pilot succeed, my first call was to try and get a meeting with Mr. Hughes. I had actually not met him, so I had to go through hoops to get the meeting, but once we met, it was a phenomenal match. When he saw the vision, he was excited, and we both decided we needed to be partners on this venture.” As a result, Spendthrift Farm acquired an ownership interest in MyRacehorse. Late this spring, Spendthrift approached Behrens about the idea of MyRacehorse purchasing an interest in Authentic, and it proved too attractive to pass up. Behrens explained: “Into Mischief is the top sire right now, and the Spendthrift team knows him very well. When they approached us about buying into what they believed would prove to be his best son on the racetrack and a potential star in the breeding shed as well, we were all in. Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey had a lot of confidence in Authentic, and as it played out, he was right!” In June, MyRacehorse purchased a 12.5 percent interest in Authentic and then proceeded to offer 12,500 shares to the public. Each share represented a 0.001 percent ownership in Authentic’s racing and breeding rights. Shares were sold at $206 each, and they were sold until post time of the Kentucky Derby. In fact, Behrens told Bill Heller of Trainer Magazine that just under 1,000 people purchased shares on Derby Day. In the end, 5,314 shareholders watched their horse load into the Churchill Downs starting gate that day, and in just over two minutes, all of their lives would change forever.
My Journey to a Champion I saw my first horse race at the age of 12 on a Saturday afternoon in April 1981—Pleasant Colony’s Wood Memorial on ABC’s Wide World of Sports (you
remember: “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat”). As someone who has always loved animals, I was intrigued, and I started casually following horse racing. The following spring, a powerful, front-running colt named Conquistador Cielo beat older horses in the Metropolitan Mile (G1), setting a track record in the process. Then his Hall of Fame trainer, Woody Stephens, wheeled him back five days later to run in the Belmont Stakes. I was excited to see whether he could pull it off. And on that day in June 1982, Conquistador Cielo went right to the front in the Belmont and galloped his competition into submission, drawing off to win by 14 widening lengths. The 2:28 1/5 it took him to win captured my imagination and my heart, and it changed the course of my life. I can trace so many of the great things I’ve experienced in my life to that moment in time and that horse. Horse racing magazines—full of stakes results, race recaps and pedigree information—quickly became to me what baseball cards were to so many other boys my age. I couldn’t get enough. And for a boy living in Texas, where pari-mutuel wagering was still illegal at the time and there was no live horse racing of consequence, my fascination was more than a little unusual. Eventually, a few years after college, my love of racing led me to start writing about the sport on a freelance basis. Soon, I found myself writing and hosting online horse racing chats for ABC Sports on America Online. It was in those rooms that I found more people like me—the horse racing-obsessed who could talk about the sport endlessly. I’ve been professionally involved in the industry ever since. Fast forward 39 years from when it all started, and my husband, Vernon, and I finally decided earlier this year to take the plunge and become racehorse owners through MyRacehorse. Just a few months later, on August 22, our first horse, Lane Way, broke his maiden at Del Mar to give me my first win as an owner. I knew MyRacehorse was selling shares in Authentic, a Bob Baffert trainee who had already won the Haskell (G1) since the stable purchased an interest in him. The closer to the Kentucky Derby it got, the more tempted I was. In the end, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be a part-owner—no matter how small that part might be—of a horse running in the Kentucky Derby. That was something I never expected to be possible, and I decided the odds of it being possible again were too slim to pass up. Less than two weeks before the Derby, we purchased a share. I called my 81-year-old dad to tell him about it and to see if he wanted to purchase a share as well. He and my 80-year-old mother had always encouraged my passion for racing; they encouraged all of their children to follow their passions. My dad had taken me to Oaklawn Park many times in my youth, and he had driven me across town to a newsstand to get racing magazines
COURTESY RICHARD GLOVER
COURTESY RICHARD GLOVER
RICHARD GLOVER AT AGE 16 WITH CONQUISTADOR CIELO AT CLAIBORNE FARM IN 1985.
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
GLOVER, WITH HIS FATHER, RICHARD SR., AT OAKLAWN PARK IN 1983.
COURTESY JOHN LAURSEN
countless times. I was pretty sure the gambler in him would want to come along for the ride. He did, and he purchased a share two days before the Derby. On Kentucky Derby day, five months later than normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the horses were loading in the gate, and I was a bundle of nerves and excitement. The starting gate burst open, and immediately Tiz the Law veered out, pushing Authentic out a bit and making it harder for him to get to the spot he and jockey John Velazquez wanted—the lead. Breaking from the far outside in the 15-horse field, Authentic had to work to bull his way to the lead and get to a position where he could save ground, resulting in a quick first quarter-mile split of :22.92. When I saw that number go up on the screen, I thought we were sunk. Not many horses can lead after a first quarter that fast and still win a 1 ¼-mile race against some of the best horses in the world. But Velazquez rode a masterful race. Once he got Authentic to the front, he drew clear of the field and then managed to slow the pace down to give Authentic the breather he would need to be strong for the final stretch drive. The fractions were still strong, but Authentic was running comfortably without pressure from other horses. When I saw the half-mile time of :46.41, I realized the pace had slowed, and I thought maybe we had a chance to at least be on the lead when they turned for home. Authentic did hit the top of the stretch in the lead, but he was engaged in a battle with heavily favored Tiz the Law at that point. Tiz the Law had been stalking the pace in the perfect position. When he came to Authentic, most people—including me—expected him to drive to the lead just like he had in all of his other 2020 races to that point. Authentic was not going to let that happen.
AUTHENTIC GAVE LAURIE AND JOHN LAURSEN AN EXPERIENCE THEY WILL NEVER FORGET.
It was an amazing feeling like nothing I’ve ever felt. It seemed so unbelievable. Something that had always seemed completely unattainable for me—owning part of a Kentucky Derby winner—was now a reality. My 39 years in and around the sport—and all the wonderful people and memories I’d accumulated thanks to my parents and Conquistador Cielo—led to this unlikely moment when another front-running 3-year-old colt would make my parents, Vernon and me Kentucky Derby-winning owners. Other shareholders were likewise moved by the victory. Reading their comments and stories in the Authentic private owners’ group on Facebook and all over social media was often moving but none more so than this comment from John Laursen, who said, “I purchased my share as a gift for my wife, who is currently a quadriplegic. Finding a gift she can enjoy has been tough, but I scooped this up knowing her love of horses. I watched her excitement grow during Derby week and as she watched the race. When the announcer stated, ‘Authentic digs in,’ coming down the stretch, I looked at her and saw tears of joy running down her face. If my horses never win another race and she never makes a dollar, I will be forever grateful to MyRacehorse for giving us that single moment.” Shareholder Tim Foy relayed, “My dad loved the horses, and we spent many a summer day AUTHENTIC PROVIDED HIS OWNERS WITH THE THRILL OF A LIFETIME IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY, AND at the track. He passed away last October, and HE WASN’T DONE MAKING MEMORIES. buying into MyRacehorse was my tribute to his legacy. When Authentic crossed the line, I fell to Authentic fought back, looking Tiz the Law in the eye and never relenting. my knees and sobbed knowing Dad was with me.” Then, in midstretch, he began to pull away from the favorite. It was at that For shareholder Dawn Smith, Authentic allowed her to share her passion moment, around the eighth pole, that the most remarkable feeling hit me. In with her daughter in a way she believes will have a long-lasting impact. “I am the chaos and excitement, everything seemed to slow down. A mix of calm and that horse crazy little girl who has never outgrown the feeling I get watching a disbelief came over me, and I exclaimed to Vernon, “He’s going to win. We’re race,” she explained. “I never dreamed I could be a part of the amazing ride I going to win the Kentucky Derby.” have taken on the back of Authentic. However, as magical as this fairytale has 32
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
SCOTT SERIO/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/BREEDERS’ CUP/CSM
AUTHENTIC FELT RIGHT AT HOME AT KENTUCKY’S RACETRACKS, AND HE’LL BE STARTING HIS STALLION CAREER NOT FAR FROM KEENELAND AT SPENDTHRIFT FARM IN LEXINGTON.
BILL DENVER/BREEDERS’ CUP/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/CSM
been, it means more than words can say to have my daughter take interest in learning about the sport I have always loved. MyRacehorse has not only given me the Derby of a lifetime, it has breathed life into a new generation of fans.”
The Thrills Continue A month after the Derby, Authentic gave his shareholders another thrill in the Preakness Stakes (G1), where he waged an unforgettable battle with the valiant filly Swiss Skydiver. The colt fell a neck short in the second-fastest Preakness in history, behind only the great Secretariat’s stakes record. Though the loss was a little disappointing, it was impossible not to be proud of his valiant effort. On November 7, Authentic faced one of the deepest fields in the history of the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland Race Course, with the 3-year-old male championship and Horse of the Year title on the line. The field included Tiz the Law, as well as top older horses Improbable (also trained by Baffert), 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security and Tom’s d’Etat. When the gates opened, Velazquez again gunned Authentic to the lead, and the race was almost a carbon copy of the Kentucky Derby—except that facing a stronger field, Authentic was even more dominant. He led all the way around and crossed the wire 2 ¼ lengths in front of Improbable, stopping the clock in a new Keeneland track record of 1:59.60 for the 1 ¼ miles. Again, a wave of disbelief and joy ran through me when I realized near the top of the stretch that Improbable wasn’t going to catch Authentic, and nobody else was gaining fast enough to be a factor. In that moment I realized that I owned part of an Eclipse Award champion and most likely the Horse of the Year. I was thrilled with the Kentucky Derby victory, but what I had always wanted more than a Derby win was to own a champion racehorse. And thanks to MyRacehorse, I did. It was an unbelievable feeling.
Increased Demand Thanks to Authentic For Behrens, Authentic’s success has been equally thrilling and also extremely gratifying. “First and foremost, I am a racing fan; I love this THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AUTHENTIC NOT ONLY GAVE INVALUABLE PUBLICITY TO MYRACEHORSE BUT ALSO TO HORSE RACING IN GENERAL, THANKS IN PART TO SOCIAL MEDIA.
game,” he said. “To have an ownership stake in a horse that has achieved this much success on the racetrack has been one of the more thrilling experiences of my lifetime. Now couple that with what Authentic and his achievements have meant for thousands of other people, and knowing that I was a part of bringing this much joy into so many homes—it’s incredible!” Authentic’s success has also fueled unprecedented demand for new offerings from MyRacehorse, and the company is working to handle the rapid growth. But Behrens and his team are not shying away from that challenge. “Bring it on!” he said. “We are so excited to get as many people involved in racing as possible! There is no thrill that compares. However, this amount of attention and awareness has been a bit of a challenge for the operations of the business, as we have seen thousands and thousands of new downloads, registrations and inquiries. I am blessed to have an amazing team that has worked relentlessly this past two months, and I am happy to say we have done a good job keeping things moving forward.” 33
Fulfilling a Dream As for me, the ride with Authentic and MyRacehorse has been an unforgettable opportunity to live out an impossible dream. I realize I own just a tiny bit of a Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, but any way you slice it, I do own part of him. Has my experience been as meaningful as it would have been if I had bred, raised and raced Authentic? Undoubtedly, no, but that was never going to be a real possibility for me or probably for virtually all of his other microshare owners. Did I do anything to earn his success? Again, no. But the experience has meant the world to me and to so many others who decided to take a chance on this relatively new form of racehorse ownership. My mother told me after the Breeders’ Cup that as soon as Authentic crossed the finish line, she was so overjoyed she broke down sobbing. She said it had been a very long time since she had cried that hard from joy. The next
morning, she sent me a text thanking me for including them on “one of the most amazing rides of their lives.” My father has purchased a share in a yearling from MyRacehorse and plans to purchase more because he’s looking forward to COURTESY RICHARD GLOVER
Behrens has had to change MyRacehorse’s marketing strategy as well. “It is a much bigger audience now,” he said. “Anyone who has ever had a curiosity about horse racing, horse lovers and just general sports enthusiasts now are joining. Our marketing has had to evolve tremendously and is very digitally centric with a major emphasis on social media.” Authentic was retired to stud at Spendthrift Farm two days after his Breeders’ Cup Classic triumph, and because of the structure of the offering, the MyRacehorse shareholders will continue to reap the benefits of his success throughout his breeding career. At this point, it looks like microshare racehorse ownership is here to stay, and it is allowing fans like me the opportunity to compete at the highest levels and experience the highest highs the sport has to offer. Moreover, with thousands of microshare owners sharing their experiences on social media and in other ways with their family and friends, racing is gaining new fans as well as owners. Like every other stable, not every MyRacehorse athlete is a rousing success, and setbacks are regular occurrences. This is horse racing after all, and as any owner can attest, it’s not easy to turn a profit in this game. However, the model minimizes investors’ financial risk and allows them to diversify by owning shares in multiple horses for a small investment to increase their overall odds of success. Correspondingly, though, the financial upside is considerably less than traditional full or fractional racehorse ownership. Many of MyRacehorse’s shareholders are not in it for financial gain, though; that is just a great potential benefit. They are in it to be part of something special. They are in it for the entertainment and the shared experience with like-minded people who love horses and horse racing. They are looking for the experience Behrens believed he could provide that would fit in the growing experiential economy.
GLOVER (RIGHT) AND HIS HUSBAND, VERNON, WITH THEIR OFFICIAL AUTHENTIC BREEDERS’ CUP OWNERS’ HATS.
watching more of his horses run in big races in the future. And my friends and other family members have shown unprecedented interest in the sport I have loved for four decades thanks to Authentic. You just can’t put a price on that. MyRacehorse’s microshare ownership model is not for everyone, and you can certainly find some on social media who might criticize its structure. From a financial perspective, it is a low-risk, low-reward investment. Not everyone will be satisfied owning such a small percentage of their horses and not having input on decisions regarding their horses’ care and career trajectories. However, for many fans and even current owners, MyRacehorse is a way to participate in our sport at even the highest levels in a financially accessible way, and ideally it will serve as a springboard for some of those microshare owners to make the decision to pursue more traditional racehorse ownership in the future. HJ
Richard E. Glover Jr. owns a marketing and communications consulting firm, Glover Enterprises, and is the director of communications for the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership and the vice president of communications & marketing at Space Center Houston. He is also a former editor of The Horsemen’s Journal.
the ride with Authentic and MyRacehorse has been an unforgettable opportunity to live out an impossible dream. I
realize I own just a tiny bit of a Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, but any way you slice it, I do own part of him.
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
What is the Retired Racehorse Project? The RRP is a nonprofit organization working to expand the market for Thoroughbreds after racing in the equestrian world.
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HAVE A THOROUGHBRED TO RETIRE AND REHOME? WITH OTTB UNITED, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT By Jen Roytz
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
horoughbreds are incredible athletes. Their power, determination and speed draw us to them and to the sport of horse racing. But with the average racehorse retiring at the age of 5, they have many more years of athleticism and usefulness left to offer. The way trainers and owners have retired and rehomed racehorses at the conclusion of their careers has evolved over the years, of course. Thoroughbreds were once highly sought-after for the show ring and in the hunt field, but as the Warmblood invasion from Europe came about in the 1990s, rehoming a Thoroughbred became more challenging. That led to the advent of aftercare, with nonprofit organizations popping up throughout North America to take in, rehabilitate, retrain and adopt retired racehorses out to safe and suitable homes. Private resellers and backside agents did the same, helping to market and rehome Thoroughbreds on behalf of their connections through their own networks or through listing services like CANTER (the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) and similar organizations. All of these efforts by both organizations and individuals were only as successful as the audience they could reach. That’s why the advent of social media, specifically Facebook, had a huge impact on rehoming Thoroughbreds after racing. With a single post containing photos and a description of a horse, rehomers were able to reach tens of thousands of people at a time rather than just a few dozen. So, when Facebook updated its policies in recent years to ban the advertising of animals for sale on its platform, it severely limited both nonprofit and for-profit rehoming efforts, making it significantly more challenging to market Thoroughbreds to equestrians in an affordable and effective way.
THE CREATION OF OTTB UNITED
COURTESY OTTB UNITED
THE FIRST TIME I NAVIGATED OTTB UNITED, MY VERY FIRST THOUGHT WAS ‘IT’S LIKE FACEBOOK FOR HORSES!’ THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Earlier this year, Amy Rubin and Jen Ruberto, both professional racehorse rehomers, began talking about the issues they and others were facing due to Facebook’s increasing enforcement of its policies regarding restrictions on animal sales and related posts. “The Facebook commerce policy restricting animal sales went quietly unenforced for years, and Facebook became the most widely used platform for horse sales,” OTTB United co-founder Amy Rubin said. “In 2019, however, Facebook aggressively clamped down on the practice, and their algorithms were flagging listings at an increased rate, which often resulted in the restriction of account holders’ permissions or colloquially ‘Facebook jail.’ And, if the platform is your primary advertising medium within a community, a stint in Facebook jail could bring your business to a screeching halt.” As Facebook began targeting not only new posts but previous posts as well, one of the many victims of the crackdown was Ruberto, whose family owns Ruberto Racing Stable, which competes primarily in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. “The idea for the app came to me when Jen Ruberto was in Facebook jail after being flagged for a post she’d written over a year prior,” Rubin said. “I wanted to help her and the OTTB [off-track Thoroughbred] community in some way. I pitched her the idea for the app, which would provide the community with a new platform, and she said, ‘Let’s do it!’ The rest is history.” Neither Rubin nor Ruberto had created an app before, but luckily Rubin knew someone who had. “Ulli Hildebrand and I met at the barn years ago,” Rubin said. “She’s a fabulous German rider and savvy businesswoman.” Hildebrand, whose background includes extensive experience in project management and human resources management for Mercedes-Benz, worked with Rubin to flesh out the plan for OTTB United while sitting on tack trunks at the barn. They looped in Nick Routsong, an app developer with extensive
COURTESY OTTB UNITED
WITH JUST A FEW CLICKS ON THE APP, A THOROUGHBRED EX-RACEHORSE CAN BE ON ITS WAY TO A SECOND CAREER.
experience creating feature-rich platforms, who also came on board as a partner. As racetracks throughout the country shut down in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, the closures became the catalyst for fast-tracking the app to market. “As we got into the process of researching and developing, tracks began closing,” Ruberto said. “I think only Florida and Texas remained open. It was nearly five months with no income, and folks were really starting to panic, not knowing if they would be able to feed their horses. They began selling off their cheaper horses but were running into Facebook restrictions as well. We hoped this app would be beneficial to the racing industry going forward in that it is so simple to use to get their horse in front of a wide audience immediately.”
HOW THE APP WORKS The OTTB United app is designed for a user-friendly experience. Those offering horses for sale or adoption can easily upload photos and videos directly from their smartphone, write a description and note the categories for which the horse is well-suited, such as being eligible for the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, being amateur-friendly or having a propensity for various disciplines. Users can download the basic version of the app for free and scroll through images and introductory information about available horses, or they can get the premium version for $4.99 per month to view full listings, including the option to send a direct message to the seller for more information. For sellers or shippers, the premium version allows horses to be posted for sale or for nonprofit aftercare organizations to list horses available for adoption. For professional rehoming agents like Amy Paulus, the app will likely be a game-changer. Serving horsemen primarily in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, Paulus assists in the rehoming of 500 to 600 horses a year, and graduates of her services have gone to homes in every state except Hawaii. “Facebook is a huge outlet to reach a diverse group of people,” Paulus said. “It’s one of the only ways for us to market on a large scale. The Facebook restrictions have tripled my workload. We had to be very careful about what we were posting and could even get flagged for other people’s comments on our posts.” OTTB United helps people like Paulus connect with their audience quickly and easily. Those shopping for horses can easily scroll through pictures and introductory descriptions of available horses, or they can enter more specific search parameters. Users also can choose to receive push notifications when horses are listed that meet their search criteria or when their favorite agent lists new horses.
“The first time I navigated OTTB United, my very first thought was ‘It’s like Facebook for horses!’” Paulus said. “This app was created to get information out there quickly and easily. The app has so many search options and allows you to add so much detail. These guys thought of everything from both sides of the equation. It’s very user-friendly for both the buyer and the seller.” While the app’s developers started with the thought of creating something to help horses transitioning away from racing, it also offers a platform to market Thoroughbreds in every stage of life, including those who have not raced and horses with extensive show experience. The app also allows users to share horses’ listings on social media in a way that meets Facebook’s standards, as well as to share listings with family and friends, which is perfect for an equestrian looking for the advice of their coach or for a junior shopping with a parent. And as mentioned earlier, shoppers can easily message back and forth with sellers for more information as they navigate the decision on whether to try, vet or purchase the horse. “The thing I’m most excited about is being able to use one single platform to network off of,” Paulus said. “As someone who is admittedly easily frustrated with technology, it is easy to navigate, everything is upfront, and I think soon enough we are going to see it become the place for anyone shopping for a Thoroughbred.”
SHIPPING SOLUTIONS From working in the field of Thoroughbred retraining and rehoming for years, Ruberto and Rubin knew firsthand how time-consuming it can be to coordinate shipping for horses, whether from the racetrack to an aftercare or retraining situation or to a new home once the horse has been adopted or sold. That’s why they expanded the app’s features to include capabilities to schedule shipping. “Many OTTBs are purchased by out-of-state buyers, which makes it incredibly important to factor shipping into the transaction,” Rubin explained. “Plus, shippers are an integral partner in our success. We wanted to create a platform where shippers can post routes and interface with clients without encountering the fees other platforms charge.” Ian Redman, who operates under the banner of Redman International Equine Transport, saw the value in such an app as soon as he learned about it. Based in Delaware but transporting horses throughout the United States and Canada, Redman got into the shipping business originally through his wife, Jessica, who runs an OTTB retraining and sales business called Benchmark Sport Horses. “We have about 140 to 150 horses come through our farm each year, so that’s roughly 300 shipments alone,” Redman said. “For us and anyone dealing
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TIPS FOR EYE-CATCHING VISUALS AND COMPELLING DESCRIPTIONS Just because someone is shopping for an off-track prospect rather than a racehorse doesn’t mean they’re not picky. In fact, for those looking to spend respectable money on what will likely be a long-term partner, they will often be more discerning. Taking a few extra minutes to get quality photos and write a thorough description can make a meaningful difference, both in interest and in dollars.
• Take the time to present the horse at its best—well-groomed, on level ground, no poultices or bandages and standing properly for a photo so all four legs are visible and the horse is balanced. • Take a conformation photo, a headshot and front and hind end photos, along with any other appealing photos (photos/video of the horse being ridden on the track or shed row are an added bonus). • Get a video from the side and front of the horse walking. • Choose a time of day that the horse will be more relaxed (for example, at a racetrack, after training hours once the backside has quieted down is ideal). • Be aware of your lighting and background. Have the sun to your back so the horse is welllit and not in shadows, and be sure there is nothing overly distracting in the background (a muck pit or large equipment, for example) that would detract from the horse. • Take photos with an actual camera versus a smartphone, if at all possible. The image quality will be significantly better and more eye-catching to buyers. • Offer an honest, thorough description of the horse’s physical attributes and temperament, including its Jockey Club name, age, height, personality, how it rides and handles, any known soundness issues, etc., as well as the asking price. • Get assistance in taking photos and videos or in writing a description if you need it. Ask the racing office or HBPA affiliate for the local aftercare liaison’s contact information or go to the Thoroughbred Charities of America (tca.org) or Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (thoroughbredadoption.org) websites to find the adoption organizations in your area.
OTHER KEY STEPS
• Use a photo in which the horse is dirty or standing poorly, as often the decision by a potential buyer to inquire about purchasing an off-track prospect is based on the conformation photo. • Use photos or videos in which the horse is misbehaving. Better to not use a certain photo or video than use a bad one. Only post those that are a positive representation of the horse. • Lie or omit information about a horse’s soundness or temperament. Doing so can result in an unfavorable pairing for the horse and new owner, potentially resulting in injury to the new owner, the horse becoming unwanted and passed into irresponsible hands or it ending up in a kill auction.
As the seller, ask potential buyers for references, including at least a couple of people who either have rehomed horses with the potential buyer before or who can speak to the buyer’s level of horsemanship. Complete and submit the Sold as Retired from Racing form—available on The Jockey Club (jockeyclub.com) and Retired Racehorse Project (therrp.org) websites—to help ensure the horse is not put back into racing. Regardless of whether you’re selling or giving the horse away, use a contract or bill of sale that includes language that the horse is to be sold as-is, a notification of change of ownership and a no auction/slaughter requirement. The Retired Racehorse Project has a sample contract. For more information and tips on rehoming racehorses, go to therrp.org or email email@example.com.
with the retraining and rehoming of Thoroughbreds, they can’t linger, because that limits how many horses you can get in.” Redman often has a single horse going to or from a location with room to add more or to adjust his route to serve others. “They asked me about the idea of the app when it was in its infancy, and I felt the biggest thing for shippers was that it needed to be very user-friendly and simple,” Redman said. “Most shippers don’t want fluff. They want to be able to say, ‘This is where I am, this is where I am going, and this is what space I have available on a trip.’ This app gives you a huge group of people to say that to. It’s a one-stop shop for clients.” With every premium subscription, a portion of the monthly user fee can be given back to the user’s preferred rehoming organization.
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“There are so many programs—both private rehomers and nonprofits— doing good work behind the scenes, so it was an easy decision for us to want to create a way to support them,” Rubin said. “This was an app developed by equestrians for equestrians. We are already planning to roll out several new features in 2021. We want people to use it, hopefully love it and give us the feedback we need to make it even better.” HJ Jen Roytz is the executive director of the Retired Racehorse Project, a national nonprofit that works to increase demand for Thoroughbreds after racing. She also co-owns Topline Communications, which focuses on marketing, PR and media relations. Jen and her fiancé, Dr. Stuart Brown, own Brownstead Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sport horse farm located in Versailles, Kentucky. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 41
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MEDROXYPROGESTERONE ACETATE: FROM INNOCUOUS SUBSTANCE TO CLASS B PENALTY A cautionary tale about the medication commonly used for fillies and mares By Kimberly Brewer, DVM, MSc; Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Jake Machin, BSc; and Thomas Tobin, MRCVS, PhD, DABT
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edroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is a long-acting progesterone derivative that has been used for estrus suppression in female competition horses for dozens of years. Administered subcutaneously (SQ) or intramuscularly (IM), this medication has an exceptionally long terminal elimination half-life: 30 days following SQ administration and 24 days following IM administration.1 MPA is used worldwide for human birth control as a 150 milligram dose administered SQ or IM every three months,2 and as part of oral hormone replacement therapy in menopausal women.3 It is considered safe and effective and is on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List.4 The application of MPA in horses mirrors that in humans. The progestin, altrenogest (or Regumate), is FDA-approved for heat suppression in mares but comes with a risk to humans who handle the substance. Altrenogest is absorbed through the skin and can upset the menstrual cycle of women, potentially for a very long time. Therefore, MPA has been commonly used when young women are handling horses in which heat suppression is necessary. Additionally, progesterone analogs have been used in colts for temporary behavior modification to control dangerous behavior. Finally, as an unintended consequence of the restrictions on corticosteroid joint injections, MPA has been used based on its beneficial effect in alleviating joint inflammation if injected directly into joints.5 In 2009 a study evaluating a single dosing regimen for MPA in six mares failed to demonstrate an effect on heat suppression in mares,6 although veterinary practitioners using alternative dosing regimens have observed its effectiveness. Based on this limited study and anecdotal reports of severe adverse reactions, the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) prohibited the administration of MPA to competition horses in 2019.7 In December of that year, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) banned the use of MPA, along with Regumate, for male horses regarding their use in modifying dangerous studdish behavior. The following April, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) issued a veterinary technical bulletin and a horsemen’s bulletin recommending that MPA not be used in any horses.8 These regulatory communications have been closely associated with six recent positive calls for MPA in Ohio and Minnesota racing.
RECENT OFFICIAL MPA IDENTIFICATIONS IN OHIO AND MINNESOTA? On February 24, 2020, the first ARCI-recorded positive for MPA was called on a Standardbred horse named Carolina Beach at Northfield Park in Ohio.9 Since then, six more identifications for MPA have been called (including a second one for Carolina Beach), with three in Ohio and three in Minnesota (see Table 1). Given that MPA is, as a practical matter, a newly reported positive identification, we must first examine what MPA exactly is, and second, why it is now suddenly being reported in post-race samples. Additionally, as will become clear, the fact that Carolina Beach tested positive twice for MPA in races four months apart following a single administration of MPA is fully consistent with the exceptionally long detection times for MPA following single subcutaneous or intramuscular administration in humans and apparently also in horses.
WHAT IS MEDROXYPROGESTERONE ACETATE? MPA is, as the name suggests, a steroid-based, progestin-type hormonal medication. Marketed as Depo-Provera, it has long been used in humans as a birth control medication and administered by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.10 Pharmacologically effective concentrations of MPA are reached by five days after injection, and the MPA blood level remains pharmacologically effective for three months. Thus, Depo-Provera and presumably related formulations are considered to be unusually slow-releasing and long-acting.11
HOW LONG CAN MPA BE DETECTED AFTER A SINGLE ADMINISTRATION? In humans, the plasma concentrations of MPA are pharmacologically effective at about 1 nanogram per milliliter (ng/ml) at three months after the last administration, so the time period for which MPA can be detected after a single intramuscular administration is highly likely to be significantly longer than three months. In a human study, plasma concentrations of MPA after
ARCI-Reported Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Identifications, September 2020 DATE
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Purse redistribution and fine
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Florida Two Step
Ohio Department of Agriculture
Running Aces Harness Park
$1,000 fine; Purse redistribution
Running Aces Harness Park
Sand and Rocks
$2,000 fine; 15day suspension (same trainer as Doubleontherocks)
TABLE 1. THE ARCI LISTING OF REPORTED MEDROXYPROGESTERONE ACETATE (MPA) POSITIVES. THE FIRST IDENTIFICATION WAS IN OHIO STANDARDBRED RACING WITH CAROLINA BEACH ON FEBRUARY 24, 2020. THAT HORSE TESTED POSITIVE AGAIN ON JUNE 29, TO OUR KNOWLEDGE BASED ON A SINGLE MPA ADMINISTRATION PRIOR TO THE FIRST IDENTIFICATION. AS OF PRESS TIME, MPA ONLY HAD BEEN REPORTED IDENTIFIED IN SAMPLES TAKEN IN OHIO AND MINNESOTA RACING.
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SERUM MEDROXYPROGESTERONE LEVELS POST ADMINISTRATION, 150MG IM
Serum Concentration (ng/mL)
Subject 1 Subject 2 Subject 3 t1/2 (~84.84)
Days Post-Administration FIGURE 1. PLASMA CONCENTRATIONS OF MPA AFTER A SINGLE 150 MG INTRAMUSCULAR ADMINISTRATION OF DEPO-PROVERA TO A HUMAN, FROM MISHELL 1996.
administration of a 150 milligram intramuscular dose of Depo-Provera fell below the effective 1 ng/ml at about three months post-administration, with a further gradual decline to about 10 pg/ml at seven months post-administration (Figure 1). This represents the longest-known detection time of any single administration of a drug. Concern among horsemen and women about MPA first surfaced in June 2016, when a veterinary practitioner inquired concerning the use of MPA at Standardbred tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region; the response was that practitioners were using it with a standard 72-hour withdrawal.12
REGULATORY CONCERN AT USEF RELATED TO MPA On July 25, 2017, USEF noted that the organization would require medication report forms to be filed if a horse had been treated with MPA within three months of the start date of a USEF competition. These recommendations were part of a review process concerning how MPA was being used and its possible effects on competition horses.13,14 It was widely believed that MPA was used as a “calming agent,” based on a 2003 paper that demonstrated that, in slices of rat brain, medroxyprogesterone (326 ng/ml) increases both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA.15 This concentration is more than 300 times the expected therapeutic level, so not unexpectedly, this GABAA connection has not been supported by findings in more recent studies.16,17 Despite no clear link between a calming effect and MPA, on November 13, 2019, USEF communicated that it had decided to prohibit the use of MPA in horses competing at USEF-regulated events, effective that December 1.18 USEF also noted that “due to the length of time involved for MPA to leave a horse’s system,” sanctions for a positive test result were to begin on June 1, 2020, consistent with USEF’s being aware of the likely six-month or thereabouts detection time for MPA following its administration to horses. Interestingly, despite the scientific evidence presented in Figure 1 and the apparent awareness of USEF that detection times could extend to six months, there have been reported recommendations from USEF personnel suggesting a 90-day
withdrawal time, with a suggested extension to 120 days if there are concerns about the dose used or frequency of administration.19
REGULATORY CONCERN AT THE RMTC RELATED TO MPA As mentioned earlier, the RMTC released a veterinary technical bulletin, as well as a similar horsemen’s bulletin, on April 20, recommending “that medroxyprogesterone, often known as Depo-Provera, not be used.”20 The bulletins noted that medroxyprogesterone “has been administered to mares in an attempt to control behavior during heat,” but they also noted that “its use has been associated with serious and life-threatening allergic reactions and in some cases has resulted in sudden death,”21 not unlike other repository drug formulations. The bulletins specifically cited the USEF prohibition of MPA and presented a portion of the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ position on MPA. “Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is a synthetic progestin hormone administered to mares off-label in an attempt to suppress behavioral estrus. However, a controlled research study found that MPA was not effective at suppression of behavioral estrus. (1) Many veterinarians believe MPA modifies behavior by producing a calming effect in the horse and does not have a therapeutic benefit that goes beyond this behavior modification. Therefore, the AAEP recommends that MPA should not be administered to horses in competition.”22 We also specifically note that while USEF’s communications drew attention to the unusually long detection time for MPA administered as Depo-Provera or equivalent formulations, the RMTC’s April 20 bulletins contain no information concerning the well-understood and exceptionally long detection times associated with the administration and use of Depo-Provera or equivalent MPA formulations. Of further interest is the fact that MPA was not listed in the January 2019 version of the ARCI Foreign Substances Classification guidelines23 and, when introduced, was apparently spelled incorrectly until September 2020,24 as shown in Table 2.
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Revisions to ARCI Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances VERSION
Replaced methoxyprogesterone as probable typo
Added as Drug Class 3, Penalty Class B
Removed as drug does not exist
Removed asterisk language on permitted NSAIDs
Moved to correct location alphabetically
TABLE 2. REVISIONS TO ARCI UNIFORM CLASSIFICATION GUIDELINES FOR FOREIGN SUBSTANCES.
Following these USEF and ARCI communications, MPA positive tests became more readily seen, with limited veterinarian and horseperson understanding as to where the identifications were originating. It was pointed out at this time that, based on its relatively widespread use in human medicine and its stability in the environment, MPA is also a significant environmental substance, being found in river water at concentrations of up to 15 pg/ml. Given these circumstances, it was suggested to the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV) that care should be exercised concerning MPA’s use, and it was specifically noted that injections into synovial structures might lead to very prolonged detection times for this agent. A further suggestion was that plasma concentrations below 200 pg/ml be considered an interim screening limit, given MPA’s exceptionally long withdrawal time when used either as a long-acting formulation or by a route of administration likely to result in a prolonged detection time. These scientific findings and regulatory events are fully consistent with veterinary regulatory experience with MPA. Earlier this year, NAARV began to receive communications from horsemen concerning medroxyprogesterone identifications. The first reports indicated that it was being used as an intrasynovial injection and that it was being detected for very long periods after such administration. This prolonged detection time is fully consistent with its administration into a poorly perfused tissue such as a tendon sheath or joint. At that time, we were unfamiliar with MPA’s prolonged detection time when administered as Depo-Provera or equivalent formulations, although a literature search rapidly brought the data presented in Figure 1 to our attention. Another possible cause of a cluster of positive tests for any given substance is that the testing laboratory in question may, for one reason or another, have recently initiated testing for the substance, consistent with the reported identifications being associated with only two racing jurisdictions. NOTES 1. Mishell DR Jr. Pharmacokinetics of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate contraception. J Reprod Med. 1996 May, 41(5 Suppl):381–90. PMID: 8725700. 2. Depo-Provera. (n.d.) Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/020246s036lbl.pdf. 3. www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-8674/medroxyprogesterone-oral/details#:~:text=Medroxyprogesterone%20is%20also%20used%20as,used%20 to%20test%20for%20pregnancy. Accessed November 9, 2020. 4. WHO Model List of Essential Medicines. April 2013. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.who.int/medicines/ publications/essentialmedicines/18th_EML.pdf. 5. Khalkhali-Ellis Z, Seftor EA, Nieva DR, Handa RJ, Price RH Jr., Kirschmann DA, Baragi VM, Sharma RV, Bhalla RC, Moore TL, Hendrix MJ. Estrogen and progesterone regulation of human fibroblast-like synoviocyte function in vitro: implications in rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheum. 2000 June, 27(7):1622–1631 6. Gee EK, DeLuca C, Stylski JL, McCue PM. Efficacy of medroxyprogesterone acetate in suppression of estrus in cycling mares. J Equine Vet Sci. 2009 29(3):140–145. 7. “USEF Board of Directors Prohibits the Use of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate.” November 13, 2019. U.S. Equestrian Federation. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.usef.org/media/press-releases/usef-board-of-directors-prohibits-use-of. 8. “Horseman’s Bulletin.” April 20, 2020. Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.racingohio.net/ RMTC_Horsemens_Bulletin.pdf. 9. Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties Model Rule. September 2020 (v.14.3). Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.arci.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Uniform-Classification-Guidelines-Version-14.3.pdf. 10. Mishell 1996. 11. Depo-Provera. 12. Brewer, K., DVM. July 16, 2020. Warning: Medroxyprogesterone/depo prova [email to email@example.com]. 13. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera) disclosure form. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.usef.org/forms-pubs/pZXMbDmczIw/ medroxyprogesterone-acetate-mpa.
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A third concern with MPA is that it is a major source of contamination of waterways because it survives wastewater treatment and can be present in water at levels of 15 pg/ml.25 As we have set forth above, MPA is the central component of a widely used hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women,26 so urine from such persons is also a clear potential source of environmental contamination. Also, MPA is used as part of chemical castration in sex offenders,27 although this is presumably a less common source of environmental contamination than its use in birth control and post-menopausal conditions.
CONCLUSION Because of the confluence of medroxyprogesterone acetate’s exceptionally long half-life and its recent reclassification as a prohibited substance, we have suggested that regulators use a nine-month “phase-in” period for MPA regulation in horse racing combined with an interim 200 pg/ml screening limit of detection in equine plasma samples. HJ
INCREASED INCIDENCE OF MPA POSITIVE TESTS REPORTED
14. 2 017 Depo-Provera Workshop. March 13, 2017. U.S. Equestrian Federation. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from www.usef.org/network/ coverage/2017workshop. 15. B elleli D, Herd MB. The contraceptive agent provera enhances GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission in the rat hippocampus: evidence for endogenous neurosteroids? J Neu-rosci 23(31):10013–10020. 16. P azol K, Northcutt KV, Patisaul HB, Wallen K, Wilson ME. Progesterone and medroxyprogesterone acetate differentially regulate α4 subunit expression of GABAA receptors in the CA1 hippocampus of female rats. Physiol Behav. 2009 April 20; 97(1): 58–61. 17. F rye CA, Walf AA, Paris JJ. Conjugated equine estrogen, with medroxyprogesterone acetate, enhances formation of 5α-reduced progestogens and reduces anxiety-like behavior of middle-aged rats. Behav Pharmacol. September 2010; 21(5-6): 530–539. 18. “ USEF Board of Directors Prohibits the Use of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate.” November 2019. 19. S chumacher, S., DVM and Brewer, K., DVM. June 8, 2020. Medroxyprogesterone acetate [email]. 20. “ Horsemen’s Bulletin.” April 2020. 21. “ Horsemen’s Bulletin.” April 2020. 22. “ Medication: AAEP.” 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://aaep.org/guidelines/aaep-ethical-and-professional-guidelines/aaepposition-statements/medication. 23. U niform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties Model Rule. January 2018 (v.13.4). Retrieved October 1, 2020, from https://arci.blob.core.windows.net/webdocs/2018_01_09_CLASSIFICATION_V13.4.pdf. 24. U niform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties Model Rule. September 2020 (v. 14.3). 25. G olovko O, Šauer P, Fedorova G, Kroupová HK, Grabic R. Determination of progestogens in surface and waste water using SPE extraction and LC-APCI/APPI-HRPS. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Apr 15; 621:1066–1073. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.120. Epub 2017 Nov 6. PMID: 29102184. 26. P aciuc J. Hormone therapy in menopause. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020; 1242:89–120. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-38474-6_6. PMID: 32406030. 27. S ilvani M, Mondaini N, Zucchi A. Androgen deprivation therapy (castration therapy) and pedophilia: what’s new. Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2015 Sep 30; 87(3):222–6. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2015.3.222. PMID: 26428645.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As you are undoubtably aware, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact around the world, including, of course, within the horse racing industry. Because it is not possible to provide timely and accurate updates in a print magazine, please refer to the National HBPA website at hbpa.org, individual affiliate websites and social media channels for the latest information about how this pandemic is affecting racing. Information in this section is current as of late November but is subject to change at any time. Please contact your affiliate or racetrack to confirm any specific information.
ALABAMA HBPA Magic City Classic and Ken Cotton Classic Updates The Magic City Classic was set to be off and running! Scheduled for December 11, the race for registered Alabama-breds, 3-year-olds and up, going one mile offered a $50,000 guaranteed purse and was once again run at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and temporary track closures, the Ken Cotton Classic for registered Alabama-breds that was originally scheduled for early May was rescheduled for September at Louisiana Downs. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the race did not run. As benevolence for the horsemen who had prepped their horses for this race, the $25,000 purse was split equally among the six horses that had entered to run. We do plan to run the race in 2021. If you have registered Alabama-breds that have placed fourth or better in open company races run at any U.S. track, please let us know. You are eligible for supplemental purse distributions directly from the Alabama HBPA. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (205) 969-7048. Doing this before the end of this year would be appreciated. In an effort to keep our membership updated, we have three sources—The Horsemen’s Journal, email and U.S. mail. Many of our emails are outdated and kick back. Please take the time to send us your updated contact information either by email to email@example.com, by phone at (205) 969-7048 or by U.S. mail at Nancy Delony, 3221 Ridgely Drive, Birmingham, AL 35243. Stay safe and healthy, and have a happy holiday season. We are all looking forward to the new year. Nancy Delony, Executive Director
and the apron will be open for owners, guests and a limited number of fans. The clubhouse, turf club and upper grandstand will be closed. The racing office and the stewards’ office will be kept closed, and all business with either office will need to be done by phone, email or Google Meet. General Manager Vince Francia has been busy getting the backside ready for horses. Streets have been paved and swept. The turf track was reseeded in early November and is growing in nicely and looks very plush. It should be in great shape by January 4. The swimming pool and joggers will not be available during this race meet. Greg Stiles with the Arizona Department of Gaming is asking everyone to go online to apply for licenses at racing.az.gov. You can pay for your license at this site, fill it out, print off your application and email it to licensing@azgaming. gov. If you have any questions, call (602) 771-4263. Any other business with the licensing office will be by appointment only. The year of 2020 has sure had its challenges, and everything is being done differently. Please keep in mind that all of these changes are for the safety of everyone. The Arizona HBPA and President Bob Hutton in particular have worked tirelessly to ensure the best outcome, and while it might not be ideal, it does afford us the opportunity to have racing in Arizona this season. We value our horsemen and appreciate your patience as we all navigate this new normal.
Finally, after an on-again, off-again race meet at Turf Paradise, we are on! The backside opened November 19 for barn setups, and horses were set to come onto the grounds on November 25. After several weeks of negotiations between the Arizona HBPA and Turf Paradise owner Jerry Simms, an agreement was reached, and opening day will be Monday, January 4, 2021. Turf Paradise will run an 84-day meet, and racing will be held Monday through Friday. The meet will conclude on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 1. The standard COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be in place. Only essential personnel will be allowed on the backside. Face masks, daily temperature checks with wristbands and social distancing are required. No owners will be allowed on the backside or in the paddock. The saddling paddock is limited to the trainer and one horse handler, and winner’s circle photos will be limited to the trainer, one horse handler and the jockey. The ground floor of the grandstand 48
Turf Paradise Meet to Start January 4
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AFFILIATE NEWS ARKANSAS HBPA Oaklawn Announces New Proposed Integrity Initiatives Ahead of 2021 Season Working in partnership with the Arkansas Racing Commission and the Arkansas HBPA, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort has announced, subject to legislative approval, a series of significant proposed safety and integrity enhancements planned for the 2021 racing season. Key provisions include the prohibition of clenbuterol within 60 days of a race, reduction in the maximum amount of Lasix without specific approval and the mandatory use of safety whips in races. “We began working on these measures last spring,” said Oaklawn President Louis Cella. “We hosted a series of roundtable meetings with horsemen, regulators, racing officials and our own management team where we asked a simple question: ‘What can we do to enhance the safety and integrity of our program?’” Cella said the effort resulted in about a dozen proposed rule and policy changes, some of which are unique in American Thoroughbred racing. The rule changes are currently making their way through the regulatory approval process in Arkansas and are expected to be finalized in advance of the 2021 racing season, which starts January 22. “We could not have accomplished all of this without the strong partnership we have with our racing commission and our horsemen,” Cella said. “When it comes to integrity and safety, we are united.” Some of the proposed rule or policy changes include: • The use of clenbuterol or any other beta2-agonist will not be allowed within 60 days prior to a race at Oaklawn, confirmed for the first time through hair testing. • The maximum dosage of Lasix that can be administered has been reduced by 50 percent without specific approval of the state veterinarian. Lasix is also prohibited in any 3-year-old stakes that awards points toward eligibility in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1). These are the Smarty Jones, Southwest (G3), Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) for horses pointing toward the Kentucky Derby and the Martha Washington, Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) for horses pointing toward the Kentucky Oaks. • The use of extracorporeal shockwave therapy, radial pulse wave therapy or similar treatments will not be allowed within 30 days of a race. Also, shockwave equipment will not be allowed on Oaklawn’s grounds at any time. • Trainer and veterinarian records must be made available upon request for review by the pre-race exam veterinarians. • The only riding crops allowed during races will be the 360 Gentle Touch (360 GT), ProCush or other similar riding crops approved by the stewards. • Off-track training facilities in Arkansas will be asked to agree to abide by rules similar to those that apply on-track. • Horses will be required to be on the grounds at least 72 hours before a race unless approved for late arrival. To facilitate this, entries will be scheduled at least four days prior to a race. Cella said the timing for these safety and integrity enhancements is perfect. “Our racing program has become one of the elite racing programs in America with a projected average daily purse distribution of $700,000 a day in 2021,” he noted. “In addition, we are close to completing a $100-million expansion project that will elevate the program even further. So the time for safety and integrity enhancements is now.”
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One of the individuals who worked closely with Oaklawn and horsemen in developing these measures was Arkansas Racing Commission chair Alex Lieblong. A horse owner himself, Lieblong said, “I applaud Oaklawn for taking these forward-thinking steps that will help solidify Oaklawn’s status as one of the premier racing destinations in the country. They have the full support of the racing commission.” Another key participant was Bill Walmsley, president of the Arkansas HBPA. “We began these meetings in early 2020 and continued working through the summer and into the fall,” he said. “While we do not endorse every change, we do not object to any of these changes. Overall, it has been a true partnership effort, and it demonstrates why Oaklawn, the Arkansas HBPA and the Arkansas Racing Commission enjoy what I believe is the strongest working relationship in the industry.” Oaklawn’s 2021 season runs from Friday, January 22, to Saturday, May 1. The schedule features a total of 33 stakes worth $11 million, highlighted by four $1-million stakes races—the Rebel Stakes (G2), Arkansas Derby (G1), Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Apple Blossom Handicap (G1)—and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history.
CHARLES TOWN HBPA Election Results The 2020 state and local elections saw all but one of our local representatives reelected to their offices. The Charles Town HBPA is pleased to be able to continue building relationships with these legislators who continue to support the interests of the horsemen in our area.
Flu Shot Clinic The Charles Town HBPA sponsored a flu shot clinic on October 8. This annual event provides free flu shots for backstretch workers and drew nearly 40 participants in a two-hour window.
Farm Credit Scholarships The Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement is kicking off its 2021 scholarship program. The foundation will award 10 scholarships worth $10,000 each to students in the MidAtlantic Farm Credit service area. The scholarships are for high school seniors or those currently enrolled in a two- or four-year higher education program with plans to pursue a career in agriculture. Eligible careers include but are not limited to farmers, food scientists, veterinarians and agriculture teachers. For more information or to complete an application, visit fcfoundationforag.org.
Racing Schedule Charles Town Races recently announced updates to its 2020 schedule as well as its 2021 racing calendar. Four Wednesday racing days were added to the 2020 schedule: November 25, December 2, December 9 and December 16. The 2021 racing schedule will kick off on Wednesday, January 6.
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AFFILIATE NEWS WV Dash for Cash Breeders Classic presented by ROCKWOOL Dr. Feelgood • Jockey: Darius Thorpe • Trainer: Crystal G. Pickett • Owner: Jill Daniel • Breeder: Francis W. Daniel III
Breeders Classics Awsome Faith, a 7-year-old Friesan Fire gelding, gave owner and trainer Jeff “Scott” Allen his first-ever triumph on West Virginia Breeders Classics night in the 1 1/8-mile, $150,000 WV Breeders Classic Stakes. COADY PHOTOGRAPHY
WVTBA Onion Juice Breeders Classic Penguin Power • Jockey: Arnaldo Bocachica • Trainer: Jeff C. Runco • Owner: David M. Raim • Breeder: John D. McKee WV Cavada Breeders Classic Bridging the Gap • Jockey: Reshawn Latchman • Trainer/Owner: John D. McKee • Breeder: Don E. Cain WV Breeders Classic Awsome Faith • Jockey: Antonio Lopez • Trainer/Owner: Jeffrey S. Allen • Breeder: Roger C. Mattei WV Roger Ramey Breeders Classic Distaff presented by Beau Ridge Farm She Figures • Jockey: Luis A. Batista • Trainer: Ronney W. Brown • Owner: Kenneth L. Brown • Breeder: Schiano Racing Inc.
INDIANA HBPA Strong Tide Earns Leading Horse Honors, Top Horsemen Crowned as Meet Ends with Record Numbers
WV Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic That Kenney Kid • Jockey: Arnaldo Bocachica • Trainer: Jeff C. Runco • Owner: David Kenney and ERJ Racing LLC • Breeder: Maurice F. Casey III
The abbreviated 96-day season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino offered 92 days of combined Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing along with four days dedicated directly to the sprinters to set a new handle record of $198,960,722. Record numbers were posted throughout the season. The track recorded its highest single program handle on the Indiana Derby on Wednesday, July 8, with a total of $5,979,952 wagered on the 12-race card. The Indiana Derby race alone garnered $1,026,395 in handle, which was a single-race record for the track. The four-day race period featuring the Indiana Derby also marked the best week ever in the 18-year history of racing for Indiana Grand with a total of $13,176,192 wagered. The final week of racing also established some records as a total of $3,869,898 was wagered on the final program of the year, Thursday, November 19, marking the largest handle ever on a non-Indiana Derby racing card. In COADY PHOTOGRAPHY
“Going into this race, I really was hoping to be third or fourth,” said Allen, who got his trainer’s license in 1999 after working for Jeff Runco, David Walters and several others on the backstretch. “Even when they went the first part of it, he was so far back, I thought he would be third at best. But the pace was pretty honest, and those horses started to tire a little bit. I thought Antonio [Lopez] might be able to find a seam along the rail, but he got to the outside and kept going. Then he finished up great. I just can’t believe it.” The other big winner of the night was John McKee, who captured races on the card as an owner, trainer and breeder. He also stands Fiber Sonde, who sired five winners on the card. All told, McKee had a winning hand in five of the nine stakes on the night. “He’s certainly been a blessing for us,” McKee said of Fiber Sonde. “I probably could have charged more for him, but I like to keep his book full, and $1,000 just seems fair. He’s had horses win early and win as older horses. They’ve won sprints, and they’ve won going long. It was a big night. Anytime you can win one of those races on the big night up here you feel grateful. But I won two, and Fiber Sonde won three others for me, so I’m happy with that.” Here are the winners of the 2020 West Virginia Breeders Classics:
WV Tourism Office Breeders Classic Star of Night • Jockey: Arnaldo Bocachica • Trainer: Jeff C. Runco • Owner: Huntertown Farm LLC • Breeder: Heinz J Steinmann WV Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Breeders Classic Youthinkthatsfunny • Jockey: Reshawn Latchman • Breeder/Owner/Trainer: John D. McKee WV Lottery Breeders Classic Fancy Concho • Jockey: Christian Hiraldo • Trainer: Timothy C. Grams • Owner: Grams Racing Stable LLC • Breeder: Tim and Judith Grams STRONG TIDE THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
NEWS all, a total of six days in 2020 produced a handle in excess of $3 million. Only one card all season containing Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing did not eclipse $1 million in total handle, which was a shortened two-race day due to weather cancellation. Overall, the track saw an increase in handle of 60.93 percent compared to 2019. A total of $198,960,722 was wagered from all sources in 2020, compared to $123,635,376 in 2019, which is 31 percent more despite 26 fewer race days in 2020. Racing dates for 2021 will be reviewed and are expected to be approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission at its meeting in December. Indiana Grand hopes to return to its regular 120-day racing season including six days dedicated to Quarter Horse racing. Indiana-bred Strong Tide had an exceptional season for Mike and Penny Lauer during the meet. The 3-year-old English Channel colt won four races at the track, including three stakes, to be named Leading Horse of the Year, presented by the Indiana HBPA. Bred by the Lauers and running in Penny’s name with Mike training, Strong Tide won his first two stakes on the grass in the $75,000 Snack Stakes and the $75,000 A.J. Foyt Stakes. He came back to show his versatility on the penultimate day of the meet to win the $100,000 To Much Coffee Stakes on the main track and seal the title for winningest horse of the meet. “He came out of his race good and he’s going to the farm for about a month,” said Mike Lauer during the special winner’s circle presentation that included a blanket courtesy of the Indiana HBPA. “He will head south after that and we will be getting him ready for next year.” Strong Tide was one of nine horses with four wins during the season. His purse earnings of $193,130 separated him from the pack to earn the honor as the year’s top horse. It’s also been another exceptional year for trainer Genaro Garcia. He earned his fourth straight leading trainer title and his stable, Southwest Racing Stable, earned its second straight leading owner title teaming up with Steve Lewis for the 2020 racing season. A native of Mexico, Garcia saw his horses win 43 races and in excess of $900,000 in purses to top the trainer standings. He now has 312 career wins at Indiana Grand to rank fifth among the track’s all-time leading trainers. “This is excellent and I’m so excited,” Garcia said. “I’m really happy for the wins and want to say thank you to everyone on the backside and to Indiana Grand and all my owners for their support. It makes me feel so good. I know this is a job, but I love this business so much and love what I do.” Garcia will divide his massive stable up for the winter, sending a dozen to Oaklawn and most to Turfway Park while keeping the babies near his home base in Greenwood, Indiana. Although the meet at Indiana Grand comes to a conclusion, it’s not the end of the year for Garcia and Lewis. Lewis, a businessman from Chicago who is the president of Lewis Floor & Home, has been involved in horse racing for the past 25 years. His racing entities were mainly centered at the Chicagoland tracks, and he began to get into the breeding end of the business in Illinois before deciding to make a change to Indiana. He has been breeding in Indiana with Leigh Anne Hopper of R Star Stallions in Anderson and asked for a suggestion for trainers. One of the names was Garcia, and it wasn’t long before Lewis and Garcia formed a partnership. “I gave one inexpensive horse to Genaro to train and from there, we basically developed a very good partnership,” Lewis said. “He’s the guy that does all the work, and it’s been an unbelievable meet that exceeded all my expectations. I’ve been in partnerships in the past, but Genaro is willing to equally invest with me and I’m impressed with the way he keeps a barn and the way the horses are cared for and the quality of help he has. He does things right, and I truly appreciate that.” 52
DeShawn Parker has accomplished a lot in his 32-year career as a jockey. He doesn’t experience many firsts in this phase of his career, but he did at the close of the Indiana Grand meet as he earned his first leading jockey title at the track with 106 wins for the season. When asked what the highlight of the season was for him, he replied, “This right here [winning the leading jockey title]. This is the best thing of the meet and of my year. I had some chances the past couple of years to win [the title], but I got hurt and it just didn’t work out. My agent, Jimmy [McNerney], always does a good job but he did an exceptional job this year for me, and I was able to stay healthy. I can’t put into words what this means. This means so much to me.” Parker is a member of an elite group of jockeys who have scored more than 5,000 wins during their career. With 5,821 wins and in excess of $74 million in purse earnings, he continues to stay at the top of his game year in and year out. He led the nation in wins twice, in 2010 and 2011, and adds the leading jockey title at Indiana Grand to multiple titles at Mountaineer Park and Sam Houston Race Park. One year ago, apprentice jockey Joshua Morales was still in his native Puerto Rico, a recent graduate of the jockey school at Camarero Race Track near San Juan. Now, he has his first jockey title as the recipient of the seventh annual Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Jockey. The award is named in honor of 2014 leading apprentice Juan Saez of Panama, who passed away in a racing incident that year. “I am very happy and proud,” said Morales through his agent Francisco Torres. “I am thankful for the opportunity all the horsemen gave me this year. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be standing here right now.” Morales began his professional riding career in Puerto Rico in January before moving to the mainland United States and riding at Turfway Park. From there, he rode at Belterra Park for a few months before making the move to Indiana Grand in mid-September. He accumulated 21 wins and nearly $400,000 in purses.
Chris Polzin Named Director of Racing at Indiana Grand Chris Polzin, the longtime director of racing/racing secretary at Arlington Park, has accepted the same position with Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Polzin assumed his new duties on October 26. “I’m very excited and looking forward to joining the Indiana racing program,” Polzin said. “The breeding industry in Indiana right now is fantastic, and the purse structure is very solid. I have also seen how dedicated track management is to the horsemen and the racing program. Their commitment to see the industry grow is very impressive. I look forward to being part of that vision.” A native of LaGrange Park, Illinois, Polzin has been associated with racing since the early 1980s. His father, Elmer Polzin, was a longtime turf writer and handicapper in Chicago, prompting the younger Polzin to seek a job in the industry after college. Polzin also was a standout swimmer in Illinois and went on to a junior college national championship title for College of DuPage. During his time at Arlington, he held a number of positions, including press box statistician and clerk of scales, before serving as director of racing/racing secretary for 11 years. “Adding Chris to our team is a big boost to our racing program,” said Eric Halstrom, Indiana Grand vice president and general manager of racing. “He is very familiar with the industry in general and brings in a unique perspective of Midwest racing from his many years on the Chicago circuit. We feel the transition for him to transfer into Indiana racing will be a seamless move.”
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AFFILIATE NEWS IOWA HBPA
Iowa Horsewomen Recognized Nationally
Two outstanding horsewomen from Iowa were recently honored with prestigious awards. The Iowa HBPA would like to congratulate both. Leadership in Racing Award, awarded by the Godolphin Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards—Carmen McShane The Leadership Award in Racing is presented every year to an individual who is part of a Thoroughbred racing stable in a managerial or supervisory role and displays exceptional leadership qualities. McShane has been in the racing industry for more than 30 years and currently serves as assistant trainer at D/M Racing, which is headed by her husband, Dave McShane. She also has been a jockey, exercise rider, pony rider, owner and farm worker. “She is the first one to the barn and the last one to leave,” said her daughter, Iowa HBPA Secretary/ Treasurer Michelle McShane. “If there were more hours in the day, I believe she’d spend those at the barn as well.” White Horse Award, awarded by The Racetrack Chaplaincy of America— Victoria Dorrian The White Horse Award is presented to individuals who have performed heroically on behalf of horses or humans. On September 28, 2019, a horse managed to get loose off of the Prairie Meadows backside and ran all over, eventually making its way onto the eastbound Interstate 80 highway, running toward oncoming traffic. Dorrian caught up with the horse, jumped the concrete median, waved the horse down and eventually caught the horse. “Victoria showed poise and dedication like all true horsemen in such a situation by being calm and ready to act, even in a dangerous situation,” said Jon Moss, Iowa HBPA’s executive director. “The Iowa HBPA, which nominated her for the award, is immensely proud of her actions and how it demonstrated that horsemen are dedicated to not only their own but to everyone’s horses at the track.”
The pandemic in 2020 has created unimaginable hardship to the racing industry. First and foremost are the number of horsemen who lost their lives or who suffered through a prolonged illness due to COVID-19. The business of racing also has experienced severe contraction, including the cancellation of racing opportunities. Wagering on horse racing and historical horse racing (HHR), which provides purses, was placed on hiatus for an extended time. Horsemen continued training, feeding and caring for their horses while horse owners struggled to pay their training fees with no opportunity to earn purse money. In many instances, they were experiencing similar slowdowns and cutbacks in their other business ventures. Some were forced to curtail their racing interests. Others persevered, but it will take a long time to recover from 2020. In the interest of safety, the racetracks pursued draconian measures, including curtailing Lasix in 2-year-olds and horses competing in stakes races in 2021, extending the withdrawal guidelines on many therapeutic medications and requiring examinations by racetrack practitioners prior to working a horse or entering one in a race. The Kentucky HBPA expressed concerns along with racetrack veterinarians to both the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Kentucky legislature to no avail. The Supreme Court of Kentucky has ruled that certain HHR machines are illegal. This could have a devastating effect on purses at all Kentucky racetracks. The racetracks and KHBPA have appealed to the Supreme Court to reconsider their decision. That approach appears unlikely. The next step would be to request that the Kentucky legislature revise the language of the pari-mutuel law to address the concerns of the Supreme Court. That approach will be attempted in January during the next legislative session. The race meeting at Turfway Park, which began in December and runs until the first week of April 2021, will be conducted under the harshest conditions. The entire frontside facility has been demolished with plans to build a state-ofthe-art grandstand-clubhouse and HHR facility. However, the plans are on hold until there is closure on the current issues with the pari-mutuel law. One bright spot is that the track has been renovated, and Tapeta has replaced the former synthetic surface. Churchill Downs has decided to replace its 30-year-old turf course following the 2021 spring race meeting. Unfortunately, this renovation will require horses to relocate for the summer. While it is expected that some of the horses will relocate to Ellis Park and Keeneland, Turfway Park also will be open for training during the summer. It is tough to say so long to old friends. Angel Montano, a fellow horseman and dear friend, passed away in October. He was a former board member of KHBPA, and he will be greatly missed. Good luck in your racing endeavors. Rick Hiles, President, KHBPA
As One Meet Ends, Iowa HBPA Prepares for Another As Prairie Meadows works on upgrades and improvements to the backside area, the Iowa HBPA is preparing for the 2021 racing season. Some events to look forward to are the joint Iowa HBPA/ITBOA annual awards, discounted Adventureland tickets for our horsemen and possibly the return of Groom Elite, depending on available finances. The 2021 season will be an 84-day meet beginning around Kentucky Derby weekend, with only Thoroughbreds running for the first month and a half, followed by Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses racing at the same time until the meet’s conclusion. The meet is tentatively scheduled to end September 25. The Festival of Racing and Classic Night, which highlight Iowa-breds, are still to be determined, but the Iowa HBPA continues to engage Prairie Meadows to ensure optimal placement of those events. As of this writing, the Iowa HBPA feels confident in holding an entire racing season for 2021 and having purses comparable to previous years. Prairie Meadows and the Iowa HBPA worked diligently in 2020 to ensure 2021 could be as successful as possible. The Iowa HBPA again feels confident the actions that were taken in 2020 will provide the stability and quality of purses horsemen expect and deserve for racing here in Iowa. Aside from national meetings, conventions and major holidays, our office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You also can reach Executive Director Jon Moss or Secretary/Treasurer Michelle McShane in the office at (515) 967-4804.
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Kentucky Trainers and Horses Enjoy Big Success at the Breeders’ Cup Perhaps no trainer reflects the surge in the Kentucky racing circuit the past several years better than Brad Cox. The 40-year-old lifelong Louisvillian was arguably the biggest story of the recent Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, winning a record-tying four races. In matching the Breeders’ Cup quartet by Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella in 2003, Cox won the $2 million Longines Distaff (G1) for the second time with 2018 heroine Monomoy Girl and captured the $2 million TVG Juvenile 53
(G1) with unbeaten Essential Quality, who secured the 2-year-old championship and early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite status. His $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner, the three-for-three Aunt Pearl (Ire), figures to be a finalist for the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old filly, with Knicks Go taking the $1 million Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (G1) in his first stakes appearance under Cox’s care. The Churchill Downs-based Cox headlined a major haul for the home team, with Kentucky trainers winning half of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races on November 6-7. The others included trainer and co-owner Ron Moquett with 7-year-old Whitmore ($38.80 to win) taking the $2 million Sprint (G1) on his fourth attempt, Mike Maker with 30-1 shot Fire At Will as the dominant winner of the $1 million Juvenile Turf (G1) and Wesley Ward with Golden Pal taking the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). While the Breeders’ Cup was the first race in the state for Fire At Will and Golden Pal, both prepared for their prior out-of-state starts at the trainers’ main operations in Kentucky, with Maker at Churchill Downs’ satellite Trackside Training Center and Ward at Keeneland. “This year’s Breeders’ Cup is a testament to how tough racing has become and how great the horses in Kentucky have become, with the largest contingent of horses running this year being based at Churchill Downs,” said trainer Dale Romans, whose four Breeders’ Cup starters included Girl Daddy, third in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (G1). That Kentucky horses did so well was portended by the fact that they dominated the entries to a greater extent than just being the home team. Churchill Downs, 72 miles from Keeneland, alone produced 41 of the 145 starters in the 14 Breeders’ Cup races, or 28 percent. Add in Ward’s eight starters and one apiece for Lexington-based Paulo Lobo and Valorie Lund, who this year relocated to Kentucky, and the commonwealth contributed 35 percent of the Breeders’ Cup horses that came from across the globe. “It just tells you how strong and how deep the talent is here in Kentucky,” Cox said. “That’s the bottom line.” Indeed, Kentucky horses also accumulated notable seconds and thirds.
TRAINER BRAD COX WON A RECORD-TYING FOUR BREEDERS’ CUP RACES.
TRAINER AND CO-OWNER RON MOQUETT CELEBRATES A VICTORY BY WHITMORE IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT.
Those include runner-up Serengeti Empress (trainer Tom Amoss), Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin) and the 3-year-old filly Sconsin (Greg Foley) rounding out the superfecta behind the Bob Baffert-trained Gamine in the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Cowan (Steve Asmussen) was second by three-quarters of a length to Golden Pal in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. Also finishing third were the Stanley Hough-trained Global Campaign in the $6 million Longines Classic (G1); the Bill Mott-trained 3-year-old filly Harvey’s Lil Goil (by a neck and a head) in the $2 million Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf (G1), Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro) in the Juvenile, Outadore (Ward) in the Juvenile Turf and Leinster (Rusty Arnold) in the $1 million Turf Sprint (G1). Ivar (Lobo), finishing fourth, was the top American finisher in the $2 million FanDuel Mile (G1) on turf. “I think now, the way things are going, Kentucky is going to be the center of racing,” said Hough, who a couple of years ago made Kentucky his base after spending most of his long career on the East Coast. “I think it’s going to take over New York and California. Kentucky racing is really coming. I think when Turfway gets going and built up [with historical horse racing], it’s going to be a pretty good year-round spot.” Since he opened his stable with a few claiming horses in late 2004, Cox has kept his main division at Churchill Downs, not far from his childhood neighborhood where he grew up in Louisville’s South End going to the races with his horse-playing father. Monomoy Girl gave Cox his first Grade 1 winner when she took Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes in April 2018. In the two and a half years since, he has emerged as a powerhouse and is a leading contender to receive the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding trainer for 2020. Although Cox has a New York division and races at Saratoga in the summer, Churchill Downs has been his command central outside the winter, when his best horses tend to be at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds with a substantial division at Oaklawn Park. “You have a lot of full fields here; I feel our horses are battle-tested,” Cox THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
The HBPA Is You The HBPA, established in 1940, is an organization of owners and trainers numbering approximately 30,000 nationally in 23 states and Canada and more than 6,000 in Kentucky. The association is governed by a board of directors consisting of owners and trainers volunteering their time and elected by the membership every three years. The HBPA is committed to working for the betterment of racing on all levels. • The HBPA represents owners and trainers on several fronts: • The HBPA is present in negotiating sessions with each racetrack regarding purse structure, equitable share of simulcast revenues, overall track safety, sanitation and security. • The HBPA provides benevolence to horsemen in need, education and recreation programs to the backstretch, and various insurance packages that include—free of charge to members—fire and disaster insurance and claiming coverage. Visit one of the fully staffed HBPA offices at the currently running racetrack in Kentucky for details. • The HBPA works in conjunction with the chaplaincy program and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund to provide support and benefits for horsemen. • The HBPA supports scientific research and marketing initiatives on a regional and national level to help promote interest in Thoroughbred racing. • The HBPA is at the forefront in litigation and legislation on issues involving horsemen’s rights in regard to interstate simulcasting, proprietary rights, casino gambling, therapeutic medication, sports betting and many other areas of concern to horsemen. How can I join? You are invited to drop by the HBPA office to meet the staff and learn more about current projects and how you can get involved in helping to improve the industry. There are no membership fees. Remember, this is your THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
organization. Become an active participant and one of the horsemen helping horsemen. To join, all you need to do is fill out our membership card and fax, mail or email it back to us. For more information, please visit our website at kyhbpa.org and click on “How to Join.”
LOUISIANA HBPA Delta Downs We are happy to announce that Delta Downs has completed repairs to the facility after being devastated by Hurricane Laura earlier this year. The 2020–2021 Thoroughbred meet began on November 24 and ends on April 16. Louisiana Premier Day is February 10, featuring more than $800,000 in purses for Louisiana-breds. For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223.
Evangeline Downs The Evangeline Downs 2021 Thoroughbred meet is scheduled to begin April 28. Stall applications are due by mid-March. For additional information, contact the Evangeline Downs racing office at (337) 594-3022.
Fair Grounds The Fair Grounds 2020–2021 Thoroughbred meet began on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, and is scheduled to end on March 28. On December 31, Fair Grounds will host a final chance this year for Louisiana-bred juveniles to earn black-type in the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity, with divisions for colts/geldings and fillies. Following the turn of the calendar into 2021, graded stakes action returns to New Orleans on January 16 when Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls will square off in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) on a card with five supporting undercard stakes. The Road to the Kentucky Derby then continues at Fair Grounds on February 13 with the Risen Star Stakes (G2) presented by Lamarque Motor Company and concludes on March 20 with the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2). Early-bird nominations for the Louisiana Derby, which include nomination fees for the Lecomte and Risen Star, are due December 26. For more information, contact the racing office at (504) 948-1288.
Louisiana Downs The 2021 American Quarter Horse Meet is anticipated to begin January 23 and end April 7. For more information, contact the racing office at (318) 741-2511. ACKERLEY IMAGES
said. “I think this is the healthiest racing in the country, to be honest. We’ve used this maybe as a hub in the summer. Monomoy Girl leading up to the Coaching Club American Oaks, she trained here, shipped and won. Covfefe [2019 champion 3-year-old filly and female sprinter], Grade 1 winner at Saratoga, trained here, shipped and won. Same thing with the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita last year. This is where we do the bulk of our work, for sure, with our graded horses.” Kentucky-based jockey Florent Geroux won his fifth and sixth career Breeders’ Cup races with Aunt Pearl and Monomoy Girl, while Fire At Will gave Ricardo Santana Jr. his second Breeders’ Cup triumph. Geroux’s relationship with Cox dates to when the trainer was trying to get traction with better horses. “We’ve been sticking together for a long time,” Geroux said. “I started riding for Brad when he was not doing as great. His first good horse was Chocolate Ride that he claimed [in 2014], and we won a couple of graded stakes. Then he started having more clientele, better stock and better quality of horses, and it was just a snowball effect. He’s a very talented trainer. It just shows when you’re a hard worker, are dedicated and put everything together, it’s a great recipe for success.” Last year, when Cox won two Breeders’ Cup races with champions Covfefe and the 2-year-old filly British Idiom, Geroux was sidelined with an injury and instead covered the event for French television. “I kept saying to them, he is the next future star,” Geroux said of Cox. “I just know what he’s capable of doing, his dedication, and I know his staff. It’s a team effort, and when you have that team effort and luck, you do very big things. You just need to get lucky and have the horses. But now, after this Breeders’ Cup, who knows what kind of horses he’s going to have in his stable next year?”
Fair Grounds Race Course 2020-2021 Race Meets
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2020-2021 Race Meets
1751 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70119
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2235 Creswell Lane Extension, Opelousas, LA 70570 Toll Free: 866-4-Racing * www.evangelinedowns.com Sat Sun Mon Tue
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Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 2021 Race Meets 8000 Hwy 80 East, PO Box 5519, Bossier City, LA 71171 318-742-5555 * www.ladowns.com Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
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THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA
Canterbury Park Update
Mountaineer Park HBPA Election Results
This has been incredibly challenging year, and yet Minnesota racing more than held its own. Even though the Canterbury Park meet had 13 fewer days than 2019, handle increased by more than 40 percent, from $48,142,704 to $68,388,504. This huge jump was thanks to a repositioning of Canterbury as a weekday twilight signal, which made its racing attractive to bettors in all time zones. Out-of-state handle more than doubled, which helped offset the drop in on-track handle, which was due to limiting attendance to 750 compared to the normal average attendance of more than 6,000 in 2019. Daily purses were down about 10 percent, but next yearâ€™s 65-day meet, beginning in the middle of May, is expected to offer higher purses, with the daily average set at more than $200,000. But the big news at Canterbury Park is not limited to the racing. Canterbury embarked on a major development project last year that will continue into 2021. Already completed is the Triple Crown Residences at Canterbury. You can learn more at thetriplecrownapts.com. Future stages of the mixed-use, equine-themed development will include additional residential properties, restaurants, shops and corporate campuses for select companies. With Canterbury Park being ideally located just about a half-hour from the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, this new development is sure to attract new fans and sponsors to racing.
The Mountaineer Park HBPA held an election with voting ending on October 30. We welcome our new board member, Terry Staley, who was elected to serve as an owner director. Jami Poole will continue as president. John W. Baird, J. Michael Baird, Eddie Clouston, Dennis Behrmann, Jennifer Johnson, Jeannette McIntosh, Louise Poole and Dave Treharne will continue to serve on the board of directors. The 2020 live meet was extended until December 23 by the West Virginia Racing Commission. The 2021 live racing calendar was approved by the commission and includes 130 days of racing from April 25 through December 1. The West Virginia Derby will return August 7 with a 2 p.m. post. Best wishes for a safe, healthy and joyous holiday season!
COURTESY THE TRIPLE CROWN RESIDENCES AT CANTERBURY
THE CANTERBURY PARK GRANDSTAND IS ON THE UPPER LEFT WITH THE NEW DEVELOPMENT ON THE RIGHT.
NEBRASKA HBPA Initiatives Pass in Nebraska to Allow Racinos The Nebraska HBPA and its partner, Ho-Chunk Inc., sponsored three initiatives on the November ballot to allow casino gaming at all racetrack locations in the state. After obtaining more than 475,000 signatures across all three measures, the initiatives were blocked by the Secretary of State. The Nebraska Supreme Court later ordered them to be put back on the ballot, and they passed by an overwhelming margin on November 3. The Nebraska HBPA, as part of a partnership with Ho-Chunk Inc., is allowing a division of Ho-Chunk to build and operate casinos at both of the properties owned by the Nebraska HBPA. HCI Construction and WarHorse Gaming, both under the Ho-Chunk Inc. umbrella, will be in charge of building and managing gaming operations, respectively. Ho-Chunk plans to invest $160 million in the Lincoln location and $140 million in the Omaha location. Planning is already underway, and construction will begin in 2021. Purses are expected to increase significantly, and live days will at least double. Nebraska horsemen are already buying horses in anticipation of these increased days and purses. The Nebraska HBPA will provide periodic updates in The Horsemenâ€™s Journal and on the Nebraska HBPA Facebook page. President Bob Moser also plans to provide in-person updates and mailings to all Nebraska affiliate members to keep them updated on this progress. It is anticipated that expanded gaming will be offered at all five Thoroughbred track locations and at the one American Quarter Horse track.
MOUNTAINEER PARK April 25, 2021 - December 1, 2021 LIVE RACING CALENDAR - 130 DAYS February 2021
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THE HORSEMENâ€™S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS NEW ENGLAND HBPA
New Racetrack Development in the Works
Mahoning Valley Race Course Best of Ohio Recap
A dedicated Thoroughbred horseman with deep New England roots is actively working on a $25 million-plus development project to build a new live racetrack and haven for retired racehorses in Massachusetts and breathe life back into an industry that has suffered a series of major setbacks in the region in recent years. At this stage, the odds are long, but 86-year-old Armand Janjigian is undeterred. He is buying acreage, lining up investors, lobbying state legislators and working with local officials on changing zoning laws to make the Sturbridge Equine & Agricultural Center a reality. “Do I know all the answers? No. Is it a done deal? No,” said Janjigian, a longtime member of the New England HBPA and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “But you know what? I’m pretty far along right now. I think there is a good chance this is going to happen. It’s more positive-looking than I would have imagined. I’m going to see this through.” The project involves the purchase of 300 acres near Interstate 84 close to the Connecticut border for the site, which would feature a one-mile synthetic surface main track and a seven-furlong turf course. It would also include a spacious area for retired equine athletes to live out their lives in comfort while being well cared for or to be retrained for their second homes and second careers. Locally, laws will have to be revised to allow live racing, pari-mutuel wagering, simulcasting, advance deposit wagering, food and beverage sales and the like. On the state level, sports betting will likely have to be legalized to make the numbers feasible. No results on either front are expected until 2021, at the earliest. Moreover, there needs to be a guarantee that the money in the Massachusetts Race Horse Development Fund—now at $18 million and growing from a percentage of the profits from in-state casino gaming—will still be there to pay for purses, fund breeders’ awards, support the backstretch welfare fund and potentially cover some operating expenses. With no live racing in the state since Suffolk Downs ended it in 2019, the Standardbred horsemen petitioned the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to take the entire fund, which was established in 2011 for the benefit of both breeds. On top of that, a faction in the state legislature wants to strip away the monies intended for the racing industry and redirect them to the general fund. Nonetheless, the MGC is committed to working with the NEHBPA to resurrect live Thoroughbred racing and give a needed shot in the arm to the breeding program, and the local chapter is supportive of Janjigian’s project, as it would also help preserve the farms and open green space across the state and support more than 1,000 jobs industry-wide. “I want to help horse farms,” Janjigian said. “That’s what this is all about. … I think we could run a very nice facility, almost like Saratoga, which is what I would use as a model.” Said NEHBPA Executive Director Paul Umbrello, “We applaud Armand for his considerable efforts and investment and all his hard work to make this a reality. We support the Sturbridge Equine & Agricultural Center, which would bring live racing back to Massachusetts, boost our breeding program, save the farms from extinction and put our people back to work where they belong. It’s also vital that our retired racehorses, to whom we owe so much, have a wonderful and safe place to enjoy the retirement they have earned and so richly deserve. This would be a win-win-win for everyone.” THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Mahoning Valley Race Course’s 2020 edition of the Best of Ohio series took place on Saturday, October 31, a sunny, cool fall day that saw just shy of $1.2 million wagered on the 10-race program for Ohio-breds. Owner-breeder Maccabee Farm captured the first Best of Ohio race of the afternoon in the $100,000 Juvenile Stakes with Buckeye Magic rallying to score a 1 ¾-length victory on a sealed track listed as muddy under jockey John McKee for trainer Tom Drury Jr. Morestride gamely held the place in just his second career start for owner-trainer Mike Rone. The victory was the second in three career starts for Buckeye Magic, a son of Trappe Shot, who covered the 1 1/16mile distance in 1:47.70. Prohibitive favorite Alexandria scored an easy 6 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 John Galbreath Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Alexandria ($2.20) captured her fourth career victory from five starts for owner WinStar LLC, Blazing Meadows LLC and Michael Lewis. Gerardo Corrales rode the winner for trainer Tim Hamm. Alexandria covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.83 while sending her career earnings to $197,160. Chief Randel ($41.00) rallied to score a one-length upset victory in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Sprint holding off former Ohio Horse of the Year Mo Dont No, who finished strongly to gain second. Fernando Salazar Becerra rode Chief Randel for owner Harry Waite and trainer Jose Romero. Chief Randel, a 3-yearold colt by Fiber Sonde, covered the six furlongs in 1:11.77 in scoring his sixth career victory from 17 starts. Drillit ($19.40) rallied from last on the backstretch under jockey Christian Pilares to score a 2 ¼-length victory over favorite Moonlit Mission in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Distaff. Robert Gorham trains Drillit, a 4-year-old daughter of Drill, for owner Mast Thoroughbreds LLC. The victory was the seventh in 24 career starts for Drillit and sent her career earnings over the $400,000 mark. Drillit covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:55.86. Favorite Forewarned ($4.00) scored a repeat victory in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Endurance, outfinishing Wicked Warrior by a half-length after a stretchlong duel in the 1 ¼-mile event. Sonny Leon rode Forewarned for trainer Uriah St. Lewis and owner Trin-Brook Stables Inc. Forewarned, a 5-year-old full son of Flat Out, scored his eighth career win in 30 starts, sending his career earnings over the $500,000 mark. Forewarned was clocked in 2:06.78.
2021 Racing Dates The Ohio Racing Commission approved the following dates for 2021 at its October meeting: Mahoning Valley Race Course: 103 days, January 2 through April 17 and October 22 through December 30 Belterra Park: 93 days, April 29 through October 7 Thistledown: 100 days, April 29 through October 19 ACKERLEY IMAGES
By Lynne Snierson
THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA HBPA) Oklahoma-Bred Welder Wins Fourth Consecutive Silver Goblin Stakes, Sets Remington Record for Stakes Wins The Remington Park history books were rewritten on November 13 as Welder moved into the No. 1 spot for all-time stakes wins at the Oklahoma City track with 11 after winning his fourth consecutive Silver Goblin Stakes. Welder has remained undefeated in stakes at Remington since his first Silver Goblin in 2017. Going into this year’s $70,000 Silver Goblin, he had been in a tie for first for number of Remington stakes wins with Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer Okie Ride. Welder also bested Okie Ride’s record of three Silver Goblins with this year’s victory and extended his record of the most Remington Park stakes wins in a row to 11. Trainer Teri Luneack put all of Welder’s records in perspective. “I’m obviously never going to see another horse in my lifetime like this,” Luneack said. “In fact, we probably won’t see another horse at Remington Park like this in our lifetimes. I mean what horse goes out in :44 and change for the half-mile and just drives away without David [Cabrera] ever having to cock the stick? It’s craziness.” Welder, owned by Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash) of Claremore, Oklahoma, finished the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.49 over a muddy track and wasn’t even breathing hard returning to the winner’s circle. Cabrera never asked him to run. Early on, Welder and Fly to the Bank looked each other in the eye with that lightning fast :44.55 half-mile, and the winner was gone by the time he hit three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.04. The 7-year-old gelded son of The Visualiser out of the Tiznow mare Dance Softly just turned on the gas from there to win by 5 ½ lengths over Fly to the Bank. In fact, Welder, who may be the calmest horse ever to be saddled in a paddock, always seems far less worried than his jockey and trainer. “I’m always so nervous,” Luneack said. “I’m standing over there watching and saying, ‘Oh gosh! Oh gosh! Oh gosh!’ He’s going :44 and just keeps going. I mean, who does that?” Cabrera reiterated the trainer’s concern. “Sometimes I think he goes out there faster than he should, but I just let him do what he wants to do, and then he just does it all on his own,” he said. Welder, a two-time Oklahoma Horse of the Year and the only horse in Remington Park history to be voted two-time Horse of the Meeting, also earned his 14th career victory at the track. That puts him one win behind Highland Ice and Elegant Exxactsy, who had 15 apiece. Luneack said Welder would be back to race at age 8 in 2021 as long as he stays sound. It’s possible he could face the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Whitmore at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the spring. Whitmore beat Welder by two lengths in the 2019 Hot Springs Stakes. “It’s such a blessing to have this horse,” Luneack said as she held her new grandchild Ava in the winner’s circle. Then nodding to Ava, she said, “She’s perfect,” like the legendary Oklahoma-bred sprinter she trains. Welder, the latest Oklahoma-bred to hit the $1-million mark in earnings, added to that bankroll with $42,000 of the purse pocketed. His race record improved to 37 starts, 25 wins, five seconds and four thirds for $1,179,018. Bred by Center Hills Farm in Pryor, Oklahoma, he was purchased as a yearling for $6,400 by Rash. Sent off at 1-10 odds by the betting public, Welder paid $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. It was the 13th race in a row he has gone off as the 60
odds-on favorite. The last time he was higher than even money was when he went off 9-1 when facing Whitmore in 2019. In addition to the four Silver Goblins, Welder also holds the record for the most wins in these Remington stakes: three Oklahoma Classics Sprints, two David M. Vance Stakes and two Remington Park Turf Sprints, with one of those being taken off the grass and moved to a sloppy track. The Silver Goblin Stakes is named after the gray Oklahoma-bred millionaire who won multiple stakes races at Remington Park and numerous graded stakes events around the nation, in a career spanning from 1993 to 1999.
Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame Trainer Donnie Von Hemel Extends His Oklahoma Classics Record Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie Von Hemel earned an accounting degree in college. However, no degree is really needed when it comes to calculating that it may be generations until another trainer catches him as the all-time leader in number of Oklahoma Classics wins. Like baseball’s Cal Ripken and his Major League Baseball record of 2,632 consecutive games played, Von Hemel’s 28 Oklahoma Classics wins is so far ahead of second place that he can barely see trainer C.R. Trout with his 13 wins in the rearview mirror. Von Hemel of Piedmont, Oklahoma, added win No. 28 to his record on October 16 when She’s All Wolfe won the Oklahoma Classics Distaff at Remington Park. The most amazing aspect of this record held by Von Hemel, who has raced at Remington Park since it opened in 1988, is that he didn’t win his first Oklahoma Classics race until 1999. The Classics races began in 1993. Only one trainer in track history has more trips to the winner’s circle than Von Hemel and that’s Steve Asmussen, another Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer as well as a National Horse Racing Hall of Famer. Von Hemel’s first wins came in the 1999 Classics Turf and the Classic Cup. He won the former with Pesky Rascal and the latter with Mr Ross. Congratulations to all of this year’s Oklahoma Classics stakes winners: Oklahoma Classics Juvenile Number One Dude • Jockey: Richard Eramia • Trainer: Kari Craddock • Owner/Breeder: Terry Westemeir Oklahoma Classics Lassie Gotta See Red • Jockey: Lane Luzzi • Trainer: Kari Craddock • Owner/Breeder: Hal Browning and Dave Faulkner Oklahoma Classics Distaff She’s All Wolfe • Jockey: Richard Eramia • Trainer: Donnie Von Hemel • Owner/Breeder: Robert H. Zoellner Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf Alternative Slew • Jockey: Luis Quinonez • Trainer: Randy Oberlander • Owner/Breeder: Walter M. Jones Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint Three Chords • Jockey: Richard Eramia • Trainer: Kenny Smith • Owner/Breeder: Dream Walkin’ Farms Inc. Oklahoma Classics Sprint Welder • Jockey: David Cabrera • Trainer: Theresa Luneack • Owner: Ra-Max Farms LLC • Breeder: Center Hills Farm OKC Turf Classic Quality Rocket • Jockey: Garrett Steinberg • Trainer: Boyd Caster • Owner: M. Gerald Ball • Breeder: M. Gerald and Oteka Ann Ball Oklahoma Classics Cup Dont Tell Noobody • Jockey: Sophie Doyle • Trainer: Federico Villafranco • Owner: Danny Caldwell • Breeder: Al J. Horton THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Grants Pass Meet Recap Greetings from Oregon! We just finished our fall meet on November 10 at Grants Pass Downs with the final two days featuring 12-race cards with full fields and competitive racing. Daily export handle increased throughout the meet and set a record on the final day. Our thanks to Grants Pass Downs for putting on an excellent meet and providing a beautiful venue for racing fans. We look forward to spring racing, when a newly lengthened chute will allow us to run six-furlong races from the 10-horse gate, giving our customers another set of options for wagering and new opportunities for horsemen and women to fully utilize the horses in their stable. The off-track betting network is showing signs of returning to good health, and new OTBs will be opening soon. Also in 2021, an entertainment center called the Flying Lark will open at the track and will feature an upscale restaurant, two lounges, an off-track betting center and historical horse racing machines. All of these things will work together to help assure the viability of Oregon racing for years to come. Happy and safe racing wishes to all. Randy Boden, Executive Director, Oregon HBPA
TAMPA BAY DOWNS HBPA President and Board Elections We would like to extend a warm welcome to all returning and new horsemen to Tampa Bay Downs. As the pandemic has affected all of our lives, we certainly appreciate your efforts in coming to race at Tampa Bay Downs. Our election for president and the board of directors will be held in April 2021. We strongly encourage anyone with interest in running for the board to contact our office so your name can be submitted to the nominating committee. Our office can be reached at (813) 925-0192 or via email at tampabayhbpa@ gmail.com. Ballots and biographical information will be sent out on Wednesday, March 3. Ballots must be received prior to April 1. Please take the time to vote! Please continue to practice all COVID-19 safety measures currently in place. Warmest wishes for a safe and healthy 2021.
last two weeks of racing. “This was a WHBPA decision,” said WHBPA President Pat LePley. “We wanted to show appreciation to the owners and trainers for sticking out a very long training and race meet while enduring a lot of restrictions for watching their horses train and run.” Track president Phil Ziegler reported there were no positive COVID-19 cases. “We want to thank all our stakeholders for working together safely,” he said. “We had unprecedented challenges not only at the track but in all aspects of our lives. We were the first professional sport to return in the state of Washington, and through everyone’s efforts, we were able to put on a healthy and successful meet.” Good health was not limited to the human participants. Over the 391 races conducted, there were zero catastrophic breakdowns from the 2,895 starters. Beyond the COVID-19-related oddities of 2020, in September, smoke migrating from California and Oregon wildfires caused dangerous air-quality concerns at Emerald Downs and caused a delay of two days of racing. The Wednesday and Thursday cards, which had already been drawn, were transferred to the following Friday and Sunday. “It was pretty amazing that we received no complaints about moving the days,” said MaryAnn O’Connell, a WHBPA staff member. “If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught all of us at Emerald Downs, it is to be grateful for being able to run a race meet. Everyone seems more flexible and patient because they are just happy to be running and making a living when so many are out of work.” Also out of the norm in 2020 was the Gottstein Futurity run under the lights for the first time in the race’s 80-year history. The victory was anything but easy for the flashy favorite in the race, Dutton. First, the start was delayed more than 10 minutes after Great Gasby, also a strong betting interest in the race, got loose at the gate and was scratched. During the running, Coastal Kid was just overtaking Dutton past mid-stretch when suddenly the gelding ducked out sharply, costing him and jockey Alex Cruz what appeared to be a certain victory. Dutton was the beneficiary, cruising home under Jennifer Whitaker and securing both top 2-year-old and Horse of the Meeting honors for him and his connections, owner Rising Star Stable VIII and trainer Howard Belvoir. The Washington-bred by Noosito was three-for-three in his debut season. Cruz skillfully re-rallied Coastal Kid from a near standstill to finish third in the race. The jockey was new to Emerald Downs in 2020, and trainers recognized the newcomer’s talent early on, and he “Cruz’d” on to handily win the leading jockey title by 20 wins with 72. A graduate of the esteemed Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school in Puerto Rico (also known for graduates John Velaszquez and Jose Ortiz), Cruz EMERALD DOWNS
Emerald Downs Concludes Positive and Unusual Season Emerald Downs concluded its 38-day 2020 racing season with record average daily handle. The track’s 25th season was conducted with strict COVID-19 safety protocols and without spectators. Daily wagering averaged $1,796,475, a 61 percent increase over last year. Most of the wagering came from online and mobile customers located throughout the United States and Canada. The increase in projected handle allowed for a four-day extension of the race meet, which included a 10 percent across-the-board purse increase for the
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
EMERALD DOWNS SET A RECORD FOR AVERAGE DAILY HANDLE EVEN WITH NO FANS ON TRACK
DUTTON WITH JENNIFER WHITAKER ABOARD
rode his first horse at Tampa Bay Downs and a short time later won his first race at Finger Lakes. He returned to Puerto Rico and rode at Camarero for three years before returning to the mainland in 2016. He was among the top riders at Mountaineer Park and then ventured to Turf Paradise and Assiniboia Downs, where his talents led to more top honors. Whether the COVID-19 pandemic was cause for him not to return to Canada in 2020 is unknown, but if so, Emerald Downs owners and trainers discovered another silver lining in a year full of challenges. Alex Cruz was a welcome addition to the 2020 Emerald Downs jockey colony. Here are the other 2020 season honors and honorable mentions: Jockey Juan Gutierrez had 52 wins, including his historic victory number 1,420 on October 14 aboard Stay in Grace, earning him the title of Emerald Downs all-time leading rider by wins. The victory and record, which surpassed the record previously held by Gallyn Mitchell, also earned Gutierrez the Top Riding Achievement award for 2020. After a spill in July 2017, injuries forced Gutierrez to be sidelined for the remainder of that season and for all of 2018. He returned in top form in 2019 and resumed his path to the record. Inducted into the Washington Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2018, the 51-year-old native of Jalisco, Mexico, notched his first Emerald Downs win on April 29, 2000, and has been a mainstay here ever since. He recorded 15 consecutive top-five finishes in the jockey standings during one stretch, including a riding title in 2012 with 117 wins. He also ranks No. 1 in track earnings with more than $15 million and No. 3 in stakes victories with 68, including three wins in the Longacres Mile. Conditioner Frank Lucarelli won his seventh training title with 42 wins during the shortest meet in Emerald Downs’ history. Lucarelli also holds the records for most wins by a trainer and most wins in a single season (81) at the track. On September 7, 2019, he set another Emerald Downs record, winning the first five races on the eight-race card. Lucarelli’s horses finished second in the two other races he competed in that day as well. He was raised not far from Emerald Downs in Bellevue, Washington, and got his start training at the former Renton oval, Longacres. He has finished in the top three of the trainer standings in 22 of the past 25 Emerald Downs meets, and although he winters in California and Arizona, Emerald Downs is where he calls home. Jockey Jennifer Whitaker posted her 500th career win aboard Mr. Bingley in the seventh race on September 2. The victory celebrated a 20-year career that found her riding primarily for trainer Howard Belvoir. She notched her first win for Belvoir in April 2000 and also became the only woman to ever win the Grade 3 Longacres Mile aboard Belvoir-trained Wasserman in 2009. Of Whitaker’s 500 Emerald Downs wins, 362 have been aboard horses trained by Belvoir, for whom she gallops every morning and is pretty much the barn’s assistant trainer. 62
“[Howard Belvoir] is my mentor; I couldn’t have done any of this without him,” Whitaker said during Mr. Bingley’s winner’s circle celebration. Jorge Rosales and Sharon Ross were co-winners of the Martin Durkan Award. Racing secretary Bret Anderson and his staff annually present the award to a trainer (or trainers) who exhibits leadership, cooperation, sportsmanship and excellence on and off the track throughout the meeting. Rosales, a relative newcomer to training, saddled his first horse at Portland Meadows in 2018 and has been steadily building his stable ever since. This year marked his most successful yet at Emerald Downs, saddling 27 winners from 129 starts. Rosales’ horses in 2020 stood out on the track: They were always well turned out in his trademark of colored blinkers and decorative calming beads. Plus while his stable was considered “one of the little guys,” he was winning races at a high percentage. Bettors and owners took notice of that and were glad to see all of his hard work pay off in the winner’s circle. As a former exercise rider and jockey, Rosales has always been known for his work ethic, horsemanship and ability to calm and ride some of the most rank of mounts. His partner, the accomplished former jockey Eliska Kubinova, and their three children represent a family who is all-in with regard to dedication to their horses and the industry. Kubinova recently obtained her trainer’s license and is also involved in rehoming Pacific Northwest Thoroughbred retirees. Sharon Ross is one the most respected trainers at Emerald Downs. Although her stable has decreased in size since the early dynasty days, the size reduction has been by choice more than anything else. Ross is known for the care and attention she gives to both her horses and their owners. She also has served on the Washington HBPA board and is a trustee of the charitable entity of the horsemen’s association. Ross finished the year with a record of 47-9-9-7, which equals a win rate of 15 percent and an in-the-money rate of 46 percent. This is consistent with a training career spanning more than 20 years with a record of 2,734 starts, 445 wins, 400 seconds and 383 thirds. She and her husband, Larry, make their home in Auburn, Washington, where they also have a number of Thoroughbred retirees.
Emerald Downs 2020 Season Honors Horse of the Meeting: Dutton (WA) Top Washington-Bred: Dutton (WA) Top Older Horse: Elliott Bay (WA) Top Sprinter: Elliott Bay (WA) Top Older Filly or Mare: Alittlelesstalk (WA) Top 3-Year-Old Male: Unmachable (WA) Top 3-Year-Old Filly: Daffodil Sweet (CA) Top 2-Year-Old Male: Dutton (WA) Top 2-Year-Old Filly: Time for Gold (WA) Top Claimer: Omache Kid (WA) Race of the Meeting: Longacres Mile Leading Jockey in Wins: Alex Cruz (72) Leading Jockey in Stakes Wins: Juan Gutierrez (4), Eddie Martinez (4) Leading Trainer: Frank Lucarelli (42) Leading Trainer in Stakes Wins: Frank Lucarelli (5) Leading Owner: Chad & Josh (24) Leading Horse in Wins: Omache Kid (4) Leading Horse in Stakes Wins: Alittlelesstalk (2), Dutton (2), Time for Gold (2), Unmachable (2) Leading Quarter Horse Trainer in Wins: Nick Lowe (3) Top Riding Achievement: Juan Gutierrez becomes No. 1 all-time Top Training Achievement: Frank Lucarelli wins second straight title and seventh overall, also leading stakes trainer Leading Apprentice: Joree Scriver (4) THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS Durkan Award: Jorge Rosales, Sharon Ross Lindy Award: Cerapio Figueroa Jockeys Valet of the Year: Taylor Brady Exercise Rider of the Year: Stephanie Fiorito Leading Sire by Wins: Harbor the Gold (38)
2021 Live Race Meet: More Uncertainty Clouds Planning Just when there was hope that the 2021 race meet at Emerald Downs might head toward normalcy, on November 15, Governor Jay Inslee announced: â€œToday, I have to report to Washingtonians, is the most dangerous public health day in over 100 years in our stateâ€™s great history. It is troublesome, but I must report that we have a pandemic raging across our state ...â€? The governor then issued a stay-at-home advisory and new COVID-19 protocols, as well as closing or limiting businesses, to â€œhalt the spreadâ€? of the virus. Just two days earlier, horse racing fans witnessed the sudden suspension of racing at Golden Gate Fields after a reported 24 cases of the virus were confirmed in the stable area. Californiaâ€™s governor reinstated restrictions similar to those he ordered earlier in the year. So, it is no wonder that Emerald Downs management has been hesitant to confirm when training would resume in 2021 or to predict the start and number of racing days for the 2021 meet.
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In an October 21 message sent to WHBPA President Pat LePley and forwarded to WHBPA members, Emerald Downs Track President Phil Ziegler and Vice President Jack Hodge stated: â€œAs we conclude this very unusual race season, we want to thank all our stakeholders for working together safely. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges not only at the track but in all aspects of our lives. We were the first professional sport to return in the state of Washington and through all our efforts we were able to put on a successful meet. Attempts to predict future effects of COVID would be futile. It is likely that we will all be impacted throughout most of 2021. We certainly hope that our race fans can return in 2021 even if it is at a reduced capacity. Based on what is known now, we are planning on opening for training on Monday, March 1, 2021. The 2021 season would begin in mid-May and conclude sometime in September. Questions such as how many days per week, which days and post times will all be discussed at a later date when we have more information. Please pass this information along to your membership along with our best wishes for good health during the off-season.â€? Insleeâ€™s new order was scheduled to last through December 14. How long this shut down will actually last and how purse generation for the 2021 season will be affected are unknown, but the WHBPA is confident horses will return to Emerald Downs in the spring in preparation for what is anticipated to be a meet similar to 2020â€™s and with fans returning to the track sometime in the summer. HJ
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The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association. Features in the issue include: *One for the Record...
Published on Dec 11, 2020
The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association. Features in the issue include: *One for the Record...