THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL CONTENTS | WINTER 2021 | VOLUME 68/#4
Message from the National HBPA
Seabiscuit’s Forgotten Match Race Before his famous encounter with War Admiral, Seabiscuit faced off against Ligaroti in a match race at Del Mar
Clusters of Aminocaproic Acid Positives Across the Country
Is it possible that labs are reporting irrelevant trace-level identifications?
14 10 HBPA News
12 Research & Medication Update
41 Cuatro for Paco
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Jockey Paco Lopez wins five races, including four Claiming Crown events, as Gulfstream Park again showcases horse racing’s blue-collar runners
THE CEO WHERE WILL WE BE?
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 Dr. Doug Daniels SECRETARY/ TREASURER Lynne Schuller CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Eric J. Hamelback VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN REGION Rick Hiles VICE PRESIDENT CENTRAL REGION Joe Davis VICE PRESIDENT WESTERN REGION J. Lloyd Yother VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN REGION Sandee Martin
s you probably know, the Authority under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), along with its established committees, is well underway with drafting and releasing proposed regulations. By the time you read this letter, most likely the Authority will have formally submitted rules and regulations to the Federal Trade Commission. We know how critical the composition of this independent governing body is to implementing and enforcing horse health safety standards. However, what we don’t know is how the rules are being established, what changes are being made and who is making suggestions. We also do not know who is reading the comments that have been submitted by stakeholders throughout the country. One thing we do know is that everything as we know it now may be very different after July 1, 2022. This realization leaves us left wondering, “Where will we be?” There is no hiding the fact that the National HBPA has been voicing concerns about HISA in its various forms for more than six years. Fast-forward to now, and we are finally seeing documents made publicly available that we have waited for some time to receive. After looking over these documents, I have become extremely disturbed and am now even more concerned than I was in the past. The National HBPA has addressed the Authority with high-level concern in areas that include funding, unenforceable mandates and the absence of detailing the scientific research mandated in HISA regarding Lasix. We also have drilled down on many specific concerns as well. Honestly, these are many of the same issues we had raised long before we saw the current legislation ramrodded through Congress as HISA. After an in-depth review of the Equine Doping and Medication Protocol, it appears the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is hell-bent on destroying the current system that is based on the Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Rules instead of addressing actual concerns. I do not see this as productive, nor do I support a complete overhaul of the current system. Let me be perfectly clear: I recognize issues within our current system that need to be addressed, but the documents put forth as the medication regulations are a playbook from USADA’s human protocols. I would challenge you to remember that previous bills were defeated for several years because the vast majority of stakeholders in the industry did not want USADA to have the unyielding power and control granted under those bills. The recently released medication and control regulations now grant that power and control to USADA but in a cloaked fashion. What happened to addressing the industry’s actual issues? These include laboratory non-uniformity, research and increased testing to detect prohibited substances, increasing out-of-competition testing for prohibited substances and increased investigatory procedures. With what I have seen, the proposed regulations give USADA complete and unquestionable control. After reviewing these HISA documents, there seems to be little effort on USADA’s part in making an effort to understand the intricacies of the horse racing industry. I do not believe the drafts of the racetrack safety regulations could stand up to regulatory scrutiny, nor do I understand how the demands of this document can be enforced. Most disturbingly, the original draft document created a class divide by stating in black and white that if your racetrack does not host a graded stakes event, then the “requirement” for a safety officer is downgraded to “encouraged.” While this language is not in the current document, I would hope everyone realizes that this was an original thought of whoever put this document together and it was approved to “publish” the first time out of the gate. It gives insight, in my opinion, to the mindset of the original authors not worrying about implementing rules that are in the best interest of “equine” health and welfare. Do they actually believe horses at “smaller” tracks are not entitled to the same oversight and safety implementations as those stabled at a track like Saratoga, Keeneland or Del Mar? The participants in the horse racing industry deserve far better than what they are getting from the draft regulations I have been studying. Those who profess to know what is best for the collective “us” as an industry clearly have more to learn. I have been waving the flag for some time that science, common sense and education of the public need to be well ahead of this mindset of placating the optics, which was created by those who seem to have ignored both science and common sense. Trust me when I say that the horse racing industry will continue to be in peril until “scientific” guidance is replaced by an effective, peer-review process. What I have seen to date in both documents is well short of what is needed to create an effective, uniform and legally defensible regulatory framework. In conclusion, it appears (as many predicted) that HISA does not have the proper advisors or resources to make this transition happen on the current path set for implementation by July 1. Forcing regulations to work does not make them correct. The question may shift from “Where will we be?” to “Can we live under these regulations?” SINCERELY, ERIC J. HAMELBACK
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NATIONAL HBPA WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS CORPORATE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS - AFFILIATES Dr. David Harrington, Alabama Robert Hutton, Arizona Bill Walmsley, Arkansas James Miller, Charles Town Kim Oliver, Colorado Chris Vaccaro, Finger Lakes Jim Watkins, Illinois Joe Davis, Indiana David McShane, Iowa Rick Hiles, Kentucky Benard Chatters, Louisiana Jason Uelmen, Michigan Pete Mattson, Minnesota Jami Poole, Mountaineer Park Garald “Wally” Wollsen, Nebraska Anthony Spadea, New England Roy Manfredi, New Mexico Joe Poole, Ohio Joe Offolter, Oklahoma Ron Sutton, Oregon Sandee Martin, Pennsylvania Mike Dini, Tampa Bay Downs David Ross, Virginia Pat LePley, Washington
CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Kimberly Brewer Rick Capone Dr. Clara Fenger Jacob Machin Peter J. Sacopulos Dr. Thomas Tobin PHOTOGRAPHERS Denis Blake Coady Photography Coglianese Photos/Lauren King and Ryan Thompson Bill Denver/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM Keenland Library/Morgan Collection Keeneland Library/Thoroughbred Times Collection Dustin Orona Photography Jennie Rees STAFF Denis Blake Editor P (859) 259-0451 email@example.com Jennifer Vanier Allen Advertising Director P (716) 650-4011 F (509) 272-1640 firstname.lastname@example.org Limb Design www.limbdesign.com Graphic Design THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL 3380 Paris Pike Lexington, KY 40511 P (859) 259-0451 F (859) 259-0452 email@example.com HBPA WEBSITE: www.hbpa.org COVER PHOTO: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson
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 68 #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 2021 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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Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar Sets Handle Record
otal all-sources common-pool handle for the two-day Breeders’
Total common-pool handle on the Saturday, November 6, 12-race card was
Cup World Championships at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
a record $121,562,392. All-sources common-pool handle on the 10-race Future
was $182,908,409, a new record for the two-day event held
Stars Friday card was $61,346,017, a new record for a Breeders’ Cup Friday. This
November 5-6 at the California track.
was the fourth consecutive year that Breeders’ Cup grouped all its juvenile races together on Friday. “We had an extraordinary two days of racing showcasing the best Thoroughbreds from around the world, and we want to thank our partners here at Del Mar, who did an amazing job, and the greater San Diego community, our gracious hosts this week,” said Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Drew Fleming. “The Breeders’ Cup is a truly global event with winners this weekend bred, raised and raced on three different continents.” On-track handle for the two days was $19,032,307. On-track attendance for the two days was 47,089. Due to precautions related to COVID-19, Breeders’ Cup and Del Mar reduced ticket capacity for the 2021 event. “Our team at Del Mar was thrilled to host this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup,” said Josh Rubinstein, Del Mar’s president and chief operating officer. “We want to extend our congratulations to all of this weekend’s
The total represents a 4.7-percent increase over the prior record of $174,628,986 set at Santa Anita Park in 2019 and a 14-percent increase from
participants. They put on an amazing display of world-class competition.” The Breeders’ Cup World Championships return to Keeneland in 2022.
the total handle of $160,472,893 at the 2020 Keeneland event.
Inaugural Breeders’ Cup Race Coverage in Spanish Achieves Monumental Success
reeders’ Cup, America’s Best Racing (ABR) and Hípica TV
with a series of six live digital handicapping shows in Spanish covering 14 of
collaborated to present, for the first time, live coverage entirely
the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races. Developed and produced by ABR,
in Spanish of all 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races
“Breeders’ Cup en Vivo” was streamed live across both organizations’ Facebook,
at the 2021 event at Del Mar. Branded as “Breeders’ Cup en
Twitter and YouTube channels. The Challenge Series shows alone generated
Vivo,” the two broadcasts received more than 282,000 cumulative views while
more than 75,000 combined views and engagements with a reach of more
streaming live on Hípica TV’s YouTube channel over the two-day event.
Future Stars Friday coverage had more than 80,000 live views, and
“The digital shows were an extension of Spanish-language content that
Saturday’s broadcast grew dramatically, topping 200,000. The shows provided
we’ve made an investment in going back to our launch of the ‘La Trifecta’
analysis, commentary, interviews and race calls in Spanish and enabled
streaming series last year,” said Stephen B. Panus, president of TJC Media
audiences spanning the globe to view the races live, with viewers tuning in from
Ventures. “We want to congratulate the entire team of hosts and producers who
the U.S., Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Spain and every country in
brought the Breeders’ Cup shows to life, beginning with the Challenge Series
through to the World Championships at Del Mar racetrack, and to convey that
“As a team, we were absolutely thrilled with the reach of the show, the live engagement with fans all over the world and the support these shows received from our partners at America’s Best Racing and the Breeders’ Cup,” said Hípica
we’ll continue to invest time, energy and resources into reaching Spanishspeaking audiences.” “The ‘Breeders’ Cup en Vivo’ livestream further advances our goal of
TV host and racing analyst Claudia Spadaro. “We are confident that this is just
expanding the global reach of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and
the beginning. Our Breeders’ Cup viewership numbers make it clear that the
bringing in new audiences to enjoy the excitement of Thoroughbred racing at its
audience is out there and that they want more coverage of racing in Spanish.”
finest,” said Justin McDonald, Breeders’ Cup senior vice president of marketing.
Co-hosted by Spadaro, Emanuel Aguilar, Annise Montplaisir, Roberto Rodriguez and Darwin Vizcaya, “Breeders’ Cup en Vivo” launched August 28 6
“We thank America’s Best Racing, the whole ‘en Vivo’ team and Hípica TV for their efforts in making this program an unqualified success.” THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Sixth Annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Held at Keeneland
he Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA), now in its sixth year in the United States, concluded October 15 during an awards ceremony at Keeneland’s entertainment center in Lexington, Kentucky. Winners were announced in a total of seven categories, including the newly added award for Support Services. Caton Bredar served as the master of ceremonies with Steve Asmussen as the guest of honor. Katie LaMonica, charities manager at Godolphin USA, commented, “We feel so fortunate to be able to once again bring all of the finalists back to an in-person event. While last year’s virtual ceremony still provided a platform from which we could recognize these outstanding people, it just means so much more to bring them together and let them have their moment in the spotlight among family, friends and colleagues.” Lee Hall, vice president of Hallway Feeds, sponsor of this year’s Dedication to Breeding Award, said, “It’s an honor for Hallway Feeds to be part of such an important and meaningful event. We interact with so many workers from area farms, racetracks and other organizations that we see firsthand what they do day in and day out. To see these tremendous, hard-working individuals get a well-deserved pat on the back is very, very special.” The National HBPA is among the many sponsors of the TIEA. The full list of winners and runners-up is as follows: Newcomer Award, sponsored by NYRA Winner: Olivia Desch, Stallion Season Sales, WinStar Farm (Runners-up: Emily Csenar, Horse Healthcare Assistant, Taylor Made Farm; Joshua McLemore, Assistant Starter, Keeneland) Support Services Award, sponsored by I Am Horse Racing Winner: Brenda Wilhelm, Operator, Charles Town Race Track Kitchen (Runners-up: David Kyle, Plant Manager, Fasig-Tipton; Katherine Todd Smith, Horse Identifier, Self-Employed) Katherine McKee Administration Award, sponsored by Keeneland Winner: Kelsey Marshall, Vice President of Partner Relations, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Runners-up: Lori Johnson, Associate Registrar, The Jockey Club; Sue Kenny, Office Manager, Herringswell Stables) THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
D edication to Breeding Award, sponsored by Hallway Feeds Winner: Calvin Smith, Assistant Broodmare Manager, Runnymede Farm, Pennsylvania (Runners-up: Luis Coronado, Broodmare Manager, Machmer Hall Sales; Wayne Howard, Stallion Manager, Spendthrift Farm) Dedication to Racing Award, sponsored by the NTRA Winner: Lorita Lindemann, Assistant Trainer, Joe Sharp Racing Stable and Brad H. Cox Racing Stable (Runners-up: Benjamin “Benny” Betts, Training Manager, retired Ocala Jockey Club; Tessa Bisha, Assistant Trainer, Brad H. Cox Racing Stable) Leadership Award, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Winner: Robert Turner, Yearling Farm Manager, Stonestreet Farm (Runners-up: Billy Sellers, Stallion Manager, Lane’s End Farm; Joseph Littrell, Farm Manager, Stone Farm) D r. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award, sponsored by Churchill Downs Winner: Nicholas Caras, Program Director, New York Race Track Chaplaincy (Runner-up: Diana Pinones, Director of Racetrack Operations, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association)
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Boat Racing Named 2021 New Owner of the Year
wnerView announced that Boat Racing LLC has been named
inspiring generosity for worthy causes,” said Gary Falter, project manager for
the 2021 New Owner of the Year, sponsored by 1/ST RACING.
OwnerView. “OwnerView is proud to recognize a new and youthful ownership
The award was presented during the final panel of the 2021
group that has not only experienced success at the highest levels of horse racing
Thoroughbred Owner Conference series held December 7.
but has also given back to the community.”
Boat Racing owns a handful of horses via yearling sales,
“We could not be more pleased to be honored with this prestigious award
2-year-old in training sales and pinhooking, but its primary
and are cognizant of the much more deserving, rare company that have won
claim to fame came from its significant minority share in Hot Rod Charlie, who
before us,” said Patrick O’Neill. “The initial idea amongst us five was always
won the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 2 Twinspires.com Louisiana
to participate in this incredible sport we all have fallen in love with and utilize
Derby in 2021. He also placed in this year’s Kentucky Derby presented by
the amazing environment it provides to create memories to last us a lifetime.
Woodford Reserve (G1) and Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1).
We had no inkling that this simple idea would ever take us to the pinnacle of
The ownership group is composed of college friends from Brown
the sport, which is why it was so important for us to pivot our fortunes into
University—Eric Armagost, Daniel Giovacchini, Reiley Higgins, Patrick O’Neill
something bigger and beyond ourselves through MRA and the memory of Jake
and Alex Quoyeser. The group is active in philanthropic causes via their
Panus. At the end of the day, all credit for this privilege goes to Doug O’Neill and
commitment to raising awareness and contributing a portion of all of their
his entire team, our incredible co-owners in Roadrunner Racing, Bill Strauss and
horses’ earnings, including Hot Rod Charlie’s, to the Melanoma Research
Gainesway Farm and our amazing equine friend in Hot Rod Charlie.”
Alliance (MRA), Jake Panus Scholarship Fund and Jake Panus Walk-on Football Endowed Scholarship. “Boat Racing has brought infectious enthusiasm to our sport as well as
The New Owner of the Year award has been previously presented to MyRacehorse, Larry Best, the Churchill Downs Racing Club, Charles and Susan Chu, LNJ Foxwoods and Sol Kumin.
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Grants $3.7 Million to Accredited Organizations
he Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) announced that $3.7 million will be awarded as grants to 82 Thoroughbred aftercare organizations that currently hold TAA accreditation. “The ability to grant $3.7 million toward the care of retired racehorses is a tremendous achievement,” said TAA President Jimmy Bell. “As the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance continues to grow to match the needs of our industry, monetary contributions by participants at every level are paramount to the success of our sport.”
“Every donation to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance helps support thousands of retired Thoroughbreds, and we are so grateful to our stakeholders,
recurring and new, who support our network of 82 accredited organizations,” said TAA Funding and Events Manager Emily Scandore. Since its inception in 2012, the TAA has awarded more than $24.5 million in grants to accredited Thoroughbred aftercare organizations. Earmarked specifically for equine care, TAA grants have helped accredited organizations assist more than 13,700 Thoroughbreds at approximately 180 facilities across North America. Accredited organizations undergo a thorough application and inspection process prior to accreditation being awarded to ensure they meet the TAA’s Code of Standards, which covers five key areas—operations, education, horse health care management, facility standards and services, and adoption policies and protocols. Facility inspections are conducted at all facilities housing Thoroughbreds for each organization. Ongoing updates and reinspections are required of all organizations as a condition of accreditation. The TAA is supported by members from every aspect of the Thoroughbred industry, including owners, breeders, trainers, stallion farms, racetracks, sales companies, horsemen’s groups, foundations, veterinarians, horseplayers, racing fans, wagering technology companies and many others.
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Eclipse Awards To Be Held February 10 at Santa Anita
ickets for the 51st annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony are on sale now. The Eclipse Awards will be held on Thursday, February 10, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, the first time since 2012 that racing’s night of champions will be held on the West Coast.
Eclipse Award tickets are available for $425 each or $4,000 for a table of 10. For additional information, log on to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) website at ntra.com/eclipse-awards. The black-tie-optional Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony will be held in an expansive chalet adjacent to Santa Anita Park’s iconic clubhouse beginning at 4 p.m. PT. The dinner and awards, which begin at 5 p.m. PT, will be followed by an after-party in the Chandelier Room, Santa Anita’s art deco masterpiece overlooking the racetrack and San Gabriel Mountains. The Eclipse Awards evening kicks off a festive weekend of activities highlighted by racing that Friday through Sunday. Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will take place on Sunday, February 13. Eclipse Awards voting is conducted by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Daily Racing Form, NTRA member racing officials and Equibase field personnel. The Eclipse Awards ceremony is produced by the NTRA.
Grayson-Jockey Club Establishes A. Gary Lavin Chair Position, Oaklawn Kicks Off Fundraising With $250,000
rayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has announced the creation of an endowment to support a full-time position, the A. Gary Lavin Chair, in recognition of Dr. Gary Lavin’s contributions to the foundation and equine health. Lavin died at age 83 in February 2021.
“Dr. Lavin made innumerable contributions to Grayson over the last 40 years, including time spent as a valued member of both our board of directors and research advisory committee [RAC],” said Dell Hancock, chair of Grayson. “He was instrumental in the reorganization of our research approval process, which resulted in the development of the research advisory committee we use
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today. Dr. Lavin believed that the veterinary community should be involved in Grayson’s work, and we are proud to honor him with this position, which will facilitate a veterinary relationship with the foundation that he believed was so important.” Oaklawn Park will be supporting this new role with a lead gift of $250,000. “We are grateful to Oaklawn and the Cella family for their demonstrated commitment to equine health in helping to fund this position,” Hancock said. “For three generations, the Cella-Lavin families have been working together in the best interest of the Thoroughbred,” said Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn. “We all have such great memories of Doc. It is a great honor to kick off this campaign to create the A. Gary Lavin Chair.” Responsibilities of the A. Gary Lavin Chair will include RAC member recruitment, orientation and management; management of grant applications, reviews, deadlines and conflict eliminations; fundraising; and publicity. “My father was a lifelong advocate of equine health and longtime supporter of Grayson, and my family is proud to see his legacy continue through this new position,” said Kevin Lavin, vice chairman of Grayson. “We are appreciative of the support that it has already received and thankful to the Cella family for their initiative in the fundraising effort.” Those interested in supporting the endowment can designate donations to Grayson as being specifically for the A. Gary Lavin Chair position. Donations can be made online at grayson-jockeyclub.org. HJ
D. WAYNE LUKAS TO BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT NATIONAL HBPA CONFERENCE AT OAKLAWN
HALL OF FAME TRAINER D. WAYNE LUKAS
D. Wayne Lukas—the most transformative horse trainer in the modern era—will be the keynote speaker at the National HBPA’s annual conference set for March 1-5 at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “When we seek out our keynote speaker, we look for inspiration and passion,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “Not only do we get that in spades with D. Wayne Lukas, but his overall legacy is unmatched in horse racing. “Yet it’s not only that Wayne has impacted so many aspects of racing with his well-known accomplishments and vision, but he also has been an extraordinary ambassador for our industry in so many unpublicized and behindthe-scenes ways,” Hamelback continued. “There’s no telling how many little kids will become diehard racing enthusiasts because D. Wayne invited them into the winner’s circle after one of his victories.” Lukas will address the conference on March 2, the first full day of the conference. Details on registration and the agenda will be available soon at hbpa.org. The conference, staged in Oaklawn’s new hotel overlooking the track’s first turn, kicks off March 1 with a cocktail reception at the track, with program sessions on March 2 and 3 and the morning of March 4, followed by an afternoon at the races hosted by the Arkansas HBPA. The NHBPA’s full board convenes March 5 to wrap up the event. “This is a step forward for me to be involved in a horsemen’s association as strong as the HBPA,” said Lukas, long known as horse racing’s No. 1 motivational speaker. “I’m looking forward to it. I’ll try to stimulate them and give the attendees a good feeling as to where we’re going and what’s about to happen. All of my speeches try to influence people as to what their capabilities are and how to enjoy them. “I’m 86,” Lukas continued. “Very few men or women in that room will be 86. So I’ve been where they haven’t: I’ve been 45, 50, 60, 70, and they haven’t. I want to bring that experience—good and bad—about our industry to the table.” 10
In a Thoroughbred career that began in 1974 when he was a leading American Quarter Horse trainer, Lukas set record after record. That includes being the first trainer to earn $100 million and then $200 million in purses, possessing the most Breeders’ Cup victories (20), the most Triple Crown race wins (14, before being passed by Bob Baffert) and a record 26 individual horses to be crowned Eclipse Award champions, including three that were voted Horse of the Year. Lukas has won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) four times and the Preakness (G1) six times, most recently with Oxbow in 2013 at age 77. He is the only trainer to sweep the Triple Crown races in one year with two different horses and at one stage won a record six consecutive Triple Crown races (1994 Preakness through the 1996 Derby). Lukas also is the only trainer enshrined in both the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1999) for Thoroughbreds and the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame (2007). The basketball coach turned horse trainer transformed American racing at the top end, meshing a more corporate-focused approach with a tireless work ethic. His divisions across the country shared a certain look and feel. The pristine barn, surrounded by immaculate landscaping, with polished tack boxes and the shed row raked in a herringbone pattern, became part of a marketing strategy and attention to detail designed to appeal to affluent owners. Lukas made white bridles famous and sparked the handicapping maxim “Wayne off the plane” for flying horses around the country for big stakes, seemingly going straight from touchdown to the winner’s circle. Aspiring to get as many of his clients to the big races as possible, Lukas never hesitated to run stablemates against each other, saying they had to beat the best to be the best. That included when his 2-year-old champion Timber Country beat 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch in the Preakness, perhaps costing himself a Triple Crown sweep as Thunder Gulch went on to win the Belmont Stakes. “We’ll never see another trainer like Wayne—certainly not one who, at age 86, not only competes at a high level but is still accompanying every set to the track on his pony,” Hamelback said. “There are Hall of Famers, there are icons, and there is D. Wayne Lukas.” The NHBPA conference also will include legal topics and discussions centering on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, scheduled to go into effect July 1 amid serious questions and court challenges; crisis management recommendations; creating positive interactions with local, state and federal representatives; utilizing the guest worker visa programs; fixed odds’ place in American racing; and the annual Kent Stirling Memorial Medication Panel addressing the need for screening limits. In addition, Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, will address the assembly on March 4, and the NHBPA’s Claiming Horse of the Year for 2021 will be honored. “The HBPA conference is designed to provide or work toward solutions for complex issues facing the industry, while also sharing information and programs that make a difference,” Hamelback said. “We can’t thank Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort management and staff and the Arkansas HBPA enough for all their assistance in staging what we are proud to call one of the industry’s most informative gatherings.” HJ
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RESEARCH AND MEDICATION UPDATE
Breakthrough Laminitis Research Shows Promise for the Future Horse owners usually dread hearing the diagnosis of laminitis. The disease plagues horses of many backgrounds, ages and disciplines. Using genetics, scientists from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania have made a breakthrough in the disease thanks to funding from the Foundation for the Horse. A horse’s hoof has a tough job. It must support a heavy animal that can move faster than 40 miles per hour. Laminitis occurs when inflammation and tissue damage take place between the hoof and the coffin bone. It causes lameness and a diminished quality of life and often results in euthanasia. “Laminitis is a tough problem for the horse and its owner,” said Samantha Brooks, PhD, UF/IFAS associate professor of equine physiology. “We have very few tools in our arsenal to manage the disease itself. We treat symptoms, pain and mechanical instability but do not have anything to target the cause just yet.” Laminitis studies have previously been hindered by the scarcity of genetic information specific to hoof tissues. Scientists tapped into the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center Laminitis Discovery Database, an archive of data and sample sets from naturally occurring laminitis cases collected since 2008. Using that database, researchers examined 36 archived tissues of 20 Thoroughbred horses treated for laminitis. There are three types of laminitis, and all impair the structure and function of the horse’s foot. This research provided a snapshot of the active pathways and functions of the hoof with a focus on supporting limb laminitis, the type of laminitis to which 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Barbaro ultimately succumbed. “We understand the situations that trigger an episode of laminitis, but we do not have a good understanding of what is happening in the hoof,” Brooks said. “This study took a very comprehensive view of the processes early in the development of laminitis.” Using gene expression analysis, researchers catalogued the changes in gene transcription across the 20 horses. Some had healthy feet, some were early in the disease process, and others were more severe. Researchers identified trends in the disease process. “By tapping into my lab’s database and incorporating Dr. Brooks’ unparalleled expertise in equine genetics and transcriptome analysis, we have identified new and promising pathways in cell stress and inflammatory response that significantly enhance our understanding of supporting limb laminitis and its disease processes,” said Hannah Galantino-Homer, VMD, PhD, DACT, senior investigator in laminitis research at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. The research resulted in several key findings. The first is related to keratin, an important structural protein that helps maintain the structural integrity of materials like hair, nails and horse hooves. This study was one of the first to examine the changes in the keratin family through the laminitis disease process. Some of the keratin-related genes and the regulation of the cell’s manufacturing process started to diminish as the
disease began. This could be compared to when a car gets a flat tire; it may still be running, but it loses appropriate function and slows down. Another type of cell machinery often studied in laminitis is a class of enzymes called metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that help maintain the cytoskeleton. These enzymes must maintain a careful balance. Hooves must be able to grow and not break down under the weight of the horse, which requires a balance of remodeling and building tissues within the hoof. When the metalloproteinases become too active, the hoof begins to lose structural strength. One previous theory for treating this process was to stop these enzymes from becoming too active, but treatment targeted to these enzymes also might stop hoof growth, which would likely lead to further issues. When keratin degrades, inflammation in the hoof leads to laminitis. Scientists found a collection of genes responsible for triggering that inflammation that could pave the way for future medications to treat it. The genes led researchers to believe that some human inflammatory medications for autoimmune disorders may help horses with laminitis. Changes in gene expression in diseased tissue are often reflected in changes in the proteins that can be detected in the blood as the disease progresses. For example, specific proteins, or biomarkers, that increase in the blood in humans following traumatic brain injury had increased expression in the samples from the horses with laminitis in this study. Medical doctors have used these compounds to understand the severity of these injuries in humans without using imaging or more invasive testing. Brooks hopes this could be used as a tool to monitor the progression of laminitis in the horse. “We don’t always recognize that a horse has severe laminitis until things have gotten quite bad,” Brooks said. “Early monitoring tools and ways to combat the disease were exciting findings, but we need further research before these new tools will be ready for use in the field.” Brooks hopes that this research can lead to a blood test to detect these new laminitis-related biomarkers and to medications that are economical and effective for horses suffering from the disease. “Ultimately, these new findings point us toward a more targeted approach for future exploration that we hope will help uncover novel solutions for preventing and treating this debilitating disease,” Galantino-Homer said. “This is a big step in improving our understanding of laminitis,” Brooks added. “Something that could be completely untreatable 10 years ago, in another 10 years, we may be able to intervene and make a significant difference in the disease early on.” — from a UF/IFAS news release HJ
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From ClaimTo Fame
CUATRO FOR PACO
Horse must have started ONCE at the claiming level or less since January 1, 2013 to be eligible.
Gulfstream Park • Saturday, December 6, 2014
JOCKEY PACO LOPEZ WINS FIVE RACES, INCLUDING FOUR CLAIMING $1,000,000 in Purses CROWN EVENTS, AS GULFSTREAM PARK AGAIN SHOWCASES HORSE RACING’S BLUE-COLLAR RUNNERS Compiled from Gulfstream Park news releases Photos by Coglianese Photos/Lauren King and Ryan Thompson
ockey Paco Lopez came into the 23rd running of the Claiming Crown on December 4 at Gulfstream Park as the all-time leading rider in the event celebrating racing’s blue-collar runners. By the end of the afternoon at the South Florida track, Lopez had added four more Claiming Crown wins, as well as a victory in an undercard race, to bring his lifetime total to 14. Trainer Mike Maker, the all-time leader in his category, added another win to bring his total to 19, and relative newcomer Saffie Joseph Jr. broke out with three victories. A run of seven consecutive years of record-breaking handle figures came to an end with the 2021 edition, but the wagering total of $11,448,519 still ranks near the top of the list for the all-time marks at the event that has consistently proven to be popular with both handicappers and horsemen. “We would like to thank the Florida horsemen for their continued support and commitment, and also a sincere thanks go to Gulfstream Park for again doing a tremendous job of hosting the Claiming Crown,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA, which in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association presented the Claiming Crown with Gulfstream and the horsemen of Florida. “And, of course, we are grateful for all the owners and trainers who participated and the racing fans who again showed their support by wagering on these competitive races. This is always a great showcase for the claiming level horses who are so important to our industry.”
For qualification criteria and nomination deadlines, call the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) at (888) 606-TOBA. Visit claimingcrown.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The Claiming Crown races are run under starter allowance conditions based on the claiming price started for in 2020 and 2021, except for the Express and Iron Horse, which allow for horses to have started for the specified claiming price at any point in the horse’s career.
PACO LOPEZ HAS RECORDED A TOTAL OF 14 CLAIMING CROWN WINS TO TOP ALL JOCKEYS.
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BLUE STEEL—IRON HORSE
ames Woodruff’s Blue Steel showed his mettle while holding on to win the $75,000 Claiming Crown Iron Horse Kent Stirling Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile race for horses who had started for $8,000 or less in their lifetime. The race honors the former Florida HBPA executive director who helped grow the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream, among many other contributions he made to the industry. Trained by Jeff Hiles, Blue Steel had won his last four starts on dirt by a combined 22 ¼ lengths at Indiana Grand, Belterra Park and Keeneland Race Course. This win was not quite as easy, as the 7-2 second choice in the betting held on to prevail by a half-length in 1:44.61 under Paco Lopez. The well-traveled 5-year-old gelding by Will Take Charge has recorded nine victories in his 35-race career while bringing home $188,125. Blue Steel showed promise right from the start as a 2-year-old when he broke his maiden in a special weight race at Churchill Downs in 2018 and then ran in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Dave Hearn’s Zanesville, who came in off a victory at Churchill for trainer George Leonard III, finished second. Gulfstream-based Brasstown, running for Sano Racing Stables LLC and trainer Antonio Sano, took third.
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FACE OF VICTORY—EXPRESS
nder a heads-up ride by Edgard Zayas, Mercy Man Racing’s Face of Victory captured the $75,000 Claiming Crown Express, a sixfurlong sprint for horses who had started for $8,000 or less at any point in their career. A split-second decision at the three-eighths pole was the key to the Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained gelding’s upset victory over favored Kalu, who broke sharply to take the early lead. Face of Victory, who broke from the rail and was ridden aggressively by Zayas, slipped inside the favorite on the backstretch. Gulfstream’s leading rider at the fall meet quickly thought better of an inside challenge, easing up on his mount long enough to be able to guide him off the rail to make an outside challenge in the stretch. Face of Victory kicked on through the stretch to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:10.52 at odds of 9-2. “Saffie gave me a lot of confidence in the paddock,” Zayas said. “He said, ‘Take it to [Kalu]. His only weakness is at the end where he tends to stop a little bit.’ He said, ‘Take it to him early if you can. Make him earn his money.’” Face of Victory, a 7-year-old son of Run Away and Hide who was claimed for $10,000 in August, pushed his earnings to $224,974 with his seventh win from 33 starts. RyZan Sun Racing LLC’s Kalu, third in the Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes for trainer J. Kent Sweezey in his last start, finished second as the 4-5 favorite. Aequor was third for owner Morning Moon Farm and trainer Frank Russo.
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SWEET WILLEMINA—GLASS SLIPPER
ichard Ciavardone and Home Team Stables’ Sweet Willemina emerged from a pack of horses in mid-stretch and rallied past Our Fantasy to capture the $80,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper, a one-mile test on the main track for fillies and mares who had raced for a price of $12,500 or less. The Scott Lake-trained 4-year-old daughter of Reason d’Etat was coming off her first loss in seven starts since being claimed by her connections for $32,000 in June, but she rebounded with a last-jump decision and stopped the timer at 1:36.68 at 8-1 odds. Sweet Willemina, a Parx Racing-based filly who broke her maiden for a $10,000 claiming price in September 2020, had her regular rider Silvestre Gonzalez in the irons. “She’s a beast,” Lake said. “Her last race when she got beat, Silvestre and I talked about it and thought he rode her over-confidently and didn’t go after the lone speed. We were a little worried coming in because she wasn’t quite as sharp coming off that race, but she’s been training great down here. Silvestre did a great job.” The Kentucky-bred Sweet Willemina now has earnings of $241,804 with eight wins from 23 trips to the post. Our Fantasy, also off at 8-1, just missed out on the victory for owner Ten Twenty Racing and conditioner Saffie Joseph Jr. Stud Locos Y Viciosos Corp.’s Let’s Be Honest, trained by Enrique Torres, got up for third.
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MILES AHEAD—RAPID TRANSIT
avid Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Miles Ahead, a graded stakes winner in a race for horses that had raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less, flaunted his class by winning the $85,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit as the 6-5 favorite. The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 4-year-old Competitive Edge gelding, who captured the Smile Sprint Invitational Stakes (G3) on the July 3 Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream, closely stalked the pace set by Legal Deal before moving to the lead at the top of the stretch under Paco Lopez and prevailing by a comfortable 1 ¼ lengths in 1:21.99 for seven furlongs. Miles Ahead broke his maiden for a $12,500 claiming price by 12 ¼ lengths in January 2020 after being eased in his debut over turf. The Kentucky-bred has steadily improved with age while establishing himself as one of the top sprinters on dirt in South Florida. A $175,000 yearling who also earned Grade 1 experience with an off-theboard finish in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga, Miles Ahead is a nine-time winner from 19 starts, and his bankroll stands at $323,525. Michele and Lawrence Sargent’s Legal Deal, a Carlos David trainee, could not match strides with Miles Ahead but finished a clear second. Pudding, trained and co-owned by Elizabeth Dobles with Imaginary Stables, closed for third.
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ll My Hart Racing Inc.’s Payntdembluesaway, with Paco Lopez in the saddle, dueled with 46-1 longshot Cat’s Astray for a half-mile before putting that rival away and sprinting clear to a popular four-length victory as the 9-5 favorite in the $90,000 Claiming Crown Distaff Dash. Living up to its name, the Distaff Dash was over in :55.31 for a distance of about five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less. “She runs the way she runs,” said winning trainer Jane Cibelli. “There are no tactics or anything. She just breaks and runs. She’s really, really fast, and she just loves to run. Paco and I talked in the paddock, and he said, ‘What do you think? There’s some speed in there.’ I said, ‘Paco, you’ve ridden her how many times? You know her better than anybody. Just when the gates open, see what she does.’” Lopez has been aboard Payntdembluesaway for six of her eight career victories, including five straight from November 2019 to January 28, 2021, during part of the 5-year-old mare’s six-race win streak. Three of those wins were at Gulfstream.
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Payntdembluesaway, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Paynter, is now a winner of eight of 13 lifetime starts with earnings of $192,170. Drop a Hint, a 19-1 shot owned by Sam Wilensky and trained by Herman Wilensky, took second with Team Valor International LLC’s Beantown Baby, an Arnaud Delacour trainee, finishing third.
BAD BEAT BRIAN—CANTERBURY
fter being stuck behind a wall of horses entering the far turn, Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Bad Beat Brian swung into the clear approaching the stretch and came with a steady drive through the lane to edge Xy Speed by a length in the $90,000 Claiming Crown Canterbury Tom Metzen Memorial. Bad Beat Brian, at 4-1 odds, ran the about five furlongs on the turf in :54.78 to extend trainer Mike Maker’s record for Claiming Crown victories to 19 with his first in the Canterbury. Maker has won at least one race in all but three Claiming Crowns since 2007. The Canterbury, named to honor the late Tom Metzen and his efforts to launch the Claiming Crown at the Minnesota racetrack, was for horses that had raced for a tag of $25,000 or less. “The horse broke really sharp, and the pace was lively,” Maker said. “I was just hoping we’d have a chance somewhere to get out, and he did and ran them down. As soon as he got him out without getting stopped, I felt pretty confident.” A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Jack Milton, Bad Beat Brian has spent almost his entire career on the turf, and his lifetime record stands at six wins from 21 starts with earnings of $247,234. Winning Stables Inc.’s Xy Speed, winner of the $100,000 Laurel Dash Stakes in his last start for trainer Gerald Bennett, held second after dueling for the lead. The Connector, a 24-1 longshot owned by Mark Hoffman and trained by Darien Rodriguez, crossed the wire in third.
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eaten after looking like a winner at the top of the stretch in last year’s running of the Claiming Crown Tiara, Big Frank Stable and Mad Dog Racing Stable’s Sugar Fix came from off the pace and surged late to earn a 1 ¼-length victory in this year’s edition of the $95,000 event for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less. Sugar Fix, who covered the about 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:40.19 at odds of 3-1, was piloted by Edgard Zayas for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., the same connections who won the Claiming Crown Express with Face of Victory about 35 minutes earlier. “The race before, I told Edgard to be aggressive,” said the trainer. “This race I said, ‘patience,’ and he executed. Like most of the Claiming Crown races, you know your horse is doing well, but like I was telling the owner, you can run third or fourth having run your race. Thankfully, she ran her best today.” Sugar Fix, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly by Treasure Beach (GB), has won 10 of 23 starts and banked $315,019.
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Imaginary Stables’ Passion Plus, a 21-1 longshot for conditioner Elizabeth Dobles, closed to finish second with Whimsical Muse in third for trainer Mike Maker and owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher.
MID DAY IMAGE—EMERALD
ockey Paco Lopez put the finishing touches on his five-win afternoon by guiding Patricia Generazio’s homebred Mid Day Image to a front-running 1 ¼-length triumph in the $95,000 Claiming Crown Emerald, an about 1 1/16-mile turf contest for horses that had started for $25,000 or less. Mid Day Image entered the Emerald off back-toback wins at Monmouth Park, the most recent coming September 12, and both in gate-to-wire fashion. The 5-year-old Midshipman horse went straight to the lead from his rail post and was never headed before stopping the timer at 1:39.82 as the 3-1 second choice in the wagering. “[Mid Day Image] has a lot of speed,” Lopez said. “I give credit to my horse. He’s very, very good. He put me right there, and [trainer Luis] Carvajal [Jr.] told me, ‘Paco, that horse is ready today.’” New York-bred Mid Day Image, who had three prior wins on the Gulfstream turf course, improved his lifetime record to 21-9-1-3 with earnings of $232,050. MEB Stables LLC’s Clear Vision, a Matthew O’Connor trainee who shipped south after two daylight wins at Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park,
chased Mid Day Image the entire way and finished a clear second. Attentive, also a New York shipper, took third for owner Paradise Farms Corp. and trainer Mike Maker.
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TWELVE VOLT MAN—JEWEL
agic Cap Stables’ Twelve Volt Man made a late charge along the rail to register an upset victory in the $125,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, the richest race on the card and contested at 1 1/8 miles for horses who had started for $35,000 or less. Twelve Volt Man, a lightly raced 3-year-old dismissed at odds of 10-1, gave trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. his third Claiming Crown victory of the day. “It’s an amazing day,” Joseph said. “You come into these races and you can have thirds and fourths and go home with no wins. After we got the first one, I was thankful. Then the second one happened. Then we got a hard beat and got the third one. All the horses showed up.” Joseph also sent out Girolamo’s Attack, who was more highly regarded than Twelve Volt Man as the 6-5 favorite, but that runner wasn’t a factor. Twelve Volt Man, who won his first two career starts before finishing far back in two subsequent stakes, was made eligible for the Jewel while winning an October 14 optional claiming allowance for a $35,000 tag at Gulfstream. The Jewel marked just the seventh start for Twelve Volt Man—all in 2021—and nearly doubled the Violence gelding’s bankroll to $144,728. “I had a really good trip,” said winning jockey Edwin Gonzalez about the race timed in 1:49.92. “I was saving ground around the first two turns. This is a
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really big horse. After the first time I rode the horse when he broke his maiden, I said to Saffie that this horse wants to go long.” Hanalei’s Houdini, one of many successful runners on the day for owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher and trainer Mike Maker, was well clear in second. Third place went to GU Racing Stable LLC’s Mo Hawk, trained by Juan Avila.
BEYER SIRE PERFORMANCE STANDINGS ALL STARTERS Data includes all North American starts that were assigned a Beyer Speed Figure from Jan. 1 through Nov. 14, 2021. There were no filters applied for starters based on age, sex, distance, or surface. Sires are ranked in this chart by the number of 90 or higher Beyer Speed Figures. 90+ BEYER SPEED FIGURES STUD FEE
Speightstown $90,000 Tapit $185,000 City Zip Died 2017 Ghostzapper $75,000 Uncle Mo $160,000 Hard Spun $35,000 Twirling Candy $60,000 Constitution $85,000 Candy Ride (ARG) $75,000 Street Sense $75,000 Kitten’s Joy $50,000 War Front $100,000 Declaration of War Stands in Japan Medaglia d’Oro $100,000 Union Rags $30,000 Temple City $5,000 Midshipman $10,000 Bernardini Died 2021 Flatter $35,000 Quality Road $150,000 Scat Daddy Died 2015 More Than Ready $50,000 Malibu Moon Died 2021
165 213 129 195 253 229 247 178 204 205 243 102 141
790 933 743 936 1152 1213 1294 902 887 1083 1297 404 677
148 153 109 171 204 205 236 152 168 175 169 71 97
9 14 5 7 8 5 3 5 8 7 2 3 3
54 48 45 42 42 40 37 36 35 31 31 30 27
21 23 15 17 18 15 16 17 19 14 12 12 12
12.73% 10.80% 11.63% 8.72% 7.11% 6.55% 6.48% 9.55% 9.31% 6.83% 4.94% 11.76% 8.51%
5 9 2 4 6 7 2 4 5 6 4 1 2
5 5 2 3 4 2 2 2 3 2 2 1 1
3.03% 2.35% 1.55% 1.54% 1.58% 0.87% 0.81% 1.12% 1.47% 0.98% 0.82% 0.98% 0.71%
150 227 232 199 166 152 211 64 199 218
653 1082 1241 1084 760 863 1016 365 941 1124
103 146 148 180 108 150 164 49 132 183
7 3 1 4 5 5 5 6 6 1
27 26 26 25 25 25 24 24 23 23
12 13 9 10 11 8 14 9 10 11
8.00% 5.73% 3.88% 5.03% 6.63% 5.26% 6.64% 14.06% 5.03% 5.05%
0 3 0 7 4 1 5 5 3 0
0 1 0 3 2 1 2 3 2 0
0.00% 0.44% 0.00% 1.51% 1.20% 0.66% 0.95% 4.69% 1.01% 0.00%
Midnight Lute Dansili (GB) Tiznow Blame Paynter Maclean’s Music Goldencents
112 13 166 118 178 188 233
696 47 830 513 1116 870 1262
110 13 128 79 201 171 190
1 5 3 0 5 8 5
22 22 21 21 20 20 20
6 7 5 7 11 7 11
5.36% 53.85% 3.01% 5.93% 6.18% 3.72% 4.72%
7 7 3 0 5 5 1
2 3 2 0 1 3 1
1.79% 23.08% 1.20% 0.00% 0.56% 1.60% 0.43%
$15,000 Pensioned Pensioned $20,000 $10,000 $50,000 $15,000
NO. OF BEYERS
NO. OF PERCENTAGE HORSES OF STARTERS
100+ BEYER SPEED FIGURES
NO. OF NO. OF PERCENTAGE BEYERS HORSES OF STARTERS
HIGHEST BEYER, HORSE
109 Life Is Good, Mischevious Alex 106 Cezanne 104 Wondrwherecraigis, Ginobili 102 Spooky Channel, Two Emmys, Admiralty Pier 105 Olympiad 114 Flightline 104 Fast Boat 108 Mystic Guide 107 Golden Pal 104 Silver State 105 Gear Jockey 108 Americanrevolution 103 Ride a Comet 109 Speaker’s Corner 104 Tripoli 103 Flavius 104 Gufo 98 Endorsed 103 Express Train 97 Sanctuary City 108 Royal Ship (BRZ) 107 Art Collector 100 Plainsman 104 Dr Post 103 Anothertwistafate 101 Say the Word 97 Moon Over Miami, Malibu Pro, Captivating Moon 105 Smooth Like Strait 103 Blowout (GB) 107 Midnight Bourbon 97 Abscond 113 Knicks Go 110 Jackie’s Warrior 104 Wildman Jack
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Daily Racing Form’s Beyer Sire Performance Standings are powered by DRF’s exclusive Beyer Speed Figures and provide a unique measure of a sire’s achievement.
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COURTESY DEL MAR THOROUGHBRED CLUB
SEABISCUIT (INSIDE) JUST EDGES OUT LIGAROTI TO WIN THE $25,000 MATCH RACE AT DEL MAR.
Seabiscuit’s Forgotten Match Race
Before his famous encounter with War Admiral, Seabiscuit faced off against Ligaroti in a match race at Del Mar By Rick Capone
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he year 1938 reflects back to a time when horse racing enjoyed immense popularity and when the sport’s stars gained large and loyal fan bases because they had longer racing careers than they do today. Seabiscuit was one of those horses that race fans loved to cheer for during his 89-race career. To this day, he is still a fan favorite, despite the fact that it’s been more than 80 years since he last entered the starting gate. Thanks to Laura Hillenbrand’s 2001 award-winning book Seabiscuit: An American Legend and the 2003 movie based on the book, he gained a whole new generation of fans. Many racing fans, and even non-racing fans, know about Seabiscuit’s long quest to win the Santa Anita Handicap and also his triumph in his match race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral, but what many might not know is that prior to those events, Seabiscuit participated in another match race. The race was against Ligaroti, an excellent horse in his own right, and was held on August 12, 1938, at Del Mar in Southern California in just the track’s second year of existence. The match race highlighted some interesting cross relationships between the two horses and their connections, and it even had a controversial finish as the jockeys literally fought each other to the wire, all helping to make the race one of the most famous in Del Mar’s history.
Building a Racetrack
KEENELAND LIBRARY/THOROUGHBRED TIMES COLLECTION
In 1936, the Great Depression was still ongoing. Needing some kind of distraction, many people turned to sports, and horse racing, along with baseball and boxing, was among the most popular of the time. Horse racing also had an East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry. The East Coast had what was considered an elite racing establishment, and they ran at such tracks as Saratoga, Belmont Park, Pimlico and Hialeah Park. In California, things were newer, and there were only two big tracks, Hollywood Park and San-
ta Anita Park. But, in the very southern part of the state, there was no racing. The only option was Agua Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico. Like many other Hollywood stars, singer and actor Bing Crosby was a big horse racing fan. He even became a shareholder in Santa Anita when it was built in 1933. Crosby fell in love with the sport so much that he started buying horses. He purchased his first one, Zombie, in 1937. He also built a ranch and racetrack near his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California. In time, he had 21 horses and raced them in his blue-and-white silks. In 1936, according to Amy Williams’ online article, “The Del Mar Track: 75 Years of Turf and Surf,” William A. Quigley, “a former football player, successful stockbroker and occasional racing official, believed San Diego was a perfect location for horse racing. He approached Crosby about starting a racetrack in Del Mar, and Crosby agreed to commit his time, money and energy to the project.” Crosby would serve as president of the venture, while his brother Bob would serve as vice president. Joining them as officers were actors Oliver Hardy and Pat O’Brien. In addition, Hollywood star Gary Cooper and comedian Joe E. Brown served on the executive committee. Williams wrote that they filed articles of incorporation in May 1936 with the California Secretary of State and founded the Del Mar Turf Club. They also negotiated a 10-year lease with the Agricultural Association and committed to building a grandstand, barn, stalls, paddock, jockey quarters and offices. The following year, they gained a racing license from the California Horse Racing Board. Around the same time, the architectural firm of H.L. Jackson and Sam Hamill was already ahead of things, as Jackson and Hamill had drawn up plans for a track in 1935 in the hopes of one being built someday. Finally, the time arrived, and they built a beautiful facility designed in a Spanish colonial revival style. With opening day approaching, Crosby began promoting the track. According to Williams, he even convinced NBC to create a half-hour radio show that
ON THE OPENING DAY OF DEL MAR ON JULY 3, 1937, BING CROSBY WAS AT THE FRONT GATE TO WELCOME THE TRACK’S FIRST CUSTOMER, MRS. W.R. RICHARDSON.
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FEATURE COURTESY DEL MAR THOROUGHBRED CLUB
TRAINER TOM SMITH UNLOADS SEABISCUIT.
would be broadcast on Saturday mornings from the track. Crosby went all out to help make the track a success, including doing his best to attract fellow Hollywood stars to come and watch the races. Many of them came over the years, including Dorothy Lamour, W.C. Fields, Paulette Goddard, Red Skelton, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and O’Brien, among others. On July 3, 1937, Del Mar Racetrack—Where the Turf Meets the Surf— opened to 15,000 fans. Williams wrote that it was like a “Hollywood premiere,” with Crosby greeting guests at the gate to thank them for coming. During the opening ceremony, Crosby said, “We all hope you enjoy the meeting and a measure of success at the payoff windows.” After opening day, things slowed down, and the track averaged only 6,000 fans a day. They needed to create something big to draw more fans. To that end, in the second year of the track’s existence, an idea was born that changed the course of the track’s history.
Seabiscuit vs. Ligaroti
In August 1936, Charles S. Howard purchased Seabiscuit for $8,000 and moved the horse from the barn of the gelding’s first trainer, James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons, to his own trainer, Tom Smith. Smith liked Seabiscuit from the first time he watched him run. He saw a lot of potential in the diminutive 3-year-old Thoroughbred, and under his care, Seabiscuit’s career began to pick up. Along with Howard’s mastery of promotion, the horse’s fame grew tremendously, and he soon became a favorite of fans across the country. Everyone seemed to love Seabiscuit, and Howard began calling him “The People’s Horse.” Howard’s son, Lindsay (“Lin”), enjoyed a competitive relationship with his father and would always brag about his own horses, while Charles would needle his son about how much he actually knew about horses. About that, Williams wrote that Charles once gave his son a book as a gift. It was titled What You Know About Horses, and all of the pages were blank. Lin was also good friends with Crosby, and the two had teamed up to start Binglin Stables. One of the Binglin horses was Ligaroti, who had been a successful racehorse in Argentina. He had brought the horse to America, where he had continued success—so much so that Lin believed the horse could beat Seabiscuit. 28
That hadn’t proved true, however, in the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on July 16, 1938, when Ligaroti and Seabiscuit raced against each other. Coming into the race, Ligaroti had won the American Handicap at Hollywood Park and broken the track record for nine furlongs by 3 1/5 seconds. However, in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Ligaroti was bumped by another horse in the backstretch, which caused him to lose momentum, although he closed well to finish fourth. Meanwhile, Seabiscuit won the 1 1/4-mile race by 1 1/2 lengths in track-record time. Lin really wanted a rematch with his father and Seabiscuit. He truly believed Ligaroti could beat his father’s horse. Plus there was another father-son interaction at stake: Tom Smith trained Seabiscuit, while his son Jimmy trained Ligaroti. Long story short, the idea of a match race was discussed. At first, Charles showed no interest, but eventually he warmed up to the idea and accepted the challenge. It was decided the race would be held on August 12 at Del Mar. The purse would be $25,000, which was 14 percent of the purse money for the entire Del Mar meet. The race would be the eighth on the day’s card, and it would be 1 1/8 miles on the dirt. Thanks to Crosby’s connections, the race would be broadcast nationwide by NBC. Crosby, of course, had a vested interest in the success of the race as a founder of Del Mar and co-owner of Ligaroti. George “The Iceman” Woolf, one of the best jockeys in the country at the time, would ride Seabiscuit, who would carry 130 pounds, while Noel “Spec” Richardson would guide Ligaroti, who would carry 115 pounds. The two horses would wear letters instead of numbers; Seabiscuit was “A” and Ligaroti was “B.” Finally, a coin flip between Charles and Lin resulted in Charles selecting to have Seabiscuit break on the inside. Since the race was considered an exhibition, there would be no betting allowed. To make up for it, Charles and Lin made a “friendly” side bet. Charles put up $15,000 to Lin’s $5,000 that Seabiscuit would win. “I told Lin before the race that he had made a bad bet,” said Ray Bell, a Thoroughbred owner and breeder who held the money, according to a Los Angeles Times article. “The weights were all right, the distance was OK, but Lin should have insisted that Ligaroti get the inside post position. Ligaroti had the habit of lugging in all the time. Every time you work him in the morning outside another horse, he’d lug in.”
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KEENELAND LIBRARY/MORGAN COLLECTION
A record 20,000 fans, many of them cheering for Seabiscuit, turned out to watch the race. According to an article in that day’s Los Angeles Times, Ligaroti was “favored by the mile and a 1/8 distance, to his liking, and the 15-pound break in weights. But, to win, he must start in front and stay there. Once the crimson and white Howard colors are on the pace, there is little likelihood of them being caught.” Tom Smith’s instructions to Woolf were simple. He told his jockey to go to the front and get clear of Ligaroti but told him not to worry if Ligaroti moved to the fence. He told him to “win as far off as you can,” according to the Times article. The race was exciting from start to finish, as both horses and jockeys put on a A PORTRAIT OF LIGAROTI, WITH JOCKEY LESTER BALASKI UP, AT BELMONT PARK memorable show and raced side by side around the track it would show Woolf being guilty of interfering with his horse and jockey, he purthe entire way. At the start, both jockeys and horses went for the front, with chased the film and invited stewards and reporters to come watch it with him. Seabiscuit taking a short half-length lead by the first turn. Hillenbrand went on to explain that Lin ended up being embarrassed, as Ligaroti then came back and took a small lead going around the first turn the film showed that Richardson did indeed interfere first, pulling on Seabisand held it going down most of the backstretch. Deep into the backstretch, Seacuit’s saddlecloth, then grabbing Woolf’s whip hand and finally wrapping his leg biscuit fought back hard and got in front by a slim margin once again, which he around Woolf’s leg in an attempt to slow Seabiscuit down. held throughout the final turn. In self-defense and with the wire fast approaching, Woolf ripped his arm In the stretch, things got interesting, as it appeared the two jockeys were free, grabbed Ligaroti’s bridle and lifted the horse’s head to try and free himself struggling against each other. However, because there was no video at the track from Richardson. Woolf was finally able to get free, and Seabiscuit, who had at the time, fans could not really tell what was actually going on. They were been slowed by the two jockeys fighting with one another, was able to pull away watching the two horses, not the jockeys. to get the win by the slimmest of margins. In mid-stretch, Ligaroti did indeed lug in and rubbed against Seabiscuit, Summing up the incident, Hillenbrand wrote that “the film showed Richardand the two horses remained locked together for a few strides. Ligaroti tried son committing every foul short of shooting Woolf off of his horse. Woolf had to make a final surge, but Seabiscuit held on to win by a nose. He finished in clearly acted in self-defense.” 1:49—a new track record. What made Seabiscuit’s win even more incredible was that, despite being held back and interfered with down the stretch, Seabiscuit still set a track record. Controversy Ultimately, since it was a non-betting race, the suspensions were lifted Immediately after the race, Richardson claimed foul and said that Woolf for both jockeys, and they were able to race again after the Del Mar meeting had interfered with him and Ligaroti in the stretch, which affected his horse’s concluded. momentum. Woolf said Richardson interfered with him and Seabiscuit first, and According to a Los Angeles Times article in 1983, Richardson still he was only defending himself. maintained that Woolf was the aggressor. However, according to a pastthewire. The stewards met and ruled that the race results would stand—Seabiscuit was com article, Richardson also admitted to the Times that Seabiscuit was the the winner—though no explanation of what happened was given. But the next day, better horse. they fined both jockeys and suspended them for the remainder of the year. “I rode Seabiscuit once, winning on him in a race at Caliente,” Richardson Interestingly, according to Hillenbrand’s book, while there was no official said. “He was the best horse I ever got on. Ligaroti almost beat him [in the film of the race, someone did actually film it, and Lin found it. Feeling confident match race], but we needed 15 pounds to come close.”
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FEATURE COURTESY RON MICETIC - EASYGOER24@GMAIL.COM
KEENELAND LIBRARY/THOROUGHBRED TIMES COLLECTION
SEABISCUIT CARRIED 16 POUNDS MORE THAN HIS ARGENTINE RIVAL. TECHNICALLY, IT WAS A 15-POUND DIFFERENCE; PER THE CHART, LIGAROTI ENDED UP CARRYING 115 (1 POUND OVER).
TRAINER TOM SMITH GREETS SEABISCUIT AND JOCKEY GEORGE WOOLF FOLLOWING THE MATCH RACE AGAINST LIGAROTI, WHO CAN BE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND WITH THE BLANKET ON.
The match race “changed everything for Del Mar Racetrack,” wrote Williams. She noted that the track became known as “a track that could attract renowned horses and thousands of fans. It also highlighted the importance of West Coast horses and tracks, putting all California racing on the map.” In 1946, Crosby stepped away from Del Mar and sold his shares in the track. Today, Del Mar is owned by the state of California and operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. As for Ligaroti, there is little information available about his racing career in Argentina, and even his complete race record in the United States is hard to track down. What is known is that he went on to win the Del Mar Handicap later that year. Then, when he was retired, he spent the rest of his life at Crosby’s ranch, where he died on February 23, 1945.
About three months after his win over Ligaroti, Seabiscuit traveled east to Pimlico and won his famous match race against War Admiral in the November 1 Pimlico Special. He then missed most of the 1939 season due to injury but recovered and came back in 1940 to run four times with two wins, including a race that had so far eluded him. After finishing second in his first two attempts, the third time proved to be the charm for the fan favorite, and with Red Pollard, his longtime jockey who also had been injured, back in the saddle, Seabiscuit finally won the Santa Anita Handicap. It would be his final race. Seabiscuit retired with 33 wins, 15 seconds, 13 thirds and $437,730 in earnings in 89 career starts. In addition, he was named 1938 Horse of the Year and champion older male in 1937 and 1938. Seabiscuit retired to Howard’s Ridgewood Ranch in California, where he had a modest stud career. He died on May 17, 1947, and was buried in a secret location on the ranch. HJ
Rick Capone is a freelance writer in Versailles, Kentucky, just down the road from Keeneland. He is also a volunteer at Old Friends, where he is part owner with friends Michael Blowen and Tim Ford of Miss Hooligan, a loveable retired mare at the farm.
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Clusters of Aminocaproic Acid Positives Across the Country IS IT POSSI BL E T HAT L ABS AR E R EPO R T I N G I R R EL EVA N T TRAC E-LE VE L I D E N T I FI C AT I O N S ?
By Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Peter J. Sacopulos, JD; Kimberly Brewer, DVM, MSc; Jacob Machin, MS; Thomas Tobin, MRCVS, PhD, DABT
minocaproic acid, also known by its brand name Amicar, is a therapeutic medication long used in both human and equine medicine to stop hemorrhage, which it does by stabilizing blood clots. In human medicine, aminocaproic acid is a standard treatment for trauma victims to control and stop hemorrhage and also in surgical patients at risk of hemorrhage to reduce the incidence and severity of hemorrhage.
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Consistent with these well-established applications in human medicine, Amicar is often used in equine surgeries that are accompanied by bleeding and hematomas from blunt-force trauma, such as a kick, and for excessive bleeding after surgeries like castration. For many years, Amicar was widely permitted on race day in many jurisdictions as an adjunct bleeder medication, administered with Lasix at four hours prior to post with the goal of reducing the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in racehorses.
FIGURE 1: Amicar identifications in U.S. racing, 2013 to 2021
With the industry moving toward ever-tightening restrictions on therapeutic medications, most jurisdictions have prohibited the use of Amicar on race day, a restriction that has now been in place in most jurisdictions for six or seven years. However, like most other therapeutic medications, when the need arises, aminocaproic acid is still commonly administered to horses in training. For instance, Amicar has still been used in lieu of Lasix to prevent EIPH when breezing between races in order to prevent any possible side effects of using Lasix once or twice a week. The question then arises as to what the appropriate withdrawal time guideline is for aminocaproic acid administered to horses in training so there is no risk of a trace-level residue detection on race day. This question has been brought into sharp focus by a recent spike in the number of positives called for aminocaproic acid, starting with some well-documented identifications in Maryland and New Jersey racing (Figure 1).
...most jurisdictions have prohibited the use of Amicar on race day...
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SPIKES IN AMICAR POSITIVES ASSOCIATED WITH LAB CHANGE Over several weeks in the summer of 2021, a sharp increase in the number of Amicar identifications was reported in racing samples analyzed by Industrial Laboratories in Wheat Ridge, near Denver, Colorado. To our knowledge, some of the first identifications in this sequence of Amicar identifications occurred in Maryland and New Jersey, apparently associated with a change in the equine drug testing contract for these two states from Truesdail Laboratories in Irvine, California, to Industrial Laboratories. This sequence of Amicar identifications has therefore most likely been due to the testing performed by Industrial Laboratories being more sensitive, at least for aminocaproic acid, than the testing being performed previously at Truesdail Laboratories. This is a classic sequence of events. No two racing chemistry laboratories have exactly the same screening procedures for medication/substance detection in racehorses. This being so, transferring the drug testing contract from one laboratory to another will often serve to make these differences sharply apparent when the laboratory to which the drug testing contract has been transferred is screening for a given substance at a more sensitive level than the previous laboratory. Prior to the Maryland/New Jersey Amicar cluster, the most notable of these laboratory change-driven positives were the 30-plus corticosteroid positives called in the first few weeks after the laboratory contract for New Mexico was switched from UC Davis, where corticosteroid screening was conducted in pooled urine samples, to Industrial Laboratories, where corticosteroid screening is conducted in blood at high sensitivity. Many of these cases were ultimately dismissed. This difference in screening methodology between laboratories immediately became apparent with the transfer from Truesdail Laboratories to Industrial Laboratories for Maryland’s and New Jersey’s samples. Within days of the transfer, spikes in identifications of multiple therapeutic medications occurred, with the Amicar positives being the most disconcerting. Corticosteroid positive spikes associated with laboratory or threshold changes are common, but the spike in Amicar identifications is a new phenomenon. Investigations have shown that the affected trainers had used Amicar for fast workouts anywhere from three to eight days before the race in which the positive occurred. A similar spike in Amicar positives also was seen recently without a lab change in Kentucky. Horsemen who had used Amicar in the last work, from five to seven days before racing, were initially notified that they had positives for Amicar. The cases were not pursued for reasons that remain unclear. Since no change had occurred in the use of Amicar among the trainers, it is likely that a change in laboratory screening methodology resulted in this spike.
AMICAR AS A THERAPEUTIC MEDICATION Aminocaproic acid is structurally related to the amino acid lysine, and it acts to inhibit enzymes that interact with lysine. One of these enzymes is plasmin, a major enzyme that mediates fibrinolysis or, in other words, the breakdown of blood clots. Administration of Amicar enhances the stability of blood clots, which has led to it being approved by the FDA for use in human medicine for the treatment of acute hemorrhage, either traumatic or surgical. Use of Amicar as an adjunct bleeder medication in racehorses predates our understanding of the pathogenesis of EIPH. Clearly, its efficacy as an adjunct
FEATURE bleeder medication comes by reducing the severity of EIPH in horses. By stabilizing a clot once bleeding has occurred, Amicar limits the magnitude of the hemorrhage, rather than preventing the primary EIPH event. In horses, the dose of aminocaproic acid recommended for use as an adjunct bleeder medication is in the order of 2.5 to 5 grams per horse administered intravenously, a dose well below the dose for humans by weight. Horses exhibit lower levels of fibrinolysis (clot degradation) than humans, so this lower total dose is expected. In a recently published study, the effective Amicar plasma concentration in horses is in the low microgram concentrations, from 3.77 to 7.86 micrograms per milliliter (µg/ml). This same study reportedly indicated no possibility of any pharmacological effect at all below 2 µg/ml.
WITHDRAWAL GUIDELINES The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) Elimination Guidelines booklet, dated April 2020, documents reported doses of 2.5 and 5 grams of Amicar administered intravenously to horses and suggests an elimination guideline (EG) of 48 hours after administration of either dose. The rate at which Amicar is eliminated by the horse is not discussed, and the threshold levels for plasma and urine are not included in the 2020 CPMA booklet. There was, however, a time during the last century when the CPMA was not silent on such matters, and if one reaches back into published CPMA records, one can locate a document dated 1997 in which the plasma and urinary concentrations of aminocaproic acid following these 2.5 and 5 gram per horse intravenous administrations were presented. The intravenous data in plasma cutoff at 12 hours is at about 1 µg/ml, a far from sensitive analytical method by modern 2021 standards. This CPMA method is, however, more than sensitive enough to detect aminocaproic acid in equine urine out to 120 hours or five days post-administration and likely much longer than that given that the mean concentration of aminocaproic acid in these five-day urine samples was in the order of about 5 µg/ml, which is 5,000 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), and the terminal urinary half-life of aminocaproic acid at five days post-administration was quite prolonged, as presented in Figure 2, which was replotted from the 1997 CPMA publication on aminocaproic acid.
The 5-gram dose intravenous data immediately answer two questions about aminocaproic detection and elimination in horses. First, the dose of aminocaproic acid is, at 2.5 to 5 grams per horse, relatively large, so an enormous number of molecules has been introduced into the horse for the chemist to detect. The second important question is about the terminal plasma/urinary half-life of aminocaproic acid in the horse. The data in Figure 2 shows that, shortly after administration, the urine Amicar concentration decreases rapidly, but the terminal half-life of aminocaproic acid becomes prolonged beginning at about 24 hours after administration. This can be seen in the graph as the curve becomes flat, decreasing more slowly. While the plasma levels are not known, what is highly likely is that the terminal plasma elimination is similar, very long and very flat. As such, aminocaproic acid is a classic long terminal plasma half-life medication, with microgram per milliliter concentrations persisting in urine for much longer than five days and much lower but similarly persistent plasma concentrations being present in the horse’s plasma for equivalently long periods. It therefore comes as no surprise that if modern 2021 high-sensitivity testing is introduced for aminocaproic acid in either plasma or urine, detection times much longer than five days may be expected, fully consistent with at least one reported plasma identification at eight days after an aminocaproic acid administration. Based on these data, the next question is what concentrations of aminocaproic acid were being reported in these Maryland, New Jersey and other related Industrial Laboratories-driven identifications. The answer is not clear since Industrial Laboratories apparently elected not to report the estimated aminocaproic acid concentrations in these identifications. However, at this time, the longest reported last time of aminocaproic acid administration is eight days post-administration, by which time the urinary decay curve in Figure 2 is, in lay terms, close to flat, suggesting that detections well beyond eight days postadministration of aminocaproic acid cannot be excluded. The next question that arises is at what point post-administration the plasma and urinary concentrations of aminocaproic acid become pharmacologically irrelevant. The simplest approach is to look at the recent research showing that any level at or below the 2 µg/ml in plasma is irrelevant and could legitimately be ignored. Alternatively, we can take a far more conservative approach as originally described by professor Pierre-Louis Toutain, a calculation of an irrelevant plasma concentration (IPC). If we take the effective plasma concentration of aminocaproic acid as being 5.82 µg/ml, as reported in the scientific literature, and then divide this figure by a safety factor of 100, the IPC becomes 58.2 ng/ml. Interestingly, the only recent aminocaproic acid identifications for which we have data range between 4 and 46 ng/ml, below this highly conservative IPC for aminocaproic acid.
...at this time, the longest reported last time of aminocaproic acid administration is eight days post-administration... FIGURE 2: Urine aminocaproic acid concentrations following a single five-gram intravenous administration. The initial urinary half-life is about two hours, while the final terminal urinary half-life is at least 29.5 hours. Note the “flat-lining” of the urinary concentrations between 100 hours and 120 hours, suggesting possible re-uptake from the environment.
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A LEGAL POINT: A CHANGE IN LEVEL OF DETECTION IS A DE FACTO RULE CHANGE All changes in the level of detection of foreign substances constitute rule changes for participants and licensees. This is the case whether the change is brought about by a change in the approved testing laboratory or a change in methodology used in testing procedures. In each case, that level of detection change constitutes a de facto rule change. State regulators, commissions and most rule-making authorities use a negotiated rule-making procedure. The negotiated rule-making procedure has, as one of its key components, notice. By soliciting information and ideas, this process increases the acceptability of the rule or rule change. It also decreases the likelihood of resistance or challenge. Additionally, the negotiated rulemaking procedure often shortens the time necessary to issue a final approved rule. A level of detection change without notice is contrary to the negotiated rule-making process and constitutes a de facto rule. An example of the negotiated rule-making process is the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Model Rules Committee and its procedure and process relative to considering a new rule or a change to an existing rule. The process requires the petitioner to describe the issue or problem and put forward possible solutions. The identification of shareholder groups that are believed to support or oppose the recommendation, as well as the identity of other rules that may require change or would otherwise be affected in the process, is also required. The process includes notice and a merit-based open discussion with input from industry stakeholders.
A problem in competition horses is that ineffective trace levels of this medication remain detectable in equine plasma and urine for at least eight days or longer post-administration, long after the pharmacological effects have dissipated.
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Conversely, de facto rule changes, such as the sudden level of detection change relative to Amicar, are more commonly the result of an adversary rulemaking procedure. The adversary rule-making procedure deprives the affected parties, including trainers, owners, veterinarians and the public, from faceto-face negotiation and exchange of ideas. The adversary rule-making process further deprives the affected parties of shared information and expertise. Finally, rule changes, such as a level of detection change, brought about without notice or negotiated rule-making, often result in successful challenge. However, such challenge, even when successful, most often comes at a high process in time, finances and effort. Improvements in testing now allow most labs to detect substances and metabolites at thresholds far below what has been seen before. Detecting at picogram per milliliter or one-trillionth of a gram is not uncommon now. At such levels, a level of detection change becomes a de facto rule change, absent notice, and demands the attention of all horsemen. In focusing that attention, regulators must be reminded that substantive due process requires race commissions to establish thresholds and levels of detection that reflect a scientifically accepted connection (i.e., a rational relationship between the substance and its effect on the equine athlete). The rule-making process is eliminated with limitation of detection changes that constitute de facto rule changes. Rules and regulations are formulated, negotiated, enacted and enforced to ensure compliance from industry participants. The rule-making process allows participants to modify their behavior to comply. To allow limitation of detection change “rules” without notice eliminates the process itself and is detrimental to all shareholders.
CONCLUSION In summary, a review of the scientific literature shows that aminocaproic acid is a well-recognized therapeutic medication and is FDA-approved and widely used in both human and veterinary medicine for its ability to increase the efficacy of blood clotting. This blood-clotting enhancement effect requires a therapeutic dose, and the standard administration in veterinary medicine is twice a day. A problem in competition horses is that ineffective trace levels of this medication remain detectable in equine plasma and urine for at least eight days or longer post-administration, long after the pharmacological effects have dissipated. It is therefore appropriate to suggest an interim screening limit of detection (SLOD) for aminocaproic acid in post-race plasma and/or urine, and we now recommend a calculated IPC of 60 ng/ml as such an interim SLOD for aminocaproic acid in equine plasma. Any level below 2 ng/ml should be considered a mitigating circumstance. Further, if these recommendations were not to be adopted by regulators, it would be appropriate for regulators to offer a grace period for therapeutic medications in the event of a laboratory change or a methodology change within a laboratory. HJ
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Molly’s determination and love for everyone (two- or four-legged) will forever echo around the barns and grandstands of Arizona and California racing.
Arizona Downs Recap
Purses on the Rise in Arizona
A successful meet at Arizona Downs wrapped up on September 15. Special thanks go to the JACOR Group, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, General Manager Mike Weiss and the great staff at Arizona Downs. Although there was record-setting rainfall in the Prescott Valley area, the track staff under the supervision of Vic Oliver did a great job. Arizona Downs had record-breaking handle numbers for the 2021 meet. On closing day, the following awards for Thoroughbreds were presented: Leading Owner: John J. Campo III, 9 wins from 30 starts Leading Jockey: Travis Wales, 43 wins from 176 mounts Leading Trainer: Rafael S. Barraza, 12 wins from 62 starts Horse of the Meet: Six Ninety One, four wins at Arizona Downs and 10 wins for the year The American Quarter Horse awards went to Jesus Torres-Casas as leading owner and trainer with six wins from 32 starts and Elias Gutierrez as leading jockey with 11 wins from 36 starts.
Remembering Molly Jean Pearson-Anderson On a very sad note, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Molly Jean Pearson-Anderson. Molly was born in Williams, Arizona. She spent many wonderful days of her childhood there riding her horse with her sister and cousins in the woods near her home at the Bar Diamond Ranch. Her family later moved to Chino Valley, Arizona, where she continued to ride, show and train horses.
MOLLY JEAN PEARSON-ANDERSON
Molly had a great love of working with young horses. In her teens, she began working in the racehorse industry, and she apprenticed under Quarter Horse trainer John Bassett and then later with Thoroughbred trainer Bob Baffert. Molly was a hands-on trainer. She broke, rode and exercised most of the racehorses in her stable. Molly won more than 900 races with earnings in excess of $11 million in her career. Her best year was 2005, when she won 54 races for total purse earnings of $645,000. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Arizona racing received a big boost in 2021 with the passing of a state budget that included more than $27 million in purse enhancements over the next three years to be split between the three Arizona tracks. We look forward to safety improvements, new track equipment and additional purse money. The Arizona HBPA is currently in contract negotiations with both Rillito Park and Arizona Downs for the 2022 race meets.
ARKANSAS HBPA Local Ownership Group Looking to Repeat 2021 Success at Upcoming Meet Familiar names dotted the top of the owner standings during the 2021 Oaklawn meeting that ended May 1. M and M Racing (Mike and Mickala Sisk) captured its fourth consecutive title with 20 victories. Four-time local leader Danny Caldwell and John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs, among the most successful owners in Oaklawn history, tied for second with 11. Two more traditional Arkansas powers, Alex and JoAnn Lieblong (Conway) and Jerry Caroom (Hot Springs), tied for fourth with 10 victories. Another Arkansas ownership group, the Bryant-based 501 Boys Racing, also landed in the top 10. The small claiming stable operated by 40-somethings Mark Carter and Jeff Johnson produced a sparkling 7-2-0 record from just 14 starters to tie for seventh in the standings. All seven winners were trained by Karl Broberg, who led the country in victories in 2014–19. “Everybody’s been just real supportive,” Johnson said. “Even Karl, he called and said, ‘Hey, man, I just want to tell you that you’ve had a hell of a meet.’” Carter and Johnson, with an eye toward scratching an ownership itch, formed 501 Boys Racing in late 2017. Their original trainer was J.R. Caldwell, best known for conditioning millionaire and 2016 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile participant Texas Chrome for Texas owner Danny Keene. Johnson said he and Keene became friends because their boxes are next to each other in Oaklawn’s grandstand. Searching for a cheap claimer, Caldwell, on behalf of 501 Boys, took Anita Marie for $12,500 early in the 2018 Oaklawn meeting. She became the stable’s first starter on February 17, 2018, in a waiver claimer at Oaklawn. After approximately eight months with Caldwell, 501 Boys decided to move their horses to Broberg, another Texas trainer they had met through Keene. “He gave me Karl’s number, and I drove to Dallas and met Karl,” Johnson said. “That’s how we hit it off. It was a meet and greet, and he said, ‘Bring it on.’ We haven’t looked back since.” The stable scored its first career victory August 10, 2018, at Evangeline Downs with the Broberg-trained Cowboy Don. The first Oaklawn victory for 501 Boys was March 9, 2019, with Greeleys Charm, another Broberg trainee who was racing for a $10,000 claiming tag. The stable added another victory in 2019 at Oaklawn and reached the winner’s circle once in 2020 in Hot Springs before its breakout 2021 meeting, which generated $193,517 in purse earnings. Overall, 501 Boys has 24 victories, including 10 at Oaklawn, from 102 career starters, according to Equibase.
NEWS Johnson said 501 Boys tries to keep two to five horses in training—all with Broberg—and replenishes stock through unearthing “that old hard-knocking claimer.” The 2021–22 Oaklawn roster will include “a couple” of recent claims at Belmont Park, Johnson said. In addition to Oaklawn, 501 Boys Racing has a second victory at Evangeline Downs, three at Remington Park, three at Lone Star Park, two at Sam Houston Race Park and one each at Retama Park, Hawthorne, Delta Downs and Louisiana Downs. Winning at Oaklawn, Johnson said, is more special because Arkansas is home. Carter and Johnson grew up in Little Rock, 50 miles northeast of Hot Springs, and are longtime friends and Oaklawn patrons. The stable’s name derives from the 501 area code that serves central Arkansas, including Little Rock, Bryant and Hot Springs. Its silks feature an outline of the state of Arkansas. “Started coming to Oaklawn when I was 8 years old,” Johnson said. “My family brought me over there, and I fell in love with it from the jump. Ever since then, it’s there. Can’t get it out of my heart or my blood.” Carter, among other business interests, owns a pawn shop in Bryant. Johnson’s family business in nearby Little Rock, Multi-States Electric, repairs transformers on utility poles. Broberg’s Oaklawn division is overseen by assistant Kevin Martin.
Champion Whitmore Returns to Hot Springs to Begin Second Career
Whitmore won Oaklawn’s Hot Springs Stakes for older sprinters a record four times, and if the feisty 8-year-old gelding cooperates, he’ll be leading the field again in 2022.
FAN FAVORITE WHITMORE NOW HAS A RACE NAMED IN HIS HONOR AT OAKLAWN.
Whitmore has returned to Arkansas, but instead of preparing for the Hot Springs, a race he won in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the now-retired Eclipse Award winner is about to take baby steps toward a possible second career as a stable pony for Ron Moquett, who trained the gelding and campaigned him in partnership with Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners (Sol Kumin). “Our ultimate goal, right now, the short-term goal, is have him lead the post parade for the Whitmore,” Moquett said. “That’s our goal. Doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. It just means we’re trying.” Oaklawn announced in early September that it had renamed the Hot 42
Springs to honor Whitmore, who won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner and was named champion male sprinter that year. He is also among the most popular and successful horses in Oaklawn history. The inaugural $200,000 Whitmore Stakes will be held March 19 and is the centerpiece of “Whitmore Day.” Oaklawn also renamed the Count Fleet barn, Whitmore’s longtime home in Hot Springs, after the gelding. Whitmore was retired after suffering a leg injury during a fifth-place finish in the $600,000 Forego Stakes (G1) August 28 at Saratoga. A chestnut son of Pleasantly Perfect, Whitmore bankrolled $4,502,350—ranking him 88th on the North American all-time money earners list at press time—after winning 15 of 43 starts. Much of Whitmore’s best work came at Oaklawn, where he compiled a gaudy 9-6-1 record from 16 starts and earned $1,752,600. Whitmore also won Oaklawn’s signature race for older sprinters, the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3), a record three times (2017, 2018 and 2020). Swift Ruler, a local star during the 1960s, is the only other horse in Oaklawn history with seven career stakes victories. Moquett said Whitmore was sent to Rebecca Maker’s equine rehabilitation and breaking facility in Kentucky following the Forego. Whitmore has normally decompressed there the last several years before returning to Oaklawn—his winter home at every meeting since 2016—to begin preparing for a new campaign. Moquett said his wife/assistant Laura will be trying to retrain Whitmore for pony work, which encompasses escorting horses to and from the track during morning training hours. She was Whitmore’s regular exercise rider. “I have no idea,” Ron Moquett said, when asked if he believed Whitmore knows he’s not running again. “This is kind of the same schedule he’s been on. We’re hoping he does. We’re going to feed him different. Obviously, he’s going to leave every day and come back. “Go out there and watch training,” he continued. “Ride up there and sit there at the end of the day, when nobody’s around, and watch a couple of horses train and then come back home. After a while, the hope is, he understands that this is what I do. I don’t go train. Not go around kicking stuff. Laura will be on him. Laura’s horse.” Moquett said Whitmore could eventually occupy his same stall in the renamed barn and be retrained at Oaklawn or sent to more tranquil surroundings at the track’s satellite training center about 25 miles east of Hot Springs, where the trainer keeps horses. Moquett said Whitmore was set to return to Oaklawn after Thanksgiving. Whitmore was a noted bad actor at 2 and was gelded before his first start. Although he mellowed with age, he would kick his rear legs before loading into the starting gate for some races. “We couldn’t get him around the track as a 2-year-old, so he’s changed a whole lot,” Laura Moquett said the morning after Whitmore won the 2020 Count Fleet. “We can actually train him now. He’s softened his edges a little. He still has the tattoos of the barbed wire around his arm, but he has like a heart and Mom on there as well now.” Another former Ron Moquett trainee, Meanbone, successfully transitioned to pony work following his final career start in July 2020. Meanbone, a 9-yearold Silver Train gelding, worked as Moquett’s stable pony during the 2021 Oaklawn meeting. “We’re just going to start like we did Meanbone,” Moquett said. “Remember, he’s a pony now and these other horses that we’ve rehomed and made ponies—we’re going to try to do it with Whitmore and, hopefully, it sticks.” Moquett said Laura would be aboard Whitmore to lead the post parade for the Whitmore Stakes, which is the final major local prep for the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap April 16. Whitmore ran second in both six-furlong races in 2021. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS CHARLES TOWN HBPA Brenda Wilhelm Wins at Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards The Charles Town HBPA is thrilled to announce that Brenda Wilhelm, operator of the Charles Town track kitchen, was honored with the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEA) Support Services Award at Keeneland on October 15.
The Retired Racehorse Project created the Thoroughbred Makeover to showcase the trainability and talent of off-track Thoroughbreds. The competition is intended to inspire good trainers to become involved in transitioning these horses to second careers, and the National Symposium serves to educate the people involved in the care, training and sale of these horses to responsible owners. This is the only national gathering of the organizations, trainers and farms dedicated to serving these horses when they retire from racing. Two teams from Charles Town placed in the finals at the Mega Makeover, which included both 2020 and 2021 competitors. Dakotah Rowel and Tip Top Diva won first place in the 2021 barrel racing division. Tip Top Diva is a West Virginia-bred (bred by Rene Moore, Rachael Moore and Mary Moore) who had three West Virginia starts for trainer Adam Ingram. James Wagner and Ice Kaufy won third place in the 2021 freestyle division. Ice Kaufy is a winning Florida-bred who had starts at Gulfstream Park, Parx Racing, Delaware Park and Penn National before coming to Charles Town, where he had 10 starts for trainer John Carlisle and eight starts for trainer Tim Shanley.
West Virginia Breeders’ Classics Recap
BRENDA WILHELM (CENTER) ACCEPTS HER AWARD FROM STEVE ASMUSSEN AND DONNA BARTON BROTHERS.
The TIEA is an awards program that recognizes and rewards the outstanding talent, diligence and commitment of the farm and racing stable staff who are at the heart of our sport. TIEA strives to acknowledge those who may never have their name in the program or accept a trophy in the winner’s circle, those who will otherwise never receive recognition for their hard work and dedication to their job and our sport. The Support Services Award goes to an individual who works in any nonadministrative, support service role in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry or any supporting sector within the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry.
The West Virginia Breeders’ Classics card featured nine races for horses bred in the Mountain State with $1 million in purses on the line. Jockey Arnaldo
Charles Town Horses Win at the Thoroughbred Makeover ARNALDO BOCACHICA HAD A BIG NIGHT IN THE WEST VIRGINIA BREEDERS’ CLASSICS.
Bocachica set a single-card record with eight wins from his nine mounts, and the track’s leading trainer, Jeff Runco, scored seven victories from his 16 starters. Bocachica, a native of Puerto Rico, has called Charles Town his home track since he started riding in 2006. He logged his first career graded stakes win here in 2016 and scored his 2,000th career victory in March. He started the evening with a win in the West Virginia Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Breeders’ Classics Stakes on the favorite, Run to Daylight. The streak continued with wins in all but the third race, where Bocachica finished fourth. Runco, currently Charles Town’s leading trainer with 101 wins, stands at number 12 on the list of winningest North American trainers, behind such names as Steve Asmussen, Todd Pletcher, Bill Mott and D. Wayne Lukas. After a brief career as a jockey, Runco started training in 1984 and has since had 4,494 wins from 20,992 starters at press time.
DAKOTAH ROWEL AND TIP TOP DIVA
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Remembering Sam Huff, Founder of the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics Sam Huff, founder of the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics, passed away November 13 at the age of 87.
SAM HUFF AND CAROL HOLDEN
A West Virginia native, Huff played college football at West Virginia University and went on to a Hall of Fame career with the New York Giants and the then Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Later, to generations of fans, he and Sonny Jurgensen were the analysts for Washington games. Huff later became a breeder and owner of Thoroughbreds and the driving force behind the creation of the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics, which just marked its 35th year. Over time, the Breeders’ Classics would evolve into one of the top days on the Charles Town calendar, second only to Charles Town Classics Day. Speaking of the challenges of starting the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics, co-founder Carol Holden said, “Anybody who knows Sam and his history knows he doesn’t know something can’t be done. And nobody’s going to tell him no. I don’t think anybody else could have gotten it done.” Huff will be remembered by the West Virginia horsemen and also by the community. In its three-plus decades, the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics has supported numerous charities in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.
Charles Town HBPA Election Results The election results for the 2022–24 Charles Town HBPA board of directors are as follows: President: James Miller Owners: Joe Funkhouser, Randy Funkhouser, Naomi Long, Tony Stehr, Cristina Vena Mosby Owner Alternates: Richard Knapp, Denis Bybee, Peter Wainwright Trainer, Owner/Trainer: Ronney Brown, Timothy Grams, John McKee, Crystal Pickett, Jeffrey Runco Trainer, Owner/Trainer Alternates: Glenn Harrison, Anthony Lucas, Richard Hummer
ILLINOIS HBPA Illinois HBPA Withholds Consent for TwinSpires to Operate in State in 2022 The Illinois HBPA, representing owners and trainers at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (formerly Fairmount Park), is withholding consent for the TwinSpires betting platform to accept wagers from Illinois residents. The Illinois HBPA board cited the closure of iconic Arlington Park by Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), TwinSpires’ parent corporation, as a prime motivation for withholding consent. With CDI not owning a functioning racetrack in Illinois in 2022, TwinSpires must under state law have a contract with another duly licensed track to conduct business in the state starting January 1. The only remaining horse tracks in the state are FanDuel and Chicagoland’s Hawthorne Race Course, with CDI seeking approval through the FanDuel track. Illinois law also gives horsemen consent rights before an advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform can enter into a relationship with an Illinois track to conduct business in the state. Illinois HBPA President Jim Watkins said his organization’s board believes the issue is of the magnitude that it should go before the Illinois Racing Board. The IRB has scheduled a hearing on December 16 at 10 a.m. CT via Webex. The racing regulators have the power to overrule the horsemen’s veto if they believe the horsemen’s action was unreasonable, he said. “That’s where we’re at now,” Watkins said. “We just felt this was an issue the racing board should be able to weigh in on, whether TwinSpires continues to be allowed to operate in Illinois. That’s a big reason we withheld our consent.” Watkins said the horsemen are upset not just that CDI shut down Arlington Park but also that it would not sell to ownership wishing to maintain racing at the 94-year-old track. CDI is the majority owner of Rivers Casino Des Plaines, located 10 miles from Arlington Park. The company has an agreement to sell the Arlington Park property to pro football’s Chicago Bears for a reported $197 million. “CDI wants their cake and to eat it, too: ‘We’re not willing to be involved in the racing, but we want to still utilize our ADW powers in Illinois,’” Watkins said. Beyond the situation with TwinSpires in Illinois, Watkins believes there are fundamental issues with the entire ADW model that the industry must address to maintain horse racing’s viability. “This is where the system is really flawed,” he said. “It’s an agreement between three parties. In Illinois, the track and the ADW provider negotiate the contract, and the third—the horsemen—is just the consenter. There are so many questions left unanswered. Obviously, with the increased numbers of people using ADWs, the horsemen and the tracks get so much less of that; it could spell doom for us. “The framers of these ADWs intended for it to basically be a third to the provider, a third to the track and a third to the horsemen,” he continued. “But they take out fees upfront, and those fees are unspecified in purpose and amount. What is an ADW fee? What does that mean? The racetracks don’t ask the ADW to pay their security payroll and the electric bill. And the horsemen don’t ask the ADW company to pay the feed bill and hay bill and straw bill.” Watkins said the Illinois HBPA also “wants to bring light to a flawed system” under which online betting platforms operate. Watkins said that the ADWs make the lion’s share of the net proceeds at the expense of horsemen’s purse accounts and brick-and-mortar tracks and simulcasting facilities, even as the online technology siphons off the majority of bettors. “It’s inherently flawed, just the way it is set up,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the death of horse racing if we continue to go at the rate we’re going. This was so well said by a Chicago horseman: ‘We traded dollars for quarters when we went to simulcast wagering. Now, with the ADW wagering, we’re trading THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS dollars and quarters for nickels.’ The recipe has to be changed if horse racing— at least for the mid-level and smaller tracks—is going to exist.” Watkins points to a July 14 article by former New York Racing Association head Charles Hayward, now publisher of Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, that illustrates the inequities of the ADW splits. “Because of the pandemic of early 2020, Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW), Computer Robotic Wagering (CRW) and other off-track outlets handled 97 percent of the total U.S. racing handle last year,” Hayward wrote. “The on-track handle was the remaining 3 percent, or $333 million. … Here is a model of how the racetrack and the purse account would split a million dollars bet through an ADW: The ADW operator receipts would be $70,000, or 40 percent greater than the $50,000 total proceeds to the racetrack and the purse account.” The Illinois HBPA signed a one-year contract with TVG to operate in Illinois, Watkins said. FanDuel, part of the corporate enterprise that operates the TVG racing channel and betting platform, is the southern Illinois track’s equity partner to operate the sports book. While the company is not a partner in the racetrack, it received branding and naming rights as part of a contract that includes the long-term sponsorship of the St. Louis Derby, worth $250,000 in 2021.
INDIANA HBPA Indiana HBPA Board Election Results Our 2021 board of directors election results are as follows: President: Joe Davis (trainer) First Vice President: Kathryn Kunz Duran (owner) Second Vice President: Mike Lauer (trainer) Board Members: Randy Klopp (trainer), Jay Holden (trainer), Scott Mullins (trainer), Tony Duran (trainer), Ron McKay (owner), Penny Lauer (owner), Cynthia Gastel (owner), Tim Clary (owner)
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Concludes 19th Season with Record Numbers
ANOTHER BANNER YEAR AT INDIANA GRAND RACING & CASINO IS IN THE BOOKS.
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The 19th season of Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing ended Thursday, November 11, completing 123 days of racing. The meet brought in record numbers for the year, showing a 47 percent increase in overall handle compared to similar dates in 2019. With the shortened season in 2020 due to COVID-19, handle figures are compared to 2019, when a full schedule was last conducted at Indiana Grand. Total handle for 2021 came in at $223,204,265 compared to handle in 2019 at $151,791,334. The highlight of the meet was the Indiana Derby. With total handle reaching $6,292,388, it achieved an all-sources handle track record for a single program for the third straight year. “Coming off a strong but abbreviated 2020 season, we entered the 2021 meet with high expectations in terms of handle,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing. “We are very pleased that we were able to exceed all of our goals. We have so much to celebrate on the business end of our racing program, but more importantly, we were able to offer a strong racing program thanks to the support of both our Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred horsemen. Our partnership with both breeds allows us to provide promotions and events to complement our racing program. We are really looking forward to the 2022 racing season to continue the momentum.” Four days during the season topped $3 million in handle, including the closing day program on Veterans Day, November 11, featuring a seeded $50,000 Pick 5 and Charity Challenge with 20 handicappers submitting $250 tickets into the wager to raise funds for Helping Veterans and Families of Indiana. Total handle for the day was $3,150,488, the highest handle ever recorded on a Thursday program in the track’s history. Quarter Horse racing also showed major increases in 2021. Handle for the sprinters topped $1 million twice with the Saturday, July 3, program setting a new Quarter Horse handle record of $1,201,604. A total of six all-Quarter Horse racing days were offered in 2021. Purse money also set new records. Both breeds combined included purses of $36,439,755 over the 123-day meet. A new record for daily purse distribution was also set, offering an average of $298,686 per day.
Indiana Grand Meet Leaders Congratulations go out to all the leaders from another successful meet at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Spiess Stable and Randy Klopp teamed up for a great season in 2021. The duo polished off the season with a win on closing night for a meet total of 31 victories to earn their first leading owner title. Horses owned by the partnership finished in the money 59 percent of the time and earned in excess of $621,000. Top horses from their stable include Short Summer Dress, winner of four races including the IU Hoosier Stakes earlier in the season, and the 9-year-old veteran Polo Art, who also won four of six starts. “Roger [Spiess] was willing to spend money to buy the horses to race this year,” said Klopp on his successful season with Spiess Stable. “Indiana Grand kept open last winter, and that helped us. We appreciate all the opportunities to race that we have in Indiana.” Spiess is a longtime owner and breeder in Thoroughbred racing. He is from Swanton in the northwest corner of Ohio and graduated from the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1969. After a successful career as a veterinarian, he retired last year and is focused on his horses. “We breed a few horses, but my interest is in racing more than breeding,” Spiess said. Spiess and Klopp teamed up earlier this fall to buy the sale-topper in the annual ITOBA sale, a yearling filly from the first crop of Bucchero. They already have eight yearlings ready to go into training for next year and several other 45
NEWS horses turning three that have never raced, setting them up for potentially another great season in 2022 in Indiana. As a trainer, Klopp knows it takes a village to achieve success, and he was surrounded by those who had a part in the success of his stable for leading trainer honors at the meet. Although Klopp has been among the track’s top five trainers for nearly a decade, the title is the first one for him. “There are a lot of people to thank,” he said. “I want to start off with Lesalene Pompell, my assistant. She does an outstanding job. And also thank you to all the help and to the riders who won races for us this year. That includes Andrea Rodriguez, Joe Ramos, Alex Achard, DeShawn Parker and Tommy Pompell. And a special thank you to all the owners this season. It’s been a great year.” Klopp and his wife, Liz, own a farm in nearby Rushville and opted to bypass a trip to Florida last winter to stay at Indiana Grand to train. Horses from their barn have won 59 races and accumulated purse money of more than $1.2 million. Overall, Klopp has won 347 career Indiana training victories, which moves him into fifth place on the list of all-time leading trainers in the 19-year history of racing at Indiana Grand. Klopp took out his trainer’s license in 1992 and competed all around the Midwest, with a focus on Indiana when pari-mutuel racing began in 1995. He celebrated his biggest year as a trainer in 2021, surging past $1 million in earnings for the first time. With more than $12 million in career earnings, the multiple stakes-winning trainer has now won 672 races. Klopp had several top performers throughout the season, including four wins apiece from Polo Art and Short Summer Dress. “The stakes win by Short Summer Dress was probably our most memorable win from the year,” he said. With the conclusion of the 2021 racing meet, Klopp has already turned his attention to next season. “We have 18 horses that will be 3-year-olds next year that have never run,” said Klopp. “Plus, we have eight 2-year-olds so far for next year, so we have a lot to look forward to in 2022.” Marcelino Pedroza Jr. was on a mission the final week of racing at Indiana Grand. Already way ahead in the jockey standings, Pedroza completed the fourday work week with an additional 10 wins to earn his third leading jockey title. Pedroza was honored in the winner’s circle following the sixth race on closing day with the award. He also brought home the title in 2017 and 2019. “It’s always great to win races, and it’s a great feeling to win the title,” said Pedroza, who was flanked by his family for the trophy presentation. “Thank you to all the owners and trainers that supported me and to my beautiful family, who have been with me when we weren’t winning races.” Pedroza scored 105 wins during the meet, 21 more than second-place finisher DeShawn Parker. With purse earnings in excess of $3.2 million for the year, he moves into third place on the list of all-time leading riders at the track with more than 640 career wins. He also holds several riding records including most purse money in one season ($3.4 million in 2019) and most wins by a jockey in one day (six in 2019) and now joins Orlando Mojica, Leandro Goncalves and Rodney Prescott for most jockey titles at the track with three. A native of Panama, Pedroza attended the Laffit Pincay Jr. Technical Jockey Training Academy before venturing to the United States in 2010. Now a graded stakes-winning jockey, Pedroza celebrated his 1,000th career victory last year and has more than 1,200 career wins with earnings of more than $32 million. Andrea C. Rodriguez has worked many hours to become a jockey. Her hard work paid off this year as she received the eighth annual Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Jockey title. The award honors Saez, who passed away following a racing incident in 2014, the same year he was leading apprentice at Indiana Grand.
A native of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez attended the island’s famed Escuela Vocacional Hípica Agustin Mercado Reverón jockey school at Camarero Race Track outside of San Juan. After winning her first race at Camarero, she came to the United States in 2019 with a short stint in the saddle before working as an exercise rider. While galloping for trainer Ian Wilkes, she decided to give a career as a jockey one more try. “Trainer Ian Wilkes is the one that pushed me back to riding at Turfway Park,” Rodriguez said. “Then I came to Indiana Grand and prepared to gallop, and Bones [Kerry Wirth, her agent] and trainers Randy Klopp and Marvin Johnson told me to try to ride, so I did. It’s been so great for me to ride in my first year at Indiana Grand. It’s been an amazing experience. First, I have to thank God and then the trainers who have supported me.” Working in the mornings has helped Rodriguez build a special bond with several horses, and she places special posts about them on social media after her wins. But one horse stole her heart this year at Indiana Grand. “I would have to say Polo Art is my favorite,” said Rodriguez, who won four races aboard the 9-year-old gelding this season. “He has such a big heart, and he tries so hard.” Rodriguez was joined by her mother, Camille, who was visiting from Puerto Rico, for the trophy presentation as the track’s leading apprentice. She adds the award to a leading apprentice title she won at Ellis Park earlier this year. The young jockey follows in the footsteps of several family members who have been involved in racing in Puerto Rico. “My grandfather was the first trainer from Puerto Rico to qualify and race in the Kentucky Derby,” Rodriguez said. “Also, my ‘auntie’ was the first female trainer in Puerto Rico.” Rodriguez is moving her tack to Turfway Park for the winter and plans to return to Indiana Grand when racing resumes Tuesday, April 19. Until then, she will continue to work at a career she thoroughly enjoys and connect with the horses that are her passion. Rodriguez completed the 2021 racing season at Indiana Grand with 28 wins and a victory in her final race of 2021 aboard Double Advantage. She earned a spot among the track’s top 15 jockeys. Horses she has guided this season have earned in excess of $550,000. Wildcard Prado was nothing less than spectacular this season at Indiana Grand. The 7-year-old gelding led all Thoroughbred horses in wins with six trips to the winner’s circle. Trained by Tianna Richardville, Wildcard Prado won four straight races from mid-July to mid-September for Don and Vickie House of House Thoroughbreds in Modoc, Indiana. The couple has been raising and racing Thoroughbreds at their farm since 1989, but Wildcard Prado has been a standout for them. They raised him from a baby and have had him during his entire racing career. “He’s such a wonderful horse,” said Vickie during the blanket presentation for Wildcard Prado. “He is very easygoing and lets you pet him and kiss on him all the time. He just loves it.” Wildcard Prado completed his 2021 campaign at Indiana Grand with six wins in 12 starts and purse earnings of more than $75,000. The son of Fort Prado now has 12 career wins and boosted his career earnings mark to just under the $200,000 mark. Richardville, who owns a farm in Shelbyville, Indiana, took over training duties for the gelding this season. “He’s been a lot of fun this year,” Richardville said. “He peaked at the right time and really enjoys his job. He has to be the first out of the barn in the morning. He will nicker at you until he gets your attention. I want to thank the Houses for the opportunity to train him this year.”
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS Halstrom Honored by Indiana HBPA at Indiana Grand
The Indiana HBPA made a surprise presentation to Eric Halstrom, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s vice president and general manager of racing, with the HBPA Excellence of Service Award.
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 2022 racing season will be an 84-day meet beginning the second weekend in May with Thoroughbreds only 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 on October 2. The dates for the Festival of Racing and Classic Night, which highlights 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 that the actions taken in 2021 will provide the stability for holding a strong race season for 2022 with purses comparable to previous years. 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 Jon or Michelle in the office at (515) 967-4804.
KENTUCKY HBPA ERIC HALSTROM ACCEPTS HIS AWARD FROM INDIANA HBPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BRIAN ELMORE (DARK JACKET).
Brian Elmore, executive director of the Indiana HBPA, and several board members made the presentation in the winner’s circle to Halstrom, who is in his second year of helming the racing operations at Indiana Grand. Elmore noted the gratitude from the horsemen’s organization for Halstrom’s leadership and guidance during the 19th season of racing that has brought in a record-setting year in handle. Elmore noted that the best way to honor Halstrom was to read the plaque, which said, “In recognition of your outstanding commitment and leadership toward the advancement of Thoroughbred horse racing in Indiana. Given on this day, November 11, 2021.” In addition to working closely with the horsemen this season, Halstrom has implemented several positive changes to the racing program, from lower takeout rates to unique wagering incentives, including a seeded $50,000 Pick 5 on closing day as a way to say thank you to all racing fans who watched and wagered on Indiana racing in 2021. “We’ve had a tremendous year in racing, and it’s thanks in part to the cooperation and support of the horsemen,” Halstrom said. “I am very honored to receive this award, and it has special meaning since it comes from the horsemen’s organization. We work very hard to put on a great show for them and are constantly looking for ways to create a fun and exciting backdrop to showcase our racing product.” Joining Elmore from the HBPA for the presentation were Indiana HBPA President Joe Davis, Blaine Davidson, Randy Klopp, Katie Duran and Bruce Murphy. On-air racing analyst Rachel McLaughlin conducted the special ceremony.
IOWA HBPA 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 2022 season. Some 2022 events to THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
President’s Message The newly elected Kentucky HBPA board of directors took office at our recently convened board meeting. Some new faces are serving alongside some stalwart horsemen who have been elected and have volunteered as Kentucky HBPA directors for several years. It is indeed refreshing to see the new faces on the board along with familiar names that have led the organization as it developed into one of the leading horsemen’s associations in the nation. I am honored to be chosen by fellow horsemen as the president of the Kentucky HBPA for my sixth term. One of the new members, Jason Barkley, was quick to offer information and advice for a horseman requesting assistance with a medical claim. I would venture to say Jason’s grandfather Jack Byers, who also served on this board many years ago, would be proud that his grandson is taking an active role in helping horsemen. Norm Casse and Bentley Combs, along with Jason, will join Travis Foley as a new, dynamic group of young horsemen elected to the Kentucky HBPA who are already beginning to make their mark on the racing industry. They join current Kentucky HBPA directors who have experience on a host of issues important to horsemen. Frank Jones and Dale Romans have been elected by the board to serve as first and second vice presidents, respectively. In addition, I am happy to report that Dr. Randy Scheen has volunteered to serve on the KHBPA Advisory Committee. This is especially important since we are in the midst of revamping our benevolence program and increasing medical benefits for horsemen in need. This is necessary to address the shortfall in funding that the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund is experiencing from uncashed pari-mutuel tickets, requiring a reduction in the benefits they provide. I was given the opportunity to address the Kentucky Legislature’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force on the issue of expanding purse supplements for Kentucky-breds to include claiming horses. As I explained, it is time to acknowledge the important role of claiming horses and to allow all horses born in Kentucky and sired by a Kentucky stallion to benefit from being a Kentucky-bred. This concept will not cannibalize the existing KTDF money on allowance and maiden allowance purses. The legislators were very favorable to adding KTDF to Kentucky-bred claiming races. Dale Romans and Buff Bradley reported that, at a recently completed Horsemen’s Committee meeting at Churchill Downs, a proposal was received
NEWS to revise the current claiming rules in Kentucky to address the issue of horses claimed in Kentucky that are immediately shipped out of the state. It is an ongoing issue that is decimating our horse population, and it needs to be addressed. Jennie Rees and Joe Clabes presented a proposal to the Kentucky HBPA board of directors regarding a radio program, hosted by Jennie and Joe, which will focus exclusively on Thoroughbred racing. It is an exciting venture that the Kentucky HBPA will be sponsoring. Mark Bacon offered advice and marketing acumen from his years as a senior vice president at the Brown-Forman Corporation. Jennie enthusiastically accepted Mark’s offer. Good luck in your racing endeavors, Rick Hiles, President, KHBPA
Kentucky Connections Win Big at the Breeders’ Cup
BILL DENVER/BREEDERS’ CUP/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/CSM
Capped by Brad Cox trainee Knicks Go in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), trainers with their main divisions in Kentucky won five of 14 races at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar. Wesley Ward carried the banner for year-round training at Keeneland with Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) winner Twilight Gleaming and Turf Sprint (G1) winner Golden Pal, who won the 2020 Juvenile Turf Sprint. Cox, Steve Asmussen (Echo Zulu in the Grade 1 Juvenile Fillies) and Wayne Catalano (Aloha West in the Grade 1 Sprint) have their marquee division at Churchill Downs for the biggest part of the year. Kentucky accounted for the largest group of victors, with horses trained
TRAINER BRAD COX (IN HAT) CONTINUED HIS BREEDERS’ CUP SUCCESS AT DEL MAR.
by England’s Charlie Appleby earning three victories and horses from trainers based in New York, California and Japan winning two apiece. (In fairness, New York also can claim Echo Zulu, who prior to Del Mar had made her three starts at Saratoga and Belmont but trained in the spring at Churchill. In addition, Echo Zulu is co-owned by Ron Winchell, who also is the co-owner of Kentucky Downs.) Cox, who won a record-tying four Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland in 2020, continued to add to his fast-growing resume as Knicks Go carried his considerable speed to a 2 ¾-length victory over Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Medina Spirit in the Classic under Joel Rosario. “It means a lot to show up on this stage at the Breeders’ Cup; it’s the world’s stage,” said Cox, a graduate of Iroquois High School in Louisville’s South End who grew up a couple of furlongs from Churchill Downs’ backstretch. 48
“There were a lot of things we wanted to accomplish at the Derby, the Saudi Cup, Dubai World Cup, and this one was very, very high on our list of races we wanted to win.” Cox also finished third in the Classic with Essential Quality, the Belmont and Travers Stakes winner. Knicks Go was foaled in Maryland, is owned by the Korea Racing Authority (KRA) and has raced all over America as well as in Saudi Arabia, with Del Mar being his 14th racetrack. At $8,673,135, he has paid back the KRA’s $87,000 purchase price tenfold since winning his debut at Ellis Park in 2018 when trained by Ben Colebrook. His last start before the Classic was a victory in Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 Lukas Classic, a thrill in its own right for Cox because the stakes honors his childhood idol D. Wayne Lukas. Knicks Go is virtually assured of being Cox’s fifth unique champion as the overwhelming favorite to be voted Horse of the Year and top older male. Cox also is poised to repeat as Eclipse Award-winning trainer. Knicks Go—a Grade 1 winner at ages 2, 4 and 5 and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner—will attempt a repeat in Gulfstream Park’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup on January 29 before retiring to Taylor Made Farm as a stallion. “We’re in a day and age where horses go to stud so early,” Cox said, “and he’s a little bit of a throwback horse in that he’s raced at 4 and 5 and raced as much as he has. So very proud of what he has accomplished this year and last year, and hopefully he’ll pass it on as a stallion.” Turf Publicists of America announced November 22 that Cox had been voted the recipient of the organization’s 2021 Big Sport of Turfdom Award, which recognizes a person or group who enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists. One of the most popular victories of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup came in the $2 million Sprint won by the Catalano-trained 4-year-old Aloha West, who had never even raced until this past February 7. Aloha West needed every inch of the Sprint’s six furlongs to win by a tight nose in nailing California-based Dr. Schivel. It was Aloha West’s first stakes victory in only his second graded stakes start, having finished second to Special Reserve in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Phoenix. “I liked the bob at the end when they put my number up,” said Catalano, who has trained since 1983 and is getting close to 3,000 wins. “But, boy, was it a tough one.” “Wayne has just done an incredible job developing this colt,” said Aron Wellman, founder and president of the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners syndicate, which won its first Breeders’ Cup race. “He only ran for the first time in February this year as a 4-year-old, and [nine] months later, he’s a Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion. That takes master horsemanship to be able to accomplish something that monumental. “But Wayne told me two weeks ago—and this man has had his hands on some pretty serious horse flesh in his day—that ‘this might be the best horse I’ve ever had my hands on,’” Wellman continued. “The way he’s managed and developed this horse is clearly brilliant. To do what he did is just magical.” It was the Louisville-based Catalano’s fourth Breeders’ Cup victory. “Right now is a good time to win a race like this,” Catalano said. “We’re a little low on horses. We’ve been around a long, long time, and it’s not easy. I’ve reinvented myself so many times—50 years and counting. I just want to settle down and have a handful of nice horses in one spot and enjoy the rest of my life with the grandkids.” Asmussen and Winchell teamed to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in 2017 with Gun Runner and came back four years later to win the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with his daughter Echo Zulu. She finished her championship season 4-for-4 with a 5 1/4-length victory. “It’s something you always dream about when you have a horse like Gun Runner and in his first crop getting what will be a champion 2-year-old filly,”
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
BILL DENVER/BREEDERS’ CUP/ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE/CSM
said Winchell, who races Echo Zulu with L and N Racing. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) runner-up Tiz the Bomb provided a mix of emotions for trainer Kenny McPeek, seeking his first Breeders’ Cup victory. McPeek now is 0 for 37, with seven runners-up and 10 third-place finishes. But how do you categorize this result? After all, horseplayers fancying
LOUISVILLE-BASED TRAINER WAYNE CATALANO SCORED HIS FOURTH CAREER BREEDERS’ CUP WIN WITH ALOHA WEST.
Tiz the Bomb got a $17.60 mutuel. That’s because first-place finisher Modern Games was scratched by the stewards in what officials acknowledged was a premature decision when they incorrectly thought he’d broken through the gate after his stablemate flipped and got stuck under the gate. They then allowed Modern Games to run for purse money only. So the win payoffs were to runner-up Tiz the Bomb. “Who can make this up? I’m a winner and second,” McPeek tweeted. “Unreal turn of events. Won but lost. Lost but won. Only could happen to me.” McPeek said Tiz the Bomb will be pointed for the Kentucky Derby. So will Albaugh Family Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Giant Game, who came into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) off a three-length Keeneland maiden victory. Trained by Kentucky HBPA vice president Dale Romans, Giant Game loomed boldly on the turn before settling for third under Joe Talamo, 3 1/4 lengths behind victorious frontrunner Corniche and 1 1/2 lengths behind Pappacap. “I think it’s going to be a fun spring,” Romans said. “Around the turn, I thought we were going to get it all. Congratulations to the winner. It’s hard to beat Bob [Baffert] on his home court. I’m very proud of my horse, and I think we are legitimately on the Derby trail here.”
Time To Add KTDF to Claiming Races Kentucky HBPA President Rick Hiles received a warm welcome and agreement when he told a legislative task force November 19 that expanding purse supplements for Kentucky-breds to include claiming races would shore up the state’s year-round horse racing circuit. Indications are that the Kentucky Legislature’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force will include that recommendation in its report to the entire Legislature. The 2022 session begins in early January. While Kentucky’s racing industry is thriving on many fronts, the exception comes in some claiming races, especially at Ellis Park and Turfway Park. Under current law, KTDF supplements only can be added to maiden special weight races, allowance races and those with a claiming option and stakes. Straight claiming races, including for maidens, and starter allowance races are not eligible for KTDF, the country’s most successful state-bred incentive program.
THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
The KTDF supplements, which often comprise 25 to 50 percent of a nonclaiming race, are paid out only to registered Kentucky-breds—those foaled in the commonwealth and sired by a Kentucky stallion at the time of conception. “You need claiming horses in order to provide the opportunities for allowance and stakes horses,” Hiles said later. “It’s time to acknowledge their important role and to let all horses born in the state and sired by a stallion in the commonwealth benefit from being a Kentucky-bred.” In Kentucky, claiming prices range from $5,000 up to $150,000. Claiming races make up about half of the races in Kentucky over the course of a year but account for only 17 percent of total purses. Hiles said it’s important that owners of those horses also have a shot to recoup at least part of their investment. That encourages owners and trainers to add horses, leading to added jobs for their care as well as increasing demand for Kentucky-breds. While the other race purses have seen dramatic growth in Kentucky thanks to the implementation of historical horse racing, the money for claiming races has been largely stagnant in some areas. Ellis Park is the most impacted, being at a competitive disadvantage for those horses with Indiana Grand, just three hours away, and this past summer with many Kentucky stables deciding to race at Virginia’s Colonial Downs. Ellis Park staged only eight races most days because of an inability to get enough entries to have full fields for claiming races. If those purses increased significantly, it would keep and attract horses to the state. KTDF on claiming races also figures to keep horses racing at Turfway Park in the winter rather than heading south. “If the KTDF were used to beef up claiming purses for Kentucky-breds, not only would I race a lot more horses at Ellis Park, I’d bring up horses from my Southwest and Louisiana divisions to run in the state,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. The concept was well received by the task force co-chairs Rep. Adam Koenig and Sen. Damon Thayer and members Rep. Al Gentry and Rep. Matt Koch. “I agree with everything you said,” Koch, a breeder, told Hiles. “Especially the part about it costs just as much to keep a $5,000 claimer as it does an allowance horse. That’s absolutely true. So many of the people who own those horses, they can win that month, and the purse doesn’t even cover the training and vet bills you have. … You go to Turfway Park this winter, those are the people keeping this industry running right here.” Said Thayer: “This is not a new idea, but it’s an idea whose time has come. … Not every horse becomes a stakes horse. Not every horse becomes an allowance horse. [Claiming races] are the bread and butter, the backbone of the sport. I think it’s time we changed the statute and allow some of those KTDF monies to be used on Kentucky-bred horses that run in claiming races.” Thayer advocated, and Hiles agreed, that the SEN. DAMON THAYER best way to implement such a policy would be through legislation enabling the expansion but with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and its KTDF advisory committee establishing the parameters. Koch cautioned about making claiming purses too high to where it might incentivize someone to run an unsound horse. While agreeing that no one wants that, Kentucky HBPA executive director Marty Maline later observed that there are safeguards in place, including additional veterinary checks, to keep unsound horses at any level from competing and that horses making a significant drop in class get special scrutiny. The Kentucky HBPA projects that KTDF on claiming races would add between $5 million and $10 million a year to those purses, if applied at the approximate percentages of other races. That is more than offset by the growth of historical horse racing, with no cannibalization of money offered on existing KTDF races. 49
Barkley, Casse, Combs Give Kentucky HBPA Board a Youth Movement A trio of 30-something trainers have been elected as newcomers to the Kentucky HBPA board with the addition of Jason Barkley, Norm Casse and Bentley Combs. Rick Hiles, reelected as Kentucky HBPA president, said he welcomes getting the millennials involved. Barkley (32), Casse (37) and Combs (33) join 37-yearold Travis Foley, who was elected to serve his third term on the board as an owner. “Everything we’ve got we fought for,” said Hiles, who has been president for 21 years with another 16 spent serving on the board. “Every purse, every benefit, every program back here, the HBPA has fought for. I’m glad to see some young guys getting involved. I’m getting old, and so is Marty [executive director Marty Maline]. They need to learn, because they’re going to have to take this over. It’s good to see some new young people coming to get involved. I’m tickled. It will be good for the organization.” Barkley and Combs are graduates of the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program in the College of Business. Casse is a graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville. All three understand well the headwinds encountered when trying to build a stable. Barkley and Combs said they both learned a lot participating in their first meeting when the board was seated and officers were elected on November 23. JASON BARKLEY “I was just trying to get my bearings, see how everybody goes about their business,” said Barkley, a fourth-generation horseman from the Evansville-Henderson area who began training full-time in 2017. “A lot of those guys have been there for a while. You try to take your cues from them. I want to be an advocate for the horsemen. Sometimes I feel like the big things get handled and maybe the smaller things can fall through the cracks; things we talk about on the rail, [I can] take those to the meetings. I hope there are things that I learned at U of L that I can bring over, hopefully give a fresh look to some of the things that the guys have been fighting for.” Combs, participating remotely from Oaklawn Park, said he was amazed at how much he learned from just that session, including possible repercussions with the scheduled implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). “I learned a ton of stuff I didn’t even know existed, frankly,” said Combs, who grew up in Lexington and also has an MBA from Ole Miss. “I think guys need to be a little more up in arms about how this HISA thing goes: ‘Wait a minute, you’re going BENTLEY COMBS to make it more expensive for me to run a horse and then limit how much money I can make with a [claiming] horse?’ Sitting there listening, very informative. You think, ‘How can people support this?’ Being 50
Claiming horses also provide a stream of revenue to the state’s General Fund via the 6 percent state sales tax applied every time a horse is claimed. Through November 13, a total of 923 horses had been claimed in Kentucky for a total of $22,400,500 with 27 days of racing left in 2021. That accounts for $1,362,030 in sales tax. “Anything that makes the sport stronger and more accessible, I’m for,” Gentry said of his support for KTDF expansion. A video of Rick Hiles speaking to the task force and members’ response is on the Kentucky HBPA YouTube channel.
on the HBPA board, you get to see the overall business side of it, as far as the money taken in, where it’s going, the good causes. The health and welfare stuff they were talking about, I had no idea.” Having stuck his toe in the water, Combs, who began training in 2017, said he’s even more glad he ran for the board, adding, “I want to be a part of the conversation.” Casse is a third-generation horseman from Louisville who began training in 2018 after 12 years as an assistant trainer for his father, Mark. Casse said his goal is to be “a great representative for the horsemen,” and being on the board is one way he can give back to the industry. “I feel like I’ve got a finger on the pulse, so to speak, of what we need,” he said. “I owe horse racing everything. It’s the right thing for me to do, to start giving my time and helping other people as well. It’s not like I have any preconceived notions. I’m very green when it comes to this type of the thing. But I want to look out for the horsemen and the best interest of the trainer. I feel it’s part of my obligation NORM CASSE to give the time to do that.” Another change to the board was longtime member Buff Bradley moving from being a trainer representative to the owner side following his retirement from active training at the track. Frank Jones was reelected owner vice president with Dale Romans reelected the trainer vice president.
The HBPA Is You The HBPA, established in 1940, is an organization of owners and trainers numbering more than 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 negotiates in 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, which include, free of charge to members, fire and disaster insurance. 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 with regards 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 into 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 that this is your 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 “Become a Member.” THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino
Fair Grounds Race Course
2021-2022 Race Meets
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2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton, LA 70668 * 337-589-7441 * www.deltadowns.com
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LOUISIANA HBPA Delta Downs The 2021–22 Thoroughbred meet at Delta Downs began October 13 and ends March 5. Louisiana Premier Night is February 5, featuring approximately $900,000 in purses for Louisiana-breds. For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223.
This year was also the inaugural year for Abijah’s Hope, an equine-based psychotherapy program. As we all have marveled at the speed and strength of our Thoroughbreds, many easily could have missed how they connect with people on a personal level. They prove to be a great catalyst and conduit for successful therapy in addressing traumas and mental blocks of all types. A huge benefit is that this type of counseling provides yet another option for our retired Thoroughbreds. Lastly, the Canterbury Park development program continues. In addition to what is already offered, in the future there will be townhomes. Possibly most important is that all of the development is adjacent to the grandstand and racetrack. The setting has proven popular and is within a half hour of MSP International Airport and the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The 2022 Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred meet is scheduled to begin April 6. Stall applications are due in late February. For additional information, contact the Evangeline Downs racing office at (337) 594-3022.
Fair Grounds The 2021–22 Fair Grounds Thoroughbred meet began on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, and is scheduled to end on March 27. The 150th race meet features two additional $100,000 stakes races on December 26, the Gun Runner and the Untapable, as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Kickoff Day. With 2021 nearing an end, Fair Grounds is hosting a final chance for Louisiana-bred juveniles to earn black-type in the colts/geldings and fillies divisions of the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity on December 31. Following the turn of the calendar into 2022, graded stakes action returns to New Orleans on January 22 when Kentucky Derby hopefuls square off in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes on a card with five supporting undercard stakes. The Road to the Derby then continues on February 19 with the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Motor Company and concludes on March 26 with the Grade 2 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. Early-bird nominations for the Louisiana Derby, which include nomination fees for the Lecomte and Risen Star, are due January 1. For more information, contact the racing office at (504) 948-1288.
Louisiana Downs The 2022 Louisiana Downs American Quarter Horse meet begins on January 10 and ends on April 7. For more information, contact the racing office at (318) 741-2511.
MINNESOTA HBPA Looking Forward to 2022 After a Successful 2021 There is great expectation for the 2022 Canterbury Park meet, as the 2021 meet obliterated handle records that had been on the books for years. Canterbury has indeed found its niche with both horsemen and the national racing audience with its turf-heavy twilight racing schedule. The upcoming 65-day meet begins May 18 and concludes September 22. This was also a special year for unique programs offered in the stable area. In its inaugural year, Furlong Learning provided a tremendous education and arts program for backstretch kids and an English-as-a-Second-Language course for adults. Most remarkable with Furlong Learning is that each of the students had perfect attendance. Plans are being made to expand and enhance the program for 2022. 52
MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA Mountaineer Park Chaplaincy The Mountaineer Park chaplaincy program is finishing up its first year under the direction of Chaplain Rick Anderson. While Rick came to us with little knowledge of the racing world, he has quickly endeared himself to the racing community. Not only has he led in spiritual direction through regular devotions and prayers for the barn area, jockeys and gate crew but there have been many successful fellowship opportunities throughout the year. Some of the programs that met the spiritual and physical needs of our racing community included the annual picnic, regular coffee and donut fellowships, a memorial service, Monday Mid-Day Ministry and holiday events. The employees at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort generously hosted a food drive that completely stocked the Mountaineer chaplaincy’s food bank for the winter months. The food bank will be available by contacting Chaplain Rick or the Mountaineer Park HBPA office. On Thanksgiving, members were treated to a Thanksgiving Dinner at EJ’s Restaurant. The end of the racing meet concludes with a Christmas breakfast in the chapel, where breakfast, coffee and hot chocolate will be served along with a special Christmas treat celebrating the birth of Jesus. Those who are interested are invited to attend Sunday services with Chaplain Rick at the Tri-State Community Church in Chester.
West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers The West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers is moving toward a participant-directed plan. As this process unfolds, more information will be forthcoming. The allocations for the 2020 plan year should be available toward the end of December.
West Virginia Thoroughbred Industry Works to Promote Equine Industry The Mountaineer Park HBPA, Charles Town HBPA and West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders have been working throughout the year with West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt to bring members of the equine community throughout West Virginia together to form a public-private partnership. After several meetings, the West Virginia Horse Coalition is in the formative stages. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
AFFILIATE NEWS 48-Hour Purse Release The Mountaineer Park HBPA has worked with the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort to enable owners to receive their purses won within 48 hours. Owners whose trainers have stalls on the grounds can complete an agreement to withdraw funds of up to $7,500.
Continuing Education The Mountaineer Park HBPA has hosted several continuing education classes for trainers and assistant trainers during November and December. Trainers and assistant trainers are required to have four hours of continuing education in order to be licensed beginning in January 2022. The classes have been well attended and will continue through the 2022 race meet. For more information on how trainers and assistant trainers can receive their continuing education hours, please call the Mountaineer Park HBPA office or visit our Facebook page, mphbpa.com or Horsemen U at horsemenu. mclms.net/en. The Mountaineer Park HBPA wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
The New England HBPA hasn’t focused on the state and local revenue streams as the leading argument for the restoration of Thoroughbred racing or sports betting. “The more important argument is that restoring racing means preserving farms, and it means protecting the rural character in Massachusetts that is being allowed to disappear,” said Paul Umbrello, New England HBPA’s executive director. “We are losing breeding farms and hay farms because we don’t have full-time Thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts. When those farms disappear, the local lumber yards that produce fencing for those farms struggle and close, and all the local merchants who have supported these farms for generations begin to disappear.” Sports betting is a critical piece of the puzzle to revitalize Thoroughbred racing because it will help finance live racing. But more important to the New England HBPA argument is that it also will create jobs, protect farms and open spaces and preserve the horse culture that is vital to our state’s character and history.
OHIO HBPA 2022 Racing Dates
NEW ENGLAND HBPA Sports Betting Update By Ernie Corrigan If you had wagered that the Massachusetts Legislature would wrap up and pass a sports betting bill this year, you would have lost money. Statehouse observers were broadly predicting that the state Senate would take up the bill passed by the House of Representatives in July and send it to the governor’s desk before the formal session expired in November, but the unfinished business of passing that legislation now moves into 2022. But it wasn’t all bad news, particularly for horse racing enthusiasts and the New England HBPA, which successfully lobbied to include language in the House bill for wagering on horse racing using a mobile app. It has now been 10 years since Massachusetts legalized casino gaming and created the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to regulate casinos as well as the horse racing industry. The state has taken in more than $1 billion from legalized gaming. Estimates for annual revenues from sports betting range from a low of $20 million to a high of $35 million, but it would likely be far higher with an active Thoroughbred racing industry. “Our Thoroughbred industry is on the threshold of finally breaking out and getting back to racing,” says New England HBPA President Anthony Spadea. “We have $20 million banked with the gaming commission for purse money, and there is continued developer interest in building a new track and equine facility. But we need the sports betting bill to pass. That will tell developers that we are serious about reviving racing because that is the missing revenue piece they need.” What has been lacking in the sports betting debate is a sense of fiscal urgency, a factor that helped push the casino law over the finish line in 2021. The state currently has the luxury of a budget surplus and a nearly $5 billion windfall of federal COVID-19 relief and recovery funds. “When the sun is shining, no one thinks it is going to rain,” Spadea said. “But it always rains.”
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The Ohio State Racing Commission approved 2022 live racing dates for two of Ohio’s three Thoroughbred tracks at its November 17 meeting. Belterra Park was granted 93 racing dates with opening day scheduled for Thursday, April 28. The meet is scheduled to run through Thursday, October 6. Racing will be conducted on a Tuesday through Friday schedule on most weeks. Live racing also will be conducted on each of the Triple Crown Saturdays: May 7, May 21 and June 11. During those weeks, the racing schedule shifts to Wednesday through Saturday. Mahoning Valley Race Course was granted 103 live racing dates for 2022, split, as usual, into winter-spring and fall meets. The 2022 winter-spring meeting will run from January 1 through April 16 with racing conducted on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday schedule. The fall meet will run from Saturday, October 22, through Saturday, December 31, and will once again feature Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday racing each week. Thistledown requested a 100-day live racing season for 2022 from April 25 through October 13, but the commission tabled that request until such time as Thistledown management provides the commission with emergency procedure protocols for when accidents occur on the track, which was discussed at previous OSRC meetings.
THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA HBPA) Oklahoma Classics Recap The Oklahoma Classics on October 15 at Remington Park put the spotlight on Oklahoma-breds with eight stakes totaling $1 million in purses. Trainer C.R. Trout won the $175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup, powered by TVG, with Absaroka for his seventh win in this race in the past nine years. It helps when you have an Oklahoma-bred millionaire like Shotgun Kowboy win 53
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the race four times, but Trout has dominated in this spot. Shotgun Kowboy won in 2015 and 2017–19. Trout’s other winner was Imahit in back-to-back years, 2013 and 2014. It was Absaroka’s third win in a row at Remington Park as he broke like a rocket with his early speed on the rail under jockey David Cabrera, who won this race for the fourth time. Although the gelding’s first two wins of the meet were not against stakes company, Absaroka went off as the even-money favorite and cruised to a 4 ¼-length victory in wire-to-wire fashion. Cabrera also won this race aboard Phantom Trip in 2016 and Shotgun Kowboy in 2018 and 2019. Running time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.19 over a fast track. Absaroka, a 5-year-old gelding by Flat Out, made every pole a winning one. He was bred by owner Cowboy Stables (Blake Sappington) of Clinton, Oklahoma.
ABSAROKA SCORES ANOTHER OKLAHOMA CLASSICS CUP WIN FOR TRAINER C.R. TROUT.
“This horse is so easy to train,” said Trout, who picked up his 14th career Oklahoma Classics win with Absaroka. “He’s had a couple of hiccups along the way, and I have to give it up to the owner because they gave us the money to straighten him out and we have worked the problems out.” Absaroka paid $4, $2.20 and $2.10. Number One Dude reported in second, seven lengths ahead of third-place finisher Dont Tell Noobody, who was the defending champion. The remaining order of finish was United Patriot, Tonaltalitarian and Great Faces. Absaroka earned $105,000 with his trip to the winner’s circle and improved his record to 17 starts, five wins, four seconds and one third, almost doubling his lifetime earnings in this race. He now has $214,317 overall. Oklahoma Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie Von Hemel owns the $145,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff, presented by , winning it for the eighth time in his career, this time with She’s All Wolfe. It was the filly’s second consecutive win in the second-richest race on Oklahoma Classics Night. In fact, Von Hemel has practically started a family dynasty with this race. She’s All Wolfe’s dam, She’s All In, won the 2011 Distaff in her first year in Von Hemel’s stable and then won two more for him. She’s All In also won the race in 2010 for trainer Roger Engel. She’s All Wolfe is now halfway to her dam’s four-win streak. The 4-year-old daughter of Magna Graduate has now won five of six starts on Remington Park’s dirt track, and she’s reminding a lot of people of her mother. Dr. Robert Zoellner of Tulsa, Oklahoma, owns both horses. He also owned 2009 Distaff winner Peach Brew and 2018 Distaff winner Sydney Freeman, both trained by Von Hemel. Von Hemel’s other Distaff win came with Midsummer Magic (not owned by Zoellner) in 2007. Zoellner also has won this race eight times. The only time he won without Von Hemel was the year Cliff Berry rode She’s All In for Engel. Zoellner has the perfect recipe for winning this race so many times. 54
“It’s awesome, and I attribute that to Donnie and his team,” he said. “You know I try to breed a good horse and hand it off to him, and he does the rest. So far he’s been doing pretty good with the rest. It’s a great team effort, and that’s what horse racing is about. You have to have a great team, great horse, great trainer and then have a little racing luck. It all worked out tonight.” Zoellner wins with a lot of homebreds, including She’s All Wolfe. “[She’s All Wolfe] is very well bred, of course,” Von Hemel said. “When she came in [to the barn], she had some quirks about her. She’s almost normal now [laughs]. A big thanks to the crew at the barn. They’ve done a wonderful job, and Richard rode her well.” Both of jockey Richard Eramia’s wins in the Distaff have come aboard She’s All Wolfe. She’s All Wolfe won by 1 ¾ lengths, stopping the timer for the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:42.55 over a fast track. She was sent off as the 2-1 wagering favorite and paid $6.20, $3.40 and $2.40. Dipping In, last year’s Useeit Stakes winner, was a 10-1 longshot in this spot and fought hard to get second. She was another 1 ¾ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Lady Orchid. The remaining order of finish was Gotta See Red, Graygirlgo, Gospel Lucille, Okie Queen and Ekati’s Hit. She’s All Wolfe earned $87,000 for the victory and improved her record to 18 starts, seven wins, three seconds and two thirds for a bankroll of $379,862. Welder, the all-time winningest horse in Remington Park history with 16 victories, had beaten Shannon C four times, twice in 2020 and twice in 2018. The fifth time was apparently the charm as Shannon C finally got the best of Welder, who in making the final start of his career, finished third in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Sprint, presented by the Kaw Nation. “Shannon C has been an iron horse from day one,” said trainer Scott Young. “Today was his day. It took a while, but he showed why his breeders, Bob and Ted [Smith], breed horses to Miranda Diane. It’s come full circle now. He got that Oklahoma Classics win that we’ve been shooting for, for what? The past four years.” It was Young’s first trip to the winner’s circle in an Oklahoma Classics race as well as the first for jockey Leandro Goncalves. Welder broke well but veered to the outside after leaving the gate. Shannon C, a 6-year-old gelding by Latent Heat out of the Fistfite mare Miranda Diane, is a horse that likes to shoot for the front but did not show that speed in the Sprint. Goncalves was mystified that Shannon C wasn’t on the early lead. “He is one of the fastest horses out of the gate I’ve ever ridden but not tonight,” Goncalves said. “So I was waiting, and when I asked him to run, he just took off and ran like he was the best horse today.” “Leandro said he had to go to plan B [because of the slow break], and it worked,” Young said. It was the second stakes win in a row for the versatile Shannon C. He had won the Remington Park Turf Sprint Stakes on September 24. That was a fivefurlong race on the grass. The Classics Sprint went six furlongs over the fast main track. Welder’s owner Ra-Max Farms (Clayton Rash of Claremore, Oklahoma) had wished Young good luck before the race. “I’m glad if Welder had to lose it was to this horse,” he said. “It’s OK. I said before the race that win or lose, we would be retiring him, and we’ll stick to that.” “We knew it was time, and we wanted him to retire sound and safe,” said Welder’s trainer Teri Luneack. “He has done everything we’ve ever asked of him, and he didn’t owe us a thing going into this race.” Now it seems the horse that Welder beat by 4 ¾ lengths, 6 1/4 lengths, 6 1/2 lengths and a neck the four times they faced each other may be the heir apparent as top Oklahoma-bred sprinter. Welder had won this race the past three years and was trying to tie Highland Ice and Okie Ride for four wins in the race.
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AFFILIATE NEWS Shannon C drew away impressively at the end, winning by three lengths at 5-1 odds. He paid $12.80, $6.40 and $3.20. Young-trained horses ran one-two in the race as Mesa Moon held off Welder by one length. The remaining order of finish was Euromantic, Fast Breakin Cash, No Lak of Speed, Fly to the Bank and D Toz. Shannon C earned $78,000 for the win and improved to 27 starts, seven wins, 11 seconds and two thirds for $368,766 in earnings. He clocked six furlongs in 1:10.12 and was bred by his owner, B and S Racing of Springfield, Missouri. Welder was sent off as the wagering favorite at 4-5 odds in his final race. He finished his career with 16 wins at Remington Park and a final record of 44 starts, 27 wins, five seconds and seven thirds for $1,263,359 in earnings. A three-time Oklahoma Horse of the Year, Welder holds records at Remington Park as the only three-time Horse of the Meet, the only horse to win four stakes races in one meet and the winner of 11 stakes wins in a row. He also set the six-furlong track record of 1:08.13 in the 2019 David M. Vance Stakes. Pacific Typhoon first won the $130,000 OKC Turf Classic, presented by Choctaw Nation, in 2017 at age 4. Fast-forward to 2021 and the now 8-year-old gelding enjoyed a youthful resurgence to win the event a second time. Owned by Carol Nelson of Mannford, Oklahoma, Pacific Typhoon used his front-running style to perfection, finding enough stamina to lead throughout and then pull away once challenged down the stretch. After setting fractions of :23.95, :48.58, 1:12.89 and 1:37.78, Pacific Typhoon was tested in the stretch by Quarky, who had followed him around the firm course before pulling within a head. Pacific Typhoon found more to pull away to a 1 ½-length victory under jockey Lane Luzzi, who scored his second Classics win and first in the Turf. “It was almost like he was waiting for some company,” Luzzi noted. “He had his ears pricked down the backside the whole way. Once he was engaged a little bit, he turned on to a gear that I didn’t know he had until about the eighth pole. For me, it was a real thrill.” Trained by Austin Gustafson for his first Classics win, Pacific Typhoon crossed the finish in 1:44.20. Quarky held second by three-quarters of a length with Khola rallying for third. Dismissed at 40-1 odds, Pacific Typhoon paid $83, $30.60 and $22. The remaining order of finish was Half Ours to Keep, Sweet Medicine, Morhawk, favored Quality Rocket, Gospel Musketeer, Georgia Deputy, Yip Yip Kip and Tommyhawk. The Turf Classic win was the 11th career score for Pacific Typhoon from 50 starts with four seconds and six thirds. The son of Don’t Get Mad out of the Stormy Atlantic mare My Stormy Elaine earned $78,000 to boost his lifetime earnings to $406,183. Veronica Griggs trained Pacific Typhoon when he won the Turf Classic in 2017. The gelding was bred in Oklahoma by Clark Brewster of Tulsa. C.R. Trout said Sunday Flashback’s shins went south on her after she broke her maiden at Remington Park on October 30 last year, but that didn’t stop him from winning his 15th career Oklahoma Classics race with the 3-year-old filly. Sunday Flashback returned from the long layoff on September 10 to win in allowance company by 14 1/2 lengths. That indicated that she would be the one to beat in the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint, presented by Global Gaming Solutions. Heavily favored at 1-5, Sunday Flashback didn’t exactly win as one would expect of such a low price. First, she acted up in the paddock and then again at the gate, breaking seventh. So it was not a surprise when jockey Jose Alvarez and Sunday Flashback had to fight tooth and nail at the wire with 23-1 longshot Our Musical Moment to prevail by a head. It was Alvarez’s first Classics win. “I knew she was going to be special all along,” said Trout, who also bred and owns the filly. “But those shins were not good after last year. We gave her some time to heal, and now she has been training forwardly since we brought her back.”
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She paid $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Our Musical Moment was another three lengths ahead of Casino Queen in third. The remaining order of finish was Don’t Touch My Man, Stormieis Blue, Kallie Sioux, Yak Attack, Sweet Mary M, Polly Tiz and Machos Vision. This was also Trout’s fourth win in the Classics Distaff Sprint. He was in the winner’s circle in 2010, 2016 and 2017 with Shotgun Gulch, Euro K Shotgun and Hailstorm Slew, respectively. He also broke trainer Kenny Smith’s three-year win streak in the race; Smith won with Three Chords in 2018–2020. Sunday Flashback won the six-furlong test in 1:10.82. In her two previous wins, the filly had been on the lead almost immediately. “I don’t know why she broke so badly,” said Trout, “whether the ground broke out from under her or what. She acted goofy in the gate, so maybe that was it.” Sunday Flashback earned $78,000 for the win and improved to three wins from four starts. She was third in her first start, when she finished behind stakes-quality fillies Gotta See Red and Twilight Curfew in the $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie last year. Her bankroll after only four tries is $134,306. Run Slewpy Run kept the trophy for the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf, presented by WWLS-the Sports Animal, in the family for the third year in a row. Her older half sister, Alternative Slew, won the previous two runnings, and the sisters were competing against each other this year. They showed that bloodlines ring true as Run Slewpy Run won and a fast-closing Alternative Slew ran second, three lengths back. This was an all-family deal too. Alternative Slew was trained in 2019–20 by Randy Oberlander, father of this year’s Distaff Turf winning trainer Jesse Oberlander. Jesse has trained now for two years and has started to make a name for himself after his dad retired this year. When asked what his dad thought of his early success, taking down stakes wins, Jesse said, “He’s a man of few words. He’s busy playing with grandkids.” Both horses are owned and bred by Mike Jones of Bristow, Oklahoma, giving him three Classics wins. Alternative Slew had a layoff from last December to September 10, when she ran third in her first start of this year. She had been laid off so long because of an accident in her stall that almost cost her an eye. She and Run Slewpy Run are both out of Imadancingslew, by Evansville Slew. Run Slewpy Run was sired by Den’s Legacy and Alternative Slew by Alternation. Even though Alternative Slew was proven at the 1 1/16-mile distance on the lawn, Run Slewpy Run’s two turf wins were at 7 1/2 furlongs, leaving some to wonder if she could handle the extra measure. “I didn’t know whether she would get the 1 1/16 miles,” said Jesse Oberlander, “and with her running against her sister, I didn’t know who would run first or second.” Now he knows, with Run Slewpy Run getting the distance in 1:43.28 on a firm course. Favored at 6-5, she paid $4.60, $2.60 and $2.40. Alternative Slew finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of Twilight Curfew in third. The remaining order of finish in the Distaff Turf was Country Daisy, Leather and Lace, Tiztheboss, Hawaiian Typhoon, Tic Toc Toccet and Courtly. Jockey Luis Quinonez won with Run Slewpy Run and was aboard Alternative Slew last year for her win. It was Quinonez’s 21st win in an Oklahoma Classics race, tying him for second all time with Don Pettinger. Quinonez is now five wins behind the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame jockey and all-time winningest jockey at Remington Park, Cliff Berry. Quinonez has won the Classics Distaff Turf five times with his other victories aboard Bringinginthelute in 2014, Soonerette in 2012 and In the Band in 2011. Run Slewpy Run earned $78,000 from the purse and improved her record to nine starts, four wins and two seconds for $188,631. She is now three-for-three 55
NEWS on the Remington Park grass with $143,868 in earnings from those races. Rowdy Rascal saved his best effort until the very end of the six-furlong, $100,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile, presented by the Chickasaw Nation at Remington Park, getting up in the final two strides to win by a head. Owned by JT Stables of Springdale, Arkansas, and trained by Boyd “Jobe” Caster, Rowdy Rascal rallied under the ride of Freddy Manrrique. The Juvenile was his second consecutive win, adding to his maiden-breaking performance on September 18. Charming Oakie jumped out to the lead in the 13-horse Juvenile and deep into the stretch appeared to be ready to collect a trophy. After fractions of :22.26 and :45:72, Charming Oakie had a three-length advantage in mid-stretch. Only Rowdy Rascal had enough left to make a charge down the middle of the stretch, consuming massive real estate in the final yards to achieve success, hitting the finish in 1:12.18 over the fast track. Favored Cuatro Madres was third, another length back. Away at 7-2 odds, Rowdy Rascal paid $9.60, $5.60 and $3.20. The remaining order of finish was Legionary, Inca Empire, Hopgun, Joe Bill, Just Becauseway, Evan’s Envy, Rainbow Gold, Dancing Devil, Blueskiesandangels and Heza Freak. Rowdy Rascal won his second race in five career attempts and picked up $60,000 for the effort to move his bankroll to $95,059. A gelded son of Den’s Legacy from the Affirmatif mare Dancing Diva, Rowdy Rascal was bred in Oklahoma by Harmony Stable. The win in the Juvenile was the first in the race for all of the connections. Just nine days after breaking her maiden status in a hard-fought effort, Morning Twilight made things look easier in winning her second start, the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie, sponsored by Coors Light. Owned by the Saratoga Springs, New York, partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds, Edwin Barker and Titletown Racing Stables, Morning Twilight was bred in Oklahoma by Joe Merrick of Sayre. The filly was a $310,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders Sales 2-year-olds in training sale this year. Trained by racing’s all-time leading winner Steve Asmussen, Morning Twilight was confidently ridden by Stewart Elliott for his first Classics win. When Morning Twilight won her first race on October 6 at Remington Park, she scored in a six-furlong event by one length. In the Lassie, the 2-year-old filly by Morning Line from the Medaglia d’Oro mare Sweet Golden Carol won by a widening 7 1/2 lengths. After stalking the early pace set by Bring It On Baby, Morning Twilight made her move coming off the lone turn of the six-furlong event. The pair rolled to the top of the stretch together before Morning Twilight had enough of her company and kicked forward to an open lead, finishing in 1:11.20 over the fast track. Favored Hits Pricey Legacy made a wide move down the stretch to gain second, while 50-1 longshot Circle Back Girl came up the rail and just missed getting into the exacta, settling for third a head behind the runner-up. Bring It On Baby set fractions of :22.30 and :45.70 before fading to fourth, beaten 9 ¾ lengths. Morning Twilight was at 6-1 in the wagering and paid $15, $5.80 and $4.20. The remaining order of finish was Smokin’ Okie, Lil’ Jimmi Sue, Tiptoe Henny, Boujee Britt, Take Me Serious, Freccia d’Argento and Presley’s Artwork. The Lassie win was the first in the Classics for the owners of Morning Twilight. It was the second Lassie win for Asmussen and his fourth overall in the Classics series.
Board Ballots Reminder
OREGON HBPA Good Things Are Happening in Oregon Greetings from Oregon! We just finished our fall meeting. The weather threw us some pretty big curves this fall, and rain cancellations were a challenge. The fine people at Grants Pass Downs did a great job of making up races and race days so we were able to get almost all of our races in by the end of the meet. Now we are all focused on getting together and discussing how to improve on our product for next spring. The new paddock will hopefully be done by then along with new timers for fractional distances and improved drainage ideas for the chute and main track. We are all anxiously looking forward to the opening of the new entertainment venue to be named the Flying Lark. It will contain two restaurants, an off-track wagering section in conjunction with a sports bar and grill, as well as a formal dining restaurant that promises to offer an exceptional dining experience. The entertainment center also will offer pari-mutuel wagering in the form of historical horse racing terminals. These will be key to our future here in Oregon as the horsemen and women can share in their success to help with purses in the future. Everyone from all facets of the industry here in Oregon is dedicated to improving on and assuring the future of racing in our state. Safe and Happy Holidays to all. Randy Boden, Executive Director, Oregon HBPA
TAMPA BAY DOWNS HBPA Tampa Bay Downs Meet Update The 2021–22 Tampa Bay Downs race meet is underway. After perhaps millions of miles of going in circles, our old horse exercising machine was plagued by breakdowns and failures during the 2020–21 meet, affecting nearly everybody’s training plans. Our board of directors approved the machine’s replacement last May, and we are happy to announce that our new machine is in operation on the backside and receiving rave reviews from horsemen. If you haven’t seen it yet, come check it out. Use of the machine will incorporate a cashless collection system, which we believe will be as smooth as the operation of the computer-controlled routines of the exerciser itself. The election for our president and board of directors will soon be underway. Our Nominating Committee has been appointed, and anyone interested in becoming a candidate should contact our chairperson Sharyn Wasiluk on the backside or contact the office. Watch for a notice of the nomination general membership meeting in early December. Also, if you know of anybody who is eligible for Tampa Bay Downs HBPA membership and is not receiving their Horsemen’s Journal subscription, let us know in the office as soon as possible. Regrettably, last season was burdened with extensive social restrictions due to COVID-19. We hope to restore some, if not all, of our normal social activities. Please contact us with any suggestions.
TRAO members are reminded that December 31 is the deadline for ballots for our board of directors election. If you have any questions about ballots, contact the TRAO office at (405) 427-8753. 56
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AFFILIATE NEWS WASHINGTON HBPA Emerald Downs Announces Incentives and Purse Increases for 2022 Emerald Downs announced a 52-day live racing season in 2022, with opening day Sunday, May 15, and closing day Sunday, September 18. All 52 race days are scheduled on weekends. Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler says the emphasis on weekend racing is for fans and horsemen alike. “We’re excited to return to our more traditional schedule with Friday nights and Saturday afternoons,” Ziegler said. “This will be great for the fans.” Emerald Downs offers 15 consecutive Friday cards beginning June 3, marking the first time the track has offered Friday racing since 2019. Opening week features a lone card on Sunday, May 15, followed by Saturday/Sunday weekends on May 21-22 and May 28-29. Closing weekend also is a two-day race week on September 17-18. Also, in response to feedback from owners and trainers, for the first time, the 2022 incentives are not limited to those shipping from tracks other than Emerald Downs. All claiming horses will be eligible to receive a starter bonus whether they came from outside Washington or have run exclusively at Emerald Downs. In the horse’s first start in any claiming race (which must occur prior to July 1, 2022), all 3-year-olds and older that ran in any claiming race at least once at any track since January 1, 2021, including Emerald Downs, will receive a $1,000 bonus, of which $750 will be paid to the horse owner and $250 to the trainer. The new program is designed to reward those who have been faithful to Emerald Downs as well as to attract new trainers and horses to Washington’s premier racing venue. The bonus is paid in the horse’s first claiming race start and is paid even if a claiming waiver is declared. If an eligible horse starts in an allowance or
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n the early years, the sport of horse racing seemed simple. There was no simulcasting, discussion of appropriate marketing strategies, super testing or betting via direct computer links. There was no NTRA, THA, TOC, TOBA, UTTA, AQHA or other organizations representing horsemen’s interests.
Horsemen have a habit of taking care of their own. If someone was sick or down on his luck, they “passed the hat,” taking up collections, which is a time-honored tradition among racetrackers. It was in 1940 in New England that a group of committed horsemen brought into existence what is now known as the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. From this meager beginning the National HBPA has developed into an organization representing the horsemen’s interests on a myriad of issues. Today, there are nearly 30,000 owner and trainer members throughout the United States and Canada focused on a common goal—the betterment of racing on all levels. With this purpose in mind, we welcome and encourage all horsemen to join the National HBPA, and we urge our members to take an active role in the direction and policies of our organization. It is our members who make a difference. We horsemen are the National HBPA.
We are Leading into the Future and we are…… Horsemen Helping Horsemen
The National HBPA Inc. Eric Hamelback, CEO Phone: 859-259-0451 • Toll Free: 866-245-1711 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 3380 Paris Pike Lexington, KY 40511 Website: www.hbpa.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalHBPA • Twitter: @nationalhbpa THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
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THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL
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