V. E. Day, Tonalist get in final Gold Cup drills
"It wasn't an ideal track, but it was good enough," Jerkens said. "I wanted to give him a work on the main track, but (breezing on the training track) was a no-brainer. I thought his breeze was good. I watched it from the eighth pole, but it looked like he was nice and steady the whole way."
Tonalist, ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, worked in company with stablemate Bluegrass Flash. It was the first workout over the training track for Tonalist, who is trained by Christophe Clement for Robert Evans.
"We had to reschedule the work twice, unfortunately, because of the weather," Clement said. "The main track was not suitable yesterday or this morning. So we went to the training track, which was a first for him. It was a little bit difficult for me to assess the work, because I've had nothing to compare it with. But, he worked fast, he worked well, he was moving well in the work, and the jockey was happy. So we're all happy."
In the Travers, V. E. Day closed from seventh and got up in the last stride to defeat his stablemate, Wicked Strong, by a nose. Tonalist was third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. On Saturday, Wicked Strong breezed six furlongs in 1:13 over the main track.
Other Super Saturday stakes contenders on the Monday worktab were Abaco (Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl), four furlongs on yielding turf in :49 1/5; Imagining (Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic); five furlongs on yielding turf in 1:02 4/5; Micromanage (Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic), four furlongs on yielding turf in :50; Scarly Charly (Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap), five furlongs on the training track in 1:01; and Stopchargingmaria (Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame), four furlongs on the training track in :48 1/5.
Goldencents to stay home at Santa Anita for BC prep
Runner-up in the June 7 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in his seasonal reappearance, Goldencents was again second in the July 27 Bing Crosby at Del Mar, but reverting to no-holds-barred front-running tactics in the August 24 Pat O'Brien brought out the best in the four-year-old. Goldencents rolled by 4 1/4 lengths in track-record time of 1:20.99 for seven furlongs on the Polytrack.
Plans call for Goldencents, who has amassed a bankroll of $2,434,000 from a record of 16-6-6-0, to enter stud at Spendthrift in 2015. He will stand alongside his sire, Into Mischief, at the Lexington, Kentucky, farm.
European star Kingman retired
Juddmonte's star European miler Kingman has been retired after being treated for a throat infection which ruled him out of autumn targets.
Winner of the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville August 17 in his final outing, the John Gosden trainee also scored Group 1 wins earlier this year in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas at the Curragh, St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. A close second in the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket was the only blemish on his record.
The talented bay also lifted the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April and captured last year's Solario Stakes at Sandown. The sophomore retires with a mark of 8-7-1-0 and $1,607,201 in earnings.
"Kingman is to be retired to Banstead Manor Stud for the 2015 stud season," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah. "The throat infection will still need on going treatment which will rule out the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and also the Breeders' Cup.
"The stud fee of the horse that has electrified European racing in 2014 will be announced by the stud when appropriate."
Gosden hailed his star pupil.
"The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes was probably going to be his final race, but it's a shame he's missing it," the trainer said. "He's a fabulous-looking horse with a great mind on him and he had this ability to change six gears at once.
"He had a turbo charge that no other horse I've trained has possessed. It's a very rare thing to see in a horse. It's hard to nominate his best performance, but I suppose it's the Sussex because it was the weirdest race I've ever seen.
"He's certainly the best colt I've ever trained."
Undrafted, Something Extra square off at Kentucky Downs
Another with strong Canadian form is Dimension, who landed the 2013 Play the King, a Grade 2 event going seven furlongs on turf. Based at the Skylight Training Center in Kentucky, the six-year-old was most recently third when defending his title in the Play the King on August 10.
Others of note are the filly To My Valentine, winner of the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint last season; Stormy Going, runner-up in the More Than Ready Mile at Kentucky Downs September 13; multiple allowance winner Banzai Charge, who makes his stakes debut here; and Catalactic and Todge, both winners earlier this month over the Kentucky Downs course.
The $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon, contested over 1 5/16 miles, attracted 23 fillies and mares and was split into two divisions. The first division features Cat's Claw, heroine of the $100,000 Waya at Saratoga in early August. Most recently, the Jonathan Sheppard trainee finished sixth in the Glens Falls when caught behind a slow pace.
Customer Base looks to snap a five-race losing streak for trainer Tom Procter. A Grade 3 scorer in the Robert J. Frankel at Santa Anita last December, the five-year-old mare was most recently a half-length behind returning rival Ann of the Dance in the CTT & TOC Handicap at Del Mar over 1 3/8 miles.
Other potential contenders are Street of Gold, third by a neck in the Modesty Handicap two back and seventh in the Beverly D. last time; the Mark Casse-trained Sky High Lady, an allowance winner over this course last season; and Angegreen, twice Grade 3-placed since her importation from Italy.
The second division of the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon includes Grade 3 queen Angel Terrace, who ran third in the race last year behind Mystical Star and Preferential. Grade 3-placed Tabreed, who makes her third start of the season in this race, appears to be rounding into form at the right time, while the Neil Drysdale-trained Topic looks to rebound off a poor try against males in the Del Mar Handicap.
Auld Alliance and I O Ireland also figure to draw support.
The festivities on Wednesday at Kentucky Downs begin at noon (CDT) with an autograph session with Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte, the rider of the legendary 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat. Turcotte will be visiting with fans and signing autographs near the finish line from 12-1 p.m., and then continuing in the Clubhouse from 2-4 p.m. There is a $10 suggested donation, with proceeds benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF).
Post time for the first race is 1:35.
Homecoming Classic could be stepping stone to BC Classic for Cigar Street
"I think it will be similar on Saturday," Ballis remarked. "We can go to the lead or lay off. He's won going gate-to-wire at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds, and then his other two wins he sat off, so he's versatile.
One of those Cigar Street will face in the Homecoming Classic is Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's multiple Grade 2 victor Departing, who worked a half-mile in :48 4/5 Sunday morning over Churchill's fast dirt. It was the War Front gelding's final move ahead of Saturday's race.
Departing was on an upward curve last summer when dominating the West Virginia Derby and Super Derby, but the Al Stall Jr. trainee has been hit or miss since. After kicking off 2014 with a one-mile allowance score at Churchill in April, he was third in the Stephen Foster at this track and trip June 14, and exits a disappointing eighth in the August 2 Whitney at Saratoga. Robby Albarado retains the mount.
Carve, another Claiborne Farm and Dilschneider product who races for Michael Langford has been in fine form. The Brad Cox pupil has won or placed in all but one of seven starts this season. Third to the now-retired Will Take Charge in the April 12 Oaklawn Handicap, he compiled a three-race winning spree over the summer, beating Pick of the Litter in a Churchill allowance and annexing the June 28 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker and August 2 West Virginia Governor's Stakes. Carve was most recently runner-up to Bradester in the September 6 Ack Ack here, and keeps Jesus Castanon in the saddle.
Others entered in the Homecoming Classic are Call Me George (Leandro Goncalves), Perfect Title (Brian Hernandez Jr.) and the aforementioned Pick of the Litter (Julien Leparoux).
Woodbine shippers Heart to Heart and Speightsland warrant respect. Heart to Heart invades for Brian Lynch. As might be expected from an English Channel colt, he has found his true home on turf, and comes off a three-length wire job in the August 20 Better Talk Now at Saratoga. Fellow Woodbine shipper Speightsland has run two strong races since Mark Casse switched him to turf, and the son of Grade 1 winner Pool Land looks ready for a stakes breakthrough.
Centaur Stakes runner-up Captain Dixie shortens up to a more suitable distance off his fifth in the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Derby, while Stormy Pacific, second in the August 16 Straight Line over Arlington's Polytrack, is bred to prefer turf.
Joseph Allen's homebred Battlefront makes his U.S., and belated sophomore, bow after beginning his career in France. Successful in two of six starts as a two-year-old when trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, the well-bred son of War Front returns from an 11-month holiday for new trainer Ben Colebrook.
Dale Romans is double-handed with yet another War Front, Hesinfront, whose two career wins have both come over this course, and Sportscaster, a maiden winner here three starts back.
Ron Rippey Award to honor excellence in handicapping media
Rippey won the 2006 National Handicapping Championship, was a 10-time qualifier for the prestigious annual event, and a beloved regular on the contest circuit. He also wrote about racing and made picks for the Newark Star-Ledger and contributed Spotlight Selections to Brisnet.com for major race days. Rippey died August 26.
"Ron's enthusiasm for both playing the game and writing about it was infectious," DeRosa said. "He wanted to beat you, but he wanted you to have fun while he did it, which is the essence of good handicapping content."
Steve Byk, Jessica Chapel, and Paul Rolfes will serve as judges for the inaugural award, and the trio brings together a mix of media experiences:
For more information or to submit an entry, e-mail RippeyAward@Brisnet.com by September 30.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby saddled the winners of six races -- all juveniles -- in England Monday, taking five races at Kempton and one at Leicester. The feat equaled the Godolphin record of wins in a day. In 2009, trainer Saeed bin Suroor twice won six races in a day for the operation. "It has been a good, productive day," Appleby said. "All the winners are two-year-olds and have their futures ahead of them. I was hopeful of decent performances today from a strong team of horses and it is great that six got the job done. We will savor today and then get on with the job of producing more winners." The win streak was started with Game Show's (Dubawi) victory in the first race at Kempton and was followed by Kempton winners Strong Chemistry (Oasis Dream), Mulzamm (Cape Cross), Forest Maiden (Invincible Spirit) and Comedy Queen (Distorted Humor). Charming Thought (Oasis Dream) won at Leicester. "I hope Strong Chemistry, Forest Maiden and Charming Thought have bright futures," Appleby said. "I like Strong Chemistry and was happy with his second first time up and he triumphed impressively in a good time today. I have thought a lot of Forest Maiden for a long time and hope she will make natural progression, while Charming Thought is going forward the right way."...
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al Thani's multiple Group 1 winner Toronado (High Chaparral) will begin his stud career next season at the English National Stud. The four-year-old captured last season's Sussex S. (Eng-G1) and added this term's Queen Anne S. (Eng-G1). He was second in last year's St James's Palace S. (Eng-G1) and this year's Sussex and Prix du Moulin (Fr-G1). The attractive bay is being pointed for the Queen Elizabeth II S. (Eng-G1) at Ascot October 18. "Myself and the senior steward, Roger Weatherby are thrilled that such a high-class horse will be retiring for the 2015 season to the National Stud and are most grateful to His Excellency Sheikh Joaan for his wonderful gesture to support the British breeding industry," said Ben Sangster, chairman of the National Stud. "This is such a tremendous opportunity for breeders, who I'm sure, will be keen to send high-quality mares to this very special horse." John Warren will be managing Toronado on Sheikh Joaan's behalf and his son Jake will be in charge of nominations. "Looking closely at both Toronado's pedigree and conformation, he is hugely exciting," Warren said. "Being by the international leading sire High Chaparral out of a mare from the Gone West line, he looks perfect for a wide range of mares, including those that descend from the Danzig line. Having the powerful build of a very fast horse and being a group-winning unbeaten two-year-old, Toronado will really appeal to the commercial market. As a European champion miler, he will also be important to owner/breeders who are aiming to breed a classic prospect."...
Thursday's $100,000 Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile over 6 1/2 furlongs at Presque Isle has attracted an overflow field of 13, including two looking to step up off their efforts in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) -- Bourbon Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) and Seraph (Kantharos). Bourbon Cowboy had been runner-up to eventual Arlington-Washington Futurity winner Recount (Limehouse) in their mutual debut before rallying to a convincing maiden score over the same Polytrack, but could do no better than fourth in their September 6 rematch. Seraph, a smart first-out winner at Indiana Downs, was sixth in his stakes and synthetic debut in the Arlington-Washington Futurity. Although that leaves his aptitude for the Presque Isle Tapeta uncertain, he was likely compromised by an awkward start as well, and is worth another chance on synthetic. Other promising types include Machination (Yes It's True), who ships in off a commanding maiden win at Monmouth for Kelly Breen; the respective top two from the September 7 Mark McDermott for state-breds here, Duff (Candy Ride) and Adventurous Fox (Canadian Frontier); locally based maiden scorer Less Than Perfect (Pleasantly Perfect), fourth in both the Swynford and Summer (Can-G2) at Woodbine; unbeaten Hazel Park invader Court's Ruling (Closing Argument); and the thrice-placed maiden Louisiana Brown (Big Brown), who has been competing in a few tough heats at both Churchill and Saratoga...
One race later on Thursday's card, the $100,000 H.B.P.A. S. features a few horses-for-the-course at Presque Isle. Defending champion Awesome Flower (Flower Alley) remained perfect here by adding the June 22 Windward Stakes, and the Mike Maker mare was last seen getting up in time in the off-the-turf Lady Canterbury July 12. Also bringing a two-for-two local mark are Star Pearl (Tapit), who topped a Graham Motion exacta over stablemate Cat's Holiday (Harlan's Holiday) in the July 13 Northern Fling two starts back, and Miss Mischief (Into Mischief), who just romped in an allowance at this mile and 70-yard trip for Dale Capuano. Rounding out the stakes triple-header is the $75,000 Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Memorial for Pennsylvania-bred two-year-old fillies. Arlington shipper Happy to Go (Saint Anddan) already has stakes form to her credit, with thirds in both the My Dear at Woodbine and the Arlington-Washington Lassie, while Chilly Start (Jump Start) boasts an unbeaten record from two starts over the track...
Los Alamitos ended its first Fall meet Sunday averaging $5,768,238 daily in total combined mutuel handle. The handle figure was a 26.6 percent increase over the comparable days a year earlier for the Barretts Race meet at Fairplex Park. The average total combined mutuel handle for the 13-day season in 2013 was $4,568,812. "We're happy," said Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the Los Alamitos Racing Association. "I would have to say this meet probably outdid our expectations. We thought we'd do well, but we did better than we thought we would, especially with the racing product. All in all, it's a second step to where we want to go. This meet was a success any way you want to cut it." The average field size increased from 6.99 starters per race during the Summer Thoroughbred Festival in July to 7.73 for the Fall season. Thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos in December. The 12-day season will begin December 4 and continue through December 21, with racing conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis...
Apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke made it back-to-back riding titles at Los Alamitos, wrapping up the inaugural Fall season with a Sunday double to give him the championship over runner-up Fernando Perez. The Kentucky-born and Arkansas-raised Van Dyke, who turned 20 earlier in the month, finished with 11 victories, one more than Perez. Edwin Maldonado was third with nine wins. Van Dyke, who won Sunday with Valdirone (Bertrando) in the 2ND race and Sandy's Song (First Samurai) in the 4TH, led the Summer Thoroughbred Festival in July with 12 wins, finishing four in front of closest pursuer Joe Talamo. "It's an honor to win the title here not just once, but twice," Van Dyke said. "You don't see a lot of apprentices winning titles. I want to thank my agent Sarah (Wolfe) and the owners and trainers who have put me on so many nice horses." Doug O'Neill and Mike Puype shared the training title. Each won six times, one more than five Hall of Famer Bob Baffert...
The first two-year-old in training sale of 2015 will be conducted by Barretts on February 23 at Fairplex in Pomona with the training preview scheduled for February 20. Nominations close October 24. General Manager Kim Lloyd views the earlier sale date as a positive. "We'll kick off the two-year-old sales season in the West again this year. Being first up the past three years we've had huge gains and the highest select sale average increase of 2014." The January 26 Mixed Sale and two-year-old Select Sale will be the final Barretts auctions conducted at the Fairplex facility, and according to Lloyd, at the February 23 finale "we'll be celebrating our success and ongoing commitment to provide quality service to buyers and consignors. The balance of the Barretts 2015 Sales Calendar will be conducted at Del Mar. The May Sale of two-year-olds in training will be later in the month on the 27th to insure that the new dirt track is ready for the May 25 preview. The revised schedule also includes The Paddock Sale on July 19, a Select Yearling Sale on August 12 and a Fall Sale of Yearlings and Horses of Racing Age on November 4 following the Breeders' Cup...
Longines, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) will honor the inaugural world's best jockey at the Longines Hong Kong International Races gala dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center December 12. Jockeys earn points by performing in the world's 100 highest-rated Group 1 or Grade 1 races according to the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings Committee from December 1 of last year until November 30 of this year. A win is worth 12 points, 6 points for second and 4 points for third. Jockeys Joseph O'Brien of Ireland and Belgian-born Christophe Soumillon are tied for the lead with 72 points and English reinsman Ryan Moore tracks them with 70 points. For the complete rules go to the IFHA website. "It is entirely appropriate that the accomplishments of the world's best jockeys are recognized internationally," IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet said. "Jockeys are incredible athletes and their amazing feats of skill and daring bring millions of fans to the sport around the world. The Longines World's Best Jockey award is a proud joint initiative of the IFHA and Longines, and we are very thankful to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for hosting the award ceremony."
For Tuesday or Next Raceday
SEPTEMBER 23, 2014
Newmarket Open House proves a big success
by Emma Berry
After an absence of more than 15 years, the Newmarket Open Day returned to the calendar in 2012 and the last three years have seen more and more people descend on the town for a special behind-the-scenes view of activities at British horseracing's headquarters. Visitors on Sunday will not have been disappointed.
Two of Newmarket's three classic winners this season were on display to the public with the Oaks heroine Taghrooda one of six members of the John Gosden stable to take part in exercise canters on Warren Hill along with horses trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Sir Mark Prescott, David Simcock, Sir Michael Stoute, William Haggas and Hugo Palmer.
The daughter of Sea the Stars was joined by fellow Group 1 winners Sultanina (New Approach), Mukhadram (Shamardal), Estimate (Monsun), Integral (Dalakhani), Cavalryman (Halling) and African Story (Pivotal ), while Simcock's Canadian Grade 1-winning duo of Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi) and Trade Storm (Trade Fair) were also in action following their recent return to Newmarket from Woodbine.
Kingston Hill (Mastercraftsman) didn't join the exercise party, but he proved a huge draw for Roger Varian's Kremlin House Stables where he was paraded in front of a large crowd wearing his winner's sheet from the previous weekend's St Leger (Eng-G1).
On any day of the week it's possible for members of the public to park at the epicenter of Newmarket's 2,500-acre training grounds and observe the comings and goings of leading trainers and the town's equine inhabitants, a four-legged population which grows to around 3,000 at the height of the Flat season. It's a scene which never fails to inspire even those who are not diehard racing fans, but only the most eagle-eyed of regular work-watchers would know which horses they are looking at as string upon string of elegant bluebloods float by.
The formal staging of Newmarket's equivalent of Breakfast with the Stars '-- from numbered saddle-cloths on each horse to interviews with trainers as their charges ascended Warren Hill's Polytrack canter in front of the gathered masses -- is an excellent way to give race fans extra insight into a horse's daily routine and what goes into getting them to the track in tiptop condition.
James Alexander brought his wife and two young children on the long journey from their home in Devon for the weekend, but felt the 10-hour round trip was worthwhile.
"We go to as many race meetings as we can and when we read about last year's open day we decided to combine it with a trip to Newmarket races on Saturday," commented Alexander. "What was especially nice was how close the children could get to the horses. We visited five yards and all the staff were very friendly and happy to answer our questions. We've all learned a lot today."
Newmarket is of course not just famed for its racing yards but also as a breeding center, with a number of major studs surrounding the town.
Though he is not trained in England, this season's dual Derby winner Australia (Galileo) started life just outside Newmarket at Lord Derby's Stanley House Stud and while he has gained a deserved following in his own right, he is still outshone by his famous dam, Ouija Board (Cape Cross). The seven-time Group 1 winner -- whose big-race successes include the English and Irish Oaks and two Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf wins -- returned to the place of her birth upon retirement from racing in 2006 and now lives alongside her daughter and Australia's full sister Filia Regina (Galileo).
Both mother and daughter were paraded for visitors to the stud throughout the morning.
"Ouija Board is the most terrible show-off so she loved every minute of the open day," said Peter Stanley, who manages Stanley House Stud for his brother Lord Derby. "She felt right at home and was in her element -- it was like the Breeders' Cup all over again. Throughout the morning we didn't even get a chance to put her back in her stable -- there was a constant stream of visitors right the way through and we were delighted so many people came to see her and Filia Regina."
Added Stanley, "It's a great tribute to everyone who worked so hard to get the open day off the ground. I had plenty of positive feedback from people who came along and it's important for our industry to stage days like this and to help members of the public connect with racing."
Once the racing yards had closed their doors at 12:30, events continued at related organizations throughout the town. The British Racing School held schooling displays with former Group 1-winning steeplechaser Our Vic (Old Vic) which were overseen by Great Britain's eventing team coach Yogi Breisner, while a number of jockeys, including Ryan Moore, showed off sporting skills of a different kind on the temporary football pitch at Newmarket's Rowley Mile racecourse.
With Tattersalls about to burst into life for its two-week October Sale, plenty of budding bloodstock enthusiasts took the opportunity of listening in to a talk in the sales-ring on conformation given by leading trainer John Gosden and bloodstock agent Tom Goff. The pair have teamed up in a number of top-class horses, including St Leger winner Arctic Cosmos (North Light), who was bought by Goff's Blandford Bloodstock for 47,000gns at Book 2 of Tattersalls' October Sale, and Elusive Kate (Elusive Quality), a $70,000 Keeneland September purchase. They used another of their combined purchases, the multiple Group winner Gregorian (Clodovil), as a live model for the presentation to 400 people.
With the number of visitors to the open day this year increasing to around 5,000 and all money raised split between four racing-related charities, it's an event which is now firmly rooted in the calendar.
"It always takes three to five years to establish events such as these, but what was great this year was that we'd sold so many tickets in advance," said Newmarket Open Day organizer Johnno Spence. "Lots of families came along and there was a great atmosphere -- the important thing is that everyone has a good time and I think we achieved that."
Tales of the Heath is a monthly TDN installment by Newmarket-based writer Emma Berry. Berry lives in one of Newmarket's oldest yards, Beverley House Stables, former home to the 1903 Triple Crown winner Rock Sand and now to the small string of flat and jumps horses trained by her husband, John. She accompanies the yard's first lot most mornings on her 11-year-old retired racehorse, Pantomime Prince.
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At a Glance
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HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.
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