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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kentucky Downs’ Johnsen to deliver keynote address at National HBPA convention

Corey Johnsen (Reed Palmer photo)
Corey Johnsen, president and part-owner of Kentucky Downs, will give the keynote address at the National HBPA’s 2017 convention March 8-11 at Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel and Casino.

Johnsen heads the management team that has taken Kentucky Downs from novelty to industry leader, offering some of the most lucrative purses in America during its boutique all-grass meets. Johnsen, Ray Reid and their partners in Kentucky Downs began operating Historical Horse Racing terminals on Sept. 1, 2011, and have used that innovative pari-mutuel technology as a game-changing force for the good. In the last five years, the track’s purses have mushroomed from $746,810 for the meet to $7.8 million in 2016.

Kentucky Downs also is using its economic firepower to benefit the entire state circuit, including working with the Kentucky HBPA to transfer $1.35 million in purses to Ellis Park for its 2016 meet. That largesse, enticing trainers and jockeys to stay in Kentucky for the summer, sparked the best racing at Ellis Park in years, if not ever.

Eric Hamelback, chief executive officer for the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, said he wanted a keynote speaker in the mode of Tampa Bay Downs president Stella Thayer and Oaklawn Park general manager Eric Jackson, who gave the featured addresses the past two conventions.

“One thing that I have tried to bring to the National HBPA’s platform is the importance and proclamation of being positive in our industry,” said Hamelback. “It’s unfair at times to our owners and to our participants that all they hear is negativism. We have got to get out of that mindset. That’s been my goal in setting up our conventions, starting with Mrs. Thayer and Mr. Jackson.

“Corey Johnsen clearly fits that bill. He is positive. He is upbeat and believes in being a team player and working together with horsemen and other tracks. He is very appreciative of the participants and our national owners and trainers, what they go through and what they have to give to this sport. Being a horseman himself makes him ideal to set off our convention. If everybody had his attitude, racing would be in great shape.”

Johnsen calls being the HBPA’s keynote speaker one of the biggest honors in a career that saw him start as a teenage $2 bettor at Longacres Racetrack in Renton, Wash., and groom at Centennial in Littleton, Colo., the summer before his graduation from Arizona State University.

He shot up the management ranks through the publicity and marketing departments at Turf Paradise, Arlington Park, Louisiana Downs, Remington Park and Lone Star Park, being instrumental in the development, construction and launch of the latter two. Johnsen, who rose to become president and part-owner of Lone Star Park before its sale, also has been involved in the opening or re-opening of four tracks in the Americas, including in Mexico City and Uruguay.

An innovator, Johnsen helped build Louisiana Downs’ Super Derby into one of the country’s top 3-year-old races at the time and was a key player in getting slot machines at Oklahoma horse tracks, bringing the Breeders’ Cup to Lone Star Park in 2004 and Historical Horse Racing to Kentucky. At every track stop, he has been immersed in the local market’s civic and charitable works and tourism.

Johnsen has owned horses since 1979, when he began putting together partnerships to race claiming horses. He and Reid were so enchanted with Kentucky Downs when there for the first time to watch their Argentine mare Honey Rose make her U.S. debut (narrowly losing the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf) that they wound up buying the track in 2007.

Since the Kentucky Downs purchase, Johnsen has been heavily involved with the Kentucky Equine Education Project, including succeeding co-founder Brereton Jones as KEEP’s second chairman. The multi-breed coalition, created to increase awareness of the benefits of the commonwealth’s horse economy and to promote jobs and economic influences for Kentuckians through the world-class industry, was a driving force in creating an additional $190 million to be paid out through the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund, purses and Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund since 2006.

“When I was grooming horses the summer before my senior year in college, to even dream that I would have the honor to address the National HBPA conference was beyond comprehension,” said Johnsen, who also is a breeder. “Throughout my career, I’ve always tried to remember that this is about the horse and all the participants involved in the sport. That’s been my guiding light. So it’s really gratifying to have this opportunity.”

Johnsen also will be part of a convention panel comprised of track operators discussing how strong working relationships with their owners and trainers is good for business.

“There are so many things positive about our sport, sometimes we get lost in all the negativity,” Johnsen said. “I think it’s important that we all discuss those positive advantages we have over other sports and entertainment to allow us to work together and maximize our success.”

Founded in 1940, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is the world’s largest thoroughbred horsemen’s organization, representing approximately 30,000 owners and trainers throughout the United States and Canada. The responsibilities of the NHBPA and its affiliates have greatly expanded as the racing industry has become more complex. In addition to its original general benevolence mission, the HBPA is the leading force for horsemen in negotiating contracts with tracks as well as the advancement of the sport through safety and integrity initiatives, promoting racing and assisting in the development of aftercare programs for retired racehorses.

 The National HBPA is proud partner with its corporate sponsors: Lavin Equine Insurance Services, Xpressbet LLC, Jockey Club Information Systems, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Finish Line Horse Products, Horseman Labor Solutions, Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc, NTRA Advantage Program and Equine Savings Group.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Royal Posse Claims a Second Jewel During Record-Breaking Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park

Royal Posse (Photo by Coglianese Photos)
The Claiming Crown celebrated its 18th renewal on December 3 at Gulfstream Park, and just like a young adult, the event for the sport’s blue-collar horses seems to have reached maturity after debuting in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Hosted for the fifth time at the South Florida track, the $1.1 million event set an all-time handle record of $11,115,864 with perfect weather conditions, continuing the trend of increased wagering every year at Gulfstream while becoming an increasingly important fixture on the national racing schedule.

A joint venture between the National HBPA and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the Claiming Crown has reached new heights over the past five years thanks in large part to the efforts of the Florida HBPA and Gulfstream Park in making it the signature event to kick off the Championship Meet at the Hallandale Beach oval. Earlier this year, it was announced that Gulfstream will host the Claiming Crown through at least 2018.

This marked the first Claiming Crown since the passing of NHBPA First Vice President Tom Metzen Sr., one of the founding fathers of the event. The richest race on the card, the $190,000 Claiming Crown Jewel won by Royal Posse for the second consecutive year, was presented as the Tom Metzen Sr. Memorial in the track program.

“The success of the Claiming Crown is a testament to the vision of Tom and all the others who helped launch this event at Canterbury Park,” said NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “It wasn’t easy to establish a new program like this from scratch, but it has proven to be a very important day of racing to recognize the horses and horsemen who are so vital to our industry.”

One of the constants in recent years has been the participation—and winning—of owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker. The all-time leading Claiming Crown owners and trainer added another victory to their tally, as they teamed to win the final race on the card, the Emerald, with Keystoneforvictory to run their total to 15 wins apiece.

This year also marked an expansion of the races leading up to the Claiming Crown as three tracks—Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park and Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder Race Course)—held preview races with the winners earning free entry and transportation expenses to the main event.

The Claiming Crown races were run under starter allowance conditions for horses who had started for a specified claiming price since January 1, 2015, save for the Express and Iron Horse, which were open to horses who started at the $8,000 level or below anytime in their careers. With nine races on dirt and turf at a variety of distances and for both sexes, there was an option for virtually any kind of racehorse.

“We’re extremely pleased with the opening of what promises to be an historic Championship Meet,” said P.J. Campo, vice president of The Stronach Group and general manager of Gulfstream Park. “The support from horsemen throughout North America for the Claiming Crown was extraordinary. We had full, competitive fields and some spectacular performances by horses and riders.”

Distaff Dash • Spectacular Me
The first of the Claiming Crown races, the $106,700 Distaff Dash for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less, featured a Claiming Crown Preview Day winner putting on an encore performance for the big money as Spectacular Me followed her Laurel Park victory with another at Gulfstream. Ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer Steve Klesaris and owner Winning Move Stable, the 6-year-old daughter of Catienus came from off the pace to win by 1 ¾ lengths in a time of :56.91 for five furlongs on the turf.

“I really had no instructions,” said New York-based Ortiz, the leading North American rider in 2016 by wins with 335 after the Claiming Crown card. “I talked to Steve last Tuesday at Parx when I saw him there. He told me that I know the filly well and to ride her with confidence and that she is ready.”

Ortiz had ridden the mare to victory twice last summer at Saratoga Race Course in turf sprints, but this marked his first trip aboard her in more than a year.

Bred by the University of Kentucky in the Bluegrass State, the 9-5 favorite easily towered over the field in terms of starts, wins and earnings, and she extended that margin by picking up her 15th career victory from 47 starts. Her bankroll now stands at $471,234. Not bad for a horse who originally sold for just $1,600 as a yearling.

Steven Bertrando and Paul Trapani’s My Sister Caro, a West Virginia-bred daughter of Bop trained by Clyde Martin, had the lead in the stretch and held on to finish a game second. Lady Coventry, running for Zoom and Fish Stable Inc. and trainer Ralph Nicks, rallied late to take third.

Rapid Transit • Shaft of Light
Monster Racing Stables’ Shaft of Light came into the $105,600 Rapid Transit with a history of winning races by open lengths, and the 5-year-old gelding continued that tradition with an impressive 6 ¾-length score in the seven-furlong contest for horses who had started for $16,000 or less.

Jockey Emisael Jaramillo hustled the Ontario-bred to the lead right out of the gate, and the Jorge Navarro-trained runner cruised home with a final clocking of 1:21.84 as the 7-5 betting choice.

“My horse had a hard campaign for the summer, and we backed off running him because of this race,” Navarro said. “He had some issues and we worked on him, and he came around. He was training really good in the morning.”

The gelding was bred by Sam-Son Farm, the storied Canadian operation that has bred and raced notable horses like Dance Smartly, Sky Classic and Smart Strike, the sire of the Rapid Transit winner.

Shaft of Light began his career in his native country but really didn’t flourish until this spring in South Florida, where he won a conditioned $12,500 claimer by 9 ¼ lengths and a $16,000 optional claimer by 11 ½ at Gulfstream. This win improved his record to 15-6-2-2 with earnings of $211,280.

“The main focus was to break well, and we had to be on the lead,” Jaramillo said. “That’s the way I wanted to ride him and the way the trainer told me to ride. The fractions were fast but he was going very easy and was very comfortable on the lead, and when I called on him at the eighth pole, he exploded. The faster the better.”

Flashy Jewel, who was claimed out of his last start for $25,000 by owner/trainer Eddie Kenneally, nearly earned back that purchase price with a second-place effort. Patrick Maguire’s Day of Fury, a Street Sense gelding conditioned by David Fawkes who was claimed in five consecutive starts this year, crossed the wire third.

Glass Slipper • Tormenta de Oro
The biggest upset on the Claiming Crown card came in the $110,000 Glass Slipper for fillies and mares who had started for $12,500 or less when Tormenta de Oro prevailed by a neck at odds of 44-1. Owner/trainer Patrick Marcondes claimed the Benny the Bull filly for just $6,250 in August at Gulfstream and earned a return of $60,500—nearly 10 times her claiming price—for the victory at one-mile timed in 1:38.53 under jockey Luca Panici.

This was easily the biggest career win for Marcondes, who moved to the United States with his family from Brazil in 1995 and interrupted his racing career to study for a civil engineering degree at Barry University near Miami. He always wanted to train Thoroughbreds, but in his first year as a trainer in 2015, he failed to find the winner’s circle in 15 starts. His record improved in 2016, but he entered the Claiming Crown with just five career wins from 65 starts.

“I worked for a few guys here and then stopped for college,” he said. “I came back and quit everything. I said, ‘This is going to be my profession.’ ”

Bred in the Sunshine State by the University of Florida Foundation, Tormenta de Oro has won seven of 33 starts with earnings of $145,345.

“I had a perfect trip; I could save ground, and this filly, the last time, ran huge against Esken Lady and Arella Princess, and they were both favorites in this race,” said Panici about the November 6 starter allowance at Gulfstream Park West that produced four starters in the Glass Slipper. “I was pretty confident. I was able to save ground and when she got between horses, she had more heart. She ran huge.”

Esken Lady, who was also taken for $6,250 over the summer at Gulfstream, just missed out on the victory for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. and owner Drawing Away Stable. Roger Moore’s Amaluna, trained by Aubrey Maragh, came from far back to take third.

Express • Defer Heaven
Trainer Jorge Navarro, jockey Emisael Jaramillo and owner Monster Racing Stables scored a Claiming Crown double as Defer Heaven captured the $108,900 Express exactly one hour after those connections teamed to win the Rapid Transit with Shaft of Light. This was another decisive win with a favorite, as Defer Heaven defeated by 1 ¾ lengths a field of horses who had started for $8,000 or less in their lifetimes. The Defer gelding covered six furlongs in 1:09.77.

“I tried to make the lead, but when I saw those other two horses hook up, I decided to just lay right behind them and try to come get them at the head of lane,” Jaramillo said. “He ran a great race.”

“[Emisael] knows him better than me, and he made the right move,” Navarro said. “I told him, ‘Send, send, send.’ I guess he couldn’t make the lead. He did make the right choice. Also, the horse loves this track. This is a cool horse all around; he’s got 19 wins now.”

Bred in Kentucky by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, the 6-year-old gelding won for the eighth time in 11 starts on the year while racing at Gulfstream, Monmouth Park, Delaware Park and Parx Racing. Defer Heaven was claimed for $16,000 at Keeneland Race Course in his last start of 2015, and he banked $195,690 in 2016 alone. While the gelding seems to win everywhere he goes, Gulfstream might be his favorite after picking up his sixth win there in seven trips to the post. All told, he has won 19 of 35 starts with earnings of $324,678.

Proper Freud, who came in off consecutive victories at Parx Racing and Laurel Park, grabbed second for trainer and owner David Jacobson. Bersalu Farm Inc.’s Express Jet, who was a maiden until this past July and had won two of his last three starts, rallied to finish third.

Iron Horse • Chepstow
The $110,000 Iron Horse lived up to its name as the two favorites, Chepstow and Goodtimehadbyall, with a combined 20 career wins, battled almost right from the start of the 1 1/16-mile contest for horses who had started for $8,000 or less at any time. At the wire, Chepstow and rider Edgard Zayas prevailed by a half-length in a time of 1:43.90.

“I hoped he would be on the lead,” said winning trainer Ralph Ziadie, who saddled the 6-year-old Harlington gelding for GLAB Racing Stable LLC. “When he was being pressed, I thought he was going to be beat. I was worried my horse was going to be tired when he straightened up for home, but he had a big heart and he ran super.”

Chepstow, who was bred by Eugene Melnyk and becomes the second Ontario-bred winner in this year’ s Claiming Crown, improved his lifetime bankroll to $205,284 with his eighth career win from 34 starts. He started his career at Woodbine in Canada but has raced exclusively in South Florida since the end of 2013. The gelding raced well mostly in sprints through the end of last year, but running exclusively in two-turn events this year he has had even greater success with four wins, a second and two thirds from nine starts.

“My horse, he loves to fight,” Zayas said. “Whenever he gets the lead, he’s just a different horse. You have to ride him and ride him. He looks like he’s always beat, but he always keeps trying. Whenever they get close to him, he’s a grinder. He just keeps going.”

Goodtimehadbyall, an earner of nearly $600,000 trained by Jorge Navarro and owned by Ten Strike Racing, finished a clear second after coming in off a victory at Monmouth Park. GTG Racing LLC and Intuition Racing’s Chiseled, trained by Fernando Abreu, got third.

Canterbury • Super Spender
Six years after his sire Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby (G1), Super Spender rallied to win a race that could not be any different than the 1 ¼-mile classic on the Churchill Downs dirt. The $107,800 Canterbury for horses that had run for a tag of $25,000 or less was over in just :56.54 when Super Spender and jockey Nik Juarez hit the wire a neck in front after running five furlongs on the turf at odds of 5-1.

“He’s kind of a funny horse because he runs like he’d like 5 ½ or 6 furlongs, but every time you stretch him out, he doesn’t run well,” said Jane Cibelli, who conditions the 4-year-old gelding for Goodwood Racing V. “So I think I’ll stop trying to reinvent the wheel and keep him at five-eighths. That’s what he wants to do.”

Super Spender, a $30,000 Keeneland September yearling bred by Three Lyons Racing LLC, has won six of 11 starts at five furlongs on the turf but is just one-for-nine in other situations. That still ads up to a solid record of 20-7-3-1 with earnings of $218,320. His most recent victory before the Canterbury came on Claiming Crown Preview Day at Gulfstream Park West, making him one of three horses to win a preview race and come back to win the big money.

“He responded so well coming out of his last race,” Juarez said. “We know he is a come-from-behind sprinter. Jane told me to let him do his thing and settle and make one run. Luckily, everything opened up in the lane. Jane told me to be patient until we turned for home and then to pop to that lead. I was waiting for the opportunity, and he just shot right through there.”

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Partly Mocha, from the Mike Maker barn, rallied from the back of the pack to run second as the 5-2 favorite. Divine Warrior, owned by Carl Hurst and trainer William “Buff” Bradley, took the show position.

Tiara • Marabea (GB)
The $125,000 Tiara at 1 1/16 miles on the grass for fillies and mares who had started for $25,000 or less had a distinct international flavor as a horse bred in Great Britain that broke her maiden in Italy ended up in the winner’s circle. Farfellow Farm Ltd.’s Marabea, trained by Maryland-based Lacey Gaudet, closed with a rush to win by a neck at odds of 6-1 with Jose Lezcano aboard.

“I was nervous,” said Gaudet after winning her first-ever race at Gulfstream. “She broke fine, but then they kind of came over on her. I thought she was going to be in trouble, but you’ve got to be confident with a rider like Lezcano. He put her in the spot where he knew she needed to be, and he figured out the right moment and got there in time. He did a great job.”

Gaudet’s first Gulfstream victory was even sweeter as she shared it with her sister Gabby, the on-air host for the Maryland Jockey Club who was also making her Gulfstream debut as an on-air host for the Championship meet.

Although Marabea, who was bred by Charley Knoll Partnership, showed promise as a 2-year-old with two easy wins and a Group 3 placing in Italy, she went out of form in the United States and dropped to the $25,000 claiming level this summer at Saratoga. But the 4-year-old found her form again at Laurel Park, where on November 6 she won a Claiming Crown Preview race for her first win in more than a year.

“I’m not sure what kind of filly she is,” said her trainer. “She’s a very, very nice filly. She clearly ran a race back to what she did last time. She could be any kind of filly.”

William Cubbedge’s Lobelia, conditioned by Carlo Vaccarezza, hit the board for the eighth time in 10 starts with a runner-up finish. Seeking Treasure, owned by Steven Frum and trained by Doug Matthews, finished third.

Emerald • Keystoneforvictory
Trainer Mike Maker and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey have made no secret of the fact that they are constantly on the lookout for potential Claiming Crown horses, and 14 times prior to the $125,000 Emerald they ended up in the winner’s circle with a Claiming Crown winner. But Keystoneforvictory was a little different in that he wasn’t a horse that the powerful connections claimed or one that was bred by the Ramseys, who are Eclipse Award winners as Outstanding Breeders and Owners. Instead, their 15th Claiming Crown win came via a $25,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase who subsequently ran for that same price in a Gulfstream maiden claiming race in January.

The 3-year-old colt by Shakespeare, who was bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm LLC, quickly developed into a stakes horse after that maiden win and took the $75,000 Forty Niner Stakes at Gulfstream in June. The Emerald, run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for horses who had started for $25,000 or less, included the added challenge for Keystoneforvictory of facing older horses for the first time, but the colt passed the test with a neck victory as the tepid 3-1 favorite under Jose Ortiz.

“Every race we win is important, obviously, but we love the Claiming Crown,” Maker said. “We love coming to it and love being part of it. I’m glad we didn’t get shut out again this year. I thought I had won a couple earlier today and it didn’t work out so I was due, I guess.”

The Ramseys and Maker have won at least one Claiming Crown race every year since 2008, except for 2011 and last year.

Bruce McCrea’s Flashy Chelsey, a Churchill Downs invader trained by Robert O’Connor II, surged to take second at odds of 23-1. Another horse coming from Churchill, Market Outlook, finished third for owner Hot Scot Stable and trainer Gary Contessa.

Jewel • Royal Posse
The words “claiming horse” and “millionaire” normally do not go together, unless you are talking about Royal Posse, who won the $190,000 Jewel for the second consecutive year and pushed his bankroll into seven-figure territory. Of course, it could be argued that the New York-bred son of Posse is not the same horse taken for $20,000 out of a May 2015 race at Belmont Park, and he’s unlikely to see the claiming ranks again anytime soon.

Since being claimed, the gelding has turned into a bonafide star with a total of six stakes wins, including three straight coming into this renewal of the Claiming Crown. He benefited from his status as a New York-bred, with four of those six stakes wins coming against state-bred foes, headlined by the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont. After the Rudy Rodriguez trainee crossed the finish line a half-length in front at Gulfstream as the 7-10 favorite in the Jewel, his earnings stood at $1,011,245 with a record of 34-11-10-0. He covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.84 under Luis Saez. Racing’s newest millionaire was bred by Richard Troncone and Richard Troncone Jr.

“We claimed him at the right time,” said Rodriguez, who trains the 5-year-old for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith. “When we got him, he was a pretty sound horse. He’s like an ATM. You put him in [a race], and he gives it to you. You don’t have to put much back, just keep him happy.”

The outcome of the Jewel, however, looked far from certain on the far turn as the favorite still had plenty of work to do from fifth place.

“I wasn’t worried,” Rodriguez said. “I know when he’s outside, he’s a grinder. Luis said as soon as he took him outside, he started grinding and grinding. That’s what he does most of the time.”

A three-peat in the Jewel is highly improbable for Royal Posse, as he would have to be entered again for a tag of $35,000 or less to become eligible to defend his title.

Diamond Bachelor, a two-time stakes winner on the Gulfstream turf for Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Robert Trussell and co-owner/trainer Patrick Biacone, put in a valiant effort but came up just short of pulling off a 38-1 upset. John Jones, a winner of four straight races including a Claiming Crown Preview race at Laurel Park, took third for owner Matthew Schera and trainer Lacey Gaudet.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Important Message to All Horsemen About Our Industry's Workforce

To all trainers, horse owners and farm owners/managers:

On Monday, we need to light up the phone lines to Congress.

We must rally our forces to make sure that Congress re-instates the Returning Worker Exemption that allows our temporary migrant work force to be in the U.S. legally for 10 months a year, return to their home country for two and then come back to work at our racetracks, training facilities and farms. It’s called an H-2B visa. We can’t overemphasize that those holding H-2B visas are in the country legally. As we know, these are jobs that otherwise would be hard to fill.

Finding seasonal labor to take care of our horses will become a nightmare without these men and women (and it’s not just racing impacted, but many small businesses). Time is of the essence as Congress is expected to vote on this in a matter of days.

Here’s how you can help:
On Monday, when their offices will be open, call Sen. Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541 and Rep. Hal Rogers at (202)225-4601 in Washington, D.C. Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues. Tell them Congress must understand that a failure to reinstate the H-2B returning worker exemption before March of next year will hurt the horse racing industry and will result in the loss of jobs in Kentucky and around the country.

In the meantime, tweet #saveH2B to @SenateMajLdr and @RepHalRogers and others in Congress with a message on the lines of “Include returning worker exemption to H-2B program in CR – Kentucky jobs are at stake!” Another to tag is @HouseAppropsGOP,

You can learn more following @H2Bworkforce, which stresses that H2B protects American workers by ensuring small and seasonal employers have access to legal temporary workers during peak times.

Equine Equipment breaks ground: Sponsors track-crew internships at Keeneland, Mahoning Valley

 Mahoning Valley track superintendent R. J. Moore with his track crew 
Innovative Equine Marketing, which provides manufacturer discounts to the horse world through its Equine Equipment program, is launching America’s first internships for college students interested in the field of race-track maintenance and getting on course to being a track superintendent.

Keeneland Association in Lexington, Ky., and Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown, Ohio, have been awarded the first Equine Equipment Track Internship scholarships for 2017. Seed money for the internships will be provided by Equine Equipment, which gets facilities and active participants in the horse industry leading discounts through local dealers on tractors, mowers and paint with best-selling brands such as Toro, Massey Ferguson, Exmark, FarmPaint and Challenger.

“This is just my idea to give back to the industry and to support the racing facilities and the tracks that support me,” said Innovative Equine Marketing founder Steve Andersen, a life-long racing enthusiast. “Maybe a University of Kentucky ‘ag' student doesn’t want to work in soybeans, corn and tobacco. But he likes dirt, likes equipment and likes being outside. We want to give them the opportunity to see the wonderful world of being a track superintendent.”

Andersen is working with the University of Kentucky and Youngstown State University to provide candidates for the internships at Keeneland and Mahoning Valley. Keeneland track superintendent Javier Barajas and Mahoning Valley track superintendent R.J. Moore will then pick the recipients.

“Keeneland is excited to be able to offer this internship to introduce college students to race-track maintenance and encourage them to pursue a career as a track superintendent,” Barajas said. “With a dirt track, turf course and all-weather training track at Keeneland, a student will receive a unique opportunity to learn about the maintenance of three different surfaces.”

Mark Loewe, vice president for racing operations at Mahoning Valley, applauded a program that will give smart and motivated students the opportunity to learn under the direction of two of the best track superintendents in the business.

“It’s a great idea. As an industry I think we should be looking at more internships for other positions,” Loewe said. “Working race tracks is a science, certainly not something that anybody can walk in off the street and do. It’s a great idea if we can get some young people interested in it. And it’s a very interesting profession, to say the least.”

Other tracks can apply for a 2018 Equine Equipment Track Internship by contacting Andersen at steve@equineequipment.com or (877) 905-0004, as well as by seeing him and Equine Equipment’s display at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program’s Dec. 5-7 Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming at Tucson’s Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

“These guys are the hardest-working guys on the track,” Andersen said of track superintendents. “There are many of them working the track all night long so it doesn’t freeze. It’s not a question of ‘What time are you coming home?’ It’s ‘Are you coming home tonight?’ They’re often expected to hold equipment together with fishing line, duct tape and gum and hope it holds up because they’re not going to get the budget to do or buy more. And sometimes it’s ‘Don’t spend too much on the gum.’

“It’s a tough business, and track supers have to fight to get the equipment they need and get the very best value and take care of it. They have to appease the horsemen and appease management.”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It Behooves Me Sets Sights on Claiming Crown Rapid Transit

Four weeks after paying immediate dividends by winning first time out for his new connections, T D C B E Stable’s It Behooves Me takes aim at a bigger prize in Saturday’s $125,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit at Gulfstream Park.

The seven-furlong Rapid Transit and $110,000 Express at six furlongs are two of nine stakes on the $1.11 million Claiming Crown Day program that kicks off Gulfstream’s 2016-17 Championship Meet. This is the fifth straight year in South Florida for the Claiming Crown, created in 1999 to honor the blue-collar horses that are the foundation of the racing industry nationwide.

It Behooves Me had run exclusively on the West Coast when he was claimed for $16,000 out of a runner-up finish Sept. 26 at Los Alamitos. Sent to Maryland-based trainer Kieron Magee, the gelded 4-year-old son of Grade 1 Bluegrass Cat picked up $22,800 for his victory in the Rapid Transit Preview Nov. 6 at Laurel Park, earning an all-expenses-paid trip to South Florida.

“He’s good. We’re excited. We’re ready to hopefully make some money,” Magee said. “He ran so big last time that we figured, why not give it a shot. He does everything right. He’s a cool horse to be around.”

It Behooves Me was one of two horses Magee inherited after being claimed by the owner in California. The other, Nicaradalic Rocks, won the Maryland Million Sprint in October.

“I had told the owner this horse could be better than that one,” Magee said. “I told him he still has his a-other-than condition so we can go to Florida and then we can try that when we get back.”

Ridden by Julian Pimentel, It Behooves Me was unhurried in the early stages last time out before sweeping by the field with a five-wide move around the turn and going on to win by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:23.72 for seven furlongs.

“He came from way back and the rider never even hit him. Julian said he did it all by himself. He never even asked him,” Magee said. “There was plenty of speed in there so we thought to just let them go and sit off it and see what happens. I thought he’d probably be better going a little further but at the three-eighths pole he looked like a winner.”

Antonio Gallardo will ride It Behooves Me from Post 9 in a field of 11.

Shaft of Light, second in the Mr. Prospector June 26 at Monmouth Park, returns to the races for the Rapid Transit after finishing fifth as the favorite in a third-level optional claiming allowance Sept. 10 at Parx. Prior to that, he rolled by 8 ¾ lengths over the same track in a second-level event.

“He’s a super nice horse. I think he’s a stakes horse,” trainer Jorge Navarro said. “The last race he took back, and he doesn’t want to sit back there. He wants to be on the lead. He’s working really, really good. Last week he worked in 58 [seconds] and change and galloped out in 1:11. He’s ready. He’s a nice horse.”

Rounding out the field are Dancin in the Heat, Day of Fury, Fire Mission, Flashy Jewel, Marrakech, Norman’s Hero, Prudhoe Bay, Sharp Art and Tenango.

Stakes Winner Defer Heaven Aims for New Streak in $110,000 Express

Monster Racing Stables’ Defer Heaven, who lost for the first time in three races last time out, will attempt to regain his winning form in the $110,000 Express for horses that have run for a claiming price of $8,000 or less lifetime.

A 6-year-old Defer gelding, Defer Heaven returns to Gulfstream where he has won five of six career starts, the only loss coming in the seven-furlong Sir Shackleton in April. On Feb. 15 he romped to a front-running 8 ¼-length victory in the seven-furlong Trust Buster.

“I think he’s better going seven-eighths,” Navarro said. “Going three-quarters, he’s not that fast out of the gate. Second quarter, he’s pretty fast. The longer he goes, the better he gets. I don’t think coming out of the gate he’s got that speed.”

Overall Defer Heaven owns 18 wins from 34 career starts, and he is 11-for-20 lifetime at six furlongs. In his most recent start, he led early but tired to finish sixth of seven in a third-level optional claiming allowance Sept. 10 at Parx

“The race at Parx, coming from a fast track at Monmouth Park, the track was real deep and he didn’t get over it. He had a good summer, so we backed off and gave him a break,” Navarro said. “He’s a pretty cool, neat horse to be around. He loves Gulfstream Park. He likes the fast tracks.”

David Jacobson-owned and trained Proper Freud earned automatic entry to Express with his half-length victory Nov. 6 at Laurel, where he came four wide down the stretch after running in mid-pack and got up in time, hitting the wire in 1:10.97. It marked the second straight win for the 5-year-old son of 2005 Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) winner Afleet Alex, both since being claimed for $40,000 Aug. 24.

Also entered are Alfredo Romana, Blings Express, Capital City, Como Se Llama, Divine Ambition, Express Jet, Great Lou, J B Quick, Li’l Meatball, stakes-placed Mitos Y Leyendas, Running Cat and Skippy Is Back.

Claimed for $12,500 out of his last start Nov. 4 at Aqueduct, Great Lou is making his first start for owner Ken Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker. Ramsey and Maker have a record 14 wins apiece in the Claiming Crown.

John Jones Puts Win Streak on the Line in Saturday's Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulstream Park

The claiming of John Jones couldn’t have worked out more perfectly for trainer Lacey Gaudet and owner Matthew Schera.

The 4-year-old gelding has been undefeated since being claimed for $25,000 at Laurel Park July 17 and will bring a four-race winning streak into Saturday’s $200,000 Jewel at Gulfstream Park on the 11-race Opening Day program of the 2016-2017 Championship Meet.

John Jones is scheduled to clash with defending champion Royal Posse in the 1 1/8-mile centerpiece of the nine-race $1.1 million Claiming Crown.

Gaudet spotted potential in the son of Smarty Jones prior to his first start in a $25,000 claiming race at Laurel June 29, but her enthusiasm for the winner of 3 of 14 start wasn’t enough to prompt any of her clients to take the plunge into the claiming box.

“When John Jones first ran for $25,000, I called some of my Maryland-based owners about him, because he’s a Maryland-bred. It’s a huge incentive to run for the extra 30-percent. Nobody was really game on wanting to claim him,” Gaudet said. “They ran him back for $25,000 and I said, ‘We really want to get him in the barn.’”

New client Matthew Schera gave Gaudet the go-ahead on July 17, when he finished fourth after pressing the pace in a mile race on the main track.

“The main goal was: here’s a Maryland-bred and there’s a Maryland-bred stakes coming up. His breeding shows he might be a little better on the grass, so let’s go with that angle,” the Maryland-based trainer said. “We had a plan with him. Plans usually don’t work out that well.”

Although he had come up empty in two previous starts on grass, John Jones made an instant return on his new connections’ investment by capturing the $75,000 Mr. Diz Stakes over the Laurel turf course, defeating the venerable Ben’s Cat, who finished third. John Jones scored by a front-running victory by two lengths at 43-1.

“It wasn’t his best distance, but we really wanted to get him on the grass. He was 40-1. It wasn’t until 10:30 or 11 o’clock the day of the race that we said, ‘Let’s go for it. At least we’ll see if he likes the grass. If not, we won’t try it again,’” Gaudet said. “He was a rocket out of there. He surprised us all running that big going three-quarters on the grass.”

Although he won on turf, Gaudet ran John Jones on dirt in his three subsequent starts, each resulting in victory.

“I don’t think it was necessarily a fluke that he got the race that he did going three-quarters on the grass, but his numbers and past performance did show that he really liked to go a mile on dirt,” she said. “He showed us that we really did the right thing.”

In his most recent victory in the “Win & You’re In’ Jewel Preview at Laurel Park, John Jones won an automatic berth in the Jewel and free shipping to Gulfstream Park while stretching out to 1 1/8 miles to score by 4 ¾ lengths..

“He did a lot of things in that mile-and-an-eighth race. It was a bit slower than he would have wanted but he rated great going into the first turn. It’s something he’ll probably have to do here. There will be more speed down here. He laid off them and then he just overtook the field,” said Gaudet, who will also saddle Marabea for a start in the $110,000 Glass Slipper and Music Critik in the $125,000 Emerald after both horses also won ‘Win & You’re In’  races at Laurel.

Maryland-based Luis Garcia, who has been aboard all four of his victories, has the return mount for John Jones’ clash with defending champion Royal Posse, who scored an impressive 2 ½ -length victory last year.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, Royal Posse was claimed on May 31, 2015 and has gone on to win seven races, including six stakes, and finish second six times in 13 starts for New York-based trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

“He’s been very, very consistent. I’m very blessed having him around. He’s as game as they come and he does everything right. He’s had a very good season,” Rodriguez said. “It’s hard to describe how he’s been for us. He’s been a horse come true.

“He’s been one of the best horses in the barn for a long time. He’s a nice horse to be around. He’s a very good horse. We’re just happy to be in the position to go back to Gulfstream.”

The 5-year-old gelded son of Posse enters the Jewel with three straight New York-bred stakes scores, including a 3 ½-length victory in the $300,000 Empire Classic at Belmont last time out.

Luis Saez is slated to ride Royal Posse for the first time in the Jewel, which attracted nine entries Wednesday.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have a record 14 Claiming Crown victories to their credit, are slated to be represented by two Michael Maker-trained runners, Bigger Picture and Homespun Hero, in the Jewel.

Claimed for $32,000 in November 2015, Bigger Picture has won four of seven turf starts this season, including a triumph in the Red Smith Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct Nov. 12. The son of Badge of Silver has raced four times on an ‘off’ main track during his career, winning once. Homespun Hero, claimed for $50,000 three starts back, has a victory in a $50,000 claiming race and a third-place allowance effort in two races for his new connections. Jose Ortiz will ride Bigger Picture, while Julien Leparoux.has the mount aboard Homespun Hero.

Like Bigger Picture, the Patrick Biancone-trained Diamond Bachelor is also slated to run in the Jewel after recent success on grass. Owned by Biancone, Diamond 100 Racing Club and Robert Trussell, the 5-year-old son of War Front is coming off back-to-back scores in the Mr. Steele and The Vid over the Gulfstream turf.

“It’s probably a bit of a gamble to run him on the dirt, but it’s a big race,” Biancone said. “We’ll try to do the best we can.”

Lane Luzzi has the return mount aboard Diamond Bachelor, who has one victory in three wet-track starts on dirt.

Enders Cat, Mr. Kisses, My Point Exactly and We’re All Set round out the field for the Jewel, and event for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower at least once in their careers..
         
Goodtimehadbyall Back Again to Stake Claim in $110,000 Iron Horse  

Ten Strike Racing’s Goodtimehadbyall was entered for the $110,000 Iron Horse Wednesday for an attempt to recapture past Claiming Crown glory in Saturday’s nine-race $1.1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.

The son of Quiet American captured the 2013 Rapid Transit before finishing second in the Rapid Transit for trainer Jorge Navarro. The 8-year-old gelding, who was claimed away for $62,500 out of a Gulfstream optional claiming allowance on Feb. 25, 2015, missed last year’s Claiming Crown.

After notching one win in 16 starts since the claim, Goodtimehadbyall returned to Navarro’s barn through the claiming box at Parx in June and is set for a return to the Claiming Crown in the Iron Horse, a 1 1/16-mile event for horses that have started for a claiming price of $8,000 or lower at least once during their careers.
“He won (the seven-furlong Rapid Transit) the first time and then came back and ran second, and now he’s back at it again,” Navarro said. “I lost him for $62,500 two years ago. I took him back at Parx for $5,000, and since I’ve had him he’s been doing good. He’s a cool horse to have around. He’s an 8-year-old; he’s won a bunch of races; and you know what, he’s pretty happy.”

Goodtimehadbyall finished second in three straight photo finishes before breaking through with a dominating 6 ½-length starter allowance victory at 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth Park.

“He’s always given me his all. We’re looking to do the right thing with him. The owner took him back and told me straight out, ‘Jorge, if you think he’s not going to make it as a racehorse, let’s find him a home,’” Navarro said. “So I claimed him back. He was pretty clean and he’s training really, really, really good. I think he’s going to be tough. He loves Gulfstream Park, too, so we’ll see.”

Jose Ortiz has the mount aboard Goodtimehadbyall, who drew the outside post in a field of 14 entered Wednesday.

Racetrack Romance, owned by Acclaimed Racing Stable and Jagger Inc., rates as the horse to beat in the Iron Horse looking to his photo-finish win over Goodtimehadbyall in a Monmouth starter allowance Aug. 28. The Jamie Ness-trained gelding, who was claimed for $6,250 at Gulfstream last February, has won five of his last six starts for trainer Jamie Ness.

Paco Lopez has the mount aboard Racetrack Romance, who drew post No. 12.

Cause I’m Alex, Cheech Thunder, No Brakes, Chiseled, Boca Scuttlebutt, Legacy Danseur, Papa Pig, Rich Daddy, Toh’s Grey Cat and Valid Concept round out the field.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TOBA Ownership Seminar to be Part of Claiming Crown Weekend at Gulfstream Park

This weekend, Saturday, December 3, is opening weekend of the Gulfstream Park Championship meet. It is also Claiming Crown weekend and TOBA’s Ownership Seminar.

The TOBA Thoroughbred Ownership Seminar includes  breakfast at 8 a.m. during morning workouts to begin the conference. Following that, attendees will spend time with industry professionals as they discuss racing business topics. Afterwards, there will be a special guest handicapper and attendees will enjoy the races from the presidential suite! All guests are welcome. You are invited at the member rate of $90 – which includes all of your materials, meals, seating, etc.

Speakers include:
Aly Strainer - TOBA properties, workouts, host
Christina Bossinakis (former TVG analyst) - Owner’s Concierge program
Sandy Levine (Drawing Away Stable) - claiming, syndication, ownership
Kip Elser (Kirkwood Stables) - buying/selling, breaking/training
Kathleen O’Connell (leading Florida trainer) - on track horses – owner/trainer relationships
Laura D’Angelo (Dinsmore) - legalities, partnerships, syndications
Jen Shah (Dean Dorton Allen Ford) - tax tips, business classification, filing
Erin Crady (Thoroughbred Charities of America) - exit strategy, second careers

For more information and to register, go to https://toba.org/programs/clinic-registration/.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Claiming Crown Receives 279 Nominations for December 3 Running at Gulfstream Park

The 18th running of the $1.1 Claiming Crown, to be hosted by Gulfstream Park for the fifth consecutive year, received 279 nominations for the nine-race event that will highlight the opening of the Championship Meet on Saturday, Dec. 3.

"We appreciate the participation of all the horsemen and we're delighted to be hosting this great event for a fifth consecutive year," said P.J. Campo,  Gulfstream's General Manager and The Stronach Group's Vice President of Racing. "The Claiming Crown is the first of several major events we will play host to at Gulfstream this winter, including the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, $1 million Florida Derby, the Eclipse Awards and Sunshine Millions. The Claiming Crown is a great way for everyone in Thoroughbred racing to kick off the Championship Meet."

The inaugural Claiming Crown was held in suburban Minneapolis at Canterbury Park in 1999. The Claiming Crown had also been held previously at Parx, Fair Grounds and Ellis Park. The event was started to reward the blue-collar horses that provide the backbone of day-to-day racing programs. Total handle for the Claiming Crown the past two seasons at Gulfstream has topped $10 million.

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record 14 Claiming Crown events, have 10 horses nominated including Homespun Hero in the $200,000 Jewel and Keystoneforvictory, Xaverian and Creaky Cricket in the $125,000 Emerald.

Although the Ramseys failed to own a Claiming Crown winner last year, they bred Tiara Stakes winner Quiet Kitten.

Michael Dubb has six horses nominated to the Claiming Crown including Royal Posse, who will attempt to defend his title in the Jewel while coming into the race off a victory in Belmont's $300,000 Empire Classic.

Loooch Racing Stables, winner of last year's Glass Slipper with Moonshine Promise and the Iron Horse with Run With Bulls, nominated Moonshine Promise for the Glass Slipper

Those nominated to the 1 1/8 mile Jewel along with Royal Posse include Red Smith Handicap (G3) winner Bigger Picture, Greenwood Cup (G3) runner-up Hawaakom, Diamond Bachelor, a winner this summer of two consecutive stakes at Gulfstream, and John Jones, a winner of four consecutive races at Laurel including a "Win & You're In" on Nov. 6.

Fifty horses were nominated for the Emerald. Along with stakes winners Xaverian, Keystoneforvictory and Aire Bueno, Thinkinquality, a winner of six consecutive races earlier this year, has been nominated.

Turf Monster (G3) winner Doctor J Dub and Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint winner Successful Native were nominated to the Canterbury at five furlongs on the turf. Galton, third in Keeneland's Woodford (G3), was cross-entered in both the Canterbury and Emerald.

The Claiming Crown is a joint venture between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

John Jones Sparkles Again in $60,000 Claiming Crown Jewel on a Big Day for Trainer Lacey Gaudet at Laurel Park

Matt Schera’s John Jones cruised to the lead around the far turn, took command at the top of the stretch and, with one light tap from the whip of jockey Luis Garcia, powered down the stretch to his fourth consecutive victory in Sunday’s $60,000 Jewel on Claiming Crown Preview Day at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Jewel was the richest of nine preview races designed to mirror the 18th running of the $1.11 million Claiming Crown that kicks off the 2016-17 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park on Opening Day Saturday, Dec. 3. All nine winners earned an automatic berth to the Claiming Crown and free shipping to Gulfstream.

A 4-year-old Smarty Jones gelding, John Jones ($3.20) kept his perfect record intact since being claimed by trainer Lacey Gaudet for $25,000 July 17 at Laurel. He was trying two turns for the first time after a pair decisive one-turn mile dirt wins and a victory in the Mister Diz Stakes, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint, over 26-time stakes winner Ben’s Cat.

“We were a little afraid about stretching him out to the mile and an eighth. It’s always been a concern, and he just looked like he thrived going two turns today. It didn’t look like it was a problem for him at all,” Gaudet said. “It’s just kind of become a process of seeing how good he can be. You’d always rather have a dirt horse than a turf horse, so I think we lucked out that he’s just as good on the dirt.”

John Jones ran the distance in 1:40.73 over a fast main track and gave Gaudet her third victory of the day following mild upsets in the $50,000 Tiara with Marabea and the $50,000 Emerald with Music Critik.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I think it’s a sign that somebody wants me down in Florida for the winter.”

A front-running winner of his last start who has done his best running on the lead, John Jones was content to let Banner Bill dictate the tempo from his rail post, taking the field through an opening quarter-mile of 24.89 seconds and a half in 49. Garcia had John Jones out in the clear three wide, sailing past the pacesetter without resistance midway around the turn and opened up on his rivals after straightening for home.

“I was a little worried about the speed on the inside but I know what kind of horse I have and Lacey is doing a great job with him,” Garcia said. “My plan was to just break, let the speed go and just sit right off. He relaxed well and he was there. He was there all the way and he’s a neat kind of horse. He’s a real nice horse.”

John Jones hit the wire 4 ¾ lengths ahead of Dynamic Strike in second. It was another 2 ¼ lengths back to Monkey’s Medal in third, with Golden Glint and Banner Bill completing the order of finish. U.S.S. Boxer was pulled up entering the backstretch.

David Jacobson-owned and trained even-money favorite Proper Freud ($4.20) got Sunday’s program off to a thrilling start, swinging wide for a steady drive down the stretch to reel in 19-1 Risky Guy and win the $40,000 Express.

The 5-year-old son of Afleet Alex won for the second time in as many starts since being claimed for $40,000 out of a runner-up finish Aug. 24 at Saratoga. Proper Freud ran six furlongs in 1:10.97 over a fast main track with Risky Guy second and pacesetter Alfredo Romana third.

Removing blinkers and adding Maryland’s leading rider Trevor McCarthy proved to be a winning combination for Jeremiah Kane’s A Place to Shine ($7.20) in the $40,000 Glass Slipper. The 3-year-old Tale of Ekati filly saved ground on the rail into mid-stretch, shifted three wide past the eighth pole and wore down 6-5 favorite Sweet On Smokey for a half-length victory.

A narrow second three starts back in the Delaware Oaks (G3) July 9, A Place to Shine was claimed for $12,500 March 17 at Gulfstream Park by trainer Kathy Mongeon. He hit the wire in 1:38.55 on the main track followed by Sweet On Smokey and Chapel of Chimes, who had her win streak snapped at three races.

English-bred Marabea ($15.80), Group 3-placed in Italy two years ago, was unhurried early racing on the inside before splitting horses once straightened for home to run down front-running favorite Seeking Treasure and capture the $50,000 Tiara by a length by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:41.15 over a firm Bowl Game Turf Course.

It was the first start for the 4-year-old filly since being claimed for $25,000 by trainer Lacey Gaudet for Farfellow Farm Ltd. Sept. 2 at Saratoga. She had been off the board in two stakes tries last year after coming to the U.S. Winner of the Dahlia Stakes April 16 at Laurel, Seeking Treasure held second ahead of Pink Elephant.

Winning Move Stable’s Spectacular Me ($4.60), confidently handled by jockey Alex Cintron in his first time aboard, stalked the early leaders until taking over at the top of the stretch and drawing away under a hand ride in the $40,000 Distaff Dash.

Making her Laurel debut, the 6-year-old Catienus mare covered 5 ½ furlongs on a firm Exceller Turf Course in 1:02.48 for her 14th career victory from 46 starts. Dancing Lucy was outrun after making a late bid from outside Post 13 but finished second, with Shaboom third.

T D C B E Stable’s It Behooves Me ($10) settled in behind the first flight of horses and then came charging through an opening down the middle of the stretch to draw clear and take the $40,000 Rapid Transit, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of a fierce duel for second won by Mack the Knife, a nose in front of Fire Mission.

It Behooves Me, a gelded 4-year-old son of Bluegrass Cat, ran seven furlongs in 1:23.72. He had raced primarily in California, including his previous 10 starts, before being claimed for $16,000 by trainer Kieron Magee out of a runner-up finish in his previous effort Sept. 25 at Los Alamitos.

Newport Stables’ American Sailor ($15.80) broke running from Post 8, sizzled through opening fractions of 21.59 seconds for a quarter-mile and 43.83 for the half, and flirted with a track record winning the $40,000 Canterbury in impressive fashion.

Under jockey Horacio Karamanos, his second winner of the day, the 4-year-old City Zip ridgling hit the wire in 1:01.43, just two-fifths of a second off the Bowl Game course record of 1:01 set by Coastal Sea July 24. Grand Old Game held off Laurel Dash runner-up Triple Burner by a neck for second.

Music Critik ($21.20) gave Farfellow Farm its second win of the day in the Emerald, slipping through a seam on the inside of pacesetter Heiko at the top of the lane and outfinishing the stakes winner for his second consecutive victory.

The winning time for 1 1/16 miles over the Exceller layout was 1:40.73 for Music Critik, a 6-year-old Unbridled’s Song gelding who is now 2-for-4 lifetime on the grass. Heiko held on for second by three-quarters of a length over late-running My Enigma.

“He ran a helluva race. We liked this horse. He’s really become good since he’s gotten on the turf and he ran so nice the other day and came out of it great, we just decided it’s here we might as well go for it,” Gaudet said. “He surprised me. This was a lot to ask of him today.”

Co-owned and trained by Mary Eppler, Double Whammy ($5.20) wrapped up the day’s action by surging to the lead with less than two furlongs to run and spurting away in the $40,000 Iron Horse, giving Karamanos his third win of the day.

Unraced following a third-place effort over a sloppy track in an open allowance Aug. 1 at Penn National, Double Whammy ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.93. Twocubanbrothersu, favored at 2-1 off three consecutive wins but making just his second start since March, was second over 11-year-old No Brakes, who closed strongly from dead last to pick up third.

This will mark the fifth consecutive year the Claiming Crown will be contested at Gulfstream. Created in 1999 to honor the blue-collar horses that are the foundation of the racing industry nationwide, the Claiming Crown historically has drawn entries from all parts of North America and from many of the country's leading stables.

The Claiming Crown is a “joint venture” between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country.

Class and Cash, Super Spender Come Home Winners on Claiming Crown Preview Day at Gulfstream Park West

Gulfstream Park West's Claiming Crown Preview Day Sunday was to showcase horses who could run Dec 3 on Opening Day of Gulfstream's Championship Meet in the $1.11 million Claiming Crown.

One horse who could be tough to beat come Opening Day is Edward Short's Class and Cash, who won the $50,000 Al's Dearly Bred gate-to-wire by three-quarters of a length while covering a firm 1 1/16 mile course in 1:44.48.

It was Class and Cash's seventh consecutive top two finish and fourth win in his last six starts. Claimed by trainer Jane Cibelli in March at Gulfstream, Clash and Cash has won at Gulfstream West, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico and Parx. The son of Exchange Rate has also finished second at Laurel and Monmouth.

"They told me to let him break away and get comfortable," jockey Nik Juarez said. "If you look at the Form, it looked like we'd find ourselves on the lead. That's where he put himself and that was it. We had the best horse in the race."

The stakes winner Aire Bueno, who checked in second, is another consistent runner who could be headed to the Claiming Crown. Trained by Chuck Simon, Aire Bueno has nine consecutive top three finishes.

Cibelli and Juarez would team up again later  in the afternoon to win the $50,000 Stage Player with Super Spender, who drove past Zeus Odin inside the final sixteenth to win the five furlong turf event by three lengths while covering the distance in :57.12. Favored Doctor J Dub, winner last time out of the Turf Monster (G3), was third.

In the $50,000 Funny Woman over a five-furlong turf course, Vicine Racing's Belladini wore down the pacesetter Summer Rae in deep strength to win by a neck while covering the distance in :57.54. Trained by Milt Wolfson, Belladini has won two of her last three races at the distance.

Jose Pinchin's Defying Gravity was shooting for her seventh consecutive victory in the $30,000 Tens Holy Spirit, but it was William Cubbedge's Lobelia who won the 7 1/2-furlong event, covering the course in 1:32.59 under jockey Luca Panici while winning by three-quarters of a length over Stormin Charlotte. Defying Gravity was third.

Drawing Away Stable's Esken Lady put away the 3-5 favorite Concealedwithakiss at the head of the stretch and held off Arella Princess and Tormento de Oro down the stretch to win the $30,000 You're a Lady. Ridden by Edgard Zayas and trained by Saffie Joseph, Esken Lady covered the mile in 1:39.71. Esken Lady, a 3-year-old filly who has won three of her last four, was a length better than Tormento de Oro.

Bailey Livestock LLC's Metaphorically drove past Forall the Marbles down the stretch under jockey Jose Garcia to win the P.D. Lucky by a neck. A 4-year-old son of A.P. Warrior trained by Steve Towne, Metaphorically covered the 7 1/2-furlong course in 1:31.19.

GLAB Racing Stable's Chepstow, a 6-year-old son of Harlington, went to the front and never looked back under Zayas to win the $30,000 Gingerboy. Chepstow won by a half length while covering a fast track at 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.63.

Bersalu Farm's Express Jet drove past Blings Express at the eighth pole and went on to win the $30,000 Talknow, Trained by Bernardo Campos and ridden by Miguel Vasquez, Express Jet beat Blings Express by 2 1/4 lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:09.56.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Owner Conference Concludes with Enthusiastic Reviews from Attendees, Sponsors

Hollywood Goes to the Races session with  Nick Clooney, Laura Hillenbrand, and Chris McCarron (OwnerView / Daniel Sigal)
The third Thoroughbred Owner Conference, co-hosted by OwnerView and BloodHorse and sponsored by Breeders’ Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association, and The Stronach Group, concluded today with presentations on ownership, veterinary issues, equine retirement programs, and a keynote address delivered by Thoroughbred owner and NBC racing analyst Eddie Olczyk.

Approximately 250 people attended the three-day event, including both longtime horse owners and new or prospective owners. Future editions of the conference are planned for the week leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Championships and the 2017 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

Like its predecessors, this edition of the owner conference featured panel discussions with prominent owners, trainers, jockeys, and other personalities from the racing industry who shared insights and experiences about their involvement with the sport.

In the keynote address Wednesday afternoon, Olczyk described his passion for Thoroughbred racing.

“I love horse racing and I love being an owner,” he said. “If you’re a new owner, you’re getting into a great game.”

Olczyk emphasized that his interest in the sport revolves around the people on the backstretch. “The hotwalkers, trainers, grooms, vets, exercise riders, and jockeys are the people that make this sport go,” he said.

Former NYRA announcer Tom Durkin once again served as the master of ceremonies, and television journalist Nick Clooney hosted a “Hollywood Goes to the Races” segment on Tuesday afternoon featuring author Laura Hillenbrand, the author of “Seabiscuit: An American Legend.”

“Keeneland has maintained a commitment to Thoroughbred owner development in a variety of ways over a long period of time, and we believe that these conferences provide potential owners with a unique opportunity to learn about the sport from people who have been deeply involved in it,” said Bill Thomason, president and chief executive officer of Keeneland Association. “This week’s conference was extremely educational and informative not only for newcomers but for anyone attending it, and Keeneland was proud to be a presenting sponsor once again.”

“The Stronach Group is always looking for innovative ways to bring new people to our sport and our sponsorship of this conference is just another example of that,” said Mike Rogers, president of The Stronach Group’s Racing and Gaming Division. “It has been especially exciting to welcome owners and prospective owners to our beautiful facility here at Santa Anita Park in the day’s leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.”

Peter R. Bradley III, a longtime Lexington, Ky.-based Thoroughbred owner, adviser and syndicate manager, said the Thoroughbred owner conference “is the best vehicle to educate new owners that we’ve ever had. The panelists don’t sugarcoat anything: they talk about the cost, the excitement you feel as an owner and all the highs and the lows. The conference gives people with an interest in the sport a good underpinning of what they are getting into.”

Paul Piergross, a self-described “newbie” owner from Delran, N.J., who participates in the West Point Thoroughbreds partnerships, attended the Thoroughbred Owner Conference for the first time and said it was educational.

“I found it to be very informative and I was impressed by how honest many of the panelists were about the investment opportunities,” he said. “None of them made this out to be a get-rich-quick scheme. I thought the variety of panelists and perspectives were interesting, and it’s hard to beat a location like Santa Anita.”

A video replay of all panels at the conference will be available at ownerview.com within the next week.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

LNJ Foxwoods to Receive 2016 New Owner of the Year Award at Thoroughbred Owner Conference

L-R: Olga Aguilar, Jaime Roth, Larry Roth, Nanci Roth, and Flavien Prat.
OwnerView announced today that the Long Island-based LNJ Foxwoods stable owned by Larry, Nanci, and Jaime Roth has been chosen as the 2016 New Owner of the Year, which honors a new Thoroughbred owner who has been successful in the sport and has had a positive impact on the industry.

The award will be presented during the third Thoroughbred Owner Conference, scheduled for Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

The Roths campaigned stakes winners Constellation, Dreamologist, Golden Valentine, Nickname, Stays in Vegas, and With Honors, during 2016. They also established the “Horses First Fund” with Thoroughbred Charities of America to benefit a group of abandoned horses in Mercer County, Ky.

“My parents and I are truly humbled and very excited about the award,” said Jaime Roth. “We
have really put so much heart and love into our stable and the horses so to receive this award means more than you know.”

Alex Solis II and Jason Litt serve as the bloodstock agents and racing managers for LNJ Foxwoods.

Nominees for the New Owner of the Year Award must have owned Thoroughbreds over the course of the past three years, have had an interest in a horse at the time it won a stakes race in 2016, and have had a verifiable owner’s license in 2016.

The upcoming Thoroughbred Owner Conference agenda includes panels featuring various business considerations for racehorse ownership as well as Breeders’ Cup-winning owners, jockeys, and trainers. NBC Sports horse racing and hockey analyst Eddie Olczyk will deliver the keynote address.

The social events for the owner conference include the Breeders’ Cup post-position draw and reception, a conference dinner and reception, tour opportunities at the Rose Bowl stadium and Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, an afternoon of lunch and live racing at Santa Anita Park, and reserved seating for both days of Breeders’ Cup championship racing.

Online registration and the entire schedule of events for the Thoroughbred Owner Conference are still available at ownerview.com.

The first two Thoroughbred owner conferences were held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

Kentucky HBPA Partners with Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park and JockeyTalk360.com to Provide Free Breeders' Cup Media Coverage

Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park, the Kentucky HBPA and JockeyTalk360.com are partnering to provide media coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita, with an emphasis on Kentucky-based horses and horsemen competing in racing’s championship weekend.

Jennie Rees, the award-winning journalist who was turf writer for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for 32 years, will write daily notes and features with the twin missions of catering to media in Kentucky’s regional racetrack markets as well as providing content of national interest. Rees also will provide iPhone 6 video of horses and racing participants that can be used for websites and television.

The coverage will be available at no charge for use by media outlets and other entities as a service provided by Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park, the Kentucky division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the JockeyTalk.360 website. Rees is the director of live-racing publicity for Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs, a communications consultant to the Kentucky HBPA and JockeyTalk360 contributor.

The content, over which Rees has complete autonomy, will be emailed to more than 200 journalists and media outlets. Those  wishing to receive the coverage can email Rees at tracksidejennie@gmail.com.

The service’s daily coverage from Santa Anita will begin Saturday, Oct. 29 and run through Sunday, Nov. 6. Look for it on the Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park, Kentucky HBPA, National HBPA and JockeyTalk360.com social media platforms and elsewhere.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award Winners Announced

The 2016 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award winners were announced Oct. 7. From left to right: Jill Byrne, Victor Espinoza, Izzy Vega, Melissa Cohen, D. Wayne Lukas, James Sebastian, and Vinny Castaneda. (Photo by Coady Photography)
Sponsored by Godolphin, the inaugural edition of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards was just concluded this afternoon with Keeneland graciously hosting the event at its sales pavilion in Lexington, Kentucky. Winners were honored in five categories along with runners-up. Churchill Downs' Jill Byrne was the Master of Ceremonies with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on hand as presenter of the awards.

Dan Metzger, CEO of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, said, “Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners. These are the people that are so vital to our racing and breeding industry and it's just tremendous to see them being recognized in this way. And on the behalf of TOBA, The Jockey Club and the National HBPA, thank you to Godolphin for bringing this program to America and for allowing us to be its industry partners in such a great event.”

Jimmy Bell, President of Godolphin in America commented, “The judges remarked about the difficulty in separating a winner in each category as the quality of the nominees was simply outstanding. I'd just like to say congratulations to all the winners and to their colleagues who sent in the nominations, and to the judges who took on the task of selecting the winners.”

The full list of winners and runners-up are as follows:

Dedication to Breeding Award
James Sebastian, Handler, mares and foals, Claiborne Farm
(Runners-up: Everett “Powell County” Charles, Groom, Stone Farm and Leon Hamilton, Foreman, Ashview Farm)

Dedication to Racing Award
Jose “Vinny” Castaneda, Groom, Marty Jones Racing Stable
(Runners-up: Danny Ramsey, Exercise Rider, Kenny McPeek Racing and Raul Rodriguez, Groom, Sherman Racing Stable)

Leadership Award – Farm
Victor Espinoza, Farm Manager, Brookdale Farm
(Runners-up: John Hall, Yearling Manager, Taylor Made Farm and Matt Koch, Owner/Manager, Shawhan Place)

Leadership Award – Racing
Melissa Cohen, Assistant Trainer, Richard Violette
(Runners-up: Jimmy Barnes, Assistant Trainer, Bob Baffert and Las Guerra, Assistant Trainer, Mike Maker)

Thoroughbred Industry Community Award
Israel “Izzy” Vega, Racetrack Chaplain
Racetrack Chaplaincy of California

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, with a total prize money of $115,000, was managed and administered by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Media partners are The Thoroughbred Daily News, BloodHorse, Daily Racing Form and TVG.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Chenery, Hillenbrand to Highlight “Racehorses in Hollywood” Session at Owner Conference

When television journalist Nick Clooney serves as the moderator for a session entitled, “Racehorses in Hollywood,” at OwnerView’s third Thoroughbred Owner Conference Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park, he is expected to have two leading ladies of the Thoroughbred industry on hand.

Penny Chenery, who owned 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, and Laura Hillenbrand, the author of the best-selling book “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” are both planning to participate in the discussion and talk about the feature films that depicted the careers of those two Thoroughbreds.

“Penny and Laura are both planning to be here, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView. “Their willingness to travel to Los Angeles from Colorado and Oregon, respectively, speaks volumes about their ongoing dedication to our sport.”

Clooney, a distinguished journalist and author (as well as a former hot walker), served as on-air host for AMC (American Movie Classics) for five years and wrote a book called: “The Movies That Changed Us: Reflections on the Screen.”

The “Racehorses in Hollywood” session, scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon, November 1, may also include a couple of additional producers, directors, or actors from other movies with horse-racing themes.

Falter has detected a special enthusiasm for the third Thoroughbred Owner Conference and believes the tie-in to the Breeders’ Cup is a big part of it.

“We have owners and prospective owners from 22 states and Canada registered, and virtually all of them will be staying for the entire week so that they can experience and enjoy the Breeders’ Cup,” he said. “They all seem to be looking forward to visiting Santa Anita and seeing those two days of championship racing at the end of the conference.”

The Thoroughbred Owner Conference agenda includes panels featuring various business considerations for racehorse ownership as well as Breeders’ Cup-winning owners, jockeys, and trainers. NBC Sports horse racing and hockey analyst Eddie Olczyk will deliver the keynote address.

The social events for the owner conference include the Breeders’ Cup post-position draw and reception, a conference dinner and reception, tour opportunities at the Rose Bowl stadium and Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, an afternoon of lunch and live racing at Santa Anita Park, and reserved seating for both days of Breeders’ Cup championship racing.

Additional information about the Thoroughbred Owner Conference, including online registration, is available at ownerview.com.

The first two Thoroughbred owner conferences were held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

Daily Racing Form Announces Second Annual Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Magazine

Daily Racing Form (DRF) in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will publish a second annual edition of the TAA Magazine.

The goal of the TAA Magazine is to increase awareness of the TAA’s mission and its ongoing efforts to support Thoroughbred aftercare in the United States and Canada. The magazine’s second edition will be published Oct. 14 and will be distributed in advance of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park, at key racing events and sales and through the 56 TAA-accredited organizations. All costs will be underwritten by sponsor support, ensuring the TAA does not have to divert any money to the project.

“The TAA Magazine is a powerful marketing tool, both for creating public awareness of the TAA’s support for aftercare and as a stimulus for accredited aftercare organizations to showcase their facilities,” said Stacie Clark Rogers, TAA Operations Consultant. “We are most grateful to Daily Racing Form for publishing this annual magazine and for all the support from the industry through their advertising, which allows us to receive and distribute thousands of copies of the magazine at no cost to the TAA. It is truly an industry-wide effort, and the retired Thoroughbreds are the sole beneficiaries.”

This year’s edition will consist of approximately 92 color pages and will highlight all 56 TAA-accredited organizations. The magazine will include an overview of the TAA, its mission, and how it is funded by multiple sources. It will recognize the many industry contributors that are sharing the responsibility of providing safe landing spots for these retired equines. It also will showcase off-the-track Thoroughbreds competing at the highest levels, including Blackfoot Mystery who will grace the cover after competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics with rider Boyd Martin. Blackfoot Mystery came from a TAA-accredited organization in California.

“We are delighted to publish another edition of the TAA Magazine,” said John J. Hartig, CEO, Daily Racing Form. “The TAA is tackling an important issue to all of us, and as a multi-media company we are proud to play our part as publishers. We encourage all industry stakeholders to place a digital flip book version of this magazine on their websites so that fans across the country can see the great opportunities available to safely retire or adopt a Thoroughbred at the conclusion of their racing careers.”

ABOUT DAILY RACING FORM
Sports Information Group/Daily Racing Form LLC is a national, multi-platform media and e-Commerce company providing premium data and authoritative editorial coverage to horse racing and sports enthusiasts in North America.  The Company’s 122-year old flagship brand Daily Racing Form, referred to as "America's Turf Authority since 1894", is horse racing’s dominant media company. Daily Racing Form is the only daily newspaper in the U.S. dedicated solely to the coverage of a single sport, publishing up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 20 daily editions.  The Company has aggressively expanded its digital platforms to reach a new breed of technology-driven horseplayers, creating what Fast Company called “A Bloomberg Terminal for Horse Racing.”  On DRF.com, the leading online horse racing destination, and through its digital apps, Daily Racing Form now offers an integrated digital experience that seamlessly combines data, proprietary handicapping tools, premium content, video, wagering and tournament play for horseplayers and dedicated coverage to the breeding industry.


ABOUT THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE ALLIANCE (TAA)
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the non-profit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. Funded initially by seed money from Breeders’ Cup Ltd., The Jockey Club, and Keeneland Association, Inc., the TAA is supported by owners, trainers, breeders, racetracks, aftercare professionals and other industry groups. To date, 56 aftercare organizations supporting more than 180 facilities across the U.S. and Canada have been granted accreditation and received funding from the TAA. To learn more about the TAA, visit thoroughbredaftercare.org.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Race Track Chaplaincy of America Announces Recipients of White Horse Awards

Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 White Horse Awards. The selection committee had a difficult decision to make, as this was a record year for nominations of deserving individuals.

The Community Service Award will be presented to Mr. William Gotwals of Brook Ledge Horse Transportation. The work ethic and focus on providing excellent service that has brought Brook Ledge to the forefront of the industry is the same as that which guides Mr. Gotwals personally. He has been a faithful supporter of RTCA and other charitable organizations over the years. While he prefers to serve “silently”, we wanted to take this opportunity to say “Thank you” to Mr. Gotwals for his faithfulness to our ministry and to the broader community which he so humbly and generously serves.

The Tribute to Excellence Award will be presented in memory of E.W. “Buddy” Johnston of Old English Rancho in Sanger, CA. In addition to serving 21 years as director and president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA), Mr. Johnston was inducted into the CTBA Hall of Fame and also presented with Hollywood Park’s Laffit Pincay Jr. Award bestowed upon an individual “who has served the sport with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction.” Buddy Johnston passed away in his sleep on the morning of May the 5, 2015 just one day before his 78th birthday. He is survived by his wife Judy, daughters Darlene Johnston Smith and Mary Johnston Hilvers, five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Finally, the White Horse Award for heroism on behalf of human or horse will be presented to two companies whose teams banded together to save the lives of more than 200 horses in California. Bob Hubbard Horse Transportation of Colton, CA and KC Horse Transport of Atascadero, CA. are typically rivals, but in the light of news that areas of the San Gabriel Valley were in the direct path of this summer’s wildfires, that rivalry was cast aside. The new team used seven trucks, each holding 15 horses, and drove the refugees away from the fires to waiting farms and tracks with barns ready to receive them. Two drivers came back early from vacation and several others slept in their trucks at Santa Anita Park awaiting their calls to action. Race Track Chaplaincy of America wishes to acknowledge the teams from Bob Hubbard and KC Horse Transport for their ability to rise above their businesses and act together on behalf the horses they love.

This year’s White Horse Awards Luncheon will take place on Thursday, November 3, at the Embassy Suites in Arcadia, California, just prior to the beginning of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships being held in the same city. Along with the award presentation, events will include a buffet luncheon, live and silent auctions, special music, Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Horowitz (Track Announcer – Arapahoe Park), and guest speaker Janet VanBebber (Chief Racing Officer – AQHA). Make your reservations to attend the White Horse Award Luncheon by visiting www.rtcanational.org.

                                                                               --------

More about the White Horse Award – The WHA was established in 2003 to recognize individuals within the horse racing industry for their acts of selflessness and bravery. The most recent recipients include an outrider who rescued a horse from an infield lake at Los Alamitos and a young man who rescued a fellow jockey when her horse suddenly collapsed at the end of a race, trapping her beneath it. For many people in the horse world, events like these are “just another day at work,” but RTCA wishes to recognize these heroic acts of love. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)

More about the Race Track Chaplaincy of America - The overall mission of the RTCA, through its Councils and Chaplains, is to make disciples for Jesus Christ through teaching, preaching, and ministering to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

OwnerView Accepting Nominations for New Owner of the Year Award

OwnerView today announced that nominations are being accepted for its second New Owner of the Year Award.

The award, honoring a new Thoroughbred owner who has been successful in the sport and has had a positive impact on the industry, will be presented at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., which runs from Monday, October 31, through Thursday, November 3, 2016.

The conference is scheduled for the same week as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the presenting sponsors are Breeders’ Cup, Keeneland, and The Stronach Group.

The first new owner award was presented to Sol Kumin at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in January.

Nominees for the New Owner of the Year Award must have owned Thoroughbreds for less than three years, have had an interest in a horse at the time it won a stakes race in 2016, and have had a verifiable owner’s license in 2016.

Anyone, including current owners, can nominate an individual who meets the criteria for the award. Thoroughbred performance, nominee’s promotion of the sport, and humanitarian activities will be considered. A selection committee that includes industry personnel and established owners will choose the winner.

The deadline to nominate an owner for New Owner of the Year is Saturday, October 1. To submit a nomination, please contact Gary Falter for a nomination form at gfalter@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2803.

The Thoroughbred Owner Conference agenda includes panels featuring business considerations for racehorse ownership as well as Breeders’ Cup-winning owners, jockeys, and trainers. NBC Sports horse racing and hockey analyst Eddie Olczyk will deliver the keynote address, and television journalist Nick Clooney will serve as the moderator for a panel titled, “Racehorses in Hollywood,” which will feature producers, directors and actors of movies with horse racing themes.

The social events for the owner conference at Santa Anita include the Breeders’ Cup post-position draw and reception, a conference dinner and reception, tour opportunities at the Rose Bowl stadium and Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, an afternoon of lunch and live racing, and reserved seating for both days of Breeders’ Cup championship racing.

More information about the Thoroughbred Owner Conference, including online registration, can be found at ownerview.com.

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.