Racing news for Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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Apprentice Raddesh Roman comes in with two winners

Apprentice Raddesh Roman returned to form after landing a double on the 10-race programme. Roman won aboard Burlin in an Optional Claiming ($450,000-$400,000) event over 9 furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) and Enedina in a Restricted Allowance event over 5 furlongs (1,000m) on the round course.

Trained by Cashbert Khawlsingh, Burlin tracked the leaders from fourth position as Ballon d'Or (Kiaman McGregor) showed the way around the clubhouse ahead of Council of Trent (Linton Steadman) and Miss Judy (Trevor Simpson).

Burlin held his position down the backstretch until leaving the half-mile (800m) turn when he scooped down on the inside rails into third spot before challenging for the lead approaching the home turn.

Roman wasted no time in getting Burlin comfortably to the wire for as easy 10 length win. Council of Trent was second and Magical Selecta (Aaron Chatrie) third in a time of 2:00.2.

Bred, owned and trained by Lorenzo Robinson, Enedina got the job done by 2 lengths in a time of 1:00.2. Enedina raced in third position behind Just Trick Me (Christopher Mamdeen) and Bold Smile (Kiaman McGregor) in the early exchange.

Enedina then picked up the lead turning for home and held it to the wire ahead of Reggae Gone Grammy (Reyan Lewis) and Universal Boss (Anthony Thomas).

With those winners Roman took his tally to four wins for the season and nine overall since starting his career last September.

Apprentice Kiaman McGregor continues good form

Apprentice Kiaman McGregor good run of form continued as the young apprentice booted home two winners to share the riding honours on the 10-race card.

McGregor won aboard Makhi for trainer Phillip Lee in the sixth race over 6 furlongs (1,300m) and Black River in the eighth race for trainer Lance Richards over 8 furlongs (1,700m).

Makhi, who was sent off as a 22-1 betting option, turned for home among the backmarkers and came with a strong run on the outside of rivals to win by 1 lengths ahead of Twilight Eruption (Tevin Foster) and Sunshine Cat (Javaniel Patterson) in a time of 1:23.3.

After leaving the 6-furlong (1,200m) marker, McGregor put Black River in front and the dark bay filly ran out an easy 7 length winner.

Ali (Anthony Thomas) finished in second position with Scoobert (Shane Ellis) third. The final time of 1:48.1.

Those two winners brought McGregor's seasonal tally to 11.

Favourites bite the dust

Punters had a rough day at the Park, with only three favourites obliging on the 10-race programme. Superbolt won the first race at 1-2, Chief of State took the third race at 2-5 and Bay Commander brought home the 10th and fat odds of 6-5.

The longest price winner was the Anthony Ferguson-trained Paintthistownred, who won at odds of 39-1 in the fourth race. Another Bullet followed up in the next race at odds of 27-1 and Makhi won the very next race at odds of 22-1. Burlin at 5-1 and Golden Destiny at 5-1 also contributed to the misery of punters. No one caught the Sunrise 6, Twilight 6 or Pick-9 exotic wagers. The Sunrise 6 had a carryover of over $1.8 million, Twilight 6 over $2.4 million and the Pick-9 just over $1 million heading into yesterday's Easter Monday race meet.

Superbolt scores second win in 2019

Five-year-old bay horse Superbolt trained by Errol Waugh trainee picked up his second win for the season from four starts with a 3 length win in an Optional ($650,000-$600,000) event over 6 furlongs (1,300m).

With the scratch of pre-race favourite Bay Boy Trump, Superbolt (Christopher Mamdeen) went off as the firm 1-2 favourite in the field of six and duly obliged with a runaway win.

Breaking from barrier number one, Superbolt shot to the lead after a couple of strides over Aurelia's Summer (Anthony Allen) and Band of Gold (Phillip Parchment).

Approaching the three-furlong pole, Superbolt began to draw away from the field and by the time his rivals turned for home, he was long gone. Superbolt won in a time for 1:22.0.

Five Star (Daniel Thompson), who walked out of the starting gates, came running on in deep stretch for second money with Aurelia's Summer third.

Jockey Natalie Berger off the mark with upset 39-1 winner

Natalie Berger notched her first win for the 2019 racing season aboard Paintthistownred, who won the fourth race at odds of 39-1 over 7 furlongs (1,400m).

Trained by Anthony Ferguson, Paintthistownred broke on top and never looked back in the Restricted Allowance race for native-bred five-year-old and upward non-winners of two.

Paintthistownred held the early lead over First Selection (Robert Halledeen) and Portugal (Javaniel Patterson). Approaching the half mile, Painthistownred tried to increase the lead but First Selection was equal to the task and followed the leader coming into the lane.

Painthistownred had enough fight and went on to a 1 length win over Lady Budget (Oneil Mullings) and First Selection in a final time of 1:31.1.

Trainer Lawrence Freemantle strikes for the third time

Trainer Lawrence Freemantle earned his third win for the season after Bay Commander made one move to win a claiming ($250,000-$200,000) event over 7 furlongs.

Shane Ellis drove Bay Commander right in front from the off and held the lead over Aldebaran (Javaniel Patterson) and War Hero (Daniel Thompson). As the runners sorted themselves out down the backstretch, Bay Commander continued to lead as No Money Friend (Oniel Mullings) got into the mix approaching the half mile.

Bay Commander turned for home going strong and continued home to win by 1 lengths over Bigbrowngreyhope (Anthony Allen) and No Money Friend in a final time of 1:31.1.

Three horses claimed

Only three horses were claimed on the 10-race programme.

Donovan Russell claimed Superbolt, winner of the first race, for owner Arthur Foreman for $650,000 from Errol Waugh.

In the 10th, Late N Drafty was claimed from Michael Beecham by Keisha Lawrence for owner Rudolph Hardial and Batidor De Mundo was claimed from Anthony Ferguson by Dalton Sirjue for owner Garfield Henry. Both horses were claimed for $250,000.

American Pharoah has first winner in US

American Pharoah's fast start as a stallion continued last Friday when just the second North American starter sired by the 2015 Triple Crown winner struck on debut in Aqueduct's opener.

Off at 2-5, the Wesley Ward-trained Maven broke on top in a 4 1/2-furlong dash, ran through a pressured opening quarter mile in 22.55 seconds, then held off Lebda to win by 3/4 of a length.

The final time under jockey Dylan Davis was 52.82 seconds, and it was well back to Analyze Your Risk in third.

“With the horse being by American Pharoah, everyone expects a lot and he ran really well,” Davis said. “I was jogging and galloping him in the mornings, so I got a good feel for him. A huge thanks to the connections. I'm sure they're looking for bigger and better things.”

Maven is a chestnut colt out of the Any Given Saturday mare Richies Party Girl. Ward also bred the horse, who runs for Richard Ravin.

Now, as with any number of Ward-trained juvenile winners, Royal Ascot watch will be on for Maven. Trainer Wesley Ward told Ryan Martin, a member of the New York Racing Association's press office, the colt will target this summer's Norfolk Stakes (G2), a race Ward won in 2018 with Shang Shang Shang.

“I'm getting texts from everyone watching the race,” Ward said. “It's fantastic for racing, for Coolmore, for owner Richard Ravin and most importantly, for me. What I see is that he's going to be a good sire. The dam was a turf sprinter, and I think this one is going to be a turf sprinter as well.

“He's had outstanding works over the Polytrack at Turfway which translates to turf. We'll run him in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot and hopefully we can put American Pharoah on the big scale as a sire.”

Overseas, Maven could face Monarch of Egypt, who last Saturday made American Pharoah 1-for-1 as a sire when he won at first asking for trainer Aidan O'Brien at Ireland's Naas Racecourse.

In between, Ward also unveiled the two-year-old filly Tesorina, American Pharoah's first North American runner, on Wednesday at Aqueduct. She ran third.

American Pharoah, now seven-years-old, stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud and continues to shuttle to the global breeding and racing power's Australian operation during the Southern Hemisphere's breeding season.

US jockey suspended for using whip on another rider in Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A jockey has been suspended 60 days for misusing his whip — not on a horse — but on another rider in a race at an Arkansas track in the United States.

A stewards' ruling posted Thursday on the Association of Racing Commissioners International website alleges that David Cohen “deliberately” whipped fellow jockey Edgar Morales several times during the eighth race at Oaklawn Park on April 6.

Cohen and his horse Bolita Boyz were forced wide into the stretch by Morales and No Funny Biz. The two raced side-by-side through the stretch, with Cohen whipping his mount left-handed and apparently also striking Morales. Neither horse won the race.

Upon returning to the jockeys' room, the ruling said that Morales confronted Cohen, telling him, “You whipped me more than you did your horse.” Morales testified at a hearing that Cohen replied, “Be patient and don't take me wide.”

Morales testified he had four welts on his right thigh from Cohen's whip. Although jockeys can be accidentally struck by a whip in a race, Morales told stewards that “it was not an accident, he meant to do it.”

According to the ruling, Cohen said he wouldn't deliberately hit another jockey with his whip and that if it happened it was accidental.

The ruling said other riders and valets testified they overheard a discussion in the jockeys' room and that they considered Cohen's admission as indicative of a deliberate action rather than being accidental.

The stewards agreed with Morales after finding that Cohen's action was deliberate and violated multiple rules. The stewards said Cohen's actions jeopardized the safety of other jockeys and horses in the race.

Cohen's suspension runs from April 27 to June 25.

He was earlier suspended for April 25 and 26 by the stewards as the result of careless riding in the eighth race at Oaklawn on April 7.

His agent, Bill Castle, is appealing both suspensions.

Cohen is second in the Oaklawn jockeys' standings, with 59 wins from 258 mounts.

Santa Anita to run three days a week, hikes purses for six weeks

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Santa Anita will race three days a week instead of four over the next four weeks because the track has lost some of its horse population to out-of-state venues.

Several stables have shipped horses to Kentucky to run at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, leaving Santa Anita with fewer horses to race and smaller field sizes.

Track officials have yet to decide whether to race three days or four for the final three weeks of the spring meet, which ends June 23.

The track said Friday it is raising purses for all non-stake races by US$10,000 each for the next six weeks as a way to help owners and trainers who lost money when the track was closed for most of March.

The deaths of 23 horses since December 26 forced the closure while the track's dirt surface was examined. Racing resumed March 29, with one horse death occurring since then as the result of injuries in a turf race.

The purse increase announced Friday begins April 26 and runs through June 2. Track officials will decide later whether to continue it through the end of the meet.

The increase is being funded by existing excess money in the purse account and money from The Stronach Group, which owns the track.

Thoroughbred Owners of California chairman Nick Alexander says his group will match the purse supplements funded by TSG in the hope of returning to racing four days a week.

Major US tracks to ban race-day use of anti-bleeding medication

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — All three hosts of the Triple Crown were among several major tracks that agreed Thursday to phase out the use of a common anti-bleeding medication starting next year, sparked by the deaths of 23 horses in three months at Santa Anita.

Starting in 2020, two-year-old horses won't be allowed to be treated with the drug Lasix within 24 hours of racing. Lasix, formally known as furosemide, is a diuretic given to horses on race days to prevent pulmonary bleeding.

In 2021, the ban would extend to all horses running in any stakes races at tracks in the newly announced coalition. That's the year the Triple Crown would be run for the first time under the new medication rules. Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont are host to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Lasix has not been linked to any horse deaths, but critics of the sport have cited its use in calling for the end of race-day medication. Outside North America, most countries ban race-day medication.

In the US, 38 states regulate horse racing, but the sport lacks a common set of rules enforced by a single entity. Previous efforts to ban Lasix on race days have fallen apart because of a lack of consensus.

Other tracks participating in the coalition are Aqueduct and Saratoga in New York, California's Del Mar and Los Alamitos, Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs in Florida, Arlington International outside Chicago, Keeneland in Kentucky, Lone Star in Texas, Fair Grounds in Louisiana, Remington in Oklahoma and Oaklawn in Arkansas.

Other tracks involved are Laurel in Maryland and Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania.

Santa Anita in Southern California and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California will continue to run under recently announced limits to race-day medication that were prompted by the rash of horse deaths since December 26 at Santa Anita. Both are owned by The Stronach Group.

Lasix is being phased out in stages at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields. Now it's allowed on race day at 50 per cent of previous levels. In 2020, all two-year-old horses will have to race medication-free at the two tracks.

“National collaboration is necessary in order to truly evolve the sport,” said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group. “The desire to achieve uniform policies is the beginning of a movement that will redefine the expectations and views on safety within our sport.”

The announcement was welcomed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“It took 23 dead horses on one track, but we were sure that the racing industry could change if it wanted to and phasing out Lasix for stakes races and two-year-olds is an excellent first step in what must be an ongoing overhaul of racing rules nationwide,” Kathy Guillermo, PETA's senior vice president, said in a statement.

New York Racing Association president and CEO David O'Rourke called it “a progressive and unified approach” to race-day medication.

Churchill Downs Inc CEO Bill Carstanjen said, “This is a significant and meaningful step to further harmonize American racing with international standards.”

PETA is urging a ban on Lasix for all races, in addition to banning all medications in the two weeks before a race, banning trainers with multiple medication violations, mandating complete public transparency of injury and medication records, ending the use of whips, and switching to high-quality synthetic tracks.

California previously experimented with synthetic surfaces at its major tracks, spending US$40 million to install them before eventually returning to dirt.

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