MUCHO GUSTO DRAWS RAIL IN LAZARO BARRERA STAKES

Mucho Gusto wins the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park
Mucho Gusto wins the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Mucho Gusto Draws Rail in Lazaro Barrera Stakes.

Sold by KIRKWOOD for $625,000 at Timonium last year

In his first start since finishing third as the favorite in the Sunland Park Derby (G3), Michael Petersen’s Mucho Gusto will return to sprinting in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) May 18 at Santa Anita Park.

A seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds, the Lazaro Barrera attracted six entries, with Mucho Gusto drawing the rail. Regular rider Joe Talamo will be aboard.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Mucho Gusto led the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Park Derby early while racing inside before fading in the stretch in the March 24 test at Sunland Park. Before that effort, the son of Mucho Macho Man  drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) on a sloppy track at Santa Anita.

Last year, Mucho Gusto scored his maiden win at six furlongs at Los Alamitos Race Course and followed with a clear victory in the Bob Hope Stakes (G3) going seven furlongs at Del Mar. He then earned a runner-up finish to stablemate Improbable—Saturday’s morning-line favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1)—in the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (G1).

Also returning to sprinting Saturday is Del Secco DCS Racing’s Sparky Ville, who won the seven-furlong Feb. 10 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. Trained by Jeff Bonde, the son of Candy Ride  will be making his first start since an off-the-board finish in the April 27 California Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields.

ENTRIES: LAZARO BARRERA S. (G3)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, May 18, 2019, Race 8

  • Grade III
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo
  • 4:30 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Mucho Gusto (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Joseph Talamo 124 Bob Baffert 4/5
2 2Sparky Ville (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Victor Espinoza 124 Jeff Bonde 5/2
3 3Principe Carlo (CA) Ruben Fuentes 120 Marcelo Polanco 12/1
4 4Vantastic (FL)Keeneland Sales Graduate Flavien Prat 120 Peter Eurton 5/1
5 5Manhattan Up (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Tiago Josue Pereira 120 Philip A. Oviedo 6/1
6 6Synthesis (KY)Keeneland Sales Graduate Rafael Bejarano 120 George Papaprodromou 12/1

Pletcher-Trained Coal Front ‘Going According To Schedule’ For Met Mile

Pletcher-Trained Coal Front ‘Going According To Schedule’ For Met Mile

by NYRA Press Office | 05.10.2019 | 2:08pm

Jose Ortiz celebrates his first Dubai winner aboard Coal Front

Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners’ Coal Front continued his preparations for the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap when he breezed four furlongs in 50.55 seconds on Friday morning at Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The move was the son of Stay Thirsty’s second work since an overseas triumph in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

“I thought he worked really well, consistently with what we’ve been seeing before he went to Dubai,” Pletcher said. “It seemed like he shipped back with some good energy, good weight and all the all the signs that you would hope for coming back from a long trip like that. I was very happy with the breeze this morning and everything is going according to schedule so far.”

A five-time graded stakes winner at five different tracks, Coal Front has won three races in a row. Prior to his international endeavor, he won the Mr. Prospector on December 22 at Gulfstream Park and the Razorback on February 18 at Oaklawn Park. Both are Grade 3 events.

The colt was bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly, and LaPenta purchased Coal Front for $575,000 at Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April 2016.

Pletcher also spoke of Marconi, who won his second straight stakes race in Thursday evening’s Flat Out and said that the well-bred son of Tapit would target the Grade 2 $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on June 8.

In the 1 3/8-mile event over the main track, Marconi sat just off of pacesetter Tour de Force and took command at the top of the stretch to draw off by 2 ¾ lengths under a patient ride by Jose Lezcano.

“It was exactly the way that we thought it would unfold on paper,” Pletcher said. “We were able to get into a good comfortable gallop and I thought he ran a really big race.”

Owned by Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, Marconi is a half-brother to 2013 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. He was a $2 million purchase from the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Pletcher also noted that graded stakes winner Bellavais is possible for the Grade 1 $700,000 Longines Just a Game on Belmont Stakes Day. The daughter of Tapit breezed a half-mile in 49.90 seconds over the Belmont training track on Thursday morning. Two-time winner Last Judgment, ninth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs last Saturday as the second choice, will target the $150,000 Easy Goer.

Competitive Edge Filly Big Score

The Competitive Edge filly consigned as Hip 129 in the ring at the Keeneland April Sale
The Competitive Edge filly consigned as Hip 129 in the ring at the Keeneland April SaleKeeneland Photo/Photos by Z

Competitive Edge Filly Big Score

Le Competition breezed fastest quarter-mile in pre-sale workout at Keeneland

Breeders Steve and Jane Long knocked it out of the park April 9 at the Keeneland April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale when a filly from the first crop of Competitive Edge  was purchased by Shepherd Equine Advisers, agent, for $235,000.

Consigned as Hip 129 by Kirkwood Stables, the filly named Le Competition breezed the fastest quarter-mile over the dirt, getting the distance in :21 1/5.

Le Competition is out of the Bellamy Road  mare Lefreakcestchic, who was purchased by Ed Price for $14,000 on behalf of Steve Long from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency to the 2017 The February Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s winter mixed sale. At the time, the mare was carrying the Competitive Edge filly in utero.

“We’re floored,” Jane Long said, crediting their 34-year-old son Brooks with the initial purchase. “He did all the homework, liked the breeding, liked the race records, and Competitive Edge as a first-year sire. We were all aboard. We looked at her but we couldn’t be here when she was selling and had gone home and made the bid over the phone.”

Pennsylvania natives, the Longs own three broodmares and are hands-on horse people. When they came to Lexington for the April sale—a 10-hour drive—they also brought two mares with them to drop off at Indian Creek Farm, where they will be bred this season to Practical Joke  and Classic Empire . Le Competition was the last recorded foal for Lefreakcestchic, who was most recently bred to Blofeld for 2019.

“We do everything ourselves,” Jane Long said. “We’re getting just a touch of the commercial side.”

The filly was the first for the Longs in association with Kip Elser of Kirkwood. The agreement was initially put together because Elser wanted to purchase the filly as a yearling.

“We weren’t ready to part with her but we said, ‘If he wanted to buy her as a yearling, maybe he would like to sell her as a 2-year-old,'” Jane Long said. “He was gracious enough to take her.”

The Longs said they enjoyed the days leading up to the sale, which included a trip to Keeneland during opening weekend of the Spring Meet for a stakes-laden Saturday card.

“Keeneland has treated us awesome,” Steve Long said.

“This is a great venue,” said Jane Long

Kirkwood’s Competitive Edge filly gets fastest quarter in 21.1

Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables sent out Monday’s fastest quarter-mile breezer when Le Competition(Competitive Edge) worked in :21 1/5. The dark bay filly is out of the unraced Lefreakcestchic (Bellamy Road), a half-sister to multiple stakes placed He’s So Chic (Jump Start) and from the family of graded stakes winners Living Vicariously, With Distinction and Sightseeing.

“We had as good and as safe a track as we could possibly have under the conditions,” said Elser, who sent out eight horses to work Monday. “They did a great job with the track. The horses went well and everybody came home well. I think some of them were more confident going over the mud than others, but those are today’s conditions.”

Of Le Competition, Elser said, “She is one that really relished a wet track. I was in the chute, I didn’t see her frontside, but I know she galloped out past me tremendously.”

Diverse Panel Voices Horse Racing Integrity Act Support

Terry Finley at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training
Terry Finley at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training

Photos by Z

Diverse Panel Voices Horse Racing Integrity Act Support

Respected panel presented at Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club meeting.

Saying horse racing is at a tipping point in terms of public acceptance, panelists at the April 2 Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club meeting voiced support for the 2019 Horse Racing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754) as a way to move the industry forward.

A full house of both industry veterans and young blood packed into Copper Roux in Lexington, Ky., as a diverse panel of five discussed the importance of recognizing the general public’s perception and where the sport goes from here.

Fasig-Tipton president and CEO Boyd Browning, Kirkwood Stables owner Kip Elser, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage, Blackwood Stables co-owner Matt Hogan, and West Point Thoroughbreds president and CEO Terry Finley all expressed concern for the future of racing and the belief that the Horse Racing Integrity Act could help move the sport in a positive direction. The bill—sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican, and Rep. Paul Tonko, a New York Democrat—would establish an independent non-profit to develop and administer national anti-doping and medication rules, as well as develop testing and laboratory standards.

Medication rules currently fall under the jurisdiction of each of the more than 30 states that allow horse racing.

In beginning the Horse Racing Integrity Act conversation, KTFMC president Carl McEntee noted perception is reality.

“It doesn’t matter whatever side of the fence you guys sit on, whether you’re pro or anti any form of drug that we use in this industry,” he said. “The simple fact is that the perception from those not involved in the Thoroughbred industry is poor. They think we beat our horses, we feed them full of drugs, and then we kill them in the end. It’s horrible to say that, but that is the perception.”

Bramlage suggested horse racing take a page from the NFL on how to handle a public relations crisis by making significant rule changes. When the NFL was faced with players suffering concussions and dealing with side effects of depression, suicide, and entering hospice prematurely, the organization changed the game.

“Now you can’t hit somebody with your face mask like I learned when I was a kid playing football. I really liked football,” Bramlage said. “They are the example of how you take what could be a crippling issue—the idea that every kid who plays football is going to end up with a mental disease because they’re hitting their head over and over—to eliminating how they hit their head.”

Bramlage noted he has changed his mind on federal legislation in horse racing, saying he first hated the idea of Congress becoming involved. Now, he believes there needs to be a bill in place that pressures the industry to make positive changes that improve the industry. He said a united industry voice needs to speak for the bill so it doesn’t stall in Congress with divided industry opinions.

“If you read it closely, the government is not taking over our industry unless we screw up,” he said. “They have supervisory capability, but if we do a good job, there’s no reason to step in. There’s no cost to it.”

Browning used the experience of shopping at Whole Foods as an example of how the public’s perception on animal treatment has changed. Consumers now want organic products and to ensure their food was handled ethically.

“I think we’re delusional with many respects within our industry,” he said. “We sit here and argue within our industry about what’s right and wrong, and we don’t know what the hell the general public’s perception of us is.”

He added both track attendance and handle, when adjusted for inflation, are shrinking.

“We’re ignoring the root issues the public cares about,” he said.

The point was made that the racing industry is capable of working together to make a change. Multiple sales companies put their foot down with off-label use of bisphosphonates, which Bramlage said can disrupt the remodeling process in horses under 4.

“I think it’s wonderful how the industry came together so quickly and has regulated and banned bisphosphonates when they have shown to be dangerous,” Esler said. “Here’s a drug that had legitimate uses when it was first developed. It was prescribed for several years. The side effects and the misuse were discovered, and the industry got together and said, ‘No more.’ I think that is a great example of what this industry can do when our backs are to the wall.”

However, Esler also noted what the industry has yet to agree upon.

“The dragon in the room is Lasix,” Esler said of the diuretic used to prevent or reduce the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. “It is the most divisive issue in the whole industry.”

Finley’s solution to move forward with split opinions, such as Lasix, was to take those issues off the table and have a group of key stakeholders sit down and figure out what they can agree on to better the horse racing industry. He said New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association president Joe Appelbaum could be a driving force.

Finley also pointed out it would only take 600,000 signatures for a horse racing ban to be placed on the ballot in California. The issue already has made national news and caught the attention of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. Feinstein wrote a letter April 2 to the California Horse Racing Board calling for the suspension of racing in the state until the 23 equine deaths at Santa Anita Park since its Dec. 26 opening day are investigated.

“Certainly, this is an opportunity,” Finley said. “I think five years from now, we’ll look back and we’ll see we either took advantage of an opportunity, albeit a very turbulent period in our industry—I might say the toughest period in our industry in a long time, if ever—or we’ll look back in five years and say we squandered an opportunity.”

Hogan made sure to note that those who work in the industry do so because they love the animals. He encouraged the audience to speak with legislators to make major changes in the horse racing industry.

“You work night and day. Even if you’re at a point in your life where you’re not having to work night and day, but you did to get where you are in this business,” Hogan said. “It’s blood, sweat, and tears all the way in this game. You do it because you love the animals.

“It’s kind of disheartening to see all this stuff in the media now. Every media channel, social media, newspapers across the country, national news.”

Hogan added that if nothing is done to improve the current state of horse racing, the effects could be immediate.

“I’m worried about right now,” he said. “I’m not worried about whether my kids are going to take to any of this stuff going forward. I’m worried about what I’m going to do.”

Bramlage put it bluntly, in terms of the current environment.

“Dead horses and drugs will never be acceptable.”

 

Splashy Kisses Among Supplements To Keeneland April Sale

Splashy Kisses

 

 

Two 3-year-old graded stakes-placed fillies, Sweet Diane and Splashy Kisses, are among six horses – five horses of racing age and one juvenile – supplemented to the Keeneland April 2-Year-Olds In Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale on April 9.

Splashy Kisses, a filly by Blame, finished second in the 2018 G2 Pocahontas Stakes and third in the G3 Sweet Life Stakes at Santa Anita Park in February. She is consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent.

SPLASHY KISSES was a member of the first Kirkwood Gallop Group at Gulfstream, She was sold for $100,000 to Dennis O’Neill / ERJ Racing

The digital Horses of Racing Age Sale catalog is available online by clicking here. The digital catalog features Daily Racing Form past performances, and Thorograph and Ragozin sheets. Sellers also have the opportunity to submit professional walking and/or conformation videos and professional photography of the horses to accompany this information.

 

The April Sale to date has cataloged 73 juveniles in addition to the horses of racing age. An addition to the catalog is a 2-year-old filly by Will Take Charge who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Big Trouble and stakes-placed Silver Lining John and Silver Sidney, consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent. Click here for the 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale catalog.

Keeneland will host a preview day featuring breezes by cataloged 2-year-olds over both the dirt track and turf course on Monday, April 8, beginning at 11 a.m. The sale on Tuesday begins at 2 p.m.

SO PROUD of COAL FRONT

Coal Front and Jose Ortiz take the Godolphin Mile at Meydan
Coal Front and Jose Ortiz take the Godolphin Mile at Meydan

Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club

Coal Front Edges Heavy Metal to win Godolphin Mile

Coal Front earned most lucrative win of career in $1.5 million Godolphin Mile (G2).

Coal Front rallied sharply in deep stretch to catch frontrunning defending champion Heavy Metal and win the $1.5 million Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City—District One (G2) by three-quarters of a length March 30 at Meydan.

Coal Front, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Ortiz—in his first Dubai World Cup Day race—waited well back of the early battle between Heavy Metal and the international favorite, Muntazah. Heavy Metal began to edge clear as the field hit the Meydan Racecourse stretch.

Ortiz, however, had kept Coal Front wide of the leaders and in the clear and was in full flight 200 meters from home, closing ground on the tiring, 9-year-old leader. He hit the lead five strides short of the wire in the one-turn, 1,600-meter (about one-mile) test and finished in 1:36.51.

“He’s a frontrunner,” Ortiz said. “Being where I was, I didn’t want to put him behind horses and take the kickback. I was happy where I was. Coal Front was a tough customer. But we had it. I was riding for the win.”

Muntazah, winner of the local prep for the Godolphin Mile, held off surging Kimbear to salvage third by a short head.

Coal Front, a 5-year-old Stay Thirsty  ridgling, came to Dubai after a victory in the Feb. 18 Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his first start of the year. He closed an abbreviated 2018 campaign with a win in the Dec. 22 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park. As a 3-year-old, he won the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) at Parx Racing and the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly out of the Mineshaft  mare Miner’s Secret and owned by Robert LaPenta and Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front now has seven wins from nine starts. Saturday’s score marked the most lucrative of his career, earning $900,000.

LaPenta said the owners and Pletcher, who scored his first win on a World Cup card, debated whether to even send Coal Front to Dubai because they didn’t know if he’d handle the travel.

“Up until three weeks ago, we spent a lot of time on this,” LaPenta said. “He’s very nervous, and we thought about the travel, the quarantine, all those things. Should we go? Todd did a great job.”

LaPenta said he was worried as Heavy Metal took a substantial lead in the stretch.

“What was going through my mind at the sixteenth pole was, ‘Call a doctor!'” he said. “He is a frontrunning horse. This time, he had to catch a horse. We’re so proud of him.”

LaPenta said there are no firm plans for Coal Front’s future.

Consigned by Kirkwood Stables to the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Coal Front went to LaPenta for $575,000. His dam produced an American Pharoah  colt in 2018 and was bred to Arrogate  for 2019.

USA Scores First In Dubai – Kirkwood consigned COAL FRONT wins the G2 Godolphin Mile

Courtesy of the TDN

2nd at Mey, Gr. Stk, $1,500,000 G2 Godolphin Mile (1600m) Winner: Coal Front, r, 5 by Stay Thirsty

Coal Front | Racingfotos.com

‘TDN Rising Star’ Coal Front (Stay Thirsty–Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft), the last-out winner of the G3 Razorback H. at Oaklawn Park, notched a victory for the U.S. in the opening Thoroughbred race of the Dubai World Cup card at Meydan when getting up in the dying strides to clinch the G2 Godolphin Mile under Jose Ortiz. Defending Godolphin Miler winner Heavy Metal (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) set the pace and looked to have gotten away at the top of the lane, but the lightly raced progressive 5-year-old Coal Front gradually wore away that lead and got up within the final furlong.
Lifetime Record: 9-7-0-0.
O-LaPenta, Robert V. and Head of Plains Partners LLC.
B-Michael Edward Connelly  (KY).
T-Todd Pletcher
Sold at OBS April for $575,000