Category

May

27
Belmont Stakes Contender Charlatan Reportedly Fails Drug Test

Belmont Stakes contender and unbeaten Charlatan was reportedly one of two horses trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert that tested positive for a banned substance. Joe Drape of the New York Times reported the news, noting Charlatan and his stablemate Gamine tested positive for lidocaine at a meet at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. Charlatan won a division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2 and figured to challenge for another win at the Belmont Stakes. Gamine also won a race at Oaklawn Park on May 2. The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) shared Baffert’s written statement: “The rules of the Arkansas Racing Commission mandate confidentiality concerning […]

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May

20
Belmont Stakes to Run June 20 as First Leg of Triple Crown

The 2020 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York has been postponed by two weeks from Saturday, June 6 to Saturday, June 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s edition of the race will be 1 1/8-miles (9 furlongs) instead of its traditional 1 1/2-miles. There will be no audiences. “The 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training,” the New York Racing Association said in a statement. NBC Sports will broadcast the […]

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May

12
Arrieta has two live ones at Fonner

Jockey Francisco Arrieta has been on a riding roll for a year now and on Tuesday makes a rare appearance at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Neb. Arrieta’s mounts on the card include Captain John in the second race, a conditioned allowance for 3-year-olds and up at a mile, and Mallory’s Bandit in the eighth, an optional $10,000 claiming sprint that carries nonwinners of four races lifetime conditions. Arrieta obtained the Canterbury Park title in 2019 in Minnesota and then made his way to New Mexico. He first captured the Zia Park title, then was leading the standings at Sunland […]

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May

04
Diodoro caps 52-win Oaklawn meet

Earlier in the Oaklawn Park meet, Robertino Diodoro had become just the fourth trainer in the track’s history to rack up 50 victories there in a single season. The Diodoro barn put an exclamation point on the season during closing Saturday with win No. 52 when Dunph, long ago a stakes winner, struck as a 57.8-1 winner in allowance optional claiming company. In a post-Jason Servis/Jorge Navarro racing world, however, winning at a 22% clip with a longshot first off the claim brings with it a certain level of mistrust. Reflecting on his Oaklawn training title Sunday, Diodoro staked his […]

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April

14
Charles Fipke gives small breeders relief by waiving fees for seven stallions

Owner and breeder Charles Fipke will be waiving the 2020 breeding fees on all his stallions in order to provide some help to small breeders who could be particularly hard-hit by the economic drop from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to longtime consultant Sid Fernando. “What can I say? Small breeders will especially be affected by the economic conditions, and they are the backbone of this industry,” Fipke said in statement. “None of my stallions stand for more than $5,000, and they are primarily supported by small breeders. Because I own my stallions outright and don’t have shareholder responsibilities, I […]

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April

07
Hannum: Outlook uncertain for flat racing season in Virginia

Last year, the recovery of the horse racing industry in Virginia was one of the good news stories of the summer. This year, Virginia Equine Alliance executive director Jeb Hannum stays hopeful the flat racing meet at Colonial Downs can go on as programmed, but there are some challenges, he told Glenn Petty of Old Dominion Horseracing News. Hannum pointed out that OTBs are closed right now due to the coronavirus outbreak, which means there is no money coming in to fuel purses for this summer’s meet. Obviously, the longer those closures go on, the longer the purse accounts will […]

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March

31
Strange times for rookie trainer O’brien as debut season takes unexpected twist

Nothing is normal anymore. Everything seems bizarre, but it was always going to be bizarre for 21-year-old Donnacha O’Brien who is getting to grips with his first season as a fully-fledged trainer.  O’Brien had been hoping to get some of his forward juveniles out in the coming weeks, but he has had to be patient and back off them in the current climate. Plans for his undefeated stable star Fancy Blue are up in the air too.  “It is strange, very strange. But, to be perfectly honest, everything was always going to be strange for me. I’m not doing anything […]

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March

24
Charles Town stops racing until further notice due to coronavirus

With a stroke of his pen March 23, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) ordered closed all non-essential businesses in the Mountain State – including racetracks. That will force Charles Town Races to close, meaning no racetrack in the Mid-Atlantic is now operating. “It’s important that all of us understand the magnitude of this situation today,” Justice stated of the COVID-19 emergency in announcing the order. “The magnitude is unbelievable. It’s the biggest event for any living person in the United States today, period.” Justice had previously ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, and casinos in the state, but Charles […]

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March

18
Kentucky Derby postponed until September

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is being reprogrammed for the first Saturday in September, Churchill Downs officials confirm. The Kentucky Derby, which was originally scheduled for May 2, will be moved to Saturday, Sept. 5 in response to COVID-19. The Kentucky Oaks will be on Sept. 4. This plan just needs final acceptance from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which is expected to happen Thursday. “Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community. As the situation evolved, we […]

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twin peeks

July

27
Twin peaks at Goodwood is a Value Bet

The quality contest is the Group One Qatar Sussex Stakes over a mile at 3.10, when the three Guineas winners, Galileo Gold, The Gurkha and Awtaad do battle again. The older horses are going to find it tough giving this particular Classic generation 8lb, and for that reason it’s a no bet race – although you might consider Kodi Bear at 25s. His best ever performance came at Goodwood, any rain won’t inconvenience him and first-time cheek pieces could well inspire him to rediscover his verve; his half-sister, Princess Cammie, and his sire, Kodiac, both won in first-time headgear. It’s […]

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