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Louisiana-Bred Program Changes Bylaws to Grow Foal Crop

A bylaw change eliminated requiring breeding back to Louisiana-based stallions.

 

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s board of directors made two bylaws changes last week it hopes will make the state’s breeding incentive program more attractive to breeders outside its borders and bolster the population of accredited Louisiana-bred foals.

One change allows resident Louisiana mares to be bred to a stallion outside the state for consecutive years and still permits the resulting foals to become accredited Louisiana-breds. Previously, breeders could send a mare to an out-of-state stallion, but that foal could not be an accredited Louisiana-bred unless the mare was bred back to a Louisiana-based stallion.

Under the new rule, breeders may have access to better stallions, but the resulting foals by out-of-state stallions will be eligible to receive half of any breeder’s award incentive money. A Louisiana-bred foal by a Louisiana-registered stallion is eligible to receive full breeder’s awards, which are 20% of total purses earned for horses that finish 1-2-3 in any race in Louisiana or 1-2-3 in any stakes race outside Louisiana (purse capped at $200,000).

The other change applies to nonresident mares being bred to Louisiana stallions. They now only need to remain in Louisiana for 90 days or at least until Aug. 1 and then can be returned to an out-of-state breeder’s farm until they get close to foaling. Prior to the rule change, a mare would have had to stay in Louisiana and deliver her Louisiana-sired foal for it to be eligible as a Louisiana-bred.

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North American Foal Crop Trends and Market Share

MarketWatch: North American foal crop trends

 

Even as the North American Thoroughbred foal crop continues to contract, down 6.9% over the last three years and down 45.4% since 2000, the top five producing states have remained a constant.

Kentucky, California, and Florida have been the steady top three joined by New York and Louisiana that flip-flop their rank from year to year. The recently released figures on the 2020 North American foal crop show New York slightly ahead this year with 652 reported foals to Louisiana’s 647, but both at even with 3.3% of the overall foal crop for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

 

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Gemologist Daughter Horologist Upsets Dunbar Road in Beldame

Longest shot on the board was an easy winner by three lengths.

 

 

Horologist, the longest shot on the board in the $136,500 Beldame Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park Oct. 4, posted an easy victory over three rivals in the 1 1/8-mile main-track race for older fillies.

Owned by There’s A Chance Stable, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, and Abbondanza Racing, Horologist rumbled home a three-length winner under jockey Junior Alvarado.

The New Jersey-bred 4-year-old daughter of Gemologist  is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who enjoyed a stellar weekend at Belmont Park. On Oct. 3, he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) with Channel Maker and the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) with Frank’s Rockette.

 

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Pedigree Notes
Gemologist stands in Louisiana at Acadiana Equine@Copper Crowne for $4,500 (2020).

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Texas Commission Approves 42-Day Lone Star 2021 Season

The Texas Thoroughbred Association sought a longer meet from Lone Star Park.

During a teleconference meeting Sept. 29, the Texas Racing Commission approved a schedule for 2021 race dates in which Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park will be the only tracks to run Thoroughbred meets in the state. The state’s other major track, Retama Park, will run exclusively Quarter Horses next year.

Because Retama Park agreed to transfer some of its Thoroughbred purse money, Sam Houston extended its application and was approved for seven more days than what it had originally planned. The track will now run a 46-day Thoroughbred meet from Jan. 8-April 3 before Thoroughbred racing in the state shifts to Lone Star Park for a 42-day race meet from Apr. 16-July 18. Both Sam Houston and Lone Star will also run shorter Quarter Horse meets.

The 42-day meet by Lone Star is a reduction of approximately seven race days from historical averages since 2012, Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, told commissioners before their vote, while opposing the shorter schedule.

 

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Albarado to Ride Swiss Skydiver in Preakness

Trainer Kenny McPeek has assigned a new jockey to Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up Swiss Skydiver for the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. Robby Albarado will have the call on Peter Callahan’s Daredevil  filly.

Tyler Gaffalione piloted Swiss Skydiver to victory in the Aug. 15 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course and was back aboard for the Sept. 4 Oaks at Churchill Downs. McPeek did not confirm Swiss Skydiver for the Preakness until Sept. 26 following the filly’s five-furlong breeze in 1:00 4/5 at the Louisville track. The Daily Racing Form reported that Gaffalione’s agent, Matt Muzikar, arranged mounts for his rider at the Keeneland meet, which opens Oct. 2, while waiting for McPeek to commit Swiss Skydiver to the Preakness.

The final jewel of the 2020 Triple Crown will be the first race Albarado will have on Swiss Skydiver. The jockey won the Preakness in 2007 aboard future Hall of Famer Curlin .

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Delta Downs Looks to Open Delayed Meet in Late November

Stabling and tracking could begin by late October.

Delta Downs, which postponed its race meet when damaged by Hurricane Laura, could begin racing in late November, according to a company spokesman. Delta had been scheduled for its regular Thoroughbred season for 84 days from Oct. 6-Feb. 27.

Track officials are hoping to open its backstretch for training by late October, said David Strow, the vice president of corporate communications for Boyd Gaming, the track owner.

Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, brought devastating winds causing damage or destruction to barns, the backside dining room, the track toteboard, its data/computer room, and its safety rail and starting gate, Strow said.

“The damage was fairly extensive. The good news is we are making great progress in our repairs, and we’re confident we can have the horses return in late October,” he said.

Boyd is working with the Louisiana State Racing Commission to extend the meet beyond its originally planned ending, though specific dates and the length of the season are still to be determined, according to Strow.

Delta Downs reopened its casino Sept. 16.

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Louisiana-Bred Not This Time Colt Tops Keeneland Session 8

Colt bought by bloodstock agent Donato Lanni for $320,000

There were high fives all around at Keeneland during the Sept. 21 session of the September Yearling Sale after a Not This Time colt (Hip 2739) was sold for $320,000 to top the auction’s eighth session.

Consigned by Stuart Morris, the Louisiana-bred colt’s sale to agent Donato Lanni—who was acting on behalf of a unidentified client—represented a major home run for breeders Phillip and Nancy Stelly.

By Taylor Made Stallions’ Not This Time—the son of Giant’s Causeway whose first crop to race as 2-year-olds this year includes Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Princess Noor—the colt named Mardi Gras Time is out of the winning More Than Ready  mare Ready At Nine, who has also produced stakes-placed Drummer Boy.

The colt was the first at Keeneland for the Stellys, who have been breeding since 2011. They credited Morris as well as Al and Salley Pike, and the Pikes’ son Colt, for their big score in the sale ring. Colt Pike had helped obtain the mating to Not This Time, and his parents had prepped the colt for auction.

“I just couldn’t be any more excited; it’s like catching lightning in a bottle,” said Phillip Stelly, who resides in Louisiana and said that both his father and grandfather were self-described “backyard trainers.”

“We’ve raised some babies and I always thought they were nice, but this is the nicest one we’ve ever raised,” he added.

L-R Nancy and Phillip Stelly, consignor Stuart Morris, Colt, Salley and Al Pike, 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale
Photo: Keeneland Photo

(L-R): Nancy and Phillip Stelly, Stuart Morris, Colt, Salley, and Al Pike at Keeneland

Lanni said the early success of Not This Time played a role in the purchase.

“The sire has done his job,” Lanni said. “You have to respect any yearling by that sire. He was a strong horse and straightforward, good-looking horse.”

The colt’s extended female family includes grade 1 winner Classy Cathy—the dam of British group 2 winner Placerville—millionaire Rieno Tesoro, and Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible .

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Asmussen Second Thoroughbred Trainer to Win 9,000 Races

Hall of Fame conditioner accomplished milestone Sept. 18 at Remington.

Trainer Steve Asmussen became only the second trainer in Thoroughbred racing history to win for the 9,000th time in his career, bringing home Troy Ounce in Race 2 Sept. 18 at Remington Park.

He needs 446 more victories to become the all-time winningest trainer in North American Thoroughbred history. The current leader is Dale Baird, who went to the winner’s circle 9,445 times in his career.

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New Jersey to Ban Riding Crop Use Except for Safety

The regulation, the strictest in North America, was opposed by the Jockeys’ Guild.

A regulation passed Sept. 16 by the New Jersey Racing Commission will prohibit jockeys and exercise riders in the state from using the riding crop “except when necessary to control the horse for the safety of the horse or rider” beginning next year.

The ruling makes it the strictest in North America following earlier decisions by some regulatory bodies that have limited the number of strikes a horse can receive from a jockey. According to Daily Racing Form, the riding-crop restriction will take effect when Monmouth Park opens in 2021. The track customarily begins its race meet in May.

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Longtime Racing Official Hooper Retires

He headed the Univerity of Arizona Race Track Industry Program in the early 1990s.

Dave Hooper, a longtime racing official and former head of the Texas Thoroughbred Association and University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, is retiring upon the conclusion of the Canterbury Park meet that ends Sept. 17.

Hooper, 85, has served on the Canterbury board of stewards the past eight years, he said, the last six as chief state steward at the Minnesota track. During his time there, he was one of several recipients of the 2018 Pete Pedersen Award, which is presented to stewards who have demonstrated professional excellence and integrity in the performance of their duties.

Hooper worked in the racing industry for approximately 60 years, nearly 30 in a regulatory capacity. He has also worked as an association or state steward in Kentucky, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, and Texas.

He said Canterbury was one of his favorite stops, praising track management and the people of Minnesota.

“I couldn’t have finished at a better place,” he said.

Before wrapping up his career as a regulator, Hooper was appreciated for his contributions as executive director for three breed organizations and one horsemen’s association. He was also a favorite among students at the University of Arizona, where he served as coordinator of the Race Track Industry Program in the early 1990s.

He plans to retire to Georgetown, Texas with his wife of 22 years, Martha.

“We have some bucket-list items we’d like to check off,” he said.

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