Strike Power to Enter Stud at Red River Farms

Grade 3 winner by Speightstown will stand for $2,000.


partnership recently closed on a deal to buy multiple graded-placed, grade 3 winner Strike Power , who will enter stud at Red River Farms near Coushatta, La. The 7-year-old son of Speightstown   will stand for $2,000 with a stands and nurses guarantee.

“It’s a bit late but we think we’ll get a good first book of mares to him,” said Jay Adcock with Red River Farms. “Being by Speightstown and running a 102 Beyer in his first start were the first things that got our attention. Then he showed he could run two turns in the Fountain of Youth.”

A homebred for Don and Donna Adam’s Courtlandt Farm, Strike Power won his debut at 2 at Gulfstream Park by eight lengths with trainer Mark Hennig. At 3, he started off by winning the Swale Stakes (G3) and was second in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) to Promises Fulfilled  . He would go on to place second in two more graded stakes with both Hennig and trainer Steve Asmussen, the True North Stakes (G2) and Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes (G3), respectively. Strike Power retired with a 4-4-1 record from 20 starts and earned $497,935.


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Texas Racing Commission Suspends Hair Drug Testing

Hair testing in racehorses began last May in Texas.


The Texas Racing Commission has suspended hair testing of racehorses in the state, the regulator announced Jan. 14.

Amy Cook, executive director of the TRC, wrote in an email to BloodHorse that the move was “a response to the concerns raised by Texas Horsemen’s Partnership that needed to be addressed.” She noted that “specifically, the way the commission implemented the hair testing procedure in May 2021 did not provide adequate notice and transparent procedures to participants.”

Along with existing blood and urine testing, some tracks, organizations, and regulators have added hair testing in recent years. In Texas, shortly after hair testing began last May, the Sam Houston Futurity for Quarter Horses was run as a non-wagering event after the majority of the 10 finalists failed hair tests for either albuterol or clenbuterol.


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Coteau Grove Buys Pair of Mares in Foal to Authentic

Agent Andrew Cary went to $350K for Call to Service, $300K for Munnings’ Finest

Coteau Grove Farms took home two mares in foal to Spendthrift Farm’s Authentic  from the first session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale Jan. 11, hoping to cash in big on the 2020 Horse of the Year, whose first foals are due this year.

Authentic led first-season stallions as a covering sire in 2021 with an average of $408,542 from 24 mares sold, and continued that momentum Tuesday. Late in the session, Cary Bloodstock’s Andrew Cary signed the ticket as agent for the second time for Coteau Grove, which went to $350,000 for Call to Service (Hip 424). The 6-year-old To Honor and Serve mare was consigned by Sequel New York, agent. She is out of Game for More (More Than Ready  ), whose current 3-year-old, Giant Game , was third in the Nov. 5 TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) at Del Mar. Game for More has also produced Isotherm  , a multiple graded stakes winner, and grade 1-placed Gio Game .


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Young Tuscan First Winner for Louisiana Sire Sassicaia

Sassicaia was a $1.6 million purchase at auction that captured a grade 3 in 2016.


Young Tuscan  became the first winner for Louisiana stallion Sassicaia  Jan. 8 when the 3-year-old gelding took the first race, a maiden $12,500 claimer, at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Young Tuscan shot to the lead under Charlie Marquez and after splits of :22.36 and :46.78, pulled away by 3 1/2 lengths at the finish, stopping the clock in 1:06.17 for 5 1/2 furlongs. The Elite Thoroughbred Racing-owned runner, trained by Lee Thomas, notched his first victory in seven starts and advanced his earnings to $10,140.


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Keeneland Postpones January Sale Start a Day to Jan. 11

Winter weather forces start of sale to be pushed back one day.


Due to a winter storm and hazardous travel conditions in Kentucky, Keeneland has shifted all operations related to its January Horses of All Ages Sale back one day and moved the start of the sale to Jan. 11.

The sale will end Jan. 14. All sessions will begin at 10 a.m. ET.

The January sale previously was scheduled to run Jan. 10-13, Monday through Thursday. It will now take place Tuesday through Friday.


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Lauri’s Wish is Catalina Red’s First Winner

The Louisiana-bred won Dec. 23 at Delta Downs by 8 1/4 lengths.


Elite Thoroughbreds’ graded stakes winner and freshman sire Catalina Red  sired his first winner when his son Lauri’s Wish  won a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight Dec. 23 at Delta Downs by 8 1/4 lengths.

A Louisiana homebred for Tony Lenci and Chad Stewart, Lauri’s Wish won his second career start gate to wire in 1:36.54. He was ridden by Thomas Pompell and is trained by Lee Thomas.

The colt is the first and only foal out of the Archarcharch daughter Laurigolightly, who is out of graded-placed stakes winner Tiger Belle (Tiger Ridge ). Stewart trained Laurigolightly for owner/breeder Robert Roffey Jr. The mare was bred to Catalina Red this year.

Lenci raced Catalina Red, whom he bought at the 2014 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale for $71,000 from de Meric Sales. The son of Munnings   became a stakes winner at 2 in the Inaugural Stakes and Pasco Stakes, both at Tampa Bay Downs, won the Jackson Bend Stakes at Gulfstream Park at 3, and at 4 won the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) and Hilton Garden Inn/Hampton Inn and Suites Sprint Stakes in addition to placing third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1). He retired with a 5-1-3 record from 13 starts and earned $549,885. Stewart trained Catalina Red for his first nine starts.

Catalina Red stands at Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La., for $2,000 in 2022.

2021 Yearling Market Sees Restoration & Rejuvenation

Auction Digest series begins with yearling market overview


The focus of the 2020 sale season was trying to survive in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, forcing the rescheduling or  complete cancellation of many sales. The market saw across-the-board reductions in number sold, gross, average, and median, not unexpected given the global circumstances. Fortunately, as the industry looked to 2021 for a return to stability, the yearling market rebounded spectacularly.

For every loss in 2020, 2021 posted gains in nearly every metric over even 2019’s pre-pandemic bull market. With 7,724 yearlings offered, 2021 presented nearly 800 fewer yearlings than the 8,517 in 2019, but that was the only statistic that underachieved this season. The 6,358 yearlings that sold grossed $552,636,037 compared to $532,147,622 for 6,387 head in 2019, a slight increase of 3.9%. Average increased correspondingly with a 4.3% gain to $86,920 from 2019’s $83,317. But the arguably most impressive figure from this season is the median achieved this sale year. Surging from an already strong median of $23,000 in 2019, the yearling crop soared to an incredible $32,000 median in 2021—an astounding 39% gain.


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Delta Downs Trying to Light a Way to Safe Night Racing

Louisiana Racing Commission delays decision on restoring night racing for 30 days.


better lighting system at Boyd Gaming’s Delta Downs in Southern Louisiana has not been good enough for the track to restore its valuable two nights of racing per week.

The racetrack lost its lighting during the devastation from Category 4 Hurricane Laura in August 2020 and consequently its most valuable real estate in the national pari-mutuel simulcast landscape. A new lighting system was unveiled in October, which one expert has called “exceptionally better than in the past,” but the Delta Downs jockey colony has not been happy with the results, calling an uneven spread of dark and bright spots around the track dangerous to both horse and rider.

The Louisiana Racing Commission considered the issue Dec. 13 during a hearing to consider a Delta Downs request to convert two of its four weekly racing days from afternoon to night.


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Grade 1-Winning Sprinter No Parole Retired

Last year he won the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day.

Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s grade 1 winner No Parole has been retired after being eased and finishing last in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint Stakes Dec. 11 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The victory was the third consecutive distant finish for the 4-year-old Violence   colt. As a younger horse, the Tom Amoss trainee won five of his first six races, including the 2020 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day. After that victory, he went 1-for-7, winning only the Louisiana Bred Premier Sprint Stakes at Delta Downs in February.

“No Parole has been a once in a lifetime horse,” Moss tweeted shortly after Saturday’s race. “He has trained super, sound, healthy—went into the race great—when a horse doesn’t want to do it anymore—we honor that and retire him 100% sound and happy.”


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Louisiana Trainer, Racing Official Palmisano Dies at 74

Palmisano trained through 2005 and later became paddock judge at Fair Grounds.

Gary Palmisano Sr., a longtime trainer and racing official in Louisiana, died Dec. 1 in New Orleans after a 19-year fight with cancer. He was 74.

Palmisano trained from 1976-2005, according to Equibase, winning 353 races for owners that included Bryan and Vickie Krantz, who raced as Krantz Stable and were prior owners of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the defunct Jefferson Downs. Led by stakes winners Destiny Calls  and Coach Rags, Palmisano’s horses earned just shy of $4 million.

Palmisano died in the early morning Wednesday with his wife Karen and son Gary by his side. The latter is an executive for Churchill Downs.


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