Cilla Upsets Prioress

The Louisiana-bred daughter of California Chrome ran six furlongs in 1:10.05.

 

Even at the graded stakes level, select Louisiana-breds are showing they can take their show on the road to New York.

Last year, No Parole  went to Belmont Park and came away with a victory in the Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1). Then Sept. 4 at Saratoga Race Course, another Louisiana-bred triumphed when Cilla  turned away favored Souper Sensational  by a half-length to capture the $242,500 Prioress Stakes (G2).

 

Read BloodHorse Article

Hurricane Ida Damages Fair Grounds Barns, Tote Board

Evangeline Downs was fortunate to escape the brunt of the storm.

 

Hurricane Ida, which battered New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast Aug. 29, damaged portions of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, though no on-site injuries were reported.

Photographs forwarded by Fair Grounds president Doug Shipley show a mangled tote board, a downed lighting pole, and roof and wall damage to numerous barns.

“The team at Fair Grounds continues to assess the extensive damage to the property as a result of the impact of Hurricane Ida,” he said in a statement. “While there will be much necessary repair in preparation for our Thoroughbred racing season in November, we are most grateful that our Quarter Horse meet had been relocated this year and therefore there were no horses were on property.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

Without Jazz Fest, Turf Ready for Fair Grounds Meet

Jazz Fest annually leaves the Fair Grounds grass course in need of recovery.

The recent COVID-19-related cancellation of this fall’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival should leave full turf racing opportunities this fall and winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, according to Bernard Chatters, president of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Fair Grounds annually hosts the music festival, an event known as Jazz Fest, typically in the spring, drawing thousands onto its infield area and leaving its grass course in need of recovery. The event, a staple in New Orleans tourism, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and this year it was postponed until the fall before festival officials scrapped it Aug. 8, citing “exponential growth” of COVID-19 cases in the area. It is scheduled to resume next year from April 29-May 8.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

Royal O’Haigain First Winner for Stallion El Deal

El Deal won the 2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.

 

By

 

Royal O’Haigain  became the first winner for the Louisiana stallion El Deal  when the 2-year-old filly won a $64,562 maiden special weight at Santa Anita Park May 21.

Bet down to 4-5, she led from start to finish, finishing 5 1/2 lengths ahead of runner-up Harddiane . The Luis Mendez-trained winner, owned by L. N. M. Three Company, Pappas Horse Racing, and Charles Bartlett, completed 4 1/2 furlongs in :53.12 on a fast track under Alexis Centeno.

Bred in Louisiana by Cloyce Clark Jr., Royal O’Haigain is the first winner from the grade 3-placed Cowtown Cat   mare Dreaming of Susie . Royal O’Haigain fell short of her reserve when bidding halted at $47,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales’ March 2021 Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale, where she was consigned by Havens Bloodstock Agency.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

Hernandez Brothers Both Win Stakes at Keeneland

Change of Control provided Colby Hernandez with his first Keeneland stakes victory.

 

When two siblings ride stakes winners at a track on the same card, more often than not it is the dynamic duo of Irad Ortiz Jr. and his brother, Jose—both Eclipse Award-winning jockeys.

But they aren’t the ones. On April 10 at Keeneland, brothers Brian Hernandez Jr. and younger brother, Colby, managed the unique accomplishment. Colby notched his first Keeneland stakes win on Change of Control  in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes, a half-hour before Brian recorded his 12th Keeneland stakes triumph when he rode King Fury  to victory in the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3).

It wasn’t the first time the two won stakes on a specific card, suspects Brian, the elder of the two.

 

Read BloodHorse article

Louisiana-bred The Great One Romps in Santa Anita Maiden Race

By

 

Coming off a nose defeat when second in the Dec. 19 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), The Great One exploded against maiden special weight rivals for a 14-length score in second race Jan. 23 at Santa Anita Park.

Ridden by Abel Cedillo, the son of 2016 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Nyquist  sped a mile in 1:37.28, a time more than three seconds faster than the day’s fourth race, a starter optional claiming race for 3-year-old fillies. He pressed debuting favorite Fenway, dispatched him, and won handily over runner-up Affable.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

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.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

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.

Read BloodHorse Article

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.

Jockey Hernandez Tests Positive for COVID-19

Rider off Churchill Downs mounts Sept 1.

 

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. reported Sept. 1 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, but that he is no longer contagious since he is also positive for the virus antibodies.

Hernandez was taken off the four mounts on which he was named for the Tuesday card at Churchill Downs that kicks off the week leading up to the rescheduled Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), and it was unclear when he would be able to resume riding. He had 25 mounts lined up for Sept. 1-4.

“We got the antibody results back,” Hernandez wrote in a text message. “I am positive for the virus but positive for the antibodies as well, which means I am no longer contagious. Now we are waiting for Churchill and the health department to tell us when we can go back to riding.”

Read BloodHorse Article