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Red River Farms’ Takeover Target Sires First Winner in Louisiana

My Heavy Son won by 2 3/4 lengths at Louisiana Downs Sept. 14.

Red River Farms’ freshman sire Takeover Target  scored his first winner Sept. 14 when his gelded son My Heavy Son  won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack by 2 3/4 lengths.

Bred by Joan Adcock, the gelding is the first foal out of the Three Hour Nap  winner Swanky Princess, who is a full sister to grade 3-placed stakes winner Wynn Time  and multiple stakes winner Cinco Star . The mare also has a yearling by Bind  named Bye Bye Big Baby and produced a colt this year by Jay Gatsby.

My Heavy Son is raced by Iron Oaks Stable and trained by Patrick Mouton. He was unplaced in his first two starts and found a late kick in his third start that propelled him to the win. His final time was 1:07.35.

 

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McIngvale Offers Shelter During Winter Storm

The Houston businessman opened his furniture store to people without power and water.

Thoroughbred owner/breeder, Houston businessman, and philanthropist Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale again opened his main Gallery Furniture store to people in need, this time to city residents seeking refuge from cold, dark homes without safe water to drink.

In an interview Feb. 18 with Michael Strahan on ABC’s Good Morning America, McIngvale said he had almost 1,000 people show up at his Houston, Texas, store and about 300 of them stayed overnight each day Feb. 16-17. Multiple days of freezing temperatures left nearly three million Texans without power Wednesday, with more than a million of them in Houston, according to multiple reports. The state also warned residents that water pressure is so low it might be unsafe to drink. Boil water notices were issued throughout the city.

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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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Study Connects Rise in Inbreeding to Larger Books

An analysis of inbreeding over 45 years shows the biggest increase during 1996-2006.

 

A 2011 study showing an increase in inbreeding in the Thoroughbred during a 45-year period from 1961-2006 also concluded the majority of the increase occurred during the last 10 years of the study period—a time coinciding with a sharp rise in the number of stallions being bred to books of 100 mares or more. Dr. Matthew Binns was the lead author of the study “Inbreeding in the Thoroughbred horse” that appeared in a June 2011 edition of Animal Genetics. The genotyping of 467 Thoroughbreds born between 1961-2006 showed an increase in the average inbreeding coefficient. More significantly, the study notes, the majority of the increase occurred during 1996-06, when the number of North American stallions breeding 100 or more mares in a given season rose from 14 to 128. In 1996, 14 North American stallions covered 100 mares or more. Only five years earlier only one stallion—Alydar—had bred a book of mares exceeding 100.

“My conclusion was that the data was showing the start of a trend that could become worrisome and needed monitoring,” Binns told BloodHorse. “It was starting to show this increase as a result of the big books.”

 

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Blue Star Racing to Stand Breaking Lucky

Stallion is a half brother to the dam of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House.

Blue Star Racing in Louisiana announced May 7 it will add Breaking Lucky, a graded stakes-winning half brother to the dam of Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Country House, to its stallion roster for 2020. The farm near Scott, La., bought the millionaire son of Lookin At Lucky prior to the Arkansas Derby (G1) from a racing partnership that included West Point Thoroughbreds, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Eric Young, and R. A. Hill Stable. Breaking Lucky has been retired.

“We are so excited because we are adding another graded stakes-winning millionaire to our roster,” said Blue Star Racing owner Dex Comardelle, who started standing multiple grade 1 winner Real Solution  in 2018. He leases the son of Kitten’s Joy  from Calumet Farm. “This is an opportunity for the breeders in our area to tap into a sire line that is red hot in Lookin At Lucky. You also are tapping into a very deep female family as well.”

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Pinhook Market Trends Point to ‘Up’ Market in 2018

MarketWatch: Yearling-to-juvenile pinhooks

 

If the recent cycle of North America’s 2-year-olds in training market stays true to form, this year should be an “up” year for yearling-to-juvenile pinhookers. The market has been on a moderate roller coaster since 2014, with the percentage of profitable horses sold ranging between 41% and 50%. The rate of return has fluctuated more, ranging from 25% to 55% during the past five years but on a generally upward curve.

Profitability and ROR are derived from similar assumptions. A horse is considered profitable if its 2-year-old price minus a 5% sale commission exceeds the yearling sale price plus $20,000 for the cost of breaking, training, and upkeep. ROR is the percent difference between the average yearling price plus maintenance cost and the average net 2-year-old price.

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Growth in Average Daily Purses Among U.S. Tracks

MarketWatch: Top 10 tracks by percentage increase

 

Changes made in 2017 to federal tax withholding and reporting on winning pari-mutuel wagers was expected to boost overall handle figures by promoting more churn through the windows. Higher churn was then expected to boost purses, which are fueled largely from a percentage of wagering.

Expectations came to fruition, with Equibase reporting growth in both United States purses and handle reported for 2018. Wagering increased 3.3% to more than $11.26 billion and purses grew 3.5% to more than $1.11 billion.

Just how deeply were racetracks affected by this growth?

Significantly, according to an annual review of average daily purses compiled per track by BloodHorse MarketWatch. Look for a complete breakdown in the Feb. 16 issue of BloodHorse magazine. In the meantime, MarketWatch wanted to see which of the larger race meets saw the biggest increases in average daily purse between 2017 and 2018.

Our annual purse review includes racetracks that ran at least five live dates and paid gross purses of $100,000 or more. These criteria fit 84 racetracks in 2017, of which 46 (55%) reported an increase in average daily purses compared with 2016. In 2018, 80 racetracks met the criteria and of these 50 (62.5%) reported an increase in average daily purse.

Among racetracks running 50 or more days of live racing, Delta Downs reported the largest increase in average daily purse—a 32% increase to $273,809. Since 2001, Delta Downs has had the benefit of slots machines to enhance purses. The top 10 racetracks by percent increase in average daily purse include only two that do not offer any kind of alternative gambling. Those who reported growth without the benefit of slot machines or card tables are Arlington International Racecourse, up 14%, and Golden Gate Fields, up 7.9%.

Arlington was able to increase its purses in 2018 due to an underpayment in the 2017 purse account and because state lawmakers approved more than $1.6 million for owners awards and stakes races, according to the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders Fund. Arlington paid an average $239,114 in purses last year, which apparently helped raise field size slightly from 7.23 starters per race to 7.46.

Golden Gate Fields was reportedly able to grow its handle by separating its post times from the biggest races across the country, racing secretary Patrick Mackey told the San Francisco Chronicle last August. With bettors more engaged due to the changes in withholding and some additional help from bad weather and cancellations in the East, Golden Gate was able to increase its out-of-state handle by 48% and bolster its total handle by 18%.

“We had competitive races for leading rider and trainer, and not a lot of races with 1-5 or 2-5 shots winning,” Mackey told the Chronicle. “The days of (trainer) Jerry (Hollendorfer) and (jockey) Russell (Baze) winning every race at 2-5 are gone. It’s a different product where you can find betting value. When you have gamblers behind you, they keep coming back.”

 

Leading Racetracks by % Increase in Avg. Daily Purse, ‘17-’18

Includes racetracks running 50 or more live race dates in 2018

Track (State)

’18 Dates

2018 Avg. Starter”

2018 Daily Avg. Purse

% Chg. Avg. ‘17-’18

2018 Gross Purse

Delta Downs (LA)

83

8.68

$273,809

32%

$22,726,110

Mahoning Valley Race Course (OH)

100

8.61

$150,644

18%

$15,064,430

Gulfstream Park (FL)

198

8.30

$469,242

17%

$92,909,925

Arlington Int’l Racecourse (IL)

71

7.46

$239,114

14%

$16,977,066

JACKS Thistledown (OH)

100

7.29

$166,986

12%

$16,698,586

Aqueduct (NY)

91

7.16

$541,328

10%

$49,260,878

Albuquerque Downs (NM)

53

8.04

$89,165

9.6%

$4,725,732

Churchill Downs (KY)

70

8.23

$567,787

9.3%

$39,745,062

Laurel Park (MD)

156

7.77

$342,471

8.9%

$53,425,438

Golden Gate Fields (CA)

150

6.93

$152,590

7.9%

$22,888,444

Songandaprayer Pensioned from Stud Duty

Songandaprayer, a grade 1 winner and sire of 38 black-type winners, has been pensioned from commercial stud duty, according to Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla., where the stallion stood in 2018.

Bred in Kentucky by Donna Wormser, the son of Unbridled’s Song was purchased by agent Buzz Chace for $470,000 at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale. Pinhooker Robert Scanlon later sold the colt for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale to basketball star Bobby Hurley and his wife, Leslie.

Hurley and his wife, along with D.J. Stable, won the 2001 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G1) and placed second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) with Songandaprayer. He was retired at 3 with 3-1-1 record out of eight starts and $380,480 in earnings.

Songandaprayer entered stud in Florida in 2002 at Marablue Farm, which bought D.J. Stable’s interest. He stood at Marablue for three seasons before being transferred to Hartley/DeRenzo, Walmac South (also in Florida) for a season and then was sent to Walmac Farm in Kentucky. He stood five seasons at The Stallion Station@Copper Crowne before ending his stud career at Journeyman.

Songandaprayer was Florida’s leading freshman sire in 2005 with over $1 million in progeny earnings and three black-type winners, including multiple graded stakes winner What a Song. As a sire, he had 63% winners from foals and 90 black-type performers, which included three champions. His 15 crops to race earned more than $51.5 million and averaged $58,021 per starter.

Lagartijo is Real Solution’s First Winner

Real Solution
Real SolutionCourtesy Calumet Farm/ThoroStride

Won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden claimer by 3 1/4 lengths.

Blue Star Racing’s freshman sire and grade 1 winner Real Solution  picked up his first winner July 7 when his son Lagartijo won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden claiming race in his third start at Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City.

The colt out of the winning Danehill daughter Keeping Watch had been making steady progress since he debuted June 1, when he finished third, four lengths behind the winner. In his next start, Lagartijo was second by only a half-length. Then, in breaking his maiden, he won in near gate-to-wire fashion by 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:07.20 for owner Cuadra San Jorge.

Lagartijo is the fourth winner produced by Keeping Watch from four foals to race. The mare’s most recent trip through an auction was at the 2017 Keeneland January Winter Mixed Sale where Sycamore Shade Racing bought her for $10,000 in foal to Kitten’s Joy .

Ken and Sarah Ramsey bred Lagartijo in Kentucky. The Ramseys also bred and raced Real Solution, who won the Arlington Million Stakes (G1T) and Knob Creek Manhattan Stakes (G1T). Real Solution placed in the Man o’ War Stakes (G1T), Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (G1T), and Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (G1T).

The son of Kitten’s Joy entered stud at Ramsey Farm with $1,374,175 in earnings. After one breeding season, the stallion was transferred to Calumet Farm, where he stood two seasons before being shipped to Blue Star Racing in Louisiana. The stallion stands at Blue Star Racing for $5,000.

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