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Horologist to Supplement to Breeders’ Cup, Will Race in 2021

Horologist | Susie Raisher

By Bill Finley

The New Jersey-bred star Horologist (Gemologist) will be supplemented to the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at a cost of $160,000, her co-owner Cameron Beatty confirmed Wednesday.

The decision came after her owners participated in a conference call Monday, at which time they also decided to bring her back for another campaign next year at age five. Horologist is cataloged to sell as hip 29 through Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, at next month’s Keeneland November sale.

The decisions came after Horologist scored the biggest win of her career Sunday at Belmont in the GII Beldame S. Taking on a group of challengers that included Grade I winner Dunbar Road (Quality Road), Horologist scored a surprisingly easy three-length win as the longest shot on the board at 7-1. After struggling for much of the year, Horologist has won two of three starts since being turned over to trainer Bill Mott.

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Fair Grounds Must Pay Record Fine in Clean Water Act Settlement

By T. D. Thornton

In an attempt to resolve years of federal Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at its Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans, Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company, LLC, has agreed to pay a $2.7 million penalty–the largest civil fine ever paid by a concentrated animal feeding operation in a CWA matter.

Under the terms of the settlement announced Sept. 29 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the limited liability company that runs Fair Grounds must also implement $5.6 million in operational changes and construction projects to eliminate the unauthorized discharges of manure, urine, and wastewater from the track’s stable area.

 

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Louisiana Judge to Rule Friday on Fair Grounds Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

A temporary restraining order issued Sep. 4 has blocked a Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) mandate from taking effect that seeks to force the Fair Grounds to open its backstretch stabling to as many as 500 Thoroughbreds displaced by Hurricane Laura in the last week of August. An Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge is now expected to rule on the injunction after a Sep. 11 hearing.

The news site Crescent City Sports first reported on the 57-page request for injunction filed by attorneys for the Fair Grounds, which is owned by the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc. The filing stated that the LSRC “does not have the legal authority to issue the mandatory injunction” and that “issuing such an order constitutes an unconstitutional taking and violates Fair Grounds’ constitutional rights to due process.”

After the Aug. 27 hurricane wrecked infrastructure at Delta Downs, the racino announced that its property would close to assess and repair damage. The Oct. 6-Feb. 27 meet could be delayed or abbreviated.

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LA Horsemen Plea to Commission for Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura that devastated structures at Delta Downs last week, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LHBPA) made a written plea to the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) Sept. 2 asking for an emergency order to be handed down that would mandate “immediate access to stalls to stable at both Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds.”

The request for stabling involves both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, and is complicated by meets for both breeds ending and starting within the same rough time frame at Louisiana’s four tracks. Additionally, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic is making movement of people and horses difficult.

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LA Cup Day Features Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser

In support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 19. The wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018, and passed away six months later. She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.

Beginning at 2:00 pm on Louisiana Cup Day, a table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel and memorabilia. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation. Fans will be able to stop by the table, purchase items or make donations until 6:00 pm.

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Delta Downs Suffers Serious Damage in Hurricane, Opening to be Postponed

By Bill Finley

While no horses or people suffered major injuries as a result of Hurricane Laura, the storm produced serious damage to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana, leaving the facility in such bad shape that its director of racing operations Chris Warren said there was no chance the track would be able to begin its Thoroughbred meet on time.

“This meet is supposed to start Oct. 6. That isn’t going to happen,” Warren said. “There’s no way. When it will happen, I have no idea.”

“There’s debris and sheet metal everywhere,” he said. “The tote board got demolished. It collapsed and is completely gone. Our camera towers are gone, so is our holding barn. The starting gates got completely turned over and the light poles are torn up. The whole backside rail is pretty much ruined. There’s just a lot of damage and it is everywhere.”

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Louisiana Bred Half Ours Colt Zips Fastest Quarter of the Week at OBS

By Jessica Martini

The under-tack show for next week’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s July 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale reached its midway point Wednesday in Central Florida and a Louisiana bred colt by Half Ours (hip 383) turned in the week’s fastest quarter-mile so far, covering the distance in :20 1/5. The bay colt is consigned by Sergio Centeno’s Blue River Bloodstock and is out of All About Ju Ju (Into Mischief).

“He prepped in :21 1/5, so I expected he could go :21 flat to :20 4/5, but he worked really, really good,” said Centeno.

Centeno’s brother Jaime purchased the colt for $8,000 at last year’s OBS October Sale.

 

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Lone Star Cancels Through Week; Melancon Tests Positive for COVID-19

By Bill Finley

 

With Lone Star Park officials having little to say about the abrupt shut down of racing after Sunday’s first race, it was unclear when racing would resume at the Dallas area track or if the meet will be canceled.

Citing a conversation with racing secretary Tim Williams, the Daily Racing Form reported Monday that the three days of racing scheduled for this week would not be held.

Lone Star’s decision to stop racing may be related to the news that jockey Gerard Melancon has tested positive for the coronavirus. A regular at Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs, Melancon last rode June 28 on shipper Mocito Rojo (Mutadda) in the Lone Star Mile.

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Tom Amoss Joins TDN Writers’ Room to Talk No Parole, Serengeti Empress, Racing Broadcasts and More

By Joe Bianca

With a newly-minted Grade I winner in his barn and another set to hit the track this weekend, trainer Tom Amoss joined the TDN Writers’ Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning for an illuminating discussion that covered a wide variety of topics, big and small. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Amoss explained the success of barn stars No Parole (Violence) and Serengeti Empress (Alternation), talked about what he’s learned from branching out into broadcasting and offered his take on why racing has a difficult time catching cheating trainers.

“When No Parole was first making his debut against state-bred company at the Fair Grounds, I recall vividly calling [owner] Maggi Moss and telling her, ‘Hey, this isn’t just a good Louisiana-bred sprinter, this is a very good racehorse,’” Amoss said. “He’s now a Grade I winner, he’s undefeated going one turn in four starts. In the back of our minds, if the horse stays healthy and does good, when he gets to the end of his 3-year-old year, where his maturity level will catch up to the older horses, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint is a possibility. And of course, we think he’d make a heck of a stallion. He’s gorgeous, good looking. He just won an important stallion race [Saturday’s GI Woody Stephens S.]. So we’ve got that on our mind as well.”

 

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Kentucky Derby, Oaks Will Have Spectators

Strict guidelines to be enforced; number of fans yet to be announced.

 

Churchill Downs Racetrack announced June 25 that after consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials, the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) will occur with spectators under strict guidelines.

Kentucky Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks set for Sept. 4 and the Derby Sept. 5.

The number of fans is yet to be announced.

“We truly appreciate the leadership of the governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, and all of the hard work, collaboration and guidance that state and local officials and public health experts have provided us to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby week in September with spectators,” said Churchill Downs’ president Kevin Flanery. “Our team is deeply committed to holding the best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have established a comprehensive set of operating procedures, which include a multitude of precautionary measures to be followed while fans are in attendance at our facility. We are determined to keep our customers, employees and communities as safe as we responsibly can.”

Churchill Downs’ plan was developed in conjunction with advice and counsel set forth by the Louisville Metro Health Department and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance. Some of the steps that will be taken to ensure guest and employee safety include:

•    Venue capacity reductions to limit overall crowd density, including general admission, outdoor reserved seating, premium dining, and suites. More information on ticketing and seating areas will be released in the coming days and also will be sent directly to ticket holders.
•  General admission tickets will be limited to a specified number and only grant access to the infield. No general admission will be allowed in the “front side” or paddock areas of the facility.

•    Access throughout the facility will be limited.

•    Credentials for employees, media, and guests will be reduced.

•    Barn area access will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the barn area for morning workouts and during race days will be eliminated.

•    Changes in venue operations to limit person-to-person touch points.

•    Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.

•    A revised Fan Code of Conduct that establishes expectations for guests coming to the Derby.

•    Guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue. This includes when:
Riding on a shuttle
Traveling through the venue
Going to the restroom
Placing an in-person wager
Purchasing food or beverages from a concession stand
Guests will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds or sanitize them frequently.
Guests will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible.

More detailed and additional information will be provided in the coming days online at http://www.KentuckyDerby.com/Updates.

“The impact of the Kentucky Derby extends well beyond the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs,” Flanery said. “It is an incredibly important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky both culturally, economically and with respect to our time-honored traditions. Both employees and guests are asked to take an active role in following all guidelines. We must all do our part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Kentucky Derby Week dates are automatically valid for the new race dates. Guests may arrive on the new dates in September with their printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Guests that have purchased a ticket and are not able to attend the newly scheduled race dates, can visit www.KentuckyDerby.com/TicketStatus for more information. Guests who purchased tickets from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, Ticketmaster.com or Derby Experiences must contact those sites directly. Churchill Downs is unable to process refunds for those tickets.

 

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