2018 began with a bang for a trio of Canadian, Woodbine-based trainers and owners on Jan. 1 at Gulfstream
plus, Sovereign Award statistics sent to voters and more!
Graded stakes winning mare CODE WARRIOR, making her first start for new owner ROBERT MARZILLI and trainer MIKE DEPAULO sped to a nice win in the Abundantia Stakes early on the New Year’s Day card at Gulfstream Park.
The Florida-bred mare by Ontario sire SOCIETY’S CHAIRMAN was making her first start since she was purchased for $190,000 at the Keeneland Noveember sale by Marzilli, who raced the 2016 Horse of the Year CAREN, also by Society’s Chairman.
Code Warrior won the 5 furlong turf race in 55.82 for a career best 90 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily Racing Form.
It was the 5th win in 16 races for the mare who won the Grade 3 Hendrie for trainer Rachel Halden in 2017. The mare raced for JC Stable, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber in 2017. She could be a finalist for Female Sprinter of the Year at the Sovereign Awards.
The Jan. 1 racing card was memorable for Kleinburg’s STEVE OWENS, owner and trainer, who has his first string at the Florida track this winter. His homebred WHITE MOON, also owned by Bev and Emma Owens, won race 1, a $6,250 claiming race. The filly was claimed from the victory.
And Pat Parente’s new claim TITOCHIP, a $50,000 scoop from trainer Todd Pletcher, won an optional claiming race the same afternoon. He is a son of Ghostzapper who was making his 3rd career start.
On Dec. 31 Dan Vella’s mare PULLED THE GOALIE won a $16,000 claiming race on the grass and was claimed.
SOVEREIGN AWARD STATISTICS SENT TO VOTERS
Comprehensive packages of statistics for some of the eligible horses and humans for the voting for the 2017 Sovereign awards were sent out yesterday to voters.
Camille Casse at the Jockey Club of Canada send out information on all the horse divisions and human categories for voters to prepare for the opening day of voting, Jan 12.
Voters across Canada can pick 3 candidates in each division, 1st , 2nd and 3rd and any horse or human is eligible (as long as they meet starts guidelines).
In recent years, voting has been strongly skewed to simply who won the most purse money, whether it be breeders, owners, etc.
Certainly that has made the resulting winners hard to explain in some categories over the years (Ivan Dalos should have been named top breeder in 2016).
With plenty of time to consider and study the information, it is expected that voters will be able to sort out the deserving champions for 2017.
Who will be 2017 HORSE OF THE YEAR IN CANADA?
AMI’S MESA ← or PINK LLOYD
Big carryover for racing today at Gulfstream but expect rain
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 19th consecutive program Monday, growing the jackpot carryover to $828,290.56 for Wednesday’s card.
Multiple tickets will all six winners were each worth $29,895.86.
Two horses in the 11th and final race in the Rainbow 6 sequence were eligible to crack a $1,097,253.38 jackpot: No. 5 Rahy Moments and No. 10 Tequila N Tacos. Rahy Moments, sent to post at 70-1, led into the stretch before finishing third.
The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
The carryover jackpot pool going into Monday’s six-race sequence (Races 6-11) was $712,977.91, generating a Rainbow 6 handle of $480,546.
SPREAD YOUR WINGS – PEGASUS WORLD CUP NEWS
With frigid weather looming in New Orleans, trainer Steve Asmussen wanted a little something extra from Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Gun Runner during his weekly workout Sunday in preparation for Gulfstream Park’s $16-million Pegasus World Cup (G1).
And in the case of Gun Runner, heavy favorite to be feted as North America’s Horse of the Year two days before the Jan. 27 Pegasus, a little extra produces the extraordinary.
In company with his trusty workmate Gettysburg, Gun Runner powered three-quarters of a mile in 1:10 3/5 at the Fair Grounds Race Course on the last day before both horses officially turn 5 years old. To put that time in perspective, out of 78 races conducted at six furlongs during the Fair Grounds meet through Saturday, only nine have gone faster than Gun Runner’s work, according to Brisnet.com.
The Fair Grounds clockers timed Gun Runner’s eighth-mile splits in 12 2/5 seconds for the first furlong, followed by 24 for the quarter-mile, 35 1/5 for three-eighths, 47 3/5 for the half and 58 1/5 for five-eighths, with gallop-out times of 1:24 3/5 for the seven-eighths and 1:39 1/5 for the mile.
“He worked amazing. Time to pick it up with him, and obviously he’s very willing,” Asmussen said. “He looked wonderful and cooled out great. He’s just fast.”
Gun Runner’s half-mile split of 47 3/5 was faster than horses working that distance (47 4/5 being the fastest time among that group of 91), his 58 3/5 easily topping the “bullet” for five-eighths of 59 1/5 among 73 at that distance. Regular exercise rider Angel Garcia was on Gun Runner, with jockey Florent Geroux in France because of his father’s death last week.
Asmussen isn’t known for mandating fast times from his horses, so when one uncorks such an eye-popping effort, it’s because that’s just who the horse is, as the trainer likes to say. But Asmussen did want Gun Runner to do more than he might under normal circumstances, given that the temperature is expected to plunge below freezing the next few nights, including a low of 25 degrees Monday.
“We have a little pending weather coming, and we’re most likely going to miss a couple of days,” he said. “I really wanted him to get something out of this, in case the weather lingers around. So we did ask him to pick it up today. I thought he did it nicely. He looked great. If all is perfect, we’ll have two more works here before we go to Gulfstream.”
Gun Runner is scheduled to fly to Florida on Jan. 18. The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus will be Gun Runner’s last race before retiring to a stallion career at Three Chimneys Farm, which co-owns the horse with Winchell Thoroughbreds.
GIANT EXPECTATIONS, who sauntered to an easy win on the pace in the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, has now entered the picture.
The New York bred by Frost Giant (a a son of Giant’s Causeway), Giant Expectations cycled up to a career top Beyer Figure of 106 in his recent victory.
His last 3 Beyer Figures read 106,94, 81.
There are 10 confirmed starters for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational
Collected – 101, 115, 114
Owner: Speedway Stable LLC. | Trainer: Bob Baffert
Hall of Fame trainer Baffert, who saddled Arrogate to victory last year, returns with two starters including Collected, a multiple-graded stakes winner who finished second Nov. 4 at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The son of City Zip has won eight of 13 starts and is currently training at Santa Anita.
Gunnevera – 109. 104, 86
Owner: William C. Gallo, et al. | Trainer: Antonio Sano
The popular colt won the Fountain of Youth (G2) and was second in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga this summer and finished in a dead-head for fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He has three victories over Gulfstream Park and is training at Gulfstream Park West.
Gun Runner 117, 115, 112
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC/Three Chimneys Farm.| Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Just two days before the running of Pegasus, Gun Runner is favored to be crowned 2017 Horse of the Year at the 47th Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream. Under the care of Hall of Fame horseman Asmussen, Gun Runner won five of six races in 2017, including four consecutive Grade 1 events. He capped off his season with a gate-to-wire victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The son of Candy Ride is training in New Orleans.
Seeking the Soul 103, 103, 93
Owner: Charles E. Fipke. | Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Bred by Fipke, Seeking the Soul will enter the Pegasus off his biggest win, a half-length victory in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs November 24. The son of Perfect Soul is currently training in New Orleans.
Stellar Wind 80, 103, 101
Owner: Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith (Coolmore). | Trainer: Chad Brown
The lone filly or mare in the Pegasus as of now, Stellar Wind earned an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2015. She reeled off three consecutive Grade 1 victories earlier this year and is the daughter of two-time Horse of the Year, Curlin. The mare is currently in training at Palm Meadows Training Center in Palm Beach.
Toast of New York – n/a
Owner: Al Shaqab, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, R.A. Hill, Eric Young. | Trainer: James Osborne
Toast of New York returned from a three-year layoff earlier this month to win at Lingfield Park in Surrey, United Kingdom. After finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2014, the 6-year-old was retired for stallion duties in Dubai but was returned to training in April. He has finished first or second in seven of his nine career starts. He remains in the U.K.
2 – To Be Announced
Owner: Adena Springs. | Trainer: TBA
Adena Springs is owned by the Stronach Family, the innovators behind the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. Adena Springs bred Shaman Ghost, who finished second in the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational.
War Story/Game Over War Story’s last 3 Beyers – 112/94. 92
Owner: Ron Paolucci and Ashley Quartarolo. | Trainer: Jorge Navarro
The connections are still considering which one of two horses they will have in the Pegasus starting gate. War Story, a graded-stakes winner, would enter off a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The lightly-raced Game Over was most recently fourth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Both are stabled at Gulfstream Park West.
West Coast 112. 107. 108
Owner: Gary and Mary West. Trainer: Bob Baffert
Winner of the Travers Stakes and third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, this 3-year-old has won six of nine starts and has never finished worse than third. Currently training at Santa Anita.
YEAR IN REVIEW from www.horse-races.net
FRANK STRONACH TO RECEIVE ECLIPSE AWARD OF MERIT
From Gulfstream Park website:
Through his extraordinary success in racing, breeding, racetrack ownership and support of retired racehorse programs, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) today announced that Frank Stronach will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in service to the Thoroughbred industry.
Stronach will receive the Award of Merit at the 47th Annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony on Thursday, January 25, in the Sport of Kings theatre at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The Eclipse Awards are presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, and produced by the NTRA.
Over the course of his prodigious career, marked by boldness and innovation, Stronach moved swiftly in the 21st Century to become Thoroughbred racing’s largest racetrack operator and paralleled those business acquisitions with his prowess as an owner and breeder to become the most decorated individual in Eclipse Awards history, winning 12 championship trophies.
“I am flattered and touched to be recognized with the prestigious Eclipse Award of Merit,” said Stronach. “Horses and racing have been my passion, my labor of love, since I was a boy. It’s been an honor to be part of this great sport and help in creating world-class races, facilities and training centers with our friends, partners and co-workers. What’s most important, however, has been working and being around the incredible horses. I want to share this award with all of those who have contributed to all our success.”
Prior to his beginnings in the Thoroughbred industry, Stronach made his name in the auto parts business. Born in 1932, Stronach emigrated from his native Austria to Canada as a 21-year-old with $200 in his pocket, and started a one-man tool and die shop in a rented garage, sleeping at night next to a lathe. Working in the Toronto manufacturing district, Stronach steadily built his Multimatic company, with a series of mergers and acquisitions, into Magna International Inc., and by 1998 he developed it into one of the world’s largest and most diversified suppliers of automotive components with annual sales of more than $30 billion and over 120,000 employees in close to 30 countries.
“I always tell my business friends how much fun it is to own a racehorse. It’s not just the sporting aspect, you benefit from the culture of it.” – Frank Stronach
Outside of Magna, Stronach developed a great love and passion for horses and Thoroughbred racing. He purchased his first Thoroughbred in 1962. He later teamed with Nelson Bunker Hunt to campaign the talented filly Glorious Song to the 1980 Sovereign Award as Canada’s Horse of the Year. Stronach established Adena Springs near Versailles, Ky., in 1989 and made it into a breeding powerhouse. Stronach owns and operates Adena Springs Farm, with locations in Kentucky, Florida and Canada. In 2017, he announced his intention to develop a division of Adena Springs in California.
While he was enjoying success as an owner and breeder, shortly after his 4-year-old Awesome Again won the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Stronach saw an opportunity to expand his passion for the Thoroughbred into racetrack property acquisition, where few other entrepreneurs were willing to venture. Stronach began to acquire racetracks under the Magna Entertainment brand on a grand scale. He bought Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles late in 1998. The purchase of historic Santa Anita, nicknamed The Great Race Place, was followed by the acquisition of Gulfstream Park in South Florida and Golden Gate Fields in the Bay Area, the following year. The purchase of the Maryland Jockey Club tracks of Pimlico, home of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, and Laurel Race Course, and Lone Star Park near Dallas, followed in 2002. In a short time, Magna Entertainment became the largest racetrack operator in North America. Through a reorganization in 2007, the tracks are owned under the name of The Stronach Group, with Frank Stronach as its Founder and Chairman. His daughter, Belinda, now serves as Chairman and President of the company.
Stronach made bold strokes during this period:
– He transformed Gulfstream Park into a racetrack, casino, entertainment center and a sprawling shopping village with popular restaurant and retail store outlets.
– In 2001, Stronach began development of the Palm Meadows training center, located 45 minutes north of Gulfstream, which proved a vital training facility for the Florida Thoroughbred racing community.
– At Santa Anita, he created the FrontRunner restaurant and turned it into one of racing’s most popular and entertaining locations for fans to enjoy a day at the races.
– In November of 2002, Stronach launched Xpressbet, an advance deposit wagering service. The following year, the HRTV network was formed, producing daily live racing telecasts tied to the Xpressbet wagering service.
– In 2006, he acquired AmTote, the largest totalizator company in North America.
– In recent years, Stronach has constructed more stabling at Gulfstream and made state-of-the-art renovations at Laurel Park on both the frontside and backstretch of the facility.
“You’ve got to be innovative,” Stronach said a few years ago. “If you want to be No. 1 you need to make a big investment to attract people. You know, a turtle only makes progress if he sticks his neck out a little.”
In 2017, Stronach took innovation and boldness to the next level by creating the world’s richest horse race, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup, where slots in 12 starting gate positions would be sold for $1 million apiece to individual ownership groups. The inaugural running at Gulfstream Park on January 28, 2017, was won by World No. 1 ranked horse Arrogate. The second Pegasus World Cup, which will be held on January 27, two days after the Eclipse Awards, now will carry a staggering $16 million purse.
A statue of Pegasus, constructed from 450 tons of steel and bronze, and standing 125-feet tall, is located near the entrance to Gulfstream.
“Frank Stronach has had an undeniable impact on the Thoroughbred industry, accentuated by his tremendous commitment to excellence in so many facets of our sport,” said Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO. “Through his indomitable will, spirt and bold business ventures, Frank has built a tower of tremendous accomplishments with The Stronach Group, Adena Springs and now the world’s richest horse race, the Pegasus World Cup. We salute him as a most deserving Award of Merit recipient.”
Over the past 20 years, Stronach has earned unprecedented individual milestones as an owner and breeder. He has captured the Outstanding Breeder Eclipse Award a record eight times (2000, 2004-2008; 2010-2011) and has been honored as the Outstanding Owner on four occasions (1998-2000, 2008). Stronach-campaigned horses have won five Eclipse Awards: Glorious Song, 1980 Older Female; Macho Uno, 2000 Champion 2-year-old Male; Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male; and Ginger Punch, 2007 Champion Older Female. He has won five Breeders’ Cup races, including the Classic twice with Awesome Again and Ghostzapper. Stronach also won the 2002 Preakness with Red Bullet.
Adena Springs was also the leading money-earning breeder in North America for 11 consecutive years (2003-2013), and was second in 2016. Stronach was the leading North American owner in earnings in 2000, 2002 and 2007.
Stronach also has won more than 20 Sovereign Awards in Canada. He has been honored eight times as Canada’s outstanding owner along with 11 Sovereign Awards as its outstanding breeder. He also campaigned multiple Sovereign Award winner and 1980 Canadian Horse of the Year, Glorious Song.
As a supporter of important Thoroughbred causes, Stronach created the Adena Springs Retirement program in 2004 with locations in Florida and in Canada, which were the first in-house retirement and rehoming programs within the industry established at such a grand scale. Stronach also created aftercare and retirement programs at his racetracks. These endeavors earned him the inaugural Earle I. Mack Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Champion Award, honoring outstanding efforts and influence on Thoroughbred welfare, safety and retirement.
In 1999, Stronach was honored with the Order of Canada, which recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
A complete list of past Eclipse Award winners, including the Award of Merit recipients, can be accessed online at http://ntra.com/en/eclipse-awards/history.
Tickets to The Eclipse Awards ceremony are on sale for $425 each or $4,000 for a table of 10. For reservations, please contact Casey Hamilton of the NTRA at email@example.com, or call (859) 422-2627.