What’s been happening in the racing industry around the world

Maximum Security (Luis Saez) begins to power clear of Spun To Run (headgear) in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Saturday: Photo: Rob Mauhar/NYRA.com

The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week. 


Impressive Maximum Security may head to the Pegasus

North America: Maximum Security strengthened his bid for an Eclipse Award as the champion 3-year-old male by winning the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Saturday - his third G1. Owner Gary West stating he doesn’t “think anyone has the credentials he does”.

The colt, who was controversially disqualified after passing the post first in the Kentucky Derby in May, is likely to run in the Pegasus World Cup Dirt at Gulfstream next, but West indicated that he would probably give both the new $20 million Saudi Cup in February and the $12 million Dubai World Cup a month later a miss.

His Cigar Mile performance, which garnered a career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure, was the son of #136 sire New Year's Day’s sixth win from eight career starts, the only exceptions being a second in Monmouth Park’s Pegasus Stakes one start after he was disqualified in the Kentucky Derby after finishing first past the post.

He’ll likely ship to trainer Jason Servis’ primary winter stable at Palm Meadows in South Florida, with the Pegasus World Cup his likely next target. “I would have to think about it. He’s undefeated, 4-for-4 at Gulfstream,” he said.

Despite many observers believing that the colt might contest the lucrative races in the Middle East early in 2020, West is not so sure.

“I know there’s a lot of money in Saudi Arabia and Dubai,” said West. “But, we’ll forgo the money to watch our horse run in America. Sometimes when horses go to Dubai, when they come back they are not the same horses.”

Gary Stevens speaks out

North America: “It's time for a revolution to save our sport. And it has to happen ASAP!” – the words of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said in a Water Hay Oats Alliance press release this week.

The long-time member of the anti-drugs pressure group, who testified before a Pennsylvania hearing on the Health of Jockeys and Horses in Horseracing in 2012, said the racing industry must be accountable for its past mistakes, which must not be repeated. “It's time to correct that and take responsibility for our mistakes and right the ship we are sailing,” he said.

He echoed the sentiments of TRC president Charles Hayward when he said: “The Horseracing Integrity Act can put us on the right course by turning the issue of drugs and medication in U.S. horseracing over to an independent expert on the subject.” He said implementing a WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code would improve “independence and integrity”.

Myboycharlie to stand in Turkey

Europe: World #24 turf sire Myboycharlie has entered quarantine after being sold to the Turkish Jockey. He has stood at Haras du Mezeray in France since 2012, and owner Charles-Henri de Moussac said the operation was “very sad to lose a horse like Myboycharlie; every year he was able to produce a horse with well above average ability”.

Despite siring international stars like Euro Charline, Jameka and Sistercharlie from small fees, de Moussac conceded that the 14-year-old has become a more attractive “stallion for owner-breeders than commercial breeders”.

The 2007 G1 Darley Prix Morny winner started out at the National Stud in Newmarket but has stood at Haras du Mezeray in Normandy since 2012, never standing for a fee higher than €6,500 until this year, when he was advertised at €7,500. He also shuttled to Australia and produced several Southern Hemisphere G1 winners.

The honors keep on coming for Irad

North America: Irad Ortiz Jr, who features in the recent edition of Gallop magazine, has defended his title to earn Turf Jockey of the Year for 2019, an award voted for by a panel of industry experts based on weekly riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys' Guild, which represents more than 950 riders in North America.

Ortiz posted strong statistics across the board on this year's ballot. He led by number of turf races won, with 146 victories (a 21 percent win rate), and finished in the money on 56 per cent of his turf starts.

In 2018, Ortiz earned $12.6 million in total across all turf starts. This year, he has so far earned $12.6 million in turf stakes alone; his total earnings for all races on the turf exceeds $17.9 million. Ortiz won 39 turf stakes, 23 of which were Graded.

The plaudits didn’t stop there for the prolific Puerto Rican. Aqueduct Racetrack concluded its 25-day fall meet on Sunday. And a 29-22-15 record in 119 mounts for earnings of more than $1.72 million earned Ortiz another riding title, his 16th for an individual meet. 

World #2 trainer Chad Brown recorded his first title at Aqueduct since the 2018 spring meet, with 17 victories from his 61 starters, winning 27.87 percent of the time while amassing earnings of $1.04 million.

Winx is pregnant

Oceania: Winx’s owners - Debbie Kepitis, Peter and Patty Tighe, and Richard Treweeke - have confirmed the great mare is pregnant with her first foal - by world #9 stallion I Am Invincible.

A winner of 33 straight races, remaining unbeaten from May 2015 until her final race in April, Winx has “taken to retirement wonderfully well” and connections are “very excited about this next stage of her career”. The much-anticipated foal is expected to arrive next October.

Winx's mother, Vegas Showgirl, who has a foal at foot by the late Japanese champion Deep Impact, has also been covered this year by I Am Invincible.

Death of Eclipse winner Notnowcato

Europe: Three-time G1 winner Notnowcato has died of a heart attack while covering a mare at Knockhouse Stud in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

The son of Inchinor was 17. The stud's Sean Kinsella lamented that it was a “real pity to have lost him at such a relatively young age”, adding that he was a “lovely horse to deal with, with a great attitude”.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, he won seven of his 20 starts, most notably the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Coral-Eclipse in 2007. Like his sire, he first stood at Stanley House Stud in Newmarket and spent six years there before being switched to jumps stallion duty at Knockhouse Stud.

Elsewhere in racing …    

Asia: Mark Walker claimed his third title as Champion Singapore Trainer following the completion of the racing season at Kranji racecourse on Sunday. New Zealander Walker had previously attained the crown in 2015 and 2017. More here

Europe: Tattersalls’ four-day Mares Sale at Newmarket had a turnover of almost 58 million guineas, while the 2-week long December Sale returned more than 90 million guineas. A record-breaking 27 lots sold for 500,000 guineas or more. More here  

Europe: The 2019 Longines World’s Best Racehorse and World’s Best Horse Race ceremony will return to London’s Landmark hotel for the second year running in January. More here

North America: The Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program is providing up to $2,000 in incentives for new mares purchased and brought into the state for the 2020 foaling season. More here

Oceania: After announcing last month that he is to sell Macedon Lodge and that Joseph O’Brien would be his main trainer for future Melbourne Cup attempts, six-time Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams has revealed that his Australian-based horses will be conditioned by Danny O’Brien and Anthony Freedman. More here 

Europe: A collection of personal effects that belonged to British racing pundit John McCririck, who died at the age of 79 in July, raised almost £30,000 at auction in Cambridge on Saturday. 

North America: Keeneland has catalogued 1,827 horses for its 62nd January Horses of All Ages Sale, which will cover five sessions January 13-17. Catalogues are available online at Keeneland.com.

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