The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Shug loses appeal over ban
North America: The Ohio State Racing Commission has confirmed that Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey is serving a 15-day suspension from February 6 through 20 for a medication violation that occurred at Belterra Casino Resort last year.
McGaughey’s Tapit filly Tactical Affair tested positive for the Class 4 drug hydrochlorothiazide following her win in a September 9 allowance optional claiming race. The world #92 trainer was fined $500 for the violation and the filly was placed last. The $10,440 winner's share of the purse was redistributed.
McGaughey appealed the ruling – originally scheduled to begin October 30 and run through November 13 - requesting that a split sample be sent to the University of Illinois, as well as a DNA test on the horse to make sure the right horse had been tested.
However, Bureau Veritas Laboratories in Ontario confirmed the sample belong to Tactical Affair via DNA testing and the appeal was officially dropped on February 4.
Logician’s return likely to be delayed
Europe: John Gosden’s St Leger winner Logician is back in training with the world #1 trainer after spending mid-winter at Newmarket Equine Hospital, where he was treated for peritonitis.
While the unbeaten son of Frankel, who, like his father, carries the famous silks of Prince Khalid Abdullah, is fully recovered from the potentially life-threatening condition, it is likely to delay the start of his 4-year-old campaign, which was scheduled to in May’s G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdullah, said there is “nothing to suggest that this [illness] is ongoing”, adding that they would “play it by ear”. But he doubted that the Classic-winning colt would be “out until June or July”.
Queen’s message over Libyan stud horror
Middle East: Dr Amad Eshaab, manager of Al Shaab Stud in Libya, has revealed that his call for help from international organisations such as the United Nations has fallen on deaf ears, but he did confirm that Queen Elizabeth II responded by condemning the capture by militia of more than 40 horses, including stallions and in-foal mares, some of which are believed to have been killed.
A note from the office of the Queen's private secretary to Al Shaab Stud read, “We are most grateful to you for bringing these sad events to the Queen’s attention. At this difficult time, this message comes to you with Her Majesty’s best wishes.”
Among the stallions stolen in the first wave of attacks was 1998 Solario Stakes winner Raise A Grand, now 24. A.P. Indy’s half-brother Eavesdropper was also among the stallions taken.
The UN has instigated two rounds of talks aim to end fighting between the UN-recognised government in Tripoli and eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. A ceasefire was reached after the first.
Monmouth Park plans bumper 2020
North America: Monmouth Park has released its race schedule and purses for 2020, which will feature 63 total stakes, 12 Graded events, and 11 stakes restricted to New Jersey-breds. It is set to offer $7.3 million in stakes races when the track kicks off its diamond anniversary season on May 2.
This year's 75th race meet will also increase purses by five percent for all races, starting on TVG.Com Haskell Invitational day on Saturday, July 20, the track announced.
The increase will be added to purses already averaging nearly $500,000 per day.
Despite losing the equivalent of a full card of racing due to weather, Dennis Drazin, CEO of track operators, Darby Development, said that “numbers have been strong”, and as such the first increase in purses “in quite some time” highlights that stakeholders have “responded positively to the $10 million purse subsidy provided by the state”.
“We anticipate our numbers to continue to be strong going forward,” stated Drazin.
Elsewhere in racing ...
Europe: The British Horseracing Authority has announced changes to the way retired racehorses are registered in a drive to further improve the traceability of horses leaving the sport. More here
North America: Alittlebitearly, dam of 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm stallion Bayern, died on February 10 at Helen Alexander's Middlebrook Farm after producing a healthy filly by 2015 Kentucky Derby champ Nyquist.
Europe: 2010 Irish Field St Leger winner Sans Frontieres will relocate to Graham Heal’s Vauterhill Stud in Devon, South-West England, for the 2020 breeding season. He stood his first seven seasons at the Coolmore’s National Hunt operation, Beeches Stud.
Europe: Back-to-back champion Tiger Roll has been given top weight for the Aintree Grand National, but his hat-trick attempt remains uncertain after his owners said the weight given was ‘disappointing’. More here
North America: The 2020 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing will be held on August 16 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. More here
Europe: Royal Ascot is the subject of a new cinematic, Netflix-style brand campaign which aims to further build its position as the ‘must-attend event’ of the 2020 British summer.