Today’s Edition

Summer at the Spa Begins With Tight Races Expected

Saratoga opens its doors for opening day of the historic track's 40-day summer stand Friday, with the GIII Schuylerville S. and GIII Lake George S. anchoring the initial card. The premier meet, which runs through Labor Day, will host a total of 69 stakes events worth a record $18.85 million in purses. As has been the case in past years, much attention will be devoted to the race for the trainers' title, which once again features an expected battle between the powerhouse stables of Todd Pletcher and Mechanicville, New York...

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TBA Proposes GB-Bred Premium Scheme

NEWMARKET, UK—"An industry that has a seismic crack in it," was how Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) board member Philip Newton described British breeding during an address to members at the 101st annual general meeting of the TBA on Thursday. Newton's assertion was part of his overview of a recent Economic Impact Study undertaken by the TBA, the full results of which are yet to be published. In short, the review points to a "dire" situation for the smaller breeder in Britain, where breeders collectively can expect to receive 2% return...

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Globetrotting Lady Aurelia Retired

'TDN Rising Star' Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy-D' Wildcat Speed, by Forest Wildcat), the fleet filly who won Group 1 races in both England and France, has been retired. The news was first reported by TVG. According to trainer Wesley Ward, the filly is sound and doing well, but owners Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel thought that since her recent form had been a bit below norm it was a good time to call it a career. Lady Aurelia last raced in the G1 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot June...

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Depth of Class–Rest of the ’18 Freshman Sires

It's been 11 years since the first yearlings from Tapit, Candy Ride (Arg), Medaglia d'Oro and Speightstown hit the market. That epic sire class now has 68 Grade I winners between them, according to the TDN Sire Lists, and no fewer than 88 active sire sons. We haven't seen a comparable group since--and really, not many before. But the incoming freshman, those with their first yearlings in 2018, hold as much latent promise as any of the past three decades, and it wouldn't be a shock if we look at...

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Primo Gamble Pays Off For Hodson & Moule

Marrying up business and pleasure can be a difficult task when taking an active interest in bloodstock. For first-time breeders Gary Hodson and Peter Moule, Primo Lady (GB) (Lucky Story) has given them the best of both worlds. A filly who cost just £5,000 at Doncaster in 2009 reclaimed five times that amount on the track when trained by Gay Kelleway, including the Listed Marygate S. at York. Now a broodmare boarding at Barton Stud near Bury St Edmonds, she has delivered stakes winners from her first two foals in...

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KHBPA ‘Excited’ Over Pending Ellis Sale; Smooth Transition Expected

The weeks-long rumored sale of Ellis Park got a step closer to reality on Tuesday, when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) approved the transfer of Ron Geary's 70% ownership to Saratoga Casino and Hospitality Group (SCHG). With the deal expected to close within days, the message to the Ellis backstretch community from leadership in the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is to expect an untroubled management transition, largely because SCHG is a known entity. The gaming and hospitality company, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, has owned a...

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Del Mar Opens With Strong Field Sizes

Del Mar opens its doors for its 36-day summer meet Wednesday with large fields highlighting the opening day card. While the first three races on the card are claiming events with nine horses signed on for each, the back end of the day features ample quality--including an overflow field of 16 entered for the grassy Oceanside S. for 3-year-olds, which goes as race eight. While in years past the Oceanside would often be split into two smaller divisions due to the over-subscription, the track has opted to run the popular...

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Leadon A True Renaissance Man

How do you begin to describe the value of a man like Des Leadon to the Thoroughbred industry? Well, since you can turn to him in almost any other dilemma--whether you need someone to address the more calamitous implications, for breeding and racing, of Brexit; or to fly a priceless stallion across the world; or, with his wife Mariann Klay, simply to prepare a foal for sale--then we might as well borrow his help here, too. Because the way he describes his working environment could equally be applied to the...

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NY Commission Votes 4-2 Not to Reconsider Dutrow Case

Richard E. Dutrow Jr., the GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer whose long history of infractions culminated in a 10-year license suspension that is currently in effect until 2023, on Monday again had a request denied by New York regulators to reopen his case and possibly modify his penalty based on time already served. The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) kept Dutrow's case off the official agenda at its July 16 monthly public meeting, but chairman Barry Sample brought the issue up for the record as the very last item of...

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Ten Years, 2,392 Horses Later, Parx Rescue Program Thriving

In horse racing, conventional wisdom has always been that there's no way to save every horse that comes off the racetrack, that there's not enough money to do so, that there are too many unscrupulous people that will send them to slaughter and that the problem is so big the only thing that can be done is to plug a few holes here and there. Mike Ballezi, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA), wasn't buying it. About 10 years ago, when the New York Times wrote...

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