Book Review: Robert Braithwaite's Places Reversed

Every novelist that engages the subject of horse racing is facing an odds-on favorite in Dick Francis. The all-time master, Francis effectively conjured racetrack heroes within the friendly confines of his umpteen mystery novels. With his passing, son Felix continues the family trade by employing the same tried-and-true formula. Francis always presented the reader with protagonists like a chef with high culinary morals or a noble former jump jockey-turned-P.I. or a smart-looking specialist in kidnapping who moonlights as a philosopher-psychologist. The author had us at "Hullo, how are you?" In...

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Depth Takes Market to Giddy Heights

The phrase is traced to Bob Hope, apparently when challenged by a heckler during one of his military morale-boosters to explain why he wasn't in uniform. "Don't you know there's a war on?" he replied. "A guy could get hurt!" It would have been perfectly legitimate for one of the Keeneland auctioneers to respond in similar vein to the torrent of bidding that elevated the September Sale to unprecedented highwater marks. Somehow, the kind of factors that traditionally send markets into nauseous free fall have failed to stem a breathless...

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Taking Stock: Tampa Bay's Big Day Showcased Top Outfits, Bloodstock

Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida, is a gem of a racecourse that doesn't get the accolades it should. Owned by Stella Thayer, president of the track and a member of The Jockey Club, and her brother, Howell Ferguson, Tampa Bay Downs is expertly managed day to day by Peter Berube, vice president and general manager, and Margo Flynn, vice president of marketing. This was obvious on Saturday--"Festival Day 42"--when the track showcased its signature event, the Gll Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, one of five black-type events on the...

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This Side Up: A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Hang on a minute. Weren't the seven fat years supposed to be followed by seven lean years? The way the market has gone in 2021, we have barely had seven lean minutes. Nothing, certainly, approaching the kind of reset required, logically and historically, for the cyclical functioning of capitalism. The prospect of some such "correction" had been the only latent comfort, cold as it was, for a bloodstock market confronted by the global economic shock of the pandemic. Because a decade of almost relentless growth wasn't even ending due to...

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Pinhook Fairytale Extends October Boom

By Chris McGrath NEWMARKET, UK--Well, maybe these guys just don't have radios or newspapers. Maybe they haven't heard about the challenges at least affecting the domestic environment: chronic deficiencies in prizemoney, new volatility in the economic landscape. Or perhaps the international investors who might be relatively immune to such concerns have forced even the local market to new highs by putting such a squeeze into Books 1 and 2. Who knows? Just conceivably, this show of faith in our industry could yet prove the foundation for a sustainable bull run....

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Tugel, Gibson Join Appointed To Positions at Gainesway

Sean Tugel, who served WinStar Farm as its director of bloodstock services and assistant racing manager for the last decade, and Lakota Gibson, who spent the last five years working alongside David Ingordo in the bloodstock department at Lane's End Farm, have joined the team at Gainesway. A native of Rochester, New York, and a Lexington resident since 2004, Tugel has been named the director of stallion sales and recruitment. He has also served in management roles at Hill 'n' Dale Farm and Paul's Mill. "We're excited about adding Sean...

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Australian-Based Online Auction Site Nears U.S. Debut

The concept of selling bloodstock online has never caught on in the U.S., but an Australian named Anthony Gafa thinks he can change that. Gafa runs, which has been selling horses based in Australia and from every imaginable category since 2014, and will be launched in the U.S. May 7. "When we started, the plan was to reach out all over the world," Gafa said. "The next country we are going to is America. We have a staff in America and have established an office there. For us, it...

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OBS Marches On as Pandemic Panic Reaches Fever Pitch

by Brian DiDonato & Steve Sherack The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will hold its two-day March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Tuesday and Wednesday amid unprecedented circumstances as the nation and world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused most major events to be canceled or postponed and racing conducted without spectators, if at all. Add to that a plummeting stock market--circuit breakers were again triggered as trade opened Monday despite the Federal Reserve announcing Sunday evening that it would slash interest rates to 0% and launch a $700-billion quantitative...

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Building a 100-Horse Stable, One Micro-Share at a Time

Michael Behrens has very suddenly--and a bit unexpectedly, he admits--found himself in a position to be buying a significant amount of bloodstock. Behrens is the co-founder of MyRacehorse, the micro-shares syndicate that acquires partnership interests in racehorses then slices those assets into far smaller investment opportunities that generally cost below $400 per share and usually equate to one-tenth of one percent of ownership in a race-ready horse, all training costs included. The firm barely existed a year ago and only bought its first 2-year-old at auction this March. Yet Behrens...

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Red Armada Tops Goodwood Sale

The second edition of the boutique Goffs UK Goodwood Sale, held immediately after racing in the Goodwood parade ring, was topped by dual winner Red Armada (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (lot 1), the first horse offered. Overall, trade was very selective, with only two of the seven horses offered finding new homes for a gross of £475,000. Consigned by Clive Cox Racing, the son of listed winner Alumni (GB) (Selkirk) brought a bid of £275,000 from Charlie Dee of Lillingston Bloodstock. One of six winners of six runners from him...

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