Charles Town

HIWU Withdraws Farrior Suspension

Just one week after the Horseracing Welfare and Integrity Unit (HIWU) issued a public disclosure on its website that top Mid-Atlantic trainer Anthony Farrior had a horse test positive for the banned substance Metformin, Farrior's attorney Drew Mollica said that he has been informed by HIWU that the charges have been dropped. "The system worked and we are happy to clear his good name and his reputation," Mollica said. Mollica said HIWU's decision came about after a review of the split sample, which was requested by Mollica and Farrior. Mollica...

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Top Mid-Atlantic Trainer Farrior Faces Possible Suspension For Metformin

Trainer Anthony Farrior is facing a possible suspension after a horse he trained allegedly tested positive for the banned substance Metformin, according to a posting Friday on the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit website. His status is listed as "Pending: Provisional Suspension--Postponed." Alexa Ravit, the director of communications & outreach for HIWU explained that the wording means, "that B Sample analysis has been requested following a positive A Sample result, so the implementation of the Provisional Suspension is postponed unless/until the B Sample comes back positive." Farrior will be allowed...

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Exaggerator Colt 'Skips' to $1-Million Charles Town Classic Win

Last year's GI Belmont S. third Skippylongstocking (c, 4, Exagggerator--Twinkling, by War Chant), a three-time graded winner since, added Friday's late-night $1-million GII Charles Town Classic S. to his steadily growing CV. Under Tyler Gaffalione, the 7-5 favorite hustled straight to the front, set fractions of :24.82 and :48.88, and wasn't for catching, drawing clear in the stretch by five lengths. The winner's Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.-trained stablemate O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman), a Group 1 winner in his native Chile, closed from the rear of the field to finish second, while...

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Gun Runner's Vahva Gets It Done in Charles Town Oaks

Cherie DeVaux trainee Vahva (f, 3, Gun Runner--Holiday Soiree, by Harlan's Holiday) shipped in to Charles Town off a third in Belmont's July 8 GIII Victory Ride S. to capture Friday night's 15th running of the $750,000 GIII Charles Town Oaks, billed as the richest sprint race for sophomore fillies in North America. Off at 7-5, Vahva raced just behind the leaders while 96-1 Late Frost (Frosted) set early fractions of :23.37 and :46.82 as Undervalued Asset (Speightstown) pressured her from the outside. The two pacesetters pulled well clear of...

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Showdown at the Spa as Personal Ensign Heads Friday's Graded Action

A compelling Grade I race with year-end title implications and it's not even a Saturday? Such is the magic of Saratoga. Friday's $500,000 GI Personal Ensign S. at nine furlongs has attracted older mare division leaders Nest (Curlin) and Clairiere (Curlin). Both are multiple Grade I winners with stellar records; the two will meet for the third time. Nest, last year's Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly, is the 4-5 choice after besting Clairiere in a bang-up GII Shuvee S. July 23 over track and trip. It was her first start of...

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Charles Town Jockey Fined A Grand For Deep-Stretch Gaffe

Jockey Carlos Eduardo Lopez, currently third in earnings and fourth in wins at Charles Town Races this year, was fined $1,000 by the track's stewards for losing a win at the wire after his mount was clear by five lengths at the sixteenth pole and he apparently thought he could coast to victory without additional effort. "Jockey Lopez eased his mount, Stylish Paint, coming to the wire in the ninth race on Saturday, Apr. 8, 2023, causing his horse to get beat on the wire," stated the Apr. 14 stewards'...

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Letter to the Editor: Sport of Kings vs. King of Sports

by Ken Lowe (TDN is re-running this letter to the editor, which originally appeared in Wednesday's newsletter, due to editing errors). There were many empty seats at the table when HISA was invented, that being "Middle America Racing", comprised of almost every jurisdiction between "the moon (California) and New York City (NYJC)." Now, being "blue collar horse folks," we all know it takes three (3) legs for a stool and in this "fixed race" it was Kentucky. Throw kerosene on the flames, when certain trainers were indicted by the Feds...

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For Blue-Collar Claimers, Black-Type Thanksgiving Feast

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton The annual Claiming Crown races were two weeks ago. But a surprise black-type feast for blue-collar campaigners took place over Thanksgiving weekend, when horses once claimed for tags as low as $10,000 and $16,000 ran away with three of five stakes at Laurel Park, and an 8-year-old gelding bought last year for $10,000 topped a blanket-finish trifecta of previously claimed sprinters in the GIII Fall Highweight H. at Aqueduct. The relic known as the Fall Highweight--in which nominees are assigned weights scaled several...

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Mountaineer To Race Six Fewer Days in 2023

Mountaineer Park was granted approval on Monday by the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) to race 124 dates in 2023, a six-program reduction from the 130 that the track is scheduled to race this year during its April-through-December meet. Speaking about the loss of race dates, WVRC executive director Joe Moore said, "I'm told that is as a result of the Horse Racing Integrity Authority (HISA) and Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) assessments recently received by the commission and the racetracks for calendar year 2023." Mountaineer executives were offered...

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Society Flies 'High' in Charles Town Oaks

Peter Blum's Society (Gun Runner) avenged her lone career defeat to date last time in the GI CCA Oaks with a thoroughly dominating performance in Friday's GIII Charles Town Oaks. Favored on the precipitous drop in class, the beautifully bred chestnut was hustled straight into the lead by Tyler Gaffalione and the duo was pressed along early by 21-1 outsider Chardonnay (Candy Ride {Arg}), with the well-backed Louisiana raider Free Like a Girl (El Deal) not far away in third. Going along easily after four furlongs in a very manageable...

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A Throwback, Beverly Park Wins Again

Beverly Park (Munnings) is far from the best horse in the sport. But he's certainly the hardest working. His win Thursday night at Charles Town in a starter allowance came in his 14th start on the year. No other horse has run more than 11 times in 2022. It was also his second start in five days and his fourth in 28 days. That may seem like more than a horse can handle, but it's working. One of the most prolific winners in the sport, Beverly Park has won six...

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West Virginia in Limbo Over HISA

The West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Tuesday opted to take no action either way on whether to collect and remit fees on behalf of the new Authority created by the federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). States are facing a May 1 deadline to declare "in or out" middleman status pertaining to the safety portion of the HISA program that will go into effect July 1. This first phase-in of oversight does not include HISA's drug testing and medication control programs, which aren't expected to be up and...

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