Churchill

Sunday Insights: Juveniles Kick Off Card in Ozone Park

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-BAQ, $95k, Msw, 2yo, 1m, post time: 1:00 p.m. ET A well-bred bunch of 2-year-old males gets the Sunday program off to a competitive beginning at Aqueduct. BIG WICKS (Medaglia d'Oro), a $575,000 graduate of last year's Keeneland September sale, is part of an entry that is favored at 2-1 on the morning line and is a son of Sovereign Award-winning 3-year-old filly Leigh Court (Grand Slam), a two-time graded winner for the late Eugene Melnyk who was purchased by Speedway Stables for an even...

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What's In a Name: Lady Clementine

Lady Clementine (GB) is a supremely fitting name for the Churchill (Ire) 3-year-old filly who won so well at Del Mar last Saturday. Clementine Ogilvy Spencer Churchill, nee Hozier (1885-1977), was the wife of the famous British politician and WW2 leader for 56 intense and fateful years. "Fortitude" is an expression that seems to abound in a recent novelized account of the life of Lady Clementine. The union was a loving and successful one by all accounts, even if the husband had quite a reputation for being mercurial and unpredictable,...

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'It's Rare That We See Stats Like That': Rimaud on Zarak

The Aga Khan Studs is celebrating 100 years of success in 2022, making the emergence of Vadeni (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}) as one of the most talented colts in training and Zarak (Fr) being one of the hottest young stallion prospects in Europe all the more fitting.     Georges Rimaud has played an integral role in the success of the organisation. The manager of HH Aga Khan's studs in France, Rimaud reflected on the success of Vadeni in Saturday's G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and shared his delight at the popularity of...

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Into Mischief's Naughty Gal On Best Behavior in Churchill Maiden Romp

4th-Churchill Downs, $88,002, Msw, 7-4, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.35, ft, 9 1/4 lengths. NAUGHTY GAL (f, 2, Into Mischief--Conway Two Step {SW, $102,605}, by Spanish Steps) tracked the pace before flattening out to fourth on debut here June 10 and was made the 14-5 second choice off an 8-1 morning-line quote in this spot. Dueling with favored firster Stunningly (Gun Runner) through a :22.18 quarter, the $350,000 OBS March purchase started to get the better of that rival while in hand past the three-eighths pole, took charge leaving behind a...

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Seven Days: Veni, Vidi, Vici, Vadeni

This season we appear to have been gifted an above average crop of 3-year-olds, along with some truly exciting older horses who have remained in training. It is as it should be, but things don't always work out that way.  France and England exchanged Group 1 races at the weekend: on Saturday it was a case of veni, vidi, vici for Vadeni (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}), who gave France a first victory in the race since 1960, when it was won by the Percy Carter-trained Javelot (Fr) (Fast Fox {Fr}). The...

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No Turf Racing Closing Weekend at Churchill; Wise Dan Cancelled

Churchill Downs Racetrack officials have opted to suspend racing over the Matt Winn Turf Course for four stakes events on Saturday and Sunday "to allow the root system on the new course to continue to develop", the track said in a release.. Racing on turf at Churchill Downs was initially paused June 11 with hope for a possible return on closing weekend of the Spring Meet. The decision to cease was made following turf training over the seven-furlong grass oval Tuesday. "The root system for the new Bermuda-hybrid continues to...

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Churchill to Cut Back On Usage of New Turf Course

Churchill Downs will be curtailing usage of its newly installed $10-million turf course for the remainder of the meet by capping grass races to a maximum of two per day and moving 19 races listed in condition books two and three to the main dirt track. The news arrived Sunday in the form of a note on the overnight for the June 10 races. On Monday, Churchill's senior director of communications, Darren Rogers, explained the reasoning to TDN via email. "We've decided it's best to limit turf racing to two...

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Friday's Insights: Into Mischief Filly Stretches out for Baffert

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-SA, $67K, Msw, 3yo, f, 1m, 5:02 p.m. BROCADE (Into Mischief) stretches out for trainer Bob Baffert after back-to-back efforts at six furlongs. Piloted by John Velazquez, who is 15/28 for Baffert at the current meet, the daughter of leading sire Into Mischief sold for a $750,000 final bid at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Baffert is an expert at turning sprinters into routers and this pricey filly's pedigree should allow her every chance to hold her speed over the mile. TJCIS PPs                  ...

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Value Sires Part 5: First 3-Year-Olds

In this penultimate edition of the Value Sires Series, we look at stallions that had their first runners last year, and will therefore have their first 3-year-olds in 2022. With the numbers for 2021 tallied, this group actually appears to be a deep one, with plenty of them having done enough to go into their second years with a legitimate shot to still make it as a sire. While the last two cohorts produced runaway leaders in Mehmas (Ire) and Night Of Thunder (Ire), this year the riches were much...

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More Freshman Glory For Tally-Ho

It was extremely unlikely that any first-season sire this year would even get close to the record-breaking 56 winners for Mehmas (Ire) in 2020. That feat was made all the more remarkable by the fact that the start of the Flat season was delayed for several months by the pandemic-induced shutdown of racing. Leaving this huge tally aside, in any other year 35 first-crop winners at a strike-rate of 40% would be more than respectable, and it is this number, and £788,531 in progeny earnings in 2021, that sees Mehmas's...

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Mehmas Colt Tops Final Goffs Foal Session

KILDARE, Ireland--The fourth and final day of the Goffs Foal Sale saw prices return to a more affordable level for the average working man or woman, and while there were no dizzying highs there was a decent level of trade for those present. With an extra day of foals compared to last year, Thursday was always going to test the resilience of the market and not surprisingly the clearance rate dropped a couple of points from the day before to 79% while the session topper, a Mehmas (Ire) colt, fetched...

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Sunday Insights: Expensive Breeze-Up Purchases Square Off

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-SA, $61K, Msw, 2yo, 6f, post time: 7:03 p.m. ET SIR LONDON (Malibu Moon) was led out unsold on a bid of $135,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January Sale, but improved over the next 17 months and was knocked down to agents Alex Elliott and Ben McElroy for $700,000 after breezing a furlong on his wrong lead in :10 flat (see below) at this year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale. The priciest of 24 juveniles (32 ring) for his late sire in 2021, Sir London is a...

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