Elliott Walden

Life Was Good, Very Good

There is talk that Breeders' Cup winners Knicks Go (Paynter) and Life Is Good (Into Mischief) will meet in the Jan. 29 GI Pegasus S. at Gulfstream. I'll take Life Is Good. He was that good Saturday in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Nothing against Knicks Go or any of the other winners over the weekend at Del Mar, but the best horse over the 14 races that make up the Breeders' Cup was Life Is Good. He put in a sensational performance in the Dirt...

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Independence Hall to Stand at WinStar

MGSW Independence Hall (Constitution--Kalahari Cat, by Cape Town) will stand stud at WinStar Farm at the conclusion of his racing career. He will command a fee of $10,000 and will participate in WinStar's Dream Big Program, which offers breeders the opportunity to earn a lifetime breeding right. Hailing from the first crop of WinStar's red-hot young sire Constitution, Independence Hall was two-for-two as a juvenile, including a win in the 2019 GIII Nashua S. Opening his sophomore season with a win in the 2020 Jerome S., the dark bay was...

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Speightstown, Constitution Lead the Way at WinStar

Speightstown will head the roster at WinStar Farm in 2022 with a fee of $90,000, stands and nurses, the same fee for which he stood in 2021. Right behind the chestnut is Constitution, North America's second-leading third-crop sire, who will stand for $85,000 S&N, also the same as 2021. Among notable changes on the 18-horse roster, More Than Ready gets a trim from $65,000 to $50,000. "Our 2022 roster is suited for breeders at every level," said Elliott Walden, WinStar's president, CEO, and racing manager. "Speightstown, Constitution, and More Than...

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Distorted Humor, Congrats Pensioned by WinStar

Distorted Humor (Forty Niner--Danzig's Beauty, by Danzig), sire of 2003 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. hero Funny Cide from his first crop and an additional 17 Grade I/Group 1 winners to date, was pensioned from stud duty by WinStar Farm Monday at the age of 28. WinStar also announced it is pensioning stalwart Congrats (A.P. Indy--Praise, by Mr. Prospector) at the age of 21. "We all owe Distorted Humor a debt of gratitude for all he has done for WinStar Farm, my family, and the many breeders who...

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Oaks Winner Summerly Dies

Summerly (Summer Squall--Here I Go, by Mr. Prospector), winner of the 2005 GI Kentucky Oaks for Winchell Thoroughbreds, passed away earlier this year after suffering a bout of colic, The Twinspires Edge reported. Acquired by the Winchells for $410,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the mare was purchased by WinStar Farm for $3.3 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. "She was one of the prettiest mares we had on the farm," WinStar's Elliott Walden told Twinspires' Ed DeRosa. "While she didn't reproduce herself, she always was a...

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Lively Bidding As Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Returns

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis The 100th anniversary of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale, delayed a year due to the global pandemic, kicked off with a lively session of trade at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion Monday evening. "It was a very solid opening session of the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale," said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. "It was certainly a very healthy market. It was very similar and reminiscent of the 2019 marketplace. Overall, we are off to a very good start." A colt by Uncle Mo brought...

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Judge Says Baffert Reply is Admissible

The federal judge presiding over the Bob Baffert versus the New York Racing Association ban case ruled Thursday that Baffert's affidavit, filed Wednesday as part of a 434-page "reply memorandum of law in further support of motion for preliminary injunction" of NYRA's ban, would not be stricken or disregarded, as NYRA had requested. NYRA's attorney, Henry Greenberg, argued that the reply included new information that the NYRA did not have time to investigate and that the entire filing or the affidavit should be stricken or disregarded. NYRA informed Baffert on...

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Life Is Good to Pletcher, Returns to Worktab

by Bill Finley and Steve Sherack Undefeated and considered one of the most promising horses in the sport, Life Is Good (Into Mischief) will soon join the Todd Pletcher stable. He had been trained by Bob Baffert, who has lost a number of top horses due to his ongoing problems involving the Medina Spirit (Protonico) positive in the GI Kentucky Derby for betamethasone. After winning the GII San Felipe S., Mar. 6 at Santa Anita, Life Is Good was sidelined and ruled out of the Triple Crown races after coming...

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Strong Trade at OBS Opener

By Christie DeBernardis & Jessica Martini The four-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale got off to a strong start Tuesday. A colt from the first crop of Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Hip 118) was the day's hottest commodity, bringing $850,000 from Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen. Hip 118 was one of 181 juveniles to sell for a gross of $17,829,500. The average was $98,506 and the median was $50,000. Of the 304 catalogued, 225 were offered with 44 horses leaving the ring unsold...

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Larry Melancon: A Remembrance

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Larry Melancon might not have been the top jockey at Churchill Downs during his long career, though he ranks among the winningest riders at the historic Louisville track even a decade after his retirement. But no Churchill Downs jockey can match the resilience and longevity of Melancon, whose tenure of riding full-time under the Twin Spires for 36 consecutive years is unprecedented. Melancon, whose first official race was in 1971, arrived at Churchill Downs for the 1974 spring session. Up through his retirement on July 4, 2010 at Churchill...

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Fed Biz Relocating to Canada

Fed Biz (Giant's Causeway--Spunoutacontrol, by Wild Again), a graded winner short and long and Grade I placed on both dirt and turf, is being relocated from WinStar Farm to Highfield Stock Farm in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A $950,000 Keeneland September yearling, Fed Biz was a six-time winner at the races of over $770,000 and retired to stud at WinStar Farm. From three crops of racing age, Fed Biz is the sire of 10 black-type winners, including GSW Inthemidstofbiz. "Fed Biz was an incredibly talented racehorse," said Adrian Munro, President of...

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WinStar Stablemates Off to a Flying Start in 2021

Coming off a banner year in which its fillies finished one-two in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks, WinStar Stablemates Racing burst out of the starting gate in 2021 going two-for-two on Friday. The victories included a win by Gulf Coast (Union Rags) in the Cash Run S. at Gulfstream. "It's nice to get off to such a great start and we are very excited for 2021," said WinStar CEO and President Elliott Walden. "To be two-for-two is great for our owners." The WinStar racing partnership is an offshoot of...

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