Irad Ortiz

The Week in Review: Forte's Dominance was Expected, but Practical Move Truly Impressed

'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence)'s dominant sophomore debut in Saturday's GII Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream is understandably going to generate glowing headlines because of his kingpin status as the comebacking divisional champion. But that sharp win shouldn't overshadow the thoroughly convincing GII San Felipe S. score by Practical Move (Practical Joke) at Santa Anita, which on its own terms was emphatic enough to merit a significant reshuffling of the deck of GI Kentucky Derby contenders. The Fountain of Youth S. has evolved into somewhat of a "trap" race...

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U.S. Claims Multiple H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Awards

Americans were among those honored Mar. 4 at the sixth edition of HH Sheikh Mohammed Horse Racing Excellence Awards at Meydan Racecourse. The ceremony commemorates some of the leading connections who participated at the Dubai World Cup meeting, as well as a pair that were decided by public vote. "The HH Sheikh Mohammed Horse Racing Excellence Awards were founded in 2017 as an expression of His Highness' love for racing and passion for horses," said Major General Dr Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Racing Club. "They recognize...

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Friday Insights: Full To Bellafina Makes Belated Debut

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-GP, $84K, Msw, 4yo/up, 6f, 1:38 p.m. Though making a belated debut as a 4-year-old, LAKOTA TERRITORY (Quality Road), bred in a partnership by Whisper Hill Farm, Three Chimneys, and JSM Equine, gets his chance to add to his family's legacy Friday out of the Todd Pletcher barn. Out of the Malibu Moon mare Akron Moon, the bay is a full-brother to MGISW Bellafina who brought a final bid of $4,000,000 from Coolmore's M V Magnier in foal to Tiz the Law at last fall's...

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Friday Insights: Wesley Ward Unveils $560k Turf Sprinter

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-GP, $84K, Msw, 3yo, f, 5fT, 3:07 p.m. A $560,000 2-year-old purchase by China Horse Club out of the 2022 Keeneland Horses of Racing Age Sale, TACTICAL JOKE (Practical Joke) debuts Friday for trainer Wesley Ward. Already a half-sister to a trio of stakes  horses in MSP Afleet Accompli (Afleet Alex), GSP Desert Dynamo (Desert Party), and GSP Ambusher (Stephen Got Even), the filly is out of a half-sister to the dam of GI Central Bank Ashland S. winner Sailor's Valentine (Mizzen Mast)--who brought $1.25m...

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Godolphin Repeats as Top-Earning Owner, with Ortiz and Brown Also on Top in 2022

Godolphin, LLC, which campaigned 14 North American graded stakes winners, was the country's leading owner by earnings for the second year in a row, while jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. established single-season earnings and stakes wins records and Chad Brown was the leading trainer by earnings for the first time since 2019, according to figures released Tuesday by Equibase Company LLC. Godolphin had 88 North American wins from 438 starts for earnings of $16,343,067, down from its single-season earnings record of $17.4 million set in 2021. The operation was followed on...

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Speightstown's Undervalued Asset A Sure Bet On Debut

1st-Aqueduct, $82,450, Msw, 11-10, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:13.31, ft, 8 1/4 lengths. UNDERVALUED ASSET (f, 2, Speightstown--Hard Headed Temper, by Hard Spun), dispatched as the popular 3-5 choice for her afternoon debut, broke into second after briefly losing her footing, pressing the early speed of Pardon Moi (Not This Time) as the leading pair ran the opening quarter in :23.33. With no visible move from jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Undervalued Asset took over under her own power around the turn and dashed clear of Risk Free (American Freedom) at the...

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Dolce Zel Can Give Brown First Valley View

Hard though it may be to believe, a 3-year-old filly trained by Chad Brown has never won the GIII Rubicon Valley View S. at Keeneland, but Dolce Zel (Fr) (Zelzal {Fr}) appears to be equipped to be the one to get the conditioner on the board Friday afternoon. Winner of the GIII Florida Oaks in her U.S. debut in March, the bay was runner-up to future GISW Spendarella (Karakontie {Jpn}) in this track's course-and-distance GII Appalachian S. Apr. 9 and got a bit of a freshening following a third in...

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Sendero is Second Stakes Winner for City of Light

Sendero became the second stakes winner and seventh winner overall for his freshman sire City of Light (Quality Road) with a maiden-breaking victory in the Jamestown S. at Colonial Downs Wednesday. Sent off the 1-5 favorite, the bay colt was hustled out of the gate and rushed up to press the pace four wide down the backstretch through a quarter in :22.66. He stuck his head in front nearing the stretch and bound clear while Bee Mountain chased him home in second. Sendero missed by just a neck when second...

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Sun Sets on Record-Breaking Saratoga Season

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-With a five-word quip, New York Racing Association president and CEO Dave O'Rourke provided plenty of context about the record-setting 154th season of racing in Saratoga. "It didn't rain much, huh?" O'Rourke said. Indeed. Though the 40-day meet concluded Monday on cool, dark, sodden afternoon where jackets and umbrellas were needed, almost all of the programs at Saratoga Race Course were run on tracks listed as "fast" and "firm." When the final grass race of the closing day card was moved to the main track, it was just...

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Weekly Rulings: Aug. 22-28

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where. With the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) having gone into effect July 1, the TDN will also post a roundup of the relevant HISA-related rulings from the same week. California Track: Del Mar Date: 08/26/2022 Licensee: James Marsden, owner Penalty: Suspended...

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Nest Dominates Alabama

Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House's Nest (Curlin) left little doubt who the best 3-year-old filly in the country is with a second straight tour-de-force victory over GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Oath (Arrogate) in Saturday's GI Alabama S. at Saratoga. The overwhelming 1-5 favorite wasn't off to the smoothest of beginnings, bobbling slightly and bumping with longshot Nostalgic (Medaglia d'Oro) at the start. It didn't seem to matter one bit once the 1 1/4-mile journey was officially underway with Nest finding a perfect spot in a stalking...

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At Saratoga, the Best Jockey Colony Ever?

Flavien Prat is a world-class jockey, a future Hall of Famer who dominated the Southern California circuit before heading east. Yet, he entered the week tied for fourth-place in the Saratoga jockey standings, 15 wins behind the leader, Irad Ortiz, Jr. Tyler Gaffalione is the top jockey in Kentucky and is coming off a meet at Churchill Downs where he was leading rider and had 29 more wins than the runner-up. He began the week in ninth-place in the Saratoga standings. That's no reflection on Prat or Gaffalione. What it...

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