Justify

Half to Justify Crushes His Competition in 'Rising Star' Fashion

Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile), a half-brother to undefeated Triple Crown hero Justify (Scat Daddy), took one more try than his brother did, but followed in that Horse of the Year's hoofprints with a 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy graduation at Keeneland Saturday. Runner-up to another impressive 'TDN Rising Star' in Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro) in his seven-panel debut at Gulfstream Jan. 23, the bay was hammered down to 9-5 favoritism to get the money this time. Breaking on top, the Gunther homebred was overtaken by a pair of foes just before the...

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Saturday's Racing Insights: Bros to Champions Make Second Starts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 11th-KEE, $79K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 6:38 p.m. ET A pair of Pioneerof the Nile brothers to high-profile champions look to go one better off of runner-up debuts to close out the Keeneland card Saturday. John Gunther homebred Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile) is half to none other than Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) as well as the ill-fated GSW The Lieutenant (Street Sense). A $950,000 Keeneland September RNA, the Chad Brown trainee was beaten 8 1/2 lengths by super impressive 'TDN Rising Star' Prevalence...

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Million-Dollar Matings

The fireworks at the annual Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton November sales are always a highlight of the year as seven-figure bids abound on some of racing's top broodmares and broodmare prospects. But after the dust settles, it can be years before words get out on the breeding careers of the sales' top offerings. We catch up with the connections of a few of these most recent million-dollar broodmares and learn of their mating plans for 2021 in our ongoing 'Million-Dollar Matings' series.     CONSTELLATION (Bellamy Road-For Royalty, by Not For...

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CHRB Votes to Let Justify's Santa Anita Derby Win Stand

The California Horse Racing Board issued a statement Friday announcing that the stewards' decision to leave Justify (Scat Daddy) the winner of the 2018 GI Santa Anita Derby will stand. The colt tested positive for Scopolamine after finishing first in the race, and went on to sweep the American Triple Crown following his Santa Anita Derby score. A CHRB release issued Friday stated: "After a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020, the Board of Stewards at Santa Anita Park racetrack issued a Statement of Decision Dec. 9 to dismiss complaints filed...

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Jan. 23 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency INTRIGUING GROUP OF COLTS DEBUT ON PEGASUS UNDERCARD 6th-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 2:04 p.m. This salty Pegasus World Cup day maiden special is littered with firsters with big pedigrees and big price tags, including a half-brother to undefeated Triple Crown hero Justify (Scat Daddy) named STAGE RAIDER (Pioneerof the Nile). After RNAing for $950,000 at KEESEP, the bay will carry the colors of breeder John Gunther and will be saddled by Chad Brown. In addition to Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male...

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Half-Brother to Justify Primed for Gulfstream Debut

He has bred a Triple Crown winner, but John Gunther has yet to have his first superstar as an owner. He's hoping that may soon change. Gunther is the owner and breeder of Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile), a half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), who will make his debut in Saturday's sixth race at Gulfstream. And while no one is predicting that Stage Raider will win the Triple Crown, both Gunther and trainer Chad Brown are optimistic that the 3-year-old colt has above average talent. "He seems...

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Kentucky Sires for 2021, First Yearlings: Part I

As we all know, the more a stallion has to prove, the more the market indulges him. As each intake shows more of its hand, however, breeders become progressively more nervous of young sires disproving judgements that are themselves typically more concerned with the anticipation of demand at the sales, than of any potency they may (or may not) be able to recycle on the track. In this third instalment of our survey, then, we begin our descent of the slippery slope with the first group to offer a hint...

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With Newly Filed Appeal, Justify DQ Case Sparks Back to Life

The long and complicated case over whether to disqualify 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify for his GI Santa Anita Derby scopolamine positive sparked back to life Dec. 17, eight days after the Santa Anita Park board of stewards dismissed complaints against two Bob Baffert-trained horses that had been filed by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) as part of a legal settlement. At the outset of Thursday's regularly scheduled CHRB meeting, the board's executive director, Scott Chaney, explained how because of a newly filed appeal, the 2 1/2-year regulatory odyssey...

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Santa Anita Stewards Dismiss Complaints Against Justify, Hoppertunity

The latest development in a long, tumultuous and litigious journey saw the California Board of Stewards dismissing complaints filed by the current California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) regarding the scopolamine positives incurred by Justify (Scat Daddy) and Hoppertunity (Any Given Saturday) following their runs in the 2018 GI Santa Anita Derby and the GIII Tokyo City Cup S. respectively. The CHRB filed the complaint as part of a legal settlement with trainer Mick Ruis, owner of Santa Anita Derby runner-up Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro). According to attorney Darrell Vienna, who...

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Stable Marketplace as Book 2 Concludes at Keeneland

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis and Brian DiDonato LEXINGTON, KY- Bidding remained steady as Book 2 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale concluded Wednesday in Lexington. Andrew Cary made the session's most expensive purchase, going to $500,000 to acquire the mare Contributing (Medaglia d'Oro) from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment on behalf of Coteau Grove Farms. Weanlings held the next six top prices of the session and, for the third straight day of the sale, Justify was responsible for the top-priced foal when Chris Baccari went to...

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Solid Book 2 Opener at Keeneland

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale's two-session Book 2 opened Tuesday in Lexington with solid trade and a varied bench of domestic and international buyers. Bloodstock agent Arthur Hoyeau made the day's highest bid, going to $975,000 to acquire the group-winning mare Pollara (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) from the Claiborne Farm consignment. The 5-year-old mare was one of five to sell for $500,000 or more during Tuesday's session. Six reached that level at last year's first Book 2 session. In...

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Letter to the Editor: Darrell Vienna

I read with interest the article "Baffert's Lawyer: Drape's `False' Story `Debunked'" published today on your website. Although I represent Mick Ruis, the following comments set forth facts that cannot be disputed and address a number of the patently false or clearly misleading representations contained in that article. JUSTIFY'S OFFICIAL SAMPLE AND SPLIT SAMPLE CONFIRMED THE PRESENCE OF SCOPOLAMINE. The prohibited substance, scopolamine, was detected in the official test sample collected from Justify following the running of the 2018 Santa Anita Derby. Split sample testing, requested by Justify's trainer, Bob...

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