Saturday's Insights: OBS April Topper Must Overcome High Draw

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 10th-DMR, $70K, Msw, 2yo, 5 1/2f, post time: 9:07 p.m. ET CORNICHE (Quality Road) topped this year's OBS April Sale on a bid of $1.5 million from Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner's Speedway Stable and has drawn gate 10 as the 9-5 favorite Saturday at Del Mar. The son of six-time GSW and GI Matriarch S. runner-up Wasted Tears (Najran) was led out unsold on a bid of $385,000 at KEESEP last year, but turned in a smooth sales breeze in :10 flat to become...

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Buyers, Sellers, Sales Companies Talk COVID-19 and the Fall Sales

The daily number of U.S. deaths from the COVID-19 virus neared 1,000 per day last week, the highest level the country has seen since February. The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases reported by the CDC, is at 149,263, and continues to rise. There are currently four variants circulating in the United States; Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma, with Delta making up over 99% of all cases. It seems like every day, someone we know in racing has contracted COVID, from trainer Todd Pletcher to the TDN's own Christina Bossinakis,...

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Maximus Aurelius Tops Keeneland August Digital Sale

Maximus Aurelius, a 3-year-old colt by Tapit out of champion Close Hatches, sold for $40,000 to Pewter Stable to top Tuesday's Keeneland August Digital Sale, held as part of Keeneland's Digital Sales Ring platform. Consigned by Juddmonte as a racing or stallion prospect, Maximus Aurelius is a full-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Tacitus. Captain Ginny B, a 4-year-old filly by Uncle Mo, brought the sale's second-highest price of $12,000 from JBS Stable. Consigned by Winchester Equine, agent for Michael Scardina, Captain Ginny B is out of the stakes-winning Big...

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Oscar Performance Yearlings Exhibit Sire's Best Qualities

With the Keeneland September Sale fast approaching, Gray Lyster of Ashview Farm is looking forward to showcasing his colt by Oscar Performance (Kitten's Joy-Devine Actress, by Theatrical {Ire}). Bred by Colts Neck Stables, the bay catalogued as Hip 892 is a half-brother to the talented MGSW Venetian Harbor (Munnings). The sibling duo is out of the stakes-placed mare Sounds of the City (Street Cry {Ire}), who hails from the family of champion sprinter Safely Kept (Horatius). "He's actually the fifth generation of the family that we've raised here at Ashview,"...

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Spinster Likely Next for Letruska

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Though he quickly conceded that things could change, trainer Fausto Gutierrez said Sunday that GI Personal Ensign winner Letruska (Super Saver) is headed to the GI Breeders' Distaff, not the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. "I think it will be with the mares. I think this is the correct decision," he said. "I think there is a group where she is the leader. Anyway, this can change in any moment. You never know." The Personal Ensign was Letruska's fourth-straight graded stakes victory, three of them Grade Is,...

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Destination Lexington: Downtown Midway

On a sunny Friday in August, a vanload of a dozen wide-eyed tourists step onto Main Street in Midway, Kentucky. The picturesque town with a population of fewer than 2,000 is easy to miss passing through, but for travelers who do happen upon it, the charming community is one they'll soon be eager to revisit. "This is just a lovely town," said one woman from Kansas after touring Midway's historic downtown for the first time. "It's amazing how clean the storefronts are and how friendly all the owners are." "There's...

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Keeneland August Digital Sale Catalog Online

Stakes winning Super Humor (Super Saver--Heavenly Humor, by Distorted Humor), in foal to Curlin, is among horses cataloged to Keeneland's August Digital Sales Ring, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 31. The August Sale catalog is now available at Consigned by Horseco Bloodstock, agent, the daughter of SW Heavenly Humor is a half-sister to MSW and GSP Funny Guy. The 9-year-old mare is from the family of Grade I winner Heavenly Ade. Online bidding for the August Sale opens at 10 a.m. ET on Aug. 31 and will begin to close...

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TIEA Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2021 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards have been announced, including three finalists in six of the seven categories, as well as the winner and runner-up of the Thoroughbred Industry Community Award. This year's Community Award winner is Nick Caras of the New York Racetrack Chaplaincy, with Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association's Diana Pinones as runner-up. While the 2020 awards ceremony was held virtually, the 2021 finalists will be honored during an awards ceremony at Keeneland Oct. 15. The weekend includes travel and accommodation for out-of-town finalists, a tour...

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Saturday Insights: Loaded Maiden Kicks Off Alabama Day Card

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, 6 1/2f, post time: 1:05 p.m. ET While the GI Alabama S. takes centerstage later on in the program, the Saturday lid-lifter at Saratoga looks a key race in prospect, with any number of booming pedigrees and lofty pricetags on display. Peter Leidel signed the ticket at an even $1 million for RAYMOND (Into Mischief) at Keeneland September last fall, with the colt's breeder Stonestreet Stables staying in for a share. The Apr. 21 foal is the third foal to the...

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Destination Lexington: Classic Favourites Keep Fans Coming Back

While much has changed in the 40-something years that international visitors have been traveling to Lexington, Kentucky for the Thoroughbred sales, plenty, too, has remained the same. And while the culinary scene in Lexington has blossomed in recent times, giving horsepeople myriad options for dining after a day at the sales, it remains odds-on that Dudley's On Short will be packed wall-to-wall with members of the Thoroughbred community. Dudley's has remained a racing industry favourite by embracing innovation while also staying true to what has endeared it to its patrons....

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Keeneland to Offer HRA Session During November Sale

Keeneland will offer a horses-of-racing-age section at its 2021 November Breeding Stock Sale by creating a separate, single-day session to be held on the final day of the auction. A selection of breeding stock will be offered early in this final session, followed by the full group of racehorses cataloged to the sale. "We are excited about this refreshed take on the racehorse segment, and we feel this change will provide a nice bookend to what we anticipate to be a lively market for the November Sale," said Keeneland Vice President...

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Grader School Set for Sept. 13-15 at Keeneland

The Racecourse Manager Certification Program, a continuing education initiative launched in June with an online curriculum focused on educating the next generation of racing surface managers, is now accepting applications for its first in-person course to be held Sept. 13-15 at Keeneland Race Course. Grader School, focusing on combined theory and practice sessions on the grading of racing surfaces, will offer a select number of early career professionals the opportunity to develop highly focused, hands-on expertise that will allow them to adapt and excel to the changing demands of horse...

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