The Happy Blend Behind Litigate

In an era when it appears that no horse can run twice under the same moon, once again we're going to have plenty of relatively unexposed animals converging on the GI Kentucky Derby. That requires us to fall back on some secondary evidence, in pedigree and upbringing, to estimate what latent resources may be summoned to deal with the startling novelty of a 20-horse stampede. That's why the handicapping jury should heed the defense attorney for Litigate (Blame), despite a pedestrian 77 Beyer in the GIII Sam F. Davis S....

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Mating Plans: Jason Hall

With the 2022 breeding season right around the corner, we will feature a series of breeders' mating plans over the coming weeks. Today we have Jason Hall. "My partners and I typically breed to sell, primarily at the 2-year-old sales," said Hall, "but if we have one that looks the part, we'll sell the occasional weanling at Keeneland November. That being said, if we feel like the market is being overly critical and we see some blue sky by going to the races with one, we're not afraid to go...

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Veteran Jockey Robby Albarado to Retire

Jockey Robby Albarado, a winner of more than 5,000 races and the regular rider of Hall of Famer Curlin, has decided to retire. The 48-year-old rider will end his career Saturday at Turfway Park, where he has a mount in the seventh race. The news of his retirement was first reported by Daily Racing Form's Marty McGee. "It's time," Albarado told DRF. "I've been thinking about this for quite a while now." Albarado told McGee that he plans on becoming a jockey agent next year. Albarado started out at the...

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Mineshaft Half to Mind Control Up in Time in Spa Opener

1st-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 8-22, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, 1:18.65, ft, neck. GODDESS OF FIRE (f, 2, Mineshaft--Feel That Fire {SW, $147,280}, by Lightnin N Thunder), who had worked in company with Saturday's impressive 'TDN Rising Star' My Prankester (Into Mischief), was given a 2-1 chance to keep trainer Todd Pletcher's good recent run with juvenile firsters going. The bay tracked out wide as second timer Everyoneloveslinda (Secret Circle) showed the way through splits of :22.17 and :46.07. The frontrunner seemed long gone entering the stretch, and Goddess of Fire was...

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Taking It to the Max: Maxfield Stays Perfect in Style in the Mineshaft

Maxfield (Street Sense) may as well be known as the comeback kid at this point in his career, which has been plagued by injury and misfortune, but he always comes back swinging. Saturday's GIII Mineshaft S. at the Fair Grounds was no exception as the Godolphin homebred scored another good-looking win, taking his perfect record to five-for-five with his second straight win since undergoing surgery for a condylar fracture this summer. Hammered down to 3-5 favoritism against an overmatched field, Maxfield was antsy in the gate and hopped at the...

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True Timber Out of the Pegasus

GI Cigar Mile hero True Timber (Mineshaft) was not entered for Saturday's GI Pegasus World Cup S. after cooling out slightly lame Wednesday morning prior to the draw, trainer Jack Sisterson announced via Twitter. With the defection of True Timber, GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile victor Knicks Go (Paynter) was installed as the morning-line favorite in the 12-horse Pegasus. "True Timber came up slightly off cooling out this morning," Sisterson tweeted. "While it appears he might be able to run in the Pegasus, we always prioritize the best interest of...

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Twice in a Lifetime? Senor Buscador May Give Peacock Family Second Shot at Derby

Most of the racing world was likely asleep or otherwise occupied late Friday night, but the small fraction that was awake and watching the action at Remington Park may have witnessed the breakout of a star 2021 3-year-old as well as the birth of a feel-good story of the year candidate. Senor Buscador (Mineshaft), a homebred with just one 5 1/2-furlong start under his belt, was slow out of the stalls in the $200,000 Springboard Mile S. before rocketing past every rival in the 10-horse field to score a dazzling...

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Taking Stock: Performance vs. Stud Fee for the Small Owner-Breeder

By the time a stallion has established himself at stud, his fee is usually determined by performance, not the hype that surrounds new horses when they first enter stud. There are, of course, many ways to measure performance, including progeny earnings (which determines placement on the General Sires list), percent of black-type winners to named foals, quality of runners, number of Grade l winners, etc. There are seven thoroughly proven stallions that will stand for $150,000 or more in North America in 2021, and these elite horses--Into Mischief ($225,000), Tapit...

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Honor A.P. Cracks the Genetic Code

If someone new to our business asked you to pick a single race in 2015 that might explain the passion that consumes us, you probably wouldn't pick the processional exhibitions of a first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. You'd show them the GI Whitney S. In a summer when hardly anyone will be able to renew the Saratoga pilgrimage, you may find the jolt of nostalgia too poignant to revisit the video yourself. But gosh, that was a horserace. Liam's Map (Unbridled's Song), flying just that fraction too close...

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Mineshaft Winner Silver Dust DQ'ed From Louisiana Victory

Silver Dust (Tapit), who scored in Saturday's GIII Mineshaft S. at Fair Grounds, has been disqualified and placed last for his previous victory, in the GIII Louisiana S. Jan. 18, due to a failed drug test, according to a report in the Daily Racing Form. The Bret Calhoun-trained gray tested positive for levamisole, the same drug that got eight Joe Sharp trainees disqualified from wins at the meet earlier this month. Calhoun is married to Sharp's mother, Sara Escudero, and the two trainers' barns at Fair Grounds are next to...

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