Ocala

John Fernung Passes Away

Longtime Thoroughbred horseman John Fernung, 79, passed away Mar. 5, 2020, in Ocala, Florida. In the early 1970s, Fernung was the racing manager for the powerful Dan Lasater Racing Stable. Lasater Stable was the leading money winning stable in the country five years in a row and won three Eclipse Awards during that time. During Fernung's tenure as Lasater's racing manager, the stable raced Grade I winners, Hot N Nasty, Honky Star and Royal Glint among others. In the late 1970s, Fernung relocated from the racetrack to become Lasater's Farm...

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TRF Launches Partnership with Dept. of Juvenile Justice in Ocala

Building on more than 35 years of experience "Saving Horses and Saving Lives" in partnership with Correctional Facilities across the United States, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) has established its first-ever partnership with a Department of Juvenile Justice program. Presented as a live-streaming launch event, the TRF and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice will introduce the new equine program, TRF Second Chances Juvenile Program at CSI-Ocala, to a national audience Feb. 23. The event will feature remarks from the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and include...

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OBS Winter Mixed Sale Supplemental Catalog Available Online

The supplemental catalog for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2021 Winter Mixed Sale is now available online. Six horses have been supplemented to the Preferred Session, for a total of 183 horses cataloged as Hips 1-183. The session will begin Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 10:30 a.m. The addition of 26 supplements swells the Horses of Racing Age Session to a total of 121, cataloged as Hips 251-371, beginning immediately following the Preferred Session. Thirteen horses have been added to the Open Session, which gets underway Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10:30...

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A Wonderful Ride: A Tribute to Kenny LeJeune

Kenny LeJeune, a highly respected horseman who operated a training center in Ocala for many years, succumbed to cancer last week at age 60. Donations in his honor can be made to the PDJF or any horse aftercare organization. His wife Carey LeJeune wrote the following tribute. The racing world just lost a fan. Ken LeJeune died at home Friday, Dec. 4 after a brief illness. In his 40-plus year career, he was a jockey, trainer, bloodstock agent and all things in between; but always A FAN. He quietly went...

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OBS October Opens Tuesday

Delayed a week after switching dates with the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Yearling Sale, the Ocala Breeders Sales Company's October Sale begins its two-day run Tuesday. The sale kicks off at noon Tuesday with a mix of 59 2-year-olds and horses of racing age, followed by 169 selected yearlings. Wednesday's session begins at 10:30 a.m. with an open session of 420 yearlings. Supplements will immediately follow the regular catalogue each day. The 2-year-olds and horses of racing age are a new addition to the OBS October Sale, which previously only offered yearlings....

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Judge Allows Navarro to Move to Ocala, Forbids Contact with Racehorses

The banned trainer Jorge Navarro, one of the most prominent targets among 27 individuals facing federal charges in an alleged "widespread, corrupt scheme" to dope racehorses, has been granted court permission to leave the Southern District of New York jurisdiction and move his family to Ocala, Florida. But the endorsement signed Thursday by United States Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that modified Navarro's bail conditions made it clear that the alleged doper "shall have no contact whatsoever with racehorses." Ocala, the heart of Florida's horse country, is part of the Middle...

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Gulfstream To Add 3-Year-Old Stakes

Recognizing that stakes horses have limited options as to where to run due to shutdown of several tracks, Gulfstream has begun the process of adding new races to its schedule, including an Apr. 25 stakes for 3-year-olds. The race has been named the Unbridled S. and will be contested at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the dirt with a purse of $75,000. The story was first reported by horseracingnation.com. Though a $75,000 purse would not normally be big enough to attract top-echelon horses, the Unbridled could prove to be an attractive option...

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OBS Reschedules Juvenile Sales

The Ocala Breeders' Sale Company has rescheduled its 2020 Spring and June Sales of 2-Year-Olds in Training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The Spring Sale, originally scheduled for Apr. 21-24, will now be held June 9-12. The June Sale, which was slated for June 10-12 will now be held July 14-17. The Spring Sale under tack show will be May 31-June 6 and the June under tack show will be July 6-11. The Spring Sale catalog will stay as is and entries will be accepted from the June...

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OBS Marches On as Pandemic Panic Reaches Fever Pitch

by Brian DiDonato & Steve Sherack The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will hold its two-day March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Tuesday and Wednesday amid unprecedented circumstances as the nation and world grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused most major events to be canceled or postponed and racing conducted without spectators, if at all. Add to that a plummeting stock market--circuit breakers were again triggered as trade opened Monday despite the Federal Reserve announcing Sunday evening that it would slash interest rates to 0% and launch a $700-billion quantitative...

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Colts by The Factor, Dialed In Fire first OBSMAR Bullets

A colt by The Factor (hip 129) and a son of Dialed In (hip 141) breezed the quickest eighth and quarter, respectively, during Thursday's first of three breeze shows for next Tuesday and Wednesday's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Consigned by GOP Racing Stable Corp., hip 129 covered a furlong in :9 4/5 despite starting his breeze well out into the track and finishing it close to the fence. A $22,000 KEENOV weanling RNA and $17,000 OBSOCT yearling, the Maryland-bred is out of SW and GSP...

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Talking 2-Year-Old Sales With Mike Ryan

With the OBS March Sale slated to kick off the 2-year-old auction season Mar. 17 & 18, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack caught up with prominent bloodstock agent Mike Ryan for a Q&A session. Structor (Palace Malice)--an $850,000 OBS March (:21 1/5) purchase by Ryan from the Pick View LLC, Agent II, consignment at this sale last year--capped a perfect three-for-three season for owners Jeff Drown and Don Rachel and trainer Chad Brown with a dramatic win in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. Fellow OBS March...

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Funeral Arrangements Set for Trainer Coty Davidson

Funeral arrangements have been finalized for trainer Coty Davidson, who was killed in an automobile accident Feb. 14. His girlfriend, jockey Megan Fadlovich, was seriously injured in the accident. A gathering of family and friends in Davidson's honor will be held Feb. 24 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home in Bloomington, Indiana, with the funeral service Feb. 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the same location. For more information on services for Davidson, click here. Davidson died when the vehicle in which he and Fadlovich...

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