Zulu Alpha Retired to Old Friends

Grade I winner Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire}--Zori, by A.P. Indy) has been scratched out of Saturday's GII Calumet Turf Cup and Kentucky Downs and will be retired from racing. The 8-year-old will take up residence at Old Friends. "I'm going to scratch Zulu," Hui told the KY Downs notes team. "He's going to be retired to Old Friends. There's not a whole lot that's physically wrong with him. After consultation with Mike this weekend, he just believes he will not be competitive at this level." Claimed by Hui and...

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Taking Stock: Bernardini is Relevant

There's a tendency in this business--as in life--to downgrade the relevance of the aged and to push them aside in favor of youth. You see this in bloodstock all the time. Everyone wants young mares, just as everyone wants to patronize first-year sires. Old mares, even some stakes producers, are discarded cheaply, and older sires, unless they are elite, have a hard time attracting mares, even at discounted fees. Likewise, everyone wants good 2-year-olds that will mature into early 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail, but no one seems to...

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Constitution Filly Lives Up to the Hype

5th-Saratoga, $62,000, (S), Msw, 7-24, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:05.02, ft. IRISH CONSTITUTION (f, 2, Constitution--D'wild Ride {MSW, $622,841}, by D'wildcat) had a lot of buzz heading into this debut and was backed down to 7-2 off a 12-1 morning-line quote. The chestnut dueled for early control through a :22.81 first quarter before gaining a length advantage. Three wide turning for home, she was confronted by Party at Page's (Gemologist) to her inside and was briefly headed by that rival, but battled back in the final strides to score by...

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What's in a Name: Meritaten

By Andrea Branchini Meritaten, f, 3, War Front--Queen Nefertiti (Ire) (GSP), by   Galileo (Ire). Sam Houston Race, 1-29, 1m (off turf), 1:41.38.   B-Claiborne Farm (KY). A winner of a maiden in Texas has a curious name. MERITATEN is a daughter of QUEEN NEFERTITI, in very ancient history--and also in the Jockey Club Register three millennia later. The original Nefertiti (1370-1330 BC) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, the Pharaoh who started a religious revolution by worshipping one god only, the sun (named Aten). Meritaten was...

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Taking Stock: Tagg's Classic Prospect

Barclay Tagg is a straightforward, no-nonsense type of guy who's been training horses for close to 50 years. During his career, he had a stint as an assistant to legendary hard-boot trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr., and before that, he was a steeplechase jockey. He's in his early eighties and has spent most of his adult life around Thoroughbreds, including some greats, like Ruffian. He's won some big races, too, like the Gl Kentucky Derby and that's a big package of experience he brings to the table as the man behind...

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Glorious Journey Gives Appleby Meydan Trifecta

Tattersalls October co-topper Glorious Journey (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) bounced back from a ninth in the Oct. 6 G1 Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp, with a comfortable win in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400 metres at Meydan on Thursday. The first three home were all trained by Charlie Appleby who was winning this contest for the fifth time, with Her Highness Sheikha Al Jalila's 2.6-million guineas purchase besting the Godolphin duo of Mythical Magic (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) and Mubtasim (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}) by 3/4s of a length...

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Coolmore to Purchase Half of Sottsass

Coolmore has agreed to purchase a 50% interest in last year's G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), who stays in training this year with trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The news was first reported by Paris-Turf. Bred by Ecurie des Monceaux out of Starlet's Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Sottsass was a €340,000 purchase at the 2017 Arqana August Yearling Sale by Peter Brant through Michel Zerolo's Oceanic Bloodstock. Racing in the green silks of Brant's White Birch Farm, Sottsass won at second asking at two. He took the...

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'Lily' Blooms in Cape Verde

Magic Lily (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), third in the G1 Fillies' Mile as a juvenile, made good on her early promise with a narrow victory over Team Valor International's Nisreen (Ire) (Raven's Pass) in the G2 Cape Verde at Meydan on Thursday. The Charlie Appleby runner bore the Godolphin blue silks in the one-mile contest under pilot James Doyle, who, along with Appleby, were winning their third Cape Verde. The 5-year-old completed the Cape Verde in a new stakes and track record-setting time of 1:34.84. Sent straight to the head...

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Racing Virtual Reality Experience Debuts At Pa Farm Show

A newly developed virtual reality experience that allows users to experience horse racing through the eyes of a jockey or harness driver is available to attendees of the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  The 360-degree virtual reality experience--using real video filmed during actual Thoroughbred and harness races in Pennsylvania--allows individuals wearing a virtual reality headset to look left, right, and behind them as they race against other horses toward the finish line. To complete the Thoroughbred racing experience, users can even experience the simulated virtual reality race while riding on an Equicizer,...

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Pennsylvania Breeding Program Continues to Grow

Bucking a nationwide trend, the number of mares bred in Pennsylvania in 2019 was 686, an increase of 12.5% over 2018.  It was the third straight year that the number of horses bred in Pennsylvania has increased. Overall, the number of mares bred in 2019 in the U.S. declined by 3.5%. The growing popularity of the Pennsylvania program is a direct result of the establishment of the Racehorse Development Fund Trust in 2017. The trust guaranteed that the government could no longer raid the Horse Racing Development Fund, which funneled...

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Laurens to Visit Invincible Spirit

John Dance's MG1SW Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), a six-time Group 1 winner, will visit the court of Invincible Spirit (Ire) (Green Dancer) in 2020, Salcey Forest Stud announced via Twitter Tuesday morning. The Karl Burke trainee, who captured the G1 Fillies' Mile at two, the G1 Prix Saint-Alary, G1 Prix de Diane, G1 Matron S. and G1 Sun Chariot S. at three and the 2019 G1 Prix Rothschild, was originally due to be covered by Coolmore Stud's No Nay Never (Scat Daddy). "Off she goes... our queen," tweeted the Warwickshire-based...

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With Two New Recruits, Rockridge Looks To Better the NY Stallion Market

A native of a small farming community in South Africa, Lere Visagie grew up a long way from the U.S. Thoroughbred industry. Today, he sits at the helm of one of New York State's leading stud farms, as the owner/operator of Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York, which was established just seven years ago. While his is still a relatively new farm, Visagie said his goal is to improve the stallion market in New York through the growth of Rockridge's stallion division. This year, Rockridge welcomes two new Grade I...

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