Simon Callaghan

Lasix Ban in California: How It’s Unfolding

Sunday May 17 at Santa Anita rather disappeared into the ether of a weekend dominated by the resumption of live racing after a COVID-fueled two-month hiatus. But Sunday May 17 was notable in itself given how it christened the first 2-year-old race in California under the state's new Lasix-free rules. The chronology of events leading to that watershed is now something approaching lore. During Santa Anita's much-publicized troubles early last year, the track instituted a ban on Lasix, an action the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) synthesized into a state-wide...

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Sunday’s Racing Insights: $500K Blame Colt Debuts at Churchill

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-CD, $79K, Msw, 3yo/up, 1m, 4:08 p.m. ET SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables and Fred Hertrich III's BEACON HILL (Blame) debuts for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. The dark bay, who realized a $500,000 final bid at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale, was the highest priced yearling out of 27 sold by his sire in 2018. Dam My Mammy, already responsible for the colt's full stakes-winning sibling Sweet Victory and stakes-placed Ferdinanda (Giant's Causeway), is a half-sister to Grade I-winner Bandini (Fusaichi Pegasus) and Group 3...

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Bellafina Headlines Desert Stormer

Three-time GISW Bellafina (Quality Road) will look to snap a six-race losing streak in Sunday's GIII Desert Stormer S. at Santa Anita. The $800,000 FTFMAR breezer, winless since posting a dominating score in last term's GI Santa Anita Oaks, sports a record of 6-4-2-0 at the Great Race Place, including a very strong second in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 2. After closing out her 3-year-old campaign with a runner-up finish as the 3-5 chalk in the GI La Brea S. Dec. 28, nothing went right...

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Bellafina Tunes Up at Oaklawn

Bellafina (Quality Road), tuning up for the Apr. 25 Carousel S. at Oaklawn Park, worked four furlongs in :47.80 (20/105) under Joe Talamo at the Hot Springs oval Saturday morning. Clockers caught the 4-year-old filly with a final quarter-mile of :23.60 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.20. "Unbelievable," Talamo said after getting on Bellafina for the first time. "Absolutely skipped over the track this morning." Bellafina, who shipped in from trainer Simon Callaghan's Southern California base Tuesday, was having her first work over the Oaklawn track Saturday. The three-time...

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Uncle Mo’s Donna Veloce Ultra Impressive in Santa Ysabel

Super talented 'TDN Rising Star' Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo) kicked off her potential trip to the GI Kentucky Oaks with a truly dominant romp in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. at Santa Anita Sunday. The 1-5 favorite, freshened since a runner-up effort in the GI Starlet S. last December, was away awkwardly and forced to bide her time toward the back of the field early. She eventually settled into a more comfortable rhythm while saving ground and creeping up down the backside, and appeared absolutely loaded while traveling in third...

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Donna Veloce Returns

Flashy 'TDN Rising Star' Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo) makes her sophomore debut in Sunday's GIII Santa Ysabel S. in Arcadia. The $800,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream grad crushed her competition by 9 1/4 lengths first out sprinting here Sept. 28, and her connections immediately tested deeper waters in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1. Favored in that track-and-trip event, she was a neck second to eventual champion British Idiom (Flashback), and one slot ahead of Bast (Uncle Mo), who came back to upset Donna Veloce in the GI Starlet S....

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Seven Line Up for Best Pal

Four of the seven runners slated to contest Saturday's GII Best Pal S. graduated at first asking, including morning-line choice Schrodinger (Justin Phllip), trained by Simon Callaghan and owned by Kaleem Shah. Heavy favorite in his Los Alamitos debut June 30, he came from just off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths under Flavian Prat. The French-born rider gets back aboard this time. Also likely to garner plenty of support at the windows, Fore Left (Twirling Candy) just got up for a narrow score subsequent GIII Bashford Manor...

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Daylight Win for Constitution Filly in Sorrento

Amalfi Sunrise (Constitution) flattered her 'TDN Rising Star' status even further by collecting another facile win in Saturday's GII Sorrento S. at Del Mar. Sent off the well-supported favorite following an ultra-impressive 6 1/4-length score in her Santa Anita debut June 23, the dark bay was part of a three-way tussle up front with 'TDN Rising Star' and last-out GIII Schuylerville S. winner Comical (Into Mischief) and Princess Mo (Uncle Mo), carving out an opening quarter in :22.50. Looking ready to dispense of those rivals at any moment, Amalfi Sunrise...

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Vasilika Welcomes Hollendorfer Back In Yellow Ribbon

Having secured a court order that paved the way for his return to the training ranks, Jerry Hollendorfer saddles a single horse on Saturday's Del Mar program. That runner just happens to be Vasilika (Skipshot), the queen of the hill among California's turf distaffers, who will jump a warm favorite in the GII Yellow Ribbon H. Claimed for $40,000 a year and a half ago, the chestnut has made 14 appearances for the barn and has had her picture taken a dozen times, her lone finish outside of the top...

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Callaghan Shooting For Back-To-Back Scores in Sorrento

Trainer Simon Callaghan will be at Saratoga Saturday to saddle Bellafina (Quality Road) in the GI Longines Test S., and a short time later, the conditioner will be glued to the nearest television set to watch 'TDN Rising Star' Amalfi Sunrise (Constitution) give the barn consecutive victories in the GII Sorrento S. at Del Mar. A $40,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $185,000 OBS April purchase, the racy-looking dark bay was pounded into 11-10 favoritism for her June 23 debut at Santa Anita, and although she was beaten for speed by...

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