Yaupon Injured, Retired

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Yaupon (Uncle Mo--Modification, by Vindication), who became his sire's ninth Grade I winner with a tenacious victory in the Forego S. at Saratoga Aug. 28, suffered an injury while training towards the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Friday morning and has been retired from racing. It was previously announced that the 4-year-old would be entering stud at Spendthrift Farm for the 2022 breeding season. Daily Racing Form was first to report the news. Bred in Kentucky by the partnership of Betz, Lamantia, CoCo Equine,...

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Fire and Nice: Two Sides of Racing's New Knave

He has spread nine graded stakes wins across five seasons, and banked over $2.6 million. And he's a homebred, don't forget: out of a mare claimed for $16,000, topped up by the $6,500 fee for a Poseidon's Warrior cover. An absolute model, you would say, for the kind of blue-collar honesty and hardiness that gives everyone in this business a chance of competing even with those who could afford to do their recruitment in Book I at Keeneland this week. And yet here is Firenze Fire, suddenly notorious the world...

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Yaupon To Stand At Spendthrift

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Yaupon (Uncle Mo--Modification, by Vindication), who became his sire's ninth Grade I winner with a tenacious victory in the Forego S. at Saratoga Aug. 28, will enter stud at Spendthrift Farm for the 2022 breeding season. The 4-year-old has the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Del Mar as his long-term objective before retiring to the stallion barn. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Yaupon was victorious in his first four career trips to the post, including Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S., clocking 1:08.50 for the six furlongs, and the...

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Taking Stock: A Weekend to Remember

Everything that top-class racing should be was on display over the last weekend. The six Grade l races at Saratoga on Saturday featured most of the leading horses in each division except older dirt males, and as a group they didn't disappoint, did they? Nor did their trainers. One race after another was dramatically decided at or close to the wire, and some of the runners-ups, including the Steve Asmussen-trained Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) in the Gl Runhappy Travers S. and the Todd Pletcher-conditioned Life is Good (Into Mischief) in the...

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Team Asmussen Celebrates Big Day

While Steve Asmussen was on the road to the Texas yearling sales Sunday morning, his team was still celebrating a pair of Grade I victories at Saratoga Saturday. Yaupon (Uncle Mo) captured the GI Forego S.  in a dramatic stretch run shortly before stablemate Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) battled to a determined victory in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. Asmussen also saddled Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to a runner-up effort in the GI Runhappy Travers S. "I was so proud of how our horses ran yesterday. It was a...

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Savage! Yaupon Survives in Wild Stretch Battle in Forego

You had to see it to believe it. With Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) savaging favored Yaupon (c, 4, Uncle Mo--Modification, by Vindication) repeatedly down the stretch in Saturday's GI Forego S. at Saratoga, the 2-1 pacesetter battled on gamely along the rail to secure a dramatic head victory. Chance It (Currency Swap) was third. "I will watch that replay many times in my future," winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. "For that to happen in a Grade I at Saratoga with two horses on the lead, that will be memorable. I...

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Mind Control Seeks More Spa Glory in Forego

Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables' Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) will attempt to win his third Grade I victory at Saratoga when he goes postward in the GI Forego S. Saturday. The 5-year-old pulled the 10-1 upset when going wire-to-wire in the 2018 GI Hopeful S. and returned to win the 2019 GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S., again at double-digit odds. His Spa streak was interrupted last year when he was third in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. and eighth in the Forego, but he returned to the...

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Uncle Mo's Yaupon Stays Perfect in Chick Lang

L. William & Corinne Heiligbrodt's Yaupon (c, 3, Uncle Mo--Modification, by Vindication), an impressive last out winner of Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S. Aug. 29, made it a perfect four-for-four with a powerful, front-running victory while equaling the stakes record in Thursday's GIII Chick Lang S. at Pimlico. The 3-5 favorite blasted out to the front from his outside draw, and was ridden along by John Velazquez to hold a narrow advantage. He began to shake free as they straightened for home and wasn't for catching in the stretch, rolling to...

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All Eyes on Unbeaten Yaupon in Chick Lang

Despite losing the ultra-talented GISW Volatile (Violence) to an untimely injury in late September, the Hall of Fame Steve Asmussen barn still has another big bullet to fire in the sprint division in the form of the up-and-coming unbeaten sophomore Yaupon (Uncle Mo) in Thursday's GIII Chick Lang S. at Pimlico. The L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt colorbearer, a $255,000 OBS June acquisition (:10), made it a perfect three-for-three in front-running fashion while making his stakes debut in Saratoga's GII Amsterdam S. last time Aug. 29. The Chick Lang 4-5...

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Well-Related 'Pharoah' Filly Keeps Ball Rolling at Keeneland

   Longtime owner/breeder Mike Rutherford of Lexington's Manchester Farm fended off several stiff challenges to ultimately land an American Pharaoh half-sister to unbeaten GII Amsterdam S. romper Yaupon (Uncle Mo) for $1.2 million.    The chestnut (hip 291) was consigned to the sale by Bill Betz's Betz Thoroughbreds and bred by Betz, J. Betz, CoCo Equine, former Chicago newscaster Ron Magers and Burns.    "She is beautiful, gorgeous," said Rutherford while rushing out of the sales pavilion. "Best filly I have seen. Let's hope she can run."    Rutherford said...

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Yaupon Gives Uncle Mo a Graded Double in Amsterdam

Yaupon took his record to a perfect three-for-three and became the second graded winner of the day for Uncle Mo with a victory in the GII Amsterdam S. Hustled up to the front by Joel Rosario, the dark bay clicked off an opening quarter in :21.93 with Long Weekend giving chase in second. Registering a half-mile in :44.68 with a host of pursuers ranging up menacingly, Yaupon kept on finding over the sloppy going, pulling clear in the lane for a decisive score. "He's extremely fast. He's got an elite...

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Basin Looks to Remain Perfect at the Spa

Basin (Liam's Map) is two-for-two at Saratoga so far in his young career and looks to extend that record and return to winning ways in the Spa's GII Amsterdam S. Saturday, which will be his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher. Previously trained by Steve Asmussen, the bay earned his diploma here at second asking last July and dominated the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. next out in September. Third to now-retired Grade I winner Nadal (Blame) in the GII Rebel S. in March, he was fourth in the nine-panel Oaklawn...

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