Yearly Archives: 2016

Trio Of Virginia-Breds Collect Their First Lifetime Win In The Past Week

As 2016 winds down, a trio of Virginia-bred horses earned their maiden victories in the past week from different tracks around the country. Jazz Pizzaz, Bourbon and Beer, and Yes I Win all collected their first career wins at Tampa Bay Downs, Laurel and Hawthorne respectively.

Jazz Pizzaz was dominant in her sixth career start, winning a $13,700 maiden claimer at the seven furlong distance. Bred by Lady Olivia at North Cliff LLC and trained by Keith Nations, the Cosa Vera filly raced in third through the first half of her race December 21st in a field of nine, powered to the outside then pulled away to win going away by 11 3/4 lengths. Out of the Horse Greeley mare, Trending Now, Jazz Pizzaz paid $4.80 and was guided by jockey Daniel Centeno.

Bourbon and Beer was the best of 10 horses in a maiden claimer at Laurel December 16th. Photo by Jim McCue.

Bourbon and Beer was the best of 10 horses in a maiden claimer at Laurel December 16th. Photo by Jim McCue.

Owner/breeder Sam English’s 3 year old gelding, Bourbon and Beer, scored his first career triumph December 16th at Laurel Park in an $18,000 maiden claimer. A son of Pioneerof the Nile, the victor wired the field and beat nine others including a pesky Silver Starship, who batted for first throughout and came with a nose. Bourbon and Beer, who is out of the Orientate mare, She’s a Blue Devil, finished the one mile contest in 1:40.24. The Rob Bailes trainee was ridden by Jevian Toledo.

Owner English will also receive a 25% bonus courtesy of the HBPA/VTA Mid-Atlantic incentive program, which rewards owners whose horses win an overnite race at any track in the Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania). That bonus program has been extended for all of 2017.

Yes I Win, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, beat ten other foes and captured a four length victory December 16th in a $7800 maiden claiming event. The son of Yes It’s True, sent off as the betting choice, earned his fifth straight “in the money” finish and collected his first lifetime win as a 6 year old. He is out of the Tiznow mare, Thor’s Daughter. Yes I Win made three starts in 2013, then did not race again until this year, where he has made a dozen starts.

Virginia Owner David Ross Has 2 Stakes Wins Saturday At Fair Grounds

Virginia thoroughbred horse owner David Ross won two stakes races Saturday at Fair Grounds. Proforma, a 2 year old son of Munnings, captured the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes and Honorable Duty, his 4 year old Distorted Humor gelding, was victorious in the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes. The wins were Ross’s 29th and 30th this year, and his horses have bankrolled $1,213,382. Here is a piece from Daily Racing Form about Honorable Duty.

It was a strange but successful trip for Honorably Duty, who dueled early, dropped back middle, and surged late to win the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes by three-quarters of a length over 44-1 shot Raagheb on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

(Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.)

Breaking from the rail under James Graham, Honorable Duty raced head and head with Financial Modeling around the first turn through an opening quarter-mile in a solid 23.79 seconds. Graham let Financial Modeling take over as Honorable Duty dropped to second on the backside and into the far turn, but when several horses made early moves on the outside, Honorable Duty, still hugging the rail, dropped back to fourth past the three-furlong pole, and still had four horses in front of him at the stretch call.

Graham, though, still had horses in his hands, and after flirting with a final run inside Financial Modeling, he tipped two paths from the fence to come between Financial Modeling and Raagheb at about the sixteenth pole, and Honorable Duty did the rest, beating Raagheb to the finish after he had beaten him to the spot. Brendan Walsh trains the winner, the second stakes winner on the card (following Proforma) for owner DARRS Inc.

“Brendan told me just keep out of his way as much as you can,” Graham said. “He finished off pretty well.”

Raagheb had 2 1/4 lengths on Financial Modeling at the finish. Financial Modeling was followed by Fear the Cowboy, Heisinfront, Great Minds, Dazzling Gem, The Truth Or Else, and Tale of Verve. The winner went 1 mile, 70 yards on a fast track in 1:42.37 and paid $14.

Honorable Duty was racing with blinkers off and was listed Saturday as a first-time gelding. By Distorted Humor and out of the A.P. Indy mare Mesmeric, he – like Buddy Diliberto Stakes winner Western Reserve earlier Saturday – was bred and initially owned by Juddmonte Farm and first trained by Bill Mott.

Honorable Duty won a maiden race and consecutive allowance races this past spring and summer, but had been fourth in the restricted Alydar at Saratoga and fifth in the Lukas Classic at Churchill before winning his first stakes Saturday.

Runner-up Raagheb probably ran the best race of his career, making his first start for trainer Tom Amoss. Dazzling Gem, the 2-1 favorite, raced near the back of the field while slow to settle in the early going, made a wide move into the far turn and reached contention at the head of the homestretch, but flattened out and finished seventh in a disappointing performance.

Golden Mischief drops, turns back, wins easily

Favored Golden Mischief got a favorable setup in the $50,000 Letellier Memorial and made the most of it, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Flatter Up. Forest Circle finished third in the six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

Golden Mischief, trained by Steve Asmussen for Corrine and William Heiligbrodt, had capped a three-race winning streak with a victory in the $100,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs in October, but in the Grade 3 Delta Princess there last month, Golden Mischief never got into the race and finished seventh, beaten more than 20 lengths.

She appeared to be into the bridle from the start Saturday, even while sixth down the backstretch for jockey David Flores, and with Flatter Up going a quick opening quarter-mile in 21.98 seconds and a half in 45.56, Golden Mischief was in good shape. Flores, staying outside, followed Forest Circle into the homestretch, passed her, took aim on Flatter Up, Golden Mischief making the lead past the furlong pole on the way to a comfortable win. She stopped the timer in 1:10.90 for six furlongs and paid $5 to win.

Golden Mischief is by Into Mischief and out of the Carson City mare Lania Mischief. She won for the fourth time in eight starts.

Could Virginia-Bred Sticksstatelydude Compete In $12 Million Pegasus World Cup On January 28th?

Sticksstatelydude Works Towards $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational

Dec 16, 2016

Mr. Jordan a Horse of Interest in Pegasus World Cup Search

BOYNTON BEACH, FL – On a sun-splashed Friday morning at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, graded stakes winner Sticksstatelydude turned in a four-furlong work that his connections hope is a step toward a spot in the gate for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.

The 3-year-old son of First Dude, who is owned in a partnership that includes brothers, Alvin Haynes Jr. and Mitch Haynes, does not currently have a slot in the gate for the 1 1/8-mile inaugural running of the Pegasus. The colt’s trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, said he has been approached by connections with confirmed berths inquiring about leasing the horse for the Pegasus, but so far no deals have been struck.

"Sticksstatelydude (First Dude) and jockey Joel Rosario win a MSW at Saratoga Racecourse 8/1/15. Trainer: Kieran McLaughlin. Owner: Alvin S. Haynes  & Elizabeth Burchell & John Ferris "

“Sticksstatelydude (First Dude) and jockey Joel Rosario win a MSW at Saratoga Racecourse 8/1/15. Trainer: Kieran McLaughlin. Owner: Alvin S. Haynes & Elizabeth Burchell & John Ferris “

After Sticksstatelydude covered a half-mile in :49.75 with exercise rider Roger Horgan aboard, McLaughlin said if the Pegasus turns out not to be an option, he is looking at the $400,000 Poseidon, also at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt and part of the undercard, as an alternative.

“He is pointing toward a race on Jan. 28,” McLaughlin said. “There is a $400,000 race on the undercard, or the Pegasus, if someone needs a horse. We could be talked into a lease for that day. He will continue to work weekly and we’ll hope for the best. At least there is the option of the other race if we don’t get into the Pegasus.”

McLaughlin said the story behind Sticksstatelydude, who won the Discovery Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in most recent start on Nov. 12, dates back to when he was a kid, growing up in Kentucky. The horse has also been trained by McLaughlin’s childhood friend, Greg Burchell, who saddled him to finish second in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park in September, his start before the Discovery. Burchell also holds an ownership interest in Sticksstatelydude.

“The horse is named for one of the best owners ever in the game, Alvin Haynes, who I trained horses for, and was a lifelong friend with,” McLaughlin explained. “He passed away last year. Alvin’s nickname was ‘Stick’ because he was a really tall man. When he died, his two sons took over,  Alvin Jr. and Mitch, and there are also several partners in the horse, including Greg Burchell, who trains the horse back and forth with me, and is the reason I’m in the business. Greg was my best buddy at 10 years old. Greg’s dad trained horses and that is how I got horses into my system. Greg is here in Florida, too, so we talk daily and he looks after the horse every day.

“Greg and I grew up with Alvin’s sons, Alvin Jr., who we call Scotty, and his brother Mitch,” McLaughlin continued. “Their father was a very good man and it’s sad that he is gone, but the horse is doing well for the whole family. It’s a great story if he keeps going. The horse ran huge in the Discovery last time. He’s just 3 turning 4, and hopefully he just continues to keep improving. He’s a nice horse.”

A winner of three races from eight starts, Sticksstatelydude has earnings of  $326,400. His 1 1/4-length victory in the Discovery marked his first stakes win. The Discovery’s runner-up, Neolithic, was a nine-length winner of an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday. His connections, Starlight Racing, have a slot in the Pegasus.

Mr. Jordan a Horse of Interest in Pegasus World Cup Search

With stakeholders in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on the lookout for horses to compete in the inaugural running of the world’s richest race at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28, Mr. Jordan became a horse of interest when the 4-year-old graded-stakes winner produced a dazzling 3 3/4-length triumph in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 12.

Although preliminary inquiries have been made concerning the Pegasus, trainer Eddie Plesa is currently preparing the son of Kantharos for a start in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Jan. 17.

“They’ve got 12 people who have spots and paid a million for them. They have to find horses. I guess my horse is a logical horse for somebody to call and ask about. I’ve had two phone calls,” Plesa said. “The bottom line is for us, he’s probably going to be the favorite in a race with a purse of $250,000, with a $150,000 to the winner. I don’t know the figures and how they work out. How does somebody compensate me? It’s a difficult situation.

“We have all intentions of running in the Sunshine Millions,” he added. “If somebody wants to put a solid offer on the table, myself and my partners would listen and then make a decision. It hasn’t gotten that far just – just inquiries.”

Mr. Jordan, who is owned by Plesa’s wife Laurie and longtime clients David Melin and Leon Ellman, is a multiple stakes winner who has finished in the money in 15 of 17 career starts, including a triumph in the 2015 Pegasus Stakes (G3) at Monmouth and several other graded-stakes placings. The Florida-bred has blossomed in recent starts after being gelded in July and with a chronic foot issue resolved.

“Mr. Jordan’s doing excellent and getting ready for the Sunshine Millions.,” Plesa said. “He came out of his race great, looks great and is doing very well.”

The Plesa-trained Awesome Slew may also become a horse of interest should he be victorious in Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Live Oak Plantation’s 3-year-old colt captured the Smarty Jones (G3) by seven lengths at Parx Sept. 8 in his second start equipped with blinkers. The son of Awesome Again set the pace before finishing fifth in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at Parx three weeks later.

“He always showed he was something better than average, and I still have those hopes for him. This will be a race that will get him ready for whatever is in store for him down the road,” Plesa said. “My enthusiasm for the horse really hasn’t diminished. He got sick on us last year before all the big 3-year-old races.”

Awesome Slew, who will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, will meet six rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday, including Keen Ice, who upset Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers (G1), and multiple graded-stakes winners Stanford and Madefromlucky.

The newly graded Harlan’s Holiday will highlight a 11-race program (Noon first-race post) with five stakes, including the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3), the $100,000 Rampart (G3), the $100,000 El Prado and $100,000 South Beach.

Weekend Stakes Preview For December 17th; California Chrome To Compete On West Coast For Final Time

‘Tis the weekend before Christmas and all through the country, stakes races aplenty are available to watch and wager including a headlining bonus race that just recently materialized.

On Saturday December 17th, California Chrome, the world’s richest active thoroughbred with $14 will be competing in the $180,000 Winter Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos. The superstar horse most recently appeared in the Breeders’ Cup Classic — the runner-up position — and will next appear in the $12 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational January 28th at Gulfstream. But on the 17th, he’ll face 11 other competitors at a 1 1/16 miles distance. The Winter Challenge Stakes will go to post at 7:28 PM. and has been carded as Race 9. Los Alamitos will also host the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes for 2 year old fillies at 3:58 PM. That is the 2nd race on their Saturday program. Los Alamitos also has a Pick-6 carryover Pool of $308,191.

Gulfstream’s championship meet is in full swing and they have five stakes on tap Saturday.  The quintet includes a trio of Grade 3 stakes — the Harlan’s Holiday, Rampart, and Sugar Swirl Stakes — and a pair of $100,000 ungraded ones — the El Prado and South Beach Stakes. Staying in Florida, Tampa Bay Downs plays host to the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes and up north, Aqueduct has a showcase pair — the $125,000 Queens County Stakes and $150,000 New York Stallion Series (the Great White Way division) for two year old colts and geldings.

Virginia-bred Taleoftheprincess will compete in the $50,000 Letellier Stakes for 2 year old fillies at Fair Grounds. Bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, the Tale of the Cat filly is 6-1 early in a field of eight. She was a $30,000 purchase at last year’s Keeneland sale and has won two straight heading into action Saturday.

A second Richmond OTB will open next month in the downtown area at Ponies & Pints. The establishment will feature full service dining, 60 craft beers on tap, and horse wagering.

A second Richmond OTB will open next month in the downtown area at Ponies & Pints. The establishment will feature full service dining, 60 craft beers on tap, and horse wagering.

Virginia residents can wager the action at the new Breakers Off Track Betting (OTB) Center in Richmond in the TJ Maxx Shopping Center at 9127 West Broad Street. On line wagering is available via,, and A second  Richmond area OTB will open in early January in Shockoe Bottom, at 110 N. 18th Street in a new restaurant/bar called Ponies & Pints.

Two Year Old Stakes Galore To Wager This Weekend; Virginia-Bred Hatteras Bound In Maryland Juvenile Futurity

Two year olds take center stage this weekend in stakes race action from tracks around the country, and Virginia residents have two new options on how and where to wager the action.

The Virginia Equine Alliance’s (VEA) first Off Track Betting (OTB) Center opened just over a month ago at Breakers Sports Grille in Richmond. It is conveniently located in the TJ Maxx Shopping Center at 9127 West Broad Street. It is open seven days a week from 12 Noon – 11 PM. And earlier this week, a fourth on line betting company was approved by the Virginia Racing Commission to do business in the Commonwealth. is the account wagering arm of the popular New York Thoroughbred racing circuit. Virginia residents have been able to sign up for an account and wager with, and, but now have that fourth option available.

Featured stakes on Saturday (December 10th) are a pair of Grade I’s at Los Alamitos, which takes over as the major west coast thoroughbred track until Santa Anita opens December 26th. The $300,000 Cash Call Futurity is for 2 year olds and the $300,000 Starlet is for 2 year old fillies. Both races are at the distance of 1 1/16th miles and will be contested at 5:58 PM and 6:58 PM respectively.

Laurel has a pair of $100,000 stakes for freshmen on Saturday — the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at 3:00 PM (race 6) and the Maryland Juvenile Futurity at 4:30 PM (race 9). Gulfstream plays host to six 2 year old stakes the same day — all at the $75,000 purse level. Half are for colts and the other half for fillies. Distances for each trio are at 6 furlongs on dirt, one mile on dirt, and one mile on turf.

Hatteras Bound is shown winning a $30,000 claimer at Laurel December 3rd. Photo by Jim McCue.

Hatteras Bound is shown winning a $30,000 claimer at Laurel December 3rd. Photo by Jim McCue.

Virginia-bred Hatteras Bound, fresh off a victory last Saturday at Laurel, will compete in the Maryland Juvenile Futurity. Owned and bred by Douglas Daniels, the Redeemed colt was best in a nine horse field last week that included CB Bodemeister, who finished third. Hatteras Bound went four wide coming out of the turn in the $30,000, one mile claiming race, charged to the lead and crossed 1 1/4 lengths in front of Tactical Hero.

Finally, Fair Grounds will host the $800,000 Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday. A total of eight stakes will showcase top state-bred horses. Enjoy a great mid-December racing day!

For a complete OTB simulcast schedule, visit

Past VTA President, Dr. R. Reynolds Cowles, Jr., DVM Named President of AAEP

Courtesy of AAEP website, 12/6/2016

R. Reynolds Cowles, Jr., DVM, founder and past president of Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in Earlysville, Va., was installed as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) during the Dec. 6 President’s Luncheon at the 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.


Raised on a dairy farm in Statesville, N.C., Dr. Cowles received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967. Following graduation, he accepted a position at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where he later became a partner.


After 11 years, the practice split three ways, and Dr. Cowles established Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in 1979. The full-service clinic serves central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The practice consisted of as many as 12 veterinarians, including Dr. Paul Stephens who became a partner in 1995. Drs. Cowles and Stephens sold their ownership in 2016, although Dr. Cowles remains involved with the clinic, where the bulk of his practice focuses on lameness in race and performance horses.


Dr. Cowles served as treasurer of the AAEP from 2006-2008; on the board of directors from 2000-2002; as chair of the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee; and as a member of numerous other committees, including Educational Programs, Finance, Foundation Advisory, Nominating, Political Liaison, Practice Management and Public Policy.


Dr. Cowles is a longtime advocate of the horse industry, particularly in Virginia where he currently serves on the Virginia Racing Commission’s Racing Safety and Medication Committee. He also serves on the National Steeplechase Association board of directors and chairs the NSA’s Safety Committee. Recipient of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s Distinguished Veterinarian Award in 2009, Dr. Cowles is a past president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and served on the Advisory Committee for the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Virginia Tech as well as the Research Advisory Committee for Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.


The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.


Off Track Betting Center In Richmond Handles Over $1 Million In First Month

The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) took a big step toward rebuilding the Commonwealth’s racing industry when it opened its first Off Track Betting (OTB) Center November 2nd in Richmond’s west end, inside Breakers Sports Grille at 9127 West Broad Street. The site is conveniently located in a heavily traveled retail corridor at the TJ Maxx Shopping Center between Parham and Gaskins Road.

After one month of operation, betting handle is coming in well above projections. Total handle for November was $1,067,087, which did include the popular Breeders’ Cup weekend. Instead of interest decreasing after thoroughbred racing’s championships were over, several daily handle figures since have actually exceeded those of the two “Cup” programs. And with a full slate of daily thoroughbred and harness simulcast signals available to wager, and high profile meets like Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs about to begin, things should continue to roll along.

A giant video wall at Breakers displays signals from 10 different tracks around the country in the afternoon and another 10 in the evening.

A giant video wall at Breakers displays signals from 10 different tracks around the country in the afternoon and another 10 in the evening.

Not been to the OTB yet? Attendees can expect a lively social experience. Breakers is a sports bar that features 55 televisions that can show both sports or racing on any of them. There are both smoking and non-smoking areas, a full service restaurant and bar with daily specials and plenty of free parking. Racing fans can make bets via seven self betting terminals or at two manned teller stations. A program kiosk offers Equibase, Brisnet and Daily Racing Form past performance information. The OTB is open seven days per week, from 12 Noon – 11 PM and a simulcast schedule is available at under the “Bet” tab.

The  OTB at  Breakers is in the TJ Maxx Shopping Center and has plenty of free parking.

The OTB at Breakers is in the TJ Maxx Shopping Center and has plenty of free parking.

The VEA will open a second OTB in January at a new downtown Richmond restaurant called Ponies & Pints. The venue,  formerly called Tiki Bob’s Cantina, is located in the vibrant Shockoe Bottom area at 110 N. 18th Street. There will be a horseplayers exclusive room with betting terminals and numerous TV’s, while other sections in the 5500 square foot building will feature a combination of sports and horse races on TV. An eclectic selection of 60 craft beers will be available on tap to complement a full menu. Ponies & Pints is non-smoking, but there is a fenced in, outdoor patio for smokers that features a bar, televisions and a self bet terminal. The restaurant has a 26 car parking lot and there is free street parking in the neighborhood. Several $3 parking lots are also located within a block or two.

Heading further into 2017 and beyond, the VEA anticipates opening additional OTBs in areas like Chesapeake, Hampton and possibly southwest Virginia. As the growth of OTBs continues, all aspects of the native racing industry will benefit including  horsemen’s purse accounts, breeding programs, and the VEA’s quest to for continued growth.

Virginia-Bred Homespun Hero To Compete in $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes December 3rd

It may be the first weekend in December but there’s plenty of stakes race action to watch and wager this coming weekend, either at the new Off Track Betting Center in Richmond at Breakers Sports Grille or via any of the VEA’s three on line betting partners —, or

The Claiming Crown series traditionally is known for its big fields, which makes is very attractive to bettors. Gulfstream Park hosts nine Crown events this Saturday December 3rd covering races 3 thru 11. Purses for each range from $100,000 to $200,000 and field size ranges from 9 to 14 per. Post times for the Crown stakes begin at 1:00 PM. and continue through 5:05 PM.

Virginia-bred Homespun Hero will compete in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes, slated as the 10th race with a post time of 4:34 PM. The 3 year old Hard Spun colt was bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, is trained by Michael Maker and is owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey. He is 10-1 early and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Homespun Hero is shown working out last fall. Courtesy of Barclay Tagg website. Michael Maker now trains the 3 year old son of Hard Spun.

Homespun Hero is shown working out last fall. Courtesy of Barclay Tagg website. Michael Maker now trains the 3 year old son of Hard Spun.

Keeping focus down south Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs — always a popular winter track among horseplayers — will host the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for two year olds, and the $100,000 Sandpiper Stakes for two year old fillies. Heading west, Del Mar plays host to a pair of Grade I stakes this weekend. The $300,000 Hollywood Derby is Saturday and the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes is Sunday.

Farther north, Aqueduct chips in with the $250,000 Go For Wand Stakes (Gr. 3) and Parx has the $100,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes. Woodbine provides a double bang this weekend with the $125,000 Display Stakes Saturday and the $125,000 Valedictory Stakes (Gr. 3) Sunday.

Looking ahead to the rest of the month, there are four more enticing Grade I stakes. Los Alamitos presents the Cash Call Futurity and Starlet Stakes on December 10th while Santa Anita hosts the Malibu and La Brea Stakes December 26th.

A complete December simulcast calendar for the Breakers OTB in Richmond is at Click on the “Bet” link at the top to access.

Trio Of Virginia-Bred 2 Year Olds Collect Big Wins Over Holiday Weekend

Virginia-bred horses fared well on Thanksgiving weekend stakes races, highlighted by Code West’s victory in the $150,000 Zia Park Championship Stakes on Wednesday. Rose Brier actually finished first in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap Saturday at Gulfstream Park but was disqualified and placed second. And Realm finished a respectable third in the Grade I Cigar Mile Saturday at Aqueduct — his first stakes action ever. In non-stakes action, Made Bail lost by just three-quarters of a length in a $63,000 allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs.

A trio of two year olds — Peace of Green Rvf, , Taleoftheprincess and Fly E Dubai — all got to the winners circle in their respective races while 3 year old colt Divine Interventino scored in an Aqueduct allowance race Friday.

Fly E Dubai earned a win in his first lifetime start November 27th at Laurel. The upset winner paid $44.80 to win. photo by Jim McCue.

Fly E Dubai earned a win in his first lifetime start November 27th at Laurel. The upset winner paid $44.80 to win. photo by Jim McCue.

Fly E Dubai, an E Dubai gelding, was sent off at odds of 21-1 in a 12 horse field of maiden claimers Sunday at Laurel. She stayed among the top four contenders throughout the $33,000 one mile race and was down by just a head at the top of the stretch. Fly E Dubai ended up winning by a length over Papa Pablo in 1:37.61. The victor, who paid $44.80, was bred by Carlos S.E. Moore and Gillian Gordon-Moore and is owned by Jane Thurston.

Peace of Green Rvf wins by a neck over Majestic Calling. Photo by B & D Photography.

Peace of Green Rvf wins by a neck over Majestic Calling. Photo by B & D Photography.

The other two victorious freshmen, Taleoftheprincess (at Fair Grounds) and Peaceof Green Rvf (at Penn National) both scored in gate to wire fashion. The former, bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, dueled in a head to head battle with Hotshot Anna the entire stretch. She prevailed by that head margin in the $43,000 allowance optional one mile claimer. The Tale of the Cat filly completed the six furlong distance in 1:11.10. She has now won back to back starts and has earned $41,040. Her first triumph came October 31st at Keeneland.

The latter, bred by Rose Ann Howell, beat ten other horses and hung on to win by a neck over Majestic Calling Wednesday. The Green Monkey gelding dug in at the top of the stretch to hold off an inside challenge. The winner, out of Belle Peace by Jazz Club, paid $12.60 to win in the $17,000, 5 1/2 furlong maiden claiming sprint. He is owned by the Riverview Farms.


Divine Interventio collected a victory in a $58,000 starter allowance race at Aqueduct November 26th. Photo by Adam Coglianese.

Divine Interventio collected a victory in a $58,000 starter allowance race at Aqueduct November 26th. Photo by Adam Coglianese.

Sophomore Divine Interventio captured a $58,000 starter allowance race at Aqueduct on Saturday. The Malibu Moon colt came from the rear of the six horse field in the final three furlongs. Bred by William Backer, the winner went four wide in the upper stretch and took over in the final 70 yards. He finished seven furlongs in 1:24.22. Divine Interventio is a Steve Asmussen trainee and is out of the Out of Place mare, Art Show. He did not compete as a two year old but has already amassed $93,116 in earnings as a three year old.

Virginia-Bred Rose Brier Wins Grade 3 Stakes At Gulfstream, But Was DQ’d And Placed Second

Having amassed 17 victories and $1.4 million in earnings during a 50-race career, Lubash was the most experienced and accomplished horse that went to post Nov. 26 for the 100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park WestWatch Video

A veteran of seven racing seasons, winning races has become old hat for Aliyu Ben J Stables’ 9-year-old turf star, but the son of Freud   actually experienced something new in Saturday’s 1 1/16 turf event. After finishing second, 1 1/4 lengths behind Rose Brier, Lubash was placed first after stewards determined that the first-place finisher interfered with his stretch run.

Virginia-bred Rose Brier won the Tropical Turf Handicap (Gr. 3) Thanksgiving weekend but was disqualified and placed 2nd.

Virginia-bred Rose Brier won the Tropical Turf Handicap (Gr. 3) Thanksgiving weekend but was disqualified and placed 2nd.

“I really don’t like to win a race that way. … Nevertheless, I’m thrilled for the horse. He’s a wonderful horse. He’s 9 years old. He overcame me for many years, which is great,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “I don’t like to win a race that way, but we’ll take it.”

Lubash, the 9-2 fourth betting choice, settled in seventh under jockey Joe Bravo as Rose Brier stalked pacesetter Applicator around the first turn and along the backstretch. Rose Brier, the 5-2 favorite ridden by Trevor McCarthy, moved alongside the tiring pacesetter leaving the turn into the homestretch while Lubash was making a five-wide move.

Midway through the stretch, Rose Brier came out into the path of the oncoming Lubash, whom Bravo had to check to avoid clipping heels with the favorite. The Jane Cibelli-trained Rose Brier drew away in deep stretch, while Lubash held on to finish second, a length ahead of Coalport and jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

Lubash, who captured the 2014 Tropical Turf, was subsequently awarded his 18th victory after the stewards reviewed the stretch incident that occurred as the field passed the hedge at the end of the turf-course chute.

“What a pretty classy old horse. You’ve got to love this guy. I don’t know if Trevor’s horse spooked from the inside or what, but he came out a long way and we were impeded,” Bravo said. “I’m glad everything worked out today. Lubash is a classy old warrior. He’s a New York-bred, but he wins anywhere.”

It had been a great day for the Maryland-based McCarthy, who rode two winners, including Rainbow Heir in the $75,000 Gin Rummy Champ.

“He was running for me and he just leaned in a little bit. I saw the chute coming and I said, ‘OK, let me hit him left-handed just so he knows.’ I hit him once and I hit him twice, and he just ducked. It just seemed like something spooked him and caught him off guard and he just ducked out,” McCarthy said. “He was probably much the best today, and it’s a shame that it really cost him.”

Rose Brier completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.47 while finishing first, although Lubash picked up the $60,140 winner’s share of the purse to push his earnings within $12,000 of the $1.5 million mark. It’s hasn’t been determined if he will be given an opportunity to surpass that milestone.

“I’m not sure (what’s next). The idea was to retire him, but it’s hard to retire a horse that just won a grade III,” Clement said. “It will be up to the owner.”