Yearly Archives: 2017

Iselin & Rizer-Bred Horses Surge In Week Before Thanksgiving

Horses bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin won three races in two days this past week as Virginia-breds scored a total of seven wins in four days. Audacious Angel, Talk Less and Just Funnin Ya connected at Churchill Downs, Mahoning Valley and Mountaineer Park respectively between November 18-19.

Audacious Angel was best in a $26,000 claiming race at the six furlong distance. The 4 year old City Zip filly took control from just past the quarter pole and held on to win by a neck over Like a Haint. The Steve Asmussen trainee is out of the Distorted Humor mare, Humorlee and increased her lifetime bankroll to $96,456 with the victory.

Talk Less won by a length in his $22,500 one mile, 70 yard allowance race. The 3 year old Blame colt raced unhurriedly early on and after crossing the half in fifth, responded with a burst of speed late and finished in 1:45.95. He is out of the Afleet Alex mare, Aristra. Talk Less now has 7 “in the money” finishes from 10 starts this year, good for $59.765 in winnings.

Scarlett’s Ransom has captured her 4th race of 2017 November 19th at Laurel. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.

Just Funnin Ya completed the trio of wins the next evening at Mountaineer Park with a close neck victory in a $6600  claiming sprint. The 6 year old City Zip mare was best in a field of nine and finished the six furlong test in 1:13.66. She made her 41st career start and collected her 7th win overall. Just Funnin Ya, whose pocketbook includes $122,745 in earnings, is also out of Humorlee  by Distorted Humor.

Eric Rizer and Nancy Rizer saw two of their Virginia-breds prevail at Laurel on back to back days. Scarlett’s Ransom authored a gate to wire  triumph at 5 1/2 furlongs on the 19th while Little Miss Jojo came from behind to nip Annapolis Class by a neck at 6 furlongs on the 20th. Eric Rizer owns both and collected a 25% bonus courtesy of the VTA/HBPA Mid-Atlantic incentive program. The former is by Denis of Cork out of Moosette by Grand Slam and the latter is by Stephen Got Even out of Jolie Ange by Lion Hearted. Scarlett’s Ransom has won two straight and four overall this year while Little Miss Jojo broke her maiden.

Little Miss Jojo held off Annapolis Class and Nancy R at the wire to win her first lifetime race. Photo by Jim McCue.

Northern Eclipse had the biggest win of the week by capturing a $45,000 allowance race for fillies and mares at Laurel on the 18th. The 5 year old Northern Afleet mare went to gate to wire, but had to hold off a furious finish which saw Bioterp come up a neck shy. The winner was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone. Northern Eclipse has amassed $146,635 in earnings this year alone. He has 4 wins, 3 runner-ups and a pair of thirds in 10 starts.

Northern Eclipse collected her 4th win of the year and 9th “top three” finish November 18th at Laurel. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.

Stormin Margaret, bred by Rodger Smith, won a $9,000 claiming race at Finger Lakes to trigger the first of those seven Virginia-bred wins.  The 7 year old Here’s Zealous mare won the 5 1/2 furlong sprint by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:06.00. Owner Establo G and G earned a 25% bonus from the incentive program with the triumph. She made her 66th career start and earned win number 11. Out of the Smoke Glacken mare, Storm in Philly, Stormin Margaret now has a career bankroll of $165,165..

Virginia Equine Alliance Opens Third OTB This Past Weekend In Chesapeake

The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) opened its third Off Track Betting Center this past weekend in Chesapeake at Buckets Bar & Grill. The restaurant is located in the Great Bridge area and is part of the Battlefield Shopping Center (228 N. Battlefield Blvd – Chesapeake, VA 23320). Heading south, Buckets is on the right hand side just before the drawbridge.

The OTB room in Buckets is one of three areas in the restaurant where wagering is available.

Racing fans filled Buckets all day & evening on Saturday. This was the first time in over three years that satellite wagering has been available in Chesapeake. The former Colonial Downs OTB on Indian River Road stopped taking cash wagers in November, 2014.

The TV wall at Buckets features state-of-the-art screens

The Chesapeake site features a large main dining room/lounge area, an OTB room with its own separate entrance, and an adjoining pool room. Horse racing action is shown in all three sections and wagering is available via either self betting terminals or at manned betting stations.  Fans can purchase either Equibase or Daily Racing Form programs at a kiosk for $1.50 or $3.00 per track respectively.

The pool room at Buckets has 18 TV screens showing horse races & 4 self betting terminals

The Buckets OTB will take live simulcast signals from up to 20 tracks daily from 12 Noon – 11 PM. A complete simulcast schedule is at Buckets is a popular full service restaurant and bar that features food and beverage specials every day. The bar itself shows all the NFL games on Sunday and has live music on Saturday evenings. Every Wednesday features $1 draft beer (10 oz. cup) and 50 cent chicken wings.

Several long time bet takers are back in action at Buckets and were greeted by horseplayers quite enthusiastically.

The VEA opened its first OTB at Breakers Sports Grille in Richmond’s west end on November 2nd last year. The Ponies & Pints OTB in downtown Richmond opened in January this year. The Virginia Racing Commission just gave approval for a fourth OTB in Collinsville (Martinsville/Henry County area) at the Quality Inn on Route 220, though the VEA still needs to acquire a special use permit  from the County (at a November 29th meeting). Plans for 2018 include applying for OTB licenses in Hampton and Vinton.

Horse Lover Works To Aid Veterans With PTSD

This column was written by Katie O’Connor and appeared in Monday’s (Nov 20) Richmond Times Dispatch

Richmond native Anne Poulson knows better than most the special connection that exists between humans and horses.

It’s the trust and respect that horses require, she said, that makes that bond so special, and could be what makes horses so valuable in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Horses are large creatures, and many of these veterans have never done anything (with them) except see them in a field,” Poulson said. “Coming face to face with these large creatures can be intimidating, but going through these … interactions, it’s very interesting how that empowers them to take control of other things in their lives.”

Poulson is the president of the Man O’ War Project, a Columbia University Medical Center-led research study investigating the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD.

The study is taking place at a farm in New Jersey, where veterans have 90-minute weekly therapy sessions with the horses over eight-week periods.

The point of it is so that researchers, led by co-directors Prudence Fisher and Yuval Neria, both with Columbia University, can prove whether equine-assisted therapy works, learn more about how it works, and create a uniform system that can be applied in other programs.

Poulson has been around horses her entire life. Born and raised in Richmond, she has served as president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association and as chair of the Virginia Racing Commission. She and her husband still have a farm in Orange.

There are a slew of benefits to therapy with horses, she said. Many veterans do not seek traditional office-based therapy due to the stigma of it, and because it often forces them to relive their trauma.

She said only half of veterans seek treatment for PTSD and, of those, 80 percent are likely to drop out. The need is great, too, she said, as statistics show that 20 veterans commit suicide every day.

But having veterans attend a beautiful farm and enjoy interacting with animals in a natural setting is beneficial in and of itself because it doesn’t feel like traditional therapy. And working with horses does not force them to relive their trauma, she said.

Horses also have their benefits over dogs, too. While dogs can be very therapeutic for veterans, their unconditional love functions in a different way.

“They’re there to sort of help veterans manage symptoms and problems, but they don’t really help them overcome problems because their reaction is always the same: I love you no matter what,” Poulson explained.

Horses, on the other hand, require trust and respect to build a relationship. There are numerous similarities between them and veterans.

“Horses are hypervigilant creatures, much like veterans,” Poulson said. “Vets are hypervigilant because of their combat experience, and horses are hypervigilant because they’re prey animals.”

Horses also tend to mirror someone’s emotions, so if a person comes into the interaction feeling anxious and uncertain, the horse will react to that.

Poulson added that, once the study wraps up, the program will expand and hopefully use more retired racehorses.

The program already exhibits a relationship with horse racing through its name: Man o’ War is still considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. In 1920, he was featured along with Babe Ruth as the outstanding athlete by The New York Times.

Retired racehorses, like veterans, will have left an intense experience in which their daily job and purpose was clearly defined, she said.

When they come home from combat, Poulson said, veterans can often feel as though they’re searching for a mission. Horses can help them find that purpose.

Often, that can act as the basis for their bonding.

“It’s been really rewarding to see it,” she said.

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Twitter: @__KatieOConnor

How ‘Bout A 15-14 Winning Exacta Combination? It Happened In Virginia-Bred Racing Action This Past Week

In Virginia-bred racing action this past week, Black Prong and Blushing Justine won their first lifetime race, Unpredictable and West End Gambler scored claiming wins, and Greyvitos captured a graded stakes event at Del Mar.

Black Prong, who did not race as a 2 year old, reached the winners’ circle for the first time in five starts. The 3 year old Wiseman’s Ferry gelding went five deep in the turn from fourth in his one mile event, then came home strong to win by a neck over Praise The Moon in a thrilling finish.

Black Prong won a thrilling $22,000 maiden claiming race November 12th at Laurel and triggered a 15-14 winning exacta combo. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.

Jockey Horacio Karamanos directed the winning effort for trainer Reid Nagle and owner Sarah Nagle, who also bred the horse. Black Prong crossed in 1:40.52 and triggered the unusual 15-14 winning exacta combination. Out of the Horse Chestnut mare, Talented Nut, the winner has yet to finish out of the money.

Blushing Justine on the other hand was victorious at Aqueduct in her lifetime bow. The 2 year old Justin Phillip filly, bred by Nellie Mae Cox and the Rose Retreat Farm, won handily by 6 1/4 lengths. She was third at the quarter mark of a $41,000 six furlong race, advanced to within a head of the leader halfway through, then powered to the finish.

Blushing Justine was successful in her first career start — a $41,000 maiden claimer at Aqueduct on November 10th. Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese.

The winner, out of Fionce by Cuvee, sold for $8,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2016 Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. Owner Matthew Kilstein earned a 25% bonus with the win courtesy of the VTA/HBPA Mid-Atlantic incentive program.

Unpredictable was best in a $22,500 one mile, 70 yard claiming race at Parx and secured his third win in the four starts. The 3 year old Bluegrass Cat gelding raced wide throughout, challenged the leaders in the final turn and eeked out a close win over Winter’s Gift by a neck. Unpredictable was bred by Audley Farm Equine LLC and is out of Ruler’s Charm by Cape Town. He is owned by the Ho Dee Boy Stable who also scored a 25% bonus from the incentive program. Unpredictable, who did not race a two year old, has earned $46,350 this year.

West End Gambler also prevailed for the third time this year, beating 11 other foes in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint November 11th at Mahoning Valley. The 3 year old Spring At Last colt dueled for the lead early on, took control at 3/8ths and held on for a three-quarter length triumph. Bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, West End Gambler is out of the Empire Maker mare, Summertime Green. He has bankrolled $27,182 and like Unpredictable and Black Prong, did not compete as a freshman. His other 2017 wins were at Belterra Park in a maiden special weight August 11th and in a claimer September 4th.

Greyvitos went gate- to- wire in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo.

Greyvitos, a 2 year old Malibu Moon colt bred by Audley Farm Equine, earned his first career win in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes November 11th at Del Mar. Jockey Victor Espinoza piloted the upset winner in gate to wire fashion against five other stake hopefuls. Greyitos, who paid $41.80, is out of Snow Top Mountain by Najran. A comprehensive piece on his win appears at

Finally, Just Call Kenny took third in the Richard Small Stakes last Saturday at Laurel. The race was one of six stakes on the card which paid tribute to fan favorite Ben’s Cat. Bred by Althea Richards, Just Call Kenny continued a solid 2017 in which he has amassed $184,830 in earnings. His career portfolio is just $25,000 shy of the half million dollar mark in earnings.

Application For a Fourth OTB Approved By The Virginia Racing Commission At Its Tuesday Meeting

An application submitted by the Virginia Equine Alliance for a fourth Off Track Betting (OTB) Center was unanimously approved by the Virginia Racing Commission on Tuesday (November 14) at its monthly meeting in downtown Richmond. The site is in Collinsville, Virginia on Route 220 — just outside of Martinsville — at a Quality Inn hotel known by many as the Dutch Inn. The OTB will be part of a 4500 square foot sports lounge that can accommodate 300 people, and will feature both manned teller stations and a number of self bet terminals.

The “Dutch Inn” in Collinsville is easy to spot with its giant windmill in front.

“We want to make the experience unique”, said VEA Executive Director Jeb Hannum. “There will be over 30 TVs that show a combination of simulcast horse races along with sporting events. The facility will be a full service restaurant that has some couches and other nice amenities.”

The VEA is estimating a $5 million handle in 2018 and within several years, hopes to grow that to between $8 and $9 million. When Colonial Downs operated an OTB in Henry County (in Ridgeway, also just outside of Martinsville),  it handled $12 million at its peak in 2007.

The Dutch Inn’s former dance floor area will feature a bank of self betting terminals and a rows of TVs showing horse race simulcasts.

The VRC approval is the first of two steps needed before renovations can begin to the existing lounge, which has limited hours and is geared to service hotel guests only. The VEA needs to obtain a special use permit for the site, which will be addressed at a meeting in Henry County on November 29th.

Mr. Hannum provided an update on other OTB activity in the state. In Richmond, the OTB at Breakers Sports Grille handled over $800,000 in October while the Ponies & Pints location downtown handled $660,000. They both continue to perform well, averaging $31,000 and $25,000 in handle per day respectively. A third OTB, located at Buckets Bar & Grill in Chesapeake, is expected to open Thursday with a grand opening planned for Saturday. A fifth OTB site in Vinton had been selected but based on feedback from local officials, the VEA will switch gears and pursue a different site in town that is being redeveloped and was mutually agreed on by all parties. A potential sixth OTB site, located in Hampton, has been selected and the application and licensing process for that is in motion.

An update on the Strategic Planning Committee’s progress was given by Commissioner Steger. The committee’s goal was to come up with a five year industry plan through a series meetings with industry stakeholders facilitated by mediator Preston Bryant. The meetings have enabled stakeholders to line up priorities, draft a road map for the future and establish talking points to be used for legislative initiatives and future partnerships. Other committee discussion items included an opportunity to implement historical racing, the possible sale of Colonial Downs, and the need to have live thoroughbred racing in the state with a marketing program to support it. “We need live racing product to keep the business alive and need to work on legislative strategies”, added Dr. Steger.

Mr. Hannum gave an update on the five week Shenandoah Downs fall harness meet, which concluded October 15th. He said the VEA has a great partner in the Shenandoah County Fair and both parties will continue to look at ways to improve the facilities, product and customer experience. A new barn setup worked much better from both a functional and aesthetic standpoint. Improvements to the betting area were well received as was the introduction of walk-around tellers. The racing was competitive and when nearby Rosecroft Raceway opened halfway through the meet, Shenandoah entries were only affected slightly. Both the horsemen and VEA are open minded in discussing future plans, which could include different dates and a possible spring meet. The 2018 meet though will be held again in fall, from September 15th through October 14th.

Virginia-Bred Greyvitos Captures Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes Over The Weekend

The following piece appeared in November 11th.

The $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (G3) Nov. 11 at Del Mar fit the “races aren’t run on paper” mantra.

Bob Hope entrants Mourinho, Run Away, and Italiano had all shown ample speed in their young careers, and longshot Greyvitos, who drew the inside post in the field of six had not. Greyvitos hadn’t won a race in two starts, either.

Greyvitos broke his maiden by winning the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (Gr. 3) at Del Mar November 11th, Photo by Benoit Photography.

But with the addition of blinkers and some aggressive riding from Victor Espinoza, the 2-year-old Malibu Moon  colt shot to the front in the seven-furlong test and led every step of the way to break his maiden in the grade 3 event.

“I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, but if I could get the jump on them, then I would just go on,” Espinoza said. “(With) post No. 1, I had to do something. The fractions were pretty quick, but when the horse is doing it easy, it doesn’t matter how fast you go.

Triple B Farms’ Greyvitos, who is trained by Adam Kitchingman, never led by less than a length at a point of call in the Bob Hope and set fractions of :22.66, :45.20, and 1:09.56 through six furlongs, but did get a challenge from Mourinho, who loomed as they turned for home.

Mourinho, who was seeking to give trainer Bob Baffert his ninth Bob Hope win (the race was called the Hollywood Prevue Stakes when it was at Hollywood Park), ran blazing fractions (:21.32 and :44.55) in his last start, when he ran second to fellow Bob Hope entrant Beautiful Shot in the Oct. 15 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita Park. On Saturday, Beautiful Shot had his blinkers removed.

In a stalking position this time, Mourinho tried but could not get by the 19-1 leader, who prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire in a final time of 1:22.20. Beautiful Shot finished third and grade 2 winner Run Away tired to finish fifth.

“We had a great trip, sat right behind the winner, got out, and had a chance to run him down but couldn’t,” said Mourinho’s jockey, Drayden Van Dyke.

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Greyvitos, who was bred in Virginia by Audley Farm Equine out of the Najran mare Snow Top Mountain, never led at a point of call in his two previous starts. In his debut at a mile on the Santa Anita grass in July, he showed speed but tired to finish eighth. His second start came sprinting in another maiden special weight on the main track at Santa Anita, where he closed from sixth to finish third behind winner Italiano.

“I wasn’t surprised to see him on the lead. In his last race, he was climbing with the dirt hitting him and so I was OK with him on the lead today,” said Kitchingman, who also indicated the colt’s next start would be in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) Dec. 9. “Those were solid fractions and the final time was good. With his pedigree, we figured him for a grass horse and definitely for two turns, because he’s bred top and bottom for that. And we might run him again on the grass sometime in the future. But he trained so well on the dirt that we wanted to try him on it.”

Greyvitos increased his earnings to $66,345 with the victory. He was a $100,000 purchase out of the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale

Virginia-Bred Long On Value Offered At Keeneland Sale

Long On Value, Airoforce Among Sale Prospects

Horses of racing age offered at Keeneland Nov. 13-14.

This article appeared on November 13th. Virginia-bred Long On Value will be offered at the Keeneland Sale. The 6 year old Value Plus horse was bred by Snow lantern Thoroughbreds and was trained by Bill Mott. He won almost 1 Million in purse earnings from 30 career starts.

Horses of racing age will step up to the plate at the Keeneland November sale Nov. 13-14, with graded stakes winning horses and colts, and a few geldings, scheduled to go through the ring.

Long On Value works out at Woodbine in September. Photo by Michael Burns.

Long On Value, who has earned more than $980,000 in 30 starts, is offered by ELiTE as Hip 2884A. A grade 2 winner, the 6-year-old Value Plus horse last raced in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes (G1T) Sept. 16, where he placed third. In March, he ran second in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored By Azizi Developments (G1) at Meydan. The Virginia-bred is out of the Orientate mare Long Message.

Long On Value is shown winning the Grade II Twilight Derby at the 2014 Breeders’ Cup. Photo Courtesy Benoit Photo.

Hip 2814 is multiple graded winner Airoforce. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency as a racing or stallion prospect, the 4-year-old Colonel John colt has a grade 2 win on the dirt and a grade 3 win on the turf and was grade 1-placed as a 2-year-old. He is out of the winning Cuvee mare Chocolate Pop and was a $350,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales’ spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Also slated to go through the ring is grade 2 winner One Go All Go, consigned as Hip 2865 by Taylor Made; grade 3 winner Ocean Knight, consigned by WinStar Racing as Hip 2864; and stakes-placed Gettysburg, the regular work mate for Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Gun Runner , consigned as 2846 by WinStar.

Stellar Wind Sells For $6 Million At Auction

The following appeared on

Technically, trainer John Sadler’s job was done with regard to Stellar Wind‘s career around 4:48 p.m. PDT on the evening of Nov. 3.

After finishing eighth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar, the 5-year-old daughter of Curlin  was put on a plane bound for Kentucky to begin the next phase of her Eclipse Award-winning career. With her anticipated date inside the Keeneland sales pavilion looming, Sadler was well aware the time had come to hand off his stable star into the care of another.

What the veteran conditioner could not do, however, was let the mare who gave his barn all levels of thrills the past few seasons leave without overseeing one last memorable outing. With Sadler’s watchful eye trained on her once more, the leggy chestnut mare made sure that—this time—there was nothing remotely disappointing in her effort.

Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza, outside, outleg Beholder (GaryStevens), inside, to win the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes, Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.

Less than 24 hours after champions Songbird and Tepin had the commercial marketplace fawning over them at Fasig-Tipton, Stellar Wind took her turn in the public auction spotlight when she sold to representatives of Coolmore Stud for $6 million during the opening session of the Keeneland November sale Nov. 7.

On a day when eight offerings cracked the seven-figure threshold, Stellar Wind was the standout by open lengths over her competition. Consigned by Lane’s End, the multiple grade 1 winner had Sadler beaming in the back ring, after watching Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier sign the ticket for one of the best he has ever trained.

“I just came in to kind of finish the circle,” said Sadler of his trip to Keeneland specifically to watch Stellar Wind sell. “Absolutely, it’s sad to see her go, but she’s going on to her next career so we’re happy that she gets to go to the world’s best connections.

“I gave her mints this morning, she loves peppermints,” he added. “So we’re sending her off with a bag of fresh mints.”

Bred in Virginia by Keswick Stables & Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings out of the Malibu Moon  mare Evening Star, Stellar Wind was purchased privately by Hronis Racing after making her first two starts at Laurel Park. Shifted to Sadler on the West Coast, she campaigned through 14 more starts that saw her race almost exclusively at the top level from 2015 on. 

Her first of six grade 1 wins came in the 2015 Santa Anita Oaks (G1), the same year she earned Eclipse Award accolades for champion 3-year-old filly. While the following season did not yield any year-end hardware, it produced some of the best runs of Stellar Wind’s career as she defeated multiple Eclipse Award heroine Beholder in both the 2016 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) and Zenyatta Stakes (G1).

The lackluster nature of her final career start in the Distaff last Friday was particularly puzzling given that Stellar Wind had won three straight grade 1 tests heading into that outing, including a repeat triumph in the Clement L. Hirsch. As she stepped into the Keeneland pavilion and the board jumped from $500,000 to $1 million in a handful of seconds, however, it was clear the mare’s well-established class and elegant presence was foremost in the minds of bidders.

“She was really a lovely mare to have in the barn,” Sadler said. “She’s very feminine, very light on her feet, a really beautiful mover, and very correct. I think she checked all the boxes for someone who wants to breed a really top horse.”

With the Keeneland bid spotters doing yeoman work, Stellar Wind’s price crept up in $100,000, $200,000,and $300,000 jumps en route to equaling Take Charge Brandi (2015) as the second highest-priced broodmare prospect to sell at the November auction. After a brief hesitation at $5.7 million, Magnier signaled the final bid from the back ring to secure the mare he said will have a date with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah  in 2018.

“She was very good-looking, and she was a champion and was brilliant for most of her life,” Magnier said. “Let’s hope she can be just as good as a broodmare. We came out here early before the Breeders’ Cup looking at a lot of the American Pharoah foals, and they’ve really impressed us. From what we’ve seen in the sales last night and so far today, the reaction to them has been quite amazing… (After) speaking to all the lads, we are going to send her to American Pharoah.”

Stellar Wind’s price continued the top-end momentum that has been prevalent in the sales arena, particularly when it comes to obtaining young, beautiful mares. Songbird and Tepin sold for $9.5 million and $8 million, respectively, the evening before, leaving little doubt that a fellow champion with a pedigree and physical to match would be most sought after.

“Last night was crazy, and to see that definitely made us more confident, for sure,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End.  “(The price) was right around where we thought she’d be. It’s a lot of money but she’s a champion and all the things we all know. The real quality is worth a lot of money these days, and getting into these female families is hard to do.”

Stellar Wind retired with 10 wins from 16 starts and $2,253,200 in earnings.

“Now I go back to California tomorrow and go to work on trying to make the next one,” Sadler said.


Ten Different Virginia-Breds Score A Treat On Halloween Week

Virginia-bred horses Going Rate, Schliffy, Trappe Me Later and Preachin’ George all earned their first lifetime wins last week at tracks around the country. The first pair collected their victories at Churchill while the latter two scored at Gulfstream and Laurel respectively.

Going Rate finished nicely in his $60,000, maiden special weight race to capture a 2 1/2 length triumph. The 3 year old Exchange Rate colt was sixth at the three-quarters mark of his 1 1/18th miles test, but he went wide and cleared the field in the final stages. Bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, Going Rate rebounded from a tenth place finish in his last start at Keeneland October 8th. The Ken McPeek trainee, who did not race as a 2 year old, is out of Dinah Lee by Dynaformer.

Schliffy had an easier time of it in his $19,000 maiden claimer at Churchill. The 2 year old Tapizar colt dominated and won by 9 1/4 lengths but was claimed out of the race for $15,000 by David Carr. The winner had been owned by the Zayat Stables and was trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Schliffy, bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, was making his third career start. The winner is out of the Tiznow mare, Thor’s Daughter.

Trappe Me Later was best by a neck in her five furlong maiden claiming sprint. Bred by Richard Sanders, the Trappe Shot filly maintained second place through most of the race and caught the frontrunner with a late surge despite getting bumped in deep stretch. She crossed in :58.52 and paid $20.40. Trappe Me Later finished second in her career debut October 15th at Gulfstream.

Preachin’ George won his first lifetime start November 3rd at Laurel. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.

Preachin’ George beat eight other maiden sprinters November 3rd at Laurel in her first lifetime start. The 3 year old Ecclesiastic gelding, bred by Thomas Teal, won her 5 1/2 furlong event by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:05.80. The Tim Keefe trainee competed at a $40,000 claiming tag and was ridden by Steve Hamilton. He is out of Mumtaj by Tralos.

On other Virginia-bred action, Compose won her fifth straight race, connecting in a $23,650 fillies/mares claiming event November 1st at Remington. The streaking 6 year old Stephen Got Even mare beat her own mark of success last year when she won four straight. In this six furlong race, she went gate to wire and won by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:10.08. Compose is 5 of 7 this year and has bankrolled $46,046. In her career, the consistent mare has 13 wins and 22 “top three” finishes in 28 starts, good for $142,231 in earnings.

Ned Evans-bred Code West is shown winning his second career  stakes race in 2014 at Remington. The Veterans Stakes win was his fifth. Photo Courtesy Dustin Orona Photography.

Code West continued to roll last week, going gate to wire in the $50,000 Veterans Stakes at Zia Park. The 7 year old ridgling upped his 2017 bankroll to $112,200 from six starts. His career earnings are now at $791,227 from 35 starts. Bred by Edward Evans, Code West is by Lemon Drop Kid out of Charitabledonation by Saint Ballado.

Scarlett’s Ransom, Unpredictable and Just Funnin’ Ya captured claiming races at Laurel, Parx and Mountaineer last week. In doing so, they provided a 25% bonus to their respective owners courtesy of the HBPA/VTA Mid-Atlantic incentive program. Eric Rizer, the Ho Dee Boy Stable, and J D P Racing all will receive that bonus.

At first blush, Scarlett’s Ransom finished a close second to Next Street in her 5 1/2 furlong sprint. After a review however, the original winner was disqualified for causing interference, so Rizer’s 3 year old filly moved up a position and got credited with the win. It was her third victory in twelve starts this year and fourth overall. Scarlett’s Ransom, by Denis of Cork out of Moosette by Grand Slam, was co-bred by Eric Rizer and Nancy Rizer.

Unpredictable closed well in the final stages of his Halloween Day win at Parx and crossed one half length in front of Refunded. The 3 year old Bluegrass Cat gelding beat seven others in the $22,000, 5 1/2 furlong race. Bred by Audley Farm Equine, LLC, Unpredictable is out of the Cape Town mare, Ruler’s Charm, and is 2-for-6 this year. He did not race as a two year old.

After 39 career starts outside of West Virginia, Just Funnin’ Ya made number 40 — her first ever at Mountaineer Park —pay off. The 6 year old City Zip mare beat Barbed Wire by nearly a length and captured her first win of the year and sixth overall. She completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07.41. Just Funnin’ Ya was bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin and is out of the Distorted Humor mare, Humorlee.

River Deep took an 8 1/2 lead into the top of the stretch in the November 3rd Virginia-Bred allowance race at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

River Deep was the 10th winner of the week. The 3 year old Arch colt was 5 1/4 lengths the best in a $30,000 Virginia-bred allowance race at Laurel. That race has a separate writeup and can be seen at

River Deep Captures $30,000 Virginia-Bred Allowance Race Friday At Laurel

Congratulations breeder/owner Morgan’s Ford Farm, whose 3 year old Arch colt River Deep won a $30,000 Virginia-Bred allowance race Friday at Laurel. The event was part of the new VTA/HBPA “sprinkled” program, which features periodic races for Commonwealth-bred or sired horses at tracks in Maryland and West Virginia throughout the year.

River Deep took an 8 1/2 lead into the top of the stretch in the November 3rd Virginia-Bred allowance race at Laurel. Photo by Jim McCue.

River Deep took an eight length lead into the top of the stretch against eight others and crossed 5 1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Jump Ship. Sgeldon Russsell guided the effort up top for trainer Phil Schoenthal.

River Deep prevailed in a maiden special weight race at Laurel his last time out. He has now won two straight with his win Friday. photo by Jim McCue.

Mr. Magician was third followed by Galaxy Express, On the Wings Of, Fly E Dubai, Virginia Royal, Trustifarian and Bourbon and Beer. Dream of Peace was scratched.