Category Archives: Racing

Horse Racing in New Jersey

The Meadowlands Racetrack (currently referred to as Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment) is a horse racing track at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ, United States. The track hosts both thoroughbred racing and harness racing. It is known popularly in the region as “The Big M”. Meadowlands has year-round horse racing as well as a number of bars and restaurants.

Here is a guide to New Jersey betting on sports online to will help you get on your feet. The online sports betting in New Jersey has been legal for almost a year now. The NJ online sportsbooks allow you to bet on games on their website or through the operator’s mobile app if such feature is available. Therefore, you can enjoy the experience of engaging in NJ online sports betting without having to leave the comfort of your home.

Opened in the mid-1970s, Meadowlands Racetrack held its first-ever harness race on September 1, 1976 while thoroughbred racing commenced on September 6, 1977. With the exception of the opening season of 1976, autumn has been dedicated to the thoroughbreds, while the rest of the year features standardbreds, or harness horses.

The Meadowlands Racetrack has been the site of the Hambletonian, the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, since 1981. It has also been home to the Cane Pace, the first leg of Harness Racing’s Pacing Triple Crown since 2015 with the Cane run on the same program as the Hambletonian.

Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands, and Freehold Raceway will receive purse subsidies in 2019. The money allocated under the new law will go toward enhancing the winnings, or purses, paid out to the highest finishers at races. In general, higher purses means tracks can attract more horses, which in turn leads to more wagering by spectators and more business for the tracks and ancillary workers.

Monmouth Park, the state’s only thoroughbred track, will receive $10 million for purses in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, with the Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway, both standardbred tracks, getting $6 million and $1.6 million, respectively. The remaining $2.4 million will go toward breeding programs and other purses.

On June 11, 2018, New Jersey became the third state to legalize sports betting, after Nevada and Delaware, with Gov. Phil Murphy signing the legislation into law. Sports betting in New Jersey began when a sportsbook opened at Monmouth Park Racetrack on June 14, 2018.  Following this, sportsbooks opened at the casinos in Atlantic City and at Meadowlands Racetrack.

In June 2018, Paddy Power Betfair announced that it had partnered with Meadowlands to open a sportsbook at the track, following the state’s legalization of sports betting (as facilitated by the result of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association). The sportsbook opened on July 14, 2018, under the branding of FanDuel, a daily fantasy sports service recently acquired by the company.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in the case in favor of New Jersey, ruling that the 1992 federal ban on sports betting in most states violated their rights. After the ruling, several states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, prepared to legalize sports betting.

Live and thrilling standardbred racing at Freehold NJ Raceway was established in 1853. The Freehold Raceway features live standardbred races and thoroughbred racing simulcasts from tracks all over North America.

The raceway is open seven days of the week and the thoroughbred simulcasts schedule can be found here. New to this speed sport? The raceway offers an online betting guide found here and if you can’t experience the race live, just place your bet online or over the phone.

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby” 2019 Concludes with Final Chapeau of the Season

Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner, Nicanor, Joe Steiner, and son Jonah model the newest “Hats Off to the Derby” chapeau (Photo: Barbara D. Livingston)

New Hat Honors Old Friends Retiree Nicanor

For the 10th consecutive year, Maggie Mae Designs® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience. “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is a unique Derby-hat fundraiser featuring one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

This new hat pays tribute to Nicanor, a stakes-placed runner who is better known as the full brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Nicanor now resides at Old Friends, and this lovely hat uses the blue, lime, and white racing-silk colors of former owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables.

The Kentucky-bred Nicanor (Dynaformer – La Ville Rouge, Carson City) was trained by Michael Matz and ridden by several jockeys, including Barbaro rider Edgar Prado. In his 18 starts he captured 4 wins, including a 15 1/4 lengths victory at Delaware Park.

Nicanor entered stud in 2013 at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine, MD and retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2018.

For this lovely hat, Maggie Mae Designs® milliner Sally Faith Steinmann uses a foundation of white dupioni silk overlaid with three wavy layers of silk organza that is top stitched with chocolate thread. The hat is adorned with a large, two-tone, blue silk organza Marguerite fleur, highlighted by a chocolate rose curl at the center that is nestled in a medley of lime organza and taffeta leaves.

The hat is completed by a white brocade under brim that lends a soft, elegant effect around the wearer’s upturned face. And, as always, a physical remembrance — several strands of the horse’s tail hair — were woven into the trim, creating a truly unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau.

The “Nicanor” chapeau is up for bid from April 1st at 8 pm through April 11th at 8 pm. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends.

To Bid: CLICK HERE.

To read more about Nicanor, the horse, please CLICK HERE

For more information: (502) 863-1775; www.oldfriendsequine.org; michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Danthebluegrassman, Grade 3 Winner, Euthanized at 20

Danthebluegrassman at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 20, 2019 – Danthebluegrassman, a 2002 Kentucky Derby contender, was euthanized Monday, March 19, at Park Equine Hospital in Woodford due to an irreparable small intestinal obstruction that was causing chronic colic.

The 20-year-old gelding had been pensioned at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, KY, since 2008.

A son of Pioneering, out of the Grey Dawn II mare Stay With Bruce, Danthebluegrassman — named after raconteur Dan Chandler, son of former Kentucky governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler — was campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Michael E. Pegram.

As a 2-year-old, the flashy chestnut won the Gold Rush Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion. A year later, he punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby trail with a win in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby and a close 2nd in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby.

A long shot nevertheless, on Derby day he was installed at 50-1 morning line odds, but then later scratched after he “tied up” following a routine gallop at Churchill Downs. In June of that year he went on to another victory in the Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Claimed in in 2005, Dan eventually fell down the ranks and was retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2008 after a career boasting 47 Starts and 8 wins with earnings of $423,794.

“Dan was the man — tough but gentle,” said Old Friends President Michael Blowen. “We were fortunate to know him for more than a decade, and he will be missed by all of us. Special thanks to Dr. Bryan Waldrige and everyone at Park Equine for doing the best for Dan when he needed it most.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

American Horse Racing Venues

The blossoming of springtime rosebuds ushers in Kentucky’s Run for the Roses at the historic Churchill Downs in Louisville and the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing — an annual event each spring since 1875.

Though the Triple Crown is the most famous racing series in the U.S., the tradition of thoroughbred racing dates back to 1665. Today, 32 states host live horse racing throughout the year. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York make up the three-part racing series.

Events such as the Cheltenham Festival in the United Kingdom – which takes place every March – are the highlight of the racing calendar but as an all-year sport there is always going to be a race to bet on and online betting makes it easier.

The Triple Crown series takes place throughout May and June each year. To secure the Triple Crown champion title, a 3-year-old horse must win all three “jewels” in the series. To date, only 12 horses have won the series, including the world-famous racer Secretariat, who still holds the record for the fastest time on the Kentucky Derby track at 1 minute 59.4 seconds.

The Triple Crown title was formally proclaimed in December 1950 at the annual awards dinner of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations in New York and retroactively awarded to Sir Barton, the first horse to win all three races (1919). The title was then given to subsequent pre-1950 winners at following annual dinners of the organization.

Efforts to cluster races along the lines of the British Triple Crown began after the American Civil War. In 1875 Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. — the founder of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby — tried to promote a Triple Crown centered around his Derby. At the turn of the 20th century, race organizers in New York focused on three contests that took place in that state. These efforts failed owing to provincialism among the racing entities, with each one insisting that its own events were preeminent. In fact, it was a long time before the socialites of the Eastern states, who largely controlled the sport, would even allow their horses to run in the “West” at Churchill Downs. It was this stubborn attitude, along with a belief that the Derby was raced too early in the year — before young three-year-old horses had fully matured — that impelled owner Samuel Riddle to keep the great Man o’ War out of the Kentucky Derby in 1920, thereby denying him a probable Triple Crown.

The Breeders’ Cup event is held in late October or early November at different race tracks every year. It receives less attention than the Triple Crown series from the general public but is of great importance in determining the American Horse of the Year and annual Eclipse Award divisional winners. It is normally held at a different track every year, though some racetracks have held back-to-back renewals. It currently consists of thirteen races held over two days with total prize-money of $28 million.

In 1665, the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. It is the oldest Thoroughbred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States. There were 314 tracks operating in the United States by 1890, and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed.

Belmont Park is part of the western edge of the Hempstead Plains. Its mile-and-a-half main track is the largest dirt Thoroughbred race course in the world, and it has the sport’s largest grandstand.

One of the latest major horse tracks opened in the United States was the Meadowlands Racetrack opened in 1977 for Thoroughbred racing. It is the home of the Meadowlands Cup. Other more recently opened tracks include Remington Park, Oklahoma City, opened in 1988, and Lone Star Park in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, opened in 1997; the latter track hosted the prestigious Breeders’ Cup series of races in 2004.

The first record of quarter mile length races dated back to 1674 in Henrico County, Virginia. Each race consisted of only two horses and they raced down the village streets and lanes. The Quarter Horse received its name due to the length of the race. The races were indeed “a quarter” of a mile, or 400 meters. The breed of horse was developed so they could get off to a quick start and win the race. You will never miss the excitement of Quarter Horse Racing from Los Alamitos, Lone Star, and other areas where the world’s best athletes compete.

The Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack at the Alameda County Fairgrounds is the oldest remaining horse racing track in America, dating back to 1858, when it was founded by the sons of the Spaniard Don Agustin Bernal.

Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has its own Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. The Hall of Fame honors remarkable horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers.

Old Friends Welcomes Five-Time Grade 1 Winner Einstein

Einstein arrives at Old Friends (Photo: Carole Oates)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 11, 2019 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm based in Georgetown, KY, has welcomed new retiree Einstein. The Brazilian bred son of 1986 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck has been pensioned by The Stonach Group’s Adena Springs to the non-profit organization.

Trained by Helen Pitts, Einstein (Spend a Buck–Gay Charm, by Ghadeer) captured the 2009 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and four grade I stakes on turf, including back-to-back triumphs in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.

Other wins include the 2008 Clark Handicap (gr. II), also at Churchill, and the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds.

In all, Einstein made 30 starts, winning 11 races. He won or placed in 13 stakes, all of which were graded, and his career earnings totaled $2,703,324.

Einstein retired from racing in 2010 to stand at Adena Springs near Paris, KY. He later stood at Adena Springs North in Ontario, Canada and at Magali Farms near Santa Ynez, CA. His top runners include grade III winner Rankhasprivileges and multiple-stakes-placed E Equalsmcsquared.

In 2015, Adena Springs also donated Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup and Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold to Old Friends.

“We’re extremely grateful to The Stronach Group for allowing us to care for Einstein, and for supporting him with a significant annual contribution,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “Einstein has a lot of fans and I’m sure they’ll be flocking to visit him.

“The great son of Spend a Buck didn’t peak until his six and seven-year-old campaigns,” Blowen continued, “and, as fate would have it, he defeated many of our other Old Friends retirees, including Arson Squad, Commentator, Rail Trip, and Cosmonaut.”

“Einstein was one of the most honest and consistent race horses of modern times,” said Donald Wells, Farm Manager at Adena Springs. “He came very close to being the first horse to win grade 1 races on the turf (Woodford Reserve), synthetic (Santa Anita Handicap), and dirt when he was a troubled third in the Stephen Foster in 2009.

“It has been a privilege to care for such a tough and honest horse,” Wells added. “We know he will be well taken care of at Old Friends, and we look forward to his fan base getting to know and love him the way we have.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Image: Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, on display at BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2008 – winning jockey, Sam Thomas, rider of Denman, 2008.

The Cheltenham festival usually consists of 28 races, but of them all, the one to look forward to the most is the Gold Cup which takes place on the last day of the events. The Gold Cup is usually a test of character and strength for not just the runners but the riders as well. During the Gold Cup, the horses have to navigate through 22 different jumps and run a distance of 3 ¼ miles.

This year’s Gold Cup race will take place on the 15th of March and will start at 1:30pm. However, the main and the most interesting race of the Gold Cup day will take place at 3.30pm and is called the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase. Check out this link if you are looking for horse racing tips for today and tomorrow and every day after that as the Cheltenham offers so much money for not just trainers and riders, but for punters as well.

Might Bite was the favourite for last year’s Gold Cup, but Native River pulled off a surprise to win with Might Bite coming second. Third, fourth, and fifth positions were occupied by Anibale fly, Road to Respect, and Djakadam, respectively.

Native River will be hoping to defend its title, but just as last year is not the favourite for the title. This year’s favourite is Presenting Percy who won 2018’s RSA Chase. Another runner punters will keep an eye on is Kemboy, who has done incredibly well so far this season. He is some bookmakers’ favourite for the Gold Cup as well. Also worth keeping an eye on for the Gold Cup is Clan Des Obeaux who recently won the King George VI Chase.

Prize money

Native River went home with £369,821 for winning the Gold Cup last year. This year will see over £600,000 on offer.

The odds

Skybet has rated defending Native River at 7/2 to win the Gold Cup, same as Unibet, Paddypower, and a host of other bookmakers. Although Native River is the defending champion, most bookmakers have it rated as third favourite. The second favourite is Clan Des Obeaux, who is available at 9/2 via Bet365, Ladbrokes, and Williamhills.

2018’s RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy is rated higher than Native River and is favourite for the Gold Cup, but most bookmakers have him at 7/2 to win, which appears like the bookmakers think it will be: a strong contest between the three horses.

How to Choose the Real Triple Crown Winner

Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash.

The road to the grandest horse racing tournament this year is underway and lots of horse racing fans are on their feet to take part in betting. As you may know, the Triple Crown series is about to unfold. It comprises the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the final leg which is the Belmont Stakes. A lot of horse racing fans have been looking forward to this year’s entry of competent horse racers.

While these horse racing events are attended by lots of competitive horses across the country, it is inevitable the difficulty of picking the right winner deems the first-hand problem even if you are experienced. Bear in mind that in a horse racing show, even if you hold the complete probability and statistics of each horse racer, their destiny won’t be decided until they reach the finish line.

Hence, it is important that before you partake to these horse racing tournaments, you have to understand the whole racing show study each racehorse. So, along with your critical research and study conducted to the possible horse racers which will join the upcoming horse racing competition, here are some realistic tips you can consider on how you should be able to pick the right racehorse winner.

Review the Horse Trainer’s Profile

The whole horse racing show is not all about the horses, the jockeys, and the owners. Take note that each racehorse won’t earn their full stamina on the day of racing if not because of their trainers. Often we forget that horse racers take the highest percentage in the pie with regards to the success of every horse racer.

It’s easy to check the records and backgrounds of each trainer. One is going to sites which records the history of Triple Crown series winners, which is https://www.tvg.com/promos/preakness-stakes/. You can also read reviews from horse racing experts or even talk directly to the trainers of the entries you are betting.  Make sure that you consider in finding a trainer that has recorded a successful career in any horse racing tournament for quite some time.

Examine Each Horse Racer Equipment

The equipment of every horse racer uses can also affect the whole performance of a racehorse. If a racehorse is not trained with updated equipment, he is more likely to fail in reaching the finish line. Through the history of horse racing, those racehorses who finished in the top 5 were racehorse wearing new and state-of-the-art equipment.

It’s best that you have to assess if a horse racer is using a modern and high-end headlight. The headlight is important when a horse is running almost at night because they have the ability to clearly see the course they are running and the distance they need to complete to they will end a place in the finish line.

Scrutinize the Last Ten Races

Looking back to the racing history of your entry means you are carefully studying their ability to win. Also, when we talk about looking back their racing history, we are not talking about two or three racing histories, but the last ten races of your bet.

Your ability to compare their odds in the last ten races will give you a clearer picture as to how they’re going to perform in the upcoming races. Also, this is a wiser way of betting which means that you do not bet for money to lose easily.

Recognize a Healthy-Looking Horse

It’s always a must that once you bet for the right racehorse you have to observe how healthy they are before the competition starts. If you see that a racehorse is tired and exhausted minutes away before the race will start, stay away from betting them. You might end up losing your game and a tired racehorse will not make it to the finish line most probably.

Remember that if a racehorse is healthy, he is ready enough to compete and beat others. He would more likely end up reaching the finish line with flying colors. He is more likely to finish the race course without a hitch and when you bet for a healthy horse racer, you are making a profit in single penny you bet.

Bet for the Race Favorite

Although the Triple Crown series has not started yet, horse racing experts had already come up with their favorites to win in said racing. Though sometimes favorite horse racers rarely finishes the top spot, they would more likely to end in the Top 5. So if you would like a profitable betting, then you should bet for the racing favorites.

Early Odds and Predictions: Kentucky Derby 2019

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash.

It’s the time of the year again where horse racing becomes the talk of the town. And horse racing fanatics start to think about the Triple Crown.

Although there are many other horse racing events to bet too, that will not hinder or impede the most well-known horse racing event in the whole world from getting any attention. Kentucky Derby is, without a doubt, still one of the most anticipated races of the year, and a lot of people will want to know how they can prepare for it.

In other words, knowing the early odds and predictions of the race can be a huge help of whom you’d want to bet to. For a little help, here is a list of the Kentucky Derby Betting odds.

Top Betting Odds

Game Winner

This colt is the early Kentucky Derby 2019 favorite. So, if you are searching for a “safe” bet for the 2019 Kentucky Derby, then Game Winner might be the perfect one.

Of course, poor runs and injuries can harm any horse. However, Bob Baffert’s got something with him, and most of the people are noticing it.

Yes, it is worth questioning if time will be on the early favorite. But we cannot eradicate the fact that it had five consecutive wins last year. However, only time can tell of this early favorite remains as the favorite.

Nevertheless, it is something to consider as bettors analyze Game Winner as well as the other colts in the Derby. Apparently, Game Winner is trained by one of the best trainers in the horse racing business.

Plus, he got four consecutive wins under his belt. Game Winner is, for the most part, priced not as an early favorite. And we get nearer to the big event, and mere contenders will end up getting the +800 tags or more.

If you don’t want to place a bet on Game Winner, there are still four horses that could be worth your money and time.

Improbable

One of the top challengers is Improbable. Aside from the Game Winner, Improbable is also favored by many.

Plus, it’s one of Bob Baffert’s gems as well. Thus, he can go into the 2019 Kentucky Derby all too well. Taking into consideration that Bob Baffert has five straight wins, betting on one of his gems makes sense, mainly if they seem viable.

If it is not Game Winner, then it may be Improbable. Improbable has three wins and won huge at the Los Alamitos Futurity.

Coliseum

Another favorite in horse racing is Coliseum. He is also one of Bob Baffert’s trainees. In the pecking order, Coliseum ranks number three. However, he has won the only high-race he has run.

Plus, Coliseum looks to have the long and sturdy legs that will give him a high chance at success. Well, for most bettors, this is not the Baffert gem that they would put their money on right now. However, if you can get a feasible Bob Baffert Colt at this price, you might need to think about it.

Maximus Mischief

Maximus Mischief is another colt that bettors should not miss. This colt has proven his spot with a convincing 2018 Remsen Stakes win.

Many are hesitant to put their money down on this one. Nevertheless, Maximus Mischief is a solid horse that has a 3-0.

Mucho Gusto

There are many other horses to consider, and it is quite early to argue which is best. But surprisingly, horse racing experts seem to like Mucho Gusto, giving Bob Baffert another opportunity to nab or get a Kentucky Derby win.

If things go down drastically, it is not wrong to think that Mucho Gusto could become a real threat among the other challengers. This colt does not have the reputation of his fellow counterparts. However, he won at the Bob Hope Stakes and took the second place to his fellow Baffert gem Improbable at the Los Alamitos Futurity.

Could Mucho Gusto be the one everyone overlooks? Well, that is something horse racing bettors need to rationalize this Kentucky Derby 2019.

Takeaway

If you want to bet on the Kentucky Derby 2019, then it’s ideal to bet as early as you can. Why? It’s because you can exploit the values that you might miss later on.

But you do not need to bet now if you don’t want to. If you’re going to put your money down, you can look for betting sites such as https://www.tvg.com/promos/kentucky-derby/.

Cheltenham 2019: Three to Watch as We Approach the Festival

It’s now fewer than three weeks until the 2019 Cheltenham Festival (12th-15th March). For some of Britain and Ireland’s top trainers, the date can’t come quickly enough. For others, one would think, an extra few weeks of preparation would be most welcome. The equine flu outbreak hasn’t really hampered preparations in the way it was first feared, but other more familiar issues, like form and injury, have blighted some trainers.

In light of that, we take a look at some horses who will be worth keeping an eye on at the Festival, including those who might need to dig very deep to tackle a challenge of a lifetime.

Min

Let’s give this a little bit of context: If everything went to plan, Altior, the 2018 Champion Chase winner and seemingly unbeatable superstar, would be lining up against Footpad, the young pretender and 2018 Arkle Chase winner. That still may be the case, but Footpad has not yet found the form we all hoped he would this season. It now seems like Min, who has finished runner-up to Altior twice before at Cheltenham, will have another crack at the champion. Will it be third time lucky? The form book says no: Altior is odds-on at 4/11 with Bet365, whereas Min can be found at 8/1 with Betfair. However, Min is a gutsy, wonderful horse in his own right, who has it in him to pull one out of the bag when it matters. Consensus says no, but consensus is often wrong in horse racing.

Clan Des Obeaux

The Gold Cup is really open this year, so check out Cheltenham betting offers, such as free bets and matched offers, before you part with any money, because there are at least 10 candidates with really reasonable claims on Cheltenham’s most prestigious prize. However, one horse who seems to have juggernaut-like momentum is Clan Des Obeaux. Before Christmas, he wasn’t even being talked about as any sort of contender. Yet his win in the King George VI Chase, coupled with a brilliant run at Ascot last week, has pushed his star higher and higher. Clan Des Obeaux has odds of 9/2 from Sportingbet for the Gold Cup, just trailing Presenting Percy who is on 11/4. There is a real sense that those positions will be reversed by race day.

Laurina

How many times have we seen the focus go on the wrong horses down the years in racing? Everyone is talking about the potential scrap for the Champion Hurdle between Buveur D’Air and Apple’s Jade. The pair is locked as co-favourites at 2/1 with Betfair, although the majority of sportsbooks prefer the older gelding and two-time winner, Buveur D’Air. In truth, it’s a thrilling match-up, with Buveur’s experience being offset by the weight allowance given to mares like Apple’s Jade.

However, Laurina, a younger mare, is sitting stubbornly behind them in the betting markets, best-priced at 9/2. The thing is, most thought the conventional wisdom would be to send Laurina to the Mares’ Hurdle, then perhaps have a crack at this next year, when she is older and more experienced. Willie Mullins thinks otherwise, and as a man who has won this race with a mare before, you would be inclined to have faith in him. Anyone who has doubted the most successful trainer at the Festival in the past has looked foolish, so take note.

Dual-Classic Winner Silver Charm Celebrates 25th Birthday at Old Friends

Silver Charm at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles ©)

GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 14, 2019 – Dual-classic winner and racing Hall of Famer Silver Charm will turn 25 on Friday February 22nd at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility in Georgetown, KY.

The farm is inviting fans to help celebrate this milestone with a birthday-card contest and an open-house Birthday Bash.

Fans are invited to submit an original greeting card, created on paper or in a digital format, wishing Silver Charm a happy 25th. Deadline for card entries is Thursday Feb. 21.

The best design — judged by a panel of Old Friends staff — will receive a matted and autographed color photo of Silver Charm by Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston.

Card entries will be displayed and the winner announced at Silver Charm’s birthday party at Old Friends’ Georgetown farm, located at 1841 Paynes Depot Rd, on Friday February 22nd from 1 pm – 4 pm.

Guests will receive gift bags (while supplies last), fun giveaways, and enjoy a “soup-of-the-day” lunch, with piping hot selections from several local eateries, including:

Local Feed, the seasonal kitchen and craft bar located in Georgetown. Local Feed is known for its farm-to-table concept, great bourbon list, and craft cocktails.

Josie’s, a comfortable, inviting neighborhood cafe in Georgetown from the owners of the Merrick Inn. Josie’s offers “the best breakfast in town,” as well as an extensive lunch and dinner menu of tasty southern fare.

Galvin’s, the family owned sports bar and bistro in downtown Georgetown, offers a vast menu of favorites as well as 40 taps featuring Kentucky’s local brews.

Wallace Station, the homey pit stop in Versailles from renowned chef Ouita Michels. Wallace Station features an irresistible menu of homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, and bakery items.

Silver Charm won the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1998 Dubai World Cup. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2007, and stood stud at Three Chimney’s farm before relocating to Japan.

Silver Charm was repatriated to the United States and pensioned at Old Friends in 2014.

The Silver Charm Birthday party is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org