Tag Archives: horse racing

Remember Me Rose Named a Dam of Distinction

The 16-year-old mare Remember Me Rose is the newest AQHA Dam of Distinction.

The award recognizes the accomplishments of racing broodmares. To qualify for the award, a mare must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Dams that produced two or more individual AQHA racing champions
  • Dams that produced at least three individual Grade 1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least two foals ranked in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year, and two G1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least three foals that were in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year.
  • When the award was created, a grandfather clause also allowed mares that had produced at least three individual stakes winners prior to 1983, and those wins were the equivalent of a G1-quality race, to be accepted.

Remember Me Rose, who is owned by champion breeder Dr. Steve Burns, earned the award by producing three individual Grade 1 stakes winners.

The mare was bred by Dr. Max and Linda Alumbaugh’s MLA International, was foaled in 2004 and was purchased as a yearling and raced by Azoom LP. She began her career in Mexico, but quickly came to the United States and finished second in the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and fifth in the All American Futurity (G1). She then won the AQHA Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) and the Southwest Juvenile Championship, which was then ungraded, and capped the year with a win in the Sunland Winter Futurity (G2). The following year, she won the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and was second in both the Texas Classic Derby (G1) and Championship at Sunland Park (G1).

She retired in 2008 with nine wins from 18 starts and earnings of $820,895.

As a broodmare, she has to date produced 28 foals, of which 19 are starters and 15 are winners. They have earned more than $2.3 million.

Her three Grade 1 winners include Powerful Favorite, Runforyourlife, and most recently Cyber Monday, who won the Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on June 7. All three horses are sired by Favorite Cartel.

Remember Me Rose is sired by Corona Cartel and is out of the Zevi (TB) mare Im Moonlighting.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Old Friends Celebrates the Soi Phet Stakes Saturday June 27

Soi Phet at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JUNE 25, 2020 – On Saturday June 27, 2020, Los Alamitos Race Course will host the inaugural running of the $125,000 Soi Phet Stakes (Black Type). Previously called the Bertrando Stakes (Black Type), it is a one-mile race on the dirt for California Bred Thoroughbreds 3 years old and up.

Bred by ARCHA Racing Inc. in California, Soi Phet was a son of Tizbud – Summer Jersey, by Siberian Summer. He was owned in his final seasons by the Benowitz Family Trust, Mathilde Powell, and Paul Viskovich, and trained for most of his career by Leonard Powell, who claimed the dark gray gelding at age 5 in 2013 for $16,000.

In his career, Soi Phet raced 64 times and put together a record of 15 wins, 7 seconds, 6 thirds, and $1,023,917 in earnings.

Without question, the track where he had the most success was Los Alamitos, where he raced in 11 black-type or listed stakes races and won five times.

Soi Phet contended in Bertrando Stakes (Black Type) six times and won it twice: 2014 and 2018. He also finished 2nd in 2016. On the same oval, he captured the E. B. Johnston Stakes (Black Type) twice (2016 and 2017) in four runnings, and had one of his most impressive career wins in the inaugural Los Alamitos Mile Stakes (Listed) in 2014, when he won it by 7-1/4 lengths.

In 2018, a then 10-year-old Soi Phet scored an especially memorable victory when he won the Crystal Water Stakes (Black Type) at Santa Anita to become the oldest horse to win a stakes race at the track.

CLICK HERE to see Soi Phet win the 2018 Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita at the age of 10.

While he never won a graded-stakes, he did run in a few of them. His best finish was a 3rd in the 2013 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita, behind Mucho Macho Man, who would go on to win the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Paynter.

Fittingly, Soi Phet’s final race came in the 2019 Bertrando Stakes. At age 11, he ran the race for a sixth time, finished sixth, and was retired. As a final honor to the fan-favorite, Los Alamitos renamed the Bertrando the Soi Phet Stakes.

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

10 Racehorses Killed in Fiery Crash on New Jersey Turnpike

Firefighters on the scene of the accident early Sunday morning. Credit Dennis Symons Jr.

One of the horses was sired by the Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and another by the Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist

Ten racehorses on their way from Florida to New York were killed early Sunday morning when the tractor-trailer they were riding in hit a concrete median on the New Jersey Turnpike and burst into flames, the authorities said.

The two truck drivers were hospitalized, according to the trainer of the horses, Christophe Clement, who guided Tonalist to victory in the Belmont Stakes in 2014.

“We are all devastated by the news and heartbroken — we are working to understand what happened,” Mr. Clement wrote on Twitter.

The accident happened around 3 a.m. in the northbound truck lanes of the turnpike just outside of Trenton, N.J. in East Windsor, Trooper Charles Marchan, a New Jersey State Police spokesman, wrote in an email on Sunday.

The cause was still under investigation.

Mr. Clement wrote that the trailer had been operated by Sallee Horse Vans. The company did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment, but its owner, Nicole Pieratt, told the racing news website BloodHorse that the drivers were treated for smoke inhalation and released from the hospital.

At least two of the horses who died had champion bloodlines and had recently raced in Florida. They were owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, which is based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and which confirmed their deaths.

One of the horses was Under the Oaks, a 3-year-old filly sired by American Pharoah, who in 2015 became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978. On May 30, Under the Oaks finished sixth in her debut race at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

Another who died was Hot Mist, a 3-year-old filly sired by Tonalist, the horse who denied California Chrome the Triple Crown with his Belmont Stakes win in 2014. She won her maiden race at Tampa Bay Downs on May 16.

“Rest easy Hot Mist & Under the Oaks,” West Point Thoroughbreds wrote on Twitter.

The other dead horses were not identified.

The accident occurred less than three miles from where a Walmart tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a luxury van carrying a group that included the comedian Tracy Morgan on June 7, 2014.

Mr. Morgan suffered serious injuries in the crash, which killed James McNair, a comedian known as Jimmy Mack. The truck driver had been awake for 28 hours before the accident and was driving 20 miles per hour over the 45 m.p.h. speed limit in a work zone on the turnpike, the National Transportation Safety Board found.

By Neil Vigdor as published on The New York Times

Old Friends Celebrates the Daytona Stakes Saturday May 23

GR1 winner Daytona at Old Friends (Photo: Rick Capone)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 21, 2020 – On Saturday, May 23, 2020, Santa Anita will present the Daytona Stakes (G3T), a 5-1/2-furlong race on the turf, as part of their nine-race program.

Named for a resident at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY, The Daytona Stakes pays tribute to the six-time graded stakes winner whose career earnings totaled nearly $1 million. Overall, the son of Indian Ridge, bred by the Irish National Stud, scored 8 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 18 career starts.

CLICK HERE to see Daytona’s 2007 GR1 Hollywood Derby win, where he faced off against fellow Old Friends retiree NoBiz Like ShoBiz.

In 2008 Daytona started in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Oak Tree against the formidable Goldikova. Injured during the race, he finished 10th. It would be his final start.

Following his racing career, Daytona, a handsome chestnut, made an attempt at a second career but soundness issues prevented him from continuing.

The now 16-year-old Daytona was retired to Old Friends in 2014.

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

Old Friends Celebrates the Sunshine Forever Stakes May 9

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 8, 2020 – On Saturday, May 9, 2020, the featured stakes at Florida’s Gulfstream Park will be the Sunshine Forever Stakes, a tribute to the champion grass runner who was the first stallion retired to Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY.

The son of Roberto out of the stakes-placed mare Outward Sunshine (by Graustark), Sunshine Forever was bred and raced by John W. Galbreath and his Darby Dan Farm and trained by John Veitch.

In 1988, as a three-year-old, the talented colt turned in an Eclipse Award winning season, capturing five graded stakes wins, including three Grade 1 stakes in an eight-week period: The Man O’War, the Turf Classic, and the Budweiser International.

Favored to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf, he finished a game second to Great Communicator in what may be one of the most exciting races in the history of the sport.

CLICK HERE to see Sunshine Forever’s 1988 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Despite his narrow loss, Sunshine Forever nevertheless earned the 1988 Eclipse Award for Champion Male Turf horse.

Following his racing career Sunshine Forever stood stud in Japan from 1990 to 2004, at which time he was repatriated to the United States by Old Friends, and was among the organization’s first pensioned stallions.

He spent 10 years in retirement, passing away in 2014 at the age of 29.

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

Lexington Bourbon Society to Host Zoom Derby Event to Benefit Old Friends

Silver Charm, 1997.

The Kentucky Derby has been postponed, but we still get to celebrate the First Saturday in May. Our friends at the Lexington Bourbon Society are hosting a Zoom Party to celebrate Derby Day and also to help Old Friends and our 200+ retired horses, including 1997 Kentucky Derby-Preakness champion Silver Charm.

There are 50 spaces left to join this event. For every ticket sold, $10 will be donated to Old Friends.  Here are all the details:

Pop-up Derby-In-Place Zoom Party

Saturday, May 2nd 3-6 PM EST (Zoom portion 4:30-6)

The comfort of your own home

$10 donation paid directly to Old Friends via eventbrite, with your confirmation email from the donation containing your unique Zoom login credentials.
(tickets: derby-in-place.eventbrite.com)

The first 50 people to complete their donation and receive their login details.

To support the wonderful work of the fine folks at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm.

The Lexington Bourbon Society has teamed up with Michter’s Distillery, ubercapper.com, and Lexington’s Wine+market to bring fans a fantastic solution to the 146th Kentucky Derby being moved from the First Saturday in May to Saturday, September 5.

Saturday, May 2nd, NBC Sports will present a virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party, which includes “The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown”, a look back at American Pharoah’s 2015 Derby win en route to his historic Triple Crown, and “The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown”, a socially distant, computer-simulated edition of the Run for the Roses that pits all 13 Triple Crown winners against each other. (full details:  kentuckyderby.com/party)

While you have this broadcast on the television, we will host a zoom.us gathering starting at 4:30 that will include Michter’s schwag giveaways, Derby hat/fascinator/outfit contest, interactive Mint Julep demonstration and recipe, drawing for a private tour for two at Old Friends with Board President Michael Blowen, some fun “wagering”, and live handicapping of the Triple Crown Showdown by syndicated Thoroughbred handicapper Elis Starr (@Ubercapper) and more!

We will post a Zoom tutorial with dos and don’ts to ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience for all attending in the comments.

For more information, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Five Leading Ladies in the World of Horse Racing

The world of Horse Racing is notoriously difficult for women to make breakthroughs. Despite the success of American jockey Julie Krone and two-time Grand National winning trainer Jenny Pitman, the ladies are still facing an uphill struggle. There have been notable big-race successes in recent years, and we have picked out five ladies who are aiming to break down more barriers in the coming years.

Gai Waterhouse

Gai Waterhouse is one of the leading trainers in Australia and sometimes referred to as “the first lady of Australian racing.” She trained her first Group 1 winner in 1992, her first year as a licenced trainer. In 1994 she took over the Tulloch Lodge Stable from her father, Tommy J. Smith. She has gone on to unprecedented success, including over 135 Group 1 victories and seven Sydney Trainers’ Premierships.

In 2007, Waterhouse was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. She trained Nothin’ Leica Dane to finish second in the Melbourne Cup in 1995 but had to wait until Fiorente in 2013 to taste success in the big race.

Jamie Kah

Jamie Kah is one of trio of top-flight lady jockeys in Australia. She, along with Linda Meech and Raquel Clark, finished in the top six in terms of winners last year. Kah rode her first winner in 2012 and picked up valuable experience riding work in Europe for leading Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute.

Kah did not make the big breakthrough until 2016/17 when she rode 129 winners, a new record for a lady rider in Australia. She won her third Adelaide Jockey’s Premiership the following year and made the move to Melbourne in 2019. Harlem provide her with a first Grade 1 success at the Australian Cup at Flemington.

Sophie Doyle

American rider Sophie Doyle has racing in her blood. She is the daughter of former trainer Jacqueline Doyle and sister to leading European jockey James Doyle.  She was a successful apprentice rider in the UK before making the bold move to California in 2013.

Doyle had spent two winters as a work rider in the United States and believed she had better prospects there than in the UK. After moving to the Kentucky circuit, she enjoyed Grade 2 victories aboard Fioretti and Street Band. The latter provided her with her first Grade 1 success in the Cotillion Stakes in 2019.

Doyle is very popular with punters in the US and in Europe. OLBG.com provides daily predictions for horseracing for race meetings across the globe. The Online Betting Guide has been established for 18 years and leaves no stone unturned in the search for winners. There are trainer and jockey stats, detailed racecourse information and a very lively horse racing tips forum.

Rachael Blackmore

You need to be able to take the knocks in National Hunt racing, but they don’t come much tougher than Ireland’s Rachael Blackmore. She gained her first experience in point-to-point races before turning professional in 2015.

Blackmore became the first female winner of the Conditional Jockeys’ title in Ireland in 2016/17, including victory in the £100,000 Leinster National. She quickly rode out her claim and formed a very successful partnership with trainer Henry De Bromhead.

Her first Cheltenham Festival victory came aboard A Plus Tard in 2019 and Grade 1 success followed on 50-1 outsider Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. She returned to the festival in 2020 for further Grade 1 glory on Honeysuckle in the Mares’ Hurdle.

Venetia Williams

Venetia Williams hit the headlines when training 100-1 outsider Mon Mome to win the Aintree Grand National in 2009. She learned her trade when working for leading trainers Martin Pipe and John Edwards before being granted a licence in 1995.

Williams also won the valuable Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase with Teeton Mill in 1998. In 2009 she landed a Cheltenham Festival double with Kayf Aramis and Something Wells. She is particularly adept at training staying chasers and is based in Herefordshire, England.

By Harvey Mayson

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Horse Racing World

COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus has impacted the world of horses, horse racing, horse sales, competitions, barn visits, horse rescues, veterinarian visits, and more.

The impact to racing is costing millions of dollars.  Losses are tied to canceled race dates and suspended casino operations adding up.  Racetracks that continue to race behind closed doors are seeing reduced revenues. Horse racing in the UK and in the US are holding some of the racing behind closed doors and being broadcast online and on TV.

The Royal Ascot 2020 race that was to be held on June 16-20 will not be able to take place as an event open to the public. It may prove possible to run the Royal Ascot races behind closed doors, dependent on Government and public health policy and the approval of the BHA, British Horseracing Authority.

Other racetracks have completely halted racing, and casinos that generate purse money have suspended operations. The COVID-19 outbreak is taking a significant economic toll on the sport. As authorities are taking action to mitigate the spread, and with the novel coronavirus being labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, horse racing is not immune to the impact.

The BHA has defined a plan to have racings at tracks with hotels on site, where jockeys, officials, and other essential staff could be quarantined. Racing has continued behind closed doors in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and at a handful of tracks in the United States. Germany has plans for a scaled-down racing to resume from May 1.

The iconic Kentucky Derby has been postponed to September 5, the first Saturday in September; Keeneland has canceled its Spring Meet; live racing has been canceled at Aqueduct the rest of the spring after a Belmont-based backstretch worker tested positive. COVID-19 is having a major impact on the horse racing industry that will last for years.

As the majority of horse racing tracks have been closed, which is preventing breeders from selling their horses.  For example, Kentucky’s Thoroughbred breeding industry is at a crucial time: it’s the height of breeding season.  The mares are foaling right now. You can’t stop mares foaling.

Thousands of Bluegrass mares are being vanned to stallions, often to other farms, for “live cover,” the only way that the Thoroughbred industry breeds horses.  Thoroughbred breeders are taking extra precautions, like wearing gloves and isolating personnel, to keep COVID-19 from spreading from farm to farm.

Large horse farms already are very familiar with biosecurity protocols, which are in place to avoid accidental transmission of any number equine diseases. The only difference now is the addition of concern for the health of humans which bring new breeding protocols as defined by The Jockey Club.

For trainers with operations of all sizes, that has meant their income stopped in its tracks, and some are already wondering how long they can keep going.  Gallopers, grooms, assistants, farriers, jockeys who depend on horse trainers as their source of income – all are in survival mode.  Horse vanners or haulers have a big decline in business because horses suddenly can’t ship into the next track or training center on their circuit. Many independent contractors like pony riders derive their income from per-horse fees they charge trainers to escort horses in the morning or afternoon.  The uncertainty is the problem.

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is calling for donations to assist backstretch workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States. All donations to the foundation will be designated for COVID-19 relief until further notice.  The foundation’s current priority is addressing the immediate need to stock food pantries at racetracks around the country, and it is coordinating with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America in this effort.

The Foundation’s support represents virtually every facet of the Thoroughbred industry, from jockeys, trainers, exercise riders, and grooms to office personnel and other employees of racetracks, racing organizations, and breeding farms.  Assistance can come in any number of forms, including financial aid, medication, surgical and hospital costs, therapeutic equipment, voice-recognition computers for quadriplegics, and wheelchair accessible vans.

On April 1, the Foundation donated 1,000 Kroop’s Brands face shields to the New York Racing Association (NYRA) racetrack community as it deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. NYRA’s Aqueduct Racetrack is the location for a temporary medical facility being constructed to help during the pandemic. Koop’s makes goggles for sports such as horse racing and skydiving. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company began creating a face shield to help protect medical personnel and others from the coronavirus.

Other horse racing business owners are shifting course as a company to help fill a depleted resource during the coronavirus pandemic. Christine A. Moore Millinery is producing masks for healthcare workers; Lexington-based Bloodline Products, the maker of jockey silks, created two different types of surgical masks as well as hospital gowns for medical professionals; and Major League Baseball teamed with Fanatics apparel CEO Michael Rubin to makes masks and gowns rather than jerseys.

Hats Off to the Horses 2020 Continues with the Slim Shadey Chapeau

Dagmar Steiner and Slim Shadey at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – APRIL 3, 2020 –  The annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” online fashion auction continues this week with a new Derby-style chapeau going on the virtual block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off four handcrafted Derby hats between January and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 200-plus retired racehorses. To date this online fundraiser has garnered nearly $40,000 for Old Friends.

This new hat was inspired by graded stakes winner Slim Shadey, and it is showcased here by equine artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner.

The hat will be up for bid for 10 days only from 8 pm (EST) April 1st through 8 pm (EST) on April 11th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link, or CLICK HERE to visit our eBay page.

To read more and to view additional images of the hat, CLICK HERE.

About the Horse

A two-time graded-stakes winner, Slim Shadey — by 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Val Royal (FR) out of the Chief’s Crown mare Vino Veritas — was bred in Great Britain by Phil Cunningham and spent two seasons racing throughout England and Ireland. He made his U.S. debut for Cunningham and trainer Simon Callaghan in 2012 at Santa Anita, kicking off what was to become his banner season.

In February of 2012 Slim captured his first graded stakes, the Grade 2 San Marco at Santa Anita (a race he would capture again in 2013). Then, in September, Slim took the top spot in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship, which served as a stepping stone to a run in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf where he finished 8th (a few lengths behind the winner, Old Friends retiree Little Mike). By 2014, the now 6-year-old Slim began a series of claims. In 2018 Slim was claimed by owner Michael Hui for trainer Mike Maker.  After a series of unsuccessful starts for his new connections, the time finally came for Slim to hang up his racing plates.

About the Hat

Since Slim raced for several different stables Steinmann used a combination of his pink, black, and white silks for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat.

A large foundation was created using a base layer of soft pink dupioni silk. The brim was then trimmed with a single layer of pink silk organza ruffle, which allows the light to pass through the sheer fabric. A fancy black braiding was top stitched where the silk layer meets the brim edge. To further showcase racing silk colors, a large rose curl, created out of alternating layers of pink dupioni silk and white silk organza, adorns the front of the hat.

For the final touches, a medley of black and white silk organza “feathers” were added, a black satin sash encircles the crown, and a black pebble button edged in gold adorns the sash in the back.

The hat is stunning from every angle and measures approximately 21 inches end to end. The lining for the “Slim Shadey” was done is a soft pink satin to coordinate with the floral trim.

As a physical remembrance, several strands of Slim’s tail hair have been braided and woven into the trim.

Our thanks go out to artist Dagmar Steiner for helping with this year’s “Hats Off to the Horses” and also to Old Friends volunteer and photographer Laura Battles for her stunning images.

Bidding on the “Slim Shadey is open now.

For more information about Old Friends, see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the farm at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs® Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions, from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can be seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Maggie Mae Designs (508) 430-1626, sally@maggiemae.com

Old Friends Debuts Virtual Tours

GEORGETOWN, KY – MARCH 30 2020 –  Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Kentucky, debuted the first in a series of Virtual Farm Tours that will enable fans to continue to access the non-profit organization’s 100-plus equine retirees at its Georgetown location during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The series, dubbed “Monday Mornings with Michael”, is hosted by Old Friends founder Michael Blowen and will offer short visits with a few equine retirees each week. They will be posted on Old Friends social media platforms on Monday mornings and will also be available via their website and YouTube channel.

The first video showcases Old Friends’ oldest retires, multiple stakes winner Dinard, who is 32, and one-time claimer Archie’s Echo, who is 31.

You can see it on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

For more information, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (502) 863-1775, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; or Barbara Fossum, (502) 863-1775, barbara@oldfriendsequine.org