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The Week in Review: May 22, 2019
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2019
by: Valerie Mellema
Here's what's up in the horse racing world this week.
Santa Anita Suffers 24th and 25th Horse Deaths
Despite their numerous "unprecedented" reforms, Santa Anita is still drawing national attention for their unprecedented amount of deaths on their track since December. The first was COMMANDER COIL, a three-year-old who suffered a shoulder injury while galloping. The second was SPECTACULAR MUSIC, a three-year-old gelding making his first start, but was pulled up and later euthanized due to a pelvis injury. Both injuries were not typical breakdown injuries. Dr. Rick Arthur, thee California Horse Racing Board's chief vet, stated that these conditions may have been pre-existing, but are difficult to detect because the horse does not show any sign of lameness and the areas are covered by muscle. The Stronach Group maintains that they are "committed to advocating for the health and safety of horses and riders and will continue to work with stakeholders in California and nationally to drive further progress."
Baffert to Train $1.8 Million Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale Filly
INTO MISCHIEF is lighting up the boards in more ways than one. The stallion just had his 50th stakes winner last weekend and buyers at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale were jumping on his offspring. The $1.8 million filly was purchased by Michael Lund Petersen's agent, setting the record for the sale for 2-year-olds in training. Petersen is the founder of the Pandora jewelry company. He bought two horses last year, MUCHO GUSTO, who just won his third stakes last weekend, and TALE OF THE UNION, who made his debut last summer at Del Mar. He also owns MOR SPIRIT, the Met Mile winner.
Catholic Boy to Stand at Claiborne Upon Retirement
There's no doubt that CATHOLIC BOY stole some hearts last year and he returned to the turf last weekend in an impressive manner winning the Dixie Stakes at Pimlico. Claiborne Farm announced May 21st that they have purchased an interest in the grade 1 winner upon his retirement. CATHOLIC BOY is a son of MORE THAN READY. He is a stakes winner at 2, 3 and 4 with victories on both the dirt and the turf, making him the just the third American three year old in history to win grade 1 stakes races on both surfaces.
Group 1 Winning Australian Trainer Facing Charges
Ben Smith, an Australian Group 1 trainer, was found guilt of using cobalt to increase the production of red blood cells in his horses. The Racing New South Wales stewards raided his stables last September and will announce his penalty June 11th. Stablehands Emma Bickley and Daniel Smith were also found guilt of aiding and abetting the trainer and conspiring to administer race-day medication. While cobalt is naturally occurring, Smith used it as a performance-enhancing substance, as the additional red blood cells increases the amount of oxygen that can be carried through the body.
Preakness Weekend Record-breaking for Maryland Jockey Club
Despite none of the top four finishers from the Kentucky Derby making their way to Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club reported record-breaking handles for Black-Eyed Susan Day and Preakness Day. Bettors wagered a record $99,852,653 on the 14-race card Preakness Day, up 2.8% from the 2017 record. The Black-Eyed Susan Day handle was also record-breaking with $22,281,300, up by 12% from the 2017 record.
Maximum Security Targets the Haskell Next
Owner Gary West continues to make headlines after MAXIMUM SECURITY'S Kentucky Derby DQ, now offering $5 million to each horse involved in the Derby situation should the horse's face off against each other again. However, despite all the additional drama, MAXIMUM SECURITY will be bypassing the Belmont, as he still needs time to recover. His next goal is the Haskell and perhaps the Pegasus after that.
Have a great week!
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