By USRacing Team
News, notes, quotes and anecdotes from the world of horse racing over the past week. This is our first installment of a compilation of some names that made news during the week.
Keeneland: Approved for a five-day summer meet, the track on Friday released its condition book for July 8-12. The original spring meet was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ten graded stakes worth $2.575 million are on tap, including four Grade 1’s. The big day is July 11 with six graded stakes anchored by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively; $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) and $250,000 Madison (G1). The $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) is scheduled for Friday, July 10.
For more information: Keeneland.com/racing
Tiz the Law: The likely favorite for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 20 moved back into the top spot in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) 3-year-old poll. The change came about following the retirement of unbeaten Nadal due to injury.
Nadal had held the top spot since his victory in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) on May 2. Florida Derby (G1) winner Tiz the Law, owned by Sackatoga Stable and trained by Barclay Tagg, has won four of five career starts.
Charlatan and Authentic, both trained by Bob Baffert, are second and third, respectively in the NTRA poll, with Authentic to run in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on Saturday (June 6).
Larry Collmus: The voice of the Triple Crown, will be calling races at Kentucky Downs.
Collmus, who left the New York Racing Association when a new contract could not be worked out last fall, joins Michael Wrona in the booth for the track’s six-day meet from Sept. 7-16.
“I’m excited about calling the races at Kentucky Downs and looking forward to getting back in action,” Collmus said in a press release earlier this week.
Plans call for Collmus and Wrona to split the races on opening day (Sept. 7), with Wrona announcing on Sept. 9-10 and Collmus closing out the meet Sept 12-13 and Sept. 16.
Breeders’ Cup: There will be four automatic qualifiers to the Breeders’ Cup at Royal Ascot, it was announced earlier in the week.
The qualifiers at Royal Ascot run from opening day June 16, and conclude June 20.
Queen Anne Stakes (G1), June 16 (winner earns free qualifying spot in Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1)
Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), June 17, (winner earns spot in Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1)
Norfolk Stakes (G2), June 19, (winner earns spot in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2)
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1), June 20, (winner earns spot in Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Triple Crown: An additional 22 3-year-olds were made eligible for the Triple Crown races, at a cost of $3,000 from each ownership group.
The late nominees: Alex Joon; American Piper; Bear Alley; Casino Grande; Cezanne: Collusion Illusion; Edge of Fire; Established; High Cruise; Hunt the Front; King Guillermo; Lebda; Mystic Guide; Pneumatic; Shooters Shoot; Superfecto; Swiss Skydiver; Uncle Chuck, Well Connected; Winners Laugh; Winning Impression; and Winning Moment.
There are now 369 horses eligible for the revised series, the Belmont Stakes on June 20, the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, and the Preakness on Oct. 3.
The early nomination total was 347 at $600 per horse when it closed Jan. 25.
Arrogate: On June 2, the champion Arrogate was euthanized in Lexington, Kentucky, with the cause of death yet to be determined.
The 2016 Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old male was approaching the end of his third season at stud at Juddmonte Farm.
A 7-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song went on a seven-month run that rocketed him to record earnings of $17,422,600 for Juddmonte Farm. Trained by Bob Baffert, Arrogate won seven of 11 races, with a second and third.
And oh what a run: On Aug. 27, 2016, Arrogate won the Travers (G1) by 13 ½ lengths in his first graded stakes race, defeating Preakness winner Exaggerator and Belmont winner (Creator) in stakes record time of 1:59.36 for 1 ¼ miles.
He then reeled off victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – beating Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome — the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), and the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March, 2017.
“We will never forget the ride Arrogate took us on,” Juddmonte USA GM Garrett O’Rourke said. “Those four amazing races established him as one of the great racehorses of our time, breaking two track records, taking down champion California Chrome in a battle for the ages and then running by Gun Runner in another worldly performance in Dubai. We hope that the heartbreak of losing him so young can be soothed by proudly watching the achievement of his runners.”