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Today's Tracks

Wednesday February 21st

  • Greyville (SAf)    5:00am
  • Happy Valley (HK)    5:45am
  • Doncaster (UK)    8:40am
  • Ludlow (UK)    8:50am
  • Punchestown (IRE)    8:55am
  • Newcastle (UK)    9:05am
  • Tampa Bay Downs    12:25pm
  • Monticello Raceway    12:25pm
  • Laurel Park    12:30pm
  • Gulfstream Tropical    12:35pm
  • Mahoning Valley    12:45pm
  • Kempton Park (UK)    12:45pm
  • Sam Houston    1:20pm
  • Turf Paradise    2:55pm
  • Dover Downs    4:30pm
  • Western Fair    6:15pm
  • Delta Downs    6:30pm
  • Rosecroft Raceway    6:40pm
  • Charles Town    7:00pm
  • Pompano Park    7:20pm
  • Australia A    9:15pm
  • Australia B    9:35pm
  • Australia C    11:55pm

Thursday February 22nd

  • New Zealand    7:20pm

Carryover Information

Carryover Wager Type Track Date
$1,815 Rolling Hi 5 TAMPA BAY DOWNS Feb 21
$468 JP Pick 6 CHARLES TOWN Feb 21
$233,259 JP Hi 5 POMPANO PARK Feb 21
$96 Pick 5 Rosecroft Feb 21
$1,188,993 JP Pick 6 Gulfstream Park Feb 21
$177 JP Hi 5 PENN NATIONAL Feb 22
$714 Pick 5 SARATOGA HARNESS Feb 22
$15,567 JP Hi 5 WOODBINE HARNESS Feb 22
$5,449 JP Pick 5 Fair Grounds Feb 22
$813 Hi 5 Fair Grounds Feb 22
$635 JP Pick 6 MAHONING VALLEY Feb 23
$896 Pick 5 FREEHOLD RACEWAY Feb 23
$108,156 JP Hi 5 L MEADOWLANDS Feb 23
$980 Hi 5 Miami Valley Feb 23
$3,463 JP Pick 6 Golden Gate Fields Feb 23
$10,905 JP Pick 6 Laurel Park Feb 23
$126,542 JP Pick 6 Santa Anita Park Feb 23
$5,081 Pick 6 LOS ALAMITOS Feb 24
$2,070 Pick 5 JAPAN RACING Feb 24
$2,436 Pick 6 CAL EXPO Feb 24

Player News

  • Hump Day “Lock” is at Western Fair on race 8 with the #1-Goldies Bad Girl-Going for 3 wins in a row and has the rail. Top driver-Doug Mcnair steers. Yesterday’s Lock won again and that makes 2 in a row. Howard’s record now stands at: 182 of 303 wins with 54 seconds and 22 thirds. Happy Wagering ...

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  • Sunland Park Selections For Our IdaBet Players: 1st SOUTH WIMBLEDON – Plenty of sprinting speed. MULBERRY – Stays within range. KELSEY – Fits fine here. 2nd HOLLYWOOD HENRY – Ran 2nd in Red Hedeman Mile. CAN’T STOP SAMOKEN – Very game 2nd to Southwest Moonlite. STORMING BACK – Likes to route, still a threat. 3rd TIMELESS INDY – Judge Lanier Racing product, likes to win. NUSRET ...

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Racing News

Kentucky Commission Approves New Rules On Out-Of-Competition Testing, Voided Claims

Kentucky Commission Approves New Rules On Out-Of-Competition Testing, Voided Claims

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission unanimously approved two new measures aimed at improving equine welfare during its regular meeting Feb. 20. The first was a drastic expansion of existing language on out-of-competition testing for horses starting in Kentucky. The new language allows the commission to look for a wider range of anabolic steroids, blood doping and gene doping agents, similar to the list of prohibited substances kept by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Approved language of the rule also addresses synthetic analogues of prohibited substances, allowing the rule to adapt as quickly as commercial laboratories.

Some therapeutic substances, including thyroxine, clenbuterol, furosemide, and others are permitted out-of-competition in cases where their administration is part of a valid prescription and subject to certain reporting requirements, which vary by substance.

Compounded medications will be permitted if they are in line with state and federal law and given as part of a valid veterinary treatment.

Anabolic steroids which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration may be used to treat a medical condition if administration is reported, part of a treatment plan, and the horse remains on the veterinarian’s list for six months after administration.

Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the KHRC, noted the regulations were discussed extensively with representatives from the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the North American Association for Racetrack Veterinarians.

“An awful lot of work went into these regulations, and an awful lot of thought went into these regulations,” she said.

The commission also approved language voiding claims for horses who die or are euthanized on the track, or those placed on the veterinarian’s list for unsoundness or bleeding before leaving the test barn. The rule also subjects claimed horses to post-race drug testing, allowing the claimant to void in the event of a positive for a Class A, B, or C substance.

Claimants will have option of checking a box on the claim form allowing them to designate they don’t want the claim voided if the horse is placed on the vet’s list. Scollay said this option was suggested for claimants interested in retiring a horse for breeding purposes, although the option exists in Maryland and California and to her knowledge has never been used by a claimant.

“The intent of this rule is not to provide a warranty for the health of a claimed horse, but rather to support the long-term health of the horse by deterring individuals from entering compromised horses into races with the hope of having the horse claimed,” said Scollay.

The commission also heard updates on construction for new gaming facilities at Churchill Downs and Turfway Park. Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery said the new facility at Trackside is on track to open in September or October, as grading and underground work is now complete. To start with, the new instant racing facility will contain 600 machines with space for simulcast and automated wagering terminals. Flanery also pointed out the entire property will feature themes and décor echoing the facility’s connection to the Kentucky Derby in hopes of reminding customers about its live racing product.

At Turfway Park, plans to make room for up to 250 instant racing machines became stalled after initial construction revealed serious structural issues with the existing facility. Officials there now say new plans are being drawn to redirect the project, and the track may request approval for additional machines to offset their need for a bigger budget.

The post Kentucky Commission Approves New Rules On Out-Of-Competition Testing, Voided Claims appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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New Information Prompts Kentucky Stewards To Rescind Ractopamine Positives For Arnold, Sharp

New Information Prompts Kentucky Stewards To Rescind Ractopamine Positives For Arnold, Sharp

A board of stewards in Kentucky has rescinded a trio of positive tests for ractopamine and will not impose any sanctions on trainers George “Rusty” Arnold and Joe Sharp, or owners Calumet Farm and Brad Grady. News of the positives and associated penalties prompted a public outcry last week, given Arnold’s pristine record.

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Marc Guilfoil said new information came to light on Monday afternoon which suggested the three tests from runners at Kentucky Downs in September 2016 should not be considered positive. None of the licensees will serve a suspension, and the purses and placings from the relevant races will not be altered. A stewards’ hearing in January had resulted in a 90-day suspension and $1,500 in fines for Arnold, and 30 days with a $1,000 fine for Sharp.

Sharp trained Bankers Holiday, who finished third in the fourth race on Sept. 10, 2016 for owner Brad Grady. Arnold trained Prudence, winner of the fifth race on the same card and Quality Emperor, second-place finisher in the fourth race on Sept. 15, 2016. Both were Calumet Farm-owned.

“Yesterday, February 19, 2018, the KHRC staff received new information concerning the testing methodologies and effects of ractopamine,” said Guilfoil. “This information was forwarded to the stewards, who after carefully considering the information, determined this morning that in the interest of fairness, the stewards’ prior rulings concerning the ractopamine cases will be rescinded.”

The rulings list is expected to be updated Feb. 21.

As a drug is processed by the body, it may be broken down into pieces which are chemically different from the original substance. These are referred to as metabolites. Guilfoil said there were metabolites for ractopamine in the test samples, but there was not a sufficient amount of ractopamine itself. The stewards were advised Monday that without the presence of ractopamine in a sample, it should no longer be considered “positive.”

Ractompanine is an additive sometimes mixed in with swine or cattle feed to fatten the animals ahead of slaughter. It can have similar action to anabolic steroids.

Guilfoil said he maintains confidence in LGC Sport Science, the laboratory responsible for drug testing for Kentucky.

“It’s unfortunate that it came down this way,” said Guilfoil. “You look at what they’ve gone through. Obviously they’ve had the expense of lawyers, and the emotional part of it, all that stuff … it’s just not right.

“At the end of the day, we did the right thing [by rescinding].”

Arnold agrees, and says he harbors no ill will toward the commission or the stewards.

“I’m grateful to the Kentucky state racing commission for, I think, getting it right,” he said. “It’s been a tough time for Sarah and I. I have been very appreciative of the support from the racing community. It’s been overwhelming. My owners have been tremendous. They have backed me 100 percent; I haven’t lost a person or had anybody waver.

“I have no hard feelings for these stewards because they have a tough job to do daily and I think all they were doing was doing their job. What I do think is the system needs to be fixed. It’s broke. Before a person’s reputation can be tarnished and their livelihood put in jeopardy, we have to be sure of what we’re doing. We have to do a better job.”

Chauncey Morris, executive director for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, echoed Arnold’s conclusions about the commission’s decision on behalf of KTA/KTOB members.

“We have every confidence in this commission and view a cluster of these findings between two separate trainers within five days as abnormal,” said Morris.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated it was the commission which rescinded the ractopamine rulings. In reality, the commission received information which was passed on to the board of stewards, who rescinded their ruling from January. Those rulings were posted publicly on Feb. 16.

The post New Information Prompts Kentucky Stewards To Rescind Ractopamine Positives For Arnold, Sharp appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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Mid-Atlantic Tracks Strike a ‘MATCH’, Revive Bonus Series

Mid-Atlantic Tracks Strike a ‘MATCH’, Revive Bonus Series

Tracks and horsemen’s associations in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have united to reignite the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships (MATCH) series in 2018, a May-through-September regional schedule of races that will feature a $450,000 bonus pool for owners and trainers atop a $2.9 million stakes structure.

The MATCH Series previously existed in a similar format for five years starting in 1997, but disputes over purses and conflicts with racing dates derailed the series.

Alan Foreman, the creator of the MATCH concept and chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, cited ownership changes at many of the region’s tracks and a new, collective spirit of unification in the face of declining horse populations as catalysts for reviving the series.

The purses for the stakes will be paid out of each track’s respective purse accounts. Horsemen have agreed to put up $450,000 for the bonus pool. Tracks will be responsible for the administration and advertising costs. The exact amount that each entity contributes is based on a sliding scale, Foreman said.

“[The tracks are] doing it at different levels. It’s not ‘same size fits all,’” Foreman said. “And on the horsemen’s side, it’s the [various regional] THA groups and the Pennsylvania HBPA, and each group is contributing at a different level because we’re not all similarly situated insofar as our purse accounts are concerned. At Delaware and Monmouth, the horsemen are far more challenged than they might be in Maryland or Pennsylvania. But that $450,000 bonus pool is coming from the horsemen’s organizations, and that’s the engine that drives the series.”

Horses competing in the MATCH series will earn points based on participation and order of finish, and the leading points earners in each of the divisions, as well as the overall owner and trainer points leaders, earn bonus money.

The 2018 series will be contested among five divisions, with five races for each division, at Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, Delaware Park, Penn National, Parx, and Presque Isle Downs. The complete schedule and rules can be viewed here.

The first, second and third-place owners, respectively, in each division will earn $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The top three earning trainers will earn $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The MATCH series overall top-earning owner will win $50,000, while the top-earning trainer will earn $25,000. Previous series winners included trainers H. Graham Motion and Ben Perkins Jr., and owners Arthur Appleton and Sam Huff.

Foreman said there had been attempts in recent years to revive the MATCH series, most notably in 2014, when the various entities came “very close” to doing so. This past fall, when representatives from tracks and horsemen’s groups held an annual meeting to discuss regional strategies, MATCH talks began in earnest, with commitments crystallizing in December.

“The tracks took the position that for the series to be successful, it requires the bonus pool, and that [means] financial contributions from the horsemen’s organizations,” Foreman explained. “And so [it was discussed that if] the horsemen’s organizations would commit to the bonus pool, the tracks would take a serious look at funding it from their side; they have historically provided the funding for marketing and promotion.

“And then we had to get the racing directors together to see if it was possible to coordinate a series in terms of what would be the best divisions and whether the tracks would agree to put the puzzle together by not scheduling [conflicting] races on top of series races,” Foreman continued. “From the horsemen’s perspective, it was important to have a road map for the length of the series and [to know] that the tracks wouldn’t be fighting for horses because they were competing against each other.”

Asked to pinpoint a specific change that helped to bring MATCH back, Foreman cited the turnover in track ownerships.

“One of the things is that the ownership groups of all the tracks, except for Delaware Park, have changed. So we’re dealing with different ownership groups, some of whom are more progressive than their previous ownerships and are starting to think outside the box on what’s going to be necessary for this industry to move forward,” Foreman said.

“Everyone who came to the meeting had to put aside whatever agendas they had if they wanted the series to go forward. Because if that didn’t happen, or if the horsemen were not willing to take money from their purse accounts for that bonus pool that drives the series, this wasn’t going to work,” Foreman said. “And if the tracks didn’t think that they could move races, or card a new race, this wouldn’t have happened. And in every instance nobody said no, so we were able to go ahead each step of the way.”

Foreman also said that in terms of marketing and promotion, another big change is the now-ubiquitous presence of the internet and social media, which were only in nascent forms when MATCH last existed.

“Compared to today’s world, it was the Dark Ages,” Foreman said. “This time, we’re going to be able to do most of our marketing and promotion on the internet and through social media. We’ll be able to pop that stuff out for a lot less money. We’re going to be lean and mean. We’re going to demonstrate that there’s value in this series, and then we’ll try and build on it. “

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Hill Delves into World of Thoroughbred Genetics

Hill Delves into World of Thoroughbred Genetics

When it comes to the equine world and science, Emmeline Hill is one of Ireland’s–if not the world’s–brightest minds. She is an Associate Professor of Equine Science at University College Dublin as well as the Chief Science Officer for Plusvital Ltd., a world leader in the development and provision of genetic tests for the international thoroughbred breeding and horse racing industries. Hill has found ways to study the genes and DNA patterns of race horses and believes they provide a wealth of useful knowledge. Her biggest breakthrough so far as been the identification of the “speed gene.” She can now tell with a high degree of accuracy if a horse will do its best running as a sprinter, a middle distance horse or a router. Hill was the guest on this week’s Thoroughbred Daily News podcast, brought to you by Taylor Made, and we present here some of the more noteworthy excerpts.

TDN: At least here in the US, this is not a sport that embraces new ideas. How much resistance did you run into when you started to introduce your ideas and began throwing around scientific terms most trainers had probably never heard of?

EH: The interesting thing is everybody really understands genetics, whether they realize it or not. Any time you look at a pedigree page you are trying to infer, or make a best guess, about the genes that have been passed down from ancestors in a pedigree to the individual. Many people really intuitively understand genetics even if they don’t necessarily know or need to know the details of how we found these genes. We didn’t meet with a lot of resistance. We have a growing, expanding company that’s been going for the best part of eight years now, we have clients in over 30 countries and in all the major bloodstock regions in the world. And many of the top trainers and top owner-breeders in the world are using our genetic tests to inform their management practices. But, yes, it is a giant leap from the traditional way of doing things. The feedback that we get is that everybody who has used it has found some benefit from it because not always will they be able to tell from the pedigree page what genetics will tell them.  Rather than looking at the engine from outside the car, what we can do is open the hood and look inside the engine.

TDN: The discovery of the speed gene was a huge breakthrough. What’s on the drawing board now and what do you hope will be your next breakthrough?

EH: The speed gene is a single gene contributing to a specific trait, which is distance. We are able to now capture genetic information from all of the genes in the genome and package that information into predictions of a range of different traits, one of which is we can predict the horses that are most likely to be elite performers, we can make predictions about whether a horse is best suited to dirt or turf surfaces. We have been able to identify genes that contribute to the chances of a horse having a racecourse start as a 2-year-old versus as a 3-year-old. That’s a very interesting test because we found that the genes that are contributing to that aren’t necessarily physiological or metabolic genes but in fact genes that may be contributing to the temperament of the horse. What’s on the horizon? We’re now working toward the developments of tests for health traits of importance in the thoroughbred. You mentioned early on that there may be resistance within the industry to these performances tests. It’s probably worth pointing out that there is caution, particularly among industry bodies. The International Thoroughbred Breeders’ Federation last year established a policy on genomics and genetic testing and concluded that they saw no value in the widespread use of using genomics for performance testing. But they said there is potential value in the application of these tools when it comes to the development of tests for important health traits.

TDN: You just touched on this, but what would obviously be the biggest breakthrough would be your ability through your scientific tests to figure out whether or not the horse is likely to become an elite performer on the racetrack or not. At this point, prior to the horse going into the sales ring, can you look at its genes and DNA and make an accurate determination as to whether or not it is going to be a good race horse?

EH: We can do that. We don’t offer that at the sale because the tests we do are quite complicated and in the laboratory and are quite time consuming because we are assessing all of the genes, 20,000 genes in the genome. Because of the particular chemistry involved in that we are not able to offer that at the point of sale. But we have in the past tested yearlings in advance of the sales for clients to help inform their buying decisions. We hope in the future to develop the technology where we can have a situation where we have a stall side testing.

TDN: These tests, the ones that try to predict future success on the racetrack, how accurate have you found them to be?

EH: The speed gene test is extremely accurate. Depending on which region of the world you are talking about, 98% of the horses we say will fall into a particular category fall into that category. With the other tests, there is a different range in the accuracy of those. With the elite performer tests, if the individual is what we refer to as a Class 1 horse, then that individual has in the order of 2.5 times a greater chance of being an elite performer than a horse that is categorized as a Class 4 horse.

TDN: One of the best examples of how horses with the exact same pedigree can differ in their ability is Barbaro and his brothers. Barbaro was a great horse. He had four full-brothers and none of them were very successful. From a scientific standpoint, how is that possible?

EH: It’s absolutely fascinating. For such a long time, centuries, breeders have relied on pedigrees to inform them about the potential of a horse and how it will perform on the racetrack. If you are looking at the pedigrees of full-siblings those pedigree pages look exactly the same. But what they might have inherited from their parents can be very, very different. That’s because each individual only receives one copy of a chromosome from their sire and their dam and either one of those pairs of parental chromosomes can be passed down to the individual. That means there is a 50-50 chance of getting one or other pair of the parental chromosomes. Also, complicating the matter, is that when gametes are produced, that is the sperm and egg cells that go into making a foal, during that process there is something that goes on called recombination. What that does is it actually mixes up the genetic material from the grandparents, so it’s not exactly the same in the production of the gametes. The long and the short of that is no two individuals inherit the same DNA from their parents. They only have 50% sharing from their parents and then that’s diluted again from the next generation, worth a quarter, an eighth, a sixteenth and so on. Breeding is very much like a genetic lottery. You never know what is going to be passed down from the sire and the dam to that individual.

Download the latest TDN podcast here.

 

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