GRETZKY SCORES ANOTHER GRADE I WIN FOR NYQUIST IN SUMMER
Gretzky the Great (Nyquist), who became freshman sire Nyquist (Uncle Mo)'s first stakes winner in August, became his second Grade I winner less than a month later with a victory in Sunday's GI Summer S. at Woodbine. The score in the "Win and You're In" event punched Gretzky the Great's ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and gave Japanese-born jockey Kazushi Kimura his first career Grade I triumph.
Unveiled going five furlongs on the local turf July 12, the Ontario-bred was runner-up to re-opposing rival Ready to Repeat before graduating by open lengths in an off-the-turfer there Aug. 2. Getting up late to capture the 6 1/2-furlong Soaring Free S. three weeks later, Gretzky the Great was made a narrow favorite here.
by Bill Finley
The next chapter in the scandal that has rocked Thoroughbred racing played out last week when Scott Robinson and Sarah Izhaki both pled guilty to charges relating to the sale and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs used to dope race horses. It was an important development, but the bigger story is this: will it lead to a new and extensive list of indictments against trainers and others who so far have not been charged? That possibility certainly exists.
For now, everything is speculation and the Department of Justice has not said whether or not Izhaki and Robinson are cooperating in the probe, but it's not hard to connect the dots and come up with a scenario where the two are cooperating with authorities and ready to name names.
by Jessica Martini
The Keeneland September Yearling Sale opened its first of two Book 4 sessions with a workmanlike day of trade in Lexington Sunday. C.J. Johnsen made the day's highest bid, going to $210,000 to acquire a filly by Ghostzapper (hip 2342) for his CJ Thoroughbreds. Three yearlings tied for the day's second highest price of $190,000: a colt by Maclean's Music and a pair of colts by first-crop sire Unified. A total of 31 yearlings brought six figures on the day.
In all, 237 yearlings sold Sunday for $11,516,500. The session average was $48,593 and the median was $40,000. The auction=s buy-back rate continued to fall, with 237 horses reported not sold Sunday for a buy-back rate of 26.4%.
During last year's first Book 4 session, which was on the eighth day of sale, 272 head grossed $15,448,700 for an average of $56,797 and a median of $41,000. The buy-back rate for the session was 27.85%.
The Keeneland September sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.
KEENELAND GRADS MAKING PRESENCE FELT IN RUSSIA
by Alan Carasso
While the marquee horses and seven-figure fireworks are long since in the rear-view mirror when the Keeneland September Sale--the largest of its kind in the world--reaches its later books, there are still horses to be sold, even as the demand for those youngsters could begin to wane. Several years ago, in an effort to drum up interest in the latter stages of the sale, officials at the Lexington auction house began mining smaller, off-the- beaten-path markets, and those efforts have borne fruit in places like Russia, where Lyudovik (Constitution) became the fourth Keeneland graduate since 2014 to prevail in the $55,000 Russian Derby (RUS-G1, 2400m) at the historic Central Moscow Hippodrome last month.
Dandy S. and fourth in the GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S., will be supplemented to the GI Preakness S. Oct. 3 at Pimlico. The decision was made, said trainer Jose D'Angelo, after the $30,000 Keeneland September buy breezed a half-mile Saturday at Monmouth Park in :47.80.