MAXIMUM SECURITY, IMPROBABLE TO MEET IN AWESOME AGAIN
by Bill Finley
Stablemates Maximum Security (New Year=s Day) and
"TDN Rising Star" Improbable (City Zip) will face one another in Saturday's GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita, trainer Bob Baffert has confirmed.
Baffert had earlier discussed shipping Maximum Security to New York for the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, but instead will race him this weekend in his own backyard.
Via text, Baffert said he thought the race was a good fit for both horses because he likes the spacing and the fact that no one has to ship. The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be run Oct. 10, two weeks after the Awesome Again.
With the two Baffert stars set to meet one another, the Awesome Again could decide who will be the favorite in theGI Breeders= Cup Classic. Coming off wins in the GII San Diego H. and the GI TVG Pacific Classic, Maximum Security will be favored in the Awesome Again, but Improbable has strong credentials, as well. He has won two in a row, the GI Hollywood Gold Cup and the GI Whitney S.
The list of possible starters for the $300,000 race also includes Higher Power (Medaglia d'Oro), Midcourt (Midnight Lute), Sharp Samurai (First Samurai), Sleepy Eyes Todd (Paddy o'Prado) and Take the One O One (Acclamation).
VANDERBILT WINNER VOLATILE INJURED;
RETIRED TO THREE CHIMNEYS Saratoga's GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. winner Volatile
(Violence--Melody Lady, by Unbridled's Song) has been injured with a hairline fracture of his right front cannon bone and has been retired. He will stand the 2021 season at Three Chimneys in Central Kentucky.
While competing for the partnership of Three Chimneys Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Volatile was undefeated in three starts in 2020. In addition to his Vanderbilt win July 25, in which he clocked a final quarter in :22.94, the fastest in the race's history, the gray also captured Churchill's Aristides S. by eight lengths in June and an allowance/optional claimer by 7 1/2 lengths in April at Oaklawn. The Steve Asmussen trainee retires with a record of 6-5-1-0 and earnings of $341,040. He received a Beyer Speed Figure of 112 in the Aristides, the highest on record for 2020. Cont. p3
REGULATIONS TO GO INTO EFFECT OCT. 1
by Bill Finley
California racing regulators, who have long sought measures that would limit the use of the whip, announced Monday that a set of more restrictive rules will be implemented starting Oct. 1.
The rules were approved June 11 at a meeting of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) ,but could not go into effect until undergoing a regulatory review process.
The new rules will bring about three major changes:
(*) Riders cannot use the crop more than six times during a race, excluding showing or waving the crop or tapping the horse on the shoulder.
(*) Riders cannot use the crop more than two times in succession (within the six-time limit) without giving the horse a chance to respond before using the crop again.
(*) The crop must be used in an underhanded position with the crop always at or below the shoulder level of the jockey.
The two-session Book 4 portion of the Keeneland September
Yearling Sale concluded Monday in Lexington with spirited action at the top of the market. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, the most prolific buyer of the auction, made the day's highest bid when going to $320,000 to acquire a colt by hot freshman sire Not This Time (hip 2739) for an undisclosed client. For the session, 255 yearlings sold for $11,832,500 for an average of $46,402 and a median of $25,000. The buy-back rate, which was as high as 40% during sessions last week, was 23.88% Monday.
For the two-day Book 4 section, 492 yearlings sold for an aggregate of $23,349,000. The average was $47,457 and the median was $32,000. The book's $320,000 top price was one of 11 to sell for $200,000 or over for the two days.
During last year's two-session Book 4 section, 562 yearlings sold for $28,329,200 for an average of $50,408 and a median of $37,000. The top Book 4 price in 2019 was $310,000 and 10 horses sold for $200,000 or over.
his title in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and will instead make his next start going a mile in the GII Kelso H. at Belmont Oct. 3.
Aug. 15 Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, breezed five furlongs in company in a bullet 1:00.85 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Monday morning as he continues towards a start in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Oct. 3.