- Riskaverse topped the Fasig-Tipton select sale with a bid of $5 million for an anonymous buyer. That’s quite a consolation prize for the owners who saw her finish next to last in the F&M Turf to end her career. A winner of over $2 million in purse money, Riskaverse is by Dynaformer (Roberto), out of The Bink (Seeking the Gold). This is a nice female family; her third dam is Toll Booth, the dam of stakes winners Christiecat, Key to the Bridge, Toll Key, Toll Fee (the second dam of Riskaverse) and, most notably, Plugged Nickle. The latter took the 1980 Florida Derby and the Wood, in which he defeated the eventual Derby winner Genuine Risk; later in the year he cut back to take the Tom Fool and the Vosburgh, and was named champion sprinter. Storm Cat and Giant’s Causeway were mentioned as possible matches.
Contrive, the dam of BC Juv Fillies winner Folklore, and that race’s runner-up Wild Fit both brought $3 million. Bloodstock agent John Ferguson, the winning bidder for Contrive on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed, pointed out that "She's a Storm Cat mare whose first foal is a Breeders' Cup winner," and stated the obvious when he added "It doesn't take Einstein to work out that she's a top prospect." [Bloodhorse] He also pointed out that she has the same third dam as Smarty Jones, and speculated that Smarty's sire Elusive Quality would make a nice match.
Coolmore bought Wild Fit, and manager John Magnier said "She hasn't got a lot of pedigree, but her brother was quite good. She's also athletic-looking." Sounds like they just have money to burn, don’t it? Unfortunately for the filly, she’s going to Patrick Biancone, which means that you’ll probably see her on the Kentucky Derby trail before too long. We’re all hopefully going to make some money betting against her the next time she goes two turns.
- Coolmore and the Sheik went head-to-head for Ashado at the Keeneland sale today, and the latter took the prize for $9 million, a record for a broodmare prospect. "Sheikh Mohammed is a man who loves to have the very, very best." [Bloodhorse] I’ll say. No word on a prospective match for her, but with no Mr. Prospector in her pedigree and just one lonely appearance by Northern Dancer in her third generation, the possibilities are endless. Taking a look at some hypo matings, I think Storm Cat would do just fine for the man loves to have the very, very best.
- Ellis Park is the third Churchill Downs property (Fair Grounds/Katrina and Calder/Wilma) to be ravaged by Mother Nature this year, and the photos of the damage caused by yesterday’s tragic tornados, which killed at least three thoroughbreds but fortunately caused no serious injuries to people there, are grim indeed.
Wilma also set back the construction at Gulfstream by two weeks, and track president Scott Savin sounds like he’s now hedging his bets on just how ready the new facility will be, at least for patrons, by its scheduled opening on Jan 4.
"Our plan is to be fully operational to run races….We will also accommodate our patrons. The question will be to what extent. But I'm pretty optimistic we'll be able to accommodate everyone." [Sun-Sentinal]
- Saw a note on Daily Kos today that Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich would be soundly beaten by either of the two prospective Democratic candidates if the gubernatorial election, which will take place next year, was conducted today. (Kind of strange in that the same poll shows a 50% job approval rating for Ehrlich versus 33% disapproving.) These numbers may add some extra urgency for those who favor bringing slots to the state. Neither of the Democrats have been as enthusiastic about slots as Ehrlich has been; in fact one, Doug Duncan, is a slots opponent. The other is Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley, who has flip-flopped a bit on the issue, originally opposing the machines, but later favoring an approach limited to assisting the racing industry.
O'Malley said he considers slots "a pretty morally bankrupt way" to fund education, which bills pending in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly [earlier this year] call[ed] for. [Washington Post]Slots supporters are advised to giddy-up.