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Saddle Up NY! announces success in funding NYS Equine Economic Impact study through American Horse Council

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

By Dr. Karin Bump

Cazenovia, NY – Dr. Karin Bump of Saddle Up NY! announced today that New York will be included as a State breakout in the American Horse Council’s Equine Economic Impact Study.  With a ‘right at the finish line’ boom of industry support, commitments and contributions reached the $25,000 mark for New York to be included in the states commissioning ‘break out’ studies.

State ‘breakout studies’ are companion studies to the  National Equine Economic Impact Study done through the American Horse Council (AHC).   In addition to the state study, support from the Long Island equine community has secured a companion regional study to look more specifically at the economic impact in Long Island.  “We are so pleased that NY State horse enthusiasts were able to make this happen. The data from these studies provide invaluable insights to the economic contributions of the equine industry at national, state and local levels.” stated AHC President Julie Broadway.

Economic Impact studies provide essential data to tell the story of impact and value of the equine industry.  “Equine farms are an essential part of New York agriculture. The jobs, economic activity, and recreation they provide the state, and their local communities, are significant, and the impact study will help quantify that importance,” said Renée St. Jacques, New York Farm Bureau’s Associate Director of Public Policy.

National Economic Impact Studies of the US horse industry have been conducted by American Horse Council for close to 50 years.  The most recent study, completed in 2017, included New York as a state breakout with funding provided by New York’s thoroughbred racing industry stakeholders during a critical time in their history and planning.  When Dr. Karin Bump of Saddle Up NY! realized that a new AHC study was close to launching, and New York was missing a mechanism to fund participation, she turned to the Saddle Up NY! industry partners to determine the level of priority for this study.

“From the start, everyone agreed that economic impact data is critical and that a new study was needed. The challenge was how to fund it,” said Karin Bump, Founder of Saddle Up NY!   The decision was made to turn to a grass roots approach reaching out to key stakeholders for commitments across various sectors of the industry with a later addition of a GoFundMe campaign for broader support. Key industry contributions came from New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Old Field Farm, Ltd, Blue Chip Farm, John Madden Sales, Cornell University Hospital for Animals, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Horse Council, Karin Bump and Timothy Williams, Sally Lynch, Kent Nutrition, and Triple Crown Nutrition.

First out of the gate with support for the study was the Thoroughbred racing sector of the industry with the Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund providing the largest of the industry commitments at $6,000.  “The NYS Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund is proud to be the major contributor to this study which is important to all segments of the equine industry in New York,” said Tracy Egan, Executive Director.  “For the past 50 years, the Breeding Fund has been watching over up to 400 Thoroughbred breeding farms which have employed tens of thousands of people while supporting NY Agriculture with purchases of hay, straw, and feed. Further, the Fund has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for Thoroughbred Aftercare facilities which in turn provide mounts for everything from trail riding to dressage in NY,” said Tracy Egan.

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. was also quick to offer support. “For each person directly involved in the equine industry, we’ve long been aware of the positive impact horses provide in jobs and economic dollars across the state. With representatives from all sectors of New York’s equine industry partnering to fund an updated study of the 2017 American Horse Council Report, it will allow us to continue to champion New York’s vast equine industry with up-to-date stats and figures.” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, NY, dedicated to excellence in Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Sport Horses,  is representative of the variety of sectors of the industry coming together to support this study “As the steward of 650 acres in Ulster County and home to 400 horses, Blue Chip farms has employed over 30 people and bought hundreds of tons of hay, feed, and local services for over 50 years,” said Tom Grossman owner of Blue Chip Farm.   “To support that infrastructure, we have diversified into many different breeds of horses pursuing varied disciplines. We look forward to seeing economic data across the equine industries to highlight the mutually beneficial relationship of the equine industries to the environment and economy of New York State.”

Dr. Sally Lynch of Old Field Farm, Ltd., a nonprofit that operates an historic show grounds on Long Island, provided significant help in securing the final commitments to fully fund the study.  “The overwhelming response to successfully fund the NYS Equine Impact Study not only shows how our equine industry deeply cares, but also inspires us all to participate in this critically important study. Whether it is our livelihoods, lifestyle or passion, we must all participate in promoting and protecting our equine industry and its legacy,” said Dr. Lynch.

The study is anticipated to launch in April and run through September. This includes key time frames for capturing data from horse shows, summer camps, county and state fairs.  In addition, it’s prime time for the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing sectors. “ Everyone involved with equine in NY will play a role in the success of this study – by completing the survey, encouraging others to complete it, and helping spread the word whenever, and wherever, there are equine events and activities across New York” said Dr. Bump.  Saddle Up NY! will be sharing AHC produced media toolkits to help to spread the word about the study and the importance of completing the survey. For more information on the study, please visit the AHC website:

Dr. Karin Bump is a passionate educator and change agent with a career trajectory that includes 28 years as a professor in equine studies and business management at Cazenovia College and four years as an Executive Director within the Cornell Cooperative Extension system. She is a member of the Extension Horses work team, an Impact Collaborative facilitator through eXtension, and a small business owner.  Karin, along with her husband Tim Williams, founded and launched the Saddle Up NY! initiative.  As a team, Karin and Tim have launched several other education and outreach initiatives including the National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics (NAEAA), the Equine Education Network (,  and The World of Horses exhibit at the NYS Fair.

Saddle Up NY! was launched in 2022 as an initiative to accelerate the success and growth of the NYS Equine Industry through delivery of promotion, connection and education activities and materials that strengthen existing initiatives and launch efforts to reach new audiences and markets. You can learn more about the initiative at:

New York Breeding Highlights from Governor Kathy Hochul’s State Budget Proposal

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

NYTB logoOn Wednesday afternoon, Governor Kathy Hochul released her first state budget proposal since being elected to her first term in office last November. The $227 billion executive budget proposal includes key initiatives for horse racing in the state, including modernization of the historic Belmont Park on Long Island and a key modification of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to benefit farmers, including breeding farm owners.

The announcement of the Governor’s budget proposal begins a protracted negotiation process with state lawmakers, ahead of the April 1 start of the state’s fiscal year. We are thankful and appreciate the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-15), chair of the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, Assembly member Gary Pretlow, Jr. (D-89), chair of the State Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, and all members of the New York Senate and State Assembly who continue to recognize the importance of horse racing to the New York State economy. Below, please find a recap of the key initiatives from the governor’s budget that would positively impact horse racing and the thoroughbred breeding industry.

NYTB and our legislative affairs team in Albany, through your membership dues and donations to the NYTB PAC make it possible to ensure New York’s thoroughbred breeding and racing industry remains the best in the nation.

In the next week, you will receive your 2023 NYTB Membership Renewal Packet. You can renew your membership:

  • via Phone: Please call the NYTB Office – 518.587.0777
  • Online: Click here.

Please also consider donating to the NYTB PAC! The NYTB PAC allows your voice to be heard in the state capitol on all pertinent issues.

If you make a minimum voluntary contribution of $50 or more to the NYTB PAC, you will receive an NYTB branded logo hat. You can make your donation to the NYTB PAC by visiting here.

2024 New York State Executive Budget Thoroughbred Breeding & Horse Racing Highlights 

  • MODERNIZATION OF BELMONT PARK The governor’s executive budget proposal announced support for the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to receive $455 million in state-backed bonds for the modernization of Belmont Park to be repaid by NYRA at no cost to taxpayers. The Belmont Park modernization project is estimated to be completed in the next three years with $71 million towards the renovation of the turf courses, main track, and installation of a synthetic surface, and the remaining $384 million to be spent on modernizing the main building, including a new grandstand and clubhouse. The project will also unlock the 45-acre infield at Belmont Park for a variety of uses.

NYTB Action: NYTB has been pleased to be a founding member of the We are New York Horse Racing Coalition. The coalition’s efforts have been an integral part of ensuring the Belmont Park modernization project was included in the Governor’s proposal. A modernized Belmont Park, with the capability for year-round racing at a world-class facility, will not only ensure New York remains a leader in hosting top tier races including graded stakes and a future Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but would continue to positively support New York’s breeding industry with an increased demand for New York-breds and New York racing on the yearly calendar.

  • MODIFY THE INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT (ITC) FOR FARMERSThe governor’s budget proposal also includes a modification of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for farmers which would allow the conversion of Investment Tax Credits from nonrefundable tax credits into a refundable tax credit for five years. This is expected to provide farm owners and farm businesses the ability to utilize $7 million additional (ITC) credits annually.

NYTB Action: NYTB, in collaboration with the Farm Bureau, is actively working with the governor’s administration and state legislature to ensure the Investment Tax Credit, which was increased 20 percent last year, will now be refundable. A major step in helping to alleviate the rising costs experienced by farmers in New York, including breeding farms.

  • MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING HIGHLIGHTThe governor’s briefing book, including highlights and state achievements ahead of the announced executive budget proposal included the impressive figure of $16.6 billion in handle on mobile sports wagering through January 7 of last year with the one-year anniversary of mobile sports wagering in New York, achieved on January 8.

NYTB Action: NYTB along with our fellow industry stakeholders including NYRA and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) continue to evaluate the potential of mobile sports wagering for horse racing, including potentially through fixed-odds legislation. Currently, there is a 51 percent tax on mobile sports betting operators, which is a significant factor in evaluating any potential introduction to horse racing to complement pari-mutuel wagering and investment of revenue returned to support New York’s breeding industry.

There is a perpetual need for advocacy for our sport and industry. NYTB will continue our work on your behalf and also appreciates your support in these efforts.

Najja Thompson
Executive Director

Central Banker’s Bankit lands another stakes in Thunder Rumble

Sunday, December 4th, 2022

Bankit and Jose Lezcano, winners of Sunday’s Thunder Rumble division of the NYSS. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

Bankit returned to the form that landed him a stakes victory in August and a championship last year with his seventh stakes victory in Sunday’s $121,250 Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Series Sunday at Aqueduct.

Bankit also bounced back from a defeat to Somelikeithotbrown in the off-the-turf West Point Stakes in late August at Saratoga, defeating that foe by 3 1/4 lengths with 2021 champion New York-bred male sprinter My Boy Tate another 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Jose Lezcano rode the 6-year-old son of leading New York sire Central Banker to victory for trainer Steve Asmussen.

“He’s a nice horse,” Lezcano said of last year’s New York-bred champion older dirt male. “I’ve ridden him about three or four times and every time I’ve ridden him, he’s given me a good effort.”

Bankit turned in another good one Sunday and picked up an additional $68,750 toward his already seven-figure bankroll. The leading earner for leading New York sire Central Banker, Bankit came out of the Thunder Rumble with career earnings of $1,258,405 from a record of 8-11-5 in 36 starts.

Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s year-round assistant in New York, has been around the 6-year-old for several seasons when he’s been at Belmont Park and knows what it takes for Bankit to deliver his usual top effort.

“He’s been doing phenomenal,” Sheets said. “He loves it here and he loves Belmont and loves the track there. He’s just been doing really well. I know his little ins and outs and he looks like a summer horse today – he had a glow about him.”

Sent off as the 2-1 third choice in the field of five behind 7-5 favorite My Boy Tate and 8-5 second pick Somelikeithotbrown, Bankit broke on top but Lezcano was content to let Somelikeithotbrown take the lead up the backstretch. Somelikeithotbrown, a 6-length winner over Bankit in the West Point, led through opening splits of :23.13 and :46.29 with Bankit just to his outside. Chowda and My Boy Tate raced as a team behind those two.

Bankit poked a head in front just past the half-mile mark and turned for home in front. He opened up a 2-length lead in midstretch and widened from there, winning in 1:23.24 over the muddy and drying out main track. Bankit added the Thunder Rumble to his victory in the Evan Shipman Stakes in August at Saratoga this season.

“He broke pretty well,” Lezcano said. “Other times, I feel like he’s a better horse when he’s on the outside. He broke pretty clear and put him right there and when I asked him, he kicked on and won the race. He had no one outside of him, so he felt more confident. He jumped into the bridle right away and when I asked him, he went on with it.”

Bred by Hidden Brook Farm LLC and Blue Devil Racing and foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, Bankit is campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing. He’s the first foal out of the Colonel John mare Sister in Arms and originally sold out of the Hidden Brook consignment to SGV Thoroughbreds for $85,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale.

Bankit was purchased by Winchell Thoroughbreds for $260,000 at the 2018 OBS March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training sale.

Central Banker, a 12-year-old Grade 2-winning son of Speightstown, will stand the 2023 season for $7,500 at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds. He was well clear on the New York general sire list – which he also topped in 2021 after a runner-up in 2020 – with progeny earnings of more than $4.68 million heading into Sunday.

NYTB annual Holiday Party returns Saturday, Dec. 10

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc. is pleased to announce the return of its annual Holiday Party on Saturday, December 10 at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY from 7-10 p.m. ET.

The evening will feature exquisite hors d’oeuvres, chef-attended dinner stations, an open bar, and musical performances from local Saratoga Springs soulful duo Jacksland band. Tickets can be purchased by visiting and are $150 for NYTB members and $175 for non-members.

“The NYTB holiday party is a cherished yearly tradition and an opportunity for NYTB members and New York-bred program participants to get together to kick off the holiday season.” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.  “This year’s party will be even more special being held at the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame. We will be surrounded by the utmost excellence in our sport for all to observe and enjoy. As always, we welcome current program participants and those interested in learning more about the New York-bred program to join us as we reflect on the accomplishments over the past year for New York-breds at the racetrack  and look forward to the 2023 breeding season.”

Guests will also eligible to receive a special discounted hotel rate at the Saratoga Hilton for $159 a night for Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11. Click here to reserve a room.


NYTB Membership protocols for Saratoga Race Course

Saturday, June 12th, 2021

NYTB Members will once again enjoy access to free admission at Saratoga Race Course. Photo Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Dear Members:

For the upcoming Saratoga Race Course season which begins on Thursday, July 15 through Labor Day, Monday, September 6, your 2021 NYTB Membership pin or card will grant you free general admission.

Admission will include access to vaccinated areas of the track with proof of your COVID-19 vaccination via the New York State Excelsior Pass mobile app or your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.



For unvaccinated NYTB Members, we ask that you contact the NYRA Box Office at least 48 hours in advance of your visit by calling 844-NYRA-TIX or emailing You will then be offered the opportunity to purchase socially distanced reserved seats, minus the cost of admission, while supplies last.

Please note: Current government guidelines and health protocols are subject to change.

To renew your NYTB membership to take advantage of this and other membership benefits, please click here.

For more information outlining required health and safety protocols for entry to Saratoga Race Course please visit here.

If you have any questions, please contact the NYTB Membership services team at 518.587.0777 or

Updated NYTB Membership protocols for Belmont Park

Saturday, June 12th, 2021
Reserved apron seating at Belmont Park.

Reserved apron seating at Belmont Park. Susie Raisher photo.

NYTB Members:

We are happy to report admission protocols for the remainder of the Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet have been updated.

Beginning with the live racing week starting on Thursday, June 17, current NYTB Members will have access to free admission at Belmont Park by showing your 2021 NYTB membership pin or card in the ticket/passes lanes at admission gates.

To renew your NYTB membership to take advantage of this and other membership benefits, please visit

The Belmont Park facility is able to accommodate the admittance of vaccinated and unvaccinated guests following social distancing guidelines. However, unvaccinated guests will be required to wear a face at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

Should you wish to request free reserved seating for the remainder of the Belmont spring/summer meet, we ask that you contact the NYRA Box Office at least 48 hours in advance of your visit by calling 844-NYRA-TIX or emailing

For more information outlining required health and safety protocols for entry to Belmont Park please visit here.

If you have any questions, please contact the NYTB Membership services team at 518.587.0777 or

Alliance180 Launches Program for Veterans, First Responders and Front-Line Medical Workers

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

By Janelle Huggard

For more than a decade, Bob Nevins, Melody Squier and Janelle Huggard have been working together to successfully reveal the power of a horse-to-human interaction by providing transformative equine experiences for Veterans living with the effects of trauma. Now, the crew has launched Alliance180, and they have expanded their support to reach First Responders and Frontline Healthcare Workers while incorporating science-based research that will set them apart.

For years, there have been increasing studies that demonstrate the negative effect that trauma can have on the autonomic nervous system. Because of a new collaboration with Alliance180, Dr. Stephen Porges, a Behavioral Neuroscientist*, and his colleagues from Indiana University, the team will now be able to successfully document and validate the effectiveness of their equine experience by incorporating and applying evidence of the Polyvagal Theory.

Bob Nevins said, “We know the effects of trauma can cause a person to feel detached and closed off. The experience through our interaction and training at A180 provides our participants with an opportunity to turn things around—’do a 180’ so to speak—so they can overcome their trauma in a way they haven’t tried before.”

Melody Squier, Alliance180’s Co-Founder, has understood the positive effects horses have on humans, especially those experiencing trauma, for more than 30 years. When she joined forces with Nevins, the two were able to combine their relevant experience and passion for helping others, impacting more than 800 veterans through their past efforts.

The purpose-driven programming of Alliance180 (A180) provides an effective three-day experience through peer-to-peer interaction, private accommodations, and classroom training to learn the language of the horse, and a round-pen interaction with the horse as the culminating event. Through the lens of the horse, participants learn to communicate with another powerful but very different species, most often resulting in the emotional response being reawakened, leading to a heightened awareness and offering a renewed perspective and brighter outlook.

Melody Squier, Program Creator and Facilitator of Equine Engagement, said, “Horses require you to be in the moment to fully communicate. The release felt when the horse accepts your offer to bond—breathing, touching and following—is so empowering. There is no judgement, only acceptance.”

Activities and classes will take place at the farm belonging to Song Hill Thoroughbreds LLC, and James and Tina Bond and Family. The Bonds said they are happy to be “teaming up” with A180’s experienced staff and are glad to offer access to their horses and facility for the organization’s crucial programming.

Nevins said he is grateful for the unwavering support that has followed he and Melody throughout the years from people who really believe in their methodology and dedication to the mission. The program is provided at no cost to participants and relies on support from donors and benefactors.

Nevins said, “Melody’s extensive knowledge as an equine specialist and a First Responder, combined with my understanding and experience as a Veteran, is something that greatly enhances our Program. Now that we have the research component to show what we are doing really works, we look forward to offering a solution to help our participants take their lives in a new direction.”

For more information on Alliance180, its Programming or to become a Benefactor, please visit or call 518-415-0206.

*Founding Director, Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium



Central Baker continues rise for McMahons

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Newly Minted, winner of the Union Avenue Aug. 13, played big part in strong run for her sire Central Banker this month. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

If you were in Saratoga earlier this month, you’d be forgiven for thinking McMahon Of Saratoga Thoroughbreds was throwing a weeklong party. McMahon of Saratoga’s third-crop sire Central Banker gave them plenty to celebrate when he not only had five winners in a week at Saratoga with but 10 winners overall through the first three weeks of August.

For Joe McMahon Central Banker’s success goes outside even the importance to the stallion because it also lets people see the strength of the New York breeding program.

“(The New York breeding program is) important because all these horses race at the NYRA tracks and the NYRA tracks are probably the most bet on and watched races in the country,” McMahon said. “Certainly, when you see a horse like Central Banker have five winners at Saratoga last week alone, that gets him attention. It’s very good for people to see that New York has good stallions and their offspring are running very, very well on the best circuit in the world. That encourages other people to be involved in New York.”

Currently at the top of the New York general sires list and eighth on the national third-crop list, Central Banker is having a summer most only dream of. His first two crops gave him two stakes winners in five days last week and three stakes horses in 15 days.

Zipalong started his sire’s August stakes run with a third in the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Series Aug. 6. That placing was followed by Central Banker’s five-winner week at Saratoga, headlined by champion New York-bred Newly Minted earning her fourth career stakes victory in the Union Avenue Handicap Aug. 13.

Then showing that Central Banker is in demand all over the country, Doc’s Holiday was his latest stakes winner Aug. 18 in Colorado’s CTBA Derby at Arapahoe.

Central Banker’s rise to becoming a successful sire was set in motion almost from the time he stepped off the van at McMahon of Saratoga. A fast dirt horse, John McMahon said the support he’s received from the beginning has been strong and steady.

“Central Banker had great credentials entering his stallion career so that parlayed into a very good first-year book,” he said. “Immediately following, attractive weanlings sold for very good money, which helped, then yearling and 2-year-old sale results followed by race success. So, his support from breeders has been excellent from the very first day he started his stud career.”

While it wouldn’t have been a surprise if Central Banker’s stud fee had risen after the performances of his first few crops, for the McMahons it’s been important for the stallion to stay affordable for breeders. They’ve been rewarded for that loyalty with Central Banker never having less than 75 mares during his five seasons at stud.

“It’s important that he’s good value, we didn’t raise his stud fee,” Joe McMahon said. “We’ve kept him very affordable to breeders in New York with the added incentive that they get twice as much award because they’re New York-sired and they’re eligible for the New York Stallion Series. It’s a value play for a lot of people.

“Rather than send a mare to Kentucky and breed to a $7,500 horse there or a $10,000 horse there and get half the awards and not be eligible for the stallion stakes, this horse gives you as good a horse as you’re going to get in Kentucky for $10,000 to $15,000 plus the breeders awards are twice as high and you’re eligible for the stallion stakes – which are about $3 million in value.”

A stallion who is often lauded by trainers for his trainable and durable runners, for the McMahons it’s important that Central Banker stay in New York not only for his own success but for breeders in the state.

“He’s a good stallion and good stallions can stand anywhere, but we choose to keep him here because New York needs a good stallion like that,” Joe McMahon said. “If he can continue to get 100 mares a year, that’s good business for our farm.”

Artie Schiller’s Macagone shocks Artie Schiller field at 34-1

Saturday, November 19th, 2016
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Trinity Farm homebred Macagone, a 5-year-old gelded son of Artie Schiller, meted out some very satisfying poetic justice at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Dismissed at odds 34-1, he won his sire’s namesake race, the $150,000 Artie Schiller Stakes, at one mile on the turf after employing (for him) an unorthodox strategy.

On paper, the competing speeds in the Artie Schiller field did not bode well for Macagone’s success, especially the speed of Heart to Heart, who was drawn toward the outside. Macagone’s six prior victories had all come gate-to-wire and he had no history of rating successfully. As it happened, the Bill Mott-trainee did the unthinkable: sat a pocket trip rating under jockey Kendrick Carmouche, and closed with determination to get the win.

Exiting post 3 of 10, Macagone settled in at the rail and raced covered up in fourth. Favorite Heart to Heart set the pace, running the first quarter mile in 23.72 and the half in 47.95, pressed along by New York-bred King Kreesa.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

After three-quarters of a mile, Macagone got some extra room to run. Heart to Heart spurted ahead at the head of the stretch and Macagone angled out for the drive and moved into second.

Charging to the wire, the gelding passed Heart to Heart with a furlong to go and dug in to ward off the fast-closing runner up Blacktype to secure the win by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:36.66. Night Prowler finished a length in third. [VIDEO]

Said Leana Willaford, assistant to trainer Bill Mott, “Kendrick [Carmouche] did a great job. He mentioned before about the speed on the outside [Heart to Heart], so he sat in a stalking position and it worked out for him. I thought the horse has been doing awfully well, I was a little surprised to see him at that price actually [34-1, $70 to win]. He has races on his back form that showed if he ran his best races today, he could be competitive. It was a very good race.”

Carmouche, commented, “I had a perfect trip. There were two speed horses that just happened to be on the lead and my horse had tactical speed, but I wanted to sit on my horse and relax. I fell into the right spot, got a real run and angled out at the top of the lane and he excelled from there and held on. I’d like to thank Leana and the whole crew for putting me on the horse.”

Carmouche inherited the mount from Chris DeCarlo after DeCarlo went to the hospital for x-rays following a spill two races earlier on the card. Carmouche said, “I’m sorry that Chris couldn’t ride the horse. That’s a tough deal, but he ran perfect.” The DRF’s David Grening tweeted later that DeCarlo’s x-rays were negative and he would be back in the saddle by Thanksgiving, adding, “DeCarlo’s agent Winston Heslop said DeCarlo ‘is talking. He’s happy. Only thing he’s sad about is Billy Mott’s horse won [the] stake’ without him.

A consistent runner throughout his career, Macagone owns seven wins (led by victories in the open Danger’s Hour earlier this year and the Artie Schiller on Saturday), three seconds and five thirds from 23 lifetime starts. He is closing in on the half-million-dollar mark in earnings with $462,167.

Foaled at Monhil Farm in Pine Plains, Macagone is out of Isabel Away, a winning daughter of Skip Away. Isabel Away is also the dam of successful turf runner Birchwood Road by Pure Prize, a three-time grass winner over $220,000.

The mare currently has a 2-year-old full brother to Birchwood Road named Red Knight, a yearling colt by Colonel John, and a weanling filly by Freud.
















NY-Sired 2YO Metropolitan Man Sensational in Keeneland Debut

Monday, April 26th, 2010


by Sarah Mace

Metropolitan Man, a two-year-old gelded son of Hook and Ladder, turned his 4 ½  -furlong debut against seven rivals last Thursday at Keeneland into a laugher, springing out of the gate, sprinting to an early lead, and drawing 7 ¼ lengths away from the field by the finish.

Trained by Wesley Ward, known for excellent preparation of youngsters, and owned by Ward in partnership with Patrick Costello, Metropolitan Man had seven published works going into his debut, the last two being 3-furlong bullets (:35 and :34 3/5). First choice in the wagering at even money, he clocked a quarter in 22.33 and a half in 44.83. The final time for the race was 50.97.

Metropolitan Man was bred by Betty Powell, Len Powell and Peter Venaglia. Out of the Tabasco Cat mare Hasty Cat, he is a half brother to stakes-winning Sezzana ($114,725) and multiple stakes-placed Piquante Cat ($146,718), both New York-breds by New York-based sire Performing Magic (standing at Sugar Maple Farm.). All three of Hasty Cat’s foals to start have won. Hook and Ladder stands for Sequel Stallions at Keane Stud.