Thursday, October 18, 2012
AMERICA'S BEST RACING Thoroughbred Notebook
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Charles Lopresti
This Week
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From the Grandstand
In the News
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Weekend Stakes Races
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Dayatthespa relaxes on the lead to win the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. (Image courtesy of Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
Fans enjoying College Scholarship Day at Keeneland (Image courtesy of Penelope P. Miller/America’s Best Racing)
Two-year-old Miss Patricia, with Ramon Dominguez up, jumps a shadow immediately after winning her debut in  the 4th race at Belmont on October 11. (Image courtesy of Adam Coglianese/NYRA via Claire Novak’s Twitter feed)
(Image courtesy of Eclipse SportsWire)

A trainer since 1993, Charles Lopresti reached national prominence in 2010 when Here Comes Ben won the Grade I Forego Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, and he has been on a roll ever since. On November 3, he will send out the 5-year-old gelding Wise Dan as one of the expected favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Wise Dan has won his last three in a row, including authoritative wins in the Grade I Ricoh Woodbine Mile and the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile. Lopresti has also registered a Grade I tally with Turallure last year, and a pair of Grade II triumphs since 2010 with Successful Dan, who is Wise Dan’s half-brother.

After growing up in the New York City suburbs where he worked with his uncle’s pleasure horses, Lopresti got his start in racing after interviewing for a horse farm job in Virginia. The prospective employer instead recommended him for a groom’s position at Belmont Park. After two years in that job, he relocated in 1978 to Lexington, where he met his wife, Amy.

Through the years, Lopresti worked in many facets of the Thoroughbred industry, including a stint as trainer for the renowned Calumet Farm in the 1990s. Today, Lopresti trains year-round at Keeneland Race Course while Amy oversees their 200-acre Thoroughbred farm about 15 miles away. Graduates of the farm include 1999 Horse of the Year Charismatic.

Name: Charles Lopresti

Birthplace:  Brooklyn, NY

My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing:  To not have so much racing.

My favorite racetrack: Keeneland

My fantasy job: Fly fishing and hunting guide in Montana.

My favorite thing about being a trainer: I get up really early in the morning, but I get to do a lot of the things I want to do in the afternoon.

Other sports or teams I follow: I like to fly fish and hunt, but I don’t follow any teams or anything like that.

My hero: John Wayne

My favorite possession or memento: My antique Winchester shotguns.

Biggest pet peeve: Watching bad exercise riders on horses!

Favorite magazine: “Western Horseman,” “The Blood-Horse” and “Bugle Magazine” (an elk hunting magazine).

What websites I visit most often:

Gadget I can’t live without: These magnifying glasses I have with a light on them for tying fly fishing flies.

Favorite food: Steak

If I could be on any TV show in the world, I would be on: “North American White Tail” (A hunting show)

If I were in a band, I would play: The drums.

My favorite musician: George Strait

My favorite actor: John Wayne

Who would play me in a movie: John Wayne!

Newspaper I read daily: The Lexington Herald-Leader

The best racetrack food is found at: Keeneland

My professional accomplishment I’m most proud of: Here Comes Ben winning a Grade I at Saratoga.

My personal philosophy: Live every day to its fullest and have fun, because you never know when it’s going to end.

Favorite animal other than a horse: My Border Collie Jake and my English Setter Dot

Number one item on my bucket list: Get an old .34-40 Winchester cowboy rifle.


Congratualtions to photographer Casey Phillips, winner of this week’s Fan Photo Contest! From Casey: "Super Saturday was extra super for Zenyatta fans at the Great Race Place" Want in? E-mail your submissions with a brief description to!


Doug O’Neill, quoted by T.J. Simers in the Los Angeles Times, after being asked about those who derogatorily refer to him as “Drug O’Neill”:
“I blame my parents. They named me Doug, which rhymes with drug. They could have named me Gene, you know like Clean Gene."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Frankel’s owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, quoted in The Blood-Horse on the good fortune of having a horse named for the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel turn out to be an undefeated superstar:  
“It is one of those incredibly happy alignments of the stars.”

Gil Moutray, quoted in The Blood-Horse, on the new strategy he and partner Ed Harrell have adopted at the sales since purchasing the nice two-year-old Archwarrior:  
“When we go to buy a horse now, we talk about the ‘Saturday afternoon’ horse.”   

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Charles Elachi on why his organization chose Santa Anita as the best place for its 5,000 employees to celebrate the recent Mars landing of the space rover Curiosity last Sunday:
“We started talking to our employees about it, and a lot of people said Santa Anita would be perfect.  We’re having a great time.”


Video: Get goosebumps with this video about the Preakness Stakes (Pimlico)

Video: Dale Romans discusses his Breeders’ Cup horses (The Blood-Horse)

Photos: The do’s and don’ts of visiting Keeneland (Buzzfeed)

Photos: A guide to Keeneland for first time visitors (America’s Best Racing)

Video: Students get in the game at Keeneland’s annual College Scholarship Day (America’s Best Racing)

Photos: Paynter arrives at Fair Hill to begin rehab to return to the races after winning his battle against laminitis and colitis (The Blood-Horse)

NY legislator says criticism of horse industry “extremely unfair” (Politics on the Hudson)

Photos: North East Thoroughbred Sporthorse Association (


Gypsy Robin looking sharp for Keeneland’s Grade II Raven Run Stakes on Saturday (Daily Racing Form)

Pianist strongest contender in Friday’s split Valley View Stakes at Keeneland (Daily Racing Form)

Broken Dreams defends Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes title Saturday at Santa Anita (The Blood-Horse)

Mott to saddle favorites in New York Showcase Day feature Saturday at Belmont (The Blood-Horse)

Bill Parcells enjoying ride with NY-bred Saratoga Snacks (Daily Racing Form)

Frankel may earn $161 million after 'Usain Colt's' last race (

Mighty Frankel set to take final bow (Gulf

Ailing Cecil grateful for Frankel (The Blood-Horse)

Strong Suit heads to U.S. in search of Grade One wins (Racing Post)

Plenty of thoroughbred talent, just not in the U.S. (The Washington Post)

Pair of Europeans Possible for Breeders' Cup Classic (The Downey Profile)

Five European raiders to make an impression at the 2012 Breeders’ Cup (Bleacher Report)

Gutierrez guides Commander into Breeders' Cup (The Vancouver Sun)

Game On Dude has Sunday work for Breeders' Cup (Miami Herald)

Breeders’ Cup or Bust announces Daily Racing Form as title sponsor (Paulick Report)

Cindy Adams mentions the Breeders’ Cup in her Page Six column (New York Post)

Doug O'Neill earns respect, even if some won't give it to him (Los Angeles Times)

A look at Horse of the Year (ESPN)

Who will be Horse of the Year? (Bleacher Report)

Wise Dan extends lead over Game On Dude in NTRA poll (The Kansas City Star)

Wrong-way horse disrupts race at Santa Anita (Los Angeles Times)

Tyler Baze feels lucky in Cal Cup Classic (San Gabriel Tribune)

Take Charge Indy set for comeback (Daily Racing Form)

Creative Cause retired (The Blood-Horse)

Keeneland is a sure bet (Forbes)

Bo-Rail? Not exactly (ESPN)

Sam Houston creates $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (Paulick Report)

Racing safety summit highlights efforts by vets (Lexington Herald- Leader)

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance a main topic at Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit (The Blood-Horse)

Jockey Club, other thoroughbred groups donate to care for retired racehorses (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Pre-Race veterinary inspections help keep horses safe (The

The next generation: Q&A with NTRA Advantage rep Katherine Wheeler (Business Lexington)

Horse racing's economic impact in New York in the billions of dollars, study says (The Business Review)

Study documents equine industry impact in NY (The Blood-Horse)

NYRA has wish list for panel (Times Union)

U.S. horses head back to Canadian killing floor (Examiner)

Preakness tickets go on sale (WBAL)

Churchill Downs unveils Luckity, a new online way to bet on horse races (Louisville Courier-Journal)


Calvin Borel discusses playing himself in the upcoming Mine That Bird movie (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Northwest star eyes Breeders’ Cup (

Moonwalk wins a free trip to the Breeders’ Cup by a nose (Louisville Courier-Journal)

A Classic problem for Wise Dan (Twin

Jimmy Toner's winning weekend (Brooklyn Backstretch)

United industry fights back in NY (Left At The Gate)

Pictures of Rachel (Horse Racing Nation)

Paynter, the unbreakable horse (Horse Racing Nation)

Analyzing the pedigree of stallion-to-be Creative Cause (All Equine All The Time)

Lane’s End to hold fan appreciation day (Alicia Wincze Hughes on Horseracing)


OCTOBER ON-TRACK AND ONLINE DAILY RACING FORM/NTRA NHC CONTESTS is hosting an NHC qualifier on October 20.  Entry fee is $160.

Thistledown is hosting a live event on October 27.  A minimum of 75 players must be registered by October 23.  Get registered today!  Click here for the official rules. satellite qualifiers are running every Wednesday through Sunday.  Click here for the online schedule and contest details.


Start making your travel plans to attend the December 15 NHC qualifier at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.  Details coming soon!


NHC presenting sponsor Sovereign Stable is offering shares in an exciting New York-bred filly, Fashionation.  This good looking yearling was purchased at the recently completed Keeneland September Sale and is by a top sire (City Zip) out of a stakes-winning mare that has produced nine winners.  The purses in New York are higher than ever before and the New York Bred program is very robust as well. Click here for details on this opportunity.


Curtis Meyer (Parker, CO) remains in the number one spot on the second-half Leader Board.  Mark Streiff (Mission Viejo, CA) is leading the full-year Leader Board with 13,854 points.

Click here to view the overall full Leader Board standings.

Click here to view the second-half full Leader Board standings.

(The Leader Boards are incomplete, pending receipt of the complete results from the Kentucky Downs qualifier.)


2H LB Points


Full LB Points

Curtis Meyer


Mark Streiff


Mark Streiff


Mark McGuire


Jacque Hong


Christopher Larmey


Cheryl McIntyre


Rhonda Sylvester


Ron Rippey


Bill Rendino



Player Profile



Timothy Herboth


Richard Chew

Richard is from Natrona Heights, PA.  This will be his first apperance at the NHC.  His favorite tracks are Saratoga and Keeneland. 

Click here to read Richard's complete NHC player biography.

Oct. 18, 1956: Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, was paraded at Keeneland in his last appearance at a racetrack.

Oct. 18, 1973: The owners of Secretariat announced that his last race would be the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse.

Oct. 18, 1976: MacK Miller swept the top three spots in the Long Island Handicap with his trainees Javamine, Nijana and Fun Forever.

Oct. 18, 1978: Jockey Dave Gall became the first rider to win eight races during a single program. He rode 10 consecutive races for the day at Cahokia Downs, finishing second and fifth in his two losing efforts.

Oct. 18, 2001: Unbridled, the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, was euthanized after developing colic.

Oct. 20, 1923: Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, defeated England’s hero Papyrus, winner of the 1923 Epsom Derby, in a $100,000 match race at Belmont Park. The race, the International Special, marked the first time an English champion had been sent to the U.S. to race. For his victory, Zev was awarded $80,000 and a gold cup valued at $5,000. Public interest in the race was so great that it was broadcast on the radio—a first. Within two days, films of the race were distributed at movie theaters in New York City and, eventually, across the nation.

Oct. 20, 1954: Bill Shoemaker rode his 2,000th winner, Florence House, at Tanforan.

Oct. 20, 2007: Ten-year-old McDynamo won the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase for the fifth consecutive year at the annual Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, N.J.

Oct. 21, 1961: Eddie Arcaro won the Jockey Club Gold Cup for a record tenth time. His mount, Kelso, won the Gold Cup five straight years, 1960-64, setting the mark for most consecutive victories in a stakes race.

Oct. 22, 1945: El Lobo and Featherfoot became the first Thoroughbreds to be transported by airplane. They were flown from Los Angeles to San Mateo in a twin-engine Budd transport plane piloted by Maj. William Hoelle of the Flying Tiger Line, who landed the plane in the parking area at Bay Meadows. On Oct. 27, El Lobo won the Burlingame Handicap at Bay Meadows, proving that horses could fly (and win).

Oct. 22, 1955: A rare triple dead-heat for first took place at Mexico’s Caliente in the eighth race.  Stormsorno, Chance Speed and Beaufair were the three winners.

Oct. 22, 1964: Jockey Bill Shoemaker won the 5,000th victory of his career aboard Slapstick at Aqueduct Race Track.

Oct. 22, 1973: Secretariat was flown to Woodbine Racecourse, where he would compete in his final career race, the Canadian International Championship Stakes.

Oct. 24, 1877: Congress adjourned to see a race between Parole, Ten Broek and Tom Ochiltree, which was held at Pimlico.

Oct. 24, 1953: Tom Fool won the Pimlico Special Stakes by eight lengths, capping a perfect four-year-old campaign with 10 stakes wins in as many starts. The Special was his fourth consecutive race run as a non-betting exhibition. Tom Fool was voted Horse of the Year for 1953, acing out Native Dancer, who lost only one of his 10 stakes races that year, the Kentucky Derby.

Oct. 24, 2008: Breeders’ Cup conducted its first all-female card, with the colts and geldings races all being held on the second day of the two-day event at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.

Oct. 25, 1870: Pimlico, the nation’s second-oldest Thoroughbred racetrack, began its inaugural meet.

Oct. 25, 1947: After winning the Gallant Fox Handicap at Jamaica, a former $1,500 claimer, Stymie, became the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, with earnings of $816,060. Stymie raced two additional years and retired in 1949, at age eight, with lifetime winnings of $918,485.

Oct. 25, 2003: Trainer Richard Mandella set a single-day record winning four Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races at Santa Anita. Mandella saddled Halfbridled to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; Action This Day in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Johar to a dead-heat win in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf; and Pleasantly Perfect in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge. The Johar dead heat with High Chaparral in the Turf marked the first dead heat in Breeders’ Cup history. And in guiding Halfbridled to victory, jockey Julie Krone became the first woman to ride the winner of a Breeders’ Cup flat race.

Oct. 26, 1949: Bill Shoemaker rode to his first stakes victory, the George Marshall Claiming Handicap at Bay Meadows, aboard a five-year-old horse named Al.

Oct. 26, 1990: Jockey Julie Krone rode her 2,000th career winner, aboard John Forbes-trained Rainbow Quartz, at The Meadowlands.

Oct. 26, 1996: The Breeders’ Cup was held outside the U.S. for the first time, at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto, Canada. At Woodbine, Jenine Sahadi became the first female trainer to saddle a Breeders’ Cup winner when she sent Lit de Justice to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Oct. 27, 1870: Preakness won the Dinner Stakes at the newly opened Pimlico Racecourse. In 1873, the first Preakness Stakes, a race was named in his honor, was held at Pimlico.

Oct. 27, 1990: Bayakoa (ARG) became the second horse to win two consecutive Breeders’ Cup Championship races. Both of her victories came in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Oct. 27, 2001: Tiznow, 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic champion and Horse of the Year, won the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Classic for a second straight year, outdueling European sensation Sakhee in the stretch at the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.

Oct. 27, 2001: Participants in the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships donated more than $2.7 million from their purse earnings to the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund, established to benefit the children and spouses of the firefighters, police officers, emergency workers and other victims who perished in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai-based Godolphin stable, which pledged 100 percent of its Breeders’ Cup earnings to the Heroes Fund, donated approximately $2.5 million on the day, thanks in part to wins by two of his horses, Fantastic Light and Tempera. 

Oct. 27, 2001, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel saw his 0-for-38 streak in Breeders' Cup races come to an end when Squirtle Squirt won the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Oct. 27, 2011: Five-year-old gelding Rapid Redux registered his 19th consecutive victory in the sixth race at Laurel Park, equaling the consecutive-win mark held jointly by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride.

Oct. 28, 1972: Secretariat, sent off at odds of 1-10, won the Laurel Futurity by eight lengths at Laurel.

Oct. 28, 1973: With jockey Eddie Maple substituting for Ron Turcotte, who was sidelined by a suspension, Secretariat concluded his racing career with a 6 1-2-length victory in the Canadian International Championship Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse. It was his second victory in as many tries on the turf.

Oct. 28, 1983: Jacinto Vasquez had his 4,000th career winner, aboard Sunshine O’My Life, at Aqueduct.

Oct. 28, 2000: Laffit Pincay Jr. gained his 9,000th career victory aboard Chichim in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park.

Oct. 29, 1948: Calumet Farm’s three-year-old Citation entered the Pimlico Invitational Special Stakes unopposed and won in a walkover, earning $10,000 for galloping the 1 3-16 mile course in 1:59 4-5. Another great Calumet runner, Whirlaway, also won the Special in a walkover in 1942.

Oct. 29, 1955: Charlie Whittingham and Bill Shoemaker scored their first stakes victory as a trainer-rider team with Mister Gus in the William P. Kyne Handicap at Bay Meadows.

Oct. 29, 1998: Triple Crown winner and 1970s icon Secretariat was selected as one of 15 subjects to be honored with a commemorative postal stamp in 1999.

Oct. 30, 1937: Sir Barton, the first American Triple Crown winner, died at age 21. After an undistinguished career as a sire, Sir Barton was sent to the U.S. Army’s Remount Division in Nebraska, and then to a ranch in Wyoming, where he remained until his death.

Oct. 30, 1988: After the blinkers on his mount, Roaring River, worked loose, jockey Francisco Torres grabbed them and placed them between his teeth to keep his hands free for riding. Roaring River won the race, at Hawthorne, by three lengths.

Oct. 31, 1944: The saddle cloth numbers of the first five race winners at Jamaica corresponded to the number of the race in which each horse started.

Oct. 31, 1964: Seven-year-old Kelso won his fifth consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cup, a record. In each of those races, Kelso was the odds-on favorite.

Oct. 31, 1987: Jockey Chris Antley became the first rider to win nine races in a single day. He rode four winners from six mounts at Aqueduct and five winners from eight tries during The Meadowlands’ evening program.

Oct. 31, 2002: Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone returned to race riding after a two-year absence.  She finished fifth aboard both of her mounts on the day at Santa Anita Park.

Oct. 31, 2003: Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel broke D. Wayne Lukas’ North American single season earnings record of $17,842,358 set in 1988 after saddling Golden Rahy to victory in the seventh race at Santa Anita.  

Oct. 31, 2007: Trainer Scott Lake registered the 4,000th win of his career when he saddled Hickory Trick to victory in the 8th race at Penn National.


Sycamore Stakes, 3&up, $100,000, Grade III, 1 1-2M (T), Keeneland
Pin Oak Valley View Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 1 1-16M (T), Keeneland

My Trusty Cat Stakes, 2yo fillies, $150,000, 7F, Delta Downs

Frank Martin Stakes, 3&up, $85,000, 1 1-16M, Belmont Park

Grand National Steeplechase, 4&up, $250,000, Grade I, 2 5-8M (Steeplechase), Far Hills

Lexus Raven Run Stakes, 3yo fillies, $250,000, Grade II, 7F, Keeneland

Jean Lafitte Stakes, 2yo, $200,000, 1M, Delta Downs

Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $100,000, Grade III, 6 1-2F (T), Santa Anita Park

Barbaro Stakes, 3yo, $100,000, 1 1-16, Delaware Park

Peapack Hurdle Stakes, 3&up, $75,000, 2 1-8M (Steeplechase), Far Hills

Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $125,000, 1 1-2M (T), Keeneland

Temperence Hill Stakes, 3yo, $85,000, 1 1-8M, Belmont Park

Serena’s Cat Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $80,000, 7F (T), Belmont Park

What are you most excited for in the upcoming Breeders’ Cup?Tweet your answers to @ABRLive!