Thoroughbred Racing News - AmWager

Thoroughbred Racing News

Thoroughbred Racing News (39)

  • 10

    Le Chevalier Update

    newyearnewme lechev
    Le Chevalier (grey horse on left) competes in the NJ Hunt Cup.
    Photo by Tod Marks.


    By Bailey Bianco, AmWest Entertainment

    We love to check in with AmWest Entertainment CEO, Nelson Clemmens’ retired racehorses to see how they are doing in their new careers! Recently, we’ve been watching Le Chevalier take the world of Steeplechase by storm.


    On March 18, 2017, Le Chevalier, affectionately called “Le Chevy,” competed in the 76th running of the Warrenton Hunt Races. The Warrenton Hunt is Virginia’s oldest Point-to-Point. Point-to-Point is a form of Steeplechase held at a local level, traditionally over farmland as opposed to commercial racecourses.


    Point-to-Point racing, as the name suggests, began in 1752 when two neighbors challenged each other to race from one point to another - Buttevant Church to Doneraile Church, in County Cork, Ireland. The race consisted of a four-and-a-half-mile distance over stone walls, ditches and hedges all while keeping the steeple of the end point, Doneraile Church, in sight.


    Fast forward 265 years to the United States and you’ll find that Steeplechase consists of two forms: Hurdle and Timber. The Warrenton Hunt has been running Point-to-Point races since March 24, 1934. The jumps are similar to traditional natural obstacles however, are now man made.


    Specifically, Le Chevy competed in The Springs Valley Open Timber division of the Warrenton Hunt, which is about three miles over solid, immovable, timber rail fences that can reach up to a maximum of five feet. Timber races are longer, from three to six miles, and require a different jumping style from the horse than Hurdle races. Horses like Le Chevy must jump with more of an arc than Hurdle horses due to the solidness of the obstacles. If a horse hits a Timber jump, it can be brought to an almost complete stop.


    Jockey, Mark Beecher, reserved Le Chevy’s energy at the beginning of the race, allowing Adios Diablo to take the early lead. With a mile and a half left to go, Beecher and Le Chevy took command, and left the field 10 strides behind them as they crossed the finish line with a total time of six minutes and thirty seconds.


    AmWest Entertainment is not only proud of retired racehorses like Le Chevalier, who have made a name for themselves and succeed in their new careers, however, we also understand that we all share the responsibility of racehorse aftercare! From flat racing to jump racing and beyond, we are passionate about these horses and love to see them thrive in anything and everything they do.

    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News
  • 09

    Big 'Cap Preview

    big cap

    From Santa Anita

    ARCADIA, Calif. (March 8, 2017)–Jimmy Jerkens’ Shaman Ghost and Phil D’Amato’s Midnight Storm head a competitive field of nine older horses in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter. America’s longest continually run “hundred grander,” the Big ‘Cap, which was first staged in 1935, will be run for the 80th time at The Great Race Place.

    A solid second to the mighty Arrogate in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park, Shaman Ghost will be stretching out a furlong for Jerkens, while Midnight Storm, a winner of five out of his last six starts, including his last two, will try to stretch his speed out off a front-running tally here in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 1.

    SHAMAN GHOST: Based with Jerkens in south Florida, this 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper could rate top billing as he exits what appears to be the best race of his career in the Pegasus, a race in which he was beaten 4 ¾ lengths. A winner of the prestigious Grade I Woodward Stakes three starts back on Sept. 3 at Saratoga, he earned a career-top Beyer Speed figure of 112 in the Pegasus and will hope to be in high gear under four-time Eclipse Champion Jockey Javier Castellano on Saturday. Owned by Stronach Stables and bred in Ontario, Canada by their Adena Springs, Shaman Ghost showed good early foot in the Pegasus, easily outrunning California Chrome to the first turn. With a win and a second from three tries at a mile and a quarter, Shaman Ghost’s connections will hope Midnight Storm gets plenty of early pressure on the front end. Coincidentally, Castellano, who will be riding in his first Big ‘Cap, burst upon the national scene by guiding Ghostzapper to victory in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Jerkens, in his first Big ‘Cap attempt a year ago, was third with Effinex. Stronach Stables will be looking for their third Big ‘Cap score, as their homebred Milwaukee Brew won the race in 2002 & 2003. Shaman Ghost is 14-6-2-2 overall with earnings of $3,089,311 ($1,750,000 of which was derived from his second place finish in the Pegasus).

    MIDNIGHT STORM: Thought to be most effective on turf, D’Amato shifted gears following his third place finish three starts back in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf) here on Nov. 5 and tried him in the Grade III Native Diver Stakes, run at 1 1/8 miles over a “good” main track at Del Mar on Nov. 27. The result was a dominating gate to wire win by 7 ¾ lengths, which led D’Amato to begin plotting a course to the Santa Anita Handicap. A 1 ¼ length winner on a wet fast surface in the San Pasqual Jan. 1, there’s no mystery as to how the 6-year-old full horse by Pioneerof the Nile will approach the Big ‘Cap, as it’s fully expected he’ll be sent to the lead straight out of the gate. Owned by A Venneri Racing, Inc. and Little Red Feather Racing, Midnight Storm was off the board in his only career try at the Big ‘Cap distance. With earnings of $1,461,110, he has an overall record of 21-10-3-1.

    IMPERATIVE: A 7-year-old Bernardini gelding, he comes off one of his best-ever performances, a head victory in the 1 1/8 miles Poseidon Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 28, which was also his first start for trainer Bob Hess, Jr. He’s another that would benefit from a fast pace as he tries to break an 0-9 slide at a mile and a quarter. Owned by Loooch Racing Stables and Imaginary Stables, he’s a sharp horse whose connection are out to prove his last race was no fluke. With one win from 14 lifetime starts at Santa Anita, Imperative is 36-5-8-3 overall with earnings of $2,240,790.

    FOLLOW ME CREV: Always highly regarded by trainer Vladimir Cerin, he rallied boldly from off the pace to take a 1 1/16 miles classified allowance here on Feb. 20–overcoming a seven month respite. Owned by David and Holly Wilson, this 5-year-old Quality Road gelding was forced to miss last year’s Big ‘Cap due to a minor injury and will hope to be rolling late in his first attempt at a mile and a quarter.


    Race 10 of 11 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT

    • Midnight Storm–Rafael Bejarano–122
    • Gangster–Mario Gutierrez–115
    • Shaman Ghost–Javier Castellano–122
    • Isotherm–Flavien Prat–119
    • Hard Aces–Victor Espinoza–119
    • Follow Me Crev–Kent Desormeaux–116
    • Twentytwentyvision–Mike Smith–116
    • Hi Happy–Altair Domingos–116
    • Imperative–Antonio Gallardo–119
    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News
  • 09

    AmWager Sponsors New Vocations Open Barn & BBQ

    new vocations logoAmWager is excited to announce that it will be the Event Sponsor for New Vocations' Open Barn & BBQ event in late April at Mereworth Farm in Lexington. 

    AmWager and its parent company AmWest Entertainment has always supported aftercare programs. Founded in 1992, New Vocations has become the largest racehorse adoption program in the country and has facilities in: Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. 
    The program’s mission is to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses. In 2016, the program took in over 450 Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds and has placed close to 6,000 retired racehorses since its inception.
    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News
  • 28

    Jon Stettin - Makes His Daily Picks for AmWager

    Pick 6 King

    A long time student of the game & professional handicapper, Past the Wire's Jon Stettin is the winner of over $2 million in Pick 6s, with the biggest a $540K score  at the Spa. He makes his daily picks for AmWager. 

    Friday, April 14
    Race 7 (Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes) #3 Watershed, delivers on promise today with big race
    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News
  • 18

    Dubai World Cup Carnival Week 3 Analysis

    Below is Steven Molyneux’s Meydan Overview and selections for the third meeting of the 2017 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

    Meydan Overview:

    It was not quite an “I was there” occasion, but it will be a surprise if the victory of Reynaldothewizard in the Dubawi Stakes last week is surpassed when it comes to moments of the 2017 Carnival. One of three on the day for Satish Seemar and Richie Mullen, it provided further proof that the locals are nigh-on impenetrable when it comes to racing on the dirt. If there is a racing nation to do it, then it could well be Korea who send out three runners this week and will have taken heart from the performance of Power Blade 7 days ago who finished third to North America. There is a general feeling that having tested the water here last year, the group that have made the trip this time around are more realistically weighted and hopes will be high that one of Triple Nine (considered to be the best of them), Seoul Bullet or Main Stay can give the burgeoning racing nature their first winner on international soil when they line up on Thursday.

    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News
  • 13

    3 Graded Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday

    gulfstreamparkFrom Gulfstream Park:

    Divisidero Back on Familiar Turf in Saturday’s G2 Fort Lauderdale

    HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero has used the Gulfstream Park Turf Course as a springboard to success the past two years. Buff Bradley is hopeful that his Grade 1-winning trainee will kick off yet another lucrative campaign in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2).

    Published in Thoroughbred Racing News