Getty Images

Horse dies at Cheltenham Festival; shock in feature race

Leave a comment

CHELTENHAM, England — The second day of the Cheltenham Festival was marred by the death of a horse in the first race Wednesday.

Consul De Thaix, which was trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by J.P. McManus, suffered fatal injuries after falling at the sixth-last fence in the Novices’ Hurdle.

Jockey Mark Walsh avoided serious injury despite being thrown off his mount but he will not ride again this week at the most prestigious jumps meeting in British horse racing.

“The last information I received was that he was being assessed for a concussive head injury,” clerk of the course Simon Claisse said of Walsh.

Consul De Thaix is the first death of this year’s festival after seven horses were killed last year at Cheltenham.

In the day’s feature race, there a shock when 11-1 shot Special Tiara won the Queen Mother Champion Chase and 2-9 favorite Douvan finished seventh. Special Tiara beat Fox Norton by a head, while Sir Valentino was third.

Triple Crown winner Justify under observation at Del Mar

Getty Images
Leave a comment

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Triple Crown winner Justify has re-located to Del Mar where trainer Bob Baffert is keeping him under observation after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago.

Baffert says Justify will probably just walk around the stable area for the next two weeks at the track north of San Diego. The probable scenario for the colt is a return to racing sometime in the fall with the ultimate goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

“Right now, we’re just looking to get him 100 percent,” Baffert said Monday. “We’re in a holding pattern. I’d love to run him again because he’s so much fun and exciting to watch. We should know more in a couple of weeks.”

Justify has won all six starts in his brief career that began this year. He has won four straight Grade 1 races, including a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become horse racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion.

The colt hasn’t had a workout since the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

Funtastic wins Monmouth’s United Nations Stakes in 23-1 upset

AP Photo
Leave a comment

OCEANPORT, N.J. — Funtastic led all the way in a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $300,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award winner the last two years as the nation’s leading trainer, got his third victory in the New Jersey’s biggest turf race. He won with Big Blue Kitten in 2013 and 2015.

The U.N. and the $1 million Haskell on July 29 are the two Grade 1 stakes at Monmouth.

Brown saddled four of the nine runners in the U.N. and ran 1-2 as Money Multiplier rallied to finish a half length behind Funtastic and jockey Antonio Gallardo.

The other two Brown horses were Silverwave (fifth) and Kurilov (eighth).

The time was 2:12.36 for 1 3/8 miles over the firm course.

Funtastic paid $48, $15.80 and $8.60. Money Multiplier, the 2-1 favorite, returned $4 and $2.80.

Bigger Picture, last year’s U.N. winner, was third, paying $5.80 to show.