Saudi racehorse owner Prince Khalid dies at 83

Getty Images
0 Comments

NEWMARKET, England (AP) Khalid bin Abdullah, the Saudi prince who owned the Juddmonte Farms horse-racing operation which produced superstar thoroughbreds like Frankel and Dancing Brave, has died. He was 83.

The prince’s death was announced by the Juddmonte group on Tuesday. The organization did not give a cause of death, saying only that he died “peacefully.”

A passionate supporter of horse racing as a young man, Prince Khalid founded Juddmonte in 1980 and oversaw the breeding of more than 440 winners – including 102 at top-tier Grade One level worldwide – who carried his green, pink and white silks.

“Prince Khalid will always be remembered as a quiet, dignified, benevolent family man, whose horses spoke for him,” said Douglas Erskine Crum, Juddmonte’s chief executive.

“He leaves a legacy that will stand the test of time. His contribution to the development of the thoroughbred will have long-lasting effects.”

Dancing Brave, bred in Kentucky, was his star horse in the 1980s, winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1986 as well as a string of major races in Britain that year including the 2,000 Guineas.

Frankel, named after the late American trainer Bobby Frankel, is in the conversation as the greatest ever racehorse after an unbeaten career in which he won 14 races from 2010-12.

Prince Khalid’s most recent superstar was Enable, whose wins included the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017 and ’18 and the Breeders’ Cup Turf in ’18. She was ridden to all her major triumphs by Frankie Dettori.

The prince established Juddmonte bases in Britain, Ireland and the United States, with Newmarket’s Banstead Manor Stud in England becoming the home of his top European stallions.

His successes were pioneering in the Middle East, with Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum later becoming big names in horse racing out of the United Arab Emirates.

Prince Khalid was a three-time champion owner in Britain.

Away from horse racing, he ran Mawarid Holding, a Riyadh-based private investment company.

369 horses nominated to compete in Triple Crown series

Getty Images
0 Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A total of 369 3-year-olds were made eligible to compete in this year’s Triple Crown series during the early nomination period.

Each of the horses was nominated through a $600 payment to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. The Triple Crown opens May 6 with the Derby.

The number of nominated horses increased by 57 from last year’s total of 312. They include a record 37 horses based in Japan.

Among the notable horses is Forte, last year’s 2-year-old champion trained by Todd Pletcher.

Also among the predominantly male horses nominated was a filly named Hoosier Philly.

Brad Cox led all trainers with 38 horses nominated to the series. Pletcher was second with 36 horses, followed by Steve Asmussen and Ken McPeek with 13 each. Chad Brown and Hideyuki Mori had 12 each.

Others nominated include Arabian Knight, Cave Rock and Newgate, all trained by Bob Baffert. He is currently banned by Churchill Downs Inc. through this year’s Derby, although Baffert is challenging his two-year punishment in federal court.

For the Derby, horses under the care of any suspended trainer may be transferred to another trainer and become eligible to earn Derby qualifying points as long as the transfer is done by Feb. 28.

Last year, Baffert transferred two horses to another trainer and both ran in the Derby, although neither was highly placed.

Horses that were not nominated to the Triple Crown series by the early deadline of Jan. 28 can make a late payment of $6,000 through March 27 to become eligible.

Newgate wins Robert B. Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

0 Comments

ARCADIA, Calif. — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite. There was no show wagering because of the field size.

Hard to Figure returned $5.20 at 12-1 odds. Worcester was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Arabian Lion was fourth.

“So much improvement in all these horses,” Baffert said. “I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”

The Lewis was a Kentucky Derby prep race, but no points were awarded because Baffert has been banned for two years by Churchill Downs Inc. The Hall of Fame trainer was in Louisville to testify in federal court as he seeks a temporary injunction to end the suspension, which runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet. It was meted out following a failed drug test by Medina Spirit after the colt finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Newgate earned his first graded stakes victory. The colt was second, beaten by a neck in the Sham Stakes last month in his previous start.

“Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that’s what he did today,” Baffert said.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Newgate’s career earnings to $241,975, with two wins in six starts.