PA. fights back, Winter Sprintfest, and more: The week in social media
Late Night Pow Wow (inside) held off Spiced Perfection to win the 2019 Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park. Photo by Dottie Miller.
Pennsylvania racing interests are fighting back against Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to raid the Race Horse Development Trust Fund, a stakes-filled day of racing is coming up at Laurel Park, and Pennsylvania has gained a new stallion prospect just in time for the 2020 breeding season.
Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media this past week:
Hands off the Race Horse Development Fund!
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf made a recent proposal to take money from the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Trust Fund to provide scholarships for in-state college students. The proposed move would take $204 million out of the approximately $250 million racing fund, which would result in draining most of the primary source that funds the purse money and state-bred incentives. Should Wolf’s plan become reality, the results would prove devastating to the state’s Thoroughbred and standardbred industries.
Those involved in the sport have been fighting back. A rally was held this past Sunday at Equistar Farm in Annville, Pa during Equistar’s annual stallion show in an attempt to bring awareness to the potential devastation that Wolf’s proposal would have on Keystone State racing and breeding. Breeders, owners, veterinarians, horse racing association leaders, Pennsylvania legislators, and farmers all came together to speak out on the negative impact that Wolf’s proposal would have on both the racing industry and Pennsylvania agriculture.
Advocates say that, in the event that Wolf’s proposal becomes a reality, the state of Pennsylvania could potentially lose over 16,000 jobs, as well as the industry’s estimated $1.6 billion in economic impact annually.
If it’s mid-February, it’s time for Winter Sprintfest
Graded stakes action — and plenty more — comes Laurel Park this weekend, as the Sprintfest Winter Stakes is set to commence on Saturday, February 15.
The Springfest Winter Stakes will showcase five stakes races worth $800,000 in purse money. The stakes races will include the John B. Campbell Stakes, the Wide Country Stakes, the Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3), the General George Stakes (G3), and the Miracle Wood Stakes. Along with the races there will also be a Maryland Jockey Club hat giveaway, as well as a stakes buffet in the track’s dining room.
First post time for Saturday is set for 12:25 p.m. EST.
Time to (Desert) Party!
Multiple graded/group stakes winner and sire Desert Party has been relocated from New York to Pennsylvania. The 14-year-old son of Street Cry will now stand the 2020 breeding season at Judith Barrett’s Godstone Farm near Littlestown, Pa.
Previously standing at Irish Hill Century Farm, owner Dr. Stephen Sinatra opted to relocate Desert Party to Pennsylvania in order to improve his stallion’s career through the aid of the lucrative state-bred incentive program that Pennsylvania offers.
Campaigned by Godolphin during his time on the track, Desert Party visited the winner’s circle a total of six times from ten starts, which included scores in the Sanford Stakes (G2) and the Gulf News U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (G3). Upon his retirement from the track, Desert Party had collected earnings of $928,467.
In the breeding shed, Desert Party found success in siring seven black-type winners and ten individual black-type performers. His greatest North American runners to date include multiple stakes winners Heart’s Song and Aunt Babe, and winners Desert Dynamo and Can’t Happen Here, who are also graded stakes placed.
Desert Party will stand for a fee of $2,500 for the 2020 breeding season.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Maryland-bred Knicks Go, the likely horse of the year, on Sunday had his final tuneup prior to Saturday’s G1 Pegasus World Cup.
Three-year-old Joe, winner of the Maryland Juvenile Championship, stretched out to two turns nicely to win an allowance at Laurel Park.
Hibiscus Punch, winner of the 2021 G3 Fritchie, had her final breeze Saturday morning in preparation for the Jan. 29 What a Summer at Laurel Park.
Air Token, winner of the 2021 Maryland Million Sprint, won an allowance contest Friday at Laurel Park for his first win since.
Wondrwherecraigis, idle since a win in the G3 Bold Ruler in October, may make his next start Jan. 29 in the Fire Plug at Laurel Park.
Weather permitting, racing will return to Laurel Park Jan. 20 with a 10-race card topped by an intriguing maiden contest.