THE WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA: FEB. 5

Dortmund and his little buddy American Pharoah. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Two Mid-Atlantic stallions are relocating overseas, and Maryland-bred champion Knicks Go will be making his next start in the world’s richest race.

Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media this past week:

Dortmund, Flashback head overseas

Two stallions from the Mid-Atlantic region will be relocating to stand at stud in Korea. Those stallions are Pennsylvania sire Flashback and Maryland sire Dortmund.

Flashback, who stood at Diamond B Farm in Mohrsville Pa, will be leaving the country having sired four crops of horses of racing age that have represented him with a total of 88 winners and combined earnings of $5.4 million. Of his current offspring, the 11-year-old stallion is most famous for siring British Idiom, who was declared the Eclipse Award winning champion two-year-old of 2019 after dazzling scores in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. 

By champion sire Tapit, Flashback was a Grade 2 winner on the track, having captured the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) in 2013. Flashback made it to the winner’s circle twice from seven career starts, placing in multiple graded stakes races along the way. When it was all said and done on the track, Flashback walked away with earnings of $405,730.

Dortmund, a 9-year-old son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, will be leaving behind his Maryland home of Bonita Farm, where he entered stud in 2018. A winner of eight races from sixteen starts, Dortmund was among the best of his class during his time on the track, claiming victory in multiple graded stakes races, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, and racking up earnings just shy of $2 million. Dortmund’s first crop of foals are two-year-olds of this year.

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The move has caused controversy on social media. While horse meat is not generally consumed in South Korea, in some areas it is considered a delicacy; and some racehorses exported there have been slaughtered for their meat.

Most recently, the stallion Private Vow, who was a multiple graded stakes winner on the track, was discovered by PETA to have been slaughtered for meat.

That led PETA and track owners the Stronach Group, which has partnered with the animal rights group on certain matters, to call for a ban on the sale of North American Thoroughbreds to South Korean racing interests. Belinda Stronach, chair and president of the Stronach Group, urged breeders, owners and others not to sell horses to South Korea without “meaningful and binding assurances” that the horses would find soft landings when their racing and/or breeding careers end

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Knicks Go taking big swing

Maryland-bred superstar Knicks Go, who is fresh off a breathtaking win in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1), will be heading to Riyadh next for a start in the richest race in the world, the $20 million Saudi Cup.

Knicks Go received an automatic entry into the Saudi Cup after he blew away his competition in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 23. After seeing how little the race took out of his steed, trainer Brad Cox decided to give the green light on allowing him to make the trip out for the $20 million race that takes place February 20. According to Cox, as long as Knicks Go breezes well this coming weekend, he is scheduled to ship out of the country on Monday, February 8 to prepare for his next start.

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Bred by Angie and Sabrina Moore, Knicks Go, the Top Midlantic-Bred of 2020, is owned by Korea Racing Authority, and is regularly piloted by jockey Joel Rosario. To date, the five-year-old son of Paynter has charged to glory in six of his eighteen starts, including a dominating score in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last November in which he broke the track record. He is currently on a four-race winning streak and has collected earnings of $3,088,995 in his career.

One of the biggest foes that Knicks Go may face in the Saudi Cup is fellow North American runner Charlatan. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Charlatan is lightly raced, but has made each start count, having scored in three of his four races, including the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes. Just like Knicks Go, Charlatan is loaded with early speed, making the possible match up an interesting one.

Should Knicks Go exit the Saudi Cup in good order, the $12 million Dubai World Cup will stand as a possible next start for the talented Maryland-bred.

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