#36 - Racing Recap: Irad’s Dangerous Riding, Americanrevolution Wins, and More

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The weekend saw several graded stakes races play out across the country, but nowhere was there more controversy and excitement than in New York at Aqueduct, which featured the Grade I Cigar Mile. Prior to the running of the Cigar Mile, there was a lot of attention paid to the Grade II Remsen won by Mo Donegal over Zandon, but the conversation afterwards had nothing to do with the horses and everything to do with the jockeys. Once again, Irad Ortiz Jr. had an overly aggressive ride on Mo Donegal and appeared to make physical contact with the opposing horse, Zandon, and the opposing jockey, John Velazquez. It was notable that after the race, even Eclipse Award trainer Chad Brown, who uses Ortiz Jr. on many of his horses, took to social media to complain about the aggressiveness of the ride that adversely impacted his horse, Zandon. The day before, Ortiz Jr. had moved over several lanes and unseated fellow jockey Eric Cancel from his mount. Neither incident resulted in a disqualification and the results stood. However, on Sunday evening, news broke that the New York Racing Association had suspended Irad Ortiz Jr. for 30 calendar days due to aggressive riding.

There was also great racing that took place this weekend as Americanrevolution took the Grade I Cigar Mile over his stablemate Following Sea giving trainer Todd Pletcher the 1-2 finish in this prestigious race. Americanrevolution appeared not to have his best effort and Following Sea set a moderate pace, but ultimately, Americanrevolution was able to dig-in and gain ground down the stretch to win while posting a 104 Beyer Speed figure. Americanrevolution will not get a few months off for training and looks poised to have a big 4-year-old campaign.

Off the track, there was also significant news as Bob Baffert’s lawyer released a statement indicating a lab had determined the positive betamethasone test from Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit had been the result of the application of a topical ointment that contained the substance, which was not illegal. There has been no official word from Churchill Downs about the decision or the decision to continue to suspend Baffert from entering horses at the track for the next two years.

Listen to me break all these stories down, give you what I got right and wrong from the weekend, and also provide insight into what we can expect from racing in the Sunshine State this winter, and more.

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About The Win Place Show: The best horse racing picks, analysis, handicapping, bets, and interviews with Matthew. If you love horse racing, you'll love The Win Place Show. Matthew handicaps the latest horse races every week and even gives updates on what he got right and what he got wrong. Plus, interviews with horseracing veterans discussing their picks, their industry knowledge, and more.

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