Jerry on Breeders’ sideline

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Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will not be allowed to compete in the Breeders’ Cup next weekend at Santa Anita.

In a press release, Breeders’ Cup Limited stated: “Breeders’ Cup leads by example in the conduct of thoroughbred racing at the highest levels of safety and integrity for its athletes. We have partnered with Santa Anita to implement extensive reforms related to medication practices, testing protocols, veterinary exams, injury management, onsite requirements and racing surface testing in preparation for the 2019 World Championships.

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“Earlier this year, the Stronach Group made the decision to prohibit Jerry Hollendorfer from participating at all TSG-owned tracks, including Santa Anita. As announced by the Chairman of the Board, Fred Hertrich, and consistent with Santa Anita’s position as host of this year’s World Championships, we will honor their house rule and Jerry Hollendorfer will not be permitted to enter horses at this year’s event.”

Hollendorfer was evicted from his Santa Anita stalls in June, along with approximately 60 horses stabled at Golden Gate, after American Currency suffered a catastrophic injury during training hours on the Santa Anita training track. It was the fourth horse trained by Hollendorfer to suffer a catastrophic injury at Santa Anita during the winter meet.

Hollendorfer also had two horses suffer catastrophic injuries at Golden Gate, one in November 2018 and one in January this year.

Hollendorfer trains Grade I winner Vasilika, who is pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and Danuska’s My Girl, who is scheduled to run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

While it seems likely that Danuska’s My Girl will be transferred to Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward and be entered with Ward listed as trainer, the situation is different for Vasilika.

Jerry Hollendorfer not only trains Vasilika, he is also a part-owner of the mare. In California, the rules state a horse owned in part by a properly licensed trainer may not start for another trainer.

The rule required Hollendorfer to divest his ownership interest in the valuable Vasilika prior to pre-entries this past Monday. Since Vasilika is scheduled to be sold at auction just days after the Breeders’ Cup, a win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf could exponentially increase her value as a broodmare, making the timing of any ownership divestiture prior to the race difficult when trying to assess her actual value.

Since Breeders’ Cup Ltd. is the host of the World Championships and not Santa Anita, they had the decision-making power to allow Hollendorfer to enter and race his horses if they had chosen that path. It should also be noted that Breeders’ Cup did accept event-related payments on the horses in question trained by Hollendorfer after the ban by The Stronach Group was put in place in June.

Hollendorfer’s request for a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles County Superior Court was denied last Wednesday. The TRO would have prevented Santa Anita from enforcing his current ban from racing and training there.

Hollendorfer was granted a similar request in San Diego in July and was allowed to train and race at the Del Mar summer meet. In September, Hollendorfer was denied a similar request from an Alameda County judge in an effort to be allowed to train and race at Golden Gate.

Horses trained by Hollendorfer raced without incident at Del Mar, the Northern California Fairs, and the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos. There are no current formal regulatory rulings or judgments against Hollendorfer and his California trainer’s license is valid and in good standing.

Pre-Entries Wednesday

The pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup will be announced Wednesday morning. Races that have overfilled will include an also-eligible list in order of preference as determined by the Breeders’ Cup committee on Tuesday. Horses that have been pre-entered in more than one Breeders’ Cup race will also list which race is a first preference and which race is a second preference.

Post positions for the Breeders’ Cup will be drawn next Monday.

Lindo Report Play for Gaming Today: Santa Anita Friday, Race 8 — Dubnation (No. 7). Class-dropper from the Phil D’Amato stable has speed in a race that came up very light on early pace. Early speed continues to hold the advantage over the deep and dull Santa Anita main track, so make this gelding the one to catch and beat. 

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About the Author

Jon Lindo

Jon Lindo is a syndicated handicapper, long-time thoroughbred owner, and publisher of the Lindo Report. Jon is also a regular contributor to Race Day Las Vegas Radio show on KSHP 1400 in Las Vegas and Thoroughbred Los Angeles Radio show, heard in Las Vegas at thoroughbredla.com.

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