A rainy late night at Churchill Downs didn't keep Nancy Polk from enjoying Sunny Skies. The 2-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom became the first stakes winner for her sire June 30 in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes around 10:30 p.m. EDT, and Normandy Farm owner Polk, also Sunny Skies' breeder, was on hand through stormy weather for the filly's second win in as many starts.
For the second time in three weeks, Team Valor International reaped immediate rewards with a brand-new acquisition on June 24 when Love 'N' Happiness not only scored in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Immensity in Sao Paulo but also likely locked up championship honors as Brazil's leading 2-year-old filly.
Animal Kingdom's first runner in America and first anywhere on dirt drew off to win by 9 lengths today at Keeneland in a 4 ½-furlong maiden race. Sunny Skies, a homebred filly for Normandy Farm and trainer Ken McPeek, prevailed as the 3-to-5 favorite off a series of sharp gate works.
From the the Thoroughbred Daily News's Alan Carasso, who may have been the first writer for an English-language publication to catch on to Va Bank back in 2015, comes the following on early plans for the Polish star’s 5-year-old season.
Earth Angel has a long way to go before she matches the deeds of her famous mother Miss Finland but she has started her career in similar fashion, with a win on debut at Ballarat. It was more than 11 years ago that Miss Finland was taken to the same track for her first run and she duly saluted.
Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin spoke at length about public horse racing partnerships, from the various facets of the business to the process of getting involved, in a podcast interview on www.capitalism.com.
The Vapors, a Var filly out of Classic and Grade 1-winning heroine Captain's Lover, is topping the first day's fillies at the Cape Thoroughbred Sales in Cape Town this evening in Cape Town, South Africa. The bay filly realized a final bid of 3.6 million Rand ($265,000) from Peter Graaf of Lammerskraal Stud in the Western Cape.
The shapely miss was bred and owned by Barry Irwin’s Team Valor International in partnership with Gaynor Rupert, whose Drakenstein Stud was the consignor.
Team Valor International occupied its familiar position at or near the top of the public partnership standings for the 2016 racing season, ranking second with seven stakes wins and tying for the premier spot with three Graded stakes tallies.
John Box of Charlotte, North Carolina, came out on top of Team Valor's annual partner contest with the most accurate prediction of the stable's 2016 seasonal totals for wins and purse earnings. His prize is a free 5 percent interest in a Team Valor horse syndicated during 2017.
Margaret Ransom has won the Stan Bergstein Writing Award for a story that revealed dire conditions for more than 40 horses at a Kentucky farm that led to animal cruelty charges against Chuck and Maria Borell.
Hayabusa One made his U.S. debut over a solid group of horses look very easy at Keeneland on Sunday, and in the process he earned “Rising Star” status from the Thoroughbred Daily News and a Grade 1 assignment in early December. ... More
English import Belvoir Bay continued to show her affinity for Southern California on October 1 when she collected her third stakes win over her last 4 starts, flying home best in the $78,000 Unzip Me Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita. ... More
Irwin bred Animal Kingdom in a Team Valor partnership, bought him back as a yearling at this same Keeneland September Yearling Sale and has analyzed several foals and yearlings by him. “This filly is as good a representative from this first crop as I’ve seen,” he said, “and in appearance she favors him greatly. ... More
Team Valor International has acquired a 50 percent interest in the 4-year-old Irish-bred colt Va Bank, who maintained his unbeaten certificate August 27 at Baden-Baden in winning the Group 3 Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe over a mile and a quarter. The Archipenko colt’s 12-race winning streak is believed to be the longest in the world. ... More
Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase Speechify, a multiple stakes winner including the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park, has been retired by Team Valor International after trainer Ralph Nicks suggested following his second-place finish Thursday at Gulfstream Park that the veteran sprinter might be protecting himself. ... More
Team Valor International has issued a Stan Bergstein Writing Award nomination for Natalie Voss’s story on out-of-competition drug testing that was published on September 7 on the Paulick Report website. ... More
Team Valor International reached a milestone over the weekend when Blossom d'Orange landed the 1,000th win for a partnership formed by Barry Irwin, scoring by 5 lengths in Saturday's Group 3 Produccion Nacional at Maronas in Uruguay. ... More
Team Valor International’s Euro Charline, which became the first 3-year-old to capture the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, has been retired from racing. An earner of $2,353,010, the Myboycharlie mare will be entered for the Tattersalls December Sale at Newmarket in trainer Marco Botti’s Prestige Place consignment. ... More
Freshly syndicated Arles completed the first of two goals Barry Irwin set for her when he bought her this month in Europe by becoming a black-type winner last Sunday at Hannover Racecourse. The well-bred daughter of Champion European sire Monsun had placed four times in black-type races prior to syndication, including a Group 2, but she had never won a stakes race. ... More
Addae Do Jaguarete, which wrapped up her sprinting career in Brazil recently by trouncing males by 4¼ lengths in a 6-furlong Listed stakes on a sloppy dirt track, was fully syndicated by Team Valor International in an hour and 15 minutes. ... More
Euro Charline confirmed her place among the elite horses in the world on May 14 with her second-place finish against males in Newbury's Lockinge Stakes, the first Group 1 for older horses this season in England. The 5-year-old mare gamely followed up on her second-place finish to Japan’s Real Steel in the $6-million Dubai Turf in March and has now won or placed in five races at the highest level. ... More
Team Valor International and Mrs. Gaynor Rupert have the probable favorite for the May 29 renewal of the lucrative Group 2 Oaks d’Italia in the presence of Saturday’s Listed trial winner Responsibleforlove. ... More
Team Valor International hosted near 100 racing partners last Friday, Saturday and Sunday at several venues in the bluegrass, where Briana Mott spearheaded a major team effort on the part of the company’s staff to show off the stable and the region’s assets. ... More
From South Africa’s Sporting Post comes the following about Derby Innovator: The Making of Animal Kingdom, the memoir of Barry Irwin released this month. “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels. The trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently." ... More
Euro Charline nearly pulled off a major upset as she fired a career-best on March 26 in finishing second by a diminishing half-length in the $6-million Dubai Turf on World Cup night at Meydan racecourse. ... More
Tuttipaesi was the first member of the Valor Ladies partnership, and she continues to exemplify the stable name as a lady of valor. The grey mare reached a new peak at age 6 on March 26 when she gamely knifed through traffic to get up approaching the wire in the Grade 2 Santa Ana States at Santa Anita.
. ... More
After traveling from the farthest reaches of the Thoroughbred world all the way back to the epicenter, Wide Range received another major boost today when Barry Irwin was able to nail down a nomination for her to be bred to Medaglia d’Oro, the sire of her star half sister Songbird. ... More
From England's Racing Post: Team Valor is renowned for the international nature of its operation, but it has surpassed itself by sourcing a half-sister to exciting U. S. filly Songbird in Thailand. ... More
Trainer Robbie Sage warned that Madame Dubois would be short of her best for her first start of 2016 but her talent shone through in a game Grade 3 triumph under jockey Piere "Stryker" Strydom on February 7 in Johannesburg. She was racing for the first time for Team Valor and partners Valor Ladies, Anant and Vanashree Singh and Colin Bird. ... More
Longtime racing partners Team Valor International and Gary Barber saw their English 2-year-old filly Belvoir Bay burst to the fore of her division with panache on Sunday at Santa Anita in the Blue Norther Stakes. Jockey Flavien Prat, returning from a severe back injury, did a masterful job settling the speedy import and cleverly made an early move curving off the final bend to open a clear advantage. ... More
Tuttipaesi may have added yet another extension to her racing career for Valor Ladies on December 12 when she soared to a fifth career stakes win in the $100,000 South Beach Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream Park. ... More