Fifth and Madison Brings $135,000 to Top Wednesday at Keeneland January Sale

LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 11, 2017) – Fifth and Madison, a winning 4-year-old daughter of Street Sense cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect, sold to Mayday B. Branham for $135,000 to lead Wednesday’s third session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale.

Out of the Unbridled mare Unaffordable, Fifth and Madison was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, which led all consignors during the session by selling 36 horses for $812,700. Fifth and Madison is a half-sister to stakes winners Fordubai and Fast Alex, and is from the family of Grade 2 winner Softly and Grade 3 winners Scoop, Hold Old Blue and Coragil Cat.

Doug Branham of Hurricane Hills Farm in Central Kentucky said Fifth and Madison most likely would be bred this year.

The day’s second-high seller at $125,000 was Bubbles and Babies, a 6-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy in foal to Street Boss, sold to Josham Farms Ltd., agent. Valkyre Stud, agent, consigned Bubbles and Babies, whose dam, the Bernstein mare Dream Empress, won the Darley Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland and was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in 2008. Bubbles and Babies is from the family of Grade 1 winners Prenup and Yonaguska.

On Wednesday, Keeneland sold 197 horses for $3,415,900, for an average of $17,340 and a median of $8,500. Total sales were 10.52 percent below last year’s $3,817,300 for 220 horses. The average nearly mirrored last year’s $17,351, while the median of $8,500 was 5.56 percent lower than last year’s $9,000.

“It was good to see the two mares top the sale and break the $100,000 mark today. That shows there is still money here,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “The theme for the sales season for 2016 and 2017 continues to be ‘quality sells.’ That is where the Thoroughbred market is at the moment. It is an expensive business to be in. So people are tending to gravitate to less quantity and higher quality.”

Through the first three days of the five-day sale, Keeneland has sold 581 horses for $24,989,500, down 17.98 percent from the comparable period last year when 595 horses brought $30,468,900. The average of $43,011 was 16 percent below $51,208 in 2016. The median of $20,000 is 9 percent lower than last year’s $22,000.

The session’s top-priced yearling was a colt by 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Orb sold to K.M.C.F.F. for $95,000. Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned the yearling, whose dam is the stakes-placed Langfuhr mare Cherryblossommiss, a half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner Imperialism and multiple Keeneland stakes winner White Beauty.

The session’s leading buyer was trainer J. Keith Desormeaux, who spent $179,000 for five horses.

The January Sale continues through Friday. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at


Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum's Vale Dori and jockey Mike Smith win the Grade II $200,000 Bayakoa Handicap Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA. 
©Benoit Photo


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2017)–Third behind superstar distaffers Stellar Wind and Beholder three starts back, Bob Baffert’s Vale Dori seeks her third consecutive win on Saturday at Santa Anita in the Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth. The La Canada, to be run for the 43rd time, has attracted a field of five.

Vale Dori’s most serious challenger would appear to be the Richard Mandella-trained Wild At Heart, who was second, beaten three lengths by Vale Dori in the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap at Del Mar Dec. 3.

VALE DORI: A rousing 10-length allowance winner on Oct. 28 following her third place finish behind Stellar Wind and Beholder in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes here Oct. 1, this 5-year-old Argentine mare comes off an authoritative win at odds of 1-2 in the Grade II Bayakoa Stakes Dec. 3 at Del Mar. With both of her recent wins coming at the La Canada distance, Vale Dori is proven at the trip and should again be on or pressing the early lead under Mike Smith, who was aboard for the Bayakoa win. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Vale Dori, who was a Group I winner in Argentina going 7 ½ furlongs, is now three for five under Baffert’s care and has an overall mark of 10-5-3-1. By far and away the leading money earner in the field, Vale Dori has banked $454,943.

WILD AT HEART: Although never at threat to the winner, this 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare was clearly second best to Vale Dori in the Grade II Bayokoa and will hope to improve her position on Saturday when ridden by Flavien Prat, who was aboard for her seven furlong maiden score eight starts back at Santa Anita in February, 2015. In her only other try at the La Canada distance, Wild At Heart was a well beaten third to Stellar Wind in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks six starts back in April, 2015. Owned by Ramona Bass, LLC, she will hope to get a stalking trip as she seeks her first graded win. With two wins from nine starts, she has earnings of $199,305.

SHOW STEALER: Based at Los Alamitos with trainer Art Sherman, this 5-year-old mare by Eskendereya closed well to be fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Vale Dori in the Bayakoa at odds of 11-1. Owned and bred by George Krikorian, she’ll be reunited with Tyler Baze, who orchestrated an off the pace allowance win at a mile and a sixteenth three starts back here on May 26. With three wins from 19 starts, the Bayakoa will be her second graded stakes assignment.

ENDURING ERIN: Claimed four starts back on July 31 by trainer Richard Baltas, this 7-year-old mare by Kela has won two of her last three starts for her new connections and will test stakes company for the first time in the La Canada. Owned by Baltas and Paymaster Racing, she’ll stretch out a bit off a neck win going one mile in a second condition allowance at Del Mar on Nov. 11. Ridden by Flavien Prat in both of her recent wins, she be handled for the first time Corey Nakatani and can be expected to press the pace early on Saturday.

AUTUMN FLOWER: Last early in the Bayakoa, this Dan Hendricks-trained daughter of Flower Alley kept to her task late in the Bayakoa, finishing sixth, beaten 5 ½ lengths at 21-1 in what was her first stakes engagement. Owned by her breeders, Priscilla Webb and Thomas Traver, this 5-year-old mare has three wins from 13 starts.


Race 5 of 9                                                                                                          Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PST

  1. Vale Dori–Mike Smith–125
  2. Show Stealer–Tyler Baze–120
  3. Wild At Heart–Flavien Prat–120
  4. Enduring Erin–Corey Nakatani–120
  5. Autumn Flower–Drayden Van Dyke–120

First post time on Saturday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit


Saturday, January 28, 2017 I Post Time: 12PM

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The State of the Microchip

The State of the Microchip

The practice of microchipping is becoming prevalent throughout the horse world–but for reasons beyond simply identifying a lost equid.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

More horse organizations are requiring owners to use this identification technology

Countless dog and cat owners can attest to the value of microchipping. These are the people who have spent sleepless nights agonizing over their pets’ disappearance and whereabouts until they receive that phone call with the comforting words, “Your dog is at the local animal shelter; we scanned him for a microchip and found your contact information.”

This practice of microchipping is also becoming prevalent throughout the horse world—but for reasons beyond simply IDing a lost equid. Many competitive organizations and breed registries are now requiring it for ease of identifying individual horses.

The Microchipping Process

Microchip implantation is a fairly innocuous process for horses—or any animal, for that matter. After scanning the chip to make sure it’s readable, a veterinarian uses a large gauge needle to inject the chip below the mane into the nuchal ligament on the left side of the neck, about halfway between the horse’s poll and withers. A new mini-chip is now available so that veterinarians can use a smaller-gauge needle for the procedure. This microchip and its surrounding glass-polycarbonate capsule is roughly the size of a grain of raw rice. The injection causes minimal discomfort to the horse and does not leave a scar. The chip is encapsulated within the ligament and unlikely to migrate within the tissue.

The entire process, including the price of the microchip, usually costs less than $100. Upon inserting the chip, the veterinarian scans it again to ensure it’s transmitting readable information. Then the horse owner registers the chip with the appropriate microchip company, as well as the desired sport organization and/or breed registry. This is a one-time process that needs no repeat fee or renewal.

This article continues in the January 2017 issue of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. Learn how microchips work, requirements for microchipping, and more when you subscribe now and get an immediate download of this issue!

About the Author

Nancy S. Loving, DVM

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care. She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

Caudal Heel Pain or Navicular: What’s the Right Term?

Q. I’ve heard people use the terms “caudal heel pain,” “navicular disease,” and “navicular syndrome” when referring to a horse that has a lameness associated with the navicular bone and its related structures. Do all of these terms describe the same condition?

A. These terms are similar in meaning; however, technically, they are different.

Caudal heel pain is typically used to describe pain from the heel or back of the foot. A horse with caudal heal pain would respond positively to a palmar digital nerve block. The navicular structures are often included, but the horse could also have pain associated with other structures.

Navicular disease is usually used to describe disease that has caused radiographic changes to the navicular bone.

Navicular syndrome is more encompassing to describe lesions associated with the navicular soft-tissue structures and may not have radiographic abnormalities.

Having said this, all three terms are commonly used interchangeably depending on veterinarian preference.

About the Author

Josh Zacharias, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR

Josh Zacharias, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, is an Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduate who practices at Countryside Large Animal Veterinary Services in Greeley, Colorado. His interests include equine lameness, surgery, and podiatry. In addition to working as a surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Zacharias is a farrier with nearly 15 years of experience in therapeutic shoeing applications. Much of his caseload includes Western performance horses.

Yes, Your Overweight Horse is at Risk for Laminitis

Yes, Your Overweight Horse is at Risk for Laminitis

Horses with body condition score of 7 or higher, generalized and/or regional adiposity, larger neck circumference, and decreased height (think pony) were at an increased odds of developing laminitis.

Photo: Michelle Coleman, DVM, PhD

Barn circles might banter about the chubby chestnut with the deep gutter down her back, or jest about the round roan who looks like he could foal any day now. But in a landmark observational case-control study in client-owned North American horses, scientists have demonstrated that these animals are more ticking time bombs than laughing matters—they are at risk for developing the painful and sometimes-fatal hoof disease laminitis. The good news is that many of the laminitis risk factors the researchers identified can be detected early and are modifiable.

“As we all know, laminitis is a disease of considerable importance to both horses and horse owners, with estimated incidence of 1.5% to 34% of horses affected annually, and 13% of horse operations,” said Michelle Coleman, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, in College Station. “The lifetime risk of a horse developing laminitis is estimated at 15%. We all know that there’s a significant clinical and economic impact of this disease, especially in that there is no effective method or cure, and no effective method for prevention of disease.”

Coleman noted that this disease not only affects horses and horse owners but also veterinarians, who identified laminitis as the top priority for research funding in a 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) survey of its membership. Coleman presented results from the pasture- and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis (PEAL) study at the 2016 AAEP Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida. She and her 15 co-authors in the Laminitis Research Working Group launched the research at the 2011 convention. And while she admitted many of the results were unsurprising, they confirm in no uncertain terms what veterinarians have believed for years and stress the importance of managing laminitis-prone horses very carefully.

Most existing research on laminitis has been conducted in experimentally induced laminitis cases. These approaches do predictably produce laminitis in study horses, but they aren’t an accurate representation of how natural disease occurs. Coleman said the group sought to study naturally occurring cases of disease. “Results of these epidemiologic studies are relevant to naturally occurring cases,” she said. “Our goal was to identify risk factors for development of disease.”

The researchers identified that the most common type of laminitis cases seen in private practice was PEAL, so they set out to investigate what AAEP members in North America were seeing in this type of case by recruiting cases via veterinarians and horse owners.

Coleman and colleagues asked veterinarians to report patients’ signalment (age, breed, sex, etc.), clinical signs, activity level, dietary status, and stable management practices in any case of laminitis within four weeks of onset of clinical signs with an Obel laminitis scale grade of 2 or higher. The scientists excluded horses with a history of laminitis due to toxic causes, grain overload, contralateral weight-bearing (such as in supporting-limb laminitis cases), and any other concurrent hoof disease.

Veterinarians in 32 states and three Canadian provinces responded, reflecting an 18% participation rate. The research team found 550 usable responses from submissions from 109 veterinarians. Ultimately, the study group included 199 cases, which Coleman and colleagues matched with 198 healthy controls, and 153 controls showing lameness (non-laminitic horses lame with a Grade of 3 to 5 lameness in one forelimb only). Some of the team’s key findings included:

  • The onset of clinical signs was greater in the spring and summer compared to the fall and winter;
  • Horses exposed to lush pastures were at an increased risk of developing laminitis;
  • Horses that had a recent stabling change or change in diet were at an increased risk of developing laminitis compared to horses with no recent change;
  • Horses with body condition score of 7 or higher (obese), generalized and/or regional adiposity (fat distribution all over or just in certain areas), larger neck circumference, and decreased height (think pony) were at an increased odds of developing laminitis;
  • Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods were at a decreased risk of developing disease and ponies and Minis were at an increased risk of developing disease
  • Horses that had endocrinopathic disease, such as equine metabolic syndrome or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, also known as equine Cushing’s disease) were at an increased risk of developing laminitis; and
  • Horses with recent glucocorticoid administration (such as dexamethasone or prednisolone) were at increased odds of developing disease though Coleman cautioned that researchers need more supportive evidence of this potential (only 6% of horses met this criteria).

Take-Home Message

Coleman scanned the audience, saying, “I see a lot of blank faces thinking, ‘Well, big surprise: Fat horses founder, steroids put horses at risk, endocrinopathic disease puts horses at risk of developing disease.”

However, she explained, this was the first observational study of only acute or incident cases of laminitis supporting a causal relationship of obesity and laminitis.

“Perhaps we need to think about laminitis in another way,” said Coleman. “What makes horses obese? Maybe obesity is a symptom of a much bigger problem. (We need to think) how can we reduce the burden of laminitis by reducing the burden of obesity? And while this distinction may be subtle, the impact may be profound.”

Similarly, she said, we might need to look at endocrinopathic disease in a new way–very few horses in this study had prior diagnosis of endocrinopathic disease, suggesting that laminitis was the first clinical sign these horses developed. If we can identify horses at risk of developing PPID or EMS early, then perhaps we can reduce the risk of laminitis, she added, suggesting dietary management practices for EMS horses, medical management for horses with PPID, and potential novel therapeutic agents.

The veterinary community’s potential for reducing the burden of laminitis also lies in client education and compliance, she said. “Until now, there has been limited evidence to support what we all think is true, that overweight horses founder and endocrinopathic disease results in laminitis. Now, with more supporting evidence I hope we can use this information to educate our clients.”

Still, in a 2010 study Coleman cited, only 1% of owners of geriatric horses perceived geriatric horse weight gain as an important health issue, so she emphasized that practitioners need to educate their owners early—early diagnosis, early intervention in these cases—to potentially reduce the burden of laminitis.

Coleman said this research was funded by the AAEP Foundation, with generous support from Boehringer Ingelheim.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.