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Rule Set For 4YO Stallion Eligibility

Published: March 23, 2012 10:58 am ET

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The official language designed to exclude the progeny of four-year-old stallions --- absent meeting one of the listed exemptions --- from stakes races at the new Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs has been approved for inclusion in stakes conditions at those tracks beginning with horses bred in 2013, foals of 2014.

This same language is to be included in stakes conditions by the Woodbine Entertainment Group for foals of 2014 and the Hambletonian Society for foals of 2015.

This restriction is being implemented as a two-year pilot program, at which time an evaluation will be made on its effectiveness on the live racing product.

See the entire text to be added to stakes conditions below:

Beginning with the foals of 2014 to be raced as two-year-olds in 2016 and three-year-olds in 2017

FOR: Foals of 2014 whose sires were foaled in 2008 or earlier (five-olds or older in 2013, the year of breeding).

Those foals of 2014 sired by stallions which were foaled in 2009 or later (four-year-olds or younger in 2013, the year of the breeding) are NOT ELIGIBLE, unless they meet the one of the following exemptions:

  1. The stallion serviced mares and started a minimum of six (6) times from April 1 forward in its four-year-old season (2013), or;
  2. The stallion develops a condition while in training that prevents him from racing competitively for the four year old season (see Article VI for conditions) or;
  3. The stallion did not start at least six (6) times in its three-year-old season (2012), or;
  4. The stallion did not start after August 1 of its three-year-old season, or;
  5. The stallion did not earn more than $500,000 in its three-year-old season (including any foreign earnings as calculated by the U.S.T.A.), or;
  6. A licensed veterinarian of the stallion owner’s choice ('owner,' which includes all beneficial owners at the time, as well as lessee(s) or managers) has certified to the sponsor that in his/her opinion, the stallion in question would be unfit to race competitively in its four-year-old season (2013) due to unsoundness or another serious medical condition. That certification must be in writing and accepted by the sponsor in writing prior to the stallion commercially servicing any mares. The sponsor reserves the right to have the stallion in question subsequently examined by licensed veterinarians on staff at a university veterinary school in close proximity to the physical location of the stallion for confirmation or rejection of the prior findings regarding the stallion’s fitness to race at age four. The confirmation or rejection by the university staff will be accepted as final regarding the eligibility of the progeny of the stallion in question. The sponsor shall bear the full expense of the university veterinary school examination of the stallion and written certification of their opinion of the fitness of the stallion in question. It is strongly advised that the above written acceptance by the sponsor be received by the owner of said stallion prior to booking any mares to the stallion in order that the eligibility of the stallion’s foals is determined for all affected parties. The owner of the stallion shall solely be responsible for notifying the owner(s) of mares booked to breed to the stallion as to the eligibility, or lack thereof, to any and all stakes affected by the rules herein.

Further, the decision of the sponsor ('sponsor,' which includes all owner(s) of the race, any party that adds funds to the race, the racetrack where the race is conducted) on the above shall be final and not subject to appeal. Both the owner of the nominated foal and the stallion owner hereby covenant, agree and affirm that any and all appeal rights in law or equity that the such owner otherwise may have with respect to the decision of the sponsor is hereby released, waived and terminated.

Both the owner of the nominated foal and the stallion owner hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless the sponsor and its officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (each, an 'Indemnified Party') against any loss, damage, expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs) or other liability suffered or incurred by the indemnified party (collectively, 'Damages') by reason of, related to, or in connection with the decision of the sponsor as to the eligibility of any two-year-old to race in 2016 or any three-year-old to race in 2017, including, but not limited to, damages incurred as a result of a challenge to or appeal of the sponsor’s decision by any successor or subsequent owner of the nominated foal, a breeder of the nominated foal, the owner of the sire or dam of the nominated foal or any other party purporting to have an interest in this matter.

The sponsor reserves the right to add to, amend, or delete any of the above language as it deems necessary in its best interest without liability.

The age of all nominated foals is subject to U.S.T.A. foaling date rules.

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