Nine of the potential European Breeders’ Cup runners arrived at Monmouth Park at about 8 p.m. EDT Oct. 21, having touched down at Newark International Airport three hours earlier after an uneventful flight from England.
They were transported in four Sallee vans, with experienced Kentucky drivers, from Newark to Monmouth’s Barn 3, which has been converted into a temporary quarantine facility for the 2007 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.The facility has received high marks thus far.
The nine include two Jeremy Noseda-trained horses--Simply Perfect (grade I Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf) and Strike The Deal (Juvenile Turf); a pair from Brian Meehan--defending champion Red Rocks (grade I John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf) and Joffe’s Run (grade I Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies); Henry Cecil’s Passage of Time (Filly & Mare Turf), John Oxx’s Timarwa (Filly & Mare Turf), Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Annie Skates (Juvenile Fillies), Dermot Weld’s Domestic Fund (Juvenile Turf), and Michael Stoute’s Jeremy (grade I NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile).
Annie Skates and Joffe’s Run need one and two fillies, respectively, to drop out of the Juvenile Fillies in order to obtain a place in the field. The Epitome Stakes, part of the Oct. 26 supporting card to the first three Breeders’ Cup races, could be an alternative target for both of them.
The two Irish-trained horses, Timarwa and Domestic Fun, had to travel to Stansted Airport in Cambridgeshire, England, to get the flight. The horses are expected out on the track the morning of Oct. 23 if their blood samples are cleared by United States Department of Agriculture later Oct. 22 as expected.
The other five European hopefuls--all from champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien--are due at Monmouth the evening of Oct. 23. Dylan Thomas (Turf), George Washington (grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge), Excellent Art (Mile), Achill Island (Juvenile Turf), and All My Loving (Filly & Mare Turf), who finished third in a 12-furlong listed race at the Curragh in Ireland Oct. 21 but is expected to travel.
They fly from Ireland to Newark International and are expected to touch down at about 5 p.m. The earliest they can be on the track is the morning of Oct. 25.
Nick Clarke, from the International Racing Bureau, which helps coordinate the arrangements for the European horses, trainers, owners, jockeys, and stable staff, praised Monmouth for the “best quarantine set-up ever seen at a Breeders’ Cup.”
The Englishman, who has been to every Breeders’ Cup, said: “Key personnel from Monmouth Park came to the three previous Breeders’ Cups to see how things were set up. They looked around the quarantine barns and all the other facilities for the stable staff, the USDA, the shippers, and everybody else.
“When I arrived on Sunday, Oct. 14, the barn had been painted, the mats were already on the floor for the horses, etc. Barn 3 is probably the quietest barn at the track and a lot of thought has gone into these quarantine facilities. The barn is divided into four sections to cope with horses arriving at different times.
“Monmouth Park has been fantastic and their commitment to making it all work shows right the way down to the fact that there are two carpenters putting up screens for Brian Meehan’s horses. Whatever is needed happens quickly here. There is tremendous enthusiasm for having the Breeders’ Cup in New Jersey.”