It is a cold fall day in New York Saturday morning as the horses are heading to the retention barns for the first time for a Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
New York now requires all horses to be in the retention barn six horses prior to racing. This means the horses in the first Breeders' Cup race, the Alberto VO5 Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), had to be there by 7:20 a.m. and the participants in the Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) would have to be inside one of the retention barns by 11:40 a.m.
Once inside, only the state vets may attend to the horses. The horses are accompanied by a groom. No trainers or private veterinarians are allowed in the retention barns.
Every horse must move to the retention barns. Some trainers wanted to ship in and be placed there so they wouldn't have to move and there was discussion about the European shippers, who go to a quarantine barn upon arrival.
It was decided that, to be fair to all runners, every horse would have to move to the retention barns.
Three hours before the first Breeders' Cup race, the temperature was 41 with a wind chill of 35. The wind was from the north at nine miles per hour. The sun was shining briefly early in the day, but the clouds moved in and appear as if they will stay throughout the day.
The Horse of the Year title will be decided by the outcome of the eight races. Lost in the Fog could make a strong case should he win the TVG Sprint (gr. I), as could Saint Liam or Borrego with victories in the Classic. Afleet Alex, sitting on the sidelines, could claim the honor should those three all lose today.