Connections of most of the nine winning horses (counting one dead-heat) from Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were non-committal Sunday about future plans, but there is a possibility one or more of the horses could run again this year.
During Sunday's traditional post-Breeders' Cup breakfast, trainer Richard Mandella said plans are uncertain for Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winner Pleasantly Perfect.
Mandella said Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Halfbridled will not race again this year, but that either Action This Day or Minister Eric, the respective 1-2 finishers in the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) could run in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) on Dec. 20. Plans for Johar, dead-heat winner of the John Deere Turf (gr. IT), will be determined after Mandella meets with Richard Mulhall, general manager of owner The Thoroughbred Corp.
Known for his dry wit, Mandella jokingly commented on a possible reason for his stable's success Saturday. "We moved into (late trainer) Charlie Whittingham's barn a couple of years ago. We've been doing a lot digging around the shedrow and we finally found the secret."
Mandella complimented his staff, especially assistants Becky Witzman and Angel Vega and exercise rider Crystal Brown for his stable's success. "I don't do all this by myself; I am the brains of the outfit," Mandella said. "It takes a lot of good help."
Breeders' Cup president D. G. Van Clief joked that Mandella is "no longer Dick Mandella. He's now King Richard."
Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family's Flaxmans Holdings, said NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) winner Six Perfections will return to France to be prepared for a 2004 campaign that he hopes results in a successful defense of her Breeders' Cup victory.
Trainer David Hofmans said plans for Distaff (gr. I) winner Adoration are uncertain, but that she will be given some time off. "She is just a very special filly," Hofmans said. "She is more than I ever could have hoped for."
There are no present plans for Sprint (gr. I) winner Cajun Beat, but trainer Steve Margolis noted the 3-year-old gelding needs a month to six weeks between races.
Islington, winner of the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), will be retired to become a broodmare next year, but there is a possibility she will race one more time in 2003, said Peter Reynolds, speaking on behalf of the Estate of Lord Weinstock's Ballymacoll Stud Farm.
There were no representatives from Coolmore at the breakfast to reflect on plans for High Chaparral, who dead-heated in the Turf. Trainer Aidan O'Brien earlier indicated the two-time Turf winner would be retired.
Co-owner John Magnier told The Racing Post
Saturday, "I would think that this is his last race. This has always been the plan to finish here."