Despite the fact they added "world" to the name of the event several years ago, most people still simply call it the Breeders' Cup. But the 23rd edition, run Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs for a record sixth time, had a worldly feel to it.
Three winners (Dreaming of Anna, Street Sense, and Round Pond) were foaled in Kentucky, and there was one bred in California (Thor's Echo), Florida (Miesque's Approval), England (Ouija Board), Ireland (Red Rocks), and Argentina (Invasor).
A good horse can come from anywhere. And they often do.
Many good horses have come north from South America to make an impression on the American racing scene, the latest among them Invasor, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Invasor is by Candy Stripes, a son of Blushing Groom who has for years been a top sire in Argentina, where Invasor was bred. Last year, Candy Stripes was represented by turf star Leroidesanimaux, who finished second in the NetJets Mile (gr. IT). Candy Stripes is also the sire of Different, third in the 1996 Distaff (gr. I).
Invasor, purchased after winning the Uruguayan Triple Crown, is the third Breeders' Cup winner bred in Argentina, following Ron McAnally's two Distaff winners -- Bayakoa (1989 and '90) and Paseana (1992).
Candy Stripes is pensioned in Argentina.
Blushing Groom was bred in France and was often seen as a sire of turf horses, but interestingly he had another son represented Breeders' Cup day and like Candy Stripes, it was as the sire of a dirt winner.
Dreaming of Anna, who won the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), is by Rahy, who notched his second Breeders' Cup winner. He is the sire of Fantastic Light, who won the 2001 Turf (gr. IT). And Rahy, who is out of champion mare Glorious Song, by Halo, is a half-brother to Singspiel (by In the Wings), who ran second in the 1996 Turf. Rahy's dam is a full sister to Saint Ballado, who has sired two Breeders' Cup winners -- Saint Liam (2005 Classic) and Ashado (2004 Distaff). Rahy stands at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
Another who figures to get both dirt and turf runners is Street Cry, whose first crop includes Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) winner Street Sense. Street Cry is by Machiavellian, who was a champion in France, and out of Irish champion Helen Street, by Troy. But Street Cry was a dirt runner, good enough at 2 to run third in the Juvenile and at 4 to win the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Breeding Northern Dancer line mares to Mr. Prospector line stallions is nothing new, and repeating what has worked in the past is merely smart. Street Sense proves that point. Street Cry stands at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington.
Speaking of Blushing Groom, Emirates Airline Distaff winner Round Pond is by Awesome Again, whose dam, Primal Force, is by the son of Red God. Breeding the Trempolino mare Gift of Dance to Awesome Again inbred Round Pond, 4x5x5, to Northern Dancer.
Awesome Again, who won the Classic in 1998, was siring his third Breeders' Cup winner, the others being Ghostzapper (2004 Classic) and Wilko (2004 Juvenile). The son of Deputy Minister stands at Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway.
Miesque's Approval is the 19th winner bred in Florida. His sire, Miesque's Son, is at Haras des Chartreux in France and shuttles to Haras Calunga in Brazil. As his name suggests, Miesque's Son (by Mr. Prospector) is out of Miesque (by Nureyev), winner of the Mile in 1987 and 1988.
Thor's Echo became just the second California-bred to win a Breeders' Cup race (joining two-time Classic winner Tiznow) when he took the TVG Sprint (gr. I). Another inbred 4x5 to Northern Dancer, Thor's Echo is by Swiss Yodeler, who stands at Pepper Oaks Farm near Santa Inez, Calif.
Machiavellian shows up in another pedigree as the broodmare sire of John Deere Turf winner Red Rocks, by Galileo. Red Rocks is inbred to full siblings Sadler's Wells and Fairy King, and also inbred, 4x3, to Mr. Prospector. Galileo stands at Coolmore Ireland and Australia.
The great Ouija Board, two-time winner of the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), is proof an outcross can also be a top runner. She is by Cape Cross, who stands at Darley Australia and Ireland, and out of the Welsh Pageant mare Selection Board. She is a great example of how worldly this group is -- her sire was bred in Ireland, her dam in England, and her broodmare sire in France.