Thursday at Keeneland
Churchill Downs reports strong third quarter revenue and earnings gains, but warns the gains could be offset by the end of the year. Penn National also reports strong revenue and earnings.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, a model of consistency himself, sent three of his eight Breeders' Cup hopefuls to the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning, and the trio came back with identical results. Hap (Mile) and Vision and Verse (Classic) both breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5, with King Cugat (Mile) going a half in :48 3/5 and galloping out in -- you guessed it -- 1:01 2/5.
Breeders' Cup Sprint hopeful Five Star Day cleared a couple of major hurdles on Wednesday. The Beau Greely trainee was named as one of the 14 preferred entrants in the Sprint and he turned in a solid training move in his next-to-last work before the Breeders' Cup.
Her reputation has been tarnished a bit after surprising back-to-back losses in the Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Three Chimneys Spinster (gr. I) at Keeneland, but a workout on the Churchill Downs turf Wednesday by Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Heritage of Gold showed trainer Tom Amoss that she can still be a major force on Breeders' Cup Day.
Two of the big guns from the powerful roster of stars from the stable of Frank Stronach, Golden Missile and Perfect Sting, tuned up for their big events on Breeders' Cup Day with solid works at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
Michael Tabor's Left Bank led throughout Wedenesday's $103,499 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) to easily win the 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds by 2 1/4 lengths over Perfect Cat on opening day at Aqueduct.
New York stallion Ends Well was euthanized at Gus Schoenborn Jr.'s Contemporary Stallions near Coxsackie the morning of Oct. 25.
Brazilian-bred Riboletta, who has won several grade I stakes this year for owners Aaron and Marie Jones, will be joined in North America later this fall by her dam and younger full sister.
Thomas Reigle announced that graded stakes winner Patton has arrived at his Reigle Heir Farm near Hershey, Pa., for the 2001 breeding season.
As the folks at the Breeders' Cup get out their piggy banks and prepare to stuff in $3,060,000 in supplementary fees, horses across America and Europe begin their march on Louisville. And when the last of the travelers arrives at Churchill Downs, there will be a total of 135 horses parading to the track each morning wearing purple Breeders' Cup saddlecloths.
The $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) picture has been changing faster than the autumn leaves. While new, vibrant colors keep appearing in the 3-year-old division, the older horses seem to be withering and falling harmlessly to the ground.
That collective gasp was the connections of the other Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) entrants when owners Aaron and Marie Jones decided to pony up the $400,000 to supplement Riboletta. The big check they wrote changed the whole complexion of the race.
From Europe's 17 Breeders' Cup wins, it isn't surprising to find that seven have come in the Turf (gr. IT) and seven in the Mile (gr. IT).
This year's 11-furlong edition of the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) figures to be as wide-open as a St. Louis Rams receiver streaking downfield.
Gather the world's best sprinters and what do you expect? Well, fast fractions naturally. Because every member of the field is capable of running so quickly, it makes the Breeders' Cup Sprint a difficult race to handicap.
"No child shall be left behind" -- one presidential candidate's sound bite -- fails to work in the Thoroughbred classroom, as 19 of those pre-entered at the head of the juvenile class of 2000 have proven to be in the accelerated program.
In the 16 previous editions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), 10 of the winners had made their most recent start at either Belmont or Keeneland. This year, two undefeated fillies who last competed at those two racetracks appear headed for showdown at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
But a national division once boasting the potential of Royal Anthem, Dark Moondancer, Chester House, and Bienamado now finds itself pining for a star, and with no local standout or foreign phenomenon to brandish. This year's running of the Turf is totally up for grabs.
continued from part 1
The race, which makes a return after seven years, figures to play a key role in determining the steeplechase champion of the year.
- By Ron Mitchell
A jury in Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday began hearing opening statements in the Saints Cup case. The buyers, alleging fraud, are seeking to have their $850,000 purchase price rescinded. The sellers contend the buyers' agent did not exercise due diligence when he bought the colt.
Agent Buzz Chace purchased a Saint Ballado colt for $750,000 to top Tuesday's second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale.
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